Positively Midlife Podcast

Embrace Your Authenticity AND Stop Caring What Other People Think - Ep. 71

October 11, 2023 Tish & Ellen Season 2 Episode 71
Positively Midlife Podcast
Embrace Your Authenticity AND Stop Caring What Other People Think - Ep. 71
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Are you ready to stop caring so much what other people think at midlife?  Join us as we navigate through personal anecdotes of self-acceptance and self-love, discussing the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing our needs to care less what other people think.

We all fight battles, some with societal pressures and some with our self-image. During our chat, we tackle these tough topics and share our own experiences. We explore how being constantly labeled as the 'nice one' can be daunting and share tips on how to face this stereotype from co host Ellen.  Tish talks about how age is not just a number, but it should be worn as a badge of honor reflecting the wisdom and experience you've gathered over the years.

In the latter part of ourpodcast conversation, we delve into the complexities of social media and its effects on us and how important our self-care routines are to self confidence and awareness. We share insights on when and how to disconnect and emphasize the importance of self-love and acceptance. To wrap up, we provide four practical steps to embrace authenticity and self-care and just not care about what other people think of you - it's liberating!  This episode is  of insights and strategies to live a more authentic life, so jump in and start embracing your true self today!

Obsessions:
Tish: Acorn lights - perfect for the fall.
Ellen:Turkey candle holders

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This episode is for entertainment purposes only.  We are not medical professionals and we strongly suggest that you reach out to your physician for any medical advice.

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Website: www.thepositivelymidlifepodcast.com
Email: postivelymidlifepod@gmail.com

Support the show

Website: www.thepositivelymidlifepodcast.com
Email: postivelymidlifepod@gmail.com

Ellen:

Today we are exploring the art of embracing your true self and living life unapologetically and authentically. We're diving into this topic that's really close to my heart and, I think, to many midlifers' heart how to just stop caring what other people think of you. Tish, how are we going to do this?

Tish:

You know, I think this is a huge challenge for so many women, right, and we talk so much about how, in midlife, this is our time of self-discovery, of coming to our wisdom, of embracing who we truly are, and I think we need to come to terms with this idea of stop caring what other people think. You know, there's so much about societal expectations and judgments and it feels like a weight on my chest at times and, to be honest, I'm sick of living under the weight of these expectations. So I think, if you're a woman in your 40s, 50s, 60s or even beyond, this is the episode for you, if you feel these pressures of other people's expectations.

Ellen:

Tish, I totally agree. And guess what, what? It's never too early either to liberate yourself from the opinions of others. I think this could be a great episode for women in their late teens, 20s and 30s too.

Tish:

You know, I think it could be. But if there's something about the years of growth that we go through that give us maybe the courage to not care as much. I don't know, I don't know if a 20-year-old could embrace that wisdom, but they should, They'll be a lot happier for years and years, if they do.

Ellen:

I'll tell you this 20-year-old couldn't have done it. I couldn't have done it at 20. But if you give some of these people a toolbox and some tools, maybe it could work.

Tish:

Well, I have this one saying that I just love, and it says your opinion of me doesn't define me.

Ellen:

I love that. That does sound like you. It resonates with me. I am going to add one to the mix too. If you have an opinion of me, please raise your hand and put it across your mouth.

Tish:

Oh, I love that one. Now, that has to be your mother. Did that come from your mom?

Ellen:

You know that came from Suzanne. She had all her little sayings and things, but she was a strong woman. She definitely felt that.

Tish:

I just feel like she doled out these pieces of wisdom in these little tidbits and these little sayings and these little tiny stories and stuff like that. I don't think we realized how much wisdom there were in her words until recently.

Ellen:

You're so right. I used to be like not another one of these, Please, please.

Tish:

And that's why I said I don't know if the 20 and 30-year-olds are ready for this kind of stuff, because we weren't when we were hearing it right.

Ellen:

Oh, it's so true, tish, for me. I fought this battle long and hard. It's been a long road, this pressure to conform, wanting people to like me, seeking approval and opinions from others. It really seemed unavoidable, both in my personal life and at work. But I've been working on this, I'm going to say, for the last five years, and a lot of the work we've done on the podcast has really helped strengthen me and my understanding that my worth isn't determined by how someone else thinks of me Hallelujah.

Tish:

True.

Ellen:

But I've always seen you as somebody who's cared a little less than me about this, that you were stronger. Is that true? How do you feel about that?

Tish:

I'm going to say yes and no. I think there were times that if I wanted something enough, it didn't matter when anyone else's opinion was. I was going to do it. I was going to take the storm of negativity coming at me because I was going to do what I was going to do, but that doesn't mean that those expectations weren't weighing me down or hurting me, holding me back from certain things. So to say that I was immune from it would be incorrect. I think I pick and chose my battles, that I dealt with it, but I'm getting to a point in my life Not that I don't care what people in my life think, but it's not going to hold me back from what I want anymore.

Ellen:

I love that. I know we're going to dive deeper into this after we get to our weekly obsessions. You know, I love to find out what you've got for our listeners. What do you have this week, Tish?

Tish:

This is the cutest little holiday thing for this autumn season for Thanksgiving I just love acorns, right, and they have these Thanksgiving acorn lights. So it's like a string of lights, just like the little Christmas lights or whatever, but the lights are tiny amber-colored acorns. They are so adorable. It comes in battery-powered or USB so you could put them on a wreath, you could incorporate them into your table setting. I mean, they are absolutely adorable.

Ellen:

They sound adorable and you know I always see you with a hot glue gun in my mind here around the holidays making things. So I'm absolutely going to buy a set of these acorn lights because they sound so damn cute.

Tish:

But you know it's funny about when the kids were younger. I think it was brighter, more over-the-top decorations, and now I want more steadily seasonal things. You know just that. Nod to the season, not like a huge stuffed turkey in my face, you know.

Ellen:

Or big blow-up things on the lawn. No, big blow-up turkeys on the lawn.

Tish:

But so yeah, they're adorable. So if you want a little something for the season, I think they're absolute must-have. What about you, Ellen? What have you packed for your obsession?

Ellen:

Well, for once we are in Sink in the home decor area, tish and I have this really also cute thing for the fall. It's a six pack of metal turkeys. They're made out of, I think, copper. They're about four inches tall, but they have a little tea light you put in them and some of them are in funny little poses. And last year I had them in October like just on a table and then I had them on my Thanksgiving table and then I put them up on my mantle and kept them there past Christmas. They are so cute and, as you said, they're like a subtle little nod to the holidays and you get six of them and they make you laugh. They're super cute.

Tish:

Oh, they sound absolutely adorable. I can't wait to see them for sure. Yeah, I want to jump right into this topic today because I think it's so important, this idea of letting go of caring about what other people think, especially during midlife. You know, midlife is the perfect time to recognize that self-worth isn't about your age, your appearance or about what other people think of you. And I have this notion of If not now, when. If not, we need to deal with this now in our life, because this is the time, if not now, when.

Ellen:

You know, tish, that's really powerful because it is now. We have, hopefully, 30 years left of life and I think we want to be authentic. But let's define authenticity for our listeners. I think that's a good way of level setting. So to simply put it, authenticity means you're true to your own personality and values your spirit, regardless of the pressure you're under to act otherwise. So, regardless of what other people think, you're honest with yourself and others. You take responsibility for your mistakes let's really underline that one here right and your values, ideas and actions all align together. I think that's a really great definition of just being yourself.

Tish:

Absolutely, you know. In short, authenticity is about paying attention to all of the relevant details in a situation and making decisions based on what we feel most is in sync with our true self.

Ellen:

I agree. So let's start and get to the impact of society. Tish, oh yes.

Tish:

I think, the main midlife pressure. I think that I feel is this pressure or this expectation to stay looking young about body image. You know whether it's going gray or wrinkles like what conversation? What time have you ever gotten together with girlfriends recently? That wrinkles are gray doesn't come up right.

Ellen:

Every single fucking time it comes up right, there's not a conversation that doesn't surround it. I mean, here's an example I worked with a woman who I thought looked fabulous and she didn't want other people at work to know she was a grandmother she had been a new grandmother because she felt that people would treat her differently in the workplace, that they would see her as somebody who was maybe older or not as relevant I'm gonna use that not as relevant to the conversation and so, wow, she couldn't share that joy. That was a pressure that society she felt was really gonna treat her differently. And I think that I agree on the gray. I started growing gray. I have very dark hair in my twenties. I have been coloring my hair, you know, for 30 years and I tried to go gray, as we all know, and I couldn't do it. So it is a huge pressure that we have to look young to. I always say to my friends like, oh, I have to look like I'm somewhere between 48 and 52. You know, you can't, you have to be indistinguishably in this no man's zone, right? So I think that we do face a lot of pressure around body image at youth and going gray.

Tish:

And that's not to say that we shouldn't try to look our best. I think the difference is when we do it for ourselves, because we want it, or we do it because others. We feel we need to live up to someone else's expectation. If you want to go gray, remember what I just told you when you were talking about I'm like go all the way. Yes, don't dip your little pinky toe in. If you're gonna do it, do it all the way. And so I think it's important to look good and to have a good body image and to spend that time on yourself, but for the right reasons, you know, ellen, I really want to go back for a second because I want to talk about this idea of these societal pressures, especially when it comes to our careers, and I think there are so many women who are hiding the fact of how old they are because there's so much in fear of being irrelevant as we get older. I mean, let's face it, our society is all about youth, youth, youth. And there are so many women I know that won't put stuff out on social media because they don't want anyone to realize how old they are, but they hide it and I don't think it helps the cause.

Ellen:

Yeah, I mean, I think it's because they feel judged. They do not want to be judged by their age and, like me, I'm pretty much the oldest one in the room a lot of times now. Right, I mean, I'm working with people in their early 20s and early 30s and I don't want to be seen as a dinosaur or no longer relevant. So I do understand that pain right, and I do feel like there's a lot of ageism, much more against women in the workplace than against men. So it's something that I think I've lived most definitely in my career. Have you faced this, Tish?

Tish:

Absolutely, and I think my point here is so. I recently had my manager. He started comparing me and what I was doing to a 30-year-old counterpart and I literally said I need you to stop. I'm not 30. I said my strengths and weaknesses are different and he did. He stopped. He was like I didn't mean that I didn't mean and it wasn't an intentional thing. But what I was proud of myself in that moment was don't make those comparisons, don't put those expectations on me. I'm me. I'm an individual. I'm going to have my strengths. I'm going to have my weaknesses. Help me through the weaknesses, but don't set me up with a comparison to a 30-year-old. I'm not 30.

Ellen:

You know, it's true. I mean, I bring 30 years of experience, as do you, and just knowledge that can't be taught right, that I've acquired over all of those years. So I think that this is just one of the key places where, at midlife, we really butt up against these expectations, these societal expectations, and it's a tough one.

Tish:

And I love what you said about that, that you know how many years of experience. So the next time that you are feeling like aged ageism happening, I want you to say in your own mind but I've got more experience in all of you and I think it's going to change how you react, because I think we need to stop like hiding.

Ellen:

Yes, hiding.

Tish:

Yeah, like we pull back, like, oh yeah, we don't want anyone to confront it, front it. Yeah, I'm older, but man do, I've got wisdom and experience. So true, so true. So, ellen, I know you've talked about before having an issue with being referred to as the nice one.

Ellen:

Yeah, yes, especially at work, especially at work. And I found that really judgy. And you not be nice and be a good worker? And I even had someone say to me when I didn't get promoted once well, you're too nice and nice is not a currency here. So for the next six months I decided to say no Every single time something came up, anytime somebody asked me to do something. I was just going to start with no, tish, and I had seen a really great guy that I work with. He just always started with no and made people work to get him to say yes, right. And I thought, well, this is a way to really look at a strategy. It was a strategy for me and I have to say I think it worked. It worked well for me. I think I heard a lot less people saying you know, oh, ellen, she's so nice. I don't think that's a compliment. In some ways, I never want to stop being the nice one, but it did feel really judgy, like there was this pressure for me to always say yes and always acquiesce, and I did not want to be seen in that way any longer. So I think that what I wanted to show was strength, strength at work.

Tish:

So you know what, ellen? Nobody ever called me the nice one at work.

Ellen:

I know they didn't. I know they didn't.

Tish:

You know I was overwhelming, I was too much in charge and stuff. So here's the thing I think no matter if we go one direction or the other, there's always judgment. Yes, and that's why I'm saying that Just own who you are. Finally, I just had to say that's who I am. I'm an alpha. I'm going to come in and take over, unless you tell me not to. That's just who I am. Those are my strengths.

Ellen:

I agree, tish. It's really the owning of who you are. Now, one thing I know is that you felt judged and really quite a bit around the beginning of your weight loss journey because people had so many opinions and were really vocal with you. Do you want to share a little bit about that?

Tish:

Oh yeah, and again I realized most of it was coming from this idea of concern, because I had a lot of health issues. I was going to do some drastic stuff in their mind and everyone had an opinion and finally I said that's it. I appreciate it. I know it's coming from a place of love, thank you, but I made these decisions and this is what I'm going to do. You can either get behind me and support me or I need you just to stay silent. But there is no more discussion.

Ellen:

I think that that really shows ownership of your decision and a real clarity in your path forward, and I love that.

Tish:

I think that's what we're talking about is like, how do we get to that point all the time right that that is our default, and it is challenging, definitely challenging, and I think it's that journey of what we were talking about in the beginning, of self-discovery If you don't know what you want, you're going to be influenced by what other people want you to do. So, true, and I think as women, we weren't trained at an early age to own who we are and what we want. We always had to please everyone else, so it made it easier for the group pressure and expectations to really hit us right. So my challenge to myself, to you and to all our listeners is to push back on this, really start exploring who am I, what do I want, and when you are really good and solid in that, what other people have to say won't matter.

Ellen:

I think that's so true. And again, having a little more time at midlife than we may have had at other points in our life. Don't fill it up with noise, Fill it up with self-discovery and self-awareness.

Tish:

I have this friend of mine and she was feeling an incredible amount of pressure coming off of social media. And I know we've all been there and we've all felt it right. And I got a notice from her saying she is removing herself from social media for a while and she's done this before. And I reached out and I just said are you okay? And she said, yes, I need to watch again. It's that pressure, it's that pressure of expectation and I don't even know what happened. I just knew that that's where that was coming from. And I was like good for you to know that self-care for you means walking away from that for a while. But her saying that was like hey, I'm not disappearing, I just need to remove myself. So if you need to find me, you got to be more direct and stuff like that. And I reached out to her the next day and I just said again are you okay? That's all I needed to know. I didn't need to know any details or anything like that. I'm here, that kind of thing. But I was like so proud of her for that self-care, walking away of what was making her sad.

Ellen:

You know, Tish, I think a lot of people feel that way about social media, but on the other hand, it's so addictive and for me I'm not huge into social media because I did feel a lot like God. Everybody's having a better time than me, Everybody's traveling to Europe, you know. And then I just realized people post when they're happy times. Most people post happy, good things, and it's not a full picture of someone's life. But your mental and emotional well-being, if it's not being served by social media or it's not being served by the social things you do, you really need, especially at midlife, to take that break and I think that's a really, really healthy thing to do.

Tish:

Yeah, now here's the other thing that I feel a tremendous amount of pressure about our changing bodies. For me, I think, what I'm most feel most pressure about is how many wrinkles I have.

Ellen:

Oh, I didn't think you were going to say wrinkles. I thought you were going to say you know the midlife belly. You know that we all talk about all the time the muffin top, the belly, the pooch, whatever we're calling it. I mean, for me, I focus more on that versus my wrinkles, but it's all part of the package the gray hair, the wrinkles, our bodies, right, and I think we've always felt this pressure to conform and I think it's even worse now, this desire to look like you're forever 40. I gave somebody a compliment the other day I thought it was a compliment. I said you know you look 45, right? Is that a compliment or what?

Tish:

Right, but it's like I mean, I don't even know how our 20 and 30 year old counterparts are going to do it. They're growing up in a time of filters. Yeah, so you can filter your pictures. There are filters where you can shave off pants. I always used to laugh and I used to tell friends oh, don't use that on me.

Ellen:

I said somebody's going to run into me in public and be like holy shit what happened, but you know I am somebody who does a little touch up here and there on photos too, and not too much, just like five years can't be five years off of the photos. You know, though, tish for me a lot of my caring. What other people thought was that I had a big fear of being excluded, this kind of FOMO, and well, if I really voice my opinions too strongly here, I won't be invited next time, and I think a lot of women have that fear. So I felt like I walked the middle of the road for a long time in my life and I had a therapist. I know I've been very open about having gone to therapy. He gave me some great advice. At least I thought it was great advice. If you don't be yourself, if you don't let your friends and family and your spouse and your kids know who you are by really being authentic, you're not giving them the chance to love you, the real you, and that was a really powerful moment. It was like was I going to go through my whole life not letting people really know who I am?

Tish:

That's deep, that's really deep.

Ellen:

Well, I hope some of our listeners can benefit from that little tidbit of like you're not giving people the opportunity to really love you.

Tish:

And here's the other thing If someone doesn't like your opinions, that's okay. Yes, you can agree to disagree. If they're really a friend and your opinions differ, then you should agree to disagree, and absolutely and anything. But if your opinion you having an opinion make somebody walk out of your life, open the door for them, I agree. Show them the way on out. That's how I feel, Like you know what? Quantity isn't as good as quality. I want quality friends. I don't need quantity friends anymore.

Ellen:

It's so true, and then it's all vanilla. I mean, if everybody you're friends with has the same exact opinions on everything, that's not interesting, that's bland.

Tish:

It's dull, it's dull. I have very different friends, groups and stuff like that and I like it. I like it that way. I've got some friends that are younger, different background. I love it, I embrace it. I want them to be who they are. They don't have to be someone different around me either.

Ellen:

I agree.

Tish:

I think that all ties into that feeling of self-worth and self-acceptance.

Ellen:

I agree, and I think you know you had said this earlier if you can assess where your strengths lie and those talents are, let it shine. Right, let it shine. And, I think, in midlife, understanding that if you don't want to play golf with your husband, that's okay. If you don't want to do what all four of your other friends are doing, that's okay. If you want to be taking knitting lessons, that's okay, too right, it's really just being happy.

Tish:

Right, I think it really starts to with recognizing and appreciating what you've accomplished and what you've achieved, and I think again so many times as we're raised to be humble and not bragged, but you know, our accomplishments and achievements make us who we are, you know, it's so true.

Ellen:

Stop trying to be perfect. We're all flawed. We're flawed in different ways and just really move on from there and recognize that every person brings a different strength to the table. You know?

Tish:

and it was funny because the other day it was again in a work related environment and I said you know what I'm emotional. You know, because that's like the worst thing in the world. It's the emotional at work. I said you know what I'm emotional, but the level of emotion that I bring, that passionate part, is also what makes me so good at what I do.

Ellen:

They're not, so it's not separate.

Tish:

It's not separate and I felt good owning it. I felt good owning the fact that, oh, you know, I was getting a little emotional about something. That's who I am.

Ellen:

And I'm sure earlier in your career you covered that up and weren't willing to kind of own it the way you are now. I see in this new job you're very forthcoming and I see you really being you.

Tish:

Again, we were talking earlier on about being unapologetic and I am really embracing that more and incorporating it into my everyday life, into my conversation. I'm trying to deliberately be unapologetic about who I am, where I'm going, what I want. It's me, it's just, it's owning me. And again, it's about embracing who I am, flaws and all.

Ellen:

You know, tish, that reminds me of something I really noticed that as I've gotten into midlife and I know you just mentioned this it's not the quantity of friends, it's having friends. For me that I can be real. With that I can really just be myself. If I don't want to tell them things, if I'm hiding parts of myself or because I feel like I'll be judged, then I know that that's not a relationship. I do not want relationships like that any further, and I'm sure you had relationships like that too.

Tish:

I think everyone has had relationships where they've had people kind of judge. And here's the tricky thing, ellen. I think some of the worst judgments sometimes comes from within. It's being that inner critic, that bad self-talk in your head. Nobody could say meaner things to myself than me and I, literally, when I went on this whole weight loss journey of mine and this whole health journey that I went on, one of the first things I had to do is silence that inner critic that beat me up emotionally every day, all day, and I at first I had to say out loud to myself stop it. I would never say these mean things to another human being, but I'm saying them to myself and I literally had to make it a habit to work on stopping saying these terrible things to myself. But again, it's that growth, that awareness, that embracing who I am, flaws and all.

Ellen:

Tish, I know we're going to talk about this in a little bit, but I think I just want to say that I saw on Yahoo that women say four or more negative comments about themselves to themselves every day. I think that's really low-balling it, but that would be like way low-balling it. I mean, that would be 1,500 downers a year that were really really just shitting on ourselves, and so I think that's the best thing is, when we judge ourselves harshly, we're also judging others harshly, and that's the thing. So really having grace with ourselves and with others, and that is to me one of the best things we can do to move this out of our life and out of others.

Tish:

How about if we stop trying to be perfect and we just try to be interesting? Wouldn't that be something?

Ellen:

Well, that's true, I never thought of myself as trying to be perfect, but now, here in midlife, I have reflected on that and learned that that was something that I was going for. And, you know, learning the perfect mom, the perfect employee, the perfect partner.

Tish:

It's exhausting it's exhausting yeah, but instead of being perfect, just be interesting, yeah, or?

Ellen:

just be interested in what you're interested in and go for it. I think that that is so great. One of the strategies I think we have for recognizing our own kind of uniqueness and experiences is to surround us with positive people, people who lift us up, and I think that's been really important for me. Yeah, you know, Tish. I want us to discuss really how we can benefit from stepping out of our comfort zone and taking risks.

Tish:

I know you have a quote that you like around this and I've always said this, like so many times, and I've said it to so many people that I've mentored get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Ellen:

So, let me say it again Let me say it again Listen to it, give it to me again Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Tish:

You need to put yourself into situations that make you uncomfortable, because that's the only way you grow.

Ellen:

I think that's so true, and I'm more up for discomfort now than I've ever been in my life, and I really do think it's in that, those moments, that we really grow.

Tish:

You know, I've always said to people like, think back when you in your school days, okay, of a time that was really impactful or learning. It wasn't an easy thing. It tended to be like strife, struggle, overcoming something. The easy stuff doesn't build who we are, doesn't build character. So it's hard moments and that's the uncomfortable. So don't be afraid of uncomfortable, because just remember when I was uncomfortable before I grew and I became things I didn't think I could because of it. So let me be okay with being uncomfortable again. It's safe, you're safe. You can be uncomfortable and still safe.

Ellen:

I like that. I really think that being uncomfortable at midlife is different than being uncomfortable at any other point. So I know you have a mantra for the year two and it's around boundaries, which we have talked about, I think, on three or four of our podcasts, right Tish my mantra for boundaries. Yeah, has that been your mantra for 2023? Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.

Tish:

Absolutely, and I don't think really before this last year that I even understood the massive impact that not having boundaries in my life was having. Yeah, and when I finally started putting them in place, how much inner peace I got from them.

Ellen:

I agree that boundaries were a really murky thing for me for many, many years and I didn't really understand them and I actually judged some people who had really clear boundaries as being like you know what's selfish? I think selfish is the word Instead of, you know, honoring that. They had boundaries and I think it was because I didn't have any right. And you know that experiment at work I mentioned earlier where I decided I was going to say no to everything, right, right, it was that first kind of way of putting up a boundary. I had to start with a no, it had to be kind of extreme, but you know, the more you practice having boundaries and the more you keep them. I was going to say defend them, but I don't think it's really that. But you honor them, the easier it is and the more power you have around it.

Tish:

Yeah, you know, I think we can't not talk about self care, right? Self care practices. What is your favorite self care practice that makes you prioritize your needs?

Ellen:

Well, I mean, I think you know this, for me it's yoga, but hiking, hiking, being outside at beautiful lakes and nature and trails, or a beach walk with my dog, you know. So I think the commonality is something physical and a lot of it has to do with nature and being outside. Nothing feels better to me than nature, and if I feel like I care too much about what other people think or I need to level set, getting back out into nature is the thing that brings me back to center. What about you, tish?

Tish:

I think it really had to do with the. You know how we we had an episode just a couple weeks back where we talked about over committing right. And I think recently my best self care routines have been around not over committing and that's been a hard one for me is to pull back because I'm the oh, I want to do everything.

Ellen:

Right, you are very active. You have a lot of friend groups and a lot of interests, which lead you to want to do a lot of things.

Tish:

But maintaining that emotional, mental and physical well-being balance for me is tied into not over committing. And I think too, what keeps me saying is my tribe. Of course, when I'm out of sync, there's nothing better than reaching out to you, or you know Phaley, or you know all our college friends and stuff like that, because I know when I go to the tribe that it's going to be nothing but embracing, taking me where I'm at non-judgmental Honesty, yes, honesty, they might not agree with me, but there's no judgment, there's no expectation. That's the beauty of our tribe.

Ellen:

I agree. The tribe has spoken many times to us. I just wanted to add one thing for me to help with my mental and emotional balance is I like to clear clutter. I grew up in a home that was cluttered. I can honestly say it was cluttered, and for me one of the things that always makes me feel good is to like put a little bit of organization into my environment too. It's like one just piece that helps me feel balanced.

Tish:

It's so funny. You say that because I just went through this new purge and stuff. I always do this. Purges right? Yes, but what I realized recently, it's not about the cleaning of the clutter, it's about putting the processes in place so the clutter doesn't come back. Yes, yes, and that's what I wasn't doing before.

Ellen:

Well, I know, in just a couple of weeks, we're going to have an expert on clutter on our podcast, and she has a unique way of looking at it too, so I think we can all benefit from that. Tish, and it's again down to awareness. I was thinking that we should now share these four practical steps to stop caring about what others think, and this was from psychology today and really, again, they go back to how to be authentic, because when you're authentic, you really don't care. So, tish, what's the first one?

Tish:

I think the first one needs to be observe yourself. So every day, I think, you can learn something about yourself, and I think becoming authentic means being open to new information about yourself, right, yeah, and each day, if you take some time to really observe your thoughts, to really get into your feelings about things and how they impact your behaviors, right, so I think you need to become an observer of yourself, right, and what qualities best describe you? And embrace those qualities and really start to work through. What is it that you really like? What is it that you really dislike? Who are you really? Because I think, up till midlife, we're so busy taking care of everything around us that we now need to kind of take a new assessment of who are we, and that's going to start with observing ourselves.

Ellen:

I love this. It's again that awareness piece, and if we take that moment to be quiet and to observe, we're going to learn something about ourselves, and here at Midlife it could be surprising right.

Tish:

Absolutely. But what's our second thing?

Ellen:

I'll take our second thing. It's explore and identify your values, and you mentioned this earlier in the podcast tish. So you can't be authentic if you are going against what you value, and it's those characteristics that really should be driving us. And I like this word intentional. Like at midlife, I want to be a lot more intentional and live my life in that intention. So what are your core values? I think it's great to write them down and have them in a place where you can go back and take a look at them. Do you like independence, loyalty as family number one? You know what is the list of them and what matters most to you right now, at midlife. I think it's really important for us to again reframe identity values at midlife.

Tish:

Absolutely, because I think there's certain core values that you're going to have throughout your whole life. There's just certain things about who you are the essence of who you are that don't change. But then there are some things that are going to change. You know where you're putting your time and this is the time to really relook at what those things are. Don't just assume you know who you are. You're always evolving and changing. I agree. What matters right now. All right, tish, give us our third one. All right now. This is important Again. This is looking within, again, look for inconsistencies in your choices To really be an authentic person where your thoughts, your words, your feelings and your actions they should all be matching right. So how are your values reflected in your choices? If you say you value something, are your actions showing that? And if they're not, those are the inconsistencies and you've got to look for these right. And there are ways that they aren't reflected. You need to examine that. Are there times when your actions don't match what you claim you stand for? So if you start to notice these inconsistencies and how you feel and what you think, I think that is a signal to pause and try to make your values and your choices be congruent. Now it could be maybe we're holding on to old things that we thought we were and our actions are showing something different. So, again, those previous steps of looking inward, figuring out where we are now and what we need. But if you're finding inconsistencies, I think you need to reevaluate Are these things really that are what's still important to you?

Ellen:

Right. Are you living the life that you have? Kind of what you've said right and I like that word congruent Are you in alignment with your choices, are they in alignment with your values? And I think that can go a long way back to not caring what other people think, because in my life when I've cared too much, I have had this incongruence or non-congruence right, non-alignment.

Tish:

So I think that when it's once you want to take a look at no, no, here's the thing. I'm gonna disagree with you for a minute there. I don't think it's because you care too much. I think it's because you care about what they want. No, that's what I you want? Yes, okay.

Ellen:

That's exactly exactly, Tish. I obviously didn't say that I cared about what other people thought more than I couldn't or what they wanted. What they wanted, yeah, and I think I had a lot of that in a relationship that I was in for a long time and it led to resentment by me, but I didn't have these tools that we're sharing today or the discussion or the maturity. So I'm with you, so I think it's really important.

Tish:

Yeah, and I think these first three build up to this next one, so give number four.

Ellen:

Well, number four drumroll, please. It's building your self-esteem, and the better you feel about yourself, I mean, the easier it is to be you, no matter what the situation is, no matter who you find yourself with. I think this too, and I know we've touched on this a couple times tonight it's admitting your faults, like taking that inventory of yourself. You know the things that are amazing, some things that you need to work on, some mistakes that you've made in your life, but not bringing shame and guilt into it. And I know we talk about shame, we've talked about it with Brene Brown and it's like it's a really important part of building your self-esteem. And you know how can you tolerate people not liking you or criticizing you or rejecting you when you are who you are, like if I am acting, if I am just showing somebody my real self, and they don't like me, it's like, yeah, okay, you know, move on right.

Tish:

Absolutely, absolutely. So what If they don't like you? So what? Would you rather become somebody they want you to be? No, that just means they're not part of your tribe, and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with them, there's nothing wrong with you. It's just not who you are meant to spend time with.

Ellen:

Yeah, and I think the worst thing is just being like everybody liking you. Somebody's gotta not like you, right, I mean?

Tish:

if everybody likes you, that to me means that you are becoming somebody different for each person and you are not authentic to yourself and you are probably not taking care of yourself or kind of living up to this idea. You are completely the opposite. When everybody likes you, because there's so many different kinds of people, that means you are changing who. You are like a chameleon, and I used to say that about myself. I could be a chameleon and to me it was really more about pleasing other people. I could become, I could see what they wanted and I could become that for them.

Ellen:

It's so interesting, tish, and I really feel like today we talked a lot about the art of embracing our true selves and really living midlife, as you said, unapologetically, and that when you're authentic, it really helps you not care what others think of you, because you are being true and congruent to your values and who you are. And I know, as you said, this is such a hard topic for or not a hard topic. It's hard to do and we may make some steps forward and then take a couple steps back, but it's, I think, always good to take a look at those four ways that we talked about here at the end to be more authentic. It's something you can do often and journal about right.

Tish:

Yeah, I think journaling is the best way to kind of get through this, because this is really about self-discovery. This isn't about building with other people, this is about building from within, and I think that conversation when you put it down on paper, whether it's maybe one day you write a list of things you like about yourself, maybe you write a list about things that you wanna do start getting to know yourself. Again, if not now, when? When are you gonna get to know you if not now? That's right.

Ellen:

I think we're gonna end on that great, great, great and really impactful phrase, if not now, when Midlife is the time, and I wanna thank everybody for joining us this week and really covering how to stop caring what others think of us at Midlife.

Tish:

Until next week. Midlifers. A big shout out to Israel, our newest country that has been joining us on the podcast. We are now up to 52 countries around the world. Please keep sharing our message with people. Find three girlfriends that you just love and share this episode with them.

Ellen:

That's right. Don't keep it a secret, midlifers, Until next week.

Embracing Authenticity and Letting Go
Authenticity, Societal Pressures, and Self-Ownership
Embracing Self-Discovery and Self-Acceptance
Practical Steps for Authenticity and Self-Care