The Identity Factor Podcast

Authenticity and Impact With Jen Frey

August 13, 2023 Robin Keesler
Authenticity and Impact With Jen Frey
The Identity Factor Podcast
More Info
The Identity Factor Podcast
Authenticity and Impact With Jen Frey
Aug 13, 2023
Robin Keesler

Master certified life coach and leadership expert, Jen Frey, is here to have a candid conversation about the challenges of leadership and the importance of authenticity and vulnerability for those that want to have meaningful impact with those they lead.

Jen shares her own experiences and insights and reminds us that using leadership as a tool for personal growth can benefit not just ourselves, but everyone around us. Tune in for this powerful conversation on authenticity and impact for leaders of every shape and size.

You can find Jen on her website at or on her social media platforms @jen.frey.coaching.

Her podcast can be found on all the major podcasting platforms. t is called Think On Purpose and is a must follow if you enjoyed this conversation.

Registration is open now for our free, live event diving deeper into these conversation around leadership, identity and mental and emotional health support for leaders.

You can sign up now @ and we will see you inside! 

PS: If you enjoyed this episode, hit the share button and let other people know about it :) 

Show Notes Transcript

Master certified life coach and leadership expert, Jen Frey, is here to have a candid conversation about the challenges of leadership and the importance of authenticity and vulnerability for those that want to have meaningful impact with those they lead.

Jen shares her own experiences and insights and reminds us that using leadership as a tool for personal growth can benefit not just ourselves, but everyone around us. Tune in for this powerful conversation on authenticity and impact for leaders of every shape and size.

You can find Jen on her website at or on her social media platforms @jen.frey.coaching.

Her podcast can be found on all the major podcasting platforms. t is called Think On Purpose and is a must follow if you enjoyed this conversation.

Registration is open now for our free, live event diving deeper into these conversation around leadership, identity and mental and emotional health support for leaders.

You can sign up now @ and we will see you inside! 

PS: If you enjoyed this episode, hit the share button and let other people know about it :) 

 Hello, my friends. Welcome to the Identity Factor Podcast. My name is Robin Keesler, and I will be your host. Let's go. 

Welcome in, Jen, everyone else. Welcome in the Identity Factor Podcast. It is so nice to be here with you again today as we continue on with this Shadow Side Leadership series, talking about identity and mental health and leadership and business and all these aspects of our lives as leaders and entrepreneurs that we love and enjoy so much.

But that can also be really challenging, especially as it relates to having a human brain. Unfortunately. And fortunately at the same time, right, with all the human emotions and all the things that we deal with. And so this podcast series is designed to bring on some amazing leaders and entrepreneurs to talk about that.

And the one that we have with us today is the beautiful Jen Frey. She's a master certified life coach and leadership coach. She is a speaker. She's the host of the Think On Purpose Podcast for leaders. We're so lucky to have her. Her mission in her business is to help leaders and small business owners, uh, silence that inner critic.

I love it so that they can feel as confident as they act, which is fun. Yeah. And Jen, if there's anything else you'd like to say, feel free to introduce yourself a little more, um, and then we'll get going. Yeah, such a lovely introduction. Thank you. Yeah. It's like when I think about my own leadership journey, there were so many times when people would look at me and be like, oh my gosh, you do all these things, or how do you do it?

And I felt like I was getting crazed for this like very inauthentic version of myself. Like I was super good at making it seem like, oh, I have everything under control. When the reality was on the inside, I was like, Any minute people are gonna find out, I have no idea what I'm doing. I shouldn't be here.

I'm, I've been cast in the wrong role and someone is going to, someone's gonna figure this out. And then I'm, I don't know what I'm gonna do. Mm-hmm. So that idea of like, that, that truly embodying the confidence that everyone else sees is super important to me. And. I, I didn't know it at the time, but I think it's actually really, really common.

I think so many of us are walking around with that thought, like, I hope I'm not found out. And even just like to offer this right off the bat to the audience, if you know that everyone is thinking that, like it helps lower the temperature just a little bit. Like that's the first thing that I wish I would've known is there was nothing wrong with me.

And we all have that fear. We all have that worry. Yeah. Totally. I love it. And I think, yeah, I think we have that fear and that worry because we think, well, this is how a leader is supposed to act or be or do. Right? And so, um, I think sometimes it's like I. And I wonder, Jen, do you think people want that in their leaders or do you think that it's a to, uh, is it a mis uh, like a misnomer or a, or a, you know, I don't know if that's the right word that I'm looking for, but is it totally, um, just, uh, a lie or a facade or is there some truth to it is a mixture when we talk about this idea of leadership, like what does it mean to be a leader and what is that balance of Yeah, showing authority.

And still your humanity and vulnerability at the same time? Yeah, I think balance is exactly the right word. I think about like, what did I see growing up? So I grew up, uh, with a dad who put on a suit every day and went to work and a mom who stayed home until I was in, I think like middle school. And then she, um, you know, she got dressed up to go to work and.

This idea of like, oh, okay, so like, that's what you do, right? So I had an idea of what it looks like. What's the professional dress code for someone who like goes to work, who does business? I didn't really know what the business was. Um, and feeling like, okay, so like that's, that's how we define professionalism, right?

And then we go to work every day and we come home and we sort of complain about work, right? So all these messages that we unintentionally pick up, And how my parents would talk about their work, how they would frame it in the context of like their, the people who worked for them. And particularly with my dad, it was very much a, um, like the people need to do what I say, type of leader, which is also how they p how he parented at home.

And this is, you know, not necessarily judgment right or wrong, but I think we've shifted away from that a little bit where. It's not enough anymore to have a title and a suit on. Now we want to see some of your authenticity. We wanna see some of your humanity. So now what we expect of leaders is, yes, we want you to be decisive.

Yes, we want you to be able to lead. We want to feel secure in following you, right? Like we wanna feel like this is a person who I align with. Maybe I don't agree with them, but I align with them somehow and this is someone I want to follow. Mm-hmm. And I also wanna know that they know that they're not perfect and I wanna know that they know that they're, that they've made some mistakes.

Mm-hmm. But I don't want them as the like employee. I don't want them to necessarily see my mistakes. So it's like, it's just such an interesting change that we're seeing, and I think Brene Brown talks about it, like, we all want the other person to be vulnerable, but we would prefer to not be that person.

We prefer to not show our vulnerability. Yeah, I think it's interesting to look at how much we ask of our leaders, as you know, just as employees, as people in the workforce and that pressure as leaders. I, I think we feel it. Yeah. So, You know, I, I don't know that there's like a very concrete specific answer, but having that awareness and recognizing when we choose leadership, we, we are intentionally separating ourselves from the tribe.

We are intentionally putting ourselves into a place of discomfort. And I don't think that that's talked a about enough. I think that it's like we sort of glorify, especially in Western culture, like being the boss or being the leader, but. It's not about a paycheck and you know, being the person in charge, I think a truly like a good leader cares so much about their people.

That decisions feel hard and taking care of people, like shepherding people Yeah. Is a part of the mission and that is hard work. So just recognizing, hey, leaders, there's a lot of pressure on you, there's a lot of expectations that aren't even congruent. And this is hard work and, and being able to support people from that space.

How validating is that? Just to mention that this is hard, it's not easy. Right. I think a lot of people look at that and like, oh, it must be so great to be Brene Brown or whatever, and it's like, man, and Corin talked about this in her podcast with you, right? Actually, and I love that she's like being a leader and like stepping into that role comes with a set of responsibilities and a pressure that we.

All feel. And the thing about it is that like even all, it's even speaking for me, like putting together this summit, this is not, it has not been all rainbows and daisies. There have been some hard days where I'm like, ba like why did I do this? Is this gonna be successful? Am I gonna disappoint everyone?

Like here I've got all these coaches and leaders coming together for the summit and like, what if, what if I just let everyone down? Right. And it's like when you're, especially, we're talking a lot about heart-centered leadership. Those of us in this coaching industry, especially, like I know we have such a heart for the people that we serve, and so there's, there's that responsibility too.

So, and, and like you said, you're already separating yourself from the pact. It's like, I don't really have a lot of friends, guys. I've been in my office for like eight weeks. I don't go out, you know, I'm just like, you know, and not that I'm glorifying that, but sometimes it can be lonely, it can be isolating.

I'm different. I'm not like most people I. You know, like I posted on Facebook last night, I'm in the bath Googling, you know, YouTube talks on, you know, quantum physics and Deepak chop prep. I'm like, this is not the life that most people wanna live. But it's like that's what we do when we're in these leadership positions.

What can I teach? What can I learn? How can I take on this burden of responsibility? To then go and have something worthy to share with the world. So can you talk, Jen about that, those things about leadership that, like you said, are hard, that are challenging or also maybe, that are potentially lonely or Yeah.

What, you know? Yeah, yeah. Like in my own, in my own business. And when I think of like self-leadership, I think my own brain is my biggest obstacle because I, my brain loves to tell me the stories of. Like confusion, being a victim and like uncertainty. So in my own brain, it very often sounds like, who's gonna listen to you?

This is ridiculous. You are ridiculous. Or, um, there's a version of like, I, I don't know what to do. I don't know who my people are. I don't know where I should go. And then the victim sounds like poor Jen. Mm-hmm. No one really sees her. She's off working so hard, her husband doesn't know. The kids don't understand, her friends don't see her.

And plus she has a blended family. Like it's so hard to be me. Right? Mm-hmm. And so these three, like this cast of characters loves to come into my brain and like be a distraction or. Like, keep me from doing the things that I truly wanna do. So I feel like it is, I don't wanna say it's a full-time draw, because that's an exaggeration, but it, it is like being mindful and recognizing, oh, there's victim, oh, there, there's that voice again of confusion.

Oh, there's unworthiness poking up. And, and making that, that intentional thought to not listen. And that's the skill that I didn't have when I was. Especially early in my, in my leadership career, like in the corporate world and things like that, I, I just thought those things were true. I, I didn't know, I didn't know that those were just, you know, sort of those cultural norm norms, those old voices play replaying in my brain.

I had no idea. And I think that's where a lot of leaders don't, they haven't been taught that separation. And so just like every human, like we were saying at the very beginning, our brain gives us a thought and we're like, that is what the truth is. Obviously, to believe that obviously. Right. So I think with leadership, the more we can be self-led, the more we can be onto our brains, the more we can really understand why we're reacting the way we are.

Really the, the, the better we can influence, the better we can lead change. Mm-hmm. And then from like a, like a corporate, you know what was really hard for me when I was in corporate was anytime I had to let someone go or do a layoff mm-hmm. Because you know that you're impacting people's livelihoods.

You know you're impacting people's families. And it's like, that's the, that's the shadow side of leadership when either a decision is handed down to you from above, or you've coached someone, you've given them the expectations, they're not meeting them, and now you have to make this hard decision. And then that hard decision meets the voices in my head.

And I think it's just, it's like that's such a recipe for the imposter syndrome. That's a recipe for like, well, why am I here when this person has to go? Right. All that kind of self-talk that just keeps us looping around. Yeah. Yeah. So what do we, what do we do with all of that, Jen? Like, is it worth it then to be a leader?

If we talk about, man, that it's, it's hard. You have to make these hard decisions. You're, you're, you're putting in all this work and time to really build something. Like sometimes it can feel kind of lonely, right? Like nobody else wants to do that work. They're off playing with their friends, right? Or the kids are jumping on the trampoline, your husband's doing whate, you know, and it's like, man, Poor me.

The victim comes in, look at me putting in all these long hours or whatever it is, right? I mean, we all see the, the entrepreneurs that get to that point where they're like, I've got a four hour work week and it's amazing, and I live in my mansion. And I'm like, that's great, but we don't start there. Right?

It's like we're, there's those hours of the grind, right. That you're putting in. And so why do we do it? Is it, is it worth it? What is, what is that light side of leadership? Yeah. Is it just something that we. Are born with? Is it something that we choose? Yeah, I think it, it's, um, I don't know if we're born with it.

I definitely think leadership skills can be taught, right? Like I said, my, I, I didn't recognize those voices in my brain. I didn't, I didn't recognize that my, that my thoughts weren't necessarily even my own. So I think those are skills that can be taught and developed, and especially for our leaders to really understand themselves.

Mm-hmm. Um, But the light side of it to me is it's like when you are able to accomplish something bigger with a team than you were ever able to do on your own. Mm-hmm. Or when you, when you get on the other side of something that's like really gritty and really hard, it's like the, the feeling of like, you're thinking I did it.

Like we did it. We did something that no one else has done, or we figured out this really difficult problem. And then that feeling of like pride and like if you're with a team, that camaraderie and that connection, um, The, the confidence. I think those are, that's like what's on the other side is the capacity that we have now increased, right?

Like every time we go through something hard, we get a new minimum baseline. Yeah. Like, oh, remember I used to think that thing was really hard, like my first landing page or managing a team of five people or making this decision, or I rem I remember like thinking running a meeting was gonna be so hard and coming up with an agenda.

And now it's like, well that's no problem. Right. I've gotten through that. My baseline for my capacity, my baseline for my discomfort has grown, has increased. Yeah. And that personal learning plus impact, I think that is what the, the light side of leadership is. Yeah. And wherever we go, we bring ourselves.

Right. So it's like if I can use leadership as a tool to become more of me. Like more of truly who I am, right? Like my authentic inner self and a little bit less of like the voices in my head, the, you know, social conditioning, the old messages, the things that don't serve me, that work in itself, I truly believe is a gift to.

Everyone, everyone that you interact with, even if, to your point, you don't necessarily have a team if you're a solopreneur or if you are, you know, a coach building their own business or you're in the corporate world and you don't have a team, there's still so much influence that we can have and the more that we become our crew solved, we give, we give the people around us permission to be our true selves.

We give permission around, we give permission to the people around us to talk about those things like. You sometimes feel like an imposter. Like I never would've thought that of you, cuz I feel like an imposter. And we just open that dialogue. Yeah. And that is also life changing.

Hey, if you're enjoying this episode, I wanna invite you to come join us on May 19th through the 21st for the Shadow Side Leadership Summit. It's gonna be an entire weekend where we're gonna dive into these conversations around identity and leadership, around mental and emotional health, around how to support ourselves so that we can truly lead others in a more impactful way, that we also get to experience connection, and joy along the journey.

Shadow side leadership Go sign up and we'll see you in inside. Yeah. It creates, it takes you from that sense of loneliness and disconnection into that sense of connection. Right. And like, oh, okay. Like, it's amazing how quickly that can happen. Yeah. And that's one of the thing, like when we talk about self-compassion, right?

One of the um, like the pillars of learning, of learning compassion is recognizing that we are all connected. We are all. Part of each other. We, we are experiencing very similar. Hum, human emotions, right? And it might look a little bit different and your lived experience, of course, is going to be different, but there's like this, this kind of, we're all the same.

I don't know. Have you ever seen the, I think it's a commercial where it's like, um, skeletons dancing behind, like, like a black cloth. And then the people come out and like, they're different ages and genders and gender identities and, um, weights and like everything about them looks different on the outside, but.

Behind the curtain when it's just the bones, it's just the skeleton. Like, we look very similar. Yeah, I love that. No, I haven't seen that, but I like that imagery. Yeah. Yeah. I was thinking about, um, you know, just like, like, so th this might get a little bit, um, it's a little bit heavy, but I'm gonna offer it anyway.

So there's a little trigger warning here. Um, because I, I wanna talk about like, The like deaths and celebrities. Mm-hmm. So when we see people who, like, who we've maybe looked up to, or actors, actresses, you know, people who are in public places and we read the news and it's like, oh, they've passed away.

Right? And we read like, well, what happened? Like overdose is a super common reason that people die. And then we read it in the news if they're celebrities. Right. So I was thinking about this like, where do you have to be in your life that you like go home and. Do cocaine. You go home and like Right. Do something that's like what a lot of us would consider like a hard drug.

Like what do you have to be thinking to put you in that head space? And then I was thinking you're probably thinking the exact same thing, that someone who comes home and like eats cake or the exact same thing that someone who comes home and has a glass of wine. Mm-hmm. We're thinking like, this was a hard day.

Yeah. I'm not really sure what to do. I don't know, like, I don't know where to get support. Yes. And I think if we realize that everyone has a little bit of that like struggle every, no matter what our lives look like on the outside, no matter how confident we appear mm-hmm. To the outside world, there's that little part inside of us that's like, am I enough?

Am I doing this wrong? Are they gonna find out like, like the drug of choice, right? Yeah. Like, like what we're using might, maybe it's porn or candy or cake or a relationship and, and I know. Right. Like whatever that is, it is to, it's, it's, we think it's the balm for the same hurt. We think that's the salve to help us feel better, but it's not.

Yeah, totally. And to just like step into that common humanity and like if we could all just recognize Yeah. The struggle and be there to like support each other, I feel like it would make leadership better. It would make the world a better place. Yeah. Yeah. Hundred percent. I think you're spot on. It's like there's, it's, there's so many of us in the world that are struggling and we are.

Ashamed or afraid to show that we're struggling for a multitude of reasons. And, and some of those reasons are valid, right? For some people it's like as a, you know, as a first responder, um, for many years, and then, you know, working as a life coach. I remember working with a police officer that was just like, Robin, I can't tell someone that I think about sticking a gun in my mouth.

They'll take my badge, I'll lose my job. My family, like, I don't know what'll happen to me from there. Like, I just, I have to hide this secret. And that goes for right firefighters. Like there's just so many, so many industries. You know, I work as a paramedic and there's cultural things where it's like seen as weakness, right?

And it's like, or if you, or it's used in your HR file against you, if you have a panic attack, it's starting to. As a person who has suffered from P T S D, like that suffers. Uh, it impacts your work performance and your ability to perform even simple tasks when you're truly in P T S D trigger, like you can't even do simple things.

It's your, your ability to, to think and to, I mean, all of it. It's like, it's crazy. And yet we live in a world where unfortunately, many places are not understanding or compassionate about that. It's like, I'm sorry, this, you gotta go. This is, I think that, yeah. Yeah. Right. I think that's such a good point, right?

Like, leadership is taking care of us, the self-leadership, and what if we all had that lens of like, like what are my, what are, what's my team struggling with? Like, what is really going on? If I acknowledge that, and I don't know the exact statistics, but yeah, it's gotta be at least 25% of people. It's probably even more like, let's, let's just say 20% of my team ha has a, a major struggle going on.

Yeah. How does that change how I show up? How does that change how I interact with my team? It doesn't mean we don't have expectations. It doesn't mean that we don't have to get the work done, but how do I also like treat them as like a human? Yeah. How do I show up in that connection? Totally. And support them in this and not use it as something against them.

And I think part of it is like, you can't, it's very difficult to, to have, and I don't think you can have that kind of recognition or also empathy or wisdom in how to support this person or any of it when you haven't done that work for yourself. Yes. Cause you don't see it. You don't see it. And if you're still shaming that part of yourself, then it, it will turn you into a person that's like, well, I've got all that stuff and look, I do it, I do it.

I should love, I'm fine. I'm fine tomorrow. I'm fine. I'm fine. You know, and it's like, Oh man. And so then you, you just project that onto them. You should just stuff it down too. And it's like, it's just, it's not, I don't believe it's the way that any of us really want to live. I think that we want to be known.

I think we want to be able to release some of that pressure to. To be that, like you said, that perfect human without all the stuff that can't show the things. Um, I think that contributes to a lot of disconnection and loneliness. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And like thinking back, right, like I was talking at the beginning, like my dad, you know, getting in his suit, like I.

I don't wanna say I guarantee, but I'm gonna say there's a 99% chance he wasn't going to work and being like, you know, like checking in on people's mental wellbeing and, right. Yeah. Like he was there to do a job and he did his job very well. And again, this is not a. It's nothing against my dad. I think it's like the generations, like we've seen some shifts.

We've seen some, yeah. Really positive shifts in the workplace. Yeah. Not everywhere, certainly. Um, but we're starting to like see people lead in a different way. Just like we're starting to see parents lead in a different way. Yes. And I think there's a lot of, um, beauty that can come of that, of embracing the diversity, embracing who people are.

And as leaders, how do we bring out the best in them? How do we, how do we show our people like what we see? Like wouldn't that be amazing if someone was like, listen, Robin, here's what I see in you. Yeah. I see you as charismatic. I see you as caring. I see you as truly making a difference in the world. And I just wanna thank you.

Yeah. Like that feels good. Totally. Yeah. And I think as a leader when you do that, like, and you do, say you do have an employee and you're like, okay, how do I balance these things? Coming back to that conversation of balance around vulnerability and strength, but also balance around compassion and expectation, right?

So it's like, okay, we do need to get the work done. And I also see that, you know, it seems as though you might be having a really hard time. So how do I create a, a safe space for you to be able to talk about that and then to know that. How can I help you get the support you need in a compassionate way?

And maybe, you know, maybe right now this is a task that you're not able to do, but that doesn't mean that I have to, you know, put this in your HR file or use this against you. Right? Like, I know Dave Rams used to talk about this a lot with, but like, I. The bus and seats and leadership, right? You'd be like, you gotta got the right person on the bus, but you also have to not only get the right person on the bus, but you have to get them in the right seat on the bus, right?

Mm-hmm. So like sometimes, maybe there's another way that I can help support you and move you into a different role for a little while, or get you some support getting those tasks done or, I don't know, whatever that might look like, but, To have that come in a way that's not punitive, but that's supportive.

Mm-hmm. I think it will allow you as a leader to see so many more options when you're not just only focused on this task needs to get done and this person's not doing it right now for whatever reason. I think it just limits your scope of thinking and creativity, but as a HU a leader with that humanity, I think you're able to think outside the box and see so, Many more options.

Mm-hmm. For how you can really do all of those things, which, so I think I'm getting to this idea of creativity mixed in with that, which I think could be a powerful, a powerful tool for us to access. Yeah. It's like having the mindset that, number one, we can figure this out. Like, right. Like we're a team, we can figure this out.

And even if you're not a team again, like what if I had that thought in my own brain, like, today's a hard day and we can figure this out. Yeah. Today I'm kind of struggling and I can figure this out. And then the other like mindset shift, I think is truly believing that people really do wanna show up and do a good job.

Yeah. And if we, and if we keep that, then again, how does that show up versus like, well, I have to document this and I have to make sure that this is sent to HR and I, right. And again, there are some people who are on the wrong bus on the wrong seat, like they should be on a train somewhere else. Yeah. But we can still lovingly, kindly, compassionately help people find, find the, find the right bus, find the right train, move to the next place.

It doesn't, it still doesn't have to be this situation of like, like discipline almost. Right? Or like punishment. And I know the times that I, that I have had to move people on because of performance, a lot of times they were grateful because they knew that it wasn't the right fit. Like, But they're scared, right?

And then they're, that's, that's a hard decision to make. So, and again, I'm not trying to like glorify this or make it sound prettier than it is because it is a very difficult situation and sometimes it actually works out for the better. I think you're spot on. I think there are many people, um, who would feel supported by that decision and not stigmatized by it.

Yeah. Well, and I think, right, like to your point, the energy, the energy with which we're talking to our teams, and again, this goes with our own, our own brains too. It's like if I, if I as the leader, if I'm coming from my own lack, if I'm coming from my own imposter syndrome and I need you as the employee to do something Yeah.

So that I can prove to myself I'm a good boss or so that I can. Be like, see, I got, I got Jen to do the thing. See what a great job I do. Right? It's like as soon as we put onto someone else that they need to do something so that we can feel a certain way. We've lost that neutrality. We've dropped that. I, I would even say we've dropped out of leadership.

And that is why it's so important to really know ourselves. Because if I can hold my own value and my own worthiness and have that conversation with you, changes everything. You don't have to do anything to prove you're worthy and you don't have to do anything to prove I'm worthy, changes everything.

Exactly, a hundred percent. I think it's so powerful and it would take the pressure off of having to make those hard decisions either way, because you know that you're in your own worthiness, you know that you're in your own neutrality. You can trust yourself that this is all coming from a place that feels right and good and loving and supportive like, and so I think as the leader that would make those hard things feel easier.

Mm-hmm. Yeah. I mean, I know like from my own journey, once I found coaching and kind of started untangling some of this, the way that I showed up was totally different because I, I didn't like that, like that proving energy. And I'm not saying it was never there because again, right, like the confusion and the victim and all those guys love to come out and play.

Um, but it shifted. It was so much less. Often, right? Like the frequency changed and just my own, um, and my own willingness to take risks, my own willingness to be wrong. All of that started to shift when I'm coming from my own, my own authority. And when I'm, when I see like, oh, I actually have a lot of choice here.

Like all that, like pressure and constriction starts to dissolve and now I can be more me. And that like feels amazing. Yeah. To you and probably to your team too. Cuz then when they see that humanity, when they see all of that, like, oh, Jen's not trying to be perfect either. Maybe I don't have to be right.

Maybe yes I need to perform, but like I don't have to be perfect and it's okay for there to be mistakes or for me to need help. And Jen asks for help. And when you model that, like I think yeah, gosh, what a, what a safety you create as a leader. Yeah. And it's genuine, right? Genuine. I love it. Yeah, totally.

One of the. I always tell the story because, um, how I reacted to this is so different than how I would've reacted before. So I was having like this big team meeting and you know, in my mind's eye there were like 30 people in the room. It might've been 10, I don't really know, but I'm like, you know, it's one of those like, okay, everybody we're gonna like do a great job.

Like it's gonna be amazing work together. Like one of those sort of rallying the people kind of mm-hmm. Meetings and. At the end I said, and don't forget, you don't have to go commando. And the room like went silent and, and some, someone like raises their hand and he is like, I don't think that means what you think it means.

And I just started bursting out laughing and I was like, I don't even know what I was trying to say. And I, I'm terrible with like those metaphors or like idioms or whatever. I always get the expressions wrong. So I turned on my coworker like, oh yeah, what the heck was I trying to say? He's like, I, I got nothing.

I have no idea. Like you're gonna have to backpedal on your own front. So I think what I wasn't trying, what I wasn't trying to say was, you don't have to not wear underwear. What I was trying to say was like, like, you don't have to go alone. You don't have to like Right. Be a hero. Like, yeah, yeah, yeah. But like, I was able to laugh at myself and like it, it just turned into like this super funny thing where I think.

Like, and I didn't, I mean, I was a little embarrassed, but like, it was a totally different experience than if I would've stood up there feeling like I have to prove it. And, and I have to like, make sure they, they like me and I have to like totally teach them and show them and write like that. Super. Um, yeah, like strong, like outgoing energy.

Yeah. And instead I just started laughing. I'm like, I don't know. I'm meeting over. Like, yeah, thanks for coming. That's amazing. Put on underwear or don't, whatever. Yeah. I love it. Totally. And you can just sense the energy that everyone would feel in that room versus being under a leader that's defensive and Right.

It just totally changed everything and so I, I love it. Jen, what would you say to somebody as a leader or. You know, someone who feels as though they are, are afraid of their leader in their or their community. Like what would you say to the person that is hiding a part of themselves that they're afraid to show or be vulnerable about?

Yeah, I would say, um, yeah, like of course, of course you are. That's a very human experience. And find a resource, find someone who can help you so that you can step into that authenticity and. Being vulnerable doesn't mean you have to like tell everyone your story. Being vulnerable doesn't mean you have to sit the team down and be like, listen, here's what I'm dealing with.

You can, it's an option, but it's not the only way because the first, the first step, I think, is truly becoming vulnerable with ourselves, telling ourselves the truth. Yeah. And even if you don't share the story, even if you don't tell people we like, you can feel it. You can feel that energy shift. Yes. So whether it's, you know, an EAP program at work, or of course we advocate hiring a coach or whatever that looks like, but finding that support and especially if you are in a senior management executive position, a solopreneur.

Get that, find that person who you can just like talk to and who can, who can allow you to be you in a space that feels really comfortable in a space where you're willing to practice that vulnerability. Yeah. So, and if, and if you're struggling with a manager, um, it's probably honestly like very similar advice.

Um, and, and can you, can you find their humanity? Can you find. Can you find like some empathy? You don't have to like it. You don't have to stay in the job, but can I find some sort of human connection of like, oh, maybe they're scared. Oh, maybe they're experiencing imposter syndrome. Can I find a way to shift how I'm looking at this person?

A hundred percent. And that's everything that we're doing actually. That's the entire idea of the shadow side, right? And the shadow side Leadership summit, that's everything we're talking about. Because when we deny our own shadows, when we're unwilling to look at our shadows, to look at the parts of us that we don't like or that we might be ashamed of or afraid of, it's like if we're not willing to bring those things out into the light and look at them, we end up projecting it onto other people and judging those things and getting defensive and right.

It can wreak all this havoc. And so I love that idea of. Being willing to embrace those parts of yourself and take a look at it, even in a safe space. It doesn't have to be in some big public form if you're not ready for that, but just to begin that work of being willing to say, you know what? I'm having a hard time.

I'm afraid I feel depressed, or lonely, or sad or scared, or just not okay. And to just find someone that you can talk about that with in a safe place is so powerful. Yeah. And again, right. We don't talk about it, we don't tell leaders. Yeah. Because we, we sort of set up this system of like human resources.

Yes. And that isn't always your best place to bring your vulnerabilities as a leader. That's not always the best person to bring your questions, concerns, all of those things too. So to really find that outside person who can walk you through that leadership journey. Yeah, for today, we're out of time, but we could talk way longer.

Jen, let people know how they can find out about you. Yes, find me on Instagram, jen dot fry, f r e y, um, dot coaching, and you can also check out my podcast called, uh, think on Purpose, and you can find that on all of the, all the places where you find your podcast. I love it. It's a great podcast. Definitely go check it out.

All right, Jen, thank you for being here so much today. I enjoyed it. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of it for me and share it on your favorite social media platform. And in the meantime, I just wanna invite you to remember that you are beautiful, that you are worthy, that you belong. See you next time.