Because I Have it all Together, and Other Lies I Want You to Believe About Me
Does the “Great Resignation” have you concerned about losing your employees?
It’s just my opinion but this is something as an owner, manager, CEO, etc., you may want to consider.
Your employees have been through a lot and they are NOT the same. This one word you may be using is an emotional trigger for them.
Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational speaker who has almost died a bunch. Stacy speaks on stress, burnout, happiness and wellness in the workspace.
Last night when the world was tucked away in bed, I lay in awe. I now live in a time where my daughter could see a beautiful, intelligent African and South Asian American woman, speak at a Vice Presidential Debate. My daughter could see someone who looks like her.
It wasn’t her ethnicity alone that made the night memorable; it was what she said that stole the show for me. (I’ll give props to the fly, though. Best walk on roll ever.)
“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”
There it was. Hundreds of years of oppression, racism, and strife. To finally be heard on a stage in a bid for one of the highest honors/positions in our country.
The women who were sold and placed on a boat. The immigrant women of a myriad of ethnicities who came by ship or plane. The women who worked the fields. The women who worked the home. The women who worked the factories. The women who had no voice. The women who had no vote.
The women who sat on a bus, who were arrested, who picketed, who shattered glass ceilings. The women who slowly but steadily started using their voice.
The women who believed in their daughters and granddaughters. Who modeled work ethic, resilience, intelligence and hope. The women who didn’t speak with words but spoke by the sweat of their brow.
Because of these women who fought to be heard in the workplace, their home, their community. Because of the women who used written words, spoken words, musical words, art that spoke for them, we heard for the first-time last night:
“Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.” And she was heard.
Today, many of us do have a voice. But many women still don’t. From the Dalit woman in India to the sex workers in Cambodia. The young girls not allowed to have an education to the elderly women in nursing homes alone and afraid because of Covid. The women who are still seen as second class. The single mother who cleans your home or bags your groceries. The woman who is trapped in an abusive relationship. The woman who is shamed for her body being too big or too small.
The women who are afraid to raise their voice in fear of retribution, name calling, or being seen as a “b***”.
These women still have a voice that needs to be heard.
We- who have a voice-need to speak on their behalf. To model. To give hope.
We who have a voice need to-
Do the work.
Move the needle.
Cast the vote.
As the first African American and South Asian American, Kamala Harris spoke the words countless women before her worked so hard to say-
And the world heard.
Stacy Pederson is a Funny Motivational Speaker who has almost died a bunch.
I’ve almost died before. I don’t recommend trying it. It’s not that fun.
I’ve also lost a marriage, a job, a home, and support system all in three week’s time. I also don’t recommend that.
Due to tremendous rapid loss, as well as almost dying a bunch more, I was diagnosed with PTSD and went through severe depression.
Yet here we are where many people are, or will be, experiencing exactly what I’ve been through with job loss, health crisis, and life altering circumstances in an extremely short amount of time.
Right now is a being touted as a “perfect time” to write a book, develop a course, start a hobby, and a myriad of other things to “start doing”.
I see a little of what’s to come from learning what is now mostly behind me.
Here’s why I’m not trying to be productive during Covid-19.
Keeping things simple means less stress. Stress suppresses the immune system and can trigger a whole host of other problems. It can make you physically, mentally and emotionally sick.
To say most people are experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress right now is probably an understatement.
Three weeks ago we were lapping up our lattes while our kids were galivanting around in a thing called, “school”.
Now we’re counting cases, tripping over toys, wondering what to sell, and debating if we should divorce now or wait and see if Covid strikes.
Too much change, with too little time to process, and too much uncertainty is more than enough to switch on the ol’ fight or flight response.
We are all fighting for normalcy, getting a grasp on the unknown, fear of illness or death for ourselves or our loved ones, and fear of financial instability for basic needs. It’s a fight for life.
When people say, “don’t panic”, they’re basically saying, “don’t be human”. It’s normal to be stressed, anxious or afraid. It’s ok to have those feelings-as long as you don’t stay in that mental or emotional space for too long.
Acknowledge your negative feelings. Take a moment to feel them. Then move forward or take a step back. (Fight-or flight.) Whatever you need to do to gain a better sense of control.
You can’t be “productive” if you’re stressed. You also won’t make sound, logical decisions which are important when taking on new projects. (Hence insane toilet paper hoarding. Not logical. Hoarding cheese, wine and chocolate-now that’s a different story in my book.)
I’ve learned to listen to my body’s AND my mind’s alarm bells. I’m a flighter. I’ll be the first to run and hide under the covers. When my body or emotions are sending me signals, I take a step back. I don’t push forward. Productivity requires pushing forward.
Some people want to work and be productive for a sense of normalcy and also something to look forward to. A goal, project, new things to focus on to help detract and distract from what’s going on around them.
I did that. For a very long time. Here’s why I don’t recommend it:
When you constantly remain distracted or bulldoze through-when you do finally fall apart-it’s brutal. Disastrous. You’ll find yourself completely unprepared mentally or emotionally for the flood of pent up feelings or thoughts you refused to allow yourself to deal with as it was happening.
Instead, I recommend sticking your toe in the water EVERY morning. If you’re feeling good, and working on a new project brings you peace or joy, then move forward.
If you’re pushing yourself emotionally, mentally, or physically-STOP. Listen to your body and mind. What does it need to process what is happening around you? Quiet? Rest? An intense workout? Socializing? A Plan? Then do that instead.
Slow your productivity so that you can forge out a new trail of living. You’re used to producing on a well paved highway that requires little thought or adaption. You were most likely living on autopilot.
You’ve suddenly been forced to now stare at an “off the beaten path” of what daily life looks like. A path that’s not forged yet. You can’t run full speed on an ungroomed trail. It takes time and work to build the trail first.
Build the trail of your new normal first. Don’t clutter it up with projects that will cause you new stress or even more levels of uncertainty.
There’s a lot of mental work, physical strain, and emotional re-routing that takes place when dealing with a lot of change. Give your body and mind grace with this.
Rather than focusing on new projects or getting “caught up” I’ve focused my energy elsewhere. First and most important, I’m taking care of my mind and body. Second, I’m experimenting on trying new routines, priorities, and giving myself grace through all of it.
Here’s some ways I’m doing that to put myself in the best possible state of mind to handle the physical stress of uncertainty and change.
1. I stopped setting my alarm until my kids’ online school starts. Stress is hard on the body. Your body needs healing time. Most days I still wake up around the normal time but a few of those days I slept 10 hours straight.
2. I walk outside every day. Sunshine and nature calm the stress response beautifully. It rejuvenates me and boosts my creativity.
3. I make relationships the #1 priority. My family and people I care about come first. It’s not always this way, but in times of crisis, this is THE thing that matters most. Everything else can wait.
4. I’ve whittled down my work priorities to just three things and only three things. These things are what’s required, what brings me the most satisfaction, and what I’m the best at. Everything else will wait. (Yes! In times of crisis in your business you “should” focus on what brings you money now. When you’re laying in a hospital bed, as I have, money doesn’t matter much. You need your health, your mind, your relationships to get through. Period.)
5. I don’t think about what “needs to get done”. Instead I test out certain times of day to try different things. My focus is more on my “training” (like an athlete). I’m working on the skills of working vs running the race now. After just under 2 weeks, I have a good handle on what’s working for me. Things are kicking in easier, as well as being more balanced and focused.
6. I do what’s right for me, so I can do right by my friends, work and family. You can’t do right when it comes to others if you’re stressed, angry, anxious, or sick. You need to focus on your own health in all areas so that you’re available and ready for those who need you.
7. I don’t freak out over being inconvenienced. Most of the time we as humans, get frustrated or angry because someone has inconvenienced us. You get mad at your kids because they inconvenienced you. Same with your significant other. The person at the grocery store, etc. It’s a waste of negative energy on your end. So they got in your way or caused you more work. In the grand scope of what’s happening right now, who cares??? You’re going to have to work harder and deal with more for a time. Your comfort or convenience is not your “end all” right now. Getting through it the best you can is. You’ll be a better person for it.
The truth is, when 2020 is over, the world is not going to “return to normal” and hopefully you won’t either. Instead, there will be a “new normal”.
The quicker you can learn the skills to adapt by taking the time to process your feelings and emotions as they come, experimenting with your routine, and embracing rapid change instead of fighting it, the better for you.
If you want to be healthy and productive in the long run,
Yes, I could be richer financially if I pushed out a new project, but at what cost? I’m focusing instead on being richer in wisdom, relationships, health and skill of living. You can’t make money lying in a hospital bed. Trust me. I’ve been there.
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Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational Keynote Speaker, who’s almost died a bunch.
I spent a weekend with uber successful people and I learned some habits and common character traits they all share.
First, a little about me. I didn’t rub elbows around “successful” people in the way we tend to think of “success”. (More on that later.)
Here’s Me: ↓
Here’s the house I grew up in: ↓
Currently 77% of students attending the school district I grew up in are on free or reduced lunch with test scores far below the nationwide average. (Hence-my inability to spell.)
Poverty was pervasive, but my positivity propelled me forward.
Here’s me ↓ on my 21st birthday exposed to the “high life”:
Here’s me now ↓: (On a good day…with photoshop.)
I went to college. Did well. Went through some challenges. Almost died a bunch. Now I do some crazy things far beyond what I ever thought was possible.
However, you can see from the above photos, “success” was not handed to me. It often feels like a foreign concept.
What is success anyway?
I define success as living a life that is congruent to who you are as an individual. That’s a fancy way of saying living a life that makes you happy because it embraces who you are and what matters to you. This looks different for all types of people and I admire that.
I’ve sat with people in their doublewide trailers who were happy. They were successful in living a life that honored them and their families. I’ve also sat in many multi-million dollar mansions and experienced the same. We’re all human. We’re all trying to figure this “life” thing out. Success looks different for all of us.
However, for today’s purposes, I’m defining success as those who have done well in their businesses and careers.
I’ve met a lot of successful people in my life. Celebrities. Writers. Athletes. This past weekend was jam packed full of them. I’ve noticed a difference in habits and character traits of those who are successful in their business compared to many who I grew up with.
Here’s 10 things I’ve learned from hanging out with successful people:
1. Successful People are Really Really Good at What They Do.
Here’s me ↓ last weekend with successful person #1, Michelle Robinson.
Michelle has written a gajillion books and runs a top-notch marketing company. She’s also a freaking genius when it comes to publishing. She’s not just good at what she does-she’s REALLY good.
Successful athletes, business owners, speakers, etc., aren’t satisfied with being mediocre. They don’t rely on their natural talent alone. They take their natural talent and push themselves to be better.
Successful people are on a continuous journey of learning followed by putting what they’ve learned into practice. This constant state of striving for improvement means they’re not just good- they’re excellent at what they do.
2. Successful People Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.
Michelle was scheduled to spend three hours with me. She spent seven. She way over-delivered. Now DON’T go hiring her and expecting her to do the same for you. I’m sharing that because I find truly successful people put the customer first. They genuinely care about the customer’s outcome over their own pocket-book.
Are you over-delivering in your business? If not, what areas can you begin to deliver more value than promised that won’t overtax you? What area can you over deliver that makes you, your customer, and your overall business better?
3. Successful People Have Fun!
Jeff and I with successful person, Michelle, and successful person #2, Michelle’s husband-Kevin, singing Karaoke. ↓
Burnout sucks. I’ve been there. Many successful people have been there, too. They’ve pushed their businesses to the point of personal break down.
Because of this, successful people make time to enjoy THOSE they love and doing WHAT they love outside of their business.
You can, in fact, work yourself to death. Success is not about a high profit company. Success is about being a whole person in ALL ways.
4. Successful People Have Overcome.
Every successful person I’ve met has a story. That story is usually not a positive one. Successful people have failed. Lost money. Lost marriages. Lost relationships with their kids. Lost their identity. Lost hope.
Yet, they’ve learned to overcome. Something happened where they were able flip the switch from flat on their face to rising to first place.
Overcoming is a skill that requires street smarts. It’s something you can’t learn from the comfy of your phone. You have to live it out. And it’s usually pretty painful.Click to tweet
This makes success sweeter. Which is why:
5. Successful People Appreciate What They Have Even When They’re Striving for More.
6. Successful People Have LOTS of Energy.
After a full day of business and fun, I spent the next morning teaching speaking skills to a group of highly successful people. (I forgot to take a picture.) They fully encapsulate the habits and character traits I share.
Next, we were off to a lunch with successful person #15. (3-14 were in the speaking class.) Successful person #15 Esther Spina.
Here’s me ↓with Esther…I looked and felt rough.
I like this ↓ highly filtered picture better.
I will not share Esther’s age. Let me just say-it makes Jennifer Anniston and Jennifer Lopez look like child’s play. You would NEVER guess her age. Not only because of the way she looks-but because of her energy.
The very first potluck I ever went to with successful people was VERY different from the country church potlucks I grew up with. There were no “Ms. Fanny’s Baked Beans”, “Aunt Helen’s Butter Mac & Cheese”, or a slew of desserts topped with good ‘ol Cool Whip.
Instead, there was a variety of fruits, vegetables, salads, humus, fish (sushi), nuts, a little whiskey and wine and that about sums it up.
Successful people take care of their bodies through diet and exercise-not simply to look a part-but to keep their energy levels up. They know that diet and exercise affects their performance level just like an athlete.
Most successful people I know are avid runners, bicyclists, skiers, golfers, or travelers. (I know because I see their Facebook posts from my couch.) They do so to keep sharp, de-stress, and be at their best.
7. Successful People Are All About Relationships.
They say it’s “who you know” and there is truth to that. However, not in the way you may think.
Most successful people I’ve met have wanted to introduce me to someone they felt could help my business. Successful people are connectors.
Rarely, if ever, do successful people become successful completely on their own. They had mentors, teachers, etc., who helped guide them. They love doing the same for others.
It absolute thrills me when I get to connect people knowing they’re a great fit for each other’s businesses.
There is a HUGE difference between USING people to get ahead vs. VALUING relationships. (Key word: “value”.)
8. Successful People Are Givers.
The next morning my husband and I headed out to spend the day with successful people #’s 16 – A LOT. Including someone I deeply admire – THE Jeanne Robertson.
Jeanne was having a show in Denver.
My Husband and I ↓
Backstage with ↓ good friends AND Jeanne.
Scott Friedman (the successful nice guy in the yellow) had thrown Jeanne a birthday party the night before. Jeanne (as legend told) performed at her own birthday party and then proceeded to give advice on the speaking business to those who came to celebrate her. She is a giver.
Scott is a giver-he gave me the tickets to her show!
While backstage, Jeanne explained to us what stories she would share and why, and mentored/gave advice on her business. She did this up until they told her she HAD to get changed because the show was going to start.
Highly successful people give willingly and freely the wisdom they have learned through their own trials and success.
The two key elements that have brought me to a certain level of success is: 1. I have always valued and taken advice. 2. I’ve given back freely to whoever I could.
Successful people pass the baton to the individuals who will take their industry to the next level.Click to tweet
9. Successful People Are Positive Open-Minded Thinkers.
After the show, we went to dinner. I sat with a famous athlete, a New York Times best seller, and someone who runs a trophy worthy non-profit that does a whole lot of good in this world. I forgot to take a picture…
Casual conversation can be interesting between successful people. The two things that are consistently prevalent are positivity and an unusually amount of open-mindedness.
Successful people are open to new ways of thinking or doing. They also consistently believe the best is yet to come. Instead of concentrating on protecting what they have out of the belief someone is out to the get them. (i.e. the government, other businesses, people with different views in general) they focus on possibilities.
Conversations center around new business ideas, technologies, family, or goals for the upcoming year.
If controversial topics come up, such as the dreaded conversation/relationship killer-politics-there’s a genuine desire to hear from the other person’s point of view. I like this trait.
10. Success is a Lifestyle.
We’ve all heard of those who have won the lottery or received a huge settlement and then, sadly, a few years later have lost it. Perhaps this is because success appears to be a lifestyle not a place of arrival.
Age does not seem to dictate when a successful person ends their career. Rather it’s a time and place for new possibilities. I hear it over and over again in conversations with successful people. They’re starting new businesses, creating new goals, making shifts, but they have zero desire to quit living in the way they’ve lived. This doesn’t mean financially, this means in their day to day life.
Striving for improvement, consistently learning, trying new things, taking time for fun, valuing relationships, taking care of one’s body, navigating new challenges, being grateful, being open-minded, being a generous person are all lifestyle related. It has nothing to do with numbers.
Here’s the kicker:
Studies show the above character traits are key elements to becoming a happier person. These same traits also lower stress. By adopting the above, you have the potential of creating and running a successful business AND living a happier, less stressed, life. Who doesn’t want that?
If you choose to adopt the above traits and habits you’ll be the next successful person I’ll have the pleasure of being around. (You’ll have to remind me to take a selfie with you. I always forget.)
Stacy Pederson is a Colorado based Funny Motivational Keynote Speaker. She’s almost died a bunch. She loves to be hired for events, so….if you’ve got one-click HERE:
Easy Mindset Hack to Help Motivate Yourself:
Warning: This mindset hack on an “easy way to motivate yourself” is NOT for super highly productive people who have their lives in perfect scheduled order. This is for the rest of the world. As in REAL people like me who find the word, “productivity” as exciting as, “parsnip dip”.
WAIT – “but you’re a Keynote Motivational Speaker”. Yep. I’m also a human. That’s why I use this hack.
So…Here’s the hack:
Is Netflix calling? Snapchat? Anything but the one thing you know you should be/need to/supposed to ….(fill in the blank)
BUT it feels like it JUST might kill you to get up and do it?
(I felt that way about writing this blog post.)
Anyhoo-it’s not your fault. The brain doesn’t like doing “stuff” it doesn’t find super rewarding. (If you want some complicated science you cand find it here.)
Instead of waiting to feel motivated-do this instead:
– Sigh dramatically (or angrily)
– Kick the floor
Then, tell yourself this:
-Put one foot in the front of the other and get ‘er done.
It seriously works. For just about everything. Listen to how motivating this is:
-“I’m never going to want to work, so….”
-“I’m never going to want to exercise, so…”
-“I’m never going to want to be your friend, so…”
Do you see how this easy mindest hack for motivation works? I do. Because I use it all the time.
“I’m never going to want to respond to the comments, so….”
Actually, I do love comments. Well-the nice ones.
Have any mindset motivation hacks of your own? Put them in the comments below.
PS-You’re never going to want to leave a comment, so…you might as well do it anyway…
Stacy Pederson is a Funny Keynote Speaker who has almost died a bunch. She loves to be hired for events, so….if you’ve got one-click HERE:
I stumbled into becoming a funny speaker by complete accident. I have learned A LOT along the way. What I learned-I actually already knew. Let me explain:
I have a degree in theatre. What I learned and even taught when it came to theatre/acting performance, audience, communication, messaging, etc., has translated perfectly to the speaking world. All the rules seem to hold true for either mode of communication-acting or speaking.
It’s taken making a whole lot of mistakes and performing a loooot of really tough gigs to finally embrace who I am. I’m a performer with a message.
I’ve done free speaking gigs, drove hours for almost no-paying gigs, done back alley gigs, comedy gigs, county fair gigs, festival gigs. My cars broke down. Someone slipped something in my drink the last comedy club I performed at. I’ve traveled 12 hours one way to have the company never pay me. Been snowed in, iced in, dust-stormed in. (I choked on-stage during the dust storm-literally. I coughed and gagged on the dirt so much, I had to walk off after only 8 minutes.) I’ve bombed on stage. I’ve killed it-and a whole lot of in-between.
Now that you know some of my creds-here’s some huge mistakes from an actor’s perspective, I see other speakers make on stage. I’ve done several of these myself.
- Not Thinking from the Audience’s Perspective
Stage fright sucks. I know because I have it. Despite having a degree in theatre, performing stand-up comedy and giving countless speeches in front of ultimately 1,000’s, that dreaded feeling of knots in my stomach before taking the stage, still occurs.
- Know What it is You’re Afraid of.
Being able to pin-point exactly what terrifies you, can help give you a game plan to combat stage fright.
So…what is it specifically that scares the snot out of you about speaking in front of an audience???
-Forgetting your lines?
-Falling off the stage?
-The simple act of people staring at you?
Are you A or B?
- Do you know who you are? Do you have a clear direction of where your life is headed? Do you wake up each morning knowing your life “plan” or “purpose”, which allows you to overcome difficult obstacles? Do you know what calms you down when you are stressed? Do you know what makes you happy?
- Do you feel clouded, confused, burnt out, or that you’re simply floating or surviving through life?
Let me know when you figure it out, because this blog posts shows I haven’t.
Stacy Pederson is a funny motivational speaker…which is ironic when it comes to motivation. When Stacy’s not blogging, she can be found in Colorado overeating, sleeping and feeling guilty about all of it. You can learn more about her dysfunction at: StacyPederson.com.