CwL Ep51: Change, Triggers, Joy and Guilt

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How does the quote ‘nothing changes if nothing changes’ make you feel?

It used to trigger Lisa BIG TIME!

In this episode she explores the idea that while all of us experience tough seasons in life – the key to navigating them with more ease might be far simpler than we think. 

And it doesn’t require waiting for anything around us to change!

She shares the painful story of choosing to fly to Bali just days after news of her former husband’s death. And what this taught her about grief and joy.

And any conversation about a woman changing and evolving and honouring her own needs (sadly) brings up the feeling this induces in so many women – guilt. Lisa outlines the universal comments she hears from women in her programs, and currently in the Feel Good Now Challenge, on guilt.

She brings it all back to the original quote that triggered her. She believes at her core is that ‘nothing changes if you don’t change’. You hold the power to effect enormous change in your life BUT our collective conditioning, as women, to honour everyone else’s needs above our own and never commit to our own happiness in the way we do other people’s means that…. nothing changes.

For true change to occur – we don’t need to wait for things to be OK around us, It’s always a YOU job! There’s no way around it! And this episode explores exactly why, at the same time asking you to ponder powerful questions. 

Links:

The doors to Ready for Change open on Friday! Do not miss your chance to be part of this transformational experience that lifts the lid on why you’ve been stuck repeating patterns and gives you practical tools to shift yourself at a much deeper level. 

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Prefer to read? Click here for the full transcript

Wow. It is a very, very exciting week as we are running the Feel-Good Now Challenge, wowzer. What amazing energy, what amazing shifts, what amazing women have chosen to join. And I got to tell you, I’m feeling pretty energised by all of the changes that are happening. All of the really, really simple ways that women are finding that they can change how they’re feeling in a moment, in a day, and the ripple effects that this can have. It’s really exciting. And today on the podcast, I want to talk about a quote that really used to trigger me, but in the context of seeing how far I’ve come with this myself, and also seeing what’s possible for women when they connect with a really, really simple idea, just what’s possible. I mean, how much can actually shift for us when we go beyond just reading the instant quotes and seeing it all out there, flicking through it on social media and actually dive a bit deeper.

That’s what I want to do with you today. We’re going to be talking about a quote that used to trigger me, and now how I see that, and what it brings up for women. And I’ll give you a little hint on that. It’s guilt, guilt, guilt, and what we can do about it. Here’s the quote, let me just get straight into it. The quote is, if nothing changes, nothing changes. Oh man, I used to remember hearing that, just thinking, shut up. There’s so much that I can’t change and yeah, nothing’s changing because that person’s not changing or I can’t magic my kids to being 25. I got to live these years. I don’t know. Stop making it feel. That quote used to trigger me in such big ways because all of us have circumstances that we’re living amongst that we can’t change.

Well, we could. I always give that example of, I could adopt out my children if I wanted to, maybe ask a friend to take them, I don’t know, but there’s options. I’m actively choosing to raise my children. Even if I find that the circumstance sometimes limits me in terms of what I can and can’t do. But we’ve all got these circumstances. Maybe there’s a family member that requires extra care and you’re like, I can’t change that. Yeah, fair enough, you can’t. Maybe your business or career took a hit during COVID and you’re really doing it tough financially. That’s a real circumstance. No one should talk you out of that being a real situation for you. Maybe it’s just about having sleepless nights while your kids are little and the extra pressure that puts on your body, on your brain, your physicality, it’s so demanding. That’s a real circumstance. But here is where I’ve gone with this, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

I went through a really, really hard season where I couldn’t wish my former husband to the wellness that he was striving for and I was supporting him with. I couldn’t magic it. I really wanted to magic him okay, and I couldn’t. And so at some point, I started to think, well, if I can’t change that, if that’s in his hands, because it is, it always is, then maybe nothing changes if I don’t change. And I started to think about this. Because what if, even if things weren’t great around us, even if it was a hard season, we could find ways to Feel-Good. This is the whole reason I created the Feel-Good Now Challenge. What if life wasn’t about serving everyone else to the detriment of our own health? Literally. We just go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, and crash. And sometimes our body’s giving us … it’s screaming at us, stop, hang on, I’m not a robot, you can’t keep expecting this from me. Why are you doing this?

We need some rest here or we need to have some fun or something. We need connection with people. We might be off track in terms of what, where, how much we actually have to keep giving out without giving anything back. What if the change that’s required, this quote that’s bandied about if nothing changes, nothing changes, what if it is all about you? What if it was about connecting to joy in simple ways been the answer to navigating difficult seasons with more ease, more happiness? What if it was as simple as that? This is an example of this, I feel like I have been living this experiment the last few years. And really, there was a moment we found out that my former husband had died on … it was a Saturday night in September, and he had passed away overseas in India. I mean, that was hard. And four days later, on the Tuesday, the children and I, I have three children, were meant to be getting on a plane to fly to Bali for their first overseas holiday.

I mean, what was I meant to do there? They had just found out their dad died. I had just found out that my partner of 16 years had died. I mean, it wasn’t pretty, it was awful. It was the worst. But I got us on that plane and I gave us a trip to Bali. It was my 40th while we were there. And what I learned on that trip was that you can be going through a hard season and you can still find ways to Feel-Good. I remember we went to and meet people in Bali. With kids, I took them out to that Waterbom Park, just water slides, water play. And we all had saw jaws from smiling so much that day. We were literally laughing and smiling so much. And a week earlier, their dad had passed away. I mean, you’re probably making judgements about how right or wrong that is and whether you could do that now, but it was a lesson for those children and I that grief and joy can coexist.

That we can let ourselves feel the hard feelings, those really tough, tough, big feelings, and then we could go and really just have the most amazing buffet experience. We stayed in a Club Med because I didn’t want to have to do anything. That whole holiday was meant to be a bit of a break for me, and I thought that sounded like a really good idea. And the kids could go off and learn archery and they could get braids in their hair, which I promised I would never do and yet we did. And all of the things. I experienced it there that it’s still possible. Isn’t that crazy, it’s still possible? And I wonder if we get into these zones. I remember thinking, when Nick and I separated and I was solo parenting the children, and I just kept thinking, whoa, okay, so suddenly I’m here, my children aren’t going to grow up with two parents living at home.

And I had all these stories about that. And I had all these stories because I mean, I held onto my marriage because I loved my husband but also because I had stories about what us not being together would mean for myself, for my children, for him. And part of it for me was, this is going to be really hard work. And I got to tell you, in so many ways, it’s definitely not easy, but I refused to buy into the story that I had to be depleted and run down. I had to do really uncomfortable things like ask for help from people when I really want to do that. And I am speaking from a place of immense privilege. And I know I’m lucky that while the children were young, I had been tinkering away on a blog and learning how to run a business and do things online and sell e-courses and record podcasts and all that sort of thing, because it allowed me to be in a position where I could financially support our family.

And I know I just want to shout out to all the other single parents who don’t find themselves in that position. And I’m just sending you big love, I see you. And it’s not easy in many, many ways. And with that added stress, I just can’t imagine. So I just want to acknowledge that. In fact, just as an aside, I think that sometimes when I share things about this, I never want to make my particular story glamorised or like it is totally easy street. It’s just that I look for ways to take the pressure off myself. I look for ways to not buy into societal expectations about what being from … I mean, it was never a broken marriage, it had just run its course. But for my kids to not have a mom and a dad living together, now for them to also not have their dad alive, I just don’t buy into all of the stories that exist around what that has to mean for them.

I think that we need to constantly question that sort of thing. And so I wonder, have you told yourself a story about where you’re at right now in your life and what that has to mean in terms of feeling good, feeling joy in your days, feeling spacious in your life? I know some of those things might feel really far away for you, but how much of it is just that we just don’t even give ourselves the opportunity to explore it. And that’s truly what the Feel-Good Now Challenge has been about. Because we all go through really hard seasons, tough things happen, life throws curve balls. We’re always navigating new things. And especially if you’re a parent, you’re navigating not only your world, but your children’s as well. It’s the whole thing, to be honest. It’s the whole thing.

And often I think the only thing that can change is how we feel, which really does rely a lot on the thoughts that we think. And it’s why I’m so, so, so passionate to teach what I do inside Ready For Change. And I got to tell you, the doors are opening this week. Yeah, they are. And a lot of what we do is about looking at how these stories, these beliefs that exist mostly at a subconscious level are shaping us without us even knowing it. And the Feel-Good Now Challenge was just a chance to pause and go, hang on, there’s opportunities here, literally every day, for you just to put a little bit of feeling something better in your life. You know what then happens? Because the experiment is working, women are seeing, oh yeah, wow, I could just do that. Oh my gosh, what have I been telling myself all this time?

And suddenly, literally their frequency starts to change. You start to walk a little bit differently. You start to go, whoa, if that’s not true, then what else isn’t in my life? What else have I been telling myself about what’s possible for me that maybe needs a question mark against it? Here’s what happens when that starts to happen, when women start to feel their juices flowing again, they often start to feel guilty. Yep. Your light starts to come back on. For me, it was navigating grief through a lens of, how can I best support myself? How can I feel most okay through this? And absolutely, guilt reared its head, who am I to be okay through this season? I mean, I got to tell you, I mean, a lot of it was very, very not okay. But it was still okay because I was asking myself different questions.

Here’s what happens, even inside the Feel-Good Now Challenge, well, the old, who am I to be happy? I feel so guilty when there’s so much stuff to get done. Literally, the guilt story around rest for women is a conditioned programming that we have to change for our sake and for all of the generations of women coming behind us. Then there’s, well, I should be doing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The shoulds, shoulds, shoulds. Enough with the shoulds. You know what happens? The shoulds end up getting done. All right? They do. You know what doesn’t get done? You taking care of your own needs. Put them on the priority list for a moment and just see what changes. Sometimes we can just feel really bad feeling good when other people aren’t feeling good.

I remember that with my husband, when he was just really not okay, I thought, well, who am I to be vibing? It feels so wrong that I’m feeling amazing about this particular thing I was doing. It was a course I was launching, or it was an interview I’d just done on a podcast and I’d be like, oh my God, this is amazing, I feel so amazing. I would go to mastermind retreats over in the US and I was doing these things, and he was struggling and I was there for him. But I had to be there for me in even bigger ways, and I see this with my children too. I can’t support them in the way I need to if I’m always depleted. It has required a shift. Nothing changes if I don’t change. And I need to ask myself different questions and I need to be looking through a different lens at what’s happening in my life, what patterns I’m repeating, where I’m feeling stuck and what I’m telling myself about that, what the stories are about that.

We honestly … this is the thing with, if nothing changes, nothing changes. We have been conditioned, so many of us, to not honour our needs. It’s actually our default to put ourselves last. And so, nothing changes. Because to focus on ourselves and our own growth, literally just for the sake of it, just because we deserve it, just because we matter, is considered selfish and it induces guilt. Well, how could I invest in that or learn that? I mean, it’s almost winter, the kids need rain coats, something. And I get it. We need to cover off the important things, the life things, I get it. But what if it’s always the way that you’re thinking that you never allow yourself that opportunity? It’s this that we need to change. Really, nothing changes unless I change. And the best way for me to change has been to invest in myself.

And I’m opening up the doors to Ready For Change, first time I’ve done it since October last year. So if you have been thinking about it, now is your time. And when you see the opportunity to join that programme, I want you to consider the question, nothing changes if I don’t change. This is work that can be done no matter what season you’re going through. In fact, it was my hardest season that I started to look at the stories I was telling myself. I started to try to figure out where I was blocking myself in my life without knowing it. I mean, we are the silver bullets we’ve been looking for. It’s just that I never really understood how my brain was working against me to create what I wanted to create. And I love teaching women how to get this and break free from the stories. I do that by walking you through a framework that’s helped hundreds of women.

And what it does, just like the Feel-Good Now Challenge is doing for women, it turns the light on. It helps you see exactly where you have been holding yourself back. And then from there, it completely shifts what you believe is possible for yourself. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Well, nothing changes if you don’t change. And that is what I have felt to be true in my life. And it’s a constant work in progress. It’s a constant lesson in compassion for myself and curiosity about, you’re reacting like this, where’s that coming from? You’re still doing this, why? What’s going on under the surface? Unless you go under the surface, go beyond just reading the quotes and thinking you understand them to actually living it, I mean, that’s where the magic happens. And I have loved and am loving sharing with women in the Feel-Good Now Challenge. Just that you question that story you tell yourself about how good you can feel right now. It requires us just … it’s like plugging back in.

That’s it for me for this week, watch out – the doors to Ready For Change are opening very, very soon. And if you’re listening to this when they are, I mean, you can head straight to lisacorduff.com/ready. It’s an exciting programme, it’s helped so many women, and I would love for it to help you too. So check it out. I’ll see you in the next episode.

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About Lisa

"I’m here to help you break free from the stories holding you back, and create change that sticks"

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