Eileen Tarjan starts off explaining the need to tend to our inner child and why it is difficult for people to bring their whole selves to work. This premise propels her to help people be seen and heard.
Why is that her work? Eileen tells us the decision that changed her life. First, the decision was made for her: she was laid off from her corporate HR position. That night, she had the best night’s sleep! She woke up and realized that she needed do her own thing. She needed to be herself! But really the decision that significantly changed her life was being sober for being 25 years. It is a fact that she didn’t talk about until last year. She was hiding her whole self.
Eileen shares her incredibly personal story on how she became sober after witnessing the murder of her significant other. When she started in HR, she hid that story and became a “corporate” person and created a dual persona. She was unhappy for over 10 years and being laid off was her gift. She now is studying to get her Master’s in Counseling. She is going to help others find themselves and live an authentic life. It is a beautiful story of taking tragedy, examining yourself and making life changes.
Eileen, founder of EMTconnects, is a dynamic human with 20 years of proven success in corporate human resources, talent development and coaching. In 2018, Eileen took some of her own best advice and has since been working independently while pursuing her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (in which she will be graduating December 2021). Eileen works alongside select clients in career and life coaching, training, and mental health counseling settings. She is an experienced facilitator of wellness, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. Eileen will tell you that the most rewarding part of her life is connecting people to possibilities and increased mental wellness. Working with Eileen gives you immediate access to her positive attitude, adventurous spirit, and proven strategies to deliver the results you need.
Connect with Eileen to learn more about her and her background:
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Keri [00:00:12] Welcome to the reCHARGE® Your Life podcast with me, Dr. Keri Ohlrich and Kelly Guenther. We are thrilled to talk to people who have made a decision that reCHARGE® their lives. Often they push themselves out of their comfort zones and took risks. We want to know about that decision point. Why did they make that decision? And most importantly, how can we learn from them? Kelly and I are passionate HR professionals, and together we co-founded our HR consulting firm Abbracci Group. We have talked to amazing people throughout our careers and listened to them as they made decisions that changed their lives and knew that these inspirational stories would help others. And why did we call it reCHARGE®? It's based on a book I coauthored called The Way of the HR Warrior, and in it we have a leadership model CHARGE which stands for courage, humility, accuracy, resiliency, goal oriented and exemplary. We know that people used one or more of these qualities to help them make their decisions, and we want to learn from them. Now sit back, listen and be inspired by these stories, and then do something to reCHARGE® your life. Let's get to it!
Kelly [00:01:17] It. Hi, everyone, it's Kelly. We're so excited to have Eileen Tarjan as our special guest. Eileen, founder of EMT Connects, is a dynamic human with 20 years of proven success in corporate human resources, talent development and coaching. In 2018, Eileen took some of her own best advice and has since been working independently while pursuing her master's in clinical mental health counseling, in which she'll be graduating in December 2021. Eileen works alongside select clients in career and life coaching, training and mental health counseling settings. She's an experienced facilitator, wellness as well as diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Eileen will tell you that the most rewarding part of her life is connecting people to possibilities and increased mental wellness. Working with Eileen gives you immediate access to a positive attitude, adventurous spirit and proven strategies to deliver the results you need. So, Eileen, thank you so much for being with us. We always like to start our podcast by asking, What do you do when you want to push yourself and expand your thinking?
Eileen [00:02:22] I'm so excited to be here, thank you so much. I had to chuckle when I'm reading, you know, was preparing and thinking about what shows do I watch what all these things and I was like, Guys, I'm in grad school. There is no show watching. There's very little podcasting and other than text books, quite honestly, the Bible is really the only book that I consistently read. However, I do push myself, and so I don't want anybody to think that I'm some stagnant person who is so narrowly focused they can't learn and grow and stretch. So I expand my thinking, quite honestly, through listening to my clients, both in the coaching and the counseling settings, because it just really fuels my curiosity. And so every day I can definitely tell you, every day I am following a curiosity, something that has sparked my interest in that human connection that I have with my clients or my personal board of directors. And I'm diving into a variety of sources for research and by research. I don't just mean Google. I mean actual research, though my span of where I push and expand my thinking is pretty, pretty broad. But I would say that it's really about staying curious and listening to other people and hearing about some real lived human experiences and then seeing how I can take that to better help either myself to remove blind spots or to help my clients as they are working to heal and grow and kind of connect with their best potential.
Keri [00:04:02] Hi, Eileen, thank you so much for joining us and congratulations on almost graduating. Thank you for taking time. From what I know is very busy right now because I think you're studying for exams, correct?
Eileen [00:04:14] I do have that big exam coming up.
Keri [00:04:16] Yes. So it's I don't know. And for any of us who have been in grad school, we know that sometimes you just shut down everything else, including, I think I have a stack of books that I swear I'm going to get to. And that was during my dissertation. And that was like 10 years ago, and I still haven't gotten to them. But what? What was one of the things because you were in corporate and then you kind of moved to the mental health and now you have all these textbooks around mental health? What's kind of a couple of things that maybe stood out to you, Eileen, that you said up? Oh man, that explains something. Or that's really interesting. Never thought about it that way from all the classes you've been sitting through.
Eileen [00:04:58] Oh, you know, the first thing that jumps to mind is. There's two things, one is there is such a huge population of people who do not feel seen or heard you were. And in just a conversation this morning talking about how in HR and in that corporate space, that phrase of bring your whole self to work was so common. I said it right a few times here and there until I realized it was really not happening, that people, we would say, bring your whole self, bring your authentic self, all this goodness that we wanted people to bring. But we weren't prepared and we didn't hear and we didn't see people. And over the years and HR seeing the increase in mental illness and covering that people were doing to come into the workplace, the amount of stress and pressures, people not being comfortable to talk about getting a divorce or to say I have a child that's really stressing me out because I don't know how to help them with what they're dealing with at school. Was just gritting against my soul. And now really understanding and learning more about where the root of that is and takes me all the way back to the inner child, right? Go and tend to your inner child if you are like, what are you talking about? Everybody needs to tend to their inner child. Everybody needs to go back and give ourselves what we needed to become whole and to become more fulfilled and to feel heard and seen and be able to tell people when we aren't feeling that. And I think the other part of I would mirror and match up with what I experienced and corporate to what I have been really engrossed in the past couple of years is the amount of insecurity and lack of safety that people feel on a day to day basis in their own bodies, in their own homes and their own workplaces. And it's not just women. We spent so many years and I spent so many years focused on advancing women in the workplace and helping women build their confidence and move up to the top of organizations. And I've been working with far more male leaders and individuals since I left to work on my own, and the secret's out. Men have just as many insecurities as women do. Yeah, and it's fascinating. It's fascinating, and I love it. I love being able to create safe space for people to tend to those insecurities, to feel safe, to be seen and heard. And that's honestly like, I think, what all of us truly desire, whether we're aware of it or not.
Keri [00:07:53] We're just going to end the podcast there. That's it. All right, Mic drop, we're done. Please don't drop your Mic. I think it's going to be really hard to listen to it, but I I cannot tell you how much I love that. And that first the listening and being seen and heard and that to your point, cuts across gender, race, ethnicity. Kelly and I and I know you two, when you talk to employees, they just, for the most part, want to be seen and heard. That's it. That's it. And most of the conflicts come to it. They're not listening to me. They're not paying attention to me. And that that's really it. And to go back to the inner child. One of my favorite psychologists said to me a long time ago, he's like, "Look, most people get stuck at some age of their development, and you can kind of go back and see. I mean, I'm probably stuck at 14. At 15." Yeah. And would you kind of start looking at people like that? You're like, Oh, now I can see how to help you because you're stuck as a senior or you're stuck in college or something, or some of us are stuck at eight years old. I'm looking at you, certain politicians. All right. So but but that work that you do and that insecurity, all of us are insecure. It's not just for women or for just men. It really is. So I really appreciate that you said that. That's why I feel like podcast over. Like if I ever wanted you heal your inner child, listen to it and then deal with your what you're insecure about worlds a better place. So thank you for joining us today. Now, OK. All right.
Eileen [00:09:42] Well, thanks, great, everybody. Go write a letter to your younger self and tell your younger self all the things you wish somebody had given you told you and provided for you, and I'll send you an invoice when you're done.
Keri [00:09:53] Oh, first, for those of us who have been in therapy, you know therapists love that one. Write a note to your inner child. What would you say to this inner child? I mean, it is. It's a therapeutic tool. It's a great one.
Eileen [00:10:09] I got to tell you a funny, real quick. Yeah, last year, when I was working with my therapist to work through some retrigger trauma after the George Floyd murder and all of the sadness that we were experiencing. My therapist said to me, "Wow, really sounds like you didn't feel heard in your family." And I looked at her from way across the room, masked up and I go, "Well, that's some therapist bullshit if I've ever heard it." And she was like, "Well, so am I wrong?" And I go. "I'm the youngest of five. I am the favorite child and daughter, sister, I'm the favorite. Everyone knows and I'm forty five and you can ask anyone in my family. My parents will say it out loud. I promise I'm the loudest. I was the cutest. I was everyone's, how could I have not been heard?" But she was right, damn it.
Keri [00:11:16] Did you ever did you ever say, I'm sorry that wasn't therapist bullshit? Did you ever round loop back to that and apologize?
Eileen [00:11:24] No, but my therapist, she knew me. She knew me. She was for me. She was performing. She was for me. So instead, I said, "OK, I see where you're going with that." You know, good therapist responds and we unpacked a whole bunch of stuff.
Keri [00:11:45] I love you like, I'm the cutest I ever heard me. I was the most favorite. I really hope to run. I would say I would love for your family to to listen to this, but they'll listen to it. Go. Yeah. No, she is the favorite. We all know that. Absolutely.
Eileen [00:12:00] Seriously, I'm still daddy's little girl. I'm still mom's fave. I mean, there's no. Now look, when it comes to favorite aunt. No offense to my family. But offense given is they don't give you a lot of competition. They don't make it hard. So anybody who's listening from the Taj and clan of all sorts? Step it up.
Keri [00:12:18] I cannot wait for this podcast to be launched on your social media because you're active on Instagram, at least, and see all the comments from the family. So I want the family to comment like, no, she's not the favorite. Yeah, she is. We all know. I love that. I love that. I am also the favorite child, but I am an only child. So by default, I have to be the favorite.
Eileen [00:12:41] And I'm not just saying that because I'm on your podcast and I like what you've written and done and the HR community, but you know.
Keri [00:12:47] All right, I'm that. No. Let's go to the main question, sister. All right. What is the decision that she made that changed the trajectory of your life? And what are some of those charged qualities that you use to help you make that decision?
Eileen [00:13:01] Hmm. So again, you're funny because I was like just one, just so right.
Keri [00:13:05] It's hard. It's sometimes really hard to pick just one. And we joked with Eileen earlier, if she has two or three more, we'd be happy to have part twos and part part two and part three. But yes, you only have to pick kind of one right now, my friend.
Eileen [00:13:20] OK. So. It's going to be I'm going to kind of roll a couple of things because they back themselves up. So the first decision that I think in 2018. Wasn't made by me, but definitely changed the trajectory of where I am today and where I'm going and everything that's ahead is I was let go from my position and then PR agency that was going through what we would have called a not so agreeable merger, right? And looking at relationship landscaping and all that good stuff, I was like, I don't want to be here, right? You know that company, you know, you don't want to work for anymore because the closer the top you get, the more, you know, like the Wizard of Oz is here. So. I went that famous call came in from the New York office. It was about eight minutes, maybe maybe 10, letting me know that effective in about forty five minutes, we're no longer going to have you as part of the team. All that logistical stuff happened. Hung up the phone. My other leader says to me, So what are you going to do now? I said, Well, I'm kind of hungry. I think I'm going to get lunch. I was like, I kind of meant like, next I go, Oh, then I'm going to pack up my office and go, the fuck home. And of course, he's all miserable. He's got the achy tummy. He's feeling terrible. I called two people who are part of my personal board of directors, which is a whole 'nother topic. But both of these people first asked me if I'm OK, how am I doing? And the second thing they asked me was, So are you going to do your own thing now? And are you going to stop going to work for other people in their box? Hmm. I was like, Oh. Well, that's an idea I don't really have a thing, I don't know what my thing would be, but anyways, I'm going to pack up and go home. I slept that night the best I slept in over a year. Wow. I slept till 8:30 in the morning. And for everyone who's listening, who works full time, who has to get up, and when's the last time you got to sleep a whole night through till 8:30 in the morning? Yeah, like never. And I woke up and I was like, That's it. I'm going to do my own thing. And I don't know what my thing is. I've had no pre pre game here. I don't have a plan. I don't have any clients, but I'm not going to go back to work for other people because I need to be myself. And from that point on today, right now, I've literally spent the past few years. Shedding the imposter syndrome that I had built up over the years of HR and working in corporate. And it started way back. It's a joke and tell my parents who were top executives in the insurance business. I'm never going to work like you guys. I'm never going to climb the corporate ladder. All your guys are so boring. All you do is work, work, work. I don't want any of that. And they laughed at me for 20 years. Right. But that decision and being able to truly dig in and shed all of that impostor stuff, all of the things that I've been hiding, which is part of where I think the backstory story of that decision kicked back to twenty five years ago where as we talked a little bit about, I recently celebrated my 25th sober bursary, which for those unfamiliar, means I have not had alcohol, any drugs of any kind or substances. And for those who are curious, no alcohol means no wine as well. Wine is no alcohol. I get that question all the time. But you do. Yeah.
Keri [00:17:18] Wow. I wouldn't even. OK, that's interesting. People are like what wines that alcohol make it sure is OK?
Eileen [00:17:25] Somebody asked me the other day, "So would you consider shrooms like something you want to do?" Shrooms? First of all, are you over the age of twenty five and you're talking to me about shrooms? Like, I confused. We still talk about shrooms when we're 50. Right? So no substances. Nothing. And so I did not share that loudly until this year. I didn't post in my professional world. I didn't talk about my sobriety as being sobriety. I just told people, I don't drink. Mm-Hmm. And they'd be like, Oh, that makes sense. You're so fun anyways. And all, you got all that energy. And I was like, Because I don't drink because I'm living a clean life, right? But I didn't talk about it, and I used to sit in my office thinking, I hope people don't like, ask me too much about why I don't drink because of catapult off of a really significant trauma that I experienced when I was 20. So I celebrated my 21st birthday sober right in the summer of ninety six, so away at college I had been. In a swirl, a downward spiral of drinking drugs, all kinds of just unsavory behaviors, and I witnessed the murder of my at the time boyfriend. Hmm. And that was the last time I used. Spent spent the weekend in the hospital with him, he was taken off life support a couple of days after I testified as a key witness for the murder trial and I didn't deal with it at the time. I mean, I came home and I went to a psychiatrist. That was my mother who came and picked me up from college and brought me home safely. But that psychiatrist, I can't tell you what he did for me. Hmm. Can't tell you what we talked about. I can tell you. I was in extreme trauma and shock, but I have no idea what work we did. Now that I'm doing this kind of work, I'm like, What the hell? Yeah, that wasn't helpful. I don't know what it did for me, but sobriety was my only choice because I was only in that position because of the substance use and the behavior and substance use runs in my family. So it was not like a real big surprise right here. Then. When I got back on my feet and started working in HR. I want to make sure nobody would know about that. So bring your whole self to work. Absolutely not. I was like bringing a smidge of it. I was bringing the corporate person that my father used to tell me about growing up, using your personal stuff in the parking lot, on your way in. You pick it up on your way out. There's no personal days or no mental health days. And I I embrace that and have this dual persona. So in the office, that was what I was doing. I was conforming. I would follow the corporate rules. I was, you know, the dress code police as one of my now dearest and best friends was like, Oh, I used to hate Eileen because she like, that's not dress code. The dress code, like, can you imagine that I had employees asking me, would it be appropriate and OK if I wore my hair braided? Wow. In the workplace. Because it was a business conservative. And I meant, yeah, and I was like, I'll have to check on that. What do you mean? I'll have to check on that. Who are you? Do you normally get your hair braided? Is that how you handle your like? So this. I look back and I'm like, why don't ask, why didn't I just immediately say yes? Yeah, because I was conforming and I was hiding to make sure that people didn't see all of that other stuff? Yeah. In the background. But you can only hide that for so long, right? Moist, I felt. And it was probably like halfway through my HR career where I was like, Oh, this is terrible, I feel horrible and sickening to sit in my office hoping people aren't looking me up, and now everybody's going to Google me. But it's like, did my boss look me up in the hiring process? Because that's when I was a big thing, right? Like, recruiters would start looking and saying, Well, I saw them on Facebook or this person did this. Look at what they have on their MySpace, which I'm told I never had a MySpace, but just feeling all the time. That I had to be a certain particular kind of way and not share my story, which. Thank you, Bernie Brown, for talking to us about vulnerability and storytelling and the power of that, because people need to hear your stories, people need to hear my stories. Yes, my story is. Is what makes me the dynamic human that I am and gives me that gift an ability to connect with all humans and give them safe space.
Keri [00:22:45] I mean, that's first of all, thank you for sharing the very personal trauma that you went through. And when you talk about imposter syndrome because I think a lot of people feel that for various reasons, it could be there, they're hiding this, this trauma, they could feel like I'm not confident or qualified for this role. What were some of the ways it manifested for you? Like you said, you kind of started to hate the job or felt sick about it. But what were some of the things that you were living with during this imposter syndrome? Like what? With what were some of the side effects of it?
Eileen [00:23:24] Yeah. There were physical, definite, so physically. I call it my burning chest feeling right where I would be in meetings. Imagine or even small individual conversations with leaders. And hearing what I quite honestly, a lot of times was like bullshit coming out of their mouths and it was. It was a period where I realized people are asking you to do things that felt. Unethical, which maybe they weren't always, but they grit against my values, they grit against my moral compass, they grit against what I believe is choosing right over wrong. I have so, so physically I could feel the burn and that's like that. You know, some people say, I hate when I get mad because I always cry. Well, sure, because you haven't learned how to process the emotion through the tunnel yet, right? So my emotion and my anger and my disgust. Would be burning me inside literally, and then my face would start burning. And I have very, very strong non-verbal communication.
Keri [00:24:53] Mm-Hmm.
Eileen [00:24:54] Like it was in my performance reviews, I mean, there's a tendency to roll her entire face when people come to her office and disturb her. I'm like, Yeah, they see, I'm on the phone. Why are they standing in my doorway waiting? I could say it's confidential. Go away. Right? Set up an appointment. Of course I roll. My whole face will be great. If she could work on that. OK, I'll work on it. I'll work on it again next year. So my nonverbals would start talking very loudly. Yeah, there were definitely some. There's some relationship damage along the way that I look back and I probably couldn't even tell you what their names are. So kind of been too much damage or a value, but emotionally, you know, I couldn't sleep or mention I slept the best night. I slept in a year when I got let go from that company because every day I would go into the office and I'd be sick in my stomach, I'd have disruptive sleep. I could always eat. So eating has never been a problem for me, I always eat. I never lose my appetite. But it also became a harder and harder when people would come to me as a place to help them unpack what was their experience and my office in the workplace. And for me to. Toe the line anymore, I couldn't do it. And I found over the years becoming so much more honest with people, and that felt good. Mm hmm. And bullshitting didn't.
Keri [00:26:36] Yeah, what what do you think would have happened if they didn't lay you off in 2018? What if they promoted you? Like, what do you think you were getting to the point of? You were just going to leave because you were feeling like you were becoming more free. You were saying things, maybe that you were feeling the burn even more and more like, what would you have done if they didn't let you off in 2018?
Eileen [00:26:58] Yeah, what a great idea, right? If I had stayed there and I wanted out for a good 10 years,
Keri [00:27:05] OK, 10 years, Eileen. 10 years.
Eileen [00:27:09] And I was thinking about the courage and the hard framework like crack up because I was not everyone's best friend. Right? And I quite often don't take the easy way out, and I absolutely went toe to toe with leadership right now. I will say there are definitely examples of times when I didn't do that with much savvy. OK, so going toe to toe with leadership, I may maybe one time told our CEO that she should fire my boss because I don't think she was good for our brand.
Keri [00:27:43] Mm hmm.
Eileen [00:27:44] That could be a pretty career limiting.
Keri [00:27:46] It sure can. That conversation was courageous and slightly nuts. Oh, I know it's like, is is is there very close or two sides of the same coin as people say, right? Yeah. You have to be a little like really pushing the boundaries here.
Eileen [00:28:04] Yeah. Yeah. But I got better at it and I will and. As much as I wanted out and I knew there was more that I was supposed to do than just than just work in corporate, I couldn't figure out the path. So OK, going from corporate HR progressive career and lifestyle. To working in mental health. Gosh, I couldn't see it. How do I go to school full time, I travel for work. I do all these things when I get the money, all that stuff. But I went from six figure income to zero. Then your income overnight. And it was the best night of my sleep or best night of sleep. Right. That's been incredible. So I have. This is the happiest season of my adult life. Oh, dropping that six figure income. To get real with myself and to get to the real of work that I do feel like, I'm working to be able to help other people to learn how to have courage in a good way. Yeah, I like don't show up how I did when I was being an asshole in my earlier years, right? Like, I got fired early in my career and I tell people, don't be scared to get fired because it's a really good experience.
Keri [00:29:26] Yeah, it is.
Eileen [00:29:27] It's a relationship breakup, right? So it literally like, I cried. I remember being in my car crying and I knew I was going to get fired because I was a real ass. Right? I was like, again, telling the bosses, This is unethical and I'm not going to do that work. But can you imagine like I try to think, what am I followed that instinct of? This doesn't feel right to me. I'm not going to do the work that was like in the first five years of my career that I did that. Mm-Hmm. But I didn't feel I didn't have the right balance of courage at the time, so right now the courage for me to say after again that one night I'm not going to go apply for jobs, I'm not going to alert my network right with your network is your net worth so I can help you raise your hand. I didn't start telling people I was let go and I'm looking for a new opportunity. I didn't dust off my resume. I didn't start hitting the apply button. I didn't reach out to executive search people that I knew. I sat my ass quietly and figured it out.
Keri [00:30:34] Wow. I I love it's kind of like you had this build up of courage in a way for you. Like, you had a courage for other people, meaning this not right. This is unethical. You should fire this person sacked the brand, but the courage internally for you to step out and go do something that's better for your soul. That took a shape, a shakeup for someone else to kind of intervene and then but that was a quick turnaround. Just one day you're like, and we're done.
Eileen [00:31:06] Well because I'm resilient, because I'm resilient. Don't forget, I also think about the resiliency factor, you know, like, I've always been resilient. I mean, personally, but you're right. I like. And like when you said about I, I have always had courage for the other. Yes, for the people. And I would speak up like I've always been an ally and an advocate, actively so in. In the workplace, I couldn't just let somebody be mistreated. I couldn't just let somebody show up to the office knowing they'd been drinking half the morning and somebody say, Well, as long as he just let me see just what takes his ass home, what are you talking about? He cannot stay here and just be in his office. No, no, no. Right. So but. Again, because I was spending, I think, so long trying to make sure that parts of me didn't show up or become apparent to other people. Do you know how very few friends I had in the workplace? Not because people don't like me, but because I had to really evaluate and assess what kind of trust and responsibility people could have in a friendship with me if we were socializing on a weekend and then come back to work on Monday. Yeah. And like, how awkward is this, Harry, that I would have these friends at work that weren't in HR and I'd be like, So listen, I just want to let you know I'm totally cool just trying to have a friendship. But like, we can't bring our weekend stuff back to the office and talk about it, but we're here, right? So like, if I'm dancing on a pool table sober, by the way? Right. I don't want to hear about it on Tuesday when I see you in the hall. And also, if like, there's a problem at work and I have to fire you, I'm always going to choose my job over you. Yeah. Like, what is that?
Keri [00:32:57] That's what I was just thinking so much energy that you that that went to that winter protecting yourself went to those conversations, went to the imposter syndrome that now no wonder you totally have time to work and get it and get your degree now because you've released all this energy that was focused on maintaining some negative crap for you. And now it's like, Oh, well, now I can do all these other wonderful things. And so. So what advice? Because you have been through it? What advice do you have for people when they're at these? Because lots of us get laid off? And I will say every time I've either I've been laid off or or I'm dealing with someone laid off and they seem sad. I'm like, Trust me in six months, you're going to look back and say, this is one of the best things that happened to me. Yeah. For many of us, if you, if you, if you use the word pivot. But sometimes it really is. It's a blessing in disguise. So what are some of the advice pieces of advice you have for other people?
Eileen [00:33:57] Well, let me reinforce the message of six months from now. You're going to see that this was one of the best things that ever happened to you. Yeah, I am a firm believer that every single thing that happens has purpose and is intentional. Mm hmm. Period. Everything I have gone through, all the experiences I've had and I've been gifted to have. Have created me to be the exact human that I am right now. Mm-Hmm. As true for everybody. Right. So we can't control what happens around us. We can't. It's out of our control. We can't control if we're going to get let go because the company had to reduce head count. We can't control the weather, all kinds of things we get to control individually. I get to control how I respond to the experiences I am gifted with. So just sitting on that mindset will help people, right? Yes. But when I thought about like, what do I, what would I tell people to do? What are some things you can realistically do? So one of them is, I say to people, if you're not happy with the work you're doing or there's something in your life that just drags you down or you're just have this little bit of like a curiosity. I wonder if or I'm always thinking, I can't do something, but what if I could? I wonder what that would look like. Go find out. Raise your hand. Ask somebody to help you. Yeah, I work and I put work in air quotes. Y'all can't see me, but I work well. I work in coaching people and in the therapeutic setting, right? Raise your hand and get help. There are, to me, unlimited possibilities now. I'm certainly not going to pump your head up and lie to you. And if you come and ask me, like, Hey, I mean, I've been thinking I could go play for the WNBA, right?
Keri [00:36:03] Use that example. Do I lead? So it was going to tell me, Girl, you're five three on a good day. You're not going to get that WNBA. But you
Eileen [00:36:11] know what? Yes, you could. Maybe you could be their performance coach.
Keri [00:36:15] I could. That's where I am and adjacent to the players. Yes.
Eileen [00:36:21] So I like to help people limit their mindset. But I love that, right? Limit your mindset and ask for help, which is also the thing that is so hard and scary. And there's shame behind it is fear. There's embarrassment. There's so much doubt in asking for help. But humility is such a gift, and I've had to embrace that, too, I have no problem anymore raising my hand and asking questions because I want to stay curious. And it just happened this week. I will say we all sob because I always say things last. So as much as I'm on Instagram, I see things last. But Mikayla call with her speech when she won her award the other night. Yes. God, yeah. I had to write this down because if I were like, Honestly, if you say, Oh, sum this all up, which you didn't, but I'm going to. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Carrie, for asking me that question. And thank you, Michaela Coel, for having the answer. And the answer is this part of her speech? It's right. The tail that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain. That isn't comfortable. I dare you. Yes, that is all day. Every day. If I have a global megaphone, I tell people, Come over here, I will hold you in a safe space so you can do that. You can talk about cry about. Right about. Unpack and relieve yourself of the tales that scare you. The things that you're uncertain about and get you back to a place of comfort, but only temporarily because we really grow when we're uncomfortable. Yep, but that's what I do for people now what I want people to come into.
Keri [00:38:25] I, first of all, we've had so many Mike drop moments with you already because you've been there, but I always want to get Kelly's thoughts on it, and I think that asking for help and having all that shame associated with asking for help. Kelly and I talk about this a lot. I know I grew up with it where like, you didn't ask for help because then you're not very smart. And I remember meeting one of the smartest people I ever met. I knew, and she always asked questions, and I was like, What? She's asking questions. Well, why is she doing this? She's really smart. And then I'm like, What the hell is my like? Well, it was such it was such a mind shift change. And then when I got my Ph.D., I would listen to these ideas present, and I use this example all the time. They they're constantly getting questions. They go, Huh? I don't know that I'll probably have to look into that if anyone is going to be cocky. It would be someone who got it. You wrote a dissertation on it. And but yet so many of them are like, I have no idea. And like, you were some of the smartest people I've ever met who do all this research all day. And they're like, Great question. I don't know. And they're so curious. And if you're not raised to be curious and just there's so much shame to that. I know Kelly and I joke about our German backgrounds more often because you should know it. There's a lot of shedding your culture that Kelly died. But Kel, I am sure you want to say something about the shoulding.
Kelly [00:39:54] Well, I mean, what stands out to me the most, Eileen in your story is just how incredibly vulnerable you are, no one. So thank you for being so authentic and real. But I think that there's a lot of people who are in that who have been in our in that same boat right now or who have to struggle with being in their own skin as it were. So when you talked about, you know, dropping your six figure income, getting a real with yourself, what was that first step you took? Because maybe it's the first step that someone's maybe not even sure what to do in that moment that could really help them. So what what is your recommendation?
Eileen [00:40:34] Well, I filed unemployment.
Kelly [00:40:36] Well, there you go. So I have a very practical level. Yes, there's that for sure.
Eileen [00:40:40] First thing's first file for the unemployment. That's like a real thing, though honestly, people are wait, they're like, Well, it says it waits and it's not file it always file the unemployment. But then what I did for myself to help figure out what that thing and that next step was going to be is I raised my hand to a few women who I had seen. Go their own way, start their own work space. And I ask them for a little bit of time to chat and chew things. There's three things that that that were said to me that really resonated. The first was just sit and be still. I was like, No, I don't have any work like, I sit still. How am I going to start a business, sit and figure out what that is? This is your only chance, so I sat quietly for a while, and the other was just because you can do the work doesn't mean you have to. And that was part of the evolution that I've walked and worked through. And yes, I too have a therapist. Everyone needs a therapist and don't go to therapists who don't have therapists. But I. There was work that I was able to do, and I can specifically recall taking a contract with a company in the one of the on site, and I physically got sick to my stomach being in their office after a short time and I was like, I can't keep doing this work because the culture here doesn't work for me. So I think sitting people need to sit, but then also identify people that you can comfortably open up to. And I know I'm a stranger to probably almost anybody who's going to be listening to this, but I can be that person. And I'm literally I'm magical with strangers. I'm just going to say it's a magical.
Kelly [00:42:41] Well, I mean, again, it just. It goes it speaks to that idea that if you're not uncomfortable, you're not growing, if you're not trying new things or taking a step outside of what is, your "comfort zone", you're doing yourself a disservice. First and foremost and really putting in an investment in kind of reacquainting yourself with who you are. Because with experience, as you mentioned, if you don't take advantage of the experiences that you're given and make decisions to change behavior, do something different in life, you're not necessarily paying homage to the experience that you endured is sort of the lesson I've gotten out of out of what you shared. And I think I feel so much more. I mean, I knew you bit before our our conversation today, but I feel like I know you so much better. And for those of you who are interested in connecting with Eileen, please check out the show notes for more of her information. Again, thank you, Eileen. So much for opening up to us sharing your very powerful and poignant story and for giving us incredible tips that we can take for ourselves to become more familiar and true to ourselves as individuals. Thank you so much.
Eileen [00:43:57] Well, thank you both for having me. I love I love how we came to get to know each other and can continue to get to know each other more and differently and deeply. And yeah, I'll totally come back for another episode if you'll have me.
Kelly [00:44:11] We would love to have you, Eileen. We would love to have you.
Eileen [00:44:14] Thank you again. Thank you.
Kelly [00:44:19] Thank you for listening to the reCHARGE® Your Life podcast. Please sign up for our newsletter at Abbracci Group.com and follow us on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn at Abbracci Group. Instagram at WarriorsofHR and Twitter at Warriors_HR. Remember to subscribe to our podcast, leave a review and please tell a friend and be sure to drop us a note on how you are recharging your life. We can't wait to hear from you.