MGU 189 | Living In An RV

The world we live in today is so focused on success, materialism, and personal disputes that there is almost no space to breathe and actually grow. Luckily for success coach Christine Roberts, her experience living in an RV gave her a brand new perspective in life that changed her as a person. Sitting down with Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen, she narrates how she attained healing from her childhood trauma by traveling across the country and creating stories with strangers, which made her realize the power of forgiveness and attain self-awareness. Christine also shares the experiences of bringing her children with her on RV trips, allowing her to impart to them the attitude of finding gratitude in all things and not wanting more than you should have.

Listen to the podcast here:

Christine Roberts On How Living In An RV Led To A Life Of Gratitude And Self-Worth

We were having some offline banter in exchange with our guest, Christine Roberts, and we were talking about how she’s been reading the podcast and she feels like she knows myself and Whitney already. That was such a warm, lovely introduction. For the first time, in all of our episodes, Christine’s the first guest who admitted that she was feeling nervous. It’s interesting because that immediately put me at ease knowing about your nervousness, Christine.

Oftentimes, when we are in a position that we’re in of being coaches or thought leaders, or influencer is a term that gets thrown around or someone I suppose in the wellness or transformational industry. There’s sometimes this feeling of pressure that we have to put this game face on and we have to be confident all the time. We have to show up, knock it out of the park, and be ten X-ing everything like, “I’m awesome.” Everything has to be on fire constantly. I felt even deep connected to you, even though we’re talking for the first time. We’re having this new conversation.

First of all, I want to commend you for that level of openness and vulnerability, even though that’s a buzzword. I genuinely felt I liked Christine. The fact that you went right there like, “I’m feeling a little nervous to talk to you,” is such a human real moment. I suppose I want to start there with you in this conversation with Whitney and myself. I feel like there is this incredible amount of pressure for someone who is an online content creator to put on airs, so to speak, and have this presentation of being an expert or a guru. They’ve always got it together. For you, already filling into your work and researching you, you come at it from a real openhearted perspective.

MGU 189 | Living In An RV

Living In An RV: When you’re vulnerable like an open book, you allow other people to divulge your challenges and hopefully inspire them to face the same.

 

Thank you. I completely agree with you. I struggle with that whole idea of having it together all the time because I feel like I have it together a lot of the time, but not all the time. Those times that we feel like we don’t have it together, it is scary to be vulnerable and admit to it. For me, I’ve been in a funk. My husband and I had tested positive for COVID on December 28, 2020, so I’ve come through that. I’m still not feeling 100% well. I still have a nasally voice and my head’s still plugged up. I’m such a type A where at the beginning of the year, I’m doing my goals, reflecting on 2019, and what am I going to accomplish.

Everything’s been derailed because of getting sick and it has been tough. The other thing, too, is from a vulnerability standpoint, if you checked out my website, I grew up in a dysfunctional environment with alcoholism, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. I’ve gone through such a journey in my life of forgiveness and facing so many of those demons. I’m thankful. I feel so good in my skin of who I am, but I feel like I want to be an open book to other people.

For any readers out there that have things that you have shame about or there’s that whole not-worthy, when we face it head-on, it is so liberating. I’ve learned from going through all this journey of forgiveness with so many different things and facing it as hard as it is. That when you’re vulnerable and you’re just an open book, it allows other people to divulge those things, too, and to face those things hopefully inspire them to face difficulties.

You hit on two things that we cover consistently here. Whitney and I are focused on the psychological and emotional ramifications of shame and not-enoughness. Those are two subjects that I feel come up often for us because they seem to be pervasive with humanity, guilt, and shame. I like to call characterize them. Whitney and I have discussed how these things feel somatically in our bodies of not just the intellectualization of shame or guilt or not-enoughness. We have a thought form in our head of, “I feel like crap. I’m a loser. I’m a failure. I shouldn’t have done that. I ought not to have done that.”

We get into our bodies and we start to feel that when we talk about something like shame or not-enoughness, I feel like there are parts of the body where those emotions manifest. It’s interesting to say when I’m feeling shame and feeling like I’m not enough, “Not just as a thought-form, but where’s it showing up in my body?” I’m curious about your healing work and I also want to dig into your past because we have some similarities in that regard in the forgiveness work. When we’re talking about shame, guilt, and not-enoughness and we’re feeling it in ourselves and our bodies, A, if this is something that you relate to and B, how we get it beyond just thought but start to address it on a somatic or cellular level when we feel those emotions in our bodies.

It's not that what happened was okay. It's deciding that you can't control it. Click To Tweet

I’ve done so much work with all of those different things. A number of years ago, I’ve learned all these different forgiveness techniques and so forth, but one of the things that impacted me was this whole idea of letting your feelings flow through you. For me, I was used to it growing up. There would be comments like, “You better stop crying or I’m going to give you something to cry about.” You learn to squelch your feelings and you shouldn’t feel that way. My parents did the best they could, so this isn’t about bashing them on anything.

As I’ve learned more about my parents and their upbringing, why they are the way they are, and all that, there’s all that forgiveness for a lot of these things that happened. I’m from the Northeast. My friends were Tammy Felino, Kim, Mike Evangelo, Dominic Memalidi, and so on. I remember being nineteen and I was dating a guy named Sail I was upset and he asked me what’s wrong. I could not articulate what was wrong. Humans are so interesting. Being a student of myself and trying to learn about myself has helped me so much in helping other people.

Feeling this feeling of I could not explain what was wrong with me because I had zero understanding of my feelings. As I got older, I learned how to ask myself questions like, “What is it that’s bothering me? When did I start feeling that certain way? What happened?” We all have the same fundamental emotional needs. I’ve traveled to South America, Asia, and Europe. I’ve traveled for my jobs and met people in all different countries that spoke different languages. It’s interesting because people are people. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what nationality you are. We all have the same fundamental needs.

For me, I figured out how to dig down, what’s wrong and articulate my own feelings. The second thing with the shame and all of the guilt, it’s giving myself permission to feel the way I feel and letting those feelings flow through me. One thing that I do if anyone were driving near me sometimes is, I’ll go drive somewhere. It’s not like I do this all the time, but when there have been different things that bother me, I’ll be driving and have a temper tantrum. I try to do it when I’m not in traffic or anything. I start talking out what it is that’s upsetting me and allowing myself to get into the emotions and let it flow through me.

I remember watching a video of a lady and she helped people who have terminal diseases and all these different things. Her whole thing was helping them feel their feelings, let them flow through them, and get them out of your body. All of these things manifest inside of us. We’re made up of cells and energy. When we have all this stuff going on inside of us, there are things that are happening in our bodies. That’s one of the things that’s worked for me. I either journal it out, write out a stream of thought, say it out loud, and get it out. That’s one technique.

I love that you shared this because prototypically, not necessarily across the board, someone who identifies as a man, I have struggled in my life. We’ve talked about this on the show in previous episodes, where I’ve always been an incredibly emotional, sensitive, receptive person. Typically, a lot of people might regard sensitivity or having a high EQ or being a receptive person as more maybe prototypically feminine qualities energetically speaking. For me, it’s been interesting to observe that men and women in the world, especially in our society, are subjugated, oppressed, and conditioned in different ways, but similar ways.

For me, one thing that I always struggled with, and I still do in going to therapy and discussing my emotions, is this idea that you alluded to in your childhood of like, “What are you crying about? I’ll give you something to cry about.” This mentality of, “You need to be tough. You need to have your walls up. You need to be on the defense all the time. If you feel threatened, you need to attack people.” For myself, as a man in America, feeling this prototypical conditioning of be aggressive and dominant. Own the room. You need to be this alpha thing if you’re going to succeed in life.

I still feel that pressure because of certain colleagues or associates in the industry that I see them succeed and they’re very much in that alpha role of, “I know what’s correct and I know what the right thing is. You ought to listen to me. I’ve made all this money and done all these great things.” It’s one of these things where the individual journey requires a lot of courage, especially if we notice throughout our lives, we have trauma, conditioning, and programming. I suppose this is a macro level addendum to your answer, Christine, but when we start identifying that we have trauma, programming, conditioning, we build the self-awareness to look at it and go, “I have a lot that I need to work on.”

I feel like some people gain this awareness of their trauma, conditioning, and things that might be holding them back in life. They say, “That’s too scary. It’s too much work. I don’t want to deal with it.” I’ve seen people make that choice. Other people might make a different choice where they say, “This is frightening. This is probably going to be a lot of work for many years, but I don’t want to stay stuck here.” What do you think is the difference between someone who chooses to stay there because it’s too scary, too daunting, and all those may be reasons or excuses versus someone who says, “This is terrifying. It’s the unknown. It’s the proverbial dark cave in the middle of the forest, but I’m going to go in there, see what’s there and work on myself.”

MGU 189 | Living In An RV

Living In An RV: When you start seeing patterns of behavior, that’s not healthy. It’s a matter of digging down deeper within yourself.

 

I’ve thought about that myself like, “Why is it some people choose one way of looking at things and some people choose to not do anything?” I don’t know if that’s how we’re wired. When I was ten years old, we lived in a house that had been built in 1810. It had been vacant for a while. When my parents bought it, it was a broken-down house with junk cars in the past year. It was a place that I remember I was ashamed of. I didn’t want anybody coming over to my house. I was sweeping the sidewalk and my dad pulled in his Dodge Rambler with a case of beer. He was going to go down in the barn and I knew what was going to happen. He’s going to get drunk and start a fight with my mom. My mom was driving off to bingo to get away from him. It was just me and my two brothers.

It’s interesting because I was ten years old saying, “This will not be my life.” It’s crazy how I remember that so vividly and thinking to myself, “This is so screwed up. I need to make sure to handle this stuff when I get older.” I remember going to adult-children of alcoholics’ meetings. A friend of mine moved to Atlanta when we were in our early twenties and I came to visit her. I just got a job selling copiers, paper shredders, and fax machines. I didn’t go to college and I ended up getting an MBA. I was the first person to be accepted into Georgia State University’s Executive MBA with no undergrad, which is a whole another story.

At the time, my parents divorced and I didn’t go to college. I remember being devastated because I wanted to go to college. I applied to colleges, but my parents were caught up in their drama. No one had gone to college, so nobody thought it was important. I drove to Georgia in my little Nissan Sentra. I came here to visit my girlfriend. Their family had moved here and we stayed in touch. I was going to train in New Jersey for this copier company and my girlfriend was like, “You need to move to Georgia.” I was like, “Yeah, I do.” I packed up my little Nissan Sentra with no air conditioning coming to Hotlanta and I rented a room from my girlfriend’s sister. I sold copiers during the day and worked at a clothing store at night, and then I cleaned my girlfriend’s parents’ house every other week.

I was on a mission from God. I had nobody to send me money and nobody to help me. At a point, I had been homeless up in Rochester where I lived out of my car for about six months. My girlfriend’s mom would let me sleep at their house, but all my stuff was in my car. I was determined. When I came here, I started being in sales. The company had all these opportunities with personal development, so I got immersed in my early twenties into the psychology of winning and Tony Robbins, Dr. Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, and Brian Tracy, I would spend my money on listening to these things while I drove around.

Whenever you forgive, the peace that you feel is incredible. Click To Tweet

First of all, I want to comment that your level of storytelling is so wonderful, Christine because of the details. I know that this is maybe a little bit of an aside in the middle of the conversation, but you’re talking about being in a Nissan Sentra with no air conditioning driving to Atlanta. I love the details you infuse in all of your stories you’ve said so far aside. I want to acknowledge that because it feels like it draws me in even deeper. As you’re diving into all this personal development, Whitney and I are much on this train. We’ve gone to so many conferences, seminars, and retreats with different leaders and people like Brendon Burchard. We have read so many of Tony’s books over the years.

It sounds like we’re in similar worlds. One thing that we’ve come up against is following formulas. It seems like when we are actively working on growing, transforming, healing our trauma, and the things that we’re talking about, it can be easy to want to follow someone’s formula and say, “Do these ten steps. Do these five steps. Try these things.” Inevitably, what we found over and over again is that the exact formulas that certain people put out there don’t exactly work, at least for us the way that we expected them to.

It’s this curious thing as we go down this journey of reading books, doing coaching, taking weekend workshops, and all these things. Bruce Lee has this great quote, “Study things and you’re a student of life. You take what works and you leave the rest.” Some people we’ve noticed are so aligned with like, “This is the thing we’ve done and these are the ten steps you need to do.” Oftentimes, we find that we’re making it up as we go that maybe we are the ones responsible for creating our own life path and we can’t exactly mirror someone else’s.

It’s been years. I’ve read so many things. Some of my books are Mindset by Dr. Dweck, Psycho-Cybernetics, and Molecules Of Emotion. I’m Christian so I read Bible stuff. What I’ve realized is that so many things out there, it’s a lot of the same stuff but it’s got different labels. There are a lot of things that for each person, you have to figure out what resonates for you and apply those things. Different things speak to different people. There are many methodologies, different programs, and all that. It can be overwhelming because I’m into all of that stuff. I try to figure out what works for me and what speaks to me.

We gravitate and magnetize toward people, philosophies, and perspectives that light us up hopefully. They ignite something in our souls. I want to go back to this idea of forgiveness before we move on too far from it because this is something that is extremely challenging. It’s challenging for me, certainly. It’s interesting because I had a person that came up in my mind that I thought that I was complete with them, so to speak. I realized that there were some interesting layers of judgment and resentment that came up out of nowhere.

I hadn’t felt those feelings around this person in a long time and it was surprising, “Look at that. There’s still resentment, anger, and judgment toward this person. I thought we dealt with that.” In your philosophy and in what you’ve done, Christine, with your forgiveness, and going back to talking about your family history and some of the trauma and situations you experienced there, I would love to know more details about that journey for you. Exactly how you tackled, even starting to try and forgive. To piggyback on my experience, if there have been any moments where you’re like, “I’ve let that go. I’ve forgiven them. I’ve released them. We’re cool,” and then maybe a few years later, you’re like, “I have so much anger toward them. I didn’t know it was still there.”

MGU 189 | Living In An RV

Living In An RV: In life, there’s this tension between contentment and achievement. Everyone wants to grow, learn, and be better.

 

For example with my father, he was an alcoholic and he would be verbally abusive. He says mean stuff when he was drunk. There was a point when I moved to Georgia and I started going to adult children of alcoholics meetings. Those meetings helped me a little bit, but then I discovered that a lot of people would be blaming their parents for everything. I was like, “I’m an adult now. I don’t want to blame my parents, but I want to address things, face them, and move on.” I went to a three-day event called The Landmark Forum. I don’t know if you ever heard of that. It was this intense personal development event for three days.

The premise was that everything in life is empty and meaningless. I remember thinking, “What did I get myself into?” Ultimately, it’s so true. Everything is an event. You, Whitney, and I could go to a party and the same events happen. Whitney might think it was awesome. You might think, “It was good.” I could think it’s terrible. We all have our perceptions of something. One of the things that were interesting is, I had been estranged from my dad at that point because every time I talked to him, he would be drunk and he would say mean stuff. After a while, it’s like, “It’s best for me not to talk to him.”

He got assaulted in a bar and somebody took a crowbar to his head. He ended up being in the hospital for several months and ended up getting detoxed over that. I ended up getting in touch with him. I’m at this forum event and they said, “They want you to face something. You need to go ask for forgiveness or you need to complete the relationship with your parents.” I had not talked to my dad in a long time. I went and I called him. I said, “I want to fly you to Atlanta. I want you to know who I am and what I’ve accomplished. I want to talk to you.” It was so scary because I had not talked to him in years. He says, “Yeah, sure.” He was destitute and didn’t own anything. I flew him down.

What was interesting is talking to him as an adult and asking him questions, I realized he was so different than what I remembered because my perceptions of him were the perceptions of a sixteen-year-old girl. I was 26 at that point and I decided to forgive him. I told him what issues I had with him and he said he was sorry. It was cool because if I hadn’t faced that, I’m sure I would still have a lot of issues. He ended up dying at 58 of a heart attack. I’m thankful that I handled that situation. One of the things that I thought was cool in this seminar was they talked about completing the relationship, which you used that terminology, Jason, so you probably are familiar with this. It’s not that you are holding hands skipping down the lane. It’s just that you’re at peace with that relationship however it may be.

With the sexual abuse, that was something that I suppressed for years and I had tremendous shame around that because I was a little kid. I was 4 and 5 years old. It was a family member that did things to me quite a few times and I never told anybody. Even though as an adult, intellectually, I knew it wasn’t my fault, there’s some weird thing when you’ve been sexually abused. I finally told my mom and she luckily responded the way that I needed in a supportive way. I did some counseling and faced it. I felt like I forgave.

We live in such a fear-based culture that people are scared of almost everything. Click To Tweet

Any readers out there, when you think about forgiveness, it’s not that what happened was okay or you condone what happened. It’s deciding that you can’t control it. For me, as a Christian, I’m giving it up to the Lord because there’s nothing I can do. It’s forgiving for me because there’s that saying, “Hanging on to bitterness and anger is like swallowing a poison pill and expecting the other person to die.” Whenever I’ve forgiven, the peace that you feel is incredible. I felt like I had handled that situation. When my daughter was five years old, that’s the age I was when the sexual abuse happened, and all of a sudden, it came back up.

I went to a retreat and I did a whole ritual to forgive again. It is a layering that you can have something that you think you’ve handled and then something triggers another level. That’s definitely not unusual. I know for myself, I felt good like, “I’ve dealt with this. I’m ready to move on,” and then it came up again. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll come up again. It’s deeper levels and trying to face it every time. It’s almost like I have to do some ritual. I went to a retreat and these women came in. They asked me to share what happened and the worst memory I had. It’s like a cleansing. For me, I feel like I have to do something like a ritual to forgive.

It’s interesting to witness both of you talk about this because I’m sitting here reflecting on what forgiveness I might have to do. The first thing that comes up for me is, “I can’t think of anything.” I’m sure it’s there, but it doesn’t immediately come to mind. With Jason’s story about him realizing this, maybe sometimes it comes up for us when we’re not looking for it, for example. I wonder, A, am I suppressing it? Is it just that I’m thinking that I’ve forgiven someone when I haven’t? That’s one question.

B, I’m wondering, do I forgive too quickly in a way? I often identify as a people pleaser and I don’t like carrying around intense emotions towards other people. I try to move through them quickly as a coping mechanism and it’s like, “You’re forgiven.” Maybe it’s buried deep down that they haven’t been forgiven, but because it’s so deep, it doesn’t come to the surface easily. Consciously, I can’t even think of an example.

Maybe you’re good. To me, it’s when there are things happening in your life that are causing problems. Maybe it’s relationships. Maybe there are challenges in a relationship and you keep falling into the same patterns or certain situations happen and it causes you to have angst, and stress. One of the things that I think about is I’ve been a workaholic in my life and I’ve had to work hard to stop doing that. When you start seeing patterns of behavior that’s not healthy. To me, that’s when it’s a matter of digging down deeper.

It is possible for people to have it. I have a friend and we tell our stories. She’s like, “Life? I had the best childhood. My parents love me so unconditionally and told me that I could do anything.” She’s got great relationships with everybody. It depends on the person. If you feel happy and healthy, and you don’t have any major things that you have to forgive for, who knows.

MGU 189 | Living In An RV

Living In An RV: Financial abundance is more about freedom and being able to give to other people a leg up and do good.

 

One thing you brought up, Christine was being a workaholic, which I feel like I can identify with and one of the things that Whitney and I discuss a lot, not just here on the show, but offline as friends and people that have known one another for a long time is I feel it’s this interesting cocktail. This amalgam of setting the bar high for ourselves, having expectations of who we think we ought to be, or perhaps family pressures or pressures of society. For me, one of the things that I’ve needed to be extremely mindful of in working myself literally to exhaustion.

There have been a few health challenges that I’ve had over the years that I know that pushing myself overworking myself because that’s what everyone told me to do, “If you think you know your limits, you can push past those limits. Push past your limits. You don’t even know what your limits are.” I was aligning with this philosophy of, I suppose what we would call the hustle culture of trying to outwork each other, and he or she who works the hardest wins. There’s this proverbial gold medal we will be bestowed with by outworking everyone.

We hear these heroic stories of people like Tony, Will Smith, or Olympic athletes saying, “I might not be the most talented but I will outwork everyone in the room. Everyone else is literally dropping to their knees and I’ll keep going.” That mentality, I have experienced success through that mentality but I personally have also experienced overwhelm burnout, anxiety, and depression. The needle has swung in the opposite direction with it too. I noticed that your motto is, “Do less, be more.”

When I hear that, there’s a part of me that’s like, “That feels so good. I feel I’m going to go to Tahiti. I’m going to chill. I’m going to do less and be more here with my coconut in my hammock.” There’s that other part of me, because of the mentality of I feel I need to be the hardest worker in the room and I grew up in a blue-collar family in Detroit. We had a lot of economic struggles growing up. There was that attendant pressure of, “I can’t allow myself to be destitute.”

My father ended up being homeless and dying on the streets. Mentally for me, there’s all of this, “You can’t put your foot off the gas. You can never take your foot off the gas,” which I know isn’t true but it’s a persistent feeling I have. My question and the thing I want to unpack because it’s so relevant to the discussions that Whitney and I have Christine is, “Unpack do less be more for us,” especially for someone me who gets triggered by that phrase and, “What do you mean do less? If I want to be more, I have to do more.”

What we believe drives how we think, which drives how we feel, which drives what we do, which drives the results in our life. Click To Tweet

When I say that this journey of life and learning so much along the way, a similar thing, Jason, sounds like we had similar backgrounds. It was a mindset of working all the time. It was a lack mindset of never having enough money, and killing yourself. I’ve had a couple of situations in my life with jobs where I worked all the time to the point where I had bulging discs in my neck, constant migraines, and things like that. I know, I mentioned to you that in 2016, life felt so out of control. We have two children.

At the time, they were 10 and 12 and I was working all the time, and my husband’s working on paper. We had everything. We had the big house, fancy cars, and tremendous abundance in every way but life sucked. I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. Life is not fun.” We ended up selling our house, selling our cars, giving away most of our stuff, and we bought an RV and a jeep and we traveled America for a year. We had a network onboard and our kids did the K-12 Georgia Cyber Academy. We worked while we traveled. What was interesting is I still worked a lot even though we traveled America.

During that time, it’s like I’ve gone through this evolution of trying to look in the mirror and figure out why. Whitney, when we were talking about forgiveness I’m sitting here going, “I’ve got the same patterns that wherever I go there I am.” I was still trying to overachieve and I realized the whole thing going back to trying to get approval. I never wanted to fail and not that anybody wants to fail and I don’t want to fail, but it’s constantly seeking approval because, “Christine, you’re one of our top people. You can do more than everybody else.” It’s almost creating this persona where people tell you, “You can do four people’s jobs and also having to feel like you’ve got to live up to that.”

It’s like, “This is BS. I’m miserable. I’m not on this earth to suffer and why am I doing this? Why do I keep getting into this situation where I’m constantly overextending myself? It’s because I’m trying to be the superhero.” In life, there’s this tension between contentment and achievement. We all want to grow, learn and be better. I’m an achiever oriented person. Although, I’ve had this revelation of realizing that I am enough. I don’t have to prove myself to anybody. I want to be the best I can be and I strive to be better today than I was yesterday however, trying to do so much to look like I’m the superhero, is not healthy.

The, “Do less, be more,” is all about slowing down to speed up. In life, stepping back and when we’re overextending ourselves when we’re maxed out and we have no bandwidth, it’s like, “Stop.” There’s this activity I have in my coaching program. It’s about saying no because I would never say no to things. People would ask me to do stuff and I get things done so then everybody wants me. I become the president of everything. If something’s going on and people aren’t getting it done, I get it done. However, I’ve come through this evolution of realizing that.

For a lot of people, it’s that whole idea of the feeling of not enough is a prevalent thing with a lot of people. It’s realizing that you are enough and you don’t need to prove yourself to anybody. You need to be the best for you and create the best life for you to be happy, joyful, and fulfilled because at the end of the day, when we’re laying on our deathbed, nobody’s going to say, “I sure wish I would have worked more and spent less time with my family.” That’s the evolution of how that came about.

The thing that comes up for me in knowing about the perception of being on our deathbed, which I think about quite often, not necessarily in a morbid or morose way, but to maybe put a different context on things of, “What am I spending my time doing.” At the time of this episode, and certainly in 2020, the myriad challenges, chaos, opportunity, upheaval and the surreality of everything we’ve been going through in this world that my not only appreciation for the people in my life but this almost unquenchable desire to be with them. We’re limited with certain people in life and health restrictions and people’s perceptions on what’s going on.

You talk about this idea of spending more time with family. What it brings up for me is the idea that I equate financial abundance working. If I’m going to work, and I’m going to generate more wealth for myself, wealth in a vacuum to me, doesn’t hold much meaning. If I look at my bank account, it’s not like I have a stack of gold in the back of my house in a safe and there’s not this physical thing. It’s not numbers on a screen. I’m looking at the numbers and going, “This is arbitrary. I’m measuring my self-worth by this number.” We’re obsessed with numbers but it’s not about the amount.

For me at least, the amount of freedom and choice that I feel based on what kind of wealth that I’ve generated for myself. This idea of spending time with my loved ones when we can do it, maybe safely again, taking vacations and things like that. This rub mentally for me, “You need to work to make the money to have the freedom to spend the time with the people you love. If you don’t work enough, and you don’t have the freedom, your safety is in jeopardy and you can’t feel comfortable spending time with the people you love, because you can’t provide for yourself.”

It’s almost this fine line we go back to the word enough of, “What is enough? What’s enough money for me? What’s enough of a feeling of security or safety? What’s enough of anything?” It’s an interesting word because to me, it has so many connotations and meanings for each one of us of, “What does that even mean? What’s enough success? What are enough accolades? What’s enough recognition? What’s enough wealth?” These are the questions that I want to get clearer on for myself.

 

That’s such an individual thing and it’s all relative. When I was 18, 19, or 20, I might have thought $30,000 was like, “That is a ton of money. What would I do with all that money?” When you make $30,000 it’s like, “I need to make $50,000.” It’s like, “That’s so much money. What would I do?” From a financial standpoint, the carrot continually moves. It’s thinking about, “What is success? What is it for me, that makes me happy?”

For us, we traveled around America for a year in an RV. We live in a big house but I was so happy living in an RV with my two kids and my husband. I had a foot and a half of space and two drawers but I never wanted for anything. We had experiences. One day we’re hiking in the Grand Canyon. The next day, we’re ATV-ing in Sedona. We didn’t have a lot as far as material stuff but we were so happy. To me, it was awesome. It depends on each person it’s determining for yourself, “What brings you joy and what makes you happy.”

I remember watching Oprah one time and there was some famous producer. The guy was a multi-millionaire and he had multiple homes, homes over in Europe and all over. He realized that all it did was bring him a lot of headaches. He ended up selling everything and he lives in Malibu in a double-wide mobile home and rides a bike all over the place. He got rid of all of these material things because he said, “To keep up all these material things took so much energy.” He’s at so much more peace in a more simple life.

I would love to talk more about your experience with the RV because that’s such a big dream. Jason has talked about living in a tiny home a lot of times, which is similar. I did a cross country trip and slept in my car. It was so amazing and I’m itching to do it again.

Where did you go? From where to where?

From LA to Massachusetts and back. We did a few episodes about this. It was interesting for a lot of reasons. First of all, it was during COVID and before the election results came in. It was an interesting time for the country. I feel differently about it now, because the COVID has gotten increasingly worse so I wouldn’t personally do that trip for a little while longer until we get COVID more under control because I, too, tested positive for COVID when I came back from the entire trip.

From LA to Massachusetts, I didn’t test positive but when I came back from Massachusetts to Los Angeles, I did test positive, although it was hard to tell if those results were accurate because then I got two negative test results immediately after. Who knows if I had COVID or not but it definitely was scary. I never had symptoms like you had. It’s hard to hear people like you talk about how uncomfortable it was. I was fortunate that even if I did have had COVID, nobody I knew tested positive and I didn’t have symptoms. I feel road trips can be addicting in a lot of ways. I’ve dreamt a lot about doing something like you did, which was either renting an RV, buying an RV, or building an RV, which is so popular amongst Millennials.

It’s a whole subculture world out there traveling like that.

A lot of us fantasize about that. We think, “Life must be so great if we could minimize everything you’re talking about, it sounds incredible. No strings attached. I can drive wherever I want and have all these cool experiences and work on the road.” It’s interesting to hear you describe it because my two questions are, how much did life change for you? Was it as amazing as it seems to do that for so long with your family? How did you stop? How did you come back to life after that? How did you even make that decision? Did you go into the travels with a specific timeline in mind? Did you keep traveling until you decided you didn’t want to anymore? What were the bigger lessons that you learned from traveling in an RV with your family for such an extended period of time?

We did plan to do it for a year so it was an intentional plan because our kids were 10 and 12 at the time. They were still in middle school. I felt that they won’t get too messed up with it from the school standpoint and they did the K-12 Georgia Cyber Academy so they had live classes with teachers. It’s almost like Webex is where the teachers were live and they could raise their hands and there’s PowerPoints. My husband and I were both working on the road. He worked for Cisco Systems at the time, and I was working as a consultant.

During the day we were in the RV working, doing Webex or Zoom calls and our kids are doing stuff. It was a premeditated timeline of one year and I would have loved to have done it longer. The upside for me is I loved being with my family. I loved my kids. There are so many life lessons. You’ve got to take this thing down. Everywhere you go, there are all these different things you have to do with plugging up the electrical. We had two bathrooms so we had the septic system. There are black water, gray water, and a whole bunch of stuff. On one hand, people think, “That’s so simple.” It’s so funny because everything in life there are tradeoffs.

The challenges that we had were things the RV breaking. We bought it new and we had so many challenges. We went down to the Keys, our dog got ringworm, and we had come back and had some additional suspension put on the RV. We were in Orlando. If you’re a technology and innovation, my husband works in technology, and in my business, I’m in the corporate space so I’m using all the latest stuff. In the RV world, campgrounds, and stuff, a lot of them are still living in 1970 from technology. You need to find places to stay and they want you to leave a voicemail, they’re going to call you back and they want you to fax them something.

You’re like, “Nobody has fax machines, Aunt Jean.” Not all of them are like that but it’s archaic. Now, we can go on Expedia, find hotels, book them and block things out. In the RV world, they’re behind the times from that standpoint. We used RV Trip Wizard. It’s a big map and you can say, “I want to drive 600 miles or I want to drive X amount of distance,” and it’ll plot out campgrounds around there but you have to manually call a lot of them.

I did the same thing when I was doing my trip because I slept in my car and I stayed at a number of campgrounds. It was a whole new experience. Some of them have websites where you can book online, but there were definitely some that you had to call and even the websites were so archaic. They were built years ago. It is sweet and endearing in a lot of ways. The funniest thing too, Christine, is I was driving in a little sedan and in parking at some of these RV sites. I was the only person camping in my car and the RV people would give me all these weird looks, “What is she doing?”

It is a whole new world. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to deal with the septic issues like you because that does not sound fun. It does sound so much better especially during COVID because thinking about the bathroom was a constant state of mind. You’re right, there are tradeoffs. I had to plan every single day like, “Where I was going to use the bathroom.” Adding the COVID element to it was tricky because I was concerned about going in where other people were and how clean they were. It totally is a tradeoff.

Did you do that by yourself?

One way I did and one way I drove with somebody else.

I’m like, “You are a pioneer, woman.”

It’s funny because there’s a whole movement of more women doing it for better or for worse. I did a lot of research. I drove back by myself. Luckily I got the experience of going cross country with a friend and this wasn’t my first drive cross country but I built up my confidence and on the way back, I did it on my own. I did a lot of research to find out safety recommendations. The number one thing was to follow your intuition. I read all these articles, read books, and tried to prepare myself. Number one was to follow your gut feeling if you get somewhere if you’re around somebody who doesn’t make you feel good you have to leave.

To go on a little tangent, I am curious if you had this experience too, Christine. I found that it was a good practice for me to trust people because I realized at the beginning of this journey that I wouldn’t trust strangers. I was afraid of them. I would find that these campgrounds and these RV sites that people are friendly and a lot of them want to talk to you. I had to start to let my guard down, but balance that with my intuition. Sometimes, it wasn’t my intuition that was scaring me.

It was all these preconceived notions that were making me nervous, plus other people that were nervous to so it was a great opportunity for me to tune in more and recognize, “Is this my intuition or is this fear? Is this my intuition or is this somebody else’s fear that I’m bringing with me?” People were nervous about me doing the trip by myself. That was a fascinating experience. I’m curious if that came up for you as well. You were with your family, but I’m sure that also brings them to their level. You have children that you need to protect.

First of all, I commend you for having the courage to do that. That is so great. Years ago, when I was in my twenties, I traveled by myself a number of times, because for whatever reason. Friends couldn’t go or whatever and I was always like, “I’m not going to let life pass me by because other people aren’t available.” I always had the best experiences. I would always meet interesting people. I didn’t go down to the ghetto to go eat. I was aware of going to safe environments and like with the RV places. It’s like anything. There are the Marriott Courtyard places, and there are Baba’s Super Eight level places.

It’s making sure where you’re going looks like a reputable place and all that, which I’m sure that’s what you did. We met a lot of great people when we traveled because campers are the nicest people. It is learning to interact and trust. If somebody seems a little odd, listen to your gut like what you’re mentioning. We still have people we kept in touch with. We met some people in Yosemite Pines and the guy was a cranberry farmer in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

We met them for twenty minutes at the campsite and they were leaving. They gave us their number and said, “If you guys get to Massachusetts, give us a call.” We ended up going around and we camped at this fun, cool place in Plymouth. We called them up and they invited us. He provides cranberries to Ocean Spray. They had us on their cranberry farm and they hosted us with this whole big seafood extravaganza on the deck of their home. It was amazing. We met them for twenty minutes.

We met people in Malibu when we were in Malibu. We’re still friends with them. We met so many great people, and one of the other things you mentioned, Whitney, was I still had too much mental clutter. I had this fantasy that we would be getting out of this big house and not being in all these different organizations. We would be out hiking every day. I still worked too much. I remember being in Mount Rushmore and my company wanted us to do all these calls. Going to see Mount Rushmore, it was late, we couldn’t stay and it’s because I was working. I was like, “What is wrong with me?”

It’s that whole, “Wherever I go there I am.” I feel that I grew a lot during our RV trip. It was reflecting on why. Why do I feel I have to do all these things? At the end of the day, does it matter? That was one of the inputs for pulling the trigger on traveling, where I read an article about people in hospice. They asked them, “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” The answer, the majority of what they would say is it was about regret. It was a regret that they didn’t hike the Appalachian Trail when they were in good health.

They regret that they didn’t say they were sorry. Regret that they didn’t forgive that person. I think about that stuff. It’s like what you’re saying, Jason, “When I’m on my deathbed, what am I going to wish I did or didn’t do?” Traveling is awesome. Whitney, that’s cool that you did that and it opened your eyes. It shifted your perception of people because we live in such a fear-based culture that people are scared of so much.

It’s interesting too when you put it into this context of regret. It’s fascinating, because maybe what happens is, we have so much fear. Especially now there’s the fear of COVID, what’s going on in politics with our government, racism, and all these judgments we have towards others. It’s fear after fear. It’s usually the core reason behind a lot of our tough emotions. We’re afraid of something and being afraid of travel to your point, Christine, “Thank goodness, I’ve been able to overcome them.” It’s not that I didn’t have the fear. It’s that I push through the fear.

I certainly didn’t want to drive cross country by myself. I definitely was afraid of anticipating it was fearful but I don’t think that I experienced any major fear on my trip, aside from a couple of moments of being nervous about driving. I was in areas where people were driving in a way that made me uncomfortable but that could have happened anywhere any time. That could have happened in Los Angeles running an errand.

There was a time a huge rock hit my windshield and I was afraid. It’s like, “Is my windshield going to shatter? Am I able to drive?” It was such a small thing. Occasionally, I would be afraid of something happening to my car. Those are things that I experienced anyway so I might as well experience the same daily fears while traveling the country or the world. It was a different time when I was in college. I traveled around Europe when I was studying abroad. I look back on that thinking like, “We tend to have less fear when we’re younger and in college.”

The things that I did back then, as an adult, I’m like, “I hope that I get the courage to do that stuff again or I cultivate the courage to do it again.” Those were incredible times. Travel is such an amazing experience for us as human beings. I hope that people get out of their comfort zones to do more traveling because you learn so much. That brings me back to that question for you, Christine, about how it felt to end that trip. Was it in an exact year? Did you stick to a boundary of like, “We’re coming back after this year?” Did you want to come back earlier? Did you want to extend the trip? How did you reintegrate into life after living in an RV?

I went through a tough time. Do you know how they talk about the five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance? I loved that life and part of it was the life that I had been living before traveling. I was maxed out. I was working all the time. I worked for a company that wanted me in the office every day. In my career, I’ve always been in jobs where I handled the country and I worked out of my home office and I traveled. I handled the Northeast and I traveled. This was a job that they wanted me in the office and I didn’t need to be in the office. I realized, like, “I am born an entrepreneur.” I feel like a corralled Mustang. If somebody wants to make me come to an office from 8:00 to 5:00, I cannot do it. Especially having children and being involved in different things, I felt so stifled. I love the people and everything but the life of the grind, the thought of that, I couldn’t handle it.

We were in Plymouth, in Boston, and it was September. We left in November and that’s when we started our journey. It was September and we’re up in the New England area and it was one of those things where it’s like, “We got to start thinking about where we’re going to end up.” I wanted to end up in Nashville, Franklin, Tennessee, and build a place. Trying to sell my husband and my family, I didn’t have it in me to try to sell them on all that. We live North of Atlanta in a beautiful community called Chattahoochee River Club. It’s on the river. Our backyard backs up to the National Forest and Lake Lanier. It’s beautiful. The schools are great and all that stuff when you have a family.

We flew down here from Boston and we ended up buying this house that I’m living in. In two days, we knew the neighborhood and we felt comfortable. We continued to Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York City, Carolinas, and Tennessee. We ended up back here and integrated. It was almost as if it never happened. It was weird. We had been on a TV show as well called Going RV. A lot of people were curious about our trip and all the things that we had done but, for me, I got depressed.

I love the adventure. I love the simplicity of our life and not worrying about stuff and having a lot of stuff. I enjoy this simpler life of experiences and having that freedom. Like you said, if we wanted to go to Texas, let’s go to Texas. We’ll go there next. What else do we want to do? We had the freedom to do that. Going back to traditional life was, for me, not easy. I would have liked to have traveled more, maybe another six months.

I’m curious how this experience in reintegrating back to being a homeowner and settling in a new community and your personal opinion on materialism. One thing that Whitney and I are passionate about exploring even more through many channels is this idea of minimalism and not necessarily minimalism for the sake of being spiritual ascetic. If we look at monks, priests, or people that have said, “Issue all your material possessions and be one with life, spirit, or God.” It’s not minimalism necessarily for that aspect but more like how can I create more peace in my life, peace of mind, and simplicity?

I’m curious as you’re on this road trip for a year in this RV and you come back to having a home, settling down and grounding again. What did that do to your relationship to things, cars, goods, and furnishing a house again? Also, as a sub-question, materialism is imbued in the idea of a lot of people’s version of success. Many thought leaders, gurus, and experts are showing off their cars, private planes, big houses, and it’s like, “Is that what success is all about, his stuff?”

To me, financial abundance is more about freedom and being able to give to other people and be able to give people a leg up and do good. Although I do have an alter ego named Ivana who does enjoy the finer things in life. It’s not that I want to go live in a shack or anything. I’m not attached to stuff. I’ve got more of a minimalist mentality in my home. It’s decorated nicely. We had to go on the Marketplace on Facebook and buy stuff because I’m like, “We can’t afford to pay for furnishing our house.” I do enjoy the beauty. I do enjoy having a beautiful environment. That’s an important thing to me because I grew up in a dumpy house. I would be embarrassed about my home where I grew up. As a kid, I remember saying, “I’m going to always be proud of my home. It’s always going to be clean. It’s going to be nice and decorated nice.”

I like a nice and a beautiful environment. I don’t like clutter. I am a freak. My kids will probably be in some therapy for the fact that I get rid of everything. Do you know when you get the mail and people pile it up? My counters are very clean. I don’t have a lot of knickknacks but I’ve got cool pictures from our travels. Probably the most important thing to me is our photographs. Those are the memories. I do believe in having peace and being organized. I’m a real freak about organization. That creates peace because I don’t waste time stressing about where things are. I know everything has its place.

My desk is always pretty neat. If it gets cluttery, before I can function, I got to have everything orderly. Living in the RV, we didn’t accumulate much because there’s not a lot of space. I don’t like clutter. It’s our pictures and our videos and I blogged about it. I would love to go travel Europe and sell our house and do the same thing again. I would do it. The thing is when you get married and you have a family, it’s not about me anymore. If you guys want to do that if you’re single and you can do it, do it before you have to sell everybody else.

This thing about the times of our lives is interesting. Whitney, you mentioned that time in your early twenties where you did all that traveling around Europe. What comes up for me is almost like this idea that at different stages of our life, we’re supposed to have different things or do different things. One thing that I’m feeling is almost this pressure to accomplish, have, be, or do certain things depending on my age. It’s this strange conditioning that I’m unraveling and that I see a lot of friends struggling with. It’s arbitrary.

“We’re in our 30s. We’re not in our twenties anymore. We’re in our 40s. We’re in our 50s. We ought to have this level of financial security. We ought to have this style of the house.” Unraveling these subconscious belief systems and these conditions that oftentimes bring us a lot of misery if we feel like we’re comparing ourselves to others and we’re not in a place where we think we ought to be by a certain age. That’s one thing. I’m still battling this idea of where I think I ought to be and I’m not there by a certain age. It’s insidious. It’s sticky for me.

How do we practice accepting where we’re at? The tricky thing about self-improvement, transformation, working with coaches, the world that we’re all in here, is often I feel like I have been motivated by this idea of not-enoughness, “I’m not enough. I need to be doing better, making more, and accomplishing more. I need to go and hire a coach, take a workshop, or read a book that’ll show me how to be more.” Instead of coming from a place of excitement, curiosity, or experimentation, my desire to grow or transform, a lot of times in my life, has been motivated by, “I’m not enough. I need to be and do more. I need to transform to be a better person.” It was coming from a place of feeling I wasn’t enough as I was.

MGU 189 | Living In An RV

Living In An RV: People have to be constantly managing thoughts and shift those negative thoughts that don’t serve any good.

 

One thing that is a passion of mine is this whole idea of belief drives behavior. What we believe drives how we think, which drives how we feel, which drives what we do or how we act, which drives the results in our life. What do we believe? What we believe comes from what we feed our minds. In our culture, we’re being fed so much stuff at a subconscious level. It’s having that awareness. I love both of you. We’ve talked a lot about self-awareness. For myself, when I start feeling I’m not enough. Your personal development students of yourself as well and learning all these different things. Even though there are all these things that I’ve learned and I know at an intellectual level, every day, it’s that intentionality of managing my thoughts.

I started my company and it’s been so much harder than I thought. As an achiever, it’s like, “I should have had all this done already.” I’m beating myself up. I’ll find myself having all this negative self-talk. It’s like, “What is going on?” All this self-doubt and then I’m like, “I got to shift my thinking. I got to immerse myself in some information that helps me with my thinking.” For example, I’ll listen to some podcasts about marketing and people who have taken them a long time to get going and listen to some success stories. Whatever it is that I’m struggling with, I’ll try to seek out content, information, and people.

There’s this company nearby and they’re at WeWork. I met the CEO and then I reached out to him and I was like, “Can I meet with you for coffee? I’d like to ask you some questions about your success.” I then shift my thinking. There’s a book called Everybody Always by Bob Goff. I was reading that and it’s about loving everyone. It was helpful. I try to not watch a lot of stuff that’s going on. I want to understand what’s happening in the world but not to the point where all of this messaging is toxic. I noticed when I get intentional about what I’m feeding my mind, that shifts my thinking and my feeling.

In my head, I’m feeling like, “I got all these things I got to do. I got to do more.” I listened to Oprah’s podcast and it was this guy that wrote a book called Be still. This is a guy who’s traveled all over the world. He was a journalist. He was sharing his story about being still and how he loves going out in his yard and appreciating what’s in his yard. He’s living a simple life. That gave me a new perspective when I’m trying to be this big achiever. Jason, it’s a struggle for everybody. We have to be constantly managing our thinking and what we’re taking into our mind that helps us shift whatever those negative thoughts are, that internal dialogue that doesn’t serve us.

I was watching a stand-up comedy routine, which is one of the things that I’ve been using as an emotional anchor to create some joy in my life. The comedian, Patton Oswald, in a recent special has become something that I’ve been hanging my hat on mentally. It’s about life, in general. He said, “It’s chaos. Be kind.” This idea of, “It’s chaos. Be kind.” He had a lot of great jokes but that little nugget that might have been innocuous, I was like, “That’s good. It’s chaos. Be kind.” To me, I realized that when I’m in chaos, how can I be kinder to myself?

I would love to know, in your proverbial tool belt so to speak, what are some of the things when you find yourself in chaos or believing negative thoughts or getting sucked into toxicity or distraction, the things we’re discussing? Do you have a prayer, meditation, affirmations, journaling? In your superhero tool belt, what are a few things that you use as a bedrock to go back to when you’re in that state of being and you need to pull yourself back to a more positive state?

I do this every day. Every morning, the first thing I do is get my coffee. I have several women that I do this mastermind with and we’re going through this Bible app. That’s my first thing. I read a devotional. I pray. I write. I journal and I do this probably 95%. Nobody is perfect. I tell people, “If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. It’s okay.” Predominantly, every day, I do that. For me, I give up to the Lord. Whatever people believe, it’s surrendering to that higher power, whatever that higher power is for you. I can guide and direct my life and I can co-create my life, but I’m not in control of all this stuff. In journaling, gratitude.

Being grateful has transformed my life. I had my son and my daughter. I had finished the Executive MBA program I was working for a finance company. I had gone to Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand for international business. I wanted to live overseas. I wanted to work for a company where I’d have to live somewhere to learn a new language. I had all these aspirations. I had my children and my son started having all these respiratory issues. I was traveling a lot for my job. I was like, “What am I doing?” He was having all these different medications and he’s a baby. I felt such conviction on my heart because I’m like, “Why did I have a kid if I’m going to be gone and my poor baby is sick all the time?”

We made the decision for me to take some time off and be home. It was the hardest thing because my whole identity was being a businesswoman, these dreams I had of living overseas, and all of this stuff. I went from being a vice president to being a sproutlet and knowing all the wiggle songs. It’s 24/7 high-alert. When you have a baby and a toddler, no one prepares you. It’s a lot. I remember being in the fetal position in the closet. I hid my kids safe and then I was crying my eyes out. I was like, “This is so hard. I can present to an executive team of a Fortune 500 company but these little people, they’re killing me.” I found myself getting into a bad place, mentally, emotionally. If there are any women, any moms out there, you probably can relate because it’s hard when you have babies. Your life is not yours at all.

I love my kids and I’m thankful for them but I was in such a bad place emotionally. I was ungrateful. I think about my thoughts and I think about how I had the worst attitude. I remember thinking to myself, “This is not me. Who have I become? I have got to change my thinking because this is wrong.” I immersed myself in only positive lyric music. I would journal every day what I was grateful for. I shifted my thinking. It was interesting. I started journaling the characteristics of what I wanted in my life. I didn’t say specifics of what I wanted but I journaled the characteristics. I love the business world but I didn’t want to be away from my kids. It’s this tension.

Jason and Whitney, within a week and a half, I shifted my thinking and immerse myself in only good things. All of a sudden, I get a call from a guy that I worked with years ago who went to a lot of trouble to find me. This recruiter calls me, I ended up getting a job with a company handling the Southeast and it was a job that came easy to me. I traveled but I had a flexible schedule. I made great money. It was interesting because all of my energy completely shifted. I’ve been there and done that numerous times. We all can get stuck. Everybody, no matter how positive you are, can get stuck and feel like your life sucks but it doesn’t. It’s being intentional about saying, “I’ve got to change my thinking and my perception.” It does start with gratitude and seeing all the goodness in our lives. When we start doing that, it’s incredible what opens up. Where we can feel comparing ourselves to other people and all of that, it’s figuring it out. What can I feed my mind to shift that thinking because it’s not true? I get what you’re saying. It’s a daily activity to be intentional with our thoughts.

The word practice was applicable to many of the things we’re discussing, whether that’s a prayer practice, meditation practice, or gratitude practice. That word doesn’t mean that we’re going to get to this perfected state. Another thing is this idea of perfectionism. If I do things “the right way” and I check the boxes in this specific order and I follow the formula in this way, I’ll reach, the state of perfectionism. It’s an interesting word because it’s loaded for a lot of people. If we have this idea of perfection in our mind and we achieve it, then we will feel validated. We’ll feel our life was worth it. We made it. We finally did it. The relentless pursuit of perfection, that’s Lexus.

On some level, know we’re not going to get to a perfected state but there’s this pursuit of it almost or this idea in our minds of what that is for us. Of course, it’s different for each person. The comparison trap and perfectionism interweaves into this complex psychological narrative of, “I need to be like that person. I need to be like my hero. I need to be like these people I’ve been following.” When we’re pursuing perfection, sometimes we can get lost in becoming who we were meant to be because we’re trying to be something else. It’s a slippery slope. A lot of this is very slippery.

It is. There’s a quote, people can take it however they want but it says, “Celebrate what God gave others and leverage what God gave you.” Whatever a person’s belief is, celebrate what other people’s gifts are and leverage what your gifts are. Do you guys ever watch American Idol?

Yeah. I wanted to compete on it. I almost did.

I speak to students. I’m involved with the Mentor Me North Georgia Organization and talking to them about the comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. This whole idea of celebrating your gifts because there’s only one you. Something that you’re good at, someone else isn’t. A lot of times what you’re good at, you don’t even realize it because it comes easy to you. This whole idea of recognizing that whatever someone else is good at that you wish you were good at, there are things you’re awesome that they’re not. On American Idol, my favorite thing is they have people that are singing in the same genre. They’re singing the same genre but they sing it differently. The judges love when people are authentic to who they are. Don’t try to be somebody else. Be authentic to who you are. That’s cool. A lot of times, the people that are on those shows, talk about getting caught up in comparison, talk about managing your thinking.

That’s sound advice at any age, honestly. Christine, I have a request. You can do what you want with it but I feel like story time with Christine. You’re such a wonderful storyteller. You imbue so much emotion and depth and detail in the stories you tell. It’s wonderful and rare and very unique. We want to thank you so much for bringing so much love and perspective and heart to the podcast. It’s been absolutely wonderful to have you.

Thank you so much. I adore you both. I hope that we can meet in person one of these days.

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About Christine Roberts

MGU 189 | Living In An RVChristine is a Success Coach who partners with ambitious leaders to do less, be more, and create your best life using her signature G.R.O.W. method. With neuroscience-based practices, Christine guides leaders to design their most purposeful and fulfilling life. Christine leads the way for high-achieving leaders to get unstuck and unlock their potential in all areas of their lives through coaching, a guided online course, and speaking opportunities. Christine’s corporate experiences at Disney, The John Maxwell Company, and balancing motherhood, have inspired her personal growth and leadership. Her clients say that they improve their perspective, productivity, and joy after using Christine’s strategies!

 

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