Taking Responsibility for Our Actions, Thoughts, and Behaviors with Heather Chauvin

Taking Responsibility for Our Actions, Thoughts, and Behaviors with Heather Chauvin

Tara Newman: Welcome to The Bold Money Revolution Podcast. This is your source for straight-talking, no fluff business, and high-performance conversations that add real depth and value to the way bold leaders live, work and thrive. I’m your host, Tara Newman. I’m here to show you how to optimize your performance as a leader so that you can grow a business that is profit-rich, efficient, and allows you to generate real tangible wealth for yourself and others. We are here to help you lead with your values, to perform without overwhelm and burnout, and to do your most important work in the world.

Hey, hey, everyone. Today, we are here with Heather Chauvin. She teaches women how to be the leader of their own life. She is also from the podcast Mom Is In Control. She speaks to women about something that I think is so important. She speaks to women who are struggling to control their time, energy, money, and relationships. She has been on this podcast before. I consider her a friend even though we have never met in person and I am so proud of her. She has written a book. She is the author of the book Dying To Be A Good Mother which is part memoir, part personal development. She has a story. I consider myself a highly empathetic person, Heather, and every time I read the line that says, “A year after my son was born, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer.” I don’t even know what that would feel like. I can’t even get present to that. Welcome.

Heather Chauvin: Thank you. That’s how we’re opening this, okay. We go right to the end. 

Tara Newman: We’re going right to it because the last time you were on this podcast—and we’ll link it in the show notes—we had a conversation about your cancer and what you learned from it and I basically sat there with my mouth open the whole time just really listening. Tell us again where’s this starts. 

Heather Chauvin: Yeah, so the interesting part, it’s been intriguing to see people react to the title of the book Dying To Be A Good Mother because I actually forget that I had cancer. I don’t introduce myself as a cancer survivor. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I think I have a lot of coping strategies, deflection, all of that fun stuff but cancer saved my life. Cancer saved my life and I can’t even begin to start unpacking that conversation but when you said that line, I already knew I was sick when I was diagnosed. I was running away from my truth because I was afraid and it was December 21st, 2013 and I went into the hospital with a swollen abdomen. It was swollen but I told myself that my body was still recovering from childbirth a year later and I was exhausted and fatigued.

I don’t even remember if I was still breastfeeding. I started my business at that point. I actually remember I created an online conference. Those were big back then. They still are but I had 20 speakers lined up and when I got diagnosed, I still executed it, by the way. I had a team and I still did freaking interviews after I was diagnosed. I was like, “Oh, by the way, I just was told I had cancer. Look at it. See my tumors in my abdomen.” It’s like, “What the hell, Heather?”

Tara Newman: I think that really brings up a central theme though, for women. I just went through something like this. I was just diagnosed with ADHD. We normalize what’s not normal. That was like my takeaway there that you were normalizing things.

Heather Chauvin: I was this whole super mom notion like, “Oh, look how strong you are. Look how much you can carry.” Even to this day I will have people—and I’m a very different person today than I was seven years ago—I will have people say openly just dump on me. This could be a friend—clients, that’s a different relationship. Sometimes, It’s actually more respectful from a client relationship because they’re energetically and monetarily invested—but humans, they’ll just project and I’m like, “Why do you think you can do that to me?” They’re like, “You’re strong. You can handle it.” I’m like, “You need to go tell the person that you’re really angry at. You don’t need to be passive aggressive towards me because I’m not tolerating this sh*t anymore. I’m not carrying your crap, too. I got my own  baggage I’m going through.”

Watching this like you’re strong, you’re this, you’re that, you’re a superwoman, meanwhile, on the inside, my body is dying. It’s saying, “Heather, I can’t handle this anymore.” I remember walking out of the hospital that night. They did a CT on my abdomen and blood work. In my mind I thought, “Okay this is going to be months and months and months.” Literally, a few hours later, she walks into the room, she’s like, “Heather, look at it. You have tumors all over your abdomen. This is why you were swollen and based on your blood work, we know you have cancer. We just have no idea what kind.” Instantly, there was this knowing that said, “Yeah, confirmation. You knew you were sick.” The second thought that came to my mind, which I say on some podcast but this is a very vulnerable thing to say, “I wonder if my dad will notice me now.” I was like, “If that’s not a wound, you gotta heal. Your life will show you where you need to grow.”

Tara Newman: Thank you for sharing that. I think that is incredibly relatable. I can think of times in my life where I’ve thought like, “Well, if I wasn’t here, would anybody notice? When will they notice?”

Heather Chauvin: Or how are we trying to overcompensate and run ourselves ragged, manipulate ourselves to please other people, or to try to get their attention when essentially—and what I’ve discovered over the last seven years—is it’s a reflection and a mirror of “Will he notice me?” If I just crossed out “he” and put “Will you notice you, Heather? Will you notice the parts of you that are trying to get your attention and want to be expressed in the world?”

We always have our mommy and daddy issues and I’m like, “You guys did the best that you possibly could. Regardless if it was amazing or not, you did the best. You did the best you could and you passed the baton to me and unfortunately, I gotta clean off this extra crap that I was handed.” But if I don’t do the work in this lifetime, I’m literally giving it to my kids. We’re human and we forget that, but when we’re living in fear, you’re just going to attract more of it and you can be you.

Tara Newman: What you’re really modeling here is taking responsibility for your actions, for your thoughts, for your behaviors. I know that in the book—or on the thing that was on your website that I read, and correct me if I’m wrong—but you realized this was a time that you needed to start re-parenting.

I fell in love with conscious parenting and diving into that so I understood all of that stuff. But when I was diagnosed, I think that was just a moment of surrender because people are like, “Oh, was that your awakening?” I’m like “No,” and that’s not what this whole book is about. I had to start becoming the parent that I needed for me, not for my children. There are so many tools and ways that I do that but one of the stories that I tell is anything that happens in your life, whether you’re a business owner—because that’s personal development on steroids as well—whether it’s parenting or whatever relationship it is, taking radical responsibility for the results that you want, you want profit in your business, you want to be successful, you are literally at the root of that ecosystem.

I remember we were driving, I was newly diagnosed and I was into Abraham Hicks and the law of attraction and “getting into the vortex”, and I’m using air quotes because I’m like, “What the f*ck is that vortex? I don’t know what the vortex is.” But I was into that stuff a little bit because I found meditation and mindfulness so I knew how to breathe and calm my nervous system down but I don’t think I was fully bought into it, understanding it felt like a different language. But I remember putting one of their meditations on repeat as my whole body is vibrating with fear. “You’re going to die, you’re going to die, you’re going to die.” Everything is temporary, your body. You’re broken, there’s no coming back from this. You’re screwed. You’re backed into a corner.

This meditation would say, “Your body can heal itself. Your body is intelligent.” I remember thinking, “No, it’s not. No, it’s not, no. My body has betrayed me.” Then I just brainwashed myself. I put it on repeat, repeat, repeat. I remember having these little sparks of “Listen to your body. These symptoms are here to get your attention.” These life symptoms could be physical symptoms like we’re sitting in this chair. If my back’s a little sore, “You’ve been sitting down too long, Heather. Guess what you get to do after. You get to stretch. You get to move around. Don’t just say suck it up buttercup and just sit. Your bank account is a symptom. Your energy is a symptom. Your time is a symptom. Pay attention to it.” That’s when I really started to discover what it meant to mother myself, not from a place of anger because I didn’t know what having a nurturing mother felt like. I had to become that and relearn, and of course, heal the inner child but also heal my body and not believe that I needed to do it all myself either, that this could be a community and a collective. It was very intriguing. To this day I still use all of those tools. I use it both within my personal health, my business health, and I’ve just strengthened and gained more confidence around it. It’s so freaking simple. It’s so simple but you gotta trust yourself and believe that change is possible.

Tara Newman: You talk about listening to the symptom and I’m going to ask you a loaded question. 

Heather Chauvin: I’m excited for it.

Tara Newman: Do you think women are listening to the symptoms? 

Heather Chauvin: No. Can I swear?

Tara Newman: Swear all you want.

Heather Chauvin: F*ck, no. Women are not listening because we’ve been taught not to listen, not to trust, and the ones that are listening, there’s a knowing there and then you have to give yourself permission to speak. Then when you speak and you’re told that you’re too bossy, that you’re too loud, and you get pushback, you have to have the courage to continue to speak just because you want to trust that symptom is there to get your attention and you’re pushing against a system. You’re pushing against other people. You’re pushing against belief systems.

I’ve had so many conversations in the last few months around the book and someone asked me about manifesting—and I love manifesting—At the beginning, I was like, “What is this, the law of attraction?” Oh, I just thought you had to sit there and visualize and cross your fingers but never had to take action. I thought it was this mystical thing. They were like, “Yeah, you manifested the life that you have now. You manifested living.” I said, “But dying was not an option for me. It was a non-negotiable.” Even if it was possible, it was a non-negotiable in my mind. I was like, “I will 100% live for these children even if I die.” My conviction was that I will stay alive.

When they asked me that during the podcast interview, I was like, “Damn, because I no longer feel like I’m in a crisis state in almost every area of my life, that conviction isn’t as strong sometimes because I can get out the back door.” I notice it when it comes to money. You and I have this conversation about this on my podcast about women and money and the glass ceiling and upper limiting ourselves. It’s like, “I have new goals but I can still get out the back door because I’m comfortable.” But when you’re backed against the corner and you only go through symptoms.

Tara Newman: That’s really interesting because for me, I equate this to when our first business was failing and we were going through bankruptcy. That is when I found the law of attraction. The book The Secret, it’s a good gateway drug to just understanding personal development and things like that. I say the quickest way to manifest something is to ask for it. That’s my take on manifesting and things like that. But I always say to myself, “Okay, Tara, how can you put your back up against the wall without actually having your back up against the wall?” So that’s some visualizations and stuff that I do to create that urgency, that action without actually having to get myself to the point where my back is up against the wall because who the hell wants to be there?

Heather Chauvin: Yeah. There was a quote I read the other day and it was from The Big Leap. I’m paraphrasing, from Gay Hendricks, and it said something about we think we’re trying to manifest freedom but what we’re actually manifesting is comfort and when you are comfortable in your personal or professional life, you can get really cozy there. I’ve had to do ridiculous things to trick my mind into believing like I need a little kick in the pants. That could be reinvesting in mentorship, doing something that scares the crap out of you, but I love what you say around backing yourself into a corner without actually having to back yourself into a corner. I do that with my bank accounts. I drain my bank accounts and I put them in other places where I can’t see them, so that when I’m looking I’m like, “Oh, God, I gotta go.” Don’t take that action. 

Tara Newman: Actually, I want to go back to the thing you were talking about when you were talking about symptoms, that we don’t know what the symptoms are because I actually think this is a really important conversation because I see women all the time trying to solve the problem they think they have without actually realizing that it’s not the problem they have. It’s like they start throwing solutions—I’m just working through this in my head—it’s like they throw solutions at a problem without understanding the symptom. 

Heather Chauvin: Give me an example.

Tara Newman: Okay, we’ll talk about money. They’ll say, “I don’t have any clients or I need to make more money so I need more leads. I need Facebook ads.” 

Heather Chauvin: I thought you’re going to use the website. “I gotta change my website.”

Tara Newman: Oh, yeah. That’s another one. Because here’s what’s happening, here’s my biggest concern, that women are allowing other people—marketers, usually—to tell them what their problem is because they’re not present to their own needs, symptoms. They’re not considering how to diagnose their own problem and that always really concerns me because then, they wind up in these high pressure sales conversations that they’re being told what their problem is and their buttons are being pushed and it’s like a very out of the body experience. How can we help women really look at those symptoms and address them?

Heather Chauvin: Okay, I’m really grateful for this conversation because the number one thing I tell people is I don’t have the answer for you. I really don’t. I have my life experience. I have the skills that I’ve studied and practiced over the years and I can give you feedback or mirror things back to you, but the last thing I’m going to say is what feels good to you. We can co-create together. But oftentimes, I will get the “I don’t know. What do you think I should do?” As an early coach, I was like, “Oh, she’s asking for help.” I always call myself a recovering rescuer because I’m like, “I can help her. I see, I see, I see and I want to rescue. I want to help.” But I realize, “Oh, she doesn’t actually want change. She doesn’t know how to feel good. She doesn’t know how to give herself permission to feel good.”

When we know what alignment feels like—and when I say alignment, when we know when everything’s clicking—we’re like, “Ah, yes, this, this, this.” Then, when things are off, we’re removing ourselves. I call it like you have your anchor feeling, right, your anchor life like everything feels good. This is the essence of when I say mom is in control, you’re like, “We’re in alignment. This feels good. Momentum is happening.” Then when you’re removing yourself, you’re coming further and further and further from that vision, from that state, from that feeling, you’re like, “Nope, nope, nope. I gotta stop.”

Here’s the overwhelm. Overwhelm is a symptom. It is not a lifestyle. Debt is a symptom. It is not a lifestyle. It’s a cultural lifestyle but it’s not a lifestyle. You can choose that but you don’t have to. You can actually be very profitable in your business during a pandemic, I just wanted to say that publicly. But the further and further away you get to alignment, you’re going to know. But when you’ve been conditioned—and there are so many reasons, it could be traumatic, whatever that is—you’re feeling, “Sh*t, that’s my birthright.” Feeling like crap and being in debt and never having enough and just getting by where your nose is just above water so you get enough oxygen to breathe, you’re like, “I felt like this my whole life. My mother felt like this. My grandmother felt like this. All the women around me are feeling like this so I must be doing something right.”

You don’t see symptoms in your personal or professional life as symptoms. You see them as a lifestyle, you see them as a way of being. The second you have this awakening or you see and feel possibility, like you were saying, when you had your bankruptcy and you found the law of attraction, for me it was when I started to feel good and I had capacity, I would sit with the discomfort of actually feeling good rather than like, “This is going to be taken away from me,” and I gave myself more and more and more permission to feel better and better and better, and to receive more and more money and to completely eliminate our debt. I realized, “Oh, this is healthy.” I was not healthy but you’re actually removing yourself from a community and a tribe of women who identify with self-sacrifice and then you go through a grieving process. I remember, I literally remember going, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t identify with this group and I haven’t really found this group yet so I have to create my own community. But I made a conscious decision that I will never enter a room, a group, a mastermind, a program of people who perpetuate this culture of lack,” because I did not know that those were symptoms. 

Tara Newman: So I’m hearing you say that when we acknowledge our symptoms, it’s loss. There’s a loss there because you haven’t quite seen what you can gain but you’re losing a belief system. You’re losing maybe in a community that was keeping you in those symptoms—the Tired Moms’ club or whatever—or that I’m so busy, I have no time club, because I know that’s one that you talk about being in control of your time and I see that a lot among business owners “I don’t have any time”. When you take the step to address the symptom, you have to leave something behind.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah, you’re decluttering, you’re unlearning. To be honest, this is actually a really easy game, this is easy. I see that now. But if someone said that to me seven years ago, I’d be like, “That’s BS.” But here’s the interesting part: when I say to people, “What do you think you should do?” they get really angry sometimes. I’m like, “I just want you to take the first step and then we can co-create and climb the ladder together. I’m part of your board of advisors but I can’t wipe your ass for you. I can’t do the work because then you don’t take responsibility for the action. You can blame me, ‘Because Heather told me to do it’ or ‘It was Heather’s blueprint and her program didn’t work.’” I’m like, “No.” That’s called codependency.

But here’s the thing, when you’ve been taught not to trust yourself, you enter rooms not trusting yourself. You’re not trusting your parenting. You’re not trusting your children’s symptoms. You’re not trusting your gut. You’re not trusting your desires. But when you do start to trust yourself, that’s vulnerable. That is extremely vulnerable. Your identity starts to shift and as your identity shifts, everybody around you shifts for the positive and not so awesome positive. Sometimes it’s just like decluttering a closet. It gets really messy before the reorganization comes.

I remember, when I was diagnosed and I was in the hospital, the first round of chemos in the hospital for two weeks—I didn’t even know I was going in, it was sudden—I lost my eyesight because I was so sick and I was like, “Hey, is this normal? Is my eyesight going to come back?” It was gone for a few days and it eventually came back. I didn’t realize how many people I was holding and I lost people very quickly because I immediately said, “I’m not your therapist while I’m going through this process.” I could feel everything. I felt it before but I think I just felt like this deep cleansing. Someone would enter my room and I had this conviction and vision of like, “I’m going to live,” and I knew the impact of energy.

I remember someone walking into my room treating me like I was dying and I said, “Get out. You’re never allowed to come back. Do not text me. Do not call me.” They did not like that. I did not care. I was rapidly decluttering these people from my life because I realized I was the one holding them up and that there was this massive codependency. Regardless if you have a big shift in your life or you’re making incremental changes, if you’re in recovery from alcohol or anything else, you’re not going to be hanging out at a bar, you gotta find new friends. It’s the same thing when you’re just trying to feel good. You’re not going to surround yourself with people who feel like crap all the time and they’re so full of drama because you’re going to sit there and go, “I don’t even know how to have a conversation with you.” Everything changes.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I feel that in my bones because I have experienced that 100% myself. We were talking, before we got on the podcast, about how this diagnosis changed so much for you but also changed how you perceive money.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah, this is one of my favorite stories. I read The Money Book, so I always tell people, “Remember, I had nine years of personal development.” I had a few years before diagnosis of really jumping into this online business space and one of the first mentors that I was attracted to working with was really about feeling good. Even though I rejected all of that in her messaging, I was like, “No, no, no I just want the business strategy, I just want the business stuff.” She was planting seeds that I didn’t know I needed. I remember reading a book and how incredibly uncomfortable that was, and not being able to sit with my discomfort. I started learning about money mindset, reading those books, and manifesting more. I got it but I wasn’t embodying it. I was just making enough in my business to pay my business bills. What came in went out. I had to work.

First of all, I didn’t know what critical illness insurance was. I did not have any critical illness insurance as a small business owner, so when I got sick, I looked at my husband who was working a nine-to-five job and I said, “This is all on you financially.” I got this blank stare back that said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” Again, I was like, “He’s not going to be able to take care of it.” I had a lot of anger and resentment that I was projecting towards him. I was there, still had clients. I remember texting them and emailing them, and they were so gracious. Back then, my business was very parent-child focused. It was all about the behavior. Sometimes, it still is but it’s also about the awareness that I am part of the equation, it’s not just my child. Back then, we were very focused on the child’s behavior but I would hear things from the woman that would say, “I don’t have time for this. I don’t have the energy for this. I don’t have the capacity for this. My marriage is falling apart. I hate my job. I can’t implement all of this.”

Tara Newman: Yeah, the symptoms.

Heather Chauvin: The symptoms were there, but what I kept saying was, “That’s okay.” I started slowly filling her pain points like, “Okay, let’s teach you time management. Let’s do this but come back. You’re paying me to help your child’s behavior, let’s focus on that. You’re so distracted by all this other stuff.” I remember having these conversations and the women saying to me, “I feel horrible that these are even my issues right now when you are on your deathbed with chemo being injected into your body talking to me about my parenting,” whatever. Immediately, I just shifted the conversation, I said, “It starts with you. I will not have another conversation about your child’s behavior. What are they showing you about you?”

One, I was so incredibly grateful, Tara, that I was doing work that lit me on fire. I was so grateful that it gave me life but there I was in my f*cking hospital room doing coaching call after coaching call, putting myself on mute, puking in a bucket, and coming back to her because I had to financially make ends meet. Then I remember, I was still investing in myself. I still had coaching at the time and I was in the middle of contracts with the integrity of like, “I said I was going to pay, I’m going to pay.” I just kept swiping cards, swiping cards, then after chemo—you and I had this conversation on my podcast—but after chemo, being able to reinvest in my health with integrative medicine, deciding to use IV therapy, injecting vitamin c into my body three times a week, I was spending thousands of dollars to run away from dying. Thousands of dollars to run towards living. Literally getting rejected by family members who were like, “I’m sorry, I can’t contribute because I just bought a new car,” or “Don’t believe in that hog wash, that’s a bag of water.” I’m like, “I don’t f*cking care if it’s a bag of water.”

Placebo is a real thing. There’s a lot of science behind it. I did whatever I could to repair my body, I kept saying, “How good can I get? How good can I get?” and just swiping credit card after credit card, after credit card, simultaneously in my business raising my prices, raising my standards and saying, “I will never have this conversation again where I am setting myself on fire for somebody who is unwilling to rise.” I will never ever do that again. If I am up here and this person is like, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” it does not matter if I offer a discount, if I give it for free, if they believe they can’t, they never will.

Going back to the book, the title Dying To Be A Good Mother and contributing that to business, killing yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, manipulating yourself crossing those items in self-care that you have on your calendar to please other people or to say, “I need more clients from a needy place,” because you need more money. I don’t want to work with people like that because they come to the calls with this lack mentality, with this neediness, they’re not focused. That is not a professional that I want to hire so why am I showing up like that in my business? I had to face my biggest fears. My biggest fear was not about money. My biggest fear was receiving money because was I worthy of receiving? 

Tara Newman: What’s my value?

Heather Chauvin: Yeah. 

Tara Newman: Yeah. You said a couple of things here that I jotted, and I just want to come back to because I think they’re so important. I think we talked about this on your podcast around women jumping through hoops to be successful, that we weren’t taught to work in a way that feels good. We were taught that work has to be hard and painful. However—I always struggle to say this and articulate it, and things like that for a number of reasons because I think we’ve now shamed women who like to work and we’ve told them they’re going to burn out if they work too hard, which there’s a lot of nuance in these messages that aren’t getting unpacked well—what I’m hearing you say is that you were able to continue working because you did work that you loved and you did work that you were on fire to do.

As someone who, as recently as last year, has gone through my own personal crises—I’ve spoken to friends who have gotten divorced and things like that, and their work has been what has given meaning and purpose to their life during those times—I think that it is so important to say that women just need Heather and I to say how much we love our work, how much our work energizes us, fuels us, and keeps us moving forward and how important it is to—I’ll speak for myself—my mental health to have work that brings me meaning and purpose. My dad, he’s so funny, he retired but then started another business because that work brings meaning and purpose to his life. My grandfather worked up into his 80s when he died because that work brought meaning and purpose to their life. Thank you for sharing that because I think women just need to normalize that possibility.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah. There’s a different energy between working because it brings you joy and you’re secretly afraid and can’t sleep at night because you know if you don’t work, you’re not going to be able to pay your bills and you’re going to lose your house or won’t be able to feed your family. You could still do work that you love and receive really good money for it. If you are like, “I actually don’t need the money,” then invest the money for your future if you’re like, “Heck, I don’t actually need it at all.” Whatever the belief system is, that’s fine, give it away. But for me, when I was going through chemo, I really wish that we were financially stable and wealthy enough where I didn’t have to work, and getting on those calls that were life-giving to me was coming from a place of the cherry on top, and not the beans and rice that were being put on the table.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think the other thing is that you had to find a way to hold two things. You had to find a way to hold the fact that you were going through this awful experience. It sucked. It was horrible. You put one foot in front of the other, one, because you loved your work and that allowed you to do that but two, because you needed to be bringing in income. I think that people don’t realize what it means to be resilient and that we can hold these two things. This last year, it was exhausting. It was hard. When we take care of ourselves, when we do work that we love, when we honor our process, when we listen to our symptoms, we can still put one foot in front of the other.

Heather Chauvin: It can be emotionally uncomfortable. It can be all those things and that’s okay to be human. I hear a lot from women, “I’m trying to be positive.”

Tara Newman: Oh, God. Sorry, I just actually said that out loud.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah, “I’m trying to be positive. I’m trying to hold it together. Heather, I’m trying to do all the things that you’re telling me to do.” I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just because I told you to do something or just because there’s a module on the back end, if that’s not in alignment with where you want to focus your energy and attention right now, you don’t spend the 20 minutes watching that. You spend your energy and attention on the conversations and where you need to focus.” I’ve been spending 30 minutes commenting on everybody’s posts on social media inside our group, why? Because I want people to be seen and heard. Why don’t you see and hear yourself? Why don’t you disconnect? Why don’t you allow that FOMO, that fear of missing out to wash over you and you sit with it? You sit with it because on the other side of that is exactly what you want, crave, and desire. But the second you start to, isn’t it called spiritual bypassing? 

Tara Newman: Yeah.

Heather Chauvin: The second you try to hold your sh*t together or “I’m trying to be positive,” you have lost me, you have killed off that part of yourself that’s trying so hard to get your energy and attention, and you’re missing the point. It is not about keeping your sh*t together, it is not about trying to be positive or telling yourself those freaking mantras. Yeah, have your mantras in your focus but if you’re like, “Wow, I was ‘doing everything right.’ I woke up and I’m having a not so right day,” it’s not even a bad day, it’s just a not so right day, you get to have your not-so-right day because you’re human. With every freaking sea and ocean, there are waves that come. Nobody can control that. It is called the weather and we also have the emotional weather. But I don’t try to control or manipulate and be positive. People know when I am not in a good mood. I don’t try to hide it. Sometimes I say, “No, thank you,” I don’t answer the phone or return emails or something to protect them.

Tara Newman: Because of energetic capacity also.

Heather Chauvin: Exactly, because I get to choose and my worth is not in my to-do list. If people are asking things of me, just because they have a request does not mean I need to respond or I could say, “No, thank you. I don’t have the capacity for that.” It’s intriguing to me. I actually had a friend—which I thought wow, the stories we tell ourselves, there are so many things that have happened, we all have these stories—but I had a friend say to me, we had a conversation and she said, “I thought there was something wrong, you unfollowed me on Instagram.” I said, “Are you f*cking kidding me? How old are you? How f*cking old are you that I unfollowed you?” She goes, “I know, it’s probably your team.” I was like, “I don’t even manage my freaking Instagram. It’s a social media thing.” I said, “I don’t even know I was unfollowing you. Are you f*cking kidding me? That is a projection of your sh*t, do not put that on me.” If you actually think of an unfollow from an algorithm or a system that’s randomly following and unfollowing people because I had a freaking bot on my thing and I couldn’t get it off.

Tara Newman: I remember this, you followed and unfollowed me three times and I’m like, “What in the world is she doing over there?”

Heather Chauvin: Oh, my gosh, I was like, “Oh, I’m sorry everybody.” I was apologizing like, “Why am I apologizing for this freaking Instagram?” But I’m like, “Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. What is your truth? What is your knowing?” Putting yourself out into the world that way and watching your thoughts, watching your insecurities, watching your beliefs and saying, “I have control over this. I can choose again.” I can also sit with it and say, “Why is it here? What is it here to teach me?” Tara, sorry for following and unfollowing.

Tara Newman: No, I commented on that because I remember we had this conversation like, “I got this damn bot thing or something.” 

Heather Chauvin: It’s gone now.

Tara Newman: I’m vouching for you to your friend that it was a bot. It wasn’t you. I think that we do ourselves a great disservice when we don’t allow ourselves to be human. That is so destructive to our evolution in progress because again, you’re negating the symptom, you’re negating really important information that you’re glossing over, so we never get to actually solve the actual problem if you don’t allow yourself to feel however it is that you’re feeling in that moment. I frequently say to everyone around me, “All emotions are valid.” I’ll just sometimes write in my journal like, “I feel like garbage. I’m tired. I’m jealous. I’m anxious. I have no idea what’s going on in this person’s life. I’m outside myself.” Because when I can acknowledge those things, I can get to the root.

Heather Chauvin: Yes. It’s so beautiful when you see the behind the scenes in so many people’s lives. I think it’s an opportunity. Because you look on the outside and you think the grass is always greener over there, and things look “better” but you don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes. I’ve had a lot of people say to me lately, “You must be so busy. You must be tired. You must be this.” It reminds me of, again, when you have a child but also, you must know I would feel like this, I would feel like that. I see it so clearly now where before, I was like in the middle, maybe not so confident around it. Everything is a projection. When people are listening to our podcast, it’s a projection of our beliefs. What we feel, and are experiencing on the inside, is a projection. If you pick up on somebody else’s projection, just make sure it’s a healthy one.

Also, critical thinking, you could say, “I don’t agree with that,” or “I have a different perspective.” But again, when you’re cutting that off and you’re like, “Oh, I’m supposed to feel this way.” Really? Who told you, you were supposed to? Who taught you that way? “You’re supposed to be in debt for the first five years, you’re supposed to be 50 or 60 years old before you pay off your student loans, you’re supposed to have X amount of children, you’re supposed to feel this way as a woman. It’s normal to whatever,” says who? Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean I want to experience it. It sounds like it’s normal because a huge portion of the population has tolerated it. I don’t want to be anything but normal.

We started the conversation with me running away. The first time I looked at my son, I remember thinking, “I do not want to become a statistic.” It came from an unhealthy place and I just push, push, push, push, push. Now I do it from a place of possibility and hope. Let’s see how good I can feel. Let’s see the impact I can make. I watched myself during this book launch, “Let’s see how good I can feel. It’s a non-negotiable. I will feel amazing doing this and I will allow it to be fun.” Watching the projections of other people who have run very successful launches, you must be this, “How many books have you sold?” I’m like, “I don’t care.” Because it doesn’t matter, in a short amount of time, how many books I sold. Is that book going to sell from person to person to person who’s having the conversation saying, “You need to read this, you need to read this, you need to read this”? Because I’m here for the long haul, I’m here for legacy, I’m here for impact. I am not here for a one-and-done. I’m not doing a sprint.

In any game, you play. Eventually, especially in business, you get into the long game mentally and you tell yourself, “Why am I running and hustling? Why? What am I trying to prove? What belief and story am I telling myself that this is truly coming from?” I watch it in parenting. I watch it in business, I watch it in my marriage, I watch it in my health. It’s okay if you’re having a season. We just went through a freaking pandemic for crying out loud. It’s okay you don’t feel like yourself. It’s also okay for you to feel really really good. It’s also okay for you to say, “I don’t feel like myself but this does not need to become my identity. What can I do about it?”

Tara Newman: Yeah. It’s okay to not be okay in certain areas. It’s okay to be better than okay in certain areas. I think it’s like how good can you let it be, how good can you let it feel. Even if you’re feeling something in one place that doesn’t feel good, that doesn’t mean that it’s permeating through all these other places. There’s so much nuance to that I don’t think gets talked about enough.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah. I’ve held fear and gratitude at the same time.

Tara Newman: Oh, my gosh, yeah. This last year, I feel like I’ve held a lot of grief and gratitude.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah. So much grief. Also, when you give yourself permission to fully feel the gratitude, the joy, you’re going to run away from it. Brené Brown says, “The most vulnerable emotion of all is joy.” Foreboding joy. You get close to it and you’re like, “Gotta run away, gotta run away.” I’m watching women now go, “Okay, I’ve drank your Kool-Aid, how good can I get? How come I want to run away and hide right now?” I’m like, “That’s exactly what I wanted to do the week before my book launch.” I was like, “I just want to run so bad right now.” I remember having a conversation with someone on Instagram live, she’s like, “How are you feeling?” I’m like, “I’m really tired and I’m holding fatigue but I’m also really freaking proud of myself for resting and showing up at the same time. I know that this fatigue is temporary. It’s a stretch. It’s not from burnout.” You have to know the difference and the only way you’re going to know the difference is from knowing yourself. It’s temporary.

Tara Newman: And tuning into the symptoms.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah.

Tara Newman: Because that’s when you’d know, “How does this feel?” That’s really good. I like that you were talking about that. I think that’s really important. I love that, “How good can it get?” I know that I talk about this too, like energy and when you feel good, good things happen. When you feel good, your confidence increases and how good can you let it feel? Running businesses that are meaningful, have purpose, and are exciting and enthusiastic that pull you, that you don’t have to push forward, they pull you. I know that a lot of the women that I talk to about this get super confronted by this concept. If somebody is feeling confronted right now, because we’re going to wrap this up and see us out, but if someone is feeling a little confronted right now about letting things feel good, about letting things be exciting, enthusiastic, or any of those things, what’s the first step?

Heather Chauvin: I actually smiled and wanted to giggle because lately, a lot of my coaching calls—I have my group coaching program—everyone gets very quiet and I’m like, “How’s everyone feeling?” I know that when I’m in a room or a group, I want to be there. When I get quiet, you either go within, you’re trying to shrink and protect yourself. I get excited now. I’m not like, “Yes, I’m excited,” but again, that’s another symptom. You pay attention to what’s happening there. I will never forget but one of my mentors told me, when resistance is showing up in your life and you feel confronted like, “I don’t want to go there, that feels scary,” you can call it a barrier, you can call it resistance, you can call it fear, whatever your language is, whatever you want to do, but she was like, “Heather, when you see a wall and you just want to attack it, you just want to run and be like, boom, boom, boom, push, you’re going to have blood all over your face, your teeth are going to fall out.” How about you just walk along the wall? Walk along the wall. There’s a door and the wall ends. Just lean in, lean in, lean in. Have some grace with yourself. You don’t need to solve the problem tomorrow. The confrontation with yourself or ‘Why did that trigger me? Why am I jealous of this person? What is it? Oh, I want that but I don’t know how to get in.’ It’s like playing Double Dutch, just play with it. Just process a little bit. It doesn’t need to happen overnight. Lean in but whatever you do, try not to run away from it because your brain will do everything in its power to get you to run away. Just keep leaning in and listening. That’s my suggestion.

Tara Newman: Yeah, curiosity is a skill that can be developed.

Heather Chauvin: Yeah.

Tara Newman: Where can people find you?

Heather Chauvin: The podcast is where I hang out the most, Mom Is In Control. The book, Dying To Be A Good Mother, can be found anywhere online and we have a workbook as well that’s available for free as a download, so you can go to dyingtobeagoodmother.com. Find me on Instagram @heatherchauvin. I just absolutely love connecting with people. I want to know what’s in your brain? How are you feeling? What’s stopping you from becoming your best self? Just send me a DM on Instagram, listen to the podcast, and of course, we’re going to Audible, which will come out shortly but dyingtobeagoodmother.com is the best place for all resources for the book.

Tara Newman: If you’re listening to this and you are new to Heather, go to Instagram, DM her, and just introduce yourself.

Heather Chauvin: Thank you.

Tara Newman: Thank you for coming on, Heather.

Heather Chauvin: I love this. Thank you.

Tara Newman: If you’ve found this podcast valuable, help us develop more bold leaders in the world by sharing this episode with your friends, colleagues, and other bold leaders. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please leave a review. I consider reviews like podcast currency and it’s the one thing you can do to help us out here at The Bold Leadership Revolution HQ. We would be so grateful for it.