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Episode 89: Finding Your Inner Truth Amongst Adversity with Rachel Macy Stafford

Brief summary of show:

What does it mean to find your inner truth? How do you show up authentically, in your power, in life’s hardest moments?

And how does that inner integrity benefit your children and how you show up as their parent or caregiver?

In this episode, Rachel Macy Stafford joins me to talk about the meaning and purpose we find in adversity.

Rachel Macy Stafford is the creator of Hands Free Mama. She is an author, speaker, and creator, who helps mamas learn what it means to be hands free. Rachel says that before, she was holding on to the wrong things and missing out on life. Finally, she is holding on to what matters, and it has given her life new meaning. It’s time to grasp what really matters to you and then start living.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:30] How Rachel came up with the idea of ‘Hands Free Mama’

  • [4:40] Looking beyond ‘authenticity’ as a buzzword and finding your inner truth

  • [14:30] How to be authentic on social media

  • [21:45] How does trying to achieve perfection actually impact our kids?

  • [29:30] Advice for people making a life transition

Notes from Natalie:

Connect with Rachel Macy Stafford

Connect with Me

View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie: Rachel, thank you for taking the time today. There is so much that I wanna talk to you about, but I wanna get right into this topic of authenticity because until we are authentic to ourselves, we're not gonna be able to be successful and to help other people and to be a good mom and all of those things that we want to be.

[00:00:19] Rachel: Yeah, so on my hands free journey, I worked to let go of all the things that distracted me from what really mattered. And I thought it was gonna be just like the phone, the computer, the to-do list that was distracting me. But actually there was a lot of internal distraction going on and part of. Internal distraction was me telling myself, you can't show up like that.

You're not enough. You need to try harder. And that voice, you know, I called it my inner bully. Now I know it was a part of me that was trying to protect me from getting rejected because for all my life I believed. That I had to be what other people wanted me to be in order to be loved and accepted, I had to be the, the go-getter.

I had to be the organized one. I had to be the person who was in charge and, and you know, everything was flawless. And that became my reputation. And so then I find myself playing all these roles. That aren't really what I want to do. They don't fulfill me. They are not a reflection of my, you know, inner truest self.

And I like to describe authenticity as who you are when no one else is around. Well, when I'm having. Get all dolled up and go out and have this perfect presentation and, and look like I have all my balls. You know, I'm juggling all these balls, not dropping a single one. That's not, that's not me. I am. When I'm home, I am in my soft pants.

I'm laughing. I'm, I'm holding my cat. I'm writing in my journal. I'm laughing with my friends. You know, it's like, okay, how can I live this life where I am the same person? Everywhere I go where I don't change like a chameleon to please others around me. So getting in touch with this, this idea that, okay, I'm wearing all these masks, I'm, I'm doing all these roles that I don't feel like they really reflect who I am.

So now what do I do? And that was where this idea of being hands free. Letting go of some of these expectations that actually a lot of 'em were expectations I put on myself. And to be able to say, no, I'm not going to do this project because this, this, I'm not, I'm not passionate about this project. And let, let's say you've been doing that project for 10 years because it's a commitment.

But the first time that you say, no, I'm not gonna do this. It's scary. But you're honoring yourself and every time you honor yourself, you honor what feels right to you, what you need that is bringing you closer to being your authentic self, self honoring behaviors. And a lot of it looks. Setting healthy boundaries too, on what you will and will not tolerate.

And if you're a people pleaser like me, it's very hard to begin saying, no, that's not what I wanna do. Or, no, this is not okay with me. But, When you get that disappointment and you will, because if you've been doing something for someone for a while and you say, I'm not doing that anymore, or You can't treat me that way, there's gonna be probably some fallout, but there's nothing worse than disappointing yourself over and over and over, and when you are living an inauthentic life.

That's what you're doing. You're denying yourself of what you need to thrive. you know, we wonder why, why do I feel so sad and empty and confused all the time? It's like, well, how are you spending your time? Is there, are you doing anything in the day that feels fulfill? Are you doing anything that your heart desires?

Do you even know what your heart desire?

[00:05:28] Natalie: let's talk about that because authenticity is a buzzword. Definitely. And you know, it was something when, when I was doing the morning news and I was a newscaster for 28 years, I said often to myself and to those I'm close to is it's really hard to smile on a morning show when I'm having a crappy day.

Mm-hmm. or, you know, some of my hardest moments I had to go through on television. And yet no one could know because I had to wake up and smile and say, good morning. And I hated that it, the thing I think I struggled with the most was I'm not being authentic when I'm smiling and acting like things are fine and I, that's not good.

So authenticity is such a buzzword, but how do you recommend and years of now working with people on this that we find. That truth. And for some people they don't know. They're looking for someone else to tell them their parents or their friends, or, I don't know what to do with it. Can you help me? Or a therapist, or, I don't know what my authentic self is.

How do we get to

[00:06:34] Rachel: that? Well, as I was mentioning earlier, you begin pausing when you have a choice. About what someone is asking you to do or participate in. You pause and you ask yourself, what do I want to do? We don't do that. We don't ask ourselves what do we wanna do? We just kind of read the room and, and figure out, okay, I'm pretty sure I'm, this is how I'm supposed to answer that.

Like even as simple as where do you wanna go to dinner? That, you know, my family says, where do you wanna go to dinner? Mom and I for, for years, I would say where I knew they wanted to go, , I wouldn't say where I wanted to go. .

[00:07:24] Natalie: Oh, I'm so guilty. Why do

[00:07:27] Rachel: we do that? Exactly. Because, you know, we are conditioned to be accommodating and we wanna keep the peace, you know, and so we deprive ourselves.

Of who, who we really are, what we really want. And so you start with something as simple as saying, I want to go to, you know, Chuck's for dinner. I don't wanna go get pizza. I wanna go here and saying that, and, Holding yourself to that and not backing down when S oh oh, do we, no, this, we have to go there.

You asked me, you asked me where do I wanna go? This is where I wanna go. So that's a, that's a small example, but let's say you've had a, a relationship with a friend that is toxic and you realize every time you talk to that person, you. Depleted and, and you're being, their, their sounding board.

How did, you're, like, how did I, how did I turn into the therapist for this person? Or how did I turn into the sounding board? Why, why is it that this person calls me every Monday and, and just spills everything on me? I didn't ask for this, but you're allowing it to happen, so then you have to say, You know what, friend?

I'm not going to be able to have those calls with you anymore on Mondays. This is what I'm gonna be doing. Or I, I don't feel like I'm the right person to help you with these problems. You, you have to honor your time, your needs, because people will take, take, take from you. So you. Living as your authentic self by saying what you want and sticking to that and, and yes, you're going to have times where you don't say what you want and you say, oh my gosh, why did I say yes to heading up that committee?

Now I'm doing, you have. Have self-forgiveness. Self-compassion. this is how you operated through your life. You thought your worth came from pleasing. Accommodating. Maybe it did. Maybe, maybe that was your role in your family was the peacemaker, and now you're still doing the peacemaker and now you're.

that role does not serve me anymore. That role is keeping me from actually doing what I wanna do and, and being who I wanna be and spending the time that I wanna spend. So I like to, I like to identify these roles, like the people pleaser for me and to say, remind myself, Rachel, that worked for you when you were younger.

and it got you where you wanted to go. It's not serving you anymore to keep bending over backwards for people. And now, who do you wanna be? And a perfect example is, as an author, I have to be on social media. It's part of. , if you wanna be successful and sell books and sell your classes and everything and make a living, you've gotta be on social media.

But it's interesting how then you're expected to show up a certain way. Mm-hmm. on social media, and I got really caught up in, I have to. You know, post every single day I have to do, you know, these videos and, and things that I'm not comfortable with. But I thought, you know what? I'm gonna lead with authenticity.

I'm gonna be who I am. And I tend to get really wordy on my post and, and, you know, all the Instagram experts are like, oh, don't, don't say more than 25 words. And I. I, I'm leading with my authentic self, and so yeah, there's gonna be 200 words, and my teenagers give me a hard time. They're like, that's not what Instagram's for.

And I'm like, well, that's what I make, that's what I'm using for. So, you know, that's just, that's a simple example of these expectations that people put on us that we have to stop and say, wait a minute, I, I never wanted that job. Yeah. Or I never signed up for this. Mm. And speaking and standing up for yourself.

[00:12:20] Natalie: Yeah. So social media though, because you brought it up. I wanna ask. Authenticity is again, a buzzword. It's something we have to dig deep to really know what do I want, when should I say no? But I find social media, I have to as well. Like it's my business now and it's what I do. And it's how we get word out on the podcast.

But, You know, when you're having a crummy day, do you put that out? Is that being authentic? Do you let people know? Life's not all perfect because it's so, it's so much easier to just show the happy moments on social media? Oh, I,