Happy Career Formula with Jette Stubbs

20. How to Love Your Business (And Have It Love You Back) with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

June 30, 2021 Jette Stubbs Season 1 Episode 20
Happy Career Formula with Jette Stubbs
20. How to Love Your Business (And Have It Love You Back) with Nicole Lewis-Keeber
Show Notes Transcript

Today, we'll have a heart-to-heart with Nicole Lewis-Keeber about what to do when difficult emotions affect our professional growth and business. For some of you, like me, you are dealing with burnout and life obstacles on your professional growth.

Nicole will share how the emotional obstacles we face can become professional hurdles, and what to do to fix it, so you can intentionally build a loving relationship with professional growth and your business.

Nicole Lewis-Keeber is a business therapist and mindset coach who works with entrepreneurs to create and nurture healthy relationships with their businesses. She's a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work and has a rich and varied experience as a therapist. Certified in Brené Brown’s Dare To Lead™ methodology, she's also been featured on numerous media outlets including Fast Company and NPR for her work in breaking the stigma of mental health and business ownership. She writes and speaks about the impact of small t trauma on businesses but her biggest, more important work is in combining therapeutic processes with business coaching to help entrepreneurs build emotionally sustainable & financially stable businesses

Connect with Nicole:
Free Trauma and Entrepreneurship Assessment
Website: https://nicole.lewis-keeber.com/   
Love Your Business Book https://amzn.to/3xmLyar

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20. How to Love Your Business (And Have It Love you Back) with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

Jette Stubbs: [00:00:00] Today, we are going to be talking about trauma, professional growth and entrepreneurship, because I know a lot of us have things that we've went through, went through whether or not you call it trauma. It could be what's often called small T trauma. So these are like bullying in school or it could be, yeah.

[00:00:18] Big T trauma. You've experienced something that you can identify as traumatic in your life. We all process and experience things differently. And then when it comes time to us to negotiate salaries, to talk about our worth, to go out and grow a business, to build a career that aligns with who we are, our self-belief in who we are and what we can do creeps up on us.

[00:00:42] What do we do about that? And how do we handle it. Today, I am going to be talking with Nicole Lewis Keeber. Nicole has a book out how to love your business. And I reached out to Nicole because I was reading her book and honestly, I was just really enjoying it. So I said, okay. I feel like she has so much to share with you and with me.

[00:01:07] So I just had her on for our conversation. We're going to talk about how you can start to approach professional growth differently.  With an understanding of how you process trauma. We're going to talk about building a loving relationship with your business. And a lot of these lessons will apply to your overall career growth and development.

[00:01:32] And we're going to talk about how to process the things that you've been through. So let's get started.

[00:01:40]You're listening to the happy career formula 

[00:01:42] with Jette Stubbs 

[00:01:44] where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms. 

[00:01:55]So today we are speaking with Nicole Lewis  Keeber. So Nicole is a business therapist and mindset coach who works with entrepreneurs to create and nurture healthy relationships with their businesses. She's a licensed clinical social worker with a master's in  social work and has a rich and varied experience as a therapist certified in Bernays brown and Bernay brown stair to lead methodology.

[00:02:19] She's also been featured on numerous media outlets, including fast company and NPR for her work in breaking the stigma of mental health and business ownership. She writes and speaks about the impact of small T trauma on businesses, but her biggest, more important work is in combining therapeutic processes with business coaching to help entrepreneurs build emotionally sustainable and financially sustainable stable businesses. So I'm so excited to have Nicole with us today. I've been following Nicole for about two years now and she recently launched a book which I've started reading.  So welcome, Nicole.

[00:02:56] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:02:56] Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to meet you. 

[00:02:59] Jette Stubbs: [00:02:59] No worries.    Can you tell me like how you got started working as a therapist in particularly like this sort of trauma support for entrepreneurs? 

[00:03:11]   Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:03:12] As many of us, I had some experiences in my childhood, which we would classify as trauma

[00:03:18] and    some people who  have that experience want to understand it. And so I  my career chose me to be a therapist. I went and got a master's degree in social work and you hit a clinical track  so that I could really understand how the brain works and why people do what they do.

[00:03:35] And it led me to an 18 year career as a therapist and working in a variety of clinical settings as well. And what they don't teach you in therapy and social work school and in therapy programs, at least not when I was. Taking them, maybe they've changed. I don't know it's been awhile.  They don't really teach you how to take care of yourself.

[00:03:55]   Energy, energy management and boundaries and all the fantastic things that help us be happy, healthy humans. And  so about 18, yeah, years into my career, I was very, very burnt out  and decided to leave  the clinical world. I ended up getting some certifications to do mindset coaching or money mindset coaching for small business owners.

[00:04:17] That's  the beginning of the business that I have now. It started out as a money mindset coach working with small business owners and entrepreneurs.  

[00:04:25] Jette Stubbs: [00:04:25] That's amazing. And also gives me so many additional questions that I have for you.    Okay. Let's take a step back. How would you define trauma?

[00:04:35] Because I think that word can intimidate so many people like, oh, we're talking about trauma at first. A lot of people will be like, oh, I don't have trauma. So how would you define it? 

[00:04:45] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:04:45] Yeah. So I define it. So the way that I define it . It's an event that happens that we experienced and then has an effect on us.

[00:04:53] And I think we, as a country, as a culture and a society tend to only identify trauma as being what I call big T trauma, which is  more   violence,  child abuse  PTSD  maybe had a catastrophic illness or injury.  Those types of things that kind of are like big and impactful and they change everything and they're outside of our control.

[00:05:14] And I think as a culture, we only look at that as trauma, which is one of the reasons I think a lot of people are walking around with trauma without relief from it is because we don't define it. And we don't give people the chance to really look at what it is.  We minimize it, we tell people    Suck it up  like we're a suck-it-up  society, but the truth is, is that a lot of people were actually walking around with what we call small T trauma.  

[00:05:39]There's a lot of different ways that people define trauma, but I call it small T or little T.  These are experiences that we have in our formative years as children and in teenagers and young adults where something happens to us that would be seemingly insignificant, but because of the situation that we're in, maybe the lack of support that we have, or the cumulative nature of it happening over and over again, it begins to change how we see ourselves. It begins to erode our confidence.

[00:06:08] It begins to change  that inner voice in our head that tells us whether we're worthy or not. And so a lot of people were walking around with small-t trauma that don't really understand that or recognize that. And  So it could be anything from being bullied in school and you could have a learning difference.

[00:06:23] Like I did, which changed everything because it happened every day that I went to school, every lesson I can learn, it has a cumulative effect on our lives and impacts the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that we have as adults. But a lot of people don't really look at small T as significant. And  I always say the big T trauma explode, small T trauma roads where they're both strong enough to move a mountain and we have to look at them so that more people can get relief from the impact of those traumas that we have.

[00:06:52] And I haven't met anyone yet that does not have some kind of trauma, whether it's systemic, whether it is personal, whether it's medical  everyone just we're going through a traumatic event right now.     Any of the noise that I hear about people saying, oh, I don't have trauma. I'm just like, yeah.

[00:07:09] You're traumatized right now.   I really believe that we need to understand it, talk about it, quit minimizing it and allow people to  get some relief and move through it. So that's part of the work that I do as well. 

[00:07:23] Jette Stubbs: [00:07:23] Okay. That brings me to my next question.  Actually very perfectly.

[00:07:27] One of the things that I've been learning and reading a lot about recently is how we are taught to minimize trauma and how we're taught to  like stuff it down and  act like everything's okay. And to fight the feelings that we can feel.  I think one of the biggest things that I've learned through therapy and reading about like emotional healing is that:

[00:07:50] one of the best things that we could do is actually allow ourselves to feel emotion so that we can process it.  But I feel like that goes counter to everything that happens in society. Like I'm that annoying friend that is always telling my friends  are you being vulnerable right now? Are you talking about how you're really feeling you process?

[00:08:08]And like, how do we, you start to have these conversations that can normalize this within our circles? 

[00:08:16] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:08:16] I think we have to call a thing, a thing  I, I really do. I  We don't name it. We can't claim it. We can't heal it. And so I think  being a model   like myself, I use the word trauma.

[00:08:28] I had business coaches who told me not to use that word because I would scare people. And I said, no, we're going to call it what it is. That's what it is because people need to know this.  And I think that we have been socialized and conditioned not to share our emotions, not to call something what it is, because it benefits the systems around us when we don't.

[00:08:48] It benefits the people around us who want to minimize our emotions because usually our emotions have something to do with them.  So they're going to minimize it. They're going to contain it. They're going to tell us that we don't get to have them. We can not heal something unless we can relate to it and express it and move through it.

[00:09:05] And as a therapist, I always say you have to move through it to get to it.  And that's what that is. It's saying what it is, it's naming it, it's calling it. Vulnerability is sharing what your emotions are.  And I think that the more people who do that, the more normalized it will become and the more tolerant people will be of it.

[00:09:23] And maybe even more likely to do it themselves.  Let's forget  20 plus years ago when Brene Brown started her research on shame and vulnerability.  No one was talking about that. No one wanted to hear about it and whenever she would speak, they would tell her not to use the word shame in her talks.

[00:09:40] So now shame and vulnerability is, is definitely something that we talk about in our  our culture and it's much more normalized. And so we have language for it. If I think we just have to practice it, 

[00:09:51]Jette Stubbs: [00:09:51] that's amazing. And so I find the people who often tend to talk about these things more are the people who are really going through it.

[00:10:00] You have maybe some big T trauma or that small T trauma has now accumulated it's bubbling over and now you're having trouble keeping it together. I've been there. And based on your story, like you've been there.  What's some advice that you have for people that are in that space and trying to navigate through it?

[00:10:16]Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:10:16] I think the first thing is that you don't have to do it alone. And in fact, you shouldn't  whether you're working with a therapist or you may be a healer or.  There's, there are a lot of coaches out there who I think do really good work  around this  obviously you need to do your due diligence and vet them, but  we were not meant to heal alone.

[00:10:36] We were meant to heal in community.  And we can't read our own labels. So we need someone to hold that space for us to reflect back how fantastic we are. And also to help us see  where there might be some   areas for improvement or understanding ourselves. And   even if it's reading a book  that the person who read, who wrote that book is ho it's still holding space for you.

[00:11:00] They're still  reading your label because they've been doing this for a long time and they're reflecting something back on you that you can take in. So whether it's reading a book, working with a therapist, okay.  Taking your workshop, you just put your foot over the line and trust yourself to know that you're moving in the right direction.

[00:11:19] When you see that there's something that you want to begin to change. 

[00:11:22]Jette Stubbs: [00:11:22] I love what you said about healing with community. Cause I think that is so essential.  So many  of us, we trap ourselves in silence and we trap ourselves by not talking about what we're going through and then it becomes.  I love what you said in your book where you said  if we were to repeat the same relationship over and over in different areas of our lives and ever since, ever since I read that right in your book, I was like, oh, okay.

[00:11:46] Like I started to like, look at it in my own life and be like, okay  what are the trends that are repeating? And for me, I've been living between  like The Bahamas and Toronto, and I find  there's a different, like I was an adult when I moved to Toronto or young adults, 17 and  I moved there on my own.

[00:12:04] And I started building out a different life, different connections with friends that have almost, I found the relationships that I had in The Bahamas. Didn't grow with me in the same way. So I have a different cycle and patterns for the relationships I have in The Bahamas versus the relationships that I have in Toronto.

[00:12:20] But you're right where the same issues recur over and over again. So can you talk to me about some of the recurring issues that you see where people's like personal lives are trickling into how they approach business? 

[00:12:34] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:12:34] Everywhere.  And I think part of that is because we don't have these conversations with people who are starting businesses.

[00:12:41] We have all these marketing conversations and business development conversations, but no one ever asks you: how do you want to feel in your business? What are the emotions that you want to have as you move through your business?    Are there any situations in your life previously that were problematic that could surface in your business?

[00:13:01] No, one's asking you that. One of the, the things that I always tell people is  that you are not your business. It is something outside of you that you are relating to. And in order to build an intentional relationship with our business, we have to examine what have been some of the patterns that we have experienced in our life.

[00:13:19] Previously, maybe the role that we played in the relationship to begin to see how we might be unconsciously playing out those patterns. Yeah within our business. And so I always say it starts with the relationship that you're building with your business, but it can trickle out into  your money, how you're bringing in revenue, what you're charging for things, the boundaries that you have around your time  the relationship that you have with your clients and your employees can play out a lot of dynamics.

[00:13:45] That are around attachment or around sibling rivalry, rivalry.  I think if people were to open their eyes just a moment and allow them to, to have some grace and self-compassion to see who they are and how they're operating in their business.  But they could really make some changes that are pretty fast and immediate  or  long lasting.

[00:14:05] But again, we, aren't taught to look at our business that way. We're not taught to have an emotional sustainability plan. It's just not something we do.  You're absolutely right. So one of the things that I, and trying to work through recently is as I've been trying to grow my business, I'm now at this point where I feel like I've got a baseline of got  I know what I'm doing.

[00:14:28] Jette Stubbs: [00:14:28] I know I have a message that relates to. To my audience. And now I was trying to like scale and get that message out and put myself out there, which is a task I realized I was procrastinating on over and over again. And there were certain key, like essential tasks. It within my business, some of it was like, even like just sending a quote to a client after I've spoken to them.

[00:14:48] And so like another one was like sending that pitch out to that.  To be on somebody else's podcast or grow to grow my audience. I had people coming up to me and offering me opportunities, but then I wasn't following up. And so I actually started to make a list of the things that I was procrastinating on  versus activities that I was doing.

[00:15:06] And all of the things I was procrastinating on fell into this bucket of like self promotion or like asking to be paid. And I realized it was  a money mindset thing, but it was also coming from. This space, where, when I, as like part of my backstory is when I graduated from university, I had 21 days  90 days to find a job or leave the country.

[00:15:30] I was 21 years old.  I had about a hundred dollars in my bank account. And when I called a few key people in my life, they basically said, you'll never be able to make it on your own. You'll always be financially dependent on your parents. You'll never be able to survive like people that whose. The opinions.

[00:15:47] I really valued, right? These are the first  two or three calls I had until I finally got to somebody who said  you can do this.  And so when I was out there trying to like, Asked to be paid or  try to do work that I know I could do. If I was there doing the work with the person, totally accelerate, I think I could do it, but I had this huge, like mental block and I realized it was this underlying issue of, I still had this belief that.

[00:16:17] Okay.  What if I don't make it? What if they were just right. And that was stopping me from going out there and even just naming it, like you said, and knowing where it came from. I did this little like poster in my room that said, I need to make decisions aligned with the person that I wanted to become.

[00:16:34] And then I read your book. I started reading your book, love your business. And I was like, Okay. If I'm re repeating this relationship in multiple areas of my life, where else am I letting this barrier of what I'm capable of with life that I'm thinking I am where I'm not capable of  affect me. And I realized it was affecting some of my dating life.

[00:16:54] One of my friends had called me out and said, Hey  there are these really nice people that are asking you out and you're not really showing any interest. I'm like, oh, once they get to know me, how all the drama in my life, they're not going to be interested. I just had automatically made this assumption and cut it off in it.

[00:17:09] I was doing exactly what you were talking about.  So what, what are like some actionable steps that someone can take when they recognize these things are happening? 

[00:17:20]Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:17:20] Yeah. So when you were talking that through, I was thinking  I wonder if.   The, if, if like belief system is that maybe you're trying to protect your business from the drama of your life.

[00:17:32]  If you're thinking of your business as an entity outside of yourself, and it's something that you value and want to grow, and if you're not allowing them like coaching you without consent, I'm sorry. 

[00:17:41] Jette Stubbs: [00:17:41] It's okay. Totally consenting for it. Bring it on.  

[00:17:45]Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:17:45] So what comes to my mind is. Yeah, let's stop in your business for the people who are asking you to go out with them.

[00:17:53] If they're like, I need to protect them from this me.  I wonder if there's that same piece with the business.  I want to protect my business from this chaos of me.  I always. Ask people  when you think about your business and it was a person outside of you, like who would it be?

[00:18:08] Who are you relating to? And so that's the very first question I always ask someone is  think about your business. Think about it as an entity outside of yourself as a person. Is it loving and supportive? Or do you feel like it's demanding or do you feel like that you're replicating some kind of mean ball scenario in it?

[00:18:28] So I think we have to get clear. Very, the very first thing is what is the current dynamic between you and your business? If it was a person outside of you? That's the very first question, the very first actual step.  And then to say, Where have you felt that way before?  For mine in my business early out  I felt like that my business was a demanding authoritative parent,  who I could do no, right by did not matter what I did.  They weren't going to agree with me. And so I recognized that I had created a business that was really abusive towards me because I had put it in a position to be this critical parent.  So I had to change that. So that's always, the first question I ask is who is your business?

[00:19:13] Who is it?  And  around the pieces of  asking for money and permitting yourself when you've had people who around you say you can't do that, or it won't work.  It's really hard for us to be visible when we become a kind of  a target for people's condemnation or their judgment.

[00:19:32]   So the next step that I ask people to do that's actionable is where you are feeling doubt in your business or that inner critic come up is usually connected to a younger version of ourselves, maybe like a seven year old, a 10 year old.    Usually that resistance is one of them. So you can pause and say, noticing that I'm resistant, I'm noticing I'm procrastinating.

[00:19:55] I noticed that my, my inner voice has gotten very critical. Who is this? What do you need? Because your inner 10 year old may not believe that you can ask for that money and pitch those podcasts.  You can, but there's a part of you that doesn't feel safe doing that,  so we have to attend to all the parts of us in our business.

[00:20:13]Jette Stubbs: [00:20:13] Thank you. I'm always, I always accept unsolicited coaching from people who know what they're talking about.  So yeah, that's, that's amazing advice.  But I think how do you, like what's some advice that you have on how you can start to get comfortable. Like identifying that inner critic. I think for me  I've been working on this for a while because I've had a lot of obstacles, which I've shared on earlier episodes in my podcasts.

[00:20:40] And I've, I've gotten better at recognizing, okay, this is coming from a place of trauma or this is coming from yeah. Like an issue, but if you're just starting out on this journey and you don't even know where to separate, like who you are and where you want to be from the trauma and the blockages that that's creating for you  how do you start to befriend, as you say that your inner critic, you within your book?

[00:21:04] Yeah. 

[00:21:05] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:21:05] Yeah. I think one of the easiest things around that is to know that we all have one and that it is a biological imperative that we have one, it is a part of our nervous system. It's part of our brainstem. It is a very ancient part of our development. That part of us salting a sole purpose is to help us survive.

[00:21:24]   So when w and it  evolves over time to take on someone's voice, maybe it was a parent or a coach or a teacher  someone.  But I think there's a lot of relief and knowing that that voice is supposed to be there because its directive is to keep us in survival and keep us alive, even if it has to be mean to us, to keep us from doing something that it perceives.

[00:21:45] As unsafe.  So I think that's the first piece is to recognize that there's nothing wrong with you because you have one, we all have one, we're supposed to have one, it actually has a job.  And so then the second step to take is to pay attention to where that voice tends to pop up most  we all tend to have patterns that are connected to some kind of event that we experienced.

[00:22:05] And did you start to pay attention to that?  I, I don't even say, get curious about it at this point, because I think curiosity can be difficult when you have trauma. So I would just say notice when you can, even if it's on the back, the replay. Yeah. If you can't notice it in the moment, thinking back about what just happened can give you perspective as well.

[00:22:26] So go slow and know that this is. Normal, we all have it. And then they start to recognize where it shows up for you, because it's going to show up for each of us in a very different place.  And that's going to give you some information about where you might want to take some of your healing directives from there.  So it's about going flow and knowing that  this can be very overwhelming and that  your business can be a vehicle for healing for you. If you know that that is possible and can set that intention for it. 

[00:23:00]Jette Stubbs: [00:23:00] Okay. And I, one of the other things that you you've talked about, or we talked about before we got on the podcast  Was this idea of sort of like owning your story and being comfortable, talking about your journey and the trauma you've experienced and how that can then like, Contribute.

[00:23:23] It can be a motivating force in defining your why and why you're here. But the journey to getting there  is different, a difficult one where there's so many anxieties and like just nervousness and inner critic really comes out when you're getting ready to do that. Even if  you're good at what you're doing, even if  you're out there to help people.

[00:23:45] And how do you start to. To, to team that or do you fight it? Like how would you, how do you approach that? Because you're, you went through, I gonna say it was putting your book out there. Oh yeah, yeah. 

[00:23:58] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:23:58] All the things. Yeah.    I don't know about you, but when I went into the world of business development and coaching and mindset coaching in particular  I was taught to shut up my inner critic to kill it, slay it,  such like rotten language,   and, but I bought into it because I was new . I had this, all this clinical background and I was learning about this idea of like mindset and  you know what you put your attention to is what grows. Like I was new in the language.  And so I even wrote like an ebook called fire, your inner critic and.

[00:24:31] Why not.  But what I, what I recognized is I  was in this more and started to really connect that mindset issues. Don't always  or can be complicated by trauma. And that that's not just a flip of a switch.  When you have trauma that mindset tools, the tricks don't always work and that telling someone to slay their inner critic or to fire it. It's actually counter-intuitive when you have trauma, because it's there because it has protected you.

[00:24:56] And so I began to see that we actually need to partner with it and start to. Connect with it in a different way. So we can spend all of our time fighting that critic and trying not to have it and trying to shut it down, or we can recognize it  as   a friend or a partner to say, Ooh, I hear you in my head.

[00:25:17] What's going on? Like what, what needs attention here?  And so I tell people in the book.  Pause, take a breath and to say, I hear you. What do, what do you need?  What's going on here? I can see you work double time to try and keep me from doing this thing,  from writing the book, publishing the book  sending the proposal  Ooh, I see you.

[00:25:37] What's going on? What do you need?  And usually that inner critic in my assessment and the way that I work with people is that it's protecting a younger version of ourselves. That's afraid.  And so when we stop and we pause, we can get to the root of what the inner kiddo needs.      I always say you can't slay your inner critic is there for a reason.

[00:25:57] So partner with it instead and make, make friends with it. 

[00:26:00]Jette Stubbs: [00:26:00] And how do you start to integrate it into defining your why? Because I think so many people. Once they started to process and heal from what  they've went through.  It doesn't need to form the foundation of your career or your business or how you move forward.

[00:26:14] But often those stories in those struggles that we have are some of the most relatable things about us that help people to connect with us.  So how do you like advise people when they're trying to define their why and integrate their stories into who they are? 

[00:26:31] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:26:31] Yeah. So I wrote a book, another EPUB  a couple of years back called the three whys and I walk people through  identifying  what is your why, whether it's your business, whether it's a project or a book, like whatever it is that you want to do to identify what those whys are for you.

[00:26:49] And.  One of them, I call it the deeper why, and that's usually what has motivated us to try and be something, do something in the world.  And. I don't, I don't, I'm not sure if you've seen this in your line of work, but there's a lot of people who create businesses are entrepreneurial because of this experience that they had in their childhood,   there's a lot of fantastic entrepreneurs were created because of childhood trauma.

[00:27:15] Unfortunately it's like a precursor to fan two fantastic entrepreneurial skills.     So what happens is, is like we have some experience where we didn't feel safe or we weren't heard. And this little switch in our head says, I don't ever want to feel that way. So I'm going to prove you wrong.

[00:27:35] I'm going to show you something I'm going to rebel against this. I'm not going to ever be like you, whoever that is. And that really gets embedded in our deeper why  around our business. And when people will say to me, I want to start a business because I want financial freedom or.  I, I want to be the boss and I'll say why.

[00:27:52] And they're like, because I want to make money. I want to be my own boss. I'm like the Y  and  after a couple of wives, it's usually because I want to be in control and I don't want anyone say no to me, because I never want to feel that way again.  So getting to the deeper why of what it is, and it needs this business, or  whatever that it is that you're wanting to do, I think is super important because it can motivate you in a different way.

[00:28:14] When you know that it's  lying there under the surface with this kind of hidden agenda.   One of the reasons for that I have my business, one of the deeper wives is I grew up with  having a learning difference. I never. I didn't do well in school. People did not expect me to graduate from high school, much less, get a master's degree that blew all their minds.

[00:28:34] And so I have this deeper why underneath my business of I'm going to prove to them that I'm smart, right? I'm going to prove to them that I'm worthy. I'm gonna write a book. I'm gonna prove to people that I know what I'm talking about. And if I was not aware that I have  like the hidden agenda stealthy, why under what I do.

[00:28:54] It would be really devastating to me ever feeling like I'm reaching my objective because it would be coming from a place of trauma without me being connected to it.  But because I know that I can look back and, and go, that's fantastic. I wrote a book that's wonderful.  And I don't have to then say maybe now people will think I'm smart.

[00:29:16] That gets erased from the sentence because I'm aware of that trauma and how it impacts me in my life and my business.  So people's why  I always ask them like, what's the why? And then  what's the deeper why? And then what's the why underneath that and how can we get you in connection with it?

[00:29:32] So you can actually feel the relief. You're looking for the success that you want, the satisfaction.  So you can feel like you made it  when you do the thing. That you always wanted to do?  I think that's important. 

[00:29:45]Jette Stubbs: [00:29:45] That's amazing.  Okay. There's so many, there's so much useful advice that you just said in there.

[00:29:51] When you, when you talked about like understanding the underlying why, and like who, who your businesses to you? One of the things that I've had to realize with the people, who've    I. I always say hurt people, hurt people. I don't know who said that first, but hurt people, hurt people. So one of the things that I always try and analyze is for wherever my trauma has come from, whoever I feel is hurt me.

[00:30:17] Like, why was that person doing what they were doing? And for, I don't know if it's helpful in general, but for me, I always find it helpful to analyze. Okay. What were, what was going through that person's mind? What were the issues that they were experiencing? The hurt that they were experiencing that then made them put that on me and breaking it down in that way helps me to stop seeing people as like villains and see like that we're all living in shades of gray.

[00:30:47] It's not black and white.  And start to see that there are probably, if that person was somebody close in my life, I've taken a lot of good things away from them, as well as negative things and to try and learn from the positive overcome, or  learn what not to do from the negative. And instead of just seeing it as some insurmountable  Hurdle it just shifting the mindset and because that anger that you can carry from the trauma that people give you, I find to be very harmful to your ongoing growth and happiness.

[00:31:22] But yeah, I don't know if there is a clear question there, but what do you like. Do you recommend that people do that way and they try and  look at people and see, like, why were they doing that? Or is that too much to do when you're initially trying to process your trauma? 

[00:31:36] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:31:36] I think that it's a useful thing to do as long as you are not gaslighting yourself with that information.

[00:31:43]   If you are allowing your emotions around it, you are naming the experience you had. You are, you were    you're, you're naming and honoring the experience that came from it like that.  This had this impact on me and this is something that I will probably manage in some way in my nervous system and my mind and my emotions, my energy for quite some time.

[00:32:08] And. I know that this person  as Renee brown says, was doing the best that they could  that they had their own trauma, that they're his historical trauma here in our family.  That  I think that that's useful because I think it helps us not to dehumanize that other person and put them in the villain standpoint, but we also really have to honor what our experience was and name it because I think too many people want to get to the.

[00:32:35] To the,   they were doing the best they could without processing their own emotions about it first.    And that's how we can gaslit ourselves because it's uncomfortable. We don't want to see someone that way, or they certainly don't want us to see them that way. They want us to hurry up and get through the emotions and forgive them.

[00:32:51] And so I think that that is very, very useful. I think it's really liberating. And we must do our emotional work first or while that's happening. Like not to get there too soon.  Or actually at the same time, it's layered  like you're honoring that person's experience and knowing that it was not  that they probably did not want to behave that way or for that to happen because they had their own trauma and you're still processing your anger, the frustration and the lasting impact that it might have on your nervous system.

[00:33:22] So it's  a yes and situation.  But I am not part of the blame mommy and daddy club  that is not  I used to be, but I'm not now. And so I think it's important to  to understand that our experiences, our experience and  their experience was their experience and that we still have a right to say that still hurt me and that I'm still dealing with it today because of it.

[00:33:46] And to honor the gifts too.  Like I mentioned earlier, there's so many people who are entrepreneurial because of the experiences that they had. We can say  I am a fantastic therapist and coach because of the experiences that I had and because of the skill sets was that developed around being really attentive to what people are doing and what the emotions in the room are.

[00:34:07] And like anticipating those things that makes me a really good coach. It also really hurt and stifled me for a very, very long time, because I took ownership for things that were not mine.  So there's both, and I think what we can name both it's super important. 

[00:34:20]Jette Stubbs: [00:34:20] I love that. The other thing that you said that I really resonated with was when you talked about that, like fight or flight response that we initially have.  When we're responding to trauma and not realizing where it's coming from, like that, we're trying to protect that inner child or whoever that younger version of ourselves they experienced that difficult experience.

[00:34:41] And I think one of the things I learned about those useful was just like, where  that is right above your. The top of your spine, where you have that fight or like where you physically feel it?  I think so many entrepreneurs that I've spoken to start to get physically sick, where their day job, or they start to get physically sick at their business because of the stress.

[00:35:03] And that happened to me too. Like I was stressed, vomiting at work and yeah.   I went to the doctor and they're like, you're, you're physically healthy. And they're like, it's psychosomatic. And I'm like, okay  how does this help me recover?   What's your advice? Or what's your thoughts on that?

[00:35:20] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:35:20] Oh, it's true. The same thing happened to me. It's why I left  my career was I was having a typical migraine symptoms and  couldn't speak or as falling like they thought I had MS..  Because of the symptoms that I was having.    The thing about, so polyvagal theory is a relatively new theory around it talks about  our vagus nerve and how it's connected to so many parts of our body and how, if we're in a traumatic situation and where our nervous system is constantly in this fight or flight, it's like it's buzzing.

[00:35:51] We may feel okay because we're not in a situation. Maybe we left work and we went home. But our nervous system is still there. It's still burning. It's still  like vibrating  which puts us in a position to where we will burn out.  We will get sick because there's no relief. There's no repair.

[00:36:08] We stay in that rupture. All the time because we're being traumatized or in these situations that feel traumatic. And our nervous system is activated because of our own trauma from our childhood or when, or whenever that may have been. And so we don't get rupture and repair, we just get rupture,  we stay in that moment and it burns us out and that is why we will get sick.  That's why our body will start to tell us the story of what's going on with us and we'll get our attention and say, Hey. Something's not right here  you're not attending to it. So I'm going to attend to it. I'm going to get your attention.

[00:36:42] So there's so much about the nervous system around trauma that we're really learning, that there's so much that's unconscious about it.  I can think I'm perfectly fine in a room, but. My brain saw someone's face change across the room, or  someone new interest to the room. My nervous system is activated and so on alert and it's assessing my safety outside of my awareness constantly.

[00:37:05] And so people wonder why we get completely burned out when we're in these really stressful situations, because our nervous system is on overdrive. 

[00:37:14]Jette Stubbs: [00:37:14] I love it.  Okay. Everything that you said today, thank you so much for coming on on the show are what are like three, one to three actionable steps you would like to leave somebody with, if they are trying to process their trauma and seeing how it affects their professional growth.

[00:37:34] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:37:34] Yeah, yeah.  Call it what it is. I talk to someone. You can help you with it because we don't heal alone, not meant to heal alone.  And then decide  look at is this impacting my business? And if so  what am I willing to look at in order to make my business a vehicle for healing, as opposed to just one more thing in my life that makes me feel bad about myself, because if that's the case  you could either don't have a business.

[00:38:06] Like I always just tell people, I'm like, go get a job, you'll have a 401k, 401k  a steady paycheck and you'll feel bad about yourself. Like why replicate that in your business and have the instinct was the video

[00:38:16]   So I'm being silly, but it's  true. So yeah. Lot of self-compassion. Yeah. Just, just be really compassionate with yourself. This is hard. You're doing what you can, you're learning what you can,   okay. Thank you. And where can people go to learn more about you and find 

[00:38:34] you. Yeah.   My website's Nicole dot Lewis, that's keeper.com.

[00:38:40] They can find me on Instagram at Nicole dot Lewis keeper, and I also have a teachable platform. So if you were to go to teachable and type in love your business school  you can find out more about some of the courses and things that I have there as well. 

[00:38:55]Jette Stubbs: [00:38:55] Okay, that's amazing. And you're going to have your love, your business course is going to be, your book is out.

[00:39:02] We'll get that on Amazon. 

[00:39:04] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:39:04] Look at me, not promoting my book, how to love your business on Amazon. You can put that name in and add that into my name and you'll it'll come up. Okay. 

[00:39:12] Jette Stubbs: [00:39:12] Yes. And I'll put the link so that people can find more about your course and how to connect with you. Thank you so much for everything like this advice.

[00:39:22] I think it's going to hit home for so many people.  Because as  we all go through our journey of processing our trauma, as we're trying to grow ourselves as human beings and grow how we make money. So thank you so much for everything you shared. Yeah. 

[00:39:36] Nicole Lewis-Keeber: [00:39:36] Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. 

[00:39:38]Jette Stubbs: [00:39:38] You're listening to the happy career formula 

[00:39:40] with Jette Stubbs 

[00:39:41] where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms. 

[00:39:53]this is a career and business podcast, but my two main goals for what I want to offer you are: one  the tools to build a career that aligns with who you are.

[00:40:04] So you can make money in a way that funds your life goals and the lifestyle that you want to build for yourself. Two, to have healthier relationships with yourself and others. 

[00:40:15] Because I think that if you have your financial resources together and you have good people around you, you can live a happier life.

[00:40:24] Subscribe and leave a review if you are enjoying the podcast.

[00:40:28] if you know somebody who you think may find this useful, please feel free to share it, with a friend.

[00:40:33]Henry (Voice Over): [00:40:33] In the next few episodes, Jette is going to be speaking with negotiation specialists. Have you ever been nervous negotiating salary? Have you ever hesitated when talking about the prices you charge? If this is you, then tune in next Wednesday as Jette interviews the experts you should know.