Celebrate Your Wins (Episode 100)

Join host Kay Coughlin to talk about celebrating your wins! Why? This is episode 100 of the podcast, and Kay wants to celebrate with YOU! As always, no judgment, no guilt and no pressure.

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Transcript of episode is below.

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Transcript: Celebrate Your Wins (Episode 100) 

You’re listening to From One Caregiver to Another. I’m your host, Kay Coughlin. I’m a business coach and an advocate for people with family caregiver responsibilities. I’m a family caregiver for my mother, too, and I just don’t believe that we caregivers have to put ourselves last. I believe that our families, government, and society in general owe us a lot more help than we usually get. And I’m here to help you learn to speak up for yourself so you can live your own life again.

This is episode 100.

That’s right. I’m recording this today as I celebrate 100 episodes of the podcast, and I am not going to lie, I am pretty stinkin’ excited about this.

So, I was planning to record this episode on courage and boundaries because I think that would be a good way to mark this milestone.

But, I am going to set that topic aside for another time because last week one of my business coaching clients, who’s been with me for a couple of years now, told me that she wanted to spend our time together celebrating her business and herself.

And I thought that was a fantastic way to use our time together. So that is what we did. Celebrated how much she’s changed her outlook on life and business, and it was really amazing to hear her talk about the primary thing that’s different for her now, which is she has so much more peace in her life and in her work now.

She told me that she just never knew peace was something that anybody can have, back before, back when she was trying to fit herself into somebody else’s mold of who she should be and what she should do. And it’s not just that she has peace now, it’s that she also has a steady income that she has created by working a plan we made to build her this sustainable business.

And I have to say that one of the incredible strengths of her business is how it’s built on relationships with people, which is something she excels at, and it really gives her energy too.

So, that was just an incredible way to spend an hour with one of my clients. And I decided that it’s time we, you and I, should talk about celebrating our wins here on the podcast. And 100 episodes seems like a good time to do that.

What are wins? Well, this is something that I introduce my clients to very early on in our work together, and I actually think that it’s in the onboarding, the little onboarding that I do when someone is new with me. So it’s from the very beginning of our work together.

And a win is anything that happens in your life or in your work that feels good to you. That’s a pretty simple a definition. It can be big or small, and I have to say that to everybody, because people are always tempted to only see these so-called big wins. I think because it seems impressive and we feel like we have to impress people.

But, what I’ve learned is that we are not very good judges of the size of our own wins. Sometimes a client will tell me something they think is very small. Like renegotiating a contract in a minor way so that they won’t have to work nights and weekends anymore. To them it seems like a tiny change, but I think that’s a really big win because I know what it can take to do the emotional work, to have the hard conversation, or maybe get up the nerve to ask a client to sign a new contract or ask to restrict their access to you outside of typical business hours.

That can take some gumption and we just don’t celebrate wins enough. We are not taught to do it.

Unfortunately, we’re taught that there’s some kind of weird false humility that means we have to pretend that these wins aren’t happening to us in our lives and in our work.

Now, I am not saying here that you have to go and tell the whole world your wins, although you can if you want to. So do that if you want to. I think that’s great. That’s what I’m doing here today, actually. So do it if you want to, but if you’re not comfortable telling the whole world about it, how about just making a list for yourself, just for you to celebrate your own wins.

Because I have to break this news to you if you haven’t already figured it out. What we are taught to focus on instead of our wins is the negative stuff, the problems we caused, or the failures or the times we missed a goal.

We are even taught that if we’re in school and we get an A-minus, we should be ashamed that it wasn’t an A or an A-plus. In other words, if you could get a hundred points on something and what you got on that test or that assignment was a 92, you have 92% mastery of that subject matter. But we should somehow be ashamed of that because it’s not an A-plus. Because you didn’t get a 99 or 100. And I think that’s ridiculous. I think we should actually celebrate that mastery, and that’s a big deal.

Now, some people do say that we are hardwired to focus on negative things that happen to us so that we can protect ourselves from it happening again and learn from it and not repeat our mistakes. And maybe that’s true. Maybe we are hardwired, but I’m not really convinced about that at best. I think it’s maybe nature and nurture.

I think that focusing on the mistakes and failures we make is as much a culture and a habit as anything else that could be kind of in our DNA as a species. Now, I don’t want to debate this here because I do think that I could be wrong about this, but the reason I think this is that in my experience, I have seen that we really can retrain ourselves to stop dwelling so much on the tough stuff, like mistakes.

I’ve done it. I’ve seen my clients do it. I know some of the people who listen to this podcast have started to do it too. 

And we can retrain ourselves to stop letting the mistakes and failures control our lives so much. This is something that I’ve done in my own life, and I have to tell you that since I have always identified strongly with being a perfectionist, and that’s something I’ve talked about many times here on the podcast, this is very public that I am a perfectionist at heart. I have to say that when I say I can retrain my own self and I’ve done it, to stop letting those mistakes and failures control my life, I think that’s pretty strong evidence coming from me personally.

Now, I hope you know by this point that I am not advocating for putting a positive spin on everything, and I am not telling you to go to toxic positivity. No way. I don’t believe that. I don’t teach that. I don’t ever want to hear that from my clients. I point that out to them if they do it. And that is not what this is about.

This is about giving our wins at least equal time in our lives and space in our brain as what we give to our challenges and the tough stuff.

And I’m just celebrating this big win today with making it to 100 episodes. But here’s what’s interesting about this. This is actually made up of a whole lot of other big and small wins, and I’m going to talk about those wins now. But I am not doing it to puff myself up in your eyes or to make myself seem really cool, or like I’m hot stuff.

What I have learned over the years is that stories connect us, and I do hope that you feel connected to me through this podcast, this time that we share together, even though I might not know you. But also I am doing this because as you listen to me tell my stories about my wins, I know that you are probably going to start thinking about your own wins. That’s why I’m doing this, and that is what I hope to inspire for you today.

So, here you go. Here are just some of my wins along the way to 100 episodes of the podcast.

Just getting started on this podcast over two years ago was actually a really big win, but that in itself was filled with a lot of smaller wins, like learning how to use an editing program to touch up my recordings. That was hard for me.

So, after I did that enough times and realized that I am not very good at audio editing and I realized it’s not a good use of my time, I had another win and I think this was a big one. I hired a podcast editor and producer, and his name is Chris Martin. And Chris has helped me sound so much better and show up so much better for the past two years.

More than once, I have reached out to Chris for help when I was struggling with challenging emotions that came up when I was working on an episode. And I have to tell you when that happened, I was really proud of myself for asking for help because that is really hard for me. And Chris was able to step in and reassure me that I’m totally normal and that big emotions do come up sometimes when you’re recording, especially when you have a serial podcast like mine. And like his, his has been running for several years now, and when you’re recording a whole bunch of episodes over a long period of time, you have a lot of time to kind of settle into yourself. And those emotions really can come to the surface.

I’ve had some days along the way, these past two years, where I could honestly barely drag myself to my microphone. Sometimes I was hard on myself, but most of the time I was gentle and compassionate with myself so that I could record anyway. And now that I look back, what I’ve realized is that some of those episodes that were the hardest for me are now some of my favorites.

There was the time last fall that I lost my voice. I mean, literally, I lost my voice. I got laryngitis, and it lasted, seriously. I mean, it was serious laryngitis for about three days, and then it took a long time for my voice to come back, so I had to reschedule interviews, and I got a little behind on recording episodes. It was incredibly frustrating for me. Obviously as a business coach, I talk a lot for a living, but I didn’t give up on that. I didn’t give up on my clients, and I did not give up on the podcast. I came back to it as soon as I could, and that was a really big win too.

Another win for me was that I decided to start bringing a guest onto the podcast about once a month. And if you have not heard those conversations like the one I did last week with Dr. Fayron Epps, go listen. I think this changed so much for the podcast. I think it unlocked new depths in what I’m willing to talk about, and the way I’m willing to show up here and talk to you. It was an amazing change for me. I’m really proud of that win.

Another one, then, is at the beginning of this year, and I’m recording this early in 2023, I made the decision to shift the subject matter of the podcast slightly so that I can speak more directly to family caregivers who want to stay in the workforce, earning their own income. So I’m including business topics now in the podcast, along with the emotional support and relationship topics that you’ve gotten used to over time, if this is not your first episode with me.

And that was a very special win for me, and it was to realize that I can use my podcast more effectively to help in a way that I could not have even articulated when I started two years ago. I allowed myself to change and shift based on what I’ve noticed about what family caregivers really need in this country.

Interestingly enough, another big win is that I also decided a couple of months ago to slow down the pace of creating and releasing episodes a little bit. So, at this point, instead of weekly episodes, I am releasing just about three per month. This was really unexpected for me to make this decision because it flies in the face of a lot of industry advice about how often you quote, unquote should release podcast episodes.

This decision has allowed me to slow down and focus more on the depth and quality of the stories that I’m telling and messages that I’m releasing into the world. This is a big deal for me, and I think it says a lot about the kind of quality of work that I’m committed to. It says a lot about my focus on self-care, self investment and self-advocacy, not only for myself, but also for the people who tune into the podcast and for my clients.

And I’m especially proud of wins like this that I have that go against conventional wisdom. I’m wired that way a little bit to be counterculture in case you haven’t picked up on that. But as a business owner and also a business coach, I’m really subjected a lot to the world of best practices and best advice, and when I can make a decision for myself despite what I’m hearing everybody tell me every day that I should do, I think that’s pretty awesome.

So yes, I am celebrating a lot of my own wins today as I record this podcast.

And now I’d like to invite you to celebrate some of your wins. Look back over the past few days, or maybe the past couple of weeks or whatever timeframe feels good to you, and ask yourself, what are some of the things that you feel good about? Those are your wins. Write them down somewhere. Read back over them, and then give yourself a pat on the back.

And if there’s somebody you can share your wins with, like a partner or a counselor or a coach like me, share your wins with that person. I know they will love to hear it. I know that I would love to hear it.

If you own your own business like I do, I’m really going to encourage you to keep a list of wins somewhere for yourself. Maybe make a folder in your email for thank you notes clients send you or start a note in your note taking app so you can jot down wins when you think of them. Just like you jot down mileage when you travel somewhere. That way, you can look back over your wins anytime you want, but especially when you are feeling down or unmotivated. And yes, I know that happens because I’m a business owner too, and I am in this with all of you. I am all in here.

Also, if you are a small business leader, how about encouraging your team members to keep their own lists of wins and share them with you from time to time? Maybe you can even ask for a list of small wins and big wins to have on your annual review paperwork so that this good stuff makes it into their files in a formal way.

If you work directly with clients like I do, maybe you can ask them to share wins with you, if it would be appropriate.

Or if you’re in a networking group or a mastermind, consider starting those meetings by having everybody go around the table and share a win. I think that you will see pretty quickly what a big difference it makes for everybody in the attitude that people can bring to the meetings.

And, when somebody shares a win with you, just celebrate it. Don’t dissect it. Don’t do that thing where we tend to analyze stuff like that. And definitely do not talk about how it could have been bigger or better, and don’t let other people do that to themselves either. How about you just stop yourself or you stop them and say, “Hey, a win is a win. I am so glad you shared this with me, and I just want to let this be awesome for you right now.” That’s all you have to do to celebrate a win.

If you have any wins you’d like to share with me now after listening to me talk about my wins, I would love to hear from you and I will celebrate you. You can leave a comment or you can reach out to me on social media or by email. And you will find all of my contact information in the show notes, or you can go to Facilitator On Fire dot net slash links and you can find me there.

Before I end here, I just want to say thank you for celebrating 100 episodes and over two years of the podcast with me by being here with me today.

Now go think of some wins of your own and celebrate yourself.

You can help more people celebrate themselves and find this podcast by leaving a review or sharing it with a friend who you think might need it. If you are interested in my business coaching or if you have a friend who might need me, and especially if that friend is a solopreneur or a small business. I will leave the link for that in the show notes too. Thanks for being with me here today. You can find out more about all of this work at Facilitator On Fire dot net. That’s Facilitator On Fire dot net.

If you haven’t already joined my free Boundaries community, what’s stopping you? It is the place to explore setting boundaries without judgment or guilt. There, you’re going to find just real talk about how humans really work. And you can find that community at Facilitator On Fire dot net slash Boundaries. I can’t wait to be with you again in the next episode, From One Caregiver to Another.

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your guide

Kay Coughlin, CEO of Facilitator On Fire, is a business coach for the non-profit sector and social justice businesses. She is also well-known for being an advocate for family caregivers.

In every forum she can find, she shouts that it's OK for every human to earn a living, set and enforce boundaries around their bodies, thoughts, feelings and actions. You can join Kay's free, private online community to talk about boundaries here.

Kay also teaches about emotional labor, how to rest, and Human Giver Syndrome, and is the host of the "From One Caregiver to Another" podcast and author of "From One Caregiver to Another - Overcoming Your Emotional Grind."

Kay is well-known for her public speaking on boundaries and self-care. 

Facilitator on Fire is a subsidiary of Donor Relations Mindset LLC, which Kay founded in 2015. She lives with her husband and children in central Ohio, and is the primary caregiver for her own mother, who lives right next door. Kay can be found on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Copyright 2022. All rights reserved, Julia Kay Coughlin and Facilitator On Fire.

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