Ep #111: Becoming Your Best Self with Monica Berg

Becoming Your Best Self with Monica Berg

Hey friends, welcome back! I have an incredible guest for you today – international speaker, author, spiritual thought leader and self-proclaimed ‘change junkie’ Monica Berg. Monica joins us today to discuss our relationship with our own selves and the things that hold us back. There is so much goodness in this episode, you do not want to miss it!

Monica believes that the key to living a fulfilled and happy life is being flexible and able to find the unique opportunity and gift in every challenge.  As humans, we naturally do not like change. So often, we’re afraid of taking a leap of faith into the unknown, worrying that we’ll make ourselves look silly, or worse – fail. So fear holds us back and we don’t even try. But this is just our ego, our belief systems and our own limitations. The great news is that we have the power to change our perspectives at any step of the way. And that can be right now!

Join us to hear why every single person can be anything that they want. We’ll discuss how to create positive changes in your life, and how to get out of your own way and achieve success. Happiness and fulfillment come from within, and the sooner you get into the right headspace, the sooner you’ll experience the magic of the life you really want.

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How to see the gift in every challenge you face.
  • Why it’s so important to ask for what you want.
  • How you can overcome fear of failure and show up as your authentic self.
  • Why being flexible and open is crucial to living a fulfilled life.
  • How to detach from a victim mentality and become more receptive to change and opportunity.
  • Why failure is key to success.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 111.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey, friends. Welcome to your weekly dose of the Design You podcast. I’m so glad you’re here with me. I’m so glad you show up every week and work on making yourself the best version of you. I love that we can do that together. And today we’re going to do that again. We’re going to dig a little deeper into some of the things that hold us back. So today I have Monica Berg on the show and she is an amazing author of a brand-new book called Rethink Love.

It’s not her first book. She’s absolutely experienced at writing amazing books, including this new one. And it’s really about relationships. The subtitle is Three Steps to Being the One, Attracting the One and Becoming One. But there’s so much in her book about your relationship with self. And we get into a lot of that today.

So, Monica is an international speaker, a spiritual thought leader. She’s just incredible. You’re going to love her. And we talk about everything from how there’s a gift in every challenge – which I totally believe this. We talk about how fear is not an option and get into the fear of failure and how to deal with that. We talk about how to be uncomfortable and move forward anyway.

I mean, there’s just so much goodness in this episode about getting in touch with what we really want and desire. I mean, you are going to love the way Monica breaks down some really actionable tips and ways to move into another version of us. One of the ones that we’ve really been wanting, that future version of ourselves we’ve been dreaming about. So, enjoy this episode with Monica Berg.

Tobi: Hi, Monica. Welcome to the Design You podcast.

Monica: Hi. Thanks for having me.

Tobi: So are you in New York City? Is that where you’re located?

Monica: I am.

Tobi: The perfect place to be right now as we’re recording in the middle of the pandemic, is New York City, right?

Monica: I’m in it. Yeah.

Tobi: Interesting. So, tell me, you know, in case my readers – I mean my listeners haven’t read your books or part of you before. Tell them a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Monica: So, I’m a self-proclaimed change junkie. And with that title comes a lot of responsibility. It really represents my outlook on life. And that is that to live a happy, fulfilled life, we need to be flexible and to be able to find the unique opportunity and gift in every challenge that comes up. And when you have that outlook, then when things happen to you, you embrace it, especially things that are uncomfortable. And that’s anything that is different or is a change for us. Right. We usually want to run from that.

So, I’ve written two books, my first one is called Fear is Not an Option, which has become very popular again today. And my newest book is called Rethink Love, which is not just about romantic relationships, but really the relationship you have with yourself and with all that you encounter in every area of your life.

Tobi: Wow. So much goodness there. I love, I mean, gosh, flexible, not running from discomfort. And what my favorite thing you’ve said so far and this is very much my mindset as well, is finding a gift in every challenge. That is so good. And I’m very much an optimist and I’m prone to doing the same thing. And I think it’s probably a little bit innate. But more than anything, it’s a skill I’ve developed over time.

And I think that in something like we’re going through right now, people, for one, think, “Well, yeah, that’s easy to do if it’s something that’s not terrible, but this is really, really terrible. How can we find a gift in this?” Which I’ve already found many and I’m sure you have to. But I think they also think, “Well, I’m just not built that way, I’m not like that.” So, let’s talk about that a little bit. Like, how do we start to become flexible, more flexible? How do we start to find the gift in every challenge, like what does that look like?

Monica: Well, first, we need to be honest with ourselves. Nobody comes into the world having this be a strong characteristic of theirs. However, we do come into the world being more flexible. Right. When you think about a child, when they learn to walk or ride a bike, they fall, they expect to fall, get hurt, bruised, and they get up again because it’s part of learning. At some point in our lives, we start to dislike change, usually because it’s something that is thrust upon us. Our first experience with change usually isn’t a good one, right?

Imagine somebody’s parents get divorced and now they suddenly have to live in two homes. It’s a change they didn’t want. Or somebody gets sick, right? It’s usually something that’s not something we want and it’s something we’re forced to deal with. So, we start to hate change and really try to – and we work very hard to achieve things. Right. Like our business, our best job, a home. And then once you accumulate all those things you’ve worked so hard to get, then you’re like, “Okay, I don’t want anything to change because I worked hard to get here.”

But that way of thinking is limited and it’s not realistic because the only thing that is constant in life is change. So first to accept this universal truth. Right. So, you can either fight it and run from it your whole life or you can say, “Okay, I’m going to be realistic here. And also, I’m going to be kind to myself. I’m going to have an honest conversation with me. If I know that change is the only constant. Then as things come up, I have a choice of how to respond to them.”

And when you start to look at life that way, then there’s always a silver lining. There’s always an opportunity in everything that comes up. So, it starts small, right? It could be you’ve had a plan for the day, and for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. So most people, when they have a bad day or something happens that wasn’t planned, they write the whole day off and they can’t wait till five o’clock, it’s happy hour, they can meet a girlfriend or a buddy or go work out to feel better about things not going the way they had planned.

But if you adopt a different kind of consciousness, then you can say, “Okay, it didn’t go as I planned, but what’s in front of me? What are my opportunities?” I’ve trained my brain so well that when something happens that wasn’t expected, even a trip. Right. I was supposed to be on a book tour when COVID-19 happened. And I started canceling one thing after the other, until I just put everything on pause. And this was at the end of February. I was actually supposed to go to London, I was like wait, this looks really big, I’m not going to do it, and was that a hard choice? Yes. I’d spent a lot of time writing this book – years. And I was excited to share it.

But right away I went from, “Okay, this isn’t happening. I’m going to rewrite my whole week. What am I doing now? What are the other opportunities I can find? Okay. I’m going to do podcasts and I’m going to do Instagram live.” Like right away, I was able to not be emotional about it. Because the problem is, we often think we have a plan. And then, you know, “I was supposed to be doing this right now,” or if you had a vacation planned and there was a storm or whatever for whatever reason it got canceled, “I’m supposed to be in the sun right now. That was supposed to be my vacation, that’s what this week was supposed to be about.”

The way I would look at that situation is, “Okay, that didn’t happen. I have planned nothing for this week. No meetings. I get to do whatever I want. I can write the book; I can start the book. I wanted to start. I can create this time that I didn’t have time for. And then in three weeks, I’ll go on that vacation.” It’s about trusting the universe and leaning into everything that happens to you. But to do that, you can’t have a victim consciousness.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that so much. We are of the same mind. I’m exactly like you and I love that. And I think that is – let’s go into that a little bit because I think that that is the natural place to go. Kind of two things – I was thinking when you were talking, it’s a victim and it’s also emotional childhood. It’s like I’m going to have a tantrum, which is still kind of that victim thing when it’s not in your control, “I’m going to have a tantrum right now instead of looking for other ways that I can make the best of this.”

And I think we go to the worst-case scenario of like the trip is canceled and now I won’t be able to go later or get off work or have the money or it just won’t work. You know, we go down this pity party instead of saying exactly like you’re saying, what can I do? What can I control, how can I use this?

I even love to use it to, like push me forward things that maybe you’ve been kind of dragging your feet on and you’re like, “Well, there’s no time like the present to start going live on Instagram every week or every day for that matter.” And so, I’ve found so many silver linings already of up leveling things and doing things that I’ve kind of been pretending I didn’t have time to do.

But that’s – we’ve been practicing for a while. So, what do these people do that their natural state is to go into that victim mentality, victim mindset, emotional childhood? How do you get out of that?

Monica: So, we need to rewind a bit because there’s no quick fixes, but you can get quick results. Right. So, when you brought up how, you know, sometimes we have tantrums and this childlike behavior, I’ve actually linked it to the shame of wanting.

Tobi: Interesting. The shame of wanting.

Monica: Because what happens is, again, when children are young, and that’s why they’re able to have these tantrums – and sometimes I look at small children streaking in a grocery store. And I actually chuckle a little bit because that feels good, right? It feels good to be able to express yourself. But somewhere along the lines, usually in fourth, fifth, sixth grade, we get feedback, external feedback either from our teachers or our parents or society that, somehow, it’s wrong to ask for things. It’s impolite or improper or especially women get this feedback I think more than men do.

And I remember I don’t know about you, but the first time I ever experienced shame was when I was 8 years old and we were visiting – she wasn’t really my aunt, but she’s like an aunt, and mom’s best friend in New York. We lived in California and I remember one night my whole family, I have three sisters, my parents, my aunt and her husband, we were sitting watching TV and he came into the room with some cut fruit, a plate of cut fruit. And he asked, you know, Would anybody like some? And I said, “Oh, I would love. Thank you.” And everybody went like, “How dare you accept that? It’s so rude if you want, let’s get your own fruit.”

And I remember thinking, “Wow, you should never ask for what you want. Don’t be honest about it because it’s wrong.” And we get these little indications until we build this story up. Right. I really encourage people to be able to ask for what you want. Now, in this moment, because if you don’t ask for what you want, you’re never going to receive it. Not in a relationship, not in a business, not in life. So, to remove shame of wanting is to know that you are deserving of everything simply because you exist.

To be able to do that – and that’s why I said we have to rewind – now, this is the first nine chapters of my book is the relationship you have with yourself. It’s the fundamental first step to love. It’s the most important one because the longest relationship you’ll ever have in your life is the one you have with yourself.

So many people walk around feeling shame about how they look or how much they weigh or the job path they chose, career that they should be doing something else and they walk with all this weight, and this heaviness, in this regret. Right. How can you move forward? How can you be successful if you have all of that baggage that you wake up with and you go to bed with every single day of your life?

For me, that is painful and really that motivates me to do all the work that I do because it doesn’t have to be that way. So, when you start to understand first, you have to be able to be honest with yourself. You don’t even have to act on it yet. I always tell people, because I think people lie to themselves a lot. First of all, because they’ve quieted that internal voice and they’ve turned up the volume of other people’s opinions, but also, they think that, oh my God, I don’t think I can actually change anything. And then they get scared and then fear kicks in.

So, I say, you know what, just be honest and be like an investigator, get information and do nothing with it. Just start there. So, I want you to identify your belief systems, your limitations, what you desire, what you want, and just be clear about that. And then from that space, you need to start to raise that sound a little bit more and every day honor it by taking small action steps to doing the things that you truly desire.

Tobi: Yeah that’s so good. I think we, you’re exactly right, we do disconnect even from our desires. A lot of people in general, if you’ve ever been told, you know, you can’t do that or we can’t afford that or, you know, whatever. Like you said, or even just shame for anything. I think we just started to gradually detach.

I’ve even heard, you know, I don’t know, other people say, you know, “I voted myself off the island accidentally,” to give like a survivor analogy. And I think that’s kind of what you’re saying is, like, we’ve got to get back in touch and just be honest with and allow whatever the truth is in there. Right. Because we’ve created this almost the palatable, acceptable version of our self is rarely the honest true version of our self.

Monica: Well think about it this way. We all come into the world loving ourselves, right? And somewhere along the lines, we learned to not love ourselves. So, we can relearn that.

Tobi: Yeah. It’s so sad. It’s really sad. And you do you like you see, and we even kind of laugh about it when kids are little and they like their body and they might have little rolls and they’re chubby and they like to be naked, and then at some point we’re like, “Oh, I don’t even want to look at myself. I don’t want to see myself on camera. I don’t want to hear my voice. I don’t have anything to say. I’m going to sound stupid.” I totally agree.

Monica: You know, I have four kids and my youngest is six. And I really try, in terms of parenting to not make them feel shame in any way and not quiet their passionate voices, you know. I’ll guide them. But I never want them to feel bad about anything that they express or feel or think.

Tobi: Yeah. It’s so good. I have a lovely, lovely mother and we’re super close. But I’m from the south and just inherent in our culture, when I was growing up, was exactly what you’re talking about. I’m an overachiever. I was always called bossy. And so, my mom and dad were never worried about me being super successful. And they were very supportive.

But the only time I do remember them kind of tamping me down is when we were with other people, other groups of people, and they were more kind of trying to take care of the other people. And they were more trying to take care of the other people. They were like, “Oh, don’t be so bossy,” or, “Don’t talk so much,” or, you know, like tamping me down, accidentally.

They didn’t mean to. I don’t think, I know they didn’t. But it was kind of like they were more concerned about offending everyone else. And it did take quite a while. I mean, it wasn’t going to stay down with me because my personality is pretty strong. But it did take some time for me to reconcile that because I speak up for what I want. I’m not bossy or bitchy or rude or inconsiderate.

In fact, I’m very kind and loving and generous. And I think that we have all these stereotypes that those two things can’t really exist. Right. If we speak out for what we want – and we learn that every day, like you said, especially women. Like we see strong women in the world and they’re called all of these negative names all of the time. So, stepping into that, you have to be willing to kind of put yourself out. And other people might say that about you, but you have to know it’s not true. Right. So, what happens with that? Like with that relationship with self, how do you start getting that really healthy?

Like, are there some tips or some ideas if people are like, “I have a really unhealthy relationship with self right now, I’m all the things y’all are talking about. I do criticize and judge all the time. I have disconnected from my desires.” So, besides the fact that we say, “Okay, just get back in touch with it,” it’s not quite that simple for some people because they’ve cut it off for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. What are some simple, easy ways that we can start to reconnect with our relationship with us?

Monica: Well, the first is to be authentic. And what does that mean, right?

Tobi: Because yeah it’s a buzz word kind of now. Right. So, what does that mean? Yeah.

Monica: So being authentic is to acknowledge that we’re all imperfect, yet we’re still worthy of belonging. Right. Because if you start to work on that thought, then there’s no shame. You’ve removed that completely. Right. So even if you don’t believe it – and I don’t like the term, fake it till you make it. But the truth is, how do you change a negative thought? You simply release it and you start to say the opposite. It really is that simple. You have to do it every day. But if you say something enough, you’re going to begin to believe it, right? That’s how Hitler spread his word. Right. Say something enough, whatever it is, people are going to believe it.

Because it’s about self-acceptance. And that is the baseline for any success in any kind of relationship. And that’s how we have happy and fulfilled lives. I think very often, again, we assign other people to be the authority over us, to make us happy, to make us fulfilled, to be some kind of destination. And then we think once we have that, we’re going to be happy. So, there’s two things that need to happen. First, I want you to identify the false beliefs that you know will never work. You know, if you’re being honest and then start with these positive affirmations and really kind of own it.

Tobi: And know you’re not going to believe them at first. Right. Because I think people want to be like, “Oh, I’m really deserving of this.” And then they’re like, “Nope, didn’t feel it. Okay, that didn’t work.” And, you’re like, no, you have to practice it for a month or a year or like two years or however long it takes until you start believing it. You don’t just like throw it out there once. It’s going to feel awkward. It’s going to feel untrue for a while. Right. You’ve been practicing the other, the opposite for your whole life.

Monica: Exactly. And so that’s why first you have to agree and decide that this is what you’re going to do, because it’s like anything when people go to the gym. Right. If they keep looking every day and they’re like, “Well I don’t see a change.” That’s not the way to go about it. You have to know that this is the program. If you do this every day for this many months or whatever, then you’re going to build that. But you have to continue, because even if you stop working out after six months, you’re going to probably go back. But that muscle has memory. So, then you can rebuild again.

So, it’s about being consistent, but you have to just be tired of this state of living. Right. Everybody can achieve anything that they want. I truly believe that. I do not believe in pain and suffering. I believe we’re meant to be happy and fulfilled beings. And when we get there, we can then be kind and sharing and considerate and compassionate to our world. Right. So this is the formula for a happy life.

Tobi: Yeah. OK. Awesome. So, is there a second point? Did we cover both points of authenticity? I think you just, it was mainly just deciding and then practicing, right?

Monica: Exactly. Exactly. I want to explain, because there’s a difference between validation and feedback. And I think people get confused with that. So validation is, we’re looking for acceptance and for proof that we’re okay. Right. Help make me okay. Feedback is basically you’re saying, help make me better.

Tobi: Oh, that’s so good. Yeah.

Monica: So, it’s fine to get feedback from people in life. Right. They can give you tips, oh, that was good. But they’re not telling you who you are. Because that’s something that needs to come from within. So, I give three points of how to move forward with validating yourself. And these are questions to ask. The first, is in the past, what aspects of yourself have you looked to for someone else to validate? Because this is how you’re going to get into your internal thinking. Right. By looking at past patterns, past experiences.

The second is, what are your current expectations from the significant people in your life, whether it’s your business partner or in a relationship or even a parent? And the third is understanding that validation can only come from you, how you can provide yourself with the validation you’ve been seeking from your partner or others, how can you do that? These are the kinds of questions that you need to start asking. When I say to become self-interested and being an investigator, it’s having these kinds of dialogs to really be curious about where you’re at and from that space you can then create positive changes.

Tobi: Yeah, because there’s no limits to your personal power when you become the person who gives yourself the gold stars instead of needing another person, which we can’t control, and we have no idea what’s going on in their life or what kind of day they had or anything else. When we’re expecting them to give us those gold stars, we’re at the mercy of not only them, but their circumstances, their mindset, everything about them.

And I think I’ve learned that and I love how you put it and broke it down into those simple steps, because that is the key. We’re looking for secrets, that’s one of them right there. That is one of the big, big secrets is the moment you can give yourself all the things you need. There’s not anything that you have to be afraid of. Right. Or that you can’t do.

Monica: Exactly. And there’s another thing I discuss in my book. It’s called Cherished Illusions and I’ll break it down to romantic ideas, but it really can be applied to anything. So Cherished Illusions and it’s also called Cinderella Syndrome. So, you can see where I’m going with this. So, the idea of marriage being a ticket to somewhere better, right? Maybe it’s going to be the white picket fence or somebody is going to have a trophy wife or I’m going to be in a better place than I am right now once I get this.

You can do the same thing in business, “When I reach, you know, this amount of income. This is what I get per year, then I’ve arrived. Then I’m successful.” Right, so we need to cherish these illusions that a false sense of when we get to a certain place, our life will be better. It’s so important to do that because illusions are exactly that. They’re going to be shattered. And then you’re left just with broken pieces.

So, I encourage people to really, again, be honest with themselves and look at the kinds of stories they’re telling themselves and break that down, because nobody and we know this. Nothing. Not one thing and one item not anybody can make you happy or fulfilled.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think my personal experience with that, because I was there at some point, we all have been there. And a lot of people, unless you do the work, you stay there. And I think what happens is you do think like in my career, it’s like once I get published, once I have these product lines, once I have, you know, whatever all these different things, then then I will feel legit. Then I will be able to do whatever. And you get all of that stuff and it feels so empty. And you’re like, wait, OK, well, I guess I haven’t gotten there yet. So, let me move the finish line out a while and let me get back on the treadmill and run, run, run and strive, strive, strive and try to get the gold stars and the approval and then I’ll surely feel it.

And then you go there and you’re like, “Wait I still don’t feel it, and I’m exhausted and burned out and frustrated.” And at some point, whether you choose to do the work, which you’re talking about, definitely the easier path because otherwise you get to the point where you’re like, “Well I’ve done it all and it never worked. This must be an inside job. I guess I’ll just go do it myself.” And you’re trying to save people years of agony and suffering by just saying, “It’s an inside job. Just trust me on this and do this work.” Right?

Monica: Completely. I meet people in their 70s with regret and now coupled with that, they don’t have the desire or the energy to do something. That’s devastating. Right. And this is the thing, there’s a perfect formula if you just start to take the time now, especially when we’re in quarantine, to really get to know yourself, really become a friend to yourself, be curious, ask questions, see what you desire, see what you want, write it down, remove the negative. It’s not that hard. The difficult part is living a life of unhappiness.

This other way is a formula for that, because we all have these false beliefs, even, you know, for instance – and I had this about writing books. I should have written my first book by age [fill in the number]. Right. And then this should have happened by that, if it did then I was successful. Oh, my God, I thought maybe I’m wasting my life and then I was finding like, “Well, Monica, you know, it’s like you’ve been doing nothing in that time. You’ve had four kids and I’ve been writing in between and I teach around” – like when I finally stopped saying “I should have” or “this would mean I’m successful” …

When I finally stopped that negative talk, I was able to look at the facts in front of me and from that place I was able to change what I think. And like in relationships, people do that, too. You know, “If we have children together, it’ll ensure we’re together forever.” Or, you know, “I know he really loves me if we get married.” I mean, we have a list of things that are just so untrue. And then when we get there, we’re like, “Wait a second, that wasn’t true.” But if you take the time, you’re going to realize even earlier that that’s not the case.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think people do the milestone thing in the day. They’re like, I have to be married by X age and I have to have kids by Y age and I’ve got to have X number of kids and like all of this stuff. And it’s just a recipe for disaster for us to set – I mean, like it’s fine to plan, but like, I love, and we haven’t really talked about this yet, the whole idea of being flexible.

I think it’s you have to kind of be in both camps, right? Like having a very explicit plan of what you want and what your goals are. But knowing that those are arbitrary things you’re setting before you get any feedback, before you get to some of those destinations and decide if this is what I still want any more or if this is right for me. Right.

Monica: I get this question a lot, it’s equal parts of having goals and being really clear about them and going after them full force. The other side of it is equally be flexible, if your plan doesn’t work out, right. Because the thing is in life, we’re just so sure we know. And the truth is, we don’t really know very much of anything. In fact, you know, when we talk about fear. People assign that to different things. Now we’re assigning it to disease, we’re so afraid – which is also reality now – losing your job. Right. That’s happening a lot for people.

So, when we go about life and things don’t happen as we intended them to. Then you want to be able to say, “Okay, I trust that the universe has my back. And that I don’t really know. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I wake up in the morning. I know what I want to happen, but who knows?” Right, so we have this thing of like, I need to have certainty, I need to have control, and therefore it needs to go exactly as I see it. But what I want to challenge people to do is say there’s a higher thing happening, there’s a higher experience that’s going on above us. Tap into that, as soon as you try and you try and try, and it just doesn’t happen. Maybe that’s not meant to happen in that way.

I always say the process is the purpose. We’re so focused on the purpose, that goal, we often don’t take time to learn from the process we’re in. And when they do that, you’re going to be able to say, “Okay, wait, I thought I was going to go straight, but actually, if I turn left, there’s a really great gem there for me. And if I stop there and pick that up and then keep going to point A, it’s going to be a better ride.” So, when you understand that and you start to live like that, it’s like you see the world in color. Suddenly you see the opportunities that come to you. And ways that you never could before.

Tobi: Well, because we can’t imagine the unknown yet. And when we have to have certainty, I think we cut ourselves off from the possibility of the magic and some of the things that we could never dream of, they’re beyond our wildest dreams and a better path is kind of what you’re saying. So yeah, you have to have a path or otherwise, it’s not about being flexible on the front end, like I may or may not get up and do this today.

That’s not what you’re talking about. It’s to be consistent and be persistent. But if something looks a little different than you thought, be open to letting it unfold in a different way than maybe you dreamed up because it might be better. Right?

Monica: Absolutely. And honestly, you’re going to hit dead ends like again with my book tour. I had to cancel it. Now, imagine if I became a victim about that. I worked so hard, I spent years writing this. This was supposed to be like this, and the numbers, my sales would’ve been this… There was a whole plan there. Instead, I was like, “Okay, this isn’t happening, I’ve always wanted to do more live recordings.” And so now I’m doing a lot of things that I had on a list, but I didn’t see it as a priority. That wasn’t, you know. Now I’m full on into it and I’m enjoying it. It’s opening new doors.

Tobi: Yes. I think what’s so interesting about that, too, is sometimes the only path we can imagine is the one we’ve seen before, like the traditional book tour. And what I very much believe will probably happen for you and it’ll be fun to hear later, is that this path probably will make you more money, because this teaches you that I don’t have to wait for a book tour. I can literally be in touch with my audience anytime I want to if I’m creating these habits of going online and showing up and sending out videos.

So, I love that because, yeah, it’s hard for people to sometimes envision or have the guts to go towards the unknown. So, we just go the way we saw other people do it because it worked and it made sense. And that’s a great clue. But I love that you’re having to innovate and evolve and think differently, because I think that’s when the best results always…

Monica: The magic happens. It’s not just about the money, but also literally feel myself expanding and growing and stretching. Right. And when you do that, then you can do more and more like, you know, I never want to feel like I’ve arrived anywhere. I always want to feel like I’m growing. I’m changing, I’m evolving. And I can’t wait for the next thing that I will do and also the next thing I’m going to become. That’s my approach.

Tobi: Yeah, I agree with you totally. And I have felt so purposeful and fulfilled during this pandemic more than ever, because I just, like you, stepped right into all of the things that were at my fingertips to serve my audience, to help people to connect.

And it’s been so fun. I don’t want to go back to some of my old ways after this is over. So many silver linings. So, let’s talk about that. So many people who have stepped into the opportunity right now. But there’s a lot of people are still sitting on the sidelines. And I was coaching somebody in my program yesterday, my coaching program about this very thing. And they’re like, well, I think it’s an introvert thing that I don’t want to go live on Instagram. And I said, I don’t think it’s an introvert thing.

I think it’s probably that you are constantly abusing yourself, self-judging, being critical and of course imagine if your friend was about to go live on Instagram and you’re like, “Oh my God, you’re old and fat and ugly and this is stupid and you have nothing to say. Good luck with that.” Yeah, we’re doing that to ourselves. And then like, “I don’t know why I don’t want to go live on Instagram and I’m terrified of looking stupid and being judged and being rejected,” and that whole fear of failure thing.

And I think this is probably the biggest hurdle I see for most people, even when we have all the excuses in the world like we do right now to leap like there’s so much leverage that we could be getting on ourselves right now. Yet people are still sitting on the sidelines. So how do you start to overcome that fear of failure?

Monica: Well, I think that people need to realize that if they continue in that way of thinking, making excuses, all of those excuses, I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m too, it’s not the right time, whatever. Right. Longlist. Basically, just understand that this is the rest of your life, right? Just accept that. That if you desire more and you really have a passion about it, then you’ve just got to get out of your own way. So, what I always do and this what I did when I first started public speaking years and years ago, I was terrified. Right.

But I was more terrified of not living the life I was meant to live, because I’d rather the pain of discipline and discipline is getting through all this stuff and doing the work than the pain of regret, because you can’t do anything with that at that point. So, I started to focus on instead of what will people think and how will they receive my message and what if they don’t like what I have to say?

I got myself into the headspace of I really believe this is what I’m meant to do and I have something to say that I think is valid. And even if it changes one person’s life, that’s enough for me. So, it became more about me being a channel and letting energy and light go through me than anything else. Because all the other things is just connected to our ego and it’s not really real.

Tobi: Yeah, all that trying to perform, trying to be prepared enough, trying to be right. I watch people say, “Oh, okay, Tobi I hear you. So, I’ll go live on Instagram. I will, I really will, I’ll do it a week from next Thursday.” And I’m like, “What do you think’s going to happen between now and a week from next Thursday? That’s going to actually make you feel better?”

You’re just going to feel equally as bad or worse building up like all of this story that’s keeping you from doing it. And in their mind, they’re like, “Well, I’ll go get prepared or I’ll make some bullet points or all research,” or whatever. And I’m like, it’s so funny because whether you rip the Band-Aid off now today and do it right this minute or you rip it off in two weeks, it’s still going to feel just as uncomfortable in the moment when you press live and do it right, like you’re just postponing and lengthening the suffering.

Monica: Two things. First, it’s such a waste of energy. It’s so in a week and a half they’re going to be worried about the Thursday that they’ve told themselves that they would do it. And then when they don’t do it, then they’re going to feel like failures again. And then you have to start it all over, over and over again. Such a waste of energy and time. I always tell people thought followed by immediate action; immediate.

So, I don’t even care if it’s bad. I don’t care if ten people watch it. I don’t care if you mess up. It’s the first step. And that is the way to success. Failure after failure after failure. We as humans, our power is that we try and try again and try again and try again until we get it right. Right. All other animals, like if a dog does something and you tell them twice or whatever. They eventually are trained not to try it again. Right. They’ve learned that that’s the behavior to do, the great power that we have is that we can change our perspective, change ourselves any step of the way.

So, I just would say to all the viewers, if you have a thought, if you an idea about something immediate action, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be great, you don’t even have to be good at it. But just start because it’s the practice and trying again, that makes you great.

Tobi: Yeah, I was going to say we’re not willing to be beginners at things. We think we should start as masters and we’re like, do you not remember? And I say, you can’t just hop on a unicycle and start driving down the street. You can’t just pick up a violin and have, you know, a master level concert. Yet basic things are what we try to tell ourselves are basic, no matter what it is, technology, speaking, anything. We want to be a master out of the gate.

Monica: There’s a three-letter word for that.

Tobi: I can think of a lot, but I don’t know which one you’re thinking of…

Monica: That’s the ego. The ego likes to be right; it wants to be the smartest one in the room, never wants to make a mistake, doesn’t want to look bad, and it doesn’t want to be embarrassed. So again, what part of you is going to leave the ego or your true source? Right, your fall? It’s like the book Outliers right to be good. Anything takes 10,000 hours. So, 10,000 hours equals ten years. It’s ridiculous, and I say this, I actually wrote this in re-think love that when people get married, they think they’re like an amazing husband or wife.

You’ve been married for five minutes, like the first argument, “I don’t deserve it, what did I do? I love him, I’m so good.” Whatever it is. No, you’re horrible at it because you’re new. If you want to be a great partner, it’s going to take practice and it’s going to take 10 years of practice. So, you apply that to everything.

Tobi: I agree. I always heard – and thankfully I had some kind of mentors in business that said, you know, 10 years in your business is kind of when you just really officially start. Like, if you can make it to the 10-year mark, like that is sort of you’ve just really built the foundation and you’re just getting started. And so, I kept that in mind that whole time. And that’s so funny that it does go right along with like that 10,000-hour rule. But it’s so, so true. It takes that long to get your discipline about your finances and understanding business and understanding how to charge and understanding marketing and how you’re going to show up. And, you know, all this stuff, the, you know, the setbacks and obstacles and overcoming them. And it truly does.

And I remember hitting the 10-year mark and kind of felt like I’ve made it or I survived it. And then I was able to say, OK, now it’s going to get fun. Now what are we going to do? And not that it won’t be hard at that point. But I think that really helped me have perspective in those hard, hard little moments. And I agree. I think our expectations of this is going to be great. We’re married now. It’s going to be amazing. And he’s going to bringing me flowers every day and we’re going to have dinners.

And I remember my first year of marriage was probably the hardest one. We were like, “Wait, dude, you’re still living like you’re single, I’m kind of still living like I’m single,” you know, not meeting like with other people, but like, he’s like, “I’m going to go have a beer with my friends every day after work.” And I’m like, “I’m going to work till 8:00 p.m. because that’s what I like to do.” And then all of a sudden, we’re like, “Okay, this is not exactly how this is going to work.” And you have to consciously choose. Right, whether it’s business or kids or your parents or your marriage. Like it’s about being very intentional with the choices. Yeah.

Monica: Yeah. And again, those 10,000 hours that make you great once you’ve mastered something again. And that’s where you got after 10 years of working on your business, then you can start to take more risks and be curious and explore different things and add on to that. But it’s the foundation.

Tobi: Yeah. Love it. So good. Okay, well, this has been so, so amazing. And perfect timing for so many people. One of the silver linings for this coronavirus situation for me is that I think we’re listening in a different way to some of this stuff. And it was so much easier before to just chalk it up to, I don’t have time or I’ll think about that later or, you know, something like that. And now I think not only are we being a little more introspective about what we really want and what’s important to us, but the time excuse for a lot of people has just completely gone out the window. And it’s like, well…

Monica: I think it’s forcing us to take responsibility for our lives and for where we find ourselves in our lives. Far too often, as soon as we’re a little uncomfortable again, because people don’t want change, they crave change, but they don’t want to do the work for change, they start to look for external short-term pleasure or comfort. It’s what we do. And now that’s just really not an option. You have to create that for yourself in your home and find ways to do that. And a lot of it is going to be looking at taking a real hard look at your life or situation where you find yourself and how you feel about yourself.

Tobi: Yeah, that’s so good. Well, any last things that people should keep in mind? We’ve talked about great things, flexibility, authenticity, finding gifts in every challenge, how to overcome fear of failure. I mean, the shame of wanting everything. We’ve covered the gamut, like they could literally take this episode. And it’s really kind of like the roadmap for how to move forward. Right. Did we cover all the most important parts in that?

Monica: I could talk for hours and hours and hours about a lot of things. I think I just want to leave your viewers with first of all, be kind to yourself. We’re all a work in progress. We are doing our best. And all you need to do is show up for yourself, every morning just show up for yourself with kindness. And, you know, one of my favorite things to say to people is that this is your life and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it. If you love what you do, do more of it. And if you don’t know what you love, it’s time to find out. And what a perfect opportunity that is for us now.

Tobi: Yes. That’s such a perfect way to end. That was so good. Thank you so much. You’ve been very, very generous with so many ideas. And if everybody wants to find your books, they can find those, what, on Amazon? Monica Berg and its Fear Is Not an Option, and then what’s the newest book called again?

Monica: Rethink Love. And there’s a workbook that comes along with that because again, thought followed by immediate action. So, you can do the work right away.

Tobi: And is there any place else they should look for you? Are you on Instagram or are you on? Like, where’s your favorite place to hang out online that they can find?

Monica: You can find an Instagram, @MonicaBerg74, and also, I have a blog called RethinkLife.Today.

Tobi: Okay, perfect. Well, thank you again. It was a total pleasure.

Monica: Thank you, by the way, I was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Tobi: So, you weren’t not far at all away from me down here in Arkansas. Yeah. One of my employees actually is in Louisiana. So yeah. Yeah, definitely my neck of the woods. Well good. Well it was so fun.

Monica: Thank you so much.

Okay. Was I right? There’s so much here. I know you want to listen to this episode again. I know you want to write down all of Monica’s steps and tricks and tips. I’m going to listen to this one again. Just so much goodness in getting out of our own way, right?

I see so many people, as I said, letting fear of failure, hold them back. And that’s really what we want to move away from and choose the life we really want. And I just, I think Monica has so many things really clear for us of how to get from where we currently are to where we want to be.

So, let Monica and I know if you experience growth and change from this episode, we want to hear from you. You can always find me out on Instagram. And we have all the ways to find Monica and her book in our show notes.

So, check those out and I’ll see you again next week with another incredible – of course, because we only do incredible here at the Design You podcast – with another incredible episode of the Design You podcast. See you soon.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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