Amy Birks has always felt that she here to do more; more life, more joy and more fulfillment. In order to get that, she faced her greatest fears and took a risk on herself. She has created an award winning business that teaches other people to get more of what they want out of life. As Amy says, "there is more to life to working hard, not experiencing joy on a regular basis then dying". She has a better way, and today she is going to share some of her secrets on how to hack your life to see fear as opportunity to fuel you for the best life has to offer.
Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/
If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:
Maybe you can help me get there****
Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!
| Timestamp Speaker Transcript | | | | | |
| 00:00.00 audraagen Screw up the most because it's the only thing that's like technically kind of sort of scripted. Everything else is you know a conversation and off the cuff and and and natural and organic. This part is the only thing where I'm like God I gotta kind of get it right? so.
| 00:00.00 Amy Birks __ And happening. Is. It. | | | | |
| 00:18.73 audraagen So bear with me I might have to do it a couple of times but we'll get through it like take I want you to giggle I I want you to be you. That's that is the that is one of my favorite parts of my show is that I want you to show up as you.
| 00:18.74 Amy Birks __ Ah. | | | | | |
| 00:22.67 Amy Birks __ I'm not worried at all I'm sure you're gonna do great and I will try not to giggle if it go Well Okay | great but great. | | | | | |
| 00:38.46 audraagen What and whatever form that takes goofy silly serious doesn't matter tell dirty jokes that I've had that happen to it's all good. It's all good. Perfect. So are you ready to roll. Okay.
| 00:38.91 Amy Birks __ Okay | call. | | | | | | |
| 00:45.68 Amy Birks __ Great I can check all of those boxes I'm ready sounds great. | |
| 00:55.65 audraagen Yeah | I'm going to count us down and we're going to get to it 5 4 3 to 1 welcome and everyone and thank you so much for joining me again this week my guest this week she she's my hero because she has learned how to hack the system. Amy Burs is first of all | she is ah an award winning growth strategist an opportunity hacker I told you that she is a hacker and she is an award winning author she is also a corporate America survivor and an absolutely courageous and boacious single mom. Who has figured out how to create a business not only to sustain her life but to be able to spend more time with her daughter isn't that isn't that the dream she's here to share with us some of her journey as well as some tips for us to hack our own life. It is both. My pleasure and my honor to introduce to you Amy Burx Amy thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.
| 02:02.00 Amy Birks __ Oh Audra thank you so much for having me. You did so great I love that what a great job on the intro. Well done sister. Ah.
| 02:05.40 audraagen Thank you | thank you and just as a side note I tell every guest that I record with the hardest part of the interview is the intro because it's the only thing that is sort of kind of scripted. And I screw it up all the time. So those of you that have recorded with me I don't often. Do it first take but somehow I don't know maybe I had enough coffee this morning and I did it first take so we're doing great so far Amy we're we're we're ahead of the head of the game.
| 02:35.40 Amy Birks __ Yes | Hashtag winning. We are doing great. | | | | |
| 02:41.66 audraagen Yes | we're doing great. So I have Amy with me this week because she has such an amazing background and we're going to dive into a really cool topic that we've been wanting to talk about for weeks. Ah | we just we had weather involved that couldn't allow us to record. So we're here now but I want Amy to give you a little bit of her background and how she arrived at where she is at right now. So Amy tell us a little bit about you and your journey to today.
| 03:01.28 Amy Birks __ Um. | | | | | |
| 03:15.79 Amy Birks __ Oh my goodness. There are so many different ways that I could I feel like I could start you know at 5 years old being the kid on the on the with the you know with the friends on the street corner selling the you know lemonade at the across the street from from the park where I grew up or like I could. You know | come forward in time and talk about you know | being the 22 year old who was miserable in her life living in New York and wanted so badly to get out of the terrible relationship find a career that was meaningful and move west and then like got ah got the god shot the proverbial like moment of clarity that said. If you're waiting to have something in your life. That's meaningful and positive and powerful then you know because you're afraid then it can't possibly get any worse and I'm just like kind of teasing into what we're about to talk about today here by the way. Um | but. You know there's like so many I think different things that have put me on the path to being here where I am today and so much of it. Um | like all of the different stories of my life and my life's journey that allow me to feel like I can be you know like the triumphant heroine of my life. Come from this idea that I was willing to look at what I was really afraid of and decide that I didn't have to be afraid of of any of these things and that I could I wasn't actually going to die if I decided to end the shitty relationship and you know quit the terrible job and.
| 04:45.86 Amy Birks __ Leave New York and move west like all of those things were going to kill me and um and all of the things that so so far right? I'm still standing here I'm talking to you. We're recording right now. So um | apparently I'm still alive. My life is thriving I've got an amazing 7 even-year-old daughter and you know so all the things that I've been through have been because I've been able to make these conscious choices to. To feel more powerful and to not let fear be the thing that's kept me from anything that I really want to create in my life and and by the way it's taken me like I I wasn't conscious of what I was doing when I was 22 you know like I did have that moment where I heard god say. You know you're too afraid to do these things because you're afraid it's going to be worse on the other side but you know if if that's stopping you from having new experiences and doing these things and like having a life filled with joy and abundance then it can't possibly get any worse than this so you might as well just go for it. But other than that like it's just been this like meandering path of Serendipity and. And and pain and suffering and lots of moments of feeling tremendous fear and and and also knowing that now here where I am today looking back on all that and going. Oh my gosh. Yes | all of that was me really being willing to lean into all that and decide that I was it was okay. Like I could do it I'm not gonna die and then I didn't and then here I am you know so.
| 06:04.29 audraagen Well I I think that your I think your story is very similar to many of ours. It's It's certainly similar to mine that you think you think that you're doing what you you need to? do you think you're doing what you have to do.
| 06:13.61 Amy Birks __ Dinwood. | | | | | |
| 06:22.20 audraagen Which is okay I got to go to college I got to get a job I got to work in corporate America. Hopefully it's meaningful work if it's not I'll just grin and bear it and go on lots of vacations and you're finding that. That's just simply not the compromise that you have to make so let. Ah | let's first. Take it from. You're a single mom languishing in corporate America just being miserable because guys let's face it. Corporate America is not built for women. It's not built for women. It is not.
| 06:43.31 Amy Birks __ Her hair. | | | | | |
| 06:54.37 Amy Birks __ It's a miserable place. It's not. | | | |
| 06:57.58 audraagen It is not built for women because our needs are different but ah what I want to know is take us to that space of your in corporate America you have this beautiful daughter and you're realizing this isn't working so where are you.
| 07:12.90 Amy Birks __ Here. | | | | | |
| 07:17.22 audraagen And what's going on through your head and your heart. | | |
| 07:21.12 Amy Birks __ Oh such a great question I love how you frame this I you know I agree I think I look at my friends who are still in corporate I do you know and I talk to a lot of people on Linkedin these days who are in jobs and like building side hustles and um and. And even in my my former marriage. You know my ex-husband is somebody who really felt like there was all this security and safety in having a corporate career and what's interesting is that now these days I look at it all and I'm like oh my gosh I am so like it's. You know we get a job like that and then we're taking all of our pen. It's like taking all of our pennies right? As somebody who who works in finance that you know I know that you do and and that I that was my corporate gig before I finally started my my own thing it's like taking every single penny we have and putting it in 1 really risky stock like very very volatile like. You know | putting everything into bitcoin or something like that and saying like for sure that's going to support me for evermore like it's going to be there when I need it definitely 100% and when I'm ready to retire and the reality is that you know now that I'm on the other side of that being an entrepreneur I realize that oh my gosh. No I get to bet on me. And don't I'm not like at beholden to some company who doesn't understand me as a woman who doesn't appreciate my talents and skills who is gonna even regardless of my gender identity is gonna see me as a number and who is completely and 100% expendable at all times and so so when I worked.
| 08:48.74 Amy Birks __ You know like my career was very meandering like you know | starting like I you were talking about shoulds and need tos and havetos and and you know when I went to college right out of high school it was because I was just like under the impression that this is the thing that you do right? you just I had no like understanding or awareness of any other potential or options and I was like no | you just go to. High school out of college I remember running into a friend in the summer after high school and I was like what are you doing for college where are you going for college and she's like oh I'm I'm not going I'm taking a gap year and I'm gonna travel and I was like well what it was like the record player like er I was like I don't understand what you're talking about the words don't compute. What do you mean you go to college. That's what you do you just go to college. And so um and I didn't I wasn't happy there right? So like and then I and then I I dropped out after my second semester and was like f this I got to figure out who I am and like understand what I want and how I have value in the world and and um and so I went on this path of seeking and ended up in. You know in corporate America after like selling cars and working in nonprofits and working in fine dining and you know doing all of these different things and ended up in finance working as ah as a strategic planner and and project manager. Um | and. It was awesome like the experience was amazing. I got you know I I worked for a company at the time that was really really good at actually like valuing me which was something that I was seeking I was like seeking external opportunities to be valued to know my value rather than like coming inward which I know now is is the real journey but ah.
| 10:18.32 Amy Birks __ But what was interesting is that every job that I was taking I was either looking for that looking for an opportunity to be externally validated or and or I was also looking for an opportunity to work in a job that had meaning like wow I I really like I am here to do more right? this is so like this is something that I was always clear on. You know | growing up I felt like such a weirdo like I'm ah I a total misfit. You know I had lots of friends but I was like also felt like I don't think any of them actually get me at all because I feel like such a weirdo because I want to help the world and I want to do more and what I'm learning now is that we all I think have that have that feeling unless we're you know | like total. Narcissists or something like that but like on the like on the spectrum you know | like clinically narcissistic but in any case that job was great because it provided me all these skillsets and really allowed me to hone my skills as a strategist you know it was something that always came natural to me I say I have this Gps brain that can connect dots to. You know | whatever the thing is that somebody wants to create and find the most efficient effective and fun way to get there. But um | but at the same time I kept having to rationalize what the job meant to my soul. You know like oh I work for this company and you know I'm supporting these projects that help 150000 retail team members. And and that's great because then you know we've got all these customers out in the world and they're helping them succeed financially and and so I'm making an impact that way but it but it was all rationalization and so it was it was that like that kind of thread that kept kept like unweaving itself from my.
| 11:52.67 Amy Birks __ Desire to stay employed. But then it was also every time I filled out a pto request for you know for time off or vacation time it was like I felt like I kept getting stabbed in the back like here here your time is not your own. Let's like punch you in the face every time you got to say may I please have my time to enjoy my life like what is. That what is that and so it it ultimately became untenable. You know I had my daughter um she was born. Not I guess I'm trying I think I had actually already left my job by the time that she was born and it's gonna been doing my I've been an entrepreneur for nine and a half years but it it was that like this idea that I want ah job like I want a career I want to do work in the world that has true meaning that is actually creating like that's got purpose behind it. That's supporting the world in a really positive way and like time is our most absolutely most precious non-renewable commodity. Right? No matter what you think about what the construct of time means like we like as humans we tend in in the world that we live in these days right? like in the modern world. We experience time as a limited resource. It passes. It's gone. We don't get those moments back and so so I I wanted to be there for. You know for the daughter that I knew I was getting ready to have and so I left the job and I started the business as a side hustle and ah and then got to a point where I couldn't do both and and started working for myself and then you know | kind of fast forward a few years now that I'm a single mom. There's like a whole other piece of that story that I can share.
| 13:26.96 Amy Birks __ You know whenever you're ready for me to do that or if you want me to about like what becoming a single mom while being an entrepreneur really meant because it was similar and also different. It had to like go through this whole other transformation as an entrepreneur and as as like ah a woman independent powerful woman. Of what that was going to look like to be the sole breadwinner and like the only source of income and the person who's responsible for myself and also my child and her growth and development and being a woman to a daughter and like what all of that meant and and making sure that my business could succeed and oof. There's there was a lot there.
| 14:03.65 audraagen There's there's a lot there but I know that it's it's resonating. There's lots of things in there that is resonating with people listening myself included and I want to talk to you just for a moment about the construct of time and I know that people are like yeah but you know time could be fluid. It can. Based on your perception. However | there is 1 undisputable thing about time that you cannot change and it's something that I just experienced over the weekend. So officially as of Saturday night. My husband and i. Are empty nesters and I know I know I know and that this is why I say this is undisputable because yeah | we have 2 children and this is our youngest and you know they both went and lived on campus when they were in college.
| 14:40.76 Amy Birks __ Oh my gosh. | | | | | |
| 14:59.37 audraagen And so you know we have had a mini experience of empty nesters but this is different. Their rooms were full all of their furniture was there a lot of their stuff was there that they didn't want to take with them to school and they came home back and forth.
| 15:08.20 Amy Birks __ Ah | her. | | | | | | |
| 15:18.20 audraagen This is when you become very aware of the passage of time when you stand in their empty bedrooms that is when you realize how fast time goes and I've had that realization over the weekend when I.
| 15:23.20 Amy Birks __ A a. | | | | | |
| 15:36.30 audraagen Stood in their rooms and went oh this is real Oh my gosh and I still don't know quite how to feel about it because I haven't really let myself feel about it that then but I have a I have a trip coming up for for my job. Maybe I'll cry on the plane.
| 15:45.84 Amy Birks __ Um | yeah. | | | | | | |
| 15:55.45 Amy Birks __ I Think airplanes are a great place for that kind of a thing. Yeah. | |
| 15:56.22 audraagen You know you never know yes | but I I wanted to stop for a moment and acknowledge that time means something especially when you have children and you're watching them grow up and it's this. Commodity that you can't make more of I can't go back in time and visit my children when they were 5 I can't go backwards. So your point of what are we exchanging our time for the 1 resource. We can't make more of.
| 16:15.76 Amy Birks __ The head. | | | | | |
| 16:22.76 Amy Birks __ Gap. | | | | | |
| 16:34.12 audraagen What are we changing it for and you decided that what you were experiencing. There was wasn't enough value for your time and you decided to leap into something that was terrifying and and. Mind-blowing and exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time and that's one of the things that we want to leap from and talk about right now which is fear and what holds us back and how powerful we really really are but we're terrified of our own power. So.
| 17:02.23 Amy Birks __ Ah | here. | | | | | | |
| 17:11.54 audraagen I Will I will let you take it from there because you are the expert on feeling fear but going ahead and doing it anyway because you are you are somehow this this ah expert at finding connections where other people don't see them.
| 17:28.93 Amy Birks __ A. | | | | | | |
| 17:31.25 audraagen And part of your power is using fear to do it and in a good way. So I know that that sounds very strange but using fear to make connections. But it makes sense. It makes sense so I'll let I'll let Amy explain this to you and because I can't do it justice.
| 17:39.64 Amy Birks __ Ah. | | | | | |
| 17:46.28 Amy Birks __ Ah | thank you? Yeah I Love the way that you just that you just said that you know it's interesting because as I mentioned before I think that my journey has been really has been really interesting because you know like hindsight is 2020 They say that right in retrospect I can look back and see all these milestone moments in my life where I was confronted. With an opportunity to make a choice and almost always there's fear in in the mix there right? like there's something to be afraid of that I'm choosing but I can either be afraid of this and go and allow my life to remain small | comfortable familiar or I can say okay. This is really really really effing uncomfortable but I'm gonna allow myself to be in this discomfort because I know it's not actually going to kill me and then probably it's going to be better on the other side I can't think of a time in my life where I've been. Faced with one of those decision points like again looking back in retrospect where I've been faced with one of those decision points where it wasn't better for me on the other side of the fear like facing the fear being willing to be uncomfortable riding it out and then going forth in the new direction. It's just like if I've been true to myself and I've actually done the math of that equation. There's just there's never been an experience where it's not been better on the other side of it. It may have been a meandering path to get to the better like with some more bumps and bruises and you know scrapes and things like that. But.
| 19:12.17 Amy Birks __ It always has been better on the other side and I think that what's so interesting. You know I think about like you know my my leap out of out of ah corporate and into entrepreneurship like I have I tend to have a low risk tolerance. That's just me and I never really knew like never really knew that that was something that was inherently part of who I was because growing up as a child I was. Veryy like as a little girl I was like so cautious and wanted to be in control of everything and I don't want to climb up there because it's scary or I'm not goingnna ride my bike until I'm ten because I I don't want to you know like all of those things but at the same time you know I have. Taking lots of lots of risks and especially as I've grown older and I think you know making that move at 22 is probably the catalyst for a lot of that because I was able to to see proof within myself that I could trust myself to make good decisions and to do things that are scary and hard and and realize wow I'm not like I can actually. Make good choices and it's not worse like it's actually better and so what I think is so fascinating about us as humans especially women is that you know we have these brains that have evolved from you know | however | many hundreds of thousands or more years that have not evolved as fast as the rest of us have so like there's this | you know amygdala right? This part of our brain that is wired and intended to keep us safe from harm but it still thinks that around every corner is a frickin saber tooth tiger so like every decision point that we come up against.
| 20:39.30 Amy Birks __ That's going to challenge what's familiar and comfortable for us or give us an opportunity to grow and change because oh my god the little human inside does not like change then our our mind is like ni and ni na and no | no | no | no | no | no | don't. Do it and then like creates all these really hidden. Not so obvious very tricky ways to get in the way of that you know it comes up as like in forms of resistance or excuses I'm I'm looking at all this stuff with with wide eyes these days because I really. And just not interested in letting fear be the primary driver of what I do in my life mostly you know because for me like I want my life to be big and vibrant and and vital and powerful. But I also have this this seven year old right? This 7 year old woman to be. Who is watching everything I do and I model everything for her and so if I am afraid or if I am afraid for her or about her or whatever that's imprinting on her and so it's so critically important to me that I be able to show up as a model of what's possible when you are a damn powerful. Ah. You know | like successful by whatever definition that means for you present loving kind force of nature so that she can see and embody and feel what that experience is for herself too and.
| 22:10.50 Amy Birks __ Have no idea what your question was or there was something else I was going to say and I just totally lost the plot but we can continue on from there I'm sure.
| 22:11.67 audraagen And you know I think I don't remember what the plot was either. However I think that that was all incredibly important to say because I have started to. Become aware of my own power and it's this is something that has taken a long time to get here. Um I'm 51. It took me a long long time to figure out how powerful I truly am.
| 22:34.57 Amy Birks __ And. | | | | | |
| 22:49.79 audraagen And and not just me but all of the women around me are are just forces to be reckoned with and our greatest threat is ourselves because of that fear that you're talking about that fear that is designed to keep us safe because.
| 22:54.65 Amy Birks __ No. | | | | | |
| 23:08.93 audraagen Come on. We are women we are vulnerable I travel by myself when for work I am very aware that I am by myself and I'm I am I'm on the lookout for the Saber tooth tiger on every single corner. So it's hard not to separate.
| 23:15.90 Amy Birks __ Dead has. | | | | | |
| 23:22.84 Amy Birks __ Yeah. | | | | | |
| 23:28.63 audraagen I'm on alert for physical harm versus I'm holding myself back because of the I'm afraid of the what if so ah I want to talk about that that being if holding yourself back from what could be because of the what if and.
| 23:34.43 Amy Birks __ A hair. | | | | | |
| 23:48.23 audraagen Like I said this is something that we've inherited because Dna dictates for the most of us not all of us. But for most of us that we are the family protectors. We protect our children. We protect our husbands from themselves Ramon guys. You know this is true.
| 23:57.90 Amy Birks __ Okay. | | | | | |
| 24:05.47 Amy Birks __ Ah | right. | | | | | | |
| 24:07.80 audraagen How many times do you have to kick your husband under the table like do you realize you said that out loud right? That wasn't actually in your head that came out your mouth. Maybe that just my husband I don't know but but we we are the nucleus of the family.
| 24:14.81 Amy Birks __ Um | right? Great yeah. | | | | | |
| 24:25.98 audraagen We are the ones that are supposed to be the steady and holding everything in. So how do we? How do we somehow make peace with yes we have to be the steady constant but we also cannot hold ourselves back from what we were destined to be.
| 24:44.16 Amy Birks __ Here. | | | | | |
| 24:44.32 audraagen It's that weird fear thing that is it real or is it imagined. So let's let's start there. |
| 24:49.99 Amy Birks __ Yeah | oh my gosh. There are so many things within this that that like all the different threads that we could pull here you know like we could We could talk about the societal norms that we participate in that have created the opportunity for us to feel like that is our responsibility right? and.
| 25:06.40 audraagen Right. | | | | | |
| 25:08.83 Amy Birks __ And that everybody is like yes that just is your your responsibility. Yes | go ahead play that role for sure that is the thing you should do and I think that you know part of what I think about when it comes to the like quandary of what if right versus what's possible right? because it's to me. It's like what if or what's possible. And so the thing that I'm constantly thinking about when it comes to that is that our brains are wired to find the sabertooth tiger my my very good friend and coach Jeff Sanders calls it being in constant thread assessment mode. We're like looking around like where is the thing where is the thing but we're also creating confirmation bias every time we're looking for the thing you know because then we're going to start seeing it. Right? So if you're somebody who is you know who lives in the country because you're afraid that the city is a dangerous place right? Then every time you go to the city you're going to so you believe that is true like that is a belief that you have ingrained in your system and your amygdala is like yup our brains scientifically speaking our brains can only process so much data at once right. And so because there's like constant information coming at us like we're looking at a gazillion bits of data in every single moment in time. There's just like stuff everywhere. There's a plant in front of me I've got you know a crystal here and bowls there and you here and my computer and cups and like all the stuff and it can't process all of it and so our brains. Wire themselves to only take in through this filter this lens that we create the things that we are really committed to and believe in and so if you're somebody who lives in the country because you believe the city's unsafe. You're gonna go to the city and your brain is gonna be like great. We're not going to see any of the reasons why the city is awesome and fun and safe. We are only going to see you know.
| 26:46.20 Amy Birks __ That guy over there who is probably experiencing homelessness because he's got mental illness unfortunately and he's gonna look like a threat to me because I am certain that the city is an unsafe place to be right? So like it's It's wild and fascinating to me that that is what happens but I think that knowing that is true is also really powerful because at the same time right? like that is like sure you could feel like the guy over there is creating an unsafe environment for you that that could for sure be your reality but at the same time There's like a gazill so like other what ifs right? like like what if what if I start my business and it and I quit my job and it fails right? Like that is always the thing that our mind is goingnna focus on it's gonna create a path to that trajectory It's just going to do that because it wants to validate that it is true. Our minds. Want to be useful. They want to to create safety and comfort and familiarity for us because that is what works for our mind but it's not what works for us and our soul and our spirit and you know our our full potential I don't I don't really even love that term because I feel like that in itself is like a whole can of worms that we. Tend to like stuff ourselves into to say like I have all the potential that I'm not meeting and let me hate on myself for not doing that. But anyway I think that what's so interesting is that there's this one possibility that I start the business and it fails right? Like that's one like 1 end to end that could be a dot that gets connected. Yes | but we live in. | | | | | |
| 28:14.42 Amy Birks __ And abundant universe we live in an ever like scientifically it's it's constantly growing. We know that's true. There's potential everywhere and there are infinite number of other potentialities and possibilities that could also occur I could start the business and become a gazillionaire I could start the business. And decide that I hate it and want to go back to being to having a job I could start the business and win the lottery I could start the business and aliens could land and be like you are so freaking cool and let's take you to Mars like all of these things are equally as as possible as the 1 thing that our mind gets fixated on of the what ifs and so our job. If we can. Ah if we are willing to allow ourselves if this is not even it if we are more like even just 1 % more committed to our own growth than we are to staying the same and really dying because if we're not growing. We're just we're just. Agna and we're dying then if we're just even that much. You can't see me because you're not watching the video but like my fingers are just like barely even touching like this much more committed to our own growth then we can start to move in a trajectory where all those other possibilities can be more available to us because we're like. Wow I wonder why it is that that is the only thing that I see when I think about going to the city that is interesting I wonder what else is possible. That's one of my favorite questions when it comes to fear is like what else is possible. You know I think curiosity by the way is the antidote to fear my best friend Kelly and I talk about this all the time she's at Kelly Sheet she's a
| 29:46.48 Amy Birks __ Brilliant brilliant leadership coach and personal development coach and and I feel so lucky that she's my best friend because I would not be the powerful woman that I am without her influence in my life but we talk about this all the time like wow I wonder like I wonder what else is possible. What other questions could I ask here that might create more opportunity like isn't that. Interesting that I did that thing again like I'm falling into that pothole again huh you know? and so curiosity is just always always always the best tool that we have when we're noticing that we have an opportunity to maybe move away from fear and more towards. Potentiality and I'll just say 1 more thing on this by the way because I think it's also as women and especially if we're mothers right? like we we like I think there's something to be said for prudence. This is another thing that that Jeff said once like when when covid was starting to become a thing right? like in 2020 was like I'm really like I know that I don't like fear is always a projection into the future. It's good like anything that we're afraid of is always on its way no matter what it is and you know no matter what it is. It's always on its way. It's not here right? This second even if somebody's standing in front of you with a gun right? like the. The thing that we're afraid of is what's going to happen after they pulled a trigger which hasn't which hasn't happened yet and so we always have a choice. It doesn't feel like that because we're running these like scenarios and these and these you know things through our system these processes and stories and ways of being that we're so used to.
| 31:16.34 Amy Birks __ But it's always a projection in the future and that brings me so much comfort because whenever I notice in my body and I feel that oh wow I'm really I'm feeling anxious I'm afraid like I wonder what? that's about then I can unpack it and remember oh | it's not real anyway | it never is and it's only going to limit. My potential if I continue to lean into it and so that said I think there's also an opportunity for prudence because I'm not gonna go and be like taking my seven year old to the you know Newburg Beacon bridge and being like let's go for a swim and jump five hundred feet down right? like we're not gonna do that. But at the same time I'm also. Gonna encourage her when she's afraid of you know | asking the guy at the ice cream stand for the ice cream that she wants um and and like wants me to do it I'm gonna be like you got this girl? No | you go do it. It's okay to be afraid and you can do the thing anyway | you can do the hard thing. There's like a balance and I think that the more that we're like it's either this or that it's black or white like we we you know find our way in the in between you know | there's like shades of gray and I'm constantly being reminded of this throughout my own life that our minds want everything to be very clean | neat and orderly. And clean. It orderily is it's either right? or it's wrong. It's black or it's white. It's yes or it's no | you're either gonna die or you're gonna I don't even know what the app the the mind is always like you're just gonna die like do don't do the thing because you're gonna die. Don't change. You know.
| 32:40.86 audraagen It's it's self preservation. But what you're talking about is retraining your brain to not always go to the worst possible outcome or the or. The worst case Scenario. So as a coach. How are you helping your clients get out of that that system of fear and and I realize that the brains likes to take the path of least resistance and.
| 32:56.74 Amy Birks __ Yep. | | | | | |
| 33:14.52 audraagen For whatever reason and I don't know why I'm sure that there is a brilliant scientist out there that knows the exact reason why I haven't interviewed them yet. But I'm sure I'll get to you that our brains always want to go to the negative. That's the path of least resistance is negative.
| 33:29.71 Amy Birks __ Here. | | | | | |
| 33:32.50 audraagen Somehow the positive is always the long way Around. It's always the harder way to get there. But how do we? Our brains are are these amazing Machines. So machines can be reprogrammed. How do we reprogram ourselves to not always want to be a. Fear avoidance and instead lean in to what could be what the possibility is.
| 33:55.71 Amy Birks __ I love that you ask this question I think it's such a wonderful question to ask because it's tricky you know and and so what I think is interesting also about humans is that especially in our country and in America right? like we. Want what we want and we want it now we have this expectation that things are going to show up and they're going to show up right away and and and that have to say that like we're not interested in hard work like I think the other thing that's really interesting about this country is that we have this expectation that we work hard and we work hard and we work hard and we work hard and then we die. And that is what our and that is what creates our experience of having value and if we don't do all of that then we don't have value and so and that was why the pto requests were always like so asinine to me I'm like why? what? this this can't be what life is all about is waiting and waiting and waiting to enjoy like I got it. We got ah | there's so much here. To enjoy. So so I think that you know what's really wild is that oh my god I totally lost my train of thought ask the question again. Ah | just go right out of my brain. Oh my god ask the question one we're done. Ah. |
| 35:04.18 audraagen Ah I that is hilarious. This is what happens when you record I And yeah. | |
| 35:12.39 Amy Birks __ I Don't feel free to leave it in I Love I'm so not afraid for all of the listeners to hear me totally mess that up I Love it please. But ah.
| 35:18.33 audraagen See see even experts have moments where they're like what was I saying so see you all are not alone if you're if you're if your train of thought derails you have company So like.
| 35:22.57 Amy Birks __ I Have no idea. | | | | | |
| 35:30.38 Amy Birks __ You are not alone. Oh yes. | | | | |
| 35:35.41 audraagen I'll rephrase the question as to how do we retrain our brains not to automatically go to that fearful spot and keep us there. You know I think that's the big deal I don't think the big deal is that we feel fear I think that.
| 35:43.39 Amy Birks __ Um | yeah. | | | | | | |
| 35:52.65 audraagen We feel fear and we let it keep us hostage I think that I think what we need to know is how do we retrain our brains to to realize that fear may not necessarily be ah the worst thing that could possibly be how do we.
| 35:54.47 Amy Birks __ Okay. | | | | | |
| 36:08.41 Amy Birks __ Oh my gosh. Thank you! I'm so glad you said that part right? there I have this book my my friend Bob Levant wrote a book called finding Polaris and he's a big proponent of leaning into fear. He even he's got this tattoo on his on his right bicep that he can look at every day in the mirror.
| 36:11.49 audraagen Do it anyway. Basically. | | | | |
| 36:27.83 Amy Birks __ That is a um | an emerson quote that says what we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do and 1 of Bob's quotes from the book is is always rsvp with will attend when fear invites you and I love that idea right? like it's exactly like you just said and I and I think that it's hard to do it because you know. I think what's so interesting is that it's happening under the surface. It's happening in our subconscious mind. We're not necessarily even aware. It's there sometimes we might actually feel the anxiety right? like like oh god I'm about to you know | go to this big conference and I got to show up and I'm gonna be on this panel with all these people who are really amazing | right? like that. That you can feel that right like you can draw a line like ah | a linear connection from this feeling that I'm having is fear to this event that's about to come but oftentimes we are just running these like processes that are autonomic in our in our systems because they've been there since we were. You know had an experience when we were three years old like from traumas and things like that and we don't even realize that they're holding us back. You know for me right now this looks like like leaning into intimacy I really I want so badly to have close relationships with people that I care about really with everybody like I want to be able to to go deep and be. Seen and allow for that to be okay and it feels so wildly uncomfortable when somebody has appreciation for me and really sees me and I physically like I feel it and then I'll do things like I'll react because I'm feeling that discomfort and not even realize that I've done it like.
| 38:01.80 Amy Birks __ There's a guy that I wanted a date with and he was like so so appreciative and so loving and so kind and sees me so so clearly and I'm like either. Ah Nope This isn't this isn't working and like could make up all these reasons Why it's not going to work and then I realized I was like such and. And like all of it would like be very valid right? like I could say this this box didn't get checked or that box didn't get checked or whatever but the reality is that none of that even matters and that what was really going on is that underneath the surface. My whole system is like red Alert Red alert.
| 38:40.81 Amy Birks __ And actually have a close intimate relationship with somebody and that is very scary and don't do it. You know? So I think that when it comes to how we move from that place of you know | being able to retrain our brains to see the things that are more beneficial and less driven by fear is number one to create. Awareness within well no number one is to have an intention right? I was talking about that like Teeny Tiny 1% you got to want it 1% more than you don't want it right? So have an intention of what it is that you would rather be noticing right? So if it's like the scenario of the person who's living in the country and the city is scary. But oh my God I really see. And opportunity to be spending more time in the city would be really good for me. There are people there and friends there and things there then okay | cool like I'm going to get more comfortable with spending time in the city and seeing what is also magical about being there right? So like have an intention I think the second piece then is to be like. Super Uber relentlessly committed to awareness your self-awareness and for me the shortcut to that What that looks like is paying attention to what's physically happening in my body like knowing what my Baseline state is when I'm centered when I'm balanced when I've got my shit together. And what it feels like when I'm when I'm out of balance and or feeling fear or anxiety like any of those emotions that we label and for me what that feels like is oh I've got butterflies in my stomach or I'm feeling choked up in my throat or my shoulders are really tense or my butt is clenched or like whatever you know like I'm snapping at my kid. You know.
| 40:15.25 Amy Birks __ Like it happens like just even trying to leave the house to get to school on time like somebody's gonna think something of me the the teachers the other parents at the drop-off like there's that single mom who's always late right? and so none of that right? I'm not thinking actively thinking about that. But that is what my system is running and is in the background is like this.
| 40:29.70 audraagen Um. | | | | | | |
| 40:34.75 Amy Birks __ This process you mentioned computers machines like there's this system This process's running in the background going. Oh you're gonna be judged and you're gonna be judged as wrong and there is some terrible trajectory that that puts you on that means you're gonna die alone because you were late dropping your kid off at school. So Now we gotta like have a reaction so I pay attention to what's happening in my body and then once I notice it like that's a great cue because then I can feel it I can feel it Oh God I'm feeling choked up I'm feeling that sensation in my stomach then I can say oh now I I get it now I know what's going on. Got it? okay. I don't have to go down the rabbit hole of the story of whatever was causing the anxiety like oh shit I'm going to this thing and I'm gonna speak on that stage and they're all going to judge me and I'm not as good as the other women on this panel and oh my God like I don't have to pay any attention to that I can just say oh I'm feeling physically feeling this thing I put a label on it I call it. Anxiety I call it fear whatever and now I'm just going to let it sit there for a minute I don't have to think about it I don't to judge it I'm just going to let it be and then it passes like instantly. So I think that's like in the moment the things that we can do. But I think the other thing that we can do is you know our minds need cookies like we got to give it a cookie every now and then to say like to give it some proof. Because it requires 0 literally no proof at all that we're in danger but it requires years and decades of proof that we have value or that something else might be true. Besides the thing that it's trying to protect us from and so it's really a matter of being you know so like I think a simple exercise would be whatever the thing is that you're trying to see more of is to.
| 42:08.13 Amy Birks __ Pay attention to when you see it write it down or if it's something about yourself like I'm trying to value myself more to notice that I have more value or that I am worthy of whatever like I can do the thing that feels really hard then like do a little look back and write down 10 times when you've already done the thing that you're afraid that you can't do. Because I think that is how we give our mind this cookie to help it start to create a new groove in our brain that will then allow us to start seeing those things instead of the other and there's lots of other little hacks | you know like I I will sometimes use eye liner and like write a word on my on the inside of my wrist to remind myself of something that I want to. Want to be my intention for that day rather than getting a tattoo I'm like okay today it's about you know presence right? or tomorrow. It's about laughing or whatever like these are the these are my intentions for the day. The thing that I want to remember to focus on I'm gonna see it there. it's gonna it's gonna spark my memory and I'm gonna be like oh right? Yes | today is about this I'm gonna keep doing this. And also know that you know sometimes these practices when we do them with persistence consistency and determination like we have to change it up because our brain starts to look at the thing on our wrists and be like yeah I do that every day and it doesn't really affect me anymore because my brain wants to help me or my mind wants me to to stay small and not. And afraid and not change at all. So and I just said a lot I hope hopefully some of that's up.
| 43:26.61 audraagen No | that was there was there's something that I want to share with you. Um | and it is a I'm going to read an expert or ex expert excerpt. Yeah I can speak English I I promise I can um.
| 43:39.92 Amy Birks __ Yes | ah. | | | | | | |
| 43:43.45 audraagen I Want to share with you a quote that if I can find it um and it was because I will I will share something with hold on guys there with me. That's why I can. That's why I can edit.
| 44:00.87 Amy Birks __ We love Editors don't we you are the yes we editing software. | |
| 44:02.61 audraagen Ah I do I am the editor Actually I Yeah yes I I actually I actually hate the editing part but I'm also so such a control freak of making sure that everybody's voice has heard in the absolute. Right way I won't trust it anybody Else. So I Want to oh I'm sure I have no doubt I have no doubt um I see I want hold on I'm looking for it I Just um.
| 44:21.87 Amy Birks __ By the way by the way that's because you're afraid of something you know. |
| 44:37.10 Amy Birks __ And all while you're looking for that I'll just speak to that by the way because I think that's such an easy easy trap to fall into is like this idea that it has to be I was a I was a control freak and still have those tendencies to come like to pop in from time to time like being a type a personality all my life or most of my life until you know my probably my late 20 s and.
| 44:39.60 audraagen Yes. | | | | | | |
| 44:56.61 Amy Birks __ And I think that that that again is something that is sparked by fear like I'm afraid that something is going to happen or isn't going to happen and you know and for and for you with the editing right? like it's a noble reason like very noble like you are very committed to the women that show up on this podcast to having like you want their voices to be heard that is really important to you.
| 45:08.83 audraagen Um. | | | | | | |
| 45:16.54 Amy Birks __ And so I think there are times where the fear is it can be useful right? because it's creating the result that we that we are really intentional about and watch for the ways within your business that it also creates an opportunity for you to be like well. Now I I like I but I have to like I have to do all these things and it creates a should and a and a need to and I have to and then creates the potential for you to like be up late doing that and not hanging out with your husband or like do it like all these other things it like creates a ripple effect outward from like a very noble intention and then there's. And so I think we always have the opportunity to just coming keep coming back inward and being curious about it and saying like okay | could it be good enough like is this good Enough. Can we just leave it in and have a good laugh at you know this idea about like look at your searching for the thing and and we're just. But we're both like human women having this experience and like who care and like it's great that they get to hear it and and then we get to have this other little bit that we talk about that's also useful for them to hear as Well. So that they can go look at themselves and go like oh yeah | where am I constantly trying to make everything perfect. | |
| 46:10.49 audraagen Set up. | | | | | |
| 46:26.35 Amy Birks __ Because I have a noble intention but then it creates this like unintended consequence somewhere else down the road.
| 46:30.94 audraagen And I will tell you that I definitely feel that and I think I think to bring this this conversation full circle is to be very vulnerable and very transparent with you because I can't imagine that. It would be more perfect than to share this with you and of course everybody else is listening so I had yeah | it's kind of terrifying what I'm about ready to admit to everybody is pretty terrifying but I'm going to say it out loud Anyway I had.
| 46:55.19 Amy Birks __ I Let me I Love your bravery and your willingness by the way that is amazing. Yeah.
| 47:08.44 audraagen Ah | moment about a month ago I had this moment of clarity that terrified me on on what was going on I have this fear of I think I have this fear of being seen. I think I have a fear of being successful on my own merit and and let me let me tell you what I mean by that I have been successful in my career working for somebody else. So. I've been successful working under somebody else's banner I acknowledged and recognized that I suddenly had developed this fear and it's all surrounding this podcast this fear of being successful under my own banner.
| 48:04.27 Amy Birks __ Who. | | | | | |
| 48:04.88 audraagen Meaning me I I am I am the quote unquote company. It's me and the fear just terrified me and a friend of mine and I had um it guys It was the ugly cry.
| 48:10.00 Amy Birks __ Is this. | | | | | |
| 48:22.24 audraagen I was I totally was like had a breakdown I left this rambling message for my for one of my friends and like I don't know it's wrong. Ah so I had this it was It was full full on Snot and I'm driving I'm driving. That's good. Perfect.
| 48:35.34 Amy Birks __ I Know the ugly cry So well. Ah | oh my God I. | | | | | |
| 48:41.82 audraagen Perfect scenario right? So she sends me this quote and I want you to comment on a why I'm feeling this weird fear and to this quote that she sent me and this quote that she sent me is by Marianne Williamson
| 48:51.12 Amy Birks __ Fifth. | | | | | |
| 49:00.69 audraagen And you know so I won't read everything but I will read the bits and pieces of it. It says our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light | not our darkness. | | | | | |
| 49:00.99 Amy Birks __ Um | I know this one I know exactly what you're gonna read I can't wait I can't wait. |
| 49:18.75 audraagen That frightens us most when she left me this quote. It was like this it like she hit me with a bolt of lightning and I went oh my God That's what's going on so I will shut up so you can so you can comment on.
| 49:29.15 Amy Birks __ Um | get me. | | | | | | |
| 49:35.76 Amy Birks __ A. | | | | | | |
| 49:38.68 audraagen This weird fear that I've developed all of a sudden and what do I do about it. |
| 49:41.99 Amy Birks __ Yeah | oh it's such a good quote I love this conversation and and I really acknowledge an and great appreciation of your willingness to be transparent and vulnerable and that was very brave of you for admitting the ugly cry in the car about you know like you. Allowing yourself to receive the recognition and the and the the bigness involved in being successful as you and so it's so so number one. So so so common it's like I think I think all of us have that potential within us and I think a so. Especially women we are like we try harder. We like we simply have to because we're you know participating in these systems that have really been designed to not allow us to be equally recognized and and to create success for ourselves and so I think that. That we have it in our you know you mentioned this earlier in our Dna wired into us as human beings but also as women that were like we should play small. We need to be quiet | sit still don't be too much. Don't be too big. Don't be too loud. All of that stuff. And so when it comes when we have and by the way I went through it myself right? like with my own business and it comes up still because it's like it's woven into the fabric of our being It's hard to just let this shit go and have it be gone like it doesn't go away forever. It just like comes up in another some other form shape or fashion.
| 51:14.92 Amy Birks __ Somewhere else down the road but it's so common because we we especially as entrepreneurs I see it in my clients all the time that there's this like the idea of being seen and known as ourselves is so scary because like. Our brand is us right? It's us and if we succeed amazing. But there's also like lots of really weird potential on the other side of that like there's you know like the possibility that you succeed and then oh shit you take a nosedive and you fail. Or there is you succeed and then oh shit | somebody's gonna take advantage of me or it's all gonna be taken away or like who knows what right? or oh shit I succeed and then my spouse doesn't like me anymore or my friends leave me or my family doesn't respect me like there's so many possibilities and potentialities that our mind really can just like chew on and. Dig into and go crazy with and so you know I think there's there's all of this stuff. That's just like part of who we are as human beings as women human beings or women identifying human beings and that are like you're so what's so awesome is that you know that it's there. Right? So that awareness to me is like half of the journey because so many of us like I would say I don't know I'm just going to like take a blanket guess based on 0 data whatsoever that like 95% of human beings are living just living in their like automatic.
| 52:47.17 Amy Birks __ Processes They're just they're not aware. They're it's they're just going through the motions and so what I love so much about you and this podcast and what you've built here and what you're you're committed to doing is that you want you are curious because you are willing to grow you want to get Uncomfortable. You're willing to lean into that you're willing to explore you're willing to look at it. And I think that that level like allowing and being willing for the awareness to be there like getting to the point where you can say oh my gosh I see this thing now and I can't un see it like that is really tricky because anybody that's like just running around doing the thing and like not paying attention. If They for some reason like in some like blinding flash had a moment where they had the awareness and then they saw the thing that was holding them back then they have like now we're faced with a choice and if they're too uncomfortable and not equipped to then meet that choice head on and say like I was saying in the beginning right? like I can either stay in this. Stagnant dying place and continue to be comfortable or what my mind thinks is comfortable because really | it's just me not being me and not being me requires so much energy and effort and ah it's ah that is not actually comfortable. It's just familiar. Then like I Just like let me just go here and and sit with the discomfort of this this unfamiliar the unknown and see what else might be possible and so I think it's It's really common this idea that if I succeed that is equally as scary as if I fail you know what? if I'm too much I could also be not enough.
| 54:23.77 Amy Birks __ You know this? It's like this black and white thing and so I think that the opportunity that we have as humans and as women and as business owners especially is or brands like people who are putting ourselves in the spotlight for whatever reason or or another is to lean into the idea that it's worth doing because it's worth doing. Like we have a mission you have a really cool mission Audra it is so awesome and it is so worth doing that that can help I think supersede that fear of oh shit | it's me and my success but like we you have a responsibility because you are. You are doing this thing so you have a responsibility to do that. But at the same time like bringing kindness to yourself to know that it's ah and it's okay to be afraid and it's okay to to do it incrementally and to like warm yourself to it and you don't have to dive off the five hundred foot bridge into the Hudson River you can like.
| 55:20.47 Amy Birks __ You know | take take the circuitous path down the bank and like you know trip on a stomp on the way and then like see a squirrel and maybe move off in the wrong direction for a minute and then circle back and just know that you're always like as long as you're committed and aware and and sensing when those choice points show up. And just keep choosing the hard because the good is on the other side like with trust and faith that the good is always on the other side of that then I think that's what helps us to allow ourselves to be willing to say oh it feels really fucking scary to be to be you know seen. To be known to succeed under my own name and and like all the what ifs that are on the other side of that. But it's it's worth doing and I'm gonna do it because my audience needs it. My community needs it I need it. My kids need it. My daughter 7 year old needs to see what that looks like because I want that for her I want that for everybody else and I want it for me
| 56:20.19 audraagen Ah I don't think that I could have said that any better than that because the the entire point of this entire show is to create connection and to remove the fear out of our lives. To become anything that we want to be and to allow ourselves to dream and lean into that dream even though those dreams are terrifying Guys. Trust me this dream that I've created is.
| 56:46.37 Amy Birks __ And. | | | | | |
| 56:56.32 audraagen Terrifying. But it is so worth doing and everything that you're dreaming about is going to be worth doing so don't take don't take my word for it. Take amy words for it. She believes in you. She knows you can do it. She's built an entire company on teaching people how to lean into fear and do it anyway. So I want everybody to just take that leap and lean into their fear just a little bit today just a little and then tomorrow maybe a little more and see what happens Amy I can't.
| 57:18.58 Amy Birks __ Okay. | | | | | |
| 57:33.54 audraagen Thank you enough for you being here and talking to me about this this concept of fear and how we can use it to our benefit if people wanted to reach out to you ask you questions talk to you more about this even you know perhaps inquire about. Coaching or whatever it is that they need from you. How would they reach you.
| 57:57.70 Amy Birks __ Ah | thank you for asking. Thank you for having me too before I even I even share that I just want to tell you what an awesome conversation. This has been and how grateful I love talking about this stuff. It's so fun and it's ah so much more rewarding when it's with somebody who's as curious and committed to growth and curiosity as you are and I just love. That I get the opportunity to share this conversation with you and that then your audience gets to benefit from it I hope so thank you for this and um | yeah | the best ways to find me or online I'm at Amy Burkes Dot Com if you're curious about these types of conversations. My best friend Kelly who I mentioned earlier in the show she and I have. Have a cool thing called the epic experiment. It's Amy Burkes Dot Com Slash Epic and it's just like a window into more conversations just like this that she and I are constantly having and super easy low barrier to entry to come and hang out with us over there and then if there if your listeners any of them are a. Purposeful a founder of a purposeful brand a purpose-driven business owner who's trying to scale and they want to do it without having to sacrifice the things that really matter like time freedom right? We talked a lot about time today you know profitability fun things like that then you know feel free to follow me on Linkedin my moniker on Linkedin I think is like. Strategy ninja like Linkedin. Whatever instrategyninja or again | you can find me on my website and drop me a line there and we could hop on a call and chat.
| 59:22.46 audraagen I'll make sure that everybody has access to your contact information I'll make sure that it's all in the show notes your link to your website as well as to your Linkedin bio. Ah thank you once again for being here with me being. Really transparent with me with your fear and allowing me to be transparent with mine I appreciate that and I want to thank all of you for listening and we'll see again next time and hate it with my so.