Whether your experience is postpartum anxiety or depression, or you’re having lots of difficult circumstances happening at the same time and it’s getting harder to coach yourself through it, I hope my insights show you that you are not alone. This episode is not a universal treatment plan in any way, shape, or form. This is just a conversation we’re having together that I hope serves you.
Join me on this episode as I share how postpartum anxiety has been showing up for me, and what I’ve been doing to manage it so I can show up fully to my life and business. You’ll hear the challenges postpartum anxiety has presented for me, and the key things that have been monumental in taking away some of its power.
Welcome to the Make Money as a Life Coach® podcast where sales expert and master coach Stacey Boehman teaches you how to make your first 2K, 20K, and 200K using her proven formula.
Hey coaches, welcome to episode 210. Today we’re going to talk about my journey with postpartum anxiety. I’m going to share that with you and running an eight figure business. And how I’m managing that all. That’s a question a lot of you have asked me. And so I’m going to take this episode to share it with you today, but first a couple of things. Happy New Year’s, you’re listening to this in the new year. I’m recording this before the New Year so that’s a little weird. But I’m looking forward to the new year, so Happy New Year.
And I want to say, I was looking up the podcast number for this one and I stumbled across a couple of reviews on the podcast that I wanted to read that really touched me in a big way. And I just want to shout you out and say, if you take the time to leave me a review, I on the occasion read them and it means a lot to me. Those of you who are coaches, for sure when you comment and you say how it’s impacted your business specifically, it’s so helpful because it tells me what content you want to hear more about.
But also for those of you who are not coaches, who are still getting so much value from this episode, I just want to say that that is the miracle of the time that we’re living and the access to technology that we have. I’m able to help you, even though you’re not even in my line of work, my niche for free on the internet. My clients are always saying, “It’s a miracle that we get to help people on the internet.” And that feels true even for the people that are not ever going to buy into one of my programs because they’re not a life coach.
So I just want to say, this one really hit me, it’s by – I don’t know if this is the name or the handle, it look like Aeynrt A-E-Y-N-R-T. And this person says, “I am not a life coach at all, trained as an engineer and now work in a very male dominated area as a PM. Stacey is a refreshing dose of a positive and strong female leader who I can turn to every week. And let’s be honest, I listened to all the episodes on repeat, some were every day. Thank you, you have kept me sane and believing in myself so many days after tough meetings or emails.
I really appreciate that you put this out into the world for free, for those who may never even be a good fit for your paid programs but who still find belonging and empowerment. Thanks to your work and your courage to share who you are with the world.” Yes, that is my goal. I love that.
And then Busruh.Tef, so again, I don’t know if that’s the name or if that’s the handle says, “I’m finally hopeful about my business. She helped me see that it was not just magic, that some people have successful businesses. I thought I didn’t have what it takes but I realized what a huge mistake it is to believe that. I’m so appreciative of even just this content she puts out. I can’t imagine how transformative it must be to have gone through her programs, maybe I’ll find out.” Yes, come join us. We would love, love, love to have you. So I really appreciate those.
And I also wanted to take a second to address some of the haters. There are some falsehoods, some things that people misunderstand. And maybe you might be misunderstanding. So I’ll take a second to address those, the misunderstandings that people tend to have about me, and these episodes, and my work, and my philosophies. So someone said that – I’m not going to read the whole review because it’s not useful. But someone said that they think that it is – this goes so well with today’s topic.
That it’s problematic, that I think people with depression and anxiety aren’t a good fit for my program. And then they said, “As if there isn’t already enough stigma for people with mental health issues to deal with.” And I’m actually going to talk about a mental health issue today. And I want to say that I actually don’t think it creates more stigma for me to say that. I don’t think it is problematic at all.
I think it is the most loving, brilliant in service honorable thing I could possibly say. That my program is not a good fit for someone who is in an active fight against depression or anxiety or fight with depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing an active – I don’t even know what you call it, but an active experience of it. And you’re not receiving coaching or therapy of some kind and not on medication, either or, if you’re not receiving help for anxiety or depression my program is not a good fit for you.
I know it will trigger you. I know that it will be very difficult to perform at a high level if you have something like that holding you back from that level. And we don’t offer any sort of management for mental health issues. It’s a business coaching program. So we don’t have available therapy, if you’re in the program and it causes a massive – I don’t even know what the word is, but just a massive experience of that, of anxiety or depression. If it causes that, we aren’t equipped to help you with that. And that’s okay. I don’t have to include therapy in my business coaching.
We don’t have to be everything for everyone. This is something I teach in 2K for 2K is how to look for red flags of people who will not make the best use of your program or have the best experience in your program. And it’s okay to say, “Hey, listen, it sounds like you have active anxiety or active depression that is causing you to not be functioning in your life.” That’s the difference. Lots of people function with anxiety. And people function with depression if it’s managed and that’s great, and then you are a good fit.
But if it’s active and it’s not managed, I think it is the best most honorable thing that you can do is to tell someone that, to tell someone, “I’m not equipped to help you at that level.” I don’t have a trauma certification. I’m not getting one anytime soon or ever, not because I don’t think it’s important but it’s not what I do. I help high functioning people, high functioning coaches. There’s an assumption there if you’re a coach that you are getting management on anything that’s going on with you.
But I help high functioning coaches make a lot of money, that’s what I do. I’m a business coach. I am a master life coach but I teach business principles. And I do think that that is a level of awareness to get on the phone. I have been on so many one-on-one consults when I was doing general life coaching where I told people just that, “I am not equipped to manage this diagnosis with you. I don’t have those certifications. I don’t have those trainings.”
And I’m always willing to try to help someone find it or to refer them but that’s the most honorable thing that you could do. We are not expected to be therapists and coaches. And I would think that people listening would appreciate that level of honesty. So I just want to offer, if anyone ever tries to put you down for that as well or say that that’s a negative thing. That’s not a negative thing. I think it’s an honorable thing to not sell someone something that would not be good for them.
Now, if you don’t have either active or it’s managed, you have anxiety, an anxiety disorder, that’s what I mean, an anxiety disorder and it’s managed, if you have depression and it’s being managed, I’m going to talk about that today with my own experience. And you can go into a container that’s very fast paced, with very tough coaching and with a high expectation for performance, then great, come join us. I want you to make a lot of money.
I want you make really big splashes in this industry. I want that for all of you but I also don’t want you spend $25,000 and not have a good experience because you might have a thought that there might be therapy waiting inside the program. And there just isn’t. There isn’t space for that in the program that we offer. So I just think that that’s a good thing to be honest about. I don’t think that that’s me creating a stigma. And I definitely don’t think that that’s me doing anything that is problematic.
I think that that’s me being honest, and aware, and being willing to not take people’s money when I know it’s not a right fit. So that was one of them. Okay, so the other one that I want to address says – it was titled Be Careful. “Be aware of someone who is telling you to be fanatical and obsessive. This isn’t coaching, this is brainwashing. Just because they model an unhealthy relationship and power dynamic with their coach, doesn’t mean you need to strive to have that yourself.
There are many wonderful successful coaches out there who will coach you to your own insights without relying on cult like rhetoric in order to so.” Listen, I was just talking with a friend and who is also in the coaching industry who is making lots more money than me. And she has had people that have accused her of being cult like and using cult like tendencies. And this is the thing I told her which I need to do an episode on the difference between cult and coaching. I’ve been saying I’m going to do it forever, ever since I watched NXIVM documentary on HBO, but I really do need to do one.
But this is the simple thing I told her. This is how you know if it’s coaching or if it’s a cult. Say it out loud to someone else. It’s really simple. I make big investments with my money. And when I do I do everything that they say, everything they tell me. I get 100% that I come for. I am willing to be in massive student mindset. I’m going to do everything they say. I’m going to implement everything. I’m going to get coaching on the results of that. I just am willing to try anything, anything I’m willing to try. So I’m super coachable and I’m always the most improved.
I could say that out loud to anyone. I spend a lot of money and if I’m going to spend a lot of money I’m going to do everything they say. I’m going to be the best student, the most improved. I can say that to anyone and I don’t think people are going to say, “Sounds like you’re in a cult.” Now, if I were to say, “I’m in this coaching program where they have me brand myself with hot iron and I have sex with the leader in order to get transformation.” Here’s your sign that you’re in a cult. Say it out loud.
Cultlike things will sound crazy coming out to another person. You would never say them out loud to another person. Or if you’ve watched NXVIM, my coach makes me text them within 10 seconds of them texting me. And I have to respond back, “Yes master.” And I have to count my calories. And I am only allowed to eat 1200 calories a day. And I have to text them before I eat everything I eat. Sounds like a cult. I just show up and do what my coach says and get results. Doesn’t sound like a cult.
And here’s what’s really fascinating is the assumption of there being a negative power dynamic. And the assumption that it creates something terrible or awful. I love my life. I have an amazing relationship with my husband, with my family, with my child. I work three days a week and have four days off to be with my family. I feel more at home and comfortable with myself than ever before. And I don’t get that much coaching from my coach. So let me be clear, my coach isn’t telling me every single thing to do.
When I worked with her in the first mentorship that I had with her I got four hours a year with her. She’s only telling me so much in four hours. The rest of the time I had to make the decisions myself, on my own. I actually have a podcast episode coming up about that, about how that is, actually it’s better to get less coaching from someone than weekly, more coaching at this level. There’s a certain level that that’s really useful because you have to make so many decisions on your own. And you have to do so much of the stuff on your own. But there’s just a lot of assumptions that are being made there.
I mean honestly, I’m at a point in my life now with what we’re about to talk about that if she would tell you every single thing to do, I’d be super happy. If I didn’t have to make any choices on my own, that would be lovely at this point in my life with the new baby. I’d be like, “Just send me a message every day and tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” But that’s not really how our relationship works. So I think there’s a wide misconception there, but that’s not what it is at all. And I think it’s just that simple test is just always, always, always going to work. Feel free to try it out.
There’s one last one that I wanted to address which was someone saying it was a bit annoying how egotistical I am versus humble. And I just want to say something simple to that, is I just think that is old and tired. Doesn’t it feel old and tired for people to be telling women to be more humble and to stop being so self-confident, and to stop sharing their wins and being proud of themselves? It just feels tiring and old. I feel like this is reminiscence of the old way of the world and I’m just not here for it. I’m here for women standing in their power.
I’m here for women not needing to be humble anymore and stating the truth of how fantastic they really are, and how amazing, and how badass they are. Yes, that is refreshing. That’s what I’m here for. You’re just never going to hear anything different on the podcast. And if you do, someone check in on me. Ask me if I’m doing okay. If you stop hearing me celebrate myself and say how amazing I am, check in, ask how I’m doing. Alright, so that’s that.
So let’s dive in. Today I want to talk to you all about my journey with postpartum anxiety and what that’s been like running an eight figure business. I think we’re going to close this year at 12 million or close to it. It might be less than that. But I wanted to talk about this for a couple of reasons and give a disclaimer. And here is the disclaimer. This is not in any way, shape or form even remotely medical or psychiatric advice. I’m not a therapist. I am not trained in postpartum anxiety. I’m not trained in postpartum depression.
I know only my experience and a lot of the Googles in the middle of the night. That’s the extent of my knowledge. However and I thought a lot about whether I was going to do this episode or not and this is why I’m going to do it. One of the things that was the scariest in the beginning for me was how little I knew about it or anyone who had it. And I did sort of go through that, there is something wrong with me experience because none of the women in my family talked about having it or maybe they just didn’t have it. I didn’t know any friends who had it.
So when you don’t know anyone who has experienced it, it can feel like there is something wrong with you, and very shameful, and isolating. And the tendency I think especially for women is to hide, and to pretend everything is perfect and amazing. And a lot of these things that were happening to me I also just didn’t know were postpartum anxiety for a long time until my doula talked to me about it. I really didn’t know what it was.
And since I’ve been talking about it on the podcast, a lot of you have reached out and said, “You’re not even having it. Maybe you have something else happening.” A lot of you have told me what you have happening through Instagram messages, or in my programs, or whatever. It’s just opened a conversation to you may be experiencing mental distress. And there have not been a lot of conversations about it and whether that is just an openness to have the conversation, not necessarily even treat, advice or treatments, or how to’s.
It’s just, there’s not a conversation around it. so you feel very alone and it’s the last thing you want to post in a coaching group typically. Any time my clients do, it’s always like, “Okay, I’ve been sitting on this for months, and months, and months. And I have been feeling so much shame. And I didn’t want to bring it here.” So I want to create an open conversation around this.
And so what I’m going to talk about is my own personal experience based on being a master certified coach and having all of the mastery of the tools and having had almost eight years of implementing these tools before I had this come up for me. So the place I am at, it feels like I’m in a place where being able to manage it has been manageable. But I want to be careful to say, if you don’t have that same level of experience and mastery of just in general mental health tools it may not be the same experience for you and that’s okay.
I wanted this episode to be more like if you and I were friends and we had dinner together, and you asked me how I was doing and then we talked about the postpartum anxiety. And then you said, “Gosh, and you have a business and how have you really handled all that? Are you taking medication for it, are you not?” I really thought that this episode could be more of that.
I’m just talking to you about my experience and then you can borrow any of the things that are useful and you’re actually able to implement. But you don’t hold it against you if something that’s working for me doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t mean anything about you. And you think about and consider talking to a professional who have experience in mental health issues. Actually talk to someone. This is not supposed to be an episode that takes the place of that, if that makes sense. That’s not what it is. And so I just want to offer.
I’m going to talk through my experience of it, how I’m currently managing it with the caveat of at any given moment I might change that current protocol that I am doing, that I am loosely doing. It’s not an actual protocol but just what’s been working for me now. If that ever stops working I will just change direction completely. So I just need you to know that before we dive in. And then of course if you guys want to just reach out to me, not as I’m going to coach you on this because I don’t coach on this. But just to say, “Hey, I’m struggling and this was really helpful.”
Or to, I don’t know, if you just need someone to witness you, I will witness you, I will do that for you to the best of my ability with how many Instagram messages we get. I do try, if you send me a message like that, I try to have my team send that to me and make sure I see it to respond. But just to have someone in the world. I got really lucky, I will say, I had several friends had babies the same time as me, several, four or five, five. And I got to talk to, one of them had fertility issues. And so we talked and held space for each other in the trying and not getting pregnant.
And even though I did not have fertility issues to be clear but I had several failed attempts that were very difficult. And so I just had a friend that I was able to talk to about that. And then I have a friend who also has postpartum anxiety and so I’ve been able to talk to her about that. And so just having someone else that you can say, “Hey, I’m having this.” Can be so helpful. So maybe this episode can be that for you. So that’s all my caveats is it’s not meant to be a treatment plan in any way, shape or form.
This is just a conversation we’re having together that I want to have for all of you whether it’s postpartum anxiety, or depression, or if it’s you’re just struggling with a lot of things. I’ve had a couple of clients that have come to me recently and they don’t have any clinical diagnosis. They just have a lot of circumstances happening that are really tough all at the same time and they’re struggling mentally with that. So this episode is meant to serve as, listen, I’m struggling too and this is how I’m approaching it, how I’m handling it and you’re not alone.
And if any part of this is helpful, take it but just don’t use it against you if it’s not. That doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. It just means the prescription needs to be different for you. And then you’ve got to do the work to find that right prescription for you, whether that’s talking to your doctor, or a therapist, or a coach who specializes in this. So first I just wanted to tell you how it shows up for me because this was a huge transformation for me. How it showed up for me that helped me identify that something was wrong, these were the things.
Number one, it showed up as intrusive thoughts, really scary ones that create the feeling of it actually having happened. And these thoughts, the intrusive ones tend to be different every single time which is different than an anxiety loop. Because I also just have anxiety. I don’t have diagnosable anxiety, where I need to be on medication for it. I just have, I feel like run of the mill humdrum normal human anxiety. Or my brain leans, anxious. You guys have heard me talk about this before, just because of things that happened in my childhood.
My brain, it’s a constant work for me to have my brain see things as not out to get me the first time around. My brain’s first reaction is typically this is going to harm you. So I just have a highly anxious brain. I live with that. So how I knew that this was something different is the living with the anxiety, every day anxiety is typically the same thoughts over, and over, and over, or a type of reaction just that I have to the world. I tend to react with negative thoughts that create anxiety to things that happen in the world on a general basis.
For example, if my flight were to be delayed, I typically would not react in a positive way to that, something small like that. I have to do a lot of coaching on a daily basis on my brain. There’s a lot of things I’ve done that now I don’t react negatively to them because I’ve created more, rewired my brain to have more positive reactions to certain things especially in my business. I tend to handle those things a little bit better. But I still have to work on that too, even in my business. But these thoughts were very different.
They were different every time, extremely intrusive, extremely aggressive, come out of nowhere. And they’re so elaborate that it’s easy to spot them. And so for me it’s been mostly about managing the emotion they cause around them, because if I say them out loud to myself or other people, or I just rethink them I’m like, “Holy eff. That is a really aggressive story that my brain just told me. Or that’s a really awful thing my brain just thought.”
It’s just so different than the humdrum normal thoughts that I could probably create arguments around, the elaborate ones, the intrusive ones. It’s harder to create arguments around them, that it could actually happen and they’re sane or it’s smart to be considering them. I talk a lot about strategic pessimism, it’s very obvious these are not strategic pessimistic thoughts.
These are not thoughts of thinking about, for example, you might have anxiety that it’s too cold outside for your kid. And so you’re like, that anxiety’s going to make you be aware and you’re going to put a snowsuit on your kid and then send them out. Or anxiety that comes up if your kid is walking on the sidewalk and a car is approaching and it’s driving too fast. And you see the person texting, and then that makes you pick up your child and walk off the sidewalk, closer to the house. That is a normal smart indicator of potential danger that causes you to react and create a positive result from that.
The intrusive ones were not like that. They were crazy scenarios. There is a scene from Friends, I’m obsessed with the show, Friends. And there’s a scene when Ross and Rachel have a baby. And they lock themselves out of the apartment with the baby in the apartment. And she makes up all these scenarios about how the stove is on, and she left the water on, and the window’s open and a bird’s going to fly in.
And then Ross says this overdramatic interpretation of, “This is what’s going to happen because we’re locked out, is the bird’s going to come and it’s going to be a hawk. And then the apartment’s going to be flooding, and then it’s going to be on fire. And then the hawk and the baby are going to get in a huge tussle.” It’s just a crazy overdramatic thing. And then she looks at him and says, “Man, are you going to be sorry if that happens.” And that, I have gone back to that in my head over, and over, and over. I’m like, “Yes, that is postpartum anxiety.”
When you have that on the regular, to me at least, that’s my experience of it is I have those thoughts a lot, a lot, a lot. And they actually do cause, it’s not funny, really strong, really negative emotions in my body. And a lot of times, it’s thoughts like that, really crazy things that would never happen. And then there are also recurring obsessive thoughts that I have. So I have had the obsessive thoughts that my baby could have SIDS. And that’s been the number one since he was born, preoccupation that I’ve had.
If you looked at the amount of ways I have Googled things about SIDS and the amount of hours I’ve spent when I should be sleeping up just putting my finger under my baby’s nose and trying to determine whether he’s still breathing and all of the things. It’s been a reoccurring obsessive cannot stop thinking about it thought. Something that has been, no matter what my doula and my nanny tells me about the facts and the statistics, and doctors have talked to me about it and I just can’t shake it. It feels just very out of my control and it’s a constant every night.
The doula did tell me that at night your hormones are the highest so that’s also why you experience it the worst at night. Typically as the sun rises, I’ll be able to fall asleep and which is always really interesting. There’s a belief that if the sun is out he’s safe. And so I’ve really had to really work on that, that has been – I’m going to talk about some of the ways that I have done that, but that’s how it’s shown up for me is in really big intrusive thoughts. And then recurring obsessive thoughts over one or two specific things.
And then the third way is obsessive compulsiveness as a way to control it. So I was trying to think of examples of this that would be tangible. And again your thing may not be my thing. But if this is helpful in any way, please take it. Yesterday my husband was giving my son his probiotic and he was like, “I don’t even use a spoon anymore. I just drop it in his mouth. And if I press it a certain way, multiple drops come out.” And it’s probably the same as doing the five individual drops that go on the spoon. And my brain was absolutely, no.
You must measure out five specific drops with a spoon. If you forget the count, you must throw it out and start over. It must be exactly the dosage that the bottle said, no more, no less, you cannot deviate. Or he’ll sanitize the bottles and then put them back but then not put the lid on. And I’m like, “No, the lid must be on always. That is what keeps it sanitized. You must do this every single time.” And so my brain and maybe those are good things. But the way that my brain does it it’s not so great, it’s very controlling over what other people do and how they do it.
And then over how he is taken care of just in general. And so that’s the way it shows up.
And then the fourth way, I’ve talked about this already on the podcast, but that I had no idea this was even associated with postpartum anxiety is rage. An overreaction for me I don’t typically experience anger outbursts or rage. So an overreaction to something minor or major, a bigger reaction than is normal for me. That’s how I’ve experienced it, is I know it is a bigger reaction than I would typically have in the past. So I think I talked about on this podcast, yelling at my dogs or yelling at my husband, just yelling in general.
But I do tend to get very, very, very angry when I think something will affect my kid, whether it’s his sleeping, or his eating, or his whatever it is. It’s either OCD or micromanaging. And if that doesn’t work it can turn into extreme anger. So those were the things that were very out of character for me. So the thing I will offer to you if you’re having a lot of emotional mental distress is just write down what are the things that are happening for you that are out of the norm, that you don’t feel are typical of you.
There is you when you’re just experiencing life in a regulated way and then there is the un-regulation and what is that? And how does that specifically show up for you? Once I knew that, how it was showing up for me, I will tell you just the awareness has been so huge. What I find is I will say awareness and acceptance that it’s happening, instead of beating myself up and judging myself.
I recently had a conversation with some of my clients, we had a fireside chat for the people who continued on to another round in 200K. And I let them come and just ask me literally any personal question or business question that they were dying to ask me. And we just talked for two hours straight. And one of them said, they were talking about judging themselves and they were like, “I’m trying not to judge myself for judging myself.” And I was like, “Oh my God, that should be a t-shirt for coaches.” I’m trying not to judge myself for judging myself.
So awareness and just not creating judgment around what’s happening for me, and having compassion for it, and acceptance of it has been so huge in helping to manage it. I can’t overemphasize it, just knowing that that’s what it was, was extremely impactful for me. And I want to say this because the coaches I’ve been talking to, who are maybe not having postpartum anxiety, or even any sort of mental crisis, or health issue.
They’re just having a lot of difficult circumstances happen in their life that they’re having to manage all at the same time and it’s becoming much, much harder to coach themselves through it. And maybe even preventing them from working which is what I had titled this episode is also this is happening while I’m running an eight figure business. And what I find is the management of it, the awareness of it and the lack of judgment around it, I think are the reason I’m able to still keep working and not spiral out of it.
It’s also probably the level to which I have it too. If it were 10 times worse than what it is now I probably wouldn’t be working and then I would be taking different steps than I’m taking now. So I just want to say that as well. But for me it’s manageable enough that I can be working at the same time and it’s not affecting work in any way. So here is how I am managing it. Awareness is the first thing.
But I work with a life coach every week and she helps me process emotions and talk through things which is very therapeutic. And I talk to her a lot about the load that I’m carrying with the new mom, or my business or whatever. But we had a conversation about whether or not I would go on medication for this and someone did reach out to me and ask me about that, about medication. And I am not going to take a stance either way. I think that is a very personal choice.
But one of the things that I worked on with my coach was just monitoring whether it was getting stronger or weaker and how long it was going on and exactly what it was affecting in my life. I just found that was super useful to think about is what are the areas it’s affecting because part of it was just my overall joy of my child and experiencing. And I’m going to you how I’ve worked on that. But it took a lot of joy away from my time with my child because I was just worrying so much about all the awful things that could happen to him.
And so one of the discussions we had is how much joy are you willing to let it take away from you and your child and how much time are you willing to let it be without taking a more aggressive or a different action? Let me not even say aggressive, just a different action, a different plan of action. And so we started just monitoring it and I will say for me it has, I’ve gotten better at handling it and it’s gotten less frequent. If it had gone the other way I likely would have gone the route of medication but it seems like it has gone on the uptick more, and more, and more as the weeks have gone on.
We started with three months and then six months. Okay, each time we’re going to reevaluate and look at it brand new. And around the six month mark I really noticed a massive change. I didn’t at the 12 week mark, which a lot of women do if they have, so I’ve heard, a less aggressive form of it. They might experience – there’s a difference, especially when you’re a first time mom I’ve heard that just in general your feelings of your baby could be harmed and keeping your baby alive. It’s very overwhelming in the first 12 weeks.
You’ve just never had that experience before. And so a lot of times it gets better after that 12 week mark. For me it didn’t but we set another 12 week goal. And I said, “Okay, let’s take another 12 weeks and let’s just work on it and manage it, and evaluate it after that. And it did get a lot better after that. And what I did in the next 12 weeks, because I feel for the first 12, I didn’t really know what was happening. But after that I did and what I did besides the awareness and the monitoring was really powerful.
And I had sent a message to someone who messaged me on Instagram and told them a lot of these things. They had just asked. So I wanted to share them with you. So beyond the awareness and the monitoring, the other thing that I did that I think has taken a lot of the power away from the anxiety is letting other people in and saying it out loud which is why I have talked about it on the podcast. Again, it’s not because I think I know so much about it that I could be leading you in it at all. But part of it losing its power is conversations about it for myself but also just other people talking about it.
If you feel safe to say it out loud, it’s going to have a lot less power than if you’re holding it in. It just takes a little bit of power away every single time. I think that the isolation in your mind can make the emotions bigger. And I want to offer that that’s true even if it’s just a big emotion, a big fail, or a big just experience that you’re having. Because a lot of my students aren’t coming to me with these things. They’re coming to me with, I’m having a lot of problems in my personal life and they’re affecting my business.
And so I just think the more you’re willing to talk about them the less power they have over them. And a lot of you all give, whatever’s happening for you, so much power because you make it wrong that it’s happening for you. And you tell yourself, no one else is experiencing these things. And then it gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Versus the more you talk about them the more you find out other people are experiencing them and then it normalizes it. So just saying it out loud.
And for me because my thoughts are so elaborate, and intrusive, and awful I wouldn’t say them out loud. They’re that bad that I wouldn’t even put them in someone else’s mind. So a lot of times it’s just me saying to my husband, “I just had the worst thought, it was so awful and I’m feeling dread in my whole body right now. Or I’m feeling anxiety in my whole body.” Or grief in my whole body. I’ll tell him, “I literally just had a thought that something happened to Jackson and I’m feeling the grief in my body as if it already happened.”
And my husband’s a dude, typically he’s like, “Oh my God, your brain.” So it’s not even about him holding space for me when I to say it. It’s just to say it and to get it out loud. And sometimes he’ll be like, “Gosh, hun, that’s awful.” I’m like, “Yeah, it really is.” And that’s the extent of the conversation, but just saying it out loud, then I’m just like, “Whoa, we’re eating breakfast, you’re thinking about your errands for the day and I’m thinking that I just harmed my kid because a knife fell off my plate.” That kind of stuff.
And so I’m just being vulnerable and telling you in this normal moment we’re having, it’s not a normal moment for me, this is happening. Or just explaining to people what’s happening for me if I have, for example, an overreaction to something, I yelled at my dogs in front of my family. I think it was thanksgiving time ish.
And I just, after it happened, I came to them and was like, “I’m so sorry. That must have been so comfortable for you guys to be in the middle of. And I’m having postpartum anxiety. And sometimes it creates rage and I just overreact to things in a really crazy way.” And I apologize, it’s not, I just I’m struggling. Everyone is always like, “Oh my gosh, listen, I understand.”
They may not have ever had it before but they could understand the stress of being a new mom. And then struggling with anxiety or depression and what that could change about you. They can understand that and they can be there for you. And typically they’re like, “So how are you doing?” They want to know more. They want you to let them in and let them witness you more.
And then the other piece of it is asking for help, or understanding, or grace, or forgiveness. I’ve had to ask for a lot of grace and forgiveness from my husband when I’ve yelled at him about beings and made him feel like not a good dad when he’s the most amazing dad. And I have to tell him, “It’s not about you being a bad dad. It’s about me having really bad anxiety and then trying to control you to make it better and then having rage when that doesn’t work.” I laugh about it now but I’m not joking. It’s for real, that’s how it is.
And I do, I just ask for forgiveness over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over and then I ask for grace beyond that. And I try to help him understand what it’s like for me, not to change him but so that he understands it’s not coming from me, it’s really not about him, my reaction has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with the things my brain is offering me. So that’s been huge. And then I have asked for a lot of help from my colleagues who have gone through it, which I’m so thankful.
I know so many people who have gone through it because they have so much wisdom to share with me. And so I’m always just asking for help and reaching out. And to my friends who haven’t had it, I just message them and I’ll be like, “Listen, do you have time to talk? I could really use it.” And I’ve just been thinking a lot about that in general, what it takes, what do I think about myself, or asking for help, or struggling. What are my thoughts around those three that let me ask for help?
And so I just want to offer for you, if this episode is touching a point in some way, is to maybe just ask yourself what are your thoughts that keep you from being able to ask for help? What are your thoughts about struggling that make you think it’s wrong, or bad, or you’re the only one going through it? What are your thoughts around these things? I think I have typically more positive ones than most people. I think asking for help is something we should all be doing more of. I think that asking for grace and understanding is something we should all be doing more of.
Asking for forgiveness is something we should all be doing more of, bringing people in and letting them know what’s going on with us. And I think we’re all struggling way more than we tell other people about who knows what. It could be your marriage. It could be your finances. It could be whatever or just your thoughts in general, you’re just struggling with thoughts and maybe it’s self-deprecating thoughts, whatever it is. And we’re not asking for the help that we need.
And number one, I think there’s two things about that. I think we should always be asking for help and I think it’s okay for not everyone to be able to help us with all the things. So there’s certain people I ask for help. I don’t ask my husband for help on all of these things. I find my girlfriends that have gone through this are much more equipped to help me. I think I’ve said this on the podcast that I don’t think our husbands are meant to be our advocates in the delivery room.
I think we need to ask for help from doulas, or midwives, or mothers, or sisters, or someone that is not our husband because they’re not equipped to handle that level. But women who have been through the same thing that we’ve been through are. Or I typically go to my coach for helping me process through emotions, not my friends. So there are a lot of different people. I’m willing to ask for different types of help from different people.
And the other thing is, I don’t ask for help typically from my audience. I don’t talk about things until I’ve gone through them to the degree that which I feel really okay in my body about them because I don’t want you all to have to hold space for me and feel scared for me. I always want to do that with people I’m paying, coaches, or a therapist, or my colleagues and my friends who have the ability to hold that space. So I ask for help. I ask for it frequently as well as grace, understanding and forgiveness.
And then I also talk through the emotion. If I’m experiencing a very heightened level of emotion I talk through that while it’s happening no matter who’s around. So I’m going to give you an example of that. We went to Aspen for our family Christmas and we love to ski. And I am deathly afraid of heights, so afraid of heights it’s not even funny. So it requires really overpowering my primal fight or flight system to even get me up the damn mountain to ski. It’s a big deal. It requires a lot.
I’m also very afraid of flying so even travelling, I put my body through hell to travel. And I’ve done a lot of work on it and it just is primal inside of me and it’s not always there but sometimes it is. And so this particular time we get on the gondola and I don’t even know what came over me. I start bawling my eyes out, hysterically crying. And I’m so mortified and embarrassed. I’m with my husband and our ski instructor. Now, we have worked with this ski instructor for years. So he knows us and he’s such a gentle soul. So that’s clearly why I’ve chosen him is he’s very gentle in teaching me.
Because I also had a friend who passed away from a skiing accident. And so I have a lot of primal fears around that. And I needed someone who would not diminish those and be able to hold space for those. And so he’s the perfect instructor. But him and my husband, he was totally cool, my husband was a little bit like, “What’s happening?” And I just talked them through it. I was like, “I’m so embarrassed. I can’t believe that this is happening. I feel like a child right now.” And I was like, “But my brain is telling me, you have a baby, what are you doing?”
This car is going to come unhooked from the cable and you’re going to fall to your death, and you’re never going to see your kid again just because you want to ski and how selfish are you. And I’m just telling them all the things that my brain is providing me while I’m crying my eyes out. And they’re talking me through it and kind of just giving me thoughts to think or help me calm myself down.
And eventually my instructor would literally tell me, “Okay, we’re about to approach a station. This is what’s going to happen with the car. This is how it’s going to feel. This is how it’s going to sound. This is how long it’s going to last. And then we’re going to take off again.” He is effing brilliant, let me just say. If you ever need a ski instructor and you’re going to Aspen, reach out to me, I will give you his information. But that was so powerful for me. They gave me all of their attention and all of the space to just feel that way.
And by the time I got up the mountain and to where we were actually going to ski, my face was bloodshot and I was exhausted. But I had felt through all of that panic, all of it, felt it, allowed it in my body, processed it. And then I had the most amazing day. I had more fun than I’ve ever had skiing ever. I skied better than I’ve ever skied ever. And even my husband was like, “Holy shit, you had a really good skiing day.” And I really believe it was because I was willing to talk through that emotion, and let them in, and just let it all out, and feel it, and process it.
And I kept just going into my body into the emotion, I’m like, “Okay, this is just an emotion I’m experiencing.” And talking it through, I just didn’t hide it. I didn’t go inward. I just let it out in a contained way, letting people in and talk through it, felt through it and then it was gone. That was the beautiful thing, it was gone. Now, I still had other moments where it was getting on the ski lift, once you do the gondola then you have to get on the lift. But that wasn’t as bad, which is ironic because the gondola is an entirely enclosed space, and the lift, you’re just hanging out of it.
But by the time I had felt the panic it was just so gone that I was able to just be on that. And there was just a little bit less anxiety, I mean a whole lot less anxiety the rest of the day. So say it out loud, ask for help, talk through it and don’t hide, don’t go inward.
And then the other three things that were super helpful was rest. Postpartum anxiety wears my body out. When you have intrusive thoughts or reoccurring obsessive thoughts and then OCD to try to control it and then anger and rage when that doesn’t work. When you have that going on your body is exhausted. My husband is willing to take the first shift with the baby so I sleep in, or I sometimes go to bed early at seven o’clock and I don’t make that mean anything. I’m like, “My body needs rest.”
I don’t work as much even if that means I lose a little bit of money. I am willing to slow down my growth if I have to in order to rest. That isn’t typically what actually happens but I have a thought that it does. And so I have to go through a lot to be able to rest. I have to actively make that choice to rest. I think a lot of us, it’s really hard for us to do that but your body really does need rest. The less rest you have the more your brain has the opportunity to run with whatever it’s running with.
And then a new thing that I’ve been doing literally in the last two weeks that has really been transformative is turning the anxiety into love because think about what’s happening when you have, I think just in general, anxiety that terrible things are going to happen, because things are going so well, or because you’re loving so much. That’s what postpartum anxiety I feel part of it stems from your heart is just cracked open so wide. And you are called to expand your capacity to have love like that in your life, to be so tender. You’re literally never more vulnerable in your life than when you become a mom.
And so the anxiety is fear that I’m going to lose this thing that I love so much. And so when I know that, I turn that into Jackson, I just love you so much. Mommy just loves you so much. I just do that, I say it out loud. And I think about how much I love him and it turns the anxiety ever so slightly and it fills my body with warmth, and tenderness. And it gets me back to okay, so now I just need to expand that capacity to feel this emotion, to have this level of love in my life and to be worthy of it.
To work on the childhood trauma that says I’m not worthy of it and it will be taken away, that I don’t get to have happy things. That’s kind of the overall childhood trauma is I don’t get to have happy things. So I get to tell my body I do get to have happy things and I love this little happy thing so much. And I just turn that into love. So if that’s helpful, it’s been really helpful for me recently.
And then the last thing that is super, super, super helpful for me is medication for me is always on the table. As coaches I think that we make medication wrong and we’ve failed, two of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard is number one, that emotional tools are not meant to solve physical problems. I know some of you don’t agree with that and that’s okay. But it’s been super helpful for me. You would never tell someone that has a broken arm that they should coach themselves out of the pain and coach themselves into fixing the broken bone instead of getting a cast.
Well, to my understanding and knowledge postpartum anxiety has a lot to do with hormones, and hormones are a physical thing that happen in your body. It’s not an emotional thing. It’s very different than the emotional anxiety my thoughts create because I just lean anxious and have a lot of anxiety in my life, my normal anxiety, that’s very different than something that’s happening because of a hormonal change in my body. So for me, medication is always on the table.
I am always down, if what I’m doing on all the other things I’ve talked to you about, if those aren’t working I would be willing to try it. But I have parameters around that decision for myself. And I’m going to share them with you, again, very vulnerably. I’m not looking for your opinion around it, your judgement around it, or your professional opinion around it. I have a concierge doctor I work with. I have a doula. I have a life coach. I have all of the people and I have friends who are going through it or who have gone through it. I have lots of help.
My parameters that I feel very, very good about my decision is whether it’s going up or down. Right now it’s going down, not up. Another one is if I’m still able to function fully, and work, and show up for my clients, that’s probably the biggest parameter that ever started affecting me showing up for my clients, me creating content, me selling, me marketing, me managing my team. If it started really affecting my brain’s ability to do what I do, that would be a deal breaker, if I’m still able to process the emotions. Right now mine are not so intense that I’m not able to process them.
That’s also why I want to say you can’t take and use the things I am saying that have worked for me, against you. You can only use the things that work for you is because we might have different degrees of it. We might have different degrees of being able to process emotions first of all. And then we might have different degrees of emotions. I am able with the tools I currently have right now, I am able to process the emotions that are currently being created with my postpartum anxiety right now.
And it’s not majorly affecting other areas of my life and business overall in a net negative way. Meaning if it were keeping me from showing up for calls, keeping me from following through with launches I had planned, or getting work done. If I was constantly missing work. Those would be things that would be parameters around wanting to seek a different plan. And then this one’s really big that I thought might be useful to tell you all. And I have a different experience of this that I’ll end it with. Is if I just ever get tired of fighting, and processing, and I don’t want to do it anymore.
Now, some of you might agree with this, some of you might disagree with this. I don’t really care. This is my way of doing it for me. I suffered from back pain, chronic back pain my whole life. I was in a couple of car accidents that physically caused a lot of damage. And I have had kind of residual pain my whole life around it. And there was a long time where it was very effective for me to coach myself around managing the pain, just allowing the pain in my body. And some of it wasn’t even awareness, I would just barrel through it because it became this constant part of my life.
But then there was a point where I really just got tired of doing it and I asked my doctor for pain meds. And I don’t have an addictive personality. I don’t overuse them, in fact I hate to have to use them, but I started getting to the point where I was more tired of being in pain than anything else. So I got pain medicine and I just take it if I need it. And I don’t deal with back pain anymore. I don’t make myself fight through it anymore. And I look back at that time and I’m like, “Got, that was so ridiculous. Why was I doing that to myself?”
And I don’t have to take it all the time neither. So I want to offer that this isn’t something like now I just take pain medicine all the time. I get a prescription, it would take me six months to go through it. I am not an addictive personality. I don’t overuse it and it isn’t a big part of my life anymore. But when it does happen I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s kind of like my husband moved to Green Bay for five years and it was so cold there that it ruined him on the cold and now he refuses to be cold. So he won’t give his coat up to me if I don’t bring one and I’m cold.
He’s like, “No, I’m just done being cold. I love you and I’m done being cold.” That’s kind of what it felt like, I’m done having back pain, I’m just done. And so that’s my choice. I love that choice. I love all of it. I just take pain medicine, it helps the pain actually go away. I usually wake up the next day and I feel great. So if it ever got to the point where I’m just tired of the fight and I’d rather use my brain for other things I will revisit. So that’s my parameters. I don’t think you should use my parameters or all of my things.
I think you should come up with your own if you’re considering whether you should medicate or not. You should research it. You should talk to your doctor. Your doctor might know whether or not you should or you shouldn’t way more than me for sure. Let me give you that caveat. But if any of this was helpful to you I will give it to you. I will offer this up. I will offer myself and my story vulnerably and what I’ve been through, and how I’ve managed it.
I will offer that to you and I know that it’s going to come at the price of people judging how I’m handling it, people judging that I even made this podcast, people calling me reckless because I made this podcast. People are going to have lots of opinions about this podcast. And I just have to say, if you’re one of them, I didn’t record this for you. I recorded it for the people who have been messaging me on Instagram like crazy and telling me that it’s been lifechanging for me to just open up and talk about the fact that I have postpartum anxiety.
And what little I’ve talked about and how it’s affected me has changed their life and helped them. And I will also say, the other thing that has been motivated by this, I’m sure you guys have heard that maybe – not all of you, but someone I follow that I have followed since the beginning of the pandemic recently took their own life. And it’s been all over Instagram, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss. And I’ve been following him and his wife, they just started dancing on Instagram during the pandemic and I didn’t know him before that.
Apparently he was on The Ellen Show and I have been, because I have postpartum anxiety too, by the way, just obsessed, really can’t stop thinking about it. And because I’m a new mom I can’t stop thinking about his little girls and his little children. And he has a little girl that’s three. I just ruminate on it. It’s a loop at this point. But it really made me think, we have to talk about the things. Again, I may not be the coach for someone going through that. I don’t want that to seem insensitive, if I say, if you have active clinical anxiety or depression you’re not a good fit for my mastermind.
I’m not pushing you away in any way. I really am coming from love, that I don’t want you to spend money for a space that would be unhealthy for you. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about it, that you’re not allowed to talk about it in my spaces. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t have compassion for it or that I don’t think it’s important, or that I’m diminishing it, or othering you. It literally couldn’t be farthest from the truth. It’s me saying, if that’s for you, I just don’t offer therapy in my space. And I don’t offer trauma coaching.
If you have an active trauma that will trigger you for whatever reason, if you’re in a business coaching space, get help with that either separate from, before or during working with me as well. That’s what that means. And I will say, I have coached an amazing coach who is a trauma coach, Shyla Cash, we’ll link her up here on the episode but she helps coaches who have trauma. I don’t think she does depression and anxiety, but if you have trauma that might come up in a space, she will help you work through that, and from what I know of what she does.
But there are, I’m sure, amazing coaches who do this and there are therapists out here who do, do this. You can Google it. I Googled, there’s a hotline that you can actually do therapy. There’s even one that’s free I think. So you can just literally Google it. But I do think that we need to talk about these things so that more people don’t feel alone and that the conversation happens. It doesn’t have to happen all the time. This might be the last time I ever talk about it on this podcast because it’s a business podcast but it feels like the Showing Up episode where it needed to be spoken about or talked about.
And I also want to start the year out with just honesty and vulnerability. I’ve been thinking about my $30 million business model and my plan for getting there. And what it’s going to take for my clients to get the results that they have to get to for me to get to 30 million. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is what if I stopped filtering myself? I do a lot of filtering for what I think is going to get hate and not go well. And there’s a lot of things in the industry that I would love to speak on but I just know it will be triggering as eff for people.
And I don’t want to push away some of my audience, I guess, because there are also things I think in the same area. This episode, if you don’t agree with me, it doesn’t mean I can’t help you make money. And I want you to still help make money even if you disagree with me. Even if you’re a business coach and you disagree with my method of business coaching, I want to help you make money. So it’s a fine line.
I’m on a mission to be vulnerable, to be honest, to be transparent and to say the hardest things that I know will be the most helpful for the right people, or for the people that will take it as helpful. And I’m always walking that line of not alienating you to make it hard for you to get the help you need to make the money in your business. So there will be a mix of that coming up. But that was what this episode was.
Also, I want to say, there is actually one last thing that has helped me the most to navigate this. And I’ll end the episode to say this to you as well. I give myself a lot of credit. Look at what you have done, look at what you are doing, look at what you will do. I am a miracle. You are a miracle. I am a queen. You are a queen. We are doing huge things in the world while also managing all the things that we have in our own lives. And we are doing it at such a level that we are an example of what’s possible for other people.
That in itself is absolutely precious and worthy of so much credit. So I give myself a ton of credit. I’m doing a good job. My nanny always says that to me, “You’re doing a good job mama.” And I’ve started saying that to myself a lot, “I’m doing a good job.” I look at all my clients who are making money. I look at my husband and the life he has now with me. I look at myself and the life I have. I look at the lives I touch, I just look at everything and I feel so proud. And I do want to give myself so much credit for what I’ve accomplished and I want you to do the same for you.
Alright, I know this was a long episode. Welcome to the New Year. Let’s start it out by being so real, by not filtering, by coming together, by being honest and doing the thing. Alright, folks, Happy New Year. I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey, if you are ready to make money as a life coach, I want to invite you to join my 2K for 2K program where you’re going to make your first $2000, the hardest part, and then $200,000 using my proven formula. It’s risk-free. You either make your 2K or I give you your 2K back. Just head over to www.staceyboehman.com/2kfor2k. We’ll see you inside.