Alison Robertson: Embracing The Self And Pursuing Enoughness
Understanding that you are enough is not an easy feat. For most, it takes a lot of self-reflection and affirmation to truly discover your possibilities and embrace enoughness. This is the message Alison Robertson echoes in her work and what she strives to help others with. Alison is an experienced actress, coach, and author. Her debut book, Enoughness: The Simple Truth Of Embracing YOU, is included as a Forbes 7 Books to Help You Help Yourself and Forbes 20 Books to Inspire Your Happiest Life at Work. In this episode, she joins host Karen Pulver and featured goddesses Camille, Rachel, and Michelle to discuss how one can unravel to develop their confidence, set boundaries, and live in gratitude with enoughness. Alison also enlightens on gifts and passions and how knowing the difference can help you in that journey.
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Alison Robertson: Embracing The Self And Pursuing Enoughness
Discovering Our Gifts And Passions To Be Enough
Thank you for joining us on the show. We are grateful that you are here. Our guest is Alison Robertson. She is a solution-focused personal development coach, motivational speaker and host of the host, The Con Artist Podcast: The Act of Confidence Through the Creative Mind. As a personal development coach, Alison has been working with clients for decades to move from where they are in life to where they want to be. Her debut book, Enoughness: The Simple Truth of Embracing YOU has appeared on the Forbes 7 Books That Will Help You Help Yourself and Forbes 20 Books to Inspire Your Happiest Life at Work.
Alison says, “I truly believe that many of us have lost our way and are looking for more. I have found that when I help people learn from the difference between their gift, passion and how to make them work together, they are able to then create their ideal life. We are all living in chaos and until we are able to find harmony, not balance in life, it is next to impossible to keep moving forward. I love helping people find that space.” It is my honor to invite Alison Robertson to join us on the show.
Thank you so much. It’s great to be here. I’m excited to talk with you.
I’m excited too. I have been working with you and it’s been a few times but I know your positive energy and straightforwardness. “Karen, know that you are enough,” right away from the get-go, it helped inspire me to start to create change and take actionable steps in my life and not having that imposter syndrome or feeling of, “I need to get more. I need to do more.” I want to talk about the difference between the two passions and your gifts for our readers out there. First of all, explain the difference and how does that apply to what you do.
Gifts and passion are some of my favorite things to do with anybody. I live here in Los Angeles. It can hit people the wrong way. It can upset them because they’re not understanding that I’m trying to express, “You have so much more in you. I’m not trying to take anything away. A gift is something you’ve been doing your whole life. It’s something that’s innately in you. A passion is something that you love to do.” I come from a creative background. Living here in Los Angeles and being in the show business industry, many people want to take their passion and turn it into a business or take their passion and be the only thing that they do when they have a gift or have other things that they do. My example is Daniel Day-Lewis’s gift is acting because this is what he does all the time. What he’s passionate about? I don’t know. Many people want their talent to be their gift.
For me, the example for myself is my passion is acting, creating and being a performer. My gift is that I have always innately understood where people are emotionally and know how to move them from point A to B. Even as a little girl in kindergarten, I can remember understanding people and read a room. Once I separated those two, I was able to become so much more successful and have much more understanding of my own skin. When I saw my passion, I can certainly make money and have a career. When I focus on it, I lose much of my gifts and talents in my world.
I was trying to think of myself. I’m a teacher and I feel like I’m good at that. My passion and gift are intertwined for me. I’ve taught for years now off and on. It’s easy and I love it. It’s a flow that I have when I’m teaching. I don’t know if it’s my passion or gift, maybe you can help me distinguish. I like helping people like you. Over the years, people have said, “You’re like the glue, you connect people. Were you a matchmaker in your past life?” Even the Featured Goddesses here, I’ve connected to each other and always searching, “You would get along with this person.” I love to see the change in people as well. What would be my passion and gift?
First of all, have you always been connecting with people since you were a little girl? Everybody always says, “I like to help people.” I’m always like, “Can you go deeper than that?” You answered it right away, you said, “I connect people.” You probably have been connecting with people since you were little. When we have a gift like that, you can’t say to somebody, “My gift is I connect people. What job do I do? What career do I choose?” We dismissed it and you didn’t. You told me your story about how you became a teacher and went on that path. It wasn’t by coincidence. You were led by your gift. Your passion, from the little bit I know about you and experience with you, you want to put yourself out there whether it be as a performer, a goddess, as someone who’s teaching. I would ask you to look into your passion for how you self-express. That’s where I would head you towards to find your passion. It’s something that you would do no matter whether it made money or got you fit.
That’s Grateful Goddesses. It’s been such a great journey. I love learning. I’m passionate about interviewing people and finding out all of the certain qualities they have and how they’ve overcome challenges. I love doing that.Your GIFT is something that you are good at innately. Click To Tweet
You’re a storyteller. Your passion is to tell other people’s stories or tell your own story whether it’s through performing or interviews. Your passion is storytelling.
I’d like to invite our Featured Goddesses. Camille has her podcast, The E-Spot. She also has done lots of modeling and acting. Camille, I loved the pictures you posted on Facebook of your first modeling job. She has some questions.
I love that our paths have had some similarities. I’m curious for you because I know I was a little starstruck reading through your bio. Was there ever a time that you were starstruck? Working with Liberace, I don’t think there’s anybody that wouldn’t be starstruck by the big glamour of it all and all that he’s known for. I wonder what it was like working with someone huge and legendary as well.
I was fourteen years old when I met Liberace and got to spend a great amount of time with him and his troupe. They are the ones that taught me that I had a passion for performing, singing and acting. They were the first reflectors for me. I was in a rehearsal with Liberace. I was sitting on the side of the piano. I started singing along with something, the whole crew turned and looked at me. I was an athlete at that point. In high school, that’s what I did. I had no idea that I had a creative bone in me. They reflected it to me and they said, “Sing it again.” I was like, “No.” I’m a teenager and awkward. Having that reflection was the first time someone ever reflected on something that I didn’t know about myself. You’ll know that throughout my journey. I’ve had amazing people reflect that. I then was like, “Maybe I should try doing this and this is something I should do.” The naivete worked for me at that time. The beginning for me was with Liberace discovering the performer inside of me.
How did you even get that opportunity since you’re an athlete and you happened to be sitting next to Liberace?
I am a girl from New Jersey. I have all those elements in me that you would think of as a Jersey girl. My parents are no exception to that. I’m an only child. My parents and I are extremely close. When I was growing up, my father was a gambler. We spent almost every vacation and holiday in a casino. That is how I met Liberace. At that time, when you were a 12- or 13-year-old girl at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for Easter, there’s not a lot of kids there. Liberace had a protege named Eric Hamelin who was the same age. The casino thought, “There are two kids on the property. Let’s introduce them.” We became friends and that’s how it started. Talk about fate or destiny, it’s the weirdest story. It’s funny, I never tell it because it sounds bizarre. That is how I got to know Liberace because my father was a good Blackjack player.
I went and did Summerstock in Charlotte, North Carolina. When I was there, another reflector for me is I thought the industry was only in New York and LA. It was about ‘93 or ‘94. You didn’t think of any other markets. When I was there, someone had said to me, “There’s a huge TV and film market here called Wilmington.” I was like, “I don’t even know where that is but okay.” I came back to New Jersey and I thought, “Let me go down here. I can do theater and get my experience in television and film.” I was coming with a ton of training. It was the biggest playground and learning for me living in North Carolina because I got to cut my teeth on TV and film there. Once I left North Carolina, I got back to New York for about 30 seconds and got cast on Dawson’s Creek. I have a real love for North Carolina and what it taught me.
I have very much a similar story in the sense that my parents divorced in my senior year of high school. Up to that point, we were always traveling outside of North Carolina, for the most part, doing film and TV work because my dad’s a movie producer and my mom’s a stunt woman. When my parents divorced, I was like, “There goes my film life.” A guy approached me while I was working at the clinic counter saying, “You should be a model in North Carolina.” I was working on Shake, Rattle & Roll as a stand-in for I don’t even remember who. While I was there, I heard about Wilmington and Dawson’s Creek. I went and started auditioning. That’s how I got on Dawson’s Creek. I was just me when I’m in Charlotte. I remember that drive well.
It’s a long drive.
Three hours. It’s not a highway and there are no red stops.
You had to prepare.
It’s a nightmare.
Alison, you had Dawson’s Creek and tons of different shows and movies that you’ve been in. It sounds exciting. Why did you switch or stop?
I didn’t stop. This is where my multi-passionate comes in. Up until I had my children, I thought, “I’m an actress. This is what I do.” Anyone that brought anything to me that wasn’t acting, I ignored. I had a thought, “If I don’t do this or pursue this then I’m nothing.” When I had my daughters, I had them back to back. They’re fourteen months apart. I had to stop. When I came with two babies, my acting career has been pretty much on hold. I thought, “Who am I? How do I do this?” I had realized that my myopic wanting to be an actress and holding it tightly, that was making me small, insecure and not feel enough.
I remember interviewing with The Gersh Agency and I was twenty years old. They said to me, “Do you know there’s this thing called a life coach? We have a department and you are one.” I was like, “I am an actress and that’s what I’m going to be.” They said, “You could do this.” I thought, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.” I ignored it. My mother would send me articles, “There’s this thing called a life coach. This is for you.” I was like, “This is not for me.” I would go to life coaches, gurus and everything psychological because it’s my gift. I was afraid that if I wasn’t driven by my passion then I didn’t have anything. After I had my children, I’m like, “I’m a mother, a daughter, a wife. What am I?”
My business partner, who was my nanny at the time said, “Do you know that you were on the phone six hours a day helping people? You can’t get any more bottles of wine or massages because you’re not someone who likes to be touched that much. Do you want to think about making this into a business?” I said, “You need training. We need more than who I am.” She said, “I don’t. Tell me what you need to make this happen. Your kids are going to go to school. I’m going to lose my job and I don’t want to. I believe in you. Let’s do this. I’m an only child. I like to play with others.” I was like, “Okay.”
My reason for wanting that certification is because I took what I was doing for people seriously that I thought I needed something structure-wise. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t damaging people. In personal development, many times, people can get their egos in the way of helping somebody. I went and got all these certifications and I was mad the entire time. I would say, “You can’t teach people to do this. You have to know.”
What I was looking for was structure and understanding. I also wanted a safety net for myself that if I was helping people, I was never in any way damaging them or taking them down the wrong path. That’s what my certification taught me. I also live in LA where everybody is a coach and a something. Your dentist is an actor. Nobody is what they are. I wanted to give the piece to the person I was working with. I take what I do seriously. I didn’t stop being an actress, I expanded and still work to this day. I have these two worlds that I make each other successful because I let them both exist. Before, I was squeezing the other one.Your PASSION is something that you love to do. Click To Tweet
It’s funny because I can relate. I did a photoshoot for DERMAFLASH. I had my face done. That’s why I’m so radiant. I was thinking, “I’m putting much time and effort into Grateful Goddesses. I can’t do the other stuff. Forget it.” My agent said, “You’re booked. Do you want to do this?” I’m like, “Yeah.” I still have fun doing that. I’m juggling that and teaching. It’s important. For a lot of the readers, it’s okay to do multiple things. I know we always want to say, “Focus on one thing and go straight forward with that.” At the same time, if you’re good or you have fun with other things, it’s okay to do that.
Why I broke it into gifts and passion is that then they dovetail and they support one another. You should only focus on 1 to 3 things in goals. That doesn’t mean you’re not multi-passionate. We’re diverse people. We have many talents. Especially women, we can multitask like crazy. Why wouldn’t we have interests, desires or abilities that need to be explored? It’s short-sighted to pursue one thing if you have other interests.
Michelle and I were talking about Enoughness, brain and scientific research behind it. She had some questions regarding that.
Let’s talk about Science first. I have two questions and they work together. One is I know you’re a certified NLP and I hear about it all the time every time I meet someone taking the NLP course, etc., but also RAS, Reticulating Activating System. I would love to hear more about it. I know that, in general, if you tell yourself something enough, your brain searches for that thing. If you tell yourself something about being positive, your brain searches for positive things around you. That’s pretty much all I know. I would love you to expand on it.
This is one of my favorite topics. My joke always is always, “I’m a girl from New Jersey but I love airy-fairy stuff. I believe in intuition and empathy. If it’s rooted in Science, you’ve got me. If you can show me how it connects the dots, I’m in.” The first time someone introduced me to the reticular activating system, my mind went, “Why doesn’t everyone know about this? Why are we not teaching everyone about the reticulating activating system because it’s important and influential to our worlds?” People think affirmations or how you talk to yourself is something you should or could do. It’s something you must do because it will alter your life. The brain is the most powerful computer that we have. It will do exactly what you tell it. It does not know negative from positive. It knows what we tell it.
In the reticular activating system, we get tens of thousands of inputs per minute. The brain can’t handle that. The RAS filters what we have coming in. The RAS, what you tell it then looks for it. Let me give you an example. When you buy a car, you research that car, go to the car dealer, talk about that car and finally make the deal. You drive the car off the lot. As you’re driving down the highway, you see your car, “There’s my car. Did I make the best decision of my life or did I make the worst decision because I see my car everywhere?” It’s not that you see your car everywhere, it’s that you’ve been feeding that RAS for days on this black SUV you’re buying. Now you see it everywhere because your brain is filtering it out to find it. It’s the same way you can hear your name in a crowd of thousands. Here’s the mom and you know it’s not your kid. You know because that RAS is doing that for you.
I got interested in this science. There’s a book that I’d love to recommend called What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Dr. Shad Helmstetter. He brilliantly explains what I am armchair explaining to you. He says things like, “Remember, it doesn’t know negative and positive.” If you say, “I am bad with money,” your brain now goes to search for all the things to bring you that information. He even said, “If you’re a smoker and that you are to smoke and say, ‘I’m not a smoker,’ the brain understands what it’s hearing as opposed to physical.” You’re trying to alter it.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Shad many years ago. He is the authority on this. I’m a huge proponent. My last thing is the affirmations. This is why affirmations are important. They’re not a nice and kind thing we should do to ourselves. My children get furious with me. I take little index cards and I post them on their mirror, “I am smart. I am brilliant. I am beautiful. I am worthy.” They hate it. When they’re brushing their teeth, I want them to see that. Do you know what makes a belief true? You believe it.
The book, What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, reminds me of the Laws of Attraction in a way.
That’s the purpose behind Laws of Attraction. We put it out there so we see it, vision it, the vision board. All that stuff has so much more meaning, at least to me, once I know the science behind it. It’s not just a good idea. There’s concrete evidence behind it working.
For me, without realizing what that was scientifically, I’ve been doing that through meditation and other things being much more positive with myself and grateful. I’ve been probably the happiest I’ve been in decades. I understand that. I like seeing how it works within me.
One of the things is when you start realizing how you talk to yourself, how you’re communicating yourself or the things you’re saying to yourself. You know you have reached that when you hear other people saying negative things all the time. It’ll drive you insane because you’re like, “Why are you being negative?” It’s their path. It has nothing to do with you. That’s the reflection that you know that you are making the switch.
If you’re dealing with draining people, negative, Nellies or Debbie Downers, I understand that. I’ve had that and I try to distance myself. I’ve also tried to fix it. I’m like, “You’re sad. You’re lonely. You’re depressed. Try.” I’ve had people say, “I can’t think of anything.” I’ve even had someone on the show, the GGTV Live said to me, “I have nothing to be grateful for.” I said, “What about your breathing, your cup of coffee this morning and your glass of water?” You can’t change someone. If they’re going to understand that little switch and even try and be grateful for the smallest little thing, they have to come to that decision.
People like that are difficult to be around. Negative is easy to get pulled over into. It’s like gossiping. It’s something that starts to happen instead of taking a stance of, “I’m not going to do this.” I have encountered someone who did the same thing where I said, “You must be grateful for something.” She said, “I’m not grateful for anything.” I thought, “I don’t even know how to speak to you because that isn’t in my lexicon. It’s not in my world.”
One of the things about helping people or fixing people is I always will say to someone, “Would you like my advice on that?” As opposed to giving it right away, “Would you like to hear my opinion on that?” I’m okay if someone says, “No.” That’s where I work through my codependence into interdependence. I see codependence like this, you go to someone and engulfing them and in turn, engulfing you. Interdependence is when we come together and can interlace. When we’re not, we’re still individuals.
You also mentioned in your book something that I’ve read somewhere else as well. I talked to Michelle about it. When there are people that you can’t have in your life but you still want them, family, friends, you place them in different parts of your orchestra. You said the box office. I say the orchestra pit, the front row, moving on to the back row, lobby and then the street. They’re still involved but they maybe move back a couple of rows. Sometimes they can move back up. You have to do that to set boundaries and protect yourself.
Especially when you are striving for something that maybe they don’t understand or is even bigger than your own mind can get to. We all might have an idea of like, “I want to go for this. I want to achieve this.” We have no idea what it feels like to stand there once we arrive at that success. That will bring up insecurities, fear or doubts. You take information, turn it into knowledge and then you take an action. That’s the same way when you’re pursuing a goal. Many times when we’re pursuing a goal, we’re in information, we’re gathering the information and then it becomes knowledge. When we’re ready to take the action, that’s our first experience of that action. We don’t have any history to know how we would feel.
Having negative people around us who might be sniping in with their opinions, their insecurities or their own fear that, “If you achieve something, that makes me less.” That is the most damaging about toxic people. When you rise up, people will either hold on to you and try to pull you back down to where they’re comfortable. They will rise with you or will let go and go away. That’s where you have to accept that sometimes that’s what has to happen and that’s the boundary you put in for yourself and your dream.Gifts and passion dovetail into each other. Click To Tweet
When you were saying that, I was visualizing a hot air balloon in a way where some people fill up your balloon and it can go higher and some people are pulling it down. It’s interesting that once you let that go, you can soar higher with your team. Being an actor, there are many times you go out on auditions, on these jobs or you’re told that you’re not enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, “You’re not this. You’re thin.” Whatever it may be and not feeling enough. I know people who aren’t actors still go through that.
With COVID, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are going through a lot of loss. They might be feeling not just imposter syndrome but also feeling that emptiness and not feeling enough. You bring up that you had to get your different certifications to feel validated. I’m curious, what else would you tell people that they can do to get past that imposter syndrome? Also, to build themselves back up or refill that hot air balloon to go after those jobs again or keep putting themselves out there and not feel like an imposter?
First of all, I love the hot air balloon analogy. That’s beautiful. I want to talk about enoughness versus fears, doubts and the imposter syndrome. They all are foundations or currents to our confidence. That’s the first thing. With enoughness, it is having gratitude for what you have right here, right now. That is what enoughness means to me. We have to remind ourselves daily, weekly, hourly what we are grateful for. As Karen said, it could be the glass of water you had, you woke up in a good mood or that the sun is shining. We don’t have to get complex.
The imposter syndrome is that you feel fraudulent and the accomplishments you have, you didn’t really achieve. Someone gave it to you. The imposter syndrome came out in the ‘60s. It was by two female psychologists, which is interesting. The imposter syndrome hits women more than anything. They said in the ‘70s that most women who were admitted into Harvard Medical School called to question the admission board, “Did I get it right?” It is a natural thing. I’m going to speak to women that we have, “Did I achieve this?” It’s historical and societal. It’s all these things. We’re turning that ship. I know that we’re turning it for our children.
I want you to remember those two different things when you feel, “Did I get here? Did my work get me this achievement?” What I always say is to get right into facts versus feelings. What are the facts about this situation? A lot of times as an actress, I have to say, “Did I do my job? Did I give it my 100%? Maybe I could learn the lines a little better. I don’t know if I deserve this one.” There are auditions that I walk into thinking, “I know I did 100% the best thing I could do. I would cast nobody but me. It’s on them now.” That’s years of talking to myself. That’s years of getting into facts. “What are the facts? Did I do my job, do my work? Did I give my best? Was I my word? Did I not take anything personally?” All those things. If I can say, “I did this,” then I can let it go because I’m not into the results or what the outcome is.
It makes me think about piggybacking on that a little bit also where women have this and I felt like this where I would have to feel like I fit the job description perfectly in order to even apply or audition for it, like, “They want someone that’s in this age range. Maybe I won’t fit. They want somebody with this height, weight and size.” I read something about how women will make sure that they fit a job description 100% before even applying but men will only fit 30%. It’s ridiculous.
It’s even lower than that.
I was like, “I’m going to apply for every job I want, not just the jobs I qualify for because maybe they’ll give me a shot and I’ll get those opportunities.” That’s how I started podcasting.
That goes back to knowing what your gift is and what your passion is. In between gifts and passion, we have a ton of talents and skills that identify us. No one is you and that is your superpower. Going into any situation whether it be a job or an audition or a new social circle, telling yourself, “What I bring to the table, no one else can compete with because it’s mine. It may not be the shiny object that they want now, the loudest voice or the smartest voice but what I have to say is a value. What I bring to somebody is a value.” If you can start that mantra for yourself and see that superpower, what is your superpower? Your superpower might be that you’re nice. That’s okay. It might be that you’re organized, extremely intuitive or you’re kind. Don’t ever dismiss what you bring to the table. That’s a daily ritual practice belief that you will carry into a room with you.
Alison, you do admit that you let fear almost sabotage your feelings of enoughness when your book came out. I love to know that because you talked about your vulnerability and we can slip inside. It’s important to recognize that and then put ourselves back on track. You’re human. It happens. Can you share with us?
My boyfriend and I talked about that. He’s like, “Remember, we’re human.” If we don’t have fear and doubt then our ego is out of control. The fear and doubt are a check. What you do with that fear and doubt, that’s the difference. We’re human. We feel insecure, fear and not enough but it’s what you do in that recovery time when you feel that. How quickly do you recover? Who do you need in your corner to reflect, “Am I doing this?” We can’t work in a bubble with our minds.
The book had a couple of things. One is I was used to speaking and interacting with people so I knew how it landed. I’m a performer. I got instant applause or instant feedback. First, it was a medium I’ve never worked in. I did revere writers thinking, “Can I just do this? Is this what I do?” My fear of putting the book out was also around self-publishing, being a new medium for myself. “Would it translate?” I’m always concerned about, “How do you perceive it?” Not how you perceive me or how you perceive my information. “Is it helpful?” I never wanted to be toxic or misleading. I want it to be gracious.
Releasing a book, I had no control over any of that. I did have a perception that if I didn’t have a publisher behind me, “How do I do this? How do I put this out here?” I didn’t realize the impact it would have. In hindsight being 2020, I wish I had known that going in. I would have been a little pushier. I also felt it was never that I wasn’t enough. “Was I silly? Was I in the wrong direction? Was I presenting something that anybody wanted to hear?” It was more that was my fear and insecurity and my belief that I needed something bigger behind me, a machine behind me. None of that was true and that was proven to me over time.
Especially with Forbes rating you as 1 of the top 10 and top 7 books.
I have two distinguishments from them, 2019 and 2020. The top seven books to help you help yourself and the top ten books to help yourself at work. When Forbes came out, I’ll never forget it. It was October 3rd and I was in New York City watching a Cardinals baseball game with my boyfriend in a bar. I got a Google Alert. When the Google Alert came up, I thought it was the lovely farmer in Scotland, Alison Robertson, not this Alison Robertson and it said about the top seven books to help you help yourself. I turned to my boyfriend and I said, “Is this me?”
He goes, “Yeah.” I jumped up and ran outside. I called my mother and my business partner. My business partner was driving her kids home from school. She pulled over her minivan and she said, “We have to pay for this. This can’t be. This is not right.” I said, “Call me back because I’m about to freak out.” She called back and she said, “It’s real.” I said, “What do I do?” She goes, “I don’t know.” I go, “Okay.” I kept looking at it over and over again because it was a great reflecting moment for me.
I thought about that story so much. Your story reminds me of Facebook and social media. I don’t post at all. At some point, I’m going to have to. I’ve gone over 51 years of having my kids talk like they’re 10 and 11. What I love about that story is that immediately, I’m sure your social media is posting about what you received. The reality is you didn’t even believe it was you. That’s the part of the story that makes everything rich. Who would ever imagine? You’re at the top of your game. You have this bestselling book but you still didn’t even think you could get that accolade.The brain is the most powerful computer that we have. It does not know negative from positive. It just knows what we tell it. Click To Tweet
I remember standing on the street in New York City and it was starting to rain. I was by myself and I kept thinking, “What happens now? What do I do now?” If anything, it ignited me like, “I’m going to need to rethink everything, not because of that validation but the possibility because that possibility wasn’t even in my realm of thinking.” That is what I want to encourage people. We don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t know the possibilities of our actions, accomplishments or dreams.
Did you envision that possibility truly? When you were writing this, were you thinking, “I could touch millions of people?” Did you think that big?
I thought I would use the book to speak on stage and give it to a CEO, an event planner or an organization and say, “I have something to say. I want to talk to your tens of thousands of people. Here’s the book and I want you to pick something out of this book.” I’ve even structured the book so that someone could say, “I want you to talk about this subject. Could you do chapter eight for us? Can you do chapters 2 and 10?” “Sure, I can.” I structured it so you could buy and understand me.
When the book was pre-launched and I was getting feedback on July 25, 2019, with my business partner, I stood there with a glass of champagne and there’s a video somewhere and I say, “To this book, selling a million copies.” Whether I believe that or that’s going to happen but I did put it out there. I did speak it. I wanted to speak it into existence. I always say, “Be careful what you wish for and how you say it. Be specific, proud and bold, even if it’s just with you in your room because you don’t know what the possibilities are.”
Words have power. One of our guests, Lori Ross, who works with gemstones said that I like to hold during interviews. She’s a word porn because she loves positive words. I love that. I remember that all the time. You talk about your business partner, Melissa. I’ve spoken with her and she’s helped me to communicate. She’s done so much for you. We all need a Melissa. I was thinking, “I want a Melissa.” You even said people have asked for Melissa in your life. First of all, we know how she’s helped you but how can we help each other so we can be that Melissa to each other? We talked on the show all the time about helping, being the hot air that helps the balloon rise instead of pulling it down and helping to empower each other. In terms of mentors or partnerships, how can we find that person?
I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to Melissa. I always give her such credit. I always say, “I’m the voice, she’s the brains.” We worked with a hypnotherapist at the beginning of our business. She said, “The reason you two get along is that Melissa listens the way Alison talks. She hears things,” because I could drive someone crazy. I could be over here, I’m talking about this and then jump over here and she’s just able to do it.
Melissa is my voice of reason. She can ground me but she also allows me and she reflects you can. She also makes those opportunities so I’ll come to her with something and say, “I have this opportunity, someone’s asked me to be on the show Grateful Goddesses and I don’t know what to do.” She’s like, “I’ll handle it.” My desire to do it, my brain works in a different way. Does everybody need a Melissa? Not necessarily but what they do need is a team that’s not staff or employee.
They need a team or a board of directors to whom they can go to. Three to five people who you really trust and they can vary. They shouldn’t be yes people. I have them, call and say, “Am I crazy? Is this how I’m perceiving this? I have a thought. Should we go in this direction? What do you know about this?” I take their feedback seriously because I appreciate how they think, how they see me and I trust them because sometimes I can get very big and go too far. Melissa will say to me, “You’ve got six things that you presented to us. Let’s narrow it down to two.” “Just two?” She’s like, “It’s not that we’re not going to do the other four but what are the two that we’re going to do?” I’ll say, “Let me get back to you.” Everybody needs a team or a board of directors that you can go to when you have questions or desires that reflect back to you a truthful representation of yourself and your wants.
When I started Grateful Goddesses back in 2009, it was just me. I go to different venues and have different events. I loved it but I always felt like I was missing something and that was the team. When I relaunched it with this group of women and others that are Featured Goddesses. I love everyone’s perspective. I love how when we research, meet, talk and gabbing sessions. It’s fun to interact with each other. I feel like, “This is my team. This is my tribe.” Whether I agree with you, wherever you are in your life if you can have even one friend or one person. I tell my daughters this all the time, “You need one who can reflect back on what you’re saying, listen and help.” I feel like that’s important. Do you guys feel the same way? Do you have that in your life other than the goddesses?
Absolutely. My mom, growing up, had a group of girlfriends and they had shirts that they made together with puffy paint and it said WTF. It stood for Wait Till Friday because they would hang out every Friday together, they were all officer wives. It also stood for the same thing it’s known for now. I remember thinking, “I want that one. When I grow up I’m having my own girl gang and we’re going to do stuff together.” Being a part of GG I’m like, “Girl, it’s even better.”
We text each other all the time.
We’ve never met and the fact that I feel so bonded with you guys, I’m always talking to you guys with my husband more than my friends I now know in real life. Whatever makes you happy and you guys definitely do.
We’re on this journey together. I mean part of it and I was explaining to Alison about Grateful Goddesses is that we all need our own little Grateful Goddess, wherever that is. If you’re reading and you are part of this journey or you join us Sunday nights for the live but wherever you live, you can get that group. Now, virtually you can find people that are like-minded, that helps support you.
Even more so now because we are comfortable with zooming and meeting people virtually as opposed to in person. That’s a positive that’s come out of this entire COVID situation. We’ve expanded our way to reach people and communicate even though we are less.
Karen, it was when you were talking about like, “I like to correct people,” and then you get into that competitive thing. I do feel that now I’m of an age where I do give my opinion. If I’m always coming from a place of kindness and I always rub honey all over what I say but I know that my intentions are true. I know that I am telling someone something from a place of not a triggered moment but I want to share it with them. I can also just leave it. Either they accept it, they don’t respond. I’m like, “Your loss if you don’t want my feedback, it’s a gift that I’m giving this to you.”
I wanted to add that when we were talking about that before. There is always this balance. I have three boys and my husband. They’re highly uncomfortable going out with me because I’ll either give feedback or I’ll listen to a story. One of my gifts, I’m the ultimate communicator. I like to make people feel comfortable always. I like inclusion. That’s how I am but sometimes people are afraid to give feedback and society has become polarized with opinions. We need to find that middle ground again. We need to be brave enough to also speak our truth. We goddesses, anyone who would be attracted to this show, people who want to find that voice or wants to find that collective voice again.
Alison, you could correct me or not. The difference is that you’re not trying to fix someone. You can certainly express your opinion. You may open their eyes and I try that every single day. I try to express, “I think this or that,” or I’ll ask like Alison especially to my teenage daughter, “Do you want my opinion?” She’ll say, “No, mom. I don’t agree with you.” It is important to say it but I’m not trying to change. I don’t think we can. We just have to change our reaction to it and respond. Alison, you said that to me once, “It’s not changing reaction, it’s changing response.”
Becoming responsive versus reactive. That’s a little pause. Be truthful. See where you can assist people but don’t be attached to the outcome. That is when you know you’re doing something very truthfully and honestly because you’re able to give it without needing feedback or without a reaction. What Rachel was saying is we need to move into space where we are responding to one another, which means, “I can hear your opinion, cross the footbridge with you, stand on that side of the bridge with you and try to understand. If not experience what you’re saying or trying to impart to me. I then get to cross over the footbridge back to my other side and know whether I take that information with me and use it. Either way, I have an understanding and I’m responding to it, not reacting to it, shutting it down or being in fear of it.”Affirmations, if you believe them, it makes it true! Click To Tweet
I’m in my mid-50s and some of us can relate. I feel like I’ve gained so much wisdom without thinking about it. I realized that one of my gifts is sharing. Even if it’s I get a new product, I want to share it with my good friends. I want to share the wisdom that took me years to learn. If I feel like somebody knows that but I do agree. My grandmother always said, “You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.” You can show them but then it’s out of your control or you can’t control what happens next.
At the same time, I’m also in my 50s. I’m very happy to be a part of the club. I’m a Capricorn. As thought leaders and wisdom seekers, we do have a responsibility to try to bridge this gap. There is a dance that with our age and experience that we get to now teach and show how it’s done. Let’s face it, it hasn’t been done. It’s why we’re where we are in society. We have to as thought leaders reach out and say, “Have you thought of it this way? Let’s dialogue about it. Let me understand your point of view. Now that I understood your point of view, could you listen to mine? You don’t have to take what I say but can you try to understand it?” That’s why something like this show is important because it reverberates out into the world.
Let’s say a person comes to work with you and you help them to feel at a place of enoughness, set goals and you make up a game plan for them. What I always want to know about are the actionable steps. I’m curious if you can maybe give us an example of an actionable step. Maybe a fictitious scenario of a client that’s coming to you for wanting something and then how can you help them to take those steps?
I talk about this in my book and done this with Karen. I believe that balancing our lives is bullshit. We don’t balance anything. Balance is stressful. Trying to keep those scales. It’s anxiety-ridden, stressful. I don’t believe in that. I believe that we turn our lives into a soundboard. All the knobs and dials, that is your multi-passionate life. That is everything that you are, everything that you do. A mother, girlfriend, daughter, actress, speaker, coach, friend. I garden, I cook. Put everything onto my soundboard. All the knobs and dials and I dial things up and down based on what is happening in my life at this moment.
“I’m dealing with a sick parent. My social and extracurricular activities are going to dial down because I need to put my attention here. I’m going to need to go to the grocery store more often, I’m going to need to take my vitamins, I’m going to need to dial up my exercise to sit.” Putting your life into a soundboard allows you to give yourself control of what you’re paying attention to. Not everything gets the same amount of time or attention. There’re nuances and styles. This way, I also believe we should touch your soundboard every day so that we’re not abandoning anything. We’re just dialing it down because this is getting turned up. “I’m going to write a book. Let me give some more attention to that.”
It is about accountability. It is about goals with dates and times. It is about action items but I want you to be touching your soundboard all the time because there are different elements of our life that need attention at different times. I don’t want you abandoning anything. An example of that is I have a client, her name is Jessica McCabe. She came to me when she was in her twenties. She was speaking in the crowd and she said to me, “I either need to lose 15 pounds or gain 15 pounds because I don’t think my agents get me. They keep asking me for something.” I felt the room Inhale and I said, “Everyone, breathe. I have it.” I said, “First of all, this is not about you gaining or losing weight. This is about you being bigger. That is what they’re asking of you. If you can reframe it to, they’re asking you to be bigger, not about size. It’s about who you are.”
She started working with me as a coach and I said to her, “What do you want? What is your real gift?” She said, “I have ADHD. I got diagnosed when I was twelve. My parents did the best they could but they handed me a bunch of books, some pills and said, ‘You got to figure this one out kid.’” I was horrified. She said, “I never saw my ADHD as anything other than a superpower. I learned everything I could about it. My grandfather died and left me a very small inheritance. I’m going to quit my job and start a YouTube channel.” “As a mom, I need you to take half that money and put it away and as a coach, I’m all behind this. Let’s meet in the middle.”
She started a YouTube channel. If you go on to her YouTube channel, it’s called How to ADHD. She’s one of the authorities in this country on ADHD. She did a TED Talk that has over two million views. She talks to people and explains to them how to use their ADHD to accomplish things. This is somebody who just needed a reflection and we did steps in 30, 60, 90 days. Budget and accountability but her reticulating activating system never saw her disability as a disability. She saw it as a superpower. Look at that. Everything she did in her life. If you go on her YouTube, she’s delightful, a darling, she’s so smart and self-taught.
I follow her because I was diagnosed late with ADHD and I’m dyslexic. I always refer to my dyslexia as being a superpower because it helped me learn to memorize faster. You’re blowing my mind because I look up to her.
She talks to you and she goes, “Hello brains.” She’s adorable. If you don’t have ADHD, when you watch her videos, you know what it feels like to have ADHD. She actually creates an immersive experience. I don’t even know if she does it on purpose. She’s helped my children who have ADHD. She has so many tips and tools. That’s just an example of a reflection but also taking what she had and putting it into actionable steps.
You didn’t say, “Lose the 15, gain the 15.” You said, “Let’s reflect back.” You’ve done that with me, not about weight but about what I want to do with Grateful Goddesses and you’ve done the soundboard. I love that. I wanted you to show others because you are an incredible coach. If our audience wants to reach out to you to have some of your services, I know that they can get your book on your website, can you share with us how to connect?
Thank you for saying that, I appreciate it. You can go onto my website, which is AlisonRobertson.com. On the website, if you don’t want a hard copy of the book, I do send a digital copy if you sign up for it. I’m a coach. I Zoom and Skype all over the world. I am starting a course on Enoughness. I’m doing a ten-week course to help people embrace who they are and dissect the book with them so that they understand me in real-time and what I hope they get out of the book.
Are you writing a second book too? Have you thought about that?
I am. It’s called The F You Response: How to Have Grace in Every Situation. I believe that people do and say stuff to us and when it’s not authentic, when it’s mean or judging, we get a response that says, “F you.” You all know that response. It’s immediate. I want to teach people to use that to not go after somebody but to pause, learn how to respond and continue to have that grace in that communication and how you communicate with people. If we start communicating in a kinder, more responsive way, this world will change.
I get asked a lot from friends and so on, that are professional women how they can get back into the dating world especially maybe they’ve remarried before or never married but were career-focused. Now they’re in their 40s and they’ve established themselves. They’re professionals, have their own homes, maybe. They’re having a hard time dating. Now, even with Zoom, being probably the only way they can because of the pandemic, you have a history of working with eHarmony and having your own advice column. Can you give any advice for any people that might be looking for love the second time or maybe the first time around?
I started off as a relationship coach. That was where I put my foot in the water. Dating is such an unusual thing especially for women at that age. It’s all different and new like, “What?” The first thing I want to say is, “Don’t take anything personally when you’re going forth.” I asked my clients to do this. I asked them not to speak to their sisters, mothers and the people closest to them because they see you in a very unique way. It’s not necessarily the way you’re presenting yourself in the romantic world.
To find that committee, that board of directors that can reflect you who you are and what your desires are without judgment. What you are going to attract romantically may be very different from your friend group. A lot of women make the mistake of, “My friends give me this and my friends give me emotional support. My friends reflect me, get me and don’t judge me.” You then go out into the world and if you’re maybe looking for a man, you want him to fulfill those things that maybe your friends do. He doesn’t want to do that.
I want you to find what you’re looking for in a romantic partner, who you want to share your life and experiences. It’s different than what your friends bring you. Watch asking people close to you for advice unless they can be very objective with you. The other thing is please make a list of what you’re looking for. Please make a list of the dream man, dream person, dream partner. My success stories, I had a time where I was coaching a bunch of women in Austin and I would fly there every few weeks. There were eight of them in my group. Six of them are married and they all made a list.Enoughness is gratitude for what you have, right here, right now! Click To Tweet
My business partner, Melissa, made a list. She was dating. On her wedding day, I gave her the list back and her husband had everything but two of the things she wrote down. Remember, our words are powerful, speak them into existence. Know it’s like the Wild Wild West out there. Know what you’re looking for because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can float right past you and you won’t know to reach out and grab it.
To piggyback on that. I am manifesting whether it’s a vision board or during my meditation when I have to answer, “What do I want?” What I’ve learned is what I asked for has come to me but then I realized I have to refine it. Because, “He’s got those things but he’s got this and I didn’t even think about that.” That’s where I’m at but I also trust myself. I’ve come to a place where I’ve learned to trust my gut. I pat myself on the back when I show up for myself. I had to tell somebody after four dates, “I’m sorry, it’s not working.” I did feel bad about it but I was proud of myself because I showed up for myself. I finally learned how to do that.
She said, “I got my tall, dark and handsome but there was something missing.” We’re like, “You have to say whatever it is that’s missing.”
You’re very clear or you have to see is this a person that if they’re missing that, can they work with you? Can you grow? Can you become interdependent? As opposed to codependent. If this person that you’ve met doesn’t have that skill yet, are they willing to embrace it, learn it and grow with you? It’s that footbridge again. I speak about this all the time. My boyfriend is seventeen years younger than me. I have to be honest, he came to me in a package. I don’t know if I would have recognized him if he was in his 50s.
The fact that our age difference and who we are made me pay attention. It made me take note and one of the things is how does the person make you feel. On our first date, I sat down and started talking to him. He’s the same age as my son. It was very intense when I found out how old he was. I almost had a heart attack. I kept saying to my girlfriends, “But I feel safe and seen by him. I feel I can do anything with him. I don’t need him to bring me something. I just need him to reflect me.” That’s the gift I could give anybody that’s dating. Does the person reflect who you are? If you look in my book notes, in my thank yous, I say to Spencer, “Thank you for reflecting me,” because it was his reflection of me that made me say, “I got something to say. I got something to do.”
I’ve also been doing that. Wendi Cohen, who’s been on the show a couple of times, who’s my mindfulness coach who I adore. I wasn’t 100% clear so she said, “Start asking for things like, ‘I want to feel safe when I’m with this person. I want to feel joy and heard, etc.’” I do that as well. It’s not about looks like it used to be.
Dating is not for the faint of heart.
I did hear on the news, there was a segment that I was fascinated in that a lot of people are dating now online because of the pandemic. It’s like a slow love. They’re getting to know each other so much better and talk rather than just texting, going out for a drink and jumping in bed. It’s a nice old fashion way to get to know each other again.
Communication.Don't ever dismiss what you are bringing to the table. It is of value and know that. Click To Tweet
Also, being honest about who you are. I’m an over communicator and an over-thinker in romance. You need to know that going in and if that’s something you can’t deal with then you might need to reconsider me.
In your book, a couple of pages in you say, “I believe to be complete, you have to have enoughness. Enoughness can include but is not limited to the following,” I’m not going to read all of them but I’ll read a few. “Satisfied, full, empowered, humor, believer, peace, stillness, encompassing, entire, authentic, healthy, precious, adequate, satisfactory, bliss.” It can go on and on. I’m going to write out these words and put them all over my mirror because even these words are happiness, delight, joy are more than enough, which I love. Thank you so much, Alison, for joining us and helping us to see that we are enough and we can move forward in all of our gifts and passions. We’re grateful to you. Thank you for joining us on the show.
Thank you so much.
Thank you for joining us on Grateful Goddesses Favorite Things. It’s like an adult show and tell with our guest, Alison Robertson. One of my new favorite things is her book, Enoughness. It is an amazing guide to helping to trust your inner voice, find your gifts and your passion. I did want to share a little favorite thing from one of my girls in my tribe. She sent me a Galentines floral arrangement. I’ve been smelling it and it’s lovely. It’s important to have women around you. People that can listen, hear and show their perspective, that you’re not afraid to tell things to and for them to reflect back and hear what your desires are and what your wishes are. I love my flowers and Happy Galentine’s to my grateful goddesses. Michelle, what did you bring?
My dear late grandmother loved to bake and she was known for her cookies. I inherited her recipe box. She was most known for her chocolate chip recipes. I took the index card exactly as it was. There are stains on it and typos. I blew it up into what you saw that’s in my breakfast area, which is her chocolate chip recipe and I love it. I feel like a part of her is in my home every day and people always comment on it. Instead of pulling out the index card, I use this to make the cookies.
Thank you. Camille?
A lot of actors are superstitious. We have certain things we might always wear for an audition or maybe your wardrobe is the same thing. You wore it in the audition you wear it again in the callback. We’re very superstitious sometimes. One of the superstitious things I like to wear is my necklace that says #WillBe. I love wearing it even though I’m not sure if it reads the right way because I’m dyslexic. I was like, “At least I know no matter what, I feel happy when I see it even if I can’t read it or no one else can read what it says.” As a kid I always wanted a nameplate and even later on when I saw Sex in the City and Carrie had a nameplate, I was like, “I always wanted a nameplate necklace.” I want a happy necklace.
Alison, it’s true with the superstitions. I go for auditions and castings. I remember blue is the color my agent said to wear. I went out and got this blue top. I went and everyone had the same J.Crew blue top on. I was like, “Next time I’m wearing red to stand out.” Rachel, what did you bring?Our words are powerful. Speak it into existence! Click To Tweet
Michelle, I have my grandmother’s self-portrait. She owned an art gallery. I have lots of her work. This will be my favorite thing. This is a piece of art from my grandmother. It’s a Muro. I have all of this incredible art but I have her self-portrait on this gallery wall in my house. I have Picasso, Dalí, Muro and everyone comments on the self-portrait of my grandmother that that’s their favorite piece of art on the wall.
That’s beautiful. Lucky you to have all that wonderful art.
I feel like her spirit is watching. She’s such a strong woman. She owned an art gallery in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The artists were alive at the time and to have a woman who owns her own business. Her husband, my grandfather, was the mayor of the town. They were a strong couple. My mom’s an artist and I have my grandmother’s portrait above me. I’m like, “I didn’t know that.”
Rachel, you’ll have to take a picture to show us. I went to visit Rachel, socially distant with masks on. I dropped something off for her and the first thing I saw was all these beautiful paintings on her wall and I remember seeing that, it’s gorgeous. Alison, what did you bring?
It could have been better. My grandmother was a huge influence on me and I grew up with her in a multi-generational household. She always wore bracelets, gold bangles. I always have a wrist full of gold bangles. I call them my story. Each bracelet is from someone or something and based on what energy or superstition I have going on, I pull out different bracelets. For my 50th birthday, my girlfriend’s all bought me a part of my story so they can be a part of my story but I have anything from my book title on here to superwomen’s power to bend the rules. I wear them in 3’s, 5’s and 7’s. I am very superstitious and it’s my anchoring. It also reminds me of everything my grandmother taught me because she wore this wrist full of bracelets my entire life.
It’s part of my story and I love it based on what energy, power or reminder I need, I put it on my wrist.
Thank you so much for sharing that and for being here on the show.
Thank you so much. I’m grateful to all of you.
- The Con Artists: The Act of Confidence Through the Creative Mind – Apple Podcast
- Enoughness: The Simple Truth of Embracing YOU
- The E-Spot
- Facebook – @TheRealCamille Kauer
- What to Say When You Talk to Your Self
- GGTV Live
- Lori Ross – Past Episode
- How to ADHD – YouTube Channel
- TED Talk – Jessica McCabe
- Wendi Cohen – Previous Episode
- Sistah Biz
- Ellen Schwartz – Previous Episode
About Alison Robertson
Alison Robertson is a solution-focused personal development coach, motivational speaker and host of the podcast, The Con Artist-The Art of Confidence through the Creative Mind. As a personal development coach, Alison has been working with clients for over a decade to move from where they are in life to where they want to be. Her debut book, ENOUGHNESS The Simple Truth to Embracing YOU, has appeared on the FORBES 7 Books to Help You Help Yourself and FORBES 20 Books to Inspire Your Happiest Life at Work.
“I truly believe that many of us have lost our way and are looking for more. I have found that when I help people learn the difference between their gift & passion and how to make them work together, they are able to then create their ideal life. I also believe that we are all living in chaos and until we are able to find harmony, not balance, in life, it is next to impossible to keep moving forward. I love helping people find that space.”