Even the strongest, most confident, and most capable people in your life aren’t invincible. In fact, many women spend hours of their lives convincing people that they’ve got it all together when life is falling apart. Within the same month, Abby Havermann found herself facing her father’s diagnosis with esophageal cancer and her seven-year-old son was diagnosis with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
Today, Abby joins the podcast to talk about self-care in the midst of her struggle, personal responsibility, and the mindset we need to embrace to live out our dreams, even while walking through life-altering medical challenges as a mom and daughter.
Abby is a coach, speaker, and author who uses her background as a psychotherapist and financial advisor to help high-achieving women achieve greatness. In her new book coming early in winter 2020, Control Freak, she helps you get to the heart of the matter that helps you truly think through your choices.
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Pearls of Wisdom
- Why real self-care really has to do with plugging into yourself in any given moment, not just for big decisions but small ones, and really checking in to make sure that you have your finger on the pulse of what you feel about something.
- Why you need to begin to listen to and honor yourself, and make decisions from that standpoint intuitively. You have to think about what story you’re telling yourself. The problem that you’re having is not based on what someone said or did or the problem itself. It’s based on the story that you’re telling yourself.
- What true worth is – infinite, intrinsic and immutable. Your job is to align with it, not to try and prop it up with how you look or how you feel.
Tweetables“Stop buying into the idea that self-care is a spa treatment and a glass of wine.” - Abby Havermann Click To Tweet “'This is never going to end. This is going to be the end of me. It's going to be my undoing.' We get to that space of thinking that other people can't relate to what we're going through.” - Arwen Becker Click To Tweet “You can't control whether or not someone's going to validate you or not.” - Abby Havermann Click To Tweet “Your worth is infinite, intrinsic and immutable. Your job is to align with it, not to try and prop it up with how you look or how you feel or… It's just there.” - Abby Havermann Click To Tweet
- The Beauty of Authenticity: Embracing Your Truth to Live a Life of Meaning, Purpose, and Grace
- NeuroChange Solutions
- Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
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Connect with Arwen Becker
Arwen Becker: It almost makes me chuckle. Actually, I think it does. I am not the woman that most people would think would be taken advantage of. I'm often seen as this strong, confident, very capable woman; that I've got it all together. Not to mention, the vast majority of my life I've been trying to convince people that I have these fortified walls to help protect me from getting hurt.
But a few years ago I was so broken. In 2016, I was rushing around like an absolute mad woman trying to sell half of our company, and I was going to go to work for somebody else. I was sure it was going to solve all my business and financial insecurities that I have. Yet the plan didn't come to fruition because I thought it was going to be the end of my marriage if I went forward with the sale. I had worked with my husband for 16 years. My kids were devastated, and so I decided to not sell it. I had to go back to this company that I thought was broken. I really thought out of sheer force that I could fix the issues that still remained.
What I proceeded to do in 2017 was throw most of the parts of self-care, the important pieces, out the window. By this point, I'd become extraordinarily depleted. I was on the edge multiple times in 2017 and 2016 of a mental breakdown. I found myself in the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack. It was extraordinarily, ridiculously embarrassing when I had my problem solved by Mylanta, when they brought that into me because it was just the amount of stress that I was under, and stress that I had put upon myself.
During that time, I learned a very devastating lesson: that even the most confident people who have it all together, when their defenses are down and boundaries get weakened that's when people can take advantage of you. During that time, I watched my biggest support network get completely ripped out from underneath me. It was by choices of those who, within that organization, should have protected me. That began the lowest point of my life.
Abby Havermann helped to hold me in that space. She went to bat for me when, honestly, nobody else would. Put her neck on the line fighting for me when I couldn't. For that, I am eternally grateful to her.
Who is this beautiful Abby Havermann? Abby's a coach, she's an author and she's a speaker. What she does is she helps high-achieving women who are up to something great in the world. She uses 15 years of psychotherapist time period. She has 12 years as a financial advisor, her own business and life experiences. She inspires women to really claim that value-driven, personal and professional life that only they can live.
Abby's trained to deliver Dr. Joe Dispenza’s highly-esteemed NeuroChange Solutions corporate training program, which she will share a bit more about. She's author of the upcoming book— I love this title— Control Freak. Oh my gosh, that's my life in a nutshell. What I admire most about Abby is her straight talk. There's no BS here. She is going to tell it like it is, but she does it in such a kind way. She gets to the heart of the matter that really helps you think through your choices. She's all about self-care, personal responsibility and really that proper mindset that we all need to have. I love her because she's also an open book. When we met, she had recently found herself knee-deep in some major life-altering struggles.
Interviewer: I'm so happy to have you on the show today, Abby.
Abby Havermann: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.
Arwen Becker: Why don't you take us back a little bit and talk about that time period when your family was… A lot of things were kind of falling apart around you. What was going on at that time?
Abby Havermann: Yeah. When I listened to your intro, it's just so funny to remind me of the time that we met and what was happening in each of our lives, and our lives colliding at that moment. It's really crazy. At that time, I had been coming out of what felt like years’ struggle of just being stuck. Nothing was wrong. Everything was fine but I wasn't feeling a lot of joy. There was something missing. I tried to take up hobbies. I tried all this different stuff. Nothing was working.
What ended up happening is I signed up for a yearlong mastermind, a yearlong seminar to learn how to tell a story. I was so excited about this because I thought, “This is going to finally move me off my needle and it’s going to get me to do something productive in my life.” I'd done lots of things that were productive, but I didn't feel that way. We signed up in May and it was supposed to start in August in California. The coach was a former NFL player and a Broadway play actor, and now he was teaching how to play story. I could not wait. I was so excited.
What happened in June and July was that my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and my seven-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder. Yeah, so I crawled into bed with my box of tissues and my phone to talk to doctors and insurance companies and my Netflix remote. I stayed there for the month before but this was a crazy expensive program, so I dragged myself on the plane. When I got there, I found myself in a room of about 24 people. There was a gold medalist athlete. There was a woman who the week before had treated the highest-paid actress in the country. There was a man who had toured on stage with Tony Robbins. People who had loads more money than me.
Arwen Becker: Sure. Deep credentials, importance, prestige.
Abby Havermann: Yeah. On a good day, I would have been just mortified. These were people that I did not see myself rubbing shoulders with. But like you said in your opening, when life like that happens and you have a self-esteem that has been sort of propped up, and you bring yourself with all that you can to that moment but all this stuff in life happened, it's like a pin going into a balloon and the air just lets out.
The one thing that I had going for myself in that moment was I had this ability to think about what I'm thinking about. When I sat down for the first day, I decided to take notes. I took notes on every single time I compared myself to someone in that room. There was a lot of notes, let me tell you. From the first minute there was a lot of notes. Then the first thing was, “Gorgeous blonde, better than me. So and so, more money. Better than me. This guy has more connections. This whole thing is going to work better for him. The coach likes this woman more than me.”
By noon, I was so bored with myself. I was exhausted by my own voice and I started to pay attention. By the next day we had to get up and tell our stories. We told little five-minute stories that we had prepared. I watched everybody get up and I just looked at all of them with awe. I just thought, “Man, they’re going to kill it. They are just going to go out there and kill it. This is so awesome.” I also knew in the back of my head that I was done. I was going back to bed. I wasn’t going to be able to make it through this. It was like a blanket over me, but I had to get up and tell my story. I got up and told my story and I chose the most humiliating story of my life, which is a story-
Arwen Becker: Why not just start with the big one?
Abby Havermann: Right? Story for another podcast. I told the most humiliating story of my life that I had never told to a group of people. I’d only told to very few people. At the end of that story, what I had learned was that I had made all the decisions that I've made in my life from looking through a lens and a belief that I was unworthy, that I wasn't worthy.
At the end of that story, the coach sort of leaned back— I'll never forget— and he folded his arms and he said, “Huh, from looking at you…” and that reminds me of your opening, what people think when they see you, “…from looking at you, I never would have thought that you were going to say that that's what happened to you, and I never thought you were going to say that you felt unworthy.” He looked around the room at everybody and said, “Did anybody think that Abby was going to say those things?” Everybody shook their head no.
I looked into all of their eyes and all of a sudden, it was like I was catapulted out of my body and into theirs, and I saw myself through their eyes, through the lens they were looking at me with. It was the same lens that I had been looking at them with.
Arwen Becker: Right. Isn't that so crazy?
Abby Havermann: It was crazy.
Arwen Becker: That is so crazy because we do that all the time. For you to think… To have people sitting there in awe of you in the same way that you were doing of them, that's fascinating.
Abby Havermann: It was and it clicked inside of me. I realized in that moment two things. I realized, first of all, my worth has nothing to do with whether or not I go home and get in bed with my Netflix remote and never get out of bed again. It has nothing to do with the way that I look or my success or any of those things. My worth is intrinsic. It's inside of me. It is immutable. It's not changing and it’s infinite. We’re all like that-
Arwen Becker: As you talk about that story, the piece that resonates with me even more than the story is that you still went. The amount of people who would choose to opt out of even going to a moment like that where they knew they had to confront those insecurities, they knew that there were going to be people there that seemed more prepared, that seemed more ready, that seemed less afraid, that seemed whatever… Add the excuse or the line at the end of the sentence. Yet you still chose to stay committed to what you had committed to.
As much as all the things around you could have deterred you or stopped you from going, and you know what, most everybody, pretty much most people would say, “Oh, totally understand. With everything that's going on in your life, it's completely okay and understandable why you didn't go,” but you still went. Look at your breakthrough that you had there.
Abby Havermann: Thank God I went. It's funny that you say that. I don't know if I actually went other than it was exorbitantly expensive [crosstalk 00:11:23].
Arwen Becker: Maybe that's the key. You pay for a good coach and that's part of what will keep you going. I know I have learned that as well myself.
Abby Havermann: It might be. When you say that it makes me think. In a way, I wouldn't have had the breakthrough that I had there had I not been going through what I was going through. The second breakthrough that I really had was, hey, if I don't figure out how to bring joy into my life, how to show up with all of my gifts, and how to show up and embody my life, how in the world would I have a leg to stand on when I need to turn around and tell my son, who's going to have so many bigger mountains that I have to climb, and who also has so many more gifts than I do. How am I going to be able to tell him, “No, no, no. You don't get to excuse yourself”? “You don’t get to excuse yourself from living the life that you deserve, and bringing all of your gifts into the world.” Now that you say that, I don't know that I would have had that breakthrough there. I might have stayed shrouded in insecurity and whatever if I didn’t have a driver like that.
Arwen Becker: Then that just ends up perpetuating more of these issues too. It is so simple for all of us to get very myopic, especially when we're going through major, major stress. We're thinking, “This is never going to end. This is going to be the end of me. It's going to be my undoing.” We get to that space— which you certainly have had way more experience with, obviously, with your background of being in psychotherapy and people that you've counseled over the years— of thinking that other people can't relate to what we're going through.
Can you talk a little bit more about your son? I know you and I have talked a little bit about it. It's a pretty rare disease that he is facing. You said he has way more gifts, so tell me a little bit more about him and how you were able to impart some of this just into him as still a young man. Expand on that a little bit.
Abby Havermann: Okay. He has something called CMT, which is called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. It's the last name of the three doctors that came up with this diagnosis. It's actually the most common hereditary neuropathy that there is, but no one knows what it is. It’s actually more common than MS, which is crazy. When we were trying to get him diagnosed, it was an extremely… it was a horrible, horrible situation.
When he finally got diagnosed and I looked online and just Googled the gene that he has that's a problem, his symptoms were right there. It's like, “How hard was this to do?” They were right there but no one knew what was happening. They put him through tons of painful tests and it was harrowing. They don't really know how it's going to unfold. What it basically means is that his nerves don't fire to his muscles. It's his distal nerve, so it's his legs and his hands. Right now he's in a cast. He's been casted three times in the last month because his foot has gotten so stiff and they're trying to keep some flexibility.
You wouldn't know it from knowing him. He's a jolly, crazy little kid. He is his own little man. He's nine now. He loves to draw. Recently, he got into gardening. He's all about gardening. He likes to go to the nail salon with me and get his nails painted. He likes to get his hair done. He is his own person. Anytime I've gotten concerned when he's not playing with kids on the playground or something, and I'll say to him, “Why aren't you playing with kids?” Because I'm nervous, “Are people noticing, blah, blah, blah?” He just looks at me and says, “Mom, they won't let me be half Superman, half animal in this game and I want to be both. So, if they're not going to allow it, I'm not going to play with them.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s great.”
Arwen Becker: I love it.
Abby Havermann: But it's tough. It’s tough to see. It's tough to visually see.
Arwen Becker: Yeah. You were talking about really being able to take some of the things that you have learned and not only that you apply with him in your home, but also with coaching clients and things of that nature. I feel like I watch this with you. How do you adequately provide empathy to the moment in which somebody is in but then lovingly be able to say, “However…” and then have that nudge? I think a lot of us stop giving the nudge because we feel like it might be mean or we're downplaying the frustration, the hell, the depression, whatever manner of things that people are going through. Can you talk a little bit from your history and your background, how do we do that? How do we still be empathetic but still go, “Okay, but now what's the next thing?” or “What are you focusing on?” What does that look like?
Abby Havermann: Well, if you ever have a guest that has an answer to that question, I would like to know it. A lot of times, to be totally honest, I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I've had a lot of experience. I always said there's very few things that I haven't heard and seen, and nothing surprises me that much. But the idea of how to raise a child with a disability, that's not something I know how to do. That's something that I'm doing because I have to. Even saying those words, it's like maybe I shouldn't even say disability. I don't want to treat him like a disability. I don't think of him as having a disability. Should I say that? Should I not say that? Is that helpful? Is that not helpful?
It's a constant figuring it out. I really think that a lot of it has to do with— I don't know how this is going to sound— but I think a lot of it has to do with really taking care of myself, and plugging into myself, and living by example and living my dreams. It's very easy to get overwhelmed and to get grief-stricken and to feel so guilty or bad, “What did I do in my pregnancy?” I can go there. I had an extremely stressful pregnancy. I could go there. Not allowing myself to go there but going to what brings me joy and keeps me inspired throughout my day, so that I can show him that. Then he's doing something that makes him inspired and being able to be like, “Amazing. You want to garden? Fantastic. I'm not going to help you. Dad will help you. Sure, dad will help you because I don't know how to garden,” but those things.
At the same time, it's tough because sometimes he has a lot of pain and I want to go on a bike ride and he has to stop. You don't know, is he stopping because he's using it as an excuse or is he stopping because he really has cramping? To not have that answer and know that I could have made the wrong choice to push him when he's really cramping, or not to push him and let him go slow with something and always be in that situation…
Arwen Becker: Yeah. It's certainly not the same degree, but with having a kid who is on the autism spectrum, ADHD, and the… I mean, the absolute hell that it created for me in those early years and for him, but so much so that it created severe insomnia for me. When I finally got to that point after three years of all the testing, and everybody coming around him, and going to therapy and trying all of these things naturally in hopes that we could fix it, make him fit into the system that's been designed around him for school. When that moment came where a lot of professionals that knew him, loved him, supported us, knew all the things that we were doing all kind of said, “I think we need to start looking at medication.” It was when that moment came I felt as a mom that I had failed him. I felt like I couldn't, at that point… The complete lack of control I had because I couldn't solve it. That through my effort, through a little bit more time, through a little bit more of this, that or the other thing, I thought that I could somehow manipulate the life around him enough to make him “fit”, and he couldn't. He couldn't.
It’s just like you. For both Randy and I, it took a while for us to utilize the term autism. It was that same thing. It's like, “Do I want to give power to that? Do I run the risk of my youngest son who verbally runs circles around him and has his whole life— he just loves to talk and he communicates beautifully— using that as a dagger at moments with his brother?” Things like that. Yet I still have to acknowledge that. There are those moments, just like with your son, where I go, “Okay, is it truly that Ashton's… is he being defiant or did it really just not even register?”
Abby Havermann: It didn’t click. Yeah.
Arwen Becker: It didn't even click, didn't matter. He was only three feet away from me when I asked him, or looking right at me when I gave him… I have to go back and go, “Well, did I give him more than maybe two directions at once?” The moment you add number three on top of that, number one's gone. Then yelling at him and getting mad at him for not doing it, all it does is just affect his self-esteem going, “Well, why am I a failure? Why didn't I do that? I'm sorry that I didn't.”
Abby Havermann: It also affects you. You yell at him like that and then you have a huge shame cycle, right? That is the worst thing that I can do for myself, and that's the worst thing I can do for him.
Arwen Becker: Yeah.
Abby Havermann: I think that's so important. I remember a long, long time ago in my other life when I was in the process of damaging my first son, or thinking I was with the divorce and everything like that. I remember I had a therapist at the time, and he said, “If you are okay, he'll be okay.” That always comes back to me. There's two parts to that. It's what they're going through and what we're doing, but it's also what we do to ourselves as result of how we have reacted to them.
Arwen Becker: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I think that that kind of brings in, this whole self-care piece. You and I have talked a lot about it. With the training company that I have, I think it's a missing component oftentimes, especially with women, when we are striving for new things, we're going out of our comfort zone, we're really stretching ourselves that we take care of everybody else and yet we don't do it for ourselves. You and I have talked quite a bit about that. What have been some of the things for you that you've really seen have been such important components to make sure you're staying consistent with, to be able to not be the crazy, overextended, angry, depressed-?
Abby Havermann: Control freak.
Arwen Becker: –yeah, control freak woman and mom and wife that can implode everything around. “If mom's not happy, no one's happy.” What have been some of those things for you?
Abby Havermann: Well, the first thing is to stop buying into the idea that self-care is a spa treatment and a glass of wine.
Arwen Becker: Amen, sister. I'll cheers you with my water.
Abby Havermann: Yeah, stuff like that. That is absolutely a myth, and it's really a damaging one. What happens is we go and we get that massage and we've saved up for it or whatever. We’ve really treated ourselves. 10 minutes after the massage we're losing our mind at something that happened in the house and we feel like a failure again. “Why? I'm doing what they told me to do. I'm self-care. I'm doing it. Why am I still a crazy bitch?”
Arwen Becker: Yeah, right. Exactly. “Why did I still bite all my nails off? [Crosstalk 00:22:51]."
Abby Havermann: Right. That's the first thing: it really has nothing to do with that. I go to the spa because I want to. It's not because I have to; it's only if I want to, and so-
Arwen Becker: I'm going to interject one thing with you really quick on that. The whole thing about the spa, it was probably about four or five years ago that I added a monthly spa to my routine. All the years prior to that, it wasn't that I couldn't afford to do that. It was that I didn't feel I was valuable enough to have that “luxury” treatment for myself. Until I finally got into this routine going, “Wait a second, I take care of myself. I go running. I eat well. I’m not on any medications. I do a lot of things to take care of my body. Why can't I spend the money that might be used on medical care or prescriptions or things like that, and then use that for something that actually just makes me feel a little bit better in that moment?” Like you were talking about, not thinking that it was going to fix all my problems. That was something I learned. I just had to interject that. I do love a good spa day, but you're absolutely right. It does not solve all your issues.
Abby Havermann: No. And “Am I worthy enough to ask someone else to watch the kids while I do that? To leave the kids alone for an hour to do that?” That's another thing that I think keeps people from doing that a lot. It's this victim mentality, “Oh, I can’t. I've got to do this and I've got to do that.” Well, no, you don't. You have to take care of yourself. Real self-care really has to do with plugging into yourself in any given moment, not just for big decisions but small ones, and really checking in to make sure that you have your finger on the pulse of what you feel about something. I was talking to a client about this last night. Things are just coming together for her. It's been 10 years of just subjugating herself and doing what she thought she had to do, what she thought was the right thing to do. You'll hear women say this all the time. “Well, I have to go to this party. It's the right thing to do. They’ll think X, Y and Z if I don't go.”
They judge me. I don't feel good. He's not happy. Then, guess what, I'm resentful and annoyed and bitchy on the way home. I just made the decision on any given day to check in with myself not as a, “Well, I’m just not going anymore,” because that's the same behavior, the other side of the same coin. But to check on myself, “How do I feel? Can I go to this?” My husband was not really psyched about it in the beginning. He felt, “Well, you kind of should be there.” When he realized that he could go and come home and I was perfectly happy and we weren't arguing or whatever, it became worth it. That's just a small example of really taking care of myself and tolerating. He even said to me one time I said… One time I was worried about it and I said, “But, babe, they're going to judge me if I don't go.” He said, “Abby, they're going to judge you whether you do go.” I went, “You’re right.”
Arwen Becker: You're the one who always uses that whole quote about what other people think of you is none of your business.
Abby Havermann: None of your business. It’s none of your business. As soon as you realize that, life gets a whole lot easier.
Arwen Becker: Especially for those of us, like me, who are a people pleaser and want to keep people happy. It's like, “I want to do something. I don't want you to be mad at me.” People are going to be mad at you one way or another, like you said.
Abby Havermann: That was one of the ways you and I first met, was you can't control whether or not someone's going to validate you or not.
Arwen Becker: No. Exactly.
Abby Havermann: Don’t send that email if you're looking for validation.
Arwen Becker: That's right. That was exactly what you taught me. That was one of the most beautiful pieces. I'll never forget that because now I constantly check in with that. It's like, “Wait a second, am I saying this?” After all those things were going on in my life in that time a couple of years ago, I had a very, very close girlfriend that just went dark on me. Even reaching out and trying to figure out what happened, and finally when I was past the crisis enough going, “Okay, well, I'm going to call her.” I had to go, “What am I hoping I'm going to receive from that?” Do I need to because I just feel that because we were close enough friends, she needs to know because she matters to me? Am I doing it because I expect her to say something in return that's going to make me feel better? Or am I just truly doing it because I value the relationship?
I think that it was important to broach the fact of how I needed her more than what I got at that point. I needed a quick text. I needed a “How are you doing?” She knew the stuff that was going on and I was just like, “Where did you go? I thought you were a part of my support network, and when I needed you the most, you weren't there.” That was such a beautiful piece that you taught me.
As we wrap up, why don't you tell a little bit about this new coaching, this training that you have learned.
Abby Havermann: What it is, is it's teaching the neuroscience behind change; what’s actually happening in our brain and body when we are needing to change something. It has everything to do with a thought. Things start with a thought. A thought triggers a chemical reaction in your body. It's a biochemical reaction. An emotion is a chemical in your body. When you get your brain and body to be thinking and feeling the same thing, you're in a thinking and feeling loop. When you have a negative or self-deprecating thought, you set off neurocircuitry that sets off chemicals that cause you to feel that way. If you have a joyful inspired thought, you set off a different set of chemistry in your brain and body.
Arwen Becker: Brilliant.
Abby Havermann: It's amazing. I obviously use those techniques in my individual coaching and then teach the course in my corporate coaching, but use it tremendously in my own life in terms of, “Hey, what are you thinking about that? What story are you telling yourself? Look at what happens if you change that thought.”
I want to say it's not brain science. It actually is brain science but the point is that it's so simple, but it's not easy. We give lip service to that all the time. People go, “Oh, just think positive.” It's not about thinking positive. It's not positive thinking because there is a biochemical process that's going on in your body. By the time you're 35 years old, you are a set of habitual emotions, reactions, experiences, feelings that you've had your whole life. You're like a microprocessor. That's why when we had the exchange around, “Should I send this email looking for validation?” We don't even realize we're doing it. We send emails all the time. We have communications all the time. We don't realize it because that's just habitually how we are, right?
Arwen Becker: Exactly. Yeah. That's totally true. It's so funny because when you do realize it is when you're going, “They haven't responded back. They haven't responded back. Why haven't they responded back? What did I say? Shouldn’t I have got a response back?” Those kinds of things that come along with it. I think you have… Right from the beginning— I think is such an absolutely important point— is it all comes down to being aware of what you are thinking. We do know that there are just thousands and thousands of thoughts that are going through our head. Becoming aware and taking that thought captive… That whole thing about it's not just being positive because that turns into that toxic positivity where it's like, “Well, just come on. Just be a little more positive.”
Sometimes it's about understanding where you're at, and then how do you move yourself to that next space that you need to get to? That is, like you said, going to help with that whole chemical thing. I'm fascinated to hear more about it.
Abby Havermann: Yeah, and it put science to everything that I've always intuitively known, like I said that.
Arwen Becker: I love that.
Abby Havermann: Yeah, it's amazing. You’re right, that positive thinking… I heard someone saying in an Al-Anon meeting a million years ago, “I can't fix my brain with my brain.” It translates… I think Albert Einstein is the one that said it, “You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that you created it.”
Arwen Becker: Right. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. It's funny that you bring up the Al-Anon thing because I was thinking about that when I was on the last podcast, is that so much of the discussion here really kind of falls into that blanket that A.A. and Al-Anon were created by. We're not here to tell everybody, “This is exactly what you do to fix something.” It's your journey. It's what you've been through and what has helped you through that process.
The same thing for me because I am not a licensed therapist. I can't speak from that place. That's the beauty of something like Al-Anon or A.A. is people just saying, “This is what I'm going through. This is how I'm feeling. This is a great day for me and let me tell you why.” It just gives validation to other people going, “Hey, I've been there. I've done that. This is what worked for me. It may not work for you, but at least now you have the tools.”
Abby Havermann: That term, by the way, “what other people are thinking of is none of your business,” that is an Al-Anon saying. That’s not mine. That comes from Al-Anon. Yeah, I learned that there.
Arwen Becker: I didn't hear that one in my Al-Anon, man.
Abby Havermann: Yeah, they’ve got a ton of them.
Arwen Becker: Wrapping up, in this journey of your life and at this point and as we're talking about self-care and getting through these struggles, what would you say are the three key takeaways that you have?
Abby Havermann: I would say that you have to begin to listen to yourself. When you're listening to yourself, you cannot discount it with, “but I shouldn't feel that way,” or “I should do this,” or “I should do that.” You have to really begin to listen to and honor yourself, and make decisions from that standpoint intuitively. Your life will get better like I promise if you would just do this and stop saying, “but I have to this, that and the other.”
You have to think about what story you're telling yourself. The problem that you're having is not based on what someone said or did or the problem itself. It's based on the story that you're telling yourself. When I tell myself a story that, “My God, I have no idea what's going to happen to my son. Is he going to be able to drive? Who knows?” That's causing a problem for me. That's the story. Think about that, that what story are you telling yourself? Then finally, I would say that your worth is infinite, intrinsic and immutable. Your job is to align with it, not to try and prop it up with how you look or how you feel or… It's just there.
Arwen Becker: Yeah. So good. Love that. All right, the rapid-fire last three things. The best financial advice that you've been given. Obviously, you've got some years in the financial business. Best piece of financial advice, any book that you would recommend and then your favorite quote.
Abby Havermann: The best piece of advice I got is do not put something on a credit card if you don't have the money to pay for it. A credit card, that's all it should be is cash that you just don't have on your physical being right now. My favorite book at the time… I'm going to pick one of the ones that I read at the time I was going through this thing. It's Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which was phenomenal. Of course, I would always recommend Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza. My favorite quote, was that the last question?
Arwen Becker: Yes. Yeah, your quote.
Abby Havermann: Okay. Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive, power driven.
Arwen Becker: I love it. Love it. Yay! How can we get a hold of you? How can listeners get a hold of you? Give us some of the low down on that.
Abby Havermann: Yeah. You can always head at to my website, which is www.abbyhavermann.com. I encourage you to go there because on my website there is a four-part video series on how to banish, burnout and show up as your best self. It's completely free. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give me a jingle at 3035078225.
Arwen Becker: Super. Any idea when that book of yours will be hitting the stores. Am I putting you on the spot? This happened to me months ago before my book was coming out.
Abby Havermann: Yeah. The goal in my mind is November. It's going to an editor in August, but not a final editor. We'll see. I hope it’s by the end of the year, but I'm not promising.
Arwen Becker: Yeah, and anybody who's written a book knows that it's time-consuming. It takes longer than expected. I think mine, once it's actually printed next month that will have been almost a year and a half in the making. It definitely it takes a little bit of time.
Well, thank you, Abby. It was such a joy. You were such a blessing to me. I'm so glad that you spent some time. We are going to have more conversations in the future.
Abby Havermann: Thank you so much, Arwen. It's so nice always to be with you.
Arwen Becker: You too. Well, that brings us to the end of today's show. Please follow me on social media. Pick up a copy of my new book, She Handled It, So Can You! Or you can reach me at www.beckerretirement.com or my training and speaking site, www.lifewitharwen.com.
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