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‘Is This Job My Jam?' | Deborah Atella

Episode #40: This week on the podcast I am interviewing Deborah Atella. Deborah is a certified life coach, meditation teacher, and Reiki practitioner. 

She is the creator of The Sisterhood of What Next?! Facebook Group. Deborah is the author of the new book, Is This Job My Jam?: The Guide for Grown Ups Who Still Don’t Know What They Want to Be.

Deborah spent years excelling at jobs that she didn’t love, trying to find work-life balance as a mom and hiding her spiritual gifts. This journey ultimately led to clarity and the start of her coaching/healing business. 

Deborah helps her clients figure out what they really want to do, navigate the issues that arise with making changes and bring more joy into their lives. 

I love Deb’s energy, she is so positive and fun and shares a lot of helpful tips around finding work that we love. I am excited to share this conversation with you.

Connect with Deborah:

Show Transcript:

Lupe Prado

Hi, this is Lupe Prado. I am a career and life coach, and you’re listening to Paid Vocation. In this podcast, I’ll be sharing real stories of people who are doing work they love to help you find work that you love, whether that’s a new role at your current company, switching careers completely, or starting a business.

And if you’re already doing work that you love, this podcast will be a place that you can come back to feel supported and uplifted. Thank you so much for listening.

Welcome to episode 40 of Paid Vocation. This week on the podcast I’m interviewing Deborah Atella.

Deborah is a certified life coach, meditation teacher, and Reiki practitioner. She is the creator of The Sisterhood of What Next?! Facebook group and she is soon launching and hosting the aTELLa LIKE IT IS Podcast. Deborah is an international best-selling author of the book, Is This Job My Jam? The Guide for Grown-Ups Who Still Don’t Know What They Want To Be.

Deb spent years excelling at jobs that she didn’t love trying to find work-life balance as a mom and hiding her spiritual gifts. Her pursuit of self has led to clarity, relief, and the start of her coaching and healing business.  I love Deb’s energy.  She is so positive and fun,  and I’m so excited to get to share this conversation with you. Let’s jump in. 

Deb, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. 

Deb Atella

Thank you so much for having me here. 

Lupe Prado

I like to start every interview by asking guests, as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Deb Atella

When I was really little,  I wanted to be Superstar Barbie.  As I got a little older, I wanted to be a teacher, and I always thought that I would be a teacher until I got to college and realized that I didn’t want to be a teacher.  It’s funny because now I’m in that teacher role as a coach. 

Lupe Prado

Yes, and for those who don’t know you,  tell us about what you do now and then how does that connect, you wanting to be a Barbie Superstar and being a teacher?

Deb Atella

I am a certified life coach, energy practitioner and meditation teacher, and also a best-selling author.  The majority of my clients come to me knowing that they were made for more, and they’re so sick of the same thing different day life that they’re living, but they just have no idea of how to even start to find what that more is. And I take them on a journey of discovering what that more is and how they can bulletproof themselves to not succumb to all the things that rear their head when we’re trying to make a change.

Lupe Prado

What is that for people?  What have you seen that comes up when they’re trying to do that?  People listening to this podcast, most of them are wanting to change, make changes in their life.  So what have you seen?

Deb Atella

Negative self-talk, unworthiness, imposter syndrome.  They get caught up in perfectionism and procrastination and people-pleasing, and lack of consistency is so big. Not having really good habits or systems in place to support them because motivation wanes.

Having really great habits in place or systems in place to help us when that motivation wanes is crucial in reaching any goal. 

Lupe Prado

I love that, and I definitely want to get into that. How did you go from, when you were in college, you knew you wanted to be a teacher. Did you know you were going to do this work? Can you walk us through that journey to getting to being an author today, a coach today?  How did you figure it out?

Deb Atella

The school was not my jam. The school was not easy for me, and my sister and brother were both always in mentally gifted classes, and I was not. However, as a little child, I spoke first,  I walked first and I have spent my whole early childhood with adults. I  was always treated as an adult and told how smart I was. When I got to school. The school was hard for me. I always was like, hey, I’m smart. Why is this hard for me?  Why didn’t I get an A? Why don’t I have honors? Then it retaliates on my self-esteem.

I wanted to go to a certain high school that my mom told me from when I was a little tiny baby, when you grow up you’re going to go to this high school. She never told me that I had to take an entrance exam to get in,  so I took the exam and I applied with my best best friend from kindergarten. We’re friends to this day. We’re 52 going on 53, and we’ve been best friends since we’re five. 

We applied to three private, all-girl schools, and the acceptance letters came in, and the last one to come in was for the school. She called me, and the letter that came in the mail was different than the other two that came.

And you know in college acceptances, you get the big packet of rejection letters just in letter form. So I’m like, what is this? And I got wait-listed. I was not accepting the fact that I could not go to school with her. There was no way I was going to spend four years without my best friend, so I called the principal of the school.

This is for high school. This is in eighth grade. I called the principal of the school, and I can remember it like it was yesterday and the school secretary answered the phone and I said, this is Deborah Tomaso, that’s my maiden name. Can I please speak to Sister Elizabeth Carol? It was an all-girl Catholic school. 

I think the school secretary was so amused that a child called. She instantly put me on the phone with the principal. And I say to the principal, hi, what number am I on the waitlist? And she goes, oh dear I can’t tell you that. And I said, Sister, you’re the exact and only person that can tell me that. I need to know it. I am going there.

She’s like, I can’t tell you that. And I said I’ll call you tomorrow. I hung up, and I called that nun every day for two full weeks.  She took my call every single solitary day, and some days we chatted, and some days it was like no news. And at the beginning of the third week, I walked into an admission packet. 

I spent those next four years having a ball and only doing my homework so I didn’t get grounded. But I was in no way ready,  nor did I want to go to college. I had no idea what I wanted to do. It’s really funny because we took these career assessments and mine came back that I should be a DJ. This was in the eighties and listening to the radio like a radio DJ.

Lupe Prado

Cool. 

Deb Atella

My mother was horrified. I think that was awesome. And I said I guess I’m going to be a DJ. I guess I’m not going to the broadcasting.

Lupe Prado

But I wonder what it was about it, was it the fact that you’re so charismatic and that you enjoy talking or talking to people? What do you think it was about the radio DJ?

Deb Atella

I think it’s all of that. I think it’s all of that. So when I got to college, I get into my last choice so I had no idea what to do. A lot of the kids that I was hanging out with were majoring in Criminal Justice.  So I said, I’ll take that because then I’ll be with my friend. It just snowballed from there. I got a job in the Criminal Justice field after I graduated, and that was very interesting.

Lupe Prado

Knowing what I know about you, Deb, Criminal Justice just doesn’t seem to be the right fit.

Deb Atella

No, not at all. It was totally not terrific. I  should have been a social worker and not in Criminal Justice because I spent the majority of my time finding people, rent money. Finding people’s turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas toys, and how can we get out of the situation that you’re in so that you now have skills to move forward and do something that’s going to be beneficial in your life. 

Lupe Prado

That’s where the coaching is coming in already.

Deb Atella

It was, but I didn’t know. I didn’t even know that coaching was a thing back then never had even heard of it. I also have a lot of spiritual gifts that I shut down from my childhood because I would get in trouble for knowing things that I shouldn’t have known. So when I look back, I was always coaching and I was always an empath. I was always clairaudient and I was always claircognizant, but I didn’t know what those things were.

Lupe Prado

You’re the first guest on the podcast that said something like that. That’s so interesting.  What is that for people who don’t know what that is? I read a book once, The Light Between Us, I think it was.

Deb Atella

That’s a great girl. Laura Lynne Jackson.

Lupe Prado

Yes, it was a great book and that was the first time I’d heard of it. I just saw that it was a bestseller, so I read it and that’s where I learned a little bit. Do you mind sharing what all that means?

Deb Atella

Sure. Everybody hears the word clairvoyant like you can see things. They call it psychic seeing. And I hate the word psychic because it makes people think like you can look into a crystal ball and tell someone’s future. I don’t do those things. I just have gifts.  Clairaudience is one of them, which means I hear messages, words. It’s in my voice.  It’s not like an outside voice, then lightning crashes, and then it’s a voice. It’s just my voice.

I hear it, and it gives me guidance. And then claircognizant is just like a knowing. I just know things sometimes.

Lupe Prado

About yourself or about other people?

Deb Atella

About myself. Sometimes about other people. It’s more about reading their energy. I can feel when people hold back especially with my clients.  They are not being fully honest about what they want to do or the thing that’s holding them back, and that’s clairsentience, you can feel.  They’re claircognizant, you know.  Clairvoyant, you see.  That’s the weakest of my guess is that. We all have all of them.

Lupe Prado

And how did you figure that out?

Deb Atella

 So from when I was very little, I would know things and feel things about people. And then I would tell adults in my life, and then I would get in trouble because that’s disrespectful. Why would you say that? Why would you even think that? Where would that even come from?

So I learned to keep my mouth shut but protect myself at the same time. I always have told my kids,  if it feels creepy, it is creepy. Somebody gives you that creeper vibe, getaway, and you don’t have to have a reason for it. Just listen. Our body is our wisest teacher. It knows things before it hits our brain before we can think it, it feels it. So it’s important to listen.

Lupe Prado

We’ll go back to your journey, but definitely want to dig in here and talk about this because in your book you described this exercise, and we’ll talk about your book.  I’ve just read your book, Is This Job My Jam? and in it, you described an activity where someone can figure out how to get more in touch with, I’m not sure how you worded it exactly. But do you mind talking about that? Because I thought that was brilliant.  

Deb Atella

Thanks. Most of us go through life, not being tuned in to our bodies. We just ignore them. We overthink. But if we were to take a step back and listen to the messages that our body’s trying to tell us, it would make things so much easier. It would make our decisions based on what’s best for us, and not what other people think is best for us. 

So in the book, I teach them a little breathing exercise on how to know what a yes feels like in your body, and what a no feels like in your body. And then throughout your life and throughout the book, when I take you through the journey of trying to figure out what job is your jam, I tell the readers to stop and take that yes and no breath.

Every time they come to the next section of doing because there’s a lot of self-reflection in there when they’re answering questions, where does it land in your body? You’ll start to become familiar with it so that you automatically start to feel when something’s not for you, you get that little zing of, oh, this isn’t for me, and you let it go.

You don’t pursue that avenue when you go to something else, it saves time. It can save years of you working in a job that is sucking the life out of you.

Lupe Prado

Yes, so in the book, you talk about thinking about something that felt really good, and what you feel in your body. And then thinking of a memory that didn’t feel good and how you felt about that.

Deb Atella

So think about something, and you could do it with your eyes open or closed. I just like to have the reader take a few breaths to get into their body so that they’re aware. They’re taking conscious breaths, and if your mind wanders when you do this, that’s okay. People get freaked out about meditation. Your mind is meant to wander and think, that’s what it does.

You just always just come back to what you were sitting to do. So you were sitting to take a few breaths, just come back to it.  And then, I say I want you to think of something positive that happened in your life as a good experience, and now pay attention to the feelings in your body. Where do you feel that? Some people feel it in their chest, some people feel it in their belly, some people feel it in their head and their neck. Where is it? 

You can even give it a color. You could give it a shape. Pay attention to where it is in your body.  And then I have them shaken off, stand up, shake it off a little bit, sit down and breathe again. Get back in your body, and now think of something that wasn’t so favorable. Not the absolute worst thing that happened in your life, don’t do that. Just think of something that wasn’t so great, and how does that feel and where does that land in your body? Get familiar with that and then compare, where was that good feeling and where was that not so good feeling, and really start to pay attention as you go through your day when you get those feelings.

Lupe Prado

That’s really powerful because I know in my coaching,  sometimes clients are trying to make a decision between one thing or another. I always ask them, which one are you most enthusiastic about? Because a lot of times we feel like we should do something, the right thing to do but it may not be necessarily the thing we actually really want to do or are really excited about.  So I love that you give us a tool to start navigating life to figure out which is the right situation, which one is the right job, which is the right relationship? This probably applies to a whole lot of things.

Deb Atella

Everything. You can apply it to anything. And what I tell my clients, it’s the same exact thing but a spin on what you’re saying is, I’ll say one thing will open you up, it’ll make you open your chest up just a little tiny bit more. The other one will make you just constrict. It might not be noticeable at first that you have that feeling or that your body does that. So it’s important to know how things feel in your body, so you both come aware of that. And then, as I said, then you’re able to make decisions based on what’s best for you, not what you should do or what somebody else thinks you should do. 

Lupe Prado

You’re in college, you majored in Criminal Justice.

Deb Atella

Probation and parole officer.

Lupe Prado

Yes, and you weren’t happy. When did you figure out this piece, this tool? Was it along the way? Was it years later?

Deb Atella

Years later. So I left that job, and I went to work. I left that job because one of my coworkers was stabbed in the elevator. My son was little, I had gotten married and had my first baby when I worked there, and one of my coworkers, we were very close in age was stabbed in the elevator. And I said, nothing is worse than me not being able to raise my baby, I quit.  

Deb Atella

She survived. She was totally fine. She made a full recovery, thankfully.  My husband hates that I worked there because it was dangerous. So I had started to interview with an insurance company to come in as an adjuster and then follow the path to be a fraud investigator because of my Criminal Justice background.

I took this job in the insurance world, and I was like, this is awful. I hate this. I don’t want to do this. I just want to be a mom right now.

I left, became a full-time mom. I was a stay-at-home mom and I had two more kids, and then I started to go back to work part-time. I was a fitness instructor, became a personal trainer so I could go to the gym for free and have free babysitting. That was fantastic. 

Lupe Prado

Were you following your interest there, or was it just opportunities that came up?

Deb Atella

That was my interest because I wanted to be able to go and take spinning classes for free. So I became a spinning instructor, and I wanted to pick the music. That’s a good deal for a mom.

Lupe Prado

I thought you’d be a fun spin instructor.

Deb Atella

So fun, and it was great because I could work it around. My clients and the classes that I taught, work it all around my kids’ schedules. And then, I was part of lots of direct sales companies. And then we had a retail business that we owned for a little while that was a complete disaster financially, emotionally, but I learned so, so, so much. That disaster put me on the course of learning how to meditate and learn how to meditate opened all of these avenues for me.

After I closed my business, I went on to work in the medical field. I ran a medical practice. I started out answering the phones and then was like the manager, but all the while I was unhappy. Back when I had my retail business, it was so, so, so stressful.

I went from working part-time, always being available for anything that my kids needed to working like 14 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and missing things for my kids, which I had never done.  I was distraught the entire time we had that business.  And so, I got this little voice that just kept saying to me, learn how to meditate, learn how to meditate, learn how to meditate.

A friend owned a gorgeous yoga studio and spinning studio. I called her and asked her if she knew anyone that she could connect me with to learn how to meditate. She did, and so I used to go and meet this gorgeous light of a woman, Allie, and we would meditate. She would do Reiki on me and she coached me, and they were my first experiences with energy work, coaching, and meditation. I loved it, and I would feel so much better every time I left her.

It would last for a little while, and then a couple of weeks later I would come back and we would keep going. I worked with her for years until she relocated for her job. At this point, I was managing, working in medical practice, and I started to get super, super stressed out again.

I started to get that same little voice. You need to meditate because I had been meditating but not regularly. So I got the hit, start to meditate, and I made a deal with myself that I’m going to meditate every day for a year which sounds great, but I’m a big quitter.

I was a big quitter of everything. I never followed through with anything. I had had a near-death experience in 2005, so I would joke that I even briefly quit life. I was the ultimate quitter.  The only two things I didn’t quit were school because my parents wouldn’t let me and my marriage because he’s a total keeper. I had to give myself an out to be able to be successful at meditating.

And my out was, I only had to do it for one minute every day. I could do anything for a minute. And over that first year of me meditating every day, some days it was a minute, some days it was longer. I started to do a morning routine. Why not? If I only had to do things for a minute, I can do anything. Over that year, it was so uncomfortable and amazing at the same time. I had never shown up for myself like that. I had never kept promises to myself like that before. 

So all things started to come up. Traumas that I buried really deep that I didn’t even talk about them when I had been in therapy. Everything that could come up to derail you when you’re trying to make a change was coming up. And then I started to get the message again, get energy work. 

So I sought out a friend of Allie’s, and I went to meet her, who is Sally. It’s so funny that they rhyme, and you know her. I went to her and it was like my entire life changed when I started to work with her. All she kept saying to me was, you’re going to do this. And I told her, I’m never going to do this for people. I will never do this for people.  I will never do energy work for people. I don’t care what you say, this is not my jam. I’m here for me. And the longer that we went on and I knew that I started to get the inkling that I wanted to coach, and I started to coach part-time while I had my full-time job to see if I really liked it and if I was good at it. 

I was. I took classes that certified and then the more energy work that I received, it really became apparent. I had to do this.  It really was coming up, then I wanted to do it. And then I got certified in different modalities and until eventually, I said to my husband that I love this. I love my coaching and healing business. I love this. He goes, quit your job and do it. And I said, okay. 

Lupe Prado

That’s beautiful. I think that’d be really comforting for people because it wasn’t a straight path. It wasn’t like you knew since you were a kid,  or since college, or maybe you start off with the job and then you transitioned quickly and then found it right away. It seems there were a lot of different pit stops along the way.

Deb Atella

A million pit stops when I decided that I was going to meditate every day. I knew that the answers would come to me. I just didn’t know how they were going to show up, and that was fine.  What happened was, I think just kept leading me to the next person to help me, the next person to help me figure it out. I did the work along the way. It wasn’t like in a secret, and they say, write the check for a million dollars and hang it on the wall. You still have to do the work to get to that million dollars. It’s not just like million dollars drops out of the air. You have to take a line to action every day.

So I was doing that. I was taking aligned action every day and working on myself and putting the time in, and researching and trying. Because I don’t recommend that anybody just quit whatever they’re doing right now, and go fully into something. Try it out. Make sure it’s really what you want to do. 

Lupe Prado

Yes, I’m a full believer in that. I believe we have to not quit and then have all this pressure to bring in a ton of money, if we’re the sole breadwinner for our family to quit and try to pursue a dream, do it first on the side and figure it out. If it’s the right dream if it’s something we’re passionate about if it’s something we’re good at, figure it out first before. I love that you shared that you were coaching and doing this work alongside your full-time job.  

Deb Atella

Yes. And the other thing that really messes people up is they think that if they could just change their job, they would be happy, or they think if they lost the weight, they would be happy. If they change their job, they would be happy. If they got that relationship, they would be happy.  The secret is you have to be happy first. You have to be happy with yourself first, because then what happens is you get the job, you lose weight, you find the person and that happiness is fleeting, and it doesn’t less and you’re like, now I need a new person. I need to lose more weight or I need to get a whole different job.

No. Find that happiness inside yourself first. Make things right with yourself first, and then you’re able to have that lasting happiness in the next thing that you’re doing. 

Lupe Prado

And how does one do that?  Let’s say we know we’re unhappy with something, maybe it’s work, maybe a relationship, whatever it may be.  How do we get happy with ourselves instead of trying to put an external bandaid on it?

Deb Atella

You have to connect to yourself.  So that breathing exercise that I said at the beginning of paying attention to where things land in your body, how things feel in your body, you have to get to know yourself. Oftentimes we spend so much time in our heads, as I said, and we’re not connected to our actual bodies. So doing just a couple breaths of conscious rest with your hands on your body, like one hand on your chest, one hand on your belly, taking belly breaths, not chest breaths. And then seeing how you feel, as soon as I breathe,  as soon as I put on one hand on my belly and one hand on my chest, my body’s like, she loves us, she’s taken care of us.

Because they know I’m going to take a big nourishing breath. My body’s just trained for that now.  So I would say getting connected to your body and then getting really, really clear on what do I think my problem is? Oftentimes the thing that we think is a problem, isn’t the problem at all.

I take my readers and my clients through this. I call it the “inch method” because when we do things in small steps. It lessens overwhelm. It takes the stress away. We already are feeling so much stress, we don’t need to add to that. So the first thing is you want to identify what you think your problem is, what your goal is and how do you want to feel?  Now, how can you start feeling that way without having the thing that you’re going after?

So if you want to feel accomplished, finish a task. If you want to feel loved, start sending love to yourself. And that is a lot of mindset work as well with getting past the negative mindset, the negative self-talk. Really becoming your own best friend. I didn’t realize how terribly I spoke to myself. A coach pointed it out to me, and I had read somewhere that when you become aware of how you’re speaking to yourself because that’s the key, awareness.

We don’t know until we know. So I started to pay attention to when things would happen. What did I say to myself? So when I would catch myself being negative, I read, give yourself a compliment, say something positive, but if you can’t just say thank you so that it cuts off the negative self-talk.

Lupe Prado

Thank you for the negative thing?

Deb Atella

 Just say thank you so that you shut yourself up. You’re not thanking the negative thing, you’re just saying thank you so that you just shut the talk off and change the subject.

Lupe Prado

To the negative, just internally?

Deb Atella

Just internally, just internally, say I dropped something and I’m like, ah you idiot. Drop everything, Butterfingers. Something like that.

And then I would be like, stop it. But I couldn’t even bring myself in the beginning to say, everybody drops stuff. That’s normal.  So when I would catch myself saying something negative to myself, I started off with the thank you. And it would come out like this, thank you. Thank you.

It was through gritted teeth, that’s how negative I was about myself until I could get it to be thank you. Until I could get myself to flip it to something positive or give myself a compliment, and that really helped the longest relationship we’re in is with ourselves. We need to be good to ourselves. We need to give ourselves grace and forgiveness and be kind.

Lupe Prado

So the “I” in inch is…

Deb Atella

… identify, so you’re going to identify your goal, your problem, and your feelings.

Lupe Prado

And then “N”?

Deb Atella

N is for non-negotiable.

Lupe Prado

Okay. So the self-love comes in on the “I”.

Deb Atella

You got to identify, are you loving yourself? How are you treating yourself? What are you doing? And is that part of your problem because you want to identify what your problem is, or what you think your problem is? And oftentimes by the time you get to the end, the thing you think is your problem, that wasn’t your problem at all.

It was the “what your relationship to yourself” was the problem. So then when we get to N, it’s for non-negotiable. I don’t know about you, but so many times when I say to my clients, tell me your values. They look like deer in the headlights. They go, ah values?  Honesty? Family? And I would say, everybody, says that. What’s important to you? What are your values? You need to know your values and you need to know your priorities.  What are your non-negotiables? What are you not willing to do? What are you willing to do?

You talk about tolerations. So that plays in there the question, what will you tolerate? What will you not tolerate? And you have to get really clear on that. I have people go through their values and priorities. For me, time is a priority. There was a period of time where I worked almost every single solitary night and weekend for three years.  I value my time and other people’s time so much because I know what it’s like to not have control of it. 

Lupe Prado

And how does one figure that out? If someone says, I’m the kind of person who would say my value is honesty or my values blank.  I want to get clear. I just heard Deb talk. I want to figure out my values.  What would you say to that person? How can we figure that out?

Deb Atella

Google. Google values, and look at a big value list and go through it, and you can print one out, or you can just look online and look at the screen. And then write down what catches your eye, what’s important to you? And then narrow it down. Get between your top three and your top 10, and go from there.

And then what is a priority for you? Is it time? If you’re looking for a job because my book is right, is this job my jam?

As you’re trying to prioritize, what about your salary, is it a priority? What about your schedule, is it a priority? What about, do you want to have to travel, be able to travel, network? What’s important to you?  And with your values,  do you value diversity? And if you’re going to work for someplace that every single time they hire somebody, they look exactly like everybody else.

Maybe that’s telling you your workplace doesn’t value diversity, and you might not want to work there. Up until I started my business, I never worked anywhere that I wanted to. I know that sounds crazy. I wanted to be a trainer, but it wasn’t that I wanted to work at the place that I did, which they were fantastic, and they valued everything.  But other places, people would say things and it was like: Argue? You’re fired. Bite your tongue, keep the roof over your head and eat.

But if you know what you will tolerate, and what you won’t tolerate what’s important if you have the luxury of being able to find a job that aligns with those. It makes your life so much easier. And in relationships, you don’t want to be with somebody whose values are so opposite of yours.

Lupe Prado

One of my values is connection. I did Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead training, and we talk about values too and the connection is one of mine. That’s why I value this podcast so much. I get to connect with wonderful people like you, Deb. And why sometimes I didn’t like the work I was doing prior to becoming a coach because I would sit in my office alone, working on technical things, technical memos, accounting, spreadsheets, all of that.

I was missing more than the connection piece, and so you’re right. Getting clear on our values for me, my top value’s connection. That can affect how we feel if we’re drained if we’re not drained in a workday. Because of the days that I had the opportunity to work on a team, work with other people,  even though it was doing accounting and I didn’t necessarily love it, I was much more energized. The days I didn’t get to do that, where I just worked in my office all day because we were under a deadline, I was not as happy.  So, I identify,  N is non-negotiables, what is C?

Deb Atella

Change. Here we’re going to not only change, but we’re also going to conquer your change. And we talked about this a lot already. How do we combat negative self-talk? Other things that get in people’s way of resistance, procrastination, perfectionism, people-pleasing, and then we work on, when things go wrong, how do you react? What’s your plan when things get hard? I have people look at throughout their life whenever they were trying to make a change.

At what point did they quit?  Is it when it started to feel difficult? Did it start to get expensive?  Was it when somebody in their lives started to voice some kind of criticism? What’s your breaking point? What makes you quit something? And it’s okay to change your mind. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about what you say you want to do this thing, and you put the effort in the beginning, and then you just fizzle out.

What is it at what point do you fizzle out? And then how do we set up strategies to make sure that doesn’t happen so that you hit your goal? 

Lupe Prado

For example, I’m a people-pleaser, so I’m very aware of that and actively try to work on that. So for a people pleaser, the thought of somebody judging us would be part of conquering that change.

How would one do that? Because I know I have friends who are wanting to switch roles or start a company, but the thought of their coworkers, and I know I had this few years ago where the thought of being judged or what are people going to think of me as I transitioned into to a coaching role, made me really hesitate.  How would one conquer that change?

Deb Atella

It’s increasing your confidence and raising your self-esteem. So I have found that one of the quickest ways to increase your confidence is to keep a promise to yourself, which is funny.  You’re trying to make a change to keep a promise to yourself, and then you’re not. But make a really tiny, small promise to yourself, and keep it and then celebrate it, and just let them keep building on each other and getting really clear with your boundaries, and learning how to enforce boundaries.

Lupe Prado

How would that look like? So small, a way that somebody could honor their boundaries.

Deb Atella

Just a small way is when somebody invites you to something and you honestly don’t want to go, say thank you so much, but I’m not available. Don’t do the things you don’t want to do. It takes practice, and it’s so uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, but you can do it. 

Lupe Prado

So if we’re willing to go to something we don’t really want to go to, we also may be showing up to work that we don’t really enjoy.

Deb Atella

Absolutely. 

Lupe Prado

Starting with the small things will help their confidence to then make that big leap and leaving our work, or starting the business.

Deb Atella

Maybe it’s like the first little promise that you make your bed if you don’t already make your bed in the morning. I make my bed every single morning, and it’s not about keeping my room neat and clean, it’s about keeping a promise and doing something just for me. My husband usually, if he’s still in the bed when I get out of the bed, I just make my side. I pull the covers up. So then, I did something for myself. I controlled something before I opened that bedroom door and I left.  I took control right away and did something for myself. That’s important.

Lupe Prado

I love that. I love that.  One of my favorite books is Atomic Habits. Are you familiar with it? He talks about starting with something really small when we’re trying to build a new habit. If we’re wanting to walk or run, you start with the two-minute walk, a two-minute run. Making it super small, and then we start creating an identity for ourselves that we are a runner. We are a person who walks every day, who works out every day. So I love that you just shared that because if we want to make big changes in our life,  we have to be willing to commit to doing something every day or making small changes in our life.

Deb Atella

Small changes, and then building affirmations around that, just like you said, I’m a walker. When I was making meditation my habit, it was for a minute, and I had never heard of James Clear then,  and I decided I’m going to do it for one minute every single day. And then I started to create affirmations around it. I’m a meditator. I’m a finisher, was also that I would say to myself over and over, and visualizing is also really important when you’re trying to make a change.

The way that people get tripped up and freaked out about meditation, I can’t do it. I can’t pay attention. They do the same thing about visualization.  So in the book, I don’t know if you got to that part yet, but I’ll do it with you right now. I give people a really easy way to visualize.

You don’t even have to close your eyes. You can, if you want, but picture the door that you enter your house in all the time. Is it your front door, your backdoor, garage door, whatever the door is? Do you see it in your mind?  Now, it’s like a crazy color that it’s not. It’s fuchsia, it’s lime green, it’s orange, it’s polka dots. Can you see that?

Lupe Prado

I can see it.

Deb Atella

So now, you know how you visualize.  Sometimes people, the way that they visualize is a clear vivid picture. And for other people, it’s just a sense or a knowing. So the way that I visualize is sensory knowing I get this feeling about it. It’s not clear. I’m looking at you right now on this screen. That’s not how I see it. I just see it more muted and in the background, but I know what’s going on because it’s important to know how you visualize. People get freaked out and think they can’t visualize. 

Lupe Prado

When you were describing that I pictured a red door. Does that make me a visual person?

Deb Atella

Did you see it, or did you just feel or know that it was it?

Lupe Prado

I saw it in my mind. I saw a red door.

Deb Atella

That’s great. So they knew, I would say, are more vivid when you visualize. But as I said, somebody like me, I just kind of get a sense of it versus I see a red door, and my door is red.

It used to be blue, but now it’s red. But knowing how you visualize is important and then visualizing what you want to do. So start at the outcome, and you visualize like you already have the thing that you want and you see yourself doing it.  If it’s a new job, you see yourself from the minute you get up in the morning. How do you act and what do you wear and what do you eat for breakfast and how do you get to that job? And what does that workspace look like? And what does that work entail? 

Try to get detailed as you can, and keep seeing yourself doing it over and over and over again.  Like elite athletes use visualization to see themselves winning over and over again, like a swimmer like Michael Phelps will see every stroke that he takes, and he sees himself getting all those gold medals too. So visualization is really powerful.  

Lupe Prado

And how does one start with that? Is it like meditation where we take a minute of our day to visualize? What’s the best way to do that, do you think?

Deb Atella

I think that the best way is whatever way will work for you. If it’s a minute, do it for a minute. Don’t get freaked out when you’re doing it, and then all of a sudden it fizzled out and you start thinking about something else. It’s all right.  A lot of times, I do sit, and I do visualize. I have a morning routine, and I do use it as part of my morning routine, but I also visualize it throughout the day.

So I want to move, and I want a new bathroom. I want this certain tub when we move. I don’t have a tub in my bathroom. I just have a shower. Every time I get in that shower, I’m like stepping into my tub. I’m not stepping into a tub, but this is what I do until I get what I want, and it works. It really works.  Whatever it is that you’re looking to accomplish. You’re looking to bring it into your life. You start cultivating the feelings as if you already have them. What would it feel if I had this already? And then you visualize yourself having it. Don’t worry about the how, how you get there.

It’s going to come. You’re going to figure that out.  You might not have any idea right now, that part will come. Just reap the benefits now. Get all that good energy flowing now.

Lupe Prado

Would you say when you’re visualizing, you’re visualizing as if you’re watching yourself on TV  or as if you’re embodying?

Deb Atella

Some people see themselves right there, embodying, it and I do think that that’s super more powerful because you’re starting to feel all that good energy and all that. But don’t get freaked out if you are watching yourself on a screen. We watch movies, and they’re not happening to us. I watched The Notebook, and their rowing in all those swans or everywhere, and it’s gorgeous. And I know they’re going to get hysterical cry. When they get off and they’re so in love,  and then I go, oh. In the end, you cry. We cry when we watch a movie. So either way, just feel the emotion with it. 

 Lupe Prado

 So what about H, what is the H stands for?

Deb Atella

So, H is for hallelujah, AKA celebration. We have to celebrate ourselves. We have to celebrate our wins. Even the tiniest small wins matter. When we don’t celebrate ourselves, when we don’t celebrate our wins, we are caught in a task loop that never ends. You go from task to task to task.  I describe it in the book and I talk about it like this with my clients all the time.  It’s like a tangled mess of Christmas lights. If you’ve ever tried to hang Christmas lights or any kind of twinkle lights,  and they’re all in a ball, you don’t know where the beginning is and where it ends.

And you’re like, I am never unraveling these.  That’s what you’re doing to yourself by not stopping in between and giving a little celebration. A celebration can look like a little happy dance, a pat on the back. Coach and speaker Mel Robbins talks about that she high-fives herself in the mirror all the time.

It can be, you take yourself out on a date, you get a spa treatment, you buy yourself a gift, you buy yourself a meal, but you don’t have to spend money. And I don’t take the spend money route until it’s something big because I’m celebrating myself constantly all day. So it could be, you take your dog for a walk, you keep a log of all your wins.

You make a post on social media. You call a friend, and you celebrate it.  You do a Pinterest board, just like your vision board.  It’s your win board. You put pictures of your wins on there.  There are a million ways to celebrate yourself. 

You know that saying neurons that fire together wire together, and they forge new neural pathways in our brain. It’s so important.  That’s why things like yoga, it’s a practice. Meditation is a practice. When you do things over and over and over again, you forge those new neural pathways and then your body gets too used to doing them, and they become a habit.

Lupe Prado

I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that, and for giving them specific examples too because I think when I’ve had conversations with people around celebrating,  sometimes the thing we might get stuck on is,  how can I do that?  I love that you shared those examples and that you shared that we’re creating a new pattern in our brain so that we’re not on a constant like completing tasks, trying to achieve, but never stopping.

I think that happens to a lot of people, a lot of us. We set a goal, we arrive at the goal and then we move on.

Deb Atella

Then you get burned out so much quicker because you’re just tasked after task after task. You get burned out. You can get really resentful and really stressed.  They all play into being kind and better to ourselves, taking good care of ourselves. Self-care, most people will say, I’m going to get a manicure, I’m going to get a pedicure, I’m going to get a massage. They’re great. They’re delicious and luxurious.

Self-care is having boundaries. Saying no when you mean no. Keeping the promises that you make to yourself.  That’s true self-care.

Lupe Prado

I follow a copywriter  Laura Belgray, and she talks about a lot of people think about self-care, pedicures, manicures, all that stuff. And she’s like, that’s grooming.

Deb Atella

Yes.

Lupe Prado

Self-care is these other things you just mentioned. The boundaries, self-love, all of those things. And I love the way she put that because it’s true.  Maybe it is massage, but it’s because we took our time out for ourselves to relax to be just with ourselves alone, away from everyone to have time to relax. But it’s really about the time, not necessarily the manicure or the pedicure.

Deb Atella

Like you go in the nail salon, and everybody’s on their phone while they’re getting a manicure or pedicure. This is not, it does not care. It’s not. That is just for me. Yes.

Lupe Prado

Well, thank you so much for sharing that. So just to recap that, do you mind going back through high level, I N C H.

Deb Atella

So identify is I. N, non-negotiable. C, change. H, hallelujah AKA celebration.

Lupe Prado

Awesome.  Thank you so much, Deb. So tell us, where can people find your book? Where can people follow along?  Where can people find you?

Deb Atella

You can actually, all your readers can get a free PDF version of my book on my website which is deborahatella.com. And when you get there, across the menu bar at the top, just click on the book and it’ll take you right to the book page, and then they can sign up and get a free PDF copy.

Lupe Prado

Awesome. Thank you.

Deb Atella

Of course.  And if they want to purchase it, they can go on. If they want a paperback copy or for their Kindle, they can go on Amazon. It’s on there.   And you can find me on my website or on Instagram @deborahatella as well.

Lupe Prado

Yes, I’ll be sure to link your website and your Instagram on the show notes. Thank you so much for being here today. This was super helpful, and I know it’s going to resonate with a lot of people.

Thank you so much for listening to this show. I hope that you found the episode helpful. And if you liked the show, please subscribe and don’t forget to rate and review. I’d also love to connect on Instagram. Send me a DM, I’m @lupepradocoaching. I’ll talk to you soon.

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