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She didn’t want to be bossed around

Steph Williams
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Stephanie Williams left a toxic relationship to pave a new path. In this podcast, she talks with Tamar about how she did that — and both of them speak about their journeys into self care.

TAMAR: Hey, everybody, this is Tamar. And I am with an awesome person, Steph Williams, who we’ve been kind of collaborating on the two more brands together, she’s been helping out with marketing. And she has a really cool story. I’m actually about to hear it for the first time now. So I’m not even sure what direction to take this podcast. But I guess we’re riding the wave here and would love to get a little bit of background about you, Steph. Do you want to share anything? And yeah, thank you so much for coming. Go for it.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Oh, my gosh, Tamar. Thank you for having me. I’m so glad that we are collaborating and that we somehow manifested each other into a beautiful partnership. I am a writer and PR girl, first and foremost. So Tamar reached out to me on AngelList .  I loved her vision, was really excited to be a part of what’s going on. And we connected specifically about having such a similar story going on. And her motivation to take a really horrible situation and spin it into  positive really resonated with me. And so that’s kind of how we got to get to know each other. And I think that’s about it.


TAMAR: Yeah, so I guess I will ask you the next question. Where like, I guess your story you, I hear you. And I definitely see that as far as my observations, you’re doing great. And you’re settling in and doing your own hustles and helping out with everything that we’re getting with the TAMAR fragrance brand. Tell me a little bit about your story. What brought you to this point? Where do you come from and where you’re going? I guess it’s really okay.


STEPH WILLIAMS: That’s the question that I feel I can answer pretty succinctly. So, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to be a stay at home girlfriend. It was a pretty awesome experience. However, I felt as though my partner at the time, kind of wanted it both ways. He wanted me to stay home, but he also wanted me to make more money. So I kind of felt that pressure not just from him, but from his family and also for my family, to be honest. So I was pursuing what I would soon learn was not really aligning with my authentic self. So I started pursuing these positions that weren’t really the best fit for me, I had a couple but kind of just in my freelance and my freelancing business. But just after a while found that there was a lot of pressure on me to get a full time job, to get a nine to five position. So I did in a brand that I felt at the time aligned with my values, and it didn’t work out. It was honestly, and I think in the middle even of that position before all of it kind of fell apart, I ended the relationship just because it was just moving in a direction that I was not happy. I would say the best way to describe it was you wanted me to always have dinner on the table when you got home and wanted me to keep the house perfect, but also wanted me to have a quote unquote real job. I mean, there’s got to be a meet in the middle somewhere. And just after a while I was like, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. Unless you know you are willing to make compromises for me and my happiness. So basically full time position didn’t really work out the way I was expecting it to. I was single for the first time of my life, completely on my own. I am by admission definitely one of those girls that was raised in an extremely privileged environment. So a lot of the realities that come with being on your own were pretty oh, it was a big shocker figuring it out on my own. And as always, myself being a prideful person and realizing that a lot of the reality that I had created for myself was an illusion. I had always been seen as an independent person, as somebody who quote unquote marched to the beat of my own drum. I hate it when people say that about me though, but I’m yeah, after all of that happened, it was quite an experience. And it’s something that I am still working on to this day just like a lot of trial and error, figuring out what works for me what doesn’t. And somewhere down that line, I had discovered a really great kind of mindset shift. And that would have been in the work of Lacey Phillips, To Be Magnetic, I was just reading it on Goop one day. And it looked really interesting. And it was a different mindset than what I was used to. And I got curious. So I clicked on it and started reading about manifesting and getting the life you want and being magnetic. And I believe she was called free and native at that time. So, but she’s to be magnetic now. But it just seems like a really cool community. Obviously, Gwyneth Paltrow is one of those personalities that I’m drawn to. So and I know that some people would disagree with me, but I was like, well, it’s harmless enough, it’s on goop, I don’t have to put too much of an investment into this. It just seems something fun to try out. And I was joking to everybody like I’m joining a cult. I’m joining an online cult and everybody was what I was like, I’m going to learn to manifest my hopes and dreams and desires. And it was just like, I hate the people who know my humor, I am extremely sarcastic, but in a way that people don’t realize, immediately. So I’m going through this, this framework of how to manifest the things that you want in life. And after about two years of doing the work, my life has improved on an immense level. So if you have any questions for me, we can kind of go from there.


TAMAR: Well, I’m trying to think about where I could go. I mean, I see a lot of parallels in your story in my story, but it’s not really my main story. I would say the tragedy was the impetus for starting the brand. It actually started several years later. But I totally understand when you’re in that specific mindset, where you have this expectation of a certain element of performance, and it still sits with you, even when years later you have this, you still feel like you’re not beholden to that person. You’re not beholden to the bosses, you’re not beholden to your partners, or your friends and your family and that way, or not so much friends and family because they’re no longer friends and family. But if you feel like you’re beholden to somebody in a certain way and you’ve been kind of so focused on complying with those specific demands, whether they’re rational or irrational, usually irrational, because those are former relationships, you go back and you have this desire to kind of get there, it kind of permeates your existence, even if it wasn’t, it’s not necessarily the healthiest way of doing things. So, I totally I see that. I see what you’re saying on that.

STEPH WILLIAMS: And it’s not even the healthiest way of doing things. It’s for some people, the only way how to do things. So you’re taking advice from people like one pathway is probably working for them. But it’s like, well, because you have the privilege to be a stay at home mom or a stay at home girlfriend or are independently wealthy. So you don’t have to, but I mean, I have to worry about how to provide for myself. And I tell people all the time, even before considering, getting married and having children, you need to learn how to be able to provide for yourself first and take care of yourself first, because you never know. Like, my mindset has shifted to just always prepare for the worst, but hope for the best, I think because I used to be an incredibly magnetic person. But that also came with a certain level of privilege or having like what some people call quote, unquote, pretty privilege. I mean, I wish I was still a size two. And I still wish that I was able to lead a lifestyle that was more or less subsidized by outside support. But now that I am where I am, I’ve been able to learn how to lead a life that I want and learn how to manifest the abundance that I deserve, whilst still surrounding myself with what Lacy calls them be expanders that help you get there because I think when I was at my lowest, a lot of this was caused by I guess, quote unquote, mental breakdown. I hate to use that term, but it was one of the more kind and something we had talked about privately. You don’t realize what’s going on until something really terrible happens to you.


TAMAR: Right. You don’t realize that you might have been on this decline and then something really happens. And it snaps you into the reality that you might have been suffering. So yeah, we talked about privately that I probably have had a postpartum depression for 10 years, or nine.


TAMAR:  And it’s late until a certain impetus that caused me specifically to evaluate my reality. And my reality was not the reality that a happy mother should have had. I mean, I was living and I was existing, but I wasn’t happy


STEPH WILLIAMS:   Exactly. And I think where I was beforehand, it was bizarre, because I think I was more focused on the happiness of others, like my boss, my employer, my boyfriend, my parents, especially, and just performing for the acceptance of other people. And I feel as though that’s something I had been doing my whole life, but then I kept wondering to myself, why are things not getting better? And it was because I kept using this formula that I had been spoon fed my whole life. But I was like, well, if this works, why am I not seeing results out of it? So I began to reevaluate, and my life motto is, and it’s such a cliche, but it absolutely rings true, why do the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result?

TAMAR:  Right.

STEPH WILLIAMS:  And that’s when that I remind myself if something does seem attractive, or if I want to go down a certain path, and that’s one of the things that I evaluate. I mean, is this going to taking on this client or ….

TAMAR: or working with TAMAR.


STEPH WILLIAMS:  or working with TAMAR , especially well, or even like cultivating a friendship, or being around certain people? I think a lot of my decline also had a lot to do with myself. So I was surrounding myself with people that were not healthy for me. Right. And I think I had a friend group that I think I always knew, in my heart wasn’t right for me. But I was more concerned with appearing as though I had an active social life and kept hanging out with them, even though honestly I think 75% of the time I was in disagreement with this group’s values and lifestyle. And I think particularly values was the biggest thing. And then using those values against me when things in my life were falling apart was a real eye opener. So just that mindset shift, and changing everything for the better. I mean, like why have friends just for the sake of having friends or looking good on Instagram when you could be creating your own life? Yes, you are trading a certain level of prestige or status or going out as much, but sometimes it’s worth having that time delay.


TAMAR: Yeah, I want to actually hone in on one of your comments about how I think a lot of us do this. And I think everybody should probably sit down and close their eyes, and then hear what about to say, because I think that most of us live our existences in the context of trying to make other people happy, but not necessarily at the expense of our own happiness. And you had said that you were doing it for your boss, for your partner, your boyfriend. I think that as I was coming home from the gym today. First of all, I hate going to the gym, but I know it’s so good for me. So I think all of us do that. But I realized walking up the driveway to the stairs of my home, I just sat in and just looked out for a moment at my back porch. And I was thinking to myself that I haven’t really been living for this whole time. I was doing things and I talked about this in building my brands that we’re going through the motions, but we’re not really living really living the way we should be living. Maybe the word shouldn’t be live because we’re all living but the word thriving probably is a little better. We’re not really doing things that are making us happy. And I started thinking, I was very athletic until about 13 years of age. And then my parents gave me a computer and that was the rest of history. Until about last year, I realized I was sitting on a computer for about 16 hours a day, beholden to employers, to clients, to a number of people that I was just basically doing everything for. I was volunteering here and there and I was just doing so many things, but I wasn’t taking care of myself and being so fit and athletic. And I was happy that I was doing things. I was taking care of myself. And then this 20 year period came, and I basically wasn’t doing anything for my health. And then last year, I realized I was working 16 hours a day, and I’m not happy, I’m not enjoying what I’m doing. I’m sitting there and I have my brain plugged into whatever’s going on online. And I think a lot of people say this, right? There’s a Reddit, there’s a subreddit called NoSurf. People actually want to break the ties to their technology. It’s so addictive. Like there’s a sort of a dopamine high, I guess you would say in being tied to your internet. Fat infatuations, and your obsessions and the addictions that are kind of there in terms of just feeding your brain with all these things. But the rest of your body is basically doing nothing.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Yeah, I get it. Ironically, and ironically enough, where else to connect with other people trying to spend less time online, but online, and on our phones. Now I’ll have features that help us check our screen time. And it’s like we’re using our phones to congratulate us for not using our  phone.

TAMAR: Right.

STEPH WILLIAMS: I mean, I brought it because technology is such a wonderful thing and it does make our lives easier when it’s used correctly. But all the trial and error that comes along with it, and having to take those breaks from social media, when you and I who have a long background in history in marketing and PR and social media, it’s like how are we supposed to do our jobs effectively, if we’re not keeping up with the trends? This is an endless circle.


TAMAR: Right. But I think that for everybody, you need to basically give yourself some time, give yourself a deadline, not necessarily deadline. But yeah, daily, you have to commit to your health on a daily basis, and working 16 hours a day where I was on my phone, mostly on a computer just sitting on a computer all day, and being so sedentary that I wasn’t moving at all. Now I’m telling myself I’m trying to exercise daily. And technology, I have to say helps to some degree because I have like a Garmin watch. I came from Fitbit, I had a Garmin and now I have a Garmin watch which is even bigger, a personal trainer on my wrist that motivates me to get up and get active. And I think when we talk about self-care, and especially with the goal of Common Scents podcast is that people are changing their lives, to embrace and to embody this element of self-care. I find that this technology is helping me but it’s also helping me live. It’s helping me thrive. I’m actually happy. I’m saying to myself, wow, I’m actually walking, I’m going outside I’m enjoying the air. I’m looking at the beauty in the world. Well, most of us aren’t doing that. We’re so tied to the things that are keeping us riled in and we don’t take time to smell the coffee and, to smell the roses. There’s a coffee. Yeah, so probably we’re all good with coffee.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Yeah. And I’ve been hearing it by my bed, it’s on my nightstand. So the first thing I get when my father clock alarm goes off, and I just pour a cup right there and turn the today’s show on and check my email. And it’s been a wonderful little routine I’ve created for myself. And yes, it’s part of my self-care. But it’s been able to work into everything that I have to get done. And it’s all things that I enjoy doing, which makes me instead I think we’ve also both talked about those periods and those lows in our lives where it’s like a chore to just get out of bed in the morning.


TAMAR: And that was me for a lot of years. I’d love to work. I was looking forward to work. But then I realized looking back at what I’m doing, I wasn’t that happy and I wasn’t it really. I think a lot of us are blind blinded by the light. We’re excited about what we’re doing. But are we really deep down? Are we really happy about what we’re doing? And I think it’s about what is really our lives’ mission? Like that’s kind of where I go back and I talk about this and I say maybe you can make either a small tweak, either make a massive like when I say one side of things you can make a massive change and all of a sudden ditch everything and then go back to something that would tie in with your passion. But another thing is to make a small tweak. A lot of people say I don’t have time for fitness, I don’t have time to take a walk for 20 minutes, I don’t have time for self-care. And I don’t think that’s true. I used to say that too. I was lying to myself, getting up and doing something just even if it’s just like walking down the block. You have time otherwise that five minutes of surfing the internet could have been spent in a better way to  give yourself a couple more years in your life or maybe a couple more days or months, whatever it is, but you’re taking care of yourself for the long haul and your present self is going to be happy, your future self is going to be happy. And you’ll probably realize and recognize and probably start embodying and embracing these elements. This wasn’t my intended trajectory of this particular podcast, but I just want to just throw out one of the books that I started last year, actually, December 24. So almost there, I start embracing two habits, number one was reading and number two was running. Every day I try to run and if it’s not just a run, it’s going on the treadmill for significant amount of time. Usually, 20 to 60 minutes, where I’m actually trying to at least get a mile in or out of there, or longer. And I actually went three, five cases here. But another thing that I was doing, I didn’t read any books for years. And this year, I’m already at 27 books, or every single day, I’ll read a page or a chapter. And I only meant that one of the books that I read this past year was James Clear’s book called Atomic Habits. And it’s like one of those little things that you take tiny, tiny when they say atomic, we’re talking literally atom sized habits, where we start reading. For example, if you wanted to take it, adopt a lifestyle of self-care, and you don’t really know what you’re looking to do, take a book and start reading one page, and the next day read one page and a half or two pages, three pages, and it’s make atomic increments of trying to achieve your objective. So for me, if it’s one page, if I’m traveling, and I just can’t sit down and read a book, it’s a chapter. I try to aim for a chapter. Sometimes it’s not a chapter because some of these books are so over my head, and I’m just like, why am I reading this, but I started reading and I’m going to finish. Take the little things in your life, try to atomically increment upon them. And you’ll see that there’s difference. Again, it doesn’t have to be 20 minutes on a treadmill. Like, for me, it could be two minutes of walking down the whatever it is, up and down your driveway, I don’t care what it is. But there’s ways to find things that are going to make you happier and healthier. And that will probably permeate through your relationships and your work life.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Definitely change doesn’t happen overnight. And just like your mindset cannot change overnight. Everybody thinks that, oh my gosh, I’m going to go on this crazy new diet that’s wildly different than what I was doing before, just like anything from spending money on. Instead of getting a latte at Starbucks every morning to classic example like making it at home, but it still involves spending a certain amount of money or changing your diet from going to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast every morning or going out for lunch every day to packing your own lunch and eating healthier. That’s something that’s going to incrementally change over time. And I think we’ve all been there where we’re like, I’m throwing out all of my bad unhealthy food. And then I’m going to go to well, I say Wegmans because that’s where I shop. And Wegmans is basically the reigning champion of grocery like, I’m going to go to Wegmans, I’m going to start shopping at Whole Foods, and with this massive grocery list, and then within a week, you’re just like, no, I’m not over this, it’s thinking to yourself, so these programs are designed to make money first and foremost. I mean, how many things and how many of these things are actually going to change, it’s okay to tweak something here or there just to make it work better for you. And as you learn over the course of a few weeks or a few months or even a year, it takes a little step by step to make those improvements and that’s okay just like what they say like quitting smoking is so hard You can’t just do it cold turkey. I mean, there’s that and that’s why different methods work for so many different people.


TAMAR: Right. Yeah, absolutely. So, you had mentioned that some things are designed to make money but I think everything there literally at least in terms of fitness, health and just nature. These things you could do without having to put in any costs for your betterment. I mean walking outside, finding a nice side walk, but I’m hoping a little more going into the trees and enjoying and embracing nature that’s literally at your disposal. I guess anywhere you would be except maybe when you’re like in the desert and also I mean running for me, I didn’t do now, I’m actually going to the gym, I have a membership to the gym but running outside. I mean, I mentioned the treadmill Initially, I actually got that through my freecycle community. Several years ago, I asked the community if you’re familiar with Freecycle, if you’re not, it’s really cool. It’s a give to people in the community that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is really the way to say it. So you give to the community something that you’re looking to get rid of, and then somebody will give you something they’re looking to get rid of. And it’s a reciprocal element. It’s a great thing within your community. And I had asked a couple years ago for a treadmill. And somebody actually had one and I went, and we, my husband and my father in law picked it up. And I had it in my basement, and I had it collecting dust, because I just wasn’t quite ready. The mindset wasn’t there yet. I had the mindset to initiate the request but I didn’t have the mindset to actually get it and do it. But I always said to myself, I will do it, I will do it, I will do it. And if you plant these ideas in your mind that I will do something, I will do something, I will do something eventually, I think for everybody it happens. But it really needs to be something that you’re constantly reinforcing, versus something that someday will eventually become never. And for me, it was something that I was constantly reinforcing. I saw it was in front, it was fun incentive for me. And I actually made sure to adopt that mindset. And so I did. And I started with a treadmill. And then I started running outside. I realized, especially doing a program couch to 5K to C25K. Yeah, there’s an app. It’s a free app. It’s great. You can get it so yeah, it was free. And I decided I’m going to start doing it. I did the first program on a really slow speed on my treadmill. But I wasn’t really enthusiastic with everything I got; I did my first 5K in March. It was a small 5K, there were 118 people who participated. And I came in 100 and 13th place. And I was so disappointed in myself because I was training, I actually finished this 85 k program. But I was also training at such a slow speed, thanks to the treadmill not realizing that like I’m basically running at a walking pace. So I said to myself, the next time over, I’m going to go outside, and I’m going to do it with a run, run outside. And I did, I repeated the program. And I did my second 5K and I shaved seven minutes off of my first 5K‘s time. So that was great. And I came in like sadness, I would I want to say something like 600 plays, or 500 plays out of 12 or 1300 people who participated. So I was a lot better. And I said I’m going to keep doing it. And I did. And I ran my third 5K because I had a goal of three, 5K‘s in 2019. I ran my 35K on Thanksgiving Day. And I shaved another two, three minutes, actually three minutes off of it. So every single time everything you do, like I talked about incremental improvements, all those things, you just do it and thankfully. And I know I made a little bit of a tangent here. And thankfully, everything that I was doing right now to this point is free. And so yeah, getting outside things to embrace with respect to your health. I mean, you don’t have to necessarily put too much money into it.



STEPH WILLIAMS: This is something I’m curious about with you. And I don’t think we’ve ever really touched upon this in our previous conversations. Are you somebody who had at one point in your life felt as though you are a perfectionist?


TAMAR: Oh, I always am a perfectionist.


STEPH WILLIAMS:  You’re still are. So, I kept thinking more like, so when we did start pursuing the couch to 5k program. I mean, obviously you weren’t expecting to come in like the top 10 finishers or something like that. But was working out and running and doing these races, something that you avoided because you knew that you weren’t going to be one of the top finishers.


TAMAR: It’s funny because you’ve been to my home office where you probably have seen the trophies that I have sitting on top of my desk couch and I’m actually looking at them right now. So, it’s funny that you say that. When I was younger, when I said I was an athlete, I went to a camp and we would run races. It was very sports heavy camp. And I would run these sprints and I would always get first place. So I have a couple other ones for like basketball and tennis and softball up here. I don’t know if you hear the sound waves are a little different because I’m looking up, but I’m not what started. That was definitely my goal when I was a child. But we’re talking about literally, I would say 30 years later. No not 30 years later. I’m not that old. 20 years later,


STEPH WILLIAMS: Nothing wrong with being old.


TAMAR: So, yeah, so I would say we’re it’s about 20 something years later. And I started following a couple people who were running marathons. And I realized, it’s never going to happen that I’m going to win a marathon. And know people who run marathons, people who want these lengthy cross country races. They’re not doing it to win, they’re doing it to finish. And that’s a mindset that I think people outside of the running community don’t understand. My husband, for example,  when you say you’re running a race, most people think of the word race, and they think of the word to win. But that’s not a race. When you’re doing these lengthier races, it’s not the right type of word. The word race is a misconception. I think people don’t understand that. When we were younger, racing was to win. When we’re older, racing is to finish. And my husband decided to run the 5K‘s with me. He was doing it to finish but he kept talking up the idea of winning, winning, winning. My children’s still, to some degree, they also ran. I have four children. My two older children ran a mile and my two younger children ran the 200 meters, which was really cute.


TAMAR: It was actually really cute because at the beginning, they all pushed each other, they all fell down at my son. He started to cry. So keep running, he that hilarious. Not that he cried. But nobody was funny. My three year old son fell. And he looked at me and he didn’t want to run. So I grabbed him and we decided to walk slash run together. And my daughter, my five year old daughter started running and she knocked some kids, she toppled the kid over. And we actually have the pictures of her pushing the kid. It was really tight. We have pictures of her pushing the kid and then we have the kid like, toppled. I think they were all happy in the end because they got medals. I didn’t get a medal, which is really annoying. I did not get a medal because I ran a 5K and get a medal and my 357 and 10 year old kids got medals. So I just wanted to express my dissatisfaction on this.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Everybody gets a trophy these days. Right?


TAMAR: Yeah, but yeah, the little kids, that’s not teaching them. But anyhow, as an adult, the only thing that I have to kind of claim to fame for running is the race bibs. Assuming I find the third one, I’ve had two of them hanging up, I didn’t even think about saving them. So hopefully have the third one and T shirts, which is great. I actually appreciate being able to have something that shows that I’m being like fit in. But the metal would be nice, too. Anyway, Oh, gosh. Yeah. So as a perfectionist, I would say that, as I surround myself with runners in the communities that I have certainly found myself a part of these days, I realized that it’s not about being perfect. It’s not about being fast, it’s about getting it done. And I actually grappled where I said, oh, I want to run fast, I want to run fast. I want to get it done. But running my fastest actually affecting my heart rate. I was too scared that I wasn’t going to be able to finish. And the truth of the matter is that I wasn’t running, I wasn’t running to my optimum speed. You shouldn’t be running fast, you should run slow. Even if running slow means that you might finish it, I don’t know, 10 minutes later, but you’ll be stronger and you’ll be able to. That endurance will stick with you versus running fast and then really kind of getting so exhausted and killing your body actually literally kills your body. So it’s better to run slower. For me, I’m still a perfectionist, but I’m a perfectionist making sure I actually completed. So, I just want to say about running and in terms of my maintaining that perfectionism elements. I was reading Reddit and the couch to 5K or maybe the B to 10K community there’s once you do the couch a 5K, there’s actually a bridge to the 10 k community. And someone had said, have you seen in YouTube videos of people doing their runs? And I said to myself, that’s actually a good idea. Maybe I should do that. So I started doing these before videos about kind of what my mindset before I run, then I do my run, which obviously I’m not filming and then I do like a post mortem of like how I feel the epilogue of what’s going on, how I endured the run, any sort of takeaways and tips I’ve been doing. And I haven’t been posting them on YouTube, I’ve actually been posting them to this Couch to 5K Community that I’m on Facebook, I intend to probably put everything online. But so far every single video I’ve created, it’s like me expressing intention. So I say, I’m going to get this one done today, this is going to be week eight, day three. And I’m just going to get it done that I do it. And I basically say to myself, while I’m running, I made this video, I have to stick to my goal. So that’s the perfectionist in me trying to make sure I maintain momentum there. And then I did my video and I talked about how I wanted to quit, but I didn’t. So I always have those things going on. And therefore to speak to your point, I still have that element of perfectionism inside of me. But I’m not that perfectionist in terms of like trying to do things to be the first I’m doing them to just make sure that I’ve accomplished my goal.


STEPH WILLIAMS: That’s awesome. And I just love your story about fitness because I would love to have a similar story, but I don’t.


TAMAR: You’ll get there, you’ll get there. We’ll work on you separately.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Someday we’ll be little running buddies together, and it will be incredible. But that’s another conversation. We could have a final thought sort of thing.


TAMAR: Well, yes. So I wanted to ask you, if you could give yourself some advice to your pre, trauma self, what would you tell her?


STEPH WILLIAMS: Um, oh my gosh, and this is going to sound terrible if my parents are listening. I love you, but you’re not always right.

TAMAR: All right. Do you want to elaborate on that?


STEPH WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely. It sounds worse than it actually is. And I have always counted my family amongst my closest advisors. But it took me a really long time to accept that sometimes. And it’s like, they really do want the best for you, and they are looking out for you. But sometimes your world and existence and purpose is different than what is comfortable and normal and what you have been programmed to want  doing a lot to be magnetic. I don’t want to call it a program because it’s the best thing. It’s not a program, it’s more of a community and when you are working within a community, and I think you and I both do this a lot. And I have seen a lot of personal growth and success by using this model. So Lacy calls it looking for expanders. So her manifestation formula is essentially to write down exactly what you’re looking to do, what you’re looking to achieve. It could be buying everything from buying a house, finding a partner to something as little as just like, I want to get this really expensive item. But I also don’t really want to pay that much money for it. So you write down exactly what you’re looking for. And you surround yourself with the people that will get you there. And after a while I started really thinking hard about the life that I wanted. And that life was to be able to live on my own terms. I had learned after many years that the nine to five lifestyle is just not for me. And when interviewers asked me, where do you see yourself in five years, which is a stupid question to ask people because, honestly, the way that the world works now, it’s kind of unrealistic to have your life planned out that far in advance, particularly your career path. I have found that I want to be able to do the work that I love to do. But, just be able to travel and not have to go into an office and be able to do the work from wherever I want. So I can make up for the last time that I’ve had and see places that I haven’t seen and meet people that I haven’t met and experienced things I have yet to experience. And a lot of the work that I’ve been able to do and I haven’t reached that goal entirely yet but working with TAMAR in particular is a step toward that. It was so much fun to be able to say I’m going down to New York for a business trip a couple of weeks ago like out of the blue because that’s something that I normally would not have been able to do. However I just I want to be that girl that’s always on a train and going somewhere but still getting worked out. And like we’re getting there but having a community on sites like AngelList or Tomorrow Night Connected or on Facebook. There’s so many amazing Facebook communities that are nice to have as expanders to see others who are leading that life that you’re looking for. So you don’t feel as isolated or feel as much of a freak of nature. When you’re surrounded with people that are naysayers, I mean, that’s not pushing you in the right direction. In fact, it’s discouraging you from pursuing it, or almost like encouraging you to give up your dreams. But, reach for the stars, but something a little more realistic, or my favorite meme, where it’s like, parents, we want you to do whatever makes you happy. The kid says something like, whatever they actually want to do. And then the next response is, the parents are like, an all caps, NOT THAT. That always makes me laugh because it rings so true. But really taking control of what your own values are, doing the work to find your authentic self, and then reaching out to others who have those similar values is really a great pathway. And then the next step to that is not settling. Just that’s where the pen and paper list comes out, you are presented with an opportunity, and it’s worth going  back to what your goal is, and seeing well, it’s not 75% of my criteria, but I mean, do I really want to have wiggle room or over some of these quote unquote, non-negotiables? And it forces you to again, not settle. So that mindset, and that process has been an incredible impact on my life and where I’m going, and I wish I found it sooner.


TAMAR: Yeah. It’s interesting, because you’re finding it probably sooner. I don’t know your age, and you don’t know my age. But I would say that I’m probably a little older than you. And I would say, one of the things I probably recognize only recently is that, yeah, the things that you see through your eyes are totally different than the way I see through my eyes. And yet somebody who might be like similar in I guess, in some way, might say that somebody, a third person’s reaction was completely crazy in the way that they might have reacted, like kind of thinking, specifically tied to your story, the expectation of your boyfriend, it probably came from a completely different perspective and a point of view. And when I say this, specifically, it sucks to be on the other side on the receiving end of anything, sort of bad emotional relationship. But it also makes it easier for you to effectively I guess, forgive, because you realize that, it might not be logical, and some of the expectations that they have, but it’s probably a byproduct of how they are looking at the world. And the way they look at the world is very different than the way you look at the world. So that perspective is very different.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, the way that we’re programmed as children isn’t really conducive to who we are meant to be in our lives, versus what society expects you to be.


TAMAR: Right.

STEPH WILLIAMS:  So and accepting that society isn’t always right.


TAMAR: Right. Yeah. And not everybody in society is right. Like, the more I start to live, the more I start to realize, wow, I’m not going to tie in current events to this, but I guess I could tie in some entertainment. Like, I’m reading, I watched these television shows sometimes, and or movies, and you’re just like, where did this mindset come from? Everybody’s mind is so different. It’s so different than what you would probably normally otherwise expect or even have you been raised. Like things have changed. The world has changed. I guess, I guess our development is so drastic to some people and it’s not something I guess, who’s normal, but the normal human psyche is receptive. To the second point also, yeah, surrounding yourself with the people who are the best influences on you to help you grow is important. And so for me as a runner, a number of different communities, professionals and whatever else. Having the ability to surround myself with these people who are really helping me grow, has made me thrust myself in that direction, and also is helping me maintain that momentum. We can’t do it alone. Unfortunately, we are a social species. And even though it’s funny, because I’m such an introvert, I could say to some degree, I’m pretty antisocial.


STEPH WILLIAMS: But Oh God. I’m suffering. I call myself a recovering extrovert. I think because again, I was programmed to be outgoing and be social. But I realized, I think after a long time of being alone and laying low and figuring it out and taking care of myself or whatever euphemism that you want to call it, I’m actually a really, really big introvert. So I always joke and say, I’m a recovering extrovert. And it’s been that change in particular made a massive impact.

Nice, just  really incredible. Again, mindset shift to actually being an introvert isn’t so bad. I can still create, I can still do amazing work, and not have to go to an office every day. I think the social overload or being that. What do they call it being overstimulated? Yep, yep, that, that can be a trigger for a lot of people. And I think the way that I reacted was unknowingly, in situations where there was a lot of people or a big office environment, or a big group environment, after seeing certain patterns happen over and over again, I was just like, well, obviously, this isn’t working. It’s not them, it’s me.


 TAMAR: But even to whatever degree that we need to withdraw socially, we still need to surround ourselves with the right people who will help us push us to the next level for ourselves. So for me, even though I never run in a group, I’ve run with one person, Rachel, who was actually the first podcast person that I’ve ever interviewed, who’s number one, I’ve run with her. But I still cannot bring myself to still run with a group of people. But I still surround myself with a community of runners in emails and Facebook groups and Reddit subreddits. not overwhelming, because, again, I’m in the no surf movement, and I’m still trying to get out and do things. But I think it’s really important to make sure you do surround yourself with the people who are going to help you get where you need to be. Definitely, yeah. So anything else you want to add? Before we wrap up?


STEPH WILLIAMS: I got to say that every time I get to tell people about the work that we’re doing together, my eyes light up in a way that happens in such a long time. And that’s how I know that we’re meant for each other professionally, that we’re really starting a movement that is exciting, that I’m proud to be a part of. I haven’t had that with many of the jobs that I’ve taken in a long time. I’m excited to tell people what I’m doing instead of like, oh, you really want to know what I do for a living? And I got to say, I’m really excited about what we’re creating together and the team that you’ve put together, and this podcast was a super, super fun experience. So it’s good practice when I start my own podcast.


TAMAR: Yes, yes. So get that hustle on and hopefully this will be really great for everybody.


STEPH WILLIAMS: Yeah. Great, girl boss.


TAMAR: So thanks so much Steph. I really appreciate you coming out.

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