You're listening to the live happier longer podcast, episode 79. Welcome to the live happier longer podcast. This podcast is equal parts information, inspiration, education and motivation, all dedicated to increase longevity and improving overall quality of life on your host, Molly Watts, and I'm here to help you build the habits of a happier longer line. Let's get started.
Well, hello and welcome. Welcome back to the live happier longer podcast, coming to you from a semi-cloudy Oregon. To be honest, this week has been sort of like going back to October, and we are in mid-June, so not sure exactly what has happened, but hoping that Sunshine is on the horizon, it can't be a podcast without that small Weather Update.
So today on the podcast, I am joined by Alice Agnello. Alice is a success and lifestyle coach, and she hosts the podcast, Kids are grown now, what... So I really wanted to talk with Alice because we share a lot of similar beliefs in terms of starting your next chapter or creating that happier longer life, and part of it is discovering a midlife. Kind of the what's next. And for a lot of people, and a lot of women, obviously, once the kids are grown, there's kind of a question mark that comes up naturally, and Alice helps women to really dial in on what they want and what they may have not been focusing on for the last however many years.
So I think you're really gonna enjoy it. She has some great ideas and she's just a lot of fun to talk to you. So here is my conversation with Alice Agnello.
Hey, Alice, how are you? Thanks so much for being with me today.
Oh, thanks so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here and talk.
I know, it's awesome. I think I actually been looking forward to my podcast recordings during this whole COvid thing, I never realized... I've always used Zoom, I never realized I was gonna be a part of this major cultural thing because I'd always recorded on Zoom and now, but that really do I look forward to, and it's like another... Just another way of talking to someone in connecting in a total... 100% agree with you. And it's funny cat. Sometimes I would be mad because I'm like, Okay, everybody else. Get off of Zoom. I was here the first.
Yeah, I, I used to this podcasting first, I use this equipment first... Yeah, as everyone ordering all these things now, but I also open into the space and I'm glad more people are kind of understanding all of it too. Yeah, well, it's great to have you. So today, I mentioned in the introduction when I co coming into the podcast that you are a success in lifestyle coach, and you are specifically geared towards helping women create their next chapter or figure out what that next chapter is going to be. And so talk to me a little bit about why this particular niche, a something that you feel passionate about, what happened, and give me a little bit of the history into making this decision to focus on that.
Absolutely. So it's really where I was about four to five years ago. And talking to other women, it's the subject that's talked about, but not talked about, because you'll have the gamut of women who are like, I am so ready to rock and roll his empty nest, and my kids are out, and it's time for me, and I'm in.
Do all these new things, and then the opposite spectrum is, Oh my God, I'm crying every day, my kids are gone, I have absolutely no purpose, I don't know what I'm supposed to do now, and they might also be kind of feeling like they've missed out on the best years of their life because they dedicated their heart and soul to their kids, their purpose was their children and the house and maybe a spouse and taking care of that environment that now that that is such a change... They don't know where to go from there. And so I started feeling a little bit like that when my eldest was a junior in high school, and I realized I had two years left with him to shove as much information to him as possible, the Maine... He was a successful adult.
Yeah, and then I kind of... It was this feeling of a heaviness and me that something was about to change and I couldn't figure out why I was feeling the way that I was feeling.
And so it was a process, it was a couple of years of just trying to figure out what did I wanna do... Who was I now? And I am not anywhere near to that now because I think I don't wanna ever be figured out in my entirety, I wanna keep learning and growing and understanding things, but the thing that I see the most that comes up is I don't have a purpose anymore, I don't know what my purpose is. And how do I find it again? Yeah, I agree with you that whole empty nest syndrome, it's very... I haven't really have experienced it yet because my kids... I had so many of them that I just... My nest is still... And of course, we... Collaterals, again, I don't know exactly where that went to ride, but regardless, I also think that it kind of marries into just getting older, whether or not you've had kids or not, is there's a realization point in like where you go, he... Is this what life is all about? Is this all there is to it? I've done a lot. But is there more to this? And now I'm getting older and it's kind of scary, I like that all...
I don't want this to be the end of it, I need something more. But not knowing what that more is, I think is a pretty common feeling for a lot of women that I agree with you, not necessarily always talked about set... Because there is that other side of the spectrum where it's like, Oh, he just hasn't. She's just gun-ho off doing adventures, and so you get to feeling a little bit like, What's wrong with me that I don't know... What's rough that I don't know what I want.
And social media has just exponentially made that come down on women with a crack on their head, to me, there's this perfect, perfect, perfect-ness that you see all the time, and it's just... It's hard to live up to that name and it... The photos, because I was a photographer for a number of years, I taught my kids always question what you see in a photograph, because there's probably a filter or there could be re-touching, there could be all of these things done to the photograph, and they don't know... Where how it's being done. And now with apps, any person is a professional photographer now to change things, and so because of this perfection that is now, everyone has to live up to, it's a huge pressure for women, and then now when you're in your midlife and you're now able to look backwards and then now you're looking forward, it's a huge pressure to try and figure out, well, what now am I supposed to be doing when I see all of these other people doing these amazing things and traveling, and her clothing is perfect, that our hair is perfect. So when I stumble across someone who's doing Facebook Lives and they definitely don't have make-up on and their hair's a little wonky and she's wearing this t-shirt, I saw one life when she said, excuse my pajamas, but I had to get this out, I just thought That's hilarious. And she's being genuinely, I think her self... And that is what rated M to her. And I was talking to a client the other day, and I asked her, Are you struggling with making decisions now because they're just solely decisions for you, instead of decisions that you're making that involve your children, and she really had a stop and think about it for a little while and she say, Yeah, you're right, I'm actually making decisions that are 100% just for me now and have nothing to do with my children, and it's a weird feeling to be able to do that, and it's also a little freeing and scary at the same time, absolutely, absolutely. The whole freeing part, I talk a lot about mindset in my podcast and just in what I do, and it's really a hard habit to break to not think of... To put yourself... To not put yourself first.
And I think as women, especially mothers, it's really, really hard for most of us to put ourselves and what we want and what we need front and center, and not even that it's hard, I just lose the mom guilt part of it, because that part might not be there anymore... It's hard because we're not in the habit of doing it. And it's honestly challenging to even get in touch with those thoughts of what do I really... What do I really want?
So is that kind of what you help women figure out is getting in touch with themselves in terms of their own personal wants, needs and desires as opposed to looking at it for everybody else. Exactly, and we... It could start with just a little as tiniest thing, noticing that when you go to the store to purchase a mascara, are you choosing the cheapest one because you've always done that because you're trying to save money because money should have been spent on the kids, or there's always something more to spend on, or are you truly buying the one that you want to buy because that's the one that you want, it's noticing these little tiny things that you're doing to yourself because you're used to doing it that same way. And hey, if that's your thing and you wanna buy the chief is miscarried a head...
I'm just trying to get at is examples or I had another guest on my podcast and she was saying, I noticed that when I was buying everyone else better shampoo for me, I knew something had to change. I was spending everyone... I was gonna everyone's favorites, but I never got my favorite... What does that say about me? And noticing what I'm doing, and it's also... We as women, I feel sometimes, well, stuff down what we want for the greater good of our family and our children, and that's not always the best way to go about doing it, 'cause I again, is... It goes back to if you're not 100% happy, that affects the other people that are around, and it's unpacking all of that, it's going back and saying, What did you like to do before you had kids and that could change what... Maybe you do something better now and getting out there and trying different things, and experiment A... And the fear comes up 100% of the time, it always will, because you're doing something new and your brain is trying to keep you safe from doing this new thing that is a threat, and you have to evaluate, is this really going to kill me, or am I just gonna be maybe a little bit embarrassed because I don't understand how this all works for the first time.
Yeah, the brain is an amazing tool, an amazing... That whole primitive thinking and the fear factor keeps so many of us from growing, especially as we get older, because we do have a lot of experience behind us, and those are... And one of the things that I've studied in my realm here, I live happier longer and five for life, is having a growth mindset, and I don't think that I really understood it when I was a kid, our... Certainly when I was growing up, it was not a part of who... What we were taught in school, in fact, it's pretty indicative of mid-life women that when we were in school, you were either just good at math or you weren't good enough, it's not like you had... You never really believed that you could become good at math by simply practicing and getting better at it, there was definitely just... You either were smart or You aren't smart, there was just kind of... Those were the ways that, at least for me, my world was rain, and it really reading the understanding that we aren't locked in and that there is no... You don't have to just say, Okay, well, just because I've always done it this way, just because it's always been like this for a meeting, is because I see myself as someone who isn't outgoing or isn't consistent or that... That is all changeable.
It is a 10% changeable and you're not too... And you're not anything can be learned, and it's really just a matter of how willing you are, just as you said, to put yourself out there and be able to wash down that primitive brain who just wants to keep you safe and staying in your old life and in your old Ru means is safety to that brain, and also the beliefs that have come up for 40, 50 years of your life, and unpacking and figuring out now, why do I think this a certain way?
I gave the example that for a long time, didn't think I was pretty because I had braces and glasses, I got them in the third grade, I had him for extensively a long time because the boys teased me so much, my belief was I was only pretty... If I didn't have my con, I had Metacomet on and everything had to be perfect, it's got me a long time to figure out why did I feel and believe that, and to unpack it and realize, partly in college, I think because college gets so busy in your plate and that thing is that it doesn't matter, I can go to class and have my hair in a bun and no make-up on my glasses, and guess what? No one cares. One cares about how that is and how it could be just one comment a friend made to once and all of a sudden now you think that you're not good at math, but maybe you really are if you just put some effort on to or maybe you... And I, the... A lot of times, well, say that, Oh, you need to lose weight, or because of this and you'll be happier because then you will be that way, but it all depends on where that belief came from and trying to unpack how has that affected you and your life from when that happened until now and wanting... If you wanna book still believe in that as well. Yeah, I'm a huge proponent of the thinking new thoughts and they call those limiting beliefs.
And one of the things that a quote that I heard and learned over the last couple of years that I really took to heart and understand now is that a belief is just a thought that we've thought that we practiced many times, right, I-E... And one of the greatest things about having this beautiful human brain of ours is our ability to, just like you said, to unpack and to be able to step back and look at our thoughts and really decide is that I thought that actually helped me... Do I even need to keep on thinking that thought, is there any reason that it's still serving me today, and for a lot of us... A lot of us in mid-life and a lot of us moms, there's some pretty old stuff rattling around in there that has been... That we've just practiced believing it, it's a belief because we just practice thinking at first soon and we can change it simply by thinking something else, it's all optional, we don't have to just 'cause... Our brain says it does not make it true. I love that about being about... It's uniquely human, the ability to be able to step outside of yourself and actually look your thoughts, that's uniquely human, and it's so empowering to me at least, and so I'm sure that in your work with women of mid-life, just being able to really... And I feel kinda selling, it took me and it kinda took me until not too long ago to really to understand that concept, that my thoughts... I'm a big no at all, joke about it with my kids, but I like being right. And so I... Again, my brain, I think I just assumed, I don't know, I never really took the time to examine some of the thoughts that I had as being untrue, I just thought, Okay, well, they just must be true.
Great, I E... That's just the way it is. That's how it's easiest is... And so I love that, and I'm sure that the women that you work with that have to be... I don't know, do the like, Well, go off for a lot of your... For me, like I said, I feel kind of bullish. How did I not get that before?
It is... Example I always give is, I would say, I hate math. So if you see, I hate math, that's a really big statement, and I had to unpack that because I always felt like I wasn't good at math, what I really ate...
I didn't bring that up as I like it, so I... I bofors you in Nottingham, because it's when I use... When I help other women trying to figure out when you make this blanket statement, you just put yourself in this box, and as soon as you say it to other people... I didn't realize that until I started telling my boss, I hate Math or I hate math, and then he would joke about it, I know you hate math, and then I'm like, No, no, no, what it... Because when I initiate can't, it's easily... For my husband, when you give him numbers, he can easily multiply divide a track, just instant is in his head, and I joke around and say, That's why I married him, because he can do that, but I love numbers.
Give me data to figure out and dig into and give you some spreadsheets, and I'm in heaven, 'cause I love to solve ministries and puzzles and figure out why something is not coming out right, and I realize that by me saying that I hate math, I am limiting. What I can do as a person, as a skill, when I go out and tell other people that I hate math, and so women will get these blanket statements and I hate English, I hate writing, or I hate this... And then I'm like, Okay, well, do you hate the whole entire thing or just one little tiny part of that because do you do... There is probably a strength in there somewhere you might avoid it, you might not like it, and I always also tell people that your weakness is... Cause this always makes me crack me up when you go into a job interview, one of the ones they always ask you is, what are your strengths and what are you weaknesses?
So then you always have to figure out how to spin a weakness as a strength or, Oh, I am very organized, and that's why it's a... It's bad for me, like, how is that a a bout things?
So I was only encourage women to look at what your strengths are and develop your strengths even more, 'cause those are the ones that you like actually enjoy doing, and I'm never gonna get really good at one of my weaknesses, I can get a better at it because I can take classes or and invest the time and understand how to work that way, but it is... To me, I'm gonna absolutely love it. I got really good at talking to other people because in college I was in a sorority and that made me talk to people and I got better at it, but if I'm in a party, Oh, I love just talking to one person over in the corner, I'm really good, I doing that, but because I taught myself how to and work a room, I can, but it's not something that I love to do, and I always try and tell women that you need to figure out what lights you up and that will help you towards figuring out what your purpose is, and there's not a finish line, it's not a race to try and figure out what that is within a week, it's just...
I think that it's impossible.
No, and I think that that's part of our culture is just this immediate gratification, SYN-room that we've... Again, society really supports the notion that this things happen overnight, and it's just not true, that's been another part of really growth for me is understanding that I say live happier, longer, it... The whole idea is that you are... It's a journey, right?
And you're continually growing and changing and being able to frame your life in that way and understand that every failure that comes along and every challenge that you have to overcome isn't a sign that something has gone terribly wrong here and you shouldn't be doing this, it's a more so that it's just a learning... It's something that it's a learning tool, and it's something that you can learn from, and that's one of the beliefs that I have for women as we age, is that we are often, we want to teach our children to resilience and kind of that grit.
But quite honestly, we haven't... We haven't done a lot in their lives to foster that just because that's the way that we parented, What better time than to prove to them, and that's one of the things that I know that has been really great for me is being a role model for my boys, and having them watch me do things to start a podcast, to start a passion project company to go out, I went out and had a second poll, second career after raising my boys, and it taught them something about me, and I love the way that we can help, I think women too, is just... You have an opportunity to show, to show your children in the world that there is so much more to you and to look forward to, and whether you're older or not, doesn't matter, it's really all in your head.
Yeah, absolutely, and I was... My youngest son is still struggling trying to figure out what he wants to do, what is his thing, and I keep telling them, Okay, first of all, you're 20, so don't feel like you have to figure out all out within the next six months, and I try and as you said, use myself as an example, I'm still trying to figure it out, I'll tell them all the different careers that I've had and all the... And I tell them in this too, all the careers you've had, or even if you just were a stay-at-home mom the whole entire time, you have learned the valuable skills through that whole entire time, and we just have to figure out what is something that you love doing and then trying to find that job, if that's what you wanna do, and go out and figure it out or create it for yourself, and I love that example of being the role model. I had one client who said, I wanna be so busy that my kids have problems getting a hold of me, rather that... Than me trying to get a hold of them.
And I said, Okay, let's figure out how we can make that.
And eventually, she got there where she was... Made me a quick text student to her kids, or, I'm doing this this weekend, I'm doing this. And she's like, I know that person and I'm much happier for it. She's still trying to figure out what's the thing that is gonna really make it break it for her, but she got to the point where she created a new life for herself and she's happier for it.
Yeah, it doesn't have to be about re-inventing your whole life, so a lot of people... Your life is good, but there does, I think come at mid-life, sometimes people get a certain kind of resignation, like they're resigned to like the... In a certain area, maybe an area that they have struggled with throughout their life, that this is just... Is gonna be as good as it gets. And I think that it's really key. And one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is that I have become very passionate about the idea of coaching for people, because we think that it has to be... There has to be a real problem, the... There has to be this critical happening that is really making us read something or that need help, and I would say it's... In my opinion, it's like the exact opposite, it's like... Especially if your life is going pretty okay, but you haven't challenged yourself to take that next step, get working with a coach because really, truly... One of the things that I think helps people as they age or anything else, is just that ability for self-improvement is again, something that is unique or human... We have the ability to plan out the future and to have goals, and if you want to get the most out of your life, that's what... That you have to engage with that part of being human, and in no other way than in my experience, has it been more helpful then to work with a coach like you... My one thing that I always tell people is, I'm just gonna listen and then I'm going to... If you want my opinion, I am 100%. We'll tell you how my apiece, I want them to learn and grow, but it's giving them the time to actually think... We don't give ourselves enough time to actually sit and think with the help of somebody else, in the sense that you'll think But you'll keep thinking the same way on that hamster, will you'll keep going and going the same... The same thing, same, tough, and then I challenge you to think of a little bit bit in a different way, and I want you to think, how can you look at a situation a little bit differently?
What is bothering you about this situation?
Why are you feeling this way? Because you're thinking a certain way, and I just, I love listening and challenging women to think in a different way, because I truly believe that this generation of women like our gen Imogen, so just feel like we are poised to take over the world in a whole new way, if I can just get one woman to get out of her own way, so I oases, I've done my job and then be able to help other women and have a domino effect... That's my big goal. Life purpose is to just have women get out of their own way and see how amazing they are from a different perspective, because we're always too close to ourselves that we can't see all the wonderful things that makes us ourselves.
Awesome, so Alice, tell me how my listeners can find you, connect with you and sign up if they want to work with you.
So you go an aspire, me and Alice Agnello, dot com as Alice, A-G-N-E-L-L-O dot com. I'm on Facebook, I do have Facebook group that I absolutely love. Kids are grown now What community... And I have a podcast of that same name as well, and we just have a lot of fun group... Kids are grown now. What? I love that as well. I certainly appreciate you coming on the show and talking to me today about this exactly that now, let's help women figure out Now what it... And I love what you said, get out of their own way. Get that stuff. It gets around a way... Now what you do out of the way?
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Absolutely, everybody go find AliceAgnello.com. And the kids are grown, Now what podcast.
Forest. Thanks, Alan.
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