Lisa Marie Pepe

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O: Hi and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. One of my biggest fears was to host this podcast. I know I mentioned it in other episodes, but because we’re talking about confidence today, I’m gonna share with you again that it terrified me to host a podcast in English because English is my second language. My grammar sucks, and sometimes I will say the wrong words – even today. Today I was talking to a lady that was supposed to help me with my social media, and what I told her was – it was so embarrassing. I told her, “Well, you know. We’re gonna give it a try. If it works really well, I’ll tell Stephan (my husband), ‘Stephan, you really have to have her.’” That came out really awkward. She commented, and she’s like, “Really have to have me? That’s umm…” It was so awkward. Sometimes I say awkward things, and sometimes my English is not perfect. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’ve been listening for a while, you probably enjoy it. It probably shaped your life or helped you or gave you a mini-breakthrough, or even just for entertainment value. I don’t know. You are bored in traffic, and you’re listening to that. Or you wanted to know something about something, and you found one of my experts that I bring to the show. And you really enjoyed it. By the way, if you do, then contact me. Hello? I would love to know about it. The reason that this podcast exists is because I conquered my fear – my fear of “People are gonna make fun of me. Who am I to be a host of a podcast? Who am I to ask somebody like Dr. Demartini to be on my show – maybe even Dave Asprey or Alison Armstrong or John Gray? Who am I? Who am I?” – showed up so many times. I’m not from here. I’m not good enough. My English is not good enough. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Don’t let your fear stop you because the difference between you and the people that have success is not that they’re better than you, smarter than you, more talented than you. It’s not that. Most of the time, these people – they felt the fear, and they did it anyways. Even Gal Gadot admits that she almost quit on her dream before she got the audition to be Wonder Woman and got the part. Can you imagine if she would quit a month earlier? Yes, rejection is hard. Yes, sometimes it takes a lot of courage. Sometimes it’s really, really, really scary, but in order to feel better, in order to achieve your dreams, just go for it. If you fall, that’s okay. Just get back up and go at it again. My guest today, Lisa Marie Pepe is amazing. She helps women with confidence. She helps women with visibility online. She helps women to be seen and not hide. She allows them to have their voice heard, and she gives them permission to be seen because sometimes, as silly as it sounds, we need somebody else to tell us that, “It’s okay. It’s okay. You could follow your dreams.” She’s here to share with you how to be more confident and how to allow yourself to be seen because you, my dear – you are worthy of your dreams. Now onto the show. Hey, Lisa! Welcome to Stellar Life podcast. How are you today?

L: I’m doing well. Thanks. How are you?

O: I’m doing very good. I am very excited to be talking to you about everything that you do in the world and how you help people gain more confidence, be more visible, helping them share their talents with the world. Let’s start by you sharing a little bit about yourself – who you are – and what’s your passion?

L: Sure. Absolutely. Yes, I am incredibly excited to be here as well. What do I do? In the professional sense, on paper, I’m referred to as The Confidence Coach and Online Visibility Expert for Heart-Centered Women Entrepreneurs. However what that really translates to in my everyday life is empowering women entrepreneurs to develop rock solid confidence and to become vibrantly visible online. I combine my education background with my Psychology background, and I work both on helping people to overcome their fears and really become confident, and then also teaching them very strategically how to show up in this great, big sphere of online entrepreneurship. I honestly love every single day that I wake up. I really do, and I’m so appreciative. I feel so blessed that I have been given this gift to really empower and impact so many women around the world. Yeah, it’s an amazing life. It really is.

O: Yeah, it’s very fulfilling. It sounds very fulfilling.

L: It definitely is.

O: What was your reasoning to choosing this – to choosing helping people with their confidence? Were you always confident? Then you were like, “Well, I do it so naturally, so now I’m gonna help others”? Or did you have to go through some adversities yourself to increase your own confidence?

L: That is a beautiful question. The answer is no. I have not always been confident. In fact, I was the exact opposite of confident – not even all that long ago. I went through a very difficult period after I had a car accident back in 2011, and at the time, I was doing massage therapy work. When that accident happened, it impacted me physically, and so I could no longer do the profession that I loved. It really changed my life entirely. What followed that was a grieving period, of course, and then what followed that became depression, anxiety, self-loathing behavior, self-deprecating behavior – just living in mediocre existence and not truly thriving. Have I always been confident? Absolutely not. That was by far probably the most difficult period of my life, and really trying to redesign my life and become a different version of who I already was and reinvent myself, if you will. That was a huge transition for me, and so now that I’m on the other end of it, I almost feel called – almost like a responsibility to then help others, who are struggling with the very same things: feeling disempowered, feeling low about themselves, not feeling great about their circumstances in life. Yeah, I think that’s why I’m so passionate about it – is because I know what it feels like to be on the extreme opposite end as well.

O: What was your personal healing journey? What did you do to regain your confidence?

L: That’s a great question. I have to tell a very quick story. Fast forward about two-and-a-half years after the car accident – I had pretty much just given up on ever really doing anything professional or doing anything really meaningful in the world, because I had shrunken inward so my external reality matched that. I was working at a gym after I’ve gotten fired from working at a telemarketing agency for $8 an hour. I have two master’s degrees, but I thought that all that was good enough for me was to work as a telemarketer for $8 an hour.

O: Oh my god.

L: That’s a true story. When I got fired from that job, I remembered just crying and sobbing in the car and looking at myself in the mirror and saying some not so nice stuff to myself. Do you know what I’m saying? Like, “You’re pathetic. This is so sad. You get fired from this job. You’re so pathetic.” I remember that running through my mind. I guess, in an attempt to redeem myself, I took a job, which was slightly better, but it was still a job. It was not a calling or a profession of any kind. It was a job, and so I was working in a gym, just as a front desk clerk. I did that for about a year. Again, I think I was being paid $9 an hour. I was in the bathroom one evening cleaning the bathroom, because that was part of my responsibility as a front desk clerk. It was to wash up the restrooms and things like that at the end of the evening. I was in there, and I was emptying trash cans. I was wiping down counters. A woman who had been coming to the gym for quite some time, who had gotten to know me – she had talked to me and listened to my story. She saw something in me and actually had the courage to call me out on it. So there was this one day – I’ll never forget it. It was the moment in which my entire life changed. She looked at me, and she said, “What are you doing?” Very facetiously and playfully, I said, “Well, I’m cleaning the bathroom. What does it look like I’m doing?” She looked at me again, and she said, “No. I don’t think you understand.” She said, “What are you really doing?” I really didn’t understand the depth of the question. I still said to her, “I’m emptying trash.” When she looked at me the third time, she said to me, “I mean, what are you doing with your life?”

O: Wow.

L: That was the moment, in which I tell people – I say, it felt like someone reached in and reignited a flame in my soul that had been so dim for so long. She persisted and said to me, “You are so beautifully talented and gifted. You have a gift to empower others, to work with others, to help others. Why are you here wasting your life?” That’s exactly what her words were. “Why are you wasting your life here doing a job that any high school aged kid could do for minimum wage?” That moment was the reawakening. That was the aha.

O: Wow.

L: Yeah. It’s very powerful.

O: That’s powerful. Is she still in your life?

L: You know, believe it or not? We have lost touch with one another, but I’ve often thought about reaching out to her, because I’m sure I could track her down. It was a local gym – whatnot, and I know that she lives locally here. But I need to thank her for that because I’ve written about this now. I’ve talked about this now. I mean, she was really a divine angel, who just interjected at the right time.

O: Yeah. Wow. It would be interesting. You should have a selfie with her.

L: Mm-hmm.

O: Wow! That’s amazing. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s a beautiful story. You come back home after this angel shows up in your life and is reaching out to your soul, igniting a flame that was dim. Then you’re starting to gain new ideas, new strength, and it’s almost like it just keeps spreading. You know that you are destined for greatness and to do more in the world with your gift. What did you do after that? You come back home and then what? You just go and watch Netflix? What did you do?

L: No. I know, right? What do you do when there’s a divine intervention in a public bathroom? I’ll tell you what I did. I sat in my car. This time around, rather than degrading myself or being ugly to myself, as I had been, maybe a year before, I looked at myself in the mirror, and the voice inside of me said, “She’s right. She’s so right.” I had this conversation with myself. I said, “My god. This is it. This is your sign. You have got to get yourself together – get your life together and really get out there and start doing what you have been created to do.” Of course, where do you begin? Oh my god. Where do you begin? Because I had been hiding under a rock for almost three years. And so I was scared. I’m not gonna lie. I was scared because as miserable as I felt, it was still comfortable. I had to find a way to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The first thing I did was I sat down, and I prayed.

O: Beautiful.

L: Then I journaled. Then after I let that kind of sink in, I started to do very practical things. I revisited my educational background. I thought, I’m pretty well educated. Maybe I should try to use one of these things, right? Hello. On a very practical level, I did things like – I hired a professional resume writer. I started working with a counselor, who could help me transition back into the work – the real professional careers. All of that was coming along very well, but I had to do the internal work as well, because we all know – you can fix the outside of a broken home, but if it’s broken inside, the people are broken.

O: Yeah. I liked what you said about prayer, because sometimes people ask me, “What if I don’t have the desire?” Some people can ask, “What if I didn’t have an angel show up in my public bathroom? I don’t have the desire to change and step out of comfort zone?” Then sometimes the simple thing to do is to pray for the desire to show up. If you don’t have the desire, but you want the desire – it’s almost like an oxymoron. I don’t have the desire, but I desire to have the desire, so just pray for the desire to show and connect to higher power. Ask for help. The more you focus on that, the desire to change – the more you pray for it to show up, the more it will be present in your life because everything starts with desire. Every change, every good thing that happen in the world – and even bad things – everything starts with desire.

L: Yes. 1000%, I agree.

O: You had the desire, and you hired people to help you. Then you worked on your internal being. How did you do that?

L: I did. The first thing I did was I made sure that I made time for myself every single day to meditate and to journal. What I did during the time that I was journaling, I began to write positive affirmations for myself. This thought occurred to me – this isn’t anything that’s rocket science. But it occurred to me that I really needed to reprogram my automatic thoughts. What I did one day, I took a bunch of Post It notes, and I literally wrote out several different ones. They were all of my positive affirmations. “I am happy. I am healthy. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am blessed. I’m wealthy.” All these beautiful words. I proceeded to put them everywhere within my range – my visual range, that I would see them every single day.

O: Did you do some of the work from Louise Hay?

L: I did. I did.

O: Yeah.

L: That was the other thing. I dove into a ton of self-help books – books that I already had read, but wanted to read again, books that I hadn’t read. I started listening to audios, CDs, podcasts, things like that. They were about mindset, shifting, and changing. Honestly, the number one thing that I did that really, really helped tremendously was I actually forgave myself for having allowed myself to slip into that state. I cannot emphasize enough how important that is to forgive yourself of any excess baggage, the guilt, the shame, the “What if? Why did I? Should’ve. Could have” – all of that that happens. We have to give ourselves grace as well. That is where the work really happened.

O: Right. It’s interesting. Your story sounds, in a way, parallel to mine and the steps and stages that I took on my way to recovery. Louise Hay was a huge impact in my life.

L: Yes.

O: Affirmations were a huge part of my life. With positive affirmations, the most important thing to remember is the intention behind the intention – because it’s not only what you say. It’s the way you say it. You can say, “I love you,” and you can say, “I love you.” It doesn’t translate the same way. Listeners, I encourage you to go and write down some positive affirmations. I have mine still on the mirror I have. I have a whole book – it’s a whole book with probably about 80 pages of affirmations that I gathered throughout the years. Sometimes I go and I just read them. It’s so powerful to remember that because your reptilian brain will remember the words you tell it. If you say, “You’re ugly. You’re mean. You’re this. You’re that,” your reptilian brain will believe it. Then this is gonna be your identity, even at times, where it’s not your identity, where you feel a moment of grace, you will go back to that – to all those ideas that you fed your reptilian brain.

L: Absolutely.

O: Right.

L: That is exactly what it is. It’s about reprogramming the internal dialogue. For several years, I went around saying, “I’m not talented.” I remember being ashamed of taking these other jobs. I felt ashamed by that. If you’re walking around feeling shameful and feeling guilty, how can you feel good about yourself? You can’t. And so I made a very deliberate effort to, like you said, with conviction, write out those affirmations. Write them in the present tense and say them with conviction every single day in multiple times a day. I love that you still have yours up on your mirror. I do too. I’m looking right over right now at my mirror, and one of them says, “I am healthy.” I wrote that probably four years ago, but it’s there. Over time, like you said, you do reprogram your mind. It’s a beautiful thing.

O: The worst thing to do, I think, is to say affirmations when you are in a total depressed state. This is the wrong time to say affirmations.

L: Yes.

O: Because even a person that is depressed has moments throughout their days, where they’re not. A person cannot be depressed 24/7. There are moments of smiling and moments of laughing, so you grab those times, where you feel a little bit better, and then you say the affirmations because…

L: Exactly.

O: …if you’re completely in a depleted state, then it will be hard to bring the intention. Bring yourself to an even slightly better state and then say it, so you can believe it and say affirmations that you can believe. If you don’t have a job, don’t say, “I am a billionaire.”

L: Right.

O: It won’t help. For example, if you’re broke at the moment, then just say, “I’m making more and more money every day” – something that won’t be a conflict for your conscious mind to believe in.

L: Correct. One of the other things too, which I have taught people to do, is that even though you’re not there yet, you can say things like, “When I become…” then fill in the blank. Or “It’s so wonderful now that…” You can project that into the future. Like you said, when you’re feeling aligned to do it – the time when you’re feeling ugly and don’t wanna crawl out of bed and just wanna hide under the covers, may not be the time. But like you said, you’re not depressed 24 hours, 7 days a week. There are little moments, like you said, where a little glimmer, a little shimmer, a little light comes in – just that little crack of light. All you need is that little crack – that little light at the end of the tunnel. The more and more you hold on to those moments, the healthier, the stronger, better version of yourself you will become. I’ve seen that with my clients. I’m going back even to when I did actual clinical work with people in a clinical setting – same thing. It was all about retraining the mind, retraining the thought process. It’s no different. Myself, I am a prime example of that. I mean, I know what it feels like to literally be on your knees and crying out for help and asking God to fix things and change things and not knowing what to do. I have been in that place, and I understand what it feels like. It feels awful.

O: Yes.

L: It feels absolutely awful.

O: Yes, and the beauty of this space is that the idea of finally surrendering, not from a place of weakness – from a place of faith, surrendering to higher power to guide you. Sometimes the biggest transformations arrive from a place of surrender, when you are willing to stop trying to control everything because obviously it’s not working. Just allow that higher power, higher force to take off some of that load.

L: Absolutely. Music to my ears. You’re absolutely right. There’s something very powerful about that moment, leading up to it, where you’re feeling awful, you’re feeling helpless, you’re feeling hopeless – you don’t know which end is up. You don’t know if there’s a way out, and that’s when you have the physical and emotional breakdown – the feeling of “I cannot do this anymore alone. I just can’t do this. I have to give this over to you, and I have to…” – whatever you conceive your higher power to be. I always say that to people. For me, it’s God. For some people, it’s Mother Earth or spirit or source. For me, it’s God. Handing that over to God and saying, “I can’t do this anymore on my own. I’m trying to control everything, and clearly that is not working.”

O: That’s beautiful.

L: It’s so beautiful, and “I’m just ready to surrender. I need you to show me the way.”

O: Why do you think women especially struggle with confidence?

L: Yes. It’s another one of my very passionate, passionate areas. I think quite frankly, a lot of the struggles that many women face – I do believe they’re directly correlated to the society in which they grow up. What I have found is that many of us, who are growing up in especially developed countries, wealthier countries – there’s always this standard of ideal: the standard of ideal beauty, the standard of ideal success, the standard of ideal romantic life – all these ideals that we are bombarded with from the time we are seriously in the womb. It’s coming everywhere. It’s television. It’s magazines. It’s ads. It’s billboards. It’s everything. Now, you compound that – maybe let’s say – with someone who has a difficult upbringing. Maybe there’s a love turmoil in the home. Maybe there’s substance abuse in the home. There’s just not that strong core, where the family can at least counteract those messages that we’re receiving implicitly and explicitly through the media. You compound that, and it’s a double whammy. It’s bad enough that the societal influence – but if you compound that with someone who grows up and doesn’t have a parent, who’s super supportive or has just a really difficult time growing up and having self-confidence and whatnot. It’s like a double whammy. You get to be a certain age, and you can’t help but sometimes look at yourself and think, “Why am I not as smart as, or as good as, or as thin as, or as pretty as…” I have seen this repeatedly over and over again in the lives of women that I’ve worked with in my own life, in my own family. I really do believe that’s why women struggle so much.

O: Yeah. Because everything in our surrounding, in the billboards, in the commercials, in Instagram, Facebook, any social media – there are literally filters for everything, so everybody are presenting the most beautiful life with the most flawless skin, with the most beautiful whatever. Everything is filtered, so much so that, I think especially the new generation, they are even less confident because what they see is filtered.

L: Absolutely.

O: There are a few voices here and there for women to accept themselves, just the way they are, but I think that the negative voices in our society and the ideal of perfectionism is still way louder.

L: Yes, absolutely. You know, I’ve actually done actual research around this area. I used to work for Yale University, and we worked in the research part of eating disorders. So we would see these high, high numbers of epic proportions of young women, especially at these prestigious universities, who were struggling immensely with eating disorders and body image disorders and all these kinds of things. We did a lot of research around how many messages or ads per day that the average person is actually exposed to, and it was this astronomical number of messages. Even if you don’t think that those things are infiltrating into your reptilian brain, as you said, they are. They are because energy is everywhere, and if there’s energy around us telling us or implying to us that we’re not good enough, we’re not thin enough, we’re not rich enough, we’re not smart enough – you could fill in the blank. It was almost like, “No wonder why we see this.” There’s a direct correlation. I also agree with you. I mean, I do feel badly for generations that are now just being born because, like you said, at least we may have had a blend of both living in a social media world and also having sort of that combination of real life interaction as well.

O: Right.

L: But I do feel for the newer generation. They need to know that not everything they see on their Instagram feed is what an ideal is, depending on who they’re following of course. I’m just gonna bring this up, but people following Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian and people like that and thinking that those are idols to be worshipped, and then looking at themselves and saying, “Why aren’t I thin like Kylie Jenner? Why aren’t I pretty like her?” I’m just giving that as one example. There’s a million different celebrities you could pop in there. These people have a really, really, really big impact on how we feel about ourselves, if we are not careful – if we are not, yeah…

O: I love drag queens.

L: That’s awesome.

O: I’m from Israel, and I used to hang out with a lot of them when I was in my early twenties. I love them. I love the culture. Today I saw a viral video about a 10-year-old who is a drag queen.

L: Wow.

O: Seriously. Okay. Ten-year-old who’s a drag queen, and he’s following – they introduced him to an older drag queen. I don’t know how – he’s still a child. I don’t know how much he needs to put on this heavy makeup and high heels and a wig and start performing as a drag queen. It’s almost like robbing him from their childhood or…

L: Yes.

O: I don’t know. From one hand, it’s like, yeah, I wanna be open and be really cool, but something about it was a little bit off. Maybe when he grows up just a little bit more? Maybe just have him be a child for just a little bit more?

L: Yes. Exactly. I agree with you.

O: That’s also because of media influences. He saw that something-Paul Drag Queen show. I forgot the name of it. He got really inspired, and then his mom is putting his makeup and fake eyelashes and all that. But he’s still young – so young!

L: Yeah. I mean, yeah, especially for something like that. Someone has to probably go through that sort of discovery phase of why am I doing this? Is this truly me?

O: It’s almost like sexualizing our kids at a very young age.

L: Yes. Yeah, go ahead. I’m just gonna piggyback on it.

O: It was just like yeah, yeah. I have nothing to say.

L: I was gonna say, look at the reality TV – what we call reality TV. First off, we know that anything called “reality TV” is not really real. At least, I know that, and I think you know that. I hope all the listeners know that. What you are seeing, again, is clips of pieces of people’s lives that they want you to see. I mean, you look at – there are shows like the Dance Moms or something. There’s all these shows. Like you were saying, it sort of sensationalizes, and you wonder why, like you were saying, “Why do so many young women grow up and feel like they’re not good enough and they’re confident in who they are?” Because they’re watching things like this, and they feel like – they also see the kind of behavior that happens, like the moms are going all crazy and putting the kids on diets to make sure they don’t gain weight, just so they can dance. It’s like, they are children, and I think that’s what a lot of us forget. They’re children, and they shouldn’t be put on diets from their 10 years old. They should be having fun and laughing and joking. I’ll give you a prime example. This happened the other day. I go to the gym frequently to do aquatic physical therapy for my body because ever since that car accident, that’s really the only beneficial way I can really move my body. I was in the public showers afterward, and I could tell there were young girls. I’m talking “young” like 10-year-olds. They were kind of giggling in the shower and whatnot and teasing each other. One of them said, “I’m so fat.” She was like, “Look at you guys.” She was like, “You’re so skinny. I’m fat.” I heard that, and my antennae went up, so I made it a point afterward, when I got out of the shower and was all dressed – whatever. I went out, and I saw them all kind of all – they were kids. They were 10-year-olds – 9, 10, whatever. I said to one of them, “I’m not really sure who said that they felt fat and they weren’t pretty enough. But I want all three of you to know that you are all perfect, just the way you are. You don’t have to compare yourself to each other. Be friends, and be there for each other. Don’t compare yourselves to one another. You’re really all perfect.” Honestly, even if you were to look at it from a medical standpoint, they really all were in healthy weight. Not one of them was obese or anything like that. That’s concerning. Why would a 10-year-old think that way? There’s something – there’s an influence that’s larger than life that’s coming at her.

O: Yeah. For sure. What can someone do to improve his or her confidence?

L: One of the things that I teach a lot of my clients to do is to, number one, stop comparing themselves to other people, and especially to the idols that are out there. You cannot compare yourself to someone like J.Lo or Beyonce or anyone of these people. They’ve got entourages of people working on them at all times. This is why they appear to look perfect at all times.

O: Have you seen the Beyonce one – that viral post? It says, “We all have the same 24 hours as Beyonce.”

L: Yeah, I have. I’m just like, “No.”

O: No, you don’t. She’s got probably 240 hours with the army of people around her. Yeah.

L: Exactly! It’s an entourage of people. It’s someone putting her coat on her for her. I mean, my life would feel pretty – I think I would look awesome all the time, if I had someone literally just doing everything for me. Again, I’m not taking away that she’s not talented and she didn’t work hard. I’m not in any way saying that. What I am saying though is that we cannot use that as our ideal, like what we wanna be. You can try for it, but don’t feel badly if you don’t get to that point is what I’m saying. Yeah, definitely do not compare yourself to anyone else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member that’s more successful or a friend that’s, you think, prettier. Because again, those are all subjective things. Again, that is something that I always tell people. Beauty is subjective. It truly is. Success is subjective. One person’s success may not be the same thing for somebody else, and especially at varying times in our lives. If you’re in a full-blown depression, and you don’t want to get out of bed, just getting up that day and taking a shower is a success. Do you know what I mean? I always tell people to keep things in perspective and do the best that you can with what you have right now. To continue to do that – to continue to strive to be better, but to simply also know that you’re okay the way you are. You already have within you the answers you need to truly empower yourself and to transform your life. The key is to tune in and to get silent enough that you can actually listen and trust that you can have a powerful transformation in your own life.

O: What if somebody has problem with tuning in and trusting?

L: I know. That’s a great question, and I don’t have a simple answer for that. I would say very much like you had said at the beginning – you need to have the desire to want the desire. Like you were saying, if you’re not there yet, if you can’t trust yourself yet, then at least put out into the world. Write it on paper. Make the conviction that you at least want to get to that level. Because again, this is all about choice – personal choice, and so many of us feel like we’re victims and we don’t have any choices. I would say that that is seldomly the case – seldomly. In more instances than not, we have more control – and by control, I don’t mean like making things always work out our way. But what I mean is we have the autonomy to decide for ourselves what we’re gonna do. The decisions are not necessarily easy. The decisions aren’t necessarily fun to make. Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of the two evils. But there are so many times in our lives, where we simply just accept what’s given to us and we don’t acknowledge that we do have a choice. If we are in a job that we don’t like – yes, I understand that it may be a secure position and you need the money to pay bills. Again, I’m not telling people to go on and just quit their job, however if that’s what you feel like doing, then do that, too. Do what feels right for you. But what I will say is, that at least know in the back of your mind that you’re gonna do something to make yourself move forward, to get a better job, whether that’s looking at different skills that you need to develop, whether that is putting out resumes. There’s got to be a little bit of action with the actual thought process. It’s not enough to sit back and say, “This sucks. I hate my life. I hate my job, and I want everything to be better,” and then just sit there. I wish it would work that way, but there does have to be some inspired action on our end. It’s not simply just like a Jedi mind trick or it’s, “Oh okay. Wow. That was easy. I didn’t realize I could just say it that I want to be $5 million richer.” Whatever. I always tell people to take inspired action. By inspired, for me, that has a lot of different meanings, but divinely aligned action – things that they feel good about. But getting back to your original question about how do people trust themselves if they just seem like they can’t or don’t want to – the way I would look at it. You have to first want it, as you were saying earlier. You have to want to trust yourself. Then what I do with a lot of people is I then make them find evidence in their…

O: I love that.

L: Yeah…that they are in fact trusting themselves in the everyday.

O: I just had this exercise. I had my client do it, where, “Okay, we’re gonna journal. You’re gonna journal all those times in your life, when you overcame adversity; all the times, where you achieved the impossible; and you got hurt but then you got strong again.” She did that, and man! You have to hear her. It was like, “Who are you?” She’s a completely different person. She’s actually referring to herself in the present tense. “You know, in the past, when I was feeling X, Y, that,” and the past was like four weeks ago.

L: That’s awesome!

O: I’m like, yay! Another thing that I would like to add is when somebody’s in a victim mentality, a way to get out of that is to acknowledge what it’s given you. What are you gaining from being a victim? Are you gaining more certainty because you know that – if you are a victim and you work in this lousy job, at least you know for certain that nothing worse is gonna happen. Are you gaining some variety because some of you – one day your emotions are high, and one day your emotions are low. You’re gaining some variety out of that. Does it make you more special, more significant? Meaning that, you are the most miserable person on planet Earth, therefore you are more significant. Does it create any aspect of love and connection where you have that person, that friend, that family member that you always talk to and you always complain to and they’re always there for you, nodding and saying, “Oh my god. You’re so right. You’re so right,” and they’re giving you some love and connection? Because when you have one of those needs met (certainty, variety, significance, connection, love), then you will be addicted to the pain and addicted to yourself being a victim. I don’t know how to say it – your victimhood?

L: Yeah. That’s exactly what it is. There is such a thing as being addicted to chaos. You know these people where everything is always a big deal. Their life is always scattered, and they’re just a mess. That is in and of itself – that kind of behavior is serving a purpose. That is the other thing that I teach people too – is that every single behavior – whether you view that behavior as something that is healthy or unhealthy, it serves a purpose. I love what you just said. I love what you just said about being addicted to the feeling or whatnot that you’re getting. Because if you’re getting your needs met, whether they’re through unhealthy means or a healthier way, your primary needs are still being met. For me, having them met in a positive way feels great. Knowing that people respect me because of who I am and what I stand for and what I speak about – that feels better to me than being the chaotic and being someone who’s just all over the place and then people wanna jump in and rescue you. Being a victim has a lot of benefits, like you were saying. However, there does come a time I think where you need to decide. Is this going to be your entire existence? Or are you finally gonna learn to really trust yourself and know that you’re gonna be okay no matter what?

O: It’s an attachment to the identity.

L: It is. Absolutely.

O: If your identity is that you are a chaotic, full of drama, your-life-sucks type of human being – this is your identity, your identity is exactly what I was talking about – their reptilian brain, their lizard brain. Your lizard brain will hold on to your identity until you change it. Going back to what we talked about, through positive affirmation, through increasing desire, through prayer, through connection, you will eventually change that identity to an identity that is more positive. It’s almost like exchanging versions of yourself. It can happen in a moment, like it happened with you in that public bathroom. Or it can happen throughout time. But the good thing is that if you want it, it can happen. You can change your identity into somebody, who is assertive, resourceful, powerful, confident. You can surprise yourself with the things that you can achieve.

L: Absolutely. I look at myself from a few years back, and I think, wow. I remember crying after I got fired by someone who was younger than me, less educated than me…

O: That’s so painful.

L: … meaner than I could ever be, and crying and sobbing and begging for my job back. Oh my god! Begging for my telemarketing job back. What? What kind of craziness is that? Now I look at myself, and I’m like, I don’t recognize that person anymore. I don’t know where she went, but she’s okay. She just went on her way. Because I am so different now. It’s not to say I don’t have tough times. It’s not to say I don’t have bad days. It’s not to say I have days in between where I’m feeling a little bit insecure. Of course, we’re all human; we’re all going to experience these emotions. What I am saying is that those times are less and less and far and fewer between the days, where I really truly feel good about myself, about who I am as a person, as a woman, as a businesswoman, as someone who shows up in the world. I look back on that, and I’m just – if I could just go back and hold that younger version of myself and just cradle her and say, “Oh no. You don’t need this. This is okay. This is a blessing in disguise. Stop begging. Stop begging to go back to this crappy life.” But as you were saying, we hold onto these things, so as much as I hated that job, I at least knew what to expect.

O: It was safe.

L: Yeah, it was safe.

O: It’s the fear of stepping outside of your comfort zone and the illusion that just staying there will keep you safe because there is no guarantee in life. People think, “I’m gonna go, and I’m gonna work this job for the rest of my life.” Doesn’t exist anymore. People can be in a job for 20 years, and then one day, they’re too old or something happens – change in management – and everything will shake you. Sometimes when you are afraid to get outside of your comfort zone, the universe will shake you out of your comfort zone.

L: Oh yes it will. Oh yes, it will. For that, I’m actually grateful.

O: Yeah. How do you explain that two people grew up in the same household – one became very self-destructive, and one became very successful?

L: I love your random questions. I really do because they make me think. I love it. I’ve been on other podcasts, where everything’s sort of like pre-scripted. I’m not a pre-scripted person, so I really love your interview style.

O: Thank you.

L: Yeah, for real.

O: Keep going. Tell me more. Just kidding.

L: The way that I would really look at that is first of all, we have to understand – even though they grew up in the same home, did they have the same external experiences? What were their friendships like with other peers? What were their connections like to influencers outside of that immediate family? Because certainly, especially during developmental phases and developmental years, we know that peers take precedence over parents or guardians, and that’s just a fact of life. I definitely would like to examine those two things. The other thing is that I would love to understand, if in fact there was any kind of pre-existing latent traits perhaps that were already there. Because we are born with a bit of a temperament or personality. That doesn’t mean we can’t work on those things, but we are all prone to something. Somebody else may get physically ill. Somebody else may get depressed or anxious very easily. Temperament does play a lot into that, however, I would still really want to understand what was going on outside of the home when nobody was watching or when nobody was taking notes – that kind of thing.

O: I love it.

L: Yeah.

O: I like the way you think. Yeah, it’s beautiful.

L: Thanks. Yeah, I think that’s one of the things – like for me personally, I’ve always been a very curious person by nature, so these things have always fascinated me. Sociology, psychology – all these things about how we learn, how we even perceive ourselves – all of that metacognition – all that stuff’s fascinating to me. Yeah, you have to look at everything. There’s variables of all kinds that you’re not necessarily looking at – you’re just looking at, “The parents stayed married. It seemed like a happy house. No one got in trouble,” but now who they are and they’re two different people.

O: Sometimes I wonder if any statistic is true statistic.

L: No. No, that was the first…

O: Probably not.

L: That was the first thing I learned in my statistics class – was yeah, it’s true. Statistics are basically like generalizations, and they’re simply numbers that we use to try to…

O: Wrap our understanding around something.

L: Yeah.

O: I have another question for you.

L: Yeah.

O: Where do you see the connection between confidence and visibility in business?

L: I love this question. I love it. They’re directly correlated. I just finished up doing a talk on this a little bit earlier. They’re directly correlated because when someone does not feel the confidence in themselves as a person, they will never feel confident in themselves as a businessperson, therefore they will not be willing to show up as their best selves. For me, it is always a combination of working on life and business coaching, because there’s so much underneath what we see on the external level. There’s so much more underneath that. There are thought patterns, and there’s behaviors and things of that nature. Almost every woman, I think, that I’ve ever coached, or even every client I ever worked with that was in a clinical setting, they wanted to fix what they perceived was wrong, but they didn’t want to necessarily dive into the underbelly of what was really causing that. Prime example…

O: The quick fix.

L: Yeah. Yeah.

O: Is it the blue pill or the red pill? Which one do you want?

L: Yeah, exactly. You choose. But that’s what it is. You dig in a little bit deeper, and somebody will come to me and say, “Well, I don’t have enough clients. I can’t make seem to make sales.” I say, “Okay. How are you showing up every day? Are you doing Facebook Lives? Are you putting out posts? Are you blogging? Are you writing? Are you on – whatever – interviews, tele-summits, whatnot?” Then they may say, “Not really.” “Okay, well then, let’s look at it this way. Why are you not doing those things?” Then you start to dig deeper and you’re peeling back layers, and it’s like, “I don’t know. I don’t know if people will take me seriously.” “Okay, well let’s talk about that. Why? Why aren’t people gonna take you seriously? What has happened in your life, in your childhood, in your teenage years, whatever – what has happened in your life? What experiences have you had that have made you feel that way and accept that as absolute truth?” This is what I essentially do with a lot of people that I work with. It’s not necessarily always what I do, because people are at all different levels. But it’s so important to really, really become confident in who you are as a person. Same thing – people will say, “Well, I get people on the phone, but then I’m not a good closer. I don’t know how to make a sale.” “Okay. Well, are you undervaluing your services? Are you undercharging yourself? Are you underrating your ability to have a large impact on someone’s life?” – all of those things that have to go into consideration. More often than not, it does come down to a matter of confidence – and why they’re not confident? Well, there’s just a hundred thousand various reasons why they’re not confident.

O: Yes. Well, we can talk about this topic for a very long time. There is so much to be said around the idea of confidence and helping people with confidence, but I’m taking a lot of your time now. We’re really over time, but I’m gonna ask you one more thing. What are your three top tips to living a stellar life?

L: Number one is to express gratitude every single day of your life. Every single morning, when your eyes open, and you are able to say good morning and look at the light of day, you need to say, “Thank you.” You need to express that because gratitude is by far one of the most important areas that will contribute to the enhancement of someone’s life. The more grateful they are for the things they have, the more abundant their lives become. That’s just a proven fact actually. I kid you not.

O: How is that proven?

L: How has that been proven?

O: Yeah.

L: I’ve seen it with my own eyes in my own life. I have seen it with – I’ve read a lot of metaphysical kinds of books – things like that. Hey, maybe those statistics are a bit stretched on those things, but it does work. It does work. I would challenge people to actually do this. If you don’t think it will work, I would challenge you – sit down every day and write 10 things that you’re grateful for. These are things that I do. I’m grateful that I get to get up every single morning. Before I do anything – my eyes open. I literally get out of bed. When my right foot goes down, I say, “Thank,” and when my left foot goes down, it’s “you.” I look up and I say, “God.” “Thank you, God.” That’s it. That is the exact phrase I say every morning when I wake up because somewhere someplace in some city, right next door, whatnot, someone else went to bed last night and did not wake up this morning.

O: Goosebumps.

L: Yeah. We have to take that into perspective. We take our lives for granted. We take the simplest of things for granted. The fact that we have running water and we can go to the bathroom and brush our teeth. The fact that we can then go to the kitchen and make ourselves breakfast. The fact that we have a free society, a free people, and can actually do these things without intense government scrutiny. There are people all over the world who would die literally, and are dying for those very same freedoms. I don’t take anything for granted. The fact that I can actually breathe every single day and I can see everyday and that my heart is beating every single day, those are all things that I’m incredibly grateful for. That is how my meditations are structured in the morning. It is all about gratitude. Again, sometimes we’re looking for these big miracles to happen and I challenge people to say that every single small thing that happens to you throughout the course of the day is a miracle. The fact that you get into a car and you drive somewhere, not only do you get there safely but you come back home and you’re safe, that is a miracle. That is a miracle that we don’t even think about because we get in the car, we complain about traffic, we moan and groan about this, that, and the other thing, lined at the store. Well, things could be a whole hell of a lot worse. That is by far the number one thing to living a stellar life, to be grateful. Not for just the big, big materialistic things but for the very, very essential things of life. The heartbeat, the lungs that breathe, these things. Then again, I challenge people to use these things when they say I don’t really have much to be grateful for, I’ve lost my job, I’ve done this. I’m like you know what, the fact that you’re still breathing and talking tells me you have something to be grateful for.

O: It’s almost like training a muscle. Somebody that experienced something really painful, at that moment, it’s hard to focus on gratitude. Start being grateful for the very little things, it’s almost like a muscle that you train.

L: Yup, and it gets bigger and it gets bigger and bigger. You visualize and you go wow, oh my god. Same thing with business. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to start a business, be grateful that you have the opportunity to create something new. People all over the world don’t have those same freedoms. They’re not allowed to do those things, their government tells them they can’t, or their culture tells them they can’t. Be grateful for what you do have, most definitely. Number two for me is definitely living life with integrity. For me, that is a very, very big thing.

O: What does integrity mean for you?

L: Integrity for me is the ability to do the right thing even when somebody else is not watching.

O: I’m sorry, I just saw an article. It says that people that turn their carts at the supermarket, you know some people just leave it in the middle of the parking lot and some people take it all the way, the people that take it all the way and put it in the right place are usually happier, more joyful, and more successful people.

L: There you go, there’s your proof. Just living a life of integrity, not trying to pull a fast one at anybody, not trying to cheat anybody, not stealing, not lying, basically the 10 Commandments, pretty much. Just more of a generalized. You don’t do unto others what they would do unto you. As a person, as a business woman, I’m always going to be that way. I’ve already stayed at that. It’s my will and testament. That is who I am, I live by those standards. You can ask anybody. I drive my boyfriend crazy. One time, we went to the grocery store and I only buy organic food. The clerk didn’t ring me out for organic apples, she charged me for regular apples. They were like $3 cheaper. I was kind of like well, it’s kind of pretty cool, I caught a break and I get an extra $3. And then I was like wait a minute, and then that little conscience thing in the background, “What if she gets in trouble for that? What if they’re tallying up stuff and she gets in trouble?” Therefore, I said to him turn the car around, cause I found out once we were in the car, and I was looking at the receipt. “I need to tell her that she didn’t charge me correctly.” He was like are you serious? I’m like yes. That is how I live my life. I feel as though that has provided me just more happiness and satisfaction in general. I go to bed with a clear conscience at night.

O: Great. What is your third tip to living a stellar life?

L: Continuously push yourself to learn new things and to try new things without fear of failure, or if you do have the fear, do it anyway. Recognize that sometimes, even when you imagine the worst case possible scenario, if you can live with that, then I say do it. If the worst case possible scenario in your mind were to come true, would you still be okay? That’s how I do it for myself. The worst case possible scenario, what can happen if I do this one thing? What can happen if I reach out to this one person? What can happen if I talk to this person and they say no? Is that going to be the end of me? More times than not, the answer is no. Therefore, I push through it. It’s either to constantly be in a state of evolution and learning new things and wanting to try new things even though you’re afraid to do it.

O: Beautiful. That was an inspiring and powerful conversation. I am totally in appreciation and gratitude for you. I know that you have a gift for our audience, what is your gift that you wanna give us? Where can people find you?

L: Absolutely. What I would love to give to your audience, based on the conversation we just had, it just came to me. I have created this incredible journalling activity. The title for it is called The Empowered Woman’s Guide To Thriving In Life And Business. It will walk you through a variety of exercises and whatnot, some journaling prompts. I’ve used that a lot with clients, I’ve used it a lot even with my own life when I was in transition, and probably will use it again. I will provide a link for that. To connect with me, I love meeting new people, you can go to my website which is positivetransformation.net. Of course, because visibility is my thing, if you want to just put my name into Google, Lisa Marie Pepe, I promise you I will show up on all the social media profiles, feel free to reach out, say hello, connect with me on any one of them.

O: Awesome. Thank you so much, Lisa Marie.

L: You are so welcome, thank you.