Want to know how to make overwhelm a thing of the past? Listen as resilience master, Jackie Simmons shares her secret sauce to thrive, and be resilient, no matter what happens in your live.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Make Overwhelm a Thing of the Past" you will discover..
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Jam-packed with smart, easy, and simple ideas, Book Marketing Mentors features experts who share proven techniques to add power and zest to supercharge your book marketing plan. Hosted by Susan Friedmann, CSP, international bestselling author, and founder of Aviva Publishing, this exciting podcast aims to rev up your marketing efforts with fewer struggles, and more success. Start listening today and discover how to get noticed in a crowded marketplace.
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to book marketing mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books today. My special guest is a resilience master, Jackie Simmons believes we're designed to bounce, not break, but sometimes we forget and that creates overwhelm. From her perspective of 30 plus years in the stress management field, Jackie knows that adopting this one belief immediately increases your focus, productivity and joy. Thriving, even during challenging times is something Jackie believes we're all entitled to. Using fun stories, simple systems, and easy to follow game plans, Jackie's clients shift into effective action, banishing overwhelm for good. Imagine your life lived with the confidence that overwhelm with a thing of the past. Wow, Jackie was an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Jackie Simmons: Thank you, Susan. That was lovely. And I love the fact that you have authors that are looking for ways to get their messages into the world, because I think that this is the age of the messenger.
Susan Friedmann: I love that. That gave me goosebumps when you said that. That was really nice. Yes, it's all about the message. I talk about, so often the idea that the book is just a vehicle for the message and the so many other ways that this message can be delivered. I have to start here and that is that whole idea of overwhelm being a thing of the past. We absolutely have to talk about that because we don't want overwhelm to overwhelm us. So talk to us about how we can make that something that is a past event, not a present or a future one.
Jackie Simmons: A lot of the sense of overwhelm simply comes from the fact that we've forgotten that we're resilient. We've forgotten that we know how to balance, that we are completely creative, capable, and resourceful enough to manage our own lives. We've forgotten the basic truths of living. So once we start remembering them, simple things like whatever I get done is enough. Simple statements that once you realize that it's always been true, that whatever you've gotten done was enough, just like everything you've done to this moment was good enough. And when you start embracing these beliefs, overwhelm goes away because what's done is done and now I can do something better. What most struggle with is admitting that something is done and then being willing to do something better. Because they're still struggling thinking they're not done with it because it's not perfect. So they really don't ever get to a point where they can judge it as good enough.
Susan Friedmann: And that's what's going through my mind as you're saying that Jackie is that I'm thinking, yeah, but there's more to do. And you're right. It's that not good enough syndrome that keeps invading the thoughts, that head trash that goes on. I mean, we're bombarded with so many messages and things that we think that we have to do. Can you address that a little bit?
Jackie Simmons: I call it Shouldville. Shouldville Is that place you go when you should on yourself. I should have done something more. I should be doing something different than what I'm doing. I should, I should. Or I shouldn't have, you can make it about the past and it gets worse because we don't just should on ourselves. We should on other people. Shouldville is this really sprawling kind of place, it's actually getting bigger because it's where we go when this language comes into our head, the sense that produces overwhelm is attached to guilt and it's attached to shame and it's attached to judgment. Harsh, heavy judgment. Shouldville is a dark, dank place where lives get lived and dreams go to die.
Susan Friedmann: Oh my goodness. I don't want to go there, but I know that I've been there and I occasionally visit Shouldville unfortunately, as I'm sure many of our listeners do, but I love that.
Jackie Simmons: I had country club property. And that's the place you don't want country club property. But yeah, I mean, I had my own section of town. I actually wrote about it in a book called Make It a Great Day: The Choice Is Yours, which is a book of inspiring stories for teens to help them break the silence. Actually it's for adults but we said it was for teens. It's about breaking the silence on negative thinking. Because once we do that, we don't get caught in the negative echo chamber.
Susan Friedmann: The negative echo chamber. I just love that. And I'd love you to talk about resilience because, and I know you mentioned it in what you just said earlier, but the idea that you call yourself a resilience master. I really want to know more about what does that really mean?
Jackie Simmons: It means for over 30 years, I've been studying how to permanently resolve and get rid of mental and emotional blocks. How to deal with limiting beliefs. I call them your elephants, how to tame those. And it starts with the awareness to name them, to understand what's happening in your mind and then to use simple strategies to tame them. And we'll talk about a couple of those today because that's what I'm so excited to share about. I have two strategies to share with everyone on how do you tame an elephant?
This is how you thrive. Thriving looks like being in control. Oh, by the way, the elephant is a universal metaphor in the psychology community and the psychological community for your subconscious mind, for the limbic brain, which is where all decisions and all actions take place. The challenge is that words don't exist in the limbic brain. They exist only in the neocortex. We try to influence people with our words and the reality is we can't even influence ourselves with our words. The only thing that matters is the emotion. And that's why authors are so special with their messages because when they can tell the story in a way that touches people's emotions, they won't have to worry about selling their books. People will want to buy them.
Susan Friedmann: Well, it's all about those stories and those messages that are captured within those stories. You're absolutely right. And just listening to you saying that I'm like, oh, I want more. You have this way, this beautiful way of getting people to want more. Let's start with those strategies before we go down any other avenues. Let's make sure that our listeners know what those strategies are. So take it away.
Jackie Simmons: The set of four paths out of Shouldville is the first strategy because we all drive through Shouldville At some point, sometimes we're just driving through and that's great, but we can also get stuck there. And the minute we get stuck thinking that we should have done something else or we're judging other people, they should or shouldn't have done what they did, the energy drains. To get it back, it starts by taking active control of that judgment making machine inside your head and making a judgment about money. Now my favorite one is time. So we'll start with time and then we'll get to money.
The first judgment, which puts you on the path out of Shouldville is to judge every second you have ever lived as well lived. Even if you would not choose to live a second that way today. Now the shortcut for me on the wall would be no time is ever wasted, but the subconscious mind does not hear the negative. It doesn't hear anything with the word, no. So if you put that on your wall, what your subconscious mind is going to hear is time is wasted. Not a good idea. Better to say, every second I have ever lived was well lived even if I would not choose to live a second that way today.
Susan Friedmann: When people come to the end of their lives, and then they talk about either that lived life well, they regret that they didn't do certain things in their life.
Jackie Simmons: This is a preventative for regret. This is regret prevention because you don't regret anything, not a second of your life if you absolutely judge it as having been well lived. Once you judge your past as having been well lived, you start coming into your present day with the energy of I am living well.
Susan Friedmann: And I'm writing all of this down because these are such words of wisdom, they're so golden. What it reminds me of, and it shocked me, one of the things that I asked my mother before she passed away was how she considered her life. She said she loved every part of it, but she went through so many struggles. She was a Holocaust survivor, she lost all her family, she never showed that bitterness about that. I know there were many secrets that weren't talked about, but the fact is that she was happy with her life. And I was like, wow, that's so beautiful.
Jackie Simmons: It is. And it is not the way I was raised. Bitterness and long suffering were part of my upbringing and volatility. So I didn't get these skills growing up. I got them by going on the journey and I'll be honest. I did not go on this journey to go save the world. I went on this journey because I was struggling with depression. Clinical depression is not an elephant that I think anyone needs to be carrying because you don't ride this elephant, this one you carry. Or at least I did. Finding a path out of depression for myself and Shouldville, dark and dank is a very depressing place to live. Finding my way out of Shouldville was really me finding my way out of depression. And the search for a permanent cure is what led me into western medicine, eastern healing, arts, even mediation. I'm a transformative mediator by training. And finally into putting the pieces together through people I met and the society of emotional intelligence.
And I realized that that was the missing piece. Just like there are four truths to get on the path out or Shouldville. And we've talked about one of them. We'll get to the other three in just a minute. The truth that I needed to embrace to come out of depression was that the mythology of body, mind and spirit was incomplete for me. It needed for me to be body, mind, spirit and emotions. And I don't think we give enough credit to our emotional guidance system in this country. We think it's all in our thinking and it's not. It's all in our feeling.
Susan Friedmann: Well I think one of the things is that we don't want to show our emotions, especially being scared or worried. We put on a face that our emotions are all in order and things are wonderful.
Jackie Simmons: You want to know the fastest path to overwhelm?
Susan Friedmann: Tell me.
Jackie Simmons: Don't show your emotions. Don't let yourself feel them.
Susan Friedmann: Interesting. Okay. Let's go down a few more paths. This gets very deep. Right now, I'm like I'm scaring myself, let alone scaring our listeners. You talked about judging time. How about the money side of it which I know scares people a lot?
Jackie Simmons: The way that I first said it and then realized that it was causing the opposite was when I said to myself, no penny I have ever spent was wasted. Yeah, no money I've ever spent with my state. And I thought that was a great idea, except that the subconscious mind doesn't get the negative. So I was actually reinforcing an idea that money was wasted. Not good. Flipping that around, I came up with every penny I had ever spent was well spent, even if I would not choose to spend a penny that way today. And this was a huge shift for me when it came to my relationship with money.
And we all have a relationship with money, whether we think we do or not. Money is energy in tangible form. And so we have this energetic relationship and some of us have a lot of a repelling energy when it comes to money and we don't know why, or at least I didn't. So I started realizing that it was because I had been raised with a lot of limiting beliefs about money that were never spoken. And this is important. Emotional meanings are caught, not taught. It's not what our parents, our teachers, our family, our environment, not what the words were, but the emotions were around money that we learned from. We caught our relationship with money from the energy that other people had around money growing up. Not [crosstalk 00:14:13].
Susan Friedmann: And that's surprising. It's like, I never realized it. But when I recall sort of things that were said at home, money doesn't grow on trees and you can't have everything you want and there's this reluctance [inaudible 00:14:32], yeah but we still ...
Jackie Simmons: If I have everything I want, does that make my mama a liar, if she told me you can't have everything you want? This is the complicated stuff that goes on in our heads. So we don't ever allow ourselves to be satisfied, happy with what we have, which by the way, is fastest path to get more of what you want, is to decide that you're happy with what you have. It is that judging everything is good enough.
Susan Friedmann: My husband is fabulous at that. It always amuses me because his upbringing and his family's relationship to money was so opposite to mine. Talk about opposites attracting. When I hear him say things like that, I'm like, wow, that's beautiful. I wish I could feel that way.
Jackie Simmons: It starts with making the decision. And this is a decision to decide Susan that every penny you have ever spent was well spent even if you would not choose to spend a penny that way today. Now this often ties into one of the next steps. So there are four, there are four truths that put you on the path out of Shouldville. We've talked about two of them and there are two more. So we talked about time. We talked about money. The third one is about knowledge. And this one got me into trouble when I first said it, because it was no word I've ever read was useless. And I've read my share of some trashy stuff. I had an argument going on in my head. Finally, I flipped it. And when I flipped it, I found that I was really deeply connected to my grandfather, the preacher, because here's how it comes out. Every word I've ever read, every word a teacher ever said was useful even if I don't agree with it.
Susan Friedmann: I love that.
Jackie Simmons: And from that energy, all of a sudden, I had permission to pick up a book, read one page and put the book down and maybe never pick it up again, because everything I read is useful. And when it comes to marketing your book or marketing anything online, finding things online that you disagree with and writing about it and then tagging it back first to the person you're arguing with, hey, you wrote this and it was wonderful. And there's this one part that I think there's something else that could be added, great front-end line. And people love it when you pay attention to their articles on LinkedIn. And then when you're writing your answer, you can just put in there one line. As I wrote in my book, yada, yada, and you give your response. And now you both made the original author happy because they've gotten more activity and you've gotten to promote your book in a way that's totally in alignment with helping people.
Susan Friedmann: Yeah. You're adding to existing knowledge, which is always nice. And you're right, because people are always like, oh, somebody read my book. That's really nice. And you sort of feel flattered by that. That ego starts getting in the way, which I don't know if you want to touch on that at all, but let's get to the fourth one because I don't want to run out of time and then find out, oh my goodness, we've got another one. Give us another path out of Shouldville.
Jackie Simmons: The fourth one got me a lot of pushback because when I first said it out loud, I said, no person I've ever met was evil. And I got pushback both from my guy who was born in 1945 and very much grew up in the post Holocaust world. He said, there are evil people in the world. And I had some other people who had experienced horrific things, totally independent of anything historically relevant other than to them and their families. And they were like, nah, there are evil people in the world. And I'm like, okay, let's talk about people because other people, oh, by the way, this is my favorite elephant in the world.
His name is Joe. Joe is the elephant that is completely made up of other people's judgements, opinions and expectations. I know I'm riding Joe when I'm not feeling peaceful, when I've forgotten that it's my life, that I can direct my own thinking, my own thoughts. So Joe. Other people's judgements opinions and expectations. And I had to find a way to reconcile this idea that I had lived most of my life based on trying to meet other people's opinions and expectations, totally trying to avoid other people's negative judgments. Turning that around, ended up just accepting every person I have ever met enriched my life in some way, even if I would not choose to spend a second with that person today.
Susan Friedmann: I love that line at the end of it. It's just a reminder. Yeah, you went there, you met this person or this thing happened, but it doesn't mean that I have to repeat this.
Jackie Simmons: And what it did for me was free me from a lot of the PTSD type triggers from my past. Because once I said they enriched my life in some way, even if I would not choose to spend a second with them today, I realized that each time that I was reliving that past hurt in my head, I was actually spending more time with that person. And I didn't have to.
Susan Friedmann: Just for our listeners, Jackie, talk about the PTSD, but I think so many people think of it and relate it to any kind of combat, military, but you're talking about it in a whole different way. Would you explain it from your sense of what that means?
Jackie Simmons: PTSD type triggers are anything, they can be a sight, a smell, a random feeling, a weather change, which is true for one of the veterans I work with. Closed in weather, like before a storm, would trip him back immediately into the cave where he had been trapped to the point, trapped that if he took a breath, he could be discovered and killed. He had this really big, and that's what most people think of, they think of combat PTSD. But my client who I wrote 50 Years In An Invisible Jail, once he resolved his triggers, he got his life back. But for 50 years he could be just standing on his porch and wham, all of a sudden he's taken out of context and he's reliving an automobile accident that occurred when he was eight years old. That's another huge horrific event that comes with physical pain.
The three things that cause us to retain a triggerable negative event are the feeling of helplessness, the experience of physical pain and the experience of immobility, if our muscles cannot move in response to whatever's going on. This is written about, and a lot of really smart people have written about it in their books, but Waking the Tiger is a really good book by Dr. Peter Lavonne. That explains the muscle and if you can move your muscles, you don't tend to get trapped. And that's a big deal because here's what happens when we're little. Something occurs where we cannot stay emotionally present because it's happening too fast, it's too confusing, it's too intense or heaven forbid, too painful. And the little child just doesn't have any cognitive ability. I mean your prefrontal cortex isn't built out yet. Certainly not fully developed. That doesn't happen until you're over 24.
The kid does its best to cope. And what usually happens is that the memory gets caught up and there must be something wrong with me because otherwise this wouldn't be happening to me. It's the rationalization of a child. And because the only thing they've got. They can't make the adult wrong Susan, and in this is one of the biggest aha moments for me is when I figured this one out, and it came out of a workshop with a shaman, Shaman Ross, many years ago. The child cannot make the adult wrong because viscerally from an evolutionary standpoint, we know if you leave me, I will die. So the child cannot make the adult wrong. In order to make sense of the world, the child begins to believe there must be something wrong with me. And in my opinion, that pokes a hole in their soul. And then eventually for me, I was kind of feeling Swiss cheese by the time I was an adult.
And I couldn't put enough joy, success, anything into the top of me, I couldn't fill up my bucket because it all just leaked out through these holes and other people's crappy attitudes seeped in. And that was the vision that I finally came up with that allowed me to go on the quest to find the things that would undo that. Not put patches on it. There's a lot of BandAid techniques. And trust me, BandAid techniques have their place. If I get triggered by something right before I'm going to go on a stage, I want a BandAid to stop that. I don't need to go do any work around it. I just need to put a BandAid on it, pause it, I'll talk to you later kind of attitude. And then I can go back and go and present. So BandAid strategies have their place and I think everyone needs several, but the real work is super simple. It's those four truths that put me on the path out of Shouldville and they keep me out.
Susan Friedmann: I love it. And there's just so much there. Oh my goodness. I'm just like trying to write notes and take it all in and think about our listeners and what they need to go through maybe if they've got some things that are holding them back from being who they really need to be so that they can deliver their message to their audience, to their niche. Jackie, if our listeners wanted to find out more about how to contact you and learn more about getting out of Shouldville, how can they do?
Jackie Simmons: I actually have a gift for your listeners Susan. The reality of life today is that many people are creating marketing training programs based on other people need to get to know like, and trust you before they will buy from you. Have you heard of that?
Susan Friedmann: Somewhere, somebody mentioned that, I think, yeah.
Jackie Simmons: It's really common. And on one hand, it's true. And on the other hand, it misses a big key component that I think is the underpinnings of why most marketing messages are not landing out in the marketplace. They're not getting responded to. It's because the person sending the message may not realize they're struggling with knowing, liking and trusting themselves. So I created an assessment that helps you get to understand how well you know yourself, how well you like yourself and how well you trust yourself. And then what you can do to improve those numbers. We call it the KLT, know, like and trust factor assessment.
When you can get to know like, and trust yourself even just a little bit, other people respond because they sense the trustworthiness that you have with yourself. But when we're sending marketing messages out from the energy of, I'm not good enough, I don't think I'm ready for this. Who's going to buy this anyway? Why would anybody listen to me? All of this liturgy that belongs in Shouldville and by the way, that's sort of what plays on the radio station of Shouldville all the time. It's why you want out of there as fast as you can get. When you're sending marketing messages from that energy they're not received well because people don't feel like you're in integrity and they don't even know why. It's not a conscious thought. Remember, all decisions are made emotionally.
Susan Friedmann: Well, that's a wonderful gift that you're giving our listeners and they always like gifts. And how can they actually get it?
Jackie Simmons: They go to a website that is my philosophy for living. And the website is youcantdoitwrong.com.
Susan Friedmann: Excellent. And I'll put that in the show notes, Jackie. If you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?
Jackie Simmons: You can't do it wrong and neither can anyone else. When you are tending to look at other people and judging them, judge them as being good enough. You're going to make up a story about them anyway so my invitation is to consciously make up the kindest story that you can.
Susan Friedmann: So nice and such words of wisdom. Oh my goodness listeners, you have been treated here. We have so many people who treat you so well, sharing so generously, their wisdom. So thank you, Jackie. Thank you so much. And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book marketing success.