Just Keep Going w/ Anne Livingston

Adrienne MacIain 0:00

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the That's Aloud podcast. This is your hostess Adrienne MacIain, and today we are here with Anne Livingston. Welcome, Anne. Please introduce yourself.

Anne Livingston 0:12

Yes, my name is Anne Livingston. And it's funny, because I've evolved so much over the last few years that it's like, I have to remember, like, who am I introducing myself as today, you know, like, which version of myself am I today? And I'm really an author. I really, for the last six and a half years I was a coach, I was a mentor, I was on my own spiritual journey. I actually started coaching six and a half years ago in the health and wellness arena, and then that evolved into spiritual mindset coaching as I was entering into my own spiritual awakening, and really helping my clients with their mindset and the stories that were holding them back, you know, their limiting beliefs. And then from there, I am a natural writer, I've loved writing my entire life. And I was sharing my story authentically on social media and through blogs, and I had people saying to me, I can't wait until you write your book. And I was like, that's so interesting, because I didn't know I was writing a book, but...

Adrienne MacIain 1:03


Anne Livingston 1:04

Yeah, right? But people were really, I was receiving a lot of messages over the years saying that they really connected with my story, they connected with things that I had gone through, and how I was really choosing to rise above contrasts. And I realized there was only so much I could do with mentoring people or telling people certain things online, I was saying the same thing over and over and over again. And I was like, Okay, I do need to write a book, which is the first book of my three book series, so that when someone asks, How did you do this, how did you go from point A to point B, I can say, here's my story. It's all in there. So I'm really an author, speaker, storyteller, mentor, nomad. I was an intuitive Nomad for the last three years, which is a huge part of my story, and here I am.

Adrienne MacIain 1:52

Okay. So I'll just throw this next question out there and see what it sparks in you. What's the story you're not telling?

Anne Livingston 2:03

Hmm. Because I tell so much of my story, I would say the story that I oftentimes put to the wayside is my story as a teacher. Sometimes when I introduce myself, I do say, you know, I started off as an early childhood educator, and I was a teacher for seven years. And that is a piece of my identity, but you know, when you look at the fact that I'm 38 right now, and so you look at 38 years, like which piece of your story do you pull out and tell people which becomes so much of your identity? Right? I would say that the piece of my story that I really kind of laid down to rest would be I was an elementary school teacher for seven years. When I lived in Gainesville, Florida, I was in a band, I played electric violin in a band for seven years. That was kind of my old identity that I don't feel... it informs who I am, of course, but it's not really what I put forward to everyone else.

Adrienne MacIain 3:02

Let me let me ask it a different way. What do you think is a story that isn't told enough? In our world today?

Anne Livingston 3:10

Oh, well, I know how to answer that one.

Adrienne MacIain 3:13

You might like that one better.

Anne Livingston 3:16

You like, like, take different questions out of a hat. Which one?

Adrienne MacIain 3:20

Which is gonna break her open? Let's see. What do I got here?

Anne Livingston 3:23

The story that's not told enough is actually the reason I wrote my book. Is because when I hit my first rock bottom in 2016, which was my my partner at the time was overseas for an internship. I was severely codependent. I was really struggling with him being gone and I ended up very cliche you know, Eat Pray Love style on my bathroom floor sobbing, praying to a god I didn't have a relationship with. I think many of us have that level of a story, right? I was like, hey, am I Elizabeth Gilbert? And so that catapulted me into my spiritual awakening, it catapulted me into my dark night of the soul. And I went on this journey of learning how to love myself. And I was sharing very publicly online because that's what I was doing, sharing publicly online, talking about the fact that I didn't realize I was codependent, I didn't realize that I was putting all of my happiness into my partner, I didn't realize that I didn't know how to love myself, I didn't realize that I was an alcoholic. I didn't I didn't realize all these things about myself. And I had people coming back at me. They were uncomfortable with how vulnerable I was being. Right? And so I was fine with the fact that I was being vulnerable because I was like, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who's ever experienced this, let me show you what's happening. And they were like, Are you okay talking about that?It's like all of a sudden there's this pity, right, as people kind of want to shut me up a little bit. And then I started also getting backlash from certain family members saying, I think you're crying a lot. I think you're crying a little too much. I think maybe you should go to the doctor. I think maybe you should get checked out for depression. I think maybe there's something wrong with your thyroid. And I was like, I'm pretty sure that I'm unpacking 34 years of limiting beliefs, and I'm just crying because I actually have never learned how to feel my feelings, and now it's all coming out. And I realized people don't actually know what the healing process looks like. And there's so much shame around what we experience behind closed doors and within our four walls, and I was like, I, at that point, I couldn't find another book, another podcast, another teacher, who was actually saying what I was experiencing. And again, I was like, I know I'm not the only person who's ever experienced this. And I don't want anyone else to ever feel like they're alone in that process. And so I was like, All right, I'm gonna write it, then I'm going to be as open as possible. And so I had to heal a lot of my shame, obviously, in order to put it out publicly. But that was a huge piece, is that people aren't talking about what healing actually looks like.

Adrienne MacIain 6:03

Yeah. So, beautiful. So we have in your Hero's Journey story, we have a separation, right? So you've been separated from your tribe here. They're saying, I don't get what's going on with you. You're crying a lot. It's freaking me out. You're being way too vulnerable. You've got the separation. So the next stage is initiation. So what did you do to get initiated into this higher wisdom?

Anne Livingston 6:29

Hired a coach. I hired a mentor. I was very self-aware at that point, I mean, I'm still self-aware, but I was very self-aware at that point. I was like, Okay, I understand what I'm doing, and why I'm doing it. I just can't figure out how to stop doing what I'm doing. And so I was working with the coach at the time. And that's when I really started to unpack a lot of that stuff. When I was in the depths of that darkness, I started to take action on, I was already working out, I was already nourishing my body, but I wasn't meditating much. I wasn't really spending a lot of time with myself. And so I started implementing meditation. And I really struggled with that, because it was very uncomfortable for me to sit alone with myself. And I was talking to a friend at the time, and she said, or I said to her, I don't want to meditate. And she asked why. And I said, Because I keep crying. She said, Well, you have to, like, you won't always cry. At some point, the tears will stop, but you have to keep showing up and doing that. So I did. And then the last piece that I did, which really transformed things for me, was I started looking at what are things that I enjoy doing in my life that don't require money or other people. Where do I become really aligned with my passion? And what can I do that makes me feel really alive and feel that level of joy again that isn't dependent on my partner to be right there. And so I started going out for walks and sitting under trees and cooking and knitting and writing. And I was like, Wow, I actually have all of these interests. But I had forgotten that I had those interests, because I was so focused on all the things outside of me.

Adrienne MacIain 8:13

So the tide starts to turn. Things are going better. Right? Was there a kind of moment where you realized kind of looking back like, Wait, things are better now?

Anne Livingston 8:37

So I've had, obviously, moments. We have milestones, right? We have different milestones. But I would say the first major milestone that I had, was, there was a morning, I was getting ready, I had gotten dressed, I was finishing like the last little pieces of getting ready, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and for the first time, I didn't pick myself apart. I experienced genuine love in my body and I started crying, because I was like, I have never felt that way about myself. And so it was that like, Oh my god. At that point I didn't have the awareness of what I was doing that was working, I just knew that whatever I was doing was working.

Adrienne MacIain 9:22

Right, yeah. So what were the specific routines or things that you kind of put in place at that time that have continued on?

Anne Livingston 9:33

So, I stick with the body mind and soul routine and I work on that with my clients too. So it's, you know, working out every single day. If it's a rest day, maybe it's stretching or yoga or going for a walk, something, still some form of movement. And then nourishing my body. I am very intentional about what I put in my body food-wise and drinking lots of water. I stopped drinking. And then the mind piece is meditation, filling my mind with positive thoughts. Not bypassing, you know, not like affirming things that I don't believe to be true, because I think that there's definitely a way to do that that is not helpful. But I listen to certain podcasts, I read certain books, I don't watch a lot of, like, I watch barely any television. And that's by choice, you know, because I know what I feel like when I numb out in those ways. And then the soul piece is doing something, at least one thing every single day, where I feel deeply connected to myself. And some of these things overlap, right. So like, the body and the soul might overlap. When you move your body you're going to feel more connected to yourself. Like, if you're going out for a run, you're gonna feel pretty aligned and pretty euphoric. When you're meditating, right, of course you're going to feel deeply connected to your higher power. So they do overlap. But that's the core, that's like the foundation of what has continued in my life.

Adrienne MacIain 10:52

Beautiful. Who do you think needs to hear this?

Anne Livingston 10:58

Everyone. But I think specifically moms. I mean, I have worked with a lot of moms. I don't, like, market myself as a mom mentor or anything. But I do, I have worked with a lot of moms, because what I find is that mothers put all of their love into their children. And it makes a lot of sense, right? So I'm not knocking moms, but it's like you give all of your power, you put all of your time, you put all of your focus into this other human being. And so many mothers out there have said to me, I don't even know what I like anymore, I have forgotten. I have forgotten what my interests are. And so when I help them with that routine, when they start implementing that, it transforms everything. They feel way more connected to themselves, they feel more joyful, they show up as a better mother, they show up as a better spouse or partner. And they start to realize that they can't actually show up for other people in the most authentic and loving and compassionate way unless they have had some time to themselves first.

Adrienne MacIain 12:06

What do you think is the first step?

Anne Livingston 12:11

Deciding. To really decide that you're going to make time for it, because you have to decide, ultimately, to not make excuses, to not put it off, to not you know, whatever it may be. So I think just deciding, and maybe even before deciding having the awareness and being honest with yourself about what you're not doing.

Adrienne MacIain 12:34

Yeah. Can you say more about that?

Anne Livingston 12:38

Yeah. Yeah, so I think like you can't make any changes in your life until you're aware of it. Right? If you don't even know that it's happening, if you don't even know that you're putting yourself on the back burner, or if you don't even know that you're constantly lashing out at your partner because you feel like they are somehow responsible for your happiness. If you don't understand or have the awareness that you're doing these things, period, or why you're doing these things, then you won't make the change and if you even attempt to make the change, then it's not going to stick. It's kind of like trying to lose weight because you think that you will somehow be happier once you lose 10 pounds. But if you don't know why you're not happy in the first place, it doesn't matter if you lose 10 pounds, you're still not going to be happy. Same thing with the money, right? It's anything external. It's all codependent relationships. You can be codependent with money, you can be codependent with alcohol, you can be codependent with relationships, you can be codependent with social media. It's anything outside of you that you try to use to fill that void.

Adrienne MacIain 13:42

Yeah. So it sounds like self-acceptance or self-awareness is awareness is actually the first step.

Anne Livingston 13:48

Sure. Yeah.

Adrienne MacIain 13:49

So how do you cultivate that self-curiosity?

Anne Livingston 13:54

I started asking myself like, Why are things happening the way they're happening? I just started to really slow down. So, for instance, in my relationship at that time, I realized that I was constantly starting arguments. And I didn't really know why. And I realized that jealousy was coming up, and lack of trust was coming up. And I realized that all of these patterns that were coming up I had experienced in the relationship before that, and the relationship before that, and the relationship before that. And I had to start looking at the fact that, you know, did my partners have their own things to work on? Absolutely. There are two people in a relationship and we all have our own journey. But I had to take personal responsibility for the fact that I was the common denominator. And so if I'm the common denominator, then something is going on within me. And then I had to be honest with myself too, and say If I don't know how to do this, then I need to hire someone who can help me. I need to get a mentor, I need to get a coach, I need to get support, because clearly there are experts out there who have done this and know how to help me, so why am I trying to do this on my own?

Adrienne MacIain 15:02

Absolutely. And when I was an executive assistant, my boss used to always say "It may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility." And that really stuck with me. And I'm writing my second book right now, so I was just working on this earlier today, talking about that common denominator and recognizing who was in all those relationships? This guy. So it may not be your fault that these things are happening, but it's still your responsibility to become aware of that pattern and do everything that you can to change you.

Anne Livingston 15:39


Adrienne MacIain 15:40

You can't change anybody else, much as you might want to, much as you might try.

Anne Livingston 15:45

And honestly, like, going along that, I started realizing that everything I was trying to fix in my partner I was actually avoiding in myself. And so when I started looking at Why am I trying to fix these behaviors in him? Why am I trying to control how much he drinks? Maybe I need to take a look at how much I am drinking. And I really had to point the finger back at myself, because I was like, I need to look at that first.

Adrienne MacIain 16:13

Yeah. It's really interesting, I've been talking a lot about boundaries lately, and the difference between a boundary and an ultimatum or a threat. And one thing I've noticed is that what happens a lot of the time is we think, Oh, my partner's being so mean, or unfair, or whatever it is. But it's really just because they're not giving you what you were hoping for. Right? And so maybe they don't have that to give you. And that may not be their fault, either.

Anne Livingston 16:46

And it may not be their responsibility.

Adrienne MacIain 16:48

Right. To provide that need for you.

Anne Livingston 16:52

Right, right, exactly.

Adrienne MacIain 16:54

Kind of fill your own cup, right?

Anne Livingston 16:57


Adrienne MacIain 16:57

Yeah. So we're gonna move on to... actually, let me ask you this. What do you think is the main message or takeaway? Like, if you have in front of you someone who is really struggling right now, they're in a codependent situation. Like, your ultimate client is a mom, she's really struggling, she doesn't know who she is, she doesn't know what she likes, she doesn't know what she wants. What do you want to say to her right now?

Anne Livingston 17:27

Go back to who you were as a child. Because your child ultimately has, I hate to use the word secrets, but it has the clues. You know who you were as a child, you know what you loved to do, you know what made you laugh, you know what made you feel really excited. And now, granted, there, you know, like, so here's an example - when I was a child I had this play kitchen, and I had a restaurant, you know, and I went through all the motions, and I was making food for my family. It's not like I'm going to bring in, obviously, the toy kitchen. But it's like, what's underneath that? Underneath that I was an entrepreneur at heart, I just didn't know I was an entrepreneur. Underneath all of that I clearly like to cook. So I put myself back in the kitchen, I dive back into my business, of course in a way that's healthy, not to escape, you know, feelings and all of that. But writing was another thing that I really loved as a child and so I had to really look at that. So I say go back to your child, you know, your inner child, your child self, and start to pull in some of those things. Reading is a thing for me, coloring is a thing for me, and you will connect, and once you connect to that part, other little hints and clues and intuitive hits will start to come through as far as what what to do next.

Adrienne MacIain 18:48

Beautiful, I love that. So we're gonna shift gears. I'm gonna do a little exercise with you. This is my favorite part of the podcast. So I'm gonna have you close your eyes. Very good. And I'm going to wave this magic wand and now all of your dreams have come true. Everything you want, everything you desire has now come to pass. So I just want you to look around this perfect, ideal existence that you are now in, in present time, and describe it to me. What do you see, what do you hear, taste, touch, smell? What's bringing you meaning? Who's here? What's going on?

Anne Livingston 19:32

I just have to quickly say that I have, one of my business partners likes to do this activity and I'm always the worst at it.

Adrienne MacIain 19:38

Great! Great!

Anne Livingston 19:41

I'm glad this is being recorded right now.

Adrienne MacIain 19:45

You're welcome!

Anne Livingston 19:47

She loves it and I'm like, Oh man, I hate this activity, but I'll totally do it. No. So...

Adrienne MacIain 19:54

Well, let's talk for a minute about that. Let's, before we do this, let's talk for a minute about what do you think is that block? What do you think is that resistance to this? Why do you hate it so much? Why is it uncomfortable for you?

Anne Livingston 20:03

I think it's because I'm not a super... I'm visual, but I'm not visual as far as like, I'm not a descriptive visual person. You know what I mean? Like, even in my writing, I'm not super descriptive. I'm all feeling based. So there's that. The second thing is that I have multiple visions, you know, and there's actually, I have clients who struggle with this too, right? Where they're like, Which vision am I working towards? And I'm like, Whichever one comes up first. But, but I, okay, I can. Yeah.

Adrienne MacIain 20:36

Let's, then let's focus on the feelings. Let's focus on the core-desired feelings that are coming up from this. Okay? So everything's perfect. You have what you want. What do you feel in this perfect space?

Anne Livingston 20:51

Freedom and expansion.

Adrienne MacIain 20:53

Hmm. And do any sounds, colors, anything else come up with that?

Anne Livingston 21:07

I always feel most free in nature. And I really love mountains.

Adrienne MacIain 21:12


Anne Livingston 21:13

Like, mountains and trees.

Adrienne MacIain 21:15

Mm hmm. Can you feel the ground beneath your feet?

Anne Livingston 21:22


Adrienne MacIain 21:24

Can you feel a little bit of a breeze on you?

Anne Livingston 21:27


Adrienne MacIain 21:29

What can you smell?

Anne Livingston 21:34

Pine trees.

Adrienne MacIain 21:35

Mmm, pine trees. Do you hear anything?

Anne Livingston 21:44


Adrienne MacIain 21:45

Mm hmm. Birds. Maybe your own feet as they step.

Anne Livingston 21:51


Adrienne MacIain 21:55

Anything else coming up in this beautiful natural space where you feel absolutely free.

Anne Livingston 22:02

A lake.

Adrienne MacIain 22:03

A lake. Tell me about the lake.

Anne Livingston 22:07

I'm, like, taken back to Northern California, and I loved Lake Tahoe.

Adrienne MacIain 22:11

Mmm. How blue is the water?

Anne Livingston 22:16

Super blue.

Adrienne MacIain 22:17

Super blue.

Anne Livingston 22:17

It's really, really blue, yeah. Tahoe's magical, it has, like, magical energy.

Adrienne MacIain 22:24

Feel that magical energy. Just feel that. Breathe that in. So I want you to think back to the moment before you got here, to this beautiful natural space. You were bringing meaning to your life by doing some sort of activity. What was it?

Anne Livingston 22:55

Everything that I do so writing, speaking, coaching.

Adrienne MacIain 23:00

So let's have you speaking.

Anne Livingston 23:02


Adrienne MacIain 23:03

You're speaking, and I want you to see someone in the audience who's just really getting it. They're getting it and you can see it in their eyes that they're waking up and having a revelation right now. Feel what that feels like. Can you describe that feeling for me?

Anne Livingston 23:24

What they're feeling like? Or what I'm feeling like?

Adrienne MacIain 23:26

What you're feeling like seeing that, knowing that you just made that impact on that person.

Anne Livingston 23:32

Fills my heart with joy, like my heart just explodes.

Adrienne MacIain 23:37

Exploding heart! Beautiful.

Anne Livingston 23:39

Yes. I feel that one a lot.

Adrienne MacIain 23:43

Yeah. So taking a, looking back from here, just back into your memory, what had to happen for this to be possible?

Anne Livingston 23:57

For where I'm at right now.

Adrienne MacIain 23:59

Yeah. So you're in this space. You're speaking. You've got the freedom you want. You've got everything that you've ever wanted. What was it that had to happen for this to be possible?

Anne Livingston 24:14

I had to let go of everyone else's rules. Yep.

Adrienne MacIain 24:21

That's a big one.

Anne Livingston 24:22

That was a hard one. That was a really hard one for me. And it was the most important thing, because I had to be okay with other people not agreeing with me. I had to be okay with people not supporting me. I had to be okay with people not loving me. And I had to deeply honor what was true for me.

Adrienne MacIain 24:40

Yeah. Okay, open your eyes. Let's talk about that for a minute. So that, that letting go and like, you know, just courageously saying No, I'm going to do things my way. Tell me a little bit more about that and that process. What were some obstacles that you came up against and how did you you overcome them?

Anne Livingston 25:01

Yeah. So I mean, that's ultimately what happened when I was in Chicago, and that relationship ended, and I got an intuitive hit in 2017 that was sell all your shit and hit the road. And I was like, that doesn't make any sense. I didn't think my business was stable enough. I had two cats and no car. Like, it made no logical sense. And all I knew was that it gave me butterflies and felt exciting. And I felt like it was going to take me down the path of something bigger, something more, and I didn't, I couldn't see it, right. But it was just like I could visualize myself, I like kept having this vision of road-tripping across the US. I was like, I don't know where it's leading me, but I want that life. And so I said Yes to it. And I started getting rid of things, you know, bit by bit. And as I started telling people, it was, How are you going to make money? It's not sustainable. It's crazy. You know, all the doubts that I had started coming up. How are you gonna do that? You have two cats. You have no car. How are you gonna afford it? Because I really want to stay in Airbnbs. And I just kept going back to my meditation pillow and I kept meditating. And I kept feeling the feelings and paying attention to the limiting beliefs that kept telling me I couldn't do it. And I started to... I'm not a mom, so I don't know what it's like to feel that protection for a child. However, the only thing I can relate it to is that I got the mama bear energy for myself. That I had this like, back the EFF off, don't tell me what to do, don't tell me who to be, don't tell me what is possible for me. And if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. And I just kind of like, almost energetically pushed people away as a space, like as a way of being able to protect my vision and protect my dream. And I did cut some people out, and not in a negative way, not in a hurtful way, it was all came from a place of love. But it was just like, I need to do what's right for me now. And you can either support me or you can step away. And we can talk again once you're on board, or you're never on board. But I just kept leaning into, I will never know what is truly possible for me unless I follow this. And it it was not easy. I hit rock bottom multiple times. And I write very openly about it. But it was hands down the best thing I've ever done in my life.

Adrienne MacIain 27:24

Oh really?

Anne Livingston 27:25

Yeah. Can we go more?

Adrienne MacIain 27:32

Yes! Can you say more about what...? How did it change you? What was so great about it?

Anne Livingston 27:39

It changed everything. It changed everything about me. So I believed that safety and security and stability came from things outside of me. I thought it came from having a home. I thought it came from having money. I thought it came from, I had been married and divorced before my last relationship. So I thought, you know, I was like, I had all of these beliefs. And I had many moments where I didn't have money. Business is not coming in. There have been moments where I left one Airbnb and wasn't sure where I was going to sleep the next night. And I had to really lean on my unconditional faith. It's like I cultivated a relationship with God, but I don't care what people call it, it's just an energy in my opinion. I cultivated a relationship with that so that I could trust myself. I really cultivated this level of deep intuitive knowing. And I was able to feel in my body if going someplace felt light or heavy, did it feel like it was the right spot. Making decisions in my business, letting certain services go, or not working with certain clients, or not doing things just for the money. I had to really learn how to be happy and safe and secure and content and grateful with no money, no clients, no home, no car. And I learned it. So now when I receive it's all bonus, it's all like icing on the cake. Because I'm like, I can literally be happy with nothing. And when you have that, because that's the biggest fear. Most people say I can't take this leap of faith because what if I lose it all? But the thing is, if and when you lose it all, then you have this moment where you're like, well, if I don't have money, and I don't have a relationship, and I don't have this and I don't have that, I might as well do what makes me happy. And then you get extreme clarity around what it is you actually want to do. And then that's when the money comes in.

Adrienne MacIain 29:40

Ain't that the truth. Ah, God. I mean, that is just 100% true. I feel like I always tell people Leap and the universe will catch you. But it's more than that. It's exactly what you just explained, that when you do lose it all, and then you realize, wait a second, I didn't actually lose anything that mattered. I didn't lose anything that mattered. Because I didn't have anything that mattered.

Anne Livingston 30:14

Right? If it leaves you, it didn't really matter. And if it's meant for you, then it'll come back.

Adrienne MacIain 30:18

That's right. The bottom line is that no one can take away what is yours. And anything that you can lose was not yours.

Anne Livingston 30:29


Adrienne MacIain 30:30

And people who have really been to rock bottom, and I'm talking, like, people who have been homeless, people who have like, almost died or died, these are the people who I find really get it. And are just like the most grounded, grateful, generous, smart frickin' people, 'cause they're like, All that stuff that you worry about all the time doesn't really matter. Like, you drive yourself crazy worrying about this stuff, and in in the end, it's like, it'll work out. It always does.

Anne Livingston 31:08

It always does. It always does. And that's been my mantra. I have repeated that to myself for literal years: It'll all work out because it has to. And it always does. You know, I don't know how it's gonna work out, I just know it will, and I just keep leaning on that truth.

Adrienne MacIain 31:24

I always like to say Every story has a happy ending. It just depends on when you end the story. So is there anything else that you want the audience to know, before you tell people where they can find you?

Anne Livingston 31:42

I would say just keep going. That would be the biggest thing. Keep going. If you know, because there were, again, there were many moments where it looked hopeless. And I had, again, had family members saying, Maybe you should throw in the towel, maybe you should get a job, maybe you should do this. And I just kept leaning into my gut and tapping in, I was like, No, no, my story's not done yet. My story's not done yet. I need to keep going. There's still something left to learn. And it's gonna turn around, it's gonna turn around. I have a purpose. I have a purpose for being here. And so I just kept trusting that and taking the next step, and the next step, and the next step. And I just focused on the next step, and not giving up. And things continue to just blow my mind, you know, but it wouldn't have happened had I given up? So yeah, just keep going. If you know that you are on the right path, don't worry about what other people are telling you, because they can't see your vision. They can't feel what you feel. They don't know what you know. So just keep going.

Adrienne MacIain 32:43

Yes, I must reiterate that, because it is so important. The only way that you can fail is by giving up. Because if you keep going, you're gonna succeed eventually.

Anne Livingston 32:57

That's what I say, you're gonna succeed at some point!

Adrienne MacIain 33:00

It's inevitable, it's inevitable, right? You'll just keep trying new things. As long as you don't keep trying the same thing over and over again and going Why isn't this working?

Anne Livingston 33:07

Right? It's the definition of insanity, right.

Adrienne MacIain 33:10

Right, right, exactly. So just keep learning, and trying new things, and making new mistakes. Just don't make the old ones. The only mistakes are the ones you make twice. Right?

Anne Livingston 33:22

Right, right.

Adrienne MacIain 33:24

The first time it was just a learning experience.

Anne Livingston 33:27

Call them growth opportunities. When you think of it that way, then you're like, I'm gaining something from this.

Adrienne MacIain 33:32

Yeah. So when I lost, I won't say quit because I lost my last executive assistant job, I lost it by really not wanting it. I'm sure you know what I mean by that. And what I realized was, I needed to make a huge, huge change. And it was incredibly scary. And I know a lot of people listening right now know exactly what I'm talking about. You know, I took that scary leap of faith. And the person who had the hardest time with it was the father of my daughter. And of course, you know, he wanted to be supportive, but at the same time, he was like, insurance? Child support? Kid? Hello, what are you doing? And so it was really hard for me, I think that was my biggest challenge, was just being able to kind of face up to him and say, I don't know how this is going to work out. But it's going to work out and I'm going to figure it out. And I'm taking responsibility for it. And I know you don't see how I'm doing that. But I am, and I know that I am. And there were times when the money was late, and he was mad, and he would, you know, send me job opportunities on LinkedIn and things like this and go Apply for this! Do this! And it took just all of my strength to not just go Okay, okay, I will. I'll apply for all of these things. And I did apply for a few of them because I was like, look fine, I this I could live with, I'll apply for this one if it'll get off my back. But the bottom line is I knew that none of those were going to work out because I didn't want them to work out. And just being able to finally say, No, I'm not going to do that. Because it's actually more important to me that my daughter have an example of her mother deciding I'm going to do what I know is right, I'm going to follow my path, my passion, I'm going to give my gifts to the world and trust that there are people out there who will find them valuable than to have insurance and money for her. Because I know that as much as it sucks, you can get by without money. You can. My daughter can do it, just like I did. Okay. Not that I would want that.

Anne Livingston 36:09

You're like, I'm not condoning no money.

Adrienne MacIain 36:11

Right? Like, I'm not condoning don't pay your child support. I have worked very hard, right, and built up my business now where I can support myself and my daughter just fine. But there was certainly a long period there where it was like, What am I doing? This is insane. I have no money to put into this business. And so how do you grow a business with no money? It's really hard. And it's slow.

Anne Livingston 36:33

But it is doable.

Adrienne MacIain 36:35

It can be done, but it's a lot of work. Right. It's a lot of work. And so I just really want to encourage everyone listening out there to do exactly what you're saying: keep going, no matter what. Just keep going. If you know you're on the right path, and you'll feel it, you'll feel when you're on the right path.

Anne Livingston 36:56

You'll know it. It's a deep gut knowing.

Adrienne MacIain 36:59

Synchronicities will start popping up, you'll start meeting people that, you know, out of nowhere. Like, yesterday, I had this amazing conversation with this woman who I met through something years ago. And somehow she popped up on my LinkedIn, because she had commented on something that somebody else had posted. Right? And I was like, Who is this? Clicked on her thing. She's totally in line with exactly what I'm doing right now, but we met through something completely different years and years ago, when we were both doing something else entirely. How does that happen? I don't know. But that's the stuff that starts happening. When you know you're on the right path, the path just opens. It opens. And it may not open as quickly or in the direction that you expected or wanted. But those doors open, they do. And you gotta be ready to run through.

Anne Livingston 37:49

And when you're honest with yourself, like I really positioned myself as a coach for six and a half years. My background is in education, it made sense for me to really be mostly a coach. I'm a teacher at heart. But I'm really a writer, and my passion is writing, my passion is speaking, my passion is telling my story. And actually, I can make a much larger impact in the lives of other people if I'm speaking on podcasts, or getting speaking gigs, or whatever, because that creates a ripple effect that is different than working one on one. So I had to be really honest with myself and ask myself, Okay, what do I really want? And then it was like once I decided to be a speaker, all these podcasting opportunities just like blew right open. So it's absolutely true that once you get honest with yourself, and really ask, like, answer the question of Okay, not what make sense, but if I could have anything and do anything that I wanted, and I didn't have to worry about time or money, what would that thing be? And that's where your truth is.

Adrienne MacIain 37:51

Absolutely, absolutely. It's funny that you say that because I've I felt kind of, I had kind of an opposite journey, which is that I knew that I was good at writing. And I knew I was good presenter or speaker or stuff. So I kind of focused on that at first, and I was really focused on writing and helping other people with their writing and things like that. And over time, I realized, Hmm, what I really want to be doing, because I would be talking to these entrepreneurs who are like, I want you to write this about page for me. And I'm like, Okay, but can we talk about your story? Can I help you actually align to your actual brand, and your authentic voice? And so what I started to do is have these conversations with people where I realized, Wait a second, I'm coaching. I'm being a coach, right? I couldn't stop myself. I was like, Okay, wait, but let me ask you some questions here. And so I came to coaching actually via writing.

Anne Livingston 39:50

That's funny.

Adrienne MacIain 39:50

Yeah. But I think the two are very intricately tied.

Anne Livingston 39:54

They really are.

Adrienne MacIain 39:55

It's just like you said, that the writing just is a way of coaching more people. And the coaching is a way of helping people get their product, their creativity out there. And sometimes that's writing, sometimes that's a podcast, sometimes that's a performance, it's, you know, any number of things. Whatever it is that that helps them communicate or express their core message. And as time goes by, yeah, I just feel more and more like, Oh, I'm seeing how all of this ties in together, and recognizing, you know, like, I think we have to sort of brand ourselves as like, Okay, this is what who I am, and this is what I do. But the bottom line is there's a lot of different threads that tie in together. And it is okay to say Actually, my gift is all of this, and to acknowledge that and recognize that, rather than feeling like Well, I have to market myself as this and so that's what I'm going to be.

Anne Livingston 40:59

Yeah, I don't do that. Like, I put myself in a box for a really long time. I was like, I'm a coach, I'm a coach, I'm a coach. But I never felt like I fit into the world of coaching. It was like, just like as a teacher, like, I'm not really, I'm not really a, like a stereotypical teacher. I loved what I did, but there are some teachers that like, they're like obsessed with teaching. I wasn't that teacher. I enjoyed, like, once the door was closed, and I was alone with my kids, and in the, in my craft, that's when I love teaching. I love doing what I do when I'm in my craft. So I love mentorship, I love coaching. But I also really love writing and, again, speaking and telling my story. And I had to, I really struggled with I couldn't just be one. And even now, it's like I can sit here and say I'm an author, but then it's like, you're also a speaker, and you're also a mentor. It's just like, and I don't just work with moms, and I don't just work with entrepreneurs, and I don't just work with men, and I don't just work with new authors also, because I started doing that too, where it was like there were so many people who were like, You wrote a book and you published a book. How do I do what you do? And so ultimately, I don't really work with one specific type of person. It's like if someone comes to me is like, This is an area in your life that I'm inspired by and I want to know how you did this thing, I can mentor them to do that thing. But that's not really marketable as far as, because, you know, it's feels like pinning jello to a wall. I'm like, If I say I do this, then I'm missing out on all these people who might need my help. And if I say I do this, then I'm now missing out on all these people. So I'm like, I'm just gonna tell my story and trust that the right people will come forward.

Adrienne MacIain 42:33

Yep. Word. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for being here today.

Anne Livingston 42:38

Absolutely. Thank you.

Adrienne MacIain 42:39

Can you let people know where to find you?

Anne Livingston 42:42

Yes. So I'm on Instagram and Facebook at annethenomad. You can find me on my website, annelivingstoncoaching.com. And my book 'Radical Rebirth' is available on Amazon.

Adrienne MacIain 42:53

Fabulous. Thank you so much.

Transcribed by Rebecca MacIain

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