Posted June 7, 2020 in Podcast
Stand in the Storm and Transform
What do you tell yourself when you feel like things couldn’t get any worse?
Whether it’s losing a job, a loved one, a huge business deal, or your physical health, there are moments in life where we all feel like we’ve reached the end of our rope. What we say to ourselves in those moments determines what we make of those challenges. They can be the moment when things blow up, and we take years to recover. They can also be the moments when we learn, pivot, and ultimately transform into a better version of ourselves.
If you’re walking through a storm or just feeling stuck, this is a message you don’t want to miss. Today’s guest is Annica Tornerd, and she allowed the difficulties in her life to cultivate her self-confidence and become an entrepreneur. As a result, she’s able to do more of what she loves — spend time with her children — and do work that fulfills her.
Our conversation covers what to say to yourself when you’re in the middle of a storm, two common limiting beliefs you need to kick if you want to be successful, and what it looks like to be a mom and an entrepreneur. Annica shares her story with so much thought and vulnerability that I know this episode will inspire you to reach beyond your current circumstances. Let’s dig in!
Who Is Annica Torneryd?
Annica Torneryd is the creator of the transformation program, You Own Your Life, best-selling author of two books, and the host of OWN IT, The Confidence Podcast. She is also a certified coach and speaker and serves as the Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team, delivering keynotes and interactive workshops on leadership as well as personal and professional development.
Whenever Annica presents, she brings an intriguing package, combining the mindset of a former kickboxing champion, her personal experience navigating extreme burnout, what it took to have three babies in one year as a single parent, and the why behind launching a business.
This conversation with Annica is real, raw, and honest. What she shares will give you the tools you need to get through storms in your life and become everything you’ve ever wanted to be. I think you’re going to really enjoy it, so let’s get started.
How to Weather a Storm (Personal or Professional) and Transform
There are typically two storms that we experience in life: The storm of “everything is falling apart around me,” and the storm of “I’m feeling stuck and unfulfilled.” Annica’s advice for navigating either of these storms is a two-step process:
#1. Get really clear on what you want for your life.
This is where Annica encouraged taking a pause, getting really honest with yourself, and asking yourself some deep questions. Here are her specific instructions:
“I would say get a pen and paper, sit down and write out exactly what you want in life. But you have to answer that without taking into consideration all the, ‘But I can’t do that because….’, or ‘If I do this, this person will be upset,’ or ‘If I do that, it won’t work with my marriage,’ or ‘If I do that, my parents will not think that I have a real job…’ [Without taking any of that into consideration] what is [your answer]? You have no rules, no excuses, no fears. You just have to be honest. What exactly do you want?” – Annica Torneryd
We experience unfulfillment when we’re focused on all the things we can’t have. Instead of moving forward towards our goals, we’re stagnant and stuck thinking about everything we don’t want. Most of the time, our frustration is because we haven’t been clear with ourselves about what we want. Once you clarify what you truly desire in life, it will be much easier to take action toward that which leads to feeling fulfilled.
#2. Dare to stand in the storm.
When Annica had three children and her private life collapsed, her job — serving as an official at the European Parliament — no longer felt fulfilling. That’s when she was faced with the choice to give up financial security and pursue investing in herself or staying where she felt safe. During that time, she wrote, “Don’t be scared. Stand in the storm and transform,” on a piece of paper and pinned them above her water boiler so she could read them every day.
Leaving her job and letting go of financial security felt like the scariest thing in the world. She had grown up in a poor Swedish family. As a result, a dependable income felt extremely necessary. But, Annica decided to leave her job because she was clear about what she wanted out of life.
Annica described the next few years as walking through a storm of tornadoes with debris flying all around and hitting her. But she doesn’t regret it one bit. She encourages others to stand in their own storms and transform, too:
“The gap between your pain — where you are today [and feeling] unfulfilled — to where I can say I am today, is not an easy journey. However, when you walk through, stay committed, don’t give up on yourself, believe fully and wholeheartedly that you’re going to get to the end, get to walk through that storm — oh my goodness — there’s not a nicer place on earth to be! Every single moment of stress, fatigue, [and] worry is worth it.” – Annica Torneryd
Annica doesn’t sugar coat what it’s like to stand in the storm, but she’s also honest about what it’s like to stand on the other side — transformed. Because standing in the storm is incredibly hard some days, the first part of this assignment — writing down exactly what you want out of life — is crucial. Once you do, you can look at that list to remind yourself to keep swimming when you get smacked in the face by a gigantic wave of fear.
Here’s the deal: No one can tell you what you want out of life. You have to figure that out for yourself. And no one can give you the backbone to stand in a storm day. Only you can do that. Annica did it while being a single mom of three children all less than a year apart. I did it to recover from extreme debt. And so many of the guests who have joined me on the Reaching Beyond podcast have done it, too. Storms are what transform our lives for the better.
Two Common Limiting Beliefs and What They’re Keeping From You
Have you ever thought, “I can’t do _______, because I’m too quiet,” or “No one would choose me for that because I don’t have the right experience?” Those are limiting beliefs. Your belief about yourself is limiting your capacity. What if you believed that the experience you have gives you a unique edge to be selected for the position you desire?
Annica explained that adults typically carry one of two types of limiting beliefs, or both: 1) I’m not worthy, or 2) I’m not good enough.
“There are those who may feel that they’re good enough, like peak performers, but when they get a reward or an achievement, they can’t celebrate it or acknowledge it, because they don’t feel worthy of it. On the other hand, there are those who struggle with not feeling good enough … not young enough, not influential enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, not educated enough, not man enough, not woman enough. … If you hold the thought that either you’re not worthy of it, or you’re just not good enough because of this or that, you’re really not going to grow at all.” – Annica Torneryd
Limiting beliefs don’t just keep us from getting what we want out of life but they keep us from growing. If you’re ready to break through your limiting beliefs, Annica suggested getting a coach. Our brain wants to believe what we think, so sometimes we need an outside voice to help us build new thoughts.
Until then, start listening to what you say to yourself when you’re faced with resistance or experiencing fear. Identify which limiting belief is blocking your potential and replace it with a belief that supports what you want in life. Put a stop to your limiting beliefs instead of letting them stop you!
What It Takes to Be a Parent and a Successful Entrepreneur
Have you felt guilty for working on your business when you could be spending time with your kids? It’s a real feeling — “What if I invest all this time into my business to give us a better life and it doesn’t work?” As a single parent and entrepreneur, Annica has felt it ALL. When I asked her how she does it all, her candidacy made me laugh. She simply said, “I don’t know.” But her follow up answer made me pause. She didn’t tell me “how” she runs a business while being a single parent. She told me “why” she chooses to run a business as a single parent:
“I want [my kids] to see that you can create the life you want. You must take responsibility for your actions, your thoughts, and your results. And when you do that, you can be happy.” – Annica Torneryd
Guys, instead of getting caught up in, “should I be doing this” or “what is the best way to do this,” the real question is, “What kind of person do I want my kid(s) to be when they grow up and am I modeling that for them?” From that place, you can decide whether running a business as a parent is what you should be doing.
Even though Annica was confident about her choice to pursue entrepreneurship, she still experienced guilt for splitting her time between her kids and her business. Instead of letting the conflicting feelings stop her from becoming the best version of herself, she used it to push her to be more intentional with her time.
“In the beginning, there was so much guilt. There’s sacrifice [to being an entrepreneur]. It’s not optimal, but I’ve come to a point where I know that that’s the only way you can do [business] if you want to be successful. On the other hand [there’s] a positive side effect that I don’t think I could have gotten if had I stayed as an unfulfilled employee somewhere: When I am with my children, I am there 100%, and I can decide to pick everyone up early and … go on a picnic or just lay on the sofa and watch a movie. Nobody can have their mom all the time.” – Annica Torneryd
Did you catch that last sentence? “Nobody can have their [parent] all the time.” Regardless of what job you have, your kids can’t have you ALL THE TIME. If you’re going to spend time away from your kids earning money, wouldn’t it be better for you be doing something fulfilling than something that makes you feel stuck?
Kids spell love as T-I-M-E. Not just any time — quality time. Building a business so that you can show up for your kids and be fully present isn’t something to be guilty of. It’s something to be proud of.
Reach Beyond with Annica Tornerd
Guys, this interview with Annica was everything I hoped it would be. If you’re juggling parenthood and entrepreneurship, feeling stuck in your life, or walking through a storm, this conversation will guide you towards a more confident and successful version of yourself.
Annica’s transparency is a trademark in all she does, whether it’s presenting to thousands, writing a book, or chatting on a podcast. We only scratched the surface on all that she has to offer in today’s conversation, so make sure you check out her website, Act2exceed, and connect with her on Facebook.
If you found value in this message, it would mean a lot to me if you took a few seconds to write a five-star review on Apple Podcasts and share the episode with some of your friends. If you use Instagram, it would go a long way if you could share a screenshot of the episode with your greatest takeaways and tag me @kyle_depiesse and @annica_mindset_mastery!
Until next time, dare to stand in the storm and transform. I’m rooting for you!