Ep #12: Owning It

Have you ever found yourself negotiating with the people around you and the events that occur in your life? I know I used to do this. When somebody has something unhelpful to say, it’s easy to slip into a belief that there is something we can do to change their mind, or that changing their mind is even important. Well that, my friends, is as useless as trying to change the direction of the wind.

Trying to have a say in the actions of others or the events of our lives makes us feel like we’re doing something about our situation, but it’s actually taking focus off the things we can have a say over – the things that will help us grow from our trauma. There is so much around us and in our past that we can’t control, but what can we control? What can we own in this life?

Tune into the podcast this week to discover how owning it in the right way will start benefitting you right now. There are four things you can own in this lifetime, and I want you to own them from a place of self-love and compassion.

Listen to the Full Episode:

If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we are under the illusion that we can successfully argue with the events in our lives.
  • The four things you can own in your lifetime.
  • What you simply can’t control and how to let go.
  • Why it will benefit you to let the things you can’t control go.
  • How to measure your success at taking ownership.
  • The best way to reframe the things you can’t control that you perceive as wrong or unfair.


Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 12, Owning It.

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief to grow, evolve, and create a future you can actually look forward to. Here’s your host, certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.

Hey there, welcome back to the podcast. What’s going on in your world? My daughter and I just finished watching Stranger Things season three. I don’t know if you watched it. I’m not going to tell you what happened in case you want to watch it and you haven’t, I will just tell you that, in the very last episode, my daughter and I sat on the couch holding hands with a box of Kleenex crying our eyes out.

So I’m just going to leave it there, but it was really fun to share that series with her, even though it’s a little bit scary. Yeah, I’m a child of the 80s and I think everything in that series was just so spot on and so relatable with all the things that I remember, all the music, all the pop culture, and it was just a touching story.  So, looking forward to season four – having absolutely nothing to do though with our podcast.

Let’s get started there, shall we? And I want to read a listener review because I hear you, I want you to know that I read all of your reviews. They literally make my day when I see them. So thank you so much to those of you that have taken time to write a review. It’s important too because it’s how other people find the podcast. Reviews and ratings help with the little algorithm that I don’t understand in all of the podcast apps and make the podcast more discoverable. So, thank you to those of you who have shared one.

Today, I want to read two of them to you. The first one is from TammyZ1997 and the title is Wonderful Podcast. Tammy wrote, “Krista has been a life-saver for me over the past year, and with her new podcast, I feel like I have something to help me get through the next year. Her advice and insights into being a widow is much appreciated.”

Thank you, Tammy. That review is much appreciated. And I see you, especially on Facebook. I love interacting with you. If you’re not following me on Facebook or Instagram, you should do that. @lifecoachkrista is where you’ll find me on Instagram and Facebook is @coachingwithkrista. So, Tammy, I see a lot of you and appreciate that.

Then the other one I want to read is from Amyloann, and the title is Beyond Fantastic. And Amy wrote, “Krista is amazing. This podcast is so helpful and offers hope and compassion and lets us know it’s okay to grieve. She offers powerful tools to help us move from I will never be happy to I can create my own joy and happiness.” Yes, that is exactly the goal; I can create my own joy and happiness and it’s possible for all of us.

If you have not yet registered to win one of the five gift certificates that I’m giving away, $100 gift certificates to Amazon, there is still time. I will be rewarding another lucky lady next week and there’s still a couple of them left. So, head on over to coachingwithkrista.com/podcastlaunch and that’s where you’ll find all the details about how you can register to win.

Okay, let’s get going on owning it. It’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t own as you go forward in life. And I’m not talking about material things, although I know that can be a struggle too. I’m sure we’ll devote an entire episode to that later. But for now, I’m talking about knowing where you start and where you stop; understanding what you can own and what you can’t so that you spend your energy accordingly.

I want to teach you how to measure your success. I want you to be as effective as possible as you move forward. So I’m going to teach you how to spot the four things in like that you can own and that you should own. And then I’m also going to teach you why it’s in your best interest to let go of the things that you wish you could control but can’t.

And I know, one of the things I teach my coaching clients from the get-go is how to tell the difference, because it can be a lot trickier than it seems. And once we find the balance of owning what is ours and understanding what’s in our control and what’s out of our control, then we put ourselves in the most powerful place possible, and that’s what I want for you.

So, before we start, we have to understand the energy that we need to approach this work with. It must be kindness, compassion, self-love because deciding what to own and what not to own is not about blame or shame or right or wrong. It’s about recognizing what you can control and what you can’t so that you maximize it.

So, if you notice a critical voice in your brain start to creep in, I want to offer that you just notice it, but don’t give it any energy. Let that little critical voice say what it has to say, but don’t listen because this work only works when it comes from a place of kindness and compassion and self-love, deal? Okay.

Before we talk about what you do want to own, let’s talk about what you don’t. Have you ever noticed how we try to argue with things that are outside of our control? Even if we don’t argue out loud, sometimes we’re arguing in our mind or we’re spinning around in judgment of what is or wasting our effort trying to control things and situations and people that we just can’t.

And when you really think about it, the reason we do this is because we’re under two illusions. The first illusion is that we actually think we can control things we can’t. We genuinely believe that we can. And the second illusion is that we think things have gone wrong and need to be controlled.

So, I want to look at those two things separately. So, the first, we think we can control things we can’t. There are many areas of life where we have accepted that we can’t control. I don’t know about you, but I don’t argue with gravity. I have accepted that gravity exists.  I know how to function with gravity. I know things, if I drop them, they will break, they will fall and hit the floor because of gravity.

I don’t argue with it, but I also don’t own it. I don’t own that gravity has anything to do with me.  I also don’t think that I can control the weather. Now, sometimes I might not like the weather, but there is never a point in time in which I think I can control it either.

I don’t watch the forecast and see that it calls for rain and then try to figure out how to make it not rain. I’m very clear – I think you are too – when it comes to gravity and weather, that we can’t control those things. I also don’t argue with world history.

I am never under the illusion that I can travel in time and go back and change events of the world. But yet, have you ever noticed how we do try to argue with things that are outside of our control when we think that something has gone wrong and when we think that we can control them?

We argue with our grief. We argue with, sometimes, our husband’s death. We argue with other people’s opinions. We think we can control their feelings. We think, if we behave in certain ways, that we can change how they feel, we can make them feel better, we can make them feel worse.

We think that, somehow, we can influence the choices that they make. We think that we shouldn’t have had the parents that we had or we think we shouldn’t have the bodies that we have. We think some of these things are in our control, and they’re just not.

They’re no more in our control, the things other people say, the emotions other people feel, the things other people do, our past, anything outside of us, we should accept no more responsibility for than we do for gravity, than we do for the weather, than we do for events of world history because we can’t control the thoughts, the feelings, the actions of others, things that happen outside of us any more than we can control gravity or the weather.

So first, I want you to think about what it is you’re trying to control that you can’t. Start noticing all the things that you somehow wish were different and are trying to control, but really, they aren’t yours to control. And I give you permission to stop trying to own those things because they are not yours. They are no more yours than gravity. And any time that you spend trying to control them is wasted, right?

The thoughts and feelings of others come from their brains. You can’t control them. The decisions other people make, even your children, other people have agency. They live their lives according to their own ways of being and we can’t control those things. So I give you permission to stop.

Secondly though, the reason we try to control things we can’t is because we think things have gone wrong and need to be controlled. And I really want you to challenge all of those thoughts, all of those assumptions. What if you’re really wrong about that?

What if people are supposed to be thinking and feeling the things that they’re thinking and feeling? What if they’re supposed to be doing the things that they’re doing? What if nothing really has gone wrong? Is it possible that could be the way of it? I think it’s always an option for us to choose to see the things that we can’t control in that light and that, by making that conscious choice, we actually increase our ability to control the things we can because we stop spinning our wheels and wasting energy trying to control the things we can’t.

Who are we to say that other people shouldn’t be thinking and feeling what they do? Who are we to say that we shouldn’t have been given the parents we have or the body we have? Who are we to say that the past shouldn’t have unfolded as it did? And every time we do, we argue with it and we create suffering for ourselves and we resist what is. But yet it’s pointless, it’s futile because we can’t control it.

So if we could just get past these two illusions, if we could just understand the things we think we can control and can’t, and if we could challenge our beliefs that things have gone wrong and need to be controlled, life would be a little different. We would be spending more time in our power instead of trying to exert power where we really have none.

Okay, so that’s the first part of it. That’s what we can’t control. We can’t control things outside of us. I referred to this in Episode 10 but I loved Jack Canfield’s book called The Success Principles. And one of the things that he teaches in there, and lots of teachers teach this concept but they just have different ways of teaching it.

But one of the things Jack teaches is E plus R equals O. And what he’s saying there is that the events of life plus our response to those events are what create our outcomes. It’s not the event that determines the outcome. It’s the event plus the response that determines the outcome. And telling the difference between those two things is monumental.

What is it that happens in the world that we can control and what is it that happens in the world that we can’t? So the E, the event is what we can’t control, but the R, the response, that’s where our power is. And that’s what I want you to own. I want you to own your response to every situation in life that you can’t control because when you own your response, you own the outcome.

Own all of the outcomes that you have created, not because you’re good or bad or you’ve done it right or wrong or because there is good or bad or right or wrong, not to punish yourself, not to make yourself feel bad, but because when you own your response and you own your outcome, you’ll stop feeling like a victim. You’ll start seeing how powerful you really are and you’ll be able to create on purpose, create what you want instead of feeling trapped or at the expense of other people or at the expense of circumstances outside of your control.

When we blame anything outside of ourselves for our outcome, then we take away our ability to create and we make ourselves less powerful. So here’s what I want you to own – and I mean it. And I’m not saying it’s easy. And sometimes it can take years. I’m still doing this work and this is the kind of work that I do with my clients all the time.

I want you to own every thought you have, every thought, even the ones that come into your brain and you have no idea how they got there and they don’t serve you. I want you to own them. This includes all of your beliefs. And the reason I want you to own them is because when you own them, you can decide, do I like them? And if you don’t, you will be in the most powerful place that you can change them.

So own everything you think, every belief you have, own it. Decide that it’s your choice. Decide that if it serves you, you’ll keep it, and if it doesn’t, you’ll get rid of it.  All of your interpretations, all of your stories, all of the way that you see other people, all of the judgments, all of it, own that.

And that, all of those thoughts, all of those beliefs, all of those judgments are what create your feelings, your emotional experience of the world. People outside of you cannot do that. Do you know that? People outside of you cannot determine your emotional state. They cannot create your feelings.

Feelings are not contagious. They can’t be transmitted like diseases. Anything you feel, any emotion you experience, thankfully, is because of a thought in your mind. There are no exceptions to this; thoughts cause feelings, so own every one of them, even the ones that don’t feel good, own them. Not because you’re blaming yourself, not because you’re shaming yourself, not because there’s any guilt to be had over a negative emotion, but because when you own any emotion and you realize that you are the creator of that emotion, it’s so much more powerful for you.

It puts you back in the driver’s seat. It helps you see that other people don’t need to change for you to feel better. And thank goodness because we can’t change other people. That’s part of the world we can’t control. So own the emotions that you have.

Sometimes I work with my clients and I’ll have them practice this. I feel angry right now because I’m thinking the thought, he’s a jerk. It’s my thought. Nothing wrong with my thought, I can keep it if I want, I don’t have to. But the reason I’m feeling angry isn’t because of what he said, It’s because of what I made it mean, because he’s not that powerful. He can’t make me feel anything. I am the one who gets to decide my emotions.

So, own your thoughts, own your feelings, and then own what you do. Own the actions you take. Own the things that you don’t do; your inactions. It’s all connected. How we think determines how we feel. How we feel fuels what we do and what we don’t do. And when we blame others for what we do and what we don’t do, we give our power to them. We reduce our ability to change our behaviors because we aren’t fully owning that it’s us making choices.

So don’t give credit to anyone for your success. Don’t give credit to anyone for your failures. Own them all because they all came from your actions or your inactions which were all fueled by the emotions that you created with your thoughts. That’s what gives you the outcomes in your life, right?

The things other people say, the things other people do, the events of the world, the past, our parents, the bodies we’re given, the fact that our husbands died, all of that is outside of our control. So let’s stop spending time trying to control those things because we can’t.

Another way to think of this that I have always loved is a quote that I’m really not sure who actually said it. I’ve done some research. It’s been attributed to Viktor Frankl but never really found in his work. Stephan Covey said it but didn’t really take credit for it. And that is the idea that, “Between stimulus and response there’s space. And in that space is our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

One more time I’m going to say that, “Between stimulus and response there’s space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” You’ll notice all the great teachers teach the same concepts.  Why? Because they’re true. They’re universal truths.

Jack Canfield says, “Event plus response equals outcome.” This one, Steven Covey says, “In between stimulus and response there’s space.” So what I want you to do is know this space between stimulus and response. Know that you always have the power to choose your response. And because you have the power to choose your response, even if you can’t control the stimulus, you are the one controlling your growth and your freedom because, by owning your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, you’re owning your outcomes.

I don’t know about you but I have no magical powers. I cannot change the past. I cannot change what other people think of me. I cannot change the emotions of other people, even my children. And any time I spend trying to do that just reduces my ability, my focus, on the things that I can own, my own thoughts, my own emotions, my own behaviors, my own outcomes. That’s what I can control. That’s what you can control. That’s’ where I want you to spend your time and energy.

Okay, that’s what I have for you today. I was on a little bit of a soapbox there. But I only say this with love and I hope that’s how you hear it because I want you to be effective. I want you to be able to go forward. I want you to be able to build whatever it is you want in your life. And doing that really means understanding where to put your energy, where to put your focus.

And any little bit of that limited energy and focus that you have that you spend on things or people or events that are really outside of your ability to influence just makes it take longer for you to get what it is that you want. And I want you to love your life because that’s possible for you.

I don’t even care what you’ve been through. I don’t care how much money you have.  I don’t care where you live. I don’t care what your job is. I don’t care about any of those outside circumstances, those things that aren’t part of you. That’s not where it’s at. That’s not what gives you want you want in life. It’s you.

I want you to own everything from the most kind, loving, compassionate space possible, own everything you think, own everything you believe, own all of the emotions. Know that no one is so powerful that they can make you feel or do anything. No part of your past can make you feel or do anything. Nothing outside of you can limit you in any way because you are always the boss of your brain.

And by being the boss of your brain, you’re the boss of your emotional state. You’re the boss of the way that you behave in the world. And therefore, you are the boss of the outcomes that you create. And the sooner you own all of it, the more leverage and power you’ll have.

Alright, remember, I love you, you’ve got this. I’ll see you on the next episode. Take care, everybody, bye-bye.

Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of The Widowed Mom Podcast. If you like what you’ve heard and want to learn more, head over to coachingwithkrista.com.

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About your coach

I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On. It’s now my mission to show widowed moms exactly how to do what I’ve done and create a future they can look forward to.

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