Episode 93

Published on:

30th Apr 2024

Looking for Smart Ways to Reduce Stress? Measure What Matters - 93

In this thought-provoking episode of The Grit Show, host Shawna Rodrigues dives deep into the waters of self-evaluation and success metrics. Reflecting upon the misleading benchmarks society imposes, Shawna challenges listeners to reconsider what truly measures a life well-lived. She shares her personal perspective and insights that illuminate what sometimes can be the contrast between what the world sees as success and what you feel as true happiness. Tune in to explore why joy, gratitude, and personal satisfaction might be more accurate gauges of success than the figures on a tax return. This episode promises to turn up the gauge on your self development and reflection as we embark on a mindful journey that invites you to reframe your perspective on achievement and value. Join us on The Grit Show for a conversation that could redefine your personal benchmarks for a fulfilling life.

Shawna Rodrigues left her award-winning career in the public sector in 2019 and after launching The Grit Show, soon learned the abysmal fact that women hosted only 27% of podcasts. This led to the founding of the Authentic Connections Podcast Network intent on raising that number by 10% in five years- 37 by 27. Because really, shouldn’t it be closer to 50%? She is the Director of Impact for the network, which offers full-service support for podcasting from mentoring to production. In September 2023 they are also launching the EPAC (Entrepreneurs and Podcasters Authentically Connected) community for those in early stages and wanting a place for weekly connection. She still finds a little time for her pursuits as a best-selling author and shares the hosting of Author Express, a podcast that features the voice behind the pages of your favorite book. Find her on Instagram- @ShawnaPodcasts and learn more about the network and other happenings at https://linktr.ee/37by27.

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Shawna Rodrigues [:

We've all heard the if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its entire life thinking it is stupid, or at least inadequate or incapable. There's probably other ways to say it better, but that's the adage, right? And the first time you heard it, it might have sparked something, at least about the education system and the way we judge things. But did you actually stop to apply it to your own life? Or think of how it applies to how you look at yourself, how you judge yourself? It might be worth taking a minute to look at that a bit, to apply it a bit more. That's what we're going to do today. It's a shorter episode, but you're going to want to stick around. I think it's a pretty good conversation. Welcome to the Grishow, where our focus is growth on purpose. I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues, and I'm honored to be part of this community as we journey together with our grit intact to learn more about how to thrive and how to get the most out of life.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

It means a lot that you are here today. As you listen, I encourage you to think of who may appreciate the tidbits of knowledge we are sharing and to take a moment to pass this along to them. Everyone appreciates the friend that thinks of them, and these conversations are meant to be shared and to spark even more connections. It is April in the United States, and for most all of us, that means that we've had a chance to take a glimpse and look at our finances a little bit deeper, even if just to file an extension on our taxes. Some way or another, we have looked at our finances in this season as part of being a us citizen. Recently I had a friend of mine send me a message about their dismay over their financial status as reflected in filing their taxes. Was them looking at how they were living and how surprised they were, how little they were making. And my response to them was something they said was one of the five best things I'd ever said to them, which I decided was possibly worth a podcast episode and sharing the same with all of you because I talk a lot.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So for something to make the top five from one of my friends meant it might be worth sharing. And it all boils down to what you measure matters, and there are so many different things in our life that we can measure. And to me, what we have in our bank accounts are what we write down on the forms we turn in once a year, as what we make for our income is not something that I choose to be a measure of my worth as a human and the measure of how successful my year was or how important things are in my world, and I challenge you to possibly do the same. I think over the past four or five years, I've been amazed at what those pieces of paper say about me and how I've been able to live and move through the world. Regardless of that, I think the pandemic taught all of us a thing or two about that, right? I measure my life and how much joy I have about the people I surround myself with, the experiences I get to have. We've all heard another adage, right, about it's not about the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. And I have had some incredible moments that have taken my breath away. I've got to create beautiful things in this world.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

I've been able to do things that make a difference and make an impact. I've been able to connect with people who have made an impact on me, who I've been very grateful for. If you measure the level of gratitude I've had, I've had immense levels of gratitude in my life at times in my world. And perhaps the low level of my bank account has increased the level of gratitude I've had in my world because of the experiences and things I've been able to do. We recently had my episode where I joked about the cars that I drove and the way that I moved through the world at different stages of my life, and I had so much joy, regardless of that. And I'm very grateful for being in those places. And in the last four or five years, my income tax returns, the numbers on them, have not reflected where it was seven years ago, ten years ago, when I was making more money. But I am so grateful to be doing the work I'm doing, and I'm measuring my impact, and I'm measuring the connections I have, and I'm measuring so many other things right now other than that in my world.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And I would love for you to take this opportunity to look at what you're measuring and what actually matters, to really take that reflection and to look at what tools, what measurement tools you've integrated into your life based on expectations from society, expectations from the home you grew up in, expectations from the people you surrounded yourself in at various points in your life that told you what was important, what actually matters? Right? Does it matter how much fun you had today or how dirty your house is? Because sometimes the messiest homes are the happiest homes and sometimes the happiness and the connection is way more important than how orderly everything is. So what do you actually measure at the end of your day? What are you using to measure how you're moving through this world? Are you measuring how many times you laughed? Are you measuring how many times you connected with somebody else? What are you using as your measurement tools? Because I can tell you at those times where my bank account was probably the healthiest, I may not have been the healthiest or the happiest. I was probably working the longest hours in the most stressful positions and not the happiest. I remember a time after I'd been let go from a job, and things were complicated in my world or whatever else, and I went to the Oprah's life your way event. I think that's what it was called. I may not have the exact title right. It was in Seattle, and I went with a woman who's very dear to me. I bought the ticket for a friend for her 40th birthday, I think, but she wasn't able to come.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And I got to invite somebody else who I had a magnificent time with. We had such a great time. And they had one of those wheel of lifesaver where you fill out how fulfilled you are in different areas of your life. And I was unemployed at the time. I don't think I had any contracts yet. I was very much in a flux place and very unsure about my direction. And it was hilarious, because, really, my life was the most balanced it had probably been in years when I wasn't working, when I was unemployed, when my bank account was close to being in jeopardy because the fact money wasn't coming in, and yet I was gardening, I was connecting. I was traveling at this event because I bought these tickets before all those things had happened, when money was flowing in with a job that I had.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Like, I was more balanced in so many ways than I had been at multiple points in my life in probably the previous five to seven years, at least, maybe longer. And it was so funny because the one thing where I wasn't was with the money. And really, if, you know, nine other categories are doing great, then only one category is off. Actually measuring my life by those are the nine categories. Cause I still had a roof over my head, I was still able to eat, and I had so many other positive, great things in my world, right? So what are we measuring? What are you measuring? What are you giving the credit to and the credence to? There was another point earlier in my life where I had an incredibly stressful job that I was traveling. You hear this a lot with me, right? It took me a long time to learn that the jobs were not the most important thing because I definitely was raised and thought that that was the most important thing. I was definitely a pull yourself up by your boots straps hardworking girl, right? I worked very, very, very hard most of my life and put in those really long hours. I still remember a good friend telling me that if I was going to work that hard, I should have gone into a field other than social work, where I be paid a ton for all of the hours I was working, what I was doing.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

But a different point in my career when I was traveling a lot and very stressed and had a lot of family stuff going on and all those different things and working long hours and traveling and whatnot, and I actually shifted and took a job that was only 32 hours a week. And I actually did, like, the math on what I could do to make up the difference in pain, all this type of stuff. And it wasn't long before they found a way to have me full time because I was a value add to the agency I went to. But in the interim, like, I was like, I'll babysit. I'll do whatever I need to, you know, to make up that money, because I just needed a shift, and it was such the best decision I ever made. And I've told that story to. To siblings and to other people. I know about how, you know, working less, taking a job with less hours has never been a bad idea.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

It's beautiful when they had that opportunity to have professional positions with less hours, because there's so much more to life than work. And being able to do that is a wonderful thing. So what you measure matters, like, do you measure it in how much money you're making or how much room you have for joy? If you can still make your life work with less money, then that's not what's most important, right? It's amazing what you can manifest in your life to resolve those pieces. So that is the big thought for today, for you to look at what you're measuring, what you are aiming for, and thinking you're less than because you aren't achieving. Because when we hear this story about, you know, the goldfish climbing a tree, it's like, of course the goldfish can't climb a tree. Why is the goldfish trying to climb a tree? And there's so many other things in life that we're like, well, why am I not making more money? Why am I not making more money? Well, because you don't need to make more money. You can have this life and do these things without that, possibly. Why is that the only solution? Why is it that you need to, you know, grow arms and legs and not be a goldfish to be able to climb trees? Why can't you go swim in the ocean or in the river or your goldfish? You shouldn't probably be in the ocean.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

That was a bad analogy, Shawna. So what else could you be doing? What are the direction? What else should you be measuring? Should you be measuring, you know, how fast you can swim or how happy you are splashing in the water or how good you are at making bubbles? I don't know that much about goldfish. How good you are forgetting things, right? Goldfish forget things fast, right? That's a goldfish thing. What else should you be measuring? So look around at the things that are going well that do bring you joy, that are the things that are most important to you. And that's why when you work with coaches, one of the first things they do is measure what you value so that you can actually be measuring the things that you value. Because most people don't value money. Most people value other things, and most of those other things are things you are being successful at, or there's different ways to be successful at them and to have that measure without money being the central piece. So that is our primary concept today, ways and things for you to be thinking about, about what is important to you.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Is it freedom? Is it connection? Do you value quality time? Do you value being creative? Do you value something else entirely different, that you're able to have more space? And are you properly measuring that, or are you just kind of defaulting to whatever you've been taught is supposed to be a measure about how big your house is versus what matters to you, is how orderly is now easily moved through it. So you should be focusing on getting rid of things and having less stuff and less clutter, which actually, that doesn't require money, right. Requires less money. So you're buying less things is how that should work. Right. So that's the type of thing that we need to be looking at more and thinking through a little more. So for our self maintenance minute, my self maintenance, there's a lot of things that I am juggling right now, and it's been intriguing. Recently, a friend told me about the fact that, you know, the moon and things that are happening, that the moon can move the ocean and moves tides.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So moon cycles can also, like, make other things in the world not work and go in different directions. And we always have, like, technology, and we've all have heard of the mercury in retrograde, right. That things don't flow the right way. We have bigger forces that pull sometimes in this world that are making things harder to. To work and to flow. And I've been hiring some positions and it hasn't gone smoothly. And I'm getting ready to take some time away from work. And trying to make that flow has been a bit of a challenge.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Right. So my self maintenance has been even more imperative as I try to balance these things. So I scheduled a massage for myself because I do need that time away in that quiet time. And I've been making sure that I do things like eat real food regularly because it's been that. That busy and crazy that we're getting to rudimentaries. It's not. It's not the big things. It's a little thing is that taking breaks and being able to eat has been an important thing for me to do to make sure I'm getting the things done.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And also, I've stopped explaining to people why I'm so overwhelmed, because I've decided it's taking up too much time to explain that. So I've just started letting go of that and not explaining that and just focusing on the positive things and the gratitude. We talked about that on a recent episode with my guests, that she has a graduate practice. And I'm getting back to gratitude and focusing on that and just knowing this is just a phase and a time, and I will get back to the flow. And that's okay. I'm doing this in service of some beautiful things ahead, and I'm going to focus on those beautiful things. That's my self maintenance. Scheduling a massage, making sure I take breaks to eat real food, and definitely keeping my eye on the prize of beautiful things I have scheduled ahead for me.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So I hope you're doing some things. Are you reflecting right now about what you're doing to take care of yourself? And sometimes it really is just to make sure you stop and eat real food on a regular basis, because that can be a challenge sometimes when it's easier to not do that, right? Yes. So for our grit wit, I want you to reflect on what you're measuring. What are the things that you're holding up as meaning something in your life, that there is a meaning behind how much of them you have or how little of them you have, and if those are the right things to be measuring. Have you been measuring your portion sizes of what you eat. And maybe you should be measuring the quality or the food that you've been eating, that you've been taking your time to eat healthier foods. And that's what you should be measuring, is the quality of food that you're eating. Or maybe you've been taking longer walks and you're not giving yourself the credit and measuring how much exercise you're been working into your life in small ways doing instead of measuring some other arbitrary tool like a pair of pants you want to fit, instead of realizing that you're getting healthier and that's better for your overall well being, that you're being more active and that's great for your brain and for your well being and your ability to think straight and be an active part of your life.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And that being an active part of your life is more important than how a pair of jeans fits. Are you measuring the important things? Are you measuring how many times you laughed today? How many hugs you got? How many quality conversations you had? How many times you took a break to connect with somebody else? Have you been measuring the paycheck instead of measuring how well you've manifested having a home that you enjoy and feel safe and it's a haven for you, what are you measuring? Take stock of the things that you're tracking and paying attention to and attaching meaning to. And take stock the things that you want to be measuring. You want to be measuring the depth of your gratitude. You want to be measuring the relationships and the connections. If you want to be measuring the fact that you have had a roof over your head your entire life and a safe place to sleep, and you've been able to eat, even if you haven't been able to go to all the incredible restaurants you want to try, and they're still trying to try them. Have you been measuring all the wonderful recipes you've taught yourself to cook? Think about that. What you're measuring.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

That's what we're going to walk away with today as our grill width is to think about what we're measuring and what we want to measure more of and give some reflection to those things we want to measure and making more space for that. Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to jump on over to instagram and follow us at the Grit show. And if you aren't already following authentic Connections podcast network at 37 by 27, you should definitely be doing that as well. Don't forget, you are the only one of you that this world has got and that means something. I'll be here next Tuesday. I hope you are too close.

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About the Podcast

Growth on Purpose
Are you a giver and a doer? Are you someone who has shown your grit and powered through, and now you're ready for the other side? Now you re looking for the conversations that remind you about self care, that bring to mind grace and understanding, and give you space to reflect on purpose. Do you want more room to breathe and to live life with a little more ease? Each week, we discover tools and ways of thinking that support alignment, build stronger connections, help us find better questions, and live our best life. Most weeks we laugh, some weeks the topics touch close to home, but ultimately; this is where we grow together as seekers and thrivers. The Grit Show - growth on purpose. https://podcast.TheGritShow.com

About your host

Profile picture for Shawna Rodrigues

Shawna Rodrigues

Shawna Rodrigues, Podcast Strategist and Founder of Authentic Connections Podcast Network, Host of The Grit Show (https://podcast.thegritshow.com), co-host of Author Express (https://bit.ly/AuthorExpressPod), and coming in 2024- Authenticity Amplified. Shawna is passionate about increasing the number of podcasts hosted by women, an internationally best-selling author (www.shawnarodrigues.com), and a sought after speaker & consultant.
Find her on Instagram @ShawnaPodcasts.