Success Podcast Post

What Defines You with Molly Sider

George Grombacher April 20, 2023

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What Defines You with Molly Sider

LifeBlood: We talked about exploring what defines you, why so many of us silently struggle with doubts and insecurity, how to start living how you want versus how you think you should, and the importance of living by your values, with Molly Sider, Certified Coach and host of the I Am This Age podcast.   

Listen to learn how to start making small changes in your life in service of getting closer to what you want!

You can learn more about Molly at, MollySider.comInstagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Molly Sider

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, I’m left with is George G and A time is right. welcome today’s guest on the powerful, Molly cider. Molly, are you ready to do this?

Molly Sider 0:08
I’m ready.

george grombacher 0:09
All right, let’s go. Molly is a certified coach, Podcast Producer. She’s the host of the I M this age podcast. It’s a show that proves it’s never too late to make a big change. Molly excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do.

Molly Sider 0:27
Yeah, thank you so much for having me and are just so fun. Um, so a little bit about me, I live in Chicago. But I and I grew up here. But I’ve also lived, I’ve spent many years in the Bay area, area. And I’ve spent many more years in New York City before coming back to Chicago. And I worked for a really long time in the wine industry. I worked on all sides of the industry from picking grapes and making wine to importing it, and also pouring it at your table at restaurants and everything in between that. And a few years ago, I mostly gave that up to become and really focus on telling stories and life coaching. I became a certified life coach and I launched a podcast called I Am the sage, as you just said, which is about people who have mid made big life changes after the age of 40. And that’s what I do now.

george grombacher 1:28
I love it. So you could have done anything. What is it about stories?

Unknown Speaker 1:37
Yes. So I’m, I am I consider myself a storyteller. And it has changed my life. Throughout my life I was I was a creative writing major in college. So it’s sort of started there. But storytelling, I should go back. So I’m a storyteller. Like I get up on stages until true personal narratives like the moth style, have you ever heard of them off. And what I began to realize was that the more I was sharing with of myself, and the more vulnerable I was getting, the more connections I was making, and the bigger my community grew. And the more I started to understand who I am at my core, which in turn helps me figure out really what I want out of this life, what I want to do what my values are, as opposed to what I thought my values should be. So the storytelling piece is really, really important. And it’s kind of you know, it’s what I do on the podcast, where I have people come on, and I sort of help them share their story of, of change, and of all the emotions and the fears and the insecurities that go around change, and especially at a specific age, and how to navigate through those things. I often say we are unique in our details, and not so unique in our emotions and feelings. But you know, mostly the storytelling is a way. So I want to be very clear that when I talk about like storytelling, and how that’s so helpful for us, and I am a life coach who helps people to tell their story, share their story, and unpack it and figure out what that means. I’m not saying that you have to get on the stage to do that. Although it’s really fun, and I and I recommend it. But you know, we’re telling stories all day long. Every day, it’s all we do. We’re just like a bunch of stories, right? We get on the phone with our friends and we tell stories, we sit around a dinner table and we tell stories. You and I before this, before this, we started recording, we just told each other some stories. And that’s what I mean by telling your story, start talking about yourself, like normalize, just talking about what’s happening in your mind. You know, you’re you this podcast is like about is about getting better and living how living how we want to live. And in order to do that, we have to talk about our experiences, our life experiences, we have to be able to unpack that and find meaning in that so that we can really figure out who we are at our core. And and then and then. So it’s telling those stories. It’s you know, it’s important because I think we’ve been taught, most of us have been taught I think it’s changing a little bit but my age and 45 You know, it was always taught like stay private, keep your emotions inside. Don’t be a burden on other people also That’s private. That’s not for other people to know. And we can’t make the changes we can’t live The life we want, we can’t really understand who we are and how we relate to the world without actually talking about it to other people, and relating to other people. And the other. The other piece to that is, you know, we, like I said, we’re always just kind of, we’re telling stories all the time to each other to our friends, who are also telling stories to ourselves, right? We all we’re constantly telling ourselves stories in our head. And we often keep those things private, because usually, the stories that we’re telling about ourselves telling ourselves about ourselves is that is something probably negative, you know, that we’re bad that we’re, we’re not good enough, we’re unlovable, you know, something like that. And oftentimes, we’re afraid to share that with with the world, because we’re afraid that the world will then reflect back to us what we already believe to be true about ourselves. But what I’m here to tell you, is that if you’re feeling something, if you’re feeling away, most likely, not most likely, definitely someone else in the room has, is feeling the same way that you’re feeling or has felt a similar way at some point in their life. And when you share that, you’re immediately creating a connection. And when you create that connection, the beliefs about yourself, they the fears around what you think about yourself, it just gets a lot lighter, it gets a lot easier, because you’re not alone. And you’re able to share, have a shared experience with somebody and then all of a sudden, you know, all of those fears and insecurities around that feelings kind of get a lot lighter, you know, you get a different perspective on it. And you can spend so much less energy hiding who you are and what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you’re worrying about what you’re worrying about how the world is going to perceive you, and you can let that go. And you can refocus your energy on like, what you really want what you really need out of this life, you know, I’m always like energy is currency. So spend it wisely, right? That was a long winded answer.

george grombacher 7:17
So much great stuff. I love how my situation certainly in me, unique in detail, but, but I share so many different emotions with, with most probably other people like we all I know that I certainly have plenty of insecurities and fear and doubt. So I totally get that. And we have negative emotions and beliefs that are keeping us stuck. And there’s expectations on us. And I’ve got a lot going on. And I’ve got obligations and bills to pay and oh my gosh, who am I to indulge myself to explore the life that I really want? And you know, that’s not practical at all. And, Molly, I believe that the majority of human beings are leading lives of quiet this desperation where they’re just not leaving the lives that they want, which I imagined that you believe that to be true as well, which is why you’re doing the work that you’re doing. There’s a lot that that keeps me where I am. And I stuck could be or comfortable. Could be another term. What are some of those roadblocks? We’ve been talking about fear and insecurity but also financial? Probably lots.

Unknown Speaker 8:29
Yeah. Yeah, all of those things are real. And they’re valid, you know, especially the financial peace, like, you know, it’s not always financially possible or feasible to make a big change, like, the things that, you know, I talked about and explore on my podcast, that’s real. And that’s okay. The few things about that, though, like, you know, there, you don’t have to make big changes in order to live a more aligned life. Small changes can be huge. And can can change your mindset, you know, dramatically. There’s, there’s, it’s as important and in fact, in order to get to be changes, you have to kind of start with small changes, right. So, yes, to that, and, and also, who has time or it’s hard or, you know, how do you where do you even begin and yeah, like all of that is also true and and should be considered but, again, like I’m not saying get up on the stage and tell a story unless that sounds like fun to you. But, you know, I always say start really small start with a journal. Or, you know, tell your best friend or your partner or your mom or, you know, someone you feel safe with and Um, or your therapist and her coach. There’s, again, like, all we’re doing is telling stories. And so if you really want to get to if you’re feeling stuck, like you said, but you’re also like, well, I don’t have time for that, or I could never do that, because of XY and Z. A really, really great place to go is really just one of those things that I said, just start talking about, you know, what happened on your way to the grocery store, like sometimes like, on your way to the grocery store, something happened that triggered some thought or emotion, that might actually bring you to, you know, some other conclusion about who you are as a person. But you have to stop and you have to, like, think about that, and maybe talk, talk it out loud, to somebody to actually, you know, to be able to understand it, and to create meaning about it around it for you, so that you can take that into the rest of your day and into the rest of your life. You know, stories don’t have to be so huge and dramatic, they can be really, really tiny and as meaningful. Does that answer your question? It does?

george grombacher 11:14
And, yes. There is. So I love thinking about am I a human being or am I a human doing. And I think that that for a long time I’ve been a human doing. And I am working to become a more self actualized person to be more of a human being. And so I spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff. And I think it’s immensely valuable. And the more we can, I can do that. And if I can help other people to have those kinds of internal conversations and explore the stories I’m talking about, or that I have going on between my ears, and how I identify and my values and all those things, I think it’s nothing but a really, really positive thing. And it’s, it’s a lot.

Unknown Speaker 12:05
Yeah, you know, what I was thinking about when you said that was, was our values, you know, like, we are in certainly in this society, you know, there’s a set of values, I think that are expected of us. And that may not actually be our own or serving us. And so part of this, you know, storytelling, telling your stories, getting, you know, internalizing it and getting to the core of who you are really is getting to the, to your core values. And understanding what you really value versus what people have told you, you’re supposed to value, which I think is kind of what you’re saying between like, being a human or what did you say, Sorry, am I being doing versus a human being human being versus human doing? And I think that’s what kind of you’re saying is that a lot of us are sort of just doing the thing that we think we’re supposed to do. And that’s, you know, if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re feeling like, you know, unaligned or, you know, or maybe that’s not even a vocabulary that you use, yeah, like, maybe you’re just like, I don’t know, like, I feel like I should be happier than I am, or, you know, I have this great life, I everything seems on paper to be great, but something is missing inside of me. You know, this is where you start. This is where you kind of start to figure that out and untangle. What are you doing every single day? How are you spending your day? And which of those things feel really actually important to you in your body? When you think about them? Like how what’s happening? What’s lighting up in your body? You know, when you think of each of those things that you that you spend doing every single day? Are you living for yourself? Are you living for somebody else’s values and ideas? No.

george grombacher 14:05
And I think it’d be crazy to degree that, that we wouldn’t do that. Because when I meet somebody, just the and I try not to do this, but the logical thing is, oh, what do you do? And then I’m like, Oh, I’m a I’m an account manager at a software company. And that then becomes my identity. And then I sort of create life around that. And that might not be me at all. Maybe I was a creative writing major in college, maybe I’m super passionate about, you know, cactus, or whatever it may be. So thanks for spending the time thinking about what is it that throughout the course of my life or my day that I do have the opportunity to do that I really enjoy. I think that that makes a lot of sense.

Unknown Speaker 14:47
Yeah, I love that you just brought up the identity piece because I talk a lot about identity. And in fact, like in the beginning of every episode of my show, I asked people to introduce themselves, their like their name, their age, and however they want to introduce themselves. And everybody always introduce themselves as like, whatever they do in their career or their relationship status or whatever. And then I asked them again at the end, to reintroduce themselves without using those descriptors. And the point is that we are not our successes, we are not our failures, we are not our titles, we are not our relationship statuses, those are things that we do or we have, but that is not what defines us as a person. So my identity, find myself is somebody who is on the list, and funny, and those are things and probably a lot more things that I don’t even know yet that I’ll discover along the way. But those are things that center me to my core, so I can apply those to anything I do, I can apply those to my career, I can apply this to my relationships, and my friendships and my family, whatever. And the reason why it’s so so important is that if we lose one of those things, you know, if I lose a job, or if I, you know, break up in my relationship, yes, that’ll be hard. And we’ll have to deal with it because we are human beings, but I won’t lose who I am at my core. I know I can. Those are things that nobody can take away from me no matter what happens. And the other piece to that is that like, when I’m in conflict, you know, I always think about like, Okay, I’m in conflict. I am conflict averse. I don’t like it. You know, it’s, it’s hard for me in the way that I deal with it. The way that I show up, is I think about okay, how do I want to show up in this moment, and it’s always the same, it’s always I want to show up as my kind, honest, vulnerable, curious self that I am. And I know I can do that, because that’s who I am at my core. Like, if I know nothing else, I know that. And so it’s a way of centering myself in those moments in those uncomfortable, scary moments. It’s like, okay, well, I know, like even coming on this podcast, you know, I always get nervous before these things. And I always think to myself, well, I know that I can be honest and kind and curious and vulnerable. And that’s all I have to do that.

george grombacher 17:19
I totally agree. kind, honest, curious, vulnerable? Are those? Are those some of your core values?

Unknown Speaker 17:26
Absolutely, yes. Yeah.

george grombacher 17:30
I think, I think that there’s, I spent the vast majority of of my life, the first 35 years knowing how important goals were, but it took until I was about that age to actually write them down. And the same is true of values. I think that we all have passing ideas about what our values are. But how many of us have ever actually sat down and put pen to paper and utilized our brains power to think about things and to decide for ourselves what our values really are. And the, you know, the science or whatever it is, the verdict is then that when you actually write them down, your life will absolutely change.

Unknown Speaker 18:11
Yeah, 100%. I mean, I see that with people, you know, my age and older, who are just like, Oh, my God, I’m just discovering this idea of values. So it’s also never too late to figure this stuff out. And it’s really important. And again, like, if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re feeling like, I shouldn’t be happy, like, you know, look at my life, everything seems like it should be it, I should be like, the happiest person and yet, I’m feeling like something’s missing. I’m feeling unfulfilled, I’m feeling sad, I’m feeling whatever. It’s, you know, a great place to start is, is is writing down your values, figuring it out, and they’re, like, all, there’s so many, like, different values, like, you know, games and tests and stuff, like easy things, you can get off the internet to, like, figure this out if you want some help. And but yeah, like, if you’re feeling that way, it’s such a great place to start, because you’ll rock it. Like, if you’re, you know, if you’re living if every single day, you’re doing something that you don’t actually value. Well, you know, that’s a huge thing. That’s a big deal. That’s something that, you know, we need to know and understand and unpack, like, why and what would you rather be doing and it doesn’t have to be such a huge thing. It could be like, you know, I don’t like to drive I’m scared of driving and I all I do is, you know, drive my kids all over the place and it’s scary, you know, whatever. I don’t know, it’s a silly example but it doesn’t have to be so huge and also maybe it is going to be huge and that’s fine too.

george grombacher 19:47
Yeah, it is. It’s it’s I think it’s it’s really the work to be done. We need to dive into this and and look at the stuff that we dislike immensely or hate that we’re constantly doing. And, to your point, we don’t need to make wholesale changes necessarily. A lot of the time the good practical and pragmatic and smart solution is looking for those small opportunities throughout life of the course of your day to get a little bit closer to what it is you want.

Unknown Speaker 20:17
Yeah, that’s exactly right. It doesn’t have to be so big and overwhelming in the beginning, or whatever, you know. And the more that you know, we do this, the more we practice, the easier gets like the more, you start to talk about what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking what you’re experiencing in the world being a little bit vulnerable, the easier it gets, like I used to be immensely private, immensely private. And now I’m like, you don’t have to be like me, but I’m like an open book. Like, let’s talk about all of that. Because why not? What am I so afraid of? And truly, the more that I do this, the more I share with the world, or at least my world. The more like, I realized that I’m doing just fine. I’m good. Yeah, we’re not alone. And also can’t do it alone. Like, we can’t do anything alone. We all I think that that’s the other piece to that to this whole thing is that, like, we’re taught to, we’re often taught to, you know, muscle through alone, that that’s like the brave, courageous, like, strong thing to do is like, figure it out by yourself. And like, No, that is, that’s not don’t let that go. That’s not how life works. Like we are not meant to do life alone. We cannot do life alone. I’m just like, I say this all the time. And I think it’s like, on my website, somewhere I used to be maybe it’s not there anymore, but like, we can’t do life alone. We’re not supposed to do life alone. And what a relief. We don’t have to like, ah, you know, if you’re feeling anxious, like what’s the easiest, fastest way to regulate your nervous system? Tell someone else that you’re feeling anxious. It’s scary. It’s so scary. I still get scared about it. Because I’m like, What is somebody gonna think of me if they know that I’m feeling anxious right now? Like, they’re not gonna love me anymore. Now, they’re gonna love you just as much just album. And everything relaxes. You know, we need each other and we need to talk to each other. We need to communicate.

george grombacher 22:23
We must talk to the other human beings.

Unknown Speaker 22:26
And we must listen. We also must listen. That’s the other we also have to listen to other people. So we have to tell our stories. We have to listen to other people tell theirs. Yeah,

george grombacher 22:36
I think that that’s well said. Molly, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage? Tell us about the podcast and the coaching all of it. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 22:47
Well, first and foremost, if you like what I’m saying if you need some, some motivational stories from people who are telling their stories and making big changes, come over to I am this age podcast and have a listen. You can also just find me on at my website, Molly That’s like apple cider but with an S. And you can also engage with me on Instagram. My Instagram is Molly at this age like I am Miss age. But Molly at this age.

george grombacher 23:21
Excellent. If you enjoyed as much as I did, Shomali your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. Go to Molly mo l And check out everything Molly’s working on check out the ai m this age podcast wherever you listen your podcast and then find her on Instagram at Molly at this age, and I’ll link all those in the notes of the show. It’s good Molly.

Unknown Speaker 23:47
Thank you so much, George.

george grombacher 23:48
This was great. I’ll know next time remember to your part by doing your best

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