Patty Aubery On Inviting Yourself Into The Room
Are you tired of being unseen and unheard? Sick of waiting for an invitation that doesn't come? Ready to give yourself permission to do more, have more, and be more? Today’s guest spent years in the shadows waiting for others to invite her to the proverbial table. After a deathbed request moved her into action, she embarked on a path of giving herself the permission to dream, do, have, and be all that her soul desires. Tune in as multiple #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author and the woman behind the acclaimed Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Patty Aubery, chats with Ellie Shefi about finding your voice, cultivating the courage to use it, embracing your authentic power, and showing up fully in the world as you. If you're ready to give yourself permission to step out of the shadows and into your best life, then do not miss this episode!
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Patty Aubery On Inviting Yourself Into The Room
Our guest is a powerhouse of wisdom, creativity, and authenticity who has 'been there' and 'done that.' In her early days, she built one of publishing's first billion-dollar brands, the Chicken Soup for the Soul empire. A multiple #1 New York Times best-selling author herself, she serves as the President of the Canfield Training Group, Chief Visionary Officer at GoalFriends, and she is the creator of the Attractor Factor and Permission Granted.
A true champion of women, she mentors and empowers women to show up more boldly and authentically in their businesses, their communities, and their lives so that they can live life freely on their own terms. Please welcome the incomparable, Patty Aubery.
Thank you so much for being here. “Permission granted” is such a powerful statement. Where did that come from? When you hear the words permission granted, what does that mean to you?
It reminds me every day that the only person that can give me permission to do anything is myself. That’s where it came from. I kept waiting for people. I grew up in a man's world and kept waiting for all these men to say, “You should do this and you should do that.” But nobody was saying that. They were just letting me do what I was doing. I finally realized that no one is going to invite me into the room unless I invite myself into the room. I had to give myself permission to show up, speak up, and be seen, and hence Permission Granted was born.
You mentioned being in a man’s world. Tell us a little bit more about that, and what it was like to be a young female in a man’s world trying to be seen, heard, and taken seriously.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t being seen, heard, and taken seriously. After all, I was the President of Chicken Soup for the Soul for 18 years. I published 230 books, and I have 15 New York Times Bestsellers of my own. It was more that I wasn’t owning it. Had I been a man, I might have been offered more, but I probably would have asked for more too. At that time in my life, I felt lucky to have what I had, and I didn’t give myself permission to take the credit that I deserved to give myself.
It wasn’t as though I was living in some chauvinistic world, because I wasn’t. I just happened to be working with two amazing guys who were so busy. They were thinking about the bigger picture, and not thinking about, “Does Patty need anything?” I think a lot of women are waiting around for other people to save them or to ask them to be more involved. It's in our DNA that we always put ourselves behind the scenes as the supporter and the nurturer. I did that a lot, but I also felt very comfortable doing that, so I didn't get a lot of people trying to stretch me out of that comfort zone. I did it well. I ran the business side for the most part.
When it was time to do my own books and go on television and do a book tour and things like that, it was very uncomfortable actually. It felt very awkward. At that time when people would say, “What do you do?” I would say, “Nothing.” I didn't own it that, “I'm a New York Times best-selling author.” I always thought it wasn't about me. It was more about the guys and the brand.
After so many years, I got to be 35, then 40, and I thought, “Hold on a minute. There's more to this story.” I built this from the ground up. It was a long process of doing that. It wasn't until my mom died in 2012, and she was on her death bed and said to me, “Promise me that you will step out from behind the scenes and take credit because the three of you really did build this together. People need to know who you are. I didn't raise a daughter to be invisible.”
What a powerful turning point when your mother, as she's passing, is asking you to step into your full power, your full visibility, your glory, and your essence, and show up in the world as you. You have taken her words to heart and really honored her requests. I know that she is proud.
As you were stepping into this next phase of your journey, where you're going from behind the scenes to really out in front and into your own, tell us what initially fueled your fire? What was your 'why' beyond doing it for your mom? What was your 'why' for doing it for you at that point?
In the beginning, my mother's statement was really my 'why'; that's what gave me the strength and the courage to do it, because it is nerve- wracking for a lot of us, especially in the world of transformation. I was playing the comparison game, and anybody that ever plays that, never wins. We're never above. We're either even or below. I was constantly comparing myself and staying behind and showing up a little bit and then stepping back and showing up a little bit and stepping back, which was comfortable because I was afraid, “What if I really show up fully and then I'm not accepted, or what if I make a mistake or I forget my lines? What am I supposed to do? I've been working with this genius from Harvard. I am never going to cut it.” It's like everything in your head goes through your head.
I realized that I started Chicken Soup with Jack Canfield marketing him when I was 25. I had one mentor that was a woman that actually was working with us in the very beginning. She was really solid. She moved on and I didn't have a lot of women to look to. I didn't know anybody else to say, “How do you navigate this?” I had a lot of men that were my mentors, and they still are to this day. They're amazing. They remind me that I'm amazing, which is really great. What I found was that if I had had someone saying, “You can do this. You're good enough.” All the things that I had done on the other side for the men that I've been working with and cheerleading them on, I needed my own cheerleading squad.
I thought, “I've been cheerleading Chicken Soup for Soul for all these years. We sold the brand. I think it's time for me to become the cheerleader for all the other women in the world that want to step up and be seen.” I love doing that. That's what fuels me, whether you're 25 or 35 or 45 or 55, I spent the last few decades going through those processes of figuring out what I wanted to do and finding my passion and living in a place that I loved, and working where the time just passed by. Finally, having a New York Times best-selling book and then getting pregnant and going, “Now what?” Most men don't have to say that
My husband said to me, “Now that you're pregnant, you're going to stay home, right?” I said, “Absolutely not. I have been working for 6 years for $2 an hour, living on Top Ramen, trying to negotiate toner from the toner companies just to create a manuscript. There's no way I'm going to walk away from this. It's finally happening.”
I had to learn how to navigate how to raise a family, how to get through that guilt and that overwhelm, how to ask for help, and how to realize that maybe I wasn't going to be the one with my kids all the time. I hired a nanny who is the most amazing person on the planet. My nanny started working for me when she was 19. She was lost. She didn't know what she wanted to do. She was very unhealthy. She had no dreams, no vision. Now, she runs a company. She does triathlons. She's in great shape. She's got the life of her dreams.
She says, “If it wasn't for you cheering me on and really sitting me down when I needed to be sat down and telling me, ‘Get rid of this guy, or give yourself permission to be treated better, or do this or that,’ I wouldn't be where I'm at today.” I see that now, but at the time, you struggle.
I will never forget flying on a jet. I was flying to a book signing. I felt so guilty. My husband was upset. I was in New York and I was flying to another signing. He was saying, “You should be home.” I realized in that moment, I can't be everything to everybody all the time. What I can do is I can give myself permission to be present where I am in the moment, and enjoy where I am in the moment, because what was happening for me is I wasn't enjoying my success. When I was at home, I thought I should be at work. When I was at work, I thought I should be at home. I was missing both of my lives. I felt like a double agent.
Many women can relate to that. Many women out in the workforce feel exactly what you just described, where when they're at work, they feel guilty for not being at home. When they're at home, they feel guilty for not being at work. With the pandemic in particular, and now many people working from home, those lines are even more blurred.
They are, but it's not about quantity. It's about quality. I don't care if it's a diamond or if it's time with your husband or your kids or your employees or the project you're working on. It's really about giving yourself permission to focus on whatever is important in that moment. I celebrated my youngest son's 24th birthday. My oldest son is 27. I found out I was pregnant with my 27 year old right when Chicken Soup started to take off. They're both amazing kids. They drove an hour and a half to the office with me and an hour and a half back in their car seats. I nursed them on my desk while I was typing a story. The UPS man walked in every now and then. It all happened.
I'll never forget my youngest son, I took him to BookExpo of America. He was just about 3 or 4 months old. My aunt came with me. She was walking Chandler in a stroller through BookExpo. I was signing books. Sophia Loren came up and said, “Give me the baby.” I have a picture of Chandler and Sophia Loren. I said to my youngest, “Did it feel like I wasn’t there because I really feel like I wasn't?” He said, “Mom, anybody could have taken me to practice. Dad came to all my games. You came to the games that you could, but no one could have showed me how to live my purpose and my passion the way you did. You live your passion. That's not something you can tell someone; that's only something that you can show someone. I'm grateful for that.” It was nice to hear.
You wonder, “Am I doing the right thing?” I hear from many women, and I'm sure you do as well, that struggle with guilt. We touched on it earlier that when you're at work feeling guilty for not being at home; when you're at home, feeling guilty for not being at work. The constant guilt of, “Am I present enough? Am I loving enough? Am I supportive enough? Am I holding the boundaries enough?” I think as women in particular, we have that dialogue of, “Enough. Am I enough? Is it enough? Am I doing a good enough job?”
I love your program, your books, everything that you do about Permission Granted. A big takeaway that I've had from it is not only giving yourself permission to do the things, to be the person, to show up as you want to show up, but also the permission to know with every fiber of your being that you are more than enough.
To be honest, I don't think that anybody ever gets that completely. If we did, we'd all be on a beach someplace sipping piña coladas. I do think that with awareness comes choice. When you are having those thoughts, it's okay to be like, “Wait a second, I'm there. I get to choose whether I want to go down the rabbit hole, or do I want to support the story that's going to support my future?”
Lots of times when I have a bad story that's taking me down the wrong path, I have to give myself permission to reframe that story. That takes work and it takes time to create that. I think limiting beliefs are bad habits. They are bad thoughts. In my mind, it's more about noticing it, acknowledging it, not beating yourself up, and moving on. It's like going to the gym. If I could go once and have a hard body, I would completely do that. It’s just not possible.
We have to keep on doing the things to keep expanding our minds, growing ourselves, and transforming.
I use an analogy a lot in my workshops. Have you ever microwaved a turkey? No, it would be like a rubber duck. You have to bake it slowly over time. Just like that, transformation and life are a journey. It's not a destination. It's important to give yourself permission to enjoy your successes and take the time.
In today’s world, it is very difficult because there's so much coming at us from many different angles. You have so much social media. You have your phones and the internet. In my day when we first started, there was a fax machine down in LA. We were very close to FedEx so I could print the manuscripts and run in the middle of the night to FedEx to ship something out. We didn't have as many distractions and comparisons.
In today’s world, there's so much going on with young women comparing themselves. Girls are getting anorexia because they are not skinny enough. They are not this enough or pretty enough, and it's sad. To be out there as women and remind all women that we are beautiful from the inside out. That's the vibration that we want to hold in our thoughts, behaviors, and everything else. I have been working with you for years, and you have continued to persevere and give yourself permission to go the extra mile and never give up.
Things don't happen overnight. In this world, it looks like, “You are famous.” I remember hearing that early on like, “You guys came out of nowhere.” No, we didn't. It was 4 years of knocking on doors, making phone calls, selling books out the back of my Dodge Colt, and doing crazy things, but I did the work. I was lucky because I did have two amazing transformational leaders in my world. They are almost like two crazy dads. One was really grounded. One was like, “Believe it's possible. You can’t fake it until you make it. The sky is the limit.” Mark was crazy insane, but I got half of a crazy brain and I got half of that teacher's logical brain from the two of them, which is such a blessing. At the time, it was a little crazy and we had our days. I did an interview with the guy from Disney and I said, “It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.”
For people who are new on their journey who do not have the mentors that you and I have, and they are thinking, “I would like to exercise that muscle. I would like to persevere or give myself permission but I do not know how. That sounds great but I'm new at this. I do not know where to start.” What would you say to them to develop that habit or train the muscle? What is a good place for them to start?
The only person who can give me permission to do anything is myself.
They could start with Permission Granted. Start with any program. Get into a circle with other people that are like-minded that want to grow themselves. Not everybody does. The first time I ever found out about this world of self-help at all, I was working in technology. It was a man's world. The people I was working for were not fun to work with.
As a woman, I was supposed to be seen and not heard, which meant I was in HR all the time in trouble because I could not keep my mouth shut. We have something called GoalFriends. Feel free to check out GoalFriends.com. That is a great program. That’s a 12-month program. It is inexpensive. You can buy 10 or 12 workbooks and get a group of women together, create your bucket list, figure out what you want, and get the support that you need.
Tell us a little bit more about GoalFriends.
It originated several years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina with my partner, Darlene Whitehurst. She is amazing. She has this whole goalosophy of success. She has been studying Neuroscience. She studied everybody from the ‘70s on. She had this program called Women and Wine on Wednesdays. They would meet once a month on a Wednesday. People would bring wine and food. It is like a little home party. She realized nobody drinks wine. It was all about goals.
She rebranded it GoalFriends. With that, there is the goalosophy of success. She says, “If you do not like it, give it a goalectomy.” Everything is fun. She is creative and fun. She came to one of my lecture retreats in Maui several years ago. She walked in with her little book. She had her high heels on with her outfit. In Hawaii, you do not wear shoes in the house. I said, “I'm sorry, you are going to have to take your pumps off because our floors are wood and they could dent.” She said, “This is an outfit.” I said, “Take your shoes off.” She said, “When I took my pumps off, you almost took my power away.”
I see this notebook that she had. I said, “What is that?” She said, “It is the GoalFriends program.” I said, “That is amazing. When you are ready to launch, I will be here to support you.” She owned an ad agency and she was not ready. We became dear friends right off the bat. I became the Chief Visionary Officer and have been championing her along for the last several years, which has been interesting. She is a little bit of a control freak sometimes. Everything has to be perfect.
Now we are in prisons in Virginia. We are certifying women in prison to get their PhG. They have never got a high school diploma or a college diploma. Instead of a PhD, we are getting them a PhG. It has been fascinating how well the same process works wherever it is. The same goes for the work that I have done all my life. We have been in prisons and we have been in corporations. We have worked with women and all kinds of people across the board, but that has been rewarding to see that population grow. It is also available for the mass market and that is someplace to start.
One of the things that I suggest people do is to go online and google different people, whether it is you, me, Lisa Nichols, Marci Shimoff, Mary Morrissey or any of the women in transformation, and see what vibrates with you. What are you attracted to? I always use the example, The Secret. They were all saying the same thing, but they all said it a little bit differently. When you can find that vibration that fits your energy, follow that, research it, and get involved. Do not expect everybody else to jump onboard with you if you are new.
My family thought I was nuts. My best friend was like, “What are you doing? You left this job to go work on this weird thing with this guy who is a hippie?” My father was like, “What? I sent you to business school and you are working for a hippie.” The hippie went to Harvard. I’ve got a Harvard education for sure. I was put into the soil and planted in a place where I could grow.
I truly believe that if you have anything inside of you that says, “I know I want more. I just do not know if I deserve it.” I'm telling you now, you do. If you have that little tiny thing nagging at you saying, “There’s got to be more to this. How can I grow?” Do not let anything stop you because you are put on this planet for a reason. You do have a path. It will get clearer the more you own and honor that path. A lot of people ignore those little yearnings of wanting more. One of the biggest things is a lot of us feel selfish when we want more.
The feeling of selfishness for wanting more and for believing that we deserve more and we can have more go part and parcel with the guilt for being a working mom, building your own empire, or not having dinner ready. All of these things come together. It all ties beautifully back into this work that you do with Permission Granted. You give yourself permission to want more, do more, be more, and have more.
Also, ask for more and ask for help. It was probably 1995, when my mom was first diagnosed with cancer. My sister happened to be working with me. She was reading stories for us because stories were coming in the droves. She was studying for her Nursing degree. She said, “Why don't we do a book, Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul for mom?” I do not know if I have told you this story, but the first words out of my mouth were, “Why would the guys let us do a book, we work here?” My sister looked at me and said, “Why would not they say yes to you? You were there before Mark was there. You were there before the idea was even born. If anybody deserves it, you do.”
We had this conference room. We were in Culver City down by LAX in California. I was nervous. I went in and said, “We want to do this book.” I blurted it out. They looked at each other and said, “That is a great idea.” That was it. I was almost going to take myself out of the game before the coach put me on the field.
It’s to stay open to possibilities and to ask. It is powerful. Ask for the support, resources, and help that you need.
You are a huge champion for women. We have talked a lot about Permission Granted and GoalFriends. We have talked a lot about the importance of putting yourself in proximity with people that see, support, and celebrate you, who are like-minded and are also learning, growing, and developing.
It’s a journey, not a destination. It’s important to give yourself permission to enjoy your success and take the time.
Talk to us a little bit about how you create the communities that you mentor. You pour your heart and soul into them, and you are a master connector. Everybody that you come in contact with feels seen, heard, celebrated, and wants to join your communities. Tell us a little bit about that secret sauce for being present.
I grew up with a father who was in sales and marketing. He always said to me, “Never burn a bridge. Treat people how you want to be treated.” I did that. I love to serve. My brain is crazy. Growing up in a world of having to survive and not coming from a lot, I had to look at every problem. For every obstacle, there is an opportunity. What is it? It gets me excited, which is strange to most people.
When I meet people, I try to be more interested in them than interesting. Sometimes my son has to even remind me of that. When I look at what other people are doing and I get out into the world and I go to different things, I find out what they are doing and what are they struggling with. Is there a way that I can serve them?
I give a lot away. I don't leave my communities behind. A lot of people burn and churn through people. It is important to nurture the relationships you have. Think about how you can serve them. When we are coming from a place of service, people feel it, and it comes back. I'm a huge believer in tithing. I have tithed my whole life 10% of everything we have ever made. It has come back tenfold. That same currency is in relationships.
It is more about looking at not trying to enroll people in your agenda, but how can you help others forward their agenda. When you come from that space, you are not scary, you are not icky, and you are open. I'm very transparent. I try to be as authentic as I can and I'm available. I try to make myself available to my communities whenever I can.
I have done it organically. I'm not a big media person that is out there on Facebook and Instagram and doing all kinds of things. I believe in looking around who is right there in front of you. I say to a lot of my clients, “Do not quit your day job necessarily but you can go learn something new and bring it back to the people that are in your life.” A lot of people run away to go get transformation. They go home and feel like they can’t have it there, but I want to give them permission to be the light in their own community, to grow this light to be even bigger. We need it now more than ever.
You are such a giver. You pour into people, you are present, and you are open. How do you refill your own cup? Self-care is so critical. What is your self-care practice?
Netflix. It's weird. If I'm not busy, I feel more drained. When I'm busy and I'm serving someone else or I'm coming on and supporting you doing this or whatever it is, that fills me up. Other than that, I have a house in Santa Barbara. I live right by the beach. I go for beach walks. I take my dog down there. I try to meditate as much as I can.
The older I get, the more I realize when I don't meditate, bad things happen. I eat well. Through the decades, we have our different outlets. Probably in my 30s, it was like, "Let's go out and party on Friday night." My 40s is like, "This is not very attractive." My 50s is like, "It's time to be a yogi." It's different for everyone.
I have a couple of amazing close friends who know how hard I work. I just came home from visiting one of my best friends. She made me lunches and dinners every night. She brought in a chef one evening. We had this amazing meal and celebrated her mother's birthday, who I have known forever. I'm mindful about who's around me and make sure that those that I keep in my inner circle are supportive and nurturing.
It’s being mindful of the intake and who is in your circle, and tying that back to being present with what you need, what aligns with what you've got going on, and prioritizing yourself. Give yourself permission to put yourself first more to fill your own cup without needing to rely on someone else to pour into you.
I always say to people, “We already have an inner critic that talks to us.” They’re like, “Are you sure you are good enough?” I don't need anybody on the outside. I do a darn good job all by myself. I need people around me that are saying, “You can do this. You got this. Let's do it.” I'm pretty strategic. It's interesting because I'm very big picture.
What I have noticed over the years is I have two best friends, and they are both detail-oriented. They are very structured. I walk into their homes and I'm like, "This for me is like being in a spa.” I have learned to give myself permission to not be everything to all people. I have learned that my brain is more of a visionary and that I need other people that are more linear to help me.
I have learned to give myself permission to appreciate the differences in myself and in others, which is a huge lesson that I wish I could have learned decades ago. We all come into this world with different gifts. When we can learn how to bring them together and be able to lean on each other and support each other, we get so much more out of it.
We all have two voices in our head. It’s up to us to choose the one that takes us into our future.
We grow up in our lives going to school and it's like you have to be good in every subject and you have to do it by yourself. It's not the Montessori method. Montessori is all about the whole world, helping each other and being supportive. That's not the typical education we receive, which is much more competitive than it is collaborative. I have had to learn that I want to live in a collaborative world, not a competitive world.
You do such an amazing job of being collaborative, connecting with other women, and helping other women collaborate saying, “You need to talk to this person and you need to get with that person. Let's go further together. Let's impact more lives together. Let's shine our light more brightly and powerfully out into the world together. Take my hand and let me help you.”
It's a joy and an inspiration to see. Not only that I look up to you, but I know that so many other women do as well. We aspire to be like you, particularly in that aspect of being a connector, a collaborator, a champion, a cheerleader, and being so present. In today’s world with so much going on, you make sure every single person is seen, heard, and feels that connection. You show up fully aligned, fully open, and completely present in all of your interactions. It is truly a model for how we could all be. I appreciate that.
You mentioned earlier that even you have that little inner voice or that little critic that comes up. For someone newer on their journey who is struggling with that, where that voice is pretty consistent and is speaking to them quite loudly, what is something that you can suggest to them, a step that they can take to begin to silence their inner critic, acknowledge it, or work through it?
Acknowledge that it’s new, so it’s going to be uncomfortable, and that it's just noise. If it was just noise and you could have anything you wanted, what would it look like? Get a vision board or go to MindMovies.com, create a mind movie and start to dream bigger. Do not think about the how. Think about what it is that you would like to dream about having, doing or being. Get it down on paper, put it on a vision board, and look at it every day. Share your vision out loud with other people. It is so important.
A lot of us have these dreams inside but we never let them out. The more you let them out, the bigger the dreams get, the more people start to ask questions, and the more clarity you start to have around that dream. Someone shows up and says, “Can I help you?” I was on the soccer field at my son's game. He was in sixth grade. Thankfully, it was right around the corner from the office. I ditched out of the office and said, “I'm going to the JT Soccer Field.”
I went and one of the fathers who happened to be there said, “What are you all working on?” I said, “We are working on this vision board.” The Secret just came out. We see these vision boards and they look like ransom notes. I want to create a beautiful vision board so people can have something they can be proud of in their living room.
He said, “If you want to do that, I would love to do an infomercial around that. I would fund the whole thing.” I had an infomercial deal in an hour and it was a $1 million deal. I spent two years with one of the dads on my son's soccer team working through this who funded the entire thing. To this day, we are great friends and we have done other amazing things together. Had I said, “Nothing,” nothing would have happened.
The more you share your vision, the more real it gets, and the more uncomfortable you become, the more you start to embody that vision and own it. Some people will laugh and say, “That is stupid.” So what? It does not matter. Go on to the next person. What happens for a lot of us is we have one failure and we do not complete something or a lot of things, and that chips away at our self-esteem.
My friend said to me, “I want you to remember this phrase, ‘Up until now, I was not willing to give myself permission but I am today. Every day is a new day.’” Acknowledge that those feelings are normal. Seth Godin said in one of his blogs, “We all have two voices in our head. It is up to us to choose the one that takes us into our future.” We have a voice that says, “I want to do this,” and we have a voice that says, “Am I worthy?” Choose the want, forget the how for now, and share your vision. Everybody wants to help, but we have to give them the opportunity to help. It is a numbers game.
Use your voice and share your excitement, dream, and vision. Excitement is contagious.
I cannot say this enough. It is going to feel like an out-of-body experience if you are just starting out. It is going to feel like you are a fraud, weird, woo-woo, or whatever it feels. It’s just a lot of feelings. If you have that little thing saying, “I need to do this,” it is time. As someone who thinks pretty big, I have those moments of, “I have this idea.” I have had a lot of ideas along the way where people have said, “You are crazy. It is not going to work.” I go back into my own little office and get out my giant flipboard. I look at it and go, “If it was possible, what would it look like? How would it unfold?”
Sometimes I bring in some people that are a little bit more linear than me and are strategic but are still not afraid of my big crazy dreams, and we map it out. I always tell people, “Map out on paper what you want that vision to look like.” You would never just jump in your car if you were in Los Angeles and say, “I'm going to go to New York. I do not know how much gas and snacks I need. I do not know what freeways I need to take.”
You have to have more clarity and time to spend on giving yourself permission to unpack that dream and asking other people, “I want to get here. Do you have any advice on how to do that?” Ask other people that have been where you are going and get that feedback, map it out, have the clarity, share it more, and then it will start to unfold slowly. I can't drive to New York from Santa Barbara overnight. It is going to take stops and days. I will most likely have to ask for directions. Thank God for Google Maps at this point in my life.
Do the scary things first while you still have the energy to do it.
If you stay on the road, you will get to your destination. That destination will just be a stop and you will have something else that will show up. If we give ourselves permission to be open and not so closed-minded like, “I can only do it this way,” other things do appear. Much has shown up in my life when I'm in the space of being present, letting go of old stories, having very high intentions about my dreams but low attachment, and staying curious and asking. There are ups and downs for sure.
The other thing I say to people is if you get up in the morning, you are ready to go, you are inspired, you get in the shower, and you have an idea, get out of the shower and act on that idea because my 9:00 in the morning ideas feel like insanity by 5:00 PM. Do it while you are still in the zone. Do the scary things first while you still have the energy to do it.
A lot of people have their day jobs or are working with their kids, and they try to do this stuff at night. Wake up an hour earlier and have your own quiet time. Start to create your own practice in the morning to get you grounded, whether it is meditation, affirmations, or writing out a vision for whatever part of life it is that you want to work on, and then go for it.
Pick one thing at a time. Give yourself permission to say, “I can't do it all. I'm not going to be rich, skinny, and be this all at once. I'm going to focus on my family, health, or business for a month.” It is difficult to try to do all these different things. If we put too much together, we will probably drop the ball and say to ourselves, “See, you did it again.” Do not set yourself up for that. It’s like baby steps.
One thing at a time and chunking it down are important. What am I going to do at this moment that is going to move the needle toward my dreams? What am I going to do at this moment with my kid or my spouse? One step at a time, one thing at a time, all moving the needle. You said one thing that is super important to highlight because many people are early in their journey. They have been pivoting and feeling overwhelmed or isolated.
There has been a lot going on over the last several years. One of the things that you touched on is if it was possible or if I could have it, what would it look like, and staying open to that. Give yourself permission to dream. A lot of people, particularly over the last several years, may have forgotten how to dream.
“What would I have to look, feel, or act like?” Step into that new suit and act as if. It will feel weird but the more you start to create those habits that will help support you to get there, the sooner it will happen. A lot of us have that dream and we have that thing going, “Am I good enough?” You have these two vibrations arguing in your own body. It is important to focus on what you do want and stay there. I quote Oprah all the time. She said, “If I have a bad thought for more than 17 seconds, I know it will come true.”
There is no value in focusing on what you do not want to have to happen. Have a plan B, but focus 95% of your time on "if it were possible, what would it look like," and planning it. It’s like if you are going to plan a vacation. You don’t just jump on a plane and don’t know where it is going. You call your travel agent or you go online and look at the places that you want to go. You check out the different hotels, what restaurants are there, what you want to do for dinners, and where you want to go for excursions. You are dreaming about this. It is a vacation. Your life can be a vacation too if you are willing to let it.
Anything is possible if we are open, do the work, and give ourselves permission to dream, act, align, seek support, ask, and all the things that we have talked about so far.
The biggest thing that I would say to anyone is to give yourself permission to be you. Not the person that you think other people want you to be, not the person that you try to show up when you first meet your first boyfriend or your first husband, and you are perfect. Truth in packaging and be you. When you are your authentic self, people will love you for who you are. I have a close friend that said, “No matter who you try to be, you are going to be judged, so just show up as you. It is much more scalable.”
We overdo it so often and we try to be something we are not to be accepted. When you give yourself permission to be your full self and all the different parts of you, and let people love you for that, there is no hiding and faking. At the end of the day, it is easier. I give myself permission to be “Perfectly Imperfect” by Ellie Shefi. I have this on my phone to remind me every day that I'm perfectly imperfect.
For someone who is experiencing a rough time and they are feeling quite imperfect like the walls are caving in, they are not quite to the point where they are believing that it's okay to be perfectly imperfect, what is a tip that you can give them to be able to get back up when they feel that life is knocking them down?
Go on YouTube and watch transformational videos, read a book about becoming who you want to be, whether it is Happy For No Reason, Permission Granted, or anything at all that is in that realm. Get your head back out of this space and do something. Get up, clean your office, make your bed, or clean out a kitchen drawer. Shift your energy and do something different. Call someone and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Go into the place of gratitude. I left my friend’s house one weekend and every time I get home, I send her a care package from Amazon for the guest room that I always have, “I noticed there was not this kind of brush” or “You need extra toothbrushes for people if they come to stay.” Whatever it was, just do something that you would not do to shift it. When you start to look, “This is not serving me. Let me go do something. Let me write a letter to someone who did something good for me in my life.”
It’s just a choice. Take action in the moment and do it.
If you can't think of anything, watch a funny video. You have to shift that energy because like attracts like. When you are down, it is going to feel heavier. You’ve got to get out of it. Go for a walk, call a good friend, and do something. We have all been in a major wreck for 2 years. It is not easy. I run a lot of mastermind groups. When the pandemic hit, I told my team, “I'm going to run all my groups every week for the next year.” I have 6 or 8 groups.
I normally do them once a month. They said, “Every week, are you crazy?” I said, “I need to get out of this space and be in service mode because if I’m not, I'm going to go crazy.” I'm afraid they are going to go crazy. I let them know that we were going to meet weekly. They were excited. I was excited. We were all working together. Everybody was winning.
Get into service and shift your state. That’s so powerful.
Remind yourself, “I have heard that it is not easy but it is a choice.” Take action at the moment and do it.
As we start to wind down here, let's imagine that you are coming to the end of your life best lived. You have left it all on the table. It has been a life of service, joy, love, laughter, and giving yourself permission to be you and do all the things. What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want them to say about you?
That I was authentic, transparent, and I have loved them for exactly who they were and never expected them to be anything different than their true self.
You are offering some amazing programs and showing up powerfully. What else do you have coming up?
One of the things I'm passionate about is working with authors, speakers, and people that want to get into this field and train more. What I have realized is that so many of them dive in but do not have a roadmap. I have created a new program called The Attractor Factor. It is all about how to attract using your own vibration the ideal client, but also learning about who your ideal client is, crafting your message in a way that will resonate with them, and giving you a roadmap from A to Z so you know what to do in what order.
I find that a lot of people in this industry jump in anywhere in the middle. I use the analogy a lot that if I was going to build a house, I would not just go to my builder and say, “Start with the bathroom.” I would go to my architect and we create a blueprint for everything. We budget it all out. We look at the cost. I would then go to my interior designer and have her look at where the beds are going to go.
I would have a complete picture and take it to a builder. What I find a lot with my clients is they miss the architect and the interior designer. They go to a builder and get lost. My hopes and dreams are to save a lot of people from spending a lot of money with a lack of clarity and success. It is going to be an amazing program.
I cannot wait to be there. I know many others will be there as well. Where can we find out more information about The Attractor Factor?
You have to opt in to PattyAubery.com, and you will get some information about that. It is on the website.
How can people connect with you? How can they find out more about Permission Granted?
They can go to my website at PattyAubery.com, and find out more information. Opt in and I will let you know all the different things we are doing. Most of the programs are for women. It is about Permission Granted, getting together, masterminding, doing fun trips and all kinds of things. If you opt in, you will know what is happening. We typically send something out monthly saying this is what is coming up, just so you know. You won't be getting a lot of emails for me because I do not like a lot of emails. I'm not going to send a lot of emails but if you are interested in finding out more, feel free to opt-in there.
Any last parting words or thoughts for our audience?
My friend said to me once, “You almost do not need to give yourself permission because God gave you permission when you were conceived.” Whatever comes out of your mouth is what you create. Be mindful of your words, ask for help, tell the truth, and be grateful if you can, which is not always easy. Honor your true self and give yourself permission to be honest about what life looks like for you, what is working and what’s not working. Speak up and show up. People will be there to help and support you along the way.
Thank you so much for being with us. Thank you for the way that you show up in the world, for the work that you do, for the love and care that you show me and many others. You are a gift and a treasure. I am so grateful to call you not only a mentor, but a friend and a sister.
Thank you. I feel the same.
Thank you, until next time.
- Canfield Training Group
- Permission Granted
- Darlene Whitehurst - LinkedIn
- The Secret
- Happy For No Reason
- Permission Granted
- The Attractor Factor
About Patty Aubery
Patty Aubery is a powerhouse of wisdom, creativity, and authenticity, who has been there and done that. In her early days, she built one of publishing’s first billion-dollar brands… the Chicken Soup for the Soul empire. A multiple New York Times best-selling author herself, Patty currently serves as President of The Canfield Training Group, Chief Visionary Officer at Goal Friends, and is the creator of Permission Granted and the Attractor Factor.
A true champion for women, Patty mentors and empowers women to show up more boldly and authentically in their businesses, their communities, and their lives so that they can live life freely on their own terms.