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How Our Parents Influence Impostor Syndrome

How Our Parents Influence Impostor Syndrome

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we talk about the role our parents’ messaging plays in our experience with Impostor Syndrome. My guest, Paz Ellis, shares her story of battling Impostor Syndrome throughout her life and now in her latest role as an author. She also shares the comfort she’s found in knowing that she’s not alone in her experience.

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Kim Meninger Welcome, Paz. I am so excited to talk to you today. And I’d love to start by just asking you to introduce yourself.

Paz Ellis Hello, Kim, thank you for having me. Um, well, I guess first and foremost, I am a mom and a wife and sister and I was daughter, and I’m writer, written several books now, and I’m in the middle of narrating a couple of books for myself. And I mean, that’s about it. I have a, I’m an entrepreneur because I am an indie publisher. And I’ve done a lot of work in the past as far as sales, owning businesses, running things, just kind of doing what you need to do to live your life. Never really give myself a title. Until now that I’m an author. And, and that’s kind of something I have trouble with.

Kim Meninger I’d love to take, to dive into that a little bit more as we talk… Before we go into impostor syndrome. More specifically, what do you write about?

Paz Ellis Well, my first book was four years ago, and it’s a memoir. And I, I had lost my mother recently, and I wasn’t grieving well. And I decided that I needed to tell the story. It was kind of cathartic to write about my parents, my upbringing, what they went through, as immigrants, my father having been separated from his family in Cuba for a long time. So um, I memoirs is something that’s very close to my heart, I also write fiction. But it seems I write things that are close to my heart again. My next two books, it’s a series, are about a young man with autism. And I have a younger brother, he’s four… He’s more, he’s 48. Now, I keep thinking he’s 45. He’s 48 now, and he’s been living with Asperger Syndrome for 45 years, and he didn’t find out until just about four years ago. So that was definitely interesting. And it really inspired me to write about someone who has Asperger’s and can function and live a normal life, just, they need a little help along the way. Or sometimes you have to kind of ignore it and not ignore it, just understand and accept that that’s who they are. So I’m mostly that’s what I read about. I love fiction. I love historical fiction, and the memoirs, writing about families. One of my upcoming projects, after all this COVID is over, I have a stack of letters coming to me from Cuba, which were the letters that my father wrote to his uncles, brothers and parents. And so I’ll be compiling a book of letters. And I think it’s gonna be in Spanish. But I may do it in English, we’ll see. You know, I’m mostly, I mean, I consider myself an American writer. But, I have now taken my first and second book and turned it into, I’m narrating and into Spanish. So.

Kim Meninger Wow, yeah. So tell me a little bit about what impostor syndrome means to you?

Paz Ellis Well, to be honest, I never heard the word until I was doing some research online on podcasts, and I came across your podcast. So I listened to some and I was just sitting at my laptop with my mouth open. Like I was just in shock. Because I always felt like I was getting away with something like I felt like a phony no matter what I’ve done. For instance, my husband introduced me to somebody oh about a year ago, and they asked what I did. And I thought he would just say, oh, we’ve worked together or we’ve done businesses together. But he said, oh, my wife is an author. And I was later, I said to him, I’m not an author. And he says, do you not write and publish? I’m like, yes. And he said, so what is the problem? I said, I don’t know. I just don’t feel, I feel like I’m getting away with something. And it is a strange thing. And it’s happened to me in the past, when I have done other jobs, like even back when I was in college, and I had gotten an internship at the United Nations. I was like 19, 20 years old. And even doing that I felt, I remember walking around the UN and going to these meetings to do translations and thinking, oh my God, they’re gonna find out that I’m a phony. And I don’t know why I felt that way. I was obviously there because I was recommended and I had earned my way there. But I still felt like a phony and I can’t explain why but I felt like I was an impostor. Have you ever seen a movie with Val Kilmer called, gosh, I can’t think of the name of it? The Saint. Where he goes around and he wears different kinds of costumes and he wears, he becomes different characters. And so he feels the world. He feels everybody in what he does. And I feel like that. And I have always felt like that even since I was itty bitty. And looking back after I saw your show and listened in on your show, I realized, wow, that has been me so many times over. And I don’t know why. So, wow. Yeah, this, I feel kind of crazy. And, um, it feels it’s almost like an inner struggle, I think, to feel that way. I spent hours, I spent all day writing I spent all day, you know, editing or narrating or doing something for somebody else who needs a narrator for their podcast, like poems to be read. And me and I do it. And when I get done, and then it gets posted. I’m like, what kind of way with it, then that’s how I feel. That’s a crazy thing. It’s really a crazy thing. So yeah, well, is that is, that like, make me a little out of that? Is that normal? Like…

Kim Meninger You are absolutely on target with exactly what you’re saying. That is exactly how those of us who struggle with impostor syndrome feel that sense of, I’m gonna, I’m about to be found out, right, somebody is gonna figure out that I don’t belong here, I don’t actually deserve this. And I really appreciate your openness about that, and your vulnerability in how you talk about it. Because that’s exactly what I’m hoping to achieve through this, these conversations. So many people, especially women are feeling this feeling not only in and of itself but then this shame on top of it of like, oh, there’s something wrong with me for feeling this way. And it kind of just builds on itself, right. But the reality is, many, many, many of us feel this way from time to time. And there’s a lot of different reasons why we feel that way. One of the primary triggers is doing something new, and doing something that’s outside of our comfort zone, maybe it’s something it’s a skill we’ve never used before. It’s working with people we’ve never worked with before. It just makes us really intimidated, really nervous. Also, if we feel different from the people around us, so if you’re the only woman you know, if you’re surrounded by other people who all seem to be the same, and you’re different, then there’s this tendency to look inward and say, what’s wrong with me? Right? Why am I not more like them?

Paz Ellis Yes, yes. And I grew up feeling like that. I’m not just, a part of it was cultural. Because my parents had different expectations of us. And I did everything the opposite of what my mom wanted me to do. Like, um, our parents thought, at least in our culture, my mother’s Jamaican and my dad was Cuban, that a young lady, you know, she graduate school, she finds a young man and she gets married, or she gets a job like as a secretary or something, you don’t go off to college. So the first thing I did was when I was a senior was I applied. I lived in New Jersey, that’s where we were born and raised. I applied to schools in Arizona, I applied to schools in California. I did Princeton, but I, of course, I didn’t want to stay in New Jersey. I wound up going to Berkeley California for my first year. And, um, and so I think a lot of it had to do with my parents and them saying, you can’t do this because you are poor, because you’re Hispanic, because you won’t be accepted. And I always felt different as it was because I was different. My friends are not they weren’t really friends, but people are hanging out, being cheerleaders, doing things like that. And I wanted to play volleyball or stickball with my brother. I wanted to be, I prefer to sit in my room and read. So I felt already that I was different, but only because I wanted to be. That’s just who I was. I wasn’t like, oh, you know, cheer like I don’t cheer. If I go to a game. I’m quiet. talk and I like to talk. But even as I wrote my memoir, I realized that as a young girl, I had this issue and someone told me one of my fans wrote and said, I feel so sorry for you. I felt so bad when you were little you always put yourself down. Even, I would call myself stupid. And I looked at my book and I refer to myself as Oh, I was such a stupid teenager or I was so dumb or I made stupid decisions. And I think that’s all kind of part of the same thing. That’s my, that’s my observation. And I’ve made those observations. Once I found out about your show because I started to really like dig deep, and why do I feel like this? [Hmm.] You know. So anyway.

Kim Meninger You hit on another couple of, of the triggers to when you talk about doing something different from what your parents expected. That’s definitely a trigger as well. So if you go down a different path, there’s this internal sense, it might be subconscious or conscious, that I’m disappointing my parents. I’m not honoring their expectations of me and then doing something for the first time. So if you’re the first one to go to college, if you’re the first one to go down a certain path, you don’t have role models, you don’t have that sense of having marinated in that environment before, right. So you look around and you see people that are legacy students, their parents want there, everyone in their family did and here you are feeling like this is a whole new world for me and I don’t fit in.

Paz Ellis Right. And my older sister got to go to college. But she was from my dad’s first marriage. And her stepfather he had, he did well, so he paid for schooling. At first, it was an issue, her wanting to go to college. But um, she went to an all-girls school. And it had to be, I think it was a Catholic College in Pennsylvania. And she couldn’t go too far, those parameters, but she was able to, like break the mold. And she did it before me. So I remember when she left, I was devastated. I was like, Oh, my God, she’s abandoned us now what? And, and that’s huge. It was like just breaking away and doing something different. And in the intro, it’s funny because I was, when I was narrating last night. In the intro of my book, I talked about that because I reflect and I say how I have been, I had been walking through a bookstore a few weeks after my mom passed away, looking for something, something that I could relate to because I was just so lost. And so, in so much pain, and I felt abandoned, I felt orphaned, it was horrible, but what you go through when you’re grieving. I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I couldn’t find it. And in my head, I could hear my mother, I could hear her say, you know, there’s nothing missing in your life, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, a mother, and you have a home to take care of in that order, and I could hear her telling me stuff looking go home, you know, I don’t know, mop the floor, make dinner. And, and but no. And then I realized the book I wanted, the book I was looking for had to be written in it had to be written by me. And I had always written but I had never published. And that’s what got me started. And even though I wrote this book, and they’re on the cover, and I honor my parents, and I talk about them and. I was just featured in a magazine where I talk about honoring my parents and their legacies and everything that they taught us, I still feel like oh, my mom is looking down and she’s going, checking the finger at me like, shame on you. Is, it’s crazy. It’s really crazy. Because, you know, I’d hoped she’d be proud. But she might be like, you know, that’s not your job. That’s not something you should be doing. But maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. She’s not here to tell me oh, I’m proud of you. Or, Oh, you’re just being crazy as usual, rebellious.

Kim Meninger Yeah. And so what, what’s when you talk about the fact that she’s not here to tell you that, right. And in some ways, what it allows is for you to recognize that that voice that you’re hearing is not necessarily hers or not necessarily real.

Paz Ellis of course, and I know that, but I know what she would say. I know what she would have said at least back then if I said, I feel empty. I feel like there’s something missing, that there’s something I should be doing. And a lot of that is quite personal and quite just an integral part of finding myself and who I am and at my age. Like I wanted to finally do something like I had always been writing and thinking and reading and journaling and, and someone people would say oh, you should be writer, you’re such a good writer. I would write stuff for people. And I never, never did anything for myself. And when I did, it was on the heels of you know the loss of my mom. And even actually when my dad died, his doctor who eventually left the medicine field to be a music writer for musicians. He was a composer, which is really funny because you go through medical school, you’re a doctor, and then you just leave it to go sing or write for Broadway, which is what he does. He knew that I wrote. And he always told me journaling. And so I had given him some notes. And they took it to a conference in, in New York City to talk about my dad’s illness. But even then, afterwards, he was like, I would like to see everything you wrote. And I never let him see it. I never showed it to him. Because I felt that when he read it, he would see that I was not a writer, that I was, that I was a fake. And I even told him that I said, you know, I just don’t feel comfortable, you’re going to see this stuff, and you’re going to be disappointed. And when you read it, he was like, what you wrote, helped the conference, helped the medical conference, explain the process, because you watched your father. I left Berkeley to help my mom, to watch your father through all the stages, and they’re things that had never been documented. So medically what you’re doing is helping. And I was still no, no, no. And I never did show him. And when I got so sick of him calling me and asking me that I took all those journals and all my notes and I just shred them to pieces, and I throw them away. Because I didn’t want. I didn’t want that pressure on me. It was so silly. Now, I wish I had them. And I wish I had his phone number. I could go hey, guess what I did, but I can’t, you know, I don’t know. It was strange, but he always told me, you really should concentrate on writing. And I was like, I can’t have to work, I have to go to school, I to help my mom at the hospital, I don’t have time for me have to do this. So I think all of that. It’s almost like a guilt too my mother was very good at guilt. And I think I do it too, as a mom of just telling someone, you should be doing this for me. And not that for you. Um, I think that’s what part of it comes in too. Now I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Do I have been told by psychiatrists that before. That I lived my life and many times for other people and never for myself. So, you know? Um, yeah. So that’s, that’s just something that’s always followed me around. And I think about it all the time. I wake up in the middle of the night, or I’m reviewing a book for someone. And I think, Who am I to tell this person or to judge their book, their work? Like, who am I like, what gives me the authority?

Kim Meninger Yeah, you absolutely are here saying a lot of what so many of us are feeling. And what’s interesting to me is the relationship between impostor syndrome and fear. So there’s just this very primitive response that we have to doing anything new, to doing anything that goes against the people we care about, right? That fear response kicks in, and it’s that voice that says, Who are you, you have no business doing this, right, you’re, you’re going to fail. And all of those statements, right however harsh they are, are really rooted in fear and safety. It’s like a don’t go out there because it’s dangerous, stay where you are, and protect yourself. And I think that’s a lot of where, like, the complicated relationships with our parents come from too because I don’t know your, I didn’t know your mom, and I don’t know your relationship other than what you’ve shared. But a reinterpretation of what you’re talking about might be that she was really afraid that if you stepped outside of the traditional mold, that something bad would happen, right, and she was trying to protect you, or, or she had her own fears. And maybe there was a part of her that wished that she could have done more of what you did. And watching you do it triggered something in her too and so it’s so complicated. But what strikes me is that throughout all of this that you’re talking about, you know, shredding your journals and not sharing them is you’re writer now, you’re actually publishing you’re writing it. How does it feel to now be doing that?

Paz Ellis Um, I try not to feel, I’m trying not to think too much. I think too much. So I’m so busy, that I’m, I’m writing and promoting and I’m narrating and I’m, um, my husband is a voice talent and I’m, you know, kind of trying to help him and kind of learn because I think it’s something I could do as well. But then at the same time I just feel okay, it’s best to just do what I need to do. So I just kind of like push through my day. I don’t think about it because if I think about it, it’s… Because one of the main things an author a writer writes things about even I would say someone who writes music is block, like a writer’s block. I don’t have writer’s block, I never have, I can just things just flow out of me, I feel like I will implode if I don’t write. It’s almost like some people who love to sing or dance, like, they feel like they can’t do that. And they’re not free in their movements and use those talents as physical talents, that they can’t, they can’t breathe, they can’t live and I feel that way with words. So I try not to think about it. But if I sit and I really like, start looking at something. I start looking at one of my books and wondering, Oh, what am I fans gonna say? What is you know, whoever gonna say, then it comes in, and it’s not a fear, it’s, um, I just feel like I’m in a little hidey-hole, and they’re gonna find me, it’s the weirdest thing.

Kim Meninger So it sounds like in some ways, that’s been a strategy for you is to just not get caught up in thinking about it right to just do it because it drives you and you need to do it, but not get tangled up in all of..

Paz Ellis I do it because I have to. It’s like, if you watch baseball, you know how, when a runner goes to first base, well, guy who just hit the ball, he has to run to first base and the one on first base has to run to second base. Otherwise, no one’s gonna go around the diamond and no one’s gonna make a score, home run. So it’s that because he has to, and so I have to do it. Regardless of how I feel about it, I have to do it, I have to, it makes me feel not even a sense of accomplishment because I don’t feel that way. I don’t take things in and like wear them like a badge. You know, a lot of people I’ll talk to and let’s say I’m on on social media a lot. Now, because of, I have to, and I was off Facebook for like, three years or something. And my sisters and my nieces were like, Why aren’t you on? You know you miss this, you miss that? And I was like, people are looking at pictures, I’m gonna post pictures of what am I going to tell them? Like, who cares what I do in my life, you know, that’s, that’s just me. I’m pretty private that way. And but now I’d go and I’ll post a picture of myself. And I post my book, and I tell them what I’m doing. And so I do it because I have to not because I want to, and, and it’s just a strange, a strange way to feel. I don’t let it stop me. But if I sit like now when we finish talking, if I go sit in a corner somewhere and I start thinking about this, it’ll be like, it’ll consume me, I’ll be like, Oh my gosh, you know, maybe she picked up on it too. And maybe I shouldn’t be writing and I just think about all the things I’m just like back in school and, you know, education, should I, should I have, you know, gone on and it got a master’s in a PhD? Will that make me feel different, less of an impostor? Having a PhD? Will that make me feel less of an impostor? And I don’t think so. I, I don’t think so. I mean, it’s just so ingrained in me, in who I am. Since I was small, that I think it’s just gonna be there. And it’s just something I’ve learned to deal with, without really even knowing what it was. [Mm-hmm.] You know, and actually, I’m sorry, I just remembered this. I had a discussion with a friend of mine years ago. Oh, how about 10, 15 years ago, we were in the travel industry together, she got me into it. When I moved to the state of Florida, way before I met my husband, this is back in the 90s. And she’s very successful at what she does right now. She’s a director of something for Disney. She has been everywhere, very, very successful in the travel industry. Now. You know, one of those people that knows 1000s and 1000s of people and she can tell you who they are or what their names are, where they’re from. And I’ve never been that kind of, you know, oh, I know this or I know that. So we’re talking one day and I said, I told her I said, you know, Lily, I kind of feel like a phony. I feel like no one’s caught on to me. But like when I, I remember I think I was trying to get some kind of job and I asked for reference and she was like, oh my god, you’ll be great. You’ll get the job about and I did get the job. But she said to me, I’m going to tell you something. I feel the same way. And I’m like No way. How could you feel the same way? I mean, you’re so confident and you are the head of this and you’ve done that. And but she feels the same way. And after she said it, it kind of. She didn’t say she was an impostor. But she said she felt like a phony and that she would be found out. And that is exactly what I always thought. So the word impostor syndrome didn’t come into play, but it was years ago. And I always have that in the back of my mind, I always have that conversation think about, that conversation with my friend, Lily. and think, Okay, what Lily feels like that, then I’m not crazy.

Kim Meninger Yeah. And that’s a perfect example of why it’s so helpful to talk to other people because we do think we’re the only ones as soon as you find out all these people around you who seem like they’ve got it all figured out. Right? They’re confident, they’re strong. And then they say, I feel that way too. And we all can you take a deep breath and realize, hey, this is not just me.

Paz Ellis I was shocked. I mean, I was shocked, because she’s so confident. And she, she has so many friends. She’s one of my few close friends. And now she has a lot of friends. Like, I’m like, I’m one of her close friends. But she has like 1000s of people that she knows, they have a huge, like, like, people will come to their house, and they entertain guests. And they do stuff like that. And I don’t do that. So we’re different. In that sense. I’m different. But when she told me that, it really has never left me and I and I think about it, I’m like, even if she feels that way, then a lot of people must feel that way. But they don’t say it. You know, it’s like, we go on a job interview, like I will, I would train some people to go on job interviews, and an entrepreneur in our business, I had to hire people, fire people and do all that. And so I could really read people and I could tell when someone was uncomfortable, I could tell when someone was lying to me. And when what they put on their application or resume was real. I could tell because you speak. And the, the way you say things and how you talk about certain experiences, kind of gives you a hint whether or not those experiences were real. So I, you know, I was pretty good at hiring because of that. But when I went to a job interview, I felt like, I wish he would turn around or she and the door was open. And I could just run because I felt like oh my god, he’s gonna find out. And then I think what is he gonna find out? Doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make sense.

Kim Meninger And that’s another strategy in and of itself, right is to actually look at what you’re telling yourself and realize how crazy it is, you know, I don’t mean crazy. But yeah, you know, just the absurdity of what we tell ourselves, right? The fact that we, we truly believe these things about ourselves that we have no reason to believe. And so the more that you can actually just say it out loud, you challenge those statements that we hear, recognize that they’re coming from a place of fear, it’s a well-intentioned response. It’s just overactive and disruptive.

Paz Ellis Right? My husband says that over the years that I have talked myself out of certain things because of my deep-rooted belief. And actually, poor self-esteem. I’ve had poor self-esteem. And I know I do. And since I was really young, so I’ve had to learn certain things. Like if someone gives me a compliment, or they say, Oh, I love that picture. You look beautiful. I would be like, Thank you, you know. So it’s the same, it’s the same concept. And he said, he, you can never take a compliment. You need to be gracious, and just say thank you. And now I’ll be like, thanks. But have you seen all this gray hair? And, um, and someone recently said to me, you’re so, you’re so confident, I love that you’re letting it grow because it grows in the front and it grows, like a kind of look like, Oh, my husband said it kinda looks like Elvira so I’m like because my hair is so black. I’m like, Yeah, okay, you know, but I’m good with it. I kind of I look at it almost as a, as something I’ve earned, as opposed to something I have to hide because until last year, right, I used to just dye the front. Because, you know, the wave was coming out and it started to try to pluck it. It was a big mistake because it just comes back and it comes back. It seems like it comes back thicker and more. And so anyway, so I decided to let it go. So people think I’m confident because I’m letting my grays show. And it’s not confidence. It’s just accepting this is who I am. This is, this is who I’m going to be in five years. I might be completely gray. I don’t know. But the least, after my mom died, I realized how unimportant the way I looked, should be. It shouldn’t be the focus of how I feel about myself, I always compared myself to my younger sister, or my older sister, or my best friend who was gorgeous and looked like a model. Or I did that. And you know, as you get older, you feel different about yourself, as we mature as you go through our 30s and 40s and 50s, we all start to feel different. I just told you how old I am. I’m 52. It’s something, it’s definitely something that I’ve always had to deal with. And I think a lot of with the impostor syndrome thing has to also do with your self-esteem. And in not just physical, it’s just, it’s just the kind of go in. Have you experienced that like with other people, that they have poor self-esteem? They may not act like they do, but they do?

Kim Meninger Absolutely. I think we’re all struggling with it at some level. And I think the challenge is that because nobody talks about it, we all make assumptions about other people. We have no idea. You know, like you said about your friend, you would never have known that if you hadn’t put it out there. And given her a chance to say I feel the same way. Right. I think it’s helpful to remind ourselves that just because somebody else looks like they’ve got it all figured out doesn’t mean they feel that way.

Paz Ellis Right. Right. They can be completely successful. And well, and it also you look at celebrities and people who have committed suicide or yeah, you never have expected. Exactly. But how I mean, and then I think about well, how could I never have expected that he would commit suicide because I truly didn’t know him, because he made me laugh so much. And it didn’t mean that he was feeling like an impostor and I’m thinking specifically of Robin Williams, actually, yeah, who dealt with a depression and my mother was had chronic depression, very severe. And so those were things I fought growing up because I said, I’m not going to be like her, I’m not going to be depressed. I’m… At the same time, I want to be like my mother, because I adored her. And she was brilliant. And she was just a very strong lady. But she really had borders, she had these things she put up around herself, where she didn’t think she could do this or that because she had an accent. And I didn’t want to feel like that. I wanted to exude some sort of confidence so that my sons would be more positive and would say, Hey, I’m going to try that, hey, I’m going to do that and not be like me and feel oh, you know, I can’t because somebody will figure me out. And I think my youngest son has my issue. I think he feels that way. I think he feels like a phony. And it just the things that he says and then I’m like, no, he’s he just turned 18. And he didn’t want to have an 18th birthday. He was like, I don’t want to be a teen, mom. He’s big. He’s afraid of the world and growing up and all that kind of stuff. And so anyway, so I think it’s been handed down. It’s something he picked up on. I think he really did. And I feel sad for that, that he picked up on my I don’t know, my insecurity, my, my hiding myself, because I didn’t want people to know that I was possibly not real, not. I don’t know, it’s, it’s hard to know because I’m, I’m not a psychiatrist, although I may sound like one. No, I’m kidding. I’m the last thing from a psychiatrist.

Kim Meninger But you’re very self-reflective. And I really, really appreciate your telling your story so honestly, what motivated you to want to do that? What motivate, what motivated you to want to talk to me and tell the story?

Paz Ellis Well, I’ve been, I’ve been promoting my books, and I’ve been going on a lot of podcasts, and then I was just, you know, listening to podcasts and when my favorite ones, and I did a search on I think it was depression in psychology or something. I can’t remember exactly what it was and impostor syndrome. like was the name of the show. Or that was the title that I saw. And I just I just thought I was shocked. And so I listened and I read about you and I listened to a couple of shows and I was like, Oh my God. Like, this is something I have to do. I would I hope that they’ll want to talk to me. But I didn’t want to do it to promote my book actually was telling my husband earlier I said, I don’t think I’m going to post this on Facebook and share with anybody or put it on my website. I just, I felt like it was something that I wanted to do for me to see. Because I always felt there’s something wrong with me feeling this way. It can’t be normal. And I think about my friends and think but, but she has it or she feels that way. So you know, it’s kind of like a struggle. And so when I saw what you do, I, it was like, I felt like, like I was, you know, like, in the deep end, can’t swim, and somebody threw out an arm and pulled me up out of the water. That’s how I felt when I say your show, I was like, something to finally kind of put at ease that those feelings. It’s, it’s, I mean, that’s the best way I could describe it. I just was curious. And I felt like I needed to know that this was real because it is real to me. So I’m, and I’m not promoting my book here, obviously, you know, more so showing my weaknesses. And in my book, I did that because I wrote a memoir. So everybody now knows all the little things I never told my mother. You know, but, but it’s been great, because people are like, Oh my god, I felt like that that happened to me. My mom was like that my dad said that, you know, we grew up in the same town, I can’t believe that you felt the way I did it. So that’s been great. So doing this, I was thinking to, well, maybe someone else who is stuck and won’t proceed with whatever their dream is. Maybe they’ll do it. If they hear me or they hear someone else on the show because I’m gonna leave this world one day. And if I help one person, that’s that was my, that was my whole purpose of being here. So I, you know, that was the other reason I wanted to let someone like me know that they have value and that they have something they want to do they should do it, regardless of what they’re telling themselves all the time. Because we will we are our worst enemies, sometimes. Especially women, we really can put ourselves down. So no matter how many times my husband tells me, I’m brilliant, and he loves what I wrote, or he tells me I’m beautiful. I’m just like, you say that because you’re biased. It’s what I tell him, which is horrible. I should just say thank you, sweetie, I love you too. Or you’re beautiful, too. But I say to just say that because you’re biased.

Kim Meninger Oh, I know that so many people listening are going to be nodding their heads at so many of the things that you said, I am so grateful to have had a chance to talk to you today, to hear your story. And I know that a lot of people are going to benefit from it.

Paz Ellis Thank you. Can I ask you a question? Quick question? Sure. Do you have the same issue?

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And that is why I do this because it has been so much of a personal struggle for me that I as I’ve been on my own journey to manage it. I feel just like you I just, every time I learn something new every time I find a new way to manage it, I feel this sense of opportunity to share that with other people so that they might have a slightly less painful experience.

Paz Ellis Wow, I think what you’re doing is amazing. And I don’t I mean, I didn’t look to see how many listeners you have or anything like that. But I think everybody should listen to you. I would I mean, I don’t know, how could I help you promote. But I think that there’s so many people that feel that way. Um, I, I just there has to be a way for you to get up there and you’re like, on the top of the charts, because there’s so many people that are held hold themselves back. And I know that I have held myself back many times for in many facets of my life. Even when I was at the time I am a photographer see I’m doing there again. But um, someone recommended me to do their wedding photography, and I hadn’t done a wedding. So But anyway, this girl, she brought this woman over and her photographer ran off with her money. So I showed her my portfolio and she was like, You’re hired. I was like, I’ve never done a wedding. And she’s like, but you’re a photographer and your work is beautiful. What do you understand? I’m not a wedding photographer. And she was like, she the person that was hiring me was trying to convince me that I was a photographer. I never forget it. And of course, after I know a lot more weddings and I do a lot of portraits and stuff. I’ve since then kind of put that aside a little bit because of my writing but I did the same thing then and I know that there’s a lot of girls out there, young women, teenagers, women, their 20s and the 30s, which are the ages when we’re really trying to establish who we are. Because when you’re, and it’s true, I mean, if you talk to women in different stages of their lives, when you’re 20 and 30, you think you have it figured out, I’m like, you kind of feel like I’m at the prime, I’m at the top of the game like I’m at. This is these are the best years of my life. And to be honest with you, my 50s I’ve just started them. I wish I felt the way I do now when I was 18,19, 20,25. I’m not because of knowledge and experience, but because just life in general, it kind of, it kind of teaches you lessons, horrible things you will go through will be a gift one day. And I have, I have a couple of autoimmune illnesses that have played games with me and in my life difficult, but I refuse to let them stop me. And so what you’re doing is, to me, just a gift. I hope that you could find a way to reach out to all ages, especially younger women. Because I think you could really help a lot of people.

Kim Meninger Thank you so much. That means so much to me. Well, you’re welcome.

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