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  • Kim Meninger

Identify Where It Hurts and Why

Updated: May 12, 2023

Identify Where It Hurts and Why - Kea Meyers Duggan

Welcome to another episode of The Impostor Syndrome Files! Join Kim Meninger and Kea Meyers Duggan as they share how important it is to find the source of your anxiety to address it properly. Kea also shares her experience with impostor syndrome and how a discussion with her father led her to start her own business.

Quitting is not the solution YET:

People tend to lean towards quitting their jobs when they feel that they are not good at what they do. Kea advises most of her clients to consider other options first. She asks them to take inventory of what’s actually going on. Doing that examination first can help a person change their mindset and, in turn, grow their confidence and overall productivity. This also prevents them from re-creating the same issue elsewhere.

About Kea Meyers Duggan:

Kea Meyers Duggan is an award-winning entrepreneur, show host, speaker, and recognized career coach on overcoming fear. She has worked with hundreds of driven emerging and experienced leaders globally to help them build the courage they need to create their own holistic vision for success then break that vision down into realistic steps they can take immediately.

With training in transformational coaching and 20+ years of experience in creating and implementing marketing campaigns for companies like Intel and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Kea is widely regarded as an empowering and inspiring coach, mentor and speaker by senior marketing and HR leaders and CEOs. Her insights have been featured in Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, Elite Daily, Career Contessa, The Financial Diet, and other digital platforms.


Outline of the Episode:

[01:40] Kea Meyer Duggan’s background and advocacy [07:22] Moments of doubt regardless of how much you love your work [12:21] How anxiety and overthinking lead to exhaustion [16:16] Kea’s usual clients and how her students empower her too [20:44] No one cares and how it’s a good thing [22:38] Identify where it hurts and why [30:34] What are the questions to ask yourself [35;19] Quitting is not a solution [41:30] It doesn’t have to be a coach, it can be a friend

And many more!


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Kim Meninger Welcome, Kea. I am so excited to see you face to face, at least virtually anyway, and continue our conversation we started privately and now bring it to the audience. So I, I knew when we connected that we were going to have very great energy, and we’re gonna have a great conversation. So I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. And I would love to welcome you and invite you to introduce yourself.

Kea Meyers Duggan Thank you, Kim. And you said it, I have been waiting for this conversation since our very first phone chat. And I just, you know, you already know I love talking about this, I’m so glad that we get to do this. And thank you for inviting me to be on your show with you. So for everyone, my name is Kea Meyers Duggan. I am a coach, I’m a professional speaker, I also, I have my own podcast. And, and these are, this is kind of a perfect intersection of all the things that I love to do. I love speaking, but I love coaching. And I love being able to teach a little bit. But this is not the path that I have been on my entire career. I started my career in marketing, I knew pretty early on in my marketing career, that is not what I wanted to do. So I made, I made a little pivot to have my own business. And then I came back. And I just kept working in what I knew that I could do. I knew what I had to do until I could figure out exactly what I wanted to do. But, but my background is in marketing, but it plays into what I do very, very nicely.

Kim Meninger Well, and I really want to spend a moment talking about this. Because I think there are a lot of people listening who can probably relate to that. I know this is not the right place for me right now. And then when that happens, all kinds of thoughts pop in, you know anything from, well, I’m afraid to make a change, or I don’t know what I want to do, or I should like what I’m doing. I’ve trained for this. People would be happy to have my job. All kinds of thoughts like… What was it like for you when you were in a job knowing this is not for me?

Kea Meyers Duggan So when that happened, when that realization happened to me, it was I mean, this was the early 2000s, right? In fact, it was, it was not long after 9/11 when we were all reimagining what our lives and careers could be like, right? So that was, you know, that was pre the great resignation that we’re in right now. Right? And so everyone’s like, oh, my God, do I want to do this? And so I was part of that, I was part of that group too. And for me, it was not knowing that I had options, right? Like right now, it’s so different. Because you know, there’s Instagram, there’s Facebook, there’s Twitter, there’s all the social media, where you are seeing people that are taking these very non-traditional career paths. But back in 2002, right? You didn’t know you thought, okay, I went to college for this thing. So my degree was in advertising, my bachelor’s in advertising. I went to college, this is what I’m supposed to do. This is what I studied, I’m supposed to work in an advertising agency for the rest of my career until I retire. And then that’s it. That’s what I thought. That’s what the programming was of what you were supposed to do. And there was no example to the contrary, at least not like what we see today. And so I remember. And I’ve told the story so many times. I remember sitting at happy hour with my dad at a bar in downtown Chicago. And I was just, I was moaning and groaning and crying, kind of in my beer, literally, about what it was that I was doing and how I didn’t love it. And, and my dad was like, you know, maybe you need to go into business for yourself. And that was, I mean, it was like the skies opened up like because I had no idea that was an option. I did not know that I had options to have my own business, to do my own thing. And so that is really what kind of opened my eyes to, oh, this, I don’t have to do this thing that I thought I was supposed to do. And so that really is what has opened the door and has brought me to where I am right now that has given me that permission to do the things that are different from what society says that you’re supposed to be doing.

Kim Meninger Congratulations on really taking that message to heart and because I can also see how, even if you knew that staying where you were wasn’t making you happy, it was also probably a safer option.

Kea Meyers Duggan Oh, 1,000% it was the safe thing. It was the secure thing, it was the thing that you knew that you could make a decent living at for the rest of your life, you were probably going to have some fun. And I was I mean, in my marketing career, I had a ton of fun. I made some really good friends, many of which I’m still in touch with today. But it just again, it wasn’t for me. But certainly, that would have been the easier choice.

Kim Meninger And so, as you now can, you know, you’re sort of on the other side of that transition, you’re doing well in your business. What’s that journey been like for you? Have there been moments of doubt? Have you questioned…

Kea Meyers Duggan I mean, those last week, how I mean, yes, even though I’m doing what I love, it, I’m so and I mean, like, I physically have to stop myself in my planner, and we’re not on camera. But you can see I’m pointing to my planner, in my planner I have like, where I draw a line and say this, like, don’t work past this point, I have to really pull myself away because I’m so into what I’m doing. And I have all these ideas and my passion just kind of overtakes me sometimes. And there is such a thing as passion burnout, right? Like you can be doing the thing that you love, and still be like, oh, I just I want to take a month off, right. But even with that, even with the love and the energy and the joy and the satisfaction that I get out of what I do, there are still days there will be moments. I mean, as recently as last week, maybe a week and a half ago, Kim, where I was like, God, should I just throw in the towel? Like is this, have I just, have I just made a series of bad mistakes and bad decisions, right? Like, it is that never, I don’t think that ever goes away. It may not be as, it may not be as prevalent as it is when you’re starting right. And everything is uncomfortable, right? And there’s so many things that you’re trying to figure out and understand. And, you know, retrain your thinking on. But I don’t think it ever fully goes away. I would agree. Yeah, it’s, I still, I still have those moments. I still have those days, or maybe even a stretch of days where I’m just like, Ah, God, I don’t think I’m gonna do this.

Kim Meninger Well, I think that’s a really honest response. And I would even say inspirational because I think that sometimes people might assume that because we are doing work that we love and being our own bosses that it’s just, you know, sunshine all the time, everything’s going well. And I think it is important for us to acknowledge that there are, there are hard days no matter what kind of work you do. Yes.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yes. Yes, there are hard days. And there is always work to be done. Right. I mean, I think, you know, you see these like Insta famous people that seem like they’re on vacation all the time. And, and that’s, we know that’s not true, right? That is not true. And there is always work to be done. There is never going to be a day where you’re like, I don’t have anything to do, everything is great. I can you know, easy-peasy. There’s always going to be work to do. And I think that realization is important because, and I remember one of my, one of the first coaches that I ever had told me this where, and I think this is probably where some impostor syndrome came in where I felt like I had to be working all the time, that I couldn’t be off and you know, my to-do list was always 20 things long. And, and they would never go away and, and so he well, the first thing he said was yeah, how’s that working out for you? Right I mean, that was just like oh, and, and the thing that he followed up with was, of course, is you’re never not going to have work to do. There’s never not going to be a fire, there’s never going to be a good time to take a break but the alternative is you’re really quickly to end up hurting yourself, like physically, you will hurt yourself. And, and I, unfortunately, I learned that lesson a few years later, but you’re, there’s never a good time to stop. There’s never a good time to take a break. But if you don’t, there are significant and can be very serious consequences to that.

Kim Meninger I think there are so many people who need to hear that right now, especially because we’re living in this world where a lot of people are still working remotely, predominantly. And those lines are so blurred. It’s like, it’s so easy to start working and never stop. [Yeah.] Have those like ritualistic transition points in our lives between have a commute? Right? You know, we knew when you walk through the door, right, [yeah]. But now it’s [Yeah] everything overlaps. And it’s so easy to, especially when you combine that with all of the other life responsibilities. But when you go to bed, it feels not just like, I’m exhausted from everything I did. But I’m exhausted from everything I haven’t done yet. And no, I still need to do.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yes. Yes, yes. And it’s always in your face, right. Like, like you said, when you’re going into an office, at least there is a separation. And when I say office, because many of us have home offices or have a place designated in our homes, but when you’re physically commuting to a building that is not your home, you at least get a little bit of a break from maybe the pile in the corner and the dishes that didn’t get washed and all the garbage that needs to go out and your laundry, right? Like, there, you have a separation. And you get to like, you know, put on fresh eyes. But when you’re at home, that’s all you have, all you have to look at. And as you know, like when there, those things are, those like consistently open tabs on the computer, or consistently untied, loose ends. That is exhausting, because you’re always thinking about it, you’re always confronted with it. And so that that just makes your brain tired, which obviously translates into physical exhaustion.

Kim Meninger Yeah, I said, I think a lot of people need to hear this. What I meant was I really need to hear this.

Kea Meyers Duggan We’re always when, you know, we’re the teachers, but we’re also the students. I remember another coach of mine, she said, she’s like, we always coach people, and end up encountering people, that are a mirror for the things that we need to learn, things we need to know, things that we need to do. So yes.

Kim Meninger That could not be more true. It’s so true. I was talking with my son this morning, and he made a comment about how I work for myself. And then I said, Yeah, I have a boss that can be really mean sometimes. I joke about that. I’m like, gosh, I am the harshest boss I’ve ever had.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah, yes. Yes. Yes. And, you know, and we, and tell me if you agree with this, we’re hard on ourselves because it can reduce this thing of someone else judging us externally, right? Like, if you’ve already said the most awful things to yourself, if you’ve already cut yourself off at the knees, then when someone outside of you does it, then you’re like, I’ve already said that and worse to myself. So that can’t hurt me. I, I’m curious if that resonates with you because I think about that a lot because I too, am pretty hard on myself.

Kim Meninger That is such a great point, especially in the context of impostor syndrome. Because I think about that language as self-protective, in a sense, right? It’s like, well, like you said, I tell myself this, then I’m protecting myself from the pain of someone else saying to me, unexpectedly blindsided by writing and so often, we’re in the states of imposter syndrome. And we’re thinking, Oh, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m about to fail. Then if I actually do fail, right, I knew that was coming. Right? It’s completely pulled the rug out from under me. [Yeah. Yeah.] Yeah. But all the while it creates so much more pain because usually, it’s not. Usually what we’re telling ourselves and protecting ourselves from is unlikely to happen. It’s not an accurate representation of how we’re actually doing.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Kim Meninger Tell me more about the coaching that you do. Who are you? Working with.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, so I am working with a lot of emerging leaders. And I, I focus a lot on the and mostly women. That is that, who I tend to, I do coach men and work with men, but the women, the new leaders, new managers, new directors, are the ones that tend to gravitate towards me because, and I’m really passionate about this group of people that I work with because I remember the mistakes that I made at that point because you’re so you know, you are trying to fit in, you’re trying to do all the right things, right? You’re trying to not get found out, right, aka impostor, right? You’re, you just, you don’t want to make mistakes, right. And, and while that does carry with people later in their careers, I mean, I, I work with people who are aged 50 plus, and are still dealing with it. So, so I mean, this is something that never goes away. But why I’m passionate about working with emerging leaders is because this is where some of those practices and thought patterns, and automatic negative thoughts tend to get solidified. This is where the habits, you know, when you’re in your like, you know, early 30s, as you, as you’re starting to really rise up the ranks, that is where some of those really unhealthy habits, you know, poor life/work integration starts to happen. And, you know, especially now just, and you said, because all the, all the lines, all the boundaries have really been thrown out the window. And so I really, you know, honor the work that I get to do with these people now because I potentially can help them not make the same mistakes that I did. Like that, I can help them to see a different way. Right? You know, I didn’t, I didn’t start working with a coach probably until I was in my, you know, mid-30s. Right. And so by that point, they were already things that I was having to undo. Right. And so I figure if I could spend time with these younger professionals, while they’re starting to, you know, establish their footing, that that can keep people from the burnout, the you know, really unhealthy perfectionism, the really unhealthy type A minus, which I am those things, I like to say that I’m a recovering perfectionist and type A, those characteristics die really, really hard. And I have to talk myself sometimes off the ledge, daily, of not being so extra with things right, because like no one cares as much as you think they do. Honest to God, no one cares as much as you think they do. So that’s why I’m really passionate about working with some of those younger professionals to help them make different decisions and to feel empowered, as opposed to disempowered.

Kim Meninger I just wrote down that no one cares as much as you think they do. That’s the perfect way to capture all of our, you know, neuroses, right.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yes. We think that everyone is looking for us. We think that everyone is waiting for us. We think that people are like, you know, looking at our things with a fine tooth comb. No, like, everyone is trying to get their own house in order, right. And no one is really thinking like, Hmm, I wonder, I wonder what Kim was thinking when she wrote that email, right. Or oh, like, I bet Kim was really like, questioning her authority when she did that. No, no one is doing that. No one is doing that. We’re, we’re, that’s a story we’re telling ourselves, which creates pain for us. It creates pain and stress and overwork and burnout. And it’s so important to remember. And I say this with love. No one cares. Seriously they don’t.

Kim Meninger I know it sounds harsh, but it’s such a liberating thing to actually internalize. Right? When we know when we can accept that that is, yeah, we can take a deep breath, we can relax.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Kim Meninger And I love what you’re saying about starting the conversation early, too, because I think we think about coaching, you know, when I started coaching, I the only thing I knew about coaching was that it’s what senior-level people get access to. Right? I actually questioned the legitimacy of even going down this road because I thought who gets a coach besides, you know, really rich, really successful people? And by that point, so much of who they are is already cemented. And your, when you talk about the, especially women in earlier stages of their careers who, for, for reasons, even entirely not their own, right, are doubting themselves and are struggling with how to integrate into some of these environments, the more we allow for that anxiety to go unchecked, the more like you’re saying these, these habits start to crystallize that don’t serve us. And so it’s really, really helpful to even, even for people who are thinking, Well, I’m not ready for a coach yet. I’m not far enough along in my career, that’s the perfect time to actually get some right.

Kea Meyers Duggan Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, I couldn’t have said it better. There’s always a right time to work with a coach, always.

Kim Meninger So if, if people are listening and thinking, Oh, my gosh, I totally see myself in this conversation. What’s one thing you would share with them? Like, do you have a like a first step or some, something that’s simple enough that people can leave this conversation feeling like, Oh, good, I’m gonna do that.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah. This is, and you know, sometimes Kim, when I say this, like I feel so this is, you know, a little bit of like, “shoulding” on myself, right? Because like, sometimes you feel like you should have all these like, you know, you should always have something new and glitzy and attractive. And that’s just flashes in the pan, right? Because there are fundamental, foundational things that are absurdly simple, but incredibly hard for people to stop and do. And so I always start with, identify where it hurts, and why. So what is, and I’ll start with the analogy that I like to use to really help this sink in for people is, when you go to the doctor, right? Let’s say you’ve not been feeling well. And if you go to a doctor, and they say, okay, so you know, what brings you in today, and you just say, I’m not feeling well, I don’t feel good, I feel sick. Okay, well, where do you not feel good? Well, like what hurts. And if you aren’t able to say, I don’t know, I just, I just feel bad all over, I just don’t feel good. The doctor cannot prescribe a course of treatment, they can’t order tests, they can’t do a physical examination, because you have just kind of like muddied the water, right. And the same goes for us. If you’re just saying I’m stressed, I’m burned out, I’m overwhelmed, I’m really angry. I’m really worried. If you can’t take that down. Even if it’s just one click right, if you can just say, Okay, I’m overwhelmed because I’ve got these three things on my to-do list that never get done. That’s, that’s something that you can start with, that’s something you can sink your teeth in. But a lot of people don’t take the time to stop and really put specific names and feelings and experiences on what is driving them to these unproductive and I’m not going to say negative because all of these experiences and feelings that we’re have, that we’re having, they really do have a noble purpose. But they work with us in ways that are unproductive and so we resist but instead of resisting why not try to change the relationship with that pain or that fear or that, you know, the burnout or the impostor feeling, the relationship with it and say, What’s okay, what’s going on? What is causing me to feel like an impostor? What happened before the impostor feelings come on, and then when you can name that, then you can get your plan of action together. Okay. So this is what happens when I start feeling like an impostor. Okay, what would help me to not feel like an impostor? What could I do to change that experience? In that situation that, you know, when if it happens in a meeting, right? But if you’re not naming what hurts, where it hurts and why, then anything that you do, after you say, I’m overwhelmed or you know, enter feeling here, it is not going to be a permanent or productive solution because you haven’t gotten to the root of the issue.

Kim Meninger I feel like you’re in my head right now. That’s exactly how I think about it. Because you’re absolutely right. Like, a lot of times, when I think about this idea of managing impostor syndrome, right? Impostor syndrome is very nebulous, very difficult thing to wrap your arms around, when you talk about it. I feel like a fraud, right? I feel anxious, what can you actually do with that. So breaking it down as far as possible. And I love what you’re saying about noticing. When I feel like an impostor this is happening. This is happening within me this happening around me that I can work. But if I just generally feel nervous all the time or anxious that something bad is going to happen. I can’t do anything with that. I can’t take any kind of action.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah. So the more specific that you can be, and this is not something that has to be like, you know, an hour-long, you know, silent reflection session. This is something that you can do in like five minutes. Why when you notice the feeling, and in fact, I just did this, I did this a couple of weeks ago, well, I was just really feeling aggravated. I was feeling so aggravated, so agitated. And that feeling had been going on for a couple of days. Because I was resistant to it. I was afraid of what was going to come out or come up if I did that quick exploration. But finally, because I was so sick of myself, right, I was, I was tired of feeling that way. I was like, okay, sit down, let’s write it out. And I did. I just wrote out all the things that were on my nerves, all the things that were just aggravating me, agitating me. And in that moment, winding all those things down. I was like, Okay, well, let’s say there were five things on the list. Okay, well, I can do something about three of these things. Right? Like, I can take action on these three things right now, here is a way that I can shift my thinking, and, oh, this person knows what to do about this, or I know they can connect me with someone who can help me solve for this, right. But if I hadn’t taken just five or 10 minutes to do that little bit of exploration, I would say, I may still be coming to you today like, you know what? The grumbles right. So these, these self-discovery sessions, the self-inventory, the check-ins, whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t have to be long drawn out, you notice it, you notice what’s coming up. And you can take time, at some point during that day, right? It doesn’t have to be right in that moment, right. But maybe at some point during that day, you can say, Okay, let me just spend some time with this emotion, and, and try to like, figure out what’s going on. But, but the important part is to not continue stepping over it.

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And that self-awareness piece is so critical. And I want to add on to that and ask you a question about when I start engaging in this process of really breaking down how I’m feeling and naming some of these things. Having been in a situation where you knew you weren’t in the right environment, and you know, making a change. Do you have thoughts on what are the questions we ask ourselves? Or how do we think about whether the problem is coming from us? Or it’s coming from that situation we’re in so that we don’t draw the conclusion one way or the other too quickly?

Kea Meyers Duggan Right. So what I, what I like to do, and you know, this is, this is a similar kind of discovery, but so let’s say you’re not sure if it’s the external environment, or if it’s just you, right, so what I like to do then, is to really just kind of put together like a side by side list of what, what gives me energy. Like, what’s exciting? What do I enjoy? What do I like? And then what saps my energy? What aggravates me? What is it that I hate for people to ask me to do, right? And I try to not put too many parameters on it because I don’t want… Because you don’t know what’s going to come up in the exploration, there may be things that you’re continuing to step over. But maybe you keep complaining about it, or you keep, like, this is a thing that is like on your brain, when you’re waking up at two o’clock in the morning, and you’re spinning out, right? Those are things that sometimes we just like, we just pushed back into the recesses of our mind. So when you’re kind of going down that list, and writing out those things, and then you can see like, oh, so I really, the thing I wrote a lot or that I, you know, that saps a lot of my energy is, you know, working with a big team exhausts me, or maybe working by myself exhausts me, or maybe I feel like maybe something that comes up a lot is that you are worried of making a mistake, right? So that when you start to see those themes come up, then you can start to say, Okay, so maybe it is more of the work environment than it is me. But here are some things that I can do within myself to shore this up. So it’s this doesn’t set my energy by but I think you have to do that full exploration and not put too many guardrails on yourself because you don’t know what you don’t know. And so there could be things that come up in the exploration, that then invite a deeper conversation with, let’s say, a manager, or maybe someone that’s in direct support to say, you know, I’ve been sitting on this for a while this is, you know, this is kind of causing a lot of tension. Let’s, can we talk about ways to solve for this, right. But if you don’t name it, kind of going back to what I was saying, initially, if you don’t name it, if you don’t have a vocabulary, or words, for that thing, whatever it is, then you’re not going to be able to have the conversation, you’re not going to be able to do the additional research, you’re not going to be able to ask for help. So I think it is just taking that exploration exercise, and broadening it to all the things that you come in contact with, and being clear about what’s working, what’s not.

Kim Meninger I love what you’re saying for so many reasons. And one, one of the things that really rises to the top for me is this very intentional effort to understand what’s going on. Because I think sometimes we can be very impulsive, we can have an emotional reaction that leads us to make some kind of a choice that isn’t necessarily the right one in the long term. And that, you know, oh, this is too frustrating. I’m leaving my, you know, I’m going to join the Great Resignation forces, I’m going to leave my…, if it’s my issue in some way, if it’s, if it’s one of these thought patterns or things that we’ve been talking about, that’s going to follow us wherever we go. Then we are setting ourselves up to repeat this someplace. Yeah. And the point about the environment, too, is I think a lot of times we feel like we are victims of circumstance when we haven’t even tried to address it. And so if we can really do that analysis, name it, and then take that action to see if you’re, if you’ve already concluded this isn’t the right place for me. And I’m going to leave, what have you got to lose by going to your boss and saying, This would make my job better? This would make my life better, right? If they give it to you. Maybe your decision, you’ve reinforced that this isn’t?

Kea Meyers Duggan Yes, yes. And so just to add on to what you said, that is something that I share with my clients, or have shared with my clients quite a bit is in quitting is probably not the answer yet. Let’s do this exploration first. Because as you said, people if you haven’t done that inventory of what’s actually going on, and you’re not sure of if it’s me, or if it’s external, or if it’s a combination of the two. You will recreate that, especially people that are wanting to make a pivot, right if you aren’t clear on those things that, you know, are your zones of brilliance that you really are good at, and you want to do them, right? There’s a host of things that I’m good at that I’m like, I’m okay if I never have to do those things again, right. And so but you have to do that examination too. Because, again, if you quit, if you make a big career change, and I like to call them highway changes, or lane changes, if you do either of those changes, but you haven’t examined why you’re leaving in the first place, or why you’re even thinking of leaving or pivoting in the first place, there’s a really high likelihood that you’re going to recreate exactly what you lost, even if it is a big pivot. Why? Because there are foundational things, there are habits that can make something an OK experience, versus it being a really crappy experience.

Kim Meninger Absolutely. And that’s why it’s never, it’s never too soon to have these kinds of conversations. Because I think that, you know, sometimes people think, well, I’ll just wait till I get to where I’m going. But if you are in a situation that, you know, you’re just, you know, biding your time until the better opportunity comes along. Yeah, better time than to invest in yourself. And, yeah, you’re saying shoring up some of these skills and these building these muscles. So wherever you go next, you’re that much better prepared for it.

Kea Meyers Duggan Exactly. Exactly. And I mean, that helps you in the interview process. I mean, how many people have you coached that are so petrified about the interview experience and not feeling equipped, not feeling like they’re good enough for the world, they don’t know how to talk about themselves and brand themselves? Well, if you haven’t done any kind of self-exploration, it’s going to be really hard for you to tell the story of where you want to go, and who you’re trying to be. Right. And so that can be a great way to build confidence for the job search interview process, which requires you to be as confident in yourself and about yourself as possible. But you have to know yourself first. To do that. Exactly.

Kim Meninger Exactly. Yes, you’re so right. And a lot of times people aren’t making changes at times of great confidence right there to make change. Yeah. [Yeah.] Frustrated, so…

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yes. And that, you know, and I always like, especially people that have been laid off, you know, as a result of a reorg, which, you know, we’re hearing a lot of right now. And I always like to tell people, you know, if you can wait, like, if you can give yourself a break, do not immediately dive into the job search process, because you are taking the emotion of the layoff, you’re taking the emotions of what was going on at your job, you’re taking that, and that’s almost becoming an ingredient of your job search. And it’s going to make your job search more stressful, really unproductive, it’s going to kill your confidence even more because you’re putting in the ingredients of what you want to leave behind. But you have to take base as much as you can, right? Like, not everyone is privileged to have a great separation package, right? Or, you know, maybe they, they’re a one-income household, or, you know, there can be a lot of things, intersectionality that we’re not aware of. So not everyone has the luxury of taking a break, right. But, again, a break doesn’t have to be a month, a break can be if you can just give yourself a week, to decompress, like and really, like, start letting go of what happened. So that, that isn’t part of this new career that you’re trying to build. Because that interviewer you know, hiring manager, HR people, recruiters, they can pick up on that stuff in a heartbeat. You know, they can smell the desperation. And so as much as possible, you want to separate that experience from the truth of who you are and what you’re capable of.

Kim Meninger Oh, that is such a great recommendation, because I think we do have to create some emotional distance between the situation that we’re leaving and where we want to be. Because you’re absolutely right, it gets tangled up. And then what ends up happening is if we are showing up in that way of desperate or resentful, or whatever it might be, yeah, we’re not getting the outcomes we’re looking for. And that’s just perpetuating a sense of self-doubt and I’m not doing this right, right. And it just becomes this vicious cycle.

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. 100% You’re so right.

Kim Meninger So yeah, that anything you could do like you’re saying any amount of time to just cleanse the palate.

Kea Meyers Duggan Transition? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yes, it absolutely pay off. And, and, and don’t, this is the other piece, cleanse the palette, I love that I may steal that cleanse the palette. But then also like, if you don’t have the resources to hire a coach, at the very least identify someone in your network who can be a mentor, or who has been a trusted colleague, someone that you can have the, you know, the conversation of what you need to hear versus what you want to hear, right. Like, if you can find an ally, in that regard, that can just be, they can just hold space for you. Right? Like that is so important. People feel like they’re out here by themselves. They feel like no one is feeling or thinking the things that they’re feeling or thinking. And so that isolation can also be a confidence killer, it can be a self-esteem killer, it can really drive up those impostor feelings, because you’re like, oh, you know, because you’re not getting feedback, right. And so it’s so easy to think that you know that you haven’t done anything in your career, that you haven’t accomplished anything. You don’t have skills and abilities. And so as much as you can get out of isolation, whether it be with a coach or therapist, or you know, a really trusted colleague, who can tell you the things that you need to hear places where you can improve something or smooth some things out. That is useful, crucial, crucial. Those two things is getting that separation, giving your mind a break, and inviting in help in some way, shape or form.

Kim Meninger I could not agree more. Absolutely. And I like that you pointed out because you know, coaching isn’t necessarily accessible to everyone as much as we would like to democratize it. And those trusted allies. Just find somebody that is more objective. That’s gonna, like you said, not just tell you what you want to hear. Really, really?

Kea Meyers Duggan Yeah, yeah.

Kim Meninger Oh, my goodness, Kea. I could talk to you all day. And you know, as we’re wrapping up here today, I’d love to let everyone know how they can learn more about you. Where can we find you?

Kea Meyers Duggan Sure. Certainly, you can go to my website, I’m also available on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. And YouTube is Kea Meyers Duggan again, just like my website, Instagram is Kea Meyers Duggan, and LinkedIn is KMDuggan.

Kim Meninger And I will put all of those links into the show notes as well. Any final thoughts that you want to share?

Kea Meyers Duggan I just, I just first want to say thank you for having me on the show. Thank you for a wonderful conversation. But also thank you for really normalizing this conversation. Because just as I said, so many people feel like they’re alone. And I think the more that we can hear stories of people who on the surface look like they’ve got it all together, that everyone, everyone experiences moments of fear and self-doubt and self-questioning, wondering if they’re doing the right thing. And so I just I’m really, really glad that you are hosting these conversations because the more that we can do this. I think the more it’s going to help people go after the things that they want to do in their lives and their career. So I thank you for, for creating space for these conversations.

Kim Meninger Thank you. I know you share the same mission and I’m so grateful to you for all the work that you do as well. So it has been such a pleasure.

Kea Meyers Duggan Thank you.

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