She’s a “chiropractor for the mind.” Dr. Nikki is a clinical psychologist, life and business coach, and mom. She joins us on this week’s episode to discuss topics ranging from implications of the pandemic on work-life balance, identity, the uncertainty that comes with making career changes, and tools for managing day-to-day stress responses that she imparts on her clients.
Speaker 1: [00:00:14] Three, two, one, lift off! We have a lift off!
Sam Jayanti: [00:00:34] Have you ever wished you could change something about yourself? Well perhaps you need a chiropractor for the mind. Nikki Sammet is a psychologist and mindset coach who thinks of what she does as chiropractics for the mind. She works especially with women and mothers to help them achieve their entrepreneurial, professional and personal goals. Nikki, such a pleasure to have you on ideamix radio. Welcome.
Nikki Sammet: [00:00:59] Thank you so much, Sam, and I would love for you to do the intros on all of my podcast episodes. That was so well done!
Sam Jayanti: [00:01:06] I am happy to do that any time you like!
Nikki Sammet: [00:01:09] So well done.
Sam Jayanti: [00:01:13] Well it’s wonderful to have you here, I’ve been looking forward to our conversation for some time because there’s so many interesting topics to dive into. I want to take, before we jump in, a quick look at the way that you described yourself and what you do. Here we go.
Nikki Sammet: [00:01:31] Hi there. Welcome to my profile. My name is Dr. Nikki Sammet and I am so grateful to have you here, and I’m even more excited to help you start your coaching journey. I have been a coach since 2013, and what I call myself is an “eclectic coach”. Because of my journey and experience, I like to help clients in a multitude of areas. So that is entrepreneurship and starting and scaling your business; whether that’s the mindset that comes alongside of entrepreneurship or business in general, if you’re in the corporate world; or whether that’s in life. So I help clients in life, business and the corporate sector. My clients call me a chiropractor for the mind because I help them find alignment in life and in business. I have a master’s degree in leadership development and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I’m truly passionate about helping you bring your gifts, your skills, your dreams, all of these fun things, and pulling it together to make the life that you truly, truly want. Watching clients unlock their human potential and watching them reach the things that they want to do and check off little goals as they go along–little and big goals, I should say–is the most rewarding part about coaching. I am also a mother to an almost-two-year-old-boy, and I take every single thing that I learned from motherhood and apply it into my coaching practice. I really look forward to learning more about you and how I can support you on your coaching journey.
Sam Jayanti: [00:02:59] So, Nikki, you described yourself as working with your clients on all of life, business and professional development issues, and helping them to craft the life that they truly want. Tell us a little bit about why is it that increasingly, so many more people struggle with crafting the life that they want, they’re often balancing competing priorities, and they’re often balancing a set of conflicting priorities, sometimes between personal and professional. Tell us about some of your work in that realm with your clients.
Nikki Sammet: [00:03:39] Yes, absolutely. And over the last two and a half years, this has become even more prevalent. In the past, we would have people go to work and they would be able to segment their life. They would be able to separate things. And we actually have people who are segmenters and that are that are integrators and that’s just their personality type. And with the pandemic, all of everything, whether that’s life and business, has become integrated. And so it’s actually really challenging, in many ways, to set boundaries in general. But what you’re really talking about is how do I become clear with what I really want in all these different facets of life? I’d also add in here that when we talk about burnout, the word “burnout,” I know it’s trending a lot, if you’re not burning out right now, you are a winning person. That’s pretty great. But burnout can, for a lack of better words, burn out that energy that we have to think creatively and to come back into clarity. So I’ve been often thinking about burnout lately, that it’s not just about the amount that we have on our plates. It’s also about the inconsistency that life is bringing to us at this moment. And then every time that we have had momentum and then we have to stop, we typically have more on our plates than we did before. And so my thoughts are is that it’s really tough to get in touch with our true desires when everything is bleeding into everything else and that we don’t have much space, much energy, to dedicate to the things that we want to do.
Sam Jayanti: [00:05:17] So what I love about what you said is–and you are a working mom, right? And I think working moms in particular have a real challenge to confront in this realm because, whether they like it or not, they’re sort of the first line of defense with things at home. And as a result, you’re consistently torn and, as you said, struggling to balance the two realms of your life between personal and professional. And that’s just become worse with working from home with the stresses of the pandemic and this increasingly blurred line. You’re creating a space, when clients work with you, to go through a conscious thought process about where they are, what they feel works about their lives, what doesn’t and what would a sort of reworked or idealized better version of that be. It’s so interesting that so many of us and increasingly as we approach middle age, continue to struggle with this at moments and sometimes throughout. How do you think about that for yourself as a working mom and constantly trying to achieve that balance?
Nikki Sammet: [00:06:30] There is no balance. It’s a constant duality of identity. And it’s not something that our partners, especially if they are male, are challenged with. Our society has taught our dads that they work and they’re a dad. Whereas when it’s mothers, we are this intertwined person and it’s the mental load of motherhood, as well as being somebody–and all of us are achievement-oriented. Some of us may be more inclined to be achievement-oriented in a professional field, but even home work is achievement-oriented, right? But it is, um, I haven’t found the answer yet to find balance. What I have done, personally, is come up with tools to manage the balance in terms of the daily life stressors that come up. For example, if I was to be on this recording with you and my son was to wake up during our show, that brings on a level of stress for me; it’s feeling unprofessional or I’m worried that he’s not getting the attention that he needs. Is he hungry? Does he need to watch a show? Can I stay focused? And I will also add that I think it’s brilliant that us women are such multitaskers and we can have a very stimulating conversation with somebody else while our kid is nagging on us and wanting a snack. So to answer your question and to pull it together, is that there is not an answer to balance. It is learning how to ebb and flow with the challenges of life. And again, as I mentioned in my video, it’s about mindset, coming back and strengthening your motherhood mindset and knowing that this is all part of the fun.
Sam Jayanti: [00:08:20] Yeah. So true. Another another phrase you used in describing yourself was helping people achieve their potential. And I think our generation is perhaps the one that has borne the greatest brunt of that idea. And by that I mean, we had mothers, you know, my mother always said this to us as children, “much is given to you, but as a result, much is expected of you” and you must kind of live up to that potential. And while that’s amazing, and I’ve always tried to do that, it’s also an incredible source of pressure, right? Especially as life got more complex with marriage and children and sick older relatives and all those things. Do you feel that same pressure? Do you feel all women of our generation feel that pressure? We’re probably the most educated, most qualified generation of women ever.
Nikki Sammet: [00:09:26] We aren’t that far away from the generations of women who were staying home completely, like work was not an option, right? And so I feel that the generations closest to that are going to have the most pressure because it’s this ‘never doing enough’. Whereas generations maybe further out, working has been part of the way you just what you know, and what you saw of your own mother. It may plant a different idea. But coming back to your last question, it’s the same thing. To me, it’s all women. I think on Instagram, people show up much better than we really are feeling. And what I know just from coaching clients is that you can’t have it all. There is some area of your life that is being impacted. You and I have had a conversation about the “wheel of life,” and this wheel of life talks about these different aspects, these different places in our life, from our professional career, our health and wellness, our relationships, our social, our goals. And some of that–one area out of that–has to be not 100 percent. It’s not possible for us to be 100 percent. The pressure I feel to achieve my highest potential, it keeps me up at night. It’s something that drives me, that I have to keep creating. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing. I might need some more therapy to work through that and unlock that a little bit. But I do feel that. And contributing to my family as a financial provider in some way, being a part of that as an equal to my spouse, is also very important to me.
Sam Jayanti: [00:11:21] Yeah, I think both there are sources of both motivation and pressure, as you said. In describing your impact on the clients that you worked with–let’s take a quick listen to that.
Nikki Sammet: [00:11:36] Welcome back. I’m so glad that you are here for another video. I wanted to take the time to just tell you a little bit about how I coach and what my focuses are. So as I mentioned in my last video, I am an eclectic coach. So I have a wide range of focus and that’s based off my professional and my personal experience. I help clients in life, business and in mindset coaching. And I do feel that mindset coaching is the baseline of everything. So something that I specialize in is communication, emotional intelligence, emotional resiliency, courage and vulnerability. I deal with this with, whether that’s in relationships, or talking to your boss about that promotion. I help clients a lot with realigning their identity, their values, their goals, who they are inside and what they really want on the outside and how to make that match. I help mothers reclaim their identity and figure out what’s next for them, whether that is a business venture or whether that’s really focusing on working at home and building life around passions. As I mentioned before, I am a business coach as well, and I help entrepreneurs start and scale their business from the very beginning stages of figuring out what their business is about, who they want to serve, what the problem is they want to solve, and then showing up authentically online and building a brand that they love. I have a wide range of experience and professional background that I would love to share with you. You can go ahead and book an introductory session with me, which is totally free, and it’s just a great opportunity for us to get to know one another. Thanks again for watching a video, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Sam Jayanti: [00:13:13] One of the phrases that you used, Nikki, was to describe yourself as an eclectic coach, and I was very intrigued by that. Tell me what you mean when you say that.
Nikki Sammet: [00:13:25] So I’ve done so many different coach trainings and marketing trainings and so forth, and there was always this idea to find a niche and to really get into the pigeonhole and become an expert in that area. And so I tried lots of different little niches. I would go small and then somehow, as I would go small and launched something, I would get clients that were outside of that perimeter and it kept growing. So I have a mentor coach. She runs an organization in San Francisco now that is specifically on leadership coaching but she has been an executive coach for going on 30 years. And we had a meeting years ago–not years ago, maybe, you know, a year and a half ago–and I said to her, Lori, I feel like I’m supposed to niche, but it doesn’t feel like it fits me. And she brought up this idea about a funnel, and she said that some specialties are supposed to be in the niche. They aren’t absolutely supposed to be specialized. And I thought about it in the sense, if I broke my nose on a skateboard, I’d absolutely want to see somebody who specialized in that type of reconstruction.
Sam Jayanti: [00:14:34] Totally.
Nikki Sammet: [00:14:35] And then she brought up, you know, why limit yourself? Really, you are on top of the funnel. And so I had to get used to that idea because everything I had learned was to tell me just to get really, really specialized. And what I took from that, though, was that yes I am eclectic in what I serve, in terms of the type, maybe, of coaching I’m doing. But the theme of person is the same. That is what the niche is, is the individual. But the coaching can range. And what I have also found, Sam, and I know I’m long-winded here, that also found here is that all of it is greatly connected. All of it. If you are struggling at home, it’s going to impact your productivity at work. If you are not taking care of your health, it’s going to impact you and your family life. Everything is interconnected, so that’s why I would say I’m an eclectic coach. I’m done niching myself. I’m really open to this experience that I have done many things and it’s brought me to this place now.
Sam Jayanti: [00:15:45] I love that because I think, as you said, the pressure generally is to go with the conventional wisdom. And in many ways, we always see the conventional wisdom stated and restated and differently stated and in all sorts of places all the time. And it’s easy to fall into the logic or the framework of if everybody says this is true, it must apply to me. And there is a courage, and as you said, you’ve had a coach that you worked with and I think this is what’s so interesting about coaching these days is that coaches have always known the power of coaching and have coaches themselves. And we’re in a time when people in general are beginning to understand the value and the importance of that, not that you have to be talking to someone every week for your whole life, but that there are times in your life or themes in your life that you might want to be talking to someone about on an ongoing basis.
Nikki Sammet: [00:16:51] Absolutely.
Sam Jayanti: [00:16:52] Yeah, go ahead.
Nikki Sammet: [00:16:53] I was just going to say, you know, coaching, I fully agree with you. It has blown up. I can’t–it is the coolest thing to witness my industry becoming just so essential with people’s success. And when I say success I mean emotional resilience, I mean financial success and really designing a life that they want, right? So coaching is amazing and everyone needs a coach. The second part of your point is so I have long term clients I’ve been with for years, and then I have short-term clients. They’re with me for four or six months and then they’re gone. And when I was a new coach, I’d be really sad if someone didn’t renew and instead, what I’ve realized, especially if I’ve gotten feedback from that client and we’ve really worked through what they needed to get, that’s amazing that they worked through that season of life and then they were able to make that change and transition and move. And so coaching is very solution-focused. It is not meant to be therapy. Again, I have clients I’ve had for a very long time and they will probably be lifers and I love them dearly and that’s great because that’s the kind of coaching we do and we do lots of different things together. But for the most part, coaching is, ‘here’s where I’m at, here’s where I want to go, and let’s make this happen,’ rather than it being, I’m kind of just still ruminating in these issues or wanting to fix things from the past. And so that’s something really to clarify between coaching and therapy, is we’re working from the here and we’re moving to the future, whereas in therapy, we’re working from the challenges that have come up and how they are impacting now. And I just wanted to add on to what you were saying about the coaching because it really has transformed into this time, it’s incredible how much it’s become mainstream and then secondly, just the difference between therapy and coaching in that regard.
Sam Jayanti: [00:18:50] No I’m glad you brought that up. I feel like it can’t be stated enough because people often don’t understand that difference and that nuance. And I think, as you said, a coach’s value is in a client being able to see and feel a real change and progress towards their goals that they’ve made and being able to walk away with that and take that away with them to serve them as they go into the next phase. And then they’ll come back and maybe they won’t, but you’ve done your job as a coach, effectively. That’s what that says to me. One of the other things you talked about, Nikki, was this idea of mothers reclaiming their identity. We live in a society where everyone has a point of view, of course, and those points of view are divergent, often deeply entrenched, but really serve, I think, to make it quite easy even for super educated, high achieving women, to lose themselves. It’s kind of ‘what should they be doing for second and third,’ ‘how do they do more than two things at once?’ And then before you know it, years have gone by and they’ve lost that part of their professional and intellectual identity. Tell us a little bit about that. How do your clients experience that? How do you help to bring them back from that?
Nikki Sammet: [00:20:24] So we’ll take it from just pregnancy in general. We have 36 visits to a physician. I remember my first visit when I was pregnant with my son. They gave me a five-page paper of document, of what to eat, what medications not to take, numbers to call, resources to have, the whole 40-week outline. So I walked into that journey feeling like I know what I’m doing. You know, things may come up, but I have support. And then you have a baby and you go through a physical, emotional, mental. Every single part of you is different. The way that you look at life is different. Your purpose changes, your identity changes, how you view your work, and it’s how much work you want to do. Things change. And so to come back to this idea is there’s no support. And women have to seek it out. And what happens is, is what we were talking about earlier with the amount that we have on our plate and that women are expected to just take things on. Sometimes there’s not even a conversation between partners. It’s just expected that mom does this. Women, they become so far down on the totem pole of taking care of themselves. And when I say taking care of themselves, it’s not just a bath and going get your hair done. I’m talking, like, really doing the work, the self work, the reading, the listening to a podcast, the getting outside and taking a walk, seeing a therapist, getting on a medication. They don’t take any of that because one, they’re not educated. And even if you are educated, the energy to get those things accomplished is exhausting. It’s about, I would say, what I’ve seen in my clients, it’s about a year out after having a baby that people are interested in ‘what’s next for me?’ ‘I have a craving to do something or get back into the workforce, but I’m not ready to leave my kid. I’m not really sure.’ And so at that point, what I’ve done with clients is we have done a core value awareness assessment, basically, of ‘who am I now? What is my identity? What are the values that align with me and my family? What are the things that are really important for me? What are the goals that I do have?’ Because without even understanding what those are, we can’t make any goals. And then even before that, it’s understanding our triggers. Mom rage, resentment, you know, anger is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a ton of other stuff that’s going on underneath that–unmet needs. I mean, we could go on forever. So it’s the education of that, recognizing there’s support there, then it’s the tools of ‘getting to know myself now, who is this woman,’ and that is the practical implementation. So then we create action plans to make those things happen. So if I have someone, I have someone right now, she’s on maternity leave. She knows she doesn’t want to go back to work. There’s no purpose for her there. She makes a lot of money, but it doesn’t fulfill her and now she doesn’t want to leave her daughter. So she’s finally committing to growing her interior design business because she knows that she wants to spend more time with her daughter and that she doesn’t want to go back to a job that’s unfulfilling. So we’ve created a whole plan around that. So to wrap it all up, Sam, we do change. But there’s not enough support for us when we go through this change and so many times it just falls further and further behind, and then we end up feeling extremely inadequate to even begin.
Sam Jayanti: [00:23:57] Yeah, it’s a great point. I mean, I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve watched go through these feelings of uncertainty, not knowing who they are, not knowing who they want to be, not knowing how to come back from that after several years of feeling that way and just feeling like they don’t have or they can’t identify an onramp back into those topics for themselves. And actually the ones who have solved that set of problems have all inevitably turned to coaching with someone that they could work with to begin that self-exploration process because people who support you through that, I mean, of course, your family and friends and your spouse–they all love you–but you want an objective third party who doesn’t have a stake in the game, in a sense, to help work with you to identify what you really want, but also a pathway to actually getting there
Nikki Sammet: [00:25:04] and holds you accountable as well.
Sam Jayanti: [00:25:06] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. One of the other kinds of people, Nikki, that you work with are entrepreneurs and particularly in helping them establish, build and grow their brands, in particular. Talk a little bit about how you work with them, coaching them in that realm. What kinds of companies have have some of these female entrepreneurs started and what is that process look like?
Nikki Sammet: [00:25:36] Yeah, it’s one of my favorite, favorite things to do, and these clients are amazing. So I work with them in two capacities. One, is they come to me and they’re like, I have this skill and I love this and I really want to do it but I don’t know how to start. The other one is already in formulation. They already have the idea. Maybe they have a website, maybe they’ve had a couple clients and we really just bring everything together and then create a plan to scale the business. So this started–I will just have to share this story–but this started because well I was coaching longer prior to this but in terms of this area of my business, I got a dog in 2017 and I started taking pictures of him on Instagram and before I knew it, it was at 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k, 50k, all the way up to 70K. I stopped working on the account in 2019. And with that time, individuals started coming to me–‘can you help me grow an account online?’ So I started coaching influencers on how to grow an Instagram account. But what this was really about was people wanting to grow an online business, whether it was a dog business or a clothing business or a dog training, like lots of different types of businesses that were coming to me. And so that’s when I started working with entrepreneurs, specifically with online businesses. It then evolved into when I started working a lot with moms because they were looking to build side hustles. Many of them were either working at home part time and then wanting to do something, or they were working in corporate and they wanted to get out. So to answer the question, the coming back to what you asked in terms of how do we formulate this, it’s much like you mentioned about the self-exploration piece. It’s really understanding your ‘why,’ how you’ve come up with this. You’re preparing your skills and the idea that you have and then putting it in motion. And then market research and trying things out and seeing how people respond and learning what people want and what the problem is and can you really solve it. So doing things like that. I have people who have health coaching businesses. I have clients, I have one client in particular she has over a million views on YouTube. She produces immigration videos for people to learn about immigration. She’s an amazing person. I have other coach–I actually launched this past summer or last spring, actually, Competent Coach Accelerator, which was a group coaching program for online coaches on how to one, get the mindset to do this, to launch a coaching program, and then two, what their business is all about, the branding behind it, and showing up online authentically, and then of course, adding in coaching training as well. And so in there, I had in that group specifically interesting was all coaches who serve moms. So I had perinatal fitness instructors, I had sleep coaches, I had parenting coaches. So we do lots of things together, whether that is the challenges of coaching and the client exchange and what’s happening and digging into asking the tough questions. We do things like branding and how to show up online. And then I would say the overall for all of them, though, is how to not feel–how to not compare, and how to not let the inadequacy feelings and self-doubt get in their way.
Sam Jayanti: [00:29:16] Amazing. I love that. The self-doubt is such an enemy. But it pops up that it rears its head at lots of different points during our lives, especially as mothers.
Nikki Sammet: [00:29:29] Oh yeah. And you know what I’ve also noticed, too, as a business owner? I’m a huge manifester. I’m visioning everything. I’m sure you are very similar with just your amount of ideas. And I go on these walks and I listen to music and I envision, I just envision. And then the reality of me putting that picture in motion is a completely different experience. In my mind, it’s just sunshine and rainbows, everything is great. I’m making all this money, I’ve impacted all these people, and then when I’m doing it, like I’m creating, there’s the self-doubt. That’s when the voice comes in and says, “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” “This isn’t good enough,” “You probably should stop,” “Someone else is doing this already, you shouldn’t even do it.”
Sam Jayanti: [00:30:13] Yeah, right. Interesting. Absolutely. Absolutely. I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about working moms. Increasingly, they don’t want to stay in corporate America, but some do. And when they do, they’re often dealing with a very different set of challenges to moms who decide to start their own businesses or working, you know, have some kind of remote working arrangement that they have long term. And burnout is a really real problem, especially for those moms working in corporate settings. What does being some of the kind of solutions and just tactical, practical things that you’ve seen your working mom clients implement in their lives to prevent that. Knowing that, of course, there are times, I mean I always think about this for myself as on any given day or in any given week, there’s always an imbalance, right, there’s something you didn’t do at work or there’s something you didn’t do at home and you were sort of self-flagellating about that. And you should almost like defer the self-flagellation to the end of the month because if at the end of the month, you know, whatever it is, that fell short, but at least you’re thinking about it once rather than 20 times over the course of the month. And you know, you get used to doing that at some point and then life goes on and you kind of realize there’s always a bit of an imbalance and it’s okay.
Nikki Sammet: [00:31:48] I like that.
Sam Jayanti: [00:31:49] Tell us about that in your work with working moms who are working in corporate settings in particular.
Nikki Sammet: [00:31:54] Yeah. First, I will just say, there are some aspects of this that we really can’t change. For instance, maternity leave or paternity leave or certain support that comes in structurally that is not available. So how do we work around that and find, quote unquote, balance? That’s the word I can think of at this moment. And what I would say is, first, the pandemic, as much hardship as it’s brought, it also has given us that integration as I mentioned earlier in our conversation of having a little bit more of a fluidity between life and with work. And if you are at a good employment situation, your employer most likely understands that kids may be running in, school closures may happen, stuff is going on, because that is the world that we’re in. So that, I would say, is that it’s kind of the big picture. And then what’s inside of that? I led a workshop for a company in maybe August about managing this exactly–setting boundaries, how do I regain my energy, I don’t even want to show up at my computer anymore, what are some stress management techniques and things like that. So one big thing that came up–and I’d be really interested if people who are listening feel the same way–is always worried they were going to miss something so like they felt like they had to be at their computer all the time. And even if they were like wanting to go to the fridge to make lunch when they normally weren’t back, pre-pandemic days, could have a whole hour lunch break. They feel like they had to bring their computer with them into the kitchen while they’re making it because, god forbid, the CEO was gonna call them in that moment. And so that was a big sense of pressure, inadequacy, worry, “I’m missing something” type of thing. So I really just recently talked about this with a group of women and my advice to them, if I can retrack my thoughts here, I mean I can just think more recently was one, it is something that I would recommend as a therapeutic technique, which is thought blogs, which is something that we do in cognitive behavioral therapy. And I’m not necessarily saying people to go get a thought log and do this out but the point of the exercise is to recognize the thought, to really check in is this real or is this something I’ve created in my mind? And then to rephrase it with something that’s more accurate. So let’s say the thought is, ‘I’m going to miss the CEO, he’s going to write me and he’s going to do a call at 12 o’clock when I’m eating my sandwich and I’m going to look really lazy because he’s going to think that I just don’t do anything and I watch Netflix all day long in my pajamas.’ A very inaccurate thought, right? And so that’s what we think. And so then let’s fact check that. Is this real? Let’s look at my day. No, I was up at 6 a.m. at my computer and I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing and I’m allowed, I give myself permission to feel my body, to fuel my mind in order to show up to these other meetings. And so then that’s the rephrasing, is ‘I am an adequate person. I am worthy. I am enough, being here every day. I am doing my absolute best and if I do miss that call, I’m allowed to eat.’ So that was one exercise that I gave them, was writing out the thoughts and validating the thought that they were having. And then another one is actually setting boundaries. So my husband and I, at a certain time at night, phones are gone. They are gone, literally. And computers are shut. It’s a little harder for me as an entrepreneur because I’m fiddling around with things and I’ll have an idea and I’ll want to go do something. But phones are away, they are not next to our beds. So setting boundaries that you can because there’s certain things in a corporate job you cannot control. There is bureaucracy there, there’s politics there, you have leadership, like you just can’t make your own rules. So what boundaries can you set outside of work to help increase your energy and your production that you can bring into the workplace? Those would be two ideas that I could share with you right now.
Sam Jayanti: [00:36:27] I love those. And they’re a perfect segue way into–we’re going to do a mini coaching session. So pretend that I am a young working mother. I work at a big company. I have two young children. I have come to you because I am struggling, both at work and at home. And at the same time, I am very defined by my professional success and that’s very important to me. And at the same time, my family is very important to me and I’m feeling really torn between the two and sort of burning the candle at both ends.
Nikki Sammet: [00:37:13] Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that with me, Sam. I know, personally, just living that life, that it can be exhausting and it can be a lot of pressure. So I want to first ask you, are you still feeling fulfilled by the work that you’re doing currently at your job right now?
Sam Jayanti: [00:37:35] I am fulfilled by it to the extent that I think I’m doing well at my job and professional success has always been a really key element of my own self-esteem and self-worth. At the same time, you know, could I be doing another job? Absolutely. I’m not fundamentally wedded to this particular industry. But I’ve also been in this industry for a little while and it’s stable.
Nikki Sammet: [00:38:15] Yeah, it’s always hard to leave. And I’m sure you can remember before you became a mother, that transition as well of the grey, the unknown, what is this going to look like, what is it going to feel like? And then as you entered into it, you were in the reality of it–the good, the bad, the ugly, the blowouts, all the things that came with it. And so the reality of it is much different than what’s in our head majority of the time.
Sam Jayanti: [00:38:38] Totally.
Nikki Sammet: [00:38:39] So there’s a couple things that I would love to explore with you and one of that, you know you mentioned that professional achievements is really important to you but it may not need to be in this job. We could talk about what else that could be in relationship to your goals and the things that you do feel fulfilled with that work. And then additionally, I want to come back to the messaging that you mentioned in regards to professional achievements really filling you up. And the reason why I mention that is because whether you take another job or not or you build your own business, that feeling is an external reward. And so it will always be something that you’re chasing. And the only reason why I’m able to say this to you, Sam, is because I went through it myself and until I found the internal satisfaction was when really everything else felt really stable. So with our time together today, what do you think would be most effective for you? What do you want to walk away with? Is it identifying some areas within your current job that you really feel aligned with and maybe you could take somewhere else? Is it maybe paving a pathway to working for yourself? What are your thoughts so far of what I’ve shared?
Sam Jayanti: [00:40:06] I think all that you’ve said makes so much sense. I think the problem I’m having is in identifying–I think if I weren’t doing this, the problem isn’t identifying what the other thing is, especially if that’s an entrepreneurial path. Because then there’s a need to sort of create and adhere to your own internal structure or create a structure that works, basically, for yourself. And you know, one of my early experiences was that I tried to be a writer. And I decided I had something to say and that I wanted to give myself sort of six months to write. And then I failed miserably at it because I think of two reasons. One, I had this vision of writing as I was going to wake up every morning and these words were going to, you know, they were going to be wonderful words and they were going to magically flow out of me and onto the page and be perfect. And that those would be these kind of, you know, bouts of genius. And so I was sort of totally struggling when that wasn’t happening. Only later did I learn that with most writers there’s good days, there’s bad days, you just need to go through the discipline of showing up and forcing yourself to write something. It may be really bad, it may be mediocre, it may be really good. And then second, I really struggled to create adequate structure for myself in terms of getting dressed out of pajamas in the morning and sitting down to write and saying, like, these are the hours I’m working. Because it just felt like I could kind of do whatever I wanted and consequently I wasn’t doing the thing I wanted to do.
Nikki Sammet: [00:42:00] Well I first want to just say, you know, you even talking about this passion really, really amplified through your words and through your face. I mean, you lit up talking about it, and so I can still tell that it’s still there. And I really appreciate you sharing that with me, especially, as you mentioned, that it was something that you didn’t feel successful at and you, being somebody who really prides yourself on that, it must have felt really, lack of a better word, shitty for you to feel that. So know that you’re not alone. Failure isn’t fun, but it also is the indicator to the next step. And so we tend to pivot too early. The failure is actually the teaching, and the failure is–I’m so bummed that we use, you know, A+ or F- in grade school because that’s how we learn that failure is bad when in reality, it’s very teachable. And so you expressed to me just now what you needed to do next time without you starting that process of writing, you would never have known that some days are not going to be as exciting or as fluid as other days. You would never have known that you needed to set up a schedule for yourself. And so knowing that you have even more pieces to the puzzle. So it gives you more power and more awareness as you get started into this hobby. Now, when you think about introducing that back in your life, is it something that you would love to do full time or is it something more so that you would like to do alongside of you working at your job, maybe to start with, and then seeing it grow?
Sam Jayanti: [00:43:49] It’s something that I’d like to do alongside, because I would be too afraid, in a sense, or too intimidated to take the plunge into doing that full time. But it’s an interest and a passion and something I would love to do in a structured way on the side with some clear goals of what it is I’m hoping to get to and a timeline that is consistent with the job and the personal commitments and everything else in my life.
Nikki Sammet: [00:44:22] Yeah. And so what I would say, there–two pieces. Number one, you just starting the exercise of writing and then getting into consistency with that, it will create inspiration. So what that means is you’re going and you’re practicing and you’re getting better and you’re getting more interested and you’re believing in yourself more, is actually going to bring clarity and creativity to your thoughts where you then can go, ‘ah, this is my next direction,’ whether that’s you going to write a novel and leaving your job, whether it’s you just adding articles on a, you know, a blog. It could be anything, but it’s going to give you direction. So that’s number one is to just start. And the second part of that is how do we begin? So when it’s any type of practice like this and especially if it’s out of your wheelhouse and it’s not something you’ve done, we have to think about building habits and saying–have you read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear?
Sam Jayanti: [00:45:25] I have.
Nikki Sammet: [00:45:26] Okay, great. So you’re very familiar with habit stacking then.
Sam Jayanti: [00:45:29] Yes.
Nikki Sammet: [00:45:30] Okay, so that’s where I begin. And we have to make habits really attractive for us to even want to get into them. And we know that it takes a little bit to do it. And so when I have clients who are starting a new habit, we got to set the mood. We got to get like your favorite coffee. We’ve got to have the music on that gets you in the mode. We have to make it a really exciting task that it’s your writing time. And so you find a playlist that works. You get your favorite drink, you have your favorite pens, you clear the space. What is your ritual that you do? And I’m not going to tell you that every day is going to be easy. And maybe you start out with just one day a week. Every Wednesday morning is when you write. And then you build some confidence because when we keep promises to ourselves, then we build confidence that we can continue to do it. So then maybe you add two days a week, three days a week, four days a week, five days a week. And maybe what you also could do is if you are wanting to really become more introspective in what you want to write about, if you already journal, you could just leave a journal on your pillow or next to your coffee, whatever you think would be a better place for you to write. And just write some thoughts out so you get the exercise going, rather than it being this big production of like, ‘I have to write my thing today,’ but it’s more so anyway you write is going to be success.
Sam Jayanti: [00:46:57] I love that advice. Thank you so much.
Nikki Sammet: [00:46:59] My pleasure.
Sam Jayanti: [00:47:01] That was wonderful. Thanks for doing that with me.
Nikki Sammet: [00:47:02] Yeah of course! So fun.
Sam Jayanti: [00:47:04] It’s just great because our listeners get a sense of working with you and who you are as a coach and they really appreciate that. So that was wonderful
Nikki Sammet: [00:47:13] Yeah I love that you do that it’s wonderful.
Sam Jayanti: [00:47:16] Well, thank you for joining us today. Any parting thoughts, Nikki?
Nikki Sammet: [00:47:22] The thought that came to my head, which is so cliché, is be yourself, and that has been the key to my success. And what we already talked about, right, is to not go the conventional way, is to really trust in you. And every time that I try to do it the other way. And to be different or, not, to be like everyone else, it doesn’t happen for me. But when I trust myself and my own instincts and I’m really true to that, that’s when success comes. And then the last thing I’d love to add to that is I didn’t really believe, fully, “trust the timing of your life,” the kind of quote that that was. But when I have found–when I have surrendered to what life is bringing me, whether it’s the motherhoodry or work, and I have surrendered to the ebb and flow, things often come. Whether that’s new client load, new projects, my son, any of these things. So surrendering to the process and really being true to yourself. Those are the keys to success.
Sam Jayanti: [00:48:36] I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you for a great reminder of that.
Nikki Sammet: [00:48:40] My pleasure.
Sam Jayanti: [00:48:41] Thanks for listening today. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And while you’re there, please do review the show. We love hearing from you, so e-mail us at info at the idea makes dot com or Instagram DM us. Our episode this week was produced by the incomparable Martin Malesky, with music by the awesome Nashville-based singer songwriter Doug Allen. You can learn more about Doug at DougAllenMusic.com.
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