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E14 Sanni McCandless, Courage to Be You

· sanni mccandless,courage,fear,rock climbing,outwild

This week on the podcast I have Sanni McCandless talking all about courage to be you courage to say the things you need to say, courage to explore your identity and things that you want to draw into your life. She is a life and transition coach and she's a cofounder for out wild it. Really, truly inspiring all things courage, all things be you. Would you be able to kind of share a little bit about who you are and, and what you have going on?

Sanni:

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, my name is Sanni. Um, I work primary it primarily as a life and transition coach. Um, and I kind of have a niche with, um, with outdoor minded individuals. So people who want to transition their life or get coaching around, um, usually things that bring them closer to their love of the outdoors. So sometimes it's a lot of career coaching. Um, you know, people who might want to be able to work, have a more flexible schedule or work remotely. People who might want to work in the outdoor industry or people who aren't planning on changing their whole careers but just want their, their overall lifestyle, their hobbies, their weekends, their free time to be filled with more time outside. So, um, that's what I, that's the majority of what I do and that looks a lot of different ways. Um, sometimes they do that one on one.

Sanni:

As of this year, I actually just started doing that in a group online coaching workshops, which has been super fun. Um, and then my second business is I started, um, I co founded with my friends Courtney and Jeremy, a company called out wild and out wild is actually really similar to the work I do in one on one coaching, but in a retreat setting. So we bring people together for usually, you know, about three days of outdoor activities and workshops and life design courses and meditation and yoga and, um, and help them kind of really pull away from daily life and take time to reset and kind of go in with some strategies to change their life however they're hoping to do so, um, and you know, when they get back. So that's also, that's also fun and that's also one of my passions. So, um, that's a little bit about what I am. I'm also a rock climber as that's sort of my main hobby. Um, and just in general, sort of live half, half in Las Vegas and half on the road. Um, but, um, yeah, that's, I guess my brain is still warming up.

Michaela:

Yeah. Mine too. Mine too. So we'll, we'll be warming up together. Uh, when I said I was multitasking, I was like AKA drinking coffee. Yeah. Um, so, so yeah, I, um, you know, it's funny, we live about two and a half hours from San Francisco and I grew up here when I was younger. I'm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but then I moved away. I went to the Bay area for college and then moved down to San Diego. And in the amount of time that I was gone, and since I've been back, so many people have either migrated up out of the city and into the mountains and or, um, just even on weekends I notice that, um, our hiking trails where there used to be, you'd maybe run into one or two other people. It's now like you can't even find a parking spot. And so I think, yeah, I think people are really starting to maybe kind of draw back to the old human experience of, of being in nature. And so many things happen when you're in that environment as opposed to kind of that manufactured concrete world. And I'm sure you see this a lot, so I'm assuming a lot of your people are probably, um, business individuals and all over the world who are kind of living that concrete jungle life.

Sanni:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, when I work with people, they come to me from all different places in life. But one of the credit, one of the groups I see very often is someone who maybe live, say in New York city, they have a really time consuming job. They work for a company that demands a lot of their time and energy. They love outdoor rec and they, you know, they do it as often as they can, but they feel wildly unbalanced towards work versus self care or time outside and um, and, and they're looking to change that. That's definitely like a, um, like a type of kind of a type of client that I see a lot. Um, but I think it's interesting you were mentioning how more people are getting outside. I think one of the transitions that's kind of happened, um, I don't know, I think in the last maybe 10 years is that people are beginning to value experiences more than you know, objects either yours though. Right? Completely right. Yeah. So instead of like, Hey, I got this brand new car, it's like, Hey, I, I went on this trip or I had this experience or I did this thing, you know? And, um, and so that, that action part is really important right now. And, um, yeah, so I think it's kind of just that idea is helping people get outside more and realize that there's a lot, there's a lot going on. And I wonder too if, um, social media

Michaela:

hasn't helped that a little bit because now people can see, Oh, other people are going to these great national parks or other people are doing these things and that looks like something I may want to do. And, and even down to other people are living in a van, so maybe I don't need as much as I think I need or something like that. Yeah, no, absolutely. I think social media plays a huge role. So you mentioned that some of the people, you know, they do have jobs and they're, they're kind of coming there to do a reset. And I just, I just read an article on Apple that said, uh, 20% of what you, what you do at your job needs to be what you love. It needs to be, um, what you're super passionate about. Otherwise you're more likely to burn out. What do you think about that?

Sanni:

Hmm, that's interesting. I mean, I think that definitely sounds pretty good. I could kind of see, I think in general, I don't really believe, I guess in like hard and fast rules about something like that. Um, some people might find that they, you know, I've seen people who have software development jobs that um, software development jobs that they do on the road part, um, part time completely remotely and they don't love that work. You know, maybe they don't love it at all, but they do it solely because it provides them this, this opportunity to live on the road and work remotely and be in all of the places that they feel super passionately about. So that's obviously like a different balance. And I'm not saying it's like the right one or the wrong one, but that works for some people. Some people, they want to take their most passionate hobby and turn that into their job.

Sanni:

Like maybe photographers or athletes. Um, some people maybe, you know, there's, there's different aspects of it. Some people are like, you know what, I don't always love exactly what I do, but I have a really great work culture and I love my coworkers. And that kind of actually helps balance out some of the tasks that I do. And I mean, I think in an ideal world we would all love a big part of, you know, our working life, which when you know, you do the math ends up being like one third of your lifetime, you know, you spend at work. So I definitely, ideally you, you enjoy a good amount of that. But I also know that there's tons of different ways for it to look.

Michaela:

Yeah. Yeah. And it's interesting because my husband, he's a big, he's an avid fisherman and he's often, you know, mentioned like, well, maybe I should just charter a do a fishing charter as opposed to what he's doing. And then he's like, but I worry that if I had to do my hobby for financial reasons, then it wouldn't be what it is to me, which is my escape from my life. You know what I mean? It, it would become more of a burden on the fish. I gotta take these people gotta go home with fish rather than being out on the water and enjoying the day, even if he doesn't catch kind of a thing.

Sanni:

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think when you turn your hobbies or your passions into a career, there's, that's always a possibility. You know what, you might find that that doesn't work for you. And some people find that even on the days where it feels like clocking in, they're still, at least they're clocking into something outside that they love so that, you know, that kind of makes it worth it for them. They're like, yeah, it adds a little bit of pressure and stress to what used to just be this totally carefree thing, but clocking in means still doing what I love so that, you know, that's something. Um, but some people yeah, like you said, kind of like they don't want that balance. They don't want, um, they don't want their hobby to be something they do every day or something that's tied to their finances. And that's okay too.

Michaela:

Yeah. So, um, one of the things that you mentioned is, you know, uh, I saw a post recently on your Instagram that really spoke to me and it was about, um, I think you were talking about stepping forward and you said needing a break versus buckling down and kind of like the difference in the mindset there. Like when you're feeling kind of burnt out or something, it's like, well, do, do I need to take a complete sabbatical or do I need to like buckle down and get done with the stuff that maybe I'm putting off or don't want to do? Yeah.

Sanni:

I just wrote down a note while you were talking cause that, um, I had a flurry of thoughts. Um, but yeah, I mean I often in coaching find myself describing this friction and it's this friction between acceptance and self care versus growth and discipline. I love that. And it's really real. And we often live right on this line, you know, right at this friction point where it's hard to know which one to do. And sometimes, um,

Sanni:

you know, you can see all situations. Sometimes you work really hard all day and you want to, um, you know, you, you just want to, you know, some part of your brain is like, you know, you need to take care of yourself. You just need to go home and have a glass of wine and like watch your favorite TV show and just like totally conk out for the night. Um, you know, and that's sort of that acceptance self care world. And then some part of you might be like, okay, but you need to like exercise and stay healthy and that's like gonna help you in the longterm and you kind of need to be disciplined and push yourself right now and you're like, okay, that kind of makes sense too. Um, and you see this a lot with, um, you know, especially with self-acceptance, right? On the one hand, you want to love yourself exactly the way that you are in another. And then on the other hand, you also want to be working towards the best version of yourself. You know, if there's something you really struggle to communicate your needs, you know, there's self acceptance. And then there's also just being like, well, I'm just the type of person who's terrible at communicating.

Sanni:

There's that, there's that friction again where you're like, I want to accept that this is who I am in this moment. And that's okay. And not judge myself for who I am. You know, I've done the best I can with what I have to get to where I am today. But on the flip side, my life might feel a lot better to me if I worked on communicating my needs better. So I want to work on that. And I think, you know, it's, there's never, like, there's never one right answer, but it's just being aware of that friction and that line and, and realizing that we're probably going to have to play on both sides a little bit.

Michaela:

I jotted so many things while you were talking, but um, the, the one that was coming to mind is, uh, I just listened to this Ted talk on procrastination and it said that original thinkers, you know, people that are kind of creating and, and, and paving the roads rather than following, uh, live in this space that isn't complete procrastination, but it's not pre procrastination where they get it done too soon. They kind of, they kind of find that sweet spot of, like you said, it's, it's almost like a sweet spot in between what you're describing of self care and friction.

Sanni:

Exactly. I've listened to that to that Ted talk before and I, yeah, I am. I remember that part where he talks about like a study they did where some people, they just like made them do a task right away. And some people, they had them glance at the task and then wait for 10 minutes and then, and then do the task. And the people who waited were better at the task because they had unconsciously been working on it and they're on it in their brain. And I think about all the time because whenever I'm preparing for something, I want to, like if I'm preparing for a workshop, I want to do it all right away. But some part of me, you know, is also a procrastinator and it's like, Oh, I kind of, I'm going to wait, I'm going to wait on him away. But now I have this thought in my head that's like, you know what, even if you're waiting, some part of your brain is freaking on this. So

Michaela:

thinking yes, I can totally relate to that. Um, so it's funny, we have a lot of similarities. I was listening to another podcast and, um, so my, my original background is in marketing as well. I was working for fortune 500 companies starting to really feel burnt out. And, um, then was actually seeing a therapist and she would kick off her shoes and put her feet on her couch and sit with her blanket. And I'm like, I want that job. And so I ultimately went back to grad school and became a psychotherapist. But, um, I, I find myself a lot with my workshops and like, Oh, you know, I'll, I'll plan it in the sense that like, I know what the theme is going to be and it's going to be three months from now. And then I'm like, eh, I just don't really want to work on it, but then it'll be a month ago by and I, and suddenly these ideas start to kind of flow to me like, yes, this is the direction or this is the energy that I'm picking up on people around me and kind of what needs to be heard or, or experienced.

Michaela:

And then I kind of go from there. And as long as I don't put it off until the 11th hour, I usually can out pretty good, you know? Totally. And I experienced that too. Um, as a writer, like right now I'm, I'm like 10,000 words from finishing this novel that needs to go to the agent. And I feel, I just feel like I just don't want to do it, you know? And so I'm kind of in that space of like, well, maybe I should just go for a hike instead, just have a glass of wine and do some self care. So I do, I do understand what you're describing about that um, friction versus self care and how people can kind of really create some good excuses for themselves. Totally under the auspices of self.

Sanni:

Yeah. Yeah.

Michaela:

So the other thing that, um, that you really kind of, um, touched on was, was failing a little bit and um, and I know in the past you've talked about shifting, shifting who you are or playing with your identity. And so, so what do you think about people kind of taking risks and going for it and failing versus not taking a risk or something like that? What's your take on failure?

Sanni:

I mean, in general, I always, you know, I think especially in my one on one coaching, one of the strong stances I take is that there's no, you can't really fail in a way. You know, that that failure is often when we set an expectation of how something should go or how something should look or how we should perform and we don't meet that expectation. But that expectation was, was often just self created. Um, and like arbitrary. Yeah. And more importantly, it doesn't take into account that any experience we have is in some way informing us, you know, if we, if we plan on going on a long backpacking trip and we get two days in and we're like, Oh my gosh, I completely packed wrong or I didn't break in my shoes correctly or whatever it is, and we have to turn around and go back.

Sanni:

Like, was that a failure or was that a perfect learning opportunity? Like a perfect learning experience. Exactly what we needed to become better at backpacking. Um, you know, or, and like w you know, there's maybe some expectation that success would have been getting to the end of the trip, but why you like it? Does that have to be success? And I think it's just always kind of, you know, I have a lot of different thoughts about expectation, but you know, just that idea of like, so often with expectations, we eliminate all roads to success except for one. And I'm always like, why would we do that? Like, let's give ourselves tons of options that could all be successful in different ways. Um,

Michaela:

Oh my gosh, I love that. I feel like you need to put that on your next Instagram post. That is so gorgeous. Like so true and so gorgeous. Um, yeah. What do you shut yourself off from if you've decided the destination is the win and not the journey?

Sanni:

Right. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I, and you know, I, um, you know, one of my favorite examples in that kind of realm is somebody who's tried to start a business. And if that business didn't take off, they might be like, Oh, I failed. You know, I didn't successfully start my business. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, but you know, of all the people to now go start a business, you are so much more qualified, you know, because I've seen what it looks like when it doesn't take off, which gives you so much information about how you might want to do it differently in the future. You know? And I would rather work with you now that you've failed than somebody who, you know, who's never even ventured into that world or taken that risk. Right? So you could say, Oh, I failed. Or you could say like, Oh look how well I have prepared myself for the next step. Or what? Like, you know, what was the opportunity here? You know, there are no mistakes, really just learning opportunities.

Michaela:

So it's a lot about our perception of the events rather than, um, and, well, and I do think that probably part of the reason we are perception is skewed is because we put the weight of our successes in other people as well.

Sanni:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Michaela:

I know, um, anytime I've really struggled with failure, it's usually because I feel like I let someone down rather than, you know, cause I, I'll, I'll take on new things all the time and just kind of go, oops, that one didn't work out, but Hey, now I know this and this from that. But if other people are involved and I, and I, you know, feel like I've let someone down, that's, I think when failure hits me the hardest.

Sanni:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think, and I think, you know, almost an undoubtedly like that will at some point happen, you know, we will at some point do something with someone else and, and realize that maybe we don't have the time or we're not gonna be able to make it that day or something's come up. And, um, I always say, you know, those are great opportunities to communicate really honestly with the people that were involved, you know, to go to them and to be like, I, you know, this isn't quite how we both planned for this to go. And you know, if we work together again in the future for do something together in the future, I hope it would look differently. And um, just that really honest, like taking ownership of how things have gone and not in a way that's like, I'm a terrible person. I let you down, I'm the worst. You know, just like, Oh like I totally understand my role and like why that didn't go as planned and that that ownership component is huge and then it's okay. You know, like we can't do everything all the time

Michaela:

and we also can own up to when we don't totally nail it. I love that. And I also have found myself lately working on and also encouraging clients to work on the idea of not saying I'm sorry but saying thank you for understanding a little, a little bit different of a town, but the same kind of idea that, you know, I appreciate that you're willing to, to hear me and, and you know, and have some understanding on what I've got going on. Yeah, absolutely. I was kinda laughing when you were talking about backpacking failures. Cause when my son was little we, we had done a lot of like car camping and we decided to do like this 17 mile hike out on the Pacific coast. And so he was maybe like four months old. And so I packed us all these bags. We literally looked like Sherpas and I packed, you know, a pan, like a big old pan and a can like can stuff to make stroganoff and charcoal, like literally all this stuff for our car camping trips.

Michaela:

And this is also kind of poor communication. So my, my husband, I get there and we opened the trunk and he's like, Oh my God. Like what, what is all this? Are you kidding me? And so literally I had the baby on the front, the bottle on the chest, like the backpack. We were holding our pillows that he was there, a goal and here we are just like tracking down. That's awesome. We hadn't shared these people from San Francisco and um, they went to REI and bought everything already I had for their hike trip, you know. And they were laughing at us. We're making like straight pancakes with a big old box of pancakes for breakfast. And um, they are, they put full, this was like years ago, they pulled out this little thing and they put these hot dogs in it. And I looked at my husband and I go, we need to get that thing.

Michaela:

And it was the jet boil from nice. So that was my first experience with jet boil and, but it wasn't a failure. We learned so much about each other, so much about what we could could achieve. And um, you know, it was just a really good growing experience. I mean, people were literally stopping us going like, Oh my gosh, how, how old is your child? Like, look at all this stuff you guys have. And it was kind of empowering actually. I mean, at the time, at the moment we were like, but it was good. Do you ever have, do you ever have people that come on these kinds of out wild retreats that are, you know, maybe not expecting what, like you talked about expectations and they have a different idea? Um, well, so we the inocular and wow, that's where it didn't come correctly. Inaugural

Sanni:

Mount wild retreat was last November. And I think actually what was really cool about who showed up is that, I mean it was the first one. So there were no videos that anyone could watch. There were no, you know, like they couldn't talk to somebody who'd been before and ask how it was. Every single person who showed up to the, to the retreat was, you know, was basically saying, I'm, I don't know what to expect and I'm okay with that. And like partially just what made it so amazing, so remarkable and so much fun was just that energy of like, I'm open to it all. Um, and so, you know, I'm sure if we got down into it, there might be little things that they were like, Oh, I thought it might be like this, but it was more like this. But overall, I think that was actually one of the reasons that it was so fun and interesting was just because of that, you know, there, it was really hard to know what to expect even for, even for the people who started it, even at, for us, you know, we were waiting with bated breath as well.

Michaela:

That's kind of a neat experience. Then when everybody's energetically just open to whatever's going to happen and kind of trusting the process. That's, that's really fantastic.

Sanni:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Michaela:

So, so when you talk about kind of having, um, you, your website is about like courage, courageous, intentional living and having courage. And when I think about that, there's so many different kinds of thoughts and, and things that come to mind. But one of the things that, um, I'd heard you say, or maybe you posted about it on Instagram, was, was having the courage to play with your own identity. And so what does that really mean for you? Um, I know a lot of people struggle with this. I hear this a lot in counseling and I hear it just from people that listen to the podcasts and stuff. For example, moms that are stay at home moms, you know, and they're struggling with their sense of identity and what they're supposed to be or, or whatever. And so what does that look like for you? The courage to play with identity?

Sanni:

Ooh, um, I mean the first thing that comes to mind is, it's kind of, I kinda mentioned something similar earlier, but this idea of sometimes we get stuck into kind of, you know, thought patterns about ourselves that aren't really energizing to us, that aren't really fun to let play out anymore that are tired or maybe even unnecessary. Um, and it could be a thought pattern. Like I'm the type of person who doesn't ask for help, right? Like, I just, you know, I'm just super independent and I'm just the type of person that doesn't ask for help or I'm just the type of person that will always say yes, no matter what, even if I don't have the time to take on whatever it is. And sometimes in coaching, you know, I, I have to ask people, like, is that thought about yourself? Like, does that, how does that make you feel?

Sanni:

Like when you have that thought, you know, what does that bring up for you? And oftentimes, you know, I hear responses like, well, I feel kind of tired. You know, I sort of signed myself up for a lifetime of saying yes to everything and having no time to myself or I feel a little like I'm apathetic, you know, like, no matter what I do, I'm not going to ask for help. So I'm kind of in it alone. Um, you know, whatever that feeling is, it's sometimes we found that these, um, these kind of, we've gotten stuck into some sort of self-identifying trait that really isn't working for us anymore. And, and I think there's a moment where, you know, kind of talking, we were talking earlier about that friction between self acceptance and growth. Like there's a moment where I have to be a little bit more compassionate to ourselves and say, well, you know, just because I was a certain way up to this point in life doesn't mean I have to be that way forever.

Sanni:

And if that isn't working, it's not that it was wrong or right or good or bad, it's just that apparently that isn't working for me anymore. And, and that's okay. You know, maybe that worked for you in the past and it was fun and energizing to not ask for help or to say yes to everything, but maybe now you're at a point where you want to value or prioritize different things and it's time to shift a little bit. And so playing with identity I think is a lot about saying, you know, if you have a thought in your head that's like, okay, so I am the type of person who doesn't ask for help. You know, if you're playing with your identity, you're not just going to switch and start being like, I am the type of person who asks for help. You know, your frames are hardly ever just the opposite because obviously I don't believe that's true or that would have been here mind for this whole time. But the reframe might be, I am the type of person who's learning to ask for help or who's practicing, asking for help, even when it makes me uncomfortable. And that might be something we can get behind and something that is true about ourselves so we don't have to lie, we don't have to totally rewrite, you know, recreate ourselves. We can find the truth, you know, within the change. Yeah. It's interesting how people like to hold on to

Michaela:

those kinds of things that they've created. And I think it's almost comfortable sometimes to, to stay in negative thought patterns than it is to break free and see, explore what else could be there. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Sanni:

So, so you grew up in a big family, right? You have like, no, I just have one sister. Okay, okay.

Michaela:

That you posted, I think you posted recently a picture of you and your sister and maybe talked about that.

Sanni:

Yeah, it was my sisters. It was my sister's 30th birthday recently.

Michaela:

Okay. So maybe that's what I was thinking about. Cause I know that in um, in family systems too, people create their kind of role as a, as a sibling or a, you know, they're the hero or they're as a comic or they're the whatever in their family system, the oldest, the baby, whatever. Just wondering where you might've fallen there. But

Sanni:

yeah. Well I know, I mean I think that's actually when you talk about identity, I think family is one of the places where we can often get the most, I don't want to say stuck because that sounds, that sounds negative, but maybe we get the most sort of like augured into one thing, um, into one role or like you said, like one identity type. Um, and I think that that's partially what sometimes makes growth or change a little bit hard. It's not just that we expect ourselves to be a certain way, but that other people expect us to be a certain way. And, um, you know, going back to one of my favorite topics in coaching, like one of my favorite things I ever discussed with clients is communication techniques. And it's one of those moments where I'm like, yes, like that is, it is so uncomfortable to redefine yourself in front of your family's eyes.

Sanni:

Absolutely. You know, I have the utmost empathy and sympathy for someone going through that experience. It can be challenging. Um, but I also know that we can sometimes it's more challenging when we're afraid to name it. Like when we want it to happen so subtly that maybe no one notices and it creates maybe this shame or this like this hiddenness around, around that identity change around that, whatever change it is. And, um, one of the techniques I talk about a lot is how can you just show up and just, just radical honesty about what's going on, you know, like, Hey family, I just wanted to let you know, I'm working on, on making this change because I found this old pattern I've gotten stuck in isn't really working for me anymore. And that can be uncomfortable to just say it right out loud, but that in a lot of ways it can help ease the transition. And so anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but that's definitely,

Michaela:

no, I'm listening with people talking. Yeah, I was, I was jotting notes actually as you were talking because I can really relate to a lot of what you're talking about when even if somebody in the family maybe takes on a different religious belief or something like that and, and having the courage, like you talk about to maybe put that out there and um, and, and go from there and what happens.

Sanni:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's always, you know, a huge, um, one of the mantras I come back to with my clients a lot is this idea of, you know, we hear the word authenticity a lot, right? Like I think it's, it's kind of like a buzzword, right? Totally. And, and I'm always like, you know, authenticity. Like what does that even mean? You know, like, don't, we don't want to just throw the word out there without really thinking about like what does that mean and look like to you. And for myself and with my clients, I talk about this idea that authenticity, while we can be authentic with ourselves, a lot of the time when we're talking about authenticity, we're talking about how we show up in front of other people and how we show up in front of other people often comes down to our, to our communication, to the way we talk and the way we act around other people.

Sanni:

And so my recipe for authenticity is honest kind and timely communication. So honest communication meaning actually saying how you feel. Um, kind communication being, you know, when we talk we're talking about our own experience whenever, um, whenever lashing out or putting anything on anyone else. So instead of being like, you know, like in your example, you, you were talking about somebody who might want to let you, who's changed religions from their family or something or changed spiritual beliefs from their family. You know, so you, instead of going and being like, you guys are all wrong and this is the way forward kind communication would be. I'm, I'm walking down a different path right now and here's what that's been like for me and why I chose to go down that path. And then timely being that we have to kind of say how we're feeling, what's going on for us, you know, as, as close to the moment in which it's happening as we can. Right. You know, like you can't really show up authentically if you've been harboring some sort of frustration for weeks on end and like two months later, eventually talk about it because that means in every interaction we're showing up with this, with this thought going on in our head that we're not, that we're not letting out. And so we're inevitably being, um, inauthentic in some way. So, so I just think about that a lot, but that honest, timely and kind communication.

Michaela:

I, uh, I really like what you took, what you said about timeliness. Cause one of the things that I often share is that we have an obligation to speak our truth. So long as we say it with grace, which is similar to what else you were saying. But the timely piece is something I don't think I've really expanded on. And um, it's so true, even for myself, I know if I hold something in, it really kind of almost becomes passive aggressive when you finally do say it, if at all, you know, and so that timeliness, like you said, if you're not, if you're not saying it, you know, at the time then you're really, you're really being inauthentic in some way.

Sanni:

Right, right. And, and, and obviously sometimes you need, like some people realize that for them to communicate kindly, they need like, you know, some alone time to really process and decide how they feel. But really trying to keep that time period, um, you know, as short as possible so that we don't end up just, you know, acting really weird lay around someone for weeks on end while we figure out, you know, while we find words for how we're feeling.

Michaela:

So I have to, I have to ask you this just because I'm, I'm like morbidly curious and feel, I would be remiss if I didn't, but how, how do you find that you do in your relationships with your sibling, you know, significant others, parents, et cetera versus your life coaching? Cause I know at one point you mentioned that sometimes you feel like, you know, you're younger but you speak like an old soul and I just wonder, how do you find that you manage things that you know to be true, that you share with others in your working experience versus your own relationships? And I'm almost saying this for myself

Sanni:

a little bit. Yeah. So, so kind of asking like, do I use those techniques in my own life? Yeah.

Michaela:

Are you able to really kind of, um, are you able in the moment to, to execute kind of what you, you share?

Sanni:

Yeah, that's a really good question. I mean, I think, um,

Sanni:

I think with family, for me it's always, it's always harder to kind of get to that pure truth. Why right away you're like, here's what I'm feeling and why? Because there's so many more layers and um, just a lot more emotion for me in general. And, um, yeah, I think that can be a little bit, a little bit more difficult. But in general I do try and show up that way with my family. But it's definitely, it definitely takes a lot more thought and effort for me. Like I have to be like, okay, I'm going to show up and I'm going to say this thing in front of my family or whatever it is. You know, like I have almost like I almost have to prep for it, um, with my partner and with my friends. I think it comes much more naturally and, um, it is kind of just, I mean, I, in some ways it's, it's, it's naturally how I communicate. It's very much like I am feeling this because when like when, because this happened or when this happened, I started feeling like this and it's like, Oh, I don't want to say word vomit. It's like, you know, my partner always jokes. He's like, I know exactly how you're feeling when you're feeling it. Like, no wonder no one has ever sat around wondering how Sani is feeling. You know, they're always like, Oh no, she'll say, don't worry.

Sanni:

So I think my, my, it's also kind of my natural communications

Michaela:

style. Yes. Yeah. I, I'm laughing cause I sometimes feel bad for my husband and my son because they're, you know, married to a psychotherapist who's always pulling these like, you know, I feel such an fun sometimes. Like even last night, Oh my gosh, we were walking the dog and he was pulling and I kept telling my husband, well, why didn't you just put them around your waist so he's not getting three feet out of your arm, you know, this, that, and he goes, he goes, do you have a need?

Sanni:

Okay, go ahead, throw it back on me. That's fine. Right.

Michaela:

But I do think sometimes kind of being in the psychobabble world, you know, like people will say, I even have clients ask me, well, what do you do? You know? And I'm like, well, you know, I really am not going to go there, but let's, let's talk about why, you know, or how, or what. And um, you know, they want to know like, are you good at that? Are you right? And the answer is no, not always. Sometimes I have to call my friend, uh, you know, my, I have to call Savannah, it'd be like [inaudible] and get it all off my chest and then go deal with it, you know? Yeah. Oh definitely. I mean it's, it's

Sanni:

one thing to have the awareness for someone else to be like, Oh, from the outside it looks like this might be going on. And it's another thing entirely when it comes to yourself. And I think in general it's a really good and healthy practice to have people in your life who you can go to to be like, I'm gonna just talk for like three minutes and at the end, can you tell me if there were any sort of broad trends or things you can pull out from that to help me make sense of it?

Michaela:

Totally. That's a, yeah, you hit the nail on the head. And I think that that's part of that being authentic and being honest with yourself. You know that no, I'm not always going to be at great at this is this is part of my work as a human, you know? Right, right. But I do think that people seem to be, lately I feel like more open to the idea that, you know, mental health is a real component to our everyday living and that if you're, you're not working on that piece of yourself, then probably you're not going to be completely whole in that way. If that sounds not too hippy.

Sanni:

Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I think I, I think I hesitate to draw any line that's like, if you're not doing this then you're not whole just because then it puts somebody who maybe doesn't know how to do that and like a weird position of like I'm failing. You know? True. True. Yes. But I think, but I, but I totally understand your sentiment, which is that it's, it's becoming more commonly accepted that self work is, is, you know, is if not

Michaela:

critical, you know. And, um, and I think in general, that type of language in those, it's all the coming so much more wildly accepted when you think about practices like meditation that 20 years ago were somewhat fringe in the Western world, you know, are now in apps and almost everyone has at least heard of it if not tried it. Yes. Yes. So I love, I love the way that you positioned that and I agree and I think that's exactly what I was trying to communicate, not afflict effectively is that it is more people are more receptive to the idea that we can communicate, um, our, our feelings. Like what we're, what we've got going on in our mind versus just shutting it down and not, and not being open to, to expressing all that we are or all that we're feeling. So I love that.

Michaela:

I love how you put that. Yeah, definitely. Thank you for that correction too. Cause I certainly wouldn't want anyone listening to, to think they're not whole. So I love that you caught that. That's really beautiful. And I mean, I totally thought things like that too. Like I need to like, I mean, gosh, I have a whole laundry list of things. So like I'm like, I need to work on this because I'm, you know, and I, and it's not, it's, I mean I think it's just a personal thing sometimes. We know and we're like, this is, you know, this is preventing me from being myself and I want to work on it. Um, versus something that like maybe someone else is like, Oh, you, you know, like you need to work on this or you won't be enough. And, um, and I think you, you know, like your point was so much more of that like personal standpoint.

Michaela:

Like what do I need to feel whole, which is such a great question to ask yourself. Uh, one of the things that I just love about you and, and one of my favorite things about, um, following your Instagram has been your, and you even touched on this earlier, but is your radical honesty and, um, that you're not afraid to post the awkward pics and be like, Hey, this is what's happening and this is, you know, this was the moment. It wasn't perfectly staged. It wasn't, this was what was captured, right? And, um, I personally find that really inspirational that you're not afraid to, to be honest and to say, or even to question and say, no, this doesn't seem quite right to me, or, and, but, and we can, um, we can look at things differently and still both grow from that or whatever. And that's honestly one of my favorite things about you. So I'm stoked that we kind of naturally had that experience unfold because it's so, it's, so, it's just one of the things that I'm like, yes, I love Sani for this. This is like the coolest thing. And that's gotta be weird too, right? People are following you and kind of drawing these like ideals of who you are that maybe don't even really know you but you know, get a glimpse kind of thing. No, I mean I think I'm, I'm laughing.

Sanni:

I recently had a conversation with someone where they were like, I think, and I don't do this with clients, but I think with friends more, I have sort of a naturally like not questioning personality, but like I'm, I'm very natural. Like I'm very drawn to be devil's advocate, I guess I would say. And like, you know, you might even describe as like a little contrary, like, well, what about this side? And not even necessarily because I, I actually deeply believe the other side, but because, um, actually I think it was a value instilled in me by my father who was always like, you know, don't just believe everything you hear. You know, just because someone says something, you don't have to just internalize that and believe it, you know, like being, you know, he, he very much raised me to be naturally questioning and um, and one of the things that I've had to learn in my adult life is how to, how to navigate that in a, I actually liked the word you used earlier, like in a graceful way, how to never be like accusatory or like, well, I think you're wrong.

Sanni:

Or I think this is like, I see it totally differently, but how to be, how to show up curiously and you know, with curiosity and say, Oh, like, tell me more about why you feel that way or because, because that's what I'm actually thinking. It's never, you know, it's very rarely like, Oh, I completely disagree. It's actually just a curiosity that I guess my father instilled in me to ask more questions and be like, where are you going? Like, where did you know, where did that knowledge come from? Why do you feel that way? Like how does that impact you in your daily life? And to always ask those followup questions, but to ask it in a way that makes sure people don't feel attacked, you know, and that's such a delicate, um, delicate line. I think it's easy for all of us to be, you know, defensive sometimes or, um, you know, whatever, you know, just protective of our own ideals or beliefs. And so anyway, that's just, it's just such an interesting topic and it always goes back to that communication line and how do we communicate and, and, um, do so in a way that creates understanding instead of pushes it away.

Michaela:

Yeah. And what you were saying, I kind of, what I kind of do sometimes is I ask, well, what is my why? If I understand my why for asking you, then I know my intention and if my intention is because I don't like the way you're doing it, then I probably need to think about what I'm, you know, how, yeah. Like, even if it's just something simple like how my husband's doing the dishes or you know, it's um, because that's I think when he feels, or at least people in relationships that I have feel the most, um, dif like attacked or need to be on the defensive is when my why isn't coming from a good place.

Sanni:

Right. No, absolutely. Um,

Michaela:

Oh, there was something else that you said that I was, I was kind of jotting as you were talking. It's, it's these, these phone podcasts are so hard sometimes cause you, you know, you're, you're like, I don't know, you don't have that person to person moment where you're feeling okay to interject in the moment. And so you're trying to take a note. It's an interesting dynamic. I'm loving this. Um, but it's definitely, I'm learning a lot from the podcast dynamic. Um, Oh, I think what I was going to say. Oh, this is it is that um, you were mentioning, you know, the way that your dad had kind of brought you up and to always question and ask and, and maybe not take things for face value. If it doesn't sit a hundred percent with you. And I just recently did a personality test. It's, I've done them many times in the past, the Myers Briggs type tests.

Michaela:

But this one was sent to me by, uh, actually a person I had had a friend of mine that's been on the podcast before and it was 16 personalities.com and it's a free version of it. And I was the same but some of my percentages had shifted. So I'm still an ENF Jay. But my, my things had shifted and I'm still, I am, I had a feeling that you were an ENF Jay because of what you were describing. And I was like, that's exactly what it says. I am so I, so it's a protagonist and it was, it's so interesting cause it was saying all those that you're just naturally more inclined to question things and yeah, that's, Oh wow. That's funny. So, um, what's really interesting is I'll text you the link afterwards for it and you can maybe take yours. But, um, the, the pieces that were interesting to me was how I am as a mother, how I am as a friend, you know, and those kinds of things. And to see it from other people's perspective like who I am, I was like, Whoa. Yeah, totally. So, um, then of course I was like texting it to everybody, you know, like you have to take this, I want to know, I want to get, because it's really neat that they have like this in depth thing that describes how you are in your relationships. I thought that part was really cool. Yeah. Yeah. I saw, I had a feeling you might be an ENF Jay. There's very few of us. Well

Sanni:

it's funny cause I think a lot of people think so I guess, I don't know if this is maybe super boring for people who don't know the Myers Briggs break down, but um, there's, you know, the final one you can be, uh, perceiving or judging. I think so. E NFP or ENF, J and. M. A lot of people think I'm an NFP, which is more of this like, not just like operating from the heart, like very feeling centric, very, you know, emotional centric. Um, but also really in the moment and really in the flow. I'm really just like, you know, things will just come up and, and I'm just like, I'm here and I'm with it and I'm not really planning, I'm just letting things flow. But the NFJ is like all those things except for the planning component where you're like, but I also need to have kind of like a clear picture of what's going on and where I'm going. And I'm like kind of, I'm definitely present, but I'm not just like completely go with the flow. Like I need a little bit of structure. And so when I, you know, when people, you know, see me their house, like you must be EMFP and we like a little bit of that planning tendency

Michaela:

too. And so I think I'm 11% of the planning of the judging piece. And, um, so it's real low, like in to my intuitive pieces, like 71%. But, um, it's definitely there for me too. And I, and I think that what's interesting is that's where my biggest holdups are. That's where my biggest hang ups are. Is that almost internal conflict of wanting to be this free spirit and just go with the flow but then feeling that kind of need to control a little bit.

Sanni:

Yeah, totally. Yep. Yep.

Michaela:

Oh, well I, um, I just love the direction this conversation with Sony. I, because you're such a beautiful spirit and I really think that you have such a beautiful thing to share and I love that you're, you've got out wild going and just everything that you're doing. And so I'm hopeful that people listening that maybe need some direction. Um, we'll give you a call for some life coaching because I really just think you're doing great work.

Sanni:

Thank you so much and thanks so much for having me this morning and just, I love, I just love chatting about all these things. I'm like, Oh yeah, communication and identity. Like just, it just feeds me. Um, but it was so lovely and easy to chat with you, Mikayla, and thanks so much for having me on.

Michaela:

Okay. Talk to you soon.

Sanni:

All right. Thank you, Kayla. This has been a be you find happy podcast. Wow.

Michaela:

For more inspiration. Check out early. Bye. Bye.

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