Updated: Nov 17, 2020
A transcription of the third episode on our podcast "Insert Verb Here" titled "How To Stop Struggling To Take Action In Your Life" Read along while you listen to the episode!
Jordan (00:00): Do you ever think to yourself? I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.
Haley (00:04): Well, we don't either, but we've learned some things along the way that have gotten us a little bit closer to being functioning adults...
Jordan (00:09): ...or at least we've learned to fake it well enough.
Welcome to Insert Verb Here, your friendly neighborhood advice podcast by two girls who are just as close as you are!
Jordan (00:16): I'm Jordan.
Haley (00:17): And I'm Haley.
Both (00:18): And we are Verb.
Jordan (00:40): Good morning, Haley... Kind of...
Haley (00:42): I mean, it's 2:30 in the afternoon. It's not morning.
Jordan (00:44): No. But I woke up really late.
Haley (00:46): That's true. So...
Jordan (00:48): Incredibly late.
Haley (00:49): Way later than usual, I was surprised because I was texting you. And I was like, she's normally up by now.
Jordan (00:55): Yeah. I try to wake up between like 7 and 9, like nine sleeping in. This morning, it was...
Haley (01:02): Like 11:30.
Jordan (01:03): Yeah. Crazy.
Haley (01:05): I don't, I can't sleep in anymore. Like my body naturally wakes up at like between 6:30 and 7 every single day. I don't need an alarm. I can't sleep in like at all.
Jordan (01:15): That is the goal because I really want to wake up in the morning. If I woke up at 6 or 6:30, I would wake up in the morning and I go for a run. I didn't have time to shower and then not be rushed to get ready for work and stuff.
Haley (01:25): Yeah.
Jordan (01:25): But if I set my alarm Sleep Jordan and Awake Jordan are two completely different people. And Sleep Jordan hears the alarm and they're just like, "SHUT UP. I'm sleeping". And for some reason I just cannot get out of bed. And when I have alarms, unless I know like something is happening, like, "Oh, I have to wake up because I have this meeting or I have to wake up because something exciting is happening".
Haley (01:51): Yeah.
Jordan (01:52): Then, then Sleep Jordan's like, "Okay, fine. We'll listen to this alarm", but it’s the last alarm possible. But if it's just like, I want to wake up because I want to do something for myself.
Haley (02:01): Yeah.
Jordan (02:01): My brain's like, "You thought. Go back to bed."
Haley (02:05): I like, I, I'm kind of glad it's worked out this way. Cause I hate alarms. If I, if I wake up to an alarm, it will ruin my mood.
Jordan (02:13): Really? Your brother's the same way.
Haley (02:14): I can get the exact same amount of sleep every single day. And if one day I have an alarm, I will have a terrible day.
Jordan (02:21): Huh.
Haley (02:21): It ruins my mood. So I just, I'm glad that it worked out that way because I kind of set my life up in a way where I don't really do anything before like 9:30, which I never sleep in that late, for the most part. It's been pretty... Okay.
Jordan (02:38): So, I feel like we need to address something. Our name, our podcast name is Insert Verb Here. Our kind of company name is Verb. What does that mean?
Haley (02:53): The whole idea behind Verb is that like, instead of just kind of sitting and accepting, you know, the thing like your mental illness or like wishing things were better. Taking action to overcome your mental illness and anxiety and depression and things like that. So that's a literally, like that's what our that's what Verb is based on.
Jordan (03:15): So what does taking action in your life mean to you? Haley Olds Nixon
Haley (03:22): To me because I kind of like,
Jordan (03:24): Side note: I never know to call you Haley Olds or Haley Nixon or Haley Olds - Nixon. Cause you haven't legally gotten your name changed yet.
Haley (03:30): Yeah. Just call me Nixon. Cause
Jordan (03:33): [Laughs] Call me Nixon. Call me Nix - anyway. So what does taking action in life mean to you?
Haley (03:39): Cause I often fall into this trap of, I can be, I struggle with envy a lot. And so I'll have this pro I'll have my prob like this, something I'm dealing with and I'll be very envious of other people who have overcome that problem. But instead of doing something about it, a lot of the times I literally just sit and be upset about it all the time. So for me, it is about learning how to solve my problems and taking the steps that I need to take to, to grow and to better myself and to overcome the things in my life that I'm dealing with. That's what it means to me. And just not waiting for anyone to give you permission to do it, to take action and do it for yourself.
Jordan (04:23): That's good!
Haley (04:24): What about you?
Jordan (04:25): Not for permission. That's really good. So I wrote down the whole little spiel. Um, so I wrote down what it kinda means. And so taking action life to me is the meaning of Verb. So one of our slogans of Verb, the company is go try, go do, go live or go do, go try, go live. Um, that to me means you can't live without doing, so taking action means living your life the way you want to. In school, um, I know I've mentioned it like in every single episode we've done so far, but apparently it's was a much more important time in my life than I thought. Um, but in school I went to a performing art school. So they always, you know, the stereotype about performing arts schools are like, you stand and you're like represent the color green. What does, how does water move, move like air, you know, like, which is all accurate.
Haley (05:23): It's a stereotype, but it’s true.
Jordan (05:24): It's true. Also one of the questions that was asked by the director of our program, she asked us, "Where do you cast yourself in your life?"
Haley (05:33): Ooh.
Jordan (05:33): "Are you the lead? Are you the supporting, are you the background that has a couple lines or are you an extra that just observes what is happening? And you don't really have a say." She said, think about that and get back to me. And sh they at school, they had, um, they like to have one on one meetings with us every couple of weeks or so just to see how we were doing. And she's like, and then our meetings, we can talk about it. And I felt like I was the supporting actor in my life.
Haley (06:01): Really?
Jordan (06:02): So I would have other people make decisions for me instead of me doing it because I didn't want to seem b****y being the lead doesn't mean you're b****y or rude or stuck up. But for some reason in my life, if I felt like I was being the leader of my life, that's how it would be.
Haley (06:18): That's how you thought you would be perceived by doing it?
Jordan (06:20): Yeah. So I was like, okay, yeah, I'll just sit back. And if I agree with the decision, I'll say yes. And that is, that is, and it's not like I was consciously trying to sit back and it's not like I was consciously saying, Hey, if I take the lead of my life, I'm going to be this rude, stuck up person. But after thinking about it and talking about it, that's kind of what I figured out. And so I kind of realized living, taking action in life means going after something, if it's finding out what you want to do and what makes your heart happy and actually doing it because, because you want that for your life, not because someone else wants that for your life.
Haley (07:02): 100%.
Jordan (07:03): Um, so that's, to me, that's, what's taking action. And another kind of thing I go by in life is my in high school. Um, my senior year we had a high, uh, senior year high school graduation thing. Um, so it was a theater banquet. We have high school theater banquet, and they were honoring all the seniors. And my high school theater director ended up dying like two months after this banquet. So this was the last thing she ever told me.
Haley (07:38): Wow.
Jordan (07:38): So we are at the banquet at the time I wanted to be a nursing major and I remember I was about to leave or she was about to leave. It was wrapping up and she grabbed my face. She grabbed my like cheeks and her hands and she held it and she said, :Jordan, whatever you do, just do something. I want to be able to look you up in five years and have good results, show up. Be Google-able" And not like famous, but just make something of your life, do something. She said, do something. And that has always stuck with me. Like Jordan do something and that is taking action. So it's taken a couple of years. And for a while I had a bunch of guilt, like, especially cause she passed away right after. That I wasn't making her proud. I wasn't doing something. I was kind of sitting back and letting life happen. So the combination of being told that, and then going to this performing arts school and having this director tell me, or ask me like where I see my life. The culmination of that just made me realize, take action in your life, grab your own life and lead it, how you want to go.
Haley (08:42): Absolutely.
Jordan (08:43): And that doesn't make you a bad person.
Haley (08:45): No.
Jordan (08:45): At all.
Haley (08:45): Yeah. Cause I feel like I’ve also kind of come to realization, but from the other angle, not of people telling me, but I have always struggled with people always wanting to tell me what to do and how to live my own life. And so I, and I'm just a very non-confrontational very like peacekeeper kind of person. So I'll go along with it just cause I don't want to start an argument or anything like that. And for so long I would just give into what other people wanted me to be, what other people wanted. That was best for me. And I would be so miserable because I wasn't...
Jordan (09:19): Taking the lead.
Haley (09:20): The lead in my own life. Exactly. So like, it just took so long of that and feeling like I struggle now with like any situation that I feel like trapped in. Like even if it's real or in my head, like if I feel trapped a lot of the times doing different things. And so it's taking me dealing with that for so long to finally be like, I'm tired of this. I want to be in control again. I want to be the one who is, who is, I want to be the one who is taking action. Not letting someone else take action in my life, you know?
Jordan (09:49): Yeah.
Haley (09:50): So I agree. And also back to your, um, high school director, this is Google-able,
Jordan (09:59): This is Google-able!
Haley (10:02): This is! So, you're making, you're making her proud.
Jordan (10:05): Aww, thank you. That's really sweet. I had, um, I've had a lot of people in my life pass away and for a while I thought I was cursed because anytime I left someone, they ended up passing away. So right after I graduated high school, my high school director died. Then I moved to a different state and worked in, um, worked, um, in the health department and right after I finished my internship at the health department, my boss at the health department died.
Haley (10:33): Oh no.
Jordan (10:34): Then when I left Texas to go to work at the health department my neighbor died. And then I went to community college. And then when I left to community college to go to performing arts school, my community college director died. And I was like, what is wrong? Why I can't leave anyone anymore? Like,
Haley (10:54): No.
Jordan (10:54): What is happening? Like for a long time, I thought I was cursed. And I was like, I can't get close to anyone because if I get close to any one of them and leave them, they're going to die. But I know that's not true.
Haley (11:04): The cycle's broken.
Jordan (11:04): Yeah, the cycles broken.
Haley (11:09): Obviously. So I mean, literally Verb is built around taking action for yourself, but the thing a lot of people struggle with is that it's actually, it's really hard. It's easy to say, but it's really hard to actually do.
Jordan (11:24): To actually implement in your life.
Haley (11:25): So like, why is it so hard? Why is it so hard and what stops us from being able to take action?
Jordan (11:32): I think it's because it's scary. Like what if the action we're taking is wrong? What if we fail? And like, what if, what if people judge us at the end?
Haley (11:44): And I, I also think too, it's scary because we have to look so deep inside ourselves.
Jordan (11:49): Yeah.
Haley (11:49): Because like, and it requires us to look at it like ourselves objectively and to accept our flaws and action. And actually like, cause you know, a lot of times we'll just push them to the side and pretend like they're not there and they're not real. And it makes us actually have to look at herself and be like, Oh, s**t I have like.
Jordan (12:10): X, Y, Z.
Haley (12:10): X, Y, Z, that I really need to improve on. And so it's, we don't want to look at ourselves in that way, especially because it is so deep and so vulnerable too. So it's, I agree with you. It's very scary,
Jordan (12:23): It's very scary. And it can also, taking action can mean change. And a lot of people don't like change. Sometimes they're very happy with how they are with what's going on in their life. Um, some people can view that as settling. I don't necessarily see that as settling, but some people can. So getting, taking action doesn't mean a change will happen. And some people don't want that
Haley (12:47): Don't want don't like that. I get that. Like not from a self-point, but just in general, like I do struggle with that. Like I like what's comfortable to me. Like I don't, that's why I don't do a lot of new activities, because I just, I I'm very weird. Cause I'm we talked about glass half empty glass, half full the other time. I am like, I tend to be a more negative person. So I don't see like when I'm trying a new activity, like let's say it's like rock climbing. I don't see like, "Oh, I could really enjoy this. It could be a really fun form of exercise. I can do it with friends" and all the stuff. I see all the negatives to it. And so I stopped myself from doing new things because...
Jordan (13:25): Is that something you want to change and take action on to change?
Haley (13:29): ...Kind of.
Jordan (13:31): [Laughs] She was like half there like...
Haley (13:33): A little bit, but also like just not from a comfortable thing. I'm just very much, I know what I like and I know what I don't like. And so I think there's -
Jordan (13:45): How do you know if you don't like it if you've never tried it?
Haley (13:47): That's the thing. So I think I need to be more open to trying things, but I also don't think I should force myself if I don't enjoy it. I don't remember what my point was. You said something that made me...
Jordan (13:56): Um...
Haley (13:58): Oh, doing what's comfortable. Like a lot of [inaudible] a lot of people are afraid of change because they like the comfortable little bubble that they are living in, you know? So they don't want to go outside of that and do something that is hard. And it is, you know, it is scary and, um, requires a lot and it takes a long time to. It's not like, that's the biggest thing with like mental health in general. It is not fast.
Jordan (14:23): Yeah.
Haley (14:23): At all.
Jordan (14:24): And the, um, no, it's, it's a journey. Um, it's a marathon.
Haley (14:31): It is a marathon.
Jordan (14:32): It will be hard. Sometimes you will feel like you're at the finish line, but you're never truly there, not in a negative way! But it's just always room for growth. Yeah. Um, another thing about taking action is it doesn't always have to be this huge monumental "I'm going to take action of my life. I am not going to be afraid to try new things" in your case.
Haley (14:55): Yes.
Jordan (14:56): It could be small, like coming home after a really long day and you're exhausted, but you have dirty dishes and instead of leaving them and having them pile up, which will make you, especially, if you struggle with mental health make you feel like just another thing to do, it's going to weigh on you. It's bigger than just not doing dishes.
Jordan (15:15): So taking that action of getting up to do the dishes, putting your clothes away, getting gas in your car, like those small things, taking the action to do it. Those mini actions will create change and can lead to larger changes and actions that you can take in your life.
Haley (15:32): Yeah.
Jordan (15:32): You like hold yourself responsible in a way and accountable. And then it will in a way, I guess, give you the courage to be able to do larger ones.
Haley (15:41): Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. I guess it must, must've been like last October, November. I was in this big slump with my career and not knowing, not knowing what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go with my life and my career and everything that I was trying to build for myself. And so I was just in the slump where I wasn't like I was doing like... I'm a very creative person and I don't think I did anything creative for like six months at all. Like I wouldn't like even like I would try to draw and I would do it for like five minutes. And I was like, I literally cannot do anything. Like my, I was in such this like just such a slump, which sucked. Cause I'm a creative person. My job is creative and I'm like, I don't know what to do. And so I felt so out of control with like my career, which is something that's very important to me. So what I did was I, I took action. And so instead of just sitting around and being a bum all day, not really doing anything, I really focused on my skin and my health. And so I started eating healthier. I started working out more. I started doing a lot of research into those things. And then like, I really started learning about skincare and building a skincare routine for myself, fixing my hair and making it really healthy. And so that was what I did for me was focused on myself physically, essentially. Um, and like my health and things like that. And so then when that all kind of passed and I was back into, like, I had this really clear, actually it was joining Verb. Um,
Jordan (17:15): See look at all the positive things Verb is doing. [laughs] Shameless plug into "look, Look what we can do"
Haley (17:24): But yeah, it was joining Verb that was like this big, like, this is what I needed to be doing in my career. Um, that if I hadn't dealt with all those things and I had been like a slob for those, you know, four or five, six months, I wouldn't have been ready for, I wouldn't have been in a mental, like in the right mindset to go into this new job and career, I'd be like productive and actually get a lot of things done through those couple of months, even though I felt, I didn't feel like I was doing a lot, actually looking back on it. I was doing a lot more than I thought and I really, I would not have been ready. And I like, we would not probably, probably wouldn't be making this podcast if I hadn't have been ready when I joined. So just like the little things like that. So if you feel like taking control of something big, like a career or something like that relationship is too much start small, do something like, as I think I just, I started with skincare was the first one that I wanted to do. So I just started with that, learn, learn about that. And then just added things as I kind of got more comfortable and it all added up to this huge, like growth period of my life. You know,
Jordan (18:37): Another thing I'm going to go back to this. Yeah. Go back to school. But another thing that I felt like it was, I didn't, it wasn't aimed at me, but it was one of those things where the teacher says something and you're like, that speaks to my soul, you know? And she said, a lot of people are scared of failure, but some of you are scared of success.
Haley (19:00): Oh.
Jordan (19:00): And I was like that, Oh my God, that's me really. I'm scared of being successful. And so it took me a while to, to realize like in a way I've used success as a failure and tied it to my worth.
Haley (19:16): Really.
Jordan (19:17): I felt like I wasn't deserving of being successful. Like, so I would stop myself from taking action and the action I wanted because I felt like other people deserved it more than me. So why should I succeed in this task? Why should..., I used to be a swim teacher this never happened, but like, why should I be the swim teacher of the year when people work just as hard, if not harder than me. And I also tied success to failure because if people view you as successful, I felt like all I could do is fall and all I could do was fail. And I think to me, that's another reason why it's hard. Um, taking action, because eventually you will succeed.
Haley (20:01): Yes.
Jordan (20:02): And when you do succeed, what comes next? And I think that's what stopped me for a long, long time. And I think potentially might still stop me because I don't know. I feel like in a way, all I'm going to do is like, why do I deserve to be doing this podcast instead of someone else? Why do I deserve, you know, blah, blah, blah. And I realize like, I don't know, part of me is like in the growth process. It's like, it's not, it's a, it's not a deserving moment. It's just, it's just how life has led you here. You know, that makes sense. It doesn't make you more deserving. You're less deserving. Um, and life is gonna up and down. So you just gotta ride it, I guess.
Haley (20:49): Yeah. That's interesting. I've never heard of anyone who's afraid of success before.
Jordan (20:53): Yeah.
Haley (20:54): Cause obviously I'm big fear of failure person, but like I've never heard of it on the other end. So that's actually really interesting.
Jordan (20:59): Yeah. So, Haley, I have a question for you. Yes. Do you feel, or do you feel like some people feel that taking action in your life or in their life or in someone's life is a form of a coping mechanism?
Haley (21:15): Um, so I guess to answer that we need to actually look at the definition of like what a coping mechanism is.
Jordan (21:22): Okay.
Haley (21:22): Um, so coping mechanisms are the strategies people often use in the face of stress and or trauma to help manage painful or difficult emotions. Coping mechanisms can help people adjust to stressful events while helping them maintain their emotional wellbeing. So I mean, looking at it from that, I actually see, I don't think that like taking action is like, Oh, this is a specific type of coping mechanism. I think it literally, that is just what a coping mechanism is, but in a really healthy way, I feel like, um,
Jordan (21:56): Interesting. Because before that I looked at it as taking action for other people. Yes. That's a coping mechanism to like help them or save them and not necessarily yourself, you know, like I will help you in this situation. So for taking action in that way, I felt like it was a coping mechanism to not deal with your stress or your life, or like the mini actions I was talking about earlier and like always sticking with mini actions, like always just doing the dishes are always blah, blah, blah. I think that I've viewed as a coping mechanism instead of diving deeper to get to the root of things. But seeing that definition kind of changes that. That's interesting.
Haley (22:35): I do. I feel the opposite. Like I, cause that, cause obviously there are healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. So like what you just said, like the mini ones and -
Jordan (22:43): Which should always be, they are great! Especially when you're starting out, but to start making changes in your life. You need to go a little deeper.
Haley (22:52): Yes, exactly. And so I see it as, because it's not a, I don't see it as a coping mechanism that you are either like hurting yourself or you're bottling up, whatever's going on and you're just ignoring it to, to like just not feel the emotions and the stress and the things that are around it. To me, it's the opposite. It's, you're taking the stressful situation and you're going deeper to make change, you know? So that's why I see it as I see it as like, I kind of like a quote unquote, good or healthy, you know, um, a healthy, like a healthier way to cope with something because it does, it helps you to incite change in your life and to start going upwards, you know..
Jordan (23:43): It's one... I feel, I agree. I feel like, looking at it now, it's probably one of the healthiest coping mechanisms you could do. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol, some people ...for a while. Like, I don't know if this really counts as a coping mechanism, but I would get in my car and drive and that's not necessarily safe because car accidents happen.
Haley (24:04): Yeah.
Jordan (24:04): It's not good for the environment just wasting fuel. And it's not, it wasn't good for my wallet. And, and or on the other end, I would be out until like three or four in the morning going on drives to clear my head instead of taking action and be like, why am I feeling this way? And working towards it and through it, I would just try to ignore it and literally drive...
Haley (24:25): Yeah.
Jordan (24:26): Drive away from it.
Haley (24:28): Yeah. And I feel like for me, my, I would cope by ignoring responsibilities. And so whether that's like, you know, something personal or something like we have, like all of our friends are hanging out and I'm having a really hard or stressful time instead of accepting the emotion and what I'm going through and the stress. And kind of using that to take action and make a change. I would shut down and then I would cancel everything. And I just, I wouldn't go to whatever it is we were doing, or I won’t the dishes for the next week. Because every time that I look like, I think, Oh, I have to do the dishes, but I'm going through this right now. But every time I look at the dishes, I like think of that moment. And so I literally just shut down and I just avoid all responsibility, which obviously is not...
Jordan (25:21): Can't do.
Haley (25:22): Can't really do. Um, so I see like, as like the healthiest way that I can think of to cope with whatever you're going through, because it does, obviously it is hard. Yeah. But it does lead you in a more positive direction than the other methods that I can think of off the top of my head.
Jordan (25:44): And this is taking action to better yourself. Obviously, you can take actions in the wrong, like blatantly, completely wrong decisions, wrong actions. We're talking about the healthy ways
Haley (25:59): To better yourself and to help yourself to overcome to a more mindful, mindful, happy, healthy, mentally healthy place. Maybe physically healthy too.
Jordan (26:14): Yeah.
Haley (26:14): Yeah.
Jordan (26:15): I feel like the two are not mutually exclusive.
Haley (26:18): But yeah. Cause this is, it is something that's like very important to me. And I feel like very important to Verb, and we built the entire foundation of Verb on this...
Jordan (26:27): Taking action.
Haley (26:28): Taking action, I mean, that's literally...
Jordan (26:30): Challenging yourself to take actions. Like challenging yourself to, like you said, early and like I said earlier, you see those dishes, every part of you, wants to ignore that responsibility, but you have to own that that's your responsibility. Even if you live with other people, if you still live with your parents, if you live with a roommate and you're like, Oh, those are, or you live with a spouse or whoever. If, if you're like, Oh, well those are their dishes. They're not mine. So I'm not going to do them like, okay, great. But also take the action, take the responsibility. Cause then you can say you did it. Yeah. Every part of you was saying, “No, I didn't want to do that. No, gosh. It would just be so much easier for me to shut out the world, lay in bed. It would be so much easier for me to just turn on the TV, shut it out.” Because those little mini actions will lead and can, well, I will say can and potentially will lead to larger overall life changes, which I think will make you a happier and healthier person.