025: Facing Fears in Grief– Trudy Simmons

The-Fearless-Females-Podcast-Trudy-Simmons

In this episode:

In this episode of The Fearless Females Podcast your host Tegan Mathews interviews Trudy Simmons who shares:

  • How the loss of her beloved sister impacted her life
  • The experience of dealing with grief for the first time
  • How she learnt to sit with her fears rather than fight them
  • Learning how to let life unfold instead of forcing it
  • How sharing her story brought her closer to herself and others

Tegan's Take Aways:

  1. If you are doing something because you think you should or because you feel you have to, please stop and connect with what you want to do.
  2. Live your own life and walk your own path, regardless of what nay-sayers say to do or not to do.
  3. All I have to be is me! – Having the courage to be real can create wonderful experiences and connections.
  4. Don’t try and force things to happen, be ok with letting things unfold occasionally.
  5. Laugh every single day – it’s the best medicine.

About Trudy Simmons

Trudy Simmons is a Purpose and Productivity Coach with a truckload of empathy and a little bit of hard arse! She is able to help you find out WHAT you want to do; WHY you want to do it; and HOW to get it DONE!

She loves to show her audience of entrepreneurial and business women the way to becoming more successful by taking action and following through. Trudy has 20 years of experience in helping people move from being stuck and not knowing the next step, to getting their shizzle DONE! She does this by finding and harnessing your strengths and removing your weaknesses.

She knows what keeps you up at night – the thousands of ideas that are germinating in your brain – and she knows how to sort them into “no go”, “maybe later”, and “hell yes” and get done what is really important to your success.

Trudy is also the creator of “The Spectacular – A Business Symposium” a 2.5 day business immersion in 2018 for entrepreneurial women.  It is held in Australia.

Contact Trudy Simmons

A Gift for Listeners From Trudy Simmons

Download this audio and worksheet to take you from Procrastination to Productive. Find out how you are procrastinating, why you are procrastinating and then how to be productive and what to do next, all in a short space of time.

Show Notes: Episode 025: Facing Fears in Grief– Trudy Simmons

Trudy Simmons’ Fearless Story

I’m a purpose and productivity coach and in my every day role in that I help people to get more done in their life and businesses.

What I found growing up was that purpose came from growing up with my sister who had cerebral palsy. We were like twins with the same personality. We did everything together, had the same curly hair and were both 5’4 whereas our other sisters were 5’11 with straight hair.

We had this magical connection through humour and I saw through her what her purpose was in life and what she was capable of and what she didn’t know she was capable of.

Often we get so wrapped up in what we can and can't do but when you see someone who’s mind is sharp but their body isn’t capable of doing things, you realise what’s possible.

My strength came from her and my ability to be able to listen came from her because it was difficult for her to speak I had to listen intently to be able to understand her.

So, we grew up very close and especially because she had severe cerebral palsy so she couldn’t do anything physically.

Then 2.5 years ago I got a call from my mother to say, “Get on the next plane”, my little sister Jodi, at 33yo was dying.

I was on holiday in Australia at the time and so I sat in this little flat I had rented over Christmas (this was Christmas eve) and I thought, “How am I going to get home (to England)?” I had no winter clothes with me, I didn’t think I had my passport with me either and I was in a remote area in Queensland miles away from anywhere.

As it turned out, I did have my passport with me and to this day I don’t know why I did have it, but I jumped on the next plane out and as I got to Kuala Lumpur airport (which is half way home) and I lay down on a sofa in a half awake, half asleep daze I saw Jodi stand up and turn around and wave to me.

Now, Jodi had never stood up as she had always been in a wheelchair so to see that I knew that she had gone.

I then had to get on another 14 hr flight to London knowing she had gone but not understanding what that would mean to me. When I arrived at Heathrow and all of my family were there I knew logically that she had in fact gone even though my heart knew, my head didn’t want to believe it was true.

What that did was throw me into turmoil because I had never known grief before and not knowing what it could do to me. I am a very strong person and I am a confronter and I push through things, I am everything masculine that other people usually have to find within themselves, especially in the corporate world.

But this annihilated me. I had nothing left to put up. I had no mask that I could wear that could get me through my life at that stage. So in the process of Jodi dying and the funeral which I gave as we didn’t want a religious one.

Ironically, three weeks earlier I had said to myself, “OK I’m ready for public speaking now” and there I was thrown into it in a pretty spectacular way. Then I had to navigate through grief and what that was to me, what it did to my business and most importantly who I was at the end of it. In the middle of it I couldn’t see a thing, I was absolutely blinded and blindsided. Getting up in the morning was hard.

How did you turn that around?

What I did was try and be the person I was before all of this happened. So I tried to push, I tried to force and I tried to just get on with things and not be emotional.

While I was in the UK I felt like I had to do everything for the family because I was only there for a month so the funeral and everything to do with that, I felt I had to get it all done so that kept me busy.

But once I got back to Australia I collapsed and couldn’t keep it up anymore. So in hindsight, looking back now, what I did to get through that was every step had to be a baby step. Everything that I did was raw and it felt so uncomfortable. I didn’t know who I was in this circumstance.

My week used to evolve around speaking with Jodi twice a week and that now had fallen away. We used to be two peas in a pod and now I felt lost even in the family because my other two sisters were like two peas in a pod and now I was just one pea and I didn’t know where I fitted anymore.

So when I got back to Australia there was a lot of that and a lot of tears and I guess I just allowed myself the time to grieve. I didn’t know what that process was. Trying to think of the specific steps now is difficult but one of the things was I had a few really good business friends who were very aware of who I was and who I am now.

One of my friends invited me to come and speak at a networking event in March and I did a talk on procrastination, productivity and grief. There were a lot of tears from me and from them and what I saw was there was this massive new connection that I hadn’t felt before because I had always lived through this mask. It was really exciting.

It took me a good three months to get through it but coming out the other side and feeling this incredible surge of realness and authenticity of what I was doing and how I was interacting with people was just absolutely magical.

I got four new clients from that talk because of who I was at that point, real. To do that I had to face a massive fear of standing up on stage and talking to people. I don’t have a problem with being on stage and acting the fool, I can easily do that but talking to people scared me.

The fear of judgment is my biggest fear and putting myself out there.

Most Valuable Lesson

The most valuable lesson I got from this whole experience without a doubt is that all I have to be is me! It seems silly to say it but all I have to be is just the whole of me and people that like you, that’s great and those that don’t, that’s ok too.

From that talk I then created a two-day workshop for women entrepreneurs called ‘The Spectacular’ – A Business Symposium and without thinking about it I held it on the 22nd February which was Jodi’s birthday.

I put the whole of me into it and was told by others that there was a whole bunch of things I should not do, that would not work but they were things that were me such as conga lines, karaoke etc. I had ten speakers so there was a lot of learning and a lot of fun and I was told they felt cared for and nurtured.

By getting out of their heads and having fun these women’s businesses have shot up as a result of this weekend. The fears I had to create the event were astronomical though and I hadn’t told anyone it was Jodi’s birthday but on the night of the 22nd someone came up to me and asked me if I wanted a glass of Baileys, which was Jodi’s drink.

So I burst into tears and then told everyone else and they all burst into tears and we had lots of Bailey’s. So these wonderful little things that are intertwined when you do face your fears are just magical and make it all worthwhile.

Another thing I have learnt from this and I teach others is to live your own path. If you want to hold an event where you have a spontaneous dance off then do it. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers because they’re scared and it’s just their fears.

What are you passionate about today?

What I am passionate about today and always is people being the whole of themselves in their businesses. I get so cross when I hear people saying, “This is what I should do”, or “This is what I have to do” because they have been told so by family, schools or jobs in their past. If you are doing something because you think you should do it or have to do it, for goodness sake, stop it! Stop it right now and find out what YOU want to do!

The other thing I really love to do is to be able to listen to what people don’t say out loud and hear what it is that they really want to do rather than what they think they should be saying or doing. Those little aha moments when that happens is what makes me happy.

What is something in your future plan that scares you?

Right now there is a lot that scares me because I feel like I am in the midst of a transition and there is something big at foot. So I am really excited but also fearful. You know that feeling of butterflies in your stomach where you know its coming but something else has to happen before that. Rather than push it forward you need to sit with it. I am in the midst of that right now.

I am also planning another ‘Spectacular’ in 2018 and it takes a year to create one of those so I will begin that next year which I am really excited about. And I am really excited about what’s happening next but I don’t know what it is.

How do you deal with fear?

I don’t deal with it well because I am a confronter so I just want to move through it and move on with things. So when I feel something like this the angst and the uncomfortable feeling is in that I need to get out of my head and just let things progress, often without my involvement. That’s really hard for me.

I’ve learnt, just in the past two years, that when I feel like this I need to meditate, I need to get outside and walk and let the fear work through me rather than me fighting against it. I think that’s what damages people is when you try and fight against the fear, it’s painful. So I am just letting it go through me and waiting to see what’s on the other side.

When I say it like that it sounds almost lazy but its not its quite challenging for me because I am fighting with the will to go and take action instead of going and doing something that I love and what’s joyful for me. For example, I love to sing and when I go outside and start singing, that’s when I have the best ideas and things come to me much more than if I had sat in front of my computer for hours trying to make it happen.

Five Fast Fun Fearless Facts about Trudy Simmons

  1. Who inspires you? My grandmother. She is the strength of our family and lives with the mantra of laughter. She is 88yo and on 20 pills a day because things break down at that age, but she laughs every single day and that’s her medicine.
  2. Favourite thing to do each day? Get outside! To just get outside and see a tree is very important to me.
  3. What's something that still scares you? Two things; the people that dress up as statues and move really slowly, they scare me. And having to sit with my fear rather than taking action, scares me. I am very much about outcomes and action plans and being able to see what the next step is but right now I am in the space of not knowing what the outcome is going to be and that scares me.
  4. Favourite technique or app or book? Book = The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It was a game changer for me to recognise how my brain works in business.
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world right now, what would it be and why? I would want everybody to believe in themselves. If you believe in yourself and can see the possibilities of what your life could be, then anything is possible.

Final Question for Trudy Simmons

If you could turn back time what's the one piece of advice you wish you could give your fourteen-year-old self?

What I would say to that young lady is to put the walls down and just be yourself in every way that you want to be, despite what people around you tell you and in spite of them too.

Where can people reach out to you?

www.thedaisychaingroup.com.au

Facebook – Trudy Simmons

A Gift for Listeners From Trudy Simmons

Download this audio and worksheet to take you from Procrastination to Productive. Find out how you are procrastinating, why you are procrastinating and then how to be productive and what to do next, all in a short space of time.

2 Comments

  1. Carmel Boutchard on September 8, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Great episode Trudy, very reassuring. I’m so sorry you had to lose your lovely sister. I have to admit that losing a loved one is something that scares me!

    • Trudy on September 30, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you Carmel…. I honestly look at everything through different eyes now. It is easy to look back with hind-sight, but going through the grief was the hardest thing that I have done 🙂

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