Episode OverviewIn this episode, Emily talks about her decision to leave her family, the Amish culture, and everything she knew at the age of 17. We discuss the many culture shocks and challenges that she had to overcome, from identity crises to abusive relationships. As Emily takes her happiness into her own hands, she commits to making positive changes and finding strength within herself. This road brings her to powerlifting, and Emily tells us how she went from a scared 17-year-old to a nationally competitive athlete, mom of 2, and a successful businesswoman
CEO - Edvo
Emily is a business coach, speaker and writer passionate about inspiring others to step into their own power as they level up their life and business. Born and raised in the Amish culture she always wondered if there was more to life and could one find true happiness? Knowing she was made for more she made the decision at 17 to leave the culture and everything she had known her whole life.
While being single mom to two after leaving her abusive marriage, she graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor’s degree and while working full time. She also lost over 65lbs. and found a passion for powerlifting.
After years of chasing happiness wondering what her calling was she found one of her purposes in life was to inspire others through teaching, coaching, speaking and writing as she inspires others to change their perception and step into their own power and live a purpose filled life.
https://www.instagram.com/emily_powerlifting/ | https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-adams-02a901121/ | https://twitter.com/emily_powerlift | https://www.facebook.com/emily.ryle?ref=bookmarks | https://www.emilyadams.net/home
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Shireen Jaffer 0:00
Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Edvolution podcast where we question what makes our life truly ours. I’m Shireen Jaffer. And I’m very excited to introduce you to some incredible people with fascinating stories. I have Emily Adams here to tell her awesome story. I came across her when I was reading a reading an interview online about this power lifter, Emily Adams and what she does to optimize her mom, mind and body. And when I heard or read her story and how she actually became a power lifter, it just blew me away. So Emily, I’m so excited to have you here to learn a little bit more about you your background, and thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
Emily Adams 0:47
Thank you so much for having me here. I’m so excited to be here and share everything and anything that you want to know about.
Shireen Jaffer 0:55
So, I mean, it was so cool to read this interview. You were honestly, you know, I was expecting an interview about an athlete telling us about their routine, which you did. But it started with such an interesting background on you and how you grew up in a completely different culture, and chose to leave that culture. So let’s start there. Let’s start with your childhood. Tell me a little bit more about how you grew up and what childhood was like for you.
Leaving the Amish Community and Culture Shock (1:24)
Emily Adams 1:24
Yeah, so I was born and raised in Indiana, and I grew up in an Amish culture. And I will put a disclaimer out now, for those that are already wondering, oh, are those Amish reality? TV shows really true? No, shocker. I know. So those there’s maybe some truth to it, but not much. Anyways, I grew up at the age of 17 made the decision that I was going to leave the culture and I would say at a very young age, maybe around 13 and 14 because I only went to eighth grade, which is is technically a sixth grade education in public schools. And after you got out of school, the the career path for female and Amish world was you get out of school, you then learn how to cook clean. So and then by the time you’re 16, you start going with a youth group, you start dating, you’re in a relationship, you’re married by 18 or 19. And you start having kids and that’s basically it. So looking at that, I was like, This is not something that I wanted to do, and I wanted to have and I wondered, you know, what would it be like to not one get stereotyped anytime I went out in public, and to just do have a different life, like, what would it be like, but knowing that I couldn’t ask my parents those questions, because you know, it was forbidden that we even question that. And finally, at the age of 17, and they made the decision to leave everything I had known and I left the culture and was not prepared for the culture shock I was about to go through, went through a culture shock at the same time, became pregnant at 18. And married at 19. Because the culture I grew up in is if you get pregnant, that is automatically who you get married to. So as soon as I found I was pregnant, I was like, you know, we have to get married. He agreed, and it ended up being a very verbally abusive marriage. And I was gonna leave. And then I had found out I was pregnant with my second son. And I stayed for another two years until I no longer could take it and left in me and became a single mom. And during this time after going through divorce, you know, going through the culture shock and now the divorce, it was like, I had no idea who I was, and it was one of the most difficult times in my life because I also didn’t have family support at the same time. I was going through it alone. Yeah, so I know that was a lot. So
Shireen Jaffer 4:03
it was just such a good background, I want to like, start from the top and just get deeper into everything you just shared. So number one, when you were growing up in your family, and you were growing up in this Amish culture, at what point like, Do you remember how old you were? Or what really triggered this recognition of I don’t think this culture is for me. I don’t think this life is for me. And when did that really start happening in your childhood?
Emily Adams 4:34
Yeah, so the age 13 and 14, you know, that was kind of when I started really struggling with it, because it is a very religious culture. So they, you know, would say, you know, God is love, but at the same time, I never felt like I would ever be good enough for God to even get into heaven. Or like God was the scary fearful person. And this was 1314 and it just kind of kept going the same way. And then at 16, I knew you know, I had to make a choice whether I was going to join the church or not, because that was kind of the expectations, you join the church and you, you know, keep living your life there. But I had lost one of my friends in a buggy accident she had passed away. And in her funeral, something just kind of clicked with me of like, this isn’t the life for you, because of what the things that were said in the funeral. And, you know, this is in front of thousands of people. And I felt like, you know, this is your sign, you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to figure out how to get out.
Shireen Jaffer 5:38
Well, what? So from there when you’ve had that realization, obviously, you chose to leave but did you have conversations with your family leading up to that point, or was it a very drastic, just like, cut the ties and leave? How did you prepare for that? financially? What was that transition really like?
Emily Adams 6:00
What those conversations were very, very, very painful. So kind of in the culture, once they know that someone is getting ready to leave the culture, they start bringing in different church people to talk to, you know, my parents sat down and talk to me and you know, told me, you know, if you made the choice to leave, the expectation was that I wouldn’t be allowed to leave until I was 18. Because they would just bring me back. That’s what they wanted. That’s kind of the thing that they kept telling me, you know, if you leave before you’re 18, we’re just going to make you come back. And all the church people, you know, were coming to talk to me about, you know, the decision I was making was wrong, I was going to hell. My kids would never amount to anything like it was unreal was more of a brainwash tactic to get me to stay. And I got really, really good at blocking out things and I blocked out everything I did not want to hear. I just blocked it out. And I can remember of an evening at night I would just go to my broom and I wrote I journaled a lot. And I would cry, because, you know, I was lost and I had no idea like, I was like, there’s no, there’s got like, God’s not even real. That’s kind of where I was at. And I thought, you know, if they’re sitting here telling me that I’m going to burn in hell for leaving, then guess what? I might as well go live my best life. I have no other choice like this. I might as well go live it up. I’ve already messed up too much. So from there, I actually ended up leaving in the middle of the night. My, my sister, I went to go live with my sister for a while because my I also had two younger brothers and my parents didn’t want me to influence my two younger brothers. So they asked if I would go live with my sister because she was married. So I lived with my sister for a while. And I left in the middle of the night, jumped out of a two story house left. I had a friend that was not Amish that helped me. Kind of like, just get started. And I had a job within like, I think two weeks of leaving, I went to go work as like a, in a restaurant, and they would hire me without a GED because I didn’t have a GED either. And then from there, I just I ended up getting my GED. And then I went into the automotive world where I end up building my career at.
Shireen Jaffer 8:24
Why not? Well, one, I’m glad you have that friend. But I’m sorry that you know, you have to go through all those conversations and not necessarily finding that support within your family and your relatives. So how was it also like living with your sister? Was she were you having conversations with her? Was she supportive? What? Yeah, what did that transition really look like? At that point?
Emily Adams 8:49
Yeah, with my sister like she was she understood why I was doing it, but she had a lot of fear around me doing it because she, you know, kept telling me you know, you know that mom and dad aren’t gonna let you Come back. And we can’t allow you to come, you know, here at our house, because if if they got caught with me at their house, they would also get in trouble by the church because that was the rule. You know, I couldn’t go back to see any of my other families that were members of the church, because then they would get in trouble with the church. And I told her, I was like, Yeah, I know that. And we just kind of agreed to disagree. But interestingly enough, I left and then a year and a half later, she left my sister left, and then my other sister left six months later.
Shireen Jaffer 9:33
Wow. And I guess we’ll come back to your relationships with your family and your sisters. But you had mentioned when you left initially, there was this world of like culture shocks that you faced. Tell us a little bit about that. What were the culture shock like for you?
Emily Adams 9:50
Oh, wow, there was a lot of them. One was like the culture shock that was huge for me. I had no idea When it comes to like, just buy clothes. It was so overwhelming I had no idea what matches with what I hated it. And then I went to go get my haircut had no idea what I was telling her how I wanted my haircut totally messed it up the first time I ever got my haircut. It was awful experience. And those were the two biggest and then when I went into getting a job working at a restaurant, I was not prepared for the rude comments. And I actually had stopped telling people that I came from the Amish culture because they would make fun of me all the time. So for the longest time, I did not share my story at all because I would get the rudest, most ridiculous comments made. And I was not prepared for that. So from my lesson, working at a restaurant was like, you know, in your next job, you’re not saying a word. So in my next job, I didn’t say a word Have any kind of culture and no one knew it, but I wasn’t prepared to always feel like I still didn’t fit in. So for years, I struggled. And this was even after some of the culture shock wore off, I struggled with Where do I fit in? I was trying to find, you know where I fit in, because I still thought I had this label this Amish label to me. And, you know, years later in internal work later, I realized, you know, that was just a label I had put on myself, and I really didn’t have the label. I was just giving it myself.
Shireen Jaffer 11:35
Right. Yeah, I mean, it’s a lot of identity and reflection work that you obviously had to put in. And I think, growing up in a community that is so set on their beliefs, it’s very hard to detach yourself from that belief set, because that’s all you’ve known for such a long time. And when you speak up about not resonating or aligning with that belief, So you’re told that you’re wrong. And so it’s really hard to also then associate your identity with something that quote unquote, is said is wrong. So I can, yeah, I resonate with a lot of that. And again, I’m, I’m sorry, they had to go through it. But, you know, of course, you’ve come out of it now. And it’s such a huge part of your story. And of course, the work you’re not doing as a coach. So tell me more about, you know, you had mentioned in this point in your life, you’re obviously, you know, going through a lot of different identity crisis, you’re feeling lost, and you’ve now gotten into a marriage that isn’t serving you either. What were those? Uh, you know, first years of your first marriage, like, how did you really go through that? Did you have a support group at that point? You know, on your side, what was that like for you?
Emily Adams 12:49
Oh, yeah. So it was awful. But yet the best thing that ever happened to me strictly because it taught me so much about myself and No, I did not have any support system. As I was I had like one or two friends that were there for me. And that was the only support system I had. And it took me three times three attempts to actually leave the marriage before I actually left the marriage. Ugly because I was so scared to become a single mom, because in the Amish culture, divorce, and being a single mom is not heard of. And so I knew that Here I go again, and I’m just going to be judged again. Because, you know, I’m a single mom, and I’ve been divorced. And so it just went strictly against everything that I had been raised to know. And through this though, I learned that I got the opportunity to become a single mom, but also to find a part of myself. So that was the beautiful part of it.
Shireen Jaffer 13:55
And what was that part of yourself that you found
Finding a Voice, Joining a Gym, and Becoming an Athlete (13:59)
Emily Adams 13:59
the part myself that I found was one, I finally started investing in what I wanted to do so actually having a career and, you know, finding, finding starting to find my voice and this happened, you know, through powerlifting through working out in my marriage, he had refused to even let me work out because it was more of a, you know, if you get fit, then you’re going to want to leave me so I could never work out I could never, you know, hang out with certain friends, it was very controlling, he controlled all the money, everything. And when I ended up leaving the marriage, I you know, found found out like, I do love to spend time with my friends. You know, I am really good at finances, even though he never allowed me to do any of this. I started finding out all these different things about myself. You know, I loved working out it was something that I was passionate about. And it was a huge part of my life and still is And I could put myself through school without any support. So if you know, I can sit here and put myself through college with two boys working full time, I found the strength that I needed in myself and to be my biggest cheerleader. I was always my own cheerleader.
Shireen Jaffer 15:20
Yeah, that’s awesome and beautiful. And I think in when we go through these challenges, and these hard times, I mean, there’s some that I wish that, you know, no one had to go through. But regardless, it’s inevitable. A lot of the times when we go through it, we start realizing, you know what, if I can do that I can do anything and you just start recognizing your own power and your own strength. And again, it’s it sucks that we have to go through these really hard times to discover that but once you do discover it, it can be such a liberating moment. Is that it does that resonate with you? Did you feel a type of liberation once you start started recognizing those traits within yourself?
Emily Adams 16:05
Oh yeah 100% definitely 100% I definitely can resonate to that and, and it’s like the most empowering feeling that you’ll ever have in your life.
Shireen Jaffer 16:17
Yeah, I agree. I totally agree. I I I’ve had a lot of family members struggle with mental health and I’ve been an intimate part of episodes that they’ve gone through that have probably been the darkest moments of my life. And you know, I always look back to those moments and why Wish I do wish that they didn’t happen because they were so painful for more than just me they were painful for you know, obviously the family members I was around, but at the same time, like having gone through those and having come out of it stronger, honestly and frankly, more aware of my own self and you know how I react to the situations of What I can, what I can do and what I can get through, they’re liberating. And you’re right, I agree that they are also the best moments. You can feel when you’re having those realizations. Because you carry that strength with you and that recognition of that strength with you. And it helps you overcome way more than you know, you had probably imagined previously. So, totally aligned there. But okay, Emily, tell me so I was reading in your interview you had also mentioned, you know, at this point, as you started taking a career seriously and pursuing a career in the corporate world, you ended up getting a job that had previously been your dream job. So tell us about that journey.
Emily Adams 17:44
This is where the gym came into play. And I thought, you know what, now’s the time to really straighten out my life. I got myself a gym membership. I was 55 pounds, like, gain 55 pounds with my youngest, and I was like, it’s time to lose some weight because I need to be able to Keep up with my boys and I was always active growing up. But in the Amish culture, they don’t necessarily play sports competitively. So they don’t have teams, you know, we would just play in school. And then usually on the weekends, we would get together and play but not in a competitive league. Like, we have, like the opportunity outside of the culture. So, I joined a gym and I can remember having this conversation with the guy that signed me up, he’s like, you know, what, some of your goals and I was like, you know, I want to become an athlete and I, one of the personal trainers was standing there and she was like, yeah, you know, that’s not possible. You’re a mom. And I just like I just cringed and I didn’t say nothing because then I had no competence to speak up for myself. I was like this timid person, everyone could walk all over me if they wanted to. And I started working out. I started losing weight. Meanwhile, I also enrolled to go to Purdue University. I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree in business, and I wanted to do it in four years. And so they kind of the lifting and the school and everything kept me really busy. So I didn’t have to dwell on the divorce. It was cheap therapy. So, I got into Spartan races. And the one year I did a double trifecta and Spartan races really are mentally challenging. And you don’t realize just how much you can push through. And the more I trained, the more I realized, wow, like, mentally you have to be strong, and you also have to be physically strong. So that kind of gave me the drive just to keep working out. I had dropped 65 pounds was feeling good, and had just was getting ready to graduate within my four years as being a single mom and then I actually found powerlifting and someone who’s so People would say it’s by mistake. Mine is like the universe put it there for me. I went to the Arnold in Columbus, Ohio and walked up to a booth to buy the sleeves to start squatting more in the gym. Because I had just gotten to the point where I was pretty good. I was starting to get a little bit stronger on the weights and giving up more of the running. Because the running was, it was fun, but I was getting tired of it. I needed to change and walked up to the booth. It was actually uspa powerlifting Federation. And it was the president that I was talking to had no idea who it was. And he was like, so do you a power lifter? And I was like, No, I don’t powerlift and he was like, well, you should look into it. You definitely have the body type. And it’s a very open community. And we talked a little bit and I was like, he goes, you know, here’s some contact information for people in Indiana that run these meats. I was like, okay, so I decided to go to a meet. And I saw this competition. I was like, wow, this is incredible. Like, this is what I’ve needed my entire life. I can go I can compete. And I can be, you know, the athlete that I want to be. I still wanted to be an athlete. Even though I ran all these Spartan races, I still didn’t view myself as an athlete. And I was still waiting for like some sort of validation to be an athlete. And I just, I also love the fact that when I showed up this competition, there was every shape and size of people, these women were incredibly strong. No one cared about what their body image looks like, or what kind of meals they were eating or any of that, like it was such an open community and I loved it. I love the atmosphere. It’s so welcoming. And decided, you know, I would start you know, prep for my first competition. And when I started prepping, I realized like, wow, I’m strong, like I went from like a 200 pound squat. I ended up squatting, I think, three, three something out my first competition, my deadlift bench was strong. And that kind of led me to when I started stepped on the platform. I realized Not only did it give me an adrenaline rush, and I am an adrenaline junkie, but it also really gave me a level of confidence I never had in my life. And I had realized like, wow, I’m a freakin athlete. And I’m a mom. And you can do both. And this just really went into my career life as well. Like I was so confident and lifting, I became a more confident person. I also changed transfer formed into like, you know, in my career life, I knew what I wanted, I went after the job I wanted landed, you know, the dream job. And powerlifting has been such a huge part of it, the mental part of it, and then fast forward, landed my dream job and had what everybody would say on the outside looks like a perfect worlds had gotten married again, you know, have two incredible boys and this amazing dream job and I was getting ready to compete again and found out that he wanted a divorce. So now is divorce number two, and definitely rocked my world and took a long time for me to just take a few steps back and really look on you know who I am as a person to what I want. And and it was after my second divorce I actually took for the first time ever I took a modification by myself. And it was on that vacation, I realized that I I had really I kind of lost who I was during my marriage and all of my dreams and I kind of allowed myself to really play small and I started allowing myself to dream again like what would I do what would be my dream career job. You know, I love this corporate world and it’s amazing and it looks really good on paper, but I can’t make the impact that I want to make. You know, I didn’t Have, I could only push for policies for so long? And then you know, the answer was no. And I couldn’t have the impact I wanted. And then that’s kind of what dread drove me to get out of the corporate worlds, and to start my own thing. And I knew I wanted to compete in December and I wanted my thousand pound total. And I wanted this thousand pound total, because I’ve been chasing this number since I started powerlifting. Because it was always my goal just to say, Hey, I’m in the thousand pound club just so I could say it. And going into this competition prep, I started seeing that I could change my beliefs around a lot of things and I could rewire myself. I started visualizing everything. And the morning of the competition, I would visualize all my lifts. I knew I needed a 400 pound squat 400 pound deadlift in at least a 200 pound bench. And I went in completely zoned out like I just zoned everything out. My best friend who’s also my coach for powerlifting. She called all my numbers. I didn’t know what I was lifting. And it was nice because no one interrupts me during that time, I kept my music and just stayed strictly focused. I was so focused. And after my last poll on my deadlift, which was my last lift of the day, I knew I had reached 1000 pounds. But I wasn’t prepared for her to tell me that I had reached 1013. And in that moment, I knew that no matter what I thought, mentally, I could achieve. So it didn’t matter. Like there was no like, it was almost like I had tapped through another level of potential. And I was like, wow, you know, this, this is happening. And now, I was also in the midst of, I had the corporate career I wanted to write. So I decided, you know, maybe now’s the time because I have always known I’ve been To do bigger and better things, I was like maybe now’s the time to leave the corporate world and follow after your dreams of what I wanted to do in my life. So I made the decision in February of 2020 to leave the corporate world as a single mom to be a nutrition coach, which, interestingly enough, you know, you would think, you know, I power lift, I know, like macro nutrition like the back of my hand. And I soon learned it was not in alignment with me, and for a few weeks, I kind of freaked out because I had no idea what I’m going to do. And then you know, it was during COVID and COVID-19 was just a blessing for for me and my voice like I it gave me the space and the time to slow down and during this time is when I really found meditation and my spiritual life just shifted to another level. And one morning I realized it hit me that you know, business lights you up. You should be a business coach.
Shireen Jaffer 27:02
That’s, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that. Dr. b. Now more about obviously your career as an athlete, you know, starting from going to that gym, and that trainer saying, Oh, that’s impossible. Your mom, you can’t become an athlete too. Now, obviously, you know, having been one and having had such a huge impact on your personal life and your professional life. What was that journey like for you? What did you hear from people? What were the opinions whether it was from your friends or family or just people you competed with? Tell us more about that journey.
Powerlifting and Ignoring the Doubters (27:38)
Emily Adams 27:38
Yeah, so from day one, you know, walking in there and being overweight and super self conscious to you know, starting to lose weight and, and it’s interesting because when I started to lose weight, everyone’s like, Wow, that’s amazing. You know, you’re doing a really good job. And then all of a sudden, I start to shift to be like, okay, now I’m going to compete competitively in powerlifting As a mom, and it’s interesting how society automatically will start, you know, start judging, you know, who are you to, you’ll be competing as a mom like Who does that? And because it’s not too, too, it’s not too common. You know, in the powerlifting world, it is very common that moms powerlift and I actually had a lot of parents, you know, tell me, you know, maybe you should focus more on your children instead of working out or the comments made of like, what do you spend two hours a day, seven days a week in the gym? And I was like, No, actually, it’s five days a week, and it’s not two hours a session. So I dealt a lot with kind of the haters on that side, you know, I would show up to drop my son off at football practice while he was at football practice, I would go work out and when I came back, I would hear the comments of Oh, so you are working out? And I’m like, yeah, of course I was. And you These are just things that I had to deal with as a mom that was you know, looking to compete and then when you go into prep mode, you know, it’s even more mentally challenging because you know, you have a competition coming up, you’re in this prep mode you have to stay super focused, but at the same time you I also had to be a balm for my boys and trying to figure out you know, how does my How can I work out and still be a mom and still stay in prep mode, and then on competition days, you know, still staying very focused. So I had a lot of support when it came from the powerlifting community. I had tons of support there and I really surrounded myself with those type of people. And that was the biggest thing that got me through that and I don’t think I would be going into nationals this year had it not been for it that support because I had qualified in my December me to go to the drug tested nationals of September this year, and had I not surrounded myself in that support and just being like, you know, no matter what your hard day, your hard days I would reach out to you know, my friend and, and tell him you know, look, I’m just I’m just getting ready to give up powerlifting because I’m done like I, I am done. There are those moments but having that support system just to be like no, you’re not done you know what you want, you know, you want to go to Nationals, you know, these numbers that you want to hit, do the best you can and tomorrow is a new day. And that support system is what got me through a lot of it and continues to get me through a lot of it and and for those that, you know, say why I struggled just to stay motivated in the gym, guess what? motivation is just BS. It’s the discipline that will keep you going. No matter what, no matter if I’m having an off day, or whatever I am feeling I still know that I’m disciplined enough to keep showing up. Because I still no, I’m not done competing as a power lifter.
Shireen Jaffer 31:05
I love that. And I love that you said that sentence around motivation versus discipline because I get asked all the time is How do you stay motivated constantly, and it’s, it’s, you know, I, I consider myself as a highly motivated person, but I have so many days and they’re cyclical, where you just have lows and you don’t want to do something. And that’s when you have to count on your discipline. To know that, even when I’m not feeling motivated, I’m still gonna show up because that’s just, it is discipline. It’s, it’s a, it’s a different feeling. It’s a different trait. I’ve met people who are very motivated and they want to do a bunch of things. And they have so much passion, but they don’t have the discipline to stick by it. And so their motivation doesn’t end up being leveraged in the right ways. And order in the waste that they wanted to want to use that. So I love that. When did you how when people come to you, because this happens to me a lot when people come to you and they have this passion that, you know, is, is stay or typical or they’re being stereotyped into not pursuing that passion. Because, you know, whether there’s not people that look like them that are pursuing that type of sport or hobby or whatever it may be. Maybe it’s a male dominated field, and it’s a woman that’s wanting to get involved with that. And maybe it’s related to age, build, whatever it may be, when they come to you and they say, you know what, my, I don’t have a community, like in you know, powerlifting you had a community of all shapes and sizes, people came together, there was this vibe to it that immediately made you feel welcome. When you’re working with people who don’t necessarily have that community, and they need to either find it within themselves or they need to seek out people, individuals. I can help them. What’s your advice to those people?
Emily Adams 33:03
Yeah, so my first thought was build your own tribe. And I say this and yes, it’s not easy to build your own tribe. But you can do it. There are so many people that started out the exact same place those people are at. And right now it we live in such a virtual world, which is just incredible. You can find support systems all across the world, and especially even just in entrepreneur for me, like I find all these different groups that have supported me. And I found connections in these groups. So if you feel like you don’t have a tribe or a support system, go online, and I guarantee you can find a support system for whatever you are doing. If not start your own, and people will follow. It’s I know it’s it’s very uncomfortable. It is But there is support systems out there for everyone. But we also want to remind you to stay open to support. Because I struggled a lot with I would have people that would be like, hey, I want to support you. But independent me was like, No, I don’t need support, I can do it on my own until I got to the burnt out version of myself. And then I was like, you know, drowning in water here, like, I need help, like now. So just be open to the support as well.
Shireen Jaffer 34:33
Yeah, I loved also what you mentioned, you know, you can go out there and seek individuals that are involved with the things you want to get involved with, or even if it’s not the same thing, but they’ve taken a similar journey where, you know, they had to go against the norm, they have to find your own path. There’s so much so much support and empowerment you can get just from people who’ve been there done bad things. Like Emily, obviously. So, absolutely, I think being open to support and seeking those folks out is really important. And then second thing that Emily said that I really liked is, you know, also just start putting yourself out there. So I found that just writing, just writing what you’re working on while you’re thinking about what you’re interested in, really attracts people to you, someone sees your writing, they, they, they might be seeking support, and all of a sudden YouTube find each other that happens more often than we realize. So if you’re someone out there that again is, is looking for support what their decisions, or just someone you want to think through different decisions with. It’s it starts with just being open and talking about it. And maybe you don’t feel comfortable talking about it in your immediate network. That’s where frankly, you know, forums and discussion groups and community slack community communities, Facebook groups, those come into play because you can use You can simply talk about it with a group of strangers and find people that relate or maybe want to be taking similar actions as you are so thanks for sharing that Emily. And now you know you mentioned you you quit your corporate job earlier this year so pre COVID you chose to make this huge career change. And as a single mom, how, how has that been for you? I know you mentioned COVID was the all the this new normal has been a blessing for you and your boys. But business wise, how has it gone really for you?
Emily Adams 36:36
I would describe it as a beautiful mess. Strictly because that’s kind of what it was. And you know, the nutrition coaching you know, didn’t align with me and then during you know, COVID hits and finding the time and the space to you know, find meditation and make it part of my you know, everyday routine and then Building, you know, decided to go into online business. You know, being a business coach, I am going to be completely honest here I had this moment of Who are you to go build this online business coach, like how are you a business coach? And then I had to remind myself, you know, wait a minute, you spent 12 years in automotive, you dealt with a very male dominant world and he had multiple leadership positions. Why can’t you be a business coach like what is really holding you back? And I realized it was the fear of failing the fear of not having a successful business. So again, a limiting belief. So I did a lot of work around that and now just to be able to stay at home with my boys run an online business and at the same time, see my clients grow like growing their business. They’re not just growing their business, but they’re also growing their mind. Set because that’s part of my coaching strategy is we work through the limiting beliefs. At the same time scaling your business and growing your business. And it’s probably one of the most actually, it is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had in my life just to be able to be part of this be part of their journey.
Shireen Jaffer 38:20
That’s beautiful. And yeah, going back to eliminating beliefs. I talk about this a lot. It’s, it’s so interesting, how many limitations we put on ourselves, you know, and unfortunately, a lot of them are influenced by society and how society tells us we need to behave and look and be and do. But so many of our beliefs that keep us from taking a chance are things we can we have full control over, removing and eliminating So I love that you said that and I love that you’ve been able to throughout your entire journey. I think it’s really important call out you know, even after finding success as a power lifter, even after finding success in your professional career, even finding, you know, finding yourself after your first divorce and your second divorce, even after all of that there are still beliefs throughout that you have to eliminate. And you know, obviously, your most recent one was this year. So I think it’s really easy for people to see folks who are unapologetically being themselves and doing their thing. It’s really easy for the outsider to see that person and say, Wow, this person has all this confidence, and they absolutely believe in themselves. And while those are true, there’s a duality where we’re still fighting trauma, we’re still fighting, you know, different self doubt criteria that we put on ourselves and that society has influenced so thanks also for sharing that part.
Having Belief in Yourself and Taking Imperfect Actions (39:56)
Emily Adams 39:56
Yes, definitely. And for all of those that think that everyone else has together. That’s it. That’s just a limiting belief you have within yourself because none of us have figured it out. And I was always waiting to start my business to start the things until you know, when I have it figured out or when I have a plan. And then I heard this saying where it said, ready is a lie. And I realized, okay, yeah, there’s my sign. Because if I wait until I’m ready, I’m never going to be there.
Shireen Jaffer 40:28
Ah, yes, I’m sorry, I resonate so hard. I, I felt the same way. I mean, I I remember when I was starting my first company, so I was 19. I had started this like summer project. And when it came time to graduate, everyone around me was saying, Look, you’re not ready to go full time with this business because you know, you need to go into the corporate world. You need to get enough experience you need to know what it actually means to run a business. As you need to have enough money in your savings, because if your business flops you need runway, I mean, there was a million reasons as to why I wasn’t ready and why you shouldn’t do something. But something within me just kept saying, look, if I don’t do this now, I don’t think I’m going to do it later. And in hindsight, and I’ve said this before, in hindsight, I don’t think that’s true either. If you choose not to do something now, doesn’t mean you can do it later. You can absolutely do it later. But going back to feeling like you have to be ready for something, I do think that’s Bs, I think you’re never gonna feel ready. And when you do feel ready, it even then it’s, it’s, it’ll probably be different, like what you want to do at that point will be different than what you thought you wanted to do before. So I think the perfect way to get ready is by doing it and by experiencing it and by finding your own flavor in it. I also have found that when I’ve done things even when I haven’t been ready for that When I’ve dumped things I’ve also realized, Oh, actually, I didn’t even want to do it in this way. And so if I had waited all that time to quote unquote, get ready to do that thing. Now I’ve invested all this time wasted all this time getting ready for something I didn’t want to do. So the best thing to even figure out if something is for you, if you’re going to like something, if it’s going to be successful, is by just getting started and figuring out that way. So I love and totally resonate with that saying,
Emily Adams 42:30
yes, yes. And it’s one of those sayings that I’ve implemented in a lot of things that and just take messy action. Like you can’t wait till you have everything perfect and messy action has been part of my business growth, but it allows me to go back and take notes on what were the good What were the bad What do I want to do moving forward?
Shireen Jaffer 42:55
Yeah, totally. Coming from like a product perspective. You know, we say the sum product. And I think I mentioned this in my newsletter last week as well. But for the product perspective, we always say, if you aren’t at least a little bit embarrassed by what you shipped by what you put out there, then you waited too long, because then you spent all this time trying to get it perfect. But you should be embarrassed a little bit, you should make it messy, because it allows you to go faster. And I’m not saying speed is everything. But getting your momentum. Just putting yourself out there. The more you do that, the more confidence you build within yourself, the more used to it, you get and so when you’re starting up something new, I feel like that, that feeling that self confidence is more important than anything else, getting the perfect product, but if you struggle with self confidence, or self conviction, that’s something you’re in battle through, regardless of how good your product gets. So, yeah, put yourself out there. It’s okay if it’s messy, but that’s really what’s going to help you really build that momentum for yourself?
Emily Adams 44:02
Absolutely. 100% agree with that, like I couldn’t have even said it better. I love it.
Shireen Jaffer 44:08
So, and looking forward, you know, in this COVID world, unfortunately, that we live in, but how are you? What are you visualizing for yourself? I know you had brought up visualization before. Actually, let’s talk about visualization for a minute. For people who aren’t familiar with, you know, what does visualization really mean in the context of setting goals and achieving goals? Emily, what does that mean to you?
Visualization and Manifesting What You Want (44:36)
Emily Adams 44:36
Yeah, visualisation was actually a game changer and for I’m not gonna lie, I used to be very non spiritual, and it was very religious driven and you can, whether you’re religious or spiritual, whatever, not at all, like it doesn’t matter visualization still is going to work for you. Because it’s almost like going back to that saying of You have to be able to see it before you can believe it, you have to be able to visualize it in your mind and really wrap your mind around it. So for example, if you want to visualize your business growing to, from six figures to seven figures, you have to be able to really see it. What does that look like? How are you showing up? Are you showing up as a different person? What is that person that’s making that seven figure doing with that extra money? Are they investing in themselves? Are they starting nonprofit? Whatever it may be, and if you’re visualizing for me for my lifts, anytime I would, you know, visualize what I wanted to hit in powerlifting. You know, the 400 pound squat. If I had a moment of doubt of like, oh, but what if I only hit 390? I’d be like, No, I’ve already visualized the 400 it’s there like I know confidently it’s there. And if you just take even Five minutes out of your day and work on like one or two goals that you want to achieve in your life. You start visualizing it and it starts filling you with excitement. And that’s just puts you in a higher vibration, which is a whole other subject for a different day. But it puts you in this different elevated state. And you realize, wow, this is incredible. This is going to be the life I have. And you also learned that by visualizing your goals, you can block out anything else that doesn’t honor those goals. So what visualize ation looks for me now is I’m getting I’m in prep to go to Nationals. So I’ve already visualized 450 squat, 450 deadlift, and at least a 235 bench because that’s what I want. So every day I’m thinking, you know, this is what I’m going to have every time I’m training, I’m thinking, I’m training like that athlete. In the same way with in my business. I want a seven figure business. I don’t want six. I want that Seven. And yeah is scary to sometimes think and even put it out there. Sometimes it’s just scary for us to say, I want a six figure business or I want a seven figure business because then we have all these doubts. Well, what if I don’t do it? Or who am I to have a seven figure business but that is what I visualize I visualize myself seven figure business, having an amazing team work for me. And being an amazing mom of two boys and traveling the world whenever I want, being able to work remotely, wherever I want.
Shireen Jaffer 47:34
Yeah, I love that I visualization has been a big part of my life as well, for years for I really came across the concept probably in when I was probably 2021. And I honestly didn’t take it seriously until I was like 24 and 24 was a year where, you know, my first company Skillify, which I had had for now five years, and I’ve been bootstrapped as a solo founder and then at 24, I raised venture for my second company Edvo. And I was this like female founder in education, technology and, you know, raising funds. I mean, that in itself is a process but I really had to visualize it for myself, I had to believe in myself that I could make it happen when all the data and stats and everything was just, you know, not necessarily in my favor. So visualization manifestation, I mean, these are all we can have. Emily and I can probably talk about this for hours because now just the words, you’re using vibrations, I mean, these are things that are, I am so damn passionate about. And I think, unfortunately, our society I think more people have opened up to it and embraced it and understood it and understood the science behind vibrations and frequencies and what it really means and how it impacts our bodies and our ability to hit our goals. So for anyone that’s interested in seeing it from even a scientific lens, I did another episode with Jill. I think it was Episode Five, I can’t remember. But it was with Jill noble lash. And she and I, from a scientific perspective also talked about, you know, really hitting our goals and visualizing and manifesting what we want for our future selves. So I agree Emily with obviously the practices that you’ve embraced and what you have to say on them. I’ll also say last week, I was writing about visualization for my community every single week, I sent out an email newsletter with just you know, tips and stories of living better and thinking better that have worked for me. So for anyone that’s interested, I they become part of our community and I write weekly pieces. And the topic last week was visualization. Coincidentally, and we were looking through as I was getting ready to write about it. I was Looking at different studies, because I really wanted to understand why do people struggle with visualization. And one of the studies actually, a bunch of studies found that when people think about their future self, when when they think about, you know, the person they want to be 10 years from now, they typically see that person as a stranger, when you don’t visualize you don’t become friends with your future self. You see them more as this Oh, this person that I’ll become in 10 years, versus Oh, this is just the older version of me. This is someone who’s 10 it’s not even someone This is me just 10 years older, right? seeing it as your future self that you become friends with versus seeing this as a different person and 10 years is very different. Because when you start thinking about what are you going to do now, for that future self when your friends without yourself, you are more in tune with what you need to be doing now because you’ve already seen it, it’s already part of you, it’s already you. So everything is now you’re going to be more motivated and disciplined to have whatever you’re doing now and tomorrow and the day after, be part of that journey to the future self. But when you see that person 10 years from now, being the stranger, you’re not going to be that motivated, you’re not going to have internalized that path to that person. So visualization i think is something everyone needs to look into and understand and see if it works for them. But it’s definitely worked for me and clearly has worked for you Emily. And when I say worked, I all I mean is it’s it’s something that has helped us, helps me at least, understand my goals. stay disciplined towards you know, achieving those goals, and feeling this unwavering self confidence. And conviction that I’ve already hit those goals. Because self doubt is inevitable and it still comes up. But how you react to that self doubt honestly determines if you’re going to hit your goals. So whenever I have self doubt come up, it always comes back to Well, I’ve already seen it happen, and I already know what’s needed to make it happen. So that’s what I’m going to keep doing. Because I know it’s possible and I know it’s achievable.
Emily Adams 52:26
Yes, and I definitely agree with with all of that and we could talk all day long about manifesting and visualization, affirmations you know, you name it, but yeah, I definitely agree with you.
Shireen Jaffer 52:38
So when when did you really get introduced to manifestations and visualizations and affirmations? Is that something you found solo? Is that something you found in your community? How did you really come across those concepts?
Emily Adams 52:54
Yeah, so I had heard somewhat of like the law of attraction, almost Maybe like nine months ago. But you know, I’m very, I was a very skeptical person and I didn’t believe it. And interesting enough, I had joined a mastermind, which is like a group of entrepreneurs, all that perform at a high level and in this mastermind I had met a manifestation coach, who is incredible. It has been incredible part of my journey, and I started working with her and learned so much about it just like law of attraction, manifesting different things and how, like the universe in general works,
Shireen Jaffer 53:36
from being introduced to it to now nine months later. How do you feel like it’s impacted you? How do you feel like what are some lessons you’ve learned? Maybe that you can share with the audience that have really shaped your thinking and the way you do things?
Emily Adams 53:54
Oh, yeah, I’ve learned a lot. So one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is We all get signs. And coming from a religious background. I was like, you know, who are these people saying that they got a sign or a download? Like, what even is that? But it’s interesting because I learned that I will get signs, but I have to be open to receiving them. So I would have always be like, yeah, I want to manifest this. But I didn’t necessarily do the internal work, to be able to be prepared to manifest things. And I think the one of the biggest lessons is, yeah, if you follow someone that’s a manifestation coach, and you know, that does a lot of manifesting and talks about it. They make it look easy. It looks so easy, like, do these top five things and you can manifest this. But guess what, there is a lot of internal work that happens. And I just want to be completely real about the internal work. And it’s very, very important that you do the internal work. Because then it also goes into like the manic manifesting. And interesting enough I had this where I was like, I’m going to manifest me a date. Oh my Let me tell you, I started getting Facebook friend requests from tons of random strangers, DMS and my Instagram, you name it like, all guys. And I was like What in the world? And this was like my first reality check of like, Whoa, I was not specific in what I wanted to manifest. I just wanted to manifest the date because I wanted to go on a date. Well, you know, I learned my lesson the hard way and non very specific about what I want, and how I put that out in the universe.
Shireen Jaffer 55:46
That’s, that’s awesome. That’s a really funny example as well. And I love that and maybe we can include it in the episode or maybe it’s offline, but do you want to share the impact this coach has had on you Do you want to share his or her information with with the audience?
Emily Adams 56:04
Absolutely. So the impact that this coach has had on me, she is just incredible, because I can relate with her. And she, she just shows like, she’s very real. So you know, she has these workbooks things that you go through. And on Instagram, she’s called manifesting ninja. And she’s when she shows up on a call, you know, I just love her energy, and she will get on a call and she’ll be like, I’ll start talking. And you know, she calls me out. She’ll be like, Whoa, Emily, let’s think about this. Is this a limiting belief? Like, is this thought honoring you? And right now we’re going through setting boundaries, and what happens if you don’t set these boundaries, you know, it’s leaky energy, and how to protect your energy. And when I mean energy is like not being around people that are doing Negative and really just protecting your energy and your time because those are the most valuable things that you will never get back. And she’s taught me like all these different techniques of how to protect myself to start setting boundaries. I was the worst at setting boundaries, you wouldn’t have a business phone call at 9pm Yes, I’ll show up because that’s who I am. Now. It’s no I have business hours, these are my business hours. If you want to talk we can talk then if not, you know, I’m sorry. So just having boundaries in my life on my business side and and personal has totally changed who I am in. She’s also have been very, very helpful when it comes to having faith. Like that’s been one of my biggest struggles is I know what I want. I’m doing the work. I’m visualizing it. And now I just have to have a faith that it’s going to have, you know, happen and her philosophy ease and flow, so do with ease and flow. Everything in your life should be ease and flow. Nothing should be resistance. It shouldn’t be hard. And I love this about her because she just taught me how to have that ease and flow in my life, how to have ease and flow and parenting. I went from a strict traditional parenting. You know, my kids were on a routine, they knew all this stuff. And, and yes, they’re very good boys. But now I’m a completely different parent, I have more a collaboration style, and it’s ease and flow. And that’s what I want for my business. It’s ease and flow. And she’s constantly reminded me because I’m a very much a Dewar. So I’ll do something. I’ll be like, what’s next? What’s next? Like I’m constantly doo doo doo doo. It’s like that fight and flight, you know, in our brain, like, let’s do this. Let’s do this. And now it’s just taking the time to slow down, you know, take a step back and actually celebrate No, start celebrating the wins and it’s Yeah, it’s just been an An incredible journey working with her and just seeing the mental growth I’ve had while working with her.
Shireen Jaffer 59:09
That’s beautiful. And thank you for sharing all that. I just looked her up on Instagram as well. Amazing. Well, Emily, thank you so much for being here. And thank you so much for sharing your story. I would love obviously we’ll stay in touch but how can the audience get in touch with you? How can they follow along with your business and everything that you’ve got going on?
Emily Adams 59:28
Yeah, so I’m very active on Instagram. My Instagram handle is Emily underscore powerlifting. And then my website is Emily Adams dotnet.
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#15 | LaToya Zavala: Sexual Trauma, Overcoming Abuse, Healing
In this episode, LaToya opens up about the sexual and emotional abuse that started for her at the age of five. She tells us about the societal messaging that prevented her from recognizing the toxicity of her environment and worse, influenced LaToya’s understanding of her self-worth. We learn about how LaToya finds her voice and overcomes years of trauma, limiting beliefs, and millions of voices telling her she’s not good enough. We further discuss her work as a chaplain in the military and the path to get there as a woman.
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