Today, I interview Daniela Wolfe who shares the first time she remembers feeling afraid to speak. She has found her own identity and let go of the lies of fear, and she is now able to cheer her children on to speak boldly.
She works to inspire confidence, balance, and strength in her many clients. Daniela helps overwhelmed women live a lifestyle they love through simple systems to manage their time and daily tasks. She works together with her clients to create customized self-care and stress management strategies to live a more balanced, healthy, and happy life.
She has been a social worker for 20+ years, trained in all things self-care, mindfulness, stress management, and coping skills. She is also a busy mom of two kids, a 19-year-old son in college and a 15-year-old daughter in high school.
Watch the episode:
Learn How to Speak Without Fear!
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Transcript of Interview
Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast
Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing
Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: https://www.Doreen7steps.com
Episode #9 Daniela Wolfe
“Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs and Thoughts”
(00:02) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Hi, this is the Find Your Voice Change Your Life podcast series. I’m Dr. Doreen Downing. And what I do here on the podcast is to invite guests who’ve had some kind of struggle early on with finding their voice. And then they go on some kind of personal growth journey usually, and be able to connect with discover who they really are, and use their voice then to come out into the world and share their gifts. Today, I’m really happy to welcome Daniella. Thank you, I’ll read your bio so that people will know a little bit more about to best D life with Daniela helping you find the bliss in your busy. So I’m going to repeat that: “helping you find your bliss in your busy”. Just reading it makes me go “Ahh.” She helps overwhelmed women live a lifestyle they love through simple systems to manage their time and daily tasks. She works together with her clients to create customized self-care and stress management strategies to live a more balanced, healthy and happy life. She has been a social worker for 20 plus years trained in all things self-care, mindfulness, stress management and coping skills. She is also a busy mom of two kids, a 19-year-old son in college, yay. And a 15-year-old daughter in high school. Yay, there too. So welcome, Daniela, I’m really excited to have you come and share your life journey actually. So that’s where I’d like to start is what you remember any kind of– sometimes it happens in family, sometimes it happens in schools, just the early experience of feeling like you didn’t have a voice.
(02:04) Daniela Wolfe:
I think and I know, I’ve shared with you… My earliest kind of recollection of feeling like I shouldn’t talk or I should, you know, pull back on what I thought was I was probably in about third grade, I was at a friend’s house. And we were just playing. I think we were putting on makeup or something like that. And I still remember though, so clearly, she said something like, you know, admonishing me and saying like, “you’re just being bossy,” you know, and it really stuck with me that having a differing opinion from somebody else was being perceived as bossy. And I kind of obviously subconsciously pulled back over time. And I have friends now who knew me in high school but didn’t really know me. And they would even say, you know, I was always just very shy, very quiet, I didn’t speak up, you know, even if I was part of a group, I never really felt like in the mix, you know, I was just kind of observing rather than really investing who I was. And I think it took kind of leaving town going to college. And being kind of free of that definition of who I was to really feel comfortable… exploring who I was, doing things that I wanted to do, even if nobody else in my circle was doing, I’ve been really exploring my own interest and following my path. And that inner voice of the things I wanted to try and wanted to do with that type of thing. And so, you know, it was definitely a mix, I think of things I was aware of, and not aware of, and a lifelong process of being able to kind of let go of certain, obviously, limiting beliefs and thoughts that were ingrained from being told I was bossy when I was young, you know, and now, if I see it in my daughter, I try and instill that, you know, being strong willed, and being determined, and having a voice is a strength, and not something to be, you know, ashamed of or hold back on. I mean, definitely still be respectful and all those things. But I think as women we need to help empower, you know, our younger generation and girls to see themselves as being capable of having a voice and that it’s okay to have an opinion, even if it’s a strong one or a different one. And that doesn’t mean you have to kind of withdraw and hold yourself back. You know, that’s my message is to empower and really help you live your best life by following your inner voice.
(04:31) Dr. Doreen Downing
Mm hmm. You told me a story right before we got on here about somebody. Somebody that you worked with and referred to you as D an inner D voice because I guess Daniella and she followed her inner D voice and I guess that’s what the best D life with Daniella means. You mentioned, and it just really struck me that that age, you know, the early age where we’re learning about ourselves relative to the world around us. And first its family, of course. And sounds like there must have been enough… to give you a sense that you can speak up, you know, and then you our circle widens. And that’s when we start testing who we are. And that’s what happened is, is that you encountered some kind of some kind of resistance or some kind of judgment, some kind of criticism, and you took it as criticism, apparently bossy, because, I mean, we’re now you know, we have all these
(05:38) Daniela Wolfe:
That Bossy Pants book, I think, was like, a best seller.
(05:44) Dr. Doreen Downing:
But then, then growing up. So you took it as something was wrong with you? Is that what you’re saying?
(05:52) Daniela Wolfe:
I think that it wasn’t accepted, maybe to be bossy, you know, socially, if you wanted to be accepted, you had to go with the flow. And it’s amazing how, you know, there’s not a ton of things sometimes I can remember from last week, let alone, you know, third grade. But yet, that was something that stuck. And I think it is some of those earlier events that really can have some of those deeper, long lasting effects, where it’s such a impressionable stage at that point, as well, as we’re our most open and vulnerable, we don’t have those defenses. And those walls built up at that point, those defense mechanisms are not really in place yet. And so that’s why I think when things come out, I said in early age, you know, I’ve talked to so many women myself, and I’m sure you have as well, where when they’re really digging deep into where certain thoughts and beliefs and, you know, kind of patterns come from it is from an early point, because that’s when we’re just still developing our sense of self. And so to recognize the impact those different things can have, you know, 20, 30, 50 years later is amazing.
(06:57) Dr. Doreen Downing:
I like what you said about the imprintability, I guess you might call it that we are open and we’re vulnerable. And that’s the place where some kind of messages get imprinted on our psyches. And we move on, and it sounds like you moved on and then changed changed your behavior as you moved into high school…
(07:22) Daniela Wolfe:
Definitely. And it’s interesting, because even, and I can see it, but I can’t necessarily stop it. You know, even though I’ve grown in certain ways, and really have found my voice and found my sense of self. Going back to a high school reunion about 10 years ago, I became that person again. And it was weirdly uncomfortable to be like, Oh, my gosh, as soon as I’m around these people again, I became that and you know, and it’s not like anyone’s not nice to me, or, you know, anything like that. But just, it’s interesting, how strong some of those patterns can get ingrained in us. Even when we know differently, they still kind of find that way in.
(08:03) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Well, the high school reunion reminds me that actually high school I was the head of the cheerleaders and out there in front of 1000s of people leading Cheers. And yet my speaking anxiety didn’t really show up until college, a little different than your experience. And that’s when I started to, I guess, you know, just start comparing myself to other smart people at the University of California, Berkeley. And so and then be put in situations, unlike when I had to in high school, where I had to expose myself and I think it was there that I started to retreat. And that I think is an experience for some people who say, I used to be okay, I used to have ease in front of groups, but something happened when I got older. So I just wanted to, for the audience to hear that. We have many ways of losing our voice. And yes, of course, I dug back like you did, because I think that’s where the roots are to our sense of self somewhere along the line. So I think what I did, unlike you was to just layer over and put on a strong coat of, I’m okay, and I could do this. You know what, I’m not afraid. But I think inside, deep inside, I was afraid. And you make me remember that now.
(09:34) Daniela Wolfe:
It’s interesting how it, you know, you never know what’s going to trigger or make you think of different events or different situations.
(09:41) Dr. Doreen Downing:
And speaking of high school, that’s I now married to the man that I knew in grammar school in high school. And we got together at one of those reunions much later much later in life. But speaking of relationships and marriage, I feel like having found my voice somewhere along the line in the same way that you did to self-discovery and an inner journey isn’t just about– our voice isn’t just showing up on a stage giving a presentation right? Now, how do you? How do you experience yourself being able to have your voice anyplace, anytime?
(10:23) Daniela Wolfe:
I think my actions are a lot of my voice and redefining what I believe I can do like for the longest time, I didn’t cook, you know, my husband was a cook. So I was like, Oh, I don’t cook. And after I got divorced, I was like, You know what, no, I can cook. And I’ve posted, you know, large family gatherings and everything since then. You know, I wasn’t on sports teams in high school. And yet now, I would probably I would call myself an athlete just based on the fact that even though I’m not outstanding in a lot of sports, I will try and play everything: I rollerblade. I stand up paddleboard, I play tennis, I, you know, I used to run half marathons, like– I think just redefining my actions, and how I put myself out there helped me find my voice. Even finding my comfort in my own personal style, when it comes to decorating or fashion. It might not be the same as everybody else’s, but I feel my most myself in the way that I’ve chosen to express through my decorating and my style of fashion and things like that.
(11:28) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Ooh, the phrase you just used: “feel most like myself”, I think that’s the clue. And anything else you could say about how people can discover that feel of “most like myself.”
(11:43) Daniela Wolfe:
I think being comfortable trying on different versions is okay. I think sometimes we put so much pressure that we have to have it figured out or that there’s only one way. And I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, I think to allow ourselves the flexibility to not only try different ones on but to maybe be different ones. Sometimes I’m in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, sometimes I’m dressed up to the nines, and they’re both me. But you know, I think just having that comfort and having different strengths and different versions of ourselves and different voices is okay, too. Sometimes I’m going to be more authoritative sometimes, you know, I’m more naive. And that’s okay. I think getting comfortable with our flaws. And not even our flaws. I don’t like that word. But you know, our areas that are not as strong our vulnerabilities is part of finding our voice to getting just as comfortable with what we don’t know or where we’re not as strong as is very powerful.
(12:42) Dr. Doreen Downing:
We are multi-dimensional. And what I get from you it and a lot of the people that I’ve been interviewing is that there’s this core inside of us. And yes, there are parts, but there’s a center, authentic-ness of a life force that’s running through us from a source. What do you say is your source?
(13:09) Daniela Wolfe:
I mean, I think looking back over the years, I think trying new things has been where I have felt the most me and the most alive, doing things that my friends weren’t doing, trying new experiences. And just believing that I can do it, even if it seems a little crazy. There was a song that I remember from like the early 90s, it was called Watch Me by Laurie Morgan. And “if you think I won’t just watch me” was kind of one of the lines and I’ve really embraced that like, “yeah, I’ll give it a try.” You know, as long as it’s not like dangerous, I’m going to kill myself or hurt anybody. For the most part. I can embarrass myself and be okay. Yes. Well, let me try. You know,
(13:57) Dr. Doreen Downing:
I love that phrase. I hope people pick up on that. Watch me. It’s a bold kind of statement, isn’t it? Well, this COVID whatever this last year that we’ve been doing the sheltering in place, I found a voice inside that is about art and water coloring. And I’ve been taking classes and now I’ve got about 100 paintings I’ve done in this last year, and they’re all a portfolio and I’m so proud. And you know, my sister wanted one of them and I went, Oh, they’re like my little babies. So it’s hard to give it away.
(14:35) Daniela Wolfe:
It’s a part of you. So you put yourself out there on canvas, which is fantastic.
(14:41) Dr. Doreen Downing:
That’s true… and then the reflection back sometimes I go “Ah, I did that.’ So that I’m hearing that in you too, about the joy of trying new things and that seems to be one of your messages. So this is wonderful finding out how early on we are robbed or we put away our authentic selves so that we can fit in or not be judged by others, and then how long a life you could live. But then there are people like you coaches and people like me who go, wow, there’s another way, let’s go back to find out this inner, precious, strong, vibrant self. So tell us more about what you do nowadays given that you are able to share who you really are, and support others.
(15:34) Daniela Wolfe:
Just help empower that spirit in other women, whether it’s Steven just casually, socially, like I’ll be out doing my stand up paddleboard, and people will be like, “Oh, my God, I wish I could try that I wish I could,” and, you know, just encouraging them like, absolutely you can, this is so doable, you know, and helping break those limiting beliefs and those scary things in those stereotypes down into manageable things that anybody can approach. For the most part, most things you can be an artist, you can be a cook, you can be an athlete, you can be all– whatever you want to be, and helping them see that you know, through these different areas in your life and developing your strengths in them. Like in my work, I have a 10 pillar system that I work on with, with clients to help them strengthen what I call their “lifestyle loop” in those 10 pillars and help them see you can have that flow in your day, you can have daily self-care, you can have the organization and time management that you want to have to live that lifestyle, you can find work life balance, you can have all those things, it’s just about taking the time to break them down, work through the mindset, and just build on the skills and kind of do some habit stacking and things like that.
(16:50) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Habit stacking, say more about habit stacking.
(16:58) Daniela Wolfe:
I think habit stacking– and it’s not an original term, so I won’t take credit for it– but it’s a strategy to help take what looks like an overwhelming idea of you know, having a morning routine people like oh, my gosh, I barely get up and get out the door. How do you even think of having a morning routine. And so it’s not about making these massive changes. Because if it’s hard and it’s unmanageable, you’re not going to do it. But to take maybe five minutes and start changing your morning, five minutes at a time. And by building those five minutes, you know, first you get up and maybe do five minutes of meditation, maybe you get up and do five minutes of just having your coffee yourself whatever that looks like. But you build in small little habits, and you take the time to build each one. So that that’s the easy, automated part. And you’re stacking those habits to create now, a bigger system and routine where you’re, you know, doing 20 minutes of yoga meditation, and you’re rolling out the door and everyone’s got their stuff and no one’s yelling, and it’s like, holy cow. I made a morning routine, five minutes at a time. That was a long way to explain it, but…
(18:00) Dr. Doreen Downing:
No, no, but it was very clear. So that I think followers here can say, “Oh, yeah, that’s doable.” I think that’s what you’re doing, your message, your voice is saying, Hey, folks, you can and this is the, there’s an easy way there, you know, it doesn’t have to be hard to change or to find your voice or to try something new, wonderful. Well, we’re coming to an end. And I anything else you want to say to listeners about what you offer, what you do, words of wisdom.
(18:32) Daniela Wolfe:
Definitely to believe that it’s all possible. I think helping people see the possibility and the options is something that I love helping them see it’s like that, helping them get that lightbulb moment, so to speak. You know, I think sometimes we’re so focused on what’s not working, we don’t see the options and the possibilities or reframe our mindset around it. And so that’s the first step to really then being able to find that bigger picture of, I guess what I call my program, the “lifestyle you love”. And I would love to be able to help your listeners on their journey to finding their strength in each of those pillars to finding that work life balance and those habits and systems that help make their day flow that help them manage their time and daily tasks. So that you feel like not only did you get the things you had to get done, but also the things you want to do and have time for all that fun and other things that you feel overwhelmed and, and like aren’t always possible on an everyday basis.
(19:34) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Mm possibilities. Yeah. I have a book called The Art of Possibility. And it’s a phrase that I love, “the art of possibility” and you represent that. So tell us then where to contact you.
(19:49) Daniela Wolfe:
Sure. My website is BESTDLIFE.COM. I’m also on Instagram at best_d_life. I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, so most social media, you can type it in and find me and feel free to just DM me, send me an email. I would love to chat and see how I could, you know, look at what’s going on or any types of services that I can offer to help support you in living that “lifestyle you love.”
(20:18) Dr. Doreen Downing:
“Lifestyle that you love.” That’s a great note to end our time together. And I feel like you and I are both living that life we love by sharing our expertise with the world. Thank you so much, Daniela.
(20:30) Daniela Wolfe:
Thank you, Doreen. It’s been so great.
(20:33) Dr. Doreen Downing:
Also listen on…
Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.
Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speaking: doreen7steps.com.