232: How to Figure Out What You Really Want with Ashley Stahl | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Ashley Stahl of YouTurn podcast interview on The Intentional Advantage
August 10, 2021   |   Episode #:

232: How to Figure Out What You Really Want with Ashley Stahl

In This Episode:

Are you kidnapping yourself from the life you want? Join special guest Ashley Stahl, a counter-terrorism professional turned career expert and best-selling author of the book You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, Design Your Dream Career, to talk about the power of choice. You’ll learn how to figure out what you really want and how to stop letting fear keep you from living out your dreams, PLUS strategies for getting unstuck when you aren’t sure where to start!

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Are you kidnapping yourself from the life you want?

Questions I Answer

  • How do I make a big change in my life?
  • What can I do to change my
  • How do I get unstuck?

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Extraordinary is a choice. Take that in, soak it up because of the hustle grind, repeat mantra that society has been touting for decades. It had it all wrong. I’m Tanya Dalton. I’m a seven figure entrepreneur bestselling author speaker, mom, and rule-breaker I’m here to help you live to your fullest potential. That’s what this podcast is all about. The intentional advantage is doing life on our own terms.

Define the status quo and seeing ourselves outside of the tie-dye definitions. Society’s name for us. It’s intentionally choosing to step back away from the chaotic rush of your every day and choosing, choosing to see that it’s your world. And it’s filled with opportunities. Let’s challenge the bedrock beliefs that so many have wholeheartedly trusted because we were told they were truths. Let’s have a healthy disregard for the impossible.

Let’s choose to be extraordinary. Hello? Hello everyone. Welcome To the intentional advantage podcast. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 232. I have to tell you, I am. I’m loving this direction. We’re going for the season. We’re talking all about designing a life on your own terms. And really what that gets us to the heart of is this idea of the power of choice.

And we talked about choices last week. And last week’s episode, we talked about how important it is to choose and why we need to choose. But I knew when we started mapping out this season, I knew that one of the things that could hold you back that could make you feel stuck. Is that feeling of uncertainty. Sometimes when we feel like there’s a lot of options out there,

or a lot of choices, we can get overwhelmed. We can get a little bit like, Ugh, I don’t know which way to go. Then if you’ve listened to me for any length of time, if you’ve read the joy of missing out my first book, you know, I like to say overwhelm, isn’t having too much to do. It’s not knowing where to start.

And that’s what I want to help you with today. Knowing where to start. And I knew that when it came to figuring out what it is you want to do, where it is, you want to go, how you want to move forward in your life. I knew there was no one better than Ashley stall to have on the show. Now,

if you’re not familiar with Ashley, let me tell you a little bit about her because Ashley is a former counter-terrorism professional turned career expert, and she’s the author of the bestselling book. You turn get unstuck, discover your direction, design your dream career. All right, I think you can already see why I knew Ashley would be amazing. You see she’s on a mission to help people step into a career that they’re really excited about that they align with.

So, you know, that really resonates me, but Ashley has also had two viral TEDx speeches. She has online courses. She has her podcast, which is called U-turn. And through these channels, she’s been able to support clients in over 78 countries, helping them discover their best career path, upgrading their competence and landing them more job offers. She has a career column in Fords and her work has also been featured in outlets,

such as the wall street journal, CBS self, Washington, post Chicago Tribune, and so many more. You are going to absolutely love Ashley. Her advice is amazing and spot on. So I don’t want to chat too much here on the front end. Let’s go ahead and dive into today’s episode. Ashley. I am so excited for us to be chatting today.

I have been on your podcast and we could have talked forever on your podcast. And now I have you here on mine. So we’re going to take advantage of the time we have. I’m excited to have you here. Thank you so much for having me excited. Yes, I am Sue and I just, you and I were talking, our messages are so aligned and you know,

recently I was listening to your Ted talk and you said something that I felt like was so powerful. It literally like stopped me in my tracks. And you said often we kidnap ourselves from the lives we actually want. I love that. That’s such a, I mean, it’s an in your face kind of statement that I think is so powerful and so true.

Tell me what led you to believe that? Yeah, I mean, I had a crazy, well, really my dad had a crazy experience a few years ago. I was out at lunch and then I was recording a podcast for my show. And at the end of the show, I saw a bunch of missed calls and it was the police. And I guess when I was sitting in that podcast interview,

my dad got a call when he was in the kitchen and it was an unknown number. And the person on the line, when he answered said, we have your daughter and there was a woman’s screaming behind him. So he thought it was me because I’m his only daughter at this point, I used to have a sister. So he already is pretty traumatized from having lost a daughter already,

who wouldn’t be. And they said, we have your daughter and this woman was screaming. And he said, you better listen to me or we’re going to kill her. And this is the thing about fear. It hijacks our amygdala in our brain. And we can’t think clearly. And I’m so impressed with my dad because he managed to do so many things to continue to think clearly.

And I was able to get on the phone to the police when my dad ended up being coaxed to the bank to wire funds to them. So it was a total scam. And I just remember that night, I came home to see him. He was so shaken up and to this day, he can’t even watch my Ted talk because he cries. Like he,

it was probably one of the most traumatic things that ever happened to him and yeah, and he, he couldn’t believe he was seeing, he literally thought that woman’s screaming was me. And this is a scam that happens in a lot of places of the world. Very common. He didn’t know that he’s older. It was just a lot. And so I remember coming home,

seeing him and having this weird feeling that night of compassion for the people who, who did that to him, because I thought to myself, these people are making a living in such a dark way. They’re scaring the life out of people and getting them to wire the money to quote unquote, let that person that they allegedly kidnapped go. And you know,

anybody who’s wondering about the logistics of this, I guess they just cold call people and say, we have your daughter until somebody responds. So maybe they don’t have a daughter. And the person’s like wrong. Number two, you know, but he responded and they scare people and they tell him to go to an ATM and send them money to free their kid.

And I just thought, what a way to make a living. And aren’t we all doing some version of this ourselves. And if there’s anything a pandemic has taught us, it’s that we are all one, we are all connected. And what one person does next door affects what you do, their germs, their bodies, their choices, their energy, we are also connected.

And so I just thought to myself, like, we are just like these kidnappers, you know, we are kidnapping ourselves. And when we get into fear and we are domesticated and indoctrinated at such a young age, like I remember so many limited career options being told to me, like, I remember when I was a kid, do you want to be a veterinarian or a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or a firefighter Ascot.

We weren’t really told that there is such a thing as being a taste tester or a crisis communications professional, or a strategic analyst at the Pentagon, which was something that I did later in my life. I worked in counter-terrorism, there’s so many career paths that people aren’t in touch with. And a lot of the times, because we don’t know what we don’t know about,

what’s out there. We just choose a certain path. And we Rob ourselves of the opportunity to really be fulfilled and to really be who we are, because at a young age, we’re taught to be afraid. We’re taught that we need to survive. And it’s almost like on a cellular level, because when you look at the research, even, you know,

back with cave men, for example, or cave women, it’s like you needed a tribe and a village to survive. And a lot of that was all sorts of different factors. And your work was tied to your survival. You needed to eat. The men needed to hunt. The women needed to provide for the village, take care of the kids.

And, and if you were ostracized from that village, you couldn’t survive. And so it’s like on a cellular level, we are so afraid of not belonging. We are so afraid of not surviving, not making enough money, not being able to have dreams. We have like a family that we go into the subconscious agreement with ourselves to just pick something and take a stab in the dark.

If it sounds good or looks good. And what we fail to realize is that who you are always wins. So eventually the truth of who you are, is going to bleed through. And the question is, when do you want to rip the band-aid? Do you want to notice who you are today and cry over the loss of the life that you’re not even supposed to be living?

Or do you want to cry over who you are next year? Because it’s inconvenient to be who you are. It’s inconvenient to be happy. And until we choose that, which happiness is not for the faint of heart, we can tap ourselves just like these people did with my dad. They are making a living in the worst way. And they’re just getting by and off of scaring people.

And we’re all just kind of getting by, off of putting ourselves into pain, living lives. That aren’t true for us. I think that’s so true. Just this idea of getting by. And I like what you said there too, about where you can be a nurse or a doctor or a lawyer, or it’s like these very line, like cartoon character jobs that we can do.

Right. We don’t know that what’s out there. I think back to when I was in college, I had no idea the different jobs that were out there and no one really takes you aside and says, Hey, let me tell you what all these different jobs are. There’s all these opportunities. And so we do, we have these tight little boxes.

We get caught up in what we should be doing or what everybody else is doing. And then next thing we know we’re caught up in that heavy current of the hustle and grind of society, right. That we completely lose sight of what it looks like to pursue things that we love, things that light us up. And I think there’s so much power to That.

Right? Well, and we talked about, on my show, you were saying, we were talking about how it’s we were sold a delusion that we should love every, that loving, what you do means loving every second of what you do. It’s like this very unrealistic standard. And so I always tell people, like I was saying, like, if you like 80% of what you do,

you’re doing pretty great because everything in life has a cost of admission. Everything, life comes with a tax and it’s not that I have beliefs that tell me, things have to be painful. It’s just like we live in a dual world. Like in order to be happy, you need to know sadness. And in order to know fulfillment, you need to know not being fulfilled.

And so I think everything we do and everything we choose is a mixed bag of chips. It’s So true. We have to have both there’s there is that duality. And I am totally on board with that because you know how I feel about when you say, you know, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life or do what you love and the money will follow.

I mean, that is the biggest crock of quite frankly, just bullshit that we are fed that we feel like when they life is not living up to that, that we have done something wrong. Right. And one of the things that I know that you don’t speak about is how to follow the different passions when it comes to designing a career for you.

It’s not just about passion when you’re having an ideal life is what is the goal when you have, it’s not tapping into different passions, what is it, Ashley, in your opinion, I love that you asked about this. My message is don’t do what you have. Don’t follow your passion, do what you are. And the challenge with this is knowing who you are and discovering who you are,

especially when we’re a growing, changing, moving organism. And we’re always shifting because nobody wants to be who they are at 20, at 30. You know, we want to change. It’s, it’s our natural, you know, it’s like, have you ever seen a swamp that isn’t moving? It’s just like bugs are growing over it. And like Moss and bacteria,

it’s like, we don’t want to be stagnant either. So I would say there’s a really cool tool in Google called the end gram. And if you look at the phrase, follow your passion in the end, Graham, you see from the 1980s, indigo, millennial, millennium, it’s skyrockets, and what that really is showing us the Ingram is showing you how much that perm shows up in Google,

which pretty much is how much it shows up in society. Because Google, in a way, is the discourse on, in society. Like what are people Googling what’s in their head, right? So the concept of follow your passion kind of went viral in a way. And it sounded good. And I, and I feel like right now, we live in an era where social media is trying to control fake news and how viral fake news can go.

And so I think that this feel good concept, and these three worded directives like follow your passion, do what you love, follow your bliss. And the money will follow. It’s like these got us on a treadmill to nowhere. And my argument is that your passion matters. There’s something to it. But what matters more is who you are, your innate gifts,

your natural skills. And in my book, you turn, that’s my message. And that, and I, I really go through an 11 step roadmap to help people understand. It’s it’s not, you turn like a, you like you’re driving in traffic. It’s a U-turn while you, because you’re coming you. And so this idea is 11. I go through in 12 chapters,

11 different facets of who you are to bring you back to the U-turn of yourself. And to be able to say, this is who I am. This is what my skills are. This is what my natural essence and nature and energy levels are. This is what my values are. This is what motivates me. And these are careers that make sense for me,

or these are services. If I’m an entrepreneur that makes sense for my business. And they’re rooted less. I mean, here’s the thing, there’s a big difference between being a producer of something and a consumer of something like I worked in counter terrorism and national security, my early twenties, I loved politics. I loved reading the economist. I was very interested.

I got a master’s degree in it and foreign affairs, but that was an interest. It wasn’t a skill. And the thing about politics or fashion, it’s like, just because you love shopping, doesn’t mean you’re a good fashion designer, just because you love food. Doesn’t mean you’re supposed to own a restaurant or be a chef just because you love reading.

Doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be a writer or an editor. There’s a difference between what you love and where you are skilled and gifted, just because you consume something doesn’t mean you’re meant to produce it. And so, you know, I love massages, but would be a horrible misuse. And so I think to myself, what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about is a backdrop,

but what you’re doing from nine to five or nine to nine, or whatever your hours are, has to do with your skills, how are you using your body, your heart and your mind, are you thinking in an, on an analytical level, are you writing, are you talking to people? Are you out and about, it’s really about asking yourself,

where am I naturally gifted? How does my brain work and what are some skills that I naturally Excel at? And the thing about it is I think it’s in chapter two or three of my book. I talk about the 10 core skillsets that I think exist in the workforce in general. And most people fall under one of these. And what gets people scattered is trying to use many skillsets.

And, you know, I think this skillset concept helps you decide whether to stay or go. If you don’t like your job or you don’t like your business, because my question is, are you harnessing your core skillset? Do you know what your skillset is? And are you growing it where you are? And if the answer is yes, Well, I was gonna say,

I like that because this is a thing. And this is one of the things I talk about in my book is this myth of the multi-passionate person where they’re like, but I love food. So I should cook food. And I love this. So I should write. And we confuse ourselves. We bring ourselves where we’re spinning in circles because we love a lot of things and I get it because everybody loves a lot of things.

We’re all multi-passionate to some degree, but it’s not about that. This passion it’s really, I’d love to talk about these core skillsets with you and what those are. Yeah. I mean, I love star hotels, but like, I should not be the chef in there. All the people are going to leave, you know? Right. There’s a big difference Between I love travel and luxury versus supposed to do the function.

There’s a difference between function and everything else. So yeah, I would say if you, well, I’ll go through the skill sets for all of the note takers. They’re not ranked in any particular order. And I think a lot of your listeners, since a lot of them are entrepreneurs will resonate with the first one, which is innovation. So this is for the creative,

self-starter the entrepreneur, or even the intrepreneur the person within a company that is pretty autonomous, I would say the visionary rapes. So the thing about the innovator and whether they’re an entrepreneur and entrepreneur usually comes down to their relationship with freedom versus flexibility, I have found that the innovator, the entrepreneur, and by the way, you can be an entrepreneur, but not being an innovator.

Like I’m not an I’m innovative, but I wouldn’t say that that’s my core skillset. I have a different core skillset. So it doesn’t guarantee that you are one or the other. But if you see yourself as a visionary, problem-solver I have a girlfriend who founded a company. I’m like, you are such an innovator. She is constantly innovating in the best way.

I knowing whether you’re supposed to be an entrepreneur comes down to freedom and flexibility because the entrepreneurs need all out freedom. They usually will feel a visceral pain if they don’t have time, freedom, location, freedom, creative freedom, they want to work on their idea. So that’s the first piece. Secondly, you know, the, there’s also a relationship with money and risk.

The entrepreneurs have a healthy relationship with taking risks and they’re willing to do it. Intrepreneurs usually like the predictable nature of a paycheck. And so I think those two pieces, a lot of entrepreneurs just need flexibility. They don’t need all that freedom. Maybe they’re willing to work on an idea that was someone else’s, but they have a lot of autonomy on how that idea comes to life.

So that’s the first core skill set. And the second one is the builder. So this could be, it’s all about, you know, it could be literal energy, like a construction worker building. It could be a metaphor. It can be more like a web developer. Who’s building a website or a management consultant who is building a strategy. And maybe they’re more innovative.

They’re an innovator. If they’re more building it based on innovation. So it’s really about your core that you’re operating out of your energy. The third one is words. This is my core skillset, probably yours as well, that you have a podcast and a book. And so do I, and back when I was 16, my first job was over the summer.

I helped a chef actually at a preschool, prepare the meals. Like I would always come for a few hours a day and help with the food. And I would always find typos in the flyers around the school. And I would go to the front desk and say, you know, there’s a typo here, or like you misused a comma. And they would always say like,

man, you’re so good at words. And so the thing is even as a chef’s assistant, I found a way three, a foundational skill. So yes, I’m innovative. Yes, I’m entrepreneurial. But the way I win the magic I have is in words and what this particular skillset makes me think about for all of the skillsets is whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

And I think this is something to think about with all of them, because your energy levels matter, just as much as your skill that you’re using. For example, if you’re an introvert you are going in your words is your skillset. You might be more of a writer behind your laptop. Versus if you’re an extrovert, you might be more in business development or sales or something.

That’s turning words into money that you can get behind. So it’s important to ask yourself, and I know there’s a lot of research on ambiverts, but I do believe just like your core skillset, you lead with being an introvert or an extrovert. That’s how you get your energy. You need to know that about Yourself. Yes, I agree. Exactly.

And then the fourth skill set is motion. So the motion core skill set is really about the people who succeed being on their feet. It can be a fitness trainer, something very athletic or physical. It can also be a tour guide. Somebody who, you know, it really is a skill to be on your feet all day. It can even be a hairstylist.

But then again, it depends on their route, depends on their core because there’s another core skillset, which is beauty. And that could be what drives them. So it’s really about where their actual skill is. It’s not that one skill set. That means that this is your job title. So start with your skill beneath it all. So that was number five is beauty.

Number six is service. So this is the humanitarians, the helpers one question that comes to mind for all of them that I really think about with this one is whether your skillset is coming from a wound or inspiration, you know, love that question. Yes. She lost her family at a young age. They died like a lot of family members and she had to raise her younger siblings herself and she had to do it all.

And she was like, I think surface is my skillset. And I’m like, or you just had to be that way in your life. Are you sure? Right. And that was when she realized, no, she’s actually an innovator. And so it’s important to ask yourself, you could be both, right? Like you could have trauma in your life or challenges that way.

And you are that way, but it’s important to just zoom out and ask yourself, where’s this coming from? Is it natural? Or is it taught to me? And then there’s the seventh skillset coordination. God bless these people. You know, they’re dotting their eyes. They make the world go around in so many ways. They are the wedding planners,

the detail oriented executor’s implementers, project managers, and then skillset number eight is analysis. So what’s interesting about this one and it really shows you how to kind of look at these he’s. When I worked in national security, I was an intelligence analyst. And I remember thinking to myself, you know, I’m so good at writing. And I love that.

So I get to write these reports. That’s so great. No, now that I have this body of work that I wrote about in my book, it’s like I was able to, and I’ve been career coaching for a decade. I was able to see clearly my skill set, his words, and I misunderstood it with analysis. Yes. I can see how they’re kind of right.

Opposite sides of the brain, Right? Like left brain versus right. Brain big difference between writing a creative, writing, something creative and inspirational versus analyzing data and providing recommendations to different sides of the brain. I totally misunderstood myself. And this kind of misunderstanding is what I think most people are doing. So the analysts are the economists, the analysts, the researchers,

and then number nine is the number crunchers. So, you know, the investment bankers, the bookkeepers, they’re pretty straightforward. The numbers people, and then number 10 is technology. So this skillset is for the, it whizzes, the artificial intelligence, creators, people who are naturally born understand technology. I think about my dad who can like pull apart and put back together a computer.

He has this as a core skillset. So yeah, I say these are the general 10. And just knowing where you sit, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, whether you have trauma, that’s informing it or not is a really good start. Oh, I love that because truly too, I think you’re right. So many people are confused with it.

Like you talk about for you there’s that misunderstanding or you think that it’s one thing, but it’s the diving down. It’s, it’s getting into it and really well, and acknowledging at times, like if you aren’t satisfied with what’s going on, what, what is it? So to die further to figure out which of those skillsets really is yours. I think that’s really incredibly powerful.

Yeah, absolutely. I want to talk about this power of choice in just a moment. I want to take a first, I’ll take a little quick break and then let’s come back and I want to talk about this idea of understanding your core skillset and then that power of choice. All right. Yep. You may have noticed a theme with the start of the season.

We’re talking a lot about the power of choice that you get to choose the life you have that yes, life is all about choosing. And I know that for some of you, you may feel like maybe you don’t have choices that life has boxed you in, or there are no options, but I can promise you the choices they are. They’re my friend.

They’re there for all of us. And when I was coming up with this season, I knew I wanted to do, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to go big with any vet, because I really wanted you to see that it is by making choices, that we start to live that life we want. So what I’ve done is I have pulled together an incredible live five day event.

It’s called the courageous choice experience. The unconventional choices, powerful women make to live on purpose. Through this event, you’re going to hear from some of the most amazing, some of the strongest women that I know these are women running seven and eight figure businesses. These are women who are at the helm of big organizations and corporations. These are women on stages that you’ve heard of,

that you see their names on the shelves of the bookstore. You see them on the TEDx stages. You hear them all over the place and you’ve wondered to yourself, how did she get successful? How can I get successful? Well, that’s what this event is all about. So go and reserve your seat right now. Tanya dalton.com/choice. It is a free event.

I just want you to see that those possibilities they are out there. That’s what these women are excited about doing in these interviews is showing how you can start making choices in your own life. Courageous choices, just like they’ve made. So pause the podcast right now. It’s straight over to Tanya dalton.com/choice and save your spot. I would love to see you there.

All right. So let’s talk about that. Like, I love how you talked about for you that you thought it was analysis, but then it was really words, right? So what happens that we get confused or do we, why is it that we mix these up? You mentioned the trauma, you mentioned, you know, what motivates it, but are there some other things that get us confused or do we just feel like,

oh, well this is just why I’m stuck. Yeah. I think it’s the domestication regarded a young age where we were kind of taught in the mind, likes to pick and put things into boxes. And the truth of the matter is that right now we’re living. Okay. So there’s some decades that weeks of progress happen. Like COVID in some weeks,

decades happen. And sometimes it takes decades to get you to a leak. So that’s what I meant to say. And the thing about this is that with the pandemic, it was like decades of progress happened in the workforce over the course of weeks and months. And what we need to understand is that things are always shifting and 15% of job titles over the next decade don’t exist right now,

according to research. So what we know to be true is that we are moving way too fast to limit ourselves to titles. And I think the mind likes certainty, the mind likes plans. And so we, we go into contract with something mentally and say like, this is what it is. And I would say just, if you can ask yourself the question,

what other version of the skillset, or what other way can I use this skillset that exists and starting to open yourself up to the possibilities and the vastness of that? Or, yeah. Like who do I know that using this skillset, who do I admire that has this skill set? What are the ways that they’re using it and remembering that one of the keys to moving your life forward is conversations.

So, you know, whenever my business feels kind of still, and I do a lot of things, I’m a spokesperson, I’m an author, I’m a podcast. Like I have all the things, but sometimes I’ll be like, this feels too predictable right now. And on those days where it’s kind of rare, but it happens. I look at myself in the mirror and I think,

well, it looks like I need to have a conversation today with someone, whether it’s a therapist or a random person at the grocery store. I just know that when you’re, it doesn’t mean you need to be on all the time, but if you can put your phone down and just be available to a conversation, I’ll walk my puppy, Jupiter around the neighborhood.

And I’ll just be like, I’m open to a conversation. And I always, with that intention create one where I’m walking past them, oh, how’s the day going? I’m just open. And I just have an intention of talking about what I’m up to hearing, what other people are up to, or I’ll go on LinkedIn. This is something I teach in my courses where all show someone how to do an advanced search on LinkedIn and use it in a way where they can expose themselves to profiles of people who are out there doing work that they never considered just based on some keywords or core skillset words that they have so amazing.

There’s so much possibility. We live in a world where there’s so much data of what your options are out there. I mean, it truly never ends. Well, I think, you know, you, you touched on this idea of, you know, we have this idea of what we’re supposed to do, and we don’t even know what the possibilities are because all these titles don’t even exist.

So what that dream job is for you, there may not be a word for it right now. There may not be that position right now. So going out and remembering that we have this very powerful tool at our disposal, we have the power to choose, to have these conversations and having conversations is a great example of a physical manifestation of choice. Opening yourself up to these conversations,

allowing these conversations to happen and being open to them and where it’s going to take you. I think that’s incredibly powerful. Absolutely. And I think that that openness is like a lifestyle and a choice. And it’s a way of being in the world. And absolutely, as you write about in your book, the talking about altering, like changing, like,

well life that is fulfilled and a career that where your career is a vehicle, it’s a vehicle for self expression. It’s a vehicle for self discovery. It’s a vehicle to make an impact. And in order for you to be in that vehicle, you need to know what your skills are, who you are, what you like. And don’t like, a lot of people are walking around the world right now,

and they don’t know much about themselves past what kind of music they like or what their favorite food is. And it’s just because if you want a better relationship with anyone or even yourself, you just need to ask better questions. Right. So it’s really, and if you don’t know what your skillset is, ask people that you trust, ask a coworker,

ask a friend, ask your parents. When have you seen me at my best? That’s a great question because people can see you the way you can’t see yourself so often, you know, because you take a lot of those things that you’re really good at. You just take them for granted. You don’t even think about them because it’s just so easy.

Of course it’s easy for everybody. Cause it’s easy for me. Meanwhile, everybody else is struggling with whatever you’re excelling at. Right? Exactly. Yeah. And so this idea of being open to the possibilities, open to the choices you actually say that you should see your career as an experiment. Let’s talk about that because I think so many people think that a career is this like very serious thing.

And when we say career, it can be your business business as a career, all the same thing, whatever it is you do for your quote unquote work. But we think of it as this very serious thing that we can’t mettle with, or we can’t bus with because if we do, we’re going to get all off track and nothing’s going to work,

see your career as an experiment. Let’s talk about that right Now. I don’t know of many things that were created on one swoop, some of the best things were experiments, right? And so is your career. I think that’s a game of giving yourself a permission slip to understand that as an entrepreneur, as you change your services probably will to not,

they should because you’re growing what you have to offer. And that’s the thing is we’re always kind of calibrating with the universe. And even in my case, you know, I graduated in during the recession, I’m in my mid thirties now. And I remember I couldn’t get a job to save my life. And I ended up applying, applying, taking something I could get.

And my first job was out of grad school was at a ad agency making minimum wage. And I remember having this elegant idea one day where I was like, what if my university has a list of alumni who have graduated and moved to Washington, DC, maybe I can network with the people on that list. I emailed them and they ended up sending me 2000 names and emails and that’s an experiment,

right? Like I, I called and cold emailed every single person. And the willingness to flex that kind of a muscle is a way of life. You either are someone that tends to work that way, or you’re not, you know, you’re the conservative, or you’re more of a risk taker. You put yourself out there. And the thing about putting yourself out there is you’re not always going to win like in the short term,

but in the long term, that way of being will always take you further and create more of a life, more fulfillment, more self-expression more self discovery, more everything, more, more, more, more, yeah, I worked through that list. I ended up probably creating, you know, a hundred people as contacts out of the 2000, moving to DC,

getting multiple job offers, tripling my salary, going from an admin assistant to an executive at the department of defense all in one six week job hunt, because I was willing to go into an experiment. And the thing about this that’s so interesting is that on my way into this career, I thought that I wanted national security. I learned how to be an incredible job seeker and friends started saying to me,

how’d you get so many job offers. How did you triple your salary? You know? And it was the recession. Everybody was struggling. And so I ended up inviting people to coffee shops saying, can I help you or what’s going on? What can I do for you? And it was so incredible to get feedback. People saying, you should be a career expert,

you should be career coach and I, This other job. And I just remember thinking, you know, what is that mean? Like, like a talkie coach, like what’s the coach. I Googled it. There were barely any coaches online. It wasn’t a trend yet. And I ended up starting my business. And so it’s like I followed right.

There was something about national security that did feel right. But on the periphery of that was so much more was my entire business. And you only can do that when you’re aligned, when you’re choosing to follow something. And there was some part of me that was like, I don’t know if counter-terrorism is my forever, but I know I need to follow this.

It feels like something I need to go do. It’s almost like my soul just wanted the experience of it to make a decision about it. And we don’t give ourselves permission to say, I just want to have this experience to make a decision because we have a lot of limiting beliefs about that sets back. That’s gonna make us have to start over Our timeline.

We’re going to write all those things. Exactly. But you know, backing up is not backing down. Sometimes you need a backup. This is the thing. Is that getting that job was truly, even though it’s different from where you are now, that was your stepping stone to get to where you are now. Right? Like that was, there was a lesson learned there and we’re always so afraid to stick our necks out there.

We talked about this on your podcast where you were interviewing me about this idea of failure and that we think that failure is this terrible thing. When really, if you aren’t failing, you’re not succeeding. And we worry that we’re not clear on things, but you say that the clarity we need to move forward comes from engagement does not come from thought it comes from moving our bodies,

getting out there. Right. Limbo is powerless. Yes. That’s the best example Of that, which you just shared with like going out there and looking at it as an experiment that you can’t just think about it. You have to actually make it an experiment, be open to it, to where you are. Yeah. Yup. And I think that when you follow what feels right,

like I did with national security, I was interested in it. And I didn’t know if it was my forever, but I gave myself that permission. What’s right. For you usually will show up right in front of you or on the periphery of that. And that’s kind of what my book does. It’s like, I think that there’s three Lily pads in anybody’s career.

The first Lily pad is like, I don’t like what I’m doing and I don’t know where to go next. And I don’t want to find out cause it’s way too inconvenient. And that’s where most people hang out and I totally get it. It’s really inconvenient to go do something you like, I can unravel your Life. It’s comfortable. It’s dry. It’s yes.

Very comfortable. Exactly. Isn’t it interesting that pain is comfortable, right? Cause people who said they’re fine. Usually they’re just not in touch with their pain. But the second Lily pad is where I try to get people to swim over with my book. And when you read my book, you turn, it’s like, let me teach you what your skillset is.

Let me teach you because there’s two dynamics in a good career. There’s the, what, which is your skillset we talked about. Then there’s the, how, which is your values. What’s important to you because given that we know that 50% of people leave their job because they don’t like their boss. What we can assume is that how your job looks matters,

just as much as what your job is. So me kind of with my book, showing people, what are your skills? How do you work best? What does this mean for your business? What does it mean for your career path? Once you know that information, you can swim over to the second Lily pad, which is, you know, what your gifts are and you’re operating there.

What that does is that put you in a river current, what happens there is that you start to work in a zone of genius. And what happens when you’re working in an area where you’re gifted is people notice because it’s actually quite rare for somebody to be in their gifts. We are, a lot of us don’t know ourselves. You know, like at any moment,

71% of the workforce is job hunting. I don’t think it’s because they need a new job. I think it’s because they don’t like where they are. And they’re hoping the next thing is right there. Just clarity on that, that dissatisfaction Sign us all. But with a band-aid. Yep, Exactly. So it’s like the second Lily pad is saying, who am I?

And now I know, and I’m going to work in an area that uses that and then you’re gifted. And then what happens is everybody notices because it’s so rare. And then people start to offer you opportunities. That’s when you’re calibrating with the universe. So that’s when you start to attract or get noticed and people start to calibrate with you and say, Hey,

how about this? Hey, can you do that? I noticed you were great at this. The choosing is what gives you the opportunity to move over to the third Lily pad, which writing my book was the first time I ever experienced it, which is Dharma. And it was a whole different level of creating. It felt like my words were flying out of the sky and through my fingers when I was writing and it was such a profound experience and it was like a calling,

it was beyond money. It was beyond time. It was like such a magical experience to write the book and share what I had coming through me. And, you know, I would say not everybody goes there, but I think knowing where your gifts are, is your starting point to having the opportunity to try and swim over there. And ever since then,

I’ve discovered there’s this thing I like to call the place, which is like the place I mentally was creating from. And when I watch TV, like for example, people like Kobe Bryant rest in peace. It’s like, I looked at him on TV and I thought like, oh, he’s working from the place. Like he’s in his dorm up because you can see people who are creating from a higher level,

they have a different energy to them. So yeah, those are kind of the three Lily pads. And my purpose is to help people at least know who they are. So they have the chance to experience life through that lens and experiment. It really is about understanding and acknowledging that you have choices and you have so many possibilities and you are never stuck,

ever, ever, you are never stuck. There’s always an opportunity, no matter what your career looks like, there’s always something else out there. And like, like, like you said, Ashley, sometimes we don’t even know what those things are just yet. I love it. It’s just such an amazing conversation. I feel like my listeners are going to really walk away from this understanding that,

that they do have opportunities that even if they didn’t even realize they were there to start opening up themselves, to conversations, opening themselves up to what is around the corner. Can you share with everybody where the best place is to find you where they can get your book? Well, first of all, I absolutely love my book. It’s called U-turn yoou.

It’s two words. Get on stock, discover your direction, design your dream career. It’s bright yellow. Can’t miss it. Everywhere books are sold. Amazon. If you’re international book depository seems to be a good international shipping spot and I’m on Instagram. I’m on my podcast. The U-turn podcast. Also two words. I love to hear what you thought of this episode.

And I’m so honored that I got to be here. Absolutely. Well, I was thrilled to have you on, we had a great conversation on your podcast. I’m so happy to have you here on mine. Truly. What I want people to walk away from today is understanding that there are opportunities out there that you don’t even realize. We just have to start being open to them.

I love that question, that Ashley poses to us about whether we’ve kidnapped ourselves, whether we are keeping ourselves from our own greatness, I felt like today’s episode was really powerful in showing you that, figuring out what you want. Doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be hard. It really starts and ends with you with your unique gifts, with the things that you are truly good at with the things that you’re desiring and the things you want to do.

If you’d like to learn more about Ashley, she can be found@ashleystall.com. I’ll also make sure to put her links in my show notes, you can grab those at Tanya dalton.com/podcast, but truly I hope that today’s episode has empowered you to realize that figuring out what you really want. Doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. It can actually be a starting block.

And speaking of starting blocks, I do want to remind you to go now and sign up for the courageous choice experience. I absolutely know this event is going to be life-changing. It’s going to be life giving because you’re going to really see how so many of these incredibly powerful women have made choices. That’s gotten them to where they are now. And I think if you can see how they’ve done it,

it’s going to be so much easier to see how you can do it too. So head to Tanya dalton.com/choice, I really would love to see every single one of you making those courageous choices in your own lives. And truly it’s when we understand that we have the power of choice that we can choose the direction we go. When we stop kidnapping ourselves from the life,

we were intended to have that ideal life we dream of when we start to see that we have the power within us. That’s when we have the intentional advantage. Thanks so much for joining me today. Quick question though, before you go, do you like prizes? When you leave a rating and review of the intentional advantage podcast, you’ll be entered to win my life changing course,

multiplying your time. Simply leave the review and then send me an email@helloatTanyadalton.com with a screenshot. I choose one winner at the end of every month. So go ahead. Do it right now. Just a quick comment with what you loved about this episode or the show in general and a rating and send it our way. Not going to lie by stars is my favorite,

but I’d love to hear what you think of the show. And if that’s not enough of an incentive for you to win the multiplying your time course, I have to tell you the reviews are the number one thing that supports this podcast. And me, it’s the best way to spread the word and get business tips and strategies to all those other women out who need it.

So there you go. Two great reasons for you to go and leave a review right now. So go ahead and do it, send that screenshot my way, because I want to give you a free course. And thanks again for listening today. I’ll be back next Tuesday and I’ll plan to see you then.



**The Intentional Advantage is a life-changing podcast to help you be more productive. It’s considered one of the best podcasts with a female host. This transcript was created using AI technology.

Tanya Dalton is a female productivity expert and keynote speaker. As a woman she is able to connect with busy women who want to find balance and increase their time management skills.