In today’s episode, I talk with Trista Polo about being a misfit, Imposter Syndrome and how taking responsibility for your choices changes your relationships and entire energy. I’m eager for you to hear her story of being in a similar place to some of my past guests, but finding her way to a different outcome.
Trista is a Self-Worth Coach and Advocate for entrepreneurs, CEOs and health professionals. She runs the local training system for the Hudson Valley region of a global billion-dollar company – training professionals in speaking skills and communication and producing online and in-person events. Trista is the host and creator of Trista’s PL8STORY Podcast – which I highly recommend you listen to, in addition to this one – and is currently working on her novel. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, dog and cat.
Self Worth Assessment and Mini Course (currently free on her website) – https://www.iwokeupawesome.com/self-worth-assessment
More Leads Than You Can Call E-Book (currently free on her website) – https://www.iwokeupawesome.com/more-leads-book
Join Trista’s I Woke Up Awesome Club on Clubhouse – https://www.iwokeupawesome.com/ch-week-in-review
Trista’s hype song is Good To Be Alive by Andy Grammer. You can listen to it at https://open.spotify.com/track/41LGnsm9rkjSs3UTNMLZy2
Come join us in the Fine is a 4-Letter Word Facebook group.
This episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. When you’re asking yourself “what’s next for me? Who am I now, in this next season of life? And where do I even start figuring out my purpose?” the F*ck Being Fine Experience is here for you. Go to https://zenrabbit.com/ to learn more or to schedule a complimentary call.
0:00:01.4 LORI SAITZ: Hello and welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is Trista Polo. She and I met when I was a guest on her podcast, PL8STORY, which was I thought such a cool idea for a podcast because you talk with people about their license plates... Customized personalized license plate. Yes, welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word.
0:00:31.0 TRISTA POLO: Thank you, I'm so happy to be here. I really am so excited that you have a podcast, and this topic is amazing, because I think that, like you say in your description, we all are all kind of going around thinking our life is so much worse than others, but if we really look... We all have so much to be grateful for, and there's always a place we can grow from...
0:00:57.6 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, it's interesting. I'm thinking, you just brought up the comment, you just need... Brought up this idea to me that I heard somewhere about if everybody threw their problems into a big pile and you had to pull out somebody else's problems, most people would want to keep the ones they already have.
0:01:15.0 TRISTA POLO: Yeah, that's right, that's right. Ali know how to manage my own.
0:01:20.4 LORI SAITZ: Right, we're comfortable with that before we get into when you felt stuck at... Fine, tell me about your background, like growing up, what values were instilled in you that you feel like maybe then contributed to how you've lived your life up to this point?
0:01:40.6 TRISTA POLO: Yeah, so I was a product of divorce in the 70s, my parents were actually really young when they were married, and when I was born, my mom was 19, my dad 21, they were sort of trying to figure out how to be together and pay the bills and have a kid. So a lot of it came from that. My father and my mother are both self-starter, work ethic, figure-it out kind of people, and so that was really helpful, but unfortunately they didn't quite make it together, they were better separate than they were together, and so a lot of my childhood was moving around quite a bit. I lived in 24 or so places by the time I was 18, and I never really had that solid foundation to grow up from, and so that definitely affected my way of looking at the world. I'm quite a chameleon. I learned how to be in any kind of group of people, I can pretty much hang out with any group, any belief system, any political slant, and I can just kind of be in a conversation with anybody about anything. I'm pretty versatile that way, but I had a lot of self-worth challenges because of it as well, because I never really found my group, my tribe growing up, because it changed constantly, and nobody really likes the new girl.
0:03:17.9 TRISTA POLO: They're trying to figure out their own stuff, they're trying to figure out what click they belong it. So I have to manage somebody else's experience, not always the best, and so I finally found music and theater as a great place of misfits, but of course, I always wanted to be part of the popular crowd, just like I think everybody did in that age range, so there was a lot of trying to fit in, using that chameleon talent to try and make myself be like what I thought people wanted. So for a lot of my life, I was pretty in authentic. I was kind of a full-time actor wearing a facade of what I thought you wanted me to be, it made it really good, easy to make friends doing that, and it made people really like me, but it wasn't true to myself.
0:04:16.6 LORI SAITZ: At what point did you figure out that's what you were doing and it wasn't serving you...
0:04:20.8 TRISTA POLO: Do I have to admit how old I was, I wasn't that long ago.
0:04:25.6 LORI SAITZ: Hey, there's nothing wrong with that, 'cause this podcast is about helping the listeners understand that they're not alone.
0:04:33.6 TRISTA POLO: Yeah. It wasn't that long ago. I've done a lot of work on myself, I've been through a lot of Landmark Worldwide programs. I've done a lot of Peak Potentials programs. I think the only thing I haven't done is the Tony Robbins stuff, but I've read a ton of books and I follow a lot of stuff, and a lot of Wayne Dyer, a lot of Abraham Hicks... Paul Selig. A lot of stuff that helped me to brainwash myself to believing that I actually was worthy just as I am, not as a put on of what I think that you want me to be. And so it really was only a handful, maybe five or so years ago, and I turned 50 this year, so five or so years ago that I really took on the belief that I deserve all the best life has to offer, offer. And I was created with the ability to achieve it, and I am perfect just as I am with nothing to be fixed or changed. I remember I wanted to start a YouTube channel. I thought I've gone through a lot of classes and courses and camps, have read a lot of books, I have a lot to offer that I get to make a difference.
0:05:47.7 TRISTA POLO: But every time I started to get ready to show up for the mic for the camera, my hair wasn't good enough, maybe I need to lose some weight, I should put make up on, maybe I don't have something important to say, maybe it's just the same stuff, everybody else is saying, I would talk myself out of it. And I woke up one morning with this epiphany, like just as I am right now in this moment, getting out of bed, hair, mesto, wearing pajamas, whatever, morning, breath, whatever, I'm still... Awesome, Just As I Am, I woke up just as I am, and that is where you got the name for your company...
0:06:29.4 LORI SAITZ: That's right. Is your company and your website is also... Yeah, I woke up. Awesome, right.
0:06:34.6 TRISTA POLO: It started out with, I woke up this way and it's awesome, and it's kind of been shortened over the years, but we all woke up... Perfect, just as we are, and if we can start from there. Then the rest of the day gets easier, and it's now really me reminding myself of that this morning as I was waking up, I had this feeling in the pit, a, my stomach like, you're not doing enough, you're gonna fail, you're not gonna reach your goals, you're gonna mess it up. You're such an impostor. Who do you think you are? In the pit I... My stomach, it actually had heat to it, it was just... I thought it was actually a physical reaction and it's still there, that still happens. What I then said to myself was, but I get to decide how I frame... What happened yesterday? So what did I do yesterday? And this was kind of my first thoughts waking up, I had these awesome meetings, I accomplished this, I made phone calls that I wouldn't normally wanna do, I read a difference for this person, I helped that person with what they were up to, I contributed to this one, and all of a sudden I started to realize like, I had a good day yesterday, I have a lot to be proud of.
0:08:02.2 TRISTA POLO: And so I've really, I manage how I frame things. My mindset on purpose.
0:08:07.9 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, I was gonna point out stepping back for a moment, when you mentioned Impostor, feeling like an imposter, and that how common that is for almost every woman I've ever met, and a lot of men too, that Impostor Syndrome of feeling like, Well, what do I have to offer everything's already been said or done, and realizing that even if you're saying something similar to what's already been said, it's coming through your filter to say you're presenting it in a different new way and something that someone else says, versus the way you say it the way you frame it or say it is, interpret it, you're gonna... Touch somebody in a different way. Yes, so you just named a whole bunch of... You just named a whole bunch of authors that... Of books and programs that have helped you and I... The same for me. Yes, I love Wayne Dyer, but I don't know, maybe somebody doesn't love Wayne Dyer, but they listen to Abraham Hicks or... I know what I've heard a lot. I'm a Tony Robbins fan, but a lot of people don't like him, so don't listen to Tony, listen to Mel Robbins. They're not related, but she is equally awesome.
0:09:33.0 TRISTA POLO: So yeah, absolutely, you have to think, you have to hear things seven different ways, seven different times from seven different people, that 777 rule, and that alone is a reason that we need to speak out what we've learned, what we've gotten from our own learnings, because maybe the way we've set it, like you said, from our perspective, is the bolt that kicks off what made a difference for somebody...
0:10:03.5 LORI SAITZ: Right, and oftentimes we're talking about things that we need to learn or get more ingrained into ourselves and teaching it, or re-telling it helps us learn it better, so doing both sides are benefiting the person you're speaking to, or who... The person who's hearing you and you are benefiting from your speaking out. Absolutely, absolutely.
0:10:33.8 TRISTA POLO: Yeah. I think a lot of it comes down to self-worth too, and that's really what I focused on the most over the last couple of years, is leveling up my own self-worth and helping people figure out where their self-worth is low or lower than what will get them what they want. They talk about how if you're not going outside your comfort zone, then you won't get more than you have, you have everything you're comfortable having, and I agree with that, but I also think that you have to be willing to grow your self-worth to be big enough to hold your goals and dreams, no goal statement, no matter how many times a day you say It, will replace you believing you deserve what's on that piece of paper. And so self-worth has become a big conversation that I have with my clients and that I work on for myself as well, because I've realized that that is also a really key piece of it.
0:11:35.1 LORI SAITZ: Right, and finding the courage to go get it. So everything you want is outside of that comfort zone, and that's one of the things in the Fine to Fantastic program that I have, I'm working with clients to help them in that third piece, to find the courage to step out of fine and move towards fantastic. Love, big piece. Yeah, in
0:12:01.2 TRISTA POLO: Is such an easy thing to get stuck in because we just... We kinda get into survival mode. Can I tell a story about a time when... when I accepted fine, it's sort of a silly story from high school, so I ended up in this Algebra class with five or eight... I forget how many was a small class, but there were less than 10 of us in that class, and I was the only girl in the class, and not only was I the only girl, every guy in that class was a football player. It was almost like the coach said, Make this class for the football team, we need a minimum number, so stick this girl in there, she's new. I mean, that's how it felt like it came to it. Yeah, so I was new, I wasn't part of the popular crowd, and I was in this class, all these football players, and so they decided to play a joke on me, and what I didn't realize was that they had put a tap on my chair before I got to class, so I was wearing jeans, but I sat down and there was just this really uncomfortable feeling on my butt cheek, and I thought, Okay, there's something going on, but I'm not getting up because I'm not gonna make a fool of myself and stand up and make a scene and stop the class and look at my chair and find out what's going on, I just wasn't willing to be in the spotlight enough that I could manage my own self-care, I was in pain, I was sitting on an a tack.
0:13:45.6 TRISTA POLO: And so at the end of the class, I got up and I realized that that was what it was. It was a tack and had been put on the seat by the guys in the class, they were all snickering in the hallway through the class, I had a feeling it had something to do with it, but I never had the courage to choose myself over my embarrassment, I'm like, It's fine, I can live with it, I can live with this pain, it's fine, it's manageable, and it's such a...
It's such an interesting story because it's a really physical example...
Yes, so many times when I'll just deal with whatever my situation is, so I don't have to stand up for myself, my beliefs, make a scene, put the spotlight on me, take the attention away from what's going on, Disrupt... In order to take care of myself, and I think it's a trap, and I feel like it is more women than men that feel that way, but definitely that's something that I've faced and I wanted to share it because it's really like the perfect story of living with fine.
0:14:51.4 LORI SAITZ: It's with fine and being afraid to literally stand up for yourself. Yes, yeah, indeed. And then tell us the next story, which I know is there's years in between, but the story that you were... You were fine. And in your marriage and decided, that's not okay. Because you have a different story than some of the other guests I've had on. In terms of outcome.
0:15:27.2 TRISTA POLO: Yeah. I was pretty unhappy. Actually, I was living with it when my husband and I got married, we promised each other we would never get divorced, we both came from divorced homes, and that was not gonna be us, we were going to make it no matter what. And I remember my grandparents, they were married 65 years when my grandfather passed away, and they had some rocky years, but they never gave up on each other. 'cause there was always love there. And so I always remembered that whenever I got really unhappy, but I was getting pretty to the end of my rope, and I was really unhappy with the way some things were going, and I was starting to consider something I had never thought I'd be willing to consider which was to end the marriage, and a friend of mine was... We were part of this mastermind, and he would check in on me, like, How's it going? And he knew that I was having some challenges in my relationship, and he recommended that I take a course that's around communication through it, through Landmark worldwide. It's called access to power. And I resisted the course for a year, and he just kept saying, You know, you're talking about this stuff still like you haven't found a solution, maybe this would make a difference for you.
0:16:43.7 TRISTA POLO: So finally, just so he would stop bugging me about it, I went to this class, and what I realized in the class, it was such a gift, and I'm very grateful to him for not letting it go now, do you ever have something you really know would make a difference for somebody. But they don't want it. And so you just give up on them. Like, Alright, well, you don't want it. And he never gave up on me. And so I'm very grateful for him doing that, and it reminds me not to give up on people when they're not ready yet to hear what I know would make a contribution to them. So I took the class, and inside of it, what I discovered was that I am 100% responsible for my environment, I get to choose how my life goes, and being a victim of a poor marriage, of poor relationship... However you wanna frame it, was my doing, not my husband’s. And as soon as I was willing to accept that fact, my whole paradigm shifted because now I get to say how it goes, so instead of running away from something that doesn't work, giving up on something that hurts, I was able to choose...
0:17:58.2 TRISTA POLO: And now I got to choose to stay or go, so now it wasn't like a result of something, it was like, What's my choice? And I decided to choose to stay. And what's interesting is my husband wasn't interested in doing any of the work, he didn't wanna go to the classes and he didn't wanna read the Wayne Dyer books, and he didn't wanna do any of that work, but by me doing the work and making the choice and bringing my new perspective and my new paradigm into the relationship, it shifted the whole energy, and he started to shift, and we were able to find a ground that wasn't just a common ground of acceptance, not only was it a common ground of misery that we were just gonna live with because we refuse to get divorced, we were able to actually create something on purpose, and what I noticed was that I was willing to now talk about things that I had been unwilling to say, and so was he... I was willing to take responsibility for how my communication landed for him, and so was he, and we were able to build something new, and this year we celebrated 25 years of being married, and we have a stronger, more loving relationship that we've ever had, and the pandemic actually, we got stronger.
0:19:24.8 TRISTA POLO: I know that the pandemic was tough for a lot of people.
0:19:28.2 LORI SAITZ: It was, it was... And there's not a lot of stories about people getting stronger, more the opposite.
0:19:35.7 TRISTA POLO: Yeah, I know. I have one trick, not a trick. One tool that I read during the pandemic, it was like it was sent to me from whatever you call God, it just came into my life in the perfect time because now you're trapped in a house, it's not a huge house here... You're never ever not there. Right, and so all those buttons that got built throughout the 20 some years of being married start getting pushed more often. So this book is, it's E-Cubed by Pam Grout, and it's about a bunch of experiments to prove the law of attraction works, she has E-Squared and E Cubed, and each one is about proving the law of attraction works. And actually the only reason I read the book is I had somebody on my podcast who had a vanity plate, and she had never read E-Squared. So I said, Alright, you ready? Squared, I'll read the new one. And then we'll talk about it on the podcast. Okay, so one of the experiments was in 72-hour period, anything that comes up that annoys you, pisses you off, makes you angry, makes you upset in that moment that you're upset, find something to be grateful for about that situation that species love...
0:20:55.7 TRISTA POLO: You know.
0:20:56.5 LORI SAITZ: I love where you're going with this product in...
0:20:59.4 TRISTA POLO: Yes, so my office is here, and then there's this little jug hallway, jog hallway, and then the kitchen, which is where my husband has set up shop being here, working, and right inside the kitchen door from this little hallway is the garbage, and the garbage is his job he takes the garbage out my dog and he go to the dumpster, they... It's like their job, you know, she's a working dog, so she's got to have jobs, that's one of her jobs takes out the garbage with my husband, and it was particularly full... Yes, and no one else thought I accept you. And I was like, Yeah, and I was like, You know, the garbage is full. He doesn't take it out and he's sitting right there 'cause we're both here all the time 'cause it's a pandemic, I'm like, You know, the garbage is clearly full, it's clearly full, anybody could see the... So of course, it's a silly thing, but it was a button and it was pushed, and I thought, Okay, gratitude, and I did it out loud, because I think speaking has more power than if you think it... To yourself is powerful.
0:22:07.7 TRISTA POLO: So I did it out loud and I said, You know what, I'm really grateful that you have taken responsibility... That it's your job to take out the garbage. I love, I don't have to touch gross, disgusting things, I don't ever have to worry about lifting this big heavy bag, it's over. Fall out of the can. I love that it's a job for you and our dog, I love that you guys take it over and she gets to go with you, and she enjoys it, and it's fun for her, and this little fun thing that just the two of you have, and I'm just so grateful that you handle that... So that's just one example. You could put anything in there, right? Putting the toilet seat down, doing the dishes, speaking to me a certain way, not complementing enough, whatever you could add it to anything. And so I did this for 72 hours. That was homework, I'm very coachable. And I wanna tell you that just in those 72 hours, I fell in love with him all over again, like eventually... And it was right during a pandemic, so perfectly timed when you're stuck in it, right.
0:23:11.4 TRISTA POLO: Somebody who've been together with for a long time, it's easy to have it go the other way, and so I feel like that experiment, that exercise was a huge gift, a miracle that came into my life and I'm so grateful for it, 'cause as I said, were stronger than ever. And we're heading to the next 25 years. It's amazing.
0:23:33.5 LORI SAITZ: One, what shows up when you're paying attention, the exact right thing always shows up when you're paying attention, and to the theme for you that I'm hearing from our conversation today seems to be choice. You recognizing that you have the choice, 'cause you mentioned it earlier about having the choice of how you look at your date, your previous day, how you're going to set your intention for the current day, and then now talking about your choice of how you frame the energy how you contribute to the energy in your relationship, how you show up, and how you choose to find gratitude where you could have just gone... Hair on fire.
0:24:21.6 TRISTA POLO: Yeah, I see it as living on purpose versus by accident, or some people say on accident, I'm not sure which one is correct, but that's how I see it as living on it... It's a regional thing. I see it as living on purpose, when you're 100% responsible for your life, which doesn't come naturally, then you get to choose everything, you get to choose how it goes, how you feel about how it goes, how it's going to go, what's next? And every choice is perfect, so there's no wrong way because there's only success or lessons or both...
0:24:59.4 LORI SAITZ: Exactly, there is no failure. There is no wrong way. So many times, we get paralyzed by inability to make a decision, because what if it's the online... And to recognize that there is no wrong choice, that's just... That's the choice you're making, given the information that you have, or that's the choice, that's the choice, and you can make a different choice if that one doesn't work out the way you anticipated and you fail, which again, is not really a thing. It doesn't turn out the way you expected or wanted. You can choose differently. Choose again, choose again. Nothing, almost nothing is a permanent decision because having children is a pretty permanent decision, that Struthers not a whole lot of other choices that can't be undone or changed to be different. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Well, good stuff. This has been fantastic. Alright, so what is... Is every guest knows they're gonna be asked, What is your hope Song... Your walk-ups. Are you a baseball fan? I've heard it originally was as a walk-up song to when you're getting ready to walk up to that, but I also like the term hype song, what's the song that you listen to when you need to get charged up?
0:26:33.2 TRISTA POLO: Yes, I have a whole list, I have a self-worth, self-love play list that is my go-to, but I would have to say the one that really gets me right here, like the cells in my body respond to it is called it's good to be alive, by Andy Grammar. And I think part of it is because the message of the song is he was down and out, and then he looked within, he calls it God, but he looked within and he found the inner strength and the inner guidance, and now... The world is his oyster. And that is very similar to my path, that as soon as I was willing to trust my own inner guide and trust that the universe has my back and that I actually am supposed to win, then all of a sudden I started to win and I started to have better days and more miracles and more serendipity and better luck. So that's my go-to. I
0:27:38.0 LORI SAITZ: Love that song that... That song, I agree. I can't sit still when I hear it. I'm in the car, I gotta start saying, you missing... Nobody else is in the car with me. But that's not my problem. Great song. And then how can people get in touch with you? If they wanna continue the conversation, they wanna hear more about what has worked for you, they want to reach out, and I think you had something that you wanted to share too...
0:28:09.3 TRISTA POLO: Yes, I'm everywhere. You can search, I woke up Awesome, and find me, you can search Trista Polo and find me. But on my website, what I wanted to share is because of my own journey of leveling up my self-worth, I found a lot of resources that worked really, really well for me, and so I put them together in an eight-week email-based course that's free, currently on my website, and what you can do is take a self-worth assessment first, and I woke up awesome dot com, and see where is your self-worth? Now, it's a kind of visualization process that we go through, so you can see where your self-worth is now, and then based on where it is, if you wanna level it up, you can join this course and get eight weeks worth of resources to help you level it up and each one is interactive, kind of like the PAM group books, I give you something to do and then you spend some time on it to really integrate it into your life, and you have those resources for the rest of your life once you're finished with the course.
0:29:10.8 LORI SAITZ: Love it, thank you. Thanks for making that offer. That's fantastic. Alright, well, thank you so much for joining me today on Fine is a 4-Letter Word.
0:29:21.9 TRISTA POLO: Thank you so much, I had a blast. I knew I would, 'cause we had so much fun when you were on my podcast, but it's so great to have been here and to share some of myself with you and your listeners.
0:29:34.4 LORI SAITZ: Okay, take care, we'll see you next time.