Have you ever asked yourself what it would look like to live a life with no limits? What would need to change for that to be possible?
After my last podcast episode with you in July of 2018, I wasn’t sure I would ever host another one. As you’ll learn in today’s brand new episode, I’ve been on quite a journey over the last few years!
So much has changed: I took a 6-month sabbatical from my business and social media, I recovered from burnout, and I discovered many of the ways that I was abandoning myself for the sake of the “status quo” and external approval.
I dug deeper into something I’ve known about myself for years: that my self worth was attached to achievement and applause from other people. And I started investigating what it might look like if I focused on who I was being instead of simply what I was doing. It changed my life dramatically.
In this episode, I’m sharing my story of getting to a place where I wanted to walk away from my entire business, to a place where I realized I had so much more to give (just in an entirely different way than I’d imagined).
This new iteration of my show, the Limitless Life™ podcast, is all about teaching you that the only limits standing in your way are the ones you’ve placed on yourself. Each episode will help you uncover ways that you can break through your self-imposed limits to live the life you truly desire (and deserve).
So, welcome back. I’m so happy and honored that you’re here… I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with you. <3
Listen to the episode below:
This episode discusses topics like…
- My personal backstory (we’re going waaaay back) and how I’ve always “marched to a different drum.”
- Something that I experienced at the age of 13 that impacted me significantly going forward, plus the surprising benefits that came from it.
- My unhealthy quest to become a high-achiever, and the way that I’m seeing this in a lot of entrepreneurs today.
- A big decision that I made in 2018 that literally terrified me.
- The profound lessons I learned by stepping away from my business for 6 months, and how I felt coming back.
- The reasons I’m really bringing my podcast back now, and what you can expect to hear from me and my special guests.
By the way, I created an entirely free, 5-day at-home digital retreat called Limitless Entrepreneur. It’s all about creating a new income stream in less than a week, as well as reprogramming the beliefs that are keeping you from a no-limits business and life. Click the image below to sign up, it’s free!
Links from the episode:
- Register for the free, at-home Limitless Entrepreneur retreat here!
- Follow me (Melyssa Griffin) on Instagram for honest conversations about business, mindset, and my life.
- Follow the Limitless Life™ Podcast on Instagram for new episode releases and wisdom on how to live a life with no limits.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. Have you ever suffered from “Overachiever Syndrome”? Tell me about how it showed up for you!
Thank you SO much for being here, sweet friend. I’m honored to walk this journey with you. See you in the next episode!
You’re listening to the Limitless Life™ podcast and today we’re having a one on one conversation about why I decided to bring my podcast back in a whole new way and the journey that I went on to get to this point. Insert music and intro.
Okay, welcome to the show. Now, to be honest, I really didn’t know if we would be meeting here again on this podcast. The last episode that I published was in July of 2018, which is now almost two years ago, and at that time I really thought, maybe this is where it ends and in a totally twisted way, the last episode that I published two years ago was an interview with Sunny Lenarduzzi about her experience with going through burnout, which as you’ll hear in just a few minutes, almost felt like some voodoo foreshadowing of things to come in my own life.
But I’m kind of skipping ahead here and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. So before I explain why I’m bringing the podcast back and what you can expect from Limitless Life™, I just want to rewind a little bit. I want to give you more of the backstory, but not to two years ago when I stopped my podcast, I actually want to rewind a lot more than that too when I was in elementary school and if you’re wondering where this is going, then trust me, it’ll all make sense in just a few minutes.
Now for the first 14 years of my life, I primarily lived with a single mom who worked her absolute booty off as a hairstylist to take care of us. And by the way, mom, if you’re listening, I am so grateful for everything that you’ve done for me growing up and I love you tremendously. Now. When I started elementary school, we lived together in the studio apartment sharing one bed and taking the public bus to school at the crack of dawn so that I could get there on time. Now our little secret at that time, which as a kid I didn’t know about, was that we used a relative’s address on the school paperwork so that I would qualify to go to the nice school in the nice neighborhood rather than the school in the neighborhood I actually lived in.
Maybe it was because of where I lived or the clothes that I wore or just something that was different about me, but I was bullied constantly in elementary school. I just, I never really fit in or had close friends. I remember just this constant feeling of being an outsider and part of it was also because I lived kind of far away from where all the other kids lived, so I didn’t do some of the regular kid activities like Girl Scouts or sports. I was sort of this outsider, literally. I just, I feel like kids didn’t know what box to put me in and I was also in this alternative class called the seminar program for students who had very high standardized test scores.
I actually have never really told anyone that I was part of that program so this feels pretty new for me to share. But it’s funny, I was just looking up the seminar program because I wanted to get my facts straight for this episode and this is how they describe it. A program for students who need extraordinarily high level advanced or challenging activities. Those with extremely high tested ability but low school achievement or those students who are divergent thinkers and march to a different drummer. I especially love that last line y’all. I’ve been literally marching to my own beat since elementary school and I got the receipts to prove it.
But anyways, the reality for me at the time was that we didn’t have money. Yet I went to this school with plenty of kids who did have money. The public school I went to literally had ocean views and I was in this class that everyone knew was for the intellectual thinkers who saw the world in a different way. And honestly, as I’m saying it, it’s all making sense. I feel like I had the perfect ingredients for being a total nerd. And by the way, in case it’s unclear, this is all stuff that I’ve spent a lot of time creating awareness and healing around. So I’m not sharing it for any sort of sympathy. I’m really just sharing it because it’s the foundation for a lot of the choices that I made in my life all the way into adulthood and especially when it came to my business. So we’re laying the groundwork for some explaining that’s about to happen.
Okay. Fast forward to junior high and for whatever reason I started to feel more like myself, more accepted by other people. I became best friends with this girl and I’ll call her Lauren and she was probably the first best friend that I’d ever had actually. And it felt just sort of this miraculous feeling of having a best friend. And we hung out all the time and Lauren lived in this white picket fence, dream house in a nice neighborhood, which is walking distance from our ocean view school. And I found myself there almost every day after school. And we talked about boys and NSYNC and probably things like the Scholastic Book Fair because that was our shit back in the day.
But then one day Lauren asked me something that I was hoping we would never have to talk about and she said, how come you never invite me over to your house? I remember clearly this feeling in the pit of my stomach because it felt like the beginning of the end. So feeling like I had no choice because my little 13 year old self didn’t know how to tell Lauren that I lived in an apartment where I heard gunshots and domestic violence and drug deals on a regular basis. I invited her over. I don’t really remember what we did when she came over, but I do remember what happened after that and specifically the next day when Lauren came up to me at school and told me that she didn’t think she could hang out anymore, because her mom didn’t want her to hang out with people like me. I actually remember her saying that phrase, people like me. It sounded like something that she sort of regurgitated straight from her mother’s mouth, a judgment that I’m not sure if she even fully understood.
She didn’t explain what it meant, but I already knew. I was poor and therefore unworthy, bad, stupid, doomed for failure. And she took her mom’s advice and our friendship disintegrated pretty quickly after that. But I will say that the aftermath had its benefits because in my teenage mind, I deduced that I lost my best friend because I was poor. And because of all the judgements and expectations that society has about people who don’t have money. So by the end of junior high, I had called my dad up so that I could move in with him instead. He lived in this nice house in a nice neighborhood, and I desperately wanted to rewrite my story for people to see more than just where I lived when they looked at me. And in some ways it totally worked. I was normal, finally. Well, it turns out that being normal isn’t all that great either.
But I quickly learned how to cheat the system and get the kind of love and approval that I had been seeking for my entire life. Become a high achiever. And that’s exactly what I did. So throughout high school I added titles to my name, like president, editor in chief and captain. And I noticed that the more I achieved the more of a leader I became, the more people I could influence, the more love I received, the more that I felt like I fit in, the more I felt like I belonged. It’s sort of like, imagine a scene in a movie or some innocent teenager goes to a party and tries a drug for the first time and that it’s suddenly cuts to a montage of them partying and having the time of their life, and then the rest of the movie is suddenly about their rampant drug addiction. I’m sure we’ve all seen a movie like that.
Well, that was kind of like my life for a long time, except instead of cocaine, I was addicted to applause. And you can kind of understand why, right? I’ve given you the 10 minute version of about 20 years of my life, but you can piece together why this poor, unwanted girl would crave achievement if that felt like her only way to get love. And maybe as you’re listening to this, you’re even seeing pieces of yourself in my own story. A lot of the entrepreneurs that I talk to have what I call overachiever syndrome, where they were always these leaders getting love and attention and then they translated that into a business.
For me, this pattern of overachieving grew even larger when I got to college where I was basically the president of everything. There’s a part of me that also knows that I do enjoy creating things and especially when it comes to community. I love leading organizations where I can create a deeper sense of community and belonging with the other people who are in it. But I also know that deep down part of why I sought leadership was because it was how I felt loved and wanted by other people.
Now, this is the part that’s going to explain some of the choices in my own business and with my podcast, because this pattern of high achievement to get love actually continued unconsciously even up to a couple of years ago, because in 2016 my business earned over a million dollars for the first time, which as a 27 year old felt completely outrageous. And despite the success that my business was having, it was one of the most difficult years for me because that overachiever syndrome kicked into overdrive. I started to get this fear that if I made one wrong decision, then everything would crumble. As someone who got their love from the applause, it was terrifying to think about the potential that it could all be taken away.
So I started to morph myself into who I thought I needed to be in order to be successful. I started rearranging my own life to match this vision of perfection that I thought I had to live up to. It showed up in the way I dressed, how I talked, how I express myself, my personality, everywhere. I became this watered down version of myself, not really even myself at all. Something that I thought would be palatable to more people. I felt like if I showed up as my regular self, that wouldn’t be enough, and it was around the end of 2016 when I started to really dive deeper into working with coaches and understanding myself and the pain that I had been clinging to for so long in my life, and I really began to notice this pattern of achievement and how I was using it to get love.
Before that, I was pretty oblivious. Maybe I knew that I was a high achiever, but I always kind of thought it was a good thing. And then suddenly I was confronting the fact that it was running so much of my life and my thoughts and it wasn’t healthy. And I noticed that a lot of the business decisions that I made were in alignment with what I thought I had to do to be successful rather than what I actually desired to do, what would have been in alignment for my authentic self. And so I started to make some shifts and I really began preaching this concept of purpose and alignment because it was starting to shift things inside of me and I wanted it to tell the whole world about it. And that’s where the original idea for my podcast Pursuit With Purpose was born from in 2017, because my desire to pursue goals from an impact driven place, this place of purpose rather than a place of needing people to like or approve of me was becoming more of a part of my reality.
And I hosted that podcast for a little bit over a year and had conversations with what I consider pinch me people like Mark Manson, Deepak Chopra, Marie Forleo, Bobbi Brown, and more. Just people that I really admired and by most measures the podcast was a success and I was starting to align more with my own inner truth and wisdom rather than feeling like I needed to be constantly achieving things and doing more in order to be worthy. But even when you’ve worked on an issue within yourself for a while, what I’ve noticed is that those little layers can continue popping up as little messages to let you know that this thing isn’t fully healed. I think that might happen for our entire lives, that we’re constantly learning about the stories and programming and beliefs that we have and that they’ll keep popping up our entire lives no matter how much coaching we do around them.
So even though I was doing coaching around my overachieving syndrome, as I like to call it, and I was making progress, I began to feel just incredibly burnt out in 2018. I think this actually started more like in 2016, but in 2018 it was really coming to a peak and I could no longer ignore it. I was still working on projects at that time that weren’t filling my soul. They were more of things that I thought I had to do versus things I actually wanted to do. I also barely rested. I pretty much just worked and hustled all the time and eventually it got so bad that I went to a doctor who ran a bunch of blood tests and then diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and cortisol levels that were four times the normal maximum limit, which meant that I was exhausted, I was apathetic, depressed, and my body was in this constant state of stress.
I also remember feeling just extremely disconnected from myself. It was like I was disconnected from this perfect false version of myself that I had been portraying throughout my life and I was also disconnected from this inner part of myself. I didn’t feel connected to anything, which made me feel extremely apathetic and just feel so unclear. So I made one of what I think is the most courageous and terrifying decisions of my life at that point. I decided to take a six month sabbatical from my business and social media. And you might think, well a six month sabbatical that doesn’t sound very courageous. That actually sounds kind of nice, like a six month vacation. But for me it was anything but, because when you have built your entire life on achieving and the applause and getting people to love you for what you were doing instead of who you were being.
Taking a break from all of the doing felt terrifying and what a lot of people don’t know is that my original plan was that when I returned to my business six months later, it was only going to be so that I could hire a new CEO and then just piece out from the entire company. I really didn’t expect to come back actually. I even told my team that I was leaving permanently after my sabbatical and we came up with solutions for how to run my company without me. That’s how bad my burnout was. I was just ready to give up everything. I thought my company was the reason why I was so damn exhausted, so disconnected, so just apathetic about everything in my life. And in a way it was, but it was actually something so much deeper than that.
I was exhausted because I had spent the last 15 years abandoning myself every single day. I spent 15 years doing what I thought was right, what would get me the love, approval and applause, because deep down I was still that little traumatized girl who didn’t fit in, who felt like she was a burden more than a blessing. And for anyone who’s struggled to fit in growing up, you get really good at shape shifting into who you think you need to be in order for people to love you. But what I discovered during my sabbatical was that throughout my life, my self-worth was dictated by how much I was doing rather than who I was being. But during my sabbatical, I wasn’t doing anything. There was nothing to do. I wasn’t producing a result for the first time in my life. I also wasn’t leading anybody. It was just me. I wasn’t even on social media. I deleted Instagram and didn’t use it for like eight months. So I was literally just in my own world and people always ask me what I did during that six month break.
Honestly, I started a vegetable garden. I became a backyard beekeeper. I read books, I did art, I worked with coaches, but really I was just living in the moment. I wasn’t trying to do anything. I was actually just being, and it became one of the most profound lessons of my life because I realized that I was worthy literally because I exist. Like that was the only prerequisite for being worthy and lovable. Existing, who knew? It’s so easy, right? That you are worthy and lovable simply because you exist, that it’s an inherent quality in every single person and creature on this planet. And yet there I was healing from burnout because I thought I had to be everyone else in order to be worthy. And the great plot twist of my life was realizing that worthiness comes from just being myself, recognizing my gifts and following them.
And so from this renewed place I came back to my company six months later, but I was not the same person that I had been before. I felt like I was scrubbed clean of a lot of the stories and the fears that made me feel exhausted and trapped. I was so much more connected to myself and my inner guidance like before I felt so disconnected from this false self and from my authentic self and now I just felt deeply connected. I also felt more clear and basically more me. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with numerous coaches over the past few years who have helped me unravel a lot of the stories and fears and limiting beliefs that were keeping me small and disconnected and while I’m sure they will pop up unexpectedly in little ways throughout my life because that’s what our old programming likes to do, I genuinely feel like an entirely new person.
I feel deeply connected to my inner spirit and to the work that I do in the world. I don’t at all feel the need to achieve things in order for you to like me and I’m honestly comfortable with showing up as my regular self instead of feeling any pressure to be perfect to you or to anyone else. I feel so firm in who I am. I feel tremendous love and compassion for myself now. I guess you could call it limitless. The last few years have been challenging. I felt like I was in this tunnel where I didn’t know which way was forwards and which way it was backwards. I was just stuck. I was in the middle of the tunnel hoping for a light at the end somewhere and just following a path and hoping I reached the exit I guess.
It’s been difficult, but as cliche as it sounds, I feel like it was my becoming. It was my awakening into my true self instead of the self that I thought I had to be and damn, it feels good. It feels so good to connect with the deeper part of who I am to let go of the need to be liked or approved of and really to count my own approval of myself as my number one priority. And when I look back on my journey as an entrepreneur after going through all of this change and transformation over the last few years, I noticed that the business tactics were the easy part. Things like email marketing and content creation and how to whip up a killer sales page were pretty easy to me. But what really tripped me up along the way was my own mindset, my fears, insecurities, old stories and the beliefs that were holding me back from living life in alignment with my deepest truth.
Now I joke with my clients that all the business tactics you need to know to grow a seven figure company, I could write down on an eight and a half by 11 sheet of paper, but the hard part, the reason that most people don’t grow their companies to seven figures or beyond is because of their mindset, because they are getting in their own way. That I think is the where the real challenge of business comes from. It’s not in the strategies or tactics. We get so wrapped up in thinking that we need a new tactic when in actuality we need an upgrade to our mindset, how we view the world and how we view ourselves. And when I discovered this, I started to pivot a lot of things in my company because I felt like simply teaching the business strategy side of things was giving people only a quarter of the equation and that the larger part that they actually needed help with was healing their mindset and stepping into this more powerful, limitless version of themselves.
So instead of purely teaching people about business strategies, I started to share a lot more about what I’ve learned from cultivating a strong mindset and healing the patterns and the stories that might be holding you back from the life you really want. And now I feel like working on your mindset and investigating your thoughts and beliefs is literally the gateway to creating a limitless life, because the only person who can really stop you from the kind of success and impact you want is you. Which brings me to now this very moment. Yay. Why am I bringing my podcast back after two years? Well to put it simply, it’s because I have a new message that I know has the power to help a lot of people and I really want to share it with you. It’s helped me tremendously in my own life to heal the patterns that have kept me stuck and unfulfilled and exhausted, and it’s also helped to transform so many of the clients and students that I work with.
So that’s why the Limitless Life™ podcast will be like power washing your mindset so that you can really step boldly into who you are meant to be. I want you to think of it this way. All of us were born into boxes. Maybe you were born into the people pleasing box or maybe the overachiever box or having success needs to be hard box or some other box that you’ve been squished into throughout your entire life. So much so that you might even start believing that the box is who you really are. That maybe you’re just the nice girl or that you’re not really capable of living any bigger than you are now. But I’ll tell you a secret. The box is a liar and it is certainly too small to hold how expansive you really are. But when you’ve lived inside a certain box or identity for your entire life, it can be difficult to see any other way of living as possible for you.
So if you’re ready to step out of the box and into the truth, the expansive version of who you really are, then this podcast is for you. It’s also for you if you want more from your life, but maybe you feel afraid or guilty admitting that. It’s for you if you desire to play bigger, but you’re terrified of being seen. It’s for you if you’re noticing how limiting your stories and beliefs can be, how much you hold yourself back, and you’re ready to step into that wise, confident, awakened, and limitless version of who you are. Because I know that the only limits standing in your way are the ones that you’ve placed on yourself.
So what can you expect from this renewed version of the podcast? Well, for starters, I’m upgrading the show to two episodes per week. Last time we just had one per week and the episodes are going to be dropping on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And the lineup of episodes is pretty unique. I’ve actually never seen anyone do a lineup quite like what we’ve got cooking. So first off I’ll be sharing interviews with global leaders, authors and entrepreneurs who I feel are embodying this idea of being limitless. I have some incredible conversations already lined up. I’m so excited about what you’re going to be getting. I actually made a list of dream guests and I sent it to my assistant so that she could invite them to be on the show. And when she looked at the list, she said, “Maybe we could throw in some people who’d be easier to get on the show just in case these people say no.” My dream list was pretty damn dreamy. But we sent cold emails to all these incredible people because why the hell not? And they resonated with the message of the show enough that they said yes.
So I am just truly thrilled to share the interviews that we’ve got coming up. Now in addition to the interview episodes, I’ve also discovered this deep passion within myself for coaching over the last couple of years. I’ve personally worked with like 10 different coaches, because I love being coached by new people. I love getting different perspectives. I also just love investigating myself. I feel like I’m this really interesting science project and I want to learn all about my motives and my story and my beliefs and just really reprogramming the things that aren’t working for me. I find it fun and fascinating, so I’ve worked with a lot of coaches and I find that being coached, especially by a lot of different people who each embodied different coaching methods just tremendously improved my ability to coach other people too.
I also spent some time going through a coaching certification program a couple of years ago. Now I didn’t finish it because it coincided with my burnout Armageddon of 2018, but I did glean a lot of useful strategies that I’m now able to use with coaching clients to this day. And what I’ve noticed is that listening to someone else be coached, even if the details or circumstances are unique to their own life can be extremely valuable because the mindset, fears and insecurities that they feel are often universal. So you will get to be a fly on the ball is I host private coaching calls with fellow entrepreneurs of all stages and I have a feeling that these calls are going to lead to breakthroughs and insights about your own life and business too. I’m really excited about the coaching episodes.
And lastly, every once in a while I’ll pop in to do a solo show like this one where I will walk you through a particular topic and help you reprogram your beliefs and your thoughts for more impact, confidence and alignment. Some of the topics that I can’t wait to cover are things like abundance versus scarcity thinking, imposter syndrome, overcoming perfectionism and how to move past the fear that’s creating overwhelm or procrastination in your life. Basically, we’re going on an adventure together. We are investigating what it looks like to live a limitless life™ and how to create it for yourself in a way that feels honest and aligned. There is so much good stuff coming your way. I am so excited. Sharing this message with you honestly feels like my life’s work. Helping you to unravel the stories that have kept you from your highest, truest self feels deeply important to me.
And I just have to tell you that I am so grateful that you’re here right now. It’s honestly one of the biggest honors of my life to get to lead this community and not for the applause this time, this time purely because this matters to me. So get ready to shed the outdated programming and the boxes that you’ve outgrown. Your limitless life™ is waiting for you and I can’t wait to see who you become. Thank you so much for listening. Now let’s do this.Bye.