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#42 All Roads Lead to Your Favorite You

In this episode, I unpack lessons from my recent trip to remote Hocking Hills. Listen in as I share my experiences of how navigating unfamiliar terrain without the help of technology mirrors our journey through life.

Whether it's trusting in our sense of direction, appreciating the journey, or being open to unexpected destinations, there's wisdom to be found in these everyday experiences.

Let's explore how even a wrong turn can lead to unexpected but rewarding destinations.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about joining my group starting August 2023!

"The first time you think it, you might only be able to grasp it for a moment before your brain suggests another more familiar thought that leads to fear."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • The concept of neuroplasticity and how our brains can change and adapt

  • How our recurring thoughts shape our beliefs, reactions, and emotions

  • Practical tips to improve self-treatment for a more fulfilling life

  • How to treat yourself better and become your own best friend

"Another way to think about a new thought is to think about it as a tiny thought you are having. You think of it as just a tiny little sprout that you're growing."

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if joining my August group is the right fit for you. Join us on this powerful journey to become your favorite you.

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Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Well, hi there. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. We just arrived home from a five-day trip to Hocking Hills, which is an area of southeast Ohio that is relatively remote. So many things struck me. When we were there, I kept likely annoyingly saying to my family, this is a podcast episode, so here we are.

The first thing that struck me when we were there was how reliant I have become, and probably likely you all have become on ways or some other app to tell me where to go when I'm trying to get somewhere new in my vehicle. So, John Owen and I were trying to navigate from a beautiful hike to Ash Cave to the not-so-local Kroger.

We were not in a zone where any of us had service on our phones, so it was a dead zone, and our only option if we were lost was to hit the OS button on our phones. I like to think I have a pretty good sense of direction. Plus, I have spent some long weekends in a similar area with my girlfriends in the past.

Shout out to the CBBs, you know who you are. So, I had a tiny bit of knowledge of where we were, but man, that uncertainty when the map is not picking up where you are is real. So, I just had John keep driving in good faith that we would eventually land where we were going, but I was certainly unsure way more than I was sure during this trip.

There are several lessons here that I think can be applied to life and of course to coaching. The first is you don't have to know exactly where you're going. You just have to have a general direction. As long as you keep going, you will eventually get where you're going. You might take a few wrong turns; you might have to turn around every once in a while.

You might take the long way around. But if you spend time appreciating the beauty of where you are in the moment, instead of worrying about reaching the exact final destination, the trip is just so much more enjoyable. Plus, sometimes when you make a "wrong turn" going down the "wrong road", you end up somewhere even more desirable than your initial destination.

Finally, if you feel like you're well and truly lost, you can always stop off and ask another human for help. Most people are more than willing to help you and provide you with directions. The other thing that was so interesting is that there were so many ways to get to where we were going.

Unsurprisingly, if you know my hubby Jon at all, we had to make a daily Kroger run in order for Jon to be able to cook all of the fabulous meals that he prepared daily for our party of 12. This is not a problem at our house in Westerville, where there are literally 10 grocery stores within a 10-minute drive.

But this trip we were out in the boonies, so it took about 30 minutes to get to the grocery store and 30 minutes to get back, so about an hour round trip. It seemed that each time we went back and forth, we took a different route. Each time my brain was like, huh, this is new. Are we sure we're going in the right direction? But each time we ended up back at the house or at the exact same Kroger, it was really wild.

The point here is that there are so many different routes that will get you to where you want to go in life. You don't have to take the shortest route. You don't have to take the most well-traveled route. You get to choose, you get to change it up, you get to course correct. You can even decide you don't want to go.

You can take a rest. You get the idea. The other thing that really struck me on this trip was all of the different types of roads we traveled on. Of course, we took the interstate to travel south from Columbus. Here on the interstate, there are multiple lanes. It's very easy to see where you're headed most of the time.

Traffic is moving very fast, and for the most part, the ride is smooth. The interstate also is lighted up at nighttime. It has tons of overhead lights and lots of overhead signs telling you where you should be, which lane to get off, all that kind of good stuff. After we got off the interstate, we were on a state route here.

Of course, fewer lanes. Traffic's still pretty fast, still pretty smooth. The state routes are more occasionally lit up at night, and there are certainly fewer signs to point you in the right direction. Next came the county routes, usually two lanes, still pretty well paved, not much of a berm to pull over onto.

The roads were windy. There were lots of curves. We were often not able to see exactly where we were headed. It was a little bumpy along the shoulder for sure, and there was no light at night. So scary. Then of course we hit the back roads. Two lanes maybe with traffic still headed in both directions, zero shoulder, often unsure where the road is headed.

Very frightening in the daylight, so I don't really want to drive on these roads at night because they're treacherous with the light and without the light. And then finally, there were a couple of miles of single-lane gravel into the property itself. So barely enough room for one car, let alone two side by side.

Very bumpy and windy, less scary at night because you have to drive so slowly that it's not really an issue. Right now, I have a client in our inaugural group of Your Favorite You who recently asked me how to grow a new belief, which is an opposition to what she thinks and believes. Now remember that beliefs are just thoughts that we think over and over.

We were coaching on how she can breathe and relax and know that her child is going to make the “right decision” when it comes to choosing a college. She, like all of us, this mom has been socialized to think that it is her job to make sure that her daughter doesn't make the wrong decision in this case or in any case, really.

So, like most of us, she has a thought like. My child might regret her college choice, which of course causes her worry. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most uncoached mom brains and even some pretty well-coached ones, ask me how I know have a superhighway thought about their kids. That causes worry on some level, the reason that these thoughts are so universal and so pervasive.

Because we have just thought about them so many times that we don't even really need to consciously think about them anymore. They are just running in the background of our brains, like a superhighway. Conversely, the thought that she wants to think in instead is something like, “My child knows best for themselves, there is no wrong choice”.

This thought, the new thought is like that ruddy, windy, one-lane road with no shoulders, no lighting twists and turns and plenty of blind spots. The first time you think it, you might only be able to grasp it for a moment before your brain suggests another more familiar thought.

That leads to fear. The more we practice thoughts, we want to think on purpose, the more the road for that thought Smooths. The straighter it becomes; the more lanes are added and eventually it is fully lit with signage to tell us which lane to stay in. So interesting because we used to think that our brains were unchangeable, but now we know that there is something called neuroplasticity, and our brains are really changeable if we want to change them.

So, nothing has gone wrong when you are trying a new thought and it feels wonky at first. It's supposed to. The superhighway thought is supposed to keep coming back to keep you on track to building the new neural connections in your brain to help you think this new thought on purpose without much effort at all.

When you notice the old thought that you're trying to change, come back the way to grow the new thought is just to keep bringing yourself gently back to the new thought. Every time your brain, your primitive brain, that part of our brain that is primal and we don't want to get rid of. But it suggests fear is the solution pretty much always, especially when we're worried about something, there eventually comes a tipping point where it becomes easier to think and believe the new thought than it is to think and believe the old one.

This is one of my favorite points in coaching. Another amazing woman when she really and truly starts to have new thoughts about herself, about her favorite version of herself, and those begin to feel easier to see, to think, to believe. Then the old mostly negative and fear-based thoughts that she used to have that she's trying to change.

It is so beautiful to see what she can create. When she sees all the possibility for herself, it is truly an honor. Another way to think about this if it's easier for you. Another way to think about a new thought is to think about it as a tiny thought you are having. You think of it as just a tiny little sprout that you're growing.

It needs sunlight, water, fertilizer, and sometimes a steak to support it as it grows. You have to tend to the new thoughts with loving care, the same as you would a new fledgling plant. You have to occasionally weed the garden. The old thoughts may sprout up as weeds and want to choke out the new thought, but you can just notice the weed when it's there.

Gently pull it out at the root over and over again until the new thought starts producing fruit. I hope you get the idea. I hope that this podcast helps you. If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can always email me at, or you can slide into my DMs on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

And I'll see you all next week.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and loving on me all the time. I am currently enrolling a new second cohort of Your Favorite You and would love to have you as a client.

Please book a consult by going to so that we can discuss all the ways I can help you. The new group will meet on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM Eastern starting soon on August 1st, it would be an honor to speak with you about becoming a member of Your Favorite You.

Thanks for listening.

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