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#44 Anything is Possible

When you are a human socialized as a woman and you've chosen to thrive in a male-dominated career like orthopedic surgery, it's easy to get swept up in perfectionism and people-pleasing. My client and guest of Your Favorite You, Amanda, knows all about it. This formidable woman bravely dove into life coaching to understand and overcome these tendencies.

More than just a client-coach relationship, listen in as we discuss our interactions and how the lessons she's gleaned from coaching have made her a better mom and someone she actually wants to be in her life.

Tune in for this transformative discussion that provides practical insights into life coaching and personal growth.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about working with me as your coach.

"I was always used to doing X and getting Y results. So, I would do something and do it well, and I knew that if I did something and did it well that this would happen" - Amanda

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • The power of understanding and setting personal boundaries and the ability to say 'No'

  • The importance of processing emotions and prioritizing rest

  • The transformative power of life coaching on personal relationships

  • The impact of each decision we make on our lives and the associated costs

"The universe is going to come together and that's going to then go forward and towards my mission." - Amanda

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if coaching with me is the right fit for you. Join me 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 intention.

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.

Hello everybody and welcome back to Your Favorite You. We are here today with a very special guest, a former client of mine who is also a future client of mine. Her name is Amanda, and she is a total badass.

I was so excited to work with her when she reached out to me because I knew way before. She was a patriarchy smashing, badass, because not many people know this, but as of just three years ago in 2020, when we first started working together, women made up only about 16% of orthopedic residents. 6% of practicing orthopedic surgeons.

So, Amanda is in a field completely dominated by men, and she is the creme de la creme, and she is one of the only people who does what she does, and she helps kids who.

Have neuromuscular disorders be able to use their limbs, and I know she does a million other things other than that, but that's how I think of her. So, without further ado, Amanda, I'll ask you to introduce yourself.

Amanda: Well, thanks. Yeah, and I would say to go with that and putting in Melissa Parson's terms, I am a people pleaser, control enthusiast which has helped me be all those wonderful things that you have mentioned, but also is what led me to you.

So, I'm thankful for that.

Melissa: Yeah. So, tell me, why did you sign up for coaching? What was it about your life that you thought you wanted to do differently?

Amanda: So, I was always used to doing X and getting Y results. So, I would do something and do it well, and I knew that if I did something and did it well that this would happen.

And I was at a point in my life where I was doing X and not getting Y anymore. I was doing X and getting, you know, 573 and I couldn't understand what was going on. And I came to the consensus that, okay, it's either me and the way that I'm approaching X and that's just not working anymore. Or it was the system that I was dealing with that I needed to, you know, once again, change my approach or that it just wasn't putting an X in the system was going to give me 563 or some combination thereof. And so that was my big thing in, in coming to you and try to sort all of that out.

Melissa: All right, so tell me, you know, we did a lot of work on making what. You were doing and trying to help you identify how it made complete sense that you were a perfectionistic person, pleasing overworker person who didn't know how to make boundaries, right?

So, yep. We did a lot of work trying to kind of dredge up some old beliefs about you that were likely handed to you by other people in your childhood. Your young adulthood, that type of thing, and tell the people listening like how coaching helped you to identify some of those things and then decide whether or not you wanted to keep them or let them go or.

Amanda: There's so many pieces. I guess, you know, where we started was really the model and changing the way that I was thinking and then taking a step back and saying, you know, why am I thinking that way? And the reason why I am thinking that way is because I'm my own worst critic, right? We have that own person that's in our heads telling us you know, this, that, or the other, ruminating over things that, hey, I wish I could have done this differently.

I wish I could have done this better. And working through that and you know, just, and sometimes stuff just happens. Right. And one thing that you would always say is that you know, it was never meant to be right, just like your vacation. Yes. Sometimes things aren't, were not meant to be. It was never meant to be, you know, I was never supposed to get Y out of my x and by getting 563, that's going to teach me something and make me a better person in the long run.

And for some reason, that's going to, the universe is going to come together and that's going to then go forward and towards my mission. And then yeah, the overworking and the people pleasing goes together with just saying, you know, I'm capable of doing whatever you need me to do, so I'll just say yes to do it.

Well then that steers me away from my passions in life. When and when you. Steer away from your passions in life, then you have a higher tendency for all the bad things, you know, the burnout and the not being happy and fulfilled, and your cup being drained as opposed to having that fulfillment in life.

And so, trying to figure out what my mission was, you know, and that's not only my professional mission, but also my mission at home and my mission for myself. What do I want to do? What do I want to leave behind personally? Professionally and as well with my family. Yeah. So that really helped me be able to say no to things that you know, otherwise, of course, you know, I can say, oh yeah, you know, of course I can do that, but then I have to think about the opportunity costs and I'm still working on that.

Melissa: All of us are. That's the, I think that's kind of the mindfuck of it all. Like us all, especially those of us in medicine who've always kind of been working toward this finish line of, I'm going to finish college and then I'm going to finish med school and then I'm going to finish, finish residency, fellowship, whatever.

Or I'm going to get appointed to this committee, or I'm going to get in p and t and you know, be tenured and you know, it's just, for this whole life thing, there isn't really a finish line, and it's like, oh, I get to keep iterating over and over again, and I get to make mistakes along the way. I get to figure out how to love myself through it instead of flogging myself through it.

I think that's so amazing. We haven't mentioned it yet, but you're a mom to a young daughter and she's amazing. How do you think that. You coming into this wanting to figure out Y you were doing X and no longer getting Y has made you somebody that you like yourself more as a mom. Tell me a little bit about that.

Amanda: So, it goes back to kind of putting together my own mission statements and saying, okay, what, you know, what is my favorite version of me as a mom? And that is somebody who shows up for her, even though I can't be there a hundred percent of the time when I'm there. And I'm there for her 50 million questions and to answer them in every single way possible until I exhaust her with answers, and she has no more questions.

I'm there to do all the fun and crazy things with her and or just not, and just be there and say, hey, you know, I recognize that you know, you're having a bad day or you're struggling with this. You know, I'll just snuggle with you, or you know, hold you or do whatever you need to do the other day she said, mom, I think I need a little bit of alone time.

And the funny thing is we were camping and so I said you can't really have alone time when we're all stuck together in a car, in a tent. But I see you. I hear you, and I appreciate that. And we'll try to get you some space so that you can process your own feelings. So, I've taken some of the things that you have taught me and you've also said on your podcast, and use them on her because at her age, I mean, she's just this big ball of emotions and trying to express herself and figure out where she is in the world and I can better recognize that and appreciate that and let her be her own little person.

Melissa: Such a huge thing to do because we're sold that bill of goods that we're supposed to like mold them into something and it's like, oh no. Like we just get to see what happens and try to support them and that type of thing. Our listen listeners can't see, but you're getting emotional about this. So, what is that about Amanda?

Amanda: Oh, I mean, it's just you know, all this is, you know, means so much to me and all of the changes in the approach and no it's important stuff. To think back and reflect and you know, change. And I was thinking about the, you know, the podcast you did with your sons and, you know, the ways we screw up our kids and then the ways that, you know, we tell our parents that, you know, things maybe could have been a little bit different.

But, you know, some of that too was our perceptions of things and I want to make sure that she knows that she can do whatever she wants to do and whoever she is, and that's okay. And make sure that it's not on anybody else's time. I mean, there are certain things she has to do, like she has to brush her teeth, she has to take a shower.

Hygiene is important. She has to go to school. Right? Yeah. You know, but thereafter, like it's the world is her oyster.

Melissa: Yeah. To do what she wants. And she doesn't have to. Like out achieve. She doesn't have to be a perfectionist. She doesn't have to be a people pleaser.

Even if that means that she's not a people pleaser to you, which a lot of moms are like, wait, what?

Amanda: Right. And sometimes that's a challenge. because you know, having a, you know, having a bunch of type A people in the house with motivations can be interesting.

Melissa: yeah, because it would be easy if all the motivations were the same, but in my experience, typically they're competing.


Amanda: But the night, but then, you know, recognizing that and figuring out where they all join together and then joining those for the common mission really gets things to work out, which is another thing that coaching has helped me with is just okay, taking a step back. And, you know, going through the thought model for somebody else.

That's been critical in working through conflict and as well as just, hey, I'm not getting how your output. Let me take a step back, try to put myself into your shoes and work through this as if I was, you know, sitting there in your perspective. And that's quite helpful. Yeah. Seeing it through your lens.

Melissa: Yeah, tell, so some of my listeners have no idea what the model is or, and they're like, do the model for someone else, like Yeah. Can you explain, can you give an example of, and you don't have to be terribly personal, you can make it pretty general, but

Amanda: Yeah. So basically, you have this circumstance and this your circumstance.

Then you have thoughts about your circumstance. And your circumstance can be pretty benign. Like I am sitting right here in my office. And my thought about that is that okay, it's. It's a nice well-lit office and then you have feelings about that thought. So, I already said it's nice, so I have feelings about it.

I'm nice. It's a pleasant office. And then your feelings lead to your actions and whatever you do about it. So, I'm going to hang out here a little bit more because I have a nice office and then. That leads to your results. So, if I like the office that I'm in and I have positive thoughts about it and I'm here more, then that's probably going to cause me to stay in my office and do some more work, right?

So though that's in a positive way, but say you know, in a negative way. You know, I. Don't like, whatever the, my office is not red, but it's red and I don't like the color red and I tell myself that I don't like red and that it's a negative thing, and then that turns me to not want to be where I am.

But you can change that around, you know, just by your thinking. I mean, that's kind of superficial but that's basically how the model works, is that you have this bland circumstance, and then you in your mind create this thought and then that thought stirs up those feelings. But you have the power to control your thoughts.

So, you have the power to control your feelings about it. And it's not always, like, you think about circumstances like that are bad like death and people being harmed and things like that. And you can't always have a positive. Feeling about that. But then you can do that, nor do we want to.

But you can have, you know, your res responses to that can be different. And there are some negative responses that can impact you in a negative way, even though that may not have been, or there can be some you know, how can we learn from this? Or some other, another response that is That is, I guess, more productive or less personally harmful to that.

Melissa: So, well, and I think the other thing that you kind of said, but not really, so I'm going to say it clearly, is that. We don't, sometimes we don't want to change our negative thoughts about a negative circumstance, quote unquote, a circumstance that makes us feel negative, like we want to be in those feelings and telling ourselves that we should feel anything other than sad about something that makes us sad or frustrated about something that makes us frustrated.

We don't have to do that. We can be in that feeling and know that it's not going to hurt us, and we can stay there as long as we need. There's no rush to try to get away from the bad feelings because we know that there are vibrations in our body, and we can stop shaming ourselves for feeling bad about something that actually we should feel.

Amanda: 100%. I had a good case of that the other day where, you know me being a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, I take care of kids who are unfortunately abused. And that really affects me. And it. Affects me also with my future interactions. And so, I have to just recognize that and just have a moment and then say, you know, it's okay.

It's okay to feel these feelings. And I recognize that about myself. So, I'm just going to have a, you know, as cat as my daughter would say, I'm going to have a little bit of alone time process. My feelings allow myself to go through that stage and then and then go on because, and I, because I also can't dwell on those.

Things and let those other circumstances affect the rest of my interactions.

Melissa: Yeah, because you have that one terrible case that's abuse, and then you have five other cases that you have to be fully in and take care of those people without letting that horrible case take over. Yep.

Yeah. So good. So beautiful. I love it. I love it. Okay. What do you think? Is there anything that surprised you about coaching? Anything unexpected that happened from coaching?

Amanda: I would say that, you know, I went into coaching with that, you know, particular kind of circumstance and just the way that it's kind of permeated the rest of my life.

You know, I've been so focused on my career, but that it's a. Affected, you know, me, of course, personally at the core and my other relationships that I've had. And you know, some of my colleagues said that, you know, they just come to me for coaching an angry boundary setting. I think it's funny when Somebody mentioned to me the other day, they're like, oh, you're so good at that.

I'm like, oh my goodness, I'm horrible at that. Have you seen my schedule? But I guess, I guess there's progress being shown, or at least they've heard me say no a few times. And that's considered boundaries. Yeah. But yeah, work in progress, always trying, and then, just the constant growth. And it's like once you get a little peek at, oh, this is what growth feels like, this is what change feels like.

This is what I. Doing this for yourself to be a better person feels like you just keep on wanting to do it and read more and do more and, you know, sit down there and do the work. So that is what, that's what's been surprising.

Melissa: Yeah. And I would say we've done a lot of coaching about you taking the time to rest.

And to not say yes to the next new shiny thing. Do you want to speak to that at all? Yeah.

Amanda: Still working on it, but yes. So, it goes back to me setting, like trying to set those missions and saying, okay, I'm presented with a new thing. Do I want to do this? And actually, there's something you'd be proud of me.

There was something that I said yes to. Because I did, and I probably should have said no. And I'm, I said yes, but I'm now going to go back and say, do you know what I misspoke? I don't think I'm the correct person for this and I'm going to decline because I'm not doing a very good job of it. But yeah, it's hard.

And so, trying to say, what do I want to do? What do I want to accomplish? Does this sit in front of me? Meet any of those. Goals that I have for myself, for my career, and for my family. And if it does and I have the time, and it's not just I have, it requires 15 minutes and I have 15 minutes, but it requires 15 minutes and I have 30.

Yeah. Then I should say yes to that. And so, one of the biggest things too is having this. Planner that I have where I can just let things roll over and, but I have them all there, so I know that it's safe. That's a big thing too, I think is just that concept of safety and being safe in my person.

Being safe in my surroundings. That has allowed that. So that person in my head that tells me all the things that I need to do and wakes me up at one o'clock in the morning if I have everything written down in my planner, I know where I'm supposed to be. I know what I have to do. It's there.

I have my deadlines on there, so I hopefully don't miss something. But it's recognizing all those little fears that you have. Like mine is, I hate being late and I hate missing things or saying yes that I do something and then it. Expiring. Yeah. Where you've told me many of times like how many of times that has that actually happened and I have seen, you know, not that many, you ruminate on those things that don't happen very much, but for some reason your subconscious just tells you, oh, by the way, you know, it's like you left the oven on.

Yeah. Or your garage door's open, like, but it never happens.

Melissa: So. Do you mind sharing with our listeners? We kind of uncovered in coaching why you have this fear of being late, not showing up when you say you're going to show up and it goes back to your childhood. Do you mind talking about that?

Amanda: Yeah, I mean, both my parents worked incredibly hard, and it was kind of like the American dream where they pulled themselves up and worked. Hours and hours. And so, when I got older and into activities and sports and things like that I was often at the whim of their work. And my dad he's in the medical field and so in his patients and my mom ran his office and so it.

It was there, I would get there whenever I would get there, or I would get picked up whenever would, whenever I would get picked up. And so that concept, I was like, I like to be on time, and I like to be there when I say that I'm going to be there just to be reliable. And that kind of stuck with me.

And then, and like you've said, I. Always pretty much hit my deadlines. But there was that one time when in college it lived out, it was my birthday, and it was the very first exam of my freshman year and my alarm clock didn't go off and it was clear across campus, and it was an essay exam. And I sprinted across campus, and I finished this essay exam in an hour out of the two hours.

So, the nightmare came true, but I never had those nightmares before, but it's always that fear of missing something that I said yes to, or that it's supposed to be on my schedule, and it isn't there. And I'm not quite sure where that comes from, but probably some of the other earlier stuff too. Yeah,

Melissa: just want not to let other people down because you're a good person.

Amanda: Nothing. And I said I would, you know? Yeah.

Melissa: I mean, and I love just pointing you back to the fact that of course it makes complete sense that you would have this belief about yourself, and you would have this as a hold, this as a high value. And you know, make it so that if you ever let anybody down, it would be the end of the world.

And it doesn't actually feel safe in your body.

Amanda: Yeah, and it goes with the control, the controllables, right? That's how we can make sense of our control. Enthusiasm is that I can control me being on time most of the time. So therefore, I do buy, golly, jeepers. I can, so, you know. Love it. That's what I can control.

Yeah. And I have, everybody laughs at my alarms that I based on, I sit down in the morning and I set alarms, especially on my academic days or even today, for things that I have timed so that I know that I will make it and I have a finite amount of time that I can do something in and that's what I'm going to get it done, and then I'm going to move on to the next thing.

So that's what I have scheduled.

Melissa: Yeah. I love it. I love it. Tell me what was your favorite thing about having me as your coach? Let's toot my horn for a minute. We've already said what a badass you are.

Amanda: I mean, just all the laughing and the fun interactions that we'd have, and even when you were wouldn't just gold me, but all the Amanda's, come on now.

You know why this is happening. It's, it was awesome. It was just, you know, just what I needed to open up those kinds of inner crevices of my brain and try to figure out how it's working and have it work for me instead of have it be off on its own. Right. I think at the beginning you had me do a, like, thought download to control my brain and just to see what that is, and that just really opened it up to say, you know, it really does run amuck up there unless you keep it under control.

Melissa: Yeah. Oh gosh. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the data shows that we have probably over 60,000 thoughts a day, and I think that's just like a typical human, not somebody who is an orthopedic surgeon and a mom and an iron woman, and all the things that, all of the things that you have, you know, all the committees that you are on and run, and the papers that you write and the residents like, you know, I could go on and on because.

I think you know that I think I love you and I think you're such a badass and such an example of what's possible and I just have loved being your coach and I, my favorite part of coaching you was. Although I think that Jerry McGuire is a little bit problematic because of the, you complete me bullshit that, you know, nobody completes another person.

When you were, you told me that I was the ambassador of Kwan and I just like.

Amanda: I'm taking that. I'm taking that. Yeah. So the backstory for listeners is I was, as I was figuring out how my X was going to equal Y again I was going through some contract negotiations and she helped me to, you know, really realize my worth because even though she quotes all these things that you know are absolutely true, My inner brain does not see them as being true, and it's always like the things that I didn't do.

And so, we know that female physicians are paid less than male physicians, and we also know that female physicians do not do contract to negotiations as well. So not only did she coach me up to. Present myself, but also helped me find out some really awesome people to help with contract negotiations and contract review and really know what my worth is so that I wasn't being undervalued at my next destination.

So, yeah. Yeah. So, she was my ambassador of Quan.

Melissa: She found a new job, like multiple people. Competing to try to bring her to their facility because even though she wasn't recognized as a complete and utter badass where she originally was, other places knew better and you know, could see her potential and knew.

And so we just kept, you know, our brains have such a negativity bias in general, but I think especially against ourselves. And so, I just kept pointing her back to like, no, like, let's not forget who you are. Let's not forget what you do. Let's not forget that you're taking kids who are non-ambulatory and making them ambulatory.

Maybe their little pinky toe can't wiggle, but they are walking, and you know, so. Then just for all of those of you who are listening, who are female physicians, if you want an excellent contract negotiator, we won't keep her a secret. Her name is Linda Street. And we will link Linda's website in the show notes so that if any of you are going into negotiate or renegotiate a contract you can go in there armed with some data and be willing to compromise on some things, but certainly not compromising on your own worth.

Amanda: So, absolutely. Yeah. She's another one of those along with your podcast that I have in my queue because it's excellent on, you know, even workplace conflict and burnout and you name it. What goes along with female physicians are really a, I say a lot of people, a lot of female women out there have these, no matter what you are doing, corporate and academia and all the places.

Melissa: I mean, I don't know that there are many places where women are making as much as their meal counterparts, so. Okay. So, we'll link Linda's stuff in the show notes and shout out to Linda. She's amazing. She swears probably about as much as I do. I don't know. Maybe not, but we are kindred for sure.

All right. Before I let you go, is there anything else that you are dying to say to the millions of listeners of Your Favorite You.

Amanda: I would say just, yeah, know your worth and have a time to sit down and think about what you want, not what other people want about for you or what other people want you to do, but what you want to do.

What makes you happy? Make that list and. Then clean out all those cobwebs, and Melissa's an awesome coach to help you clean through those sticky cobwebs and get to the root of who you are, what you want to do, so that you can be Your Favorite You.

Melissa: Thank you Amanda. I love you so much. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule. She was running from a case that that she was added onto her schedule, and so she's here helping you guys become your favorite versions of yourselves, and you're helping me share. The world, the beauty of coaching and the beauty of a relationship that can happen between a coach and a client.

And then now she's going to go back and go save the world. Because she's three hours behind and she's probably got a full afternoon.

Amanda: Actually, this afternoon I have blocked out some thinking time so I can work on research with my medical students, and I can get caught up on some notes. And I have a bunch of really wonderful things that I've been putting off that I'm going to do.

I've got some conferences coming up where I have talks and I'm going to review those. So, it's going to be marvelous because it's all the thought work that I was not blocking off time for that you taught me how to do.

Melissa: Yeah, so good. I was going to say, how often did that happen before 2020. I'm going to go with never.

Amanda: Never.

Melissa: Yep. Alright. Thank you, guys, all so much for listening. Thank you for coming back week after week. And thank you Amanda for sharing. I appreciate you.

Amanda: Thanks for having me on, Melissa.

Melissa: Bye guys. See you next week.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and loving on me all the time. Now that my group launch is closed, I am opening up two spots to work with me one-on-one. If one-on-one coaching is more your jam, please reach out to me to book a consult by going to my website,, and clicking on the Work with Me tab.

I would love to discuss with you how I can help you on a one-on-one basis. Talk to you soon.

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