Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
119: Your Self-Talk Is Where Your Life Starts with Mary Fran Bontempo

119: Your Self-Talk Is Where Your Life Starts with Mary Fran Bontempo

Mary Fran Bontempo joins Charlie to discuss how aging can be a gift, and how to make words like change, fear, and fine not be dirty words. They also discuss how much of our identities is fixed by the stuff we accumulate.

Key Takeaways:

[1:19] - Introduction to Mary Fran Bontempo and how she got started in her writing career. She talks about how her creativity grew from a really dark spot in her life. The fear and hesitance of her situation sparked her creative process.

[2:30] - Many people who are in the “fall/mid-winter” stage of their lives are reluctant to pursue creativity. Why? We should embrace creativity throughout the many years of our lives. Yes, there may be many more things on our plates, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make time for something new.

[4:15] - What would you say to someone who is unsure of where to start and how to keep up? We can choose to continue to evolve with new technology developments and try things out to see what works.

[6:48] - Mindset around aging - how do we see it as a gift rather than a sentence? Mary Fran talks about a new way to define where we are now; sometimes we have to learn to disengage from the expectations of our “now” to break into something new.

[8:49] - Mary offers three tips and strategies for parents wanting to lean out of the routines that are no longer as relevant to where they are now.

[9:56] - Charlie follows up on that discussion with ideas about a few different types of dependency: negative codependency and interdependency. This relationship between child and parent can be scary for parents when it no longer exists in the same capacity.

[12:18] - As the average lifespan is increasing, we have more time - before, while, and especially after - having kids, that has so much potential for becoming a time of creativity.

[13:55] - What are some of the fears that prevent us from doing the things we know we need to do to continue progressing? This is especially applicable for young people.

[18:02] - There are often a host of opportunities available to us. As we are moving forward in our lives, it may be more beneficial to make decisions that will keep you moving forward, rather than getting stuck waiting around for something to come along. You may end up opening more doors for yourself!

[19:25] - Charlie discusses the shift from a “career world” to a “project world.” What does that mean for younger generations as well as older generations of entrepreneurs and forward thinkers?

[23:20] - Change as a dirty word. Change often comes hand in hand with fear - we think it will wreak havoc on our lives, but Mary Fran encourages us to remember that we deal with change on a regular basis and we can handle it. This perspective can help carry us through bigger changes in our lives.

[26:35] - We typically underestimate our own capabilities. How will we respond when we receive the “cosmic kick in the butt?” Our response can show us what the full range of what we are capable of - don’t get too comfortable.

[28:48] - The dirty word fine. Mary Fran and Charlie discuss different uses of the word ‘fine’, and the pros and cons of accepting fine and also exploring new words to define a similar state.

[31:47] - Charlie talks about some societal norms we encounter when talking about our current state. How do people typically respond when we share some of the things we’re grateful for, versus the things that bother us?

[35:01] - The self-talk that we run through our head is a choice, and we can choose to use that to put something positive out into the world. Conversely, we can change our self-talk to encourage better attitudes for the things coming ahead, creating a flow between the subconscious and the conscious. This can have a great effect on how we feel about getting older and our place in the world.

[38:13] - Mary Fran encourages an exercise to gather a group of friends and write an introduction or a statement, in the hopes that we will begin to regard ourselves the way our friends regard us.

[41:47] - When we start letting some stuff go and refine what we want our space to look like, we can redefine what we want our lives to look like. Releasing some of the stuff in our lives can allow a great amount of growth moving forward. This holds true for material possessions as well as emotional baggage that can weigh us down.

[47:04] - The way we live our lives now is different - pursuing experiences is becoming more important than pursuing material goods. And we do acquire stuff, we use it!

[51:57] - We should strive to define ourselves on the basis of who we want to be, no matter our age or place in life. It all begins in the “six inches between your ears.” Be intentional in your self-talk.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Creative Giant Campfire Facebook Group

The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words - Mary Fran Bontempo

The Upside of Your Dark Side - Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo

Episode 20 with Jennifer Boykin

Episode 15 with Lucy Pearce

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.