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Life by Design - Diana Morris | Episode 32

This week's guest on the Quest for New Inspiration is Diana Morris! She joined KT to discuss the importance of finding clarity and the stories we tell ourselves about what's required, optional, and what's nice to have for the life you want.

Hey! I’m Diana and I’m so excited you’re here!

The "standard" benchmarks of success are no longer cutting it—either because they're underwhelming once you reach them, or because it feels like the metrics are always changing.

The reality is, you can do everything you're "supposed" to do and still be left wondering what’s next.

The moment of truth came in 2016 when i lost my job.I had tied so much of my identity into my job and into cookie-cutter metrics of success that my employer’s mission had become my own and all of my efforts and energy went to them. In fact, after learning that my position was being eliminated, I went right back to my office to answer emails and prepare for meetings. Yikes. No one had officially asked me to blur the lines between Diana-the-person and Diana-the-employee. I had chosen to do that. I had watched myself do that because my definition of success and being a "hard-worker" was where I helped other people feel comfortable and have their needs met, even if it meant putting my needs on the back burner.

Being laid off forced me to reflect on my life up to that point and I realized two things:

  • things always feel "off" when I don’t listen to (or trust) myself and

  • it is my responsibility to create—and protect—the life I want to live, not anyone else's.

Since that moment of Truth in 2016, I’ve started two businesses, written and published numerous books and articles, strengthened my relationships, traveled the world, crafted a career that adds to—not steals from—my joy, and helped hundreds of people figure out how to move from “what now?” to “this is it.”

Guest Links:

Transcript ( Autogenerated):

00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to another episode of the quest for new inspiration. My name is Katie Maschler and as always, I am interviewing and an inspiring guest. This week's guest is clarity. Coach Diana Morris. If you are interested in learning more about what a clarity coach exactly is, make sure to stay tuned.

I hope she inspires you as much as she's inspired me.

KT Maschler: if you want to start off by just kind of introducing yourself who you are, what you do, your kind of mission in life, your whole enchilada, as I like to say.

Diana Morris: Perfect. So when you say Angela, because I just made the heater. So I'm like looking at my dinner excited too. That was intentional, but hello. My name is Diana Morris. I am a clarity coach who essentially guides people to find the certainty and clarity they need in order to create fulfillment in all areas of their [00:01:00] life, whether that be their home, their work.

The relationships with themselves and others, because my mission is to make the most of the life I've been gifted and to help other people do the same because we only get one shot at this thing. So we might as well enjoy it while we're here. And that's really important to be able to do, um, as you're navigating your day to day.

KT Maschler: I love it. So I have like an odd question. So I talked to a lot of like life coaches, but then you just kind of clarified yourself as a clear clarity coach. How do you distinguish the two? Are they different? What is, what's a clarity coach?

Diana Morris: So I like to look at it as, you know, life coaching is an overall umbrella, right?

So they're going to help you figure out You know, different areas of your life, what's going right. What's going wrong, different steps you might need to take. You may have heard of career coaches, health coaches, life coaches. And when I talk about clarity coaching, it's helping you understand the why behind each of those segments.

Yes. You [00:02:00] could apply for a new. But why do you want this specific job what's going right in the one you're looking to leave, what's going wrong in the one you're looking to leave. How can you use your previous experiences to help you move from where you are now to where you want to go? So when I talk about clarity and I specify clarity, coaching is helping you answer the questions that you may be asking other people to answer for you.

You are the. Firsthand account, you are the expert on your life. And a lot of time, if you'd like to relinquish that power and that majority to other people based on society and the way we've been brought up. And I'm sure we'll get into that in just a bit. But when I talk about clarity coaching, it's really helping you go inward to figure out the why so that you can start thinking about the what now and everything that comes next.

KT Maschler: The why it's always, it's always so, so important. I love that. So do you want to kind of go into what drove you to dedicating your life to this? What kind of was the path that you took to get?

Diana Morris: Absolutely. [00:03:00] So it's really a culmination and a combination of things I've always done. I've always been the person that folks in my life come to when they need like a logical.

Sounding board of like, all right, Diana, this is what's going on at work. This is what's going on in my relationship. What, what are your thoughts? What's some feedback. So I've always played that role in my personal life. And then professionally by training, quote unquote, I went to graduate school, um, at the end of belt university, I had my masters in higher education administration.

That's a lot of syllables, essentially what it means is I learned and I got training on how to. Really think through the student development process. So when you think about college, a typical four year university, you enter freshman year, right? Everyone's like, oh my God, you're a freshmen. Welcome. Make this place your home.

Then your sophomore year, you're like, all right, I've got to start finding some internships. I got to figure this out junior year, you might study abroad depending on your institution and what, you know, um, resources are available or you start thinking about, [00:04:00] oh no, senior year. I need a job senior year. You find a job, hopefully you walk across the stage and move across the stage and you graduate.

And you're done that process is all about figuring out who you are, what you want and how to use the resources available to you. But once you hit senior year and you graduate, it's done, there's no one there to help you figure out what's next. There's no one there to help you figure out how to implement things.

So. My official role for the last 10 years has been in the higher ed setting, helping people in the residence halls, helping people in student conduct, having those difficult decisions about policies and decision-making. And I actually stepped away from that role a few months ago, but when it comes to coaching, it's all of those experiences.

It's the personal conversations I've had with people. My own life experiences, my training as an educator to help you figure it out. Now that you've done the things you're on the path, you've gotten the degree you got the job. What do you actually [00:05:00] want to do? Is it working for you? Is it not working for you?

Let's get to the core of things. Let's get to that Y that we spoke about earlier and help you figure out how to make your next move actually reflect the life you want to live. I

KT Maschler: can totally, totally, totally relate to that. Like I seriously, I can vividly remember sitting in my sales class. And I wasn't like eavesdropping, but like, you know, in the early portion before class starts, you can hear everybody else's conversation.

And this girl was like, oh, I just got a marketing job with like the red Sox. And I was like,

okay, I don't have a job yet. What, what do I do? And I just like every single day it was that, that kind of conversation you were just like listening to, especially towards the last six months of senior year. And eventually I found like a job at a bank and I loved being at a bank through [00:06:00] like family, just family ties, but it wasn't like.

My passion, passion, and even like three years out, I'm still like, what, what is that? And then through the podcast, I'm slowly finding that and discovering it, but, um, I can totally, totally relate to that feeling and appreciate anybody who is willing to help with that.

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KT Maschler: So when you kind of like, I guess you're always dishing out all of this inspiration to all of these younger people, where do you kind of go when you're having a bad day?

And like, maybe you're not so positive at work and, but you're still needing to be, where do you go?

Diana Morris: I love that. 'cause like the helpers need helpers. Right? Think the whole, like when you're on a plane and put on your oxygen mask first bloody And for me, it's both internal and external, right? So reminding myself and being very clear about, okay, I don't want to go on this meeting right now, but I realized that this meeting is just one part of the overarching puzzle, because it's going to get me [00:08:00] to the life that I actually want to be living.

It's going to help me do the things I want to do. So in those moments of like, I'm frustrated, I don't want to do this. I remind myself of why I'm doing this. And then I also give myself permission to take a break and be honest about what my limitations are. If I'm not able to have a conversation, Hey, can we table this for another time?

I want to show up as my best self, and I'm not able to do that right now, or I just suck it up. If there's not that flexibility. The second part of that external is I have my people, like I have, I call them my committee. They are my ride or dies. Like they can help me see myself when I get lost sometimes.

Cause we always need sometimes. To remind us of who we are that we can do this, that we've done things before. It's nice to have that external validation. It's important to have that external validation and that affirmation from trusted people, friends that I made in grad school, undergrad friends that I, you know, have through family, just all those connections.

[00:09:00] Kind of combined into my board of directors, my committee, when I need something, I know who to go to. I know who to reach out to. So that's really the balance and then therapy. That would be like having my therapist there to just know, all right. I can say what I need to say and not have to be judged. And it's just a space to really unpack the past and why things are kind of the, you know, the little intricate webs of life that we all live.

That's my, my, my trio of resources and.

KT Maschler: Okay. A couple of things. A, I love therapy therapy rocks. My therapist is a bad, so I'm not going to say the actual word, but you get it. Anyway, and then, um, B uh, have you made that into a t-shirt the committee? Cause that'd be like super, super, super cute. I would wear it.

Um, and then what is your advice for women? You are dealing with your limitations and your are having, you're [00:10:00] getting frustrated and you're like, I just cannot deal with this. But like you can't professionally say that or. You just don't want to deal with that in a moment. What is your approach with going through?

Diana Morris: Yeah, because there are those moments where you, you can't opt out right. They're required to do so I would say, figure out what is required. Right. Figure out because a lot of times we'll tell ourselves like, oh, I can't skip this. And you could skip it. You just don't want to, because you think it's going to mean something about your capacity.

It's going to mean something about what you're capable of. It's going to look a certain way to certain people. So be very clear about what required is and what required means to you. For the things that you don't need to do, things that you can feasibly Trop or postpone, or, you know, remove, drop, postpone, and remove them.

Right. Don't force yourself to do things that you don't actually want to do, or you're not able to do, just to say [00:11:00] you did it, that doesn't make right. And then for the things where you, again, hands are tied, there are no other options. I highly recommend giving yourself an awful. Go through it, the best you can remind yourself that you're doing the best you can with what you have at the moment.

And then give yourself a space to kind of come down from that. If you know, it's going to be a difficult conversation and the conversation has to happen, have the conversation in the best way you can. And then give yourself five minutes, give yourself 60 seconds, eat a scoop of ice cream, whatever you need, kind of come back to yourself.

Make sure you carve that in as well, because. But it is hard and we can't just choose not to do certain things. We can, however, Cushing. Some time in space so that we can kind of, um, not consult, but maybe you need to sell yourself or you just need to like breathe and just come back to the home base of who you are and how you want to feel afterwards.

KT Maschler: I [00:12:00] love that word capacity. I was kind of, I was chatting with this coworker and he was talking about how he was sending an email while he was. Hunting. I don't really know the dynamics of hunting. I'm a girl. I don't really deal with that whole nonsense. Anyways, he was working while enjoying something that he loves to do.

And I know he loves to do this, and I know he's super passionate about work, but I was like, so what would. Is there is something gonna happen if you're not on your phone for an hour, an hour and 30 minutes or 30 minutes is something going to happen. And he was just like, well, emails are not going. I was like, but you're not, you're not allowing yourself to breathe.

Cause I know you come right back to work after you get done hunting. So I think allowing you to breathe is just so valuable in your life and just taking that time for yourself. Yeah. [00:13:00] So, do you have any people in your life that you kind of go for to inspiration?

Diana Morris: Oh, one thing that I really appreciate about social media is that you get a front row.

To what people want to share. Right. So there are some great people that I follow on Instagram, for example, where it's like, all right, I really like their creative spirit or how they do this. So their feed, they have great comments or they just, you know, take you behind the scenes of things that I wouldn't ordinarily do.

So I'm on the gram a lot. Um, I'm also a big reader. I love reading. Um, just to. Be able to hear new perspectives and new thoughts and ideas of living. So sometimes I'm reading books that are related to personal development, because then I can share them with my clients. I do the legwork I read, and I give you a summary.

Sometimes I'm reading books just for fun, because I just need to turn my brain off. So it's a mix of folks that I don't know through social media folks that I don't know through the actual. You [00:14:00] know, written word or audio books and then people in my own life. Right. I get inspiration from like my family members and my younger sister.

Who's now a teacher and it's like, you were eight years old, yesterday abused. So just taking those things and piecemealing them together has been really.

KT Maschler: Yeah. My sister told me that she was going to go study abroad in Florence. And I was like, wait, what? Um, no, you're still in middle school and I have to pick you up from volleyball practice.


Diana Morris: very strange to like, get and catch up to life. And I think that reflects a lot of times our lives. Right? A lot of times people are so used to us being one way. That it's hard for them to see us as we are today. Like in my mind, she's still eight years old, but I know she's a grown woman who pays taxes and educate the youth of tomorrow.

Right. So when we think about how we're navigating and how we're showing up and giving ourselves the space and [00:15:00] capacity for your, your colleague who was hunting an email. People may see him as always reliable and like answers, emails immediately and feeling as though you need to live up to that role and you can't step out of the box and actually do what resonates with who you are today is a struggle.

I see a lot of people having to deal with as well.

KT Maschler: Yeah. Do you have any like resources or practices that you kind of rely on to stay mindful in your everyday life or. Stay off your phone for a little bit.

Diana Morris: Yeah. I, one thing that I helped my clients do and I do myself and I have a whole course on this is really thinking about the stories we tell ourselves about what's required.

What's optional, and what's a nice to have like a possibility for the life you want. A lot of times we operate on this autopilot where, okay, I'm going to go to work. I'm going to do this thing. I'm going to have this [00:16:00] conversation. I'm going to go home and go to sleep and wake up and do it again tomorrow.

Or in order to have this thing, I think it needs to look a certain way. So in order to be successful, I think that I need to graduate and get a job. By spring semester, senior year. And then I have to stay at that job forever and it needs to look a certain way and we become so attached to these stories that we've either told ourselves or other people have told us that we forget.

We get to choose. Right. Like in a lot of ways, everything we do is a choice. Now, the choices we can choose from may look different from person to person, right? The options available to us will look different and you'll have to factor in obligations and responsibilities, so on and so forth. But for me, the easiest way to be mindful is to be honest and be thoughtful of what am I doing?

Why am I doing it? And is this actually going to get me what I want? Or is it going to get me something that someone else that I should want because they would have [00:17:00] wanted it for themselves. So it's really just sitting down and thinking and asking those simple, but difficult questions to answer and be really honest about,

KT Maschler: yes.

Clarity on what do I want or what do you want? I love it.

Any last piece of advice you have to share with me today, you've been full of golden nuggets. I wish I would have had an advisor, um, like you after college or even during that would have been incredible. So I'm sure any kid that you helped definitely valued it. But any last advice for it?

Diana Morris: Yes. I think, you know, in this extends so far beyond like the college environment, even into like the post-grad and the entry level and like the millennial, whatever you want to call our generation nowadays, because a lot of folks that I'm working with are in this [00:18:00] timeframe.

All right. A few years removed from undergrad, right? I'm in this job space, I'm doing this thing. Isn't working, I've hit all the goals, identified for myself. What else is there to do? And one thing that I help them understand, and I've also learned myself is you are responsible for creating and protecting the life you want.

There is no one else out there who is going to be able to tell you what is right for you. There's a lot of options. There's a lot of possibilities. There's a lot of opinions. There's a lot of things you could do, but at the end of the day, you need to know what is actually right for you. And even if it doesn't look right for other people or they may have questions or they may not get it.

You owe it to yourself and it's your responsibility to create and protect the life you want to live outside of what you think is easy, because define easy. Sure. It's easy to ignore that conversation, but afterwards, are you [00:19:00] kicking yourself and saying, oh, I should've said this or I wish I said that. Sure.

It's easy to just show up to work because it's a paycheck. But when Sunday night rolls around, are you like, oh my God, I have to go to work tomorrow. I can't believe this is my life. So it's really a choice. And just being honest and giving yourself permission to figure it out, um, giving yourself grace, as you figure it out and remembering that you can change your mind at any point.

And do it all over again because the can is when you literally cannot use the chances you have. So that's kind of a fortune cookie was my,

KT Maschler: oh my gosh. So that was kind of like Janie and a bottle, like three little advices. I love that. That was awesome. Well, if anybody wanted to learn more about you or connect with you or.

Diana Morris: So you can visit me on the gram. It is Diana R a Morris, and that is [00:20:00] also my website, Diana R a I also have a starter guide available. So if you're sitting here listening and you're like, Ooh, What's she talking about like, how do I do this defined thing? Like, how do I get this clarity? I have a free guide that you can start the process of defining what you want your ideal life to look like, aligning your actions to that ideal life, and then deciding on the next step to take.

And that can be found on my website as well. So I look forward to connect. Yay.

KT Maschler: Yeah, I will. We quickly be downloading that after this call. Um, but yes, clarity. I love it. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on my podcast, or course thank you so much for having me.

And that is it for this week's episode. Thank you guys so much for tuning in every single place truly does mean the world to me. If you guys love the podcast, make sure you let me know by sharing the podcast, leaving review or a five star rating on apple podcast or your favorite podcast player.

And if you're interested to staying up to date with the quest for new inspiration.[00:21:00] Making sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

And make sure you get some of your own quest for new inspiration, swag.

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