Ep. 76: The (Power of the) Benefit of the Doubt

Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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    On today’s show, I talk about the power of plenty and of giving the benefit of the doubt to yourself, your business, your relationships, and your health.


    We're back with our 76th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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    Episode 76 Transcription

    On today’s episode, we’re talking about the power of plenty, and giving the benefit of the doubt.

    Cassy Joy: And we’re back with another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I’m so excited to be back with you guys today; I am going rogue with today’s episode. I had a wonderful time these last three weeks on the book tour with Diane, and I’ve learned the power of just kind of going with the flow, and not everything has to be the perfect setup. So I’m talking to you guys from my back patio here in not so sunny San Antonio because it’s raining right now. Which is nice; I love the rain. So I figured it would be a great spot to talk about what we are going to talk about today.

    So this thought occurred to me, really last night. I’m recording this episode a day after when I would have wanted to, but I promised my friends, namely Diane Sanfilippo and Juli Bauer that I would take a full day off. We were joking that; not so joking. They really both of them sat down and had heart to hearts with me and told me; they said, “Cassy, I know you don’t take time off, but you must. You must take at least one day off.” {laughs}

    Diane and I joke that we’re the kind of people that are either completely on or completely off, it’s hard for me to just be moderately on. It’s hard for me to just lightly check emails, but still kind of relax. So I did, I took the whole day off, and now we’re back on Monday and I’m excited. I am refreshed, and I’ve been sleeping a lot, getting caught up. But it was a whirlwind of a book tour, a lot of fun, and the time off yesterday I think is the reason why today’s podcast episode came to me. Once you really quiet the mind and give yourself some mental whitespace, which I talk about; I talked about a lot actually on our book tour in my talk about the Fed and Fit Project. But mental white space is a really significant thing, because it allows then your mind to kind of quiet and fill in with maybe more meaningful and more significant ideas.

    So an idea that came to me yesterday, and it’s something that I’ve thought about a lot. And it’s a distinguishing factor I think in how some folks approach life, but I just never really had the words to put on it, and they came to me yesterday. So I want to talk about the benefit of the doubt. And I don’t know how long this podcast is going to last; I don’t know how long it’s going to take. Because what I normally do, so you guys know, when I write a show, when it’s just myself, I will draft out show notes and it’s not necessarily a script but I’ll write down the bullet points of what I want to talk about just to jog my memory while I’m going through the show. And it also helps me know how long; because I kind of have an idea how many words on a page converts into time on a show.

    So I don’t really know what today’s going to be like; I’ve got it just jotted down on a post it note; which is kind of fun. But it goes with the theme of the show; giving myself the benefit of the doubt that we can just figure it out. You can jump and life will be ok. You’ll figure it out. So this is just a very small example on a very large concept.

    So, really the question is; what would the world look like if everybody gave the benefit of the doubt instead of just doubting? This is an important distinction, because I think that; I don’t know. I’m not going to pretend to know if we’re hard wired to doubt, of if it’s just an adaptation of adulthood. Maybe we grow up and we get burned a couple of times, and then we start to just posture ourselves defensively against all the things that can happen in life. Whether we’re doubting other people and their intentions in interacting with us, or we doubt ourselves. It’s a very common thing. I’m definitely guilty of it from time to time, having doubt.

    Again, this is kind of a silly example, but thinking I'm here at my home now; I remember, I’m going to bring this back around hopefully I’ll remember to later {laughs} I don’t have my show notes to remind me. But when I was writing the book, I remember having significant; and part of that was because I was so exhausted. And when we’re tired we’re more prone to doubt because it’s the path of least resistance. It’s easier to doubt than to give the benefit of the doubt.

    But I remember writing the book I was exhausted; and after a full day of shooting, photographing recipes, jotting down recipe notes; some recipes didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, and it set my schedule back. And it was such a bummer. It’s so; I can’t tell you how empowering it is, and so much fun, to write down, let’s say on a whiteboard I had 8 recipes that I was going to make and shoot that day. And if I was going to photograph the recipe, then I thought the recipe was down. Because I made all of them several times in advance before taking photos, and if the recipe didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it to in taste, or texture, or whatever, then I’d have to postpone it again and make it again another day to take a new photo and to fine tune it and tweak it.

    And it was such a bummer, and that would weigh on you; the fact that you were on your feet for 10 hours that day would weigh; and I remember looking at my kitchen {laughs} and it was such a mess. And I remember, honest to goodness, you guys; this sounds very dramatic, but I remember looking at the kitchen, and honestly thinking; “it’s never going to be clean. It’s never going to be clean! Look at all those dishes! I will never unbury myself from all of those dishes. Never. That’s just not even an option.” I really thought that every single day, and I would joke with my husband; it would just be easier to burn it and build new. {laughs} Let’s just start all over.

    I mean, yes, I was exhausted and just had maybe a couple of recipes fail, and I just wasn’t feeling that hot. But that was my natural inclination; the path of least resistance was to doubt that I would be able to unbury myself from this mountain of work that this looming deadline; I would not be able to meet it. It was just easier to fall into that temptation.

    And then, you know, almost in the same stride, or the next step where people would look at me, hear my “I’m never going to be able to clean these dishes.” My husband Austin would say, “That’s silly. You’ve got this.” And he’d jump in and help, of course. But when it was all said and done, I was honestly surprised. I remember thinking; wow, I really never thought I’d get to this point!

    And how much easier would that whole journey have been if I had just believed that things would get done. That I would meet my deadline. That the recipes would be great. And if a recipe wasn’t going to workout after however many tries, then I’d cut it. Then it wouldn’t be the end of the world; the book already has 190 recipes, that’s plenty.

    So how much more empowering is it to just believe that it’s all going to be ok instead of believing that it’s not? That you’re going to fail. And I’m a relatively positive person, and this is, again, such a very light, surface level example of a very significant concept, but when we’re tired and we’ve got a lot going on and we feel the pressure and the weight of the world, whether it’s our work, or our family, or our own health, that it’s so easy to fall into that temptation of doubt, so that’s really what I want to talk about. Is what would the world look like if we gave the benefit of the doubt?

    So, how does this really apply? And this is kind of going to be, I’m just going to talk in one very large circle, and hopefully it’s a good takeaway for everybody. So, in which ways can we give the benefit of the doubt? If we’re looking outwardly. And some of you listening to this, this might sound like, I can see how you might think this is a naïve concept. And that’s something I’ve been accused of in my life, a lot. I’m now 30 years old; Oh, I dropped my sticky note into the rain. It’s fine. {laughs}

    I’m 30 years old, and I’ve been accused regularly of being naïve in the ways of the world. And the people who are accusing me of being naïve are usually those that have a Master’s degree in doubting. They look at the world through a, “Everybody’s out to get me” lens, and you really have to protect yourself. And while I do believe that it is important to protect yourself, and I hired a very smart lawyer to help me with my business, and to set myself up for success in the future, just as a preventative measure. But I don’t believe that folks are out to get me. You know, I don’t operate thinking that people are going to try and steal my business. Because then I wouldn’t be able to go freely and do the work that I do, and have as much fun with it and work with as many people as I have the opportunity to work with.

    So when it comes to giving the benefit of the doubt, I like to give the benefit of the doubt to my friends and my colleagues. Speaking specifically to business in this instance, I don’t believe that people are going to steal my work. And if I did believe that people were going to steal my work, then wouldn’t that keep me from doing it in the first place?

    So I would encourage you to kind of self reflect. If you're; let’s say you’re in an office setting, and you have a really cool idea for a project. And you really; maybe you need somebody to help you bring it to fruition first before it can have enough visibility for someone else to see it and then maybe take it to the next level. But you’re afraid to do it because you’re afraid that somebody at the office is going to steal it away from you, or a higher up is going to take credit for it. Is that fear keeping you from pursuing something that’s going to really enrich your life, and make you feel that much more fulfilled in your job?

    If that’s something you’re encountering right now, I encourage you to just go for it. Give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt, and pursue that project boldly. That’s so important. I put so much; I remember talking to some family about, you know, today we’re in the age of content sharing. Content is king, and I’m constantly doing everything I can to give you guys as much free content as I can, and then building really valuable resources that you can then purchase, and that’s how I keep my business going, like the book, and like the Fed and Fit Project. But this podcast is free, my blog is free, my social media, all that stuff is free and I probably spend over half of my time working on developing free content.

    I remember talking to friends and family, saying, “What are doing developing; giving away all of these ideas? Don’t you want to protect them?” And I can understand that sort of scarcity mindset, but at the end of the day, and people listening here who do have a blog understand this; or maybe you don’t have a blog but you have a business, and maybe you dedicate yourself to research and you put together white papers that’s essentially free content that you’re giving to the world. You’re showing your research. That really propels your business further than if you held some idea and some concept close to home and then launched it when you thought it was perfect and it was perfectly protected. There’s a whole lot more value in just going for it and trusting the process. So when it comes to business, I say just go for it.

    Ok, now let’s look within. That’s kind of in the work world; what about giving yourself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to health? So many of us have been burned on diet and weight loss, and I remember being there. Just kind of like my dirty kitchen. I remember looking in the mirror after I think my 6th diet that I had -yo-yoed back from, and I was in my early 20s, and I remember just being so down in the dumps about it. Oh my gosh; I mean it’s so sad to think about now, {laughs} and it’s raining where I am right now so it kind of reminds me of it, but I was just; oh I was weepy, I was so sad, I was so disappointed, and I just, I was at a point where I was trying to decide if that was life. If I’m just meant to be in pain, and if I’m just meant to constantly have to go buy new clothes every couple of months; get one size bigger, one size bigger. I had lost a little bit of weight on pretty much every diet that I did, and I talked about this at my book signings. But the reason I lost the weight in hindsight I understand is because I was just starving myself. I was calorie restricting to an extreme, and then as soon as the diet was up; 30 days, 45 days, whatever it was, I would bounce right back. Because I hadn’t solved any underlying issues.

    I remember looking in the mirror thinking; well, this is it. I mean, just doubting that I would ever be able to get out of that situation, and really believing that that was the life; I was resigning to live this life. Feeling like I was in somebody else’s body, and feeling like I never really was going to; I don’t know, live to feel and be my fullest.

    So what if; and then of course there came another moment because I am kind of hardwired {laughs} to just see a little silver lining where I gritted my teeth, and I dug into science research; nutrition science research, stumbled across paleo, and decided this makes sense. But if I had never given myself the benefit of the doubt and believed I could work my way out of it; I just had to think outside the box. I had to do something different; I couldn’t do another diet. I had to do something smart. I had to be more intelligent about my body and think more critically about how I was really going to heal it. Instead of fixing a problem, I needed to understand that I was healing a problem.

    If I hadn’t believed and given myself the benefit of the doubt, who knows where I would have been? So if you kind of feel that; “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to get off this hamster wheel of diets, and of feeling just like I’m walking around in someone else’s body.” You’ve got to stop, and you have to pause and give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and really believe that there is a way. There is a way. The world is enormous; the universe, and there has got to be a way for you to feel your best. It may just take you doing something that you’ve never done before, and thinking about your body in a way that you’ve never thought before. So give yourself the benefit of the doubt.

    I also think; and weirdly, when we’re out and about walking around, there’s a lot of people; and I remember, this was a pivotal moment when I was younger, and I’m thankful I was given this advice. But somebody said to me once upon a time; I remember thinking, I said something out loud. I don’t know if it was a mom, my mother, or somebody. I said, “Oh gosh, everybody is probably looking; people are looking at me because my…” I don’t know, my hair was messed up or something like that. I was really self conscious about something on my body when I was younger; I was in my teens. And I remember somebody; an adult, I don’t know if it was my mom or one of my best friends mom, said, “Cassy, don’t be so self-centered. People are not looking at you the way you think they’re looking at you. And if they are, they’re probably thinking that you’re just beautiful.”

    And it was an important turning point, because we tend to think that people look at us constantly, and see the worst in us. “Oh my gosh, they’re probably all staring at that pimple I have on my forehead.” Or, “Oh my gosh, people are probably looking at me and thinking about how,” I don’t know, “I’ve got big thighs, or I’ve got small feet, or I’ve got eye brows that really needed t be tended to. {laughs} The list can go on and on and on, but at the end of the day, A) probably nobody has noticed anything. They’re probably thinking that you’re this lovely, vibrant person, if they’re thinking anything. And I think that’s just important. Give strangers the benefit of the doubt. Walk around boldly believing that maybe people believe you’re just beautiful and you’re this vibrant person. How freeing and how wonderful would that be if we walked around and just shed our insecurities and just believe that everybody thought we were beautiful? How cool would that be, right?

    So live in that. You can do that. This is a choice we can make. We can walk around in the day and we can assume that people think we’re great drivers, that we’re great parents. We can assume that the world believes we’re good at our job, we’re good at cooking; you know, whatever it is. We pick really fun outfits; whether other people are thinking about us or not, if we’re going to believe that they are, let’s believe they’re thinking something positive and lovely about us. Because they probably are. And if they’re not, then they’re not thinking anything at all. So let go of those negative thoughts.

    Ok, the benefit of the doubt. I mean I have some other thoughts here. Oh, here’s a good one. Someone being a friend or a foe. I think that’s an important one. I tend to give my friends the benefit of the doubt to the extreme. And I think that’s important. And we can also talk about a significant other. If our partners or our friends aren’t as good as describing with words, how they feel about us, you know or that they really care for us, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe the language isn’t there but the feelings are. You know, it doesn’t hurt to believe that the relationship is good and healthy. And if it isn’t, then you’re able to with less hurt emotions approach it with an open heart, and wanting to heal and fix and redirect.

    So I think it’s really important when it comes to specific relationships with people that you love and care about to not get defensive in whether there is or isn’t love or there is or isn’t trust. It’s important to be open minded and to give the relationship the benefit of the doubt. Whether or not it is in the best spot or not, you believe that it can be. And that just speaks; that opens the path a more direct path to a really healing, healthy relationship in the future. If you really believe that it’s really possible; don’t doubt. Believe that it’s possible. So that’s a lot.

    And at the end of the day; I think this comes down to; I used to work at LuLuLemon Athletica; this is a good. Gosh, years ago maybe. I worked there for a spell. It was before I started Fed and Fit, and Diane and I actually worked there together; not together. Excuse me. We did not work there together. We both worked at LuLuLemon around, I think she worked there a few years before I did, two different parts of the country, but it was funny how we were talking about; I worked there before I started Fed and Fit because I always wanted something more to do. I like really getting my hands in a lot of things, and I was just having a lot of fun with it, and they’re really vibrant, athletic people, and the idea of starting Fed and Fit while I was there. They have really great employee development, and it came up while I was working there, and they essentially said; well, you better go do it. What are you doing here, working selling stretchy pants? {laughs} Go do this amazing food blog thing you’ve thought of.

    So that was a really cool experience, and one of my other big takeaways from there is they have this library of books that they encourage their educators to read. And one of the concepts; I can’t remember if it was a book specifically or if it was a concept given in a book, because again it’s been a while. But it was this concept of the power of plenty. And if you’ve ever thought about; if you’re familiar with this concept then you might have an idea of where I’m going to go with this in closing out this episode, but the power of plenty, when it comes to retail is something that LuLuLemon does really well with.

    So when you walk into a store, and you see that there are 20 headbands on a bar, or the holder that holds all the socks, it’s completely full, or you see that the racks have 15 different red shirts and 15 different blue shirts; and those are first and foremost; and there are one or two black shirts or one or two grey shirts left, they put those to the very back. Because when you see the abundance of a color, in a size or in a cut or in a style of athletic ware, the abundance draws you to it and it kind of gives you this warm, fuzzy feeling. Like there’s security in it. You know that you’re going to find something there that you want. It’s just very compelling; the power of plenty. If there’s plenty there, then you’re going to be drawn towards it.

    So how I want to tie this into today’s episode is if we believe that there is an abundance and goodness and love and possibility and success in business; there’s an abundance of success available for you, even if your colleague comes in and maybe takes some of the credit. There’s still an abundance there for you. And even if, you know, you and your boyfriend or your girlfriend are trying to figure out, I don’t know, maybe there are little hiccups in the road and you and your spouse or your significant other, there’s an abundance of love and comfort and security there available for you; you’ve just got to work on it. And even if you are kind of in a rut with your health and your wellness, and you just got back from the doctor and they told you that your numbers are off, and you really need to consider going on medications, and you feel like you’ve been dieting, and you don’t feel like there’s an end in sight of this hamster wheel of just dieting; you need to believe that there’s an abundance of health available to you.

    And when we believe that there’s plenty of health and love and success and financial freedom; whatever it is that you want in your life, when you believe that there’s plenty of it, you’ll be drawn towards it. So keep that in mind. The power of plenty and the power of giving the benefit of the doubt are pivotal. And if you find yourself stuck in a rut or in a hamster wheel of doubt, there’s a concept and song called doubting Thomas {laughs} by Nickel Creek, I think it was Nickel creek or maybe when Chris Thile spun off and did his own thing; I really love bluegrass.

    But I think about that; you know, if you’re feeling in this episode maybe you do identify a little bit with being somewhat of a doubting Thomas, try on the benefit of the doubt hat. Try on that power of plenty. Try on believing that there’s an abundance of goodness out there for you. Because you have to believe it before you can actually get there. I don’t want to be too cheesy and say believe it so you can achieve it, but it’s really the truth. You have to believe it before you can achieve it. If you don’t believe there’s a door out of whatever situation you’re in right now; if you don’t believe there’s a door there, you’ll never open it up and you’ll never walk through it. So you have to believe that it’s there. You have to believe that there’s another side.

    Believe in it so strongly that it starts to glow and really pull you towards it. Almost; it almost feels involuntary once you really do shift your perspective and shift your mindset. And then you’re just kind of on a downhill ride towards success. And it’s so much more fun that way. When we stop doubting ourselves, and we stop doubting others, even though we might get burned; the burns hurt less. And it’s something my husband said; I talked to him before I recorded this episode. I said, “Is there anything else you can think of where the benefit of the doubt plays a significant role in life?” And he said, essentially, he said, “Well people just need to believe. You're going to get burned, regardless, but you might as well get burned expecting the best than get burned expecting the worst.” You know?

    So there’s no more harm in getting burned when you’re looking for the best. So don’t be so protective over your positive outlook, and seeing the best in people and in the world. You’ve got this; I want you to know that you’ve totally got this. And if you’re really in a rut, maybe the shift could be just seeing and believing that there is possibility out there for you. Because there is. There absolutely is. And if you don’t see it yet, know that I see it for you, and I could probably answer; if anybody called in and asked, I would definitely probably give them the same answer.

    Which is something that I might do in the coming weeks, is opening up the show to sort of an anonymous call. So if that’s something that you're interested in go ahead and shoot me an email at CassyJoy@FedandFit.com. C-A-S-S-Y-J-O-Y @ https://FedandFit.com. If you’re interested in possibly coming on the show to chitchat; it would have to probably be, you know, we couldn’t get too personal with clinical questions even though I am a nutrition consultant, but just to chat, and chat about life. So if that’s something you’re interested in, please jot down that email, send me a note, and at the end of the day believe that you do have the power to make your dreams come true. It’s out there; there’s an abundance available for you, there’s plenty of it. So you’ve totally got this.

    Thanks for listening to today’s episode; we’re coming in just under 30 minutes, which is just right on time. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt that I could do it sitting on my back patio, and it happened. What do you know? {laughs} So thank you guys for dialing in, as always. I have some really exciting interviews coming up in the next coming weeks. So keep your ears and eyes peeled for that, and we’ll be back again soon.


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