Episode 112: How to Overcome the Fear of Being Fabulous with Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski (Part 2)

February 15, 2022

In Part 2 of this two-part interview, we delve deeper into the fear of being fabulous, and what it took for Jim to finally become the acclaimed author he was always meant to be. You will be amazed and inspired by his journey, I promise! 

Resources mentioned

Contact information:
Email: Judith@judithandjim.com

Fear of Being Fabulous Program

Leave your comments on the Fear of Being Fabulous on this page or : HERE

Sponsored by Ship You Books

3 Key Takeaways

If you don’t go for what you want, your body will start reacting in some way to force you to deal with being out of alignment.

Sometimes we make excuses for why we don’t pursue an opportunity but the unconscious reason for it is the fear of being fabulous.

It’s never too late to start. Jim wrote his first award-winning novel at age 75!

Ellen Violette: Hi and welcome. I’m your host Ellen Violette and you’re listening to Episode 112 of the Books Open Doors Podcast . This is part 2 of my two-part interview with my friends and colleagues, psychologists Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski.

One of the things that Judith said is One of the beauties of writing and being out in the world more is It makes you more alive and it helps you own step by step, more of who you really are but you have to get over the fear of being fabulous to be willing to go for it, and I could not agree more.
So we’re going to pick up where We left off talking about how important it is to leave home and learn to say no and get away from your family if you want to be fabulous.

So, let’s do this.

0.44 Music: Welcome to the Books Open Doors Podcast. Are you a mission-driven speaker, coach, consultant, thought leader, creative entrepreneur, or author who wants more credibility, financial abundance, and wants to make a bigger impact in the world and leave a lasting legacy, and who wants to have fun doing it? Then stay tuned for today’s inspiring podcast with your host, Ellen Violette.

[1:11] Before we jump in….If writing a bestseller, self-publishing, and launching to #1 is something you’d like to do I’d like to give you
My Rock Star Author Toolkit at https://booksopendoors.com That’s booksopendoors.com

And if you’d like to deeper, you’re welcome to book a complimentary Bestseller Breakthrough Session at www.bookwithellen.com

And finally if you missed Part 1 of this interview you can find it at:

[2:00] Ellen: Now a word from our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by ShipYourBooks.com. If you’re doing live events it’s a great way to sell books and even better if you have marketing materials inside your book for additional upsells And/Or special pricing for multiple book purchases. And the best place to purchase those books is at ShipYourBooks.com

Ship Your Books has been doing fulfillment for years and has worked with many of the top marketers and experts in the business including me. So, if you want book sales from live events, check out ShipYourBooks.com and tell them Ellen Violette sent you from the Books Open Doors Podcast.

[2:43] Now let me tell you about my guests Jim and Judith in case you haven’t listened to Part 1 of this interview Judith and Jim are psychologists and experts in overcoming personal obstacles and the fear of being fabulous. They’ve been featured on the View and on Oprah as well as over 3000 radio and TV shows, and we have done many webinars and joint ventures together over the years.

Now what happened to Jim in the last five years though, is that he had a stroke but it has not slowed him down at all. You’re going to be amazed when you hear his story. So, be sure to listen to Part 1 and Part 2.

So, Jim had just mentioned how as a kid you reach a point where you don’t want to kiss Grandma and you start saying no to things and this is where we are going to pick up with the interview.

Jim: You know the word “no” is extraordinarily powerful. It’s very difficult to use, because when we say no, when we were young, we generally get put down for it. Don’t say it. Don’t talk back, for example. The idea of the terrible twos it’s the first time in a person’s life, where they have a sense of who they are, or that they are someone.

Ellen Violette: Right.

Jim: And they don’t want that someone squashed by anyone else. They say “No, I don’t want to take a bath; no I don’t want to kiss Grandma; I don’t want to do that stuff. That is a statement of their own identity. We put it down but it’s actually, instead, it’s a very elementary, primitive way of leaving home. There are only two that they have; they do it organically.

[4:24] Ellen: God, you just brought back memories, I remember when I was a teenager, my grandmother wanted me to go on this blind date with this guy; I did not want to go oh my God, you know I’m like a liberal and he was a very conservative police guy.And I knew it was going to be a disaster and I let her you know I did it for my grandmother, and of course, it was terrible. And then my grandmother wanted to give me a Sweet Sixteen I didn’t want one and my mother said, please do it for your grandmother, so yeah, I mean I was just I was a good kid.

Jim:(In audible)

Judith: And you were saying yes to everybody else, but you.

Ellen: Yeah so that I mean I you know I look back now and I admit I mean I have regrets about what I did in the music business because when I finally did get into coaching I thought it would just be a couple of years, and then I would be able to do music. And then I didn’t understand the entrepreneurial journey and all the personal growth and all the things that I would go through in the recession and just everything, and all of a sudden, I woke up and twenty-five years have gone by.

Like oh my God this, what did I do? And I can’t get that time back, but I did start writing again last year-a little bit. When I just write lyrics, because I don’t have the capacity to do really do anything else right now with the setup we have and everything but I’ve been writing lyrics. And this is so funny because one of my best friends, her brother is in the music business and I didn’t know this for years and then even when I didn’t know it, I just wasn’t really tuned into it and, finally, I said to her, “Can I meet your brother?”And he’s like “Oh absolutely, I’m going to connect you guys,” so she literally just gave me his number. And we were talking last night, and I said, “ Well when’s the best time to call them? And she was explaining to me kind of his life and how he’s excited to talk to me, and so I’m kind of facing the same things that I was facing then that I ran away from.

[6:30] Jim: You more detail, Ellen. What do you mean by that? What do you mean by that?

Ellen: I can remember, there was a time this is so embarrassing I mean my husband doesn’t even know this because he’d probably kill me if he knew this.
I remember, there was a time when a producer called me and I didn’t call him back.

Jim & Judith: Oh yeah.

Ellen: And then too much time went by and then I was embarrassed to call him back.

Judith: Right.

Ellen: And I was working on this business on the coaching and so my time was torn everything, but I still made that excuse, right? And I’ve always regretted that, always regretted that and…

[7:11] Judith: And, as a vivid what you just explained as a vivid example of the fear of being fabulous. Absolutely, the producer called you. Yeah, he reached out or she reached out, but you didn’t call back out of some unconscious fear. There yeah.

Ellen: And it’s exactly what you said, it the fear that I wouldn’t be good enough, I don’t know the fear that I would be good enough, I don’t even know- everything. And I get that a lot when I work with people individually.

I remember the first time I had a client I was working with, and she said I’m afraid of success”. And I said, “What are you afraid of?” And she said, “Well I’m afraid I’m going to put my book up on Amazon and it’s going to take off and I won’t know what to do, or how to deal with it.”

And I said look “First of all if you don’t market it won’t take off, so you have some control all you have to do is pull back and it won’t happen, or it won’t happen too much. So, I wouldn’t be afraid of that right now.” And again, “You just need to stay in the now with it”, but yeah, there are so many things that run us. And I will say that the thing that has really helped, there’s so many things that have helped me but I read a book recently, maybe you guys know about this one I don’t know. It’s called Mastering Fear A Navy Seal’s Guide.

Judith: Oh yeah, yeah.

[8:26] Ellen: Okay, I just read that book, not that long ago, and I was looking for a silver bullet like to not be afraid when you jump and they’re going no there’s no silver bullet for that.

Jim: Right.

Ellen: Right? But, but he does talk about being prepared and I’m very prepared, I mean I’d already had a Grammy nomination, I was prepared, so it was something else. And I really think that, for me, and I just be really honest on my podcast and I, one of the reasons I do this is because people say to me all the time they’re amazed by what I do they have no idea what I go through to do
what I do.

Judith: Well…

Ellen: It’s not easy for me it’s just not, and so one of the… I think my biggest fear, aside from there was a fear of being successful because every time I got something good my mother like felt bad.

Right? So, I learned to like I have to hold myself down so that my mother would love me, and that was really painful growing up. I was so angry at my dad for not treating my mom better and treating me so well, so like that was kind of a thing. But the other thing was just and I told you guys this before we got on the call, my dad was really good at humiliating people in public, too.

Jim: Oh wow.

Ellen: Yeah and so he didn’t mean anything by it, but it was like I can remember, if I didn’t like something I would go “I don’t like that,” and then he would go ewe. He would just make fun of me, and so I really learned to recede and so that’s why I say it’s not easy for me. So, maybe I could be more successful, but I could also be a hell of a lot less successful. And you just go at your own pace, and you can only do what you can do until you learn what you learn.

[10:11] Jim: I want to make a point, you were talking about the unconscious. If you go into academic psychology, academia they will say that what is in the unconscious is irretrievable it’s gone you can’t read it.

Ellen: That’s not true.

Jim: That’s not just simply not true. Anyone who listens and holds that idea…that itself is a holdback. You can’t get to you can change it, you can reshape your identity like you’re talking about. You have to put out the work. The reason we call fear of being fabulous by fabulous we don’t mean (inaudible) we don’t need Academy Award, what we mean is that the next decision you have to make tomorrow you have to take the next step during where you’re going that’s what fabulous If you keep doing that you will become who you are, who you feel you are, who you are supposed to be.

Judith: And, step by step, and Ellen, thank you for your example. I hope our examples of helping people understand as well, that one of the beauties of writing and being out in the world more is It makes you more alive and it helps you own step by step, more of who you really are.

[11:29] Ellen: And yeah and there are tools too. I mean, like, for me, the first step was that that point of decision where I hit that low point it’s like “Am I going to quit or am I going to figure out how to do this differently? that was the first thing. And then the second thing was what do I love to do because if I don’t start doing more of that I can’t keep doing this I’m just like not happy, and then the third thing was once I decided that was “Okay, what courses do I need to take to up-level my skills and who do I need to hang out with?”

Right? So I up-level the people that I hang out with you know being around people who are more positive people who are making more money going into groups where I could get ideal clients who are making more money, so they could afford to pay me so that I could raise my rates. So, a lot of different things went into it. But it’s what you said it’s taking step by step, but it’s also as you’re going kind of taking a, what’s the word I’m looking for, senior moment?
an assessment, kind of an assessment,

Judith: Inventory

Ellen: That’s the word I was looking for. Thank you, inventory, yeah, so that you can figure out what you need to take those next steps, and so I just signed up for another mindset course. I mean you just keep…

[12:38] Jim: Keep building.

Ellen: Yeah and you keep peeling the onion too.

Judith: That’s right. You keep discovering the next layer of who you really are.

Ellen: Yeah or what your fear is that’s holding you back.

Jim: Right.

Judith: Exactly, but then you can at least work on that fear, instead of letting it run you.

Ellen: Exactly. Yes.

Judith: Exactly, wonderful that you do this podcast to help all of your listeners grow in whatever ways that they can, thanks to your truthfulness and having people like us talk about the truth of what it means to grow as a human and get and get beyond the fears of being fabulous.

Ellen: Yeah. Well, that’s one of the things I always loved about your story, too, was that you guys realized that you had walked away and that it was your fear of being fabulous.

Jim: Right.

Ellen: I remember the first time you guys and I talked about this like. I didn’t even get it on anywhere near the level I get it now. I understood what you were saying, but when you were saying you walked away in my mind, it was probably like “Oh okay, well I’ve never done that.” In a way that wasn’t true, but it was like I wasn’t even conscious of it really yet.

Judith: Yeah right.

Ellen: Yeah,but I thought it was so brave for you guys to, first of all, admitted because you had way more successful careers doing what you were doing that I had in music, even though I want a Grammy, I wasn’t making any money really.And I kept winning awards and not making money, so I mean even my Grammy nomination, I think I only made about $1500 dollars all together on that.

Jim: Wow, wow.

Ellen: Yeah.

Judith: Well, and you’re right, when I walked away from acting and modeling. In 1967 was really… the last really year of that I left New York City were… I’d gone after college and I had $50,000 in my jeans after my agents took their percentage, which today is the equivalent of $400,000 that year.

Ellen: Wow.

Judith: And what was my decision? “ I need to get married.” Because what did my mom and dad keep saying? “Well honey, when you’re married, well you know we’re looking for a good husband for you… when you get married,” So, my unconscious was busy saying, “You have to quit this and get married.Well, twenty-two years later I met this man.

Ellen: Yeah same for me, I remember, I was twenty-four years old, and I said to my mother, “ No one’s ever going to love me because I just had terrible luck with guys going back to junior high and high school, and my mother said… or no, I maybe I was younger than that, yeah, because my mother said, “Well, if you were twenty-four I’d worry about it,” but you know I must have been like eighteen or nineteen. And so that when I hit twenty-four, I brought it up to my mom and I said, “You said twenty-four!.” I didn’t meet Christen until I was thirty-two.

Judith: See. Exactly.

Ellen: And get married until I was thirty-seven. Huh?

[15:39] Jim: Judith was forty-three when we met, and I was forty-five. I would come in on my second divorce, Judith had never been married. Ah, on paper, we did not look like a good match.

Ellen: Yeah, yeah, we didn’t either. And my parents thought I was nuts. My father couldn’t understand it at all. But that was the first time really that I just, well that wasn’t the first time, the first time was when I quit graduate school that was the first thing I did anything that was for me, but I had to get agoraphobic to go against my parents.

Judith: Whoa.

Jim: Well, praise yourself look what you were able to do and the courage to do even your head screwed it up a bit, but look what you did.

[16:21] Ellen: Yeah, well, one of the podcasts that I did, and I hope people listen to this other podcast as well. And I can’t even think of who I did it with, but I think it was Lorrel Elian about the somatics of this-like that we put it in our body or that If we don’t acknowledge it, it comes out another way.

Jim: True.

Judith: Yes. Right.

Ellen: So, for me it was becoming agoraphobic because I hated graduate school and I knew it was something I never wanted to do.

Jim: What were you studying?

Ellen: Architecture.

Jim: Oh my God.

Judith. Oh!

Ellen: Architecture yeah, yeah and it was the worst because in graduate school what they did, we’re getting way off the subject, but whatever.

Judith: I don’t think so, I don’t think so.

[17:03] Ellen: Okay, so in graduate school, they would do these things where, first of all, I got into graduate school because they said they wanted people from the social sciences who would tell them how people interact in spaces. Then you get in and it’s like, “No.” It’s the same old. “we just want to make art and we don’t really care about people.” And then what you do is you make these models, and then they have at the end of each semester or quarter, it was, what is called a jury.

Jim: Right.

Ellen: Yeah, you go out there and you present it, and they judge you. and I wasn’t good at building models. And being the overachiever that I am, it was horrifying and more humiliation and I was miserable. I was just miserable. And then my psychologist said, “Have you ever thought of becoming a songwriter? because I was always writing. And I said “No that’s not even in the realm of possibility, the way I’m brought up on, I come from a family of professionals.” And she said, “Well, I think you’d be a great songwriter.”

And I just happen to live right down the street from UCLA, so I could get there with my agoraphobia. And so that’s what I did, and I fell in love with it and it changed my life for a long time.

Jim: But what will make the point of view, it’s no fun, no.

Ellen: No, it was a six-month anxiety attack.

Jim: No, and you can’t go out.

Ellen: No, you can’t leave your house.

Jim: Right but it reflects the power of who you are, you had to go to that length to do what you needed to do, and you did it; that’s really important to acknowledge.

Ellen: Yeah well that’s kind of my personality that I don’t get the message until I get in so deep that I have to pay attention.

(Judith and Jim laugh) And I guess I’m stubborn.Yeah.

Judith: But everybody listening is taking the message home that nothing has to be permanently in their way;, there is room to move; they need to take steps.

Jim: And that can be can be very scary but that’s all,it’s only scary. I don’t remember who wrote the rule book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

Ellen: Yeah.

Judith: Susan somebody. (Susan Jeffers Ph.D)

[19:24] Ellen: Right but that’s the difference between that book and mastering fear because what he says is “No, don’t feel the fear and do it anyway. Decide that you’re going to change and prepare.” His whole thing is that the more prepared you are, you’ll still have some fear, but you’ll have way less fear because you’ll know much more how to deal with it. So yeah, to a degree you have to feel the fear, but you also don’t have to be terrified if you’re prepared.

Judith: And you don’t have to let the fear rule the day.

Ellen: Right

Judith: It’s a decision, as you say, prepare and then take the next step.

[19:58] Ellen: Right, so let me ask Jim,you had a stroke and how did you feel about writing after that? Did you think you’re going to write again?

Jim: I wasn’t doing much writing before the stroke.

Ellen: Uh huh.

Jim: As a matter of, I’ll tell you this story about my reading experience. When I was in junior high school back in the late 50s, we were given an assignment, which was go to a magazine, find a picture, and write a one-page description of that picture. Well, I hadn’t done it; it was lunchtime, it was due in the next period, and so I rushed into our library in order to turn in the assignment. I rushed into the library I find a picture of a (inaudible)I mean just this much, I was just paralyzed. The word “somber” came to mind. didn’t know what somber meant. I went to the dictionary to look up the definition of somber and it seemed to apply, so I dashed off the 300 words, one page, and I got the assignments done.

Several days later, they would judge it, several weeks later, days or weeks later, the priest came back with a three-ring binder in which he kept the best writing he’d ever received in his career, not that year, his career.

Jim: I was the only one in my class that went into that book.

Ellen: Yay!

Jim: Well, yes and no, yes and no. I came from a Polish peasant working-class inner-city family where if you didn’t bust your hump, whatever you produced wasn’t worth anything. I didn’t work hard for it. I didn’t work hard for it so all I could think was (inaudible)

Jim: He was telling me something about me that went very deep. I couldn’t hear it. All I could hear was I didn’t work hard enough. I didn’t start writing for twenty years after that, actually my first book (fiction/memoir), the first book when I would seventy-five.

Ellen: Wow! You wrote the first book is seventy-five?

Jim: Yep uh huh.

Ellen: How old, are you now?

Jim: Eighty-one, eighty. Wrote the first book at seventy-five.

Ellen: My God I didn’t know, yeah. Okay guys, so you’re never too old remember that.

Judith: Absolutely, never too old.

Jim: And trust yourself. Trust the impulse that’s remaining on your mind. Trust them, follow them, see where they will take you. I have received a really good award for the book,awards and reviews from that first book,for all three books. I’m working on my fourth book now, which is a reincarnation romantic, a romance that started in 1505 during the inquisition and picks up again in 2005. That’s what I’m writing and I’m very excited about this one, because the first one was all about me; I knew everything.

Ellen: Right.

Jim: Largely fiction, but largely real. This one is total fiction, which is a hell of a lot harder because you got to make it all up.

Ellen: Right.

Jim: You know I wrote the first book at seventy-five. I thought I can actually, you know for me the biggest fear in writing was….I knew I could write a good sentence and put a couple of sentences together, so I could have a good paragraph, but I didn’t know if I was a storyteller. I didn’t know if I could read a story. Well, I have written three stories, and they have gotten very high grades. I now know I can write a story- sort of gone full circle- now I pay attention to the sentences and the paragraphs. I know I can write; I proved it to myself… that’s what that experience was; it was a real graduation into my own being.

[23:48] Ellen: Well, you said something important, you proved it to yourself, and that’s kind of preparation.

Judith: Yes, right exactly, and that’s why it’s so important for people to just start writing.

Jim: Just start doing it whatever it is, do it.

Ellen: Right, but if it’s nonfiction, please do an outline first.
{Judith and Jim laugh.) That’s a little different animal.

Jim: Is it very different animal.

[24:13] Ellen: Yeah, okay, any final thoughts?

Jim: Go ahead.

Judith: Other than what we’ve said about please do not let fear hold you back, contact Ellen if you need professional support, and start writing.

[24:31] Ellen: And check out Judith and Jim’s course if you feel that you need to work on your mindset, work on your past, and work on that fear of being fabulous.

So,learn more about that at booksopendoors.com/be-fabulous. That’s booksopendoors.com/be-fabulous.

Judith: Right.

[25:01] Ellen: Okay, so how can people contact you?

Judith: If they need to contact us, the best way is through my email directly to me Judith@JudithandJim.com and certainly if people want to learn more about us, that’s also our website JudithandJim.com

Ellen: Okay, well it’s been a pleasure catching up with you guys, Always great to see you.

Jim: And I love the room you made.

Ellen: Thank you!

Judith: Really, truly, so fun to catch up with you again after all these years and this has been a real pleasure.

[25:43] Ellen: Ah, okay…that’s it for today. To get the transcript go to BooksOpenDoors.com/podcast/fearofbeingfabulous2. That is for Part 2 of this interview. Part 1 is at BooksOpenDoors.com/podcast/fearofbeingfabulous and that is all spelled out.

Also, be sure to join us next week when I’ll be talking about how to make your book a bestseller if it’s already been published.

Also, if you want to write your own book or write books faster and easier sure, sure to pick up your copy of the Rockstar Author’s Toolkit if you haven’t already. It’s got the three checklists for writing doing your bestseller titles and the 21 simple strategies to jumpstart your book marketing online, so you can make a bigger impact, make more money, get more clients. Plus the Kindle Planner; they are all in the Rockstar Author’s Tool Kit.

So, that’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this two-part interview. I would love to hear your feedback and if you’d like to join us in the Facebook group, I’d love to hear your fears of being fabulous or what you’ve done to overcome it. (Or you can comment below.)

Till next time Bye-bye.

Judith and Jim: Bye.

Music: You’ve been listening to the Books Open Doors podcast, with your host, Ellen Violette. If you’d like to connect with other mission-driven speakers, coaches, consultants, thought leaders, founders, creative entrepreneurs, and authors who are changing the world one book at a time, join us in the Books Open Doors community at facebook.com/groups/booksopendoors. Let’s rock your business with books.

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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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