Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

July 27, 2018


Today, Annie, a writer from California, shares with Dan and Broc how journaling helps her stay focused. She talks about how we are all “in progress” and that change is a gift we give ourselves and we need to be open to receiving it.

She cautions listeners to stay away from negative self-chatter and from talking ourselves down from our high goals. 

It’s one of those “can’t miss” conversations you’ve been dying to listen to. 

Don’t miss the exclusive, one-time-only webinar on “How to Be Insanely Productive Without Working an Insane Number of Hours” on August 2nd @ 11 AM ET.


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Dan: [00:00:00] Hey guys, it’s Dan and Broc, Dan Waldschmidt, Brock Edwards and we are back with another edition. Hey dude, I just cut you off, didn’t I?

Broc: [00:00:07] Nah, you’re dead. I just say hello.

Dan: [00:00:10] He’s here. Brock Edwards is here all the way from, I say Dallas but it’s not really Dallas.

Broc: [00:00:13] It’s close enough. Close enough. Texas is a big place.

Dan: [00:00:19] I feel Texas is like a whole country.

Broc: [00:00:21] A lot of people would agree with you.

Dan: [00:00:24] I was reading the other day about one of the top ten economies in the world is the State. It’s crazy so. Anyway, back to the, why we’re talking today, Dan and Broc were brought more of a fresh brand new awesome episode of the Bring Your Own Awesome podcast edition. Like every other person you’ve heard from this episode is going to be amazing. We’re here, we’re lucky to have Annie Peterson with us. Hi Annie, how are you?

Annie: [00:00:54] Hi. I’m good. How are you?

Dan: [00:00:56] I’m fantastic.

Annie: [00:00:59] Awesome.

Dan: [00:01:00] Yes, awesome, fantastic, all of those great words. I just heard you say before we hit the go button you’ve had a little bit of sleep, you’re catching up, your spirit is like on super pilot mode, right?

Annie: [00:01:10] Yes, I guess so.

Dan: [00:01:13] For those of us who don’t know much about you, maybe jump in, just tell us who you are? What you do?

Annie: [00:01:20] I am also in this great big country of Texas near that –. Actually, I’m in Dallas and I am in public relations and in the middle of making a switch of some kind maybe from one public relations firm to another and spent 17 plus years in television news before that and when I’m not pretending to be a newscaster in my brain or rewinding Murphy Brown episodes in my head I am usually writing something usually in the form of poetry or journaling or little short story here and there and that’s kind of how I spend my time nights.

Broc: [00:02:11] What compels you to write?

Annie: [00:02:12] I would just say, I got push of some kind. I just like the whole world stops for seconds and it’s just called out of me and I have to get it out whether it’s typing that into the note feature on my phone or on a napkin or a tablet. I’ve always been like that, I remember sitting in between classes in college, ferociously, writing down something on the back of some notes.

Dan: [00:02:48] What’s the last thing you wrote?

[00:02:52] What is the last thing that I wrote?

Dan: [00:02:53] Yes, come on.

Annie: [00:02:56] Oh gosh, I guess. Well, in my phone now because that’s where I am usually. I’m Writing these days and the last thing I wrote was, “Do you ever have a moment that gives chills up your spine? Whispering a feeling, a fluttering muttering rhyme. Have you felt a presence an effervescent translucent shine? Have you seen trees so green, sky so blue and a light that shines through? Do you ever feel as familiar, I’ve been here before like an open door? A glowing, growing certain knowing. Have you heard a voice so crisp so clear, right here? Have you believed in grace and faith unseen? Do you know what this all means? The truth, hope that divinely lived life that moves and breathes in you and me.

Broc: [00:03:50] Is that representative of like everything you write like that? Or I mean, do you write is it a cathartic, is it just processing ideas?

Annie: [00:04:00] It’s usually a cathartic release of some kind or I guess words that have formed out of thoughts that I can’t really put together. It’s the same flaming conversations, so I’ll just start writing. If I go back through the last couple of months when I have kind of been going through this transition personally it’s as if the words are leading the conversation so to speak. The conversation being figurative word for life and the words I guess are kind of like a pulse. I find that they, not necessarily prophetic. It’s probably just the words that represent the knowing that I already have, that I haven’t been able to express verbally or in some other way.

Broc: [00:05:06] Knowing you already have, I mean that phrase really resonates for me. Can you say more about that?

Annie: [00:05:14] Which part?

Broc: [00:05:16] Just the knowing that you already have, that idea.

Annie: [00:05:20] Well, I think I believe that most people already know who they innately are or already know what they’re afraid of or the choice that they are going to make or what their purpose is but have not woken up to that yet or haven’t been in a position to see it clearly or experience it clearly. For me, I think writing allows me to tear off that veil so to speak. If I was thinking or processing something with no scales over my eyes, writing is the process of removing that scales now. To someone else it may not appear that way because writing is such personal.

Broc: [00:06:19] I’ve got to ask a kind of a deep question here, who are you waking up to being?

Annie: [00:06:28] Who Am I waking up to being? Well, that is still — I mean I’m a person in progress like the rest of us. I think that I’m waking up to being who I already am and what I mean by that is, we go through life looking to other people for affirmation or their perspective or judgment, whether we’re aware of it or not and allow what they think, say and believe in some way to inform or future action choices and thoughts with as if we have forgotten who we were before we started looking to all those people. I’m not just saying that I’m going to let go and be that construction worker I said I was going to be when I was four. That’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about, was talking about having that pure innocence and confidence of self that you have when youre like 18 months old and have just learned to walk and run and you have no care in the world what anyone thinks because youve done it when you’re excited, when youre thrilled that you can move. I think that I am waking up to being a person who is very present and authentic and not holding back because of looking at what someone else says or thinks.

Dan: [00:08:18] Yes, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. It sounds to me like when I talk about bring your own awesome this waking up process and this beautiful writing. Oh, my gosh it’s amazing. This waking up process is something that not everyone does. People will say, “We all die, not everyone lives.” So, talking about this waking up process, is this new? Is this a year old? Is this months old? Is this days old? Talk us a little bit about that. Most people’s waking up experiences happen because they got hit by a bus. I mean that literally and figuratively. Something dramatic happens and they have this experience that really kind of goes, “Whoa, you know I needed make a fork in the road.” Is this your story or it was something a little different for you? Talk to us about this waking up because it’s beautiful.

Annie: [00:09:14] I think it’s a process. I and I would say, probably, my whole life. I don’t think that it necessarily takes a phrase or a friend gave me a cosmic two by four or a really strong kick and that is. I think that sometimes it literally is just a waking up, you wake up one morning and you know it, “I was made for more”, or, “There is more out there”, and what does it take to have that in law. Obviously it’s being you, being authentically who you are. It ends or being awesome and the awesomeness I think of myself would be recognizing that I already am and what does it take to express that without being oppressive with it or khaki or any one of those things and then in terms of the timeline I specifically remember, again I have to look at my phone and see when I wrote this down. I remember a time in early February I believe, it might have been at the end of January when I wrote something down. Yes, it was January 30th and the title of what I had written was A Butterfly Bursting out of her Cocoon. At the time I remember just looking in the mirror and I know I wrote this, it’s standing in the bathroom and I was looking in the mirror and thought suddenly something is different and the butterfly metaphor is that I think you spend this time struggling to become and then one day you just break free.

Dan: [00:11:23] This is amazing, I’ve experience this in my own life and even now I’m going through a process where I’m waking up, I love those words you used and I’m changing. What advice would you give me and others in our community who are trying to wake up but they’re just like, “What do I do?” What was it that was that catalyst for you in between knowing when you want to wake up in that moment where you find yourself as the butterfly looking in the mirror. How did you wake up? What’s that advice for others who want to wake up?

Annie: [00:12:04] I’m not, I guess my advice is to just be open to receiving it because it’s a gift you’re going to give yourself. When I was standing in the mirror, I wrote, ” Have you ever felt this rush of change come over you and suddenly feel it to be familiar yet terrifying that once?”, I think that’s part of the advice is that you’ll know it because it’s familiar and it’s going to be scary because you haven’t allowed yourself to receive it before. Receiving who you really are and who your meant to be and in all of the glorious and great and meaningful things about you, not the stuff that you are ashamed of or reject about yourself. All of those things are part of your awesome. You just have to look at them with new eyes. So it’s just being open to receiving.

Broc: [00:13:21] I think, your message there arounds feeling you’re made for more just being you, waking up. I think that hooks people very deeply. I think we can all relate to that. All of us are continually going through transitions and transformations in their lives and wondering what else is there? What more is there? Who do I need to be? How do I need to be? So down to that, this is going to sound kind of mundane compared to the conversation we’ve just been having but I wonder about sharing this message, helping others out. I know you post a lot in the Edgy Empire of Awesomeness, much shorter pieces. Are you thinking about publishing? Have you published? How can you share this message? This just seems like something that would help so many people.

Dan: [00:14:16] Yes, agreed.

Annie: [00:14:17] Well, thank you for that. As I said, I do love to write and I have a lot of things written. I have a very dormant blog where I haven’t published anything since 2016 and I sometimes think about taking those pieces and publishing them and adding to them but they’re all kind of throughout from the vein of faith because I am a Christian and I believe and very much a loving and non-judgemental God. I think about that but then I also think about how do I make that message more worldly and access more. So that’s a good – that’s a really good question. I do not know exactly how I’m going to get that out there but I have thought about that.

Broc: [00:15:20] I would even just throw a challenging question there for you. Does the message need to be made more accessible to all or is it better to keep the message in a way that resonates for you and those who it also connects with what will come to it?

Annie: [00:15:39] Again, also a very good question. I think I have held back a lot on publishing or going global so to speak because I have often felt that these words and the emotions in the process behind them are so personal and private that I don’t know if they do need to be out there but then I will go and read something similar or hear a dialogue from someone who has clearly gone through a similar mental gymnastics, so to speak and has created a world of welcoming for people who are trying to get on to the path of their own greatness and I think if I am able to separate my individual awesomeness from the global perspective of awesomeness, meaning it’s not about me. I don’t want it to be about me. That’s what’s been holding me back. I don’t want to be Annie Petersen has ignited these insights and a bunch of people about themselves. I want people to be able to get insights but I want it to be about them.

Dan: [00:17:14] Yes and your other conversation starter. One thing I learned in writing a book was I had a choice, I could write the opening chapter that my publishers wanted or I could do it my own way and in writing the chapter that I wanted to write probably was a difference between selling 500 copies or 500,000 copies. When I was raw and real and by the way that opening chapter is actually P.G. if I could actually share two now. I guess Broc, I put myself in a situation right with a million plus people at Facebook. I guess I can’t share the real story but I was so broken at this time in my life, so incredibly broken that just sharing that with others gave them permission to heal. They didn’t realize it at the time but I think that’s awesomeness, is you have this real, raw situation that you’re a part of and you have woken up and you are continuing to wake up and I love this thought of that you’ve encouraged us all with just be willing to wake up. Let it come to you and don’t see every situation is, “Oh, this is life beating me up”, look at how this is making you a better version of yourself. In this waking up process, obviously, you faced hurdles, we all face hurdles on a daily basis. How do you advise someone to stay motivated or inspired throughout the rollercoaster ride that you’re going to experience as you wake up? What have you seen work well for you to stay inspired and motivated?

Annie: [00:19:12] I’ll freely admit that I have anxiety and I live with it and I survive with that and I acknowledge that. I’m not always and the waking up process for me is very much a roller coaster ride in and of itself. I think that for me and I’m not good at it as recognizing anxiety or for someone else that may be self doubt or it might be a sense of unworthiness or any one of those negative things that can pull you away from the greatness you’re destined to have. You just have to be aware that these things might come along and become experienced killers for you and as long as you’re aware that that might happen. You’re not going to derail from your journey. You’re not going to suddenly go back to sleep. It’s just I think a reminder that you’re still human and it’s still a journey and that’s why it’s waking up. It’s not a wait, it’s waking. You’re in the process of waking up and I don’t necessarily believe that you just then are awake because like life, the awareness of self and one’s worth is a continual process. Through those ups and downs you just have to be aware that they’re going to come and accept it. If you know those moments of self doubt and a little hint of unworthiness or anxiety and recognize that and acknowledge it and then move it aside and continue  on the process of waking up.

Dan: [00:21:30] Yes, that’s awesome.

Broc: [00:21:32] When you think about this journey that you’re on and the ups and the downs and where you want to get to, how can the people out there help you? How can the folks in the Edgy Empire help you move forward? What would you ask of them? I think the phrase that comes to mind is, “remind me who I am”. I think that we all need reminders, that would be it. I think sometimes people need people to come alongside them and champion them in their journey and in their growth and their self discovery. I suppose that’s what I need the most is some cheerleaders to continue on this process. So that I don’t find a comfy little corner and take a nap for a few years.

Dan: [00:22:36] That’s awesome. That’s incredible. So we will hold you to that. We will hold your hand, right? We will encourage you and I think you’ve given us a couple of really insightful things here. Wow. Being open to this awakening process and then two, when you see hurdles and struggles and problems and fear and failure. Man, I do this in my own life, I see something go wrong and I go, “Well, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I Start talking myself down and recently I’ve changed the tune on that. It’s one where I have to stop and say, “No, stop that’s negative self chatter. You’ve got to fix that.” I love this, I love this and so we will love you and we will support you and we will help you. I’m so excited you were able to bring your awesome today and share with us how this awakening process which so many of us are going through right now, has been personal to you. I think if you want us to come alongside you, I already know, Broc, maybe you’re thinking the same thing I am. We have to push Annie to do one big thing which is get that published.

Broc: [00:23:49] Absolutely and I hear that you’ve got a pause there Annie. If that’s what you want, we will absolutely hold you to that and help you do that.

Annie: [00:24:00] Well, I’ll say there were two things that came to mind but on that topic just about three weeks ago on a Sunday morning I woke up and I said to myself I have always said, “I’m going to publish and I’m going to be an author”, and then I said, “I’m done saying I am going to. I Am going to start saying I will”, and then I shifted into, “I am an author. I am a writer. I am published and making these kind of man stations of future action.” I received that in your support and challenge myself to hold myself up to my own commitment.

Dan: [00:24:54] It sounds like we’ve got yes from you. Sounds like we got a yes.

Theme music (“Runaway”) by Shadow of Whales: https://www.facebook.com/shadowofwhales

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.