The first out of many lessons throughout this book, that Robin speaks out of personal experience, is that if you don't speak up for yourself, no one else will. When embarrassing moments happen, laugh at yourself before others can.
Originally starting her career in Mansfield, OH, a little town w/ a low powered TV station at the time. Robin would shoot her own stuff (w/ her own video camera), edited and delivered it all for the love of the job. Carrying her own equipment while in high heels was worth the effort. It was the best learning experience of her career. Next was Cleveland. After Cleveland came a better position in Columbus, where she and her husband, Tim, were there six months and Robin anchored the Monday-Friday morning and afternoon shows. After Columbus came a position in Miami. That was a whole new world in itself.The day and night expenses taught Robin and Tim ALOT about being resourceful.
After Miami, Robin, at the age of 26, arrived in Chicago to anchor the weekday morning shows at a network affiliate. Even though Robin was young and bright-eyed, she was grateful to where and how far she'd come thus far. She had a job in the third largest market in the country. Robin had counted and had 8 honchos in charge in the 6 years she worked in Chicago. The problems came when new honchos had different visions for what he/she wanted for the newsroom. At times, different changes cause you to lose yourself in the process. Everytime someone new came through, Robin wanted to prove herself and win them over. She was shape-shifting to get through day-to-day, trying to morph into what was needed. Somewhere along the way, Robin lost her own image and was uncomfortable in her own skin. To her that's how it felt: you couldn't be yourself. She was losing her authenticity. She was losing what made Robin - Robin. It taught her to take pride in the things that made her stand out.
|Robin & Tim|
Robin didn't know but what she was feeling and her symptoms were a diagnosis of anxiety attacks. She envisioned worse of what she thought the term meant. She felt anxious and unsure w/ herself. Anxiety as a feeling - not an attack - had pervaded other parts of her life for years. She was always a worrier. Her parents did their best to shield her, as well as, her brother, Kevin, from any budget concerns while simultaneously teaching them thrifty spending habits, as well as, hand-me-downs. Trips to Sandusky for off-priced duds. (This was before T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and Kohl's.) What they couldn't find at the right price, their mother would make.
Robin's parents both had manufacturing based jobs, that were thriving in OH at the time. All of her life, being worried about something seemed to be her natural state. She learned that the more you fear anxiety or bad feelings, the more they will show up in your life. At a charity event, Robin was to give a speech. She waited until that morning to figure out what she was going to say. She was surprised when she arrived. She thought to herself "she could do this". She thought she KNEW what she wanted to say. Everyone was into their own. No one was listening. Then she went out and confidently grabbed everyone's attention. Once again it was the anxiety that stopped her.
It is our nature to take our talents, abilities & situations for granted until they are taken away. After that experience, Robin has since been forever grateful for the ability of public speaking. All because of her anxiety. One weathercaster Robin worked w/ stopped her dead in her tracks. She was the first person to see past the charade that Robin was putting on. Work life began to interfere w/ her home life. The little things that Tim used to find adorable about his wife were becoming the flesh-eating bug of their marriage. He was also beginning to run a small company from their condo and was stressing about not becoming a statistic.
Robin has the same drill, if you've ever noticed, before every single show. If you see it REAL closely, you'd see 2 cough drops Robin keeps on-set. One is in her mouth immediately before the show starts, to coat her throat before 4 hours of talking. The other she keeps on hand just in case. There is also a coffee cup on the desk full of hot water to give her and her voice a quick warm up. While routine is common, normal & a good thing, there were other calming agents Robin had to have throughout her day - otherwise it seemed NOTHING could go right. It seemed if she didn't have them, the anxiety would return and she would be all worked up!
Robin hadn't even met him yet, but Tim was a star running back at Ashland University. He was having the best game of his career in his junior year when his knee got blown out by a painful helmet by an opposing player. Robin was a TV/radio geek. That was her major: radio/television production, programming & performance. Due to what it entailed, Robin didn't have time for anything else. The TV studio was her sorority house. The news team was her crew. After Robin met Tim, it was obvious to her how devastating the football injury had been. It was career ending for him and he still suffers in part today. Tim says being a football player helped make him what he is.
Tim remembered his chiropractor saying something about counseling people through "breakthroughs". Something the way his chiropractor mentored people made Tim think this "breakthrough" thing might be just what his wife needed to help "break through" her chain of anxiety. This kind work piqued Tim's interest and suggested for Robin to talk to the same therapist to help her stress at work. Tim came home w/ what she, the therapist, had done that day and suggested it for Robin. Robin thought he was crazy to have - a chiropractor help her w/ her breathing problems. Robin shocked them both w/ the decision to want to quit. Tim was supportive but knew she wouldn't be happy w/ that decision. He just wanted for his wife to find the fight - instead she fought him. Her anxiety affected the way she viewed her abilities, her purpose, her marriage and herself. But Robin had more to achieve . . . . .
Little by little Robin began to reveal things to her new doctor that she'd held so tightly inside of her for so long - it was choking the life out of her. Robin felt she wasn't allowed to show her true personality on-air. She felt that had led to her anxiety. While speaking to the doctor, Robin thought maybe her psyche and true personality had been boxed in for years; the notion she had to act, talk & look a certain way to be a journalist.
Up until that point, life was all about work for Robin. She treated her work like an addict, going all day without food until she got home. She felt the rush of the responsibilities that came with the job. She wanted to do a service and have others love her. Robin was raised to be accountable for her actions and tried to act accordingly. When she and Tim would go out w/ a news crew team after work, her reputation preceded her due to her upbringing. Robin would be so afraid people thought she was bad. She denied that part of herself that had a backbone. The part of her that gets satisfaction at cursing under her breath. Robin would deny the parts of herself that made her REAL & HUMAN.
We have an inner bitch inside all of us and Robin wouldn't/couldn't embrace hers. She would act sweet and wouldn't drop her guard and BE REAL. Robin's panic attacks were manifestations of physical anxiety - the breathing problems, muscle tightening & tingling fingers coupled w/ the mental side of anxiety. You feel anxious when you feel guilt about something in the past, or are fearful about something in the future. Robin would try to envision what could happen to her or in her life (The What-Ifs). She would work herself up until she had to learn to stay in the present. If she stayed present, she she could quiet the anxiety.
The single easiest way to stay present is, something I personally think is a lost art in itself, is to have an attitude of gratitude. BE GRATEFUL FOR THE THINGS YOU DO HAVE!!! Being grateful forces you to think about where you are and what you have at the very second. If someone doesn't like you (or vice versa), think in terms of energy. (If you're as positive as you can be, you won't match w/ someone who's energy is CONSTANT negativity.) That is something I can personally understand, sympathize and relate to!
Throughout her therapist, she was trying to get Robin to realize an exceedingly important point: we all have moments when we are unlikable. She tried to re-assure Robin what she TRULY thought of her when she FIRST met Robin. Robin had to realize to love everything about herself; the good, the bad & the uncomfortable. The therapist made Robin see that she was putting other people's opinions of Robin on a pedestal. Because of everyone else's views, by relation, Robin put herself lower than them. Without realizing it, Robin was infatuated w/ the audience's opinions of her.
Part of the work Robin had to do was knock down the opinions and bring up her self-esteem. She had to learn how to be confrontational and assertive in a nice way. In a nice way, Robin had to embrace her inner bitch! In order to do that, she had to let go of the vision Robin had of herself as a goody-two shoes. It wasn't realistic. There are days when we're angels to the world, others when we're a TOTAL bitch. THAT was the side of Robin she wouldn't allow herself to express. She wasn't being REAL, AUTHENTIC & DROPPING HER GUARD.
That was one thing Robin admired about others and worked on bringing herself to do it as well, being BLUNT and telling it like it is! She would always tell people what they wanted to hear. She didn't have the guts to give constructive criticism. Robin gave & earned more respect by being honest rather than passive. Being respected is more important in developing your confidence than just being liked. Around certain people, you always feel you have to be ON button, NEVER to show your REAL being. You affect every person you come into contact with in a positive or negative way. (Unless one person's negativity flows interrupt your positivity creating a domino affect.) To be off - to find your authentic self - you really need to go back to zero as much as possible. NO MATTER how it's done. You need to center yourself and relax in order to take on the necessary chaos. It would be the same environment when you can act a little stupid, sit around in your PJs & flip flops, as Robin describes.
Robin was making progress. She was seeing that she had incredibly pass-or-fail perceptions and limited views. If she failed, that's what she focused on! If she passed and took a step forward, Robin thought it was permanent. Robin didn't see that one step led to another. She'd seen it as a permanent spot. The moment you've overcome your challenge, a whole new set arise. At least Robin was learning to get herself unstuck.
In her experience, Robin found the Demartini Method a way of finding herself worthy. It simply asks questions. The answers put certain information into the nervous system to override the present labels. They force you to think your way out of your hang-ups. For Robin, it was her anxiety. You ask yourself these questions. The answers become your key information. However you choose to use that information is your choice. On certain things, Robin was so stubborn. She just wouldn't see the other side where the doctor was coming from. The doctor asked Robin to see how and what purpose the panic attacks served her? It completely confounded her that she couldn't see any way in the world those damn things helped her?
The doctor tried to get Robin to see the meaning behind the panic attacks rather than their benefit. Robin was flummoxed. He tried to tell her that if she looked at them from a different angle, the attacks wouldn't be something to fear and they wouldn't materialize. The doctor challenged Robin: Find 25-40 benefits of her panic attacks. How do they create trouble for others or benefit her? Think of the past, present & future. Write down the disadvantages in all areas of life and wonder how that can serve others? Early on in her therapy, Robin wouldn't have her panic attacks except for when she was on-air. Never anywhere else. That was her biggest fear. She was the breadwinner, scared to screw up, had a good job and had the what-ifs. But of course, they would came at the worst possible time.
Robin worked on them until she didn't fear them anymore. Robin was so wrapped up in her title & position that she constantly fantasized about the future and outcome of her panic attacks. She had to empower herself. Turn it around! Instead of seeing the anxiety, Robin seen the gratitude in them. They would help her position in life rather than hurt it. Robin was really making progress at this point.
They would go over-and-over this, Robin & the doctor. In a very serious tone, the doctor challenged Robin to figure out where it's as fantastic to be disliked as it is to be liked? So, Robin had to do ALOT of mental gymnastics. Once she did, the benefits for being disliked really surprised her. Robin seen some of the positive weight lifting from being disliked. NONE OF THIS OR THAT! There is actual downright free time for whatever you want. Once Robin opened the door and found reasons to be disliked, things began to click for her! It was totally and completely worth it! Robin began to have fun and show REAL change!
Robin had to do ALOT of writing for 3 hours w/ 3 separate pages for each category in life. The doctor had her do ALOT of writing, because if you write, you're taking action, and your brain responds better. (Something I can personally verify as proof!) Eventually, Robin began letting go of her original restrictions. Writing helps your brain feel as though you're taking action! It's ALOT better than to just sit & stew. (Even something small as a pro/con list.)
Robin's homework assignment from her therapist was to declare an answer to this question: What do you call a woman who confronts people? Write down the names you call people in your head. Robin's homework continued w/ the question: Why aren't you likable? Out of everything that Robin wrote down expressing, the doctor was trying to get her to recognize that she was all those things. Recognize where Robin was a bitch and where she was a jerk.
Robin, at the time, was subconsciously cursing herself for multiple reasons. One was that her career path wasn't going as planned. Instead of seeing the benefits and gratitude of the job, Robin seen the drawbacks. (The good, the bad & the ugly) She didn't feel the love or togetherness that she should at work. She really felt alone. Robin couldn't really bring herself to say it. So, the doctor told her to write down everything she liked & disliked about herself.
Within this process of balancing her thinking: the more Robin worked on it, the less negative she felt about herself. (I personally think this is a great task and everyone should do it at some point.) Robin had ALOT from just one sitting. Once she got the knack of the exercise, she began letting go of her original restrictions that she had. Robin was able to see that w/ that integration, when she delivered the news, she could be reflective and able to relate to her audience as a human being. Then the doctor surprised Robin by saying she/Robin how she's a dictator? Robin wondered what it meant and thought about it. After pondering it over, Robin got/understood its meaning. She thought about her own marriage. Still in some respects, we're all dictators in some aspect. (Ex. - something getting done to ANOTHER'S EXACT specifications)
The doctor pushed Robin to see, although she was 2 dementionally dictating the news,she was NOT having a reflective conscious. She wasn't having empathy. It would be like seeing herself and putting herself into the shoes of those she speaks of on-air. Speaks as though your coming from their experience. After hearing that, everything was in order. Robin was instantly quiet & humbled. Her eyes filled w/ tears. She felt a true warmth and knew she had a REAL breakthrough. It was a good and emotional moment. As soon as Robin seen to embark and broaden her perspective w/ humility, her mind began to open. Her contract in Chicago was ending, she didn't have to take whatever was open. Robin could explore her options.
Robin states a point, that I personally point out to others in life that I've come across, and that is we ALL have to recognize ourselves for what we are, NOT for what we do or have. (Putting this into my own words: I AM MORE THAN MY TITLES!) When everything is gone, the REAL you is still there! You are more than the sum of your experiences or resume. Robin delves so far into her past experience in her own life lesson about "frenemies". When she was in school, Robin was in student government, National Honor Society and band. Along w/ other popular girls as well. The girls showed disdain as Robin ventured to activities more to her liking such as drama club and choir. (Asserting her independence)
Robin soon had to learn to keep other things quiet. Secretiveness became her defense. It proved to be a very effective tool when she was in the Huron County Junior Miss Pageant. At one point, a fear to be victim of ridicule. The next becomes love & support. The way one person acts when in the company of others compared to being solo is the way Robin felt the "frenemies" operated. She was headlong into feeling excluded by the "frenemies" by the time she met her good friend, Julie (Jules) in high school, whom she met in typing class. When Robin met Jules, she seen something in her that Robin wished and admired to have herself. The ability to not care of others' opinions. On the outside, Robin was bubbly and upbeat. On the inside, he gut ached. One day, one of Robin & Jules' classmates took care of the taunting Robin received from the "frenemies" in a very Dixie Carter/Julia Sugarbaker tone that became a beautiful moment and it shut everyone up!
Robin usually sees that what she sees as a fault in someone has to do with what she likes/dislikes w/ herself. What she sees in others, she often mirrors what she thinks she sees in herself. When you feel belittled by another person's criticism, the other person has the same and directs it negatively. When you're hurt, those who damage you may not even know it going on all that time! They don't realize the hurt that's actually being brought on! The best way to remedy this is to PUT YOURSELF IN THE OTHER PERSON'S SHOES!! (both metaphorically, mentally and emotionally)
Robin still remembers and uses the advice & sayings she's heard from her parents growing up in Ohio. While both of her parents come from Kentucky stock, you couldn't find a bigger opposites attract. Robin's dad became a Christian at age 29. He'd taken what's dubbed as "the Hillbilly highway' to find work and had met Robin's mom. She was 18 and he was 21 when they married. Three years after becoming a Christian, he was preaching in the Church Of Christ. Of course, church was mandatory w/ NO EXCUSES. Robin's mother NEVER went to the/any church and never has. She loves and respects her husband, but she is her own person.
As a unit, they balanced each other out - even in their separate professions. Robin learned ALOT as a kid. She got the union mind-set from her dad, and she got the management viewpoint from her mom. Tim says his wife is definitely her parents daughter. They both taught their daughter the value of a dollar and that it could be gone. They also gave her NO-NONSENSE advice on office politics. If you talk as if you discount what you do in work, others WILL too! If you talk as if you VALUE your work, others WILL too! (Something I have done and others did see it through my eyes.) These tools have been drilled into Robin and her siblings when they were teens.
Robin's brother, Kevin, and his wife were still teenagers when they had their first child, Heather. Their parents babysat Heather ALOT, Robin's mom was a BIG influence on her granddaughter. Heather had her own personality from the start, even if Robin's mom did influence her. Thanks to her young niece's behavior, it made Robin grateful to have the balanced upbringing that she had. If you can find it in yourself, that balance, of variety in human nature, you'll be a more confidant and well-rounded person. Diversity in itself is a learning experience. Robin looked around at one point in her life and realized if she were to write a headline about herself it would be: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES ROBIN A WORKAHOLIC. Her life was definitely one-sided, especially in Chicago. Robin lived off adrenaline and the responsibility of providing a service to the community.
Just because you take your job seriously, doesn't mean you have to take yourself that way seriously. Become the author of your own life's "headline" (Think of your life as a headline, just like the one in the newspapers. What do you want your life's story headline to be!?) Don't take the credit if you're not willing to take the blame.
When you think about the earliest moments that brought you bliss, what do you see? The world around you may have taken notice, but it was something that just came natural to you. When you think back about the earliest moments that brought you bliss, what do you see? The world around you may have taken notice, but it was something that just came natural for you. For ALOT of people, what they do as children - wheat brought them feelings of confidence - ended up foreshadowing their life's passion. Sometimes expressing your passion can open ALOT of doors and lead to ALL kinds of experiences. (For me, I guess you could say it was writing. NOT a book synopsis, but REAL AUTHENTIC poetry, that speaks of REAL life. It never opened any doors for me, but it got EVERYTHING out that needed to be!)
In Robin's senior year of high school, she had to take an aptitude test to see what she was good at. It showed she should have nothing to do with numbers, which didn't surprise her. But the test did tell her that she was good at creative writing, reading & word comprehension. The instructions further on told her to "write down something in this field that you would like to do." Robin went blank. She looked over at her "frenemies" paper and seen she had similar aptitude results. (It wasn't a REAL test, so it wasn't cheating.) Robin peeked again and seen that neighbor had wrote that "she would like to be a broadcast news anchor" that she/Robin wrote down the same thing. And that's where Robin's whole professional life came from. Obviously, there was more to it. Robin loved watching the Cleveland News growing up.As she got older, this whole broadcast thing really began to percolate. Filling out the form for Huron County Miss, Robin was asked her career objective. Her objective was to become a world-renowned broadcaster and follow in the footsteps of Diane Sawyer. Robin's mom seen what her daughter had written and told her to be more realistic. It wasn't the belief in her daughter, it was that Robin wasn't great at public speaking. The sheer notion of a girl from the middle of a cornfield thinking she could make a living in broadcasting bordered on delirium. It would be like being in small town w/ the big city being across the bridge.
As she has gotten over her reticence in front of groups, Robin sees that her profession actually suits her. Therefore, Robin is more daring when it comes to getting a story than she is about anything else in life. Following her bliss had created a perfect harmony, between Robin's work, personality & natural bent. Could you be so resilient about a life changing situation and retain that positive mind-set? Robin's point was to show that positivity is contagious.
Being connected to your purpose is something magnetic. Everyone can see it and it's written all over your face drawing everyone else in. (For me, I can say that it was the 8 1/2 years I spent beginning small in volunteering and expanding bigger over time. I started small w/ one responsibility and more was added over that time.) Robin feels passionate about helping the audience start their day on a good note through the news show. It's joining in for the days news, but also an emotional caffeine jolt. Being passionate about the news and what you're talking about. Robin, herself, is attracted to health stories. News you can use, as well as anything Military and stories of veterans. Apart from other types of news stories, Robin is passionate about music.
People in today's society, I personally feel, don't acknowledge what they're grateful for. What they're able to do and how they use it. I'm not even talking about their talents, just what they're able to do. Robin is thankful/grateful for her 2 voices: One is her singing voice; the other is her speaking voice. She is grateful to have something to say & the ability to say it. In junior high, Robin was indifferent about watching TV. She had a strong personality. She was her own person. She wasn't dependent on distractions like Punky Brewster, The Smurfs or General Hospital (such as case in point Luke/Laura's wedding). Robin didn't need television. The family just had togetherness time without the TV! For a kid, patience only runs so long. Robin's nonchalant attitude vanished after a few days. Robin & Kevin's parents were so impressed w/ the "togetherness" the family displayed without television, it became a longer lasting experiment. For Robin, the "cool kids" at school would talks about popular she didn't had no idea what they were talking about. While others talked of having "the latest", Robin was grateful for what she had.
When they finally got the TV replaced, after a couple of weeks but to Robin felt like half a school year, the family sat googly-eyed and gorged themselves on Gilligan's Island and Alice reruns. The irony is that Robin ended up making her living from television. Do you have honest gratitude for innate gifts and the opportunities life has afforded you? What are you taking for granted? Robin became the most grateful for her voice after being in the position of losing it - once figuratively and the other literally.Although words are her stock-in-trade, it was a truly life-changing self-affirmation w/ gratitude feeling Robin felt when it she returned. She lost lost her speaking voice due to having so much anxiety. Her voice box worked fine, she just lost her ability to speak comfortably in public.
After that experience, recognizing both of those gifts helped preserve Robin's confidence. Recognize your talents and BE GRATEFUL to have them. What that is something to be grateful for, there is the ability to recognize where your void becomes your value. Robin valued becoming a journalist, the void would be to speak in front of people. Your void, in other words, is the rockiness that is in your way, while your value is the road/steps to your goal/dream. It also carries a double meaning. Your void becomes your value being the way you make a living and the way you define yourself. (For example - a boss letting you decide what your pay should be.) Turning a negative into a positive. Your void is the very thing you overcome. Robin wanted to succeed so badly in television news because wasn't so sure she could master it. That was the void, therefore she put value to it.
|Salute To Troops|
In 2008, Robin began taking pilot lessons to do something that scares her most. (If you're going to do it, go all the way.) She was never a fan of flying, especially after 9-11-2001. But the greatest tool is is to use the info if needed on the air and in life. It really benefits Robin both personally and professionally, as well as really piquing her interest. Her first lesson was scary, but exciting. The instructor wanted her to look around for fun, but she was ramrod straight. She had the opportunity to land after a takeoff, but Robin was beat! With her second lesson, she was a bit more secure. The value was the excitement within this new venture. The void is feeling uncomfortable on airliners. Think of where your void becomes your value. Even something painful can have its benefits. (Reading this, I instantly thought of myself, as well as others who are LGBT and the coming out process.)
Do It Yourself home decor was intriguing to Robin. But she had NO IDEA where to start. She learned a MASSIVE lesson doing it herself without taking a class or instruction. A few years later, Robin got the bug to do it again. This time, she took lessons and was the star of her class. She used what she learned in class at home and got rave reviews from others. After moving to Atlanta, Robin got another bug, window dressing. Her mom came to visit and helped her daughter w/ the creation of Robin's design. Now, her home decor is featured in magazines and TV! Having a team in place, as Robin had w/ Tim and her mom w/ the MASSIVE wall painting disaster, is a good jump start to your own confidence. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!!
Is there anyone who, I guess you could say, has an "alter ego". You're one way in public and another way in private? Robin & Tim first met during her senior year of college. She was a transfer student from Malone College. She was doing just fine in her education until she got her first internship. It was in Washington, D.C. and she was going to intern at C-SPAN. After the cutthroat experience, Robin seen she needed more. So that's when she transferred to Ashland University. Robin wanted to live in the dorm, which was 30 minutes away. She wanted to live the college experience, NOT drive it. After realizing the expenses, Robin switched schools over Christmas.
Robin's life was so bereft of social activity that she didn't realize that "Mr. Fraternity"/Tim had been watching his wife from afar. She first noticed his football injury. She didn't know. And thus a true love story began. Tim spotted Robin on campus the year she transferred and thought she was a professor because she dressed up so much. The dressing up was because of her evening job as a reporter. Tim kept trying to find out more about this girl. The next year they would cross paths a few times a week and he would say hello to her. She would also notice his nice smile. One reason Robin fell in love with Tim was that he was so supportive of her career aspirations. They dated for 3 years and were married in 1993 when she was working in Columbus. They had a HUMONGOUS wedding.
Tim is the ying to her yang. The patient to the impatient. For a time, Tim stayed home and was a househusband given the demands of his wife's career. He would cook, clean, keep house and pay the bills. Tim did it ALL! Humor has been the key to their marriage. Entertain each other! Show gratitude to and for each other. Praise goes a long way. Robin stated your spouse is the same person you stood with before the alter. It's hard to see the hurt when the person you're with is NO LONGER that same person. Tim has treated Robin like a lady from day one. They are both confident in their relationship, and confident in themselves as individuals. (The last chapter of this book speaks on 'How To Be A Good Spouse'.) Robin has found her confidence w/ her and hopes you CAN find yours.
This book has ended and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE of it!
Positivity - These lyrics can show the exact same example as what I got/get from Robin.