Imagine hearing a calming, kind voice with thoughtful pauses and enthusiastic conversation. That’s Susan during this interview.
1. Tell us about yourself.
When I think of myself, I think of experience. Because I am 78 years old. And I will turn 79 in February (of 2023) and I’m going to be entering my 50th year in real estate. I started in 1974 and that was honestly my first real job other than camp counseling when I was in high school and going through college. I think that’s the most important word and that’s where I add experience and value to other people. I’ve sold real estate and I’ve done coaching since 1986 (where I did real estate sales training) then I transitioned to sales coaching. Most coaching today revolves around sales. I sell real estate, products for my mentor, and I teach sales and train people.
My favorite thing to do, I LOVE to be outdoors. A sunrise, a sunset, a field, the everglades. I love to read. I read constantly. I’ve probably read every self-help book ever written. I love personal development, that is my passion. And I love mysteries. I could a mystery a day. I enjoy them. And I love a good mystery on TV or a program around action.
2. What tactics have you found the most useful in building your self-confidence?
[Pause] First of all, I think taking action builds self-confidence. As you move towards a goal, and you know that you can do it, that helps build your self-confidence. I believe that listening to good audio, I loved the old fashioned tapes where I would just listen to affirming type of content. That helped me. Reading helped me. I have always been a goal-setter. So as I achieved goals, my self-confidence built. I had to do a lot of work because as a child, unfortunately, I was always told “you’re not going to amount to anything, you’re not going to be successful”. So I always felt I had something to prove. If I hadn’t started just reading, listening, and knowing that I could succeed, I probably never would have.
So I think building resources helps build your confidence.
3. When you’re having a bad day, what helps you get out of the funk?
I love these questions. They’re very very good.
I have favorite readings, favorite things I like to read. Every year at the end of the year, I write out a list. I go through my calendar and I write out the things I’ve achieved that year or what’s happened on a specific day or things I’ve accomplished. Then I put them on the back of my coming year calendar. So when I’m having a bad day, I look at the list of what I accomplished in the last year, it helps me feel good and feel better.
Now when I’m in a real funk, a string of bad days. You know, we all go through those. I have a list. I create a list of every action. I don’t care what it is, it could be “make the bed”. That ability to strike something out that you accomplished on that day, it seems to turn things around and that day feels better and better. You may have a list of 20 items but you crossed 5 off and that’s five off you took care of.
Eileen: I like that you went to a description of a funk for a day but also a period of a funk. I feel like people go through ebbs and flows and it doesn’t matter how positive you are, sometimes you feel low and have a period where focusing on being positive is so difficult. Thank you for sharing that.
On a daily basis though, as you track those biorhythms, you can work to change those areas (how you feel physically, thinking spiritually, creativity is your relationships, and emotionally it’s your feelings). And emotions are what really jump on any given day. It’s how we feel emotionally.
4. What are the key areas of focus for your self-care routine?
Ok. I have gone through seasons with my care. I will tell you, as you can see me, I don’t do makeup. I don’t do pretty much anything now. I do have a monthly facial just to try to keep my skin as wrinkle free as I can, though, there are a lot of character lines here now. I really love the idea of massages. I used to do those regularly but I don’t do it at this time.
One of the problems I have, I need to stretch. That is the most important thing to me. Because as you get older, things do tend to tighten up. I’ve had stretching sessions with a trainer. I’ve found those very beneficial. Now I do those exercises for myself.
I look at care as just, self-care. Putting myself first before other people. That’s been the hardest thing for me as I always want to make other people happy. But I have found as I’ve gotten older, that if I take care of myself, it’s easier to take care of other people.
I have sensitive skin. I’m very simple. Dove for sensitive skin. Keep my hair. I think the best thing I ever did was when I stopped dying my hair and I went gray. I did it before COVID and I know a lot people decided during COVID. I keep my hair short because I think it makes me look a little sassy.
I like to hang out with younger people because that keeps me young, not a fan of older people. I don’t consider myself old even though I am.
But that’s it. Everyone in my office is 20-25 years younger than I am. I just like to hang with young people. That’s what keeps you young.
5. Do you wear makeup? If so, what is your makeup routine?
I will wear makeup when it’s important. The makeup is more for show to show up better. I use Clinique. Simple, non-allergenic very light makeup because I’m very sensitive skin. I wear lipstick and I’ll do an eyeliner.
I did have eyebrow and eyeliner tattooing done five years ago. I know you might ask this later on. I consider my eyes my best feature, they are green and golden in color. So I like framing them with a little eyeliner and that helps in not having to wear makeup. I do try to keep my face clean. I’ve been blessed with very nice skin.
6. What is your favorite self-care activity before bed?
Oh I have an evening routine. I do puzzles. I have 5 games I play on my Ipad. I do Solitaire, a pyramid card game, a word game, I do one of those— a word search. I do one where you have to match numbers and letters. And then I do a jigsaw puzzle. And that’s the last thing I do at night. That’s probably not a good thing- you know your supposed to stop using electronics an hour before you go to sleep so I don’t always go to sleep right away.
Gotta keep the brain young.
7. What is your favorite feature about yourself? What’s maybe something you’re more insecure about?
My ears. I have very large ears. And then, now, I think it comes with, again, I don’t know if it’s an age thing or having worn earrings for so long, my ear lobes for so long. I hate my ears.
Eileen: I’ve never noticed your ears being any different.
I haven’t liked them since I was a child.
Eileen: I see you and I see your eyes, your smile, and your personality.
Well that’s what I’m hoping everyone sees.
8. How have you learned to love yourself over time?
That was hard.
It was a hard thing because, again, my childhood.. It wasn’t that it was abusive other than maybe emotionally and verbally. We were four sisters. There was 13 years between me and my oldest sister and then I had a younger sister who was 4 years younger than me.
Virtually, we were two different families. My older sisters were very bright, very competitive, always looking for accomplishments. In my fathers eyes, I didn’t measure up. My younger sister had some problems for which I was to blame, though it wasn’t me, it was my parents. Those things play havoc with your self-esteem. So you have to do a lot of things to get over that. And again, I think that’s why I read the type of books I read and I did so much work in personal development. I think that’s why I had the need to be at the top of my game. When my husband and I first married, I was a corporate wife and I felt everything had to be perfect. I had to cook and clean and I wanted people to see I was the perfect wife that took care of my family.
The only thing I didn’t do. I didn’t go to school. And I felt at the time it was of value, and I didn’t have the self-esteem of being a college graduate. It took me many years to realize that you don’t need a college degree to be a success. There are many fields where you don’t need a college degree to achieve high marks. I found that in real estate. I reached high sales, I was successful. I wanted to help other people achieve that success. I wanted to help other people along the way. The money part wasn’t important to me. Through helping other people, I built my self esteem. I achieved who I am now by helping through others.
9. If you have one piece of advice for people working on their self-confidence and overcoming insecurities, what is that advice?
You know.. I love the quote “If it is to be, it is up to me” and I love the thought that “you are fully resourced to do what you want to do in life.”
If you know that you can do anything you want in life, and you can.
Just do it.
And in the doing.
You will be.