Episode 172

Follow, Rate & Review On Your Favorite Podcast Player

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsPodchaserSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadioAmazon MusicTuneInPlayer.fmYouTubeRSS

Video Episode

Authentic Happiness. Dr Jessica Houston

Episode Description

What would happen if you went from desiring success to experiencing success? 

As someone who has surmounted experiences with poverty, depression, and intimate partner violence, this week’s guest, Dr. Jessica Houston, was not as confident as she is today. In fact, there were many instances where fear and self-doubt held her back.

As a transformational speaker and award-winning author, Dr. Jessica Houston’s messaging and platform are influenced by her experience in leadership development, mental health, and higher education. She currently serves as a professor at Purdue University and owns and operates Expecting Victory, a professional development training company.

Dr. Jessica and I tackle the true meaning of Authentic Happiness. By choosing to heal old habits, beliefs, or trauma, we can find the freedom to be our true selves rather than who we think we should be.

[4:16] Getting a taste of what a successful life could look like.
[8:57] The dangers of suffering in silence.
[13:49] Temporary false happiness versus Authentic Happiness.
[19:56] Being aware of your habits and thought patterns.
[22:43] Why suppressed feelings come out during moments of high stress and fear.
[25:20] You cannot fix anything that you’re not willing to face.

Bridge the gap between desiring and experiencing with Dr. Jessica’s free training. Position yourself for your Next Big Breakthrough and shift your destiny.

Connect With Dr. Jessica Houston

Dr. Jessica’s Books

Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do? What we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years, wait, let me say 25 because that makes me sound younger.I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions. And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not.

I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been and sometimes still is an emotional roller coaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news, you and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks and life challenges as well. Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

[00:01:06] Bob Wheeler: Our next guest, Dr. Jessica Houston travels nationally and internationally inspiring 1000s of college students, corporate executives and conference attendees every year as a keynote speaker and peak performance consultant.

Her messaging and platform are heavily influenced by her experience in leadership development, mental health and higher education, which expands more than a decade. She currently serves as a professor at Purdue University and owns and operates a successful personal and professional development training company. Dr. Jessica, it’s so wonderful to have you here today.

[00:01:38] Dr. Jessica Houston: It’s so excited to be here.

[00:01:41] Bob Wheeler: I want to just jump in right away. I am so curious about your childhood. When you were growing up, did you have this idea that, hey, I’m going to go out and be a motivational speaker. I’m going to be a keynote speaker. I’m going to inspire people, and I’m going to work as a professor. Was that on the agenda as a kid?

[00:02:01] Dr. Jessica Houston: It was not. I always think about how often people ask you what you want to be when you grew up. So accent Police Officer, Attorney, Judge, Teacher like all Oh, I didn’t know. But definitely not motivational speaker that was not.

[00:02:20] Bob Wheeler: Not on the list. Now, did you have any siblings, and where did you fall in the birth order?

[00:02:27] Dr. Jessica Houston: I am the first, so the oldest. And then I have kind of split family with my dad having kids and then my mom. So my mom, I have a sister and a brother. They are younger than me and then my dad, I have a sister and two brothers who are younger than me.

[00:02:47] Bob Wheeler: Okay. All right. Well, the bigger the better. The more the merrier, right sometimes. And do you think that birth order played any role, like being your mom’s first child that there were expectations or mistakes made with like, first time out?

[00:03:06] Dr. Jessica Houston: So I think the things that I’ve read about birth order with the first being more nurturing, leading achieving, I can definitely see that in me. And I was pretty much like their second mom all.

So yeah, I was definitely expected to do more to know more. I always think about how kids are now when I was nine or 10. I was cleaning, I knew how to cook and I knew how to do everything. And so it did cause me to miss out on some of the childhood things because I definitely was expected to be more mature.

[00:03:42] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and did your parents talk about money at all with you? Do you remember conversations either positive or negative, or were things not spoken about?

[00:03:53] Dr. Jessica Houston: So this is the weird part, living with my mom. It was a great home, but we didn’t have a lot of money. So the thing that I remembered was struggle that you know, we got to pay the bills, we got to get government assistance, food stamps, you name it. But then my biological dad is actually an attorney.

[00:04:16] Dr. Jessica Houston: And although I did grow up in poverty, whenever I went to visit him, I was able to see, oh wow, he lives on a golf course. So and then my other siblings, they actually went to private school, they had the designer clothing, all of that. So I did get a taste of what life could be like but we still struggled financially. And even with my biological dad, being as fluent as he was. He still didn’t really teach me about money.

[00:04:48] Bob Wheeler: And do you recall as you saw your younger siblings going into private school, designer labels seen life on the golf course, was there any bit of why didn’t I get that, like, what’s going on here?

[00:05:02] Dr. Jessica Houston: Oh gosh, definitely. And if I can be honest, it caused me to resent my dad for a very long time. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I literally had to choose to say, I forgive you. And not to him directly, but just saying it out loud so that I could get over it. Because my thought was always why did I struggle when I had a dad who was making this kind of money, and his wife is a judge.

So if you put that together, he owns a law firm, and she’s a judge, they lived pretty good.

[00:05:34] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, it feels like there’s no justice there.

[00:05:38] Dr. Jessica Houston: Oh yeah, right

[00:05:40] Bob Wheeler: Oh man, I can’t even imagine. So one of the things that you talked about, or briefly shared with me, was that when you were younger, and with this poverty, you made a vow not to be poor, like, made a vow that you weren’t going to be broke, that it was going to be better. And maybe that didn’t quite happen. But could you tell me a little bit about this vow, and how it served you or didn’t serve you?

[00:06:05] Dr. Jessica Houston: So that vow was a result of me not ever wanting to struggle again, not ever wanting to have a roof in the home where when it rained, we had to put pots to catch the water, or, you know, going into foreclosure and literally being homeless, having to go to thrift stores to shop, it was just like, I do not want to ever experience this again.

[00:06:31] Dr. Jessica Houston: And even when I graduated, and I began to make money, I still and I still do sometimes like stock up on things I never want to run out. And so sometimes I believe I still have that belief. I just can’t run out. And so yeah, I believe that it followed me for a very long time it was a driver, but it definitely stuck with me.

[00:06:53] Bob Wheeler: That personal experience is certainly very real. It’s very personal, the poverty, the relationship with your parents, are you aware of any of the systemic that played in? In other words, being a person of color being a woman being in a lower social economic group? How did any of that play in? And did you have any awareness of that?

[00:07:15] Dr. Jessica Houston: So I believe definitely for my mom, because she was 19, when she had me, she was still a kid herself. So she did as best as she could. And she did try to go and work. But then things happened. And she wasn’t able to work. And then she had my sister, and then she had my brother. And so it was just this cycle of struggle. But that’s why I think that I work so hard, because not only did I not want to struggle, I want to be able to help my mom not to struggle as well.

[00:07:48] Bob Wheeler: And you know, a lot of people say, well just go out and make money or just work hard and then it all comes together. But you and I know that life gets in the way we can be dealing with poverty, we can be dealing with depression, we can be dealing with domestic violence, we can be dealing with all these obstacles that maybe nobody else sees. But they’re very real and very present. They’re just invisible to everybody else. How did any of that play a role? And how did you work through that, because it can be debilitating?

[00:08:25] Dr. Jessica Houston: Definitely. And so one of the things that I experienced growing up was, my mom would always say to me, what happens in this house stays in this house. And I have a feeling that that was set in a lot of houses. And so I grew up saying, Okay, I can’t let any money and I can’t let anyone know, I’m struggling. And so there were times when I was in college, I was in a physically abusive relationship and I stayed in that relationship for six years. I struggled with low self-confidence.

[00:08:57] Dr. Jessica Houston: I didn’t like the person that I saw in the mirror. And I struggled with depression. And what a lot of people don’t realize is, when I was in college, I literally could have overdosed on pills. Because I felt like I wasn’t measuring up, I was out, I was partying, I was drinking, I was just having a good time.

And I thought if my mom ever finds out, she’s gonna be just so ashamed of me that it would probably make more sense for me to not even be here.

[00:09:26] Dr. Jessica Houston: So my depression wasn’t just oh, I’m feeling sad. I really had a deep depression. And even beyond college, I still struggled with it for a long time. And I didn’t pull out of it until I actually had my daughter, and I knew that I had to do some work on myself in order to become a better parent.

[00:09:45] Bob Wheeler: You know, it’s so interesting to me that so many times it takes having another person for us to advocate for ourselves, right? We won’t go out and fully advocate for ourselves and set the boundaries and announce our intent.

[00:10:00] Bob Wheeler: But when there’s somebody else involved, we will rise above.

[00:10:05] Dr. Jessica Houston: Absolutely

[00:10:06] Bob Wheeler: What kept you going before you had your daughter? What was it that even in the back of your mind, I could be doing the drugs, and I’m trying to numb out the pain. But there was something that had to have some little voice that just said, Dr. Jessica, just let’s keep going.

[00:10:23] Dr. Jessica Houston: Yes, it was definitely my faith. I’m a person of faith and just really trying to do the self-talk to talk myself out of how I was feeling. And a lot of times, it was me pretending and so I wouldn’t be happy around everyone else. But I wouldn’t get into my funk, I would say, or my low place until I was alone.

[00:10:45] Dr. Jessica Houston: And so with me having a husband, it meant me crying on my way to work, or me crying in the bathroom, or just trying to find a spot where I could just like, just let all the feelings out. And so for me, it was just pretending that I’m happy. And I was encouraging everyone and motivating people and counseling people. Yeah, I had those inward struggles myself that no one knew about.

[00:11:11] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And can you talk to that a little bit more, because I think there are people out there. I know, I was one of these people who had all the shame. I had all the outward appearances of being successful and comfortable. And inside living a life of terror, everything terrified me, everything was going to kill me literally go into a self-help workshop, I told my friend, I will die.

[00:11:35] Bob Wheeler: And I believed it at that time, and it was very real. And so can you speak to that piece about potentially the shame, as you’re outwardly doing the right things, inspiring other people and yet internally, there may be a shame, or a place where we want to hide that we don’t quite have it dialed in?

[00:11:57] Dr. Jessica Houston: It’s really easy to feel alone, it’s easy to feel like no one understands, it’s easy to feel like, I don’t think anyone else has ever experienced this when the truth is a lot of people have experienced depression. And the statistics show that at least one in 10 people will experience depression over their lifetime.

[00:12:20] Dr. Jessica Houston: And that means they are someone who is smiling. And they are the life of the party when they are in your presence. But when they are alone, and it’s just them. That’s when the depression hits. That’s when the struggle, the self-pity, the frustration begins to really reveal itself.

[00:12:41] Bob Wheeler: Was there a specific moments that you can remember where you stopped and said, I’m pivoting. Like I am done? And I may still have some struggles, but I am moving forward. Do you recall something where there was an event, or just a mindset, you woke up one day and said, enough, I’m gonna show up fully?

[00:13:03] Dr. Jessica Houston: I think it took a while for me to realize just how short life is. Once I realized that, okay, every day that I’m depressed, I just lost the day to depression. And for me, it was I’ll be happy when this happened when I get married when I have a child when I make more money. And so I just kept moving the marker back. And it’s like, when are you going to ever be happy?

[00:13:27] Dr. Jessica Houston: And so I had to really start just reading about authentic happiness and just going to personal development workshops, as you mentioned, buying books and just trying to figure out how can I be a happier person with the end and not expect someone else to make me happy, but what can I do to generate that happiness from within?

[00:13:49] Bob Wheeler: Why is authentic happiness important?

[00:13:53] Dr. Jessica Houston: Authentic happiness is important because we have social media now. And we see a lot of people who appear happy, but they are not happy at all. It’s so easy to smile for the camera, hold the camera up, you’re happy. But then you turn the camera off and you can get into bed and pull the covers over your head.

[00:14:16] Dr. Jessica Houston: So when you’re authentically happy, it’s not I’m just putting on I’m not just smiling for the camera. I’m not just smiling for my family, but I am truly happy. No, and that does not mean that my life is perfect. So let me make that clear. It’s really a decision that in spite of what I’m dealing with right now I choose to be happy.

[00:14:38] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And do you find in your current life, any places where if you’re struggling with money, that your self-esteem or your self-worth is tied to your bank account, or have you separated those two, and knowing that whether you’re up or down financially has nothing to do with who you are?

[00:15:00] Dr. Jessica Houston: Oh yes, I’ve definitely been able to separate the two. And I realized that I’m valuable. And it doesn’t matter what is in my bank account, the thing is that you can earn money, you can lose it, and you can earn it again. But there is only one you. And so I just have to keep reminding myself of that, that there is no price tag that can be placed or my life.

[00:15:27] Bob Wheeler: Do you talk with your daughter about money and happiness? Do you have intentional conversations with her about this stuff?

[00:15:36] Dr. Jessica Houston: I do, and she’s grown up in such a different environment that she really doesn’t get it. As far as the struggle. She’s never had to experience that. If she wants something. She’s like, Oh Mom, you can get it like it’s, and I’m like, No, I can but you are not gonna get it. So she definitely, she understands money.

[00:15:59] Dr. Jessica Houston: But I think when you grow up in an environment where things come to you easily, you don’t necessarily understand what it’s like to really be excited, like, wow, I got this. I think sometimes when kids get a lot, it’s a little excitement but like, Okay, I expect my parents to do this for me.

[00:16:19] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Do you recall ever say to your daughter, when I was a kid?

[00:16:27] Dr. Jessica Houston: All the time, all the time. And I tell her I say I have. My mom was old school. So she did not play. She did not allow me to say anything back. Like my daughter is very verbal. And I’m like, Oh, my goodness, I don’t know if he would have made it in my house.

[00:16:46] Bob Wheeler: Grandma might not have been so kind and loving if she had been mom.

[00:16:50] Dr. Jessica Houston: She’s very kind and loving. But yeah, she did not play with me or my siblings.

[00:16:57] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and when you are out in the world these days, how do you talk to people about mindset, and talk to people about going for it and not living a life of mediocrity? How do you get people to rise up above because I think there’s so many people out there, they want to do better, they want to be better, they know better. And yet, there’s maybe a fear or something that convinces them to hold back.

[00:17:25] Dr. Jessica Houston: Yes. And it can be various reasons why they are holding back. Sometimes it’s I don’t want to leave behind my family and friends. Maybe this is what they do. This is their lifestyle. And maybe they’ll think I’m acting funny, or maybe they’ll think I believe that I’m better than them now that I’ve moved into a different environment or a different lifestyle. But the thing is, again, you only get one shot at this. And so my belief is that you want to maximize every moment.

[00:18:01] Dr. Jessica Houston: And you don’t want to settle. And so if I see that, I’m not doing my best, I don’t need anyone to call me out, I will call myself out. If I see that I didn’t hit a goal. I don’t go and say, oh well, so and so could have helped me. It’s like, no, what could you do, Jessica, to make this happen?

Now maybe you can ask for support. But at the end of the day, it’s your life. It’s your business. It’s your career. And so we have to take our lives, our businesses, our careers seriously and give our all every single time.

[00:18:37] Bob Wheeler: And how do we learn to ask for support, because you shared for you personally, everything that happens in this house stays at home. So you couldn’t share things. Even with your husband, you had to cry in the car, you had to find your quiet moments that you got your alone time, which I think is incredibly important people, if you’re out there, find that place, even if it’s sitting in a parking lot, for 10 minutes, find that quiet you time.

But how do you get people to reach out because even you said yourself it was hard. It’s hard to ask him for support.

[00:19:06] Dr. Jessica Houston: It was a, I had to learn, I had to learn that there are some things that I can work through on my own. But there are other things that require support. Maybe it requires the support of a helping professional of a therapist of an accountant like someone who can help me and so I had to realize that I’m doing myself a disservice by trying to work through things that I don’t necessarily have expertise in.

[00:19:35] Bob Wheeler: And when you started doing the work when you started realizing all this stuff and I’m asking this for the readers because people can hear this. Oh, I need to start doing the work. Was it fun and just easy and joyful when you’re self-reflecting and looking at all your warts and all that it’s just so much fun?

[00:19:56] Dr. Jessica Houston: I wish it fun, the end result is fun because really what it takes is discipline, it takes being intentional. It takes of your belief patterns and what we call a neuro pathways. And if you’ve been thinking a certain way for 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, it’s not going to change overnight.

So it can also become frustrating when you think you’ve gotten beyond something. And then one day, you’re like, wait a minute, I just did that again, like, I thought I was over that.

[00:20:30] Dr. Jessica Houston: So it does take work. And sometimes you can turn around and say, Oh my goodness, how did I, how did I get back here again? But it’s okay, and it requires self-compassion. Because we’re not meant to be perfect. That’s really how do you grow, you grow because you make a mistake, and you figure it out, and you try it again, we don’t come out already talking and walking, like, we got to go through a whole period of childhood and growth and it’s the same thing with changing your mindset, but just be aware.

[00:21:04] Dr. Jessica Houston: How do I handle the sense when someone offends me? And so that’s something that I struggled with a lot. And even now, I realized that if I maybe didn’t get a good night’s rest, or whatever, I My patience is a little bit shorter than it is, when I’ve gotten a good night’s rest, or I’ve gotten my meditation or whatever I needed to do to start my day, if I get off track, I have to look at okay, yes, they said something offensive, but I could have responded better. And that’s doing the work, like being honest with yourself about your response.

[00:21:39] Bob Wheeler: Well, that’s awesome. And I love what you said, I’ve never heard this before. How do I deal with offense, and we’re so offended these days, you turn the car in front of me, that was a personal attack on me. You’re trying to take out my humanity, because you bumped your cart into my cart, and we’re so offended so easily these days. I love that you’re stopping to ask that question. How do I deal with offense?

[00:22:08] Bob Wheeler: I think right, there is an opportunity for us to take a breath and ground when we’re being offended. Because sometimes, in that moment, we’re just bent out of shape. But if we could just stop for a moment, say, how am I going to handle this offense?

Why am I offended? What’s the pain that I might have to feel if I actually felt what was truly going on? I feel like I’m being missed. I feel like I’m not valid, and it may be much more than somebody just pulling in front of you. It may be years of self-negative story, or whatever.

[00:22:43] Dr. Jessica Houston: Absolutely, a lot of trauma. And what we often do is we suppress what we’re feeling and so it comes out in those moments. Yeah,

[00:22:54] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely, are there any vows from childhood that you’re aware of that still creep in that you’re still like, Oh my God, could you sort of just move along?

[00:23:06] Dr. Jessica Houston: I think probably one of the things that I dealt with, for the longest period of time is rejection, and feeling rejected by my dad, feeling rejected by sometimes my peers, maybe not having all of the things that I want it to have, or the clothing or the shoes or being the oldest child, and looking at my siblings get toys, and I probably got nothing, or maybe something for 20 or 30 bucks.

[00:23:34] Dr. Jessica Houston: So I felt rejected. And so even in becoming an adult, I would just handle rejection, like it would just send me into a frenzy. It would, and even then, when I started my business, it was like, you know, a part of business, like you’re gonna be rejected. And so I quit. Even now, it’s like, girl, you better just keep going, just keep going. When it tries to come back, I just like, No, we’re not going there.

[00:24:04] Bob Wheeler: We’re not going there. And do you do that through meditation? Do you do it through breathing, is there a mechanism where you say, oh, there it is, like, how do you catch it so that you cannot spin?

[00:24:17] Dr. Jessica Houston: Yes, I definitely do breathing and I pay attention to what I’m feeling in that moment. And I say, I am feeling rejected right now. I feel that, but I don’t have it.

[00:24:30] Bob Wheeler: Right. And can you talk a little bit more to that, that feels so important, actually feeling the rejection. In other words, not pushing it away, not pointing it at the other people but stopping and saying, oh, in this moment, I’m feeling rejection. I’m feeling rejected, I’m feeling lost whatever it might be. Can you talk to that a little bit more?

[00:24:53] Dr. Jessica Houston: Yes, because it helps me to be honest with myself and I think that we’re really, really good at fooling other people and having them to believe we’re happy or that we have it all together. But I think it’s important for us to be honest with ourselves, and you cannot fix anything that you’re not willing to face. And so for years, I didn’t want to admit that I struggled with rejection.

[00:25:20] Dr. Jessica Houston: But when I admit that, and as you mentioned, I started taking that in and saying, I feel rejected, it loses its power gradually. And it doesn’t cause me to just want to stop and throw in the towel. And this is the other thing, maybe you’re not throwing in the towel for a week, but maybe for a couple of hours for the rest of the day, but then look at your level of productivity.

[00:25:47] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And I think when we own it, when we just acknowledge, it does take the power out of it, there is such a freedom. It’s also accountability. Because I know for me, since my measure was this will kill me, you know, going through a grocery line, and people judging what I’m buying at the grocery store is going to kill me, right learning to be able to stop and say, Oh, this didn’t kill me.

[00:26:13] Bob Wheeler: Oh, cool that didn’t kill me that didn’t, so that it became okay, I could try this out, might be really, really uncomfortable. I might feel really, really terrible about myself. And it’s not killing me. Can you talk a little bit about your own personal trauma, because it’s different for everybody, and everybody has different levels of trauma?

[00:26:35] Bob Wheeler: And some people will go, you didn’t have trauma, it’s not for anybody else to decide what our trauma is. And we each have a process of hopefully, getting past it. And you had trauma, which effected all other aspects of your life, being able to move forward being able to flourish, what were some of the things that you did that helped anchor you and helped pull you forward?

[00:27:00] Dr. Jessica Houston: For me, it was that decision to stop suppressing it. And I started journaling and writing it out. A lot of it really came out when I was writing my first book as well. Because when you’ve gone through some really tough things, the only thing your mind wants to do is forget that it happened or pretend that it never happened.

[00:27:22] Dr. Jessica Houston: And so for me, a part of it was bringing it back up and releasing it. And also, some people don’t believe it forgiving. But for me, that released me when I forgave the people who either intentionally or unintentionally caused me to experience trauma. And that was like a burden was lifted, because even holding on to the anger was hurting me, if that makes sense.

[00:27:54] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s so hard sometimes to step back and realize the people that are hurting us, intentionally and unintentionally, are reacting from their wounds, or reacting from their blind spots. And so I say this a lot that parents don’t grow up intentionally saying, I can’t wait to like mess up these children.

[00:28:16] Dr. Jessica Houston: Right

[00:28:17] Bob Wheeler: They grow up, you know, the best intentions of I’m going to do better, and then miss the mark, because life gets in the way or past traumas get in the way. And so to be able to have that compassion, and the willingness to forgive them is so freeing is so freeing. Now, I’m curious, you wrote, you said your first book. So that means you wrote more books, or that’s my assumption I’m going to make. How did you write your first book, and what was the impetus?

[00:28:44] Dr. Jessica Houston: So my first book was titled ‘Women Secrets’, it’s time to stop suffering in silence. So really, our conversation today, a lot of that was inside of my first book. And it was really about stopping the silent suffering and it’s called ‘Women Secrets’.

[00:29:04] Dr. Jessica Houston: But men actually read it. And they’ve said, Thank you for writing this book, it helped me. Some said that they shared it with their wives and their wives finally came to them and said, I was abused, or this happened to me, and I never shared this with you. So I definitely believe that book has made an impact, and it continues to make an impact on others.

[00:29:24] Bob Wheeler: That is inspiring, because I think when we tell our stories, it gives other people permission to own their stories, or to also say, oh, my gosh, I’m not alone. Because I think, at least for me, when we’re in trauma, when we’re in pain when we’re in depression, it’s very isolating because we think we’re the only one.

[00:29:47] Bob Wheeler: And so of course, if we don’t tell anybody, it just amplifies, and the more we can start to share stories and say me too, me too. Oh, yeah. And that it widens the web. For those that don’t feel they have a voice.

[00:30:03] Dr. Jessica Houston: Definitely, I have a video with Mo diversity, conquering depression. And I get messages almost every day, saying thank you so much for sharing your story of depression. This helped me I was at a low moment. And just hearing you talk about your experience and what you’ve done to overcome, it helped me. And so I believe that it does help when we are vulnerable enough to share our stories.

[00:30:34] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s just an amazing perspective. And I’m so glad that you’re out there, sharing your story, personalizing these things so that other people can recognize in themselves that they have the potential to rise above it, work through it, forgive, let go and have that life that they want.

[00:30:56] Dr. Jessica Houston: Absolutely

[00:30:57] Bob Wheeler: Dr. Jessica, we are at our Fast Five, and the Fast Five are brought to you by cube money, which is a cash envelope system made easy. It’s real time financial awareness without the hassle of tracking expenses and carrying cash. I don’t know if you ever used the envelope system. My family we didn’t have always have a lot of money and envelopes were great, because you knew, Okay, I got 50 bucks for groceries, if I am lucky.

[00:31:17] Bob Wheeler: I don’t know if you ever had to go. Yeah, I didn’t really want the rice. But that back? Can you recalculate that? We are at our Fast Five, and I’m just gonna throw these out there. And we’ll see where we go. Can money buy happiness?

[00:31:34] Dr. Jessica Houston: No

[00:31:36] Bob Wheeler: Maybe temporary false happiness, but not authentic happiness.

[00:31:38] Dr. Jessica Houston: Right?

[00:31:40] Bob Wheeler: Have you ever been gifted a gift when you were low on money?

[00:31:44] Dr. Jessica Houston: Yes.

[00:31:44] Bob Wheeler: And if so what was it?

[00:31:46] Dr. Jessica Houston: It was something I don’t even remember. I don’t know what it was because I would get a lot of little gifts that were $5, $10 Work exchanges things like that. And oh, I remember I got a Christmas ornament. Just like it was already bagged up and everything. So I didn’t really have to do much.

[00:32:06] Bob Wheeler: Just changed the name on the tag. If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing during a time of hardship, what would you say?

[00:32:18] Dr. Jessica Houston: You are fantastic. You are fantastic.

[00:32:22] Bob Wheeler: I love it. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done during times when you were short of money?

[00:32:29] Dr. Jessica Houston: When I was short of money? Hmm, I think probably I had to actually take some things back. So no, I wasn’t in the store. But I remember just going on a shopping spree basically. And then working in the school system. We get paid once per month, but they would pay us early in December, and then you don’t get paid again until it’s January.

So I bought all of these things. And then it got like January 10, 15. I didn’t have any money. So I had to go back in my closet, I had to pull out things that I had purchased and take it to the store and hope that they could say they can get back and I was able to get some money back.

[00:33:10] Bob Wheeler: That was not fun. What does your budget reveal about your values?

[00:33:17] Dr. Jessica Houston: Hmm, my budget I believe, reveals that I value having money in my bank account. I used to value things, but now I get excited like, oh, okay, okay, I did well, this week. I didn’t splurge. So for me that’s I mean, it may be a little nerdy, but that’s my true answer.

[00:33:38] Bob Wheeler: No, you know, I love that. You said that. And I’m just gonna go off on that a little bit it when you do start saving, and you start seeing 100 bucks turned into 200 bucks turned into 500 bucks turns into it. It gets more motivating. It gets exciting because oh, I can’t do this. Oh, my gosh, if we actually just stopped, I tell people to start saving five bucks, because it will become addictive when you start seeing it grow.

[00:34:05] Bob Wheeler: So maybe it’s a nerdy thing, and I’ll share in your nerdiness but I really love when I see it going up and sometimes panic when I oh my goodness, I took too much out, put it back. Put it back. I don’t want to be obsessive but yeah, that’s awesome. So we’re at our M&M moment our sweet spot our money in motivation. Is there a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that has served you along the way that you could share with our listeners?

[00:34:32] Dr. Jessica Houston: So the thing that I started doing after digging out of credit card debt multiple times is deciding that I will not put anything on my credit card that I cannot pay off when that deal rolls back around. And that has helped me a lot because when you look around and you owe 20, 30 $40,000, and don’t even know where half of the items are that you purchase. It’s sickening. And so for me, it’s important that if I make a big purchase that I understand that I do have to pay that off. It’s not free money.

[00:35:07] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s so great. In my financial recovery, I froze my credit cards, and only used a debit card because I wasn’t able to say, Oh, I’ll pay that off. I always find a story. But that’s such a great idea to do for people out there thinking that credit card money is free. I thought that in the beginning, oh, it’s free. It says this much is available. It’s free. It is not free people. It is not free. Dr. Jessica, you know, what I’ve really loved talking about today.

[00:35:38] Bob Wheeler: And what I’ve really loved hearing is this perspective of being self-accountable, owning what’s true, speaking what’s real, owning the places where there’s depression, or trauma or these things and not hiding them in shame, not keeping them secrets anymore, but really exposing them so that the light of day can diminish their power and I really appreciate that piece about self-compassion.

[00:36:04] Bob Wheeler: Like when we’re doing this, looking at ourselves, or finding ourselves having taken six steps back, that we look at that with kindness and just say, oh, oh, we stepped back a little bit, let’s get back on the trail, and not take ourselves out. So there’s, I hear a lot of compassion, and really letting go of the blame. I do think it’s so important that people look at forgiveness, self-forgiveness, and the people who have hurt us, or we’ve allowed to hurt us, and to be able to just look at that and say, I forgive you, and let that go.

[00:36:39] Bob Wheeler: It’s not on them, whether they fully get it, it’s on us to be able to release it as you talked about. And I really hope that people will start looking for authentic happiness. Because I do think with social media, it’s so easy to say, look what they’re doing. And we don’t know what it costs to take that picture. We don’t know the debt that they’re in, none of that’s in the picture. And so we’re just looking at a snapshot in a moment of time of a person that has a whole lifetime of experiences.

[00:37:08] Bob Wheeler: And that moment may not be authentically representing. And so if we can keep looking for authentic happiness, and finding what truly makes us happy, we can have amazing lives. I hope people will go out and get your books. I hope people will come and hear you speak because you speak all over nationally and internationally. Dr. Jessica, where can people find you online on social media? Where can they find your books?

[00:37:34] Dr. Jessica Houston: So they can go to my website expectingvictory.com and you can get my books through my website or on Amazon. And then for social media, I would recommend my YouTube channel, Dr. Jessica Houston, or Instagram @Dr. Jessica Houston.

[00:37:54] Bob Wheeler: Dr. Jessica, this has just been such a wonderful conversation. I so appreciate you telling your personal story sharing it being vulnerable. And I hope that listeners out there will take the steps today to move through their traumas, their obstacles, and really step into the journey and have that life. Thank you so much.

[00:38:16] Dr. Jessica Houston: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:38:25] CLOSING: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom. To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com, that’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on ‘money and the emotions that bind us’.