Episode 191

Video Episode

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Episode Description

Have you ever been through something so traumatic that you thought you couldn’t overcome it? One thing is for sure: we all go through tough times. Making it through tough times is something that we all do every day. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. And one way to turn your traumatic experience into something truly triumphant is to share your story with others. When you bravely share your story, you can help others who are going through their own tough time to not feel so alone. Vulnerability deepens our connection with others.

Living through trauma, dealing with disordered eating, alcoholism, and domestic and sexual violence, our guest Stephanie Olson used her trauma and turned it into a testimony to help others. 

As the CEO and co-founder of The Set Me Free Project, Stephanie has grown a nonprofit from nothing to bringing prevention to thousands of youth and adults on human trafficking, social media safety, healthy relationships, trauma, addiction, and resilience. Stephanie is also the host of the Being Resilient Podcast

If you want to be inspired by someone who has faced adversity and come out on top, then be sure to visit Stephanie’s website https://stephanieolson.com

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Connect with Stehanie Olson

Episode Transcription

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[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.

Our next guest is Stephanie Olson, Stephanie successfully, or at least mostly successfully balances the life of a CEO of a thriving, nonprofit as a wife and as a mom of three and defer baby living through trauma, dealing with disordered eating alcoholism, domestic and sexual violence, and more Stephanie used her trauma and turned it around into a testimony to help others.

As the co-founder of the seme free project, Stephanie has been able to grow a nonprofit from nothing to bringing prevention to thousands of youth, teaching them that they have an intrinsic value that no one can change. Stephanie speaks to youth all over as well as adults on human trafficking, social media safety, healthy relationships, trauma, addiction, and resilience.

Stephanie is also the host of the being resilient podcast. Stephanie, I’m so excited to have you on the

[00:01:59] Stephanie Olson: show. Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

[00:02:02] Bob Wheeler: Well, this is a lot to unpack.

[00:02:05] Stephanie Olson: yeah, that was quite a bio. Did you write that or? I

[00:02:08] Bob Wheeler: did. I did. that’s and the thing is I actually didn’t even put in all the stuff that you did.

Yeah. Wow. that’s great. Yeah. So this is trauma and finances. I actually pulled an article just as a jumping point. There was an article by Tanya re. Effects of trauma on personal finance mm-hmm . And a couple of the things that were surprising to me is that as many as 70% of the people in the us are affected by trauma, a silent epidemic that most people are unaware of ACE, which is adverse childhood experiences are traumatic events that occurred during childhood between zero and 17, which might include experience and abuse or.

Witnessing violence, death of a parent, right. Substance abuse in the home parent, guardian mental health struggles, parent imprisonment, poverty. Yeah. And that the impact and the effect of that long term has been chronic health problems, depression and suicide, mental illness, obesity, substance abuse in adulthood, difficult forming, healthy and stable relationships.

Unstable work history struggles with finances and shorten lifespan. Right. That’s

[00:03:22] Stephanie Olson: a lot, it is a lot and very real. Yeah.

[00:03:26] Bob Wheeler: And very real. Mm-hmm 70%. And you experienced a lot of trauma in your life and you were resilient.

[00:03:35] Stephanie Olson: Yeah. And resiliency has gotta be something that you experience over time, but yeah, trauma and here’s what I would say about trauma.

Everyone experience this trauma at some point in their life, there’s some sort of traumatic event. It’s really how it is manifested in individual’s lives and what that looks like. Something that is traumatic to you might not be traumatic to me. And vice versa. And so trauma is just a very interesting thing that changes who we are emotionally physiologically, psychologically.

And so it affects us in very different ways and is said to be genetic. Wow. So when we look at a poverty kind of poverty strain in, in a family that could also be related to trauma,

[00:04:32] Bob Wheeler: Well, that’s interesting. It makes sense. Cuz I’ve heard sometimes say that it’s generational, right? Yeah, absolutely seven generations and all that.

And that would make sense that it would be genetic as well. And the thing about trauma, at least my experience and I’m no expert, a lot of it, we’re not even aware of. I remember I was doing some work with a person who was a energy healer and a body worker. And they, they were very much in the arts of healing and they said to me, wow, you’ve suffered a lot of trauma.

And I was like, this person’s crazy. like I have they, I, no, I haven’t. And then I started doing my own journey. Yeah. And started doing the work and holy moly, there was a lot of stuff that I had just buried away. Right. And I was very unconscious of it until it hit me in the face. It was right there. And so I think, I know I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s like, oh yeah, no, that was just you bounce back.

Yeah. But it has impact.

[00:05:28] Stephanie Olson: It really does. And you were talking about ACEs. There is a quiz that you take to determine your ACE number and the higher you are, the more trauma or impact that it has. And the first time I took the ACE quiz, I came up with a zero. Like I have none of these in my life. not so true.

And when you look at trauma, especially trauma, you look at trauma that’s happened from ages one to five. Those might not be things that you remember. Right. But they definitely have a very lasting imprint on your life.

[00:06:10] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And I think it’s important to say that even if you score very high with the amount of trauma you’ve experienced or that’s impacted you, it’s not a life sentence of never being able to get past

[00:06:22] Stephanie Olson: it.

It is not that’s beautifully said. Yes, absolutely. And one of the things that I think is important, I’ve heard a lot and it seems to be. Coming a lot out of a different generation, but don’t trigger me. You just triggered me. Mm-hmm I was just triggered by that. Well, that triggering is actually a good thing because when we can recognize our trauma and actually deal with it, we can heal from it.

And so those are really important things to do. Not easy, really hard to look at really hard to. Sometimes even recognize and even harder to move through it, but so important in the healing process.

[00:07:08] Bob Wheeler: No it is. And it’s interesting. I was talking to a guest the other week who is writing books about his grandkids and experiences.

And he was saying the other week was visiting the grandkids and they were fighting. And the little girl looked at her brother and said, I need my space. I’m gonna go sit over in the couch and I need a break. I love that. And then he looked at her and. I think I need some space too. and they, what a great recognition at seven years old to say, yeah.

Oh, this isn’t working. We’re sort of fighting a little bit too much flood,

[00:07:42] Stephanie Olson: separate, very self-aware. I love that. That’s. Fabulous. If more adults would do that. Yes, actually we’d be much better off

[00:07:52] Bob Wheeler: we would be for sure. Sure. That’s great. Yeah. Well, let me ask you this, taking it to the personal level, trauma and finances for you.

Were finances, something that you struggled with that came easy to you? What were some of those challenges in your early childhood and early adult?

[00:08:12] Stephanie Olson: well, that’s very interesting question. So the trauma I experienced was very early on in my life. My biological father was extremely abusive to my amazing mom who was very insecure, very young.

She escaped from that relationship when I was only a year old mm-hmm and we moved in with my grandparents who were amazing people. She met and married. My dad who adopted me when I was six years old and, you know, had a fine life. But what I didn’t realize was that as a little girl who tends to wanna be daddy’s little girl, although my mom escaped from this relationship, that was a good thing.

My biological father never did anything to reach out to me. No Christmas cards, no birthday cards. So the abandonment of my biological father was devastating. Yeah. And really lent to the trajectory of the rest of the trauma in my life. Now, my dad was very successful financially and was kind of the millionaire next door.

We called him cheap. Very cheap, but he was frugal. Frugal is the word, right? Exactly. Don’t call me cheap. Yeah, it was frugal. But what happened to me was I will never forget because my dad put when I was in college and I was very blessed, they paid for my education. And the first year I went to school, he put $2,000 into my checking account, which was a bad idea.

And I spent it, I think, in a month on sweatshirts and food and probably booze. I wouldn’t have told him that, but that’s what I did. Important stuff. The really critical stuff to a college education mm-hmm absolutely. But then later on in my. I walked into extreme credit card debt. And so that is the age you’re getting all of the offers of the credit cards.

And I think there is something about one of the things that I know that with the. Abandonment of my biological father, aside from other things was this need to be whole, I felt your only father. Doesn’t say you have worth, you must not be worth anything. If your own father doesn’t love you, you must not be lovable.

And so I became that cliche, looking for love in all the wrong places and all that includes. And so if I can buy this and if I can have this, that fills me in a way that isn’t working, but at the time it makes sense. And so going into extreme credit card debt was not so surprising really, I suppose, at that time in my life.

[00:11:11] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And when you realized, oh, this is a little bit overwhelming and maybe not so manageable, did you go into shame? Oh, did you go into hiding?

[00:11:22] Stephanie Olson: Yeah. There is so much shame attached to that. You know, people don’t talk about money issues. We look around and we say, okay, if that person is living in a nice house, or if that person is driving a nice car, we just assume that they.

Can do that. They have the money for that. They’re set up and they’re doing great. We don’t look at anything outside of that view. And the reality is we’ve got an epidemic of. Money problems and financial devastation. And I think because of the shame associated with that, we don’t talk about it. We don’t get help.

And sometimes we don’t even reach out for help until it feels like it’s just too late. And so there was a tremendous amount of shame associated with.

[00:12:17] Bob Wheeler: You know, it’s interesting. I’m thinking before the seventies credit cards were not a real big thing and credit cards in a way have helped us propel or maintain our false story.

Oh, if I can just charge this through everybody’ll think. Oh, cool. About dinner. Yeah. So I will admit I was one of those people and I know I can’t be the only one that would, you know, I need to get a new pair of slacks or whatever it is. Right. And I’m sitting. Calling every one of my credit cards to see if any of them’s got a hundred dollars balance.

Oh, right. Yeah. Oh, great. I can use this one or maybe I can split it in two.

[00:12:53] Stephanie Olson: Exactly. All the maneuvering, all the maneuvering, right?

[00:12:57] Bob Wheeler: yeah. All the maneuvering. Yes. It’s

[00:12:59] Stephanie Olson: exhaustive. It truly is. And back in the day, if you couldn’t afford something, you didn’t get it. right. That’s reasonable. That is. And it’s just today.

It doesn’t always make sense to people and credit cards, I suppose, can be a great thing in certain areas, but can be just devastating in others. It’s

[00:13:23] Bob Wheeler: a healthy balance. And again, financial literacy is not taught in high school. Nope. Most parents don’t teach it because they didn’t learn it. My parents learned nothing and God bless ’em they did the best they could.

Yeah. They just didn’t have a whole lot of tools. Yeah.

[00:13:36] Stephanie Olson: Well, and also, you know, it’s interesting because there are some generational changes that are happening, you know, back my parents. I never knew what my parents made. My kids don’t know what my husband and I make, but today you talk about what you’re making.

Oh, you’re making this. Oh, well, I’m making this. And so the good thing about that is that it does force some equity among employers. The bad thing about that is they’re not talking about the deeper pieces of money that we really need to get into and making sure that, okay, this is how we work within a budget.

This is how we work with it, you know? And so I think it’s really interesting, those generational dynamics that have changed so much.

[00:14:25] Bob Wheeler: For sure. And as you were talking about people sharing their salaries at work and that being a good thing, of course I’d be mortified, but yes but I was also thinking there are some people that maybe aren’t asking for a raise because they’re not worth it.

I remember one of my first bosses, I went and asked for a raise and I was doing it based on I needed to pay this and I needed to pay that and I had to cover this. Oh yeah. And he graciously said to me, there’s no way I’m gonna give you a raise based on your needs. Yeah, however, I value you very much. And I’m gonna give you a raise based on your merits.

Wow. Yeah. I’m like, okay, I’ll take it that way too. but right. but here’s the, you know, it took me a while to process that, and I don’t know that I fully did even at that time. Right. And I wonder how many people out there? Well, I don’t wanna ask for the raise then they just might fire me and then I don’t have a job.

Yeah. Right. Imposter syndrome, all that stuff comes in. Oh yeah. And trauma. Amplifies that in some ways it does in little secret crevices and pockets that we’re just not aware.

[00:15:31] Stephanie Olson: Yeah, it really does. And again, it can come out in so many different ways. And one of the things that trauma has attached to it is shame.

Yeah. And when we are dealing with shame, whatever we are dealing with that shame and it seeps out in so many different areas. Yeah. And I think there’s this sense of, okay, I’m going to try. And fulfill myself in other ways and it can come out to be extremely, extremely dangerous. It’s really interesting because I know people who talk about money as if it is the sole importance of all of the world.

And then they look at people and say, oh my goodness, if you have money, you must be amazing. And if you don’t have as much money, you must not be as important. And we have to really get out of that because we do teach in our nonprofit about intrinsic value. We teach that everyone human being has an intrinsic value that cannot change.

That’s not associated with being valuable in a monetary sense, but that we have value just as a human being. And I think sometimes money gets in the way of that.

[00:16:55] Bob Wheeler: Well, for sure. I was socialized that I am my accomplishments and yeah, that doesn’t last very long because then you get another one under your belt.

That’s right. Because it fades pretty quick. Yeah. Why is it so important? And I mean, I feel like I know why, but I really wanna just for the listeners. Yeah. Why is it so important that we know we have intrinsic value regardless of outside

[00:17:18] Stephanie Olson: source? Well, it’s critically important because of how we view ourselves and how we view everybody else.

And this is hard for us to sometimes understand we, my nonprofit teaches on prevention, education on human trafficking, social media safety, and healthy relationships. And we had a kiddo who said, well, what about the trafficker? Did they have value? That’s a hard thing to answer, but the reality is. They do.

Everyone has an intrinsic value. Now that doesn’t mean that what you’re doing in your life is right, and that you shouldn’t make changes, but that value comes within. And when we truly understand that we have an intrinsic value that actually guides us into doing the right thing, because when we recognize our value, We treat ourselves with respect.

We treat ourselves with honor, but even more so when we understand that everybody else has intrinsic value, we treat them with respect. We treat them with honor. And I think that is absolutely critical to understand just to live your life in a way that is functional, but in a way that is good and honoring and right.

[00:18:42] Bob Wheeler: How do boundaries and the ability to tolerate difficult conversations come into play. Oh

[00:18:49] Stephanie Olson: Lord. are you reading my mail right now?

Yeah, that is a big one. And it’s really interesting because. Boundaries are critical and difficult conversations are important. Sometimes we might call that conflict. And a lot of times we look at conflict as very negative things, but conflict is extremely healthy and difficult conversations are extremely important.

and then the boundaries surrounding that are critical. I was talking to somebody about this very thing, and we were talking about constructive criticism, so difficult conversations that are constructive versus difficult conversations that are hurtful. Right. And really the difference behind that is what are we discussing?

Are we discussing the. Difficult conversation surrounding work or surrounding a behavior or surrounding something like that, or are we discussing a difficult conversation surrounding you as a person did this and you as a person are bad or whatever the case may be. Right. And so having boundaries when you are receiving difficult conversations is important because we need to know, okay, is this person really, for me?

I’m gonna get defensive probably because, Hey, no one likes to take criticism constructive or not. And so relaxing and sitting in that and going, okay, I’m gonna listen to this because this is how I grow or having a boundary that says, this is not about my behavior. This is not about my work. This is about me personally.

And it’s an attack. Those are things I’m not sure if I answered your question, but yeah, no, absolutely. Those are really important boundaries to start putting into place. And then knowing when we have, when we need to have those difficult conversations with people or when we need to just let that go. Yeah.

[00:21:05] Bob Wheeler: One of the things for me growing up was, I didn’t know how to set a boundary. Yeah. Wasn’t taught to set a boundary. I didn’t know that there were other options other than yes, I comply. So, I didn’t know, until later somebody said, you know, you can say, no, Bob, I’m like, you’re lying. Right. I didn’t even believe that.

Right. Right. No, no, no. You can say no Uhhuh. Right? What’s the catch. Yeah. If I don’t agree and comply. So for me, when I started to find out that there was something other than answer a. I’m like, oh, I’m gonna write that down. Wait, now I have two choices. Right. And then I got to three choices and I got to five choices.

I’m like, wow, this is pretty cool. Yeah. And I think there’s a lot of people. I can’t imagine. I’m the only one that really thought I had one choice. and there’s a lot of freedom in having some choices. And part of the way that I learned to have more choices was learning to have, I would practice a conversation to ask for a raise or do something 10 times.

And I would practice being the person asking for the raise, practice, being the person saying no. And I would think of every possible scenario so that when I actually had the conversation, I knew about a, B, C, D, and E instead of just a, which was made up in my

[00:22:17] Stephanie Olson: mind. Right. Absolute. Part of that is how we grow up.

Mm-hmm and one of the things we talk to parents about is the importance of teaching your kiddos about consent, that they get to say no to certain things. And we can’t, as parents teach our kids that, okay, you have to do everything I say all the time. I’m not gonna give you any options. This is what, because what we set up.

Is a world where kiddos, don’t just like you said, I don’t realize that I get a choice. And if somebody then wants to do harm, you’re set up for failure because now the only answer, you know, is yes. And with consent a yes is not a yes, if no is not an option. Right. And so that is so important to teach at a very early age.

[00:23:18] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. So with your own kids, how is that? When you get challenged and mom, you said we had the freedom to, and you know, maybe every fiber of your beans going do what I said. Yeah. Even though you have choice

[00:23:33] Stephanie Olson: exactly. Well, here’s the deal. As I now have an adult child, uh, child who’s graduating. From high school next week.

Right. And then I have a 16 year old boy. And so one of them is a phenomenal negotiator and I probably wouldn’t even call it negotiator. She just it’s constant. And as parents, we have to decide before we get into that conversation. What are things that they have choices on and what are the things they don’t have choices on.

So if I say to my 10 year old, I want you to eat your broccoli. That may not be a choice, right. That’s okay. As a parent, you decide, or you’re gonna take out the trash, this is something you’re going to do. But when it comes to their bodily autonomy, or even like things like, you know, you don’t force your kids to go hug grandma, grandpa, if they don’t want to.

That’s really hard. Right. But to say, yeah, you get to say, gosh, no, I’d rather do a fist pump or can I just wave? That’s hard to say no. Okay. I’m gonna let you let you fly with that. And it’s hard to explain that sometimes to grandma, grandpa. But we have to let them say. No, I don’t wanna be touched good or bad touch on the same token as a parent.

It’s awesome. If you can do things like, okay. My middle daughter, who we used to call her Cindy Loper because she dressed crazy. I mean, she would go to school. We’d be like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe what she’s wearing. Today. I might have done things a little differently because the girl now has style, but it took her a long time.

but you can, as a parent say, now, do you wanna wear this outfit? Or do you wanna wear this outfit? Still giving them a choice. Right. But controlling those options a little bit. So I think there are boundaries you put in place as parents, and then, and you don’t have arguments. It’s not about arguing. It’s about recognizing.

You get to choose this one. These you don’t get to choose.

[00:25:41] Bob Wheeler: Right? It’s interesting. I’ve studied non-violent conflict resolution. Mm-hmm and with kids, it can be, do you wanna eat the broccoli before you have your ice cream, right? Or after you have your ice cream? Yes. Do you wanna watch TV before you set the table or after you set the table, right?

Yes. So they still do get choice.

[00:26:01] Stephanie Olson: They get a choice. Just not the choice to do it or not do it. Exactly. Yeah. That’s beautiful. Yeah. Love

[00:26:07] Bob Wheeler: it. I do think that’s so important with working with the kids that you work with and through the nonprofit, do you teach people or is it a resource or how do you get people to understand the importance of

[00:26:21] Stephanie Olson: support from family support from other resources or all of the above?

[00:26:27] Bob Wheeler: All of the above, because sometimes I’m not gonna get support from my family. They may be the source. Yeah. Sometimes the people that I think are closest to me will be the ones that sabotage my future successes. And so I have to pick and choose. And if I’ve come from trauma, I may not always make great choices initially.


[00:26:45] Stephanie Olson: fabulous. Yeah. So one of the things that we talk to, and we actually have a curriculum from third grade through college age for youth. And so this kind. Range, depending on the age, but one of the things we talk about are what are healthy relationships. A lot of times we’ll use the term, not we as an organization, but people as a whole will use the word predator, for example, mm-hmm well, that is a very confusing word to a child.

If predator is mom, right. That doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t compute. What if predator is boyfriend? That’s not gonna make sense. So instead it’s teaching children. And young adults and adults, frankly, what is a trustworthy person? What are the characteristics of a trustworthy person? And that’s what we’re talking about.

There’s four things that a trustworthy person, and, and this is trademarked here. So don’t tell anybody this, but there’s four things that a trustworthy person will or won’t do a trustworthy person will never ask you to do something illegal. A trustworthy person will never ask you to do something against your moral compass or if they do.

And you say, no, a trustworthy person will say, oh gosh, that’s okay. Trustworthy person will never ask you for kiddos to keep a secret from your parents or guardians. And a trustworthy person always wants the best for you. Instead of stranger danger or instead of, Hey, it’s a predator, it’s gotta be about individual trustworthiness.

And it can’t be about roles that are trustworthy because we know. You know, all parents are trustworthy. Well, that’s not true. It’s not true. All pastors are trustworthy, not true. I mean, so we’ve got to talk about individual people and those characteristics so that our kiddos can really start to understand.

Yeah, there are some people who should be safe, who should be supportive in my life, who are not. And so where do I find that safe adult? So we talk a lot. Safe adults and how to recognize that individual and then who you can go to for different pieces of support or resources. And that’s gonna look different with what you’re asking.

Yeah. And so, yeah, that’s a hard one, but an important one for sure.

[00:29:12] Bob Wheeler: And I think creating safety is incredibly important and safety will look different for each person. Absolutely. But being able to create that safe space so that there can be an ask or a difficult conversation.

[00:29:27] Stephanie Olson: Right. And I think too, with safe adults and kids, one of the things to remember for them, and this is hard for them to understand that there are actually things that are reportable.

And so we do tell kids, you know, I’m a mandatory reporter. So if you tell me. That you’re gonna hurt someone, hurt yourself, or you’re an imminent danger. I have to tell somebody about that, but the rest of it is confidential, but letting kids know right off the bat, that there are certain things because you’re a minor or whatever it may be.

I have to tell somebody, if you tell me this, but the rest of it, please talk to me and I will help you find help. And then never making promises. We have this tendency to say, you know, I promise it’ll be okay, or I promise, you know, I promise you come back. I promise I’ll be here for you. Well, God forbid I get hit by a bus.

Yeah. And I can’t. And so we have to make sure that we, as a safe adult are also doing the things that keep that conversation safe for them as well.

[00:30:35] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that so reminds me of finding Nemo when, um, oh, love that movie. When Nemo’s father says to Dory, you know, I have to find him, I promised I wouldn’t let anything happen.

And Dory’s like, well, you know, that’s a silly thing to promise.

[00:30:52] Stephanie Olson: that’s a dumb thing to promise. Yeah. Like why would you do that? yeah, you can’t do it. You can’t. Dory was so wise. Stories. She really .

[00:31:02] Bob Wheeler: She just didn’t remember that she was

[00:31:03] Stephanie Olson: watching. She just didn’t remember.

[00:31:07] Bob Wheeler: well, I have one other question. Yeah.

That maybe you could share with our listeners, because I have a feeling there’s some adults out there. I was one of those adults who is listening to this and still saying. I’m sort of the exception to the rule. My trauma probably can’t be healed. Mm-hmm I probably can’t fully emerge into the person I’m meant to be.

Yeah. What would you say to those people out there? They wanna move forward? It’s so scary.


[00:31:37] Stephanie Olson: it is scary. It really is. And I’ve found there are often two types of people when it comes to trauma. My trauma is. Absolutely not nearly as bad as yours. So I don’t even wanna get into a conversation with you because I would be so embarrassed to even compare myself to you.

Or what we hear often is my trauma is so much worse than anybody else’s. I just cannot heal through it. Yeah. Both of those lies because trauma is trauma is trauma. And although trauma is. Remarkably hard and sometimes, and I think this is the piece we have to redefine our expectation of success, that healing through trauma.

Is probably not gonna look like, Hey, I’m on the other side of the trauma. Never even think about it. It’s not an issue, right. That probably is not gonna happen. And so measuring your success against that is gonna be total failure, but instead taking those little steps of healing and embracing. Things like therapy, embracing things like, gosh, if you have to be on medication, don’t fight it or whatever it may be, but then taking those little steps towards healing.

Okay. Now I have actually gotten to a place where I don’t cry at the drop of a hat when I hear this, and then you move forward, but this is what resilience is. And then one day you think I’m over that. And then all of a sudden you’re crying at the drop of hat. When you hear that and you thought, well, I thought I was over that.

We just keep moving forward. It’s taking two steps forward taking two steps back, but it is a lot of work. And so what I would say to that person is be encouraged because although you may not see your trauma gone and disappeared and like, oh, I’m never gonna think about it again. Every day is a journey towards healing.

And if you are willing to do the hard work and believe me, it is hard work, it takes the willingness to say I’m not perfect. Takes a lot of humility. It takes hard conversations, but if you are willing to do a little bit of that every day, you will get to a place where you can live a life of peace and happiness and joy.

[00:34:15] Bob Wheeler: That is so true. And as I was thinking about you talking about redefining expectations mm-hmm or redefining success, it doesn’t mean that if we have anger about something or that we maybe don’t get triggered, we can just go, oh, they’re that? There’s that anger again? Yeah. Or in terms of whether it’s abandonment or I know in my own life, there’s a couple of relationships that didn’t quite go the way that I had hoped yeah.

Within a family. Right. And. Doesn’t mean, I don’t still feel the grief of it. Right. And for us to be able to have the capacity, to feel into the pain, feel into the grief, not let it take us out. Right. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel all of those things, but that we can then ah, there’s that grief. Yeah. I’m human

[00:35:02] Stephanie Olson: and feel the feels

[00:35:04] Bob Wheeler: mm-hmm and feel it, and then move

[00:35:05] Stephanie Olson: forward.

And that’s really hard. And I think too, I recently had a situation where I had somebody who I thought was a really dear friend of mine, who on a dime in a day turned. Wow. And it was, you know, so all of a sudden you’re looking at this and you’re trying to figure out, wait a minute. First of all, what did I do?

Second of all. I thought that you loved me and cared about me and then finding out that it was completely superficial or what I don’t know. Yeah. So yes, you have to take that and you have to grieve. Absolutely. And I think it’s important to take. That self awareness and self, you know, internalize or not internalizing, but assessing some of those things and saying, okay, what’s my part in it.

Mm-hmm and there might be things that I really do need to do differently, or I really do need to change, but the key is not to allow somebody else’s behavior becomes something that, you know, to not be true, right. That I am not going to say, well, They’re telling me I’m a terrible person. I must be a terrible person.

Right. And instead saying, gosh, I grieve that relationship. I am so sorry. And I really do want the best for this person. I don’t want them to hurt. And they’re obviously hurting. Because otherwise this wouldn’t be happening. And so I’m a gala face, so I’m gonna pray for that person. I’m gonna do those things, but I’m also not gonna take that and say, well, I guess I’m a terrible person.

They were right. Because I know that not to be true. Yeah. And so I think those are some of the things that we have to do when we’re hurt by some of those things throughout our life.

[00:36:59] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, it takes work and the payoff it’s hard work is so worth it. Yeah. It’s

[00:37:04] Stephanie Olson: so worth it. It really is. It really is. It makes a huge difference.

And it’s the difference between peace in your life and turmoil and torture and bitterness. And yeah, I don’t wanna go there.

[00:37:19] Bob Wheeler: I’ll choose peace, even with a few bumps.

[00:37:21] Stephanie Olson: yeah, exactly. Cause there will be bumps.

[00:37:25] Bob Wheeler: There will be bumps. There will be

[00:37:26] Stephanie Olson: bumps. Right?

[00:37:29] Bob Wheeler: I love that. Well, Stephanie, we are at the fast five, so we’re gonna change the energy of the show just a little bit.

Okay. So the fast five is brought you by acorns where you can invest spare change bank, smarter, safer retirement, and more for more information, check out the link in the show notes. All right, Stephanie, you. Fuck all that seatbelt. I don’t know.

[00:37:49] Stephanie Olson: I don’t know. I’m nervous.

[00:37:51] Bob Wheeler: Let’s see what happens. What was your first childhood money memory, negative or positive?

[00:37:56] Stephanie Olson: My first childhood money memory. That’s hard to say was. Do I tell you what it is or just be negative or positive? Yeah, no, I thought it was positive and my mom told me I couldn’t afford, she couldn’t afford to buy something. And I said, do you have a checkbook? Just write a check. not knowing that there’s actually money involved.

So yeah, that was my first that’s right. You

[00:38:15] Bob Wheeler: got a checkbook. You can write checks. That’s right. There’s money. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done for cash. Oh

[00:38:23] Stephanie Olson: geez. Wow. I honestly. Don’t no, I was probably drunk, so I that’s, you know, I was an alcoholic, so, yep. I honestly don’t know. Blame it on the alcohol.

Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool. That works. I would do a lot of strange things today, but they would all be legal

[00:38:49] Bob Wheeler: and probably somewhat fun. Um, exactly. What is one financial habit of yours that you would still like to change? I

[00:38:57] Stephanie Olson: love to shop on Amazon mm-hmm and it’s so easy and you don’t even have to think that you’re spending money.

So I would like to change that mindset a little bit. Yeah.

[00:39:09] Bob Wheeler: what emotion do you experience the most?

[00:39:13] Stephanie Olson: Gosh, I’m not doing this very fast. These are hard. I would say, I guess I would say joy. Yeah.

[00:39:21] Bob Wheeler: It’s a nice one to feel. Yeah.

[00:39:23] Stephanie Olson: Depends where I.

[00:39:24] Bob Wheeler: Do you have any financial regrets?

[00:39:26] Stephanie Olson: Yes, I have huge financial regrets.

I think my biggest regret is the massive debt that I got into and huge

[00:39:35] Bob Wheeler: regret. Yeah. Yeah. It was a teachable moment. very

[00:39:40] Stephanie Olson: one. I do not wanna go through again. Yes.

[00:39:43] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we are at our M and M moment, our sweet spot money and motivation. Is there a financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that’s worked for you that you could share with our listeners?

[00:39:57] Stephanie Olson: Yeah. I think the biggest tip that I would share is budgeting is important. This comes from a nonprofit world as well, but you have to look at a budget as actual dollars that you have or don’t have. And so if you don’t have the dollars. You can’t buy the thing. And I mean, it’s simple, but that is probably the biggest tip that I have.

[00:40:27] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Awesome. Where can people find you online and social media? We

[00:40:31] Stephanie Olson: are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube at set me free project. And you can find us@setmefreeproject.net. And that is the nonprofit that set me free project. You can also find me. I am also a speaker and you can find me at Stephanie Olson.

O N those are all spelled correctly. S T E P H a N I E O L S O N. Stephanie olson.com. awesome. And on all the socials,

[00:41:02] Bob Wheeler: we’ll make sure to put all that up, but it’s great to know that Stephanie, it has been such a pleasure. This has been fun. I so appreciate you sharing, being vulnerable and talking about something that’s so needed and so important.

[00:41:16] Stephanie Olson: Thank you. I’ve had a blast. I appreciate it.

[00:41:19] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Thank.

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.

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