How do you decide what you are going to do?
Do you think about the choices or just agree with others to avoid confrontation?
In this episode, we speak with Danielle Huston, about why she is not sorry for making some hard choices in life that were value driven and again others "best" advice.
About the Guest:
Danielle is a Senior Vice President at Lockton Companies. She comes with many years of experience in the benefits world as well as a caring and spirited passion for people. She also is the host of the checkup podcast, where she shares insights related to employee benefits, health insurance, and healthcare; helping employers who offer benefits to employees https://daniellehuston.com/
[00:00:02] spk_0: this is This show is brought to you by Safety FM. Welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry
[00:00:17] spk_1: for If you are a person that is tired of apologizing for
[00:00:21] spk_0: being you, you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this is for you. Join me, Emily Elrod as I dive into conversations with Amazing Guest. About what? That you're not sorry for And creative and loving ways. Let's get started. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another unapologetically bold I'm not sorry for. And I am so blessed today to have Danielle with me. Thank you so much for joining me.
[00:01:04] spk_1: I am really excited to be here. Thanks for the invite.
[00:01:08] spk_0: You're welcome. This is gonna be a fun conversation because I say a lot of times I'm not all for having people that are like minded, but having people that air like hearted and I feel like our hearts just connect on so many levels. And whenever I first saw something that you did on your podcast. And it was about mental health. Mental well being. I'm like, Yes, I wrote something because it was just interesting. You said you said something. It was in a new perspective. I don't even remember what it waas. But then you connected back, and you're like, we could be soul sisters. And I'm like, Yes, yes, we could. The more I get to know you, the more I'm just I'm so grateful for you. You literally are. God sent. And I'm excited for the listeners to get to here in on what you're not sorry for. So before we get started, um, just tell people a little bit about you.
[00:02:00] spk_1: Okay? Well, we were meant to be sisters. I'm sure of it. Somewhere along the way, this this was meant to be. I live a little north of Seattle. I grew up kind of all over. I feel like my upbringing was very nomadic, which meant a lot of different places and people that have become part of who I am. I've been in Washington State now consistently since 1991. I have two kids. The youngest is making out her college applications this year. I'm a benefits advisor. I work for locked in cos that's how you and I originally connected. I love helping people solve problems and helping people find new ways to do things. And I get to do that at work, and I really love to do it, you know, personally as well.
[00:03:02] spk_0: E think that also just helping people in getting to do the work that you do. I think that actually even kind of mends itself into what you're not sorry for, because if you didn't do what you're not sorry for what I'll let you say in a minute that you might not be where you are, how you are today. So it's called unapologetically bold. What are you no longer apologizing for?
[00:03:27] spk_1: I am not apologizing for my value lead choices and, you know, along the way it's not always made me popular. It has often, maybe uncomfortable. There are things about it that have been really, really hard. But the culmination of making all of those choices has led to a life that I never really would have planned it or mapped it out for myself. But somehow you know all the little things in the big things lead Thio here and I really like my life and I like the person I am. So I own all of those choices and I'm sorry does not roll from these lists. At least you know, not for that.
[00:04:14] spk_0: I love it. And it makes me think of the saying, if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans and even what, e what I was telling you before, this is like I had everything planned out to go get my passport renewed, and I had literally the night before I was so proud of it and it still didn't work out. But there was nothing for it, you know? And I'm rob into that about your life. And when was the first time that you're realizing that I'm going to make a value based decision or a value led or driven decision on I'm gonna be like with
[00:04:52] spk_1: Yeah. I mean, I think you know the first time that it was a least, you know, the pivotal what I would consider a really life changing moment, Waas deciding that I was going to become a mom and I was barely 18. Um, my life was not at all together. I didn't have a super support system. Um, everything about it didn't seem to make sense. And yet I decided I'm going to do it. And then on top of that, I decided, and it's so funny when you make certain choices in your life how you could go back to that one moment and you can almost see what you were wearing. I remember exactly where I was sitting when I decided I'm keeping and I'm going to raise my son. And I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that he grows up feeling loved and knowing that he was meant to be. So, you know, that was the first one, and definitely definitely the one that changed the course of my life. And, you know, what is interesting about choices is that everyone has an opinion on them. So, you know, I think you and I both can appreciate some of that. But, you know, making the choice to be a mom, that people who had opinions about should I or shouldn't die and you know, then the questions, the inappropriate questions about how I was going to do it. And, um, the questions that came later on, you know, as I was as I was preparing for this, it took me back to some places of remembering. You know how people would ask how I was going to afford to raise my child and where we were gonna be. And as I made choices to work, then the questions of like,
[00:06:57] spk_0: you're going to
[00:06:57] spk_1: apply for which job you bought that suit jacket for that job. And you know, you're not on welfare anymore. That's great. But now you're working too much, you know, Now you know you're leaving your child, the daycare eso It's just been this really interesting learning path of really knowing you can make these choices. And they are yours. You're owning the consequences. You're owning everything about them. People are still gonna have their opinions about them. And it taught me a lot about, you know, own your own. The decision that you have made and, you know, square your shoulders back, put your chin up. You know, you owe no one anything. And, you know, knowing at that time too, I really had two choices within that right. I could either slide into being that person that a lot of people were concerned I might become, Or maybe even they kind of hoped I would become that. Or I could do everything in my power to prove every single one of them wrong. And I tend to fall on the B side of that coin. You know, I bore a chip on my shoulder for a really long time to prove everyone wrong. So
[00:08:24] spk_0: and I think that's powerful, too, because there comes a point and I did that for the longest, and I still I'll say at times the other day, my husband told me I couldn't do so or no, he didn't say I couldn't do something But he said that it was something that are like it was doing a leaf blower and it, but it was like a manly leaf blower, and he let me know how manly it was that it wasn't for little girls like me. Hey, didn't call me a little girl, but I am this. I'm very sure I'm for 11. I'm t tiny, um, and so and he's like it's even hard for me did it up Well, my little little woman syndrome God, I was like, You can't tell May I did all this stuff done, and I I did hurt later he was right. It what is whenever we make choices out off of value lead decisions, Even with the chips on our shoulders, they start toe weaken, usually eventually brush them or put them beside. Because I remember, like you said, you remember clearly to the day, like some of those those sayings or things I remember I was in a funeral home, and there's this young guy that had passed away and all our friends were around. Basically, the guys like your life's over. You're about to have a kid. I'm like, Oh, I will prove you wrong. And I think the point for me is whenever I was like, Okay, I got this. I can do this. So my question for you is, um this is an assumption, but has it made you more independent? So
[00:09:58] spk_1: ah, 100% 100%. You know, life didn't work out the way I had, you know, Always thought it might, but what really ended up happening is I've spent the last 26 27 years making decisions about what my life was gonna look like and how to build it. And with the exception of ah, you know, a period of a few years, I got to make all of those decisions myself. And so in some respects, you know, some could say independent to a fault because I might have some problems asking for help sometimes or raising my aunt. But I I have learned especially, especially this year. It's been such a good test of myself to be really honest about where I'm struggling and how I'm feeling, because ultimately,
[00:10:59] spk_0: what's the worst thing that
[00:11:00] spk_1: could happen? You know, we're all struggling through this together, and one of the things I remind myself often. And Andi, I think I think everyone should, You know, if you are breathing right now, you have already survived your worst day. So what is the worst thing that could happen from making a choice? That is something that's part of who you are and and gets you closer to who you're working to be. And if you make a bad decision you can overcome, you can correct, and it can become a great part two of who you are.
[00:11:40] spk_0: That's so true, and I think it's also going back. Thio, I know that both of us share a passion for mental well being. And mental fitness is what I call it a lot of the times. And I think it's powerful in the fact that and this is where it it helped me to understand why I am such a proponent for it. Um, during that season, whenever I was having a child out of wedlock in the South, you know? And I was actually doing Bible study at the time to do so. I was like, I had all this shame on me at the time and I was eating right. I was exercising. I was doing everything I did not. I called my son an alien in my stomach until I saw him. So I did not have any attachment until afterwards. So there was a lot of things like this brain could not handle. But what I learned is how my mental game jacked everything up and about killed me and about killed my son in the process of he came 35 weeks or five weeks early at 35 weeks, and we both were in the hospital for over a week because of that. And I truthfully do believe that it's a part of the mental game that the self sabotaging it was not really did not want it to be riel. But how much it matters. Toe work upstairs, work up in the in the brain. So tell me, did did that help you like whenever you started to do your value driven choices? Did it help you on the brain game?
[00:13:13] spk_1: Absolutely. For me, I really break things down to be a black and white as I can be. I believe so strongly that when we quay ver about our choices when we're really just aren't sure what to Dio, it's not really because we aren't sure what to do. It's because we're not sure if we want to pay the price. You know, nearly always when you have a decision to make your gut knows what you should dio. Um, but you know, the scary part of if you make the choice, you know, Then what? Um, that's the part, I think where we tend to get hung up and I know for me that's where I've always, you know, run into the uncertainties. So when I break things down about, really, what are the choices? It's either this or this. And in some cases, uh, you know, like when my son was a teenager and life was hard and it was challenging and there were times that I thought, Well, you know, I could just kind of give up. He's really hard right now. I could I know he's out with friends I don't like with friends he shouldn't be with. I could just stay at home and wait until he decides to show up, which, you know, who knows what that might look like, or I can go get in the car and drive around looking for him. Eso You know,
[00:14:41] spk_0: those are the
[00:14:42] spk_1: kinds of things that I really think if you come back Thio you know, really, really what do the alternatives like? And if you're gonna lead with your gut and ask yourself, does this decision bring me closer to the person I want to be or not? It makes things super Claire. And you know, I think, um, one of the one of the powerful things about choices was a conversation I had as a kid with a family friend and my childhood was rough. I mean, it started out. I will say it started out great. I had the first, you know, decade of life that was full of, ah, lot of certainty and love and security. And when things changed, it just felt like it changed overnight and the rug was really pulled out. And, you know, the next nine or 10 years were full of a lot of unpredictability and uncertainty. And those early foundation years of being loved so well gave me such a great place of measurement toe what life should look like and what family should look like and what love felt like and helped, you know, to build some principles. Sometimes in me that I think are part of the reason why I will be so adamant sometimes about no, this is the way things should be. But during that really rough time, and a family friend of ours told me, You know, I know right now you don't get to make your own choices, but trust me. In a few years, you will be able to make all of your own choices and you'll be able to build the life that you want in your way. So just hold on. And I didn't really, you know, like, 11 or 12. I didn't really appreciate what kind of an empowerment gift she was giving me. But I have thought about that moment so many times over the years and that kind of empowerment that we all have this ability to build the life that we want if we're willing to put in the work and if we're willing to make the sacrifices And if we're really, really willing to dio the hard stuff, that has just been the lightning rod for me. And I've you know, I've made decisions. Thio, you know, change jobs or, you know, move. Or, um, you know, my parenting decisions that sometimes, you know, didn't make a lot of sense. But, you know, in my gut, I knew it was right, and I've always known I didn't really want to necessarily make decisions like everyone else. Waas because I don't want everyone else's life. I want my own
[00:17:39] spk_0: that is so powerful and what I hear and what I've seen sometimes is that and I even do it my own. Sometimes I take my my choices for granted, and you feel like you're always gonna have a choice. And it's always but But I'm like you to whenever hearing that I like I make pro con List My husband? Nope. But me. It's like, Hey, look down, I wanna make But I think it is. It's the power of that your your choices can have And and that's what you said it can empower you to the life that you want does not mean that sucks. Not gonna come along. Things will. There's gonna be hard times there's gonna be And here's the funny thing though, whenever I made the decision to keep my son, um and I knew that the biological father didn't want anything thio todo with my son. It was interesting because I knew I was gonna have to tell my son one day that he did not that he was adopted, you know, because I knew that God, I felt like I was gonna give me a husband, a spouse, and he and he did. And I remember the day I told him he goes, Oh, that's the reason why I'm white white, Not white dark like what? Hey goes Yeah, he goes, Yeah, Mama, I don't have the same skin. I'm white. Why? I'm like, Okay, but the thing is, a lot of times our decisions and what we think that we're making can go to these worst case scenario on the consequences. And I just have to look back and laugh. And that's the one that really I cried. I cried for years not because I didn't tell him until he was five. And it was It was like I made this decision my consequence for my action because that's what I've been told my whole life, have a whole lot, but basically that this was a sin and I was bringing this select. And so I think that's so interesting. But whenever you do, leave it lead out on a value based decision or value driven decision, but going back to it that sometimes we take it for granted. But how easy we can actually make those decisions when their value lead, but you have to know your values. So that's my question for you, for the listeners and audience, like how values have probably something there overheard and overdone with, but I think it's something that's so important. How do you advise or give invitation for people to look and determine what their values are?
[00:20:11] spk_1: Oh, that's a really good question, because I think it's so incredibly personal. Thio, you know, obviously to everyone, I think, um, you know, asking yourself the question of who do you want people to know you are. I mean, that that's the place that I started from. You know, when When people talk about me and who I am and what kind of a person I am, what would I want people to think or to say, You know, how do I want to make people feel? And those were the kinds of things I think that you start with. It's not this huge grand, um, scheme that you have to come up with or an algorithm. It really is. What kind of a person do you want to be and what kind of life do you wanna have? And if you are discontent with either of those things, you know, doing doing some of that really honest inventory with yourself about what are the things that you want to do differently? Where aren't you satisfied with yourself? We all have it. And we can all do the work, um, to make some changes, and I don't think it necessarily has to take long. And it doesn't necessarily mean, you know, Uprooting your entire life either. You know, the lives we have are built on a lot of little decisions that we make every day. And, you know, I really like to share, too. If people as I do think it's it's hopeful, Um, you know, if you're not really satisfied with where your choices have brought you and your questioning, you know how you can sort of right things. I trace this line back from myself, and I shared this with you when we were chatting earlier. But, um, I can go back through through my life from where I'm at now back through my mother's choices and her mother's choices. And they don't always make sense, right? And in fact, there are choices that have been made in the generations of women that have come before me that are unimaginable, the things that they had to decide and then trying to understand why they show some of those things. But, you know, when I look at my grandmother as an example to not, you know, two generations ago, this woman was widowed at 34 with six kids living in the rural Midwest, where you didn't just as a woman go get a job and try to provide for six kids. And yet she found ways to survive, and she survived, and her daughters and her sons survived better than she did. And you know, then there's myself and my cousins, where we've all survived better than our parents. And I would go so far as to say that many of us have moved from that surviving element to thriving and then looking at what our kids were doing and what they're deciding to dio, it didn't take long to really start seeing this progression of lives and people that we're learning from the choices that other people made before them. And I
[00:23:44] spk_0: I did a lot
[00:23:45] spk_1: of that inventory to when I was thinking about what kind of life you know, what kind of life I want. And I feel like you know, when we don't take things for granted. I I consider their choices and the women in my family and I think, man, I come from a long line of women who are really strong there made us some strong stuff. They've survived things that many people would never wanna have to face. And I get to stand here today with a life that my grandmother probably never could have imagined for her grandkids. And I just see God's Grace written all over that super thankful,
[00:24:20] spk_0: Oh, that I'm getting bumps on this one like I love everything about that one. Uh, and the thing, too, is the impact of choices are what we think is just I oriented a lot of times, but it's generational effects, yes, and if it's hard to take your choices for granted, in my opinion, if you see them as generational effects and if you know your values, you could easily filter them down to say yes or no. And if they don't meet up, you got treated exactly, and it's and I will say that, too, is that's a powerful thing to do. And that and that you have done, especially from the mental game, because some things I've seen are passed on to us. That could be a good choice or bad choice to as well and what we choose. It's our choice, and it's based on our values, which may not be the same. Yeah, is what our predecessors and our lovely family members have been. And that's that's okay, because you get to be unapologetically bold about you. So you're amazing. I told you audience that she's awesome. Already said that ahead of time. So I just know how much of a blessing you are. So two part final question, pat one. Somebody is apologizing for making their choices that are value driven instead of what the world wants them to do. What would you tell them?
[00:25:55] spk_1: I would say, Did you make a decision that resonated for you that you considered you were thoughtful and, you know, did you intentionally make a choice to hurt someone else? And you know, I think when we can say yes, I strongly considered No, I did not make that decision to hurt someone else. Then you put your chin up, and how they feel about your choices is their business and not yours onto the next.
[00:26:29] spk_0: Hey, man, Amen to that one. That's great advice. Just gonna throw that one out there and then finally, if people want to just reach out to you or get to know more about you or things that you do. Where can they find you at?
[00:26:42] spk_1: I would love that. I You know, meeting you was a great blessing out of this. So I'm on LinkedIn. You can certainly find me there. I also have a podcast, and we're on YouTube. It's called the Checkup. And I love to connect and talk with people. So if you are considering your own choices And if you just want to chat with me about that, I would I would love to listen, toe anything. Someone may have to say. And you know I will. I will pay it forward to the next person.
[00:27:17] spk_0: Love it, love it. Love it. Thank you so much for joining me, Daniel. And thank you for all that will tune in later. You'll have an amazing and blessed day. Thank you so
[00:27:27] spk_1: much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for if this to shoot anyway, please, like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold, Bobby and hot humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time