Wendy Paige Sterling

Unlock the power to change and break through limiting beliefs. 

In this week’s episode, I’m joined by Diann Wingert to talk about how our societal upbringing as women shapes our restrictive mindset in pursuing our personal and professional goals. Her 20 years as a psychotherapist inspired her to coach different individuals, including women with ADHD. 

Women have been socially conditioned to meet countless expectations. But let me remind you that we’re not meant to be people pleasers. You can change your fate and achieve success.  

It begins with self-acceptance and believing that you’re enough. Develop a mindset that thirsts for continuous improvement.  

The world is missing so much potential because people don’t feel safe to express themselves. Diann Wingert and I do what we do because we want to inspire women to achieve their highest self. 

I invite you to redefine what’s possible and unleash your full potential. 

Tune in to this week’s episode of Power In The Pause: Unlearning Limiting Beliefs: Break Through Barriers and Achieve Unprecedented Success with Diann Wingert. 

Diann Wingert is a business strategist and coach for ambitious outliers. After twenty years as a psychotherapist, Diann realized she wanted to shift the conversation from problems to possibilities and sought out additional training and certification as a coach. 

Her passion is helping others unlearn the beliefs and behaviors that hold them back, so they can proudly stand out, instead of fitting in, and she has extensive experience working with gifted women and those who have ADHD. 

Diann loves dark fiction, strong coffee, and laughing out loud. She is also a Peloton enthusiast, practicing Buddhist, host of The Driven Woman Entrepreneur Podcast, and creator of The Boss Up Breakthrough. 

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Website: https://www.diannwingertcoaching.com/  

Email: diann@diannwingertcoaching.com 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachdiannwingert/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/diannwingertcoaching/  

Get Diann’s co-authored book, “Business With a Woman’s Touch: The How-To Guide to Successful Entrepreneurship & Profiting In Business Without Sacrificing Integrity”: 



You know, so many times, so many people have such a hard time breaking through or struggle or they struggle to break through their limiting beliefs, um, because they do not accept themselves. And a big part of, you know, when I was a divorce coach, a big part of what I used to teach had to do with self-acceptance because you’ve got to love all of you in order for others to love you. 

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Power in the Pause podcast. How are you doing today Hey, please do not forget to hit subscribe so that you do not miss a single episode. And it would mean the absolute world to me if you would leave a five star rating so that more people can find this podcast. So join me please, in welcoming Diane Wingert to the stage Hello Diane, how are you? 

I’ve been so looking forward to this. Wendy. 

Oh me too! I am really excited to dive into our conversation today around unlearning limiting beliefs, how each and every one of you can break through barriers and achieve unprecedented success. And before we dive into our topic, I want to share a little bit about you with our audience today, Diane. So Diane is a business strategist and coach for Ambitious Outliers. After 20 years as a psychotherapist, Diane realized she wanted to shift the conversation from problems to possibilities and sought out additional training and certification. As a coach, her passion is to help others unlearn the beliefs and behaviors that hold them back so they can proudly stand out instead of fitting in. And she has extensive experience working with gifted women and those who have ADHD. Diane is also the host of the Driven Women Entrepreneur podcast and the creator of the Boss Up Breakthrough. So, Diane, I would love for you to share. I mean, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know you a little bit before we hit the record button. And we’ve also been part of a wonderful, uh, female, you know, women’s entrepreneurial group But I would love for you to share with our audience today around, really, what inspired you, what inspired your journey to go from psychotherapist to business strategist and a coach for ambitious, what you call ambitious outliers? 

Thank you so much, Wendy. I’m delighted to be here. And I love this question. So much. You know, I want to I probably was always meant to be a psychotherapist because I grew up in a very what used to be called a dysfunctional family. I think now it’s just called a toxic environment, because they’re not just limited to families, they’re toxic workplaces and communities. But I think I was sort of a psychotherapist in training as a child growing up in this environment and it was something that I really looked forward to doing in my adult life. But there came a point where I realized, even though I loved my work, I had a very successful private practice and clients who never wanted to leave. I started to feel a little bit restless once I hit my 50s, and it took a minute to understand why. But there’s something very magical that happens when a woman goes through menopause. And I realized that once my brain was no longer producing estrogen, the tend and befriend hormone, I started thinking, what’s new? What’s now? What’s next? In other words, I started becoming impatient about my own future. And when I realized as I was listening to my clients talking about various things, oftentimes we were focusing more on the past and what had happened to them, things that they’d been through, struggles that they had. And I found myself becoming very eager to talk about the future. I realized I had reached a point where I had fundamentally outgrown the role of being a therapist, and grown into the role of being a coach. I just didn’t really know it at the time. So now when I say I reached a point where I didn’t want to talk about problems anymore, I wanted to talk about possibilities. I still wanted to help people. I still wanted to help primarily women but I wanted to help them future craft their life and not only heal from their past. I’m sure that makes sense to you, right? 

Oh, 100%. I mean, that was the main reason why I shifted out of corporate into entrepreneurship and specifically becoming a certified life coach, because while I had been in therapy and therapy was amazing. What really caught me about coaching was the now and where it is that you want to go. And for me, you know, what made my transition possible really was my unexpected divorce. And so being able to really dream and to inspire others to dream and to think that anything is possible was a foreign concept to me up until the world of coaching, really, it made itself knowledgeable to me. So I think it’s it’s amazing. And I think that, you know, the the work that you specifically do as it relates to the clientele that you, uh, that you have the pleasure of working with is so incredibly, incredibly valuable because so many of us start our lives being told, as we were talking about again before we hit record is, you know, we’re so ingrained as children and and, you know, one experience can completely taint or shift a belief in any single one of us that impacts us for God knows how long. And I’m curious to know for from the work that you have done, I mean, coming into our topic today of really, what are some of those common limiting beliefs that you see often from your clients, um, or behavioral patterns, let’s say, um, that really typically start manifesting not just later in life but also in our professional lives. Mhm. 

Such a good question, Wendy. First of all, I think growing up female in the western part of the world in particular, but really all over the world and this is nothing new. This has been going on as long as there have been human beings on this planet. Right. Growing up female, we are largely culturally conditioned, socially conditioned, and oftentimes through our religious institutions, conditioned to be nice, be quiet, be polite, to put other is by to change. It doesn’t matter when it’s just a matter of you recognizing that it is possible. So what are some strategies or techniques that you use to help your clients to really own their voice, to stand in their power, to unravel and break down those that this is how it has to continue to be, that you have the power to shift that. 

Right. What’d you say? You were possessed. 

Yeah and and I’m continuously working on improving myself. I don’t think it’s one or the other. A lot of people feel like they can’t accept themselves until they’ve dealt with whatever they think is holding them back, whatever they think their negative traits are. I disagree. I think it starts with making the bold, courageous audacious decision to radically accept yourself. Because when you do, and it’s as simple as just deciding, yeah, if you want to do journaling, if you want to do affirmations, if you want to, just keep saying it to yourself in the mirror. I radically accept myself until you stop laughing or rolling your eyes It doesn’t matter how you get there, but once you get there, what you start to notice is that you can now identify and address procrastination, perfectionism, people pleasing poor boundaries, not speaking up, making hasty decisions because you don’t really trust yourself. Giving in to peer pressure all of these things until you decide to radically accept yourself no matter how. Even if the last time you screwed up was like five minutes ago, once you’ve accepted yourself, it turns the tables. Because we have been conditioned to seek acceptance from others. Yes and absolutely so. And you know, even the best meaning parents, even well-meaning parents, are human. They have their own trauma. They have their own flaws, they have their own limiting beliefs. And a lot of the women that I know, uh, their own mother was where their problems with self-worth started because their own mother was trying to deal with the effects of these things on her. So she wasn’t really in a great place to lead her daughter. And I think many women I have found don’t reach the point where they are able to say, you know what, damn it, I count two and I need to start figuring out what I want. Usually that doesn’t happen until mid 40s to 50s, and I think it has a lot to do with our hormones. 

Hmm. Interesting. I, I love that theory because it’s so funny. I just wrapped a summit and one of my guests is, uh, a health and wellness expert, and we kind of started getting into that conversation about, like, hormone therapy or hormones, and she’s starting to get new and more certifications in that because she’s starting to see that playing a massive role. And you know, I think it’s really interesting that part of what we’re able to accept is that we are getting older, that we are aging, that there are other factors that we can’t see that are playing a role in, in what it is that we’re struggling with. And, you know, I believe that we seek out evidence that proves us right. Um, you know, glass half empty or you’re staring at yourself in the mirror and all you see are your flaws. It’s like, if that’s how you choose to see the world, you’re going to seek evidence of things that are wrong with you. Instead of really looking in the mirror and seeing like, okay, yeah, I may not be crazy about my weight, but like, I’ve got these killer green eyes, I’ve got great hair, I’ve got, I love my nail. Like I’ve just got a manicure today, right? Like I love my my manicured nails or whatever it is. But what we do is we choose to always look in the negative and I find that, you know, so many times, so many people have such a hard time breaking through or struggle or they struggle to break through their limiting beliefs, um, because they do not accept themselves. And a big part of, you know, when I was a divorce coach, a big part of what I used to teach had to do with self-acceptance because you’ve got to love all of you in order for others to love you. Right? Like I always used to be that external, um, seeker, that people pleaser of, you know, I always used to say, like, my ex-husband was my mirror. And if he didn’t see it, then I didn’t believe that it existed. And so you know, I think that mindset is really a big piece to, um, unlearning these limiting beliefs that we have. And so, in your experience, how else have you seen that play a role? 

I think one of the reasons why this has become so important to me, and why it’s a cornerstone of my coaching program, is that most of the people that I work with have ADHD. Um, and many of them are also gifted. Um, ADHD often travels with other letters from the alphabet. So a lot of people with ADHD also have OCD, or they have dyslexia, or they have anxiety and depression. Most of the time you’re not going to see someone who has just purely ADHD. So this is a person who and they also I work with entrepreneurs. So these are people who are coming to entrepreneurship with a neurodivergent brain. Now, you don’t have to have ADHD yourself to recognize that it is in the psychiatric manual. As a mental disorder. So just the name of it deficit and disorder, ADHD, ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. You’ve got two words right there very stigmatizing, very shaming. And whether you were diagnosed as a child or an adult, there’s a lot of people now who are saying ADHD is the entrepreneur’s superpower. And I understand why they’re saying this, because there are certain features of ADHD that can lend themselves to entrepreneurial success. However, it’s not across the board. It’s not everybody, and most of the traits that people consider advantageous for entrepreneurship tend to skew more towards men. So you want to be successful. You want to be happy. You want to have a good life. You want to unpack your limiting beliefs, and you happen to have ADHD. That’s oftentimes a good place to start, because women are at a disadvantage when it comes to confidence. And that is irrespective of how successful or accomplished we are. It’s just it’s partly our conditioning. It’s part the things that we have been led to believe about ourselves. And I think maybe there are people who can be super successful by challenging themselves by saying, well, everybody thinks I can’t do it. I’m going to prove them wrong. That’s not a great long terme strategy. It’s a much better strategy to say, I need to get comfortable with risk and failure because there is no overnight success. There is no magic pill, there is no one hit wonder. And all of a sudden you’re you’re going to be a household word. I think it’s one of the biggest challenges that women have with entrepreneurship is that we are culturally conditioned to avoid making mistakes. So we don’t like to take risks. We want to have the sure thing. We want to have the sure bet, because we think if we take a risk and we make a mistake, we fail, which means we’re a failure and we’re not cut out for this. You know, you might have noticed that most men don’t think that way. They’re told it’s okay to fail, like boys will be boys. Oh, you screwed up. You’ll get another chance. Whereas with girls, we’re told we need to be perfect. We don’t want to make mistakes. We don’t want anyone thinking we are not capable. So we learn to not think we’re capable of. We have to start turning that around because there aren’t enough people who will say yes. Accept yourself just as you are. Trust your intuition. Believe in yourself. That’s not we don’t. We don’t talk to our kids that way. We don’t grow up in this society that way. And frankly, when you do reach a point where you decide, you know what, I think it’s time I go out on my own. I think it’s time for me to do my own thing. Yes, I understand I have ADHD and that comes with both strengths and struggles, but I choose to believe in myself. I choose to get some help and support and accountability and I’m going to go out there and see what I can do. That’s a pretty bold choice for someone who has been taught from an early age that they have a disorder that means they’re less than others. I mean, what’s the harm? What’s the harm, really, if we decide that I’m good enough just as I am like, is there actually any harm in that? Because, as you say, because of cognitive bias and cognitive dissonance, whatever we choose to believe, we’re going to seek evidence to confirm it. So what would the harm be in choosing to believe I’m good enough, just as I am, and I’m going to continue to work at getting better? I can’t think of a downside, can you? 

No, not not at all. I mean that I feel like that mental chatter is something that we get to practice because so many times we personalize the experiences instead of giving the experience the personalization. Right. So it’s it’s not that you failed, it’s that, you know, this idea failed. Right? It’s not that you did. Right. There’s you know, because I always being a divorce coach. Right. It was always about, um, you know, I fail. No, the marriage failed, right? Like I’m not enough No, I just am not what this person was looking for. But I am enough, right? And I feel like there is so much work that we get to do and we really get to own. And part of that is with, you know what the name of this podcast is, right? It’s like just taking a minute to pause instead of just automatically react and go, oh, I screwed up. No, you didn’t screw up, you know? Yes, a mistake was made. And what do you get to learn from it? Right. We talked about this a little bit too. Is is the way in which we choose to see the world, the way in which we choose to see experiences, everything can shift. If you just give yourself a moment to take a breath and really think about how it is that you’re talking to yourself, what it is that you’re saying about yourself. Right? And there’s there’s so many different perspectives to be had. And I’m curious to know, um, you know, as somebody who works with people who do have ADHD and or are highly gifted, how how do they process perspective? Is it different? Is it similar? What what goes on? For those of my listeners who may be identifying with one or the other? 

I’m really grateful that you asked this question because an increasing number of women are self-identifying as ADHD. A lot of people are figuring it out in TikTok. It, to be quite honest with you, because there’s some wonderful there’s some wonderful content creators on TikTok that are helping people recognize what signs of ADHD are. I prefer to use as much destigmatizing language as possible, referring to traits instead of symptoms and referring to, you know, you have this, you have this difference as opposed to a disorder. But I think, you know, we owe it to ourselves to get ahead of the negative language in our heads. Because what I often say is that when we were little kids, we were born with a brain that was basically an empty field of fertile soil. There was nothing planted there. So the first few things that we were told about ourselves, those seeds went deep and they created a whole root structure that started growing other similar thoughts. So if you had an older brother who told you you were a spaz, if you had a teacher who told you that you were very bright, but you just couldn’t concentrate if you had parents who said, we’re worried that you’re never going to reach your full potential. Those things went deep into your brain and became the root structures of your self-concept. So it’s going to take a little work. It’s going to take a little practice, and it’s going to take willingness to make that bold choice, to accept and approve of ourselves no matter what Otherwise, we’re always trying to change things about ourselves from a disadvantaged position, like we’re we’re at a disadvantage. We’re not good enough. So we’re trying to get better so that we can be good enough. What would it be like to decide? Actually, you already are good enough, and like every other human, you have strengths and you have struggles. Why don’t we see if we can make the most of those strengths and do what we can to manage the struggles, knowing that you will continue to have these struggles. And I’ll give you a perfect example. I have a terrible memory. Terrible, terrible memory. I’m also very forgetful. I lose things all the time. I make promises that I don’t fulfill because I don’t remember making them. Anyone or all of these things can give the impression to other people that I’m either very selfish or self-focused, that I don’t care about others, that I don’t mean what I say, and that I’m just you know, kind of a nutcase. Well, I decided that I needed to take responsibility for those behaviors because they do affect other people. Like if I tell my husband, I’m going to pick up the dry cleaning and it completely goes out of my mind the minute I say it, he has every right to be disappointed, hurt and maybe even a little annoyed when I come back with bags of stuff and no dry cleaning. So I feel like that self acceptance is is kind of the base, but we do need to be able to try things to help us get better without thinking that we’re trying them so that we can be better. We want to function better and we want to feel better, but we don’t actually need to be better than we are right now. We are. We really are enough. And if you really start to pay attention to all of the limiting beliefs that you’ve already cast off, how did you let go of those? I used to believe that because I was adopted, that meant I’m simply not as good as other kids, because if my own parents gave me to strangers, that’s the story I was told. If your own parents gave you to strangers, how could you ever think that you’re as good as other kids who grew up with their parents? That that’s a story, right That is a story. And I decided at some point I didn’t like the way that story made me feel. So I was going to create another story that was just as true, but didn’t make me feel bad. And I think for people who have ADHD, you’ve probably gotten a lot of negative feedback in your life, probably well before you even knew that your brain worked differently. So you can either continue on letting other people define who you are and tell you who they think you are. Or you can decide, how do I want to feel about this? You may not get a lot of support from friends and family because they’re used to the way things have been, but you can absolutely get support from other people who are doing the same kind of work to feel better about whoever they are and whatever they’re dealing with. 

So I’m curious to know, um, you know, I recently had a guest on and we were talking about, um, you know highly sensitive people. And this is one of the questions that I asked her that I’m curious to know for you as well, because I feel like, especially in the business world, that perhaps there isn’t as much compassion or understanding for those who are quote unquote, different Um, and I find that as leaders, it is our responsibility to know as much as possible about those that we do lead and to be able to inspire them to be their best. And so what would you say to somebody out there, a manager, a leader, an entrepreneur, whoever? What would you say to them to instill even more compassion for those who do have ADHD and don’t think the same way, who are unable to show up in a in the same way as maybe other people on your team Like, what is that piece of advice that you want them to know to ensure that they’re also inspiring those team members as well? 

I love this question. I think neurodiversity is becoming an increasing topic in the workplace, because the number of people that are being identified with ADHD, the number of people that are being identified on the autism spectrum, there are many people who have both and many other types of neuro divergences. It’s no surprise that a lot of people who are neurodiverse feel that the workplace is inhospitable to their differences. Um, so many of these people have become entrepreneurs. In fact, many of the people I’ve worked with in the last number of years, they never intended to be self-employed. They just did not find the workplace to be hospitable. I, I read recently and I wish I could remember where I read it, but, uh, the fish rots from the head down. And this may sound kind of gross and graphic, but it’s meant to illustrate that it’s the responsibility of the leadership, the top leadership in organizations, to set the standards, to create the culture and to say, do we want to be a workplace that welcomes, integrates, and makes the best of all of our employees? Or we’re going to favor certain people, we’re going to court lawsuits, and we’re going to lose some of our best talent, because people with ADHD and autism have tremendous gifts if they feel welcome. I also think that it’s it’s helpful to to learn that there are certain people. For example, one of the things that drove me out of the workplace, and I’ve been happily and successfully self-employed since 2010. Too many meetings. If you have too many meetings, too many meetings that go on endlessly, too many meetings on the same topic, meetings that don’t resolve anything but it gets carried over to the next and the next and the next. People who are neurodivergent oftentimes have a very low tolerance for boredom. I like to say we treat boredom like a life threatening condition. And so if if a meeting doesn’t really feel like it has a point, it doesn’t really feel like it’s resolving anything, it doesn’t really feel like anything important is being discussed. It’s like a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. There are some very innovative and progressive companies that have a 20 minute maximum meeting policy, um, and allow people to walk around the room allow them to attend, virtually, allow people to take breaks if the meeting goes longer than 20 minutes, because some of your best thinkers, some of your most innovative, your most original, your most disruptive thinkers are the ones who can’t sit still through long, boring meetings. So why would you want to miss out on the contributions they could make? Because your status quo is inhospitable to them. That’s that’s just one example. And that’s for the more hyperactive folks. Yeah. No. 

And it’s so true. I mean, I, you know, even my youngest son, I mean, he’s brilliant and he’s the kid who, you know, he can’t sit still like that’s just not how he works. But when he speaks and the things that come out of his mouth, you’re just like, whoa, how old are you? You know, and and I and I, I feel very passionate about this, and I feel, um, you know, especially, uh, you know I don’t know if the right word is, you know, charged up, but I just, I feel like as a, as a, as a world, as a community, I just in general, we are missing out on so much wisdom and knowledge because people don’t feel safe to express themselves, to express their ideas in a way that actually can help progress and move the world forward. And it’s platforms like my podcast, platforms like my summit stages, where I believe that it is important for those of us who have stages to give people the opportunity to educate, to inform, because imagine what we’re missing out on, right? Imagine all of the like, wisdom and insights that that we are keeping ourselves from From that, who knows? I mean, who knows what what idea is out there that that we won’t necessarily hear on here about. And I think that there there are so many lessons for us to learn and, you know, space that we get to give those who require space that looks different and why does that matter? Why is that such a big deal? It shouldn’t be. We all need different things. Go ahead. Sorry, no. 

To your point, Wendy. And I think here’s another example. People who process information differently, people who express information differently. People who some people need to verbally process right They figure out what they are thinking and feeling by talking it out. Some people need to write it out. Some people will come up with a brilliant breakthrough, but not on demand. So. Right. If you insist. Okay, anybody else have anything to say during the meeting line? You gotta say it right now. But if you, if you, if you open the door so that there are people who will continue to process what was discussed during a brainstorming meeting later on, and then they’ll go, this is what I want to say. But if you ask them on the spot, their mind goes completely blank. So they just it’s creating space for people to participate in ways that feel good for them without making it feel like an accommodation. Mhm. Because most people don’t nobody wants to be seen as different. Nobody wants to be seen as, oh, they’re accommodating me. So how about in the workplace we let people participate, contribute, give feedback, generate ideas in the way that feels best to them instead of telling them this is the approved way and everybody else can just keep their mouth shut. That doesn’t work anymore. 

No it doesn’t. And it’s it’s not about like, you come into my box, it’s here’s the box we’re all in, and we all get to figure out, like how we play in the box together. Or how about let’s break the box together or Yeah, let’s. 

Okay, let’s break the box together. Yeah, I like that more. That sounds better. Oh, Diane, I know we I mean, we talked for like, an hour before we even hit record on this podcast, and I, I’m so I’m so fascinated by this whole conversation and this topic. And I’m so grateful for the work that you do. And I want to make sure that my listeners know where they can find you and how they can get more information follow you. What’s the best way to connect with you? 

I like to say, if you like the sound of my voice and what I have to say with it, you should check out the Driven Woman Entrepreneur podcast. And if you are wondering which of the patterns of behavior that I’m indulging in is actually the one that’s truly holding me back. I also have a quiz called, Not surprisingly, What’s Holding You Back? And I’m sure Wendy’s going to link to that in the show notes. You can also find me on LinkedIn. 

Yeah. And what’s your handle on LinkedIn? And just so people know how to spell your name, uh, Diane Winkler, coaching Oh, Diane. That’s. Yeah, my my mother dropped out of school in the sixth grade. I should tell you, Diane is. Diane. Don’t give me a knee. Don’t have one. Don’t need one. 

Yeah, I just wanted to point that out. But everything you guys will be in the show notes, including the URL and the link to do the what’s holding you back quiz. Diane an absolute pleasure. I am so grateful that we found one another and that we are connected. I really just I value you so much and thank you so much for being a guest on the show. 

It’s been a pleasure and my delight. Thank you Wendy. 

You’re welcome you guys, thank you so much for tuning in and listening to my conversation with Diane You know that with every single podcast episode, my goal is to inspire you to see the power in the pause. Thank you for tuning in, sending you all so much love and light. Also, don’t forget to follow me on social media! Wendy Page Sterling I will see you guys in the next episode. Bye everybody

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