Episode Description

Stop Second-Guessing Your Decisions: With Ope Famoroti

Ope Famoroti is job hunting and finding it frustrating. She feels like she “should” be doing more every day but that’s hard given the current climate. On top of that, she’s not sure if she has made the right decisions.

Many people don’t realize that the word “should” carries A LOT of unnecessary weight in our lives, and it tends to be the source of our doubt when it comes to our decisions.

Ope needs to get behind her decisions, which she can do with help from the H.E.A.L formula. She also needs to understand that this is not a permanent situation, but rather a type of experience.


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. I am happy to welcome you to The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today, my coach comes locally. In other words, she's in my neck of the woods and I'm thrilled about that. And her name is Ope Famoroti. I don't know, you tell me.

[00:00:35] Ope Famoroti: Famoroti.

[00:00:37] Kim Ades: Famoroti.

[00:00:37] Ope Famoroti: That was spot on.

[00:00:39] Kim Ades: Okay. Welcome!

[00:00:41] Ope Famoroti: Thank you, thank you. I'm glad to be here.

[00:00:43] Kim Ades: So you're in Toronto, which is fantastic, one of the best cities in the world. And you're not too, too far from me. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are you up to? What are you doing? Fill us in.

[00:00:59] Ope Famoroti: Yeah. Currently I live in Toronto, like you mentioned, I'm currently just enjoying the winter. It's winter, getting into all of the winter activities and sports. I'm unemployed at the moment, I'm just getting back into the job market, and in the meantime, you know, keeping myself busy. I've taken on a couple art projects, not really an artist myself, but everyone's an artist, so to speak.

[00:01:26] Kim Ades: What kind of art?

[00:01:28] Ope Famoroti: [Laughs] Don't laugh. I just noticed that the dollar store has a number of fantastic things that you can put together as art pieces.

[00:01:36] Kim Ades: Yes.

[00:01:36] Ope Famoroti: And so I've gone there and picked up a number of things, mostly camp art canvases that it's almost like a paint-- it's guided painting, if you would.

[00:01:46] Kim Ades: Oh okay.

[00:01:46] Ope Famoroti: They provide the paintbrush and yeah [chuckles] and the paint.

[00:01:48] Kim Ades: Amazing! Fantastic. Kind of like a paint by number concept.

[00:01:52] Ope Famoroti: That's it. Exactly, without the numbers. That's exactly it.

[00:01:55] Kim Ades: Without the numbers.

[00:01:56] Ope Famoroti: Exactly.

[00:01:56] Kim Ades: Very interesting. I had no idea that the dollar store supplied such a thing.

[00:02:00] Ope Famoroti: Yeah, I've been keeping myself busy with those and surprisingly enjoying that.

[00:02:05] Kim Ades: I'm going to look into that. I know someone who would maybe benefit from something like that. I will investigate. Okay, so tell us a little bit about you. You said you're unemployed. What were you doing in the past? Give us a little bit of your work history.

[00:02:17] Ope Famoroti: Yeah. I work in human resources. I've worked in human resources for... I want to say 11 years, but timelines get a little confusing from time to time, but just about 11 years or so. I was a Director of HR at a health tech company most recently, after spending just about five or six years in the BPO space, Business Process Outsourcing, so AKA contact centers.

[00:02:44] Kim Ades: Okay. Contact centers. And you were in HR and contact centers. Okay. And your last job, how long were you there for and how did it go?

[00:02:55] Ope Famoroti: That's a loaded question. [Laughs]

[00:02:59] Kim Ades: [Laughs]

[00:03:01] Ope Famoroti: That's a loaded question. I'm no longer there. I will keep it at that. Wasn't a good fit, I wasn't quite what I was expecting. Really, I think either party was expecting from the role. Wasn't there for a very long period of time. And it was exactly-- so I was looking to pivot into a new industry, so it did that, but just not for the time that I had initially anticipated.

[00:03:28] Kim Ades: Okay. And so where are you now? You're looking for work, you're actively looking for work. Like, do you feel like "man, I just want to get back out there. I want to be in the workforce"? Are you feeling like "I'm good. I'm enjoying the winter"? I don't know why or how, but "I'm enjoying the winter and I want to keep enjoying the winter".

[00:03:45] Ope Famoroti: I am actually, this is the first year I can say that I'm enjoying the winter. I'm going hiking. I am going hiking later today.

[00:03:51] Kim Ades: Oh!

[00:03:51] Ope Famoroti: It's actually nice if you dress appropriately, if you asked me this a year or two ago, I think I would have strongly disagreed, though. As far as what I'm doing, if I'm back in the job market, I just recently got back into actively searching for work. I traveled so at the end of my last stint, if you would.

I traveled out of the country. I was in Nigeria, which is where I'm from. I was there for just over a month, and I came back earlier this year to some additional time off of looking for work and just spending time reflecting, figuring out what my next step should be, making some new friends. And now I'm back into searching and actively searching for work in the past week or two, or so.

[00:04:38] Kim Ades: Okay. So tell me, what is your greatest challenge right now? What's going on where you're like, "man, I wish this could get easier"?

[00:04:46] Ope Famoroti: Yeah. I think one of the-- I would say right now for me is really figuring out... and although I've spent time thinking through it, figuring out what I should be doing, right? I think this year-- Last year, rather, 2021, I'd been in HR at the time for 10 plus years already. And things were going well.

And, you know, from time to time having that nagging thought of "Hey, what else could I be doing? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Is this work that my soul is being called to do?" Not to get too philosophical. But is this work that I really want to be doing? And I've enjoyed all of my roles in HR. I've grown within them, I think I've had impact within them, and I've learned a lot within them. But is this what I should be doing with my time?

[00:05:37] Kim Ades: What makes you question whether or not this is the right place for you?

[00:05:42] Ope Famoroti: That's a good question. I got into HR-- My parents, thank God... Thankfully rather, guided me in the sense, right? My dad's an accountant, my mom is English literature major, but once we migrated she took on an HR program and now she does immigration work. But she was studying for an HR program around the time I graduated from high school, and so I went into HR. It's that simple.

And so that's part of what the questioning is about, right? Did I self-select this or was I steered into this? What would I have self-selected if I entirely did this by myself? And again, loved my work, have loved the work so far, obviously with any other job, all jobs.

I'll speak for myself, there are parts of my job that I will say that I absolutely do not like, but I've overwhelmingly, for the most part, loved it. But what else could I be doing? So I guess you could just call it general soul-searching, right? General reflection of... Yeah.

[00:06:53] Kim Ades: I mean, this is like a bigger conversation, right? So typically if you were in our coaching program, we would take you through our process to explore what worked in your life, what didn't work in your life professionally, what you loved, what you didn't love so much, how you got into this, what other dreams or aspirations do you have, what are your strengths, what are your skillsets, where you get lit up, where you get depleted, all of that stuff.

It would take longer than a 20 minute conversation, but in this 20 minute conversation, the question that I have for you is, so when you think about that question, "Hey, if I would have selected something on my own, would I have selected this?" What else do you come up with?

[00:07:36] Ope Famoroti: Oh, man. If I can just be wholly honest... And I hope this is the appropriate terminology, but I relatively scatterbrain when I think about them. And there's just so many things that you could possibly be doing.

[00:07:50] Kim Ades: Yeah.

[00:07:50] Ope Famoroti: One of the ones I would probably pursue a post-graduate studies...

[00:07:56] Kim Ades: In what?

[00:07:57] Ope Famoroti: In either law or business, essentially. So the two top of my things that come to mind. And then, you know, because I'm highly introspective and question everything I'm like, "well, is that also something that I wanted to"-- there's a whole series where the scatterbrain comes in. It's like, I just keep digging and saying, "well is that also"--

[00:08:17] Kim Ades: Hold on, I don't think it's scatterbrain. I think you're in an analytical mode, you're trying to figure things out. I wouldn't call that "scatterbrain".

[00:08:26] Ope Famoroti: Fantastic.

[00:08:27] Kim Ades: Scatterbrained is if we had a podcast at two o'clock and you showed up at 2:30, that would be scatterbrain. [Chuckles] So you have these other thoughts about some of the things you might like to do.

[00:08:41] Ope Famoroti: Yeah. Yes.

[00:08:42] Kim Ades: Okay. So to me, I think you're in a very, very interesting spot. You're in a spot of opportunity, a spot where things are wide open in front of you. But we started off the conversation and you said the following, I'm going to quote you exactly. Let me find the exact language. "I'm trying to figure out what I should be doing". Word for word.

[00:09:05] Ope Famoroti: I did say that.

[00:09:07] Kim Ades: And so the word "should" is very critical for us when we listen to coaching clients speak, because the word "should" means there's an exact proper path. There's something that's right and something that's wrong. And that's something that's right isn't necessarily something that you determine on your own.

[00:09:32] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:09:33] Kim Ades: So my question for you is, how will you know when you figure out what you should be doing?

[00:09:45] Ope Famoroti: That's a great question, and I'm thinking through that right now. I don't know that I would, which is... I think part of the challenge is to just try it all. I'm like, "can I just try it all? Or do I have to select something?" I'm not sure. How do people know when they figure out what they want or should be doing? I'm not quite sure.

[00:10:05] Kim Ades: Well, I would suggest to you that the word "should" is tripping you up. Okay? So you shouldn't be doing anything or you should be doing everything, right? So the word "should" trips you up because the word "should" indicates there's only one right answer. And I would suggest that there isn't only one right answer. The right answer is the one you can get behind. Okay?

So how do we make decisions? When we make decisions, if we doubt our decisions, if we second guess our decisions that wasn't a good decision. But when we make a decision and get behind it 100%, we turn it into a great decision.

[00:10:45] Ope Famoroti: Okay. That's great insight. So how do you... I don't know that I ever make decisions without second guessing them really.

[00:10:54] Kim Ades: Okay. So I'm going to give you a formula for making great decisions. Are you ready? And you're going to ask me, "where did you come up with this formula from?", and I'll tell you, I came up with it from my years and years of experience, coaching executives, entrepreneurs, senior leaders, like you. So you can write it down.

The acronym is H.E.A.L. Okay? So H stands for, is it healthy? Right? In other words, is it good for me? Is it good for me mentally, physically, emotionally? Like, if I had a job where I had to sit down and I couldn't get up at all, it's probably not healthy for me. Right?

So I have a standing desk, I can walk around, I can take my calls on my treadmill, I can do all kinds of things. That's healthier for me, right? And that's physically healthy. And if I had a job where I was emotionally drained at the end of the day, every single day, and I just felt like, "oh my God, this is a toxic environment", probably not a healthy choice. So is it healthy for me?

[00:11:56] Ope Famoroti: Okay.

[00:11:56] Kim Ades: Is it good for me? Does it fuel me? Does it take care of me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc? It's a good frame.

[00:12:05] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:12:05] Kim Ades: Number two is, is it engaging? Am I interested? Right? Does it peak my curiosity? Does it draw me in? Am I curious about it? Am I interested?

So years and years and years ago, my father wanted me to join his company, it's called ProTech Chemicals and they make powder coatings, which has paint that is sprayed onto metals and baked in ovens. So manufacturing company, they make paint.

And they thought I was ridiculously dumb for not joining this growing and thriving company, but for me, it wasn't engaging. I didn't think that I could live my life selling paint. [Chuckles] didn't excite me. Got it? Great company, great system, great everything, but not for me, not engaging.

[00:12:55] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:12:56] Kim Ades: So is it healthy? Is it engaging? Number three, is it aligned with your values? Right? So for example, I could never work for a gun manufacturing company. [Chuckles] Okay? Not aligned with my values. I don't have anything against them, I'm not out there to destroy anything, but it's just not the thing that I want to spend my life doing. I don't want to put myself behind that concept. Doesn't fit for me.

Number four is, does it lead to a goal or an outcome or desire that you're looking for? And by goal or outcome, does it give me maybe the revenue I'm looking for? Does it give me the upward mobility professionally? Does it allow me to learn and grow? Because those are things that I'm always looking for.

Does it allow me to meet interesting people? Does it allow me to try new things? Does it allow me to have a voice? Whatever it is that is important for me. Right? So those are your four categories.

Now here's the kicker about this. All four of them need to be met. If one of them is not checked off, not a good decision.

[00:14:17] Ope Famoroti: Okay. I was about to compare this, as you were speaking... this is great, brilliant. I was about to compare this to the Maslow's theory of needs, it's like, oh, this sounds a lot like Maslow's theory of needs, in a sense, because essentially, the entire point is to get to self-actualization in many senses of whatever that word means for you, or that phrase means for you. But it's not linear. This is not hurdled steps.

[00:14:49] Kim Ades: Exactly. It's not a pyramid.

[00:14:52] Ope Famoroti: That's the word. It's not a pyramid. It should all combine together and come together nicely.

[00:14:58] Kim Ades: Yeah.

Thank you. Healthy, Engaging, Aligned with values, and Lead to goals.

And lead to a goal or an outcome. So that's the way you take a look, but at the end of the day, every single decision you make, you can second guess. Right? "Should I have done that? Was that the right move? What if this? What if that? Things could turn out bad". And I want you to think about two things.

Number one is, as I said before, getting behind your decisions. So when you make a decision, throw yourself at it, put your weight behind it. In other words, believe in it, right? Because when you believe in your decision, there's a much, much higher likelihood that you will turn that decision into a good outcome. So that's number one.

And the second thing that I want to say is when you make a decision, and sometimes you think about the outcome that could be negative in that decision. Like "what if this terrible, horrible thing happens?" Think about "how will I recover from that terrible, horrible, awful thing?"

Let's say I make a decision and it doesn't work out. How do I recover from that? If I can envision recovery, if I have the fortitude, if I have the plan in my head, then what I've done is I've reduced the risk and I've increased the likelihood that I will be able to handle it no matter what happens. And then there's a third thing. Okay?

Before I go to the third thing. We don't want to negate a negative outcome, we want to envision recovery and then we want to envision total success. So envisioning recovery is healthy, it fortifies us, it's good thing for us to do.

But then the last thing is, understand that in life, from my perspective and from my experience, there are different kinds of experiences that you have. And one of those kinds of experiences are called gateway experiences. What's a gateway experience? It's the door through which you get to the next place.

[00:17:09] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:17:09] Kim Ades: So a gateway experience is "I had this experience, it wasn't ideal, it wasn't the best, but it allowed me to get to the next place". And so I don't want you to think of any of your decisions as bad. I want you to think of your decisions as the journey at which there are many, many... Let's call it, if I'm going on vacation, lots of sites to see.

[00:17:39] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:17:40] Kim Ades: Right?

[00:17:41] Ope Famoroti: Turns.

[00:17:42] Kim Ades: Exactly. And so what you're experiencing sometimes when you have a short term position somewhere where it didn't turn out the way you expected it, that's your gateway experience, that's the door that's leading you to the next place. So don't look back on it and say, "ugh, that was terrible, that was bad. I should have done this. I shouldn't have done that. I could have handled this better", forget about that.

[00:18:04] Ope Famoroti: Right.

[00:18:04] Kim Ades: Understand it's the gateway. "The gates opened up, what's next now? What can I learn from that? What can I take from that? What kind of contrast does it afford me so that I get clarity about what I would rather have, the kind of job I want now, but it's my gateway for the next step".

[00:18:23] Ope Famoroti: I can say that I, hundred percent, am experiencing, I mean, it's-- again, I'd been unemployed for a few months at this point, and at the onset, I was like, "oh man, this is terrible. Bad decision to join company, leave--" whatever, all the other, yeah. Spiraling in a sense. And at this point, Got love that freezing of gateway experience, but that's how I started to think about it.

I have the time and really am like, oh, I think I might be a creative person and not have the time. Just thinking I can now spend time outdoors. I love the outdoors in the winter. And that I may not have otherwise done if I was... right? So it's giving me the space to, I guess, reframe and think through, what do I want to be doing, I'm trying not to use the "should"... What do I want to be doing or think about it as it should, but what do I want to be doing?

And it's giving me the space to do that, which I'm really appreciating, and I know that is necessary, which, you know, as someone who works in HR now, reflecting on that, is thinking through... I've already started to think like, oh wow. They're lots of people would just be work for, for, in a sense it's burden.

You graduate, you graduate university and work for the next 30, 40 years with almost no break, that two week vacation. And where do you have the space to really properly think about this? Right? Which is why, I guess, the gap year post high school is such a thing now, you know? Getting the space to think through what we want to be doing and what we're also doing.

[00:20:02] Kim Ades: Also. That gap year could be miserable or that gap year could be extraordinary. And what's the difference? If you're sitting in that gap period, whether it's in between jobs or whatever, if you're sitting in that gap experience going, "I hate this, I should be somewhere else, I should have a job already, I should be further ahead, I should" all the "shoulds", you're sitting in a place of misery and you're not even enjoying your gap period.

You're not even enjoying it. You're not milking it. You're not doing anything useful with. What you're doing is you're saying, "Hey, I have this time so that I can be miserable". And so it's very important to be conscious of the way we think about the moments we're in and say, "what do I do with this? This is good for me. How do I turn this into an advantage for me? How do I leverage this time?"

[00:20:47] Ope Famoroti: Right. Yeah. Thank you. That's what I'm trying to make sure I'm focusing on, on doing just that, which is actually challenging to do, but it has certainly gotten easier over the longer that I've been unemployed front. I think even the fact that this is a double experience in one year, like the first time that it's exactly that. I was like, "oh, I need to find a job tomorrow". I lost my job in July of 2021 and I thought "I need to find a job tomorrow". And the next day I started looking for work. "This is not a pause. I need to find a job right now".

[00:21:27] Kim Ades: Right.

[00:21:28] Ope Famoroti: And I didn't need to. What would I be doing with my time otherwise? And this time around, I don't need to do that. I didn't need to the first time just figure it out, spend time figuring out.

[00:21:41] Kim Ades: Also when you're going for that job, and if you can go there with a feeling of excitement and exuberance, that'll come through and if you go there going, "oh man, you know, I haven't worked for a long time. I don't know what's wrong. I'm kind of desperate right now", you're not going to get what you're looking for.

[00:21:59] Ope Famoroti: Good reminder. Yeah. But just, yeah, I had to take a pause for a little bit because that's the energy that I was bringing to myself, really.

[00:22:08] Kim Ades: Exactly.

[00:22:09] Ope Famoroti: It was going to transfer and it was going to be very readable on an interview, so I definitely needed to take some time off to not look for work, because it would have been a pointless exercise. [Chuckles] So I'm glad I finally had the chance to do that, and I feel very eager to... No, eager is not the right word... I'm excited to get back into--

[00:22:35] Kim Ades: You're optimistic.

[00:22:36] Ope Famoroti: That's the perfect word. I'm optimistic, which I cannot say that I was a couple months back, I was angry, frustrated, sad, all of the negative emotions that were just coursing through and that would, yeah, transfer into whatever I was doing.

[00:22:52] Kim Ades: Amazing. And I will say, and again, transparently for the audience who's listening, Ope and I spoke a couple of weeks ago, I think it was, and she's completely different two weeks later, right? [Chuckles] Like, two weeks ago, I think she was a little bleak, right? Today, I love the trading up for optimism that it's working for you, it's serving you.

[00:23:17] Ope Famoroti: Thank you. Conversations with people, like you said, that was a really helpful conversation. Lots of therapy. If I can, you know, again, honesty, like, speaking with my therapist more frequently than I typically would. All of that is reframing the mindset and really just making sure that I'm not... Yeah, I think at some point I started to think this, I could stay here for a long time. And this is not serving me. And I know it's not serving me because I'm not happy. It's just later being sadness with more-- happiness with more happiness.

[00:23:52] Kim Ades: Right.

[00:23:52] Ope Famoroti: So I think I need to figure out how to spend time here. You needed to be here, maybe. I've done that. So...

[00:24:00] Kim Ades: Yeah, it's okay to get into a funk. It's not okay to live in a funk. Right?

[00:24:05] Ope Famoroti: Exactly.

[00:24:06] Kim Ades: Yeah. It's okay. We all get into funks, but you know, give yourself a time period, and then you gotta move along.

[00:24:13] Ope Famoroti: Yeah. Yeah. And so I'm just trying to-- now that I'm back into looking for work, how do I maintain that? Right? And I feel optimistic, I feel positive. Job searches are difficult. They take time, it's a full-time job in a sense, and can be discouraging, can be encouraging. So when it is more leaning towards the discouraging, how do I balance and maintain some of this positivity?

[00:24:38] Kim Ades: You know, I was just on a podcast, earlier, with another guest and she said, you know, "every single day, count your wins". I won three wins a day and a win doesn't have to be, I got the job. It could be somebody responded to my inquiry. It could be, I got a gift from my partner, it could be anything, it could be anything. But start counting your wins and write them down. And every day, look at all the huge amount of wins that you're getting day in and day out, day in and day out. And I love that, I think that is a great idea. Start counting your wins.

[00:25:09] Ope Famoroti: I'll count this hike I'm about to head out on, as a win for the day, really. Getting to go outside and enjoy nature.

[00:25:16] Kim Ades: Exactly. And it's an interesting weather day out there, so...

[00:25:20] Ope Famoroti: [Chuckles] It is, yeah. A combination of the snow and the rain.

[00:25:23] Kim Ades: Exactly, exactly. But I hope that this conversation helped as well. I wish you incredible luck in looking for a position that excites you, that keeps you healthy, engaged, aligned with your values and leads to the outcomes you're looking for.

Again, that H.EA.L formula, for those of you who are listening, come to our website, we have all kinds of information on there. It's frameofmindcoaching.com, including the H.E.A.L formula, if you didn't have a chance to write it down. But Ope thank you for being on the podcast. I wish you a lot of luck.

For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. If you have a challenge that you want to share, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. My email again is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

In the meantime, please like, please share, please send us your feedback. We want to hear your thoughts. We want to hear what you're thinking about our podcast. We need some feedback. We need to know if we're on the right track. Should we keep doing this? Should we throw in something different? I want to hear from you. Please reach out. Thank you so much. We'll see you next week.

[00:26:32] Ope Famoroti: Thank you, Kim.