Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal

During the last year and a half, we’ve all become a little bit of experts in resilience, don’t you think? But even so, we keep stumbling and falling, we keep rushing and wanting things to go back to the way they were, and we keep hitting some walls that we haven’t figured out -just yet- how to move past.

In today's episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, we welcome the wonderful Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal, Doctor in Psychology, Founder and Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) at Resilience Leadership.
On this call, Dr. Taryn shares with us her biggest challenge, which is one of the four key areas our clients tend to struggle with: chronic dissatisfaction; the feeling that they should be moving further ahead, but that everything’s taking too long.

In Dr. Taryn’s case, she wants to speed things up.  She has this HUGE list of things to take care of.  She feels like the time she has isn’t enough, and doesn't understand why she can't quite figure out a successful time management strategy.

What we reveal is that her challenge isn't a time challenge at all, but a thinking challenge. And on top of that, we tap into the 'shoulding' concept, where she thinks that she should be able to get all these things done AND raise five kids AND be in a relationship AND look as good as she does.

Do you also feel a constant lack of time in your daily life? Do you want to talk about how the pandemic has been affecting you or your business? Are you struggling with another kind of problem? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to talk about on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:


I’d love to hear from you!

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we welcome guests, actually leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.

Today I'm super excited to introduce to you my guest. Her name is Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal and she is an emotional resilience expert.

Dr. Taryn, welcome.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:00:34]
Aw thank you so much for that warm welcome. I'm so honored and glad to be here with you today!

Kim Ades: [00:00:40]
So tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you in the world? What is an emotional resilience expert? I thought I was an emotional resilience expert, so we're going to talk.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:00:51]
[Laughs] Well in the last 14 months, I'd suggest that we've all become emotional resilience experts...

Kim Ades: [00:00:58]
That's true.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:00:59]
...in some way, shape or form. I'm coming to you from Philadelphia today, from downtown Philadelphia, in a lovely little co-working space/social club called The Fitler Club.

Kim Ades: [00:01:15]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:01:16]
And yeah, I would suggest that we've all become emotional resilience experts in some way. You know, it's interesting. I haven't heard someone call me an emotional resilience expert before.

Kim Ades: [00:01:30]
So, what do you call yourself?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:01:33]
Resilience or Leadership Resilience.

Kim Ades: [00:01:36]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:01:36]
Or resilience in leadership and in life.

Kim Ades: [00:01:39]
Okay, great. So what do you think is the difference or is there a difference?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:01:44]
Well, it's interesting that you mention it. So, you know, my background is in neuropsychology, and there's a variety of call it modalities or lenses, right? Through which you can think about human development and growth and learning and self-actualization.

And one of the really foundational models is this model of Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT, right? Or Cognitive Behavior Theory. And what Cognitive Behavior Theory says is that our cognitions or thoughts coupled with our emotions or feelings and then our behavior, actions that we take, that they're all interconnected. Right?

So, putting it simply. Our thoughts, our feelings and the actions or behavior that we take it's all interconnected. Right? So I would say, you know, our emotions, right? Are very connected to our thoughts, what we think to ourselves in our minds, and then the actions that we take. I have decided intentionally to study and to examine resilience from the place of behavior.

Kim Ades: [00:02:56]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:02:57]
So a decade and a half ago, when I was looking at the resilience literature, right? What research had been done. Like any good, like, doctorate student at the time, right? I was doing a lit review, which is the...

Kim Ades: [00:03:12]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:03:13]
You know, what had already been accomplished or contributed in the field in order to contribute something new and meaningful. And what I found at that time was there had been a heck of a lot of research that was done on kind of what you would call like, emotional resilience, right?

Kim Ades: [00:03:33]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:03:33]
So our ability to control our emotions, right? For children to not act out. There's like that famous Stanford, marshmallow study. Have you seen this? Where they put one marshmallow, it's hilarious. Like, you got to pull it up-- like, your listeners have to pull it up on YouTube if they haven't seen it.

You know, the strategies these kids are using when the researcher leaves the room to not eat the marshmallow are just, you know, if you're having a bad day, it's beyond hilarious.

Kim Ades: [00:04:00]
It's a whole TikTok thing right now, but yeah. Okay. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:04:04]
Oh my gosh, it's amazing!

Kim Ades: [00:04:06]
They do with kids and even with dogs.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:04:08]
Oh my gosh.

Kim Ades: [00:04:11]
Yeah. But okay, go on.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:04:12]
Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, so there, it's kind of that like, emotional regulation, right? Obviously the eating the marshmallow's the behavior, but you're regulating yourself emotionally to not eat the marshmallow, so you can hopefully get another marshmallow when the person comes back, right?

So that's, you know, kind of emotional resilience and there've been a lot done on spirituality and the connection with resilience environment, right? The type of environment that children grow up in and how that contributes to, or detracts from their resilience.

AND thinking or mindset, right? Like you're Frame of Mind Coaching™. Hello. Right? So we know that mindset and, you know, Frame of Mind, right? And self-talk, and all those things, tremendously important. And I felt like quite a bit of research had been done there. You know, you look at Carol Dweck's work also from Stanford, right? On growth mindset, that type of thing. Probably a lot of your listeners are familiar with that.

And so, what I wanted to do was I wanted to like operationalize resilience behaviorally, right? So when we face a challenge or some kind of change or complexity, right? Our sympathetic nervous system says, okay, "you've got three choices. You've got fight, you've got flight and you've got freeze". Right? That's like our hard wired neurobiology.

And what I wanted to do was say, okay, in the words of Viktor Frankl, right? In the space between stimulus and response, what other choices do we have at our disposal as humans beyond fight flight or freeze? Right? What are the behaviors in those moments of challenge, change and complexity, we can engage in to create a more resilient, positive, or beneficial outcome.

So that's how I would describe the work that I do.

Kim Ades: [00:06:01]
Very very interesting.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:06:03]
I think so too! That makes two of us.

Kim Ades: [00:06:05]
So let me kind of translate it in Kim language. It sounds like what you were saying is that we have been taught that those are three possible responses, and you're suggesting that maybe there's a fourth of fifth and sixth and a seventh. That we don't necessarily need to flee or fight or freeze, but maybe we can breathe.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:06:28]
That's right.

Kim Ades: [00:06:28]
I'm making it up.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:06:30]
Yeah. Yeah. I'm not saying that fight flight or freeze is necessarily a bad idea, right? I mean, there are going to be some instances where that's going to be the most kind of productive response. But relative to call it like, the pandemic, right? Or... you know, we're feeling angry or frustrated with someone or, you know, those types of things, right?

So, often when I was asking people, as a marriage and family therapist and in my work around neuropsychology... So, often when I was asking people, "okay, well, why-- you know, why did you act this way? Why did you make this choice?" They would say to me, you know, "well, I didn't have a choice", right?

And so the first step, I think, for us as humans... If we haven't taken this step already, and many people have, is to be empowered to recognize that we have a choice about how we respond, right? That we don't have to react, right? That there is space in that moment of stimulus, a thing happens in our response, right? And we can choose a response rather than just a reaction.

So the first step is recognizing A that we have a choice, right? And then B, what are those choices? And see what are the best choices that we can make. And I'll just add on one more element now, 'cause we're kind of building here.

So what I've done is I've interviewed hundreds of people now and collected thousands of pieces of data, asking people a simple but powerful question, which is to think back to a time when they faced challenge, change or complexity.

And what did they do? What did they believe that they did that led to a more resilient, positive, beneficial outcome? That led to them effectively addressing that moment? And as a result of collecting, you know, those thousands of pieces of data and interviewing hundreds of people, what that's given rise to is the five practices of particularly resilient people.

So to your point, Kim, those five other things that we can do that are now shown to have a connection between creating a more resilient outcome.

Kim Ades: [00:08:47]
So now I want to know what those five things are. And I'm not sure if we should do this on this podcast, or if we should reschedule you for a return visit where we dive into your expertise. What do you want to do?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:09:00]
Well, I'm always glad to come back for an encore, if you would like. So that could be fun.

Kim Ades: [00:09:05]
Well, I do want to hear more about those five things, and I want to talk about resilience, but today we're going to talk about your challenge because it is The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we coach leaders live and in person. So would you be okay at this point in sharing with us, what is your current biggest challenge?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:09:29]
Yeah, I love that. So in full transparency, I realized that we were going to do coaching right before we started this podcast, which is great. So I didn't have time to really rethink things or get nervous about it. I just, you know, went with the first answer, which in my opinion is often the best answer.

So what I love about this conversation that we're about to embark on, is so many people think that because I've done all this work on resilience and I have this psychology background, that I have it all figured out. So let us disabuse you of this notion.

Kim Ades: [00:10:05]
I know that feeling.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:10:06]
Yes. So Kim, you're going to help me figure it out today...

Kim Ades: [00:10:09]
Let's go!

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:10:10]
...which is such a treat. So what's coming up for me is... I am grappling with the challenge of never feeling like I have enough time. So, I have two children of my own, three additional children through marriage, bonus children. For those of you that are keeping track at home, that's five children.

I'm the CEO of, you know, my own company, Chief Resilience Officer, Resilience Leadership Institute, and I'm navigating, you know, what it means to run a corporation with employees, write a book, you know, create social media posts, get to meet wonderful people like you on podcasts. To, you know, sort of client prospecting meetings, give keynotes, my own clients with executive coaching, consulting that I'm doing for large organizations.

Kim Ades: [00:11:19]
I get it.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:20]
Yeah. So I'll stop there.

Kim Ades: [00:11:23]
You or me? I also have five kids.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:27]

Kim Ades: [00:11:28]
Two of my own and three that came in through marriage.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:31]
STOP. IT. That's amazing!

Kim Ades: [00:11:35]
I just think I'm a little older than you.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:37]
You're not.

Kim Ades: [00:11:37]
So I have a few years under my belt, probably that I could share with you.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:41]
You're a thousand percent not older than me.

Kim Ades: [00:11:43]
Oh, I'm way older than you.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:45]
No, you're not. What do you want to--

Kim Ades: [00:11:49]
We could make bets on that.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:51]
What do you want to wager?

Kim Ades: [00:11:53]
Oh, man, I'm ready to wager a hundred bucks on that one.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:11:56]
You are? Okay. All right. At the count of three, we're going to say our age. Ready? A hundred bucks.

Kim Ades: [00:12:03]
A hundred bucks.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:04]
Hundred bucks. All right, virtual handshake.

Kim Ades: [00:12:06]
Virtual handshake.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:08]
Okay, there we go. All right. Ready?

Kim Ades: [00:12:09]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:09]
1, 2, 3. 42

Kim Ades: [00:12:15]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:18]

Kim Ades: [00:12:18]
There you go.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:19]
No, Kim!

Kim Ades: [00:12:20] [Laughs]
I'm 52.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:23]
I owe you a hundred bucks, but you owe me the name of your face creams.

Kim Ades: [00:12:28]
Oh, well, we could talk about that. [Laughs] We could talk about that. We'll put that off there, but let's just go back to your issue.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:12:35]
This is so fun. Okay. Yes. So all of those things, right? And so one thing that I wanted to surface was, like, what the heck's going on? Right? Do I not know how long it takes to get ready? Do I not know how long it takes to work out? Do I not know how long it's going to take to write a book? Like, am I over committing myself? Am I underestimating, how long things take? What is going on?

Kim Ades: [00:12:58]
Okay. So we're going to dig into that in one second. I just want to tell the audience one thing: I am not a betting person. I don't endorse betting, except when I'm absolutely without a shadow of a doubt sure. So this is not a podcast that will encourage you to bet. Please do not do that.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:13:17]
Do not gamble the way Kim and I--

Kim Ades: [00:13:19]
Do not gamble.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:13:20]
I just lost $100.

Kim Ades: [00:13:21] Don't gamble. I just knew.

Okay. So back to your issue of time. So here's a question for you. What happens to you when you feel like you don't have enough time? In other words, what happens to you on a personal, emotional scale? How do you interact with people when you feel rushed? How do you feel about your parenting? About your ability to lead? Like, how are you doing all the things you're doing? Are you satisfied with your performance? Are you satisfied with your relationships? Are you satisfied with yourself?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:13:58]
I mean, no. [Laughs] So let me tell you how I'm not satisfied. I'm a very calm person. One of my strengths, which we know strengths can be overused and become weaknesses... One of my strengths is to really maintain a very calm, outward facade.

So even inside when I'm like, sort of freaking out like, "oh my gosh!", like outwardly I'd be like, "okay, children, now we need to get into the car", but inside I'm like "oh my God, we're going to be late! I'll just be behind the whole day!" Right?

So inside I feel like, if we just focus on the somatization, right? I feel anxious, I feel scared, I feel frustrated, I feel frustrated that like, things aren't moving as fast as I want them to move, or as I thought they should move or I thought I should move. It all comes down at the end of the day, Kim, like...

Even if I like, get upset, like... if I go to my partner and I'm like, frazzled and I'm like, you know, "oh my gosh, I don't know what to do. And I'm going to need to get back on my computer after dinner" or something. It all comes back to like, I feel disappointed with myself 'cause I'm like, "Ugh, like how did I miss this again?"

Kim Ades: [00:15:17]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:15:17]
Like, what's the right formula and how come I, like... Every sort of equation I do, like, I keep getting it wrong.

Kim Ades: [00:15:26]
Okay. So first of all, I just want to tell you, I wish I could kind of go through this screen and give you a big hug because you are like, the epitome of the exact type of person we coach. Like, even the language you're using. And I'm going to share that in a brief moment, but here's the thing. You don't have a time issue.

Why? You and I, we have the same amount of time. We have the same amount of time as every other human being in the world, with more or less responsibility, it doesn't really matter, we have the same amount of time. So what you really have, and I will say it in my language, is that you have a thinking problem.

And so when I asked you, like, what happens? You say, "I feel disappointed with myself". And so if I dig a little deeper, I'm going to take a guess and you can correct me if I'm wrong, you feel disappointed with yourself because you think you should have it all figured out. You think you should do a better job. You think you should figure out a formula that works. You think you should be able to do all those things that you listed before.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:16:28]
"I should be more perfect. I should be better".

Kim Ades: [00:16:30]
You should be more perfect. And so it starts with that. And when we think we should be more perfect, what do we do? We get even calmer, we tie ourselves up in a greater knot, we try as hard as we can to increase our control. Right?

To cram in more to be more effective, more efficient to now start timing the amount of time it takes to do our hair and put on our eyeliner and say, "wow", it's, you know, and we start, you know, looking at our performance as a function of our value.

So that's where the problem begins is how we think about what we should be able to do, and who we are if we're not doing all those things. So that's the beginning point. But that kind of thinking actually creates a bottleneck for us. And what I mean by that is thinking problems are not really about-- sorry...

Time problems are not really about time. Time problems are really about our ability to leverage the resources around us. And even before we're able to leverage the resources, we need to be able to see them and notice that they are even available to us.
I'm taking notes.

Yeah. So when you gave me this whole long list of things that you do, I'm like, "yep". Personally, I can relate to every single one of them, 'cause they're on my list too. And for the longest time, the longest time I'd beat myself up because in my mind this company should be bigger, we should be serving more people, we should be attaining more reach. All the should be's.

And what do the should be's mean? "I'm failing. And if I'm such an expert, I should have figured this out". Right? But here's the thing, is that what you're actually doing is setting yourself up for this state of chronic dissatisfaction.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:18:50]

Kim Ades: [00:18:51]
Indeed, right? And so the question becomes, "okay, so what do I want to achieve? What are my priorities? And if I want to achieve all this other stuff, and I remove myself from the equation, how do I get it done?" Now you're solving a different problem.

You're not solving the problem of Taryn's efficiency. You're solving a math problem. And that requires a different function of the brain that says, if I can't do any of this stuff and this stuff needs to get done, how would I go about doing it? And now what is it that I personally want to take care of? Because it's humanly impossible for me to have all this on my plate and do every one of it well".

But now we need to think about our tasks differently. Not about our time differently, not about our efficiency differently. We need to think about how we leverage the resources around us, because whenever someone says "I don't have enough time", what they're really saying is "I'm not thinking about solutions well enough. I'm not being creative enough.

I have a set of beliefs that prevent me from letting go of some of these responsibilities. I have a set of beliefs that sound something like I'm the only one who could do this stuff. I'm the expert. I can't hand this stuff off" and that's what's slowing you down. It's not actually time.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:20:35]
Got it.

Kim Ades: [00:20:36]
Does this make sense?

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:20:37]
Yes. So now I can not feel bad anymore about time, I'll just feel bad about my ability to be creative and delegate.

Kim Ades: [00:20:47]
Well, I don't want you to feel bad at all because I don't think feeling bad helps you achieve your goals.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:20:53]
[Laughs] Right.

Kim Ades: [00:20:54]
But, you know, the bright light in this is that there are solutions that you're simply not accessing because your beliefs say "those are not accessible to me. I can't tap into them. And so what I'll do instead is I'll push harder. I'll push through. I'll be better". And any time you're not as good as you want to be, what happens? You beat yourself up.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:21:23]

Kim Ades: [00:21:24]
And that formula is guaranteed to fail.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:21:29]
And I'll just add on to what you're sharing, Kim, if I may for your listeners. One of my favorite-- we said the word should a lot, earlier. And one of my favorite quotes you may know from the late Albert Ellis, a psychologist, where when his clients and patients would come to him and they would say should, right? It sort of represents this schism or this gap between the reality of where I am and where I imagine I ought to be, and he would say to his clients, "you're shoulding all over yourself".

Kim Ades: [00:22:05]

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:22:06]

Kim Ades: [00:22:06]
Exactly. And you're not maybe doing that out loud because you know better, but on the inside you're doing it.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:22:14]
I'm a thousand percent doing it on the inside.

Kim Ades: [00:22:16]
Right. Exactly.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:22:19]

Kim Ades: [00:22:20]
And so, we want to catch that and then we want to say, "okay, fine. I accept that some of this stuff needs to be handled differently than I'm currently handling it. What are my options?" Because right now you're not even considering options because what you're sure of is that you are the one that needs to be-- should be doing this.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:22:41]
I'm like looking off to the side of my to-do list like "okay, how can I think about this differently?"

Kim Ades: [00:22:46]
Right. So I hope that makes sense. I hope that was valuable.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:22:52]
That was fun.

Kim Ades: [00:22:53]
I hope that gave you some things to think about, and when we're offline, I can share some personal tactics of managing a blended family with five kids and growing a business and getting older and having aging parents, and, and, and.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:23:07]
And, and, and.

Kim Ades: [00:23:08]
All the and's.

Taryn Marie Stejskal: [00:23:09]
Yes. And looking great while you're doing it. That's right. Yeah, that'd be wonderful. It's so nice. What a treat, Kim, to receive this focus and attention, you know, where people like you and me are always giving so much of ourselves. So what a treat to receive this from you. Thank you so much.

Kim Ades: [00:23:32]
My pleasure.

For those of you who are listening, I want to share something very interesting with you. I often define our ideal clients as people who have four things in common or rather they are very high achievers who struggle in four key areas. I'm going to define those areas.

Number one, they feel a sense of isolation because they have a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders and they feel the pressure of that responsibility, and they need to get it done and they need to get it done quickly and they feel a huge weight that sits on their shoulders alone.

The second thing is that they have sometimes strain in their relationships because they feel that other people don't understand them. They feel that other people don't move as fast as they do. They feel like other people don't understand their mission and that the world around them doesn't necessarily make it easy for them to get to where they want to go.

Number three is they have a sense of chronic dissatisfaction. They think they should be much further ahead. They think they should be moving faster. They think they should be achieving the goals that they set out to get to. And they don't understand why things are so hard or why things are taking so long.

And last but not least, it's a term that I call slippage. I made it up. And what I see is that these leaders tend to let important things slip through the cracks. Things like their health, their sleep, their nutrition, their exercise, their friendships, their downtime, even time spent with family.

So these are the four areas that I see recurring over and over again in terms of the challenges that our clients experience.

In today's episode, Dr. Taryn shared with us really one of these key areas of chronic dissatisfaction: the feeling like she should be moving further ahead, that things are taking too long. She wants to speed up. And she has this massive list of things on her plate to take care of, and she doesn't understand why she can't quite figure it out.

And what we revealed was that, you know, her challenge wasn't really a time challenge. Her challenge was a thinking challenge. First, with the shoulding concept, with the shoulding idea, she thinks that she should be able to get all this stuff done AND raise five kids AND be in a relationship AND look as good as she does.

The second piece of it is, is that when we feel that we have a challenge with time, I always want to push back and say actually, we have a problem with our thinking about the resources we're accessing in order to achieve the goals we want to achieve. And this was very much the same issue.

When we have all this list of things to do, look at that list and ask yourself, "do I need to be doing all of these things? Are there some things that I could be outsourcing? Are there some things that don't need to be done at all? Are they the best use of our time as a company at all? And if so, are there more efficient methods to get it done if I were to remove myself from the equation completely?"

Taryn, thank you so much for being on the show with us. I would love to talk to you again about... not emotional resilience, just resilience and dig into that a lot more. It was an absolute pleasure having you on the show.

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're not so willing to share on the podcast, please reach out to me as well.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

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