Take Control of Your Stress: Self-Help Sunday on SiriusXM 146, Road Dog Trucking

picture of Jimmy Mac, Lindsay Lawler and Allison Graham on a navy background and a white rectangle along the bottom with the Road Dog Trucking logo, link to RadioNemo.com and the three people's names and the title take control of your stress

Here’s my conversation with Jimmy Mac and Lindsay Lawler on Self-Help Sunday on SiriusXM 146 Road Dog Trucking. The interview is available on demand for several days after the broadcast for SiriusXM subscribers with the internet player or smartphone app. To hear more on the program, visit radionemo.com

Transcript: Self-Help Sunday with hosts Jimmy Mac and Lindsay Lawler and guest Allison Graham

Dave Nemo Weekend Show DNWS0114Graham

Tue, Jan 16, 2024 6:39AM • 24:00


allison, trauma, stress, work, feeling, overcomplicated, stress management, happening, day, talk, advice, truck, find, love, piece, unresolved issues, create, moment, trucking, people


Jimmy Mac, SirusXM 146 Road Dog Trucking, Lindsay Lawler, Allison Graham



Jimmy Mac  00:09

It’s Dave Nemo weekends with Jimmy Mac

SirusXM 146 Road Dog Trucking  00:16

and Lindsey Lawler

Lindsay Lawler  00:22

[music: you know I’m trying to get back home…]

Jimmy Mac  00:28

Our next guest, by the way offers proven alternatives to traditional stress management advice. So that if you are a leader, you can do even more while stressing less and be happier while you do it. Collective stress levels continue to rise across the country across North America, and people continue to burn out. It’s clear that mainstream stress management advice is failing, folks. So we actually have an answer a panacea, a way to kind of cure the common stress. Most successful professionals know what they are supposed to do. This person, however, knows what exactly you should do go to AllisonGraham.com. If you head over there, speaker, consultant, author and course creator joins us this morning, having spent 17 years studying in mainstream personal professional development advice, has navigated her own course, and she’s going to share it with us this morning, Allison, welcome aboard.

Allison Graham  01:20

Thank you for having me. I’m super excited about this conversation.

Lindsay Lawler  01:25

Well, we’re super excited to have you know, to have you for one, I got to meet you at the Women in Trucking conference and Dave Nemo and I got to sit down and talk with you a bit for an interview. And I love the idea. You know, it’s fun that that conference specifically, I always have so much fun. I love seeing, you know, trucking topics, but you know, female focused, and I don’t mean just Woman versus man. I just mean like, you know, the topics that are that are interesting are changing. And there’s a there’s a real feminine energy around self help around personal development, personal growth. And I love that it’s been talked about more and more. And you know, it’s funny Allison in that it seems like, the more we it’s so basic, but the more we make this the norm, the more becomes the norm. You know, like, how simple could that be? So, can you talk a little bit just to at least give our listeners before we dive into some of these topics here. You’ve made a career out of helping people get better? How did what was that moment? And how did you get to the place where you’re like, I love to help people? Oh, crap, I actually know how to do it. Now. It’s both my work, my fun, my passion all in one. How did that what was that moment? You figured it out. And then you got yourself over the line to this this beautiful life that you’ve created for yourself and others?

Allison Graham  02:43

Well, it’s interesting, you’ve probably heard the saying that your mess is your message. And I really took that to heart. Because when I started my speaking career on the training, I had to overcome my fear of networking and meeting people. And so then naturally, I learned how to do that. And then I started getting hired to teach other people how to do it. And what I realized as I got closer with clients, was that all the tactics in the world don’t matter. If you’re feeling stressed, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re feeling like you’re, you know, concerned about your family, or really going through tough times, you’re not going to go out and do the work work as well as you possibly could. And through that growth in my own business, I was going through some really difficult challenges behind the scenes, with surgeries and neuropathic pain, and a whole bunch of you know, everybody has their story, right? What’s happening, and others can’t see it. And I just hit a certain level in my business where I said, this is my this is my calling, is I went through all of that so I can help people optimize their performance. Yes, we need to do that. Because we need to learn earn a living, right. And you got to be safe on the road and be focused and all of that, but also to deal with that mental and emotional heaviness that is so part of our human experience.

Jimmy Mac  04:05

Yep, I wanted I one of the things that I’m obsessed with in regards to stress, because you make a real point is saying while stress might be an illusion, the the effects of stress are not what it does to us. One of the things a lot of people who have called the show in the past always deal with is a combination of both FOMO and fear, like they’re going to make the wrong decision. And then our past mistakes and the disasters of our lives prevent us from actually making new mistakes as Lindsay and I like to say that we’re not willing to take action, and we create a paralysis among ourselves. How much of stress is how much does stress cause that paralysis that inability to move forward to make definitive decisions for good or bad, by the way, and I was kind of curious if you could kind of spin out on that.

Allison Graham  04:55

Sure, and actually, I think it’s most important to answer that question is we need to define the different types of stress, because not all stress is created equally. So I would argue that if we had a survival stress situation, so something traumatic, something that’s a true adversity, going to change the course of our life forever, and we made a huge mistake that led to some sort of trauma, that would be a survival stress, and then you’re, you, there’s no way to get through that except to go through it, our human, you know, experiences that we will have those survival stress reactions, and we can’t judge ourselves for those. So I would say that if there’s something that’s traumatic that you’ve done in the past, or had happened in the past, that prevents you from going and taking that next leap of faith into the unknown of whatever that great thing is, that, to me makes a lot of sense. And we need to heal from the adversity in order to move forward. And on the other side, there’s this self inflicted destructive stress. And this is caused by our patterns by the habits that we have, by our emotions that aren’t processed by the storylines, we tell ourselves. And it’s why it’s so timely that here we are talking on a day when your theme is about breaking those patterns, right? Because it’s those patterns that can hold us back unnecessarily. And that, that is where we have the will where you can feel empowered, because we can make new decisions, but I have a certain way of unpacking that. So that we don’t let those failures hold us back and define who we’re going to be.

Lindsay Lawler  06:37

Okay, well, do you want to talk to you about the the trauma piece real quick, but do you you said you have a method for that? Is that something you want to touch on? Or better yet, is that okay? Because I know you also provide these services. And we want to make sure we will make sure we direct people your way if they want to work with you both either one on one, or from a corporate standpoint as well. But what can you do without quote unquote, reading your book here? What are a few tips, maybe, you know, maybe a top two or whatever tips you can get people in the moment to show kind of the work that you do?

Allison Graham  07:10

Sure. So the framework sounds very intuitive, and simply we have to get very specific about what’s happening, what’s holding us back, what is the problem at hand, and sometimes we’re trying to solve for a huge problem, like the, you know, revenue is down, right? Or you don’t have as many miles this month, right? Like, like, but there might be pieces of that puzzle. So we’ve got to really parse that out and get very specific. And then of course, there’s like depths in there. But the second piece is critical. And this is around the self awareness, and understanding how am I reacting to what’s happening? And potentially, how am I making it harder than it actually needs to be. And that piece of the puzzle is where I end up doing most of the work with my teams that I work with in the clients. But then that last piece is around solution activation. And so it’s interesting, because as I was listening to two of you talk about how you’ve overcome some really cool like, like congratulations, by the way on, you know, not drinking for 30 years, like all of those different pieces are huge, huge, huge wins. But how you did it is not necessarily how it’s going to work for somebody else. And that’s my problem with a lot of the stress management advice is that we the behaviors, or even all personal development advice, it has to flow through the lens of self awareness. How am I reacting physically, mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally to this situation that may in fact, be making it harder. And based on that is how we create the best solutions to problem solve for the human experience.

Jimmy Mac  08:51

Really quickly here, and we’re gonna take a break in a moment, I’m gonna let the land the plane with this question here. And when we and maybe set this up for you to kind of answer this and then we’ll move into a break. What’s one of the big kind of breakthroughs in the last couple of years in regards to self help in regards to training for truck drivers is a lot of educational programs are figuring out that you can kind of customize that when you will allow the customer to customize. When you allow the client or your friend to kind of pick their own sort of model, what you then do is you set them up for success because you’re not saying one size fits all, is that kind of what you’re getting at here. The idea that you need to take the time with a person to figure out where their point of view is and where they’re coming from before you can actually figure out a strategy to help them move forward. I hear and you’re right.

Allison Graham  09:43

 Absolutely, absolutely. Because for one person, the answer is to like you know, exercise. You have to exercise well if you’re on the road for you know, your full 10 hours, what are you going to do, right? How are you going to exercise while you’re driving? You’re not so that whole piece of advice is kinda we have to figure out a different strategy to keep you physically healthy. Or if you’re someone who, you know really believes that you have to say yes to any requests that come through the door, because we want to serve, you have a servant’s heart and me telling you to just say, No, you’re just gonna be miserable, and you’re gonna feel guilty your whole life so it doesn’t work. That’s what I’m talking about is finding out what are the cues, how are you responding, so that we can find the best solution for you?

Lindsay Lawler  10:29

One size does not fit all and it really is and correct me if I’m wrong, and we’ll go to this break. But it really comes back to you are your own guru, trust your own gut, you know what’s right for you? You just don’t give yourself enough credit. Sometimes we’re talking with Allison Graham, who’s a beautiful speaker, consultant, author. More on this self help Sunday. We’re trying to get you trying to make 2020 for your best yet. We’ll be right back at Sirius XM 146 Till weekend 30 For more with Allison Graham to come.

Jimmy Mac  11:00

Thank you direct.

SirusXM 146 Road Dog Trucking  11:26

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Jimmy Mac  12:32

By the way, guys, Allison is talking to us from the land of Lake enhanced snow or lake effects node and about what you want to call it. We are so grateful on this cold day for so many people out there especially you guys who were driving through it that Allison has made time for us. thrilled to have her it’s my first chance to meet her Lindsay and Dave got a chance to interact with her the women and trucking conference. Guys, please go to Allison graham.com. And find out all you can about this inspirational speaker, author, coach and so much more to so many people out there. Allison, welcome back.

Allison Graham  13:07

Thanks for having me again. I’m happy to be here. Because I can’t be outside you know that right? I’m so we’re all the people on the roads today. Moving our goods across the countries and yeah, thank you just shout out to each and every one of you.

Lindsay Lawler  13:21

Absolutely. And thank you for saying so. Okay, so you mentioned in the last break about trauma. I love I love trauma. That sounds weird. I do. I’ve grown to respect my traumas actually. First and foremost, I’ve grown to acknowledge I first I can acknowledge my traumas. And and little thing you know, we all do that thing where you’re, you’re telling a story about childhood or whatever, and you think it’s funny, and you see everyone stop and kind of look at you like Hey, dude, you know, that wasn’t okay, right? You’re

Jimmy Mac  13:54

Not good.

Lindsay Lawler  13:57

No, that wasn’t okay. Right?

But between, you know, just lifelong things that happened, why I love trauma is that I now can see, when you’re going through something, it’s so hard. You can’t tell somebody in the moment. It’s why we have to really deal with our stuff before we’re in our stuff. But do you and you kind of touched on it Allison but the idea of when you’re when you’re going through some stuff if you if you’re able to have the wherewithal to know okay, this sucks, but I’m learning from it. There’s something beautiful on the other side and something I was told once that has landed with me and will stay with me forever is that there’s no good and bad there’s only lessons and experiences that was sort of life changing for me to realize anything I’m in I’m learning from a grown from get your take on trauma Allison, without you. You don’t need to specifically tell us your traumas. But do you think that your traumas in life because we all have them? How was that guided you to do the work you do today and be able to slap someone in the face and be like, This is gonna This too shall pass right?.

Allison Graham  15:01

Right, and it may not pass. By the way, there are certain traumas, they are going to stay with you forever. And from my perspective first of all, I am grateful for the challenges that I have experienced in my life, the big ones and the little ones. And the reason is, is because it really created a fork in the road for me, and each of us faces this, where we say, am I going to let this thing that happened to me define my future? Or am I going to find a way to grow through it? And I got scared. I mean, my neurosurgeon told me that I needed to go on disability, and I was never going to work full time again. And my pain would never be going away. And, you know, so far, the pain hasn’t gone away, but I am working full time. And that scared the bejesus out of me. I tell you, I couldn’t I was like, What is he is right. What if I am now and I was 32 at the time, and I won’t tell you my age now but it’s a lot more than that, but what if he’s right? And it scared me so much that I had to go looking for answers. And so I believe that we use the trauma to get through, but we need to give ourselves the space and the grace to heal and process the traumas, we need to allow for that. Because so often what happens is if we don’t do that, if we don’t allow ourselves that space, and the grace, and the understanding, like that’s why I love hearing about your journey, Lindsey, like you’ve just gone on this journey, right to explore. But if you hadn’t done that, then that would shadow everything that you do each and every day. Right, because it would just be stuck there. And, you know, create anger and, and especially people who are out on the road, you’re seeing this everywhere, this misplaced emotion, people are scared about the economy, they’re scared about, you know, what’s happening, maybe their relationships are on the brink. And they’re taking it out in really challenging ways in these road rage incidents, or anything else that you can see out there that’s happening, like that’s the risk is if we never truly find our peace inside if we don’t deal with those traumas,

Jimmy Mac  17:12

We talk about finding a space by the way. And it’s so funny because there are things there are terms we hear over and over again. And the problem with hearing a term over and over again, is you you stop listening, you stop hearing it, it doesn’t it becomes part of the background noise. And people always talk about somebody having unresolved issues. It’s interesting that you put in, you know, finding the space and the time to heal and finding the space, time and peace to heal. Because in a lot of ways, that is simply dealing with unresolved issues, that a lot of people continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, because they continued to not having dealt with the underlying reasons that put them in those positions. On a practical level, how does one go about given the busyness of so many people’s day to actually carve out the space necessary to deal with trauma, unresolved issues, and all the other things that are holding us back?

Allison Graham  18:05

So I think, you know, if we’re looking for a magic pill that we all want that, right? It’s how do I make this go away really quickly, and that’s the part of the grace is accepting is probably not you’re gonna have to make the space. But I think it starts with the self awareness of understanding where am I not happy, where and the one thing I would encourage people to do is to look at where are the repeating moments of angst? Those things that are constantly happening in your life, and we all have them. And when you get rid of one you’ll find another because that’s just the onion that is personal development, and find that what it where is the argument that’s always happening at home? Where is the you know, your blood starts boiling when somebody does X, like, identify with clarity what that point is. And then as you’re driving as you’re doing it instead of, you know, when you have that uncomfortable feeling that comes up and then you reach for the you know, the Bluetooth and say, you know, Hey, Siri, call somebody, right? And the instead of just sitting with it, that’s the moment that you resist. That’s the moment when you go into the uncomfortable sensation. Because in that uncomfortable sensation when you and sometimes when I have to do it, I have to like literally hold my breath, and be like, Oh, I do not like how this feels it feels awful. But our emotions, especially the most powerful ones need, they’re just energy in motion. So they need the freedom to to tell us whatever they need to tell us. And that’s how we process it. So it doesn’t have to be complex. You don’t need to have, you know, some journaling area and a candle light and you know, a pen and paper in a beautiful notebook. Like you’re gonna have a post it notes and write it down and be like, Okay, I’m feeling this and then just explore it. Ask yourself the questions and sit with the uncomfortable because that’s what allows it to release.

Lindsay Lawler  20:00

Allison, do you think that and this is going to, you know, it’s so interesting to me because a lot of the work and the, you know, self help and personal development and really just self care which is so important it at the core of all of it. And I don’t mean this to take away from the art I mean it to, to let everybody know they can be a part of it. It’s so basic when we break it down. We have overcomplicated so much of it. And when it comes down to it, it’s like, do you want to feel good? Do you want to feel good? Yes. So like, you know, take a moment can and it can’t be more basic than it’s worth. Can you give our listeners like I have a 10:45am every day, an alarm goes off on my phone that says check in with yourself and things like that in my life that seems so simple, but it’s a reset, like certain tattoos I have I looked down it’s a reset to be like whatever’s bothering you right now. Stop, like look away from it. And just remember, it’s all about feeling good. Right. So A) Do you agree that we’ve overcomplicated it? And B) Do you have some quick tips to smacks in the face as it were right?

Allison Graham  21:11

Yes. Okay. So first of all, I do agree that we’ve overcomplicated it. But I think the simplicity of it has actually been what has overcomplicated it. So that is around the circle. So let me explain. We are taught if we want to deal with our stress, if we want to feel better, then we need to do what I call the five, the five cores of stress management, right? We need to exercise and eat well, and all of these different things we need to meditate. But for some people that doesn’t work, or that, you know, I look at the gym, there are a lot of people who are very stressed out hanging out at the gym every day. And so I think what we’ve done as we put these platitudes in place, like just let it go, don’t take it personally. But the things that impact us the very most in our lives aren’t the things that we can’t let go. If, if you had to tell me to let something go, it actually means I can’t let it go until I’ve processed and then I would say work through the problem solving framework. And people can get access to that over on my website, there’s a free list up and you know, it’ll explain more. But I think it’s like yes, we’ve overcomplicated it, but the advice that makes it look simple is not working. And so then what that does, it creates a layer of guilt. And you know, this is why like so if I had an appointment going on, or an alarm going off at 10:45am I would it would it would be really disruptive to my life. Because that’s probably when I’m in a meeting and it’s probably when I’m in flow and so this is where the self development goes because for you it’s like that has been a game changer. And so if that works for you then please please please do not stop it. But if it doesn’t work for you, then it’s like okay, where are the times in the day when I’m getting off the rails when I am forgetting how peaceful I felt before all the day’s challenges popped into my you know my air my being and what does that look like? And then what’s the the moment that happens what’s the cue or that set you in motion identify that and then solve for that because that that piece of the puzzle is going to be different for everybody.

Jimmy Mac  23:26

Allison we got it we got to cut you off because we are out of time I knew this would go by like a blitzkrieg Allison graham.com/lift up if you longing for inspiration go there. Thank you Alison You’re welcome back anytime.

Allison Graham  23:39

Thank you love chatting with you both.

Lindsay Lawler  23:41

Thanks, friend. We got tailgating and football coming up games are being canceled. Cats Dogs living in anarchy what is happening around here Jimmy Mac’s gonna break it down for us into your tailgating report. Country Western after that as well to groovy stuff

Allison Graham headshot smiling leaning against a grey wall, blue cardigan and white top

Welcome! I'm Allison Graham

Let’s face it – life is tough enough without having behaviour patterns that make life harder than it needs to be! 

That’s why I’m obsessed with finding ways to make the human experience easier by offering strategies for problem solving, dealing with chronic pain, leveraging empowering stress, and stopping patterns that create destructive stress. 

I hope you find huge value in my content. To go deeper please check out my online courses, coaching, and keynote speeches