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Intimacy in Relationships with Kim Story

March 06, 202429 min read

“So when we take full accountability for our own selves, there is that reward of being empowered and being confident in knowing that I'm living life on my terms in the best way that I can, and hopefully others around me notice and pick up on that, but if they don't, I still get to feel good about how I'm going about day to day stuff.” - Kim Story

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Intimacy in Relationships with Kim Story

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

In this episode I’m joined by Kim Story. Kim is a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner + Women’s Empowerment Coach, with over 18yrs of experience. As a therapist Kim works with children as young as 5 and adults of all ages. She has spent over half of her career working with children and their families in a nationally known residential program for children with behavioral and mental health concerns. In that time, Kim became a Clinical Supervisor and spent her days offering support to other Therapists as well as providing individual, group, and family therapy. Kim is now a part-owner of Perceptions, LLC, a mental health group practice where she continues to support children and adults who are struggling with overcoming the barriers of trauma, anxiety, depression, and navigating life transitions.

As a mom of 5 (ages 15-20), in a blended family, Kim has also taken her clinical skills and combined them with life coaching to have a bigger impact on women all over

world.  Kim is a life coach who gets the complexities of working moms and empowers them in love and life, so they can reimagine intimacy, improve conflict resolution skills, and master burnout to thrive both at home and at work.

You can learn more about Kim at kimstorycoaching.com

We discuss examining core values and what intimacy looks like in all types of relationships. I know you’re going to enjoy what Kim has to share.

Here’s our conversation.

self love and relationships

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I am really excited to have Kim Story with us today. I think for this month especially, when we're talking about this whole work life balance, the feeling of what it is to be women who are working, who have lots of plans, goals ideas, creativity, I think we can really dive deep here with you, Kim. So welcome to Imperfection in Progress. 

[00:00:21] Kim Story: Thank you so much. 

[00:00:22] Dawn Calvinisti: What would you specifically say around the idea of women who feel like they have to do it all and be it all and have all of those labels, I'm a mom, I'm a businesswoman, I'm maybe I'm a wife, maybe I'm a daughter, all those things, and at the same time, really feel like if I'm not doing all these things, then I'm somehow failing, or I'm somehow not good enough to, to, be, be the person that I say I am and that whole authenticity piece that comes in with all of that. 

[00:00:58] Kim Story: Yeah, absolutely. I think what I see the most with the clients I work with and including myself being a busy, tired working mom is that sense of failure then limits our opportunities to do more things that we actually want to do, more passionate about.

When we're trying to do all of the things. and we are human beings. I always say we're not robots. We can't necessarily give everything a hundred percent all of the time. And so if we have that expectation on ourselves, we often fail, which feeds into that negative self talk. And in that negative self talk, then it becomes a place where I say a lot of working women find themselves feeling anxious and guilty and becoming more overwhelmed when it's our own narrative.

We're the ones who created it. And when we can really deep dive, where's it coming from? I think a lot of women find a lot of freedom and empowerment knowing I've put these labels on myself more than anyone else has and when I can remove them then I am able to do all the things within my capabilities to the best of my ability and feel really good and confident about it. 

[00:02:08] Dawn Calvinisti: When you were first starting out in your journey, and I'm assuming as a women's empowerment coach that it wasn't just all of a sudden, hey, I totally know what to do and to tell everybody and I can help them all the way through this.

I'm sure this came out of your own journey, but can you tell us a little more about what brought you to the place that you're at now? 

[00:02:29] Kim Story: Yes, absolutely. So, I started as a mental health therapist about 18 years ago, I worked in a nonprofit agency setting and, kind of take on more and more and more have children went through a divorce remarried, blended family.

And again, doing more things, more children, everything on my plate and really coming to that place of, I just feel like I'm surviving like this is not the lifestyle that I really had dreamed of, hoped of. Found it really difficult to like, remember who I was as a person besides just being all of these other roles.

We tend to, when we're trying to please everyone, we're trying to do everything perfectly right. We want to be the best mom. We want to be the best wife. I just felt like I was feeling, and the ironic piece for me was I'm a therapist, like I should know better, like what am I doing here? And so it was kind of, I would say it was probably about seven, eight, maybe nine years ago where I will say I really made that transformation for myself.

To do like the hard look in the mirror and say like, why am I feeling so defeated? Why am I really struggling so much? These are things that. What I, I teach my clients, but I'm not doing it myself, so to say. And that's where I say it became a lot more fun when I'm doing what I was doing and not just telling other people like things that they should do, but it also allowed me to really, truly, genuinely be in the shoes of all of the other working moms that I support.

And not just understanding because I am one, but I've done the same work. And so, yes, definitely through my own journey, my trials and tribulations, my failures, my successes, but most importantly is really allowing myself to understand where those limiting beliefs come from and that negative self talk.

Aligning back to what was really meaningful and important to me. We get so caught up these days with what's going on around us and trying to keep up and just pushing through that we lose ourselves. And that's probably my best advice that I always start is number one is like, who do you want to be?

Where are you and what's getting in your way? 

[00:04:47] Dawn Calvinisti: I love that you have also been on this journey. I think when you said, it also gives you that, that empathy, that understanding of where women are at, and you've been there, you, you know what it's like. I think most women that are listening to this, at some point, you are either in it now, where you're feeling burnt out and that you're just pushing through, or you're coming out of it because you've been working hard to get there.

But I think also there's that whole feeling sometimes of, I, I have to do all these things because, again, these are my roles, and sometimes we just don't know where the boundaries are, and like you said, who we want to be. So what do we do when we're, we're stuck in that place and we're thinking, okay, so I don't like where I am, but I don't really know what I want it to look like.

Like, what do I want in all of this? 

[00:05:41] Kim Story: Yeah, a couple of things that I've found to be the most helpful with the clients and what was most helpful for me is truly getting to know my no and my no was like, where do I need to set these boundaries for myself and being confident that I didn't have to do all of the things and that I really truly could realign with things that were meaningful to me and not just doing things out of obligation so sometimes we fear saying no, and no tended to have this like negative meaning for a lot of us.

So we just do more and more and more and more and more. And I'm like, when you get to know your no, you believe in your no, you're confident in your no, then you're really setting yourself up to use no as like your protector. And it's there to be a helpful source of energy. Not so much about letting other people down.

Because if I'm not my best version, I'm already letting people down. So I might as well protect myself and, and get to know myself so that I can be my best version and everyone else gets to benefit from that. So that's usually number one is where's, what is my no, I got to get to know it and befriend it a little bit.

And then two is really kind of going back through like a core values, I would say exploration. I do like a 30 day core challenge of what's meaningful? What's important to you? We often as women inherit a lot of beliefs that we believe we should be fulfilling in different roles. We often just kind of have different genetics that lead us to believe.

There's a lot of societal norms. There's a lot of expectations out there, maybe from partners or families. And so I, I think it's important that you really truly understand what is your core set of values in regards to what you think about being a human being and being a mom? And is that something that works for you right here, right now?

Because what we know about being moms is, who I was when my children were infants is definitely not the same mom as I am now, as they've grown older. And, I'm a different mom with my first kiddo than I am now with my fifth kiddo in our blended family. So being able to have that adaptability and always constantly giving ourselves permission to reassess and re evaluate what is that, that drives our meaning to do the things and not just because we have to.

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[00:08:10] Dawn Calvinisti: So as we're looking at these things and deciding, okay, so this is what I would like in my life. This is what feels good to me. This is becoming more clear maybe as, as you're looking at these values, are there ways that we can start um, I guess asking for what we want? Because often, I would say often, and I'm generalizing, but more with women, we're so quick to not tell anybody what we want, but yet get a little angry when people don't just automatically do things for us that we think they should know I want this, right?

So what do we do? 

[00:08:46] Kim Story: Yeah, I was you know, it's really funny because I've worked with couples for a period of time too and now we're you know, really working with women, but it's getting to the unspoken expectations and asking ourselves the simple question when you feel that little bit of like resentment building, jealousy, anger, low level irritation, my first question I always ask myself or ask others to ask themselves is, Do they truly know and understand what I need from them? Have I communicated that? And a high percentage of the time that answer is no. Because we fear rejection. We fear being disappointed in their response. We fear that that makes us look selfish. We fear that that isn't what we're supposed to say. All of the things that get in the way. And that's where I say, the best gift you can give yourself is using your voice through, I would say there's, there's a lot of great information out there about conflict resolution and how to initiate these conversations.

But it's like, when I can say what I need and I want, I'm also role modeling for my children, for my partner to communicate what they need and what they want. And that's how you create healthy communication. And that's how you create healthy connection to make sure that our needs are just as important as everyone else.

There is that belief that once you become a mom, we're always second. And not to say our children are amazing human beings and they don't get a lot of us, but when we put ourselves in the back burner too long, we do lose ourselves. And then I would say, that's not who we were intended to be and what we want to be.

Therefore, we're not really giving them what they need and want because we don't have what, we don't have that anymore. We've lost it along the way.

[00:10:36] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, it's definitely interesting how we're so quick to defer our own needs for others. And I know, especially on this podcast, we talk a lot about people pleasing and perfectionism and procrastination and those are all in there when it comes to, wanting to get our needs met.

Do you find, as you're working with women, do you see these creep up in their lives? 

[00:11:02] Kim Story: Oh, all the time. And I don't know, I don't know what it is about us women. I always think like, and this is stereotyping and generalizing a little bit, but we, we tend to have more compassion, more empathy and that people pleasing tendencies until we get burnt out, right?

And then we don't want to do anything. And then we don't, we just show up as an angry, bitter person in that space, but the, one of the biggest things I see is when it comes to intimacy. We are, we're tired, we're busy, we're making sure everything's done and our brains don't stop about if our kids have a practice, we need to make sure they have their snack, their water bottle, their uniforms ready to go.

Who's going to get there? How are we going to pick them up? And so like, it's that constant problem solving to please and to make sure we don't miss a beat because God forbid we are that mom. But I always think like intimacy in this same space comes out of neglecting our basic needs, right? Intimacy is that deep connection with our loved ones, and I do a lot of work with your partner, your spouse, but also your children. And if you don't have a deep connection and level of understanding there, then we're all just, I say, we're all just moving pieces, kind of like ships sailing by each other in the night.

There's no connection, there's no meaning. When there's no meaning, it's hard to get out of that people pleasing, perfectionistic, like, tendencies that limit us because our basic needs are not being met. 

[00:12:34] Dawn Calvinisti: Oh, that's good. Do you find then when you're talking to women who have this feeling of, that ship's passing that I, I so, I have heard that expression so many times from clients, but do you find when you're dealing with women that are feeling this way, is there that whole sense as well of like their value and their worth?

Does that get tied up and, and changed in that situation? 

[00:12:58] Kim Story: Yes. And I, I think a lot of it comes into, there's this tendency that we believe like our needs, self care, taking time just for us is it's selfish or it's a luxury or it's not needed. And so in that space, those things definitely come up, but it's, and I always say, if we just stay grounded in who we are, we understand the capacity that we also desire and need and want just as much as the people we're trying to please. And if nobody's pleasing us in that way, which typically we don't even allow it again, that's being selfish in that space where we've created for ourselves. It, it just continues to put those barriers in place for us to get around some of that type of thinking and how that works.

[00:13:46] Dawn Calvinisti: It's interesting, too, when women are feeling that disconnection, and so that sense of intimacy is not there, how often it's put on the other entity, the other person. They, they aren't giving enough time or enough attention, or the kids are too demanding, or they don't kind of see me, even though we might not actually recognize that that's kind of the feeling. And yet, if we were able to, to recognize in ourselves that it is okay to be vulnerable, it is okay to open up and communicate our needs and our desires, that that would actually change all of those things that we were feeling. 

[00:14:27] Kim Story: Oh my gosh, it's, it is such an ironic piece because I can't tell you how many times clients have come to me and it's, not to say there isn't a little bit of blame that's but just like they don't do this.

They don't do this. They don't, can't, won't all of the things. And again, there's that resentful, bitter, angry. And so we withhold, like we withhold ourselves from the person who actually, and I'm like, if you're in a loving relationship, at some point there was a connection and we tend to get defensive and be like, I'm not giving, if you're not giving when really, if we allow ourselves to receive and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and get those basic human needs met at that deeper connection, like the exhaustion that we felt is like, boom, instantly added right back. The negative thoughts I had about myself or boom, they're not there anymore. So I always say, like, when we believe we're proving a point, we're really hurting ourselves in that space when it comes to intimacy. And it is hard to be vulnerable and look in the mirror and take ownership of some of the things we've unintentionally created for ourselves.

And I think that's probably the most rewarding yet natural moments is when we make it about ourselves and, and the things that we've created in our head or the, the barriers we've put in place, which served in the moment, like a form of protection, so to say it met a need, but it doesn't ultimately meet our basic needs.

And that is what I love when women can just give themselves that permission to say, what am I doing to make this better? What am I doing to make this harder? Where am I limiting myself? Because at the end of the day, truly, and we learn this the hard way every day. It's like we can only control ourselves like we can set our kids up for success by making sure they have everything.

But they still could forget to grab their bag, even though it's packed full. Our spouses could forget something, even though we put it on the shared calendar and we reminded them 10 times. So when we take full accountability for our own selves, there is that, I would say there is that reward of being empowered and being confident in knowing that I'm living life on my terms in the best way that I can, and hopefully others around me notice and pick up on that, but if they don't, I still get to feel good about how I'm going about day to day stuff. 

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[00:17:08] Dawn Calvinisti: Another thing I hear a lot, is I do everything around here, when it comes to burnout, when it comes to that bitterness, that bit of dissatisfaction, the feeling of just being on that treadmill and not really loving and enjoying your life, what can we do to recognize that doing more isn't the thing that we're needing right now?

[00:17:31] Kim Story: Yeah, that's such a good one because, um, again, sometimes over the time of a relationship are, even as moms, like our kids can only do so much, but we We take on more because either people don't do it, they don't do it a certain way, it's not done on our time frame. So part of it is really getting good at understanding, and I always say it's like mastering conflict resolution, mastering just basic communication skills to have those open conversations about shared responsibilities.

And it's not a matter of then judging and getting all wound up if it's not done exactly right or on time and letting some of that perfectionism go because what we do then is I always say, we limit our, our spouses, our partners, we limit our children when we don't give them opportunities. And if you're coming from a people pleasing, perfectionist space as a working mom what we tend to do is provide all of these things, hoping others, take, take that, but when we limit their opportunity to even see it as an option because we don't ever give them a chance, I always say that's the ironic part about looking at it too, but it is hard because we just tend to do more and sometimes it is a complete mindset shift that isn't that you do more that you feel better, more passionate, more energized, knowing those things are done. Right? So, if I do all those things because then I feel better, I have less anxiety, I have less guilt, and I didn't communicate it, I didn't give the other person an opportunity anymore because they've proven to me once or twice that they just won't do it, or many times over and over then you really have to stay there in that mindset that by me doing more, that feels good. And it can't come from a resentful space because when it comes from resentment there's other conflict and that correlates and, and all of the other things. If you can't have the open communication and you're not ready to reassess your relationships, it's a mindset shift.

And sometimes with, a lot of women that's what we spend time on is how can I look at this differently? So it's like the look, feel, do different. So I don't keep landing in the same feelings about it. 

[00:19:53] Dawn Calvinisti: Right. And I can think of an example when my youngest daughter was younger than now, she's very different than my other ones.

And she's very very adamant that she can do it all herself and always has been like that. And for me as somebody who perfectionism is the one I fall back on. Very hard to let go of but she's going to make a mess, or it's going to give me more work after, and that whole thing. It wasn't until I really understood that if I allowed her to do the things she wanted to do, our relationship became more intimate because then I understood her. And if I was willing to teach her how to clean up, even if that meant I had to go over it a little bit after, it was still so much better. So sometimes... It's just reassessing too, right? How, how can I make this work for both of us in order to have that intimacy? And it's not always easier, but I think that what we get out of it is better.

[00:20:53] Kim Story: Exactly. Like, part of intimacy is a deep level of understanding and understanding doesn't mean you agree. It doesn't mean you have to like it. But it definitely does mean that there's an understanding of why the views are maybe different, or maybe we are talking about the same thing, just not using the same words.

And when we can get to that understanding, again, it's like, ah, that's so relieving. That feels good. But yes, like, it is hard to sit back and watch other people, in our minds, fail. Like, they can't, they can't do it the same as me, so it's a failure. When really, that's our own mindset. Our mindset is when we keep it like growth mind it is everyone gets an opportunity to learn and grow. There's no such thing as complete failure. Like, we can fail and it doesn't feel good, but then it's, what did I learn and grow out of that? And I think it is an important role as, as a mom, and as a wife, and as a daughter, and everyone else, that we promote that in everyone else that's around us, is let them figure out what works for them.

Because as an empowerment coach, that's what I say all day long, is... You gotta figure out what's gonna work for you, not what's happening at your neighbors or your sisters or what your mom did. Like, you have to really align with what is going to work for you right here, right now. And what works for you right here, right now can still change in the future, for sure.

But when you don't give other people that opportunity then we are limiting them. And then that doesn't feel good either. It is always a delicate balance and that's where that whole work life balance thing is. You throw in all of these other variables, it can be overwhelming and stressful and that's where burnout tends to really just, I always say, it breeds in that space when we limit ourselves and other people.

[00:22:45] Dawn Calvinisti: Kim, I ask every guest that comes on the show, which of the three P's do they tend to resonate the most with? Is it people pleasing, perfectionism, or procrastination What is it for you? 

[00:22:58] Kim Story: For me, it's definitely people pleasing. That was kind of, I mean, I have a little flair of all of them. I can't really say chicken or egg, but I would say people pleasing really became like my journey of transformation.

And that's typically what I see in a lot of the women that I work with. And mostly because when we become parents and partners using all of the piece here, it, it promotes some of that, that we, we have this obligation within our maternal instincts to do for others. And even when we know it's not maybe in our best interest to say yes and to do all the things we just, we don't want to be that disappointment.

We don't want to be those other things. So people pleasing for sure is, is where I, I tend to work in the most, I tend to see the most, I tend to coach on the most more than anything else. 

[00:23:53] Dawn Calvinisti: It's interesting how we attract what we've gone through. 

[00:23:56] Kim Story: 100%. Most of my clients I look at them like, I was you, like, I, like I get you because I was you. There's a healthy dose of all of this that allows us to grow into the women that we've always wanted to become.

It's never a linear path to get there, but when we're at least open minded to allow ourselves to get there, it definitely can be, eye awakening and extremely different chance at how we get this one life that we get. 

[00:24:24] Dawn Calvinisti: What is the best place for us to connect with you, Kim? 

[00:24:28] Kim Story: Kim Story Coaching is where you're gonna find me on all social media. So Instagram is Kim Story coaching, Facebook Kim Story coaching. And then I have a website that's just www.kimstorycoaching.com

[00:24:40] Dawn Calvinisti: Perfect. And I know you're giving us a free gift, which is Tired to Inspired: 5 step guide on how to rekindle intimacy for tired working moms, which sounds awesome.

Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about it? 

[00:24:51] Kim Story: Yes. So like I, we talked a little bit here on intimacy, but when we're tired, it's hard to even think about being intimate. And it's not just sex. It's about that deep connection because it takes energy. And so I really want to promote to even if you're tired to be inspired to reconnect because that is where we get some of our energy and time back when we're feeling good about ourselves.

We, we don't waste energy and all the negative thinking. And so this guide is just five quick, easy steps to get you to start looking at intimacy from a different perspective from just being tired, but how we can get some quick wins. Start practicing and implementing some things that are actually take less time and energy than the things that we're doing that cause us to be tired and exhausted and in survival mode.

So there's some great tools in there that, like I said, are applicable for anyone regardless of what phase of parenting you're at, what phase of a relationship you're at. I just, what I love about working with women is we have so much to give in that heart but because we're tired, we feel like we can't, but I always say that is like our most vulnerable space to receive.

And when we receive, we are become a better version of ourselves. 

[00:26:06] Dawn Calvinisti: Thank you so much for that, Kim, and I know that you can find all of this in the show notes. You can find where to connect with Kim in the show notes. If you can think of even one person that you should share this episode with, I would really encourage you to do that and get this out to other people.

I love that podcasts are available to us and we can grow and learn from them, so take advantage of that. And Kim, if there's one more thing that you could say to the women that are listening, what would it be? 

[00:26:32] Kim Story: Look at yourself in the mirror and see what you truly want to be and then create a path to get there.

Don't get limited in the space of life of where you are because those things do change, but ultimately what doesn't change is what you truly feel and think. So, I say, part of it is just being vulnerable and giving yourself permission to know what you want and go get it. 

[00:26:55] Dawn Calvinisti: Thank you so much for joining us on Imperfection in Progress today, Kim.

I so enjoyed our conversation. 

[00:27:00] Kim Story: Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure.

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Website: https://www.pursueprogress.com

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

Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://www.pursueprogress.com/podcast

Imperfection in Progress Membership: https://www.pursueprogress.com/imperfectioninprogressmembership

CONNECT WITH KIM:

Website: https://www.kimstorycoaching.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-story-coaching 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimstorycoaching/

Free Gift: Tired to Inspired: 5 Step Guide on How To ReKindle Intimacy for Tired Working Moms

Link to Free Gift: https://5stepguide.kimstorycoaching.com/vsl-4609-3595

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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Intimacy in Relationships with Kim Story

March 06, 202429 min read

“So when we take full accountability for our own selves, there is that reward of being empowered and being confident in knowing that I'm living life on my terms in the best way that I can, and hopefully others around me notice and pick up on that, but if they don't, I still get to feel good about how I'm going about day to day stuff.” - Kim Story

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Intimacy in Relationships with Kim Story

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

In this episode I’m joined by Kim Story. Kim is a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner + Women’s Empowerment Coach, with over 18yrs of experience. As a therapist Kim works with children as young as 5 and adults of all ages. She has spent over half of her career working with children and their families in a nationally known residential program for children with behavioral and mental health concerns. In that time, Kim became a Clinical Supervisor and spent her days offering support to other Therapists as well as providing individual, group, and family therapy. Kim is now a part-owner of Perceptions, LLC, a mental health group practice where she continues to support children and adults who are struggling with overcoming the barriers of trauma, anxiety, depression, and navigating life transitions.

As a mom of 5 (ages 15-20), in a blended family, Kim has also taken her clinical skills and combined them with life coaching to have a bigger impact on women all over

world.  Kim is a life coach who gets the complexities of working moms and empowers them in love and life, so they can reimagine intimacy, improve conflict resolution skills, and master burnout to thrive both at home and at work.

You can learn more about Kim at kimstorycoaching.com

We discuss examining core values and what intimacy looks like in all types of relationships. I know you’re going to enjoy what Kim has to share.

Here’s our conversation.

self love and relationships

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I am really excited to have Kim Story with us today. I think for this month especially, when we're talking about this whole work life balance, the feeling of what it is to be women who are working, who have lots of plans, goals ideas, creativity, I think we can really dive deep here with you, Kim. So welcome to Imperfection in Progress. 

[00:00:21] Kim Story: Thank you so much. 

[00:00:22] Dawn Calvinisti: What would you specifically say around the idea of women who feel like they have to do it all and be it all and have all of those labels, I'm a mom, I'm a businesswoman, I'm maybe I'm a wife, maybe I'm a daughter, all those things, and at the same time, really feel like if I'm not doing all these things, then I'm somehow failing, or I'm somehow not good enough to, to, be, be the person that I say I am and that whole authenticity piece that comes in with all of that. 

[00:00:58] Kim Story: Yeah, absolutely. I think what I see the most with the clients I work with and including myself being a busy, tired working mom is that sense of failure then limits our opportunities to do more things that we actually want to do, more passionate about.

When we're trying to do all of the things. and we are human beings. I always say we're not robots. We can't necessarily give everything a hundred percent all of the time. And so if we have that expectation on ourselves, we often fail, which feeds into that negative self talk. And in that negative self talk, then it becomes a place where I say a lot of working women find themselves feeling anxious and guilty and becoming more overwhelmed when it's our own narrative.

We're the ones who created it. And when we can really deep dive, where's it coming from? I think a lot of women find a lot of freedom and empowerment knowing I've put these labels on myself more than anyone else has and when I can remove them then I am able to do all the things within my capabilities to the best of my ability and feel really good and confident about it. 

[00:02:08] Dawn Calvinisti: When you were first starting out in your journey, and I'm assuming as a women's empowerment coach that it wasn't just all of a sudden, hey, I totally know what to do and to tell everybody and I can help them all the way through this.

I'm sure this came out of your own journey, but can you tell us a little more about what brought you to the place that you're at now? 

[00:02:29] Kim Story: Yes, absolutely. So, I started as a mental health therapist about 18 years ago, I worked in a nonprofit agency setting and, kind of take on more and more and more have children went through a divorce remarried, blended family.

And again, doing more things, more children, everything on my plate and really coming to that place of, I just feel like I'm surviving like this is not the lifestyle that I really had dreamed of, hoped of. Found it really difficult to like, remember who I was as a person besides just being all of these other roles.

We tend to, when we're trying to please everyone, we're trying to do everything perfectly right. We want to be the best mom. We want to be the best wife. I just felt like I was feeling, and the ironic piece for me was I'm a therapist, like I should know better, like what am I doing here? And so it was kind of, I would say it was probably about seven, eight, maybe nine years ago where I will say I really made that transformation for myself.

To do like the hard look in the mirror and say like, why am I feeling so defeated? Why am I really struggling so much? These are things that. What I, I teach my clients, but I'm not doing it myself, so to say. And that's where I say it became a lot more fun when I'm doing what I was doing and not just telling other people like things that they should do, but it also allowed me to really, truly, genuinely be in the shoes of all of the other working moms that I support.

And not just understanding because I am one, but I've done the same work. And so, yes, definitely through my own journey, my trials and tribulations, my failures, my successes, but most importantly is really allowing myself to understand where those limiting beliefs come from and that negative self talk.

Aligning back to what was really meaningful and important to me. We get so caught up these days with what's going on around us and trying to keep up and just pushing through that we lose ourselves. And that's probably my best advice that I always start is number one is like, who do you want to be?

Where are you and what's getting in your way? 

[00:04:47] Dawn Calvinisti: I love that you have also been on this journey. I think when you said, it also gives you that, that empathy, that understanding of where women are at, and you've been there, you, you know what it's like. I think most women that are listening to this, at some point, you are either in it now, where you're feeling burnt out and that you're just pushing through, or you're coming out of it because you've been working hard to get there.

But I think also there's that whole feeling sometimes of, I, I have to do all these things because, again, these are my roles, and sometimes we just don't know where the boundaries are, and like you said, who we want to be. So what do we do when we're, we're stuck in that place and we're thinking, okay, so I don't like where I am, but I don't really know what I want it to look like.

Like, what do I want in all of this? 

[00:05:41] Kim Story: Yeah, a couple of things that I've found to be the most helpful with the clients and what was most helpful for me is truly getting to know my no and my no was like, where do I need to set these boundaries for myself and being confident that I didn't have to do all of the things and that I really truly could realign with things that were meaningful to me and not just doing things out of obligation so sometimes we fear saying no, and no tended to have this like negative meaning for a lot of us.

So we just do more and more and more and more and more. And I'm like, when you get to know your no, you believe in your no, you're confident in your no, then you're really setting yourself up to use no as like your protector. And it's there to be a helpful source of energy. Not so much about letting other people down.

Because if I'm not my best version, I'm already letting people down. So I might as well protect myself and, and get to know myself so that I can be my best version and everyone else gets to benefit from that. So that's usually number one is where's, what is my no, I got to get to know it and befriend it a little bit.

And then two is really kind of going back through like a core values, I would say exploration. I do like a 30 day core challenge of what's meaningful? What's important to you? We often as women inherit a lot of beliefs that we believe we should be fulfilling in different roles. We often just kind of have different genetics that lead us to believe.

There's a lot of societal norms. There's a lot of expectations out there, maybe from partners or families. And so I, I think it's important that you really truly understand what is your core set of values in regards to what you think about being a human being and being a mom? And is that something that works for you right here, right now?

Because what we know about being moms is, who I was when my children were infants is definitely not the same mom as I am now, as they've grown older. And, I'm a different mom with my first kiddo than I am now with my fifth kiddo in our blended family. So being able to have that adaptability and always constantly giving ourselves permission to reassess and re evaluate what is that, that drives our meaning to do the things and not just because we have to.

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[00:08:10] Dawn Calvinisti: So as we're looking at these things and deciding, okay, so this is what I would like in my life. This is what feels good to me. This is becoming more clear maybe as, as you're looking at these values, are there ways that we can start um, I guess asking for what we want? Because often, I would say often, and I'm generalizing, but more with women, we're so quick to not tell anybody what we want, but yet get a little angry when people don't just automatically do things for us that we think they should know I want this, right?

So what do we do? 

[00:08:46] Kim Story: Yeah, I was you know, it's really funny because I've worked with couples for a period of time too and now we're you know, really working with women, but it's getting to the unspoken expectations and asking ourselves the simple question when you feel that little bit of like resentment building, jealousy, anger, low level irritation, my first question I always ask myself or ask others to ask themselves is, Do they truly know and understand what I need from them? Have I communicated that? And a high percentage of the time that answer is no. Because we fear rejection. We fear being disappointed in their response. We fear that that makes us look selfish. We fear that that isn't what we're supposed to say. All of the things that get in the way. And that's where I say, the best gift you can give yourself is using your voice through, I would say there's, there's a lot of great information out there about conflict resolution and how to initiate these conversations.

But it's like, when I can say what I need and I want, I'm also role modeling for my children, for my partner to communicate what they need and what they want. And that's how you create healthy communication. And that's how you create healthy connection to make sure that our needs are just as important as everyone else.

There is that belief that once you become a mom, we're always second. And not to say our children are amazing human beings and they don't get a lot of us, but when we put ourselves in the back burner too long, we do lose ourselves. And then I would say, that's not who we were intended to be and what we want to be.

Therefore, we're not really giving them what they need and want because we don't have what, we don't have that anymore. We've lost it along the way.

[00:10:36] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, it's definitely interesting how we're so quick to defer our own needs for others. And I know, especially on this podcast, we talk a lot about people pleasing and perfectionism and procrastination and those are all in there when it comes to, wanting to get our needs met.

Do you find, as you're working with women, do you see these creep up in their lives? 

[00:11:02] Kim Story: Oh, all the time. And I don't know, I don't know what it is about us women. I always think like, and this is stereotyping and generalizing a little bit, but we, we tend to have more compassion, more empathy and that people pleasing tendencies until we get burnt out, right?

And then we don't want to do anything. And then we don't, we just show up as an angry, bitter person in that space, but the, one of the biggest things I see is when it comes to intimacy. We are, we're tired, we're busy, we're making sure everything's done and our brains don't stop about if our kids have a practice, we need to make sure they have their snack, their water bottle, their uniforms ready to go.

Who's going to get there? How are we going to pick them up? And so like, it's that constant problem solving to please and to make sure we don't miss a beat because God forbid we are that mom. But I always think like intimacy in this same space comes out of neglecting our basic needs, right? Intimacy is that deep connection with our loved ones, and I do a lot of work with your partner, your spouse, but also your children. And if you don't have a deep connection and level of understanding there, then we're all just, I say, we're all just moving pieces, kind of like ships sailing by each other in the night.

There's no connection, there's no meaning. When there's no meaning, it's hard to get out of that people pleasing, perfectionistic, like, tendencies that limit us because our basic needs are not being met. 

[00:12:34] Dawn Calvinisti: Oh, that's good. Do you find then when you're talking to women who have this feeling of, that ship's passing that I, I so, I have heard that expression so many times from clients, but do you find when you're dealing with women that are feeling this way, is there that whole sense as well of like their value and their worth?

Does that get tied up and, and changed in that situation? 

[00:12:58] Kim Story: Yes. And I, I think a lot of it comes into, there's this tendency that we believe like our needs, self care, taking time just for us is it's selfish or it's a luxury or it's not needed. And so in that space, those things definitely come up, but it's, and I always say, if we just stay grounded in who we are, we understand the capacity that we also desire and need and want just as much as the people we're trying to please. And if nobody's pleasing us in that way, which typically we don't even allow it again, that's being selfish in that space where we've created for ourselves. It, it just continues to put those barriers in place for us to get around some of that type of thinking and how that works.

[00:13:46] Dawn Calvinisti: It's interesting, too, when women are feeling that disconnection, and so that sense of intimacy is not there, how often it's put on the other entity, the other person. They, they aren't giving enough time or enough attention, or the kids are too demanding, or they don't kind of see me, even though we might not actually recognize that that's kind of the feeling. And yet, if we were able to, to recognize in ourselves that it is okay to be vulnerable, it is okay to open up and communicate our needs and our desires, that that would actually change all of those things that we were feeling. 

[00:14:27] Kim Story: Oh my gosh, it's, it is such an ironic piece because I can't tell you how many times clients have come to me and it's, not to say there isn't a little bit of blame that's but just like they don't do this.

They don't do this. They don't, can't, won't all of the things. And again, there's that resentful, bitter, angry. And so we withhold, like we withhold ourselves from the person who actually, and I'm like, if you're in a loving relationship, at some point there was a connection and we tend to get defensive and be like, I'm not giving, if you're not giving when really, if we allow ourselves to receive and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and get those basic human needs met at that deeper connection, like the exhaustion that we felt is like, boom, instantly added right back. The negative thoughts I had about myself or boom, they're not there anymore. So I always say, like, when we believe we're proving a point, we're really hurting ourselves in that space when it comes to intimacy. And it is hard to be vulnerable and look in the mirror and take ownership of some of the things we've unintentionally created for ourselves.

And I think that's probably the most rewarding yet natural moments is when we make it about ourselves and, and the things that we've created in our head or the, the barriers we've put in place, which served in the moment, like a form of protection, so to say it met a need, but it doesn't ultimately meet our basic needs.

And that is what I love when women can just give themselves that permission to say, what am I doing to make this better? What am I doing to make this harder? Where am I limiting myself? Because at the end of the day, truly, and we learn this the hard way every day. It's like we can only control ourselves like we can set our kids up for success by making sure they have everything.

But they still could forget to grab their bag, even though it's packed full. Our spouses could forget something, even though we put it on the shared calendar and we reminded them 10 times. So when we take full accountability for our own selves, there is that, I would say there is that reward of being empowered and being confident in knowing that I'm living life on my terms in the best way that I can, and hopefully others around me notice and pick up on that, but if they don't, I still get to feel good about how I'm going about day to day stuff. 

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[00:17:08] Dawn Calvinisti: Another thing I hear a lot, is I do everything around here, when it comes to burnout, when it comes to that bitterness, that bit of dissatisfaction, the feeling of just being on that treadmill and not really loving and enjoying your life, what can we do to recognize that doing more isn't the thing that we're needing right now?

[00:17:31] Kim Story: Yeah, that's such a good one because, um, again, sometimes over the time of a relationship are, even as moms, like our kids can only do so much, but we We take on more because either people don't do it, they don't do it a certain way, it's not done on our time frame. So part of it is really getting good at understanding, and I always say it's like mastering conflict resolution, mastering just basic communication skills to have those open conversations about shared responsibilities.

And it's not a matter of then judging and getting all wound up if it's not done exactly right or on time and letting some of that perfectionism go because what we do then is I always say, we limit our, our spouses, our partners, we limit our children when we don't give them opportunities. And if you're coming from a people pleasing, perfectionist space as a working mom what we tend to do is provide all of these things, hoping others, take, take that, but when we limit their opportunity to even see it as an option because we don't ever give them a chance, I always say that's the ironic part about looking at it too, but it is hard because we just tend to do more and sometimes it is a complete mindset shift that isn't that you do more that you feel better, more passionate, more energized, knowing those things are done. Right? So, if I do all those things because then I feel better, I have less anxiety, I have less guilt, and I didn't communicate it, I didn't give the other person an opportunity anymore because they've proven to me once or twice that they just won't do it, or many times over and over then you really have to stay there in that mindset that by me doing more, that feels good. And it can't come from a resentful space because when it comes from resentment there's other conflict and that correlates and, and all of the other things. If you can't have the open communication and you're not ready to reassess your relationships, it's a mindset shift.

And sometimes with, a lot of women that's what we spend time on is how can I look at this differently? So it's like the look, feel, do different. So I don't keep landing in the same feelings about it. 

[00:19:53] Dawn Calvinisti: Right. And I can think of an example when my youngest daughter was younger than now, she's very different than my other ones.

And she's very very adamant that she can do it all herself and always has been like that. And for me as somebody who perfectionism is the one I fall back on. Very hard to let go of but she's going to make a mess, or it's going to give me more work after, and that whole thing. It wasn't until I really understood that if I allowed her to do the things she wanted to do, our relationship became more intimate because then I understood her. And if I was willing to teach her how to clean up, even if that meant I had to go over it a little bit after, it was still so much better. So sometimes... It's just reassessing too, right? How, how can I make this work for both of us in order to have that intimacy? And it's not always easier, but I think that what we get out of it is better.

[00:20:53] Kim Story: Exactly. Like, part of intimacy is a deep level of understanding and understanding doesn't mean you agree. It doesn't mean you have to like it. But it definitely does mean that there's an understanding of why the views are maybe different, or maybe we are talking about the same thing, just not using the same words.

And when we can get to that understanding, again, it's like, ah, that's so relieving. That feels good. But yes, like, it is hard to sit back and watch other people, in our minds, fail. Like, they can't, they can't do it the same as me, so it's a failure. When really, that's our own mindset. Our mindset is when we keep it like growth mind it is everyone gets an opportunity to learn and grow. There's no such thing as complete failure. Like, we can fail and it doesn't feel good, but then it's, what did I learn and grow out of that? And I think it is an important role as, as a mom, and as a wife, and as a daughter, and everyone else, that we promote that in everyone else that's around us, is let them figure out what works for them.

Because as an empowerment coach, that's what I say all day long, is... You gotta figure out what's gonna work for you, not what's happening at your neighbors or your sisters or what your mom did. Like, you have to really align with what is going to work for you right here, right now. And what works for you right here, right now can still change in the future, for sure.

But when you don't give other people that opportunity then we are limiting them. And then that doesn't feel good either. It is always a delicate balance and that's where that whole work life balance thing is. You throw in all of these other variables, it can be overwhelming and stressful and that's where burnout tends to really just, I always say, it breeds in that space when we limit ourselves and other people.

[00:22:45] Dawn Calvinisti: Kim, I ask every guest that comes on the show, which of the three P's do they tend to resonate the most with? Is it people pleasing, perfectionism, or procrastination What is it for you? 

[00:22:58] Kim Story: For me, it's definitely people pleasing. That was kind of, I mean, I have a little flair of all of them. I can't really say chicken or egg, but I would say people pleasing really became like my journey of transformation.

And that's typically what I see in a lot of the women that I work with. And mostly because when we become parents and partners using all of the piece here, it, it promotes some of that, that we, we have this obligation within our maternal instincts to do for others. And even when we know it's not maybe in our best interest to say yes and to do all the things we just, we don't want to be that disappointment.

We don't want to be those other things. So people pleasing for sure is, is where I, I tend to work in the most, I tend to see the most, I tend to coach on the most more than anything else. 

[00:23:53] Dawn Calvinisti: It's interesting how we attract what we've gone through. 

[00:23:56] Kim Story: 100%. Most of my clients I look at them like, I was you, like, I, like I get you because I was you. There's a healthy dose of all of this that allows us to grow into the women that we've always wanted to become.

It's never a linear path to get there, but when we're at least open minded to allow ourselves to get there, it definitely can be, eye awakening and extremely different chance at how we get this one life that we get. 

[00:24:24] Dawn Calvinisti: What is the best place for us to connect with you, Kim? 

[00:24:28] Kim Story: Kim Story Coaching is where you're gonna find me on all social media. So Instagram is Kim Story coaching, Facebook Kim Story coaching. And then I have a website that's just www.kimstorycoaching.com

[00:24:40] Dawn Calvinisti: Perfect. And I know you're giving us a free gift, which is Tired to Inspired: 5 step guide on how to rekindle intimacy for tired working moms, which sounds awesome.

Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about it? 

[00:24:51] Kim Story: Yes. So like I, we talked a little bit here on intimacy, but when we're tired, it's hard to even think about being intimate. And it's not just sex. It's about that deep connection because it takes energy. And so I really want to promote to even if you're tired to be inspired to reconnect because that is where we get some of our energy and time back when we're feeling good about ourselves.

We, we don't waste energy and all the negative thinking. And so this guide is just five quick, easy steps to get you to start looking at intimacy from a different perspective from just being tired, but how we can get some quick wins. Start practicing and implementing some things that are actually take less time and energy than the things that we're doing that cause us to be tired and exhausted and in survival mode.

So there's some great tools in there that, like I said, are applicable for anyone regardless of what phase of parenting you're at, what phase of a relationship you're at. I just, what I love about working with women is we have so much to give in that heart but because we're tired, we feel like we can't, but I always say that is like our most vulnerable space to receive.

And when we receive, we are become a better version of ourselves. 

[00:26:06] Dawn Calvinisti: Thank you so much for that, Kim, and I know that you can find all of this in the show notes. You can find where to connect with Kim in the show notes. If you can think of even one person that you should share this episode with, I would really encourage you to do that and get this out to other people.

I love that podcasts are available to us and we can grow and learn from them, so take advantage of that. And Kim, if there's one more thing that you could say to the women that are listening, what would it be? 

[00:26:32] Kim Story: Look at yourself in the mirror and see what you truly want to be and then create a path to get there.

Don't get limited in the space of life of where you are because those things do change, but ultimately what doesn't change is what you truly feel and think. So, I say, part of it is just being vulnerable and giving yourself permission to know what you want and go get it. 

[00:26:55] Dawn Calvinisti: Thank you so much for joining us on Imperfection in Progress today, Kim.

I so enjoyed our conversation. 

[00:27:00] Kim Story: Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure.

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Website: https://www.pursueprogress.com

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

Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://www.pursueprogress.com/podcast

Imperfection in Progress Membership: https://www.pursueprogress.com/imperfectioninprogressmembership

CONNECT WITH KIM:

Website: https://www.kimstorycoaching.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-story-coaching 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimstorycoaching/

Free Gift: Tired to Inspired: 5 Step Guide on How To ReKindle Intimacy for Tired Working Moms

Link to Free Gift: https://5stepguide.kimstorycoaching.com/vsl-4609-3595

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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You'll feel relief as you realize what things you can do less of and what area you should focus on right now.

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