504 Megan Fenyoe:
What is it like to come back from a relationship that destroyed your confidence and belief in yourself and find your true purpose, true joy… and build a business around your experience?
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who has created a whole movement to empower women to understand our true value and know that we are enough…and we can live our dreams.
Megan Fenyoe is the founder of the international “I Am Enough” Movement – and last year alone, she has sent out over 6,000 of her inspirational coping cards to women in 17 countries.
Today Megan shares her own personal journey – and we talk about why empathetic women tend to attract narcissistic men, and how to create strong boundaries and know your own value.
I’m so excited about our guest today. Megan Fenyoe is the bestselling author of You Are Enough: 5 Steps To Move From Struggle To Strength – and the founder of I Am Enough TV and the international non-profit I Am Enough Movement.
Megan shares how she has gone through many struggles throughout her life … most recently the abuse she suffered in a narcissistic abusive marriage. She was left traumatized and started to question if she was enough. For many years she says she was living a life without meaning and purpose.
An Air Force veteran and a licensed Clinical Mental Health Therapist, Speaker and Trainer, Megan’s life began to change when she finally said yes to herself and walked away from the abuse. She has successfully transformed every area of her life using her proven 5 Step System and is now living a vibrant, beautiful life – a life where she truly believes she is enough.
Learn today why her journey has helped her now heal millions of other women who share her experience – one I know firsthand from living through my own nightmare when I was married to a narcissistic abuser.
We both also share a love of podcasting – Megan first jumped in with The Blonde Bombshell podcast before creating I Am Enough TV.
I’m excited to share this interview with you because Megan Fenyoe is also a mental health therapist who has important insights about how to cope with the impact of Coronavirus – and all the things that trigger our fears and anxieties in life.
Through coaching, leadership, consulting and speaking engagements, Megan has helped hundreds of people accurately assess their challenges and identify ways they can change – capitalizing on the strengths they already have while building new ones. She focuses on cognitive restructuring and reality testing thoughts as well as a host of other Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques (CBT). Her work has been featured on SiriusXM Radio including the Jenny McCarthy show and over 300 TV/Radio Shows and podcasts.
And her mission is to help you build confidence, find clarity in getting what you truly want in life, get inspired to take action towards building the life of your dreams, and empower you to believe you are enough!
Let’s put on our Wings with the inspiring Megan Fenyoe.
Melinda Wittstock: Megan, welcome to Wings.
Megan Fenyoe: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: Me too.
Melinda Wittstock: I am always interested in origin stories, and I’m curious what the spark was that really led you to create this amazing movement that you have, the I Am Enough Movement.
Megan Fenyoe: This is one of my favorite questions, because the movement is my baby and it’s so near and dear to my heart. I was involved in a narcissistic, abusive marriage for… The marriage lasted about two and a half years, but he was in my life for six years total. During that time, I had lost every sense of who I was. Literally did not believe I was good enough for him. He had an affair and just kicked me out of our house twice and filed for divorce four times and pulled the papers, and just told me I was crazy and that I was the one that was causing all the problems in the marriage. All of this stuff.
Megan Fenyoe: I’ve been a mental health therapist for 15 years. When I finally walked away from that marriage, February 15th of 2018, I started writing my book, which obviously I’m sure we’ll talk about. Then a year ago, I launched this movement.
Megan Fenyoe: When I left my ex-husband, I went into my own therapy and started doing my difficult trauma work. During that time, I would write on sticky notes and different things, all of these positive affirmations and all of these things. I’m a huge, huge, what I say, visual coping skills fan, and have always taught my patients that, the power of visual coping skills. But I never really did it myself until I found myself in this trauma work. So I started doing all of these sticky notes and everything.
Megan Fenyoe: A year ago, I was… Well, a little over a year ago, I was like, “Okay, so I want to do something to give back even more to people.” I was at this conference and literally just had this idea pop in my head about making these coping cards. So the movement was launched in February of 2019. Had literally no idea what was going to happen with it.
Megan Fenyoe: But people can literally go online and order free I Am Enough visual coping cards. In the last year, I’ve sent out over 6,000 cards to 17 countries and 47 states. So it’s been amazing to see people embrace their power of believing that they’re enough, and sharing these pictures of… Because they’ll take selfies and all of this stuff. Of sharing their pictures of showing the world that they are enough. So it’s been an incredible ride the last two years.
Melinda Wittstock: It resonates so deeply with me because I too have this in common with you. I was in a narcissistic, abusive relationship, except for much longer, for like 18 years.
Megan Fenyoe: Wow.
Melinda Wittstock: To the outside world, it looked like everything was great. But I had that same sort of gaslighting thing going on. I think over time, just like a lobster gets into a pot and it’s cold water and they’re really happy, but the water gets warmer, and warmer, and warmer, and then you lose so much. You lose your confidence and so many things.
Melinda Wittstock: So the I Am Enough resonates deeply with me, because I remember just as the marriage ended and as I was getting myself back and going on this really big kind of healing and personal growth journey, my daughter, who was then 10 years old, wrote me a big Post-it note. You know those giant Post-it notes?
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Right? She wrote, “Mom, you are enough.”
Megan Fenyoe: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.
Melinda Wittstock: I just… As you can imagine, right?
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: I started bawling. It was such a big thing, because for 18 years I’d been told nonstop, every moment of every day that I was not. So I love the name, your movement.
Megan Fenyoe: Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, it does really resonate. What’s so interesting that I’ve found, Megan, is women who’ve been through this, there’s two things, really. They tend to be very empathetic, and you obviously are. I mean, given your background and helping other people with these things. I’m also really empathetic. I think a lot of narcissistic men seek out empathic women. We need to increase the awareness of this, so it doesn’t happen to women at all, right?
Megan Fenyoe: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Melinda Wittstock: There’s that piece, that kind of empathy piece. So how can we really protect ourselves from that?
Melinda Wittstock: But the second thing that I noticed is as I was recovering from this, I had a whole series of, what I call, echoes, where vendors or potential team members or folks would show up with those same behaviors. It was kind of like the universe saying, “Melinda, are you sure you’re healed from this? Are you sure you don’t want more of this? Because this is familiar to you.” It took me a while. I had all these kind of little reminders for a while from people who showed the same behaviors. Increasingly subtle, I may say. But it was curious.
Melinda Wittstock: Have you ever experienced that in your life? Do you have that where people come into your life in a totally different context than they have, the same sort of narcissistic thing?
Megan Fenyoe: A few. Definitely a few. But exactly what you said, I’m a total empath. Maybe not such as a narcissist, but people that come in to take advantage or where I haven’t set my boundaries enough. Yeah, so maybe-
Melinda Wittstock: Right, right. Well, the-
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: there are lots of lessons in this, right? But one of them for sure was boundaries. I didn’t have any boundaries. You know what I mean?
Megan Fenyoe: Exactly. Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: When we’re in that kind of victim energy, because we’ve been victimized. Something bad has happened to us. But one of the big lessons is figuring out how to take the power back and not be in that victim energy, and sort of embrace it or take responsibility for it. Not to say that it was fair or right or anything like that. But how do we kind of take something good from the bad that happened?
Megan Fenyoe: Oh my goodness. For me, it was literally sharing my story, and it was allowing myself to get raw, and real, and vulnerable, and show the world like, “Hey, this is me.” Yes, I was a therapist for so many years and was still involved in this relationship. But at least for me, it’s allowing myself to be seen that has allowed me to change and move from all of the bad into this new amazing life that I’ve created the last two years. And it’s really truly believing that I am enough. So rediscovering who I am and going through all of these steps and all of this trauma work to be able to get where I’m at. So for me, it’s really just allowing myself to be seen. Showing up and being seen.
Melinda Wittstock: I love the transformation. When you look back, I mean, this kind of happened to you, but it sort of happened for you in a sense as well, because now you’re able to help so many more people as a result of the insights and everything gained through that experience.
Melinda Wittstock: I think this is something really to remember. I think it’s really hard to have any kind of conversation these days without kind of talking about coronavirus , It’s a real struggle. So what is it showing us about ourselves? Who are we being? How are we choosing to handle it? Given this expertise you have of going from struggle to strength, how are you perceiving coronavirus and how entrepreneurs, how all of us, really, can deal with it best? What lessons we can take from it.
Megan Fenyoe: There’s so many lessons. I think one of the biggest lessons is really learning what coping skills work for you, right? In regards to all of the range of emotions you may be feeling during this time, so like anxiety, especially anxiety, depression, boredom, all of these different things.
Megan Fenyoe: For me, one of the lessons that I’ve been learning over the last couple weeks is being okay being still. I’m as busy as I was with all of this stuff happening in the world today, but I’m also in the house even more than what I was. So it’s allowing myself to be okay doing a puzzle, or watching TV, or doing virtual happy hours with friends or something like that instead of working all the time. Because one of the things I was a little worried about was honestly not giving myself breaks because I’m home all the time and there’s nothing else to do but to do work. Even though I don’t consider it work, all the stuff I do, but not giving myself a break.
Megan Fenyoe: For me, one of the biggest lessons and what I am telling and helping to support my patients with is being okay being silent and being still, because life is so busy, so busy. And embracing this time of solitude and not being busy. Because eventually, we’re going to go back to the way the world was. Maybe not exactly the way the world was, but the busy-ness and the go, go, go is going to happen. So really being okay with the solitude of where life is right now.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, it’s so funny you should say that, because just last night I was giving a video presentation for a whole community of people and I was talking about the lessons learned from my own podcast. That there are these great synchronicities that when I never know who I’m interviewing on any given day because it’s all automated on my calendar, but the right woman shows up on the right day with the right message for me.
Melinda Wittstock: So here I am, I’ve never been busier in my life. I am working like a maniac. Of course, I’m launching a podcast network, so it’s a little bit time-consuming. But there’s so much going on. So it’s a message I need to hear about myself. I know better in my own mind, but taking those breaks to really be still and open yourself up to inspiration, the divine, looking within. Really getting into alignment.
Melinda Wittstock: I feel like right now I am very much in alignment, because I’ve done all that work for like a decade now. But there’s still more. There’s still layers of things. When we get triggered by things, or when we’re feeling that anxiety, or when we’re feeling the fear, any of those things. Just to be curious like, “What’s this showing me? What can I let go of? What do I not need?” Those things only come to us when we’re still.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean, I do have my daily meditation practice. That’s sacrosanct. But I am, however, finding myself working like a maniac. So thank you, Megan. Because you’re reminding me that I need to just kind of calm down a bit.
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah. It’s crazy how our roles are reversed right now. Because I don’t know why I’m not working like a maniac, because usually that’s me. 15, 16 hour days, 17 hour days, whatever. And-
Melinda Wittstock: Well, I’ve never done that. I won’t do that.
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah. No, so I’m the maniac.
Melinda Wittstock: I will work super hard for… Okay, so usually like 10. I think I’m older than you, so 10 is my limit. You know what I mean? But yeah.
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah. Okay, so I’m more the maniac than you. But I’m not doing that. I’m more working the 10 hour days these days, so that’s good.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. I mean, but it’s interesting though, because really hard work like that can be a numb out as well. It can actually be an escape. You can go drink a glass of wine, or you can write that other email, or do that other thing. So just being mindful of that. Again, I mean, it kind of takes us back to the conversation about boundaries.
Megan Fenyoe: Yes. And having boundaries with yourself, which I struggle with definitely.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I mean, I think we all do, especially as entrepreneurs, because we… I’ve been structuring coronavirus by watching the difference between people that I know. I mean, most of my circle are entrepreneurs and other people. They’re sort of like entrepreneurs and other people.
Melinda Wittstock: Entrepreneurs have gone into massive action. They’ve necessarily had to, because they may have to be pivoting their business right now, or they’re spotting other opportunities, or they really need to help their customers because their customers are struggling or their vendor. I mean, we solve problems. I mean, that’s what entrepreneurs do by definition. All innovations are really around spotting a problem and solving it. So we go into massive action in times like this, and we have already a sort of self-starter kind of gene that will, I don’t know, just keep us working. A lot of us are used to working from home, so this isn’t really all that much different. And a whole series of things like that.
Melinda Wittstock: Compared to other people where it’s like… One of my clients said to me, “God, when should I eat lunch?” I’m like, “Well, when do you normally eat lunch?” “12:30.” “Well, eat lunch at 12:30.” These sort of things don’t occur to entrepreneurs, right? It doesn’t really-
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah, it doesn’t. Usually it’s like, “Did I eat lunch today?” We have to remind ourselves to eat.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, because there’s already the motivation there. It’s your company, it’s your thing.
Melinda Wittstock: I wonder how many entrepreneurs are going to be kind of born in this time. I’m seeing even my kids dealing with homeschooling, and I’m trying to use that opportunity to teach them about how to regulate themselves and how to find the motivation within themselves rather than me having to set some structure for them. People who’ve been laid off from their jobs. Perhaps they’ve always had a hobby, or a wish, or something they’ve always wanted to do. This is the time.
Megan Fenyoe: Exactly. This is definitely the time. Definitely the time. And that fear, because half the time, people, what stops them from going after something that they’ve always wanted to do is time and fear. People think that there’s not enough time to do a hobby or to start a side business or things like that. Then the fear that… The what if of like, “Is it going to work? What if I fail?” All of that.
Megan Fenyoe: So right now definitely is… I am telling my patients this all the time like, “Think outside of the box. Get creative and use this time to better yourself, to discover who you truly are.” So it’s a very powerful time.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Nobody has any excuse. If you guys have been listen… People listening to me talk about meditation, why it’s so important on this podcast. No excuse now. You have the time. Just start, right?
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Get a guided thing, an app, or whatever. Just even things like exercise. If you’re used to going to a gym like me. I mean, I really miss my hot yoga and I really miss my Orangetheory and all the things I do. So I’ve had to just change habits. I’m still a little inconsistent with the workouts at home, because I can be like, “Yeah, right. I’ve got to get that thing done with my website,” or, “I have to send that contract,” or I have to do this kind of stuff instead of actually making time to work out. So just getting all those habits in place is really important right now. We can really lay a lot of important foundations, I think, in our lives.
Megan Fenyoe: That’s totally true. On my part though, I’ve been somewhat blessed over the last couple weeks, because my routine hasn’t changed. Like you had said with the workouts, my roommate and I are getting up every morning and doing workouts in the living room together. And I’m seeing all my patients by… I call them patients, technically. Clients I should say. All my clients by telephone or video. So for me, I’ve been very lucky in the fact that that routine hasn’t changed. But I’ve also seen my roommate whose routine has changed, and she’s struggling with working from home.
Megan Fenyoe: It’s opened up my eyes to the difference of that, right? Because I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I love being home. I love working from home.” Then to have someone close to me that doesn’t work from home and really has been struggling, and finding kind of how can I support her in this, because it’s been difficult for her.
Megan Fenyoe: That’s been a lesson and an eye-opener for me too, is how can I assist and support others who aren’t used to this lifestyle of being home, and who may not have these other side hustles. Because for me, I’ve got my private practice, and building my nonprofit, and I’ve got the TV show and the podcast. I have all of these different things going on that keep me busy. So for me, yeah, it’s definitely, “What can I do-
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it’s not all about-
Megan Fenyoe: … to support others?”
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. I think that’s a really, really great way to think about it.
Melinda Wittstock: I want to make sure that we have time on the podcast to go through your five steps, because you have this five steps. Let’s start with step number one and go through the five.
Megan Fenyoe: The first step is discovering your true self. Anytime we go through anything that’s life-changing, like health, relationships, career, what have you, we are no longer that person we were before this thing or this person or whatever happened. We have to discover who we truly are. We have to rediscover who we are. So it’s really about radical acceptance and also diving deep to learn about what your values are and really what you want in life. That’s the most powerful step. It’s the most scariest step as well, but it’s the most powerful.
Megan Fenyoe: Once we start discovering and rediscovering who we truly are, we can start visualizing your passion and your purpose, which is step two. When I was doing my trauma work… These five steps that I’m talking about, I actually went through during my trauma work, which is why I wrote the book. These steps for me, when I rediscovered who I was, I literally was able to start visualizing this new life for myself, which was not returning to my 9:00 to 5:00 job as a therapist. It was jumping into entrepreneurship. It was opening my private practice. It was writing this book and the podcast. So I was able to visualize this new life for myself, because I was this new person.
Megan Fenyoe: Step two is visualizing your passion and purpose. Then step three I think is pretty much the most important step that you have to continue to do, is grounding yourself. This is where the I Am Enough Movement comes into play is when we start rediscovering ourselves and we’re visualizing this new life, these thoughts and limiting self-beliefs continue to creep in, because we’re human, right? And our brain, unfortunately, is wired to think negatively. So we have to retrain it to think positively. So step three is grounding yourself. How do you ground yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually to continue to go forward and achieve these goals and these dreams that you’ve set for yourself? That-
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I love that, because we have to really retire that inner bully voice. What’s so interesting is that we all have that inner kind of chatter, that kind of, “You’re not enough,” kind of voice, right?
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Or all that kind of self-criticism. Retiring that within ourselves helps stop other people from doing it to us. If we accept it from ourselves, then it’s kind of like saying, “Hey everybody, join the party.”
Megan Fenyoe: Exactly. Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Right? So-
Megan Fenyoe: Yeah, so it’s very powerful. There’s lots of different grounding skills that you can learn to do to help combat those negative thoughts and all of that stuff. I talk a lot about that in the book.
Megan Fenyoe: Then step four is creating your strength plan. This just basically is all of the things that we have to do and the things that we want to do. So how do we keep it all together? Especially for entrepreneurs I think this is really important is to have that schedule. Like you were just saying, being home, I’ve been having a difficult time not doing my workouts every day. This is basically a planner for your life. Where do you put in your self-care? Where do you put in your workouts? Where do you put in your meditation? Where do you put in homeschooling now that your kids are home? What hours does that look like? Where do you put in time for your work? All of that stuff. It’s combining all of the things, mind, body, soul, into what I call a strength plan.
Megan Fenyoe: Then step five is strengthening your healthy habits. This is about the importance of accountability, building your strength tribe, and not falling into complacency. What do you do if you do find yourself being complacent? I always tell people like, “Just because you get through steps one through five doesn’t mean that you’re not going to go back to step one or step three or things like that.” It’s kind of like a revolving system for your life, because we’re ever-changing and we always have to continue to rediscover who we are.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. So, so beautiful. Megan, I want to thank you so much for this. What an enjoyable conversation. I want to make sure everybody can find you. Your podcast, your TV show, your movement, sign up. I don’t know, work with you. What’s the best way they can do that?
Megan Fenyoe: There’s two ways. MeganFenyoe.com is my main website. But you can also order your free I Am Enough visual coping cards. There’s a tab on my personal website, MeganFenyoe.com, or you can go to the movement’s site, IAmEnoughMovement.info.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today. It’s a very inspiring conversation.
Megan Fenyoe: Thank you so much for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: Hey, that was great. Awesome.
Megan Fenyoe: Awesome.