“Promise Me You Will Share Your Pain.”
One Woman’s Struggle with Bulimia.
- Works at a local news station in Eastern Washington
- Mother of two beautiful children
- Married for almost six years now.
- Went to college at Gonzaga University
- Got a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
- Struggled with an eating disorder for almost 10 years.
- Passionate about being authentic and helping others heal who hear her story.
- It is critical that people realize that they’re not alone. There are a lot of people that struggle with Bulimia. It’s just that there’s not a lot of people willing to talk about it.
- Leon Logothetis, the creator of the “Kindness Diaries” on Netflix, was one of many people that came into Nichole’s Life and unknowingly encouraged Nichole to share her pain, and ultimately share her story of Bulimia with others.
- Think about back to your childhood. How many moments can you actually remember? The times that you do remember are attached to an emotion, a deep emotion. It’s either sadness or happiness or fear, but those are the moments that you remember and usually, there are words associated with those moments that gave us those feelings.
- The way that we need to address Bulimia and other eating disorders with our kids is by going to the source of the negative words that our children hear. Which usually is from people at school. We must instill in our children compassion and empathy. We must help our children realize that, if someone’s saying something hurtful to them, it’s probably because that person is hurting even more inside.
- We become what we think about all the time, so we must be aware of the words we tell ourselves. Words can have a massive impact.
- In reflecting on her story, the moments that Nichole was most positively changed, and she started moving towards healing from her struggle with Bulimia, were the times that she heard other people share.
- Social Media can play a critical role in dealing with Bulimia and other eating disorders. The “Me too” movement is a great example of the power of social media. Hundreds of thousands of women were then inspired and felt empowered enough that they could come forward and say, I’ve been there. Social Media can have a hugely positive effect on freeing people from the shackles of shame. And the more that people come out and share their stories and those are heard, the more accepting our society can be.
- Bulimia or any other eating disorder or addiction “completely just controls your life. It consumes you.”
- Once you are able to overcome Bulimia, you reclaim so much more energy that you can then devote to other areas of life, because you don’t feel consumed by Bulimia anymore.
- The TED Talk the Nichole recommends is Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk called “Your Elusive Creative Genius.
Full Episode Transcription (Automated using Temi.com)
Chris Kiefer: 00:00 Hello everyone and welcome to the second episode of the Chris Kiefer show. I think when we are honest with ourselves, we we all have moments or situations or stories from our life and growing up that are darker places that maybe we don’t share as often with other people and today we have my older sister, Nicole here who is a very inspiring young woman and she is here to talk about her pain and share an experience of how she struggled for over 10 years with an eating disorder and is finally coming to a place where she is able to share this story and talk about the the pain, the suffering, and then the fruits that have come from taking a step back and looking at why this happened, how this happened, and how she can now go on and positively influenced the lives of other young men and women who are struggling with similar issues in their own life. And with that I will hand things over to Nicole and have her introduce herself.
Nichole Mischke: 01:11 Yeah. My name is Nichole Mischke and I work at a local news station in eastern Washington and I am a mom. I’ve got two kids in eight year old and a 20 month olds. I’ve been married for almost six years now. Went to college at Gonzaga University, got my degree in broadcast journalism and I’m recently. I’m just kind of on this, this path of just really trying to be authentic and living a life with vulnerability. Um, and just being kind of an open book. I struggled with an eating disorder for almost 10 years that started back in high school and it’s something that I had from everybody in my life. I, I, there was not a single person that knew it and only recently have I been able to open up about that, admitted it to the people that are closest to me. And um, it has been one of the most freeing things to be able to finally just, um, except that it happened and not be ashamed about it. And realize that me coming forward and talking about that not only is helping me heal, but it also is helping others heal who, who hear my story.
Chris Kiefer: 02:23 So the first thing that comes to my mind is, um, you are now, we’re just going to reveal your age to everybody. You are now 29, correct?
Nichole Mischke: 02:38 I’m 30. How did that happen?
Chris Kiefer: 02:40 Thirty two years old. And you’re just now talking about this, um, struggle that you’ve basically, you know, for a third of your life, right? Um, how like how do you, how did you get to where you are now?
Nichole Mischke: 02:57 So to getting where I am, uh, it actually was for a while, I would say the last year it had really been festering in me. Like I didn’t know if I could, you know, hold it in, I guess I could feel it kind of eating away at me. Like I had this big dark secret, this huge part of my life and a struggle that I had had psy psychologically, emotionally, you know, body image wise. And I was not able to share that with anybody. And so it was like I couldn’t hold it in anymore and I happened to actually be listening to a filmmaker, his name’s Leon Logothetis. He, did the documentary called the kindness diaries. It’s on Netflix. It’s amazing. And his whole platform is about kindness and um, you know, he now travels around and talks to kids at schools about kindness and he had come into our station for an interview and I was listening in on the interview and um, our, one of our news anchors was asking him a. She said, you know, what is the biggest thing you hope people take away when they hear your story? And his response, I thought was going to be about kindness. That’s this whole platform. But instead he said, you know, people hate the idea of kindness. They don’t like to be kind to people. You know. The one thing that I say I say, promise me that you will share your pain, share your pain because if you don’t, it will grow and it will fester and it will become something nasty inside of you. And when he said that, I just totally kind of just punched me in the gut. I was like, I just could not get that out of my head that he talked about this festering and that was something that I had already kind of felt like I was feeling that I was hiding this part of me and it was, it was so, it was the most painful part of my life and I hadn’t ever even shared it with my husband or my mother because I was so afraid of what people would think of me or what that would, you know, I didn’t want it to define me.
Nichole Mischke: 04:49 I was, you know, um, that was just a huge struggle. So, so that happened. And then coincidentally or not coincidentally, a, you know, a couple of weeks before I heard this interview with Leon, um, I had been asked to share a story. Our community does these storytelling events. They’re extremely awesome. Basically four times a year they have a theme. It’s that a little venue, very intimate setting. There’s a small stage, maybe hundreds of 200 people in the audience. And each time there’s a theme and you have to, everybody has to get up. There’s eight, eight people are selected from all different walks of life to share a story from their life on that topic. So I had been asked, uh, several months before this to share and the topic at the time was secret. And at that point I was like, oh, no, no, no, no, no. I am not getting up there to, you know, share a story on secrets in my life, you know, because I knew the only secret I add was this eating disorder that I did not want anybody to know about me. So I turned down, it turned down at, uh, the speaking engagement that time. Then fast forward a couple months, you know, I get asked again and this time its promised is the topic. I was just like, oh my gosh. And then to have Leon say, promise me that you will share your pain to me. Once I had been asked that it was this idea of I had made this toxic promise to myself, you know, long ago in high school, just promise to be perfect to look perfect to chase after perfection. This promise to not eat the wrong foods and this promise to work out excessively and you know, um, yeah. So I don’t know if that all makes sense, but basically it was just kind of realizing like, you know, you’re not alone in this. There are a lot of people that struggle with this. It’s just that there’s not a lot of people willing to talk about it. And I just kinda decided it’s time to be authentic. It’s time to open up and hopefully you’ll be able to help, you know, another girl in high school that may be here’s the story, or my own daughter who’s eight years old, you know, I thought if I can’t own up to this now, I mean, that’s not gonna I, I just, I knew that if I could start talking about this now when my daughter gets into middle school and high school, it will be so much easier to be open and honest with her about these struggles and, and hopefully save her from the fate that I went through so…
Chris Kiefer: 07:16 So there’s a couple of things that you said. There were obviously a series of events that have, you know, pressure so to speak, or you were still kind of like, this is something that I’d never be able to talk about until, you know, that’s. This is where I think it’s fascinating to me the, the right words said at the right time by the right people are massively powerful changes lives. Like, I guess the thing that is interesting to me is potentially the thing that ultimately, you know, allowed you to break this wound open so that you could heal. Was that guy a Leon was saying that. Would you agree with that or do you have anything else to say?
Nichole Mischke: 08:02 Yes. I feel like that was like the final Straw. And so I just Kinda felt like there are people in front of me, not just Leon, but lots of people have said, you know, you’ve got to be authentic. You’ve got to talk about your pain, talk about your story. It brings healing. Um, and, and I just thought, I can’t just ignore it that people are saying this truth. Like this is obviously a truth that when we open up and become vulnerable and accept ourselves and love ourselves for who we are, that there’s freedom in that and that then we can ultimately kind of reach our fullest potential. We don’t reach our fullest potential when we fake or hide who we are or try to pretend like we’re perfect, you know? Um, and so I just felt like I needed to just realize that this is a truth, that this is, uh, something that I need to do for the benefit of myself, my family, etc.
Chris Kiefer: 08:55 The thing is, in speaking of words, the question that I, that I’m also interested in your thoughts on is what words, um, do you think you had mentioned that there were a few key times where someone said something to you and you know, it’s just like a knife, um, would the way. And in some siTuations I think either a simple phrase can be very positive and totally changed our lives for the better or very I would say even the share your pain phrase from Leon. I don’t even know if I would have called that positive at the moment. It was almost like a painful thing but a good pain. But there are other things that you can have a, you know, a mentor figure or a, you know, a role model, say something to you that totally changes your life for the better and it just sticks with you. What words do you remember? Um, good and bad defining your childhood.
Nichole Mischke: 09:59 Yeah. I think the easiest way to identify and just to really realize how much words define us is to try to think about back to your childhood. How many days can you actually remember how many instances, moments in time can you actually remember? There are so few for me that I can actually remember. Maybe I have a bad memory, I don’t know, but the times that I do remember, and this has been proven through science, they’re attached to an emotion, a deep emotion. It’s either sadness or happiness or fear, you know, those are the moments that you remember and usually there’s words associated with those moments that gave us those feelings. So yeah, there’s all these little moments where I just remember comments like that, that totally defined I guess my own body image in myself and how I thought of myself. But like for example, I wasn’t, I wasn’t unhealthy. I played lots of sports and in middle school I had, uh, for my PE class, uh, I have the fastest mile time for all the girls. We had a pe class of like 50. It was, I was probably not the fastest girl in the whole middle school, but in my PE class I had the fastest mile time and um, I remember my pe teacher and he’s a guy, I think he was just stating a fact, like he would have told this to any guy that was like the linebacker of the football team. If the wind back from the football team had the fastest mile time, that would be really shocking. And so he just said to the whole class, wow, you wouldn’t expect that the biggest girl in school that have the fastest mile time. And again, everybody laughed. They thought that was hilarious. I don’t think my teacher was trying to be me in that moment. I think he was just honestly surprised and was kind of sharing that maybe he thought it was a compliment, but for me it was just again, more defined like, oh my gosh, I’m so huge. So that definitely defined, you know, a negative body image I had of myself. Um, and then going into school, I finally started to like, come into my own. And I remember guys, you know, actually whispering about me in the hall or you know, so and so comes and tells you that so and so has a crush on you. Like that had never happened to me before. Like it seemed, it seemed in my head like it happened for everybody. I mean like middle school and stuff, you know, you just want people to like you, you are as a girl, you want people to think you’re pretty. And that didn’t happen for me until high school. And then it was kind of odd. Like I wasn’t used to that attention and I was tall. I’m 5:10. So I had gotten approached by a couple of modeling agencies, people saying, oh, you could totally model. And I remember when one time going into, um, a modeling agency in Portland with my dad. And of course I have zero confidence in my body already and I’m in high school and they measure me, I’m in my underwear. They measure me. And they’re like, ok, you’re totally almost there. We just need you to lose another inch in your hips and another inch in your waist. And we’ll sign you. And so I left that day feeling a range of emotions. I was completely flattered that I had even been considered by a modeling agency. I was again, kind of sad and uh, just had this feeling of you’re still not good enough from them telling me that I still needed to use lose weight. And in another part of me was totally determined I was going to do whatever I needed to do to lose that weight. And so that’s kinda where this, like I, I started this like obsessive diet. Like I did not eat, you know, um, sugar and I didn’t eat carbs and all this stuff. And I did. I lost weight and it got to a point where it was easy for me to follow my diet. I didn’t crave sugar anymore, you know, I was, I was eating. I wouldn’t say that I ever restricted my calories to the point where it was dangerous or anything like that. I was just making really healthy food choices. Um, and so, um, I still though, uh, started to get comments from friends about, you know, oh, of course you’re not eating french fries if we’d go to red robin because, you know, nicole doesn’t eat those anymore. They just made comments that didn’t really feel good. And I remember just feeling like I just want to feel normal. Like I don’t want people to think that I’m been now this then now because I don’t eat the food that they’re eating, I want them to just know I want it to feel like this is just me. And so, um, it was the night at my parents house, they’re having a party and I don’t remember who it was that one of our family friends came up to me and they hadn’t seen me in a while. They’re like, oh my gosh, nicole, you’re looking amazing. You look so good. And another mom chimed in and was like, well, of course she looks good. She’s not even eating. She hasn’t eaten anything since she’s been here. And that was the moment where I was like, well, yes I am. And I picked up a plate and I thought, I just need these people to think that I’m normal and that I’m eating the food they’re eating. And so I just put a bunch of food from this party on a plate, a bunch of foods that I hadn’t allowed myself to eat in. And then instantly felt this horrible guilt, almost had a panic attack basically thinking, you know, I’m going to lose my modeling contract if I get any bigger, if I weigh more. And that was the first night that I went upstairs and made myself throw up. But, uh, you know, those, the words that were spoken to me as a child had a serious impact on my life, you know, into my adulthood. I would say positively. The positive words I feel like that I really took away as a child was just my parents constantly telling me, you can do anything you want. You can be anything you want to be if you work hard, you know, anything is possible. And so that was just always awesome because I just grew up with this feeling of like if I’m determined enough and I work hard enough for something, I can achieve it. And that’s kind of always stuck with me. I just, I really believe that it’s the people who work the hardest and um, you know, don’t let fear stop them. Those are the people who get what they want out of life. I guess I’m whatever success looks like to them, whatever happiness looks like to them. Those are the people that do it. The people that don’t allow their circumstances or, um, what the world tells them to hold them back.
Chris Kiefer: 16:15 So with everything that you’re saying, Nichole, there’s a couple of things that you like, ah, I’m just extracting, you know, there’s a few moments where it’s like, you never think that the biggest girl in the school would have the fastest mile time, you know, just lose a few more pounds. But there’s all these moments where, um, there’s two sides of the store or like coined that I’m seeing. I guess I would say. And one is words can be incredibly impactful in ways that we don’t understand when we say them first of all and giving everyone the benefit of the doubt that said those things that have massively influenced your life, let’s assume that they were not intending to say something hurtful, you know, and I’m just thinking back on my life and times where I’m talking to a young person and I will make comments and you know, whether you’re joking or you’re just pointing out an observation. My intention is never to, you know, damage somebody, but what do you like, what can be done in those circumstances or is there anything that you feel is like, what’s the solution to that? I guess is there like do you have to have just a ton of self talk? Do you like block out the comments, like how I’m ensure there’s probably like tried to do that, but I’m just thinking like what do you tell Annabelle? What do you tell your daughter?
Nichole Mischke: 17:43 So, I think with our children, it starts with very open and honest conversation. You know, it’s probably not going to be too much longer before I share all of this with my daughter, what I struggled with, but you know, she’ll come home and she’ll say, you know, so and so said something mean to me and I think it’s just instilling in them like compassion and empathy and let them realize that, you know, if someone’s saying something hurtful to you, it’s probably because that person is hurting even more inside. And so instead of taking what they say and I’m letting you hurt you, instead you kind of flip it around and you think, gosh, you know, I can have empathy for this person. I can try to understand why they are the way they are. And that’s why I went into, into broadcasting. That’s why I love storytelling because I think that would be kind of actually peel away someone’s layers and try to actually understand someone who we might think we have nothing in common with and they drive us crazy and we actually just stop and try to understand somebody and why they are the way they are and what’s happened in their life that’s made them. Who they are today, it’s so much easier to be accepting of those people, but, um, you know, as far as, and then when we come to be adults, I think just being aware of your words, realizing that your words that you say to an employee or a coworker or a friend or your child have huge implications and your words can either be used for good or for bad, you know, you can totally a blow out someone’s happiness with a sentence, you know, everybody knows what they could possibly say to really hurt those closest to them in their life. And so I think, um, just being aware of our words and, and, and our intentions. And um, to me that’s, if you can call that an answer, that’s kind of where it starts and where we have to all come and take responsibility for, for ourselves, and then also just kind of the words that we tell ourselves and we all have the power to control our thinking. Human beings are that smart. You know, we are in control of our thoughts. What thoughts are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself you’re not good enough? I did that for a long time and trust me, that’s not the way to go. Or are you accepting yourself for where you’re at? Having grace for yourself and realizing that we’re all a work in progress, but, but built yourself up, get yourself some credit. We all juggle so many things in our busy lives with our full time jobs and being parents and business owners and you know, you gotta give yourself some grace and I think that it really starts for me when I was finally able to take control of my eating disorder and stop it started with my mind with how I thought of myself with this idea that like I am abusing my body by doing this. Like, I get one body. Am I really going to let vanity or at this point, I mean I don’t want to. I not want to ever say that like eating disorders are as simple as vanity because they are way more complicated than that. It is a psychological problem. Ah, people need to get on, you know, mental health counseling oftentimes, or counseling from a eating disorder specialist are, you know, it does, it takes a lot to kind of free you from that. Personally, I feel like I was just kind of healed miraculously from that, uh, but it started with the way that I thought. So I think we need to look at how we’re thinking and what we tell ourselves because ultimately the thoughts that we tell ourselves are going to be our reality.
Chris Kiefer: 21:28 I think that in particular is the, the three things that really stick out to me or I’m teaching our children about compassion and empathy. I think that’s very wise. Um, and that’s just a, that’s an awesome goal as a parent is to basically just make sure that your children understand that. The other thing I really liked what you said is be aware of your words both to what you’re saying to others and what you’re telling yourself. And then to think about what, what is it specifically that I am telling myself constantly because that has such a massive impact, we basically, we become what we think about all the time. So you can’t take that lightly. Exactly. Yeah. Um, how, so, how is someone supposed to approach this or this topic? Um, is there anything that your friends or your parents could have done sooner, um, to like intervene with a situation like this or is there, is it kind of something that they, like the person has to reach a breaking point and they have this moment where they pursue it themselves?
Nichole Mischke: 22:46 Yeah, you know, that’s a great question. Um, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that and lIke I said, I’m not a psychologist so I probably don’t have the best answer, but I can only speak from my experience. And I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that. like, could someone have prevented this or stop this at an earlier age? I’d like to say the answer is yes, but my mom did approach me in high school and asked me if I was struggling with x and I straight up acted like she was insane. Like I would never do that. I mean I was just so set on not ever admitting to this and not ever being caught that. And I’m very stubborn like that in a lot of ways of my life. I mean when I get my head set on something and I’m just kind of stubborn and that’s the way things are going to be, and then also my husband actually when we had first started dating, he didn’t necessarily question me on having, just sort of, but he had been in the bathroom after me and thought it smelled funny and he came and asked me if I was sick or if I just thrown up and I said no, of course not. Like I actually, like, he was crazy again. So I have these moments where I could’ve like owned up to the people closest to me and I chose not to, you know, made them seem like they were insane. Um, and then I honestly, uh, I did go and see a counselor, but I eventually stopped going because I just felt like there is nothing that can help me. Like that’s what it felt like no one is going to be able to help me get over this. At times I thought it was going to kill me. I did. I thought I’m going to completely damaged my body or choke or uh, you know, this is probably going to be the death of me. I thought about that. Um, so as far as approaching someone that is a very hard thing at to try and understand, media definitely has to come from a place of compassion. that is one of my hopes, I guess is that, um, it’s a lot easier, you know. Um, I guess one of my hopes in sharing my story, I think it’s a lot easier to admit something to someone when you know that they understand and that they’ve been there. and for me, I had nobody in my life that I knew ever who had ever had this problem. So I felt like I was fessing up to something that I was alone in that nobody else would understand. Um, in, you know, there’s probably a lot of people in my life that maybe have struggled with this and just have never told me about it. But, maybe if I had known people that had gone through this, I would’ve been more likely to share it with them. I also have thought about health class. I don’t think I learned about eating disorders until it was either like middle school or early high school. I remember being mortified hearing about them. But I also feel like it was just a couple paragraphs about what they were anorexia, this bulimia is this binge eating is this yada yada yada. But there was no talk like real talk about the implications of these, the psychological effects this has on someone the way that it totally takes over and controls your life. Um, and I feel like just reading about it, like the definition of it almost puts the idea in my head. Like, this is one way people lose weight and that maybe if our schools educated teens more on what this really means, what this, what choosing to do that actually does to your life and just kind of more talk about self acceptance and positive body image and um, you know, I think that maybe I wouldn’t have ever gone down that path in the first place because I would have recognized how destructive it was going to be. So, I think education could definitely be improved for our teens. And remember for boys too, boys have the same pressure to want to look good. Yeah. They typically have higher metabolisms that it’s, it’s not just a women’s boys struggle with this too. Um, so that. And then I think, you know, I actually had a friend who said, yeah, she had a cousin in high school or in college, they were roommates and she suspected that her cousin was bulimic and she tried to. She thought I tried to approach her about in that did not go over well. And I’m thinking I can only imagine. Of course it didn’t go over well. This is something that people are so ashamed of, um, and we have got to just become a culture that’s more accepting and I think the start of that is to have people willing to share their stories and be open and honest about the struggle. The struggle is real. We all have issues. No one is perfect and we’ve got to be accepting of that and stop making people feel like, oh, you just don’t have self control because you’re Bulimic like, it’s so much more than that.
Chris Kiefer: 27:30 In reflecting on your story, what I’m seeing is there were moments where the times where you were most positively changed or you know, the needle started moving towards healing was in times that you’ve heard other people share.
Nichole Mischke: 27:49 Yes. That’s, ah, that’s great that you said that. That kind of makes it even more visible for me to see. Yes. Hearing that other women who I admired greatly had the same struggle. Women that I say it, I hate this phrase that I thought had it all together. nobody has It all together, but they looked like they had an altogether princess diana for gosh sakes. I mean, um, people who I highly admired who finally came forward and said, I struggled with this, that was so huge for me because I finally felt like, oh my gosh, I am not alone in this. I mean, our culture has made it be. I mean, people don’t talk about eating disorders. It’s so hard to talk about them. And so it feels like you’re the only one. You’re sick in the head. You’ve got issues. Um, nobody else does is just you. Why would you ever tell anyone about this? No one’s going to respect you. No one’s going to, you know. So yes, I think that hit the nail on the head right there.
Chris Kiefer: 28:49 Everything that you’re just, as you’re, with what you’re talking about, the phrase that I’m leon logan, what was his name? Leon Logothetis that he had said, you know, promise me, you will share your pain. Those are just starting to seem like a lot, like they’re very wise words because I think that a lot of people, um, like if everybody was open and transparent about the good and the bad in their life and didn’t pretend to have it altogether, it would be better off for everybody because I’m, I, again, I’m projecting, but it sounds like a lot of the self negative talk that you were saying to yourself on what other people are going to think about you probably would have been mitigated had you known that you’re not weird. You’re not like a, you know, one in a million that has this issue. you’re, it’s much more common. and um, yeah, I just think that that’s, to me, that sounds like the, the kind of taking this into, you know, 2018 or 2020 with technology. To me I’m kind of optimistic about the use of technology and social media in a positive way. What’s your opinion on social media or online forums? Um, or even just podcasts, you know, the ability to share a story that you might feel uncomfortable sharing otherwise, um, that hopefully could be seen or heard by someone who is struggling or needs to hear that.
Nichole Mischke: 30:35 Yeah, I think social media can totally be used positively. I mean the me to movement, but we just thought that is so fantastic. I mean that just goes to show that’s just one issue. Sexual assault, sexual abuse that women had been holding inside for so long. Maybe feeling like I should be ashamed that this was my fault. I did this. I’m responsible that this happened to me when really it just took, you know, a couple people who had massive respect in society. People looked up to them and them openIng up and saying, hey, I’ve been through this too. It’s not your fault. It’s ok, you know, hundreds of thousands of women were then inspired and felt empowered enough that they could come forward and say, I’ve been there. I mean, do you have any idea how much healing has been able to come just from that? And just the power that is put back in the hands of someone who has felt captive or, or felt ashamed about something that they can finally come out and talk about it. That is a powerful thing. So that’s, that’s one example of how social media had a hugely positive effect on freeing people from the shackles of shame, if you want to call it that. And the more that people come out and share their stories and those are heard, I think maybe the more accepting our society can be.
Chris Kiefer: 32:04 I think that’s very smart. How would you say that this near this entire experience, um, and now kind of being on the other side of it, how has this changed the way that you look at life, your job, money, happiness, um, maybe what you’re passionate about?
Nichole Mischke: 32:23 Yeah. I can say, first of all, um, for anybody that’s struggling with any sort of addiction or eating disorder, it completely just controls your life. It consumes you. So the biggest thing for me is seeing how much more energy I have to devote to other areas of my life, um, because I don’t feel consumed by Bulimia anymore. I feel like I’m finally free to move forward and make progress. So that has been incredible and I feel like there is a much brighter future ahead. I guess I feel empowered. I feel almost like nothing can stop me now because the one thing that I was holding myself back with is now out in the open and I don’t have to hide from it anymore. Um, so I’m excited for the future. I’m excited to. I like to live my life just kind of saying, you know, what, what am I, what is my purpose? What was I put on this earth to do? I really believe that everybody has talents and gifts that they were born with and that we all have these urges and ourselves. These things, you know, you call it your dream job, call it what you’re passionate about. We all have these things that we identify with that bring us joy. And I think, um, if you just listen to those voices that tell you, you know, this is what you love follow. I just think to follow your heart, people will find the most happiness and success and that’s not necessarily a realistic for every person’s life. But I feel more, um, three I guess to follow my heart into, to go after my passions and not held back. Um, as far as money, I’ve never been someone that’s. I’m not motivated by money. Like I could never work in a job just because I paid me a ton of money. If I absolutely hated what I was doing, I have to find passion in what I do. I’m definitely, uh, you know, passion motivates me much more than many debt. But at the same time, money is nice. But I think for a lot of people, if you just focus on money, it actually is a distraction and it holds you back. Um, w we will survive without money. I said this to my husband just recently, it’s like, you know, he’s thinking about starting their business and it’s like you can’t just let money be the reason you don’t start because you’re worried about you’ll make less or whatever. I mean, that’s, that’s a false wall, I guess, you know. Yeah. So what, what would happen if you didn’t get a paycheck for two n’s? Well, guess what? We would still be alive and yeah, we might miss a few bills and have to talk to her bank and work things out, but we’re not going to die. And I think that people just kind of, um, if, if money is that what you allow your decisions to be based on, you’re not going to find happiness.
Chris Kiefer: 35:26 What would you say for um, just discussing or thinking ahead to the future for success and kind of what you are pursuing now, what does or how do you define success for your life as of today?
Nichole Mischke: 35:48 The way that I would define success, I was thinking about this. I think for me, success is continuing to achieve your goals despite struggles and despite your fears. So really just kind of perseverance to me, that’s what success is. I mean, when I see somebody go after that business idea, have the guts to say ham and uh, try this to me, I’m like, wow, that is awesome. Like that is success. Continuing to strive to reach your goals despite your fears and despite what the world tells you,
Chris Kiefer: 36:21 So now, you’ve intrigued me. I’m going to put you on the spot. What are, you mentioned to continue to pursue your goals despite your fears. So what are your goals for the, you know, five to 10 years in the future and what are you afraid of?
Nichole Mischke: 36:38 Yeah, so one of the things that I’ve always struggled with is admitting what I want. It’s scary. It’s terrifying to say to somebody, I want this because what if you don’t get that? Then you look like a big failure, don’t. I mean that was the voice that I constantly had in my head. So even coming out of college, I had a broadcast degree. I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to be a reporter, a journalist, and I had all these negative thoughts going on in my head. You’re not good enough, you don’t have experience, no one’s going to hire you for that. And so I went into my interview and I literally said to them like, I will do anything. I will scrub toilets. Like I just want to get my foot in the door, which was great. I mean, I work hard to get what I want. I do. I think it’s kind of sad that I went in there with a degree from Gonzaga University assuming that I was only qualified to scrub toilets. I’m not that there’s anything wrong with those scrubbed toilets. I mean we, we all need, we all need jobs failed in the world I guess. But I guess what I’m saying is like, it was again this like doubt that I had and I was not able to say I want to be a reporter. I was not able to stay that. So to the people interviewing me. So I started kind of in the lowest position and solely worked myself up. Um, and it wasn’t until I was offered the job that I kind of was able to say, yeah, this is what I want. And so I think that that is huge, you have to be ballsy enough or whatever you want to call it. You’ve got to have the guts to, um, to admit what you want. So for now, for me going forward, I still feel like I struggle to identify at this point what I want because I am working in a job that I absolutely love. I love working in television and we have the best group of people that I work with. It’s this tight family. I am honestly not sure if I could go find a job that I love as much as the job that I have now, at least when it comes to working for others. But I do, you know, the older you get, I think the more you realize how valuable your time is. And so of course, I think everybody wishes that would be really great to figure out a way to do what you love, but do it for yourself and not working for somebody else. So, ultimately any my biggest dream going into broadcasting was wanting to tell people’s stories. So a dream of mine would be to get to travel around the world, just telling people’s stories, whether that’s, um, you know, our, our dad passed away from cancer. I have a huge heart for people battling cancer. I would love to tout their stories, whether it’s people who are just inspiring and have overcome great hardships. I would love to tell their stories. So that is a dream of mine. And um, as far as goals, you know, I haven’t really done a lot to work towards that lately, but I think just setting a goal, I was literally just telling my husband so I just need to tell, I need to go get my first story on my time, not on, it’s not just a story that I feel like is worth telling and then put it out on social media. So that’s going to be something that I’m working towards in the next year. Um, for sure. And then I also, now that I have been able to admit the struggle that I had with the eating disorder, I have a new found passion of wanting to help other people struggling with eating disorders. So I’m excited to see it’s only been about three months, I guess since I announced this to the people close to me. I haven’t even put it out there on social media for like everybody that’s known me since I was, you know, a baby to know. But um, I just have a new found desire to want to help people going through that because if I could just save one person from going down that path, it is horrible. It is dark and I would, I would feel, um, like sharing this to the world was absolutely worth it if I could just help one person.
Chris Kiefer: 40:47 So if you could, with everything that you’re saying now you know, your listing dreams and goals that you have, what is, you feel like there’s any wisdom that you could go back to, you know, 18 year old or you know, early 20 year old nicole, what would you tell yourself?
Nichole Mischke: 41:06 Yeah, I think I’m, one of the biggest things I would tell myself is to ask for what you want. Declare what you want. Kind of like I just talked about. Um, there is huge power in identifying not just to yourself but to others what you actually want out of life. And once you say it and admit it to people, it’s like it’s go time like you can, you can start chasing after that dream, but when we hold our and our desires inside because we’re scared that someone’s going to think, you know, is that a silly dream to have or what if I fail and everyone knows that I didn’t reach my dream. Um, I know that’s not something that everyone struggles with, but I definitely struggled with actually declaring what I wanted. So I would tell my 18 year old self ask for what you want. Be bold in your request. Be bold in declaring your desires to those around you and go for it. And then another thing would just be your enough. You are good enough. We need to stop this. comparing and contrasting. I mean, just just stop for a second. And I think everyone just needs to look at your body like look at your hands. I mean if you have good health, first of all, you have so much. Nothing will stop you on a dime like thinking or realizing that that you have an illness or that there’s been a tragic aspen or something. I mean, if you have your health, you have everything and start With a heart of gratitude I think is another thing to be grateful every day you wake up out of bed. I mean that’s one thing I realized in news, oh, we report on horrendous car crashes and fires and and every day people who just get up in the morning thinking that they’re going to work or they’re dropping their kids off at school and a little did they know they have 10 minutes of life left before they’re dead because of a car crash or something awful, you know, so appreciate that. I think that that’s the other thing I would tell myself is practice having a heart of gratitude. Like what are you thankful for? Don’t dwell on the negative. That’s something that I’ve recently kind of been obsessed with a listening to and learning about his happiness. It is not something that is given to us. It comes from within. We can either choose to be happy or choose not to be happy. It’s all in our minds and our brains have a negativity bias. It we’re actually programmed. It’s easier for us to remember the negative circumstances than it is for us to remember and think about positive circumstances that makes sense when you think about back to like, you know, the ice age, the hunter gatherer society, whatever you want to reference it to, but you know, when we were scavenging and, and I’m needing to protect ourselves from threats and stuff, we needed to remember the negative because we needed to make sure not to repeat those mistakes, but in today’s society, when we do have homes and plenty of food and all this stuff, if you just focus on the negative, it totally is going to bring you down. So you need to actually practice having a mind of gratitude. And I think that is hugely powerful. Um, so yeah, I don’t, I think it was again, a long answer, but I would say, um, you’re good enough practice having a mind and a heart of gratitude. And, um, the other thing would be to declare what you want, you know, boldly go after your dreams and don’t be afraid to admit it to yourself and to other people because I do think I kind of held myself back, um, from being scared about that. I mean the fear of what other people thought held me back for a long time. And to some extent it still does. Yeah. I’m still afraid this tell everybody, you know, to post on my Facebook page, hey, news flash, Facebook, I struggled with an eating disorder and that is scary to me and I need to get over that. I’m working on. I know I’ll get there. I’m not there quite yet, but, but I’ll get there.
Chris Kiefer: 45:11 As far as failure goes, what do you consider failure in your life?
Nichole Mischke: 45:16 To me, it’s letting what others think aboUt. You. Define who you are and what you’re capable of. That’s when you failed. When you start believing what everybody else thinks about you and you let it control you.
Chris Kiefer: 45:27 Do you worry about that?
Nichole Mischke: 45:29 Um, if consciously or is constantly on my mind, like I can’t let others, other people’s thoughts about me control what I do. So yes. Um, if I were to never take another risk in my life, in my career, um, yeah, that would be a failure I think, um, because I simply because I have a desire to, you know, if I have a desire to do something with my life and I ignore it based on fear, I failed because I never went after. I never tried. I mean not trying as failure. It’s better to try and fail than to not try it out. Not saying I don’t know who says it, but it’s better to try and fail than to not try at all. So to me, failure is not trying.
Chris Kiefer: 46:16 And what, um, what’s your favorite TED talk off the top of your head.
Nichole Mischke: 46:27 Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk called “Your Elusive Creative Genius. She’s the author of Eat. Pray. Love. And she talks about how this idea that if we all could go back to using the term genius as to say that we all have a genius inside of us, instead of saying like, oh, that person is a genius and it’s just absolutely fascinating in kind of how to deal with the fear of being creative because it’s scary for artists. You’re kind of putting your heart out there just to have people maybe stomp on it and it can be a extremely terrifying. So If you are a writer, a musician, or a painter, anything of the sort like that, a journalist storyteller after you need to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s you’re elusive creative genius. It’s, it’s fascinating. Inspire you.
Chris Kiefer: 47:17 All right, here’s the last and most fun question of the day. what is one purchase in the last six months that you’ve made for less than a hundred? That’s the key. That has most significantly changed your life.
Nichole Mischke: 47:36 Yeah. This is. This is interesting. I haven’t purchased a lot of things that have changed my life in the last six months. However, we did rehab our gym membership and I would just say that that’s probably the biggest thing that has brought positive change to my life. Uh, we were working out on our own at our house, but I love having a gym membership because I feel like I work out more when there’s classes, when I can, you know, joining on people and I think it’s part of having a balance in your life. You can’t just focus on your job and think that you’re going to find happiness. You can’t just focus on your physique and think that you’re going to find happiness. You’ve got to have balance in your family life and your work life in your leisure time and your physical health and your mental health. I mean you got to take time for meditation and prayer and everything. So yeah, I would just say getting a gym membership and just kind of recommitted myself to showing up at the gym more frequently has been great for my mental health and just, I just feel better when I work out. So yeah.
Chris Kiefer: 48:49 Thank you very much, Nichole, for going out on a limb and being one of the first people on the show. Um, I don’t know if you have any other closing thoughts, but I think this has been really, um, enlightening. I think that there’s a lot of really valuable stuff in here, especially from the perspective of um, everybody has issues, even the ones that are very successful. And um, I think that for me, what I took away from this was just encouragement on going back and sharing, you know, making sure that there’s nothing that we are keeping to ourselves because we are afraid of what other people are going to think.
Nichole Mischke: 49:30 Yes, absolutely. And also just want to say to anybody, you know, if, if what I’ve said has struck a chord with you, you want to know more, you’re struggling with something similar to, please feel free to reach out to me on my facebook page. I’m Nichole Mischke or on twitter. I’m on twitter as well.
Chris Kiefer: 49:52 Was that in the show notes? Um, but yeah, thanks again. And, uh, we will, um, we will obviously be in touch seeing as we’re siblings, but, uh, thank you guys for listening.
Nichole Mischke: 50:07 Yeah.
Chris Kiefer: 50:09 Yeah. Enjoy. And, uh, you know, we always appreciate feedback and comments and ideas on the next episodes.