Success Through Forgiveness With Angel Watkins

What if it’s forgiveness that’s holding you back from getting what you want? Join speaker, podcaster, and businesswoman Angel Watkins and I as we explore how forgiveness, fear, and the courage to be honest with yourself might be all that is standing between you and the success you want in your life, body, and business.

Today’s Guest

With expansive business experience, Angel has managed multiple projects that required strong analytical and people-management skills. She has held multiple roles including business analysis, product ownership, and product management.  She has served in key roles for customer project delivery, innovation efforts, and leadership development.

Angel’s entrepreneurial journey began a few years ago when she partnered with a group of friends to create a lifestyle blog.  While learning the business of blogging, she experienced the challenges and rewards of utilizing content marketing to grow her business and create an online presence.  This allowed her to combine her existing business knowledge with strategic digital marketing. 

Angel’s podcast, The Intelligence of G.R.I.T (Grace, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity) focuses on healthy habits, human behaviors, and acts of courage needed to move an idea from concept to reality.  Her podcast provides weekly insights and interviews with ordinary people who had the G.R.I.T to do extraordinary things.

Angel holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems, master’s degree in Business Administration,  PMP (Project Management Professional) certification,  and Scaled-Agile certification.


The Intelligence of Grit podcast

episode transcription

Heather Clark  00:02

Welcome to Unshakable Being: inspiration and practical tools for purpose led helpers, guides and leaders like you to shift out of stress, stop going in circles, and get what you want in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.


Heather Clark  00:19

Hello, and thanks so much for joining us today. I’m so excited to have Angel Watkins on the show. She has extensive experience in business and has held roles that really take advantage of her strong analytical and people management skills. Her entrepreneurial journey began a few years ago with the creation of a lifestyle blog and has now extended to podcasting. And she’s the host of the Intelligence of Grit podcast Angel, welcome to the show.


Angel Watkins  00:50

Thank you, Heather. I really appreciate it. I’m very excited to be here.


Heather Clark  00:54

Me too. We connected through Judy Carter and Message of You workshop and we were in a group together and I just thought, oh my goodness, I love her message. I love everything she has to say. And I really feel like Angel, you’ve got a lot of things that can truly help people become unshakable. So, to start, I would like to know, tell me all about the Intelligence of Grit, and what called you to start your podcast.


Angel Watkins  01:26

Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me on your show. I love Unshakable Being too. I really think that you and I probably could have talked two or three more hours from our first conversation, because I feel like we are both moving toward in the spirit of helping people and ourselves. reach a level of peace and joy that sometimes people think is unattainable. The intelligence of grit, which is an acronym for me, it stands for a grace, resilience, integrity and tenacity. And I started this podcast because of the behaviors of myself and the behaviors that I would see the people around me.


Angel Watkins  02:22

I’ve been doing project management work for over 15 years, and product work for almost five years. And whenever you’re doing something new, whether it is a new endeavor, a new service, a new product, there’s just a common slew of emotions and behaviors that come along with that. Those things could be fear. They could be people’s reactions to change. They could be the struggles with building a team. There’s all of these different There could be shame, there could be anger, there could be excitement. There’s all of these different elements that I’ve seen as a running thread with starting new things, because I’ve been doing the project work for so long.


Angel Watkins  03:15

And what fascinates me is I want to know, what are the things that move people from negative emotion to positive action? To me, that’s great. I don’t view grit as being, you know, working so hard that, you know, you move yourself into an unhealthy space. I view it as a space of courage, viewed as a space of accomplishment, and accomplishment looks different for different people. And so I started the podcast first because I wanted to explore those things with the people. And then I wanted to explore those things within myself.


Angel Watkins  03:59

Why is it sometimes that I am able to, you know, really go hard at a goal and then I stopped in my tracks and I get nothing else done? Or why is it that I may procrastinate on something that is so incredibly important to me, or at least that I tell myself is important to me. Right? Why is it that I let fear conquer me and I don’t move forward with something that I said that I would do? What is that about? Why is it that I can show up more for my job, then I can show up for myself? What are those things about what what are the things that move grit along? And what are the things that stop grit and it’s in a choose what makes grit stop, right? And so those are the reasons why I started my podcast. I’m just so incredibly fascinated by that. And I want to deeper on courage.


Heather Clark  05:05

I, I think everybody can really resonate with that. And I love how you have noticed just in project work, that beginning of something new that the thread is all through that because I think it’s really easy to think oh, well, this is just happening to me. This only happens once in a while like No, no. These are just things that are going to happen and it’s almost like once you know it, you can more easily manage it


Angel Watkins  05:30

does absolutely right. I always say that. tools and systems and processes. They may be difficult or complex, but for the most part, they’re easy in comparison to the will behind the work, the will behind the work. Those are the things that you have to really dig deep on and figure out how you’re going to get that right. You know, that book called What is it culture eats strategy I think that’s the name of the book. But anyway, the premise of it is, if people have a different mindset than the strategy won’t get done. There, it takes a specific way of thinking, growing learning in order to move something to the finish line, right. And so yeah, I think that it’s a common thread. I see it in project work because project work involves people. I see it in product development, I see it in services, I see it in my own goals, dreams and beliefs. And I think is very common to all of us.


Heather Clark  06:41

So what have you found so far, that you think maybe is a bigger thing and helping move from negative emotions to positive actions? Because we’ve all been stuck at one time or another and procrastinating on something that’s super important and really simple and would only take us minute, but first let me go play this computer game.


Angel Watkins  07:06

Yeah, you know,


Angel Watkins  07:09

there’s a few things. I think that first of all, it starts with self. Most of us are challenged with looking inward. It takes a lot of courage to be honest with yourself about yourself. And so starting there and saying what are the things that are holding me is something that I see the most of Heather now. There’s multiple components around why someone may be in this space. Forgiveness is one of them.


Angel Watkins  07:45

And I’m going to talk about that a little bit more because I’m going to share with you one of the I started and stopped my podcast several times. And it wasn’t because I didn’t know what do or how to do it? It was because I was dealing with inner struggles of forgiving myself for mistakes I’ve made, or forgiving others for, for saying negative things about me as it relates to what I could or could not do, right. And I dig into that a little deeper, but that’s one of them. The other one is fear. Fear is such a natural feeling that more often than not, we feel it. But how we respond to it is to run away from it. We don’t typically embrace fear. And so running away from different things because of a state of fear is another reason or another component where we may see reasons why things don’t move forward and


Angel Watkins  08:59

Forgiveness fear, I would say, not just had just not having the tools.


Angel Watkins  09:09

Sometimes people really don’t have everything they need to move something through. And that gets to having a spirit of humility, and asking for help. Asking for help is another challenge. So I could go on and on and on around the different things that impact us. But those are three that I would say. Rank pretty high in my experience.


Heather Clark  09:37

Yeah, I really want to dive into forgiveness because I feel like so number three, when people really don’t have the tools, okay, well identify what tools go out and get them blah, blah, blah, all of that. Fear. It’s the embracing of fear and it really takes courage and all of that good stuff. But you said something about courage and forgiveness and that courage to really be honest with yourself about yourself. So I want to hear more about the forgiveness piece and courage.


Angel Watkins  10:10

Yeah, you know,


Angel Watkins  10:12

one of the things that I think is so incredibly important for anyone who’s planning to start something new, okay? It doesn’t matter what it is, if it is a big goal in your life, whatever it is, but we’ll just we’ll just talk business right just for the sake of conversation. I really encourage people to sit down and think about where they have not forgiven themselves and where they have not forgiven others.


Angel Watkins  10:47

And I say that because these things tend to show up in some way, shape or form. Whenever we are going about an endeavor, right? It could look like You saying to yourself, who am I to do blah, blah, blah? I’m not good enough for that. Right? And where did that thought come from? Well, it could have come from a poor experience that you had in the past, something that someone told you or some mistake that you made.


Angel Watkins  11:19

And as a result, you’re holding yourself back from moving forward. Those are all matters of self forgiveness, and forgiveness of other people. And don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that. We escape our consequences when we make poor choices. I’m not saying that anyone else does either. I am saying, however, that forgiveness is a huge component of moving past your struggles and getting to where you want to be. It is not the only component but it is a very big component, because it does three things to what’s happening.


Angel Watkins  12:00

Number one, it causes assumptions. We go into a new endeavor, and we’ll think, okay, because this happened before, it’s gonna happen again to me now, right? And we’ll base that on something that happened in the past, something that we’ve haven’t dealt with and we haven’t forgiven with, whether it’s ourselves or the people we haven’t forgiven as it relates to their situation.


Angel Watkins  12:24

Secondly, it stalls our progress, we will go back and forth, and we will procrastinate and we will, you know, make a better be excuse in the world and we’ll, you know, it’s like, you know, I’m gonna go and sometimes people would rather and I’m guilty of this, I’ll go and clean my whole house at all right, but I’ll do something like that to avoid something I need to do. Right. Not saying that I don’t need to clean my house, but the point I’m making is, right, we will do whatever we can to avoid dealing with whatever we need to deal with.


Angel Watkins  12:57

So a lack of Looking at forgiveness head on, it can stall our progress. And then lastly, it can block our blessings. I mentioned earlier that the G in grit for my podcast is grace. While we are struggling in dealing with what may have happened to us, we tend to forget that we could have been the reason why someone else was in a psychology chair trying to get help, we could have made a mistake as well. And so I really believe that forgiveness is a critical component to achieving where you want to go.


Angel Watkins  13:44

Because wherever you are, you’re there. You can’t run away from yourself. You have to deal with the things that hold you back. And speaking from experience, when I’ve taken the time to say what are the reasons why I’m holding myself back, what are the reasons why I haven’t been able to move something to provision? There’s usually something in there that occurred. And some sort of story that I’m hanging on to, that I won’t forgive myself for, or that I won’t forgive someone else for is usually in there somewhere.


Heather Clark  14:27

So, I’m sure that you’ve run into this, how some people get very triggered, and then maybe can’t hear the rest of what you’re saying when they hear it’s about forgiveness. But I don’t feel like you’re saying, you know, just tell everybody that you forgive them and just move on. I mean, this isn’t a bypass thing. And this isn’t the you know, and, and it doesn’t, forgiving someone doesn’t make it okay for what happened. But can you talk a little bit about what is forgiveness to you?


Angel Watkins  14:59

Yeah, um, glad you said that, because that’s that is most most certainly not where I’m going with it. I forgiveness to me and this is gonna sound like really weird grammar, but it’s basically releasing the heavy from your heart. It’s just too much to carry around. And it’s not saying that you have to be, you know, in great harmony in relationship with everyone in your life.


Angel Watkins  15:26

But you are, and you should be in great harmony and relationship with yourself. You have to be true to you first. But in order to get there, you have to make space for it.


Angel Watkins  15:40

In order to make space for it. You have to move some things out of the way that may be causing you hurt and pain.


Angel Watkins  15:47

And so No, that doesn’t look like giving people a pass. You know, I mentioned earlier that we all have to deal with consequences, but it does mean that we are going to move Make a concerted effort to move on in our lives. You know, I really think and you know, sometimes bad things happen to good people. You know, one of the things that I’ve struggled with Heather is when I hear people say, you know, when you go through something, you identify the lessons that you learned from it, you take the mistakes and you move on.


Angel Watkins  16:23

And yes, that’s true. But sometimes shit happens. And always take pull a great lesson out of it. That doesn’t always work, right? What you can do is you can practice immense gratitude and love for the person on the other side of this ditch who you will become once you’ve decided to drop the baggage. That is something that we can do. And so no, I’m not saying that we give people a pass. I am saying that we give ourselves what we deserve.


Heather Clark  17:01

It sounds like it’s accepting and dealing with whatever consequences came up but not necessarily carrying around with you in your heart, the shame, the anger, the whatever,


Angel Watkins  17:14

That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Because, you know, I, one of the things about shame is that shame isolates. And when I say the shame isolate, it can cause can cause the person to just had, you know, and not be seen and not step out and not even attempt to be heard or engage. That isolation is impacting someone else who may need the gifts and talents of that person who’s hiding in shame. So how did they get there? I have to do their inner work. And I think and I’m not a psychologist by any means I’m talking strictly on my experiences, in my professional experiences, my personal experiences that one must, in some way, shape or form. Look at forgiveness is part of the journey is part of getting to where you want to be as part of being unshakable. You know, and unshakable and So tell me a little bit, I’m going to want to flip this and ask you, when you say in shakable, tell me what unshakable means to you.


Heather Clark  18:33

What unshakable means to me, is that you are so strongly connected to your own internal core, that you’re able to quickly and easily rebalance no matter what, because stress is essentially a challenge to normal balance. Mm hmm. And if you’re anchored somewhere outside of yourself, like if you’ve got an anchor to you My job is a big part of my stability and my relationship is a big part of my stability and who am I without these things? Then if there’s any wobble there, it’s really hard for you to rebalance. It’s kind of like if you were holding bowling balls in your hand and fully extended from you, and then somebody bumps you, it’s going to be real hard to rebalance and not fall over. Whereas if you don’t have that, you’re like, oh, whatever. And so you’re calm. You’re confident, you’re responding. You’re not reacting. And it’s easier to get what you want. It’s not like nothing bad ever happens. Because that’s hiding, right?


Heather Clark  19:49

Yeah, yeah, that’s disconnected from your life. That’s not actually living your life but being unshakable is living your life for you. And as a result, It’s a more full expression of you, which channels more vibrancy and vitality into everything. And so when people put themselves first because one of the things is put yourself ruthlessly and relentlessly first and when you do that, what you discover is that the people around you are happier and things go easier for them.


Angel Watkins  20:23

Yeah, that’s so good. Because one of the things and I like how you said that putting yourself relentlessly and ruthlessly first


Angel Watkins  20:33

that takes some forgiveness.


Angel Watkins  20:38

It is Yeah, it really really does. You know, I can talk about all the challenges that we deal with, you know, just this people, you know, but putting yourself first. Oh my goodness, that takes some serious forgiveness


Heather Clark  20:59

and allowing others to put themselves first. And when they put themselves first, that doesn’t, it’s not a problem for you. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or they don’t like you’re in whatever it’s it’s like, Okay, cool. Mm. Like whatever. And now we can come together as fully expressed adult human beings. Beautiful.


Angel Watkins  21:23

Yeah, I can honor someone else’s right? To honor and love themselves too. Right? Mm hmm. I like that.


Heather Clark  21:33

Well, yeah. And it because it’s because it’s super dysfunctional to be so worked up about your own agency and sovereignty, that for you to have agency and sovereignty that somehow steps on somebody else’s agency and sovereignty that Oh, that ain’t how this works.


Angel Watkins  21:52

Yeah, yeah.


Heather Clark  21:54

And yeah, I love that we’re talking about forgiveness because it is a big piece of That. And it’s not like, at least in my experience forgiveness is not a checkbox. No, I did that. And now moving on.


Angel Watkins  22:10

No, it’s not it is very much


Angel Watkins  22:14

an everyday thing. It is an everyday process that one has to work their way through. And I’ll talk about, you know, I started my podcast, while supposed to start it in 2016 I had all of my stuff together for it. And then I launched it in 2017. And I did several episodes, and then I stopped cold. And I stopped cold because, you know, again, yes, some life got in the way. I am a mom, I’m a wife. I work. Yes, all that’s true. But I stopped cold because I didn’t think that could keep it going. And then I told myself that well, who’s really that interested in what I’m talking about?


Heather Clark  23:08

Seriously? I did. Yeah. And then completely understand. Yes,


Angel Watkins  23:13

it is. And then I told myself, I said, Well, you know, what if this thing really does take off, and can I keep this up, I gave myself every excuse in the book, to not do something that I wanted to do. Now, this example is indicative of other things that, you know, I’ve seen in my life, and I’ve seen in the lives of other people, but the point is, here we are in 2020.


Angel Watkins  23:41

And I’m picking up something that I wanted to do with fresh eyes. But what did it take for me to do that? I had to stop and say, What is it angel? Why do you continue to pick this thing up and put this thing down when you say you want to do it all The time, what is it? What are the stories that you’re carrying around in your head? That may be telling you that you are not good enough? What mistake did you make prior to this that tells you that you’re not going to be able to carry this out or that people don’t care what you have to say.


Angel Watkins  24:19

I had to dig deep and stuff like that just to keep my podcast going, however, now, it happens all the time. I am not alone in that. But I also think that sometimes people don’t do that kind of work. We just kind of go about life and say, Well, yeah, didn’t work out and well, it is what it is, without really stopping to evaluate. Am I really being true to myself here? Dare really give myself a chance or not.


Heather Clark  24:54

Yeah, and for the people who are choosing to not do this work, from my frame of reference, that’s Fine, you’re not obligated to do this kind of work if you’re truly okay with? Well, I really wanted that. But I don’t really want to do this work. Great. That’s a choice. That’s cool. Enjoy it. There’s a The trouble with that is it at least in my own point of view is your soul will continue to demand evolution and expansion, right? And the more you hang on to whatever you’ve got going on now, which in my words is your identity, then the bigger the stretch between them and the more trouble you’re going to have? So? Yeah.


Angel Watkins  25:40

Yeah, wherever you go, there you are. It’s there you are. Yeah. It really really does. He stays with you. Yeah. Yeah.


Heather Clark  25:50

So and at least the spiritual community in some of the circles that I went on traveling them as much because I just don’t agree with this. particular way of being but there’s this what seems to me a lot of spiritual bypassing type forgiveness work, like the whole, I forgive you like, No, you really don’t. You’ve you’ve, you’ve tamped down your anger about it or you’re trying to ignore it or you don’t want to process all the way through it. So you’re just going to skip ahead to the quote, I forgive you or I forgive me or whatever. And that’s going to be problematic. So, what steps would you recommend for someone to start this whole? Okay, well, what’s this mean to really forgive? How to how can people move forward with that?


Angel Watkins  26:43

Yeah, you know, I’ll speak from my own spiritual experience. And in my own faith, I think first and foremost, you have to own it. I think you have to own it and you have to own everything about it. And when I say own it, I’m not saying own and say that you’re you’re responsible for, you know, everything that happened. I’m saying Own your feelings about it. Whether those feelings are anger, hurt, or shame whatever those feelings are, they need to be owned, and they need to be looked in the face to the point that you made a little bit earlier, and I think this is can be in spiritual circles or not.


Angel Watkins  27:29

Sometimes people will say they’re over something or they forgive because they don’t want to confront whatever that thing is. So I think the first tool that one has to do the first step is to own it, you know, and what does it look like to own something? It looks like being brutally honest about it. It looks like except in some nasty truths, that’s what it looks like. And man saying, This is the part that I played in it or this is the part I didn’t play in it again.


Angel Watkins  28:02

I do believe that bad things happen to good people. So maybe you didn’t play a part in it, but nonetheless on how you feel about it. So I think that’s the first one. And I think a close lead into that is taking the time that you need to process your own feelings and deal with whatever you need to deal with. But I don’t think we can get away from doing the work. We can take the time, but we still have to do the work Heather, and doing the work can look like therapy. doing the work can look like you know, mentorship and accountability. doing the work can look like actually apologizing.


Angel Watkins  28:48

You know, I wrote a letter to myself, for whatever I felt like I was holding in, or whatever I felt like I was mad at myself about or whatever suits When I felt like I could have handled differently, that was one of the ways in which I embraced my own healing in my own ways of forgiveness. Even in situations where you can’t forgive someone, you know, maybe that person has moved on. Writing has been useful for my own experiences. So it is actually doing the work, I think, is critically important.


Angel Watkins  29:26

And then I think Lastly, visioning, where you want to be, I have developed and continue to develop a love and appreciation for where I am today, and where I’m going to be. And I’m very clear about the steps that I’m taking to get there. And I’m very I practice being very loving with myself on the days that I don’t do so. Hi. And that is giving yourself some grace. That is also recognizing that you can be resilient, that you have resilience that you’ve been resilient before.


Angel Watkins  30:15

Sometimes we tend to forget all of the positive things that we have done and we tend to focus and narrow in on this negative space. I’m saying, take the good stuff and the bad stuff. decide where you want to be. Keep what you’re going to keep and leave the rest behind. But when you leave the rest behind, leave it behind from a place of wholeness. That that was that chapter. I’ll now move on to this chapter. It is okay to change your mind. It is okay to have some setbacks. Those things are all Part of being human. But I think knowing what you want to do is important. And if you don’t know what you want to do, if you can’t get to a place of visioning, then at least be okay with being curious and exploring. exploration is something that, you know, and I’m sorry that I’m going, I feel like I’m going on a tangent, but I can talk about


Heather Clark  31:23

Oh, no, I’m here for this.


Angel Watkins  31:25

Yeah. Okay.


Angel Watkins  31:27

Exploration to me is something that I feel we as adults don’t do enough of, you know, if you think about it, you know, in the traditional sense, you know, it’s you, you you go to school, you do elementary school, you do middle school, high school, you decide after high school now, after having lived xip worth of life, what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, you go to college and you choose a career, and you get that right


Angel Watkins  31:58

and that’s not really


Angel Watkins  32:01

I think about and I am someone who appreciates education, I have an undergrad degree in grad degree those things have been blessings to my career development. However, sometimes people have to explore. And we have to make that okay. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve talked with people who have baggage from what they didn’t do well in college, or dropped out of college or didn’t go to college or didn’t do whatever. We have to stop with that level of thinking and say, You know what, it is okay? To explore and figure out what’s for you in this life, where your gifts lie, where you’re going to serve, who you’re going to help, what brings you joy. It’s okay to not know all of those things. And I think sometimes people are very hard on themselves when they don’t


Heather Clark  32:56

so completely agree and I So here’s something that I will often I find myself telling clients, like when you find something, that it’s not safe to question it, and it’s not safe to explore new possibilities. Congratulations, you have just found something that has control over you, you have just found an area where it’s not possible for you to be unshakable.


Heather Clark  33:22

Because the exploration is required here. And not from and you’re doing it wrong kind of a place, but from a TADAA!, now you get to really dig down. Like, why, why is it not safe to explore? And I wonder if that’s happening for a lot of adults and especially with these crazy COVID times where it doesn’t feel safe to explore sometimes. Because what if I’m wrong? What if that’s not the right answer? What you know, and that’s all the, the, I guess from my point of view, fear would be a big component of that.


Angel Watkins  34:00



Heather Clark  34:01

but maybe it’s also obligation. And I don’t want to color outside the lines, but I don’t know where the lines are. And it feels like if a person was willing to explore and forgive themselves. And by that one of the things I’ve heard you say, it’s kind of like decide what’s going to get you to the next spot on your journey, and what’s too heavy to carry. Drop what’s too heavy to carry? Because there’s no virtue and struggle, and then be able to move on. Have you found that that requires courage? Or does the doing of all of that give you courage? Like, what’s the relationship to courage here?


Angel Watkins  34:46

Yeah, so I absolutely think that, from my perspective, the doing and that takes a lot of courage. And it’s funny, I was chuckling just now when I heard you talk about it. Because, you know, we encourage kids to explore. But as adults, we’re afraid to do it.


Angel Watkins  35:07

And it’s because we don’t want to experience embarrassment. We don’t want to experience shame. We don’t want to, like you said, color our side of the lines and shake things up in a way that could be harmful for us. When did that shift occur? When did we, as adults decide that it was not okay? to explore.


Angel Watkins  35:30

And I really believe that it takes courage to get yourself going and encourage looks different for different people. You know, what may be a challenge for me, may not be a challenge for you. But nonetheless, if it is a challenge for me, and I have to move myself past whatever that thing is, it’s going to take a bit of courage. And the struggle with that, for a lot of us is the courage me It’s gonna be hard, I’m going to be exposed, I’m going to be, you know, potentially, I could potentially fail, you know, there’s all these different reasons right? But I really think that courage is the start to a lot of these things, you know, and vulnerability, you know, we, we look at Renee brown and the work that she does with shame and vulnerability. Courage is in there. You have to practice courage like you practice anything else.


Angel Watkins  36:36

I really think that’s important.


Heather Clark  36:40

So this puts me in mind of a story. Several years ago, I was out for a walk to the park with my dog who has since passed, but he was exuberant was such a great word to describe him, and it was in an area where it was an off leash area. So he was a border collie lab mix, so he ran ahead and came behind and herded me along and you know, did all these things. And he had run past this thing on the trail.


Heather Clark  37:08

nd as I got closer I saw it was a Copperhead snake. Wow. And I was, I am not. I don’t love snakes have every right to exist. I just I just don’t need to be around them and I’m like, I am not walking past this snake. But what I discovered is I was able to find the courage to do that because what happened is Baxter was starting to run back towards me. And I did not want him to run because I don’t how many times is the snake gonna let a dog run past it before it does something about it.


Heather Clark  37:44

Right so I discovered I got real clear on my goal and found the courage to walk right past the snake. And I was able to get four feet away from it like I could get away from it really. But But what that brought up from As I got very clear of what my desired result was, and my undesired result, and then then I was able to take the action because without the dog there would have been like Well too bad there’s no walk today turned around and gone home. Because there just wasn’t the push. So have you found that this piece this number three, which I love the visioning Do you think that’s maybe the missing crucial piece? In this forgiveness courage picture?


Angel Watkins  38:31

You know, I let me think about that a little bit because you know, just in the story you told right, taking the action to walk past the snake anyway, was an act of courage. Oh,


Heather Clark  38:45

yes, I did not write and


Angel Watkins  38:50

listen for people who are listening to us. We’re not saying walk past snakes.


Heather Clark  38:55

No kidding.


Angel Watkins  38:58

But but to your question, you know, is very The missing piece. Um, I, I’m not sure about that Heather. And I say that because I really think that people, not everybody, but more often than not, in my experience. People tend to


Angel Watkins  39:27

have some thought around.


Angel Watkins  39:31

They know that they want things to be better. Okay. So it may not be the complete vision, but it is a form of visioning. I know that where I am right now is not a place where I want to be okay. I think the struggle is typically with doing the work. And I think the struggle is typically with digging deep and saying what do I need to do to get past these feelings of fill in the blank


Angel Watkins  40:01

Because I think once people can get there,


Angel Watkins  40:07

they can enhance their visioning.


Angel Watkins  40:10

Visually for song is really tough because people can be so stuck in where they are that they just can’t see past their current circumstances. You know, everyone’s at different levels with it, you know? Well,


Heather Clark  40:25

yeah. And any stress at all changes how you see the world, it makes it very difficult to see positive possibilities, right? And if there’s any level of burnout, just trust that there’s something better even though you can’t think of it right now. Like, if your goal is just simply less bad, that’s fine. Let that be okay.


Angel Watkins  40:46

That way, okay.


Heather Clark  40:50

It’ll come clear later.


Angel Watkins  40:51

It’s people have a hard time with. I’ve had a hard time without speed just for me with letting that be Okay, those small steps, even if you can’t see the holster will really do make a difference. And I think visioning is important, I think is a part of the big three in my mind. But I do think that the steps before that, to what you just said, I love that. It’s so important to just say this is going to be enough for now and I will hold myself with no hurt shame or guilt. Because we tend to do that if we think that we didn’t take a big enough step. We’ll even give ourselves credit for the step that we did take. You know, we just will give ourselves all kinds of grief for that because the step wasn’t big enough, right. changing our lens around that


Angel Watkins  41:49

is so important. It’s so important.


Heather Clark  41:53

Yeah, I really I enjoy that contrast and you pointing that out, because sometimes the big stuff You can take changes based on what’s going on in your life. Again, somebody in the grips of burnout, or I don’t know, maybe, let’s say, the middle of a pandemic, there’s some additional stresses. Yeah. And you can’t effectively compare what you can do in that situation, to what you can do. When there’s not all this stuff going on. When you’re really healthy. When things are going well like comparing yourself in those two different states. That’s not valid. Like if today what you can do is get out of bed and brush your teeth. Good. You’ve done that, can we celebrate that? And maybe tomorrow, there’ll be more. Sure, sure. Yesterday, there was a lot more, that’s great, but that’s not what’s happening now.


Angel Watkins  42:47

Um, and when I hear you say that, you know, that’s that personal evolution that we talked a little bit about earlier that you know, I am going to take This step, I’m going to celebrate this step and then I’m going to enhance my vision at every turn, you know, doing that for ourselves, I think is one of the kindest things we can do that and boundaries and I can I can talk on boundaries. I love me some boundaries. I love Yes, boundaries. I do too. I really do. Those are some of the kindest things we can do that, unfortunately, sometimes we look at those things as being selfish, but they are not. They’re not there


Heather Clark  43:41

at all. They are not selfish. It’s kind of like saying, It’s selfish for you to breed. They’re like, No, it isn’t. Oh,


Angel Watkins  43:50

why are we even thinking that way? You know, and so and then it gets to unlearning. Part of forgiveness is unlearning what we Got we knew was right. That’s part of it. Tell me


Heather Clark  44:06

that. Yes, please. And let’s talk all about this. So unlearning, how is that different from learning something new. Tell me more about what’s on learning.


Angel Watkins  44:17

Yeah. So


Angel Watkins  44:20

let me think about an analogy here.


Angel Watkins  44:26

You can


Angel Watkins  44:29

and I’m trying to think of something something that’s


Angel Watkins  44:33

simple but let’s just take some I’m going to talk about football, which is not a good analogy because I really stink and know anything about football. But let’s do that


Heather Clark  44:43

work because I don’t really know much about football either. So


Angel Watkins  44:47

rules as we go.


Angel Watkins  44:50

But let’s just take that right. Let’s just take that, you know, one is learning how to play football and learning about the The number of yards and learning about what the quarterback might do or you know what some other position in football might do. And you can be someone who is, has played football knows a lot about football. And maybe you play the quarterback position but you’re deciding that you’re going to be a linebacker, okay, this I’m using this analogy that’s learning something new. You are building on a skill set that you already have. Are you building on some proven facts and principles that you already have experienced?


Angel Watkins  45:46

In contrast to that, though,


Angel Watkins  45:49

on learning might be that the way that you got one was supposed to Throw the ball as a quarterback is completely wrong once you’ve shifted into another position. So you went in with this knowledge of how to do things, only to learn that the way that you thought things are supposed to be done is incorrect. So the person that is teaching you how to do it a different way how to be a linebacker, if you will, is saying, Yeah, I know that. That’s how you think it’s supposed to be from your perspective as quarterback. But now that you’re over here, um, that’s not really the way you’re supposed to do it. You know, I’ll give you another analogy. I’ve been in the project role for a really long time. And now I’m in product product development. It’s always a challenge. Whenever people take the professional project management exam is called the PMP certification. It’s always more challenging. In my experience for people who have had project management experience already, then for those who didn’t have much going into that type of exam, and the reason why is because people bring their bad habits into the exam with them. exam itself is by the book, this is exactly what you do. This is exactly how you do it. But someone will come in with their experiences and say, in my experience, these these are the ways in which we were in our projects. I think this is the right answer. But the, but if you’ve got to take the exam, you’re going to do it the way the book says to do it. So you’re gonna have to unlearn some of the ways in which you thought worked. And do them differently. Because this is the way it’s supposed to be done correctly. I hope I helped with that.


Heather Clark  47:52

Yeah, absolutely. And one of the things that popped into my head, it’s as if it’s a recognition that The way of responding from the previous set of circumstances is maybe no longer appropriate in the current ones like, Oh, well, what I would normally do is this, but now I got to think about it. Like, is that appropriate here? What’s this new way of being? Based on this new circumstances? I’m just thinking about how sometimes when people go from employee to manager a year, they got to kind of redo their whole thought process around everything. So it’s an unlearning.


Angel Watkins  48:31

Yeah, I mean, think about the person who is coming into a position brand new on a job and maybe they’re being trained by someone who’s been there for X number of years. You know, someone who’s planning to retire right there job shadowing someone, right? And that person is teaching them, their air, quote, way of doing it. That person leaves they retire, they move on and the new person is carrying on or they’re carrying out the process or procedure, the way that they were taught and someone comes along and says, why are you doing it that way? Well, this is how this is the way that such and such taught me to do it. Oh, no, that’s not correct. And unlearning has to occur. You know, and it happens all the time. And, you know, I’m sorry for like my really crappy football analogy, because that was a bad choice. Sorry, everybody. But the point that I’m making is on learning, it is a part of the journey as well. You are learning new things and exploring new things, but you’re also unlearning things that no longer serve who you want to be and how you want to show up in the world. And being able to have the courage to say I was wrong about that. Or what I thought I knew to be correct, isn’t correct. That takes some courage to do and I think that that is the Something that we all have to do.


Heather Clark  50:03

I yeah, and I’m just thinking of. So when I started my business because there was a lot of unlearning to go from an employee role to an entrepreneur role. It’s like it’s a whole different thing to just truly gloss over a lot of really important things. It’s just different. Yeah. And then I have the additional thing of what I was doing. While I still do this, I still help people recover from adrenal fatigue and burnout, but at the time, that’s all I was doing that was exclusive. And I was using a particular program and supplements and all of this Now the thing is, I’m trained as a pharmacist. And using supplements, at least at that time was essentially heresy. So it unlit unlearn what I was taught that supplements don’t work, because there was there’s a lot of evidence to the contrary. There was a lot of unlearning that and if I’m understanding exactly what you mean, I also kind of have a a system I’ve set up so I don’t have to continually unlearn things I can just stay more in the learning. Because when I discovered Oh, holy crap, I’m super intuitive let me bring this into the business. I was very uncomfortable with it. And I even at one point said, well, least I don’t heal people with crystals and then guess what happened a few months later, like, Oh, geez, I really love crystals and they, you know, I can do all these cool things. And now I got to go back on that so, so don’t have to continuously unlearn things. I now am more clear about what I actually mean, like, Oh, I am uncomfortable with where I’m at. And my initial inclination is to make something wrong. Okay. That’s for my conditioning. And that’s not my choice. And, and I think, if I’m understanding correctly, that’s also an example of like an inner work like doing your own work and learning and forgiveness. And yeah, it takes courage.


Angel Watkins  52:02

Yeah, if I could ask what what made you uncomfortable?


Heather Clark  52:07

Well, Dr. Clark, essentially, was in the process of shedding an old identity. And it was an identity that I had to ascribe a lot of value to society ascribes a lot of value to it. And there was a lot of financial value to being a pharmacist as well. So there it was a huge transition. And there was a lot of that sort of thing going on. But essentially, that’s why I had that download of, Oh, this is an identity gap issue. It’s a gap between who you really are and how you’re being and the identity is how you’re being. And I was not making a smooth Oh, well, I’m really not like that for my true self today. Ah, it was it was not an easy jump back to who I really am. It was a process of letting go when I was, it was very stressful. I didn’t have a framework for what was even happening.


Angel Watkins  53:06

Yeah, that’s, I’m listening to you talk about that. And it really just brings another


Angel Watkins  53:13

another element to mind for me, you know?


Angel Watkins  53:17

Just because it’s uncomfortable doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.


Heather Clark  53:22

No. And what I’ve also learned is that there’s a few different flavors of uncomfortable and I’ve been able now to discern the difference most of the time. Oh, this is the type of uncomfortable that leads to greatness. I’m doing it.


Angel Watkins  53:37

Yeah. Oh, this


Heather Clark  53:38

is that, that type of uncomfortable, that’s super misaligned for me. Done. I’m not I don’t want anything to do with this. There’s different flavors and variety. So it’s just, it’s a consistent application of discernment. You know, I’m pretty introspective anyway, so


Angel Watkins  53:58

yeah, Heather, you should Totally do another podcast on the different types of discomfort. Because I don’t think that people, I not everyone, and I say this and I’m generalizing. So forgive me. I don’t think that everyone is in a place to be able to know the different ways. The unhealthy discomfort versus the healthy discomfort. Like I think that that is important as well because sometimes at the first sign of discomfort, it’s, something’s wrong here. This isn’t okay. Which


Angel Watkins  54:40



Angel Watkins  54:43

can be very healthy. Like you said it could be your path to greatness.


Angel Watkins  54:49

And I find that you know,


Heather Clark  54:51

absolutely when I work privately with people, I really help people dial in to what are your own signals? Like how can they figure that out for themselves but not from a rational figure it out from like a knowing. Yeah, it’s it’s, if there’s a better word than discernment, I’m very open to it. But right now, it’s got that discernment because if you don’t have that, then it’s very difficult. So for instance, one of my favorite things to do is speaking for groups of people. I just love it. And right before I get it’s super uncomfortable, I get really nervous and like, and it’s the, the, it’s the good kind. Or if you’re talking with someone and you think it’s a good conversation, and then they say something where you’re like, oh, there’s not much we’re ever going to agree on it. That’s a different type of just comfort. Yeah. Or if we’ve probably had a situation where we’re, we’re talking to somebody, and everybody else seems to like them, but you’ve got Your little voice is telling you something’s up here. It’s at a different type of discomfort, which I’ve learned to listen to. And then later you discover, oh, they did this horrible and heinous thing, or, oh, they’re actually a toxic narcissist, or Oh, they’re, you know, whatever it is. And it’s just really discovering that for yourself, which is a journey and yes, it does require some courage.


Angel Watkins  56:27

It’s just part of the work. It is part of the work and, you know, and I do think there’s like, the courage and forgiveness, and being uncomfortable and, you know, all of the things that we’ve talked about, they’re like, you know, close cousins, they’re, they’re all related to one another, you know, until just hearing you talk about and when you brought up comfort that really, I really leaned into that because sometimes I don’t think that we’re courageous enough to even Make those types of decisions to trust our own intuition and discernment enough to identify and lean on those things. And, you know, everyone’s story is different. But it’s incredibly important to get to a place where you can trust yourself.


Heather Clark  57:21

Oh, yeah, that that’s a huge part of being unshakable. And it’s kind of like, it’s not like first you have to trust yourself and then you’re unshakable, and it’s not first you got to be unshakable before you trust yourself. It’s it’s a, they move together.


Angel Watkins  57:36

We do.


Heather Clark  57:38

We do. Um,


Heather Clark  57:41

and I like how close all of this is to grit, the grace, resilience, integrity and tenacity. And I just want to hear what’s your origin story? Like, how did you get to be doing all of these wonderful things and talking about crit and forgiveness unlearning.


Angel Watkins  58:01

Yeah, you know, I’m, I wish I could point to one story I can’t. Because I’ve had so much fun.


Angel Watkins  58:11

But I’ll tell you this when I started out with grit, the GE stood for growth. And I have evolved now my personal belief, and I’ve moved the growth to grace. And I’m not saying that growth isn’t important. I am saying that more often than not, we are receivers, and givers of grace and that alone contributes to our growth or should that in combination with being resilient and seeing ourselves as resilient you know, so Sometimes we don’t do that. I believe that integrity is so important to being true to yourself. And I think tenacity is all about consistently and in a healthy way, going after that thing, which you believe you are called for, until I have many origin stories that I could point to, you know, I could point to college, I could point to my corporate career, I could point to, you know, the times that I failed and there have been many, or I thought I should or I should say, I fell forward. There have been many. I can’t think of just one Heather, I have to sip a little bit doesn’t


Heather Clark  59:49

have to be just one. It’s just it’s a great way of kind of getting to know people. Yeah. And allowing people some points of connection. Yeah, because this is this is really wonderful work. And I like that it’s applicable for everybody. And I especially like your approach in the corporate world because there are some corporate environments that seem to be more receptive. And others that simply want to be seen as more receptive, but don’t actually do any of this.


Angel Watkins  1:00:27

Right. Yeah.


Angel Watkins  1:00:30

Yeah, I think that’s a really a really good comment, because and I believe in this, this is just where I’ve evolved to with it is that it doesn’t matter what environment you’re in. It could be an environment that embrace it embraces it there could there could be one that doesn’t. How you carry your own core values means everything and


Angel Watkins  1:01:00



Angel Watkins  1:01:03

it’s challenging. But more than that, it’s rewarding. You have to be true to yourself before you can be true to anyone, you know, and just reflecting because, you know, I’m actually I don’t know if this is podcast worthy or not, so just bear with me, but we’re talking about my own origin. Gosh, I can. I even struggle with that when you told me that in our last conversation, because I have so many, so many origin stories. And


Heather Clark  1:01:44

so an example. I believe that everything and everything about a person informs who they are in this moment. And in fact, where they want to go is informing who they are in this moment. And so seem to apply, and some don’t seem to apply. But it all does. Like, for instance, the fact that I’m from a very small town doesn’t really come up, except that it informs who I am and how I relate to the world. And how when you grew up in a town of about 300 people, and you see 10 other coaches in the world doing something similar, it’s really easy to go, oh my god, the market saturated, which is ridiculous. It’s just


Angel Watkins  1:02:34

There’s no one like you.


Heather Clark  1:02:39

And it requires that and perhaps that’s an example of unlearning, like, oh, there it is, again, just and how this actually works through it, and I just, it’s so fascinating about people and where they come from, and I just, I just love it. You know?


Angel Watkins  1:03:01

You go ahead, go ahead. No, you too. Well, I was gonna say, um, you talked about being from a small town, and that is part of your origin story. Is that what you mean?


Heather Clark  1:03:12

Yeah, but it’s not one I typically highlight in a, you know, a bio because,


Angel Watkins  1:03:19



Heather Clark  1:03:20

who cares? But yet, there are people listening to this that go, oh my god. 300 people in your town, like my life partner had 300 people in his class.


Angel Watkins  1:03:30

Yeah, well, yeah.


Heather Clark  1:03:32

He grew up in the St. Louis area. So you know. And you can just tell that he all say something. He doesn’t. He doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Like, Oh, Okay, got it. Sorry. That’s a small town thing. So here’s


Angel Watkins  1:03:50

Oh, that is funny. Yeah, I you know, I think I’m thinking about that. And when I heard you talk about, you know,


Angel Watkins  1:04:00

Being from a small town you know. I am the daughter of a divorced single mother of three kids. My father passed away when I was nine. And he passed away.


Angel Watkins  1:04:24

At work, he and my mother worked at the same place. He had a really bad asthma attack that he couldn’t recover from. And he was only 35. And I’ve always had a pretty strong work ethic. My mother taught me that that is that so that’s one great woman right there. She is always been someone that I aspire to be. Especially when it comes to loving other people.


Angel Watkins  1:04:59

My mother is a great example of that. But she is a fighter, you know when she pushes and I think about that I was putting that in context not too long ago that I am 41 I am older I’ve lived longer than my father did. And my memories have always been of people around me who are strong and they work hard. That’s always been my circle.


Angel Watkins  1:05:37

I’ve always been someone who worked I mean, I can remember having you know, two part time jobs in high school like, that has always been me. And then once I got into corporate the corporate world, I was 21 when I had a like a seriously paying JOHN I talking about other jobs, whereas I’m talking about, you know, good salary, and being the kind of dad young and paying attention to the world around you and seeing how in what people do and starting to be a part of different things. I just became very much fascinated around what made people tick.


Angel Watkins  1:06:33

You know, what were their motivations? What was the difference between someone who got things done and someone who didn’t? You know, was we we tend to think that it’s always the people who work the hardest. Well, I’ve come across people who work smart. I’ve come across people who probably didn’t work that much at all, but they had some grace along the way and somebody gave them a chance. I’ve come across people Who had great integrity and I’ve came come across people who didn’t have none. Like I just, it’s it is something that I’ve always been interested in. But my origin story is that of the example in front of me, you know, my mother never made much financial financially.


Angel Watkins  1:07:22

But she’s the richest woman I know.


Angel Watkins  1:07:25

And those are the kinds of things that really have just shaped my beam and my thinking and have just caused me to be very interested in what moves people. You know, and there are common threads, right? I mean, we talked about, you know, forgiveness and we talked about courage and we’ve talked about overcoming shame. We’ve talked about owning it and what forgiveness really means and we’ve had all those conversations you and I In our conversation today, but I still believe that everyone has that one thing. And maybe it’s a collection of things, but there’s there’s, there’s this one solid component or group of components, if you will, that move you.


Angel Watkins  1:08:22

They get you to


Angel Watkins  1:08:25

your next level that


Angel Watkins  1:08:29

allows you to say,


Angel Watkins  1:08:33

I’ve changed my mind and I’m sticking to what’s best for me. Or come hell or high water. This is what I’m doing. Or I’m capable, and no one can tell me any different like, there’s something that moves people to their own personal great story. I’m just fascinated by that Heather Really now.


Heather Clark  1:09:02

I love it. And as I hear that, thank you so much for sharing. And as I hear it, I’m like, Well, obviously, she would be about grit, obviously, there’d be forgiveness, obviously, courage. Like, I love it, because it made sense before, but now it’s as if this extra light has been thrown on it. That’s like, Oh, no, this is the lived experience, not only in your life, but in the lives of your role models. And you’re now able to use this to see for other people, you know, here’s an opportunity. Here’s a way to move through it. And that would be simpler with more grace. Like, oh, now it’s time to activate courage. Like Yeah, I love it. That lift experience really helps with it.


Angel Watkins  1:09:51

It really does. And what’s funny about saying that are hearing you say that and this is where I go back to the The comment that I made earlier about people seeing themselves as resilient is that I never would have taken the time to appreciate my life’s experiences in the way that I do now, you know, sometimes we just live in, and we don’t even see or recognize that our origin stories help us. They’ve helped us to become who we are today. And, you know, we’re rarely do we see what other people see, you know. And so I’m just hearing you make the comment that you made, I’m glad to be in a place where I can pull on those stories and lean on them and say, they’re one of the reasons those stories are one of the reasons why I can be resilient and see myself as resilient. They’re the stories carrying me through and they’re not the only stories. Like I said, there’s so many. But they have a lot to do with how I see the world. How I see tenacity and how I view the urgency around. I’m living our lives. That’s an urgent thing for me. It takes time, but it’s still urgent at the same time. I don’t know if that makes sense. But that’s my view of it.


Heather Clark  1:11:28

Love that. Thank you. I also want to know, what do you think it means to be to be unshakable?


Angel Watkins  1:11:37

Woo, woo. Well, hmm. That’s a great question, Heather.


Heather Clark  1:11:44

Because I am deeply fascinated, because just because what I think it is doesn’t mean that it’s going to mean the same thing to everybody. Yeah. And the range of ants of answers I’ve received to this has just been so wonderful. So it’s a real question.


Angel Watkins  1:12:03

What does it mean to be unshakable?


Angel Watkins  1:12:10

You know, I i think


Angel Watkins  1:12:19

i think that being unshakable doesn’t mean that you won’t be shaken.


Angel Watkins  1:12:27

I think that it means that you believe that you’ll be all right. So much of who we are, and what we do is guided by our beliefs. And if you don’t stand in your own confidence, stand in strength. Stand in the belief that you’ll be okay when things calm down, can shake you


Angel Watkins  1:13:02

you’ll easily be shakable


Angel Watkins  1:13:07

but if you can stand in who you are and fully accept that as a person who is growing, loving, cared for cares for others is of service is forgivable to to themselves and to others all of these qualities that are important to your being that you’ll be unshakable no matter what life throws your way. And so I, I think unshakable is so much more, it’s so much about a person on the inside. I’m not the circumstances on the outside. And it’s just an interesting question because and I love the answer that you gave to it early on, because I I feel that I agree with that. Life will happen. But can you go through it


Angel Watkins  1:14:09

and see yourself as being Okay.


Heather Clark  1:14:14

Can you do this beautiful? Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much.


Angel Watkins  1:14:20

Thank you, Heather.


Heather Clark  1:14:23

Where can people find you? Where can they find your podcast?


Angel Watkins  1:14:26

Yeah, so my podcast is titled, The Intelligence of Grit. My website is the Intelligence of Grit. And that’s where people can find me. They could probably find me on LinkedIn to What is that for slash I in for slash Angel Watkins? I’m also on Facebook. And I love talking to people about their group stories. So thank you for asking that. I would love to connect with Other people on these topics.


Heather Clark  1:15:03

Beautiful. And for those listening who didn’t get a pen right away, that’s fine. It’s all in the show notes.


Angel Watkins  1:15:10

A lot of words.


Heather Clark  1:15:12

No, no, it’s it’s great. And then that way people can click and just go right there. Awesome. Thank you. This has been really wonderful. Thank you so much.


Angel Watkins  1:15:23

Thank you, Heather. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. It’s been my pleasure.


Heather Clark  1:15:29

Mine too


Heather Clark  1:15:32

Thank you so much for listening to Unshakable Being. You’ll find more information in the episode shownotes at Subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.