Podcast #25 You're Really Okay


Vulnerability advocate, Tiffani Staten, talks about her own journey of vulnerability, which led her to write the fantastic book, You're Going to Like Me, Grumble Grumble. Tiffani shares her tools and strategies for accepting herself and breaking through barriers.

Tiffani Staten is an author, creative writer, and artist. She’s recently released her debut book, "You're Going to Like Me, Grumble! Grumble!" - a children's book that highlights the necessity of self-love and acceptance in our smallest members of society.



FB: @tiffaniwritesnow
Insta: @tifflikestocreate
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiffani-staten-6615307b/

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Going-Like-Me-Grumble/dp/1737680009
Tiffani's Website: https://tiffanistaten.com/



Tiffani 0:00
Hello, hello. Hello. Hi. How are you?

Mia LaMotte 0:03
Well, I can't hear you because I don't have my phones in.

Tiffani 0:08
Check one, two. Can you hear me? Can you hear me?

Mia LaMotte 0:10
I can hear you and everybody can see you too. So okay. Hi, everyone. Yes. Look, I don't know how to get us out of here. I'll be in here. Okay, that's fine until we until we finish the presentation. So welcome.

Tiffani 0:26
Thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here. Today of disruption.

Mia LaMotte 0:33
That's right. disruptors day like I wanted to do this, because I think that a lot of people want to be disruptors, but they don't really know how to do it. And or they want to change the status quo or some element of their life. Right, right. And, you know, having some people to inspire them to do so is always helpful. So thank you for coming.

Tiffani 0:56
Thank you for having me. I feel very grateful for this. Awesome, excited.

Mia LaMotte 1:02
So why don't you tell the audience a little bit about who you are. And then I'll get into why I decided to ask you to do this.

Tiffani 1:11
Okay. Well, my name is Tiffany Stayton. I am an author and a storyteller. And I have always had an act of imagination. And recently, last year, I wrote a children's book about self acceptance called you're going to like me, grumble grumble. And it follows the story of this young being who moves to a new town, goes to a new school, and he sticks out like a sore thumb. And so he has to navigate this new world.

Mia LaMotte 1:42
So the reason why I asked you and I don't even know if you know this, but the reason why I asked you to be a part of today is because I feel like a lot of people struggle with self acceptance. And it comes from this deeply rooted space of not belonging, like most of us didn't belong, where we were just as grumble grumble doesn't. Right? Or is that that?

Tiffani 2:05
Earnest, but you can call

Mia LaMotte 2:06
it I forgot I forgot about I forgot his last name was food for because I thought that was so cute. So art is is the outsider, right? Yes, he he doesn't belong. He doesn't look like everyone else. He's not like everyone else. And I believe that the world has gotten to a place that it's okay not to be like everybody else, because none of us are the same. And it's because of your own personal experience that you decided to write this book, right? And that's the reason why I asked you to do this, because I want to present for you and for, you know, the people who are present for them. That self acceptance happens within, right. But also, you get to do something about it. So you did something about it. You wrote a book about the pain that you experience. And now it's part of your brand, right? Yes. Yeah. So let's talk. Let's talk about that.

Tiffani 3:06
So my story is probably similar to a lot of people watching right now, I grew up in a suburbs of North Carolina, I mean that in North Carolina, that's where I live now. Oh, my gosh, I'm New Jersey. And we lived in a very nice neighborhood. But my brother and I were oftentimes the only black students in our class. And to paint a picture in my freshman year of high school, there were only 15 Black students in a school of about 1000 1500 students. So from a very young age, I would say from first grade on, I could tell that I looked different. And I never really felt that I belonged anywhere. I always felt like they were looking at me differently. They thought I was, you know, not human. Sometimes I had to deal with racism and microaggressions and all of that stuff, not just from students, but also from teachers as well. And so I grew up with crippling social anxiety, super, super shy, but I was always creative. And at a very young age, around three, three years old, I started reading and I was able to escape into these worlds. And so because I was shy, I haven't looked at other people and I would make up stories you know, I love I still love people watching and I would say okay, this is their life. This is the type of personality they are. And those were my friends in my head. And so as I got older, that anxiety carried with me, I always felt kind of less than or other in almost every situation I was in whether it was at work either. I wasn't fly enough. When I worked at BT I felt like I was a nerd. You know, I guess all these other people. Even with friends circles are busy. In the circles is like, Okay, I'm this artsy person and everybody is so polished and this and I would change myself to fit into each group. So if I was with the corporate set, I would try to make sure I had my suits. And that was very polished. And I spoke the lingo and everything instead of just being myself and I was miserable. So fast forward to 2020 20. And I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. And that just kind of took the wind out of my sails. And I had to deal with my self esteem. And I started going down this journey of who am I, what do I want? What's been going on with my life? Am I really happy, and I realized I wasn't, I realized I was exhausted. And I was unhappy. I wasn't doing the things that fulfilled me. So earnest came about while I was recovering, and thinking about little Tiffany, and how I navigated school. And so earnest really is me. He's just a Harry being from a made up land. But I really want children to gravitate to this character and see themselves in it. So

Mia LaMotte 6:20
yeah, I mean, like, how much different would our lives have been? If we had a story like this, to help us understand that we are different, and but also like to help us accept ourselves first, and then have others accept us as well? Exact much different would life have been for you?

Tiffani 6:40
Oh, my life would have been completely different. I was always the one that stayed back. And you know, I wouldn't volunteer, raise my hand. Even when you asked me to do this. I hesitated. Because I was like, Ooh, I'm not really into public speaking. And, you know, I just want to do my creative thing. And that's it. But I wanted to come out of my comfort zone. So I wish I had something like that when I was a kid. And that's what made me and prompted me to publish the book because I wasn't going to I was just like, Okay, I wrote a story. But then I started thinking about, there's other little Tiffany's out there. There's other children who are struggling with this, and I really want to get it in their hands, so that they know that hey, I'm okay. I'm absolutely perfect the way I am.

Mia LaMotte 7:29
Absolutely. So that's gonna take us back to one of the things that you said earlier, like, when you worked at BT, you thought you weren't flying up. And when you worked for another corporation, you didn't think you were polished or professional enough? I believe that most of us have experienced this, right? Even Even now, sometimes, especially like, when I'm with my other image consultant. Colleagues, I definitely get in my shit, right? I'm like, Oh, is this going to be enough for x? And what I realized this year is like, it's enough because I say it's enough things. I walk into it with the confidence that I know what I'm doing. I've done this work. And yeah, it is enough and I'm gonna walk in with with with me, I'm fully present. So when we get to do that, when we finally get to that point in our lives, life gets a lot easier. So I want to talk a little bit about that because I believe that Well, I want to talk a lot about it because I think that for you, for me for anybody else that's listening. We believe we have to be someone else. Right? Or we even I even heard you say when I was at BT I was a nerd. Right? But at BT BT must have needed your skill set. Yeah, so let's talk about that.

Tiffani 8:51
Well, I would say I am a reformed people pleasing perfectionist imposter caught in the comparison trap.

Mia LaMotte 9:05
Oh, say that I know.

Tiffani 9:07
A lot. Yeah, I am a people reformed people pleasing perfectionist, imposter, stuck and trapped in the comparison trap.

Mia LaMotte 9:25
I feel that I feel that for you, but I also feel it for like many women who are struggling with that, right?

Tiffani 9:33
We want to get out of that loop. Yes. It's exhausting. It is exhausting. It's exhausting. And then you look up for me. I looked up and I was like, I don't really know myself. Who am I? You know, all this time I've been playing these different roles in different parts trying to anticipate what other people expected of me even down to my job. It's like, okay, I'm in the tech space. I have to be this way. Oh, I'm the only black woman In here, so I have to make sure that I nail it every time and I'm on every time and I'm working from seven o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock at night, and all those different things, because that's what I thought. And that's the pressure that I put on myself. But again, it's exhausting. And I'm finally like, I don't have it. I don't have the energy for that. I want to do the things that I want to do that bless other people.

Mia LaMotte 10:23
Oh, okay. I want to do the things that I want to do that bless other people. Yeah, that's the key. That's the key right there. It's, it's absolutely the most freeing thing. Right? And it's, and it's absolutely, Tiffany living from her soul. Yes. And I know that sometimes this stuff sounds very woowoo or very spiritually LED. But guess what, we are human beings. Right? We're, we're human beings first. And we're, we're beings having a spiritual experience. And if y'all haven't gotten that yet, like, that's the basic. That's the basic part of this. So tip. So you came to this realization that I'm deeply I'm doing all of these things. And I'm unhappy. Yeah. And I'm exhausted, then what?

Tiffani 11:19
Therapy, I found a really good therapist, and we dug in from childhood to now even now I just had a session. And she's like, Okay, I feel like you're kind of going a little off track. Let's explore this. And so the moments when I have the the I fall back into old patterns, she's there to help me. steer me back to like, No, this isn't Tiffany, this is all young Tiffany, this is people pleasing. Tiffany, you need to get out of that. And so with therapy, that's how I was able to really dig into little Tiffany and do this book. And so it's an every day journey. I'm always discovering. I'm always trying to like, Okay, remember, remember your purpose. Remember what you said you wanted to do? And then working on that. So?

Mia LaMotte 12:15
Yeah, so finding our sole purpose through therapy. So thanks for the transparency, because a lot of people I believe, like in the entrepreneurial space, or even in on social media, they want like, there's this there's this depiction, or this assumption that they got a shit together, like, everything is perfect in their lives, because they have this perfect post the picture looks amazing. Like even somebody might even think that about oh, he is in Mexico. That must be amazing. And did it. Yeah, you don't. You don't know the backstory, you don't know what it took to get here. You don't know the struggles that that I've had, like, I will speak to some of them. I'm pretty transparent about that. But also, like, I believe that we all get to be transparent to a point to where we're comfortable. Because that's going to help someone else who's going through the same thing. Right.

Tiffani 13:14
Exactly. And I don't think there's any shame in therapy, especially and I started therapy really when my mom passed away when I was in my 20s. And from there, I've just continued on. I mean, it's always been different things I focused on. But I think I think transparency is very important. Because it leads to authenticity. Right? So yeah, I'm I'm an open book.

Mia LaMotte 13:41
Yeah. And I think that you can't help people. Because what you said was, bless other people. You can't bless other people if you're not sharing your truth. Right, right. And as an entrepreneur, I believe that it's important to share your truth to the level of comfort that you have. Some people are an open book, right? Some people will share everything down to things that others might not want to know about. But it has to be your comfort level and everything that we're learning today, everything that I talked to my clients about, and you know, you kind of put that stuff through your own filter, right? And the filter is more about not Where are you coming from from a place of fear, but like, what do you what do you want to become? Right? Which is why you showed up today?

Tiffani 14:33
I did even though I did it scared?

Mia LaMotte 14:37
Yeah, and I talked about that earlier. Right. So Tiffany, you're only going to grow when you do the things that you're scared to do when your wedding conference on so tell it tell the audience what that feels like. Like how like right now you're disrupting a pattern of yours the pattern of hiding or wanting to work behind the scenes or not putting yourself out there. So why did you make that decision?

Tiffani 15:00
it because actually, when I published the book, I had all these different thoughts, even before it was out, like, oh my gosh, nobody's gonna like it. It's not good. It's this. It's that it's other. Maybe I shouldn't do it. When am I? Where am I gonna find an illustrator like all those things, right? And once it came out and the feedback that I got from it, I was like, that wasn't as bad as I thought, as a matter of fact, it's better than I thought it was going to be. And this journey has been amazing. And so once I realized that it was all in my head that I was making up these scenarios, and that's what was keeping me from growth. And moving to the next level. I was like, okay, she asked me to do it, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna say yes, now I'm not gonna lie and say that I was like, Okay, I'm ready. I'm ready, because there were times where I had little meltdowns. But I'm here,

Mia LaMotte 15:55
and we all have meltdowns. And this is what I want people to get, like, totally understand that it is okay for you to be scared. It is okay for you to not want to do certain things. But you get to do them anyway. Right? If you want to grow, you get to do it anyway. And you get better, the more that you do it.

Tiffani 16:16
And that was the most freeing, I think that it didn't have to be perfect. That I didn't have to come in here, you know, prim and proper, and not stumble over my words and this that not show that I'm I'm nervous. None of that like,

Mia LaMotte 16:30
and you don't even seem nervous to me.

Tiffani 16:33
Oh, really? Well, it's because I'm talking to you.

Mia LaMotte 16:38
And that's the other part, right? It's it. It's also about asking for what you want, right? You want to share a little bit about that.

Tiffani 16:46
So me and I met couple of weeks ago, two or three weeks ago, and I was like, Okay, are we still doing this? And she looked at me, she gave me the look like, I know what you're trying to do, and I'm not gonna let you and she was like, Yep, we're still on. I was like, Okay, I was like, Okay, well, I'm nervous. And, and I don't really know what I'm going to talk about in this than the other and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then she asked me, Do you I think she sensed that I was spiraling a little bit. And she asked me if she if I wanted her to interview me.

Mia LaMotte 17:26
And she said, Yes. And I said, Yes. Yeah. So she was open enough to be vulnerable enough about the fact that she was nervous. And, and yeah, I did sense that she could use some support. And I'm happy to do I wanted to support her because I wanted her to get her message out there. I wanted, I wanted the audience to get to see Tiffany. And that wasn't going to happen if I didn't do the support. Right? If I didn't support you, and I wanted to honor you as a person. Right? Right. And ease you into this, some people are ready to jump in. But Rebecca even says like she used to have such presentation anxiety this woman is doing. She is always having a reel, or a video going just about every day. But she used to have presentation anxiety. So I want you guys to know like, you can go slow, right? You can ease yourself into this. But you got to start. You got to start. Because if Tiffany if Tiffany would not have let me see how did I know that Tiffany had Okay, so I was doing a project with Tiffany and her husband. And Tiffany actually shared on one of our post calls about the book. Right? She shared about the book, and she wouldn't have been vulnerable about that I would not have gone to her book signing, I would not have purchased any of her books. And like we would not be here today. Right? I had heard of Tiffany because I knew her husband first. But never did. And we had a conversation. But Never did I know what she was up to until we had that conversation until we had the strategic the car, right? I wouldn't have known any of these things. So this is actually proving my point, even more like you cannot get people to know who you are. If you're not willing to put yourself out there

Tiffani 19:13
and ask for help. That's very for me. I didn't I never asked for help, I would suffer. I would struggle or I would give up. Because I was like, I'm just not going to ask anybody. I'm not going to be vulnerable enough to say, I don't know this, and I need help. So now, I can't do this by myself. I couldn't write the book. But I needed somebody to edit it. I needed somebody who could draw I can draw but I can't illustrate a book. So I had to find something like that I need marketing, branding, PR all of that. I can't do that all on my own. And when I have tried before, I have burned myself out because I was trying to do All the things?

Mia LaMotte 20:01
Yes. So let's talk about that, right, because I believe, especially a person that is a solopreneur, they believe that they have to learn or have to know how to do it all. And when we can really tap into what our Zona genius is, we're just getting to know yourself really well. We get to form out that other stuff, right? Because Tell me Tell me like the anxiety because I've experienced it myself, like the anxiety that comes with trying to do things that you really don't know how to do, or isn't part of your skill set.

Tiffani 20:35
It's frustrating, and it's overwhelming. And then for me, I started to feel stupid. I'm like, I don't know what to do. Am I doing this? Right? You know, and so it limits you, when you try to do everything, sometimes, especially like, you focus on the things that you're good at, and then farm out the rest.

Mia LaMotte 20:58
Yeah, because what's gonna happen is when when you're trying to do, let's, let's just say social media marketing, like, I know a lot of people who try to do this on their own. And, for me, when I first started, I tried to do these posts, like I tried to create those quick, cheap posts. I don't even know what materials I didn't even know what software to use in order to do that, right? I had no clue. I didn't want to ask anybody because I didn't want to seem stupid. Like you should know this did it did it. That was way more frustrating than actually being able to put all of my thoughts into some document, and given the document to someone else, to create the post to create the things to create a campaign, or to even help me figure out what a campaign was going to look like. Right? So you're out there trying to do your social media posts by yourself, and you don't really know what you're doing, like, give yourself a break. Because what what you alluded to Tiffany is that you get frustrated, and then you don't do the stuff that you like to do. Right? Or that you're really good at.

Tiffani 22:04
stuff. You don't yeah, you waste time. Why did I waste I forget what I was trying to do. And it took me days to figure out how to do it. It was like years ago, I think I was trying to put together a website or something. And it took me four ever to just figure out basic stuff. And then I got frustrated with myself. Because I was like, Okay, this is ridiculous. And finally, I was like, let me call him my friend, my designer friend and see if they can do this for me. You know, some money and see if they can do it. Because I can't even my website today, I had so much on my plate, I had to find I had to ask a friend because like, Yes, I do know how to build a website, but I didn't have the time. I don't have the time. So let me ask my friend to do it.

Mia LaMotte 22:49
And it's not your zone of genius, you might you might know how to do it, right? Just like I know how to go into Canva and create a post. But it takes me an hour where it's gonna take someone who's very, very fluent in Canva, two seconds,

Tiffani 23:05
right. Right.

Mia LaMotte 23:07
I want to go back to something that you said earlier about being a black woman in the tech space. And how we we look at the tech industry, it's it's usually a certain set of people, they usually look a certain kind of way. And what even drew you into being into the tech space, right? Like, as a creative. And then also like, if you were to give someone like a tip of being in a place where you kind of where you're the odd man out, but you absolutely belong there. Like, let's talk about that.

Tiffani 23:49
I would say that I accidentally got into the tech space, I needed a job I was in between jobs. And this post came up, I thought it was semi creative from the description, only to find out that it was more technical than anything. And from there, I just started to grow up the ladder and the company and I realized that I don't have to be an engineer. I don't have to be necessarily tech savvy to an extent. But what I do bring to the table is my creativity and my project management skills. So that's what I brought to the department. And they saw that and they recognized it. And then here we are moving up. I'm not gonna say that half the time when I have meetings with engineers, I know what they're talking about. But, you know, I am able to say, hey, I need you to break it down. In layman's terms, because I don't know what that means and not feel stupid about it because I used to feel like I can't say I don't know. Because how is that going to look? Again? The only black woman black and then One of the few women at the time, so they're gonna look at me or they're gonna mansplain or they're gonna miss that any other. And then once I freed myself to say it's okay not to know, they know that you're not an engineer. Yeah. Just okay. And most of the time, you know, this conversation that you have in your head, it's not even how it is. So once I was like, Okay, I'm not even gonna listen to that. Today. Today in them, I'm just going to ask it. And yeah, I had a bad experience with that.

Mia LaMotte 25:34
Yeah. And I think what, what, what I'm hearing from you is that it's, it's okay not to know all the answers. And the folks that you think that are judging you, they know you don't have the answers either. Like, they know you're not an engineer, they they know your skill set, right, and appreciate the skill set that you have. And because of it, you're able to, you're able to be more comfortable in that space. Right. Right. So being transparent about, I don't know the answer. And this is what this is what I can bring to the table,

Tiffani 26:12
and asking again, for help. Something's I'm like, I really would like to learn what this means. Can you point me in the direction of where I can get that information? Yeah, to move in and learn and do what you need to do?

Mia LaMotte 26:24
Absolutely, absolutely. So all right, we're approaching the end of our time, I want to ask you like, what, over the last five years, what would you say is, was the biggest disruption that happened for you? And your biggest lesson from it.

Tiffani 26:48
Breast cancer was the biggest in the last five years, breast cancer was the biggest disrupter because it forces you to do some self reflection. And it was because of that, that was the catalyst that brought me here. And so the lesson, the biggest lesson was feel the fear, but do it anyway. And keep on truckin and then enjoy the blessings.

Mia LaMotte 27:16
Yeah, because, you know, some someone could look at your that situation as a, as not a blessing, right, as a curse or something. And that's, that's what I was talking about earlier. When I finally Yeah, I finally get gratitude though. I finally get it. And being grateful for the bad things that have happened. But oh, my god, like, you have a better understanding of yourself. Now. You, you're you put a book out, you publish a children's book, you know, like, who gets a lot of people can say that, right? So knowing yourself and really like getting into this place of being blessed. And like, that's awesome. So using that disruption to propel you forward instead of take you down.

Tiffani 28:03
Exactly, so that I can help other people, whether it's testimony or story or whatever.

Mia LaMotte 28:10
So you can help other people. Did y'all hear that? It's about the service. And if we don't get that that's what we're here to do. You've already lost the barn and lost again. Tiffany, you made it

Tiffani 28:24
made it I'm not even sweating, what's going on?

Mia LaMotte 28:28
Amazing job and thank you for being brave and showing up here and sharing your story with us because I think that it's so important for people to get that wherever you are in life, whatever you have going on. There's a way for you to get through it. And there's something on the other side of that. If you tap in and listen and and take action.

Tiffani 28:53
Yes. And thank you for not letting me off the hook and having me here today.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai