How to establish healthy boundaries and stop the cycle of people-pleasing? Queen, today is the day you find out! My guest is the incredible Terri Cole, a licensed psychotherapist and a global relationship and empowerment expert. Terri got her Ph.D. in fear (you’ll hear all about her inspiring life story) and she went on to share her wisdom with thousands of women just like you. She’s coming out with a brand new book and today she shares her best tips to become a boundary boss in every area of your life!
Terri’s story is one of persistence and courage. Whatever God threw in her path, she overcame with grace and came out with amazing lessons she shares with us today. Terri combines her rich personal experience, the insights she learned working with her clients, and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychotherapy to empower and teach women how to attract and sustain healthy, vibrant, real love into their lives and how to establish and maintain effective boundaries with ease and grace.
We had such an enlightening conversation – I’m SURE this episode will be an absolute blessing in your life. Tune in now, Queen!
How Terri Got Her Ph.D. in Fear
Terri used to work as a talent agent – she was at the height of her career but she wasn’t happy. She wasn’t fulfilled and she knew there was something better she could be doing with her life. At the same time, she was going to therapy and she was mesmerized by the transformative power of mental health. Terri decided to switch careers, go back to grad school, and start helping women live more empowered lives.
When she graduated, she met her now-husband, Victor. After that, nothing was the same in her life again. Vic was a widower who had three teenage sons. On the other hand, Terri lived her best life in Manhattan and she never really thought about marriage. All that changed because she fell madly in love.
She moved to his house in New Jersey and basically stepped into a frat house with three teenagers. Terri and the guys worked together to improve the home and they all started going to therapy. Their bliss was just beginning when Terri found out she had cancer. To make matters even more devastating, Victor’s first wife also passed away from cancer. Suddenly, Terri wasn’t just afraid for herself – she was afraid for Victor and his boys. Could they handle losing Terri, too?
Terri got the tumor taken out, but she still didn’t feel right. Doctors didn’t really believe her, but her gut instinct was telling her to be persistent. She found a surgeon who took her seriously and he actually found another malignancy. It was a more aggressive and dangerous cancer than the one they had taken out, but because Terri listened to herself, they were able to take it out on time.
On the night Terri and Vic were celebrating her recovery, another terrifying thing happened. A masked human intruder got into their yard and threatened Victor with a gun. When Terri realized what was going on, she started disassociating – a common response that happens when our mind wants to protect us. She remembers seeing the scene from above, the person stealing whatever he wanted to steal, and luckily running away without hurting them.
That experience was the end of the cumulative period that made Terri face fear in all its forms. She went from being a pretty bold and fearless person to being someone who was having PTSD and intrusive memories. Her life was getting smaller and she was now afraid to be alone in her own home.
What It Means to Heal After Traumatic Experiences
When she realized that fear was living between her ears, Terri knew she had to do something to manage her own mind. Although she was grateful to have avoided the worst outcomes, her mind couldn’t help but visualize Victor dying that night. It was a very real and devastating experience.
And because she had such first-hand experience with fear, Terri dedicated the first part of her psychotherapy career to dealing with the mind-body connection to fear. She had to learn how trauma works and how to heal herself. She had to learn how to overcome the fear so she could live again. That was her dharma and her purpose in life.
When it comes to healing, Terri knew she had made a significant step forward when she started thinking of her traumas as a part of the rich tapestry that is her life. These experiences were no longer gaping wounds on her psyche, now she saw them as assignments that were given to her so she could learn how to help others heal and overcome fear.
Teach What You Need to Learn: Becoming a Boundary Boss
Terri’s work with boundaries naturally started when she realized she was a chronic people-pleaser. She was struggling to establish and keep healthy boundaries and she was determined to fix it. Saying “no” when you want to say “yes” and vice versa is the fastest recipe for an unlived life.
As a psychotherapist and someone who spent a lot of time on the couch as well, Terri soon started to understand that almost all problems she saw in her clients could be traced back to missing boundaries. That’s when she decided to dedicate her career to helping people establish and maintain healthy boundaries in their relationships.
It’s Time to Join the Boundary Revolution and Communicate Clearly
So, what is the definition of healthy boundaries? In Terri’s view, you’re a boundary boss when you know your preferences, desires, limits, and deal-breakers and you have the ability to communicate them.
In her new book, Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free, Terri lays out the steps you need to take to truly understand the unconscious processes that shape your relationship. It’s a boundary blueprint that you learned growing up in your family system, your culture, or your country. The best part? Terri teaches you how to change that blueprint because you always have a choice.
She says that your preferences, your desires, your needs, your dreams, your limits, and your deal breakers are the things that make you uniquely you. When we hide those aspects, we give people permission to treat us in ways that we don’t necessarily want to be treated in.
Terri’s goal for every single person reading this book is for them to fundamentally change their mind and learn what it means to assert themselves, to be really empowered, and to be self-determined.
Queen, you NEED to hear this conversation… Head over to the Divine Living podcast for the full divine download!
And if you need more Terri in your life, go get her book Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free NOW!
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