E111: A Conversation About Life, Death, and What it Means to Be Alive with Christa Doran


Do you find it difficult to show up? A lot of us tend to lean on this all-or-nothing mindset and we have this “go hard or go home mentality.” It’s all a matter of tweaking that kind of mindset. It doesn’t matter how much of yourself shows up, what matters is that you at least show up, because we all have our good days and our bad days.

In today’s conversation, Christa Doran, owner and founder of Tuff Girl Fitness in Hamden, Connecticut, joins us to talk about life and success, grieving and death, living the best version of yourself, and what success should really look like.

Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:

  • Why New Year’s resolutions don’t often work
  • There’s power in just showing up
  • The positive or negative domino effect
  • Mastering the art of saying no and setting boundaries
  • Dealing with the pain of losing her child
  • Bearing witness to somebody’s pain instead of trying to make things better
  • Deciding what success looks like for you

Episode Highlights:

[03:17] Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

There’s this illusion that when we change our bodies a certain way then we’ll be happy. But that’s only a lie that a billion-dollar industry sells you. You can create change whenever you want. You don’t have to wait for the new year. Christa suggests setting the bar as low as you can. Set goals one at a time and once you achieve those goals, you can now layer them on. Show up, bring what you can, and let it be enough.

[09:54] Mastering the Art of Saying No and Setting Boundaries

Our society has vilified the word ‘lazy’ but there is nothing wrong if there are days you simply choose to not do anything. You also deserve to rest and feel good in your body. After all, nobody’s going to really care about how much you’ve achieved because those are mere expectations you have put on yourself. So learn to say no and set boundaries to protect your well-being and only say yes to the most important things.

[19:36] Dealing with Grief and Pain 

People want to fix the pain a grieving person is feeling and that’s uncomfortable. Instead, a better way to show your support to someone grieving is to simply bear witness to their pain. When you sit with somebody in pain, you’re making space for them to be in the process, and to feel and express. Don’t try to fix it and instead just support them with your love. Because the only thing worse than going through that is going through it alone.

[22:26] Decide What Success Looks Like

The true measure of success is not how many cars you have or how many houses you’ve invested in. It’s not whether you’ve written a book or you’ve cured cancer. The true measure of success is what brings you ultimate joy. And in order to do that, you have to prioritize yourself. Again, that means saying no to certain things and setting boundaries and saying yes to the most important things. If you don’t prioritize yourself, nobody’s going to help you do that. You have to care about yourself more than anybody, otherwise, everyone suffers.

Resources Mentioned:

IG: @christadoran and @tuffgirlstrong