Bigger, Better, Braver: How to Create Better Relationships with Nancy Pickard

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Episode Description

Do you feel like you and your spouse have been having the same fight - and engaging in the same destructive behavior - for years (maybe decades!) and you just can't seem to change?  Nancy Pickard, a certified integrative coach, is a master at helping couples see the patterns they have subconsciously created in their marriages that are getting in the way of them building a true connection.

Nancy explains some of the tools she gives her clients to help them break free of their outdated and destructive relationship patterns so that they can create a better, healthier relationship moving forward.

Nancy also shares her insights on relational reckoning and examines the powerful influences that focus plays in relationships.  Finally, Nancy guides listeners to reflect on whether the good in a particular relationship outweighs the bad, and provides tips on how to tip the scales toward positivity in your own significant relationship by being bigger, better, and braver.

Show Notes

About Nancy

Nancy is a Certified Integrative Coach through The Ford Institute for Transformational Training and the Levin Life Coach Academy. She is certified as a Breakthrough Shadow Coach, Empowered Parent Coach, Courage Coach, Healing Your Heart Coach, Leadership Coach, Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Bigger Better Braver Coaching. She is the author of the international best seller, Bigger Better Braver: Conquer your Fears, Embrace your Courage, Transform your Life.

Prior to her work as a coach, she owned and operated a personal training gym called Tight Ends Inc. She knows what it takes to help people achieve big goals. She holds multiple personal training certifications and has focused on health and wellness for almost 20 years. Her path towards coaching was a natural evolution—she has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Education.

In 2017, she traveled alone in Thailand and Vietnam and undertook her biggest challenge, climbing Kilimanjaro at the age of 61. Coaching others to step out of fear and into bigger versions of themselves is her passion.

She is the mother of two grown sons and an active grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters and a one-year old grandson. She is an avid hiker, biker, skier and yogi.

She is passionate about her four-year-old Australian Labradoodle, Bliss.

Connect with Nancy

The best way to connect with Nancy is via email at [email protected].  You can follow Nancy on Instagram at Nancy Pickard Life Coach and on Facebook at Nancy Pickard Life Coach.  You can find out all that Nancy has to offer, including her book, Bigger, Better, Braver and her Self-Study Course, on her website at Nancy Pickard Life Coach.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Nancy

  • Nancy is an integrative life coach who helps people overcome fear and make courageous changes. She has many coaching certifications and wrote the book "Bigger, Better, Braver" about conquering fears and transforming your life.
  • In relationships, Nancy teaches "losing strategies" like needing to be right, controlling, unbridled self-expression, retaliation, and withdrawal. She helps couples identify these patterns and shift to more effective "winning strategies" like clearly communicating needs, showing gratitude, and being relationally generous.
  • Nancy stresses the importance of clearly communicating your needs and wants to your partner instead of expecting them to read your mind. She provides examples of using "I feel" statements to set boundaries.
  • She views fear as holding people back from growth and encourages taking small steps outside your comfort zone. Having an accountability partner like a coach can help motivated people overcome obstacles.
  • Her coaching approach and mantra "bigger, better, braver" focuses on moving through fear to create the life you want. The journey itself builds confidence.
  • Nancy emphasizes that real change requires courage, motivation and accountability. Her coaching provides support and encouragement to implement changes, even when facing uncertainty or fear.
  • Nancy explains how her book evolved from a physical training guide for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to a step-by-step coaching guide for achieving any big goal and making courageous life changes.
  • Her book provides practical exercises, meditations, and mantras to help people achieve their goals and live more boldly. It focuses on developing a growth mindset, uncovering limiting beliefs, and taking purposeful action.

Do you like what you've heard? 

Share the love so more people can benefit from this episode too!

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The summit runs from November 13 - 18, 2023. Registration is FREE, but you have to sign up to be able to attend.


 Bigger, Better, Braver:  How to Create Better Relationships with Nancy Pickard

Nancy Pickard


Relationships, fear, boundaries, communicating


Karen Covy, Nancy Pickard

Karen Covy-Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, Karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. With me today is Nancy Picard, and Nancy is a certified integrative coach through the Ford Institute for Transformational Training and the Levin Life Coach Academy. She is certified as a breakthrough shadow coach, empowered parent coach, courage coach, healing your heart coach, leadership coach, holistic life coach and bigger, better, braver coaching. She's the author of the international bestseller Bigger, Better, Braver Conquer your Fears, Embrace your Courage Transform your Life.


Prior to her work as a coach, she owned and operated a personal training gym called Tight Ends Inc. She knows what it takes to help people achieve big goals. She holds multiple personal training certifications and is focused on health and wellness for almost 20 years. Her path towards coaching was a natural evolution. She has a BS in psychology and an MS in education. In 2017, she traveled alone in Thailand and Vietnam and undertook her biggest challenge climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 61. Coaching others to step out of fear and into bigger versions of themselves is her passion. She's the mother of two grown sons and an active grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters and one one-year-old grandson. She's an avid hiker, biker, skier and yogi. She's passionate about her four-year-old Australian Labradoodle, Bliss. And with all of that, Nancy, welcome to the show.

Nancy Pickard-Guest02:09

Oh my God, what a long bio that one would.

Karen Covy-Host02:13

That's a lot of stuff you've done, woman.

Nancy Pickard-Guest02:15

Yeah, and actually I'm just finishing a year and a half of relational life therapy, so next month I will be a relational life therapist through Terry Will and that's actually my most fun coaching right now. So now I'm doing couples.

Karen Covy-Host02:35

Okay, so I just have to ask you probably have more coaching certifications than any other human that I have met. Yeah, why, what's prompted you to get all these different kinds of coaching certifications, and what do they bring to your work as a coach?

Nancy Pickard-Guest02:54

Well, interestingly for the two main companies that I'm certified in, the Ford Institute and Levin Life Coach Academy, I became a mentor, so I was teaching, I was helping mentor the student coaches for all these different coaching modalities, and so I was able to get all of those coaching modalities. Like, they didn't pay me to be a mentor, but they allowed you to get the certifications. So I never turned down a certification, because why would I? Number one, I was actually working a zillion hours as a mentor and every single one of them brings something. So they're just tools for my toolbox. They just make me better at what I do.


And so the only one that I've actually done outside of those organizations was with David Kessler, to become a coach grief facilitator, and that was because I had people coming to me for healing your heart, but they weren't just for divorce or estrangement, they were for loss from death, and I wanted better information and tools for that. So that's how all that happened. And then the whole new one with the relational life therapy. That took me down a whole new road. And just because I loved Terry's books and everything he talks about and I didn't even know until the last book that he had this school, and so I just was like, oh okay, I want this, the here I am, and now that's a whole new, that's changing the whole trajectory of what I'm doing.

Karen Covy-Host04:41

Well, tell me a little bit more about what you are doing and how do you see that changing with the Terry Real stuff.

Nancy Pickard-Guest04:52

Terry teaches how to be relational and how to communicate with your partner, whether it's a romantic partner or a business partner, or your parents or your children or your friends, whoever. It's a lot of skill building and it's also a lot of inner child work, which is what I was already doing. So I was doing shadow work and disempowering beliefs and uncovering those, because that's what keeps people stuck. And yet in couples work you can. You start to really see it.


It's amazing to watch that people are attracted for the exact wounds. That like. It's like you broke a picture and it you know a pottery and it broke, and you pick up two pieces and you put them together. So you can either trigger each other and then eventually get divorced and move on and do the same thing with somebody else, or you can stay with it and see what's triggering you and then, through those triggers, do your own healing work so that you because what happens is you attract people into your lives that are very similar in some ways to bring the same wounds that you had as a child, but they're different enough that your psyche is hoping for a different outcome. And so when couples come to me with this and I can actually point it out and help them see it, instead of getting triggered and then, like going, everyone goes to their own cave. I can help them communicate what's going on and stay in and do the work.

Karen Covy-Host06:32

So what happens, speaking of doing the work. So let's say that you have a couple that comes to you and they are triggering each other, which happens all the time. You know every couple, right? So? But in a couple that's really struggling, so they're triggering each other, they come to you and it sounds like the work that they each need to do their own individual work as well as as a couple. Or am I not getting it? No, it's true.

Nancy Pickard-Guest06:59

But what I do is help them see that, like, neither one of them are wrong. I mean, obviously sometimes somebody is really wrong, but it's the pattern. When you there's like a, there's five losing strategies that I teach them and then I help them identify which are their losing strategies, and then it will be like okay, so let me see if I get this right. When you get triggered, you do X, and when you do X, you do Y, and then when you do Y, you either do more of X or you go to Z, and so that's the dance that this couple does.


Historically they've been doing it all along, and that the pattern is not supporting your relationship, the pattern has to change. And so I come in, I show them the pattern, I help them see what they can do differently, what are the winning strategies that they can do instead? And then I also teach them how to take a healthy time out, how to do a dead stop contract, how to notice when your partner is triggered so that only one person goes down the rabbit hole at the time. You know everyone gets to go crazy, but you can't go crazy at the same time, kind of thing.

Karen Covy-Host08:17

Yeah, well, let's talk about that. Since you brought up the strategies, what are those five losing strategies you talk about? What are the winning strategies you could replace them with?

Nancy Pickard-Guest08:31

I can tell you the losing ones right away. I'm not looking at my notes, so I hope I can come up with the winning ones. The losing ones are the need to be right Everybody who's listening, I hope you find yourself in these five losing strategies. So it's the need to be right, the need to control Unbridled self-expression. So this is sort of much more women than men, but men do it too. It's like you did this and six months ago you did that, and last year you did this, and I haven't gotten over this and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's like you throw in everything but the kitchen sink. It's boundaryless. You just are like vomiting out everything you've been thinking.


The fourth one is retaliation. Well, you did this to me, so I'm entitled to do this to you, or you won't. Let me have this, so I'm not going to let you have that Right. Fifth one is withdrawal, which is a big one, and you withdraw either because that's how you were brought up you were kind of brought up in a we don't share our feelings home or you withdraw because you were actually overly amassed with a parent and you feel suffocated in your romantic relationships when somebody comes, you know wants too much from you. So the more they push in, you pull back. You're grandiose and you feel like why bother? You're not worthy of me having this conversation with you, or the opposite, I'm never going to win.


You can have a lot of grandiose partners and then so one is the blatant they're up here and the latent who's down here will be like I can't win. I'll have clients that will come to me. I won. In particular, the guy was a physician, very grandiose, wins every fight, loves the fight, loves the fight. You know, I mean loves the fight. Could have been a lawyer and his partner grew up in a family with like six kids and her needs were never important. She was never allowed to state her needs. So now they're in this relationship and he's up here and she's down here and he wins every fight because she doesn't speak her needs or she's given up. And so I had to show him that yeah, you win every fight, but you're losing the war. Your wife wants out of the marriage. So you come to me and you're like I don't think anything's wrong, we don't even fight. But your partner is so unhappy and you don't realize that trying to win every fight is losing the marriage.

Karen Covy-Host11:32

Yeah, and it sounds like, tell me if I'm getting this right or not, but it sounds like there are many different mindsets that can cause a certain behavior pattern. Right, and so any one of those it's what you're looking at is the losing strategy of behavior?

Nancy Pickard-Guest11:53

Yeah, they're the behaviors. And so, basically, a winning strategy is being able to say to your partner this is what I need, what do you need from me to help you give that to me. You know, that's a winning strategy. You speak up for your needs, but you empower your partner to give you what you need.

Karen Covy-Host12:25

What if you're in a relationship where one person is trying to employ the winning strategies and their partner is dropping the ball.

Nancy Pickard-Guest12:37

Yeah. Well if you're doing your part of the job and they're not, it's a good day for you, even though it may not be a good day for the relationship. You're being relational and so I try to talk a lot about which Terry Reel talks about, is relational generosity Giving your partner what they're asking for, as long as the cost is not too great. So I can say to my partner, which I have, I really need you to do this for me, and this is like something I need, and I get that it may not be something you need. Would you be willing to do this? And then you can also add and what do you need from me so you can give me that? You know, I basically did that once, that exact scenario, with my partner, and what he said to me was well, I need you to talk nicer to me. And I thought, all right, I can do that, you know. So you give them what you need. Or sometimes you ask for something Like I asked my partner recently to go take a boot camp with me because I need to take this relational boot camp before I can.


Then, a few months later, there's a certification for the boot camp, so I have to go to this couple's boot camp for a weekend and I want to bring my partner because I want to be able to stand up in front of my people eventually and say this is what we did and this is what we got out of it. And so I had to like say to him I know this might not be in your, you know your wheelhouse, but I really need you to go with me. That's cool. Yeah, that's being relationally generous.

Karen Covy-Host14:36

Right, so yeah. So what are some of the other successful or winning strategies people can do?

Nancy Pickard-Guest14:42

I'm actually trying to pull them up so I could tell you. But so cherishing, like saying what you're grateful for. I heard this great saying the other day. That was what if you could only have in your life today what you said you were grateful for yesterday. Right.

Karen Covy-Host15:06

That's really beautiful.

Nancy Pickard-Guest15:08

It really is. But so it's celebrating the glass 15% full. If you're asking your partner for something and they're giving it to you, even though it doesn't look exactly like you wanted or you wanted more, you show gratitude for what you are getting, so you embrace the 15%. That's working.

Karen Covy-Host15:36

I think that's so important for people because our natural reaction I can speak more, I think more towards women than men but we say, okay, we need X, whatever X is, and our partner or spouse tries, but they either don't understand what we want or they, you know, somehow we don't get exactly what we want the way we want it. But we got half a loaf, right, right. And how many times do we just say wait, that's not what I wanted, you didn't you know. And we're immediately critical rather than being grateful and saying thank you for what you've got. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Let me explain to you what I wanted. But this is beautiful. Yeah, appreciating what you've got.

Nancy Pickard-Guest16:26

And also and again, I think this is more women than men we want men to do things for us and we want them to do it exactly how we would do it, so we don't allow them any growth. In being okay with it not being exactly how you did it because you're still really glad somebody else is doing it, and so that's a big part of it is that you just have to again appreciate what you are getting. Terry talks about a lot about being grateful for the partner that you have and not the one you think you deserve.

Karen Covy-Host17:09


Nancy Pickard-Guest17:10

This is the partner in front of you that you have right, and that's who you have to work with and be grateful. What you're getting and then another really big part is called relational reckoning is what you're getting worth grieving, what you're not getting

Karen Covy-Host17

Say more about that.

Nancy Pickard-Guest17

You know he's really a good provider and you have great communication and you love the person. The sex isn't very good, Right, but is what you're getting worth losing that? And so it's like look, let's look at the balance. Are there more pros than cons? Are you in it? Do you want those pros? Because if you want those pros, you have to let go of the cons. You have to accept them. You have to be in acceptance and surrender to what you do have and stop looking at all the things you don't have. So make a decision and then change your view.

Karen Covy-Host18:27

But that therein lies the biggest rub that I find in so many of my clients that I work with, because they say I am grateful for all of the good things I like, all that and all of that is important. But this other piece is also important and it's not there and I don't know that it ever will be there. So they get stuck on the fence. One day they're angry and upset because of what they don't have. The next day they look at what they do and they go. Maybe it's not so bad. And so it's this constant tug of war between what I have that I want, and what I don't have that I also want. Should I stay or should I go? What would you say about that?

Nancy Pickard-Guest19:13

I have a client like that right now that I'm not kidding. I feel like don't call me again until you've gone off that fence, Like I just can't, If you want to just talk to me about it once a week and not make a change. So if you're in a marriage or a relationship and you want to stay in it, but there's something that's really not working for you, then the only leverage you have generally is if there are kids involved. Sometimes you can use the kids as leverage.


If you don't have the kids as leverage, you have to be willing to say I can't stay in this relationship unless there's a change. I'm telling you that I love you but I need this. And now, if the person is not strong enough to get those words out of their mouth, I can't help them. And their partners are not mind readers and maybe they have said it before, but they said it very passive, aggressively and with nothing behind it to back it up. You know you need leverage to make get somebody to want to change.

Karen Covy-Host20:29

What do you mean by leverage? What are you talking about with leverage.

Nancy Pickard-Guest20:30

Meaning. I could say to a couple I understand that you don't want to do X, but your partner is willing to leave the relationship. I don't know if you really understand that. She is here as a last-ditch effort. So do you want to work on it? Or are you you know? Do you want to be happy or do you want to be married, or do you want to be right? Are you willing to change that? And if so, let me teach you how. Let me help you be successful. Let me empower you to be able to make those changes, because I can help you do that. That's what I do. If you want to just stand here and say I don't see anything wrong and you know, like gaslight her, that this is not, this is not the reality, it's not how it is. She's just over sensitive. Blah, blah, blah. You can say that to the cows come home, but your marriage is going to be over.

Karen Covy-Host21:37


Nancy Pickard-Guest21:37

So it's in it. But as much as I say that, I also know that when you are looking for what's wrong, you're always going to find it, and so you have to actually put on a pair of glasses the what's right glasses and embrace what you have instead of the what's wrong glasses because you get what you look at. You get where you put your concentration. If you're looking for what's wrong, you just going to get more of it. I mean, I've lost relationships because I couldn't stop looking at what wasn't working and then that brought more damage instead of being grateful for what I did have.

Karen Covy-Host22:21

Well, what do you say to the person who is who's so frustrated and says but what's wrong is so in my face all the time I can't look past it. It's just there's too much wrong.

Nancy Pickard-Guest22:36

Then you, then you probably need to get out for what you need. They're not mind leaders. Empower them to give you what you need by telling them exactly what you need. So there's no second guessing and they're not trying 15 things which aren't what you really want. So you empower them. This is exactly how I want it done. This is what I need. These are the kinds of things I want to hear from you. I have this exercise that I've just started doing with clients Name three things.


You can use this too. Name three things that if your partner did them, you would feel loved. I like that. You would feel loved and safe. So you name three things for each other. If you do this for me, this would make me know that you love me. It's like your love language. But you're giving very three specific things. Then you promise to do one of those every day and you try that. Then you check in at the end of the week and see how did you both feel? Do you want to tweak any of those three things? You want to switch one out and give your partner something different?

Karen Covy-Host24:01

What would you say to people, because I hear this from women all the time. I shouldn't have to tell him. He should just know.

Nancy Pickard-Guest24:11

No, people are not mind readers, there are no shoulds, and that's a losing strategy. Like thinking that they're going to just know is insane. They don't know, you don't even know. You want to know the truth Half the time. You don't even know what you really want, so how would they know?

Karen Covy-Host24:32


Nancy Pickard-Guest24:34

Then nobody is a mind reader. To be honest with you, nobody can tell you better than you know what you want and what you need. If you don't tell them what you want and what you need, you can't blame them.

Karen Covy-Host24:50


Nancy Pickard-Guest24:51

You can't blame somebody for not giving you what you never asked for.

Karen Covy-Host24:57

Yeah, that's true. I think so many times people were afraid to say what we really want. We're afraid to ask for what we need. We do it, as you mentioned before, in an offhanded way or a passive, aggressive way. Then that lets us let ourselves off the hook and say, well, I said it Right.


I asked for that I did ask for it Right when the other person you know the other person didn't hear it. So what would you say to people? What tips could you give people about how to ask for what they need in a way that they can be heard?

Nancy Pickard-Guest25:40

So I'm a boundary coach. That was one of my certifications, even though if it was on that whole list. But I work with people. To use a boundary script, I need X or I feel X is what it is. I feel X. I feel disappointed, I feel sad, I feel lonely, I feel hurt, I feel angry when you do why Would you be willing to do Z?


I feel frustrated when you come home an hour late and dinners on the table and you didn't call me. Would you be willing to call me an hour before you're coming home to give me an update on the time? I feel disrespected when you leave the dishes in the sink. Would you be willing to just stick them in the dishwasher? I feel angry or I feel scared when you have more than two drinks a night. Would you be willing to stop at two drinks?


And then you always have to have a plan B, because if, because you can ask for anything you want, that doesn't mean they have to give it to you. So if you set a boundary, you have to do something if they don't do it. So with the drinking. So to honor and respect myself, if you have more than two drinks, I'm going to sleep alone in the guest room that night, or if we're out to dinner and you have more than two drinks, even if we're with other people. If you order a third drink, I'm going to get up and take an Uber and go home. You're giving them what you're going to do.

Karen Covy-Host27:23

But how do you do that in a way that's not perceived as an ultimatum?

Nancy Pickard-Guest27:28

Well, because you're not making about what they're doing is wrong. You're starting it with you. I feel somebody else might not feel that way. Somebody else might not care if you have more than two drinks, somebody else might not care if you leave dishes in the sink, but I feel this is about me. So I'm not making you wrong, but I'm telling you that it doesn't work for me. Would you be willing to do it differently?

Karen Covy-Host27:58


Nancy Pickard-Guest28:00

I need a text for couples that don't live together and the guy doesn't call for two days and the woman can't stand that. I feel lonely when you don't check in once a day. Would you be willing to even just text me? I had a client whose name wasn't on their house. You know, only her husband's name was on the house. Well, they weren't married but they'd been together for like 15 years. I feel really scared that my name isn't on the least. I'm the deed. Would you be willing to put my name on it? You know how scary that is to get that out of your mouth.

Karen Covy-Host28:44

Hugely scary.

Nancy Pickard-Guest28:45

Hugely, but it got it done. Well, that's interesting. The answer. If you don't ask, the answer's always no right.

Karen Covy-Host28:55

That's a very good point and one that I think most people don't think about or pay attention to. They're so afraid of getting the no that they never ask, which means by default it's a no right and also boundary setting gets easier.

Nancy Pickard-Guest29:16

So I did a course once for eight. I think I had eight 30-year-olds in a boundary group course and then I had eight like 60 and 70 year olds in a boundary course. It was really interesting cause they were, they went on at the same time and my daughter-in-laws were in the 30 year old one and one of my daughter-in-laws came in one week and she's like I'm such a boundary badass, I'm setting boundaries left and right. And then a week later she came in and she said well, my husband, who's my son said you're setting so many boundaries Every day I wake up to boundaries. Would you be willing to just set boundaries once a week? It was so funny, but it's true. It's like once you start doing them and you see how easy it works, you also need a stop button. You've got to pick and choose your boundaries right.

Karen Covy-Host30:16

Yep, pick and choose your battles, but in this conversation, I've heard you mentioned fear a lot and you do a lot. You have an interesting perspective on fear and using fear as a motivator to change, whereas I think most people look at fear as the reason the barrier not changed. Can you say more about that?

Nancy Pickard-Guest30:42

Yeah. So it's sort of like saying yes to life instead of saying no. If you're afraid to do something, your growth is on the other side of that, and usually the things that keep us stuck are because our brain has cognitive dissonance. It likes what it knows, it's lazy, it doesn't want to try new things, it doesn't want to get hurt, and so it would rather stay small than try new things. And, like people who have fear of success or fear of failure, in my head, you're already failing if you don't try. That's already the fear you're doing.

Karen Covy-Host31:29

How do you get people to come around to that mindset? Because they might say, like on an intellectual level, yeah, what you're saying makes sense, I just can't do it. How do you get them to come around to that?

Nancy Pickard-Guest31:42

Well, that's what I coach them on. And so we start with little things. Okay, so what can you do this week that you're afraid to do, but you're gonna do it anyway. Just pick anything, let's try it and let's see how you feel, and we'll talk about it next week. So I warm them up with little fears or littler boundaries and I basically I'm there, I'm their accountability partner. So if you say you want something, I'm gonna help you do it. But you're doing the work and I'm gonna be the cheerleader. I will be here. I'll be here. If it works, I'll be here to help you. If it doesn't work, I will help you.


You're not alone and generally while you're coaching with me, you tackle anything that comes up. It's not as easy to necessarily not go down that slippery slope when you don't have an accountability partner. But when you do and you don't wanna come back to me the following week and saying I didn't do it, I didn't do it, that doesn't work with coaching. It works with therapy. You could go to a therapist and talk about it for a year and never have to do anything. But with coaching you have to take action or I can't keep you as a client. What's the point?

Karen Covy-Host33:11


Nancy Pickard-Guest33:12

I'm not just here to collect your money.

Karen Covy-Host33:15

The question is you know truly whether you wanna get the results or not? And getting results requires some sort of action and usually some sort of change. Yeah, sure.

Nancy Pickard-Guest33:27

Yeah, but you have to be scary. See, it's not scary for me because I live my life proving to like when I went and I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, for the six months before I did it, I was going to Tony Robbins and walking on fire and I was self-arresting on double black diamond. I was doing all of these things and I would say to myself, well, babe, if you can't do this, you're certainly not gonna make it up Kilimanjaro. Like that was my mantra, that's my mantra with my life now, bigger, better, braver. Like, if you don't do this, I do that with my grandchildren. Like, what have you done today that you were afraid to do but did it anyway? You know, or they'll call me, they'll be like Nana, I was bigger, better, braver today and I'm all over it. Like, tell me what you did, how did you do it? How did it feel? So to me? That's how you teach your children to embrace the things they're afraid of, to be more courageous.

Karen Covy-Host34:33

Yeah, Tell me a little bit more. Bigger, Better, Braver is the name of your book. Tell me more about what's in the book and what led you to write it.

Nancy Pickard-Guest34:44

So well, I was going to climb Kilimanjaro and I owned a training gym for 16 years, so I know how to train. And when I was looking I didn't see a lot of books on women, older women and Kilimanjaro. So I thought I was going to write a training book on how I did it, with some like coaching things in there. And then one day, Nancy Levin, who owns the Levin Life Coaching Academy, she said no, no, no, you want to write a book about like, what's your Kilimanjaro? How do you step outside your comfort zone? How do you do something? That's brave. And that just birthed the book, although I couldn't come up with the title for so long.


And the book is really what I coach my. It's a coaching book. It's a step by step, how to come up with your vision of the thing you want to do and then how to uncover your shadow beliefs and your underlying commitments and your fears that are keeping you stuck. How to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. And all of these things are step by step by step how to get that done, how to change jobs, how to find the relationship, how to quit your job, how to lose 25 pounds, how to run a marathon. Whatever your bigger, better, braver thing is, whatever your Kilimanjaro moment is, it's a step by step how to do it, and so it's got exercises and meditations and mantras and all of the things I do with my own clients.

Karen Covy-Host36:22

So it sounds like it went from the original conception of being just a physical kind of book, a physical training, to something that's really much deeper.

Nancy Pickard-Guest36:35

Yeah, it has nothing to do with Kilimanjaro anymore. Nothing. I have 45 pages of how to train for Kilimanjaro. That's like sitting in a drawer. You know coaching is not cheap and not everybody can afford a coach, or not everybody really understands that. You know like you can't get to the Olympics without a coach and so you really can't make the changes you want to make without support. But not everybody knows that or can afford it. And this is a great first step. Maybe you don't need anything beyond my book. Give it a shot. Start with my book. My girlfriend and I were hiking up the mountain the other day and we were both wearing bigger, better, braver hats and this woman passed us and she said, oh my God, that's my favorite book. And my girlfriend says, oh my God, she's the author. It's funny. She said I picked it up at the thrift shop and so that I'm thinking, wow, really Like somebody must have read the book and passed it on. And it's at the thrift shop and I'm thrilled.

Karen Covy-Host37:40

That's awesome, but it sounds like bigger, better, braver really is your mantra. It seems to be the way that not only you coach other people, but you coach yourself as well.

Nancy Pickard-Guest37:52

Yeah, and the tagline is bigger, better, braver, conquer your fears, embrace your courage and transform your life.

Karen Covy-Host38:02

And ultimately, that's what it's all about. Right, it's about creating the life that you really want to live, because, as far as we know, we all only get one shot at it.

Nancy Pickard-Guest38:15

Yeah, and you know so many people like the title of your thing Off the Fence your podcast. They're on the fence because of fear, 100% they don't. You know I have female clients that are afraid to give up the money, they're afraid to give up all the things the guy does for them. They're afraid to put on their big girl panties and have to do these things themselves. And they stay on that fence even though blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and I encourage them Listen, I didn't. I got divorced after 26 years. I didn't. I hadn't been paying my bills, I hadn't been, you know, doing a million things that I had to learn how to do. But the woman I am today is so much stronger and independent than the woman I was then, and so growth is on the other side of all of that.

Karen Covy-Host39:15

Yeah, 100% it's. It's like it's scary to take the step, but the question is, when you're looking at your choice. Which is scarier to take the step into the unknown or to stay with the known and let your life be unlived, to never do the things you want?

Nancy Pickard-Guest39:36

I think that's really true, and also the way you feel about yourself, for taking the step is more important than if it's successful. Like I tell my clients, the juice is in the journey, it's in making the step and trying it, and if you fail, you fall forward. You know you're not where you were, you're ahead, you're still ahead, and now you get to. You get to diagnose it. Okay, so I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but what works and what didn't work, and how can I switch it up and what do I need to know? Well, who do I need to ask so that I'm better next time?

Karen Covy-Host40:26

Yeah, 100%. Nancy. This has been wonderful. I so enjoyed our conversation. Can you tell our listeners where they can find you, where the best place to find you is and where they can find your book?

Nancy Pickard-Guest40:40

So Nancy Picard LifeCoachcom is my website and on my website you could buy the book. There, you know they'll send you to a link to like Amazon or Barnes Noble and following me on Nancy Picard LifeCoach on Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook. Everything I post goes to all three of those and I post all the time. I have a ton of reels on there. I have podcasts. All my podcasts are, or a lot of my podcasts are, on my website. My blogs are on my website. I do a free discovery call for anybody who's interested because my coaching it has to be a fit for both of us. You know you have to want my kind of coaching and I have to feel that you're motivated. You know people say to me well, who's your favorite kind of client? I'm like anybody who's motivated.


They have to be motivated, yeah, otherwise it doesn't work. Right, I can't do it. I just I don't have the time in my life to work with people that are not motivated. I'm fine to work with people who are afraid, you know. I mean, that's why you come and I help you uncover where those fears came from. And to see, the worst-case scenario is probably got less than a 1% chance, and even if it happened, you would survive. And so it starts to make those fears like, oh yeah, right, yeah, I could do that. I guess this would be the worst and I doubt that will even happen, but if it did, I'd still be standing here tomorrow.

Karen Covy-Host42:14

Yeah, such, such great advice, and often people need some support. They need someone like you to help them through, because it's too easy to forget.

Nancy Pickard-Guest42:28

So we all need it right, Everybody does.

Karen Covy-Host42:30

So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom here with everybody, and for those of you who are listening, for those of you who are watching. If you liked this episode, please do me a big favor. Give it a thumbs up, like, subscribe, and by all means share, because the more people know about this podcast, the bigger it can grow and the more you're sharing the love. So thank you all so much and I look forward to seeing you again next time.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


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