Episode 101: Master Your Inner Critic & Set Boundaries To Thrive

Key Highlights [00:0:37] The rock bottom ‘down is up’ moment

Jody Milward

Key Highlights
[00:0:37] The rock bottom ‘down is up’ moment that changed the direction of Rachel’s life
[00:06:33] The common fear about selling that inspired ‘Permission To Offend’
[00:10:02] Why ‘following up’ with someone is being of service
[00:11:40] Setting better boundaries with your clients creates respectful relationships
[00:22:50] Rachel’s 3 step journaling method to shift your energy and create the life you want
[00:31:07] How to use journaling to prepare for difficult conversations that come up from time to time

Jody: Welcome to this episode of Online Confidential, where I am very excited to introduce you to the one, the only amazing, Rachel Luna.

Rachel, thank you and welcome to the show!

Rachel: Thank you for having me, Jody! I love you, and I’m so grateful to be here.

Jody: It’s an honor to have you on the show. I remember connecting with you years ago. I joined the program and thought ‘oh my gosh, Rachel Luna is one of the coaches in here!’ and we connected then and it’s amazing, and just been following you along on the internet.

For those of you who don’t know, Rachel, let me just give you a little bit of an intro. She’s been listed as one of Forbes Top 11 I think, social media people to follow or most inspirational people to follow. And for good reason, because through her journey in life, she’s overcome so many things. She lost her parents to AIDS.

She’s been a former Marine. She’s survived eating disorders, depression, alcoholism, and most recently, she’s a breast cancer survivor. So Wow! That gets me so emotional. She’s been so inspiring. Oh, I’ll hold it together. So inspiring through this journey. She held nothing back. She took everyone on this journey and so, so much respect for you, Rachel.

So welcome to the show. So if there’s anything I haven’t particularly covered here, let’s just look at how you got to this point. Like what’s been your journey? I know you’ve got a great episode on starting your business, but just give people a recap of how you’ve got to this point.

Rachel: I mean, I got to this point from being in my own rock bottom moment and it’s interesting.

A client was just telling me yesterday, ‘I have this belief that everything has to be up and up and up. And if I’m not doing up, and up and up, then something is wrong with me’. But one of the greatest reframes that I got was down is up. And let me explain that. So what got me here was being at the lowest point in my life.

But even when I was down and out, and at that time I was in the Marine Corps, and I had just found out that my on again, off again, boyfriend of three years, was happily married.

So the whole world came out from under my feet. I was not getting along with my boss in the Marine Corps, and I was at this crossroads and I knew that I needed to make a change because I was not living the life that I felt that God had called and created me to live.

But you know, down is up. I was also living an amazing life in Germany. I had plenty of money even though I was in massive debt. So that’s a just a little nod to making money, but not managing money well. And so I was at the stage of my life where I had achieved all these dreams already at a young age. I had already done more than most people thought I would ever do as a young woman.

But it was in a down, so my down moment was my up. And I decided I really need to make a change with my life. I hired a life coach and she was like, ‘you’re going to be a great life coach one day!’

And I thought, are you crazy? Like my life is a mess! Nobody is going to want life advice from me. But she said, your story is so powerful and when people see what you’re about to accomplish and achieve, they’re going to want to know how you did it.

And you’re so relatable. You’re so personable. You’re such a great listener. You have all these qualities. You would be great at this. And so I love that part of my story because I always remind people that are listening, your most difficult moment, your biggest trial, the thing that you think is going to break you is going to be the thing that will one day propel you and help others to step into their purpose.

And Jody, as you mentioned at the top, I have struggled with disordered eating and alcoholism, and most recently breast cancer, and I thought, listen, breast cancer, it’s scary, it’s scary, but do you know how many people I have been able to serve and support and encourage and inspire hope for them through my life as a result of that moment where I literally thought, ‘Oh my gosh, will I make it?’

That down moment was my up and after I got myself together, within 18 months, my life was completely transformed.

I was financially secure. I had paid off more than $40,000 of debt. I got in the best shape of my life. I met and married my husband. We had a kid, literally Jody in 18 months! And so again, to our listeners, I don’t know where you are right now, but I’m telling you, your life can transform in a weekend. Truly, you just never know what’s going to be around the bend if you would just continue on.

So from there, I got my certification in life coaching. I left the Marine Corps once I had my oldest baby and we were off to the races. What got me here to this point is that I never stopped betting on myself and I never counted myself out. Even when others told me, you can’t sell confidence, you can’t do this, you need to do that.

You need to niche down you know, people were always trying to tell me what was best for me, even down to when I got diagnosed with the breast cancer, the doctors were telling me you need 53 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. And I was like, 53 weeks, Jody, that’s more than a year.

And I said, no. Thank you respectfully. I think that there’s another way for me, and you know, that’s one of the reasons why my mission is to encourage people to give themselves permission to offend. Because I had to offend a lot of people to stand in my truth over the years. And here we are.

Jody: Here we are. Indeed. What an amazing story. So with that, that’s where I was going to go and ask you about the ‘Permission To Offend’, because it’s a great title. How did that come about? You just mentioned your medical journey, but what other circumstances have come up for you that have made you go, okay, here is your permission to be you.

Rachel: So, ‘Permission To Offend’ was actually not born from any life or death situation. It wasn’t born from a medical diagnosis. It was actually birthed at a conference. I was speaking at an event and the organizers had asked me to talk about sales confidence because Jody, I love sales. You know, for me, sales is an opportunity to be of like high service.

It’s such a wonderful way to connect with someone. It’s such a great opportunity for value exchange, and I love value exchange. So for me, sales is where it’s at. Sales makes the world go around. So I was talking and I asked people from the audience to raise their hand and tell me. Why they were struggling with sales, why they weren’t making offers.

You know, Jody, one of the things with sales is that people are not so much afraid of the exchange of money. They’re afraid to ask for the sale because it puts them in the line of fire. For rejection, for judgment, and, you know, potential defamation. What will people say about me? And so this one brave woman raises her hand and she says, ‘I’m afraid I’m going to offend people if I follow up too much, I’m going to bother them’.

And without thinking, the words just came out of my mouth and I yelled into the microphone. I said, ‘offend them! Offend them!’ You have to give yourself permission to offend people because the reality is that people are going to be offended by the sheer fact that you dare to dream.

Someone is offended that you are marching in the direction of your desires. Why? Because every step you take towards what you want reminds them of every step that they are not taking. And so some people are offended that you’re showing up on social media. Some people are offended that I used to have hot pink hair.

Do you remember that, Jody?

Jody: I do. I do

Rachel: cotton candy, pink hair. I don’t do that anymore because of the chemicals. And I remember, a client of mine said, ‘man, I love your hair. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair some funky color like purple’. And I said, ‘oh, why don’t you do it?’

And she said, ‘oh, my mother-in-law would be so offended. She’d be so mad at me’. And it’s just like, really? Someone is going to be offended by the color of your hair? Someone is offended by the color of your skin, by the language that you speak. And I don’t know about you, Jody, but I just refuse to live my life worrying about other people who don’t want to take the time to understand me.

Jody: Oh, a hundred percent. It’s like letting those people who are in the nose bleed section determine what you’re doing on the field and it’s going to rob you of so many opportunities. Like you said, your dreams, the legacy that you have for your family and your children. And sometimes it may not even be what this person’s thinking.

You’re too busy thinking about what they’re thinking about rather than just doing your own thing.

Rachel: And can I just say one more thing about that too? In particular, the sales thing. Even if you are bothering people with the follow up. It’s their responsibility to have a backbone and say, thank you, but no, I’m not interested. Take me off your list.

But if they’re ghosting you, that’s on them. They lack the courage. And the other thing that I’ll say about follow up is that people actually appreciate the reminder.

I get a lot of emails and I do not like email personally. So there’ll be times where I will want to follow through with something, I’ll want to buy something I’ll want to sign up for and I will forget.

And I’ll be so happy when that email comes in or the text or the DM is like, Hey girl, you forgot about this. Are you still interested? And then it’s like, ‘oh, thank you! Yes, I really did want this’. So be the answer to someone’s prayer because they are praying for you. Exactly.

Jody: And as ad managers, a lot of business owners have a pain point of like more marketing, more leads and more sales.

And so we may feel, exactly like you said, ‘oh, I don’t want to be harassing this person. I don’t want to be, you know, and so they don’t follow up. Whereas in actual fact, they have a problem that you can solve and actually, it’s a lack of service to them if you are not showing up. Because what’s going to happen, they’re going to go off and find someone else. Who’s not going to take care of them as good as you are.

So with that, as we talk about permission to offend, getting visible in the newsfeed and such, and then working with clients, one of the struggles that ad managers often have is that they don’t have boundaries in place. And it could be a fear of, ‘oh, I don’t want to offend them’.

This person is paying me, so I’ve got to do everything they say. So we had an interesting chat before recording about your experiences as being the client and the ad manager. So tell us all about that. And you know how ad managers can have better boundaries.

Rachel: Well, one thing I want to say before I even talk about boundaries with ad managers is I always appreciate when my ad manager reminds me of my goals and reminds me like, listen, you wanted to do this.

We’re not going to make those targets if we don’t get these ads up and running. You need to book time with me. Because I will often forget to even book the time or get the things going. But going into boundaries, that kind of leads into boundaries because I, for a long time just was not a great client.

I really do struggle with ADHD and so my brain can be very flighty. I get a lot of shiny object syndrome and so when I am ready to work, it’ll be like nine o’clock at night and I’ll be like, ‘Hey, I’m ready. You want to jump online right now?’ And you know, my ads manager, bless her heart, will be like, ‘yeah, hold on. Let me just move things around’.

It wasn’t until I started developing my own boundary system that I realized like, wait a second. This woman will move mountains every time I say like, help. And that’s not fair to her because I don’t like it when my clients do that to me. I don’t like it when my clients expect me to be at their beck and call.

Because really, we should all be focused in our own genius and there’s a time and a place for everything. One of the things that I had to do was, just have a good conversation with her and tell her, listen, you cannot let me railroad you like this. I should not be able to text you at any time and get a direct response.

And I’m really concerned about you because is this how you’re letting all your clients run your business? Because that’s what ends up happening, right? We, the clients start running your business then you’re burnt out, then you’re frustrated, then you’re resentful over the very thing that you wanted to build in the first place.

And, I will tell you right now, The people that I respect the most, that continue to get my money month after month, year after year are the people that are courageous enough to tell me the truth and say, listen, I really like you. I want to keep working with you, but I don’t work between these hours. This is when I can fit you in.

My high performing clients, my upper tier clients don’t behave this way. Once I was able to recognize that I was operating not as a CEO, but as a worker bee in my own business. I wasn’t operating as the queen of my domain, I was like, wait a second. What kind of business am I running here?

What kind of charade is this? Rachel Luna, get your head outta your butt and have some standards. You will not lose ideal clients who are serious about building a long term sustainable business by having boundaries. But what I think can happen and what I’ve seen happen is that you will drive yourself to burnout, trying to cater to these low level, low vibrational, low thinking, what’s the not growth mindset? Fixed mindset individuals.

So give yourself permission to set a boundary to hold. And you know, Jody, here’s the other thing about boundaries. Enrolling people in the vision is how you get the boundary enforced. So a conversation with an ad manager can look like,

‘Hey, Client Jody, I love you so much. I really want to get on a call and I want to talk about what’s up ahead for you and your business in 2023’. And then say, ‘can I give you some feedback on how I think our work together has gone, and how I think it can be so much better for you to achieve X, Y, and Z goals’.

So putting it back on what’s in it for them. Again, a high level client is going to say, ‘’absolutely sure’, a low level client might feel triggered. But you’re not their therapist. They should be in therapy. They should be getting help. Okay.

So then the conversation will be something like, ‘so moving forward, what we’ve done in the past is we’ve kind of been a little all over the place, we kind of pop up, and here I want to reassure you that when we’re in a launch mode, I understand that sometimes we work outside of normal business hours during launch mode. I know that you are ready to step into that next level CEO in your business, and I want to be someone on your team that empowers that vision’.

So my business hours for 2023 are X, Y, Z. What are your business hours looking like? And can we put on the calendar our standing time? And while we’re at it, why don’t we go ahead and map out that launch schedule so that I make sure I have your launch prioritized on my calendar. Right away the client is going to feel like, oh, VIP, I’m being prioritized.

But I’m also being put into a container of boundaries, and like you mentioned earlier, we can put things in Slack 24 hours a day, but we are coming into mutual agreement that will each check during our normal business hours and get back to each other within x, y timeframe.

Jody: Absolutely, and the way you framed that is just so perfect and beautiful.

So even though there’s permission to offend, and maybe for a lot of us as we’ve grown up, offense is like a bad thing and it’s a bad word, but it’s coming to it from that mutual respect in regard knowing here’s your boundaries or respecting yourself. And just being able to communicate it in a way that is still able to show respect to that person.

But it’s still respecting yourself, your boundaries, your goals and dreams as well.

Rachel: That’s what permission to offend is really about Jody, it is not a weapon. It is not meant to be divisive or combative or accusatory. No. It’s really about developing a language of compassion and empathy.

It’s about knowing yourself intimately. What is true for you? What do you value? What do you believe? What is your identity? And then seeking to understand the other person first, because think about this, if I’m seeking to understand you and you’re seeking to understand me, then we’re going to ask better questions of each other, versus if I’m just saying, understand me, no, you don’t understand my perspective.

You’re not hearing it right? So, now I’m fighting for you to understand me. You’re fighting for me to understand you. And now we’re dividing. So permission to offend is really about getting connected to what is true for you. What is your vision? What are your goals? What are your values, what are your beliefs?

And then being very curious about the other person and looking for the connective tissue finding, you know, where is that intersection where you can have community, connection, and powerful collaboration.

Jody: Love it. And so obviously Permission To Offend sounds like something that everybody needs to read. It’s coming out next year, is that correct?

Rachel: So February 7th, 2023. It’s almost here at the time of this recording. And we have an incredible pre-sale campaign on right now. Lots of bonuses, and of course, once the book comes out I will be book clubbing it up. Lots of incredible events, all centered around this idea of developing the language of empathy and being able to really stand up for yourself.

I don’t know how much time we have, but I do want to just mention this one moment. We talked about permission to offend in the business setting, but I had to give myself permission to offend in the personal setting. When the doctors offered me, you know, an entire year of chemo radiation, I didn’t want that.

And it can be very intimidating to stand up to the person that is the authority, quote unquote. In the field, the expert, and say to the expert, thank you, but I disagree. Especially when you don’t have a medical degree, you don’t have any of the markers that people are looking for, and you just have to bet on yourself because you had this internal moment, you had this knowing.

And for me, I had a knowing, but I was also backed with the research. You can give yourself permission to offend when you take the time to investigate, get the answers that you need and don’t give up without really honoring what is true for you.

Jody: Absolutely. And that is such a life or death kind of decision there that you make, right?

Backed with your research that you’ve done. And this is this authority that has all the degrees and everything like that. And we can think, well, who am I? And taking that to our ad managers, I know as I talk to a lot of them and I recommend go and talk to corporations, go and talk to these big companies who don’t know ads.

We can feel intimidated because, ‘oh, I don’t have a marketing degree’. And oh, there’s their in-house marketing team with this multi-national level of a company. There is still expertise that you have learned, that you have shared, that you have invested in yourself. That you can still be that authority and reaching out to these people and not be afraid of thinking, ‘oh, who am I too?’

You have that permission to stand in your beliefs, your experience, your expertise.

Rachel: Yeah, exactly.

Jody: So with that, I know journaling has also been a big part of your journey. So just tell us a bit about journaling, benefits of it, why we should even journal?

Rachel: Well, journaling. You know, it’s interesting because for a long time I remember thinking, how am I going to to tie journaling with Permission To Offend?

I don’t think people are going to get it, but my friend Nikki Brown, so shout out to Nikki. She said ‘of course it lines up because journaling is where you do the internal excavation’. Where you really figure out what’s going on inside. And then the ermission to offend is the external expression of that internal discovery.

What I love about journaling, so first of all, journaling has been scientifically proven in many, many studies to not only help you achieve your goals better, have better self-confidence, self-image, more clarity, more confidence. There have been studies that show that patients who journal are more likely to heal faster and have more favorable outcomes than people who don’t journal. That is how powerful this practice is.

I have my own signature method called the Faith Activated Method, and it’s three simple steps. Okay? So you’re going to write shift script.

The first step is you’re going to write whatever comes to mind. One of the reasons why people don’t want to journal is because they don’t want to do this step, which is to write whatever comes out, they start judging their thoughts and this is why if you feel any kind of blockage in your life, if you feel stuck in your business, it’s because you are judging your thoughts, your actions, your ideas, your dreams incredibly harshly, and that is stopping you from taking inspired, confident, and consistent action.

So you want to go into the journal practice and just write it down. It can be in a bullet format. It does not have to be perfect. Nobody’s going to read it. And that’s another thing, but what if someone finds it? Rip out the pages when you’re done. You don’t have to save it, but you do want to write it out. And I would challenge you to go a step further and read it out loud, because our thoughts sound very differently in our head than they do on paper.

In our mind, irrational thoughts feel very rational and real. Once you put it on paper, you start to see some of these irrational ideas. You’re like maybe that’s not true after all. So that one step. Instant clarity. Okay?

Now the second step is to shift. And in this shift, you are going to change the energy, the frequency, the vibration in your body.

Because let’s face it, sometimes we’ll write down a thought or idea, and now we feel worse than when we started. So people will give up on their journaling practice because they don’t do this step. So in the shift, you are going to shift into a state of gratitude and expectation.

So the first two steps might look something like, ‘oh my gosh, I’m so tired. This is such a dumb exercise. This girl keeps talking about journaling and I think it’s dumb, but Jody said I should, so I guess I’ll try. It feels like a waste of time. My goodness. There’s so much to do today. I’ve got to do this. And the brain dump will come, and then the shift would look something like…‘Wow. I feel really good that I just wrote everything out’.

At least it’s out on paper. If nothing else, I have a list to fall back on. I’m so grateful and excited that I’m actually moving forward in the direction. I’m so grateful. I’m so proud of myself for trying something that I think is totally dumb, right?

So now you’re just changing the energy. And then the third step to script, you’re going to script your desires as if they’ve already come to pass. So it could be something like, I’m so grateful and excited now that I’ve cleared the gunk. I’ve got my best ideas out on paper. I have prioritized. I know what I’m not going to work on.

All of that got me so prepared for this week, and oh my gosh, I nailed it. I followed up with five clients, three of them said yes. I am fully booked for the next quarter. My ads agency is a multimillion dollar agency. I’m fully supported. I have everything in place. The systems are there. I follow Jody’s great advice. I feel so free. I feel so peaceful. Wow, this feels so good.

Now, right now, what’s happening in my own body as I’m saying, I’m like, man, this is a great ad agency. Right? But what’s happening on the subconscious level is now the ego, the mind is looking around like, wait, we have an ad agency?

We have three clients? We did follow up? Because your brain doesn’t know the difference between the truth or a lie. And so it’s scanning right now for everything we said for evidence, like, is that true? Wait, we don’t see that yet. We better go follow up with a couple of clients today, and that’s how this works.

Now the conscious mind will say, ‘No, that’s not going to work because I haven’t done anything’, which is fine. We’re not even placating the conscious mind. Conscious mind you’re absolutely right, totally. Mind, unconscious mind, get to work.

Because, most of your day is actually guided by the unconscious stories that you’re not paying attention to.

And those stories are only brought to light when you grab your journal. So one more, one more journal practice, because I think this is really important.

So you have your ad agency and I’m going to use revenue goals. Is that cool? Right. Every entrepreneur has revenue goals, right? So you’ve got this revenue goal.

A really great journal practice is to write the revenue goal on your paper. Why is this impossible for me? What do I believe about this goal happening for me? What do I believe about this goal happening for other people? You see, most people will believe that it’s possible for everyone else but themselves.

And so we have to figure out where did these thoughts come from? So write them all down and, and by the way, I’ve done this many times. I’ve done journal prompts like this where I’m trying to uncover some of my limiting beliefs, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been brought to tears, the ugly cry, like, what’s wrong with me?

I’m this and I’m that. Because the inner child needs some acknowledgement. But then you continue with the steps. I’m really proud of myself for even uncovering this, and I don’t have to believe these statements. Obviously these thoughts, these ideas existed somewhere in me, but I’m really proud of myself for dealing with my pain, and I’m excited about what’s ahead because now that I know what I’m thinking, I can change my thoughts and oh my gosh, as soon as I decided to change my thoughts things began to change for me. Wow.

My business is flourishing every single day. I’m doing one thing that is fully supportive for me and helping me believe in myself more and more, and my clients are coming, and so now I’m starting to build this snowball of energy. The body changes and it’s such a beautiful thing to see once you put it into practice.

And I actually break that down in the book as well in chapter nine. There are tons of journal prompts and I show you how to pull it all together.

The last thing I’ll say is why this is so powerful, because there will be moments where you will have to have uncomfortable conversations, where there will be boundaries that you have to enforce.

Scripting in advance, how you want those conversations to go. Game changer! It allows you to remain calm and composed and in integrity to your true self when you have that practice run in your journal.

Jody: Oh, that’s amazing because there are so many stories that are stuck in our head. Those limiting beliefs from what people have said to us when we’ve grown up, which has molded some things that we are thinking now and uncovering them, going to those sometimes ugly places to write them down, identify what they are so it’s bringing them from the dark into the light so you can actually see it.

Then maybe seeing it on paper helps you to see wow, that’s a ridiculous thought, do I really think this? When a lot of us are getting that inspiration, trying to grab hold of the belief that I don’t have to work a nine to five. I don’t have to have this income ceiling.

I can create this business and this life that I never thought was possible. So getting it out writing it down and I love that end bit of where you have written a script so that when you do have these difficult conversations at times, you’re prepared and know what to say. That’s what I’ll often say to my kids so that you can respond and not react, so you are already prepared and you know exactly what you’re going to say.

It can still be emotional for sure but you’re more prepared. Awesome. Well, Rachel, this has been an amazing discussion today. Absolutely loved digging into all of these areas so it can inspire whoever is listening today to establish their boundaries, uncover some limiting beliefs, identify what it is that they want, and then go about it in a way that’s overcoming all these obstacles, having that permission to offend, but doing it with empathy there.

It’s so good. I absolutely love it. So where can people learn more about you and get their hot little hands on a copy of your book?

Rachel: Yes. So you can go to if you’re listening to this before February 7th, and if not, you can just go to Definitely listen to my podcast and subscribe, also titled Permission to Offend, and I am on Instagram @girlconfident.

Jody: Awesome. Well Rachel, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been wonderful. Wonderful. And guys, thanks for joining and make sure you go over, check out Permission To Offend, follow Rachel on Instagram and be inspired every day.

Thanks Rachel. Thanks everyone, bye for now.


I love to share practical information to help you improve your skills, learn something new or help you avoid the mistakes that many Ad Managers and I have made to help fast-track you on your journey as a well-paid and in-demand Ad Manager.