Chellie Grossman

Chellie is a certified COR.E Energy coach (wellness, leadership, and transitions), working with people individually, in groups, couples, and corporate teams. Chellie’s life was with the lack of support. This urged her to provide support for other people and be there to help them advocate for themselves – to be better and wiser. She believes everyone is a leader. And once people become aware of their unique ability to stand in the space of the leader, everything shifts.

Chellie talks about:

– her remarkable story of recreating her life through learning self-love and courage.

– how she faced her life’s challenges by breaking the patterns and creating those boundaries.

– how these experiences led her the path of coaching

Listen to Chellie’s story in this latest episode of the Underdog. To know more about Chellie, check out these links:

Website: https://www.twistedtreecoaching.com/about

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chellie-grossman/

E-mail: chellie@twistedtreecoaching.com

More Underdog stories?

Apple iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/underdog/id1534385651

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6FbSDu0aNtuxAEiderUAfB

Website: https://theunderdogshow.com/

Click To Read The Transcript

Chellie Grossman Remarkable Story of Recreating Her Life Through Learning Self Love & Courage

Pamela Bardhi
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of underdog today I have an incredible guest here with me. Chellie, how are you?

Chellie Grossman
I’m great. Pam, thank you for having me. How are you?

Pamela Bardhi
I’m doing Lovely, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to hear all about your journey today. You’re a total rock star. So I’m going to start it off. Of course, with the most, I want to say loaded question that there is and she’s looking at me like, oh, what inspired you on your journey to where you are today?

Chellie Grossman
That is a big question. I think what inspired me is my life has been threaded with a lack of support. So I have always wanted to be that person to support other people. And be there to help them advocate for themselves and be better and wiser.

Pamela Bardhi
Wonderful. Tell me what did you want to be when you grew up?

Chellie Grossman
That’s changed what I wanted to be when I was seven years old was a teacher. That was kind of what I wanted to be from seven years old until I graduated high school. But I wasn’t allowed to be a teacher. I grew up with epilepsy from when I was five years old. And there were lots of limitations put on me because of the diagnosis of epilepsy. When I was seven years old, I was also the victim. I don’t like to use the word victim too many times. But I was the victim of childhood, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. And I believe that the diagnosis of epilepsy made me very vulnerable to that.

And growing up, I heard the words, stupid, unworthy and retarded. I was told that I was unworthy of the investment of a college education. My parents told me that my path was to be married and have babies. Whereas my siblings’ path was to go on and get a Master’s at an Ivy League school because my sibling was healthy. So there was a very big difference with how opportunity was given to us based on health diagnosis. And I actually formed my core values just from this one story in my life.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow. I did not know that. Oh, my goodness. So what shifted your trajectory? With that? Well, how did your life transition for you?

Chellie Grossman
I was told that I can only in addition to being married, my parents did tell me I could get a technical degree. So they thought that I would be good as an EEG technologist. Because when you have epilepsy, you get EGS, to monitor your epilepsy every year. And I said, well, that’s kind of like telling a person with asthma, that they should only be a pulmonary therapist. But I said that was my only option. And I went to the best school, I went to Duke University Medical School to become an EEG technologist. I fell in love with the whole medical environment.  They had just opened up their PA school, and I wanted to become a PA.

I was told again, you need to come home and get married. And I listened because I was that dutiful daughter who had been trained to just listen just because of the abuse. So I came home and I got married, and I had a baby. And I’m very grateful that my husband agreed to let me go to school. I went to school and my brother happens to got very sick and was in a coma for 13 days. Because I valued family, I sat by his bedside for 13 days and nights and I didn’t go to school, and I failed.

And I didn’t go back because the nuns didn’t take my excuse of sitting by my brother’s side as a valid excuse for not showing up. As life happens, I got divorced and moved away. And as a single mom, I enrolled in school in Los Angeles Community College. I was thrilled I was learning I was doing what my heart was called to do. My grandfather got sick, and he shattered his pelvis and I put my daughter and me on a plane and we went back home and I gave up on myself again. I didn’t show up for my exam, and I failed. There was this pattern.

Have constantly trying and giving up on myself, because I was putting myself last for family. My brother died, my mom got cancer. And I moved to the East Coast again, to be closer to my mom. I said, Okay, this is going to be an opportunity. I’m going to work at Duke where I was trained, and I’m going to go back to school. They’re going to pay because they have an amazing program to pay for. Six months into it, I got into a near-fatal car accident. And I had PTSD, I had a traumatic brain injury, I couldn’t move my arm, and I walked with a cane. This word disability that I had hidden from with epilepsy, when I was a child popped up in a big way, and I had to deal with it.

And initially, I hated the accident. But then I saw it as this amazing gift. It gave me the time to go back to school. I listened to three people in my life because, at the time, I was like, there’s no way I can do this. My daughter, my son-in-law, and my therapist said You can do this, I believe in you. And I connected with Disability Services, and I became successful and I went for my degree in social work. I graduated with 3.9 32 years late, but I graduated. Then I decided I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to be a coach. So I remember going to a program for coaching.

Pamela Bardhi
That is incredible. Chellie, thank you so much for sharing all of that. I know some of it can get deeply, deeply personal. But I see that each and every single piece of your journey has truly formed who you are today. Which is incredible in your coaching business, because you’ve been there done that. And it sounded to me like a lot of people-pleasing. How did you overcome that? Like, finally, I know there’s people listening right now where they could be in that same position in their lives where they’re putting themselves last.

Because if you hadn’t listened, if you weren’t for people-pleasing, you would have finished the degree way, way long ago, 30 years earlier. Not saying that that’s what you want, or you’re regretful or anything about it. Because every single piece of your journey got you to where you are. But maybe there’s somebody listening right now that’s in that same space. What would be your advice to them based on your experience?

Chellie Grossman
Well, for me, it goes back to my car accident, and no one showed up for me. No one showed up for me at all, except my daughter. She was not in the car, thank God. Because I was trapped in the car for five and a half hours and 27 degrees, facing oncoming traffic. In the immediate after my parents decided to go to St Maarten on a trip. My sister didn’t show up for me. My friends didn’t show up. No one came and I can’t make excuses. And I made excuses for everyone. I don’t understand what happened, why no one showed up. But what I do was use that as an opportunity to change every definition that I had.

So I changed the definition of family of support of love. And I really got down to the bottom of what I needed to do. I rebuilt my foundation from the ground up because I was in pain. Not only was I in pain, but I was suffering. I was suffering alone. Well, I had my daughter, but she was in school, and I was really suffering alone. I was suffering with PTSD and the disability of my arm and feeling worthless and wondering why. So I had to figure out how I can live happily. It wasn’t trying to make them change. He was trying to change me. And I realized I was conditioned to a certain way of life. Had to do deconditioning, deep, deep, deep conditioning.

We’re all conditioned to life. Oh, yeah, the work is in the deconditioning. So like an onion. Think about killing back all of those layers until you get to that core of who you want to be. And I talk a lot about the core because I talk a lot about core values. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Who do you want to stand up for? What do you want to do in your life that’s meaningful and purposeful. All I had was defining myself around everybody else. I had to break it down and figure out who I was without everybody else.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you for sharing that Chellie. And you mentioned the deconditioning, that’s a lot of deep work that you had to do. I commend you for that because to go in and basically psychologically work, that is a pretty raw Sess. Can you walk me through what that was like to basically shift? What were some things that you did to start working on them? That’s super deep work. And it’s so powerful. Because I know of many instances I can think of in my head. Many people who’ve had to do this process or are stuck in this stage right now. Like they know they have to do it but they haven’t done it yet.

Chellie Grossman
Some of the things I need worksheets for me, I love worksheets. I love the teacher and you. Absolutely it is. So I love worksheets, I love workbooks. And if I couldn’t find it up there, I made it for myself. One of the things that I did for myself was listen to the messages that my family was saying that we’re feeling toxic to me. I wrote it down in that next column, I wrote down how it made me feel. Then the next column, I wrote down what I wish I heard, and how that would have made me feel. And I started saying those positive messages to myself.

I started with one person, I started with my mother because my mother and I have a very complicated relationship. I love her and I don’t think that she was the most effective parent for me. And I know she loves me, that she believes that she wasn’t the most effective parent for me. We’ve come to a place of forgiveness and she passed away a year ago. So I’m not going to say nasty things about my mom. But she and I both understood that she wasn’t the most effective. And I listened to all of the negative tropes that she said and changed them. I also listened to the things that I would say to myself, and I changed them. That’s where the work started with me.

Then I had worksheets for every single person in my life, I kept a different worksheet for each one. And then I started to notice the patterns because there are patterns, we’re drawn to certain people for certain reason until we break that cycle over the years, it’s been 13 years already. I’m past all of the yuck of the trauma. But over the years, I’ve seen that it lessened and lessened and lessened. But those types of people kept repeating in my life until I was ready to finally say no, no more. And that saying no is building boundaries in your life. That was a really big thing for me.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. He said two really important things. So breaking the patterns and creating those boundaries.

Chellie Grossman
Wow. Yeah, I think women more than men have a difficult time with boundaries. And one of the first things we need to learn how to do is say no. We are really good at saying yes, we say yes, yes. And saying yes to other people is saying no to ourselves. Saying no to other people is saying yes to ourselves. It’s giving us the time that we need and the time that we deserve to be ourselves. Whether that means going for a bike ride, having a cup of tea, talking to a friend, or sitting in a bathtub, and relaxing. Whatever it is, it’s saying yes to ourselves, and we deserve that. Yes.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen to that. Always we share a lot of parallels because it’s super similar experiences. But there’s a lot of parallels and the fact that we know the way that we’ve been there for family, you and I had the same experience. You know, y when it’s not reciprocated, it hurts. And you’re that people pleaser, the family or the one that everyone leans on and all that. What about you then like, where do you lean? Where do you lean and if you don’t set those boundaries, if you don’t recognize those patterns, you’re gonna be stuck in this cycle of continuum.

And this can happen with friends, this can happen with anyone and everyone. But I totally get you when you mentioned that because I feel like this is something that a lot of people have to recognize. Especially given the fact that family, they’re the closest to you. So you listen to them. You’re like, I’m supposed to be this way for this person. But it’s okay to recognize when you have a toxic family member or friend. Just because you’ve known this person for so long, doesn’t mean that they’re not toxic. I’ve had those experiences in my life.

And I’m like, No, but I’ve known this person for 15. Doesn’t matter who they are just. If they’re showing these patterns, if they’re not cheering for you, if they’re putting you down, and if they’re saying things or acting a certain way of projecting onto you that’s a whole different story. Yeah. Okay, Chellie. I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar and you’re like, No, this can’t be and then you realize, start noticing those patterns.

Chellie Grossman
You know, I like to say that when someone shows you their true selves, believe it, because they’re not going to change. Chances are, they’re not going to change, and you’re not going to have the power to change them. You have the power to change yourself, you have the power to change your situation by walking away. That’s where your power lies. And too many times, we’re fixers. We try to fix other people, we need to turn that energy around and put it in ourselves in a positive way.

Pamela Bardhi
So like if you had a family member or a friend who tried to reach out to you too. What were some ways certain things that you said that could kind of divert them? The other way? Don’t people ask me this question? And I’m like, That’s a good question. what would be your way? Say you had a family member that reached out to you? And when you were setting those boundaries, like, how could you reinforce them? If you will if they’re trying to, like get back in your life? Or something? Like, what was one thing that you did?

Chellie Grossman
I wish I could help. But right now, I don’t have that time. And I’m building my business, or I’m working with my family. Or I’m doing this and I wish I could help. However, if you need a resource, I could point you in the direction of a resource

Pamela Bardhi
Boom, bada bang,

Chellie Grossman
That’s, you know, that goes with my core of being able to help but not, you know, 100%. Being there,

What Chellie Learned About Herself During The Challenging Times

Pamela Bardhi
Right. I love that. So question for you. What have you learned about yourself by going through these challenging times,

Chellie Grossman
I learned that I am much, much stronger than I thought I ever could be. And I also learned to own the words courageous and brave. Because through my life, I heard those words, and I pushed it away. And I own those words now.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. And it’s crazy because you’ve had such a trajectory. Now you went into the coaching space. You went from getting your degree in social work, and then you went into the coaching space. So what sort of sparked that transition in your life?

Chellie Grossman
That was interesting because honestly, I didn’t want to work. I didn’t want to go on for my MSW, because I didn’t want to work with people who had problems. I wanted to work with people who were solution-focused. We wanted to work with people who were kind of toward the middle, to the end of their journey like me. And wanted to just have that support to get to that successful place. Didn’t want to have the clients come and have and say to me, what will you do to fix me?

Pamela Bardhi
They wanted that deeper work? Interesting. So you just decided to study into the coaching space? And then did you like practice? Because I know there’s some coaching programs where you get certified under someone? Or did you just go out and launch your own.

Chellie Grossman
I went through a wonderful program. It’s AIPAC. Yeah. And I picked certified coach, I loved it. It was an amazing experience and my company is called twisted tree coaching. Because I have had a uniquely twisted path and I like to work with people who have unique and interesting paths. That they just need help understanding that it’s okay and it’s perfect, and it’s beautiful. Everyone’s not going to have that, very linear path. Some people are going to have that unique path, and they’re going to have twists and turns on theirs. And that’s perfect and fine and wonderful. They just might need a little extra support or encouragement to get to where they want to be, and I hope to be that person to help them get to that place.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s fantastic. And then so after you said, when you did that training, you opened up your own business, correct? Like your own coach. Yeah, yeah. So here’s a comes entrepreneur question. How was that jump? How was that transition for you? Because I mean, coaching, long sales cycle, right? So like, you’ve got to build your book of business, you’ve got to do all that. So how was it in the startup phases for you? And how did you transition and move past that?

Chellie Grossman
Well, I’m still kind of like in that startup phase, and still building my business slowly. And what I’m doing right now is some webinars and getting that client base to where I want it to be. And just getting myself out there and loving it. I’m just new at it professionally, but I coached for seven years prior in the community. I did that in the disability community and just in my community in general. So I’m seasoned but recently certified.

Pamela Bardhi
That is awesome. Because I know there’s a lot of entrepreneurs listening and they’re like, especially in the coaching space How do you start? How does this work? You know, a lot of questions in that startup phase, I can, oh, man,

Chellie Grossman
You start by just accepting the fear. And just going two steps forward. And those two steps forward, are stepping into your courage. That’s what I like to say,

Pamela Bardhi
What would be your biggest piece of advice from your coaching experience? Like, say you’re talking to a client who’s going through a crazy time or anything. Walk me through how that process is like, or any piece of advice that you would offer,

Chellie Grossman
Break it down to the smallest amount possible, because when things are really big, there’s anxiety. When you break it down to the smallest pieces possible, everything was doable, everything is achievable. And I work with people who have all different kinds of challenges. Some have medical challenges, some are starting their life over in retirement and some have relationship issues. And when you just break it down and figure out who you are, what do you want? Where do you want to go? Rather than think about all of the issues. Then it’s kind of easy and we can make the steps, then we could figure out all of the steps to make all of that happen.

Pamela Bardhi
Love that Chellie. Thank you so much. So I’ve studied NLP. I’m certified in NLP. I love that because, in NLP, that concept is called chunking down. So it’s, it’s like literally breaking it down. And I didn’t know that I did this kind of like innately because everyone’s like, Pam, how the hell do you run like, six different businesses and all these things. I’m like, so logistics, learn it, like write down every single problem you have. And I guarantee if you write it down, you’ll like get to the core of it in like, five minutes or less. What’s bothering you? Why is it bothering you? Then you’ll start to get the answers to your questions which is so fun. Oh, thank you so much for sharing that. Or as he was mentioning that I was like, chunking down.

Chellie Grossman
Talk about that. Because NLP is going to be my next certification.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, NLP is super amazing. My god, it’s just such powerful tools to be able to connect with individuals. And be that much more of a sphere of influence, to help them neurologically get there, through processing information. It’s fascinating stuff. I love psychology even though I studied business and communications. This communication kind of got me a little bit of an intro to NLP, but it’s really mind-blowing stuff, which is fascinating. This is my favorite question. You’re ready for? What would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now?

Chellie Grossman
I love that question. And I have a couple of different answers. One is, listen to your intuition. Because you know, all of the answers. Intuition is the gut feeling inside of your body. It is the deep feeling inside of you, that is pulling you towards something or pushing you away from something. So just listen to yourself. The other one is, don’t be afraid to ask a question, go get a mentor. And ask those questions. Because mentors make the world of difference.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. Totally. I mean, it was the mentors in my life and the stories and everything that I heard, that got me here. And for the cheerleaders in your life, and you just kept going. I love your story so much. And I just want to thank you so much for sharing. Seriously, it’s so impactful, and brave, and courageous. In the end, you listened to you, and you got there. Now you’re out here changing lives and coaching people through their lives, which is beyond incredible. The work that you’re doing. I commend you so much for seriously. So my question to you now is what are you up to in the world in the next six to 12 months?

Chellie Grossman
Right now I started being a mental health advocate. I think it’s really important to lift that veil. And I talk about my own PTSD journey and TBI and the word disability. What it means to me to have that as a part of my life. And what it means for other people to have that word, as a label. I think that we are all worthy. Whether or not we have a medical disability and medical challenge, everybody needs to understand. To treat each person as a worthy individual acumen with dignity and respect, regardless of anything.

And if we all talked about mental illness, either someone has it in one’s family. Or someone knows someone in one’s family is so much more prevalent than people choose to believe. So I am doing my part to help advocate to lift that veil. I am also writing my memoir. And I have just written my first children’s book.

Pamela Bardhi
Amazing. Oh my god, I’m so excited for those. So do we have any titles yet? Or no, those are, those are to come.

Chellie Grossman
The children’s book is either going to be tree, I love you. Or I love you tree. So I’m not sure.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s so wonderful. Oh, my goodness, memoir and children’s book at the same time. But that is so exciting.

Chellie Grossman
I’m doing a couple of different speaking engagements because I feel it’s really important to use my voice to make a difference in the world.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. And I adore what you’re doing in the world. I mean, in every space, what’s really incredible about you is that you’ve been through all these things. And people would look at you and be like, no way she hasn’t been through all that. But like here you are giving back to that same community that could be going through the same thing. Being an advocate for them and giving them a voice and being that symbol of like, Hey, I’ve been there. Here’s what the other side could look like, that’s amazing Chellie. I want to thank you so much for being here today. It was an honor to have you. I love your story and everything that you’re up to in the world. Now you got to let everyone know where to find you.

Chellie Grossman
Oh well, I have a presence on LinkedIn and on Instagram. And reach out to me on twistedtreecoaching.com and I’ll answer the emails right away.

Pamela Bardhi
Awesome Chellie. Thank you again so much. It was an honor to have you.

Chellie Grossman
Thank you so much, Pam

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Chellie Grossman.