016: Finding Confidence – Di Riddell

The Fearless Females Podcast - episode 16 Di Riddell - Finding Confidence

The Fearless Females Podcast - episode 16 Di Riddell - Finding Confidence

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In this episode:

In this episode of The Fearless Females Podcast your host Tegan Mathews interviews Di Riddell who shares:

  • How she faced her past whilst dealing with the loss of her beloved husband
  • The benefits of journaling in her healing process
  • Learning to forgive and finding peace with her perpetrators
  • Finding her confidence to share her story

Tegan’s Take Aways:

  1. It’s a good thing to do to look back occasionally and acknowledge yourself for how far you’ve come
  2. Building your confidence and learning clear communication can lead you to your leadership skills
  3. Not all men are bad, there are a lot of lovely men who will love and support you on your journey
  4. People can only deal with things with the level of skills they have at the time
  5. Love and respect yourself, regardless of what has happened

About Di Riddell

Di is a mature woman whose passion is confidence. She shows a real and authentic approach to life and shares freely her incredible  experiences. With almost four decades as a professional communicator, confidence coach and MC, she delivers with style, effect and tact. Her passion is helping women 50+ who have lost their partners or gone through a  life changing challenge to inspire them to reactivate their confidence and rebuild a life of vitality and joy

Di worked for 30 years as a health professional.  She has over 30 years experience of Committee and Board service for community organizations in far north Queensland and the Sunshine Coast.

She is a Speaker, self published Author ,Facilitator, Mentor, Presentations Trainer and MC

Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Certified Life Coach, Confidence mentor.

Member: Toastmasters International for almost 4 decades and recipient of an International Presidential Citation.

Contact Di Riddell


A Gift for Listeners From Di Riddell

A thirty minute one on one discovery session with Di Riddell via phone, skype or face to face, to uncover your hidden confidence and begin the journey to a more confident you

By entering your name & email address we agree we won’t share your details with anyone! Di Riddell will contact you with the details of your appointment plus you may receive the occasional emails from Di Riddell. You can unsubscribe at any time.

BONUS GIFT: Free 21 Day Confidence Journal

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Show Notes: Episode 016: Finding confidence – Di Riddell

Di Riddell’s Fearless Story

  • She had a violent, alcoholic father who would constantly tell her she was stupid, useless and worthless
  • Yes, it was rough stuff but that is who and what my father was and as a result of that, growing up I had very low confidence and self esteem and I was also tall and slim very early
  • I would stoop my body over trying to hide so no-one would notice me
  • At fifteen I went out looking for love, and rape found me. I was a victim of pack rape and from that a pregnancy and an adoption arose
  • On top of what dad said, the welfare workers at the time said I was a disgrace to the human race and I should become a nurse and get out of societies way because no decent man would want me. So off I went and became officious and efficient
  • Several years later I met this amazing man who had four children already aged 10 to 16 and I was 24 so I took on a bit when we got married because the kids lived with us. Then 18 months later we had a son. So my life was very full and we had a wonderful 31 year marriage
  • Not without challenges but that’s what relationships are about. We had a wonderful relationship and he passed away in 2002
  • Up until then, all that past stuff just disappeared because I was too busy living my life but dealing with my grief brought that to the surface and it was time for me to face it
  • Through a whole series of events I ended up writing and self-publishing my story which is titled: “Beyond Abuse”
  • At the time, that was 2006, I thought that was the journey but in fact it was the first step in the journey because an amazing number of things have happened since then

How did you work through your past whilst dealing with the grief?

  • Well, it took me 12 months to collapse. I’ve always been a bit of a ‘do-er’ and so I just got busy pushing myself to do everything
  • I’m 5’10 and my weight dropped to 55 kilos. At that point I looked like a yard and a half of fencing wire, I was so thin. A friend of mine was here and he said, “I think it’s about time you went to the doctor” and he made the appointment right there and then and drove me there
  • I was diagnosed with clinical depression – not really a surprise because at that stage I was almost incapable of doing anything and it was a long road around that
  • I did go on anti-depressants and as an old RN I was very much against taking anti-depressants but I was just in such a bad space that I needed them for a while
  • I didn’t like eating alone so to fix that I just didn’t eat, I just kept myself super busy so I didn’t think about it and then I couldn’t. I had difficulty even starting to eat again. Then the doctor suggested I go and see a psychologist
  • I hadn’t had a good experience with the first one so I was very resistant to going back but he persisted and he sent me to another lady and she was amazing!
  • I work well with a strategy and a plan and the first day I went to see her she said, “Right, this is what we are going to do over the eight weeks” of the program they had put me into and we are going to go from here, to here, to here. And that just made sense to me
  • So I buckled down and did everything that she said to and one week fed into the next and I was in a pretty good place by the time she had finished with me
  • Near the end she said to me that in 6-12 months I would have a challenge and fall over a bit and it was ok to come and see her if I did. Sure enough, 12 months later, down I went
  • But, when I went to see her the first time I had about 12 things that were really bothering me but this time there was only 3 and I was going on and on about the 3 things and she said, “But, what about all of these other things?” and she listed them off but I just brushed them aside
  • With everything that I was saying I kept coming back to “I cant!” So they were lessons in reality and she said, “Di, look what you couldn’t do a year ago”
  • Then she sent me home to write a list of everything I had done in the last 12 months and when I did I was amazed and I took that back and she said, “Now can you see?”
  • Every time there are things that may bring you down but look at what you have achieved! One of the problems you have is that you have never acknowledged what you have done which I think comes from my childhood
  • My father certainly would never acknowledge anything I did and my mother was very timid so she was in fear of him. She was supportive of me but she lived in fear of him, which effected her life
  • This all led me down the self-development path and one thing led to another and the most amazing co-incidences happened to take me from one step to the next and it’s just been an incredible journey
  • At the same time I joined Alanon which is a group support program for the families and friends of alcoholics and it teaches you about taking responsibility for yourself and I spent six years with them. It’s a very gentle program and it was through that, that I started the writing
  • Through following one of the steps, which evolved into the book and I have been a Toastmaster for years, in fact this is my 39th year actually and this brought me to the point of being able to talk about it and then I was ready to talk about the book and it has just progressed from there
  • And I believe we are led to things. 39 years ago when I walked into that room as a scared and frightened woman, I had no idea the skills and confidence that was going to come out of it that I would use in the rest of my life. It’s just been astounding
  • When people’s confidence improves and they improve their ability to communicate then leadership skills come out that they didn’t know they had
  • I didn’t think I had a leadership bone in my body but other people recognised it in me and I was actively encouraged (given a bit of a shove) to step into leadership roles and again, that turned into an amazing journey
  • Because I was prepared to get in there and do it and there was huge support in Alanon and support in Toastmasters and I am very much in favour of the support thing and reaching out, that’s one of the biggest things

What was a pivotal turning point in your journey?

  • I’d have to say, writing the book was a turning point because it was such a huge thing for me to do but a realisation that came out of writing the book was the value of my male friends
  • Although I didn’t expect them to shun me, I also didn’t think they would be so openly supportive. The level of support I had from my male friends absolutely blew me away and half of the testimonials that are in the book have come from men
  • Women who have been through abusive situations, it’s very easy to think that all men are bad but there are some beautiful men out there and I applaud and support them for being there for women

Most Memorable Moment

  • There have been so many but probably the one that comes to mind is when I went into the leadership role in Toastmasters I became district governor and our district is Queensland, Northern Territory and Northern NSW and Papua New Guinee so it’s a big geographical area
  • This was in the 80’s and there was a top six level of achievement that you could reach and we reached it and the great feeling I got from that was just amazing as well as the growth I experienced along the way
  • You don’t get to a role like that without your fair share of challenges and again it comes back to team work and reaching out because you don’t get there on your own, you can’t possibly, and that’s where you learn the value of team work when everyone is working together and the people that come out of it are just incredible

What are the gifts/lessons you received from your experience?

  • I’ve learnt the value of gratitude and forgiveness because before I wrote the book I knew I would have to come to a place of peace and forgiveness for dad and the rapists so that really took some deep inner work and I did a lot of that through writing
  • Before I wrote the book people would often ask me two questions, “Where the rapists ever brought to justice?” and “Have I ever found the child I adopted?”And I had an answer for both of them
  • But from dads point of view, he couldn’t give out what he didn’t have and he didn’t have the skills to be a father. I don’t know what happened in his life to make him want to inflict such pain on his family but that’s not for me to judge
  • He was obviously doing the best that he could do in his life and we can only deal with things with the level of skill we’ve got
  • From the rapists point of view, I don’t know what went on in their lives either but they took something that was precious to me on that night and they took a lot of things from me that night but that was just one night and they got away with that for 43 years until I dealt with it
  • You can bet they aren’t sitting around saying, “Remember what we did to that girl in the sixties”- I don’t think so. The only person that was hurting was me

How did you get to that point of forgiveness and gratitude for them?

  • Through a lot of different courses that I did. I started off with Michael Rowlands stuff – author of “Happiness Is”
  • Then I went on and did Wildly Wealthy Women and then I joined Wealth Dynamics
  • I have just travelled through so much that I can’t quite put my finger on it now
  • For me it was really the writing and from Alanon
  • Another book that really helped me was The Artist Way by Julia Cameron and that has twelve chapters in it that are based on a twelve-step process
  • That was an amazing little mini program I did with two girlfriends
  • This was a process that happened gradually and I knew I couldn’t write the book until I had sorted those things so I journaled and journaled reams and reams of paper and did lots of little courses and events, too many to list here
  • But whatever I did I always reached out and things just happened
  • There was one experience when I was off doing my NLP training that blew me away. I was in Melbourne and we were all sitting around a table doing our homework and someone said, “Di, did you see the interview Andrew Denton did with Alison from Sth Africa?”
  • She had been abducted, raped, had her throat and stomach cut open and left in the jungle for dead and she survived – a horrific story
  • I thought, what I wouldn’t give to meet her but fat chance as she is in Sth Africa and I am here in Nambour (QLD) and so I just got on and forgot about it and did my homework
  • The following month I was at the National Speakers meeting and was going to their convention and she was to be one of the speakers. At the end of the meeting I was going on about how wonderful it will be to meet her to a friend of mine
  • It turns out he was on the committee and was to pick her up at the airport but couldn’t and so he asked me if I would. It was such an amazing opportunity and she is such a lovely lady
  • She actually saw through to their convictions – she named them while she was in hospital so she has been to hell and back again that lady

What is Di Riddell passionate about today?

  • I am absolutely passionate about confidence as you might guess and passionate about giving women the voice, the confidence and the voice that they may do and be whatever they want to and that’s my number one thing
  • What I’m working on at the moment is, after I wrote the book I created a program which I used to apply for a grant but that didn’t work out so I am resurrecting that program and it will be available very soon which will be an online program of 5 weeks called I’m Ready – ready for change, ready to step up and done with the drama and the ‘bad’ stuff
  • So I am very excited about that and it’s based on colour with each week representing something, for example the first week is the green week which is about awareness, the second week is the yellow week which is about having love, life and laughter in your life because when it gets tough the first thing that goes is you forget how to have fun
  • The third weeks about passion and doing things that make you feel fabulous and all the passionate type things, the fourth week is the purple week and is about beyond you so it’s about the things that happen beyond you and about reaching out and the fifth week is about creating a plan
  • So I am very excited about it and that’s one of the things I am working on
  • I am also having a re-write done on the book and I have started off with a young publisher in New York and we are doing a bit of a re-hash on that and she came up with about twenty questions from the book and we will be putting those answers at the end of the relevant chapters that will be a digital format this time, I won’t go hard copy again
  • So they’re the two things that get me fired up and out of bed in the morning

What is something in your future that scares you?

  • That I will lose my independence and have to be dependent on somebody
  • So I am trying to stay healthy but I’ve always been tall and slim so I haven’t had to worry about that but lately a few kilo’s have snuck in so I am staying active and being interested and just doing things
  • I can’t see myself sitting on a verandah and knitting although I did do patchwork for ten years
  • I think I was led to that because it was what sustained me because Les (my husband) had every heart condition known to man in the last twenty years and we spent a lot of time in hospitals and it was my patchwork that sustained me. Where ever we went I would just sit in the corner and sew
  • It was what calmed me and helped me cope with what was going on around me

Five Fast Fun Fearless Facts about Di Riddell

  1. Who inspires you? Coco Chanel – she is one amazing woman. A couple of years ago when I did my website I was looking for someone who was sort of an icon and their quotes and the women I found I didn’t like their quotes and I accidentally fell across hers so I started to look into her and she was born in 1882. For her to do what she did, on her own, in that period of time is just incredible. She came from humble beginnings and she was an amazing woman who was driven, she was a survivor, she achieved and her legacy lives on today. She did three things for women – she got them out of corsets, she created Chanel 5 and she popularised the little black dress.
  2. Favourite thing to do each day? I love music and I always have music playing in the house because it can take me somewhere else in a heartbeat. Relaxation music, rock n roll, country – anything that’s happy music – uplifting music
  3. What’s something that still scares you? I said it earlier, being dependent and I still get a bit scared of financial things because of the environment I was brought up in and I wouldn’t have anything to do with finances when Les was alive and then when he wasn’t there anymore I had to learn how to handle finances which was quite a journey
  4. Favourite technique or app or book? I love the American author Saar – author of Succulent Wild Woman – they’re not a continuous story as such but they are very naïve. She has naïve angels and she too has been through the rough stuff and her books are just amazing, very uplifting, very inspirational and sometimes you get a giggle out of it but she just makes you think. Favourite process is my five-minute confidence plan and I use EFT tapping
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one thing in the world right now, what would it be and why? To remove the abuse against women so that they could have the confidence to stand up and be their ok in the world –and be safe – safety for women

Final Question

If you could turn back time what’s the one piece of advice you wish you could give your fourteen-year-old self?

  • To love and respect yourself regardless

Where can people reach out to you? www.diriddell.com

Facebook – Confidence beyond fifty

A Gift for Listeners From Di Riddell

A thirty minute one on one discovery session with Di Riddell via phone, skype or face to face to uncover your hidden confidence and begin the journey to a more confident you

By entering your name & email address we agree we won’t share your details with anyone! Di Riddell will contact you with the details of your appointment plus you may receive the occasional emails from Di Riddell. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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