In this episode, you’ll learn about the pervasive nature of negative self-talk and its consequences on self-perception, decision-making, and success, highlighting the importance of recognizing and managing these emotions to achieve personal growth.

Listen on the player in this post or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

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Cheryl Norris is a food blogger in Portland, OR where she lives with her husband. Her blog, Bakes by Brown Sugar, in business since 2018, specializes in desserts with a focus on using seasonal and quality ingredients. In addition to running her food blog business, she works full-time as an engineer. She loves to travel, with Paris being her favorite place to visit.


  • Identify and Address Your Pain Points: Be aware of what you’re thinking and saying about yourself and what you struggle with most.
  • Journal to Increase Awareness: Journal your thoughts so that you know exactly what you say to yourself with regard to situations.
  • What is the Source of Your Self-doubt: Discover the source of thoughts – why are you feeling a certain way about situations?
  • Negative Self-Talk Impacts Your Success: Change negative self-talk to positive affirmations – only through awareness and determination can you shift your mindset.
  • Recognize and Overcome Negative Self-Talk: Note words used about self in times of difficulty like workouts to identify patterns of self-talk.
  • Affirmations, Self-belief, and Confidence: Be conscious of what you affirm about yourself every day – do you need to change your self-talk?
  • Recognize and Overcome limiting beliefs: Break up” with limiting beliefs by deciding to break up with them, replacing them with empowering beliefs, and saying empowering affirmations daily in writing until internalized.


Click for full script.

EBT528 – Cheryl Norris

Intro 00:00

Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth, and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom. Whether that’s financial, personal, or professional. I’m Megan Porta. I have been a food blogger for 13 years, so I understand how isolating food blogging can be. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.

Megan Porta  00:38

Cheryl Norris is a food blogger in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband. Her blog Bakes by Brown Sugar has been in business since 2018. She specializes in desserts with a focus on using seasonal and quality ingredients. In addition to running her food blog business, she works full time as an engineer. She loves to travel with Paris being her favorite place to visit. Hello, Cheryl. Welcome back to the podcast. How are you today?

Megan Porta  00:38

You all know how much I love talking about mindset and how important I think it is. I know it is. This episode was really exciting to record. My interview with Cheryl Norris, she is the food blogger behind Bakes by Brown Sugar was so fun. I could have gone on and on talking to her. She talks about the core belief system and how our core belief systems are our fundamental beliefs about ourselves, others and the world around us, and how these affect our businesses and our lives. We talked about how we need to just first of all, be aware of what we’re thinking and saying about ourselves. And Cheryl talks through a few steps that follow awareness that we can implement in order to take control of our thoughts and our words so that our beliefs about ourselves change. This will change your business and this will change your life. I promise. It is powerful stuff. Tune in. I hope you enjoy it. It’s episode number 528. Sponsored by RankIQ. 

Sponsor  01:43

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Cheryl Norris  03:40

Hey Megan, I am doing great.

Megan Porta  03:43

So good to have you for the second time around. 2022 was your last time on the podcast. So it’s been a while. So good to have you back. We’re gonna talk about mindset today, mindset check ins and why we should be doing these consistently. Yes. Do you have a second fun fact to share with us before we get started?

Cheryl Norris  04:01

I do. So my fun fact is about where the name for my blog came from. So last time I was on I mentioned the fact that I have been on the great American baking show. And on one of the days we were traveling to the studio to film an episode I was talking to one of my fellow contestants about the blog and I was trying to come up with a name. And you know, we were just going back and forth. And he said, What about Bakes by Brown Sugar? And I said that’s it. That’s it. I don’t need to consider anything else. So that’s that’s the origin. That’s how the name of a blog came to be, a van ride to the studio to film The Great American baking show. 

Megan Porta  04:43

Oh, and it’s perfect, right? Because when you hear something that you just know is right. Yep. It’s just like that’s it. There’s no other question.

Cheryl Norris  04:52

Absolutely. And I had no second thoughts about it. You know, sometimes when you think oh, I’m gonna go this direction. And then you like second guess As yourself and you’re like, oh, maybe it’s not let me do some more research. Yeah, it was. I never had any second thoughts about it. 

Megan Porta  05:07

Oh, it was meant to be it was the perfect name and how funny that it came from a fellow contestant on a van ride. Like, that’s so great. I love it. Great story. And I love the fun fact. Okay, we’re gonna talk about mindset today. Would you mind just refreshing people and giving a little bit of history on your blog, like when you started? If you want to mention the show you were on? Just bring us up to speed? 

Cheryl Norris  05:33

Yes. So the blog actually started with me sharing pictures on Instagram. And after doing that for a while, I said, Hey, I want to share recipes. So I’m going to start a blog. How hard can that be? So I appeared, I filmed the show, Great American Baking Show in the summer of 2018. And then I came home and started putting things into place. To start my blog, I was originally supposed to launch, the first week of October, and on September 29, I broke my wrist. Oh, which delay the start of the blog by lens of the blog started at the end of October. Yeah, at the end of October 2018. And then in January of 2018, I said, I’m going to turn this into a business, I’m going to treat it like a business because I went into it, thinking about it and treating it as a hobby, just something fun to do. And, you know, three months later after thinking about it, so now I’m gonna start treating this like a business and it has continued to grow. And I always tell people, if you told me in 2017, I was going to be entrepreneur, a business owner, I would have looked at you like you were crazy, because I had absolutely no interest in doing that. I don’t consider myself a risk taker. I was perfectly happy working for somebody else, you know, having working for a company where somebody else is making the big decisions. Yeah, but I’m so glad I did. And I don’t regret it for a minute.

Megan Porta  07:03

Oh, I love that story. Okay, so at what point did you realize because I think we all get to the point where we’re like, okay, I need to work on my mindset a little bit. I have to have my head in the right place, because this is no joke, right? At what point? Did you have that realization?

Cheryl Norris  07:19

I wish I could say I always knew that. But so I took this Mastermind course it started at the end of 2022. And the first thing that the instructor was working on was mindset. And I was like, why don’t we got to work on mindset, my mindset is good, you know, just just being real. And but then, as she was going over, we were talking about mindset, and she was teaching about it, I thought, oh, maybe my mindset is not where it should be, you know, with regard to business, and charging clients and different things like that. And so I found that really helpful to, you know, start changing my approach about what I believed about myself as a business person about what I’m capable of doing. So I did this mindset. I did this mastermind, and it ended, I think it ended at the end of February. And funnily enough, Joanie Simon was just launching a course. So well, this is Joanie Simon, of course, I’m going to take it right. And so Joanie, Simon starts the same thing with mindset. And I’m thinking, Oh, I just did all that work. I’m fine. You know, I still did exercises that she laid out. But I’m thinking, Oh, I’m fine. And sure enough, I’m going through all this work. And, you know, Joanie signed me took a little bit different approach, but with the same outcome. And I thought as I was going through this, like, oh, I guess I’m not fine, I guess. I guess I need more work, 

Megan Porta  08:46

More work to do. 

Cheryl Norris  08:47

Yeah, I need more work to do it. It was just so interesting, the way it just kind of happened back to back. Because I had never taken back to back courses like that before. But it was so beneficial. Because it made me realize that mindset is something that you just have to constantly be working on. And, and even though I kind of knew that, in reality, it really did not click until the end of last year, when I started this thing where anytime I had a negative reaction to something, I would stop and think about, okay, why am I having that reaction? You know, especially around business, I would really start to just personally just ask myself, Okay, why am I acting like that? Why am I hesitant or fearful or scared to do that? And that’s, you know, kind of, you know, as opposed to, Yeah, let’s go do that. More of that just hesitancy and see, and just really started doing the work or doing the practice trying to understand why I was feeling a certain way about that, because that’s where a lot of our actions come from, about how we feel about stuff, as opposed to what we know to be true. Like, we may know that yes, we should show charge for our work. But how do we actually feel about approaching that client and saying, Hey, that’s gonna be $5,000?

Megan Porta  10:09

Yeah. Do you have any examples for us? Like, what are some things that made you stop and say, Whoa, why am I feeling this? Does anything come to mind? 

Cheryl Norris  10:20

Yes. So this, it’s, I laugh about this because it took me so long to realize this. So when I first got into blogging, and even though so this story starts a while ago, but it’s relevant to your question, when I first got into blogging, everyone was talking about video, you got to do video, you got to do video. And I was like, man, another thing to learn. Like, I’m just trying to, like, figure out how to write a blog, now I got to do a video. And so for a long time, I would ask people, like, how do you get started, people were like, just do it, just do it. And so I would do video, but then the video was like, really bad. And even the people were saying, just do it, they were saying, your first few videos are going to be bad. So I would do it. And the videos were bad. I had, it felt like a struggle to shoot the video. I mean, they weren’t like complicated, long videos, but it just, it just felt like a struggle to do it. And I hated that feeling. And so I pretty much just shied away from video, I would do the little like 10 Second reels of where you know, you’re doing the, you know, taking a piece of cake, you know. That’s the type of thing. And then recently, I took a video course, it was one on one training at the end of last year. And it was it became like 180 degrees for me with regard to my mindset about video. And I realized that, for me, my best learning style is to understand, I have to understand the mechanics of how something works. It doesn’t mean that I can execute it perfectly. But if I understand the mechanics, I feel more comfortable doing it, even if it means I’m making mistakes. And then all of a sudden, I had this whole mindset, mind, shift, mindset shift about video, because I understood the mechanics, but behind that was understanding, this is my learning style. And understanding my learning style, I’m now approaching things differently and saying, That’s a cool thing to do, instead of say, Oh, another thing, that’s a cool thing to do. Let me find someone who can explain the mechanics to me, as opposed to just going out there and trying to figure it out, and then feeling frustrated and say, I don’t want to do this. This is another painful thing for me to learn to do. I now understand, this is my learning style. I’m going to embrace it, I’m not going to feel bad about it. You know, because other people say, Oh, you can figure it out, you can go do it. Just Just do it. I’m not gonna just do it type of person.

Megan Porta  13:04

I need more than just do it. Right. 

Cheryl Norris  13:08

Yeah, exactly. And I’m telling the story, because I want to encourage other people out there in the blogging world. You know, one of the things that can really help you about your belief system about you, and how you’re approaching this business is understanding what is your learning style? Yeah, how do you best learn because once I figured that out, it was like, Oh, I feel so different about this now. So I’m still like, I’m embracing video, I’m excited to do video. I don’t necessarily always have the time to do video. But my mindset has totally shifted about that, because I understand who I am better, and how I need to approach it. And when I look back over just years, would I have like learn new things, that has been the constant. Once I like paid someone to show me the mechanics, you know, either one on one or group lessons. And once I understood the mechanics, I was ready to go forth and do it. And I was okay with being bad at it because I understood the mechanics, and I knew how to correct for it.

Megan Porta  14:16

And for some people, it might be something different, right? It might not be understanding the mechanics, but it might be they don’t want to be bad at it. Or they’re afraid of how people are going to perceive them or something. But it’s just getting to the root of that. Like why are you struggling with the pain? And getting to the bottom of the issue? 

Cheryl Norris  14:38

Yeah, and for me, it was I was uncomfortable because I didn’t I didn’t understand the why, like, you know, when it comes to shooting video. Yeah, I just didn’t understand the mechanics and that’s why it was so uncomfortable for me just the way my brain works the way my personality works. It was so uncomfortable for me, because it was I don’t understand how this works. Like, yes, I know how to hold a camera. I know how to push the home button. I know how to put food in front of the camera. But I just wasn’t understanding how it all worked together

Megan Porta  15:09

Together on the technical sides. Yes. Right. So maybe that’s where people start is just pinpointing what their pains are, what their pain points are. Yep. And the things that you want to literally run and scream, run to the mountains, and all the while you’re screaming or whatever, like, those things are the things that you start with, I think. 

Cheryl Norris  15:33

I think yeah, no, I truly believe that, you know, kind of going back to just that awareness of why this is painful for you, or why you’re reading from this or? Yes, just yeah. And then started there.

Megan Porta  15:47

Right? Yeah. Because we I think we all have those things as entrepreneurs, that we literally just don’t want to go to those places we don’t want to visit, we want to run and scream. There are so many opportunities for it honestly, like you mentioned video, that’s one teeny tiny piece of the puzzle. And there could be so many other things, social media for some is a big pain point. Like, why are you avoiding social media? Getting to the bottom of that? 

Cheryl Norris  16:14

Yeah. And you know, and it’s like, in, you know, our first conversation a while back when I was saying you don’t have to do it all. And it really depends on your goals. And it could be that, you know, in the long run that thing that you’ve been avoiding, maybe it never becomes part of your your business structure. You know, there’s been a lot of conversation about joining social media. It depends on your it depends on your business. Right?

Megan Porta  16:40

Yeah, not to say that the pain has to be something you incorporate into your business. It doesn’t necessarily some people survive without social media and Instagram, believe it or not, yep. But just to address it. And just to make sure that you are understanding why you’re not doing it, I think, 

Cheryl Norris  16:55

Yes, absolutely. 

Megan Porta  16:57

Do you want to talk about the core belief system? I know, that’s something that you’ve dug into. I don’t know if a lot of people know what that is, what does that mean core belief system?

Cheryl Norris  17:05

So the way I define it in the way I was taught is your core belief system is what you truly believe about yourself or about a thing. And it’s often a combination of our thoughts about something, and maybe our emotions surrounding it. So, for instance, you know, we, we talked about video. So my core belief system for a video for a long time was, it’s difficult. And I don’t like the fact that I don’t understand I don’t like doing or I don’t have time to do, it’s just too much, or it’s just Oh, it’s just another thing I have to do. And when you have that belief on the negative side, about something, it will never, you will never be successful at it. You know, if you are approaching it with, it’s just another thing I have to do, or I don’t like it, if those are the words that are constantly coming out of your mouth or going to your brain, you will never feel successful about it. Another another way to look at a core belief system, your core belief system is that and again, this this is something I was taught and it is true. It’s about the speed limit on our roads, right? So your core belief system is just that very that deep down internal part of you. So externally, you look at the speed limit on the road. And externally, you say, Yes, that’s the law. Yes, you should obey the law. You’re saying externally. But internally, you’re thinking, and you’re on the road, and you’re like, I can go 60, 65 no problem, I need to get to where I’m going. So there’s the external piece of it that says, you’re saying yes, that’s the law. I should obey the law. But your core belief system says, I will go 65 when I need to go 65. Or when I have the opportunity to go 65. Does that make sense?

Megan Porta  19:08

Yeah, yeah, no, I love that analogy. That’s a really great way of putting it. And you can apply this to so many things to so not just the pieces of your business, but why you’re feeling a certain way inside about anything really, like anything personally, I can think of so many things right off the bat that yeah, that affects this whole thing. I mean, I’m like going down a rabbit hole my mind right now.

Cheryl Norris  19:34

Ya know, like, so yeah. So externally, you know, people so externally, people are telling you, hey, you’re beautiful. When I say beautiful, I’m thinking you know, just your personality. You know, you’re kind you’re kind person, you’re smart. You’re amazing. You’re capable. You do all these great things. So people are telling you this stuff externally, and you’re nodding your head and you say, Oh, thank you so much. But your internal dialogue is constantly Oh man, I’m failing at this. I’m not getting this done. Then why can that person over there they’re like so successful. Look at all the great things they’re accomplishing, why can’t I be like them, and you’re just always constantly second guessing yourself and just thinking about, I’m always falling short. So again, you have that external dialogue where someone is complimenting you. And you’re like, You’re nodding your head, but internally, you’re just all focused on the negative all the things you aren’t accomplishing all the things you aren’t doing, right? Am I worthy? I don’t think I’m worthy. You know, it’s just yeah, that’s, that’s your core belief system. And so it extended, it begins to express itself, in how you talk about yourself. I remember I had this co worker, you know, to be honest, she was a super nice person, but she would, she would pay me a compliment. She would say, oh, Cheryl, you’re so smart. And I really thank you. And then she would say, and I’m not as smart as you. I’m like, Oh, why are you saying that? Like, she was like, amazing at her job. And she would just say stuff. And I’m like, I’d be like, No, you’re great. Why are you like, yeah, like, you don’t even have to compare us. Like, you can pay me a compliment. I can say thank you. And we can keep it moving. You know, like, you don’t have to even compare us. 

Megan Porta  21:12

And that’s something that she verbalized. But think of all the things that people don’t verbalize the things that just go on in their minds, the negativity. I mean, if I wrote a script of my entire day of what went on in my head, I think I would be appalled. The things that I think about myself and my life, and I really do try to keep tabs on that and keep it positive. But I think most of us can say that, that we have this negative script, constantly going on in our heads, which is really sad, right to think about that. 

Cheryl Norris  21:45

It is and you know, that’s why with a with a core belief system, the first thing I think, is awareness about what you’re saying about yourself, because no one talks to you as much as you talk to yourself. You know, true, especially as food bloggers, I mean, it really it honestly, it doesn’t matter what field you work in, but you know, maybe even more. So if you have a career where you you’re entrepreneur, and you’re working by yourself a lot of time, there’s just a constant, like you said, there’s a constant dialogue going on in your head, you know, you’re working, you’re like, Oh, I can’t get this done. Or why can I figure this out? Oh, I’m not doing really good. Or you know, it’s just that constant thing. Or it’s like, oh, I can’t believe I was that stupid. I made that mistake again, or something like that. Yeah, you’re constantly talking to yourself.

Megan Porta  22:35

Yeah. I noticed when I started doing more Zoom calls when my business went from being more of a food blogger to more of, you know, the podcast side in the community and hosting, masterminds and all of that my negative scripts increased, because I was always seen by people, like so many calls throughout the week. And I noticed that I was like, Oh, my gosh, why did you say that? Why did you wear that? You know, like, I was really critical of myself, because I knew people were seeing me more. And yeah, I just had to stop it. I came to that place that you’re talking about where you’re just aware, because I couldn’t go on like that. It was crazy. So I’ve shifted to this space now where it’s, I’m hyper aware of what I’m thinking, and I stop it like what you’re saying right now? Because if I don’t it goes wild, Cheryl. I mean, it can go like, it’s so nuts. What goes on in my head sometimes like, oh, gosh, it just needs to stop. So yeah, I think when you’re in the spotlight more, and when you have more just visibility with humans, that is going to happen. 

Cheryl Norris  23:45

So that I can I can see that. Yeah, because yeah, now you’re you’re upfront. And if you’re thinking, oh, people can see all my flaws. Oh, I say ‘umm’ too much and people are going to count my ‘umms’.

Megan Porta  23:57

Even just doing podcast interviews, and I hear the things I say, I mean, I’ve probably done it 10 times already, just in our chat. Like, why didn’t I just say that? I said this again, I have these little things that I do. I know I do them and they annoy me and I don’t want to annoy everyone else. So this goes on in my head all the time.

Cheryl Norris  24:14

Yes. And nobody else notices.

Megan Porta  24:16

I’m sure everyone else is probably like what? 

Cheryl Norris  24:19

Yeah, like, yeah, talking about you. So right.

Megan Porta  24:23

Okay, so awareness is the first step like, Okay, I need to stop being so critical of myself and stop the negativity. Where do we go from there? Yes.

Cheryl Norris  24:32

So yeah, so with awareness, and that’s why I said to sometimes you stop yourself in your tracks when the thought comes to your head. So then so there’s awareness, but then it’s understanding okay, what exactly am I saying to myself, like, you know, you have this negative reaction to something. So awareness. Okay, what exactly have I been saying with regard to that and what’s the source of that? So if you journal sometimes just writing this down as part of that awareness. Okay, what exactly have I been saying? Because if I’ve been saying things like, I don’t want to do this, oh, it makes me tired. Oh, I’m no good at this, that, that manifests itself in terms of just lack of success. Because if you really don’t want to do something, let’s say someone gives you, here’s these five steps for you to grow your email list. If your reaction is, oh, another thing I have to do, I don’t have time, you’re not going to grow your email list, at least not according to that formula that that person gave you. Because you’ve already you’ve already defeated yourself by say, I don’t want to do it. So guess what, you’re either not going to do it. Or you’re going to maybe get halfway through those five steps and not finish it, or it’s just gonna be half hearted. And then you’re gonna be like, I knew it. It didn’t work. 

Megan Porta  25:54

I know. Yes. The words that we say, are so powerful. I can literally speak negative things into existence in my life. Yes, if I’m not careful, and then you realize what you you’ve done. And then you’re like, holy crap, I just made that happen.

Cheryl Norris  26:09


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Cheryl Norris  27:27

I have some words to say about that. So awareness and then discovering the source. Why am I thinking that? And so, you know, going back to that video example, you know, for me, I understand I soon understood the reason I struggle with videos, because I just didn’t understand the mechanicals the technical piece of it. And once I understood that, and then I got the exact help I needed. I was able to change my language around video. And then sometimes discovering the source because it could be a whole lot of things. It could be the people you’re hanging around with. It could be family dynamics, you know, it could come from school, it could come from church, it can come from a variety of sources. So really understanding the sources, you know, like in the food blogging world, where we often there’s always that question of, hey, how much should I charge this client? And you tell someone and so I’m one of those people like, Oh, you want me to shoot that video in exchange for private? Yes, I’d be happy to. Yes. Are you want me to like, promote your product? You know, on my on Instagram in exchange? Yes, absolutely. So just want to clear that up. 

Megan Porta  27:32

Yes. And sometimes, don’t you think that can come from just a history of thinking that your whole life like it’s a story you’ve been told, either by your parents or you learned it really young in school? Somewhere, you picked it up, and you’ve carried those stories around? Like, I am not deserving of being paid more than X amount of money or something like that? 

Cheryl Norris  29:08

Yes, absolutely. And I think it’s harder as a business person. So you know, working for somebody, you know, as an engineer is interesting, you know, there’s just like this pay scale that’s established. And it’s kind of out in the open. And people are saying, Hey, if you’re an engineer working in this industry, you should be making this pay range. And we don’t talk about that so much in the food blogging world. And it’s awful to say, but I think too, because this is such a female dominated space. I think that goes into it a little bit in terms of even the expectation of brands that if, oh, I’ll just approach her and see if she’s willing to do this in exchange for product. And we often say yes, initially till we learn better. 

Megan Porta  29:08

Yeah, it’s true. I mean, our industry is evolving so rapidly, that there really aren’t rules. Because right now, it’s just like we’re all flying around just doing doing what we think is right. But yeah, that’s a good point.

Cheryl Norris  29:59

And then even with the us discovering the source of like, say that, for me, it was understanding that I didn’t have a true genuine belief in my talents and my abilities. And so correcting that to say, Yeah, I take really good photos. And you know, in the future, I will take even better photos, but right now I’m taking good photos, and then the ones I am taking two years from now will be even more amazing. But really understanding and to me, I think that’s the source of it. For me anyway, when I was hesitant to charge was, oh, is my stuff really good enough for that? I think it is, you know, and being willing to say, No, you know, can be hard, because, and that’s the other thing too, because there’s this fear that, oh, if I say no to them, they may not come back or lose this opportunity to connect. And so the other, so part of that, you know, discovering that source for me was kind of that fear of missing out. And if I say no to this brand, about doing work for free, or in exchange for product, that I’ll lose this opportunity, and maybe they won’t like me, 

Megan Porta  30:40

Oh, that, yeah, that’s big and deep right there.

Cheryl Norris  31:23

Maybe they’ll maybe they’ll be upset with me. And I don’t know where that came from. But it was there. So then say, and then, but one of the things that helped me, you know, that mastermind was coming up with a script where I could, you know, respond in a professional manner. And, you know, say, Hey, I don’t do work in exchange for product, to protect the integrity of my brand, I’d be happy to work with you if you have a budget, but you know, being professional. And being comfortable saying no, and realizing that you say no to them, even if they don’t come back, that has nothing to do with you. Absolutely nothing to do with you. It’s about their business model is about their structure. And, you know, the two of you are just on two different wavelengths. And that’s fine. But it has nothing to do with your value. Whether or not they like you, you just don’t fit into what their structure is your business doesn’t fit with their business. 

Megan Porta  32:21

And not to take it personally, either. Right? I think a lot of us can take that sort of thing. So personally, and don’t you think a lot of this just comes down to setting yourself straight and just digging a little bit and getting to the root of the issue and changing the script and realizing that the script you’ve been carrying around has been wrong? And you just need to rewrite it?

Cheryl Norris  32:45

Absolutely. And so that’s the third, that’s the third piece of it is you so you’re aware that you’ve had this belief, understanding why you have that belief? And then the third part is what I call the breakup, the breakup with that belief, in figuring out, okay, how am I going to break up with this belief, and turn it around? Because this belief, obviously, is not helping me, it’s not good for me. It’s in no way beneficial to me. It’s holding me back. So how am I going to break up with it? And part of that is, so you made the decision, I’m going to break up with it. And so that part of that is, now you got to replace that belief, with a belief that empowers you, and set you up for success. That’s really powerful. So now you got to figure out okay, what’s that belief? What’s that belief going to be for me? And so and I’m, too I’m coming at this from because I’m a Christian. So I’m coming at this from my Christian believe, from a biblical standpoint, because you were talking about how you literally spoke that thing into existence. And that’s literally what the Bible says. It says, the power of life and death is in the tongue. The Bible says the tongue can start literally start a fire. I mean, think about so think about how powerful your words are in your life and someone else’s life. Just thinking about when you have encouraged somebody, you get even if you didn’t feel great about yourself, like maybe you’d like you were encouraging somebody else. You’re like, yeah, go get it. And you’re thinking, I need to, like believe that for myself. Because I just told this person, go do this thing. They’re amazing. They’re fantastic. I need to believe this thing about myself too.

Megan Porta  34:24

I do that all the time. I pump people up all the time on the podcast and in my groups. And then I click out of the Zoom call, and I think something terrible about myself and I’m like, wait a second, I can’t do that. It’s hard, though. It’s such a it’s such an ingrained thing. Sadly, for a lot of us just to get into that groove of thinking these same negative things. It’s like a pattern. 

Cheryl Norris  34:50

It is and it’s so interesting, because I’m this small group, there’s four of us and we chat. You know, we text all the time, personal things, business things, but when it comes to business, you know someone will jump in the group and like, Oh, I just had this negative experience, what are we going to do? And we’re like, and you know, the other three of us are like, we’re encouraging this person, we’re saying, Well, hey, maybe you can take these steps, but you’re gonna be fine because you do great work. Yes, that thing didn’t work out. But you do great work, you remember that? And then I’m thinking, as I’m writing this, I’m like, I need to take this advice for myself.

Megan Porta  35:24

Yes, take note, I know. But at least you’re aware, right? And you’re not just glossing over it and not seeing it, you are aware of that. And that is the first step to making changes with your mindset.

Cheryl Norris  35:37

Yeah, that’s why I say awareness is so key. And so. So there, you got this, you got the awareness you, you’re understanding where it’s coming from what’s driving that, you know, maybe just the emotion because I don’t know how people realize how much of what we do is driven by how we feel about something. And while our emotions are real, they’re not necessarily a true, they’re not necessarily a reflection of reality. So you can believe something like maybe, you know, like, let’s just like, take it back to high school where someone told you Oh, Sophia was talking about you. And he said, these horrible things about you. So now you’re mad. You know, while your emotions are real, the fact that that person, they never said those things about you at all, they were made it up, just to get a rise out of you. And so, yes, but in that, but now you’re mad at this person, you’re not talking to them, you know. And so that’s the other thing. People need to realize how much of what we do is driven by how we actually feel about a situation.

Megan Porta  36:39

Yeah, that’s really good. So much. I feel like in my life, I can get so caught up in feeling and emotion that I just need to stop and say. Why Where’s this coming from? Why am I feeling like this?

Cheryl Norris  36:52

Yep. And one of my favorite quotes that I heard years ago, tired eyes don’t see clearly. So when you’re tired, that’s the worst time to make decisions. 

Megan Porta  37:04

So all the time, basically. I should never make a decision.

Cheryl Norris  37:11

When I think about that, because last year, last August, I was very, very burnt out. I was just so tired. And I was questioning like, do I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t think I want to read this blog anymore. I’m just so tired. And then I remembered that quote, I said, Okay, I’m still tired right now, this absolutely is not a good time to make a decision about the future of my blog, because I recognize I was just physically tired. And then I realize, oh, wait a minute, I haven’t even taken vacation this year. I need some vacation. But that’s a good example of where you know, when yo’re especially when you’re physically tired. That’s not the time to make big

Megan Porta  37:48

decisions. Yeah. And that can be like, burnt out tired. And it can also be, I didn’t sleep well, last night at all tired, right? So there’s, for me, there’s different levels of that tired.

Cheryl Norris  37:59

Yeah, you might need to go to bed. You may need a vacation. You may need some type of break. But yeah, yes, for sure. We talk about replacing that belief with something that is life giving, empowering. Part of that starts for me with you know what, you’re just physically saying out loud, daily affirmation. For me, that starts you know, the morning I start my day with, you know, reading the Bible with prayer, but then saying out loud, those daily affirmations about what I believe about myself, what God says about me, and that’s where my daily affirmations start with, it’s obviously gonna be different than somebody else, you know, that maybe they don’t believe in God, or they have a different spiritual belief. But what have you, you know, starting that day with those daily affirmations, I think is so important. And even if you maybe don’t believe them, initially saying them until you really start to believe them, and then just doing the work, okay, why am I not believing this about myself? You know, what’s holding me back, but then continuing to save them to write them down until you get to the point where you really truly believe these things about yourself.

Megan Porta  39:09

And that can take a while, right? It’s not an overnight situation. Yeah, yeah.

Cheryl Norris  39:15

Yeah. So So years ago, our pastor had us do an exercise where we were to write down the Bible verses about what the Bible said about us as individuals. So I started the exercise. And I was finding the verses. And interestingly enough, as I was reading the verses, like, that’s not me, oh, that’s not me. So that first week, I didn’t write down anything, because as I was reading them, I I’m not there yet. You know, no, I’m not there yet. And so we come back. And I think pastor knew this was going to happen because he’s talking to us as a group. And so he started talking about the whole the core belief system and what we truly believe about ourselves, maybe versus what the world is saying about us in a good way, or what people are feeding into us in a good way versus okay, why do we believe what we believe? And so then it was a slow turnaround where I was able to start writing down those verses and accepting, okay. That’s, that’s what God is thinking about me. That’s great. Maybe I don’t believe it at this point. But I’m going to write it down. Because it’s true. I just gotta get to the point where I believe it’s true. Does that make sense?

Megan Porta  40:26

Yeah, that’s powerful, right there. Because you can hear it, and you kind of know it, like, intellectually, you know it. But you have to get to that place where you believe it? 

Cheryl Norris  40:36

Yes, yeah. And part of that, too, is just so there’s that verbal affirmation, but then you actually start doing it. So maybe in your business life, you’re saying, maybe part of your affirmation is, I’m a well organized person. So you start doing those things, to help you be organized. So maybe it’s taking really good notes, maybe as being really fit, you know, maybe it’s daily planning out your day, and writing out that one thing you’re gonna get done, maybe it’s, you’re gonna say, Hey, I’m gonna respond to my emails, I’m gonna set aside some time to respond to all these emails, you know, at the end of the day, you know, just part of that, whatever it looks like for you to be organized. You know, maybe it’s reorganizing your kitchen, as a food blogger, you go in and you reorganize your kitchen. So you everything is in a logical place to make you more efficient, you know, as you’re doing recipe testing, whatever that that organization looks like for you.

Megan Porta  41:31

And do you believe that confidence plays a role here, too? 

Cheryl Norris  41:35

Yes, learning how to do something.

Megan Porta  41:37

And just being confident in your ability, or whatever your struggle is, or your pain point. Just trying to build up your confidence in that area, so that you start believing better things about yourself. Does that make sense?

Cheryl Norris  41:50

Yeah, absolutely. And I think part of that is not being afraid to make mistakes. So I think about baking as a food blogger, I’m always making mistakes. My friends are so funny, because they’ll say Cheryl, you never like have bad bakes. I’m like, Oh, yes, I do. You just never see them. Like, I’m not gonna give you a cake that I don’t think is good. And even my husband say Cheryl that cake is fine. Babe that cake is fine. And I’m like, no, no, I can’t serve this to anybody. 

Megan Porta  42:21

Oh, that’s funny.

Cheryl Norris  42:23

But the thing of it is, in terms of, you know, being confident, part of that is, for me, the confidence not is not coming from it being perfect. The confidence comes in, oh, I’ll figure this out. So there’s maybe it’s the first time I’m making something, and I don’t know how it’ll turn out. And it doesn’t turn out great. But my confidence comes in the fact that I know I’m going to be able to figure this out. You know, I, when I put a recipe I was doing, I was trying to come up with a base cupcake recipe that I could then just couldn’t kind of take and modify different flavors. It took me eight times, I had to make that recipe 8 times, to figure out just the right ratio of event, you know, but if I hadn’t been confident in my baking abilities, after the second time, I would have been like, I can’t do this. The cake keeps falling in the center. It looks like it’s ugly. It’s not tasting. Right. But I was confident that okay, I know. I mean, figure out I know, it’s about the ratio of ingredients. So I’ll just keep tinkering with it. I get it. And I tried. I got there. But so yeah, so part of that. Is that just confidence, that confidence that you know, you’ll get there? 

Megan Porta  43:34

Yeah, I love that I wrote it down. So not necessarily the confidence about the skill or the thing you’re trying to improve, but the confidence that you can figure out what you need to figure out.

Cheryl Norris  43:44

Yeah, and I tell people that you know, like with pie dough, like, for instance, it took me years to get to make a good pie dough. So I tell people, you know, when they’re making pie dough for the first time, I said, maybe you mess it up the first few times, but it will get you will get there where Oh, yeah. Okay, no, I can make a pie though. It took me you know, a few tries to get it right. But I feel like that’s, at least for me, that’s always been the case for baking. Anytime I’m learning something new. It takes me a few tries to like where, okay, I got it now. It’s, it’s good. But it takes me a few tries. But I’m, again, I’m confident in my ability to figure it out. So I keep going until like, I know, I’m gonna get through this because I know it’s possible to do this well, I just got I just got practice to get there.

Megan Porta  44:33

Yes, yep. Keep at it. So if I am wondering if there might be people listening who aren’t aware that maybe they need to work on their mindset. So what things should they be on the lookout for?

Cheryl Norris  44:46

That’s a really good question. I think if you feel like you’re struggling and you’re not making progress the way you want to, I think that’s yeah, I think that’s a good place to start to Say, Okay, what do you say about yourself? Were you thinking about that situation? And then something sometimes are out of your control, like, for those of us who got hit by the Google update? Yeah, you know, some guys are just that, you know, like it happens. And so like, okay, my blog traffic is not where I need to be. Okay, what’s gonna be my strategy? How do I feel about that? How do I feel about the fact that my traffic is down? Do I feel great about it? No, am I bummed about it? Absolutely. But how do I feel about the business overall, about what I’m doing? And I love aspects of my business. I love the recipe creation. I love the photography, so I’m definitely going to keep doing it and then understand, okay, what changes do I need to make? And, and for those of us who are like, you know, like, just feeling bad about it, it’s okay to feel bad about the loss of traffic, that is normal. But be careful about that translating into you feeling bad about yourself? 

Megan Porta  45:58

Does that make sense? Yes. And it’s easy for that to translate. I was like, Well, what’s wrong with me? Why did this happen? And then you start blaming you. And before you know it, you have all these scripts written in your head that you’re saying about yourself that aren’t true? 

Cheryl Norris  46:11

Yeah. And then other ways to be aware of that is the next time you’re struggling with something. Be aware of the words you’re saying to yourself? Are you saying, Oh, I’m so stupid, I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out. Because I’ve said that, and my husband has corrected me is that Don’t say that about yourself? And like, you’re right. Or, or you saying, you know, or if you’re struggling with something, oh, I’m never gonna figure this out. Or do you say, you know, I’m tired? I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to bed. I’ll come back to this tomorrow. Yeah,

Megan Porta  46:40

yeah. So yeah, I

Cheryl Norris  46:42

just, I would say right now, for people who are just becoming aware of the whole mindset, start really paying attention to what you’re saying to yourself. We all deal with stuff every day. I mean, it could be something as simple as, usually, if you work out on a regular basis, what are you seeing in that moment? When the workout becomes hard? Are you saying, okay, my body, you know, my mind is gonna give out before my body, this is what I say to myself. My mind is gonna get out before my body will. So I’m gonna keep going. Because I already know like, mentally, I’m ready to stop. But physically, I can keep going. 

Megan Porta  47:13

Yeah, that’s a really good example. Yeah, just what are you in the habit of saying? Or thinking in times of distress? Like, when you’re in a workout? That’s not super fun all the time are easy. What are you saying? Are you encouraging yourself? Or are you telling yourself that you can’t do it? Yep. Yeah, just being aware. So maybe people could just note the things that they’re thinking as they go through their day for a few days. And just like, oh, my gosh, I didn’t even know I was saying that to myself about my workout or about getting on an interview, or whatever it is. And then kind of learning about yourself from there. 

Cheryl Norris  47:51

Yeah. Or just even when you’re maybe a brand has approached you, and you’re trying to come up with a number. Let’s say your number is, let’s say your number is $6,000. By the time you add up everything, your hours, the deliverables, are you saying, Oh, they’re never gonna pay that? Yeah, they probably don’t have that much money. Those are limiting beliefs. Because what you don’t know that they’re not going to pay that. You actually don’t know how much money they have, unless they’ve actually said, hey, my budget is $4,000 up front, you don’t know truly what they have or what their budget is. But you’ve already limit your limit yourself. And so you might say, okay, they’re never gonna pay $6,000. So I’ll drop it down to $4500. Like you, like, have like, put yourself out of $1,500. Like you, you have wrestled with yourself and lost. Yes. Like, they’re like, you haven’t even presented it to the brand yet. And you’re already saying, Okay, I’m gonna cut, I’m gonna cut my fee by $1500. And you haven’t even had a discussion with them about it. And you know, they might come back and say, Hey, we only have $4,000. And let’s say, oh, okay, well, let me rework those numbers when you rework the deliverables. But, you know, if you’ve taken yourself out of a race before you’ve even like, stepped up, that’s a very limiting belief. And that’s a good example. Like, if anyone’s in that situation right now, where you’re, you know, you’re trying to come up with an estimate for a brand. Are you telling yourself, they’re never gonna pay that that’s too much money? What did they say? No. Again, that can be a limiting belief, because you’re afraid of that word. No. Which again, I’ve been there. And so you’re afraid to present that. But I say, you should always be willing to present a bit that makes your heart pan like when you hit that, you know, when you hit this return button, and your heart is like, oh, my gosh, that is so much money.

Megan Porta  49:45

Freaking out just a little bit is good. That’s a good sign. 

Cheryl Norris  49:48

Yeah, that’s a good sign that you’re like super, super nervous about it. Yeah, that’s a good sign.

Megan Porta  49:52

Yeah. Oh, this is so good. I think this is such an important topic. I know that you all hear me talk about mindset. a lot on this podcast. And I think a lot of people automatically assume that they don’t need it like you were Cheryl back in whatever year that was when you were like, I don’t need this. What are they talking about mindset for I was there too once. But having been through a lot of years of being an entrepreneur, I have seen the power of it. My business has grown because of mindset, leveling up with my mindset and just tapping into it. My numbers have grown, my revenue has grown, my friendships, my networking, everything grows once you start paying attention to this, so stop dismissing it, embrace it, know that you do need to work on it, in order to grow your business and to be just a healthier person in general, I think. Yeah, absolutely. It’s so important. And I will not stop talking about it. Because it is so important. 

Cheryl Norris  50:55

No, and for people who might want to dismiss it as a like a woowoo type of thing. Again, think about it. You know, again, going back to like doing brand work, if you have ever been in the situation, where again, you’re afraid to tell a brand, hey, this is going to cost $6,000? Then you need to do mindset work.

Megan Porta  51:16

Yeah. So like we mentioned, there’s so much opportunity for us to do this mindset work and level up in little areas of our business and in big areas of our business. And just in being a human just existing as a human who interacts with people, daily families and loved ones, you need mindset work. Trust me. It’s a constant process. We all need it. Yeah, not just you. And me and you and Cheryl, but all of us. We all need it.

Cheryl Norris  51:45

No, it’s a daily thing. And yeah, one of the things I’ve actually started on is envisioning what I want my week to look like. So it’s a little bit different than what I’ve been doing, where I kind of plan out my week and say, Oh, we’re gonna do this and do that. But I’m trying to take a step back, and what do I want my week to look like? And how do I want to feel throughout the week? Like, does that make sense? Like, I have my to do list and you know, like, I’m really good at to do lists. But I’ve started to really think about what will my ideal week look like? And then I’m trying to get it to where, like, that’s my ideal week, every week, but I’m just taking it week by week. So right now, just what, what’s my ideal week for this week?

Megan Porta  52:29

No, I think that’s really smart. Because it’s bite sized chunks, you can deal with a week what you want your retail look at, sometimes I do my year, what do I want year to look like? Someone just prompted me the other day to think five years ahead. And that was really weird for me. But it was really cool. Like, if you could look back and tell yourself, what your life had been over the past five years, that sort of thing. And that really does start to shape your mindset. And just knowing the things you want to happen in a certain timeframe. I think it’s really good to get into the habit, even if it is just a week like you do or a day. What do you want your day to look like? 

Cheryl Norris  53:06

Oh, yeah. When I when I did goal setting at the beginning this year, I started with what are the 50 things I want? It was it was an exercise I got from somebody else, I think Oh, yeah. Cliff Ravenscraft. Yeah. Yes, yes. Yes. Yeah. So I did, what are the 50 things? I want no judgment. And so I just like, did the whole thing. And I had to stop myself from judging myself. Because I was like, I don’t know, that just seems kind of like, you know, out there. Or I know that seems kind of selfish. Yeah. Right. But I did it. And it was really fun. Because then I really counted out what I want by the end of the year, what do I want three years what I want five years, it really starts to get your mind going in that direction. And then what is it going to take? Yeah, what is it going to take to get there? 

Megan Porta  53:53

Yep, I feel like we could go on and on. This is such an important and fun topic to talk about. Thank you for bringing this to the table. Is there anything you want to mention quick before we start saying goodbye, Cheryl? 

Cheryl Norris  54:03

No, I think this was a really fun conversation. And I appreciate the work that you’ve done talking about mindset and self care, I really think is such a huge part of our business that often gets ignored. But it really does lay the foundation for our success in business.

Megan Porta  54:20

Yes. Amen to that. I so agree. As you know, I appreciate you bringing this to the table just with a little bit of a different spin than what I normally talk about. We speaking for everyone, I appreciate all the stuff that you talked about today. So Thank you Cheryl so much for being here. It’s such a pleasure to chat with you again.

Cheryl Norris  54:38

I feel the same talking to you too. Yeah, I love it.

Megan Porta  54:41

So great. Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today?

Cheryl Norris  54:46

Yeah, so is what I said earlier is that the power of life and death is in the tongue.

Megan Porta  54:53

Yep. I’m glad you pulled that out because it is so true. Be careful what you say. Use caution. We’ll put together another show notes page for you Cheryl if you want to go look at those head to eat blog tell everyone where they can find you Cheryl.

Cheryl Norris  55:10

So yes, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest @bakesbybrownsugar is the same for all three.

Megan Porta  55:18

Awesome everyone go check out Cheryl’s stuff and her amazing content and thank you so much for listening food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro  55:29

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat BlogTalk don’t forget to rate and review a blog talk on your favorite podcast player. Thank you and I will see you next time.


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