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Dancing in the Discomfort Zone with Anne Bonney
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Dancing in the Discomfort Zone with Anne Bonney

Author: Anne Bonney

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Let's face it, life is uncomfortable. Whether it's interacting with other humans (or trying to), going after our goals and improving our lives, or understanding other people's perspectives, preferences and proclivities, being able to face the discomforts in life with courage, compassion, confidence and resilience will make life a lot more enjoyable! So join me as we DANCE IN THE DISCOMFORT ZONE! We'll explore new ideas, learn how to build our confidence, courage and resilience, and laugh a little too, because life is serious enough. We need a little cha cha, and a little ha ha every once in a while! Welcome to the Discomfort Zone with Anne Bonney!

251 Episodes
Hurricanes are a part of living in FL.  Michigan has snow, Kansas has tornados, California has earthquakes, DC has's just the facts!  Here in Florida, for 8 weeks a year, it might get windy.  I've lived here for a little over a year, and have experienced 2 major hurricanes.  SPOILER ALERT: everything worked out beautifully for me in the end, but I was sure dancing in the discomfort zone during the evacuation and storm waiting process, so I thought I'd share 3 lessons I learned this time, as Idalia was barreling down on us.  They might help you with your next crisis!
Becoming a professional artist takes talent, courage and tenacity!  Jacqueline Bruce ( has all 3 and more!  In this episode she shares her journey, her losses and the power of believing in yourself to move forward!  She also talks about her physiological evolution, and how she embraced the new developments that her instrument displayed!  A great message to us all to let go of the old identity as our new self develops.Want to hear Jacqueline Sing?  The introductory song in the podcast episode was sung by her in 1999 (listen here Here is her Sound Cloud profile with more recent singing!
Becoming a gold medalist in the Olympics is a feat in and of itself, but doing it after doctors tell you you'll never ski again is a whole nother ballgame!  How do you know when it's right to go with your intuition and continue to push towards your dream?  Nikki Stone ( tells us about her journey doing just that!  She's danced in MANY discomfort zones, and has fabulous insights to share, even if we're not olympic athletes!Want more from Nikki?Book: An American HeroAt the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Nikki Stone became America’s first-ever Olympic Champion in the sport of inverted aerial skiing. What made this performance so unbelievable, was the fact that less than two years earlier, a chronic injury prevented her from standing, much less walking or skiing down a slope at almost 40 miles per hour.  Nikki came dangerously close to being sidelined from aerial skiing indefinitely.Her tenacity and refusal to step down from a challenge brought Nikki Stone back to the top of the freestyle skiing podium. This top spot was far from foreign to Nikki, as throughout her career she earned 35 World Cup medals, eleven World Cup titles, four national titles, two yearlong Aerial World Cup titles, and a World Championship title.  She also became the first pure aerialist ever—male or female—to become the yearlong Overall Freestyle World Cup Champion.
Andy grew up like Huck Finn with a motor on the intercoastal waterways of Savannah, Georgia. He spent eight months a year at sea serving in the US Navy out of Japan launching jets off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. As a bestselling author and speaker he openly shares his story of fighting a six year battle to save his son’s life and the powerful lessons he has learned along the way. Want more from Andy? MY e-mail list: 
Every time I teach an Emotional Intelligence workhop, someone asks "Ok, but how do I get my boss/co-worker/staff/spouse to be more self-aware?".  So I welcomed Dr Erika Michalski ( back to the show to share her educated opinions and perspectives on how to help others realize that their actions and words are NOT having the desired impact!  We go through some amazing strategies to help others in a way that they're most likely to actually listen!  Dr Erika also talks about parenting, and other assorted fascinating topics, so buckle up for this energetic ride through everything you've always wanted to hear!!Dr Erika Michalski is the founder and CEO of Strategically Authentic, a consulting company dedicated to helping people leverage who they are to get where they want to be. From keynotes to workshops to individual coaching, she chooses to frame her work in the most current information around neuroscience, positive psychology, employee engagement, emotional intelligence, human evolution, and just a hint of behavioral economy … In other words, there’s a little something for everyone when Dr. Erika gets involved!
Sam Demma , best-selling author of Empty YourBackpack ( and one of the youngest keynote speakers in the education and association space joins us today to share his metaphor of the backpack that we all carry that's full of the weight of everyone elses opinions and words!  He shares strategies on how to empty that backpack of the stuff that doesn't serve us, to make space for all the things that will!  In this fabulous episode we talk aboutSam's loss of direction after a sports career ending injuryHow he turns negatives into positivesThe powerful 2 questions he applies before taking on any advise from othersHow he shows up, even in a small way, to make a huge difference!You're going to want to know more about Sam, so here are the links!Website: https://www.samdemma.comInstagram: Demma is a best-selling author and one of the youngest keynote speakers in the Education and Association sectors. He co-founded the volunteer organization PickWaste, delivered two TEDx talks, and—as a result of his exceptional contributions to Canada—was awarded the prestigious Queens Platinum Jubilee Award.Thanks for listening.
A friend once said "Grief is love with nowhere to go."  It's a winding road with no end and no logic, especially when dealing with the death of your child after a long battle with mental health challenges and addiction.  Barbara Legere, ( courageously tells her story, and provides guidence on talking to people who are grieving.  Her book "Talk To Me, I'm Grieving" JUST came out, so grab a copy and learn how to support people going through a difficult time!  Get Barbara's new book: http://barbaralegere.comLinkedIn URL URL URL Legere is the bestselling author of Keven’s Choice. She has just completed her second book, Talk to Me I'm Grieving. Her writing has been featured in Prevention Magazine, Salon, Huffington Post, and Authority Magazine for her work in advocating for those suffering from substance abuse, mental health issues, and grief. In addition, she is a sought-after podcast guest speaking on grief awareness, suicide prevention, and compassion for substance abuse disorder. She is a volunteer for the non-profit, TIP, (Trauma Intervention Program) where she is called on scene by first responders to give emotional support and help to those involved in traumatic incidents, typically involving the death of a loved one.Barbara's genuine kindness and concern for the wellbeing of others, especially those suffering grief, depression and substance use disorder, makes her a popular podcast guest.She lives in Southern California with her sister, cat, tortoise, and three dogs.  
Having difficult conversations is one of the most challenging things in all human interaction.  We just want to get along.  Our feelings are hurt.  We just don't want to create conflict, or have to deal with the resistance of others.   But whether it's conflict in our romantic relationships, corrective conversations with people who work with us, or conflict in the office, we have to have these tough conversations in order to move through life, so learning how to do them is how we do it!  This week, by your request, I welcome Dr Laura Sicola, Leadership, Communication and Influence expert to talk about how to approach these conversations!  She jam packs this with very clear how-tos.  We talk aboutAssuming positive intent (we've talked about this before people! listening: staying neutral so they truly feel heardThe importance of taking notes so you can truly listen to understandThe difference between humility and humilitation and how to use the latter to truly hear someone and preserve both of your dignity!Separating intention from impact so you can see their experience even if it wasn't how at all how you meant it to go!Focusing on what they DO as the problem rather than who they are!  (The DO vs the BE!)Want to get that Listening to Understand protocol?  Go to and say "I'd like the 'listening to understand protocol' that you discussed on Dancing in the Discomfort Zone podcast!" or something like that!Go check out her TedX talk that has nearly 7 million views!!!  "Want to sound like a Leader? Start by Saying Your Name Right": more from Dr Laura Sicola? Business Page: @LauraSicola Instagram: Listen to her PODCAST, Speaking to Influence: Communication Secrets of the C-Suite more from your host Anne Bonney?  Here!  :) you for listening!!  
Whitney Brewer ( is on a quest to empower women through her artform.  In this insightful and enlightening episode, we talk about shame, blame and guilt and how she helps people become more confident, more empowered, and step into discomfort and overcome.  Through her photography and her emotional brand consulting, she has changed lives, and she tells us how.In this episode we talk aboutHow she creates a safe space for people to be vulnerable.The power of her photography in people's lives and relationshipsHer own experience with boidoir and erotica photographyHow she helps people dance in the discomfort zone, and be bigger and stronger and sexier on the other side...for themselves.Want more from Whitney?  I got you!Www.whitneybrewer.comInsta: @whitneybrewer_Email:
In this enlightening discomfort zone dance, Joe Apfelbaum, CEO of Ajax Union and a renowned LinkedIn expert, shares valuable insights on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize your LinkedIn strategy. Covering six key areas, Joe discusses the immense potential of AI tools in optimizing LinkedIn for professional success.Part one delves into the power of AI-driven content creation and reveals how AI can generate compelling posts and comments effortlessly. By automating these processes, you can save time and focus on other essential tasks while maintaining a consistent online presence.Part two explores additional AI applications. Joe highlights the potential of AI for crafting personalized invitation notes and writing recommendations on LinkedIn. These tools help establish meaningful connections and boost credibility, ultimately leading to more networking opportunities. Additionally, AI-powered direct messaging templates can streamline communication and facilitate follow-ups.Throughout the interview, Joe emphasizes the need for proper validation and control when using AI tools. By incorporating AI tools into your LinkedIn strategy, you can optimize your profile, enhance engagement, and unlock new networking possibilities.  (and yes, I  used ChatGPT to write this summary!)Connect with Joe on LinkedIn:  (or are the links we talked about in the
First time cruising: checkKeynote at 10:30pm: checkNew format speech: checkI was dancing in the discomfort zone big time y'all, so I thought I'd share the adventure!  Yes, even your host gets uncomfortable sometimes, and it all centered around unknowns and unexpected wrinkles that required quick changes of the plan.  (and I love a good changes too it often have me reaching for the Tums!)Join me as I share my dance!  Want to know more about my craziness??  Here!
Creativity takes risk, and sometime in your past, you may have taken that risk and been judged or rejected, and many of us learn, it's not safe to put our ideas out there, and we stifle our creativity, and believe we are not!  Well you are, and Dr Caroline Brookfield ( is here to help you reclaim your creativity!  In this episode we talk aboutLearning how to increase your tolerance for ambiguityNot to reject any ideas, however crazy, too early!The importance of investing the time in daydreaming.All of the different manifestations of creativity!  (it's not just painting and singing!  It can be in Excel too!)Want more from Dr Carline Brookfield?Here's her website!  www.carolinebrookfield.comyoutube @carolinebrookfieldinstagram @artfulscienceLinkedin 
When I heard about Josh Stinton's ( Marathon across the Sky, I knew I needed to invite him to the studio to come chat, and boy he did not disappoint.  Meet someone who is dancing in the discomfort zone a lot, having a ton of fun, meeting amazing, madly intelligent people, and raising tons of money for great causes.  In this episode we talk aboutHide and Seek World Championships ( Road Unicycle Races ( Bicycling across the Atlanticand his upcoming adventure, a marathon in the skyAnd how he takes on all these challenges with tons of prep, but very little experience!Check out his website: about that fabulous instagram? here's how you subscribe to my mid-week energizer e-mail!
What I thought was going to be an academic conversation about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion turned into a fabulously insightful connection with an amazing human to talk about so much more!Di Ciruolo (  is an author, speaker and justice advocate. Her first book Ally Up, discussed her experiences supporting tech People departments through growing their equity awareness; building programs both in the US and abroad. Di's second book, Indomitable ( , is a more personal book which details her experiences as a ward of the state in the Massachusetts foster care system. Her life growing up on the outside as a foster kid with neurodiversity has given her a unique understanding of humanness that informs her practice and her life. Di’s passion is freeing other humans from the guilt and self-harm that can come from trauma and loss, and she has a love/hate relationship with public speaking. Di loves her made-family, Fleetwood Mac, trotty dogs, and standing in the ocean in her purple wellies year-round. Di tries each day to embody the Dolly Parton quote: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Di is a mother to two neurospicy kids and is married to her partner, Jay, and they enjoy a coastal grandmother lifestyle.Want more from Di?  Website http://www.diciruolo.comGET THE BOOK!
Bryan Martin and I have been friends since I was a blonde animal trainer at the New England Aquarium in Boston.  He is a lifelong dancer (just recreationally) and who knew he would use that past-time to help him get through one of the most terrible experiences of his life, the tragic loss of his life partner.  In this fun and inspiring episode, we talk about How he used dancing to pull himself up when all he wanted was to be down.How he faced reality and chose lifeThe Internet support and infamy that has resultedAnd we laugh and shamelessly walk down memory lane (because catching up with old friends is so life affirming!)Oh, and if you have Alexa, please yell "HEY ALEXA...WHO IS SEALION BRYAN?" right now.  Thank you!SO GO NOW to his social media (whichever you enjoy the most...he's on all of them) and TRY NOT TO SMILE.  (it's not possible!)  and if you're finding it hard to dance through your own grief, maybe grab his book The Widowed Dancer: Growing Through Grief With Gratitude.  Facebook: @sealionbryanThe Widowed Dancer Book on Amazon: for more information on your host Anne Bonney, go to https://YourChangeSpeaker.comThanks for listening!
One of my favorite Emotional Intelligence exercises to help me deal with tough situations!  Enjoy!If you  want to join my Mid-Week Energizer e-mail list, here's that link. if you want other stuff from! for listening
3 people reached out and said "Networking makes me uncomfortable, do an episode on that!" so my wish is your command, and this week I welcome Gina Glover (, Speaker and Career and Networking coach to share some fabulous insights about networking and how to make it a bit less uncomfortable.  We talk aboutHow to build confidence so you can make it more easily from the car to the networking eventShifting your mindset around networking to make it more effective (and less dreadful!)A little name recognition tactic for higher impact networkingFollowing up after a networking event.  For the online career networking events she mentioned in the episode, Samuel's book about Croissants vs Bagels that she mentioned: song she sang for listening!! 
WHY do some of us seek out discomfort?  To strengthen our tolerance muscles and grow and learn about ourselves and to enrich our lives. Lisa Corrado (  is currently hiking the Camino de Santiago ( and she took some time out of her rest day to chat with me and tell me about all the dancing she's been doing.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, it's better than hot cocoa after shoveling your driveway in a snowstorm!  
We've all worked in a place with a toxic work culture, and we all know how horrible it can be so this week I welcome Mary Ceccanese, Owner and Principal Consultant at  Dynamic Connections LLC ( to tell us about some of the research and action step she helps managers take in order to create a workplace with increased engagement and employee retention!  Somewhere where employees can thrive!We talk aboutThe value of a positive workplace from a research perspectiveHow to build high quality connectionsThe importance of employees feeling valued not just for their accomplishmentsWant more from Mary?  Here are some links. And here are those cool cards I mentioned at the end of the episode. Ceccanese is the owner and principal consultant of Dynamic Connections LLC. Celebrating more than fifteen years of presenting interactive seminars and workshops to all levels of staff in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, she engages attendees with research-based practices applied to work-life scenarios. Mary was one of the 2019 “Top Ten Business Women” in the country of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). She is currently the District V Vice President in ABWA. 
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence and in this week's episode, I dive into self-awareness with speaker, podcaster and emotional intelligence aficionado Courtney Stanley (  We go all in on what it is, why it matters and how we can improve it!We talk aboutHow self-awarness helps build stronger teams, a more positive and productive work culture, and ultimately drives meaningfl change.Questions you can ask to build your self-awarenessHow your ego can get in the way of developing your emotional intelligence, and a few ways to leave it at the doorThe universe's response to your decision to work on something.Want more from Courtney?  Here are the links!IG/TW/FB: @courtneyonstage Website: Linkedin: for listening.  Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss one uncomfortable step, and if you're looking for a fun, interactive presentation on Emotional Intelligence, or leadership people want to follow, let's chat!
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