The PowerHouse Collective: Confidence Can Be An Ugly Process

It was a privilege to be able to interview Jana Shortal a television reporter who, in addition to being amazing at her job, is challenging commonly held notions about what a female reporter is “supposed to look like”. You may have heard about her earlier this year when a gossip columnist tried to body shame her choice of attire while reporting on one of the biggest stories in Minnesota history. Well, Jana was just listed (as #1 I might add) in Shape Magazine’s 10 Badass Women Who Made 2016 Better By Clapping Back at Body-Shaming Haters.

In this interview Jana shares that confidence is like a sausage – you don’t really want to know what goes into making it, because it’s not pretty. And there’s a big difference between false confidence and authentic belief and comfort with one’s self.

Jana Shortal is a reporter and co-anchor of KARE11’s new 6:30 show Breaking the NewsHailing from small town southern Illinois, she is learning a whole new meaning of “winter” here in the Twin Cities. Jana began reporting for KARE in December of 2003, just in time for the temperatures to fall below her idea of freezing. But, she’s excited about the opportunities to live and learn here in the north. Jana has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. She loves to run, having been in road races for more than 10 years. She’s a writer as well and says she’s working on making her journal into something the masses will read. You can keep up with her on Facebook or Twitter @janashortal

At PowerHouse Performance we offer keynotes, half- and full-day programs in addition to one-on-one coaching to help leaders and employees improve resiliency, performance, confidence and health. Please let us know how we can help your organization.

What To Do When Things Suck

While I love being an entrepreneur and there’s nothing else I’d rather do, it sometimes TOTALLY SUCKS.

Everything rides on my shoulders (no wonder my back has been killing me lately – seriously), it’s constant stress, lonely and the ups and downs can slap you like a redheaded stepchild. Which I am, by the way.

In the down cycles of life, it’s easy to let fear, self-doubt and panic have their way with us. It can even happen in the up cycles…being too busy, dreading the coming of the next down cycle or even feeling like we don’t deserve it.

Here are 5 things you can do when life totally sucks:

  • Ask for help. While it was really, REALLY hard for me to do, I finally reached out for help. I’m working hard to grow my business and continuously improve my skills, but there are a LOT of things I don’t know. I’m a self-starter and like to do things myself, but I’ve basically been using popsicle sticks, wooden matches and hot glue to build my business, while there are backhoes, cranes and metal beams available. It’s ok to not know everything in life or be able to do everything yourself! Stop wasting time and energy and find people and resources to fill the gaps.
  • Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a student or work in the corporate world, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind of immediate day-to-day details, long hours and the never-ending road in front of you. Not fun. When I think about how much I love being able to make a positive difference in people’s lives, it’s all worth it and keeps me pushing forward. If you have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing, now is a good time to reflect. Maybe it’s time for a change.
  • Burn it off. A workout is the best way to change your state of being. It rids your body of stress hormones and produces bliss molecules like endorphins and endocannabinoids (think marijuana without the munchies!). It gives you time and space away from your problems. You can think about everything or nothing. I just had someone tell me they “rage lifted”: lifted weights so hard and with so much anger because of a crappy day at work. Thanks for big muscles, jerk boss!
  • Is it true? I was having a bad day and found myself thinking “My life totally sucks!”. And then I managed to laugh, because I asked myself if that was really true. And it wasn’t. AT ALL. Just one thing sucked big time at the moment, and I was letting it overshadow all the goodness, love and abundance in my life. We are evolutionarily hardwired for negativity to assume the worst, but the next time the voices in your head are planning for the end of the world, ask yourself “Is it true?”. It’s most likely not.
  • What’s working? And that brings us to gratitude. It’s easy for the most negative, immediate circumstances in our lives to overshadow all the good. Take one minute to write down all the things in your life that are working, and that you are grateful for. It immediately changes our perspective.


At PowerHouse Performance we offer keynotes, half- and full-day programs in addition to one-on-one coaching to help leaders and employees improve resiliency, performance, confidence and health. Please let us know how we can help your organization.

No One Is Immune

A few days before I posted the video on the importance of recovery, I unexpectedly and completely LOST MY SHIT. I suddenly reached a breaking point where I whipped a bag of carrots at the kitchen wall, they exploded all over the floor and down the basement steps. While this surprised the hell out of me (as well as my wife), it didn’t stop there. The flood gates opened and I was filled with what I can only describe as rage. I stomped. I huffed. I not-so-gently “returned” the laundry basket back to the basement. I cried. And scared the crap out of our 16-year-old daughter.

I say I “unexpectedly” lost my shit because this is not my M.O. It takes a lot for me to lose it, to cry or to be out of control. For most of the time, I’m totally fine…until I’m not. And then “all of a sudden” I’m REALLY not fine. And it surprises and shocks me each time it happens.

But if I’m to be honest and reflective, there’s nothing sudden or shocking about these rare but epic events. While I am really great at exercising regularly, eating well, getting 9-10 hours of sleep a night and getting alone/downtime (airplanes, hotel rooms, home office) as recovery, it’s not always enough. And I don’t do a good job of acknowledging how stress is affecting me. I’m tough. I can get through anything. Keep pushing.

I’ve been in constant pain relating to my back and my rheumatoid arthritis. It’s winter: cold, dark and a season I loathe. What’s going on politically and socially has been upsetting. And a bigger part of the picture is that I’ve been under a lot of stress with my business lately – traveling a ton (while other months are slower), launching new content, trying to increase sales and revenue, dealing with a difficult but important client – all while NOT having a business degree. Oh my god, let’s be honest, there are so many times when I feel like I have no business running a business!

And a couple of days ago I had the realization that what I do in my leisure time is clean and organize. No lie. I used to do aerial trapeze until my back got worse. I used to do duathlons. I went online and found a bullwhip instructor (god bless the internet!) to teach me how to use it because I saw it in Zoomanity and thought it looked fun. I know how to knit, weld, weave a basket, do stained glass and bellydance. I used to be an interesting person. I’m now someone who works a lot and gets their jollies from vacuuming and neatness. SNOOZE. I’m also an incredibly social person who loves being around other people, but I work from home. When I travel and speak I’m surrounded by other people, but there’s not much of a deep connection that happens. I am a hermit. A really boring, stressed out, tidy hermit. Who throws carrots.

Just for reference, here’s the level of excitement in my office right now.

Me and one of my co-workers. One of us has an attitude problem. Me and one of my co-workers. One of us has an attitude problem.

Before this gets too long and convoluted, there are two things I want to share with you.

  • No one is immune to stress or self-doubt. Whenever I bump into people (special days where I leave the house) they often say “How are you? It looks like you’re super busy and things are going well.” And depending on the day, I might die inside. I might be feeling super stressed or like nothing is happening. And I often tell them so. I’m sorry if online I only come across as having it all together or totally invincible. If you meet me or know me, you very quickly realize I’m really human and there’s nothing “super” about me.
  • A multitude of forms of recovery are vital. And it’s important to use them often. While I listed exercise, nutrition and sleep as things that are helpful to me, they’re clearly not enough. I need more social connection. I need to show myself a bit more compassion. And I need a damn hobby. If you have any great ideas, please leave them in the comments section.


At PowerHouse Performance we offer keynotes, half- and full-day programs in addition to one-on-one coaching to help leaders and employees improve resiliency, performance, confidence and health. Please let us know how we can help your organization.



Let PowerHouse help you become more resilient. Sign up to receive special content and alerts to new blog posts. Your address will never be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Satisfied Clients

ameriprise_logo   aveda-sm   nestle_purina-sm     esteelauder-logo    wells_fargo-sm   jp_morgan_chase-sm