top of page

176. Finding Your Self-Confidence, with TV Producer Grace Lee-Toumandidis

Updated: Mar 7

Ask and you shall receive! I have got a real treat for you all. We’re going behind-the-scenes with my Emmy Award winning client, Grace Lee-Toumandidis. Grace is a Show-runner and Executive Producer for a number of HUGE hit shows on Netflix, Bravo, and other TV networks. This is a look at a one-on-one session I did with Grace about finding her self-confidence. Because even certified bad-asses sometimes have to kick those feelings of doubt to the curb.

A number of you have asked me to do a show like this since my previous behind-the-scenes episode with my client Amanda. Here is a link to that episode if you want to hear it again:

Listen Here:

Watch on YouTube Here:

Follow me on Instagram:


Disclaimer: this transcript is autogenerated by

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 0:01

Here's what I know, in order to get to the result, you have to fail. That's the crazy thing that that I can say out loud you there has to be failure in order to get to that result. Whether there's confusion along the way, all these things that we as human beings are perfectionist or high achievers, demons failure, right? Something has to happen in order to get to the result, there's no way you're gonna get to the result in pure production, and seamlessness. That is not how life works.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 0:32

Welcome to sincerely future you a podcast that helps ambitious women like you and make decisions today with the future you in mind. Today's episode is going to be a little different, you're going to actually get a behind the scenes peek into half of a one on one session with one of my clients. We've done this before. And it's been one of your guys's favorite episodes, you tell me all the time that you will love episode, I believe it's episode eight teen, we'll link it in the show notes with my client, Amanda. And this was a real life session coaching session one on one coaching session that I pressed record on because I just knew it was going to be something we were going to want to reflect on and capturing that moment in time. And her thoughts and her energy when she was in the process of going through her goal collection and her failure collection. And then give you guys the insights afterwards. So today I am sharing with you a session that I knew instinctively I also had to press record on halfway through. This is a sneak peek into a session with my client Grace Lee too many days. And Grace is a bonafide badass chick and she's got the receipts to back it. She is an Emmy Award winning executive producer who's worked on hit Zeitgeist series for Netflix, Magnolia network, and Bravo, including shows like sparking Joy below deck and homework. Have you heard of some of those, I think you've either been living under a rock or you know, this world of Hollywood. I personally always joke about how if it weren't for her, I might not have the drawers in my son and daughter's room, I organized my drawers a certain way because of this show, sparking joy that she was able to help produce and bring to life outside of the book that was written. But she's also a human being. And when we started working together, she was feeling extremely burnt out. She had gotten so sucked into the hustle of Hollywood, that she really lost sight of her self worth and what daily decisions were in her control. And I know that her story is not that unique. I know that what she was saying to me is something that you guys can relate to. In this session, she basically just started to list all of the ways that she had applied the self coaching model that I taught her to her life, I got chills re listening to this, and I can't wait for you to hear all of the areas that coaching can spill into your big fat, juicy life and your business when you get intentional. We've edited out some specific names for NDA reasons. But thank you so much to grace for getting vulnerable, and allowing us to share this on the show. Because on the show, we believe that the human experience and that success specifically looks like standing on a mountains of all of the failures that you've collected. It's raw and real and sometimes a bit extra and ultimately reminds us life is not supposed to look like an Instagram filter. Are you ready? Let's dive in. So

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 3:53

what I am managing somebody who is a creative, who, you know, may not have the ability to stop down and say, Let me think about it. And they need to talk the process out loud. Through the work that we've done, I'm able to work the model through her processes while which sounds insane, right? Understanding she is just working it out. So let me not take the first thing she says at face value. Let me let her have her process. And let me deduce at the end what it is that we got out of it. And so the ability to say, okay, in review, here are our next steps. Do you want to wait a beat to make this call? I'm gonna let you think about this. And I if it's okay with you, we're gonna make a call I'm shooting tomorrow at 2pm

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 4:44

Love it. Also, like I'm just really saying what you said that is so mind blowing. And I love this really. There's always two models running at the same time. There's your model, just your thoughts about the experience and then there's her model and then there's also Like, the model that's overarching, which is like, the experience of all of it, like it's your thoughts while you're receiving and while you're engaging with her. And while you're communicating with her, and then your words, you have a whole separate model where you can like really pause and look at it and just let it think about hoping

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 5:23

there was a period when in the middle of our sessions when, you know, I'm stumped in and I couldn't even articulate because my brain was literally short circuiting and rewiring. And so now I do I see it happening on so many, I feel it, I can feel it in my brain just operating on multiple facets of exactly what you said, I'm running for a model. But I'm also reading my model and overarching model, and its power, because I can see what the solution is before everyone else can see it. But I can also give space for all of those people to come to that solution. So what the amazing thing that's happening right now is that whereas in the past, I would be so offended by this person doesn't think I'm great at my job. Because I didn't come up with the solution. They're looking at me, like I'm a lesser EP, and I don't belong here. All those thoughts are non existent, they no longer exist. Because I'm able to do all these exercises in my head and get to this point of this is the solution. And that's all that matters, like ultimately, and to be able to clearly see that because I'm not operating on any other level, then what is the result we're trying to get to?

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 6:44

Now reverse engineering, the result, like everything was very high, your emotions were run high in all of your engagements with when you were managing up when you were managing down when you were managing sideways, because most of it was from the goal of everybody understanding that why you were doing what you were doing, like understanding you like there was no room for other people to be confused. Yeah, what happened? Oh, you're like, there's so much room, people can be confused about who came up with this idea. People can be confused about how we're gonna do this. People can be confused about my role and their role in helping me do my own job, right. Like you. You've pointed out even just today, like 10 different ways in which other people were confused over the last couple of days. Yeah, looting heads of entire companies. And you're able to be that person that just goes in and say, Okay, you need to have you prompt a meeting between all of us so that we can just quickly get to this result amongst creatives that are really struggling to see the solution.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 7:59

Exactly. It's really empowering. And the crazy thing is I sleep so much better at night. So So yeah, right now, it's like, sure I was late by four minutes, because I was on another call and whatnot. But it doesn't mean my scheduling is not great. Like all these baseline things are there. My schedule is great. I went to work out for three hours last night, which is amazing. And then I I slept 10 hours and I'm functioning, I'm high functioning at the top of the day, when you worked

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 8:28

out for three hours and slept 10 hours in 124 hour period.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 8:32

Yes, because I am no longer valuing the work that I do with time either that has really clicked as well, right? Because I'm not worried about what everyone else thinks of me, because I'm not worried about everyone else being confused. Because it is the recognition that everyone just needs space to have their process. That's the number one thing and it has nothing to do with me, right? I'm able to operate and get everything done. Sometimes in three hours, it literally is the most insane thing to wake up and be this person every

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 9:11

day. It's so surreal sometimes, even for me. And I've been doing this for years to like, have the first month of coaching with one version of a person and then to come to month six of coaching and literally watch the way the things that you would argue and not just you but like all of my clients in that first month is like, No, you don't understand my industry. Like you need to be burned out. That's just like part of the game. Like you need you can't you there's no time for self care. You need to be responding to messages whenever they come in. And now, what you're saying is like, there's plenty of time essentially

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 9:58

there's plenty of time. So I remember telling you specifically, I think we won probably, I was like, No, you don't get it, this is just how it is. And in this strange way, I still understand how certain people operate in that model, and how high level producers operate that way. But it doesn't mean that my model needs to reflect that I can have my own model. And it's really insane that I operate now, at this place. It feels very much like I'm Oz, even in my own brain. And in a circumstance where I understand what the result is so hard to advance that I can let things break,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 10:42

as, oh, that's so good. Oh, that's so good. Because truthfully, when you're when you're focused on a result, I was just talking to another one of my clients about this as well. And she was talking about what her a line would be, what her actions would be, this month, to create this result. And he was like, I just feel like this action plan that you created for yourself, is not rooted in belief that it's already done. Because when you believe that the result is inevitable, there's no rush, A and B, like, there's room for all sorts of failure. There's no attachment to any one way of it getting done, or what role you have in getting it done. Because you're not entitled to know the how until after you arrive at the result. Yeah, it's so important to like route, all of your, your action plan, everything that's on your calendar needs to be rooted in belief that like, oh, there's plenty of time. And we're going to get to the result.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 11:54

Yes. So all of those things, I fundamentally believe in there, I can say that today, there are days where yes, I may work a 12 hour day, in order to have a three hour day tomorrow. But it doesn't mean that I need to put in 18 hours a day to be great at my job. So that is very clear.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 12:19

I feel like people are gonna hear you say that, like what she worked 18 hours a day. And like, I just want to say that that was your life for a while you were working 18 hour days, like regularly. And just even still saying that it wasn't enough like that you had the deep belief that it wasn't enough.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 12:38

Yeah, it's part of it is really just waking up and realizing and starting the day saying I know what I'm doing, I'm great at my job, and no one else can tell me what to do. And to just sort of like submit to that idea. Right and believing it. It took a while, obviously,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 12:56

the first long, like, honestly, a couple of months in the scheme of your whole life. That's pretty amazing to to rewire that thought from how extremely opposite your thinking was previously, you work for yourself.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 13:15

That's the very reason why, again, like let it giving the space for failure and not being afraid of failure. Because here's what I know, in order to get to the result, you have to fail. That's the crazy thing. That that I can say out loud, you there has to be failure in order to get to that result. Whether there's confusion along the way, all these things that we as human beings are perfectionist or high achievers deem as failure, right? Something has to happen in order to get to the result, there is no way you're gonna get to the result in pure perfection and seamlessness. That is not how life works. Right. And so having a meeting about a process that was unfortunate that we wasted time, I'm able to then rebut that and say actually, it was a great exercise. Because it enabled us to understand that we can't do it on their on our own and we weren't raising a red flag without the facts and the evidence.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 14:19

Honestly, you're you're giving a masterclass in the session right now on how to save time by being imperfect. And I know that one of your biggest hang ups in our first couple of months of working together was just about this idea of like as an identity. You really did feel like you were praised and you strive for perfection and that now, what you're saying is that like the goal is to get quicker to the imperfections so that you can see them. Yeah.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 14:57

And so the only thing I regret that I wasn't able to say specifically is, yeah, we may have wasted four days. But didn't we gain 30 days by going through this process and making the error. So I'm going to do more of that moving forward. But I'm even in awe of myself and wonderment. Because I don't understand whose brain I have right now. 39 years, I operated a certain way. And so it really has, the crazy thing that has happened to me in the last six weeks is that all of this is really fun, that I find so much joy in getting to the result, and all the imperfections because none of those things bother me. Yeah, I found more joy in what I do,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 15:50

you become unfuck with a bowl. Really, the definition of that is someone who is willing to feel whatever it takes to get a result. And when you go through that process over and over again, and when what I mean when I say like willing to feel is like you're willing to feel failure, willing to imperfect, you're willing to feel misunderstood, like that's what it is to embody the feeling of other people being wrong about you or being confused, right? You're willing to feel wrong, you're willing to feel uncredited, you're willing to feel all of those emotions that previously were so scary to you and so traumatic, you would even just I'm pretty sure you even would use those words like triggering dramatic, like you really, really put up a huge barrier in your life between ever feeling those. And what I say is like, no, let's, let's lean into it, just feel all of them. And then once you do, you're not scared of anything. And that timesaver because then you're like, Okay, what's the worst case? Scenario? Oh, I feel triggered. I feel embarrassed. I feel unqualified, and you feel that feeling? And then you're like, Okay, now what?

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 17:13

We went through this on the very first session, or the second session we had is what is the worst case scenario, we went all the way to I can be fired? Yeah, and the thing is, the wonderful thing about that is, if that were to ever happen, then great, it's still a plus for my life and knowing that that thought does not even occur. Whereas in the past, it occurred once a day.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 17:38

Yes. By avoiding we think it's counterintuitive, because we think by avoiding thinking about it or feeling it, we are protecting ourselves, but actually, you were feeling that negative emotion in advance all of the time that Lucas viewed you the the worrying fear of what might be and then now you've actually like felt what it felt like to be reprimanded, misunderstood, like all of these things, by superiors, by colleagues, by people with like, some reps, and people who are important in your industry. And now you're really like garnering some momentum and respect amongst them. Because they're like, Oh, she rolls with the punches. That's the type of person I want to work with. And probably then what happens when you don't focus so much on pointing out why other people were confused and where they were wrong. They figure it out themselves, that they were wrong or confused, then they are 10 times more impressed with how you handled them being wrong and confused, and didn't throw it in their face. It's actually rare to come across a person who's got mature and emotionally adult, right?

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 18:57

Yeah, in the in the past, like, just to, you know, off of what you're saying. Whatever it was operating off of, because it was a multitude of things. And that resulted in me in that perfectionism in that in the refusal of sitting in my own discomfort of not being perfect, but ultimately over fear of getting fired. And then that valid you know, that defining my work all that out the window. I'm a you know, I used to literally tell people I said this to you what was the problem with that when I said it, right? Because it was all about me, it was like Didn't I just say that? Didn't I pitch that and at the end of the day, like now I'm I'm sort of in the place where it doesn't matter because ultimately I still know what the result is. So whether I'm planting seeds, whether I whether I get shut down, you know whether everyone else had have thought errors like it holds no bearing on what I fundamentally understand needs to happen. And so it literally just rolls off my shoulder.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 20:11

And then by proxy, your self concept does evolve and grow, because you're not so worried about having this image or self concept that your new set self concept is just like, I'm someone who gets results. Yeah, yeah, that deep belief and believing in yourself that you're just someone who gets results. Not Oh, I'm someone who is revered in the industry for x or bubble by like, all of those other things naturally happen. When even your ability to get results no matter what. Yeah, yeah. You're, you believe in your emotional resilience.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 20:53

Yeah, yeah. And I think that those two things have finally just happened, you know, and it really helps to navigate working relationships, relationships, it really, it just, I find it just rippling throughout my entire life, not just in the workplace, not just in this room. You know, I think that I haven't actually articulated this out loud, but I find myself coming from a place of peace, because I know what the result is, therefore, back producing that you understand what you can control and what you can, and so you're clear on the action you have to take. And so even in my own marriage and relationship, where as in the past, just like with work, I would try to control, I would try to control every step to get to the result. The allows, it just allows me to function, in a more sense, I have more patients than I do. It gives me an increased sense of peace, like I'm functioning.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 22:03

Because imagine like, as human beings, we have to deal with, with our own thoughts and feelings and actions and results, like, could fill our calendar times 10 with that shit. And then on top of it, most human beings try and solve for other people's thoughts and feelings, and what they're doing and what they're creating. And when you let go of all of that, we understand that not only is it not our job, but it's also not fucking possible to control other people's models. So it's like decluttering it's like the friggin show that you worked on the life changing Magic of Tidying Up your brain.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 22:47

Yes, that's exactly right. It's, it ultimately circles back to write this is having, you know, really having the model and the circumstances, the thought the actors the actions and weight, not circumstance has gone circumstance thought, feeling action result, when that is completely ingrained in your brain. And it's not even a thought like I don't actually have to go what is the circumstance? What is the thought? What if I don't actually have to go step by step? Because it's already happening?

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 23:17

You model from like, kind of wherever you're at whatever you notice has

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 23:21

happened. Exactly. That is what's starting to happen, where I don't have to go hear the facts, because I know what the facts are, I think to stop myself in the middle of it understanding like what it is, I'm struggling with, right? And then I don't act on it the way I used to, which is amazing. But circling back to my marriage. I'm able to give my husband the space he needs to know. Luckily, yeah. And so as a result, my environment is just peaceful all around. Because I was thinking about this a lot was something you said that resonated because, you know, I deal well with very simple instruction in some ways, but the idea of just prioritizing the fun and prioritizing my life over the other thing, so that's that's how I've scheduled and I look at my work in that way too. I'm not scheduling my life around. I'm getting emotional. Emotional listening to you getting big. You've changed my life in a huge way. I just want to start there. Because it's so crazy for me because I used to never I never operated this way like I scheduled my life around work. Now I'm scheduling work around my life. That doesn't change the demanding nature of what I do the high profile project that I'm on

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 24:46

yet to be a baller.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 24:49

Yeah, but but in my model and in my brain no one else knows no one no one else can tell but this is how I'm operating. I am scheduled work around it life Yeah. So

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 25:02

you that people can tell, like the people that have been with you from like project to project or obviously like your husband or like your friends that are like, close circle to you. It's like, it's imperceivable exactly like they probably can't pinpoint or put a finger on what exactly is different because it's not the same thing as like a physical transformation when you lose weight, or like, oh, a milestone transformation where like, oh, I, you know, had a baby or I graduated and got my doctorate or whatever it is, it is, though, a different kind of graduation to a version of you that you will never be able to go backwards from.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 25:51

No, yeah, and I definitely experienced it like the space that I used to hold where I used to work those 18 hours. Like, sometimes there is a void that were earlier on, there was a little bit of a void because I was so used to it. So I found myself filling those hours with other things, whether it was oddly looking at Instagram, because I felt like borscht or shopping or whatever it was, I had to fill that time, right, or coming up with show ideas, whatever it was, I felt like I wasn't, there was something missing. But But there's been like a huge paradigm shift. And I will tell you, I've and I know this doesn't jive with the wine A B right now. But it's a good thing for me because I've been able to go out to more dinners and meet with friends. And I've been able to give space to that which I think is actually really important.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 26:49

This season's of growth for like one thing where I did the same thing as well, where like my first year, as I was making more money, I just like spent right along with it. Because I was very, I was like very excited about what I was gaining access to in terms of, like I said, like my own like money I connected with time still at that point didn't have the same quite mastery of it. And I, I wasn't yet in a relationship with constraint, which now is a tool that like I think of as like, almost fun. Because I love to challenge myself in a way of like, ooh, where else can I get my dopamine hits from? First of all, it's crazy how many transformations you've had in just six months that like, of course, there's more room to talk about my

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 27:45

30 pound weight loss, I literally also lost 30 pounds, you haven't even thought about it? No, it wasn't even something I talked about out loud, but do our work through reprioritizing I'm gonna get really emotional. That also was the result of all of the work we've done in the last six months. Because when I came to you, I was completely depressed and anxiety ridden and just didn't really know how to get my life together. And so when we talk about like the baseline fundamentals that I was lacking, you know, and I forgive myself for it, because now I have those tools through the work. Um, really these last six, really eight months have just changed my life completely like I am. See, so clearly, the person I am today I'm so proud of I forgive the person and within the past, starting this this session, it was like actually, no, I don't need to talk about anything. I just need to go through it and process it because I have the tools I don't actually need to work through it with you like you've given me the tools to go out and handle my business like a boss.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 29:05

Oh my gosh, well, it's it's just like my absolute pleasure to be along the ride and watch you change your own life like you said, like, it's a beautiful thing like you said to to forgive your past self that you were so like critical of your whole life and so fast. And now you can be compassionate and just so loving with her. Like she's the one that's done the hard work to make you the person that you are now that we're talking to you. And I'm so grateful to my past self for like getting her shit together. And like being brave enough to invest in myself in the ways that I've invested in myself to do things that forced me to feel more negative emotion to feel that negative emotion to her body so that I can feel a lot lighter on a day to day basis. Yeah, it's the same thing I always think about, like, what is future me? thanking me for working on right now. And like, as, like you had like all of these transformations so much like, just found out that you lost 30 pounds like fucking incredible. And, and like, you know now we're discussing like, Okay, what does it look like in the next year for your, for your personal finance during the powering and what does that look like in like, the same way when you came to me the first session and you couldn't even really imagine what it would be like to think and feel in your body the way that you do right now is same thing when you apply this work to money. It's like, you're like, Who am I that I just know exactly. That I think before I decide whether I'm going to spend, save, invest, have or give, or though I'm willing to like have instead of trading it in where it feels masterful instead of compulsive there, like you said, there's a time and a place for that because this whole last year, you were spending on things that you had been depriving yourself of from terms of like social engagements, and yet some luxuries that you didn't even have the time or desire for when you're bogged down by depression and or overworking cause from perfectionism.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 31:39

Exactly. So they're all this work like, yeah, prioritizing my health, again, scheduled work around my life, which sounds is gonna sound crazy to a lot of people. That doesn't mean I'm being lazier, it doesn't mean I'm doing less of a job, I'm still actually kicking

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 31:56

ass at my job. We know. And we understand that time does not equal efficiency. And time spent most likely from unclean thoughts is always going to cost you, it's going to take you 10 hours, what might take you two hours, when in between those 10 hours, you're trying to work on things that do not matter. Or you're trying to control things that are outside of your control.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 32:26

Exactly. The last thing I'll say is just your model is one of the most brilliant models, I share it with people because they wonder why I'm so common situation. And then I just go hey, you should work with my business coach, because she has this model that I work through. And it is really taught me to understand what that result is to back produce it and to enjoy the journey, the process. That is something I wanted to reiterate that what you've said to me has resonated and I'm not afraid of it. Not afraid of how we're getting to the result.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 33:06

Yeah, so good. And I have to credit like the life coach, school creator Brooke Castillo, she created the model. And she gives us all permission to use it. Like, literally to change the way people think. Like it is a revolutionary tool. And I'm so grateful for it in my own life. But the truth is, like you said, it takes so much practice to use that tool because like you can have it but unless you're like his imagine I just gave you the model, and then you just like had it and tried to do it on your own.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 33:43

It doesn't work. Remember, I couldn't even get through the model. Like you're like, what's the circumstance? I go, I don't know this person. You're like, that's not it.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 33:53

You're not used to think I did. Okay, where would you think that guess what this would go in the model? And you're like,

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 33:59

Well, I think I'm angry or like, No, that's a feeling

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 34:05

so good. Well, this is just such a pleasure for me this session. I I really so proud of you.

Grace Lee-Toumandidis 34:13

Yeah, I'm proud of myself to immensely and so it doesn't mean things are easy, but I'm so empowered by the tools that you've given me.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 34:25

Thank you for listening to this week's episode of sincerely future you. I hope that hearing Grace's story helps you remember that you are already enough. Please take a moment after the show to go to your apple podcast app and leave a review. It helps more people like you find this show. And also if you're listening to this, this is an episode that really spoke to you tag me over on Instagram, and I can share it with grace. I know that it would mean the world to her and I love to know which episodes you guys love so I can share more of them. Again, you can Connect with me over on Instagram at just McKinley bueno. That's je s s MC k i n le y way. No you y e n o. All right, you guys, we'll see you next week. Hey, hamsters. If you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to what's forward slash podcast. That's what's happening. Whats h a p p y and forward slash podcast? If you're a business owner, and you're resonating with what we talked about here, what are you even doing come hang out with me over where the party's at on Instagram at what's happening? W Jess again that's happy. Ha p p y and ing and book a discovery call to see if coaching is your next best step.

Transcribed by

1 view0 comments


bottom of page