The Power in Every Story: Tina Brigley's Amazing Transformation Despite Many Life Defeats

by Ari Schonbrun

The Power in Every Story: Tina Brigley’s Amazing Transformation Despite Many Life Defeats




Episode Transcription:


(Intro plays)


Ari: Welcome to Whispers And Bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun, and I’m your host. My guest this week is Tina Brigly. And for those of you who don’t know who Tina is, let me enlighten you. Tina is the co founder and breakthrough results coach at high performing coach, an international coaching company that trains and develops coaches to become top performers as head of social influence at HPC. She’s a firm believer that storytelling is the most authentic way to deeply connect with people and build the foundation of any business. Tina is a TEDx speaker, and executive contributor, and global 500 honoree for brains magazine, and part of the 500 virtual keynote speakers team. She has been featured on numerous international podcasts and has hosted a web based show called in and out of your mind on WWE TV. After 1000s of hours of personal development and training, Tina realized that anything in life is possible when you discover what is truly holding you back. Since discovering the Power Stories, her world has never been the same. And she wants that positive shift for everyone. Please help me welcome Tina Brigly.


Tina: Everybody, thank you for having me. I’m listening to that huge long. Like, oh, my gosh, thank you for having me.


Ari: So you’re quite welcome. I’m glad you can join us today. So how’s your day going?


Tina: It’s great. Yeah, every day is you know, I used to do these workouts with this guy. And he said every day above ground is a blessed day. So I feel like it’s a blessed day.


Ari: That’s my line everyday. But it’s good everyday above grounds. Good day.


Tina: Oh my gosh, that’s funny.


Ari: That is that’s how I basically lead my life.


Tina: Wow. Yeah, the energies, you know, I go with energy flow


Ari: Alright, swell. As you know, the name of the podcast is whispers and bricks. And the whispers are the voices telling you what is the right thing to do and represents the good life. The bricks represent the bad things that we go through in life. And let’s be real, everybody goes through something at some point in time in their lives. Nobody’s got to. Nobody’s got a free ticket. Now, there are several reasons why I asked you to be my guests on the show. After our initial conversation, I knew that there were people in my audience who are going through some of the same things that you had gone through David hit with brick after brick, much like what you had gone through. And they needed to hear and to know that they could get through the trials and tribulations, the same way that you did. They needed to know that there were whispers out there that could save them. Now in your life, you’ve had many bricks thrown at you from the issues that you had with your parents to a marriage than in divorce to a child born with a rare disease. I mean, the list goes on and on. Now, can you take us back to those troublesome years? And tell us how you managed to get through it all?


Tina: Which one, like I don’t even know where to begin? You know, it’s funny, because when I go back to childhood, I feel like I’ve just overcome all of that. And it’s not that I can’t go back to there. But, you know, I think one of the earliest things that I remember that didn’t seem right for me is my dad was diagnosed with schizophrenia. And so my life was really bizarre around him, there was things that he would do that I just couldn’t understand. But what had happened is I kind of became this support person for my dad. And I was there like staying up with him talking to him. But even though I was only seven or eight years old, I felt like it was my duty or my job to take care of my dad. You know, and as I got older, it started becoming a little bit burdensome. And I remember one day, he got me up and he wanted to talk, and I just didn’t want to talk. And I remember saying to him, Dad, I’m too tired to talk tonight. And then that night, he took his truck and he rammed it into a cement post, and tried to take his life and I really thought that it was my fault. If I had only woken up to talk to him, that wouldn’t have happened. But then I realized that as I was growing my coaching business, I had this really strong desire to hear people and I would be on calls with people for hours, like making sure they felt really heard. And I realized I was still carrying that with me and it was impacting my business. And I got to like see it and then let it go. It wasn’t my fault. But yeah, there was just a lot of you know, we had a house fire when I was 12 years old. And that was pretty humbling, you know, not having any clothes, anything. And when you’re 1213 years old, and your teacher takes donations and you start wearing your friend’s clothes to school, it, it teaches you something right? It teaches you to be humble and to ask for help. And so it just seemed like, you know, you can always say like, I’m the one that got the crap end of the stick, like, why is all of this stuff happening to me? But now I see it. Clearly it had to happen to me, because I’m the one that’s making an impact in the world and using it to transform other lives. So for me, it’s like I was the one.


Ari: Wow, that’s incredible. Tell me a little bit more about your child. You had a child that was born with a rare disease? 


Tina: Yeah. So it wasn’t actually a disease. But when I had my first ultrasound, I remember the doctor calling me that night. And she said, Tina, are you with your husband? And I said, No. And she said, Are you sitting down? And I said, Yeah. And she said, Okay, so we noticed something on the ultrasound. She said, your baby has gastroschisis, which is an abdominal wall defect. And she said, what that means is that, you know, when the umbilical cord is formed, there’s four quadrants, one of the quadrants isn’t closed. But normally, it’s not that big of an issue. Until kids get a little bit older, they start noticing that there’s a correlation between kids that have this with learning disabilities, and you know, so she was telling me like, all of the possible things that could go wrong. I’m like, Okay, well, I’m a special education teacher. If she has learning disabilities, I can handle that. No worries. And then she said, we also noticed something else. And I said, Okay, how can I get worse? And she said, it looks like your baby has, as she called it a word. I don’t remember what it was, but it was like facial disfiguration. So she was going to be born with not only this abdominal wall defect and possible learning disabilities, she was going to be disfigured. And so I remember just like crying about it, you know, like in, like, just getting off the phone. And I said, okay, and then my story in life has been be strong, don’t show emotion. So I dried up my tears. And I said, Okay, God, I guess this is something that I get to deal with. And this baby is going to be perfect. And I lived every day of my life, like she was perfect. I lived every day, like, I didn’t even tell people about it. Because in my mind, it just wasn’t possible. Like, this is not gonna happen to me. I hear what the doctor said, but it’s not true. And in my mind, like I would play music. I was like, I built a relationship with her. I loved her. I told her how beautiful she was, and it didn’t matter how she came out. She was just going to be perfect. So I had a lot of complications. And I went into the hospital. They wanted to airlift me a month early because they said, you know, your baby has no amniotic fluid. So not only does she have all these problems, there’s no amniotic fluid for her right. Oh my gosh, Can it get any worse? So I was on bed rest being monitored, right? So she came a month early. She when the doctor pulled her out, all of her insides were outside of her body, her fallopian tubes, her bowels, her intestines, her stomach, her bladder, everything and the doctor was like a deer in headlights. He didn’t like he didn’t even know what to do. So the nurse took her and wrapped her up and here my baby is in this incubator with all of her insides in a bag hanging hanging from the incubator, but she was beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with her. She had to have a little surgery. They said she had the quickest surgery of any child that had gastroschisis like they said they’ve never seen a case so severe were so much was outside of the body. And he told me she was going to be in the hospital for months. She was out in less than 30 days. We have pictures of her like a little fighter. She had all these tubes attached to her. She had to have a long line put in because her veins were all collapsing because she had been poked so many times. And they there’s a picture of her an hour after her surgery, ripping out her tubes. A little tiny, Premature Baby just caught out of surgery. She was blown up her face was so big from all of the fluid. And yeah, she is perfect. I mean my daughter is smart and loving and empathetic and the most extraordinary human being you’ll probably ever meet. And it’s just such a miracle. She says like she looks after her mom.


Ari: . All right. say so? No, it’s it’s interesting, because I’ll tell you something, you know, my wife lost her father, when she was 13 years old. And he had been sick. For most of her life from the time she was two years old until he passed away when she was 13. He had been sick, and she, like you, with your father taking care of him. That’s what she did, she would tell me stories about how she used to clean his trachea, right? If it got clogged and, and the like. So I know what it is, you know, because of the stories that I hear from my wife. So I know it is what you go through. But the part about going through what you went through with your child is just, it’s mind boggling. And it really takes a special person to be able to deal with that. And one of the things I tell my audience is, God will never give you a challenge that you can’t overcome. If it’s something that you can’t overcome, God will not do it to you or for you. Alright, but obviously, this was a challenge that you had, and let’s let’s be real, this was a huge challenge. Alright, but you managed to get through it now. Do you think your faith in God had anything to do with it? Did that help you or hurt you? Or there was no such thing?


Tina: You know, like, I really do believe that it was my mindset. And whether that’s like God, or the divine, or I feel like I was given something in life. And I do believe in God, I do believe that God gave me a purpose and a mission. And but I don’t think that my belief in that it was almost like, my belief that it’s all going to work out. Like everything’s gonna work out the, the way that it’s supposed to. And I it was almost like letting go of control. I don’t know the way that this is going to turn out. But it’s all part of my journey. It’s all part of the bigger vision, the bigger plan. And so I believe, like, much like you said, you know, God will never give you something you can’t handle. And so I felt like these challenges were an opportunity to really like shift my mindset. So when I was in the hospital for a month, I never said, Oh, my gosh, it sucks being in the hospital and be like, Man, I don’t have to work. I don’t have to cook. I don’t have to clean. Like really, is it that bad? Wow. I went into the hospital the day before my baby shower. So my friends had the baby shower, like they’re recorded it. They had it without me. They partied, they celebrate it. And they took videos. And then what they did was they opened my gifts. And we didn’t have zoom or video or anything, right? They just recorded it for me. And they brought some of the gifts to the hospital. And I opened some of them. And you know, it was just, I met new friends in the hospital. We actually because all of us were on this like anti natal Ward, we ended up getting a spa day we brought in professionals to give us spa treatments. Like I felt like I was on vacation.


Ari: Yeah, it takes, it takes such a strong person to be able to do that. And so what I see out of this is you got to hit with a really, really bad brick, but you took that brick, alright, and you turned it into whispers. You turned it into realizing what your job was, what your challenge was, what your mission was right? At that point in time. The mission was very simple. Alright, saving my child. That was your mission now. And then as life went on, obviously, you know, things got better. Right. Now, let me ask you this. In your bio, you talked about storytelling that storytelling changed your life. Like, how did that come about? When did that happen? How did it come about?


Tina: Yeah, so I love this story. Because I was sitting in my first ever personal development seminar. And the coach asked a question. Do you remember a time when you knew that there was something wrong? So I’m sitting there and I’m looking. And then I remembered a story when I was four years old, about my dad taking me on vacation to visit my aunt and uncle in Calgary. And that night, he went out with my uncle. But as a four year old, I thought he took me on an airplane left me with strangers, and he was never coming back. So I remember that like sitting in the Lazy Boy chair. I remember the radio. I remember the look on my dad’s face and begging him please don’t go please don’t go. And so in the seminar, I’m recalling the story. And then they slapped me with a yeah, you decided to be someone in that moment. Who did you decide to be? And it was, stop crying, be strong, don’t show emotion. And they asked you know, is that still showing up in your life and it was like a broken record playing over my whole life, when my daughter was sick when my dad tried to commit suicide, like my whole life, I found, you know, I witnessed an accident, I was the first person on the scene, I saw somebody blow up in front of my eyes, I found my best friend in his garage, trying to commit suicide, like, all of these things happened to me, and no emotion, turn off, my feelings be strong. But I realized that four year old was running my show, she told me, I’ll never feel that again. I’ll never feel those types of emotions and how I avoided that was I shut down emotions. And it was in that seminar that I saw the power of my story, I created a story when I was four years old, and I lived into it. And as I started coaching, I started seeing patterns and other people. Like it wasn’t just me that had stories. Other people have stories that are still holding them back. And then I started researching storytelling and the chemicals that are are released in people, when you share a story, it helps build connection, and deep connection. And so I didn’t realize when I started growing my coaching business, I got real, immediate success. They were like, how are you creating clients? How are you growing your coaching business? Like, I have no idea. I have no idea. But what I realized is I was sharing myself, I was sharing my stories, and people were connecting with me, but I had no idea what I was doing. I’m like, no, they’re just coming to me. You know, amazing.


Ari: That’s absolutely amazing. And I know what it is, and I know what you’re going through, because part of my story is when you know, when I was in the Trade Center, I was on the seventh floor of Tower One when the first plane hit, and all hell was breaking loose. And, you know, you kind of look around, and he’s like, Alright, who’s in charge? You know, who do I talk to? Who I see, you know, who’s right. And what I realized at the time was there was nobody in charge. Okay. And it’s just like, you know, I just stepped up, and I think it was the adrenaline for me, is what gave me the ability to keep a sound mind and to start figuring out, okay, what do we need to do? This is what you know, and started to put a plan into action. All right, the emotions left, as you said, the emotions were totally blocked up, this was no time to break down and cry. This was no time to, you know, to get angry. I mean, this was a time where the people around me needed a leader. And I just stepped up, I let all the emotions go away. And we made it out. We got and we got it out. We got her out. You know, I mean, she had third degree burns, and I helped her down seven, eight flights of stairs. So I understand what you’re talking about. And of course, the storytelling. That’s what I do for a living. All right, besides this podcast, obviously, which is I do because I love doing it. I love talking to people and hearing different stories. But that’s, you know, it was my storytelling that kept me going, you know, when people used to ask me, Did you ever see counseling after 911? Did you ever see, you know, go talk to somebody, whatever. And the reality is, I never did. Alright, but one of the reasons I feel that I never had to was because I was telling my story over and over again, every time I told the story, you know, it was very, very therapeutic for me. So I really didn’t need to see anybody. Let me ask you this. Yeah. My next question to you is very simple. Did you ever reach a point in your life, where you were just so gone? So depressed, so low? Well, you said to yourself, you know what, I can’t do this anymore. It’s too hard. I’m going to give up on my dreams. And I’m going to curl up into a little ball of die. All right. I mean, did you ever get to that situation? I think most people at some point in their lives, they get there. Did it ever happened to you? And if it did, what did you do to get out of it? How did you get past


Tina: Yeah, so it happened to be twice the first time was after I separated from my husband. It was like a year later. And I was just so stuck in my head. And I remember I was just drinking every day drinking, drinking, drinking. And I remember one night, one of those great big bottles of wine. I don’t know if they’re like two liters or whatever, like a Magnum Magnum. Yeah, yeah, I drank the whole thing. And I was by myself. And I remember falling into the wall, and I woke up the next day, and I said, something has to change. I can’t live life like this anymore. And I remember going to the doctor and saying, there’s something wrong with me. Like, I can’t cope with life. Like, I don’t know, it was like I was I was having a breakdown. And I remember like, that’s like my friend that, you know, a couple years before tried to take his life. He ended up dying a couple years later. And I remember like, feeling like this is happening and like I was looking at my life like a broken record. And I was just breaking down. I’m like, I’m not strong anymore. I can’t do this. Like I’m all alone. I’m a single mom. Um, you know all of this. So I told the doctor like helped me and she gave me pills. And I remember going home and looking at the pills, and I said, Is this the only way? Is this the only way that I can live a better life? I said, There’s got to be something else.


Ari: You were really smart? Good for you keep going I’m sorry.


Tina: I went. And I started investing in personal development, and I signed up to become a health coach. Because I was thinking I used to be healthy. Maybe I need to, like, get back to being healthy. And maybe I can help others. But really, it was an attempt to quiet my mind by being busy. I was replacing one addiction for another. I was replacing alcohol, not taking the pills that the doctor was prescribing. But I was going to be so busy, that I didn’t have time to be in my head. I didn’t know it at the time. But then when I started going through this personal development journey, I saw what I was doing. And it was really just an attempt for me to avoid taking on what I really needed to take on, which was myself. And when I started looking inside and being responsible that I created this life that I was living, I was responsible for it. In that process. I actually saved my marriage. And I realized I sabotaged my marriage, and I was sabotaging my life.


Ari: Wow. Wow. That’s, that’s that’s just, I can’t imagine, I really I can’t imagine you know, all the different things that you’ve gone through and how you’ve come out of it. That’s just amazing. Let me just ask you one last question. All right, really, before we go, do you have any any words of wisdom or words of advice for my audience? If they’re everything that you’ve been through, you know, can you point to one thing that you say, Hey, this is my advice, is there anything.


Tina: So people might think that what I’m about to say is a biased opinion. But it’s really truly what I believe in my heart. When I invested in myself, my world changed. Because I saw things that I couldn’t see, I didn’t know they’re playing in the background impacting me. But when I saw them, and I took new actions, I literally started recreating myself. So the other thing, like, be willing to invest in yourself, whether that’s a personal development program, or a coaching program, know that you deserve it, and know that the life that you’re living right here, and now is likely not the life you’re destined to live. Wow, there’s something so much bigger and available. And you know, one of the things that happened to me is I’m like, this is the way I am, this is the way I’ll always be. And I realized in that moment, when I believe that I killed my relationship with myself, I kept myself playing small.


Ari: Wow. That’s, that’s amazing. So let me ask you this. All right. If people want to get a hold of you, how can they do that? If they want, they’re looking for a coach, or they’re looking for help? And you know, and after this podcast, believe me, there will be a whole bunch of people wanting to reach out to you and touch base with you. How can they do that?


Tina: Yeah, I mean, I think the best way to find me if people are on LinkedIn, Tina Brigly, on LinkedIn, or Facebook, I’m always cautious about sending people to Facebook because I think I’m at my capacity for my friends. So people want to connect with me, and then I go in and delete a whole bunch of people. But yeah, you can definitely find me there.


Ari: Do you have a website?


Tina: yeah its


Ari: high performing dot coach. Yeah, high P e, r, f o r, M I N G performing. Dot dot coach. Wonderful. Okay, so I’m sure they can. I’m sure there’s a contact information on your website as well. Yep, absolutely. Okay. Great. Well, Tina, thanks so much for sharing your story with my audience. I’m sure you’ve touched the hearts of many of the people in my audience. Good luck going forward. You’ve been listening to whispers and bricks. I’m your host Irie. Chambord. Until next time, listen to the whispers and never give up on your dreams. Bye for now.


(Outro plays)