[DIAL AN EXPERT] EP#456 – Dealing with Unexpected Life Curveballs with Michelle Ward

Aug 14, 2022

If you’re anything like me, you probably love having a nice plan for your life… Some nice stability, order, structure… some might even say you’ve got a tight grip on control. [guilty face] I know that space quite well. But, what happens when your solidly formed plans get thwarted by something you could never have seen coming? How do you allow room for grief that your life is going in a totally different direction and still hold on to what matters most to you? How do you take care of yourself when you suddenly have to find a new home? Or recieve a scary diagnosis? Experience a death in the family? Learn your partner wants a divorce? 

My dear friend, Michelle Ward, knows a thing or two or twenty about dealing with massive life curveballs. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in the midst of fertility treatment for the child she and her husband were desperately trying to conceive. Not only was she dealing with the new realization that having a baby would not at all be as easy as they had planned, but now that dream had to come to a screeching halt as she navigated this life-altering diagnosis. And, the curveballs kept coming. After going into remission, she was diagnosed with breast cancer AGAIN. I mean… how do you not just shake your fists at the Universe like, “WTF, lady!?” 

In this week’s show, Michelle and I have a candid conversation about what it looks like to reckon with new information that sends your world into a tailspin. We discuss the strategies she employed to cope, who was (and was not) a good person to lean on, and what it was like working through grief that took many different forms. If you feel like you can’t catch a break, you’ll want to tune and find out how to focus on the things you CAN control, even if that list feels like it’s rapidly shrinking. And, believe me when I say, you are most certainly not alone.

This pod explores:

  • How Michelle wrote a bunch of songs on her ukulele to help her process her diagnosis and what you can do to process the curveballs you’re up against (One song was comically called “Everyone’s Your Friend When You Have Cancer”)
  • What to do when folks in your life think you’re done with your difficult chapter (ie. divorce is final, cancer in remission, etc.) and you are still racked with grief 
  • How to know who you can trust with your story and who to stay away from
  • Understanding that there will likely be moments when you need to take the low road just to survive




I have three battle-tested (and badass) keynote speeches that are ready to be delivered to your company, organization, group, or association. If you or anyone you know could benefit from me droppin’ some gems (um, like, who couldn’t use some new tools?) please send them to THIS FANCY INFO PAGE on my site where you/they can message me directly about specific needs.



This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp and The Bold-Faced Truth Podcast listeners get 10% off their first month at betterhelp.com/boldtruth or simply enter code boldtruth at checkout. Hello!!

Join the millions of people who have found huge relief and support from BetterHelp therapists and save on your first month while you’re at it! Check it out ~>





Michelle Ward helps women launch their service-based business in just 90 days so they can be their own damn boss. You may have seen or heard her in New York Magazine, NY Post, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, USA Today, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career list, EO Fire, Real Talk Radio, The Unmistakable Creative or hundreds of other media outlets. She’s the teacher of Create Your Dream Career and Ditch Your Day Job, which were watched by tens of thousands of people on CreativeLive. When she’s not coaching, teaching or speaking, she can be found watching her daughter play hockey, sitcom-binging with her husband, or belting out show tunes.

Register for the free training at 90daybusinesslaunch.com/training and/or connect with her on Insta


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I'm a sassy-ass life coach and hypnotherapist who specializes in all things self-worth and confidence. I help aspiring badasses (hint: that's YOU!) speak up for themselves without being assholes. As in... telling your mom to stop butting into your relationship. You feel me, no?

It's time to let go of all that people-pleasing and cultivate some serious "enoughness". You're home, love. You're home.


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