“When you look at something beautiful, your brain starts to shift.” Kathy Gruver
About Our Guest:
Kathy Gruver is an award-winning author, professional speaker, and former actor with over 30 years of experience in mind/body medicine and human behavior. An entertainer and educator imbuing all of her programs with practicality and passion. With a West Coast mentality and an East Coast delivery her humorous, down to earth and engaging style has captivated audiences on four continents, three cruise ships and a handful of islands. It’s been her true honor to have delivered two TEDx talks. Kathy has written seven books which have garnered 12 awards, hosted a TV series based on her first book, developed a stress reduction program for the US military, and cohosts the Fire and Earth Podcast. She has penned countless articles and appears regularly as a guest on radio, TV and in in print media. She recently appeared on the Dr. Phil Show. She has earned her PhD in natural health and has studied mind-body medicine at the famed Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard. Kathy currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with her boyfriend, her guinea pig Listo and her cat Aleister. For fun and stress relief Kathy does flying trapeze and plays dungeons and dragons. Her clients have included Raytheon, Merck, Southland Industries, American Heart Association, and the USPS just to name a few.
This episode is powered by Shatter Your Income Ceiling
Being an entrepreneur running a business on the move to millions will have as many highs as it will have lows. The question to ask yourself is how will you speak of them? Sadly, as human beings, we are prone to negativity. It’s hardwired into our brains to pay more attention to bad news than good news and to remember negative experiences more vividly than positive ones. While negativity bias can be a liability that can lead us to dwell on our problems and magnify our mistakes, what can we do to break away from it? In this episode, Dr. Kathy Gruver talks about how negative thoughts are a source of stress and anxiety and how we can break away from the negative state to one that is positive and abundant while taking our business growth on the journey. If you’ve been a victim of negativity overstaying its welcome in your life and business, grab your pen and paper and listen in to discover:
- Why being rewarded for negative behavior stifles your productivity and profitability
- Why taking the time to become self-aware is the fastest way to shift out of your negative thought patterns
- The 3 warning signs that you’re on the verge of a negative binge
- How learning to manage stress will substantially decrease your negative thoughts and behavior
- And so much more
Powerful Kathy quotes from the episode:
- “There is no future, there is only the present.”
- “We get rewarded for negative behavior”
- ‘If you know who you are you can pick who you want to come forward.”
- “Know thyself.”
Last Book Kathy Read: Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Couples
Favorite Quote: “Go for it.”
Tool Kathy Swears By: Long hand to-do list
How to Connect with Kathy:
- Website: kathygruver.com
- Instagram: @kathygruver
- Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KathyGruver
- Twitter: @klgruver
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathyGruver
Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is not responsible for the content and information delivered during the podcast interview by any guest. As always, we suggest that you conduct your own due diligence regarding any proclamations by podcast guests. Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is providing the podcast for informational purposes only.
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Kathy Gruver: Shift Out Of Your Negative
This episode is powered by Shatter Your Income Ceiling. My private advanced training breaks down the framework that my clients and I are using to experience consistent $30,000 to $100,000 moms in our service-based businesses. Learn more and apply at WorkWithDarnyelle.com. In this episode, I chat with Kathy Gruver. You guys aren’t ready for this conversation. There are so many powerful things that Kathy and I talked about.
I’m excited for you because if you’ve ever struggled with being in a negative state when you need it to be in a positive state, what you are going to learn is going to change the game for you. She is an award-winning author, professional speaker, and former actor with many years of experience in mind and body medicine and human behavior.
She is an entertainer and educator, imbuing all of her programs with practicality and passion with a West Coast mentality and an East Coast delivery. Her humorous, down-to-earth, and engaging style has captivated audiences on 4 continents, 3 cruise ships, and a handful of islands. It has been her true honor to have delivered two TEDx talks.
She has written eight books. She told me she finished her eighth book, which has garnered twelve awards, and hosted a TV series based on her first book. She developed a stress reduction program for the US military and co-hosts the Fire & Earth Podcast. She has penned countless articles and appears regularly as a guest on radio, TV, and print media. She appeared on the Dr. Phil show. She has earned her PhD in Natural Health and has studied Mind Body Medicine at Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard.
She lives in Santa Barbara with her boyfriend, her Guinea pig, Listo and her cat, Aleister. This was such an amazing conversation. There were so many things that we talked about that I loved. My favorite part was at the very end. I don’t want you to skip over the entire episode to read the end because you are going to miss so many powerful nuggets if you do. At the very end, she talks about something that could change the game for you. I’m not going to steal the thunder of this powerful interview. I want you to grab a pen and paper and read as I have this amazing conversation with Kathy Gruver.
Kathy Gruver, I am so excited to welcome you to the show. How are you?
I’m so good. Thank you so much for having me.
I have been looking forward to this conversation. Before we jump in, why don’t you take a moment and tell everybody who you are in your own words?
I’m Kathy Gruver. I’m based out of Santa Barbara, California. I’m a Pittsburgh girl originally. East Coast mentality, West Coast delivery with things. I started as a performer of all things. I was an actress, which is what drove me cross country to look for that stardom in Hollywood, which never came. In parallel with that, I was always doing things like massage and Reiki, and was interested in herbs and homeopathics.
When I realized the acting thing was ending, I shifted all of my focus into that parallel path which was healing. I moved up to Santa Barbara, opened a practice here, started seeing clients, and started writing and speaking. Many years later, I’m back on stage. Different outfit and dialect but the same basic thing, and I get to be on stage and entertain people and help them learn. I have finished my eighth book. I’m a trapeze artist.
You are multifaceted. You are doing lots of stuff. I love it.
I have to. I’m a total adrenaline junkie. Now, I go around the world. I speak, write, and do coaching. When I’m not doing that, I’m on a trapeze.
What do you live to talk about the most?
Stress is my thing. I do stress communication and ego state optimization, which is bringing your best you forward. Those are the three topics I have fallen into.
How did stress become the thing that you started talking about?
I’m a massage therapist. Everybody walked into my office talking about stress. I began to realize that they wanted me to do more than put an elbow in the muscle that hurts. They wanted to talk and expected me to be a full-blown health practitioner, and that’s when I went, “I should probably learn something official.”
I went back to school. I got my Master’s and PhD in Natural Health. When it came time to do my dissertation, my advisor said, “What of our courses zinged you? What excited you?” It was all the Mind Body Medicine stuff. I found myself sitting at Harvard. I went to Herbert Benson’s program at Harvard. Benson-Henry Institute for mind-body medicine. I have done 5 or 6 classes there. This idea of stress and how it affects every aspect of our lives, our business, communication, leadership, and relationships. All of that stuff became so exciting to me. If I can impart any stress reduction for people, then I did my job.
You can’t have good leadership without communication, and you can’t have a good bottom line and a good build in your business without good leadership.
You talked it over fast. I’m going to ask you to take a step back instead of sprinting. Like, let’s not be in the East Coast state of mind. Let’s spend a little bit more West Coast with it. In that piece that you said right there, as it pertains to the mind, body, and medicine, the correlation of it all comes together. The role the stress plays first in our body but then in our lives and how that impacts us as business owners. Let’s explore that a little bit more, and I want to talk about the ego state of optimization because I believe that understanding how to bring your best self out is an important way to manage and mitigate stress.
I want us to get there but before we get there, I want to unpack the stress thing. It’s great that people would come to see you. I wrote down what you said because that’s a powerful statement. “I knew they didn’t want me to put an elbow in their back.” They needed to talk. They needed that release. Talk to us a little bit about the role that stress plays in every area of their lives, and then I also would love for you to share a little bit more about the role that is talking and releasing audibly plays in the reduction of stress.
If you look at some of the warning signs of stress, it’s a physical pain. It’s not sleeping. It’s increased in eating or addiction issues, bossiness or road rage. You can’t be a good leader if you are not sleeping, if your memory is shot, or if your cognitive higher brain functions are not working, and that’s what we see with stress. You tend to look for more negative things when you are already in a stressful state.
That’s our brain protecting us. It’s going to tell us that every garden hose is a snake. That’s not good. If you are heading into a communication, a sales call or a negotiation. If you are already looking for negatively balanced words or you are misreading their body language, “He doesn’t like me.” That’s what the lens of stress does. We view everything through this cloudy windshield in our car. You can’t have good leadership without communication. You can’t have a good bottom line and build your business without good leadership. Even if you are an entrepreneur solopreneur, you still need to have that ability to communicate well and be a good leader. If you are stressed, it’s not going to happen.
You said two things that I liked. If you are already looking at everything, as if everything is against you, you said, “Assume every garden hose is a snake.” The lens of negativity like, “Where does that come from?” I always say, “We come into the Earth room as vessels of light.” The epitome of abundance. The moment we are pushed out of the uterus into the universe, we are a vessel of light. In the next minute, we meet our parents, and immediately, our light starts to evaporate.
How much time does it take for you to become this negative vessel that is holding all of this stress that is leading to stress, the epitome of stress, and trying to call it leadership? How does this happen? I don’t even know if you can answer the question but from your perception, having done this work for all of these years, I work with these people through stress management and then the ego state of work. Where does it come from for you? Where do you find that breaking point where you can open them up to the possibility that there’s something other than stress and negativity available to them if they would look for it?
I’m going to do a quick exercise with you because it’s going to illustrate this exact thing. I want you right now to look around your room and find everything you can that’s red. Memorize everything that’s red. Now close your eyes and try to recall everything you saw that was blue.
I don’t have anything blue in my office except for an ink pen.
I see a lot of blue stuff behind you that you didn’t notice. Here’s the thing. The blue stuff didn’t disappear. You weren’t focused on it because you were only focused on the red. When I do this in groups, I see people start to laugh because they are like, “I didn’t see anything blue,” and then they realized they are sitting in front of a blue screen or they are in a blue shirt or the person in front of them has a blue streak in their hair.
We find what we are looking for, and our brain is out to protect us. Our brain is constantly scanning the environment for things that are a threat, negative and scary. Thank God we have that or we would assume every snake is a garden hose, and that’s not going to be good for our survival. We evolved, looking for danger. That is what we do.
The problem now is it’s not a bear jumping out. It’s not a snake. It’s the boss with a certain look telling us they want to see us at 2:00. We mount this huge fight or flight response, thinking this is a threat to us. One of the things we have to watch out for is we are looking at this emotional perceived stress as the same thing as a bear attacking us. You mount this huge fight or flight response.
In defense of our brain, it is its job. The way our brain works is when we think a certain thought, two parts of the brain communicate. When we are done thinking that thought, that connection goes away but there’s this little trail of dust left. To me, it looks like the Milky Way. The more we think that thought or that theme of thoughts, the stronger that connection of dust gets until we completely rewire our brain. It’s called neuroplasticity.
If we are constantly thinking negative things, that’s going to lead us to more and more negative things. It’s really hard to stop thinking about things. My grandmother was a fatalist. If you were two minutes late for dinner, she had you dead in a ditch. That’s it. She didn’t consider traffic. You were on a phone call or dead. You were gone. You are never coming back. That was how her brain worked. At that age, it has been so hard for me to help her retrain her brain.
Where does it come from?
It’s a defense mechanism.
How do we learn that? How do I learn that the way to protect myself is to be negative as opposed to the way to protect myself is to be cautiously optimistic? Where does that come from?
Part of that and how we shoot out of the womb, some of us are wired that way. I have seen kids terrified of everything, and the sibling is like, “What’s wrong with you? It’s the ocean. Get your feet wet.” Part of it is genetics, and the other part of it is how we are raised. I have watched friends of mine raise terrified children because at every turn it is, “Are you okay? Don’t touch that. Are you alright?”
When you grow up, and your brain is so malleable, hearing that the world is a dangerous place and the combination of our brain, knowing the world is a dangerous place and constantly looking for things to scare us. You are setting up the perfect concoction for a fear-based life, and it’s hard to undo that. If you are 40 years old and spent 40 years being fearful, add into that your brain who’s looking for things to scare you, it’s hard to undo that. This is where I love things like meditation, affirmations and visualization. We can retrain our brains. Neuroplasticity takes time. It’s not going to be that type of thing. As I do that, I realize hypnosis is that type of thing or something else I do.
If Susie has a thought one day that is contrary to every other thought she’s ever had, that thoughts spurs the possibility of something else existing for her. What are the steps that Susie has to take to live into that possibility to begin retraining her brain?
That’s going to be a tough one. Susie is a mess. If she has spent, however old Susie is, 45 years being scared, negative, looking for failure, and knowing she’s not good enough. If she has a thought of, “Maybe I can go apply for that new job.” Everything in her brain is saying, “No, you can’t. You are a loser. Do you remember the last time you applied for that job? You made a fool of yourself. You are stupid.”
I don’t want to continue us down that path. I want to assume that she has created an opening. There’s somebody reading that has been in the space of negativity that has also been introduced to the example of positivity, and they want to explore that and want to fight against everything in them that brings the negative back. What do I do? How do I take this one thin thread of thought that is contrary to everything that I know and ride it until the wheels fall off so that I can begin to change my reality? “I don’t want to go back. I only want to move forward.” What does that look like?
Surround yourself with positive people. Get cheerleaders, people who are going to tell you are fabulous, you are worth it, and you can do it. You have to believe that and say it for yourself. To me, the easiest way to retrain the brain is by doing affirmations. If those negative thoughts come in like, “I can’t do it,” you need to switch that right away.
When we look at beautiful things, our mind starts to shift. We head towards positivity.
Having a partner that’s supportive, and I know, unfortunately many people are locked in either passive-aggressive narcissistic negative relationships. You’ve got to get away from people whose purpose is to bring you down. Surround yourself with positive people, positive thoughts, and positive images. When we look at things that are beautiful, our mind starts to shift. We head towards that positivity.
I want to keep us on a trajectory of giving them actionable steps that they can utilize. I love what you said. “When you look at something beautiful, your brain starts to shift.” Affirmations, I know what they are, and I don’t like to make the assumption that everybody knows what we are talking about. Can you define what an affirmation is first and foremost?
The key to affirmations is you want to make them short, positive language, and put them in the present moment as if you already have that thing, not, “Someday I will not be broke.” That’s not right. “I am prosperous and abundant.”
I’m purposely stopping you because I want to make it elementary so that people don’t miss this because this is huge. I know it’s your work, and you do it every day and twice on Sunday, and you probably don’t even think anything about it but the person who exists in a paradigm of negativity that has a glimpse of positivity needs to be slow-walked.
Rather than saying something like, “Someday, I will not be broke.” That’s putting it in the future. That’s using the word broke. It’s using that negative language. The way you want to do the affirmation, as I said, is short and positive in the present moment. It’s a short statement affirming that thing that you want but you are going to say it as if you already have it because that’s how our brain works.
Don’t use a negative word like “Not” because your brain doesn’t hear not. It hears the negative, the other thing that you said, so it starts to retrain the brain. We all have an area of negativity that we tend towards, maybe it’s relationships, our weight or a job. Figure out that thing that you hear yourself saying all the time. With money, I hear people say, “I don’t have enough. I’m broke. I can’t afford that. I will never get that.” They say things like that to keep them held down.
If you shift that to, “I am prosperous and abundant. Money flows easily to me. I am surrounded by riches and lavish,” whatever you want. Your brain starts to rewire. That thought that used to be dust now starts to hardwire, and it leads you towards more negative things. Our brain looks for stuff that we are familiar with. This is why we stay in negative relationships or a job we don’t like. It would rather be familiar than step out into the unknown that terrifies the brain.
You are back to where you are trying to do, but I’m thinking about our readers and maybe they are going to be able to dissect all of this. To you, it’s second nature but to the person who lives in a paradigm of negativity, this is German. If you keep speaking German to them, then they don’t understand.
When you say a short statement affirming what you want, I want to talk about the word ‘want’ because I believe that ‘want’ is a negative lack word. Wouldn’t it be better stated to say what it is that they desire so that they stay in positive energy because the want for most people is a reminder of what they don’t have?
Yes, but you are not using the word ‘want.’ I was using that whether it’s prosperity, abundance, joy or a good relationship. I use the word want. You are not going to use the word want in the affirmation.
I get that piece of it but the reason why this is important is because of the energy of want versus the energy of desire. We need them to raise their vibration. We haven’t gotten into the energetic flow that goes with affirmations that puts them in a space where they can start attracting things they want much faster. If we are going to talk about stress and the role stress plays, and negativity and shifting into positivity, we do have to be careful with the words that we use.
I never thought about the word want is being negative. I guess that doesn’t hit me that way.
You are not negative. Now, I live in a paradigm of abundance. There is no lack in my life. However, that was not always the case. I’m sure you do this with your clients without even realizing it, even because it’s second nature to you. I listened to my clients, and the energy that the word want holds for them is always bombed down energy.
I get them to shift and start thinking about what they desire instead, and their energy lightens. Now they can consider the possibility there. They are starting to smile a little bit more because there’s baggage associated with wants, but there’s this lightness or euphoria even to a certain extent that is associated with a desire or a fantasy, that thing that you desire instead.
I want to make sure that the readers that are like, “I love what they are saying. How do I make this practical?” Even the words that you choose make a difference. We are going to surround ourselves with positive people, going to make sure that we believe it ourselves, which can be hard. Maybe we raise our belief through erecting these short statements that are present in positive tense. From your vantage point, how important is the ownership of the statement? How important is the I am at the front of the statement?
You have to. That’s the way I was taught to do them because it’s about you. It’s about what you desire. The other thing is if you want to get into the affirmations, write them out longhand and cursive, they don’t teach us anymore because that handwriting goes directly to our subconscious. If you do it a half hour before you go to sleep, it goes directly into the subconscious, and your brain works on it all night long. The most suggestible time for our brain and our subconscious is that half hour before we go to bed.
That was so juicy good, and I have never heard that. I have done a lot of work in and around affirmation, the power of the statements, the importance of using I am, all of that, which is why I pulled it out for you because your initial definition was a short statement but a short statement of ownership is how you do it. Writing it longhand in cursive 30 minutes before you go to bed is how you start to change your brain. I could smack you, and that’s a good thing.
I have never heard that. I have heard before you go to bed, write things down. Never cursive and the importance of it being in cursive, and that if you write it before you go to bed, your brain will vacillate on it all night. That is brilliant. If you are reading and want to stop reading this interview, drop it and start writing these statements.
I’m totally okay with that because that is how we are going to move you in a direction to your desires, to the things that you crave more than what your life experience has taught you, based on what you were raised to believe, have come to believe, and keep telling yourself is your belief. There is an opportunity for you to change your belief. What else did we do? Those are the first three are surrounding ourselves with positive people, believe it in ourselves, and reciting affirmations. What else?
Visualizing is great. We are daydreaming all the time anyway. We always have that fantasy running through our heads. Often, it’s a negative fantasy. It’s like, “The boss is going to yell at me. The boyfriend is going to leave.” We project into this negative future. One, there is no future. There’s only the present. As our brain again looks for things that are familiar to us, if we are constantly expecting a negative future, we are going to get a negative future. Whereas if you are visualizing positive things, your brain is going to work on finding the positive things. It’s how it works.
You said two things I love. “We are daydreaming all day anyway. We might as well make it work for us.” I love that first and foremost, and then, “There is no future. There’s only the present.” Can you unpack that for us a little bit?
He’s one of my favorite teachers. I have studied with him for years, and he said he was at a little bar in Scotland and on the door and said, “Free beer tomorrow,” and people kept showing up, and he kept saying, “Tomorrow.” There is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is now today. Why suffer twice? If, in the future, something bad happens, then you can decide how you want to respond to it. To waste this beautiful, precious moment, thinking about things that haven’t even happened that scare the crap out of you, why are we doing that to ourselves?
If you want to get into the affirmations, write them out longhand and cursive because that handwriting goes directly to our subconscious.
What if in the middle of the night, if you are going to think about the future and we have to plan? I’m all about fantasizing about the future but make it positive. Same thing with dragging negative stuff from the past. How often has days after the flight, people are still complaining about, “I stayed on the runway for fifteen minutes,” or wherever it was. We get some little burst of something by complaining about this stuff. Let the guy on the freeway go. Let the bad relationship go. It’s not always easy but we have to try to let that stuff in the past because it’s affecting our now, and our now is all we have.
I feel like what I’m hearing you say is the role that forgiveness has to play. Forgiveness needs to be a perpetual state. You are never not in a state of forgiveness so that you leave the fifteen minutes on the runway behind and can move on to whatever is next waiting for you to potentially change your life, which is so powerful.
The reason I love talking about mindset and regardless of where you are now and where it is that you desire to be tomorrow, it’s always a mindset shift that is the catalyst to you getting there. It’s so important. When I think about your work and this whole mind-body connection, I know that there’s potentially a medicinal piece that’s a part of it but your mind has the ability to heal your body.
I have read stories. I know people who heal themselves from cancer through their positive beliefs. I forget I read it years ago but something crazy like maybe 75% or 80% of cancer cases are as a result of unresolved emotional distress in the body. That is crazy to me but at the same time, I completely get it. When I think about your work and what it is that you do and how not being in a perpetual state of forgiveness will create in us all of those things that we claim we don’t desire in our life experiences.
I never thought about it as the guise of forgiveness but you are right. If the person cuts you off on the freeway, go, “Clearly, you are in a rush to get somewhere. God bless. Go in peace. Why am I going to put myself in a stress state about that?” The other thing is if you look at our society and things like social media and reality TV, we get rewarded for negative behavior all the time.
If we are standing at a cocktail party, remember when we could do that in person, and we are standing in that circle and like, “How’s your day?” “I’m good. How are you?” “I’m fine. How are you?” “I’m okay.” Who suddenly gets all the attention? There’s a huge piece of secondary gain for being negative. We get so much attention for the funny story about being stuck on the runway, and they ran out of ice, and how horrible the flight was. That becomes our identity if you are using it as an anecdote. Sure. If you are using it as an identity, that’s where it has to shift.
How does taking this need to shift the identity move us into the ego state of work and learning how to shift the way you see yourself first and foremost, so that your ego shows up as a positive reflection of who you are instead of a more negative fear-based, which is typically what ego is? How does that correlation start?
When looking at the ego state optimization piece, we have anywhere up to 50 different characters that we can come up with at any given time. I have got a lecture, girlfriend, trapeze girl, or crazy funny Kathy. We all have these different pieces. You act differently at the PTA meeting than you do at the business meeting. I hope. You would act differently at the football game with the guys than you do on your first date with a girl or I hope. Who do you want to bring forward? We all have this scared, negative, anxious piece. We all have a scared little kid. Knowing who you are, knowing those team players in your inner team, we tend to have about 10 to 15 aspects that come forward most often.
They are formed in childhood. They are hardwired into the brain. This is not some construct. They are studies to support this. If you know who you are, these different pieces of who you are, then you can pick who wants to come forward. My mom used to play with these paper dolls, and the first paper doll was this little girl, a slip, a little smock, and you could put whatever outfit on her you wanted.
You could make her a little marching band person, a queen, a princess or an animal. If you don’t know what those outfits are, you can’t choose what you are going to wear now. It’s a matter of know thyself. Writing down your different aspects, write down what role they play or what they want to be called. How can you bring them forward?
How do I get to know my true self? Not the negative Nelly part of myself. I feel like the people who are perpetually negative get to the point where they say, “There’s got to be more to life than this. This can’t be all that there is.” Asking that question or making that statement is enough to start the wheels in the direction of who they are supposed to be instead. I have said that to myself. “I know there’s got to be more to life than this.” How do I begin the process of getting to know myself?
I don’t know if you have ever been in a team situation where you’ve got a bunch of people at a board meeting or something. There’s always that one guy. He has to answer every question. He has to jump in. He has to interrupt. He has to be the center of attention. Look at that boardroom as all of your different selves. What does that guy need? Does he need attention or reassurance? Does he have a fear that if he doesn’t speak up, he will be looked at as stupid? What role does that loud mouth in the corner play in that meeting?
It’s the same thing with all of our different personalities. My main personality, I call her Capricorn. She’s very driven. She’s type A. She’s, “This is Capricorn. This gesture.” She takes over my life. She gets everything done. She keeps me on task. She’s also a hard nose, very judgmental, and workaholic. “Why are you sitting down at 10:00 at night to have a glass of wine and watch TV? You have more work to do, young lady.”
It sounds like she needs to take a chill pill.
I have found ways to go, “What do you need?” She fears that if I’m not constantly productive, either I’m going to fail or people are going to perceive me as a failure. People aren’t going to like me. The more I accomplish, the more I’m going to be loved. It’s having that conditional love from your parents. All of these forms when we are little kids. Even as a little kid, I’m like, “If I work harder, they are going to love me more.”
I had a good childhood but these personalities form. It’s a matter of saying, “She can’t drive the bus the whole time. Who do I want in charge of? I want my playful one to come out. I want to go on a hike and play football and be funny with my boyfriend. I want my compassionate one, my caregiver, to come out.” Sitting down and writing. “Who are these different pieces of my personality?”
Get to know what they need and where they came from if you can figure that out. I have this comedian jokester that came out because I realized that was an appealing part of myself when I was younger. My dad was the jokester. I imitated that, and now I have this clowny character that comes out. It’s like Chandler Bing from Friends. Anytime he was stressed or there was something emotional, he became funny. That was his go-to ego state.
Can I do this work by myself or do I need somebody to support me?
Having a coach who knows how to do this or a therapist, there are psychologists that do this thing, is helpful. You can do it yourself. This is one of my favorite things when I do coaching and hypnosis. I have seen this unlock so much in people because they realize they have a different choice. Like in the office, you are not going to turn to the CEO and have him make all the copies. You have Bob in the copy room to do that. It’s about calling on the right personality for the right job. There are times my Capricorn is needed, and there are times she gets in the way. I get to make that choice. I love this work. This is one of my favorites.
“There are times when your Capricorn is needed, and there are times when she’s in the way. I get to make that choice.” Every single one of us we have different personalities. The one that serves and protects us mostly is needed but there are times when they are in the way like when we need to let our guard down and be vulnerable in relationships. Not romantic relationships, even in business relationships.
If you have the desire to build a team and take your company beyond the million-dollar mark, and you are a staunch type A personality, you are not going to probably be able to get people on your team who can believe and support your vision. There’s going to be a time when the vulnerable version of yourself needs to come forward so that you can share the vision and get everybody to rally around the vision so they can get excited about the vision and work towards the vision. I feel like that statement is worth the price of admission. That was so good.
Now that you know that these ego states exist, you are going to watch yourself switching states and see people around you switching states. If you ever find yourself going, “Why did I say that I hate when I act like that? Why did I agree to head up the PTA again? I don’t want to do that.” Ego state shift. The wrong ego state went to the PTA meeting. The vulnerable people pleaser showed up and went, “Donna, I will do it again.” The rest of your states went, “No.”
If we’re constantly expecting a negative future, we’re going to get a negative future. If you visualize positive things, your brain will work on finding positive things.
How do I make a choice? Is it consciously? I like when I feel this version of myself was present, bringing this person present more. Is it that simple?
I don’t know how simple it is but, yeah. No way that it’s that. You have to know who they are first. You have to know all the members of the team before you can call them the right ones. What role they play? When do you think you need them? How do you get them? My Capricorn is always ready to go but how do I get my vulnerable little kid to come out?
How do I get my circus trapeze, “I’m going to get this trick right,” character? Sometimes we anchor them in. If I want speaker Kathy, I got to put on my heels. I got to put on that nice dress, and the second I walk on that stage, she’s there. The way to get those is not only knowing them but if you come from that neutral place of self, it’s that paper doll with the slip-on.
Self comes from self-awareness is that know thyself thing but that’s self is that neutral. It’s compassionate, caring, patient, kind, and courteous. If we sit in that self and get there through things like meditation, the affirmations, and mindfulness practices, from that neutral place of self, we can pick whatever aspect of ourselves we want to put on.
The important thing I’m hearing you say is to be able to, in any circumstance, start at that neutral place. Let me make this real for the entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs that are going to be reading this show. You are about to have a big meeting with either a perspective client or your entire team. In the moments before you walk into the meeting, getting to a place like my Nana used to say, “Get somewhere and sit down.”
Get to a quiet place where you can allow your neutral self to emerge so that you can then call on the version of yourself. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology. Correct me if I’m wrong. Following the version of yourself that you need to go into the meeting. The hard butt doesn’t go into the meeting if this is an opportunity to rally the troops and to get them excited behind a vision.
The vulnerable version of yourself. The visionary goes into the meeting and not the hard-nosed boss who wants everything done. “Why are you laughing? We are supposed to be working hard here.” Being able to come to that space and get yourself down, and I feel like that’s so good. What that means is that we should never rush from meeting to meeting. We should always have space in between to collect ourselves.
As you said, to know who all that we are, to know which role that they play, and then determine which one we need for the next thing we have to do. That is so good. If you are reading, you got your whole life, whether you are consistently a negative Nelly or if you are a positive Patty but the opportunity to be able to get somewhere, sit down, and collect yourself.
I love the, “Who must I be?” That’s part of the model of abundance. To be able to ask yourself, “Who must I be,” so that particular version of yourself is who shows up to spring forth the goals, visions, and what it is that you desire. We are going to stop right there because I don’t think it gets any better. Before I let you go, I want to ask you a couple of questions. We always like little fun questions with every guest. My first question is, what is the last book you read?
I’m such a nerd. I read a book on Cognitive Behavioral Couple Therapy because I do couples coaching and wanted some exercises.
What is your favorite quote?
“Go for it.”
What is one system that in your own business you swear by to help you to take your business to the next level?
I’m a to-do list maker, and to me, you write it out in longhand again. When you do it, you cross it off, and if you go to cross off and realize you didn’t write it down, you write it down and cross it off.
It’s such a great conversation. I’m so excited for our readers to be able to read back to this episode over and over again. Thank you so much for being here with us. I appreciate you.
I appreciate you. Thanks for having me.
I told you, what’s that not the most amazing thing you have ever read? I love that Kathy shared so much, and she knows it like the back of her hand. She was able to help us break down what we are going to need to think about and modify to make these powerful, poignant in shifts. I loved our ability to be able to have a conversation around the difference between the word want and desire, and what that opens up in you.
Especially if you sometimes struggle with fear and those limiting beliefs that threaten to derail you from your purposes and what it is that you want. There were many powerful quotes that she said that I love. I want to share a couple of them with you, “If you know who you are, you can pick who you want to become and who you want to move forward.”
I thought that was so good. I loved that. There was something else she said and it was earlier in the interview. When she started talking about her work, she said, “I knew that they wanted me to do more than put an elbow in their back. They needed to talk.” We talked a little bit about the importance of the release in the negative energy. She said, “We all have a choice,” and she talked about herself. There are times when she needs her Capricorn and when she gets in the way, and all she has to do is make a choice that that’s what it is that she wants to do.
At the very end of our interview, when she talks about coming to the neutral place of self, the place where you are completely self-aware or compassionate and patient, where you can meditate and you can experience mindfulness, and from that place, deciding to lead. That was the magic of this entire conversation with Kathy. If you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, you can follow her around the internet and get access to whatever it is she has going on because being in connection with her could be the game changer on your Move to Millions. I will see you next time. Take care.