Picture of Wayne Andersen

Wayne Andersen

Session 9: Emotional Management

If you want to get healthier you can go to the physical gym consistently to stay healthy and be fit. If we stop caring for our bodies, they react in a negative way. The same happens with our minds. We need to hit the mental gym in order to understand ourselves and better navigate through tough situations in life. In this session, we talk about thoughts, emotions and the relationship between them.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: Hello. Welcome everybody. Very excited about being here with you today on our Conscious Leadership forum. I want to basically— hope everybody had a wonderful Fourth of July, that’s in the United States, and for those of you around the world, I hope you had a great weekend, and it’s time to focus on ourselves. 

One of the key things that I’m excited about, I spent, over the holidays, I was with great friends and we talked a lot about consciousness and being able to really be fully alive and present for the moment and you know so many people are distracted and we have so many things happening in the world. We’re connected to the world through the internet, through our computers, through our phones, through t.v., through blogs, through a whole bunch of different ways, and you know I— obviously, some very serious things happened during the world this weekend.

Things that weren’t so good and those kind of things bother us, and they have an effect on us, and they can really give us time to kind of go inside here [gestures to head] and start to think about, “What does this mean to me? How does this affect me? How does this affect the world? Is the world getting worse?” And all this stuff is just part of what’s going on in the world. It’s not really us, it’s our interpretation of that. So it’s never been more important to really focus on working on ourselves. 

You know, I talk a lot about the mental gym versus just the physical gym. If you want to get healthier you need to go to the physical gym and you need to do it consistently in order to stay healthy and be fit, cardiovascular fitness, weight resistance, all the things that are important, and if we don’t do it our body basically responds in a negative way. The same thing with our minds. Our minds were designed to protect us 10,000 years ago and yet today, with all the stuff going on, including these tragic events of the last weekend, if we don’t know how to process, we don’t understand how to take that information and be aware of it, understand it, but not allow it to affect us emotionally to the point where it incapacitates us. We can be in trouble, and most people are in trouble in their mind, their emotional mismanagement is causing all kinds of dysfunction and so we want to talk about that today. 

But before we do that I just want to show you a couple things that are going on. You know we’ve created easier ways for you to focus on your mind, I’m now doing a blog. You can go to drwayneandersen.com for recordings and for forum transcripts. So, everything we’re talking about today is permanently memorialized for you and of course, there’s no charge for it. We want to make sure that this is a forum and a place where you can work on yourself unabated and you have access to that information. I want to show you now, many of you know that last month I was in London recording and filming “Conscious Leadership” and consciousness and focusing on our self-awareness and our management, and so I wanted to now, roll just a little snippet of some of the work that was done over there and some of the work you can look forward to because I always want to give you video support and things to help you. So, let’s roll this.

VIDEO: In order to create optimal health and well-being for yourself we have to ask ourselves a lot of questions and we have to decide that, “I want to do this.” It’s much easier to stay in the space you’ve been in, the comfort zone, right? “Life is okay. Life is fine. I’m doing okay,” but that’s not really where life is. We were put on this planet for a very short period of time and I believe it’s to optimize ourselves. To become more, and I know you have it inside of you. You have such greatness inside of you and no matter what happened in the past, your future is in front of you and we can help take you on that journey. It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to sit and do this day in and day out. Just like you don’t get in shape physically overnight but the practice makes perfect and anything can be changed with practice. 

I don’t care what your situation is. I came from a relatively modest family and I live a life most people only dream of now and it’s taken a lot of work, but I can tell you, spending the time working on yourself may not seem like an immediate benefit but it’ll come pretty quick. It’ll come because you’ll start to change your relationship with yourself and also with others and when you build that internal stability where things can’t trigger you, where you sit back and look at everything using this beautiful thing that we’re the only creature on the planet that has access to, which is this treasure, this gift we have and if we’re using this versus that labrador, that emotional, that reptilian brain. We can change everything. And everybody has that, we just have to understand how it works, how we can modify it, and how we can put it in position to serve you because once this serves you and no longer the emotions, these long-term emotional loops serve you, you’re now in position to change everything and that starts today. 

Dr. A: Okay, so hopefully that was— you guys like that. Put one in the chat if you enjoyed that and more and more will be coming out on that to help you and I saw a request, “Can I share this with my clients?” Yeah, we’re going to make— that’s what it’s designed for. It’s designed way beyond the traditional mission that we’re on. It’s designed for anybody that’s interested in improving their health and well-being.

[00:05:22] So, I just want to refresh because it’s been a month or so. Our forum basically is designed as a place, a meeting, a medium, where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged and so today, really excited about talking about understanding our personal mind. Now, if we think about it, consciousness is basically referring to the state of being aware of one’s surroundings, the things around us, our thoughts inside, and our feelings. 

So, just as a review, consciousness of awareness on the outside is— this is the way our brains were designed, they were brain— they were designed to fully take in what was going on in the present moment. 10,000 years ago you were fully aware of everything because it was important for survival and if you look up and just look at animals in general they’re always very, very aware of their surroundings and that was important for us to take this data in, but besides that we have our inside world which are awareness of our thoughts, and our feelings, and this is where I want to talk today about our personal mind versus the creative thoughts that we have. 

We are designed. Our prefrontal cortex, I mentioned it in the film, is designed to truly allow people to fully create anything they want. It’s a brilliant mind, it’s the analytical, it actually has the ability to create executive, we built skyscrapers, airplanes that can fly with 500 people on them, we’re going to— we’ve been to the moon, we’re getting ready to go to Mars. That part is the part that Einstein used incredibly well [laughing] and we each have that and I think it’s so important for us to understand that because we all have this part. Unfortunately, what we do is we get stuck in our personal mind which is all about what we like and we don’t like and it keeps us from using full access to this incredible part. 

So, you know, our creative thoughts are willful. We have the ability any time. Right now if I said to you, “Okay, what is two plus two?” You could immediately, and obviously it’s— that one’s a pretty simple one, but you would immediately be able to take that prefrontal cortex do that executive function and say, “It’s four,” boom, just like that because you have the willful ability to do that. 

We also have the creative process and auditory. We can actually think in our mind and actually listen and sing or say something where we actually feel the sounds, and we can create with that. We have the visual part, were we can create— I can right now, say to you, “Visualize what’s in your refrigerator,” and you would immediately go into your refrigerator in your mind and visualize what was there and it’s brilliant, it’s incredible and it’s the area that I talked about in that little video, the part that allows us to have unlimited potential, to truly create what we want and organize our life around what matters. But unfortunately, there’s other thoughts and those thoughts include everything from automatic thoughts, where we just spontaneously, you know— you’re in your car and you’re thinking, “Oh, did I turn off the stove?” And that’s the voice in your head. 

We have that voice in our head that just kind of, always telling us what to do, and by the way, just so you know we’re not going to talk about that much today, but it is 99 percent of the time incorrect. It tells you stuff that just isn’t true. It creates paranoia, neurosis, and all kinds of things for us because it’s made up stories. Stuff we make up, we fill in the blanks when we’re not sure and it’s about our self concepts. So, that’s our personal mind. We each have one. We have our own individual, it’s unique to us, nobody else has the same personal mind. 

When we see or experience something and we see something outside we could either experience it just as it is or we can interpret it with our personal mind. Usually, our stored trauma, our negative thoughts, our dislikes and likes, they all modify how we think about something so we are no longer looking at the world objectively. We have our self-concepts, we may like something and we may dislike something, and according to that, that’s how we act. We don’t truly experience it. 

So, I’ll just tell you a concept that I just saw a little while ago. I was walking down the hall and my dog, my labrador retriever, black labrador, Fin, Finley, and Savannah’s cat, which, you know, basically my own personal concept is, I’m not much into cats and I apologize if you are, that’s great! I’m not into them because I’m allergic to them and I just find them kind of offsetting, you know, I like the feeling of the domestic dog sitting there licking your foot and maybe that’s part of in here [gestures to head] but that happens to be my like. But I saw, and the concept is, that dogs and cats fight, right? They hate each other. Tom and Jerry as we were growing up, you know, all those things were, “ats and dogs don’t get along,” that’s a concept most of us hold, yet I looked at him and that cat, Stash, was sitting there literally licking the labrador’s ear and snuggling up to him and as I conceptually walked down the hall, I said, “What a brilliant, beautiful, example of how we conceptualize the way the world should be” but it isn’t necessarily like that and by observing it, looking at them, I noticed that they like each other. 

[00:10:19] So, that’s where our personal concepts or our stereotypes, so to speak, get in the way and have us interpret what happens through our own personal story of it. We make up what we think should be happening. That’s really important to understand. So, in the moment, bottom line, if a rattlesnake is rattling next to you, just like it was 10,000 years ago, because there were a lot more things that could hurt you, bottom line is you would react, have fear, fear is an emotion. An emotion triggers action. The action would be, you would either freeze or you would run. You would get out of there. So, it does service in the moment, these things that are built into our brain. 

They’re there for a reason and the labrador part, the emotional part of our brain is important, but what happens unfortunately, is we store the trauma. We don’t— we have that fear but we don’t fully process it because it’s uncomfortable and then we start thinking about snakes, and so we resist it, and we store it. Now, some people, it’s good, in your memory, that you recognize that down in that bush there was a snake, great you don’t— you avoid that bush. That’s proper memory, that’s how it’s designed, but to start thinking about that snake all the time and anything that resembles the snake, you know, you’re walking down the road and there’s a rope, and you see a rope on the ground, and all of a sudden you either look and see, “Oh, it’s just a rope,” and you move on or it triggers in you that trauma and all of a sudden you’re scared of that rope and you’re thinking about it. And all of a sudden this beautiful walk you’re having in the country, because you saw the rope, is now totally diffused and now all you’re doing is thinking about that.

So basically, if we think about it, if you’re in the garden and you’re afraid because you’re worried about snakes, you’re not going to have a pleasant experience and gardening is one of the most meditative ways to relax, enjoy nature, and be part of it. So, hopefully this is starting to make sense. We have our stored trauma, things inside that affect us way beyond even— and we modify things, when reality is no longer there and we have anxiety, and we may carry anxiety about snakes to the point where we don’t go in the woods, we won’t walk in the desert, we won’t even go to our garden. So it’s important to start to understand how our mind thinks. How our personal mind literally gets in the way for us to be able to really, truly, enjoy life.

So here’s another one, you know, everybody when you see this picture [references a puppy on the slide], you—- everybody goes, “Aw,” because you feel joy. You feel this warm feeling of innocence of a puppy, and we want to cling to that. Clinging is the same thing. Enjoy the experience, but then not move on beyond it. So, give you an example, let’s say you and your spouse or your girlfriend or boyfriend, you know, or just a friend, went somewhere on vacation and you had this incredible experience. You had a beautiful sunset and you remember that. Or you had, you know, something happened that was so intense that it was just incredible. 

So now, rather than just letting that happen and enjoying it for the moment and moving on and experience what happens next, we now start thinking about that and you may get to the point where, you know, people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their life, and so rather than being full and present you’re thinking three weeks from now, “I’m going on vacation,” and “I’m going to enjoy and have that same experience.” Well, I guarantee if you’re clinging to that and you’re conceptualizing what that experience was like when you go on vacation, you are going to be disappointed because you’re now creating a way that experience should be and if the food isn’t as good at the restaurant, or it’s cloudy, or it rains one day, all of a sudden this wonderful time that you anticipate you’re going to have doesn’t actually happen. 

So, it’s really important to understand how our mind does that. What we want to do is get to the upper, the upper photo [references slide], unfiltered being able to at every moment be present, be able to fully be aware. It’s not that we like everything that happens and if we don’t like something as it’s happening, but we let that experience happen. If we are scared because of that snake, have that experience, feel it and go, “Phew, that was a close call,” and let that go totally, totally through us versus resist it. If we filter and resist things because you can see all those cogs [reference to image on slide] that’s why emotional mismanagement just dominates most people and people can’t even sleep at night because they’ve got so many cognitive emotive loops going on. 

Our triggers, our concepts, that things should be a certain way, these are unfinished mental and emotional patterns. They can be great, they can be stored, resisted, or clung to. Either way, the idea is we want to learn how to release those. So, our voice in our head, as you know, is something that’s telling you what the way the world should be or giving you a story. Most of the time, which is in— and here’s an example, let’s just say, going back to relationships, let’s say your significant other doesn’t answer when you text them, or call them, and you start worrying, “Well, what’s going on?” And maybe the weekend before you were out at a party and they were dancing with somebody and it seemed, just seemed, in your head they were dancing a little, little too close.

Now all of a sudden, you’re making up this story about how, you know, “What are they doing? Where are they?” And you’re anticipating, and then there’s this hour, and then all of a sudden you get a hold of them and your mind was telling you all these negative things, your voice in your head, and yet what your spouse was doing, actually when you got home was preparing an incredible surprise party for you for your birthday and all of a sudden, “Oh,” you’re so joyful and yet the next morning your voice in your head, you’re fully believing it again.

[00:15:49] So, it’s really important to start to understand objective reality. Being able to see everything in witness, including your thoughts and your feelings, is the first step. So conscious of our inner world, awareness, is critical because events, people, and something’s going to happen all day long in your life and what we do is, our ego, our personal mind takes over, and what it does is it creates these automatic thoughts. The automatic thoughts create these emotions and these emotions create the drama triangle, and that’s why 95 to 98 percent of people are in the drama trial all the time. And so what they’re doing is, they’re projecting or expressing outward.

If you’re upset with someone because they didn’t talk to you, you may express it and project and say, “Hey Sam, you know, I said ‘hi’ to you, why didn’t you say ‘hi’ back?” and what you’re doing now is you’re projecting something that’s your stored trauma inside your self-worth, or whatever, it doesn’t matter, and now you’re getting into Sam’s stuff, and now pretty soon, you’re in the drama triangle again. Or you resist or cling, and this is what most people do, rather than that they start thinking: “oh well, Sam doesn’t like me. I can’t believe it. I’ve been so good to him.” And we start to resist or cling, if it’s something that’s good, or if it’s something that’s bad. But the point is, we suppress these things and then we have all this stored trauma and now when something happens, rather than just experience it unfiltered, we filter it through that process and what we do is we create internal instability which then translates the external lack of equilibrium in our relationship.

Hopefully this has been helpful. I’m gonna stop sharing now and open it up for questions. So, with that, let’s start off. Rachel, who do we have?

Rachel: Okay, we have Faith up first. Faith, can you come on camera and unmute yourself? 

Faith: Hi! 

Dr. A: Hi, Faith.

Faith: Hi. Thanks for taking my question. So, I spent a great portion of my life taking feedback as an emotional thing, I’ve recently realized. So, growing up and, you know, no shade on my parents, it’s just how I grew up. But feedback was either a manipulation or maybe shame based and so in my adult life, I found that feedback with my business or other relationships has been really emotional for me and that— so recently I realized that that’s a thing for me, and it’s a journey to not have it be emotional. So, do you have a journey of how you started taking feedback in a neutral way or any tips or tricks on how to do that?

Dr. A: Yeah, great. Thank you, Faith. So first of all, your parents were doing the best they could do, right? And that’s the first thing. It’s acceptance, forgiveness, and not clinging to the past or thinking of the past. So, that’s the first thing, because, you know, they were doing the best— they didn’t know, I mean I— listen, I went through the same thing, my— I remember how my parents— I was brought up. The second part is understanding that everything that happens in your life is happening as experience and a growth mechanism for you, right? So, it’s fine that you recognize it’s just— now not beating yourself up for that.

You realize there’s an emotional tendency and you look at— you know whether it’s your self-worth or feeling because when we’re little, especially around the age of until about five or so, we don’t have the ability, our cognitive areas aren’t developed yet, and so we don’t have a rational brain. Anything that happens to us we take full value. So that stuff gets imprinted, engrammed into us. So, we have those store traumas in us. It’s all in there. The first thing, and the part for me— and by the way, I had the same thing, and so I really self-soothed myself. I became very, very— actually it’s part of my success, and I’m sure it’s been your success, is that you take care of yourself. You become your own person and then everything is reflected from that and you’re in the proving, or the stage where you’re trying to make it right, right? 

You’re trying to create the ideal reality, conflict, resolution, but it’s impossible because if you think that way of yourself, doesn’t matter, you can win the Nobel Prize and if you think you’re stupid? You can be the first in your class, you know, honor society, win the Nobel Prize if you think that, you still think that, in fact why would somebody want to do that unless they want to prove that they weren’t? So the first thing is realizing that our thoughts and our feelings aren’t us and obviously the questions you’re asking is, you’re on a journey of self-exploration and growth, so what I can tell you is that my ego was very important and you, I think you’re a physician too, right? 

Faith: I am, yeah.

Dr. A: Yeah, so you know, going through medical school, doing your internship in your residencies, there was a lot of determination and willpower that you used to do that, and here’s the cool thing about it, doesn’t matter, those mechanisms, they served you at the time, they served you right up until, right this moment as you and I are talking, and what’s cool about it, and that’s the thing, is right now, “Boom,” you can make the decision that, you know, what, “I’m not my thoughts. I’m not my feelings. I am this brilliant mind inside of here that’s going to now create the life in the future that I want. Organizing it for myself. If the people around me, I’m going to become fully present and I’m no longer engaged in allowing those things, those concepts, that are in there to now have energy.” You know, it’s about feeding those. 

[00:21:09] So, Stop. Challenge. and Choose. is the most primordial thing I created a long time ago, but it’s great because you’re inside of you. You know, when that happens your body is gonna, right at the beginning, you’ll feel that icky sauce, right? You know what I’m talking about, right? And when you feel that, you can stop, you can actually stop and say okay, “Why am I feeling that,” and just is it, “What’s the emotion?” And then fully express it. It only takes about 90 seconds, you know, our emotional coherence is about protecting us. It’s about opening up our heart to be able to fear when we need to, when the rattlesnake’s there, but not, go beyond that, allowing that to be, “Oh, I recognize that.” So the first part is the mechanical part of understanding that, “Okay, I’m going to have thoughts on my feelings. They’re not me, they’re removed from me.” And the more faith that you can move yourself back, it’s almost in the object, it’s called, you know, basically the “Objective Seed of Consciousness” where you’re able to recognize you’re not your thoughts. And what’s cool about it, if you start to have that feeling, if you kind of move yourself physically back from that, that’s the first step.

It’s the self-recognition the self-awareness that starts the process and then the fun part is the self-management which is, you know, there’s a whole bunch of work done but most of it is really about either changing a negative into a positive, that’s, you can just shift it and say— so the example I like to use is, you know, let’s say you’re in a 25 mile an hour zone and you have this person driving 20 miles an hour behind you, or in front of you, and you’re sitting there and you can either start buying into that, the frustration like, “Oh, what are they doing?” You know, “How can that be?” And getting more and more upset or you can say, “okay, I’m gonna— it’s gonna take me another five minutes. If I’m gonna be late, I’m gonna make the call because I’m not someone who’s late.” So you defuse or debunk that concept. Just say, “Hey, we’re in traffic. I’ll be there a little later.” And then spend that extra 10 minutes, listen to a podcast, sitting there relaxing. 

If you’re doing a presentation, or going into a meeting, or seeing a patient, basically say, “Okay, how can I now be better prepared for that?” So, it’s really— that’s the easiest one because you can just switch out, right? Our— we are negatively biased. We have a tendency. We tell three people something positive and 33 people something negative, it’s just the way and that was teleologically designed for us 10,000 years ago and what happens is the drama cycle is a sense of, you know, whatever news station you watch, they’re all doing the same thing, right? They’re pointing fingers and they’re built into that adrenaline rush that’s occurring because they feel alive because they’re pissed off, right? Or we’re blaming somebody. 

The same thing happens to us. We can just sit there and say, “Okay I’m going to get more upset about this,” and start building up and we know emotional mismanagement is the leading cause of death, so if we can just stop that and put something positive. Say, “Oh great! I got another five minutes to do this.” And then change, that’s the first thing we can do. The second thing is we can actually get the point where we recognize that this is our pattern and that’s what it is. Our life becomes likes and dislikes. It’s a series of patterns that we have decided inside that make life right for us and when those things happen as we hope, life is beautiful, but most of the time life is going to happen in a different way than we want. So, it’s going to be dealing with hostile people, a scared patient, somebody that’s got secondary gain and there they don’t want to get better, they actually love that you’re spending time with them and your ability, you know, as a physician, I’m not sure what specialty your in, but the bottom line is just being able to be aware of that in a relational— that’s why I talk about external equilibrium, it allows you as a physician, working— or with your patients, or your clients, or your coaches, or your business coaches, it allows us now to remove ourselves so we’re not engaging with their stuff. Does that make sense?

Faith: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much. So appreciate it.

Dr. A: Yeah, and just one last thing because I think, you know, actually I talk more in there about your external things with other people. The journey really starts within and I know that’s what you’re really asking me. That journey is a matter of just becoming so self-aware, multiple times a day and the other thing is, catch yourself and just take a moment and say, “Okay, where am I right now?” And you can use the traditional things of, “Where’s my breathing? Is my breathing down from my belly? Is my belly going out or is it shallow and up here? Am I in a,” You know, just as a physician to a physician, “Am I in a sympathetic tone or a parasympathetic tone?” Parasympathetic is our default mechanism. It’s our ability to be alert, calm, relaxed, everything flowing, very alert, or the sympathetic which is that adrenalized, where we’re now charged, breathing shallow, stress, tense, jaw, all those things and learning how to just separate that because you know what to do once you recognize that and it’s just that self-awareness of being able to move yourself back from being— not getting into the rapids, you know, not getting into— I talk about the rapids, the rocks being the concepts in there, all that stuff. Which we all have, by the way, no one’s a— I have it, just as— I have them all there too. 

[00:26:10] I’m just learning each day to be better at recognizing them and not allowing them to affect me and the best way to do that is, that very first moment before you go down the rabbit hole, is to sense it. Take some deep breaths, change your posture, relax, bring your shoulders back, and then you’re sensing that you are not your body. You are not your thoughts, your feelings. You are the conscious awareness that is able to manage those things and then start putting them in a position where it’s much easier, and over time things that bother you, you’ll see that, that’ll be the first to indicate. You’ll see things that would bother you before, no longer have any effect and I like the analogy. I heard this many years ago, but it’s like water on a duck’s back. That stuff, all that stuff, that used to get to you will start just rolling off you and you’ll be aware of it, but it will not have an effect on you.

Faith: Yeah. Well wonderful. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Dr. A: My pleasure. Thank you. Okay, who’s next? 

Rachel: All right, next up we have Denise. Denise, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?

Denise: Hey, Dr. Andersen. Thanks for taking that question. Actually, Faith, your answer to Faith’s question probably, pretty much answered mine a lot. When I get with pre-clients, when I get into some conversations and negative feedback in reference to just sharing the program or something like that. I just wanted to get some tips on moving from that point of where you kind of get silenced in what you really are excited about. You don’t want to go over, be overkill and seem salesy. I think a lot of tips you just gave, as far as just the physical stepping back, really helped me a lot, but I want to be more, I guess, be more bold and not be silenced in their concept of what they think I’m trying to say. 

Dr. A: Okay. [crosstalk 00:28:17]

Denise: So, yeah.

Dr. A: Okay. Let’s, just to make it easier, let’s just take an example. Give me an example.

Denise: Well, just the example would be, well I think, “I’ll just try to do,” you know, “Eating six times a day on my own,” or, you know, “that’s too expensive just for a diet.” 

Dr. A: Oh, okay, okay I get it. Yeah, so what you’re saying, well, first of all, you are in command of yourself and in leadership, whether it’s in business or in personal, it starts with yourself, right? Since it’s in your self awareness and self management, that’s the first part. So, you’re allowing people outside of you to affect you and bother you and so you’re making it about yourself. The key thing is to understand the creation and the creator. You are the creator. You’re the one that’s creating this new way of living, this new life, this new business, but you’re not what you’re creating. You are simply the person that’s making it happen. Okay, so when you have a potential client, whether they decide to use the program or not is immaterial and that’s how you have to look at it because we’re not sales people. We share and care, we don’t sell and tell. So that it bothers you when they give you a response like that is because you’re basically trying to get them to do something.

Remember, we can’t, you cannot— you can’t help anybody change their behavior. You can’t tell somebody what to do. What we do is we make them aware of the benefits to them so it makes sense for them to do it. So, I never play mental ping pong with anybody. If someone’s, you know, someone says— so this is what I— this is a simple way to address that, just in general, with exactly, specifically your question I always ask people, “If you could choose optimal health, would you make that choice?” and most people will say, “Yeah.” Some people may kind of hesitate and I’ll say “No, no, I’m not saying, ‘do you think you can?’” You know, if they’re 100 pounds overweight and struggling for 20 years, they probably don’t think they can do it, and that’s not what I’m— and so that’s what I’d say is, “Sally, that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking you if you could choose that, would you make that choice?” and the answer is, “Yes.” Great. Then all the rest of this is showing you how we’re going to help you do that.” See, in other words, that’s where I keep it.

[00:30:41] If they’re sitting there making excuses because they don’t want to do it, they’re not ready to do it, then that’s okay because they’re not going to be successful using our program [crosstalk 00:30:55] 

Denise: Right. 

Dr. A: If they do that, because it starts here [gestures head] they have to have self-awareness, raise their hand, and be willing to do it. That’s the first part, whether they’re ready or not, is not your job. Your job is to hopefully, empathetically, which means, meet them on their path, ask questions, and help them become aware of what’s important to them. That’s what I always focus on and my goal is not to make a sale, my goal is always to— when I leave the conversation with them, they will reflect and say, “You know what? I gained something there. I gained something there,” and whether they— you know there’s— well just in the United States, without thinking, of 8.5 billion people in the world, there’s 330 million Americans, 80 percent, but probably 90 percent of them need what we have. So I’m just looking to find the people that are ready and so don’t try to convince them, don’t try and— but what you can do is ask questions.

So if they say, “Well I’m going to do it on my own,” and say, “Well that’s great. How are you going to? Do you understand how to do it? Can I help you with that?” Even that part, in fact, if you look at the Habits of Transformational system, I specifically put a whole section in there where people don’t have to use the feelings they don’t have to join the mission from the standpoint of the commercial part they can do it on their own, or you can help them do it with using the books. It’s designed specifically like that. What I’m always looking for is to lower resistance and it’s normal, resistance is high right now, most people because people don’t want to be controlled, they don’t want to be sold. 

I can tell you, if my phone, if I answer my phone and there is a delay of more than two seconds I’m hanging up. I’m not even getting into a conversation with someone trying to get me something I want. So, you have to understand that’s the climate we’re in. What you’re looking to do is to share and care and let them see that you’re trying to— you are helping them, if they’re ready and if they’re not it’s okay and don’t take that personally. Remember your creation is not you. It’s not— don’t have a feedback loop of, “Oh, the person said ‘no,’ what does that mean? I’m terrible.” No. Remember if someone shot you in the head today it’s not about you. I mean it would hurt, but it’s about them, right? And so it’s important for you to realize that you’re a messenger, you’re someone that’s becoming a professional, helping people create better health and well-being and you know a lot more than they do. They don’t need to see that you know a lot more. In fact, the whole idea is to ask them questions so that you have them become aware, where even in the conversation you’re having, they may not today be ready to say “yes” but as they reflect and get off the phone, and they see how much you cared, and how much you want to help them, bottom line is they’ll think about it and then when they’re ready, they’ll come back. Make sense?

Denise: Yeah. 

Dr. A: Yeah. You— a beautiful thing [crosstalk 00:33:43]

Denise: Yep. 

Dr. A: Separate yourself from what you’re doing. 

Denise: Thank you so much.

Dr. A: So welcome. Okay, Rach, who’s next. 

Rachel: All right, next up we have Denise. Denise, can you come on camera?

Denise: I’m here. 

Rachel: There you are! 

Denise: Hey, hey, Dr. A! So I’ve seen you model this and I’ve watched you in conversations with people, you pick up detail, you are fully present and I know you’re brilliant, your mind is going. So, my question is, how can I slow down for others? They ask a question, then they repeat it a different way, then they explain— I got my nurse practitioner code on, I already got the answer and I’m missing the details, but how can I get better at that?

Dr, A: Yeah, well that’s a good question. It’s not that I’m brilliant, it’s just that I’ve learned how to listen, you know, it’s really critical, the whole point especially now, you know, and that’s what this forum is about. My work has taken me— you know, first, obviously reacting to disease as a critical care physician and then learning about physical health and all the stuff I wrote about in the Habits of Health but what I realize on this journey, the more I’m on the journey, the more I understand that it is in here [gestures to head] it’s that six inches and the key part, the first part, the part to have any kind of credibility is to build rapport and it’s truly just simply being open curious and want to grow. So you know, I love the analogy, I know you’ve heard this, but I like, I’m curious, everybody’s on their own planet like just, I showed with the personal mind. 

[00:35:13] Everybody sees things differently and for us to have the perspective that “Oh okay, I know what they need,” has nothing to do with it. The most important skill you have as a coach, working with someone, is to listen to them and then to guide them, and to have them understand how you can help them. But it’s important that they’re heard first. It’s listening to understand before being understood. It’s a critical part of the skill of building rapport and the idea is that you can only help someone to the level they want to be helped and even though it’s kind of like, you know, it’s going back to the basics, in the very beginning you know one of the earlier— 15, 20 years ago when you become a coach, all of a sudden you look out and 68 percent of of the people in this country are overweight or obese so there are walking targets that you can help, but if you’re even thinking about that and you understand that because you’ve been a coach for a long time now, is that until they want to be helped, you really can’t help them. 

The same thing in the dialogue you’re having with people, they need to get to the point where, first of all, they see that you really care, and number two that you set up boundaries of what you will and won’t do. So in other words, if they go on and on about their problems what I’ll do is redirect that and say, “Okay, I understand,” and then that’s why we have Upset Technology and we use little questions like, “What happened? What’s missing? What’s next?” And what that does is that takes someone that’s in the drama triangle, used to reacting to every family member, every— all their friends, and every time they do that, they get an engaged drama triangle conversation which makes them feel alive and they get upset, or they get sad, or they get pissed off, and so they think they’re actually doing something good. What they’re actually doing is they’re trying to solve a problem and the bottom line solving a problem doesn’t create anything. It just gets rid of something you don’t want.

So the whole idea of the creative process of learning how to be fully conscious is going into that process, where we’re engaging this brilliant mind we have, that can create skyscrapers and do all these marvelous things, and make sure we’re using that and our role and goal is to help them re-engage that as well. So, how we do that initially, especially in the beginning, is we focus on what they want. It’s all about, organize your life, or, what matters? and what’s most important to us. So to do that I’m always redirecting them to that point. So, you know, if someone— just like Faith, you know, being a fellow physician I know the journey she went on, it’s not an easy one, to become a doctor, and requires lots of perseverance and in that role we’re up one down one, we have patients and they listen to us and so now she’s going to a very different world where she’s partners, where this thing is no longer. She’s in charge, she’s the authority, and they’re the patient, right? Scared to death in fact by the way in traditional physician relations because it’s all about numbers now and technology and not as much about rapport. This is not working anymore that’s why Optavia physicians have become incredible at helping their patients because they’re now approaching that from a human to human, yes, giving the knowledge and the understanding, the skills they have, but doing it in a more cooperative way.

So it’s a dance, right? It’s a dance of working with others but helping them recognize that you’re adding value to them and you and the thing is you’ll really enjoy it, Denise, when you actually have that happen because they’ll be much more receptive. See anytime you want to take over and tell, people don’t want to be told what to do. I mean the whole thing with masks, the reason why people didn’t wear masks, they didn’t want to be told what to do. We’re so over controlled. So, it’s recognizing as a coach and becoming a transformational leader, it’s all about listening and having them see that in this relationship, “Yes, I’m setting boundaries, I’m going to move you back because my role is to coach you, not to talk about how the dog had diarrhea today. That’s not my role. My role is to help you move forward.” Does that make sense?

Denise: Yeah, it does and I you know I ‘ve seen over time, like Brad told me “Denise, take the white coat off,” because in the beginning I just came in and told him, “You’re obese, your bmi is too,” that’s just was my training. So now [crosstalk 00:39:30] 

Dr. A: But you’re training, okay your training was reacting to disease. Tell them because they’re scared to death, because they’re about ready to die or something and then so they would listen for a short period but anytime someone is emotionally charged, go to the doctor told they have diabetes, it doesn’t work long term because they lose 10 pounds and then they feel better than they stop doing it. The whole thing here is to build relational health before they understand, you are their partner, you’re their advocate, and you’re going to give them guidance that will help them. You’re not doing it, they’re— you’re not doing it for you, you’re doing it to help them and that’s exactly right, it’s— there’s no white coats involved in this business. This business is about caring and sharing and basically giving people value that helps accelerate their movement towards success.

Denise: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: All right, next up we have Shawnna.

Shawnna: Good morning, Dr. Andersen.

Dr. A: Good morning. Who do we have here? [there is a child with Shawna]

Shawnna: What’s your name? 

Child: [gives his name]

Dr. A: Hey buddy, how are you? 

Child: Good. 

Dr. A: You having fun? 

Child: What? 

Dr. A: Cool [smiling]

Shawna: Yeah, summer break! I want to thank Denise, Faith and Lisa because I think, you know, what they asked, you’ve covered a lot that leads into my question but you had mentioned something in the opening, is that we make things up, or stories, as we see the world should be happening around us and I’ve recently, within the past few weeks, I’ve heard my mentorship talking about “habit loops” which I think is a lot of what you’re covering right now. So during the speed of growth, you know, in coaching and helping clients and helping change the world on this mission and leveling up, how can we accelerate consciously overcoming those habit loops that are no longer serving us in our future vision?

Dr. A: Yeah, so habits, you know, basically habits are there. They’re neural pathways. They’re what, wires together, fires together, so they’re there. You’re not getting rid of those loops, you’re simply ignoring their importance and so you have to look at each individual situation. If you have a loop where you have a tendency to be a know-it-all, like Denise was talking about, right? Being— you have to realize that it’s not effective and it doesn’t work. People need— that’s why the whole Habits of Health Transformational System, and its evolution now, is focused on the client taking control, right? The first one was the coaches would have to do a lot of the training on the head. This one is all about the client taking control. So in that, what you’re looking for is to help people build in the understanding of pattern recognition and habits are simply recognition of behaviors that we do when we’re stimulated a certain way and so we have to decide, most habits are great, you know, so when you’re driving your car, when you first learned how to drive, bottom line is you had to think about everything, right? The turn signal, the brake, you put your foot from the accelerator to the brake, watching around you, the rear view mirror, the position, turns, I mean if it’s raining, there were so many things in the beginning it was so hard that now you do naturally.

[00:42:31] In fact, you do it so naturally that you become unconscious that you’re driving, which is not good either, and that’s why they took away the idea of the hands, cell phone, because people get so immersed in their conversations they weren’t paying attention, or texting, or anything like that. Your primary thing when you’re driving is to drive the car, but it all becomes automatic. So, you have to ask yourself: “Okay, what are things—” well, first of all, the bottom line is anything that’s stored inside us, where we have a preference of the way the world needs to be, lowers our effectiveness because here’s the thing, this prefrontal cortex that I keep pointing to, we’re the only— we the only animal in the earth, on this planet, that has the ability to do that. Yeah, some can do conversation, but we have the ability to be aware of our awareness. We’re the only creature that does that and that’s why we’re the only creature using this brilliant prefrontal cortex. It’s been able to create and move beyond our circumstance. So the primates in the jungle or in Africa are still the same as they were. They haven’t changed any. They used the same tools, basic tools, and they haven’t evolved at all.

This part is what separates us, what gives us the opportunity, and that’s what I’m so excited about is people moving in, we all have that, but what we do is we use it for this constant personal mind battle of what the way the world needs to be all the time. If we can actually separate that and move it out so we’re actually focusing on what creates the things that are important to us then we’re tapping into this area, but what— and that’s what Einstein did. Einstein didn’t care how he looked, [laughing] he wore old clothes and stuff because he was focused on using this abstract, incredible mind to create wonderful things. What we do is we spend so much time trying to get the world the way we want the world to be. So, any habit loop that you have that creates a pattern where you do something which is negative, or doesn’t serve you, or doesn’t serve you working with your clients, or your coaches, or your business coaches, is not effective and so recognition. So, it’s always the process of self-awareness of, “How am I responding to the input that’s coming in?” And then self-management, and then the creative process. 

The more we can destroy habit loops of relationships and things where we’re now experiencing, just what Denise was talking about, when we can stop being the doctor or the nurse or— and then, and being my identity, but now be one human, listening to another human, with all this knowledge we have that we’re learning as being coaches. We can be very effective at helping them but it can’t be about us, it can’t be about us saying “Well, I did it,” because we’re all on a different planet. Since you were born, you’ve stored all these experiences and every one of us, those experiences are different. So to think that because you think a certain way or know what you need to do in a certain way, that that’s how they’re going to respond to it, is just absolutely personal mind ego based and it has no place it should be, in us telling anybody how to be, what to be, or how— what they should do or shouldn’t do, it’s about having them become aware to take ownership and become the personal navigator or architect of their own life and that is about becoming aware. It’s about presence. We miss so many things, just like, you know, is that your son? 

Shawnna: Yeah, that’s my one of them. 

Dr. A: So, what grade is he in?

Shawnna: What grade are you in? 

Child: Second.

Shawnna: Second.

Dr. A: Okay. So, if he comes home from school and you basically spend five minutes with him right when he comes home, let’s say you’re on a call, and this is what I do with my girls, I obviously, you know, I have a pretty busy life, and I remember when they were young, like second grade, they would come home and they wanted to tell me what’s going on and I would actually stop calls. I don’t care who I was talking and say, “Hey, I’ll call you back in five minutes, we’ll get this done, I just— my daughter just came home.,” but them hearing that and seeing that just created an environment, I can tell you, three minutes after you’re paying attention to them, they’re bored with you, they’re ready to move on, but it’s understanding that. That awareness, that understanding of presence, whether it’s as your mom to a son, or to a client, to you as a coach, or to a business coach. It’s about being aware, of being present in that moment, and if you can’t do it, make things— make the decision to, “Let’s do this 10 minutes from now,” or “Let’s do it tomorrow,” you know, “Right now, it’s not a great time,” so you start becoming so self-aware that you’re able to perform at a very high level.

That’s the most important part of coaching anybody else is first, self-awareness, personal leadership. So now you can help others develop in the same way, and by the way, you become an example of calmness, you’re no longer agitated or dry and you’re not being drawn to the drama triangle because that’s not what you do. That you’re not effective if you, be a hero or you’re the villain, “Oh yeah. That’s right, you’re right. They were right. The company should have done this and they should have done that.” No, that’s not your role. Your role is to have them become self-aware of why they’re interacting with you, which is for their health and their well-being. 

Shawnna: I feel that and that talk of presence, I’m finding myself asking. “Am I present right now?” Like in my head, because you can feel the pull of a hundred different thoughts so it’s really re-centering and you know investing back into what you’re doing. Thank you. 

Dr. A: Yeah, no and one thing, you just brought up, which I think is important for everybody to understand, our consciousness is our focus. It’s our awareness and living in the world we’re in today, there’s so many distractions, right? At multiple different levels. Mostly through— that’s why I’m not against technology. Technology, machine based technology can service, but it’s actually Human Transformational Technology that can actually service more and that is being able to adapt, so that we’re using technology to be able to put our mind where we want, when we want, for as long as we want, and having the resources of that technology to amplify that, to have better reach. So I’m not against technology, I’m just saying that most people are distracted by it and they’re not present. I mean I have to tell you, you’ve seen this, you go to dinner out— to dinner and you’re sitting watching the table and the parents are on their things, the videos, or their phones, the kids are on their ipads and nobody’s paying attention to each other and that is, that is a massive tragedy because those kids need that nurturing, that social interaction, that understanding of love and caring and it can’t be isolated to technologies because technology is neutral. It doesn’t have personality, it doesn’t have emotion, it doesn’t have human connection. So does that make sense?

Shawnna: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. 

Dr. A: Cool. Awesome, you’re welcome. Okay, who’s next?

Rachel: All right, we have Kimberly next. Kimberly, can you come on camera and unmute yourself? 

Kimberly: There we go. Hello Dr. A.

Dr. A: Hi, Kimberly. How are you?

Kimberly: I’m good, thank you. So, that was perfect setup, with Shawna’s question because talking about self-awareness, I’m wondering, how do we discover or recognize the underlying stories or filters that might be in our blind spots?

Dr. A: Yeah, well that’s a great question. It’s usually– what happens is, well let me backup, you have a huge capacity at the unconscious level for storing data, and that actually brings up an important thing, I want to make sure everybody understands, there’s a difference between memory and stored trauma. You know, concepts. Memory, is simply your mind in, specifically in the hippocampus, creating an understanding, so if I see you again Kimberly, I’ll immediately say, or sometimes I have to pull, it may not come right away, because I haven’t seen you that much, but then I think, “Oh, okay, that’s Kimberly,” so that’s memory and that’s good, that’s important, and by the way, if you’re walking on a trail out in Arizona and there’s an area with one of those sauro cactus and there happens to be a rattlesnake nest there, it’s good to remember it’s there, and so you avoid it but what we do is we basically store all the stuff inside of us which we either liked a lot and don’t want to let it go or we didn’t like and we want to fully let it in both those things create dysfunction for us. 

[00:50:44] It creates disequilibrium. It’s our storage garbage. It’s garbage. Most of it isn’t even helpful, but what happens is, it gets triggered, and it gets triggered because you have this huge, you have the conscious level, the area you’re aware of and then you have all the stuff underneath, so the important thing is you’re not going to be able to get rid of all this stuff inside but if you become aware, what happens is it’ll start bubbling up because its energy. Remember, emotions are energy, and they’re stored, it’s blocked energy inside of you and so they’ll keep— if you keep— every time it happens you repress it, you know, address it, for people that have been divorced, but they can’t go to a party where their ex is at. They haven’t divorced them, they’re still in their minds. Once that’s been removed and they’re beyond it and they’ve let that go, they can go because it doesn’t matter anymore. They’ve separated themselves. They’re not physically with that person and they can basically let it happen, but so many people do that— so that’s an extreme example of what happens to us every day.

We have so many things in here [gestures to head] and we have a life of things that have been put in there and we’re not going to ever be aware of all of them, but they’re general themes and what happens is once you start realizing and identifying when you have— when I was talking earlier with Faith, when you feel that icky sauce, when you feel something doesn’t feel— let’s say you’re walking down the street, and all of a sudden you’re with your spouse or you’re significant other and you’re talking at a wonderful meal and a red mustang goes by, and all of a sudden you just turn sideways and all of a sudden you’re quiet, you’re repressed, your spouse is saying: “what’s going on?” And you may not even know what it is, but what happened was in high school you had a boyfriend with a red mustang and he dumped you and so now even that will stimulate you, but as soon as you recognize, “I’m having a wonderful evening,” as soon as I recognize, “Oh, I’m starting to feel weird,” okay, then stop: “why am I feeling that way? What’s going on? Oh, a red mustache. Oh, okay.” And you let that come up in 90 seconds, it’ll be gone. Otherwise if you try to repress it and not address it, it goes down in there and it just took your affect totally away and you’re no longer with your spouse. Does that make sense?

Kimberly: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. A: All that, it’s all like going to the mental gym. It’s that, when things happen now— and the other thing you can help yourself, just like I was talking to Faith about, is just make sure that multiple times a day you’re checking in with yourself, right? “Where am I right now in my awareness?” Right? “Am I fully buried?” And listen, it’s fine if you’re doing a project, or at work, or whatever and you’re in here [gestures to head] working, that’s fine. Your awareness is doing something, using your prefrontal cortex, which is very helpful. It’s when we let the other stuff, all that stored stuff, now engage with what just happened that sends us off and we can spend our whole life trying to make the world the way we want. The world is the way the world is. What happened over the weekend is tragic but it happened. Basically, what can we do and what can we do, yeah we can be sad for those families, but the bottom line is for it to now come in and start to overwhelm you and create worry and anxiety. Now you’re not serving your family. Does that make sense?

Kimberly: Totally. Totally, yeah. As far as with the business, like I’ve been doing trainings and things and, you know, you think, “Oh hey, I’ve uncovered that. I’ve peeled that layer of the onion. Okay, now I’m aware of this thing,” but then it gets sneaky. It gets big and it kind of [crosstalk 00:54:16] 

Dr. A: Oh no, your ego has been protecting you since you were a little girl. It does not want you to become aware. It will fight you and try to create stories and, you know: “that doesn’t matter and that doctor doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” and it’ll go on and on and on. The deal is, you have a brilliant mind. You have will. Your will and your will can put you on this journey towards better health and well-being and change everything and it can happen that quick.

Kimberly: Thank you.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. 

Kimberly: Thank you. 

Dr. A: Cool, awesome. All right, well, we’re out of time. This was great, thank you guys for all your questions. I really appreciate it. Please, put in the chat— and Rachel will take this information— anything I can do to make it better. Anything we can do to extend the idea is to move this out and allow you to have all your clients and candidates and friends come join us in this forum. We want to build a huge forum where people can come and ask their questions, be understood, and help us all become more aware and then create self-management and optimization over time. So, God bless, see you guys. Bye

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