Ep #1: How to Lead Yourself
Welcome to The Healthy Leader Podcast!
If you are a busy leader who is trying to stop overeating, overdrinking, or over-stressing, this podcast is for you! At The Wellness Coach, we are all about helping people cut through the noise and discover exactly what it is they need to do and to show them how to actually get it done. We combine the science of the body and mind with the power of knowing how to use both of them!
In Today’s Podcast, You’ll Learn:
- How to use a simple model and six-step process to lead yourself immediately
- Why self-leadership is necessary to truly change yourself
- Why eXternal circumstances are out of your control & are neutral
- How to use your thoughts ad emotions to influence your actions
- How to bring your brain along with your body & make change permanent
Featured on the Show
Get The Full Episode Transcript
Read the Transcript Below:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Healthy Leader Podcast. This is our very first episode. And I am really excited to be doing this. I've been thinking about this podcast for many years. And here we are. And so I want to preface this episode by letting you know that I have been in the health, fitness, wellness, and leadership space for over 25 years and I love learning about how we can optimize our bodies and our brains to have the best help the highest energy to perform at our best and most importantly, to feel fulfilled in our lives. I'm fascinated by it, I love to learn about it and think about it and create tools and techniques, and to share them with other people. And so that is my intention here is to share with you what I have learned and what I am learning and to frame it in the most concise way possible, so that it is helpful for you, and that you can immediately use it.
So that's what we're gonna do, we're gonna start off, we're gonna dive right in. And I am going to give you the number one tool that I use with clients that I teach my clients and I also personally use in order to create wellness and wellbeing or what I call Wellbeingness®. And so let's dive right in the topic for today is self-leadership. And I wanted to start with self-leadership, because I think that self-leadership is the crux of the matter, right? Many of us think about leaders as being someone who is in command of a group or an organization or a country perhaps.
And really a leader, I believe is any person who has commanding authority or influence. I want to say that, again A lleader, someone who has commanding authority or influence. So notice, I didn't say over what, because self-leadership means that you have authority or influence over yourself. And the reason that's important for me to point out is that people will say to me, Hey, listen, I'm not a leader. And to that, I say, Phooey. Yes, you are, you absolutely are a leader. And I used to tell people, when I was working in personal training, if you have a body, you are an athlete. And what I meant by that is that your body was made to move, your body needs to move in order to function at its best.
And the idea is that regardless, if you're a competitive athlete or not that you want to treat your body like it isn't training because it is it's in training, for your life for you to live the most vibrant, and healthiest life that you can. And who is in charge of that training? You are. And you are also in charge of training your mind and generating your emotions and taking your next right actions. And so you certainly are a leader in specifically, first and foremost, you are in charge of leading yourself.
Now, that is often easier said than done. I work with many leaders who are successful in many areas, they're successful in their careers, they are prominent in companies or their communities or in their industries or fields. And they are frustrated with their inability to lead themselves, they have a pretty clear idea of what they want to do what they want to have who they want to be. And they have extremely strong intentions, and they try and they try and they can't get motivated or maintain the motivation.
And I hear things like you know, Why can I not get up early to control the start of my day when I know that it makes a huge difference in my entire day and the way that I approach my day? Or why can't I stay consistent and going to the gym, or in meditating, or in pushing away from my desk to end my workday and start spending time with my family? Or why am I binge eating and drinking and sabotaging myself?
And so I want to tell you that the solution, the answers to those questions can always be found in the tool that I'm going to share with you today. And this is the tool that we will use to understand the process of self-leadership. And I'll tell you that it's really not that complicated. All you have to be is willing or what I like to say willing to be present, to be conscious, and I will add to be willing to kind of flip the light on inside of your head and see what's going on in there and to be willing to be uncovered trouble. And that is exactly where self-leadership comes in. And so I want to define self-leadership for you. I define it as the continued practice.
And that's a really important word there practice of intentionally directing your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions towards a specific stated the desired result. And I say that self-leadership is defined as the continued practice of intentionally directing your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions towards a specific stated desire or result.
And so I want to introduce you to the model and the creation of it really started 30 plus years ago, or, gosh, even longer than that, when I was in my 20s. And when I started reading, Stephen Covey and Marianne Williamson, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, I studied transcendental meditation and of course, in miracles and I had my real first exposure to the concept about using your mind on purpose to create the life that you want.
Now, it is one thing to learn those concepts, and it is quite another to use them. And so fast forward after I got out of the military, and I was in my 30s, and started studying the body and fitness and learning how to help people attain their optimal physical health. I was an avid consumer of every certification training class that I could take on strength and endurance and balance and mobility and stability and weight loss and nutrition, and you name it, and I loved it, I was an avid consumer.
And that's when I started my personal training business. And I got in the best shape of my life. I love teaching classes and training and training other trainers, I created my fitness DVD. And at some point, I realized even though I had physical wellness, even though I was in the best shape of my life, I did not have wellbeing I was binge eating, I had the biggest sweet tooth, and I drank a lot of wine. And I even remember my son, Kyle saying to somebody, my mom works out so that she can eat as much candy as she wants to. And even though it's kind of funny now, it certainly was not funny back then I remember being mortified. Because I knew that I wasn't being healthy, I knew that I wasn't doing what I was asking other people to do. And I was working with people who did also have the right plans, they knew what to do to lose weight or to feel better, or to get to a certain physical goal.
But not everybody was following those plans, or they would follow them for a little bit. And then they would fall off. And that was intriguing to me. I wanted to know what was going on with them. And I wanted to know what was going on with me. And so that's when I went back to school. And I really went back to my roots. I remember my first class for becoming a certified wellness coach, and the topic was mindfulness. And I remember thinking, ah, this feels like home, this feels really familiar. And so fast forward many years. And after working on myself and working with hundreds of clients, I began to see how to frame both wellness and wellbeing. And here's what I mean by that, I knew how to help people attain their optimal physical health and energy, however they define that. So for somebody that may be to reduce their blood pressure, or get off of diabetes medication, or it might mean to alter their weight to reduce body fat, or increase muscle mass, or to increase physical energy levels, or maybe to just reduce pain or feel better in their bodies.
And so I want you to think of those goals, those results as wellness goals. wellness, for me, is all about taking care of the physical organism of your body. And that includes your brain, the organ of your brain. And those people just like me, also want it to feel good mentally, and emotionally. And so that's what I call wellbeing, mental and emotional health, and energy.
And I want to tell you that when I say mental, what I'm talking about is relating to the mind as ideas and thoughts and memories. And so we all want to have wellness, physical health and energy and wellbeing mental and emotional health and energy. And so when you combine those two, wellness and wellbeing, you get well beingness.
And that is the model that I want to share with you. And that's the model that you actually can use to practice self-leadership to practice being a healthy leader and having your definition of wellness and wellbeing. And I will tell you that it is a practice. It's not just a state or a place that you attain and then that's it. It's an ongoing process, which is why this model is so powerful because you can use it over and over again to continue to level up and that actually happens quite naturally. You know, once you lose The way you want to lose, then your body is ready to do the next thing, right, maybe it might be to go hiking, or to take up running, or to just spend more miles on the beach with a loved one. Or when you quit over drinking, you have all of the space in your head where worry and regret used to be. And you can use that space to start a business or to take your career or a relationship to the next level. And of course, sometimes having wellbeing is just about creating health and happiness in the midst of daily life, and the challenges that we all go through just because we're human.
So without further ado, I want to share with you the well being this model, and I provided a download that you can use to start practice using it today. And you can also if you are driving or walking or whatever, just memorize this one acronym, and the acronym is XTEAR and spell it out for you. X, T, E, A R, and then in military lingo, we say x Xr Tango Echo, Alfa Romeo x tear model that is the well being this model. Now I will tell you that there's also a V that goes with the model. So it's really XTEAR - V. and the V stands for your vision as in what is your vision for who you want to be. But I'm gonna dive into that in our next episode. So for now, all you need to remember is XTEAR.
So the X stands for the external circumstances or the external environment, I like to say that X marks the spot. And then the T stands for thoughts. The E stands for emotions, and then the A stands for actions. And then the R stands for results. And I want to take you through each one of these five parts of the model so that you can see how the exterior model the well being this model works and how it is all you need to begin practicing self-leadership right now.
So the X stands for external circumstances or X marks the spot. And what this means is that X marks the spot as in it is what it is where you are standing. And what is going on is the X. This is the weather, it is what someone has just said to you. It is the words in an email, it is the traffic, it's the physical location of where you are, it is your weight, it is your blood pressure. It is the current circumstances. And there are two things for right now that I want you to remember about the x. And the first is that the X is out of your control, the x already exists, it already happened or it is happening. And you cannot change it. And this includes your past. It includes the way that someone has behaved or the way that someone else is behaving. So it includes everything. And this is really one of the most important lessons that I've ever learned. And here's why it's so important. Because I have spent so much time trying to change the X, the external circumstance. And when we try to change something that exists, we always lose, because it exists.
We try to control or manipulate other people, and we can't, and we try to control or change our past. And we can't because it's already done. We cannot control what is going on in the world, in politics with COVID with other people. And I have to tell you that I get a lot of kickback on this because people, we want to control the world, we want to control our partners, we want to control our employees, we want to control the way that people behave in parking lots or in the grocery store, we have rules for people to follow, and they need to follow them right? Wrong. So I want you to remember that the X is it, it already exists. And we don't have any control over it. And then the second thing that I want you to remember is that that acts that external circumstance is always neutral. As in always, as an all the time.
And I have to say that this is where I'm going to either lose you or your life is going to be shifted forever. Because I know that mine was and it took me a long while to really understand this concept. And we are going to talk about it in future podcasts multiple times. And it's hard because our brains are wired to judge we are constantly judging what is we are judging other people, we judge ourselves, we judge the traffic, we judge the weather and we make those X's, those neutral external events that are good, or whatever we want to call them.
And that leads us right into that second letter, which is the T which comes right after the X and the T stands for our thoughts. And it comes right after the X on purpose because while the X is neutral, our thoughts about that x are what gives the X meaning and we get to think whatever we want about those circumstances, we get to make the plane being late bad, because we're gonna miss our presentation.
And we get to make the plane being late good because we get to miss our presentation. And we get to make the rain good because we think that our lawns will be greener and everything will be beautiful. And we get to make the rain bad because we do not like walking our dog in the rain. And so you can see that the X is neutral. And our thoughts are what gives the x meaning.
Now, you might be thinking, of course, we can think whatever we want. But here's the thing. We believe that it is just natural to think of certain things. Of course, certain things are bad, they're just bad. You know, we all agree that certain things are bad, and certain things are good. But the truth is, that our thoughts, all of our thoughts are totally optional. Now, that is really big news. Why? Because a lot of the time many of us are not even aware of what we are thinking, we just start thinking because that's what we do. And we never decided to stop and think about our thinking. And this is really important because our thinking is what creates our emotions. And I want you to hear this loud and clear. It is never ever the circumstances, the X that makes us happy or depressed or annoyed, it is always our thoughts about that event or that circumstance that makes us feel emotions.
And that is why the E comes right after the T our emotions, all of them are caused by our thoughts. Now, the thought might be unconscious, or it might be fleeting, but it is always the case that our thoughts cause our emotions. And this is a really big lesson for me to learn. And then our emotions, that energy in our body is what drives our actions. And that is really key. So want to pause here. So far, we have the external event, the X is neutral, it's out of your control. And then we have a thought about that X, which then creates an emotion, which then fuels our actions. So I hope you can start to see how knowing this pattern really is about self-leadership. Because when you are aware of why you do certain things and understand that it is because of your thoughts and your emotions, then you are able to change them if you want to, you are able to lead yourself out of those thoughts and emotions and into your right action. That is super powerful because then you don't need anybody else to change or any circumstance to be a certain way in order for you to begin leading yourself and taking your right action. And when you know this, then you are better able to decide what to think you are able to manage and create emotions, and then follow through on the actions that you want.
And that's what the A stands for actions. So the action can actually be a reaction or inaction or action. But know that the fuel for action is emotion. And again, you may not be aware of the emotion, but it is there. And that is what is causing you to act not act or to react. And when you are aware of this T a thought emotion action cycle, then you are better able to create the results that you want in your life.
And that's the final letter, the R, which stands for results and your actions create your results. And so when you put all of this together, the process is really simple. It is that external events occur, you have a thought about them, which then leads to your emotions, which then leads to your actions, which then leads to your results. And this process is all self-leadership. And by the way, you're doing it right now, even though you may not be aware of it.
So this model helps you to break down your story, whatever is going on in your life. And to see it through these five elements there are six elements when you include the vision, and those are the six steps to being a healthy leader. And that is exactly how you can lead yourself into the healthiest version. So when you were able to get to the source, which is not the external environment, you move out of really trying to force your way into action and force yourself to behave. And you're able to harness the power of managing your mind and your emotions in a very precise way.
So I'm going to give you an example to bring this to life for you. I work with a lot of people who are trying to lose body fat. So I'm going to use that as an example. So generally when I work privately with people, we co-create a protocol and basically, it's a plan of how to fuel rest and move your body. And I call it a protocol because I want it to have kind of an experimental flavor to it if you will so that people can distance themselves from their plan. And so we set a plan or a protocol and base it On the result that we want, and then the person follows it to see if that is the right protocol to see if it will get them the results that they want. And so the protocol is really all about that line. And the model is all about the action piece.
So as I go through this example, I want you to think about action in your life that you are trying to do or trying not to do for your health and energy. So a common thing that people end up doing when they are trying to reduce body fat is to cut out sugar from their diet or to cut out desserts, or processed flour. And if you would like as a side note, to get some information on the quickest way to drop weight, I encourage you to get a copy of the exactly what to eat checklist. And it goes through the process that I use with private clients.
So if you've ever tried to cut out sugar, you know how hard that can be. And I was working with a woman who was having a hard time cutting out sugar at night. And she told me that her cravings were the biggest at night when she was working late when she was writing emails, or she was on an international call.
And so I asked her how she was feeling right before she would go off of protocol. And when she thought about it, she said, You know what, I think that I'm really kind of bored. Like, I don't really want to be writing emails, and I really don't want to be on the call. I'm just doing it because I have to, I really just want to be relaxing. And so as we investigated further, she was able to discern that really, she was just bored. And she was thinking things like, if I'm gonna be working this late, then I deserve a treat. And I'm probably going to burn off these calories anyway because I'm working and I'm not sleeping. And so as we started to uncover her thoughts, we could see what was causing her boredom and what was causing her urges. And we figured out that when she thought those thoughts, her cravings, and her urges were really intense.
So we could see that the cravings definitely were not caused by physical hunger, but by mental hunger, if you will, mental hunger to get out of boredom, mental hunger to reward herself for working so late at night. And it's interesting because it doesn't really make sense on the reward side, because what she would end up doing is beating herself up the next day for not being on the protocol. So it wasn't a reward. It was just this vicious cycle of pleasure beating myself up. And so the cool thing about this process is that when we start doing this, we can see how our thoughts, create the emotions that fuel our actions, and we can see how our thoughts can create cravings and urges. And when we do this, we are able to change it.
Now here's the caveat, what ends up happening when people start understanding this model, their tendency is to change it and to change it immediately to start changing our thoughts and start managing emotions. And that's great. And I want to warn you that what we really want to do here is to understand why we're feeling bored, or why we're feeling deprived, or what is really going on. Because those feelings reflect a deeper need that we have. Because it's natural, to want to be stimulated and to be challenged. It's natural to seek pleasure over pain. That's what our brains were designed to do. So once you know what you're thinking and how it's affecting you and your results, I want you to do this process with some compassion, because it's not just about changing your habits. It's about establishing a stronger relationship with yourself. So that you can lead yourself we all know that it's imperative to know the people that we are leading. And so it is with you.
And so this is your invitation to get to know yourself so that you can lead yourself in the very best way that you can. And so make sure that as you're discovering your mindset and your emotions, that you are doing it with compassion and understanding yourself, not beating yourself up, not constantly forcing yourself to use willpower or to suffer through it, but by understanding what is going on with you. So that is self-leadership. And that is the well being this model. And when you go through this process, I promise you, it is mind-blowing, because we get to the root belief or the root cause of the behavior really quickly.
So I want to recap here that external events are neutral and they are out of your control. What is in your control are your thoughts about that external circumstance, which then leads to your emotions, which then lead to your actions or reactions or inactions and those lead to your results. And that cycle has been happening and it will continue to happen. Whether you are conscious of it or not. You are already leading yourself and now you have the ability to lead yourself on purpose. You have a model and a process to lead yourself with intention and when you use the model and understand the root cause it is so much easier to change your actions because you are changing your mind along with your body. I call this bringing your brain with your body. I also call this using change to transform because what we're looking for here is not to constantly be controlling our actions and restricting ourselves but to be naturally healthy leaders.
So as we move through, we are going to be talking about how to change your thinking and how to think on purpose and how to manage your emotions and create them, and how to follow through on what it is that you want to follow through on and how to live in alignment with your vision of your life, and how to create a mind and a body that will serve that vision. So be sure to practice this.
There is a download that will help you out so that you can practice adding or taking out actions that will help you level up and be the healthiest leader that you can be. Thank you so much for joining me on this very first healthy leader episode. It was tons of fun and I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time, create a healthy day.