What if you don't think you're stressed and why don't we take good advice? with Britt Lefkoe
In this episode we discussed:
- Logical (prefrontal cortex) vs emotional (amygdala) part of the brain and theta state of childhood.
- Why we know what to do but we don't do it.
- What if we don't feel stressed but we have symptoms that we have it?
- Yelling/urgency or rushing, difficulty relaxing
- People pleasing and difficulty setting boundaries
- Procrastination and inability to focus
- How our brain affects our health.
- What to do if you're a parent and want to set your kids up for success.
Britt Lefkoe is a business and personal development coach, who specializes in coaching individuals who are looking to push through glass ceilings, uplevel in their business, and create more joy and authenticity in their lives. For over 20 years, Britt has been expanding upon the groundbreaking work of her father, Morty Lefkoe, whose belief-based, neuroscientific approach to business and personal development has been instrumental in the growth of individuals and organizations around the world.
Britt's work is focused on identifying and shifting the underlying beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that are typically buried underneath layers of achieving, accomplishments, and pushing through. Her highly customized methodology helps clients identify blind spots and create unwavering confidence, to accelerate growth without undiagnosed problems holding them back.
- If you have a question you want answered on The Less Stressed Life, submit an audio or text question here: christabiegler.com/questions
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- Learn about Britt's Mindset coaching group: https://brittlefkoe.com/mindsetgroup
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Welcome to the Less Stressed Life where we help women and families overcome fatigue, food, sensitivities, and inflammation. The goal here is really to help you heal yourself. And if you find this show or episode helpful, please repay the favor, share it with a friend or leave me review on the purple podcast app. If that's where you listen, you can also go to review this podcast.com/lessstressedlife. I'm your host, Christa Biegler, integrative dietician, nutritionist, and lover of all the foods and my chickens. And right now is the last time one-on-one coaching applications will be open for my practice for the rest of the year. So if you need another set of eyes on your case, or you're ready to get rid of some common, but not normal symptoms, book a time for a case review session @christabiegler.Com slash FSS. If you want to move in the right direction by Christmas, before we get into today's awesome episode, I need to tell you that this episode is sponsored by Rupa health.
My favorite lab concierge service that brings over 25 different functional medicine labs to one dashboard and saves me loads of time with its amazing interface. And it saves my clients money by being able to order low cost blood labs. So if you're a health practitioner, you can get a free [email protected] And please let them know I sent you so they know that the less stress life is a great investment now onto the show. All right, today on the less stress life I have Brit Lefkoe, who's a business and personal development coach specializing in coaching. Those that are looking to push through glass ceilings up level their business, and create more joy and authenticity in their lives for over 20 years, Brit has been expanding upon the groundbreaking work of her father, Mor Lefkoe whose belief based neuroscientific approach to business and personal development has been instrumental in the growth of individuals and organizations around the world. Britt's work is focused on identifying and shifting the underlying beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that are typically buried underneath layers of achieving accomplishments and pushing through. I like that line a lot. That's a good, that's a good one for any, any high. I always tell my women clients, I'm like, you're very smart, high achieving women. And so it doesn't feel like there's any stress here. Her highly customizable, customized methodology helps clients identify blind spots and create unwavering confidence to accelerate growth without undiagnosed problems, holding them back. Welcome Brett.
Hi, so great to be here. Thanks for having me.
So I, when I started reading your website and I know we talked before this call, so we know each other a little bit, and there was just things on your website that spoke to me that I loved. For example, you said, I, cuz I have the same thought process that I don't want people to work with me forever. That means I'm not doing my job. Yeah. I want you to graduate and be able to kind of do this work on your own, but I really love this line from your bio where like really shifting those thoughts and feelings that are buried under layers of achieving accomplishment and pushing through if that's not a, like a, like a call out to any engram three <laugh> well, pretty, pretty great. I had not, I had not like really in like let that one sink in before I read it. So anyway, well let's get into this story cuz your story is pretty interesting. You've got actually like you, you grew up like this <laugh>
In a way <laugh>
Yeah. I mean, and that's not a super CA that's not a super normal version of coming into this kind of work or this kind of coaching. I feel like, well, I mean, I don't know, maybe I haven't interviewed enough with coaches like this, right? No,
You're right. It's very, very, very rare. It is. I've yet to meet anyone else who I think has a similar story to me. It's it's definitely a unique story.
Yeah. Well let's jump into it. Who's Mor Lusko who's your dad. And why is that such a huge impact in the way you work now?
Yeah, so right around the time I was born, my dad developed a process to help people shift limiting beliefs. And when I was little, I was obsessed with his work because I was a bleeding heart empath. And I knew that people suffered and my dad found a way to help people not suffer. And I was like, this is the best thing that's ever existed. And so, you know, I'm like seven, nine years old, like at their little workshops, walking around, answering questions for people. And by the time I was like early high school, if there were people who were in some sort of a crisis and couldn't afford my parents, I would have these conversations with my dad. I'd be like, dad, let me work with them. And he would call and say, you know, I don't know if you wanna work with a 15 year old, but she's certified. You know, she does a lot of work for us. And so I started taking on clients really young. And so this work has always
I know. Right. <laugh>
I'll just let that sink good. That's kind of kind of extra special carry on. Yeah.
I mean, it's, I've literally been doing this sort since I'm like four years old and my dad and I just had this way of thinking that was very similar. But the difference was my dad was very cerebral and I was like very emotion focused. I was like, but what about people's like experience and what about their feelings? And my dad was like, well, if you shifted your beliefs, all the emotions go away. And there was just something about it that it wasn't me. And the thing that was so interesting was I mastered his work, but there was one person in the history of the work that it didn't work for. And that person was me. And I think the reason why was partly because my brain developed around it because I knew it so young, I knew all the answers. I knew how it worked, but I think part of it was that I was so grounded in emotion and my dad was so grounded in this kind of like intellectual cerebral way of logically engaging with the world.
And so my dad passed away about six years ago and when he died, I really had this question of like, how do I honor his work and his legacy and just him as a human being. And at first it was like, well, I get his work into the world. And I, I realized pretty quickly that my dad didn't care about his work. He didn't care about his name. He wanted to end suffering on the planet. And so the way to honor my dad was to evolve his work in a way that it could work for me. And it could work for people who the more logical approach just didn't speak to. And so I've spent the last six years really evolving and, and developing his work in a way that felt more robust and more me. And so he's, you know, his work will always be my foundation. It will always be kind of the, the birthplace of everything that I've created, but it's really through developing a lot of my own IP that I've really found my voice and my way to, to make kind of my mark on the world. So it's, it's been a really beautiful journey.
Yeah. I mean, that's a great way to describe it as a beautiful journey. I want to, when you were describing that right there and talking about how your dad took more of this cerebral logical tactical, like a little different, that really just reminded me of masculine, right? Yes. Like you took more of a masculine approach. Yes. You took a little bit more of an feminine approach and I think I, I must relate to you because I also, I didn't realize this. Really until I started working with clients, what a bleeding empath I was and how challenging that was on my own on myself. Right. For, for quite a while. So I understand those, those feelings now, before we shift on from Mory left co was he, he worked in business or he did something with businesses before he kind of developed this. Right. What was the, what was the impetus of him developing the process?
Yeah. I love that question so much because I think it really explains for, for your listeners or for people who see kind of the internal or the personal work, it's kind of like on the Woow scale to understand that he developed it for business. I, I think kind of helps to unlock some of those, you know, ideas about what is possible with this type of work. But my dad was a management consultant, so he got paid to go give advice and people would say, wow, that's such great advice. And then they'd hire him back and they'd hire him back. And at some point he would really look and be like, but you didn't really implement the advice I gave you. And he couldn't understand why do people pay so much money to get advice and then not take it. And he used to tell the story all the time he was sitting on an airplane and it hit him this whole, you know, way of thinking that the reason we don't take good advice is because it goes against our beliefs.
That if you have beliefs that tell you that if you make a mistake or fail, you'll be rejected and you're not good enough. And if you don't know the answers, you'll humiliate yourself. Doesn't matter how many public speaking classes you take. It doesn't matter how much you know about public speaking. You're gonna be afraid of it because your behavior and your emotions are not actually run by your logical prefrontal cortex. They're driven by your emotional amygdala. And that's something I'm sure we'll get into more kind of later in our conversation, but it really was about why don't we take good advice. And my dad started to ask a question, why don't I take good advice? My dad had been depressed for a long time and had kind of been through a lot of his own stuff. And he was like, I know what to do. I know how I should think, and I know what I should do. Why don't I do it? And in that question, why don't people take good advice? That was, that was the impetus for everything that he developed and everything that he kind of further developed after that.
Hmm. That's a really interesting, I kind of need to let that, we talked about that before, and I'm glad you brought it up here because I, there was someone who worked in my practice who was a practitioner. And that, that question actually drove her crazy. I mean, even more so than me, it was like, why would someone pay for this and then not do the things that would help them? And there is some, so what I want to know is a lot of times, and I I've been kind of down this journey of trying to figure that out myself, because that's, this is the limiting factor of client success. And I like to achieve success. Right. I just, I just outed myself as an Igram three, a short time ago. So, so I, I, I like when my clients are successful. And so if they're emotions or belief systems or whatever, get in the way of them doing X, Y, Z thing, cuz people say that a lot.
I know what I should do, but I don't do it. And so a lot of times that as I've kind of dabbled in this, the question of trauma really comes up. So is that really, you know, is it just how we, is it just sort of the like overall environmental input of everything as a child and like any little thing, cuz people will say so often and myself included, I never really resonated with the word trauma because it's, you know, we think about those big tees and not the little tees of like, someone's like, well you don't need that or we can't afford that or we can't, or you you'll never be able to do that. Or just like those little things that kind of make up our belief system. Is it that, or is there any other like, is that a correct way to think about it? Cause I think about, okay. So if the problem is, if the problem is why don't I take good advice? Where does this come from? Is this, is it, you know, the stuff that's imprinted on us until we're 6, 7, 8 years old or whatever, is that where that comes from? Or is it also like, what else would you say about that? Or am I kind of on the wrong track? Cause I've been also curious about like, well, where does that come from and how far back? Yeah. Do you like, how do you unravel that with someone?
Yeah. It's, it's cool to see how well versed do you actually already are in a lot of this work. Like you, I can tell by your question, you already know a lot. So it's, that's cool that you've already like started down this path. But the way that I would explain it just in a, in a kind of simple way is from stages of development, the more you understand the neuroscience of the brain, the easier it is to understand why we think and feel the way that we think and feel. And so I kind of mentioned the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. So the prefrontal cortex is your logical rational brain. It's where will power lives. It's where your ability to imagine and envision lives. And not imagine like imagination, but your kind of like a imaginative, like a, like a visionary brain. And that doesn't even start developing until the age of seven.
So for the first seven years, all you've got is your amygdala, which is wrapped around the safety center of your brain, right? Your limbic brain. And so your amygdala is very much an emotional, black and white, and then to kind of make matters, even more challenging for a small child where in what's called a theta state, that's the quality of our brain raises. And so that's like a hypnotic state. So when you say kids are like a sponge, they are literally like a sponge. So they're in a hypnotic brain state where they're sucking in all of this information without a logical proof of the cortex, to be able to contextualize what they're experiencing, right? The final kind of straw of why those years are so important is because we're in, what's called an ego state. Now ego doesn't have to be like this weird Freudian ego, right?
The way that I describe ego, it's just the inability to understand cause and effect outside of your yourself. Hmm. So what does that mean if mom and dad, like you said, are busy or you have a single parent or you're with living with your grandparents, whoever your kind of primary caregivers are and they're busy or stressed your ability to contextualize and be like, of course they're busy and stressed being an adult is hard. You're not there yet. <Laugh> so the only thing you can think of is it must be because of me, right? It must be that I'm some way that if I were different, things would be different. And so you really start to question who am I and what is my relationship to the world? And our inability to understand deeper levels of why things are the way that they are leaves us with these really general really limiting beliefs about ourself, right?
That, oh, it's because I'm not good enough. That's why, you know, I get criticized or even with the world that the world is a really hard place. If they're stressed all the time and telling me that life is hard, it must be because life is really hard. And so we, we stop kind of questioning these beliefs so early in our lives. And then what we don't realize is like you said, it doesn't need to be a big trauma, but by the time we're 14, 15 years old, we're starting to notice that we're completely driven by these beliefs. And the thing that blows my mind, I think more than anything else is if you do a functional MRI scan of somebody making decisions, right? You would think there's logical people. There's emotional people, there's intuitive people, but the brain activities nearly identical and it's 95% of the brain activities in the amygdala.
Only 5% is in the prefrontal cortex. So no matter how logical or rational you are, you're still 95% driven by your emotional brain. And the belief systems that drive your amygdala are typically locked in around seven. So that's why those formative years are so important. And that's why, and I just think the examples that you used are so beautiful, right? It's like, that's not for you. It's not a big trauma, but now it's like, oh, well, those things aren't for me, this is just, you know, this is enough. Or, you know, making money is hard or, you know, in order to be worthwhile, I have to have, you know, people think I'm really smart or kind of whatever those, those little beliefs are that, that kind of drive so much of our sense of ourself.
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> okay. I just wanna like, make sure we lock in that. Even if we think we're really logical, like I would say, oh yeah, really logical. But as I work with people, I'm like, gosh, this is just so emotional.
Yeah. Yeah. And
So it is 95% emotional. Like whether we like it or not, it is 5% logical, which explains basically humankind.
Yes, exactly. Over,
Just, just kidding. What's going on.
Yeah. I think, I think that the deal with logic is understanding that the quality of our logic determines how well we rationalize our emotions. So if people aren't very logical, they're typically very straight up about their emotions. If people are logical, typically they hide their emotions underneath their logic. But in both cases, you're being driven by the exact same part of your brain.
Mm. I think this is interesting also because as I, you know, as I continue to dabble and like, look for different processes or thought processes, or how do you help these people that where the emotions are under the logic, which I is so much like too, and I'm, it's hard for me to even describe to a client, like how I UN pulled that out. I was like, well, I just didn't even didn't even know that this was an issue before. Yeah. But what I think about with this is, is a few things one how you realize this, I first I like cannot move past. Like what if we messed up our children? Which I feel like everyone, you can't do anything about, like, I feel like it's, everyone's thing to kind of figure that, oh, I know what I was gonna say.
The emotions people will say, you've gotta feel into your emotions. And for some of us I'm like, that's a really like uncomfortable. Yeah. Not desirable. Like that's like, doesn't sound good to some <laugh>. Yeah. To some of us who are more like engram, three logical, whatever. We're like, Hmm. We actually don't like to feel emotions, but like you said, we're using logic to hide the emotions or whatever. So what would you say to that person? Cause I think that's a, you know, as I continue to explore this, I attract people that are just like me, of course. Right. Yeah. So none of us really wanna deal with those emotions. Yeah. We all, even if they're the majority of the situation <laugh>
Right. Well, it's funny that you say that I too am an Enneagram three. I also hate emotions for myself. Love them for everyone else. Like go you, but I've always hated them for myself too. So it's really funny that you say attract people like me. So a couple different things. I would say one, I don't think that you need to go full emotional. I don't think it's necessary to cry and scream. I think it can be valuable. I think it can be important. I'm fully supportive of any way that people wanna hopefully express emotion. But I, I don't think that the goal is to feel everything and sit with it all the time. I think the goal is to start to unpack. What's actually causing the feeling because the thing that's causing the feeling is not true. The things that we take from our childhood are not the memories.
It's our relationship to the memories. And it's our relationship to the memories that cause our triggers later in life it's, it's not the events themselves. And this is something that my dad was really big on was distinguishing the event from how the event made us feel. And so once we can change our relationship to our stories, the emotion will actually start to disappear. So I wanna answer two different kind of questions. One, you asked a little bit more directly the other one less though, but I wanna answer both. Cause I think it's really important. The first one is how do you navigate the logic? And I think that it's understanding that logic is often conflated with safety. That was definitely my experience. I felt like my ability to be logical and understand things was what kept me safe. And safe doesn't mean against danger, right?
Safety is just our way in our first seven years of feeling harmony or disharmony in our family. So I also think this is just wild, but the way that we understand safety has nothing to do with what's dangerous. We are not in this world today for the most part, almost ever unsafe. It's very, very rare that we will experience true UN safety. We have typically four walls of a home that make sure that there's no animals that come in in the middle of the night, we turn a faucet and running water comes out, right? The level of privilege and safety that we have is unlike anything that people ever could have, you know, dreamed of only a few, you know, a hundred years ago. So safety's not actually the issue, but the challenges in our first years of life, our survival doesn't actually depend upon ourself.
It depends on someone else. So safety is very much the idea of what makes that person feel harmony or disharmony. So parents are primary caregivers. If they seem upset, we actually categorize that in our brain as unsafe. And so for the rest of our life being criticized or feeling rejected actually creates the same physiological response as being chased by a tiger. There's nothing unsafe about being rejected, but being rejected by the people your survival depend upon. If they abandon even you die actually is dangerous. So our safety mechanisms in our brain have nothing to do with what actually keeps us safe and the things that we deem to be unsafe in our twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies are the things that created disharmony in our family between the of zero seven, which like I said, I just think is absolutely wild. That we're like, no, but being rejected is scary.
No, the perceived threat to your survival is scary. And your brain's inability to update that that's no longer unsafe that's what's causing the fear. So going back to the question of logic, if in your family, emotions made people uncomfortable or people didn't know how to handle your emotions, or you didn't know how to handle your emotions. They felt really big and scary. And there was nobody who took parenting courses, who had the emotional intelligence to be able to sit down and say, Hey, Brit, it looks like you have some really big feelings. Let's talk about that. What's coming up for you. And to be able to mirror safety, I'm very likely gonna say the way to survive in the world is be logical because emotions, I just, I don't understand them or I can't handle that or they make my family feel uncomfortable. And so there's a difference between being able to utilize logic as a skill and a tool in your life, which can be very valuable versus it being a default mode. And for me, logic was a default logic, felt like safety. It was like, if people see my emotions, then I'll be vulnerable. And if I'm vulnerable that I'm not perfect and I'm not perfect, I'm gonna die. And so logic was very safe for me. And so I think for the, the clients that you see and, and probably a lot of your listeners for those who do kind of rely on logic very often, it's, it's a safety mechanism.
Hmm. Okay. So we were talking about two questions. How do you navigate logic? Did you catch both of them or was there a different one also <laugh> so
I, I think the other one is just, what do you do when you don't wanna sit with your feelings, right? Like how do you get to that deeper place of working through something without just having to sit in shame and guilt right. For an hour. And I, and I think that, you know, part of that is, is what I was saying in the beginning is to be able to distinguish and really understand what is it that's coming up for you. And then to start the process of seeing that it's actually your, your kid brain that is creating that feeling. And then it has nothing to do with what's actually going on today. That it's an old feeling from your childhood. That's being triggered because our emotions, again, don't come from what's happening. Our emotions are triggered the things that happen in our life, the events in our life remind us of how we felt as a kid and then pull up the emotion. So it's not that the rejection from today causes our feeling as the rejection from today, reminds us of how we felt when we were rejected as a kid and causes the same feeling. So we're, we're in these patterned loops of feeling, not based off of what actually makes sense to feel, but based off of how we felt before. And so it's beginning to interrupt those patterns and create different awarenesses that allow us to feel differently in our current kind of present life.
It's like the same neural pathways.
Yeah. Pattern loops,
You know, before we move on to, to continue to unpack this, you brought up the theta state that we're in mm-hmm <affirmative> as a child and how we are literally a sponge. And it is like this hypnotic state. So sometimes I think when people listen to podcasts are like, this is cool. This is cool. This is cool. My I don't know if this is a superpower. This is like my thing. I like to see common denominators and connections. So I wanna draw a connection for the listeners. Yeah. If you heard be a Boaz's podcasted interview about breathwork and she gave a 15 minute theta breathwork, which is like her, her unique process at the end of that. And we had people reaching out to us saying they had a profound experience. It essentially it's like a breathwork that puts you into theta state.
And the last time I did breathwork with B a actually had like a pretty profound vision about, I don't know if anyone, no one really needs to hear this about me being in my mother's room and about love. It doesn't matter right now. But my point is, it was really beautiful and it's like, oh, I'm still looking for ways to like, kind of put it in. I was, speaking of emotions, love was a challenging emotion in my family. So therefore I was, I had this vision where that it doesn't matter, but at the moment for the context of this, but I wanna say that things are so related. Right. And so, you know, that's her approach of bringing that into the, the state. And I think that there is a magic and a talent of being able to describe as you did, how this, like, tell me in three or four bullet points.
Oh, well your like until you're seven, you're a, you know, you're wrapped around you're amygdala is wrapped around the limbic system, which is the safety part of the brain. And that's 95% of how you're still driving things. Right. Instead of the prefrontal adult logical brain. So like couple bullet points <laugh> yeah. Like helps us understand why maybe something that was kind of like an offshoot, you know, like theta breathwork was kind of an interesting, can be kind of powerful PE for people. Right. For me, I like to understand things and my clients do too. Right. So
<Laugh> yeah, yeah. I'd exactly way.
Yeah. So, so thanks for for classifying that for us. So I wanna talk about something that really grasps, since we're kind of talking about how this feels and looks in our brain, I wanna continue to make this feel like it's for the listener. And so I, as we're talking about how we can be kind of similar you in your, you know, bio it's shifting the things that are typically buried under layers of achieving accomplishments and pushing through. So I see that that is like such a call out. And I wanna bring up this feeling of what, if you don't feel stressed. And I wanna give it a little bit of interesting context. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I I landed on a landing page the other day for like a short breathwork challenge. And it was talking about the types of fight flight FA or whatever. Yeah. Yeah. And so it talked about things that I think I see more often than people feeling stressed, urgency, or rushing difficulty, relaxing people pleasing in difficulty setting boundaries, procrastination, and inability focus. I've read that page. And I was like, is this page about me? And the previous version of me from last year? Like
Literally everything. So I wanna talk about the concept of cuz I see the, the most, the biggest challenge I have in practice is when I can see the stress emanating out of someone, but they don't see it for themselves. So what do you say to a person who is saying, I, you know, I can understand Christa. I can understand Brit, but I don't really feel stress. Like I know that I have like this tension headache when I take magnesium, it goes away, which is like stress city <laugh> yeah,
But I don't really feel stressed. So how do you help someone unpack that? Cause that's the trickiest part cuz it's like the awareness button is the awareness lens is like shattered.
Yeah. Yeah. I, I love that question Christa so much because I think it really helps people start to understand why do I feel the way that I feel and the way that I would break up stress versus not stress in the experience is, are your coping strategies effective or ineffective? So what does that mean? If you put your safety and your worth in being successful and it's working, you don't experience the underlying stress of putting your safety and worth in achieving, in being successful. You're not experiencing it because it's working as long as you're successful, as long as you're achieving, as long as people like you, as long as you look good, as long as blank, you're not noticing the underlying stress. So let me give like an example to really illustrate this person a and per so all people have underlying stress because our safety and worth is typically not experienced as complete because of what we talked about because of these belief systems, because of our childhoods, because of the way that our brains develop.
So you take all of these people who have underlying worth and safety issues, right? That's all humans, that's everybody person, a copes with their feelings of not enoughness by being successful person B also copes with their feelings of not enoughness by being successful person a is killing it. Person. B is not person B knows their stressed person. A doesn't they're both experiencing the same stress, but person B is aware of it because their coping strategies are falling apart. So they don't know where to put their worth in safety. They're actively aware that their worth in safety feels ungrounded feels UN like not solid person. A has no idea what's going on under the surface. They're like, I'm killing it. I'm successful. Everyone loves me. I'm doing great. They have no idea that they are one step away that if something wasn't working, that they would have to face everything going on underneath, they would have to face the underlying feelings of not enoughness the underlying feelings that their safety is not a hundred percent solid within themselves. So the way that I would describe what do you do if you feel like you're not stressed, all that means all that, that means is what you're doing is effective. And so you're not actually feeling the underlying feelings because you are your, your, your coping strategies are working, but it doesn't mean that you don't still have that same stressful drive. That's driving your coping strategies in the first place. I can also explain this differently. I wanna check in. Does that make sense? Is that clear? How can I, how can, like, what should
I want to like, I, I wanna, I usually, when something like, when we go through something like that, I'm like, okay, so person a, she let's just give, call her Sally let's call person B Sarah for no, no reason whatsoever. Great. So they both, I wanna like, just walk through this so I can like integrate it. I like to pick it up. Rehandle it? That's
That's, that's what I was hoping for.
Yeah. So, okay. So Sally, both of them, there was a, a missing piece here for me. Both of them have stuff going on, but Sarah knows that she's got some underlying stressors and Sally doesn't think she has underlying stressors because both of them are everything's working out for them at the moment. Right. But Sally is that
So I would, so I would say in one of, in one of the cases, it's not, so I wanna let me like give a little bit of like the conceptual idea and then we'll ground it in the example. So during those first seven years of life, right, there's gonna be moments when we try to help, you know, mom with something and she's busy and stressed and our help is not really all that helpful. And she turns around and she's like, please, like I'm, I'm trying to do something it's, it's not helpful. And then you're like, oh, I'm not capable. Right. It's not a big tea trauma. It's just in general, your mom maybe was working and didn't have time for you to, you know, try to paint on the walls to help, right? Like the little things that we're doing, or you're trying to, you know, trying to cut up your own food.
And then the process, the pasta's flying and landing on the floor and just stop it, just let me do it. And so we have these moments that I'm not capable, right? I'm not capable. It's not a way that anybody wants to go through life. Nobody wants to wake up in the morning and be like, alright, Krista time to do the day. I'm not capable. We wouldn't, we wouldn't be anywhere. Right. And so we have these underlying negative feelings of I'm not good enough, or I'm not important, or I don't matter, or I'm not capable. Nobody can live that way. We have to find a way to get out of that feeling. And so the places in our childhood where we were validated, become our beacons of hope, right? It's oh, well, when I'm really good at sports, I don't have to feel not enough and not capable.
I don't have to feel bad about myself. So as long as I'm good at things, as long as I win, I don't have to face these underlying feelings that I'm not okay. The way I am or for the kid who gets really good grades. Oh, well, as long as I'm smart, I don't have to face the fact that I feel not enough. Cuz when people are validating me, I actually feel really good about myself. And so you start to develop, my dad used to call them survival strategies, right? The way to survive is to do these things. And what that really means is the way to feel validated and enough and to not have to face the fact that I actually feel like crap about myself, is to do these things really effectively. And so the things that we're validated for in our childhood typically become the way that we feel safe and enough in the world.
So the, the examples that are most common are achieving and accomplishing. One of them is being well liked. So as long as people really like me and think well of me and I'm popular, then who I am is okay. As long as that's happening, another one is around sometimes being attractive or being pretty right. Having people, you know, think that you're a potential mate, so to speak, right? Another one could be taking care of people and being a really good caregiver, putting other people first. That's where you start to see some of the martyr complex come in. Oh well I'll just let everyone else do it because then people will like me. So those are the types of survival strategies or coping strategies that we use so that we can feel validated and not have to face the fact that we feel underneath. Not enough.
So the idea of person a in person B is when it's working, you don't know you're stressed when it's working, you don't know you're stressed when it's not working. That's when you know you're stressed. Oh my God, people don't like me anymore. Oh my God, I'm not successful anymore. What am I gonna do? And now all of a sudden on all of those underlying feelings that you've been trying to shove down are being exposed. And that is incredibly stressful. So when we're going through a period in our life where we don't know, if the things that we're validated for are gonna continue to be validated. That's when we panic, that's when we feel stressed, the problem with the successful person is you're still being driven by feeling that you're not enough. And if for one second, anybody sees it's all gonna fall apart. So it's incredibly stressful to be successful.
It's incredibly stressful to have people like you because it's working. But what if it stops working? You're not being driven by, oh, I love being successful. It's a way for me to express my intelligence. It's a way for me to be creative. It's not, oh, I love that. People like me. It's really nice. I get to have meaningful relationships. No, it's my worth and values on the line. And if this stops working, then everything underneath is gonna come crashing out and it it's all gonna fall down. So the example is really, if it's working really well, the reason why you're stressed is because you need it to keep working well for you to feel safe. And so that's the stress. That's the stress is that I'm holding it all together, but I have to hold it together. Otherwise I'm not safe.
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> okay. What I heard there also was you gave all these nice examples of, oh it's you gave the authentic examples of, I like when people like me so I can have good relationships. I like being successful because I can maybe share that success with other people or something. Yeah.
That happens almost never. Right. It's almost never that healthy <laugh>
Right. And instead it's these worth and values and Alliance. If someone doesn't like how you're doing something, then that is going around in the hamster mind. Right. Taking up all the space. So I think the naturalness question is what do we, what do you do with that? Right?
Yeah. Yeah. So there's a couple different things that you can do. The first thing I wanna say is just having these awarenesses of where your thoughts and feelings come from, give you a lot of power. We often make the mistake of thinking that our thoughts are true. Most of our thoughts are not true. Almost none of our thoughts are true. Like a very small percentage of our thoughts really come from truth. Right? Our thoughts are driven by our beliefs and our beliefs have nothing to do with reality. They have to do with what a little kid was able to figure out to try to understand themself and their childhood with limited context in a, the state with parents who absolutely did their best, but we go to school, we learn a bunch of dead presidents. We learn, you know, a physics equation and no one teaches us.
You know, about our mind about emotional intelligence, no one teaches us. You know, again, about our neurological development, no one teaches us conflict resolution, how to have hard conversations, how to take care of yourself. Like none of those things exist. So you have parents who do their best with what they have either to be like their parents or to be the opposite of their parents. And so the environment that we grow up in is not representative of the world. It's not representative of how things are. And our brain is a predictive engine. It's not designed to make us happy. It's designed to keep us safe. And the way that we create safety is through familiarity. So where we get into a huge amount of trouble is we have this idea that if I think, and it must be true. And just starting to question your thoughts in itself, just doing that is such an incredible way to empower yourself, to say, oh, these thoughts are coming from my childhood.
They're not true. And if I question them, of course, I feel that way. That's how I felt as a kid. But does that mean it's true? No, it doesn't. It's just how I felt as a kid. And can I start to contextualize and understand a little bit about my childhood? Oh, well I had a, you know, single working mom and she was really busy. So maybe it wasn't that I am a non-important human being. Right. She just didn't have time because she was busy. And so to start to question our beliefs, to start to question our thoughts, to start to question our mind, I think is really, really important. So that's number one. Number two is to start to distinguish between our feelings and our thoughts. And what I mean by that is to understand that our feelings are not coming from reality. Our feelings are coming again from our false thoughts.
So even questioning our feelings, right. Am I feeling stressed because I'm in danger or am I feeling stressed? Because I think I'm in danger. Oh, I just think I'm in danger. I'm not actually in danger. Right? I might be uncomfortable right now, but I'm not actually unsafe. You can start to work with your feelings actually through logic. You can start to question your emotions and understand a little bit more about where they're coming from and you can use logic to kind of unpack emotions and dissolve them, right? So there there's a lot that's really powerful. And just starting to dig into your mind to better understand where your thoughts and feelings are coming from and then to be able to shift them. So there's a huge amount of power in questioning your thoughts, questioning your feelings and starting to understand your particular, you know, mindset and, and where it's coming from. And then I, I think that gives again, just a huge amount of power in shifting it. And then of course, if you want to go a step beyond and, and enter into, you know, do some sort of mindset work, I think that can be, you know, UN unbelievably valuable and empowering for people.
There's a lot of great stuff there. And the main underlying is that it's awareness. And so that's the challenge. We just talked about that it's like, well, what if the awareness lens is broken? And so well hopefully this podcast helps with awareness around that and then separating those two things, which is always there's. I, I would love to get more into like Mory left Coast's process and Brit left coast process, maybe on a subsequent thing someday, but really it's like, it's fun for me to hear the common denominators and lots of different processes, because it's usually a different word for awareness and also disconnecting our emotions from that. I just interviewed a financial coach last week. And I think what I like about her is she's really getting it into neuroscience right now. And so she's like, yeah. So I, I took that and it's three steps.
It's like, you know, recognizing the issue and then reframing like, and then separating myself from the emotion of it and then reframing it and then responding differently next time. And I'm like, well, there you go. There is neural pathway restructuring 1 0 1 <laugh> yeah. You know, knowing this problem first. So you just brought up the concept of mindset and I always actually struggle to describe people like you or someone like you or someone that helps people with like all of this emotional blah. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because you don't always realize. And especially those high achieving women, we're like, we don't even recognize that it's emotions running the show. We're just like, Ugh. <Laugh> yeah. You know, what is it there? And so sometimes I use the word mindset coach, and I don't know if it's a really fair, I don't don't feel like it's a fair representation of what's really there. So if you have anything to interject there, cool. But I wanna talk a little bit about cuz you brought up mindset, how does mindset then impact what's going on physiologically and in health, which
Is yeah. That's that's so, so huge. So when your body responds, so let, let me kind of start from the beginning. You have a thought, the thought will create a feeling. The feeling will produce different neurochemicals in your body. So from a physiological standpoint, your body is constantly creating these neurochemicals based off of the emotions that you're either aware of feeling or unaware of feeling stress is, is the perfect example. Like you said before, everything's working, I'm successful. Everything's great. But if you're putting your survival inside of your achievements and you're on some level afraid that those achievements aren't gonna be at the level that you feel like you need them to be in order for you to feel comfortable, just feel the energy underneath it. That's stress. So you're producing all of these toxic neurochemicals into your body, which is changing the pH of your body.
You think about when you feel fear, you know, thousand years ago, you run from the tiger. Your body actually processes all of those toxic neurochemicals through movement. But when you feel stress and then you don't run it off, those, those chemicals can actually get stored in your tissues. So now not only are, is your body actually shifting the pH of your body, but now you have all these toxic neurochemicals that are getting stuck in your tissues. And now we wonder why we don't feel good, right? Well, of course you don't feel good. You have all of this toxic neurochemical that's in your body, in your blood, in your tissues. So from that standpoint alone, the mind body connection becomes really, really important. There's one other seed. I just wanna plant for any of your listeners who this might, you know, just be a, a place of awareness that you never would've thought of.
Another really important thing about understanding in the mind body connection is that sometimes as a kid, the times where we felt the most love were when we were sick. And so sometimes we actually associate like being sick or feeling weak with being loved. Sometimes if we were a perfectionist and we felt like we needed to, you know, kind of play at a certain level all the time, sometimes being sick or being injured is an excuse. And so we actually, on some level don't feel safe, being healthy because what if people see that I'm not perfect or what if I don't achieve at the highest level? And so I've seen a lot of women who struggle with chronic health issues because on some level their brain associates being sick or unwell or injured with safety and being fully well is again, what if I'm exposed that I'm not perfect enough?
Or what if I won't get lover attention? People who feel like they have to put others first will being sick for some women is a way to finally put themselves first. And so I've seen a lot of women struggle with all sorts of chronic fatigue and chronic illness and autoimmune disease, which on some level their brain is actually telling them is safe. And so we can have a lot of really interesting nuances in the mind body connection, where we start to understand our relationship to our health differently. And even in terms of food, right? That if certain emotions feel unsafe and eating is a distraction from those feelings, eating is actually deemed by our brain is safe. Even though we know that it has consequences that we don't want, it's still a safety mechanism in our brain. That's telling us eating or being unwell or whatever those particular things are. So there's a lot of kind of nuance and complication when it comes to the mind body connection, but understanding that your, your brain is the control center, right? And so it's gonna tell your body what to do. And if you're having different things show up in your body, really trying to understand where is my mind sending the signal that this is the direction we're going in and, and starting to unpack that from your mind can be a really valuable tool and understanding why your body is responding the way that it is.
Yeah. Super interesting. And lots to say about that, that doesn't fit our time slot today. Yeah. So the one thing that I think is gonna come up since we talked about, I think as you become aware as an adult, and I see this with our clients, it's like, if you see what it looks like to heal physiologically, or you kind of start to understand that I'm gonna work on this for myself, but now that I understand it, I want it for everyone around me or conversely, if I'm now aware of my own childhood, blah, blah, blah. And like you said, which made me laugh a lot is that we're trying to either be opposite or accidentally just like our parents. Yeah. So this is where it's like just handed down again and again, like it's imperfect. We're so damn and perfect. Yeah. And it's, it's just how it is.
So we have to recognize it. It's like sometimes we're being our parents and sometimes we're trying to not be our parents and, and whatever. But in that way, we are also handing down our own unresolved stuff to our kids or not even that big of a deal like, Hey I actually don't need you right under my legs while I'm carrying the hot spaghetti to the sink to, you know, can you please move or get outta the way right now? Right? Yeah. Like it happens. And so what do you wanna say? Cause I know, I know that there are people listening, including myself that are like, okay, so my kid is over seven. I have messed them up. Is there anything, is there anything I can do as I, as I sit here and ponder how I'm literally babying my most emotionally challenged child with a broken collarbone this week and we're all like, she can totally put her own clothes on, but she's like, will you help me do all these things?
Yeah. And I was like, totally on the same page. I understand. Yeah. 200% what you're describing. So what is your advice to parents or people? I know, like I've seen a nice thing that I've seen is like, you couldn't have done anything about this. <Laugh> yeah. Sorry. Your kids were like, we're all gonna like absorb our emotional imprint somehow, no matter what, but, and like on that note, you know, I'd be curious how that went for you growing up in this very emotionally intelligent family. Right? Yeah. As you impact that, like probably even I would guess that hopefully even you had things you had to work through, but what would you say to parents that are like shoot, now that I'm going to know better? How can I do better?
Yeah. So yeah. I'm gonna answer both of those questions. So there's two things that I think parents can do. And this is like by far, I think the two most impactful things, the first one is work on yourself because what your kids are looking at is not just how you treat them, but also how you treat you. And when you show change or progress, your kids will watch and say, oh, change is possible. It doesn't matter how stuck they are. It doesn't matter how many beliefs they have. As long as they believe change is possible. They will never settle for this is just who I am and how I am. And it's the way it's gotta be and throw their hands in the air. The greatest gift, in my opinion, the greatest gift you can give your children is to work on yourself. Because when they see change in you, mom used to be this way.
And now she's this way. They will reflect that back to themself. And they'll say, oh, if I'm a way that doesn't feel good, I can change. And so the belief that change is possible is I think the single number one, the single most empowering belief we can have when I work with clients, I would say like 99% of the time they come in with a belief like either change isn't possible or change is really hard. It takes a long time. It works for everyone. But me, this is just the way I am. That's the first thing I work on with every client. I don't care who they are, where they come from. It's the first thing I work on with every client, because that block will prevent us from hearing things that will allow us to turn this information into insight for ourselves, because we'll be blocked.
Well, if change, isn't possible. Why bother? Right? So show your kids that change is possible. Tell them change is possible. Work on yourself, working on yourself is number one, because what we see is way more impactful than what we hear, right? So work on yourself, call yourself out when you're doing things that don't work and talk about your process and shift and change, work on yourself, work on yourself, work on yourself. Your kids will see it and they will reflect that back to themselves, right? You're their mirror. And they'll say, oh, if it's possible for mom, it's possible for me. So I think the greatest way to help your children who will have all sorts of beliefs is to change. The second thing that I think is really valuable, openly dialogue about these sorts of things, ask questions, ask probing questions, right? How do you feel when you achieve or you're successful?
How do you feel when you do a good job? How do you feel when you do a bad job or when you don't do what you want it to do, start to help them figure out at an early age, that could be seven. It could be 15, it could be 30, right? However old your children are start to have those conversations to ask questions and understand how did they feel in different environments when things are working and not working and help them to kind of unpack those beliefs and then help them to question them. So if they say, yeah, I feel really good when I get an a, but I feel really bad when I get a B maybe question. What does bad feel like? Will I feel like I'm stupid. Whoa, you had no idea that you're kid at the belief I'm stupid. Right?
That's, that's a really important piece of information. And then maybe talk to them about it and say, well, is it that you're stupid? Or is it maybe that you just don't really like math? Do you feel stupid in English? Well, no. Oh, well, is it possible that we're not supposed to be good at everything? Is it possible that, you know, mom is really good at this thing and not good at this thing. So you can help them question their beliefs. If you understand what those beliefs are. So number one, change, number two, have these conversations. So that's what I'd say to parents. Your other question about, did I have beliefs? What I wanna say about my family is my family did a really amazing job of showing me that, you know, you can change your beliefs, but I also still came in pretty early in the process in a lot of ways.
And my parents still had all sorts of beliefs. So I had a ton of my own stuff to work on. I'm still doing my own work. I mean, I think the reason why I do this work is because I, I was introduced to this work a little bit too young. So I think it was unhealthy how early I was introduced to it. So I learned to question the world before I understood the world. I learned to question things before I understood them. So there was a lot of my own stuff that came up around, you know, me feeling like I should be able to eliminate my beliefs when I'm like five and questioning, why am I the way that I am, I should be able to eliminate my beliefs. I should be able to do this. So I had a ton of my own self-loathing and my own worthlessness that I've had to work through, which gives me an immense amount of compassion and empathy, you know, for my clients and the people that I work with, cuz I, I know what it feels like.
And I think my ability I've had a lot of my own traumas that have happened at different points in my life. And so my ability to sit with someone and say, I don't care who you are, what you've been through. There's nothing. You're gonna share that on some level. I don't understand. I get the full spectrum of human emotion. I know shame. I know guilt. I know fear. I know joy. I know all of it. So whatever you bring to the table, I know what it looks like. And I know what it feels like. And that doesn't scare me. I've worked with people who are in, you know, children of God cults. I've worked with people who have gone through severe sexual trauma, all, all sorts of abuse. So I, I understand all of it and, and really am able to feel that. So yeah,
I'm glad I asked that question because I think sometimes we have this, this impression that when you see the highlight reel of someone, you assume that they don't have anything that they've ever worked through or that they couldn't possibly understand. And so, yeah, that's nice. And I, I think that's really an interesting perspective also for you to say that you were introduced to the work young. It's just something to chew on, which is kind, I don't think anyone has to overthink it, but as I look at common denominators in the world, it's fun for me to chew on. So I just wanna reiterate what you said, which is working on self changing self and like something you didn't say, or you said in different words. And I say this all the time, it's like my brain loves proof. My brain loves to see things in action so I can believe it. Yeah. And so that's what I mean. I think that's a human <laugh> ma million problem. Yes.
And then the other thing that I wanna just underline that you said was dialoging about it and what, when you walked through all of those examples, you asked questions throughout the, that situation. And I think as someone who had a parent that was very advice giving, and I actually just do not seek any of that advice rather right or wrong. It's like, you have to be so careful not to just be shoving in your own opinion and advice potentially. And I'm not trying to say like, I know anything about this, but what I heard you do was question and help them shift through questioning. Is it possible? It wasn't like a, well, you're not supposed to be good at like, and not that that was right or wrong, you know? Right. It's just practicing asking questions, which is something I, as someone who received a lot of advice, you know, accidentally can be like that where it's like, it's, you're a better coach, a better, it's just better at helping someone come to their own. When someone comes to their own arrival at something, it means a lot more than if you tell them it should be that way.
Does it work? Yeah. It bumps up against all their stuff. They can't hear it. Right. So when you give advice, the other person really can't hear you. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> they're gonna have to filter it through their own beliefs. Or when you ask questions, like you said, you help people arrive at a destination that they're able to actually understand and which can actually drive behavior. So yeah. Questions are, are definitely the way to go to have people have their own realizations.
So Brit, this was lovely. Where can people find you online?
So a couple different places. You can go to my website, Brit leko.com B R I TT, L E F as in Frankfurt, K O e.com. Bri adventures, B R I, TT adventures is my Instagram. And I was gonna say, I think the, the easiest way to kind of get more of me is I have a mindset group. It's a way for you to start to unpack your mindset. So in order to learn more about my mindset group, it's Brit leko.com/mindset group. So that's where I would send people. Brit leko.com/mindset group is the place I think, where you can get kind of the most access to my way of thinking and my way of doing things. Learn a little bit and join the group. If you're interested.
Thank you so much for coming on today.
You're welcome. Thanks for having me Christa.
If you've got a question you want me to answer on a listener Q and a go to Krista bigler.com/questions, and you can record a voice memo or submit a text question, see you next week.
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