Self-sabotage, with Kate Dornan (ep. 5)
If your health, business, or relationships aren't thriving, it could be how you're talking to yourself...
Every aspect of your life could be ruled by self-sabotaging behaviors you may not be aware of. A drastic change for the better can be as simple as changing your words to yourself, as the lovely Kate Dornan will show you.
Frank and funny - with a fabulous Australian accent - Kate is like your bestie with coaching skills. She'll guide you to make small changes that can have dramatic results.
Kate is a female entrepreneur empowerment coach and speaker. Her mission? To empower women to embrace their self-confidence and develop meaningful connections, so they can show up as themselves in their business.
Kate is the Founder of the wonderful Female Entrepreneurs Thriving Together Facebook group, along with Connection Cove community. They are both dedicated to supporting and encouraging women to grow their confidence and connections.
Kate lives in Perth, Western Australia (who wants to go visit?) with her husband Chris, son Fletcher, daughter April, and dog Audrey.
This episode isn't a coached walk like we usually do, but you can slip your shoes on and head out. I'll ding the bell at the half-way mark.
WE TALK ABOUT:
- Why do we self-sabotage with negative self-talk that we aren't even aware of?
- How do the words we choose powerfully affect our lives?
- How can we become more aware of our self-sabotage?
- What can we do to start reversing the downward spiral?
- How can we start to thrive and grow our confidence?
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Female Entrepreneurs Thriving Together - Facebook group
Connection Cove - community
OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN:
Today I'm taking a phone call from Kate Dornan.
In addition to being a female entrepreneur empowerment coach, Kate is from Perth, Western Australia.
Do you know what that means? That means that Kate has an amazing accent. In addition to having an amazing accent and having a really good voice, she knows a lot of stuff because she's a speaker whose mission is to empower women to embrace their self confidence. I felt that she would be the perfect person for today to talk about self sabotage with me.
Kate's bio and her links will be in the podcast description and in the show notes so you can heck out what she's about.
Kate is also a founder of two Facebook groups. And that's actually how I met her because I'm part of Female Entrepreneurs Thriving Together, and also The Connection Cove. And if you are an entrepreneur, those are the groups for you because they’re really supportive, with women in business helping each other. Anyway, go ahead and help me welcome Kate.
Kate: Hey, Helen. How are you?
Helen: Good. You're actually really fine because you are in Australia.
Kate: Correct. I'm actually in Perth. I was going to actually do this podcast outside under the cabana, but it's too hot.
Such a shame for us, isn't it? People around are snowed in and everything, and it's like, oh God, I have to be inside. I can't go out until the evening. I am aware every second of every day how lucky my family and I are that we've got no COVID restrictions.
Helen: Yeah, that's amazing.
Kate: It is and yeah, very lucky; great part of the world.
Helen: Yeah. Well, I wish I was there instead of here, but I'm here. Someday I will go there.
Kate: I think I've connected — as you know, we're all on Facebook — we all connect that way. I feel like now I've got about 18 destinations that I just have to get to. But everything is so far away from Perth because Perth is the most isolated city in the world.
Helen: Wow. I didn't know that.
Kate: It is, and it's so funny because when COVID hit and we got through it really quickly, it was like, "I bet you all wish you were in the most isolated city in the world now." Even to go to Melbourne or somewhere else in Australia, it's a trip. Once I will go over there, I'll come and see you all and I'll come to you first. It will happen. We don't put things out there unless we mean it, right?
Helen: Exactly, and the power of positive thinking. The opposite of positive thinking is negative thinking or self-sabotage, right?
Kate: Yeah. 100%. Look, it's funny because you've got me on this podcast, and I know what you do. I know it's around health and you've asked me to come on and talk about self-sabotage. One of the things with self sabotage… it's not just in health. It relates to every area of our life. Health is just one of them.
So the things that I love about understanding self-sabotage — and we'll talk about what it is — is that it's knowledge. And knowledge is power because when you have that knowledge, you adapt it to every situation. Knowledge is self awareness and that's the key to be able to deal with self-sabotage.
So self-sabotage is when your conscious mind, the logical part of you that says, "I want to get up. I want to eat well. I want to exercise. I know it's good for me," is in total conflict with your subconscious mind. And the subconscious mind’s role is to keep you safe — a primitive, primitive role. So understanding that is what self-sabotage is: It's conflict. And then it's being able to recognize it.
I'll give you an example about the subconscious mind keeping you safe. There are so many different ways to look at it. So I'll give you an example and then I want to put that into exercise and health, if that's okay.
If you're in a meeting, say, you're in the corporate world or something and you're in a meeting, and you're nervous because you think it runs above you, "What am I doing here? I'm a fraud." And someone says something and you think of something you know is clever. You're so nervous, right? You go to do it, and then someone else interrupts and says their thing. So you have that split second to reassess. That's where your subconscious will come up and say to you, "It's probably stupid ayway. It's already been said before. What if it's wrong?"
All those things come up And you're not going to say a frickin word, are you? And that's what we feed ourselves. That all comes from what we feed ourselves. We can talk about that later. But I think about self-sabotage, dressed up as motivation as well, not particularly like this one with regards to health.
Think about when we decide to make a change. And I've done this many times. It's like, "That's it. I'm taking up yoga."
"I'm going to go running every morning at 5am."
"I'm going to start eating well. In fact, I've got to go to sleep right now, guys, because I've got to lay out my gym clothes so I'm ready to go in the morning and have everything ready."
We go, "I'm going to cut out sugar."
We're going to cut out sugar, get rid of everything in the pantry. "This is it," you proclaim to the world that you're doing it.
And that is setting yourself up for failure. You're going too hard, too fast. And it's like you are perpetuating, and it's like you are validating your belief that you're not an exerciser, that you're just not a good person. That's a long-winded way to explain self-sabotage, but I think you get the point. It's that moment where the subconscious says to you, "I told you this is too hard. You gotta stop doing it. You're not a runner. You just need chocolate."
So that's the subconscious coming in and ruining the day. So it's very easy to change it. We're going to talk about changing what we talk to ourselves about.
Helen: Yeah, and I think that's really important because people don't understand the messaging that you tell yourself. How many times have I done something and I go, "You're so stupid. How could you do that?" The whole negative talk or it's always a constant negative like, “you're this, you're that,” telling myself all the time. And people do this all the time with all different areas of life.
Kate: We all do that and it's only once you get awareness of it that you freak out and go, "Oh my God!" Like one of the ones I learned years and years ago, and it was in a coaching class I did. The one thing I got out of it was the use of the word "but" - "I want to do that, but I don't know. " "Yeah, I would have helped you or I would have finished that but..."
That but negates everything that came before it. Every time you say that "but,” what have you just said no to? Whatever have you just deprioritized? And it's often the one that's the most important. So when I recognized that, I changed my way at work. It made a huge difference. What I didn't think about was (a) how I talk to myself, and (b) how I talked at home.
Once I realized that, I realized how many times I used "but" with the kids, how many times I use "but" with my husband. So the self awareness now… I just won't use it. It just simply couldn't come out of my mouth.
Helen: It's like with an apology. "I shouldn't have said that, but you pushed me into a corner." As soon as you add the word "but", it's no longer an apology.
Kate: It's no longer an apology. It negates that apology and it puts blame elsewhere. You're living with reasons as to why you didn't do something. You're not living with the results as to why you kept going and took responsibility and accountability. So there is one word and everything that you're saying afterwards, "I didn't have the time," "I'm not good enough," "but this," "but that," all of that then feeds down to your subconscious.
And that's what's feeding it the things to feed you back, so that when you say "I would have gone out with those people, but I'm shy," "I would have picked up the phone, but I was in the middle of something..." everything goes down. So, the next time you run into a good acquaintance who asks you, "Do you want to come away on the boat this weekend?" that split second all those things come back up. "No, you're shy, mate. It's going to be hard for you." All those things that you've said just come back up. You don't even realize. We don't even realize. Powerful, powerful stuff.
Helen: A few years ago, I was reading about negative words and I was all negative self-talk. I've been tired since I was 16. The first time I went to the doctor for fatigue, I was 16. And in my 20s, I went to the doctor and they couldn't find anything wrong with me.
And then a printer rep came into the office, and he goes, "How are you today?" And then he said, "Wait, let me guess: You're tired." So I'd always tell myself, “I'm so tired." "I'm so tired. I'm so tired. I'm so tired." After I was made aware of the power of words, I told myself, "Well, how is it going to make you less tired to keep telling yourself that you're tired?" You know you're tired; you don't have to tell yourself or reinforce the fact that you're tired.
Kate: Perpetuate, and keep that as your only thought. I read something the other day, which I just loved, and it was around the last thought you have at night is often the first thought you wake up with. And you think about how many times we would go to bed and go, "Oh my god, I'm going to be so fucking tired tomorrow."
You go to bed and sure enough, in the morning you'll do anything to prove yourself right. "My eyes are like sandpaper, I knew I'd be tired," or, "God, it's going to be a shit day tomorrow or whatever." It just does it. So you say something different, something positive, "Tomorrow is going to be a great day. I haven't met it before. I'm looking forward to it." The positives I can get out of it; very different. It's a very different narrative.
Helen: And telling yourself it's going to be shit day is self-sabotage?
Kate: All of it is. Look, we can go into all these things and act like there's all these different areas that need to be explored. It's the conscious and subconscious mind. It is the subconscious. I look at the subconscious as a library that stores everything you've said to yourself, done, and thought.
And there's someone at the front who's getting the information that you need. There's plenty of good information, but there's someone at the front. Who's the person manning your desk? Are they your friend? My girl here, I call her Janice, and I love her and she's my best mate. She's got my back.
She only feeds me the good stuff now. But if you've got the wrong person — it could be an ex-boyfriend — you don't know who's there. Meanwhile, your true identity self, the one that is you, is stuck in the back doing the filing. It's all about sending that person away. That one at the front like, "I do not need you. Thank you."
So you just start by changing the narrative and that's where all change starts, let's be very clear. All coaching is around this.
Helen: Because if we continue with the same behaviors and the same excuses... the hardest thing to do is to take responsibility for your actions, but also to take responsibility for your actions with yourself. To really tell yourself, like you said, you try to do too much. You want to get up in the morning and exercise. If you don't get up in the morning and exercise, the only person's fault is yours. And that's the hardest thing is to admit it to yourself.
Kate: It is and it's a skill. The thing is, once you get that skill like a muscle, and when you take accountability and responsibility, very quickly things change because you back yourself. It's like, "Well, I don't want to go through that again."
It's very hard to take responsibility for your part or the results when it feels that it's not fair. It's very hard to take it at the start, but once you do, you get it. You get that you do that; it becomes clear.
Helen: And seeing those patterns, the habits are how you make change. If you can't see it, you can't change it.
Kate: No. And that's why I say knowledge is power. That's why it's important to work with someone on anything like that because we can't see our own things. I need to work with someone. I don't see my own barriers. I didn't know I had certain barriers that I just realized recently. Self-awareness is one thing, but it's very hard to see. We don't watch ourselves in the day; we don't see our facial expressions.
Could you imagine if you could watch yourself all day? You'd be like, "Oh my god, stand up straight, you stupid!" And you might be feeding yourself bad stuff or whatever. Maybe you'd be really happy, but it would be very interesting to watch yourself for five days. You'd see patterns then, wouldn't you?
Helen: Yeah, sure.
Kate: We don't have that. So we need to work with someone who can help us see these things and understand why they're there, and understand how to change them and understand how easy it is. It is so easy.
It starts with knowledge, self-awareness, and action. That's it. Knowledge, self awareness, action; there's your life.
Helen: I have three or four people in my life who won't feed me bullshit and I will go to them when I want an opinion. I don't want someone to pat me on the back and tell me I'm right if I'm not right. So I'm lucky I have some friends who I know will tell me the truth and give me an honest answer.
Even when I started this podcast, I had to ask people. I said, "Listen to the first episode. If it sucks completely, tell me because I don't want to keep wasting time on something that's bad... I'd rather just put my energy somewhere else."
So it's really important to have people to give you that feedback and to take it without getting defensive because it’s so easy. And I get defensive. I just try to keep it inside because what they're saying is true, but it might be a little painful.
Kate: Yes. It might be a little painful. And it might be what they go to first, or something like that and all those things, but what you're talking about is just be honest, and say what you mean because we don't have time. I'm only attracted to people like that now.
I couldn't be around people who just were “yes men” or didn't care enough to tell me the truth and tell me straight because they all know that my reaction is going to be fun. That's the other thing. We have to let people feel very comfortable to tell us the things that we can't see for ourselves.
Helen: And that's probably where a spouse or significant other is not a good idea because there's too much emotion there, and there's too much going on. You need someone, either a friend or a coach, who's going to really be able to tell you honestly.
Kate: Yes. And it was funny, I did it with my husband once though. I did a personality profile because I thought I wanted to prove my point [about him]. And it did. It was really interesting, but it also proved what he said about me. That was my way of getting an outsider looking and then that self awareness.
The reality is, that's one thing and the rest of it, you have to talk to someone else, someone who's impartial, but still vested in your success. Always work with someone who is genuine. That's the other catch or the other important thing.
Helen: And that's kind of hard with women. I'm lucky in my life and I'm lucky because I'm in the same group as you that I'm around women who treat each other with respect and who want the best for each other. There are plenty of women who are fake and who pretend they want the best for you, but in all reality, they're stabbing you in the back. They don't care about your well-being because they don't want you to succeed because it's competition.
Kate: Yeah, that's exactly right. It's dressed up as care. It's a very narrow way of thinking. So we're so good because we open ourselves up and it's like, "Let's just do everything and just see where it goes. Let's support each other genuinely." I left the corporate world. It's just like, "You don't get it. You just don't get it."
If I were to take that one step further, it's easy to say at work — to cut people off and say, "Okay, well I'll unfriend you on Facebook." Easy, right? It makes it so easy. Transferring that into life is really difficult.
It's hard to look at the people that don't have your best interests at heart, that don't build you up, that feed your subconscious bad things — sometimes it can be family — it's really hard. The thing is, getting rid of those people from your life is what's going to really help you move forward with the goals that you want to reach. Another hard thing to do.
Helen: And that's one thing I wrote in my first book 21 Days to Change Your Body. I indicated that people surround themselves with like-minded people. So if they're starting to go to the gym, maybe make some new friends at the gym. Okay, maybe you're not going to be besties, but surround yourself with people with the same goal as you because if you want to bail out, if you don't want to come to class, they're not going to buy your bullshit excuses. They're going to say, "Really? You had to do the laundry?"
Kate: And that's the honesty part, isn't it? They don't have to be your besties. I remember I've gone into places and said, "I just would love to have a coffee with you guys afterwards." That's it. We don't need anything else. Wow, that would be lovely, and you're so right. Just get into the environment in any way that feels right to you. We don't have to be all or nothing. But you're right; you're the sum of the people that you're surrounded with.
Helen: You slowly start to change, especially when you're trying to stop self sabotage. It's bad enough when you say things about yourself, but when you're surrounded with people, who every now and then give a little knife stab, then how are you supposed to feel good about yourself? If you're constantly being thrown under the bus, but in a subtle way? Like, "Oh, your hair looks funny." You know what I mean? They make it into a joke. It's not a joke.
Kate: The thing is, they might not even be saying it to you; they might be saying it about themselves, but it drags you down. You know people that say, "Oh today was shit. This happened." They talk about their work and go, "And then she said this, and then that happened." My eyes just glaze over because if you're around that all the time, that's just as detrimental to you.
Helen: And then you start feeding off the negative energy. I'll do that with people I have a history with more negative energy, and when I'm back in that situation, I start with the exact same pattern of the whole negative energy.
I wrote a blog post years ago called "Don't Smack-talk Yourself." You start because you're used to that negative energy... because negative energy is energy. We just misconstrue that it's not making you feel good; it's tearing you down.
Kate: Absolutely. And that's the energy you want to get away from. Don't get me wrong: there are a couple of friends where we get together we go on in a way that I never would go normally because it feeds that little part, but it's never negative. It's just you say those things that you wouldn't normally say perhaps in every day, but never negative, never about how bad the world is. That's the killer.
Helen: So when you surround yourself with negative energy, even if it's against your will, you just start being negative to yourself, and you start being negative to other people. Even family members; I've been really conscious my whole life... I've been very careful what I said to my kids.
I don't talk to them a certain way because they're my kids. I don't talk to my ex-husband a certain way. I never say mean things that I can't take back. I've always been very careful about that. If I say something to you, I mean it. So that's the end of that. We treat our family members...
Kate: I just am so grateful that I learned all these things; the awareness, the understanding of the conscious and subconscious mind. I'm so pleased I learned that before I had kids because I've been aware of that the whole time. I just feel so grateful because I think that my parents, the most amazing parents in the world... you think back to some of the things that were said and you're sure they wouldn't have realized how detrimental that was; to not let me be an individual, or to put me down. You know what I mean?
So I thank goodness because that was a big thing. Those things can lead to who you think you identify as and there can be a lot of defining moments there with family and all that sort of stuff. So it's that awareness. I'm thrilled that I've got it and I can talk to the kids about it.
Helen: Of course, and now my kids educate me so that's kind of awkward. They're very smart. They're very insightful. I’m like, "Really? Okay."
Kate: I love it. Maybe they'll be on the podcast.
Helen: Yeah. They don't want to; but they should.
Kate: I think they sound like they've got something to say.
Helen: They're amazing. They're so much more insightful than I ever was.
Kate: Isn't that great? Isn't that what you want? It's a feeling that they're going to be okay. They're okay. They're more than okay.
Helen: They're going to be the helpers.
Kate: Well, congratulations to you. Well done!
Helen: We've had a lot of rough times, trust me, but anyway, we're here at a good place now.
Kate: It just goes to show that it's the end destination and it's keeping the faith; knowing that that's going to get there. And that's the difference.
Helen: So, what are some solutions or tips that people could do to reduce the self sabotage? It's so ingrained in us that we have to find a way to identify it. What are some options for people, some steps that they could take?
Kate: Let's look at a couple of words. Let's look at the word "but,” and let's look at the word "can’t.” If you look at those two words in the next week, see how often you say them to yourself; how often you say them to others; how often you use them as an excuse. That will change everything immediately. That is enough.
The people who have listened to this; understanding why they are so detrimental. It's language. Then, of course, you look at body language and you build on that. But I like to give a simple thing, where people don't have to do anything different. They just have to be aware and go, "Oh, my God, what am I telling myself?" "I can't do that." "I'm not good at that at all."
That's my tip. Get a couple of words; start listening to yourself, start listening to others if they're doing it to themselves. I saw a kid yesterday when I was buying some shoes. He did something and he couldn't get it, and then he said, "I'm so stupid." In my heart I said, "Oh my God, you're amazing,"
My heart broke for him because I thought, "You don't understand how detrimental that is, and that's not the first time you've said it to yourself." Now, that's a kid doing it. And that's when you're so impressionable and embarrassed about things like screwing up or whatever. So there's my tip, Helen: Watch how the week changes.
Helen: That's a simple thing. It's just something to start with because just like with fitness and weight loss and everything, if you go 100%... like if I completely wanted to change my attitude from Negative Nelly to Poppy Sunshine, that's not going to work because I have to take those small steps.
Kate: You do and it's little by little. You're getting rid of whatever it was that you were feeding yourself before. The other thing is, don't look in the rear view mirror. Don't worry about what happened before. Don't try and analyze all that stuff.
Be aware, of course, about some of the thoughts you had and maybe the meanings you gave events have led you to believe who you were, but the reality is just chop it off. You don't have all the time in life to go looking at all that stuff. So chop it off, and take action to move forward.
Just clear your mind and just look at the negative words. That's where you start. I can tell you... you won't stop once you start those things. Can you imagine what you're going to hear?
Helen: People don't understand that a small thing like that can make a giant change and what it does to your self confidence when you're not constantly picking at yourself.
Kate: Here's the other one, if I can add on to the negative. If you have deprioritized yourself as a result of what you've told yourself, be very aware and say to yourself, "I've chosen not to put myself first." Be very honest. "I wanted to eat well, but I chose not to prioritize my health."
Be honest with yourself because that's the reality. This is about taking accountability. It wasn't because you didn't have time, it's because you thought something else was more important to do with the time that you had. That's it.
Helen: Like watching TV; watching the Kardashians.
Kate: Yeah, and that's okay too.
Helen: I don't watch the TV. I sound like I'm 400.
Kate: No, I don't either. I watch it at night. Chris and I will watch one thing because that's our little downtime. But if I find myself watching TV, it's that rare Sunday once every six months when it's raining. It's like, "That's it. Close the blinds. Let's get the movies out there." But the rest of it, there's no time, is there? I have to be listening to this podcast.
Helen: Every minute of the day is filled with something, but once you open your mind to think... I'm not going to go into my huge backstory, but as you heard in one of my podcasts, most of my life I was always a failure and I always considered myself a failure. Then after I lost weight and started teaching spin and training people... just reprogramming that whole thing from where “I suck,” to "Oh, I'm actually pretty good at this..." It makes such a difference in your life.
Then I took this challenge, and the next step, and the next step. And in 2017, after my daughter graduated high school, we put all our belongings in storage and we left the country. We started traveling around the world on very little money, with whatever money I made, and we couldn't move to the next city until I made enough money for us to move. It was like, "How can we do this?" instead of, “This is a disaster." We said, “How can we do this? Where can we go?"
Kate: What personal resources can I pull on? The good thing about a challenge like this is that with every step you take, you feel better. It's not like other ones where you feel like, “I've got to do maybe four years studying and it takes a long time” to say, "Okay, I'm finally seeing the progress."
When you start being aware of all these things, you've obviously had years of it that you would have fed yourself. The changes start instantly. That's the difference between the journey of self-growth and some other goal. That is the difference and that's what keeps you motivated. You start using the right words that build affirmations. It builds a vision about what you want. It starts opening your mind and that's what I love about it. It's immediate.
Helen: Yeah. And you really see the possibilities. I'm going to share a quick story with you.
Kate: Yes, please.
Helen: Just before my son’s 12th birthday, I was doing some writing for an online magazine. And there was a concert. It was called Projekt Revolution. It was Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, The Bravery. I really couldn't afford much at the tim. I was a single mom. So I asked my editor, "Is there any way I can get a press pass to get in?"
She had me contact the media people and they gave me a press pass. A few hours before we got ready to leave for the concert, the PR people called me and said, "Okay, we've got your press passes. And we've got you an interview with the lead singer of The Bravery. You're going in the photo pit. You can take pictures from the pit of all these people."
Well, I didn't have a camera. I didn't have a voice recorder. I didn't have anything.
So I called my ex-husband. I went over there, grabbed his DSLR camera. While I was driving there in the car, my son was reading to me about the band and this and that, on the curvy mountain road.
We finally get there and we're sitting with the groupies outside the trailer in the back of the whole concert area. I walk in and I'm talking to this lead singer of The Bravery. And he goes, "Oh, you don't have a recorder?" I say, "No, I don't like recorders. I'll just take notes." And he says , "Oh, that sucks for you." I'm thinking, "I can't even afford a fucking recorder," but I didn't say that. I pretended notes were what I preferred.
Then I go into the photo pit [right in front of the stage]. Linkin Park is getting ready to play. It's all dark and I find one spot where no other photographers are. I'm trying to figure out this DSLR camera. So I'm standing there and I'm like, "Oh, great! Nobody is here. They're all over there."
Then I hear one of their songs start. It’s just a few piano notes. Then I know it's going to go into this big drum thing, and I see a little light flare on stage. I see there's a gigantic speaker right in front of me. That's why nobody was standing there! So I almost flew backwards when the drums started. It was like, "Helen, that's why nobody was there. Now you know for next time."
The speaker was really high and gigantic. It was dark in the photo pit because the lights were off when they're going on stage. I just did it. I could have been terrified to do an interview with the lead singer but I didn't have enough time to be terrified. My brain wouldn't...
I could say, "I suck, I can't do this. I can't finish anything. Nobody is going to want to talk to me." I walked in there as though (a) I interview people better than you all the time, and (b) I know how to use this camera. And pretend I knew there was a speaker there. I just want to be really close to the stage.”
So I got the better shots, then I went nearly deaf...
Kate: Do you know what I love about that? I always find that I do my best work when my back's against the wall. It's like when you have to get it done because you don't give yourself enough time to doubt. When the doubt tries to keep me down, I don't have the time to deal with that.
There's one day until this thing and it's amazing what you get done, isn't it? Then you can just get through. It's just like time goes on, march through that, you'll get out. Then you've done it.
Helen: And when you don't have time to fret about it. If we give ourselves too much time, then all the self doubt creeps in. A lot of times before I go into a spin class, I'll sit in the car if I'm really tired. I have Hashimoto’s Disease and I didn't know that I had it. So sometimes when I got out of class, I would sit in my car and cry. I was too tired to drive home because I gave everything in class.
So I would sit in the car before a class. I would take a deep breath in and I would say to myself, "3, 2, 1, showtime!" And not “showtime” like I'm going to be fake, but, "3, 2, 1, your job now is to go in there and help these people have a great hour. You're not going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself because this is what you do."
Kate: This is who you are, so let's walk in there. Even if you don't feel like it, this is actually who you are. So let's walk in there like that woman. Let's talk like that woman because you know it's not fake; you know she's there.
Helen: It's a different part of the personality and that's what I used when I went to the concert. The people in class years ago used to call me Spin Queen. Spin Queen was the strong, confident one who wasn't afraid of anything. And Helen was like, "Oh, I don't know." I had to transition into spin queen when I was doing the interviews or when I was teaching that class. Anything that's scary, I transition into that part of my personality. I'm not multiple personalities; it's just a different aspect.
Kate: No, you can have alter egos. That's probably the girl in your subconscious. I know she's your friend now and that's her keeping you safe. It's a very different safety, isn't it? She's got your back and that's the difference. So you're not going in there faking it till you make it. That's not what it is. You're being who you are even if, at the time, you're struggling to see. She takes over.
Helen: When you finally start giving up on the self-sabotaging behaviors, which I still do sometimes. I'll eat that entire thing of chocolate because, dammit, I just want this chocolate and I'm tired.
Kate: Is that self-sabotage though?
Helen: Well, it is if I eat the whole... that's a lot of chocolate. I try to teach people: If you're going to "binge eat,” for example, eat food that you really enjoy. I hate Oreos, but when I've had bad days, I used to always just chomp all over whatever Oreos I had. Don't eat the crap. At least if you're going to do something, do something you enjoy. Then it's not so negative.
Kate: No, I enjoy chocolate. When I do it because I've done the same. I lost weight years ago and I've kept it off because I identify as that person who is fit and healthy. So when I eat chocolate or a block of chocolate, it's rare but I'll do it. What I do is I thank myself for bringing the true identity out to the point where I can do this and know that it's fine.
I've gotten to a point where both sides have met. I can give into those cravings and I don't feel bad. I understand that's not healthy. It's just looking at things a different way.
Helen: But as people, especially as women, we're conditioned that we do something, we eat this chocolate bar, we're supposed to feel bad. That's what society has taught us. So if we change the frame and you take the negative out of it... one of the next podcast episodes is going to be about reframing. Instead of saying I have to exercise, say I get to exercise. It's more positive. And enjoy the good chocolate. Don't eat that cheap stuff.
Kate: There's a good one. And if you're going to do it, do it. You don't have to go and do 10 extra K's the next day to punish yourself. That's what it is. This is all the reframing. It just goes to show you there's another one you wouldn't even have thought about. People wouldn't realize when they're doing it. It's like, "I'm so bad doing this. I should feel so bad." Get that out of your head. There'd be lots of people in the world that would love to have chocolate.
Helen: After we started traveling, I went to a lot of places where people don't have money. People are very poor. People in Cambodia, Indonesia. It was really eye-opening and you realize how lucky we are. We have to worry about bagging half of our meal... some people don't even have food.
Kate: Oh, I know. There is another one: put things into perspective. Now, if something bad happens to you, and you don't need always say, "Oh, well, at least I'm not there." It's okay. We are very lucky to even be sitting there going, "And if you're going to eat chocolate, make sure it's good."
So there's all those little awareness things that change. And that's why working on it with someone over time, you do that groundwork to become the person that you are. Once all the untruth is stripped away, everything will go to that next thing. I'm ready to go for the stars. It's a process and it's a great liberating process, isn't it?
Helen: Yes, because life is so short. I think sometimes we fail to realize how short it is. We're spending our time in a negative space, unhappy, trapped in a life we don't like, or all these "problems.” And, really, it just takes a little bit of work on our part to completely change everything and make the one life we have count. We don't know what happens at the end.
Kate: It's the only thing that's inevitable. It's quite amazing how we're able to turn our minds from it and block that part down. So even when you’re saying it, think about that. "I want to do coaching, but…" "I'd love to go and learn more about that, but..." "I'd love to take that course, but..." Money and time; it's always money and time.
Invest in yourself. Trust that you will get out of it what you need to. Trust that you’ll think differently now and you're going to get all the gold from that. Do it. Back yourself.
Helen: And stop doing the little things. I haven't had Starbucks in so long now because I have a milk foamer that I make with almond milk. I make my foofy coffee and it costs me $0.40. I don't want to spend $5 on coffee. I want to spend it towards my business or something that's going to help me.
Kate: Yeah, absolutely. I do the same thing. I do the exact same thing. It's an awareness, because you know where you want to invest it. And if you can say to yourself, "Is this getting me closer to my goal?" No. "Is this the best use of my money? Is this the best use of my time?" “Is this the best use of my time” is often a really good question to ask yourself because often you won't, especially if you're doing things for work and for others. So yes, understand that and know exactly where you want to invest your time and money and backing that.
Helen: Those are steps that are going to change your life,
Kate: Every step like that because, eventually, you're doing a whole heap of these steps. You're like a little millipede, doing steps. It's not just one. When you start with one, you start by recognizing language or something, it just keeps going.
I'm about to do a course with all the elements of nature, and how the seasons can affect our cycle of growth because I'm ready to learn more. I'm ready to invest in finding out about something else. That's exciting. You're just getting into that habit.
Helen: It's really exciting. I think one of the good analogies for that is like my aunt said she can't buy just a throw pillow. If she buys a throw pillow, then she's going to want to change the sofa. And then she's going to want to change the rug. And then she's going to want to change the curtains. But that's how it is. You make one positive change in your life and everything changes.
Kate: Because suddenly the other stuff is dull compared to this thing that makes you feel bright and happy. So you want to make the other things make you feel like that. That's what you want in your mind and in your subconscious. Think of it that way.
Get rid of the old; the basic. In with the new, the upgraded, the one that you deserve. And it doesn't matter how much it costs. Cost is irrelevant. You can afford whatever you want to put in your mind. You can afford to decorate that place to your perfect taste.
Helen: It's all about priorities.
Kate: It is. Prioritize yourself first. Fill your own cup, then you can fill others.
Helen: And that's the one thing as women we don't do. We always take care of everybody else. That's why I would sit and eat a gallon of ice cream at night when everybody went to bed.
Kate: That was your time.
Helen: It was my time and I was taking care of myself because eating gave me the only sense of comfort. Once you find other ways to get comfort, as you learn new things, it's so exciting. You just can't turn off your brain. It's like it's on fire.
Kate: Yes because the passion is there all the time; the purpose is there all the time. You're always being driven to something better and something great. At the end, the vehicle takes you there, it goes on cruise control, and you work out the details. You know what I mean? You can't stop it unless you deliberately say, "I just don't want to be positive. I just don't want to live my best. I don't want to live my best life."
Helen: Some people don't and there's really nothing we can do.
Kate: That's okay because they're not the ones that I'm speaking to. They're not the ones we're speaking to. They're not the ones we're hanging out with. So they're on a different podcast and that's totally fine, isn't it?
Helen: Exactly. There's room for everybody in the world.
Kate: There's room for everyone in the world. No one's wrong. It's just if you want more and you want the best, and you know you deserve it, come on.
Helen: I agree. It's a wild ride, but it's a good ride.
Kate: Yes. The best ride you can go on. There are no Mondays.
Helen: That's right. There are no Mondays. My dad would get up early because he always said, "I’ll sleep when I'm dead." He said, "Every day that I can get out of bed is a good day."
Kate: It's so true. What a simple thing to say, but for you to remember it, he said it all the time to himself. That's what he believed.
Helen: He was a very simple man, but he loved his wife. He went to work, he showed up. Not a self-starter like that, but just very wise. Everything made him happy.
Kate: He found beauty in that simple and because you're right. It's okay to live your life simply. Not everyone has to strive for these things. You strive for happiness, whatever happiness looks like for you. For him, gratitude is happiness.
Helen: And positivity: he was very happy.
Kate: And giving — that connection — all those things are obviously what he needed and he did it. He lived that life to the fullest.
Helen: There are so many people that — he passed away in 2003 - remember him because of the simple things he said and the way he lived his life just simple and loving.
Kate: They're the things that pivot people's lives and we don't remember the complex. We remember the simple advice we were given. Someone said this, and it changed my life. And it does. So it's the power of simplicity.
Helen: You talking to us today, you've just given people tools, simple things, like “watch the buts and the can'ts.” That's going to be a big life-changer. It doesn't seem like it's a big life-changer, but it is.
Kate: It's the start. If you like how that feels, then you know you're ready to learn more and to delve into this deeper and to invest in yourself. There are so many different things, but it's that first step. Take it. Just take it.
Helen: The first step is the hardest.
Kate: The first step is the hardest and it's also the most fun once it's on its way. It's like, "I started." Once you've done that first thing of awareness... that's the first step. I've recognized the first thought that I've had; that's the first step. The second step is when you recognize it again. So you might do 50 steps in a day, but you don't realize it. These steps are minute and so powerful.
Helen: That is absolutely true for everything in life.
Kate: That's what I mean. It doesn't matter what we're teaching. Tt doesn't matter what we're focusing on, it infiltrates. It's beautiful and you'll see it everywhere. Every part of your life just gets better.
Helen: That's why I teach people to just start small; start with walking. Don't beat yourself up. The little things that other people and other coaches don't do — that's what I do.
Kate: I listened to your podcast and I'm nodding, "Yes," because it's so right. You've got your whole life to become the person that you know you really are, and it's time to build up to that person. This is you just feeding your stuff. It'll grow; little seeds. So I love it. Woman after my own heart there, my darling.
Helen: Thank you. Well, it was really good talking to you. I'm really glad that you did this with me.
Kate: Oh, I did too. I was very much looking forward to it and it's always like chatting to an old friend.
Helen: You learned something new: you haven't done this before.
Kate: I've never done this before. A lot of people would think, "Well, she's so confident." I was very nervous before this. It's the first time I've done something like this. For me, that was investing in myself because I said, "Okay. Let's do this." I've said yes to another podcast now.
So we're always in a stage of growth. The difference is, look where the steps get once you've been doing it for ages. You start by recognizing the word "but", you wind up on podcasts around the world. That's what I mean. That's where the change gets you.
So, yes, I must share that with people. Know that it's awesome to be scared and nervous because you're on the precipice of real change and real growth. So I appreciate you, Helen. You'll always be the first podcast for me.