Ep #101: How to Make Aligned Decisions to Become Your Dream Self with Natalie Brown

How to Make Aligned Decisions to Become Your Dream Self with Natalie Brown

I’ve been bringing you an amazing lineup of genius women I’m currently doing master coach training with, and my guest this week is no exception. Natalie Brown is a certified life and weight coach and she runs her coaching practice where she helps successful women lose weight for the last time.

Natalie’s clients are successful women in all areas of their lives, at home and at work, but they’re just trying to figure out the final missing piece of their weight. She herself has lost 50 pounds by using the tools she teaches, and she helps her clients do the same; to find the confidence that can seem so out of reach for so many of us. We’re getting into some meaty stuff today! Natalie talks us through how to choose what you want the most over what you want in the moment, which is so crucial in becoming the person you want to be and having the results you most dream of in the long-term.

I resonate so much with Natalie’s message and work because we all fear failure and at some point or another hold ourselves back from evolving into our dream selves, whatever your main area of work currently is. We all give in and do the opposite of what we’ve decided prior, so this work might just be the key to the universe. Every single one of you needs to hear this conversation to see the growth that is available to you when you implement the process of making aligned decisions.

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How food becomes a coping mechanism when we’re striving for success in other areas of our lives.
  • What it looks like when you use food or work to buffer, and how to feel your feelings.
  • How to choose what you want most versus what you want in the moment.
  • Why so many of us unconsciously hold ourselves back from our dream results.
  • The truth about failure.
  • Why we have to be willing to feel discomfort.
  • How we often give into our toddler brain and what to do instead.
  • Why you don’t have to feel inspired or motivated to take action.
  • The most critical moment in making the next right decision.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

Tobi Fairley: You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 101.

Female Announcer: Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here’s your host Tobi Fairley.

Tobi Fairley: Hey, friends. Welcome to The Design You Podcast. Today, we’re into the hundreds on this show. So exciting. Today, I have an interview for you with my friend Natalie Brown. She’s one of the other amazing ladies that I happen to be going through master life coach training with right now.

I’m bringing you a whole lineup of those genius women because I just happened to be absolutely in love with them, and we’ve just spent a lot of time together. We’re doing hard work together, we’re feeling all the fears together, and we’re just connecting, and it’s amazing. They all have so much genius and so many gifts to share with you.

So, today, Natalie and I are talking about how to choose what you want most over what you want in the moment. Now, I know that every single one of you need to hear this conversation. We all do it in some area of our life or another. We all give in in those moments and do exactly the opposite of what we had decided to do. So, today, Natalie and I are talking about this for you.

Just a little background on Natalie, she’ll tell you more about her in the episode that she’s a certified life coach and weight coach. She lives out in California. She’s a beautiful blonde. She has an amazing business. She’s a mom, she’s a wife, and she’s just an all-around amazing human, and I know you’re going to love our conversation. So, enjoy and get ready to take some notes again because this is one of those episodes that you’re going to want to put into practice in your life. It’s a game changer.

Tobi Fairley: Hey, Natalie. Welcome to The Design You Podcast. I am so excited about our conversation today.

Natalie Brown: Me too. I love it.

Tobi Fairley: So fun. A lot of my audience has been hearing about master coach training because I’ve talked about it. I’ve had a couple of our other friends that are going through that with us at the moment on the podcast already and some more to come, which is super fun. I just first want to start by letting everybody know that you are also in the club of the people going through master coach training at the life coach school with me right now. Right?

Natalie Brown: That is right.

Tobi Fairley: So, we’re both still kind of like it’s fun and it’s not as terrifying as before we went to Grand Cayman. Now, it just feels like kind of real life, doesn’t it, to me?

Natalie Brown: Totally. Time to put our money where our mouth is.

Tobi Fairley: Exactly. We’re doing lots of personal, we’re bonded through that. We talk to each other all the time. So, just kind of to give everybody that background. That’s how we know each other. That’s how we’re friends. I also want you to tell everybody in case they this is their first time hearing of you or learning about you, and we’re going to tell them how to find you later. Tell everybody who you are, what you do, what matters to you, that kind of a synopsis. Then we’re going to get into some really meaty stuff today in our talk.

Natalie Brown: Love it. Yes. So, I am a certified life and weight coach, soon to be a master coach, as you just kind of mentioned. I work with successful women who feel like they have everything together in their life except their weight. I think for a lot of them the reason they have everything together in their life is because they had food to help them through the process.

So, most of my clients are successful women in their education, in their careers, in their home life, whatever, but they’re just trying to figure out this weight loss thing. I myself lost 50 pounds by using the tools that you and I both teach, learning how to change my thinking, how to love and accept myself, all of that.

I just really wanted to help other women do the same thing, like have their own transformation story, which felt, at some point in my life, so completely impossible. I was able to create that, and then have continued to do that in my business as an entrepreneur in all these different ways. That is just my joy, is helping these other women just find the confidence that they are looking for in this area that sometimes seems so out of reach.

Tobi Fairley: I love the way you said what you said, and I’m going to repeat it, and why it resonates with me so much because I would definitely say for many years I was absolutely your ideal client. I’ve come a long way now. Still room to grow in those areas

What I think is so fascinating, and it’s so true for me, and I had no idea that it was true, is I was exactly that woman who was saying, “Why can I do everything else in my life? I can make money, I can get published, I can be on covers of magazines, I can have a business and raise a child, and be married, and all the things and balance it all. But the one thing that it feels like it evades me is my weight.”

I think what’s so profound about what you said is the whole reason for that is because food was the coping mechanism for building all the other stuff. I’ve never heard anybody say it exactly that way. That blows my mind.

Natalie Brown: Yeah, it makes perfect sense. We have this, like you said, coping mechanism, this escape hatch, for all the pressure and stress that we have in all these other areas. So, it’s kind of like that’s our landing place for a long time, which works really well for us to get all these other things done, but has kind of buffering some of those backend consequences that start to show up. All the guilt, the shame, the frustration, like you said, how can I do all these other things, and be so successful, and not be able to figure this thing out?

Tobi Fairley: We had no idea that not only was it just not being figured it out. It was like aiding and abetting. It was an accessory to the crime. I’ve never thought of it that way. I love it. Then what I know about myself, and probably you, I think you said you’ve lost 50 pounds. I had our friend Jamie on, she said she lost 50 pounds twice while she did this work.

What I did over the years because I lost 40 pounds, put 20 back on, working on getting it back off. It’s kind of that same process. What I learned to do when I wasn’t using food as my escape hatch is that I learned to use work itself as my escape hatch. So, it doesn’t just have to be food. It can be a lot of things that we buffer with. Right?

Natalie Brown: Oh, yeah. For a lot of my clients, once they kind of start getting the food piece down, it’s like the alcohol starts ramping up a little bit, or work, or whatever it is. So, yeah, we have to learn that skill of being able to recognize in the moment that thing we want most, and go after it.

It’s just the feeling of the feelings, that discomfort, we seek an escape from it, and the escape can be anything. Even like you said, work, which is super valuable. It has a lot of great consequences, diving into work, but also, sometimes we dive into work at the expense of our family, or our relationship with ourselves, or whatever.

Tobi Fairley: Absolutely.

Natalie Brown: So, any healthy thing, any good thing can be used as a buffer like that thing that we put between us and the emotion.

Tobi Fairley: I think things like food and work can be sort of tricky because unlike alcohol, we have to have food to survive. Also, unlike alcohol, or shopping, or scrolling Facebook, or watching Netflix or whatever, we also believe that we have to have our work to survive because we have to pay the bills and all that stuff. So, those two, to me, I think are so easy to abuse, in a sense, because they’re required, but they’re not required at the level we’re using them, which is so fascinating.

Well, you kind of alluded to it, but what we’re going to talk about today, which I know whether people think they have any problems with food or are anything, alcohol, work, or anything else, most people, I think, can relate to and really need the conversation we’re going to have, which is how to choose what you want the most versus what you want in the moment. I get so excited just thinking about this.

As a part of that, we’re going to talk about what it looks like when they start to escape with things, and how instead they could really learn to feel their feelings because I think we’re all just sort of confused about feelings in general. They were kind of taught at one point we shouldn’t really them, or don’t make other people feel uncomfortable, or if you do feel uncomfortable, it must mean stop.

Then we kind of started learning that maybe wasn’t right, but there’s not a class in school, there’s not a class in college, your parents don’t sit down and have the how to feel your feelings talk like they might have like the birds and the bees talk. It’s just not on the syllabus at any point in our life, and I think we just don’t know how to do this. Even being a trained life coach and almost a master coach like you, I still don’t fully understand it in certain moments. Maybe I understand it, but I don’t know how to move into a healthier version, then some kind of coping mechanisms.

So, let’s get right into the part about how to choose what you want most versus in the moment. I know you encounter this with all of your clients regularly, you said, so talk to us about that very thing and how we can teach people to start to get clarity on this.

Natalie Brown: Well, I think the first thing and most important thing is to know what you want most. We kind of have to have some sense whether we’re talking about food and health goals, or we’re talking about work and time management goals or whatever. Having a concept of what that even means I think is really important. So, defining for yourself like, “What I want most when it comes to food is this,” and dipping into that future self-idea to access what it is you’re going for.

I think it’s a really good place to start because then you can hold up that thing that you want most up against whatever it is in the moment, whether it’s peanut M&M’s, or getting on Netflix instead of doing this project, or whatever and the thing you want most will win if you’re really clear about what it is.

Tobi Fairley: Should we write them down? Should we practice them? Is it part of goal setting? How have you found, for you or your clients, some of the most effective ways to get clear? Because what I find, especially with a lot of women, which is primarily what my audience is, when you ask people what they want, they either don’t know or they’re afraid to say what it is.

Natalie Brown: Totally. I think we have a lot of fear even about dreaming about it because of all of our thoughts about failing at it.

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: For some of us, we don’t even want to explore what it is that we really want because immediately the doubt comes in like, “I can’t do that anyway.” So, I think it’s good to start with just what would be fun. That really easy place of like, “I’m not trying to go after it, but I could have anything in my life, in my work, in my career, or in my family, or in my personal life, or whatever.” What would be really fun to have? What’s something that I would love?

Then allow your brain to just imagine, explore. We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves about the how, we’re just like, “What would be really fun? Then I think from there, you can start to kind of rewind back to what’s realistic. I think that’s a really important part of this because for a lot of us, just for instance, my clients typically come to me and they’re like, “What I want is to become a person who never thinks about food and doesn’t even look at brownies a second time.”

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: Really. They’re like, “I want to become a robot who’s not tempted and doesn’t feel any discomfort,” but like realistically, and to me, I think the most powerful place is to live in a world with brownies, but know that you don’t have to eat them. You can desire them, and like them, and just see them sitting on the counter, not take any action. Just feel the desire, not do anything about it.

So, I think being realistic when you’re thinking about what it is that you want, being super like, “What would be fun?” Then also, now we’re going to talk about what can I actually do, and I think making sure that you have the far away target, and then kind of the near future target too, that makes it a little bit easier to know.

Tobi Fairley: I love that because it’s funny, when we want to get rid of all the temptation and all the feeling and emotion, we’re like, “Well we get that if we got rid of them about brownies, we would also get rid of them about our kids.” You can’t just eliminate emotions in one part. You either feel things or you don’t feel things, and that’s part of the human experience. Of course, we don’t want to take all of that away, which is so interesting.

I think one of the things you touched on that I for sure want to pause on and talk about a little bit for a moment is the being unwilling to fail because you happen to know that what I’m doing right now for my master coach project is not only am I being willing to fail myself, which I’m pretty good at. I’m having the challenge of allowing my team to fail for an entire quarter, at least 25 fails a piece, so that’s 125 fails with my core team, and me not swooping in and fixing it. Then me just sitting with my emotions about it while they also sit with their emotions about it.

So, it’s like this really crazy, intense feeling, and understanding, and being willing to feel failure, and it’s becoming so apparent to me what a huge roadblock this is for all my team. Really, it’s become a theme in my community, Design You, and we’re talking about it there. It’s the thing that I feel is holding every single person in my world right now back from their dream self.

Do you have anything to share about how to deal with that fear of failure, how to be okay failing, and as our mentor Brooke teaches, there’s a difference in a worthy fail and an unworthy fail. So, just not trying is a total unworthy fail. Trying something really well, and meaning for it to work, and it falling short is absolutely a worthy fail because you learn from it, and you can go to the next level. That’s the kind of fail I’m talking about.

It’s not like we’re all just giving up, and kicking back, and doing whatever the heck we want. It’s like how do we try really hard to reach our goals knowing it’s not going to work most of the time, at least to the level we thought it would, and then being okay with it and feeling those feelings, which I think is one of those keys to the universe that if we can figure that out, we can do anything.

Natalie Brown: Absolutely, 100%. This is the thing I think about failure. The painful part of it is not the emotion, the experience of the emotion itself, it’s all that we make it mean.

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: That’s where all the pain is. If you think about a scenario in which you would feel the feeling of failure, that’s the emotion that you would put on it. When you think about just what that would feel like, just the description of the emotion, which is how it feels and shows up in your body. That’s it. Separate from the thoughts that you have about it, separate from how your brain runs it down the future of all the things that it will mean for you, but just the experience of it is really not that big of a deal.

Tobi Fairley: It’s like butterflies, or like a tension in your chest, or like a tense neck. It’s like maybe some physical symptom. We know it to be like a vibration or like a sensation in your body, but other than that, it’s kind of no big deal.

Natalie Brown: Yeah. I think for a lot of us, because we’re not willing to go there most of the time, we have built up this idea of what failure means, what it’s going to do, how it’s going to feel, how it’s going to impact the rest of our life into this huge, giant Mount Everest that’s all completely in our imagination.

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: I have lots of clients who we’ve talked about if you were to feel the grief that you are experiencing or you’re thinking about, if you were to just lean into the grief, what would happen? So many of them feel like it would never go away. If I really allow myself to feel that, I’ll be in bed for two weeks and not be able to do my life. In my experience that I’ve witnessed with my clients, allowing an emotion actually causes it to dissipate even more quickly than when you push against it.

So, we have all this fear about what it’s going to mean, and what it’s going to feel like, and what we’re going to end up doing because of it, like we’re going to fall into this bottomless pit of failure. The truth is that if you were to fail, even in a really big way, what would happen is you would have an experience in your body. That’s it. That’s it.

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, it’s so true. Just to put an example to it, I’m thinking about my team right now, and the things we’re going through and we’re having kind of almost mini fails, in a way, which they can make mean something so huge in their head. They’re like, “Oh, I missed the mark on writing captions for social media that Tobi might actually want to use on her social media.” Instead of just being like, “Okay, well let me go back to the drawing board and see if I can do something else that she would like better.”

It’s like, “Oh, my gosh. She thinks I’m stupid. She thinks I’m an idiot. I might lose my job. This is so embarrassing. Why can’t I do this? It’s so basic. If I can’t do this, I can’t do anything else. How am I ever going to make any money?” It literally is like this avalanche of, like you said, what they make it mean about themselves, which is really interesting, and it’s all just a story we make up in our head.

Natalie Brown: Totally. Even if it were to come true, you do think she’s an idiot. So what? What happens then? You know what I mean?

Tobi Fairley: Yeah.

Natalie Brown: She experiences this feeling of disappointment, or shame, or humiliation. Okay. So, what does that feel like? What does that look like? When we can slow our brain down a little bit and really go to the feeling, the experience, because we talk about like, “Oh, then I would feel this, and then this would happen, and I would be so humiliated.” Really, what will that entail? If we can go to that moment, we learn so much about how it’s not that big of a deal.

Tobi Fairley: Right. I’ve seen it play out in a couple of ways with my team. We had one person actually quit because it was so uncomfortable, even just over a simple thing, which was fascinating. No judgment on that part either way. That’s how they chose to deal with it.

Then we have other people who experienced that, and they were like, “Oh, interesting. I kind of feel the exact opposite. I feel this level of relief that I can be imperfect, and I can show up and show it to you, and I can get your feedback, and then I can try again, and that’s actually easier for me than feeling like I had to be perfect for you, which was all this pressure I was putting on myself.”

So, it’s all so fascinating, and that’s how we know it’s a story we’re creating because two people can have the exact same experience or exact same circumstance and have a completely different experience of it, which is really interesting.

On that note, then when people are feeling the discomfort that comes with failure, which could be any number of feelings. It could be discomfort, it could be anxiety, it could be nervousness, it could be depression, it could be fear. We know there’s a whole gamut of how people describe it, but it’s in that moment of not being willing to feel that whatever discomfort they label it. That’s when they go into the choosing what they want right now over what they really want. Right?

Natalie Brown: Yes, absolutely. A lot of time, that entails quitting on ourselves. You had someone who actually literally quit, but sometimes it just looks like slipping into the nice, cool pool of apathy, the screw it mode. Like that, “I don’t care. I don’t even want this job. I don’t even care about losing weight anymore.” I think that’s where a lot of people go in that moment, and that relief that we seek is from the discomfort of whatever that feeling is.

It’s interesting because that leads us to starting over mode, which really just is where we forgive ourselves. We decide to not focus on the past and focus forward. It’s like this gift, but we feel like the only way to that place is by failing really big, like falling off the wagon, or doing something terrible, or quitting, and then allowing ourselves that forgiveness and the moving forward. That’s available to us at any time.

Tobi Fairley: I think the interesting thing is because I’ve been there so many times just like you described, and I’m like, “Well yeah, of course this diet didn’t work, and why can’t I just be happy at the weight I am?” All the justifications. What I’ve also found really interesting for me and other people is it serves us so much better to go ahead and get right back on track immediately because the starting over thing can become a habit in and of itself.

Every time you get to start over, it’s like you get to get excited again. It’s the hype all over again, and I think we can get sort of in a pattern of buffering with the starting over. How many times do we get all excited again that we’re like, “This is going to be the diet that works,” or, “This is going to be the job that makes me happy,” or, “This is going to be the relationship that I finally dreamed of,” or whatever.

None of that is true in and of itself. It’s all about how we’re thinking and showing up, and that feels good at the moment. It’s all new, it’s the honeymoon phase all over again, and we just can see this pattern of we recreate the same thing over and over. It’s like hype, bored, quit, hype, bored, quit. We’re like, “Wait, I don’t understand why I can never get on the other side of this thing that I really, really want.”

Natalie Brown: Yeah, absolutely. We all kind of, I think, culturally have an addiction to fresh starts. It’s why the New Year is such a big deal because we’re like, “Yay, it’s a new year, it’s a new month, it’s a new week, whatever it is,” but we have that opportunity in every single moment. I think when we’re talking about that moment where you choose what you want most over what you want in the moment, I think really exploring the idea that what we want most is not necessarily a perfect, flawless, no fall down journey. It’s what I want most is to be willing to feel this discomfort that I’m having right now and not hit the escape button.

What I want most is this discomfort. Wanting and desiring that, I think when we talk about what we want most over what we want in the moment, I think that’s sometimes a good route to choose. We can also be thinking about what we want most as that big goal, that why, whatever, but I think sometimes even just what I want most is to increase my discomfort vocabulary in this moment. I think that can also help you choose the most.

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, failure, tolerance, discomfort, vocabulary, all those things. I found myself this year. It’s so funny. I’ve always loved the New Year as my favorite time of the year, just like you said. It kind of lost its luster for me this year. I think that’s actually fascinating now that we’re about this. I hadn’t really noticed that maybe it’s just because I’ve evolved in the way that I deal with my feelings on a regular basis.

What I really found myself doing in even the beginning of February is I was kind of mad a little bit because I’m like, “Where’s my hype? Where’s my motivation? Where’s my inspiration? I’m not feeling it. Did I pick the wrong goals? Did I do something wrong?” Then I started realizing that the showing up and getting what we want is not really in the motivation, and the hype, and the inspiration pieces.

Those are all great, but I think we go through life thinking we have to be inspired to take action, we have to feel motivated. That’s really just wanting to feel good, and that’s what we do to buffer also. What I learned was, guess what, when the magic really happens is when I’m willing to feel bored, when I’m willing to feel not inspired and still do what I’m supposed to do because I know it gets me to the outcome I really truly want.

Natalie Brown: Oh, my gosh. Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. That comes up from my clients all the time, like, “I’m not feeling motivated anymore,” which is kind of what you’re talking.

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, exactly.

Natalie Brown: You were feeling motivated, but we’re feeling motivated because of the thoughts we’re having. Motivation isn’t something that just comes on January 1st. We feel that feeling because we’re thinking thoughts like, “This is my opportunity. I’m so excited about this goal. I can’t wait to get it done,” but like you just described, what is the real defining moment of whether or not you get there is not when you’re feeling motivated, it’s when you’re feeling terrible.

It’s in that moment when maybe you chose the pan of brownies, or the Netflix, or you failed at this thing that you tried with this project or whatever, and you decide to stand back up and to figure out how to keep going. Those moments are the moments that get us A, the learning and the transformation that happens when we achieved something, but also the goal itself. It’s not the times when we’re like, “Yay, this is so fun and easy.”

Tobi Fairley: Right. I think it’s the doing it when it’s not easy, when you’re bored, when you’re not inspired. I think it’s also, for myself, definitely in the past, and for so many of the people I work with, and I’m sure it’s true for you too, but for me, it’s all the creatives I work with. They kind of take their temperature with every task on their to-do list or in their calendar and decide if they feel like doing it, which is always the worst possible litmus test for whether or not you’re going to follow through on something.

Natalie Brown: Oh yeah, completely because, of course, your brain has literally evolved a mechanism to have you not do the things you don’t feel like doing because it’s like, “Oh, there’s discomfort there that clearly isn’t the right path.” Taking into account the fact that A, that thing that you do or don’t want to do is not creating whether or not you want to do it in. That statement of itself. It’s always your thoughts about it.

We have the opportunity and the ability to want to do it based on our thinking about it no matter what it is. We also don’t have to want to in order to do it. I’ll go to the example of changing diapers. That was never on my top three things of what I wanted to do with my life. I certainly didn’t want to smell that all day, and I didn’t want to have a crying baby with a sore bottom.

So, it was like, “Yeah, let’s get to the diaper changing, do the thing we don’t want to do, so we can do the things we want to do, the other things that we want to do.” There’s dishes, and taking out the garbage, and changing diapers on everybody’s list, whatever that is for you. The thing that just isn’t at the top, it isn’t the most fun, but it’s necessary for the rest.

Tobi Fairley: Right. Most of those things, especially when we look at doing our finances in business, or making a sales call, or things that feel hard, you’re like, “I want to make $1 million in my business, but I don’t want to have to sell anything to anybody.” Let’s see.

Natalie Brown: You don’t want to feel any sort of uncomfortable emotion.

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, that’s going to be a little hard. “I want to have a really good body, but I really don’t want to go to the gym or eat healthy.” I’m like, “I can’t help you with that, dude. I’m sorry.” I think the funny thing that we don’t notice, and you said it, is the circumstance is not what’s making us not feel like it. It’s when we think the thought, “I don’t feel like it,” we’re for sure not going to feel like it, and we don’t notice that.

Natalie Brown: We’re using that as our deciding factor versus, “I don’t feel like it. That’s okay. I’m going to do it anyway.”

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, or like, “I don’t feel like it,” and go, “Oh, funny. You’re going to try that again. Okay. Well, then let’s just decide to feel like it. Okay?” I think of it with my kid, when they don’t want to do something, and you’re like, “I don’t really care if you want to do it, get your homework done,” but with ourselves, we let ourselves off the hook instead of having that parental kind of approach with ourselves and going, “I don’t really care if you want to do it. Come on, chop, chop.”

We’re like, “Oh, yeah. Something is wrong here. I must have the wrong goal. I must have the wrong diet. I must have the wrong plan. So, in the moment, let’s just stay on the couch and keep binge watching the show.” For sure.

Natalie Brown: I often describe this whole tug of war as parenting our toddler brain because we do.

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: We have that toddler brain that’s like, “Oh, I don’t want to.” You see it all the time. I think about parents I see in the grocery store whose kid is dragging them through the store screaming, and I think that’s kind of the position most of us are in with our toddler brain. It is running the show. We’re just giving it whatever it wants every moment, shoving candy in its mouth or whatever to get it to shut up.

Tobi Fairley: Exactly.

Natalie Brown: What needs to happen is we need to lay down the law a little bit.

Tobi Fairley: Yes. I gave my toddler brain food for years just to get me to work a little bit longer, a little bit harder, which never served me. That’s so interesting. So, if people are agreeing with us, they’re like, “Absolutely. I do all the things you say. I don’t like to fail. I don’t like discomfort. I do accidentally even sometimes not consciously choose what I want in the moment over what I want long term. I’m sick of it. I’m over it.”

What can they start to do to move out of these patterns, so that they are willing to feel the feelings, so that they can even be onto themselves? What could they start to do to notice some of those patterns and start to change the way they show up?

Natalie Brown: I think of it in three different moments that are kind of critical to that process. The before the moment happens moment where you have to have a plan. You have to know what you want to do. You have to know what’s either on your schedule, you have to know what your goal is, or whatever.

You have a plan, so that you have a framework within which to accomplish and try on this idea of feeling feelings. Ultimately, what happens for all of us, no matter what we’re talking about, whether it’s food or work, we get to the thing that we planned, and we don’t want to do it like we just described.

So, then there’s the in the moment where I think the most important thing to do is to take a beat. You have on your plan, “I need to get this project done today, or these tasks.” You get to that moment, your brain is like, “I don’t want to do it.” You take a beat. I usually tell my clients to give themselves a time limit. Look at the clock, give themselves some time, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever, to really decide, “Okay, so I have this to do, and I don’t want to do it. I want to do this instead. Why is that?”

Ask some questions, get really curious in the moment as to why your brain is wanting to choose the one over the other. It’s when we just knee-jerk react to that desire to do something else that we find ourselves in trouble. So, we need to build in a pause there in order to really recognize what’s going on and do a little bit of questioning of it. It’s kind of like sitting your toddler brain down and being like, “Okay, let’s talk about this for a second. What’s going on.”

Then ultimately, there’s still going to be moments, because we’re all humans, where we choose the thing we want in the moment. We eat the Oreos, we sit on the couch and watch one more episode instead of going to work, whatever. So, that after that moment, moment is also super critical where we decide what we’re going to do next.

For a lot of us, for a lot of my clients, that deciding what we do next looks like a three-day long binge. They’re like, “Oh my gosh. Well, I’ve thrown it away here with the Oreos, so I might as well start over tomorrow, or next week, or whatever.” So, I think that right after the moment is super critical to make a decision like what now? What next?

I think the opportunity there is to look at what happened in the moment, the choice that we made, and get a takeaway from it. What worked, and what didn’t, and what do I want to do differently next time? Then we just move forward. We have that information to take with us into the next moment to help inform our decision a little bit better.

Tobi Fairley: I think all of that is so smart, and I think what happens to a lot of us and definitely me, when we keep ourselves so, so, so busy and our schedule is extremely full, we haven’t taken any of those moments. Basically, what you’re talking about is being intentional in the morning about your whole day. Like, “Here’s what I’m going to do today,” and even thinking maybe at that moment, “And I’m not going to want to do a lot of those things, and I’ll already know that in advance. So, I’m already onto myself that it’ll probably happen. Bonus of it doesn’t.”

Then when you get to each thing, you’re also being intentional. Most of us, if there’s no sort of, I don’t want to call it buffer because that would be confusing. We’ve used that word for something else, but if there’s no margin in our schedule. I was going to say sometimes I call it buffer time or space, but if there’s no margin in there for us to believe we can stop, we’re unconscious. So, we’re fog eating, or we’re fog working, or we’re fog watching TV.

What you’re saying is you have to have the space to say, “Okay. Now, I’m not wanting to choose this. Am I going to choose it or not?” Then like you said, the one after, I think, is so, so critical because we can also go right into the I hate myself mode, beat myself up mode, which never serves us. Or we can say, “Okay. Well, interesting. I made that choice. It didn’t kill anybody. I might’ve had a few things I didn’t really need to eat, but how am I going to navigate from here, and what’s going to make me really be the person I want to be from here forward?” We know that if we’re thinking of it that consciously, we’re not going to like the person that been just for an entire weekend and then starts over.

Natalie Brown: There’s moments all throughout, even if it is three days long. There’s a moment where you can decide to look back at that, and learn something from it, and move forward. I think that really is to me the most important moment because we’re always going to have times where our toddler brain, in the moment brain, wins. We just are. We’re humans, and it’s our default setting, and it’s going to happen.

It’s kind of like all along the way using learning to access your adult brain. You’re making the plan with your adult brain, with your highest self, like what you want most. Sometimes toddler brain, in the moment brain, takes over a little bit, and that’s okay, but then we get to use our adult brain again to decide what we want to make it mean about us.

That’s everything because that’s what has us making our goals smaller because we just start believing we can’t do it, building up all this evidence about what we’re capable of. Like you said, that doesn’t move us forward. That’s where people run into, I think, the biggest roadblock, is standing back up and moving on.

Tobi Fairley: I completely 100% agree with you that that is the most critical moment. Maybe it can’t totally be there without the planning and the awareness on the front end, but of the three, I think that is the most important one because the next right decision versus go spiraling out of control is the part that most of us struggle with the most, and I think it’s most confusing for us too.

As you were just talking about that, I was just kind of trying to articulate in my own mind what that even looks like because I know sometimes when I do find myself spiraling to a deeper degree in any way, any of the buffering or any of the choices that we could make, a lot of times, it’s the culmination of a whole bunch of pressure I’ve put on myself, not just the one individual thing. It’s not the eating the Oreos that’s the big deal. It’s the that I’m exhausted, and I’ve been white knuckling a whole bunch of stressful things and emotions, and not feeling any of them.

Then it’s almost like when I eat the cookie, it’s the gateway to this sort of release of all this pressure. Do you see that too? I think that’s what, to me, the spiral or the binge would look like in anything, in work, binge, or anything. It’s almost in that mindset of, “I deserve it,” or, “I’ve been through so much,” or “I’ve worked so hard,” or something like that that’s causing it.

Natalie Brown: I think that that’s why it’s so important to create space. In each of those moments, there’s room for you to create space for the emotions of that moment. I think when you’re able to be curious, curiosity, if you really think about it, when you can be really curious about what’s going on for you, with your team, whatever, there’s not very much room for judgment. It’s very difficult to feel both curious and judgmental at the same time.

Tobi Fairley: Yes.

Natalie Brown: So, being able to make space to be curious about what’s going on, being conscious of, like you said, this is really just opening the floodgates of all this pressure that has been building with all sorts of things, and being able to be curious in that moment and ask, “Why? What’s going on for me? Why did that happen? Why am I making this choice, and what about all this other stuff that’s going on?”

Being able to be curious about it creates learning, which ultimately creates forward progress versus us, what we typically do, which is like, “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just hold it together? What’s the issue? You’re so broken,” whatever. All this judgment, which just shuts the door, shuts us down, and we end up repeating, repeating that cycle.

Tobi Fairley: I think one other interesting thing, just before we go, that I was thinking when you were saying that is one of the other problems is we expect success on anything to be a straight line up. What it really looks like is go up some, go down some, go backwards some, negative, back up to neutral, back, ahead.

So, I think that’s where a lot of times, and I even see my clients doing this. I just had somebody I was coaching this week, and they’re like, “Well, I did a Black Friday sale for my new product, and I made $7,500, but I’m going to quit and not do it again because I really thought I would make $20.” I’m just like, “Do you see that you’re saying, ‘I don’t want to make $7,500 just because it didn’t align with what I thought I would make? So, you’re going to choose $0 over $7,500 because you didn’t hit some arbitrary expectation of $20K that you had decided without any information was what this should look like?’”

I think we do that all the time in our lives. We’re like, “I should get on this new diet, and I should just go, and I shouldn’t bobble, and I shouldn’t go backwards, and I shouldn’t binge eat for three days.” Instead of going, “Okay, I’m going to go on a journey, whether it’s a work journey, a weight loss journey, a relationship journey. In this next year, I’m probably going to have times, multiple times, maybe every week, maybe a couple of times a month, where I do behavior that looks like the old behavior, and that’s still part of the progress and the path.”

Natalie Brown: Yes. I like the sentence, “This is the part where.” If you were to look back at how we got here, we could really say it objectively. Like, “Oh, that was the part where I quit this job,” or, “That was the part where I only sold $7,500 when my goal was $20, and this is the part where I kept going anyway, and I learned from it, whatever.”

So, if we can look forward and have that same objectivity, or even see in the present, it’s the expectation that creates the disappointment, it’s not the thing happening. I like to tell my clients like, “When you come on this journey with me, and as you go through your life on this journey, being able to say, ‘Oh, this is the part where I eat brownies all day instead of the salad that I had planned.’” Like, “Oh, my gosh. What’s wrong with me? I’m never going to figure this out. Never going to be able to lose weight.”

It’s totally different to look at it like, “This is the part where what can I learn from it?” We kind of talked about what’s going on for me, I think, allows, like I said, you to be more objective, and then get curious.

Tobi Fairley: I love that. I love it because I was seeing it as you were saying it like watching a movie. If you’ve already seen a movie, and you watch it again, you’re like, “Oh this is the part where they break up,” but you know at the end of the story they get back together and live happily ever after.

So, you’re not freaked out because you know what’s going to happen. But with us, we’re living forward, and we’re not at the 40,000 foot view going, “Oh, this is the part where I’m going to binge eat, but it’s part of the path to where I hit my ideal weight, and then I use it to teach other people how to do the same, or whatever.” I love that.

So, if we can take a step back and see it more as one scene of the big movie, then I think that’s so helpful to see how we can keep perspective. I love that little trick, this is the part where.

Natalie Brown: It can be this is the part where I have no idea what I’m doing. This is the part where I succeed and double my goal. If this is the part where it can be anything, but it just keeps it in the realm of neutral, which is what it is anyway. We just forget sometimes.

Tobi Fairley: So good. Well, I had so much fun with this conversation, and I learned so much from you, which I’m not surprised. Just some really, really fun ways that you frame things, tools you have. So good. I know my audience will feel the same way, so I’m just so grateful you were here. Thank you. Thank you.

Natalie Brown: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. It was so good to chat with you.

Tobi Fairley: I know. So fun. So, we’ll put it all in the show notes, but if anybody wants to find you, or know what you’re doing, where are you?

Natalie Brown: Where am I? I am on the interweb. My website is itbeginswithathought.com, and that’s pretty much the same thing. Facebook, It Begins with a Thought Coaching, and Instagram, @itbeginswithathoughtcoaching as well.

Tobi Fairley: Awesome. Don’t you have something new coming out soon?

Natalie Brown: I do. I am starting my very own podcast, which is super exciting and fun. Kind of a dream. I love listening to podcasts. It’s my favorite pastime. So, to have my own, like my own voice out there, telling my people all the things is so much better.

So, yes, I’m launching my podcast next month, and it’s called Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. So, yeah, look for that. All the goodness that it entails, and there’ll be also information on my website about how to become a podcast insider if you want the inside scoop, and to get entered into my launch giveaway as well.

Tobi Fairley: Awesome. Awesome. I’m not sure exactly when the show comes out, but probably pretty close to when you’re launching, so we’ll make sure everybody knows. Well, thank you again, I just appreciate you so much, and of course, I’ll be seeing you a lot with our master coach training, but everybody else, be sure to go say hi to Natalie out on Instagram and on her other social spots. Tell us what you all thought about the show. Drop us both a line. We want to hear if this stuff works for you because I know it absolutely will, and thank you.

Natalie Brown: For sure.

Tobi Fairley: Yeah, thank you. Thank you. Thanks, lady.

Natalie Brown: You bet.

Tobi Fairley: See you soon.

Natalie Brown: See you.

Tobi Fairley: Okay. So, are you ready? Are you ready to finally stop giving into the moment and really doing work to create the life you want? Well, if you are, we just gave you the key to making that happen. So, I hope you loved the episode. I hope you learned as much from Natalie as I did, and I can’t wait to hear from you and what you think about this episode.

Head over to iTunes if you’ve loved it or any of The Design You Podcast episodes and leave us a rating and a review. Tell us what you love. Tell me what you want to hear more of. Just spill it. We want to hear it. I just thank you for listening. I can’t wait to hear about the results you get, and I’ll see you again right here next week with another episode of The Design You Podcast. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. If you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life thing you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program, designyou TobiFairley.com.

Enjoying The Show?

Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that are happy with it.