In this episode, guest, Rachel Lavin and host Jeffrey Besecker, discuss healthy ego development and empowering our ego to work for us rather than against us.
“I struggled with that for so long until I just got tired of the chatter. I got tired of the anguish and I got tired of feeling like I wasn’t living my authentic life.” – guest, author, fitness trainer, and well-being coach, Rachel Lavin
The guest, Rachel, is a personal trainer, health coach, body love educator, and author of the book “Donut Diaries.” She shares her personal story of struggling with projecting a false belief about body image, weight, and healthy self-image, and how she overcame it to live her authentic life. The message she wants to convey to readers and listeners is that they are not alone and that as a collective, we can empower ourselves to live authentically.
- The importance of delegating tasks
- Take ownership of what we put out in the world
- Emphasizing values and beliefs, and how this leads to greater success
- Seeking advice and help from others is crucial
- Strike a balance between seeking support and taking ownership
- Recognize healthy limitations, and focus on your strengths
Struggling to understand your own ego, check out this blog post:
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Featured Guest: Rachel Lavin
Credits: Music Score by Epidemic Sound
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Besecker
Mixing, Engineering, Production, and Mastering: Aloft Media Studio
Senior Program Director: Anna Getz
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0:00:00 – Speaker 1
Rachel, first and foremost ,I’d like to welcome you today as we interact and look at ego development, how we empower our ego to work for us rather than against us. You know, that might be a unique perspective a lot of times because so often we are conditioned or led down that path that views ego ultimately as something that’s working against us. Before we dive in, i’d love to hear a little bit about your book Donut Diaries, because ultimately, that’s why we’re here today is to see the power in that story. So, from that perspective, could you give us a little overview about what you hope to convey with the book and why you’ve written it?
0:00:42 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. I just want to say thank you for having me today. It’s a pleasure. And to start with, a quick intro about me. I am a personal trainer, a health coach, a body love educator and an author. I’ve been in the wellness and fitness space for over 20 years.
My beginnings of my career up until now has shifted dramatically, because my story in the donut diaries is very personal. I had this belief about myself for so many years that I projected into the world and I convinced myself that this was who I was and this is how you should perceive me. And it really wasn’t who I was. And I struggled with that for so long until I just got tired of the chatter, i got tired of the anguish and I got tired of feeling like I wasn’t living my authentic life. And so, when I turned 40 years old, i had this emotional, mental and physical shift that has led me to this path where we are now, and that’s where I really feel like I want to convey the message to things. I want people who read my book and who interact with me and who know what I do that you’re not alone. And the second thing I want to convey is that we as a collective, as people, as women and men, are able to feel whole in the body that we have right now.
0:02:18 – Speaker 1
That sense of wholesomeness is ultimately that sense of us. for me, feeling like we’re bonded and interconnected, feeling like that we are complete as human beings, feeling like that we’re noticed and welcomed within our interactions That can be such a challenging place, Very So. looking at the title of your book, I want to interject a little bit here before we move on to our next line of inquiry or our next line of thought. It’s interesting to me to note how we can interchange the spelling of doughnut. We have the prolonged D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T. Yeah, Sometimes that abbreviated D-O-N-U-T. Yeah, We often use that shortened version of the story of doughnuts and we admit part of the word, yet it has the same meaning.
I thought that was a really interesting way to look at how sometimes we tend to omit not only parts of our own story and go under-recognized with them, but also in the story of other human beings. I’m feeling very philosophical today, for whatever reason. I think part of that is because I’ve been on a long run of interactions and my brain is getting kind of frazzled. So I’m trying to find some ways to communicate some of these things without diving perhaps so deeply into them today. So from that aspect, here’s a curious question. as we dive in a little further. Rachel, throughout your life, it seems you’ve had a complex relationship with image and weight. Would you agree? I would agree wholeheartedly yes.
So, from that perspective, could you share with our listeners a bit about this journey and how it surfaced for you?
0:04:08 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. I think I was very hyper-aware of my body at such a young age. I feel like I developed very quickly, sooner than my classmates, and it was just something that I was aware of. Plus, I grew up in a time where dieting and thinness and always striving for that perfect body was just inundated in TV, in magazines, in the women around you, that surrounded your life.
So it was something that in my teenage years, in early adulthood and again, like I mentioned, up into my 40s, i don’t think there was a day that went by where I didn’t think multiple times a day about the size of my body and how I was brought up to believe that it was not the right size for our society’s acceptance And I literally just I think I took that into my soul, i took that into my heart and beat myself up repeatedly because I just wasn’t born with that body. So it was something that I struggled with internally and externally and involved so many people that were in my stratosphere with just my body. So the fact that that is something that, in talking to many, many people, i know that I’m not alone. So that was the message that I really wanted to convey after writing my book and after starting to do this work is that we’re not alone. But we’ve been taught to hate ourselves and to not love ourselves And we really need to stop that because we’re wasting our own lives by getting submerged in this diet culture.
0:05:58 – Speaker 1
Rachel, what are some of the key personal issues you may have battled in regards to how you both perceived yourself and, as a result of how you felt other people were perceiving you and accepting you?
0:06:09 – Speaker 2
Oh, that’s a very good question, because I literally was thinking can you imagine how exhausting this was? I was thinking for you. So if you and I were to admit on the street, literally I’m not lying, I’m not making this up for traumatic effect My first thought was he thinks I’m fat, or he thinks I’m not beautiful, or he thinks my body is not the right body. I didn’t know you. You haven’t said one word to me except hi. So imagine projecting that energy out to everyone in the world and the things you know, the energy, the weird energy.
I would get back because I didn’t recognize that I was, like you know, shoving this energy out into the world of how my body was not the right body. So that was such an interesting shift. When I stopped doing that And I would just meet people and just engage with people and share a conversation with people, the difference in the reception between yourself and myself in a conversation was worlds apart. So I think it’s really important for us to know, as human beings, that A how we feel about ourselves is projected out into the world. Our energy is projected out into the world. So it’s really important to have that self-awareness and how we interact with each other.
0:07:29 – Speaker 1
In healthy doses. of course it can be such a challenging point to sometimes get to, to see that in healthy doses and find that healthy sense of balance. That can be such a painful journey at times. Were there instances where you actually had those kind of interactions where someone did put you in that position, where they projected their judgments on you, they vocalized that, they expressed it in some ways? Oh, of course I mean being a woman in the fitness profession.
0:08:02 – Speaker 2
You literally hear that and have conversations about your body all the time, Many, many times, and both from men and women. You don’t have the right body to be a trainer or you really should do this to look like a trainer. We want you to do this 90 day challenge because you don’t look happy. You need to look like you want to be here. So it was always a aesthetic visual. It had nothing to do with what’s going on with Rachel. Maybe we need to dig a little deeper to figure out what’s going on internally and why you feel this way about your body. Of course, In the fitness industry, it was always about aesthetics. So, yeah, absolutely. That has happened throughout my career and my life, for sure.
0:08:47 – Speaker 1
That can become such a game of trying for us each to manage our own emotions in those sort of interactions where we start to form some expectancy and start to project our own sense of well, where do I want to guide this? How do I want to avoid this sometimes, Would you agree?
0:09:06 – Speaker 2
Oh, yes, There was a lot of, during my adult life, isolation periods because I just I didn’t want to deal with other people’s opinions, I didn’t want to deal with my own feelings. I just didn’t want to put myself out there And it’s so. It’s so, it’s so interesting I guess we could use that word to look back on my experiences in my life before, how I feel about myself now. And you know, there’s nothing you can do about the past except learn from it and accept it and do better now. But I do. I see how much of my life was spent feeling inadequate and feeling that I didn’t deserve to have all the things that we should be enjoying in life, because I didn’t feel good enough.
0:10:00 – Speaker 1
Difting that to perhaps a little bit more personal left, and if you’re not comfortable with going this direction, might we look at your family interactions and how that might have played out in your relationships within your family unit?
0:10:15 – Speaker 2
You know, i think that women are just born with this thought process, that we always have to be striving to look a certain way, behave a certain way, and of course, that was very much a part of my family life as well, just like it is with most women. So, yes, of course that played a part. But I think, learning As we get older that we are our own person, no matter what your genetics or your DNA or your hereditary things are that you share with your family, you still are an individual. You still are your own man or woman, and once we learn that and accept that and embrace that, i think it becomes so much easier to have relationships with your family and relationships with your children and your parents and your grandparents and your brothers and sisters.
It’s really interesting to me, you know, because of course, we’ve all experienced families that are really really close and then families that are really, really estranged, And the reason behind those estrangements are usually because you’re not able to be your individual self in that family. You have to fall in line right. So I always find that dynamic super interesting.
0:11:30 – Speaker 1
Has. It’s so interesting, even from my own perspective, to kind of watch and study my own immediate family with my children within our interactions, where we try to sometimes shield and guard that genuine connection, where sometimes we overlook things simply out of our own perspective. So it’s been kind of an interesting journey for myself to look at that and start to make sense of.
0:11:57 – Speaker 2
I think and again, i don’t have kids, so I’m not here for but I will say from my own experiences and watching other moms and daughters and sons and fathers and whatever, i just think the more you allow your children to be their own person and be who they are, you have such a more genuine and authentic relationship with each other. If you’re trying to mold this mini me out of your kids that’s when things go awry.
0:12:27 – Speaker 1
Yes, yes, i would have to agree on that wholeheartedly. That is something I’m watching my own son do now, as I’m watching them rear our first grandchild and how they’re trying to make some amends, i might say, with that within their own parenting style, where they’re trying to be more open and available to who this child really is, rather than being guided so much by expectation. Rachel, you’ve stated elsewhere that one of your core missions, especially with the book, is to help women feel safe in their own bodies. What are some of the key behavior changes that might allow women to feel more empowered in any ease with their self image?
0:13:12 – Speaker 2
I love the word that you use is empowered, because that really is a very important part of it. The more we feel safe to be who we are, the more we feel empowered to speak our true thoughts and who we really are. I think that all that outside chatter can’t penetrate, or it can’t penetrate as easily as it used to, and that’s why, when I do talk about body love that’s what I’m really trying to convey is that if we don’t love ourselves as a whole person, as a whole entity, as a whole soul, then the aesthetics don’t really matter. Our focus on the aesthetics don’t really mean anything, because you don’t love yourself. So you give your power away, you give your happiness away, or you expect somebody else to provide those things for you, when those things need to come from within.
So that’s what I do my best to do, and not only sharing my experience with people, but to show a path that there is a different way, there’s a different mindset, and I believe that everyone can be happy. I believe that everyone can be happy with the body that they’re given, because our bodies are a gift And if we start seeing it that way, instead of oh, my body isn’t this, or my body is too much of that, or my body isn’t. whatever our thoughts are, the more we recognize that our bodies are a gift and that they can do amazing things. instead of trying to break it down, i think we get that idea and that thought to build it up.
0:14:57 – Speaker 1
I want to point out something interesting here for myself. You know I’ve been working lately to try to point out how can we, kind of within our own language, find that common ground, you know? can we frame it as are we? in that writing I actually said our behaviors. Yet as a male, although I can be compassionately empathetic, do I truly have that ability to see things through those eyes? Do I just simply step aside and say we do have to allow that empowered woman to step forward and speak her voice? It was interesting for me to kind of catch that.
0:15:36 – Speaker 2
And I love that you’re aware of that, and I think that is a question that everyone needs to ask themselves, whether it be a man or a woman, because I think so many women still have that concept that a bigger body is an unhealthy body and we shouldn’t look up to women in bigger bodies or we shouldn’t find that influence in that, whatever. So the more we step aside and I do like that, what you said about judging another person I think that that maybe that acceptance might come a little easier And you will never understand what it feels like for a woman in her body.
0:16:17 – Speaker 1
You just won’t. but that’s okay, You don’t have to.
0:16:20 – Speaker 2
But I think the more that we just find our acceptance and realize that we’re all human beings and that our bodies are just a vessel. It’s not who we are. Then there might be some more peace in the world.
0:16:40 – Speaker 1
I feel that’s where we step aside as individuals and just simply see and accept that other person to acknowledge that they do have their view and perspective.
0:16:51 – Speaker 2
One thing that has worked for me to just see a human being as a human being. when I first started this journey for myself, i realized that I needed to not only give myself a compliment you’re beautiful, you’re capable. I started giving compliments to other women And I just didn’t realize at the time how much that was going to open up my heart and open up my mind and the way I thought about things. So, even if women just start doing that for each other, i think some of that judgment goes to the wayside And I’m not really sure where we are with the whole Me Too movement. but I don’t know if that works for men, I don’t know. So I don’t know if women are accepting compliments from men. I don’t know. I’m not sure. I don’t know where we’re at with that. Sorry.
0:17:43 – Speaker 1
And I think that’s a core human trait, that we just want to feel that bond, We want to feel that presence of belonging Women, men, child, regardless of gender perspective. I’ll put it that way we all just want to be accepted in love.
0:18:00 – Speaker 2
Yes, we do, but I want to reiterate that that has to come from you first.
0:18:06 – Speaker 1
That empowered belief in I am worthy, i am open, i am available. I feel like we’re reiterating today, but in a good way.
0:18:18 – Speaker 2
But you know, sometimes people need to hear something 100 times before it resonates with them. So listen, I don’t think that for us to say what we’re saying over and over again is a problem.
0:18:32 – Speaker 1
Sometimes we hear that opposite. I’ll say opposite 101 times. Sometimes it does take that hundred and second time to move past that pattern belief, to move past that conditioned view, definitely, to work through some of those trauma responses where we kind of go the opposite way sometimes and start to form that perception ourselves, as you mentioned. So, looking at that angle of social stigma and considering our perspective on things like body image, weight or core mental and physical health, how, from that perspective then, do we start to unravel and shift some of those changes, not only for ourselves but throughout society?
0:19:15 – Speaker 2
We need to go back and heal our traumas that have been affecting us our whole lives And I think the most important friendly advice I could give someone who is deciding to take that journey on is that you cannot rush the process.
You can’t just say oh yep, i had that happen to me when I was two years old. Great, i dealt with it Bye. I’m happy now. I would love it if it would happen like that. But there is something to be said for really diving deep into that experience or those experiences that shaped you, to make you believe what you believe about yourself and to be open to thinking differently. So I think that if people accept that they have to clean up their past to be happy today, then we’re all in for a treat.
0:20:09 – Speaker 1
That brings to mind that notion that we all carry certain elements of that forward with us. You know that inevitableness of that. Without trying to interject too much, you know labeling it is it junk, is it whatever.
0:20:23 – Speaker 2
I just think that it’s so important to understand that my experience of my childhood may not be my parents experience, my experience of you may not be the same that you experience of me, and I just I think we get caught up sometimes and it’s like, well, you should know better, but you should know how that makes me feel, or and it just unfortunately, i’m sorry, it doesn’t work like that.
We’re all different, we think differently, we see things differently, we experience each other differently, and to put our expectations on each other is where all this conflict and all this rift and all this miscommunication comes from. And I don’t want to be accused of or seen that I’m just trying to oversimplify life, but we do, as human beings, make things so complicated, and I would just love to kind of see us unpack that a little and just simplify things and just let each other be who we are. I mean, i’m sure we’ve noticed that the most successful relationships are because the couple just kind of lets each other be who they are And they enjoy each other and they love each other for who they are, even if that changes over the years. It’s no, well, you need to be this way for me, or I need to be that way for you. If we don’t do that to each other, relationships just become so much smoother and and the longevity is what the real gift is.
0:21:50 – Speaker 1
It’s such a brilliant and amazing way to kind of shift our perspective, to kind of create that new sort of framing or focus. If I might share something with you this morning, on my walk today with our dog, you know I do a daily, twice a day round with our pup walking through the neighborhood and I’ve noticed how we kind of walk around our neighborhoods and we think we see everything, we think we know what’s going on in our environment, we think we’re pretty attuned, at least that’s from my perspective, how I perceive it for myself. So, walking through the neighborhood today, walking by a neighbor’s house you know, past every morning, actually twice a day, usually with the dog, and I look over and they’ve got kind of a little courtyard area in the front of their home with a little brick retainer wall And I look up at the wall. today, stop for a moment. the neighbor’s out taking out the trash and doing the morning business whatever to make their rounds, and I look at the wall and I’m thinking, hmm, that wall was red. I know that wall was red before.
So I look at the neighbor and I said, hey, i see you’ve painted your wall white. and the neighbor kind of chuckles a bit and steps back and she looks at me and laughs and she says no, dear, you know? she says we’ve lived here for eight years and that wall has always been white. So I kind of stopped and gut checked myself. You know, i’ve lived in this neighborhood for 13 years.
a prior occupant lived in the home. never once did it register to me that that wall was anything other than white. prior to that or whatever reason. you know and I’m still wrapping my brain around this I thought and perceived that those bricks had been read all along. The neighbor reasserted and reassured me with a chuckle No, dear, you walk by every day, twice a day. We have these interactions regularly. We say hello, we greet each other, we have small talk. The wall has always been white In many regards. I feel that’s how we might perceive our relationship with ego. our relationship to the world is we’re very highly subjective in what we feel and think and believe, yet somehow we miss certain aspects of what’s really going on around us.
0:24:09 – Speaker 2
Wow See, something that is so simple can really put forth a profound message. I think that was really cool.
0:24:20 – Speaker 1
Yeah, i spent a good deal of time. I’m edging up to this idea of ego development because inherently within me there’s a little bit of resistance, there’s a little bit of emotionality that starts to come up because I see from a certain perspective that sometimes that can be a challenging relationship For myself and how I also perceive others in interacting, that how we build those levels or different filters.
0:24:48 – Speaker 2
Yes, i mean, this is something that humans have been conflicted over for I’m sure the dawn of time. It is interesting to meet people who are more open than others and more people who are more closed, and just your interactions with people. I’m still learning. I’m still learning because there are people that I come into contact with that just don’t want to be told that they are wrong in any way, shape or form. They’re fine with the way they believe. They don’t want to learn anything. That’s okay. I’m not the one for you, but I love the person who I am, which is I can see both sides of something and I can agree and disagree with someone and it not become an argument. It’s not going to end my friendship with my best friend because she believes one thing and I believe another. It’s just another way to have a conversation and get to know somebody For me.
I love it, I love it.
0:25:50 – Speaker 1
To me that tiptoes us up to some of that research by Susan Cook, guttner and Jan Levinger, where we look at, first and foremost, how that process of ego is a learning process. We’re developing skills, we’re developing different views, we’re developing different frameworks or foundational views of perspective. How do we create a more open and fluid ability to interchange those perspectives From your perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
0:26:23 – Speaker 2
I think we have to trust ourselves. Trust ourselves to be able to. There’s the most beautiful expression, and I’ve heard it from many different people so I can’t cite who came up with it. but do you want to be right or do you want to be happy For me when I heard that it was just so profound, because so many times in a conversation it can be about anything religion, politics, man, woman, different.
It can be a conversation about anything If you are just so adamant on being right. A, you completely cut off those other people or that other person that you’re trying to have a conversation with. Two, you’re not going to learn anything because you’re not going to be open to hearing other people’s perspective. Three, you’re just cutting off the opportunity to connect with someone. That’s why I may feel passionate about something, but I’m never going to argue it to the point where I am right. You are wrong and that’s that. I just think that that’s not how we. I listened my feelings about it just a moment ago, but I just feel like that. We’re not going to connect with people if that’s our attitude.
0:27:37 – Speaker 1
I just don’t. From that perspective, rachel, if you could share. But just one tip on how, from your perspective, we might become more open and available, more agreeable sometimes even in how we accept and acknowledge other people’s perspectives.
0:27:56 – Speaker 2
I like the way you frame the question, because this is true. It is from my perspective, it is from my experience and it’s what I believe. Until I started to trust myself in every aspect of Rachel’s life, it was impossible for me to trust another person To me. That’s where you have to lay down the foundation. You have to trust, believe and love yourself before you can give anything like that to another person.
0:28:30 – Speaker 1
I’m going to sit and marinate in that one for a minute. One is such a vast and profound insight to sit back and take in. Must we first, or might we first? Let me reframe that Might we first trust ourselves with any uncertainty and insecurity, wherever our emotional barometer might be present, to just simply open up to that process.
0:28:57 – Speaker 2
I’m shaking my head for Renly.
0:28:58 – Speaker 1
Yeah, i’m going to note the air of agreeance on that That brings us around to me. Are you familiar with that five-factor model of personality?
0:29:10 – Speaker 2
I might have heard it in a different context. Tell me what you’re.
0:29:13 – Speaker 1
I’m going to touch base real quick just for the context, because context creates a lot of our meaning for the context of the conversation. A five-factor model of personality looks at five core characteristic traits that each individual can tend to display on varying levels and in varying degrees. There’s simply a way to look at our core characteristics, traits and assets skills, if you might, sometimes of how we view an approach life. Within that five-factor model we have agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism. I’ll spit that out. Neuroticism I almost said narcissism because they are closely related, but neuroticism Starting from down the alphabet.
Agreeableness How available and vulnerable are we to other people Becomes a core characteristic trait. How willing are we to see somebody’s perspective? How open and safe are we allowing ourselves to present to somebody so they feel secure to interact with us? How emotionally available are we in that agreeableness Which kind of segues us into maybe looking at openness itself? Are we comfortable with our emotional cycles? Are we comfortable with considering other views? Are we available and open to simply allow somebody to have and hold whatever is meaningful to them? It moves us maybe towards conscientiousness How aware, simply, are we of our interactions, our own interactions, our own projections, our own emotions, our own thoughts in a healthy, beneficial way? And how also are we willing to open to those ways that might become more adverse or sometimes unhealthy? in air quotes, that’s simply looking at things when they might be working in a less than favorable way.
So at the opposite ends of that we have extraversion, where we are in kind of that fluid, open state. For some of us we tend to develop a little more introversion throughout different interactions, throughout some of our family models, throughout social settings. Where can we shift that to where we are more agreeable, open and conscientious? Where might we simply trust ourselves to be more vulnerable? At the other end of that spectrum lies neuroticism, where we start to experience some of those things that become more challenging from my perspective to the other four aspects. Where do we start to resist things? Where do we start to shut down? Where do we start to deflect? Where do we start to move into reluctance, avoidance or defensiveness becoming some of those core processes of neuroticism?
0:32:15 – Speaker 2
from that perspective, I’m drinking all that in.
0:32:20 – Speaker 1
I felt inclined to kind of throw that down for your reaction today. We’ll see where that falls in line with the conversation.
0:32:27 – Speaker 2
Well, the whole time that you were describing those five pillars to me, the one word that kept coming up for me and that was so clear was the conscientious part, Because I think that if we don’t have that, then all the other four are just they’re out here. If you’re not a conscious person and you don’t understand or care, or I don’t even know what word to use, but if you just don’t understand that there’s other people around and other people have needs and thoughts and feelings just like you, and you just are not aware of that, that’s a dangerous place to be. I can honestly tell you and your listeners that I have been that way in my life before. I’ve been very unconscious and had lots of conflict with other people and myself and just situations because I didn’t make myself aware enough to care about other people. So I can relate from my own experience that that is not a healthy, it’s not a happy place to be. So that word, when I was evolving and dealing with my past and learning about Rachel and who she wanted to be, that word for me just kept popping up and popping up, and popping up, And I truly believe that when you make a decision that you want something. The universe literally provides every tool that you need.
And I actually did a book this is the 28 day consciousness cleanse And I can’t. I have the book but I can’t remember the author. But it was just the most intense thing that I have ever done for myself because, again, your awareness of other people, your awareness of how you treat other people and your awareness of how you treat yourself is a missing link for a lot of us, I think, And the more that we can work on that and become conscious of just our actions in general. I think I know this sounds so fruity, but you know, the world can become such a beautiful, beautiful place for everyone if we are conscious beings, And I think that that is. I don’t know where it comes from, If you’re brought up that way, if it’s a choice you make to not be conscious or to be conscious. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I have been able to shift from not being a conscious person to being a very conscious person And I’m going to be honest with you life is a lot easier this way.
0:35:08 – Speaker 1
I have to say that for me that’s the $20 million question a lot of times is, we can, from certain perspectives, shift in and out of that role, even within our interchange from interaction to interaction. It was a great fact or a great awareness that I kind of connected within our conversation with Kate Dudzik, who is a social scientist studying how we interact in those matters. In that conversation Kate shared how we do tend as human beings, even though we have that ultimate goal, to kind of align most of the time with our authentic, ingenuine individualism, we still have that underlying urge sometimes to meet and match others where they’re at and the situation and circumstance. Yet sometimes very deeply ingrained in that notion of my authentic self, my experience, my personal perspective, my uniqueness, to where sometimes we blur that line of conscientiousness.
0:36:10 – Speaker 2
I agree with you. I do And listen. I don’t think that. I hope I’m not conveying to your listeners that we have to be perfect all the time and that we don’t make mistakes, because we’re all human. And I think the interesting thing about making mistakes is that you can learn from them and you can choose to behave differently the next time. It doesn’t have to be catastrophic. I made a mistake, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. And we do that to ourselves, don’t we? I mean, we do that to ourselves all the time. We punish ourselves more than anyone else punishes us, and I think that to learn from our mistakes is human and it’s such a safe place to be knowing that, okay, i did this, i screwed up, but I can behave differently next time, or I can do it differently next time. So that’s an interesting way to look at things too, right?
0:37:03 – Speaker 1
We can validate that and measure that in that regard. Back to that Susan Cook-Gutner view of ego. You know where, in that kind of line of thinking we’ll say line of thinking or perspective framework one of the core tenants is that that process is kind of a change and evolve, learn and adapt, be an un-be. You know, sometimes see an un-see. We see things one way sometimes, but then when we open to a different view or a different conscientiousness, we’re able to now see things from a different perspective. Sometimes that perspective is yielding to the way someone else sees it. You know, we go into work situations, we go into relationships and we have one perspective, somebody has another. Sometimes, when we get out of our own way, we’re able to simply shift the view and move forward.
0:37:54 – Speaker 2
That is another really great expression is getting out of your own way. I mean, listen, if we recognize that, let’s be reasonable, let’s be fair. Seven out of 10 times we get in our own way. That is really enlightening And that’s really eye-opening to all of the opportunities that we talk ourselves out of right Because we just don’t believe in ourselves.
0:38:19 – Speaker 1
Because I wonder how much of that arises from our lack of awareness or conscientiousness of our emotional cycles, where sometimes we lead ourselves to believe that it’s all thinking. We try to think our way out or into certain circumstances. Yet much of that process from what I’m growing, learning and evolving and gathering is a neurological process, is an unconscious process. The more I dive in, the more I realize it is largely unconscious. The interesting connection there to me to the five-factor personality model, when we look at neuroticism and break that down, just as the core word or label starts off with that root word of neuro, which interrelates, it interacts with neurology processes of neurons, processes of energy, processes that are core to the central nervous system, sometimes we stray down that path where we’re blocking that flow within that system. We block our emotions, they stay stuck and rooted in that system and our brain is disconnected. Our brain is fighting to try to make sense or moving into those states where we just move into that survival mode.
I thought that was kind of interesting. I don’t know if that relevance. I haven’t dug back into the root of the word to actually see if anybody is connected to that. If they have, they have To me. I can see a correlation. Often those ways neuroticism surfaces are putting that block in front of us. They’re clouding that view and sometimes tripping us up.
0:39:59 – Speaker 2
All the time tripping us up. I believe.
0:40:04 – Speaker 1
Can we have healthy neuroticism? There again, small doses. from what I’ve heard from people like Keith Campbell look at a viewer actually small doses or healthy doses of neuroticism do sometimes bump us toward that learning. Sometimes we have to stumble our way forward to growth in order to get to that point. One way of perhaps shifting that perspective is are you tripping up and falling on your face, or does that kind of trip become that next hiccup step that moves you forward into that next space? One way for me to kind of look at shifting the reframing of that. That’s a big one.
0:40:46 – Speaker 2
Well, it’ll have to earn right turn, whatever, No, but listen, you can list 10 words that describe mind shift right Or a mindset change. Yeah, it doesn’t for me. If that’s what I’m learning. You can use a tiny word, a huge word, a syllable word, but the bottom line is this If we continue to tell ourselves I’m not good enough, i can’t do this, that’s never going to happen for me, all the negative things that swirl around in our mind, then that’s what you should expect, of course. Yes, but if you can shift your mindset and speak your happiness into reality, i am okay, i am capable, i can start a new business in my 50s. You say it and you keep saying it and you believe it and you take actions towards those things. Because I think a lot of people don’t realize, you’re still taking action towards negativity, you’re still doing things to create a negative situation. So why would you think that you can’t do the same thing for a positive thing? For me, that’s again. We talked about this earlier.
I know I’m making it seem simple, but as human beings, we like to overcomplicate things and just not understand that something is as simple as I’m making a decision And that’s what I’m going to do, regardless of what that situation or decision is. You get to choose. We get to choose for that, for ourselves.
0:42:18 – Speaker 1
I feel sometimes it’s interesting to look at why we reject that idea of simplicity in any given circumstance or situation.
0:42:27 – Speaker 2
I don’t know when it became normal and a societal thing to just overcomplicate things. Maybe it’s because we have so many options, maybe because we have so many outer influences, i don’t know. I don’t know, but I and I can’t. I’m sorry to keep making this about me, but when I made that decision to trust myself and to love myself, i didn’t have to look outward for decision making or I didn’t have to look outward to anyone else to make a choice. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to my partner. It’s like Hey, babe, i’m thinking about doing this. What is your thoughts? Because we’re sharing a life together. It doesn’t mean what he tells me is going to change my mind, or maybe it will, but the root is that I wanted to do this and I want to share that with you. I hope that makes sense.
0:43:25 – Speaker 1
I’ve seen it, from my perspective, fairly crystal clear. Do you think, then, from that perspective, there might be times where something goes unnoticed and we need kind of that subtle nudge to kind of shake us and jar us back into a different perspective?
0:43:43 – Speaker 2
I do. I think that so many times you get all these wins in a row and then something may not fall into place the way you want, but instead of like before, if one negative thing would have happened, i would have said, okay, i’m done with this, i’m not good at this, i’m not capable, i can’t do this to change your shift in mindset, to say, okay, this is a place to pause, this is a place to get better, or this is a place to maybe go this way instead of this way, but still continue on my path. You know, here’s a perfect example. I am working very diligently in my community about getting my message of body love out there. I joined forces with many, many organizations here in Greenville, south Carolina. One is with children, one is with women, one is with a hospital, and I had this event planned yesterday and my mom is in town and I was going to talk about body love and no one signed up before.
That would have floored me. I would have quit this. I would have gone to get a job at you know Walmart or something And I would have given up. I’m serious, i would have quit. I would have quit, i would have quit And I’m like, okay, i’m not going to do this anymore. I’m not going to do this anymore. You know, i’m not going to do this anymore. But now it’s just like, okay, this didn’t happen today, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. Here’s what I think we need to do for the future. We need to promote better. I need to present on my social whatever. So instead, now it’s like my juices are falling, like how can we make this situation better? And I didn’t take it personally, because I just don’t think that people don’t have, you know, they don’t have the, the potential to be better Because of an outside influence or experience. So, yeah, i think that that is really powerful and vital to anyone.
0:45:37 – Speaker 1
If you believe in yourself, little hiccups aren’t going to do railroad your progress. So in that process of kind of recalling and previewing or post-viewing in that case, what had transpired in that planning, were there instances where you turn to the community, then back on this, what might have been missing?
0:45:54 – Speaker 2
I can do that, but I can’t expect. I can’t expect them to figure it out for me. So, yes, I think that’s important, but I also think it’s important I have this beautiful group of women who are also in the fitness and wellness space, So I would probably be more apt to tell them hey, this is what happened In your experience, because I’m sure it’s happened to everybody. What can I do better? I think the feedback would be more applicable in that situation than maybe the community, who still doesn’t really know me yet and still doesn’t really quite understand what my message is. I hope that answered your question.
0:46:33 – Speaker 1
Yeah, yeah. Looking at that, what might come with that expectation or that view that they might be doing it for you? That’s where my mind goes. What comes along with that? What feelings start to come up, What perspective starts to serve this?
0:46:52 – Speaker 2
I think that if you really want something to be important and successful and you wanna accomplish something, that you have to figure it out yourself. I mean, listen, there are tons of women that help me and motivate me and pick me up when I’m feeling down. So I’m not saying you have to go at it alone. You can only do everything alone. I’m not saying that. But what I am saying is that your core creation of what you’re trying to put out in the world, it has to come from my values. It has to come from my beliefs, because if you present something, if I’m presenting something to you and I don’t believe it, you’re not gonna believe it. So I have to get solid in what I’m trying to give you. So you, the takeaway is something authentic. So that’s what I mean. You have to differentiate asking people for their advice and their help when it’s something that maybe you start and you do yourself and then you get the support. Support is different for me, for me, than getting someone to do the actual task for you.
0:48:07 – Speaker 1
I know for myself I sometimes struggle to allow that to happen. You know I struggle sometimes, as odd as that may seem, with as much team involvement as we had in our interaction, to allow those people to step forward, to take some of that responsibility, to surrender my own need to control that. From your perspective, if I were to seek your feedback and wisdom, what one tip might you give me to release some of that control And what might be one core thing that keeps me, from your perspective, from doing this?
0:48:41 – Speaker 2
You have to acknowledge you’re one person. You can’t do everything and expect all the tiny little things to be taken care of. So that’s why we do have administrative help and support help, because if you’re not good at something and it’s something you don’t enjoy doing, you’re going to let it fall by the wayside. And when you’re running a successful business or a podcast, such as yourself, do you really want to deal with scheduling people Like that’s the last thing you want to do? right? You want to focus on the interview, you want to make it powerful, you want to make it enjoyable for your listeners. So that’s where your focus needs to be. Let other people deal with all the tiny details, and that’s what’s going to make you successful. That’s what’s going to make you feel like you’re presenting your message out the way that you want it presented, so that I do believe that you can’t do everything. You can’t. Things are going to fall through the cracks. So once you know where your strengths are, you let other people deal with their weaknesses.
0:49:46 – Speaker 1
And I have to say, for me that has made a world of difference. As my wife and I have navigated multiple businesses, as we’ve navigated building businesses for others, as we’ve managed our household. The more we’ve allowed ourselves to open up and become vulnerable, the more things tend to flow outward and the more successful they’ve become, the more we kind of form that ability to self assess and step back and say I am getting a little bit of stray on my alignment here, i am overburdening myself, i am overstepping my own boundaries and eroding my own trust, and also looking at and saying I’m also not going to guilt and shame myself for these things. I just simply say what, if what? and what now? what next? Sometimes I do fall down. Do I stumble and stay in the hole or do I crawl back up? Do I even look at it as a hole to begin with, or am I looking at it from a more wholesome view? that just simply says it is what it is.
0:50:51 – Speaker 2
I think everything you said is super accurate. I think that’s such a powerful tool for all of us to adopt is that being able to create something is not going to be super cut and dry. We have to fumble, we have to make mistakes, we have to try this, we have to try that to see what’s going to stick in the long run. I mean right now, in the stages of my business, i am right there in the trenches And I am in a place where I have to do everything by myself. Right now, i have the support of, like I said, a group of beautiful women, and I have my partner and my dad’s helping me with my website.
0:51:35 – Speaker 1
Like I mean.
0:51:36 – Speaker 2
I have support, but reaching out to you know, doing pod match, reaching out to you and asking to be a guest on your podcast, you didn’t know who I was, so I’m still at those beginning stages of creating my business. One day I will be a household name and you’re going to be like I remember Rachel.
But I have to be realistic. I can’t go from like I have this beautiful idea to being on the TED Talk stage, like I have all of this space to cover between that and then. But what’s not going to go away is my belief that one day I will be on the TED Talk stage. So I think that sometimes we have this beautiful idea and we have this beautiful thing and we think it’s just going to manifest. Well, you know, you’ve got to do the footwork to get there but it will happen, but you got to do the footwork.
0:52:29 – Speaker 1
I love that comment or quote And all of that, then that kind of yes, and next, what kind of mentality? I think that ultimately, is our core message today. How do we simply get out of the way of some of those stumbling points is what I’m gathering from your wisdom and knowledge today. Thank you so much for sharing that.
0:52:51 – Speaker 2
You are so welcome.
0:52:54 – Speaker 1
I want to thank you for such a beautiful conversation today. You just fill my heart with energy And I can feel that love. So thank you so much for being that special, unique, wise individual that you are, rachel.
0:53:08 – Speaker 2
Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. That’s very sweet.
0:53:13 – Speaker 1
I think that’s a wrap. Thank you for joining us.
0:53:16 – Speaker 2
I can’t get any better than that right.
0:53:18 – Speaker 1
No, and that’s what I’m saying. Sometimes you hear that one thing and it’s like I know that just hit it out of the park. For me, i can see you light up when you hit that purpose in passion and those core values, those core values that are those principles that’s driving that. These are the things that matter when I engage them And these are the things that I also reflect out into those core values of others. Thank you for giving me that takeaway. Thank you for sharing that takeaway with our listeners. Where can our guests go to connect with the book Donut Diaries and find out more about how to form a new relationship with our self image?
0:54:00 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. My book is available on Amazon. You can get there through my website, Rachel Lavin wellnesscom or go straight to Amazon. You can also find me on social media under Rachel Lavin wellness LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. That’s where I draw the line on my social media presence at this time And can’t miss me, because in every picture I purposely put me holding my book, So you’re like there she is. That’s where people can find me.
0:54:32 – Speaker 1
Fantastic. I encourage our listeners to reach out and connect with you. You do have such an all inspiring, empowering message and I encourage everybody to reach out and connect with you.
0:54:44 – Speaker 2
Well, thank you for having me. It was awesome. I’m glad you gave me the opportunity.
author, fitness instructor, and healthy coach
Rachel Lavin is a Published author of The Doughnut Diaries, Professional Speaker, Body Love Coach, Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer. She grew up in Northern California and has lived in Hawaii, Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon and New York City. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her Partner.
In 2000 Rachel began her career as an ACE certified group fitness instructor teaching a plethora of classes such as Aqua Aerobics, Bootcamp, Jazzercise, Dance Aerobics, Stretch and Chair classes. In 2007 she was certified as an ACE Personal Trainer working at big box gyms in NYC and becoming an independent trainer in 2012. Rachel wanted to take her passion for helping people to the next level and became an ACE certified Health Coach in 2018.
In 2020 Rachel wrote her first book “The Doughnut Diaries” about her own struggles with her weight and restrictive diets which lasted for over thirty years. As Rachel turned forty the expression I got sick and tired of being sick and tired hit home and she made a decision to take her power back and heal from decades of negative thinking and self sabotage. Rachel began to do the work on my mind, body and soul. Writing her book was her way of sharing my message to women that you are not alone! Now using her book Rachel wants to help people who have had or a still experiencing negative body image. By using what she now refers to as my three pillars of fitness; Nourishment for both the mind and body, Movement & Rest.
My mission is to create a safe space for all women to feel whole in their own body – Rachel Lavin