PR Karen | The Unconscious Mind

 

The unconscious mind is where all learning behaviors and growth happens. Karen Brown, the CEO of Velocity Leadership Consulting, is an unconscious mind expert in the field of leadership and professional performance. After many years of coaching leaders, Karen discovered that the unconscious mind is the scientific key to elevated levels of success with greater velocity and ease. In this episode, she shares with us a three-step technique to utilize our unconscious mind in order to grow and be more than what we believe we are. Taking us into her own beautiful journey of self-discovery, Karen hopes to inspire us all to move past our fears and doubts and move towards our best selves.

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The Unconscious Mind: The Key To Elevated Growth And Success with Karen Brown

I’m feeling very blessed and excited that I’ve got a great guest to share with you, somebody that I think has an incredible pivot. She’s got several amazing pivot stories. She is what I would probably call an extreme athlete among other things and an author in many other accolades. Before I give you her bio, I’d love it if whatever you’re doing that you give yourself ten seconds of presence to breathe more consciously, to be more in your body, to be more aware of how blessed you are and how blessed we all are to be breathing, be alive and to be able to do what we’re doing. This is incredible that you have access to this technology. You’re able to make the time in your life and your day to read and absorb some information and to be given access to things that many people in the world don’t have access to. They don’t have an opportunity to do what it is that you’re doing. I don’t want to take that for granted, so it’s a great reminder for me as I get to remind you that’s a real blessing. I’m so excited that we get to spend this time together.

Karen Brown is my guest. She is an unconscious mind expert in the field of leadership and professional performance, world-class ultra-endurance athlete, successful corporate executive, professionally certified executive coach, keynote speaker and bestselling author. Karen tackles critical topics in a business environment. She utilizes the powerful mechanism of the unconscious mind where all learning behaviors and growth happens. After many years of coaching leaders, Karen discovered that the unconscious mind is the scientific key to elevated levels of success with greater velocity and ease. This inspired her to found Velocity Leadership Consulting to bring this difference-making model and tools of success to all leaders. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being here with us, Karen.

Thank you, Adam. I’m thrilled to be here.

You’ve done a lot of things, but what’s not written in that bio? What’s in between the lines that you’d love for people to know about you?

I’m just like everybody else. I am not a naturally talented athlete. Nothing comes easily to me. In fact, I have to work my tail off in one of the journeys. I didn’t even begin that until age 44. I wasn’t a triathlete. I hadn’t even completed a marathon. I had never ridden a road bike. You could say that it could be argued that I was the least likely to accomplish what I did. I often joke with those that know me that I’m like Thomas Edison. I am the one that finds the 999 ways that something will not work before I discover the one that does.

I think there are a lot of people going, “I never thought of myself as Thomas Edison.” I realize how much we have in common. That old expression about people who are overnight successes that are fifteen years in the making, I always love that one. It hasn’t gotten too worn out from me because it’s so true. There’s a lot of backstory between the time that a person has an inspiration to do something in their life, their business and the time when they find some “success” at doing that thing. Has that been true for you?

Yeah. I’ve done it for many years before I had this conscious pivot because it was all unconscious. It wasn’t until I realized it consciously that then I was able to make that pivot and have the awakening and step through the gateway to what I was meant to do, my purpose and start living my mission.

Let’s go back in time then I suppose to the unconscious. What was going on for you then and what signs were there that this way of being wasn’t working for you? Can you take us back to that time?

It was many years ago that it started because I’m a little older now. I was outwardly successful. I was a rapidly ascending leader and I was a high achiever. I’m very good at what I was doing. I was in commercial real estate. This was the ‘80s, so this was a male-dominated field. I was in the shark tank with plenty of men who did not want to work with me. I was green and stupid enough to not know any different than, “I’m going to get in there and this is what I love and I’m going to make this work.” I was successful. I rose rapidly in the ranks of leadership and took to it like a duck to water. I was good at coaching my team members. Although at that time, we didn’t call it that. We called it team building. I had all the outward trappings of success, all the outward signs. The thing was unconsciously, I had a nagging deep inside me that I felt I was capable of doing more and that I wasn’t tapping into that capability. That I was living this safe, shallow, small life. What unconsciously was going on is I was thinking of a personal dream that I had from the time I was fourteen years old, which was competing in the IRONMAN World Championships.

Our brains are wired to be able to accomplish anything we can dream up and anything we can think of. Click To Tweet

The IRONMAN World Championships as some say is the toughest race in the world. It’s mostly reserved for the best of the best athletes across the world and professional athletes. When I thought about the IRONMAN World Championships, it was such a gargantuan thing. I wasn’t even a triathlete or a marathon runner. I was a horrible swimmer and I’m surprised I could even keep from drowning, but it was something about the IRONMAN that caused this tsunami of emotions to well up inside me. They were all related to this unconscious thing that was going on, this feeling that I was capable of a whole lot more than I was doing. What I finally learned after 28 years of holding myself back from even pursuing that dream was that what was stopping me is a scientifically proven concept called limiting beliefs.

This is a very simple concept, but we all struggle with it, which is also why I wrote my book. When we think or say, “I don’t have enough time, talent, skill, money, support to achieve X,” just fill in your blank. For me, I thought, “There are elite athletes that compete in the IRONMAN and I’m this recreational athlete. They’re way up here and I am down here. Who do I think I am that I could ever compete there?” All at once that dream would evaporate. I would talk myself out of it. All this happened within seconds and it happens in our unconscious mind or I wasn’t ever consciously aware of it. All I knew was that I had this inkling, this nagging, this feeling that I might want to do it and another side of that was, “Nope, not going to be able to.”

What was the side that said you could do it? What was that all about? Was it you trying to prove yourself in a world that you felt was dominated by men or did you ever get to the root of what was the proving piece of it?

This is the cool part because this is true for all of us. All human beings are wired in the same way. Our brains are actually wired to be able to accomplish anything we can dream up. Anything we can think of, we are capable of accomplishing. There’s plenty of proof out there, plenty of evidence, from iconic people in business to Iron Cowboy and these crazy, unbelievable acts of physical endurance that have been achieved over time and help people keep pushing the envelope in every direction. That’s what was going on. It was that nagging feeling inside me that every year would grow bigger until frankly, I got so disgusted with it. I was doing other races 10Ks and half marathons. I ran the Pikes Peak Ascent. I was doing things that I knew I could do. I wasn’t doing anything that I was unsure about and that’s where the IRONMAN came in. That same pattern of doing things I was sure about was showing up everywhere else in my life, in my professional life and in my personal life. I was doing a lot of great things, but nothing that caused me to blow up my comfort zone.

The root of that was safety, is that fair?

The unconscious mind was one of its primary directives and think about this in terms of caveman time. The primary directive was to keep us alive another day so that we could procreate and populate the world and do what we’re supposed to do. Immediately, our unconscious mind had to size up to something that we were faced with. Is this friend, food or foe and get us to take action immediately? The same wiring still exists, only there is no lion chasing us for lunch. We’re still making those judgments through our unconscious mind, but the problem is it always errs on the side of protecting us from something that it views as dangerous, new or something we haven’t done before, “That might be dangerous. That might get us in trouble. That might be painful or worse, that might kill us.”

We’re talking about fear. There are a lot of ways to point to where this starts, but there’s a fear that something we do will result in our demise ultimately. You’re playing life at a level of safety, which you could call being responsible. You could call being wise or adult-like or whatever it is. There are a lot of ways to look at that in a positive light. Something inside of you wasn’t filtering that information and saying, “Look at me, I’m moving forward. I’m progressing at some healthy pace. I’m accomplishing a lot of things that a lot of people aren’t accomplishing.” Your wiring was a bit different. The messages you were receiving internally were, “I’m not doing all I could be doing. I’m not fulfilled. I do not feel if I died that this would be the epitaph that I’d feel great about.” Is there more of dialogue that I’m leading onto or is that about right?

Yeah, I think that was an unconscious feeling as well. You’re giving me too much credit but those are my conscious thoughts about looking at my trajectory and where is this going to end up and is not where I want to be. Honestly, I couldn’t think any bigger at the time than having a highly paid successful corporate job and the IRONMAN was the biggest physical endeavor I could wrap my head around. That was as big as I could think. It was all about the feeling, which is how our unconscious mind often shows up is a feeling.

In your experience, both your own personal experience and having worked with so many people and written a book on this topic, do you feel like most people are ignoring those feelings? That’s part of the reason why there’s so much mediocrity or that people feel like they’re leading lives of quiet desperation as Henry David Thoreau once said?

PR Karen | The Unconscious Mind

The Unconscious Mind: The problem with our unconscious mind is it always errs on the side of protecting us from something that it views as dangerous or new.

 

I think people get glimpses of it and it’s, “Do you pay attention to it and want to understand it when you get that glimpse of it?” There are a lot of zombies walking around out there. I see them every day.

Even in beautiful Denver, Colorado, do you see zombies walking around?

Yes, I see zombies walking around Denver, Colorado for a couple of reasons.

Let’s go back to that point in time where you yourself are a zombie. You’re running on autopilot. This unconscious state where we’re doing what we are genetically programmed to do, all the things that we’re here to do, to procreate, to perpetuate the species, to survive, and to keep ourselves safe and all things we do on an unconscious level. It’s like we’re a fish. Zombies are a negative thing. In a less pejorative way, we could say it’s like a fish. The fish doesn’t know a fish is in water, they’re just in water. The fish doesn’t know it’s in water until you take it out of the water and it’s flopping around going, “I’m about to die.” For a lot of people, they’re going through their life and not aware that they’re even in this fishbowl. What was the catalyst for you that said, “There’s a much bigger opportunity available for me?”

The catalyst was every year I would happen to catch the coverage of the IRONMAN on TV. There are no accidents in this life. I would immediately stop whatever I was doing and I would look at it. All these emotions would show up and I didn’t understand why that was at the time. I thought, “Why am I crying watching this race on TV?” That’s what was happening. This started when I was fourteen years old and saw one of the first televised coverage of the IRONMAN. I didn’t know what it was. It scared me to death. That is something I think that we all have in common, that what I call an opening. There’s got to be some sort of opening. Maybe it’s a pain point or it’s us coming face-to-face finally with what this could mean for us, what doing it could mean for us or not doing it might mean for us. Where we’re going to end up if we don’t do something differently. For me, that was the IRONMAN. It always brought up all of those things.

The opener finally was that I had continued to progress achieving higher levels of success mostly professionally, but I had a great life too until I seem to be bumping up against a ceiling. I took a class and that’s where I learned about limiting beliefs and the science behind it. Once the instructor explained it, this huge light bulb went on above my head. I literally felt this enormous opening and immediately the IRONMAN World Championships popped into my head. I thought, “This is it. This is what I’ve been doing. This is how I’ve been stopping myself from pursuing this all this time for 28 years.” Luckily, right on the heels of that, the instructor taught us how to conquer and transform limiting beliefs. I did it right then and I kept doing it because it’s not a one and done. I give everybody this tool when I’m on a show and it’s in my book and I have videos about how to do it and it worked. Just a few short weeks later, I decide and I see this very clearly. Nobody is stopping me from pursuing the IRONMAN other than me, and I’m done with that.

I finally got so disgusted that all of this stuff culminated in me deciding, “I’m going to do this.” I did something else that I had never done. I hired an athletic coach, one that I paid and I had to beg her to take me on because I was a super no one. I said, “This is my lifelong dream and I will not give up until I get there. I will do everything you tell me and I will be your most committed athlete,” and that was true. Fast forward, I jumped squarely into the power of the unconscious mind because once I learned about limiting beliefs, I thought, “There’s more to this. I could feel it.” The more research I did, the more techniques that I used in my journey to get to the IRONMAN, the more effective I became and the better I got, and the bigger the transformation and the more quickly I transformed. I thought, “This is the missing key to human behavior and elevated levels of success.” Once I did that and I stayed the course, I crossed the finish line in Hawaii.

From that moment, the moment of self-disgust, a few years later you crossed the finish line in Hawaii having completed. I don’t know how many people have ever seen on TV or heard about this thing called the IRONMAN. It is brutal. To me, I’m a swimmer and I swam in high school and a little bit in college. Even the idea of just the first leg of this thing, which happens to be a two-mile open ocean swim. Is that correct? Am I right about that distance?

2.4 miles.

Resilience is continuing to get up when you get knocked down. Click To Tweet

Literally, that by itself is an insane task for a lot of people. You are talking about open ocean water, Hawaii waves, currents, people drowned in that water all the time. Two and a half miles is a long distance. You get out of that and adjust yourself off and hop on a bike, then 112 miles on a bike. I don’t know what island it was on, but most of those islands were formed by volcanoes, which means they’re not flat.

With crosswinds that can knock you down and the blazing heat of the sun. It was like the surface of the sun when you’re there.

You get off the bike. You finished 112 miles of that and dry off because you’re going to start to run.

I used to run a marathon.

You complete this thing and that’s utterly remarkable. You are looking back right there and then, you understood that you could have done it twenty years earlier. That’s the hard cold fact of it. It’s great and amazing that you did it. It’s not a regret thing but to debrief it a bit, you could have done it earlier. It wasn’t a physical thing that stopped you from doing it. You weren’t in prison, but you didn’t do it because you were in your own way and that seems to be the theme here.

Here’s the thing that I learned among many. This was the most poignant after that two-year journey. I entered into that journey thinking that it was going to be 90% physical and 10% mental. I came away understanding that it’s the exact opposite. That 90% was mental. Only 10% was physical.

You mentioned a tool that was part of your training and understanding what limiting beliefs are and how to hack them or how to leverage them. I’d love to know what that tool is. I know people are waiting for that as well. They’d love to know.

It’s a three-step technique and all of the work that I do, all the techniques that I provide are from the neurosciences. This is not something that’s like my trademark system that is effective for me and maybe no one else. No. This is not something that I dreamt up or came up with. This is all proven stuff from the neurosciences that goes back to Einstein and even before him.

PR Karen | The Unconscious Mind

Unlimiting Your Beliefs: 7 Keys to Greater Success in Your Personal and Professional Life; Told Through My Journey to the Toughest Race in the World

This is also from the metaphysicians as well. Without bringing spiritual belief into it, this has been around for a while.

This is a three-step technique. Number one, first of all, is about awareness. It starts with the question, “What’s stopping me from achieving X?” Fill in your X. It’s your dream, your big, audacious, hairy, scary, ridiculous, outrageous goal. That unearths your limiting belief. We have limiting beliefs rattling around in our unconscious mind every day. Like me, I was not consciously aware of what they were. When I did this, I unearth my first limiting belief, which was, I can’t compete in the IRONMAN World Championships being a recreational athlete.

Physically, you can’t compete. That was your first.

What I discovered is not only did I have that limiting belief, I had a whole page of them. I had all these other limiting beliefs stopping me.

“I don’t have the time. It will interfere with every other aspect of my life,” and so on.

That’s what the technique will walk you through as well, unearthing all of them. It’s the transformative piece, which is step two. Once you see them written out on paper, then you write down the opposite, which is the unlimited version of that belief. For me, I wrote down, “I will compete in the IRONMAN World Championships.” I did that for each one of them.

This is the replacement belief.

This is how we’re rewiring that limiting belief. Step three is to actively make the change when you have that thought. That’s where the fun begins. That involves stopping what you’re doing when you have that thought and then verbalizing the new version of the belief, the unlimited belief. Picture this. I was CEO of a professional real estate office with 100 and some employees in Denver Metro. I would stop in the middle of what I was doing and say out loud, “I will compete in the IRONMAN World Championships.” Needless to say, I got some looks.

Everybody’s having a conversation about the lunch they’re eating, then all of a sudden you declare out loud, “I will compete.” They’re like, “Hmm. We know where your mind is.”

You can have fun with this. There’s nothing that says you can’t have fun with this, play with people and bring them along at the same time.

Rewire your unconscious mind so that it's aligned with what you want to achieve. Click To Tweet

They could be your greatest supporters, can’t they?

Yeah and once, they came over and said, “What are you doing?” I would explain and then they would go, “Interesting.” I would take that opportunity and say, “What’s your big personal dream?” I’ve not talked to one person on this planet that doesn’t have one. They may not have admitted it to themselves or anybody else, but everybody has one. They answer and I go, “This is what I’m doing. This is my big dream. I was holding myself back through limiting beliefs, so I am changing that. I am unlimiting my beliefs so that I can achieve this dream.” Always a day later they’d come back and say, “I came in touch with my dream and this is what I’m going to do. This is my unlimiting belief.” I say, “Lay it on me.” What you were saying struck a chord with me because I believe that we’re all on this Earth to help each other.

This is a way that we can help each other, progress, to be fulfilled and happy, to live our purpose, to come in contact with our purpose and live it every day. I was happy if I disrupted people and they were like, “What are you doing?” I could bring them along and help them. The cool part is your unconscious mind in step two, you’re literally telling it, “Here’s what I want. Help me get it.” In step three, because you’re rewiring it, it starts to see you as that identity. It just goes, “We’re an IRONMAN, that’s who we are.” Your reticular activation system gets turned on, which is like radar and then you start seeing all these resources that are available to you to help you in your journey that you never saw before. That’s why velocity and ease.

A lot of people think that their identity is something they were born with. It is something that changes throughout our lives. Our identity when we’re younger is different when we’re older. It’s different before we’re married, after and before we’re ever parents, after and every other thing we can think of. Our identity is constantly changing. It’s very interesting to know that you have the choice at any given moment to use this tool, for example, to change your identity. If you don’t see yourself as an athlete, a super athlete, as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, as a ballerina, as a pianist or anything. That in the moment that you decide that it is who you are by what you say by the beliefs that you begin to create because you’re taking a limiting belief like, “I’m not this,” then turning it literally on its end and saying, “I am that,” your identity changes in an instant.

It doesn’t mean that you instantly have a gold medal hanging around your neck for something. I think that’s the part where I want to spend a little bit of time with you because people can get that piece of it and buy into that piece and even test it out, try it on for size for themselves. I find that a lot of people who have even done that have been through some mindset training, have some familiarity, have done some reading on this topic, will still run a ground. They don’t understand that there’s a distance between that first action. Your first action being, “I am this IRONMAN athlete.” The time when you competed and finished that race was two years. There’s a physical distance that was two years, but there’s a greater landscape. It’s 90% mental and 10% physical.

The physical distance was two years for you, but the mental distance was probably light years because how many times along the way did you think to yourself, “This is nuts. I can’t do this. I have no time for this. This is costing too much?” How many different moments to have stopped that journey, to quit, to have gotten to your senses and to have created yet another identity like, “It’s not necessary for me to be an IRONMAN athlete?” That could be another new identity. You just turn around and go. It’s eight months later and 5:00 in the morning is when you’re set to do your runs to start getting prepared for that aspect of the race because you’ve got to be in the office at 8:00. It’s 4:30 and your alarm is going off and you’re like, “I don’t think I am. I don’t need to be. It’s not required. I don’t need to prove anything.” There’s all that other identity that can come into play and you’ve got to be incredibly resilient. I want to talk a little bit about resilience and what it meant in those moments that you only know intimately where you considered the possibility that maybe this isn’t who you are or what your destiny is. How did you use resilience and how did you develop it and cultivate it so that you could get from that moment where you said, “Yes, I am this,” and two years later, you literally were exactly what you said.

First of all, this is not a secret. This is not like, “Put it out to the universe and it will manifest it. It will show right up.” No, that is not how this works. What you’re doing is rewiring your unconscious mind so that it’s aligned with what you want to achieve and you’re making it easier and you’ve got to do the work. I went from being a gym rat five days a week for an hour doing either cardio or weights to training for the IRONMAN, which at the pinnacle is 24 hours a week. Two and three workouts a day, six days a week. My alarm was going off at 3:30. I was going to bed at 8:00 at night. I changed virtually everything about my life and my schedule. You’ve got to do the work. This isn’t magic, but it will make doing the work easier because then in that shift in your identity, that provides the motivation to keep going. Because you’re going to run into challenges and obstacles, there were plenty of times when I was so tempted to give up. It would have been so much easier to give up. The other thing is other people put their limiting beliefs about your capability upon you. This is all in my book.

Nobody knows anything about that.

A lot of times we interpret these things as fact. I often joke with people and say, “Don’t get stuck with the F word.” Don’t let that trip you up because they’re not fact. They’re just limiting beliefs or other people, but they’re putting their limiting beliefs on you. My own husband did at that time and said, “You will never make it. You don’t have what it takes and you don’t just roll out of bed one morning and decide to do the IRONMAN. Who do you think you are?” Until I stuck with it and I worked through all those times when things didn’t go I thought they would or I felt like I had failed and I had to very quickly reassess and figure out what to do and then retool, recalibrate and move forward in a different way. Take a new approach and use what I learned.

PR Karen | The Unconscious Mind

The Unconscious Mind: Our conscious mind is only responsible for 0.8% of everything we think and do in a day, and our unconscious mind the other 99.2%.

 

Is that your definition then? What part of that is included in your definition of what it meant to be resilient in the face of even your husband saying, “I love you so I’m going to tell you the truth?” Isn’t that the way it always comes out? I’m not saying he didn’t. People love us and yet what they end up doing is reflecting a lot of their own limiting beliefs about themselves onto us in the process of them loving us and not wanting to see us get hurt or do something foolish.

In fact, they hurt us worse by loving us and have to tell us the truth. My definition then of resilience is continuing to get up when you get knocked down. All you have to do is get up one more time, then you get knocked down and you can do what you want. You might have to get up 50 times.

When your husband said that to you, I’m not pushing back on that, certainly for me it’s an acceptable definition. It’s part of it and we’ve heard that before too. I don’t think there’s anything that’s more poignant than you’re in that level of intimate relationship with and they look at you and go, “Who do you think you are?” A friend of mine, Keith Leon, wrote a book called Who Do You Think You Are?. I thought it was a great title for a book. That’s got to hurt and it’s got to cause more fear and doubt than even the ones you already had. What did you do? What was your strategy?

First of all, I cried like a baby all night. It rocked me to my core. What I did was I asked for guidance. I’m a believer, I pray a lot. I have a great relationship with God. I said, “Please guide me here. Please lead me to what I am supposed to do here.” I realized that why would God put the IRONMAN in front of me for many years and instilled in me the ability to do it if I wasn’t supposed to? If that wasn’t something like a big conscious pivot that was going to lead to something greater. For me, what I applied was a gateway. I had a feeling. Oftentimes, when we have conversations with the divine or whatever you believe in, we come away with a feeling. We also come away with words sometimes. For me, I get both, but I had this very clear feeling that when I thought about staying the course with the IRONMAN, trying that on as a solution. What if you just stay with this? This enormous sense of peace and knowing came over me. It was like this resounding, “That’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what you’re meant to do. Do it.” I went back to my husband the next morning all teary-eyed and looking a mess and I said, “I am not going to be the person that I’m meant to if I don’t pursue this.”

I think there’s a term somatic intelligence, this idea that our bodies house this wealth of truth. I personally don’t believe our minds tell us the truth very often at all. In fact, it’s a weird thing when the thing that is the thinking device. It’s not that we understand our identity, it’s something that doesn’t necessarily speak the truth. If what was going on in our minds was the truth, most of us would be in jail based on the thoughts that we’ve entertained for a moment. Our feeling, our hearts, our souls, our physical bodies house all this intelligence, all this truth in so many ways but we ignore it. When you’re describing that feeling, you went home, you went to mother and father and everything else to find the truth and then you paid attention and followed it.

You make a great point there. Let me put a fine period on it, which is our conscious mind only is responsible for 0.8% of everything we think and do in a day. Our unconscious mind is responsible for 99.2% of everything we think and do in a day. That’s where you tap into the physical feelings of things. That’s actually the gateway to the unconscious mind is your senses. We’re fooling ourselves thinking that we’re doing all this conscious thinking, we’re making all these conscious decisions. No, we’re not. That’s why I discovered that this was the missing key to everything we want to achieve and realize. When you learn how to interpret it, to feel it and read it and go, “This is what’s going on here.”

This is the zombie you talked about because this is that unconscious creature that we all are, some 90% however many of the time that we’re walking around unconscious. Even as we think that we’re conscious beings, but so much is a habit. I want to ask you a question about a different type of habit because, to me, I love the work of Stephen Covey and The 7 Habits. I’m not giving a bad rep on habit. I just feel like habit is me picking up the toothbrush and without thinking about it, I brush it with a certain hand. Ritual is a different word that means to me like a master habit or a consciously created habit. That’s a little different. Do you have rituals? Do you have things that you’ve created as rituals for your success?

Yes. My first favorite one is that I keep a pretty uniform schedule, which means I get up at roughly the same time every day. I don’t use an alarm anymore, which means I also go to bed early. I don’t watch the news. I killed my TV long ago. I have a hard stop for work 5:00 and I stopped looking at my mobile device early in the night so that I can actually get a good night’s sleep. That’s number one, which is sleep, rest and rejuvenation. That’s so important and that is a foundation for everything else. That rolls into my morning, which is very ritualized. I’m very particular about getting up and I love my cold brew coffee. I think that’s the best creation on the planet. What I fill my mind with in the morning. I’m reading Richard Rohr. He’s a Franciscan monk that is very radical in his ideas and teachings and says he can’t even believe that he hasn’t been thrown out of the Catholic church yet for them but check them out. They’re all based in history, metaphysical science, neuroscience and scripture. The second thing, which is fun and probably different than what most guests say is my ritual is green smoothies.

The green smoothie is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me other than marrying my wife. It is absolutely breathtaking. Just making that smoothie does and then consuming it, how important it is for our bodies to put good things in. Put the good thoughts in to start the day whether it’s other people’s thoughts, your own thoughts or it’s in some other form, but that you are filling up your cup with things that nurture and help you to recover. In many ways, resilience, the studies are clear on this as well. It’s less about endurance and it’s more about recovery. Athletes know this better than anyone. You can’t exert yourself physically or in any other way without an appropriate amount of recovery built in. Otherwise, you deplete yourself and ultimately you run out of gas. We can’t go the distance unless our tank keeps getting refilled.

Living our best life every day depends on what we’re filling ourselves with in mind, body, and spirit. Click To Tweet

Unless you’re building new brain cells, you’re rejuvenating muscles. We want to do our best thinking and live our best life every day. That’s what it’s about. What are you filling yourself with? Mind, body, spirit, all of it.

There’s some place in the Bible that talks about that transformation come from the renewing of the mind, and there’s something beautiful about that. I’ve so enjoyed this conversation. Karen, thank you for being a guest on the show.

What a delightful pleasure.

I will leave everyone with the ritual that has become the waking ritual for me and that is that we all get to wake up. This is the basic of basic waking rituals that we wake up. There’s a metaphor that’s baked into that, that I love the idea that what does it mean to wake up? To be more aware, the first step in your tool is self-awareness as leaders. Leaders in our own lives and leaders of the people that are around us by what we model. Self-awareness is so key. My prayer, my hope, my wish for everybody is that you get to wake up again and be a little more awake, more aware, more conscious. I hope everybody agrees to that first step that you will wake up.

When we’re waking up physically, I think it’s important to recognize that there are people at that moment, a lot of people who will be taking their last breath and will be departing as we are starting. Just like there will also be babies that are born all over the world that are taking their first breath of life then as well. That moment isn’t an ordinary moment at all. It might be something we take for granted from time to time. I’d love for you to sit in that for a moment and recognize how sacred it is that you are taking that breath.

This one other thing, it’s simply to take ten seconds to start your day in this. Nobody I have ever met that doesn’t have that time to put their feet on the floor, to put your feet on the floor and feel that gratitude and appreciation for yourself. Even self-love in that moment that you can declare something out loud. To take a page out of Karen’s playbook here that we in many ways are creating our behaviors by what we consciously choose to believe. You can choose to believe something about yourself through these words. I truly personally believe that our journey is about self-love. That’s where we’re all moving continuously toward unconditional self-love. What could you create in your life? What could you create in the world if you were willing to believe that about yourself, that you deserve and you were worthy of unconditional acceptance and unconditional self-love? The words that can come out of your mouth to replace some of that old belief system would be to say, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” Karen, do you love your life?

I love my life.

What a great opportunity for all of us. I’m so grateful to you again, Karen, for being a guest on the show. Leave us a comment at AdamMarkel.com/Podcasts. You can find out more about Karen. You can find out more about her book on velocity leadership and find out more other ways that you might be able to work with her. In fact, we would love to get your thoughts. Join our Facebook community at StartMyPIVOT.com or go straight to Facebook, which is Start My PIVOT Community. It’s an incredible group of like-minded and like-hearted individuals who are pivoting in areas and creating great rituals for resilience in their life as well. It’s been a pleasure.

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About Karen Brown

PR Karen | The Unconscious MindKaren Brown is an unconscious mind expert in the field of leadership and professional performance, world-class ultra-endurance athlete, successful corporate executive, professionally certified executive coach, keynote presenter and best-selling author. Karen tackles critical topics in today’s business environment. She utilizes the powerful mechanism of the unconscious mind, where all learning, behaviors and growth happens. After many years of coaching leaders, Karen discovered that the unconscious mind is the scientific key to elevated levels of success, with greater velocity and ease. This inspired her to found Velocity Leadership Consulting to bring this difference-making model and tools of success to all leaders.

Karen realized her own transformation and discovered the keys to achieving greater success in her personal and professional life when she achieved a 28-year dream of competing in the toughest race in the world, the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, as an amateur, non-triathlete at age 46. She parlayed this experience to the business world and now helps CEOs, executives and managers connect with and realize their own goals, with greater velocity and ease. She has two published works, the most recent, Unlimiting Your Beliefs: 7 Keys to Greater Success in Your Personal and Professional Life.

Karen earned Master Practitioner certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Mental and Emotional Release from the Association for Integrative Psychology. She’s also a certified Personal and Executive Coach through the International Coaching Federation and Coaching & Positive Psychology Institute.

A consummate learner, Karen investigates the latest scientific findings that unlock elevated professional performance and leadership. She lives in Denver and finds happiness and personal expansion in training and competing on the international stage of ultra-endurance athletics.