Ep. #76: Mind-Bending Belief

Belief is the bedrock on which dreams are built. If you want to achieve something, first you must believe that it’s possible. Listen to this episode to find out how to achieve mind-bending belief, so you can truly change your life, body, and business.


Welcome to Rich & Thin Radio, the only podcast that helps you get more bank with less bulk. I’m Kelly Hollingsworth, your host on the journey to rich and thin, and the first thing I want to say today is, wow, this is the first episode I recorded since starting my new job as CEO of a hedge fund. This first bit of time on the job has been a fantastic reminder of why, as Brooke Castillo often says, that entrepreneurship is the best self-improvement plan ever. I will share lessons and insights about this as we go. There are many, and they are amazing. But, the big thing I want to share right now is the importance of belief because belief, and specifically mind-bending belief, is the bedrock upon which dreams are built. And how to achieve mind-bending belief is what we’re discussing in today’s episode.

To kick things off, let’s first discuss why belief is so important. I’ve been thinking about belief a lot in my new job because my role is to help bring in an additional billion dollars, that’s a billion with a B, in investor money. That seems completely doable to me. A billion dollars is a lot of money, but I have every confidence that we can do it. And from that place, I’m taking the actions that are going to make that happen. If I didn’t believe that we could raise a billion dollars, what would I be doing? I wouldn’t be taking those actions. I’d be doing something different.

To kick things off, I want to discuss why belief is so important. The example I just gave illustrates why it’s so important, but now let’s apply that to your own life. Take a second and look around you. Whatever it is you’re doing, whatever you have, whatever you’ve achieved thus far, it’s in your life because you believed that you could have it. So really think about this. If you have, for example, achieved weight loss recently, it’s because you believed you could do it. If you have a certain job or a certain type of business, it’s because you believed you could get it. You believed you could make it happen. Whatever house you live in, whatever car you drive, whatever spouse you have, you have because you believed you could have those things. I guess a spouse isn’t a thing, but you get the picture.

What don’t you have in your life? The things you believe you cannot have. Here’s a crazy thing. The other day, I was working with my friend and client, Linda, and we were writing out our “crazy” list, the crazy things we wanted that we didn’t think we could have. One of the things on my list was I want someone who cleans my house and deals with all of the errands in my life. I’m getting busier now. I’m no longer just podcasting from my living room and coaching on the side. I’m now running a hedge fund with a goal of adding a billion dollars to its assets under management, so I’m not super crazy about cleaning my house anymore like I used to be. I used to love cleaning my house, and now cleaning my house is a burden because it’s keeping me from things that I want and need to be doing. So I put on my crazy list that if I had everything I wanted, I would never have to clean my house again or do anything housework related.

When I was done with my list and Linda was done with hers, we looked at each other and we said, “Everything that is on these lists we could have right now. I could go out and hire someone to do all of the housework.” So why haven’t I done it? Because of my beliefs. I don’t believe that it’s going to get done properly. I don’t believe that it’s going to truly ease the burden in my life if it is getting done. I think that if someone were coming in here doing the housework that I would be too distracted. I don’t believe that the person would show up if I did hire them.

The reason I don’t have any help in my house right now is because I don’t believe it’s going to work. And I see this all the time in all different areas of my life. Consider when I’m speaking with people who are invested in the stock market. The fund that I just joined as CEO makes money when the market goes down. Some funds make money when the market goes up. Our fund is the opposite. It makes money during the declines. It is a “short- biased” fund. People who aren’t familiar with short strategies, they don’t know what the term “short” even means perhaps, don’t even think this is possible. They think it’s impossible to make money when the market goes down.

I posted on Facebook the other day. I said, “Do you think it’s possible to make money when the market declines?” I just wanted to see what the responses were. Most people said yes, that it is possible. They said you can make money from a falling stock market because when stock prices decline you can buy stocks at a lower price. For example, if a stock goes from $100 down to $50 a share, you buy it at $50, the theory being that the price is so low now that it’s going to go up from where you bought and then you’ll make money. But if you buy at $50, the stock still has to increase in price from $50 for you to make money. If you buy at $50 and the stock goes down to $40, you still lose money. The price has to go up from $50 in order for you to make money on that strategy, so that strategy does not make money from a price decline. Waiting for a bargain and buying at that lower price isn’t a strategy that profits from falling prices. It’s a strategy that still requires prices to go up before you make money.

Everybody knows how this works. Buy low, sell high. Buy at 50, sell at a hundred, you make 50 bucks. That’s easy, and it’s something we all understand. If you buy a house for a half a million dollars and it increases to a million, you’ve made money. If you buy a diamond at a fancy jewelry store for $25,000 and then try to sell it later, you’ll lose money when you realize that you can only get $7,000 for the diamond in the secondary market, if that much.

So everyone understands, as I said earlier, buy low, sell high. What few people understand is sell high, buy low. They don’t understand that you can do things in reverse order when you think prices are going to fall. Now, you may be saying, “What?” I know, I just gave you a brain breaker. If you sell high and buy low, you can profit from falling prices. If you own a stock at a hundred and you think it’s going to go to 50, you can short the stock and make money as it goes from a hundred down to 50.

Now, that’s something that would be very interesting to people right now with the stock market at all-time highs. The S&P on July 12, 2019 just hit its all-time high. Everybody’s worried about another 2008. Everybody’s wondering if this market is going to tank by 50%. The people who believe that stock markets move in two directions, they go up and they go down, and who also believe that you can profit from a falling market, are people who could position themselves to do something about a falling market. They could position themselves to make money during the decline. The people who believe that that’s not possible are people who are just sitting there waiting for half of their net worth to fall off a cliff. This is why belief is so important. If something is available to you but you don’t believe it’s available, you will not avail yourself of it.

So the question here is, how do you develop a belief? If you don’t believe something is possible right now and you want to begin believing that it is possible, all you have to do is change your mind. A good first step in changing your mind is to figure out what you currently think. How do you do that? You write down your thoughts. Brooke Castillo calls this a thought download. You just sit with a piece of paper in front of you and write down everything you’re thinking about something. You may be very surprised what comes out.

Here’s an example of a thought download that I’ve been working on recently. I’ve been struggling lately with getting my podcast recorded. Since I started my CEO job, I have not recorded a podcast. It’s been about six weeks. I was recording regularly before that. Didn’t miss a week. So why the hiatus? Because my thoughts changed. Before I started the new job, I was thinking, I have all the time in the world to podcast. I have something to say. People want to hear it. This is going to be fun. Thoughts like that.

What happened after I started my new job? I started thinking different thoughts. I don’t have time to podcast. I don’t really have anything to say. No one wants to hear it. What would really be fun is not podcasting but sitting on my dock and drinking some Bailey’s with my friend Nancy this evening. I’m sure you don’t have to guess which set of thoughts was more conducive to getting the podcast out.

We get what we think. And when I was thinking the latter set of thoughts, nothing was getting done in terms of podcasting, but a great deal was getting done in terms of sitting on the dock at the end of my workday and drinking Bailey’s with my friend Nancy. And I don’t even drink alcohol, but for some reason I was thinking about that and that’s the result I created for myself. Bailey’s was going down the hatch.

In a nutshell, my thought downloads revealed to me that I had some mental weight that was preventing me from podcasting. I was trapped under something heavy. I was busy, yes. My new job was demanding. But that isn’t the thing. That wasn’t the thing that was preventing me from podcasting. The schedule wasn’t the problem. The problem was my thoughts about it.

I also had some perfectionism going on. I don’t know if you know this, but this podcast thus far has been scripted and heavily edited, and that is a time-consuming process that I simply do not have the time for anymore. When I started scripting and heavily editing these episodes over a year ago, I wasn’t working a great deal. I was basically lying on a floor recovering from injuries in a tramadol haze, and I’m not doing that with my days anymore. I have a CEO job now, so I’m going to have to change my thoughts about the process of podcasting.

My belief used to be it had better be perfect. And if it isn’t, I’m going to have to revise it. In my new belief that is allowing me to get some recording done today, the thought is it doesn’t have to be perfect. It simply has to be useful. And if from time to time it’s not useful, that’s okay. I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances. What a weight off of me that thought is. It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s a mind-bending belief right there.

The other day, I was over at my mom’s house. She has raspberry bushes in her backyard, and on the counter next to her sink were some freshly-washed raspberries. Every single raspberry was positioned on a clean dish towel upside down so that the water would wash out of the little hole where the stem was and each raspberry would dry perfectly on that dish towel. Each raspberry was evenly spaced on the dish towel from every other raspberry. It looked like a perfect grid of upside-down raspberries on this perfectly clean dish cloth. I thought to myself, “This perfectionism that I have going on, I come by it honestly. It’s easy to see why it’s here. But that doesn’t mean I have to hang on to it.” If I want to hang onto the things in my life that are near and dear to me, the one thing I’m going to have to let go of is perfectionism. I’m going to have to change my mind that making it perfect is necessary or even useful. That’s a mind-bending belief that I’m having to work on right now. I’m having to change my mind about perfection being useful, and I’m going to have to decide that it’s actually getting in the way.

Here’s another mind-bending belief that I’m working on right now. I can’t believe I’m going to say this one out loud, but here it goes. I’m working on believing that thought I don’t have to be pretty. This brings up so much. On the topic of pretty, I could talk forever. Here are a few things that have come up recently. The other day, Adriane, my brilliant and amazing weight loss coach, mentioned to me how when she was in grade school, little girls used to talk to each other. They would talk about each other and say, “She’s pretty, but she knows it.” I remember when I was in grade school people would come up to me, not just kids, but grown adults would come up to me and say, “I can’t believe Mindy is your sister. She’s so pretty.”

I remember there was a little girl in my fourth grade class that another little girl used to tell to her face all the time, “You’re so homely.” I didn’t even know what homely meant, which is odd because I used to read the dictionary for fun. I went up to the teacher, and I said, “Do you think so-and-so is homely?” That’s when the teacher had to explain to me what homely meant.

I certainly remember a kid on the bus in junior high leaning over into my face and telling me that I was so effing ugly. He used to do that a lot. I remember when I told my dad once that I was excited because I had a first date with an airline pilot, who is now my husband. But back before I started dating him, I was telling my dad that we had this date scheduled, and my dad told me, “Don’t get your hopes up, honey. There are a lot of pretty women in the world.”

Pretty is a currency that women are supposed to have. We have so much drama around being pretty. We better be pretty. Because if we’re not, we’re not going to get what we want and people are going to tell us that’s the reason we’re not going to get what we want. But if we are pretty and we have an awareness of it, we’re also in trouble. It’s almost as if pretty is a currency that we’re supposed to have. But if we have it, we better not use it, at least not consciously. We feel damned if we do and damned if we don’t. And when that happens, where are we? We are trapped in a belief box. We’re afraid to leave the house, literally or figuratively, because maybe we don’t look good enough. And yet we’re desperate to leave the house and get out there now because things are only going to go downhill from here.

I’ve been feeling this tension in my business and in my social life and all aspects of my life because I’ve been hiding. Consider this podcast for example. I’ve been podcasting, which I’m happy to do because so far I’ve been thinking, “I have a nice voice, and people compliment me on it.” My voice is pretty enough for a podcast, but I have been terrified to show up in any other way. The thought of going out and speaking in public or even doing Facebook lives, all of that feels very scary for me because I’m not sure I’m pretty enough. I think a lot of other women feel this way, too.

Recently, to solve this problem in my own life, I started working with the brilliant and amazing Monica Clio Sakki. I think she was introduced to me as a brand strategist, but that description doesn’t even touch what she does for women. She basically takes you through a process, an artistic process, like I have never participated in before in which you learn to stop posing for the camera and you show up as your authentic self on camera. This is a difficult thing to do, at least for me, because I am so busy trying to be pretty on camera. I do this unconsciously, subconsciously, consciously– on every level of my being. If I’m in front of a camera, I’m trying to be pretty, and I’m very conscious of how important that is. It is so high on my list of important things that I am not even being myself.

The reason I’m doing this is because my unmanaged mind has absorbed the narrative that it is very important to be pretty. And if I’m not pretty, if I don’t look pretty on camera, something has gone horribly wrong and I had better get that worked out. Of course, my unmanaged mind thinks that the way you work this out is you get prettier, and this is hurting me. It’s hurting the quality of my life. It’s hurting my social connections. It’s hurting my business. It is holding me back, and I don’t think I’m alone here. I know I’m not alone. The other day, a rock star of a client I’m working with told me that she needs to go get all of these things done to her face and her hair before she can show up on camera to move her business forward in the ways that we’re working on in our coaching work together.

So what’s happening here? We are all living beneath a virtual burka. We look at women, in the Middle East for example, and they are covered from head to toe, and we wonder how can they live their lives that way? But I’m sure if we were able to step outside of ourselves and examine the way that we are living our lives here in America, we could easily find ourselves asking the same question, the exact same question about ourselves. Why are they so covered up all the time and where does this virtual burka come from, this pretty pose that we put on all the makeup? We’re just so “done” all the time. Where does it come from? It comes from the thought that I have to be pretty.

The other day, I was standing in the cashier’s line at Costco with my husband, and I was thinking about preparing this episode on mind-bending belief, and I wondered to myself, What would my life look like if I no longer believed that I have to be pretty? Just like the stock market, I’m not afraid of whatever the stock market is going to do because I know that if it falls 50% I can make money on the way down. And I know that if it rises by 30%, as it has since December 24th, I can make money on the way up. It doesn’t matter if it goes up or down. I’m fine either way. That’s a mind-bending belief for many people. It was for me, too, in the beginning. But now, I believe that that’s the way things work. I believe you can make money going up, when the market goes up and I believe you can make money when the market goes down. (Side note here, things do work that way, and it has opened up a world of freedom for me.)

If you go all the way back to episode one in this show, what we are truly looking for here is freedom. The point of being rich and thin is not just to be rich and thin in a vacuum. The point of it is because when you have everything you want in your life, when you’re rich in the things that matter to you and when you’re unburdened by anything you don’t want, when you’re thin in every sense of the word, you are truly free. What I realized standing in that line at Costco is that I am never going to be free if I am trapped in a prison of “must-be-pretty.”

That’s when I started thinking, “What if I could change my mind about the way I’m supposed to look? What if I could adopt the mind-bending belief, just as I did when I learned that you can short things and make money as prices declined? What if I adopted the mind-bending belief that it just doesn’t matter if I’m pretty or not? How free would I feel if that’s what I believed? How much time would I save? How would I show up differently? How much more could I serve? How much more would I earn? How much happier would I feel?”

A great deal of the unhappiness in my life comes from the thought that I’m not as pretty as I should be. That’s my belief. And as we talked about at the top of this episode, what happens with our beliefs? We make them come true. Thoughts are things, as Linda says. The way I say it is we get what we think. And when I was thinking that I’m not as pretty as I should be, what did I do? I felt terrible. I sat on the couch, and I consoled myself with Ben and Jerry’s. And what was the result? I wasn’t as pretty as I could be in the traditional sense because I was shoulding all over myself, as they say, and feeling an enormous amount of shame about it. And all that shame was showing up on my body.

So here’s the mind-bending belief I’m working on right now. I don’t have to be pretty. It is totally fine if I am, as that kid on the school bus said way back when, :so effing ugly.” Mind-bending belief and a game changer. There’s so much freedom in that thought I can’t even tell you.

The question I have for you now is, what thoughts would you like to be free of? What “belief boxes” are you living in? The sentences running through your mind put the weight on your body. They hold your business down. They limit your freedom and your happiness. And coaching is the answer to unraveling all of this. Coaching is how you truly change your mind. If I weren’t working with the brilliant and amazing Monicka Clio Sakki this never would have occurred to me. It never would’ve occurred to me to question the thought pretty is the most important thing. That thought was so embedded in my brain I thought that that was a law of nature. It was like gravity. Now that I am working with her, I did question that thought, and I feel so much lighter now.

So if you would like to feel lighter, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to begin working with a coach to question the beliefs that are weighing you down. Start bending your brain to begin changing your life. I don’t care if you work with me or anyone else, just get to work on your brain and you will feel better, your life will feel better, and you’ll feel so much happier. If I’m a coach who can help you, I would love it if you would get in touch, Kelly@richandthin.com. That’s Kelly with a Y @richandthin.com. I want to thank you for being here today. If you’ve been waiting patiently for the next episode to appear in your feed, I want to thank you for your patience, and I look forward to connecting with you next time.

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