It’s only human to be filled with dread about being negatively judged by others. How much of our days, weeks, months, years do we spend worrying: what are people going to think of me!?
Nobody wants to look stupid or incompetent. Yet it’s exactly this fear of looking stupid that holds us back from giving our all — and reaching our full potential.
The #1 regret of the dying?
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Want to learn how to stop letting the Fear of Other People’s Opinions (FOPO) hold you back?
Join retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe / Olympic mental coach Jan Mühlfeit and top-rated CEO / Executive Coach Lisa Christen as we share best practices for how to be a successful human leader in the digital era.
For the full transcript:
Jan Muhlfeit 00:00
Here we go. Ladies and gentlemen. Good evening,
Lisa Christen 00:04
Jan Muhlfeit 00:06
We have like two minutes delay because there was some issue with the sound but everything is fine. So welcome. On football, you have other people opinion.
Lisa Christen 00:17
And yeah, were you nervous? Did you have to tell everyone? We’re two minutes late because you were nervous. They were judging us.
Jan Muhlfeit 00:25
I think it would be fun. If we don’t hear each other, you know, we can still speak and they can eat out. All right,
Lisa Christen 00:31
we should do an experiment where it’s just body language reading right?
Jan Muhlfeit 00:37
I will just check on LinkedIn. Put on the comments that you can see us and hear us both on YouTube and LinkedIn. That will be great. Yeah. Good evening from Finland. Yeah, there we go. You know, on and on.
Lisa Christen 00:56
You’ve got a good hockey game. We’ve got a good hockey game going on in Switzerland, my hometown of Zook is in the playoffs and they were down it was three zero. And if you get four obviously you win the championship. And now they’ve won the last two games. So it’s
Jan Muhlfeit 01:10
good. Yeah, the Swiss league is getting better and better, you know? Absolutely. Okay, so ladies and gentlemen, the team is football, fear of other people opinion. So I, I asked Lisa to kick it off. And then I have a lot of you know, notes. In fact, I found out that the guy who used the term football, for the first time in psychology is Michael Gervais. And we know each other because he worked with Microsoft. And we did even some sessions on clubhouse last year together, you know, so absolutely
Lisa Christen 01:48
funny. So his little contribution to history. Yes. Fear of other people’s opinions, also known as the fear of judgment, also known as the fear of public speaking people would rather die than speak in public. Why is that? Why do we care so much what other people think it’s biological. We’re going to talk about it today, why it’s hardwired into us why by by default, we’re going to care what other people think. And up for me from my side, this topic has been like the fundamental basis for everything I do in coaching. Because so much of what we do, whether we realize it or not, is based on how do we think other people are going to perceive us if we do this, if we say this, if we choose this if we don’t do this, and we end up living our whole lives, just based on what we think others want. But the most important reason we’re having this conversation is because when you’re dying, and I hope nobody’s dying here anytime soon, let’s imagine into the future when we’re 100 years old. We know that when people on their deathbed talk about what they regret the most about their lives. The number one is I didn’t live my life for me, I lived my life trying to meet the expectations of what I thought others wanted from me. So Jan and I are going to help you today figure out how to get past these fear of other people’s opinions so you can actually reclaim your life. Does that sound good? Not a small subject here today. So you’ve got a whole lot of notes Jan.
Jan Muhlfeit 03:21
Yeah. Let’s talk about the history of football. Okay, the football was here already with our, you know, predecessors when they started to live together. And there was somebody who, for example, made some mistake and he was pushed out of the group. It meant like no man Jarrah, no food, you know, no drinks, nothing. It was eventually, like dying. Okay. Today, if somebody is writing some bad comments, some bullshit, you know, bingo on social networks, for example, you are obviously not dying. But in your subconsciousness it is the same thing like hey, I’m afraid of my life. Right? You are like fighting for your survival. This is you know, this is what evolution broke. Right? So is the same we have the same brain as our producer. So we are really scared to what other people think that’s that’s you know, number one, it is from Greystone and everybody, everybody if you know, you are like, you know, mentally healthy, everybody wants to be liked, okay. Everybody wants to be like, but and some people are making our works in the way like, if 90% People love you and 10% and it’s always some people, right? Do you know right? Amygdala, our, you know, emotional part of the brain is jumping on that, you know, negativity on that criticism all the time. And that’s the problem. If we are not trying, it is always like jumping on on all of that negativity. Now why the football is so bad for what Whatever you do, whether you are in the business sport, or it doesn’t matter, because football is demonizing your own mistakes, okay? Because four by saying hey, if you will make some mistake, you will be out of the group and then you may you know, die. That’s why we are mesmerized by the by our own mistakes and we are learning by mistakes, mainly human beings are learning by mistakes, because if you made some mistake, you know, now rather than only like the peak of neuron other annoying is created, and it’s it says like, Hey, this is really important. You need to learn from that, and, you know, move on, right. But I can tell you almost 100% of the cases, when like my athletes are losing some, you know, games or races, it’s because of the football, gave you some last example, Uriel Edsger, my, you know, tennis player, he was like playing last week with Robles is number eight in the war. Okay, year, he won first set, and he was winning in the second set local really, really good. And then suddenly, he started to be very nervous. And what happened, he was saying, Hey, I was like afraid to win more or less. I was like, hey, I need to win. And now all of the fans will be with me, whatever, you know, any loss. Okay. No, I mean, it’s not shame, because then Herbalife, or, you know, 160 in the third set, you know, competing with Djokovic, number one in the world. So, this is pretty good. At the end of the day. I mean, like, if you take the thing about mental toughness, it’s pretty good. But still, a lot of those mistakes are done because of the football because you’re like, hey, I need to close it, I need to win. If I’m not, you know, winning what you know, my friends will say what the media they’ll say, and then you start to make no mistake. So that’s gonna be number one. Number two, for poor is very often driven by your parents, how you were, like, brought up, right? And by education does the same thing. My mom, because my mother was a teacher, it was always like, hey, you need to have all excellent ratings, what the other people will say if I’m Teacher, I have a kid with like, you know, one was the excellent. Two is like very good. Okay. If you have like, two, it’s, it’s so bad. You know, what I? And it’s, the photo is irrational. In fact, you know, right. On the other hand, we really believe in the other people opinion, okay. And that’s why if you for example, if you are at a meeting, and you know, you know, something and nobody knows, nobody else knows, you are afraid to raise your hand. Okay, because of the football or both. If it’s not, you know, right, okay. Or if you are like playing soccer, football, you are, you know, afraid to shoot, because hey, if I’m not, you know, scoring, you know, whatever my coach would want, my coach will say, and, and in fact, football will talk about what to do with the football later on. But there are a couple of things, whenever we’re thinking about it. What, what, why football is bad for us, okay? Number one, football is restricting you in your life. Because it’s more or less saying, Hey, you shouldn’t be always part of the crowd. It’s not necessary, it’s good to be it’s good to be good team player, don’t get me wrong, but it’s good to be individual, it’s good to be you, you know, write those T shirts, be more of who you are, which I really believe in, you know, you’re part of the crowd, somebody else is trying always to manage your mind, I put on Instagram, that the only thing in check, the only freedom we have is our mind. Nobody can, you know, take from you your mind, you know, the way you think nobody, everybody’s like CMO. And I don’t mean chief marketing officer, I mean, Chief mind officer, because it’s up to you the way you know, you think that’s number one. Number two football is like fueling anxiety is fueling your stress. If you are like afraid of the other opinion, you are more and more stressed, okay? And you are around by the other people expectations, okay? And you know, football is neglecting what is best in you. It’s like neglecting your talents when you are in the flow and stuff like that. Because you are very often stressed, but by audio people will say so that’s kind of the, you know, outline that, you know, the the thing is, and it’s good to be good human being and we live in some social environment. But you don’t need always to seek like social approval Bill Gates when Bill Gates said hey, you know, computers will be everywhere. It was like democratization of the computing power. He said computer at every desk everybody was smiling he was not seeking you know 100 s&p pursuit you know, agree with me right now. People in fact who are changing the work are usually based on Carnaby standards, very irrational, and rational in their life are usually right. But only crazy people are able to change the world because they are seeing something else. Which other beats? Me. Right? If you take you know Elon Musk, if you take you know, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, you know, Mandela, you know, all of those Martin Luther King, obviously, right, all of those people that are really seeing, you know, beyond the horizon. Okay, so that’s kind of the, of the of the team, you know, yeah, and so
Lisa Christen 10:35
important, what people don’t understand is you are biologically wired, not just because you were afraid you were gonna die. There’s actually something wired in from your birth. Because at when you’re born, when you’re a baby, you can take care of yourself, right? You need other people, you need your mom to take care of you or your dad, or whomever, whatever adult is around because you need to be protected. So human beings were actually wired to need each other, we would not have survived otherwise. And so what they did is they wired into your brains, your need for social connection, there is research, I’m not exaggerating this guys, there is research, you’ve you sit down, and you’re playing an imaginary game of Pong. So you’re just sitting, your brain has been wired. And you’re playing this back and forth, ball toss, but not real. And it’s just, and all of a sudden, you’re tossing back and forth, tossing back and forth, and a third person comes and you’re tossing in a triangle, and then all of a sudden, the other to start passing the ball to each other, and they’re not passing the ball to you. Would you care? You would think, no, who cares? It’s a computer game, they’re not passing the ball, like, my life is fine, I’ll live right, nobody gets hurt, and you care and you care deeply. They know this, they study the brain, about all the stupid things you care when you feel left out. Because if you don’t belong, if you’re being judged, if people are pushing you out, you feel a lack of ability to survive. So even in the tiniest, smallest moments of your day, you’re in a meeting other people are getting it, getting it getting it, you’re not getting it, it’s that same concept, you all of a sudden feel left out. And we only when we get into that fear state, Jung said it’s so nicely when we’re in the amygdala, right? You actually don’t have very many options, you have four options, fight flight, freeze, appease. And depending on the situation, and depending who you are, you are only gonna act in one of those four weights. So I want you to really consider for a second some people when they’re feeling left out, go in for the attack. Right? They’re gonna stand up strong, they’re gonna fight hard for their opinions, they’re going fight. Some people get scared and go, Oh, my God, Should I raise my hand? Should I not? I don’t know. Yeah, I’m just talking about this. And they just kind of sit back, flight, freeze, I don’t know what to do, I’ll just do nothing. And appease, I’ll just go along with everyone. I’ll be the nice guy with a nice gal, whatever it is that you want, so that I don’t ruffle any feathers, and nobody won’t like me. But there’s a fundamental flaw in all of this, which is to say fight flight, freeze, appease, you’re still letting fear run the show, you’re still letting your amygdala and that fear of what other people’s opinions make your decisions. And what I love about these examples with Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, there’s never a time where you just say I don’t care what other people think everybody cares. It’s wired in you. Cheering and letting your fear run your actions are two different things. Don’t let your fear run your actions. What do you use instead? Instead of the amygdala, we use this creative part of our brain. And I always coach when I’m coaching executives, when I’m coaching. Don’t allow other people, other things that are around you to decide your fate. You are the creator, right? So almost instead of worrying, what will other people think, think what do I want to influence other people to think I’m the creator, what do I believe? What’s my message? What do I want to share in the world? And how do I start to influence other people to see it the way I see it? Right? So think instead of trying to fight FOMO instead of trying to pretend you don’t care. Just think about who what do I want to say that’s so important that I can influence others out, and I can actually shape their opinions have the ability to shape their opinions sits within me. I don’t have to worry about how it’s coming in, I can take action out. So I actually I know we asked for questions like often later in the show. I would love now because later this is a topic that I know everyone struggles with. And I want to open it up to the audience. Where are you really struggling? Where you say, I haven’t done this, or I haven’t tried this, or I was too afraid to quit my job because of this. And how can we then coach you or help you live? Oh, we’ve got a good one.
Jan Muhlfeit 15:35
Well, Monique, yeah, but I’m a makeup from Finland. And I mean, you don’t need to write as Lisa said, I recommend watch this new series on the BBC. Three is the fear with Wim Hof. I mean, absolutely. Wim Hof is a call him Iceman and it’s the combination of the, you know, cold water, and breathing exercise, I do it now almost for three years. And it’s great, you know, for your body, and it’s great for your mind, and you already, like cooling. Now, I think, as Lisa said, the issue with stress is that really, your body and mind, it’s like getting ahead, if you are stressful to fight for your life, you know, the if you have if you have a stress, it’s not like brainstorming exercise because all the blood from your brain goes to your, you know, body, right, if you go for the fight, it’s usually your, you know, arms and legs, if you go for the product for free. But it’s not usually when you can, you know, perform the best, you know, if you if you are under the stress, right. So there are a couple of tips, what you can do with with forepart. Number one, you can value, you know, opinion, you can, like manage the opinion of the ERP, but you should always like use your logical part of the brain to ask, like not like, Hey, this is it, I really don’t believe that. First of all, you should, you know, basically test the resource, if it’s somebody who is very valuable, you know, right, with some, you know, good feedback, it’s good. But if you click there is a lot of people on, you know, like on Facebook, or not that much on LinkedIn, or Facebook, Instagram, for sure. And they have a lot of they are getting a lot of hate comments, if you click on the names, usually they are not followed at all, it doesn’t post anything, or if like five followers, right? So it’s a joke, those people are there, they’re like, based off, and they go to the Instagram to paste of other people that this is it. And you know, and what is helping me, I’m always hanging in my mind, I want to work with the people who want to work with me, this is it. And whoever is giving to you something, it’s like the gift, if you don’t receive the gift gift will stay with that person, you know, if it’s some shit, if this is it, you know, that person, it’s usually the other thing is, if it’s really like, you know, good feedback that you you can, you know, improve something, that’s absolutely fine. But that’s something you know, different than there is on so be very careful. Because your amygdala will jump immediately, hey, this is it, they are criticizing me, you can have like 100 positive feedbacks, and very like one negative, and I can bet you unless your brain is trained, you will still stay and go around and around and around that negative piece. Right. So what you can do, like every evening, you can, you know, remind yourself what was going well during the day, right? What I call repair, like mistakes you did, you can you know, learn from that. And you can imagine how we will do it for the future. That’s the way how you know, the Fire Ministries in your brain, and you feel basically good for the day, or you can do what they call in psychology, act of gratitude, you can figure out three things in the evening, what was going, you know, well during the day, and thanks for them. That’s why we call it gratitude, we are thankful. And in the morning, you know, imagine three things during the day you are looking forward and be again thankful. And then you will start to think your brain actually they’ll get rewired and you will see much more you know, much more positive in your life. Okay. The other thing is, you know, to more or less ignore, if it’s very negative, more or less training your brain to ignore it, you know, right. This is and then you know, more and more you will be able to find yourself like who you are the meaning of your life, the things you like to do. You will not take those you know, negative comments that much seriously, you know, right? This is it because if you are inspired, then somebody is like after you. Who cares too. Be honest, you know, right. So, this is it. So net net be where whatever is happening around you be careful because you know the thing, there is no reality. In fact, everybody’s got a different reality. Because my idea is different from Raisa reality we, we are creating our mindset through the way we see ourselves, we see others and we see the whole world and everybody got a different you know paradigm, okay? Once you change your paradigm, the way you think the world will change around you, okay, this is it. And then if you can obviously be with the positive people because our emotions are contagious. So if you are still around who are people who are all the time based off all the time negative, guess what, you will start to be negative very soon, because we are those mirror neurons. So we are mirroring other people this is us from from this story. On the other hand, if you are in the good team, there’s a lot of positivity, there is innovation and so on, you know, it will be the same with you, you will feel good. And it’s not only good for your mental health, but also for your physical health because our brains like chemical factory, right, all of those like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, this is good also, for, you know, for our body. And then the other The last point I want to make, I mean, I used to work for Microsoft for 22 years, and we were almost at some points, we were almost monopoly, almost not totally, but almost monopoly. And even in the business, you will never have like 100 person people liking you. Okay, if 70 or 80% of the people they like, what do you do? That’s perfect. Your brain wants to have like, 100% But forget, you know, it’s impossible. It is impossible. Last point, you know, right? Very often, because I am now like I want, you know, here is now he moved from 650 and ATP in two years, he’s 88. And I think there is a great chance to be top 10 in let’s say 12 to 18, you know, months, maybe sooner, you know, right? Studying, I’m studying a lot of data this and so I never did it yet. I did you know, like Olympic Games medals with my folks and so on. I never did like top 10 You know, tennis player. So so what, what what we know what we know, even from the tennis how they brains are, you know, basically set up top 10 players and winning only 56 to 58% of the balls. So top 10 players are almost half of the balls, they are losing but they are still top 10 You know, players they mind. It’s like that. I mean, the the mind of Nadal, he doesn’t care whether he is winning glassboard or losing is just you know, concentrating on the next ball. Okay, it’s not like, Oh, I’m sorry, you know, I lost the last but what do you know, my friends will say what I’m not, uh, is going, you know, back to the President when he goes like my most older and he plays in the present moment. I will, you know, tell you who I think was the first mental coach, you know, in the, in the in the history later on, you know, and how our, you know, how he, he meant it, really. So those are, those are a couple of points, which can help you to find the football.
Lisa Christen 23:31
I also I love all these points. Yeah. And there’s so many different reasons, because it’s different for every person, what we’re afraid of being judged about, and what’s the source. So for everybody, it’s a little bit different, we all want to be liked is at the heart of it. And some of the stuff or at least from my personal journey was I knew what I wanted people to think of me, right. And it doesn’t necessarily align with what I’m really good at. Like, I wanted to be really good in business. Again, I just talked about this. I wanted to be really good in strategy. My superpower is emotions. It’s a weird thing to have. But it’s almost like I can read people’s minds. I can see inside of them. I can know what they’re feeling. I feel words, I feel what they’re not saying. That’s my superpower. But why would I want that? So I always thought I have to hide that I have to double down I have to go strategy. I have to go rational I have to cut out emotions and go businesses. And that’s when I was always worried. Am I good enough? Right? That’s when comparison starts to come in. That’s when I’m worried. Did I sound smart enough? Are people getting it? Am I coming across in the way I want because I’m trying to cultivate something, but that I don’t feel confident and what we need to start shifting to is figuring out what are our strengths and cultivating that because I have no problem whatsoever that people are going to judge me for my ability to cope So I’m like, please go judge ahead. And you know, no problem, because I know that I can be really, really good at it. None of you are ever going to talk about Albert Einstein and be like, you know, he was a really shitty tennis player. Like, who cares? He was the greatest physicist of all time, right? So we were so worried that people are going to judge us on things that are actually really irrelevant. You can even talk to my husband, I’m a woman, right? And he wanted to invite some friends over over the weekend, I just flew back after 10 weeks abroad. And I said, I don’t want to get the house prepped, and I don’t want to cook all this fancy stuff. And I’ve just work and he’s like, it’s really casual, just throw damages at them come over. And I said to him, it doesn’t work that way. Because they won’t judge the man at home, they’ll judge the woman, even if you were the one throwing the party, you’re the one not setting it up, right? That they’re gonna judge. And then he looked at me and he was like, aren’t you the coach who tells people not to give a shit about what people think and to live your life? And I was like, Oh, yeah. And that reminder, I was like, let them come over, let them have, you know, whatever, snack nuts and olives, I don’t have to make a whole thing. So it is a constant reminder that yes, people are going to judge you. Let’s not pretend that they’re not going to judge you. But let’s work with why should I let that change how I show up or where I focus. If I focus on my strengths, I built my confidence. If I decide I’m just going to do what it is that’s important for me, right? I’m not saying to be selfish, but I’m saying choose yourself. Don’t always be living your life or choosing what others want or think of you. And there’s one last thing I want to share that I feel like is really important. Because as a kid, you think adults know everything, right? And then in my 20s, I came to work and I thought, wow, they know so much at work. And here I am so green, I don’t know anything. And maybe in my mid to late 20s I started to go do they? Do they really know that much. And now I work with executives, fortune 100 companies and you know, executive boards, top of the top people. And I realize, like they’re smart, but they also don’t really know nobody is this like perfect, really great, knowledgeable, foreseeable. Like take, for example, CNN plus, it took 300 million to launch they closed it within one month, because they had no subscribers, right? Nobody knows. So why are we judging ourselves against some fake ideal of someone who could be great and knowledgeable? Why don’t we just accept that we’re all human and nobody really knows? And that that’s okay. Right? We just kind of go forward.
Jan Muhlfeit 27:54
Yeah. And there is a there is a big difference between perfectionism. And excellent, right? Amygdala wants us to be perfect, because everything else we’re just not perfect. Maybe there’s a little chance to be like, out of the group and two dice will not obviously right. But this is what we have, like, if you are shooting and you are like missing the goal, your coach will not kill you, obviously, but the way you think I mean, the way it’s represented in your brain. So hey, you know, I’m afraid of my life. Because, you know, perfectionism means that it’s like fixed mindset, you want to be perfect and there’s nothing perfect in the world and your life, whatever you know, right. Because perfection is people wants to be perfect in all aspects of the life. Excellence is about being a better version of yourself every day and go on that you know journey go step by step, why excellence is also so good to fight football and stress in general, because once you you try to be really the best version of yourself every day you go like step by step you really enjoy like every present moment. And you know, amygdala is always in the past or in the future, your you know, fear is not here and now you know, you are here and now you concentrate 100% and amygdala cannot do or we call emotional hijack. You are not if you are not if your brain is like oh, I you know, made some mistake and still it’s sitting in your brain, then you are not able to concentrate and you are making another mistake. So, it is really like if we are inspired if we if if we want to we really like what we do, then the chances are that we will be much better concentrated and we will perform you know much much better. I was in fact train for half of the year. That was the online course I even pass some exam with FC Barcelona. And there was a mental coach for the first, you know, team teaching us. And he said when the first team is like finishing the match for the person, and the feedback is about result. And 60% is about the process, it’s about performance. Okay? And that’s the way the best now they have some issues with recording according to suppliers, whatever now, but they all do find that they are, they are quite rich cup anyway. But this is it, right? This is really, you know, important to realize that, you know, perfectionism is bad. And if you want to be perfect all the life, you will die as somebody who is very unhappy and who wanted to be perfect. Excellent. Is something different. You don’t know, well, you know, I’m always talking to here and other players, like you don’t know whether you will, you know, when, when blood on I’m a US Open, or you went three times, whatever, let’s go and enjoy the journey, you know, and you will, you’re gonna see what, what will happen. Yeah,
Lisa Christen 30:59
yeah. And I see, yeah, and this is probably right up your alley. But I see people all the time, who are scared, because when we are in this fear state of other people’s opinions, when we’re in the amygdala, we’re in a protect mode, like, I don’t want to lose, I don’t want to look stupid, I don’t, don’t don’t. So I stopped myself, right, we’re in protected mode. That means you will literally never reach your potential, because you’re not in opportunity mode, you’re not going to try to push your boundaries far enough, fast enough. So you might make incremental changes, you might go step by step in your corporate career, but you’re never going to be the Elon Musk, because you’re busy focusing on protect versus opportunities. So if you actually want to have something interesting in your life, see what it’s all about. You have to take some of those risks, right? Here’s something that I learned along the way. Again, when I was younger, I thought other people know better. So I would take other people’s advice, because even starting my business, I said, well, there are other entrepreneurs who have been successful. Someone give me the formula, someone tells me what to do. So I don’t get it wrong. So I don’t make mistakes. You tell me you tell me, right? We want to minimize our losses. What I figured out is, there are many different sources of advice. And there’s no one single right answer. So someone over here who was very successful gives me advice. It’s good advice. It might not be the right advice for me. It doesn’t make them wrong. It doesn’t make it right for me. And I even did this, you know, I it’s fresh in my mind. A couple of weeks ago, when I was in New York City. I was thinking, Oh, I have to get in for a meeting. I don’t I don’t I don’t have time to take a train. And I thought, Oh, I’ll drive in. And a couple of local people who I was chatting with were like, don’t drive in New York City. It’s terrible. You can’t do it. You know, even my dad was like, you don’t do it. So I said, alright, I’ll take an Uber. Well, it ended up costing me an Uber there and back was like 350 US dollars, which is like the most absurd thing you could possibly think of. So the next time I was going into the city, I thought I can drive this. And I drove in super easy, super convenient. Parking was easy with no problem was fine. And it was like 30 bucks to park. It’s not that the people who gave me the advice. It was wasn’t wrong. They have trouble parking in New York City that was for them. I live in Zurich. I love New York City was like eat I was like, What’s the problem? This is so easy compared to Zurich. It was no problem for me. And I think this is what we start to lose is when we think we have to listen to other people’s advice, which is given very strongly, by the way, and assume that that advice would also apply for us. It doesn’t start listening to yourself. Start trusting yourself to know what’s right for you.
Jan Muhlfeit 34:06
Absolutely, no, you know, this. One size fits all. It’s really bad. That’s why I have like 300 different you know, mental toughness tactics, and it’s like Chinese menu, and I’m giving like athletes and especially is based like, on, for example, if there is some athlete who is more analytical, it’s more like detail oriented tools. If it’s somebody with like, strategic, futuristic talents, it’s like, Hey, I’m looking from the helicopter and the issue and then I go for the details. So you’re absolutely right. Now I promise you to talk about the first mental coach in the world. Tell us that that was that was a muda in fact, because what I I’ll compare what I have heard what do you know Nadal told me not only is one of the best tennis player still about his game and what Buddha was teaching, okay, and how it can, you know, relate. Rafael Nadal told me Hey, once I, I really learned how to not think about the previous boy, you know, whatever happened, whether it was good, bad, but go to the present moment, then I can you know play wherever, because only in your present moment, you can react properly because otherwise you know, if you are not concentrated, you may take some, you know, picture from your long term memory, but it’s not reflecting reality and you are making mistakes, right? So, what would have good How about saying, if you want to be in the present moment, you need to control your mind. Okay? This is what Nadal is doing. controlling the mind is forgetting about the last ball. This is why I’m saying, Did it champions feel like evaders, even though there may be losing momentum, but they still feel because one thing is your score. The other thing is your mental score, your mental score sits in the present moment, it’s about your body or breath, your mind. And so that’s what you know, those three like Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, they are you No, perfect, he’s controlling. He’s like observing the mind. And that’s why he’s controlling the mind. Maybe it’s because his mind is maybe she Oh, now you know, federal plate is fantastic wallet, okay. But he’s getting back. It’s like, well, what, you know, right, we continue is getting back to the present one, because only in the present moment, you can react very well, because Buddha was saying only in the present moment, you observe properly reality. Okay? If you observe properly reality, you see, the reality is changing. And it means that there’ll be next ball again. So it’s changing, changing, which means that you are not attached to the outcome, okay? And you are, if you are not attached to the outcome, you are able to get into the present moment. So that’s why it’s agenda because if you are attached to the outcome, you are like, and you are making some mistake, you are suffering once you are making a mistake. And once every time you remember that that’s why they are losing like, one, you know, games, one, you know, matches, some players are, you know, losing those, right. And it’s, it’s relatively easy, it’s very hard, you know, to train your mind to turn your amygdala. But once you are able to do it, then it’s relatively easy. And there is a lot of people in, in sport, we call those athletes training types, they are very good like rehearsing like in your life, you’re rehearsing presentation, you are rehearsing some meeting, whatever, you know, right. So they are very good training. But once there is a pressure from the others, and that’s again, the football, they are not able to perform at all, that’s because of the amygdala, right. So which means also, it is a good during the training or a Helzer to create the pressure, I tell you what, I when I was with Microsoft, I used to speak in front of like, 710 1000 people, whatever the issue was, I was not a Hebrew, you know, to get through the flow, and there was an empty during rehearsal. I was like, Hey, let’s go let’s dry mic and everything, my slides. This is it. I know, once people are there, I’ll be like, pumped up, and it will be fine. And it was like that. So that’s the issue. That’s the same with the athletes, by the way. If they have, for example, training, the soccer players, the stadium is empty. And then it’s like full, right? Yeah, we but usually this, you know, the fans, they’re like pumping them. So it’s good. Which means by the way, that if you train yourself to be like, out of the comfort zone, even during your training a little bit, it’s like cooling down your amygdala because you are putting more and more information and knowledge in your brain, you know, your your long term memory, the way the Mental Toughness is about two things, how you handle your amygdala, number one, and what is sitting in your long term memory because your long term memory once you you train that movement, or you have those, you know, ideas, you are able your long term memory is faster than amygdala. So your long term memory is able to shut up like your, you know, amygdala shutdown, more or less, you know,
Lisa Christen 39:28
exactly and just go into that flow. Exactly, exactly. And to shed this big question as and you’ve said it so perfectly and everybody’s wondering this. How do we shut down that amygdala and you’ve given some really good tips? I mean, the big thing you can do is start to notice when it’s happening, and actually say, No, I’m not going to let my fear run the show here. So just having the awareness to slow it down, gives you a moment to choose and you can choose Okay, I feel the fear. And I’m going to do this anyway.
Jan Muhlfeit 40:04
Exactly. It is the point, here’s the point, you know, there are many parts of our brain, but there are three main parts. Number one, it’s like our logical part of the brain neocortex, and it’s relatively slow, because that part of the brain was developed, developed 15,000 years ago, we started to speak, okay, so logical part of the brain, slow amygdala, the small monkey jumping from one thing to the other, it’s five to 10 times faster than your logical part of the brain. That’s why I’m making a lot can do emotional hijack, if you allow me to do it, okay. And then the third part is your, you know, long term memory, and it’s it, it behaves like computer. And now, the thing is, as Lisa said, I will not allow my amygdala to do this emotional hijack, but it means that it there is a huge difference between, you know, if you say, I have a fear, or I have a doubt, I have some negative feeling or negative emotion, I have it, that means that you’re logical, pathologically, you know, if I have that fear, logically, my logical part of the brain is giving the power over the brain to the amygdala, and the amygdala will start to do like, fight, flee, freeze, or peace, you know, right. And this is it, if you’re gonna say, I observe my fear, it’s very different. Because it says, basically, my logical path of the brain is like watching Amiga Amiga wants to do something, but I will not allow you to do it. Because you can obviously if you have logic still in the game, you can ask, Why do I feel the way I feel? And you will find out the trigger of your, you know, bad feeling, or fear or whatever. And very often, it’s absolutely bullshit. It’s like, you know, it’s some some idea, it can be some picture, you know, and immediately have like, some bad memories or whatever. But it works like that. The problem with America is following Amiga in in the nutshell, was supposed to, like five or our, you know, life, okay. But because today, he she is making realized is basically, evaluating all information is so much new information. So, that part of the brain, which did not change since like, many 1000 years ago, it’s like, feeling this is danger, this is dangerous, this is dangerous, this is dangerous. And we are giving actually, you know, all of those devices, like phones, whatever, we are giving it to the people, which is good. I mean, I was in the in debt business for 22 years, I still not telling people, Hey, be careful, because your brain is enchanted from, you know, excited from the very old, you know, time, right. That’s why the amygdala is saying, hey, this, this can be dangerous, this can be dangerous. And we are back to the to the football, you know, I mean, these people are after you or they disagree with you, you are not your life, it’s not in the danger. But unless your brain is trained, you think like that. And if you are very often I mean, from time to time, if you are in distress, if your stress is like you know, up and down, you are like having a stress than having a rest, having a stress having the rest, that’s fine, you know, right, it’s stress is acute, you are getting better. But if it’s like you know, chronic stress, like all the time, for example, you are in some toxic environment, and people are blaming you all the time giving you negative feedback, then it has very bad impact on your body on your, on your immunity. This is it.
Lisa Christen 43:46
That’s it. So I want everybody to imagine this amygdala, it’s like the bodyguard and you are not gonna get in to the creative, amazing rational parts of your brain until you’ve convinced the bodyguard to let you in. So you have to make sure that you can get past this amygdala hijack. That’s gonna stop you from being rational. One of the great ways is to actually have your rational brain call out and say, Hey, come on, he’s with me. Come on over here. You’re Yeah, you’re feeling fear, but it’s alright. Come on in anyway, it’s okay. The other thing that I recommend to everybody is something that Tim Ferriss does, it’s called fear planning. Yeah. What what so often happens is, we have sort of a general fear we don’t really know what it is we haven’t explored it. We don’t know what’s going on. And so it sits here and then we run from it. Nobody likes to feel afraid and feel nervous and feel uncomfortable. So we try to avoid it and avoid the situation. Instead, turn around look your fear in the face and plan for it. Right. So I’m thinking about I’m making this up but quitting my corporate job, okay. Most people would say like, no, no, no, that’s like a big risk. Okay. Sit down. Think about what are the big risks? Financial? Right? Okay, so what is the risk? Let’s name it, write it out. What is it? Now there’s a column in fear planning called, What can I do to mitigate? What can I do to make sure that that it won’t happen? Yeah.
Jan Muhlfeit 45:17
Prevention column? Yeah, in prevention,
Lisa Christen 45:18
there you go. And then if I, if I, if I can prevent it great. I can always prevent, and I don’t always know what’s gonna happen. Nobody knows. Right? So then there’s a column if it does happen, what’s the worst thing that can happen? So I kind of already faced my worst case scenario. And then also, if it does happen, what will I do about it? So I always like to say my worst case scenario prevention, or my worst case scenario plan of what will I do if everything or everything goes to hell in my life? I always I tell my parents, well, you still have a couch I could sleep on, right? So for me, there’s no worry about any risk I take, I could lose all of my investment money, I could get no clients anytime for the rest of my life. And I know I’ll have a place to sleep roof over my head and someone to feed me and someone to love me. So for me that now that I’ve done fear planning, I’m like, Well, what do I have to fear? What’s you know, I’ve got the basics of everything I need no matter what. And if you start to face your fears, and then when the amygdala says Be afraid, warning warnings your life is a dangerous statement. Don’t listen to it. Don’t be like, Oh my god, I’m in danger. But be curious. Hey, amygdala, what’s going on? Why are you telling me that? Right? That’s actually what coaching and mental strength is all about? How do you get curious about this fear that’s coming in? What’s the cause of that? What’s really going on? Oh, you think you might not be good enough? In order to run your own business? Ah, interesting. What would good enough look like what would it take for you to feel confident that you’re good enough? Oh, you need to study and you need to have a practice round with a few clients first to really do a proof of concept. Great, now you don’t have to be afraid now you know what you need to do in order to get past the fear that you were feeling but not running from it actually facing it getting curious knowing what it’s about, then you can address it and the fear goes away.
Jan Muhlfeit 47:24
As I mentioned, a very important thing what I learned you know, from my clients from people from the from the business or from sport more curious, you are able to be less stress you have because it works in the following way. Stress is about negative zoom in like fight freeze free, you know, peace whatever, you know, it’s a couple of things about this, you know, and I got my once you are like curious, it’s like positive you have much many, much more options. That’s number one. And number two curious people are putting much more information in the brain that’s why they can cool down amygdala. I have a similar I have a similar tool. Even though it’s it’s a little bit you know, different and it has to do not necessarily with football but also with imposter syndrome, which is like hey, I’m not that guy. You know, like 60% of the students in the first year studying at Harvard they think they don’t belong there. Okay, so I have it with some you know athletes in the past and with the Olympic games they are so nervous. This is Olympic Games one in four years whatever if I will you know not perform very well what you know only not only begins committee will say whatever Okay, so what do you do even like, if we talk about a football you take paper and you put in the center of the paper why you fear basically maybe it’s the opinion of somebody some journalist wrote something about you right? We are you are fearful of the Olympic Games of your performance whatever you put there the source of your fear in the center of the paper and then around that booth you know, everything you achieve in your life okay, all achievement it doesn’t need to be on in the business or spoiling your you know our area but you know in whatever you know in you as a parent and you’re gonna see that there are so many achievements and you will I call it you know, positive helicopter suddenly from this negative zoom in you will do like positive zoom out, they will see wow, I you know, achieve so many things already. And this one is like innocuous in the right you know, direction and you will, you know, move on, right. So, realizing that there is a there is a there’s a there’s a progress basically right and it will cool also down your amygdala, they will say there are like 100 things I did very well. Oh, no one I’m afraid of let’s you know, move on and I’ll do my best.
Lisa Christen 50:04
Yeah, there’s a big voice in most people’s heads that says like, who am I to do something like who am I to speak up? Who am I to dare to run my own business? Who am I try to be a public speaker on this. We have this. It’s that fear voice people are people are going to think that about me. So I’m going to help you know, hold myself back before anyone else can say, Who do you think you are? Right? Who I think I am. And I have now recently been telling people go on Netflix, watch this mini series about annadelle V, she was this German heiress, German heiress. She’s not really a German heiress, but she kind of pretended she was, and she just showed up to every situation like, I’m going to make this happen, why should now I’m going to convince these people to invest, I’m gonna build this foundation for myself, I’m gonna go, you know, get this investor to come in. And she had such audacity now forget the morality of what she did, you know, let’s not discuss that part. But the audacity where she showed up and said, Why not me? Why shouldn’t I write, not in an entitled way, like, everybody should be running to me. But she showed up and did the work and put herself out there and said, I can do this. I deserve to be seen and heard and to be able to create this. And I think everybody if there’s one skill you want to work on, it’s not just about like, How do I stop worrying about other people? Just the opposite. I want you to empower yourself and say, How can I start being more audacious and Audacity or being audacious just means being bold, right? Like bold, almost a little bit on the edge of like, I can’t believe I just did that. But why not? Right? Who are you you’re a person who deserves to have a good life, don’t hurt people and you’re doing it. But stand up for yourself. Ask for something that you want or need, right? Create the relationship that you want, ask for the promotion that you want. If someone has a job and you don’t love the job description, ask if there’s something that can be changed for you to take that role. Ask put yourself out there be audacious and you will come to find out wow, I’m actually really powerful and people will not judge you for that they will respect you more for that you will be happier. Start living your life on your terms not just based on what you think other people want or need from you. You will not be happy
Jan Muhlfeit 52:41
or good yesterday I was on Instagram live in Czech language and the theme was you can be more than you think you can be okay. Because I tell you why. Because your amygdala will still disagree with you and I tell in the live what how it works okay, you got some expectation that high okay. And the reality is not there yet. And if you are afraid of the other people opinion, you are lowering your expectations right? Step by step to make sure I achieve my goals whatever the real, you know, masters, they work on day reality they go like step by step. When I am on Monday, I’m coaching you know Patrick shigar. He is one of the best football players in the Bundesliga. We have a call on Monday, when Patrick play first time we drawn out up and he was playing in Italian league when Laura was still playing with you went to as I said, you can do two things. You can say I’ll never be that good as Ronaldo. Or you may say hey, I’m 23 I’m replying with Ronaldo and go to the bicep. And the last at the European Championships. He scored five goals Ronaldo scored five goals so we were pretty much those other masters but then you have a couple of people, the true legends, the legends, what they do, they do that. Okay? They are like going up with a reality but they are also high on the expectations. Michael Jordan Ronaldo, all of those people. They are like that they’re like hiring, making hire even the expectations. This is it because I tell you what guys, success basically hurts because success is happening out of the comfort zone. Not necessarily. If you will do triathlon, it will help you about your body. I can tell you I did some part of that orally but anyway, it can hurt you know, mentally whatever success is out of the comfort zone. That’s why success hurts, you know, right. But if you want it to be like, you know, happy in your life, this is what it takes. The one thing I was having a keynote today there was an E summit global e Summit here in Prague. Okay, on the eSports right. And and it’s Intel listening because those are very good guys. They’re like they call themselves e athletes. I have a, you know, spiel on mental toughness in eSports. What is interesting, you know, right? Some of those guys, they’re like afraid of the media, and they like managers are saying we will protect them, whatever. I don’t think this is necessarily good. I tell you what, if they like what they do, if it’s like they meaning in de la ville of talents, I think even though they are introverted, that’s fine. But they if they will speak to the media, they will start to be more and more carriages, and it will help also with the games, you know what I mean? Right? Yes, that’s exactly, yeah, it’s step by step, I would build this, you know, like, what was whatever communication skills for them. And on the other hand, if you are player, it doesn’t matter where it’s in, like, sport or the esport. But if you are having some sponsors, you need to speak at some, you know, events, you need to talk to the media, you need a profile on the social networks, you know, I know how it works today, right? So, yes,
Lisa Christen 56:06
but this is exactly it. You have to you have to take some risks in order to get the rewards. And this is why most people are dissatisfied with their lives, their happiness scale on a one to 10 I would guarantee I can ask all of you right now on a one to 10 one being miserable. 10 being the most amazing, incredible life ever. Where would you be? Where do you think most people say they’re like, 567? Maybe, right? It’s not nine. That’s what I want to hear.
Jan Muhlfeit 56:39
Half it’s been middle aged guys, many men, but
Lisa Christen 56:45
you could do the mic drop, you’re done. There, there’s a challenge. Since most people say 567 is it’s not bad enough to be worth risking, so they stay forever in bridge mode. And I’m going to invite everyone here, don’t live your life, your whole life at a six. You can you can have some discomfort, it’s gonna be hard, you’re gonna grow up, but you can be a yawn at nine and a half. I would say I’m pretty, nine, nine and a half. Next month I will be attend because next month I am spending one week on Seychelle. island with a one on one client. That is my 10
Jan Muhlfeit 57:33
Ask them if they need some, you know, coaching or whatever, or executive coaching? I’m happy.
Lisa Christen 57:43
Exactly. But imagine me imagine Lisa, us, you know, eight years ago, I was sitting in a corporate job if someone had said as a billion are going to fly you to a private island for a week of one to one time for your advice. I’d laughed the person out of the room like Yeah, right, that would happen to me. Right? But you allow these possibilities to unfold? Why me? Why not me. And that is the way that you get rid of the fear of other people’s opinions. You start standing in your power in who you are what you want, you start creating your world you start creating your strengths. And then by the way, by accident, people’s opinions I get to be really good about you because you’re confident because it doesn’t bug you because you’re doing what you love. And you’re good at it. And all of a sudden people you know are giving you compliments instead of saying yeah, but you didn’t do this.
Jan Muhlfeit 58:36
No, I absolutely agree. I think look, if you if you want to you know law love other people you need to love yourself first. That’s not It’s not egoistic at all. You need to love who you are you don’t owe other you know what else are taken you don’t have anybody else okay, that’s number one. You know, so laugh yourself you know then you can laugh other people and then Lisa rightly said, if you do something which you know like you love and you are making other people happy through something you love, you know, you are the happiest person in the world for you. You know right? Obviously this is it because I think the happiest people are those who can make you happy other people you know through some activity they laugh you know right and then all football is gone because you know li hey this is it you know right people I’m really helping you know other people and yeah, and I think that’s probably a good good summary of the session you know,
Lisa Christen 59:37
I think so too. So everyone don’t be afraid to be judged go out be the best version of yourself and we will love you and adore you.
Jan Muhlfeit 59:47
And Lisa and make sure that you have a good connection on Seychelles bible so so I was quite surprised. Because Dubai they had this intended city but we struggled at once remember you know yeah they from New York it was always good and
Lisa Christen 1:00:07
good I’ll make sure that I’ll be there for all
Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:11
okay guys have a good one
Lisa Christen 1:00:13
take care bye bye