Wendy Hanson 0:23
Welcome, everyone. Delighted to see you. Again. I've heard some great feedback of many people listening to the podcast and getting tips, I would love you to go on Apple iTunes and be able to put something down that you're taking away from these, we're not only looking for reviews, we want to know that you're doing something with all the good info that you're getting. So if that is something that's, that's valuable to you, then please go ahead and join us there. So today, we are going to talk about limiting beliefs. And a lot of it has to do with the brain and stress. And I would think that almost everybody listening may be going through some stressful times after what we've done in the last few years. So today, we are bringing on a guest that's going to help us through that and look through that. So Julia Arndt is the founder of peak performance method. And it's a unique model of combining critical productivity, mindfulness and leadership tools to help forward thinking individuals and organizations develop the next workplace superpower through scalable programs. Julia originally hails from Germany has lived in five countries over the last 14 years, and speaks three languages fluently. After working at Google in Silicon Valley for seven and a half years, while the company grew from 30,000 to 100,000 employees, Julia has been running her own consulting and coaching business, helping over 7000 employees at innovative companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, Swisscom, and many more, who understand the effects of stress on the body and the mind, move beyond burnout and build up a mindful lifestyle that delivers focus, high energy and productivity, Julia's model, if the brain is your most valuable resource, let's make sure to take care of it. Your career success and satisfaction depends on your ability to develop the next workplace superpower. Well, it would be great if we could use this, we need more superpowers in the workplace. So welcome, Julia.
Julie Arndt 2:35
Thank you so much. I'm really excited to be here today. Great.
Wendy Hanson 2:38
So give us a little baseline so that we can converse from where the limiting beliefs come from.
Julie Arndt 2:46
I think they come from how we are growing up, right? So they come from how our families are educating us how in what kind of maybe what kind of town? Are we growing up? Are we growing up in a really small town or in a village? Or are we growing up in New York City, right, or in a really big city? I think they're coming from our teachers from the people that surround us on a day to day basis. And when we are a little, there's actually no kind of gate we call it between the conscious and subconscious mind. So up until you're 10 to 12 years old, you're actually everything that you're that you're seeing everything that you're hearing goes directly into your subconscious mind. And you don't really question that. And that's usually where our first set of beliefs are, are set. And then, and then, you know, we are kind of working throughout our whole lives oftentimes through breaking those beliefs that we may be accumulated from our first years when we started our development process.
Wendy Hanson 3:47
Yeah, well, I love that. And it makes sense. And I also know a lot of people that had a great childhood with really supportive parents who are saying, Yeah, you can do this, you can do this. But when you get into the workforce, and you get under a lot of stress, then limiting beliefs come up again, how do you know you can you can talk your way through them when you've had them as a child and say, well, that's just not true anymore. But what if they show up as an adult in the workplace?
Julie Arndt 4:17
Yeah, well, if they show up as an adult in the workplace, there are still things that you've learned over the course of your development in school. It doesn't always have to come from your parents, those limiting beliefs. Sometimes it's really, it just experiences that personal experiences that shaped you. And when they come up in the workplace, when they come up when you're trying to be come a better human being but when you're trying to get the next promotion, right when you're maybe even trying to manage other people, you might start to have these doubts, right? We sometimes called also imposter syndrome, where, you know, we we get to a certain position we talk actually a lot about this at Google, because there are so many smart people there and you get to the position you get into the company and you've accomplished a lot of great things already up until that stage, and then all of a sudden, you're surrounded by people that are incredibly smart, right? You come maybe from college or from from usually come from college from a degree or maybe even from an internship or previous work experience. And you might have been the best at what you were doing there. And then all of a sudden, you get to a company where you're surrounded with these beautiful minds. And you question yourself, and you start to doubt, am I actually as good? Can I keep up with those people, right. And in that process, actually, we unfortunately, oftentimes create a lot of unhealthy habits and routines. In order to stay with that or because we think if we just work more and longer than we will be able to to meet those requirements, and we meet those expectations. And the first important step in order to break these limiting beliefs is to create awareness around where they come from, and what they are.
Wendy Hanson 5:58
Well, I love your Google example. And personally, I can relate very much because I worked at Google as a coach in the early like 22,000, to 2007. And almost our whole executive team came out of Google originally. So I know it is filled with very smart people doing big things. And it just the bar keeps getting raised and raised. So I love that example. Because it shows when you get into a group that you say, Am I really, did I earn this, can I can I really keep up with these people. So I think that's a fabulous example of how we may have done really well along the way, but then all of a sudden say, Wow, I'm surrounded by people that know a lot, and how am I going to deal with this?
Julie Arndt 6:43
I remember a leader at Google, during my time in Dublin, Ireland, and he was always saying everyone that's coming into the company now is smarter than the people that are already there, because the bar gets higher and higher from a hiring process as well. And so I was always like, wow, yeah, it's just, you know, you're just getting surrounded with more and more people that are super smart, and have done incredible things already in their life in their early 20s. Oftentimes, right? And, and it's, it's really a question of mindset, right? How are you going to take this? Are you going to see this as a, you know, opportunity to grow and challenge yourself to become better and learn from these people? Or are you going to see it as, you know, competition? Or maybe even a threat, right? To your own personal to your own personal development?
Wendy Hanson 7:30
Yeah, that's great. Because oftentimes in life, it's perspective that changes everything, right? If we have that perspective, that oh, boy, we're not good. We're not gonna fit here. You know, they're, they're coming in much smarter than us, then that's a problem. So I love that. What happens in the brain? Because at BetterManager, we love thinking about the neuroscience piece, because that's often the why. And people don't always understand the why. So what happens in the brain when a limiting belief comes up?
Julie Arndt 8:00
Yeah, so we have automated processes in our mind in order to help us function on a very high level. And what the brain is doing on a constant basis is it's scanning the environment for threats. And that's why you know, when when we are perceiving a threat, it doesn't matter if it's a perceived threat or real threat, our brain is starting to give us a signal. And that signal is usually, you know, releasing stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol in order to pay more attention of what is happening. And when we are having a limiting belief at the beginning, what is important to note, first of all, is that that's something that's been so repeated on such a high level, because we've been always thinking that way. Right? We will be that we are not. That's why I said awareness is so important. Because initially, we might not even be aware that the belief that we have is limiting us to some extent, we've just always been believing that. And we've been believing that because, you know, someone at some point said this to us, or we have had an experience, maybe it was a traumatic experience, or maybe it was just an experience. And we drew our conclusion from that. And then, and then that was just a belief that we started to have. And so we've always been kind of thinking that way. And when we're looking at the brain and at the brain, meta meta, you have these grooves in the brain, right? And they are I call them, they're almost like highways. So when you are having a belief, you're triggered, you're that belief, maybe it's triggered through an experience, you're always going down the same path, right? You're always going down the same highway, which means that you're thinking the same things, you're feeling the same things and then because of those thoughts and feelings that you have, you react the same way so your behaviors the same way and you will have the same experience again. So oftentimes we say, Amen, I'm always having the same experience. Right. I'm gonna give a nonwork example, because it's very relatable. We say I always meet maybe the rock On a partner, right, they're always they always have like the same, the same skill characteristics. And it is because we are really, we are really getting used to these thoughts and beliefs and, and we don't question them. And so we are having these deep grooves in our brain
that have proved automatisms. So through just kind of these automated ways, God always that same route. So. So now that we are aware of that, we want to change our limiting belief. And what we're trying to basically do is we're trying to create a new highway, we're trying to create a new route, that is different to what we've been thinking before. And that's incredibly difficult if you imagine that right. Because, at the beginning, we are always drawn to doing the same exact thing to do that thinking the same things and feeling the same things and acting based on our feelings and thoughts. And so I always like to compare this to a field. So when you're walking into a wheat field, for example, and nobody has worked there before, there's no path. So you have to kind of push work through the field in order to find your way through it. And that's really difficult, right? That requires a lot of effort to do that. But as you go, maybe the next day, again, you already see that there's this kind of path that's starting to form because you're walking through the field again, for the exact same path that you have taken the day before. And as you repeat that, repetition, repetition, repetition is super important. When we're talking about breaking limiting beliefs, you're actually starting to create this new route, you're creating a new highway, a new way to think. And it's super, super powerful to understand that that our brain, and that's why I was talking earlier about scanning the environments for frets, alarming us when we are doing something different than what we've been used to no matter if it is a new thought or a new action. And our brain first of all stops, because our brain actually doesn't know the difference between what is good for us and what is bad for us. It only knows what we've been repeatedly doing over and over and over again. And that is that automated that highway, right? So now that we are trying to break these limiting beliefs, we need to go the other another route, we have to create another route another way another highway, build this new highway. And that will take time, because especially at the beginning, again, I'm going to give a good example, I believe that everyone can relate to at the beginning, your brain is gonna send all the alarm bells and whistles hidden saying what are you doing? Why are you going this way? Best example, you're trying to go to the gym, maybe you've never gone to the gym before. And you've decided in 2022 You want to make better healthy decisions for yourself. And you signed up for gym and you are set yourself to go to go there three times a week. And just before you're going to the gym, you're gonna recognize that inner that inner voice that finds all kinds of excuses of why you really don't have time to go to the gym today. You know, it could be the weather, it could be that you're not feeling really great and you're feeling a little tired, or you still have a lot of other things going on. And it's a protective mechanism of the brain because your brain is not used to this new behavior. It's not new use of this new action. And so it is really powerful to recognize that voice and to know all of the things that I've just been sharing, in order to almost have this internal dialogue with yourself to know, hey, I actually know that this is going to come up. Because my brain is learning this new behavior. And I'm going to push through this, I'm actually going to show my brain that this is a safe behavior and a safe action as well. And through repetition and through breaking those little things in your brain over and over again that says No, I shouldn't do this. But you know, but we know from a conscious level that it is actually healthy to do this, then we are starting to create these new pathways. I love
Wendy Hanson 13:56
your example of walking through a wheat field or walking through a snow, you feel either one that you don't, there's no path in the beginning. And I would think if you can visualize your brain like know that and know and say, you know, I got to build a new path up going back to the old path and keep repeating that for yourself. Because you've talked about this too, a little bit of scanning for threats. That's what human nature does. That's how we were that's the reptilian brain saying there's threats out there, I've got to find the threats. And we just don't have the same threats of being attacked by lions that we did before. But now there are different threats. And sometimes they can even I don't know if they can be worse than being attacked by a lion, but they might be in our today's world compatible with that. Yeah. Wow. And if you have limiting beliefs, and you're trying to do that process of I want to build another road. I want to make sure that I'm not coming up with all these excuses that seem to that I can come up with millions of them, why shouldn't go to the gym? How do you build better ones? And how long does that take? What does that process look like? If I'm sure we have listeners out here, that are really thinking about their limiting beliefs and wondering, how do I deal with this?
Julie Arndt 15:15
Yeah. So really important in the workplace, a limiting belief can be I never have enough time, right? Or my schedule is always full, I don't have control over my calendar, those are all really, really interesting limiting beliefs that are holding us back from being our best selves and performing at the level all the time that we want to perform at being more sustainable edit. And the question around how long does it take to build these new habits? How to form these new routines? It's really powerful, because there's no, there's actually no right or wrong answer. When you're Googling this question, you will find all different kinds of numbers, some people say it takes 21 days, 28 days, 150 days to another 90 days, you can probably find all different kinds of days. But the short answer is, it really depends on you on how often you are repeating this new pattern successfully. So that's really all about repetition, instead of a specific number of days, right? Because if I say to you, you need to do this for 28 days, but you're only doing it two times out of the 28 days, you probably haven't formed a new habit, it is really about how consistent can discipline can you be with yourself to really you form this new habit. And you know, and when we're trying to do that, when we're building these new habits, there's a lot of different things that you can do in order to help yourself right, from, you know, setting calendar reminders, I think visual cues are super, super important, super powerful. I've actually just read the book, atomic habits by James clear in January. And he talks a lot about visual cues. And it's been really resonating with me. And I've been integrating that in my own life for all different kinds of habits. But for limiting beliefs, that's also a habit that we're forming. It's really powerful, for example, to write out a new belief and put it on a piece of paper, and have it somewhere where you can read that on a regular basis really powerful. I've actually been doing this, over the last year, I've had a powerful new belief on my bathroom mirror, and every time I would walk in, and I would go to the bathroom, I would see this. And we sometimes think this is kind of cheesy to have these like beliefs or affirmations on somewhere sticking around, like no matter if it's your phone background, or maybe a little piece of paper in front of your computer or your mirror or your fridge. But it's so powerful. It's interesting for me, obviously, as a peak performance coach to test out these different things. And to see for myself, how powerful does it actually stick when you're having these visual cues, because we're really trying to rewire our brains, and that will take a little bit of effort. So visual cues are super important, can be you know, calendar reminders that you're doing a certain behavior, you know, X amount of times during the week, if you want to build, for example, right? A gym practice, or All right, we're talking about the limiting beliefs, but the limiting belief oftentimes gets goes hand in hand with as I was saying, for example, time management, met time management, so trying to change the behavior. So there's actually, if we're looking at the diagram or chart, I'm gonna explain that as well. So we have four different things, right, we have thoughts, we have feelings, we have behaviors, and then based on the behavior or the experience, we take action. And if you're trying to create a new, new belief, it doesn't actually matter where you are starting on which point no matter if you are trying to build a new thought, if you're trying to build a new feeling around the thought, or if you're trying to change your behavior, the experience or habits or taking action. So you can actually break that cycle through all these four different entrance points, or entry points. And yeah, that's kind of how I would get started. So there's no right or wrong on how many days it takes to break the limiting belief. It's all about repetition and all about how well you can stick to these new beliefs. And I think what's really important to note here as well as to not give up when you're failing failure as part of this process, you will fail probably over and over and over again. But every time you take yourself back and you start again and you tell yourself No, okay, failed. Okay, what can I learn from this experience of failure? Right? Maybe what did I do that didn't work so well for me, and then redirecting it again and testing it again will help you to to build also your confidence levels and your momentum to go in the right direction. And sometimes you know, if it is a really strong limiting belief that maybe came from a traumatic experience in the past that might take a little bit longer to break. Then you know, just just any other belief.
Wendy Hanson 19:54
I love the the perspective on dealing like when you fail because we are going to sale? What did I learn? And how might I do this differently. But also, I would think, if you begin to see yourself succeeding, that you write down, take some notes in a journal on that. So that that gets into your brain that, Wow, I did this now. And this is how I made it happen in atomic habits, I love that he talks about stackable habits, because I think that's a really cool thing for the brain to be able to do. I've used that myself on many things like you know, your morning routine. If you do them in a certain order, you know, I have to take these supplements and I take them for my coffee, then maybe I won't forget to take my supplements, and then I go on to the next thing. But I think that's a powerful strategy, too. But I think when we can let our brain know that writing down what we're learning from failing, and then writing down what we're learning from succeeding, can really build up. Yeah, that's what's going on here.
Julie Arndt 20:54
Yeah, no, absolutely. I'm a huge believer in journaling. And it helps me to reflect on what I'm trying out and how to become better for sure.
Wendy Hanson 21:03
Yeah, well, that's great. And why does change, you know, we get stuck in these ruts. As you're saying, you know, there's, there's that highway in our brain that's really deep right now that we keep doing the same thing over and over again. And why does change feels so uncomfortable to us as humans? What gets in the way?
Julie Arndt 21:24
I think we oftentimes get in our own way, right? I think oftentimes, we don't understand this process. And so change fields, uncomfortable, and maybe even scary, because you're like, ah, because I'm so used to this, right. But it's, it's really, I think, it's really powerful to know that our brain doesn't know the difference between good or bad. It only knows what we've been repeatedly doing over and over and over again. And that's so powerful, because when you think about it, in anything that you experience, when it comes to change, it's something new to our brain. And our brain, first of all, always rings the alarm bells and says, I don't really know about this, this, this is not what I'm used to. So let's take a look at this, right, we are literally becoming addicted to the thoughts and feelings that we're having on a regular basis. And that creates our identity. And so when our identity obviously is challenged, no matter in what way no matter if it is a reorganization in the company, or a new person coming on, that's challenging the way we think that's, that always feels uncomfortable. But I think when we can sit with the discomfort, and accept it, that's also part of the process, we can actually move through this more gracefully. And that's right, where talk, we can talk here now about resilience and how to build resilience and why routines are so important in order to build resilience, that it's all interconnected.
Wendy Hanson 22:54
Yeah. Wow, that is so true. And I love you know, we were what really is what we resist, persists. Came up in a group conversations I had with people last week. And it's like, yeah, that always shows up, don't resist it, accept it, and say, Wow, isn't this interesting. And I think we're fortunate to have training as coaches, because we really have honed a muscle of curiosity. So if everybody could look at what they were doing with curiosity, rather than with judgment, it'd be a lot easier way to get to the other side of it. Oh, isn't this funny, I'm doing this again, instead of making yourself wrong, that comes up a lot in like mindfulness training, when people say, God, I got this monkey mind. And I keep going, if you're like, This is curious, I have monkey mind, I just got to go back in again. And I can't, I can't do that. So it's the I love that there are tools that we can use to be able to talk to our brain in a different way and have these visualizations of these highways and building new roads through the the wheat fields.
Julie Arndt 24:03
And also understanding that this resistance is also part of the process that everyone experiences resistance. And since as we were already talking about James clears book, atomic habits, he talks about that as well about, you know, what makes the difference between an amateur to a professional, and that is that they can stick through the resistance. And they can also stick through the boredom, which I think is really powerful. That comes with creating healthy habits or routines or new thoughts and processes, right? It is really about loving, like learning to love that process, as you were saying as well of, you know, having these different tools at hand to observe and stay curious about them.
Wendy Hanson 24:48
As you talk about that, Julia, I think about the Olympics, and I think about you've got to go through a lot of training and a lot of boredom to be able to go through that and a lot of failure and to keep stay looking back and looking at it and be training your brain till you have that muscle memory, and those highways are the right highways that are built in the brain. And you can celebrate your wins. And you know, know that you're not always going to do it right. But, boy, that takes a lot of persistence. Yeah. So for our listeners, what are the first steps that one can take? They say, Wow, I'm really this is getting in my way. Now, you know, I'm these limiting beliefs that we're talking about are really showing up, what's the first step and some of the other tools that one can use for limiting beliefs.
Julie Arndt 25:35
So the first step, I would say, is always awareness. Right? It's about understanding that there is something that's actually holding you back, I It's funny, when I talk with my friends, sometimes, and we talk about things I'm always like, this sounds like a limiting belief. To me. Sometimes it's helpful to talk with other people about that, right? And have them help you identify the limiting belief of your maybes, you know, standing on your own, in authentic in your own way to identify them. So taking time to just reflect on what is my limiting belief and really writing that down, or really, I did, like defining that that's really powerful. So that's the first step that you can take. And then the second step, there's like a second and third step, I would say, is to redefine. So instead of thinking this, what would be a healthier way to think about this right, I'm gonna give the example again, with time management, or calendar candle calendaring, because I, I talked with a lot of people on a day to day basis that do believe that they do not have power over their calendar. So that would be the limiting belief, right, I do not have power over my calendar, or I do not have power over how I'm spending my time during my working hours. And then a healthier belief would be, I have the power to manage my own time. And, you know, one of the steps could be to create this visual cue to have to have literally just this new belief on a piece of paper, where you can see it. And when you're going through your day, and you're having this kind of resistance of I really have no power over my over my time to really change the narrative. That could be one way. But then you could also think about what is connected to that limiting belief. What kind of behavior Am I performing on a day to day basis that that supports this limiting belief that supports going down that highway, right? Maybe you're always angry, and you are always working late at night. So in order to change that belief, in order to show that that's actually not true, you could think about maybe one or two ways of how you can take action in order to better take control of your time. So that could be for example, to create time blocks on your calendar, two or three times a week where you really manage your own time where you create space in order to work on your projects. So that's really, really powerful to have these different to really build these new actions and behaviors around a new belief, right? What did that what am I doing today, identifying that, and then what do I want to change? It's kind of this behavior, or like the cue, and then the behavior, right, I'm getting out of bed. First thing I do is I take my phone and I check my emails, well, if I don't want to perform that behavior anymore, than I need to change, change the change to behavior. So same cue, I'm getting out of bed, I am sitting down in meditation for five minutes, or I'm stretching or whatever. So you asked about other tools for helping us to break limiting beliefs. Meditation is a really powerful one, because it helps us actually access the subconscious mind, which I talked a little bit about at the beginning of the podcast interview today. super powerful. I mean that we could we could do a podcast interview just about this topic by itself, because it's it's a big topic. But a really great book that I can highly recommend, if people want to learn more about this is the book from Dr. Joe Dispenza, called Breaking the Habit of being yourself. And he talks a lot about neuroscience and what's happening in your brain and how does meditation actually help you to get into lower brain frequencies in order to shift that behavior. So meditation is one way to do that. Hypnosis is another way to do this. That's why hypnosis when people are trying to break the break the habit of smoking, for example, right, or a fear of flying, they're really accessing the subconscious mind where those limiting beliefs are stored. And then they're getting redefined. So it's obviously there's a conscious way to do this and to tackle it and to take action and to be very mindful about the steps that you're taking. But then there's also deeper rooted things. Well, as I was saying earlier, when when you're when you've been married, traumatized or when you've been creating a certain belief around something, in order to protect yourself, sometimes it requires a little deeper work in order to get there So obviously, obviously meditation, we talked about hypnotherapy, therapy, obviously therapy and coaching, right having somebody to help you through this, because sometimes it is difficult to break through our own belief systems. Because it's just who we are. Right? It's, it has become our identity. And in order to break that, and yeah, it's more powerful to work with professionals as well and get help.
Wendy Hanson 30:24
Yes. Oh, that's great. Yeah, we should never leave that option out. Because you don't know what you don't know. And sometimes you can't see it yourself. You need somebody to hold up a mirror. And I also love when you were talking about writing down your, like, limiting beliefs? And then what's the opposite of that? That's a great coaching exercise that you could do with yourself. Keep a list of what are your limiting beliefs? And if you didn't hold that belief, what's the belief on the other column you would want to hold? And I think that's important to have both of those down there, see, see, yeah, which one feels better? Like, let's read them out loud. which one feels better this belief for that belief, that feeling could could help move that along a little bit, and be able to set you on the right path on digging up your new highway,
Julie Arndt 31:12
it goes back to the perspective change that you mentioned at the beginning. I remember when I got into CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy. And I was, you know, I did basically a course on becoming a CBT. practitioner. And one of the tools was to change your perspective. And it was, I remembered this moment, because I was like, wow, this is so powerful. This is so simple. But we have the power. If we have the power to think in one direction, we also have the power to think the other day the the other way. And I just thought that just just again, just knowing these things gives you so much more power to make changes in your life.
Wendy Hanson 31:53
Right? And sometimes it's simple, but it's not easy. Yes. To Be persistent. Yes, we need to keep up with this and reward ourselves. When we're like, wow, I am doing much better. Because oftentimes, we don't recognize the things that we're doing well, we only recognize the things that, gosh, this just doesn't feel good. I don't think I'm doing a good job with this. Well, this has been awesome. Julia really, you know, helping people to look behind what's happening in our limiting beliefs and, and some good tools. You know, I like things that are pragmatic that people can listen to the show, and then go off and say, let me try that. Let me make a list of things. Let me document what's going on. I'm thinking about those tools. So if people want to connect with you, or learn more about the work that you do, Julia, what would be the best way to do it? We'll put all your social media in our show notes, but anything else you want people to know?
Julie Arndt 32:50
Yeah, I think the easiest way to find more out about me is probably my website, peak performance. method.com. And then from there, you can find all the links to social media and how to work with me and my podcast stressed where I talk about, you know, all of these different things, how to sustain performance over time. And, yeah, I'm excited to connect. Yes,
Wendy Hanson 33:14
that's great. And thank you for the examples at Google. I think a lot of people can relate to that. And in the companies that they're in now. So I think knowing that you have personal examples, and then business examples, people say, oh, yeah, yeah, she gets this and this is something I need to think about. So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today. And everybody, what we want you to do is take some action from from this, if you relate to it, do something when this when you get off this podcast and say what am I going to do so that I am not resisting this? Because we know what we resist persists? And what tools could I use and what do you really want to accomplish? And then challenge yourself and then reward yourself for, for what goes on. So thank you, Julia, so much.
Julie Arndt 34:02
It's my pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.