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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the “Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie, from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com. That’s wellness with an E on the end, my new line of personal care products, including hair care, toothpaste, and now, hand sanitizer.

This episode is all about mindset and specific ways we can use mindset both for our own in our home and performance, and also to set our kids up for success in life. I’m here with Elliott Roe, who’s a new friend of mine I met recently, and a world-renowned mindset and performance coach. He helps people in highly demanding industries unlock their full potential and perform on-demand. He works with everyone from professional athletes to many of the high stakes poker players in the world, including the top ones, Olympians, UFC champions, Hollywood actors, Wall Street traders, entrepreneurs, founders, many more top performers in almost every industry. And I recently had a conversation with him about this mindset and how it translates into parenting specifically, and I wanted to share that conversation with you today. His unique coaching system leverages hypnotherapy. And we’re gonna get into this. You might have a different association with that word than what he actually does. He also does mindset training. And he uses high-performance strategies to help his clients eliminate fears and break through their mental roadblocks to be able to operate in the state of peak performance and rapid personal growth at all times.

He’s the host of the podcasts as well, “The A-Game Advantage.” And he’s the co-founder of an app called the Primed Mind that I’ve been using recently. But like I said, he has a wide range of knowledge from working with clients in many, many industries. And where I found this so applicable, was how so many of these even top performers ran into roadblocks that traced back to early childhood years and into small things. It had a dramatic impact on their life, things that might not have even been considered traumatic or harmful, but that really impacted their life or led to limiting beliefs. So as parents, I wanted to talk about how we could facilitate a mindset of resilience and performance in our kids, and hopefully avoid giving them some of these roadblocks in the first place. And I thought Elliott was the perfect person to tackle this, both in the work that he does and he’s a parent himself. I really enjoyed this conversation. I think you will, too. So without further ado, let’s join Elliot. Elliot, welcome. Thanks for being here today.

Elliot: Thank you so much for having me on the show.

Katie: Well, I got to meet you in person recently, and I immediately knew I wanted to share you with my listeners. We had some incredible conversations when we met. And I was so inspired by the work that you do, and in particular, a conversation you and I had about how your work directly can kind of translate into things we do with our kids to nurture a positive mindset with them over time. And we’re definitely gonna get to that in this conversation. But to start, I would love for you to share with the listeners what you shared with me when we first met about your background, and what you now do, and who you work with.

Elliot: Yeah, so I’m a hypnotherapist and mindset coach, and I work predominantly now with high performers, so Olympic athletes, CEOs of companies, professional poker players, and others trying to reach the very top of their industries. But how this all started was, I was someone with a pretty significant fear of flying. And it meant that I’d be really, really uncomfortable if I was just going on a short trip, and I’d actually turned down vacations that were sort of long haul trips just because I couldn’t face getting on the plane. I saw a hypnotherapist, and she managed to resolve it in an hour. And it absolutely sort of blew my mind and literally changed the direction of my life because one, I could travel which was a big deal for me, but the process she used made so much sense to me that it’s something I wanted to learn. So, with hypnotherapy, you get into this very relaxed state, and then it starts bringing up memories from the past that explain the way that you’re behaving in your current life. And she found a memory of me being around three, four years old, at my grandfather’s house being shown a picture of a plane and being told that his business partners died on it. And that was a very, you know… It made sense suddenly why I’d been scared of flying and why I didn’t need to be. It was just a child’s response to something that seemed very scary. And what was interesting is that I didn’t actually remember the memory before the session. And then afterwards, I spoke to my mom, and I was told that, yes, that was actually something that happened. So it was like a repressed memory came up that explained the way I felt around flying, and then resolved it. And I’m now comfortable flying on planes. Because of that, I went and got trained as a hypnotherapist about 11 years ago, and just sort of fell in love with the industry. I was expecting to be sort of helping out friends and family, and ended up turning into a career where I’ve been fortunate enough to work with very high performers in different sports and different businesses, helping them become the best versions of themselves. So that’s a very brief description of my background there.

Katie: So let’s talk a little bit more about this process of hypnotherapy because I think maybe some have an idea of this that was shaped by perhaps movies or maybe even magic shows, and have an idea that this is a thing where you, like, take over someone’s mind, and body, and make them do crazy things. Can you explain the difference in how your process works versus what may be a televised version of something similar people might have seen?

Elliot: Yes. So one of the issues is it shares a name with stage hypnosis, unfortunately, the work that I do. And it’s nothing like the shows that you see. So, the shows that you see are a show. And what I do has no magic in it at all. The best way to visualize what a hypnotherapy session is like, is it’s much closer to guided meditation. So if you’ve ever listened to a meditation app or if you’ve gone to a yoga session, and at the end, you’ve done breathing exercises, that’s what the beginning of a hypnotherapy session is. With meditation, you’re looking to reach this very relaxed state and then release your thoughts as they come into your mind. And that’s the process of mindfulness meditation. In hypnotherapy, we’re looking to reach that same deep trance-like state, but instead of releasing thoughts, we’re looking to focusing intensely on one thought or one emotion. So, in the case that I was describing, it was my intense fear of flying that we were focusing in on. And then that allows the subconscious to show us where those fears or programs are coming from. So there’s no magic, no one’s being controlled, but it does allow you to bring up memories and process memories in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do in a normal talking therapy session.

Katie: It makes sense. Okay, so let’s talk about the subconscious a little bit because this was something that came up for me in some of the trauma work I have done in the last couple of years. And I had to explain talk therapy and other types of therapy. Those are focused largely on our conscious and what we are aware that we’re aware of, but that so many of the things that can cause, like, then we’ll get into this, limiting beliefs or sabotage certain things we’re trying to accomplish, often are in the subconscious. And we may not even be aware that they’re there, which is really frustrating because it’s hard to work on something if you don’t know it exists. So, walk us through kind of an interaction with the subconscious and how the work you do helps get into the subconscious and find those things?

Elliot: So, I think that’s a very good way of describing it, that in a talking therapy session, you are dealing with the conscious mind because you’re consciously answering the questions that the therapist is putting to you. And it can be very useful, but you do need to be aware that if you have blind spots or you have subconscious programs that you’re running that you’re not aware of, it’s gonna be very difficult to cover them. Hypnotherapy is an interesting modality because you’re dealing in the subconscious mind rather than the conscious mind. So, you’re reaching the state, sort of between being asleep and being awake or the state that if you’re driving on a long highway, and you’ve missed a few of the junctions in your mind, you can’t remember them, but you still been driving safely, that’s the sort of state that you’re reaching. And that’s when the subconscious mind has taken over and effectively you’re running on autopilot. Now, one way to visualize this in terms of dealing with the two separate parts is your conscious mind is a bit like the Windows operating system that you see on your computer, whereas the subconscious mind is the code that’s running Windows. And all of the work that I do is around rewiring that code, rather than sort of moving the boxes around on the windows screen because we want to change the program. We don’t want to change, you know what’s just happening on a day to day basis, we want to change why those things are happening and where that program is coming from.

Katie: Got it. So can you give us some examples? Obviously, I know you have to not reveal any personal details of anyone you’ve worked with, but in maybe, like, generalities, or if you’re able to, like, give examples anonymous ways that come up with clients for you?

Elliot: Yes, of course. So, one that can come up quite frequently is people who get very triggered, very angry around entitlement issues. So, something comes up, it feels unfair, and then they emotionally respond in a way that they wouldn’t want to, by lashing out, by being loud, by being rude. We start tracing that back. Often times, memories will come up in childhood of being accused of doing something that you didn’t do and being punished for it, of a parent talking to you in a certain way and you feeling like you’re losing their love, or that you don’t have value because they’re blaming you for something that you haven’t done. Another thing that comes up very frequently is around procrastination. So, you have someone who’s a high performer, they’re highly intelligent, but they’re struggling to do the things they need to do to become the best in the world at whatever they’re doing. As we trace that back, oftentimes they’ll talk about being in school, and in the early years of school, not needing to work very hard to get the best grades. But then as things start to get more difficult, continuing to not work hard because it’s an ego protection. So they can say, “If I had worked hard, I would have gotten A, but I’m content getting a B because I know that I chose not to work hard.” And this shows itself with a huge number of people when it comes to procrastination issues because it actually feels safer for them to be effectively not trying their hardest because it protects the ego better than it would if they try their best, and then they don’t get the A that they want. And that continues throughout life, and their businesses, and their relationships, that not putting in 100% makes them safer than if they give 100% and then find out they wouldn’t have achieved the level of success their ego would expect.

Katie: I’m so glad you brought up the ego protection side. Can you explain this in a little bit more depth because I know we talked about this and how this is something that is actually a thing that our body has to protect us? And like anything, it’s not that our brain or our bodies trying to work against us. It’s actually the opposite. They’re trying to protect us. But sometimes, we haven’t sent the message that they no longer need to protect us in that way. But talk about that, what ego protection is, and ways that can rear its head.

Elliot: So, when it comes to ego protection, there’s a part of you that wants to be able to claim that it’s in complete control. So like the description, I was just giving a few moments ago, the child who wants to feel in control of their results by not working hard, they’ve maintained control and told the ego, that they would have been successful had they done the work, and that gives a level of control in life that wouldn’t have been there if they take the risk and go 100%. And it comes up when the pain to the ego feels like it will be even more painful than the reward of the success that might possibly come. So, it’s that you’re protecting yourself from the emotions that will come up, let’s say around a relationship where we all know people and, you know, we’ve done it ourselves in some relationships, I’m sure, where we don’t give 100% of the relationship because if we give 100% of ourselves, we have the true risk of pain. Whereas if we don’t give 100% of ourselves, we can still step back and we can feel that we were in control of the situation, and we never really wanted to be with that person anyway. But it can show up in literally any area of life. And like you said, the subconscious believes that it’s helping you believes that it’s keeping you safe, and this sort of work is around retraining the subconscious to be running the program that’s useful for a 30-year-old, 40-year-old, rather than running the program that was useful when you were 5, when you were 7 years old, which is where a lot of these programs are coming from. So when we find ourselves doing these things that don’t make sense in our adult lives, it’s because of a context for life and a program we created when we were a child. And probably we shouldn’t have been in charge of creating the way we’re gonna be thinking when we’re in our 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Katie: That was something that was so surprising to me. In all of that inner work that I’ve done over the last few years, and I’ve talked about some of that on the podcast, I had a couple of very acute things that I knew were likely gonna be related to trauma and the things that I needed to work through, like sexual trauma. But what surprised me was the number of things that came up from childhood that seemed like they should be in some ways relatively insignificant, or they were just small moments, or things that people said that by any logical explanation shouldn’t have had a really dramatic impact, but like you said, these things form that in those early years of life. In working with all of these people, I know you’ve worked with thousands, including really high performers in a lot of different industries, what percentage would you say goes back to those early childhood years?

Elliot: In my work, virtually everybody. So, you know, I’m a true believer that everything is everything. And, you know, we’re bringing too whatever we’re doing in life, all of our history in all of those programs that we created, so anyone that that is coming to me as a specialist in this area, is looking to understand why they have some kind of self-sabotage, or fear of failure, or fear of success is holding them back, and then we will be going back to those years because that’s where I truly believe these fears and then these behaviors are created. So it really is that 95%, 98% of clients who see me will be talking about those early years, the way that they felt around their parents, whether they felt love, where they felt self-worth. Love and self-worth seemed to be the keys behind almost everything. So whether it’s an anxiety response and anger response, fear of success, fear of failure, self-sabotage is typically everything comes down to self-worth, and am I good enough? And those fears are present very early in childhood because obviously, you know, thousands of years ago, if your parents didn’t love you, and you’re a child, you’re not gonna survive. So, that’s a very important thing evolutionarily for us to take seriously.

Katie: It makes so much sense. And I definitely ran into that myself. I love that you talk about love and self-worth. And what I noticed was, I feel like we all kind of exit childhood with some kind of inner question or statement that we believe to be true. And the one I had to work through a lot was that question of, am I good enough or the belief that I’m not good enough. And so always feeling like I needed to prove that. And it was interesting, like I said, those small moments of childhood, they were completely inadvertent on my parents’ sake, that led to such a dramatic impact for me. And I would say most of the people listening are probably not necessarily professional athletes or Olympians or high stakes poker players, like you’re used to working with, but almost all of us are parents. And when you talk about how much goes back to childhood, the first thing that comes to my mind is, how can we as parents try to give our kids the most solid foundation for a resilient mindset throughout life? I know we can’t ever completely avoid any of those moments that they’re gonna have to work through as adults, but from all the work that you’ve done with these high performers, are there some things that we can do to help give them a stronger foundation from those early years?

Elliot: So, what we really focus on in our home, so we have twin six-year-olds, is an idea of trying to make sure that at all moments, they understand that they’re loved, whether they’ve passed, or failed a test, or whether they’ve been naughty, or whether they’ve been nice, just this idea that although we can disagree with behavior in the moment, that there’s never a case of love being taken off the table because that really is where I see the vast majority of these memories coming up. It’s that, you know, your parent is beating you, and that’s not congruent with love. It doesn’t make sense to the child. They feel like they’re unloved, or the parent’s screaming and shouting and, you know, saying pretty horrible things to a small child, the small child will take that very seriously. And they won’t understand that you were just angry. That might become a narrative for their life. And, you know, I don’t wanna scare people here. We’re all gonna have bad days and we’re all gonna say things that we shouldn’t, but the more mindful that you can be of these things, I believe the better. So, as I say, sort of our philosophy that we’re following is one of trying to ensure at all times they know they’re loved and supported, and that they understand we know they’re going to make mistakes. And that’s okay because it’s all growth. A good book that I would recommend parents to read, And, you know, a key book that’s been useful for my career is called “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. It’s the idea of fixed versus growth mindsets. And I think that’s a good starting point for an understanding of this removing the idea of success or failure and turning your vision of life into a long journey that’s a continual evolution. And we’re definitely trying to start our kids off that way with this idea that everything’s just a lesson to learn, rather than anything being defined as you are now a success, you are now a failure.

Katie: Those are such important points. And we do very similar things in our family. I think we even talked about this when I first met you, but something I tell my kids all the time, is “I love you unconditionally. There’s nothing you can ever do that would diminish that love. But the other important key is there’s nothing you can ever do that will increase that.” In other words, my love for you doesn’t depend on any of your actions. You don’t have to earn my love. That may not mean I approve of everything they ever do. But I wanted them to know from their earliest memories of me speaking to them, that they were loved absolutely unconditionally. And my parents were pretty good about that as well. But I didn’t get the second part of that, that I didn’t need to do anything to increase their love. There were times that inadvertently, I felt like it was a little bit dependent on achievement. And I think the other really important key of what you just said is reframing that, like, mistakes are just lessons. And, of course, we’re gonna make mistakes. And certainly, as adults and as entrepreneurs, that’s the thing that happens all the time. And some of the best business lessons often come from those things. But it’s about having that mindset to be able to learn from it versus seeing that as a failure. And that’s something we reframed when we homeschooled our kids because I realized, even the grading system in a lot of schools, it views mistakes as failure. You lose points when you get something wrong, rather than… And so, it’s not training you to learn from it. It’s training you that it’s wrong to make mistakes. So I love that you do that with your kids as well, referring them as lessons. That must be fun and a lot of energy to have twin six-year-olds.

Elliot: Yes, there’s a lot of energy in the house. It’s a ton of fun. And, you know, you know what it’s like. It’s an education as you go through this process when, you know, you think you know how you’re going to parent and everything gets adjusted as the different ages pass by but it’s been a wonderful experience for the last six years for us.

Katie: I love that. What are some other ways that you help your kids develop that mindset? I know yours are still pretty young. But, like, in a practical manner as they start to get older, do you guys have, and I’ll share a little about mine too in a minute, but, like, plans for helping them nurture those skills and develop that resilience?

Elliot: We talk to them about these already quite a lot, in terms of understanding this idea of growth and evolution, and this is just a lesson learned. So we try and bring it into all of the things that they do. So, when they mess up a picture of their painting, and they get frustrated, we’ll be talking to them about those sorts of thought processes already. And I just see… I don’t have specific plans more than I want to continue this on, as a theme of their growing up, that everything is just a lesson to be learned from, a chance to improve. And that, you know, we’re living in a wonderful, happy place. And this is about learning and growing. It’s not about passing and failing or being good enough or not being good enough.

Katie: Yeah, I love that. And as parents, I think so much of it. More than we realize, even I heard it said that how we speak to our children, parts of that become their inner voice. And that’s something I try to think about often. And obviously, of course, not that we’re ever gonna get that perfect. We’re all gonna have times when we struggle to speak to them in the right way. But I think about things like how we praise them, for instance. And there have been studies on this, but looking at the difference between acknowledging and praising an effort versus an inherent trait, and you touched on this a little bit, but if we just tell kids that they’re smart, that’s considered a thing that they’re relatively somewhat born with. And then that can make them actually hesitant to try new things or hesitant to, like, push themselves academically because they don’t wanna do anything that’s going to be contradictory to that or to show that they’re not as smart as we think they are. Whereas if we praise the effort, or the hard work, or something that they have control over, then they’re actually more incentivized to keep doing better at that thing because to your point about mindset, they realize they’re in control of that. Do you see that with high performers, people who were told they were smart and that kind of reaching that as a limiting belief?

Elliot: Oh, completely. And I believe that’s where that ego defense I was describing is actually coming from, it’s this protection of their definition of themselves as an intelligent person. And they’re protecting that because that’s an important label for them. And that’s what potentially is giving them love. And, you know, that’s a wonderful example you’ve just given as to why someone might behave in that way to keep themselves safe and in control.

Katie: Got it. And another thing we talked about that you said is an important aspect, I believe with your clients and high performers as well, is the idea of gratitude and fostering this, obviously, something we also would wanna foster with our children, but how does that come into play with mindset, and working through limiting beliefs?

Elliot: Gratitude is just incredibly important, in general, in terms of you being able to perform at your best and get into flow states. So, one of the things that I’ll have athletes do before almost every competition if I’m doing a last-minute mindset focus session with them is sort of going through this idea of feeling the gratitude that you’re able to do this as a job. You know, in many cases, they’re doing something that other people do as a hobby and they’re managing to do it as a career. And instead of just feeling the pressure of the moment, which in a lot of these cases, you know, it can be millions of dollars either way, depending on how the competition goes. So it creates all of this negativity and all this pressure of, I have to perform today. If you switch that to, I feel so grateful for this opportunity to show everyone what I’ve been working on, then it changes that pressure into more of an excitement, and allows them to perform inflow, which really, in all instances, we’re looking for performance inflow in whatever that we’re doing. So being in the present moment, so whether it’s an athlete in a sport, a founder of a company, or even the way that you’re dealing with your children, if you can be in a flow zone, you’re gonna perform to your optimal, whereas if you’re worrying, if you’re running in an anxious state, you’re gonna have resistances that hold you back from doing exactly what you should be doing.

Katie: Can you explain a little bit more on flow states and what those are, maybe what’s happening in the brain during a flow state because I’ve definitely heard this and read about this in relation to athletes and people who are performing at the top of their game. But I’m finding more and more of this as actually something that can be really curated and important for mindset, even as a mom. So I’d love to hear you explain a little bit more about flow states.

Elliot: So what we’re looking for is to create… And I’m trying not to think of some states that people might be able to equate this to as they’re listening. It’s that stage where it feels like time is no longer relevant. So, you’re absolutely immersed in creating a piece of art, or creating music, or you’re in a sport and you’ve moved on to automatic, and your body feels like it’s going, and the mind isn’t getting in the way. It’s an absolute true presence. And we should all… Hopefully, everyone listening to this has at least one or two moments in their life, where they felt that sensation of things being timeless, of them being absolutely in the zone, as some athletes call it. Now, this is where, typically, people are able to perform at their absolute best. And this is something that I believe is a learned strategy, rather than something that just has to be random. So there are a number of things that seem to add up to this happen more frequently. So one is making sure you’re getting enough sleep. Another is just general health, and fitness, and nutrition seems to make a difference. Working through deeper anxieties that are getting in your way, which is the sort of work that I do, and then priming yourself before a specific event or action so that you’re prepared to do that. And that can be using these visualization or other tools, and most athletes will use a form of visualization to try and get themselves into this state or affirmations prior to competing. So this is about trying to get yourself into the state of as little resistance as possible and true presence so that you’re able to perform your activity, whatever activity that might be, as I say, you know, it can be anything from painting, music, sports, or just communicating with your children or your significant other in a place of presence, which allows you to be at your best.

Katie: Absolutely. And I think that’s especially important for parents, and especially moms because I think you, and probably see this in your family as well, but mom’s emotional state can often set the tone for the whole family. And so when we as moms are able to stay in that calm state more often, it has ripple effects for the whole family. And I love that. I feel like there’s so many similarities here between the mindsets of these high performers and also the way that moms have to perform on a daily basis, and all of the mental stressors that we feel on a daily basis, and all people that depend on us and our mental state. And so I feel like this is a really applicable skill for parents as well. On that note, I wanna make sure before we get too much farther, we talk about, you have an app called, I believe, the Primed Mind. And certainly, not everybody listening maybe would directly be able to work with you. But I feel like this is a great starting point for a lot of the things we’re talking about. So can you explain what that is and how that works with the brain?

Elliot: Yes, we created a hypnotherapy app a few years ago, called Primed Mind, which you can download on Apple or Google Play for free. And then, you know, if you like it, there are various ways that you can purchase other options. But what it does is it’s got specific hypnotherapy sessions for different situations in your life. So, increasing your confidence, dealing with anxiety, helping you get to sleep, starting your day in a good way, communication, relationships. We recently added a section for the current issues with the stress people are struggling with the virus that’s happening. So what it does is it allows you to take a break and get yourself ideally into that flow state that I was trying to describe. So you go through this progressive relaxation, which is the hypnosis side. And then this suggestion, that helps you really zone in on increasing an emotion that you want to increase or decreasing one that you want to decrease. So, there are a number of seven-day courses and things like that around health and fitness, motivation, confidence, etc. But it’s a very good starting place. If you’ve been listening to this and sort of your ears are perking up as to hypnosis probably isn’t what you thought it was, which for most people is a stage show, instead, it’s a powerful therapy, and it’s a free way to try that out.

Katie: And is this something we can use with our kids as well or if not, can we kind of convert these same things into activities that we do with our kids?

Elliot: So I mean, I actually use it with my children every night at the sleep section. They call it “daddy’s magic music.” So we actually have the sleep hypnotherapy playing in the evenings when we put them to bed, so we do use it with the children. Again, hypnotherapy, there is no magic to this. This is a form of guided meditation. So in the same way that children can meditate, they can utilize hypnotherapy also.

Katie: I feel like anything that leads to improve to sleep with kids is always a win.

Elliot: Yeah, I was really glad once they got to an age where they understood what I was saying in the videos because it improved our quality of life significantly.

Katie: I love that. And that must be fun for them, yeah, to get to hear you do that. I’m also curious, I feel like you have such a unique perspective from having kind of heard the inner workings of all these brains of high performers. And we already talked about how, obviously we shouldn’t praise innate traits, like being smart, for instance, but do you see any other commonalities amongst these high performers, maybe things their parents did or didn’t do that seem to have helped them to be successful in whatever their area is? Because, like I said, you work with people across so many industries, but who are all at the top of their game, so I feel like you have a really fascinating perspective on this. Are there other things we can do as parents? It sounds like the mindset piece is absolutely key, but other things we can do to help set our kids up for success in whatever area they choose when they’re adults?

Elliot: There’s certainly a theme that I noticed is slightly less around the parents and although it’s something that might be worth pointing out as you’re bringing up children, but one of the biggest themes that I see with high performers is them understanding that people doing something different to them isn’t necessarily wrong, and it’s something that should be investigated. So, when I see people who are pretty successful, oftentimes their ego is very strong. And someone else who’s trading in a different way on Wall Street or a company that has a different marketing plan, they’ll be very critical of anyone doing anything differently in their industry. With the very elite performers, I’ll see an interest in what their competition is doing, and a questioning of, “Am I doing it right? Is there anything that I can learn from my competition?” And I’ve seen that time and time again, through the very elite high performers are much more open-minded about what they should change than the people who are successful but haven’t quite reached the absolute elite level. And that is something you can foster. You know, if you hear your child saying, “Hey, you know, James is playing soccer differently to me, he’s doing this wrong,” whatever it might be, just reminding them “Hey, how is James still being successful? How’s he still getting in the team?” Bringing the idea of questioning, how can I improve and what can I learn from others who are different to me? And yeah, that’s just a theme that I see throughout. And another thing that it goes slightly against the high performance, but the people who I deem as most successful, are my clients who are the happiest because I truly believe that’s actually more important than financial wealth or being number one in the world in a sport or what have you.

And that really does come down in many cases for the client truly having worked on their self-worth and their self-love. And as a parent, the things that we were describing of making sure that your children are brought up knowing that you love them no matter what they do, and as you said, Katie so eloquently, this idea that not only will you not love them less if they’re naughty. You’re not going to love them more if they do something particularly good because the amount of love that you have for them is infinite already. It can’t go up and it can’t go down. That sort of message, I believe creates happier humans. And happier humans generally do more interesting things, help more people and live more, you know, successful lives. But as I say, in my mind, the key that being happier lives overall because I think that’s really what the aim is for everyone.

Katie: Two things I love about what you just said, the first being that idea that you see amongst high performers, and I think it’s so beautiful, that we can learn something from anyone, especially people who are doing something different. That’s one of our core values as a family that hangs in our kitchen is keep that inherent curiosity and realize we can learn something spectacular from every person we meet and every situation we encounter. And it’s such a different mindset when you enter everything with that because then you’re not judging what’s bad about it. You’re looking for what’s good in it. And I think that ties in directly to that idea of happiness as well. And I’m so glad you brought that up because when we talk about high performers, and the Olympians, and the actors, and athletes, and founders and whatever it may be, it’s easy for kids, I think, to start to paint a picture of those people as successful because they have money or they have status. And I think that’s another really important thing to frame for our kids is, like, those things can make life easier in certain ways or as I’ve heard, Naval Ravikant kind of say, you know, money can solve all of your money problems, but it’s not gonna solve your other problems. And so giving them that framework, that success is about happiness, which often comes from, I like to think of, you know, having a healthy body, a calm mind, and good relationships. And those are things that money can’t buy, and they can make it easier to get those things potentially, but to kind of separate that idea of success just being related to money or status, I think gives our kids a whole different mindset to approach life.

Elliot: And it’s fun the way sometimes it shows up with me because I’ll be working with someone who’s desperate to be number one in the world at what they’re doing, and we’ll get them there. They get number one in the world and they say, “Oh, I was expecting it to solve all my problems.” And, you know, then we go into the real work of them becoming a happier person. And, you know, money makes life easier, but if there isn’t a number, where suddenly everything else is resolved. And that’s why I think if you can, make sure you show your children that love and support as they’re growing up, then you are putting them in a position where they can be truly successful. And as I say, I believe true success is living a happy, fun, and fulfilled life. And, you know, if they win a gold medal on the way, that’s wonderful, too, but it is not the key to everything.

Katie: As a little bit of a fun aside, I actually would love your take on this, but since meeting you, I have been interested in learning, I’d never played poker before. And you mentioned working with a lot of poker players. So I’ve been, like, working on learning just as a fun experiment with my kids. And a couple of my kids that already learned and we’re pretty good to begin with. But with the school, I’ve mentioned on this podcast before, we’ve developed our own curriculum from the ground up that focuses on maintaining things like creativity, and critical thinking, and not just throwing knowledge at them. So I’m always looking for new ways to teach some of these core skills in a way that they find fun. And I’m learning, poker may not be the first thing parents think of, but there’s so much I can teach them about math, and statistics, and like reading someone else an emotional response and economics. If we’re betting… Like, there’s so many things that go into this, that it’s been a really fun learning experience for us, and also a lot of teachable moments, and I never would have expected you know, pre-becoming a parent that teaching my kids to play poker would be a valuable life lesson. But I’m curious if you do that with your kids as well.

Elliot: Mine, I don’t think they’re quite… We will do at some stage. They’re not quite at the stage, I think for poker yet. But definitely, and one of the things that’s wonderful about poker is, you know, it’s not like other games, like chess where the best player always wins. And because of variants in poker, there’s an element of luck that means you have to deal with the sensation of you did everything right and you still lost. And that’s so important for entrepreneurs because as we know, you can do everything right in your business, and just the timing’s wrong, and it just doesn’t work. And getting used to that in poker, I think is a really, really important skill that is hard to find in other games because typically, in most games, whoever’s best will just win. So the added variants can add a lot of emotional lessons for the children.

Katie: Yeah, I love it. Like I said, it’s been a really fun experiment, and they just view it as playing a game, but I’ve been able to work in so many math lessons, even the ones that think that they don’t like math are enjoying figuring out, like, “Oh, what are the odds of this via these cards, percentage-wise, this many people playing these many cards in the deck?” And it’s been so much fun to see all those gears start to turn for them, and it’s a fun bonding activity. But I love that also, that’s such a great point that you made that it’s also a good life lesson that just because, like, the smartest person doesn’t always win, you could have the worst hand and still win or the best hand and still lose. And that’s so much a metaphor for life in a lot of ways I feel like.

Elliot: Yeah, it truly is in so many ways a metaphor for life. And that’s why it’s so fun to work in that area as well because we basically just see all of human emotion amplified because they’re doing that at such high stakes.

Katie: That’s so cool.

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Okay, so let’s talk a little bit more. I wanna make sure people can find you and stay in touch with you. You also have a podcast, I believe, and you interview some of these high performers. I love your format because they’re not super long episodes and you really get into the depth of it really quickly. So talk about your podcast a little bit.

Elliot: Yes, so I have a podcast called “The A-Game Advantage,” and we bring on high performers, some of whom I’ve worked with, some I haven’t worked with. And we talk about what they believe are their keys for success and the lessons that they would like to share with people. And as you said, I keep it to 30 minutes absolute maximum because I just feel it is enough time to get the tips out, but it’s also enough time for you to be able to invest in listening to it without worrying too much about spending a whole day listening to me for three hours.

Katie: I love it. I’ll make sure that’s linked in the show notes for you guys listening at wellnessmama.fm along with the link to the app, Primed Mind. And also as we get close to the end of our time, I love to ask if there’s a book or a number of books that have had a really dramatic impact on your life that you’d recommend, and if so, what they are and why.

Elliot: So, the first one is the one that I mentioned earlier “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. I really think it has a very good way of explaining the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. And I think that’s the basis for most mindset work and really upgrading yourself as a person. So, that would be the first. “The Art of Learning” is a wonderful book for performance and improving yourself also. It’s just white skin. And he was a child chess prodigy, who became a champion in martial arts, using the same philosophy as he had used in chess to become a world champion in another area. And that was really interesting to me seeing the same processes work. And that’s what I’ve seen in my own work as well where, you know, a session with a stockbroker, isn’t that different to a session with a founder, to a session with a UFC champion, to a session with a poker player. Everyone is dealing with the same issues and typically, that’s the same processes that can help you perform at your best. And I like Toby’s work as well. So, “The Power of Now and the New Earth,” I just think are wonderful books, and I recommend to everyone as a way to perhaps recalibrate what’s really important in your life, and try, and get a bit more joy out of this experience that we were sharing.

Katie: I love those suggestions, and I’ll make sure those are linked as well. And then, lastly, from all of the work you’ve done with all of these people across industries, is there any parting advice you would leave for the listeners today, both for their own mindset or for these kids that were helping to hopefully develop a wonderful mindset for life?

Elliot: Yeah, but the message that I always like to really share is, understand that anything you believe about yourself, that’s a weakness. So I’m an angry person. I’m an anxious person, I always mess things up. Any of those narratives aren’t actually you, they’re just stories created from childhood, and they are resolvable and changeable. So many people believe that they’re an angry person for life or they’re an anxious person for life. But there will be a reason why your subconscious is generating those feelings, and explore the options out there, and give everything a try because if you do manage to resolve that core belief, it can dramatically improve your quality of life. So, yeah, that’s the main thing is that anyone who’s out there believing they are a certain way, understand you’ve learned to be a certain way, and I believe that you can relearn to be in a different way and live your life following, you know, a program that’s created by you at your current age, rather than a program you created when you were perhaps three, four, or five years old. So that’s my key advice, and something I really hope the listeners take to heart.

Katie: And for context, because you’ve worked with so many people, I know for me when I was facing all of these things, I needed to overcome, and especially the bigger traumas, it seemed a little bit insurmountable. And then after I had worked through them, I was surprised in some ways, how some parts of that were actually much easier to get through than I expected them to be. And so I’m curious, is this like an incredibly long process for a lot of people or do you see people actually once they start to think of it in this way and to address those subconscious things because some of these things be a pretty quick process to resolve?

Elliot: In some cases, it can be very fast, as I say, I mean, I believed I was scared of flying and that I would never find it comfortable, and it was resolved in an hour. With hypnotherapy, it’s often much faster than talk therapy. You should notice substantial change within 5 to 10 sessions. And I just want to put that in context, make sure you’re speaking to a hypnotherapist who specializes in regression, which is working through memories. So, that’s what I’d recommend if you’re searching for a hypnotherapist. But yeah, 5 to 10 sessions, you should notice dramatic change. But the truth of it is that there’s always more work to do, and it depends how deep that you’d like to go. So, early sessions, you’re usually covering a lot of the significant trauma that’s causing these major issues, these faulty programs that you’re running. And then for some people, I work with them for a very long time because they’re looking to continually fine-tune, and fine-tune, and fine-tune because they’re looking specifically to be literally the number one in the world or something. So you can really take it as far as you want to go. But I would say, certainly consider 5 to 10 sessions of hypnotherapy to work on your deep, subconscious programs and issues. And in most cases, that will be enough to see pretty significant change if you’re working with the right person.

Katie: Awesome. That makes complete sense. And I love your perspective on this. I think it’s so helpful, like I said, as parents but also for us individually. And I’ll make sure that all the resources that you’ve mentioned, as well as link to find you and to keep learning from you, are all in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So you guys check that out. Elliot’s a wealth of knowledge, so much to learn, and I’ve been using the Prime Mind app, and would recommend that highly, as well. But Elliot, I know from talking to you how valuable your time is, and I really, really appreciate you taking this hour and sharing with us today.

Elliot: Great, thank you so much for having me on the show.

Katie: And thank you as always for sharing your most valuable asset, your time with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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