Regulating Habits and Emotions with Amy Morin

Reading Time: 26 Minutes

Are you mentally strong? Could you be stronger?

In this interview we discuss…

  • what it means to be mentally strong
  • how to influence patterns of emotion and behavior
  • how to change unhelpful core beliefs
  • how to replace bad habits with better habits
  • how to to stick with new routines

After the Interview

About Amy Morin

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist. She has been featured in Fast Company, Time, NBC, ABC, Fox, Today and more. She is the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” In the book she shares how to take back power, embrace change, face fears, and train your brain for happiness and success.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.

Deliberate Leaders I am your host Allison Dunn Executive Business Coach and founder of the Deliberate Leaders podcast dedicated to helping leaders build strong, thriving businesses.  Each episode we try to bring you inspiring interviews to help you on your leadership journey. And today it gives me great pleasure to have an introduce Amy Morin into our show today. Amy is a psychotherapist. She’s been featured in many magazines including Fast Company Times on NBC and ABC and Fox, and much more. She is joining us today from a yacht off of the coast of Florida Keys, and she is the author of the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do. In her book she shares how to take back power, embrace change, face fear and turn Your brain for happiness and success. And we can all use a lot more of that. So, Amy, thank you so much for joining us today.

Thanks so much for having me. Absolutely. 

Can I tell you a quick little secret?

Absolutely. Okay.

My husband was the first person to read your book, and finished it and said, You know what, that was amazing. And he handed it to me. And he said, I’m buying it for our kids, too. So all of our children, as well. So we basically read it as an entire family.

Oh, I love that. Yeah. Yeah.

And for any listeners out there, like this is a really good book for that transitioning team. And then adults who forget that sometimes the things we think are good for us, so I can’t recommend it enough.

Oh, thank you so much.

You bet.

I was like to kick off my interviews with a quick deliberate conversation, because I think everyone comes at it from a unique area and anyone is your number one leadership tip that you would give our audience.

I think listening is underrated. And not just hearing what people say, but really focusing on trying to understand better. And so as a therapist, when I work with people, my goal is to listen to them, but also to teach them how to become more active listeners, I think the world would be a better place if we all worked on listening more than we try to speak.

Excellent tip. And I think that that’s a universal thing. Like that’s everything is something everyone can always get better at. Awesome. Thank you so much.


So I’m hoping to kind of dive through your book a little bit and just start with core beliefs because that’s obviously a core critical part of who we are. So in what does it mean to be mentally strong?

Yeah, that’s a good place to start. So when it comes to mental strength, because a lot of people get it wrong, they think that if they don’t cry at a funeral, then they’re strong are these add to be strong for my family, so I can’t show emotion. That’s not it at all. mental strength is about understanding how you feel. It’s about knowing that everything you think isn’t true, and that sometimes you can reframe those thoughts, you can talk back to your brain, you can think more realistically, because sometimes people also think it’s just about positive thinking. If you assume everything will turn out, well, then somehow you’ll manifest that or if you just think positively, then you’ll crush all your goals. Well, that’s not true either. We know sometimes we fail. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. So being mentally strong and being prepared for those things to finally it’s about the actions that we take. How do you deal with rough circumstances? Sometimes you can’t control the situations you find yourself in, but you can control how you respond to it. Do you fight back? Do you sit down? Do you take a break? Do you take care of yourself? Do you decide, okay, I’m going to try again after you fail. So it’s really about the way you think, feel and behave.

I love that.

I can share or at least I’d like to share that. One of the things that I’ve recognized especially after reading
your book is how quickly you recover from things that set you back, I think as a sense of mental strongest, and I have become really strong. And I think just recognizing like, Okay, I’m going to give myself like an hour to be like not okay with this, and then I’m going to be fine and just move on from it.

Because I think sometimes whether it’s, you know, a bad day at work, does it ruin your night? Or do you figure out how to turn it into the best night you can? Or if you’ve had a bad year, you have a rough week, you have go through tough times in life where you fail? How are you going to bounce back? Absolutely. That’s a key component of mental strength.

Yeah, fantastic. And I know that one of your key messages that you shared in the book is that your mind can be your greatest strength or your worst enemy. So I don’t assume so can tell us what you mean by that. And then how did how can we change those patterns when when using that same tool against us or for us.

Right? So when you walk into a situation, let’s say you are going to do associate a deal. The things that run through your head are going to greatly affect how you behave, how you come across to somebody else, how they’re going to perceive you. So if you were to walk into a negotiation and you’re thinking to yourself, oh, these people are not going to listen to me, they’re probably gonna laugh at me, they’re not gonna like me, and they’re gonna laugh me out of the room, your body language will be much different than if you walk into the room thinking, Okay, I’ve got this. I’m going to make eye contact and to speak assertively. Here we go. And, you know, one of the big things I teach people is you have to play to win. And when they do studies on this, they look at, say, an athlete, and how does the athletes step out onto the field? are they thinking, Oh, I hope I don’t embarrass myself today. Probably not, at least not the ones who win and once you win, step out onto the field thinking, Okay, I’ve got this. This is what I’ve trained for. This is what I’ve prepared for. Here’s what I’m going to do and I’m going to crush it today. And just that slight difference in the way that you approach a situation makes a huge difference in how you Perform. So whether you’re getting up to give a presentation, you’re meeting somebody new, you’re in a situation that you’re kind of uncomfortable with. Just pay attention. What are the thoughts that run through your head? And if you start thinking things like I hope I don’t embarrass myself or I hope I don’t fail, flip the switch and say, okay, right now I’m playing to avoid losing, and that’s not going to help you need to play to win. So how do you do that? Just remind yourself, okay, I prepared for this, I can do it. Here I go. And when you do that, you’ll perform much better becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as compared to when you’re thinking, nobody’s gonna listen, nobody’s gonna like me, this isn’t going to work. studies will show when you think that way you actually manifest it and make it become true.

Thank you, would it be fair to say that it is normal to have to self talk yourself into one or the other because it happens inside of our head anyways into making an intentional choice to be super positive about it.

It does. So so many times. You know, we’re confident in some areas of our lives. but not others, maybe a student says, Okay, I’m going to math class. I know I can crush this with that same student then goes to a social gathering and sits in the corner thinking, Oh, so socially awkward. Nobody’s gonna like me. And so that’s why it’s really important to say, Okay, how do I speak to myself and it’s not about saying sofa student says I’m going to crush this exam. Therefore I don’t need to study that’s not going to help either because overconfidence can be just as detrimental as being so filled with self doubt that you can’t function. But it’s about knowing if you really prepared if you really studied that when you go to take that test, just remind yourself of that hard work that you put in so that you could be prepared and that you are going to do your very best no matter what and that if you want to come across as a confident, competent, capable person, you have to act that way too.

I know that so you’re a psychotherapist. So you work with a lot of clients, what would you say is sort of a common sabotaging Don’t know if it’s behavior or like, what do you find is? How have we damaged ourselves the most?

What’s the most common damage we’ve done?

So I think one of the biggest things hurdles I see and it’s so common with people is they convinced themselves that they’re not good enough. And yet nobody talks about it. We look at other people, and we think, oh, there’s so much more confident than I am. But really, you know, the same people are coming into my office saying I struggle with that, but yet, other people think they’re confident. And so it’s something that a lot of us struggle with. But then we sometimes Wait, people will say, Well, I want to go back to college, but I have to wait until I have the confidence to do that. Can you help me feel more confident? But the truth is, you have to do it the other way around. If you want to gain confidence, go back to college now, then you’ll feel better about yourself. Or if you say, Okay, I want to become mentally strong enough that I can start my own business. Now, sometimes you have to start your own business now. And that will help you build mental strength. And so it’s about saying, How do you change your behavior first, and I always encourage people act like the person And you want to become. So if you want to become a mentally strong person, start doing the things that mentally strong people would do. And challenge yourself, put yourself out there. And with practice, you’ll figure out, Okay, my brain underestimates me and I can do more than I give myself credit for. And when you consistently start doing that, you’ll train your brain to see you in a completely different light. And you’ll start to see yourself a little bit more accurate. And you can say, okay, maybe I’m not perfect, but I can do more than I thought I could.

I love to help people.

Make that switch of I need to wait until and it sounds like that’s something you need to do now. And to really have them you know, like, look through and push through that discomfort. And what is the best way to identify unproductive and negative thinking patterns? Like is there is there a suggested process to help us identify quicker?

Yeah, so most of us think the same things pretty much over and over again all day long. So, researchers think we have about 60,000 thoughts that run through our brain that’s in a day.

But if you were to take a look at it, you would realize that, you know, most days you’re thinking sort of the same things, whether you’re calling yourself the same names, you’re doubting yourself in the same ways, or you’re making assumptions about the world around you. It’s the same thing over and over again. And so for some people, it’s about keeping a thought diary or thought log. So encourage people to check in with themselves a few times a day. How am I feeling right now? Because we also don’t really recognize our emotional state, we’re pretty bad at it.

When I work with people, I’ll say, well, name has many feeling words as you can, I’ll give you a minute. After about 12 seconds. People are sort of out of ideas, and I don’t know what else there are because we’re so disconnected from how we feel. So I’ll have people check in with themselves a few times a day. How am I feeling right now? So maybe you say I’m feeling anxious. Well, what are the thoughts that are running through my head? I’m thinking about all the what ifs or I’m imagining all the worst case scenarios. Okay, well then write some of those things down. And then over time you look at the patterns will every day I imagine myself losing all my money becoming homeless and not achieving all the things I wish. Okay, well then what can we do about that? And so sometimes it’s just about recognizing those, you know, there’s a list of unhelpful and unproductive thinking habits that we have. And when you really take a look at those sorts of things, you realize, yeah, all the time. I’m like a black and white thinker. I always think things are either perfect or they’re horrible, but there’s nothing in between. Or somebody will say, you know, I, I realized that I take on way too much responsibility. I blame myself for everything, even the things that aren’t my fault. So we can all do that just by sometimes just writing down a few times a day, ask yourself, How am I feeling? What are the thoughts running through my head and then after a couple of weeks, just go back and look at them and I guarantee you’ll notice some some patterns that will give you insight into the way that your brains working and the thoughts that are holding you back.

Um, that is super powerful. And it’s a process that I don’t think I’ve ever done. But I could see how that could be really valuable. And a valuable tool like using coaching says like, actually document that.

So people that start to do it, they can realize pretty quickly, like, I had no idea because we never think about our thinking. And by writing it down, it forces you to sort of take a step back and really think how do I think it does? Do you have any specific ways that we can actively change? unhelpful core beliefs? Yeah, so recognizing them is the first one. So when you develop these core beliefs about yourself, often it goes back to childhood. Maybe you were seven years old, and you had a teacher who said, Oh, you’ll never amount to anything, or you had a parent that had some sort of a comment you got bullied on the playground, whatever it was, but as kids, we develop beliefs about ourselves, other people and the world around us, and then we hold on to them, and we hold them to be really true even when there’s evidence to the contrary. And it’s about recognizing, okay, what are the beliefs that I still have? Hold on to that aren’t true anymore. And it’s really uncomfortable to go through that process. Because if you’ve held on to something for 30 4050 years, and you think, Okay, well, that’s not true. Or maybe it’s not true anymore, maybe I used to be the shy kid, but now I’m not anymore. Or I used to be the kid that struggled in this area. But now I’m an adult, and I don’t have to do that anymore. And so it takes effort to sort of unbelieve those things that you held true, but with some soul searching with just taking a step back sometimes and saying, Well, what are the beliefs I hold true about myself? What’s the evidence to the contrary? So for somebody who says, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough. You come up with a list of all the reasons and all the evidence that maybe you are good enough, and then pay attention to what you do during the day. So for example, somebody who thinks I’m just not good enough. Whenever something happens to them, maybe they get a promotion, maybe they close it unimportant deal. They’ll be more likely to say to themselves, well, that was just luck. But then when something bad happens, or they fail, they take full responsibility for that. So it’s just about recognizing those little things. that we do and then saying, Okay, well, what’s the evidence and you just have to take a step back to think a little bit more logically about things. And after a while you can chip away at those core beliefs and realize that those things you held on to might not be all that true about yourself.

So identifying the beliefs that no longer serves you and the kind of trying to unbelieve it almost Right, right.

Do you think that there is, does it need to be replaced with something? So if you unbelieve it, then you must have to start to adopt and adapt and take on the habit of new belief? Correct?

Right. So then the question becomes, okay, if it’s not true that I’m not good enough, then what am I? And just to take a look at the labels that we give ourselves or maybe the labels other people gave you if as a kid you were labeled the the nerd, maybe you like that, but maybe you didn’t. And maybe as an adult, you now think, Oh, I can’t get a date because I’m the nerd or you think, you know, I’m the shy kid or I’m the awkward person. Looking at those labels and saying, Well, what, what other labels Could I use instead of calling myself nerd maybe I’ll call myself smart. Or instead of referring to myself as awkward, I’ll just say I’m quirky. Sometimes just switching those labels makes a big difference.

And one of the fun exercises, and maybe you could give me a hint or two, if this is a bad psychotherapy thing, because I’m not a trained psychotherapist. But occasionally I’ll have a client or a friend that’s using a word that is just so mean, but they’re talking about themselves. So I’d be like, you know what, that’s interesting. That’s the third time I’ve heard you use that word. Could you please write that word down? And so I make them write it down on a sticky note, and then I like, work it up. I don’t want to ever hear you use that word again. Like that’s not okay. What’s the opposite of that word, and I give them the sticky and they get to keep it. Now, again, it’s the effort of like ripping up like that’s just some someone finally saying that’s not true. Like that is not what I see. And that’s unfair. What other techniques here Could someone use when and when they’re responsible for listening and for the words that people are using and helping them get past?

You know, I think the strategy you use is a good one because I think it causes writing something down. There’s something about seeing it on a piece of paper that causes us to then think about it differently. Sometimes it’s in our head, the words that come out of our mouth, but when you have a tangible piece of paper, and you have to look at it, it forces us to come to come to grips with Yeah, I just said that. And then the act of ripping it up burning it, getting rid of something crumpling it up, throwing it away, that can definitely be a symbolic gesture that helps us say, Okay, I’m going to change that. But something else you can do is ask somebody, what would you say to me, if I came to you and I had that problem? What advice would you give me? Or if I said, Gee, I just messed up again, would you call me stupid? And your friend is going to say, No, absolutely not. I’d say to you, you tried your best and you can do it again. And they are going to be much more encouraging. We know that that all of us do that. We’re much more critical of ourselves than we are other people. But study after study show that the key to doing better isn’t harsh self criticism, it’s self compassion. And if you speak to yourself kinder, you’ll do better. Yet for some reason, we don’t do that. We just call ourselves names, we beat ourselves up, we take on so much responsibility. And so we just just ask yourself, if I wouldn’t say it to a friend, why would I say it to myself. And if you just treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you’d give to other people, you’ll feel a lot better. So I think when you catch other people doing it, you can ask them that question, too. Would you ever say that to me? And of course, most people are horrified. No, no, I’d never call you that name. Or I’d never say that to you. Well, then encourage them. Well, don’t say it to yourself, either.

I love that.

In the work that you do with your clients, what are the most common or what is the most common bad habit that they decide to work on
with you? 

So in the process of psychotherapy, I think one of the worst habits that people want to address especially what they want to address first is giving away Their power. That’s what I talked about in chapter two of my book. And a lot of people don’t realize that they’re doing it. So they’ll come in under the assumption that okay, I, my mother in law is driving me crazy. I need help dealing with her. And But the truth is, we can’t control your mother in law, but we can control how you respond to her. So this one is really about saying, how do you take back your power, it’s about being in control of how you think, feel and behave. So that nobody is ever going to have permission again, to drive you crazy or to make you mad or to cause you to feel bad about yourself. And to know that your self worth doesn’t have to be dependent on other people that you can think in a healthy way about yourself, even if somebody insults you or that you can choose to have a good day, you’re not going to give your boss the power to ruin your day ever again. And for a lot of people that’s eye opening to know okay, I can empower myself to feel better, despite what’s going on around me because I don’t have any magic ones to make your mother in law nicer or to make your boss treat you better but I can help you feel better despite the people that are around you. And sometimes it’s setting back boundaries and saying no, you can’t do that, or no, I need you to do this or I need to be treated like this. And sometimes it’s just doing it an inside job of saying, okay, even though this person might be critical of me, I don’t have to agree with it. I don’t have to let it affect me. I can choose to still feel okay about myself.

I saw giving, so giving up their power taking their power back. Is it often just as simple as saying no, and not not allowing something? Or is it?

Is it that some?

Sometimes it is, you know, when somebody tries to take you on a guilt trip, for example, Oh, please, please, please, can you help me? Sometimes it’s saying no, and then saying, I’m sorry, I can’t help you, or that’s not going to happen today. And sometimes it’s just knowing what are my values and what are my priorities. So I’ll get this from a lot of parents with adult children say, who their adult kids want to move back in. They want to borrow money, they want to help paying back their loans. And parents will say, you know, I’m not sure where my own obligation ends if the if my adult child’s now 23. But they’re telling me they can’t live on their own, what am I supposed to do? And so sometimes it’s just about setting boundaries about knowing what are your limits? How do you help someone without enabling them? How do you make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and still being kind to somebody else? And sometimes saying no is a kinder thing than always saying yes to somebody?

Have you ever seen the movie Pixar put out called inside out?



Okay, so it is basically the characters exhibit the emotions that drive their characters. And so I guess my question is, do you think that most of us spend the majority of our lives in one particular emotion dominating any others and
so it steers our ship so if I’m, angry, then everything kind of reflects that way. And what I do do believe that I’m in the movie is fascinating.

I do. I do believe that I think, you know, People who say are sad a lot put off this sort of sad vibe. And people, people interact with you differently and are people who are anxious. For example, again, if we went back to the example of somebody who says, I walk into a room, and I’m so socially awkward, so I sit in the corner, and then nobody talks to me because I’m in the corner all night, and then it reinforces my belief that I’m the awkward, anxious person. And so then I’m even more anxious the next time I walk into a situation. So yes, I think we absolutely put off those vibe or I have people who will say, I’m not happy enough, and they spend all their time sort of chasing happiness. But what they don’t realize is right now might be as good as it gets, and you can enjoy the moment you don’t have to constantly be insisting that you become happier. And I see so many people sabotage themselves because they feel bad that they aren’t happy enough. And rather than just be able to enjoy the moment, they’re just always chasing something thinking that the secret to happiness is just around the corner.

And for those parents That there who have not yet seen inside out by Pixar.

It’s a really fun one to kind of put names to feelings and have it show up in characters as a conversation piece. So I recommend that and how, how can we identify the emotions that drive our life?

So I think it’s really about just First of all, naming those emotions. As adults, we say things like, Oh, I had a lump in my throat, or I have butterflies in my stomach. We don’t really go around talking about our feelings that much. And I’m not saying you need to walk up to all your co workers and pour your heart out all the time. But sometimes it’s just about checking in with yourself, like we spoke about earlier. And studies will show just labeling your emotions takes a lot of the sting out of them. And then figuring out how to how does that emotion affects my decisions right now. So for example, you should never negotiate when you’re sad. Studies show if you walk into a negotiation and you’re feeling bad about life, then you’ll take a pretty raw deal or when you’re anxious about things something you’ll it spills over into other areas of your life. So if you’re anxious about something going on at home when you get to work, and your boss says, Hey, can you do this? And it’s a new project, you might say no, because you won’t even recognize that what you’re anxious about is completely unrelated. Or when we’re excited about something, we need to recognize that too, if you’re super excited about something, you won’t recognize the risks that you face. And that’s why people fall prey to get rich quick schemes. So I think if we just checked in with ourselves a few times a day to say, How am I feeling right now? And then ask yourself what’s the most uncomfortable emotion for me? So sometimes people go to great lengths to avoid feeling anxious, for instance, so they live really far inside their comfort zone. And because of that, then they never experienced anxiety, but then they’re more likely to get depressed because they live a pretty boring life. Or somebody who says, you know, gosh, I think embarrassment is the worst thing in the world. They’ll never try new things because they think oh, what if I embarrass myself or they don’t take any social risks? Because it might be embarrassing to think if we just developed more self awareness about what are the emotions that I find to be most uncomfortable, and then force yourself to face those feelings sometimes. And then to just check in with yourself throughout the day, how am I feeling? And how might those feelings affect the decisions that I make?

That’s, that is super insightful, and kind of leads into my next question. So talking about change, and then the discomfort around that. Um, what are what are our roadblocks to change?

Because it’s unknown. So for a lot of us, we think, you know, things are bad, but they could be worse. And because of that, we think I don’t want to make my life any worse. I can’t handle it if things got worse. So I’ll just keep tolerating what I have now. And whether it’s somebody who comes into my office, and they’re in a pretty bad relationship, but they’ll say, I’ve invested 10 years I’m not going to give up now. Or somebody who says, you know, this new business venture that I Started isn’t going well, it’s not the way that I predicted. But at the same time, if I do something different, I might not be able to even to get to where I am now. So I’ll just stick this out. And it’s when we have those ideas that run through our head, and we think we can’t handle change, and we doubt our ability to tolerate uncertainty, or we think things don’t go well somehow fall apart that it keeps us stuck. But the truth is, they did studies on this and there’s tons of studies on change and our ability to adapt. And the truth is we usually underestimate our ability to cope, and we underestimate our ability to adapt to change. But when they’ve done studies, they have taken people who are somewhat on the fence about change, should I change or should I not? And they flipped a coin. And some of these changes were moving to a new city. Some of them were about changing a relationship or switching jobs, and they flipped a coin, left it up to chance. And I said if it’s heads make the change, if it’s tails, stay where you are. And all the people in the study agreed. Okay, I’ll do whatever the coin toss tells me to do. Well, then they followed up with these people about a month later. Almost all the people that made the change. Were Way happier than the people that stayed the same. So then they followed up with them after six months. And the people that had made the change were even happier than they were before. And other people stayed stuck. I think it’s just one prime example of our our fear that we can’t handle something keeps us stuck. And then if we’re not open to new opportunities, we don’t we miss out on a lot. We don’t get to see okay, how could I make my life better? How could I be happier? Why would you settle for, for what you have now when things could get better? And for a lot of people, I think it’s that fear that prevents them from making change.

When when I think about changes, I think the most common conversation that I have is around habits that people have when they change, but that they’re really hard to break. Like it’s just as locked in. It’s something I’ve always done. How do we break bad habits because it makes us with we’re comforting ourselves with the habit that we have, what guidance would you give?

So I think sometimes the easiest way to break that out habits is by changing, shifting a whole bunch of stuff up because we get into a routine. And it’s almost like you could sleepwalk through your day. So when you get up in the morning, when you brush your teeth first eat breakfast, you get dressed, you take a shower, you have a certain routine that you go through every morning. And chances are most of your day are kind of sound like good habits, though.

Those are good habits. But maybe you reach for a donut on the way out the door. Or you you know, we just have these certain things that are sort of set in our mind. And then we don’t think about them. And it just becomes ingrained in us or you come home from work and you just sit down and you watch TV all night and you don’t go to the gym or you don’t go out and do things are you end up staying up too late because you bring your phone to bed and you scroll through your phone for an extra hour or two rather than sleep. We all have certain bad habits and so sometimes just to recognize All right, here’s my bad habit, and then shift things up when you shift your schedule. All together, things get different so you might need to mix things up a bit. Anyway. I mean, I know when I moved from a house to a sailboat my life was completely different in so many ways. And it allowed me to reset a lot of my habits to figure out what do I actually want to do with my day. I know most people aren’t going to make that move. But maybe it’s a matter of saying, Okay, I’m going to either start going to bed An hour later, maybe that’s enough, I’m going to get up an hour earlier, I’m going to go to bed an hour earlier, whatever it is just a matter of figuring out what can I do to sort of make a big shift that will cause me to have to really be awake during the day and more aware of the habits that I have. And then if you have a habit that you know, you want to change, you can do a couple things. It’s our emotions drive a lot of our habits because it’s easy to do. And so you want to raise your logic, cause when our emotions are high, or logic goes down, you want to raise your logic and balance out those emotions. So give me an example. I worked with this guy who would come out of work every day and he wanted to go to the gym, but he would always convince himself I had a long day I’m tired, I’m going home. And if he turned right out of the parking lot that would be towards this house. If he turned left that was to go to the gym, and he said it every day. To work, I get in my car fully intending to go to the gym yet when I pull out of the parking lot, I just turned right and I go home. And so we came up with an idea where he taped the top 10 reasons why he should go to the gym to his steering wheel. And he agreed before he put the key in the ignition and started his car, he was going to read that list. And that was enough for him to deal with that battle he was having in his brain. So when his brain said, No, just go home, you deserve it. You had a long day, you’re tired, you’ll go tomorrow. He had a list of reasons to talk back and say, No, this is good for me. I can do it. It’s going to be uncomfortable, but but it’ll help me in the end, good for my health. He had this whole list. And as long as he read that, that then gave him the motivation to say I’m going to turn left and you pull out of the parking lot and his attendance at the gym skyrocketed. It’s just one little piece of paper. We took five minutes for him to come up with this list, but really changed his habits. So I think sometimes just becoming more aware of our bad habits coming up with a list of why we should get rid of that habit or why we shouldn’t develop a new habit. And then reminding yourself of that throughout the day can give you that extra boost of motivation. You need to actually follow through and do it.

With great advice, I relate to that client, right, your left and choosing right, because I’ve convinced myself so I’m gonna try the steering wheel thing. All right. Don’t buy my car, you could look for all the reasons why I should go work out. That’s great. Um, I wasn’t, this is not part of my I had this kind of list of questions, but tell me about like, how is it living on a boat? How does it keep you like, how is it challenged you mentally I’m super.

Yeah, so my dream was to not live on a boat. It was my husband’s dream. But when I wrote the book, so I was a therapist. I lived in rural Maine, and life was pretty good. But I wrote this article 13 things mentally strong people don’t do it went viral. 50 million people read the article. And I got a book deal never intended to become an author. But once I became an author, it opened up new doors so we could move with you go do whatever we wanted. We could live the kind of life that we wanted to live. And since my husband’s dream when he was four But bedroom was decorated in a sailboat theme. So he knew someday he was going to live on a boat. And I agreed someday when we can make that happen, let’s do it. And then someday came a lot sooner than I thought it was going to. So we said, Yeah, let’s go do this. And, and so we made it happen thinking he thought, okay, you’ll probably last a couple of months at most. And he was okay with that. You just want to make sure that we did it at least once in our lives, but it’s been four years and here I am. The challenges are, you know, sometimes it’s not all that convenient to live on a boat. I travel a lot for work. And I need fast internet for my job. And you know, just like doing this interview today, I’m lucky it’s not a particularly windy day. Sometimes it’s really windy out. There’s helicopters that might fly by or I can do a lot of things I can’t control or when it’s raining really hard. It’s loud in here. So there’s those sorts of complications. But for the most part, I find it to be even easier than working in a house life is simple. I came down here With a suitcase with some clothes in it and a laptop, and that was really, I figured, that’s really all I need in the world. I don’t need all this extra stuff that makes life more complicated. And so, in a lot of ways, having a simple life gives me more time to do fun things, and then just focus on my work and do what I want to do without having to worry about all the things I had to worry about. And when I lived in a house.

Oh, I love that. I would say my husband and I would have a dream to live on a boat and you’re making it look really good. Yeah. Well, I hope you decide to do it someday. Because I think it’s amazing. That’s fantastic. Amy, I just want to open it up. Was there anything I didn’t think to ask you that you would like to leave with our audience today?

I guess it’s just that you’re stronger than you think and that your brain will underestimate you. And it’s up to you to when you have that initial thought that pops in your head that says I can’t do this or people aren’t gonna like me or this will never work. Just talk back to that argue the opposite. Come up with a bunch of reasons why it could work. remind yourself of all the reasons you are capable. And then move forward anyway, every time you challenge your brain and say, Okay, my brain says I can’t do this, but I’m going to try it anyway gives you an opportunity to train your brain to see yourself as a more capable and competent person.

Oh, awesome advice. My favorite moniker that I do tell myself very consistently is I’ve got this.

So yes, I love that.

Yep, you’ve got this for sure. And Amy, thank you so much. I want to definitely ask you what is the best way for our listeners to connect with you or follow you online?

I my best place is probably my website, Amy Morin. lcsw w is in licensed clinical social worker calm and there’s info on my books and my TEDx talk is on there and other information about other projects I have going on as well.

Fantastic And again, I really recommend 13 things mentally strong people don’t do is a great read for adults and teens. Amy, such a pleasure. Thank you for being with us today. Thanks for having me.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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