Shelly Lefkoe is co-founder of the Lefkoe Institute (TLI). Her clients are people who’ve struggled with changing long-standing behavioral and emotional issues such as procrastination, fear and relationship issues … and her approach frees them to live more joyful lives. She does this by identifying the root causes of their problems – limiting beliefs. And she can eliminate these beliefs in a matter of hours.
Her approach has been validated by independent research from the University of Arizona and published in the journal Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. So far her Lefkoe Institute has helped over 15,000 individuals make lasting changes to their behavior and emotions.
Her online programs have reached over 150,000 people worldwide. Shelly is also a well-loved keynote speaker and workshop leader. Her work has been featured on the Today Show and many other national media.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 064
Shelly Lefkoe 0:00
Why are they looking at their iPhone when they're talking to me? Well, I guess I'm not important.
Alex Ferrari 0:16
I like to welcome to the show,Shelly Lefkoe. How you doing, Shelly?
Shelly Lefkoe 0:20
Hi, Alex, I'm great. How are you?
Alex Ferrari 0:22
I'm good. Thank you so much for coming on the show. You are, many say an expert in limiting beliefs and things that we do to ourselves. And we are, as I've always said, our worst enemy. Just completely destroy ourselves with our thoughts sometimes. And it's a very powerful tool that we can use both for good and for evil in many ways. So we're gonna get into that. But first, how did you begin your journey, doing this kind of work?
Shelly Lefkoe 0:51
So I was always involved in personal growth, and not always, but for a long time. And my husband, my late husband, was on what he called a, an intellectual spiritual journey on why people knew what to do and didn't do it. So we know going into relationships, oh, God, this is not a good relationship. And we stay in, right? We know seatbelts, save lives don't wear seatbelts, we know that eating well. And exercise will make us live longer and feel better, and we don't do it. So he was really looking at his own life. And in his own life, things should have turned out and they kept not turning out. So he was on a plane going to California, and we were pitching was interesting, because we were pitching a the state of California was trying to get with trying to get people off welfare. And they were trying to find motivational people, people to motivate these people. So what he was gonna go and do a pitch. And on the plane, he started writing. And, you know, kind of like Neale Donald Walsch, out of his hand came this process. And he realized that, I mean, he was a genius. And he did create the process, but because he's humble, he always says, He downloaded it. But it was based on the premise that our behavior and our emotions are caused by our beliefs. Now, Alex, I want to tell you, this was 30, almost 35 years ago. So I used to say to people, you know, I help people eliminate beliefs. And they would say, Well, what do you mean, like religious beliefs, right? People don't even know what a belief was back then. And I'm going to tell you my definition in a minute. So he creates this process, he gets off the plane, he does it with these people. He does the process, he has them eliminate a belief, they hire him on the spot. And we did this amazing thing in California, and he came home and he said, I want to show it to you, even though at the time we were doing it in corporations more than one on one. He did it with a friend of ours who kept saying I want to relationship I want to get married again. I want to get married again. And he said to her well, what do you believe? And he asked her a couple of questions. And she started saying, well, marriage is suffocating, and men are selfish. And you know, and these beliefs, just what, and so he did the process on her. And I watched and it was one of the most profound moments of my life, because I felt like I was going to be knocked off the chair. I had a sense that that was why I was on the planet to do that. It was like this was my calling. This was it. And I've been doing it for 30 years with people in every country and every walk of life imaginable.
Alex Ferrari 3:58
So what is your definition of a belief?
Shelly Lefkoe 4:01
Great. So a belief is a statement about reality that you believe is that you think is the truths. So if something you said at the very beginning when and talk about limiting beliefs. The truth is, even though some of our beliefs have us have amazing outcomes and wonderful things in miracles, beliefs, by the very definition are the limiting, because if something is true, something is not true. So it limits you no matter what it is, and it may live at you in a in a powerful way. But a belief is limiting. So we just call them beliefs.
Alex Ferrari 4:40
So can you walk life without beliefs? Can you like as I mean, you have to believe that like, I believe that I'm intelligent, I believe that I can find love I believe that I am good at my job. I believe that I can lose weight easily and gain muscle fast and I know these people I can't but I know these people who like all just Is 30 pounds in the next day, but they actually believe it because they know how to do it because they are professionals at it and trainers and stuff like that. So there are those kinds of beliefs. And there's others. The other beliefs are like all men are horrible. All women are aided, like all these kinds of horrible beliefs, that in many times their subconscious beliefs, almost always, almost always right. It's not like you're walking around going, men are horrible. Men are horrible. No, it's kind of like, I saw my dad do something to my mom when I was younger, and she cheated on my mom. And that's why all men are horrible. Is that a good line? Perfect.
Shelly Lefkoe 5:37
So yes, so some of our beliefs serve us. Now we do something at the end of our process that gets people into a little altered state of consciousness, we realize that you create your beliefs, your beliefs, create your life. So if you create the beliefs that create your life, what does that make you? And if you do it, and I have things that I do with you, you go into this, this space where you have an experience, I not my beliefs, I'm the creator of my beliefs. I am pure consciousness, I am limit limitless possibility. So can you live without beliefs? I don't know. But you wouldn't want to. Because if you have beliefs that are working for you, absolutely keep them. So when people come to me, they don't come to me and say I want to eliminate beliefs. Nobody cares about eliminating beliefs. They care about eliminating patterns. So what a pattern is, is a pattern is observable. So I can see you procrastinate. I can see you be in relationships where you're not treated? Well. I could see you trying to lose weight and not I could see you depressed, I could see you not express yourself, I could watch you in meetings, never speaking up. I could. That's so patterns, I could watch, you have a fear of public speaking, you're very nervous up there. So patterns are observable beliefs are not beliefs underlie the patterns, they cause the patterns. So what I look at is, what do you want to change in your life? What do you want to be different? And those are only going to produce beliefs that don't serve you. And so when you get all the beliefs underlying the pattern, the pattern disappears, and never comes back? How our beliefs formed? Great question, you actually said it. So I'll highlight what you said. Okay. Very, very, very succinctly. So, you come into this world, we come into this world. And we don't know if we're good enough or not good enough, important or not important, capable or not capable. We don't know if money is scarce and hard to get, or it's abundant. We don't know if we could have anything we want. Or if we deserve it, or we don't. So we come in as a kind of like, almost blank slate, and we look at our little environment, mom, and dad, or mom and mom or dad and dad or whatever your family looks like. Now, there's three things that you know, the first time I had a client in Uganda, I remember asking her what is your child do when you come home at night? And virtually every client and every country around the world says the same thing? Do you have kids?
Alex Ferrari 8:48
Of course, I have twins.
Shelly Lefkoe 8:50
I will. Oh, how old and can't. Okay, so if you remember when they were three, and you walked in? They What did they do when they see you? Oh, they ran up to me and they like ran up? They run up to me and that those are the exact words that pretty much everybody says, and they want three things, right? They want what do they want when they haven't seen you all day?
Alex Ferrari 9:15
Attention, validation, love.
Shelly Lefkoe 9:22
I mean, love. Yeah, you nailed it. So I alliterated because it's sounds better affection, attention, and acknowledgement. Now, what's the one word question every child asks all day long?
Alex Ferrari 9:38
Shelly Lefkoe 9:40
The reason I did that the way I did it is first of all, I hate lecturing the, you know, like indirect, but I want everybody to get that I'm not making this stuff up. Right from him. It didn't come from me. So every child alive wants affection, attention, acknowledgement, and every child Live Once asks the question why? Why can't I live up to my parents expectations? Why are they criticizing me? Well, I guess I'm not good enough. Why are they looking at their iPhone when they're talking to me? I guess I'm not important. I pause on that, because that's my soapbox with parents, so especially young parents, parents in my generation were behind the newspaper. So why am I not getting kisses and hugs and affection? I guess I'm not lovable. Why are mommy and daddy complaining about money all the time and worried about money? I guess money is scarce and hard to get. Now, here's the here's the thing, that's going to be a little tricky to understand. When you do the process, it becomes very, very real. But it seems like you could see your beliefs in the world. And that's why they stay with us, no matter what evidence people have. To the contrary, I've worked with five Harvard PhDs who all had the belief I'm stupid. Now they knew they knew they weren't stupid, but they still believed it. And it's still around their lives. So if you go back to childhood, and I say to you, doesn't it seem like you saw? I'm not good enough? What Yeah, every day in my life, really. So anything you could see, has a color, shape and location. You can't see I'm not good enough. And it's like Santa Claus, you can believe in Santa Claus for eight years. And the moment you get paid a minute, that's my dad, I'm, the belief is gone. I never saw that there was a Santa Claus. I made that up. I made up the tooth fairy, I made up the Easter Bunny, boom, and the belief never comes back. And that's why our process works so well. Because when people get that I work with incest survivors. My favorite population sexual abuse, because in one, two sessions, we changed their lives. So that's how beliefs get formed.
Alex Ferrari 12:34
So is it most of the time, I mean, I've done a little research in this space. I've done a lot of reading and educating myself on neuroscience and how how our brains are wired. And for my understanding, if those first six years, those first six years are so I forgot what was it was a religious group that said, Give me the Give me the child for the first six years. And I'll give me the boy for the first six years. And I'll tell you, the man that he'll be something along those lines. It was a religious sect that forgot what the more men are someone I forgot what it was, but, but I found that that's the case that in those first six years, and I was very conscious of rate when we were raising our daughters, my wife is a social worker, and she delves into this work as well. To Be careful about what we did, and we're not perfect no one is, but I feel that also, and this is going to pass the question for a second. When you do something that's wrong, let's say like you're on front of the phone, or you snap because you're in a bad mood or something. If you go back and explain to them, it's not, you know, Daddy's having a bad day, Mommy's having a bad day. It has nothing to do with you. And blah, blah, that helps. Because if you say nothing, then their mind will start kicking. No, go well, I guess. That's me. So, so two questions. So two parts of question. So what is it? Is it the first six years of childhood? That really really hardwired stuff and but throughout childhood, most of our beliefs are based on the experience of our childhood Correct?
Shelly Lefkoe 14:10
Yeah, yeah. So we say six to eight for self esteem beliefs for sure. Even Money life Life is hard. You know, all that comes from your environment early on. Some beliefs if there's an extreme like if you are abused in some way or something terrible happens. You know, your father loses everything and goes bankrupt when you're 12 years old, you know, stuff like that, but mostly, yes, it comes from early in childhood and yes, cleaning up you know, I I take umbrage always to the words good, bad. In fact, I did a parenting course last night for this school on Zoom, and it's my favorite thing in the world to do I have an eight module parenting course that I created because When I started doing this work, I realized, oh my god, if we could transform the way we parent, we could change the world, you know, people could literally stop suffering. And you don't have to be a perfect parent, you just have to be a conscious one. And you also need to get trained, because I taught these were very consciousness as an alternative school and very conscious parents. And they were blown away by the skills and tools that I some of which I taught them. Mostly, I said, What you said is that when your child walks away from you, ask yourself the question, what did they just likely conclude out of that interaction? And is that a belief I want them to have for the rest of their life. And if not, like you said, just cleaned it up, and waited to say it is what you need. And one is very important. And I can't give it to you right now. I'm on the phone. But when I hang up or at lunch, or tonight, or whatever it is, you'll have my undivided attention. But the words good, bad, right? Long, are always judgment. And they don't tell you anything, you didn't do anything wrong. You just did something that might have a consequence. And you know, when you're talking to the kids, it's the same thing. It's not like it's bad or good. It just hitting doesn't work. It hurts. So it's not okay to hit people or, you know, if you don't do your homework, you know, you might fall behind, you know, so it's not bad, you didn't do anything wrong. You know, I worked with, we did a criminal study. That was one of the most fascinating experiences. Because people would say, Oh, you shot people. Now. He didn't kill anybody, but he shot people or your wife beater. You know, and when we worked with these guys, you know, they had beliefs. If you do something wrong, you deserve to be punished. And the way to be punished is to beat
Alex Ferrari 16:56
Or to act out or to got it!
Shelly Lefkoe 16:59
To beat somebody. Because when he was a kid, if he did something, sure, he got beaten, so violent. So when his wife did something, or his girlfriend did something, it didn't occur to him to not beat her. I mean, that's what you do. That's why I'm so vehemently and violently and crazy against vehemently against violence, because it perpetuates violence, generationally, generally, exactly, generationally. So, the other guy's had the belief that his father told him, if somebody gets in your face and wrasses you with a gun, and you don't shoot them, you're gonna lose respect in the hood. So he said, Kelly, I shot somebody over a $5 bill, he said, you know, was like, ridiculous, it never occurred to me to not so. So there's no bad and good there are people who have beliefs. And, you know, there's a new book out, and I love what they say, Don't ask, What's wrong with that person? Ask what happened to that person?
Alex Ferrari 18:04
That's a great, that's absolutely true. Because I mean, I've started to look at people now to when you start seeing people act up in public, because there's a lot more of that going on the Karen's of the world and the Ken's of the world that are literally throwing the fit in public. You look at them, and you're like, well, that's obviously they had something in there. Like they were pampered as a child, they, when they threw fits before they were given what they wanted. And that, but now it's gotten to this point where like, it's, it's insane. I mean, over a cup of soup or, or a parking spot or something so irrelevant. But you feel sorry for them, like why are they in so much pain? When I run into people or I see people who are bitter angry mean, to other people, I actually feel empathy for them, like what happened to you that you need, you feel the need to do that to another human being? It's really It's interesting to look at I mean, it's truly interesting to, to I mean, the human being a very fascinating human mind is extraordinarily fascinating.
Shelly Lefkoe 19:16
I've said that to my friend last night I said human beings are endlessly endlessly fascinating,
Alex Ferrari 19:23
Without without question. Now all these patterns that we have and we all have them in one shape or form and some we've been able to weed root out and other ones are really deep seated, that you have to do inner work to get them out. How do you break these limiting beliefs these beliefs that are hurting you in your life?
Shelly Lefkoe 19:43
Well, the only way I can det i could do that is to demonstrate it where I would take you through the process. We have enough time. I did it on Shark printer and the guy was was so cool.
Alex Ferrari 19:59
I'm open I am an open book. So let's
Shelly Lefkoe 20:02
Normally I don't. So I'll demonstrate it. Now what I'm going to ask you to do to your listeners is you can watch and it will be interesting. You can also get a paper pen and paper and you can go through it with me. And with Alex. Okay. Okay, so I'm, I'm not going to start with a pattern unless I have to start with a belief. So so I'm going to, I'm going to see if I can do this because it's the one I like to do. So even though people have done a lot of work on themselves, and whatever, the most common belief that almost every single person that I've worked with, and I work with CEOs I work with famous people I work with, I hate saying that, but I work with a lot of people who you wouldn't think had the belief I'm not good enough. And and do.
Alex Ferrari 20:53
I've been in the film business, I've worked with actors and everybody in the film business, trust me, I understand that. Every single one of them has impostor syndrome, every single one of them has it.
Shelly Lefkoe 21:06
So I want everybody to take a deep breath with me. And then I'll see if Alex wants to pick this one or a different one. And we'll go with and I'm going to ask the people listening to go with this one. And we'll see what Alex does. Okay, say I'm not good enough. I'm not good enough. Now, say I'm a monkey. I'm a monkey. So when you say I'm a monkey how does it feel?
Alex Ferrari 21:38
The exact same thing that it felt for me that I'm not good enough?
Shelly Lefkoe 21:41
Okay. So for most people, I'm not good enough. Didn't feel good. It didn't feel good to say,
Alex Ferrari 21:48
It doesn't. It's not that it doesn't feel good is that I've, for me, I've kind of gotten past that. For me personally, I understand that I'm good enough. And that took me a long time to get right.
Shelly Lefkoe 22:01
So I want to make another distinction, understanding something. Now I get if it has no resonance, it probably is not true. I'm going to ask you one more question. But the fact that you understand something doesn't get rid of our beliefs. In other words, somebody says to me, I am well, I'm important. And I said, I don't believe I'm not important. I said, really? If you lost your job tomorrow, and you weren't CEO anymore, and you had to be a mail carrier, would you feel just as important? He said, No, I said, If you believe you're important, you're important. Your importance isn't a function of anything. It's not outside you. So is there anything that makes you good enough?
Alex Ferrari 22:43
Is there anything that makes me good enough? In what, in what scope?
Shelly Lefkoe 22:49
What makes you good enough?
Alex Ferrari 22:52
I try to be good enough in every aspect of my life that
Shelly Lefkoe 22:56
Yeah. So again, and for everybody doing this. What, what makes you good enough? So people usually say, Well, I,
Alex Ferrari 23:08
I'm kind, I'm kind of empathetic, I tried to help I try to be of service.
Shelly Lefkoe 23:13
Right. So that's the that's the trick. And again, I'm not going to push it with you. No, no, but if you have to be something in order to be good enough. See, the answer to that question is nothing I just am.
Alex Ferrari 23:29
That's, that's, that's that's basically what I couldn't articulate it. But that's what I feel that way.
Shelly Lefkoe 23:34
I am good enough. No matter if I never had another podcast, if I never made another dollar. I'm still good enough. Okay, so what's the belief that you might have about money or life or people or
Alex Ferrari 23:51
I believe that opportunities don't present themselves as much as I would want them to? Like, it frustrates me that I can't get certain guests or certain things won't happen, because of whatever reason, and that that's that
Shelly Lefkoe 24:09
That's a pattern. Okay. What do you believe? What might you believe that would have that?
Alex Ferrari 24:16
Oh, that I'm not I'm not a big enough personality in the space that I'm trying to achieve? So if I'm going after Steven Spielberg, right, and Steven Spielberg says no. That means that I'm not Oprah. Because Oprah, he might say no to Oprah, too. But he more than likely would say yes to Oprah. Yeah. Things like that. So that's something that yeah, I guess,
Shelly Lefkoe 24:40
It would have to be more core, because it may be so that you're not as big as Oprah. So the belief might be I have to be huge or I have to be as big as Oprah to get those people. Is there anything underneath is no I'm not good enough. There's no i anything
Alex Ferrari 25:03
I mean underneath underneath that would be I'm not good enough to I stopped that I'm not good enough to sit in the in the ring with with those, I have no issues with that. I feel very, very comfortable doing that because I've spoken to 800 I've interviewed 800 people. So it's like, for me, it's not that big of a deal. The belief is more of I think more of a belief that the frustration of getting through getting through the politics or getting through the gatekeepers or those kinds of beliefs that I'm just like, that's it things that really kind of frustrate me sometimes that I can't get there. Impatience, things that aren't happening fast enough. But I think that's everyone suffers.
Shelly Lefkoe 25:47
Yeah, but but again, is there anything that you believe that would stop you from asking Steven Spielberg?
Alex Ferrari 25:53
No, because I've already asked me
Shelly Lefkoe 25:57
If I if I said to you, when you were a kid, did you ever see? Does it feel like Don't be a smart rat with me? Feel like you saw money as limited? Oh, absolutely. Okay, so do that with me. Sure. So where did the belief money is limited come from,
Alex Ferrari 26:19
From watching my parents say more. My parents, both parents both struggled with money. My just my parents had my parents struggled with money all their lives. So I got to a place where I never even asked for money. I needed to start hustling myself, to make my own money. I never once remember ever asking my mom, hey, can I have 20 bucks for tonight, I just went out and garage sale did whatever. But that was a belief that I had. So that's a belief that's inside of me. Or this day, perfect. I have to do it myself. Oh, I have to do it myself. I have to go out and hustle the money myself. And the power lives within me to generate the money. You know, for me, it's the one you know, it's like a beautiful thing that my mother in law said to my wife, she's like, all I know is that I know you'll never be hungry, because Alex will always figure a way out to make money no matter what. It's just the way I'm
Shelly Lefkoe 27:15
Perfect! So here's the deal. One interpretation, so we're gonna play a game. No, I'm not no more it once we're in the process, no stories, I want you to just answer my questions. And everybody listening? Where did you believe I'm not good enough come from okay. So money is limited. We're gonna play a game. And the game is called valid interpretations. And we're going to make believe that we're watching a video of your childhood, and we see your parents struggling with money. And you say, see, Auntie Shelly, money is limited. And I say, Well, that's one interpretation, sweetheart. What's another interpretation that you couldn't see it the time that you could see now, that would explain your parents situation other than money is limited?
Alex Ferrari 28:09
Well, I mean, from my interpretation is that they, they weren't educated in the process, or they had their own
Shelly Lefkoe 28:16
One at a time. So one interpretation is, they did not have financial education and intelligence. They didn't know how to make money. They didn't know how to invest money. They weren't money savvy. But that doesn't mean money is limited. Is that a valid interpretation? That is excellent. What's the other?
Alex Ferrari 28:40
That they didn't have what I guess the same thing, they didn't have the tools, the financial literacy, to deal with that. There's the same thing. But essentially, what's in that money was you had to work extremely hard for money.
Shelly Lefkoe 28:54
That's another belief. That's another belief. Okay, so we're gonna stay with
Alex Ferrari 29:02
To start with I'm starting to get tingly.
Shelly Lefkoe 29:06
Good, okay. So these are the beliefs that come out. Once we start digging, we're going to stay with money is limited. So one interpretation is money was limited for who I'm from, for my family. Money was limited, was limited to your parents. But if Richard Branson was your dad, or Jeff Bezos was your dad, it might have been different. Yeah, correct. Correct. That's a valid interpretation. Okay. What did your parents do?
Alex Ferrari 29:35
Oh, my mom did multiple jobs. She's just she said a ton of different jobs from collections to working in hospitals. And I mean, that's a ton and your dad. He's a machinist.
Shelly Lefkoe 29:46
Okay, good. So when you're blue collar or when you don't have I'm going to give you a good one in a minute. Certain education. Maybe money is limited when you do what they do, but it doesn't mean It's limited when we do that a valid it with Steven Spielberg's does correct that. That's a valid interpretation. Yes. Tell you another one. This is very important. Before the internet, people work from nine to five, they got paid salaries. Today, I have a product called natural confidence 19 self esteem beliefs, you can do it. It's relatively inexpensive, and it sells while I sleep. Okay? We all know what passive income is, right? So one interpretation is maybe money was limited before the Internet. In an in an industrial society, money was limited in an information age. Companies, people are making millions of dollars with their companies not even showing a profit.
Alex Ferrari 30:52
Kids are unboxing toys and making $10 million a year
Shelly Lefkoe 30:56
Influencers. And influencers who go on these, you know, social media sites and talk about are making millions. So if there are other valid interpretations that would explain your childhood, is what you said, money is limited. Is that the truth or one interpretation? But it's an interpretation. Great. Now, doesn't it seem like as a child, you saw that? Yes, I did see that. Awesome. Did you ever see money is limited?
Alex Ferrari 31:35
The actual? No, I didn't see that. I made that in my mind.
Shelly Lefkoe 31:40
But so for everybody doing this with me, whatever belief you're working on, I want you to get that it feels like you saw it. But that belief does not have a color, a shape or a location. And anything you could see has a color, shape and location. Correct. So if money is limited, wasn't out there to be seen? Where has it been all these years? So that again, if if the belief was an out in the world to be seen what it was in my mind? Beautiful? You just like me, and everybody else made that up? Correct. Awesome. Do you really get that?
Alex Ferrari 32:27
I got that completely.
Shelly Lefkoe 32:28
Okay, good. Now, I'm going to make a distinction. Okay, you're going to love this, Alex, I know you will. Consequences versus meaning. So the consequences of your of your parents not having money was you didn't get new sneakers when you wanted them. You didn't ask for things the way other kids did. There were consequences. You might have it felt fear as a kid around money, you know, we're gonna have enough. I'm not minimizing the consequences of whatever happened to anybody who's listening. And I'm going to give you some extreme example in a minute. But I'm going to ask you a question. And don't answer it, just in case you've been down this road before. I want you to just sit with it. What is it really mean? That your parents struggled with money? Now, I'm going to ask everybody to do this with me. If if you're in a room, and somebody you know, comes in and doesn't say hello, what might you automatically think?
Alex Ferrari 33:43
Oh, that they're there did something wrong? depends on the person I did something.
Shelly Lefkoe 33:48
Right. That's meaning. So whatever. Everybody said, they're rude. They didn't see me they're having a bad day. That's meaning. Whatever you said, Where did that meaning come from? Your Mind? Beautiful. All meaning comes from your mind.
Alex Ferrari 34:05
It's a story. It's a story you tell.
Shelly Lefkoe 34:08
Its meaning whatever it is, yes. Meaning comes from your if meaning comes from your mind, do events have inherent meaning? Nope. No. So events have no meaning. So Alex said that like, yeah, for most of you, it's what? So my husband died six years ago. And he was one of the most extraordinary, magnificent human beings I've ever known on the planet, and I loved him with every ounce of love that you could love somebody. The fact that he died, does not mean anything. Now, it isn't that it doesn't matter or it's no big deal. But we another way of saying that Let's have no meaning is we don't know anything for sure. Because something happens. So the fact that he died, doesn't mean I'll never be happy again, I'll never love again, I'm going to starve to death because I don't know how to run a business. And my business is going to go under the events don't tell us anything. I had the best year last year, and I had no idea what I was going to do. Because I work with people that's, you know, I speak in front of groups, I don't run business. Well somehow figured it out. And I'm not doing a great job.
Alex Ferrari 35:38
You're doing fantastic. You're doing?
Shelly Lefkoe 35:40
I'm doing okay. I am doing okay. So. So events have known. So what is it mean? That your parents struggled about money?
Alex Ferrari 35:53
It doesn't have an inherent meaning at all. It is just what it is what it is
Shelly Lefkoe 35:58
Perfect. Now, doesn't it seem like the events made you feel like money is limited? Yes. Awesome. You can events that have no meaning make you feel anything? No? Good. So again, I'm working with somebody who's really committed to doing his work. And I'm trying, he's trained. So for those of you who are not having as easy your time as Alex's breeze, it's perfect. So here's the thing. If you're walking down the street, and a man walks past you, and it has no meaning, what are you going to feel?
Alex Ferrari 36:45
Arguably nothing. Because we pass people buy the street all the time.
Shelly Lefkoe 36:49
And if it has no meaning, you're not going to feel anything. But if you give it the meaning he's dangerous, what are you going to feel? Fear? If you give it the meaning he'll protect me? What are you going to feel protected? To feel safe? So events that have no meaning can't make you feel anything?
Alex Ferrari 37:08
Power? That's a powerful statement. Or a powerful statement,
Shelly Lefkoe 37:12
I'm going to show you how. And I'm going to show you what I promised at the end, how to use this to get rid of negative emotions in the moment, even if they're coming from beliefs, which meaning does come from mostly from beliefs. So what So what made you feel like money was limited?
Alex Ferrari 37:33
Shelly Lefkoe 37:35
But seeing struggle had no meaning.
Alex Ferrari 37:38
Seems no meaning inherently, but in my mind, there's emotion attached to say,
Shelly Lefkoe 37:45
No, no, no, there's no emotion attached. The vivid of that emotion comes from meaning, emotions of feelings that come from meaning. So what made you feel like money was limited? If the events have no meaning, what did you you said it, but I want to clean it up a little. So what what produces the feeling?
Alex Ferrari 38:06
Seeing for me seeing my parents struggle?
Shelly Lefkoe 38:09
But what does it mean that your parents struggled? Pain? No. What does it mean?
Alex Ferrari 38:14
Or does inherently means nothing?
Shelly Lefkoe 38:17
Right! So you keep saying inherently, we're not qualifying it. It just doesn't mean any, it doesn't mean anything. Good? Can events that have no meaning make you feel anything? So what made you feel like money is limited?
Alex Ferrari 38:32
Nothing other than whatever, I made up the story in my mind,
Shelly Lefkoe 38:35
But that's not nothing. That's something. So it's the meaning you give the events that caused your feelings, not the events. Watch this. Everybody. Close your eyes. Close your eyes, Alex. And imagine Auntie Shelly is there. And I say, Sweetheart, Jeff Bezos lives lives next door. You know, your parents are not money. They don't have money literacy. They're not, you know, we don't have an internet yet. When you grow up, the world is going to be different. Money will be abundant, you can create it while you sleep. And if you had said, Oh, I see Andy Shelley, my parents struggle with money. But there's lots of people that don't, and I certainly don't have to. And as you're giving the same events, that meaning. Do you still have the feeling money is limited? No. And if you didn't, then would you today? No. Awesome. Okay, open your eyes. Take a deep breath. say money is limited.
Alex Ferrari 39:45
Money is limited. I feel like cracking up
Shelly Lefkoe 39:50
As I say. Yes. And that's what everybody most people say. It feels silly. Yeah, that feels
Alex Ferrari 39:55
Absolutely silly. It's fascinating. It's fascinating going through this process with you, shall we because it's, it's that belief is a belief that I've washed away a while ago. But the belief that that, that those events when I was younger, that I had to work hard for my money.
Shelly Lefkoe 40:14
So let me just say, let me just do that with you. So one interpretation is you have to work hard for your money. What's another interpretation that would explain your parents how they were
Alex Ferrari 40:25
Not having the literacy,
Shelly Lefkoe 40:26
And they don't have the literary education that the internet, they don't have the education,
Alex Ferrari 40:30
It was a different world, right?
Shelly Lefkoe 40:31
Different world. So again, if there are other ways to interpret the events is what you said, you have to work hard for money. Is that the truth? One interpretation? Or just it was just one interpretation? Like you saw that? I'm sorry? Doesn't it seem like you saw that? Did you ever see, you have to work hard for money? Nope, no. And all you saw was what? What did you say?
Alex Ferrari 40:59
I just really mean, like, just saw my parents struggling.
Shelly Lefkoe 41:03
Exactly. And working hard. And working hard. By the way. Another interpretation is, and I always say this, this is a very common belief, by the way. I always say they worked very hard, right? Yes. Did they have money? No. So another interpretation is working hard is not.
Alex Ferrari 41:21
But yeah, my belief became different because I was I was blessed enough to have a parents that I could live with. So when I made money, I didn't have overhead. So in my belief system was like that I work hard. I make money in that. That was a belief that I kept going for a long time.
Shelly Lefkoe 41:35
But here's the thing. Where was I have? What is it? Sorry? What does it mean that your parents worked hard?
Alex Ferrari 41:42
It means that it doesn't mean anything.
Shelly Lefkoe 41:45
So money, it has no meaning. So again, we're if if money you have to work hard for money wasn't out in the world to be seen? Where was it? It was in my mind. Good. And what does it mean that you have peace? i Sorry. And if you had given the same events, different meaning, if you had said, When I grow up, I'm going to learn how to make money in my sleep. You know, you would you have ever have had that feeling that money is hard to get. I'm sorry that you have to work hard to make money, no. Good. So take a deep breath. Say you have to work hard to make money.
Alex Ferrari 42:22
You have to work hard to make money. Same time, it feels so silly. Yeah, it feels foolish.
Shelly Lefkoe 42:28
Now, our beliefs determine our behavior, our reality, or emotions, but they also determine the meaning we give events. So let's assume Steven Spielberg says no. And you give it the meaning. Well, I'm not big enough. That's why then you may not ask him again. But if you say, you know, the fact that he said no. Could mean, I'm not big enough. It could mean 1000 things.
Alex Ferrari 43:00
He's busy. He loves to but you know, he's tired.
Shelly Lefkoe 43:03
He's tired. He's not doing podcasts right now. But the fact that he said no, has no inherent meaning. Even if you think you know why you do something, meaning is still made up, I can get you to see that it's not true. Whatever you think, why you do things. That why why is not a powerful question, what is a much more powerful question.
Alex Ferrari 43:25
The other day, I had an experience where something happened through a text, which are texts or emails are always really you can interpret them 1000 different ways. I created a story in my head, I was preparing for battle for the situation. And when I got that person on the phone, they're like, Hey, what's up, and it was completely made up in my head. And I was like, wow, I completely built this up. So like defenses were up, but luckily, it was just nothing. What I what I gave me, the other person gave, okay, no big deal.
Shelly Lefkoe 43:57
Right now. I'll tell you something that happened to me with with a podcast and I'm going to show you how to use this. Now when you get rid of beliefs. Life changes effortlessly at you don't have to do anything. You don't have to prep this. What I'm teaching you is a practice is this is different. So do you know who Mark Hyman is?
Alex Ferrari 44:19
The name sounds familiar?
Shelly Lefkoe 44:20
So Mark Hyman is a functional medicine doctor. He's written 14 best selling books. And I think at one time, he was Hillary Clinton's doctor. He is my client, and he is a dear friend. So he said, I'm gonna have you on my podcast one day. Now he has 25 million downloads. I think he's in the top 27 of all podcasts, not in his field. So we do this podcast and you're not I'm not supposed to tell anybody who my clients are. And with 25 million downloads, he starts talking about his work with me and how it's have impacted his life and he starts telling stories. And I'm like sitting there going, oh my god, this is I never expected this in a million years. So we get off was an amazing podcast. And I go into this course where we teach what we call the occurring, this process that I'm teaching you. And I just about to go into the course and I get a text from him. He was way so his people weren't doing it. And he thinks he forgot to press a certain button, and we may have lost it. And I watched myself start to go. And I said, Wait a minute, what happened? So write this down? What happened? Mark said he may have not gotten the podcast, what meaning Am I giving the events? I'm never going to do it as good. We're not going to do it again. I'm not going to be on his podcast that he's never going to tell those same stories. Okay, well, you've just come up with one meaning. What does it mean? Why do we know for sure? Because that happened.
Alex Ferrari 46:09
It's not there anymore.
Shelly Lefkoe 46:10
No, no, what meaning do the event that? None? Not we don't know anything? For sure. Because either he lost it, or he said he lost it. It doesn't mean anything. Right? We don't know. It could be better next time. We don't know. So I breathed. And I said, okay, and I get into my course. And we're just about to end the course and I get a text. And he says, I got it. Let's see it. Same thing. I saved myself an hour of angst and upset and aggravation. Yeah. That was powerful. Yes. And, and it you know, things happen all the time. And you just the moment you have a negative emotion. And when people say, Well, is it really negative emotions? Yes, there are emotions you don't like, if I've, I don't want to walk around feeling sad. It doesn't mean I don't let myself I grieved when my husband died. But I don't want to stay sad. I don't want to stay angry. I don't want to stay disappointed. It doesn't feel good in my wants to do that. Anytime you have a negative emotion, stop and ask yourself, what just happened? I just locked my fob to my car in the trunk of my car. And of course, my battery on my phone was read, because I had just hiked and talked to my girlfriend. So you know, and I go, Oh, my God. And then I called AAA. I called my neighbor she came and what I noticed was AAA came they couldn't get into the car. My neighbor drove me home, he ended up walking on the roof and jumping into my terrace. I mean, it was never once did I give it meaning. This is like, Oh, this is happening. And I never got upset. I never got frustrated. It just, oh, this is happening. And basically for me. My there's two things. One is I'm not in Afghanistan, or I'm not in the Ukraine, right? You know that book, don't sweat the small stuff. Don't write it up. But but it's harder to just go well and rationalize it. But if you get that no matter what happens. My clients say one last story. My clients daughter was 11 years old, and she had terrible stomach pains. And she called it she took her to the emergency room and she started to get panicky, but she was in my occuring course. And she said, Wait a minute, what meaning Am I giving it something terrible is wrong with my daughter? What else could it mean? She's got gas? What does it mean that we're in the emergency room? Nothing. Four hours later, doctor comes in, says she's fine. Take her home. And her child looked at her and said, Mommy, thank you for not being nervous, because if you were scared, I would have been scared. So she not only saved herself, the fear and angst, but she made her daughter feel comfortable.
Alex Ferrari 49:12
Do I want to ask you this? When there's an event? Your your kids don't do something or something that you wanted to happen doesn't happen? Yeah. And you get angry? Yeah. Isn't that a direct the direct correlation with you trying to control a situation that's uncontrollable?
Shelly Lefkoe 49:35
Maybe, but I'm going to let you look at it differently. Underlying anger is always powerlessness.
Alex Ferrari 49:47
Shelly Lefkoe 49:48
You could do something about it. You would, but we get angry because we feel powerless.
Alex Ferrari 49:56
Right! And it could be like I just I saw someone spilled milk I'm like, I'm angry because now I've got to to clean it up. And I feel powerless that I have to go clean it up.
Shelly Lefkoe 50:04
That's the meaning you feel powerless that you could Yeah, that's the meaning. Sure, get rid of beliefs, you won't give it that meaning, but when you do, you could say, what is it mean that she spilled the milk? Right? It has no inherent meaning. Now, what can I do? So I gave it the meaning. So is it true that I have to clean it up? That's not inherent in the events. You could say, Honey, here's a sponge. Or let me show you how to do it. So next time, you can clean you know, cleaning. My father, that was such a thing with my father, he would slam the table and there's a Yiddish word, certainly Schluss. And it means slob. And he does walk, you know, and I had beliefs from that, you know?
Alex Ferrari 50:54
Yeah, it's really it's, it's, it's extremely powerful. I mean, this conversation has been extremely powerful. I hope it does help other people listening. There is something that we have as human beings, which is a negative bias and our thoughts, generally speaking from evolution, this is again, a belief that I have and understanding that I've understood over time, is that when your mind thinks about things, it generally goes to the negative, because evolutionarily speaking, it wants to try to keep you safe from the tiger around the corner. So you will build up those stories, the bad stories and things like oh my god, it's never like that person to say goodbye, didn't say hi to me, like, they must be in a great mood. They just so happy that they just didn't want us. They love me so much to talk to me later. That's never a thought pattern. It's always what did I do wrong? How did I do? So there's a negative bias? Is there a way that we can break if we start going down that road? The negative road?
Shelly Lefkoe 51:53
There's two things so I'm, I'm very, very, very much a nurturer girl, rather than a nature girl. Okay. So when people say things to me, Alex, I have a bias. Very, very, very rarely, as we will say, nobody's a perfect parent. I trained I wrote a bi I mean, I'm like Who better than me, and I was not perfect. Because I have beliefs from my childhood that made me say and do things that I knew I shouldn't say. And given that, I think it's our negative beliefs, that has helped us see things like that. Rather than see there is something called conditioning for another show. Your Emotions get conditioned like Pavlov's dog, if every time you make a mistake, you get slapped, you will start having a fear associated with making a mistake. And we have a process that D conditions that in a nanosecond, it's very powerful. So I'm not a subscriber, if you will, of this idea of blood, you know, brain in this and above anima, tigers and whatever, maybe. But here's what I know for sure. Our beliefs determine our behavior. The meaning we give event determines our emotions. If you believe dogs are dangerous, and a dog comes into the room, you'll give it the meaning that dogs gonna bite me and you'll feel fear. So in answer to your question, the occurring is the most powerful tool. My husband did a TEDx talk called How to stop suffering. It's wonderful. If you start to give negative meaning to something, or if you start to feel, Oh, they didn't say hello to me. Perfect, perfect analogy. They didn't say hello to me. And you started and you go, Wait a minute. What meaning did I give it? They don't like me, or I'm too good for them. They're too good for me. Or they think what? What else? Could it mean? Well, it could mean they're preoccupied. It could mean they think I don't like them. But what is it mean that they didn't say hello to you? With the inherent meaning in the events, nothing? It has no meaning you don't know anything? For sure. Because they didn't say hello.
Alex Ferrari 54:24
So I understand. So the thing I said in regards to the negative bias is all based around beliefs regardless because if you don't have the if you if you take beliefs out of it, then there's no negative or positive it's, it is what it is.
Shelly Lefkoe 54:38
I won't. I won't say who I was in high school. My daughter lives in Hawaii. I spend a lot of time there. So I was just in Hawaii. And I met a new friend of hers. And he's very soft spoken. And I'm thinking interesting, very soft. So that night, I'm talking to her and she says Me? Oh, yeah, I didn't say anything. And we were talking about something. And she said, yeah, he had very angry parents. And I went, Oh, I'll never be like them. And the next thing out of her mouth was, and he said, I will never be like my parents. So how he is his beliefs that the way his parents were, was bad and wrong, and he's not going to be that way. Had him be soft spoken. So everything we do is, is based on beliefs formed in childhood. And I believe that it is not good to be like my parents, I'm not going to be that way. And he's not. But what if you look at our lives, they're usually reaction, and either reaction, or as opposed to responsive. So we parent the way our parents parented, or not that way, strict or permissive, as opposed to the way I say it is, what would serve God in the universe God in the universe right now, right? to really look at in this moment? What happened? What meaning Am I giving it as opposed to? You know, Oh, you didn't say a lot to me? Or, Oh, you think you're too good to be on my show? Or, Oh, God, I'm not big enough. But whatever it is, just get? Go ahead.
Alex Ferrari 56:27
So no, and I'll bring up something that's currently in the news today, or in the in the news last week or so was the Will Smith slap, which was such a massive thing. I mean, look, at the end of the day, people are dying in the Ukraine. So it's not a big deal, but to see what he did on a world stage. So out of control, you have you have to think about like that reaction was absolutely not about that joke. It was about the Chris Rock's joke, it had some deep, there was some pain, some stuff that he has not worked out. And that might have been the thing that just
Shelly Lefkoe 57:07
So here's the thing. He didn't protect his mother when he was a kid. So he's going to now protect his wife. But here's but here's the thing that's bigger than I love the example. Thank you. And thank you for doing the process. That was great. Oh, yeah. If you read everything about it, what you're going to start seeing is one of the three hosts, I don't remember which one said a black man standing up for his wife. That's awesome.
Alex Ferrari 57:42
That was not one of the hosts there was. There was an actress who was in a movie with Jada Pinkett Smith and I forgot her name off the top of my head. But yeah, I saw that I saw that the exact quote.
Shelly Lefkoe 57:53
So another one said, Oh, he's violent and horrible and terrible. So everybody gives a different meaning. They give it determines how they feel about what happened,
Alex Ferrari 58:08
And where they're coming from their own, their own their own experience. So the one that's like, oh, a black man protecting his wife. Isn't that beautiful? That means that she was never she wanted someone like that at one point in her life,
Shelly Lefkoe 58:20
Whatever. But but but yes, so it comes to the meaning comes from beliefs, but the meaning is what causes the emotion. And if I went to Will Smith and said, Why did you do that? He would say, Well, I asked him to stop before and he didn't. And I'd say that's not true. Here's why. And he'd say, you know, when you were a kid, you didn't protect your mother. He go, Oh, that makes sense. And then somebody else would walk over to him and say, No, I haven't a degree in reactionary therapy, and you got a button put up and he'd say, oh, maybe that's true. Meaning is made up. All that happened was he didn't now what's useful is to ask them and again with parenting remember, I could talk to you tomorrow about this? Yeah, but don't ask why ask what what is it about your boss that you don't like? What what is it that what about not brushing brushing your teeth? Do you not like get to the source? Don't force get to the source? What is it not? Why don't you they don't know why? What What would it take for you to want to do your homework? What is it about homework you hate? What is it about taking a bath? What is it about going to bed, so get to the source of what it is so that you can do something that it was opposed to?
Alex Ferrari 59:43
Yeah, and it's very interesting to see that Will Smith is a perfect example because it's an event that everybody pretty much on the planet has seen at this point in the game, and everyone has a different opinion on it. And everyone has a positive or negative connotation to it like some people feel empathy towards Chris other empathy towards what Will some have empathy towards boats are angry towards Chris for the set of people angry, it all is depending on where they're coming from their own beliefs, and what they in what their experiences of life is. It's a really fascinating reaction to such a. I mean, it is such a divisive event that it's split down the middle, there's no good back. It's completely perspective, it's completely the meaning that is thrown on it from the person's point of view,
Shelly Lefkoe 1:00:30
Totally, you know, my daughter lives on the North Shore of Oahu. And everybody is like, surfing and happy and skydiving and life is good. And this vaccine comes along, which became political, and it literally whipped relationships support, my daughter said, Mom, I gotta get off the island, you got to come take care of Loki, I can't have another vaccine conversation. So again, it's just points of view, the meaning you give the advancement as opposed to, I'm going to have a vaccine, you don't want one don't have one or but just don't come near me or whatever, but but to be able to look at people's perspective and honor it, and then choose to be with them or not be with them, but to not be angry and judgmental. And, you know, I used to scream at the TV when a certain politician would come on. And my husband would say, Honey, if you had his childhood, you'd have his beliefs. And you'd be saying the same thing he is.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:33
And you're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. That's why I try to look more empathetically towards people when they are acting in certain ways. Because you're like they are in pain. They're in pain and what what caused that for them? What is it in their past that is it is making them feel that they need to do what they're doing now. It's It's beautiful. It's it's it's not easy. It's taken, it's taken me a while to get here. And it's not always perfect, but you try at least to have enough.
Shelly Lefkoe 1:02:05
And if you try doing the meaning thing that will help you. Yeah, absolutely. It gets rid of the emotion.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:14
Yeah, it's the and again, it's the emotion that you apply to it. Because it's your perspective. Now that emotion Yeah, it's so like, perfect example, someone will look at a homeless person begging on the side of the road. And one person is like, get a job. And the other person is like, How can I help? Totally. And it's absolute perception, perceptive perception of the person who is looking at the person is homeless. That's the event, right? It is what it is. But how you approach it is completely different based on where you come from, and your history and the baggage that you're carrying along. And Bill and your beliefs. You believe that if you're you should get a job, I got a job, why can't you get a job? Not thinking about, maybe they went through some stuff that you didn't go through. And if you went through those things, maybe you'd be the exact same place that they are literally, but there's different thought patterns. So surely, I could talk to you for another three or four hours, comfortably? Comfortably. And you could fix my entire life. Obviously, I believe that completely 100%. But I'm gonna ask you two questions. I always ask all my guests. Okay, what is your mission in this life?
Shelly Lefkoe 1:03:24
To have to help people be free to live authentic, joyful, lives. One, transform and to transform the way people parent.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:41
Wonderful. And what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Shelly Lefkoe 1:03:45
Is to love and be loved. Not very profound
Alex Ferrari 1:03:54
No, no extremely profound, extremely profound. And where can where can people find out more about you and the work you do?
Shelly Lefkoe 1:04:03
Yes, recreateyourlife.com you could go to. But we'll put a different link in the show notes. I think it's eliminatebeliefs.com. That's our podcast link so we can kind of track it. But yeah!
Alex Ferrari 1:04:18
Shelly thank you so much for being on the show. It's been an absolute pleasure and honor talking to you and thank you for the hard work you've been doing all these years and helping people on the along on their path in life. So I appreciate you. Thank you so much.
Shelly Lefkoe 1:04:28
You're welcome and I appreciate you. You are an Outstanding, outstanding interviewer, and I love being here with you.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:36
Thank you so much. I appreciate that.
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