Does confidence create clarity in your decision-making? Do you celebrate your talents? How can you set yourself up for success this year?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Lauren Sweeney about building the confidence to create meaningful change in 2022.
Podcast Sponsor: Noble
Imagine a world where therapy was not only coming to an office and talking with a therapist — but included a journey where client assessments, automated data-driven content, and more could be used as tools to help your guide clients. Our friends over at Noble are changing the way therapists do therapy.
With Noble, you can earn passive income while offering your clients a more engaging experience. Clients pay a monthly fee to utilize the Noble platform and gain access to between-session support through their automated therapist-created Roadmaps, assessments to track progress, and in-app messaging.
Noble handles all of the billing for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Join for FREE at noble.health/Joe and begin using the app when it launches on Monday, January 24th!
Meet Lauren Sweeney
Lauren is the VP of Business Development for Rise Up For You, a management and growth consultancy. She’s a leadership, confidence, and business development expert and has coached hundreds of people across the globe. She has a passion for giving tangible tools for branding, marketing, and living a life with peace and profit.
Lauren is an activator and a creative thinker with a heart for public service. She has advanced coaching certifications from the Direct Sales World Alliance and a Bachelors of Science in Community and Regional Development. Lauren has also earned the Charles Hess Community Service Award for her efforts in the community.
Connect with Lauren on Instagram.
In This Podcast
- Overcoming impostor syndrome
- List your superpowers
- Setting yourself up for success this year
Overcoming impostor syndrome
If a person is not feeling good enough with their education, skills, network, financial worth, asset values, and so forth already, then adding to that is not going to help.
It is about the internal conversations that you have with yourself about how you see yourself and what you consider has value.
Often, the greatest abilities that people have as adults were the ones they were known for as children.
List your superpowers
I want you to make a list. I want you to make a list of those superpowers. [Write] “I am considerate, I am creative, I am tenacious” … nothing can be on that list that has to do with a skill or a title. (Lauren Sweeney)
List your best abilities while keeping monetized skills and titles off the page.
Building up confidence is making the muscle in your mind strong again that counteracts the incessant “monkey brain” chatter.
If something is made up and it is shaking your self-worth and belief, then you can dismantle that and make something else up that is empowering and self-assuring.
Setting yourself up for success this year
Let’s visualize December of 2022, and let’s imagine [that] here we are, we’re having another conversation, what does that look like? What does it look like almost a year from now, how do I feel? … what is it that’s important to me, maybe it’s a state of being? (Lauren Sweeney)
Think about where you want to be in your life and focus on how that makes you feel, imagining that you have gotten to that place.
Be careful thinking about all the goals you will accomplish because that can lead you down a darker path if life takes a turn, so focus on how you want to feel instead of what you want to do.
What are the qualities, feelings, and emotions that you want this year to be associated with?
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
- Noble Launches on Monday, January 24th — join for free!
- Visit the Rise Up For You website
- Connect with Rise Up For You on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and LinkedIn
- Connect with Lauren Sweeney on Instagram
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- Ask Joe: What numbers should I know for my private practice? | PoP 661
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- Apply to work with us — decision-making matrix for your next steps
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 662.
Well, am Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am so happy that you are here, that you’re taking time out of your day to learn and grow your private practice. Whether you are just getting started and saying this year I want to start a little side gig, private practice, or maybe you’re busting at the seams and ready to move beyond private practice and start podcasting and keynotes and books, we have so many episodes that go from that very beginning point all the way till when you’re exiting your private practice and starting to build some passive income.
So super excited today. We have Lauren Sweeney, who’s going to be on the show. Lauren is the VP of business development and co-coach and trainer at Rise Up for You. She loves working with individuals and companies on leadership, career confidence and business strategy. I’m so excited to have Lauren on the Practice of the Practice podcast. Welcome to the show today. How are you?
[LAUREN SWEENEY] I’m doing awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Joe.
[JOE] Well, today we’re talking about confidence and having a plan for the year. And it’s interesting we just did this really big survey where a consultant met with a bunch of our like top level people that have given us the most money, people that haven’t really given us very much money and he did this whole assessment. And one thing that kept coming up over and over was how much people feel when they’re entering into private practice. They just don’t the confidence and even when they level up and they have a group practice, they don’t have that confidence until they’re around other people. So let’s start with what are the problems you see in business owners around confidence? You see the pulse of tons of people, like what are the problems that are going on for people?
[LAUREN] Yes, absolutely. I think that confidence is one of the number one areas that people struggle with. Not just therapists, although those included, but professionals across the board. When we did a recent survey, 82% of working professionals between the ages of 25 and 55 said that confidence was their top challenge. And even if they didn’t name it, they may say things like, oh, I’m having imposter syndrome. I don’t really feel good enough. Maybe I just got promoted. How about maybe you’re just opening your practice. Confidence is a huge issue. Also, if you don’t have clarity, well, do I open my own practice? Do I go and work for somebody else? Do I keep going on this grind even though insurance and everything is crazy? The clarity will come the more confidence you have.
[JOE] So how do you build the, so you’re saying the clarity will come the more confidence you have. So what are ways that you see business leaders grow that confidence?
[LAUREN] Absolutely. So I think that first, we love to do a fun little exercise where on one side of the paper, you kind of write down all your limiting beliefs. So maybe it’s will I ever pay back all that student debt? Will I be able to grow a successful practice? Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Whatever the limiting belief may be. Then on the other side you look at, okay, I remember when, and I know you might be thinking, well, is this therapy? It’s not. It’s just a strategic exercise to dig back for a minute and go, okay, when was the first time I remember thinking this?
Here’s the interesting thing, Joe. Is that most of the time we find with our clients, it was when they were little. They’re like in third grade, their teacher, Mrs. Pember says, “Oh my goodness, Joe you’re not that smart or some version of that,” and you decide as that poor little nine year old, now as an adult, I’m not smart. So the interesting thing is you take it from when you’re a kid all the way into adulthood, but we’re not conscious of it, but it feels like this thought is us. We can’t do anything about it.
[JOE] One thing I often say when people are like what do I have to give in the world, I say statistically only 8% of US people have a master’s degree or higher. So if you’re in a room of a hundred average and Americans you’re in the top 8%, and then if you think about how many people have an MBA or are dentists or they’re doctors, in most situations, you’re the smartest mental health person in the room. So often we compare ourselves to the Dr. Gottman’s of the world and these top researchers and top authors and say, well, what can I do, because I have nothing to give compared to those people? When people have that imposter syndrome and they really don’t see their own value and it affects their confidence, what do you see working to help them overcome that or think differently about that or shift their posture towards it?
[LAUREN] Such a good point. So we talk about it as your superpowers. We also talk about this notion of micro versus macro confidence. And pretty much in the United States, and maybe you have people listening in other countries as well, but mostly here we’re taught who you are as your titles, your degrees. And even if you’re listening and you have a lot of titles and degrees, then you’re still, we’re still taught to compare ourselves. Well, I don’t have two PhDs.
It’s like, it’s never enough. But the thing is, if you really think about it, even if you go get another degree, great, if you want to do that to advance yourself professionally. But if you don’t feel good enough when you get another, the next degree you still won’t feel good enough. So it’s not, it’s going about things in the correct manner and that’s why we call them macro confidence, is your superpowers. It’s the things that made you amazing. You were probably resilient, Joe, tenacious, maybe creative. Maybe you were a good writer when you were a kid.
[JOE] Every report card said, Joe talks to his neighbors too much. And now you’re paid to talk all the time.
[LAUREN] And now you’re using that superpower to do podcasting and make an impact in the world. So if we look at those superpowers that we have, and we remember Joe has super powers, Barbara has superpowers, Dr. Gottlieb has super, like everybody has some kind of superpower. And so do you and what makes you unique is why your patients are going to want to come to you. It’s why you’re going to build a great business. And maybe you need to seek out experts in the field, et cetera, but getting another degree is not going to fill that void of you not feeling good enough.
[NOBLE] Imagine a world where therapy was not only coming to an office and talking with a therapist, but included a journey where client assessments, automatic data-driven content and more could be used as tools to help you guide clients. Our friends over at Noble are changing the way therapists do therapy. With Noble, you can earn passive income while offering your clients a more engaging experience. Clients pay a monthly fee to utilize the Noble platform and gain access to between session support through their automated, therapist created roadmaps assessments to track progress and in-app messaging. Noble handles all of the billing for you so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Join for free at www.noble.health/joe and begin using the app when it launches on Monday, January 24th. Again, that’s www.noble.health/joe.
[JOE SANOK] So what else is going to help people with their confidence this year?
[LAUREN] So first figuring out. I want you to make a list. I want you to make a list of those superpowers. So I am considerate, I am creative, I’m tenacious, I’m resilient. Nothing can be on that list that has to do with a skill or a title. Not even like I’m a mom. Not even being a good mom, a good partner, because those are actually titles. I wasn’t a mom before I had my children. I happen to be married. I wasn’t married before I met my husband. So those even are titles. So what are your superpowers? Writing them down?
What I like to do, Joe is even keep them on a post-it note. Because something happens during the day and maybe a client says something or if you have a team, some of you have a team, a team member says something, it throws you off your game and you start to waiver in your confidence; going back to, okay, remember who I am, remember my superpowers. And it’s rebuilding that muscle in our mind, we call it the monkey chatter, that’s constantly telling us, oh, you’re not really good enough. Well, we made that up. So if we made that up, we could make up something else that’s empowering.
[JOE] Yes. It’s like the idea of kind of self-induced stress, that we’ve made this up about ourselves. Or even just coming through the holiday season we made up what a good holiday is and then we have all these expectations of, if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to be upset and we create all this self-induced stress. It’s like, well, what if we just enjoyed how things unfolded and didn’t even worry about that stuff?
[LAUREN] I saw this great meme on Instagram yesterday. It said something like you don’t have to send those holiday cards. If they stress you out, you don’t, there’s so many expectations that we put on ourselves. And of course now it’s January so the holidays have just passed. We don’t need to should, S-H-O-U-L-D on ourselves. We can do things to create the life that we’re interested in, create the work, I mean, apropo to exactly your platform. We can create the work-life balance we’re looking for. So many times we hear people say, well, no, I mean, I just can’t make it to that yoga class. I can’t make it to that meditation practice or whatever it is that you do to stress relief. I just don’t have time. I’m working too much. But yet, of course you wrote a whole book on it. You can, and you can draw all those boundaries.
[JOE] It’ll make you more productive too.
[JOE] So once you’ve kind of built some of that confidence, take us through kind of making a plan for your year. What are some elements of that plan to make sure that this year people can be set up for the success that they want to have?
[LAUREN] So it’s January 2022, very exciting time of year. As we know, from 2021, it goes fast. Like that it’s over. So what I love to do is let’s visualize December 2022 and let’s imagine here we are, we’re having another conversation. What does that look like? What does it look like almost a year from now? How do I feel? Maybe what have I accomplished? But sometimes that’s a trap. What is it that’s important to me? Maybe it’s a state of be. Maybe it’s a simple morning routine. I say that in air quotes, morning practice, morning something. Maybe it’s a certain, I cut out sugar or something. Maybe it’s just had more fun. What are the qualities and the feelings and the emotions that you want associated with this year?
Then one thing I love to do is have snack. So what are some ways that I can put in my environment, I know you’re big on that as well to remember? So can I use some positive triggers? We always think of triggers as bad. Can I put some quotes around me, some posters around me? Can I do things at the office? Can I put things if I’m commuting in the car? Whatever it may be, what can I do to remind myself of the feeling, the emotions, the physical space that I am craving for this year?
[JOE] I mean, even just for me thinking, my cabinets above my coffee maker. They’re supposed to have dishes and I’m like, who said they’re supposed to have dishes above them. Like, sure, it makes sense. So I started putting my coffee and my tea right above it so I don’t have to walk across the room to get the coffee every morning. Then I put my insulin because I’m Type 1 Diabetic up there too. I have the green tea up front, because I want to drink more green tea. I’ve been doing that more.
So even just that idea of like putting things, like we do what we see. So to say like, why do I have to have the plates right here? I could have my insulin, my green tea and my collagen, because that’s a priority for me and I’m going to see it every single day. Or even just for me putting the pistachios in front of the chips, like, okay, I’m going to eat the pistachios instead of the chips, because I want a salty snack. But like just making those little decisions for myself has made it so much easy year to live the kind of life I want to live, not out of what you like should, but out of, this is just easier to make those decisions when I see it.
[LAUREN] Yes, and sometimes we make things really hard on ourselves and we’re like white knuckling through, like I’m not going to eat the chips. They’re going to sit in front of me every morning, but I’m not, I mean, this is ridiculous. Let’s just throw the chips away or eat them and then don’t buy more. Like we do things to ourselves and then we’re like, oh yes, willpower. It’s like let’s create and set up our space. I love your example of the coffee. That’s a great example. Anything we can do. I love fresh flowers. Great. Let’s have a practice of having flowers in the house. Like what are things we can do in our environments, especially if we’re growing a practice or we’re starting a practice and a lot of our clients are maybe working from home or struggling? If we do this for ourselves, of course we’re going to be better practitioners.
[JOE] What are other ways to think about our year and planning things out?
[LAUREN] Well, I love to use colors. So I’m wearing like a bright gold jacket. That’s on purpose. That’s part of our company branding. But when you make your, if you make a to-do list or whatever you want to call it, actually switching things up in the mind, it seems small. But using markers, using highlighter, it’s scientifically proven it gives your brain a little like, Ooh, yes. Doing different little things to give yourself some space and some grace that can really help. Sometimes you’ll hear like, okay, a gold pollster or let me mark out how much revenue I want this year.
That’s all good too. But those daily, we like to call it the big rocks. So most of us, especially practitioners, there’s so many things to do. We call that the sand. I mean, there’s just so many aspects, especially if we have a team or not yet, the big rocks are really, how do I grow the practice? How do I get more clients? How do I have systems that are streamlined? Those things, which are maybe more difficult we don’t often do because we’re stuck in the sand. So this is a great analogy. You may have heard it. You take a glass jar and I tell you, all right, Joe, I want you to fill it up with your big priorities, big rocks, but I also want you to fill it up with water and sand.
Most of us fill up. Maybe we pour in the water first and then the sand and then the rocks barely fit on top. But instead let’s reverse it. Let’s put the big rocks in first, our priorities, then pour in some water and there’s still room for the sand. Everything still gets done. I know you have so many hacks on their time, but I love this visual of just thinking differently. What are my main three big priorities? I don’t have to get 50 things done today, but I do have to get the right things done.
[JOE] Yes. I mean that idea of first things first, or the one thing, I mean that idea of what is that kind of central thing that’s pulling me forward. I’ve done that every year since I read The ONE Thing and for last year and the year before, that was the book. So any five minutes I had here or there, it was reaching out to people about the book. It was connecting with new influencers. When you have that that moonshot like Kennedy saying, we’re going to be on the moon by the end of the decade, when you have that clear of a vision, then there’s no question in your free time when you’re working, what you’re going to do with it.
[LAUREN] Absolutely. Because again, you have clarity. And this is where it ties into confidence. A lot of us will put certain big rocks down, but we won’t touch them because we don’t have confidence or we won’t actually even put them down because we think, oh, well I couldn’t grow the practice to this many clients. Or oh no, I could never reach out to this mentor. Again, comes back to our confidence and rebuilding it and reframing those kind of limiting beliefs we have.
[JOE] Lauren, I want to get a little personal here and tell me if it’s too much, I want to know, when you had a lack of confidence personally and what you personally did to overcome that. Or even to work through it, we don’t necessarily always overcome some of those areas. Maybe we’re less, have more confidence than maybe we used to.
[LAUREN] Absolutely. So for many years I would struggle with this notion that I had, I wasn’t doing enough. The thing that’s so interesting is I was doing a lot. It’s just, I had this monkey chatter, like it’s on the fringe of I’m not good enough, but it was, I’m not doing enough and therefore people won’t like me. And people would tell me all the time, “Lauren, you’re so driven. Why don’t you just relax?” I mean, even after I had my children, I was like, let me go, let me get stuff done. I would bring them along with me. Again, like, why are you so driven? Why don’t you just relax? That was always hard for me.
And it does speak to confidence. So I did this exercise with Netta, who’s our CEO at the company and she walked me through, all right, so let’s look at this limiting belief that you’re not doing enough.” All right. When did it first start? So I’m like 12 years old. My best friend, she’s like, “Lauren, you’re not enough to be my friend.” Some version of that. I don’t exactly even remember the words and I’m crushed. I remember just feeling like I’m in a black hole, I mean, all of my eighth grade self and like my life is over. At that point in my life, I did relax. I used to read tons of books. I was really studious. I didn’t even do a lot of activities and I was happy, but I decided, okay, I’m going to win back her friendship if I just am like president of this club. So going into high school, I became like this activity driven person.].
I did the drama club and I did musicals and I tried out for ASB and I did student government and like all the things and guess what, she became my friend again. I reinforced this belief that if I did enough, I’d be enough and people would like me. Well, that worked when I was in ninth grade. But then now here I am, I’m 40 years old with a husband and kids and it’s not working so well because I’m already enough. It literally changed my whole framework. And like you said, it’s not that that thought doesn’t come up, “Okay, I’m not, I’m not doing enough.” It comes up. I kind of walk almost like it was an Albatros and I be compassionate with it.
I think that’s one of the most important things instead of beating myself up for still having the thought. And I’m like, okay, all right, just look for a minute. It’s okay. Then I go to the other side and I say what, Lauren, if you made that thought up based on what your friend said, you can make up a new thought. And I literally pull out my post-its, and I remind myself, you are an incredible, tenacious, creative, resilient woman. Then I move along my day.
[JOE] Such a great example. Thank you for going so personal. It’s interesting how those early early objections, like I remember a girl, I haven’t thought about this in years, this girl that I liked started dating this other guy, because he played guitar. Well guess what I started playing the next week? Guitar. So just thinking about, and then in college I was in bands and it was like these early beliefs that just start something and now I enjoy music because I enjoy it, not to impress people, but to think about for a while there it was, I don’t want to get rejected in that way again.
[LAUREN] Yes. Then when you uncover it, you’re like, oh wow, that’s clear. But until you uncover it, it literally feels like it’s something around your neck that you can’t change or let go of. It’s kind of strange that way.
[JOE] I had an insight probably a year ago or so. I was thinking about how, if some random eighth grade boy walked up to me right now and said, I think you’re stupid. I’d be like, screw you. Like where are your parents? What’s wrong with you. But yet like the Cecil Gallaghers of the world that said those kind of things in eighth grade to me it’s like I let a lot of that go a long time ago, but it took some work and it’s like this little eighth grader is still like ripping on me and I’m like, I would never let some eighth grader talk to me that way and or personalize it. They may talk to me that way, but I’m not going to personalize it and be like, “Oh, that little 13 year old. Doesn’t like me.”
[LAUREN] And they’re right. I am not smart.
[JOE] You have such insight, little 13 year old. Well the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world, were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[LAUREN] I would want them to know that their particular gifts, that their particular superpowers, that we’ve been talking about matter, and that they don’t need to be like anybody else to be great, to have an amazing practice, both on the business side and actually making a difference with their patients. I would tell them that they either get started or to keep going and to know that they have what it takes. It just might not look like what the neighbor or the other clinician is doing and that’s actually, what’s going to make them great.
[JOE] So good. Well, you have a free gift for the audience over at riseupforyou.com/confidence. Tell us about that and then we’ll hear a little bit more about your website.
[LAUREN] Absolutely. So the gift on the website riseupforyou.com/confidence gives them six free videos, all about rebuilding their confidence and a workbook all for free that they can download right away when they go to the site.
[JOE] Oh, that’s so awesome. If people want to follow your work more what’s the best place for them to do that?
[LAUREN] So they can follow us on Rise Up for You for you on all the platforms. We love LinkedIn and Instagram. We dabble in TikTok, but don’t go there for any amazing things.
[JOE] I dabbled there for a minute and realized I don’t want to be on TikTok.
[LAUREN] A little bit on Facebook, but actually really LinkedIn and then definitely on Instagram as well. You can connect with us, Rise Up for You. We’re always there showing up confidently, even if we’re not feeling it that day, adding value, giving leadership, team tips, confidence tips right there.
[JOE] Awesome. Well, Lauren, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[LAUREN] Oh, it was my pleasure.
[JOE] So what are you going to do to keep leveling up or finding your ground this year, or just feeling confident in who you are? Take those steps to do some of the exercises, to think through it, to grow that confidence in the micro and the macro. I know for myself this last bit has been a season of kind of just treading water because Sam went on maternity leave, had the big book launch and so kind of doing some of that, just kind of resetting and saying, okay, let’s make sure everything is tightened up before we launch too many new things. Make sure we don’t burn out the team and just kind of cruise for a little bit to allow ourselves to take a big deep breath so that whatever comes next, we can just sprint full tilt.
So that’s been my season and with Sam back in February, who knows what kind of sprints we will come up with at that point. Also we want to thank our friends over at Noble. Noble is one of our newest sponsors and they believe in using technology to enhance, not replace human connection. With Noble your clients will gain access to between session support through their automated therapists created roadmaps, assessments to track progress and in-app messaging. This is an amazing way for you to grow what you’re doing, but to also earn some passive income as well. You can join for free over at noble.health/joe. Again, that’s noble.health/joe.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. We’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.