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Adair Cates is a People Developer & Change Catalyst who teaches people how to think and show up in new and daring ways to shift their lives from mediocre to meaningful. She’s been speaking to audiences since the 3rd grade, has coached and trained executive-level leaders as a leadership development consultant in the software, healthcare and baby products industries for the last 8 years and written two self-improvement books, Live with Intention and Fully Engaged. She has an MA in Training & Performance Improvement, is fluent in Spanish and is a self-proclaimed inspiration junkie. Her favorite quote is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” She lives in Atlanta with her husband, their toddler twin daughters, two dogs and cat – a home vibrating with love and activity.
Be sure to jump into the community to learn more from Adair:www.TheArtofLivingBig.com
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today’s podcast is brought to you by the infinite soul project where you learn how to shift your energy and manifest the change you want in your life. We’re going to dive into your brain and the scientific reasons why you get more of what you focus on and help you consciously create some miracles for yourself. You can find out more at infinite soul project.com. My guest today is a people developer and a Change Catalyst who teaches people how to think and show up in a new and daring way in order to shift their lives from mediocre to meaningful. She’s been speaking to audiences since the third grade. She’s coached and trained executive level leaders as a leadership development consultant in the software, healthcare and baby product industry over the last eight years. She’s written two self improvement books, live with intention and fully engaged. She has a master’s in training and performance improvement. She’s fluent in Spanish. She’s a self proclaimed inspiration junkie and she’s one of my most favorite people. I’m super excited for you to listen into this interview today and hear all the awesome nuggets she has to share.
Welcome to the art of living
big. My name is Betsy Pake entrepreneur, author and personal success coach. This is the show that brings you stories and small ideas to help you live a big life. I hope this once a week podcast will inspire you, motivate you and encourage you to think differently about what could be possible for your life. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now let’s go live big. All right, I have a guest with me today a dare Cates a dare thanks for being here.
Absolutely. I’m so happy to be with you with you.
So I’m, I’m sort of well, you know, if you listen to the show, you know, I get really excited about everybody, because I only pick guests that I really love. But I really love you. So everybody feeling is totally mutual. We, when we found each other, we were like, Oh, she’s my tribe, right?
For sure. Yep. And the fun thing now is that we were the type of people that when we have crazy stuff happen to each other, we just send each other a text and say, Hey, you might be the only person that would actually believe this happen. And it’s so
good to have somebody like that. And I I hope that people listening, you know, jump into our, our Facebook group and kind of get involved in the conversation because I think it really helps increase energy, but but I’m getting ahead of myself. So tell everybody about you and what you do, and then we’ll get into it.
So for the last eight years, I’ve been very passionate about increasing self awareness, and also leadership development, those are kind of my two areas of focus. But leader leadership development, to me, the self awareness is absolutely foundational to that if you’re not self aware, it’s very hard to be a successful leader. So I’ve spent the last eight years doing kind of a combination of running my own business part time as a speaker, and a coach, written a couple of books. And also working heavily in the corporate world, doing leadership development. And what I found through all of that is just a really big why around self awareness. So my purpose is to advance self awareness and leadership for a more inspired world.
Mm hmm. I like that, you know, what came up for me when you were talking is really that, even if you’re listening, and you’re not in a position of leadership in your job, we are leaders of ourself, we’re leaders to our family, we’re leaders in many, many times to our friends that look to us for guidance or suggestions. So talk about how would somebody really get into becoming more self aware so that they can start to have this develop this leadership skill,
I have a The title of my website in the name of my business is first lead you and I really break it down into three main areas think well, Stand Tall and Be the light. And if you think about kind of those three pieces that think well is the mind, the stand tall is the body. And the be the light is the heart or soul of self awareness.
Yeah, I like I like sort of that trifecta thing, because I’m all about the body, mind and spirit.
Much more holistic approach, I find a lot of a lot of organizations focus solely on one of those areas, but we’re holistic beings, we’re all of that integrated together. So it’s really important to increase self awareness by doing all three of those things.
Do you find that men or women have a certain slant towards one or the other? Because I would think that if you’re training leaders to be conscious and aware of all three, it would really help communication in the workplace, even just between different genders.
Mm hmm. No, I absolutely think so. And I don’t even know if the line is necessarily a gender line. To be honest with you, what I find is when I start to facilitate conversations about self awareness, and I talk about thinking well, and thinking, well, it’s all about using the brain and the way that the brain works to our advantage. And there’s so much great research now about how we think and you hear about emotional intelligence and, you know, using your prefrontal cortex to get to your higher thinking and all of those things. So when I, when I kind of dive in and talk about thinking, well, standing tall and being the light, people actually kind of intuitively already know, a lot of this stuff. Yeah, interestingly enough, and as it becomes, like I said, especially the first piece of thinking, well, that becomes more and more popular, people really dive in and start to get that whole piece of it. I do think, when you start to talk about emotional intelligence, I think maybe you could argue that some men kind of have a different response to that than women. But again, more and more, since it’s becoming such a normalized term in the workplace, and really, in the world, in general, people don’t really, they don’t really cringe, they just they actually get pretty reflective about it.
So if somebody is looking at the thinking, well, and let’s just start with that one, how would they get started with that? Like, are there exercises they would do? Or what would they need to be aware of?
The first thing that they need to be aware of is what automatic thoughts and responses are going through my head. So our minds tend to race and they tend to repeat 95% of the same thoughts that we thought yesterday and the day before. And so once you can stop and reflect, and start to question those thoughts, then you put a little bit of space between them, and you start to wonder whether or not those thoughts are actually true for you. Or if there’s something that you just kind of picked up as somebody else’s story along the way,
you know, I talk, excuse me, I talk about beliefs a lot. And that’s so true, because I am realizing here more and more, some of the things that I think that aren’t supporting me that aren’t helping me, aren’t really things that I think they’re just things that I picked up. And when you can interrupt that thought pattern,
and ask yourself, like, Where did I get this?
makes a big huge difference. Mm hmm. So, like, I set an alarm on my phone. And I, that asks me, like, What are you thinking? And where did it come from? That alarm goes off? It’s a chime that goes off every, you know, 10 minutes? super helpful. Is that something that somebody should? Because I, you know, I’ve been doing that, and I don’t not gonna do it every day of my life, but just in this, like transformational period right now, this week when I’m working on something specific, but like, how, what is the thought process somebody should have when that when they stop themselves?
Really, the biggest thing is space. So you’re looking to put space between your thoughts, so that you actually have time to reflect. And I love the idea of asking the question, Where does this come from? Or whose thought is this? Because a lot of the thoughts that we think, as you said, are not our own? And then another question that I asked that I follow up with a lot. And I also use this as the first question I asked in a coaching session is, what do you really, really want? So obviously, if you’re asking yourself, you can say what do I really, really want. And then you can start to see if what you really, really want matches the thoughts that you’re habitually having. Because if your thoughts create your reality, and you’re trying to create a new reality, then you really have to start to see the connection between what you’re thinking, and what’s actually occurring in your life.
And so really, if you look at your life right now, and it’s not the way you want, then you can pretty much be guaranteed you haven’t been thinking the thoughts you want.
Absolutely. And the thing with that is, there really is no arrival, there’s not going to be a time in your life where you get to a certain place, you’ve reached the top of the mountain and you’re like, yes, I’m here all as well. I’m never going to experience anything that’s misaligned with what I really, really want. That’s not really how life works. So it is consistently questioning your thoughts, limiting beliefs bubbled to the surface, letting those go and then focusing on where you want to be and that that vision is going to continue to evolve and change as you evolve and grow.
I think you know, one of the things you said is you’re never gonna arrive somewhere and I think sometimes we think like I’m gonna all go on vacation when I lose weight or become this I’ll do this stuff with my kid when I feel better. I’ll get my, you know, my picture taken when I feel
like I’m taller or whatever it is.
Yeah, like I always say like the horizon is like you can never meet the horizon. It continues to push further and further the closer you get. Yep, so really, and this really aligns with the point you’re saying. I also Look in the rearview mirror look behind you, because then you can see how far you’ve come. But it also makes you see all the stuff you’ve done to create where you are.
Yeah, you want to hear a funny story about that? Yes. This is like a very basic example. But I think about this all the time, because it’s just, it’s just a funny story, probably about eight or 10 years ago, I had this friend and she was just killing it, you know, Uber successful making tons of money, and doing really, really well for herself. And I went and visited her. And I noticed that she had the fanciest underwear out to dry, like on a drying rack. And I was like, Oh my gosh, those are the fanciest looking underwear I’ve ever seen. And I was like, what what underwear those and she told me what brand they were whatever. And I when I looked them up, and they were like, 20 $25 a pair? Yep. And I was like, Oh, the day that I can afford to buy those type of underwear is the day that I have arrived into success. Yeah, well, the funny thing is like, that’s the only word underwear that I wear now. But I’m like, but you still don’t see it. Yeah, I’m gonna ride like, I’m just continuing to grow and learn and enjoy this journey. And there’s always, like you said something new on the horizon that I’m looking forward to.
I used to always say when I can afford one of those, the day that I have one of those refrigerators where the ice is right in the door, that’ll be the day that I really made it, you know, and now I’ve had one of those for like, you know, 15 years. It’s no big deal. But
yeah, so all those types of benchmarks. I mean, it’s funny to look back on them, but they’re really, it’s that’s really not what it’s all about. It’s really all about growing and growing into the person that you want to be. And as I you know, as we’ve been talking about, it all starts with how you’re thinking and again, it goes back to it’s not really a process of learning so much as it is unlearning. Hmm.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that. Yeah. Because really, like we’ve learned so much junk along the way,
just that you just need to let go. And that’s why when you start questioning your thoughts, and you start asking, Where did this come from? You start to understand that it’s somebody else. Like it could be your mom or your dad or your sibling or your teacher, I had a big aha, not too long ago around being careless. And feeling like I was careless with money. And I just, it hit me one day when I was doing some of my beliefs smashing, which Betsy is the one who really got me on that one. Thank you for that. Yeah. That is I realized that part of the reason that I wasn’t successful at managing money is because I had a story in my head that I was careless because my teachers used to tell my parents that I made careless mistakes and math. Oh, yeah. Instead of hearing that I made careless mistakes. I heard I’m careless.
Right. Yes. And no, the math. The math thing probably factored into the monster
percent, right? No.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s crazy. So a couple of weeks ago, I had on the show, Jeff, blacker. And we talked about Access Consciousness. And I know I dare you and I have talked about this like extensively. But I found that so true, like when you’re willing to uncreate is when you can start to create something new. But you can’t like create something new on top of something junky, like you got to get rid of the junkie. Right? It’s funny, because as I, you know, you and I have talked a lot. And as we’re talking about this and Access Consciousness, I had a guy on even before then talking about tapping, which is really all sort of like methodologies for doing exactly what you’re saying.
It’s all the same. Yeah. So you have to figure out what works best for you and start, you know, practicing some of those things. So you know, I don’t necessarily subscribe to one thing, I don’t just tap or just do Access Consciousness, I do a little bit of everything. It’s kind of whatever works for you to help you put space between your thoughts and question your thoughts and where they come from, and work out the pluck out the weeds that don’t work for you anymore, and start planning, planting the seeds of what you want. And
then it can start getting really, really fun, because you’re deaf, and you feel so much like a creator.
Exactly. So the next one is the stand tall. Mm hmm. So talk to me about that.
This one was a really big one for me, actually, last year that I discovered and with the brain and I’ve done a lot of classes and research and teaching around how the brain works and emotional and social intelligence, and it it’s what I know for sure, and research tells us that the mind can actually change the body. Well, last year, I started to discover that the body can actually change the mind. And so standing tall is all about how you hold yourself. And a lot of my inspiration for this piece came from Amy Cuddy. Some of you have may have seen her TED talk from 2012, where she talks about the power pose and standing like Superwoman, sort of right. Yes, exactly saying like Wonder Woman or having your arms spread out. And so I really started to play with that last year, and found that indeed, it was true. And so I’ve definitely become much more aware about how I hold myself and especially with our smartphone devices, she talks about something called the eye, hunch how we’re hunched over our phones, and our, our, what happens when we’re in bad posture, either with our phone or just sitting or standing in front of an audience, and we’re shrinking, we’re making ourselves smaller, is we’re not shining out our heart. And when we’re not shining our heart out, we’re actually focusing on ourselves, when you open your chest and you open your heart, which is something they talk about a lot in yoga as well. And I’ve been very avidly practicing yoga for the last several months. And I’ve noticed, notice a huge difference is opening your heart actually helps you to open up to other people. Mm hmm. To connect even more. So the standing tall piece, opening your heart allows you to move into the piece, the last piece, which is be the light, you can’t be the light for others if you’re totally focused inward on yourself.
Okay, so I want to talk about that. But I want to go back to the standing tall for just one second. So one thing that I do, and I got this from Mike Dooley, I think, but in in, in its feeds into the Amy Cuddy research too. But in the morning, like I, you know, I have my routine, I do my stuff. And when I come into my office, like, I always feel like I’m a creator, right. So like, we’re creating this podcast right now I’m creating programs, I’m creating ideas to share with people in my coaching programs. And so I actually put a song on like, some kind of great song. And usually I’ll get hooked on one song for like, you know, a week or two. And I stand up and I like, put my arms in the air, and like, just like sing it, jump up and down and get really excited, like the energy changes in the room. And I mean, my dogs get all excited, too. But it’s so powerful. And I feel like in charge and like a creator and like positive in it. So that really works. So that’s something people could try at home is just to, and sometimes I don’t feel in the mood, I’m like, I don’t feel like working or I don’t feel like throwing my arms in the air, but I just do it and within like 15 seconds, it’s changed.
Yeah. And that’s that is exactly what standing tall is all about is taking action and using your body and changing your posture so that you feel better. And you get into a better thinking state. Because all of these are so interconnected. When you’re not standing tall, you’re not standing in your power, which means you’re not thinking well. And if you’re not thinking well, then you’re creating thoughts that aren’t helping you reach your ultimate vision of where you want to be and who you want to be.
You know, I used to own a CrossFit gym, and I would see people come in. And you know, they sort of didn’t look even the eyes in the beginning. And they had heard about CrossFit and they wanted to try it. And once they started like even after the very first class, like their posture change the way they felt was different. And it’s really because they were using their body to control their mind. Same. Exactly,
exactly, yep. And physical exercise is just such a great way to get into that good feeling space. But even standing with your arms out wide, your legs spread out for two minutes, with nothing else and doing nothing else actually makes you feel that sense of power. So it raises your testosterone levels and it lowers your cortisol or stress hormone levels. And that’s, that’s the aim. That’s kind of the crux of the Amy Cuddy experiment is that that’s how she went about doing it. And so anytime I have a speaking event, because I do speaking events, quite often and you know, sometimes it’s a rather large room of people, thousand people does a lot when you’re standing on a stage and you have big bright lights on him is I literally will stand for two minutes. Before I get on the stage with my arms spread out wide, my legs spread out wide and it makes a huge difference. And then while them all speaking and any of you who present can use this trick as well. Use big arm movements. And so as you’re speaking, use your hands and make sure you’re using very big sweeping motions with your arms. And that will start to change your brain to Uh huh. Uh huh. Absolutely. That’s cool. Okay,
so let’s talk about be the light.
So it’s hard for me decide to decide which one of these is my favorite. But, you know, the think well and stand tall is a lot about us as individuals and that’s really the self awareness, inner self awareness out or self awareness piece. The beam of light is once you start to think well Put space between your thoughts so that you can create thoughts that align with your vision. You stand tall, and shine your heart out, like I said before you actually start to be a light for other people. And so this is kind of the the soul or spirit service piece of Firstly, do you? And again, it’s all about how are you connecting with other people?
Mm hmm. So what some? How could somebody like clue into that? How could they start that particular practice?
What am I waiting for? Thanks. Yep, is unconditional kindness. So start to be exceptionally kind to everyone and do little things for people that you don’t even know. You know, it’s a whole, like random acts of kindness thing. That’s one way for sure is to is to spread joy and kindness, just just randomly to people. And that could be just as simple as smiling at somebody when you walk past them instead of not looking them in the eyes.
Yeah, I went to a yoga class at a new studio last week for the very first time. And I made sure that as people came in, because, you know, that’s always like, sort of awkward when you’re the new person. But then also people kind of come in to the room. And nobody looks at each other or says anything they like, wait for the teacher. Yeah, I lead Sure. As everybody came in, I gave him like a huge smile, like sort of silly. Like, hi, like, I was so happy to see them. And the energy in the room was really, really great. And I thought other people were starting to smile, because I had, you know, nobody wants to do it first yet. But when somebody does it, don’t you find that it’s sort of like a trickle effect?
Yeah, it’s like a, it’s a ripple effect. So I do this activity a lot in my leadership classes, I have everybody take a rock like a river rock, and put a word that they want the world to describe them as, so some type of adjective, like, inspiring or happy. And I tell them to write the word on there. And then imagine that every interaction is like throwing that rock into a quiet pond and creates a ripple effect. And that’s also been proven time and time again, that one act of kindness can spur on three acts of kindness from from there.
Yes, I’ve heard that that one. is three. And those three all go out right into the bar.
Yes, exactly. So it, it just multiplies itself. And my actually my favorite question for people to ask themselves, if they want to know if they’re being light, is this one? Are you the type of person who lights up a room when you walk in? Or when you walk out?
And then if you really want to get brave, you can ask people that are around you? Am I the type of person that lights up a room when I walk in? Or when I walk out? Because people were just energy? Yeah. And so whatever energy we choose to carry with us is the energy that everybody else is going to feel, you know, those people. I mean, you think about the people that you work with the people that you interact with family members, people in your community, people in your church groups, you know, the people that feel good to be around, and the people that don’t feel good to be around. And so it’s not some crazy wee wee thing, where everything is energy and energy is everything.
Even Einstein said a bunch of stuff about energy. We’re kind of like Einstein. Yeah.
vibrating energy. walls and and things that are solid appear to be solid. But, you know, if you get down to the microscopic level, it’s 99.9%. space. Yeah.
And really seeing is vibrating energy.
And if you ask somebody, like,
Is it better when I leave the room or come into the room and they hesitate? Then you know that your side your side, but also, I think you probably it’s life is like a roller coaster, and there’s probably times where your higher energy and higher times when you’re lower. So don’t take that as a negative thing. Just take it as a, I’m at the bottom of the roller coaster, but I’m about to go up and now I’m conscious of it.
Absolutely. So that is kind of a loop. So that kind of takes you back to thinking well, so if you become a very reflective person, and then even take that out to other people and start asking people for feedback, how am I showing up? How did I do in that interaction? Then you can go back and start to be conscious about how you’re thinking, the words you’re speaking the energy you’re carrying around so that you can then really be the person that you want to be and carry the energy that you want to carry out into the world. What would your your little rock say?
Mine Mine is always inspiring, because as I said, My purpose is to advance self awareness. And leadership for a more inspired world. I just want everybody to live an inspired life and do what they love and be the person that they are when they’re working from and being their fullest self.
Yeah, I like that. Now maybe that’s something people can comment on. We can make a thread where they could put what their rock would be. So inside our we have a free Facebook group. You can find it at SS lb community calm that stands for start small, live, big community calm. And you’re going to be in there right there. Absolutely. So if people have questions, they want more information. We’ll have links to all of her stuff in the shownotes, but also inside the group. But yeah, let’s start a thread because I’m curious of what other people would have. I heard a Tim Ferriss quote once I heard him talk on his podcast, and he said, if you could have
what would it What? And you could only have one say one thing, what would that thing be?
Oh, I love that I eat I when I saw it, I was like,
oh, what did you say? Now? We all have to know what your word was.
My word? Yeah. What on my rocker on my billboard? Oh,
I thought that’s up to you. You get to choose? Well,
my billboard, I think we’d say like, start small. Live big. Right? Yes, that’s really like my message. But I think like my rock, if I were to, like, throw a ripple out to the world, really. I hope that in my work that I provide ease, and so that people just have a can live a life of ease. So that would be my word. That’s a good one. Well, thank you so much for being here.
Absolutely. I was just gonna say I’ll put a picture up of some of the rocks of different groups that I’ve worked with. Oh, yeah. I love that. Yes. inspire people to think of some different words.
Yeah. Awesome. Well, I love you. And I wish you
time. This was super interesting. And I’m excited
for people to hear and learn more and, you know, get into the group and seek out
more information from you.
Yes, I’m looking forward to it forward to connecting with everyone as well. We all need to be the light in the world right now. Either light.
Thanks for spending some time with us today. Remember to jump in on that online community at SS lB community.com. And, as always, here’s a little message from my husband.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai