Hi it’s Penny Zenker your host of Take Charge of your Productivity. On this show we explore your greatest potential by tapping into the ten core elements of time and energy management. To simplify the ten critical elements and how they make up quantum growth and can create it. I came up with a windmill as a metaphor as human productivity. The windmill has a gear mechanism that works from within. The smoother the more consistent and the faster that the blades turn. The more productive you tend to be. In taking charge of your productivity there are three segments or blades that are critical. They are championship psychology, winning strategy and sustainable results. Without all three of these, your productivity is underpowered. It turns but not optimally. All in all, there are ten core elements that make up these three blades.
Today we are going to talk about language. Language is one of the four core elements that make up our psychology. I have said this before in a previous show with Dr. Thomas Duncan, that from my experience, language is the most important ingredient in creating your championship psychology. After years of studying methods and creating balance and quantum productivity, I’ve come to realize that language dictates the quality of our life. What is important to understand about language is that it is centered not only on external communication with others but it’s also the inner action that we have within ourselves. Right? It’s basically our language of thought. Our beliefs stem from that communication with ourselves and ultimately the choices that we make. Today I am going to be speaking with coach, trainer, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker TeeJay Dowe about the emotional and physical ramifications for our quest for perfection. By examining the labels we give ourselves, we can develop a deeper understanding for why we feel the way we feel. And why we do what we do. Before I welcome TeeJay to the show, I want to challenge you to consider how you label yourself both externally and internally in your self-talk. Do you cast yourself as a workaholic or highly productive? Would you say you have struggles or challenges? When confronted with new situations would you describe it as curious or confusing? The words we choose for ourselves and others have an enormous impact on our wealth and productivity.
Today we are going to learn about how to search perfection and fix our inner communication. The difference between perfection and standards. And the psychological impact of the labels we give ourselves. We are going to be speaking with TeeJay Dowe today. Her journey is very interesting. From student, to pharmacist, to neurostrategists and trainer. It’s been an amazing adventure for her. Over the last decade, a testimony that you can not only dream bigger dreams, but they do come true. With a mission to inspire you to find the best in yourself in order to give the best of yourself.
Her first company Momentum People Ltd. Is a combination of training and coaching both in the worlds of pharmacy and health and other personal development and transformation? Second company, Back on Track Teams, trains parents, youth coaches and organizations around the globe who already work with teens to really maximize a transformation of a generation. She is also chair of trustees and head coach for Youth Charity Inner Flame. I can tell you from working with her, she is extremely passionate and she is out to make major change with our youth. TeeJay it is so great to have you hear. Welcome.
T: Thank you Penny. It is an honor and I am excited to be here. Thank you for that introduction.
P: I have had the privilege of being with you at several events. Your energy is contagious. The way you present yourself and interact with people every day. Tell us a bit about your story. How did you get to where you are today?
T: I think it’s interesting that people will say that you have energy. It comes natural for you. I just smile to myself and think oh my gosh, if you knew the story. I lived most of my life totally believing I was not good enough. From the age of 4 years old. The impact that it had on my life was devastating. I created my reality. The words that you use like I am not good enough, you settle for second best. I was painfully shy. I had no confidence no self-worth. I was always striving to prove I was good enough in some way. It’s only been in the last few years that I finally realized, oh my gosh, damn, I am good enough. That is a whole different conversation that allows you to finally find out who you are. You get to be comfortable with your own skin and to take you with you. I just absolute love being me. That is just being the most amazing journey. I love to share that and give it to other people.
P: How did you know from the age of four? That is pretty specific.
T: I guess I identified that I have been struggling my whole life and when that started. I started to have memories I had never had before. I almost remember the moment of that belief being formed. I am a middle child. I have an older brother. He was always really sensible and very intelligent. Never wrong. He knew how to press my buttons and I would get in trouble. He was the blue eyed boy. When I was four years old, my baby brother came along. He was a gift from God. A miracle baby. Not expected to ever be. Of course, all of the attention goes to the newborn baby. About 4 years old, my little mind, all of the attention went from my big brother, bypassed me to my little brother, I was left in the middle thinking, Oh my gosh, I was not good enough and they had to replace me. That was the moment that the belief started. That was the minute my little four year old gave it some meaning. I didn’t and I wasn’t important anymore. I almost can feel myself taking a step back into the shadow which is why I became so painfully shy and fiercely independent. Linked with that came the objective of having to prove something in some way that I was here and I was good enough.
P: Amazing that the events that happen when we are children, how the choices we make with what we have available at that time, and that some people many, many , years later in their life are still living by those same questions. Same choices that they did from so many years ago.
T: yes. I just count myself so blessed that life chose to wake me up. Life showed me that what I believed what a lie. I chose to explore the possibility of that is not who I am. I was only half way through my life thinking this way. So I decided to go exploring and to find out who I was really. To be able to give that gift is just a total blessing.
P: Your book, Perfection. How did you come to this? Is that where that book came from?
T: I guess so. As I became a business owner and growing my business, it became fashionable to write a book. People would say, oh you are incredible in business, you must write a book. There is a book in everybody. But I didn’t want to write a book just to say it was a business tool. To me, it needed to mean something to me. I had to have a message to really speak about from the heart. So I had this idea that one day I would write a book and I didn’t know what it would be. I had the gift of being a guest speaker at a networking meeting. I was telling my story and I was saying to people that I was so disappointed in who I was, that I felt hurt and anger and resentment, but I put a lid on my emotions. When you do that, in order to not feel those feelings, not only do you feel both, but you put a lid on feeling good emotions as well. One of my greatest gifts to myself was taking the lid off.
P: Open up and all of a sudden you feel alive.
T: Oh my gosh, I could feel again. I was excited to feel all of those great emotions and I appreciate all of those not so great emotions. It was like, oh my gosh, I just love that I can feel high and feel low. That is life and we need this. You have to have that contrast and it is so exciting to me and I celebrate both. The low feelings, or negative but they are not negative because every feeling has a gift. Every emotion is meant to give you a message. Get the lesson, get the blessing. You are not meant to go there and live there. But you are allowed to feel all of the emotions. That is what life is. It gives you the gift.
P: People sometimes feel like they are not allowed to feel the other emotions. That is a lot of pressure to be perfect.
T: Go there and get the blessing from lesson that has been given to you. A businessman came over to me after a talk and he said, thank you. I want to thank you so much he said for two years, I have so wanted to feel down. I needed to go there. I learned this what you are teaching and now I feel as if I can’t be down because my friends will judge me for it. Especially my wife. He said thank you, and I said, you got permission to be human, right? I was driving home and thought to myself, permission to be human, and I thought, that is my book. Allowing people to know that it is ok to be human. We strive to be perfect and I recognized that in my life and the life of the people around me. A lot of my coaching clients were coming in because they were trying to be perfect. I realized that it was my book. It’s not perfection is PERFECT SHUN. Words are so important. They create your reality.
P: As I was reading it, I was looking at the word imperfect. If you read it differently, it reads, I am perfect. There are so many ways to look at words. What a great message today for our listeners. We are talking about productivity and creating exponential productivity and really managing energy. That doesn’t mean we don’t have low times in energy. I did an interview with Dwayne Wimmer and one day I went in with low energy. I said, yes, Miss Productivity is low energy, it happens to all of us. We all have different situations that happen and we are human. Just don’t live there. Make the choice not to live there but you can go there in order to experience the lows to understand them. And to connect with other people. Everybody here can take a deep breath and go ah, ha…..thank goodness, I can be human.
T: People say to me and say do you ever have a down day? I laugh and say maybe not a whole day. If you feel really low and you need to go to the bathroom and sob, do it then get on with your day. That is fine to do that. We are beautifully human and let’s celebrate that.
P: The book that is in me is called Compared to What? It is about appreciating different perspectives. That is about being human too and understanding that we have our perspective and as we interact with people, we judge ourselves. Whether it is the questions we ask ourselves or who and what we compare ourselves to, that is a really important aspect. I talk about it’s really about comparing to the best of yourself. That is the most important way to look at it. It’s like not living in a negative state. If you have low energy compared to what you typically are, for your regular day, I am sure your low energy is totally above someone else’s high energy. It’s all relative. So that is part of being human too. It’s not trying to compare ourselves to something that is outside of the scope.
T: My mission statement certainly is just inspiring to find the best within you. If you find your best you can give your best. We will all rise to the level we set for ourselves. Let’s raise our standards but not so high that we won’t achieve, but so we stretch ourselves.
P: What do you think is the underlying cause for people to obsess for perfection?
T: My belief is that they think they are not enough. Not good enough, not worthy, we have to prove ourselves in some way. It could be the messages that we get from people around us. They may have different expectations to who we really are. The media has a role to play in our inadequacies. So I think that we receive all of these things, unconsciously, and when do we really ever give ourselves time or permission to take a step back and realize that we are saying these things to ourselves. We are asking these questions that are pushing us down. Until you go through personal transformations, it’s very hard to be objective about yourself and recognize those things.
P: I went through an amazing process called the Belief Closet. Those beliefs we feel so certain about. IF you can imagine them like your clothing. Don’t you feel different when you put on different types of clothes? I just did a photoshoot with a photographer the other day and I had to wear different outfits and it was interesting how I felt really different in different outfits. And that carries with it, potentially also different beliefs behaviors, and different ways of looking at things. We can also look at that as we learn a new perspective else. It is interesting to try on someone else’s belief and ask myself how can I see things differently if I try that belief?
T: It makes you question yourself….what IS the truth? What is it really? That is the question that changed my life completely.
P: It is that principle that is to really ask yourself, is that really true? Beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is an interesting way to challenge our beliefs and to be sure of them. It is time for a short break. Stay tuned.
Welcome Back. To Take Charge of your Productivity. I am Coach Penny Zenker and we are speaking about the power of self-talk with TeeJay Dowe author of the book Perfect Shun. I want to talk about productivity directly. I ask every guest this question and I love the variety of answers. How do you define productivity and why?
T: I define it as being two things. When find your place that is called Flow. Loving what you do, doing what you love, and time will disappear. It is when you are laser focused and your productivity goes high and so does your energy level. When you are in flow you can’t be stressed, depressed or anxious. You do what you love and you do even more and more. The other time that I am more productive is when I recognize when I am standing in my own way. I have to get out of my own way. For me, it makes me resistant and takes me out of flow so I look to be creative. Some people have completely different types of activities to create their flow. For me, it’s when I recognize, this is what I do best. I have to get out of my own way. I don’t have to be perfect. The other stuff I can give away to someone else so that I can be more productive. Really my business, new business particularly has grown so fast because I have recognized a need to do what I am best at and get out of my own way.
P: A great way for people to understand about delegation and what and why you delegate. Delegate also to stay in your own flow so that others can produce in their flow. Other people are great at numbers. Give the number crunchers to the ones who love to do that.
T: That allows me to be more productive and not less productive. I love to give stuff away like I have never before because I am passionate about this purpose of mine on this planet. I recognize why would I hold myself and other people back to try to be perfect?
P: What advice would you give people who feel that they need to have the control and don’t like to let go to delegate. What would you suggest to those people?
T: Sometimes it’s a recognition of what happens when you do take a breath and trust some other people. You can still keep control. As long as you give them clear instruction, set expectation and you have that open contract, you find the right people. You know that they are loving to do, it makes delegation so much easier. You are all working towards the same aim. The challenge for many people in business is they try to delegate once and somebody let them down so they think nobody can do it like me so I will do it all myself.
P: Then when they let go and actually find the very thing that they think they are gaining by keeping control of everything is the very thing that is holding them back from growing exponentially.
T: Sometimes I hold on so tight to be the person that does everything. I need to give trust to people and just to know that they can do it. People like that. They are grateful that someone appreciates them for their gifts.
P: It allows you to change the questions that you ask yourself.
T: Most definitely. I have learned that we all have our own natural questions. You have to ask your own natural questions first. My natural question is “what”. What needs to be created? What new ideas do I have? To ask myself how is like going anti-clock wise. Oh my gosh, how, that word drives me crazy. I don’t know how!! Stop asking me. Some people question who first. Who should be on my team? Who is my customer? Who can show me how to do this? When they start to ask what, that drives them crazy. So it is finding your natural question. What, when, who, where, how. It’s like let me invite you to explore your natural question. What do you start with? Does it empower you or frustrate you.
P: What, where, when and how.
T: What, who, where, when and how. The greatest question is why. Why is this so important? Why am I doing this? Come back to purpose. Then go back to your original question. I have seen so many great things happen just in asking the right question.
P: I consider the questions we ask ourselves to be the language that creates change and propelling us forward exponentially or unfortunately for some people going backwards. Coming back to productivity. What do you believe is an X factor?
T: The X factor to me is coming back to what is my outcome? Why am I doing it? It is around purpose. I am framing it in my own mind using questions to get me to change what I am thinking to match my outcome. Here is an example. Early on in my personal development journey was identifying the things that are important to me. In order to make the changes I needed to make, one of the things I set as my highest standards was learning and growth. I gave myself this belief that I love to learn. I loved to be curious. So when I would find those things that made me feel like uh, do I have to do this, really? I would catch myself and say ok, if I could learn something from this, would it be worth it to me? Oh my gosh, yes, if I learn one thing, it will be worth it. Try changing the language from ugh, do I have to, to oh, I am curious as to what I could learn. This has allowed me to look at things so differently. The conversations that we have in our head is so important. We have to recognize what we are saying to ourselves. I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I think, I didn’t just say that to myself did I? I have to rephrase that.
P: I like the why in the purpose because of the energy and purpose in that. If you can connect that, you change the energy completely of what you are working on. It could be something repelling and not wanting to do it to something that you can engage with and appreciate and know that it all fits into part of the picture. That is why I use the language Take Charge, because it’s being able to manage that energy, or charge as well as at the same time, take control. When you are able to recognize that you said something weird, you can try to learn from something, you are taking control. It’s those two things combined. That is to me the power of Take Charge.
T: Purpose and Identity are everything. I recognize my purpose for being on this planet. I have been on a massive high all day because I have finally understood why things come together in my life. It’s not competition its collaboration. That opens up massive possibilities for change.
P: Amazing how quickly one can shift. Sometimes it is an external event and sometimes it’s internal. You continually asked yourself a question that helped you to make that shift of realization from competition to collaboration.
T: Collaboration is about working together unlike the word competition. There is enough to go around. It’s a whole different energy. Once we get that shift in words, we make such a difference in our lives and businesses and the change that we get to make in this world.
P: The energy of language is paramount because it does create that shift. One has an element of fear, with negative energy associated with it. The other is purely working together moving forward towards something where everyone wins. From a win – lose to a win-win. It is a huge shift.
T: Collaboration inspires me and energizes me. Competition exhausts me and I run away from it. I heard a speaker Rodger Hamilton who said as a human race, it is not natural to be competitive. That is a learned behavior. Even at children’s parties, we get them to dance and then the music stops and they realize there are not enough chairs. Next the music goes on I can’t dance and enjoy myself because I will have to find my chair and compete because there is not enough.
P: It’s only in those games that there is not enough. Because really, there is enough. There is so much abundance in this world and it’s out there that people are discounting and thinking someone is pulling away the chairs. But they are not. Very interesting. You have two businesses and a charity and now there is another potential business in the picture. We talked a bit before the show about balance. You have a lot of passion and purpose that is going on, how do you find balance in all that you are working on?
T: Balance is an interesting word. We have to find a balance that is right for us. Mine is not yours. People judge me sometimes. They will say I should practice what I preach. You say we should have some balance between health, business, finance and relationships and all of those things and we watch you and all you do is work 24 hours a day. I say, that is interesting that you use that word, to me it’s not work, its play. What I do with my purpose energizes me. What you think is work to me is really play. Work means its hard and its drive. I don’t like to work every day. I do find a balance but maybe it’s not your balance. I love to exercise. That is my downtime and it reenergizes me. I love to socialize. That is part of my business. I love to spend time with my family. Sometimes they come out to play with me, especially my daughter.
P: How great you share that common bond together. It’s a big word. Just like productivity. What does it really mean? I also believe that in a way it’s a bit of semantics when I talk about energy management, it also has to do with balance. Because as you said, it’s finding the balance that is right for you and what energizes you and what takes away from your energy and understanding that. That is going to be different for different people.
T: If someone said balance is structuring your week with the hours split up for friends, family, exercise, relaxing, learning time, oh my gosh. I feel nasty thinking about it! I am stressed. Then I am out of balance.
P: We talked about flow earlier. Being in the flow and balance to me also is you wouldn’t be in the flow if you weren’t feeling balanced. Balanced is a feeling.
T: I totally agree. And it’s different for everybody. I do believe that you have to look after all of the areas of your life. I am passionate about my health because if I don’t have my health I can’t play all day. I eat healthily and exercise daily because of the energy it gives me.
Time for a break. This is Penny Zenker with Take Charge of Your Productivity. Stay tuned.
Welcome back to the last segment of this week’s Take Charge of Your Productivity.
P: We have been having some great discussion around balance to perfect shun, being perfect just the way you are to the questions that we ask ourselves and the importance of language. Let’s come back to the idea of people who are perfectionists or consider themselves perfectionists. We had John Perry on the show a couple of weeks ago and he talked about people who procrastinate. Many people find themselves avoiding certain activities and tasks. You mentioned earlier to look at it as something that can be learned. John said people avoid things also because they have this need to create perfection. In a way, they eliminate that need for perfection by getting to the last minute and then just having to get it done, right? Giving them the excuse and the ok to be human and not to be expected to do it as perfectly as they pictured it in their head. Most people understand this logically. Some of the best lessons are learned through making mistakes or whatever, but otherwise, intelligent and rational people are still striving for perfection. It’s just not possible to achieve. What are some of the ways we can help people to emotionally embrace it. I have heard people say they get it logically but can’t get it emotionally. So how can they emotionally embrace the concept that a mistake is not a failure? Doing something 80/20 is actually a strategy verses a mistake. What kind of advice would you give to our listeners?
T: I find that interesting. I think it comes back to what are our expectations of ourselves. Is it ok to meet your outcome without it being absolutely perfect. Often when you strive for perfection you usually end up massively underachieving rather than over achieving because you put it off and put it off. Then its last minute and you ran out of time. So, I think it’s that thing around emotionally upsetting that whatever you do it’s good enough. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to show up and be the best you can be. I think you let yourself far less when you take away that pressure of I have to be perfect. I think you are right Penny, it is a whole journey of trust between your head and heart. That can be a long journey. I know this. Whatever you do, it’s good enough for that moment with the resources you have available. It’s ok to be you. No matter. It comes back to self-acceptance. One of the biggest things about identity is creating that recognition of all of the great things we are. We so easily fall into the trap of thinking it’s not ok to sing your own praises. You may be considered ego centric if you give yourself credit. Self-deprecation is the biggest problem with trying to build your self-worth. We knock our self-confidence or self-worth. You can give yourself recognition. How amazing we really are! As human beings, as individuals, even in the way our bodies work and think and function. We do kind things. What are the amazing things about you? Sometimes I will play the game with people and say give me five. At first they will give you five and I say no please tell me five amazing things about them. They struggle with that. Sometimes they can’t even come up with one. If I ask for 50 bad things, people could roll off a million things at once. We just have to change the habit. I am witty, nurturing, loving, loyal, etc….I am….that really puts you in a place of knowing who you are but you don’t have to prove anything anymore. You don’t have to think about who you need to be in this situation or what am I going to wear?
P: You gave me that gift a few years ago. My children were going through some anger issues and that was something that you told me is to give you five. We started to do that and every time they put themselves down or had that type of a situation, it was really interesting how they went from not being able to do it to be able to rattle them off. Now I hear it all of the time, we talk about it, and I will rub their backs and tell them some of the great things that I love about them. They will do it for each other. It’s just beautiful. We don’t need to be children in order to appreciate the characteristics that we have about ourselves. We are all many different people inside. To recognize all of those traits that we have is beautiful. It’s a brilliant exercise for any of our listeners who have kids but also to do for yourself.
T: One of the things I use all of the time with young people and coaching clients, is homeplay. No homework. I have them write down 10 amazing things about themselves. You would be amazed when you see when this becomes a habit. Empowerment. When you use the words I am…..confident, courageous, you will win every day.
P: To own them every day by saying them out loud. One last thing, we are running out of time. I wrote down three things that Dr. Tom Duncan and I have been working on is the pyramid of relationships and the three sides of the pyramid kind of go in line with. The first one is intention. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to have the intention to do something positive. Something that is adding value. To create that expectation around something that either make it too high or too low or just right. Maybe it’s like Goldilocks. You are looking for the middle ground which is the seat that fits just right. In terms of expectations. That can be done through thinking about boundaries. How far do you need to go? Set an outline of where your boundaries are both emotionally or mentally. Whatever the situation is that you are working through.
T: When I see somebody beating themselves up, and they say all those things that we say to ourselves, I say to them: Is this what you intended? They say oh my gosh, no. I say, well it came from a place of great intent. That is all that matters. You can’t replace the heart.
P: If things don’t work out the way you have anticipated, well then what can you learn from it? How to do things differently next time? Forgive yourself of the situation. It was so great having you here.
T: It’s been a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me to come and talk about what I am totally passionate about. Like you I hope people have taken a lot of notes.
P: Tell us where can we find you? What are some links that they can find out more about you to connect with you?
T: You can reach me in a billion ways. Facebook at TeeJayDowe. Or you can find me on Twitter askTeeJayDowe. You can also find me at www.backontrackteens.com I am on LinkedIn also. If you google TeeJay Dowe and you will find lots of places to find out about me.
P: Thank you so much for being her Tee Jay.
So to summarize today’s program. Language is a key driver in our energy management and directly correlates to the results that we get or better yet, create. If we ask ourselves and others questions, quality questions, we get quality answers. You can imagine if we ask ourselves and others lots of quality and we will get lots of quality answers. It is as simple as it sounds. By changing your self-talk you can change the quality of your life. Think back to the challenge that I made in the beginning of the program. By looking at the questions that you ask yourself. We didn’t get to talk about labels. How do you label yourself? We are often our harshest critics. My assistant attends college and there was one day when she came out of work and she was upset about a confrontation about someone at school. Another person had called her something that triggered an emotional response. Even the next day, she was still upset about what they said. I asked her why? What was it that was making her stick with her emotions? She said because I don’t want people to think that about me. I looked at her and asked her if she was a dog beater? She looked at me like I am was going crazy. Do you beat dogs? Do you abuse animals for fun? I asked her this and she said no, of course not. Well if I say that you do beat up animals, would that be true? Just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. So really when we internalize a label or something that has been said, whether given by someone else or whether we have given it to our self, it impacts every aspect of our psychology. It is a choice that you make in the questions that you choose to say to yourself. In my membership program I go into more details in the hierarchy of communication and how we create change in language and communication. I can teach you to control the value that you bring and your results which are ultimately how you are going to measure your productivity. Thank you all for being here. If you like what you heard, come and visit us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think. Until next week, this is Penny Zenker reminding you to take charge of your time and energy. It is a choice you can feel good about.