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NL: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. Today on the show I have a very good friend of mine. We’re going to be talking about how we don’t want to really be wasting time in life and focusing on regrets, how that really affects our lives, and how we can rise above that. But before I introduce my special guest, I just want to remind you that if you are watching this show live on Facebook, or a little bit later on our YouTube channel, don’t forget to click on the link below this video after the show is over, so you can take my 30-second quiz and we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So, please let me introduce my good friend, Christine Hassler. How are you, Christine?
CH: I’m doing great! I’m so always happy to have a chat with you Natalie.
NL: I know and you’re coming to us from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia at the moment, so...
CH: Yes. Yes, just woke up. Put on a little mascara and here I am. Luckily I’m a morning person, so I’ve lots of energy.
NL: Yeah. Fantastic. Fantastic. Now, obviously we are really good friends, but there are some people in our community that may not be familiar with you. So just tell us a little bit about your story and how you got into doing what you do right now.
CH: Yes. So what I do right now is I’m a master coach, best-selling author, keynote speaker, a retreat facilitator, podcast host and most recently TV host. But, none of this was planned at all. I came out to Los Angeles actually when I was not even 21 years old. I graduated from college early. Fueled by massive insecurity. Los Angeles is the perfect city to go with massive insecurity and if you’ve got something to prove. And I did. I felt growing up that I didn’t feel a sense of belonging. I was teased and I compensated for it by being an extreme overachiever, which is very effective on the external line of life. So that overachiever moved me out to Hollywood and I thought if I could make it in Hollywood - not in front of the camera. I couldn’t handle that much rejection. But if I can make it in Hollywood as a producer, an agent or something then I’d finally be important. Plus, I’d really love to be in Hollywood and I worked my way up and I worked my way up to being an agent. I was an agent at 25, which is incredibly young to be an agent. But I was a hustler and when you have that much drive (aka insecurity), you will stop at nothing to be successful. So there I am. 25 years old in this fancy office, going to the Oscars and the Golden Globes, and hanging out with celebrities, and making tons of money, and an assistant that answers my phone for me- and I’m still not happy. I remember Natalie, one New Year’s Eve I was sitting next to George Clooney at a very small dinner party and I was like, “I’m sitting next to George Clooney and I’m still miserable”. Like, I have a problem, a significant problem. So to make a long story a little bit shorter, I thought the solution was quitting my job. So I ended up resigning from my job, which threw me into even more of a depression. I’ve been struggling and medicated for depression since I was 11. I was put on Prozac at 11. Then I went into tons of debt because I tried to keep up my lifestyle without my paycheck. Then my family disowned me; I made a decision they didn’t like. I got diagnosed with even more health stuff, and then my fiancé dumped me six months before my wedding. So I know that people watching, or listening, have been through worse. But, for me at that moment at about 26 years old, that was my rock bottom, where everything I clung to for safety, security, and identity was taken. I was thrown into massive uncertainty and I think all of us can relate to when were thrown into massive uncertainty. All our coping devices flare up. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and we just want to be out of it. So that was my first major, major what I call now an “expectation hangover”. Things did not go according to plan. Life threw me some unexpected curveballs and all I wanted to do was get out of it. But, that also was the best moment of my life because I started to have some insights about how the fact, the common denominator and all those things were me. So, wait a second. If I created all those things maybe I can create something different. I was so lost because my old overachieving ways weren’t solving the problem and my old ways of coping weren’t working. I could either keep numbing myself with alcohol, or TV, or working, or whatever. Or, I could start to look at something else and that is when I became obsessed with personal growth. I already had a coach at that time, but I wasn’t really listening to her. She was telling me a lot of things and I was like, “Yeah, yeah. That’s too hard”. But, that moment was the pivot point for me when I wanted to understand human beings, myself first. That led to writing my first book, that led to people telling me I should be a coach, that led to getting trained as a coach, that led to speaking and writing, and da da da da. So it was the rock bottom moment that led to what I do now.
NL: Yeah. So I know your previous book was Expectation Hangover. What was the main- what is an expectation hangover? What was the main theme in that book?
CH: Yes. So, it’s when one of three things happen. A desired result isn’t achieved; things don’t go according to plan. Or, things do go according to plan- like you get that great job-, but wait a second, you’re still not happy. Or, you finally are in a relationship and that void that you’re hoping that person fills isn’t filled. Or, life just throws you an unexpected curveball. You get dumped, to get diagnosed with an illness, to get laid off. And I use the word hangover because everybody, most everybody, can relate to being hung-over from something and going, “oh my gosh. This is awful. My head is spinning. I regret something. I have no motivation and I just want to be out of it”. An expectation hangover is similar, but it lasts longer- until we do something about it. Our head is spinning in confusion. We definitely have a sense of regret, and we’ve lost our mojo a bit, and it’s so uncomfortable because there’s so much uncertainty in such a feeling of failure, or “I messed up” or there’s some… It triggers all our- You know, Natalie…As you know every human being at a core level has this crazy misunderstanding that “I’m not enough”, or “I’m not lovable” or “something’s wrong with me”, “I’m broken in some way”. Part of our human experience is to realize that that’s just a bunch of baloney. But, an expectation hangover is wonderful in that it really activates all of that. So it gives us the opportunity to look at it and it’s why I became so passionate about disappointments. Not because I want people to be in pain, or suffer. I want to help people leverage their suffering because that’s what I did. I really looked at my suffering and I looked at those moments of expectation hangover and I asked, “what am I learning” versus “why is this happening to me”? Every expectation hangover usually triggers something from our past that we need to look at and we’ve been creating kind of the same thing over, and over, and over again. But, it takes a massive expectation hangover to like kind of blow it all up and have us really go, “Okay. I need to look within and I need this shift from awareness and integration, and maybe I need to feel some things”. So that’s really what it means and why I get excited when people have them because I’m like, “I know it sucks right now, but believe me if you leverage this you’re going to be- you’re going to be uncovering and healing something amazing”.
NL: Yeah. That’s the thing. I find that we do have all these coping mechanisms and things that we do just to avoid disappointment. Whereas, if we were just to go through the uncomfortableness of that for a moment, it gives us the opportunity to take stock and go, “Is this really where I want to be”.? Or, “why is this happening”, or “what is the lesson I need to learn here”?
CH: Exactly. I call it the avoidance trap that people fall into. As a coach, people come and tell me what they want, but they spend way more time avoiding what they don’t want. Way more time and energy and mental thinking about what they don’t want. They want a relationship, but their avoidance trap is rejection. They don’t put themselves out there. They want to start their new business, or release their creativity, but maybe their avoidance trap is people pleasing. So they’re so afraid to put it out there and have someone be upset, or set boundaries with someone. So we’ve got to get out of our avoidance trap which is uncomfortable, but that’s the only place that true change actually happens. If we wait until we’re comfortable, or we have certainty, then we’re never vulnerable. I was listening to a Brene Brown interview yesterday and I just love her. Brene Brown writes and she’s a researcher. She studies shame and vulnerability and she was talking about how you can’t have courage without vulnerability. True courage requires vulnerability because the definition of vulnerability- I can’t remember exactly- but I know it involved uncertainty and emotional exposure. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done that’s been courageous that didn’t have vulnerability in it. We have to allow ourselves to be in that.
NL: Yeah. So how do we make the shift? I know we’re talking about avoiding disappointment and all of those coping mechanisms. Why is your focus now on regret? Is this what you finds coming a lot up a lot with the people that you’re working with?
CH: Yeah. They go hand in hand because unprocessed expectation hangovers and disappointment make people live even “safer”. So they stop taking risks. They shrink their life. They have tunnel vision. Their control devices are even heightened. They don’t want to let go of the steering wheel because all that unprocessed disappointment, or seeing them as something bad, or seeing themselves as failures, or whatever, just makes them cling to certainty even more. When we do that, like I said, we become so tunnel vision and we become so risk- avoidant that you know we never really live into our full potential. We never quit that job that’s sucking our soul. We never get out of that relationship that’s good enough, but we know it’s not good for either one of us. We never move to that city we want to move to. We never write that book we’re dreaming about. What I’ve seen especially you know I started off coaching people in their 20’s those are my first two books and now I coach people all the way up to- my oldest client is in her 60’s. Especially when I’m coaching people in their 50’s and 60’s, the one thing that always come up is the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve”. The “ what if I had went for that”- and it’s so painful, Natalie, because with regret we just can’t turn back the clock. We can’t get back time. So I am such an advocate for people going for it. For getting, for taking that risk, for getting out of that comfort zone, for having some expectation hangovers because that’s where you learn. That’s where you grow and that’s where you can go on your deathbed, “You know what, not everything was successful and how many people would define successful, but at least I know I did it. At least I know I went for it. At least I know I didn’t have regrets, so I feel like I lived a full life”. So that’s why.
NL: Because I know you have a master class coming up soon. Tell us a little bit about the structure that you are giving people - like are you giving tips and tools that they can actually use and apply to avoid this?
CH: Yes. Because I know people consciously are going “Yeah. I want to live life with no regrets”. Yeah, yeah yeah. I totally get it. But, when the opportunity shows up, what do you do? Or when an option- when you’re at a crossroads, what do you choose? So in the no regrets masterclass, I’m going to be teaching a few things. The number one thing is why you feel stuck. Why you get stuck up at that point where you can’t take the risk, or why you feel unsatisfied. And we’re going to be talking about how only 5% of behaviors are consciously driven. There’s so much of our behavior and our thoughts, and our actions that are unconsciously driven. So I’m going to be talking about how you can get more clarity about your unconscious programming, the story that you tell yourself that you may be aware of to a degree. But we’re going to bring it up even further and you’re going to discover something that I call your “compensatory strategy” that is driving most of your behavior- that you’re really good at, but isn’t good for you. If you keep using your compensatory strategy, you’re going to have regrets. So we’re going to uncover that and we’re going to transform it. I’m also going to teach how to transform your struggles into your superpowers. So all of these things that we’ve talked about in terms of disappointment, how you really really find your superpowers within those moments. Then, the final things is identifying your purpose and taking action towards it because that’s another pain point I see. So many people come to me for coaching, or retreats, is “why am I here”? What am I here for? That’s a really important question. I think to live a fulfilled life and to get unstuck we have to feel like we have meaning. Tony Robbins talks about meaning and contribution. So I have a pretty easy way, a clear and easy way, to help you identify that because I think people think figuring out your purpose has to be this complex long thing, and it’s really not.
NL: No. I know. I’m actually writing a new book at the moment and doing a lot of research on the female midlife crisis, which is very similar to the male midlife crisis, where we’re both asking ourselves a question like, “is my life meaningful”? Am I making a contribution? We’re just women and men tend to deal with it differently. We have different ways of being able to move through it. But, we get to this point where we really want a life of meaning, and what is that, especially when we all seem to have this yearning. It’s like, what can I do to make a bigger contribution? So I think it’s a very timely message that you have right now. So with the masterclass, is it free? What’s the story?
CH: Yes, a totally free master class if you sign up for it. You can join me live and interact with me live, or you can watch the replay. The replay will be up for several days. So either way, yes.
NL: Right. So we have a banner to the side, or a link underneath this video that you can click on so can go through and register for Christine’s master class. I highly recommend it. She, as you can tell, she’s been a wealth of information today. She is an amazing coach and she has awesome information for you. So make sure that you click on that and register for that master class. Darling, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s always a pleasure talking to you.
CH: Thank you. Thank you so much. I love being on the Inspiration show.
NL: I know. When we’re talking to each other all the time, but for us to be able to share our conversation is fantastic.
CH: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for having me and hello to everyone that I’m new to and to those of you that I’ve interacted with before, hello again. I love, love your tribe Natalie. It’s all people that know that we’re conscious creators of our life and that’s so exciting that we’re living at a time where we know that.
NL: Yeah. Awesome. So please click on the link to go through and register for that masterclass and share this video. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. Then, after you do that, click on the link to take our 30-second quiz so we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. Until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.