“Our brain will answer any question we ask it.”
Dr. Emory Welch joins us today to talk about motivation, repentance, mental leverage and focus questions. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates. They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
Transcript (no grammar): our brain will answer any question we ask it dr emory welch joins us today to talk about motivation repentance mental leverage and focus questions enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is curt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing and collections simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates today we are with dr emery welch he is an executive coach trainer clinical consultant he wants you to know how to be the best and get and get better dr welch helps you become the best version of yourself optimizes the effectiveness of your executive team and guide you in creating a satisfying happy and thriving family and i um emery i don't know anyone who doesn't want to be you know have happiness and to thrive and to have some satisfaction so super excited to have you on with kurt knight today um welcome thank you so much i'm very happy to be here um you have a an extensive background in recovery um and and i'm you know with that comes mental health so i can only imagine how much fun we're going to have talking today um i'm wondering if you could give us a little bit of history of where you started and what led up to um you know becoming an executive coach wow that's a big question um so it's it's kind of interesting um i i when i went uh first went to uh uh university i was a voice major and um so i was going there i was i was attending school on a voice scholarship and during that time it was so intense i realized okay i don't want to do that so i need to do something else and i went into grad school and ended up uh getting a a job as a mayor and uh and i put that on my resume that i was a mayor i was actually a mayor of an apartment community graduate housing apartment community and uh it was a lot of it was a lot of counseling and i decided hey you know what this is the route i need to go so i kind of switched and went to the and went in that direction and um when i got uh finished with grad school i went to private practice and ultimately i i ended up being the ceo of behavioral health care organization but my interest really was motivation and how your brain works to help you accomplish what you want to accomplish and when i'm talking about that i'm talking about like goals like uh the the cessation of addiction all kinds of all kinds of things as far as that goes so that's that's how my interest kind of get that's how my interest started in all this that's cool and i'll tell you that i am absolutely fascinated as well by the way um the brain works and and the function of it and and i always think about and i talk about this daniel siegel are you familiar with daniel siegel's work i am it's on a periphery but somewhat so he has this hand model of the brain right and and i know everybody can't see but you use your hand and you make a fist you put your thumb inside and you make a fist and and that you know that um in all the different parts of the brain your limbic brain and your your uh your cortex your prefrontal cortex and all of that stuff right and you can see when you close your hand over your thumb how all of the brain starts to integrate so i am fascinated with the brain everything's connected and all of that information throws through our body um so i can only imagine um how much fun you've had with that well it's been it's been really interesting um you know when i've studied motivation a lot and and how we attain the things that we attain and really our our brain will answer any question that we ask it's so it's this is so interesting to me so the brain well so we're we're actually motivated in two different ways basically to um towards pleasure and the avoidance of pain and when it comes to motivation especially we're more motivated by the avoidance of pain than we are towards pleasure so in other words if uh you know if you think about when you're a kid and your parents teach you don't touch the hot stove right you i mean if you touched it one time you would never touch it again not intentionally anyway you're right um but this kind of uh it's it's it's interesting as we work back from that because things are not as concrete as that but um when i would work with a group of kids i would say look you know how many of you love candy of course they would all love candy and i'd pick out all right uh these are three candy bars like who loves snickers okay we get the hands raised they love snickers um and so you get you get a couple people love snickers and it's almost in it's almost inevitable that they also hate buttermilk if they've ever tried it i don't know if you've ever tried but my mom loved it she was from the farm most people are repulsed by it but i would just say to them i would say that okay hey i'm going to give you the snickers bar all you have to do is drink this buttermilk and of course oh no i'm not going to do that and we would use that really to help them understand the importance of hey studying yeah we know when you go home you want to play video games right that's right but um let's talk about the bigger pain that you're going to avoid and this um helps us when we go when we're talking about like stopping smoking or any any addiction type thing that um we just and we just really expand on all the negative consequences like when we're thinking about smoking like okay how much does it cost you what's your what what's your x-rays look like all these things what are your what's your outs what does your face look like you know expand that you know make it big and real and it can motivate you to change behavior but what's even more interesting is that when we're talking about the brain is that the brain will answer any question that we ask it and what it's what happens is especially when we're sleeping you know when you dream or whatever your brain processes all the information people are always asking me what happens you know what's going on why my dream why am i dreaming this dreaming that but really what what's going on with dreams is it's your it's your brain compartmentalizing all the information that you thought about during the day that you might have seen you you don't even necessarily know and it turns it into these big stories but it's processing through and um and that's what your brain's doing and in fact like when we're in school especially if you're talking about like college or whatever um and you're studying late at night you all remember that you're studying late at night or you're working on something and you and you get so frustrated because you can't figure out like okay i can't this is i can't deal with this anymore i can't figure this out or whatever you go to sleep you wake up in the morning voila it's all there it's all there you know how to do it all of a sudden it's crazy i mean it's just unbelievable how that works well and you know you you all know that like for i'm just gonna bring this weight loss is is a huge issue in this country no pun intended but i mean it's a big industry all right [Laughter] so for counseling it is too right and people will come to me and they'll say emory why can't i lose weight or i'm losing weight but then i can't keep it off on and on and i will say to them like i'll do the tv therapist you all know what the tv therapist does like okay well what do you think right and they'll tell me well i want to work out but i can't motivate so i'll lay on the couch or i love pasta or i like to eat a bag of cookies a day or what whatever i got slow metabolism on and on and so i'll say to them i'll say well look uh sounds like you know the answer right and yeah so i'll ask myself so how does that so is that helpful no it's not really that helpful so i will tell them what you're doing is you're asking yourself the wrong question and this is the kind of the key to the whole thing because our like i said our brain will answer any question we ask it so i'll give them a question i'll call it a focus question and i'll assign them a question and that question is this how can i become physically fit and enjoy the process so what's happened i've done two things here i've asked i've asked them how can i become physically fit because that's actually their outcome and i can tell by looking at you two that you two are physically but so i mean that's actually their outcome is what they want to accomplish and that's what we really need to focus on uh the ultimate end kind of the end in mind and then the second part is how can i enjoy the process because um kurt looks i mean i'm just saying you know i mean you guys know when you go to the gym i mean i i go to the gym i'm at the gym four or five times a week and the worst time at the gym is the first two weeks in january right because it's totally crowded and i know i know i've learned okay just get through this time and then you know hey get through that first part of january everything's going to be back to normal so what happens is you all know this like people getting these weight loss programs and it's like medically managed programs it's um workout programs it's all these different eating plans on and on they're all great really i mean keto is great vegan's great uh yoga's wonderful you know all these workout every uh you know everything is great but the problem is people get into them and they don't like it and so they they're not going to maintain it so that's why i add into how can i enjoy the process because that's the main thing it's almost like hey whatever you do is going to work but as long as you're able to stay with it and love it yeah i i can't relate to the first two weeks of the year at the gym because i don't go to the gym i don't like it all the rest of the year right but but along the point of what you've said right i um i just enjoy being active right so i get some of the benefit from doing that and it's interesting that you talk about you know wanting the outcome with not really appreciating or focusing on the process right because for me um you know when it comes to weight loss or just physical fitness for me i have come to that point in life where i realize the outcome can't be the thing you want exclusively or it's never going to be successful you have to say what's the lifestyle required in order to have the outcome that you want and is that the lifestyle that you want right is that a lifestyle you can enjoy is that what you can maintain because for me i just i don't have time or interest in going to the gym every day right but i like being active so i can figure out how to be active and fit that into my life the the motivation part that you're talking about is super interesting especially when it becomes you know down to addiction and some of those things that are are a little bit different because you know in the addiction community you always hear you know like oh you have to hit rock bottom first right like somebody's yeah somebody's not going to get help until they hit rock bottom or or whatever and what would be intriguing when you know with the information that you've gotten the understanding you've got about motivation would be you know how do you increase that motivation how do you help get away from the just fear and you know because a lot of times those things are based around a lack of hopelessness or shame or you know personal emotional challenges and problems as opposed to being able to see oh if i get out of my addiction i'm going to be able to have this life of recovery or whatever you know for most people when they're in addiction they just can't see that right that's an impossibility to them and that's part of why they've got to get to the bottom so how do you how do you kind of paint that picture and help someone see the end before you know they're at crisis you know boy that's an excellent question kurt and um you're you're right on well you know i mean that's kind of the i guess the old pervasive view like you gotta hit rock bottom i don't really buy into that but that is what's kind of that is you're you're that's the message that's out there that's what you're saying that you got to hit rock bottom and really what that means is you've got to be at the point where you're you're wanting to turn around so um the actual so you've heard the word repentance right repent so the actual meaning of that is repent means that you just turn around and you head in another direction so let's say you weighed and your waist deep in the mud and you repent well you turn around you're still waist deep in the mud now you're just heading out and it you don't have to be underwater uh to turn around you just have to gain what we call mental leverage so mental leverage is that you have to explode the pain in your brain because that you're motivated more about to avoid pain than your pleasure so if you can if you can ex expand that in your head to a large degree you can be motivated to make the changes that you need to make so emery i've got a question on that on that idea that you know we are motivated to avoid pain more so than we're motivated for pleasure um so if we take the example of working out working out especially in january first right is painful and those first few days that first full week is pretty painful so how do you use you know how to use that concept to get past the pain that comes from those first you know couple weeks of working out well you make the pain more significant uh than the pleasure so somebody's gonna look and they're gonna think hey you know what this is a this is the pleasure of it i'd love to have a six pack you know i'd love to look good on the beach or whatever that's the you know that's the pleasure part of it the pain part of it though is if your doctor tells you you keep going this way you're to die of a heart attack you're going to be dia you're you know you're if you don't change the way you're eating you're you're going to have diabetes uh you're we're going to chop off your feet you know i mean really when people realize okay this is what like if if somebody came to you today and they said shelly if you keep eating the way you're eating we're going to amputate your feet in a couple of weeks but if you want to keep your feet this is what you need to do you probably do it yeah i would you probably would if you really believed that because now that's pain that you're not wanting to experience yeah um and it's the same way i mean that's just an example but it's like that with everything and that's how we're designed well you you mentioned that the brain um the brain will go after anything we put in it right whatever we tell it to go after it's a it's a hard working machine for us if we program it properly i think is a good way to say that and and i think writers i've heard that writers will use that concept you know they'll they'll be looking for an idea or trying to expand an idea or they want to write something and they'll put that in their mind and then they might you know take a little walk or they might lay down for a little nap and often you know when they wake up or maybe it's a day later they'll have the answer to what they're looking for because they put it in their mind and their mind went to work to find the answer for that is that the same kind of concept you're talking about yes um i don't know if you all are familiar with napoleon hill uh he wrote the laws of success but he also the law is a success a big huge book i don't know just nobody can see us right no it looks like a dictionary i've got it off to the side of me but he also wrote a book called think and grow rich and it's not really about getting rich it's more about um a focus or a chief aim and um it's it's about what you put in your head okay i want to focus on this and you a co and you actually accomplish that even you know how people say okay set a goal and then you know create a game plan you're going to take these steps yada yada yada all right and his premise was that a lot of times we know what we want but we don't know how to get there but we try to create some kind of a plan and all these steps and we may be trying to do 15 steps and we only need three and step five and six may actually derail us so really it's to ask yourself the right question and how i implement this like but i want to go back to the um the question the question that we were talking about so what i would say um if you were shelly if you were going to do this i would say shelly write this question on a on a sticky note and put it beside your bed and what i want you to do is i want you to read that question out loud right before you go to sleep and don't try to answer it just read it out loud and then the first thing in the morning you read it out loud again and you don't try to answer it um and that's that's kind of difficult it's like say if it's like if i say don't think of a blue elephant you think of a blue elephant but um right but the but if you just read that question out loud and then you go to sleep your brain is going to take care of that for you so i call those focus questions that's impressive i imagine that you use that in your executive coaching do you use a lot of those concepts in that practice absolutely so when we talk about uh executive coaching i mean i was a ceo for 18 years and when i was a young ceo i had a concentration on specific things but what i learned when i became more seasoned is the most important thing it was was the development of my executive team because the the more you develop your executive team and the more effective they are then you don't really have to do a lot as a ceo you're going to be successful and so that kind of directed me into that area of executive coaching but yeah it's it's really um working with folks to help them to understand these are the questions that i need to ask because what what generally can happen that derails you when it comes to team development when it comes to vision casting even crisis management or risk taking um all of that working with contractors and and experts all that it's about knowing okay this is the question i need to ask are you um are you familiar with uh maxwell maltz's book psycho cybernetics yes that's an incredible book and it reminds me of some of the concepts you're talking about he suggests that there's two things you can set your mind to do either look for the solution that you don't know the answer to or to look for [Music] what is it to look for a look for an answer that you don't know and to look for clarification or to do this you know this intention like you're talking about he tells in that book about an executive who has a meeting with a really a kind of a hard-nosed um guy that has a lot of power and he's got to do this deal with him do you remember that he writes a letter into maxwell and he says hey he says i practice this mind the the theater of the mind concept that maxwell developed and he said i practiced this he said i didn't dare tell anybody what i was doing because they would have you know hauled me off to the crazy hospital but he says for two weeks i learned everything i could know about this guy and i i studied everything i looked at his news clippings i looked at everything i could about this guy and i started to imagine in my mind what this conversation was going to go like and a lot of money was based on this meeting this one-time meeting and so for two weeks he would just go over it and over it and he said even one time he found himself slamming his hand down on the table and and making his point and he would defend himself and he said the interesting thing was that when he went into that meeting he said it almost went verbatim how he had played it out in his mind over the last two weeks and he got the deal and it and it was really cool right and you would go wow who would imagine that you could do that but it's really powerful what your this concept you're talking about yes wow that's a good example and i did read that uh book and that's been gosh back in a long time ago probably 30 years ago so i didn't remember that exact example but we use this in sports psychology as well that that you you back into a feeling by playing it out so for instance so if you i'm you you you're familiar with basketball i'm sure and they're shooting slumps right so guys that go through shooting slums so just imagine a guy's going through a shooting slump um you know from the free throw line basically and um so what we do is we is we get with this guy and when he is in practice hitting these free throws you know 30 in a row or whatever um what we do is instead of having him think about the shot we have him think about what's everything else what's going through your mind what are you doing exactly with your hands with your feet what you're breathing like all of these external things and you're thinking about okay this is what we want him to concentrate on not whether he's making the shot or not right and that helps to take them out of their head right because they're stuck in their head i'm not gonna make this i'm not gonna make this right exactly you miss a shot it gets worse you me i mean and this is the with these guys that are three-point specialists as well you know oh you missed a couple shots now you can't hit anything um so it's to take it away from that and to back into a feeling because it's all about feel and that's the way it is in a lot of things it's all about feel and so we want them to create to back into that feeling you know you can do this actually um you can get rid of depression and anxiety this way um i don't know if you all have heard of it but back in the day when they were uh gosh this was probably in the 60s but um it's what called the smile study that was done out in the facility out in in california so these folks were they actually suffered from bipolar disorder and they didn't really know they were misdiagnosed but but they were um just depressed to the point that they couldn't get out of bed they couldn't they i mean they didn't want to eat go the bat nothing do anything and um so what they did these researchers without using any medication or all these people are all in bed and they just said okay we want you to do a full face smile for five minutes so they do this big full face smile and while they were in that smile they couldn't feel bad and so it would actually motivate them to get out of bed and eat now it's one once they stop the smiling right within a few minutes they were back in their depressed state but what we learned is that we could create new brain maps so theoretically if they could have kept smiling that way for 24 hours they would have been totally healed basically from their depression but what it did teach us is that we can back into the feelings that we want to get simply by using our breathing and our physical bodies almost like you're you're you know okay when you're overcome with sadness or happiness or fear for instance it can cause you to cry that's a physical reaction to those emotions and it just shows us how connected our bodies and our emotions are and we can use this when we treat anything from addiction depression anxiety this is a key thing to be able to use because everybody has had the experience of feeling the way they want to experience and we can back them right into it yeah that's pretty incredible and these concepts that you're sharing with us are very powerful as well and as an executive coach i imagine that you've helped a lot of people accomplish the things that they're after i'm wondering if um if our listeners if you could let our listeners know how they could get a hold of you so that they can learn more and they can possibly work with you oh thank you uh yes absolutely um i think probably the easiest way to connect with me is uh dr emery welch on linkedin that's an easy thing so that people have to remember a website but my website is exec excel dot com so it's like exact like executive and then excel is x c e l l dot com um www.exec.excel.com so but of course if you um go on to linkedin then it would take you to my website to talk to the memory wealth that's emory i always tell people it's emory like the university they named after me [Laughter] that's incredible well it's been an absolute pleasure i know that um that you have a ton of wisdom you could teach us for hours and hours and i feel bad that we don't have all that amount of time but thank you and i am absolutely sure people will be interested in learning more thanks for being with us today oh thank you so much shelly and kurt i really enjoyed it thanks emery