New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

Summit of Greatness 2024 | September 13-14 | Los Angeles, CA


Dr. Nicole LePera

Become a Self-Healer and Break Free of Emotional Cycles


How often have you heard phrases about putting family first?

Most of us had a plaque on the wall growing up that said something similar.

But if you’re letting family walk all over you, you’re doing a disservice to yourself.

We get what we tolerate.

If you don’t like something, but you tolerate it, you can’t expect people to change.

So how do we have better relationships with our families?

We have to create a request.

And we have to keep our word.

Telling people what you need doesn’t always feel good, but it’s necessary to take care of yourself.

On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about boundaries and reparenting yourself with an inspirational holistic psychologist: Dr. Nicole LePera.

“Without consciousness there is no change.” @theholisticpsyc  

Dr. Nicole LePera is a Holistic Psychologist who believes that mental wellness is for everyone. She evolved her more traditional training from Cornell University and The New School to one that acknowledges the connection between the mind and body. Dr. LePera founded the Mindful Healing Center in Center City Philadelphia where she works with individuals, couples, and families taking gut health, sleep, movement, cellular health, belief, and mindfulness into treatment.

Dr. Nicole LePera shares her three steps to creating healthy boundaries and how to break cycles in ourselves.

So get ready to learn how to be a self healer on Episode 844.

“Fight or flight leads to a shrinking of the perceptual field.” @theholisticpsyc  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What were your biggest limiting beliefs? (9:30)
  • How do we become unstuck? (17:00)
  • How do we manage the guilt of our family? (23:00)
  • How do we regulate our nervous system? (46:00)
  • What does it mean to “reparent” yourself? (1:0200)
  • How do we become a self healer every day? (1:16:00)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How emotion is tied to memory (12:00)
  • What “interdependence” means (20:00)
  • The three steps to create a boundary (29:00)
  • How to “depersonalize” (39:00)
  • Dr. Nicole’s definition of manifestation (57:00)
  • About the “Small, Daily Promise” (1:13:00)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
Dr. Nicole LePera

Transcript of this Episode

Male Announcer: This is episode number 844 with Dr. Nicole LePera.

Lewis Howes: Welcome to the school of greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur. And each week, we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today, now let the class begin.

Julia Cameron said, “What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiples when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours – which do we want more of?”

I’m very excited about this interview with Dr. Nicole LePera, also known as the “Holistic Psychologist,” over on Instagram.  She’s been blowing up on Instagram growing hundreds of thousands of people a month with her wisdom and unique approach to Holistic healing. If you don’t who she is, she is holistic psychologist who founded the Mindful Healing Center in Philadelphia where she works with individuals, couples and families talking about gut health, sleep, movement and cellular heath, belief and mindfulness into treatment. She evolved her more traditional training from Cornell University and The New School to one that acknowledges the connection between the mind and body. Dr. LePera views mental and  physical struggles from a whole person perspective and works to identify the underlying physical and emotional causes we all face. 

This school of therapy differs from the more traditional therapy methods in that it concentrates on the clients relationships and interactions with their environment and how they express these relationships through their feelings, thinking, and being and this is one of the reasons why she is taking over the Instagram world with her message because she’s resonating so deeply with people in their heart, in their way of being. 

And in this episode we talked about how to become emotionally unstuck when you feel like there’s no way out of those emotional tragedies. What interdependence looks like and why we need to break our patterns to find it? Setting boundaries and the important difference between boundaries versus ultimatums. 

Dr. LePera’s tips on creating a new personal narrative in order to manifest what you want. How to rebuild trust within yourself and become a self-healer every day. We talked about re-parenting yourself and creating powerful boundaries with family members and so much more. I think you’re gonna really love this one.  I really believe this is gonna blow up a big way. 

Make sure you share this with a friend right now. There’s someone that you know who might be struggling with self-healing or any type of emotional challenges right now, send them this link, or just copy and paste the link where you’re listening to this podcast over an apple podcast Spotify or anywhere you’re listening to this podcast. Very excited about this, make sure that you share with a friend and tag myself @lewishowes and the holistic psychologist over on Instagram, as I’m sure Nicole would love to hear your thoughts about what you picked up and learned from this episode.

Before we dive in, big thank you to our sponsor today, NetSuite. The problem growing businesses have, I’ve had this over the years, is knowing the numbers because of the all the different systems and applications that I have or that we’ve had over the ton, as opposed  to all in one centralized placed, and that’s why I wanna introduce to you to NetSuite by Oracle. 

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A big thank you to our sponsors again today and I am so excited about this episode so let’s dive in with the one and only, Dr. Nicole LePera.

Welcome back everyone in the School of Greatness podcast, we have Dr. Nicole LePera in the house, good to see you, so glad you’re here. Found out about you months ago on Instagram and just have been loving your work and the impact you make on people’s lives, so thank you for being here and you’ll be moving out here soon, hopefully, right? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: That’s right!

Lewis Howes: That’s the goal? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: That’s right, that’s the goal.

Lewis Howes: I know it’s not publicly announced yet, but – 

Dr. Nicole LePera: That’s the – so here it is, publicly announced today. I’m the hell out of Philadelphia. I mean, I don’t know how you can come here and not want to stay. 

Lewis Howes: It’s a pretty amazing.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Really? Hmm.

Lewis Howes: I travel the world all the time and these amazing places but I always wanna come back here.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Hmm. That’s good.

Lewis Howes: I love it.

Dr. Nicole LePera: You know you found your home.

Lewis Howes: I love it, yeah. The first year I actually hated it cuz I came from New York City.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: I lived in Ohio then lived in New York City before I moved here and I loved the energy in New York but if you’ve been in the East Coast for a long time, so you’re probably ready for like a break and a change of pace, right, so –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm, yeah. But it’s a different energy, it’s a shift of energy. I remember when I would travel out here getting used to the slower pace of things was a –

Lewis Howes: Yet –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Test of patience. 

Lewis Howes: I didn’t like that.

Dr. Nicole LePera: My East Coast I’m like, “Come on, where’s my coffee? Let’s go!”

Lewis Howes: No, I didn’t like it that’s why I moved here I supposed by the beach, it’s even like ten times slower by the beach where you’re staying right now but in West Hollywood it had a more of a New York walking vibes that’s why I love it here – a little more energy. Now you’ve been doing your work for how long now?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Probably by the time my very long program ended.

Lewis Howes: Schooling? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Schooling about seven years probably after school but my program was about seven to eight years.

Lewis Howes: Seven, eight years of school and this –

Dr. Nicole LePera: This is after my undergrad, from the start of grad school ‘til I was –

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Designated as psychologist and then ultimately able to get a license and then open up a practice.

Lewis Howes: It took seven to eight years to get a license?

Dr. Nicole LePera: To get a… yeah, so it’s –

Lewis Howes: That’s for most therapists, too? I mean, other therapist?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Five years – so the clinical psychologist – now things have changed. When I first started school there are routes to having a practice and essentially getting a license to have a practice was through a PhD, a clinical PhD or what’s called a psy D –

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, psy capital D, anyway long story short, things have since changed and now you can go and get a master’s level education and then –

Lewis Howes: Four years – two years? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Get license two years, three years maybe. I’m not sure if there’s a thesis involved with that.

Lewis Howes: Gotcha.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And then you can get – you have to get enough supervised hours either route but you can hang a shingle and that was my ultimate goal and at that time I was very limited. I had this psy D or the PhD path so I choose –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: — the PhD and then seven years later a nightmare dissertation, some licensure hurdle so say it mildly and up my wipe my shingle. 

Lewis Howes: Wow, there you go. I think in another life I would have loved to have been a psychologist.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes, it’s a cool thing. The mind has always really fascinated, me and that’s honestly –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — as long as I can remember, you probably would have heard me say, I wanna be a psychologist because of the mind piece. 

Lewis Howes: Wow, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I like helping people but it’s interesting, the more I kind of explored my own path in I realized it was less of, “Oh, I wanna help heal people; I’m more of, wow! The mind’s incredibly fascinating”, which is cool because I think that’s a different route and I think that also kind of evolved me to the way that I’m working now with the really heavy focus on the mind and the power of the mind in a little different way.

Lewis Howes: Interesting, so are you coming back around to wanting to help people too?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah! I mean people are alright, you know what I mean? 

Lewis Howes: Are you through fascinated by how messed up we are, right? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, I’m just fascinated by the power of the mind on both ends.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: That keeps us stuck and then the power of the mind that can make us well –

Lewis Howes: It drives us.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And beyond well, I mean –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I just know myself because I was so limit… I have so many limiting belief in my own… passed on from my own bringing.

Lewis Howes: Really?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Experiences I’ve had.

Lewis Howes: Still you have limiting beliefs? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: I’ve overcome a lot of them and that’s why with –

Lewis Howes: What were the biggest with you?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Big time scarcity mindset. Big time!

Lewis Howes: Like scarcity around relationships, health, money –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Everything. I’ve noticed food was one of my things. I didn’t know until I start to explore some of my patterns and for me scarcity ran thing – the entire of it.

Lewis Howes: What do you mean food?

Dr. Nicole LePera: So this idea that will come up in my… big joke in my relationship a lot would be you know we would… we lived together and we’d have items and the food in the fridge, and we shopped together and we’ve the same diet and I would go in – where’s my half? And became incensed by – where is my goddamn half of food?

Lewis Howes: Wow!

Dr. Nicole LePera: I was like, why is this so upsetting to me like I’m not with going without, there’s… I mean –

Lewis Howes: approach the store next door – yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Literally, three blocks I live I can walk to a Whole Foods, like I – there’s no reason why when my half goes away, what was that about and I start to realize the underlying driving thought of this was scarcity. So my food, my things, lack of money mindset, things like that so that was a really big one. I used to think that genetically in some ways, I would see the way people and the way their bodies look –

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: And how they were in the world.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I was just you know, not gifted.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So I think that a lot of my own healing journey was overcoming that which is why I’m so passionate now about helping other people because I think a lot of people are limiting themselves –

Lewis Howes: Wow, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Based on – then again, these don’t come out of nowhere.

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Dr. Nicole LePera: These mindsets, the way I see it at least they all come from an accumulation as I put it over past experiences so –

Lewis Howes: I was talking about just this morning about memories, about how really we have maybe five or six maybe tell me differently, you’re the psychologist but I think we have like maybe five, six, maybe seven strong positive memories then we have  five or six or seven like strong negative memories that we always kind of reflect back to and think about and I would see there’s filler memories but I was trying – I was like remember much from ages five to eighteen, in between those five to ten memories on each side. If I really focus on like, okay, what am I doing third grade when I was like eight years old or whatever it was –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Every day you kinda forget like the 365 days in between the memories that we hold on to these patterns, is that kind of safe to say in my uneducated –?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, 100%. And what I would offer is the reason that you have those really high positives and maybe really low negatives was because of the emotionality attached so the bigger the emotion we tend to be able to retain those.

Lewis Howes: Those memories? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Those memories because our memory center, our emotional center, our limbic system it’s all interconnected and a lot of the reasons  why that we encode and then can retrieve essentially put the memory in and access it later is because of the emotionality –

Lewis Howes: Of how strong it was.

Dr. Nicole LePera: How strong it was.

Lewis Howes: So what were the memories you had and experiences you had that created the limiting beliefs? The scarcity?

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s interesting you say this because then there was another category and this is where I fall and actually diagnosed myself with a memory impairment for quite some years.

Lewis Howes: Memory impairment? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Impairment –

Lewis Howes: Like maybe blocked it? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: — based on the fact that I had no memories. 

Lewis Howes: I dated a girl and said she didn’t remember anything between before 18 one time. And I was like she was super positive and was amazing and loving and I was like there’s something off if you don’t remember anything before 18. Nothing? I was like, how was that possible? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: There’s got to be some serious trauma –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. 

Lewis Howes: That you’re –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right.

Lewis Howes: And later I found out like there was incredible trauma but did we do that as defense mechanism? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: I think societally so there is that. So society, so when I realized I had no memory I had two theories, two working theories –

Lewis Howes: No memory, that’s crazy!

Dr. Nicole LePera: One was that I had such a cataclysmic trauma, you know?

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  That I cannot remember and that washed –

Lewis Howes:  Wow!

Dr. Nicole LePera: All my memories and I spent a lot of time thinking and – “Oh, gosh! You know? What could it have been?” And I keep coming up with I don’t… and then the other diagnosis that I gave myself was a memory impairment. So anyway flashing forward, I’ve now come to realize that I started to share when I got the Instagram platform I started to talk about more openly about my lack of memories. I started to understand our nervous system and our stress responses a bit more and I came to realize that more of us than you would realize are like this ex of yours and myself, that we don’t have memories.

Lewis Howes: We’ve blocked memories. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: And it doesn’t have to be a biological thing wrong in our brain. So it doesn’t have to be the big T, it’s like the big T trauma that I think a lot of us talk about the big cataclysmic event –

Lewis Howes: I thought you’d remember the trauma – the bigger but? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, right. Yeah, so sometimes it’s a low lie or a low level stress, a chronic stress.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: An inability to have emotions present in the home that results in that lack of memory, so anyway to speak – to answer your question though, the way I came to know that I had a lot of my lack based mindset was because we still remember so if people who reached out to me like, “Oh, my gosh, if I can’t remember, how will I heal?” So I don’t have a visual memory, I can’t go back in time and when I talk about inner child work then you go back to heal you don’t need the memory to heal the way that I see it because we all are a walking memory, whether it’s in a habit –

Lewis Howes: Based on our reaction, based on our habits.  

Dr. Nicole LePera: Based on our reactions, our triggers, our patterns, to the thoughts that we frequently think, so a lot of mine orbit around lack-based or not having type of things, lack of considerations. So we can see evidence of our past whether or not we see our past and that we’re visual –

Lewis Howes: Based on how we’re showing up now?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes.

Lewis Howes: So you’re being… you know, for example you’re saying like, where’s my food, my half is gone. You took three fourths and I want the fourth and so that’s definitely like reflecting a memory of experiences or an experience you had that you held on to instead like I’m not deserving of enough for there’s never going to be enough.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes.

Lewis Howes: Or whatever story you said yourself, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm. 

Lewis Howes: Interesting.

Dr. Nicole LePera: A lot of mine was based from this concept of being considered. So for me it was a bit of emergence between lacks and I attribute that to my dad, he very much was – my parents are much older when they had me. My mom was 42 my dad was 45, so –

Lewis Howes: How old are you now?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  And I’ll be thirty seven in September.

Lewis Howes: Thirty seven that’s – Same age.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So, yeah. So my dad very much had a lot of the depression error based thing—

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  And my garage looks like a fallout shelter with literally twine wrapped up because enough twine put together you have a rope, I mean, that kind so –

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Very direct ways and indirect ways I’m sure my dad’s messaging about money and holding and keeping and then the consideration piece gets wrapped up in there for me.

Lewis Howes: You weren’t being taken – you weren’t being considered –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Not being considered. 

Lewis Howes: You’re not being seen or not being thought about?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Not, yes, and that comes to my mother who was very much emotionally completely vacant, absent and so not feeling, seeing, heard, understood. So for me, when items would go missing like my brownie that I really wanted it was, it became not only do I not have enough for me but the meaning –

Lewis Howes: They’re not thinking about me either. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Which is I’m not considered and that would open up a really deep wound –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So when my partner looks at me, what the hell is wrong with you, it’s a brownie and I’ll go get you another one, you know what I mean? So but inside I was like a little girl who is not being seen, who was being told that there’s not enough for me and I mean and so that’s where that pain was coming from when I was tearing around my apartment about my brownie, it wasn’t about my brownie. And I think that’s the way that… I mean, if we all look at ourselves and our patterns and I’m always talking developing self-observation to do that, all of our clues are there. Our past is present with us and that’s why we’re stuck and that’s why we can’t, the way I see it. At least that’s why a lot of us struggle to move forward, that’s why I hear the word stuck probably more often than I hear any words spoken.

Lewis Howes: So how do people get unstuck? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: First, I think consciousness. We have to become conscious to our self because we are in autopilot 95% of the day if we’re not conscious and that’s gonna be like the program, the computer analogy is I think the one we all understand the most, that’s gonna be the program that we’re running day after day after day, so without consciousness there is no change. 

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And then becoming conscious to our patterns. We are incredibly habitual creatures as humans.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Whether it’s our daily habits you know, behavioral habits; whether or not it’s our pattern of thoughts that a lot of us have. We all tend listening to the same content type thoughts and then the way I see it, is they induce feelings, actual changes in our body’s physiology, in our neurotransmitters, in our stress hormones and then that becomes our normal. I mean that becomes our stuck place so without consciousness, I don’t think change happens.

Lewis Howes: So awareness is consciousness.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Awareness, consciousness.

Lewis Howes: Awareness of our pattern, of our triggers, of our pain, of the trauma.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yep, right.

Lewis Howes: Does that mean healing the past first and reflecting on all the past is that why people do therapy, talk therapy because you’re talking about the things that created the pattern today?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. I am always a believer and I explore within myself a lot how much is the past necessary and I keep coming to the conclusion that it’s necessary, that becoming self-observational understanding, I think that developing a through a mindfulness-based meditation practice is incredibly helpful because it actually helps us to fire up our brain in a new way that then allows for self-observation throughout the day.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Because I don’t think… there’s no magic cushion, there’s no magic anything the way I see it we can’t do something ones and then expect my day to look different magically because I’ve meditated in the morning. Yeah, there’s some gains and some peace, a joke to me – oh, I meditate in the morning so I can calm my mind. Yeah, we get a little residual –

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Carry out, carry away from sitting and meditating but if I’m not watching myself throughout the day and if I don’t train myself to watch myself throughout the day, to watch my patterns, to watch the thoughts that are causing those emotional reaction especially to see when I’m triggered just when I’m having a big feeling about current event, typically the feeling is really big it’s about the meaning assigned to the event, the similarity of this now event based on my past experiences and so there’s always a reason why things are way bigger than you know –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: They maybe ought to be logically in that moment and then that’s where we dive-in, give ourselves some new either releasing the emotion valves, soothing our own emotional wounds in that moment, not looking outside of anyone or anything else to make us feel better at least that’s the way that I feel it. 

Lewis Howes: So you’re saying no one else should be determining our happiness?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. Big proponent though.

Lewis Howes: Is that Shocker! 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, yeah. I talked a lot about interdependences; it’s the kind of term that I have been going back to a lot recently.

Lewis Howes: What is that mean?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Essentially being you know because we are sociable creatures as humans, we actually benefited quite greatly from having tribes, you know, as we are evolving in terms of safety and division of labor, so as I see it we all – we need “little n,” with little n, needs relationships –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But I think what interdependence means to me is being able to be a self-reliant and resilient human meeting all my physical, emotional needs separately and then having that shared space of relationship.

Lewis Howes: How does someone become interdependent if they’ve become so reliant on the needs of other people especially under eighteen, the needs of parents financial or –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Housing, food – but if we’re talking adults, how do we become interdependent? And you have a lot of trauma or pain or –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Well, I mean, developmentally that is the sad reality up until a certain – at this point I think unfortunately cuz of some of the financial struggles that many people are having; I think even now adults are finding themselves much more compromised –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, of course. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: And dependent.

Lewis Howes: Of course, college debt and everything.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, place or leaving back to live at home, to be able to pay for college debt, I mean, it’s really, it’s a shame and sad because I think we’re shifting back into that more just necessary dependence.

Lewis Howes: Um-hmm.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So wherever you sit on that spectrum, I think it’s about breaking those  patterns of looking outside of our self to show up for others, take care of others, get my needs met by relating with others whether cuz they made me feel better or they distract me or I’ve learned that I come by this really naturally myself, my family was and a very large reason why I’m not able or I choose now not to have contact with them is they’re so enmeshed and co-dependent where there is just no boundary and direct and indirect messaging that I got growing up was that I was responsible for other people’s feelings in particular, so for me evolving out of that and starting to separate myself off and just see myself as a self-contained human also meant then showing up differently in my relationships, putting out the word we all love to hate which is boundaries and learning how to carve out space, not only physical space where my needs might be different than another person’s needs in that given moment but more importantly emotional space and that’s I think a struggle that a lot of us have.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, I feel like there’s a lot of people that struggle with family – family and boundaries. I’ve gone through this challenge myself with different people in my family throughout the years and on one end I have a lot of guilt tied to the responsibility to make sure my family’s taken care of, at least basic needs, right? 

On the other end I’m like, okay, we’ve all come from the same place, we all have certain skills and the capacity to take care of our basic need. It’s not like we were homeless or something like that, like we all got college degrees, we’re all very privileged in certain sense, right? Sure, we all face a level of trauma and have our own level of limiting beliefs based on experiences and trauma each one of us felt separately, but I still have this challenge with like, “Okay, do I just make sure everyone is taken care of all the time?” And then I feel taken advantage of for abuse or not respected whatever it is or do I set boundaries and have people potentially hate me and don’t wanna talk to me?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm. 

Lewis Howes: You know you hear this catch phrases like “family is everything.” “Always be there for your family,” “Nothing else matters but family,” but what about our own emotional well-being, doesn’t that matter?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. That’s how –

Lewis Howes: So how do we manage the guilt and pressure and the feeling of responsibility of needing to provide for our family or take care at all cost versus having personal freedom and peace in our own heart?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, absolutely it’s tough. I made that noise when you said that first one cuz family is everything, mine as well have been a plaque –

Lewis Howes: In your home.

Dr. Nicole LePera: In my home. I mean that was said as a mantra; family is everything, family is everything – it was under the guise of the Italian culture and my dad is very much could have 100% Italian so –

Lewis Howes: And if you’re not a part of the family’s everything motto, you might as well not be in the family. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, it was really so a lot of us I do know that we can get that direct some of it is a bit more indirect where you’re just kind of not urged or things aren’t fostered that take you out of that family unit so there’s a lot of ways that I see it that these messages are internalized and then we become the adult that we can still believe that our self on some level. So the thing I will always say first and foremost is boundary suck. Especially when you’re creating them with our families –

Lewis Howes: Yes, it’s the worst. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: And neither dynamics have been sent in place for as long as some of us have walked the earth. So when we changed a dynamic that’s already one way, it sucks even more. However, I say that because it’s uncomfortable to put up boundaries and then start to find limits of what – it will no longer work for you but what I see that saving ultimately over time, so the immediate discomfort that’s really uncomfortable for some of us.

Lewis Howes: They might be immediate for years, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, but the way I see it on the other side is a much more sustainable relationship cuz even in the description you said, I start to feel over resentful, taken advantaged of and the problem there is I then looked to these people who were taking advantage of me, or not respecting me, or not giving me something back and I’d get mad at them and then the relationships suffers. But, unfortunately, I have to look at me and the role that I played in continuing to show up in a situation that wasn’t working for me.

Lewis Howes: Wow, so when did you I guess leave talking to your family – connect with then, how long it has it been?

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s been officially a year but this –

Lewis Howes: Right when you started Instagram.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, when I started Instagram, right, but this was I mean it was several… I mean one might say it’s a lifetime in the making because –

Lewis Howes: You tried to make it work, you tried to separate but you stayed in, you still – yeah.          

Dr. Nicole LePera: And so part of the situation with me and again I never prescribed my path as for every one –

Lewis Howes: Sure.

Dr. Nicole LePera: We all have different journeys on this planet so part of the situation that made it in make it inherently more complicated was the fact that my mom, my dad, and my older sister, who was fifteen years older than me, I was a much later in life child, lived in the same home. 

Lewis Howes: They all lived together.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Lived in the same home, yeah, with my nephew as well my sister.

Lewis Howes: Your parents are what, seventy?

Dr. Nicole LePera: My mom will be, she just turned 79. My dad I think is 82.

Lewis Howes: Wow! And your older sister who’s –

Dr. Nicole LePera: My older sister is 52.

Lewis Howes: They all lived together?

Dr. Nicole LePera: They lived together in the home and now my 12 year old nephew, so –

Lewis Howes: And he lives there?

Dr. Nicole LePera: They all lived in the home.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So we talk about a living –

Lewis Howes: So, you don’t live there.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So I escaped, I’ve gotten out; I actually got the hell out as soon as I turned –

Lewis Howes: Eighteen? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: College age, I was 17 when I flew out to college I was out of there but I say that because I tried every version of separate relationships.

Lewis Howes: With what? What are those versions?

Dr. Nicole LePera: You know, hey, my sister’s name is Suzanne. Suzanne, you know, let me try to have a separate relationship over here with you where we don’t talk of – my mom is chronically ill so another bit of my background. My mom is chronically ill and has been my entire life. There’s now a bit of a pain pill not a full blown addiction I mean she’s just really –

Lewis Howes: Numbing, yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Tolerating, I mean that’s exactly what it is just to be honest. But so pretty much my mom is the orbit around my whole family kind of –

Lewis Howes: Nucleus she.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, she’s the nucleus. So mom’s health and my mom has had when I was in my early 20s which was probably at the height of my anxiety where I was living in New York and might as well be in one panic attack after another that I was living – cuz my mom was actually having a pretty serious heart surgery at that time. So yeah, there’s like micro health things, so but it’s always – how’s mom doing? Is mom okay? Mom has this health things. So one of the versions that I tried was having a separate relationships where we don’t talk about mom and health and –

Lewis Howes: Talk about life in general or love.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Anything, I mean –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, anything.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I would talk with the dogs, what you watched on television just –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, anything.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And she just couldn’t? 

Lewis Howes: She couldn’t or?

Dr. Nicole LePera: She couldn’t beyond that. It was always I was needed to go to this doctor’s appointment and that; it was just this endless –

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Search of this cure of this illness it just got really complicated. Tried separate relationship with my dad. My dad might as well be a million miles away just always sorry about my mom, my mom is just at this point with the pain pills completely on another planet. So I say, it was a year ago when I finally – but I tried every version of direct communication. I would just remove myself not go over as frequently then I get to, goddammit text, where are you? Call us back. We’re worried about you so much anxiety. So finally, about a year ago.

Lewis Howes: So what do you say when you create a boundary of separation from your family, were you saying I’m choosing not to speak with any of you anymore, if you wanna talk to me feel free but it’s not gonna be on your terms – what do you say to them?

Dr. Nicole LePera: So, I mean what… the way I suggest is a boundary is an I statement. So if this continues to happen I will no longer, whatever – so obviously it depends.

Lewis Howes: What, a threat? Are you threatening me? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: That’s what people think it is.

Lewis Howes: Right? They make you, they manipulate and guilt you to like –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm, I think the difference and it’s interesting I was talking with Melissa Hartwig on her podcast, and she asked, what is the difference between weaponizing boundaries and having a boundary? And what is this idea of ultimatum? I think it’s a really… that’s how it’s received –

Lewis Howes: Battery is an ultimatum.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But yeah, I mean it is but the way I see the difference is I’m not saying you, I’m gonna do some – this is me. If this is my limit and if that gets crossed, I am now going to take myself away to end the conversation, to kindly talk to you when you’re a bit calmer, alright? And I think that anytime it’s me or I based and not – I think that’s what we can shift out of that idea.

However, Lewis, I mean, of course there’s gonna be someone at the receiving end of that that might, I mean say and so at my meditation yesterday, I met a lot of followers and it was an incredible experience and they more often than not every three mentioned the concept of boundaries. The fact that a, they had no idea what a boundary was until they start to read my work and other people’s works then they start use boundaries and were talking about how incredibly difficult it is. I actually put a post-up today about a lot of the feedback that one gets, you know? 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: We were told we’re selfish or holier than thou. Who the hell do we think we are putting up these boundaries so I mean the short of it is, they’re, they typically aren’t receive –

Lewis Howes: Well, no!

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes.

Lewis Howes: There’s always gonna be some type of manipulation or guilting, or are you better than me now –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Or you’ve changed like you’ve grown in your post today. Man! So how… what was the reaction like for you with your family when you said, okay, I’m choosing to do this if –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: — this continues to happen?

Dr. Nicole LePera: In the beginning it was kind of just another joke in my family is you might as well talk to this wall right here.

Lewis Howes: Alright.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So it was heard, it wasn’t responded to but three days later, three text later that was the content that I wasn’t interested in talking about or like I said, I would try to experiment with a little more distance between calls or visits and then every now and again we get met with either anger or worry, where am I? Am I dead in a ditch some – I mean, just this crazy –

Lewis Howes: So you just not respond on their text anymore or you would just say – 

Dr. Nicole LePera: I would just –

Lewis Howes: Please don’t text me unless it’s something like positive. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, yes. Or and if it was direct content that I wasn’t interested in discussing I would say you know, I’ve asked just not to talk about this. I don’t care to have this conversation. You know, I don’t.

Lewis Howes: It sounds like unless you create a boundary, we get what we tolerate in life so unless we create boundaries or guidelines we’re gonna continue to get the things that we tolerate and you don’t like something but you tolerate it you, can’t expect someone else to change if you continue to tolerate that thing.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes.

Lewis Howes: Until you make a clear request, this is my request, that we only talk about these things and we’re gonna eliminate this from our relationship or whatever may be and moving forward if that doesn’t happen, I wanna create a boundary for myself, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: We have to create a request.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And it can’t be an angry mean request. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: No.

Lewis Howes: So it needs to be a calm loving request.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes.

Lewis Howes: Usually it sounds like it’s never gonna be a calm response because the person may not wanna change but that’s always gonna be what it sounds like.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm. Lewis, I always define three steps. The first one is to define it for yourself and for some people we don’t know at first, we’re not – we never heard of what a boundary is, we don’t know that we can so this is, I always say this is an individual process of looking within maybe kind of step back, engage some of your relationships, see the ones that are working and what looks or feels different about those and the ones that aren’t working. So that’s a process so defining your boundary, then putting up and acting your boundary where you’re communicating it. I love you already very intuitively. Set at a calm time when both parties are not reactive, you’re not gonna shout this out in a fight, it’s probably not gonna be the best time. Objective language I think is really great. 

Lewis Howes: Make it about you.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Where you just make it about you, right and you just no fingers –

Lewis Howes: You’re wrong, you’re bad. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s not you, you guys are crazy so I’m never coming over.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Probably not gonna be the most well received. And then the third step is also our responsibility and only ours is maintaining it.

Lewis Howes: Following through on it.

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s following through because –

Lewis Howes: Keeping your word.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  The second we don’t do that we do send the message that enough guilt, enough anger can, and I say this to and I know this can you know, kind of, I don’t… the way people can receive this can be in many different ways, but a lot of times we are not upholding our boundary because of how we feel, we… I call the feel bads, you know so –

Lewis Howes: Oh, yeah, man.

Dr. Nicole LePera: We take our boundary down so that we don’t feel, I –

Lewis Howes: I’m good at that. I’m good at feeling that. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Why do you think I talk about them, I come by to feel bad is part of my family, we love to feel bad, right?

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But I say that because again it’s our job to tolerate the way we’re feeling it’s our job to tolerate our feel bad and not to do the easy thing that’s gonna take our feel bad away –

Lewis Howes: To keep the peace, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: We keep acquiescing, yeah. 

Lewis Howes: And then be resentful all over again be angry –

Dr. Nicole LePera: At that person.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, exactly. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: And I know that that’s for some people are [00:33:54 – ianudible] it’s – so actually it’s like a self – a lot of the times and I don’t even go a little bit deeper on this, a lot of the times that we struggle with boundaries is because of our own feelings. We don’t want to put limits up cuz of how it makes us feel. Yes, we don’t want to hurt people that we love and a lot of us want to show up as a caring individual and they were all… I myself included, I fancy myself a very kind, consider person but there’s a limit. A lot of times the reason why we don’t even initially have boundaries, we weren’t modeled them but because we don’t like how it feels.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: It feels bad.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. You don’t want someone else, as a people please, you don’t want to hurt someone else, even if you need to for your own sanity you still don’t want to hurt people.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. Then you feel bad.

Lewis Howes: You don’t want someone angry at you cuz you’re like, “Ah, they don’t like me, right?”

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: But that’s where manipulation and guilting comes into play, and it is like… I learned a lot in the last few years about setting back like I used to really care about everyone’s opinion about me like really and want to try to like win them over if like one negative review like how can I win this person over? Even though there’s thousands of positive comments or whatever or something. And I was just like I’m not gonna be able to change someone’s mind necessarily. And me putting energy on one person to try to make them like, like me more is a waste of time.

I think we’ve got to continue just reflect on like, okay, this person is not resonating with me, is there something I can do to improve to move forward? But if not, I’m not gonna put my energy on trying to save one person’s opinion about me, right, so –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: I like it so setting boundaries, define the boundary, creating like a calm communicational request with the boundary, and then stating your word and then following through on the boundary. Otherwise, they’ll never be met.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So how do you feel a year later not talking to your family now?

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s been a year; I mean coming to the decision to not talk to them was complicated. It was really difficult and that’s why I speak very openly and honestly about it too cuz I think I was I’m very surprised when I get messages of other people that have certain amounts of distance between their family, complete no contact and I didn’t – was not aware that there were so many other people that had had to put or had chosen to put distance in because I did not come by that decision easily, it was painful.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. Thirty five years of your life.

Dr. Nicole LePera: To do that, yeah, then and I don’t want to hurt them and I do love them and I do want what’s best for them but I also have to love –

Lewis Howes: Yourself.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — me and want what’s best for me. So when I say –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s been a hard year, I mean I have moments. The holidays and here’s the positive and negative that now you know and on the one hand it’s like, “Oh, I can actually choose what I want to do for the holiday that was completely new.” Me and my partner are starting to make our own –

Lewis Howes: Life.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — traditions.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, that’s cool!

Dr. Nicole LePera: Because the requirement of family is everything is you better believe, you’re showing off for the big Italian Christmas gathering. So I was given little flexibility to have space apart around the holidays but obviously the other side of that came sadness, knowing that my family was having a holiday without me.

Lewis Howes: Without you, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: With my nephew who’s young there, I mean it’s complicated in a lot of levels. 

Lewis Howes: And they may be talking bad about you or whatever.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Oh, I know. I know that it’s being viewed probably not me, I’m pretty positive and my partners is very well aware of this herself that she’s probably been villainize, she’d probably her, she’s taken me away from the fam… I mean, you know, whatever story that are gonna create, they’re gonna create.  

Lewis Howes: It’s tough though because you know unfortunately, sometimes if family is only destructive towards you, you shouldn’t have to stay there and be responsible for their joy and happiness for decades if they are always destructive towards your health, right? And another end you could say, well, I’m just not gonna allow to affect me. I’ll be around them, I’ll still show up, I won’t like this is myself in the family but I’m just not going to allow their thoughts or words or action towards me affect me. Is that something as healthy to though just to be in the space while there’s manipulation, guilt, shaming, or whatever judgment, whatever is happening in the family dynamics.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Should people do that? Or should they more separate themselves fully from family if it’s a constant –?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I think if they can, I mean if they can find a way. So for me I got really good at being okay with it because what I would do and I didn’t – even though I heard this word in my schooling, I did not realize that this is what I was doing is I would dissociate . 

Lewis Howes: Dissociate?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Dissociate, yeah. So I would, I call it my spaceship, where I would go away on. I got –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah. You weren’t present?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I wasn’t present. I mean I got very savvy, you would not have any idea having a conversation with me, I would be in that –

Lewis Howes: Looking through me, not –

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yes, so let’s – yeah, so let me ties it all together, the reason I could not remember my childhood –

Lewis Howes: Wow!

Dr. Nicole LePera: Is because I dissociated.

Lewis Howes: Possibly.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So I wasn’t present enough to put it in so there’s nothing there to re-access so that’s just to tie that all. 

Lewis Howes: You were physically present but you were not –

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I was physic – but that was out of – 

Lewis Howes: Mentally and emotionally present.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, because of the emotional overwhelm of the family, the anxiety and no one modeling or helping me to navigate those feelings as we do as children, I will always say this, as children, I believe we come to this planet, however you think we get here as adaptive, intuitive creatures.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, of course. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: We all have a guidance system and we all are incredibly flexible and adaptive. So I adapted. I dealt with my own emotions my own way which was I dissociated. So some people thought in adulthood can find the way to show up with their family is not… I talked a lot about depersonalizing simply meaning not owning it, even if they say something negative to you, if you can see that as a more of a reflection of them.

Lewis Howes: Of them, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: You can maybe come and go and live that interaction and be okay and off you know what to expect, you’re not expecting them to change.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: You arrived, you deal with it.

Lewis Howes: You laugh at the situation.

Dr. Nicole LePera: You can maybe, I think humor is incredible and then you leave. I didn’t find myself able though for that.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I did not wanna use my old habit of dissociation and then like I said because of just a living structure and –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Just the in depth and the ingrainedness of their dynamics it was much harder for me to find that okay space. I don’t know, honestly, what the future brings. I’m doing and I’m using and so part of what would happen I would go back to visit and then my partner would notice this as well and I would then become almost regressed.

Lewis Howes: Hmm.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I’d become reactive so I was trying to heal but I would only get so far and then I’d pulled right back down or the next health crisis I’d be pulled right back in so my healing is limited. So this year it’s been incredible for me to be able to actually gain some more full traction –

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: — to do my own inner healing so that I don’t know if the future comes and I can have some version of contact with them, I’m not sure. But I know that I have to be in a different place if I am going to be that person who can come home let them, beat them, and then leave that home intact.

Lewis Howes: I’m curious. I feel like a lot of people have challenges, right? Whether it be family or living beliefs, scarcity, relationships, health, or whatever it might be and a lot of people do talk therapy, but why does it seem like most traditional talk therapy doesn’t work and people keep going?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: And how can it work better for them? What do they need to do so that it starts to see benefits and results? What’s your thoughts?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I’m really happy you asked that. So one of reasons I think and this is… this happened in my own life so anxiety was all I knew. I went to multiple years of talk therapy myself. I was actually in an what is called a psychoanalytic training program. So think Freud, with the coach, clocking… I mean, these are people that going on treatment hour. I mean, each day of the week, five days a week for an hour so I was training in that modality and part of that training was we had to lay on the coach ourselves and so at some point I was up in therapy two hours a week, I was on medication. I had my SSRI, my benzo in the back pocket, and I was taking the traditional routes of treatment and I still wasn’t getting better. So for me realizing that we have to look at the whole person that’s why I now work holistically, that there’s a body that I’m – that my mind that’s unwell if you will it’s attached to. So for me it was exploring the nutritional, the sleep, all of the lifestyle based stuff because I was so physiologically out of balance that I wasn’t able to… a lot of my symptoms really of anxiety, even sometimes even of depression or what we think of as depression are the result of this physiological imbalances.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, lack of sleep, anxiety, counseling, stress.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, big time. Food, god damn it, we now know that the gut is incredibly important in our health. It’s not only where nutrients are absorbed that damage to the gut results in chronic inflammation that can be really, really be problematic in terms of our mental wellness. So for me without that, I was just contributing and exacerbating my anxiety. So no amount of talking in a room, the way I see it, or even medication because we also now know that the medication that we thought all the neurotransmitter where in our brain now like I said they’re in our gut so – 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, so we’re doing a talk therapy, then having on  a gallon of ice cream and pizza afterwards. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, Um-hmm. 

Lewis Howes:  It’s probably not gonna help us.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes:  Because we’re gonna go up-down, up-down, up-down constantly. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, and I can assure you I have yet to find a program or meet a clinician and I now have a whole network of them that I’m connected to that I’ve had any version of that… I mean the nutrition; the gut, the body is not mentioned in any training programs. So I think that’s a huge limitation. I also know that another big, big problem for a lot of us whether or not we have the big T of trauma or the little t of trauma is a dis-regulated nervous system. So now there’s science –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, the sympathetic and parasympathetic? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, so now there’s an incredible amount of science even Dr. Steven Porridge is amazing. He does polyvagal theory and so to put it really simple, unless we start to address that dis-regulation in our nervous system that at this part most of us have that’s gonna limit treatment.

Lewis Howes: So the sympathetic, is that fight or flight?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Fight or flight, most of us are spending most of our time chronically in fight or flight.

Lewis Howes: So, all the time, 67% of out day.  

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, I mean from this, I mean I’m looking out at the vast city in the background. I mean for some of us the city — 

Lewis Howes: Distraction and the noise, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: –is enough. My mind is now taking on a whole other capacity to induce stress so a lot of us humans are living chronically stressed. 

Lewis Howes: You could be in peace, you could be in nature but your mind could be in traffic.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right. Yes.

Lewis Howes: Thinking and anxious about –

Dr. Nicole LePera: You could have induced it completely in a panic attack.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I mean I’ve seen it happen at my office you know. Content we are taking about before I know it the person is having a complete visceral reaction.

Lewis Howes:  Sweating there, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So without regulation of that nervous system I see the treatment talking about it only goes so far because we had a great session, thanks Lewis. See you nextweek. 

Lewis Howes: It’s a bad day.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And now I’m at the door with overactive nervous system and that next thing is gonna activate me and the next thing is gonna activate me. And I’m gonna fight with my partner that also speaks to the power of subconscious so what therapy is talking from the conscious mind. We can have a great insightful therapy session. I can understand, I can even have a great game plan but then I’m back up the door and If I’m not conscious I’m back in my subconscious, and then I’m back on those patterns so then what I would see week after week. Me too, I thought I was very insightful, I thought I knew myself, right? I’ve worked with people, we had a great session and back next week and it’s the same report up, got the same fights with my partner –

Lewis Howes: Right.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Still stressed out about work, it’s like nothing is changing and it’s because again therapy, the way I see it, only addresses that conscious mind. Even the best laid plans of what we’re gonna do the next time we’re activated only go as far as me remembering to do and stay conscious –

Lewis Howes: Being aware and mindful of that moment when we’re triggered, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — to do these new things. So I think that those whether it’s the lack of the body attention, the lack of addressing the dis-regulated nervous system, or really has not understanding. I mean, the sub-conscious is crazy as it might sound, not talked about in any training program so unless these clinicians are given these tools I think that a lot of them are gonna – and as a part of it I was nervous, I wasn’t sure when I started to go and shout from the rooftop since these new holistic methods and how I did find the traditional model to be limiting, I was nervous about what my peers were gonna say and they’ve been nothing but receptive and I think a bit relieved. They actually offer professional mentorship sessions now, and I have at least one or two professionals a week that I’ll speak to and help to update – help them to update their practices in these ways because they say it, they know it, they are stuck. They’re probably stuck in their own life too and they don’t see that the clinical work being as affective as they know on some level it could be.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, so how do we regulate our nervous system, I guess? Is that what is nervous system?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, nervous system. So our goal is so we are actually structured as humans to be spending all of our time in the other nervous system, the parasympathetic. 

Lewis Howes: Relaxing.

Dr. Nicole LePera: In that relaxment only –

Lewis Howes: In the sun.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, one might think –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Only to need, right, when we are literally at risk or a threat.

Lewis Howes: Like or needing to go eat –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: So the tool that I’m talking always about is breath work. Through conscious breathing this is the easiest one being just retraining the way you naturally breathe. Most of us humans now have evolved to being a bit of a shell, of chest-base breather. So even just – so for me I couldn’t. When I first started doing breath work I was like gasping for air, I’m lying down trying to get a deep belly breathe in and now I’ve practiced consistently enough that I breathe mainly from my belly which indicates to me that I’ve been spending more and more time… there’s still times where from feeling particularly stressed off, I remind myself to breathe –

Lewis Howes: Yehey.

Dr. Nicole LePera: — as crazy as that sounds, I catch myself holding my breath or I catch my breath being a little more shallow so that’s one that when I work with clients I talk about right off the bat because being able — I don’t see anything, honestly, as empowering as being able to begin to consciously gain control of the way your body is physiologically reacting especially if you sit on that anxiety spectrum and definitely if you have panic attacks cuz I know that they feel like the most out of controlled place in the world to be. So to show people that wait a minute, I can start to – and again, these aren’t the magic elixirs, we can’t breathe from the belly twice or they’re just used as needed –

Lewis Howes: I am my body.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  –as a lot of us want to do, you know, it’s not that but if you do practice it you can start to feel a bit more in control and I don’t find anything as empowering as that. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah, and when we can calm the mind then we can make a lot better decisions.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes. 

Lewis Howes: The more we are in constant stress or fight or flight in the mind and the body –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s hard to be mindful of our reactions. We’re just gonna go back to our patterns of the past, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah, well, I love that you said that because the mind and body are connected, they’re interconnected so just as much as like you and I just said, I said here on stressful thoughts I’m having a stress body reaction —

Lewis Howes: Yeah, well it tense.  

Dr. Nicole LePera: Our mind is monitoring our body’s reaction, too. So if my body is having a reaction with and the stress hormones they have a longer shelf life. I mean cortisol, adrenalin, takes our body a bit to metabolize those so our mind is gonna continue to register that our body is stressed and it’s gonna try to make sense of it so then it’s gonna make it even harder to calm or to redirect our attention from a racing mind so it’s very interconnected. So that’s why I talk about intentional control of getting the hell out of those thoughts that are becoming the issue and then inducing body experience but also calming the body so that we can clip that up message, too.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s working on both for sure. I try to think about like my mind is a bucket, right? And there’s some thoughts that I can put in the bucket all day, and there’s thoughts that are coming and leaving the bucket. How do I constantly fill it with positive, peaceful, loving beautiful thoughts as opposed to chaotic, stressful, thoughts? And I just try to decide every moment to have more beautiful thoughts than negative thoughts and a lot of my practices is breath work meditation and gratitude.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm, yeah.

Lewis Howes: Simple things, it’s really basic simple things and the more I focus on gratitude, I find that my mind is in a peaceful beautiful state and there’s no room for negativity when it’s in a beautiful state. So it’s a practice because when we’re on stress mode and we’re in scarcity mode, it’s hard to think beautiful thoughts cuz you’re like I’m gonna die. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: That’s how you feel; no one loves me.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: They are attacking me. And this negativity, in these negative emotions come up. So I just try to focus on gratitude for what I have and that brings more peace and positive thoughts into the bucker every day.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, well, you’re actually speaking at something that’s very real too. Part of the fight or flight response is a shrinking of our perceptual field where we cannot see those expansive areas outside. We only can see the immediate and we’re actually prime to see threat, so that’s why it’s always typically colored negative. So those of us that are living, this is why it is also imperatively important to get out of fight or flight or to build and practice that over time will shift us a bit more out of fight or flight because we are, and this also goes into the whole financial climate. When you’re living under stress even if it’s financially induce stress – I can’t pay my bills, you are now dealing with them a shrunken, perceptual field that makes it hard to lock out of that.

Lewis Howes: It’s funny but once you start focusing on gratitude in scarcity, you start to create more abundance and opportunities to generate financial income or the right partnership or whatever it might be, so it’s hard to get out of that but if you just focus on – okay, what am I –

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes:  — grateful for and how come my energy shift to be a magnetic force field of good to come to me?  – good in financials –

Dr. Nicole LePera: That’s what it is, I mean, that’s why in gratitude there’s… I’m so excited now cuz it’s actually getting studied a bit, that gratitude does shift us vibrationally, energetically, that even a small practice just one – two things a day, that you’re grateful for does have those effects and it’s becoming more and more proven that it does because it’s shifting our brain waves to a different frequency.

Lewis Howes: I was thinking about people in service at restaurants and someone’s waiting on you and they come with a grateful, positive energy, I guarantee they are making more tips. And if someone is negative and focused on their own head and just angry or down on themselves, you’re  attracting less, you’re trashing once you’re creating the world. And I always hear these great stories of people that are so positive it’s like I wanna hire these people at these restaurants who are so positive and bring gratitude. I’m like, if you’re grateful in this situation, I can imagine how you implement this energy to something else.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And I feel like they are attracting more of what they want by being grateful in their way of being, their energy. It’s not easy, it’s a practice. So how did you start to eliminate scarcity in your own life? Where did you focus on when you recognized – okay, one of my living beliefs is not being seen or being scarce? So what were the steps that you did that you start to do inner child work right away?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, so first I practiced consistent so self-observation, I watched –

Lewis Howes: Observation?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, so I developed consistent now and I resist it meditating consistently but I built in a consistent meditation –

Lewis Howes: That’s hard.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — practice so that I could then carry that skill throughout my day because I knew that’s where I really needed it. So I practiced a consistent daily self-observation where I was looking at my thoughts you know all day long and –

Lewis Howes: Uh-huh, and what journaling them or just being aware?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Just noticing because the first way and this kind of ties into something you were saying earlier, the first way that we can start to quite our mind is we don’t battle out thoughts away, we can obviously hit the mute button on them but we can start to pay less attention by removing our attention. So each and every time I would see that cuz my subconscious, our subconscious is what’s offering most of thoughts for us, right? So my cupcakes gone and oh, my subconscious is gonna assign that, I’m not considered scarcity base meaning, not my conscious mind, right? So I don’t have control over that, that’s why I explained that.

Lewis Howes: Subconscious, we don’t control? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: We do not have control. We can –

Lewis Howes: Reprogram it.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Reprogram it through consistent repetition of something new.  

Lewis Howes: By being aware of our thoughts consciously and be like okay, that doesn’t support me anymore let me have a new thought.  

Dr. Nicole LePera: So the simplest way I put it is to change our subconscious we first need to start paying less attention to those older narratives that are naturally gonna be there and I say this –

Lewis Howes: But you need to pay attention to them first to pay less attention –

Dr. Nicole LePera: You need to notice them and then remove your attentional and focus back to your breath, back to the current moment and that is the tool, the muscle I called the mindful – the muscle that we’re building our attentional muscle. We all have one, ours ar,  most of ours are just very wimpy because either life that’s endless distracting is grabbing our attention or a lot of us are spending way too much time looking if you will let our thoughts. So noticing our thoughts enough to then redirect my attention away will weaken that narrative so that’s the first layer of work. 

Lewis Howes: Okay. Noticing, watching your thoughts. What’s the second layer?

Dr. Nicole LePera: And then if you want to the subconscious can be reprogrammed so then it starts play around with then the future southern journal was kind of where I developed for this part of my own healing was to practice, I mean what an affirmation is a new thought. So then I start to practice abundance-based affirmations and that’s a mental rehearsal in the act of affirming or literally laying up a new neuro pathway in our brains so our brain does not know whether or not I already believe that could be true or not. The goal is to repeat it enough that over time I believe that to be true. So the subconscious can be changed later in life so the reason –

Lewis Howes: What was the mantra you were using for this? 

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I’m abundant. That’s just it.

Lewis Howes: A simple mantra.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Just simple one. Just simple one. 

Lewis Howes: A couple of words, yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Just a simple one, yeah.

Lewis Howes: So what if you hear like, ah, trigger! Some of my cookie’s gone, whatever, like I’m abundant.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Right, first is get out of there –

Lewis Howes: Notice it, okay. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Just out of myself, sometimes I need to take a breath because I always say, “I’m god damn cookie!”, you know and once I have a second then I could say but, you know,  I wanna remind myself that I’m abundant, there’s a store up the street be like it’s not about the lack of but we first have to pull it away, cuz I think a lot of us try to go right in on a strong arm and shift it and it just doesn’t work cuz this is a belief that we’ve been practicing. I mean some of us outside of our conscious awareness for as long we’ve been walking the planet so this is a really strong network –

Lewis Howes: So it will take time. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: It’s gonna take time.

Lewis Howes: It could be years potentially, decades potentially, right? Now do you associate the thought with a physical feeling or physical motion or just like an abundant movement or is it just a thought? 

Dr. Nicole LePera: With — so what… the way I define manifestation is pairing that though with the bullet,  as if it’s true. So how would believing me to be abundant and how would that make me feel? Will I feel free?

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Will I feel limitless? 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: It might be different for each of us –

Lewis Howes: Gotcha, okay.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So that is part of it but for me the narrative work is what I just described, getting out all the narratives if you choose to be committed practicing new ones that can work.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: The deeper level because a lot of these narratives, a lot of our self-conscious is touching on a wound or unmet needs. 

Lewis Howes: Yes.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So for me this is where the consideration came. So my deeper work, my inter child work was now as the adult that I am to find the ways and I had to find them, I did not know them, no one taught me how to consider myself. I did not have parents or caregivers that were modeling kind of self-consideration or self-care in a healthy way if you will, so I didn’t know when I say this. It take a lot of time so when we become an adult and we think we should know, we just know how to take care of our emotional selves. But if we were never taught how would we know? I did not know. So then my deeper journey was,”Okay, how can I show up in the world consistently on a daily basis?” And consider myself, consider my needs, explore what they even might be. How to even give them words and then what to do. I didn’t know how to give myself a feel better. I dissociated, that’s all I know. So now that I was showing up to manage my feelings in a way, I was like a little kid again.

Lewis Howes: Wow. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: I had no ___ idea.

Lewis Howes: Wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: What to do and I just had to move toward okay. This is make me feel better or worse and then I talked to my clients a lot about this because it can feel really overwhelming when you’re trying to navigate your emotions now in a new way. We all have had a way that we cope, and we got really good at it but chances are that’s not the way that’s gonna get us the relationships that we want, the life that we want, so for me it’s like stabbing around the dark and just moving towards what felt a little better and then you start to get a tool kit, you start to say okay, when I’m feeling down, well, I might hate to say it, moving helps me, or a bath helps me, or a time alone helps me. I had to rediscover all of those new tools for myself in those moments so that was the deeper part of the journey is now because I view, it’s my responsibility to —

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: –consider myself to learn how to navigate my emotions in this. It’s not my partner’s job not to eat the cupcake to consider me, it’s my job to – and then I realized over time. I wasn’t assigning through that constant attentional control, I stopped designing, lack of consideration meanings — 

Lewis Howes: You’ve stopped after a while.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, and then eating food was eating food; dishes on the counter were just dishes on the counter, and then I was building myself up enough, and re-parenting myself enough that I was feeling over all considered by me so that when she offered me an active consideration I was like, “Oh, great!”

Lewis Howes: Amazing. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Bit it wasn’t necessary anymore, so –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, wow!

Dr. Nicole LePera: My okayness and our relationship stability didn’t depend on her showing up to give me a gesture of consideration anymore. 

Lewis Howes:  It was just an added bonus.

Dr. Nicole LePera: It was an added bonus.

Lewis Howes: Cause you’re taking care of yourself.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Then I was able to let it in more –

Lewis Howes: Like, wow.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Because I think some of us becomes so rigid in exactly what we need from this other person – 

Lewis Howes: The expectations, oh gosh!

Dr. Nicole LePera: To fit my need in this way and now I could accept, maybe it’s not the way I would want to be considered but it’s a little gesture of it and its consideration and it’s still –

Lewis Howes: I tell you what?

Dr. Nicole LePera: — fills my cup.

Lewis Howes: I feel like I’ve gone to the point in my life where I’m pretty abundant, right? I’ve created the life I want from 11 years ago being the most scarce I could ever be like broke on my sister’s couch, no money and no clear vision of how to make money. Ten hours is like, okay, I’m not worried about eating for a long time; unless something drastic happens like I’m not worried about eating for a long time. I’m not worried about a place, a roof over my head. I can live in a one bedroom apartment and be fine, right? Studio, it doesn’t matter. And I feel so good being independent that my current relation, my girlfriend is amazing. Like yesterday, I woke up late it was a Sunday, I woke up late I was supposed to wake up early to workout but I woke late to a doorbell ringing because she’s in Mexico City and she sent me a Starbucks latte. So I just woke up, open the door there’s a latte from her from Postmates and I was just like, that’s just brings me so much joy. There was no expectation that she needed to do that, it’s just I’m aloud able to receive it so much better. I don’t have any expectation, I think if we put expectation on our partner so much. Sure, there’s certain boundaries and rules that we create in every relationship but it’s like we shouldn’t be expecting on the other person to make us happy, that’s when we get let down, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, Absolutely. We shouldn’t be expecting then part of I think the dynamic that unfolds in relationships is we look to recreate what we knew first of relationships, in those very early relationships that becomes our normal, our familiar in relationships. So whether or not it’s expectations is just emotional climates. We tend to look to recreate that which we first knew because that’s our first journey in relationships. It’s the caregiving, the family structure looks different from all of us but whatever we’re depositing in, right, you’re seeing relationships happen. Sometimes you’re getting direct messages about what’s okay or not okay in relationships and then you’re having your own experience being in relationships with these humans and that becomes the relationship model that get stored, the thing that’s replicated over time. So for me, my current relationship was a big shift out of my past ones because what I notice looking back that I was searching for was those familiar feelings so –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I felt closest to the people that –

Lewis Howes: Presented you, that guilted you, that maybe played with you. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: In some ways but they were much more surfaced –

Lewis Howes: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: — that were anxiety understood so I had a lot of partners that also were very much relatable –

Lewis Howes: All stressed out.

Dr. Nicole LePera: In that cuz that’s how my family unit felt so it felt familiar. What we’re seeking most as humans the way I see it is familiarity but in that comes up a lot in a relationship. So even if logically you can look and say, oh – maybe your friends are even telling you this is the partner for you, something feels really comfortable about it, cuz that’s what you’re used to. 

Lewis Howes: You’re used to as normal.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And I think that happens in terms of what you expect like you were saying in relationships through also the feeling in a relationship registers to and I think sometimes we’re just seeking that familiar even if it’s not logically the partner that we necessarily want to be building a life with.

Lewis Howes: You mentioned you learned how to re-parent yourself. What does that mean, parenting yourself?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm. So whether or not it’s so, there’s a lot of categories but I think and some of which is just physical needs, right? How do we show up and take care of the body that we’re in in terms of sleeping and eating and again reminding each of us or looking at those earliest models that we were given. What we’re we taught about those is very much just our basic needs, how are we exposed to them being mad, what were we told how they should or shouldn’t be mad? What do we see? How were they met in those earliest environments, and then it’s our emotional world.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: I think we had our major categories. So how do I learn my own emotions? How do I come to know what they feel like in the body? How do I come to know what to do with them?

Lewis Howes: And how do I learn but also how do I re-talk to myself, is that part of it, too?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm. 

Lewis Howes: How do I talk to myself?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Re-talk to yourself, for some of us it’s teaching. I mean I had a family who did not talk about emotions; I think a lot of people –

Lewis Howes: Yeah, most people’s families don’t like –

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — don’t, so it’s learning emotional language might be how do I talk is to talk.

Lewis Howes: Why don’t we talk one of, I mean cuz it’s not on the school responsibility to teach us some emotions necessarily although I wish there was a class in school that tells us about  emotions growing up. It’s kind what Mr. Rogers was about, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: It’s kind of like what his mission because he saw that no kids, not no kids, but a lot of kids lack the emotional capacity to express their feelings in a safe environment, right? It was anger, fighting, screaming, manipulating – it wasn’t like this is how I’m feeling, right, cuz the anger and other things we’re actually more acceptable at least for me growing up.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: It’s like showing that you’re a man by being angry and fighting or punching as opposed to like sitting down with a buddy of yours but I’m really feeling sad about this in my life that the teacher did – use to make fun of. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, Um-hmm. I hate their suicidal messages I often think about men a lot, I think you guys have really, really kind of structural messages that are put in place passed down from society at large that it’s quite damaging the way I see it.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Family cultures and climates, it comes back to safety. When we have caregivers that aren’t comfortable with their own emotions they’re not going to be comfortable with their children’s emotion, so before we know it we start to shave off the okay or the acceptable emotions in the family so either we’re left with none being acceptable we just don’t talk about emotions, which is very much my family or we’re left with only the handful of acceptable emotions.

Lewis Howes: Right, which is anger or whatever, yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And then we internalize this and then we carry that into our adulthood. So now I’m the person in the relationship who doesn’t address anything emotions that I run from the conversation when I know and the person is like, “We’re gotta talk.” Like, “ I’m out of here. Bye-bye.” 

Lewis Howes: Right, right. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Maybe I’m on my spaceship now because I don’t want to talk about emotions that’s scary to me or we become only these emotions are okay to talk about, so and I think this again, pass out through generations likely our caregivers grow up in families where these emotions weren’t okay and they were unsafe, it really that’s what it comes down to. 

Lewis Howes: Until you learn how to break the cycle, it’s very hard to break the emotional cycle of what your higher raised. For me, I started breaking it because I had a lot of break downs in my life. When I turned 30 I had a massive break up, break down. A business partnership break down – break up, and I just started reacting in every area of my life when I felt I was under attack. When I felt someone is abusing me which is kind of my trigger, it’s like when I feel abused. I was sexually abused as a kid and I was bullied and picked on and I felt like I was the youngest of four and just felt like I was always the one who got the abuse, that’s the story that I told myself at 30 years. 

And I got in a fight in a basketball game that meant nothing. The game was like a no stakes game was like a pickup game. I got in a really bad fight and it’s kind of like the perfect storm of like why is all these break downs happening? It’s when I finally was like wow; I have a lot to lose here. If I keep following these pattern, and I decided I was like I need to take a look at my life. I need to start making some changes. I need to start being aware of why I’m doing this and learn how I can break through these triggers. And that was really the game changer for me but I feel like it’s hard for people to want to look for growth and improvement in their life without some type of drastic event or events happening, a near death situation; a break up in a long term relationship; a divorce; career ending – whatever may be.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Why is it so hard for us to want to improve or grow when there’s no tragic accident?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, I often talk about having the kind of cataclysmic events are necessary in a sense so the way I see it, I mean it’s not the only route, I think people can consciously just evolve and decide to change on their own but a lot of times you will hear that as a part of the journey, you know the darkness of the soul or whether it’s something objectively ended the lost things like that, so something I’ve always said and I’ve always noticed about people and change and then I’ve come to understand why this is the case but something I’ve always said is we have to feel like that we know the option, like the option of life as we know it now is way more intolerable than the fear that comes along with change in general. 

And again, back to something I said earlier, we humans are habitual creatures and to some extent we view change or uncertainty as threating. And there’s a function now that I’m very much aware of the power of our subconscious. So the simplest way I describe and this is why I will always hate changes hard, universally hard.

Lewis Howes: [chuckles]

Dr. Nicole LePera: For all of us. I wanna normalize that, though I mean this one. I say this because I think a lot of people become really self-deprecating – I’m lazy, I’m undisciplined. I just can’t do this –

Lewis Howes: Ity’s hard to change.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I’m hopeless when they realize when they live the experience of change being hard. The reason why change is hard is so our subconscious it’s a silly description but I – say we each have an avatar, you have a have a Louis Swan, I’m in a cool one, so because what our subconscious has done an this I close my mind, it has logged every experience that we’ve had on this thus far until today and will continue to log every experience we have in life until we’re no longer on this planet which is a lot of shit. And because we’re very habitual it has we need our subconscious so this is me thanking – thank you subconscious we needed to some extent cuz without some things some things in that program, I has to wake up every day and remind myself and continuously think about being human, brushing my teeth –

Lewis Howes: How do I walk? How do I talk?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I would be, I mean we’re debilitated.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So we need this. However, what happens is because we are so habitual what is in their our behavioral habits more or less knows what we do first thing in the morning before bed, knows habitual thought knows habitual thought that we think, and we know how those thoughts makes us feel so we have our little avatar. It registers things in a very black and white and white it’s a very simple description. Registers things that are very black and white one, and the one end on the spectrum being familiar equal safe good, unfamiliar equals unsafe possibly  even threatening bad.

Lewis Howes: Mmm.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Alright, so logically you might even close to for I don’t want to start this new habit first thing in the morning. I’m gonna start a new affirmation, I am good at offer. I want to give myself a feeling if peace all I know is stress, tomorrow comes and you want to give yourself one of those, you make the choice to have one of those experiences and your sub- conscious is gonna register than as unfamiliar. And then one of two maybe both things are gonna happen when I call mental shatter the endless reasons why not to do or to never to do this thing again it’s sucks it’s terrible it’s bad for you

Lewis Howes: It’s hard.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, or dangerous, what are you doing? And or because some of us get this will start to feel whether its physiological and agitation. Sometimes it’s just crawling in my skins sometime I just want to feel like me, I start to feel weird. And again that is the power of sub-conscious so for both of those reasons before I know it I’m right back in that comfort zone. I’m doing back what I’m used to doing thinking feeling because it’s familiar. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: So that’s why changes it is hard.

Lewis Howes: So how do we stay consistent with the change?

Dr. Nicole LePera: So what I – the language I use is a small daily promise.

Lewis Howes: Small.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And I put emphasis on that small because I know speaking of expectations again we as humans can tend to in a lot of I’m a perfectionist. We set the bar so high up for our self that it’s so damaging because what we are looking is consistency. I mean that’s what this means the heal holistically to create habits it’s not every day we do it or maybe this time then the next week I’ll try it again it’s doing this each day but the higher the bar is if I don’t meet that bar I become so disempower I’m not gonna show up and try to meet that bar again tomorrow. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Hell no. I’d rather do any other thing on the plant so setting out those small.

Lewis Howes: Yeah. It’s almost like okay instead of staying I’m gonna work out every day its saying, I’m gonan put on my tennis shoes and I’m gonna take one step outside.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: One step because that’s gonna ultimately lead you into doing more steps, as supposed to say okay I’m gonna floss all my teeth at every night but I’ve never flossed I’m just gonna floss one tooth.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: If you can get the floss one tooth your gonna do another one, right?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: Maybe you’ll stop after four five but at least you have.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Well, I think we only do that one this is also what I suggest, notice each and every time you’ve kept that promise because that’s you get when I say getting past your mind because tomorrow when you go to floss that one tooth and maybe just one tooth, right?

Your mind is gonna get all the reason not to floss that one tooth again, right? So the more you show yourself that consistency in the way I put it is we’re rebuilding trust in our self, most of us have I say, self-betrayal. Most of us have started to not trust ourselves and not trust our words.

Lewis Howes: We don’t keep our word.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Because it changes heart ,right? So this is all interconnected. So we have to rebuild trust, we have to show our self that we are keeping those promises and we can expect our self-conscious to get on bore.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I joke and I say we can’t get away from that cheerleading squad or in some of those ways to want to or to feel like we want to. So I’m always on my stories saying I don’t want to do this shit but I’m doing it anyway because I’ve now build a trust in myself that I keep my word and then my self-conscious is giving me all the reason not to do even years later into this.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But the more you keep those promises and you notice yourself keeping them we start to trust yourself and you start to get in a little bit more empowered getting beyond that mind.

Lewis Howes: And self-belief and confidence comes from keeping your word.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yes, that’s why — I say.

Lewis Howes: The more you keep your word you believe

Dr. Nicole LePera: –trust starts in the confidence and turns into empowerment.

Lewis Howes: If you believe you deserve abundance you believe —

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah.

Lewis Howes: You deserve great relationships you deserve better health when you fall through on that. Tell me about the inner child work? Every time I do any inner child work or someone is talking to me and I’m reflecting back, and holding like holding my baby myself is a little boiled looking into my eyes is a five year old hugging my inner child, like every time I think about myself as a child I get very emotional.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: And the more work I do it on my class this is really powerful to heal constant healing.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Um-hmm.

Lewis Howes: Why is child work inner child work necessary and what is it exactly?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I think that is what we exactly we all have, a wounded child in us, again, whether or not some of us lived through those big T traumas, the abuses, the neglect, the big stuff. Some of us have just live with un underlying unmeant need a lack of emotional love not just being – I see trauma in on itself not being seen instead of just for heard just the unique being is being enough without how you’re showing up in the world. So I think we all carry a wound, so I think it’s necessary. I think it’s important because I think I know what’s happening in the moments of those reactivity where we are triggered and what we are expressing our feelings are outwardly or are we whether trantruming –

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  —or dissociate it those are all those child hood reactions that we formed at that time so we need to heal that and give ourselves some new options. Actually, someone asked me this is really interesting I think about whether we get to that place or that wound is gone, whether or not It goes away it’s not our goal of healing. And I don’t believe and I have yet to have any experiences or evidence that we get to place where our wound is gone, but I think our goal is to navigate life with that wound, knowing what is being touched, knowing how to make our self-feel better when it’s there to,  knowing of how to first or foremost I should’ve said this, break that habitual way of reacting toward it and giving yourself a bit more new choices, helping our relationships in those moments and then giving our self those deeper needs to be met on our own. But I think we’re always gonna retain some hurt, things are always gonna my minds is gonna be something that’s deeper and yours is gonna be something else and there’s always and event where it’s like, “Oh, that hurt a little bit.” But we can still show up as our adult self and in that moment to have a new choice or

Lewis Howes: Yeah, how do we become a self-healer everyday?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Everyday?

Lewis Howes: Yeah, how do we become a self-healer everyday? And what can we do is it just simple practice that pop them up?

Dr. Nicole LePera: I think it’s simple practices. I mean I think, you know, depending on what you’re struggling first with if it something that’s gonna physiologically desregulation just taking a look at this daily habits, how much are you sleeping? I was shocked about my sleep habits. I always thought I was someone who needed a lot of sleep I wasn’t getting consistently. A lot of sleep my nutrition. Now, that I become aware of the gut and some of these gut damage foods I was eating a lot of things that weren’t helping me. So I think some of it just getting a look on our lifestyle, the choices I think those of us who lived in cities have endless options of food ordering, and food that we are eating a lot of or just a way we are socializing with our friends, you know, so modifying anything that is lifestyle based is it and small steps. I mean you’re not gonna in some people might go clean up the pantry, and have a completely new set of options. Some people might just decide make that one choice to be one last thing that they know is problematic or at one less time. 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Say no to one ranger at the ball. I mean whatever it is, it start small and then I always think consciousness developing some habit of being aware, getting eyes practicing that self-observation that you can get clarity into your stuck points, into your self-conscious, into those deeper wounds and then you can really start to get those deeper level steps.

Lewis Howes: Sure, sure.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But it is daily so that’s why I think it is. I mean its picking just one area. I always will say focus attention even though a lot of us like to think that we’re great multi-tasking, focus attention on one area and develop some consistency I know people hate this but I’m not gonna do things for three days and have it down and this is your new habit probably, I mean I don’t look into the research and habits don’t take 30 days, 28 gut whatever. Have it take as long until you are that’s becomes into your life.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: You know what I mean? So just focus on one thing remove one of the problems in your world — 

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — in a small way for a consistent amount of time and build on it. I always do what I call a Foundational Approach with the clients that I work with my own journey and then I suggest we do that just pick one area and you can always build and expand, and empowers you on the way.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s powerful what’s your vision for the future now you’re gonna spend the last year building years of work into and sure it’s not end of the world, it sounds like once you’ve set yourself free with these boundaries you really set your ideas free to create an abundance in your life.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah.

Lewis Howes: So what’s the next – whats the vision for yo moving forward?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Absolutely. So I’m hoping to release some courses now to give some people a little bit more of a self-directed healing journey, you know, aside from just the squares. I mean, so all the content that I’ve always been putting out there was everything I would use in sessions with clients.

Lewis Howes: Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I didn’t have a secret Arsenal that if you got the workflow, there’s a real magical [01:17:50 – inaudible] you know, so I was always putting it out there and I always intend to do that. But I want to come up with some coursework so that people can have a bit more of a structured kind of workshop. There way through subconscious repairing. I want to do some things on partnerships and relationships because I think these are all interconnected. So I’m going to fold out some courses, I want to – I’ve shifted away or I stopped taking individual clients about two months ago now, and I’m shifting into a group model. I think humans heal very well in group. So I want to start to offer special groups –

Lewis Howes: That’s great.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Again where people can pace themselves through a healing journey. So just very much expand of the tools and I guess reach of the tools in a way so that any human – I also want to overtime start to shift into teaching a little bit more in a structured fashion workshops and things like that for the practitioner.

Lewis Howes: Sure, that’s great.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Start to update you know, because again, I’m not trying to change the school system or the school structure and that’s just not my time on this planet. But I do want to make sure that clinicians out there are equipped to start to use some of these more holistic it so.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, powerful. And you have a thing called a Future Self-Journal, right? So how can people get this it’s free?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah.

Lewis Howes: To download these templates.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So The Future Self-Journal. So my main hub is the Instagram and The Holistic Psychologist.

Lewis Howes:  Your website to?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Up there. I have a link traced so you can get to my website At and signing up for the email list for that website. But I believe I have that in a link tree in my Instagram that you can also access and I’m always doing swipe up So that is what comes upon sign up for the email. And that’s a template it takes you through to what I call Future Self-Journaling, which is a bit of a spin on good old fashion journaling where we journal about our past, our daily experiences, our feelings. This was me really starting to get a pivot and explore ways to use journal practice to increase conscious around future change.

Lewis Howes:  It’s powerful.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  It’s really cool so that people are really getting some pretty good impact with it. But it’s the same thing like I always say it’s the tool to be used every day to set our self-up every day to be more conscious throughout the day to make change its not a magic journal I wish —

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I mean, believe me if I had the, if I found the magic journal I’d be releasing that but it doesn’t exist so that’s what they often say but it’s definitely I think an impactful tool. I use it myself in healing and it’s a cool thing.

Lewis Howes:  It’s powerful.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah.

Lewis Howes:  So people can get that there your holistic you they can follow you on Instagram, you’re gonna have courses workshops, in the future you just kinda have to a pop-up workshops. And then hundreds of people come out move inspired so we are doing more of those I’m sure you’ll have a list of your vents in the future in your website?

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Yeah, for sure, yeah. I’m gonna do one on Philly because I have to represent 

Lewis Howes:  You gotta do it. You know it’s interesting.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  And I’m actually going up to New York. In a couple of months too then I’m gonna do a couple of months warm out there.

Lewis Howes:  I bet you’ll have your least amount of people that will show up in your home town

Dr. Nicole LePera: I like this.

Lewis Howes:  For some reason…

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Uh-huh. 

Lewis Howes:  You’d always get the least, maybe prove me wrong but I always find —

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I’m actually interested because I have a couple of colleagues or things that I know that are inter connected, but I do have people randomly like “Oh you’re feeling .I’m feeling too. I need your –”

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  I’m actually figuring out what the hell I’m gonna do it in Philly the beach is beautiful here and they were like, oh it’s a beach. I’m great.

Lewis Howes:  It’s nice.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  It’s nice and big I’ll figure it out but I want to make that a habit of pretty much of ever where I travel my goal.

Lewis Howes:  That’s right.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  –is to be able to provide part, I mean for me to meet people and to have that interface I love meeting the humans behind the incredibly supportive account that are on the other side of the Instagram but also to have it was beautiful yesterday. I was watching humans connecting and exchanging numbers, and maybe you know you can get some support. It can be really lonely as something that I have lived through myself as I start to evolve our of someone relationships.

Lewis Howes:  Sure.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — like was looking around, “Oh shit, I don’t remember many people left you know,  so when I’m own Instagram and then a part of it was a little bit of, you know, I want to find other people out there that were —

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  –that were not struggling or healing the same way that I was cause I would start to make — because I was doing shifting the way that I was living that meant and I maybe wasn’t at all the happy hours or I’m out with my friends doing what they are doing. So while I’m looking around and then people. So I think it’s a beautiful way. I mean the community that is being created on mind blown every day that are in incredibly supportive.

Lewis Howes:  It’s amazing.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Incredible.

Lewis Howes:  You’re doing an amazing work.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  Thank you.

Lewis Howes:  Well, when I acknowledge you for jeez, you just serve a lot of people to call. And it’s really inspiring. I think a lot of people are healing for the first time. On Instagram of all places, they’re able to find wisdom that you’re creating, whether it be through your Instagram TV, Guided Breathing, meditations, or just the images you put out, are so simply make complicated things so easy to digest, where it’s like, “Oh, yeah, why don’t I think about this.” And so I acknowledge you for putting yourself out there for creating boundaries in your life and relationships that probably felt very conflicted and guilty for years to decide that. But creating freedom for yourself is now healing the world. And I think I’m really I’m really inspired by your decisions and your consistency and showing up for all of us. 

Dr. Nicole LePera: Thank you.

Lewis Howes:  I acknowledge you for your gift.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Thank you that means a lot.

Lewis Howes:  Of course.

Dr. Nicole LePera: And one of my goals was always to make— cause I think right no, a lot of this material can feel overwhelming and in the way its talked about in some traditional ways, you know. It’s not understandable, sound like and if it is understandable, it’s okay well now what? 

Lewis Howes:  Yeah.

Dr. Nicole LePera: I’m hearing that I’m able and I’ll tell you those, those cute little memes and now I can do very much efficiently or the bane of my existence.

Lewis Howes:  It took a lot it times before hours.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Was like three hours a goddamn little square on Instagram. I was like,”Oh, I can’t I can’t sustain. I made a promise myself. I was going to post you know, I think was like two weeks — I may miss out with three times a day.” And I was holding myself up to that promise –

Lewis Howes:  Cool.

Dr. Nicole LePera: But I’m eyes are bleeding trying to figure out the program and how to present the cut. Now, I’m in a flow.

Lewis Howes:  You got the flow.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  So thank you for –

Lewis Howes:  We’ve got 15 minutes left.

Dr. Nicole LePera:  — very much easier than it was behind the scenes. I was like —

Lewis Howes:  Yeah, that’s crazy. This question is called the three truths. So imagine it’s your last day on earth. Many years away from now you get to pick the day. You can be 100 200 years old, doesn’t matter, but someday you gotta go. You’ve created everything you want to create in your life. Your future self has been manifest. You’ve have healed everything you’ve traveled, done what you want to do. But for whatever reason, you got to take it all with you. So all your work, all your messages, your Instagram account, books, everything you create, it’s got to go with you. So no one has access to any of your content anymore. But you get to leave behind three lessons that you’d share with us. What would you say are the three things you’d want to share behind what I like to call three truths?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah, absolutely. I love this question. So the first one that comes to mind most intuitively, is how life in this moment is life. That was something that was really impactful for me when I first discovered the concept of mindfulness with this idea of just being present. I think that’s an incredibly powerful truth and the more we can each embrace that,  I think that that speaks kind of to life really.

Lewis Howes:  Sure.

 Dr. Nicole LePera: So now the present moment. I think that’s definitely one of my truths. Another truth is that we’re each unique amazing good enough intuitive humans think a lot of us don’t have come to be conditioned out of that belief, me included as well. I thought that was a million things based on what I was told or the experiences that I’ve had that aren’t what this concept elusive concept of authentic self, I don’t believe that was my authentic self. So I think a truth is that we all have an authentic self beneath it all. 

And then I guess healing takes work; life takes work, effort, consistent effort. I’m always the speaker of this truth and I think that’s a hard one. And honestly, this was not one that I came by easily I whether it’s messaging that I’ve heard my mom’s voice in my ear, I had all the reasons. And a lifetime of things coming easy, I’ll be honest. I school came easy for me, sports came easy for me. I didn’t have to work so hard in some areas. So this truth was a hard one for me to swallow, was that things are hard and I know how to shop for hard things and to make a consistent effort, and it is incredibly valuable to do that. And I think that’s the truth again of healing and of life really.

Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s great. I love those. Final question. What’s your definition of greatness?

Dr. Nicole LePera: Yeah. So as per the end of this conversation, my definition of greatness is healing. I think our older wounds and being able to show up daily to consciously create ourselves. I think that’s incredible. That’s empowerment. I think that’s what the purpose of this journey is. And I would definitely call that greatness.

Lewis Howes: Love it. Dr. Nicole, thank you so much. Appreciate you.

Dr. Nicole LePera: Amazing, Lewis. Thank you for having me.

Lewis Howes: Appreciate it.

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Lewis Howes: My friends, I hope you feel more at peace in your hearts. I hope you’ve learned how to heal yourself and break free of your emotional cycles, the boundaries, the other challenges that you’ve been facing in your life. And now I hope you have some tools and practices so that you can move forward and recover much quicker in your emotional life and in your relationships.

If you enjoyed this, do me a favor and share it on your Instagram story, tag me @lewishowes and tag, the holistic psychologist. Let Nicole know what you thought about this, share your thoughts by leaving a couple comments on the page as well. And send this to one friend, one friend, you think this could help them support in their emotional day to day or mental challenges they might be facing. This is all about self-love, self-healing, creating boundaries and waking up from the things that are holding you back that are keeping you from the life that you want to live.

So take this link or the link on the Apple podcast or Spotify, wherever you’re listening to this and just text one friend, text one friend and say, “Hey, I was thinking about you today. I think you’d enjoy this episode. Let me know what you think. What was the biggest thing takeaway for you??

Send that text and connect with someone. Be a giver today to someone. You can be a champion in someone’s life; you can be the person that gives them a tool to help them improve their life. So be a giver today and share this with one friend.

Also, if you enjoyed this specific episode, please go to Apple podcast and leave a review. Leave your comments. Let me know what we can do to make this better and how we can improve. It doesn’t matter if you leave a one star review or you five star reviews like most people; I just want to hear from you. I want to learn how we can improve and how we can make it better for your life. We’re constantly looking to grow. We’re constantly looking to help more people. So thank you for your reviews and your comments and for sharing this with your friends and on social media.

Big thank you again to Nicole, she continues to blow up and she is going to make a massive impact on the world. I know it so make sure to share that with your friends so she gets a lot of love as well.

Big thank you to our sponsors today again Now, if you don’t know your business numbers, then you really don’t know your business and you’re going to struggle. When you have a lot of hodgepodge the systems in place right now all over the place, you lose track of it all, and you start to lose track your business. And that’s what I love about, because they have the world’s number one cloud business system where you can save time, money and unneeded headaches by managing everything you need in one place on your desktop or your phone. So make sure to go to because they’re giving you a free gift today. They’re giving you a guide on The Seven Key Strategies to Grow Your Profits. This is going to really help you optimize your business and give you the tools you need to grow. So make sure you download the free guide right now at

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This week, we’ve got the Summit Of Greatness happening in Columbus, Ohio. So if you are coming, I am so excited to see you there. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, it’s not too late. You can sign up you can make it to Columbus and be there for the weekend for all the celebration surprises. The incredible people that you’re going to meet will be lifelong friends, the speakers, the workout leaders, the workshop leaders, the closing party; it’s going to be a celebration. I hope to see you there, get your tickets for this week, or get your ticket for next year. You can sign up there for next year as well.

And to bring it back to the beginning, Julia Cameron said, “What we focus on, we empower and enlarge. Good multiples when focused upon. Negativity multiplies when focused upon. The choice is ours – which do we want more of?”

If you want more healing, focus on peace and love. If you want more chaos, then focus on the negative things in your life and keep thinking about them. Your mind is the answer. What you put in your mind negative thoughts or positive thoughts will dictate the environment and the results in your life.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. Know that I love you so very much and you know what time it is. It’s time to go out there and do something great.

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