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

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


Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil's Keys to Owning Your Life & Future Today


Do you ever get a gut feeling?

A gut feeling is something that we all experience more than once in our lives, yet they are often hard to comprehend. It’s that funny feeling we get — like having butterflies in our stomach. It’s mysterious, yet it presents itself in the hardest of situations, like a survival instinct. How this works is still not fully understood. While gut feelings are not always foolproof, when you start paying conscious attention to this feeling, you will be able to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.

Sometimes, this gut feeling allows you to make transformational decisions in life, just like it did for me when I was running a business before starting the podcast. I taught and helped people to use LinkedIn to advance in their careers further. Even while the business was growing the way it was supposed to, I often found myself faced with this feeling — the feeling of not doing what I really wanted to or should be doing.

Do you know what I did then? I started paying more attention to this feeling in my gut, and I can’t be more glad that I did. It led to the birth of The School of Greatness, and from there on, I have climbed up the ladder of success. 

You may not have felt something so profound in your life yet, but that doesn’t mean you should stop listening to yourself. You can train yourself to be more mindful of your gut feelings. Once they present themselves, you must be able to identify them and work to find your own calling.

Today, we have someone extraordinary on our show — Dr. Phil McGraw. Dr. Phil is a best-selling author of nine books and the host of TV’s number one daytime talk show, Dr. Phil. In this first part of a two-part episode, Dr. Phil will help us break down and find the keys to creating success in life. But before we jump into the topic, I want to share a little background about the incredible Dr. Phil.

Who Is Dr. Phil McGraw?

Dr. Phil is one of the most well-known and trusted mental health professionals in the world. He has also authored nine number-one New York Times bestsellers that have been published in 39 languages with more than 50 million printed copies. Dr. Phil is also the host of television’s top-rated show — Dr. Phil, now in its 20th season. 

In his show, he focuses on presenting compelling stories about real people with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems and stripping away the shame and embarrassment that too often keeps people from seeking help. He continues to value his academic training and professional qualifications and insists that the information provided on his show is based on evidence-based treatment options and state-of-the-art research in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine.

For the last nine years, Dr. Phil’s show has remained on top in its genre, and he has received 30 Emmy nominations and even won five PRISM awards. He is also a two-time Emmy award-winning Executive Producer and was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2020, Dr. Phil was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If you are punking out on your dreams, you need to start believing in yourself enough to go for it instead of settling into your comfort zone.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

Snapping out of your comfort zone could help you unlock your potential. It is essential that you challenge yourself constantly and keep on pushing yourself toward knowledge and fulfillment. This episode is really powerful and will help you tap into the mindset of success and growth through Dr. Phil’s expertise and experience. I am really excited for you to learn from this incredible man. Let’s go!

Finding Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone

Dr. Phil has had the opportunity to work and connect with millions worldwide. One of the things he feels that holds back people from living a healthier, happier, and more meaningful life is fear or insecurity and being in a comfort zone.

“I think people limit themselves and get in their own way, including me. Everybody gets comfortable in their own life, and before you realize it, days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. When we do look back, [we often realize that we haven’t accomplished anything]. I think it’s tough to consciously and continuously challenge ourselves to go to the next level.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

Pointing to the obvious, Dr. Phil feels that you can do so much more when you are never satisfied with where you are. Because then you are always aspiring to reach the next level which inadvertently pulls you out of your comfort zone, and that is where you can find your balance. You can use all your experience to push yourself to become better and challenge yourself to achieve the level ahead.

“But that doesn’t mean that you are not [happy]. You know I am very gratified with the things that I do and proud of them, but I am always looking for a way to do it better.  For example, we just started our 20th season of ‘Dr.Phil.’ Every summer after we wrapped the season, everybody took three to four weeks to decompress. But after that, we met regularly to deconstruct the last season. We asked ourselves, ‘What are things that we can do to tell our stories more effectively and to reach more people out there.’ [Even now] we’re always trying to reinvent ourselves and stay relevant.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

That speaks volumes about Dr. Phil’s commitment to his work and goals. It’s not easy to keep a show running for two decades straight, but by challenging himself and pushing himself to not fall into the trap of getting too comfortable, Dr. Phil has managed to stay at the top of his game.

“I think people limit themselves and get in their own way.” @DrPhil  

Dr. Phil’s Gut-Check Moment & His Pursuit of Many Dreams

Early on in his professional journey, Dr. Phil realized that he wanted to get into the helping profession, and he chose to pursue a career in psychology. But while the average income for a Ph.D. in Psychology at that time was low, Dr. Phil used to earn a couple of million a year by taking an entrepreneurial approach to it. He had everything going right for him.

“One day over Christmas break, … I picked up my appointment book and saw that it was [booked] for the entire next year. … [Even though] when everything just couldn’t have been better, … [at that point] I thought that I just didn’t want to do this anymore. … I was fatigued, … and I decided to walk away from it, and that was my gut-check moment.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil did not wait anymore; he simply referred all his clients to their satisfaction and just shut down his thriving business. Not that he had forced himself to be a psychologist, it was just that after a point of time, Dr. Phil really couldn’t see his way ahead. He didn’t want to keep doing what he was already doing. He always sought to grow in life, and once he hit the wall of obscurity, he decided to pursue other dreams. However, that too comes with a warning.

“The worst thing you could ever do is pursuing the wrong dream or if your dream changes and you don’t change with it. Let’s say that you work to become the best accountant in the entire world. You even achieve that goal only to find out that being the best accountant in the whole world was not what you really wanted to do. What you wanted to do was be a drummer or [something else], but you worked to become the best accountant in the world. But once you got there, you realized this is what I probably wanted at one time, but it changed. You changed, but you didn’t evolve your goals with it.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

While following his dreams, Dr. Phil too was faced with this dilemma of his dreams changing, but he learned to evolve with the change. He kept a close check on his gut feelings and had a few more instances where he moved on from successful things he already was a part of. But after all this, he finally realized that he was ready for something bigger, and his highly acclaimed show was born. That was not all — Dr. Phil kept pursuing other dreams, and he has helped countless people worldwide.

Finding Authenticity and Overcoming Your Limited Beliefs

Often we come across a stage in life where we are unsure about our values, or we are being someone else — not our real self. This mindset of betrayal to self could affect your life substantially. Dr. Phil explains how:

“If you are not authentic [to yourself], this means that you are not congruent with what you really believe at the core of your soul. But this is never going to work. … [What happens when] you try to push and leave a beach ball underwater? It always keeps popping back up. … To me, that’s what it’s like when you deny who you really are. … Let that beach ball pop up; that’s who you really are, … and be who you are on purpose. … Find a way to shine in your own world, it’s not just about what you do, it’s also about how you do it.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

It’s common to feel stuck in life, live with limiting beliefs, or find ourselves in the same pattern for years. But left unchecked, it’s easy to restrict yourself from unlocking your full potential. You have got to start thinking differently and believing in yourself.

“Small changes accumulate over time. … Let’s say there are 12 weeks left in this year. Those 12 weeks are going to go by whether somebody spends it losing half a pound per week, or exploring a different job, or redefining their relationship with their spouse, whatever it may be, but make a small change each week or each day. It’s astounding how much those small changes accumulate into big differences. In a short period, we don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Just make a little difference today and another one tomorrow. And then before you know it, [you will find yourself] in a different place. Time is going to go by whether you’re doing something about it or not, so you might as well do something.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

You can start looking for a new challenge in life and do things that are really out of your comfort zone. You might be faced with things or situations that intimidate you, but once you take them head-on and learn to move past such pressure situations, that’s when you start enjoying the process and revel in the lessons that you learned from it. You have all the keys for creating success in your life — you just need to look for it in the right place.

Why You Should Listen to This Dr. Phil McGraw Episode Right Now…

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you loved part one, then part two is going to blow you away. It’s going to be all about relationships and how to really thrive in a healthy marriage and relationship. So do tune in for the relationship masterclass on the next episode of The School of Greatness.

Keep yourself up to date with Dr. Phil’s life and work by checking out his website. You can also reach out and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. If you folks found this episode helpful, I would really appreciate it if you could tag Dr. Phil, @drphil, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with a screenshot of your greatest takeaways from this episode. I would also be grateful if you could leave a five-star rating for The School of Greatness on ApplePodcasts to help me expand my reach and spread the word of greatness.

It’s time to jump off your couch, break free from that comfort zone, and start heading toward a life of fulfillment and meaning. And I want to remind you — you are worthy, and you matter.


To greatness,

Lewis Howes - Signature


“If you don’t have social currency, spiritual currency, the currency of giving something back and impacting people’s lives, if those things don’t matter then you shouldn’t be in that profession.” @DrPhil  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What is your comfort zone?
  • What are some of the things that people have always struggled with?
  • What happens when someone becomes super successful without first learning the life lessons you need to do the right thing?
  • Did you feel prepared for the success that came from your life?
  • How do you know when you should let go of a dream?
  • What do you think would have happened if you had tried to split your time between careers?
  • How did you end up owning 100% of your show?
  • Why is “acknowledgment” so important to you?
  • Why do you think it’s so important to write letters to the people you’re grateful for?
  • What happens if we don’t get clear on who we are?
  • How does someone start believing in themselves if they’ve never seen results that prove they deserve something better?
  • What is something you need to do to get out of your comfort zone?
  • What are you proud of that most people aren’t aware of?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Becoming successful without the knowledge of how to deal with it.
  • Why you should always be in business for yourself.
  • Dr. Phil’s gut-check moment when he said “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
  • Why he thinks it’s so important to write letters of gratitude to those that helped him in life (Oprah).
  • What happens if you aren’t clear about who you are.
  • And much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
Dr. Phil

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:


Kaibu by Killercats

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