You make your beliefs and then your beliefs make you. Hear more about that on this Marisa Peer podcast episode.
Early in my career, I would react to every negative comment online. Whenever someone had something negative to say about me, I felt sick to my stomach.
I let everything in.
I was driven to be perfect to keep people from critiquing me. I wanted everyone to like me, support what I had to say, and endorse me. It was exhausting. No matter what you do, there will always be someone to put you down.
It wasn’t until recently I learned that I could “put down the racquet and walk off the court.” It takes two to volley.
It’s so hard not to let the opinions of others affect our self worth, and with social media, this problem is even more prevalent. Don’t get me wrong — social media can be a great thing — but when we use it to inflate our self worth, compare ourselves to others, or push ourselves down, it becomes a weapon.
If we truly know that we are enough, then the words and opinions of others will have less of a hold on us.
That’s why I was so excited to talk about the power of thought with a superstar hypnotherapist: Marisa Peer.
Marisa Peer was listed in Tatler’s Guide to Britain’s 250 Best Practitioners and was the only woman on the Men’s Health’s list “Best of British.” She has spent 25+ years working with an extensive client list, including royalty, rock stars, actors, professionals, Olympic athletes, CEOs, and media personalities. She has developed her own style that is frequently referred to as “life changing.”
Marisa also studied hypnotherapy at the Hypnotism Training Institute of Los Angeles, known as the best hypnotherapy training establishment in the world. She developed her own brand of treatment, Rapid Transformational Therapy, which is a combination of hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, and cognitive behavioral therapy. By guiding her patients into a state of relaxation and hypnosis, Marisa Peer is better able to find the root of psychological distress and provide suggestions in order to heal that distress.
Marisa Peer also started the radical #iamenough movement. By just saying those three words repeatedly – I am enough – you can change your brain’s thought patterns and come to a place of self-love.
Marisa is the bestselling author of several books, including I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror and Change Your Life, and makes frequent appearances on TV and radio. She’s helped thousands of people overcome a variety of issues, and is motivated to train others to do the same. I was honored to have Marisa Peer speak on my podcast.
The way we feel really comes down to the pictures we have in our head and the words that we say. It’s as simple as that.
A very long time ago, our lives used to be a lot more stressful. There was no such thing as thriving – there was only surviving. It was eat or be eaten, and often, we were the ones getting eaten.
In order to survive, our brains had to be negative. You didn’t survive a natural disaster, attack, or disease by being optimistic. And even though things are a lot better for us now, our brains really haven’t changed.
Often, we’ll say things like, “Ugh, if that person talks to me again, I’ll die” or “I literally cannot survive another meeting at work.” Hyperbole like this seems harmless, but Marisa thinks differently.
“We don’t understand that the brain has no sense of humor, and only picks up words and thinks they’re real.” – Marisa Peer
Marisa’s clients struggle with a myriad of different things — infertility, migraines, depression, obesity, to name a few — and often she finds that even though the symptoms of these things are very real and have impact, the cause of the illness is often psychosomatic.
“70% of these issues, although the symptoms are real – you have a real migraine and real flaky skin – the cause of them is completely psychosomatic because the mind’s job is to tune into your thoughts and give you what it thinks you want.” – Marisa Peer
Marisa gives an example: A woman suffers from chronic headaches. She’s a waitress, and her father has always given her a hard time about “she’s done nothing” with her college education. So, in order to stop hearing the constant criticism, the woman unconsciously starts developing headaches, that prevent her from pursuing the career he wants for her. Because if she has headaches, she has an excuse. The criticism turns into, “My poor daughter. She could be a lawyer or a doctor, but she’s got these headaches!”
This is what Marisa calls, “role function purpose.” When a symptom of an issue, like a headache in this example, suddenly has an intended purpose that “benefits” the patient (i.e. escaping criticism), then that symptom isn’t going anywhere.
“We think our mind’s job is to make us happy. It really isn’t. It’s to make us survive against what were once really pretty bad odds. And how we survive is, everytime we say something like, ‘That would kill me. I’d die if that happened,’ the mind goes on red alert to stop it from happening.” – Marisa Peer
We tell ourselves some pretty crazy stuff, and sometimes, we subconsciously create “intentions” for the pain we experience. Mental pain is often expressed through the body. Thankfully, Marisa thinks that the solution to this problem is really simple: train yourself to think better thoughts.
Often, telling ourselves better thoughts means telling ourselves a better story.
Marisa explains that our brains are wired to chase familiar experiences and flee from unfamiliar ones. This makes sense right? Trying something new is always more difficult than doing what you’ve always done.
Our tendency to crave familiarity can lead to some dangerous habits. Ever been in a toxic relationship? Often, that toxicity becomes familiar over time, and suddenly it just becomes your reality. You tell yourself a false narrative — that this is just how relationships are — and you stay in that false narrative for as long as possible.
“Humans are hard-wired to recreate what they know … We like what’s familiar, even if that’s very bad.” – Marisa Peer
So, then, how do we change our story? How do we make thoughts like “I’m beautiful, I’m worthy, I’m capable” stick in our brain and become familiar?
“Well, you get up in the morning and go, ‘I’m a good person. I have a skill, I have a talent, I have something to offer the world. I’m here for a reason … So, whatever you [want] to hear, say it to yourself, because your mind doesn’t even know that it’s coming.” – Marisa Peer
I know right? It sounds almost too easy, but here’s the thing — you have to be consistent. If you’re going to tell yourself a better story and you want it to stick, you gotta tell yourself that story every day.
“There is actually nothing on the planet that will raise your self esteem like praise, but self-praise is better … And the mind likes repetition and when you say it every day, your mind kind of goes, ‘Oh you, here you go again with that praise. You say it every day, it must be true … The problem is, if you criticize yourself every day, it says the same thing.” – Marisa Peer
It all goes back to the story you’re telling yourself. Bad things will inevitably happen to us — and when something happens, we attach meaning to that situation. We sometimes blame ourselves, and that self-criticism is harmful. But, if we can reverse the tide and change that story from “I’m worthless” to “I’m worthy,” then everything changes.
I asked Marisa what is the thing that she sees the most that people struggle with, and I was thinking she’d say something like stress or anxiety.
“It’s always a belief, ‘I’m not enough.’ That is the biggest thing. In fact, I always say to my clients, ‘There’s only three things wrong with them … Number 1 is, I’m not enough. The second one is, I’m different, so I can’t connect. And the third is, I really want something, like freedom from depression or success, but it’s not available.” – Marisa Peer
What it ultimately comes down to is that people don’t believe in themselves and are afraid of rejection. From the time we’re little, we are wired to “find connection and avoid rejection.” And the fear of rejection is often crippling and can cause a ton of issues.
When I was in grade school, I was terrified to talk to girls. I was terrified of being rejected. And then I realized that my fear was paralyzing — it was limiting any opportunity for relationships. So then I challenged myself to talk to every girl in my class. Some of them didn’t care to be my friend, but others did. I began to learn that the only person who could truly reject me was me.
People can only reject you if you let them.
“I am enough.” This is a phrase that Marisa wants you to tell yourself — over and over again. Set a reminder on your phone. Write it on your mirror. Get a freaking tattoo if you want to!
And when people treat you like you aren’t enough, there are some things Marisa wants you to say:
Let’s go through a simple scenario.
“You know, Lewis, I listened to some of your podcasts on Youtube. And honestly, I’m embarrassed for you.”
I missed that. Could you repeat that for me, slowly?
*Usually, after asking someone to repeat a mean comment and really think about the words they are saying, they won’t. They’ll back off. But let’s say that they do repeat it. What do you say now?*
Are you trying to hurt my feelings?
*This isn’t defensive – you’re not letting the comment hurt you. This is just a simple, honest question. Usually, they’ll say no, but if they’re a bully, they’ll probably keep pressing.*
“Yeah, Lewis. I am. Your podcast stinks.”
*Marisa explains the bullying is like a seesaw – the bully likes to be on top and be the dominating power. Bullies feel inferior, and so they are constantly looking for ways to push themselves up and other people down. This is what you gotta say:*
Well, it’s not going to work, because I’m not letting that rejection in.
If you can use those things (Could you repeat that? Are you trying to hurt my feelings? It won’t work.), then you don’t let that rejection in. You affirm to yourself that you are enough.
“You are enough. You’re not your weight, your shape, your size, your bank account, [or] your childhood. You’re enough … write it, read it, say it, [and] think it. It goes in and does the most incredible work.” – Marisa Peer
Words have power. Lies can shut us down, but we have the power not to let them.
When we understand that our thoughts become reality, we can actively work towards changing that reality into something positive, uplifting, and healthy. We can manifest our thoughts by visualizing, by telling ourselves what we want and who we want to become.
We can not only improve our emotional health but also some of our physical health as well. Mental pain is often expressed through the body. So naturally, if we work on improving our thinking patterns, our body is going to be affected positively as a result!
I know you all are going to love this Marisa Peer podcast episode. She teaches in a way that is simple and approachable but so insightful. A lot of people overcomplicate their feelings — the pain, the past trauma, their story — and they feel like there’s no way out. But Marisa simplifies everything and creates a process that makes it okay for people to let go of the things that they’re holding onto. She helps so many people heal.
Here’s her definition of greatness:
“My definition of greatness is do what you love and love what you do. Everyone has a gift, and your gift tends to lie behind what you love. So find what you love, and then you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marisa Peer
What an inspiration. If you want to learn more about Marisa Peer’s hypnosis therapy or Rapid Transformation therapy, check out her website and find someone who will change your life in 90 minutes.
And remember, friends:
“You are enough.”
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 695, with Marisa Peer.
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.
Napoleon Hill said, “Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”
Wow! What a powerful idea! And this episode is all about your thoughts and how your thoughts will heal you, or they will kill you. I had the pleasure of connecting with Marisa Peer, who really blew me away!
Just her presence, her energy, her delivery on her message, I was really fascinated and I hope to connect with her much more in the future, because I think she’s a voice that needs to be heard, and I want to make sure you guys hear what she has to say.
And let me know what you think. As always, take a screenshot of the podcast that you’re listening to, tag me on Instagram, @LewisHowes, or on Twitter, on Facebook, and let me know what you’re thinking. The full video interview is at lewishowes.com/695, and all the show notes are back there as well.
Marisa Peer was named Best British Therapist, by Men’s Health Magazine. She has spent 25+ years working with an extensive client list, including royalty, rock stars, actors, professionals and Olympic athletes, CEOs and media personalities, and has developed her own style that is frequently referred to as, ‘life changing’.
Marissa also studied hypnotherapy at the Hypnotism Training Institute of Los Angeles, known as the best hypnotherapy training establishment in the world. Some of the things we talk about today, are why our mind’s job is not to make us happy, but to help us survive, and we cover a few different things and examples of experiences she’s had with people in the past, where they never seem like they can find happiness.
And we cover how you can find happiness in your life. Also, what she sees most people struggle with emotionally, because we go through a wide range of emotions, but what are those things that stick to us, that we can seem to never get through. Also, why the story you tell yourself is so important, and how to change the story in any moment.
How every word you say, is a blueprint for our mind, body, and reality. This one is a game changer! Again, make sure to share it with your friends, lewishowes.com/695 .
And I want to give a big thank you to our sponsor, Casper. You spend one third of your life sleeping, guys. Do you guys realise this? A third of our lives is spent in bed, so you should be comfortable. And the experts at Casper work tirelessly to make a quality sleep surface, that cradles your natural geometry in all the right places.
Breathable design helps you sleep cool and regulates your body temperature throughout the night. For me, that’s the most important thing. If I’m hot, I’m going to be sweaty and I’m not going to have a good sleep.
It’s all designed, developed and assembled in the United States. Casper cuts out the middleman and sells directly to you. There’s hassle free returns if you’re not completely satisfied, and it’s delivered right to your door in a small sized box. Free shipping and returns in the US and Canada.
Get $50 towards select mattresses by visiting casper.com/greatness, and using ‘greatness’ at checkout. This offer is only applicable to select mattress purchases and terms and conditions apply. Again, get $50 towards select mattresses, by visiting casper.com/greatness, and using ‘greatness’ at checkout.
Again, a big thank you to our sponsor! And I’m so excited about this one! So, without further ado, let me introduce to you, the one and only Marisa Peer.
Welcome, everyone, to The School of Greatness Podcast, we have Marisa Peer in the house. Good to see you!
Marisa Peer: Thank you! It’s lovely to meet you.
Lewis Howes: Thank for coming on here. Now, you have been named Britain’s Best Therapist, by many magazines, you’ve worked with a lot of superstars, rock stars, celebrities, actors, athletes, Olympians, top of the top, helping them overcome a lot of their challenges and be better performers. Is that right?
Marisa Peer: Yeah, that’s absolutely right.
Lewis Howes: And, how long have you been in this field, of therapy?
Marisa Peer: Amazingly, over thirty years.
Lewis Howes: Thirty years? So you must have started when you were, like, ten, eleven?
Marisa Peer: I started when I was an embryo, yeah!
Lewis Howes: That’s great! Why did you get into this field in the first place?
Marisa Peer: Well, it’s very interesting. I used to teach aerobics, for Jane Fonda here in South Robertson, many moons ago.
Lewis Howes: Two blocks away!
Marisa Peer: Yes, we were looking at it this morning! So I trained to be a child psychologist, and I didn’t love that, because when you’re a child psychologist you have three patients: mum, dad, child. And, especially if the mum and dad are divorced, it’s very hard to get to the child, because they use that child, often, or one says, ‘no sugar’, and one says, ‘all sugar’.
I found it very frustrating. And, of course, the kids who really need help, you’re not seeing. You’re seeing the rich, privileged kids who are under-performing because they want to punish one or both parents. So, that wasn’t working for me, and I think I was too young to do that, anyway. I was only twenty-two.
So, I left, and I came to L.A. and I ended up teaching aerobics for Jane, which, I have to say, was way more fun than being a child psychologist in the North of England. But, I had a psychology background, I’ve always been fascinated by human behaviour, and I noticed, in her studio, she’d be the first to admit it, every third woman was bulimic and anorexic, including Jane, who was bulimic for a long time.
So, they were bulimic, anorexic, exercise compulsive or body dysmorphic. They’d be, like, “Look at this fat on my wrist.
Lewis Howes: It’s skin!
Marisa Peer: I know, but to them it was fat. I remember thinking, “This is just insane!” And I lived in West Hollywood, and I had two roommates. One was bulimic, one was anorexic. One would defrost cheesecake and cry hysterically while eating the whole thing.
Lewis Howes: Oh my goodness!
Marisa Peer: Yeah, the other would eat a frozen grape every thirty minutes, and it’s like, “Oh, this is mad!” But, also, fascinating.
So, I found this genius hypnotherapist called Gil Boyne out in Glendale and I trained with him. And I thought, “Gee, this is amazing! I’ve got all these people in my class and with all these issues, and now I’ve got this hypnotherapy training and all I have to do is take all my clients straight out of my classes.” Which I did, with immense success.
But what happened is, I was so busy with people who would come and say, “Look, I know you’re the weight-loss hypnotist, but I’ve got a fear of bees, and I only want to see you, because my neighbour said you were amazing!” or, “I know you’re the bulimic girl, but I’ve got a fear of lift, and I want to see you.”
Then I realised it was actually much more interesting. And so, I continued to do that, and then I was doing it backwards and forwards, London and L.A., flying, commuting. And then I worked on several TV shows, wrote some books, and then thought, “You know, there’s only me doing this, so I should teach other people to do it.
And now I teach lots of people. Because now I’ve created my own method, which is really taking the world by storm.
Lewis Howes: What’s it called?
Marisa Peer: It’s called Rapid Transformational Therapy.
Lewis Howes: How does it work?
Marisa Peer: So, for instance, if you have migraines, or you’re obese and you go to a therapist, they want you to talk every week about what’s it like being obese.
Lewis Howes: It takes years.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and well, it’s very distressing, actually. And what does that feel like? Frustrating. It’s like going to the dentist every week and saying, “Can I come in every week and talk about the infection in my gum?” The dentist goes, “No, get that infection out!” Because it just does ongoing damage.
So, conventional therapy likes to talk a lot, and what I don’t like about conventional therapy is that, “Okay, you have bipolar, that’s very complex, therefore, the treatment is going to be very complex.” And that is not the case.
Lewis Howes: They want to take it in stages, and break it down here, and all that.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and conventional medicine, too. They treat the symptoms. Whereas, when I work with someone who’s bulimic, and I go, “Well, what happened to you?” and they go, “Well, my granddad had sex with me when I was eleven, until I was thirteen, and I got really fat and I never realised a connection, that I kept saying, ‘I wish I could stop him looking at me like that.’”
And the mind goes, “That’s a command. You want your granddad to stop lusting after your body, I’ll make your body super unattractive.” And you have to unpick that. So, we had someone who had chronic migraines and had tried everything, and she was having injections in her head. And when I asked her – because we do this thing called role function purpose. We hypnotise someone…
Lewis Howes: Role function purpose.
Marisa Peer: Role function purpose, and in the hypnosis they go back and we say, “Be the headache and tell me your role.” And, amazingly, they do it, because they’re out of their thinking and into the feeling mind.
And they’ll say, “Oh, well as long as I have those headaches, I can’t disappoint my dad, who always says, ‘Why aren’t you an overachiever, like me? I spent all that money on your education. How can you just be a waitress?’ But now I’ve got the headaches, he goes, ‘Oh, my poor daughter! She could be an amazing barrister or lawyer, but she’s got these headaches!’”
Lewis Howes: She’s got something she can’t control and get over.
Marisa Peer: Yeah. And then, of course, when the symptom has a role function purpose and an intention, it’s not going anywhere.
Lewis Howes: So, if someone has headaches, you would walk them through what’s the role of that headache, what’s the function.
Marisa Peer: Yeah. What’s the benefit? Yeah, what’s the pay-off? Even with children of five! If I say to a five-year-old, “Baby, I know this is a silly question, but if the headache was your friend, what would it be doing?” they go, “Well, when mummy and daddy fight and I’ve got a headache, they stop fighting. They turn off all the lights and we lie in the dark till it goes away.”
There’s a kid who’s had a thought, “I’ve got to stop mommy and daddy fighting,” and because they’re not logical creatures, they’re feeling creatures, the feeling mind says, “An illness will stop your parents fighting.” Or maybe, “Failing at school will make them see that you’re unhappy. Maybe getting eczema will make your mom spend ages massaging the cream into your skin, and you might feel that you matter to her. Because every time to speak, she’s like, ‘Oh, I’m busy at work. I’m doing my e-mails. I’ve got to speak to someone at work.’”
And kids think, “I want mummy to notice me,” and the mind, which is illogical, goes, “What can I come up with? Well, we can have asthma, eczema, dermatitis, irritable bowel…”
Lewis Howes: “Obesity,” whatever.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and 70% of these issues, although the symptoms are real, you have a real migraine, and real flaky skin, the cause of them is completely psychosomatic. Because the mind’s job is to tune into your thoughts and give you what it thinks you want. And it can only work that out by what you say.
When you say, “This 405 is killing me, I’m dying under paper. My boss makes me want to kill myself!” your mind goes, “You better not go back to that place called work, I think I should give you an ulcer, or acrophobia, because you keep saying that the commute is killing you, the job is killing you.” And we say things like, ‘killing it’, ‘dying here’.
A client was telling me that her boss just died and he used to sign off all his e-mails, “Busy, busy, busy! Wish I was dead.” A joke, and then he got cancer and died really fast. But his signature was, “I wish I was dead.”
And somebody asked me, “I want to die. Oh, my boss promoted me, I want to die. I’m going to kill it.”
Lewis Howes: “I could die.”
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and we don’t understand that the brain has no sense of humour, and only picks up words and thinks they’re real.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. A lot of what we were talking about with Dr Joe Dispenza, I mean, he covers a lot of this stuff.
Marisa Peer: Yeah. Of course.
Lewis Howes: Wow! Okay, so you started helping people from one phase, which was in losing weight, and then you said, “Let me understand people. It’s much more than just losing weight.”
Marisa Peer: Yeah, yeah.
Lewis Howes: And you’ve been doing this for thirty-plus years, since you were eleven.
Marisa Peer: Yeah!
Lewis Howes: Why were you so fascinated by human behaviour, in the first place?
Marisa Peer: Well, I was told I could never have children. When I was seventeen I stopped having periods completely, and all the doctors said, “Well, you have infertility, unexplained.” Which I thought, “That’s a good title, isn’t it? Unexplained?”
Because explained is, “Your fallopian tubes are blocked,” or, “You don’t have enough oestrogen.” Unexplained means, “Everything’s working, we have no idea what’s going on.” And so, I decided to just work on myself, I simply wouldn’t accept that.
And then I did get pregnant, but then they said, “Well, everything’s going to be wrong with this baby, and it’s going to have the same issues that you’ve got. You’ve got all these different hormone or thyroid issues,” and they really freaked me out.
And then, when she was born, she was perfect. And then they said, “Well, she’s going to be very underweight,” 7,5lbs, and I realised then that I was going to stop all the medication and just come out of that.
And then I started working with infertile women. It was so rewarding. You’d come in and go, “I can’t get pregnant,” and they’d always go back to, “What’s going on in this scene? I’m fifteen and I think my dad will kill me, oh, my gosh, my mum will kill herself! We’re Muslims and I’m dating this white guy, and oh, my gosh, the shame, the terror!”
And the day they find out they’re not pregnant, they go, “Thank you, Allah! I’m so happy I’m not pregnant!” Now the mind is crystal clear: “Having a baby will kill you, and not having a baby is something to celebrate.”
And when you repeat something to the mind enough, it just can’t unravel that. When women say, “I’ve got the curse every month,” and, “Oh, I hate this, and I wish I never had them!” and then periods go away, they never look at what’s going on there, and say, “Oh, well, I find infertility really easy to fix.”
And then I had people with secondary infertility, which means you had a baby, you got pregnant, like, a high school girl on a date, immediately, but you’ve been trying for seven years to get pregnant again.
Lewis Howes: Why does that not happen?
Marisa Peer: Because you go home and say to your husband, “Imagine we had a second one?” and he goes, “Oh, that would kill me! Oh, I’d leave you! If we had two keeping us up all night, and that would bankrupt us! And can you imagine what a night would be like to have another one?” The mind goes, “Don’t have another one.”
And of course you don’t mean it! You don’t mean it when you say, “I could quite cheerfully throw this kid out of the window in the middle of the night, I could just give them away.” I remember saying to someone, “Your baby is lovely,” she said, “Come back at 2am, you can have him!”
Lewis Howes: Oh my gosh!
Marisa Peer: It’s a joke! Like we say to our kids, “You’re so lovely I could eat you!” And then you think, “Really?” We say all this crazy stuff, which we know is crazy, but the mind says, “This is literal. This is real, you mean it.”
When you say, “I’m dying under my paperwork,” the mind goes, “No more paperwork for you!” When we say, “I’ll die if my next relationship ends. If I got hurt like this again, it would kill me,” the mind goes, “You know what? If it would kill you, why don’t I just turn you into a complete bitch so you never have another relationship again, and then it can’t kill you!”
Lewis Howes: Right! And then you’ll never have love as well.
Marisa Peer: No, no, and then men who go, “Oh, you know, women are ball-breakers. They just want your money. I’m done with women, I couldn’t go through that again, it would kill me if I had to lose half my property again,” the mind goes, “That’s my job.”
You see, we think our mind’s job is to make us happy. It really isn’t. It’s to make us survive against what were once really pretty bad odds. And how we survive is, every time we say something like, “That would kill me. I’d die if that happened,” the mind goes on red alert to stop it happening.
And the same if you ate some mushrooms and were violently sick, you’ll find that the minute you think, “Oh, no mushrooms again,” or shellfish, and the next time you see shellfish, you go, “Oh, no, no, I couldn’t eat that,” because your mind will always remember what hurts you, because it’s job is to keep you alive by making sure you don’t get hurt.
But it doesn’t know what hurts you, until you say, “That last boyfriend broke my heart, shredded it to pieces and jumped on it.” No, he just got bored with you. And you’ve probably got bored with him.
Lewis Howes: Or it wasn’t the right fit, or a number of things.
Marisa Peer: Yeah! And everything he loved in you is still in you. He was just your starter boyfriend. Maybe he was your starter husband, but he didn’t kill you. But we tell ourselves all these crazy stuff, and then wonder why we feel so crazy, when all we have to do is tell ourselves better stuff.
“My mum will kill me if I get my shoes dirty.”
“My dad will kill me if I don’t get all A’s.”
“My dad will go crazy if I come home with bad report card.”
Which is not true. But if you believe that, then you create a world of stress, all because of what you say to yourself, and tell yourself.
But that’s actually very good news, because, since you say it, you can say something better.
Lewis Howes: Say something else, you’re in control.
Marisa Peer: Yeah! Yeah! Always.
Lewis Howes: What’s the thing that you see the most that people struggle with? Is it a stress and overwhelm and anxiousness, a fear of something?
Marisa Peer: It’s always a belief, “I’m not enough.” That’s the biggest thing. In fact, I always say to all my clients, “There’s only three things wrong with everyone. Everyone has got three things wrong with them. Number one is, I’m not enough. The second one is, I’m different, so I can’t connect. And the third is, I really want something, like freedom from depression or success, but it’s not available.”
But, “I’m not enough,” is the biggest. I mean, I’ve worked with hundreds of thousands of addicts. I’ve never found one, ever, that ever believed they were enough. And if we look at the key addictions – shopping, binging on food, binging on alcohol, binging on drugs…
Lewis Howes: Sex, porn.
Marisa Peer: Sex, sex especially, porn, all of those things come from a feeling of emptiness inside, because we’re taught, “Oh, you feel a feeling? Why don’t you eat some doughnuts? Or go onto e-Bay or Amazon and buy something? Or have a drink?”
And our feelings are the most real thing we have, and we push them down, and we find all this stuff to buy, or eat, or drink, or take, to keep us, like John Lennon said, “comfortably numb.” But then the feelings regroup and come back, because they’ve always got a job to do.
And I always say to my clients, “Look, you’ve got to feel the feeling until it no longer requires to be felt. You can’t eat it, or drink it, or shop it away,” but we’re all taught that we can and should. So, “I’m not enough,” is the biggest problem I see.
I mean, if you look at Amy Winehouse, or George Michael, or Whitney Houston, or Philip Seymour Hoffman, immense talent, a gift, beauty.
Lewis Howes: Why didn’t they feel like they were enough, though? When the world says, “You are enough. I’m going to celebrate you. You’re going to have everything you want, we’re going to talk about you constantly, stroke your ego, pay you a ton of money,” how come they still can’t get over that, “I’m not enough.”?
Marisa Peer: Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s a couple of things. First of all, if you’re Amy Winehouse, and someone says write a song, and you write Back to Black in five minutes, they give you eight million dollars, it’s what I call the self-destructiveness of talent. “I didn’t earn that.” It’s a bit like a lottery winner, “I didn’t work for that, I’ve got to get rid of it.”
You know, lottery winners who haven’t had money will almost always go bankrupt very quickly. So if you didn’t earn it, it has no value.
Lewis Howes: That guilt of feeling like, “Well, I didn’t work ten years for this,” yeah.
Marisa Peer: Even with guys, you know? Guys like to pursue women, but if you just give it up to them immediately, they like it, but they don’t want to see you again, because you’ve taken away the desire to earn it.
If your dad is an heir and gives you a ton of money to open a business, you won’t respect it, because you didn’t earn it. So, the first thing is, “This came to me so easily, therefore it has no value at all.” And that’s a big thing with rock stars and music stars who debase it.
But the second thing is, with many people I’ve found, especially with George Michael and Whitney Houston, always had to pretend they were straight. They have to live a lie from the very beginning. Michael Jackson had to pretend he came from this lovely, God-fearing, wonderful Walton-type family, when we all know that wasn’t true.
Amy had to pretend that she didn’t mind at all that her dad left her mum when she was four, and she minded very much indeed. So, when you fake it, and fake it, and fake it, and fool the world, you can’t fool yourself.
And then you’re living a lie and eventually it comes back and, like Whitney, who was just so talented, then use drugs to hide the pain, because, “I can’t come out and say that I’m not straight,” and, “I’m portrayed as this Bible-bashing, God fearing, heterosexual, man-loving girl, and that’s not me. I’m a party animal, I like women.” But she wasn’t allowed to say that.
Lewis Howes: Coming from the church and everything else, yeah.
Marisa Peer: Coming from the church, and it’s so unfair to do that to people because you make them pretend to be something else, which causes intense stress. And when you’re under intense stress, what do you do? You have to take drugs.
I remember, years ago, Carrie Fisher’s mother saying that she would appear on screen with two baby diaper pins on her shirt, and she was America’s golden girl, but her husband was cheating, she was a chronic bulimic all her life, and hit that, and such a shame.
Lewis Howes: You mentioned something about leaning into the feelings until you no longer need to feel them, or they go away?
Marisa Peer: Yeah, feel the feeling until it no longer requires to be felt.
Lewis Howes: Why should we do that? So, give me an example of a feeling.
Marisa Peer: Okay. So, let’s imagine you and your ex-wife are not getting on, and you have a feeling of rage about the fact that she’s trying to get your kid to call the new guy, ‘Daddy’, and she’s blocking you out, and you feel so angry.
And you think, “Well, I mustn’t feel angry, she’s doing it for the interests of my kid, and so I just drink the anger and I drink the anger,” and you see, with a feeling, it’s the most real thing you have. A feeling is like a little kid in a class, going, “Notice me! I’m over here!” And if you don’t, they get more and more out of control.
And so, when you don’t acknowledge your feelings, they regroup and they regroup, until they become outrage, rage coming out, and then suddenly they go a bit crazy in the car park of a store, or the line of a store, because the mind says, “I’ve got all this rage, wants to come out, someone just cut into the line, take it out on them.”
And it’s so ineffective, because I have something I call, ‘Triple A’, which is, be aware of your feeling – most people have no idea what they feel, they go, “I shouldn’t feel jealous, I shouldn’t feel envious, I shouldn’t be furious with this kid who’s keeping me up all night.” When they’re not aware of it, they certainly can’t accept and they never get to articulate.
But if you can say, “You know, my wife’s a good person, but actually I’m furious with what she’s doing, it really hurts my feelings,” – that’s why group therapy and places like AA, the good thing is, you get to say, “Sometimes I could quite cheerfully hurt my wife. I’m not going to, but I feel like it.”
“Oh, yeah, I feel like it, too,” because when you can express your feeling, it goes away, it goes away immediately.
Lewis Howes: When you communicate it, yeah.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, even to yourself. So, if your mother-in-law is the absolute bitch from hell, and you can’t say, “By the way, Dorothy, you are the most horrible mother-in-law in the world,” but you just go and shut yourself in the bathroom, turn on the taps, flush the toilet and say, “Dorothy is a really unpleasant mother-in-law.”
Lewis Howes: You feel better just by doing that, yeah.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, you feel better because you’re not saying it to them. Feelings are like gas, they’re in or they’re out, and they hurt much more when you keep them in. And you want to let them out. And like gas, obviously not in the middle of a meeting, but when you keep stuffing, it causes you pain.
And one of my amazing therapists said, “My mother-in-law really was the mother-in-law from hell. And I could never say anything, because my husband was the golden boy, but after I trained with you, I started to say, ‘You know, Brenda, you’re a really unhappy person and I know you’re trying to hurt my feelings, but I just feel so bad for you.’”
And Brenda finally said, “Well, you know, I’ve been bulimic for thirty-two years, nobody knows, could you help me?” She completely transformed that woman in two sessions, never been bulimic since. And then she said, “She likes me more than her son, now. I’m now the daughter-in-law from heaven, I’ve got a big halo.”
But when we keep everything in, it does so much damage. Like, with little kids, when they get angry and we shout and them, and they go, “Oh, my anger makes you angry, and I’m not allowed to be angry, I’m not allowed to say something hurt me.”
Lewis Howes: “I can’t be angry, express myself.”
Marisa Peer: And all psychiatrists will tell you, and if you want to be sorted out, here’s something that you must do: Express your hurt, as close to the event that hurt you happening as possible. You can’t say to your dad, “Twenty years ago I asked for a bike and you got me a skateboard. I didn’t want that.”
“What? I worked nights to buy you that bike!”
You can’t get any resolution after ten years or twenty years.
But when you can say to your friend, “Look, I love you, you’re my friend, but it really hurt me when you didn’t even turn up to my wedding, and I still had to pay for all of that, and you didn’t call. And it hurt me. I still love you, but you hurt my feelings.” Then it’s gone.
But when you keep it in, it doesn’t. When you say to that friend, “You make me feel so angry,” and they say, “Well, you make me feel angry. I didn’t come to your wedding because of your guest list that was extortionate, asking for all this stuff. I mean, I’m not Bank of America, and I don’t want to buy that stuff,” but you can’t get resolution.
But when you say, “I was hurt, when…” or, “I felt hurt by…” and you can say it to a wall, you can say it to a faucet, you can say it to a mirror.
Lewis Howes: You can write it down, yeah.
Marisa Peer: It’s not not for the other person. It’s good to say it, because it’s out then. And then it goes away! It’s the most wonderful thing, it goes away. And then everything is so different.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s interesting, because, over the last two years, specifically, it’s been magnified with men, in the media, who have created all these killings, shootings, racial marches, political distress, domestic violence. All these things have been happening, it’s been magnified over the last couple of years, right?
With #metoo, and #timesup and everything and, as a society, when men are unable to express or communicate themselves, or they’re going to be known as weak or soft or whatever the word is, it’s hard for them to express themselves in any other way, except for this blow up.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, especially when you say, things like “Stop acting like a girl. You’re running like a girl. You’re acting like a girl.”
Lewis Howes: Exactly, “Don’t be a wuss, don’t be this,” it’s like they’re less than their manhood or something.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, of course.
Lewis Howes: Then it’s no wonder why, if it’s not acceptable for men to express themselves in this way, it’s hard for them to just be stoic constantly. I’m not saying it’s okay what they’ve done, or to act out, but I think society in general needs to have a big group hug and let it out in a way where it’s more acceptable to express ourselves.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and also, whenever anybody does anything wrong, we go, “Well, what’s wrong with you?” We should say, “What happened to you? What happened to you?” And they’ll go, “Well, you know, my mom always said she didn’t want a boy, she wanted a girl and I would be brought up…”
I’ll give you an example, I had a city trader as a client, who really had problems trading, and his boss said, “You know, he’s the best trader, but he’s so nervous.” And when I worked with him, he said when he was a kid, his parents had two girls and then him. And he would smash his Tonka Toys, and then they’d go, “What’s wrong with you? Look at your sisters just combing their dolls’ hair, and they’re so good, and why are you so aggressive?”
And a four-year-old can’t go, “Well, because I have something called testosterone, and they don’t. And I’m designed to run and jump and hunt and fish, and I’ve got to learn what to do with aggression. Smashing my cars together is good for me.” A four-year-old doesn’t have anything, because they live in the world of feeling, not logic.
And he said, “I never realised, I spent my whole life thinking something is wrong with me, because my parents would say to me every time they came into my room, ‘What’s wrong with you? Look how neat your sisters are, they don’t get peas on the floor when they eat.’”
And he says, “I heard it every day. Until I formed a belief, ‘Something’s wrong with me.’” He didn’t date women, because he thought, “Well, I should be like one, but I want to be like a man.” And that session totally turned him around. He said it was like someone had sprayed him with pheromones, because he went out that night, and women were attaching themselves to him like a magnet.
But he just got rid of the feeling of, “Something’s wrong with me.” Because most people do walk around going, “Something’s wrong with me, I’m just majorly messed up,” and you can’t heal.
Lewis Howes: “And no one understands me, no one gets me, no one feels this way.”
Marisa Peer: Yeah, and, “Even I don’t understand me, and if I don’t understand me, how can you?”
Lewis Howes: And, “Why should I even be here?”
Marisa Peer: Yeah, because you can’t heal what you can’t understand. And so, all the treating the symptom is like putting a Band-Aid on an infection. It doesn’t heal, but when you understand it, you can totally change your perception of what it is.
Because, events actually don’t affect you, but the meaning you attach to them does.
Lewis Howes: The story we tell ourselves about it.
Marisa Peer: The story! And that’s, I love that! Because when I had just got all my Stevie awards it was like, “I feel like I’ve got an Oscar,” and that’s good, because I take clients’ stories and I give them a happy ending. I always give them a happy ending, but then you have to understand a bit more of psychology, because humans are hard-wired to recreate what they know.
We like what’s familiar, even if that’s very bad. If I’ve never had money and I win the lottery, I’m going to get rid of it all. If I’ve never had love and you love me, I’m going to reject you, because it’s so unfamiliar.
If I’ve had a dad who calls me an idiot and worthless, guess what kind of guy I like? That’s it! Because when I meet them I go, “Oh, I feel like I’ve known this guy my whole life! We just clicked,” and later you think, “Oh my gosh! It’s because he’s my dad! But now I’ve been sleeping with him for six months, I don’t know what to do with that now.”
Because we are wired to like what is familiar, and to resist what’s unfamiliar, and that’s what kept us alive. When we lived in water, you didn’t go, I’m a bit bored with this group, I think I’ll go outside the water city and find another tribe,” because they might have killed you.
So we have this wiring that says, “Run towards what’s familiar. And run away from what’s unfamiliar.” But the very good news is, you can make anything familiar. And the most important thing to make familiar is praising yourself. If you could just do that, that in itself would change your entire life.
Lewis Howes: How so? How do you praise yourself?
Marisa Peer: Well, you get up in the morning and go, “I’m a good person. I have a skill, I have a talent, I have something to offer the world. I’m here for a reason.” You look in the mirror and go, “Oh, there you are! You’re a good person, you’ve got a good heart.”
The most important way to answer that question is this: What did you always want your dad to tell you, even if you never had a dad? If you’d had a dad, a good dad, what would he have said? What would your mom have said? What would a nice teacher have said?
And it would be something like this: “I’m proud of you. You’re a good son. I’m so glad I’m your dad! How lucky I got to have you!” And a teacher would say, “You’re such a smart kid! What a joy it is to teach you, because you’re smart. And we all want to hear the same stuff.
“I love you. I’m proud of you. You’re interesting.” Nobody needs to hear, “You’re the best dentist in Beverly Hills,” because that doesn’t work. It’s emotions. And many of my clients, their mother might be dead, but they’re still trying to get her to approve of them. Dad’s living in another country, but they’re still working to make him like them.
And the most important thing is that you like you. So, whatever you wanted to hear, say it to yourself, because your mind doesn’t even know that it’s coming… And, also, it doesn’t care. Your mind doesn’t care if what you’re telling it is right or wrong, or true or false, or even if it’s good or bad. It lets it in, like Chapstick on your lips.
Your lips don’t go, “Is this organic? Fair trade?” Just lets it in. It needs a bit of nourishment, and we need some nourishment and words are very nourishing, and there is actually nothing on the planet that will raise your self esteem like praise, but self-praise is better.
Lewis Howes: It has to be self-praise, yeah.
Marisa Peer: If I said to you, “Ah, I just adore you! You’re amazing! And by the way, can you do this and this and this?” I’ve manipulated you. But if I say it to myself, my mind knows there’s no manipulation.
And the mind likes repetition and when you say it every day, your mind kind of goes, “Oh, yeah, here you go again with that praise. You say it every day, it must be true.” And now it sinks in. The problem is, if you criticise yourself every day it says the same thing.
Lewis Howes: That sinks in as well, and then it hurts you. It’s interesting, because the big talents that commit suicide, or die – who’s that comedian? Robins.
Marisa Peer: Robin Willams.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse, all these individuals, who have the world praising them, but they weren’t able to praise themselves.
Marisa Peer: Because they don’t let it in.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, and because it doesn’t matter if everyone else acknowledges you. It does matter, but you have to be willing to acknowledge yourself as well, right?
Marisa Peer: Yeah. And the familiar and unfamiliar. If praise is unfamiliar, but criticism is familiar, and you say to someone like Robin Williams, “Oh, my gosh, that last show was funny!” he goes, “Didn’t you notice? I fluffed a word. It wasn’t as good as the one before.”
So, if you’re not used to praise, you’ll reject it, and if you’re used to criticism, you’ll add it in. Because we do what’s familiar. So, if we say to someone, “I love your book,” and they go, “Well, actually, it’s not that good, the other one is much better.”
“I love your top.”
“Oh, I got it in a car boot sale, it’s five years old and it’s got a hole in it.”
So, if we haven’t got praise, we actually reject it. And you just have to say to yourself, “I’m going to make this familiar. I’m going to praise myself every day.” It might feel weird, but I’ll keep doing it.”
It’s a bit like running, you know? Running isn’t familiar, especially around Beverly Hills, but if you put your shoes on and go for a run on concrete, eventually it becomes familiar, and then you like it. I mean, sticking a lens in your eye, that’s the weirdest thing.
Lewis Howes: Very unfamiliar.
Marisa Peer: The first few times are, like, “Oh my gosh, I’m carrying on with my eye like that?” And then after a while you do it almost without thinking, because you get used to it. You can make anything familiar or unfamiliar.
And my advice to everyone is, look at your bad habits, and make them unfamiliar, and look at what you want, especially praise, and make it familiar. More so, because if you’ve got a start-up or you’re working for yourself, the days of a boss going, “Well done! Good job! Pat on the back,” are over.
And you have a praise muscle, and no one’s going to build it up, except for you. But if you build it up, it makes you bullet-proof.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, its fascinating! I’m so glad you’re talking about this, because we have a similar philosophy, and a lot of people who come to me are afraid of certain things. At an early age, I was afraid of a lot of things. I was afraid to talk to girls, when I was a twelve-year-old, I was afraid of speaking in public, I was afraid of dancing, I was afraid of all these things, right?
And I got to get so sick and tired of being afraid, that I just said, “I’m going to give myself a challenge. Every day,” when I was afraid of girls, I was like, “Every time I see a girl that gives me butterflies, I’m going to go up to them, and start a conversation.”
And it’s terrifying, and I’m sweating, and I’m stumbling over my words, and people rejected me the first few times, but I just kept doing it, until a girl said, “Hi! Nice to see you!” and you get a little confidence, until, by the end of the summer, when I was a teenager, it was, like, every girl was talking to me.
And I tell people, “You’ve got to embrace the fear until the fear disappears. And it’s similar with the feelings. You’ve got to live in the feelings until, what did you say?
Marisa Peer: Feel the feeling until it no longer requires to be felt.
Lewis Howes: That’s great.
Marisa Peer: Because what you’re really describing so eloquently is, you had a massive fear of rejection, talking to girls, speaking in public.
Lewis Howes: Feeling enough.
Marisa Peer: Yes, asking someone to employ you or pay you. So we have a great fear of rejection, which is not surprising, because when we’re born, we have two drivers: find connection and avoid rejection. After all, if a mother rejects a child, if a lion rejects the cub, it’s not going to be adopted, it will die.
Lewis Howes: It kills it.
Marisa Peer: Yeah. Or it just starves to death. And so, we know, innately, that our survival on the planet is linked to not being rejected. And not that long ago, you would have died from rejection and a thousand years ago, when they banished you outside the walls of the city or you marooned a difficult sailor, or you cast someone out of the community, you pretty much died. There was nothing out there but purgatory.
So we have a wiring that says, “Rejection will kill me,” and that’s why you had the fear. But when you can dialogue you go, “Well, no, it feels like it will kill me, but it can’t kill me. Because no girl can reject me unless I give them my permission.”
Lewis Howes: Right. Give them my power.
Marisa Peer: You can’t reject me unless I agree with everything, “I don’t like you because you’ve got short hair,” or, “I don’t like your shirt,” or, “I don’t like you because you’re white, not white, tall or short, glasses, not glasses.” But when you say, “You can’t reject me, I can’t be rejected, because the only person who can reject me is me,” you can talk to girls, realising that even if they say, “No, you’re not my type,” or, “I’m with someone, no thanks,” or even, “Eww! No!” they can only reject you if you let that in.
And we look at someone like James Cordon, who is certainly not gorgeous, but women love him because he’s funny!
Lewis Howes: So funny! Love that guy!
Marisa Peer: So funny! And so, we like warm people. You know the packaging is all very nice, but there are so many who have a great packaging, the right wrapping, but they’re unhappy. And so, our greatest fear is to be rejected, but the truth is, in 2018, you could live in this apartment, have Amazon deliver your groceries, never see a soul, and you’d probably live until you’re a hundred and six.
I wouldn’t advise it, but we don’t die of rejection any more. But we still feel like we will. And all schools should be teaching kids, “You cannot be rejected. You can ask for a pay rise, you can ask for crowdfunding, you can go to someone and say, ‘Here’s my idea,’ you can write a book, speak in public.”
Because I work with a lot of actors who say, “I’m so scared of rejection,” I’m like, “Well, how are you going to be an actor then?”
Lewis Howes: Because you’re supposed to be rejected all the time.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, well, you and I write books. For everyone who loves it there’s going to be the odd person who goes, “I hate this book, and hate that writer, too!” But we don’t let it in. We laugh about it.
And when you give a YouTube talk, I mean, one of my talks has got, like, 3 million views, and there’s a few in there that go, “Ah, hate her, stuck-up English snob!” but they don’t know me, because that’s not me at all.
But I don’t go, “Oh, my gosh! I can never write another book!” I’m okay, because I don’t let it in, because the only opinion that matters is my opinion. I know I’m not a stuck-up English snob. So that can’t hurt me, because, if it did, I wouldn’t be sharing it with you.
Lewis Howes: Right, yeah! So, if everyone’s giving you a negative feedback or critical feedback on who you are, your performance, your work, how does someone not let it affect them? How does someone say, “Okay, it came in and it came out.”?
Marisa Peer: That is such a great question. So, if someone just comes in and goes, “Oh, I hate that shirt!” or, “That colour is so not you,” or, “You should never have cut your hair,” or, “Oh, you’ve got a bit heavy,” you just go, “Thanks for sharing that.”
Just a really simple thing, which says, “Thank you for sharing your opinion, which I can choose to not let in.” You don’t have to do anything else. But the minute you go, “Your shirt’s pretty awful,” or, “Look at your hair!” or, “Calling me heavy? You look anorexic!” you’ve let it in and now you’re trying to retaliate.
It’s like a game of tennis. If you put down your racket and walk off the court, you can’t volley. So the best thing to say is, “Thanks for sharing that.” And it’s very good for the barbs we get from people, family, friends, sisters, cousins, exes.
If someone is really mean and says, “You know, I listened to your talk on YouTube. Oh my gosh! You stank up the place! I was embarrassed for you,” then you go back and you say, “I missed that. Could you repeat that for me, slowly?” they will usually not bother, because they know that in you asking them to repeat it slowly , you’re going to call them out on it.
And they usually go, “Oh, me and my big mouth! I’m just having a bad day, I didn’t actually really watch you, anyway, just ignore me.” And if they do, you must not go after them and go, “No, I want you to repeat it right now, say it to my face!”
Don’t do that, because it’s a bit like a lion who bares the teeth. They’re saying, “Back off, and I don’t want to attack you.” When a lion bares it’s teeth, you don’t go up to it, you walk away. It gives you a chance to retract. So, saying, “Could you repeat that slowly?” is giving the person a chance to retract. They almost always do.
But, occasionally they’ll come back and go, “No, I just said you’re so wooden as a speaker, as an insult to wood,” and then you have you third reaction, which is, “Oh, are you trying to make me feel bad about myself?” Amazing that they usually go, “No! Me? No, I thought I should tell you how bad you are, because you need to get help, or never speak in public again.”
I mean, I had a nanny, once, who was so awful, I had to say to her, “Darling, you’re wonderful, but you’re not meant to be a nanny.” And I didn’t criticise her, I just advised her to go and do something else, and we’re still friends.
Sometimes people think that the criticism and the barbs and the humour are a good way to give you a message, so when you say, “Are you trying to hurt my feelings?” they often say, “No.” When you’re being bullied at school they say, “Yeah, I really am, I want to hurt you. That’s the point, dummy!” Why?
Because it’s a domination. Bullying is just dominating. It’s a bit like a see-saw, the bully feels they’re at the bottom, and you’re above them, and they can only diminish you, or embellish themselves to be above you on this little see-saw.
Lewis Howes: Aha! So they feel inferior?
Marisa Peer: Yeah.
Lewis Howes: A bully feels inferior.
Marisa Peer: Bullies always feel inferior. So, let’s imagine you’re poor, your dad drinks, you don’t have any money, and there’s this kid with new trainers and new backpack, and they come up and say, “You’re just a faggot,” or, “You’re gay,” because they want, they can’t really embellish themselves, so the next option is, “Let me diminish you.”
Because the embellishment is, “No one in my family is being divorced, and when we fight it must be your fault. You’re from divorced people,” or, “I’ve got a degree and you haven’t,” or, “I’ve already raised kids, and I’ve got no problems with those ones, so this must be your fault.”
So, you can embellish yourself, but if you can’t, you go into diminishment. And so, when someone ways, “Yes, I am trying to hurt your feelings,” you simply reply, “Well, it’s not going to work, because I’m not letting that in.”
And I was in my garden last week, filming an anti-bullying program, which we’re giving away to every school, and I had these kids, and this little girl was saying, “I’m not letting that in, that’s not going to work.” And I said, “How do you feel?” and she goes, “I feel so good! Because he’s not hurting my feelings, I’m not letting it in! He can’t hurt me, because I’m just saying I’m not going to let that in.”
And then, when it was his turn, he said, “I’m kind of running out… I’m becoming demotivated to bully her, I’m totally demotivated, and I was enjoying it,” because he got to say horrible things, and he said, “I’m so demotivated, and I’m running out of stuff to say, because she just won’t let it in.”
And then they switched and she said the same thing, “What’s the point? He’s not letting it in, I just want to stop this now.” So, that’s the fourth option, “Well, that won’t work, because I’m not letting it in.”
And the fifth stage is to say, particularly with adults, like if you have a bullying co-worker, “Do you know, since we’re sharing here, you do know, don’t you, that people who are critical have so much criticism reserved for themselves, they actively dislike themselves? And you’re actually showing me, and the entire office, that you really don’t like yourself.”
Lewis Howes: By critiquing me, it’s a reflection.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, critical people always have criticism reserved for themselves. They’re full of self-criticism, but they reflect it out, and superior people and happy people always praise, and people who feel inadequate always criticise. Because criticism withers you and praise builds you up.
And if you can use those five things, “Thanks for sharing. Could you repeat that? Are you trying to hurt my feelings? It won’t work, I’m not letting it in. Since we’re sharing, did you know what is running your critical behaviour?” you don’t let it in.
And being able to not let in criticism, that, too, will change your life. It makes you bullet-proof. You can’t start being mean and you’re having a horrible day. And we now have trolling, which is becoming an epidemic, so it’s actually worse.
Our kids used to get bullied at school and go home to a sanctuary.
Lewis Howes: Now they’re bullied online, everywhere.
Marisa Peer: Now they’re bullied online, on the phone, and it never ends, and they feel really attacked and see, when you find trolls, they’re usually really miserable, and unhappy, but they love the power because they have no power. They live on their own, or with their mum, they have no life.
I mean, we had a terrible situation in England where somebody was trolling this person whose child had been kidnapped, and when they exposed her she killed herself, which was a terrible thing for her, but obviously her sense of shame, that she was outed, and to kill herself.
But she must have felt terrible. I felt so sorry for her. But she was very vicious in her trolling. But that’s a really unhappy person. She needed a lot of help. But when you can teach people to come back from criticism without fighting or going, “I hate you, too!” or, “Shut up!” or crying, when you can just teach them, “Look, I’m not letting it in.”
It’s like if I try to give you a gift and you go, “Oh, I don’t need that gift,” I’m holding the gift. I can’t give you something if you don’t take it. I can’t serve papers on you unless you accept them. I can’t serve a volley to you unless you volley it back.
So, when you learn that people can try and give you anything, but if you don’t accept it, you haven’t let it in. And if you don’t let it in, it can’t hurt you.
Lewis Howes: This is fascinating.
Marisa Peer: It just hurts the person who’s left holding it.
Lewis Howes: Years ago, early in my career, I would react to any negative comment that I got online. Twitter, Facebook, whatever it might be, anything that was critical towards me, it was like I had to defend myself. “You don’t know this about me.”
Marisa Peer: Sure, because you let it in.
Lewis Howes: I let everything in. I let everything consume me. So I was driven to be perfect, to try to never let anyone critique me, and then, when they did, I was like, “You don’t know me. You don’t know this!” And I remember feeling so exhausted, trying to reply and be defensive, and whatever it may be.
And sometimes these arguments online would go back and forth for days or weeks. Just waiting for the next person.
Marisa Peer: And then you forget what you’ve even argued about in the first place.
Lewis Howes: And a good coach of mine, at one point, he saw me – this was years ago – he saw me, I’d gotten a lot better, but still five years ago I tried to defend myself with a very positive response, so it was like, “Well, here’s why I did this, this and this,” but nothing negative back.
And he called me out. He said, “Listen, don’t even respond like that, just say, ‘Thank you for the feedback.’ Period.”
Marisa Peer: Yeah. “Thanks for sharing.”
Lewis Howes: Exactly what you said, “Thank you for the feedback,” and let it go. And really, now I think about it, the biggest critics are the ones who aren’t creating. You don’t see an author, you never go on Amazon and leave a negative review for another author. Because you know how much…
Marisa Peer: Yeah, I have a cushion and it says, “There’s never been a statue erected to a critic,” and I gave it to one of my clients, who is an actor.
Lewis Howes: That’s great!
Marisa Peer: It’s such a great thought, “There’s never been a statue or a monument erected to a critic.”
Lewis Howes: That’s great! Yeah.
Marisa Peer: We had a critic in London, a play critic, and he actually wrote a play and it was absolutely hammered, and he said, “I never realised what I was doing to people, how much I hurt them when I reviewed them. I thought it was funny to make a joke at their expense, like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this book should not be put down, indeed. It should be thrown as far away from the unfortunate reader as possible.’”
He wrote that, and then people started to get their own back. “The trouble with his book is, once you put it down, you simply can’t pick it up again.” That’s funny, isn’t it? But not for the person who wrote it.
Lewis Howes: Exactly! Wow! This is fascinating! What do you think is your greatest challenge that you face, internally? Personal challenge, as someone who has helped tens of thousands of people, personally? And understand all this stuff.
Marisa Peer: I suppose it’s not a challenge to get more people to understand it, because people need it. We all need to be nourished, we need nourishment, our soul needs to be nourished. It’s not about organic avocados from Earlwood Market, that’s great, but we all need this emotional nourishment, so, is it a challenge getting more people to accept it?
I don’t think it is, because everyone I see goes, “Oh, my gosh! I love that!” Or they go, “I listened to you, and at first I though, ‘Oh, that’s rubbish,’ but then I found myself going into the garage, and saying nice stuff to myself.”
So, maybe my only challenge, but even then, it’s not a challenge, but I would say half the medical profession love what I do, and really go for it and go, “This is amazing, I’m using it with my own patients,” and the other half go, “This is all silly. Illness is caused by disease. You can’t talk yourself better, talking to yourself doesn’t make any difference. You can’t possibly give birth just using positive affirmations.”
It’s like, if you had cancer, and you had a very good oncologist who might go, “Look, the way you think, the way you eat, the way you act, the way you rest, can all affect,” and they’ll go, “No, you’ve got cancer. Chemotherapy. There’s nothing else that will work, and all that stuff is hocus-pocus.”
So, that is a challenge, but it’s not so much, because I find so many doctors love what I do, and go, “Wow! You know, all these illnesses are auto-immune illnesses.” Many years ago there was a wonderful psychiatrist in London called Dr Morgely and he had a great expression – it’s always been my favourite – and it says, “The feeling that cannot find it’s expression in tears, may cause other organs to weep.”
So, he knew. A hundred years ago.
Lewis Howes: Wow! That’s beautiful!
Marisa Peer: So beautiful, and so true!
Lewis Howes: “The feeling that…”
Marisa Peer: “Cannot find it’s expression in tears, will cause other organs to weep.” So he’s kind of saying, “If you don’t feel the feeling, your body’s going to feel it. If you don’t open your mouth and say, ‘You hurt me,’ don’t be surprised if you get a screaming headache, ‘I’ve got this screaming, headache, I’ve got this angry red rash, I’ve got this thumping pain,’” and by the words they’re using, “angry, screaming,” they’re saying, “I have rage that can’t come out.”
Lewis Howes: “I’m not expressing it, but it’s expressed through my body.”
Marisa Peer: Yeah, because the body is very clever at finding something. I worked with someone who couldn’t walk, and all she said was, “I can’t stand that. I can’t stand my ex. I can’t stand my life. I can’t stand my kids.” And I said, “You can’t stand up, isn’t that interesting?”
She had sort of phantom leg pains, because she couldn’t stand anything. Bulimics will say, “Well, what makes me sick, is my sister-in-law. Oh, I’m so sick of her, she just makes me sick. I vomit in my mouth every time I hear her voice.” And then they wonder why they’re bulimic.
Because our words really affect our reality, partly because, and it’s such an easy thing to say, every word you say is a blueprint that your mind body and psyche are working to make your reality. So we make our thoughts, and our thoughts make us, and then we go out into the world and we justify our thoughts, every day.
But our words are a blueprint. And when you know that, you think, well I better pay attention to that blueprint. I better not say this kid is killing me, my job is making me want to die, I’m so stressed out by what, the queue in Hugh’s Market.”
Well, go to Zimbabwe, where there is no Hugh’s Market, and there is no queue, and there is no money to buy food any way. Then you can say you’re stressed, because your problem, the queue an hour long, and the bill, is someone else’s fantasy dream come true.
This freeway is killing you? You have a car! Look at people on four buses. I used to take my daughter to school, and I remember one day thinking that, “Oh my gosh, this commute is hell,” and I saw someone on a bus, and thought, “How lucky that I’m in my car, I’ve got the heating, I’ve got a cup of tea, I’ve got an hour to listen to something, I can talk to my kid. I keep saying I want an hour to myself, well here it is!”
And I learned to stop doing that. But when you say, “How are you?”
“Ugh, nightmare! It is torture!”
“What? The traffic?”
“Yeah, the traffic, the queue, people keep ringing me, the phone ringing, it’s torture.”
“Well, maybe if it didn’t ring, that might be worse.”
Some of my clients who are models will say, “My life is hell because people look at me.” It’s like, “Really? Well, one day they won’t and then you might miss it.”
“Yeah, but if I get on a plane and guys hit on me, it’s a nightmare.”
“Well, put on a baseball hat, and glasses, read a book. Then they’ll leave you alone.”
That’s not a nightmare, it’s just mildly inconvenient. It’s not hell. It’s not killing you. But we use these incredible words, “This is torture, this is killing me, this is a disaster!”
“Well, I went to the bathroom and I forgot to pause my movie.”
That’s not a disaster! But when you use those words, because your mind can’t differentiate, it starts to feel like it really is a disaster.
Lewis Howes: On the flip side of this, the beautiful part, when we understand and appreciate that our thoughts become reality, we can create the life of our dreams as well. We can start to manifest our thoughts by visualising, by telling ourselves what we want, who we want to become, and taking those actions toward it, we can manifest our dreams.
Marisa Peer: Absolutely! You really can! You can stop being ill, you can change the shape of your body, you can change your digestion, you can have physical things. You can change the way you interact with your kids.
Here’s a good example. “My kid is a nightmare,” change that to, “My child is age appropriate.”
Lewis Howes: There you go!
Marisa Peer: A builder isn’t going to go, “It’s a disaster!” but a good builder is going to say, “It’s a challenge.” When you said, “Talking to girls is terrifying!” you just changed that to, “It is challenging, but there’s hundreds of girls out there, so I’m just going. One will say yes.”
Lewis Howes: Some will say hi, yeah.
Marisa Peer: And even if they say no, the only risk in life is not to take the risk. That’s the risk. If you take the risk and it goes wrong, you learn something.
Lewis Howes: It gives you feedback for how to show up differently the next time.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, sure!
Lewis Howes: My girlfriend is a doctor of physical therapy, and when she works on people, she would agree with everything you’re saying, because people’s bodies are so tight, not because of something they tore, or something sore, but it’s because they’re holding onto something emotionally.
And she says, once they start to talk, their bodies relax and the pain goes away. All the pain that they can’t turn their shoulder, or they can’t turn their neck, once they let it out their feelings, about their relationship or their insecurities, or whatever it may be, that’s when they have a pain free body.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, because the body keeps score. The body holds on to pain and stress and tension and grief, and we carry around all this stuff, and yet we really don’t have to. If just more people knew, even to say, “I’m enough,” every day.
And to say, another of my favourite things is to say, “I’m choosing this and I’m choosing to feel great. I’m choosing to work on my website all weekend,” or, “I’m choosing to go to the gym. I don’t love it, but I love having a sixpack.”
“I’m choosing to say no to Krispy-Kreme doughnuts, and yes to apples.”
Lewis Howes: I love them! Love Krispy-Kremes!
Marisa Peer: Do you?
Lewis Howes: I could eat twelve of them, right now! Oh! So good! But I choose to eat healthy.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, choose, and if you say, “I’m choosing to do this, and choosing to feel great about it,” your mind has a very clear image. The way you feel about everything is down to two things: the pictures you make in your head, and the words you say to yourself. There’s nothing else.
If you choose to run, going, “I’m running, so I’m raising money for charity, so I’m going to complete this run, even though my feet hurt and my knees hurt, because I’m going to raise money for charity.” But you could run, going, “Oh, I hate this, I could be at home watching Netflix, I haven’t eaten, and now my knee hurts, and then you’ll have to stop.”
So, when you keep saying, “I’m choosing it…”
Lewis Howes: “Because…”
Marisa Peer: Yeah. So, if you’re an Olympic athlete you would choose to get up at 4am and train. If you are a diabetic, you choose to put a needle in your arm. If you wear lenses, you choose to jab your finger in your eye, but you don’t go, “Oh, I hate it. I can’t accept it, and I can’t change it.
And when you say, “I’m choosing to study, to work, to go and talk to this girl I really like, or to put good food in my body, and I’m choosing to feel great about that, too,” there is no… Whereas, when you go, I want doughnuts and I have to have this friggin’ rabbit food,” what your mind does is, it increases the desire for doughnuts, because you said, “I want doughnuts, but I can’t have them. I want pizza, I’m eating kale.”
Lewis Howes: I can have these, but I choose to have this other stuff.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, “I can eat pizza every day when I’m ninety-five. I’m going to knock myself out with pizza, but right now, I actually want to look really good in my clothes. Maybe out of them, too, so I’ll save the pizza for when I’m eighty, because that door’s probably shut by then, any way.” Then you can have loads of pizza.
Lewis Howes: Yeah! Every day!
Marisa Peer: But you have to reason with your mind and negotiate. And your mind will always do what it thinks you want, and that’s it’s job. And if you could only tell your mind what you want, using relevant, up to the minute words, you’ll get exactly what you want.
Lewis Howes: What do you struggle with telling your mind? Is there anything that you practised for some time?
Marisa Peer: It took me a long time to tell my mind not to eat sugar. I still look at it and go, “It looks so nice!”
Lewis Howes: That’s me.
Marisa Peer: But, I still look at candy. The other day I was really tired and I went into a shop to get a coffee and they had jars of jellies, and I thought, “I could eat all of those. But I’m choosing not to.” And I just had the coffee.
So, working out, you know, we’re on a schedule. Sometimes just finding the time to go to the gym or do yoga, or making the time. Yeah, that’s probably the only two, really. Eating healthy food, all the time, even on a plane, even sometimes where there is no healthy food, then you’ve got to wait, and choosing to make myself exercise, when I don’t want to.
But other than that, nothing really, because I couldn’t do what I do, unless I was really good at dialogue. My mind is my best friend. It’s like the best P.A. that I’ve ever had, and it does what I want, because I give it clear instructions.
Lewis Howes: What do you say to yourself on a daily basis? Is there like a process in the morning, afternoon and night? Or what would it be like?
Marisa Peer: Yeah! Actually, when I wake up, the first thing I always say is, “I love my life! I love my linen, and I love my cup of tea.” I always wake up going, “I love my life,” and then when I make my tea, I go, “I love this tea, I love the coffee, I love the shower gel in my shower,” because I really believe that if you can make your mind get excited by little things, then big things, every day, is like Christmas.
And I think, when you wake up, you shouldn’t go, “Oh, what have I got today? Oh! A world of stress! I’ve got this, this, this, this, this!” So you should always wake up and go, “I love my life! I’m alive, in a free country, I’ve got all this stuff to make tea, and life is great.”
So, I do that, and the second thing I do is, I tend to stay in bed and do all my e-mails because then I feel like I’m not working, because I’m in bed, propped up, drinking my tea, and I get all of that out of the way.
Lewis Howes: So it’s relaxed. Not stressed, it’s more relaxed.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, it’s totally relaxed! Not stressed. I try not to have to rush to go anywhere, but sometimes I do. I mean, I’m very lucky, because I love what I do. And I have people say, “You work really hard,” and I go, “I haven’t worked a day in my life. I don’t know what that is. I don’t have to go, ‘Where’s the weekend,’ my entire life is a weekend.”
People say, “Oh, the weekend!” I go, “What’s a weekend?” I can take time off. I mean, I love my job, because I get to make such a difference. So I don’t really have much to moan about. Maybe communicating with my daughter is sometimes a challenge. Because I’m so positive that she occasionally wants me to be super negative.
Lewis Howes: Why’s that?
Marisa Peer: Well, I guess because you have to be at the opposite of your parents. So, I do all these positive things, she’s an artist and she does lots of negative statements on her paintings, on her Tee-shirts, because that’s the deal. You’ve got to be the opposite of your parents. But I understand that.
She’s great. Really, I don’t have much to complain about.
Lewis Howes: You have a positive conversation with yourself pretty much 24/7, right?
Marisa Peer: Yeah!
Lewis Howes: What about a nightly routine, do you have thoughts that you say to yourself?
Marisa Peer: Well, you see, for me, I really believe that first it’s what you do and then it’s who you are. So, first you’re doing it, and then it’s who you are and it’s so who you are that it wouldn’t occur to you to make yourself do it.
You see, I would never sit on the couch going, “My case is lost, I just know it! It’s all going to go wrong, there’s no cabs out there, this is a horrible flight.” I now have a belief that there’s no such thing as being bored.
If my flight is late, I mean, I just get on my laptop, on my phone, I mean, I have 24 hour entertainment, empty out my e-mails, look at something. The days of having to wait and being bored, even waiting in the car, my little phone is everything, books, messages, videos. And so, I love that, I don’t really mind about missing stuff and being late any more.
In fact, when I was last landing here, two weeks ago, I was hoping to be late, because I was so into this movie.
Lewis Howes: Hopefully it’s delayed, yeah!
Marisa Peer: It was delayed. One of the pilots said, “We’ve got to go round again,” and I was like, “That’s so great! That’s exactly how long is left of this movie!” But I think it’s important for people to understand that it isn’t what you do.
It’s a bit like people who say, “I’ve done yoga every day, and now it’s just my soul.” Like Meghan Markle said that, “Yoga is in my soul.” Well, I don’t do yoga, yoga is part of my life. It’s like you don’t say, “I walk my dog. I’ve had a dog for twenty years, I just get up, pick up the lead,” and it’s who you are, not what you do.
And so, for me, it really isn’t what I do, because it’s so a part of me. And I like it, and so, I’m quite lucky that I’m pretty happy and positive. I really do love my life and that’s a good thing.
Lewis Howes: Was there ever something in the last ten years that questioned everything that you’ve done or that questioned your ability to say, “I love my life.”?
Marisa Peer: Well, I did get very sick, like, a year ago, and I thought, “Wow, how could that happen? I’m so happy and positive and eat well,” so I was a bit surprised when I got sick.
Lewis Howes: How did you get through that?
Marisa Peer: The same thing. The thinking, the belief, I decided I would focus on massive healing. I kept telling my body that it was cancer fighting machine, I was making all these NK killer cells, and I did actually go home the next day, I was on stage a week later, and my doctor was like like, “Wow! You’ve become the poster girl for just getting on with your life.”
And now I look at one particular YouTube and I think, “That’s so bizarre! I had major surgery just a week before that, and you’d never know.” But, again, it’s a belief. I decided I do wellness. I said, “I need to go home,” and I went home and I got in my own bed and I watched Ray Donovan.
And I said, “This is it, I’m doing wellness here. I’m not going to lie in that bed where they keep trying to give you pills.” And I didn’t feel any pain, at all, because I just kept telling my body to heal itself, and then, later, I thought, “Maybe it’s good I got that, because I can help other people.”
And I go, “Look, life throws stuff at you, but you get to choose how to deal with it.” And even then, I noticed that I was very positive, because I had actually got womb cancer. And I thought, “What a stroke of luck to get womb cancer. I don’t need a womb. It’s done it’s job, I’ve had a great kid.” I’d talk to my womb and say, “Thanks for giving me this great kid, but now I’ve got to get rid of you, because I’ve got to stay here and raise this great kid.”
And I thought, “That’s good, I mean, imagine if you get brain cancer, or bone cancer?” I felt very lucky it was a disposable organ that had done a great job. I didn’t need it. And so, I think, once you become like that, it’s just who you are, so I never had, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to die,” because I thought, “No, I’m not going anywhere.”
Lewis Howes: It’s all perspective, yeah.
Marisa Peer: It is all perspective, I mean, people would say to me, “But I thought you were so healthy, how could you get that?” As it turns out, I have that same gene that Angelina Jolie has, but then, of course, Bruce Lipton will tell you, you can turn off a gene. You can mentally remove that gene.
So, even with adversity, because it’s quite good in a way, because people always think, “Oh, you’re just like Pollyanna, just tripping along, having a wonderful life.” That’s not true, I’ve still had adversity, but your mind will always kick in when it’s well trained and go, “This is a blip, it’s just a blip, just carry on.”
And so, you’ve got to train your mind, like you train a horse. You know, I say your mind’s like a Ferarri, and if you’ve never driven a Ferarri, it’s going to go all over the place, but if you have Ferarri driving lessons, you’re going to run that Ferarri, the Ferarri should not be running you. If you get on a horse and you’ve never ridden, it’s going to go everywhere, but if you have some horseriding skills, you say, “Go there,” and it goes.
So, I see my mind like a horse, and I am the rider, but I’m going to tell my mind where to go and it’s going to do it.
Lewis Howes: You’re fascinating! I love this, and you’ve got a book coming out right now called, ‘# I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life’. Tell me a little bit about this?
Marisa Peer: Well, that’s been my life’s work, mark your mirror and change your life. It was actually ‘Lipstick Your Mirror And Change Your Life’, because I used to teach people to write on their mirror, ‘I Am Enough.’ One of my graduates was saying the removal man was removing her stuff, and asked her, “Why have you got that on your mirror?” and she told him, and he said, “I need a session with you, this week.”
And my plumber was saying, “Why have you got that on your mirror?” and I said, “Well, everybody wants to change the world, but that’s a big ask. I want to change people one soul at a time. And ‘I am enough’ changes people.”
People write to me and say, “It’s just three words, but oh my gosh, the difference it’s made!” And so, I told my plumber and he came back and said, “You know, I had this really nerdy, unhappy son. He’s still nerdy, but he’s now a happy nerd, with a happy, nerdy girlfriend and he goes to a happy, nerdy club. My wife, who was in the menopause is so different, because we’ve got it on the fridge, on the mirrors,” and a lot of parents write to me and say, “Wow, I put that in my kid’s bathroom and had them say it, and they’ve just suddenly become bullet-proof against being bullied.”
And so, I’ve always been in love with the ‘I am enough’, because, when you’re a therapist, you’re always working with what lies beneath. What lies beneath these people’s problems? And it’s always the same: “I don’t feel smart enough/rich enough/good enough.”
And when you say things like, “I am a rock star,” your mind goes, “You’re not really a rock star, because, come on, you live in a shared apartment and you’ve got a car that’s eleven years old. You shop in Target, that’s not a rock star.”
“I am a goddess,” but you’re not really a goddess, because you’ve got cellulite. But when you say, “I am enough,” its strength is its simplicity, and its honesty. Because you are enough. You’re not your weight, your shape, your size, your bank account, your childhood; you’re enough.
And the thing is, when you say it, and really say it, speak it, and let it in, people pick up your enoughness, and believe it, so, within that book you’ll see that we get people to change their password. So they contain ‘I Am Enough’, obviously, some letters and numbers and squiggles. We can’t all have ‘iamenough’, it would be a hacker’s dream come true.
But you write it all over your mirrors, you put it on your fridge, you have your phone alarm go off twice a day, and when you type it out in your password, when you write it, read it, say it, think it, it goes in and does the most incredible work.
Because when you feel enough, you can talk to people, you don’t risk rejection, because you can’t be rejected. You take risks. You don’t say, “Well, if I’m enough, I can just lie on the sofa and eat potato chips.” No, when you know you’re enough, you think, “I’m enough. I’m going to build this company, get a raise, get a promotion, release my book, I’m going to invent this thing I’ve had in my head for years, I’m going to ask that girl or guy out, I’m going to stand up to my kid’s teacher who I think is terrifying me, because they’re not terrifying!”
So, ‘I am enough’, just opens so many doors and makes you like yourself, because, if you don’t like yourself, nothing counts. Nothing you have is enough, and that’s what’s behind so many people, we think have everything, who become suicidal.
But, ‘I am enough’, its strength is its simplicity, but also, its absolute truthfulness, because everyone is enough. And the minute you know it, the whole world knows it, and they treat you differently. You see, we think, “I’ll buy a Porche and then I’m going to say, ‘Look, I’m enough, I’ve got a Porche.’”
“I’ll get an Armani jacket,” or, “I’ll get breast implants, or lip implants, and then I’m saying I’m enough.”
But we see lots of people who have got all of that and are desperately, desperately unhappy. Because everything you want is because it might make you feel enough. When you can feel enough without the stuff., now you’ve won. And then you’ll get the stuff anyway.
But you only get the stuff because you want it, and not because you need it…
Lewis Howes: To feel enough.
Marisa Peer: To feel enough, yeah. So, if someone said to me, “I keep buying all these Jo Malone candles to feel enough,” I’m like, “But you’ve got 22. And if they’ve worked, why would you need 26?” You’ve got eighteen pairs of shoes, to feel enough. Do you think 19 is going to make any difference?
Stuff can’t make you feel enough, it’s out there. Feeling enough is in here. And when you know you’re enough, you can still love a pair of shoes, believe me, I love a nice pair of shoes, but I never buy them to feel enough, because I’m enough without them.
Lewis Howes: Mmm. Powerful!
Marisa Peer: It’s very powerful!
Lewis Howes: It’s amazing!
Marisa Peer: Yeah, because it’s true!
Lewis Howes: So they can get the book, # I Am Enough, go to your website and get it there, or on Amazon.
Marisa Peer: Yeah.
Lewis Howes: What’s your website?
Marisa Peer: You can go to marisapeer.com, we have lots of free stuff there. We have self-esteem downloads and money downloads and relationship downloads, and we give them all away, and you can buy ‘I Am Enough’ the book. There’s also a program, you can also get it on Amazon, I Am Enough.
And then you can start to hashtag and create the movement. Send me, from all over the world, what it is in your country. We get people sending us pictures of their kids doing paintings saying ‘I Am Enough’, writing it somewhere, planting flowers in their garden that come up and spell, ‘I Am Enough’. So nice.
Lewis Howes: It’s amazing! And it sounds like you don’t work with many clients today, but how could people work with you, or one of your students?
Marisa Peer: Yeah, I work with clients if it’s a very unusual or particularly deserving case, but, actually, I don’t need to see clients any more, because I used to really know I have a gift for what I do, but the way I teach my method is something that you can replicate.
And we have amazing therapists all over the world, many in Los Angeles, who are so good. I mean, getting phenomenal results with people with impetigo and vitiligo and ringing in the ears, tinnitus, all kinds of depression, anxiety, insomnia.
So, if you want to have some amazing RTT therapy, and, it is amazing, again, just go to marisapeer.com, or you can go to rapidtransformationaltherapy.com, and you can find someone who will change your life in 90 minutes.
Lewis Howes: It’s a 90 minute session?
Marisa Peer: Yeah. It might be three sessions, if you have bipolar.
Lewis Howes: But it’s not years.
Marisa Peer: Oh, no! If you had bipolar or bulimia, three sessions. If you have insomnia or nail biting, or anxiety, one session.
Lewis Howes: Wow!
Marisa Peer: Yeah, because it’s so powerful, and it’s permanent. And you get your own audio recording to rewire in the changes. And it is a revolutionary therapy, but I am so proud of it. But I learned it from my clients. I learned what worked with real clients in real time that created stunning turnovers. “Ah! This works! I’ll teach that to everyone else.”
Because it’s always your clients that teach you everything.
Lewis Howes: Right, you had to learn, and some things worked, some things didn’t and you kept going, yeah.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, they would always say, “Oh my gosh, when you got me to praise myself, or when you got me to not let in criticism, when you got me to go back to my boyfriend and go, ‘That hurt my feelings,’ wow!”
Somebody said to me that ‘I Am Enough’, “Those words got me to walk out of my marriage, walk into a building, ask for a job, got the job, walked back to my apartment, asked the super if he’d rent me something else and took my kids away from a violent man. And it was just those words that got it all started.”
So many people write to me and tell me that, and it’s really nice.
Lewis Howes: Amazing! I want to make sure people get the book, check out your site, you’re on social media as well, @marisapeer everywhere, I’m assuming?
Marisa Peer: Yeah! So I’m very lucky that my parents gave me such an unusual name, Marisa Peer, because, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, it’s all @marisapeer. I do have another Twitter feed called @imalwaysenough, because we couldn’t get the I Am Enough, yeah.
Lewis Howes: That’s cool! We’ll make sure to follow you in all of those places.
Marisa Peer: And YouTube is all @marisapeer, too.
Lewis Howes: Okay, well, perfect. We’ll link it all up as well.
Marisa Peer: Thank you!
Lewis Howes: This is a question I ask everyone at the end, it’s called The Three Truths. So, I want you to imagine you get to pick the day that it’s your last day on Earth. It could be as far away as you want it to be, and you’ve achieved everything you want, or you’ve created everything you want. All the books, the talks, hundreds of thousands of therapists who have taken your program, whatever you want, you’ve created it.
But, for whatever reason, you’ve got to take all of your work with you, on this last day. It’s a celebration, but you’ve got to take it with you, and all you get to do is write down, on a piece of paper, the three things you know to be true, about all of your experiences. These three lessons that then you would share with the world.
So, if there’s nothing else that they have access to, what would you say are your Three Truths?
Marisa Peer: I think that would be, “You’re always enough.” And never forget it, because when you know it, the whole world knows it, and the world will believe what you believe about you.
I’d also say you make your beliefs, and then your beliefs make you. And then you go out into the world, and it starts to mirror whatever you believe. So, make your beliefs amazing. Make your beliefs good. Like, if you believe that dogs bite you, you make that belief, and then you act badly around dogs, and then dogs pick up your anxiety and they do bite you, because you’ve made them nervous.
If you believe dogs are wonderful and loyal and man’s best friend, and you go, “Oh, I love dogs!” the dog will love you, because our beliefs, our thoughts, become feelings and they resonate out from us, and back to us, events that always match up to our thoughts and beliefs.
And when you know that, all you have to do is change your thoughts and beliefs and make them positive. It’s like, “There’s not enough money.” There’s enough money for everyone, there’s more than enough, but your belief that, “Well, if I have more, you get less, and spiritual people shouldn’t ask for money, and it’s arrogant and I’m not worth it.”
If you make that belief, and that’s your blueprint, why don’t you make your belief, “If I have more money, other people get to benefit, too, and there is more than enough for everyone.” Because there really is.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, powerful! Wow.
Marisa Peer: Yes! And true.
Lewis Howes: And true, if you believe it to be true. If you’re believing something else, the truth will be something else.
Marisa Peer: It says in the Bible, “Man is what he believes.” But it doesn’t say men go ahead and make great beliefs, then, and women, too.
Lewis Howes: That should be the second thing.
Marisa Peer: That would be the second thing I would say, if I had one day left. You are what you believe, and you get to choose whatever you believe. I know what I’d say. You can choose whatever you wish, negative, positive, you get to choose, but what you can’t choose is what you do to your body and your health, when you’re negative.
You can’t choose that. You could say, “I’m just a negative person, but over here is a positive person, we all can choose to do that,” but you can never choose how you ruin your health, defeat your immune system, paralyse your auto-immune system, affect your nervous system.
What goes on in your body when you’re negative is horrific, because the body can’t choose, it has to react to negativity. You make cortisol, that’s a stress hormone, that shuts down fertility, it lays down fat.
So, all the stuff you’re doing when you’re negative, giving yourself heart attacks and strokes and high blood pressure, all because you’re choosing to be negative, when, if you come over to the positive world, which is so much better, you have better health, you live longer, you look twenty years younger. That’s a good thing, too, because all the stress leaves your face.
Lewis Howes: That’s it!
Marisa Peer: You don’t have to take laxatives, and all those antacids and stuff that people take, because of their thinking.
Lewis Howes: This is amazing! I know my audience is going to love this. So, I want to acknowledge you, Marisa, for teaching in such a way that it’s simple. Because I think a lot of people over complicate their feelings, the pain, the traumas, their story, and they feel like there’s no way out.
But, by you simplifying things, and creating a structure and a process, that makes it okay for people to let go of these things that they’re holding onto, you’re helping heal so many people. So I want to acknowledge you for the work you’re doing, for the impact that you’re making and the human that you are.
Marisa Peer: Thank you! Well, it should be simple. If you’ve got a job and a home and a kid, that’s enough work for the rest of your life. People don’t want self-help that just says, “You’ve got to read a book every day, you’ve got to write a thousand goals, you’ve got to write a mission statement.”
It’s like, it should take three minutes. I am enough takes thirty seconds, but results are out of all proportion, and that’s how it should be. Little teeny adjustments and tweaks, but it should have massive, phenomenal results, and that’s what that book’s all about. There’s no work in it.
Lewis Howes: It’s amazing! # I Am Enough, make sure you guys pick it up. One final question. It is, what’s your definition of greatness?
Marisa Peer: My definition of greatness is do what you love, and love what you do. Everyone has a gift, and your gift tends to lie behind what you love, so find what you love, and then you’ll never work a day in your life.
And this is what you do, too, isn’t it?
Lewis Howes: That’s it! This is it!
Marisa Peer: And you’ve never worked a day in your life.
Lewis Howes: It feels amazing!
Marisa Peer: You can do what you love. And we can all do that.
Lewis Howes: That’s it! Yeah. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Marisa Peer: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure, thank you.
Lewis Howes: There you have it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this, and I’m so excited about this episode! I’m so excited about all the things we’re learning here, on The School of Greatness. For me, this podcast, this show, has transformed into a movement so much bigger than anything I imagined, early on, when we started this.
We’re almost at 700 episodes, and every day I’m learning something new, and I hope you’re learning something new as well, that applies directly to improving your life. That is the key, that is my mission, to bring you some of the most inspiring people in the world, to give you the lessons, the tools, the stories, to help you transform and improve your life.
That’s what this is about. If you enjoyed this and you thought it was helpful for you, and you think it could help a friend, please share with them right now. Send them a text with the link, lewishowes.com/695, or you can click the share button right on your podcast app that you’re listening to this on, and tag me, @LewisHowes.
You can learn about Marisa over on the show notes, all of her information there, her book and everything else that she’s got. Go to lewishowes.com/695 to learn more about her and connect with her, as well, on social media.
I’m so very grateful for the support. This podcast continues to grow and grow, and it’s because of you. So thank you for showing up every single week, thank you for listening, and you give me the motivation to continue to bust my butt, to find the most inspiring people in the world, so I’m not going to stop! As long as you keep listening!
I appreciate you so very much!
And a big thank you to our sponsor, Casper. Make sure you check them out. You’re going to get $50 towards select mattresses by visiting casper.com/greatness, and using ‘greatness’ at checkout. It’s affordable prices, because Casper cuts out the middlemen, and sells directly to you. Hassle-free returns if you’re not satisfied, and they deliver right to your door, in a super small box, guys.
They’ve got over 20,000 reviews with an average of 4.8 stars across Casper, Amazon, and Google. And it’s becoming, quickly, one of the internet’s favourite mattresses.
I appreciate you guys so very much, and, as always, keep living an inspiring life. That is the key. You want to be an example to your family, to your friends, to the people around you, to the people that follow you online.
And, as Napoleon Hill said, “Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”
What are you thinking about right now? Where is your mind taking you? What is the conversation you’re having with yourself? What are the things that run through your mind every single day? Are they creating poverty in your life? Or building riches?
I love you so very much, and you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!
let us know your thoughts