Today's episode was first featured on Sarah Clark's podcast. Sarah started as a client who went through my Transformational Macro Coach Certification and later became an awesome coach herself. Join us as I respond to Sarah's insightful questions about Self-Sabotage, and discover how you can unlock your full potential and confidently achieve your goals. In this episode, we delve into silencing the inner critic and paving the path to success. Don't pass up on this empowering episode that will help you break free from self-limiting behaviors and embrace the life you truly deserve!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/290
- What is Self-Sabotage? 12:14
- Angel and Devil Metaphor 16:12
- Why people struggle with Self-Sabotage 18:02
- The Second Arrow Analogy 23:20
- Most common ways people self-sabotage 31:11, 33:57
- Tips to overcome self-sabotage 45:10
Sarah Clark’s Podcast
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio Episode 290.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PR's. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife and mom of four. Each week my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise, mindset, personal development and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in. Now, let's jump into today's episode.
Hey, hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today's a little bit of an interesting episode because we're flipping the script. And I'm actually getting interviewed in this podcast episode. So my friend Sarah Clark, she was a client. She came through our Transformational Macro Coach Certification and went on to become a coach and has is doing awesome things in her own world and she asked me to be on her podcast called The Sarah Clark show and of course I said yes. I was super excited to be able to chat with her. And as we were going through the interview, she did such a great job of asking really good questions of really having the conversation flow well and bringing out some really important topics. And not everybody can interview really well, I told Sarah this after the interview. I've had a lot of people interview me and some people are better than others and she did a fantastic job of really guiding the conversation really like I said, being able to get me to talk about things that in a different way than I normally would talk about them or approach them from a slightly different angle and after we finished up the interview, I asked her if I could rebroadcast it on my podcast because I just thought we covered such important topics that I thought would be really awesome to have my audience be able to hear as well. And she was gracious enough to say yes. And so you can hop over to her podcast up her podcast The Sarah Clark Show, she broadcast this episode on her podcast, she also has other stuff that she's done there, so definitely go and check out her podcast.
But I wanted to put this on the Biceps After Babies Radio podcast because we talk about a really important topic and that is self-sabotage and I know that I talk a lot about self-sabotage. I have other podcast episodes about self-sabotage, but one of the reasons that I talk so much about it is because it is such a big deal and it is such an area that a lot of women need a breakthrough in order to continue making progress. I feel like there's this point in your journey where you know you need to learn more. You need more knowledge, you need more understanding and you need more education. And that's really valuable. And sometimes you get a breakthrough from just learning more, but I find that a lot of times women hit a ceiling. It's like they had a breakthrough when they learned a little bit more when they had more education, but then they hit a ceiling of not being able to continue to their transformation and that breakthrough or that feeling that they're often hitting has to do with their getting in their own darn way, you know, we call it self-sabotage, but it's ways that you're getting in your way of getting results. And that's a ceiling that a lot of women hit, and so a lot of what I'm doing in my coaching and teaching, my coaches and the coaches who go through TMCC to do is to be able to help clients break through that next ceiling, that self-sabotage ceiling and so it's a really important topic and and it's nuanced and it's layered. I also don't think it's like you break through self-sabotage and you like oh, good, good. I never self-sabotage ever again. I would tell my clients the goal isn't to never self-sabotage. The goal is to build more awareness around it so that when you self-sabotage you catch it faster and able to shift out of it. It's not like you ever thought being human to self-sabotage is to be human, but the quicker we can acknowledge it, the quicker we can catch, and the quicker we can shift out of it, the more successful we can be and that's really why I talk so much about self-sabotage is that we can really breakthrough and have big breakthroughs as we become more aware of how we ourselves get in our own darn way and then figure out how we can get out of our way to be able to be more successful. So with that introduction, Sarah has some really great interview questions and I'm going to answer them now.
Sarah Clark 04:35
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Sarah Clarke podcast. Today, I'm super excited about my guest. I have Amber Brueseke on the podcast Biceps After Babies, and I'll explain why I love Amber so much. But first, I just want to say welcome, Amber.
Amber B 04:50
Hey! Thanks, Sarah. I'm really excited to be here.
Sarah Clark 04:52
Yay, I'm so glad. And before I have Amber introduce herself, I always like to tell my listeners like why I have you on and how I know you is Amber actually helped me start my coaching business and gave me the confidence to do that. She came out with this when I was going through the process of like OK, I've always wanted to create a business around coaching and when it came that time I was like, OK, I think I want to do this. Amber had put out her Coaching Academy and everything about it resonated with me, so I decided to pursue it and I did her Coaching Academy program and that is what really not only helped me start my coaching business, but I mean, geez, I had to go through your MACROS 101 program too, which I like the whole thing was very life changing for me. And ever since then, Amber had her podcast, and I knew one day I wanted to start my podcast and I was like, I will have Amber on my podcast one day, but.
Amber B 05:50
Sarah Clark 05:51
I'm so excited to talk about the subject we'll talk about today, but Amber for listeners that don't know who you are, give them a little introduction on who you are, what you do, a little bit about you.
Amber B 06:04
Sure. Yeah. So my name is Amber Brueseke. I am the owner of Biceps After Babies and the host of the Biceps After Babies Radio podcast, I started my business back in 2016, and it was accidental. I was not someone who wanted to be an entrepreneur. I never thought that I would start my own business and I grew up with a dad who actually kept pushing me into entrepreneurship. He is like why don't you start a window washing business? Why don't you start a lawn mowing business? And I was just like, Dad, I have no desire to be a business owner. Like I don't want to do that. I think secretly like that's what he wished he would have done. So he kept like, trying to push his kids into it. But I just had no desire to start a business. So it really was accidental and it started with my own transformation, which I feel like for a lot of coaches, there's some sort of personal transformation that you have that then. We're the type of people who want to then share that with other people. So I had, you know, my own physical transformation. I set a goal to get abs. I found macro counting. I used this tool of macro counting and it completely changed my body and as somebody who have a, my background in nursing. I've been in, I taught group fitness classes for eight years for someone who I've worked out for a long time. I know a lot about nutrition. I know about a lot about exercising, the implementation of this one new tool, it just floored me how much it changed my body and how I was finally able to lose weight and not feel deprived like I had in the past where in the past when I had tried to lose weight, it was like, OK, well, I guess now I'm not eating anything fun I guess now not I'm not eating any you know, I'm only eating clean food. I'm not eating any pizza. I can't eat any ice cream and that for me would last like four days and then someone would have ice cream and I would be like F it like, we’re just eating ice cream and I didn't experience that with macro counting. I was eating ice cream every night. I like enjoying my food and my body was changing and so this tool was really transformational for me and I really just got on Instagram to start sharing about it and that's when I started my account Biceps After Babies. And I just started sharing about what I was learning and the how awesome macro counting was, and people just authentically just started asking me to coach them. And I was like, I guess sure that sounds why not? Like let's do it. And that was like my business just took off after that once people started seeing that I could get them results, that I could teach them new things. They would tell their friends and word of mouth had my coaching spread pretty quickly and my Instagram account grew pretty quickly and I finally realize, oh gosh, I have a business. I probably should figure out what the heck I'm doing, and that was eight years ago, and now we have a team of 13 coaches. We have a core team of five other women who help me behind the scenes. I have MACROS 101, which serves over 6000 clients, we have Coaching Academy which has graduated about 100 coaches so far. And it just, yeah, this world has opened up to me, but it all started with just learning about macro counting.
Sarah Clark 09:10
Wow, how does it make you feel knowing that you have impacted the lives of over like 6000 women?
Amber B 09:19
I mean, it's honestly it's crazy because again, this was not anything. I didn't ever have a vision when I started. In fact, I remember my husband, we had this conversation as I was starting my business and I just was kind of winging it, we had this really intimate conversation and he asked me, he said, where is this going like what do you want this to be? Are we like looking at you being like the next Jillian Michaels? Like are we like, what are you building? And I remember I just, like, broke down in tears because I had zero idea. I had no vision for where this was going. I didn't know. I didn't know what I was gonna do beyond like the next day and so you know, trying to imagine where, trying to imagine when I started where I would be today and having served you thousands of women and having had intimate conversations with so many women. And been able to have these coaching calls and then you know the next phase that's been really exciting is I've been able to directly impact a lot of clients. But I can only serve so many clients right there, like me as myself as my own in my own coaching can only serve so many clients, and so the next phase that's been really exciting is being able to teach other coaches who then can go out and serve, right. It's like I can't serve the world, but I sure as heck can put coaches out into the world who I've trained and helped, who then can go out and like even create a broader net of women that were able to help transform, and so that's what you know, Coaching Academy and Transformational Macro Coaching Certification has done is like being able to even take that number and exponentially increase it as we have more graduates who come out and are able to then you know, go on and serve their clients and that's been really exciting for me to kind of catch a vision of like do you think 6000 women's a lot of women like what happens when we continue graduating coaches who then go out and they all serve 6000 women, like how broad that reach can be? It's a humbling thing to think about.
Sarah Clark 11:17
Totally. And it's cool to be it's cool to you know, I mean, Gee, I'll be the first one to say Amber like that mission is being fulfilled. Like that vision you say because a lot of the things that I practice in my own coaching practice are things that I learned from you a year and a half ago and in the Coaching Academy and I've been able to serve my, you know, clientele as well which it's cool that I'm able to hear your message and also say like, hey, like your vision and you manifesting that like it is paying off through me and it's you know, it's that whole idea behind and I know you mentioned this as well and you might need to correct me if I totally butcher this, but it's like instead of catching a fish for a man, you teach a man to fish.
Amber B 12:02
Sarah Clark 12:02
How does that thing go?
Amber B 12:03
Yeah, yeah, that's exactly right. It's like and you know the it's better to teach a man to fish than to, like, give a man a fish. I'm totally believe that.
Sarah Clark 12:14
Well, today the main topic that I want to talk to you about is self sabotage. I feel like that's something that you are an expert on with obviously many things you are. But I think that self sabotage is something that a lot of women struggle with and I know that you see that with working over 6000 women. You've probably seen a lot of it, but starting out what, you know, for anyone who doesn't really know what self-sabotage is how would you define self-sabotage?
Amber B 12:40
Well, you know. As I start to talk about self-sabotage, most women who are listening to this are gonna be like, Oh yeah, I'm intimately familiar here with that, but to kind of take you on the journey of figuring this out and really getting to the place. So I was able to coach it when I started as a brand new coach. I thought that the secret to coaching was really education. I love teaching. I taught, I was a nursing student so I got my bachelors in nursing and throughout my whole undergraduate career I was a TA IT aid for Pathophysiology and Physiology and Anatomy, and they're seeing classes and I love teaching like I found that passion in college of I love teaching. And so I thought when I started my business, I'm just gonna need to teach people about macros like the better teacher I am. The more I'm just gonna pass this knowledge on to people. I'm gonna teach them how to count macros and like it's going to be amazing. It's so awesome and that, you know, that was my naivety as a new coach going into this and I have some experiences, those first couple of years where I was a fantastic teacher. If I do say so myself and yet clients like they understood how to count on. They understood how to hit their numbers and and they still worked and then come back to me and they would report. No, I really struggled or I fell off the wagon or all these things and I was at my wits end cause I'm like I taught you all the things that I can teach you and yet you're still struggling, still not executing on it. There must be something here that I'm missing. And so this was when I really started to understand that just because somebody knows that they should do something doesn't mean that they do it and we see this all the time in our life like we all know we should eat vegetables. Do we eat enough vegetables? We all know we should get 8 hours of sleep. Do we get 8 hours sleep? We all know that we should floss and brush our teeth every single day, twice a day. Do we all do that everyday? No, like there's plenty of things that we know we should do and that we don't. And so why? That became the question is like, why don't we do these things that we are educated on and know that we should do? And that's where this definition of self-sabotage comes into play. It's like self-sabotage, the way that I define it is something that would be beneficial. You say that you want a goal, so there are actions you have to take to be able to get there, something that's beneficial to get you towards your goal. And yet for some reason you get in your own way and you don't do it. Yeah, self-sabotage, you're basically sabotaging yourself from getting the results that you say that you want to get and that was what I was seeing with my clients was that them getting in their own way. And as a coach, I was like, I gotta figure this out because this is the linchpin. It's not, can I teach macros better? It's not, can I give them more, you know, meals to prepare? Or can I help them figure out how to eat more protein? It's like once I've taught them, and once they've been educated, how do I close that gap between them knowing what to do and then actually consistently doing it overtime.
Sarah Clark 15:36
And I think a lot of us resonate with that of having goals and I think that everybody listen to this, would be like, yes, I have goals. Yes, I want to do this. Yes, I want to accomplish this right, but like obviously there's things that get in your way, and what I've learned through your program and through what you're just saying is a lot of it is mental blocks or things that are, you know, on the inside. And as you dig into those roots, that's when you can start to recognize, you know, what is causing that self-sabotage. It sounds like self-sabotage is very similar to cognitive dissonance, would you agree?
Amber B 16:12
Yeah, I think there are some overlap between the two. Cognitive dissonance tends to be yeah, yeah, I guess because another way that. I would describe self sabotage is like the Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. Right. That's a familiar visual that we see where it's like part of me is like, the Angel says, Oh, go to the gym. Like you should go to the gym. And then the Devil on the other hand is like, No, you should stay. You went to the gym yesterday. You don't need to go to the gym today, right? So we're familiar with that, like Angel and Devil. And that's what I think of with like self-sabotage is like part of you want says you want something you want to build muscle and you want to go to the gym and then the other part of you is like fighting against that so I think I would classify self-sabotage as a type of cognitive dissonance. I think we can have cognitive dissonance in other ways, but I think maybe it's like a subcategory of a specific type of cognitive dissonance where we are distancing ourselves from what we say that we want by our actions.
Sarah Clark 17:07
Yeah. So we know that, OK, so we know that self-sabotage is the Angel and the Devil I like that. I like that metaphor, which you are also really good at metaphor that I have to point that out and I think that you know like, why would you say and we all struggle with this, right?
Amber B 17:27
So I think that's an important point that I want to make sure everyone is hearing. Like I'm not sitting here talking about self-sabotage being like I have this all figured out. I never self-sabotage, let me help you with self-sabotage, right. That's not the case. Self-sabotage is a human phenomenon. We're never not going to self sabotage, but once you can become more aware of it and you can have steps and tools to be able to work through it, we can work quickly, identify and move through the self-sabotage and get to the other side where we're able to like limit the damage that it does. But it's not like I never self-sabotage like. Yeah, it's an unrealistic expectation to think that that's where we're going to get someday.
Sarah Clark 18:02
Yeah, it's human tendency. And what you're saying is like you're closing the gap between when you have the thought, like the self-sabotage thought and like taking action or whatever that may be. Like the conclusion, but you know, with the whole idea of, like, the Angel on the shoulder and the Devil on the shoulder. Like, why do you feel like it's so hard to listen to that Angel, when we really know like that's what we want. Like, if everyone's listening to like, obviously that's what we want, we want to accomplish those goals. Like, why is it so hard to do that?
Amber B 18:33
It's a really easy answer and the answer is because there is a lot of safety in what the Devil is telling us and it really all just comes down to safety. And our brain craves familiarity. Our brain craves safety. And it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that our brain has developed to live right to, to stay alive, and one of the best ways to stay alive is to stay with things that are familiar because they're predictable. We want to be able to predict what's going to happen. If we can predict what's going to happen, then we are a lot safer than we can't predict what's going to happen so our brain craves that familiarity. It craves that safety. And typically well, whenever we say that we would like a new result. This is when you set a goal that's a new result, it's something new that you want to create. It's going to require new action. It's going to require new ways of being. It’s going to require new things that you have to do and that is unfamiliar, so it's inherently scary, whatever it is even if it's the best thing in the world, even it's like I wanna make $1,000,000. That sounds like, well, what would be scary about that. But it's different, it's new, it's unfamiliar for your brain. And so our brain creates familiarity so much that we will sabotage what we say that we want in order to, because safety will always triumph. And so it gives you a little bit of understanding, you have passion for yourself instead of being you also do where we like, we still sabotage and then we beat ourselves up about the fact that we self-sabotage. It's helpful to understand that it makes a lot of sense why you would go against some of the goals that you say that you want so bad? Because of that innate drive that we have as humans to stay as safe as possible, and so being able to move through self-sabotage, one is understanding why we do it right that it is a lot about our brain craving safety, seeing how we can do it in the safest way possible. And seeing what's possible on the other side of maybe a little bit of fear, right. Bumping up against that comfort zone and pushing through that discomfort, that's a skill that I find that a lot of people have to learn how to be able to deal with discomfort. Whether it's uncomfortable emotions, whether it's unfamiliar situations. Being able to bump up against that discomfort and keep going so that you are able to push through and get to that goal and then the cool thing about that is, is that once you reach that goal it now is familiar. And it, and it becomes like your new setting on your thermostat. I use a thermostat a lot to talk about self-sabotage. If you think about a thermostat, often times you'll set you know your thermostat to 75 degrees, and if the if it's too hot. If it gets up to you know 76, 77, your thermostat is going to kick on. And it's gonna kick on the AC, and it's gonna bring you back down to 75. And if it drops below, it's gonna the heat’s gonna kick on and it's gonna bring you back up to 75. And So what the trick is, that's what our brain does is like if we get outside of this comfort zone, it kicks on and does things to bring us back to that comfort zone. So if we can start to learn to get comfortable at the 76, at the 77, at the 78 and push past where that thermostat would normally kick on and bring us back down, it's almost like the thermostat recalibrates and now where it was usually set at 77, 75, now it's set at 78, 79 and we're seeing different results. And we were able to get in the past because now we've created a new zone of comfort. And now, you know that now the thermostat kicks on if we go below 78 or above 78 and so it's a little bit about expanding that zone of comfort for us and being able to get new results in the process of that expanding realm of comfort.
Sarah Clark 22:11
Yeah, I like that. I like that metaphor. And again, you're really great at them. I think that you brought up a really good point, something that I really like is the fact that a lot of the times we self-sabotage, when we self-sabotage like we're judging when we do self sabotage. And I think that when people can start anyways, I think that's a really good point. I think that's honestly that's something that I really struggle with is and I'm wondering if it comes down to a little bit of perfectionism as well of like, oh, I'm, you know, like I'm not having the perfect thoughts. This is coming up for me and then you start spiraling, which only causes more self-sabotage and more self-sabotage. But it sounds, you know, I think that a way to come out of that is first, kind of what you're saying is develop an awareness around it like a develop awareness around the fact that you are self-sabotaging and learn to approach it with more self-compassion rather than judgment and almost getting curious about it.
Amber B 23:05
Yeah, that's right.
Sarah Clark 23:08
And I think that as people can approach it with curiosity, then you can start understanding, OK, why is this coming up for me? And then when you can understand why it's coming up for you, then you can really get down to the root of it to change it.
Amber B 23:20
Yeah. That's right, Buddhism has this really beautiful teaching of what's called the Second Arrow. And it's this idea that, you know, life throws arrows at you. You may get hit with an arrow and it hurts to get hit with an arrow, right? Like there's pain associated when you get hit with that arrow, but what happens a lot of times is when we get hit with that arrow, what we do is we kind of like start to move that arrow around or we start to like poke at the arrow and that causes secondary pain, right? It's like there's the pain from the first arrow, but then there's like this secondary pain, this the second arrow pane by us like messing with it and that's what I think a lot about. With a lot of things that happen in our journey is like we have some sort of pain like life happens to us. We have painful things happen. You may not get the part in the school play. You may, you know, not see the physical results that you want. You may put an offer out there and nobody buys it right there. There is pain that happens, but then there's that secondary pain. There's that second arrow pain, and that's what you're talking about. You may self sabotage and that's painful. But then it becomes even more painful when we start to judge the self sabotaging behavior, we start to shame ourselves. And that's the second arrow pain. And that's the pain that we have a lot more control over is like things are going to happen. But how you respond to them determines whether it becomes more or less painful, and so if and when you do self sabotage. You're exactly right. It's about having that self compassion about recognizing that this is a human tendency about not judging yourself and about moving forward, like OK, I did this thing or I'm noticing this thing coming up for me. Noticing I keep getting caught in the same the same pattern, what is the lesson here for me? What can I be learning? How can I be moving through this so that you're not having that secondary, that second arrow pain of self-judgment on top of the thing that's already hard.
Sarah Clark 25:05
Totally. I think something that to keep in mind that's important is if a self-judgment thought or a self sabotaging thought is continuing to come up for you multiple times. There's a reason to that, and I think some of the times people are trying to reject it. Like I don't want this. This is coming up for me and just like when you can actually face it and again get curious about it. That's when you'll overcome it. But if you're constantly judging yourself about it and don't do the work to overcome that self-sabotaging thought or belief, whatever that may be, it's going to keep coming up for you.
Amber B 25:37
Yeah, I mean, we can even take that like an arrow analogy even further. It's like you get shot with the arrow, OK? But then what a lot of us do is we just like the arrow just sits there and we're like, Oh my gosh this, this super hurts. Oh my gosh! Why is this arrow still here? This arrow keeps hurting me. It's like you just would like address the arrow. Like look at the arrow, take it out. Like, yes, it's gonna hurt initially. It's gonna be a lot harder but then the arrows out. And but what we do is we things keep coming up for us. Life keeps presenting us the same lesson, urging us to learn it, and we're just like, why does this lesson keep coming? Why do I keep, you know, binging over the weekend. You know, I just I probably just should try harder and it's like no, if something's coming up repeatedly, this is your opportunity of like life, giving you the opportunity to look a little closer. There's something here for you to learn. And the quicker you pull that arrow out, the quicker you can move through it. But a lot of people just sit with that arrow and then just complain about the arrow and pull with the arrow and then never actually get to the inside of it.
Sarah Clark 26:39
Totally. And if it'll just be quick, it'll heal quicker and better if you just pull the arrow out.
Amber B 26:45
That's right. Like take the time. Take the time, address it, do the work.
Sarah Clark 26:48
Amber B 26:50
And then you can get on the other side of it, but so many people put off doing the work because it feels hard what they're able to do.
Sarah Clark 26:58
And something you said earlier that I really liked is, you know, lean into fear. I think that we're so afraid of fear. Which makes sense, but you know, like the sooner you can almost view fear as somewhat of a good thing like, oh, I'm feeling really scared right now. This means I need to lean into it like the if you can change your perspective around fear, I think that fear can almost be a good thing because it shows that you're growing. And I know that this is something that you've mentioned a lot in your program and your podcast is like learning to let go because if you want to grow, you also need to let go.
Amber B 27:31
Yeah, yeah. It's about developing a different relationship with a lot of the things that we label as negative. Same thing with like failure. It's like when you can change your relationship with failure and you welcome it because you know that that means you're growing your means. You're trying new things. We can start to see fear. We can start to see failure. We can start to see, you know, discomfort as positives. We can, we can change our relationship to them doesn't mean that it feels good to be scared before you, you know, sell something. Or before you started new journey. Like, it's not that that's a good feeling, but you can change your relationship to it of like it doesn't mean that I have to stop. It doesn't mean that I'm doing anything wrong. It doesn't mean that this isn't the right path for me. It actually means, like you said, that's an indication to me to lean into it. You know, fear means that I should be doing this because I have said. I said I want to grow, I said I want this new result that I haven't been able to get, which means I have to exit my comfort zone. Discomfort is inevitable when you exit your comfort zone so you can change your relationship. That's discomfort, and it can be an indication of growth rather than an indication to retreat back into your “safe spot”.
Sarah Clark 28:42
Yeah, there's this analogy that I thought of recently. You're going to be proud of me, I thought of my own metaphor.
Amber B 28:49
Yes, love it.
Sarah Clark 28:51
But I was thinking about like the whole idea of failure, and I was thinking about like how much it relates to the gym. Like let's say you know, for someone who's new to the gym or new to their fitness journey, but let's say someone who's new to the gym and they start lifting weights, they're going to put on muscle pretty easily right, newbie gains. But eventually there's going to come a point where they're going to plateau, and in order to gain more muscle, in order to continue growing their muscle they need to live to failure, you know, like they need failure if they want to continue to grow. And I think the same idea goes with anything that you're trying to accomplish or any goal that you have is possibly at the beginning, it's going to feel like, OK, you got this growth spur and it was, “easier”. But eventually you're going to get to a point where if you want to continue to grow, you do need to push to failure, you do need to accept that there will be failures and again like you're saying, it's all about changing your perspective around it. Like that's a good thing, that's an amazing thing.
Amber B 29:49
Yeah, that, that's a fantastic metaphor.
Sarah Clark 29:52
Amber B 29:54
Especially since for a lot of people you actually have to teach them when we're talking about training people to failure, like and you're lifting weights, most people have to be taught how to go that far. They won't do it on their own like most people, especially new lifters will not go to failure. They don't know where that limit is, and they tend to pull way far off of it. And so for new lifters, you really have to teach them what it feels like to go to failure, and then you start to learn and you start to like being able to go to failure is a skill to become comfortable with. And the longer you've been lifting, the more comfortable you are going to failure. And I think the same thing applies. It's like when you change that relationship to failure and you are more skilled at it. Like I'm pretty skilled at failing at a lot of things. Because I've done it a lot, right? So and the more you've done something, the more skilled you are, the easier it becomes. And so then it. You see this trajectory with people where their growth starts out slow and then their growth kind of accelerates and I really think that that acceleration of growth comes when you become more skilled at willing to feel fear and do it anyway. When you are willing to fail and keep going, but like anything that's a skill and you kind of have to be taught and you have to learn how to do it and become more comfortable with it, but that's where the exponential growth comes from.
Sarah Clark 31:11
Yeah, I love that. Bring you back to self-sabotage, what I wanted to ask you like with all this again, you've worked with 6000 plus women. What would you say are like the most common ways that you see your clients self-sabotage.
Amber B 31:30
So I think this is a really good thing to talk about. Because self-sabotage can take on different like skins, you know, like I'm thinking like a stupid metaphor, but like a phone case, right? It's like the phone case is it is different colors. But like, the underlying phone is like still, it's still the same phone. And so I think the, the tricky thing that comes with self-sabotage is it can take a lot of different appearances. And so people think, oh, that you need to address each of these situations differently, right, so some really concrete examples would be people struggling on the weekends, so like hit their macros right. They're like perfect Monday through Friday and then the weekend comes and they like really, really struggle hit their macros. That's a form of self-sabotage in a lot of times, and so someone may look and say, well, I need to treat that differently than you know, I told myself I go to the gym three times this week and I only went one time, right? Those are different circumstances, so I need to address those things differently, I need to plan for the weekends. When I need to plan for my workouts. And when you can understand that self-sabotage can take on different appearances, but in the underlying like root cause of self-sabotage is often linked that, then we can start focusing on all the shining different ways that it appears in our journey, and we can focus on the one singular like root cause and fix it from a deeper level. And so that's, that's what a lot of what I'm doing with clients is they're communicating to me their symptoms, which like someone coming to me and saying Amber and I’m really struggling to stick to my macros over the weekend. I'm really struggling to get up and workout in the morning and or really struggling to, you know, drink enough water or whatever it is they give me the symptoms and me, as the diagnostician, the coach I'm not necessarily paying much attention to, just the symptoms. I'm trying to figure out what the root cause is because then as a coach I can help people to address that root cause.
Sarah Clark 33:26
So what would you say are common and I like that analogy, I think that instead of you giving them the meds you're like, hey, here's what your actual issue is so you're not prescribing like a you're not putting a band aid on it. Rather right, you're you know, you're figuring out what the actual issue is and what would you say is like you know, being that it is a deeper root issue, what would you say is a common deeper root issue that you see in women? If there is a common theme.
Amber B 33:57
Yeah, there are. I would say there are broad common themes. One is fear of failure, which we've kind of already talked about. That's a big one. As long as you are afraid of failing, you will self-sabotage all day long because your brain can't handle failure, which is why recreating a different relationship with failure is such an essential way to be able to move forward and see progress. Conversely, fear of success is a sneaky one that some people don't recognize. But it's the same thing where our brain craves familiarity, and we may say, hey, making $1,000,000 would be really awesome. But if our brain feels like it can't predict what would happen because of that. If our brain feels like, well, so and so's not going to be my friend anymore. These people are going to judge me. I don't know what I would do with all that money, like if there if there are questions in our mind about how we would handle it or how people would treat us or all of those things, that's just as scary for our brain. Even if we feel like it's a really positive thing. So fear of success is a really tricky one, because a lot of times people are like I asked them what's scary about the thing that they want and they're like, I don't know, losing 20 pounds sounds amazing. There's nothing that would be bad about that but if you dig a little deeper, they really are. They're like, well, if I lose that weight, then my mom's going to feel like she won, or my mom's going to, you know, comment on it or what if I lose the weight and then I regain it back. And now people think it's even worse, right? So there's like this fear of even just being successful. So those are kind of those are two sides of the same coin, but fear of success and failure. Failure is are two big ones that I deal with a lot. Another big one is worthiness issues of feeling unworthy for good things to happen to you or for positive success. And so a lot of times we'll self-sabotage, keeping ourselves at the level of like I'm worthy of the things that I have, but I'm not worthy of anything more. Like, why do I deserve more money? Why do I deserve to have a better job? What do I deserve to have a better guy or whatever it is we don't feel worthy of that, that thing that we say we want to achieve, and so we won't ever achieve it if there's if there's something, a worthiness issue that's blocking. Another big one is all or nothing thinking again, something that is a default for our brain is, you know, very black and white, very all or nothing, and a lot of times people can get in their own way when they say that they want something. And then if it's not exactly the way that they thought it was going to be, they've set expectations for it. You know, they mess up just a little bit, then they end up throwing the towel and completely self-sabotaging themselves. I'm sure people have heard that there's like a meme going around that was like, you know, if you drop your phone and there's a crack on your phone, you wouldn't then go like run it over with your car. But that's what we do a lot of times is like there's a little crack, a little mistake, a little something and then we just go, like, run our car over it and like, crack it into 1000, a 1000 shards. But we do that all the time where it's like I see this with macro counting. I was like, Oh, I didn't know exactly. You know, my friend brought over dinner and so I didn't know how to track it. And so then I just was like F this I'm just like eat whatever I want the rest of the night. So we have like a little mistake and then it explodes into something a whole lot bigger. So those would probably be some of the biggest root cause issues of things that I'm dealing with people and kind of trying to suss out. Where what are we struggling with here? How can we get down to the deeper issue? How can we work on your worthiness, your relationship with failure, your fear of success, your all or nothing thinking and really approach that? Because once you solve all or nothing mentality and you get people, the tools and the skills to be able to do it now, like you can just already see how that would infiltrate so many decisions that you're making in your journey. So, so many different little places that you may be self sabotaging instead of having to address every single one of those little places in your journey, addressing the root cause and it fixes all of them. So that's, that's where why it's so powerful to really see if we can get deeper down into what's actually going on. It's not the macros like there's something that helps there and macros just becomes for me a way to suss that out with people, to be able to have a way to, like, kind of shine a mirror on some of those areas of focus that we could really heal inside of people.
Sarah Clark 38:11
Yeah, I think a lot of people are scared of that work because, I mean you, I mean, you see in society, you know, people are going for the next diet. They're trying to find the next supplement. They're trying to find the next big thing that's trending that will help them see results. But it's not, you know, it's none of that's going to fix what the inside is doing. I mean, essentially those things are the band aids. Right. But until they don't look in into the inside until they don't look into like why are you struggling with all or nothing mentality. You know why or why are you, you know, what is your fear of success and fear of failure? And what was the other one that you said you said? Fear of failure. Fear of success. You said one more.
Amber B 38:52
Sorry you like totally cut out for me.
Sarah Clark 38:54
So, oh, you're good. Can you hear me now?
Amber B 38:58
Sarah Clark 38:58
OK, you said fear of failure, fear of success, all or nothing. And then there's one other that you said that I'm spacing.
Amber B 39:05
Sarah Clark 39:06
Worthiness and I think that you know when people can really actually start looking into those things that what you're saying like that's where the problem is going to be solved and that's when they'll actually essentially start seeing results and start seeing changes. It's not the next diet. It's not the next supplement, it's, you know, and I'd be curious to ask you too, like what are other common band aids that you see people reaching towards that is aren't actually, you know, solving what the actual symptom is?
Amber B 39:35
Oh my God.
Amber B 39:35
Oh, I mean, so many right? Like, yeah, like jumping from diet to diet. Trying the supplement like another one that we didn't really talk about. But it really lends itself here is like emotional eating, right? Is like people try to solve like their inability to be able to sit with negative emotion with by having a band-aid of food and trying to like band-aid for that and so there, there's lots of ways that we try to get out of it and I will say you know as someone who owns a business and as someone who wears both a coaching hat and a marketer hat, marketing has a lot to do with people feeling like the next best thing is right around the corner. It's, you know, $200.00 away, it’s $9.99 for shipping away, you know. Like marketing sells that to you that that is the point of marketing is to say, oh, you have this problem. I have this really easy simple solution and we as humans are often looking for the quickest, easiest, fastest, cheapest like way to be able to get results and when marketing comes out and sells that to us. Of course we're going to be like it's only $9.99 and I, you don't have to take one pill a day. Like of course, I'm going to try that. Like that's easy, right? We humans want the easy way to be able to get results. So the people that I typically work with. And you're like not one of them. Because you're unusual. I don't get a lot of people in their 20s usually coming to work with me. I get a lot of people, and they're like late 30s , 40s, 50s and 60s, and it's because these people have been burned enough times that they realize the other way doesn't work. They finally have, it's like they've tried it enough times. They've tried enough diets, they've tried enough, like pills. They've tried enough, like fad things. They've tried enough like fancy marketing things and it hasn't worked and they've kind of come to this realization. OK, maybe like you said, now, maybe there's something deeper. Maybe now I'm, now that I've exhausted all these like easy options, I'm willing to do the deeper work and so you know, honestly, that's who I usually tend to attract as people who have tried it all. And they finally got to the point where they're like, OK, this actually doesn't work. I'm willing to do the harder work now because I know the other path that I thought was easier and would get me there didn't actually get me there.
Sarah Clark 41:55
It's that quote the I actually first heard from you is until the pain to change is greater than the pain of staying the same, then you'll start seeing change and it sounds like you know for a lot of the people you work with and I think you know anyone who's finally willing to do the that deep rooted work, you know, that's when they finally realize it's, I am willing to go to the pain to change and I think that's important to remember too is it's not easy to change. It's going to be painful, but either route it's going to be painful, like it's kind of the idea of like what hard are you going to choose cause regardless, it's going to be hard.
Amber B 42:32
And I hope that I hope that things are changing. I feel like with the younger generation coming up, there is much more of an understanding of the link between mental health and physical health, right. I think that that has there's buy in on that now, right? Like therapy is much more people. It's not stigmatized as much.
Sarah Clark 42:51
Amber B 42:52
Yeah, it's like normalized. It's like we all know that mental health is important. And I think for the older generation, that definitely wasn't the case. It seemed like mental health was over here. It was something people did not talk about. But then, like physical health, was a really big deal. And that's where you got all the diets of the 90s and like everyone need to be super thin and all of the things, and I think with the younger generation coming up and I and I hope that since we have more closely linked and understand more, the link between our mental health and our physical health, that the younger generation will get there faster than the older generation did, that they will get to the realization of like, the mental work that needs to be done for weight loss. They will buy into that a little bit faster. They won't have to go through the 17 diets and the 45 years of dieting to get to the point where they realize, oh, maybe there's mental work here to be done and maybe they'll that just will happen faster for them, that's kind of help.
Sarah Clark 43:43
I sure hope so I think that when I first started your Coaching Academy, I would I don't know if you remember this, but I felt very,
Amber B 43:51
You messaged me.
Sarah Clark 43:53
I did message you. I was like, I felt very insecure that I was. I was 23 years old. I'm 25 now and everyone was in their 30s and 40s and 50s or some in the 60s and I was like I felt very self-conscious that I'm 23, what am I doing here?
Amber B 44:07
How did you know that you were like ahead of the game? Yeah, and like way ahead of the game.
Sarah Clark 44:13
And that and I appreciated that. And I think that from that experience with you, it almost made me feel empowered like I want to help the younger generation to like figure this out now, which, yeah, obviously I'm still work in progress as well. And I think I always will be again, I think that's a good thing, yeah.
Amber B 44:27
We all are, we all are like I think that's important and this gets into a little bit of like the realm of coaching. I think there's this idea that if, like you're a coach, that you have it all figured out and you like, don't have any problems anymore, you never self-sabotage. And I think like, let's lay that to rest. Like I have, I have ability to be able to support and mentor other people and I have information and I can help other people, but that doesn't mean that I don't have my own struggles and that they're, I don't have my own blind spots, which is why I always say good coaches have good coaches like none of the coaches that I hire don't also have their own coaches and that's because everybody has their own blind spots. And we need coaches to be able to point those blind spots out to us because we can't see what we can't see and you can't fix what you can't see.
Sarah Clark 45:10
Totally, I totally, totally, totally agree with that. Before we hop into the final fun questions, I did want to ask you just anyone who is listening to this and feeling like they're resonating like man, I do. You know, I do struggle with self-sabotage and it's something that I have struggled with for years and I'm sick of it. Like I'm done with it. What would you say? You know, I guess my, I guess the overall question is like how do you overcome it? And maybe what are some tangible tips that people can take away of how they can start working through self-sabotage?
Amber B 45:41
Yeah. So you, I mean, doing some of that work to be able to get a little bit deeper of saying OK, self-sabotage, the manifesting for me in XYZ, you know that's the first question you can ask is like how do I see myself self-sabotaging? What does that, what appearance does that take on for me? You know, if you're a business owner, maybe that looks like you procrastinating writing the Instagram post that you need to write and and hit publish.
Sarah Clark 46:03
I need to figure out that.
Amber B 46:04
Like maybe that's how it appears for you. Maybe if you're in your fitness journey. It looks like you knowing that pre logging your food really helps you, but for some reason you just don't do it. You know every single day, so getting really clear first on. Like what is, what is the form that it takes? And starting to ask yourself some questions so that you can dig a little bit deeper. One question that I really love and I ask my clients a lot is like what specifically prevents you from doing that, right? So if we take the not hitting post on an Instagram post, it's like, well, what specifically is preventing you from doing that? What is your brain saying when you go to do that, that can give you a lot of indication of what's actually going on. The more familiar you can get with paying attention to your brain and just watching your thoughts and watching how you think, the more information it's going to give you. So if you're someone who and I gave the example of you know, I know pre logging my food really helps me to stay on track, but for some reason I don't do it, going to that moment of like when you made that decision that I wasn't going to do it. How did you rationalize that in your head? We always rationalize our decisions and that rationalization can give you a lot of insight into how your brain is trying to make it OK for you. So paying attention to how you rationalize, maybe you said, Oh, I don't need to do it today because you know I'm just going to you know, just going to wing it today. I can wing it, right? So just paying attention to however, you're rationalizing what justification you're giving yourself for giving yourself an out can give you a lot of insight into how your brain is thinking on the subconscious level. You know, we haven't really gotten to like conscious and subconscious level, but a lot of self-sabotaging behavior happens on a subconscious level. It's not anything we're consciously thinking, and so that can be tricky to kind of suss out because it happens automatically. So the better you get at being able to watch and monitor your thoughts and think about how am I justifying this to myself, how am I arguing what's the devil actually saying on my shoulder? How is the devil getting me to like not do the thing that I needed to do that can give us clues as to how the subconscious is running and when we can understand that we can do some work to reprogram that subconscious to be more in alignment with the goal that we want to reach. So that's that, that's the work, but honestly. For people who are listening, who just like, want to first step asking yourself the question what specifically prevents me from doing this? What justification am I using in my brain and then just getting practiced at watching your thoughts, watching yourself, your inner dialogue, watching how you speak to yourself, watching how you justify things to yourself? Even just that step will give you so much insight into the programming that you're running. And we can't change the programming until we understand the programming.
Sarah Clark 48:50
Yeah, I like something that you mentioned with that is it's a practice and then it's a skill and it's not. And I know, I know you mentioned this all the way the beginning too is you know you will never technically overcome self-sabotage completely, but the difference is you're getting that practice and that awareness and you're developing that skill to then recognize it and be able to shift it a lot quicker. And a little bit of tough love for anyone that is listening to this, you know they might have listened to that, to those tangible tips or like that action plan that you just really gave them and I feel like a lot of people might feel like, you know, that feels like a lot of work, you know, that feels like a lot of thought work to put into it and you know I would say if you're thinking that like that thought itself is self-sabotage.
Amber B 49:34
Yes. All of the claps. Yeah, that's a mic drop moment right there. That's really true.
Sarah Clark 49:44
Do the work seriously, do the work, but. OK, Amber, I know you don't have much time. And I love, I started incorporating these final phone questions because I think they're fun. It's a fun way to connect and I think that a lot of people enjoy them as well. And honestly, I came up with questions which means I enjoy them as well.
Amber B 49:58
Sweet. Let's do it.
Sarah Clark 49:59
But the first question is what is your favorite all-time favorite food and dessert?
Amber B 50:04
OK, so it definitely would have to be like, anything chocolate and peanut butter is like always my go to.
Sarah Clark 50:09
Amber B 50:11
I love ice cream. So like if I can have ice cream like with chocolate and peanut butter like I'm talking like a brownie and then ice cream. And then like peanut butter drizzle. Then that you're good.
Sarah Clark 50:21
You're speaking my language right now. My husband, if he was listening to this, he'd be like OK.
Amber B 50:24
Next time we get together, Sarah, we're going to share like a brownie sundae with peanut butter drizzle on top.
Sarah Clark 50:32
Please. And favorite food?
Amber B 50:35
Oh gosh, favorite food, I mean can I do like favorite like genre of food.
Sarah Clark 50:39
Amber B 50:39
I think my favorite genre of food would be Indian food like give me like any Indian spread and I'm like, super happy.
Sarah Clark 50:47
So good, biggest pet peeve?
Amber B 50:51
OK, I think my biggest pet peeve is when women say the words I am and then something negative afterwards like, I am a perfectionist or I am an idiot or I am dumb or I like that like negative affirmation that so easily rolls off the tongue of so many women. I teach my clients that, you know the affirmation of ‘I am’ is one of the most powerful affirmations we can do because it's on an identity level and we really talk about identity level but identity level is like the deepest, deepest parts of ourselves. And so whatever you are affirming, hopefully is going to be positive and moving you in that direction. And so I, I just like it's like grates on me whenever I hear somebody say I am, and then it's like something that's like not great. I this. I'm like, you are just affirming, like, all the things that you don't want. Like, let's change those affirmations to be positive things to be able to drive us forward.
Sarah Clark 51:43
I love that. Anything following ‘I am’ is a self-fulfilling, fulfilling prophecy so I totally agree.
Amber B 51:48
That's right, might as well make it good.
Sarah Clark 51:48
Seriously, seriously. And then if you could go back and tell your younger self one thing. What would it be?
Amber B 52:00
I think it just would. I think it would just be like trust like over and over and over again. That idea of just taking one step forward into the darkness and trusting that it's going to work out has played over time and time and time again. We didn't really talk about our my husband's training, but my husband's a physician and so there was a lot of like taking steps out into the dark. It felt like during that training cycle, getting married to felt like a step out of the dark, having kids, starting a business like there's just been so many moments when I have, like, stepped out into the dark and had to rely on that. That just trust of like, I'm going to figure this out. We're going to figure this out. It's we're going to it's going to happen. And just reminding myself of that. Just it will all work out.
Sarah Clark 52:47
I love that. And then last question, if you could have listeners wake up tomorrow and do one healthy thing for themselves, what would it be?
Amber B 52:55
Affirmations, you'll wake up tomorrow and you're gonna look at yourself in the mirror and you're gonna affirm like some positive things about yourself. I'm a badass. I can do it. I you know, I'm a great mother. I am a rock star athlete like, whatever it is again, it's like we talk about all these, like physical things like, oh, drink more water, get to bed earlier, like track your macros like whatever. That's great. But like, honestly, if you started your every single day out affirming the things that you want to start to believe about yourself, all of those other things are going to fall into place. If you really believe that you're a badass athlete. You're gonna freaking drink water. You're gonna freaking make it to the gym like you don't have to try to do those things, because if you really embody that identity, it will happen. And so that would be the thing. Get up. Look at yourself in the mirror. Affirm those like ‘I am’ statements to yourself and then go on your way and see how you feel.
Sarah Clark 53:48
I love that and I will ask you one question with that is I know some people struggle with affirmations because they say things that they have a really hard time believing about themselves. Or they feel like if they say it, they're almost kind of aligned to themselves. What do you think about that?
Amber B 54:02
So this is where we have to use ladder thoughts to be able to get there. And so ladder thoughts look like things that are maybe a little bit of a stretch outside of your comfort zone, but are within the realm of possibility. So if you feel like an idiot saying I am a badass athlete because your brain is like, no, you're not. You're not even close. You're 50lbs overweight. Like, that's what comes up. And then that doesn't really work. Saying things that are like your brain does not believe in the slightest is not going to actually do anything. So that's when we can start using latter thoughts. And that looks like something like I'm working on becoming a badass athlete. I'm in the process of developing, you know, less perfectionism or that's not a really good one. I'm in the process of becoming a better mother. I'm working on becoming, you know, whatever it is that you want to become an entrepreneur. So it's ways that we can couch it in a way that like, OK, maybe I'm not there yet, but I am working on it. And that feels that feels true and honest, at least for me, and I can. I'm working on being able to get to that place that I can say I am a badass athlete, but in the meantime we're working on some of those little ladder thoughts to be able to get you there. The key with the ladder thought is it should feel a little uncomfortable. Right. Like if it feels like, totally comfortable and totally easy like you probably already believe it. And so we're not laddering you to anything, so it should feel a little bit uncomfortable, but it should be in the realm of like, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. Like, I can, like, get on board with that and then continuing to ladder those thoughts moving forward until you can get to that place where you can affirm it.
Sarah Clark 55:39
I like that idea and I appreciate you sharing that too. I think that that's something I want to apply to myself as well, so that's good Amber, this has been so great. Thank you so much for coming on and for taking the time out of your day to talk to me and my listeners and I'm, I'm just so yeah, this is amazing. Drop everything, where can people find you. Promote your programs, Coaching Academy, MACROS 101. Tell it all.
Amber B 56:04
Yeah. So if you want to come listen to my podcast, it's Biceps After Babies Radio, I'm Biceps After Babies on all of the social media, Instagram is probably my favorite platform, but we're on TikTok and Facebook and all the places. And then yeah, my 2 main programs are, if you're a client wanting to have help with your macros, MACROS 101. That's my group coaching program. And then if you are a coach or wanting to become a coach, we've actually started calling Coaching Academy, TMCC, it’s Transformational Macro Coach Certification. So that's for the people who kind of want to go that next step and they actually want to learn how to coach through self-sabotage, how to elicit and shift beliefs, how to, you know, set people's macros and adjust them. And that's what Sarah went through. So those are our two programs, but you can always reach out to me and ask for more information.
Sarah Clark 56:48
Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Amber.
Amber B 56:49
Thanks to Sarah again from The Sarah Clark Podcast for letting me rebroadcast her interview with me. I think we had such a great conversation about self sabotage and hopefully some, you know, you heard something there that maybe triggered something for you was an aha moment for you. I always think being really aware of when you have those aha moments and then continuing to mold them over. Take them in and utilize them in your journey. Those aha moments are special moments for you. It's indicative that maybe this is something you pay a little bit more attention to. Maybe this is something to think about a little bit more, maybe something you need to integrate more into your journey so that you can continue to have those breakthroughs and to continue to be successful. If you liked this podcast episode, please do me a favor and either share it with somebody or leave a rating and review. Those are two free ways, right? You don't pay anything but ways that you can give back and say thank you for the podcast. And that really means the world to me when you share the podcast and leave those ratings and review, it does help us to grow. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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