In this enlightening podcast episode, Dr. Ann Tsung engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Kristina Mand-Lakhiani, the dynamic co-founder of Mindvalley. The focus of their discussion is Kristina’s eagerly anticipated book, “Art of Becoming Flawesome.”
The central theme is the unique concept of ‘Flawsome’, an idea that promotes acknowledging and embracing our imperfections. Kristina passionately articulates that being Flawesome is not just about accepting one’s flaws; it’s about achieving a state of peace with them and leveraging these imperfections as stepping stones to success.
Furthermore, Kristina delves into the intriguing correlation between the Flawesome philosophy and perfectionism, sparking a fascinating discussion that challenges conventional perceptions. Tune in to this podcast episode for an inspiring exploration of self-acceptance, personal growth, and the transformative power of being Flawesome.
00:00 Announcer If you’re struggling with your vitality, energy, mood, focus, or sleep, this podcast is for you. Your host, Dr. Anne Tsung, ER doctor and aerospace flight surgeon, will help you reach for the stars and remove the barriers or blockades that have been holding you back from living your best life. If you’ve been challenged by your health, relationships, or productivity, then it’s time for a breakthrough. So here’s your host, Dr. Anne Tsung.
00:42 Dr. Anne Tsung Hello, welcome to It’s Not Rock It Science Show. And I am your host, Dr. Anne Tsung. And today I have the honor and privilege to have Kristina Mand-Lakhiani here for the interview. It’s going to be amazing. She is the co-founder of Mindvalley and the author of a pending publication, Art of Becoming Flawsome. And the reason why it’s so important to talk to her today is because we’re all type A people where a lot of us are imperfectionists. It’s hard for us to let go of control in terms of achieving our goals. And we’re going to talk about how being Flawsome is going to help us embrace our own imperfections and actually reach our goal. So thank you so much, Christina, for coming on this show. If you would please give us a brief introduction about who you are and why did you write
01:32 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani this book? Oh, thank you. First of all, thank you so much for having me. And it’s a pleasure to see you again. It’s not our first meeting and it’s always a pleasure to meet with you. I really love your energy. As for the book, well, I have been in personal growth and transformation for 20 years being a co-founder of Mindvalley. I’ve actually the co-founder from the very first day. So it’s a given that I will write a book sooner or later, you know, how sometimes, especially we perfectionists, when we are born into a certain environment, we don’t even question certain things like you’ll go to university, you’ll get a degree and things like that. So for me, writing a book was a given. The question was, I didn’t know what to write about. So I guess why I wrote the book was because my message finally matured. I am also a perfectionist like yourself. So I wouldn’t write a book just for the sake of writing a book. So I was waiting, waiting to be ready for that. So yes, you asked me for a brief introduction, which I actually kind of evaded. I’m a co-founder of Mindvalley. As I said, it’s probably the world’s largest educational platform in the personal growth and transformation niche. We publish all, pretty much all of the most important authors in our industry. So yeah, and I’ve done that for 20 years. That’s my major background, but I’ve done other things in my long life, of course, which are probably less relevant to this conversation.
02:52 Dr. Anne Tsung I can vouch for Mindvalley myself. I’ve been a student since, I believe, 2018. And I practice a six phase meditation and I’ve done the speaker, the speaking course, the energy course, you know, lots of the life book course. So for those of you guys who are not familiar with Mindvalley, please go check it out. Google it. It’s really an amazing, essentially, it’s a university for humanity. Is that the tagline? Thank you so much. And by the way, you’ve spoken also with us, so it was a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you. And so in terms of Flawsome, first, maybe we can come up with a definition of what is Flawsome and why would somebody want to practice this?
03:34 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani You know, I love that you’re giving me my feedback because I also like to start everything with definitions. I think this is the scientific way. And I wish I could give a proper definition of Flawsome, but if I tell you a little bit of a backstory, I wrote the book and as I was writing the book, I knew that the title will come eventually. I had a whole lot of working titles, but the whole idea of the book was about finding your path back to yourself, being true to yourself, your relationship with yourself. And the word Flawsome actually came after I had finished the book. I was still torn between how to call it. And then I found this word on Internet and it was unclaimed. So I decided to claim it and it just called for me. It’s like when I saw the word, I knew that was the name of my book. But surprisingly, right now, the definitions of Flawsome are a little bit fluffy because different sources give different definitions. My definition is being recognizing your imperfections and thriving with your imperfections or maybe even because of them. So it’s about just recognizing that you’re imperfect and being absolutely at peace with that. So that’s how I define Flawsome.
04:42 Dr. Anne Tsung And what’s the reason why we would need to recognize or practice it?
04:48 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani Well, I would say that Flawsome is for a long time, I thought Flawsome was the antidote to being perfectionist. But then I was preparing as we are launching the book, there’s so much so much more you have to do. I didn’t know that. I thought I had written a book and that was it. But it turns out I had to I had to do a lot of other other complementary things. So as I was preparing for the launch, I suddenly realized that being perfectionist and being Flawsome are much closer than I thought, because there’s a whole range of different ways how we can live life. So the difference between being perfectionist and being Flawsome is your tolerance of imperfections and failure, in essence. And the problem with perfectionism is that, yes, we have high expectations of ourselves. We actually do have pretty high confidence in ourselves, otherwise we wouldn’t be perfectionist. But what we lack is just this, you know, philosophical approach to the idea that we are imperfect, that life is imperfect and what we do is also imperfect. This is what we struggle with. So why is it good to practice being Flawsome? It’s because it gives you I think it’s like, let’s get it, letting that long deserved break from trying so damn hard. Because at some point you just stretch yourself so thin that you don’t feel you don’t feel like yourself anymore. So it’s about it’s about well, first of all, having a relief, but also about channeling a lot of energy from from trying so hard to be something for someone into things that matter to you. Compassion for yourself all the time, would you say? It’s it’s a component of being Flawsome for sure. Yes.
06:42 Dr. Anne Tsung And maybe this might we’re going to get to some scenarios, but I wonder, you know, maybe it’s when I was so maybe the scenario might be applicable. I went to Vegas trip, my husband and my au pair were they watched the baby 10 and a half month old for me so I could wait on a Vegas go on a Vegas girls trip. And then I came back in the morning instead of celebrating like, oh my baby. I was like, oh, the Pasi is on the diaper changing station. It’s like contaminated and that clothes it’s like stacked, but it’s supposed to be a Marie Kondo one layer away, but they’re stacked. I was like, that was the first thing I brought up after I saw my baby. And then my husband was like, it’s taking away from your joy of seeing your baby. But instead, you’re thinking about these imperfections or, you know, you’re trying to think about how it should be controlled. Is that what you’re talking about?
07:40 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani Well, it’s one scenario, but it covers a lot of different topics because it’s not like you can fix one thing and it will see the world differently because on one side there’s, of course, the idea of perception of your office. I mean, you said it’s supposed to be, but supposed by whom? That’s a huge question, right? And it touches upon the idea of happiness. What makes you happy? There is this beautiful idea that, you know, you’re not happy because everything is perfect. Everything becomes perfect when you’re happy. And there is also probably a touch of different social roles contradicting each other. And you having to prioritize one over the other and then maybe compensating for deprioritizing the other role. So if we could go deeper and I have to give a disclaimer here straight away, I’m not a therapist. So I don’t venture into giving diagnosis, but I could speculate on things. And yes, all these topics I do touch in my book, but not tied to one scenario. So I do not know which thread you want to pull right now.
08:48 Dr. Anne Tsung Well, you know, let me actually go a little further. That’ll go into our what question, perhaps. You know, and then after that happened, I realized it and I was like, you’re right. I’m living in the gap and not the gain. Why am I living in the gap? And then I was like, then, you know, judging myself for living in the gap and like not being able to like judging myself for not enjoying my time and not appreciating living and gratitude for what what we’re able to help me with. And so I was judging myself even further. So I’m curious if I were in a flossing state, if I was practicing being flossing, what would that look like in a different scenario?
09:30 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani You’d probably come back home, pop a bottle of champagne and tell your husband how you enjoyed your time. Oh, that’s it. But that, of course, is not. I mean, if you do that in if you force it upon yourself, you’re going to feel even more tortured. And that’s that’s the trick about it. And another thing, you know, you just now touched upon a whole bunch of other topics that we could talk about about. This is when you feel certain thing, but you feel you start judging yourself for what you feel and you think that what you feel is somehow wrong. How do you deal, in fact, with unpleasant emotions? You know, that’s that’s a very big topic as well. So for you to actually come back home, see, you know, a complete mess at home because I do not know what happened and feeling pure joy in being back with your husband and your child. It’s not it’s not what you force yourself to do and what you force yourself to think. It usually comes as a result of, you know, undoing a lot of damage or undoing a lot of patterns and just getting a paradigm shift in the sense that you see the world in a different way. And I like to say that undoing all trauma is very often like peeling an onion at a time and you have to peel layer after layer after layer. The outer layers are dry and boring and gray. And then, you know, at some point you come to the theory part, but it takes a process. And it’s it’s the idea from an ecology is that if a problem if a problem took certain years to be created, it will take at least half as much as long to be undone. So perfectionism is a pattern. It’s for different people, it’s a different thing. But for some people, it’s it’s it’s a habit or pattern of thinking that they associate with so deeply that that’s just how they feel. But for some people, it is just a natural quality. I am a perfectionist until this very moment.
11:31 Dr. Anne Tsung I haven’t healed, but I’m aware of that and I don’t let it ruin my mind. You’re you’re conscious of when you are being a perfectionist, but you don’t judge yourself for being that it sounds like and you fully embrace it. And we’re going to get to like how to actually do that later. So I want to backtrack a little bit and just say how correct you are in terms of how it’s built up through the years, because after that incident, my husband and I were talking, was like, you know, well, actually, I said it to myself. I was like, you know, I think it’s like, you know, me being like my mom, whenever she comes over, she’s always picking at something is wrong, you know, with our house or, you know, something the way we’re raising our baby. So I think I’m becoming like my mom, like for the lesser extent, except it’s my baby. You know, I’m doing that with my own baby. You know, when my mom used to come over, she would pick out. Usually it’s something that’s wrong instead of saying something that’s right verbally, like saying it. So you’re so right. I definitely got it from my mother. And I’ve been trying to work on it years and years and years and drawing boundaries, you know, from my mother, too. And I think the more I’m curious to the how like, does that mean that, you know, the more I meditate, the more gratitude, the more positive and saying I point out verbally, would that work or how do I do it?
13:01 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani You know, I’ll ask the favorite question of therapists. So how is it working for you? You know, I’ll tell you a really nasty thing right now. Just because you’re aware of being perfectionist and you want to eradicate it out of yourself doesn’t mean it’s going to work. And very often when you do something to force something out of your system, like you come home, it’s imperfect and you’re like, OK, I’m going to practice imperfection. If you do it without having had the paradigm shift, it’s going to torture you. You might even become even more perfectionist. And that’s a disease that we have in personal growth. And if I’m a little critical right now, but I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, I’ve been a part of creating it. So I take the blame. And some concepts are easier to explain in simple rituals. So we tell people do this like affirmations and they’re going to change your life. But any kind of practice will work only to the degree that you actually buy into the essence of the practice. So if your affirmation, if your brain, if your subconscious doesn’t buy your affirmation, it’s not going to work even if you repeat it for 10 years. It’s just not. Like for a practice to work, you have to understand the essence, not just the surface. Meditation, I’m sorry, is surface. What you get out of meditation, the essence of meditation very often gets lost if we are chasing the ritual, just the practice very often, or gratitude. When you practice gratitude, do you actually feel the gratitude? Physically, emotionally, do you know how the emotion of gratitude feels in your body? Every emotion feels somehow in your body. You’re a doctor, you know. Emotions express themselves in the body. If you practice gratitude on autopilot, just having to do that ritual, it stops having effect. Any practice, if you practice it just as a ritual, at some point, it just stops doing the good stuff for you. So for gratitude to work, you actually have to experience it while you practice it. You have to spice it up. You have to change it. You know, if I do a very simple analogy, when you go to the gym and you do the same exercise over and over again, if you have a trainer, the trainer will change the exercise or something about the exercise because at some point, your muscles just get used to it and they stop benefiting. So the same with the practices in personal growth and transformation. For you to benefit from them, you have to see their essence and to make sure no matter how you practice, the essence is still there. It’s not lost behind you just doing the motions of whatever ritual it is. So how do you snap out of perfectionism? It’s a journey. And I’m not saying that it’s going to take a lot of time. Sometimes you get an experience which will actually change things like that. And that’s how paradigm shifts work. Usually we can’t decide a paradigm shift because it’s complicated, but it is possible. I’ll give a very simple example. When my son was born, my first child, my son, I decided not to give him any sweet ever. No chocolate, nothing. And he was three years old. He had never tasted anything, you know, artificial sweet until we went to New York and he fainted. He fainted. His face was blue. I was so shocked and terrified. I took him to the emergency room. We spent a lot of time there. They started asking us about our background and they were suspecting epilepsy and whatnot. And at that point, I was so stressed and I somehow thought, why did I maybe, you know, maybe that sugar was necessary for him, whatever it is, because his brain obviously malfunctioned. But in the end of the day, what happened was the pediatrician came. He wasn’t available early. He came a few hours after all the torture, me wondering what’s going on with my child. And he said, oh, no, he was just holding breath. You know, children do that when they’re very angry. Nothing was wrong with him. But for me, it was such a shocking experience that I actually decided not to be such a brutish mom. And you may judge me, but I thought, okay, I’m going to just let him be a child. And of course, there are limits and there is, you know, there is probably there are boundaries. But it was the shock made me actually let go of my perfectionism with my child and allow him to just be a child and not get stressed about, you know, him having a chocolate. He, by the way, he’s my child as addicted to sweet as I am, despite me not limiting them. But usually the shock doesn’t happen to us and we can’t, we can’t, and God forbid, I don’t think we should because it’s perfect if it is created. So because this kind of shock might not always be produced, what will have to happen is you will have to take a slightly longer journey to your paradigm shift, not a shortcut. And it starts with awareness, first of all, and without going too deep, because come on, I wrote the whole book about dealing with the perfectionist. But I’ll give you two things. First of all, awareness as a habit, it probably is the beginning of any transformation. And the second one is replacement judgment with curiosity.
18:36 Dr. Anne Tsung That helps a lot in that particular case, in the case of perfectionism. So I think there’s so much to unpack here. I completely, I can regarding, you know, feeling gratitude with emotions, because I’ve been to Tony Robbins, so I’ve been through all the Master of University, a date with destiny unleashed the power within. So it’s very, very different. That’s when that the sudden paradigm shift, you know, when the emotions were embraced, and that’s when I completely stopped drinking. I didn’t drink a lot before, but that was when, you know, I was like, I’m not going to drink any alcohol anymore whatsoever, since I was 32. So it was like a sudden paradigm shift. And so I and you’re about the the it’s not going through the motions that is so true, because lately I have been feeling like, maybe if I just go through emotions and meditation, I need to do five positive comments for one negative comment. Yeah, five to one ratio.
19:31 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani This is you punishing yourself. You live, I’m sorry, it will sound a little judgmental right now. But this is living in the paradigm that change happens through punishment. It’s the red market technique, what your mom is doing. You know, what’s the difference between red market and green market technique? Most of us are brought up in a red market technique. Imagine you write an essay in school and your teacher picks it up and picks up the red marker and points out everything that was wrong and says, OK, now correct your mistakes. And that’s the paradigm in which most of us live. Now, the green market technique is very unusual for schooling system. The teacher picks up your essay, picks up the green marker and points out everything where you were absolutely genius and then says, work more on that. Oh, that’s awesome.
20:15 Dr. Anne Tsung Very different paradigm. So when you say, you know, for me to shift from, you know, having the awareness and then shifting from two to. So I wonder and I tried, I think I’ve tried to do that, but I came home and I was like, well, so I wonder what she was thinking when she did this. Was there a reasoning that this was done this way? Was there something else I could maybe I need to get some extra boxes for her to put the clothes? Maybe which is just too full. Is that is that what you’re talking about?
20:45 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani I would actually turn it a little bit around and I would say, I wonder why does it irritate me this much? What about it? So jarring. And why do I enjoy feeling like this? How would I like to enjoy to feel? Absolutely not. What should I do about that? Should I change the circumstances? Should I change? Should I attempt to change my attitude to that? You don’t even have to judge or change anything. Just ask yourself those questions, but ask them to turn towards yourself, not towards the world. You can’t control other people, but you can control the way you think. That’s a possibility, but mostly because you are trying to change yourself, not the world.
21:22 Dr. Anne Tsung I mean, if you’re a perfectionist, probably you want to change the world rather than yourself. Well, so maybe another different scenario. I’m curious. What if somebody is doing work for you and you receive the work and all you can think about is what’s wrong with it, like the red marker technique. So how do you become curious? I guess, again, it would be the same thing. Why does this unfinished work to me is unfinished, but why does it irritate me so much? And why can’t I just maybe just all part of a journey and learning? And this is part of how it’s all part of the journey.
22:04 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani I’m not biblical, I’m sorry. I’m also an entrepreneur. And there is a slightly different role, social role. So if you are running a business, you have to have things done. And having people do their work on time and properly is part of the deal. And here, I think my first question would be, of course, why is this person producing this kind of work? And from there, you could have different scenarios. Maybe they, maybe the kind of job they’re good at. Maybe this is not the kind of person who should be in this position. And sometimes the person may be good, let’s say, as a cop, but they, you know, we, bosses, people who delegate to other people. We also have different styles. There are different styles of leadership. And I have, because in Mindvalley, I’ve seen so many people work in different departments, work with me, work in other departments. And I’ve seen people who suffer with me. They can’t show themselves, but then they move to different department, to different work style with their boss or colleagues. And they actually shine. And I’ve seen the reverse where people are truly troubled elsewhere. And then because their work style matches mine, you know, it’s, they are not enough. In 20 years of business, what I’ve seen is that it’s not that there are bad employees or bad bosses. I think there is such a situation where people are in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. And maybe they just need to be moved like chess spaces. So say somebody does work for me and they bring back work, which is completely unsatisfactory. And trust me, I’m pretty hard when I give criticism. Oh God, I don’t even want to go this way. But sometimes if that happens, you really have to ask yourself a question. Is that the right person? Is that person in the right place? Does that person has the right job, right tasks to perform? There are several options. If you have other things you might think maybe I should move that person doing something else. Or maybe sometimes I need to put a layer between me and the person, because there may be a manager who can help that person and I have shoes, I can’t. So there are different scenarios. And one of the scenarios is letting go and looking for another person. But it’s not necessarily the case where you have to turn it towards yourself. Although I would say that’s where awareness is important. If that happens over and over again and keeps happening, or let’s say you let people go to another department and they thrive over and over again, but with you they don’t, then that would definitely be a red flag to look inside yourself and ask what’s up with me?
24:51 Dr. Anne Tsung Why did you act like this to me? Yeah, being curious and how can I give the instructions better? Or is there something that’s not clear? Brene Brown wrote a book called Daring Leadership. Most people want to do well, they actually really try to do their best. So like you said, maybe they need to be moved to another role. Or maybe there’s a way I can become a, I don’t know if better leaders, judging myself, but a style of leader that matches to what they need.
25:21 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani You know what? That’s a slope though, because there is a difference between your personality traits and then certain habits. And habits can be changed, but personality traits generally. Actually, I’m not a huge fan of butchering. You know, I call things that we don’t like about ourselves, in my book I call them dragons. And it can be maybe a characteristic about you or maybe some past experience, some trauma, something. So all of that stuff, which is unpleasant to recognize about yourself, are dragons. So I don’t think you should slay dragons. You should tame them. You should learn to live with them. You should learn to maybe even see their strengths and your benefit. Then there are of course bad habits. So that’s why the curiosity towards yourself is important. You have to ask yourself, what in that complex situation is about me the way I am? Because let’s say if you’re a perfectionist and you do have high expectations, you will always have high expectations. Even if you lower them for someone, you will be discontent inside. So maybe that’s not the thing that you should eradicate or slay. Maybe the thing that you should eradicate or slay is the way you explain certain things or the way you give feedback. Because you know, with all that, I’m not incredibly diplomatic. Another way is not to change your style, but to find someone else, convey the message if you’re not, say, if you’re too direct for some people’s liking. So it’s really, you know, that’s the thing. And I keep saying that I think again and again, there are no simple solutions in life. You have to see the essence of things beyond the surface, beyond the facade, beyond the superficial, beyond the rituals. You can give feedback that devastates and you can give feedback which still carries across your message, but also heals as you give it. And sometimes the question is not whether you are direct or not. I’ve had to fire half of my team once. And that’s the way to make this message pleasant, that I’m sorry, but we are letting you go. But it’s not always the message that matters, but the intention with which you give the message. And that’s seeing beyond the surface. Because if you go just by the surface, you would be told, oh, do the feedback sandwich, you know, say something nice, then give the criticism and then say something nice again. The problem with that is that very often there’s something nice on top and the bottom. So they just check off the box, you know, and you still feel the pain of the criticism. It’s not really about sandwiching your painful message. It’s about the intention with which you give it. And that makes a huge difference. And that’s why it’s not easy to explain because it’s not a ritual that I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to actually look inside yourself and ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve here right now? When I was firing this team of people, of course, it was a painful experience. Surprisingly, I’ve actually stayed in good relationship with most of them. I heard you said you did a training on PubMind Valley. I suppose it was Lisa Nichols, right? Yes. So Lisa Nichols told the story and I hope you forgive me because I’m retelling it. Maybe I’m slightly, but she used to work as an auditor in financial institution. And apparently she was not very good at her job for a lot of reasons. But her boss once called her and started having a conversation with her. And in the middle of this conversation, Lisa said, are you firing me? Because she was really bad at that job. And her boss said, no, I’m not firing you. I’m letting you free to pursue your passion. See, it’s a slightly different intention. Very often when we have to fire someone, our intention is to rid the business of the nuisance. No matter how politely we do that, no matter how much we sandwich it, into a few superficial civilities. Thank you for your service. I really appreciate your dedication, but actually you’re so crap at your work. And my business will do better without you. Versus, you know what? I see you’re trying so hard. Maybe if it’s not working out for you, maybe we, and I can help you maybe go deeper down that road, but maybe there’s something else that’s waiting for you where you will thrive.
30:00 Dr. Anne Tsung Yeah. There are so many scenarios I was thinking of as you said that. I think it’s true. A lot of times where I have to keep feedback in the sandwich forms, because I have gratitude feedback session every week. It’s already sandwiched. You’re right. The intention of it is so important. They can sense where your intention is coming from. And if we don’t embody and embrace that fully, then they can sense it. That you’re just doing it just to check it off. And this is not exactly related scenario, but it’s almost like when I broke up with my ex, maybe it’s like this. When I broke up with my ex, actually I said that you actually deserve somebody who loves you equally the same back. So it’s not with me. So perhaps that’s another way.
30:49 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani You see, I can’t do your words because I do not know how you spoke them. And that’s what I’m trying to say that a lot of the things that we teach are so ritualistic. Oh, do the sandwich and you will be fine. But that’s not the case because when you are doing the sandwich, your main message is that unpleasantness between the two pleasantries. So very often we do half-hours job finding something nice to say, but we really have a lot of passion and emotion in the middle. And that’s what people feel. And it’s nothing surprising, but apparently in emotional communications, they’re highly charged with emotion. Only seven or 8% of information is carried verbally through words. Bulk of it is carried through the tone of voice and through our demeanor, how our emotions show in our body, in our face. So it doesn’t really matter what the… I want to impress it on people who are passionate about personal growth and transformation. The ritual doesn’t matter. What matters is the essence of the phenomena. You don’t have to do the ritual of gratitude if you can feel gratitude every moment there is something to be grateful about. And you don’t have to sandwich your unpleasant news into civilities, which actually sometimes even more insulting if you go to deliver that news with deep and compassion.
32:19 Dr. Anne Tsung I really appreciate how you split up becoming flossom in terms of being an entrepreneur. That’s a little bit different from becoming flossom just for yourself or in the practice, because there’s a line between actually operating a business, but drawing boundaries as well, so that your business can thrive. And at the same time, embracing the essence, like you said, of practicing compassion for others and not just going through the act because you’re supposed to for the civility, like you said. And I’m wondering for perhaps our last scenario with our… Is there a way when you’re becoming flossom, instead of being in a 50-50 relationship, a transactional relationship, which is very common when the baby comes, in my case, we’re trying to practice the 80-80 marriage. You’re right, many times, it’s not what I say, but it’s my tone. And it’s my… He can sense the defense that this invisible… Just like a lack of patience or poor tone exists just because of non-verbal communication. So I guess the question is, with your spouse, I’m curious, is there a scenario of how to practice being flossom when you’re in that situation of 50-50, like being transactional?
33:53 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani Are you talking about mostly the chores in the house with the child and everything, or are you talking about relationship-relationship?
34:03 Dr. Anne Tsung I’d like to… I think, yeah, you’re right, it’s probably two different things. I think chores in the house, you just have to be compassionate and practice the 80-80 principle in the relationship. There’s also the thing where if one person has a different timeline, gets things done faster, the other person is slower, or just has a different timeline and getting things done for the household. How do you practice being flossom and make sure that you don’t… Because I’m a perfectionist, that you make sure you don’t
34:36 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani same expectations. You don’t squash the person with your perfectionist expectations? Yes. Well, I have to give you a somewhat unserious answer, but by becoming flossom, I unfortunately was left spouseless. We did end up divorcing with my husband, but that also taught me a very interesting lesson in relationships. I think also being a perfectionist, and then because husband for those who do not know is the face of my envaluation, my ex-husband, he is an intensely passionate person. So it was kind of two fires constantly at home. What separation taught me though, is that when you let go of your expectations of another person, your relationship may heal. And in fact, none of us have changed, but because we stopped expecting things just because he’s my husband, he has to do certain thing. It’s much easier to be accepting and at peace with other people not playing by rules or not living according to your expectations. Now, the answer to your question is a little more philosophical than I would like it to be. But first of all, when it comes to house chores, I’m thoroughly feminist here. And it’s not just about the time you spend doing certain things. It’s also the emotional load which women have, which actually creates so much more stress. So time-wise, you might spend the same amount of time, although statistically speaking, men spend like four times less time per day doing the chores than women. But even if you split it 50-50, the time-wise, the emotional load is constantly on women. It’s just how it is. And that’s the thing that makes it so complicated. So in our relationship, because we still have a relationship as parents, I try to offload certain amount of emotional load by asking Vishen to arrange certain things and take care of them happening, because that’s the emotional load, not just changing the diaper and so on. Feminist talk aside, the philosophical answer to your question is that you really can’t do anything with your husband. You can’t expect them to do things that you ask them. You can’t expect them to think the thoughts that you ask them to think in you less than anything else. You can’t expect them to feel certain things that you would like them to feel, like responsibility or the urgency or the displeasure of say a mess or unchanged diaper. So you can’t make them feel those things. And every woman has felt that. Men are pretty quick at saying, I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make us feel anything because we know that these are just words that the husband has been trained to utter, to appease us. But what we want is the change of emotion, but it’s not going to happen. So here I would say, again, it’s not a very easy solution because usually I bring to that after a certain sequence of ideas. The idea that is in the core of that phenomenon is that everyone has the right to their journey. And your husband not listening to you is his journey and you struggling with that is your journey. And the problem that we have is that we try to fix each other’s journeys and it’s just never going to work. So rather than fixing each other’s journeys, if you can take a step back and be at peace with your husband being what he is and only fix your relationship with yourself here, and it’s really how perfection is, but I will tell you this, it’s much easier to be patient with other people when you learn to be patient with yourself. It’s much easier to be compassionate and kind and understanding of other people if you learn to do that to yourself. So if you are impatient with him, very likely you are very impatient with yourself as well. And what, if I’m being curious, what would I be asking myself in that scenario? Why am I so impatient with myself? What’s, what’s up? Why is irritating me so much? I just want to understand. And again, if we start asking questions there as perfectionists, we tend to be judgmental. Oh, I shouldn’t be. But you as a doctor, you know, secondary stress is more, biologically speaking, than the cause of the stress. So you being upset about you not feeling the right thing is much worse than you not feeling the right thing. And then who said it’s not right? You know, it’s good to talk to someone who understands it. That thing, you know, emotions, we have emotions for a reason. And this is my theory. So in medical, in medical science, there’s this condition called congenital analgesia, and I might pronounce it wrong, but it’s when people don’t feel physical pain. And these people don’t grow to adulthood because their bodies deteriorate and break because if something is wrong with them, they don’t feel physical pain. So that’s, that’s what happens. I think we contemporary humans, we suffer from emotional analgesia. We’ve unlearned to recognize our emotional signals and to pay attention to them. We’ve unlearned that. So what we do is rather than, okay, so why I’m so irritable, we start immediately with, with not a diagnosis, we immediately start with treatment. I shouldn’t be. Stop being so upset. Stop being so angry. Stop being so irritable. Let me punish you with, now be grateful right now on this spot. It’s easier because rather than sitting down with your emotions, and I mean, you’ve, you’ve read Brown, she does talk about that as well a little bit. Rather than sitting down with your emotions and asking yourself, why, just why, there will be so much you’ll discover about yourself. And some of it will be unpleasant. Some of that will be
40:27 Dr. Anne Tsung like, oh, so that’s what I am like. Okay, so how do I live with that? Yeah, I’m trying to be curious myself right now, just like lots of questions going through, it’ll take a lots of healing, some uninterrupted time to think and journal, why am I so impatient? Why do I have this imaginary urgency of getting things done? Because why does something looming
40:52 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani over my head and cause me, you know, what, but you’re not a specialist with your healing. Because I would say what I’ve just is rather than sitting down and just going like pondering that, just let it be. But then the next time you feel that, just ask about that next time. Because if you sit down right now and think back, you’re probably going to start making a lot of assumptions like in generalizations, oh, that’s because I’m so, so and so, but every single moment is new. And sometimes you’re upset because of one thing and sometimes because of another thing. So just let it be forget the past who cares. It’s like it’s past. But the next time that’s when you become
41:28 Dr. Anne Tsung curious. It sounds like, yeah, just make it simpler than it actually is like of the past. And then whenever these scenarios come, you know, whether in with your children, your spouse, people that who work for you, perhaps your parents, perhaps, then you’re in the what you’re feeling, but you get in a state instead of judging yourself and diving straight into treatment.
41:54 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani Does that sound like? Yeah. Don’t in fact, I would suggest not to dive into treatment at all. You know, like coming back to analogy with physical pain, when you have an accident, for example, doctors know that they have to get your vitals under control before they start treating. And you don’t treat people unless you know the diagnosis and you don’t treat the symptoms you treat the cause. So the same with emotions, because we are so awkward with emotions, we kind of immediately slap on band-aids. And I’m sorry, I’m using European word paracetamol, because I don’t remember the equivalent in American. Tylenol. That would work. Tylenol will work as well. That’s a good word. So rather than popping Tylenol and slapping bites on deep wounds, what I’m suggesting is that forget that the body has the natural ability to heal. You have the natural ability to heal. So first question is what is causing pain? And then just ask yourself, what is this pain telling me? Or discomfort? It doesn’t have to be pain. Shame is discomfort. It’s not necessarily painful. Anger is discomfort. Frustration is discomfort. So ask yourself, what is it telling me? What is it pointing at? And maybe even don’t heal. Don’t look for treatment yet. Just keep being curious, because treatment is a little bit of judgment. And I guess it will come in time, but very often the problem with perfectionists is that they want to fix things all the time. And life isn’t perfect. People don’t need fixing. Because fixing implies that you’re broken, but you’re not broken. Nobody’s broken. You don’t need fixing. You need healing. Healing takes time and patience
43:37 Dr. Anne Tsung and kindness. And that’s not what perfectionists do. We fix. I know. Problem, solve it. Problem, delegate it or eliminate it. Well, you also came from a background which is very problem-solvent oriented. So I get to see it deep in you. Diagnosis, medicine, diagnosis. Yeah, essentially problem. Then we scan him or whatever, get some labs. Yeah. Yeah. And so I know we’re coming up at the end of our time here. And I’m really grateful, of course, for diving really deep and in with me with multiple scenarios. And for those people who are listening, I’m curious, what is one next step? Because we talked about so much. What is one next step that they can take
44:21 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani in order to start becoming aware and curious? Well, awareness is probably an easier thing for your audience because it’s one of the fundamental skills in personal growth and transformation. The way I like to practice awareness is that I anchor it to certain situations depending on what I need to solve in my life. So if it’s emotional analgesia, I would anchor awareness moments to the moments when you feel strong emotions. So whenever you feel strong emotion, you think to yourself, okay, I’m practicing awareness. And that’s the, that’s the ticket. Just slow down and ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Why am I feeling this? What is it telling me about myself, about my values, about my needs, desires, whatever it is. So that would be practicing awareness in conjunction with what we were learning. Again, this is not the technique that I would normally give in two sentences, but I believe that your audience is advanced enough to just catch on on that. But the number one thing that I would suggest, because I understand that you like to talk to perfectionists, I would say replacing judgment with curiosity all the time. Just ask yourself, and if you, if you are not to judge and just be curious about how can I not judge anything, but just replacing judgment with curiosity, like you, you’re feeling something and you’re like, I shouldn’t be feeling like that. Oh, I wonder that I thought this way, because that’s judgment you, you, you judging and then you ask yourself, oh, I wonder why I’m judging. I wonder what am I trying to achieve? I wonder why I’m feeling it doesn’t really matter, but just replace
45:57 Dr. Anne Tsung judgment with curiosity and it’s going to make wonders. So, um, when there, there was, whenever there’s maybe strong emotions, being aware of those emotions, and then also going into curiosity instead of judgment for our own imperfections. That’s awesome. Thank you for that. Thank you. And also, would you please tell, um, number one, uh, the audience about your book, when can we expect it? And then also, what, also how can people reach you, any websites, anything on
46:24 Kristina Mand-Lakhiani social media where people can find you? Thank you so much for this opportunity. So I do not know when exactly it’s going to air, but my book is out in U S K Australia on the 13th of June in the bookshops everywhere. Uh, and, uh, before that you, uh, can find it on mind value or Amazon. And of course you will find me on mine Valley because I’m a co-founder or my handle everywhere except Twitter is Christina Mund. Christina written in Estonian way with a K, Christina with M A N D. And yeah, I’m, I’m, uh, socially omnipresent everyone nowadays.
47:02 Dr. Anne Tsung Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Christina. Um, and we really appreciate your kindness, your compassion and authenticity, of course, in, you know, even just sharing your own life story with us with such, you know, honesty. So I think the audience is really going to relate to what you’re talking about. And, uh, I’m really grateful, you know, for our time here and to the audience as well. I’m really grateful that you guys have spent the time with us. So thank you again, Christina, and, uh, yeah, absolutely. And for the audience who’s listening, um, the show notes, it’s going to be on, it’s not rocket science show.com. Please go there. And also on there, you can find out more about productivity, MD coaching. You can book a 30 minute complimentary call with me and just remember that everything we need is within us now. Thank you.
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