Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast

Intention with Dr. Ian Brooks

August 11, 2021 Juli Wenger Season 1 Episode 55
Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast
Intention with Dr. Ian Brooks
Show Notes Transcript

We're diving into living life with INTENTION! Building capabilities that carry us through, taking out power back, and getting clear on who we are. Join us for the journey! 

BIO:
Dr. Ian Brooks is the chief executive and founder of Rhodes Smith Consulting, leading transformations of people and organizations for over 24 years. Ian has extensive experience in executive and leadership development, change management, business performance consulting, and communication planning. His new book Intention is a transformational guide that can be used for any type of intentional change.


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/drb_intention
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/DrB_Intention
Website:
https://rhodessmith.com/

CONNECT WITH ME
Instagram | Clubhouse | Facebook: @juliwenger
https://www.juliwenger.com/

Juli Wenger:

Welcome to the becoming ourselves podcast where we believe that you were created on purpose with purpose and for a purpose. I'm Juli Wenger, an empowerment and identity coach and enneagram two committed to helping you step out of overwhelm perfectionism and self sabotage, listening to learn how to take back your power, uncover the stories and patterns that keep you small, and lean in to living your most powerful, purposeful and passionate life. Let's dive in. So today on the podcast, I am joined by Dr. Ian Brooks, and he just wrote a book called intention. And I'm really excited to chat about that a bit today. But first off, as we get started, I would love to have you tell our listeners a little bit about how many places have you lived?

Unknown:

Yeah, lived quite quite a few places. I've lived in Virginia, I've lived in here in the States. I've lived in Virginia. I've lived in Alabama. I've lived in Georgia. I've lived in Kansas City. I've lived in California. And I've lived in Portland, Oregon.

Juli Wenger:

It was funny, because when we first chatted, we did our lead up to this. I was like, so you're in LA. But you don't sound like la

Unknown:

this thing these places often it's like, oh, okay, that makes sense. So and I take it as a compliment. Like my sound LA, then it's really time to move back east. Back home to Virginia.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah. So tell us a little bit about about the journey, like what prompted all of this shifting around in this movement? And how has that impacted your journey of being you?

Unknown:

Yeah, you know, it's interesting. While we started off the journey of a word I've lived, it all started, it impacted who I've become. And in particular, when I was a 13 year old kid, I made the decision that I wanted to be a psychologist. Now, I was always interested in why people did what they did, what was your thinking, it also fit my personality, as I was fearful of judgment. And as a result of that I was always in the background. So that meant that I didn't want to be to hide, you want to get A's in school or otherwise. But I also didn't want to get the F Cyndi's because you get that unwanted attention on that other side. So it afforded me a chance to hone in on my calling what I was really passionate about as being a psychologist and putting the focus on other people. And my life passion has really taken me on a journey to living in different places, and living in those different places. While there are a lot of fun, I'm really worth your marks towards discovering who I was, and who I am, I intentionally chose each one of my locations of which I just described, specifically on one places I'd never been before. And secondly, places where I'd have to learn about myself. In third, it actually had a particular purpose in either it was specific for school, where I was getting my undergraduate degree or masters or my doctorate, or was specific to a job I was going for. And so I'd be living in Kansas City, or Portland, Oregon, or here, you know, in some of the places I've moved to here in California, they've all had a purpose and designation of who I've become. And as such that journey from a clinical psychologist working with children and working with adults, then moving into the organizational side of doing coaching, and really, that self exploration really lent itself to my own personal journey, as well as the journey of which I was helping others. And that has been an earmark and a consistent theme throughout my entire life, which I've thoroughly enjoyed. And quite frankly, that journey continues. Yeah, it always does. Yes.

Juli Wenger:

Which is, I think, part of what I love so much about the self work is there's always another layer, there's always another expansion, there's always more growth to go through. Yes. And what strikes me as your, you know, starting to talk about that this fear of judgment is the polarity of both too much and not enough. Yes, right. I don't want to be too smart. But I don't want to be, you know, too far down the food chain. Like how do i do the I like to call it perception management? How do I manage how other people see me or how I think other people see me? So that I feel I know, it's safe, accepted, lovable,

Unknown:

right. And you know, what that polarity and even how other people might see us even begets the question and idea that putting the onus is on them to give us that power. You know, as I described in my own life early on, it was that judgment, that fear of it because I was afraid of their power on me. Yeah. And as I've gone through my journey and that consistent learning, it's always the reality has come that I present my own power. I have my own capabilities. Yes, there is judgment. But that judgment is for them to own in their perceptions. But I have my own respective and perspective of myself. As you mentioned, it's also that continuation of that learning of which we all go through and experience. It's also as part of my book, I say, building capabilities to transform your story, not building end results. Because capabilities are transferable, their behaviors, their actions, they're consistent and continuously moving, and growing and evolving. And our capabilities in one situation are not applicable in another, drawing back to that word of judgment. And that polarity and the perspective I had to carry for myself, the capability I had to build for myself, was that confidence that what is my own perception of me, and that I'm not married, mirroring or trying to acquiesce to what others think I have to have my own value by own voice. And that does take some vulnerability. But that does not mean that I'm less than it from different than in as that child and as that mentality and now evolving myself in building my own confidence capability throughout my career in life has afforded me a different perspective and lens to now carry forward and do other things.

Juli Wenger:

It's such a beautiful connection to even some of the stuff that we're working on coming into August looking at running, you know, masterclasses called stand in your power. And it's about taking some of that power back instead of giving it to other people, you know, and I mean, ultimately, boundaries, right? When I think about capabilities, like yes, building confidence, learning to love ourselves. And there's this piece around, how are we allowing other people to impact how we feel about us? How are we, you know, saying like, this is mine, or this is not mine? That's something I take clients through all the time is like, Is it yours? Yeah,

Unknown:

yeah. And it's, and it's so powerful. When we now harness that power back for ourselves, I was talking to my significant other about this the other day, in particular, because she's also in the psychology, field, family therapy and in child therapy. And as we're describing it, it's in that field. It's in some ways, we're expected to act small. We're always acquiescing to others. And sometimes that carries over into our life, where we're expected just to fit in the norm. And if you go all the way back to our own evolution, it's expected that we fit into the norms for survival. Because if you get to for too far out the herd, then that put yourself in danger at risk. It's safer to be in the pack. Now, as you know, as we think about our lives, and the emotions that we carry, and the expectations that others place on us, it's now what are our own expectations, what's the thing that's going to enable us to move from being small to having our own voice, our own uniqueness, and acknowledging that that is just as valid as being part of something else. And that doesn't mean that we're because we're unique, we're all by ourselves as much as it affords us a chance to say that I have a voice in this. And there's an emotional toll that comes with that, because there's a weight that is often lifted, when we cannot own our voice in that respect, own that personality. And we start to see that more and more of the last 20 years and you know, our next generation of with social media, and everyone really just being out and about and really having their voice heard or want to be heard, be it voice literally, or their perspective, or the way that they're dressed. Even their sexuality, those are things that which individually create uniqueness. But as we put it into the pile of who we are and how we're growing, and how we're developing, we see that we're still part of that same herd, we're still part of something that is more than and there is an emotional tie that comes with that one that's individual in our own journey, but also recognizing that we're going to this life with others as well. And it's a beautiful, beautiful process, but also one that's very vulnerable at times if you're not used to it. One that is scary. And especially as we think about it from a change perspective and behavioral change, can be daunting.

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, but let's talk about for a second social contracts. Yeah. Because as you're talking about, you know, learning to own your own power building capabilities, those social context and some of the really hard wired, you know, herd mentality. The How do I fit in, how do I stay safe? How do I make sure that I'm accepted, how do I make sure I have my needs met there? Something to the change process. Absolutely. That when we're growing and we're shifting all of a sudden, we're showing up differently. Yes. Like, well, why aren't people accepting me? Why am I getting pushback? Yes, like, well, because you're breaking the social contract?

Unknown:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And actually talk about cat in the part is called the principle of view. And I describe that very social contract in our environment as thinking about it from a social perspective, it's really an opportunity to really take stock in the environment that we're surrounded by. And when I say our environment, and our people, places and things, because we've built our lives around an idea, and a person, and our behaviors and our routines that keep us where we are. And as such, one of the capabilities is about being conscious around what's surrounding us, be it our people, because I you describe that social contract in the perspective of others, is going to try to keep us in the box that they're used to us being in. So when we start showing up different, when we start talking different, when we have different expectations, we're putting as much strain on them as we're putting on ourselves, yet they didn't sign up for the change. Yeah. And as such, that social contract is one that has to be acknowledged. And again, I described it just simply in a from people side, it's also the places we go. So it's where we go in that, you know, for those who are looking to lose weight, the social contract of what we relationship we have with food. Yeah, and what it means and the comfort, and how we even shop at a grocery store. That social contract must change as well. It could be the things like what do we see from a materialistic standpoint, we're trying to be better at managing money? How would it how do we see things in that moment, we have to now redefine what that is for ourselves, but also not owning how that definition has been applied to us from others. Because we don't own that definition. We can alter it for ourselves and that journey. And that's one of the pieces that I do talk about, again, in that principle of view. Because as we think about change, one of the bigger challenges that people do have is their sustainment of any change. And that sustainment is not an earmark of what you can do one time, it's how have I integrated this into my life, in my life is more than more than just my behavior. It's it's what I think what I feel what I do, and that can't be separated nor detached from the situations we find ourselves that people who we are surrounded by, in relationships and routines that we have built to keep ourselves safe. So that's another part of that journey of building a capability as we move forward.

Juli Wenger:

So that gets me all kinds of excited, because we've been talking a lot lately about the growth period, the season of growth up level where you're actively, you know, exploring and looking for what are those stories? What do those relationships look like? What are the underlying drivers that are showing up for me? And then we get to this space where it's like integration time. Yeah. And what I see happen a lot, and I'd love your context on this is people get to this, it feels like a plateau. Right? Or it's like, okay, yeah, now I know. And now I have some new habits. And now I can just like hang out and like do nothing for a while, right? Oh, no, no, no, this phase is just as important. Yes, as the growth curve as climbing up that, that mountain, because now is when you work on that sustenance, now is when you work on that maintaining the new habits and new ways of being and now is when you let your subconscious and your ego catch up and latch on to. Okay, this is our new way of operating. Let's create a new foundation here. And then what's the next level? Absolutely. And

Unknown:

I think you're spot on. In one, what's the foundation and that foundation is starting and creating consistency. One of the things that, as you mentioned that from that integration perspective that we lose sight of, and which you talked about as well, that I want to point out is, you know, people get tired of change. When they see all the work that it takes just to do something one time differently. That is their win. And there's nothing wrong with that in certain instances of change. That's all you need. It's Hey, I did it one time. I just wanted to see if I could do it. Better it got over my fear of heights. I jumped out the airplane I got the parachute. I'm good. Only all growth was that simple. Right? clearly, clearly it isn't. and I both you and I know that and what people struggle with the most reflects that as well. And from that sustainment. Part of that also reflects the fact that when people think about taking on new habits and establishing new patterns, they're not thinking about letting go of any So they're thinking about from an integration standpoint, like, Hey, I'm gonna continue to do everything else I did before. And I'm just gonna add this in there, that's not gonna work, it doesn't work. Because now you're setting new expectations, new thought processes, the emotions that are coming out, are gonna be a lot different. And quite frankly, oftentimes they will become in conflict. So when it would take the right, an opportunity to make the right decision on doing something new, building that new habit, trying another situation, if we don't let go of some of the things that we held on to that served a purpose at one point in time, but maybe have outlived itself, then quite frankly, we're going to be in contact, but I can almost guarantee you, we will automatically go back to what we always did. Because that's our comfort zone. Yeah, we have to be able to let go of certain things in order for us to move forward. And then once we climb that hill the first time realize that one Hill is great, but we're building capabilities, because your hills will change. Right? And that's how you start to build that integration and consistency and testing out new experiences with those capabilities. So that's where we start to see the true integration into our lives.

Juli Wenger:

So if we look at what do we have to let go of if you're ready to use a say, personal example? What's something that you've had to let go of that's allowed you to then rise to your next level?

Unknown:

a great question. And I'll I'll pull it directly from the book itself, because I actually talk a little bit about myself in this book. You know, one of the things I had to let go was that fear of judgment. And I talked about it earlier. And that fear of not wanting to be out front, or not being in normal, or feeling that I was outside, you know, one of the impacts of writing this book, because the book that is out on the shelves and available is a second copy. The first copy was an audio book. And because of my fear of judgment, and fear of being seen, you can imagine just a challenge Iraqi, right having to write a book of putting your words down, and stuff is up in your face. Yeah, like, Okay, I'm just writing myself. And you know, while it took that first version, like three years for me to write, I think it was both a challenge to actually put my words down, because I was truly hiding in certain ways. And so when I actually did the audio book, I got in the booth, and quite frankly, I was scared. Right? I'd never done an audio book before it never actually heard my voice on recording. And oh, yeah, by the way, I was now actually articulating my thoughts out loud, to people whom I did not know. And, oh, yeah, by the way, that offers judgment, that offers judgment of myself, judgment of everything that I had built my life around in a number of respects, and even my profession. And as as as a result, when I actually had a chance to listen to that audio book. Well, first off, let me backtrack. When I actually was in the booth, going through the recording process, I can feel my anxiety coming up, I was talking fast, I was tripping over my words, I end up and these are words that I actually had written down. So I knew what was written. But it was an amazing experience of fear and anxiety. That was so telling, that when I left that first day, I was just emotionally and physically drained. And I went to the booth that very next day, and and I was a little bit better, you know, I got I got my mojo back. So I thought, but still walked away extremely drained. And when I fast forward taxi, listening to the audio book recordings, it was 52 clips, I was looking at it from the lens of a coach Netherlands of the analysis. That's me. And I just created some columns of what did I like, What didn't I like? What would I change? And what I realized when I was listening to this, that whole analytical side of me just came out, I said, No, this, this is unacceptable. Like I, I can't send this out to anybody. I can't. And I had to look myself in the mirror and say, what, what would it take for me to finish this book? If If I want to finish it? First off, you know, if that has to be the first question, do I want to finish this book? and have it released? Because no one else is gonna ask you about this. You could say yes, you went through the journey, and be done with it. Or you can just release what you have now and know that it's not what you expect of yourself, nor is it giving you the content that readers and listeners need and want. And if that answer is true, that it's not giving them what they want, then that means we also now have a choice to make corrections and start from scratch. No wrong. No wrong choice at anything that I made. But I had to acknowledge that in myself all going back to who I had built my life around doesn't mean that that life was bad, or it didn't serve as purpose, but it had outlived its purpose, in order for me to write this book. And as such, I got, clearly I made the decision to move forward. And in that respect, I scrapped the entire book or that version, and started from scratch and rewrote the entire book, going back to every single note I'd taken, going back to every single reference, I had read, and used, going back to every single recording I had done with my editor, and started pulling out pieces. And through that journey, I was able to now own my voice and getting deep, getting deep with myself. And not only that, trying to articulate more specifically, anecdotally, and emotionally, what I was wanted from a point by point basis, as such that experience in that booth, and that first recording enabled me to become the author, this book needed me to be, and that is owning my voice and removing any level of judgment from others. And now just hold myself to my own expectations of what this book can be and as important, owning my own voice and perspective on what I want to articulate. So that's a long winded story of how I evolved in that respect, just in the completion of this book, that is a continuous reminder for me, even with our podcast today, of the growth I've exhibited, but the growth and journey I'm still on, as I'm for

Juli Wenger:

Yeah, the part that strikes me. I mean, there's a lot that does, but there's something about how going through this journey, it was as bumpy, right, there was stuff that you expected to go very differently than it did. There was, you know, an expectation for what was this book and a turnout, like the first time? And how is that process going to look the first time and so often I see people get really attached to outcomes. And what I think is so important and impactful about the journey that you chose to continue going through was that you could use this bumpy phase, and allow it to grow, you allow it to build you. So that you could get to this point now where there's this opportunity for impact, right, there's this opportunity for people to pick up the book and read the book and take something from the book that could change their trajectory could change how they see things could change how they view themselves or interact with other people. And I want to highlight that because people expect because we live in the culture we live in, things are going to be easy. And that growth curve is going to just be like a consistent upward climb. It's not going to be bumpy, it's not going to be treacherous. It's not going to be like you know, scaling a really steep mountain that you could like fall off of and get hurt, you know. And that's just not reality. Right? And I think that we really need to acknowledge the reality of the growth journey. It's not always pretty and it's not always easy,

Unknown:

absolutely. No truer words have been spoken. When I describe this book to people, I described in the context that if you were just to read it on its surface, you'd probably get through it in a in a weekend. It's not intended to be difficult to read from a language perspective, or story perspective. But it should take you a long time. Because this book is intended to be experienced. And as my story articulates in as what you describe our journey for change, it's not about an endpoint, it is about the experience that we go through. That is more zigzag and the equivalent of a yarn ball of layers and complexity, versus that straight line. And often, we as you mentioned, we're looking for in the end result, I just want, what they have what someone else does, and people aren't going to judge me based off of that return on investment. And that return on investment, you know, in business wise, that's dollars or, hey, they look a certain way or they dress a certain way or they have a certain thing. Those are all end results. They haven't established the foundation, the capabilities to one, get that initially. But secondly, realize that those are just milestones. Those are nothing more than milestones on capabilities and behaviors that which we've been able to embark on. And as we go through this journey of transformation, it's continuous learning. And I often talk about that journey and those learnings as we treat them as a place of reference, not resident references, something that we build on leverage. If it's something that we've done very well that we can build on and try and other situations, versus our failures, which we learn from a course correct and change to see what we now need to do, versus residents, a place where we actually live. And I talked about a little bit in the book as well, in particular, you know, they said, you know, the old cartoon, the Roadrunner and Wiley coyote, that old Acme cartoon land, the Roadrunner was always trying to or running away from the wily coyote and wily coyote was always trying to catch the Roadrunner. What was crazy about wily coyote was that for every episode, he never tried the same contraption twice. Every time he failed, he'd go with a new contraption. So he never learned how to refine his contraptions. What he got really good at is the creation and the idea and just the thought of catching the Roadrunner. and applying that to our own lives, and to what we were just now talking about, we love creating new things. When we know we're not, you know, what is by itself, like, Hey, I'm in creation mode, I know I'm doing something new, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. It's less fun when we have to go back and look ourselves in the mirror and say, Did this actually work. And now I have to refine it. Because we're fine. That means we were less than refinement means I didn't do something right. refinement means we're not done. And that creates a level of vulnerability that people oftentimes don't want to necessarily acknowledge. And so on this path of learning and transformation, it is not a singular event. Nor is it a straight line. It is something that guess what we're going to have to learn and be vulnerable enough to accept that we are good enough and strong enough to get through it. But we have to believe that and that can't come from anyone else. But it is a long journey to get there. And what am Well,

Juli Wenger:

yeah, it's such a foundational piece. Because our, our resilience, and our trust in our own resilience is, I think one of the key things about going on the growth journey, it's, it's where we either decide to move forward, or we decide to stay stuck. Because if we don't believe that we can conquer or survive or figure out if things don't go the way that we think they should, or the way that we want them to, or the way that we're attached to them will procrastinate and will avoid and all of those self protective patterns show up right now. And by alternative, it's not that and even when I look at my own story of jumping out of an old business into this one, which is terrifying, right? It's not that it wasn't scary. But it was that I could look at it and say, I trust that I can figure this out. Yes, I trust that I will survive this, I trust that I am resilient enough and courageous enough and smart enough. And all of that to step through this and do what I'm called to. Sure, right, and just figure it out. And that then becomes the option. You just figure it out.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And it starts, as you mentioned, from that confidence you have in yourself and everything, or not everything. But a lot starts with that, especially when we embark on new journeys, because there will be peaks and valleys. And if we don't have confidence that we can get through it, regardless of what that is, then I can almost guarantee that you won't. Now, that doesn't mean that we're on an island by ourselves with that confidence, or that we have irrational confidence that we can do just about anything, and we don't need anybody else. It does mean that we'll figure it out. As you mentioned, there's that idea where we're confident that I know what I know. I'm confident that I know what I don't know. I'm also confident enough to hire somebody or ask the question so that I can expand my own awareness. Because that's what's going to bring us through being in a new business, be it changing your own lifestyle, be starting family, whatever it might be. And we oftentimes think of confidence only and I can do it all. I've got it all. Yeah, like I got this, but you know, that's all that that mentality is also reinforced as we think about social media, like how many times we see people failed. It's either they failed bombing out and that's what they really wanted to show you anyway. Or they're winning. They don't show the failure and getting up and walking you through the process of how they got there both mentally, emotionally and then now behaviourally as an end result Because that's going to sustain your passion that's going to sustain the peaks and valleys. That being your confidence in knowing that you get and trusting that you can

Juli Wenger:

often look at it from an angle of, do we know ourselves? Do we love ourselves? Do we trust ourselves? And that's really where that, you know, the resilience, the courage, the confidence, can stand, and then coupling that with this second pillar of what's our purpose? What's our calling apps, because that clarity, which is ultimately not about us, right, our purpose is never solely about us. That helps pull us through, that helps give us context, it helps kind of zoom out the picture. And so I'm curious about as you're going on this journey, when you think about purpose, and you think about bigger picture impact, what is the thing that's pulling you through and towards it? Sure, you know, for me,

Unknown:

I've always felt my purpose and calling is to help people because I care, and how can I demonstrate or how do I show up authentically, in a way that I care? what's often said, around our passions, and even working, and that is you never work a day in your life, do something that you're passionate about, you know, I'm passionate about helping people. Because I know, people want to be better. I've yet to meet anyone from my clinical psychology days and work in a 24 hour lockdown Ward, to working with CEOs and executives, every single person I've met has had the same story and that they want to be better. We all just have different starting points, different things that we're struggling with some with a chemic chemical imbalance. Others just want the near employees to be better, or get the next promotion in all points in between. But we all want to be better. And I think we can, because that's what we're built to do. Our own essence of life is about evolution, we evolve. We all have a shelf life. We all get old, with without our acknowledgement or wants. As such, my purpose here is really to help help people create clarity, understand what their purpose is beyond the outside norms of what we see. But really being authentic to ourselves, and listening to our own voice. And truly cherishing our own mental model and our own patterns, and how it shapes who we are and what we do early on. Going back to our very first story of living seven different places, and the reasons why I've moved around and the choices I've made in that respect, acknowledging that the journey is never done. But I'm creating new experiences to really find out and challenge my own beliefs. And as such, I work with my clients in a very similar context of not being afraid of the journey. If that fear comes up that that means I'm afraid of myself. And that's the point where we should start. And so that's really what my purpose is, and how I want to give back and work with people. That's incredible.

Juli Wenger:

Thanks so much for doing this with us today. Glad to be here to experiment. Well, great conversation we're really honored to have you on. So for all of you that want to follow in, check out the show notes. We'll have a couple of links in there where you can find his book. And until next time, this is your loving reminder that you are love, joy, strength, and grace. You're always enough. you're capable and you can build that confidence. See you next time.