Reframing Your False Beliefs

In this episode of The Everything Life Coaching podcast, John and Noelle explain how false beliefs form in our subconscious mind, and how we can replace them.

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring Lumia Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!

Reframing False Beliefs

In this episode, Lumia co-founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux discuss the subconscious beliefs we hold about ourselves, and how to reshape them.

Episode Transcript

John: On today’s episode — how to change your false beliefs, and this is a super important topic. And with me, to help me tackle it, is Noelle Cordeaux.

Noelle: Yes, and it sounds like we’re both a little sleepy today.

John: I think you should use ‘I’ statements. That’s a little rude.

Noelle: It’s sounds like, ‘I’ think you’re a little sleepy today?

John: Oh s**t. I told Noelle that her last name reminds me of fancy mustard.

Noelle: It’s payback.

John: Noelle is Grey Poupon and I am Oscar’s.

Noelle: I mean, there are so many other condiments. You don’t have to be mustard too.

John: I know, but are there fancy condiments? When you think of fancy condiments, what do you think of?

Noelle: Whole Foods ketchup.

John: Oh jeez. Yeah, you’re organic Whole Foods ketchup, Noelle.

Noelle: Oh my.

John: So before we jump into this, tell us where you’re at, what you’re doing. Noelle is traveling. I love kind of pulling the curtain back and documenting our journey — our startup journey, our coaching journey, our teaching journey, all that stuff too.

Noelle: Our existence, yes. So this week is bananas. I woke up in San Francisco on Monday and I had a really great meeting in the morning talking about how to build experiential kind of eco-therapy trip and learned all about that cause that’s the direction that Lumia (formerly SHFT) is moving in is getting people outside with coaches to do life together. And then I met two of our awesome catalysts down by the beach and we just talked about life and direction of the company. Then I had dinner with Taylor, our co-founder and one of the instructors of our life coaching intensive. Now, today I’m talking to you and then I’m flying to Utah because we’re going to — Cory is our chief scientist and we’re building out this beautiful curriculum all about how to use and employ meaning in your life. And then I leave for New York.

John: Wow, and then you’re coming to L.A.?

Noelle: And then I’m coming to L.A.

John: Oh s**t. So let me ask you something. You know, Noelle used to work on campus at a university in an office. And she went from that to now just like hopping everywhere — going to VC meetings, boardroom meetings, creative meetings, and working out with the team, and flying around. How is that for you? Is is too much? Or are you leaning into it? What are the pros and cons of that? Because I think someone listening to this — from the outside, that sounds amazing and exciting especially if someone is used to punching the clock and you’re punching the sky and it just sounds amazing.

Noelle: Yeah. It has its moments. When I started this journey, I did so with pure love, just pure love. Knowing that I was taking on a leadership role, not for myself but for all of the coaches that we’ve trained to build this thing. And for all of the members of our tribe so that we have this home. And it’s f*****g hard.

John: Yeah.

Noelle: It’s hard. The stress level that it took for me to get to a level of comfort with myself being able to walk into boardrooms. It’s no joke, it’s not fun. I struggle a lot with both exhaustion and then spending so much time by myself with my own thoughts.

John: Hmm, yeah. Absolutely.

Noelle: So I woke up in a beautiful little hotel room and I’m emphasizing “little hotel room”. It was like, “Alright, hide me.”, “Now what? Make some coffee and get this show going.” Don’t believe the hype and I think wherever you’re sitting in life is so easy to look at somebody else and be like, “Oh wow, I wish I had that”, but there are definitely moments that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

John: Yeah. I think you know I have friends, I have a lot of people who wish they had my life — you produce content all day, you’re running around, you do stuff, and it’s lonely. I stare at my computer or in my thoughts cause I have to be in my thoughts to create articles and stuff. Working from home can be amazing. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it can also be really lonely.

Noelle: I agree with you. It gets really isolating. Isolating to being a public person. I experienced it a little bit the other day when I met our coaches and one of our coaches said to me, she was just like, “God Noelle, I’m so glad you are who you are.” I showed up in a trucker hat and sunglasses, she was like, “How are you?” Didn’t know what to expect from me and I was like, “I’m a little hungover.” and she was like, “Oh thank God, you’re a normal human.”

John: I remember reading something about a celebrity who basically never leaves her house and I was like, “Why? You’re a celebrity. When you go outside, you get praised and autographs”. I get it. I get why — you end up creating your own prison.

Noelle: In a sense.

John: In a sense. Yeah, absolutely. Anyway.

Noelle: That’s a really good lead into our topic today because I was actually thinking about that this morning. I woke up, and like I’ll be honest, I had a couple of tears this morning just ‘cause I was tired and alone — feeling my s**t. Then I had the conversation with myself about how I get to choose how I experience my current existence. So in order to break myself out of a negative pattern and thinking spiral where I was kind of woe is me-ing myself, I started noticing the colors and the texture and wondering how many different lives this weird little hotel room has seen and kind of connecting with all of humanity [inaudible phrase]. It helps to know that you can choose how you wanna experience each moment.

John: Yeah and it takes a lot of work. It’s not just making a decision. You have to get used to it. It’s like a muscle, you have to be really good at doing that.

Noelle: Yeah. It’s like jedi s**t.

John: Yeah. So what do you think about false beliefs? What do you think about our belief systems? What do think about how that impacts our lives and how important it is?

Noelle: You know, it’s vital. It’s a vital piece to understand because we could go through life day after day simply accepting that the way we feel, the thoughts that we have, the way very specifically that shame is induced, is just reality and that this is the hand that we have been dealt. But actually what we are is this very complex jumble of culture, family of origin, socioeconomic status, spiritual beliefs, romantic beliefs, self beliefs, gender, perception, all rolled into this one ball and we are an evolution of all of these different parts. You know, they all tell a story and so the way we feel at any given time isn’t necessarily reality, it’s an outcome of the way we’ve been socialized to believe and see the world around us. Sometimes, the big shocker is number one — that you have the opportunity to unravel all of this stuff, and then from a secondary perspective — when you pull the curtain back and you really start to untangle it and choose what you want to think, feel, believe, and experience, it can feel really unsettling and scary.

John: Yeah. Noelle is going a little macro which is great. For me, false beliefs, I always kinda go inward — go micro. I kind of focus on the beliefs about yourself and I think that a lot of those beliefs are engrained from our past, and how we were raised, experiences we had — highschool, whatever. They kind of live in our subconscious and we’re not even aware that we believe that until we come across something in life that shows us that maybe being in for example — being in this relationship where I end up negotiating everything. Maybe that’s because I believe that I’m not valuable, or I believe that I’m not lovable, or I believe that I’m not pretty enough, strong enough, or whatever it is, you know.

Noelle: Yeah. Tell me more about that. So is that a personal example or is that just something you wanna dissect as an example?

John: Noelle always flipping the s**t around and pointing the gun at me. I love it, it’s my morning therapy. No, those aren’t my personal examples but I do have — the false beliefs that I always talk about with myself is being the almost guy. In through life I just had a lot of experiences where I’ve come really close to just big life-changing things whether it’s getting a movie green lit in HBO or like — I had this restaurant bar club that it almost turned into a casino in Las Vegas. We were looking at these rundown casinos that were selling for like 80 million dollars and it was crazy. So lot of stuff that came close — I had an Internet business but it was too early at that time and that didn’t work out. So because of those experiences, I formed this belief in my head that I’m the almost guy that I could drive the ball to 90th yard line but not to the end zone. And so because of that false belief, I pull the trigger on a lot of things but I think when things can become close, sometimes I can self-sabotage.

Noelle: Oh I know and there have been many times where I’ve almost physically attempted to kick your ass because of it.

John: Yeah, which is great.

Noelle: Do I have your permission to get into it a little bit and start busting it?

John: Of course.

Noelle: With that, I see kind of a behavioral pattern where it’s like you pull the trigger on something and then you step back and you’re like, “Okay, let’s see what happens with it”, you know. So what goes on for you in that moment? You pull the trigger on something, and then what do you experience and what do you want to experience differently?

John: So there’s a side to me where I’m a mad scientist and I love that side. So what I mean by that is I always put the cart before the horse. I do things before fear kicks in and that’s when I started the Catalyst course — I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. I sold tickets before I even know what I was gonna teach. So I like that about myself cause it gets me to move on things but once I do it — and I don’t know if it’s because I’m impatient or lazy or I believe I’m the almost guy, I don’t know or maybe it’s a combination of all three — I end up not doing it thoroughly, I end up not pushing it through. Here’s a really funny story. So when I was a kid, I used to be into models — 9, 10, or 11. I got the Dukes of Hazzard car and I remember I was so excited to put this thing together. I instantly, just whole day went to putting this little model together. I got to the very end and instead of learning how to put the axel together and gluing the wheels to the axel so as she rolls, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I don’t know, I think I lost instructions, whatever. So I finished the whole car except the wheels and I ended up gluing the wheels to the wheel well.

Noelle: F**k.

John: So it looked like a low rider and not on purpose but it wouldn’t roll. So it’s like there’s another example of taking something all the way to the end and instead of being thorough and not finishing it, I just glued that s**t to wheel well so the wheels looked like their on but they weren’t.

Noelle: I mean, I guess I’m coming from the perspective of — so I think you’ve been conditioned to think that that’s a bad thing and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

John: Oh, interesting. Yeah, I’ve always labeled that as bad.

Noelle: Why is that have to be bad? I mean, f****** a. You and I are great example of how this works in partnership. Like you jump off a cliff and I’m like, “Motherf****r, I can’t believe you just did that.” And I’m like, “Alright, I’ll figure out how to f*****g get down there.”

John: Yeah, and you know what — and guys if you know, a lot of coaches listen to this. So what Noelle just did was really amazing. ‘Cause in my head I label those things as bad or almost or whatever. And so she just flipped my world by saying “What if that’s not bad?” because that’s a question I never ask myself. I assume that it is bad and I start asking why it’s bad, blah blah blah. But then when she says something like “What if that’s not bad?” it’s like the end of the Sixth Sense movie.

Noelle: How f*****g great is it to be able to have had several examples in your life where you know you’ve come up with like the next g*****n big thing. And we all know that people who are truly successful have seven to ten major failures in life before they hit it right. It sounds like you just need the right team around you to execute your vision.

John: Positive psychology ladies and gentlemen, in action right now, happening. Yeah, thank you for that. It’s a whole another thing to actually start to lean into it and believe that that is not bad.

Noelle: Yeah.

John: But I think that Noelle, you’re right. I think that’s how you — so what she’s doing I think is how you pull out the superpowers of people, because I think people block themselves because they label and judge. But if you’re able to get your client to reframe or to ask a lot of “what if” questions and to kind of flip things on its head, and then they actually start to believe those things. You’re using your force to your advantage instead of fighting yourself.

Noelle: Yeah. Really in all of this, whether you’re pushing yourself outside of your box, to make eye contact and smile at a stranger in a coffee shop, or whether you’re conceptualizing a new enterprise, the thing that’s on the other side of inaction is fear. It’s usually fear of failure or fear of rejection. Those are the two choices, right? And I think the deal is that failure is a word that has gotten a bad rep at society. I mean if we’re really flipping it around and f*****g failure is data, period.

John: Failure is information.

Noelle: Yeah it’s information and so we have this word. Because society has just been set up to put people in doubt, right? So that they can be controlled. If you were a label, you will be passive. That was a natural evolution in society because you have all these humans running around — humans are f******. We needed to do something about it but now all these millennial later, there are a lot of rules and things that make us feel bad and you don’t have to be subject to them because we have evolved in consciousness. So failure is data and I think the more we take the big F power out of that word, the more powerful we become.

John: Yeah and that’s so hard to do because I think so many people — we’re always the hardest on ourselves. If something doesn’t go right or we put effort into something or we invest in someone and it doesn’t go the way that we expect it to, we instantly stamp that with failure.

Noelle: Totally and it can keep up us from doing things. So I have to present at a board meeting in New York. Number one, I’m in San Francisco right now so I have to f*****g get to New York and number two, I’ve never presented at a board meeting in my life. I have no idea what it’s gonna look like, I have no idea what to wear, I have no idea what questions I’m going to be asked and it could be fraught with judgement and fear. About maybe two months ago, I would have been a nutjob about this entire experience but I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve gotten so comfortable with discomfort that I’m like, “Ugh! If I blow this thing, it’s just one meeting and I get to walk away and try again. And now I know what it looks like to be in a board meeting.”

John: Yeah and that’s a great example of a growth mindset. I don’t remember which episode but we were talking about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and Noelle definitely has a growth mindset. Carol Dulac, I think it was Standford when she did a study on what are the main factors of people who are successful and it all came down to having a growth mindset where you’re redefining failures, information, and you’re leaning into things that are obstacles and they actually become the way, they become the process, they become what stretches you that makes you better, stronger, smarter.

Noelle: Yeah. But the tricky part is how to get to a growth mindset, how to adopt (inaudible) cause we do not always have one.

John: Yeah exactly. No we’re not automatically have a growth mindset when born. We have to build one, no?

Noelle: Oh yeah, you have to build one and the way you do it is through self-efficacy and having mastery experiences. So let me explain this too. Self-efficacy is kind of self-confidence but a little bit different. Self-confidence I think is more just like, “I’m great, I like myself.” Self-efficacy is the knowledge that if you don’t know how to do something or you don’t have the resources that you need, eventually you’ll be able to figure it out. Mastery experiences can be very little and very big. They’re tiny examples of proving to yourself that you’re capable of figuring things out.

John: So by experience you’re saying not stuff in your head, you’re saying set yourself up for experience like real-life actual experiences that you put yourself through where you learn from.

Noelle: Yeah. I really like emotional interval training. That’s what I do with my clients. So emotional interval training comes from Albert Ellis. If you push yourself out of your comfort zone for a brief period of time and then you pull yourself back in — here is a really important part that we don’t talk a lot about. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone and pull yourself back in, you then need to build in time for self-care. Because it takes a lot out of you mentally, physically, and emotionally to push yourself out of your comfort zone, pull back in, self-care, and then do it again.  

John: You think a lot of people forget the self-care part?

Noelle: I know I did and that was the biggest learning experience for me in all of this jumble — was not understanding why I was so exhausted and emotionally depleted and mistaking that for my capacity to not perform. I took my exhaustion as a signal that this was too hard for me and no, it’s just hard.

John: Yeah it’s hard as it’s hard but your exhaustion is a separate piece. You’re tired, you’re human, you run out of fuel, yeah.

Noelle: Totally but I have to say, as time has gone on, I’ve been getting less and less exhausted by the things I’m now used to.

John: Oh yeah, absolutely. So it’s just endurance, it’s like fitness.

Noelle: Yeah, totally. And we don’t think of everyday life in that way too. Let’s say your boundary setting with a family member. Going through that initial step of setting that boundary and saying like, “No I don’t want you to talk to me this way anymore”, that can be really exhausting. And then doing it consistently is really exhausting and then you get used to it. The trick is just to keep going no matter what.

John: Absolutely. Just going back to false beliefs, I have some notes here I wanna get through. I use this technique a lot with clients and so I want to give you guys just some steps that I use and you guys can either take them or not. The first step is listen to for the false beliefs. So when you’re talking to a client, they’ll say something — maybe they’ll mumble it under their breath, maybe they’ll say something. You get to talk about relationships or something, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I don’t deserve him.” They say it casually, they’ll say it without announcing it and if you could catch that — when someone says “I don’t deserve him”, that is a false belief, right? And when you kind of follow that string and start talking about processing it, you’ll see that it comes from a core belief which maybe something like, “I’m not worthy.” So being just aware of someone’s false belief and knowing where it comes from would kind of be step one. Then step two would be dissolving and redefining. This is the process — this is the difficult piece. There’s so many different ways that I think we could play around — dissolve. One way is to reframe when Noelle was just doing is to kind of flipping something on its head and then seeing a different perspective on that. Like when she was talking about, “what if you’re not the ‘almost’ guy? What if your ‘almost’ is actually what makes you different and unique? Quote unquote almost. So stuff like that — (inaudible) starts dissolving false beliefs. But the most important, I think the most powerful way to dissolve false beliefs — and this is what Noelle was just talking about, is setting yourself up for a new experience. There’s nothing more convincing than experience. For example, you could think about, I don’t know, if you’ve never had sex and you’re thinking about it as a teenager. You could think about it, you could watch it, and read about it, and all that but its only in your head until you actually go through the experience. It may be a completely different experience and usually the first time is.

Noelle: Yeah. I think sex is a good example and I think it’s important to talk about the way our mind builds up experience and then the reality of it. I think staycations are a great example. You think when people are like, “Oh I’m about to go on vacation” and they have it in their heads that it’s gonna be this really glistful, beautiful opportunity but in reality, hotel rooms are hotel rooms are hotel rooms. You get there and you’re like, “Oh this is nice”, and you’re just you and you’re just in a different spot but then your memory of that vacation softens it and it becomes that wonderful experience. So really grounding in reality and accepting that day in and day out, you have to alter your mind to accept what beautiful, dark, imperfect reality is versus the postcard.

John: Yeah and you know what, we also do that in relationships.

Noelle: Hell yeah.

John: I mean especially in relationships, you know. Trying to match either your partner or the relationship with the postcard that you have in your head.

Noelle: Yup and a lot of times you don’t look at what your needs actually are. You’re just trying to get that postcard. The experience sucks, right? But you’re just like, “But I like the way this person looks with the man bun and the backpack.”

John: That’s really interesting. So then you’re just more obsessed with the poster than the actual experience of the relationship so then people start becoming two dimensional.

Noelle: Totally.

John: You know, I got to say, things like social media, and filters, and Instagram, and all this is only contributing and making us want that poster more instead of wanting to see people for people and lean more into experiences I think.

Noelle: You know what happened to me this week, my mind was blown. I was wandering around, I was looking for a street musician and I finally found a horn player in Union Square. And I sat down in front of this sculpture of a heart to listen to the horn player on Sunday night and it was beautiful. I was really locked in my thoughts and the moment. And a couple came over to me and they asked me to move so that they could take a picture in front of the heart statue.

John: Ah so funny.

Noelle: I was just like, “Oh my god, wow.”

John: I’m experiencing (inaudible), leave me alone.

Noelle: I was like, “Guys, really? This is a huge park” but I was nice about it. But it was just so symbolic, I was like, “You’re missing it. You’re missing this night right now focusing on getting the picture. Dude.”

John: Man I gotta say, I was thinking about this the other day — this is gonna be off topic, but we’ve never in the history of just mankind taken so many photographs of ourselves, ever.

Noelle: Ever

John: I mean before this digital age, back in the polaroid days, no one took a camera and point it at their face. I’ve never seen anyone going up — you take pictures of other people and family stuff but you never take a camera and point it to your face and take photos, ever. That’s never happened. It’s all we do now.

Noelle: It’s a consistent thing on our podcast but I think is such an important one because I think what we’re witnessing in this age is the commodification of the self. And we’re creating this alternative currency of like, followers, and whatever, and I’m watching it go down just like, “Oh god, this isn’t healthy. This isn’t gonna end well.”

John: No because it’s tied to us. It’s tied to our worth. It’s tied to if we matter.

Noelle: Ego, it’s tied to ego.

John: Well ego too, yeah of course.

Noelle: It’s tied to ego. I was listening to this really interesting talk about how followers and likes doesn’t actually translate into the real world skill sets that people need in order to get along with other humans and survive. We’re shutting down that connective teamworking capacity in ourselves because we’re turning so inward. Freaked me right out.

John: Yeah. As we end, I wanna share a couple thoughts. Man, that 30 minutes goes by so fast when I’m talking to you Noelle which is great. That’s a good sign, right?

Noelle: Yeah.

John: Be aware of your false beliefs guys or if you’re helping clients, even if its peripherally, be aware of your false beliefs. Make them realize what they are, where they are coming from, and then trying to come up together with new experiences that could shift their thinking. As I was thinking about ending this Noelle, I thought, “Oh, this was supposed to be about false beliefs and we kind of went everywhere”, and so maybe it’s an ‘almost’ episode but you know what, f**k that. It was meant to be, was meant to be and I love that you and I bird walk and we talk all sorts of s**t.

Noelle: Yeah.

John: And that’s what makes this episode unique instead of me trying to put it in a box and it should go a certain way.

Noelle: Totally. Awesome. I’ll see you in a couple hours online and I’ll see you in a couple weeks in person.

John: Absolutely. Alright thanks Noelle, be well.

Noelle: Take care.

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