Change a Word, Change Your Life
We are revisiting this conversation with Dr. Stephanie Stanfield first aired in March 2019. It's been one of our most listened to episodes for good reason. If you find yourself wondering why your life is unfolding the way it is, take a listen... Dr. Steph may inspire you to change things up simply by changing your words.
You can listen here.
If you prefer to read, a transcipt is below.
Kimberly: This is episode 14 with Dr. Stephanie Stanfield, Change a Word Change Your Life. Yeah. As they say The Show Must Go On. Hi there. Thanks for pushing play on this episode of Living the Good Life. I know you have lots of options on how to spend your time and who to listen to so please know that I'm honored that you are here. I've been a little under the weather this week, perhaps you can hear it in my voice while I'm mostly feeling back to normal. I don't quite sound it yet, but it was important to me to bring you this conversation today with Dr. Steph as I'm sure you'll pick up on. Dr. Steph I go back a ways even still till I gained a little fresh perspective from today's conversation. I appreciate Dr. Steph’s support of the show along with our friends at Texas Media TV and the delightful Paige Slaughter over at Fruition Studio. Fruition Studio helps entrepreneurs embrace marketing and build community Through effective content creation Paige offers a variety of email marketing copywriting and design services and Fruition Studio wants to help you connect with customers and grow your business so find more info and some really great free tool. I was over at FruitionStudio.com as we receive feedback from you. This show is evolving join us at the Living the Good Life Facebook group to chime in with your questions for upcoming guests feedback on current and previous episodes get deeper information on the topics. We've covered and get a sneak peek at what's coming next just search on Facebook for the Living the Good Life group and soon. Yes, there will be free resources and giveaways. Now, let's join the conversation with Dr. Steph. If our guest today is an author a coach, she's a former pilot and a world traveler. She has a PHD in energy therapies and a doctor of Theology and spiritual counseling. She's also a Reiki master. She's my fellow Toastmaster and she has so many other credentials to her name. Dr. Stephanie Stanfield and her company is MakingShiftsHappen.com, makingshiftshappen.com Dr. Steph Welcome to our show today.
Dr. Steph: Thank you Kim. It's so nice to be here, I really appreciate this opportunity.
Kimberly: I love talking with you and just to be clear and let everyone know we know each other we spend a lot of time together. And so I know you're working. I'm really excited to share it with those who are listening.
Dr. Steph: Thank you. And yes, we do. We spend a great amount of time together and it's always delightful.
Kimberly: You've got a lot of heavyweight credentials behind your name. I didn't even get to all of them. What kind of started you down this path. Have you always been you know, this was incredible healer or Where did you come from?
Dr. Steph: My dad was in the military? And so we moved around a lot and tell my parents divorced when I was 14 and that point we lived in Tampa. And one of the things about the military is when you're in the military, everybody has the same kind of a historical experience of not having long-term friends because we moved every 16 months. We were in Germany for three years and we lived in two different places Ramstein and bitburg and my younger sister was actually born in bitburg.
Dr. Steph: So there's a unique growing up experience that people in the military seem to have and they bond together over the fact that they can't bond together. It's really an interesting phenomenon and it was a challenge when we moved off base because most everybody had been lifelong friends from kindergarten on your grouped in school districts and all of that kind of Steph. So I came into a place where I didn't know anybody and that was okay because I knew in the military you don't know. People and you make friends pretty quickly. It didn't work too. Well in this situation, but I did bond with a beautiful young lady. Her name was Mary and we're still friends today umpteen years later. So with that diverse background you kind of became independent and figured out how to manage yourself in different situations. And when I came out to Colorado after I graduated from college, I just never wanted to leave and I settled in and got married fairly soon and I had two sons And then I started getting a lot of chronic illnesses like allergies that would put me down. And then I had a 15-year history of migraines and I wasn't getting better and basically my doctor told me you'll probably be dead by the time you're 35 because you're so reactive to everything in your environment and I worked at the hospital at the time. I worked at Valley View here in Glenwood, and I was non-clinical I was not a nurse, but eventually I taught CPR and that's one of the interesting. Testing things every job that I've ever had people recognize that I like to coach and mentor and teach and so they put me in teaching positions somehow when I worked at a bank they had me training tellers when I worked at the hospital. They had me teaching CPR even though I wasn't a nurse so I was getting sicker and sicker and I did not know what to do and eventually the hospital eliminated my position because of excessive absenteeism and here I was a single parent with two kids and very sick. And I took a course that since March of 1997. I have been pretty much my grain-free and Allergy symptom free and I had to find out how training my brain differently improved my health.
Kimberly: So you took a course. I just want to be clear on that on the process of things. You took a course and then you became symptom-free. Basically. What kind of course was it? Did you take it going in knowing that that's what the outcome or the desired outcome was going to be?
Dr. Steph: No. I hadn't. No clue the course that I took was pain management course, but it was based on the integration of Mind Body Soul and Spirit and when you begin the holistic approach to your health you have different outcomes if you just treat symptoms so symptom treatment is basically what conventional medicine does and they're great at it dressing the whole person. There is a movie from the line in a line of from a movie in Patch Adams where Robin Williams whose Patch Adams Patch Adams was actually a real doctor. I don't know how many people knew that where he said you treat the disease you win you lose you treat the person I guarantee you you'll win every time.
Kimberly: Yeah, I love that movie and I thank you for bringing that back to the forefront of my mind because it was such an exceptional example of really reaching down and and like you say treat the human being because that makes us such a big difference in everything not just the specific symptoms of That disease but life in general just gets better when when you're treated with compassion and kindness and and what's the word when somebody you feel like somebody taking you seriously because so often when you go in to say a doctor, there's that feeling that they're just kind of rolling their eyes at you behind the scenes and they don't really hear what's going on with you. So feeling heard can make a world of difference.
Dr. Steph: I guess feeling heard and being seen our primary and what I do their primary Because so many times as you were just doing we struggle for a word. Well a lot of times we don't have words to describe what's going on. We don't have words that are accurate for a description. I know sometimes we miss label our emotions depending on what was said to us when we were growing up. One of my favorite examples of this is a little kid was excited, you know about doing a roller coaster ride and they're excited and they're just kind of shaking and moving from foot to foot and they can't wait to get on the ride. And then the parent looks down and says now don't be scared. Well now they start to associate being excited with scared and that's kind of a lifelong mislabeling when they get that who excitement and they get that inner thrill and they start looking forward to something they say, oh I must be scared. That's a scary thing. So a lot of people mislabel emotions and therefore miss a lot of great experiences that they can be having because of a simple mislabel.
Kimberly: I heard of a Study recently or I don't know if you would call it a steady but somebody did a little bit of research on that feeling of nerves when you're about ready to step on stage whether to give a speech or do a performance or an athletic Endeavor people that feel really frightened nervous and scared to go on and on to that stage or on to that performance and then people who are excelling in the Sports World. I think it really is where they where they took this was the the sports world and the people that are champions and the people that get off and are super excited about their performance. So they compared the two they compared them people that were reporting feeling scared and frightened and nervous and the people who were feeling excited and they determined that it was the same feeling it was an exact same feeling but the people who were feeling nervous didn't perform as well because they interpreted that as In Fright and fear and the people who were interpreting that as excitement perform better. So I think that's fascinating that really kind of undergirds what you were just
Dr. Steph: saying, right and one of the things that I work with my clients on is the philosophy of change a word change your life. So they might say I'm really scared about this and I say, can you say You're really excited about this? No. No, I'm scared. No, this is scare. This is fear and I said, Well, you're producing the same biochemicals and emotional state and the eyes dilate and other things happen with excitement as with fear. So if you could just start saying I'm excited instead of I'm afraid or I'm nervous or an anxious. One of the other things that I work about is the word worried. I'm worried about and you're just projecting worry into the future and I say can you change the word word to curious instead of being worried about I'm curious about I'm wondering about and that changes the That whole dynamic of mislabeling emotions that are there to help you that are there like you said to get a person out on stage and really thrilled with the experience and have a great time. They can change it. I'm excited instead of I'm scared. Yeah.
Kimberly: I really I love the idea that our life is an experience. It's a stage if you will its it is to be relished and enjoyed and the only thing stopping keeping us from doing that is the thoughts in our own brain because no matter what situation you're in you can choose to find joy in just about everything. So it's like you say it's choose how you're going to approach it with your words and hopefully with your thoughts and your actions
Dr. Steph: too and you mentioned a study I've done lots of research over the years and I still read studies that are being published and something that people don't realize is that our thoughts are habituated in our thoughts. Deuce emotions and one study that really opened my eyes and let me know how empowered I can be is one that says 60% of our thoughts are repetitive. So we think 60% of the same thoughts over and over and over. It's kind of like the groundhog day without changing and a great percentage of those between 45 and 50 percent of those habituated thoughts are negative. That's
Kimberly: so true. And and they say that you are more uh, Unkind to yourself than you are to anyone else. So when you when you think about those negative thoughts most of them are self-directed, right?
Dr. Steph: Right and they're running in the background. I mean we can only have one thought at a time. It's kind of I'll go to a pilot analogy is right. There can only be one active airplane on the runway at a time so we can only have one active thought at a time but that doesn't mean that there are multiple thousands in million because we have trillions of connections right in the brain and they're always active that's not Saying that we don't have millions of thoughts happening in the background. We're just conscious of that one that's Landing in the conscious Arena of a thought so we don't know about all of those and so when you begin to understand some of this you can actually change your habituated thoughts so that your running good positive thoughts in the background as
Kimberly: well. This all sounds really wonderful and and we've had these discussions before you and I personally so it's great that we get to share this conversation, but I'm going to play Devil's Advocate. A little bit because I think that there's so many people and I've been there and I still go there from time to time where you're afraid you're fooling yourself. So yeah, I can sit here and say everything's wonderful. But what if it's really not wonderful, how do you get past that fear of deluding yourself? And why is that fearful? Why do we care if we're diluting herself? Are we waiting for the bottom to call out? I don't know. Maybe I answered my own question, or maybe I'm just in this in this philosophical vacuum.
Dr. Steph: If you're fearful thoughts are even more delusional than your happy thoughts. And a lot of people will tell me Stephanie. You can't be Pollyanna all the time when I'm not I have I have those reminders that come up to let me know that maybe there are certain areas in my life where I need to come back and do a little bit more reminding of I can change a word and change this experience. We're not thinking Pollyanna here. We are knowing that that it was the best of times it was the worst of times. There's only one word in those two sentences that change and energy will follow intention. So I'm looking at
Kimberly: the name of your show
Dr. Steph: Living the Good Life. Is that mean that you want to just have everything positive know you want to understand that people will go through different things during the course of the day. You can feel 20 emotions in 10 seconds. They just Through that quickly what makes it more real is that you have chosen an outlook on life. I have studied optimism with Martin Seligman and he says I'm basically a pessimist. I basically want to find out what's wrong so that I'm not surprised when something bad happens that's kind of the pessimist perspective and he said but I'm learning to be an optimist. I'm learning for what good can happen and then I'm pleasantly surprised when when the good happens and one of the Prime examples of this is if you look for the bad the bad expands if you look for the good the good expands and one of the easiest examples of this is that when you tell your mind and your brain to pay attention to something you will get more and more of that in your life. So have you ever bought a new car for you before you bought that car? And you were trying to decide what kind of car you wanted you may have seen that make and model before and you I thought that's a nice car. Maybe I'll have it. Maybe I'll buy it one day but once you buy it, you see them everywhere on the road, right?
Dr. Steph: Thank uhler same year. And then you buy the car and you see it everywhere.
Kimberly: Okay. Yes. Does
Dr. Steph: that make your car bad or good or just your experience of the car?
Kimberly: It makes it a
Dr. Steph: beverage but could make it really good because enough people were smart enough to buy the same car that you did
Kimberly: you. You can have 20 emotions about that car in 10 seconds. Yes, you can experience
Dr. Steph: and the car itself does not change right? It's not right. The manufacturers went out and put a million more of those cars on the road so that you would feel your cars average. They were there all the time
Kimberly: that makes so much. Yeah, it does make so much sense and I have had that experience. Absolutely and I know other people have as well my question to you though is is their scientific. Fake evidence on this Theory. Does anybody has anybody really studied this because I can I can hear my pessimistic friends in my head right now going. Yeah, that's just a bunch of silliness. There's a
Dr. Steph: lot of studies on this and as I mentioned Martin Seligman, he's probably one of the most highly regarded and well-known people because he States flat-out. I'm a pessimist but I understand how much better optimism is for me my health and my life. Life I get it and then Rupert sheldrake. He wrote several research projects and a book on morphic resonance in the field of morphic resonance. And one of his books that I loved was how dogs know when their owners are coming home and what he says is when you set an intention it fills your energy field with that intention and they have done studies actual studies and you have dogs. So this might be interested.
Kimberly: That when the owner of the
Dr. Steph: dog is at work and they think about coming home and they start getting ready the dogs know this and they go stand by the door to wait for the owners to come home and like attracts like so let's think of this quality. We have Opposites Attract which is true because it's a different. It's an electrical Dynamic and then we have like attracts like which is a magnetic Dynamic and both of these are true. They're the same thing as gravity when May I drop something on the floor I know it's going to fall to the floor and not float to the ceiling so if I think positive thoughts and I look for ways to change a word and change my experience or my life then I begin to attract more of those experiences because I'm creating a brain that looks for those experiences. Now the same way I have trained myself to look for my car and sometimes people even if they see their car in a row of similar cars, they No that's their car because they've understood the features of the car enough that even if there's two or three cars down the road that look exactly or down the parking spaces that look exactly like it. They know where their car is because it's there's the same type of thing. I own that I am more optimistic than pessimistic. I own that I want to change my life and attract more positive people into my life. I own that I want to have more positive emotions. Less than negative emotions and that's what I do and I see where my positive people like you we spend a lot of time together. Why because we feel good in each other's company
Kimberly: most of the time. Yeah
Dr. Steph: and Kim the more you can laugh the better because a 10 second bursts of laughter improves your immune system six hours a 10 second bursts of anger takes you out of the loop for about 12 to 14.
Kimberly: Hours, so Stephanie, you've been a pilot which is kind of extreme. You've traveled the world, which is a cool. You've written books. You went from taking a course and becoming allergy-free to diving into not only a PhD but also a doctor of theology at the same time. It was a dual track. That's pretty extreme. Why did you do that? You
Dr. Steph: use the word extreme. I would say that
Dr. Steph: that's pretty interesting because cuz I really did want to learn how taking a course not medication not symptom treatment. I had to learn how taking a course on pain management could improve my life so dramatically and I guess that takes me back into I'm a lifelong learner. So my dad was in the military, he was a fighter pilot. He was he flew he was a flying tiger. He flew for active tours of Duty and he was actually shot down in Vietnam, and he survived and I he was a great role model for do what you need to do to come out of it in good shape. So he taught me how to fly he taught my older sister how to fly and she was actually a commercial pilot and taught flight instruction. We had a little flying service down at the end of our little 3000 foot strip. That's not much better than a grass strip and it was something that When you learn something new every day, you grow not only as a person but you grow mentally and emotionally and physically and spiritually in ways that enhance your life for years to come and you get in a room with Pilots. Oh my gosh the stories they could tell and you just sometimes sit enthralled in wonder how they walked away from certain situations, and I was fortunate to have an excellent pilot. My dad and I were flying one time and we had a pretty we are cross wind and we have two different channels here that funnel the wind down onto the field and it's Splats and you can see the flags at either end of the field going either opposite directions are pointing towards each other or pointing different ways because the window come down these channels and splat and so we had set up to do a downwind and I was about 800 feet above the ground and we flew by a 3-mile channel and the plane Turned upside down. Hmm. And I just started freaking out. My dad says I have the airplane has a yes, you do because he said no follow me through it and I said, okay. Okay. I got it and he showed me what to do to recover the aircraft because everything has to be opposite when you're upside down can't do the things that you do when you're flying right side up and I'll never forget that he was just so calm and unperturbed and I'm sitting here thinking. Well. Yeah, I mean he survived. For active tours of Duty he was shot at almost every Mission he flew he couldn't afford to get freaked out and for him, it was exciting not fearful. So I now just understand a whole lot more and I went down to a simulator and I flew upside down until I could figure it out so that it wouldn't ever fear make me fearful again. It would just be okay. This is how we recover.
Kimberly: Wow, that's fascinating. Yeah, you know, you don't even think about that. Well, of course until you're in a situation where you'd be necessary, that's incredible.
Dr. Steph: I've never flown upside down.
Kimberly: I have never flown upside down. That's something we have in common
Dr. Steph: and yet we did and it's you can recover from it if you know what to do. So that became my my driving passion. I can pretty much manage anything in my life even if flying upside down if Learn what to do to get out of it.
Kimberly: Now it's important for us to to share a little something about you in that is there's so many coaches out there and I know what you're really focusing on in your current business is your Wellness coaching program for people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired case in point right here. So we want to talk a little bit about the differentiation of coaches because right now coaches as you can find a coach a wellness coach who took a weekend seminar or somebody who has a Ph.D. So, how do you help somebody know what what direction to go? And why is your program different?
Dr. Steph: Thanks for asking that can because I think I have one of the few clinically researched coaching programs because I used my program for my dissertation. So I had to have groups that. Or a certain number they call it an in number. I had to have participatory groups and control groups. I had to have measurements. And so I use two different tools and both of them were subjective. In other words you answer the questions from your perspective. I didn't take blood pressures or anything like that. I had two different tools for measurement which gave me 21 categories of measurement for improvement. And at the end look at participant group took the program the control group did not the control group standard. Practice usually did not have any changes and then I gave the program to the control group and they became the participants and at the end of six months the original participant group still were holding to the changes that they made in the program because I had to track short-term and long-term sustainable changes and in 19 of 21 categories of measurement there were two I had to toss cuz I couldn't get them to come out correctly. We had statistically significant Improvement and the highest category of improvement Kim energy. People had more energy. So when someone says, how does your program work or what benefits do I get I can pull out my research and show them. This is what most people experienced in my research and I've been published because you have to publish your dissertation and I have written a couple of articles that have been published as well. It sounds good it It sounds good to say oh you'll feel better. But you can't quantify that when I say you'll have more energy. You'll have more emotional balance. You'll have less pain. I can show the documentation of people that have gone through the program that can show that this is absolutely
Kimberly: true. That's something that holds so much weight so much credibility. So that really lends weight to everything that we've spoken about today is you You've not only done the work but you've done the research and other people have benefited from the program that you created. That's amazing one last question for you. What is the thing that comes to mind when I say what's an experience that gives you pure unadulterated joy
Dr. Steph: that is so easy being with my children and my grandchildren. There's just no contest. You could tell me the real answer
Kimberly: later. I know that you're telling the truth because I am also a grandma and there is just nothing. Thing that compares to the to the joy and the experiences that your kids and your grandkids are having so I concur that one's pretty easy.
Dr. Steph: That's my children have understood. They don't always listen to what I have to suggest but they have understood and my youngest son, especially I think is a Healer in his own right and he just takes two things like Duck to water and my older son. I called him a crash test dummy because as I was learning all these Slainte I come home and I'd say let me practice on you. Let me practice on you.
Kimberly: All right, children putting the children in the family aside. What's one other luxurious thing you do for yourself.
Dr. Steph: I enjoy my friends. I enjoy living in Colorado walking Outdoors being in nature. I just love where I live. I think I'm so blessed on so many levels. I love learning. I love expanding. I love spending time in nature and with friends and family.
Kimberly: I love chocolate. I'm going to be real here.
Dr. Steph: chocolate chocolate.
Kimberly: Well, this has been a real pleasure. It's been a joy. It's I've even learned a few things about you that I didn't know like flying upside down like who when did that ever come up it never did. I'm glad we had this opportunity. If you would like to reach out to Dr. Stephanie Stanfield at making shifts happen another episode. We have to talk about that name making shifts happen. You can find her at our website at making shifts happen Dot. Come and learn all about the wellness coaching program there and all of her credentials and all of the things that she has offer her books and and everything is just a wealth of information and Doctor Steph has her own podcast if you want to check that out, I believe that's at the website as well. It is fantastic. All right, you have a great day. Thank you. So much laughter is really the best medicine don't you love that feeling of easy conversation with someone whether you've known them for years sometimes. Even just a moment. You just kind of fall into step and conversation flows. Thanks again to Dr. Steph for joining us is my pleasure as always to share this time with you. I'm excited about what's to come and I would love to hear from you on what would help you to live the good life or if you feel like you're already living a life of joy and vitality each day and you have some tips to share with us. I'd love to hear those to reach out at my website Kimberly Henrie.com or join the Living the Good Life Facebook community and chime in there have an amazing day and get out there and live the good life.
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