Rachel West, Successful Woman's Mindset on The Writers Hour - Creative Conversations with Janine Bolon

Rachel West – The Successful Women’s Mindset19 min read

Host: Hello and welcome to The Writers Hour Creative Conversations with Janine Bolon, and I have Rachel West as my guest today. Rachel is a personal growth coach and the founder of Empowering Growth. She helps individuals basically transform their lives, whether they are overcoming addiction, self-sabotage, or releasing limiting beliefs. She helps discover the root cause as to what’s holding you back and prevents you from moving forward and areas of life that you’re basically struggling with most.

She is a certified master Neuro-Linguistic programmer, say that five times fast NLP is what we usually say. She’s also certified as domestic violence victims advocate. Rachel is passionate about helping individuals, really with the life that they seem to be struggling with. She helps broaden their perspectives and understands firsthand how they can release a lot of negative mentals, emotional and behavioral programming that helps one feel, hear and see new possibilities, and focus a new mindset and toolset to get results at a higher level. Also, she is the author of Successful Women’s Mindset. She was able to contribute to this book as a co-author, and we are so lucky to have her today. Thank you so much, Rachel, for being on the show.

Rachel: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here today.

Host: Yeah, thank you for making time for us, but as you know, The Writers Hour is all about the story behind the story. Tell us a little bit about what got you into becoming an author. I mean, here you are co-authoring a book. I mean, that had to be like new, and novel, and different for you.

Rachel: Yeah, the story behind the story, so it is a collaborative book, The Successful Woman’s Mindset. My chapter is called journey to your value within, and the story behind that is my chapter is all about limiting beliefs. I wanted to share my journey in life, and my story of how I got to where I am today. Before my personal development journey in NLP, I was just going through the motions of life living inside the box that society tells you that you need to do all these things. I was just going through checking them off, doing the things.

I begin my NLP journey and discover a limiting belief that had been impacting me for 27 years. In kindergarten, I was diagnosed with a learning disability. Through that disability or belief, from a doctor that told me this, I took on that label, slapped it on my back, and carried it with me. Because I have this learning disability, I thought I wasn’t as smart as everyone else, and that then funneled into reading. When I would read in grade school, I would struggle. When I would read silently, I would struggle to comprehend what I was reading. I would need to read out loud so I could hear myself say the words and then process and comprehend what I was reading. When I would read silently, I was lost. I couldn’t tell you what I was reading so I was like, “Well, it must be because I have this learning disability and I’m not as smart as everyone else.” Then I decided, “Well, I’m just not going to read because I don’t want to be even more different than everyone else and go home and read out loud.” Then funnels into writing.

Well, how can I be a good writer If I don’t read? I’m not as smart as everyone else, and I have this learning disability. So I began my NLP journey and I start learning how I process information, how I communicate, how I learn, and I discover that I never had this learning disability that I was diagnosed with. That was only the way that I learned and processed information. That I felt lost because it wasn’t being explained to me the right way, so now I learned this newfound glory. I peel off that label, I throw it in the trash, and I release that label of having a learning disability.

Releases the belief that I’m not as smart as everyone else. I’m very smart. It releases the belief of not liking to read, and I read almost every day. Sometimes I read traditional books out loud, and sometimes I listen to audiobooks because I need to hear them to understand them. Which then releases the belief of not being a good writer. In school, when we would write reports, I always struggled with reaching the minimum requirement. I would push and pull every kind of word. I would throw it in there just to meet the minimum, and I missed it every time.

Now I’ve released this belief of not being a good writer. This opportunity to be part of this collaborative book comes up, and I’m like, “You know what? I want to do it. I want to see if I can write a chapter in a book because one day I want to write my own book and why not start with a chapter.?” I start writing this chapter and it comes easily to me because all I’m doing is sharing my story, and sharing how these beliefs and events occurred in my life, and how they created a limiting belief within myself. What happened when I discovered what they were and when I released them. I write this chapter and I exceed the maximum requirement of words.

Host: What a nice change of pace.

Rachel: Yeah. The struggle that I always seem to have when it came to writing, came easy to me. I was able to write quickly, it just came to me. I put myself in a quiet space. I got myself into a meditative type state, where I took some deep breaths, and I just started writing my story.

I was told one time that there’s no such thing as bad writing because once you write down what you think, you want to say, and you go back and reread it, either it’s perfect the first time, or you think, “Oh, I could add this to it,” or, “Oh, I could say that a different way.” That’s where the editing within yourself comes into play, and then you go into the next self and have somebody else do it. As long as you can get something out on paper, no matter what it is, that’s where you want to start.

Host: That gets people started on where they need to work on their writing, and helping with their self-limiting beliefs and all that. Because that’s getting a lot of press these days. These self-limiting beliefs, and there’s a lot of coaches running around that say, “Oh, I can help release them for you.” But one of the things that I really enjoyed about reading your work has been the fact that you’re very upfront about what your story is, and you’re very upfront about who you like to help. When it comes to writing, how did you weave that into your story? Or is that more about what you’re doing for your second book, rather than your first book?

Rachel: Weave[?] it in. How I wrote the chapter was I shared my journey. As I’m sharing my journey, the purpose of that is for you to understand where I’m coming from, how I got to where I am today. Sharing where events happened in my life that created that belief then I asked questions in regards to that part of my story, to get you thinking about your story. The whole goal of the chapter is for you to think about your story, your life events, your experiences, and wherein your life did something happen? Did an event occur that created the belief within yourself? Was it somebody telling you this and you believed it like I did? Was it’s another part of the book I talk about religion?

You’re born into your religion, I was born into a Catholic religion. At the age of 10, very early on, for some reason, I didn’t know I felt off about it. So I walked away from the church and then when I was 14, freshmen in high school, I realized that I wanted to be a part of the church. I was missing something so I wanted to get back into it. However, it wasn’t the Catholic religion. I wanted to find what felt right with me, what aligned with me. My goal in sharing that is we’re born into our family, into our religion, into our culture, x, y, z. We go through life, and we think that we have to be that. If you know, in your heart, in your intuition, that you’re not aligned with that but that’s okay. Because everybody’s different, and everybody has the right to go on their own discovery and find their alignment in any area of their life.

Host: One of the things that are fun to talk to you about is, you have all these processes, you’ve got steps and ways of integrating because you’ve had to learn so many different styles. The most mysterious one was the one you had, right? You were labeled as having a learning disability, when really, it was just, “Oh, learning how I process information,” right? You help people with how to take your trade, self-judgment for new possibilities, new potentials. One of the things as a writer is we may be working away on our book, or we’re working away on a storyline, and all of a sudden, we just can’t get past that inner critic, that self-judgment that you talked about? How do you trade that out for opening up your potential and being able to be more creative with your story?

Rachel: Yeah, it starts with having an awareness. Prior to my personal growth journey in my NLP journey, I have no knowledge of that. If you would have asked me, if you would have talked about limiting beliefs and negative self-talk, I wouldn’t have been able to understand or even know what you’re talking about. If this is you, and you’re me a few years ago, then it starts with awareness. How do you become aware? You start paying attention to the thoughts that you’re having. How do you do that? Well, in the beginning, it takes a lot more effort because you’ve created this habit.

The way you think, the way you process information, the way you communicate, it’s all become a habit. It’s a story that you’ve been telling yourself over and over every single day. So now you believe that story, you have this habit. In order to reverse that, to start thinking differently, you have to pay attention to what those thoughts are that you’re having at the moment. What you could do is set a timer on your phone. You could do it every hour. The more the better in the beginning. When that timer goes off, write down what you’re thinking in that moment.

Then next to that, write how that thought makes you feel and then write if that’s a positive or negative thought. Most of the time, they’re negative thoughts. They’re things about what we don’t want to happen because that’s the story you’ve been telling yourself. Once you can identify, you’re seeing this list, you’re seeing a trend happen in your thoughts by writing it down and seeing the thoughts that you’re having, you can then start to shift them. Well, how do you do that? Every negative has to have a positive. If your thought is negative, what’s the opposite of that? Then immediately shift that thought to that opposite, the positive.

Over time, you could stop writing. You can just do it automatically. A thought comes into your mind, it’s negative. You immediately shift it to the positive and what you’re doing is training your brain to start thinking the opposite, the positive. It’s a lot more work in the beginning because like I said, you’ve been in this habit, you’ve been in the cycle. It takes more effort to change that habit. Now, just automatically shifting those thoughts once the negative one comes in. Now your brain starts thinking your mind more positively all the time. So now the positive thoughts are just automatically coming in on their own because you’ve shifted it. Once that happens, like I said, when I have that awareness of that limiting belief, that label I was given, and I accepted. Once I had that awareness, I let go of that. No, that’s no longer true. That’s no longer me. Then what happened, it was a ripple effect, and things possibilities just started to happen. It’ll happen for you as well.

Host: When people first start setting their timer so that they can pay attention to the thoughts they’re having, because a lot of times, we humans, can think pretty fast. We can have thousands and thousands of thoughts in a day. I remember somebody once did a study and it was somewhere between the tune of 20 to 25,000 thoughts a day. If you really pushed it, you were super high speed, you could push it to 40, 45 thoughts. It was overwhelming to me to even think about that. You have that ability, it doesn’t matter who you are, you have that ability to think that intensely. When you first started out in your own journey, how many times were you setting your alarm for? What was your timing? Was it once an hour?

Rachel: Yeah, I did it once an hour.

Host: I see.

Rachel: And it’s quick’

Host: True.

Rachel: I mean, the timer is just a reminder for you to stop and do that writing. Because if you don’t have that timer, that reminder, because it’s not a habit yet, you’ll end up forgetting or you’ll get busy throughout your day. You’re doing your task or meeting with people. If you have a really busy schedule like I said, you don’t have to do it every hour, but the more the better. Whatever fits into your schedule, if that’s twice a day in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to be, that’s fine. Just keep it consistent and keep doing it. That timer goes off and it takes a minute or two. You just write what I’m thinking at this moment, what I’m feeling in this moment, and is it positive or negative? That’s it. You just want to have that data collaborated in one spot that you can look at and see the trend that’s happening over a certain period of time.

Host: Oh, it’s very beneficial. It’s one of those things that, well, I was trained by a lot of Buddhist monks when I was quite young. Instead of thinking about your thoughts, or see where your thoughts are, they were very big on taking a moment to breathe, just breathe. One of the times that were in the temple would go off at the quarter of every hour. Every quarter-hour, you would get the reminder to breathe. That was very natural for me.

When I first started this process of really wanting to turn my life around by creating a better mindset for myself, I was shocked stunned at how many negative thoughts were crowding around in my brain. Because I always saw myself as a pretty optimistic person. But when I started my process, it was every 15 minutes, because I wanted this nipped in the bud. But then I’m very direct and it’s like, “Oh my gosh, is this going on in my head? I want this to stop.” I was like “We’re going to fix this.” I was very passionate about it.

Thank you for sharing about once an hour, because some people will find that much easier. But if you’re somebody like me that it’s like, “Okay, I want this to change. I want to pivot now. I want to get this done as quick as possible without injuring myself.” I definitely was doing that every 15 minutes. I was checking in on myself and I only needed to do that for three days. I did that for three days and I was stunned at how my life was changing.

Rachel knows where she’s talking about. She’s got excellent, excellent processes. As we all know, as writers trying to get that head trash is what I like to call it out of our head is very beneficial. Before we wrap up, anything else you want to share with us as a writer on? What is the project you’re working on now? You mentioned that you had another book.

Rachel: Yeah, I’m in the process of writing my next book, which is an entire book that was my goal. Janine and I were talking before, and I was telling her how easy this chapter was for me. Now that I’m writing my book, the process is so much different when you’re writing a lot more. The thing was, I started writing one chapter. I came up with the title, came up with the subtitle, came up with the chapter names. Some people do that in the beginning, some people wait till the end. No right or wrong what’s best for you.

I came up with all that to start then I just looked at the chapters, which one resonated with me the most, and I started writing about it. I got about 500, 700 words in, and then I was just stuck. I didn’t know what else to say. I’m very analytical, do an order thinker. I was thinking, “Man, I really should get this done before I move on to the next chapter,” but I was really stuck and it took me a few days. Just stuck, stuck, stuck every time I go to write. I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to set this aside, and come back to it. I’m going to start writing the second chapter.” I looked at all the list of chapters. Found and picked the one that resonated with me the most and started writing about it. I got three or four paragraphs in and I’m stuck again.

Now, I haven’t worked on my book and X amount of time. Few weeks, you once I don’t know, because I just was feeling stuck. I was talking to my friend, I’m like, “I really want to get this book done but I’m feeling stuck,” and she’s like, “You don’t have to do it in order. You don’t have to finish this chapter before you start this chapter.” And for me, I was like, “What? You don’t have to do that?” But her saying that was eye-opening. Like, “You’re right, I don’t have to have this chapter complete before I start the next one.” I was just thinking, “Well, why would I want to have a little bit of this chapter, a little bit of this chapter, a little bit?” But actually, that’s the right way to do it. Once she said that I started writing my book, and I just opened up the other chapters, “What can I say in this one? What can I say in this one? What can I say in this one?” I started going back through the content. I had already created blogs, YouTube videos, and what can I take from there that I want to implement into my book?

That’s where I’m at now, but it took her saying that I don’t have to do it this way, in order to complete it. Whatever your process looks like for you, and you’re feeling stuck, move on. Because it’s better to move on and start doing something than doing nothing for a few months like I did.

Host: That’s where I like to use the word discipline, the discipline of writing. A lot of people take that word negatively, to mean external discipline, but the internal discipline of just keeps moving forward. Just keep putting one word after another. Move on to the next chapter whatever that move on looks like for you. That’s where writing is a craft or art because of the self-discipline that you are bringing to that equation. How has your self-discipline changed now that you’re back to writing again? Are you excited about getting back to the keyboard and have ideas now whereas before, it was like the dry, parched desert?

Rachel: Exactly. I feel excited because now I’m like, “Wow, I don’t have to have this completed before I move on. Just like you said, Just move forward however that looks. That’s exciting to me because not only that is I’m seeing that moving forward as well. It makes me more excited, like, “Oh, this is coming together.” When you start seeing results, no matter how that looks, you get that excitement in it. You want to keep going and you want to finish it. Whereas if you just stay stuck, because you can’t think of how to finish this paragraph, or you can’t think of how to start this one, move on and write whatever you can as long as you’re writing then you’re seeing those results. Then that’s going to create your excitement to keep going.

Host: Excellent advice. Where can people go to learn a little bit more about you, Rachel?

Rachel: They can visit my website. It’s empoweringgrowthcoach.com. You can find all my social media links there to connect with me on social media. If you want to reach out and have a phone call, I’d be happy to talk to anybody. My phone number and email are there as well.

Host: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to chat with us because I know that when you’re writing and you’re in the midst of another project, writing another book, it could be very time-consuming so we appreciate your time today.

Rachel: Thank you so much.

Host: And this is Janine Bolon wrapping up with The Writers Hour Creative Conversations. We broadcast every Friday so definitely stay tuned as we bring on authors and artists of all kinds that help us with that craft we call the written word. Have a great day.