Lee Evans 00:03
When we develop empathy as a skill, as a leader or anyone, we become more powerful. Right we we unlock people’s performance when love people’s potential, we make people feel valued, cared for connected, link together, build teams. Empathy is kind of like so important, right. And it’s a skill that anybody can learn.
Adam Baruh 00:39
Welcome to The Change where we share stories and inspiration from servant leaders working to normalize the mental health conversation and increase empathy in the workplace. I’m your host, Adam Baruh. Mindset, the key to unlocking our potential, our ability to perform at our best and achieve powerful results. All comes from the ability to maintain a positive and focused mindset. I can tell you personally, how difficult it can be to maintain a positive mindset. In the past year, I feel I finally unblocked my ability to maintain perspective and mindset. But this took a tremendous amount of work. And keeping a focus perspective still requires constant work. Much like maintaining the body requires we exercise regularly. Keeping the right mindset for performance works the same way. Here to speak with us today about mindset. And the ability to perform at a high level is Lee Evans, a high performance coach based in the UK? Hey Lee, welcome to The Change.
Lee Evans 01:35
Thank you. I didn’t What a wonderful intro. Thank you.
Adam Baruh 01:38
Yeah, thank you so much. Appreciate you being here. Well, let’s start with this. And the audience is not going to be able to see what I see here since we just capture audio, but you’re wearing a shirt today that says something positive. Tell us a little bit about that shirt. And that statement?
Lee Evans 01:54
Yeah. No worries. I think it I love the shirt. And I bought it this weekend. Actually, I saw it in a shop. And I was like, Yes, that’s the t shirt for me. You know, because ultimately, I think we should try to be feel do something positive, right? Be something positive, do something positive, feel something positive every day? And if you have that as a goal, kind of winning, right?
Adam Baruh 02:20
Yeah. I mean, you know, it’s something we all strive for. I mean, I, I haven’t met a single person that wants to stay negative or be negative, right? It’s, it’s just, you know, some people get kind of, like locked into this way of thinking, or, you know, they have these neural pathways developed where, you know, when stuffs kind of when life is throwing us a curveball, it’s like that automatic response to just ah, like, I’m a victim, like, you know, you want to, you want to kind of reject it. But, you know, just, it’s hard work maintaining a positive mindset. Tell us a little bit about, you know, like, the work behind it.
Lee Evans 02:56
Yeah, I think, I think it’s hard work. If you’ve developed a negative mindset, it’s even more hard work than right. Because, you know, ultimately, if you go right back to the start, nobody’s really born with a negative mindset. We’re all born with a growth mindset. Imagine we come out of the womb where like, it’s raining today. Exactly, especially in the UK, right? We’ve been, we’ve been knackered, but no, well, you know, so understand what I mean, if we go back to the start, this is learned behavior, right? So I understand what you’re saying it’s hard work. But it’s hard work if we’ve developed this negative mindset, which comes from our learning, right, and usually the opinions of others or authority figures, experiences in our lives, etc, etc, which develops this belief system, this script, this identity that we see ourselves as I agree, then it’s hard work. If you and most people, let’s be honest, have got into that space, at some point in their life. It’s difficult not to, you know, these days with social media, how it is with kind of the news, feeding everybody with all of the tragedy and, you know, the really vivid images that excite the imagination, negative way, all of those things, so, nobody’s blaming anyone here, right. But I think, to to develop, you know, our job really is to, once you develop a positive mindset, which comes in a number of practices, really, and by surrounding yourself with certain people, and you’re using certain tools, so there’s kind of like a plan to this. Once you do that, that can gather his own momentum in the same way that a negative spiral can gather its momentum, you know, right.
Adam Baruh 04:36
I mean, it’s like the way that I’m looking at is you know, if you want to go back to and relate it to working out, you know, for physical health, you know, when you if you haven’t worked out, you know, when you start doing it, it sucks, it doesn’t feel good. You want to die, like run away, but over time, the more you stick with it, your body gets used to it, you develop eventually like a runner’s high if runnings your thing and that feels tremendous. And I’ve experienced that a lot. And I have to think that, you know, kind of working out our mental muscles the same way, like, yeah, it may, if we’re used to living in this negative mindset, it’s going to be, it’s going to be hard and a challenge, your perspective is just not there yet. Right? But the more you do it, the more you kind of stay on top of it and maintain it. And, you know, for me, I think the key is self awareness. I think for me everything around mindset, what it what has unlocked, my ability to at least more maintain a healthier mindset is the self awareness where I can kind of catch myself if I’m, if I’m feeling like I’m, you know, May, my mind may be going towards the negative, I just can catch myself and like, okay, take a step back, maybe take a walk, or, you know.
Lee Evans 05:51
Yeah, I’m just talking about some of the examples then of how we develop a positive mindset, you know, so awareness doesn’t happen on its own. It’s comes from practicing reflection, practicing asking questions, practicing, checking in with myself, how am I being, you know, how am I feeling through reflection develops awareness, right. And awareness then allows you to see clearly what you are on are doing. And the other thing you talked about is with the gym, for instance, is conditioning, right? So we’re conditioning, a muscle or we’re conditioning a mind. And to and mindset, if you break it apart, is the practice of setting the mind. And when you do that, you condition your mind, right?
Adam Baruh 06:39
Absolutely. All right, so So let’s do this. And I do this with everybody, I’d like to start with your childhood, um, you know, as we as we get going here in the interview today, because, you know, in particular, for you, I know that you your childhood came from a very painful beginning, I mean, you publicly explain on your website, how your father left before you were born, and that your your mother dealt with some, you know, painful mental illness. So, you know, would you mind taking us back to the circumstances you face growing up? And then how these led to the work that you do today as a high performance coach?
Lee Evans 07:15
Yeah. So as a child, I didn’t really know any different I don’t think you know, any, nobody does, right. So yeah, my father was born, my mum, I have memories of her when I was very young, which were happy and positive. And then as we kind of got, later on into her having my own, my younger brother and younger sister, she started to develop kind of depression, postnatal depression, those kinds of things. So, ultimately, she took her own life when I was 15. And my kind of younger siblings were 10 and 12 years younger than me. And that really is a shaping moment in my life, you know, there are shaping sensitizing events that happen in people’s lives. That was one of them. And I think, you know, from the these events, those post traumatic stress or post traumatic growth, you know, and I very much take that as a drive me now as drives my mission, my purpose, my legacy, all of that comes from that moment, really. I didn’t really know what to do. So I joined the British Army, as a kind of young 16 year old with no real prospects, no real confidence, no real have anything apart from Hope, right, and joined the army. And that, yeah, that kind of changed my life, you know, I was there for 24 years, became a commando, when through the kind of high performing teams served in conflict around the world number of times. But there’s where I really learned the power of relationships, and how those things bond people together and how that makes us happy, how it makes us healthy, and makes us perform better. I also learned the power of values. Because it’s a values driven organization. That means the values are baked into the processes in the organization, you get promoted based on values, you get disciplined based on values, everything is based on values. And that means it’s more effective, because it’s based on these values. And the reason is based on values because of it makes the organization more effective. And we need to be effective because somebody might die if we get it wrong, right? Yeah. So yeah, my military life kind of entered me into coaching then, about halfway through it. I was in the military diving school coaching all the military divers, or teaching rather teaching diving in the military. And they brought a coaching culture in they wanted to increase performance. People weren’t performing well, because of pressure and all of that. So that’s my real gateway into coaching and the power of development and the power of the mind which I then became fascinated with. This is about 2009 or so. So it’s 1314 and 15 years ago. And that’s when my journey really started into the mind coaching development took me into a number of different things which have led to today, including therapy. And, as in me being a therapist for 10 years while still being in the military, but also into me testing my own mind, I wanted to understand what is this power of the mind that people are talking about? And I tested it by having painful surgery number of times with no anesthetic. I was kind of like, if this is going to be what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, which feels really great. I need to know not gas, you know, so I was like, Okay, well, let’s do the test. And once I’ve done that, a new level of possibility, belief opened up inside my mind, which I then have been chasing for 15 years. And, and seeking more clarity in how do I make an impact? I don’t make a positive impact. How do I unlock change faster, quicker? With more people? How do I do that? That’s been really my focus for 15 years.
Adam Baruh 11:16
Yeah. So um, I have a couple of questions. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna rewind again, and kind of go back to your childhood. I mean, do you remember, you know, as a young man, witnessing your mom’s mental health struggles? Like? I mean, you kind of mentioned before, it seems normal to you, just because you didn’t really, you know, you didn’t grow up any other way. Like, what do you recall, in terms of, you know, how you are perceiving the stuff that your mom was going through?
Lee Evans 11:42
Yeah, it’s really interesting to me how the mind works. And I think what happened to me is that the thing I was experiencing was so painful, that my mind protected me from it. So my memories are, you know, there are some vague memories of erratic behavior. So for instance, sometimes my mom would come home on the weekend from the hospital that she was staying in. And I remember walking in once to the front room, and the people who collect the garbage the bins, they were in the front room with my mother, kind of having a chat, you know, and all that kind of been man uniform. And there’s little, you know, I didn’t know who they were, I was totally erratic behaving, I remember that, for instance, it was later on, but it was very clouded. It still is. And I’ve done a lot of work on my mind and re recalling memory and all of that. But I believe that the my mind closed the thing off to me in terms of emotional pain. Yeah. So although I had therapy years later, as part of my own therapy training, I think I don’t, you know, I just know that it’s planted something inside of me, that drives me every day. And I have great memories of from earlier in our life. And but I think the mind has the ability to do that to close off pain that is so bad, that somebody can use it or function or go forward. You know?
Adam Baruh 13:12
I totally agree with that. So the other and you just were touching on it. But the other the other question I wanted to ask, you know, it just seems like in this day and age, you know, therapy, and counseling is becoming, you know, more widely recognized as, okay, and acceptable, whereas, you know, even probably 15 years ago, there was a lot of stigma around it. And so, you know, did you had you received any counseling or therapy, you know, after your mom had suicide?
Lee Evans 13:43
No, not immediately. No, I mean, my default reaction to that was to leave school. Look, after my younger brother and sister who, you know, tend to have, he’s younger than me, so they were kind of like, two years old and four years old ish. So I left school, you know, kind of didn’t do any of my exams or anything like that. And my dad went out to work to keep us kind of functioning, and I became the parent figure with my dad to kind of bring my brother and sister up. And then I kind of joined the army and when I didn’t have any counseling or anything, then although later on in my life, when I became fascinated with all of this, part of my own therapeutic training was to have therapy and that came out there, you know, very powerfully. Yeah.
Adam Baruh 14:36
Okay. So you touched on belief systems before and so I kind of want to shift in the in the direction of of talking more about that and I’m gonna, I’m gonna read a quote that I read on your website. Yeah. “You are not your problem. What you have come to believe about yourself is likely to be the main part of the struggle and frustration you feel now.” And you know, other people that have spoken to here on the change talk a lot about this about belief systems and about this, you know, in particular, this victim mentality that can be prevalent, you know, when you don’t have the right mindset where, you know, things are happening to you and not for you. So talk to us a little bit about belief systems, and you know, in your own life, how you’ve recognized where your belief systems lie, and perhaps, you know, where you may have changed them.
Lee Evans 15:22
Yeah, okay. And it’s such an important topic and such a huge topic. But to start with, you know, beliefs are your psychic reality, that’s what they are, right? They’re not necessarily real, they are real in your mind. Right? They are your psychic reality is how you experience what life what you think about yourself, how you identify yourself, your self image is wrapped up in all of this, right? Beliefs are also largely subconscious. I not in conscious awareness. So, you know, we think with our conscious minds, but we don’t generally have a belief system there, that’s kind of beliefs come out in the way you feel. So we have these beliefs. They all learned the, like we talked about right at the start, you know, nobody comes out with this kind of fixed, negative mindset they come out with, let me out the world, let me learn to walk, let me learn to run, let me learn to talk and speak, and jump and dance and all of those things and not care what anybody thinks about me because nobody cares, because the child doesn’t care if he falls over, they don’t care what you think. Right. But we then learn, because of societal rules and expectations, and, and also attributions people might give to you, you know, we learn to build these beliefs about we build these beliefs of ourselves that are learning these beliefs, at some stage in your life, generally become fixed ish, you know, like, 13-14 years old, something like that, is the generally accepted idea where your identity is kind of shamed and fixed and for not that, you know, we know that people can change, of course, they can, no, I wouldn’t be doing what I do if they couldn’t, to the beliefs of their and we don’t really know that. And our indication of a belief operating is our feelings. Right? So if we don’t feel good enough, in some way, and we feel like other people are better than us. When I am then in the situation with somebody that I perceive to be better than me, I will feel that I will feel like I want to avoid or feel like, I want to not contribute not engaged, run away all that kind of stuff. Because I’m perceiving a danger. Yeah, right. And I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it. So the belief leads to the feelings, the feelings, drive, most people’s behavior, by most people are driven by the way they feel, it’s like, if I feel like going for a run, today, I will go for a run, if I don’t feel like going for a run, I won’t go. Or if you upset me, you make me feel sad, I will lash out cry, you know, so we our actions are driven by our feelings. So this whole system operating here that starts with the beliefs, it leads to the way we feel it drives the way we act. And then ultimately, that system is who we become, we become that person, right. And we reinforce the system, the belief again, so if I believe something about myself that you know, you’re better than me, or whatever it might be, I feel this thing I my actions to avoid, I feel safety, because it’s not there anymore. The danger, and now I kind of reinforced that belief of that was a good thing. I run away from that person, right? And it keeps eating itself. And it’s only through penetrating into that belief system. It’s only through things like targeted reflection, things like internal and external questioning, can lead to realizations, insights, like awareness, like you talked about, it’s like, oh, I didn’t realize I was doing this being like this every time or whatever it might be, you know, so there’s a whole complex system going on here. But it’s a story. Exactly. It’s a narrative.
Adam Baruh 19:25
It’s a narrative. Exactly. And, you know, and I’ll share, you know, for me, you know, some of what I’ve learned in the last couple years, and a lot of what you said just, you know, touches on this, right. So I had, I had, you know, some specific traumatic events from my childhood. And I mean, this happened when I was six years old. You know, like what you were saying before the mind kind of does, you know, a lot of magic to kind of protect ourselves, right. And so, I think what happened was for me, at six years old, I had built this belief system. It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t think So it just manifested that, you know, I was the cause for the trauma that it was my fault that I instigated, you know what happened, I had literally lived, you know, I’m almost 50. Now I literally went almost my whole life with that belief system and, you know, wrapped in that was a lot of negative self talk as an adult, a lot of insecurity, anxiety. And it wasn’t until I started working with my coach Kristin, you know, were just, like, almost out of the gates working with her. And this was completely unintentional, just unexpected took me by surprise, you know, we had a conversation one day, and we were just talking about shame versus guilt. And I, I kind of didn’t really know the difference between the two. And I said, Well, you know, can you explain, you know, what the differences are there. And, and she had just mentioned, how shame is something that belief systems get built around, like identity, attributes get built around. And, you know, that conversation kind of, like, kind of stuck with me, I didn’t, you know, we were kind of wrapping up our session. So I didn’t really think a whole lot into it until kind of like later that night, the house is quiet, everybody’s asleep. I’m kind of finishing watching a television show, turn the show off. And I was just kind of sitting there, it’s I think it’s like midnight, and that conversation kind of re entered my brain. I was like, Ha, shame and guilt, like do what is, do I feel shameful for anything? I hadn’t thought that I did. But then all of a sudden, I mean, it was literally, like the parting of the sea, like, Yeah, I mean, the way that I look back at this is like, my higher self was finally saying, You know what, he’s ready for this information now. And I finally recognize, you know, what, going back to that traumatic event, when I was six years old, I was a victim. It’s clear as day now that I was a victim. i How could I be a perpetrator at six years old? Yeah. But, and then it was just like, literally, at that moment, I recognized how I had built this belief system that I mean, as powerful and truthful in my cells of my body. How I felt that I realized now that the sham not all was I was a victim. Yeah. And so that that was the thing that was the catalyst that kind of, you know, helped me to grow and heal. And yeah, it’s just, you know, belief systems can be very, very powerful. And I think a lot of us walk through the this world thinking a certain way. Another thing you touched on, which I think was really powerful, is, we think sometimes we build these belief systems that we are our emotions. Yeah. Like, I lived with a lot of, you know, feeling, like, you know, I was to blame, like, I, I’m not a good person, because I, you know, perpetrated this event. And so it made me You know, I was angry a lot at the time. And, and then it, you know, I built this belief system that, oh, I’m just an angry person. No, yes, I’m angry, because I have this unresolved trauma that, you know, and belief systems. And that’s where my anger is from, I’m not an angry person. And I feel much, you know?
Lee Evans 23:22
Exactly. And that’s, that’s the problem is we identify as, you know, a, we’re not our thoughts, be, we’re not our feelings, you know, we’re not any of those things we are the awareness that is that we could go into something more spiritual, deeper kind of thinking here, but we are the point of awareness that is able to be aware of our thoughts is able to be aware of our feelings and is able to choose our thoughts and choose our feelings and build beliefs and, and all of that stuff. And the thing that you I’m really glad that you had that moment. And what I what I would like to just point out there is you’ve just proved a truth, which most people don’t believe. Most people believe the change takes a long time. Right? Change doesn’t take a long time. Getting to the awareness usually takes a long time if anyone ever gets there because they don’t do the work to try to get to the young get the coach like you did, they don’t get the perspective. They they just think that’s who they are right to change doesn’t take a long time at all, when somebody starts to engage in meaningful change with the right people, the right practices, and the right support. Change happens really quickly. Yeah, and sustainably as well. You know?
Adam Baruh 24:40
I totally agree with that. Well, let’s, let’s shift gears a little bit. Let’s talk about your coaching. You do you know growth, community coaching, Team growth, coaching and individual coaching. So let’s start with the growth community. So what is this and you know, what does community coaching involve?
Lee Evans 25:00
The Community lights me up is like It’s my legacy. This is a collection of people from around the world, who it came from me trying to solve a problem. From group coaching I was doing with military groups and sibling groups, I was coaching them. And after a period of time, it’s like, you know, a coaching is an intervention, right? You do something different when you’re with a coach, because they are asking you questions, they’re holding you accountable. They’re challenging you in different ways. They’re offering you new perspectives, etc. When you’re doing that yourself, you’re gaining that awareness, you’re acting on it, and there’s momentum. And then that when the coaching stops, usually what happens is the momentum stops, because you don’t keep doing the same things in the same way. Right? So people were coming to me and going, I need to top up in a group or can we do a refresh or whatever, right? And I was like, Okay, how do I solve this problem. And I solved the problem by creating a community of people who want to make high performance and growth a way of life for them. So it came from people who have been through some form of coaching with me before, or therapy, even when I was a therapist, they were one of my clients or something. And I basically said, Okay, there’s the answer the how we keep this building as a way of life, right? We build a community, people who actually, so I coached the community daily in terms of audios so I have there’s an app people are inside this community. Yeah, the daily audios where I just five minutes, just talk about a topic, give a framework just to reset refocus people’s minds daily. So they feeding their mind daily with positive ideas and growth. And then there’s weekly check ins we do. So every Friday, we get together, whoever comes on, we kind of get into breakouts, we share, we share wins challenges to support each other, just like 40 minutes or so. And there’s monthly coaching which a 90 minute fall sessions, which follow a whole curriculum of High Performance Coaching, which is 48 sessions long. So monthly is takes, you know, four years, we’re going through this journey and the initial phase, okay. And then there’s a huge amount of other things in there, like resources, live breathwork sessions every day. So it’s basically how we do this together. We’re on a journey together. You know, I love that. It’s so it’s kind of just literally lights me up every day. You know, it’s what it’s wanting to look back on and go. Happy days.
Adam Baruh 27:28
Yeah, I love that that so much. What I read about the 555 Club, what is that?
Lee Evans 27:34
Yeah, so the 555 Club is incorporated into the community is a guy called Sean Daugherty, who is from Northern Ireland, he survived cancer by basically using his breath, right, and kind of really going very seriously into healing himself, and doing everything he could setting the conditions. So they were as in his favor as possible. And a huge amount of that came from the breath. So he runs the five by five Club, which is five minutes of breathwork, five minutes of meditation, five minutes of gratitude practice, and we do it for Well, there are five opportunities a day to do that, and it’s the Zoom link, you join John’s there. And it’s a kind of amazing way to build a habit around, being very calm, being very present, being very focused and feeling grateful for your life. And connecting with the moment with other people with the breath with important things and doing that, as a habit, you know, says that’s what the five foot five club is. And it’s kind of, it’s a really important game changing resource that comes as part of the community, basically.
Adam Baruh 28:43
Yeah, and I love the gratitude practice there. And, you know, it’s a practice and, you know, much like when our motto, like we build these neural pathways, where our minds just kind of resort back to maybe some negative ways of thinking. I mean, you know, practicing gratitude is, is work and, you know, when you keep up with it over time, you’ll you’ll redevelop your neural pathways and where as perhaps, you know, when I mentioned this before, like life throws you another curveball, whereas, you know, perhaps you may have gone negative with that before when you have a life dedicated to gratitude. I mean, it is. So that’s the fundamental building block of mindset, as far as I’m concerned, because, you know, you’re just developing these new pathways that will just go to gratitude and grow, go to appreciation.
Lee Evans 29:35
Gratitude makes you more resilient, it makes you more positive, makes you healthier, is so powerful. And I would kind of agree with you. It’s a practice, but you can get really good at that practice, right? You can get amazing at any practice that you practice really well that you can get really good at it. So then it brings deeper levels of feeling to you because the key with gratitude is to feel You’re grateful not just think I’m grateful for this and grateful for that I’m grateful for this right and you just say it and take a box and doesn’t feel nothing changes in your feeling body. That’s not a practicing gratitude that’s talking about something and feeling something different. We’ve got to feel grateful as a habit, you know, first thing in the morning is what I do in the FIFO practice is what I do in the evening is what I do practice, you know, so it’s, that’s the way developing the mindset. And I would agree with you that gratitude is one of the most important aspects of mindset. But I would also add to it, kindness, especially yourself, yes, is probably the most important skill that anybody can learn. And most people probably don’t learn because there’s the inner critic beating themselves up, and they’re not very good at being kind to themselves a bit. If they could learn that skill, which they can they basically unravel all of that story that they’ve built up, and doesn’t take a huge amount of time, either. You know?
Adam Baruh 31:03
Absolutely. Uh, you know, one of the things that when I started working with Kristin, that she had me practice quite a bit is a method, I believe it was created by Tara Brach, which is the rain method. And I’ve spoken about it on this podcast before, you know, rain being an acronym for recognize, allow, investigate, and then nurture. And that nurture, part of rain was was the key for me, again, like having lived this life of negative self talk, thinking that I, you know, was to blame for this event that happened in my childhood. It was foreign to me to nurture myself Yes. And be kind to myself, it, it that in particular took work, but I kept at it. And, you know, I’m very grateful for, you know, for for most of the circumstances in my life, I mean, even the negative ones, because I think it, it shaped who I am today. And so, I want to ask, you know, since we’re talking about gratitude, what do you feel most grateful for in your life?
Lee Evans 32:08
Really, I feel grateful for so many things. Very frequently, you know, I practice it. So I will feel grateful for my life. This moment, right, me and you being able to connect here and across the world is super grateful. It feels amazing, right? I’m like, Wow, what an amazing thing we can do. So I’m grateful for my life, I’m grateful for the breath I have, you know, that I can literally stop and I can release tension or I can feel good. I’m grateful for breath. I’m grateful for life. I’m grateful for my wife. You know, I’m grateful for my children. I’m grateful for my opportunities to make a difference. And grateful for this podcast, to somebody might listen to it and feel inspired, you know that somebody might change, which is obviously the whole name of your podcast, and what we’re searching for, you know, but I also if I if I want to bring it back to a specific practice. I asked myself, morning and night. What scene are you grateful for from the last 24 hours that allows you to connect with something real, something meaningful, something you can literally touch and feel that is new and has novelty to it, which is important because some people to do a gratitude practice, they get bored with it, because it keeps saying the same thing all the time. And then I go off a key saying the same thing. I’m like, okay, so what are you grateful for from today? And they’re like, Oh, well, I’m grateful for that hug and the kiss I had with my daughter this morning. That was amazing. Now you feel it right. And I’m like, Okay, now we’re working. Now we’re working is, is Yeah, so I’m grateful for so much.
Adam Baruh 33:53
Yeah, I love that. Um, yeah. So can you describe one of your favorite success stories? Or experiences you’ve had as a coach?
Lee Evans 34:03
Wow, that’s a really great question. My favorites. I mean, there’s a guy I’m working with at the moment I could use as a one, there’s so much is my mind is now literally buzzing with loads of different things. The first one, I would say, so let me tell you about a community. Let me tell you about a one to one, one to one guy, who, six months ago, was the example of what you were talking about earlier, where you were right, you beat himself up a lot, very negative, very successful professionally. But it felt like a failure as a father felt like a failure as a husband felt like a failure in all aspects, right. But on the outside, you know, lots of money, lots of success in this area and all of that stuff. And he has literally changed his whole identity within six months. He is now one of the most positive people I know, is one of the most resilient people I know, nothing has changed in his life apart from his mind, you know, and he has deeper relationships, more connection. So I love him. You know, that’s an example of one person who’s gone from stuck last don’t know where I’m going, What is my purpose? What are you know, how do I be a good parent all of that stuff to one of the most positive people I know in the world in such a short period of time, so that lights me up. And I’ve never met the guy who lives in Australia, right. And I live in the UK. Yeah, rainfall for zoom, right? Grateful for voice notes grateful for all of these things we can do now. So that’s an example of a one to one, I could kind of list a load of different because each one is a person, right? This is a person’s life. Yeah, they have kids, they have partners they have team, it’s just, I just love it. In terms of community, what I love, and I think this wowed me the most and blown my own mind even is how quickly and powerfully you can develop a psychologically safe place where people can openly share, they can do it without fear of judgment, and how quickly people can really kind of challenge themselves to just get into that, and how quickly they feel the level of support and community and how much that has a factor in change, you know, that the community is so important, because this is kind of what makes us happy. It’s relationships, it’s support. It’s like, I’m not on my own. Yeah, oh, other people are thinking like this as well. Other people on the journey, you know, people care about me, oh, my God, I’ve never met these people, but their investments in the world, you know. So in community, I can give you example, now there’s a lady going, we have these things that I call 30 days challenges. And they could be different topics. And one of them at the moment, there’s a new member going through this challenge. And she’s dealing with another woman, there’s two of them going through at the same time people have gone through before amazing changes. And the challenge is to learn to be conscious of this is the 30 day challenge, right? So they have to answer the question, what do you love about yourself every day, and they have to jump in post something real? When they feel exactly like you were talking about? They don’t love anything about themselves. They don’t feel like they love themselves. They don’t believe that, you know, it feels awkward and weird and all of that stuff. But we’re on about day seven now. And I can see the green shoots. And like, yes, because they’ve started going from what they do is they start with, well, I can’t say what I love about Brazil. So they start talking about the grateful for, right? And I’m like, Okay, that’s a great start. But I keep directing and going for what do you love? Can you love that you’re grateful that and all of a sudden, they start seeing that they are good people, they start seeing that they’re trying hard, they start seeing that people are cheering them on and supporting them, which is a power of community. And the thing that’s blown me away about that is we can create powerful, life changing results inside community without having to have one to one coaching all the time, or whatever it might be, you know, so because obviously, that community is accessible to anyone that price point of that is like, easy, everybody can do that. More or less, you know?
Adam Baruh 38:29
Oh, yeah. Well, I’m so glad you were, you know, you’ve been touching on, you know, the success story of yours. Because, you know, for me, it wasn’t until I was what 48 or so, you know, this is like, I guess, April of 2021. You know, where I finally said, you know, a coach, I think is something that I could use. I mean, I, you know, I went my whole career without really having had any coaching and wasn’t even really aware of, you know, what was out there in terms of coaching and, you know, the story that you just shared, you know, my personal experience, you know, I just, I want to thank all the coaches out there, because what you guys do is so powerful and make such an impact on people’s lives. And, you know, I really recommend anybody who is on the fence or thinking about, you know, finding a coach, like, do it, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. It really, you know, not just impacted me, but it’s had such a positive impact, you know, through me to my wife, and my children and my friends and my co workers, and you know, and just what you guys do is is just so beautiful. And you know, I’m just grateful for people like you that, you know, are so dedicated to, you know, helping people and improving people’s lives. So thank you.
Lee Evans 39:47
Well, thank you, Adam. And I’m delighted that you’ve built that. Let’s just say it’s a win win, right? This is a win win deal. It’s like for me as a coach. I do this because it lights me up because I love it. I love seeing the change. I love seeing the impact. So for me, when other person, their life changes when it’s a win win deal, right? It’s like, well, that So my next question was going to be, you know, the most about what the most rewarding aspect of being a coach is. But I mean, I think you just answered it that it’s a win win, right? Yeah, it lights me up is isn’t, you know, this not let’s be clear, people do what they want to do, right? People do what they feel like doing, isn’t it? Nobody cares what anybody else wants you to do. People only do what they want to do. Right? So an amazing coach has this process and skill of getting somebody else to want to do what they want them to do. There’s no point me saying, right, I want you to do this. And they’re like, Okay, I’ll try. But it’s not internally driven, right? Yeah. It’s only by the realisation, the penny drop moments coming inside that person’s mind, which is the coach’s skill, to open those things and ask those questions, pick up on that word, follow that emotion, whatever it might be. It’s only then when that person has that penny drop moment, then they want to do what I’m suggesting. That’s the scale, you know. And I think it’s it’s just the magic of people realizing that they are powerful, that they have choice that they can be happy. You know, I just love that. I love it so much. I love being a part of it.
Adam Baruh 41:40
Yeah. And, you know, for anybody listening who, you know, maybe has had a belief system, that they’re not fixable, or that there are two broken? I mean, you know, I think here are two clear cases where you know, that it’s just a belief system, it’s not true. I mean, for me, I just, I was so locked in to just thinking that, you know, about the problems in my life, and that they, I wasn’t gonna be able to overcome them. And, you know, to the, the client that you were just talking about, I mean, it seems like he was kind of in the same way. And, and here’s two cases where that, that idea, and that belief system was completely turned around. And so yeah, just, it’s so powerful, what you guys do. So anybody who’s on the fence or thinking about, you know, going forward with a coach, I highly, highly recommend it. You know, so I want to maybe shift a little bit, you know, we’ve been talking about, you know, all these beautiful things about being a coach, but but it is hard. I mean, it is hard work, there’s a lot, you know, that you have to go through to get, you know, your clients, you know, buying into that self awareness, but like recognizing that, you know, a lot of what they’re thinking our belief systems and not, you know, true identity aspects. So what, what is the hardest thing about coaching?
Lee Evans 42:59
What’s the hardest thing about coaching….the hardest thing about coaching, which is something I love, is the challenge of being that example. Right? You know, a powerful coach is somebody who lives and breathes, what they coach them on as a coach, and then go out of the coaching session into their car crash of a life, you know, they are somebody who is very serious about building the practices, their habits, when you have someone who like that, which I am one of those people who is striving for the best version of my own self. When you have somebody like that, now, they are able to meet you and understand where you are in your journey, because they’ve been through the thing themselves, right? That’s really powerful, because they can give you encouragement, support, it’s okay, don’t worry, it’s normal. This is you know, and they can normalize change for you. So I think the hardest part, but it’s something I love is, is the discipline, it requires to be that change, you know, be that change and be that person.
Adam Baruh 44:11
So you know, for me as an empath. I know how draining it can be when you absorb the feelings and the challenges that others deal with. How do you as a coach yourself? Well, let me let me rephrase this, how do you coach yourself so that you keep a positive and high performance growth mindset when you’re, you know, working with clients and, you know, kind of sharing, you know, some of the pain that they’re going through? How do you how do you keep your positive mindset?
Lee Evans 44:42
Yeah, it’s a really important question. And when I was a therapist, a lot of therapists became my client. Right? And it’s because ultimately, it’s because they either haven’t had the training that is robust enough to To make sure they realize how important it is for them to practice what they are preaching to others. Right? Or they just kind of are not doing that they know, but they’re not doing it right, because they’re reactive or busy or whatever. So how do you do it, you practice what you preach. Use the word preach, but you practice, you know. So I’ve developed my own system. So I am a certified high performance coach. So I coach, the high performance curriculum has come out of the High Performance Institute, which is very scientific. But through my life, I’ve learned my own energy and relationship infrastructure, which I call the Seven Pillars of a high performance life, and basically, is practices and all these things. So I practice breathwork. So that keeps me focused, it keeps me relaxed, it keeps me releasing tension and not picking up tension. I sleep well, you know, the seven pillars are basically my bridge, my energy infrastructure that keeps me strong, psychologically, and physically and emotionally. And as long as I’m investing in those, then, you know, I know that somebody else’s pain isn’t mine, it’s not there for me to pick up and take into my house, right? Not mine. But that’s I think that’s part of the problem. Where coaches or therapists burnout, let’s say, because what they’re doing is kind of, like allowing this transference of somebody else’s energy to become their energy. And I’m like, No, this is my energy, I’m positively charged, and I keep it positively charged, because I sleep well, I do breath work, I eat well, I drink lots of water, I exercise, I have cold showers, I talk to myself, well, I’m develop that skill, you know, I’m connecting with people who are like minded, positive, uplifting in a community. So if you are practicing all those things, that the result is high energy resilience, you don’t get dragged into all of that stuff. Does it make sense? It’s kind of like a separation. Right?
Adam Baruh 47:02
Yeah. Um, so kind of, you know, revisiting this topic of mental health that we spoke about, you know, earlier on in this in the podcast, you know, here in the year 2022, like, how do you think mental health is perceived nowadays, you know, compared to the past?
Lee Evans 47:17
You know, I mean, this is a huge amount better than it used to be, right. Huge amount, I mean, you know, for it was always seen as, you know, weakness, or somebody was broken, or whatever it was right. And none of that has ever been True. But because that was what was thought that then didn’t allow people to comfortably reach out, speak openly and all of that stuff, so therefore, didn’t allow them to get the support they needed. And all of those things, right. Clearly, we’re in a completely different way of living now. And it’s much more acceptable. It’s not even the right word. It’s much more normal for people to recognize that people have challenges, right. And those challenges affect them. Sometimes they need some support, they need some help. We all do. It’s, it’s normal. Right. So I think that the mental health story, you know, has opened up obviously, it’s a lot more normal now. But I think there are still ways to go and there will always be ways to go. I think there’s always ground to make up because otherwise we wouldn’t be having these meetings that I talked about earlier, when I’m coaching is senior leaders, and they’re kind of scared to speak in a meeting because they get cut down. We wouldn’t be having any of that if if it was all fixed or sorted. Right. Yeah, I think we’ve come a huge amount, though. There’s still there’s always going to be more to go.
Adam Baruh 48:42
Yeah, one of the things that I’m sincerely grateful for in this day and age are people like Simone Biles and other athletes and people, you know, really well known in the public sphere that you know, that are bringing the mental health conversation into, you know, the normal, you know, day to day like de stigmatizing it, you know, Simone Biles saying she’s not mentally ready to, to, you know, perform in a competition. You know, she’s she’s really being a leader there. She’s showing her strength and and, you know, saying, Look, you know, this is real, I’m, you know, for me to compete is not, does not just require physical stamina, but it requires the mental strength for me to be able to compete. And then, you know, since you’re in the UK, the other thing that I’m also, you know, I was really proud to witness. I love Ted lasso that show and the second season and I just haven’t really seen this in popular culture where, you know, the mental health conversation is really a core part of the premise of a television show. Right? And so I was really, you know, appreciative and grateful for What, you know, the writers of Ted last? So did you know in kind of developing the second season? So where, you know, where do you see the conversation around mental health going in the next few years?
Lee Evans 50:09
Oh, you know, it’s, I hope it’s going to continue in the same path, I hope, more resources will be available, I hope companies will invest more in their people in terms of the finances to resource them mentally, you know, kids, we have to recognize that we are mental, physical, emotional, spiritual beings, right? We have makeup, this has a number of different parts to who we are. And the mental aspect you were just talking about in competition. It’s not surprising, because competition basically is judgment, right? It’s like, okay, I’m going to judge you about whether you are as good as that person or not. That’s basically what competition is. So when somebody at a professional level goes into competition, it’s not surprising that they feel judged, then that might be a little bit of kind of a fear involved, or, you know, comparison comes in and all of those things, of course, that’s going to happen, because we’re putting them into places where they are judged. So why would it not be? Why would mental health not be a performance related topic? Of course, it’s a performance related topic, right? So I love the fact that, like, you’re saying, you know, more and more athletes are speaking out. But the shame is, that so many successful athletes over the years, have succeeded, despite the pain they had to go through. Right. Whereas now hopefully, it’s becoming more and more normal that, you know, they have a high performance coach, or they have a psychologist, I have these other people who are there as part of the team and important part of the team to enable that performance. Right.
Adam Baruh 51:49
Yeah, very true. A couple of questions, as we go to close here, this is going to be you know, related to, you know, business and leadership. So, you know, in terms of, of the corporate world, you know, how do you see the future of work and leadership, in particular, you know, when it comes to, you know, our professional lives, and, you know, the, the normalization of the Mental Health conversation?
Lee Evans 52:16
Leadership is both required under practice, in the space to, you know, role modeling, as a way forward, for others to follow is a leaders job, you know, and great leaders understand that they must work hard to practice leadership, they must be doing things like, you know, part of the leadership coaching I do in the High Performance Coaching curriculum, there are practices that great leaders do, great leaders envision a future that is better than no, you know, and this is a practice, they sit there, and they envision it, and they think they don’t just have a vision, they envision as a practice, right? They do it routinely, they bring other people into division. They encourage other people, usually, they are encouragers, right? There are people who are like, You got this, you’ve got your, I’ve got your back, you know, they are encouraging people when things are hard, rather than beating them when things are hard, no, encourages that lift people up. That’s what great leadership is about. They’re embodying things, the values that they have in the company, the leaders are the example of that thing in real life. They’re like human versions of the values, if they’re great leaders, right? They are living and breathing the thing, to they’re embodying this thing that are empowering other people that like, I am literally empowering means I’m giving you power, right? I’m saying, Here you go. There’s the trust, here’s the decision making authority to be have power and to make decisions and do things to that makes, you know, to their great practices that leaders are engaged in to be great leaders, you know, it’s not just I turn to work, and I kind of react to stuff, you know, they they are thinking about how they drive the ship, you know, and I hope the great leaders, more of them stand up and give more resources to the people to enable them to perform at a high level. You know, yeah, give them the coaching, give them the resources, give them the tools, give them the breathwork give them the what they need to do this thing. Well, you know?
Adam Baruh 54:29
You know, so I started in my consulting, business, I’ve brought in mindfulness training and coaching and Thursday mornings, we have meditation. And so, you know, these are these are some things I’m doing it’s it, it’s a work in progress. And I’ve said this many times, you know, I feel there’s so much more that that I want to do to, you know, provide for the team. And you know, thinking that you as leaders, our role is really just to, you know, get the most productivity out of people. It’s just, that’s that’s like old school way of thinking, right, our role is as a leader is to really create an environment that allows people to reach their highest potential, in my opinion, and, you know, their own personal and professional growth. And again, my, my job as a leader is really just to facilitate that and, and make it a priority in our company.
Lee Evans 55:29
I think it’s so refreshing to hear you speak about that. And this is a, this is a part of the way I work with companies, is people think, oh, it’s gonna be this huge, expensive kind of thing, right? It doesn’t need to be like that. There are I work with companies now who have 190 minute coaching session a month, anyone from the company can sign up, right, they come to the coaching session, and there’s a curriculum based High Performance Coaching going on, but they also have daily access to the breathwork, they also have daily audios there is a huge amount that they get across a whole company that is kind of nowhere near what you would pay for a one to one coaching session, for instance, you know, so it’s really great to hear you talking like this, because this is what people do when it’s important. They work out a way to make it work. They go, okay. This is what I do all the time. I’m like, Okay, how do I make this work for more people? Right, in a way that also works for me? And that’s the problem solving thing that I love. Yeah, so I, I suppose I kind of applaud you.
Adam Baruh 56:38
Well, you know, and one thing I’ll just add to that is, yeah, I mean, some of these things, you know, I have to pay for I mean, it’s a and some of them aren’t cheap, right. But I compare that to the cost of, you know, losing talent and having people that are not engaged. I mean, that’s, that’s more expensive, in my opinion. Yeah. When you have a high amount of turnover, I mean, there’s so much cost to that. So it’s a no brainer, in my opinion. And, you know, I’m just, I’m happy to provide these tools to the team, just, you know, not just from a perspective of, you know, trying to keep my talent, but, I mean, it’s, it’s like, honestly, I know how much these tools have helped me personally. And I wanted to share that I want, I want to find any way I can to share those tools with other people so that, you know, they can find that healing that I found in them.
Lee Evans 57:34
I love it. And I just kind of, I’m impressed, and I’m gonna support you. And I think well done.
Adam Baruh 57:41
So one last question here, as we wrap up, you know, where do you where do you see the role of empathy over the next 10 years?
Lee Evans 57:49
10 years, I’m not sure about 10 years, but uh, empathy, basically, is is such a critical skill to develop, you know? Because otherwise, empathy is linked to caring, right? You know, it’s the demonstration of that I care about you. And it’s the demonstration of me being able to understand how you feel, that’s empathy, right? So I can get into your shoes. And I can think, oh, what does it feel like, from their perspective, right? When we develop empathy as a skill, as a leader or anyone, we become more powerful, right? We, we unlock people’s performance, we unlock people’s potential, we make people feel valued, cared for connected, linked together, build teams, empathy is kind of like so important, right. And it’s a skill that anybody can learn. And it’s the right thing to do as well.
Adam Baruh 58:51
Yeah. Well, hey Lee, I want to thank you for joining us here today on the change and sharing your stories and insight and perspective with us. You know, it’s been a true pleasure to speak with you today. And I’m really looking forward to, you know, speaking again, and perhaps getting engaged, you know, as, as a client of yours and your coach, and I think what you’re doing is amazing. And I really like the way you’ve put your your coaching program together. So thank you.
Lee Evans 59:19
No, thank you, Adam. And I just want to say, I would love this right, I go on lots of different podcasts. And I know when it’s an amazing one, because I just love the experience. Right? And I’ve loved it. So thank you. You ask great questions, which hopefully lead to insights and other people will hopefully benefit from listening to us talk. So I appreciate you. Thank you.
Adam Baruh 59:40
Yeah, I appreciate you. Thank you so much for that. Lee Evans is a high performance coach based in the UK, a husband, father and friend. He’s one of approximately 1000 active certified high performance coaches, trained personally by Brendon Burchard at the High Performance Institute, has 10 years of clinical hypnotherapy experience. get some practice and 24 years of high performance leadership experience leading commando forces in the British Army. Lee also founded the highperformance growth community, which is a community of people from around the world striving to be their best together. Lee sees this as his legacy and would love you to join if you’re seeking connection growth and purpose. Lee has known life last quickly both as a young boy losing his mother to suicide at 15 years old, and in the military and fighting operations around the world. And he has learned a huge amount along the way. Lee’s purpose at this stage of his life is to be loving, present and positively charged to role model courage, kindness and personal discipline so that he leads himself and others with clarity, confidence, connection and positive charge. To find out more about Lee visit our website at eiqmediallc.com/thechange. Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti. You can listen to more of Shane’s music at www.shanesuffriti.com. If you have a story to share about making a difference in the lives of people you lead, or if you want to tell us what you think about our podcast, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for listening. We’ll see you next time on The Change.
The Change is produced and distributed by EIQ media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship and more.