The Alcohol ReThink Podcast Episode 125
Patrick: Welcome to the Alcohol Rethink Podcast, the show designed for men who are ready to rethink the role of alcohol in their lives. Get ready to hear some awesome coaching insights, powerful tools, captivating interviews, and first-hand experiences, all dedicated to helping you rethink your relationship with alcohol for good.
I'm your host, Patrick Fox. Let's go.
Hi guys, and welcome to episode number 125 of the Alcohol Rethink Podcast. Awesome to be back guys. And today I'm really looking forward to this show. I've got a special guest on. Her name is Michelle Dimitriou. She helps high achievers and one percenters manage their mindset and create lives that feel as good as they look.
Let's get started. So Michelle, welcome to the show. So great to have you here.
Michele: Thank you so much for having me, Patrick. I'm thrilled to be here.
Patrick: Yeah, great. And I'm thrilled to have you here. Cause you know, I think it's pretty cool what you do. We will start there actually just kind of give the guys listening and anyone else who's listening, what is it that you do?
Michele: I am a high-performance coach, I focus on professional athletes and high performers, CEOs. I do a lot of C suite and I help them create lives that feel as good as they look.
Patrick: Hmm. Yeah. I love it. And actually, so what does that mean? Right? Like feel as good as they look.
Michele: Well, what we see, you know, the public, let's just take athletes, for example, you know, what we see, um, when we're watching a game or whatever, we see the guy scoring the touchdown, we see, you know, with them walking the red carpet, we see them at the SPS, uh, you know, a CEO, we seal right up in the wall street journal of the New York times.
Um, and we're just, you know, we know they're making millions. They seem to be living the life that. The life that everybody wants to live. They have all the trappings. They go on fabulous trips. They fly privately, they get bottle service at clubs. They're surrounded by beautiful women. And so on the outside, looking in that looks beautiful and you have, you know, in the case of athletes, you've got a lot of young men that are making millions, doing fabulous things.
And oftentimes things that they never believed they would do in their lives. And. It looks amazing. And, you know, they're human beings with human minds. And when they're by themselves, they think the thoughts that, you know, the average person thinks. And, uh, they go down that trap of mind chatter. And these people also have a lot of, um, chatter in their lives.
You know, external chatter, we've got social media, we've got the press, we've got coaches, we've got boards, we've got, in the case of athletes, fans just blowing up their phones, telling them like, you know, that was a, you sucked in this game, please, please die, you know, I mean, it's the things that they hear are horrible sometimes. And we just see the good stuff. That's typically what we see. And, um, their lives look like something that's very enviable. And in some instances, it is, but there's also, the flip side of that. Yeah.
Patrick: I know here in the UK, like with soccer, there's always that argument with, with guys like, because they really good money, you know, like things that people can hard to comprehend how much money some, some of these professional athletes earn.
And so they don't get a lot of sympathy. They don't get a lot of empathy when things aren't perhaps going their way or they aren't playing as well, or, you know, like they get a lot of criticism and they're like, well, they're running this amount of money. And so there's this kind of. Uh, entitlement almost from anyone outside of that sport that they should be doing things differently than they are.
So I can only imagine that this, uh, must create a lot of stress and a lot of challenges for them. Tons of stress.
Michele: And, and so often in the times that, in the case of athletes, these are really young people, you know, my average client is under 30. I do have guys that are older than that but average 25 to 30 somewhere in there.
That's a young man, and you know you and I know from our work that their brains probably aren't even fully developed yet, and they're having to deal with all these external pressures and, you know, hostile it's just a hostile it can be a very hostile environment.
Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think I'm, I'm almost into my forties and I've only just kind of learned about my mindset in my late thirties or like mid to late thirties.
Right. So yes, how enough I would have been able to deal with that if, if I was in their situation, I know it's different and I know, because obviously you're, you're doing the work you're doing and there's a lot more sports psychology and stuff like within the game and stuff, but it still has a big impact.
And so. What I thought would be cool today for this conversation and kind of like how we can tie it into all the guys out there who want to rethink alcohol. So I was really interested at looking at through the lens of, you know, high achievers and professional athletes, one kind of looking at, well, what is that kind of mindset that they have?
How can we start working towards it? Like what different differentiates guys, um, from kind of like, being good to like being really fucking good, you know, and then, and then also exploring some of the challenges that do come up. Right. Cause you know, I imagine alcohol is a problem that can challenge some people.
Right. Well, I don't imagine, I know it is. I see it in the news and stuff. Yeah. So it'd be really cool to explore that as well.
Michele: Yeah. So what I would say is in terms of mindset, um, there's a really famous football coach here in the States. He's a college football coach. His name is Nick Saban. And I just recently saw a speech by him and it was, it was really, it's really spoke to me, but, and it really kind of sums up this differentiated mindset that we see with high achievers and professional athletes is that they.
He said it's so important to get the right people on the bus, for example, when you're putting a team together or staff together for these guys, the right people on the bus in the right seats. And he said what you'll find is the greats don't want to be with anybody mediocre, and the meat, those that are many mediocre are very, you know, they may be like.
Fangirling these people, but they're very uncomfortable being with the greats because their mindsets are so different. And I think that's what really the greatest of the greats, what we see is that they work on their mindsets. And in my work with clients, so often it's, it's mind-boggling. It's the little things, it's the small, steady winds stacking what I call stackable winds.
And what my guys, what we work toward is getting, um, You know, five days, like Monday through Friday, for example, of small, uh, uh, five days that are, they have small stackable wins. And what that is, is like, they're on, they're on point. They're, let's say they're in the off season, they're doing their training, they're eating well, they're getting their, you know, muscle work.
Uh, they're doing all, they're lifting, uh, they're practicing, they're doing all the things that they need to prepare for, for the season. And if, and then they've gotta, you know, if they're, they're. They got to take out the garbage. They've got to, you know, go get their car washed. They're going to play golf.
You know, there's lots of other things that are going on in their daily rounds. And so, you know, they, they've, they've been told all, I mean, since a very young age, probably they were identified as good athletes. For example, they've been told where to be, what to do, what time they're supposed to be at practice, what time they're supposed to be, you know, in film, what time the bus or the plane leaves.
Then when they get in the off season, they are scheduling becomes a big problem for them because they haven't had to schedule their own time. And so the small stackable wins really play in there. And it's like they we really work on getting them to to a week where they've had five days of small stackable wins.
And if they fail at one of the things that they had hope to do that day, they don't get that checkmark. And so that week is, it's not a bus, but it's like, I'm going to next week, I'm going to try to get five days in a row. So it's really not the huge, huge things that you might think of that these guys are working on when they're working with me.
It's really the, It's really changing small behaviours and being consistent with it. Um, that's what I see a lot of. I had one guy, for example, that he had over 2, 000 texts on his phone that he hadn't responded to. And he was, you know, he felt like, you know, like terrible that he hadn't responded to these people and so forth.
Um, and. Well, in the off-season, we worked and it became kind of a game to him to every day, get some of these texts off his phone. And he found that it impacted every aspect of his life. It impacted his relationships. He felt so much more present because he didn't have this on his mind. He felt like he was available to his friends that his friends called him the black hole because he never responded when they reached out.
And so, you know, he just became more engaged, more present and didn't have this hanging over his head. That's out. That sounds like it's a nothing, but when he tackled that, it changed everything profoundly. So small stackable wins, I would say is another big one. And just, you know, setting your mindset apart to where you're, you're the, with the best of the best and you associate with the best of the best and always challenging yourself.
Patrick: Yeah. I love that. And I can see how transferable it is. To the guys out there wanting to, to rethink alcohol in their lives. Right. Like, absolutely. I'm kind of like blown away by 2000 messages. Actually, I just want to acknowledge that because that's insane. Like to, to have that level of demand. Right.
Michele: It's crazy because he, uh, one of his, he was a baseball player.
One of his friends was at the playoffs for American football. And he FaceTimed the guy when he lost and the guy is in the locker room and answers his call. And he goes, are you all right? And he was like, yeah, I was just checking on you. I'm sorry you lost, but you had a great game. And he goes, I never hear from you.
I thought something, I thought something was wrong, you know, but he had created all this space, all this, what I call mental real estate in his life that he could be present for the people that he wanted to look out for. And that was a, you know, that was just one small example, but it translates across the board.
Patrick: Yeah. Nice. And I love that small stackable wins. And I think that's really important. And you know, as, as you're listening, what we're talking about, you can transfer it to anything in life. Yes. Right. It's not just sport. It's not just alcohol. It's just kind of like any, anything, any areas of your life that you've kind of identified like, all right, I'd like to make some changes there and you want to evolve.
So yeah, small stackable wins because it's so easy to focus on like end goal, right? The big thing.
Michele: Yeah. I want to lose 40 pounds, but before you lose 40 pounds, you have to, you have to lose the first pound, you know, it's one pound at a time, rather than looking at the 40 pounds or lifting a different weight or anything.
And I think in terms of, you know, you're the expert here, but like in, in, stopping alcohol or cutting back that small stackable wins could really work. It's like, Oh, I, I did this today instead of take a drink or, you know.
Patrick: Yeah, because now you're focusing on what you've done instead of what you haven't done.
Michele: Exactly and that's the key. I got a huge calendar, one of those huge, uh, acrylic calendars that you kind of fill in yourself and he put it up. It was, it was like three feet by four feet or something. And he, he said the highlight of his day was. Doing the green check mark, you know, by his day that he had gotten, meaning he had gotten a small stack of win.
And he said, when I got to get to Friday and I can give myself that green check mark. And this is a guy that has won all kinds of awards, starting pitcher. And his big deal was getting a green check mark at the end of the week.
Patrick: Yeah, that's amazing. Well, and it just goes to show Riley, if, if, if that's what high level achievers are doing, that's available to everyone. And I think with those small stackable wins, it's like you're getting that little bit of dopamine every time, like you're giving your brain motivation. Yes. And the problem is, is when you're like, Oh man, like I failed again today and I shouldn't have done this. And it seems so far away. Like all of a sudden, like you literally fall into a black hole, right?
Like, because you end up kind of beating yourself up and feeling sorry for yourself. And all that does is just perpetuate the cycle. Absolutely. All right. Well, what did I do? What has changed for me? You know, like start measuring what you're doing and where you're going rather than where you think you, you're not.
Michele: And you have to understand that these people, these CEOs, these athletes, they're measuring themselves every day and they're measuring themselves against the best of the best. And it's, you know, they can fall into that so quickly because they, they've got data over here that, Oh, you know, stock price is higher than mine.
You know, his evaluation is. The, you know, this guy hit more home runs than I did, or threw more pitches, you know, strikeouts than I did. So many crazy little things that they have data that they can really, if they choose to measure themselves by.
Patrick: And something else you were sharing about that example that came up is that even when they're not playing, they're ready to play.
Michele: Yeah. It's their job. You know, that's the thing that we, we think of sport as something we do for fun. This is now their job, their career. And you know, I had another client say, Oh gosh, I wish I could get massages and work out every day and eat. Well, I was like, Oh my God, if you only saw this guy's schedule, you wouldn't, there's nothing glamorous about it, you know?
And that's what he has to do too. Maintain his level of excellence, you know, in the off-season to, to arrive at spring training and be, be the player he wants to be. Maintain his starting position.
Patrick: And then, so what'd you notice, uh, about guys that find that's challenging when they start becoming a little bit overwhelmed by it, right?
In terms of when they, if they start drinking and whatever else might come up in terms of how they try to manage or cope.
Michele: Well, I tell you, um, the number one thing that these men present to me with is confidence, lack of confidence, which. You know, when I was writing copy for something and somebody said, well, you're not going to put that in your copy.
I was like, no, that's actually, that's absolutely what they say to me. Like, you know, I'm in the tank, like I have no confidence. I feel like, you know, and a lot of them are so young that they don't have, that's all they know is their sport. For example, they don't. They don't have, they maybe didn't go to university.
They, you know, this is like, if without this, what do I have? I have nothing else. This is their whole identity. And we also do a lot of work on identity, like being the man that you want to be. And because their identity is as an athlete, and we all know, you know, an athlete, a CEO, and you're either going to retire or be forced out in either of those positions.
And then when you're, you know, at a party or at a social event, and somebody asks you what you do, and you always said, well, you know, I'm a professional athlete or I'm a CEO. What do you say when you're no longer doing that? It's their identity is totally wrapped up in that. Their schedule, everything they do is for that, for that title.
And so, um, you know, what, what we see a lot of is a lot, when I see it is when they start to isolate. You know, they pull, you know, might pull away from their teammates rather than, and they, these guys are with each other a lot. So, you know, wanting a break is normal, but I'm talking about isolation, you know, isolation, not feeling like you fit in.
If you've been traded, you know, in mid-season or You know, just at the beginning of whenever it's like, you may not, you may not jive with your new teammates, but you're spending a ton of time with them. Um, you may not feel like you fit in. It's, it's the things that all of us deal with every day. It's like, we want to belong.
We want to long belong. We want to be a part of things we want to contribute and. You start going, they start going down this spiral and this, you know, the negative chatter in their heads and just the negative self-talk. And then they, you know, reach for the substance, reach for their drug of choice, be it alcohol, drugs, whatever.
And just to numb out, just to assist that. And what they don't realize is that when they do that, it's just perpetuating the cycle. You know, that's the, they're not doing, they're not feeling their feelings. They're not working on their mindset. They're not seeking positive ways to get out of that. They're just numbing out and just trying to get through.
Patrick: Yeah. And I can relate to a lot that I, I, you know, identity again, it comes up a lot with when I'm working with guys and for myself included, right. Cause I used to drink and now I don't and my, uh, what was, you said like this, this, the schedule was wrapped up for the title or wrapped around the title, right?
That's what my schedule used to be like, I used to be wrapped around as wanting to drink all the time. That was my identity. Yes. How we identify is how we behave, you know, and Yeah, it's about becoming aware of like how you are identifying with yourself for sure, because yeah, you're right. Like we all do want to belong.
We don't, no one likes to feel isolated, but we're also human.
Michele: Yeah, and then we often isolate when we don't feel comfortable. We do the very thing that doesn't serve us. It's, you know, pulling back when the, you know, when we're the most uncomfortable is when we need to probably do the thing that is the least comfortable thing that we can possibly do.
And that's like dive in, get to know my teammates, get to know my staff, get to know my board, but it's the last thing you want to do.
Patrick: Yeah. And it's also that other like fallacy of thinking that, so we drink to connect, right? See, they think, okay, well, I feel isolated. Let me drink and then I'll be able to, it might create some confidence, et cetera.
Yeah. Right. But then actually it disconnects because the conversations you're having aren't really authentic, right? Like they're just, they're like, they're not false, but you know what I mean? Like they're not real. They're not true. They're just kind of alcohol.
Michele: It's a facade of you. It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a version of you.
It's a, it's a false identity. You know, it's, you're presenting as something that, you know, you're presenting as something that you identify with, but it's not the real you.
Patrick: So what'd you do? I'm really curious. Like, so when you're, when you notice your guys, they kind of find themselves in these positions.
Cause we're all human. I guess we all do from time to time. Like, how, how do you work with them? Like, what do you take them through?
Michele: Well, I don't, my, my program is very organic and it's like identifying what, you know, seeing what they present with, seeing what they identify with we, you know, what I'm seeing is, you know, guys that are getting ready to retire, uh, be it as a CEO or an athlete, they're like, what's next for me, what's my, you know, helping them create the demand that they want to be in that organization the new world of theirs, and they re with the youngest athletes, it's, it's fabulous because we can, they have, you know, they're going to have their identity in their sport, but what they can start to do when they're in their work with me is create. The man that they want to be after that, like start living, start being so many of these guys haven't had examples of, you know, a good father, a good, a good how, how to treat women well, how to be in a, you know, um, relationship that, you know, it's, you know, you're loyal and faithful.
They don't have examples of that. And so it's like, they, they know that it can exist and there's, they see glimmers of it, but it's like, how can I be that man? I don't want to be the man that the, I don't want to. be the person that I, as I was raised, I want to be a different man. And so it's helping them create that identity, helping them, you know, talking to them about their confidence.
Confidence is huge. And of course you have to have confidence to be successful. Um, and just letting them realize that, helping them realize that they're, Their self talk. It's so amazing what we say to ourselves. The talk that we have with ourselves, you know, the, and, and often we have a loop that's on kind of rinse and repeat.
And we wouldn't say those things to our worst enemy. We wouldn't, the things that we say to ourselves, they're like, Oh my God, you're a failure. You're not, you suck. You're not going to do, you're never going to make it. That person's going to beat you out. Like you're a loser, you know, You, you don't know how to be a good man to a woman you, you know, like, you don't have any examples that the things you wouldn't ever go up to your worst enemy and say the things that we say to ourselves, and And that these men are saying to themselves, and they want to be the best of the best they're surrounded by the best.
And, um, you know, it's just working on that and it's getting out of that loop. It's, it's, it's like, for example, this guy that the text guy the guy that had all the text. I was texting with him about something and he said, Well, as you know, I'm a terrible communicator. Well, you know, I'm not going to go, Hey, Patrick, you know, like you're a great guy, but man, you're a terrible communicator, you know?
And, and so he's saying that about, I was like, you are a formally bad communicator. You know, you are amazing communicator now, you know, you're, you, you didn't respond to my text, but. That's not who, that's not who you are on average every day now. That was a, that was a mess. You missed that, that one, but you are a formally bad communicator.
And it's just rephrasing the things that they're telling them that we talk to ourselves more than we talk to anybody in our world. And it's rephrasing those things that are on rinse and repeat in our heads and reprogramming, reprogramming our brains to, um, speak highly of ourselves, selves to speak well to ourselves and to be there for ourselves.
You know, it's like. My coach, one of the most profound things she's ever said to me was, you know, you have to be able to count on yourself. You have to have your own back because you are the only person that's going to go to bed with you every night, wake up with you every morning, be there in your darkest moments, cry every tear with you.
You are the only person that's going to be there for you in all those moments. And if you don't have learned to have your own back. You know, it's, it's a, it's an epic fail. And so it's learning to have your own back and learning to, you know, learning to, um, know that you can be there for yourself. And I'm not kidding.
When I started practicing that, like just as I, you know, we made an appointment today for me to show up here and you showed up and I showed up and we kept our promises, but we are so quick to, to renege on our promises to ourselves. Uh, you know, we'll keep our appointments, we'll keep our promises to others, but we are, you know, the first person we fail oftentimes is ourselves and we don't show up for ourselves.
So I think just learning to have our own backs is really important.
Patrick: Yeah, I love that. I really like that idea of like, you're the, you're the only one who's going to be with you all the time. So it makes complete sense, right? Like. You gotta start loving that guy or girl or whoever you kind of identify with, right?
Michele: It's really important. And speaking to them as you would speak to, you know, like a little baby, think of a young child or a little baby, the things that we say to ourselves, we would, you know, we would step in front of anybody that spoke to a child or a baby that way. We would stand and defend them, but we do that to ourselves.
We beat ourselves up constantly. And You know, we're in our heads all day long and it's, it's all about learning to, you know, that the past is the past be where your feet are. I say that to them all the time, be where your feet are, be present. You know, we can design for the future and pray that we get there, but that's not guaranteed either.
The only thing we're guaranteed is where we are right this moment.
Patrick: Yeah. Something my coach shared with me actually was, you know, the, uh, What was it? Yeah, back to body, back to breath, back to now. I ve got it on a post it note. So it's always there, you know, just because this is it. This is all we've got.
And then when we're here, like. In this moment, it can really help and kind of settle the mind down, right? Like not let it kind of get all forwards and backwards and just worst case scenario, which is what it seems to love doing for whatever reasons. Well, we know why survival.
Michele: But it's so important because, you know, um, I fortunately don't deal with a lot of anxiety, but anxiety is something else that my people present with a lot. And, and I think it's because they are such big thinkers, but what we, what I have really discovered about anxiety is that you're often thinking about the past or what's going to happen in the future and your mind starts racing.
And that's, you know, that's when, when we lose that part of us, whereas if we're in the present. You know, those big scary thoughts don't exist because we're, we're in front of ourselves. We're right here, right now. And that can be so calming and that's where we make our best decisions is when we're present.
And you know, we, we think we we're present, we're thinking, and we're responding on responding on purpose and thinking on purpose and deciding ahead of time, and we can only do that present.
Patrick: Yeah. Power in the presence, for sure. So true. Yeah, it really, really is. And I want, like, I'm fascinated by this conversation, right?
Because we've got these high achieving CEOs and athletes and stuff, who, like, they can get to where they want to go and stuff. But then there's also, like, we're really seeing the human side of them, right? Like, they still have their doubts, they still have their fears, they still have their insecurities, or what they perceive as all of those things, right?
I mean... So, like, what do you notice around that? Are they, do they, are they more self-aware in the sense of noticing it? Are they more inclined to reach out for help? You know, I guess they're just humans, right? Like, they just, do the same thing.
Michele: They are just humans. But the beautiful thing, what we're seeing in the States, um, in sport is, for example, baseball, football, and basketball, um, those leagues have implemented, you know, they have implemented that they need to have mental health professionals on staff.
So that's fabulous where that used to be. So, like, Michael Phelps really turned that part of the world around Kevin Love with the Cavaliers when he was with the Cavaliers. Those people really started shining a bright light on mental health and mental well-being. And Simone football fans. You know, we're seeing it on rinse and repeat now, and, you know, it's so great that they're using their platforms to point out the work that we do and the work that we want to help people do, because there's no shame in it when you see the best of the best asking for help.
And what I see is that they're very, you know, I love sport, but I. Obviously have never been a professional athlete. Uh, you know, I'm this short little girl that coaches all these big, huge guys. And it's like, why, you know, why do you want to talk to me? Why do you, why do you reach out? It's like I think I am a safe place to land and what I'm also seeing is I'm very grateful to the leagues for implementing the mental health, the mental well being side to the, to the sport, but a lot of those guys don't want to work with those mental health professionals because they, they are, they worry about confidentiality and, you know, agents and agents don't like it that much either because they're like, you know, if, if the general manager goes into one of these mental health professionals and says, you know, do you think my guy can handle, we're thinking about giving him an 80 million contract.
Do you think he can handle it? Do you think he's mentally stable enough? And if the mental health professional is kind of like, well, that guy's probably not going to get that contract. So it's like the agents and I, we look at ourselves as the ones that have, have their backs that we. We're pulling for them that we really, well, agents do have something to gain over their extended careers, but I have nothing to gain other than seeing them be their best selves.
And so we see them doing a lot for their. Um, they're going to get the best trainers and they're going to have their meals made. They're going to have chefs and they're going to have a sports performance, you know, psychologists and things like that, that they talk to. But I still see, unfortunately, they are at their lowest low when they reach out.
Like nothing, nothing I'm doing is working and I need help. I'm going down a really slippery slope here. And what I would love to see more than anything in the world is that these rookies are required to have coaches are required to have therapists when they enter the leagues and that they have this tool, these tools in their toolbox from day one, and that they, it's not an injury or poor performance or, um, you know, threat of, uh, you know, being, being released or, you know, a drug or alcohol problem that's having them or bad behaviour on social media, that's having them reach out. You know, I wouldn't give anything if they had these tools with them from day one.
Patrick: Well, and I think that has to start in school, right? Like that's where it should begin, right?
Right from the beginning of school. And I do see some evidence of that, right? Like my kids are 15 and six and they definitely do more stuff towards personal development way more than I ever had available. I had zero available to me at school. Like I didn't know what mindset was or any of these kinds of things.
So yeah, they're quite fortunate in that respect, but yeah, there's definitely could be more done towards kind of helping them and supporting them, uh, as they go through with their mental health, definitely.
Michele: And just realizing that even when you're, you're sailing, like when you're at, when you're at your peak performance, talking to someone is never going to be a negative.
It s getting things off, you know, it's. When I talk to guys in my private program, I typically work with them a week, an hour a week. I mean, they have tons of access to me, um, texting and they can call me, they have tons of access to me, but it's, and you know, I never want them to go a week when they have a problem in between before they reach out to me.
But when I say, you know, this is going to be an hour a week for, you know, you get to spend it talking about whatever you want to, about your performance, about where you are emotionally, your relationships, your girlfriend, whatever you want to talk about, that's what we're here to talk about. And when I say that, I mean, I kind of get this deer in the head, like, Headlights look from in.
It's like an hour to talk about myself. It's I think guys put up so many facades and so many walls and, you know, present maybe, especially the people I work with present in such a way like I'm, you know, I'm, I'm indestructible. I'm, you know, you can't, you can't get to me. And so when they have this hour a week to talk about what's bothering them, to talk about what they need to work on or talk about how what a great week it was.
And for me not to think that they're being cocky and conceited, I just want to, I want to hear whatever is on your mind. And, uh, that it seems to be for men. I, you know, I'm not a man, but I, I just get the sense that men oftentimes don't talk to their friends or like this in the same way that women do. And so this is.
It is, and I think that's another reason I love working with men, because they go so fast, they go so deep, so quickly, and where women might have, um, you know, more new, more nuances, because they, they, they're used to talking about their feelings a little bit more, um, men are just like, they dive right in because they get to talk about themselves, they get to talk about what's wrong, and they're not perceived as weak, they know it's completely confidential, I sign NDAs, you know, And it's like a safe space and they, they get all that.
And it is, we go so fast and so deep. And I think that's one of the reasons I love working with men because. It's like you just see them open up. It's mind boggling. Yeah.
There's a lot of truth to that, I would say, in terms of how us guys feel safe, I guess, to, to be able to talk and, and, and the locker room mentality, that's certainly not the place.
Far too much banter. And all right. So what are. Three things that kind of get in the way of guys reaching out. So one, one thing maybe is they said it's like weak, right? Like this perception that speak is weak, for example.
Michele: And I do think that I love that speak is weak, but I do, I'm so encouraged by what we're starting to see, you know, I think across.
All populations that, that meant mental wellbeing. I really do believe within the next 10 years, everybody will have a coach, you know, every that it's just going to be like, you know, 30 years ago, you didn't work out every day or work out five days a week. Everybody does that now. So it's like, yeah, I think this is going to be just like, Oh, of course you work out.
Of course you eat clean. Of course you do this. Of course you have a coach. And, um, so three things that, um, three things that. Uh, keep them from reaching out to me.
Patrick: Not necessarily you, but just in general.
Michele:. Yeah. Seeking help. I think it's, um, it's, I think weak. I think, you know, seeming weak. Um, it's not quite bad enough yet.
Like they think they've got it. I can pull myself out of this. And it's oftentimes when they reach their depths that I hear from them. And the third thing I would say is, um, Worrying about confidentiality in my, in my, in my realm. Sure. That's a big, big thing because, you know, the last thing they want to think is that.
That's why I sign NDAs. It's like, you know, if something breaks in the press after I get off a call with you, I want you to be really clear that I didn't release it, you know, so.
Patrick: Yeah, cool. Thank you for that. Uh, yeah, so weak, waiting for things to get bad. Well, the perception of being weak for reaching out.
Perception, yeah. Yeah, for things to get bad enough. Not bad enough. Yeah. Yeah. And I talk about that, like with rock bottoms, you know, with, Oh yeah. I think you have to wait for it to get so bad. I'll need to do something about it now. Like blacking out and yeah. Yeah. Right. But you, you can just choose, you can just choose right now.
Michele: You go, okay, this is amazing to choose when things aren't as bad as you know, they can get like how. I'm amazing to choose. Like, I feel like I'm not, I'm not managing this. Well, I'm not controlling this as well as I would like to, or it's, you know, it's, it's causing negative circumstances in my life. To be able to reach out now, before you get to that space.
And I was working with, um, athlete that had had a drinking problem. I was talking about another athlete, not by name, but like that was struggling. And he said, I would give anything to be able to talk to him, like do it now, do it before you hit that rock bottom. Cause it's so much easier to crawl out. I don't know if you, that you're fine.
You find that to be true, but that was his, that was his read for sure.
Patrick: Yeah, no, definitely. Cool. Another question, and I, I know I put you on the spot with these 'cause we didn't plan any of this. We looked at three things that can get in the way. And I also wonder what, okay, so what are three things that contribute towards like a high performers or professional athletes' kind of mindset and, and wellbeing?
Michele: I think it's the same thing that contributes to anyone's. It is like staying present, really managing your mind. Like you are in control of your mind. Your mind is not in control of you. So staying present, and managing your mind. And then, um, the, one of the big things that I work on with myself and with everybody is, uh, responding versus reacting is, um, you know, cause when we, when we see a reaction, we know somebody is coming from fear and as humans, we get to decide on purpose and think ahead of time about the response we want to have, whether it's a physical or verbal response. And I think just responding rather than reacting.
Obviously, athletes have to react. They have muscle memory. They've got to react to catch the ball. I'm not talking about those kind of things.
I'm talking about the things that can cause negative circumstances in our lives. So I think responding versus reacting is huge.
Patrick: Yeah, I love that. Yeah. And you're absolutely right. Like those aren't just there for anyone, right? Like those are the things that can make such a big difference in your life. So yeah, presence, managing your mind, knowing that your mind isn't managing you. Learning how to respond.
I want to just share a quote, actually. This is something that I've been sharing with absolutely everybody. It's by Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and he wrote a book about his experience. And I can't remember what it was called. I will find out, but he says, there's this quote.
He says between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Michele: Oh, you have got to send that to me. No, that is like, that speaks, I, I liken it to, um, you know, if a dog is off a leash. And it sees a squirrel, it's going to chase the squirrel.
It doesn't need the squirrel. It's got food at home. It's, you know, it doesn't need the squirrel. Um, and we, what makes us different than animals is that we get to think on purpose and think ahead of time and to say, you know, like I see a squirrel. I'm not going to chase the squirrel, you know, and I love this analogy.
It's, you know, those retractable dog leads, you know, that you push the button in it, you know, and I know when I'm walking with a friend that has a dog on one of those, and they're talking to somebody in the dogs, three blocks away on the retractable lead, you know, the dog has gone down the road with a lead.
And that's what our minds try to do with us. It's like our minds, like we just let it take us where it wants to go. It just extends the lead. It's, you know, we're sitting there holding it, but it's, it's on down the road. And I love thinking of the mind as like. You know, you push that button and you pull the dog right back next to you, that that's what we do with our brains.
It's like the minute we see our minds going offline or taking us in a direction we don't want to go is to push that button, pull our minds back and say, no, you know, I'm, I'm in control of this. You're not going to take me wherever you want to go and then work on tools that help you stay present. And respond, react.
But that is, that quote is amazing.
Patrick: Yeah. And as is that metaphor, right? Like it's, and you can, cause I'm quite visual. And I'm sure that's why I always have these crazy. Yeah. Right. And so you can always like, Oh, right. No, the dogs run off, right? There's time to put it
Michele: back. Think of just pressing that button and your brain coming back on the lead and like, no, you're not taking me wherever you want to go.
We, you are. Going to stay here, stay with me and I'm in charge and I will determine what we think. I'm not going to let you take me, take me to a place I don't want to go. Yeah. Lovely.
Patrick: All right. Cool. I've absolutely loved this conversation. It's been really fascinating.
It's been really cool. And before we go though, I do have one question I'd like to ask my guests and that is, what does it mean to be radically human for you?
Michele: I think being vulnerable, being, you know, that that's something that I'm really working on is to be really vulnerable and to allow, allow ourselves to have all the thoughts, all the feelings and to, to know that there's nothing that we're doing or that we've done that hasn't been done before and that we can share that and not have shame.
I think, I think with the, with vulnerability, we lose shame. And I think that's really powerful.
Patrick: Yeah. Shame. This just keeps giving you more of what you don't want. I say that often about fear as well, but yeah, shame just keeps you closed in. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. All right, cool. Well, before you go, I'd love for you to just let all the guys out there know how do they get in contact with you?
How do they find out more about what you do? Where are you hanging out?
Michele: Oh yes. So you can go to my website. It's micheldemetriou.com and, I'm @micheledemetriou on Instagram. I need to get better at. My presence on social media, but, uh, I'm also there, but the best way to find me is micheldemetriou.com
Amazing. There you go, guys. Go check out Michelle. All right. As I said, it's been an absolute pleasure. I really enjoyed our conversation. Uh, thank you very much.
Michele: Thank you, Patrick. Bye bye. Thank you for having us. Take care guys.