Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast, where we talk to wellness professionals from around the world to gain their insights into healthier living. I’m your host, Wes Malik. It’s most people's endeavor to live a healthy and wealthy life and almost everyone has a different idea of how to go about this. It's those ideas that we get to explore and then share with you when we talk to our guests. Our guest today, Kristie Kennedy, has been teaching personal development for over 20 years. She's a lifestyle empowerment author, a TEDx speaker, and is the owner of Queenfidence Executive Image Consulting, infusing women with confidence, clarity and insights to find their voices. She's very passionate about empowerment and confidence. And here with us to talk about all those things, let's welcome Kristie to the show. Kristie, welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast. How are you doing today?
Kristie: Doing great. How’s it going, Wes?
Host: Very good, very good. Enjoying the last month of summer. We’re in Autumn now, in Fall, just enjoying the good weather while it lasts.
Kristie: Yes, yes, yes. I’m in Florida and I was walking the dogs early in the morning and it was getting chilly. I said I need a sweater. I knew it was happening but let me tell you this, the season has been a really, really exciting year, to say the least. 2020 is for the history books.
Host: (laughing) It sure is. It sure is. And maybe there’s more in store. 2020 isn’t over just yet. Now you have been, you know, teaching personal development for the past 20 years and I wanted to begin by asking you. Over the last 20 years of teaching personal development, what’s the most common mistake people make when it comes to long-term wellness? And what are there, you know, incorrect thoughts about, you know, living healthy? What do you try to fix?
Kristie: The way they look at it. I’ll always teach my clients to pivot in their perspective because one, I was the individual who had a lot of resistance around wellness until I was in the hospital multiple times, Wes, and I realized that I was the problem. (laughing)
Host: Really? Oh, okay.
Kristie: I was the problem. You know, you're either part of the problem or you know, part of the solution.
Kristie: And I started thinking from that solution mindset. How can I create a better life? How can I set myself up for success? And I’m still brain hacking as you know we have habits and behavior patterns and those patterns, they don’t lie. And so the question is, “How do I disrupt the thought pattern”? Because typically it’s the thought that’s creating the emotion and it’s the emotion that's creating the action. And so hence, we have a lifestyle that is good behavior or a lifestyle of bad behavior.
Host: And do we learn these lifestyles? Are they ingrained? Do we just grow up with them or do we learn these bad habits or good habits on our own?
Kristie: Yes, we absolutely can. We can be influenced by, think about your parents. A lot of times that’s the first role model that you have before you. And so we can absolutely pick up improper habits that one, they prevent us from being our best self. Two, yes we can decide. Think about, if you don’t have the proper coping mechanisms for high-pressure sales in your sales environment or even as being a leader and you don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, you can go to vices that ultimately destroy you, your life, your family. And so that's why we want to be intentional about how we’re living.
Host: It's hard to be intentional because we just kind of surf life, you know, the way it takes us. How do you teach people to be intentional?
Kristie: I would say, we start first with… When I wake up in the morning, do you know what I see first? It’s the vision board. Because we don’t always wake up as you said on the right side of the bed, right?
Kristie: So, I want to make sure that I wake up on the right side of the bed and at the center of my vision board, I can see it in my mind. I even know I’m not in my master bedroom but, “Girl, you got this”. (laughing) And it all starts with us. So the first start first. In the morning what am I thinking? I often check in with myself, I’m asking, “Is this a trespasser or is it a welcome guest?” Because as you know, these thoughts, they’re going to create the way that we feel. And what do we want to feel when we wake up? We want to to be happy, typically. Do I want to feel energized? This is one of the things I'm complimented on the most… you have so much… I have so much energy because I'm doing a lot of work behind the scenes, that's journaling. I'm starting with my appreciation. What am I celebrating today? Every single day is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. It’s been said it.
Host: Well that's so much to pack in. That is a lot of information. I've overdosed on starting from your vision board to your journal. I need to know. It's hard to wake up positive in the morning. You're absolutely right. You could have a bad day if you have a bad night before. And yes, thoughts do creep up at times that, you know, “Oh, maybe I can do this”. Yes, it’s difficult, you know, going to work, maybe a client like you mentioned, sales or anything that we do in life. We kind of feel scared about, you know, what the result will be and we kind of flee or fight kind of situation. We just try to either escape that situation or, you know, push it back to try and avoid it. Instead of meeting it head-on. So with that positivity when you wake up in the morning. What's on your vision board? What do you see every day?
Kristie: Oh, Wes, get this. I have 19 vision boards and 6 vision books. That’s how serious I am about getting my mind right, not only in the morning, but throughout the day.
Kristie: So, I'm in my home office right now, I'm looking at against all odds. I put the most empowering words on how I want to feel. And as you mentioned, there are going to be some days that you don’t feel your best self. Some days I make it 5 hours of sleep but I still have determined within my mind, Wes, to play full out, to come at whatever I do with 1000% energy. It doesn’t matter because I decided who I want to be at the moment. And then I look at those vision boards and I can see visionary, modern, a little outside comeback speaking those words back into myself at the moment only got your own the lines, superpower makes combat and I start speaking those words back to myself and then I remember who I am because at the moment sometimes you can forget.
Host: Oh my God! You are your own cheerleader. That is so amazing. I’m quite intrigued. I do not have a vision board and, you know, the work that I do, I need to be motivated as well. The only person motivating me is myself. Maybe I get some motivation from my family. I certainly don't get it from my boss. Well, sometimes my clients tell me, “Hey, you did a great job there”, send me a little 4.9-star review or a 5-star review or something. But self-motivation is kind of difficult. Where does one start?
Kristie: You know, I like to say, Wes, start with the start because they will feel like, “Oh, that is so astronomical. I’m not going to be able to do that”. You start with one vision board. You start with one journal. Start somewhere, make a decision that you're going to be more positive, whatever that in the result is that you want to achieve. If you want to be more bold and audacious using your voice, you start raising your hand and speaking. So start with the start right where you are.
Host: My wife is very cynical. If I made a vision board, she’d say, “Well this, all this hocus focus is not going to work. You just have to do something else”. How do I convince the naysayers about self-motivation and vision boards and, you know, talking about motivating yourself?
Kristie: Listen, Wes. We are not in a convincing business. We are in the industry of ascending. You know how you're going to demonstrate? By showing up in a full blast of energy. No matter where you go they would say, “How do you have this energy?”. It’s not caffeine. I don’t drink sodas. Let me tell you, it’s in me believing beyond belief. It’s in me thinking about what I'm thinking about. It’s in me checking the thoughts at the door and refusing to live less than my best. And they’re going to want some of that sauce.
Host: Oh my God! Your enthusiasm is infectious. I love it! It’s fantastic. (laughing) You are the queen. You are the queen. When I say queen, that's your website, “Queenfidence”. That is a very unique word-combining queen, power, confidence and that's what you're all about. How did you come up with that term?
Kristie: Wes, the story of my life. So, as I mentioned, you know, when you become who you are destined to be, it is making deliberate steps. And when I was younger, I was absolutely horrified at public speaking. I was a timid, shy girl. The one who sat in the back of the classroom, never raising her hand and once again I had to make a decision, “I don’t want to live my life like that, you know, in the shadows of obscurity”. So I began to start practicing “acting as if” before I was there. And I specifically remember when I was in college, my freshman year in a Communications class, and you know you put on presentations.
Kristie: And I was absolutely terrified. And I asked my professor to present in private. And he allowed me to present privately in his office, but I thought about as a leader we challenge people because I never got over the fear. So, it was not until my senior year that I’m in my class and the professor asked a question, and I'm sitting in the back of the classroom, and I raised my hand and I was wrong. But let me tell you, Wes, I was crying at my desk because for the first time I allowed myself to speak. And that was the beginning of the breaking. And hence, now I teach women, especially introverts, because I'm introvert-dominant. People think I’m an extrovert, but I had to practice speaking out loud because as introverts we are very internal. And now I teach women who are timid and who desire to say something, but they’re too afraid to get over that fear because life is too short to be dulling your shine.
Host: That's right. That is true. Many great public speakers are actually introverts and the compensation that they have for public speaking comes out of practice and a lot of hard work. That is fantastic. You teach personal development, you're an executive image consultant, you work with women, you help them find their voice, free their voice, and look fabulous as well. So let's get to, you know, the healthy part and the wellness part. You also work with mental health. And speaking about all that, tell us a little bit more about your work when it comes to mental health and working with people? What do you actually do with people?
Kristie: Wes, as you know, you heard all that energy and is listening to you asked that question I’m getting teary-eyed because I think this is the most valuable work, is the most meaningful, are the most fulfilling that I could do because I battled depression and anxiety firsthand.
Kristie: As I mentioned the performance anxiety, and I’m just going to give you a success story that has just happened a couple of days ago and to show you the power of the work that I do.
Host: I’d love to hear it.
Kristie: It had me tearing up, but there was a young lady who came to me and in our first hour, I feel like I’m in a boxing ring. When I get in the ring with these individuals who have these negative strongholds over their minds, they want to be so much in life. They want to pursue their dreams but they cannot get beyond the fear. And this young lady was afraid to tell her parents that she dropped out of college because she wasn't making the grades and for two years she was procrastinating going back to school because of fear.
Kristie: And that whole one hour I'm telling her what's possible. I even write out an action plan to help her see how simple it was, just to call the University, find out if they’re offering classes, if they have a forgiveness policy, and she puts courage. She heard from that session, the word courage, and she put it on her cell phone, she put it on the wall, she put it in her car and it took her about a week to make a phone call. And when she did, she made three calls, a third call she was able to get back in the college and she came to the second session on fire. She said, “I cannot believe that I was holding myself back for two years afraid”. She said, “I can do it. I made myself so proud”. But it just goes to show the power of the right thought. She just needed the thought.
Host: That is wonderful! Two years later, she went back to school and the only person stopping her was herself, am I right?
Kristie: Yes. Absolutely.
Host: It's amazing how you managed to break through with individuals just by, you know, the thought process. And I think the most challenging thing is changing your thought process. We tend to stick to a certain pattern because we find convenience and routine. We find convenience in our patterns. We don’t like to break them. We kind of get, you know, intimidated by change, by something new, even thinking too large or thinking beyond what we think we are capable of, right? Are there any tips and tricks to breaking that, you know, mindset? You know, breaking that barrier?
Kristie: Absolutely. First and foremost, I mentioned it’s a boxing ring where you've got to be willing to fight, Wes, as you know. Say for instance, you’ve been holding this pattern for the last 10 years. Do you think that’s an easy thought? It’s like roots.
Host: Yes. They’re strong.
Kristie: You’ve got to dig. You’ve got to pull. So, on one of my vision boards right now, I see imagine the companies to do anything, the ability to call the shots, the power to start something beautiful. And as you know, at the crux of who we are is belief. Now, one thing we can do is stock our beliefs, because you can have negative beliefs and you've got positive beliefs. The issue is that you have too many negative beliefs that are impeding your progress and so at the moment, I would challenge you. I was just working with a client today and say, for instance, we would be dealing with the emails and how she was perceiving emails. And the thoughts around that created overwhelming… created stress. It caused her to react in a negative way. And so we stocked 5 beliefs on how she was perceiving the emails.
Kristie: And every email is not a priority. Well, I challenged her to give me 5 positive alternative statements. So, that’s what they have to learn to do. First and foremost is you've got to identify what’s the negative thought that you want to replace. Because it’s either a trespasser or a welcome guest. And if we live passively we’ll never check those stocks, will never challenge them, and step into a cycle and we have the same thing which makes it over and over and over again 10 years later.
Host: Right. Okay. And is that where the mastery of the mind comes in?
Kristie: Yes. Absolutely. You’re mastering your own mind because my thought challenges aren’t going to be the same as yours. What I'm dealing with, you know, when I look at my own history, what I had to come up through and fight against. Even as a child I lived in a very volatile environment. I dealt with poverty, you name it. So what I'm fighting against may be totally different from what you're fighting with. And then the level of intensity that I have to fight my own thoughts versus yours may be different too, depending on the circumstances that you encounter.
Host: Right. And is it important that we seek help when it comes to mindset mastery or can we reduce this on our own?
Kristie: You can absolutely do it on your own but I personally believe it’s good to have someone speaking into your mind, helping you catch those blind spots because we all have them. I have someone speaking into my mind to help challenge me. Think about it, if you want to be a multimillionaire case in point, you need to surround yourself with other multimillionaires or a billionaires, or if you can't get close to them, you can read their books because you want to elevate your mindset.
Host: Right. So the environment makes a difference and if we change our environment that can help.
Kristie: Yes. Yes. And as what I often advocate is, you know with the 19 vision board surrounding me, I want to make sure that everything externally is speaking in alignment with what I’m thinking internally and who I want to become. And that’s being highly selective of the individuals I interact with. I rarely watch TV. So you talk about the energy that I have, it’s all positive. So, I’m constantly reading. I’m constantly writing. I'm researching, you name it, but I'm reinforcing the beliefs that I want to live by.
Host: Let’s say I want to start a vision board. How do I begin?
Kristie: Ask yourself, what do you want to focus on. Say, for instance, one of my visions, number 15, is all about being bolder with my voice. So at the top of that vision board, I have TEDx. Put those words that will reinforce what you want to become, who you want to evolve into, how you want to show up in life. And so I was looking at it, I can see lead up and lead on. So I want to be a more powerful leader. And that vision board actually, I would say, within two years I stood on the TEDx stage, but TEDx was at the top. But then you have to be willing to do the work. So what you see is just the beginning and I have the year of the unexpected. So the beginning is to see what you want to see. So, see inside what you want to see outside.
Kristie: And I want to put all the words that are going to be in alignment with who I desire to be as a release to that one focus topic. Maybe you want to lose weight… you could create a vision board with nothing but affirming words that continue to build the belief that it's possible to lose 20 pounds, to have your best body, to be more energetic. Whatever the outcome is, that's what you're putting on that vision board. Some people will have just all pictures. There’s no right or wrong way to do a vision board, just do it to the point that it resonates with you. It’s going to motivate you, it’s going to inspire you and empower you at the end of the day.
Host: How did you know I was trying to lose weight? (laughing) It’s a good guess. It’s a great guess. That's a very powerful way of looking at your own goals on a day-to-day basis and I love it. You wake up early in the morning, first thing in the morning that's what you see and that's fantastic. Getting back to mindset mastery. Are there any exercises for this or any steps like any physical things that we can do?
Kristie: As it is building your mind and strengthening it? So, another thing that I love to do on a daily basis is tracking my success, the action. Because once again, we're going to have some resistance. When you mentioned earlier, you desire to be a bigger version of yourself to accomplish the galactic goals as I like to say. It's going to require all of your energy. I'm talking about laser-focused energy. A ferocious concentration, a fanatical execution, right? And so I like to keep a journal of what I'm doing every single day to hold myself accountable. You have to be able to track your behavior because if not, how do you change it? How do you modify it?
Host: And how do you do it? How do you get to modify your thought process?
Kristie: So if this is about weight loss, let’s go there.
Kristie: I changed my diet because one, I need to be decreasing calories. So certain foods that I’m eating, maybe I change my diet. Maybe I go more flexitarian. And so I start pulling away some meats. Maybe I start doing twice a week so I can start monitoring based on these changes that I'm making. Is my weight decreasing? If it’s not then I have to constantly make new tweaks. Maybe I need to do more cardio and I write down in that journal I’m tracking, I ran four times this week. And if it's working, we want to keep working it. (laughing)
Host: I have a different type of question for you. We’re talking about mindset and, you know, changing it and trying to break patterns, instigating ourselves, self-motivation. What if we want to give our minds a little bit of rest? Maybe we feel we’re thinking about too many things or we’re a little overworked or stressed out? How can we give our minds some rest?
Kristie: I love that question, Wes, because I do work with a lot of workaholics.
Kristie: Most recently, a doctor came to me for 3 hours a week. Can you imagine?
Host: Oh, my goodness!
Kristie: I do make sacrifices but good gracious! And so I asked him if he could take 10 minutes or a 10-minute break. Honestly, he couldn’t entertain the idea, 10 minutes seemed like 10 hours. And so we came up with a solution for him just to walk outside when it's slower in the late-night hours to get some fresh air. So yes, one thing I often recommend for somebody, especially if you are using your brain, you’re a leader and there’s a constant demand for this brilliance, and so quiet is my solution. And I often go to the lake. After this interview, I am going to the lake because I solve problems all day every day.
Kristie: And the lake is very quiet, is refreshing and nature is therapeutic within itself. And there are some days I can sit back and see the trees. Right now, I’m sitting by the trees and tears are just flowing down my eyes and I’m being cleansed because of the calmness of the lake. Another thing that I love to do is, I often recommend it for adults because we often forget about the inner child that is inside of us that loves to have fun. And I have all types of adult coloring books and some of them have activities within them. They'll have affirmations, they’ll have an appreciation, three things that you celebrate today. And so one of my solutions is to step into gratefulness. Because why? Gratitude is very expansive, it opens us up. Whereas when we get tired and exhausted, we end up stepping into the complaint and that’s very constricting. It feels like the walls are caving in on us. So I often step into “What can I appreciate? What can I celebrate?”, because I start looking at the responsibilities as a burden and I don't want to look at them as a burden. I want to know that the work that I'm doing is meaningful and that my contribution is needed.
Host: Now you previously mentioned you’ve been through a lot. You've seen a lot happen in life and you've also encountered many health challenges. Could you share, you know, what happened and what each one taught you?
Kristie: Health challenges, so that's a whole another level. So, one of the major health challenges that has inspired me to do this work, Wes, was when I had seven fibroid tumors and those are non-cancerous tumors and they’re common in African-American women. And for five years I battled these fibroid tumors, but they ended up making me anemic because I was losing so much blood every single month. And at that time I did not have health insurance to even solve the problem. And so it goes back to that emotional resilience that we’re going to pull from in mindset mastery because I still have to show up. And I was building a business at that time and I was not producing in my business. Well, you can imagine a financial drought and a major health challenge but I was still going at it every single day. And that’s what I was talking about because there are so many individuals, even amidst of this chaotic climate that we’re in right now that are folding under the pressure and this is the value of the work that we do and building the mind because life is going to throw us curveballs. Life is going to hit us below the belt and are you able to stand the pressure. That's what that experience taught me, that life is not going to be skittles and rainbows. (laughing)
Kristie: And you have to do something. But I'm telling you this, Wes, you can go through your moments of diversity with a good attitude if you choose.
Host: So the key is a good attitude.
Host: That’s what it is. And sometimes people have a good attitude, sometimes they have negative attitudes towards what's happening to them. They further bring themselves down, you know, the pessimistic cup half empty approach to life which is valid. Everyone has their own opinion and their own way of looking at the world and at life and reacting differently to… There's no right or wrong thing, but positivity I think is very, very important. Especially in like you said if there's a financial crunch or a crisis or there's change, maintaining that optimism can get a little tough for some people, almost completely impossible. Have you come across people like that?
Kristie: Yes, absolutely.
Host: How do you help them?
Kristie: It goes back to it is a decision. I can decide to be happy for you, Wes, but you have to decide to be happy for you. And as coaches, we often hold spaces for individuals until they can get there, but I can't force them to be happy. I can give them tools and techniques. And that’s why some clients will get results immediately, they’ll grab hold of it. And in others, they may have a resistance for a long period of time because as you know our brain is a box of stories and they can't let go of those old stories that are no longer serving them, they’re going to stay in that negative state longer than they have to. Because I often say you have the key to unlock your own prison door. The question is, are you going to use it? I had a client recently, I worked with her four sessions before she caught it, whereas there are other clients that make it in session 1. Well, four sessions later she had been literally in a negative state as it relates to where she lived. She wanted to move. And I said, “Well, how about let's practice acceptance? Letting go of what you can't control right now”, and she let it go. And the next session she found an apartment that she could move to that would be less expensive than the one she was in.
Host: Oh, nice.
Kristie: And someone called her once she let go. Because she was calling several times a day, trying to find and they were sending her to an anxious state of mind. So we just practice acceptance.
Host: Okay. That is very, very useful. Practicing acceptance
Kristie: Yes, because sometimes you just can't control and now we release it. So we can live in harmony within ourselves. That’s the name of the game. Is there internal congruence with what I am experiencing and how I am feeling about what I'm experiencing? Because once again I’m always going to come back to “It’s a choice”. I have lived on the other side of positivity and I was negative nearly. I was the captain of the cheer squad, the negative cheer squad, right?
Host: Right. (laughing)
Kristie: And I just didn’t want to live that way. I had the big boulder on the shoulder and I was often getting in trouble. And I think about high school days and even college. I almost got kicked out of college for my bad attitude. And that’s not the type of legacy I wanted to leave. So I know that if I can change, Wes, anybody can change. (laughing)
Host: Fantastic! Speaking of acceptance, it’s really easy to talk about, you know, accepting what's going on in our life but I can speak from personal experience. Acceptance can be one of the most difficult things for human beings.
Kristie: You're right because we do want to hold tight.
Host: Yes, we do. And sometimes, you know, our convictions are very, very strong. Our wants or needs or desires are so strong that sometimes it's hard to just accept things the way they are. I have another question about one specific thing that you are skilled in. We’ve talked about a lot of things, but this is one thing that I skipped and I was hoping you could explain this to me because I've never come across this word. Magnetic messaging.
Kristie: Ooohh. I like it. I like it. I wrote it. (laughing)
Host: You wrote it, you’re skilled in it and you teach it. You're the expert in it. I’d love to know a little bit more about what this is.
Kristie: Yes! Oh, you see my energy just changed even just think of it.
Kristie: Magnetic energy, think about the magnet. We’re going to start right here.
Kristie: That magnet has so much pull. And do you want to how you can get that pull to be even stronger? It goes back to when I was talking about stacking the beliefs. So hence why I have 19 vision boards and 6 vision books. So case in point, my first vision book is when I talk about magnetic messaging. It starts with your scripting out of your life. I’m not talking about the life that you’re currently living, Wes. I’m talking about that massive life that you want to step into and that you want to leave a dent on this earth. And so I started with the type of man I wanted to marry and I had 60 bullet points of discussion because I was tired of having a broken heart. Clearly, I was choosing the wrong mate, but not only that, Wes. I was not the right individual. So I need to elevate my own mindset and how I wanted to show up in a relationship. So I went on a 13-year hiatus. And when I met my husband, because I was so clear on what I was expecting, I knew that he was the one without a shadow of a doubt, 99.9% correct. It starts with you creating the story, the narrative. The one you've been living in is lackluster. I want to create a bestseller in my own life. And hence, I love this quote, Wes.
She, who holds the pen, holds the power
In your case, “He, who holds the power, holds the power”. If I don’t like the way my life is going, I get to rewrite it. I’m going to give you an example of this magnetic messaging because I don’t want people to just think that it’s something that you write. It’s something that you live in. Your life is a message, so much grander than what we can see with our mind’s eye. So in 2014, I was laid off from my day job. I was working as a medical aesthetician. I’m an aesthetician by trade and it came out of nowhere because I interned myself on the job and all of a sudden, now I’m being let go. And that's when I really went vision board crazy. I said, “I have to figure this entrepreneurship thing because I don't ever want to be at the mercy of someone else making decisions for me”, and here I am trying to figure out how to survive. And so hence, Queenfidence came out of that because I believe we all have the power to prevail against any obstacle, any insurmountable challenge that we’re facing. I decided in those moments to re-create, to redesign. I change the story.
Host: That is brilliant. That is brilliant. Just listening to you speak is energizing me and I really need to start a vision board of my own. I've never done it. I am sold on it now. You know, while you’re talking my mind was wandering. I will be very honest with you. My mind was wandering on, “Hmm, what am I going to put on my vision board? All that magnetic messaging makes sense to me.”
Host: Kristie, thank you so much for, you know, showing us some very key basics to living a good life, a healthy life, and a powerful life and a life that we want to lead. You have been a great, great guest and we learned a lot. Is there anything you'd like to, you know, a note or a thought that you like to leave our audience with?
Kristie: One of my favorite affirmations, Wes, is no one is you and that is your power. Do not be afraid of who you are. I want you to know that it is going to be a fight to live your best life. And as I mentioned, that the power of magnetic messaging being able to draw things to you, I paid off my home 12 years early because I believed. It doesn’t matter what’s in your bank account, it happened. And so we can live above and beyond the systems of this world by the power of our thinking. So think about what you’re thinking about and ask yourself, “Is this my best thought?” If not, let’s ascend even higher.
Host: Wonderful! Kristie, thank you so much for being on the Lifelong Wellness podcast today.
Kristie: It’s an honor. Thank you, Wes.
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