00:08 Hi, I'm Denise Simpson, a master live and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power so they can lead like visionaries, influence with grace, and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems navigating their success in life, business and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.00:46 Hey, leader, how are you? I hope you are doing fantastic. Let's get into this conversation of separating facts from fiction. So fiction we know is storytelling. We grew up reading fiction. A lot of us have really juicy, delicious fiction on our audible , and we listen on the go. We create these stories in our brains because of the words that we are reading and comprehending in our minds. We are envisioning, we are visualizing, we are seeing the characters in our mind's eye, and we are filled with the romance or the horror or the dilemma. But it is fiction that entices us, it compels us, it brings us forward. So the brain, my friend likes to do this in real life. The brain likes to create stories about circumstances, stories about a challenging adverse circumstance. It could be the story that your brain has presented to you with in regards to how you were raised, how you shouldn't have been raised this way, how your parents should have been better to you, how your society has crushed you, how the obstacles in your organization are presented because of the men and the patriarchy.02:25 These are examples of stories that our brain presents to us on a daily basis. Listen, I'm so funny. It's actually, I say funny. It's actually borderline disturbing when I get behind the wheel of a car and I'm on 35 and the 35 corridor that runs from the border of Laredo and Mexico all the way up to maybe even Oklahoma. I don't even know if it does go through Texas, but that highway, highway 35, I've lived up and down that corridor. So I know it very well. And yet I still have stories that my brain presents to me with in regards to how dangerous I 35 is for real. When I get behind the wheel of a car, I am defensive. I am on the defense. I am a bully. I am the first one to honk. I am the first one to play chicken with my car.03:37 I am the first one to be so aggressive. I have a problem neutralizing these circumstances. And so it's so interesting cuz I've spent most of my life along this 35 corridor for real, Laredo, San Antonio, Austin at really those three cities that have I 35 running through them. So I have to tell you, my brain has created fiction regarding these people in their cars and how they don't like me, what they've never met me. I picture them thinking, who does she think she is in that car? Where did I get that from? I don't have evidence of any of this, but my brain has come up with stories about other drivers. So I have to tell you, my friends, your brain is doing the same thing in different situations. It may be presenting you a very interesting story about your employees, about why you weren't promoted, about why you were disrespected, about why he cheated on you or she cheated on you, or why your friends do things behind your back, right?04:58 Your brain is presenting stories to protect you. That's ultimately what is happening. The brain is protecting you from fear, from being ridiculed, from being promoted and rejected later. Your brain is in survival mode. Your brain is designed to keep you alive. So it will create stories to protect you. And the stories my brain likes to tell me is get on the defense because they're coming after you. They don't like you. They don't think you should be driving that car. They think you're reckless. And now you better be on the defense and you better strike first for real. The brain is so interesting. And so as leaders, we need to be very careful with what our brain is presenting us with. And I always tell my clients, we need to separate facts from fiction. Give me the facts of the matter. If you can prove this in a court of law, tell me all about the facts.06:06 Show me the evidence, leave your opinions, leave the drama, Leave the stories out of this conversation because this way, this is how we delete or diminish negative emotion so that our logic comes back online. Because remember when emotions are high, logic is low. And as leaders, yes, our emotion is important. We're human, it's, it's a GPS system. It also helps with our intuition, but we also have to be careful when our brains are creating stories that are causing more heightened emotions. So separate facts from fiction in every circumstance. And that includes in your personal life, in your relationship with your body, the relationship you have with your lover or your spouse or your significant other, the relationship you have with money. Oh my goodness, let's really talk about that. A lot of us, especially in my culture, the Mexican American culture, I was raised along the Mexican Texas border.07:23 So let me be clear, I'm not generalizing or putting all Mexican Americans into this category or this story. I can only speak from the subset, which is my immediate and extended family. Okay? That's the disclaimer, . But for us, and especially in my immediate family, stories about money were evil stories about rich people were that they are unethical and that they don't care about the poor stories about money. And people who are in a higher class than us are inherently better. They are worthy. We are less worthy because we are not in that financial class. It is so interesting how stories go from generation to generation to generation, and it is part of our neurology. And then we wonder when we become business owners, what's happening with my story about money? She has all this money, I have nothing. I'm less worthy. He has all this money.08:35 He's making so much money in his business, I must be inherently bad. I'm not worthy. And it's not until we try to reach our goals or create specific results that realize, whoa, neurology is against me. My beliefs are against me. Because the stories that were fed to me, they were, they're like bedtime stories. For some of us, these are stories that we heard constantly that we heard adults talking about. In the other room, we heard very private conversations happening about THEC down the road, the neighbor down the road and what he did or she did, and all the gossip. And so we're hearing opinions and we're hearing these stories that their brains are creating in that circumstance. And we're listening and we're taking it as truth. We're like, Well, of course, of course they're, they're saying the truth. These are adults. We trust these people.09:35 We trust our parents. Yes, they must be right. Money is evil. It is the root of all evil. Oh my goodness. But then here we are grown ass women and men trying to do amazing things in our lives and we can't. And then we wonder why? What is wrong with me? What is going on with me? And when you get into the root cause, when you start really digging into your neurology, you start finding evidence of stories, beliefs, ideologies, principles that were embedded in you unconsciously and sometimes consciously, right? A lot was explicit , and other times it was implicit. And here it is now embedded in our neurology. And we're seeing this through the behaviors, the behaviors we are taking as adults, and ultimately the results we create in our lives. So that's all you have to do, my friend, is look at the results you are creating in your life in all aspects of your life. And if that result is less than satisfying, it is less than fulfilling. On a scale of one to 10, it is below a five, five or under meaning, less satisfied, less fulfilled. Then start looking at what stories is my mind, my brain creating around this specific topic?11:10 A lot of times we don't want to admit to ourselves that we were wronged by our families, our society, our culture. We don't want to admit that they were wrong. And listen, when you start disrupting neurology, when you give yourself permission to go on a discovery of why you are creating these specific results, why these behaviors are hindering your success, when you start disrupting neurology by asking these questions, you're going to uncover some very interesting truths, very interesting facts. And some of these facts about our culture, about our society, about the way women are treated in the workforce will upset you. And that is normal. There is nothing wrong with you, but this is part of the process. When you start separating facts from fiction, you start asking yourself questions, Why did I believe that was true? Why is my brain presenting this particular story to me?12:28 Oh, that's right, because my mother told me that men cheat on all women, and in order to keep them happy, you must keep him in bed. Seriously. That was one of the stories my mother told my sisters, and I, God bless her rest in peace, my beloved mother, that these are the things that she said to us about intimacy and the relationship we had with our bodies and the boundaries that were crossed because this was a belief, a story that was running our neurology. And so it's no wonder we did some very interesting things at a very young age. So careful with the fiction. This is all I wanna do today is draw your attention to the difference between facts and the fiction or the stories that your brain is presenting you with in any given situation. So if you find yourself having a difficult conversation with an employee and perhaps things were said that that may maybe shouldn't have been said, maybe there was an emotional charge or a trigger during that conversation, and you are on your way home thinking, who the hell does he think he is?13:50 I bet he believes he's entitled because he's a man. I bet he felt so comfortable talking to me like this because he doesn't see me as his leader. This is wrong. I have been wronged. I need to do something about this. I'm gonna see about talking to him again tomorrow and I'm gonna put him in his plays. So then here you are on your way home, ruminating about a very difficult conversation you had, and your brain is presenting fiction, the stories, and none of that, None of what your brain presented you with is true. So start looking at what really did happen, what really was said, What is the evidence? Should I take this into a court of law? What can I prove in this case? And that's when you start realizing, Oh, well, he didn't say any of those things. He was actually very calm and he didn't say, but just a few words.14:55 My goodness, why is my brain presenting all of these stories, this fiction to me? Why is it causing me heartache? Why is it causing me some pain? It's only causing you heartache and pain because it wants to protect you, protect you from fill in the blank. It wants to protect you from interesting enough being hurt while it's hurting you. the brain is a funny thing the brain's gonna bring. And if you don't realize that your brain is presenting you with this fiction, then how do we get anywhere in the workplace? How do we lead effectively when our brains are running on stories? So it's important, especially for us women leaders to do this work. And I call this neutralizing the circumstance. This is where you write down, honestly, take a pen and paper. You know me, I love pen paper journaling. This is my thing.15:59 This is how I get everything out of my brain onto paper so that I can consciously see what my unconscious mind is presenting me with. That's that's the work my friend. Take a pen and paper, write down what happened. And as you go back and read that paragraph, I want for you to highlight the evidence. Only what was written in the email is I am not happy with your leadership. Highlight that because that was written in an email. That is evidence. All the other stories and fiction that your brain is going to present with you on that download. You also need to identify so that you can see that perhaps the majority of what you wrote down is fiction. And maybe three out of the 100 sentences you wrote are actual evidence. This is how we start to neutralize circumstances so that we can show our brains.17:02 This is training our brains to start filtering through the eyes of evidence of facts so that you can then make a logical, rational next move or next decision or next step. So careful with the fiction that your brain presents to you with. And this is a powerful exercise, my friend. Anytime you find yourself ruminating after an uncomfortable conversation, an uncomfortable situation, a triggering or an activated situation, either in the workplace or in your personal life, pen and paper, do your thought, download and then highlight only the evidence. It's what you can prove in the court of law what that person actually said, what that person actually wrote, not your opinion or the stories your brain has presented you with. That's how we become masterful leaders. This is how we impact our workplace. We make decisions from a logical, rational perspective instead of heightened negative emotion.18:19 I'm not asking you to numb or suppress the negative emotion. This is why it's important that we put everything on paper so that we can see what thoughts we are having about the circumstance, which is a neutral circumstance because it's not until you have a thought about a situation that causes emotion. If you take anything from this episode, it is that the circumstance we neutralize always, we take the facts out of the fiction. And it is not until we have a thought about that situation that causes emotion, that creates an emotion, and then my friend, ultimately the actions, the behaviors we take and the results we create in our lives. This is the most powerful work you will ever do. So we start today separating facts from fiction and the stories that our brain likes to tell us. So it is your turn to do some thoughtful, mindful work.19:25 The next time you are in a situation and you may be in one right now, I encourage you to take pen and paper and start writing out whatever's on your mind about that occurrence or situation or circumstance. And then take that highlighter out and only highlight the facts of the situation. And you're gonna see how the majority of your writings, the majority of your thought download are nothing but stories. Our right leader. I hope this episode served you so very well. I'm looking forward to our next time together. And as always, you can reach me at Dr. Denise Simpson on all platforms except Twitter, . All right, take good care. Bye for now. Hey, leader, do you want weekly leadership tips, coaching and training straight to your email inbox? Yeah, I thought so. Head over to dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Again, that's dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Just submit your name and your email address and we'll get started right away. I look forward to serving you inside your email inbox. See you soon.