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IAM2145 – Master Coach Helps Clients Heal the Early Life Wounds through Emotional Mastery

Podcast Interview with Andrea Isaacs

In this episode, we have Andrea Isaacs, CEO, and founder of the Emotion and Life Mastery Institute.

Andrea shares her pioneering work in emotional mastery, blending personal anecdotes, neuroscience, and the Enneagram.

She discusses her unique approach to healing early life wounds to create new neural pathways for personal and professional growth.

Andrea also talks about the importance of embodiment in leadership and offers practical tools like the ‘snow' acronym for shifting emotions. Tune in to learn more about her methods and how they have transformed leaders worldwide.


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Andrea Isaacs Teaser 00:00

When even the neural pathway by itself doesn't help you step across the edge of your comfort zone, it usually means there's some early-life wound.

And those wounds take up room. And there's no space for a new neural pathway yet. And so what I do in my coaching is we go back to those early life imprints. And it healed the wound, and I have a unique method for the healing processes I use as well.

Intro 00:23

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:52

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Andrea Isaacs, Andrea, excited to have you on the show.

Andrea Isaacs 01:00

Hi Gresham. It's really great to be here with you.

Gresham Harkless 01:02

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on and talk about all the awesome things that you're doing.

And of course, before we do that, I want to read a little bit more about Andrea so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Andrea is CEO and founder of the Emotion and Life Mastery Institute, is renowned for her pioneering work in emotional mastery.

She captivates her audience with a blend of personal antidotes, neuroscience research, embodiment, the Enneagram, and practical, easy-to-use strategies that resonate on a profound level.

Her approach is deeply rooted in real-life applications that encourage self-reflection and personal growth. She's been empowering entrepreneurs and leaders to reach their potential for 30 years and has brought her unique method to 30 countries on five different continents. And I was reading a little bit more preparing for this, and she has been called the master of change and spiritual teacher extraordinaire.

And she has loads and loads of great experience. I just love kind of diving into all the awesome things that she does. One The things that she's been as a former radio host. And even though she's a shy person, she says, I love that she's been able to conquer that. But one of the things that I think really made me a little bit hungry is that she claims to make the best pesto you've ever come across as well, too.

So Andrea, excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Andrea Isaacs 02:15

It's great to be here. I just did a whole pesto things these last days with trying different pastas because I'm gluten-free and there aren't really good gluten-free pastas, but I came across the best one. So we'll have to continue that conversation. I'll tell you more about it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:29

Hey, yeah, definitely. We have to do that offline. I'm glad we did that after lunch for sure. So that makes it a little bit easier. So I know I touched on a little bit, but what I wanted to do was rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more about your story, how you got started with doing all the awesome things you've been working on.

Andrea Isaacs 02:44

I was painfully shy for decades, you mentioned that, and I tried and tried and tried not to be, I tried and tried and tried to be a confident person, and it was impossible. In fact, one of the worst birthday gifts ever, when I was 13 years old, my mother gave me modeling lessons. And it scared me, freaked me out.

I just cried. I could not go because the idea of walking down a runway and being looked at was horrifying. So I never went. Anyway, fast forward many years. My first professional career was essentially nonverbal. I was a professional dancer and I had to talk, of course, but not publicly. I I had my own dance company.

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And that's when I came across this personality system called the Enneagram. And it was so interesting to me because I learned why I was so painfully shy. I learned so much about myself that I dove headfirst into a training program.

And I realized that I had actually created the neural pathway for confidence.

We all know about our comfort zone. We all know about the glass ceiling. And when we hit that edge, What happens is it could be fear. You may not feel fear, but it could be procrastination or doubt or resistance of some kind. When even the neural pathway by itself doesn't help you step across the edge of your comfort zone, it usually means there's some early life wound.

And those wounds take up room. And there's no space for a new neural pathway yet. And so what I do in my coaching is we go back to those early life imprints. And it healed the wound, and I have a unique method for the healing processes I use as well. And when that wound heals, there's room. And in its space, there's room for something else.

I love to ask my clients this question. Now that there's space, what's in its place? And it's always something that's so empowering. It's about your potential, what's uniquely yours to bring the world. And, I didn't know that this was a business for a long time. I did this work probably for 20 years before I knew what it was to have a business.

So I really grew into being an a CEO of my own business after years of not knowing that that's if you don't have a business, it's harder to bring this to the world. And I know that this work changes people's lives for the better. And we all have a ripple effect. So I know it makes the world a better place.

So I invested a lot of money to learn how to be in business and to learn how to make this into a business and that brought me to. today.

Gresham Harkless 05:05

Nice. I absolutely love that. So, I know you touched on a little bit, but I wanted to hear a little bit more on how that process goes, how you work with your clients. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like and how you're making that impact for your clients?

Andrea Isaacs 05:16

So I do the work with my clients, private coaching, group coaching, and I have trainings and programs and workshops and then I give talks and so on. Here's an example. So I was working with a global company. They were in 135 countries and they had a commitment to the personal development of all of their senior leaders.

They had about 350 senior leaders and they were all doing something for their personal development, not just professional. I really admire that, by the way, because if we leave part of us behind when we grow, what happens when you retire and you haven't had any self-awareness about who you are? So it's beautiful when people honor both paths, the personal and the professional.

Anyway, so this particular leader who I was working with was known for his anger. He had been sent to anger management classes that didn't work. And when they sent him to me, they said, he's a tough nut. And so he came and as we talked, and I also have a quiz that gave me a lot of insight into him. And so seeing the result of his quiz prompted certain kinds of questions that brought out some of his own, his stories.

So one of his stories was that He'd been married and divorced three times because of his anger. He had young children who were afraid of him. And then he revealed that his father at a very early age was very physically abusive. And we learned from our parents, we learned how to be a parent. And he learned that that's what a man, what it is to be a man.

And then we have your body inform your brain and we come up with a mantra, which is a word or phrase that has the same meaning of the energy in your body, the energy in your body and what you're doing physically.

I call a mudra. Traditionally a mudra is a prayer or meditation position. I take a lot of creative license with both. So once he did his healing process, He stood up and he dropped his arms and he said, I dropped the baggage and then he took a step forward and he said, and I step into the ring of emotion.

Now this was a guy. I thought he was going to be in a boxing ring. I thought it was that kind of ring of emotion. And then he takes us a circle around his heart and he says, my whole heart is present. And he reaches his palms forward and he says. And I'm ready for a new way to love. And the tears were just streaming down his face.

And the next day I got a call from his manager who said, what did you do to him? He's a new man and a new leader because how you do anything is how you do everything. He was going to go home and be a different father. And he was in a new relationship. He didn't want to destroy. He was going to be a different man for those, for everybody in his life.

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He was going to show. Differently because of that. So that's an example.

Gresham Harkless 08:07

Nice. I appreciate you so much in sharing that. And I don't know if that's part of what I would call it, like your secret sauce, the thing you feel sets you apart and makes you unique, but it seems like you have that ability and understanding of knowing that things aren't siloed and really being able to get to, for lack of a better term, the root of what can help that transformation to happen.

But do you feel like that's part of what sets you apart?

Andrea Isaacs 08:27

Yeah, I think that you're right. That is my secret sauce. It's about embodiment. Not a lot of people do that, especially related to business or leadership. And I think it's essential. You can embody what it means to be a transformational, powerful, empowering leader.

You can embody that. And when you do that, you're so magnetic and you're able to step up into whatever comes your way. And you are in the decisions you make are more in alignment with where you want to go. Your team can get aligned with you so that you all move towards the shared vision. So the environment piece, I think is terribly missing.

Gresham Harkless 09:01

Yeah. That, that makes so much sense. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Andrea Isaacs 09:12

Thank you. I love this one as because my world is all about our emotional state and our mindset. I have a hack that can shift an emotion really on a dime. So it's four steps and there's an acronym. The acronym is snow. I live the way this goes. I'll give you a story about how this evolved.I grew up in the north and I, from decades.

And I know what it is to have a lot of snow. I've shoveled a lot.

If you're feeling so much flow, you can't focus. What if you just have your energy more firm and direct? We've talked about that language all weekend. This is the language of the body, which when combined with the language of emotion is very powerful. Powerful and empowering. So then I look at the flip chart and I look this way, I can see the S, N, O, and all these jokes we were making about snow just came to mind.

And I just write down, I had to finish this. No, I just write down the W. And then I said, wow, watch what happens next because it's going to be different because the energy in your body is different. Your mindset is different. The words that come out of your mouth and how you say what you're going to say is different. That's my hack snow.

Gresham Harkless 10:18

I absolutely love that. And so would you consider that to be what I would like to call your CEO nugget? It's a little bit more word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger self.

Andrea Isaacs 10:33

I wish I had a time machine because my younger self would have loved this.

So yes, I do have I do have a nugget. I like to call it the five C's. to tango with tough topics. And it is a five C's for effective communication, but that's a more boring title. As a dancer, I love the idea of tango. In fact, I didn't do partner dancing during all my years of professional dancing after I couldn't do that anymore.

I did start partner dancing, but the reason for the metaphor is this. In any partner dancing, especially Argentine tango, the quality of your connection is essential. And as soon as it breaks, the leader can't lead and the follower doesn't know what to do. And the dance becomes more difficult. When there's a tough conversation you want to have with someone, that connection is just as important.

And as soon as it breaks, The conversation doesn't go well. So here are the five C's. The first one, C, is to be calm. Do not even begin the conversation unless you are calm. It might take one deep breath, or three, or five minutes, or two weeks. It doesn't matter how long it takes. You must be calm because if you're not, the brain has what's called these mirror neurons.

If I come in and I'm calm, your mirror neurons kick in and you're calm too. That's the first one. The second C is connect. In other words, don't jump into the topic at hand right away. Because it'll feel like being blindsided. Oh, here I was just it was nice being with you. And then I feel blindsided.

No, just take a moment. It doesn't have to be a long moment. To connect on a topic where you can just have an easy conversation.

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Third C is context. And there are two layers to the context. The first one is what I like to call the higher context. In this situation, whatever the story is, what's the higher, what is your highest dream for this scenario?

Find a way to talk about that. In a way that you know, the other person will be in agreement with you. So they get into a yes. And they get into a form of a way of agreement.

And then the next C is really important. Whatever they say, you want to have compassion for. So after context is compassion. You have no idea what went into their perspective. So you want to do everything you can to understand their perspective. And how do you do that? With the fifth C, which is to be curious.

Because when you're curious, and you ask a question, it tells the other person you want to know. And so they'll tell you.

People start under, and what happened with this company is they started understanding each other.

The person on the team understood the challenges and the kinds of decisions the leader was needing to make. And the leader understood that this person just needs to have an understanding. They need to have a picture of what's going on here. And more specifically, situations get resolved so much more easily than you could imagine.

So to recap, calm, connect, context with two levels, higher level, and then your specific issue, compassion, and curiosity.

Gresham Harkless 13:43

Nice. I absolutely love those.

So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and our goals that have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Andrea, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Andrea Isaacs 13:54

I might call myself the chief emotional officer, making sure that everyone on my team is being well served. Is emotionally doing well, that they feel safe. They feel taken care of in their lives that they're that they're doing what their gift is and that we can all engage in quality communication.

So my team knows the five C's. And sometimes we've had difficult conversations and sometimes I had to let someone go. That's the hardest thing to do, by the way. So let someone go is the hardest thing to do, but we have one of those difficult conversations and there was a mutual understanding. So I think communication and understanding is, is one of the most important things.

But the other thing is my, is the CEO of my business is There is a gift I have that I want to bring the world. And as CEO, it is totally up to me to be responsible to my gift. If I'm not responsible to my gift, it won't happen. It's up to me. So the decisions I make, the actions I take have to be on behalf of my dream.

That's the most important thing. And there's so many things, the kinds of decisions and strategies, of course, that's up to me too. Of course it is. But the umbrella, the overriding, the higher context for me of being the CEO is I'm responsible to bring my dream to life. I am responsible to bring my dream to the world.

It's all up to me. Now. I can have support. I need support. I can't do it alone. There's so much to do. I don't know how to do yet, even though I've been around this a long time. And I've also learned and know for myself too. That as leaders and entrepreneurs, we need mentoring or coaching, whatever you want to call it at every level of business.

We have, there's always someone who's done more and has had more success. So, as we grow, we want the leadership and the coaching or mentoring that we get to up level with us. And I do know some people that have. Coaches at all different levels of their business, because maybe this part of my life is going really well in that part of my life, not so well.

So I'll have different coaches. And that makes sense too, because I want to be the best I can in all parts of life. So being a CEO means also reaching out for the right support at the right time.

Gresham Harkless 16:05

Nice. I love that. Andrea, to make that even easier.

Like you mentioned, we're going to have the links and information in the show notes as well, too, so that everybody can follow up with you. And I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Andrea Isaacs 16:15

Thank you. It's been great being with you, Gresham.

Outro 16:18

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation in Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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