Hey guys, Thanks for tuning in to this episode of MomTalks with Christa. I am your host, Christa and we have a great episode for you guys. Today I just talked with Stephanie Lopez. She is a mom mindset and emotion coach, she came up with the brave method that helps moms manage their emotions, and do some inner work on themselves. It was such a cool conversation, anyone just kind of looking to start doing some inner work to be the best parent they can be and be passionate and the tenant understand their emotions a little bit better, I highly recommend this episode for you. So, it was just such a cool episode. She actually used to be a NASA psychologist. So that was kind of cool to hear about how she decided to pivot a little bit and yeah, I think you're going to really enjoy this episode. Alright, so we got that for coming for you guys. Don't forget to stick around at the end for our mom tales of the week. And if you're not sure what that is, it is every single week we have you guys answer some questions, share some stories and I'll be sharing some of our favorite ones after the episode. So, stick around at the end and enjoy. So welcome, Stephanie.
Stephanie: Thank you so much for having me.
Christa: Absolutely. I'm so excited to talk to you today. So first, can you just tell us a little bit about you? And then we'll kinda go from there?
Stephanie: Sure, yeah, I'll share my story first. So I grew up type a high achiever goal of being perfect which is not possible but that was the goal and like so many of us, right? and I struggle to like cope with difficult situations and to regulate my emotions and I just felt like, I don't know how to control myself and I would get angry and explode and then I'd be good for several months, and then it would happen again and I'm like, what is wrong with me? like other people don't struggle with this. And like, this is my internal monologue in those days and it left me feeling a bit broken and flawed. Like, I really felt like, okay, something must be wrong with me, people don't struggle like this. And then, when I was 25, I found the human element, and it changed my entire life. Like, everything just changed everything for me. And so, we'll skip into now and now I work with high achieving moms to help them show up the way that they want to be to reduce their anxiety to regulate their emotions, to shift their mindset and communicate more effectively. And so, that's my story. And then a little bit about me is I have two daughters, one and a half in three and a half. My background is in industrial organizational psychology, and I'm also a certified coach.
Christa: Human element, and is that a book?
Stephanie: No, it's a workshop actually, a five-day workshop. It's designed for organizations. So usually, the approach to improve organizational effectiveness tends to be like work on the systems and the processes. And the policies in this approach is like, how could we start with the people and help the people learn more about themselves, increase their self-awareness, reduce their defense mechanisms communicate better? There's more that to it, but it just was a life changing experience for me.
Christa: Wow, that sounds awesome. That sounds really cool. So, she talks about being an emotion coach. So, what kind of led you to that path? And what is an emotion coach to for those of us listening that aren't familiar?
Stephanie: When I say emotion Coach, what I'm thinking is just helping moms reduce their overwhelm, feel calmer, feel more confident, feel more at ease, and just basically regulate their emotions more. And one of the things that I focus on is helping everyone realize like, why we have emotions. They're not just you know, a nuisance are not things that are getting in the way like there is a purpose to them.
Christa: Yeah, absolutely. That's great. Because I think a lot of times, I was just talking to someone about how like anger as an emotion is a lot of times a second hand emotion like we do that because something else is going on. So, I think it's so important to dive into emotions like, this is where I like fire up. So, I'm so excited for this conversation.
Stephanie: I'm happy to hear that
Christa: Like you can find on that. So how can a mom start to shift her mindset to improve her overall emotional health? Now, you kind of talked about that in your page a lot.
Stephanie: Let's see, the two places that I start with clients is providing them foundational knowledge around the purpose of emotions, and then also what our brain does on autopilot. Because so for the first part, every emotion is backed by data, it is in neutral messengers, providing you with information about what you need, and what you desire. And if you find yourself ignoring, or suppressing or numbing your emotions, and, and my clients tend to numb their emotions by working nonstop. So, I just want to be clear, like numbing doesn't have to be like with drugs or alcohol or anything intense it could be work or shopping. So, when we numb, when we resist all of that, then that has the opposite impact of what we want. People tend to want to feel better, that makes our emotions persist. So that's one of the primary things that I focus on just making sure they have that knowledge. And then the second thing that I found so helpful to equip them with in the beginning, when we start working together is the primary functions of the brain. So, a lot of times, I find that my clients come to me with the conclusion that like, something is wrong with me. Kind of what I was describing at the beginning, like, Why do I keep comparing myself and judging and making up these, like, really dramatic, things that are like not reality, and for example, like maybe I'm overanalyzing are in my head, and I can't get out of my head and I'm overthinking all of these things. And it's like, okay, so our brain does five things automatically and some of that one of those things is comparison. So, like your jobs brain is to compare. So, if you're getting down on yourself for comparing your job, your brains doing what it's supposed to do, where we get into trouble, is by buying into that as being the truth. So, if I compare myself in, I think, like, I'm, you know, not doing a very good job, you know, because of your highlight reel on Instagram or whatever. And then I decided that well, that that must be a fact. Then this whole emotional cascade happens. So that's just like a gist of like, part of what I dive into when we first start working together so they can shift their emotions.
Christa: Oh, that's cool. But never heard of the book, the human mind.
Christa: Yeah. Okay. I just thought that, I think last year, and I thought it was so it just kind of jumped in my mind when you were kind of just talking about that. How you naturally have these thoughts and that's like, in the back of your mind, but it to kind of train your brain to think the more positive or understand what's actually true and what's not actually true.
Stephanie: Yeah. What is reality? And what is just like, our, you know, protector Park trying to keep us safe.
Christa: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So interesting. Because, yeah, I think a lot of times, we tend to hear our inner voice all the time. So, we're like, well, that must be true. Oh, yep. Just going to keep comparing myself because it's got to be you know, it's got to be true, since you were previously a NASA psychologist. So, what kind of pushed you to leave that career and start coaching moms more specifically?
Stephanie: Okay, so this was like, an eight-year journey, literally. So, this all started when I took the human element because that was when I started, like, within a year of starting of working at NASA. And at that time, I was an Organizational Psychologist there but when I took this training, I decided literally, on the first day of the five-day training, I'm like, I have to spread this to as many people as possible. Something in me just knew that this was the work for me to do and I had in the back of my mind I think I could make the biggest impact with parents or working with children but I didn't know how. I'm like, I don't know if I could make enough money doing that. I don't know how I would actually do it. So, I just put it on the backburner. I focused on myself my personal growth, doing my own inner work, my professional growth and my career was thriving, I got promoted to be working with executives across the NASA centers and but in the back of my mind the whole time I'm like, this is not what I think I'm supposed to be doing. Like I'm happy. It's a great, it's a fantastic place to work but I just kept saying, Oh, my second career or one day because a few people knew that I wanted to do this. And they would ask occasionally, so I had all these rational reasons, like, it's a great place to work, my career's thriving, I love this place. And while those were true, what it really came down to, and I'm going to share this, because maybe it'll resonate with somebody it came down to fear. Fear of not having it all figured out fear of failure, fear of like, how am I actually going to be able to pull this off? Like, is this something that anybody cares about or wants. All of those fears, and then it wasn't until I had my second baby, at the basically, when the pandemic hit, I went, I hit an all-time low, I was not in a good spot. It took me a couple months to get like to get to a better place and I'm like, Oh, my, like, I have the tools to help myself. I have the tools to help other people that are feeling this way right now. Like, what am I doing? And I'm not really sure like what shifted, but I was like, this is it. Like, I got to live the life that I want to live now. And even though I love working at NASA, it's like now is the time and so I officially left January 2021.
Christa: Oh, 2021? Okay. Yeah, I get so ever since the pandemic, I get to sell my stuff with yours and stuff. Okay. One year now? Wow. Hmm. So, it's been? Yeah. So, I bet it's such a shift in your normal day to day but being in a job and career that you're so passionate about to? I didn't feel as much like work either.
Stephanie: Yeah, I love it. I love it. And one thing is, it's not as massive of a shift in terms of the work that I'm doing as it might sound, because I was doing coaching as part of my role at NASA. So, I was coaching around building self-awareness and helping people understand their emotions. And so, it's like, I just took this piece and made it my whole job now but it was still part of what I did.
Christa: Yeah, it's cool. So, talk about creating the brave method. So, what is the brave classes?
Stephanie: So, the most common program that is participated in is a five-module course it's called the brave accelerator. And in the first module, that's what I was talking about a lot. At the beginning, I help moms gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and greater awareness of their emotions so that they can understand like, what is it telling me? How do I use this as data? so that I can be more confident. In the second module, I help them learn how to leverage their emotions rather than resist them. And I know that language sometimes doesn't click with people. But basically, if you are trying to control how you feel and control how other people feel, including your husband, your children, then that like that content is going to really help. And so, it really helps people begin to make choices to reflect like their authentic self. And then the third module, we dive into defense mechanisms, which is one of my most favorite thing to talk about in the world, because defense mechanisms are not at all what people think they are, a lot of times people conclude, like their personality is this way and it's actually a lot of defense mechanisms playing into that. And so, when we're defending ourselves from, we think we're defending ourselves from other people, we're actually defending ourselves from feeling our own negative feelings. Every single time like, we're not ever defending ourselves from other. I mean, if there's like physical situation, obviously, or a tiger, you are defending yourself from other people, but emotion, like let me clarify it from an emotional perspective. So, what I do in the third module is I help them become aware of all of that so they can see how these negative patterns are holding them back and they can build stronger relationships with other people as a result of that awareness. And then in the fourth module, we dive even deeper into the root cause. So, I find like so often, symptoms are addressed but not the root cause and when we just address the simple so if what we see, then we're going to keep on running into the same situation over and over again. So, it really helps women gain more confidence and directly resolve the root cause of the issues that are coming up for them. And then in the last module, I focus on self-acceptance, you know, self-compassion, self-love, so that they can turn all of their progress into long lasting results. Because ultimately, that's what it comes down to.
Christa: Oh, that's awesome. I love that there's different modules and it's ultimately, I was just talking in a previous interview too about how it's all a journey like here's not going to be like a flick of a switch and we're good to go. Wouldn't be nice to press this button, and you're good. You're good and that's it. Yeah. Tackily guys, like self-love is a journey. And so, I think it's cool to show they take them kind of through that journey and be like here's your homework and kind of their different things you can do.
Stephanie: Yes, absolutely. There's concrete actions that you can take.
Christa: Awesome. So, what's something that moms that are listening right now? What's something that they can do today to start working on their inner selves?
Stephanie: Okay, let's see. Okay, so I mean, ultimately, it comes down to building your self-awareness more. Most of my clients come to me, and they're like, I'm really self-aware and you are. Self-awareness is like a staircase that has no top so you can always learn more about yourself. So, it comes down to building your self-awareness, and then using proven tools. So, what can they do? Like one concrete thing is when you feel triggered, whether it's from your child, or your husband, or your mother in law, whoever it is, that's a massive signal that it's time to self-reflect. What the world teaches us is it's the other person, and there's somebody to blame, and they made me feel. It comes down to that is something that you have not healed within yourself and that's an opportunity for you to look at. Okay, what insecurity is being triggered right now? Yeah and then I have lots and lots of recommendations packed into a free guide that I have to so I'm happy to share that as well.
Christa: Oh, cool. Yeah, we'll definitely we can share a link below on all the show notes and stuff, too, because I think that would be super beneficial. I mean, yeah, that just like my mind just went, like, that's so cool. Because it's true. It's I think there's definitely that mindset, or it's like, oh, everyone's the problem it's not me. I'm doing this. it's not me, but to be able to look inward, and say, Okay, why is that triggering to me? Or why is upsetting to me? And kind of asking yourself those questions.
Stephanie: Yeah. And then I found with myself and with my clients, when we start to bring it back to ourselves, I actually feel more empowered, and you feel more empowered, because the world isn't just happening to you for once. It's like, okay, there's actually something that I can do about this, no matter what's happening in the world.
Christa: Yeah, it's kind of like that quote of I'm probably going to butcher this. But it's like, not what happens to you, it's like how you react to it. So many things can happen in your life and whatever. But it's more about how you actually react to it, or how you respond to things.
Stephanie: Absolutely. And we know this is true, because there's people out in the world who have experienced the exact same things, even if it's something as basic as they went to the same meeting and they walked out with totally, like, one person's pissed off and one person's like, wow, the future of the company, or I don't you know what I mean. It's like, it comes back to you. Yeah, it's, we're never responding to the world. We're always responding to our interpretation of it and we control our interpretation, we choose it.
Christa: Well, that's so cool. I feel like talking about this stuff forever. I think I find it so fascinating. Because just as we kind of do the work on ourselves, we kind of see like, Oh, I do have more power in it in a controlling way I buy more power and how I respond and how my mindset is. So, I think that's, that's amazing what you do. I think that's so cool.
Stephanie: Oh, thank you.
Christa: So yeah, and so I always like to end these interviews with a fun thinking question, I call it. So, if you could have and you've shared so many awesome tips. So, it might be one of those but if you could have a billboard made today where you'd share one tip with moms everywhere. What would you have it say?
Stephanie: Oh, that's a good question. Yeah. Okay. So the biggest thing that is coming to mind right now is you can take all the parenting courses that you want and learn like, how you should, what you should say to your child and what you should do with your child and this but ultimately, it's all going to come back to you. That's it. Temporary fix and the way that you're showing up is going to transfer to them and that's why it creates like these generational curses or trauma that people say so far. I mean, this is like way too long for a billboard.
Christa: Like way, but you're saying I kind of forgot it was on a billboard. I was like, Yeah, okay, great.
Stephanie: Okay. I was like, Wait a second. So anyways, it comes back to you. So, you, I highly encourage you to do the work for yourself. And if you don't know what that means, I'm happy to share you know, my free guide, but really just comes down to increasing your self-acceptance and healing your insecurities because, oh my gosh, I just feel like sharing this right now. I'm going a little bit off on a tangent but I was thinking about the perspective that my children have given me and hopefully this will resonate with others. But what I learned with my first baby, when she was born, it was just reinforce the concept of self-love, it was reinforced so much, because I saw straight out of the womb, she didn't have all of these insecurities in these inhibitions in these defenses. She loved, loves every single part of herself. And just like fully like, it doesn't matter if her belly is like super big from eating a whole bunch of stuff, or whatever it is, like she just appreciates herself and it's like, actually doing the work is getting closer and closer and closer to that. Yeah and so that has just been so inspiring as a mom and I wanted to share that in case like others watching have felt that, too.
Christa: Yeah, that's so beautiful. That actually, they're amazing. You have a real I just saw where they were saying a quote. And it's, he says not about the learning. It's about the unlearning sometimes and that made me think of going back to the beginning, before you learn to hate yourself, or you learn when you're to critique your flaws, or whatever it is. Go back to the beginning, go back to when you were fresh, and you loved yourself fully.
Stephanie: Yes, yes, absolutely.
Christa: Yeah. Oh, I love that. That's awesome. So where can everyone find you on Instagram, all your links, your modules and all that good stuff.
Stephanie: You can find me on Instagram, @best.self.mama. And my free guide is at brave-method.com/challenge. And I have a super, super affordable five-day challenge that is, according to people that have taken it eye opening, life changing. And one person even said better than their current therapist. So, if you want to shift your mindset, I can give you the link for that too.
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