“If you change the ideas in your head, you start to change the reality”
Andro Donovan has a long list of credentials, but ultimately, she is a leadership coach who loves to make a real contribution to people’s lives. She is a published author who wrote the book, “Motivate Yourself”, which helps you find your true purpose and get the life you want.
This is an episode filled with positivity and motivation. Andro explains why we should welcome silence and give time to listen to our inner voices. She elaborates the importance of being the authority of one’s mind and rewiring ourselves into positive thoughts. “We are our thoughts”. Listen to the end and find out how to conquer our mind and body.
Listen to episode 92 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
92: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:
1:25 – Working with tough youth
3:57 – Why are people afraid of silence?
5:48 – Tapping into the voice inside us
7:50 – Getting rid of external distractions
10:51 – Until the body says “Thank you”
15:10 – Making unstoppable decisions
18:08 – What do your favorite films say about you?
24:36 – Breaking the mold
25:55 – What is her book all about?
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
Dr. Veronica: Welcome again to the Wellness Revolution, thanks for tuning in again. I have with me a young lady. I see we get to a certain age and we all like to be called young. A young lady who specializes in helping high-performing CEOs. Now, you guys hear in the background my dog Powell. People see my show always like says bring Powell walk in for a minute. Come here. Okay. Because the audience likes to see Powell sometime. So, we’re gonna bring Powell in the picture for a moment. Let’s talk, go back, high-performing executives. So, you’re saying, “Well what does that have to do with me, high-performing executives”?
Well, Andrew. Andro Donovan actually worked with really tough youth in London and helped them and pour lead her way into working with transforming executives. Yeah, how do you get what she has? Well, she has a book and we’re gonna talk about that book and talk about how you can get it. But if you can learn from a woman who went from tough youth in London to high-performing SEOs and big companies you can really learn something here and transform your life. So, Andro Donovan welcome to the Wellness Revolution.
Andro Donovan: Hi, Veronica. I love to be here.
Dr. Veronica: So, tell me a little bit about how you got started. I want to hear a little bit about those working with tough youth.
Andro Donovan: Well, I did start out life as an English literature teacher working in the toughest parts of London. And it was a real challenge getting these kids who were you’d had years of teachers say to them you know, I know I know you’re tight you know shut up sit down and I’m also senior brother. And kind of didn’t believe in them. So, these kids would operate in the way they were expected which is basically pretty delinquent. And being idealistic I suppose when I first joined the profession I thought this just isn’t right, you know. So, I made a decision that I would start very differently, and I realized that these kids were being told, “You’re not worthy, you’re not good enough, you’ll never be good enough”. And they kind of played that out in reality. So, I gave them a different reality. I started to talk to them in a very respectful way. That was one of the things I did. And getting them to begin to connect with some of their dreams and start to visualize themselves with the sort of the life they really wanted, the kind of achievements they wanted to gain in life. And you know, without going into too much detail, they’ve started to resonate with those thoughts and we created a great rap call and as a result all the kids that I worked with when I left that profession got their GTE, GCSE English as we used to call it in those days and I was very, very proud of that. So, that’s where I learnt a lot of, a lot of my lessons that I use now, you know, in life with CEOs. Because it doesn’t matter where you are you know whether you’re a student or you’re a mum or you’re a big chief executive of a big company, you still have insecurities, you still lose loved ones, you still get ill. And we’re all human beings under the titles.
Dr. Veronica: Yeah. So, it’s interesting because you talked about you were getting kids to be able to tap into themselves and this is trouble kids and I have found that one of the crucial points in tapping into it is having one time to do it and two, not all the distractions around. So, I don’t have one TV, I don’t have on radio I’m not always plugged in and you talk about silence and why people are so scared of silence. I have met people that they walk in the house they have to turn on the TV even though they’re not watching anything. What’s going on with people where they’re afraid of silence.
Andro Donovan: Well, I love the way you put that Veronica. I think people are and or scared of silence because when you’re being silent you have to connect you with yourself. And when you connect you with yourself you’re connecting to emotions to difficulties to upset which is why a lot of people you know, eat too much, drink too much, smoke too much. They’re trying to suppress those experiences and somehow you know avoid having them. But if you start to get used to having a bit of silent time with yourself that’s when you can tune into the whisper. That little quiet voice that comes from very, very deep within you that says, “I’m not happy or this could be better, or I could be better”, you know, it’s that little very, very silent voice. I think Spielberg said it’s the voice that speaks very softly to you and if you’ve got too much noise going on you’ll never hear it.
Dr. Veronica: So, a lot of people are afraid of those voices because in today’s times a lot of those voices are saying negative things to us. You wouldn’t be, and there’s all that self-doubt that’s been going on and it seems like there’s overabundance now of this self-doubt in this negative talk and so the easiest way to drown it out is to turn on the TV, to turn on the radio, to be with connected to all your electronic devices, smoke. What do you tell people to be able to begin to disconnect? Because it’s not going to be just like I have a friend she’s about to go on a silent retreat. I’m like “Oh, no too much for me”. And I spend most of my days not listening to radio or TV or all that stuff. But I was like “Oh, no too much for me silent retreats”. What do you tell people to begin to be able to tap into the silence without being too afraid?
Andro Donovan: Well, what you began to talk about that self-doubt that Yama-Yama that’s going on in our heads all the time is the Psalter little inner critic that is continually undermining our best made plans and often arguing for your limitations, you know. So, let’s say you want to go on a diet. That little voice goes in “Yeah, right.” you know, before you even started. And so, one of the reasons silence is important is for you to be able to tune in. That’s subliminal set of voices that’s taken up permanent residence in your head. And in my book actually I use a metaphor called “Rats”. And it’s a really ugly little rat that’s sort of gnawing away at you. So, the first stage is to identify these voices and see if you can either journal or record or catch what’s actually being said because guess what? This is not you. Rational mind or rat as I call it is simply a whole lifetime of where you thought you were disapproved of or you got it wrong or you failed, and you’ve laid down a little tape in there that keeps activating. And so, part of being silent is to tune into that negative and reframe it, rephrase it, so “I can’t” could become “Well, I could” or “Maybe, I could” and then “Maybe” becomes a “Yes, I could” because if you think about every time you’ve made a good decision you’ve gone through that process, but you’ve probably not been aware of it. So, it’s about consciously beginning to rewire yourself. Literally rewiring those negatives into some positive hardware in there so that you can give yourself a starting chance.
Dr. Veronica: Okay. So, once you get to a point where you can get a little bit of silence you got to get rid of some of this clutter that’s built up. And you talk about spring cleaning your brain. So, tell us about how we can begin that spring cleaning process. Now, remember a lot of us out there or hoarders in our brains, though, how do we begin to throw away just one little piece? How do we do that?
Andro Donovan: Well, it’s very interesting because I’ve just arrived at a point where I’m making a decision to be about 80% vegan and the voices in my heads are going crazy you know. They’re sort of saying, “You can’t survive without meat. How are you going to do dinner parties?” and you know, think about all these lovely foods for your guests etc. And then in the end I’ve said, “I’m making a decision because I’m backing my health”. And it’s investing in one’s health rather than anything else and prioritizing that. So, to answer your question, getting rid of one bit of clutter which is “I can’t change my diet” or “I can’t change my relationship” or “I can’t transform my relationship with my kids”. Just changing the words in there, just very slightly starts to change the evidence that you see. And I’ve done this for years and it always works. If you change the ideas in your head that’s happening, you start to change the reality because you are your thoughts and you always get what you expect. So, if you’re expecting to fail, guess what? You will because you want to be right about your ideas. We all want to be right.
So, you’ve got to start changing that mindset and the first stage is to actually stop the noise. Stop the iPad, stop the TV and maybe music could it help in this you know, some people can connect with music. But generally, stop that clutter, that external distraction and journey in words. And journeying inwards means bringing your consciousness from out there to inside and be nice and quiet with yourself and then you’ll see what starts to surface. Because you’re like at this deep ocean and unless you’re quiet these things don’t surface to be at the top.
Dr. Veronica: So, one thing I tell people about music is some time I make recommendations, I do intuitive readings and I’ll tell people about music. And I recommend that they listen to music. But music without any words, so music only.
Andro Donovan: Yes, yes.
DR: And that music cannot be music of a song that has words that you might know. Because then you’ll be singing this the words in your head. So, music that was written to be just music without any type of words that go along with the music. So, that you don’t clutter. So, what happens is sometimes people say, “Okay. Yeah, easy I can stop thinking about that” but then they’re singing the song in your head and that’s not necessarily the goal of this. So, one thing is detoxing. We’ll talk about, interesting you’re talking about becoming a vegan, a lot of people have that goal. And it’s easier when you detox yourself but there’s a process you go through. So, you talk about one little thing. So, how have you been doing this? Are you saying, “Okay, I usually have meat for lunch and I’m not having meat for lunch anymore”. And that’s your first step or “I’m gonna have, I’m gonna, I eat meat seven days a week. Now I’m gonna eat it six days in the week”? Are you transitioning or are you cold turkey it?
Andro Donovan: That’s a really lovely question. I arrived at a point in the summer where I realized I’d prioritized everything else but my own physical health. If that makes sense. And a lot of that is to do with the territory. You know, it’s flying, it’s traveling, it’s eating stuff that I get given on flights and things. So, I thought I’m gonna use the summer to start to heal myself, you know. I mean I’m not saying I was on death’s door, but I prioritize myself over and above what I might be doing, you know, other things. So, it started with the detox, a three-day juicing detox. Then I did a lot of yoga with a friend of mine and now I’m starting to make small adjustments. And I tell you my body is going “Thank you”.
And yesterday this is really absolutely spot-on, I went to my nutritionist lady and she did one of those little blood tests and she said, “Do you realize that you’ve got a really strong intolerance to Dairy Milk?” And I said I’m so happy about that. She said “Why”? I said because it’s agreeing with what I instinctively know I need to do. Which is give up Dairy for a while. And she said you only need to give it up for 12 weeks and then you can introduce it. So, the point is its little adjustments and if you start to make those little adjustments and your body starts to thank you then you’re cooking with “Calor” as we say over here, you know. You’re, you’re really fighting fit and you can start to get the evidence to go on further and further. And that’s the physical evidence but then the psychological evidence is you going if my body is responding I’m losing weight, I’m feeling more energetic. I’ve cut my grocery bill down by hell of a lot because you know, meat is very expensive. So, I think that’s where to begin with small changes but to have some clear goals some arrival points that you want to get to. It’s great.
Dr. Veronica: Yes. And so, my advice to the audience and to you, especially for traveling because I travel quite a bit and I know this that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. And so, therefore when you travel you’re gonna have to be prepared about what you’re taking with you to make sure that you don’t get into trouble and then figuring out what’s gonna be there on the other end. And you always have to have your plan in place because everything’s gonna do everything to derail you. You know, when you start something that seems like the whole world’s working to derail you, but once you get on that even keel you will know where the salad bars and the airports are. You know, you’ll have those foods that you could pack small in your suitcase. You’ll know when you get so pleased you’ll have called ahead to the hotel and say, “I need this that the other thing”.
So, for people who are going on a health journey it’s important for them to realize that you can let stuff happen to you or you can drive your destiny. And so, if you are serious long-term health nothing will derail it. Even those airplane cookies that they give you. Now, I mean, you know, now, now, airlines are being nice. I try to fly continental bound continental got a bad rap because they dragged doctor off the plane, giving out cookies with like chocolate in the middle or something. So, everybody on the airplane and I’m just like you know, waited way to help my health. So, now on the other side I don’t, I say you know, the people give them to me and I’ll take about put them in my bag and I’ll throw them away. I don’t even… So, the other part is for people when they’re starting to eat well is be, learn to be kind and gracious and realize everybody’s at a different place in their journey.
Andro Donovan: I love that. I love what you’re just saying because when I’m on my path and I’m not being derailed I know exactly where petal mange is, and I know exactly what I can take with me. But unfortunately, we are not angels and sometimes when we get stressed even I get stressed you know life cut you know, becomes a bit hectic and then you’re dashing for that flight think I haven’t got time and that’s when you’re on this kind of victim, “I’m a victim of the airplane food” or “I’m the victim of my minibar” or whatever it is. All that stuff just keeps happening to me you know, and I go “Well, I deserve it I’ve had a hard day, yes, give me a gin and tonic”, you know. But when I make a decision, I’m really clear and I know that all your audiences will relate to this that they have made decisions in their life where they are unstoppable and when you’re unstoppable you know that you’re on a path with a heart. And you just have to know that you want to do it and when you know you want to do it, nothing will get in your way.
Because as you say you take personal responsibility. You’re not being dragged through life, you are on a path and all these things it’s like you can resist the chocolate who resist the alcohol. So, that’s the physical stuff but what about the mental stuff? You know, you have to start resisting those negative ideas and go you know what? This is not me, this is just a lifetime of conditioning and I’m about to do my spring clean. And start.
I mean wouldn’t this be a great process. Start and write down thoughts you would like to have about yourself. What 3 or 4 thoughts could you change from the negative thoughts to the positive ones? And even if you don’t believe them, just write them down and start to save them to yourself. And if you save them to yourself 14 days in a row, they’ve begun, begin to create new neural pathways and you start to create new routines and new expectations. And then you’re on to a whole different ballgame.
Dr. Veronica: Yes. So, you know, we talk about those neural pathways and things happen kind of in threes thinking about it like this just for a little education. And so, three days. You get past three days, okay, you’re starting to develop the habit. The first 72 hours of anything new are seems so hard. Then it’s three weeks. So, once you get about to 21 days you’re starting I’m really getting the grooving and you’re like “Okay, I can do this”. By the time you get to three months you’ve got it. And so, the other piece that is very important about that is realize that when you’re forming new pathways your brain can do only so many things at a time. So, take one new habit. So, think about it if you take on one new habit a month, you have a chance of actually doing it because you’ve given yourself at least those plus a little bit to get it really grooved into your brain.
So, biggest error I see people making is they try to do everything all at once. That happens in the beginning of the year, I’m not gonna eat any food I’m going to go to the gym, not only I’m gonna go to gym I’m gonna go every single day at a weekend. I’m gonna work on for an hour not to eat anything I’m going beginning. That, this is what it is because we’re giving your brain, so many things as opposed to “You know what? I’m not gonna eat meat for lunch every day. I’m gonna have only meat three days a week instead of seven or something like that”.
So, one little change you keep it and it keeps going. Now, I want to switch gears a little bit. You talk about what films and books people like. What that says about them? Now is like that’s interesting. So, the fact that I really love “The matrix” what does it say about me? And you don’t have to necessarily answer “The matrix” but give us some examples of you say what type of books and movies people like says a whole lot about them.
Andro Donovan: Yeah. I mean this is around finding out what lights you up in life. Because I always say if you’re trying to redesign your life, the best place to begin is to journey inwards listening to listening to that little voice what had to say that the voice that comes from within, not the voice that comes from up here. Not the rats but the smooth spiritual voice that comes from deeper within you. And in order to do that you’ve got to identify what are your core values. And I don’t mean the values you just picked up from mom and dad. I mean the DNA that makes you Veronica. You know that very, very special set of values.
Now, sometimes you know the core values then people transgress or trample on them. So, you know I hate people saying you know I can abide anything but disloyalty that’s it, they’ve crossed the line. And it’s like where did that come from? So, I always say think about some of the films that have moved you because some films you know, you can be cathartically sobbing, and others leave you cold. Why is that? Well, I have this theory and I you know, worked with quite a few people, that certain films are pulling at those core values. They’re triggering those core values. Take the “Shawshank Redemption” that happens to be you know a very popular film with a lot of people. Have you seen it?
Dr. Veronica: I’ve seen it, yes.
Andro Donovan: Okay. There’s that scene where you know he barricades and you know he’s letting all the prisoners hear the classical music. I love that scene. And what does that say about me? Well, what it says about me is I really want to make a difference and you know my whole role in life is about making a difference. But like you I suppose you know I’m sure you really that’s one of your drivers. So, that moved me because I thought, “Oh, that’s, he is putting his life on the line and you know having solitary confinement for the next three months because he wanted to give them that five minutes of having their spirits be released by that music”. And when I work with people and they talk about their films, it’s incredible how the connection of the film and the core principles that the film is sort of exposing is relating to something they feel really deeply. And it could be a book, it could be a play, but you know just think of the ones where you’ll really sort of moved and think, “What does that say about me?” rather than just going “Yes, I’m about truth, integrity, honesty”, because we’re all about those things.
But then there’s a special, there’s a special brand of value you’re about that I’d have to talk to you a bit longer to get to the truth. But just the fact that you’re doing this show, you are helping people. So, one of your values is contribution. I can just say that right off. So, any films that explore that principle of contribution, they’re going to probably sit with you well.
DR: Yes. Well, I got to tell you my other favorite film which is not, so, you know, high and mighty or whatever is this a new film and you know people might see this way to “Girls trip”. I don’t know this movie “Girls trip”. And so, it’s for African American women who were friends from college who go on a trip and they were just cutting up and having a good time in New Orleans. And it’s just…
Andro Donovan: Popular.
Dr. Veronica: I mean it was just, so you know like, “Oh, gosh. I would love to go do that”. Everything they’re doing in that film I’d love to go to with my friends.
Andro Donovan: Exactly. So, you value friendship, you value fun, you value humor, you value having a laugh with your girlfriends. And we all know that’s a very special thing to have. And that’s part of you as well. And values aren’t sort of all high-and-mighty, there, they’re the kinds of things you want to make your life about. So, let’s say you set your life up to be too serious and you’ve gone right out of kilter. That film could trigger something you go, “You know what? When was the last time I spent you know weekend in Vegas or something with my girlfriends or whatever your thing is.” And that’s that little wake-up call that’s that little voice I’m talking about that says, “Hello, you’re neglecting me”. You know?
Dr. Veronica: It’s funny that you would say that because what issues that I feel that have is everything so serious all the time and I was like people because of your profession and what you do, you’re always supposed to be a certain way. Which is vanilla wafer in boring. Now, I’m not naturally a vanilla wafer imploringly something but whenever I go off of the track that people see in that particular way its “Attack, attack, attack. How dare you? You can’t! Are you really a doctor? You can’t really be a doctor if you’re acting like that we’re saying matter.” You know, and so, it’s just like I think that’s what attacked into the “Listen, I’m who I am. And just because I have a degree behind my name it doesn’t mean that I don’t have fun and want to do the same things that Joe Six-pack does”. In a different way obviously.
So, yes, that’s exactly what it tapped into. And a different type of fun, it wasn’t you know a lot of the of these kind of films are you know, men and particularly white men going off and doing all these silly things whereas to see who are educated not you know ghetto but educated black women going out speaking well, they’re all professionals you know, high careers and then they’re just cutting up and having a good time out there where no one’s knows who they are necessarily and know what, one of those high profile and so you know. But they’re in place where they’re out there having fun and are not being judged because nobody knows who they are. They’re out of their element. It’s just like it was like free. So, watch that on the film.
But the other part of it that was so invigorating about it is being in a movie theater and the whole movie theater very diverse, diverse crowd of people being in stitches over this movie which Illustrated to me how excellent the actresses and actors in the movie were. I mean the whole movie theater was like “Lay it on the floor”. So, yes. You tapped right into it.
Andro Donovan: So, but the other thing I just want to interject to say is you are breaking the mold. Because you’re not a stereotypical person in a white coat with big dark glasses looking very serious and intimidating, but isn’t that brilliant? Because what you’re saying is, “Look, you can do it too whether you’re a woman, whether you’re unknown from a different, whatever, you know. It’s just you’re breaking the mold. I’m sure I break the mold when I walk into some of those all-male groups. You know in their pinstripe suits in the city. You know, and certainly when I was doing some of the work in my 30s I was definitely breaking the mold. So, well, isn’t that beautiful? I love that because you’re letting people know you too could do this.
Dr. Veronica: Yes. And so, you know I encourage more people to do it like they would do it, as supposed to trying to be or emulate somebody else. And so, realize that how everybody does it, is gonna look different and it needs to be because there’s so many different people in the world that need help. And so, yes. That’s why I do this show, so people can see it done a little bit differently and I’m gonna say whatever I’m gonna say. But now, your book. I’m gonna let you give the entire title. My show members know that they’re gonna go and be able to click the link in in the show title and everything give it. But you, give your book name where we can get it and just a little snip it about the book.
Andro Donovan: Okay. I actually have a copy handy, so I can hold it up there. It’s a lovely little book. It’s called “Motivate yourself – Get the life you want. Find purpose and achieve fulfillment”. And it’s a distillation of the work I’ve done in the field so it’s practical and it literally guides you by the hand. So, it’s one of those books you can keep by your bed you know with your journal. Pick it up do a little bit of you know, processes with yourself. Pop, it down. Great to take on holiday with you. My friends have taken on holiday and said it was brilliant because I really evaluated, you know, my values what I wanted to do. And it’s a bit of a tonic, you know.
And at the back I’ve got little motivating principles. And one of my motivational principles is “Everyone has a choice. Be positive and choose to be happy”. That’s just one of ten that I talked about. But choosing to be happy is a big deal. You know, I challenge some of your viewers to go, “Today, I’m going to choose to be happy”. And see what happens because it is a choice. You know, whatever’s happening to you, you can make those choices.
So, it’s practical. It’s got case studies in it and it’s got little processes units available on your amazon.com if you’re in the US and in the UK, you’re promulgated in WH Smiths. So, you know if you pick it up I hope it really helps guide you and have fun with it.
Dr. Veronica: Yes, wonderful Andro. Just because I know all those people who write books and spend that time we’re doing it because they want to impact lives. AndroDonovan.com is how we can find you?
Andro Donovan: Yes.
Dr. Veronica: So, if you’re a CEO watching it Andro Donovan is somebody you want to have in your boardroom. And if you’re not a CEO you may change your life based on reading her book and then you’ll be in talking to CEOs or you will be a CEO. That’s the way I look at it. Because once you motivate yourself the sky is the limit. So, Andro thank you so much for being on the show.
Andro Donovan: Thank you, so refreshing. Thank you. Lovely to be here. Thanks for having me.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.
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