Transcript: Vicky Ross – Giving your mind choices and flexibility (Max#52)


Kevin: Welcome to Maximise Potential the podcast to educate and motivate through a range of original interviews designed to help you maximise your potential.  Brought to you in association with the award winning recruitment group Jenrick.

Welcome back to episode 52 of the Maximise Potential Podcast and the second instalment of our interview with leading NLP trainer Vicky Ross. Part 1 of this series focussed on introducing John La Valle’s concept of good and bad brain juice. And in Part 2 Vicky shall now go on to explain how we can all alter our brain juice in order to give us more choices in how we respond to particular situations or circumstances with the ultimate goal of enabling us to achieve a more positive array of outcomes from those situations.

Without any further delay here is Vicky to complete her two part podcast series on ‘Good and bad brain juice.’


Kevin: Vicky here we are again Part 2.

Vicky: Thank you.

Kevin: I have no idea when people are listening to this they might be listening to it a week apart, they may be listening to it a month apart but we are recording this literally from two minutes ago to now. So we have had a little break, a quick sip of our drinks and now Part 2. You have just explained to us all about bad brain juice. The fact that we don’t just have emotions random emotions and random feelings. They are all as a result of a thought turning into it, causing chemicals to react in our body which then turn into feelings and emotions.

Vicky: That’s right.

Kevin: And you were just about to help us understand that rather than being passive to this which nearly everybody thinks they are. It is just this is who I am, this is what happens and this is my life. We can change this.

Vicky: Absolutely. You can just change in a heartbeat in the way you think because the way you think about yourself and about life determines who you are. And a lot of people think well this is who I am I can’t change that and therefore I am stuck with my personality. And I am here to tell you you are not. You can change. You can decide to change at any time. But it starts with you understanding how those thoughts that you chose to make important, that become chemicals that go into our bodies that become behaviours and emotions, how it is that they do that. Because once you understand the process you can step back and go oh I don’t like this I want to do something different. And it’s not about completely giving yourself a personality transplant. It’s not about that. It’s about learning to understand yourself and being able to then give yourself flexibility to have choice. To give your mind flexibility. Because you know your unconscious will always pick for the easiest way to do something. It doesn’t like complicated things. So if you give it only one choice it has no other choice but to do it that way. So when I see somebody and they say to me I feel stuck, I do this this way and I don’t like the result I lack confidence, I want to be more confident and I don’t know what to do. What that tells me is that they have no other choice but to lack confidence.

Kevin: Because that’s the only route that they are considering.

Vicky: That’s right.

Kevin: Got it.

Vicky: So if you can build flexibility into the mind and say right so you could behave in this particular moment as if you lack confidence however you can also behave bored, you can also behave curious you can also behave interested, you can behave excited. Then what it does is for the unconscious mind it goes well which one can I chose and it will chose whatever is most appropriate and easier in that moment for that particular situation because it will evaluate the environment and say right in this particular situation I have got a huge audience I need to be on top form so I am going to be really, really excited with high energy. I’ve got the choices. However there might be another situation where it’s a very, very small intimate group and therefore high energy is not going to be appropriate. So the unconscious will say well I’m going to be calm and peaceful in this particular situation. And therefore you are giving the unconscious flexibility.

So what is resourceful to us is to number one understand the emotions we are creating. In other words what brain juice are we doing is it good or is it bad? And then start to understand what those emotions are. So the first part we spoke a little bit about anger. So some of the other ones that are really, really important is for instance confidence. A lot of people ask for confidence. And they sort of say I want more confidence. Now when somebody is lacking the confidence the opposite of confidence is actually fear. They are feeling scared. They are feeling scared that they are going to mess up. They are feeling scared that they are going to be made fools of. They are feeling scared that they are going to forget all that information that they are going to present or whatever it is. So it is actually fear that somebody is feeling when they are lacking confidence.

Now what fear, the emotion of fear is all about is awareness. So there is two levels to fear. The one is for instance your unconscious mind will have taken a mental picture of your home before you left. If you come back home and something feels wrong it is possibly because somebody has moved something out of place in such a way that it doesn’t feel right. So you many not know why you suddenly feel very sort of alert and almost as if something is wrong. But that is because your unconscious can pick up what’s moved. So when you feel it respect it because it’s your unconscious going take care it’s a instinctive protective motive that we have. And therefore you should go with that and instead of suppressing it which is the thing when we feel uncomfortable or awkward or we don’t know what to do we’ve been taught to suppress those things. We’ve been taught to suppress all those emotions and it doesn’t work like that you need to actually go what is this about? What is going on in my head? Why am I doing this? Why is my unconscious talking to me in this way? Because it is trying to communicate with you and therefore we should respond to that.

The other part of fear which is more common and is happening is when we have the fear of are we prepared? Are we ready? And it kicks in typically before we do a presentation or before we are going to speak to a client or if we are having an interview or if we are going for an exam you know and what the unconscious is actually trying to get to do with you is say to you are you ready? Have you got all your notes in place? Are you prepared? Have you got everything that you need? And the minute you can say yeah I’ve got what I need I am prepared, I’ve got my work, I’ve studied or I’ve studied most of it I’m aware that I haven’t got that information from Section C but that’s okay the fear can go.

Kevin: So quite simply going into a meeting got to give a presentation feeling nervous. Instead of just thinking that’s me how I feel going into a meeting and that’s how I always am. What you’re saying is all it is is your mind is just asking you do you know everything.

Vicky: Yeah are you prepared? Are you ready? Have you got your PowerPoint? Do you know how you are going to start? Do you know who your audience is? You know there is a whole load of questions is going off and they are firing off on your unconscious level and these things are coming up but because we don’t understand what it means we are just going oh its nervous.

Kevin: I just get nervous before presentations.

Vicky: And we lock into it. And because you hear other people saying oh I also get nervous you think oh well its normal. And it is normal but we should do something about it. We should actually answer that unconscious question am I ready? Yes. Have I got my list? Do I know my audience? Do I know my sequence? Yep, yep, yep everything is good. Okay I’m good to go. It’s a healthy thing. It’s not a negative thing but people see it as negative because they don’t know what to do with it. It is a healthy checklist and the biggest thing I teach especially for presentations is to ask people why are you doing this presentation? So get into the motive about asking the why get the motivation out. And they go because I know this information that I need to share with them. Or I know something that will help them work better or live better or feel better. So in other words you’ve got information that they don’t and you have to share. So it’s not about you. It’s about them. The moment that you say that it’s not about me it’s about my audience and therefore your focus is about what your audience needs and how this is going to enhance them and you had the mental checklist of my key fob is with me, I’ve got my presentation, everything is working. I’m prepared, I’ve got my handout. So you’ve addressed other things about are you prepared – that fear just goes because you’ve answered all those internal questions that were going on as well as understood that you are not there for yourself. It is not about you.

Because if you think about why people get scared before presentations, I am going to be okay? Will I sound okay? Will they listen to me? Will I be understood? Will they like what they are hearing? Do I look okay? Am I dressed fine? It’s all me, me, me, me, me. The minute you say well it’s not about you it’s actually about them you are there to serve and you are there to pass information that will help somebody enhance their lives so therefore you’ve got the only question that is relevant is what do they need? What do they need from me today that I can give them that will make a change? And yes I’ve got everything else in place I am ready. Fear goes and it becomes something good and something exciting to do.

Kevin: Just because you address it.

Vicky: Yeah. And remember if you have this belief about yourself that your state of being around presentations is nervousness, if that is your belief your unconscious is not going to go no, no, no I don’t think it is. It is going to go oh okay you want to be nervous I know how to do nervous. I’m really good at it. How nervous do you want to be. Do you know what I am saying? There is no argument from the unconscious mind because the unconscious mind doesn’t have a way of judging so therefore it is not going to say oh do you think that’s going to be a good idea. It doesn’t do that. If you say my state of being in a presentation is nervous it will go fine and it will deliver. So it is important that we recognise what that brain juice is we are making and address it so that we can just let it go and say right I’ve dealt with it I’m good, I’m here for them I’ve got everything in place all is in order lets go and have fun.

Kevin: And the other bit you said, it was just a few minutes ago, which I also found fascinating was about how you can chose a different emotion to respond with.

Vicky: Yeah and again it comes back to bringing awareness and therefore with the awareness you bring flexibility and choice and therefore the brain can always go I don’t need to be scared or anxious I can be interesting I can be facilitating I can be bored whatever it is. But when I see that people are getting, behaving inappropriately. So inappropriate could be angry when they shouldn’t be angry or anxious when they shouldn’t be anxious or whatever it is, so whatever the inappropriateness is, it’s because the brain hasn’t got another choice. They have only got that one option and therefore it has to go to that. Because if you think about it logically would you chose something like that if you could chose something better? So the fact that you are means that you don’t have any other choices, the unconscious doesn’t have another way of doing it which means that when we learnt that behaviour we were in a place that we didn’t know or didn’t have enough reference and experience to look at that and say that is not going to be resourceful for me. That is not going to serve me when I’m older. But because when we learnt that behaviour we have no reference and it serves us in that moment it just goes in because there is no way that the brain can say this is right and this is wrong.

Kevin: Yeah it just is.

Vicky: It just is. And this is a wonderful thing.

Kevin: You keep coming back to this don’t you. It’s not right, it’s not wrong it just is.

Vicky: You know and the only question that is relevant around these things is – is this giving me the outcome that I want?

Kevin: Okay go on.

Vicky: So you know you can behave in an anxious way. It’s not right, it’s not wrong it just is. However you can step back and say well being anxious in this situation is that giving me the results that I want? So then the question is well what results do you want? Well I want to be respected, I want to lead my team and if I am coming across as somebody who is uncertain and anxious maybe that doesn’t build a lot of trust and you know belief in my team in me. So therefore being anxious in this environment addressing my team in an anxious way or nervous way is not going to really serve me. It’s not going to give me the outcomes that I want. So therefore the question comes back in is not like why am I this way because you can why, why, why yourself in circles. And even if you know why, even if you find exactly why you feel nervous to address big audiences or whatever the reason may be I’ve met people that have gone for years in an analysis of one sort or another to find the why or this way, then eventually get that why and still be no better off because so what. It’s not so much the reason it’s the process that we’ve got to look at. So the process of what we are doing is more important than anything else.

So up until now you have got nervousness around speaking in public you know in front of people. So what again good. Up until today that is what you’ve done. Fine. What do you want to do tomorrow? How do we change that process? What has to happen for you to change? And it is such a beautiful thing that happens when you don’t judge any longer, when you can step back and just look at the situation with a neutral approach and say I know nothing, it means nothing, it’s just what it is. Is this serving me right now?

Kevin: So rather than labelling your own behaviour which we all do.

Vicky: Yeah we have those rods that we constantly hit ourselves with. We are the worst critics of ourselves. So rather than do that step back and go what isn’t working here? What do I have to do differently?

Kevin: Yes so don’t bother analysing the.

Vicky: It’s not going to get you anywhere. Its interesting information our story but maybe it could be entertaining or maybe a little bit tearful or you know but that’s all it is. It’s just a story and this is the thing if you live by that story and we all live by a story. Make no mistake we all live by a story but if we stick to that story we will always be that person. That state of being. But if you want to change your story you just have to start thinking again and doing things different and creating a different state of being. So it’s all about stop being and start thinking. Because when you start thinking you can step back and go I want to do it differently. So adding that, like I said that flexibility of mind because also something that a lot of people that don’t understand much about this is that if something isn’t working they want to completely get rid of it, to eradicate it. And it doesn’t work like that because your unconscious mind will protect it and hold on to it for dear life. So what we then say is okay we are not getting rid of anything but can we add some flexibility here? Are there different ways to behave and this is where you work with the imagination and remember what I said to you in Part 1 – I said the brain can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality so if you can then imagine yourself being in front of an audience and being bored rather than nervous. It might not be the right thing but it is different and you can image that and you can build that flexibility in your brain and you say well I don’t have to be nervous I could be bored and stand in front of the thing and be absolute rubbish presenter because I am so bored about what I am talking about. Or you could be a high energy kind of person and you can look at that in your mind and say well I don’t know if that will work for an audience of 10 maybe for an audience of 1000 but probably a audience of 10 I need to be a little bit more in the middle kind of thing.

So you can start playing around and by doing that you are building flexibility to the unconscious mind. So that together with the questions of am I ready, have I got everything in place, why am I here, what am I doing it for? So it is all questioning. The minute you question you are thinking.

Kevin: But this is what we don’t do.

Vicky: No we are not taught to do it. We are taught to either suppress – don’t be ridiculous, don’t be silly just forget about it and you know just get on with things.

Kevin: Yeah or accept it.

Vicky: And it comes back down to that brain juice. We are not taught what to do with our brain juice. We are not taught when we are having a bad brain juice what it is about. And for me it is down to two things as far as the emotions are concerned. Everything all the behaviours that we have that come from thoughts come down to fear or love. And I appreciate that especially in the business world, love in the business world is a bit woo woo. I get that but if we really look to see how love comes through in the business world it is when you start treating people with respect, with integrity, with kindness. When you accept somebody. So you know in a big working environment it is realistic to think that you are not going to like everybody 100% but you can always accept them for what they do and what they stand for and give them that respect that they deserve that everybody deserves. So when you treat people that way you are actually treating them in a loving way. All the negative emotions come down to fear. If you think about you know we get angry when somebody is not doing what we want them to do. That makes us feel that we are maybe being a bit rejected. Or they are not taking me important enough so you know who I am, what I am is not important enough so therefore they didn’t do it which means that I am not being valued which means I’m being rejected which gives me the fear of not being loved. So it is important to understand what emotions we are feeling, what brain juice we are making, what it’s about, asking ourselves what is going on inside there and why is this happening and give that flexibility of the mind so that we have better choice by being able to stand back and be neutral, assess the situation for what it is and then being loving towards the way that we give ourselves that flexibility and that resource. Because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that we are healthy and alive and living with joy. Think about it. What do people want when they come and see me? I want to be happy. That’s it at the end of the day they want to be happy, they want to be accepted, they want to be valued. In other words they want to be loved.

So what people are really looking for no matter how you dress it up is they want to be happy and they want to be loved. So we have to create that environment in ourselves so that we can have that. So when we are making the bad brain juice we are not being happy, we are not being loved, we are not being healthy. And we can have everything in life we can work hard and get the money, get the house, get the car and it’s all been at the cost of ourselves through bad brain juice thinking and all that and therefore at the cost of our health it means nothing. But we can have it all and be healthy – make good brain juice. Make good choices.

It’s an interesting thing when we give our brain questions it is absolutely compelled to go out there and find solutions.

Kevin: Go on explain.

Vicky: So for instance if I say to myself why am I so stupid at this? Your brain is going to go you’re so stupid because you didn’t do this and you did this and because you did this, and because you did this. It will come up with any nonsense because it is compelled to give you results. So seeing that we know that about ourselves ask intelligent questions and so rather than saying why am I so stupid at this – how can I do this better? The brain is going to give you answers. It is going to go well you can ask different questions, you can go and research, you can go and speak to other people who have done this. It will give you all the kind of solutions that can help you.

Kevin: Simple as that.

Vicky: Just that simple. Ask intelligent questions of yourself. Rather than saying why do I keep doing this? The brain loves a question. Why do I keep doing this? Well because you know you would rather be doing this, and because you are useless and your mother said this and remember your school teacher said you will never amount to anything. You know it can find a zillion things why you can’t do this. Don’t ask yourself those questions. You’ve got choice be the master – what can I do differently? What can help me? What will make a difference? Who do I know that can help me with this? Who’s willing to help me? What can I do differently? What has to happen? I love that one because what has to happen covers it all. What has to happen – you need to talk to someone, you need to read something, you need to change your questioning approach, whatever it is that you are doing. And you can get to that place of doing that when you are not criticising yourself and feeling bad about yourself. Because when you are criticising yourself and when you are rejecting no love – which is the biggest fear that we’ve got that we will be rejected and not loved. That we are not happy which is the love and the happiness is what we are looking for unconsciously. So it comes back down to that.

Kevin: It’s simple yet it seems complex yet is seems simple. I’m going to ask you we’ve covered a load in both Part 1 and Part 2 how would you summarise up what we have just spoken about?

Vicky: Alright so we have thousands of thoughts. The most important decision is what we decide is important. So in other words which one of those thousands we think is important. We make that thought important it becomes a chemical that becomes the brain juice that then gives a message to the body about what to do, how to behave, how to feel. We know that we have got good brain juice/bad brain juice and they are categorised by the emotions. Neither are good or bad but just emotions. And they all have messages and they make us feel a certain way. And the whole idea is to honour that unconscious message that we get and deal with it so that when we have fear or anger or anxiety we deal with it. We find out what the emotion is all about deal with it so we can let it go. That way we are able to give ourselves flexibility of the mind to be able to then stand back without any judgement and ask ourselves intelligent questions about what has to happen for us to be able to do things differently. Because it is all about developing ourselves and growing and thinking and going from awful to medioca to being excellent. To having the journey without judging ourselves by saying what has to happen, what can I do differently? Mastering our emotions to then be able to stand back and say I’m okay, I’m not broken. Because the one thing, living through life we are all trying to be happy, we are all wanting to be loved and we are all wanting to avoid fear. The fear of rejection because we are scared we are not going to be loved and accepted for who we are. A lot of people are scared they are going to be found out for whatever. When actually in fact we are all perfect and we are okay. And we just need to be who we are and enjoy that. So it’s all about understanding those emotions and giving ourselves that flexibility of mind. Because we have one life. It’s worth living well.

Kevin: Fabulous and it sounds like giving ourselves a break.

Vicky: You know your parents weren’t bad and you didn’t do it wrong. It just is. Things just are. There is no right and wrong. The only thing that is important is to recognise when you are doing something that is not giving you the results that you want and then doing something different. Reinventing yourself. Its choice. Its awareness and just seeing things for what they are. Nothing is intimidating it just is.

Kevin: Vicky Ross thank you very much for appearing on the Maximise Potential Podcast.

Vicky: Thank you Kevin it was a pleasure to be here as always.


Kevin: Vicky Ross thank you very much for providing such a practical insight into how our minds function and specifically giving us an understanding of how our thoughts interact with our bodies. I have to admit there were several light bulb moments for me when I was recording this podcast with Vicky especially when Vicky explained that if we only give our brain one way of dealing with a situation then that’s exactly how our bodies will respond. Yet all we have to do is provide it with more options or choices and it will choose the path that is most likely to achieve the outcome that we desire. I fully appreciate that these techniques take practice. However just being aware of this concept is such a valuable starting point to give us all a greater sense of control over our thoughts and resulting behaviour. If you would like to learn more from Vicky she has very kindly left all our listeners with an exclusive download which is based on a presentation that she regularly gives to corporations and other professional groups. If you just go to the show notes and click on the link which is titled ‘Vicky Ross exclusive download’ it will give you access to Vicky’s CD which is called ‘Reinvent yourself.’

That’s me done for this episode so before I sign off I would just like to extend a big thank you to the Jenrick Recruitment Group who make it possible for us to produce the Maximise Potential Podcast. You will find links in the show notes which will enable you to learn more about the engineering, IT and commercial recruitment divisions of Jenrick so please go and check those out. And if you found this two part series useful then please come and let us know either by leaving a review on iTunes or connecting with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. And if you have any questions that you would like to put to Vicky directly you will find her in the Maximise Potential LinkedIn group so please come and join that.

Thanks again for downloading this episode and here’s Xerces music with a track called ‘Millie’s song’ from their album unreleased 2009. Thanks again and goodbye.


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About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!