The Wildly Confident Podcast
In episode 15 of the Wildly Confident Podcast we are going to talk about your wonderful, flexible Nervous System.
Your Nervous System is one of the most overlooked things that could be holding you back from getting results and creating security, peace and more love in your life and is something I work on with all my clients.
We talk about the 3 major parts of your Nervous System:
Ventral Vagal = The Safety zone aka Tend & Befriend (yummy goodness)
Sympathetic = Fight & Flight (external judgment, have some power/control)
Dorsal Vagal= Freeze (internal self-judgment, powerlessness)
Your Nervous system is your body’s reaction to external events & people and is learned throughout your life – the good news is you can change reactions that are not serving you through awareness & somatic practices.
On this episode you will learn:
- Why you are in Safety, Fight & Flight or Freeze in your nervous system
- How Self-Judgment & Criticism puts you into Freeze
- Somatic Practices to help shift your Nervous System back into Safety
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"Kathrine is an amazing resource for people looking to improve their lives. She helped me look inward and begin to trust myself. In addition, she has guided me to examine my thought process and help me realize that at times I am my own worst enemy. She is a keen listener, who will help you understand how you can be your own guide in your future journey of self-awareness. "
If you are looking for guidance on your way to meeting the most empowered version of yourself then Kathrine is your girl. You’ll feel supported by her strength and protected by her kindness. She’ll never miss a chance to point out how your brain is tricking you into believing your stories about yourself that are not serving you, while at the same time offering direction and clarity.
Kathrine and her powerful, intuitive, emotionally-connected coaching style changed my life. I went from feeling overwhelmed and out of control to empowered, brave and fulfilled. Her techniques help you change your perspective from day 1 and make meaningful changes in how you think about challenges. I came away from coaching feeling like I could do anything I wanted in my life. I met the goals we set together and have a whole new set of projects I'm aspiring towards. I couldn't recommend Kathrine enough. She is one of a kind and truly exceptional.
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My energy levels were better, my skin looked better, I felt better, so many positive things happened. A huge shift occurred mentally as well I had struggled for years with my weight and I would try everything! Exercising, keto, paleo, gluten free etc. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, as I ate pretty healthy but was slowly gaining weight over the years. I honestly felt stuck and hopeless. After doing Kathrine’s program with her life coaching, I lost 19 pounds in 3 months. I absolutely could not have done that without Kathrine’s program. She is incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition and health! If you are in need of life coaching or weight loss help or just need help in terms of being healthy and feeling good, I would highly recommend Kathrine! I am a different person for the better regarding health and nutrition because of Kathrine and will forever remain grateful for her. She is absolutely wonderful! "
Kathrine has a way of calling facts and thoughts as they are and bringing you into the wisdom of knowing the difference. I’ve recommended several friends to her and they’ve all come back to me with amazement and gratitude for what Kathrine has helped them to understand. She is a compassionate and intuitive person, and the clarity she has led me to is invaluable. Thank you so much for your help and care!!
At the beginning of the program, I felt so sluggish, no energy and just awful sometimes. I was approximately 15 - 20 pounds overweight in which my body ached at times and had so many excuses not to workout. Three months later, I am down 16 pounds and closer to my ideal weight of 135lbs. Her knowledge and compassion kept me motivated. She has been my inspiration and has been there to support me through this journey. She always had the right words to say and guided me when I was feeling discouraged. Thank you so much Kathrine, you are definitely my hero and I would not have made it this far without you!
Kathrine was a true gift. She stated that she made space for us to be as connected as possible and that established a foundation of safety, from which I knew we could explore. I could feel her intently listening to me and that allowed me the bravery to dive deeper than I would have with other coaches. She was truly wonderful.
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Want to read the episode instead?
Speaker 1: (00:01)
Welcome to the wildly confident podcast where we discuss all the ways to help you get more confident, make more money and get the results you want in your life. Stat. I’m Kathrine Weissner your host. I’m a certified life coach and the creatrix of my own multi-million dollar business.
Speaker 2: (00:24)
Hey you, I am so excited. You are here this week, taking 10 minutes to take good care of yourself. So today’s topic is on your nervous system. And I have to tell you, this is one of the most powerful things I ever learned, and it will absolutely change your life. I have some really cool practices at the end that I’m going to show you to help your nervous system. You might be saying, what does my nervous system have to do with getting results in my life? Well, just about everything. Did you know that your nervous system can literally stop you from making important life changes? It can also lead you to have increased stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation, feelings of loneliness. Your nervous system is the secret key that you were not taught about years ago on how to create a better life. It’s getting a lot more traction these days and learning about my nervous system helped me significantly change my life.
Speaker 2: (01:24)
It was kind of like the secret ingredient that I was able to add that got me to go from, you know, doing pretty good to just doing amazing. So what I do with my clients is what I call somatic practices. And what that is basically is a way of the, where the client to understand their own nervous system reaction to external events and learn how to manage that reaction and change that reaction. I also work with clients a lot on mindset and mindset matters. Okay. It does, but 90% of your neural pathways move from your body to your brain and your body responding to events before your brain does. So as much as I love mindset work and the conscious brain work, 95% of what’s going on in our life and what is really directing our life is the subconscious is the nervous system. So if you’re stuck someplace and unable to move forward, if you’re having a lot of negative emotions and you’ve tried all the positive thoughts that you can and all the positive psychology look at sematic work, look at your nervous system because your nervous system starts to build a story about relationships and the external world from the day you were born, your nervous system is a unique blueprint just for you.
Speaker 2: (02:49)
And the way it reacts to the external world is all learned through experience. The good news that here is just like we learned about the brain. The nervous system is super flexible and it can change. So just because you have a learned experience in your nervous system of something that happened when you were eight years old, now you basically subconsciously have the same reaction. When that thing happens at 42, when we start to notice these reactions, we can actually help our nervous system change its response. It’s really cool. But a lot of it has to do with becoming aware of your body’s reactions, to different external events, becoming aware of those reactions and seeing if those reactions are actually serving you. Is it true that this thing is as much a threat as my body is feeling? And when you notice there’s a discrepancy there, you can start to use some of the tools that I’m going to be giving you at the end of this podcast to help your body come back to a sense of safety.
Speaker 2: (03:59)
So I’m going to give you just like a 1 0 1 on the nervous system. This is based off of Stephen Porges, polyvagal theory, and there’s basically like three little nervous systems in you. There is the ventral vagal, which is the most recent nervous system, and that is all attuned to engagement and social connection. I will refer to this as the tend and befriend part of your nervous system. This is the place you want to be in. So your conscious brain is in control is in charge. Okay? Ideally, as long as there’s no true safety threats to our life outside of us, it would be wonderful to be in the ventral bagel all of the time or in the tendon brief friend in that stage of social connection and engagement and feeling safe. So from there, when we move out of our feeling of safety, we move into what’s called the sympathetic nervous system, which you will hear people refer to as the fight or flight.
Speaker 2: (05:07)
And just as it sounds, when you’re feeling unsafe, when your body is getting cues, that this situation, this external environment is unsafe, you are going to want to move, to fight whatever is externally happening or to flight to leave the situation or to throw that situation or that person really far away from you. And the last state, um, that he talks about is the freeze, the freeze situation it’s in the dorsal vagal. And when you’re in freeze, you literally are kind of just stuck there, unable to move. And while I am not a psychologist or a therapist, I have experienced all of these states in my life and have really become attuned to recognizing when I’m in freeze mode or fight or flight, or when I’m in tend and befriend or just, I also call it the safety zone. It’s just a place of deliciousness where you feel really safe and where you’re able to show up authentically.
Speaker 2: (06:10)
And I’m going to share with you some of the things I’ve seen in clients and in myself, just to help you maybe understand this better in your own life. And I’m going, going to give you some examples. When you were in tendon befriend mode, you feel safe. You feel co-regulate it with other people in community. You hear me talk a lot about community and it is absolutely a hundred percent essential to being in tendon befriend and your community doesn’t have to be a huge group of people or people who were like, whatever, what society defines as important or powerful community is just people you feel safe around, and it doesn’t even actually need to be a person. It can be like a pet, right? It’s just going to be something where there’s somebody else with you. And you’re, co-regulating from a place of safety. And from here, you are authentically yourself.
Speaker 2: (07:05)
You feel whole, you feel love. Now, next down is the fight or flight. And where I see this show up with clients a lot is they are seeing that there’s something wrong with something outside of them. So they’re often shaming somebody else or blaming somebody else or something else for what’s going on in their life. And they’re pushing that away. This has nothing to do with a healthy boundary, healthy boundaries come under, tend and befriend. What I’m talking about here is a defense mechanism that has been put up that’s fight or flight, a defense mechanism, because something happening outside of you doesn’t feel safe. So you’re coming from fear. A healthy boundary comes from love. And if you don’t know about what I’m talking about, please go watch, listen to episode 12 of my podcast on creating healthy boundaries, but a fight or flight will create a boundary from fear and it will often move to make the other person wrong or bad.
Speaker 2: (08:09)
And again, there’s nothing wrong with being in this place. I want to say that if you’re in fight or flight mode, there’s nothing wrong with that either. It’s just being aware that that is what is going on and having compassion for yourself for the place that you’re in, because your nervous system is elevated. It’s stressed. You’re going to be feeling maybe anxiety or tension in your body. And you just want to be aware of that. And then I use some of the tools I’m going to be giving you at the end to help move your body out of fight or flight. And the last stage is the free stage. And this is the stage where instead of you blaming someone on the outside and saying, that’s wrong, you were saying, there’s something wrong with you. And this is really place where I see a lot of women in.
Speaker 2: (08:59)
They feel like they’re not worthy. Like there’s something wrong with them. They’re not good enough. And like, they’re, they’ve been rejected. They’re all, they’re all alone. And often we don’t even, I mean, sometimes we recognize this in our conscious mind, but often it’s completely, you know, outside of our conscious awareness that we’re operating from the freeze mode a lot in our lives. And I’ll tell you where a lot of this freeze mode comes from since most of our subconscious, uh, belief systems, uh, are formed by the age of six. It comes from when we’re children, because the freeze response usually happens when we feel, feel powerlessness. So, you know, if you’re in a state of fight or flight, you feel like you have some power there, right? Like you have a choice. Like you can say something, but when we’re children, especially under the age of sex, we do not have much power.
Speaker 2: (09:57)
We’re just, you know, when we’re, we’re, you know, something in our parents’ lives and we don’t have very much power over our life. So freeze is where we go to a lot, especially, you know, some of the things that I work on with people is like the feeling of the lack of affection growing up, shaming, growing up, not feeling heard or seen as a child, not feeling worthy, not feeling good enough. It’s no surprise that the same things that you feel today are the same things you felt at a young age. And it’s almost like they’re frozen in you. And part of the work I do with clients is to unfreeze that reaction. Because as an adult, now you have tons of power. You have tons of control over your own life, but your automatic nervous system, which is what’s sending 90% of your emotions up your body and telling your brain what to do is running off of frozen play tracks.
Speaker 2: (10:55)
From under the age of six, when you were told you were a bad girl for not being able to sit still in class, or you weren’t smart enough, or, you know, whatever it was that, you know, your parents were shamed for as when they were children, that they are now shaming you for, right? It’s not your parents’ fault necessarily that they, you know, were shaming you as a child, nine times out of 10, they were ashamed as children themselves. And they just don’t even see it at all. And that’s another reason why this work is so powerful when you start to clean up your own nervous system and move out of freeze on some of this stuff, it stops this from being passed on to your children. So it’s just absolutely. I just, I absolutely find this to be an, you know, something, all women, all people should be doing is learning how to take better care of their nervous systems.
Speaker 2: (11:48)
And this is why doing this work is also so important is because as this freeze response can play out in different parts of your life, such as preventing us from being our true, authentic selves, how we respond in conflicts, being authentic, feeling safe enough to share our opinions, to be seen. It shows up all over the place and often is stopping my clients and you know, used to stop me from getting the results I wanted in my life. And one thing I want to just touch on here is a perfectionism and people pleasing. Every woman I know has some of this in them to different varying degrees. And this is just my own hypothesis, but perfectionism and people pleasing come from when we are frozen. And it’s our way of reaching out to try to reach for safety. And co-regulation, so it’s a way of trying to go from freeze, to be friends in a way that unfortunately it’s an authentic terror selves and is not a lasting coping mechanism, but it’s a way of reaching out.
Speaker 2: (13:03)
So if you notice perfectionism and people pleasing in you, something to think about is how am I frozen in those areas of my life? And how can I start to be aware of that in the moment? So I can create safety for myself using the tips I’m going to give you at the very end of this podcast before I give you the tips. I want to say this about your nervous system. Your nervous system is an amazing, amazing thing. Being in tendon, befriend, fight or flight freeze, wherever you are. They’re all beautiful states meant to keep you safe. And they’re there because they love you. There is no reason to get upset with yourself because you notice you’re in freeze or fight or flight. There is absolutely no reason. They are normal states for your body to be in. And you need to love on those states too, because when you have self compassion for yourself, it actually brings you to tendon, befriend and safety.
Speaker 2: (14:04)
But when you are in self criticism and judgment, it actually activates your ancient defense system. And it takes you deeper into fight and flight and into freeze. And these systems are in place to keep you safe. There are situations where these systems come online and they are freaking amazing, right? They save your life. So love on that. Love on what they’re here to do for you love that. They’re trying to protect you, right? And at the same time, we can start to become aware of whether or not. When you notice you’re in fight or flight or freeze, if that is still serving you today, look as a child, the only place most of us could go to was freeze. They goodness, we have that honor that love on that. You knew exactly what to do to feel safe and survive during that time in your life.
Speaker 2: (15:01)
And today you get to choose to change it. If you want to, I’m going to tell you a story from my own life around this, to get an idea. But as a child, I remember being made fun of by another student in the, in my class because I had some hair growing in my upper lip. And this child told me I was a guy and I’m a man and all of these things, and I just froze. I didn’t know how to react. And from there, I basically decided that I wanted to get rid of that hair. And I went about trying to control the situation and people please, and be perfect around it. Okay. So I went from freeze into this coping mechanism and it was only as an adult that I started recognizing that LA that’s normal to have hair there. Right? And at least for me, it was, and that I loved myself with that hair there.
Speaker 2: (15:56)
And I could make a different choice about what I wanted to believe around this. And I was able to create a place of safety for myself, where now I just let that grow and I love on it. And it’s just part of who I am. That’s the authenticity of me and me showing up loving that on myself, helps other women love that on themselves too. During this time in between me recognizing that I recognize that in my thirties, I was going about, you know, really trying to control the situation to feel safe. And I noticed that anytime anyone said, I looked like a man, or it was to Manish. I kind of had this, like this reaction to it. That was maybe a little bit bigger than really was justified because that’s just someone’s opinion. It doesn’t matter if they think that about me, like, go ahead.
Speaker 2: (16:43)
There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with me having some more masculine quote unquote qualities. However you want to define that. Cause it’s all culturally made up. Anyway. I would notice I would get into this reaction really quick about it. And it’s because of the trauma I had from a child of being made fun of because of this and thinking there was something wrong with me because of it. So there’s a, an example. And I’ll tell you how I started. One of the tools I started to use and that you can start to use when you notice yourself in these, um, these reactions to circumstances today that maybe seem a little bit bigger than, you know, there’s no safety threat by someone calling me a man, but I still had that threat from being a child. And somehow like I was going to be ostracized or kicked out of the clan or something from when I was a child.
Speaker 2: (17:30)
So here’s the practice for you to work on this week? It’s called anchors of safety. It is an amazing practice. And what you’re going to be doing is you’re either going to create a drawing or make a list of the things that make you feel safe. And you’re going to connect back to these anchors when you feel yourself in fight or flight or in freeze. So here are the lists of possible anchors you can use, um, who, so this is like a person or a pet or someone who makes you feel safe and welcome for me. It’s my husband, my kids, my best friends. What? Okay, these are small practices that make you feel safe for me. It’s my morning walks. It’s drinking my macho it’s prayer. It’s also just wearing really comfortable clothes and feeling those clothes. Sometimes that really makes me feel safe, where these are physical places that make you feel safe.
Speaker 2: (18:21)
So for me, it’s my house. It’s my garden. It’s any place in nature, any place in the wild. And when these are moments in time from your life where you felt safe. So some examples for me are climbing into bed at night, watching the sunrise or sunset or being at the beach. Okay? So I want you to go ahead and make a drawing of these things and who, what, where and when, or making a list and you are going to be using these anchors to help your body. If it’s in freeze mode, you notice this in freeze mode to help move your body from freeze to fight or flight to tend and befriend, okay, you’re going to help move your body from feeling unsafe, to safe by helping your body notice. There are plenty of safe things in your life and you are safe.
Speaker 2: (19:10)
I also have an amazing podcast, episode, number seven, called the nervous system and safety seeds that has a great meditation in there dealing with these safety anchors that you can just listen to whenever you need to, to help calm your nervous system and move it from feeling unsafe to safe. Thank you so much for joining this week. I know we covered a lot of ground. If you’re interested in learning more about these somatic practices, please book a free consult call with me. I love helping women create more safety in their lives so they can get the results that they want and a deep feeling of belonging, connection, love, and authenticity.
Speaker 1: (20:02)
Thank you for joining. I hope you come back next week. Join my mailing list to get notified at my podcast. Follow me on Instagram at, @katweissner and check out my website at www.klwcoaching.com.