Amanda Robbins is the Co-founder and CMO of Performance Coach University. She is also a business growth coach and marketing strategist. In this episode, she talks about why she has so much positive energy, the idea of stacking to conquer overwhelm and why eating healthy requires simplicity.
You have this positive energy. Is positivity something that is easy for you or something that has been a challenge for you?
Amanda has a simple of phrase that she has been using for a while – moment by moment. When something happens during the day that upsets her she just focuses on that phrase and she can reset to what is great about the present moment. It allows her to come back to a more positive place. And she genuinely wakes up feeling grateful and happy to be alive.
When she was a child, about elementary age, her mom tried to take her own life and her Dad tried to cover it up. She had always seen her mom as the happiest person, full of love and fun. When she asked her Dad why her mom did that he told her that she was really sad. Amanda kept asking why. He told her that her mom had voices in her head and sometimes they didn’t say nice things to her. We all have voices in our heads and Amanda could relate to this. She immediately associated negative internal thoughts with the ability to put someone in a hospital bed. She was scared to be sad and wouldn’t let herself go to that place. She decided to focus on goodness and love and was scared of sadness. She is now at a place where she can share her emotions and deal with the negative emotions while still having a positive outlook.
I want to ask you about stacking as it relates to not wanting something.
Amanda and her partner are in the middle of fertility treatments, buying a home and moving out of a rental. There is a lot going on. She could stack that list very high. Having so much on our plate makes us feel sluggish and heavy. It’s hard to feel energized and easy to feel overwhelmed when we stack things so high. She will write down everything she has to do as one big list. Then she will unstack that list by crossing off things that are not crucial. She will delegate, automate and eliminate as much as she can. Then she’ll ask herself – What’s the one thing she wants to get done today? When you tackle one things at a time it makes you feel like you’re progressing.
You can also stack pain and pleasure. Most people trend towards pain. They will be called to action when the pain of doing or not doing something is so high that they have to take action. But if you keep stacking pain too high it can cause issues. On the pleasurable side you can create loving memories and feel the love for life.
You get to choose your emotion. Moment by moment. If you are someone who just reacts, you need to learn to slow down. Meditation is a really great way to do this. But just learning to pause can be really beneficial, so that you can pause before you are triggered. You have to practice the skill of pausing. When someone asks you a question, take a pause before you speak. Train you brain not to immediately react and respond, but take a little space before you speak.
Slowing down is so helpful because we are so go, go, go. The funny thing about slowing down is you actually speed up results.
There is so much research that shows how incredibly powerful meditation is. In recent years people from all walks of life, including the military and executives, are taking it seriously. Meditation is a game changer. To get people into meditation, Amanda likes to use Muse. It’s a headband and app that is really great for people who like to track things and see visual progress. Apps like Headspace and Insight Timer are also terrific for making meditation a practice.
Meditation is like training a muscle. You just have to keep at it. Even staring with two minutes a day can be a great way of getting started.
When did you start meditating?
Amanda met her husband in 2012. They were both at a point in their lives where they were they comfortable being who they are. Her husband is big into meditation. He encouraged her to meditate. Although she struggle with the chanting meditation they did together.
So how come you kept going back for more?
She did feel really great afterwards. It was a unique way to connect with her husband. They actually have a lot of practices they now do together. They do a gratitude walk, a Sunday ritual where they share love lessons, they mediate together and they do yoga together.
I know you are into health and wellness. I follow you on Instagram and see that you drink a lot of smoothies. What’s your favorite smoothie?
Amanda uses a chocolate vegan protein powder from Thorne. Then she’ll add a berry like blueberries or cherries. She adds spinach. Sometimes she throws in an avocado or some Udo oil. She blends it with water. She wants to make it simple so that it is easier to do.
And no milk? Just water?
Water. We have to stay hydrated and so Amanda tries to add water to things as much as she can. Whenever something calls for milk she’ll use water.
So much of it comes down to habits. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. But there are so many habits people have around food.
Amanda tries to keep things super simple. They pretty much eat the same thing every day. If it’s simple it’s easier to eat healthier. Every day they have salmon and broccoli for lunch. They throw it on the steamer, add ghee, salt and pepper. Dinner is normally a salad with some protein on it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
She was in a taxi recently after being picked up at an airport. The driver looked like he was in his 50’s but turned out to be 69. She was amazed and asked him what his secret was. He said his Grandfather told him - “Don’t worry about things that you have no control over. If you can’t control it, it’s out of your control. Don’t worry about it.”
A big root of our suffering is trying to constantly control. It creates a lot of worry.
Amanda thinks we should have more faith that life is rigged in our favor. That things are happening for us and not to us.
What drives you?
Love for people overall. There is a lot of bad news out there that can make it feel like the world is ending but there is actually a lot of goodness in the world. What really drives her is the human spirit and its resilience, love and compassion. She inspired by people.
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