Last week on WGT, I had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with mental fitness coach, Cassidy Nasello.
Why mental fitness? I think we all have mental hurdles we’re trying to overcome in our work and our personal lives.
I can’t wait to dive into some of the big takeaways I learned last week. Cassidy is amazing, and so is her advice! Let’s dig in.
Let’s address the first question you probably have: What the heck is a mental fitness coach, anyway?
Cassidy’s background is in the professional world of business—she has her MBA from Columbia University and led a sales team at The Atlantic, all before then becoming a certified KonMari expert. When she realized she loved the inner work of KonMari more than the actual organizing, she transitioned into the world of coaching.
Basically a mental fitness coach will help you to tackle anything that’s setting you back mentally—a sense of self-doubt; a proclivity toward procrastination; a hyper-achiever mentality that makes it hard to be proud of what you’ve already accomplished—all of it.
“We’re either at war with ourselves, or we’re supporting ourselves. And so sometimes we don’t even realize how much we are bringing ourselves down.
“[People] may not realize how much it’s holding them back from their goals. So I want to help [them] call out those negative voices and intercept them.”
And it’s all rooted in the way our brains work.
“[S]tudies have shown that different parts of the brain are activated when we’re in a negative stress related mindset. And those parts of the brain are loosely left side of the brain more process oriented.
And the parts of our brain that are laser focused, creative, empathetic, compassionate, just thoughtful—sort of the heart feelings—those tend to live more on the right side of the brain.”
So her job? To shut down those stressors, and bring balance back to the way you think.
This was such a perfectly-timed piece of advice.
Just three weeks ago I interviewed Ava Johanna, breathwork expert and the founder of the Academy of Breath, on the show only three weeks ago. Hearing Cassidy echo the importance of this technique really solidified how powerful, and how essential, breathwork is for mental health.
“You can’t rationalize yourself into being happy or being grateful,” so that’s where breathwork comes in.
My favorite way of calming my mind lately is coherent breathing, which is essentially exhaling longer than you inhale. That’s an overly-simplified definition, but you get the idea.
“A lot of coaching work is really body work, understanding where those feelings live. Sometimes that stress can lead to your throat or your chest, [so acknowledge] that. And then and only then can you shift to that place of empathy and curiosity.”
What’s unique about Cassidy’s method is her work with identifying and conquering your “inner saboteur”—essentially the negative force that’s thwarting you.
According to author of Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine, everyone has a saboteur. And while they may have gotten there for a reason, there’s no need to keep them forever.
Let’s dig in a little, because this is so interesting. So think of your inner saboteur as a little knight in shining armor that lives inside you. When you’re young and learning how to process the world around you, this saboteur is a protective mechanism that fights for you. Think of it as an inborn defensive mechanism that comes out when you’re provoked, or feeling in danger of some sort. That little knight comes out to fight and scare away any trigger that may disturb your peace.
But the problem is, that knight needs to retire. As you grow and begin to learn how to respond to the world around you with your own mechanisms, he’s still there, urging you to fight in the same patterns and ways you used to.
It’s all explained so well right here, where you can also get more information on which saboteur you’re dealing with. We all have them!
Cassidy suggests working with someone to identify, and disarm, your saboteur. That’s when you can truly open up to peace and success.
As always, I learned so much last week from our guest. If you’d like a more in-depth discussion about mental fitness and what it can do for you, check out the episode here, and follow Cassidy on Instagram here.