Listen or watch on your favorite platforms

What unfolds when we learn to navigate life's complexities with a newfound grace and trust in ourselves?

In this live coaching session, we delve into the compelling story of Sofia, a massage therapist turned aspiring coach, as she grapples with the overwhelming landscape of juggling multiple passions. Together, we unravel the delicate dance between personal development and entrepreneurial pursuits, emphasizing the profound significance of trusting one's heart-driven decisions over societal expectations.

Discover with us the power of embracing life's messiness and the freedom found in prioritizing tasks based on desire rather than obligation. Through Sofia's journey, we uncover the magic that emerges when self-trust becomes the guiding force in our pursuit of clarity, focus, and joy.

Topics Covered

  • The struggle with overwhelming commitments and juggling ambitions
  • The significance of prioritizing tasks based on heart-driven decisions
  • Embracing life's messiness and fluctuations in priorities
  • Discovering the power of self-trust amidst societal expectations
  • Sofia's journey of integrating Zen Habits principles into her life
  • Strategies for handling the chaos of personal growth and entrepreneurial pursuits
  • The freedom found in embracing imperfection and dropping habits without guilt
  • Lessons on clarity, focus, and joy through self-trust and grace
  • Cultivating a mindset that fosters clarity in entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Self-trust as a guiding force in navigating ambition and personal development

Sofia's Resources


Leo 00:09

Welcome to the Zen Habits podcast, where we dive into how to work with uncertainty, resistance, and fear around our meaningful work. This is for anyone who wants to create an impact in the world and cares deeply enough to do the work. I'm your host, Leo Babauta, creator of the Zen Habits blog.

All right, so I'm here with Sofa, a massage therapist in Canada. I don't know if I need to give away exactly where you are but living up in Canada and you're starting your own business as well. And brought you on here to do a little bit of coaching live here and then record it for the podcast, really with the intention of letting others see what the process looks like to get coached. And also, hopefully they'll get something out of this. I think the questions that you brought here are relevant to a lot of people. So, Sofia, welcome.

Sofia 01:16

Thank you so much for doing this with me.

Leo 01:18

Yeah. And then... tell me why you reached out and wanted to get some support and were open to this kind of thing.

Sofia 01:27

So I've been a huge fan of Zen Habits for many years. And I've been a huge fan even though I haven't even gone through the whole thing because that's one of my blocks I keep restarting. But just the energy of the content and you're like the Zen philosophy and everything, like the very human way that you bring in your own personal examples. I found it very relatable and very accessible, and it just rings true for me.

So, I've had it, in as like a philosophy in a way for the last few years. And in the summertime, I decided to restart my Zen habit again. And then for some reason decided to see if you had a podcast on Spotify and then that's how I found it. And I was coming up with blocks. Actually, I think this is before I found the podcast a couple of days before. And I decided to reach out to you to ask for help because I felt so confused. And then I saw that there was the podcast. So, it all happened at the same time.

Leo 02:40

Awesome. And so, thanks for sharing all of that. And what are the blocks? You just mentioned a couple of blocks that were coming up for you. So, could you share just a little bit about that?

Sofia 02:49

Yeah. So, I guess the biggest block for me is that I keep starting and then restarting because I'll start with a habit, let's say it's sleep. And then a few weeks in I'm like wait, it's actually meditation or it's mindset or it's nonviolent communication with my partner. These are the things that are the most essential right now. And that's where I keep tripping over myself. Cause I keep seeing everything as a high priority thing. And of course, everything is interconnected.

So yeah, that's my issue is like how to stay focused on one thing, especially like in this world where there's, like this, like podcasts and challenges and, free courses and everything flying at you constantly at the same time. How do you stay focused on creating one thing? So that was one of the blocks.

Leo 03:50

Okay, cool. Great. I can relate to that. I imagine a lot of people listening or watching also could get that. So, if you are listening or watching, please check in and see is there some place where that's showing up for you.

Okay, cool. Should we focus on that right now? I know you had some other questions around sleep and other things but sounds like this is the biggest blocker for you.

Sofia 04:16


Leo 04:19

Yeah. Okay. So, let's actually lay out what are the things that you have to choose from that you'd like to focus on?

Sofia 04:25

Okay. So, I wrote them out.

Leo 04:27

Okay. Great.

Sofia 04:29

Three top priority things that I want to create is more posts on social media. That's something I've been really avoiding, and I know it's really important.

Leo 04:38

Important for your business for my business, right?

Sofia 04:41

Important for your business for my business. I'm creating my own business. I’ve already created one, but it's always in a process of creation.

Leo 04:48

Yeah, sure. And what is that?

Sofia 04:51

I'm a massage therapist, but I see that my passion lies in coaching, and it's always been there since I was a child. And so, I'm really wanting to pivot more into combination sessions where I'm doing coaching and massage therapy and sound healing as well.

Leo 05:11

Okay. Great. Awesome. Okay. So it would be, you would still be doing massage therapy, but also coaching and sound therapy or leave behind the massage.

Sofia 05:22

Yeah. Exactly. Long term vision is leave behind the massage. I also want to have children. So, I want to be able to do something that doesn't involve my body. So, my vision is like within the next year, wrap it up so that I can just fully go into coaching.

Leo 05:39

Got it. Okay, cool. Okay. So social media...

Sofia 05:43

Yeah. And then the other creation is a program for women that I've felt very inspired and called to create. And people are requesting and asking of me to do this thing, but it requires my focus and my time. So that. And then also. Just other marketing in general. So, it's like email marketing, flyers like events and just refining how I'm communicating what I offer. So those are like, I guess the top three. Creation.

And then there's like programs. So, there's following this podcast and doing the exercises. There's Zen Habits, the book that you created. So that's like a daily thing. There's a coaching program that I bought last year, which is specifically for massage therapists in private practice. So that's something I wanted to complete cause I didn't complete it, and I know it would help my business.

There's a 40 day abundance mindset thing that I'm, that I've also have at home. And then someone else just recently reached out to me to ask if they want to do trades with me and do this kind of like abundance mindset trades. Sure. Those are the programs. And then in terms of habits, I feel like crazy right now. I feel like one of those crazy people.

Leo 07:14

It feels as you're sharing like all of this stuff, it just feels a little bit crazy.

Sofia 07:19

I just feel crazy because I, I'm like wanting to do so many things. I just, so that's why I feel crazy.

Leo 07:26

Just by sharing it here, like maybe just are you have a fear of being judged that there's...

Sofia 07:33

No. The thought already comes up even just when I'm like creating the list. I'm like why do I, yeah, exactly. Like, why do I need to do all these things? But, and yet they're all important aspects, but so yeah.

And then daily habits would be like abundance mindset practice. Confidence practice regular meditation, which is something I do anyways exercise, which is something I've integrated already and sleeping early, which I did originally have it integrated. And then it just like somehow crashed.

Leo 08:12

So, do you know what caused it to crash?

Sofia 08:15

I think I mentioned this to you before that I think it crashed because I was confident about it. Oddly enough. It's because I was like, 'Oh, I conquered it. I did it'. I was like, no, I don't have to worry about it. Yeah. I took my eye off the ball.

Leo 08:30

Okay. Got it. And so, with this long list I could feel there's a lot there. And I also feel that these are all things you care about. So, it's not just let me just add a bunch of stuff there. This is all stuff you really want to be. Like moving into or learning about or creating in your life. What comes up for you when you look at this list? Is it like, I want all of them. I want to do all of them every day. Or is it like, it's too much? I'm not going to do any of them or yeah. What shows up for you?

Sofia 09:04

I would love to do everything every day.

Leo 09:07

Okay. That's and that you really feel like 'Oh, that would be amazing'.

Sofia 09:14

Yeah. I feel the happiest when I have days where I've just done like a million things, I've gone to the gym in the morning and I'm already like working at. 7: 30 or 8 and I'm doing, I also didn't mention this, but also nonviolent communication practice. So, learning or practicing exercises with my partner, yeah, when I've just, I feel the best when I've done a lot in my day, but is it fair to really expect that, I don't know.

Leo 09:44

So, if you could be doing all of this every day, that would be like the best. Best outcome. Got it. And then from that let's imagine this, were to go, like how it would typically go for you. So I'm not saying it's gonna going to go this way, but if we were just like, okay, to see how this typically goes, it's is this common where it's I wanna take on a lot, I wanna do all of the things, and then how does it go after that?

Sofia 10:12

Yeah, I think that is a typical scenario where it's I'll write a to-do list in my day, and it's always way more than I think I can actually do. And I think there's like disappointment in that I can't be a superhuman. I think there's like sadness that I can't do it all. And maybe some perfectionism too, like what I noticed in this entire process with Zen habits is that it's actually much messier than I expected. And it seems so, it seems so clean. You've got even the book, it's clean and there's like chapters and there's exercises, but... is that really how it is in reality? It's a kind of messy.

Leo 10:56

Definitely not. Maybe I should have put more mess into the book. Just to set some expectations.

Sofia 11:00

Random letters all over the place.

Leo 11:03

Splatter it with coffee. Okay, let's see. I want to look at how it typically goes. I have all of his ambitions, all of the things that I want to take on. And then you try and actually take it on, I'm sure with a lot of energy.

And then you said it doesn't work out, but like what, what has. How does it go in a way that it doesn't work out? So, are you trying to do it all? And then dropping balls juggling it all or running out of energy or what happens?

Sofia 11:36

I find whatever I'm focusing on, if I'm focusing on going to the gym every morning, then for two weeks, I'll be amazing and I'll be like. Okay. In the gym five times a week or running or whatever. And then, but then it's like other things might fall off. And then the next two, then I'm like, okay, wait, now I need to pull up something else. And then I focus more on that. But then oh, I'm, I've only exercised twice this week. It's hard for me to do all of these things at a high level at the same time.

Leo 12:11

Got it. Yeah. Got it. I can relate. Okay. So, you're doing really well with exercise for two weeks and then. It's like all these other things have dropped off and then so you like, I want to focus on this as well. And then exercise it, it's almost like taking your eye off the ball. Like you like you haven't even noticed the exercise has dropped off and it's 'Oh, I've only exercised twice this week'. Is that how it works?

Sofia 12:36

Yeah, it's, that's how it works. It's like something will like lower down as I put my focus into something else.

Leo 12:47

And it's almost like it just accidentally lowers down. It's not like you're like, 'I choose to put this down for a little bit' and it's also not 'Oh, I'm tired of this. I don't want to do it anymore'. It's just like focusing on this and then, 'Oh crap, I didn't even notice that was going down.'

Sofia 13:03

Yeah. Exactly.

Leo 13:07

Okay. So, it's not like you, okay, actually let me ask you this. So, you've changed your focus into something else and exercise falls down and then how do you feel about that or what comes up for you?

Sofia 13:19

What comes up is feeling, I guess it's not a feeling, but I guess feeling disappointed and thinking that I'm a failure. That's what comes up.

Leo 13:35

Yeah. And then from that, what do you tend to do? Like I'm feeling disappointed. I feel like I'm a failure. Then what do you tend to do?

Sofia 13:43

Then I feel I feel very like behind, I'm thinking that I'm very behind and I feel more anxious and then maybe my sleep gets messed up because I'm more anxious. And then I'm, and then I say, okay, so it's important that I'm fixing my mindset and then I go into mindset and then it's wait, but my social media, do you know what I mean?

Leo 14:07

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cause you, you're like, okay, I can see them. To your credit, you're like seeing that the mindset is affecting everything, how you're feeling, affecting your sleep. And so, 'I'm going to focus on the mindset', but then these other things are dropping and it's almost like I'm feeling behind over there and disappointed and feeling like a failure in those areas. Okay. Got it. Trying to check in like where it would be helpful to go.

Actually, at this point, I'm feeling called to just share a little bit about how this process works or let's see how the process that you've been going through with all of these things, how that tends to work how it looks, would that be okay?

Sofia 14:53

Yeah. Please do.

Leo 14:56

Okay. So however, I laid out that book as clean and simple and like tidy, that's not how it looks in real life. And I'll share in my life. This, what you described is often what I'm noticing. So, I can actually keep several things going at the same time, but not everything. And so, I will drop something, like I'm writing a book about my grandmother. As soon as I take my focus off of that, it stops. Because it takes some energy to keep that going. But I've got so many other things that I need to put my focus and energy on that stops. And so, I'll notice it.

And the thing that I notice about you is, this is very typical, like what we would do is, I feel disappointed. And I take that disappointment to mean something about me. Like I suck in some way, right? So, feeling disappointed is human. And even feeling like we suck is also human but feeling disappointed is human. But then we like, we'll take that feeling and say, 'I need to create some kind of meaning from it'.

Me having tried this and failed at failing at it, and now feeling disappointed, I suck at this, and I need to find a better way. And so, we'll start to create a narrative about ourselves around it. We'll beat ourselves up a bit. I don't know exactly how your version looks, but it sounds like there's something there. Does that make sense?

Sofia 16:29

Yeah, for sure.

Leo 16:32

Okay. So, I'm reflecting that to you because I've seen that for myself. And then the way that I work with that now is the way I hold myself is that I trust myself in my process. And that's not, that didn't come for free. I had to like work at that. But the idea is that I'm always in a process and, around forming habits or working on my business. I'm moving through and things are going to get dropped. I know that for a fact because I've seen it and it's just a part of the process. I will actually drop a habit for a while.

For a while actually I was off of, it wasn't that off of exercise, but definitely it wasn't a big focus because I had so much other stuff going on. So, I'm like, Oh, I noticed that I'm feeling a bit sedentary and not alive as much as I was when I was exercising. So, I had to bring that back. Cause I didn't really enjoy what it was like when I wasn't moving as much. So, I'm like, let me put myself back into this and, make that a big focus.

And that's just how it goes. I know that because I've done it so many times before that I will feel some disappointment, but I don't make that as significant as I used to. Okay. And so, it's messy, I need to bring things back, but what we want is it for, to be nice and tidy and like good, I did that and now it's good.

That's actually why people want to focus on habits, because I'm like, I created these habits, they're good, now I don't need to think about them anymore. But it isn't always. Work that way, even if you like, we're really trying with a habit and then it falls off and you're like I was doing, 20 straight days of something. And then it fell off and then you just feel like deflated and I thought it was going to go perfectly.

And what I try and tell people is that's actually a part of the habit formation process is falling off. And then how do you come back and how do you get good at that part which is the most important part. Starting is probably the most important, but then after that, the most important part is how do you come back after you've dropped it and people who have had a hundred straight days and it's all perfect.

They're like hoping that's going to be the way it is, but I'm like, you're, you haven't learned how to come back if you had a hundred straight days, it's perfect, which is what you wanted, but you haven't learned the real key habit skill. At some point they will have to if they want to keep going with other habits, but okay. So, I said a lot. What are you hearing from that for yourself?

Sofia 19:24

I guess I'm hearing that it's normal for habits to be swapping places or like taking center stage that you can't have everything on center stage. And maybe that's why you're taking it less personally because you've already zoomed out and taken in so much data about how it works to actually integrate habits.

Leo 19:53

Yeah. I have watched myself enough in this process to know this is how it goes. And the the less that I beat myself up or tell myself that I suck or whatever it is that I would tend to do, the better because that's just adding extra like difficulty onto the process.

So, it's fine if we're doing it, just know that it is making it a little bit more difficult. So, if you can do that less, then have more grace for yourself. So, it's 'Oh yeah, I dropped my exercise. Okay, whew, I'm feeling some disappointment. Like I can bring some compassion to that'. And then have a little bit of grace, like it's okay to drop things for a little bit. And then what do I need to do to get back to where I need to be or where I want to be?

Sofia 20:47

Can I try to answer my own question? You tell me. Okay, great. Yeah, let's hear it. Because my question was like, how do you choose, amongst all the things, how do you choose?

So, then my answer would be, why don't you choose like the one that is the hardest or the one that requires the most? Energy from you and just focus on that one. Yeah. What do you think?

Leo 21:18

I think that's a great answer. I don't think there's a right answer here. So that's actually the difficulty in choosing. Did you listen to that episode on choosing versus deciding?

Sofia 21:27

I did. I really like that. And the only issue for me is that I, like I said, I feel so inspired and so strongly about all these things. It's because I think you said that you don't want to just decide with your mind, you want to choose from your gut, and it feels like there's a fire burning in my gut for all of those things. Maybe not all the habits, although if I really think about them, then yeah, even all the habits, I think I just. I'm a lover of life, I just like love to I love all these things.

Leo 22:04

That's amazing, right? It's incredible energy. Yeah, and you can have all of that. The question is, do you want to have all of that right this second? You can answer yes, and then take that on. It's okay, I'm going to take on everything on my list right now and see how that goes. If you feel like that didn't work out so great, you can always adjust. You could say, 'Okay, I want to do five of those things,' or 'I'll tackle them one at a time until I feel established there, and then move on to the next.'"

"So, there isn't a 'right' way. You can have whatever you want. But you have to be willing to, first of all, put in the energy that's going to be required to do it and also work with the process. If it didn't work out well and you're like, 'Okay, I dropped 7 out of the 10 things,' you can say, 'Either I want to adjust how many I'm doing, or I'm not willing to drop any of them. What do I need to do to make that happen?'"

"Do I need to hire 10 coaches so that I have 10 people helping me focus on all of that? Do I need to get a team that'll help me handle some of the social media and marketing? Do I need to block off my day in a more structured manner—like focusing on social media here, email marketing there, reading this book here, and taking that course there? What do I need to do if I'm committed to all 10 at once? You can see it's always an option if you want to do all 10, but it doesn't mean that's what you have to do. You can say, 'I want to do all 10, but not all at once.' So, you just choose from the heart."

Sofia 23:58

Cool. I like that.

Leo 24:01

So, are you willing to practice a little bit right now?

Sofia 24:04

Practice... choosing?

Leo 24:06

Choosing from the heart?

Sofia 24:07


Leo 24:08

Okay. What's coming up for you? You don't have to.

Sofia 24:11

Vulnerability. Nakedness..

Leo 24:15

Yeah, sure. I don't ever want to force anyone to be vulnerable or naked. So, if it doesn't feel like something you want to do right now, you can definitely choose out of it. I'm not here to pressure you.

Sofia 24:28

I'd be curious to see how you would edit that. So, I'm open to it.

Leo 24:32

Okay. So, take, you take a look at your list and as you do just engage the heart more than the brain, as much as you can just be like, Oh, what am I called to? So, the question would be, what am I called to right now? As opposed to, I can have all of these at some point. Is it all of them? Is it a few of them? Is it one? So just feel your heart.

What came up for you?

Sofia 25:14

It's to focus more on, like to zoom in more on the things that are most calling me right now, which is my business and stepping into coaching. And then the program for the women, I can just put two hours or one hour, even just one hour a week and just slowly create that.

Leo 25:37

Okay. And that feels really good. That's what your heart wants.

Sofia 25:41

Yeah, because I noticed that if I say no, I equally want everything, then I can see that it's coming from guilt. I should, it's so bad that you didn't even finish it already. Like things like that.

Leo 25:57

Yeah. A lot of like books and courses often go that way. It's Oh, all the books on my shelf are all the things that I should be doing, but I haven't, or all the courses that I bought, like I bought 10 courses and, I haven't finished any of them. And I feel a lot of guilt, right? Yeah.

Okay. Great noticing. Yeah. So, I love that. As you felt into your heart, there was like, you weren't actually called towards the shoulds. And you noticed oh yeah, those are shoulds for me. Is there anything else on the list besides, was it courses and books that were like shoulds?

Sofia 26:32

So, the should is more like the program for the women that I wanted to give.

Leo 26:40

Because here's people who want it?

Sofia 26:43

Yeah they are kind of waiting on me a little bit for it. I'm not waiting, but they know that I'm like in the process of creating it. So, they're like, I can't wait.

Leo 26:53

They're excited. So, you're feeling a little bit of that should.

Sofia 26:57

Yeah. But then I'm like, I'm realizing my mind saying I should be operating by shoulds because that's the only way you can be responsible on this Earth.

Leo 27:09

Yeah, that's a strong one.

Sofia 27:10

Yeah. But ironically what prompted me to create the program for women is not from a place of shoulds. It's only from a place of inspiration and creativity. So, I think that if I'm constantly following and feeding that creativity, then I would probably create that out of bliss. Spontaneously or something because I'm more in my energy. If that makes sense.

Leo 27:36

Makes a hundred percent sense. Yeah. I didn't say that quite right, but I totally get it. That might be actually something to keep noticing if you're up for taking that practice on—is like, where am I holding this as a 'should,' or what am I taking on because of 'shoulds'?

So, like with the women's program, you might say, 'Oh yeah, there's... I started it because I really wanted to create it. There's something there that lights me up, but right now I'm holding it as a should.' And that's sometimes how it goes. I do it because of one reason, because it lights me up and I see the possibility, and then I slip into 'shoulds' because like you said, I feel like there's no other way to be responsible in the world.

That's a training that we have. The world has trained us in that. And so, we hold 'shoulds' as the way to do it. Should is how we should do it, right? And then we start to take on all of our work and our, even our play and like our exercise and everything as a should. We just make ourselves do things from that place of should or guilt or supposed to or obligation, duty, all of that.

Yeah, anything coming up for you when I share that?

Sofia 28:53

I have a question for you actually. I'm sorry. I have a question. Because you are creating this it's a book right about your grandmother. It's like a bite, right? Yeah, so does that happen to you? Because it obviously was born from a place from your heart and yeah, do you like is it becoming a should and you know if something becomes a should does that mean we should? It is best to let it go, or is it just because? I don't know, the grass is greener or something.

Leo 29:25

So, I'll answer that question. But that's actually where I was going with the women's program. If it's become a should, does not mean you have to let it go. You can actually get yourself back to that original place.

So, I'll talk about my grandma's book. I originally really wanted to do it because I love her story. She cracks me up. She has like the best stories and so many of them. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, she has so many stories. She was like 90 at the time and I'm like, I don't know how much longer she has. It turns out she might be living well past a hundred, who knows, but yeah, she's stronger than ever.

But I was like, I want to really capture these. I would love to have these as something that our family can hold onto. So, I recorded her and I was just going to write, transcribe them all. Let's have a little collection for our family. And then she got so excited and started telling all her friends, my grandson's writing a book about me, like basically a biography of her. And I'm like no, it's just, I'm just collecting your stories. And she's she just kept telling everybody my grandson's writing this book about me. And I'm like, I guess I'm writing a book about her.

And so, I started doing it. Cause I thought it was funny that she did that. But then there started to become this sense of obligation, like a should, because I told my family that I was doing it and her. And so, everybody like was asking, like, when is it going to be done? So, I started feeling the 'shoulds' and I started taking it on from that place. Okay, I'm going to block off some time and work on it, which I did.

But what I noticed is I can only do that so far when I'm doing it from that place of should. Cause it's like a coercion I'm making myself, I'm making myself. And then after a while, it's that only goes. Like certain amount of distance and I'm pretty good at it. So, I can go pretty far, but I always will stop because of that. Because it won't take me way past my resistance. It goes so far, but it's just like up till there.

So now what I do, to answer your question fully, is I try and reconnect to the why. So, I'll actually write out a vision of why I'm doing this before every project or most projects. And I'll be like, Okay, I'm doing this not because I should, not because people want me to, but because there's something here that lights me up.

And for her it's like I really wanted to give this to her before she died. I thought it would be really meaningful. She is someone who like was brought up where when she was a kid she was never really loved or seen and so I want her to know like she's loved and seen and she took a back seat in the like... the spotlight was always on my grandfather when he was alive. And so, she was always like the not the main attraction. And with this book, I'm putting her like front and center.

And so that's meaningful to me. And then to have this, part of our family's heritage, like captured is really important to me too. So, I want to have that be a part of our lineage, like her stories, her story and all of her stories.

So that was my vision for it. It was a little bit, probably a little bit different when I wrote it out, but that's what I feel in my heart. And when I connect to that, before I write. I like love writing it and then sometimes I'll show up as I should because I said I would. So it goes both ways and I have to work with that. I'm very much stuck in 'shoulds' a lot. That's my training as well.

Sofia 33:14

Would you recommend that we read our why at the beginning of every focus block?

Leo 33:21

That would be a great practice. I forget to do that. That's when I do get into the 'shoulds'. So, if you have a reminder, it's connect to your why. Yeah. If you feel like expansive and lit up like when you first took on that women's program project, it's like, Oh, I'm doing it for this. And you're feeling like expansive. That's how, you're connected to the possibility that you want to create.

Sofia 33:48


Leo 33:51

Okay. Let's check in and see where we are in terms of what you wanted to get out of this session. So, the main thing you wanted to look at was like, how do I choose? It sounds like you've actually chosen.

Sofia 34:03

Yeah. And I thank you because I think what I needed was permission to step out of there's one right way and I'm doing it the wrong way. And I think that's what I was getting stuck in.

Leo 34:19

That is exactly, that's exactly right. Thanks for saying that. Cause we don't see when we're stuck in that. It's actually really hard to see on our own. That's why it's great to come into a coaching conversation like this and why I'm glad you're doing coaching.

Cause I really stand for coaching in the world and how we can't see when we're in it, that you are stuck in I need to have the right way. I need to have the right answer. Which is the brain wanting to engage with that. And so, the brain's going to spin around, and it will never have the right answer because there isn't one.

And so, it's trying to find it. It's like doing its darndest, like the brain's really trying hard, but we can't. And so that's where the choosing practice were. What's from your heart cuts through all of that because there is actually no right answer. It's just what do you want? And you, to your credit I really acknowledge you for practicing.

You actually practice choosing from the heart. And I want to say one thing again to acknowledge you is you're actually really good at it. I would imagine that's from, practice from other things that you've been doing to connect to your heart. Is that true?

Sofia 35:30

It's funny because so these are my insecurities that come up. So right before I, I did it, I was like you suck. You're not going to be able to hear it. Those are the things that are still in my brain. There's that. And then there's like the deeper layer of just calm and love. So, thank you.

Leo 35:52

Yeah you notice the fears and you're like, 'You suck, you can't do this'. Right before we practice that was coming up. Great noticing! And those are trying to protect you from this. So those are like, you can think of them as like your little protector, a protector sitting on your shoulder. 'Don't do this. It's. scary. You're going to fail. You're gonna do it wrong. People are going to, we're recording this. So, people are going to see it.'

Those things will try and stop you from actually doing it. Cause it's scary. You're actually stepping into the unknown where you're like being vulnerable and saying, what do I want? Okay. I want that. And I have to admit it. And admit it to myself, admit it to the coach. And that's scary to do. It's almost like if you just said, I want this is what I want in life.

We're not trained in by the world to do that. And so, actually what we're trained in is don't want what you want because you won't get it. You're going to be disappointed or told why you're bad for wanting it. This is how the world trains us. Not because the world sucks, but just the world has learned to do that. And so, we actually shut down our heart's desires. We're just like, I'm just okay with whatever I have. I don't want anything more.

And then I just do things not from what my heart wants, but from should. And I really love that you saw that, like, all I needed was permission to just choose what I want, and you saw the fears that came up, but that's all it is. It's just like, here's what I want. And it's okay to want that. We can give ourselves permission.

Sofia 37:35


Leo 37:36

So, thanks for giving yourself permission.

Sofia 37:38

Thank you. And it also goes to show that you can't be, always your own coach, it's like we need each other to do these like reflections and to just, there's something magical, I think in that, so yeah.

Leo 37:54

It's hard. This is why I really stand for coaching, and I'm glad that you'll be doing it. It's hard to see our own stuff. I know I can't. That's why I have a coach. So, I work with my own coach because I can see stuff for others. I'm really good at it now, but I can't see my own stuff. So, I'll be like, 'I think I can see my own stuff.' And my tendency is actually to want to do it on my own and not be vulnerable, not be exposed, and just figure it out by myself. It's way easier that way.

But then I'll talk to my coach, and I'm like, 'Okay, this is what I think. This is how it looks to me.' And he'll be able to see stuff that I can't because he's not in my world. And so, he'll say, 'Oh, I noticed you're doing this thing, like taking something as it should be and beating yourself over the head with it.' Oh yeah, I am doing that.

And then it's not that it's bad; I'm human. So, I'm just doing a human thing, but then it's, 'Do you want to keep doing that?' Is that what I'm like, 'Yes, this feels great.' I want it. It's like a massage, right? Yeah, massaging myself with my issues, or it could be like, 'No, that doesn't feel great. I don't want to keep doing that.' And so, you can choose. But it's not that if someone was reflecting something you can't see, it's not that there's anything wrong with that or you have to stop, but it gives you more awareness, which gives you access to more choices.

Sofia 39:18

More freedom.

Leo 39:21

Okay. I know we didn't get to everything that you wanted to touch on, but it sounds like we got through the main part.

Sofia 39:28

The main thing. That was the big one.

Leo 39:32

Yeah. And so, for the other stuff, would you like to just set them aside for now?

Sofia 39:41

Yeah, I totally can. I feel like because we worked on the biggest one, that's... yeah, thank you so much for that.

Leo 39:50

Okay. Actually, what I meant was, like, you had a long list, and you chose a couple of them.

Sofia 39:54

Oh, you meant, oh, sorry.

Leo 39:56

In terms of everything on your list. I wasn't clear. That was my fault. For the rest of the things on the list are you good with setting them aside for now? Are there pieces that you want to be touching every once in a while, or what would serve you?

Sofia 40:12

I think what I would do is like the same process as before is just focus like honing on the ones that are the most important to me right now. And right now, it's really abundance mindset is really powerful. And I see how just practicing it for the last couple of days has really reflected in my external reality.

So, I just want to continue doing that and just release the grip on all the other practices and still have an intention with my sleep but, not be obsessed with perfection because, you know. And also, when I sleep earlier then naturally I exercise in the morning. So, it's kind of like hand in hand.

Leo 41:09

Okay, great. One thing you can do is just to put those on a list, like on hold, and I'm going to revisit them periodically and see if my heart wants to move into any of them. So, it's not that you're never going to do them. It's just I'm committed to these. I really want to, but they're on hold for now. It's like pressing the pause button, but not forgetting about them because they're still important to you. So, you come back to them periodically.

Another thing you can do is to say there are still some pieces that aren't the most important ones, like sleep and exercise. I want to have them, but I don't need to have them as my main focus. So, I'm going to just touch them very lightly. What would I like to do with those? So, it's just, okay, maybe I just want to make sure I get to sleep on time or whatever it is that would help with sleep, but nothing that's going to require an all-day focus.

So, you are like, 'Okay, I want to touch this once a week, if it's still important to you, but not your main focus. I want to have five minutes a day where I do this,' or it's 'I want to do the five minutes a day, but I'm going to start that in two weeks from now.' So, I give myself some space. So, it'd be good to just go through the list and make some choices from the heart and then decide how you want to handle those. So, they feel handled to you as opposed to just this big list of 'shoulds' that you're forgetting about.

Sofia 42:41

Right. Yeah, that's interesting. Cause then it also builds self-trust to show like, okay, I heard you. I know that this is what you care about. So, this is the plan for these things.

Leo 42:50

Yeah. I really think what you're cultivating is self-trust. I really love that you could see that. You're cultivating trust. Like you've fallen off of things. Things have been messy, and you're trusting yourself to come back to it. So, it's not such a big deal if you falter on any of these.

And then you're trusting yourself to choose from the heart, which is a really big one. You just practiced it now, even though you had some shakiness around it and lack of trust. You actually practiced in spite of that lack of trust. And now you're just trusting what came up and saying, 'Oh yeah, it's okay to just do those and not do everything else.' You're also trusting that you could find a way to have those handled, the other things that you're not taking on. So, there's a lot of self-trust that you're practicing. I really acknowledge you for that.

Okay. So, I would recommend going through your list and figuring out how you want to handle all of those and just, again, trusting yourself. And also, some grace for yourself is my last reminder.

Sofia 44:00

Okay. Thank you.

Leo 44:01

Yeah. If things fall off, it's just Ah, I'm so dumb for dropping them, but just having some compassion and some grace, which is okay, in my process, it's going to, things are going to fall off sometimes and I just need to come back to them.

Sofia 44:15

Thank you.

Leo 44:19

How does that sound?

Sofia 44:20

Sounds good. I guess the image that came to mind was... a perception of people who have like you, who have a lot of success in many areas of your life. It's like I have, or maybe many other people have this image that like every, all of your habits are like sky high all the time. And yeah, just wanting to have this ideal way of being that we perceive others as having.

Leo 44:55

Yeah, I get that. I have that too for other people. It's okay; their lives are like this, but then as I've noticed, people think that I have these things and I can take some responsibility. Like maybe I haven't written enough about the messiness of that. But as I noticed that I'm like, 'Oh, they don't see all the messiness that's over here.' And that's partly because probably I don't let them in on that enough, but also if they can't see mine, then I can't see anybody else's, and that means it's never like that for anybody.

I don't care who it is. You could be Obama, like it looks like he's got everything together. Nope, I bet you he doesn't or whoever it is. I don't know why I chose Obama, but it could be anybody that you think has their life together. There's messiness behind the scenes.

So yeah, as we finish this, I'll just let you know, anyone listening or watching, it's like my life is definitely messier than it looks from the outside. And I'll tell you, like this week, last week I had everything organized, and I was on top of everything. I have a planning session in the morning where I have everything all planned out, and I try to follow that. And even though that goes a little bit messy sometimes, it's really nice when I have things organized and planned.

This week, all messiness, it's just like I try to do a little bit of planning in the morning, but I'm feeling like I don't have time, and there are some broken things that I need to fix. So, I've been the last few days just really feeling a lot of messiness in terms of how things are going in my day.

And I know I can come back to that. But I'm just letting you know it's definitely a bunch of mess here today. I've got a few messes that I want to go fix as soon as we get off of this call. So yeah, like I'm trusting myself in this process, and I'm noticing like, sometimes things get a little bit messy. So that's how it is right now for me.

Sofia 47:03

Thank you.

Leo 47:05

Okay. Anything else to have today feel complete?

Sofia 47:11

No, thank you so much.

Leo 47:13

I would actually really love to hear from you.

Sofia 47:17


Leo 47:18

Yeah, how things go. So, would you follow up with me in a month? Send me an email.

Sofia 47:24

Yeah, I can. I'll put it in my calendar.

Leo 47:27

Awesome. Okay. Sophia, thank you for. Spending this time with me, being vulnerable, practicing here in public, and really modeling what it's like to be a bit messy in public and get supported through that. Be in your process and learning to develop that trust in yourself.

Sofia 47:46

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Leo 47:52

If you haven't already, please subscribe to this podcast in your favorite podcast app. If you found this episode useful, please share this podcast with someone you know, who cares deeply. That would be really meaningful to me. And, if you'd like to dive deeper with me into this work, please check out the blog at or get in touch at [email protected].

Thanks for listening, and I hope you'll join me every Wednesday for more episodes of the Zen Habits podcast.

Connect with Leo


Zen Habits

The Fearless Living Academy


Music: Salem Beladonna & Robrecht Dumarey

Editor: Justin Cruz

Post-production: Diana C. Guzmán Caro & Amanda Goddard