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Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Welcome, everybody to this week's podcast episode for the Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Christopher Loo. And as you know, I talk about four different types of freedom: time, financial, location, and emotional freedom. And the podcast started out during the pandemic as a group of physicians, guests and audience. And now the brand has grown so much that it's time to expand and help the rest of the world.
So in that light, I bring on entrepreneurs, investors, business owners, public speakers, coaches, to let you know the cutting edge types of things that are being done on the fringe. And hopefully, both sides can benefit. So today, I'm pleased to introduce Andrea Lukac from Austria. And what's interesting is she does psychological counseling, coaching, and she's also an NLP trainer. So we'll learn all about the way you use your language, your thoughts and emotions to create and impact change. So, Andrea, welcome.
Andrea Lukac: Welcome, everybody.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah, thanks so much for coming on to the podcast. What was really interesting is the work that you do, especially in the European region, and you're using NLP and coaching. Coaching is a really big industry here in the States. And so just tell us how you got started, and we can go from there?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, as I had been, as I entered the business world, after studying economics, I realized that not everybody is happy. And I had to change something about it. And so it brought me to the coaching industry. And after I felt very overwhelmed, and almost broke out. I created a system to help people to come into their power, and live life to the fullest.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: I like that. I think the personal development and the coaching industry has really blossomed during these times, especially with the impact of COVID on mental health, and just people looking for more than just traditional means of fulfillment. So it's great to see people from all walks of life taking charge of their lives. And what's particularly interesting is the idea of boundaries. Because growing up, I was a people pleaser, didn't know how to say no, didn't learn until later in life, how to set healthy boundaries. And so I think that hurt me a lot in my earlier years. So tell us about healthy boundaries, how to set your own, and accept others.
Andrea Lukac: Yes, it was the same with me. So I haven't learned it as well in my younger years. And I had to learn it. But it's a matter of respect. Like, we are respecting other people's boundaries, and why not demand it for ourselves as well? Because we can only give to the world as much as we have on our own, and if we feel exhausted or judged ourselves, which takes a lot of energy from us. So why should we not be in our power?
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting, very interesting. What is the first step in how to set healthy boundaries?
Andrea Lukac: To be clear about their own wants and needs. So if I don't know where I want to go, I cannot change anything. And if I'm not aware of it, there will not be a change. So I will be driven by life like a ping pong ball.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Oh, that's quite interesting. So if you're not clear, and you don't really know your values, basically you're just reacting to one stimulus after another. How can you bring more clarity into a situation?
Andrea Lukac: To bring clarity into a situation is to become aware of what really is. Often, we tend to label or to interpret things. And by doing so, we step one step backwards, while being our best observer. To have a look on what really happened, what really was in here in that situation, to become clear about what our thoughts were at that moment, and how we felt because our body, our mind, and our emotions are connected.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. So when you bring more clarity. And then the other thing that is interesting is, knowing yourself. So when you say knowing yourself, what do you mean by that? Expand upon that.
Andrea Lukac: To know how I'm acting and thinking in certain situations. Oftentimes, we are not even aware, because we keep the habit going, as we are creatures of habit, but to stop it, we have to become aware of our habits as well.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: When you talk about habits and patterns of success, there's patterns of failure, there's patterns of dysfunction, and habits are key to really becoming aware of that. As a coach and trainer, how do you become aware of what is outside of our conditioned mind?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, it's by asking a lot of questions, to ask where a behavior is appropriate and where it isn't. And why it came to it. Because it was maybe something we heard when we were children and don't even remember it. Because we were conditioned by our environment teachers.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: And then how does NLP training factor into empowering yourself and into personal power and personal transformation?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, to understand that it was designed in the past, it can be lived in the now. And when fear or overthinking comes, it just shows that we are thinking in the future and not in the present. And by observing our wording we use we can even realize either our focus is in the past, in the present or in the future.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. And what's interesting is the way you talk about your past does not determine your future. What do you mean by that?
Andrea Lukac: So whatever happened in the past, in our childhood, it has no control over our future if we don't allow it. So if we fully realize such a pattern, and we understand that it may have been said to us from a teacher, and we are hearing these words in our minds still when we are performing some thoughts. To give the thought back and stop it and to create a new one, which is more suitable for our goal.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: That's quite interesting. I want to talk about, especially self care in today's world, because I think mental health is really coming to the forefront. So much issues with anxiety, depression, burnout, suicide, just so much fear, uncertainty in the world. How do you recommend navigating, just mentally and emotionally, in these uncertain times?
Andrea Lukac: So to understand that our depression is mostly because we are focused on our past. And if we fear or are overwhelmed, it's almost because our focus is on the future. And so to bring it back, if we want to have a look on fear, so we can have a future place. And see how we could act in a future situation. And by bringing it down into little steps on how we could act then, and imagining it and maybe visualizing it, or feeling it how we will feel then.
Our brain cannot distinguish whether we are imagining it or living it. And so we will be prepared for the next time it will not be something new for our brain, because it already has relieved it. So it will be something we are doing again, and not the first time. And when it comes to depression, to understand that we are in the past, but it does not determine our future, can we understand what happened in the past? And what are the thoughts which are hindering us and to release it, and to see how we want it now.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. I've heard one of my mentors in a famous quote. I always like to use quotes, because it kind of combines everything. Life is happening for you, and it's not happening to you. So whatever bad events or traumatic events happened in the past, it's not a reflection of you. And it's meant to serve you. So if it's your worst day ever, it could be the best day ever, because if you learn from me, you glean the lessons and you take it on and move forward.
How do people know a lot of people, especially empaths, people pleasing, people that don't have healthy boundaries, they all are controlled by guilt and shame, kind of low self esteem, how do people stop this inner critic?
Andrea Lukac: To become aware of what was and how they felt. And to have a look on where maybe distant sensation was in the body. And then just being their own observer, observing how the body is sitting on a chair, or while you're going, what you can feel on sensations in your body. And to know that, you are valuable, and you were programmed that way, and you can change it. But you can change it just when you are aware of it. So what if you are not aware of it, you will not be able to change it. And to go one step backwards, and just to be the best observer.
So for people, if they are thinking, they mix it up with, I'm feeling. But feelings, knowing what feelings are, we can feel anger, we can feel happiness, we can feel sadness, but we cannot feel. I feel like I cannot do it. So to distinguish that here was the thought process behind it and not a real feeling. And by becoming clearer, we will gain more. And we will set little goals. And when we achieve one at a time, we can celebrate it. And by celebrating a lot of it, it will become a habit, and our self esteem will also rise up. Because oftentimes we don't even realize or recognize what we already did in the arena of good things already. And it's by becoming aware of what we already did to the world or what we accomplished very well, we can honor ourselves and our self-worth will go up with it.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Interesting. I'm into personal development, and they say that emotions are just impulses, and emotions are information. So if you can monitor your thoughts and your beliefs and your emotions in real time, on a moment to moment basis, you're that much closer to being better, becoming more self aware and being more empowered in any given situation.
Andrea Lukac: Yes and to bring it into an order, because there is an order to it. There's first a thought, and then an emotion comes, then we tend to go into action and after it a result gears up. So keep this order in mind as well.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: We are living in very interesting times. We're in the middle of a war, recession, possible depression, gas inflation, food inflation, we're recovering from a pandemic. You were talking about people quitting their jobs, and they can't find people in this traditional service sector. It's all of these events all at once. You turn on the news every day. You know, here in the United States, you hear about mass shootings almost consistently. So with all this garbage that's going on, how do people empower themselves in these down phases of life?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, to acknowledge what they did well. And if they feel down, they can anchor past a positive situation where they can bring up the resources to follow their dreams and passion in their real life.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Quite interesting. You said something very profound. I know we're coming close to the end of our conversation, which was really interesting. Why is it that self care is so important in these phases of life?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, because it brings us inner self care and brings us our power back. So, if we give a lot and give and give, to have the power to continue, we have to take a break and to fill our batteries. And here's where self care comes into place. Because when we are overthinking and rethinking everything, and don't care about ourselves, we get exhausted and our energy drops down. And to keep it high. We can be productive. We need to step backwards, take some little time for ourselves, either to meditate, clear the mind, or to fill it with some fun things which give us pleasure.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Okay, interesting. A lot of people listening to the conversation will be very interested in visiting your website and talking to you. So how can they do that?
Andrea Lukac: They can contact me best via email, which will be AndreaLukac.email@example.com.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yes. And for all the listeners out there, all of Andrea's resources will be included in the show notes. Any final resources, or anything that can help listeners get on their start or on their journey towards self fulfillment, personal development?
Andrea Lukac: Yes, to become their own best observer. So become your own best observer.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yes, you said it so nicely; self observation, and being mindful in the moment. So, thanks so much for coming onto the show. And thanks so much for the wisdom, and we look forward to hearing about your future success.
Andrea Lukac: Yes, welcome, and I hope you enjoyed it.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.