September 21, 2021

Episode 1: is this podcast for you?

Welcome to the very first episode of the Excellent Rider podcast. I'm a life coach, I help people who've lost their mojo find their way back to getting things done & finding motivation, flow and clarity again.

What you will discover

In this first episode, I want to answer four questions:

  • What is this podcast about?
  • Who is this podcast for?
  • Who am I?
  • And why did I decide to record this podcast?


Mixed and produced by Adrien Grenier

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Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Excellent Rider’s podcast!

I’m Mélanie, I’m a certified life coach, and I specialize in helping people like YOU get things done, find ease and motivation again and get unstuck when it feels like you’ve lost your mojo.

This is the first episode I’m recording and I wish you would see me.  I’m in a confined little closet that I have lined with mattresses and blankets to get a good sound quality, it’s very cramped and kind of hilarious.  I can’t move and the temperature in here is volcanic…

In this first episode, I want to answer four questions. What is this podcast about? Who is this podcast for? Who am I? And why did I decide to record this podcast? So what is this podcast about? Well, all we're going to talk about in this podcast is transformation.

It's how to become the highest possible version of yourself; your best self.  The one that is the most you as possible. The one that explores the most what life has to offer. And in order to do that, you're going to need to overcome a number of mechanisms that prevents you from taking the kind of action that you want to take;

and from feeling the way that you want to feel. And that's why you and me and the 7,899,999,998 other persons on this planet, we all have times when we procrastinate, where we we do what I call buffering. So it means we eat cookies instead of going running. We scroll on Instagram, instead of writing our report.

We drink wine, instead of calling our moms.  We watch Netflix instead of working on our business, etc.  So we don't do what we want to do. And then we blame ourselves. And then we do even less of what we wanted to do. We think we're too lazy. We don't have what it takes.  That we don't have control over ourselves.

We feel like we have more potential, but we have no clue what to do to express it. And then we feel stressed, inadequate, incompetent, lonely, ashamed, afraid, frustrated, confused, indecisive, powerless, hopeless... What I want to share over the episodes of this podcast is that all of this, all of this, is just the way the brain works.

You're not broken. You're not flawed. You're not jinxed. And you're not even alone in feeling that way. You're just a human with a human brain. Your human brain has been designed for the kind of life we used to have a hundred thousand years ago. And it's superbly adapted to that job.

Which means that it's a little sub-optimized for the privileged life many of us have now where we have an abundance of food, where we have interpersonal conflict which is solved with very low risk of physical violence. We have no predators around (except for the mosquito).

We have a very good predictability and mastery over sickness and natural disasters. So all the things that your brain is optimized for, they're not there anymore. But the mechanisms, of course, they are still there.  And it's difficult to understand why you react the way you react, if you don't understand those mechanisms.

So to put it differently, what's going on in your mind that creates the kind of behaviors that you don't like: it's not a bug of your system. It's a feature. And I'm going to show you exactly how it works and more importantly, what to do to change the factory settings and make it work for you.

So stay with me, listen to the episodes and step-by-step, you're going to get back in control. So who is this podcast for? In my practice as a life coach, I work mainly with people who feel like they have lost their mojo, and I help them create their mojo back and get control over how to create their mojo back.

So, what does it mean to lose your mojo? Well, typically the people I work with, they used to be very good at what they were doing.  So they were always the one with the high energy, a lot of initiative, they could figure out stuff quickly. They put in the extra work, they walked the extra mile.

They could push themselves a little harder than everybody else.  And so of course, that created results in their lives, right? So typically my clients are people who have done things that a lot of people have not. They've had academic success for some of them, some of them have MBAs or even PhDs.

They've built nice careers and they have reached jobs with a good level of responsibility in large corporations; or some of them have created their own companies; or they have an athletic record on the side that's quite impressive, like winning an Ironman or cycling a few hundred kilometers every week.

Or maybe it's their artistic record which is noteworthy.  They lead a choir or they are a very gifted potter on the side of their usual responsibilities. Many of them have lived in several countries and they have managed to build a thriving life in each of the country they have lived in.

And for a few of them even, it's all of the above.  They have had achievements in many different areas of life. And then for some reason, at some point, that sense of flow that they used to have, that everything is achievable, that everything is “figure-outable”: that ended. And for some of them, it ended abruptly.

And very often it ended because of a change in circumstances. So there was a change in jobs or a divorce or a reorganization, or the  death of a loved one even.  And it felt like their mojo had run out all of the sudden, no more lucky streak. And for some others, it happened over a longer period of time.

So for several months or years sometimes, they were just putting the effort; but there was no, the level of results that they were getting was nowhere near what they were expecting based on their usual track record.  For some of them even, it ended up in burnout.

But for all of them, what it was like is as if the switch that they used to be able to turn on and that made them determined and energetic and excited and motivated and completely focused on whatever goal they had set their mind to. That switch seemed to have completely disappeared.

And it used to be that it was very easy for them to know exactly what they wanted to do next or how to figure it out. And then suddenly nothing seems so interesting anymore, or it's interesting, but like not “interesting INTERESTING” if you know what I mean, like not enough interesting that it keeps you going when things are tough.

For some of them, it used to be simple to dig deep and to find the motivation, to do the hard things, to push harder, to stay put, to keep on trying. And now it just seems like it's just failure and disappointment everywhere. And so what's the point. And so they don't push anymore because it feels like it's going to take a lot of effort, but there's not going to be results.  So why do it.

And then on top of that, Stan from their old university or Rachel from their previous department, they are getting promoted to country manager or VP, or they are getting married or having the baby, or they're taking a year off and traveling around the world or whatever thing it is that they would like to do, but that they have not been able to create for themselves.  So they're comparing themselves and it stinks quite a lot.

And for some of them, they used to feel full of energy and in control and on top of things. And then now they feel half bored, quite down, sometimes resentful, bitter maybe. And they have no idea how to get back on the horse. And if you recognize yourself in some, or maybe all of these descriptions;

If you want to figure out what is your next step, how to express your full potential. If you want to stop procrastinating and get yourself to do what you have set your mind to do. And if you want to feel better and feel again full of energy and enthusiasm about life and its many possibilities, well then this podcast is exactly for you because this is exactly what I'm going to show you how to do.

So I'm very familiar with all of the symptoms that I have just described because you see 10 years ago, that used to be exactly me. I was at a high level in a big company. I was an expat.  First I was expatriated from France to Sweden, and then to Japan.  I was really good at my job. I knew it and the people around me knew it too.

And I was, I took, I had different kinds of jobs. I was a project manager. I was in charge of strategy. I was in charge of finance. I did a lot of different things and I could just take on anything and just, you know, put in the work and become good at it and understand it quickly, and be a good leader and blah, blah, blah.

But inside, I was never really happy with where I was. So from the outside, it looked as if I was very accomplished and completing achievement after achievement. I spoke all the languages, you know, I had the money, all the things, but inside I was just miserable and lost.

And I was very, very surprised that in spite of all the efforts that I was putting in, it seemed that life was not really holding up is part of the bargain.  And it was not delivering the results that I was hoping for. So I'm gonna make this long story very short. I might tell you the details in another episode, but that didn't end well.

It ended in burnout, in divorce. I spent a few months having so little energy that some days I had to choose, literally, between making a few phone calls to find a job; or getting out of bed and getting dressed. I just couldn't do both. Right. So it took me a few months to rebuild my stamina.

(Only a few months, because even when I'm depressed, I'm high-performing), but it was as if I had lost my Northern star.  Life was just, meh.  I didn't want to die, but I didn't feel alive either.  It felt like there was about 15 more years to go of that bland, boring life. I was just not excited. I didn't want this.

I wanted to have the fun, the excitement, the challenge of doing something difficult that I really care for, that I feel passionate about. And I didn't have that anymore. And I didn't know where to turn to find it again. And then the few things that I did find some interest about, I just couldn't get myself to do them.

So I'm not really the kind to just accept things as they are. And so what I started to do is to look for methods and techniques and different things that would help me to feel great again, and to figure out what I wanted to do with my life again.  So there was a lot of trial and error, and then slowly I built up a number of good practices, a number of best practices. And also, I found a method that really works.

That's very systematic, that's scientifically grounded and that I understood easily and intuitively and that I could very easily apply. Or easily: not in the sense that it's easy to apply and requires no effort. It does require effort, and work.  But easy in the sense that I knew exactly, okay, if I put in these steps, this is the result I'm going to get.

And the method always worked that way. It was very predictable. And that gave me a sense of control again, that made it fun to take on the challenge of applying the method, because it's not always easy to apply the method because you have to be out of your comfort zone a lot of the time.

And so you, by definition, if you're out of your comfort zone, you feel uncomfortable, right? So the method does require that you feel uncomfortable a lot of the time. But because you know that you're going to get the result that you're, that corresponds to the effort that you put in, it's very rewarding.

So among the results that I achieved with this method, and these are just a few; it's going to sound like a long list, but I promise you, it's just a few out of all the incredible changes I'm making and I see my clients make all the time in their lives. So as for me, I mended the relationship with my mother.

I used to be estranged from her and not speak to her for several years and completely, completely turned around that relationship until now I'm able to spend vacation with her and actually really enjoy it.  Like, I mean, savior the time with her.

I used to spend exactly whatever amount I made and was never able to save any cent to my name for most of my adult life. And then suddenly I started saving money and it was very easy.  And I saved so much that the year that I decided to quit my job and start my own company, I had way enough money to feel very comfortable that I had a few months in front of me before my company started to pay for itself.

And it's the same year that I took my two godchildren to Japan on a full expense paid trip. So I spent a lot and still I had saved a lot. So that was really great. I lost 22 kilos. I started dating again after seven years of being single. And I had come to the point where I was certain that, I mean, success was possible in many areas of my life, but not in the romantic area.  This was off the table for me.

And now I'm together with an amazing guy that, I really love, who loves me and with whom I have the wonderful kind of relationship that I have dreamed of but never thought was actually possible for me. I changed careers. I went from being a project manager to being a life coach and training and certifying to be that.

And I stopped being an employee and launched my own company and became an entrepreneur. And these are just a few of the different changes I have made.  But the most important change I've made is that I have the certainty now in my bones that it's impossible for me to be without a Northern star again.

Like I know for a fact exactly how to manufacture a new star should the one that I currently have fall from the sky.  And I also know very deeply exactly how to get myself back to motivation on the days when I feel demotivated or afraid or angry or whatever, because yes, I'm still human.

I still feel all of these emotions, but I know exactly how to get myself back to my highest functioning. And so this is exactly what I'm going to show you in this podcast so that you can create your mojo back as well.  And you can create the results that you want for yourself. So why am I doing this podcast? Well, there's three reasons.

One is that I am that kind of person that if I find something good, I really enjoy sharing it. If I go to a nice restaurant for example, and then I meet you in the next two weeks, you know, even if we meet for something that has nothing to do with food or it’s just business or whatever, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to tell you about the restaurant because I'm very excited about it. And that's just how I am.

If I read an interesting book, I am definitely going to send the link to my 300 closest friends and tell them that they have to read that book. It's just so amazing. You need to read it now. Right? And so I found this method and I practiced this method every day, which is changing my life and impacting the life of my clients in such profound way, that of course I want to share it with you.

And then the second reason is that I'm a life coach. This is my job. There is so many amazing things that you can achieve by yourself with this method. And this is what I'm going to get you to achieve through this podcast, but there's also a limit to what you can do by yourself, because it's very difficult to look at your own mind with your own mind.

And so it's very powerful to have somebody (a trained professional) by your side, who is able to help you see how your mind is functioning so that you can then change it and make it work in an even more effective way for yourself.

So my hope is that once you start to notice the kind of result that you get from this podcast, and you start to see how powerful the method is when you apply it by yourself, that you will be interested in hiring me or hiring another coach to help you do that. Because when you have an expert by your side you can 10x or 1000x the kind of results that you get by yourself.

Because when you have somebody else pointing out how your mind is working, you just go so much faster and so much deeper and so much bigger in such a very short time. It's quite amazing.  It's mind-blowing very simply. And then the last reason I'm doing this podcast is that I think for many of us and for me, for sure, it's very difficult to be very authentic and very vulnerable in public.

And I'm a perfectionist. I like to be organized. I like things to be thought through. I like to be prepared. So when I started thinking of doing this podcast, I immediately imagined the amount of work it would take me to get every episode, just so, you know. And so I would have produced one episode every six months or something like that, if I had followed my instinct.

And so I've put a challenge on myself that what I want to do is I want to produce every episode in a way that it's as authentic, as vulnerable as possible. So I want to give you great content, but I also want this to be manageable for me so that I can put out an episode every week. And that's a challenge for me.

So to get started with some sort of safety net for myself at least, I have scripted the first 10 episodes and you will probably notice that, that I'm reading a text that I have prepared. And so maybe it sounds a little bit stiff at times. I'm doing my best to read it in a lively way. But I hope also that you will notice that I get less and less stiff and then from episode 11, I will stop following a script.

And then I will start, you know, speaking from the heart.  Still very interesting content I promise; still very relatable examples and applicable examples and applicable exercises for you, but just be gentle and be nice with me regarding the delivery. Because even if I sound very confident and very assured, I can promise you, this is an exercise in vulnerability that is very uncomfortable for me.

All right. So I can assure you that the content is the bomb. And so that you're going to enjoy listening to these episodes, even if sometimes you have to bear with my stiffness in delivery. But all right, now that you know everything about this podcast, let's dig in.

If you liked what you heard, go to my website (excellentrider in one word dot com) and get the episode notes.  They are organized in a structured way that makes them easy to remember, and there are additional exercises and illustrations that you don’t get in the audio.

If you really liked what you heard, go to your podcast platform and leave me a review (google it if you’re not sure how to proceed).  This helps the podcast be more visible.  It means that it will be easier to find for other people who need to hear exactly this; and it’s also a great encouragement for me.  If you felt that this information was valuable, it’s the absolute best way to let me know.  I personally answer everyone who is kind enough to leave a review.

Thanks a lot for listening today.  I hope to talk to you again very soon, because you, my friend, even when you can’t get yourself to do what you want; even when you’re stuck in negative emotions and unpleasant thought loops; and even when you don’t believe it – especially when you don’t believe it: you absolutely rock, and you’ll soon be an excellent rider.  Because there’s no bad horses, only untrained riders!  Because there’s no bad horses, only untrained riders!

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