97: The Science of Coaching with Dr. Sunny Smith

Feb 13, 2024






In this episode, I have an inspiring conversation with guest Dr. Sunny Smith, a physician turned coach, in an episode delving into the transformative power of coaching backed by science and data. Dr. Sunny Smith shares her remarkable journey from a physician to a coach, revealing how a life-altering accident led her to discover the profound impact of coaching on one's mindset and life choices. Tune in to uncover the magic of shifting perspectives, embracing agency over thoughts and feelings, and finding lightness in life's challenges.

Dr. Sunny Smith is the Founder and CEO of Empowering Women Physicians. She brings her background as an awarded Medical Educator and Clinical Professor of Family Medicine into the coaching space. She has been featured in multiple documentaries on medical student and physician wellness including Do No Harm which is currently streaming on Amazon.

She advocates for physician wellness through her coaching program, podcast, Facebook group, and retreats. Her company includes a team of physician coaches who provide a comprehensive and collaborative life and business coaching program.

Since starting her coaching practice 6 years ago, she has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, and Inc 5000. Her academic publications have appeared in many peer-reviewed journals including JAMA.

Dr. Sunny Smith’s Links
Website: https://empoweringwomenphysicians.com/ 
References: https://empoweringwomenphysicians.com/references/ 
Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/empowering-women-physicians/id1438330803 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunnysmithmd/ 

If this podcast resonates with you, get my Free 5 Minutes Per Day Weight Loss Mini-Course over at: https://www.theunstoppablemombrain.com/email 



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Dr. Sunny Smith’s captivating journey from academia to coaching, driven by personal experience and a passion for empowering women physicians.
  • The pivotal moment in Dr. Smith's life when a devastating bike accident forced her to reevaluate her circumstances and explore the transformative potential of coaching.
  • How listening to coaching podcasts during her recovery sparked a shift in perspective and a newfound sense of agency.
  • The growing recognition of coaching as a valuable tool for physician wellness and professional development.
  • The deeper work of coaching, helping individuals navigate blind spots, challenge ingrained beliefs, and unlock new possibilities for personal and professional growth.


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Full Episode Transcript:

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    Priyanka: Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal. And you're listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, my conversation with Dr. Sunny Smith, talking all about science and coaching. I am so excited to bring you today's podcast guest. Dr. Sunny Smith is a physician turned coach. She is the founder and CEO of empowering women physicians and I wanted to bring her on to this podcast to talk about her experience, not just her personal experience and how she went from being a physician to a coach, but also to discuss the data and the science with the impact of coaching. I know for me, before I ever even discovered coaching, I had a lot of thoughts around what I thought coaching was. Today's conversation with Sunny is not just going to share a different perspective and a really interesting story, But also how you see the impact and the scientific data around how coaching can change your life. I'm not going to wait any further. Let's get into my conversation with Dr. Sunny Smith. If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weightless coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories, or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching you. Ready? Let's get to it.
    Hey everyone, welcome back to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast. I am so excited to bring on my guest today. This is Dr. Sunny Smith. She is a physician turned coach who coaches brilliant physician women. She's going to introduce herself, tell you a little bit about her story and what brings her to this podcast. I literally have a little chills because I have been trying to get Sonny to have this conversation with me for a while, just in brief, because we were talking about this for a moment before, but Sonny delivered an amazing talk and presentation at our mastermind event last year. And she broke down and you all know, I love a good, like to love to nerd out the science and the data around how coaching can impact humans, specifically women. And I think especially high achieving women, which is who we talked to on this podcast. So as soon as she delivered this talk, I can't remember if I chased you down or right after the talk, or if I just started like messaging you and like, we need to talk about this because. I love bringing expert guests and coaches to share their perspective and their journey so that we can inspire more people to be impacted by coaching. So Sunny, introduce yourself, take it away, and then we will just get into the conversation.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Beautiful. So thank you for having me. First of all, this is one of my favorite things to talk about. My name is Dr. Sunny Smith. I trained as a family physician. I spent my academic career at UC San Diego School of Medicine. I left there as a clinical professor. I'd spent my career as a medical student advisor, physician wellness, running a free clinic. And fell into coaching because I found it incredibly useful myself after I had a bike accident and sort of had to, when I couldn't change my circumstances, I had to change how I thought and felt about my life and what was going on. And that's when another women's physician recommended I listen to a coaching podcast. I did. I started seeing everything differently. I, I thought this was so amazingly helpful because again, I, I was a formal advisor for medical students on their wellness. And I thought this is an incredibly effective tool that I had not been using. And as I applied it more and more to myself as a grown, you know, professional woman and not just advising trainees, I was like, our wellness matters too. And like, we thought we would get, we would be happy when we arrived on this other side of all this training and got the titles and director roles and all of these things. And yet we continue to be quite distressed and burned out. And I started to see that we have options. And we don't have to do all of these things. We can start changing the way we think about things, the way we feel about things and what we choose to do and what we choose not to do. So then I found it again so incredibly affected myself that I trained to do this and started helping other people to do it initially one on one and then group programs. And now, you know, I lead a large company that helps support women positions through any issues they have personal or professional to help themselves feel better.
    Priyanka: I love that. And I know your, your story is actually a very beautiful story. So for anyone after this class, because we're going to, we're going to put all of your information so people can really find you and hear your whole story. When you think about, I mean, you and I, and I know your story because you've shared it and it is truly a remarkable journey in your circumstances and the injury that you had. And just the power of a podcast that changed, can we just talk about, I just, I mean, that kind of, I just feel goosebumps even thinking about your specific story because you were truly in a circumstance, maybe you can just share briefly, like how you could literally not change your circumstances and how the power of a podcast and just the message around coaching literally change the trajectory of your life. So can you just share a little bit about them that we're going to get in into coaching.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah, it's fascinating and particularly appropriate for this conversation in this audience because this is a podcast Exactly. Yeah, if you really believe that it's possible for the input in your brain via podcast To really change and shape and influence the way you see the world around you then You can kind of take action from that place, even just from listening to this podcast, even just this one episode, right? Like I always invite people to believe that they're going to hear something that's going to change the way they look at things. And so this time it might be my story, it might be the data, it might be you, it might be something, even just one sentence that they can hold on to and apply and go, yeah. Maybe that, right? And you just sort of like wiggle things a little bit about how you see things. And then sort of, you know, the crack is where the light comes in into the darkness. So yeah, my circumstances. I mean, I had an amazingly beautiful life, right? Again, full professor at one of the most beautiful universities at one of the most beautiful cities with an amazing marriage and a healthy child and house that I loved and, you know, you would think everything was perfect. And in a way, it really was, you know, corner office job that was so meaningful, right? Helping people had nowhere to go, right? A free clinic for decades. And that's not a job that you come by easily, right? And there's not a lot of, cause most physicians have to build their patients right? So the clinic can continue to function. So I just carved out this like beautiful space for me and my life yet. In hindsight, I can see, like, I had seven director roles. I was working late at night every single Wednesday, for instance, for 20 years. And my son would say things to me. He was in preschool, and he would say, every single day, seven days a week, he would say, first thing when he woke up, Is today the day you work late? Is today the day you work late? And it, like, started weighing on me. And he thought only women could be doctors. Because every, all my friends were doctors, it's kind of like how people think nurses are doctors, but for him, that's what he thought. And you know, people would ask, do you want to be a doctor? As you know, they would, when you have kids and you're a doctor and perhaps for your other professional audiences, like if they're a lawyer or whatever, they want to be a lawyer. And he'd be like, no, because doctors work late. I'd be like, ah, so anyway, I went on a vacation after not having been on one for quite a while, of course, which I'm sure your people can identify with as well to French Polynesia. I came down a hill on a bicycle. It was electric bike. I've been having trouble with the bike going up and I went over the handlebars landed on my face and my arms, and so I broke both of my arms and was unable and my elbows, and was unable to feed myself, to brush my teeth, to go to the bathroom by myself, to my face was all smashed into. So I couldn't really eat normal food, couldn't dress myself, and I, I had a head injury, so I really had sort of like a concussion. So I couldn't focus and even watch TV, anything like that. Had something called positional or static tachycardia. So I couldn't sit or stand. So I would only be able to lay there. So that might be a long introduction to, you know, busy, wonderful life. And then suddenly like, And you just have to lay there and lay there and lay there and lay there and there's nothing else you can do. And you can't help yourself, nothing.

    Priyanka: You literally cannot change your circumstances, literally, physically for months, right?
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah. I mean, it wouldn't change eventually. And that is good because some people, of course, I could have been completely permanently had injured or, you know, paralyzed, honestly could have been paralyzed as I'm very fortunate that all of my injuries were relatively temporary. But yeah, I couldn't do anything to change it. And so all the things that I thought I had to do, and only, I'm sure your listeners can identify with this, like, only I can do this, right? Only I can take my son to school. Only I can make his dinner. Only I can write these letters of wrath. Only I can do the grades. Only, right, only I can see the patients. Like, I have to, I have to, I have to. If I don't, who will? I have to do these things. I have to wake up and keep going and going and going no matter what. And I learned that was not true because the world kept spinning and all of the things I needed to do got done, every single one of them. And if it didn't get done, it means it didn't need to get done. And so I was a part of physician Facebook groups as you are too. And one was called PMG, a friend of mine, Nicole Asabri founded that years ago. And it's called Physician Moms Group and various moms, their physicians will like. Support each other. Tell each other what to do. When my little boy was young, they sort of like, it was very comforting to have advice because most of my mentors, you know, were older or they were men. And I kind of felt like I was the only one having a baby and didn't know what to do. So, in there, Somebody had mentioned that I should listen to a coaching podcast because when you can't change your circumstances, you can change how you think and feel about it. And I'm like, whatever. I didn't even know.
    Priyanka: The biggest eye roll, the biggest eye roll.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: My arms are broken. Yeah. What are we even talking about? You want me to listen to a podcast or what are we talking about right now? Yeah. And I have to. I have to say this was 2017 and that doesn't sound that long ago, but it was seven years ago and I literally at that time did not know that there was a podcast app on my phone. The only thing I know, right. Crazy to think about, but everyone, all your listeners can think back right to when is the first time they discovered there was a podcast app on your phone. And before that you're like, what is this? I have no idea. The only thing I had heard about it about was that men's students would podcast the lectures that we were trying to give and so they would skip the lecture so they could listen on 2.0 and we were like mad at podcasts that I didn't know was an app. And I didn't,
    Priyanka: I didn't know it either until someone mentioned a codec. I was like, wait, there's, see, it's literally that. I was like, wait, I opened up the phone, there's, I typed in podcasts. I'm like, what is this?
    Dr. Sunny Smith: It's on the home screen and I never saw it. So anyway, it was there and I had my husband search for me the name of this podcast because I couldn't use my hands. And so he pulled it up for me. I went to episode one and I pressed play and he had to put the AirPods in my ear because there was no chance I could bend my arms right when they were stuck out at 90 degrees to put these AirPods in my, in my ears and he would just press play and eventually he was able to leave to go to work. You know, at first I had like nurses and physical therapists and occupational therapists, etc. But after a while it would just be like press play and I would just lay there and listen and listen and listen. I was like, wow, this is really powerful. Like I get to choose when I go back to work what I put. Myself back into, right? I don't have to re choose everything about my life. And most people will not have this kind of situation, where everything goes on pause, but still, every single day, we re choose. Every day that we get up, we put the key in the ignition, we go to work, we are choosing that. We don't feel like we are because we, you know, people rely on us or we need the money or whatever. But we really do have self efficacy, autonomy, agency that we sort of have been enculturated to forget about. That your life is just your life. It just is what it is. It's like rinse and repeat, like Groundhog Day, right? So, and also before I'd had an awful lot of, why'd I get on the bike? Why'd I get on the bike? Why'd I get on the bike? And I just wanted to undo the past. And I was arguing with reality and none of that mental energy was helping me at all because no matter how much energy I spent on it, I was never going to be able to not have gotten in the accident. So I started to perceive, you know, how did I want to feel about it? I was feeling resentful and I wanted to feel maybe more at peace. And maybe eventually even fortunate, like fortunate I was alive, fortunate I didn't have permanent damage, fortunate that I had a forced experience in my life to reflect for the first time ever, like forced downtime. Again, if you have professional people who listen, they probably don't have downtime, or if they do, the only time they do is perhaps if they had a child, and that is not downtime. Yeah. That is like the busiest time. Yeah. So anyway.
    Priyanka: Or if they do have a downtime, if they do have downtime or a vacation, their mind is not able to take downtime, like they're always thinking about the next thing that they could be doing or how could we be more productive and even the downtime is not really downtime.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: A week does not count. Two weeks does not count. And especially if you're like going, going, going that whole time, because then you're like, I got to get on the train. I got to get on the airplane. I got to get back and there's laundry to do and there's so much I'm falling behind. But when it's months. There is nothing and especially there was nothing I could do like on occasion I'd be like, well, maybe I can do that one thing for that one grant or maybe I could do and I try eventually after some period of several weeks to be like I could and I try and type. And man, those tendons were like, and my hands were like, no, no, I don't think so. No, you will not do that. So I really, really like imagine everyone here not able to do laundry, not able to care for anyone else, like nothing. And your brain is all you have that's really working. I mean, your kidneys and your heart and your lungs and all those things are working, but your brain is also working for you all the time, producing all these thoughts. And are they helping you or not helping you? So you just become very aware of them and aware of all of us have been indoctrinated, all of us. Yeah. And a culture and a society, like even Monday through Friday, it's completely artificial, right? Like, what is that about? It's from the industrial revolution, like all. So when you just have this awareness, you're like, Hmm, what am I going to do with this newfound awareness? And so that's where this. Sort of, you know, coaching concepts were applied to me. And then I would talk to my friends about them and I would talk to my family about them. They all thought that I was crazy. And I was like, well, I'm going to go forward and learn more about this anyway. And the next step for me, there was the podcast. Then there was like a membership program. And then there was, if you wanted to go deeper, you could train in this. I was like, that is so for me, I'm totally going to go deeper in this. I wanted to. So I had sort of like been getting coached, hearing coaching, like real listening in to others being coached in these group programs. And then it was like, yes, I definitely want to do this. So then started being coached more so, and then started coaching others. And then the data started coming out and I was like, yes, I was like, exactly.
    Priyanka: Just, I want to, before we get to like the science and the data, which I mean, it's going to be just so exciting, right, I think for everyone to hear, I just want to talk through for a second, that journey, that moment where you were in a circumstance. And I think that all of us that are listening to this podcast, we are all in certain circumstances that maybe we love, maybe we chose, and sometimes maybe we don't. Maybe there's something about your work life, your mom life, your. The way that you're thinking about your time and your tasks, like, that's what your life is right now. Those are our circumstances. And what you're sharing is just, just discovering a podcast started to shift your perspective. And I remember, Sunny, even for me, I was, I remember I was driving to work. This was me when I was probably a little over 200 pounds. And I just felt like, Nothing. I have this life on paper that feels like I have nothing to complain about, and yet clearly there's something that I am not able to pay attention to. And I remember it was Katrina Ubell, who we both know. Mm-Hmm . She just said something on her podcast and it was such a it, I'm laughing now. So a simple sentence, your thoughts. And I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you even talking about? Because for so long I used to say to myself, that's just how I am. That's just how I think. That's just how I feel. Like if me and my husband would get into a fight, I'm like, that's just how I feel. And it was very like not taking ownership over. So, I feel like discovering the podcast was that moment where I was like, wait a second, I do have agency over my thoughts and feelings. What is this about? It shifted my perspective enough now it took me down a totally different path. Tell me about that moment and why. Really, what was the difference between experiencing a podcast, like listening to it and consuming it that way versus actually getting in with the messy implementation of being coached itself? And then we'll get into why it's so impactful.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah. So, I mean, from the very beginning of these episodes of, you know, a woman who at least I identified with in some way telling me. Cause I've been a personal development person for decades. I'm sure many of us have, I'm sure many who are listening to this podcast have. So I just thought, you know, it resonated with me. And when I looked around my house, I'd see all these books. on this type of subject, but I hadn't really been able to fully live it. You know, you had this awareness, you know, it's out there, but are you really living it, you know, on the day to day? And then I also was introduced right to Katrina Ubell. God love Katrina because once for me, and I think for many of us, once there was someone who was like a little closer to I couldn't really identify with that person because there was some characteristic about her that I was like, I see myself in you. And for me, that was, she's a physician. I'm a physician. We're from the same culture. We get it. We understand each other. And if she thinks this stuff is real, then I'm not crazy, you know? And so, because there was like, oh, this is the self help personal development world. And then I was like, oh, wait, a physician was saying this works. I'm definitely not crazy because everybody I knew. Like no one knew about coaching and no one was applying this kind of work and no one thought it was evidence based. And so I was kind of on the down low. And then when I went to go train in person, I was so happy to see there were five positions there and I was like, Oh, what's your name? What's your number? What's your email? Does your right? No, you're doing this. Does everyone think you're crazy? All of us were hiding. All of us, right? Nobody knew. And so there was like that normalization was starting for me. And so normalizing it made it. Easier to talk about. And then immediately at that same time, the American Academy of Family Physicians had their first physician wellness ever conference national conference.
    I went and there were two physician coaches speaking. I was like, What? They're on the main stage about tools as an intervention for very distressed physicians who are either starting to burn out, very burned out, depressed, or even they were talking about suicidal physicians. Right. And clearly there's a range of interventions that are needed, but that was a place that people could at least start talking about their own thoughts and feelings in a professional context. And it wasn't like you were broken. And so then when I really dove into the sort of like deeper work of training and doing with, with my peers and doing it with professionals and people who were very experienced in this. It was, I mean, you can do a lot, honestly, with a podcast. And then when you have a guide kind of holding your hand and having you see your blind spot. In medicine, we call it like a scotoma, but it's like physiologically you cannot see certain areas, like a tiny part of your visual field you cannot see. And so we just think things are a given. Like for instance, in the medical system, we think it's just a given that people take a call. We think it's just a given that you don't get a lunch break and you don't get to go pee. We're like, what do you mean? What do you mean I could take lunch? I know it sounds silly.

    Priyanka: What do you mean we're not working through this? What do you mean I'm not checking my laptops or checking my labs during my lunch hour?
    Dr. Sunny Smith: So there's just a lot of cultural things. And again, depending on your culture or your background or your family, there's just a lot of things that you don't really see are completely optional. And again, it's not in a way that gaslights you. Because that would be really rude and terrible, you know, but it's just awareness that maybe there's another way to look at things that might be a little more empowering than placing you in the victim role and that your feelings always make sense, right? However you feel is real and it's valid. And then you label that. I've learned to label that like I'm feeling stress. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm feeling sad. I'm feeling angry. I'm feeling whatever. And just that. is evidence based. If we just, if, if your listeners do one thing, like have them label their feelings and get in touch with their feelings, what are you feeling? That's you, that's not on someone else. That's you. And you get curious about nonjudgmental, right? Curious about why am I feeling this way? And then I would start doing like, what am I thinking about this? Like, why am I so frustrated with this? And then I kind of understand, oh, I'm feeling so much rage because I'm thinking the system shouldn't be this way. And I'm like, well, of course the system is this way. It's designed to benefit itself. It's not designed to benefit us. Right. And whatever the things are, you can use all kinds of examples, but that alone, the affect labeling, if you put someone in an fMRI, you know, it Decreases the distress signals in their amygdala. So just doing that is evidence based and then like, you know, when you have someone walk you through that and help you understand what we call an unintentional model, right? Which is like your unintentional thoughts that are just running, running, running, and 90 percent of your thoughts are the same as they were yesterday. Right. And most of them are negative because of the negativity bias of the human brain that is designed to keep us alive. So knowing that, like, okay, well, let's look at some of these ones that are the most problematic and that are causing me a lot of emotions that are very distressing. Right. There's like desirable emotions and undesirable emotions. It's not necessarily good or bad, but ones that we want to cultivate and ones that we want to turn down the volume on a little bit. And so having someone walk me through that and repeatedly, like, have me go out because it's think, feel, act, right? Think, feel, act, not just think, feel, ruminate, ruminate, ruminate, which is what we tend to do. And that keeps us helpless, but think, feel, act, go out there, take action and see what kind of result you get, and then come back again, better informed into an iterative process. And even if you fail, quote unquote, fail the first time or 10 times for a hundred times, if you're really committed to the results. You're going to keep trying and experimenting. All you have to do is think of something super high stakes, right? Like if your child was sick or if you were trapped. in a car or a burning building or, uh, you know, whatever that is. Like for me, one circumstance that I made right away was I decided I was going to do this retreat and Bora Bora and I had the four seasons because it was the most amazing, luxurious, like experience I'd had before I became a coach. I was like, how was this available to me my whole life? And I never chose it because I didn't think I was like, Deserving enough. And I was from the background where we didn't have enough money to do stuff like that. And it was just not something I would do. So I thought if we could remove women physicians from their day to day life and bring them somewhere like that and have them really reflect on the whole world is available to you. What are you choosing when you go back? You know, it was sort of like the equivalent without breaking your arms. Yeah, you had to like, remove yourself from your children, remove yourself from your job, remove yourself from everything because it's so far, you can't go back home. Anyway, the point of that is that I signed a six figure contract to deliver this retreat there. And so I was like, I'm going to figure this out. I'm not going to let my family have to bear this burden. I'm going to find people who are, who want to change their lives and are going to sign up. So that was like one example of how I was like, I'm just massive action is what we call like, when you're willing to do whatever it takes until you get the result, it doesn't matter if you do five things, 10 things, 100 things, right? You're just going to keep going because you're very committed to getting the result. You're willing to pause. You're willing to feel frustrated. You're willing to want to give up. You're willing to believe that you really should give up. And then you're willing to like take a break and come back to it and be like, okay, this is really important to me. I'm going to do whatever that thing is. Right. Yeah.
    Priyanka: There's like, you know, this, this idea that you just talked about, this massive action, it, it kind of brought something. I really think about the high achieving professional woman. This is like, and I mean, you work with physicians, but truly any woman in any industry, she's probably thinking, Sunny, I'm taking massive action every day I'm like, you should see me. If you were a fly on the wall watching me, I am taking all the action. However, I think what you're talking about, I think it's just so important to kind of discern this, like kind of separate this out is that So many times, women are taking massive action from a subconscious feeling. You don't even know what's driving you, other than, I'm supposed to do this, I have to do this, I should do this. There's a lot of these patriarchal rules and societal rules that we think we have to follow to be worthy, to be valuable, to be productive. And that's how we get to feel good about ourself. And the shift and the difference between what you're talking about is to intentionally drop into what do we want our life's experience to be and then take massive action to make that happen. I just kind of am curious what you think about the difference between massive action between, because I think women are doing it. Versus the kind of massive action you're referring to.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: I think that's a very important point because anyone who's high achieving is already doing a lot of action, right? We don't need to be told to be more ambitious or to take more action. Just because we can do something Doesn't mean we should do something or that we want to do something, right? And so I think part of it, like I use that as one example of where I was willing to keep trying and trying and trying at something, yet concurrently and probably even more importantly preceding that, I intentionally stopped doing things. And so there's like this massive inaction or miss, massive unsubscribing. Like I'm going to unsubscribe to these million newsletters that I have, right? But I'm going to unsubscribe to the idea that I need to be a director of a zillion things. Like, so when I went back, it's like, which directorship am I going to give up first? Which one am I going to give up next? Which one, and it's not give up, it's step down from and transition to another woman leader. Right? Like when I step down, someone else gets to lead. And may we all be mindful of these transitions in our life where we're just carrying these things. You know, there's some kind of like Zen or Buddhist proverb where you're carrying a raft. You know, and you need it to cross the river. But once you get to the other side of the river, like put down the raft, it's just dragging you down. It's heavy. You don't need all these things that you needed before. And so the tools that got us to where we were, where we are now, are not the ones that we need to keep utilizing forever. So it's like, look at what got us to where we are. Yeah. Super overachieving, you know, probably staying up late, working harder than often the other people in our household, right? Carrying burdens that our culture puts on us. And do we have to continue to choose that? Really? Yeah, no, we don't.
    Priyanka: I think that this is the, this is the analogy. And I actually feel like even Brooke, Brooke Castillo, who's the founder of life coach school and who we both worked with, she's the one that also, I think of this example where there's a tack in your ass. And she says, you know, your coach is talking to you, there's a tack in your ass and you're saying, I'm in so much pain, or I have this big struggle, like my ass is hurting. And the coach says, did you know, by the way, you have a tack in your ass? And as like the person that's like living with the pain, you're like, no. And you're, you're trying to overwork yourself out of the pain in the ass. You're trying to overthink yourself out of the pain in the ass. And she's like, you know, if you just reached around and pulled the tack out of your ass, your pain will go away. And the example of that, I don't know why that. A story came to mind with your raft example. I think women, we use the raft, we cross the river, and then we forget we're holding the raft. Exactly. And this reminds me of this blind spot when you're in, when you're in the messy, and I call it messy implementation, which is what coaching, coaching is messy. If you're a high achiever, you might like right angles and perfect things and highlighters and. all the, all the spreadsheets, but coaching is messy. And I think it's because we're uncovering blind spots in a messy way that we didn't know existed. It's like, Hey, did you know you're carrying this raft? You've crossed the river. Did you know that you're still putting it down? And we did. So it sounds like such an obvious example. Like there's a tack in your ass, obviously, but we don't know. And we are not able to see our blind spots, which is why I think, you know, actively getting coached is where there's so much room for transformation.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah, there's a, there's an analogy that's like that, that I've heard where it's like a dog on the front porch, where it has something that it's sitting on and it's uncomfortable. It'll just be like, and so that's kind of what we're all doing, right. And it's uncomfortable to get up off of it. Right. And it might bleed a little when you get up off of it. But then eventually once you do like, wow, I can't believe I sat there on that shark thing all this time. Right. I think, as you said, like, it's, the human condition, first of all, is messy. It is. Like, we're born in a mess, we live in a mess, right? Where it's continual evolution of various stages of messiness, like, you think about when you're learning to walk. That's very imperfect. You think about when you're learning to be a teenager, right? You're like trying to get your independence. You don't know what to do. And then you become a grownup. You're like, I don't know exactly how to do this phase of life either. And then you get all
    Priyanka: Becoming a mom, like we didn't like, you don't get a manual when you become a mom for the first time. It's so messy, right? You think, you know, how it's totally different.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: And you think, you know, ahead of time, you're like, Oh, well, I'm going to do this. I'm going to be like this. And then you get there. You're like, Whoa, okay. I had some big ideas. Didn't. And so I feel like a lot of life is just being willing to embrace that messy part. Because if you think you've got it all figured out, first of all, you're just wrong, right? And you think it's going to be perfect if you stress enough, if you worry enough in your mom example, it's like, I'm going to get the crib ready and the baffinet and the pictures on the wall and the pretty outfits and the right, all of the perfect diapers. And I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. I'm going to breastfeed exclusively. And then life happens and you're like, Okay, so that's all out the window. And it's the willingness to move forward without being perfect. That enables us to evolve. It's like we many of us have the idea of Child development and the pediatricians of the group would know that there's, you know, you expect anticipatory guidance for, okay, when you're six months, chances are they're going to be smiling soon when they're a year, they're going to be walking soon. And so you talk them through these things. And adults have Adult development too, right? We're going to be scared of taking this next step. We're not going to want to leave our job until we have another one secured. We're going to be nervous about a babysitter because they're not us. We're going to, right, you can sort of anticipate a lot of these things. And just to know, it doesn't ever. Get to a place where you're not a human being and you don't have thoughts and feelings and suffering. Yeah, there's going to be suffering at all times. And it's just a matter of how much additional stuff we pile onto that and how much additional blame and shame and imposter syndrome and making ourselves wrong as opposed to Being like, this is what it's like to be human and I have everything inside of me as a human that I'm ever going to need to heal myself.

    Yes, we can get help from the outside and those helps are very effective. For instance, vaccinations, antibiotics, right? But none of those things work unless we have the stuff inside of us that makes them work. And so, you know, along these lines, it's, it's, we are not broken. We are whole. And there are tools outside of us that can help us get the results that we want faster. So I think it's understanding ourselves as we are and the ability to change, whether it's letting go, adding on, you know, whatever those things are, we're hoping to create differently in our life, but don't think you're going to be any happier there per se. Right, because you'll get there and then it's it's a hedonic adaptation where we just get used to our circumstances, no matter what they are, like if some people, you know, want to be making 100, 000 a year, as an example, or want to be working halftime or want to be whatever your people want, right? You think when you get there, it's like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But the rainbow just continues to move the more you chase it, you'll never catch the end of the rainbow,
    Priyanka: Which is guys, this is like one of those things like it's such an it sometimes might feel like a bitter pill to swallow, like what do you like? I remember when I was 200 pounds, I thought when I lose all the weight, then I will feel some flavor of happy, I think, and I lost a little over 60 pounds. And it turns out I was still a human with a human brain. And here's the other thing I think You know, I love your rainbow example because high achievers, when you hit a goal, you just, your brain wants the next bet, the next goal, because we are humans designed to grow and we want to keep pursuing the next thing. I just think it's so important and I think it's so fascinating. Because Sonny, you, you know, coach empowering women physicians and I think about, you know, for me the word is unstoppable. While I didn't feel happier, maybe like subjectively or objectively happier when I hit my goal beat or after experiencing coaching, I did feel more unstoppable.
    So I think, you know, even for you, I think, and maybe you can talk about this, but maybe people, the end goal, the end of the rainbow is not that you feel happier, it's that you feel more empowered in the life that you have. And what if empowered or that feeling of unstoppability meant, oh, I actually have complete agency to navigate this messy life that I have. Turns out I don't have to feel certainty all the time. It turns out I don't have to feel confident all the time. I can actually experience flavors of doubt and nervous and frustration and anger and confusion and still take, in your words, massive action. How empowering or unstoppable do we get to feel then? And then think of the life we get to live when we're coming from that angle.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah, I think the thing is when the goalpost keeps moving and just keeps moving and just keeps moving, then you're always chasing. Right. You're always chasing because happiness is over there. It's called the arrival fallacy. It's a fallacy. It's not real. And because you think when you arrive, you'll be happy. And so really it's learning to enjoy that journey of the analogy, right? Like looking up at the rainbow and be like, that is. Phenomenally beautiful, and I'm planted and grounded right where I am, and I'm happy to go around the corner and see what else is around the corner. And for instance, with your weight analogy, the thing is, once you arrive at that thing, and you think that thing's going to make you happy, if it's a certain amount of dollars or money, or whether it's a certain weight or whatever that external validation thing is, you realize once you arrive at that place, That's where the real work stops or starts because you thought you were going to be happy when you got there. And you're like, Oh, I could be 140 pounds and I'm still not happy, I guess. So that's the external validation and it becomes the internal work. The internal work, really, like what's the real work? What's the psychological work? What's the learning to enjoy this life you've been given? And I always have like random examples from my current life, but I recently, I now live in a tropical Caribbean, like warm area where the weather's always perfect, except for some rain sometimes, of course, hence the rainbow analogy, because we get a lot of those. But I last week went to Anchorage, Alaska, and I was outside and it was minus, Bye. Which for me was like 90 degrees different than I'm used to. And I just had the thought it was such a contrast to me to what I'm used to that I was outside. There's a spa, like a Nordic spa where you go in hot water and you come out, it's freezing. And you go in hot water, you come out, it's freezing. And I just got this very hyper awareness of. Thank God, I am alive and that there is like a warm building for me to go into because if I was left out here for just a handful of minutes or hours, I wouldn't be dead. And so I got this brand new, fresh, interesting, Perspective. And I went to the little steam room. I was laying there. I was like, I am so grateful for this body. I am so grateful. My heart is still beating. I am so grateful that I am breathing and I don't have to see all that cold air. Right. And I just have gratitude for life because. Yeah. It's just, I mean, it's, it's way less extreme, but if you have a cancer scare or if you lose someone you love or whatever that is. And for me, it was just being extremely cold. I was like, I'm so grateful I'm alive. And if we can somehow cultivate that more often, like. I'm grateful that I am here on this planet. I am grateful. I still get choices. I am grateful that I can see I can start and stop doing anything I want at any time, whether you're in a terrible relationship, a terrible job, long away, I don't have to keep choosing these things because I have life and I have breath and I still have a chance. So let's not waste it because soon that's going to be gone and living as if this life is short because it is.
    Priyanka: It, and you know, I think even speaking to gratitude, I think especially girl, young girls and women, especially we learn, you know, you should be grateful, right? Look at the world around you and look at what compared to what you have. And so sometimes I think gratitude can get attached to shame at a really young age. And so I think that it's really important to feel the difference between shame, which you might be calling gratitude. It's not really gratitude. Gratitude. feels different in your body. It's like such a different visceral experience to experience true gratitude than like what you're told you're supposed to be grateful for. And I just think that that's kind of an interesting, an interesting practice to kind of think about. Besides, so, you know, the whole thing, I really want to get to this cause, you know, we're like, we're going on and on about the coaching, but tell us, you know, kind of. It can't be in a nutshell because I think this is such a comprehensive topic, but tell us a little bit about the data and the scientific background around why coaching is so, not just amazing, but essential to high achieving professional women and the impact you have seen in your own work with it.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah, so this may seem to people up to this point like an evangelistic podcast, right? Cause we're, and we're just telling our anecdotes. And first of all, the human brain is designed to hear and create story and it sticks. Stories stick. Like, we remember our own stories. We remember other people's stories. You know, lessons are passed down throughout cultures and stories like the story about the raft and the river, right? And what we're still carrying. So stories matter. They really do matter. However, in this day and age, we also really like data to prove something. We like randomized controlled trials, which are the gold standard for evidence for something, which means that one group of people get something, another very similar randomized group does not get that thing and then you look at the two groups and see. If they were the same on average at the beginning, how different are they or are they different? The assumption, the null hypothesis, is that they'll be the same. Right? And so you have to prove with at least 95 percent confidence that this difference that you're seeing is due to the one intervention that you gave. And so there are now four randomized controlled trials in physicians alone about how coaching impacts our mental health, wellbeing, quality of life, et cetera. The first one came out in 2019. And it was authored by the nation's leading physicians, wellness experts, so Lottie Derby and Tate Schoenfeld, and there really are no higher respected people in this field.

    And it was published in a journal, and that was et al, so there's other people too, published in a journal that There really aren't significantly higher respected journals because it was published in JAMA and I became a coach in 2018. So when it came out in 2019, I was like, this is phenomenal. I have been validated. What I believed all along is real and true. And I immediately went on my own podcast that I had started right after I became a coach because I knew how much podcasts affected me. So I talked about this is real. There's data. And they talked about how in the paper for anyone who wants to go read these papers, of course, I'll give you all the references, you'll put them in the show notes. But it talks very specifically about the methodology and why it works. It talks about, it's a strengths based. Sort of empowerment where, because all of us have different strength, right? Like I'm doing an Enneagram assessment for my people in my coaching program this weekend because like I'm a seven, I'm an enthusiastic visionary.

    So I do a lot of crazy things, right? And because that's what a visionary does. And my Blind spots or weaknesses include organization, being timely, or staying focused. And so, I don't focus, what I, what we tend to do, all of us, is focus on those weaknesses where we're not measuring up. But in their trial, they talked about how this is a, it's not what's wrong with you. It's not a diagnosis. It's not pathologizing. It's not trying to prescribe anything. It's saying, we all have strengths. What are yours? Let's work on implementing those, leaning into those and helping you. If you're in burnout or having a low quality of life or whatever those things are about your job that are bothering you, let's look to realign with how the things that are good about you, you can utilize those more to impact your life and even believing that you're going to make changes. It's like, there's studies on empathy and compassion. And so if you look at somebody else and you're seeing them bleeding, as an example, you get distressed in your brain as if you're bleeding and it could be measured. And if you even imagine that you're pressing on them to help stop the bleeding, the distress in your brain goes down. So you can use these tools to imagine that you're helping yourself. Imagine that you're helping your loved ones. Right. And there's a helper's high that we really enjoy. That's why I think people like physicians get joy and coaches get joy out of their life is because it's neurobiologically we're designed to help others and obviously to help ourselves to keep ourselves alive. So it shows that first trial showed outcomes that have decreased burnout, decreased emotional exhaustion and improved overall quality of life. So if there is an intervention. That would improve your overall quality of your whole life, why would you not take it? Why would you not participate in it? Right? What are the side effects? It's not like a pill where you're gonna get dry mouth and many of the other side effects that people can get from the most common say antidepressants or things to modify our mental health. weight gain, et cetera. So that was the first one. And then the next year in 2020, another randomized control trial came out, which showed again, equivalent findings. And then they actually did a longitudinal study to find if the lasted after the intervention. And they did. So even after you leave the intervention, these are things you can't unsee unknown unlearn. And so once you see them, You know, you may or may not continue to act on them as intensely all the time, but their tools that you know are available. And so that was a powerful study. And then in 2021, some of our colleagues, Tyra Fainstead and Adrienne Mann did this work who trained where we did and had the similar types of interventions that we offer. Anyway, just to say, you know, many, most of us, all coaching, I would say. have a lot of similarities. And it's not brand new, right you can look back at ancient religions, and you can look back at Buddhism and all these things where there's things that talk about what you think matters, what you believe matters. But there's been recent ways that people can systematize and walk people through this and implement it. And so the Next intervention that had been documented was on female residents and you can talk about like people who have no control over their lives. Think about a resident because they have to work 80 hours a week. They really don't get to say what rotation they're on, what schedule they're on. Who they see anything they have to go through the whole program.

    I mean, first of all, they could choose not to be in the program, but we don't usually choose that because we are so invested. We are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and kind of need to get out the other side. And so, so that's 2022 actually. And they showed decreased emotional exhaustion, increased self compassion, decreased imposter syndrome. And then what they did, and this next study came out in 2023 is only like, probably four months ago, cause it was October and this was a large multi site. So these things just kept expanding and expanding, getting bigger and bigger. And so it was 26 sites and all kinds of states with people from all kinds of training backgrounds. Over a thousand people were entered in this trial, women physician residents, again, with very little control over what they do, and they found that every assessment that they measured improved every assessment, every outcome that they measured similar to those ones that were done before improved. And then in, in my own program, cause you don't necessarily have to do a randomized controlled trial, right? We do pre post data. So people who come in and people who come out and our data, we measured the effect signs of. Um, because there's things can be statistically significant, but it's like, is it really clinically different or will you actually feel different? Like packed anything. Right. Yes, exactly. And so our data shows from hundreds of women physicians, and this was particularly during the pandemic years, which were very, very distressing years for people who are practicing in medicine. And so our burnout decreased from 77%, which is horrific. Right at the baseline, 77 percent of people's physicians are burned out in our population. It's 60 percent in the main physician pop in the general us physician population. Of course, people who would opt into a coaching program probably have higher levels of distress, which we saw. And it went down to 33% in eight weeks. So it's not only incredibly effective, it's incredibly fast, the change that you can make. And even if you talk about the first one in 2019 from Lottie Gervais and Tate Chandler published in JAMA, they only had six calls. Six calls, and like my program is way more than that, right? And I'm sure that your program is way more than that too, right? So our fact sizes are larger. And so like people who had very little professional fulfillment, our numbers are like 28%, it goes up to 68%. And then we have self compassion, which is. It's super important for everything that we have talked about because there's the hoping that you'll be better when, but self compassion and meeting yourself right where you are, no matter what, no matter how much you weigh, no matter what your kid is doing, no matter what your spouse is doing, no matter what your boss says, just understanding, just like you would for a best friend, you'd be like, girl, it's going to be okay. And girl, that person crazy is not your fault.
    But when it's us, we turn it on ourselves and we're like, I'm so broken. This sucks. Why can't I ever do this? Right. How am I ever going to get out of here? When, again, if it's your friend, you'd be like, you're going to be okay. And so our data on that goes from only 18%. of women physicians had that and it goes up to 64%. And again, that's just in eight weeks. So our effect sizes, many effect sizes. So like antidepressants, about half of people, I believe very, very much in therapy and psychiatry. Absolutely. I think coaching therapy and psychiatry are all very useful tools. I think there are a spectrum and you might need to utilize any or all of them at any given time or different phases of your life. And. I think we're very, very fortunate in the 70s and 80s, right? That's when really the effective treatments for clinical depression became available and kept being improved, improved, and they absolutely saved lives. However, around half of people. Well, not really get significant effect from them and the effect size sometimes is not very big. So the randomized control trials and that might see like a smaller medium. And of course, coaching isn't dealing intentionally dealing with people who are incredibly suicidal or having ads, terrible, you know, objective PhD nine, which is a depression screening test, right? However, our effect sizes that are documented from multiple studies, right? And including our studies, we have coaching as medium, large, and very large. And again, ours has large and very large effect sizes. So it is. Or can be, and there is evidence that it is equal or more effective than the pills that we can take for our mental health and that we are prescribing for mental health. And so at the talk that I was giving that you're referring to, I said, if coaching was a pill, we would all die. Be prescribing it because the data is so good yet. There isn't like a pharmaceutical company behind it. There isn't one, you know, singular organization that uniquely stands to profit from it. And there just isn't sort of that machine behind it, putting it on Super Bowl commercials, et cetera. So it takes people, people in the business world have known about this for a long time and have been offering executives, coaches for a long time. Because again, the business ROI on it is even proven in physician literature as well as other literature a journal or an article in JAMA called the business case for investing in physician wellness. And you can translate that to any other industry as well. There is a business case retaining any of us in any form of our profession is better for the world, right? If we want that, and then Making it such that we have to quit, right? Because the attrition rate for people who are burned out is very high. So it just makes sense to an organization even to invest in this. Yet, most organizations don't currently. And so, it takes people, you know, individuals right now and small organizations to scream it from the rooftops and say, You don't have to suffer so much. You deserve someone to hold space and even I believe because I, I obviously spend a significant amount of my time looking at other women's conditions, either in person or on zoom and we don't have our phones. Right. And there's someone looking right at you, interested in only what you have to say and how you think and feel. And even if you're talking with your spouse, for instance, or your best friend, half the time they're talking about how they think and feel, or maybe 90 percent of the time. And so to have a human being making space for you uniquely for you and say, how are you feeling? What's going on? Help me to understand you. And then are you, is your life what you want it to we? Or would you like to see things a little bit differently? Okay, let's help you get there. Let's make like one or two actionable goals that you can accomplish and I'll see you next week and see how it goes. Right? That's just incredibly meaningful
    Priyanka: And healthy to see the and help you to see the blind spots that you didn't know have been weighing you down. And, you know, I think even like just what you were talking about with the data and the science of the impact that it has for women. I always feel like it's important because so many women that I've talked to, they feel almost like, how can I get coached for me? Like there's so many people in my life that I need to take care of the house. I have to take care of my, my kids. I'm saying we are so used to, again, being in that giving role and I. always want to come back to the belief that I hold and I've seen the personal impact of it in my life. And I see with my clients, when you feel better in your life, when you experience like doubly more compassion, self compassion, when you experience just a feeling of betterness, everyone in your orbit, it's like a ripple effect benefits from you feeling and being better. And you're like the way that you actually want to show up. And that does happen, not with books on a shelf. I know we all love like the good books on a shelf, but it happens with putting yourself in coaching spaces where someone can show you your blind spots and really help you see what you're not seeing.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah. And bring a friend with you, if at all possible, because it helps to have some other friends, even if they don't come on right away. But anyway, talking about these concepts. Yeah. In real life, right, talking about these things and finding some other shared like minded people, right? Like I do group coaching because it's very powerful to see someone else struggle with the exact same thing or something very similar to what you struggle with and in her, you can see it.

    Priyanka: That's the best part of coaching, like it's amazing getting personally coached, of course, but when you're watching someone else get coached and you're not in their like pile of poop, you can see it so clearly and there's so you just like, it's, it's a coaching from a totally different angle, which I think is so impactful.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: And your defenses are down because when someone's talking to you when someone pushes you push back that just normal human nature you get defensive and so you have no reason to be defensive so you just have this awareness and see it. And I think for many women, people socialize as women right in our culture, where we have historically been women the property of men, not been able to, you know, own our own real estate, have our own credit cards. Even until about the year I was born, we couldn't even have economic independence. And so it's no wonder we were taught to serve. It's no wonder that they're having a hard time with the types of things you were just describing, which is like, I'm worth it. I'll invest in myself and certainly not mental health and wellbeing. Right. And so I think a starting place for some women can be, if they can't see that when they do better. Everyone around them does better. Although of course, I hear that all the time. I hear from spouses, like I meet spouses, you know, and there'll be, I ran into one the other day when I was at the market and he's like, my wife loves you. I'm so grateful for you. She's doing so much better. Right? So people will say she's a better mom. She's a better wife. She's a better spouse. She's a better doctor. She's a better daughter. She's whatever they get along so much better with these people, but we can't really see that we're willing to invest in the soccer club for our kids and a vacation for our family. But again, these are things that you learn and never unlearn. So it's, it's really something that compounds over your lifetime. However, what we can often see if we are not open to seeing that yet is when we suffer, we can sometimes see that people around us are suffering because we care so much about our impact on others. We see ourselves yell at our kids. We really do. And we're like, Oh, I shouldn't be doing that. Right? And we see ourselves. Like tell off a coworker and we see ourselves being quote unquote bitchy to our spouse and wishing we had kind of gone off like that, right? And so I've been doing some coaching recently where my person said to me, and it was actually last week in Alaska, but she said, you know, if you don't do this to take care of yourself, you're, you will undermine your marriage. You will make people around you suffer like you you get the choice if you want to get better or not. And if you don't, the people around you will continue to suffer and you will undermine the very thing that you are trying to protect. Right. And so it's just fascinating because we, we have this, like, we want to avoid pain more than we want to seek pleasure. And so if we can think about the pain that we have and the pain that others around us have, because we're not in a better place, because when you're in a pretty good, like, if you're tired, all you can think is you want to go to sleep. If you're hungry. You think about nothing but food, right? And if you're suffering, all you can think is, I'm suffering so much, don't you get how much I'm suffering? Right? I have no capacity for you. And if you're like, I'm so happy. Right? You think when we come back to work sometimes from vacation, we're like, I'm good, I don't care, whatever. You know, you just don't let it get to you and, and again, you could help other people around you. See, like, it doesn't have to be so bad. It doesn't have to be so painful. So I think that the gap in the difference between those two things is huge. Yes. I was like, what would it be like? Yeah. To not be so unhappy. And to not wait. To not suffer.
    Priyanka: To not wait. I think that that was the other mistake. Or I don't even want to call it a mistake, but like something that I held for so long was like, you know, when I'm done with medical school, then I will focus on myself. Big, big term. So when I'm done with residency, then I will take care of myself. When I'm done with, you know, my first kid, who is a little bit older, it's like we keep waiting for our life, our circumstances, to create something. That will somehow make things easier for us to spend time or money or some effort on ourself. And I think that that's the part that is also, it's like the other side of a rival fallacy. It's like we think when things are different, then somehow I'll have time for me. It's just not the case, especially for the high achieving professional mom. There's, we're going to be in some season or phase of our life always. And what would it be like to not keep waiting on yourself to really do this work.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah. It's kicking the can down the road and we are completely expert in that. We are expert in self sacrifice. We'll just sacrifice ourselves for a little bit longer and things will get better. And the thing is, we all think next week is going to be easier. Like you've been trying to get me on this podcast. I'm like, next week, next week, next week, because we all think next week is going to be easier. And then the next week comes, but it's not easier, right? Well, we got here last week. I'm traveling this week. I'm going to be traveling. The next week is my birthday. The next week is Valentine's day, the next, but it's never going to get easier really per se right next month. It's like, I'll start the diet on Monday. I'll start the diet on Monday. Like what's the difference. And so then the question becomes, you can sort of extrapolate. Okay. If I never do this five, 10, 15 years, what's that going to look like? And then there's right after that questions. Well, why now? Like what are the reasons you just your brain is like Google and in some ways it's a search engine and so you can hijack your own brain or utilize what we know about human psychology before you can call it hijack but use just utilize and widely what we know about human psychology and neurobiology and use it to your advantage and say I'm going to start asking useful questions. Right?
    Priyanka: Instead of thinking like, why should I not do this now? And now your Google search engine is full of all the reasons for why you should be waiting on yourself, as opposed to flipping the question that you put into the Google search engine, which is like, why might I want to do this now? Why might now be the best time for me now? All of a sudden you're going to get a totally different. Yeah, totally different answers.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: And you can ask that question about coaching, of course, because that's what we're talking about. But you can ask it about anything in your life, something that you've been wanting to do, right? Anyone who's listening, if you listen this far, there's something that you want to do differently. Why now? And give yourself the reasons. And you could also be like, why not now? But there's usually a bunch of yes, right? Or it brings you up with a blank slate. Like why not now? Okay. Yeah, you're right. Okay. So why now? Why now?
    Priyanka: I often say like, the reason that we all, we often will find ourselves keeping the status quo is just because our brilliant, if you find yourself keeping the status quo is just because you have a very brilliant primitive brain who wants to conveniently keep a story that doesn't require any effort and change. And so we have keep our suffering just because it, it's our, it's what we're familiar with. And what we're talking about is asking a question that changes your status quo. What is that question? Start putting that into the Google search engine.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Yeah. And, and there's a question. Are you okay with the status quo? That's right. And if you are not for any reason, then it's you and only you that can change the status quo for your own life. And so that is a skill that you can continue to build and build and build like a muscle. It's like, am I okay with the status quo? Do I want to change the status quo? If so, why? Find your whys. And if your whys are strong enough, Then you're going to actually go and take some action. As you said, your brain just wants to stay with what's familiar. We stay with the status quo because it's familiar, but it's just comfort of the known and the discomfort of the unknown and the unknown always seems scarier and it's just like, if you speak English or you need to. Speak Spanish, even if we say it's our second language, it's more effort full for our brain and calories, et cetera, and attention. And it's like, when you're driving to somewhere, you don't know, you turn down the radio. Like that makes absolutely no sense, except that you need all your mental capacity to work on that new thing. And so our old life is like driving to the store, you know, right. And. The new way of thinking is just, it really is neurobiologically more costly to us. So we kind of have to turn down some other things and choose. We're going to learn a new path. We're going to learn a new way. And then that becomes the new language that becomes the default, because that old default story not necessarily serving if you're not getting the results you want.
    Priyanka: And proving to yourself that you're able to do that and operate in the second language. To me, that's where Unstoppability, that feeling of empowerment comes from. It's like, wow, I was capable, I did that, like, I wonder what else I could do, right? Like, just proving to yourself again and again and again how capable we really are, which I think is amazing.
    Sunny, this has been such an amazing conversation. I feel like we could have kept talking about The beauty and amazement of coaching and its impact on women. But for now, this is going to be our conversation today. Share with us, how can people learn more about you, find you, be influenced by anything that you have to say over on the beautiful world of the Internet?
    Dr. Sunny Smith: I am at https://empoweringwomenphysicians.com/. We have like a guide there that people can walk through the kinds of things that we. Do and that you do right to actually walk people step by step through how to apply this process. If they're a woman physician, they can come in my Facebook group, but that's only for women's positions. And then I have a podcast that's called Empowering Women's Physicians.
    Priyanka: We're going to put all the information in the show notes and of course the data and the articles that you shared, we're going to drop that in the show notes as well. Sunny, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. This has been so amazing. I'm glad we finally got you here and we made it happen. I'm so glad. Thank you so much.
    Dr. Sunny Smith: Thank you for having me. Bye. Bye.
    Priyanka: I hope you all enjoyed this conversation as much as me. As you can tell, me and Sunny could have probably talked about how much we not just love and adore coaching, but seriously, the impact that we have both personally experienced and what we see with our clients. One of my favorite examples that Sunny shared on the podcast was this idea of how especially high achieving professional moms might have a bookshelf of. books that you know you want to read someday, or maybe you are reading and bringing into your life, or maybe you're listening to a podcast like this and you feel the possibility for how your life could be experienced differently. But what we also talked about was the difference between learning and active implementation. Truly to me, that is why putting yourself in coaching experiences is invaluable because the return on your investment with your time, your money, and your effort pays back for a lifetime. That's been my personal experience with coaching. And if you love this podcast and you love the topics that we talked about, I want to make sure that you know about my free Five-Day Mini-Course, you can grab it over at www.theunstoppablemombrain/email in this Five-Day Mini-Course, I'll meet you in your email inbox. Every day over five days where I will teach you a small, tiny, but mighty concept that will truly shift the way that you lose weight and keep the weight off for good. I hope you guys all have an amazing week and I will see you at the next one. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more resources or information from the show, head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com.


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