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You Are Powerful with Matt Thieleman

George Grombacher September 20, 2023

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You Are Powerful with Matt Thieleman

LifeBlood: We talked about embracing the fact that you are powerful, how each of us are capable of amazing things, what holds us back from the life we want, and how to step into the life you want, with Matt Thieleman, transformational coach and author.      

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Matt Thieleman

Episode Transcript

Matt Thieleman is a transformational coach and visionary catalyst. He is a mindful leader and executive coach with Palea. He is the founder and CEO of golden bristle and the author of this is coaching. Welcome, Matt. Hey, thanks, George, excited to have you on, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Matt Thieleman 0:23
The most important thing to know about my personal life is I got married about a month and a half ago. And so I’m learning how to be a newlywed and really enjoying that this this phase in life. My wife and I live in Colorado right now, just outside Denver. And the reason that I do what I do is so as a coach, my job is I say, my Y in life is to remind people that their god that has a loaded term, so I might say it might remind people that they have infinite power and resources and they can do whatever they want. I do that because I was that’s what I’m here to do. And I think I think each of us has our own unique sort of role in this world are purpose. And that just happens to be mine. And so luckily enough, I get to help people discover their so it’s a pretty cool job.

george grombacher 1:21
Yeah, I appreciate that. Well, congratulations on, on, on on on the marriage.

Matt Thieleman 1:27
Thank you, thank you is a big process. And I’m just learning how to like, what does life look like when I won one of the most important games in my life? Like how do I actually enjoy it now?

george grombacher 1:37
It certainly was a big process for sure. A whole marriage thing. And now it’s doing the whole marriage thing. So love it. Excellent. Well, that holds remind people that they are God that will work well with the relationship, I think just constantly remind your spouse or your significant other that they are, in fact, God. Yeah, my

Matt Thieleman 2:01
job is to support her and expressing into opening on a regular basis. Now, the question is, can I be humble enough that I can like you know, kind of get rid of my own needs, sometimes in support of her fully expressing herself? That’ll be the that’ll be a lifelong practice.

george grombacher 2:17
Indeed. Love it. All right. So where did you come up with when when did that idea of reminding people that they have that infinite power, strength resources? When did that click for you?

Matt Thieleman 2:30
My whole life, I’ve been interested in the question of why people do what they do. So I studied psychology and sociology in college, went on to be a marketer after that marketing was close to money. And so I thought, oh, I can take these skills I haven’t, you know, like, use this as a way to get close to money so I can support change in the world. And what I noticed was that all of the places I continued to look even as a marketer or try to support clients was like in culture stuff and organization stuff. And so I realize it’s like marketing is very limiting compared to what I really want to do. I want to look at how people can become better leaders how they can support their teams to be more successful. And I went through a number of process processes including Simon cynics find your why, you know, a number of sort of identifying roles values and purpose. And I honestly I avoided the term God or divine for a long time because it’s so loaded. And because I I’m not practicing in any particular faith and so is loaded for me as a human being. And so I the first iteration and golden bristle is helping people to unleash their awesome that was my that was my sort of marketing term for this exact same thing. But the reality is, it’s been my whole life. I’ve always been curious about this, even this driving question of why do we do what we do? It’s, it’s why do we do the silly things that we do? Or the dumb things that we do that actually have us block our access to power and wisdom and creativity?

george grombacher 4:08
Why do I keep screwing myself over Matt?

Matt Thieleman 4:12
That’s it man. And and the beauty is, it’s a lifelong journey to figure out why that is because even as we have a new answer, we’re gonna go do something and then find a new strategy to screw it up. Because the honest truth is is really confronting and terrifying to acknowledge that we have access to infinite joy in power and pleasure and in creativity anytime that we want. Because guess what, who are we to have that power? What if it’s all made up and we are not enough and the whole world is here telling us that it’s actually not okay to feel great all the time.

george grombacher 4:52
Is it fair to also add and then I I’d have to actually use it consistently.

Matt Thieleman 4:57
Yeah, right. Oh, yeah. That one and then what if I screw it up? After that, like suddenly, that’s like a really heavy crossbow burden, right? Like that’s. Oh my gosh, are you telling me that anytime I want I have access to choice? Like no, no, I much prefer to play victim. Thank you very much. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s not a free it’s not free to have full access to our power.

george grombacher 5:24
Yeah, it is a Spider Man whole thing with great responsibility comes great power with great power comes great responsibility kind of a thing. Yeah, exactly, yeah. So it’s fascinating, right? I’m just kind of thinking about my own life. And I spent a good amount of time thinking about this kind of stuff. What am I capable of? What’s possible for me? If I start acting that way, what will people think of me? Will? It can, can I keep that going, and my biting off too much should I just settle and be comfortable?

Matt Thieleman 6:03
Yeah, that’s the beautiful part, we all have all these stories, right. And so, you know, kind of speaking to what my what my job is, as a coach and why the book exists. My job is to support people into creating the life that they want in the midst of those stories, because we all have them. And so it is not to say those stories are wrong, bad or stupid to get rid of them is to say they’re here for a reason, let’s make sense of that, let’s, let’s acknowledge that and allow them to be and to say, there’s a part of you that’s been kind of blocked. And if you want to have what you say that you want, you get to change some of the stories, you get to get rid of them, or you get to integrate them. And so my job as a coach is to support people that having what they really say that they want, even though it’s going to be confronting, even though they get to show up and that way, dot dot dot, what exactly what you and I were talking about. And here’s the really fun part is that as a coach, and this is why I wrote a book for coaches, my responsibility, first and foremost is to do that work on myself with myself so that I can support clients. Because if I’m not doing that stuff, then I’m gonna get caught up in my own patterns, I’m gonna get a fall in the hole with my clients. And we think that coaching is I’m gonna go learn a bunch of stuff, I’m gonna give people some tools, I’m gonna be able to mentor them, I’m gonna give them advice. That’s not it at all. Actually, it is being able to stand with someone as they’re facing the, the hottest fire of their life and to say, You’re okay. You’re okay, you can get through this. And I know that you’re okay. In fact, I’m gonna stand here the whole time, because I know that you are strong enough to get through this. And here’s all the stuff you potentially not looking at. But I don’t also know, I also don’t know the answers. And that is a really scary thing. Because you might also experience this, George, I think that one of the primary reasons that we as humans love to give advice is we don’t like other people’s discomfort we don’t like when other people are sitting with uncertainty, because it makes us feel crappy and weird. And so we learn to give advice all the time. And as a coach, I actually get to learn to sit with uncertainty other people’s on my own, so that we can move through it.

george grombacher 8:13
Yeah, that’s great. There’s so much great language there. You don’t want to fall in the hole with the person that you’re trying to. And in a lot of ways, we probably want to do that and sort of commiserate and misery loves company sort of thing. So I appreciate that. Yeah, I love that, you know, honoring that, what you’re thinking about your past experiences, they’re not wrong, bad or stupid, they just kind of are what they are.

Matt Thieleman 8:40
Yeah, they’re here. They were here for a reason. They were most of these strategies that we have we inherited from our parents and from society, or we figured out as a way to stay safe and survive inside of our household. So for earnings as an example, I have a father who he unfortunately died when I was in high school, and before that had bipolar disorder and abused drugs and alcohol. And so I when I was around him as a very volatile household. And so I then learned to be what I would call an empath, I learned how to feel all of the the entire energy field around me and in a room and a house in a whole space. That’s a tremendous superpower that is like means that I can generally tell what’s going on with the people around me all of the time, in a way in a very skillful way that others can’t. Unfortunately, it comes with side effects. It’s like Superman’s kryptonite, which means that sometimes I can make up stories about why people are doing what they’re doing, I can make them about me because I had to make them about me when I was very young or also be unsafe. So I’ve had to learn how to sort of titrate that superpower. And all of us have these superpowers. Mine is unique to me based on my story. You have your own. And unfortunately a lot of times what happens is when we we notice them, we see them we say oh this thing is crap. Happy I’m gonna get rid of it. But no, that’s like the thing that got you here, you just need to reach you need to shift your relationship with it or not let it completely drive the bus because some other strategy is needed going forward.

george grombacher 10:15
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Matt Thieleman 10:19
All these all these amazing quotes, right that we like we like don’t even we overlook because they’re they’re sort of banal at some point.

george grombacher 10:26
Yeah. It’s a, I think it’s fascinating. And, yeah, yeah, it’s, I am here, and I couldn’t have arrived any other way. And it’s the different experiences good, bad, ugly growing up, that taught me taught you to be more empathic, which is such a superpower. But it was also really tough to deal with the situations when, when when you were a kid, so you don’t want to turn your back on this stuff. But you also don’t want to allow it to continue weighing you down and slowing your progress of growth.

Matt Thieleman 10:59
Yeah, and the reality is, most of us don’t see it, because they we have nervous system responses. So we go into fight, flight, or freeze when some of these things happen. And so we actually cannot have higher level thought. And so there’s like a whole aspects here, as we get into transformation work that is not only here, let’s break down the thoughts or beliefs I have, which is actually Oh, this is happening in my body. This was what was trained. And so the more awareness we can create, in those moments when we actually want to shut down, the more we can work with them. And as I said, Our first instinct is to shut that down even more, because it feels crappy. Right? Like, like, not many of us want to go into that fear state. And society, in fact, like encourages us not to. And so it, it’s, it’s a whole process to actually get in there. And there’s a there’s a lot going on.

george grombacher 12:02
Right? Yeah, I mean, that you’ve been acting this way, for however many years, it’s been, you know, that for sure. You’ve you’ve, you’ve lived with it for a really long time, you’ve learned to deal with it, you’ve learned to work with it, or around it, or however it is, and it’s informing how you’ve interacted with friends and other significant relationships, and all these things. So it’s so much. Yeah. Which kind of going back to the beginning about, Do I really want to dig into this? Or should I just stay where I’m at?

Matt Thieleman 12:36
Yeah, and I often say, it’s a really courageous act. Because, you know, like, in many ways, and I’m, it might sound like I’m disparaging our current culture or society. And to be clear, I’m not I’m simply saying that these are things that exist in order to support us moving in a particular direction. It’s, I think it’s a really courageous act, because our world is set up such that right now, if we don’t take this courageous step and say, what do I really want? What am I really here for? Life is actually pretty good. Like, we generally, you know, in the US, at least, more than 90% of people have jobs. There’s, there’s definitely inequality and insecurity. And, you know, broadly, people are doing pretty well, you if you stay in the system, if you stay on the, you know, sort of path, life is pretty good. And so it’s a really courageous act to not only confront ourselves, but as we’re talking about these sort of habitual patterns that we have this, this discomfort that we feel in our body and our mind, and to confront culture around us. Because as we start to step off, we’ll have people say, Why are you doing that? That doesn’t make any sense. What if you fail, what if that mean, they’re actually giving real voice to the things that are in our, in our minds, and so we actually risk in a very real way we risk belonging, we risk the thing that is arguably most valuable to us as humans, because, you know, our brain tells us if someone rejects us, we literally die, because that’s what would have happened, you know, 1000s of years ago, maybe hundreds of years ago, if we if we kind of walked out of the tribe. So so it’s there’s a real risk. It’s more perceived Now, thankfully, because we’re in a beautiful, you know, beautiful time in life, but there’s a real risk to stepping out.

george grombacher 14:31
You Yeah, that is, there’s so many layers to this, for sure. It is current culture, and I had somebody tell me, that we, we, we we argue for our limitations, and we have so much love for our problems, that we’re not able to move past these things. And it’s sort of adding to what you were just talking about. Fascinating, though, the idea of you stepping away from the truth IBE would be essentially a death sentence not that long ago. So it keeps us from making those kinds of changes.

Matt Thieleman 15:08
It’s really fascinating concept, right? So we can look and say, for all of these reasons, it makes complete sense for me not to step away from you not to do this. And then also not doing that I can tell isn’t actually doing in many ways is like a violent act towards our soul and to our to our bodies, who are who we are. As we continue to limit the folks that I generally work with have this. For me, it was a pain, it was a pain in my chest, I was like, This is not what I’m here to do. And it got so loud and painful that I had to step away. I personally believe that most all of us have this version, it might not be a pain, it might be a whisper might be some other question that won’t go in it. That has to be scratched, I believe that we all have it. And so for me, the human life, and this is how I ended up moving back into spiritual worlds often with folks is that it’s a very spiritual practice, I think to hold two truths, as 100% true at the same time, so it’s 100. It seems 100% True, it makes 100% Set sense for us to not step away to not question right, we can talk about the biology, we can talk about how culture works, we can look at psychology and sociology, all of that is 100% true. And we can be we can acknowledge there is also this part of me that needs to do this and not doing this is actually violence committed against me. And I make the case in my book that our job as coaches is to learn to hold these opposing truths, as true over and over and over again, all of the time with our clients, because that’s how transformation ends up happening. It’s a, how do we get both. And so an example that is really easy and really common is, someone might think I can’t leave my corporate job, or I can’t make more money. If I if I try to make more money, I have to give up my relationship, I have to give up good health, I have to give up all of my friends. Because I have to work super hard and give my life to whatever it is to make more money, we have this idea of like, like things are at odds. And the beautiful part of being able to step into this courageous practice is to say, what if both could exist? Who would I have to be? What would I have to believe? And how would I have to act? What would have to be true? And in have posing that question in this this? What if both, we actually then start to create life, we start to create be the creators or allies, we get to build and design our own game to play outside of of the current game. And that’s really fun and terrifying.

george grombacher 17:52
Fun and terrifying for sure. Is it fair to say that that? Well, it’s it’s all incumbent upon me, it’s not me saying? Well, if if my mom would just stop acting that way, or if my wife would stop acting this way, then then then then we could be happy. It’s what do I need to be doing?

Matt Thieleman 18:14
And I think they’re again, they’re both true. So we look at it one from how can I take 100% responsibility for my life? That is like the most courageous first step. Right? Exactly. As you said, No one gets to life is happening. And I get to choose how I am with it. And so my my sort of background and coaching as an Ontological Coaching was the philosophy of being, which is to say, life is and now I get to choose how I be with it. How am I choosing my relationship with it? So, for example, my mom says this stuff, I can choose how I respond to her. You know, whatever, whatever my mom says, which is, I think is wacky or crazy or hurtful or whatever. Her words don’t have an impact on me my choice or response to those words. And again, we have lots of quotes that give us that evidence. And also what is true is our environment has a tremendous effect, or impact on our success, right go to the desert versus being in Antarctica. And that is going to fundamentally change your days how you live and act as a human, right. We’re also or we’re biological organisms. So our environment has a tremendous impact. And if we put those both together what it means is I have 100% responsibility over how I choose to be in my environment, which means I can move environments if I need to, because it’s having such a detrimental impact that I need to change. And the the sort of consequences of me choosing my environment are also mine 100% responsibility to take which means that if I separate from my family because they are no longer and supportive what I want, I get to be responsible for the consequences, right and so, so we can take that first lesson and apply it to literally every decision of our lives. Rather than saying, Oh, it’s just once like you just you just have to like, just be with just deal with your environment. No, it’s not that we have choice and then we also have to live with the consequences of those choices forever.

george grombacher 20:19
Love it. That’s super powerful.

Matt Thieleman 20:22
I’m trying to keep this like light and like condensed here

george grombacher 20:26
successfully. Well, Matt, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How could they engage with you? Where can they get a copy of this is coaching.

Matt Thieleman 20:36
Yeah, so the best place to find me is on my website, which is Golden that’s golden like the color and then bristle like a brush b r i s t le. You can also find me by searching Matt Thielemann on anywhere on the internet and pretty findable. And then the book is called this is coaching. It’s available on Amazon and across every online bookstore. Just search for this is coaching. Love it.

george grombacher 21:03
If you enjoyed as much as I did, show your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to Golden and learn about all things Matt Thielemann Get your copy of this coaching wherever you buy your books online. And the contract Matt down on other places the internet Matt Thielemann and that’s Matt and then T H I E L E M A N. Thanks, Kim.

Matt Thieleman 21:29
Thanks, George.

george grombacher 21:30
Until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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