Did you know that we’re born with an innate understanding of what’s right for us? Many factors get in the way of this internal compass and affect our happiness so we’re sharing a 3 part strategy to help bring more purpose into your daily life. Joining the episode this week is my spouse Dr. Andrew Downs who shares his career in psychology and his 10+ years of experience coaching and creating sustainable healthy habits. If you’re ready to create more rewarding habits then this snackable episode is for you! 

here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [1:03] Learn more about our Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification program that’s all about building a business grounded in and helping other achieve more calm, clarity, and joy through proven habit and mindseld frameworks.  Our yearly enrollment is open now and Dr. Andrew Downs is the Director of this program.
  • [4:06] Meet Dr. Andrew Downs and hear about his career in psychology and his focus on sustainable behavior change. 
  • [8:37] Understand what O.V.P. or Organismic Valuing Process is and how it relates to our own self-actualization. 
  • [11:47] Discover how our surroundings, culture, family, and more work  against our O.V.P.
  • [20:42] Use our 3 part purpose habit strategy to connect more to your O.V.P. to create more meaning and purpose within your day: 
    • Write down all the things in your day that you feel you “have to” do
    • Cross out “have to” and replace it with “choose to” 
    • Write out why you chose to do the things on your list
    • If you cannot identity why you choose to do some of the things on your list, ask yourself if you really need that thing in your life or not. 

links mentioned in this episode

The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification

How to be Resilient in Tough Times with Rick Hanson, PhD

read the transcript

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:01)

You’re listening to The Feel Good Effect, the purpose habit. We’re talking about how to find your purpose in life, and it’s not what you think let’s make it happen.

Robyn Conley Downs: (00:15)

Radically simple and ridiculously doable. The Feel Good Effect will help you redefine wellness on your terms. Hi, I’m your host Robyn Conley Downs. And I believe that wellness isn’t about achieving another set of impossible standards, but instead finding what works for you, drawing from cutting-edge science on mindfulness habit and behavior change. This podcast offers a collection of small mindset shifts that allow for more calm, clarity, and joy in every everyday life and allows you to embrace the idea that gentle is the new perfect. I invite you to listen in. As we cut through the clutter and find the small shifts that create huge changes in your life. Less striving, more ease. It’s time to feel good.

Robyn Conley Downs: (01:03)

Well, Hey, Feel Good fam. I am so glad you’re here for this episode on the purpose habit. Our guest today is Dr. Andrew Downs, who in addition to being my spouse and partner in life is also the co-director of our Feel Good Effect Habits and Mindset Coaching Certification. Now, the thing about Andrew is he’s a very behind-the-scenes kind of guy. He is not forward-facing with our business or brand. He has no social media presence, but he is a force behind our certification. So he takes all of his knowledge around psychology behavior change and coaching, and has poured it into what, what we now call The Feel Good Effect Habits and Mindset Coaching Certification, which is enrolling right now. So if you go to www.thefeelgoodeffect.com, you can click on become a coach. And that will take you to all the information you need about this cohort enrollment. And if you’re listening outside of enrollment window, we do it once a year so you’ll have to wait a little bit, but you can definitely jump on the waitlist there. And you’ll be first to know when we open it up next time. Our coaching certification is all about building a life-changing business grounded and helping others achieve more calm, clarity, and joy through our proven habit and mindset framework, and really equips you with the knowledge and skills to coach on habits and mindset and exclusive access to use The Feel Good Effect framework and principles in your practice or your business. So if you’re at all interested, we are enrolling for our spring 2022 cohort. You can go to www.thefeelgoodeffect.com to find out more to enroll. Um, or if you’re outside of that window, you can always go get a on the waitlist for next year when we open it again, I cannot wait to welcome some of you into this life-changing program. Okay. This is a really good one. I can’t wait to share this information with you. So here is Dr. Andrew Downs, director of The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification. Andrew, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (03:06)

Oh, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Robyn Conley Downs: (03:08)

We are recording in separate rooms at the same house. So hopefully there’s not like a dog incident, but we should be okay. So I, you have been on the show one time in the four-plus years we’ve been running and you came on to talk a little bit about, uh, a survey, a really big survey that we did together, looking at, you know, the barriers people have around health and wellbeing. And we ended up turning the results of that survey into what we now call the striving mindset, which was published in a book and like the foundation of the work, but you’ve never actually been a guest on the show. Some people who’ve listened for a while, probably have an idea of who you are and then some of our Feel Good Effect coaches know you pretty well, but for those who are new to you, can you tell us a little bit in general, like your professional background and kind of how that led you to where you are now with running the, uh, coaching certification?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (04:06)

Sure. Yeah. Um, so I, uh, as you know, I studied psychology in college and was just fascinated by humans and their behaviors and their thoughts and feelings and whatnot. And so I ended up getting a PhD in clinical psychology and, um, I became a professor and what I really was specializing in, in my doctoral program and as a professor was behavior change strategies. You know, how to help people who need to, or want to make changes in their life, make those changes. And how do we use behavioral science principles to do that? Um, and so that’s been, was a lot of my focus and, you know, working with people who were having mental health difficulties or working with kids who had disabilities like autism, as you know, we did some of that work together over the years and however, over the last. So I did that work for a long time. And then in the last decade or so, um, I started becoming drawn more towards positive psychology and coaching as opposed to therapy, um, and working with people using a lot of the same behavior change principles and how to form habits, um, and how to use psychology, behavioral science to grow and develop, but using that in the realm of coaching rather than in the realm of therapy. Um, and so that’s been a really fun switch, uh, for me again, over the past 10 years or so, and kind of led to, you know, you and I developing the coaching certification program, uh, where we can help people, you know, some of those same strategies and knowledge and skills for using behavioral science to help people grow and change and develop in ways they want to.

Robyn Conley Downs: (05:51)

And when you say behavior change, it’s, let’s just explain what that means because it’s obvious behavior change, but you’re really talking about the science of habits.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (06:02)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So in psychology of the field is called applied behavior analysis, and it’s really a bit of a technical science, you know, really looking very carefully about how to establish it, a new behavior, which is actually pretty easy to do as most people know, you can make a change, you can add a new behavior to your life, but the, but the key is really turning that behavior into a habit so that it is maintained over time that it’s sustainable and that it lasts. Yeah. Anyone can make a quick change, but it’s making a change that sticks. Um, and so high behavioral analysis looks at both, okay, how do we make that initial change, but then really, how do we make that sustainable? So it’s a long-term thing that lasts.

Robyn Conley Downs: (06:49)

Yeah. And one of the things that I think we both find together really interesting, and that you’ve done a pretty amazing job, I think in your career over the last 20 years is looking at this problem or question around behavior change from all these different lenses. So from the more technical science-based applied behavior analysis, and then adding in that positive psychology and then different therapy perspectives and mindfulness, and not just staying in one silo in academics, which is typically what happens. So I think that’s been kind of a unique, unique about you and allowed you, I think, to have this more holistic perspective on change and sustainable change when it comes to human behavior.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (07:35)

Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, I’ve always tried to be open to new ideas and new experiences and, you know, and things that I’ve even learned from you, um, around mindfulness, um, and you know, from other folks as well. And yeah, I think one of the keys, you know, coming from a background where you focus on that behavior change and habit formation is okay, well, how do we know we’re actually working on the right behavior changes and trying to establish the right habits that are actually gonna work for this person in their life. And I think that’s where that more holistic view really does have to come in, cuz that’s a mistake. I see a lot of people making, they, they want to make certain changes and they think that those changes are gonna change their life in a meaningful way, but it might not be the right thing to do and the right change to try to make. Um, so yeah, so having that more holistic view rather than just the technical aspects of behavior change really is quite helpful. Um, in, you know, people working towards things that are really gonna impact their life in a positive way.

Robyn Conley Downs: (08:37)

So the thing we’re talking about today is one of your favorite topics. It’s funny because this is something Andrew’s been really into for a long time. So it’s exciting that he gets a whole podcast to talk about it and it is part of our, our coaching certification. And one of the things I think that our coaches really resonate with and then use in their practices and it’s really this a pur it’s a habit to find your purpose or the purpose habit. And it’s something I think that’s not talked about enough. Uh, so do you wanna tell us a little bit about the OVP?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (09:14)

Sure. Yeah. You know, I love the OVP

Robyn Conley Downs: (09:17)

Yes you do.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (09:19)

So, yeah. So this, so this term OVP, um, it stands for organismic valuing process.

Robyn Conley Downs: (09:26)

So can we just pause and say that like unnecessarily complicated name for something like, I feel like there’s a whole trend in, when was this coined?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (09:36)

Oh, in the, like in like the 1950s. So it was a long time ago. It

Robyn Conley Downs: (09:39)

Was a little overcompensation on these social scientists to try to make, I think this is a side, but there was a little overcompensation going on, but in social science to try to make things sound like very scientific and I just don’t think it was necessary. So tell us, tell us it what more time, but then more importantly, like what it is and why it matters.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (09:59)

Sure. Yeah. So yes, the technical term is the organismic valuing process in that you are humans are organisms. And so yes, they unnecessarily complicated the name, but yes. So the OVP the organism valuing process. Um, this is kind of our, it’s not kind of it’s our internal guide that we are all as humans born with this amazing ability to know what’s right for us when we try things, we know if it feels good to us and if it’s something that we want to keep doing and do again. Um, and so we we’re born with this ability, um, and all organisms are, that’s why it’s called organismic, um, animals have this too, that we’re, we, we just know what’s good for us. We know what’s good for our survival and beyond just our survival, our OVP guides us towards our self-actualization, who we are supposed to be as a human being. Um, cuz we’re all unique, we’re all different. And we’re all supposed to grow into unique, different people. And if we just pay attention to our own internal guide, our own OVP we’ll just seamlessly become the best version of ourselves. Um, and so that’s pretty much all we have to do. We’re kind of like that acorn that just needs, you know, that those squirrels bury in our backyard that just needs soil, water, and eventually some sunlight and it’ll grow into this beautiful big Oak tree. Um, and so that’s our OVP we, we, we, we have all of the knowledge within us of what’s good for us, what we should pursue, what is right for us and what will be most authentic to us in our life. Um, and we just use that as our guide to grow.

Robyn Conley Downs: (11:39)

So that could sound a little woo. And you’re saying that that’s, that’s, there’s science behind what you’re saying.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (11:47)

There is science behind what I’m saying. Absolutely. Um, and you know, there’s, there’s tremendous evidence of this that, you know, people, many people, what happens is OVP is one thing. And we’ll come back to that obviously. But what happens is from a young age, we are told by pretty much everyone to stop listening to our OVP. Um, so our parents do do this to our us when we’re little kids and we say our, you know, say your sister steals your favorite toy and you get mad at her and say, you hate her and your parents might tell you, well, that’s not nice. You don’t hate your sister. Um, and so you’re getting a message and it’s also, it’s not nice to hate your sister, but at that moment, you very five year old. You probably actually does have feelings of hate towards your sister, but now your parents aren’t telling you, well, that’s not nice. You shouldn’t say that you shouldn’t feel that. So now we start to think, oh geez, maybe I shouldn’t feel that way or think that way. And so that’s one tiny example, something that happens to us pretty much all day, every day throughout our lives, that our parents, our peers, the media, our teachers, people that we see on the internet tell us that we should behave in certain ways. We should look certain ways. We should think certain ways and we should feel certain ways. Even, you know, even as things like we dress a certain way, we should eat certain foods. We should do certain kinds of workouts. Our body should look a certain way. These messages surround us constantly. Um, and so what psychologists call those are conditions of worth. So these are messages that we get from other people again, constantly all day, every day that we need to behave in certain ways, act in certain ways, be certain ways in order to be fully accepted and loved and you know, a worthwhile human being. And these usually aren’t overt messages, people telling us, you know, I won’t love you unless you do this, but they’re there nonetheless. Um, so those messages are constant, um, trying to get us to not pay attention to our OVP, but to pay attention to these conditions of worth, which we abbreviate as the cows. So I picture these as cows in a field, constantly mooing at us, telling us no, don’t think that, don’t dress that way, don’t feel that way. Don’t do those things. We’ll tell you how to be. And so that’s how the, the cows and the OVP kind of kind of interact for us.

Robyn Conley Downs: (14:21)

That’s some aggressive cows.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (14:24)

They are, they’re mean.

Robyn Conley Downs: (14:25)

They aggressively, I’m gonna totally derail the conversation when we, Andrew and I lived in like a rural town in central Washington and there was a lot of cows and they were aggressive. They like screamed. They were like screaming cows. And I got an argument with someone that lives that was like a cow person telling me that cows don’t scream, but I’ve heard them. And so this is like a whole herd of screaming cows at us. And it’s not, it’s not coming sometimes it’s coming from a malicious place, but you know, a lot of times it’s just society trying to kind of shape us into a functional member of society. Right? Like you tell your child, you don’t hate your sister because you’d want them to be kind or you want them to be loving toward their sister. It’s not like you’re trying to shut down their OVP, but the effect is the same, right?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (15:20)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. You know? Yeah. It’s called parenting and teaching kids and yeah. It’s managing behavior. So yeah. So it’s not a lot of it isn’t malicious. Um, and, and you know, and some of it is designed to make us feel bad about ourselves like marketing. So we’ll buy a certain product cause that will make us better. That’ll make us a better version of ourselves. Um, and people telling us, oh, if you did this one thing, you’ll be happier. You’ll be smarter. You’ll be stronger. You’ll be better in this way. Those are messages telling us that we’re not good the way we are. And we don’t know, what’ll make us the best version of ourselves, but this particular product or service that will make us the best version of ourselves. Those are, those are cows. Um, so it’s not malicious, but it, it distracts us from paying attention to our own internal guide. We’re, we’re looking outward for people to tell us how to be, um, in our own life.

Robyn Conley Downs: (16:12)

Yeah. It turns down the volume of our internal compass, right? Like if, if we’re born with this ability to know what’s right, then the screaming cows are just turning that volume down of what we kind of know in ourselves.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (16:29)

Yes. Yeah. I think that’s good. That’s a good way to put it. Um, and you know, and so one of the ways this shows up for us in our lives is in the language that we use. Um, so many of us, and I’m sure everyone listening to this does this at times. And I do it too, is we often say that we have to do things. Um, oh, I have to get up early tomorrow to go to work. I have to go pick up the kids. I have to make dinner. I have to work out. Um, we have somehow convinced ourselves that we, we are under obligation to do a bunch of things, um, throughout our life and throughout our day, but that we don’t actually have a choice in the matter. Um, we say we have to do it. Um, and when we’re using and we’re living in a world of, I have to do these things and I never am doing things I want to do, we’re choosing to do, that’s a good sign that we’re, we’re pretty much outta touch with our OVP and we’re not even, we don’t even know what we want anymore. We’ve like completely divorced ourself from the notion that we are even making conscious choices through the day. We’re just doing things that we have to do, cuz we’re serving other people and serving the cows, um, who are telling us that we have to do certain things in order to, you know, be a decent person.

Robyn Conley Downs: (17:48)

I, it makes me think of interviews we’ve done with, um, Dr. Rick Hanson about resilience and it’s a different set of things he’s talking about, but he uses the term inner homelessness, which just really has stood out to me all these years when he mentioned that to me. And I think about that with the, the turning down of the OVP and the turning up of the cows and the have to have to have to, it’s like a sense of, like you said, divorced from yourself, it’s that inner homelessness. Like, I, I don’t, I’m just on automatic pilot, I’m doing all these things. I don’t even know if they’re matter, I’m exhausted. I’m burned out and it feels like there’s nothing that can be done.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (18:32)

Yeah. It can feel that way. Um, you know, and I think that’s, you know, there’s a lot of research showing that, you know, people who are, you know, getting from their twenties into their thirties, forties, fifties, um, parenting, working, all that kind of stuff, life satisfaction really typically declines quite a lot for people throughout all of those decades, which is horribly sad, um, that, that happens to so many people. But, uh, you know, I, this seems to be a big part of it that we have just lost touch with the things that we value, the things that we care about, the things that we really need in our life to have us be the best person we can. And we have just been so conditioned to serve those cows all day, every day, that we’re, we’re just living a little bit of a different life than we’re supposed to be living. Um, and so it does. Yeah. It can feel like we’re not, we’re just kind of going through the motion. We’re just doing all these obligations. We’re not really enjoying much of our days and we’re, don’t feel like we’re going anywhere or growing and feel kind of stagnant. Um, and I think those, that’s a big reason why those, those feelings are so, so, so common for people.

Robyn Conley Downs: (19:47)

And it’s related to, to this idea of finding your purpose or living your purpose, it’s fundamental to it. And I think when, when I hear other people talk in this like kind of inspirational self-help space, talk about, find your purpose. They’re talking about like pick something that you’re interested in, do it. And I think what you’re saying is very different, right? So we’re going to give you an antidote to the cows, by the way. We’re not just like stuck in this decline life satisfaction for forever. Um, but what, like make a stronger connection between, between what you’re talking about and, and like finding purpose or feeling purpose and that habit of purpose in your life.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (20:32)

Yeah. So, um, I can, I can give you an example of this and, and a, how about a strategy, um, for, for working on this, is that sound

Robyn Conley Downs: (20:40)

Okay? We love strategies.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (20:42)

Okay, great. Um, yeah, so this is a really simple one that I, I do myself, um, and that, um, our coaches are using, uh, with their clients. Um, and it’s a really, really simple strategy and, and it’s oftentimes quite beneficial for folks. Um, so what I think we should do is first, um, just write out and you all can do this. Um, write out all the things, just on a piece of paper, all the things that you say or feel like you have to do in your day to day life. So I have to get up and go to work, or I have to make dinner, or, um, I have to go pick up the kids. I have to go to the social event, all those things that you say I have to do, um, and just, just list them out. And then when you get done listing out all of the things that you say or feel like you have to do, just go and cross off, have to in each sentence and replace that with choose to, because you are choosing to do those things. You do not have to make dinner. No one’s like forcing you to do that. You are choosing to do it. And the there’s reasons why we choose to make dinner. Um, we want to feed ourselves. We want to feed our families cuz we care about them being healthy. Uh, and so cross out all those have tos with choose to and first recognize that you are choosing to do everything you do throughout the course of your day. You don’t have to do any of them. You are choosing to do them. So then, then after you do that under each one, write out why, why you choose to do those things. So you might choose to get up early, to go to work so that you can provide for your family because it’s important to you for your children to have good food to eat, and clothes to wear and comfortable shelter. There’s reasons why we do the things that we choose to do. So go ahead and list out all those reasons why, why you are choosing to do these things. And now if there are any of those sentences, if there’s anything there where you could not identify one reason why you choose to do it, then that’s something you may wanna ask yourself. Is that something I need in my life? Is that something that is aligned with my values and what I care about and how I want to be spending my days? Um, and if you can’t think of one reason then yeah, maybe, maybe you can shed that and let that go. That might be a hint that you might look at that. Um, so that’s kind of how to get it started. Um,

Robyn Conley Downs: (23:16)

That’s really tactical and I think very practical thing that, that we can all do because I think there’s always this resistance when you tell people they’re choosing, they’re like, Nope, I have to. And so it’s a really good practice to, to say I’m choosing to, but why am I choosing to do this? Because there are probably really compelling reasons in many cases or as he mentioned, not compelling reasons. And that’s a good kind of opportunity to look at if that’s really valuable for you to continue doing, I think the pandemic, and this is another conversation for a different interview, but the pandemic almost forced that list because it stopped us from doing a lot of things that we were doing on autopilot. And now I think it’s even relevant because as things come back, right, like maybe you weren’t socializing as much. Maybe your kids’ activities were canceled. Maybe, you know, your book club was canceled, whatever it is. And now you, as we, who knows maybe this spring, we start to get things back again. You can really ask, is this a something I’m choosing to do? Would you say that sounds about right?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (24:30)

Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. This has been a big reset, um, for all of us to kind of, and a lot of people are doing that. The research is pointed out reevaluating. Okay. What, how do I wanna spend my days and what is really important to me and what do I actually care about? Um, so yeah, that pause has definitely been good. And one other thing I think that I wanna make a point about that’s important is that just saying, I choose to that doesn’t mean that we only do things that are easy or things that make us feel good or things that are pleasant. There are plenty of things that we choose to do that are hard, that take a lot of time that we struggle with, but we still choose to do them because they’re, they’re important to us. We value that and we want to be doing that. Um, and so sometimes I think people think, oh, this is just not doing anything hard. That is not at all true. It is choosing to do hard things that you care about, that there are reasons why you’re doing that. Uh, and that increases our engagement and makes us much more likely to, to follow through, um, with what we’re trying to accomplish.

Robyn Conley Downs: (25:35)

Yeah. I would say two-thirds, three-fourths of my choose to items on my list every day are hard, maybe more, but they’re connected to something that matters to me. And I, I know I have that connection because of this work. So bring it home for us because I think we have really a great now foundation. I understand O what OVP is. I understand cows, I have a practical strategy to kind of look at my choose to versus have to. Um, but if I’m because like you mentioned that the research supports that there’s been this hard reset and this giant pause, and we have an opportunity to say like, what am I doing? Is, am I spending time on things that matter? Am I living in my purpose? Am I pursuing purpose? Do I feel growth? And that sense of growth is, is a fundamental piece of human happiness. Like how does this really relate to feeling a sense of purpose in life?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (26:35)

Yeah. So that’s a really good question, Robyn. Um, and, and it does,

Robyn Conley Downs: (26:38)

It’s so funny. Thank you, Andrew.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (26:43)

All right. Don’t get all weird now.

Robyn Conley Downs: (26:44)

OK. Sorry.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (26:46)

So this is, so this is a practice. This is a, a, a little mindset practice to help us always reorient ourselves to and put meaning to what we’re doing. Um, so I’ll give you an example of this. So I, you know, I teach I’m still a professor and so I teach, uh, so of my counseling students, um, about this concept and asked them to practice changing, have to, to choose to. And one day I was, uh, going to a meeting. Um, and I was, I was on this committee that the meetings were long. I didn’t feel like I had anything to contribute to it. Um, it, it honestly felt like a waste of time. Um, it was, it was a have to, for me, I had to go to this weekly meeting that just, again, felt like a waste, um, for me. And it felt like I wasn’t doing anything useful. Um, so that, that was a have to, and so I was walking in, um, to the office suite where this meeting was and the student worker was in my class at the time. And she said, oh, Hey, Dr. Downs, what are you doing? I was like, oh, I have to go to this meeting with kind of a not great tone of voice. And she busted me on the spot. She’s like, do you have to, or are you choosing to, um, so she got me. Um, and that was my little wake-up call. I was like, oh, Hey, I don’t have to actually go to this. I could turn around right now and walk the other way. And nothing bad was gonna happen. I wasn’t gonna get fired. Um, and so then I had to start thinking, okay, I am choosing to go to this meeting every week. Why, why am I doing this? Uh, and then I started to think about the reasons, um, this was, this was a committee oriented towards student experiences. And I was like, well, I actually care about our students. I want them to have a good college experience. Um, I also want to be a good colleague and show up well, when people ask me to help out. Um, and so there were a number of reasons why I actually was choosing to go to this meeting and that completely changed the entire experience for me. I still went to the same meeting every week, but I went with a much different attitude, much more purpose. And, and it meant something to me. And I started contributing things and getting more out of it. Um, just because I knew it was something that was meaningful and a meaningful way for me to spend that little chunk of time during the day. Um, so when we do this for all the things in our day, everything we has more meaning has more purpose. We know why we’re there and we know why it’s important for us to be there.

Robyn Conley Downs: (29:13)

So I think the analogy, or is it a metaphor or is it a simile? I don’t know. Our daughter’s really into figurative language right now. So I’m probably gonna mess this up, but let’s just imagine the acorn, because that’s how we started with the roots growing into the ground. I think when people think about purpose, if they’re going to think of themselves as an acorn, they think the purpose is at the top of the tree, the tree has to grow and they have to like reach for something out in the future. And I think with this process of a daily practice, this habit of asking, why am I doing this? Why am I choosing to do this? You’re actually going into the roots of what matters to you. Does that make sense? Because what I’m saying is, I think we think it’s out there that we have to find it and reach for it. And it’s like this thing, but really it’s already there in our lives. We have the roots. We’re just not necessarily tuned in to pay attention to them.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (30:13)

I think that’s it. I think that’s a,

Robyn Conley Downs: (30:19)

It’s a better way of thinking about it because it’s not this thing that you have to find it’s just out there, it’s something that you already have that you’re already doing, that you have to like, just ground into your roots and say, oh, huh, cuz when you said that about what you care about, about your students and about their success or in that, in that example, it’s like, yeah, that is really important to you. I know that about you, but has it, was that something that you had articulated into your life at that moment? No. So it’s like an uncovering versus a reaching.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (30:56)

Yeah. I think that’s a great analogy. And you’re such an Oregon girl using the tree. I, I like it. Um, getting

Robyn Conley Downs: (31:02)

Real into that Acorn.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (31:05)

Yeah. I, I mean, I think it’s true. You’re like, yeah, the acorn does not look at other trees to figure out how to grow. Oh, how should I stretch my branches out? It, it doesn’t, it has everything it needs inside of it and you’re right. Yeah. The it’s those roots get deep. They support all of growth that happens and it is, and it’s a, it’s it fully has everything it needs. It does not look to other things to tell it how to live its life and how to grow and develop. Um, and just like that acorn. Yeah. We all have that within us too. Um, we’ve learned to doubt it because the cows tell us, we should doubt what we think, but if we can retune and re reestablish those roots that are already there and get more in touch with those. Yeah. We’ll know, we’ll know what we need and we’ll know how we wanna spend our days.

Robyn Conley Downs: (31:54)

Hmm. That’s so powerful. One more example I will give is it reminds me of when I was graduating from high school and I went to college and there’s this tremendous pressure even now on freshmen to pick a major. And I was like, I don’t know. I like a lot of things. And so I, you know, pick up this book and start looking for a major to decide like, this is what I’m gonna do now with my life. Instead of looking at the roots, looking at what I chose to do in high school and like why I chose to do those things. And I just think about, I mean, I’m happy where I landed. I actually all worked out, but how much more grounded and purposeful and intentional I could have been with my college experience. If I had looked at what did I choose to do in high school, you could do this also by the way, as an activity, a practice for yourself, like what did I choose to do as a child? And why, what was fun about that? What was interesting about that? That would’ve G given me such a better north star than the like opening a book and picking a major.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (33:01)

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. The book shouldn’t tell you what to major in and your advisor wouldn’t tell you what to major in. You should tell yourself after reflecting and thinking about exactly your interests, what you care about, what you enjoy, what brings you, um, a sense of accomplishment and happiness and, and just feels right.

Robyn Conley Downs: (33:21)

Yeah. Well, this is such a great conversation. I feel like it will be something people can listen to more than one time because there’s a lot of like little things that kind of can, can stay with you. And the beautiful thing about habits is that the more you practice them, the more they become automatic and a part of your life. And so this is a practice and a habit that you can adopt starting now and, and let that purpose reveal itself to you through, through this work. So, Andrew, thank you for coming on the show. If people, if people wanna connect with you, where can they find you?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (33:59)

That’s a good point. Um, I keep a very low profile on social media. So that’s probably not that there’s

Robyn Conley Downs: (34:06)

Only, there’s only one place you can access him, which is part of our coaching certification. Do you wanna briefly cuz this will go live right before or during enrollment. So we, you wanna briefly tell us what your role is with our Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification?

Dr. Andrew Downs: (34:22)

Oh yeah. So, um, I’m the, the head of our coaching certification program, cuz I’ve been, uh, I’ve been training coaches for the last again, like the last 10 years, um, have, you know, trained hundreds of coaches and you know, really it’s been so fun to, um, partner with Robyn, you know, um, using all of the, um, Feel Good Effect principles around mindset and all the habit stuff that I, that you know, we both have done throughout our research careers and um, it just really bring everything together in order to train people who want to become coaches. And, and so a lot of the people who work with us, they are, you know, in the health coaching space or in the life coaching space. Um, and others are in other areas as well where they just just work with people, trying to help them, um, develop the life that they want essentially. Uh, and so yeah, my role is to, you know, walk through, we have a, a pretty set process at this point that’s tried and true and that, you know, helps people go from whether they’ve coached or not before to learn everything you need to do in order to, to work with people as a coach in general, and then also to apply behavioral science and The Feel Good Effect principles in order to help people develop habits, that’ll really serve what they need in their life. Uh, and so, yeah, so I head up that program and it’s, we’re heading for our second cohort this year and uh, still in touch with the first cohort, which has been super fun to watch them get their coaching businesses up and running and, um, do all the, all the work that they’re doing with their clients. Yeah.

Robyn Conley Downs: (36:06)

It’s, it’s pretty awesome. It’s it is the purpose. It is our purpose. So thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Dr. Andrew Downs: (36:14)

Thanks for having me. It’s fun.

Robyn Conley Downs: (36:17)

That was Dr. Andrew Downs, director of The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification. If that is something that speaks to you at all, and you wanna find out more, go to www.thefeelgoodeffect.com and become a coach. And you can find out more if you want to enroll in this time period for a spring of 2022, if that is speaking your name or calling to you, I would say definitely check it out or get on the waitlist for next year as always. I wanna thank you so much for listening for being part of this conversation and being part of this Feel Good movement. Until next time, here’s to feeling good.

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