Ken Poirot said:
“There is no greater power
and support you can give someone
than to look them in the eye
and with sincerity and conviction,
say, ‘I believe in you.’”
Bonjour, and welcome to the French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I'm Tonya Leigh, certified Master Life Coach and the hostess of this party where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I'll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let's dive into today's episode.
Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to another episode. I just want to check in with you. How are you feeling right now? If you had to give me one word, how would you describe your emotional state in this moment? I just wrapped up a class for The Dream Atelier, and it was so good. I'm just so excited about what these women are creating.
Well, one of the things we've been working on is just understanding our emotions and realizing emotions are harmless. It’s just energy moving around in our bodies, and yet, we spend so much of our lives resisting our emotional life at the detriment of our dreams, and our goals, and what it is that we want to create.
So, I want you to just practice checking in with yourself and noticing how do I feel right now with no judgment. Maybe you're feeling anxious, or scared, or uncertain, or scarce. Maybe you're feeling doubt, insecurity. It's all okay. It's when we start resisting our emotions or telling terrible stories about having these human emotions that we create problems in our lives.
I've just really learned that when you embrace all of it, you get all of your power back. One of the things that I'm going to be sharing in this podcast is an incident that happened to me this week. I just watched myself have this breakdown. This mental crazy happened, and I just watched it. I just watched myself being anxious. I just watched myself have this experience, and I didn't fight it. I just allowed it. I can tell you, it passes so much more quickly when you do that.
So, again, check in, and how are you feeling? Just one word. Give it to me. It's really fun to see what we're capable of, to see what we can create, to see how far we can evolve, and stretch, and grow. To me, that is why French kissing life is all about.
It is time for a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I get to highlight someone in the community who has benefited from the French Kiss lifestyle. Today's spotlight is on Evelyn2002. She left me a five-star review on iTunes, and here's what she said, “Life changing. Six months ago, I moved from Europe to Alaska for love, and I've been struggling pretty much from day one with changes in culture and lifestyle. Even though I'm a firm believer that you attract what you think of the most, I lost my way here and almost didn't recognize the person I became anymore.
A few months ago, I stumbled upon Tonya on Instagram, and her message there reminded me of the person I was before. A person who loved and enjoyed life, who seized every day. And through her guidance on her podcast, her social platforms, and soon, Slick, Chic and Shabby, I am back on track finding my joy in everyday little things, being feminine and sensual, even just for my three doggies in the cabin, reading and exploring the world through educational online courses. I took back control.
It doesn't matter where I live, I'm the one shaping my reality, not my surroundings. Tonya reminded me of that, and now, I'm really looking forward to this chapter of my life because I know that I have a friend and a guide in Tonya to help me expand and grow even further to the person I always knew I could be.” Evelyn, thank you so much for that review. I just loved reading your story.
It's really interesting where life can take us. I think for me, just knowing I can create my experience no matter where I am has giving me so much freedom. It doesn't mean that we don't move. It doesn't mean that we don't create things in the future, but to know that I can be happy even if it doesn't work out, or no matter where I'm living, or just no matter what the circumstances are, has just given me so much freedom to play, and to make decisions, and to just realize that this day is so precious. Like you, I don't want to waste a minute of it. So, enjoy Alaska and give those three doggies a big hug for me.
Let's talk about borrowing beliefs. I had a really interesting experience this past week, and it reminded me of the power of this topic on borrowing beliefs from other people because here's the thing. We're always borrowing beliefs from other people, but the question is, do they serve you? Do they feel good? Do they put you in alignment with what it is that you want? I want us to be borrowing beliefs from others that feel good, that really do serve us.
So, here's what happened. I haven't been feeling great physically for a couple of months now. I've had this cough that won't go away. It just keeps lingering. It's just this dry cough. Then I started having some other strange symptoms. I went on social media and found out about an acquaintance that I know from a group that I'm involved in. She had passed away, and all of a sudden, my mind went crazy, you all, and I was watching it.
I started to have so much anxiety. I was convinced like something bad is going on within me, like something has gone terribly wrong. All the while, really interestingly, I was watching myself have this experience. So, by watching myself and observing myself having the experience, it didn't get to the place it would have gotten many years ago when I didn't have these tools.
Even so, I was really anxious. Then, of course, what do we do when we have medical issues and symptoms? We go to Doctor Google, which is not a recommended doctor. Of course, when I looked up my symptoms, it was the worst thing ever. I'm like, “Oh, my goodness, what is happening?” Then I was frustrated because I'm like, “I take such good care of myself. I take supplements, I exercise, I eat so well. Like, why is this happening?” Right?
So, I was getting myself worked up, but again, I'm watching myself do this. Then the next day, I reach out to my dear friend, Geetha Aurora. She's a doctor, and she is brilliant. I just text her, and she's like, “Let's FaceTime right now.” So, we get on FaceTime, and I'm just describing to her what's going on, and she's like, “Tonya, number one, stay off Google.” She was like, “I don't treat people who have Doctor Google as their secondary doctor.”
I was like, “Okay, I’m a good patient. I'll stay off Google.” Then she started to say things like. Things like, “You know you're okay. Like, let's just deal with these symptoms. It's probably X, Y and C.” And just her beliefs around what was happening with me was so different than my mind that was in a state of terror.
I decided I was going to borrow her beliefs in that moment. I liked how her beliefs felt way more than what I was thinking in that moment. As I started to borrow her beliefs and practice them, I just had like 24 hours where my nervous system just settled, and I realized everything is okay. Don't be so dramatic. You're worrying about things that haven't even happened yet.
Yeah, you've got these strange symptoms that are going on, but her belief was these are mild. Something mild is happening. Let's just treat these mild symptoms. Right? I realized the power of surrounding yourself with people who have different beliefs that feel way better than your current beliefs.
So what is a belief? A belief, if you look up the definition, is an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. Or it's trust, faith, or competence in someone or something.
Beliefs are the assumptions that we hold as true. Most often, our beliefs have been imposed upon us from other people and our past experience. So, for example, for many years I had a belief that the most money I can make in a year was $50,000. That was a belief for me.
When I looked around at the people around me, that was all of our belief systems. That was our income ceiling that we had created for ourselves based on our beliefs. There was also a common belief where I grew up that you have to work really hard for your money. Right? So, there were people working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, and still, we were capping at around $50,000.
Even me, when I worked as a critical care nurse, I was always the first one to volunteer for overtime because I had a belief you have to work really hard for your money. So, I was really good at proving that true. Our beliefs really do shape our reality, and they shape our reality for many reasons, but number one, our beliefs shape our behaviors. What we do. And what we do is creating our results in our lives.
But our beliefs also create our energy, our vibration. And whatever frequency we're sending out into the world is what we are available to receive. So, for example, when I had a belief that I could only make $50,000 a year, that was my frequency. So, I couldn't see anything other than that because that was the station that I was tuned in on.
Then something interesting happened. I started to hang out with people who had very different beliefs around money. People that thought things like money is so easy. You don't need to work hard; you need to work smart. There's an abundance of money. Money is fun. Money is exciting. Money gives you freedom to do other really amazing and impactful things. Money is easy. Right.
All of a sudden, even though I didn't have experience of that yet, I decided I wanted to borrow their beliefs and try them on for myself. As I started to borrow those beliefs and practice them, I started to create new results in my life. I started to create new experiences with money, using that as an example, and eventually, that became my belief system.
Another really great example for me is that when I was struggling with my weight, I had a belief system that I had somehow borrowed from the diet industry that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight. That losing weight is hard. That you have to over exercise, and under eat, and count calories. So, I borrowed beliefs that didn't really ultimately serve me.
Then I started to hang out with people that didn't have an issue with their weight. They are what I consider to be just naturally slim people. No drama around what to eat. They eat when they're hungry, and they stop when they're satisfied. They just take care of themselves. They listen to their bodies, and they had a very different belief system around food. To them, food was enjoyable, but it wasn't something to get super excited about in terms of it's not something to spend your whole day obsessing about like I was doing.
They just believed in using food as nourishment, and it's a great opportunity for people to get together, but it's not the whole shebang. meaning food is just the condiment of a social experience, not the main course. So, I started to practice trying on their belief systems until I created the evidence for myself so that it eventually became my own belief system.
For me, this has been my experience most of my life, because again, our beliefs are based on our experience that's based on our past, but if you think about what it is that you want to create in the future, it's going to require a completely different belief system. Sometimes it's hard for you to get on board with that belief system because it's so foreign to you. That's why surrounding yourself with people whose belief systems are so different but are in alignment with what it is that you want, is so powerful.
I remember when I first started my business, I had people around me that was saying things like, “You were made for this. You are going to be so successful in this industry. You are an inspiration.” At the time, I didn't believe any of that, but I borrowed their belief in me, and that's what fueled me. That's what kept me going.
I recently had a client tell me this exact same thing. She was like, “Tonya, I don't believe I could do it, but you believed in me so much. I believed in your belief of me, and that's what drove me to do it.” She has created phenomenal results in her life, and now, what I believed in her, what I saw in her, is now her belief in herself. But in the beginning, she just grafts onto my belief system.
Another example that comes to mind for me is that for a long time, I had this belief that I was just not good on video. I wanted to do more video because I just love watching video. I love seeing people on video. It's a very different experience versus even hearing them on a podcast like this or talking on a phone. I knew that video is such an effective medium in order to reach more people, and my goal is to reach a million women. Right?
So, I didn't believe in my ability to do really good video, but I had people all around me that were constantly telling me, “You're so good on video. Like, you are so good on video.” I was like, “I like their beliefs so much better than mine. So, I'm going to believe in their belief in me, so that it will drive me to do more video.” Sure enough, the more videos I've done, I'm so comfortable in front of a camera now. It's crazy. Video for me now is so easy, and it all started because I believed in someone else's belief system. I borrowed their beliefs in me.
Now you may be thinking, “But Tonya, isn't the goal to believe in yourself?” The answer is yes, but I don't care how you get to where you want to go as long as you've got there. Right? Sometimes it's so hard to believe in ourselves because we just have so much junk in our heads, and then we have so much evidence to support that junk that sometimes we just need to bypass that and go to people who've already created what it is that we want to create, who have the belief systems that we want to emulate, and just borrow it from them and practice it, and practice it, and practice it until it becomes your belief system.
You know the saying that you are the five people that you spend the most time with. I would say a couple of things on this. You are the sum of the environments that those people are hanging out in because their environments are impacting their belief system. Right? So, just notice the environments that, the people you spend the most time with, they're hanging out in.
Then you are the sum of the beliefs of those five people because beliefs are contagious. Right? If you hang around with a bunch of people, and they're constantly saying it's so hard to make money, you're going to start believing it's hard to make money too because that's all of your beliefs set points, and you're all a match for each other.
At the moment you start changing your beliefs, one of two things are going to happen. They're either going to move up and match where you are, or they will probably exit your life because you're no longer a vibrational match. That's what I have found. So, my goal is to constantly put myself in rooms with people who have belief systems that I want to adopt and do the work that I can become a match for it. Does this make sense? I'm going to assume the answer is yes.
So, how do you begin to borrow other people's beliefs? It's a great question. So, I want to just share with you some ideas and things that you can use in your own life. The way I like to think about this is like a wardrobe. Right? Everybody has their closet full of beliefs, and unfortunately for a lot of people, your closet is full of ill-fitting clothes. It doesn't make you feel your best. It doesn't make you look your best. It doesn't really match who you want to be. So, you get to walk into other people's closet and put on different beliefs.
Now, here's what happens though. Anytime you put on a piece of clothing that you're not accustomed to wearing, when you look in the mirror, it's a little shocking, even though you want to like it. There's a part of you that's like, “Wow, you look really good.” It's so outside of your norm. It's so outside of your comfort zone. The immediate response is to reject it and say, “I don't wear things like that,” but I'm going to ask you just to stay open. Don't immediately reject a belief just because you don't have experience with it yet.
Instead, try the belief on and ask yourself things like, “What if it was true for me? What if I had a belief that it's easy to make money? What if I had a belief that I am healthy? What if I had a belief that I have everything it takes to create what it is that I want to create? What if that could be true for me?” Just notice how it feels.
You can also ask yourself, “What if I could do that?” If people are around you are saying, “You know what? You could move to a new city, or you could write a book. You could do this.” And they are believing in your ability. What if you could? Just allow yourself to play around with how that feels? What if they're right? What if it is easy to make money? What if it is easy to lose weight? What if it is easy to write a book? What if it is easy to do all of the things that you want to do? How would that feel?
What we're going for is the feeling. Right? We want a feeling of relief, and excitement, and determination, and commitment. So, we want to give you beliefs, and we want you to wear beliefs that create those feelings for you. Then just notice how it feels to wear that belief for a while, and just notice how it fits.
You'll know it fits well because of how it makes you feel, even though you may not be able to believe in it fully yet, even though you may have some doubt that it may be true for you. If you could erase all of that just for a moment and ask yourself, “If I could believe this, would it feel good?” Then you know it's a good fit if your answer is yes.
Then the work is to practice it. So, imagine if you are an actress, and you've been practicing doubt, and you've been practicing believing it's not possible. So, that's a very easy script for you to practice. You don't even need the script. You're just really good at being that character, but I'm going to hand you a different script.
This script is all of the beliefs that you want to believe in. I'm going to ask you to go out there and practice them, practice in believing in them, practice looking for ways that they could be true, practice embodying the belief, like carrying yourself with that belief, like how you even hold yourself differently.
Over time, if you practice the belief long enough, you'll start to create evidence for it. It's going to start shifting your behavior, and then you're going to create even more evidence for it, and before you know it, it won't be a belief that you've borrowed, but it's a belief that you now own for yourself. Then you don't even need the script. It's just who you are.
So, let me break down how I've done this. I mean, I've given you some examples, but many years ago, I had this deep desire to travel. My friend John was a world-renowned traveler. He had homes in London, and in Monaco, and all over the world. So, he had a belief that traveling was easy. It's just what people do.
For me, the girl who never travelled anywhere, that was a belief that was so outside of my norm, but I tried his belief on, and I was like, “What if it could be true that it's easy to travel? It's just what people do. What if he's right? What if I'm the one that's wrong, and he's right?” When I tried that belief on, even though I had doubt that I could be someone who travels a lot, and I didn't know how it was going to happen, without all of that, his belief felt so true to my soul.
So, I decided I was going to borrow his belief that it's easy to travel. That's what people do. So, it inspired me to book trips and to start traveling. It was uncomfortable and awkward at first, just like when you look at yourself in the mirror in this new outfit that you want to love, but it's so unfamiliar, and you're like, “I don't know. I don't know how this looks on me,” but you want to love it. Right?
If you could get rid of all the mental clutter, you would love it, and that's how it felt at first. I was like, “Oh, I don't know if I should be traveling. I probably can't keep this up. You know, something is going to happen,” like a lot of doubt, but I just kept practicing.
“It's easy to travel. That's just what people do.” Before you know it, I was traveling all of the time. Now, it's just what I do. It's no big deal to travel. That's all because I borrowed John's belief. When I look back on my life and what I've created so far, what I can tell you is that I cannot take the credit for a lot of it.
What I can do is really praise the people who have believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself, even when I was trying to work that muscle and didn't quite know if was going to work out. I surrounded myself with people who believed in me. By borrowing their belief in me, it shaped my beliefs, which shaped my behaviors, which have shaped the results that I've created in my life.
So, just a huge shout out to all of my family, and friends, and my teammates, and my cohorts who have been cheering me on for years, seeing something in me that I didn't always see in myself. But as I've practiced it, I've begun to see it, and I see it more clearly every single day. That is what I want for you. I want you to believe in yourself, but maybe the first step is just to borrow other people's belief in you.
So, maybe you're thinking at this point, “I get it. I see the power of this concept. But what do you do when the people around you don't have the beliefs that you want to borrow?” Well, here's what you do. You go out there and find the people that do. It really is that simple. There's so many ways to do this. Right? Even just listening to podcasts like this or reading books that embody the energy in which you want to be in, of that of which you want to create, is a great starting point.
Then it's also powerful to have mentors and coaches who fiercely believe in you. I feel like for my clients, that's my number one job, is to believe in them even when they don't. Then to hold a mirror up to how their belief is stopping them, and then helping them shift it. Sometimes just handing them a belief that I have and saying, “Here, try this on. See how it fits,” and then to watch what they create from that place is mind blowing.
So, find a coach or a mentor who really resonates with you. Find people who have created the results that you want to create in your life. Instead of asking them how they've done it, like their action steps, ask them how they think. A lot of times, people will come to me, and they're like, “How did you start your business? How did you grow your list? How do you create your programs?” None of that matters. What matters is how I think. That's what people should be asking me.
“What do you think? What is your belief system?” Because when you take that on, whatever actions come from you that are aligned with your soul is going to create a result that just blow your mind, truly. So, find those people who you admire, who are creating the results that you want to create, and talk to them. Get into rooms with them. Get into their energy and figure out how they think, how they believe, and then you don't even need their permission to borrow their beliefs. That's the beautiful thing.
It's not like walking into someone's closet and saying, “Hey, can I borrow this dress?” You can just walk into their belief closet and be like, “Hey, I'm taking this for myself,” and they can't stop you, and you haven't stolen anything because beliefs are abundant. I just want you to choose the ones that really, really serve you.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss lifestyle, let's start with a makeover. A mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs by visiting FrenchKissLife.com/mindset because after all, mindset is the new black.