Do you ever wish you could rewrite your life? Our lives are defined by the stories that we tell ourselves, but those stories aren’t always true. Narratives that are based on outdated or irrelevant information can run or ruin our lives for years, even if those stories are wildly different from the objective reality that formed them.
In her sixth book, Tell Yourself a Better Lie, bestselling author, Marisa Peer, shares for the first time how Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) creates stunning in the room turnarounds for issues as varied as suicidal depression, eating disorders, weight loss, and life-limiting phobias, and addictions. Through 10 diverse case studies, Marisa explains how our unmet needs as children can then morph into fixed stories that we tell ourselves in adulthood, and more importantly, how we all have the power to change them.
If you’ve been longing for a happier, more fulfilled life, pick up Tell Yourself a Better Lie and take control of your own story today. Here’s my conversation with Marisa.
This is the Author Hour podcast. I’m your host, Benji Block. Today, I am so honored to be joined by Marisa Peer. She’s just come out with not her first book, but a new book, the book is titled, Tell Yourself a Better Lie: Use The Power of Rapid Transformational Therapy To Edit Your Story and Rewrite Your Life. Marisa, welcome to Author Hour.
Marisa Peer: Well, thank you very much for inviting me. I’m thrilled to be here.
Benji Block: Absolutely excited for this conversation. Many will be familiar with your work. But would you just give those that may not be just a little bit of a background on yourself and the work that you do?
Marisa Peer: Yes! I’ve been a therapist my entire adult life. But very early on, I was looking at therapy the way you’d look at any intervention, like going into ER or chiropractor or a dentist, and thought, it should really give instant relief like every other procedure does. So, I set about creating my own brand of therapy called RTT, Rapid Transformational Therapy. And then I wrote the book, which is really the case stories of clients to show people how it works, but more than anything to show them that they can actually apply these techniques themselves. It’s not actually the same as going to a therapist, but there are many therapy techniques you can do at home to great effect.
Benji Block: So, what prompted — because you are a busy woman, you’re doing many things — what prompts the need, or the want, and the desire to write this book right now in this season of your life, Marisa?
Marisa Peer: I think it’s the same thing that prompts anyone to be a therapist. It’s wanting to help, wanting to make a difference. And I love being a therapist, and I’ve had some stunning turnaround. But it’s only so many people you can see. I mean, you can’t see everybody, people are all over the world. They don’t have the time, they don’t have the money, they don’t have the wherewithal and I just wanted to make my technique more available to everyone. I wanted anyone who was in any kind of pain, emotional, mental, even physical, to be able to buy a book and put some things into practice and say, “Wow, that actually changed my life.”
Benji Block: I love that. You say anyone in pain. Clearly, we all experience all sorts of issues. So, I wonder when you’re working on this project, you can’t have everyone in mind, right? So, who was, maybe, the person that you thought of? Was it a previous version of yourself or those maybe clients that you had that you’re thinking of that this book is going to really resonate with?
Marisa Peer: I mean, my biggest client base is without question women in their 30s and beyond who feel not good enough, not interesting enough, not attractive enough, but I work with many many teenagers. Many lost kids who feel the same thing: “I don’t count, I’m not important, I’m not significant.” I mean, I work with everything from addictions to drink or drugs or food or shopping or screen time, to people with fears and phobias, people with pain and it could be an emotional pain from, “I don’t have love because I don’t feel lovable” to a physical pain because a lot of things —like IBS, irritable bowel or even headaches — we know now that 70% of those issues can be due not to an organ that’s broken, but to broken thinking. “I hate my job, so I have headaches all the time. I can’t cope with stress, so I break out in pains.” It isn’t that anyone imagines far from it, nobody thinks of creating that. But the mind is very tuned in to your thinking.
But our greatest pain, of course, comes from the lie we tell ourselves and for 35 years clients have turned up with every kind of lie you can imagine. To them, it’s not a lie. It’s the absolute truth. But when you unravel it and say, “This isn’t actually really true”, it’s so life-changing for them.
Identifying the Unmet Need Is the First Step
Benji Block: You talk about broken thinking and then there’s these patterns that you’re seeing because these clients are coming in. Talk to me about some of the most common patterns that you’ve seen in your work over the last 30 years.
Marisa Peer: I think the most common pattern, hands down, is, “I’m not enough.” When I first started out, I’d work with someone who’s maybe a school teacher or maybe worked in a bank or maybe worked in a restaurant, and I could understand it. But then I started to work with movie stars and billionaires who said the same thing, “Well you see, I’m just not enough. I’m not good enough, smart enough, interesting enough.” The big thing is I’m not lovable enough or worthy enough. And thus comes the lie. And then when you start to pull apart the light: “I’m not lovable enough because I was adopted. I’m not lovable enough because I didn’t go to college. I don’t have a degree. I’m not loved enough because I’m not beautiful.”
There are enough examples that we can all look at like Michael Hutchence, Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, so many people who have it all except the one thing, which is a belief that they’re worthy. So, I wanted people to say, “Oh, I went to Diana’s funeral, and I realized that everyone lining the streets and crying. They were crying for Diana, but they’re also crying for themselves. Here’s someone with everything who had an unhappy life. Well, I can relate to her.” And so, I wanted to make my book the same. We all can relate to Marilyn Monroe for the same reason. I wanted people to see that, look, you can have everything but if you don’t believe you’re worthy, it’s not really enough. However, it’s very easy to believe you’re worthy.
No baby, when they come out of the womb, go “don’t look at me, I’m naked. I’ve got fat thighs, no hair, no teeth.” Babies have no concept that anything other than utterly lovable just the way they are because we’re born with that certainty is not even a fleeting thought. It’s a conviction. No baby says, “My mom is exhausted. I shouldn’t wake her up at three in the morning.”
Benji Block: But we wish they did.
Marisa Peer: Yeah, “My mom spent ages preparing this broccoli, I shouldn’t spit it out.” Babies are certain they’re enough just the way they are. And then, systematically that belief becomes eroded, and I just really wanted to put it back in everybody. Because life is so much better when you have that feeling of, “I’m lovable. I matter. I’m significant. So is everyone else, but I’m here with something to offer the world.”
Benji Block: That’s very beautiful. I love the sentiment. I totally resonate with that, “I’m not enough.” And then we all kind of put our different answers in there. You also, with your specific purview, get to see the variety of how that fleshes out, right? So, you have all these different litanies of people from what you were saying billionaires, movie stars, to the average sort of person just serving at a restaurant or whatever. What is the variety of the way that you see this “I’m not enough” play out in people’s life? What are the different symptoms or things that you’re seeing?
Marisa Peer: Well, if you start from thinking, you’re not enough, you’re going to need more of something. It’s like an emotional void. It’s not a real void, but it’s an emptiness that you have to fill with something. And if you feel not enough, and you’re not connected — because we all need to connect to people — but if you think you’re not enough, it’s harder to connect, because you’re waiting for someone to find out your flaws, to find out you’re disappointing, to dump you, to replace you.
So, we have this twofold thing where I’m not enough and I can’t connect, and because I can’t connect, I feel even less enough, and thus you need to connect to something else. And you’ll connect to a bottle of Jack Daniels or pizza, cake, drugs. And when you can’t connect and you’re not enough, you will connect to substances, hence some pills, alcohol, food, possessions. A lot of people who feel not enough are hoarders and compulsive shoppers who never even open the bags of stuff they bring home, but they just need more and more and more. I’ve seen a new version now where these kids or even adults need more followers, more likes, they’re judging their worth on how many likes have I got on Instagram? How many followers have I got on social media? And of course, none of it is real, but it’s very easy to feed into that once you’ve bought into that “I’m not enough and I can’t really connect because I’m different to everyone else”. In fact, the very fact that you feel that different means you’re like everyone because it’s everyone’s greatest fear.
Benji Block: And we connect actually there, once we are able to be vulnerable enough, right? We can connect from that place and say, “Here’s the wound, here’s the pain.” And then it’s a potential connecting point. But I love your work, and so, I want to jump into RTT, Rapid Transformational Therapy. I want for those that are unfamiliar to have at least some sort of understanding. Can we start there with just sort of maybe an overview or a bit of a working definition?
Marisa Peer: So RTT, all my RTT therapists — I’ve trained I think about 13,000 so far — they wear three different hats. They start off as being a good detective. And a good detective investigates what’s gone on. They look for clues, they gather information, they work stuff out. So, when someone comes to an RTT therapist, they don’t say, “What’s wrong with you?” They always say, “What happened to you?”, which is a much better way to begin. They never say, “How are you feeling?” They say, “What’s going on? What do you want? What is it that you want?” And they might say, “I want to stop eating cake. I want to lose 40 pounds. I want to find love. I want to stop biting my nails. I want to stop picking my eyelashes or my skin. I want to pass my driving test.”
So, the first thing they do is put on the detective hat and find out what happened, what’s going on, why have you not got what you want, and then they immediately become an interpreter. They start to interpret how the past has caused the present. And then they become an interrupter, and they start to interrupt the belief, the lies you’ve told yourself unwittingly. And finally, they become a coder. They code in and wire in and fire in a whole new belief. It’s so important to do that because the biggest belief is “I’m not lovable. My dad left when I was born. I should have been a girl. I should have been a boy. I should have been a musician or an artist or academic like my family, but I didn’t. I’m a disappointment.”
You have to unravel and unpick that first thought, “Where do you get that from? And why do you believe that is true? Do you really think you were put on the planet to be a carbon copy of your dad? Because if you were, what would be the point of you being here? And by the way, even if your parents couldn’t stand the sight of you, you didn’t come from them, you only came through them.”
So, it’s all about unraveling beliefs. And some of the beliefs are really interesting. “I was a premature baby, I nearly died, and now I’m a compulsive eater.” “My mom expected me to be perfect, and so I created these terrible migraines and didn’t expect anything of me.” “My dad was so cold and critical, and I seem to only like cold critical men because I’m trying to make one become warm and kind.” We’re all working to try and change the beginning of our story. We should be working — We’re all working to put a different ending on our story by finding what we know and changing the ending when it’s actually much better to change the beginning. If you had a cold, distant, unavailable parent, don’t look for a cold, distant, unavailable partner, look for a warm, kind, nice, friendly one. So, we need to change the beginning and not the ending.
Benji Block: Love the answer. It has to have been quite the journey to get to a place where you can define even the detective interpreter, interrupter, recode, all of these things, it sounds great. But there was a starting place, right? Like this comes from a lot of work. So, I would love to ask you, has this always just been something that you were interested in? Obviously, it’s something you’ve studied, but are you naturally wired to be sort of that detective? Or was it something that you’ve seen kind of change and morph over time?
Marisa Peer: My father was a principal or what we call a headteacher, and he was very interested in children’s behavior. He believed that every child was capable of being brilliant and every child he knew must feel important. He said to me, “You must imagine every child as a sign on their head saying, please make me feel important.” I believe the sign actually says, “Please make me feel significant and connected.” And he treated every child as if they were walking around with that sign on their head, and he showed me very early on that helping people is really what life was all about because it made him infinitely happy.
So, that was where I started from, wanting to work with children. I have always been fascinated by human behavior, but I always thought human behavior was very simple. I never understood how people teaching the studies made it so complicated. I see in medicine this belief; if the presenter is complex, this depression or, God forbid, anorexia that’s so complex that the treatment is complex. But I found many of those things aren’t complex because they go back to the same room. I’m just not enough the way I am. We all love that Barry White song, “Don’t go changing to try to please me. I love you just the way you are.” I want that. But it’s about you giving it to you. And I think the thing I noticed the most when I was a young therapist was all my clients putting so much energy into making someone else love them. I got to find the perfect person. I got to impress this guy, this girl, my boss, my mother-in-law. I think, “Wow. If you just put that energy into impressing yourself, and loving yourself, you wouldn’t have to do all of that.”
And so, many of my clients — in fact, all of them, I think — turn up with unmet needs. I teach a lot of doctors, a lot of psychiatrists. I was teaching at Imperial Medical School in London, and one of the doctors said, “This is extraordinary! Every person in this room has got an unmet need of a child.” I thought, “Yes, that’s it, isn’t it? We have unmet needs of children that we can’t meet.” As a child, you can’t make yourself feel lovable or significant or worthy, and when our needs aren’t met, we tend to very quickly give them up, or give them away and no one’s going to love me. I won’t even ask for love, I’ll just give up the need. Or I got to find someone out there to meet my need and they’re going to have to do everything.
But actually, the way that works is to really start to meet that need yourself, which may sound bizarre, but when you think, “Okay, I want to feel I matter.” I could give that up and go, it’s never going to happen. I could give it away, and say, “Who can I find to make me feel better?” Or I could sit down go, “Hey, I do matter. I’ve got something to offer the world.” And a lot of my new book, Tell Yourself a Better Lie is about don’t give up the need, don’t give the need away, you can meet this need yourself. And once you walk through the world with a belief I matter. I’m significant. I’m lovable, just the way I am, you’ll find people that love you.
So, you only have to meet the need yourself for a little while. But it’s a bit like, if I need you to love me and tell me I’m okay, I’m forever needy and the day you get ill or sick or die, I’ve got the need back again. But the day I go, I can tell myself all the things I want to hear. And one of the most profound parts of RTT is something called The Missing Bit of You, the praise you’ve always wanted. I worked with so many, particularly teenage boys who were like, in a desperate state, and it didn’t even occur to them. They could say, “I’m a great kid. I’m a great kid. I’m the best kid any man could have.” Even if they’d never met their father, they could still say that. And even though they didn’t believe it, it had the most powerful effect on them. So, I created all these different interruptions.
Installing your own cheerleader, becoming a loving parent to yourself, [the] praise you’ve always wanted, upgrading the child, merging the child, and as wacky or as weird as they may sound, they’re immensely powerful. And my favorite thing has always been little things that have massive results. So, becoming your own cheerleader, hearing that voice going, “You can do this. No one can do this, but you’ve got this.” I found so many young kids say that “that was just so transformational for me.” So, I made a point of putting it in the book. I think there are five audios. One is how to install your own cheerleader. We’ve just, in English schools, had 500 schools on the same day do the installing the cheerleader with their classroom and they were actually making a little toy that was the cheerleader that they’d all imagined they had living inside of them. Not only does that make you feel good, it actually increases your immunoglobulin levels. So, you fight illness and infection and viruses better. So, it has a really far-reaching effect, you’re going to install your very own cheerleader, that roots for you and praises you because a cheerleader never says, “Oh, you lost, you’re an idiot.” They go, “Well, you’re going to win next time.”
Belief Is No More Than a Thought You Nurture.
Benji Block: Yeah. I wonder on that, when someone doesn’t believe it early on, right? Because I think that’s where people hesitate to start because they say, “Hey, it feels fake. I feel phony.” What would you say to that person? And what happens over time, the more that we continue that inner dialogue of being a cheerleader?
Marisa Peer: Well, that’s the lie, isn’t it? I’m an idiot. I’m just a loser. Everything I touch falls apart. I can never keep a job or a relationship for more than a minute. So, if you are prepared to tell yourself a lie, my kids are driving me crazy. My boss is making me want to die. This freeway will kill me. This line in the store is making me want to pull out my hair. If you’re prepared to tell yourself a lie, “If I look at a cake, I get fat.” Well, clearly that can’t be true. But we all already tell ourselves lies. So, you might as well tell yourself a better one. “I can eat cake. I’ve got a fantastic metabolic rate. People like me. It’s easy for me to find love because I’m lovable. I don’t believe it.” It doesn’t matter. You didn’t really believe that you could eat a horse, but you say it a lot. So, therefore, it doesn’t have to be true to affect you.
Because here’s the thing about the mind, it doesn’t know and it couldn’t care less if what you tell it is true or false, right or wrong, useful or of no use it still lets it in. So, you might as well tell it something amazing, because it doesn’t know or care if it’s true. You can choose to say negative things or positive, it’s a free country, but what you can’t choose is the damage you do to yourself when you’re constantly down on yourself. So, if you were to say every day, “I’m not enough”, and you just took out the not, and said, “I am enough”, you might think, well, it’s not true. It actually doesn’t matter.
First, you think the thought, the thought creates feelings, the feelings create actions and behaviors, which you justify by going back to the thought. So, it works like this. “I’m not enough. I feel sad. I feel defeated. I feel annoyed. I feel unhappy. I feel lonely.” And the actions I have from thinking that thought and feeling that feeling, well, actually in action, I don’t ask people out, I don’t ask people to come to my house for a barbecue, because why would they come? I’m not enough. And my behavior is actually shutting down. Being very averse to taking risks and not asking for anything which I justify, because I’m not enough.
So, if I just took out and said, “I am enough”, I don’t believe it but I’m going to say it anyway, “I’m enough. I’m enough, I’m enough.” And if I say it, actually, I start to feel different. I feel a bit more confident. I feel happy. I feel outgoing. I feel kind of good. And so now my behaviors will be I can take a risk. I can say to someone, “Hey, you’re cute. Do you want to have a coffee with me?” I can say to my boss, “I really think I’d like a promotion or a pay rise.” And I can take that risk because I thought or thought felt different feelings had different actions or behaviors. I justify it with, “Of course, I can go for that because I’m enough.”
It’s not important whether it’s true or not. But what is true is that when you think a thought, your feelings all come from the thought. And a belief is nothing more than a thought you think a lot. So, we make our beliefs. And then our beliefs turn around and make us and then we have something called confirmation bias, which is I’m looking for proof of what I believe to be real. And guess what I’m finding it. If I believe that dogs are vicious things that bark and attack, my own nervousness because I hope that will make a dog be happy around me. If I believe that dogs are those wonderful creatures in the world, and I think that thought, I have a different energy around them. If you want to attract love, you do not need to change your wardrobe, there’s nothing for you to add in or take out or cut out or snip out. No waxing needs to be performed. You only need to do one thing, and that is to tell yourself you are lovable.
Even if you don’t believe it. It’s a lie. But say it every day because it will become true. Because the mind learns by repetition. The confirmation bias means we let in what we already believe to be true. But if you just change that, your confirmation bias will let that in too. So, if you change, “I’m not lovable. I’ve got cellulite and day job and two kids, who’s going to want me?” to “Well, I’ve already got love in my life. These kids love me, I love them. I’m in an advantage. I’ve got love and I can have more love, and I’m going to go out and be lovable because I already am.”
The confirmation bias will actually start to make that real. So, don’t wait for it to be true. Say it and it will become truer. The way the mind works is every thought we think and every word we speak is a blueprint we are working to make real. If you say, “Every winter, I get my sinus headaches.” The minute the heating goes on, I get sinus headaches, I get nasal drip. If you go, “Oh no, I’m fine all year round. I’ve got a great immune system. I’m fine. I’m always well. My body is a wellness-making machine.” “I always get my hay fever, my allergies, my seasonal.” The problem is when you keep labeling it, it’s the blueprint you’re moving towards. And if you just label it differently, you’ll feel entirely different.
Benji Block: Wow. There’s so much gold in what you just said and so much that people can take away. I would love for you to highlight just maybe one case study because I love the way that this book is laid out that you give so many stories and so many sessions that people can literally read and get a peek kind of behind the curtain of these RTT sessions. Give me a case study. Give me a story. One of these that really sticks out to you — where this person started in the transformation that you saw in them.
Marisa Peer: Well, I worked with this beautiful girl called Tina. And I’m going to pick to actually Tina and Carrie, and Tina had lost two babies, which is an unbearable thing for anyone, and she was absolutely numb, she couldn’t feel it. And when I began to realize I don’t want to feel, my heart is broken. If you put it back together again, it might break again. And within an hour we unpicked all of this stuff and I said, “How will you know you’re feeling?” She said, “I’ll start to cry” and, in that minute, she burst into tears. She said, “I’ve never felt better.” She went out dancing. And it was just wonderful to see the difference in her because she’d formed a belief, my heart’s been broken. I’ve coped with losing two children by being numb. But of course, it wasn’t good for her existing two children to see her numb. They knew every level that she was surviving but not thriving. And I did say, “Tina, what kind of wives or partners are your boys going to have when they see you like this just functioning?” And she realized that she really needed to get over this for them and for herself. She changed so dramatically.
But my other two favorites were actually a girl called Louisa, but I did change her name. And Louisa always believed she had to be good. Her mother would always say, “Oh, God, I nearly died with your brother. He was a devil. He was the death of me. He was awake all night.” And she learned she had to be good. She was so good that she said, “Being good just makes me want to kill myself.” And I said, “Well, maybe if being good, perhaps she should start being bad.” She said, “You’re right. What has been good ever given me? I’m trying to be a perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect employee, and it’s just so much.” And so, she did a radical shift and went off to Victoria’s Secret and came back and said, “I can’t wait to go home and be bad.”
I love that in her because the lies she told us was I got to be good all the time. And then I worked with this beautiful girl with OCD that really was the bane of her life. She’s the first chapter in the book because the shift in her was extraordinary in that she had to clean her teeth and shower multiple times a day, and the teething had to take 20 minutes at a time. It all went back to being brought up in a very catastrophic family, where she just felt unloved. And so, she believed she had to be perfect and was going into this whole ritual, and so often with people, children and adults, if we can’t control what’s going on inside of us, we try to control what’s outside. All the cushions have got to be perfect, the silverware has got to be perfect. I mustn’t tread on any cracks in the pavement. I can control my external world because I can’t control my internal world.
And when we teach them, “Look, just control your thinking.” And for her, it was so extraordinary that overnight, everything changed for her. But I think actually in the book, all of those 10 people, each one, they showed you the movie of their life and what was so wonderful is that they had the joy of changing the ending of the movie. So, in each person, they’re kind of unfolding their story. And we’re seeing, “Oh, this is how you got there. This is why you believe that. This is why you thought that. This is why the next bit happened.” And then we peel it back and go, “But you know what, anybody with your childhood would have felt the way you felt. But you know what, today is a day we change your perception. You can’t change what happened. But you can change the meaning you attach to it. You can change how it impacts you, how it influenced you.”
One of the girls in the book was very overweight and it was quite a sad story. But I think she lost 50 pounds within the next few months, within next year, certainly, just from it. There was a lady who was unorgasmic. I tried to pick different things, somebody with an eating problem, somebody with bulimia, somebody who couldn’t orgasm, someone who couldn’t have love, someone who was numb, someone with a fear of needles, someone who believed they’re an underachiever, and each one of them, they were just so interesting. Because people are interesting. They’re actually fascinating when you can see, “Oh, this is what makes you tick.” But we can change all of this. If your life was a clock, and your childhood was the first 10 minutes, you’re allowing your entire life to be affected by the first 10 minutes when you have the power to unravel that and feel extremely different.
Unraveling the Lie Begins Internally
Benji Block: I love the idea of unraveling beliefs. I think so many of us, so often I’m guilty of this, where we live from the first 10 minutes because we’re unaware of the story that we’re telling ourselves. And in your chapter, I believe it was, when you’re talking about Ryan, you talk about hearing your own inner voice and the harsh words that it tells us. I love that concept. But it’s such an interesting battle because sometimes people aren’t aware of their inner voice and what they’re telling themselves. So, I wonder what coaching you could give us as we start to wrap up around starting to hear our inner voice and starting to change that?
Marisa Peer: Yeah, I love Ryan, because Ryan was a classic case in alcoholism and he’s never had a drink since that session. That was at least five or six years ago. I worked with him when I was teaching at a medical college in New York. So, some coaching — well, let’s start with this. We all hear about love yourself and you got to love yourself but people don’t even know what is that. What does that mean? Love — does that mean buy myself Reese’s Pieces and buy myself gifts? No. The way to love yourself is to really be aware of how do you talk to yourself. The most important word you’ll ever hear in your entire life are the words you say to yourself. You go, “Oh, look at me. Look at the state of me. Well, I knew I’d mess that up. I’m an idiot, really. I’d lose my eyes if they weren’t glued into my head.”
So, just take a minute and notice how you talk about you and then decide to talk about yourself as if you’re your best friend and start to say things like, “I’m a good person. I got a beautiful heart. I’m kind.” There is nothing in the world, I promise you, nothing that will build your self-esteem like praise. We’re so busy trying to build ourselves by losing weight, going to the gym, trying to wear nicer clothes, having a nicer tidier house, but the only thing that can build your self-esteem is praise. And your own praise does it faster than other people’s because they might have an agenda.
So, the first way to love yourself is to be aware of how you dialogue. You look in the mirror and go, “There you are. You’re just a gorgeous person.” And then when you come in, go, “Wow, I did something great today.” I find now that we all tend to work for ourselves, our own startup or because of COVID, we’re at home. We don’t have a boss saying, “Hey, great job today.” So, you have a praise muscle that’ll wither, if you don’t use it. So, every day, I want you to really get familiar with praise and just say things like, “I did a great job today, I was really good. I was so nice to that cashier in the store today. I took a bit of extra time today. I let another car in my park.” Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter big or small, start to praise yourself, it will build your self-esteem.
When you look in the mirror, make yourself say, “Look at you, you’re a really lovely person.” Even if you don’t believe it, it’s the way you talk to yourself is 80% of self-love. 85% is how you dialogue with you. If you get that 85%, everything will click into place. So, start by being nice to yourself, kind to yourself, talk to yourself the way you talk to a beautiful little kid or your own best friend. Your own best friend said, “My boyfriend’s dumped me”, you wouldn’t go, “Well, you’ve got cellulite, you’re five pounds overweight. What do you expect? Who’s going to take you on with two kids?” But you would never say that to your friend and yet we say it to ourselves. Of course, I got ghosted, I’ve got nothing to offer. Of course, I didn’t get that job. Everyone is smarter than me. Of course, I won’t get a pay rise because I’ve just got rocks for brains.
Stop it. Do the opposite. Remember, there’s nothing that will build your self-esteem like praise. And if you can praise yourself, you will be 85% towards practicing self-love and the other 15% are really interesting. First, it’s how do you talk to yourself? Then how do you treat yourself? Do you sleep? Do you hydrate? Do you eat good food? Or do you stay up all night watching Netflix eating pizza and doughnuts? Self-love is just being kind to yourself. And the final part is how do you let others treat you? How do you let others talk to you? And you really have to become your own best friend.
I mean, if you just install the cheerleader download in the book, you won’t have to do anything because it does it all for you. But when you can be nice to yourself, you massively elevate your own sense of self-worth and self-esteem and self-value, and self-image. What’s so amazing is when you do it, everyone else follows your lead. If you enhance your sense of self-worth and self-value, other people will do it too because you did it first. But if you wait for them to do it for you, it really won’t happen. So, be your own best friend. Say nice things even if you feel silly, even if you think these are cheesy, they’re making my toes curl, it doesn’t matter. Say them anyway. Because if you can’t believe in you, who else is going to believe in you?
I’ve written in all my books, I’ve had to say, “Wow, this book is amazing. This book is really good.” And you might think well that’s a bit arrogant. Imagine if I said, “Oh my god, this book is awful. It’s terrible. No one’s going to like it.” I wouldn’t even be able to finish it. I had to say, “Wow, this is a great book” with my first. But this is my seventh book. And in every book, the only way I could write them was to go, “This is a great book” and to imagine people liking it because the way you feel about anything is only down to two things: the pictures you make in your head and the words you say to yourself. So, a great coaching tool is every time you feel bad about anything, stop and think what pictures have I put in my head? Am I saying I’m chronically tired? What words am I using? And then change them: I’m a little bit dehydrated. “The freeway is hell.” What is hell? Hell is not having a car. Not ever going — “The store is hell.” No, hell is having no money to buy groceries.
So, we have to stop using, “my kids are torturing me.” No, they’re challenging. That is age-appropriate. Someone said I’ve got one, I didn’t know what she called it. It was this empty nest syndrome. I said there’s no such thing as empty nest syndrome. You-did-a-fantastic-job-and-your-kids-have-left-home-the-way-they-should syndrome. Imagine if they were handicapped, they’ll be at home forever. People say, “I’ve got trauma bonding.” These words, I’m looking for my twin flame. You are not bonded by trauma, there isn’t a twin flame. You weren’t separated at birth and your soulmate, there were thousands of people in the world you could have an amazing relationship with for the rest of your life. But stop using these words. “I’ve got attachment disorder”, and just tell yourself the truth, “You are unique. You are lovable. You are someone somewhere’s fantasy dream come true.” My grandma said every pan has a lid, and you’re someone’s lid and someone is your pan.
Stop telling yourself the lies that hurt you and tell yourself the ones that make you feel good. It’s true somewhere in the world, you are someone’s fantasy partner and your life is someone’s fantasy dream come true. True, there’s someone who, “I’d love kids that keep me up all night. I’d love a house that the mortgage was taken. I’d love to have a car to go on the freeway to go to a job with a boss that was difficult. I’ll swap places with you tomorrow.” When you can say, “Well, my life really is someone else’s fantasy”, you start to look for what’s good about it. Not bad and that’s the good confirmation bias.
And the final thing, final good coaching tip is that we are hardwired to go back to what’s familiar. And to go away from what’s unfamiliar. We resist what we don’t know and run back to what we know. We do it with relationships. “Well, I just like the bad boys, my dad was absent.” We do it with food. “Well, I was brought up on burger and fries and that’s my favorite thing and ice cream and pizza from a Saturday night.” So, it is a fact that we like what’s familiar, but here’s a better fact, you can make anything you like familiar. You can stick a bit of silicone on your finger and put it in your eye every day. And within a few weeks, it will be the most familiar thing in the world. You can floss your teeth, that wasn’t familiar once. Peeing in the toilet wasn’t familiar for the first two years of your life. But you can make anything familiar and it actually will change your life. The best thing to do is again to make praise familiar, and criticism unfamiliar. It’s such a game-changer.
Benji Block: That’s fantastic. And I think that’s such a good place to start. You gave so many practical tips. I could talk about this for a lot longer than we have scheduled today. So, thank you for giving some of your insights. I love the book. Again, the book is titled, Tell Yourself a Better Lie. You can pick it up, it’s on Amazon. Can you give us just like, Marisa, where can people kind of connect with you? Where’s the best place for people to stay in touch with the work you’re doing?
Marisa Peer: Okay, so I’m on Instagram. I’m forever grateful I’m called Marisa Peer because it’s an unusual name. But you can find me on Instagram. You find me on YouTube, you can find me on Facebook. In fact, I’m doing a lot of Q and A’s. I’m actually doing a podcast called Lie with Marisa where the 10 people from the book are coming on every week and discussing the lie. I’ve got a few famous people coming on too to discuss their lie. So, I’ll have my podcast Lie with Marisa. But you can find me at marisapeer.com. We’ve got tons of free audios on love blogs and health blogs. We give them away. We don’t ask for your card. Marisapeer.com, rtt.com, and iamenough.com are all my sites. I’m on Instagram. I’m on YouTube. And I’m going to be doing masterclasses and webinars every week starting in January, really based around the book. So, join them, and if you want to come on one of them and talk about your lie, I’d love to have you. I’d love to help you unravel yourself and put yourself back together and better than you ever even imagined was possible.
Benji Block: Love the work you’re doing. Thanks so much for spending time with us here on Author Hour. Again, everyone, go pick up the book, Tell Yourself a Better Lie, connect with Marisa online. Marisa, thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today.
Marisa Peer: You’re so welcome. Thank you.