Shelly: Hi everybody, it’s Shelly Lefkoe, co-founder of The Lefkoe Institute and I’m here again with my great friend, Letha Edwards.

Letha: Hi everybody.

Shelly: Today we’re going to be talking about being a human being as opposed to being a human doing.

Letha: Okay. What do you mean by human being versus human doing?

Shelly: Great question.

We are human beings, we act like human doings. Over the years I worked with many, many, many workaholics. People who are driven. They love their kids, they wish they could stay home more, be with their kids but they’re always busy achieving things. When we examine what that is, because it takes away their ability to have relationships with their wives or husbands, with friends, to be there for their kid.

Letha: Absolutely.

Shelly: It takes away the ability to have hobbies, to enjoy life. The source of this doing-ness, of course, are beliefs but before I tell you what the beliefs are I want everybody listening to look at your life. When you get up in the morning, is the first thing you think about doing something? So, “I am going to make breakfast. I’m going to do my emails. I’m going to see if my kids did their chores, or did their homework, or if they’re getting ready for school.” As you go through your day, how much of your day is focused on what you have to do?

Clearly, obviously we have to do things, I’m not saying you don’t have to do things, but we’ve become so obsessed with doing. When I ask people lately, “How are you?” I can’t believe how many people say to me, “I’m crazy. I’m crazy.”


[crosstalk 00:02:11] I have so much to do.

Shelly: “I’m crazy. I have so much to do.” Then life goes by. We just spend time doing.

That’s what I mean by a human doing.

Letha: Tell me more about human being then because I think I’d rather be that.

Shelly: Okay. Human being. For the past 30 years I’ve been telling clients that what people may or may not admire about you are your achievements, but what they love about you is who you be. What do I mean my that? I’ll illustrate with a story.

At Morty’s memorial there were over 100 people. Now Morty was a very accomplished person. He’d written books, he created a process that changes people’s lives. He accomplished things in life.

Letha: Absolutely.

Shelly: Every person who got up and spoke, which was over 50 people before I stopped it because we would have still been going on. What they said about him was that he was the most loving person they had ever met. There were two people who said they knew him for over 40 years and never say him say a bad word about anybody. They talked about he listened, he had integrity. They said he was there, he was present. When he was with you he was with you. Then my daughter stood up and she said, “I not only knew that I was loved unconditionally by my father every day of my life but to never feel judged.” Now she’s not going to say that at my funeral.

Letha: She might, she might.

Shelly: But she never felt judged by him. That’s what she loved. That’s being-

Letha: That’s the being-ness. Yeah. Human being-ness.

Shelly: Who-

Letha: Sorry honey.

Shelly: Yeah. We have a process that we do that I love. I actually blogged about this. It’s called What I Love About You. We do it on people’s birthdays. You look at the person and you say, “What I love about you is” … One of the things that my friend Trisha said about me was, what she loves about me is that I’m a yes. It’s like, “You want to go skiing?” “Yes.” “You want to go to the movies?” “Yes.” “You want to come over and drink hundreds of cocktails?” “Yes.”

Letha: Don’t even have to think about it.

Shelly: Yes. It’s like I’m in life and I’m a yes. This touched my soul. I felt very seen. That’s the thing, if somebody says, “What I love about you.” It’s rarely, “What I love about you is how accomplished you are.”

Letha: That you do so much.

Shelly: Exactly. “Oh we love that you do so much. You work yourself to death.”

Letha: Right.

Shelly: It’s not.

Letha: No, no. [crosstalk 00:05:45] Thank you. Why are we so driven and yet feel so badly about ourselves when we don’t accomplish, when we don’t get it done?

Shelly: Yes. Great question.

Most of us, as you my followers will know, start out life coming in and we’re all kinds of don’t know nothing about nothing. All of a sudden we get criticized, we don’t get the attention we want and we conclude, I’m not good enough and I’m not important.

Letha: Right.

Shelly: One day we come home with an A, or straight As, or we achieve … We win an award, we win a prize, we win the dance contest, whatever it is. You achieve something and you get acknowledged for it. If that happens enough, you start saying, “Oh.” Then when you get acknowledged for achieving you feel good enough, you feel important so you say, “Ah-ha! What makes me good enough, or what makes me important, or what makes me valuable is achieving things.”

Letha: Yes, yes.

Shelly: [crosstalk 00:07:00] Now we have the beliefs, I’m not good enough or I’m not important so again we have this beach ball. People say, “Oh no, I don’t believe I’m not good enough because I’m achieving. As long as I’m achieving this stays under water. No, I don’t have that belief.” But what happens when you stop achieving. The project you’re working on fails, your business fails, something happens. All of a sudden up comes, in your face, I’m not good enough, I’m not important.

This behavior is driven by the belief, “What makes me good enough is” …

Letha: That’s underneath it. Got it.

Shelly: That’s on top of it right?

Letha: Yeah, right. Yeah. Right.

Shelly: On top of it. We feel badly about ourselves when we’re not achieving because our negative self esteem beliefs come up.

Letha: Right but does that mean that we shouldn’t try Shell? That we shouldn’t try to achieve?

Shelly: Yeah. Great question. There is value in accomplishing things. You get things done. I had a session with somebody this morning. She eliminated a belief and her whole world opened up. It was one of those magical moments.

Letha: Cool.

Shelly: I did something … Now I would say I was a way with somebody that made a difference but I did the process on her. I had a session. Yes, this is doing is a part of life. You have to do your homework if you’re a kid. There are things you have to do.

I’m talking about identifying yourself with the achievement. Being driven by it. That this woman had this breakthrough felt amazing to me but it doesn’t mean I’m now important or I’m good enough.

Letha: Got it.

Shelly: I don’t identify with the achievement. It’s something I did. Felt good to do it but it doesn’t mean anything about me. You can be proud of your accomplishments. To say, “I worked really hard in yoga and now I can do a headstand. I’m really proud of that.” But it doesn’t mean I’m good enough now and I wasn’t good enough before I could do the headstand. I have bucket lists in yoga. When I reach them it’s like, “Yes! I did”-

Letha: [crosstalk 00:09:32] Woo-hoo.

Shelly: … “I did it!” It’s pretty exciting but it doesn’t mean anything about me. It doesn’t define me. My work is not a function of it. I don’t change as a person after I do it.

Letha: How do we get there? How do we get to that place?

Shelly: Whatever you have to do to get rid of the beliefs that drive the behavior, will give you the freedom. Now of course I have a process that works. It does. It’s miraculous.

Letha: It worked beautifully for me.

Shelly: Yeah. Me too.

Letha: Yeah. Really.

Shelly: Clearly you can do that but if you have a way of getting rid of beliefs, do that.

Letha: Use it.

Shelly: Use it. If you don’t want to do that, just keep asking yourself the question, I accomplished something or I want to go to my daughter’s recital today. All of a sudden those feelings come up. Just stop and ask yourself, “Am I being a human being or am I being a human doing?”

Letha: Oh that’s a good one. That’s a great question. Yeah, yeah. Make you think for sure.

Shelly: Yeah. Just at least become aware when you say to your kid, or your spouse, or your partner, or your friend, “Oh no I can’t be there, I have too much to do.” Really? What are your values? Is it working that extra hour to do that extra one thing or is it saying, “You know what? Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow and I’ll go be a good friend today.”

Letha: That being conscious will make such a difference for sure.

Shelly: I think so.

Letha: Good. Thank you. That was good.

Shelly: Yeah.

Letha: Thanks.

Shelly: You’re welcome.

Letha: Okay.

Shelly: Thanks everybody for coming to our blog conversation. We’ll see you next time.

Letha: Okay. Bye Shell.

Shelly: Bye.

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