ep179-melissa-costello

Ep179: Navigating The ‘Messy Middle’ of Life & Career Transitions | with Melissa Costello

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“I’ve been tuning into what feels right for me versus what I think I should be doing.”

Melissa Costello is a transformational eating coach who has spent the last 15 years helping people who struggle with emotional eating (including me, which you can hear all about in my first interview with Melissa), but is now in the middle of what she calls “the messy middle” of a major career transition struggling to define the next stages in her career while managing an identity crisis along the way.

The conversation today is centered around the feelings of doubt, confusion, and uncertainty that come with major transitions (imposter syndrome, anyone?). Once you get past the excitement of pursuing a new path, you get thrust into the messy middle of trying to navigate the challenges that come with building a new identity and letting go of the safety & security of the old one. Melissa speaks openly and honestly about refocusing her coaching from emotional eating towards empowering women through Equine partnered therapy. Being a life coach does not make her exempt from the common feelings of imposter syndrome, perfectionism, doubt, and anxiety over whether she’s following the right path.

In this conversation we discuss the tools, habits, strategies, and most importantly the mindsets we can use on ourselves to make sure we’re staying aligned to our values and true to our deeper why’s. If you find yourself struggling with a major life or career transition and thinking you’re not good enough, or you’re going to fail, or [insert 1000 other excuses for not taking a chance], this interview will inspire you to continue forging ahead with the confidence you can succeed…even in the middle of an identity crisis.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How she manages and honors her personal needs and challenges while being a coach
  • The lessons Melissa has learned from being a coach who is struggling with anxiety
  • Why it’s so important for coaches to show up as relatable.
  • The importance of building and creating communities so that the support system is strong.
  • The challenges in transitioning from one career path to another and how it’s tied with your identity.
  • Saying no to job opportunities based on lifestyle needs.
  • Learning how to move towards new opportunities that feel scary but also feel right.
  • How to navigate changing identities within yourself and with others who see you in a different identity.
  • How to tap into your intuition when making decisions.
  • The difference between feeling nervous and feeling anxious.
  • The story of how I got invited to Tony Horton’s workout for the first time.
  • The ‘woo-woo’ factor: What is it? How do we explain it?
  • Melissa’s deeper why and how it is the thread that ties together all her different passions.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Your deeper why is your compass to guide you on the right path.


Useful Resources Mentioned:

Internal Family Systems

Gestalt therapy

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold

Hello and welcome to episode number 179 of the Optimize Yourself Podcast. It means the world to me that with all the podcast choices out there that you have chosen to invest your valuable time and attention with me. I promise you're not going to regret it after listening to my interview today with Melissa Costello, who is a transformational eating coach who has spent the last 15 years helping people that struggle with emotional eating. Full disclaimer, including me, which you can hear all about in my first interview with Melissa and I provided a link in the show notes. But right now in the middle of what she calls the messy middle of a major career transition, where she is struggling to define the next stages in her career, while also kind of sort of managing an identity crisis along the way. Now, our conversation today is centered around the feelings of doubt, confusion and uncertainty that often come with major transitions. Imposter Syndrome anybody? Once you get past the excitement of pursuing a new path, you get thrust into the middle of trying to navigate the challenges that come with building a new identity and letting go of the safety and the security of the old one and may I also say the worst part is the discomfort that comes along with leaving things that are comfortable. Melissa speaks openly and honestly about refocusing her coaching from emotional eating towards empowering women through something that's called equine partnered therapy, which you're gonna learn more about. Now, listen, being a life coach does not make her exempt from the common feelings of impostor syndrome, perfectionism, doubt, and anxiety over whether or not she's even following the right path. In this conversation, we discuss the tools, the habits, the strategies, but most importantly, the mindsets that we can use on ourselves to make sure that we are staying aligned to our values and true to our deeper why's. If you find yourself struggling with a major life, or a career transition, and you're thinking that you're not good enough, or you're going to fail, or insert 1000 other excuses here for not taking that chance. This interview will inspire you to continue forging ahead with the confidence that you can succeed. And yes, even in the middle of an identity crisis. Okay, without further ado, here's my conversation with transformational life coach Melissa Costello. To access the show notes for this episode with all the bonus links and resources discussed today, as well as to subscribe, leave a review and more simply visit optimizeyourself.me/episode179. I'm here today with Melissa Costello who is a transformational life coach, a counselor of spiritual psychology, you are an equine partner coach or for those that are wondering when an equine partner coaches and equine partner coach because you and I have had this debate about how to even pronounce this word. And I'm sure we'll talk more about what it is. And I also want to let people know that you have actually been a very instrumental part of my own journey. As a coach to me, somebody that really helped me deal with a lot of the psychological and emotional issues specifically around food and habits and learning mindfulness. And I will make sure that there's a link in the show notes to our previous conversation, because we're gonna dive right in with very little pretext or context, which I'm excited to do. But first of all, thank you so much for making the time to chat with me today. I appreciate it

Melissa Costello

Thanks for having me. I love that I got asked back. And I love being here. And I'm super excited for this conversation today.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I'm excited about it too. Because you and I, at one point were very close and talking on a weekly basis and you knew all of my deepest, darkest secrets. And then all of a sudden, the world decided to completely implode. And there was a pandemic, and all these things have changed. And now we're dealing with wars and all kinds of great stuff that we can talk about today. But the first and most important question that I want to start with, which might actually be the hardest is how are you?

Melissa Costello

Oh, it depends on the moment, day hour. I you know, right now, I would just say I'm okay, I'm excited to be here. And just in general, I'm okay. I've been on a bit of a roller coaster ride as of late. And that's been a little tricky to navigate between my business, my personal life dealing with just some anxiety and panic attacks in the past three months that came kind of, I wouldn't say came out of nowhere. But we'll probably talk about that a little bit more. But I have to say I'm taking things on a day to day basis. And if you would ask me two days ago, I would have said I'm really lousy today. So I'm glad that I can say that I'm okay today.

Zack Arnold

Well, one of the reasons that I wanted to have you back on and the reason I'm so excited about this is your honesty. And I figured why not just open the wound, twist the knife and pour the salt in from question one. Let's just start right off the bat none of these pleasantries. Let's just get right into it. And I'm glad that you said that you were just okay. And I guess we're I'd like to start without necessarily going into all the the history of all the things that have gone on for the last couple of years. I think this is a really important question. For me to better understand from your perspective, because I'm dealing with it, it's gotta be really hard to say publicly in front of people that you're just okay. When your entire livelihood and identity is tied up and being a coach that helps people being better than okay. Yeah, how are how are you reconciling that right now?

Melissa Costello

It's, it's been, it's been challenging. So, in December, my dog got really, really sick. And it was five days of what I would consider hell for me. Probably worse for me than her. She's, she's still alive in here, thankfully. But that set kind of a series of events into motion, that just really kicked off a lot of anxiety for me a lot of panic, like panic attacks and things like that. So can you remind me what the question was?

Zack Arnold

Oh, yeah. So the question is essentially, knowing that you are a coach to others, how do you reconcile the fact that you're not consistently awesome and amazing?

Melissa Costello

Yeah, so I'm going into my story. So the thing is, is that as a coach, I am still a human being. And I have done a ton of personal growth work in my life, I've worked through a lot of my own kind of childhood traumas that I dealt with, with an alcoholic father, and just not a lot of safety in my life. And that's what actually prompted me to start doing deeper work with people is because of all the things that I had experienced. So me going through what I'm going through now, I'm trusting that that's only going to make me a better coach. And that the people that need my help now are in a place where I can help them. You know, so I'm also learning a lot about myself, I'm learning a lot about trauma, I'm learning a lot about anxiety. And I think that's only going to help me support my clients even better down the road. But being where I am, it has been hard, because, you know, there's part of me that went into fear around Oh, my God, how is this going to affect my business? How is me being in this place? You know, what are other people going to think of me, but I really had to kind of backpedal on that and say to myself, like, it's okay, you're a human being. And that actually, my me being vulnerable, letting people know where I am, gives other people permission to be vulnerable as well, and to share what they're going through. And going through this process has really helped me get closer to a lot of people in my life that I've kind of, you know, over the years have either isolated from or just gotten more distant from because we don't live in the same area, or we don't touch base all the time. And these are some really close friends of mine that, you know, at any given time, I could call them and say, hey, you know, I'm struggling. But going through this, my friends have shown up in a way that I've never experienced before. And I've had to do something which is really hard, which is asked for help all the time. And as someone who's a coach, and helps others, that's really hard. But that's kind of my lesson, I've needed to learn through this. And I think that it gives other people permission to do the same and that my humaneness allows my clients and other people to see like, oh, okay, I'm human, too. And I can go through struggles. And if my coach can go through struggles, it's okay that I'm going through struggles. And so I feel like it's informed a lot of the work that I'm doing, and even more so in the future. I feel like it's going to inform it.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I agree with all that. And I think that's such a huge component of being a coach and or a mentor, that so many people overlook. There's this misconception that it's all about the accolades and the achievements and the certifications, and how much education do you have on the subject. But I believe all those things are important, by the way, but I think the number one most important thing that you must possess as a coach is going to help somebody else's empathy. There's a big difference between sympathy and empathy, saying I sympathize with your situation is important, saying, I have either been in the exact same trenches you or by the way, I'm in it right now. I think that has a tremendous amount of value. And it allows people to be more vulnerable and open up because they know that they're in a much safer space, but they also know they've been with somebody or they are with somebody that's been through the exact same things, they just might be a few steps ahead and knows a few of the tricks or tips or some of the pitfalls to avoid. And I think that that's it's such a hard part of being a coach, at least for me, and this is where I might just be trying to eke out a free coaching session with you because I desperately needed but as you know, I this is something I've had a hard time reconciling for years is how can I put myself out there as an influencer and a coach when I'm not perfect? Like that's, that's really hard for me because as a recovering perfectionist, even before it was a part of my business model, I had to put this image of myself out there as being perfect, and really having a hard time dealing with struggles or burnout or depression. And it was when I started sharing those things publicly. years ago that the program actually started to grow. And people started to listen and follow and read. And that's where I've gotten my students from. But I don't learn the lesson. Why don't I learn the lesson? Because the funny thing is, what I just actually kind of realized now is we're talking is that when I've gone through this in the past, it's always been, I hit the pause button on everything. And then as things get better, I retroactively go back and write about it or talk to other people about it. Except this time, I me in it, I am like, right in it. And I'm like, You know what, I'm going to embrace it and have these conversations and write about it. Because I've never been brave enough to write about it. While I was in it. It was always after I'd quote unquote, figured it out. Right,

Melissa Costello

Right. Like, Oh, good. I'm on the other side now. So I can like write about it and tell people about it. Because I'm not Yeah, and I can share what I did to get out of it.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And now it's like, Hey, everybody, I'm here right now. Right? I'm coming to you live from the middle of absolute total burnout. And I'm here to report like debts. I've never been in that position to, I guess, have the courage to do it. But it's taken years of sharing that vulnerability. And I think it's important for anybody else, listening that's going through it, even if they aren't a coach or an entrepreneur, that once you share some of that vulnerability, even if it's just with your closest circle, you find that it actually can strengthen those bonds. And it actually makes it much easier to get out of it quicker, rather than trying to pretend that everything is okay. Because there's nothing more exhausting right now or for the last two years than pretending that you are okay, because none of us are okay, for the love of God. None of us are okay.

Melissa Costello

And to be honest, it makes us more relatable. I can't relate to someone who portrays perfectionism. And I used to do that when I was younger. I'm a recovering perfectionist as well. And I think over the years, I've learned that my vulnerability makes me more relatable and me sharing my struggles. Other people can go Oh, yeah, okay, she struggles to like, it's nice to know, she's human, because I don't want people putting me on a pedestal or looking to me as this kind of person that knows more, or is better than I want two people to know, like, Hey, we're on the same level, I might just have some more knowledge or some more experience around specific things I've gone through. But I want you to know, like, I relate to that. And I've been there and so I can I can really support people in that, you know, I think that's really important that we make ourselves relatable, not make ourselves that we show up as relatable.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, and I think it's maybe this is something you've seen as well, but having been in the the personal development space in the coaching space and thought leader space, mostly as a student Edison observer, but now being a part of it. I've noticed over the last few years that it's become a entrepreneur hack to become authentic. And it's like, it doesn't really work that way, you can't decide that suddenly, my business model is I'm going to be authentic, you either are or you aren't. But you can't decide that this is going to be a business hack that's gonna move me forwards. And I just, I see so much of that. And I think that's part of what turns people away, just from I mean, there are some people that as soon as it's about a personal development book, or nonfiction or anything like oh, no, that's not for me. That's not my thing. And I think that it's that a lot of those veneers of perfectionism scare people away.

Melissa Costello

Yeah, agreed, agreed. And, you know, there are the coaching world is growing leaps and bounds, as we know, and there's so many coaches out there, and we're in the thick of it, so we see it even more so. And, you know, there's a lot of coaches, there's so many different types of coaches and the way people put themselves out there. And what I've really learned throughout these last couple years is that I don't want to follow some formula or follow, you know, what this person is doing, because they're making that much money, like I want to really show up in a way that people can feel connected to me and relate to me and where I can create a community and a space for people to feel safe and to share and to to know that they're supported no matter what. And it's not about how I look or how much, you know, money I have, or all the programs and courses I have. It's not about that it's about really creating community and helping my community live from a values based place. So that's, that's what's really important to me.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, one of the many things that we have in common, I'm approaching it exactly the same way where I've even told my team multiple times I said, the value in this program is in building the community getting the right people in here so they can support each other. I'm facilitating that it's I'm not building a list of followers and it's for me, it's just about how do I build that community. But the funny thing is that just because of all the connotations that come with coaching and personal development, I've had more than one student or potential student in the last year that during an introductory call, they said this all this all seems almost too good to be true. So I just have to ask, is this a cult? Like a cult, but I've I don't know if that's something you've ever heard, but it's something I've gotten more than once just because of the way that this this. This is portrayed from the outside world. And then once I've had these people come in, of course, you know, I've given Then the Kool Aid and giving them the maps to the other the seventh realm. Oh, wait, hold on a second. No, I shouldn't have said that public, oh my god. But once they're in it, they're like, Oh, I just I think I thought that because I've just never seen a space where everybody's actually helping each other and it's not so intensely competitive. And it's this zero sum game where if I'm going to be successful, you can't be successful. And I need to step on you to get where I want. And I think, doesn't actually have to be that way. I didn't realize there was an alternative. And that's the space that I love creating, where it's not about me getting all the jobs, it's about helping everybody else find their way and find the right jobs that are fulfilling to them around people that are going to support them and not exploit them. And that's, that's the most important thing, you know,

Melissa Costello

yeah. And I think we also have to trust that the people that are attracted to us are in a certain place in their lives, and they're ready to they're there. You know, we find different people at different times in our lives. And I've, you know, I've I've been the seeker, I've been the person who's like, well, Wayne Dyer, now Untethered Soul, and now Louise Hay, and I've done all of that, and the, you know, the chasing and the seeking. And, you know, when I stopped doing that, I realized that I have all the answers within me. But that doesn't mean that I don't also need help to bring those answers forward. You know, and I think that we all come into things that in different levels in our lives, you know, people who are coming to you, they're seeking out a specific thing around right balance in life. And they're, they're freelancers and entrepreneurs that are looking to, like, you know, find more balance in their life, like, how do I get that, and people who come to me, you know, in the past, or they're struggling with food, and they, they really, you know, they have this dysfunctional relationship with food, they're struggling with their weight. And so, but they're also on a spiritual path, yet they there's like this one thing in their lives that they can't get past. And I think, you know, we have to give grace to everybody, and give people the dignity of their own process, because we're all at different stages in levels, you know, and so people who are attracted to your stuff are going to be different than people who are attracted to other people's things. It's like, we have to just trust that those people that find us and come to us are those are the people that are meant to be in our community, and we need to serve them, you know,

Zack Arnold

yeah. And I think that it's one thing that I talk about very much with my students in my community, which, by the way, is not coaches. So anybody's listening so far, it's like, where are they talking so much about coaching, I promise, this isn't a conversation just for fellow coaches, but as, as entrepreneurs, or as freelancers, which in a way we are, we are running our own business, and there's a certain energy that we have to put out to the world. So we can attract the right people, and work on the right projects, or whatever it might be to make sure that the work we do is actually fulfilling and we want to get up in the morning. So even if somebody is listening to this, the works in Hollywood and does a quote unquote, technical job and says I have nothing to do with coaching or the spiritual world or personal development, you are a business of one, and you have to put out a certain energy with a certain mindset to attract the right people. And what I want to dive into make a little bit of a segue to right now is this idea of tying what we do to our identity, which is a very, very slippery slope. Yeah, I know that this is something that you are navigating right now. Because your identity for years has been the food coach, you deal with food and mindful eating and intuitive eating, and have been very successful with that. But then what happens the morning you wake up and you say, I don't want to talk about food anymore. But everybody else wants to talk to you about food. And it's not just what you do for a living or how you earn money. It's kind of who you are. Yeah, let's talk about the difficulty of navigating the transition from this was my identity, but I don't want it to be anymore.

Unknown Speaker

Like, gosh, it's so hard. I'm, I'm, I talk about being in it. I'm in it, and I you know, my business, I've had my business since 2007. And it has transformed a lot over the years, you know, and I've had many different very, like, variations of it, I guess, or variations of myself based on my own growth and where I am in my life. And I started out purely as Tony Horton's private chef, right Tony Horton's, the celebrity fitness guy who created p90x, he's very close friend of both of ours and helped so many people all over the world. And you know, and then I got into the the nutrition piece, and then from there, I was like, God, nutrition is just not touching, where people are struggling with consistency and emotional eating and all that and then I went down that route because that was part of my own personal struggle is I was an emotional eater most of my life, you know, and then kind of over these last few years, even before the pandemic, I was like, it feels like such a privilege to talk about my issues with food, right? And I just with all the things that have been going on in the world, like there's so many other things that are are like so much more important. And not that food isn't. But the food is just a symptom of like what we're doing with food is just a symptom of something deeper going on. And that's really what I want to get to, I wanted to get to the core of like what's underneath that, you know, and it's not your weight, your the extra weight you're carrying on your body. And the way you eat food is not about either of those things. It's about something deeper. And so that's really where I started to go in my head and my journey, but letting go of that identity of transformational eating coach, and oh, you know, nutrition, and you wrote cookbooks and blogs, that's been really challenging, because it's not like I'm seamlessly moving into the next phase of my business and making all this money and feeling and having all these clients knock on my door, I've been really having to go inward and look at myself and how I want to serve people in a different way so that we can get to the core of what of all the symptoms of these things, right. And so equine coaching has been part of that for me, because I have, because my love for horses and my love for nature and the way I feel around horses, and seeing people around horses, just like it just blows my mind how in tune and intuitive and intelligent and connected emotionally horses are. And so for me, really helping people navigate their emotional landscape has been that is really like, how I want to help people because that's what I've been doing for myself. And it's really been difficult and challenging. And I don't even know what my next identity looks like I've been floating in the messy middle here for a while. And my coach, my business coach would always say like, embrace the messy middle like, but wait, you don't understand. I'm a recovering perfectionist. And I like things black and white. And I like to control stuff. So that's been difficult. And I don't even know what my next identity is, other than I want to be outside with animals and people helping them. Like, that's really where I want to be. And if that identity is like you're a cow girl, and you put on cowboy boots, and you're in dirt all the time, I'll take it. I love that. But I still don't know what it all looks like. And so I'm still navigating kind of that that messy middle area. And it's it's not easy. You know, it's why they call it the messy middle. And

Melissa Costello

you know, I've had to get support from the government and because of COVID and losing a lot of my clients because of that. And, you know, so it's been a really challenging time, and then going through what I went through in December with my dog and not being able to work for a couple months, like I've been going through this big roller coaster ride, you know, and there's days where I'm like, Why? Why did I choose to become an entrepreneur? Like what? Because it is in my bones. When I think about getting a job. I feel like someone just punched me in the stomach. Like you have to go get a job and like, no, like with me. I know, like with every cell of my being, I'm like, no, no, no. And I felt that way, my whole life, although I didn't discover that I wanted to be an entrepreneur until I was in my late 30s. And that's when I started my business. So it took many years for me to get there. But like, I've had, I think many different identities, but I think what I've been learning is like, how do we disconnect from identity? Because we're all these different things, right? I'm a dad, like your dad, right? You're a dad, you're an editor, you're all these things, right? And we can identify with those things. But they can be those things can be taken away from us, like, you know, our businesses can go away and our you know, like, there's things that can happen. And I think, for me, it's more about like, how am I showing up in the world? Not not this identity I have but like how am I showing up for myself and others in the world? You know, am I being honest? Am I being vulnerable? Am I am I sharing my truth instead of like putting on this happy face and pretending everything's okay? Like that's, to me that's more important than any identity, to be honest. Like, I just want people to feel supported and have permission to open their hearts and to share and to feel connected. Like that's that's really what I want to create. And I don't even know what that identity is, you know what I mean? So yeah, it's but it is weird because our ego wants to hold on to all these right I'm this I'm that I'm that and this and, and my ego has really been like, kind of like you what's going on? I don't you know, excuse my French I hope that's okay, but

Zack Arnold

we've got bleepers Don't worry Oh bleep all that out. If I choose to. I might choose not to we'll find out

Melissa Costello

because they want to hold on so tightly to everything and our ego Is that they caused so much suffering. And so I've been really doing this dance between my ego and my higher self and like, what what's in my heart? And what's really important versus some frickin label of you're this coach or you're that coach or whatever that is right. So does that answer the question?

Zack Arnold

It does answer the question. And it brings up a whole host of other things that I want to talk about. And what I want to dive into a little bit deeper is this idea of expectation. I've been talking and writing about burnout, and all the challenges that go with it for years and years. And my hypothesis, and I've actually shared this with some of the world's foremost experts in the psychology of burnout and happiness and otherwise. And they've all said, Oh, I actually think you're right. So I may have stumbled upon something, even though I had no formal degrees. And I believe that burnout can be caused by a million different things. But it all comes down to it is setting improper expectations. I agree. And I think when when it comes to making any form of major transition in life, as you said, the expectation in our minds is it should be seamless. Why? Why do we think that this transition is going to be seamless? And if it's not just about, well, I have to learn new skills, or in your case, I have to build a new website or write new copy or create new funnels, like there's a whole bunch of practical stuff. But all that is so far on the back end, that has to come after you identify who is it that I'm becoming? And then how do I extricate myself from the previous identity, and people think that it's just a switch. So in my world, specifically, for people that are creatives in Hollywood, it's well, I am an editor that only does horror films. And now I want to do like comedies or character dramas. But everybody sees me as the horror film editor or I'm an Assistant Editor and I want to move to whatever it is, there's all kinds of various major career transitions. And the challenge, there's really two main challenges that I help people with. And the first of which is nobody sees me as this thing. They're like, well, I want to be editing now everybody still sees me as an assistant. And I said, Well, how do you see yourself? Well, I don't know, I guess I mean, I'm so kind of an assistant, but I'm editing on the side. And like, you don't even see yourself as the thing that you want to become. So if you don't see it, how do you expect other people to see it and believe that you can fill this role? But the expectation is this going to be a seamless transition, where Friday afternoon, I walk away from this former identity in this job, and Monday morning, it's the new one. And it's a spectrum of years of transition, where you're balancing both. And for me, and for I think everyone else to the biggest struggle. And I want to hear more about how you're dealing with this struggle, because I know you have even for me, specifically, when you're trying to extricate yourself from this identity, you have to say no to all the people that keep asking you to be that thing. So how are you navigating it when people I'm sure, even yesterday or a week ago? Hey, Melissa, I got your information from this podcast, I'm having issues with food, can you help me with food? At some point to remove yourself from the identity, you have to start saying no to really difficult choices? How are you navigating that right now?

Unknown Speaker

You know, it's interesting, because part of me is like, do you need to say no? Or can it be both? You know what I mean? Because even if I want to move away from that, quote, unquote, identity, it doesn't mean that I still can't help people if I choose in that arena. And so for me, the identity, the the place that I'm moving toward, is working with horses and humans. But that doesn't mean that if someone comes to me, and I feel a connection with them that I'm going to say no to them if they need help with food stuff. And I think for a while, I was in a very black and white place like that. And I did was saying no, but I realized that that actually wasn't serving me in my transition. Because it was so cut and dry. And like, Yes, from an energetic standpoint, we want to move toward what we want and you know, leave the stuff in the back mirror or whatever, whatever they say, the back seat and don't look back. But I think it can be both. I don't think it has to be either or, and so I don't know if that's really the answer that people want to hear. But I think that when for me, I'm such a feeler. And I make decisions by what I feel, not what I think. And that's part of my human design, which is a whole other thing. But I'm an emotional decider, and that's just kind of my makeup. I've always been that way my whole life. And so I think when I get into my logical mind, and I start to say, well, I shouldn't do this because I'm moving away from that. It doesn't serve me and this is different for everybody. Right? It just depends on you as a person and what your makeup is and how you like what works best for you. So for me, it's been learning that it doesn't have to be either or and then I can say yes when I want to. For example, I rent a mouse Your class two weeks ago on foods that I haven't done in a long time. And I had, you know, over 100 people register from my list that are still very interested in I enrolled six people into my empowered eaters club. And I feel excited to actually do it. You know, it's not before it was feeling like a drain and like, oh, I don't want to do this anymore. And but I feel really excited because I've deepened in kind of the work, the emotional work, it's not really, like I said earlier, it's not really about the food, it's about the symptoms. And so when I presented this club, to the people who are in it, now, it came from such a different place. For me, it's not either or, it's, it's both. And, you know, and I think that maybe one day I will fully let go of the food stuff. But I also am still part of Tony Horton's world, and I'm on his platform. And, you know, he's, he's about fitness and nutrition and food. And I very much feel passionate about what he brings to the world and being part of his team. And so I think I can dance in both worlds for now. And it may not be that way forever. But I think it was harder for me when I was actually going, No, I can't do that I have to only do this. And so that's how it was for me personally. And it's different for everyone. And so I've just been kind of tuning into what feels right for me as I'm going along versus what I think I should be doing. So does that make sense?

Zack Arnold

It not only makes sense. But I think it's so important that you had said this and had I tried to feed you the right answer, you beat what I would have said would have been the right answer. But it was all very organic and honest and authentic. But the answer is not. It's either or it's not black and white. It's not I was this thing yesterday, and now I'm this thing today. But I find so often I get this question from my students all the time, where once I help them develop the mindset that I am now making the transition, this is actually one of the things that I train them with with language is when they start in the program. Well, I'm hoping to do this one day, or I'm trying to do this and like from here forward, you are making the transition and you're in it. Welcome to the discomfort zone, no more of this hoping it's going to happen Sunday, you started the moment you joined. But then as they start to develop the mindset, yep, I am this next thing now. Then I kind of become the Jiminy Cricket in their life. And I'm sure you experienced this too, where all of a sudden they need permission from me to do things. And the most common one that I see this such a head scratcher is, well, I just got this first gig as an editor, for example. But now people are calling me that I've worked with in the past that have said, Are you available to be an assistant? Am I allowed to talk to them and take the assistant job, I'm like, you don't need my permission to take it. But it's okay to be on this much grayer spectrum rather than being black and white. I would be a hypocrite if I said you have to go from one to the other. Because I've been in the personal development space for eight years as a podcaster, and a coach and an educator. And up until two weeks ago, I was editing TV for the last 15 months straight full time. But the I think the difference for me and maybe you you can speak to this a little bit further, as from my perspective, what has become a yes, the criteria has become so much higher if it's in the world of editing. So it's not just Well, I don't know, I guess I should or it's a decent paycheck. It's like if it's not an absolute hell yes. And a no brainer, then it's absolutely a no. So I have turned down a multitude of projects that to me five years ago, I would just be smacking my like, what are you doing? Why are you saying no, but I'm in a very different place. And I'm okay saying no to these huge opportunities. And yes, is it? I don't know if it's necessarily a feeling of entitlement. But I've earned the position where I can get these opportunities that come from very successful people in the industry, because I'm good at what I do. But I've also earned the right to be able to say no, because it's not the right fit for my lifestyle needs. There are great projects, some of which have become huge successes, but I don't look at it on Netflix or whatever and say, Oh man, I missed that opportunity. Because for me, it wasn't an opportunity because it would take away from my other lifestyle goals, my other identities wanting to be a present father wanting to be a present coach. So for me, I will say yes, but it's so much harder to get me to say yes to those things than it used to be. And it sounds like it's the same for you.

Melissa Costello

Yes. And you know, when Tony had asked me to be a trainer inside power nation fitness, I was like, the habit of moving away from this, like, do I really and then I was like, You know what, no, like, I feel so honored that I can be a part of Tony's community and that he trusts me and that I like that wisdom comes so easy to me. And and it's like it's a no brainer, you know, it's not it's doesn't feel hard. And so, but but there are other food things that have come up where I'm like, No, I'm not going to choose that. And so, and for me like yes, I am moving more toward, you know, my my I have a group called the wholehearted woman which is a membership group and really looking at life from a wholehearted values driven place, and then the work I do with the horses, and like that's all happening, you know, and that's it's been a process I've been wanting to work with horses for over 10 years. So that's that to tell you, that's how long it's taken. But I'm finally like, I've built the relationships over these last four or five years where I volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. And I built the relationships with the horses, and I'm like, It's time for me to be doing this work. And I'm getting my certification. And so I've been taking all the steps, but there's been a lot of my own fear standing in the way of me moving toward that. So I've had to really hear other people in my ear going girl I so see you doing that like that is so your dharma. You know, like that's so what you need to be doing. And just hearing people say that and knowing that in my heart has helped me move toward it doesn't mean it makes it easier or less scary. But I've you know, been moving toward it. And it's it's a process. And I'm I'm in very much in the process, even though I've been running workshops, equine workshops, and things like that. But it will eventually be my full time thing. But I also know like right now, it doesn't have to be either, or I get to do both.

Zack Arnold

So another area that gets even more complicated as part of this conversation where you're transitioning between one identity to another. It's one thing, if you have these different cohorts where the world of Tony Horton and his power nation fitness group, that's a group where they know you as fitness and nutrition and mindfulness, right. And then you have a whole totally different cohort of people, then they don't know each other. And these are the people that see you as the equine, you know, horses and whatnot. And I don't know if this is a challenge you've dealt with, but I know it's a challenge that I recently dealt with, and a lot of the people in my community deal with, where now you have to change the minds of the people that are already in one area and switch it to another and an example would be, you need to convince Tony Horton, that you're not the nutrition person. And now you're the person that deals with horses and female empowerment. Because I know for me, there have been worlds within worlds, for example, the editing world, where people that have seen me as an editor for more than a decade, I have to convince them. That's not my identity anymore. It's not a matter of I have to convince myself and I say yes to editing jobs on one side of my life. And then I say yes to, you know, coaching and education on the other side, but there's no intersection. How do you manage it, when all of a sudden, it's the same person that you want to work with in the future, but you have to convince them that you're in a totally different role.

Melissa Costello

I mean, I don't know that the work convinced is not convincing me. I'm not really feeling like I would need to convince anybody, because I, I really believe that. I mean, listen, the work, I do overlaps, because like I said, the stuff about food isn't really about the food, it's about the symptoms. And so I work with all are not about the symptoms about the underlying core things that are going on, which are, can be limiting beliefs, or trauma or things like that. And that's the work I do with the horses. And so I've actually had people from Tony's group come into some of my other offerings that aren't food related, because they understand that, you know, oh, there are deeper things happening here. You know, so, I don't know if I necessarily would think I would need to convince anyone other than this is also another thing I'm doing. And this is a part of who I am, as well. And it doesn't, again, it goes back to that either or, and I think what you know, with what you're talking about, like being an editor, it's such a, it's such a different world, because it's a very specific thing, you know, and it's like, you're moving from like, one complete realm to kind of another realm. And you've actually been, you've been merging the two in a really beautiful way from what I've witnessed. And, and I think that this, again, goes back to like, we find the people or the people come to us who are ready to hear what we have to offer and to bring support to so it's like, you know, like, do I need to convince Tony, that I'm the horse person? No, I get to say, this is another thing that I'm doing that it can help, right, that can can help. And maybe some of those people from LA can come up to Santa Barbara and experience a workshop and experience what it's like to be out in nature with horses and like, how empowering that is, you know what I mean? So, I think that that's kind of where I'm at with that, like, I don't, you know, and not needing to define the identities but just saying, like, I do all these things, and that's okay. And I think through COVID, a lot of us have had to, like, do a lot of different things to survive and make money right, we've had to all kind of scramble and do different things and have different jobs and all that and so I think it's it's not about putting ourselves in a box, but like really just saying, I am all these things and whoever is I have to trust that whoever I meant to serve is going to show up.

Zack Arnold

Once again, somehow you've stolen the answer key to all of my questions and gotten a step ahead of me. No, don't apologize, because it's great. But I think that the really important thing you brought up right off the bat is, I don't want to have to convince people, right. And one of the things that I helped my students with is that if you're ready to make that transition, you need to be telling a different story about yourself. And once that story changes, and you believe that story, and you see that new identity, then the wrong people are gonna say, No, I don't want to work with you, you just do this one thing, and I don't want you for this other thing. And the right ones are going to say, well, you know what, you did such a great job with this. And like you said, there's a lot of overlap. And in my world, that would be a lot of transferable skills, where if somebody says, Well, you are great in this role, there's no reason you can't be great in this new role. As long as I'm willing to accept that there's probably going to be a little bit of a learning curve. But it's not about convincing people. That's what I hear all the time for my students, well, how do I convince this director where I used to be their assistant, now I'm going to be their lead editor, or a composer says, Well, you know, it's just on this composing team and just did some orchestration in the background. But now we need to convince the same person, I'm the Lead composer, you don't need to convince them. But you need to tell a different story number one, conveying the confidence that I am assuming this identity. Number two, there's a lot of transferable skills and past experience that still bring value to you. So you can either accept that this is who I'm becoming, and we can work together, or I go on my merry way. But that's really, really scary for people to put themselves in that position.

Melissa Costello

Yeah, yeah, I think and I think a lot of it when you're talking about, you know, who we're becoming, I think, owning like owning it as part of it, right? Like owning that I want to move into this next place in my life. And what does that mean for me to own it, you know, and to really like, not have to convince people but show up as that person, like, show up as that, quote unquote, identity that we're talking about? And, yeah, and that is, it can be scary, you know, because we're moving from something that we've relied on and dependent upon, and other people have dependent upon us for results from right to this other thing that's like, No, I don't know, am I gonna have the same experience? Or am I going to be successful? Or am I going to, you know, be able to embrace this identity and do the job that I want to do you know, or, or provide the support that I want to provide to people, whatever it is. So yeah, I think, again, it goes back to like, the messy middle, like, how do we navigate that as we're moving from one place to another. And I think a lot of that is like really giving ourselves grace, and not not needing it to be so black and white, and just really listening, I think listening to our intuition and our hearts and like, what, what's really important to us, and I think that that's a lot of us get disconnected from that, we just do what we think we should be doing, you know, yeah,

Zack Arnold

you have a lot more influence in my coaching program that you might know, because I've stolen a lot of stuff from you, from all the exercises that we did, and I'm gonna I don't know if this is one that I stole directly from you, but it was inspired by you. And I want you to tell me, if this is a good thing, or a crazy thing, or a bad thing, or otherwise, but I've I've done my best to tap into my intuition. As you know, I'm much more a human doing than I am a human being. And I'm trying to try to work on that it's a very much a work in progress. But I'm working on bringing intuition into the program a lot more. And when we talk about this major life or career transition, or frankly, both. And we're talking about intuition and being driven by emotion, rather than just logic, there's a question that I asked my students when they have an opportunity that comes up and they're unsure. And usually it's an opportunity that comes up that isn't necessarily the right fit for where they're going next. But it's it's still adheres to that former identity, and maybe it's a good paycheck or another good credit, there's a temptation, there's a carrot at the end of the stick, but it's not necessarily the right carrot. And I always ask them this question, and they give me the weirdest look. But the question is, when you think about going into work, are you nervous? Or are you anxious? And their response is, what's the difference? So I'm curious what your thoughts are about this question and what your interpretation is of the difference. I will share mine afterwards. But you may not even realize it but it's largely inspired by the work that you and I did together and kind of tapping into my ability to tap into it rather than just logic my way through everything.

Melissa Costello

Yeah. So for me nervousness is more about excitement like it's it's like I nervous because this means something to me, right like it's it's more about excitement and connection and and just like there's a little bit of fear here, but this is something I'm excited about and that's where the nervousness comes. From anxiousness to me comes from a space of fear and like, gosh, am I like, is this really aligned for me? Or is this what I really want? Or does this feel like my truth? You know, so for me, that's what the difference would be. And yeah, anxiousness to me is different than nervousness because I feel like I mean, there's a fine line between the two of them. But I feel like anxiousness comes just more from a place of fear than nervousness does.

Zack Arnold

I completely agree. So we're once again on the same page, the way that I often describe it to my students is, do you feel butterflies? Or do you feel this giant heavy black pit in your stomach? Yes, when I explained it that way, they're like, Oh, God, it's totally the pit of my stomach, then you need to run from this opportunity as far away as possible, because it's not an opportunity. Or they say, Oh, God, like I'm, I'm breaking out in a sweat and like, I'm super nervous, and I got butterflies, I'm like, You need to dive into that with a full head of steam because that is your system, your body and or the universe, depending on what you believe, telling you. This is the next stage. But it's scary as hell. And there are things that you don't know. And you're gonna fail, which is usually the biggest area of fear is that oh, my God, but I might fail. But that's where all the fun stuff happens. Like I probably one of the top three times I've ever been the most nervous in my life. And I will never forget this moment. It was about four, four and a half years ago, where I got an email from Shawna, Shawna Horton, who's Tony's wife, and also business partner. And like, they're a lot of what they're building, they're building together. And this is before power nation existed. But through a connection of a connection, we, you know, got got on the email conversation back and forth. And she said, Hey, why don't you and your friend come to Tony's on Sunday for an angel workout, I still get nervous telling the story. I don't. I've been doing it every Sunday for four years, but I was terrified of like, Oh, my God, I actually have to go in front of one of my heroes, and I need to what I knew was going to be a spectacular fail, because I wasn't even remotely ready to be around people of that caliber. But I knew that was the next stage of the journey. If I'm really going to achieve something that's difficult, I have to surround myself with people that are better than I am. And I need to be the worst one in the room. So it was like literally butterflies everywhere, like jelly legs and scary. But it was the best kind of fear and scary possible. And one of the best decisions that I've ever made, because I'm a completely different person, because I embraced that fear, but never was at anxiety. It was always the nerves and the butterflies. And what I guess what I want to help people with in this is an area where you can be much, much better to helping them than I could be. How do you help people get better at identifying the difference? Because logically, it's like, oh, yeah, that kind of clicks and makes sense. It's another thing to actually sit in yourself when you have this experience, and answer, what am I feeling right now? So what are some ways that we can help people tap into that and become more intuitive about whether they're feeling nerves or anxiety based on potential opportunities?

Melissa Costello

Well, I mean, I could say like, oh, sit down and meditate, right? Because that's, you know, meditation is one of those things that actually helps us hone our intuition. But to be honest, this might sound kind of weird, but like, I actually taught to the parts of my body where I feel stuff so like, if I feel like anxiousness. Like I actually asked that part of my body like, what are you? Like, you're anxious? What what's going on? Like, what do you need? Well, I'm scared or I'm, you know, I actually talk to those parts of myself. And this is part of therapy called internal family systems. It's also Gestalt therapy, where we actually speak to different parts of ourselves. But I think like, oftentimes, it's about taking a long enough pause to understand like, Am I in my head? And kind of spinning around things? Or am I in my body really understanding like feeling what's happening here? Am I Am I in my body and really tapping into the feelings that are coming up? Like where am I feeling this in my body? Because for me, like my anxiousness always lives in my chest. That's where I feel it. And so immediately, I'll put my hand there and say, like, what's going on? Or I'll feel I'll feel like a feeling of dread. If there's something that doesn't feel aligned, right. If there's like some, I committed to some job or some speaking thing, that that wasn't aligned. And I said, Yes, at the time, but I'm like, dreading it coming up, you know, and so often just sit and breathe to really get in my body. And I know that a lot of people might be going, Oh, God, that sounds like woowoo and this and that, but like, to be honest, our bodies will never lie to us. They are always going to tell us the truth. This will always lie to us, right? Our egos always gonna lie to us. And what we call the logic and because then we're trying to, like, measure everything based on our thoughts versus like, How does this feel in my body? And if there's fear here, what am I afraid of? You know, sometimes I'll do worst case scenario with people. Like, if that worst case scenario came true, what would you do? And they'll go, oh, oh, actually, I would do this. And okay, I'm not that scared anymore. It's really about our bodies, and like, taking enough time to pause and attune and check in and listen and take a couple breaths and like, see what's going on there. Because that's our body's gonna give us a lot of answers, you know, we immediately will always go to the head or the ego. So that's kind of how I offer that to my clients.

Zack Arnold

I love that. And I mean, my by far, my default state is always going to be the logic side of things, the analytical side of things, and I've been fighting my whole life, to try and not let that be the only person in the driver's seat. But when it comes to analyzing the body, this is another thing that you help me with. And I've learned through other forms of meditation as well, is that it's not just a matter, I feel this and I feel everywhere, it's where do I feel it. And it's interesting, because I feel it in different places than you expressed. So for me, anxiety is in my stomach, which is probably no surprise, why I stress eat. Because when the anxiety is coming up, and I know I'm doing something I don't want to be doing or there's some kind of struggle that I want to get away from, because it's the bad kind of fear. That's when food becomes a big part of the picture. Right? It says you Yeah, exactly. But what I've also learned is that for me, the the nervousness or the butterflies are the the better stuff, I feel that in my chest. So for example, the last two times that I've been on the starting line for American Ninja Warrior in front of an audience and cameras and lights, I swear to God, my entire test was just gonna pop open, like so much pressure, nothing in my stomach. It was all in the chest. And another thing that I've learned, and I think this was a conversation we had at one point, is that if I feel intense emotion in my throat, that sadness, yeah, right. So I've learned what are the different parts of my body. And that's really helped me better make those decisions. So if all of a sudden, my, my heart is racing, and my chest is going to explode, well, usually I just gotta suck it up. And I gotta, that's something I need to embrace, because it's probably good for me. But I'm scared of the unknown. But if I really feel this kind of gut wrenching feeling in my stomach, it's like, I gotta run away from that. And there's something about this, this isn't right. So I think that that's a good practical strategy for people that just do a very simple body scan and be like, what, it could be different, different places or areas of the body. But just building that awareness. Like, people have no idea how vitally important and valuable awareness is to every facet of life.

Melissa Costello

Oh, my gosh, it's so it's so huge. I mean, it's the first step in any kind of change. Obviously, we have to be aware before we make any change, but there's always we have to back that up with action, right? So we can be aware that, oh, I have, you know, I feel anxious. And it's like, okay, well, if you want that anxiousness to change, or move, or you want to understand it better, that's where we're kind of going inward, and really just taking a moment to like, check in with yourself and ask yourself, like, what's happening here? What's my fear? What am I, you know, and that's journaling is really great, a great thing for that, too, because you can just kind of write out what's happening. And sometimes it can give you clarity, you know, so that's a great practice to that can help kind of help you understand what's happening in your system, you know,

Zack Arnold

yeah. So there's another direction that I want to go with is this going to go even a little deeper down the rabbit hole here, and your you alluded to the word or the words and I want to, I just want to embrace these and those other words, woowoo, which are as far from the analytical mind as you can possibly get. And we have this ongoing running joke, that really isn't a joke, but we call it the woowoo factor. In my program, I cannot explain this. And I'm not expecting you to explain it, because I frankly, don't know if any of us can, but I know that you're definitely tapped into maybe better being able to to make sense of this. But what I see over and over and over and over again, is I have somebody come into my program that doesn't have their mindset, right? They're dealing with all the things we've talked about the anxieties or the fears of making a transition or putting myself out there. As soon as they make the decision in their mind with the intention. This is where I'm going all this weird, crazy. It just starts to happen in their life, and they can't explain it. They're like, well, for years, I've been doing this one thing and I've gotten nowhere, I joined this program and three weeks later, I'm getting three job offers, doing the things that I want to do and I didn't even email will put anything out there. What the hell's going on

Unknown Speaker

what is going on? Or it can also be things that like you start to put your intention towards something and all this stuff stands in the way like more things come up that stand in the way so it can go both ways. I mean, listen, here's the deal. Everything's energy, right. So like, I I'm a big believer in, you know, what we put where our where our attention goes, things grow, right? So I'm a big believer in that But I also think that there's a lot of things internally, we that that block us from moving toward what we want. And that's why I do such deep emotional work with my clients is because there are so many ways that we can sabotage ourselves and where we can block ourselves from actually get it. Like, even if we decide that's the thing I want, that can keep us from getting that thing, you know, so I heard on a podcast, I can't, I can't remember, it was like Brene, brown, or Glenn and Doyle, where they were talking about woowoo. And they were saying, like, the fact that we even call it woowoo is actually denying that there's something bigger at play here, you know, and that, and that we get to embrace it all. And that, instead of calling it woowoo, just let's let's look at it as like, this is this is part of our lives, this is energy, there's something bigger here at play that we can't understand. And then we don't know how actually how it works. But like, yeah, opportunities show up, and you're like, What the heck, you know, why did that show up? And it's something that's not explainable, you know, but I also think that the more we do our work and clear our blocks and create are different mindsets and belief systems. I believe that like life really presents us with opportunities, you know? And like, I could say, Yeah, I met Tony Horton on accident, and it was all just a fluke. But no, it actually wasn't, you know what I mean, I don't believe in coincidences, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Like, that's just the way I think. And even when it's hard, I still believe it happens for a reason. Which sucks, because I'm like, what I've been going through, I'm like, Okay, what's my lesson here? You know, I always want to look at things from a place of, what am I learning? You know, and where can I take responsibility for what's happening in my life? So, I don't know, there's things that are unexplainable, you know, and we just don't, we just don't know why they happen. And I'm also a big believer in energy and like, like, you know, like, attracts like, and the more energy we put towards something, the more focus you put on something that's going to evolve and grow.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, and I think the the area of this, and I realized we could very quickly get very existential, and I'll try not to go too crazy, existential, we're gonna get a little existential. I think that for those that don't believe everything happens for a reason, because this is, this can be a very, you know, tumultuous topic to have with people to have this conversation. But I think that for those that want to believe it, but don't, it's Yeah, but what's the reason and we had this, again, going back to expectations, we should expect at some point to understand the reason. We just think, well, this happened, but within a week or a month, or certainly within a year, I'm supposed to understand why this happened and why it wasn't a coincidence, we may never get the answer. We may never know what it is. But I believe very, very similarly. And again, not going to get into any specific religions or whatnot. But anybody that claims that they understand how all this works is completely and totally fooled. Because I think asking a human to explain how the universe is constructed is like asking my puppy to do calculus. Yes, we have the Stephen Hawking's and the Neil deGrasse Tyson's, but they're just barely scratching the surface of understanding. And for us to actually get all of this, I think is just it's pretty much an impossible expectation, certainly, at least in our lifetimes, maybe 10,000 years down the road through more evolution. But for me, it's not so much about I have to understand it's that I have to embrace that I know that it's there. I see this happen way too many times, way too consistently to other people to believe that it's a fluke, there has to be something. And what's so important about what you said, is taking responsibility for it. Instead of seeing everything through the framework of Well, this was a failure, or this sucks, or why is this happening? To me? It's like, well, this is happening, didn't want it to be, but where's the lesson? How can I turn this failure into forward momentum, so that I can at least grow from it even if I never understand why it happened. And you know, especially when it comes to horrible tragedies, it's really hard to see the good in it, or how do I fail forwards from this horrible thing that I had nothing to do with that has, you know, been put upon me, but all you can do is take responsibility for whatever that circumstance is, and move forwards. But we may not understand why but I just I have a hard time believing that none of this has some form of meeting beyond which which we cannot comprehend.

Melissa Costello

Agreed, agreed. And I Yes, you're right. This this conversation could go really deep into stuff. And I think that just from from my own perspective, I really believe that everything that happens in my life is meant to bring me back to myself. And for me to remember the truth of who I am, which is I'm a human being. And you know, I basically I am just I am Created from love. That's what I believe. And I think that everything that happens is meant to bring me back to the reminder of that and that I am connected to something bigger than myself. It doesn't mean it's not painful. It doesn't mean the logical mind like wants to, we want to as humans, we want to figure everything out, we want to know what everything means. And there's a lot of stuff we can't ever figure out, you know. So I think that part of when we go through hard stuff, the way we can be responsible and take responsibility versus becoming a victim of because it's so easy to become a victim of like, why did this happen to me, you know, this sucks. And like, yeah, it does suck. And we can, we can have a little pity party here once in a while we are human right? So we get to acknowledge that. But I think it's, it's just more about like, Okay, this is going to help me be a stronger person or a more empathetic person or a more compassionate person, or more. Right, whatever this is, it's helping me grow into some other kind of person, even if I don't know what that is right now.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I think that all of that is so so important. And what I want to kind of wrap things up with is going back a little bit earlier. And the conversation as it relates to what we're saying now about this idea of we had this former identity, we're trying to move to this new identity. But as you've talked about, no matter what your identity is, as a coach or a human being or whatnot, there's a deeper why underneath all of it, that's consistent. Right? So you realize that food is just a symptom of deeper underlying issues. And you know, the horses, maybe one direction to be able to address those symptoms, or the the female empowerment group is another way. But there's a deeper why that kind of goes along with everything. And once people tap into this, like for me, when I realized that the deeper why that I have is connected to the kinds of TV shows that I gravitate towards is connected to the kinds of things that I want to write about is connected to the things that I want to teach your coach, it's all the same thing, just in different mediums. And I think that's also one of the things that makes the transition easier, as they're a lot more similar than you think. So if you were to distill instead of, I'm the person that teaches mindful eating or nutrition, or has cookbooks, or I'm the person that has a female empowerment group building this this equine, you know, community so people can connect with horses, what's the deeper why that connects all of it for you? And how can we help help other people find what that deeper thread is for them.

Melissa Costello

That's a great question. So three things came up for me when you ask that question, connection, community and service. So for me, that's what my life is based off of those are three of my top like, values, connection, community and service. And like, when I think about those three things, that's that's what my life is built on. And it's almost like, innate in me, I cannot not be of service. And not everybody feels that way. You know, for other people, it might be connection, or it might be, I don't know, everybody has different things. But like, when we get down to the deeper, deeper, why is it really about Mike having a lot of money? Like what's Why do you want the money freedom, right? So it's like, what are the deeper core values are the deeper things that have meaning to you? And, like, that's what drives it for me, you know, and so everything that I do, and I bring this to myself, because it's always hardest for myself, because when I'm going through hearts, I want to isolate. And if I have a value of connection, and community, and I want to isolate, right, the hardest thing for me to do is to reach out and make connection and build community. But it's the one thing that's going to heal me. And so I think the thing that like our deeper why sometimes is the hardest thing for us to actually engage into, even though it's what drives us. And so, you know, there's always two sides to everything. And I think that the more I say connected to those things, the more my life feels in alignment, and grounded and just real versus, you know, living in this kind of like place of, well, it has just the egoic place, you know, it's more from living from the values of like, what, what's really at my core.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And I the reason that I wanted to ask this, is because what we're doing is we're reassigning an identity that you never really have to give up. If you're waking up every day and saying My identity is I'm a transformational eating coach. I'm like, No, I don't want to do that anymore. Well, now what the hell do you do with your life, but if your identity is I'm somebody you know, that is connected, and I am of service. You can do that in 150,000 different ways, but you're still attached to that core identity. And this is an exercise that I take my students through and didn't even remotely occur to me to tell this person story. But as you were talking like I know exactly who I want to talk about. So I'm going to share one of my students stories, not naming any names, but as he listening because I know he will. He's gonna just totally blush and be like, oh my god he's talking about but you're not going to share any names. But it's a student of mine that fairly early in his career and wants to be a composer and just a composer but wants to be like, you know, one of the big composers like the next Hans Zimmer, right. And we started talking about the work he's done in the past, where he's done some work for animation, or commercials or trailers, and all these other things. And then we talked about what are what are some of the transformational or really impactful films or TV shows or just music you've heard in the past, that was the spark, where you realize this is really what I want to do. And he named a few films. And we started to break it down much deeper, not just well, this is a horror, this is sci fi, or whatever, because those are just different mediums to share a story and share an emotion. But what we found is that the reason he was gravitating to these specific films and the sound is because it connected all the way back to when he had seen these movies as a child. And it was a shared experience with his father. He didn't have a lot of shared experiences with his father, but in these movies he did. And the feeling that that music in these environments created for him, he realized, this is what I want to do for others, I want to facilitate this connection, which makes it a whole lot easier for him to assign an identity, that isn't something that's going to change every six months, it's not going to be I am a TV composer, or I'm a film composer, or I do horror, I do whatever, it doesn't matter what the medium is, or he could even decide he doesn't want to be a composer. But as long as he knows that he creates work that's going to inspire and bring people together and enhance relationships, then he is adhering to what he believes is his true identity. And I think the deeper we go to find that identity, the easier it is to make these transitions.

Melissa Costello

Agreed i Yeah, that's really beautiful. And, you know, I, I just really think for me, it's I think of that as my higher self like that is my true higher self. I get I get this idea about identity. But for me, identity is so rooted in ego. And for me, it's just like, this is the higher part of me like this is where my heart speaks from, you know, and so like, yeah, that's incredible. That's an incredible story to like, link that back to the connection with his father and wanting to create that connection for other people. So that's going to drive and inform everything he does. But it's not like an identity. He's getting stuck in that that could like go away in six months, right?

Zack Arnold

Yeah, exactly. And that's very, very similar to the way that my journey has gone. And just to kind of paraphrase little tiny bits of it. As it relates to this conversation. My huge identity crisis came about seven years ago, where I was at the pinnacle of my TV career, and realize this isn't what I want to do for the next 30 years of my life. Because I've never seen my kids, I've told the story many times not gonna go into it again. And I know you've heard it privately because you know, all my deepest, darkest secrets. But the identity at the time was, I'm an editor that's working towards winning Oscars. That's why I had been since I was literally nine years old. I'm going to be the best editor ever, and I'm gonna win all the Oscars. And if that's not what I want anymore, who the hell am I? Right, right? And then the transformation slowly became a wouldn't it be cool that instead of being the editor going after the Oscars, I'm the guy that's helping other editors get their Oscars, right. So it's kind of a subtle transition. But then as I dug deeper, it wasn't even about working with editors, or working with people that won Oscars, it really became, I want to facilitate people's transformations. So they can realize what they are truly capable of, yeah, I can do that in any medium or form. It doesn't have to be Hollywood, it can be in corporate America, or it can be basket weaving. But once I realized that it's like, it doesn't matter if I'm creating an online course, or I'm editing a TV show, or I'm writing a book or making like none of it matters, because that's the identity that I've been able to assume that makes it so much easier to navigate all the various transitions and what do I say yes to and no to, if I don't have the ability in some way, shape, or form to help somebody realize they're capable of something more. It's an immediate No. But like the TV show I've worked on for years. And that's kind of the whole theme of it am I gotta keep going back because it's so aligned with kind of the the deeper reason I do things may not be the exact task or job I want day to day, but it's so in alignment with the theme and the identity that is really, really hard to say no to but then huge Oscar winning actors and producers come around with a great project. It's like, oh, it's just this cool action sci fi thing like No, not even interested because it's not aligned with like, you say that higher self.

Melissa Costello

Yeah, that's amazing. I love that. I just

Zack Arnold

I wouldn't have gotten there, by the way without you. So a lot of this is your fault.

Melissa Costello

You humble me. Thank you.

Zack Arnold

I'm using it amazing how eating a bowl of Oreos in front of the television can end up becoming this. Right by the way. I had an Ice Cream Sandwich last night last night while I was watching TV. So just full disclosure. I'm still a work in progress. It was delicious by the way.

Unknown Speaker

I mean, you Yeah, listen, you have a whole different level of awareness now around what you're doing and who cares for you on an ice cream sandwich during Right? Like, I hope you bring

Zack Arnold

It's spring break, my kids got a whole bunch of crap we don't usually allow them to get in. I'm like, Yeah, I'm gonna enjoy this.

Unknown Speaker

I was gonna say, I hope you enjoyed the hell out of it. Because that's, that's the key, right? It's when we beat ourselves up and guilt ourselves and shame ourselves. That's when it gets hard.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, well, yeah, absolutely. And I just I want to reiterate one more time, because this is the component that I think frustrates people the most. And I know I need to hear it myself. And I know you need to hear it as well. It's going to take as long as it's going to take, yeah, I just wanted to transition to be over, I just want all the pieces to come together. And I just wanted all the work and it just never does. And I know that like you said, you're in the messy middle, I'm in the messy middle, I kind of feel like everyone, globally, in some way, shape, or form is in the messy middle, and it just is going to take as long as it's gonna take,

Unknown Speaker

Let's just embrace it and just say, this is our reality, right? There's not anywhere to get to, it's just like, This is the reality. And this is where we are right. And it doesn't mean that we don't grow as human beings or work toward what we want. But like, this is the reality. And so the more we can embrace it and not fight against it, the less suffering we'll have, you know, and that's, that's all just part of the journey, it doesn't mean it's not hard, and it doesn't suck sometimes, you know, but if we can embrace it, then it will be a whole lot better instead of fighting against it and resisting it.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And I will say that a lot of the background that I have in studying Buddhism is going to come out right now. But if you want to remove suffering, remove expectation. Yeah. Yeah. If it's just about not always expecting a certain outcome, and I'm just as guilty as anybody else. I'm not saying I figured this out. But that's at least the place to start is if you can remove expectation, a lot of the suffering is going to go away.

Melissa Costello

Yeah, that's one of the biggest things that I do with my clients, where we start is looking at all the expectations they have around, you know, themselves food, their family, their kids like parenting, what are all the expectations, and you just go through each one and break it down and really look at it and like, ask yourself, Where did that even come from? Is that still true for me? And you know, and just starting to, like, let go up and lesson because I mean, men have their own set of expectations. And then women have their, you know, all their people pleasing and taking care of, and like all that stuff. And so there's so much there, and there's so much we put on ourselves that doesn't need to be there, you know, so it is a big source of suffering.

Zack Arnold

Well, this is certainly another deep, dark wormhole that we could go down for hours and hours. But yes, I want to be very conscious of your time and how it's possible. We have already been going for well over an hour, I don't know because I I feel like I just connected. But this is kind of what happens when you and I, we have a conversation. I love it. I love it. I do too, as well. So before we go, I want to make sure that we're putting out the right energy and you are attracting the right people. And when you do attract the right people, they actually know how to find you and connect with you. Yeah, how can they do that? Given the you're in the middle of so many different things right now, in the messy middle?

Unknown Speaker

Well, I still have my same website, which is karmachow.com. I'm also on Instagram, where I post a lot of stuff with the horses and things that I'm doing currently. And that's melcostellocoach. My Instagram got hacked last year, and I lost all of that. So Oh, yeah. And so you can find me either of those places. But my website has a lot of different information that I find stuff is on there as well. And, and also my other coaching I do so everything's there.

Zack Arnold

Excellent. And then I would assume that you're very approachable and somebody could reach out to you directly. But I just want to that's what I assume. Just wanted to make sure that you were okay with that.

Unknown Speaker

[email protected] that's m-i-s-s-y at karmachow.com? Yeah, reach out.

Zack Arnold

Excellent. Anybody that's really scared about sending a cold outreach email to somebody you don't know, I might be able to help with that. Oh, yeah, that that is an area that I can help you overcome.

Unknown Speaker

I love when people reach out and do stuff like that, because it just shows me like how much like that they have courage to do that. And I love it.

Zack Arnold

Well, I am just absolutely elated that I was able to come out of my small little dark cave and get on the microphone with you today. Because as you had said, you have a tendency to want to isolate when you know that you should be doing the opposite. And my immediate. The logical side of my brain said just cancel everything. Don't do the podcasts. I experience all the stuff and I'm like, Nope, this is why I built a community. And this is why I have all these people around me. So you know, let's just figure out a way to to get on this call and muddle through it and

Melissa Costello

yeah, you know, so thank thank you for showing up and thank you for inviting me back. This was wonderful.

Zack Arnold

Yes, it was wonderful. So thankful to have you on the show. thankful to have you in my life even though we don't see each other nearly enough. But hopefully we'll see each other at the next Paragon.

Melissa Costello

Yes, I hope so. So

Zack Arnold

All right, thanks so much.

Melissa Costello

Take care

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Guest Bio:

melissa-costello-bio

Melissa Costello

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Melissa Costello has spent the last 15 years For the last 15 years empowering and coaching humans across the globe to end the on-going battle with yo-yo dieting and body shame, so they can reclaim their power and come back home to themselves.

Melissa’s own personal struggles with her body image along with her in-depth training in Spiritual Psychology, Clinical Nutrition and holistic coaching provides the foundation for her clients to experience powerful breakthroughs and sustainable, profound transformation.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”