Join Melissa and Amanda as they discuss:
- How Melissa built the top podcast of 2022, MindLove from scratch
- How our own growth can fuel our business growth
- How authenticity is critical to resilience
Come to our event on January 17th:
On this episode of Unleashing YOUR Great Work, we are diving deep with Melissa Monte. Melissa is a mentor, speaker, and podcast host of “Mind Love”, where she helps people give their minds a little love (which we ALL need).
Melissa believes that her Great Work comes from the evolution of someone she was mentally ignoring and subduing for years: herself. She guides us through and shows an immensely beautiful amount of vulnerability to her 10-year downward spiral where she had to find the strength to push back against the walls that were closing in on her mental well-being.
Half of her life, Melissa built 100% of her life around everyone else and the core being of who she really was. However, through the struggles, Melissa came to realize that the more vulnerable she is what she needs, the more she can move forward. She works with her personal goals, fights brain negativities, and scratches her own itches first in order to help the world around her.
We may not realize that we are all struggling with such similar things, and yet we still believe our struggles are so unique and no one will understand. However, the basis of what we as human beings go through is so immensely similar than we may realize. Melissa expands her Great Work to the minds of others, helping people not only to expand their minds with care and self-love, but also with guidance to see outside the bubble that they themselves or society has created for them.
About the Guest:
Melissa Monte is a mindset mentor, speaker, and podcast host. After a 10 year downward spiral, she became obsessed with understanding the power of the mind and used what she learned to rebuild her life.
Now, through her popular podcast Mind Love, she helps tens of thousands of people each month give their minds a little love to think, feel and live well.
Mind Love has won multiple awards and is a top mental health podcast in over 70 countries and has been featured in Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and NYC Journal.
About the Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author of Great Work, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda’s TEDx talk: Three Reasons You Aren’t Doing What You Say You Will Do has received more than a million views and has been featured on TED’s Ideas blog and TED Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Amanda lives in New Jersey with her husband, two adorable kids, and a remarkable newfiepoo named Ruthie. She spends her days educating future teachers, coaching accidental entrepreneurs, and speaking about how to make progress on Great Work to colleges and corporate teams. To book Dr. Crowell to speak or inquire about coaching, check out amandacrowell.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome, everybody to unleashing your great work on this special 10 episode series we are focused on resilience. What is it? How do we get it? And if we've lost it, how do we get it back? So listen in, because we know that great work is so much more dependent on your resilience than it is on your hustle.Dr. Amanda Crowell:s of:Melissa Monte:
Thanks for having me. Amanda, I'm so honored to be here.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, I'm honored you would be here. And that's a pretty badass bio you got there. Having a top podcast in 70 countries is pretty legit.Melissa Monte:
Yeah, you know, it's one of those things where just broadcasting on your own by yourself, you can kind of forget and then you go count your wins. And you're like, I think I'm doing pretty good here.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Definitely, you definitely I love your podcast, which I'm sure we'll talk about more. But I do want to start where we always do, which is this question. Melissa, tell us a little bit about your great workMelissa Monte:
My great work has been an evolution. And really, it's been connected to the great work on myself. And that has been leading the journey or really highlighting my path towards how I help others and it's scratching my own itch first. And so the basis of my great work has been helping people expand their minds and just seeing outside of the bubbles that they've created them for themselves or the bubbles that society has created for themselves and see that there is more. And so that can look like finding more finding that true purpose for you that can look like realizing that your thoughts aren't necessarily absolute truth that they're just habits that have been created over time that can be rewired. And, and so I'm constantly looking inside myself and asking myself, What do I need. And I've found that the more vulnerable I am with those things, and the more that I share and say, Hey, this is what I'm struggling with now, even 12 years into the self development journey, or this is what I'm working on now. Or, you know, I thought I had this all together. But now I'm doing the motherhood transition. And I'm getting hit with these imposter syndrome and this and this and this, and this is how I'm doing it. I've found that that's really what's connected to so many people because they can see themselves in me. And I've realized that we are all struggling with with such similar things yet we think that all of our struggles are so unique, and that no one's going to understand what the basis of them are, are very similar. And so really me digging through my own weeds is helping me bring that great work to everyone else.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, definitely. I agree with you. And you mentioned in the bio, that it was out of a downward spiral, a 10 year downward spiral that sort of this whole journey began. So were you in a similar place to the one you're describing where you thought, I'm the only person who's ever struggled with this, and I might as well just, I don't know, give up or whatever it is that you might have.Melissa Monte:my speaking gigs canceled and:Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, wow, there's a lot of amazing points in there. And I, there's a couple that immediately came to mind. And one is, you mentioned that this happened at around 12, or 13, which, of course, since that's when your identity forms, right, you go from just absorbing what people tell you to questioning and forming your identity and releasing parts that you think aren't serving you. And it's also the time when that when the other people's perspective, like your peers become the thing that guide what you're going to do. So it makes sense that at that formative moment, like in that sensitive period, if you got a piece of information, it's like imprinted on your soul, right? It's a really deep time to think you learn something about yourself. And I know that there's not a person on the planet who didn't learn something about themselves that they wish they didn't believe or know or whatever, in your perspective, talking about kind of how you have to go there and heal it and then go there and heal it again. And then as more and more experiences pop up, you just go there and heal it again, is I mean, maybe on the surface, if you're not thinking about it too hard, what feels like this thing it like why can't I just like you said, reached the destination of healed, but really is such a beautiful reflection of the human experience of just continuing to grow. I love it so much. And now you're a mother, which means you get to heal yourself and take on the burden of trying to navigate the creation of a self in your children. So that's, that's a lot. And so tell me like, What is what did you learn in the five years of you said from I think 25 to 30, you were really unpacking or undoing a lot of the damage. What would you say are some of the big things, but obviously, you have a massive podcast where you go on and on about all of them. But what would you say are the biggest realizations that you made that helped you kind of develop this skill set?Melissa Monte:
I think that it's that I need time with myself in order to find out all of these things. Just like how you kind of illustrated that going back, inhale it coming back out, going back, inhale it. One thing I want to add to that is that each time is different. It's not just the same thing over and over again. It used to be before I added the layer of introspection. It used to be Oh god, I'm struggling with bulimia again, oh, I'm putting binging and purging again. Because I had no idea how to ask myself the questions how to give myself what I needed. It was just this willpower. I'm not going to do this again and wondering why I kept falling down that hole. Now with this added layer of introspection and spending time with myself and getting to know who I actually am. It's like reading a book for the third time you get different things from it. It's not just the same messages that hit suddenly you'll be like, I don't even remember hearing this paragraph before. Why? And it's because you weren't ready for it. You know, you needed the other context. And then once that's patted on you have this foundation of knowledge and then it's one layer deeper and so I used to think that, you know, of course, I know myself the best, because I spend all of this time with myself. But we all know people, and it might even be ourselves where their partner says, Oh, I know her better than she knows herself. Why is that? Because from the outside perspective, that person is able to see patterns in a different way. And so often, we're just living our lives on autopilot, blindly repeating our patterns, and not even really noticing that they're there. Well, I liken it to say you meet somebody off Tinder, I don't know the cool new apps these days. I mean, either, you can go on 30 dates with somebody that are two and a half hours long. And so you think you know them really well. But if you're only going to a movie theater every single time and just watching the show? Do you get to know them at all? No, you get to know them over coffee and talking and watching them do things. And, and so often, we're like, just sitting in the movie theaters of our own life, just watching the entertainment go by just sort of witnessing, but not reflecting. And so now, what my introspection looks like, and it takes different forms, depending on my mood, I do meditate every single day. But sometimes it's just, you know, getting in a blowup fight with my husband, and driving to go get a chai latte to make myself feel better. And sitting there and asking myself questions like, Is the story that I'm replaying in my head about how he's the bad guy? And he did this to me? actually true? Is there another way to look at it? What was my part in this? Where was I solve it? You know, just what questions come to mind. I really like the basis of Byron Katie's four questions. And it just starts with like, is this true? Can I absolutely believe this to be true? Can you turn it around, and just reword it? Those are really helpful. Now I've gotten to a place where if I, if I give myself that space, I trust that the questions, the right questions are going to come up. And then also trusting that I already have the answers inside of me. So the first like five years of my self development journey, are finding all the books and I didn't need that I read so many books, listen to all the books. And it got me to see things in a different way. What I've learned over time, is that that wisdom was always inside of me. And maybe I did need all those books to kind of pack in to give myself more confidence to be able to access that. But so often, all we really need is space. And that's not what we aren't used to giving ourselves because we have space, and all of a sudden, we're picking up our phones, and we're scrolling through Facebook, or Instagram, or Tiktok, or whatever it is. And then we're wondering why we don't come up with any new ideas or why we can't see out of our patterns, or whatever it is. And it's like, well, have you actually even made that intention in your life? Have you set that intention, and then giving yourself the space? And so that would be my biggest lesson is we need space and time to get to know ourselves and you need to like, practically date yourself. Like, who am I? What do I actually like? And so that was a big stepping stone for me, because I hadn't spent any time to figure out what clothes do I feel the best in? What do I like to do? When do I feel pretty? Outside of anybody else ever seeing me? What what lit me up last? What brings me down? What would I rather not do? And I realized that half my life, actually I would go as far as saying 100% of my life was built around everybody else. And not really what was at my core. And so figuring out what my core values were, what my interests what my aspirations and and what I wanted to leave behind when I'm gone, those things were just huge, because at least then I knew the end of my GPS destination. I might not know the next turn that I'm taking. But I knew the broader view and and it was something that I was able to follow no matter how many missteps I took over those years, because I could not undo everything at once. And I had a whole lot of bad habits to rewire. But I at least had this glimpse of where I was going and that wasn't necessary.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, you know, everything you say sort of harkens back to this feeling of like radical self acceptance and radical self trust. Because even in a moment where you're behaving badly, which isn't to say that going to get a chai latte is behaving badly, right. But when you're in your most reactive or when maybe I'll just say from my perspective, when I'm in my most reactive, least empathetic, like most angry, you know, forceful self, they're still and this is definitely something that just builds over time by knowing that with time and space and and introspection, I can trust me to come back down out of of the reactive place that I was in, and find my way back to empathy and caring and being able to see myself more clearly. And that was, you know, a long journey of discovery. And it sounds very similar to what you're describing. So it's like, you're gonna still struggle with the same things in different ways. And you're, you're going to be in new situations under different stressors, right? Like, when you were talking about dating the guy on Tinder, it's like, you can't just go to the movies, you got to see him online, at the grocery store, where the checkers really slow, is he going to turn into a chair, you need to know that you need to see your the other people under stress, and you don't know them. And the same is true of yourself. But we have this tendency, the minute we are under stress to dissociate from, you know, seeing ourselves as objectively as you know, being able to see our patterns and stuff like that. So that's really fascinating. So what were some of the things that you found, obviously, introspection, but like, are there you mentioned meditation? What other skills do you feel like were the first and really powerful tools in your in your toolbox to kind of give you that glimpse of where you want it to go, and how you're going to be able to like first army crawl, and then like, walk and then run in the direction you want it to go.Melissa Monte:
The very first thing for me, that was honestly life changing, was Yoga. But yoga isn't the necessary aspect of it, it's that I finally found something that connected me to myself that I could build on. And it's bond in every direction of the ways that we need, the things that we need in order to be happy. And, and one of them was seeing my body in a different way, kind of feeling it because as I said, I struggled with bulimia for over 10 years. And it was a pretty severe case. You know, if I felt fat, one day I was contracting in, I was like, hide my abdomen, like, I realized all these patterns that I did, where I would shrink myself. And I mean, actually physically trying to force my body to shrink. And then suddenly, in yoga, the first place I went that I loved was a place with no mirrors. So many yoga studios have mirrors, I will tell you that I prefer the ones with no mirrors, because you have to get in there, you have to feel how your body feels rather than looking and again, judging. And so I have this yoga place with no mirrors, and I'm just feeling like I'm in my own element, I'm still getting a workout, I'm feeling these little minut muscles, and how my body is holding me up that was so powerful for me, along with, you know, the introspective shavasana at the end. But then in doing that, and immersing myself in something that I loved, all of a sudden, I was surrounded by a community of people who also loved this thing that has was becoming so important to me. And so if it's, it could have been a theater class, it could have been a painting class, it could be just like gardening, you know, at the community garden down the street. What is that thing that connects you that immerses you in your life to where you can't just detach and disassociate. And so for me, that was yoga, and because of my background with an eating disorder, body image issues, that physical form was really, really important. But then now suddenly, I'm surrounded by a bunch of other people who have that mindset. You know, the yogi mindset, the, the kind of everyone's on this growth journey, whether they realize it or not, whether they're at the beginning, or they're speaking on the front of the class, and, and then I started finding friends from there. And so that was huge for me as well, because so many people find themselves in a position where they want to change their life. And they almost see that it's impossible, because they're like, but my whole life is built around this. An example recently, I quit drinking last year and my cousin, I kind of inspired her to quit drinking, only she is a party girl. She's older than me, but like she, all of her friends loved a party, you know, they all were cops. And so they clock out and then they want to go and just like release their job, which I understand. But for her making, that switch was so much more difficult because she didn't have all the people around the other people around her were kind of sucking her back into her old life. And so I'm not saying to cut off everybody that hold you back. But find people that are a little bit further on that path that you want to take or that can support you and you're going in a new direction. Otherwise, you're going to be second guessing yourself as it is. And then the people around you are going to be like, Well, why not just have this one drink what's Friday or why not just Why do you have to go to yoga tomorrow morning instead of doing this and instead you Planning this new you activity and so that surrounding myself with different people was huge because like I said, I had built my life around other people. And so now I have a new group, I have the potential for a new group. And I can start that how I want to start it, and starting that, where I'm going to figure out what I like, what lights me up, and I'm going to invite people to do those things. You know, like, come get this chai latte with me, instead of a drink or like, Come like, let's go do yoga in the park, or let's go on a hike. Rather than like, you know, let's go binge drink at the really cute corner. Restaurant. So. So yes, those were the very beginning steps. But I found that whenever I'm growing on my own, I only get so far, it's when I begin to share that with other people. And that might look like just vocalizing it and just saying what I'm doing confidently and you know, being okay with that, regardless of the reaction, or it might be, you know, looking on Facebook groups and finding the circles of this new thing that I'm into and making connections there and seeing what local is going on and immersing myself in those. And when I do it that way. That's when it really, you can feel the shift so much faster, because you're immersing yourself in it rather than just kind of keeping it this idea. Because if it's just this idea of you're just doing it by yourself, and it's just with you. I think for a lot of people, that's a protective mechanism that you know, they can let go of it without losing too much. But if you really get in there and ask yourself, well, what am I losing staying where I am, then it, it might show you that the stakes are a little bit higher?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, yes, absolutely. And that's a great talking about, you know, even vocalizing it is a great actual sort of transition to your podcast, which, when in this storyline of the five years of undoing and you How long have you had your podcast? When did you start it? And was it part of the healing? process?Melissa Monte:rted my podcast at the end of:Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow, how did you know in three months that it would be successful? What did you see? Like what were the signs?Melissa Monte:onth two, I was getting about:Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I like it, I like it. So I like to ask the question, where are you the joy comes from so in your great work, so in helping other people, by helping yourself and starting the podcast, and all of the pieces of it, what is the joy that you get from it? What's the biggest joy that you get from it?Melissa Monte:
This is something that I'm just sort of realizing new facets to in the last few months. And I think the joy is just understanding my power in the reality that I'm creating. And I'm not just, it's not even just for my life, there was a huge key that unlocked when I had a child and realize, Oh, my God, none of these changes are about me anymore, everything that I'm doing is modeling for this little guy. And my patterns are going to be his default, most likely. So like I need to clear stuff up. And so that that highlighted something that I knew, but I didn't know, like a visceral level. And from that, it's led to everything else, every change that I make, even if it's just an inner way of being like the energy that I'm holding, when I'm going and getting said chai latte, I can I'm at this point where I can see how my energy rubs off on the person that I talked to how just by like emanating what you are, the way you're choosing to be the way you're choosing to be in this world gives people around you permission, whether they even realize that it's happening happening or not. And so I've been in kind of a spiritual place lately. around that, where where I can just like, I feel like I see something more than I used to see. And that is what motivates me more than just like my own inner peace and happiness. It's like, I'm, I'm not just creating peace for myself, I'm creating peace. And that's the piece that I carry around. That's the love that I carry around. That's the joy that's the passion for life that I carry around and show other people what's possible. And that makes the stakes higher for my own self growth. Because my I know that my growth doesn't die with me, it's going to be passed on in a very real way with the children I create. But it's also going to be left behind and everybody I come in contact with. And so, to me, I do feel like regardless of what happens in my business, the greatest work I'll ever do is on myself, because it doesn't end there. It's it's palpable by everyone. And that's what it's when people see an embodied version of what you're trying to teach. That's when it becomes real impossible for them. And so that's just what I'm trying to live out now. And trusting that all the work that I'm doing all the choices that I'm making are having just a greater impact than I ever expected them to.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I like it. I love it. So you've come a long way. And you have a lot of success in the podcast chat right now. But I'm curious. Before we wrap up, I just want to know like when you look forward, some of its just creating peace, which is amazing. But do you have something on the horizon that has you excited? Some new piece of growth? I mean, obviously the baby that's but yeah, in your great work, like what's next for you?Melissa Monte:
So I've spent the last two years really just finding myself in motherhood. And suddenly in these last three months, I actually did a clearing beliefs exercise that unlocked all of these things for me, which I'm really excited about. So I've been refocused on the growth of my business and I'm most excited about the changes to mind loves premium membership. So as of January 1, I'm offering guided mini courses to help people really integrate the lessons from mind love into their daily lives. Because it's one thing to be inspired by the information but actually applying it is the life changing part. So I'm part Sit down with some of my favorite guests of the show to offer many courses and masterclasses every month that actually walk them through the powerful concepts like visioning exercises to get clarity on what you really want aligning with abundance, reverse engineering, the effects of stress. And so just really actionable and useful mindfulness tools to create your best life. And your audience might be extra excited about this, because you are featured as the very first guest expert for our January kit, which is a visioning challenge that'll help people understand what they really want, figure out why they want what they want, and make sure that it's really coming from the right place, and then getting that inner desire out into the world, actually manifesting it. So I'm really excited about partnering with you on that. And in fact,Dr. Amanda Crowell:
I'm excited about that, too, that's really fun to do. Yeah,Melissa Monte:
information for the membership is all at my love.com/premium. And it's at the lowest rate that it will ever be right now. So those who join now, we'll get that price locked in for the lifetime.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
That is nice, because I didn't notice the price and it was low. So that's great. So my love premium is that really the best way for people, if they're like listening to you for the very first time, and they would love to get to know you more, is that the best place for them to start?Melissa Monte:
Well, there's also the podcast and this is a ton of free information, I have over 350 episodes out. And I'm really excited about the growth of mine love to I'm fortunate that it just keeps growing month after month, wow. listeners that do find it tend to stick around. So my listener base is really loyal, which is something that I'm proud of. And the feedback that I've received from that is that people just love the vulnerability. There's a lot of influencers out there that are showing their highlight reels, and we like to keep it actually real. Yeah, we share real life struggles and cover topics that are relatable, then there's just so many topics that are considered taboo, but actually everyone's going through them. And so we like to just dive right into those. And I'm also launching a podcast growth course, for people that have their own podcast that will be launched in January as well, to help people achieve the success that I had with my show of growing it from zero to a million downloads the first year alone with Wow, your audience to start. So there's a lot of exciting things in the works. But those are the three projects that I'm most excited about working on right now.Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Wow. Yes, over and above the baby. This thing that'sMelissa Monte:
just growing. It's kind of the passive income strategy, you know?Dr. Amanda Crowell:
Yeah, you really have to invest for a long time before that one turns around. Well, you know, it's funny because you mentioned how much people love the vulnerability that you share on mind, love, and I have to first of all have to agree because I listened to my love and I love it. And I feel like they got such a great initial taste of that even on this episode. And I want to thank you so much for bringing that vulnerability here. It was a really great conversation for being part being our keynote guest on our resilience series. My podcast just hit 50 episodes the episode before this one so I am just so excited to be able to celebrate with you and thank you so much for your time.Melissa Monte:
Thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure.