Energy Rising: Neuroscience of Leadership and Relationships with Dr. Julia DiGangi | POP 975

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Do you want to work in harmony with your brain instead of against it? How can you train your brain to get accustomed to the right kind of stress so that things are easier? What does it take to update your “emotional codes” to reset your approach to life? 

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about the neuroscience of leadership and relationships with Dr. Julia DiGangi.

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Meet Dr. Julia DiGangi

A photo of Dr. Julia DiGangi is captured. She is a neuropsychologist and expert in the connection between the brain, leadership, and emotion. Dr. Julia is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Dr. Julia DiGangi is a neuropsychologist and expert in the connection between the brain, leadership, and emotion. Her lab and clinical work have been conducted at Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, the University of Chicago, and more. She has worked with leaders at the White House Press Office, global companies, international NGOs, and US Special Forces. Her book, Energy Rising, was published by Harvard Business Review Press and was released in September 2023.

Visit Dr. Julia’s website and connect on Instagram and LinkedIn.

In this Podcast

  • The world is hungry for information that you have 
  • Learning to work in harmony with the brain 
  • How to update old emotional codes 
  • Dr. DiGangi’s advice to private practitioners

The world is hungry for information that you have 

Especially after the pandemic, so many people are more in touch with mental health, and as such, people have loads of questions that need to be addressed. 

Authenticity and attachment styles and empathy and all of these things … I think the world is so hungry for quality information on mental health and emotional power. (Dr. DiGangi) 

Dr. DiGangi argues that now, in the aftermath of the pandemic and for the upcoming years, it is a sacred moment to be in a profession like mental health or counseling because you are a well-versed expert on topics that everyone wants to learn about. 

Learning to work in harmony with the brain 

Even though the human brain is one of the most fascinating and complex machines on the planet, is it also paradoxical because it always goes for simplicity. 

Even though the brain is so extraordinary I often call it “the great simplifier” … If we really run our lives through the filter of the brain, if we work in harmony with the machine, things become so much clearer and I say that [because] clarity is the foundation of all power. (Dr. DiGangi) 

Dr. DiGangi wants you to learn to work with your brain because it is a powerful machine that can trip you up if you don’t understand why it does what it does. 

People lose so much energy by getting lost in situational problems – that are not even real – and try to reason or work their way through them mentally. This thought-based approach lacks action, which means that in the end, nothing changes. 

The reality of [life] is that our lives do not break down because our problems get too hard, our lives break down only when our feelings get too big. (Dr. DiGangi)

If you get too in your head or too frustrated, overwhelmed, or despairing about a problem without taking action, that’s when things begin to fall apart even more. So it’s hardly ever the situation that brings us down, it’s the emotional energy that we adopt around it. 

We’ve got to figure out how to harness this emotional energy to live powerful lives, otherwise … We keep thinking the situation is the problem, and so we find a new job or a new relationship … [But] if we could’ve just held our emotional position, it would’ve changed! (Dr. DiGangi) 

How to update old emotional codes 

Human beings have a strong understanding of how to strengthen the physical body. No one is confused about how to build a strong body.  When you do go to the gym and you meet your resistance, meaning that you are lifting more weight than you are accustomed to, your muscles will shake.

They will wobble, you may sweat, your heart will pound, and so forth.  This muscle shaking is not a sign of danger, it is a sign that you are meeting the edge of your previous strength while your muscles are becoming stronger. 

So, when you hold your emotional shake; for example, you are having a difficult conversation with somebody and you have all the same reactions, and this emotional “shaking” – like with your body in the gym – is a sign of increasing strength. 

If you put no stress on the system, the brain’s not going to learn. If you totally flood the system, the brain’s not going to learn. It’s the same with physical health, right? If I don’t go to the gym at all, nothing happens. If I [try] an iron man tomorrow I’m going to destroy my system … When we do [this work] in a reliable, consistent way, the changes are extraordinary and they happen quite quickly. (Dr. DiGangi) 

Dr. DiGangi’s advice to private practitioners 

A leader is not the one with the most experience, degrees, titles, or money. A leader is the one who has the most potent emotional signal in the relationship. 

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

Books mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Julia DiGangi – Energy Rising: The Neuroscience of Leading with Emotional Power

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

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Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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