Dr. Lulu about the importance of making an U-turn when you get to a road blockMar 31, 2021
Dr. Lulu is an incredible woman, and this conversation will simply blow your mind! Dr. Lulu is a board-certified pediatrician, motivational coach, bestselling author, podcaster and that doesn't even come close to describing her properly! She is a powerful woman that has the gift of speaking and writing about tough topics in gentle but clear words that go right into your heart. Dr. Lulu is all about taking your life into your hands and you can be sure that there is a lot of goodness in this conversation, that will inspire you to take action. Let’s jump right into it, I wish you lots of joy listening to it!
Uchenna Umeh is her birth name, but her online persona is Dr. Lulu. «Also known as the «The Momatrician», because I’m a mom and I’m a pediatrician, both of them are trademarks», Dr. Lulu adds.
In July this year (2021), Dr. Lulu will retire from medicine after 30 years to work fully as a coach. «In the last two years I tried to pivot and tried to rebrand and just tried to find a comfortable sweet spot», as she explains.
«I think the beautiful thing about being a human being – which we don’t always realize – is that your brain is capable of doing a whole lot more than you think», Dr. Lulu
Having fun is crucial to Dr. Lulu, but she states: «Having fun means you’re being true to yourself, you’re believing what you’re doing AND you bringing your self-doubt and fear along, because they are going be there anyway. So just acknowledge them and just keep going. That’s for me, what having fun is about».
Another important thing, especially in her work, is that you have to want to do the work: «If you’re not going to do the work, I’m not going to feel fulfilled as a coach», so she’s not above saying no to somebody who's not ready to work on themselves.
«A lot of people have "fear of failure", but I think the bigger fear is the "fear of success"», Dr. Lulu
There’s fear of failure but there’s also the fear of success. All the thinking about how to sustain the success and what if you lose it, what if you’re not successful anymore and what if… I ask Dr. Lulu if she had a similar experience herself, but she shakes her head.
«I think the only thing in life that ever scared me, was being a mother», Dr. Lulu
Dr. Lulu states that for her, motherhood has been a quintessential challenge of all time. «I think, being a mother has given me the most freedom to raise my kids to be empowered and love themselves and love women and on top of all that challenge me». She tells smiling that her boys have challenged her, especially when they told her that they wanted to do something the other way than the way she had proposed.
«For me, being a mother is the ultimate challenge of all time, but it’s also the best joy and reward when you look at your work and you see that it’s good», Dr. Lulu
«We are born with goodness, but then we are the ones that bring in the judgment and bring in the negativity and the bad», Dr. Lulu
Dr. Lulu says that in the bible, God looks at the earth and says «it’s good», so «you are good and I am good, but all of a sudden I start to see myself as not good and then I start reflecting that in you and say «you’re not good, because I don’t think I’m good» and then we start seeing bad», Dr. Lulu continues.
«I’m very happy that I’m seeing that the sky is literally the beginning», Dr. Lulu
It’s such a good feeling to hear Dr. Lulu talk so confidently about things that matter to her. I ask her what she’d advise other people that lack that confidence, and her simple but strong answer is: «If you have an idea, trust your idea and trust your feeling and just say to yourself it’s good.» Dr. Lulu often listens to «I am – affirmations» on Youtube, which is super powerful. «Just trust yourself and then tell yourself «I’m proud of you», I’m proud of your failure, I’m proud of your success».
«I was born like this, I came out swinging», Dr. Lulu says smiling. She was bullied in elementary school because she was sassy, because she was smart, that’s when she gained valuable insights into the ways of life:
«You have to believe in yourself and see the light in you and then you can reflect it on other people», Dr. Lulu
Dr. Lulu doesn’t do things halfway. She was in girl scouts, in the debating club and she was an athlete that holds the longest jump record from High School unbroken, «that was 36 years ago!», she states.
«Go big or go home!», Dr. Lulu
«Yes, I’m proud, because I’m God’s creation and God says I am good, so I wake up in the morning feeling this way and go to bed in the evening feeling like this», Dr. Lulu says and adds, that she is a motivational coach, not a self-esteem coach. «Motivation and mindset, that’s me».
«You can’t be successful, if you’re doubting yourself all the way», Dr. Lulu
«The motivation is already in you, but not everybody is ready to embrace it», Dr. Lulu
That’s exactly why I think that it’s so important to choose the right coach for the right situation.
Dr. Lulu adds: «Coaching is not therapy, coaching is about the possibilities, that’s it. It’s about moving forward; therapy is about going to the past and figuring out what happened». As a coach she asks her clients what they want to do, how they think they will get there and then she will hold space for them, and hold them accountable. If you’re not ready for transformation, then you’re not ready for coaching. Maybe you need a therapist because with a lot of baggage you can’t move forward.
«Each of us are unique and there is only one original of us», Dr. Lulu
Dr. Lulu uses the following analogy to explain it pretty clear: «When it comes to losing weight, your coach is never going to do the work for you, you have to do the work. That’s the same thing with regular life coaching, you have to do the thought work and the believe work».
«Courage means fear + action», Dr. Lulu
And she adds: «Stay and linger, that’s for chickens». : )
«Transformation means, you have to change, you have to do something differently to get a different result, otherwise that’s insanity because you’re doing the same thing and expecting a different result». Dr. Lulu is crystal clear about her work and her expectations: «I have no apologies for being tough, it’s not for everyone», but being Dr. Lulu she also adds gently: «We have to be cheerleaders and the wind beneath your wings, but you have to fly».
I ask her, what she does to keep herself up in the air and Dr. Lulu answers: «I love to read, I love to dance, I love to go for a walk with my dog, I love to sit in my hammock and listen to the wind chimes, I love to journal - I have tons of journals, I love to write, I love positive self-talk…»
Dr. Lulu had drastic experiences in her youth, but she didn’t let them get ahold of her. «It didn’t happen to me, it happened for me», she says. Now she’s able to inspire other people, to tell them that they’re not alone, «but me too doesn’t mean I’m gonna stay and let it burden me. Unforgiveness or hatred is like you taking poison and thinking someone else is going to die, you have to forgive yourself first of all and make peace with that, I say that because even though those bad things happened to me, worse things happened to other people», she adds.
«Self-acceptance is critical», Dr. Lulu
«Comparison is good, as long as you use it for the greater good», Dr. Lulu
If you see someone that has 5 millions followers, when you «only» have 50’000 you can either be jealous or you can say that if she has 5 millions, you can have it too. Dr. Lulu adds to that: «I just want my message to get to the people that it means to get to, that’s quality versus quantity».
«Always have somebody that is 2 or 3 steps ahead of you so that you can grow, otherwise you get stunted», Dr. Lulu
There is a quote that comes to my mind and it goes like this: If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
Dr. Lulu says that you should also be willing to fail. When you fail you can think about what you can do differently, you can think about what worked and what didn’t work and then start again. «My GPS says, «make a U-turn if possible», that’s one of the most important things. If you don’t make a U-turn, the GPS says, «recalculating», I love that, that’s just so powerful».
Dr. Lulu takes the analogy even further: When you want to use your GPS, you have to clearly say where you want to go. Don’t say «I want to be better», think about WHAT you want to be better at.
«Coaching is about making decisions», Dr. Lulu
Dr. Lulu says that her word for 2021 is self-compassion. «Part of self-compassion is also being okay with the word solitude. My short-term goal is just to get okay with being with me. My long-term goal is to always be okay with me».
I ask Dr. Lulu to tell us about her books.
«I wanted a book for my 50th birthday, I wanted to be an author, that was my goal».
The first book that she started writing came to a halt, when one of her fictional characters died and Dr. Lulu mourned over her and couldn’t proceed. During that time, she transcribed a successful Facebook live into a book which was ultimately the first book she published. It was called «How to Raise Well-Rounded Children». It was an instant bestseller, «that gave me the courage to finish the first book». «A Teen’s Life» is about the lives of 12 teenagers struggling to make sense of their lives.
Last year, after the death of George Floyd, Dr. Lulu wrote the bestseller «How to Teach Your Children About Racism» during lockdown. First it was a blog article that went viral, and Dr. Lulu turned it into a book, after someone suggested it.
I strongly encourage everybody to read it – no matter if you have children or not! Dr. Lulu’s words are so beautiful and even though it’s a really tough and very important topic, it sounds poetical, which makes it even more persuasive.
Dr. Lulu is currently working on her fourth book about 25 immigrant women. I’m already looking forward to reading it!
Dr. Lulu’s messag to the world:
«When you get to a roadblock, make a U-turn if possible, that’s it: Let’s make a U-turn and just hold space for yourself and make a U-turn if possible. You don’t have to settle, you don’t have to stay there and then when you get to your destination, and even on your way to your destination, just tell yourself: «I’m proud of you» and encourage yourself to keep going. I think self-love is critical, I think you can’t truly love another person from a place of scarcity, you can truly only love from a place of abundance. That’s all I have to say».
What a powerful ending of a powerful conversation. Thank you so much for your time and your energy, Dr. Lulu!
People we talked about:
- Les Brown
This is where you can find Dr. Lulu:
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