David Saint-Pierre on the power of fears and listeningOct 14, 2020
I met David in the Bo Eason-group on Facebook and I’m super happy to get to know him in this talk. David tells us his story about how he became who he is today, how he went from struggling with expectations and limiting beliefs to living an independent and free life. Get ready for a lot of inspiration! : )
David was 8 years old, when he started dreaming of becoming an architect, «I thought my father would be so proud of me». From the age 8 to 16 he helped his father at his work and learned everything about construction during that time, after which he tried to get into architecture school, but was refused. He then became a project manager in a school board, «I was 19, learned a lot about project management, made 45’000$ per year, had a lot of free time and lived with my parents», David says. After a few years David wanted to reconnect with his childhood dream of becoming an architect, so he went to design school planning to do the masters in architecture afterwards. Life had other things in mind for David. After a year of working full time and going to school he completely burned out. David says, that he was sick of school, of work, of living at his parents’ house and he wanted to take the relationship with his girlfriend to a new level. He moved out, invested - after two years of hard work - in a real estate property and got married. «It took 3 times more time and money than expected, but it payed off. I was able to invest in a business, but it didn’t work out and after a year I was deeply in dept».
David started asking himself «what is it that makes me fail over and over, what is it that doesn’t let me become who I want to become?». He starts reading books and hires coaches. «I realized that all my career choices in life were really based on me wanting to connect and find love with my father. I realized that doesn’t really make sense, so I changed my beliefs: My father loves me no matter what, I don’t have to become an architect or this persona I created in order to please my father». David completely transformed his life, he improved the relationship with his father and his wife and became a coach. «I redirected my life to help entrepreneur leaders to unchain their entrepreunal potential and to transform their beliefs, their emotions, in order to position them on top of the industry», David explains.
«All this journey let me to grow and become who I am today», David
David says that once you lived it yourself it becomes much easier to connect with people and to know how they feel. «You can really resonate and have compassion and can help them to go through their own journey».
I am always amazed by that, a coach has this big overview and is a little bit ahead so they can help you gain this view too. In Switzerland we have a saying that translates in «sometimes you don’t see the forest because of all the trees», a coach basically helps you see the forest again.
David adds that it’s like a pencil that you hold really close to your eye until you can’t see it anymore. «Most people are blinded by something that is right in their faces and other people can see it so obvious. A coach is this external reference that says «hey, you’ve been walking around with that pencil in front of you»».
I ask David if he has any rituals or tricks to bring him in a good mood.
«I was raised in a background of haitian descent, my father and mother came from Haiti, they moved to Canada as immigrants and the mindset is really about «oh you’re going to become an architect, a lawyer, a doctor and those kind of professionals», we were raised with a lot of expectations of academically form to do really well. All my life was about good grades and performing and performing and performing. I didn’t know what else would bring me joy than having good grades, so my parents will be proud of me», David says. «When I started working as a project manager, all that could bring me joy was entertainment, going out and clubbing. After a few years I realized, that this wasn’t giving me the resources that I wanted so I discovered who I really am, I spent more time in nature, I discovered the mountains».
«When I connect with nature, the forest, the ocean, I feel so good, that brings me peace», David
As a mountain girl myself I can very relate to that, the ocean and the mountains have so much power and wisdom. I ask David if he still goes clubbing? I myself do enjoy going out sometimes and dance through the night, although not as much as when I was 20, 21! : )
David says, that he is completely over it. With his lifestyle as it is now, it’s hard to get to bed after 10pm, because he gets up at 4am in the morning: «I found out that when I get up at 4am I get the most done out of the day».
After David says, that 6 hours of sleep is his «sweet spot», I remember Brendon Burchard saying, that everybody should try sleeping 8 hours every night for two weeks and see what transformation that brings to your life.
David’s answer to that comes quick - as he loves to get work done in the morning and to coach at night he needs this routine. «I can’t really sleep more».
I ask David how he sticks to habits that he knows are good for him?
«If I say I didn’t struggle, that would be a lie, it’s really hard sometimes», he admits.
David says that habits like eating healthy are a struggle for him as he does like to eat haitian food from time to time which is often fried, with a lot of rice and beans but not many vegetables in it. «But the feeling is so good, it makes me connect with my family and my ancestors. Sometimes I have to get out of my regular diet because it makes me feel happy».
Doesn’t the feeling good win over the healthy? That’s my thought about eating. If you really enjoy this chocolate mousse and you don’t feel guilty, it’s not a problem. If you feel guilty that would be more of a problem to your mind than enjoying it to the max.
David agrees, «if I feel guilty about it, this guilt will create other stuff and I don’t want that. I’m aware enough to know what emotion I’m feeling and say «oh I’m feeling this emotion and I allow myself to feel this emotion, sometimes I will have a behaviour that is not necessarly in alignment with my values and my routine, but it’s totally ok, nobody is perfect».
I always want to inspire people to think about what they want and to write it down.
David started three years ago with writing about his wishes, visions and beliefs. He says that he now knows better what he wants but that it’s constantly evolving and changing: «If this or that was serving me a few months ago but not anymore, I need to change it. When I have beliefs that I want to reinforce I will just meditate and I also do movements like Yoga or working out».
I ask David how he meditates on a belief, that sounds super interesting!
«The believe that really changed my life and how I view things is, that my value is infinite, regardless of what I can do, what people think about me», David
David explains that this completely changed his life, because he used to attach his value to his skills, his abilities to get good grades, his abilities to be a good project manager, his abilities to connect with people, to be a people pleaser. «But now I disconnected that from me».
«My belief is that self esteem is one thing and confidence is another thing and self esteem is to realize that as a human being, my value is infinite, period», David
«I don’t have to do anything to be loved, I don’t have to do anything to have value, confidence is something that is built over time, I might be very skilled to run, however I might be terrible as a writer, I might be terrible at another sport but it doesn’t make me less important, it doesn’t make me less valuable. To meditate on that in the morning and just be by myself and say that «my value is infinite», «my value is inifite», keeping that thought in my head for 5, 10 minutes, that gives me really power», David adds. «I set a timer for 5 minutes and just reinforce and have a little routine». David uses the Calm Meditation App where you can set that every 5 minutes a bell rings. He does 5 minutes of breathing and 5 minutes of reinforcing that belief.
Some of you might be wondering, how fast one sees results when doing a meditation like this. David says that it really depends, because everybody is different.
You will probably be off a lot of times and you’ll have other thoughts coming up too, but if you are able to refocus your thought on «my value is infinite», it will reinforce better. It might take you days or even months but diligent practice is definitely key.
I ask David: What little things bring you joy during the day?
David says that he really likes to listen to any type of music; classical, hip hop, heavy metal, «it gives me a certain vibe». He says that sometimes he listens to it while working but at other times he consciously enjoys the music: «Sometimes on a Friday night I decide that I want to discover some music and really listen to music for maybe 30 minutes, an hour. Sometimes I like to watch concerts on Youtube and put them on the tv, I give myself an hour and really feel the music, I’m dancing in my living room and it feels good».
I like to inspire people to create little joyful things in their daily life. My most favourite exercise is to write down 100 things that bring you joy. If you think that you can never think of that many, also consider things like «walking on the icy edges of the snow and listening to the sound it makes». Yep, I really like that. : ) The list is also part of my free Joy Challenge.
Another thing that David sometimes does is taking the car and just driving somewhere without a plan.
«I like to explore, I like to be free and go wherever I want to go, without any plan, without any expectation, just let my thoughts free themselves», David
He also likes to walk by a river and throw stones into it, that’s something he did as a child and still does sometimes today «I just take the rock and see how many bounces I can make, that is always fun to do». That’s something that I love doing too, although my daughter Mika always counts how many Ken, my husband, and I achieve and Ken definitely wins every time. : )
«More joy brings more energy and you connect better with everybody you meet and it’s just this overflow of feeling joyful, it’s beneficial to any job, any age», Ronja
«It’s not about blaming others but to take the responisbiliy for your own feelings and thoughts and joy level», David
David says, that a lot of people aren’t aware that they have the power to control what brings them joy and that they have the potential to do little actions to bring them joy and not put that responsibility on someone else.
«You by yourself can do something that brings you joy and that’s a game changer once you realize that», David
«As a human being you are in control of your thoughts, you can think about something that brings you joy or enjoy little actions like walking on ice and hearing this little sound, nobody can take that off of you, that’s your thing, nobody can give this type of joy that you find by walking on the ice», David adds.
I ask David how he manages the «shoulds» and «woulds», because I think that’s one of the main keys in life to be free; not care what other people think. Of course it’s not about pushing everybody else aside, you can be super kind and generous with your energy, but when you don’t care what other think, your free.
«It’s very difficult for me», David answers. «The thing that helped me is to realize that I was actually wearing a mask of the nice guy, the people pleaser, in order to feel loved». He says that he was always being nice and pleasing, so that people would compliment or say good things, he was always helping out, he was always the «go to guy». David realized, that this was also what led to his burnout. «I was helping everybody else but wasn’t helping me and I was very very dependent on the opinion of others. Just realizing that and that I don’t need to please people to feel valuabe - my value is infinite - was a game changer».
David says that he cares less about what people think, but he still cares about how he wants to perform. When he wants to believe people this or that about him, he asks himself why and sometimes it’s like: «Oh I really feel insecure about this and that’s when I try to be super neady or super neat or trying to be perfect» and that’s when he knows that there is work to be done in that area.
«Often times I really want to cover up things so people won’t give me bad critics or bad comments but it just gives me the opportunity to learn that I need to work in this area. When I feel insecure about a certain thing I trust in that I learn», David
David also recounts how he felt before this interview, which is his first one of this kind, when he fixed the lighting and made sure that it didn’t look messy: «I know it’s not perfect this time, but I don’t really care about that, for me it’s important to have a good appearance. I’m like «ok now you’re scared, you feel fear, so the fear is good because it’s gonna make you be better, it’s gonna make you improve», I take notes about those little moments when I feel insecure and afraid that people will judge me, because I’m really doing it for myself».
If we wouldn’t care anymore, that would be sad. Of course we care, but it’s not waiting for a comment or thinking about what they will say, it’s about doing it from the inside out. I care about how I do things and then it’s up to the others, how they preceive what I’m doing.
«If you feel fear, just go through it and do your best», Ronja
David adds: «When you feel fear, try to diagnose what is the root cause of this fear, what are you really afraid of. Once you identify what you’re afraid of, you can learn from this fear and you can decide if this fear is going to be helpful or not. If his fear is helpful, it’s a good thing that I feel it, it’s a good thing, that I identify it to know what I will do next, to make a difference».
I love journaling; You can write about the things that make you uncomfortable, about why you act like this or that, about your fears… For a lot of people, sitting down with a journal and a pen is so scary, they prefer to distract themselves.
«The wisom of the whole universe is inside you», Ronja
First you have to find out what you want and then explore fears and thoughts - that’s like next level journaling. If you are ready to journal about fears and insecurities, that’s so valuable.
I ask David what his ideal client is and who should book him as a coach.
His ideal client is a full time professional, that has the desire to become an entrepreneur, but is afraid that it’s gonna bring a lot of insecurities. «This is the people I like to work with because I’ve been through the pain and I know how you feel and I know that it’s only a belief, you just have to change your mindset in order to find out what is the root cause of this fear».
David says that it’s like the fuel sign that lights up in a car. «That’s the role of emotions, they just tell you that you need to do something». «Sometimes this signal is there for good reasons, if you feel scared, if you feel afraid, if you feel fear, there might be a reason, it’s a good thing to see where that fear is coming from, so that we can transform it to an emotion that will be more supportive for you». It can be fear of quitting your job, of taking your time to build a business and maybe it’s because you failed in a past business or because of your career, maybe it’s because somebody told you that making money makes you a bad person, maybe it’s because when you’re independent, other people will be jealous… You have to look at those things. David says that «as an entrepreneur it is very very easy to be afraid and if you’re not afraid, honestly, there is a problem. You need to have this fear because this fear is telling you a lot of positive messages, maybe you have a little inscecurity that you need to adress and where you need to build confidence, so this fear will be there, but it won’t be as impactful».
The art of asking questions and the art of communicating is practiced a lot with coaching and both were very scary to David. «I was afraid of that and because I was afraid and I diagnosed where that fear was coming from, I was able to get some coaching, I was able to improve, so this fear is good».
I ask how David helps people with the mentioned fears, how far he takes them in his coaching.
David explains that he likes to work with a client for 6 months, «because that’s the least amount of time that you need to learn, grow and adjust. After 6 months you’ll be able to be on your own».
«Imagine that there is water in a pot, to bring the water to boil you need fire, fire is the catalyst that will make the water boil, I’m like the fire and the client is the water that needs to transform, I’m only there to be the catalyst to make the client transform, to allow the client to transform, he has everything inside of him but just needs that extra heat to push him to move to take action», David
David works in 3 months sequences both for himself and with clients. Every quarter he sets his goals and adjusts what he’s going to do next. «This is how I work with my clients, we identify what you want for the next 6 months, we ask questions where you want to go and what are the obstacles that are preventing you from going there, what are the steps to reach that goal and we will lay out a 6 month plan. We diagnose emotions that come in and beliefs that you need to transform, that’s what I do in my one-on-one program». After 6 months David’s clients can book another 6 months or have individual one-to-one sessions when needed.
«As human beings we are made to communicate and the voice system is sometimes so powerful. If you’re blessed enough to have this ability, this potential to express yourself with your words, then having somebody to listen to you, to make you talk more or to just hear you and repeat what you just said, helps you to immerge, helps you to be more creative. That is the power of a coach. The power of the coach is really to listen, because most people don’t have somebody that is qualified and trained to listen. As a coach we’re not here to give advice, we’re here to listen. Often times you repress the feelings you want to express, so having someone to listen without judging is really valuable».
So true! If you feel adressed by these words, by our interview, don’t hesitate to reach out to David or me. We both still invest in coaches ourselves, because we’re constantly evolving. Don’t wait for somewhen, go into action now! If you can’t do it alone, there are people to support you, people that can help you to finally see that pencil in front of your face. : )
Resources and people we talked about
- Brendon Burchard
- Calm Meditation App
- Free Joy Challenge
You can watch our conversation here:
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