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‚ÄčThe Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #28 - Elle Russ

Elle Russ is the author of Confident As Fu*k and the best-selling health book, The Paleo Thyroid Solution - which has helped thousands of people around the world reclaim their health. Elle is also a TV/Film writer and the show host for the popular Primal Blueprint Podcast started by NYT’s bestselling author, Mark Sisson.


LEARN MORE AT: 

‚ÄčElleRuss.com
https://www.instagram.com/_elleruss/
https://twitter.com/_elleruss
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellerussofficial
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elleruss/

SHOWNOTES

Confident As Fu*k: How To Ditch Bad Vibes, Clean Up Your Past, And Cultivate Confidence In Order To Make Your Dreams A Reality

Noelle Tarr: Body Image, Social Media, Acceptance and Control, Stress Perception, Setting Boundaries, Our Personal Challenges, And More!

03:05 - Prep Dish: PREP DISH: Prep Dish is an awesome meal planning service which sends you weekly grocery and recipe lists, so you can do all your meal preparation at once, and be good to go for the week! The meals are all gluten free or Paleo, which is fantastic if you're already doing so, but also a wonderful way to "try out" gluten free or Paleo with delicious meals, and no feelings of restriction! Get A Free 2 Week Trial At Prepdish.com/melanieavalon

05:30 - BEAUTY COUNTER: ‚Äč‚ÄčNon-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing! Shop At Beautycounter.com/MelanieAvalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.com/CleanBeauty!

07:35 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download The Free Himalaya App (Www.himalaya.fm) To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon Podcast In Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance! You Can Also Join Melanie's Exclusive Community For Exclusive Monthly Content, Episode Discussion, And Guest Requests! 

07:45 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

Elle Russ - Fixing Hypothyroidism, Metabolism, Thyroid Hormones, TSH, Proper Dosing Protocols, Reverse T3 Probs, Natural Desiccated Thyroid, Necessary Nutrients, Iron Issues, Low Carb Diets, And More!

11:45 - Elle's Personal Challenges 

14:40 - How Innate Is Confidence? 

16:30 - Getting Rid Of Parental garbage 

18:45 - Confident People Pitfalls

20:10 - Confidence In Some Areas Of Your life But Not Others 

24:40 - Confidence, Authenticity, And Perceptions

29:45 - Online Dating 

30:20 - Dealing With Strangers And Haters

32:30 - Does The Universe "Give Back"?

33:00 - On Confidence And Speaking Up

You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay)

34:40 - The Science Of The Secret 

The Secret (Rhonda Byrne) 

37:30 - Dealing With Stories Of Your Past

40:30 - Your Experiences And What You Attract 

41:30 - Gaining Confidence Vs. Losing Fear

46:00 - Shame And Confidence 

56:30 - Romantic Relationships And Emotional Availability 

59:00 - Addressing The Avoided Areas In Your Life And The Role Of Social Support

1:08:15 - Native: Get Safe, Non-Toxic, Deodorant That Actually Works! Go To Nativedeodorant.com And Use The Promo Code MELANIEAVALON For 20% Off Your First Purchase!

1:10:30 - Melanie's Confidence Struggles 

1:12:15 - Judging Others And The Role Of Compassion 

1:15:40 - Purpose And Meaning In Life

1:19:15 - Why You Shouldn't apologize Or Justify

1:22:45 - On "Keeping Busy" 

1:24:30 - Confidence And Limiting Beliefs

1:31:30 - pursuing your dreams

1:34:00 - the role of mindset 

1:36:00 - taking the first step: doing vs. waiting 

1:37:40 - the role of Perseverance 

Dr. Eric Zielinski: Essential Oils, The Medicinal Power Of Plants, Smells And Memory, The Limbic System, Calming And Stimulating Oils, Conventional Toxins, Natural Healing, Mindset, And More!

1:42:00 - Confidence And Humility

1:44:40 - Confidence, Jealousy, And Competition 

1:50:40 - The Different Types Of Confidence: Confidence On The Outside Vs. Inside 

TRANSCRIPT

‚Äč
Melanie Avalon:
Welcome back to The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. Super excited to bring back a crowd favorite today. That is Elle Russ. I thought it would be the perfect topic for Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day. Happy Single Awareness Day. Today's show is all about confidence. How perfect is that? I adore Elle, I adore what she's doing. And her new book is really, really awesome when it comes to the whole confidence mindset, taking charge of your identity, your self, your future. It's really, really motivational, really encouraging and we get into a lot of awesome topics in today's show. 

Melanie Avalon:
One quick note, we did have a slight audio quality issue for my track in this show. My deepest apologies for that. But if you are a new listener, I just wanted you to know that it's an anomaly, not the norm. The show notes for today's episode will be at melanieavalon.com/confidence. I want to say before starting that I've been getting a lot of really good feedback about the episode that I had with Noel Tarr. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for your thoughts and letting me know what resonated with you. That was the first episode in that format, where it was more personal and more of like a joint interview.

Melanie Avalon:
So Noel and I had an amazing time. We talked about the struggles and challenges of life in the modern world and social media and podcasting and stress and feeling like you're not enough and can't live up to these standards. It was a really powerful conversation. And I really loved hearing back from everybody about their thoughts on it, and I'm so glad that it resonated. Going forward, we might actually do some more episodes because we did receive such amazing feedback about that, and I'll put a link to that episode in the show notes. But thank you again for listening and letting me know what you thought. I was nervous to put out that episode, so that really meant the world. 

Melanie Avalon:
And if you are enjoying this show, it would also mean the world if you could write a brief iTunes review, it helps so much for just spreading the podcast, spreading all this information that we learn from all of the guests and just getting the podcast out there. So thank you so much. For all of you Biohackers listening, I don't know about you, but when it comes to food, I'm actually not a huge meal delivery service person. I mean, I definitely think they have their place. But something I actually really love is the whole physical aspect of going to the store, picking out the food I want. Finding the exact cucumber, the exact piece of fish, carrying it all. I actually wear weights to the store when I do that. And then bringing it home and actually cooking the meal myself.

Melanie Avalon:
There's something to that, that I think speaks to our natural sense of self as a human being. But in any case, that can take up a lot of time. And it can also be difficult if you're trying to follow certain dietary protocols like gluten-free or paleo and still wanting to make really unique awesome recipes. That's why I am thrilled to be supported in part today by a company called Prep Dish. Guys, I adore Prep Dish. They're not a meal delivery service, but they're a meal planning service. So the way they work is each week you get grocery list and then you get recipes. So what you do is you can go to the store all at once, you can do all of your shopping all for the week, all at once. Oh, hey, timesavers. And then you come back, you do all of your prep at once, and then you're prepped for the entire week. 

Melanie Avalon:
But what's really awesome is when you actually make your meals, it's not like you're just heating up leftovers, you're actually cooking them so that it's very fresh, it's just you did all the prep work at once at the beginning. So it's a really, really amazing service. And my favorite part is all the meals are gluten-free. And then they also have the options for paleo and keto as well. So if you've been looking to try out keto, for example, and were kind of overwhelmed with meal planning and how to integrate that into your life, Prep Dish is the answer. Guys, they're the answer. And they have an amazing offer for my listeners. 

Melanie Avalon:
If you go to prepdish.com/melanieavalon and use the code, MelanieAvalon, you will get two weeks free. Yes, two weeks completely free. I mean, that's like the best offer ever. There's nothing to lose. You can try it out. See what you think. I think you'll really love it. So again that's for gluten-free, paleo friendly, meal planning and recipe lists. It gives you more time, gives you more freedom for delicious meals while still letting you actually make the meals yourself. I love it so much. Just go to prepdish.com/melanieavalon. 

Melanie Avalon:
Also, speaking of Valentine's Day, did you ladies wear some red lipstick this Valentine's Day or maybe embrace the whole makeup thing which makeup is another awesome thing for confidence? I don't think we have to hide behind makeup, by the way. I like to see makeup as a way to just enhance your natural beauty and further instill your confidence. But there is a problem with today's modern skincare and makeup, and that's the fact that there is basically no regulation by the government on this. I'm not making this up. There's like no regulation and companies can put whatever they want in skincare and makeup products. 

Melanie Avalon:
Thousands of these compounds have been banned in Europe, whereas the US has banned less than 10. True statement. These include things like endocrine disruptors and compounds which can mess with your metabolic health, which can create inflammation, heavy metals, even things linked to cancer. The list goes on and on. It is shocking. Thankfully, there's a company called Beautycounter. I adore Beautycounter. They make amazing skincare and makeup that actually works and most importantly, is tested to be safe for your skin. Speaking of that red lipstick, they have an awesome red lipstick that I am obsessed with. It's amazing. You can shop with at beautycounter.com/melanieavalon. 

Melanie Avalon:
And if you use that link, something really special and magical will happen. And if you'd like to know what that really special and magical thing is, definitely get on my Clean Beauty Email List. That's at melanieavalon.com/cleanbeauty. On that list, you'll receive all of the latest on the science of skincare, exclusive discounts and giveaways for me and so much more. If you love Beautycounter like I do and you want to really embrace the whole clean skincare and makeup world, which I cannot suggest enough that you do, you definitely want to become a Band of Beauty member. It's basically like Amazon Prime but for clean, non-toxic, safe skincare. With it, you get 10% back product credit on all of your orders, you get free shipping on qualifying orders, and you get an enrollment gift that basically pays for itself. I think right now it's their Charcoal Mask which is super-duper popular. It's like one of their most popular things. So definitely check that out.

Melanie Avalon:
I am Himalaya partner show and if you follow the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast in the Himalaya app, you'll get early access to the podcast 24 hours in advance. So definitely check that out. Also, please join me in my Facebook community. That is Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life. We talk about everything there. Like everything and anything biohacking and just life in general. So I would love to see you there. All right. So without further ado, please enjoy this conversation with Elle Russ.

Melanie Avalon:
Hi, friends. Welcome back to the show. So I am super excited to be here today with one of the most popular guests that I've had on my podcast to date. That is a true statement. I looked at the downloads and the prior episode with this guest has been one of the hottest of all my episodes. I'm here with Elle Russ. Elle, thank you so much for coming back and gracing our presence. 

Elle Russ:
I love chatting with you on and offline and thank you so much for having me. I'm so glad to know that. That means that when we are talking about thyroid, even more people are getting helped. So that makes me happy. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. So for our listeners, our first episode with our was all about the thyroid, because Elle is the go-to person for addressing thyroid issues, taking your health into your own hands. I'll put a link to that episode in the show notes, so listeners can definitely check that out. And now, I mean, whenever anything comes up, relationship to thyroid, I just direct people straight to that episode to your book. So it was a great conversation. When we recorded that, I'm trying to remember the timeline of things. I think when we recorded it, you had this book, you had either just finished it or was in the works. I don't remember the exact timeline.

Elle Russ:
I think I'd finished it but it wasn't yet published or it was about to be. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. So right around that timeline. So, Elle has a new book out, completely different topic. Well, kind of relates as we can go into that. A whole nother topic here. It is called, and I am going to provide the edited version of the title to keep this podcast friendly for all audiences. It is Confident as F-word. And for now, I will just fill that in. We'll just call it Confident as F. But the subtitle is, how to ditch bad vibes, clean up your past and cultivate confidence in order to make your dreams a reality. So right off the bat, it's a very confident title. So Elle, super excited to hash this out with you.

Melanie Avalon:
But for listeners, I mean, listeners are probably pretty familiar with you. But for those that are not, Elle is amazing. She's the co-host of The Primal Blueprint Podcast with Mark Sisson. She has her book I just talked about on the thyroid. She's really a go to girl in the holistic health world and is honestly changing lives in all of her work and cannot thank you enough for all that you're doing. And now this new book, I mean, I personally really need this book because I admittedly, I consider myself a shy, slightly insecure person. So I've always sort of struggled with the whole confidence thing. So this topic, especially coming from you was pretty awesome.

Elle Russ:
I bet people would be surprised to hear you say that because you've written a book yourself. You've been on TV as an actor. You've done tons of interviews and you have your own podcast. So that just goes to show you too that there are times when we are confident in certain abilities, and they sometimes might be on the outside, but we still need to clean some stuff up on the inside.

Melanie Avalon:
It's so true. People tell me that all the time. They're like, I would not expect that. And I'm just like, you have no idea.

Elle Russ:
It reminds me of when people meet me in person and they see my photo on the cover of my Paleo Thyroid Solution book. And then they meet me in person, I'm short. I'm like 5'2" but the photo on the cover makes me look like an Amazon or something. And so they meet me and they're like, totally not expecting you to be short. I thought you were like six feet or something. 

Melanie Avalon:
You're 5'2"?

Elle Russ:
I am. 

Melanie Avalon:
We have to meet in person sometime. So for listeners who are not familiar with you, I thought to start things off, would you like to tell listeners just a little bit about your personal health journey, mindset journey and what led you to where you are today with this whole confidence thing? Because I do know who you are. You definitely just shine confidence which is a beautiful thing. So tell listeners a little bit about that.

Elle Russ:
Everyone can check the previous episode with you, which is pretty lengthy, a great thyroid interview about thyroid health. I had always wanted to talk about the subject of confidence. But the thyroid stuff came up first and that was the first book I wrote. And it just wasn't necessarily ... It just wasn't in line with me combining two different things every time I was interviewed, so just focused on that. I struggled a couple times in life and I detail that struggle in a big way in a chapter in this current book Confident as F. But I've had some things in life, some major roadblocks or bumps, and a couple of them are like brick walls, really. 

Elle Russ:
The first one that I talked about in my book was being disabled at the age of 22. Physically disabled, I have a hand injury, and I talked about that in detail, and we can get into that later. And then 10 years later, I got hypothyroidism. I was like, you have to be kidding me, Universe. Are you joking? Really? Both experiences were the best things that ever happened to me in hindsight. They are also things I never thought would be a success story or help others, but they turned out to be that way. And so I guess to say that if you're out there, and you're struggling with anything, it's not to say that you're going to write a book about it. But most of the best gifts we get in life are wrapped in poop. They are, some of them are, and we've got to pull back those layers. 

Elle Russ:
Sometimes it takes some time to see what they mean in our lives, but that's really been true with the trials and tribulations in mine. I want to start there by saying, if you're struggling with something now, you don't know ... The struggles I've had, I now look back and cry out of gratitude for them, where at first I thought I was f'ed or I was cursed when they were going on at the time. And I think everyone's struggling with any kind of health issue or any kind of issue understands that. Seems like the worst thing in the world. And I'm here to tell you that it actually can end up being one of the best things in the world.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. I think that is so beautiful and that's something that I really, really took away from your book. Actually, it's one of the things that's really haunted me from the Paleo Thyroid Solution is the comment you made about, A, how you were grateful for your thyroid condition in the end, but also how when you got the second time ... Because you had that hypothyroidism, then you got the reverse T3 problem the second time, and how you were able to better deal with it the second time even because you knew you had been there before. And you knew you've gone through it before. 

Melanie Avalon:
I don't know why that just really stuck with me from that first book. But literally, that sentence pops into my head at random moments. It's like Elle's voice in my head. But yeah, that's just so wonderful to know that these struggles and challenges that people face that we can ultimately want to be grateful for them. How does confidence play in with all of that? So do you consider yourself ... Do you think you were born a confident person? Did you have confidence during your struggles? Did it wax and wane? How innate is confidence?

Elle Russ:
Even if you're raised well with confident parents who are instilling this in you, if they're not, then you might have again, a little bit more of a journey there to confidence, right? So if you're not raised in that way, which I was, but still, even if you're not, I did wax and wane and I was challenged by people and life circumstances along the way. I would say that I was naturally confident to some degree, but I have seen people who are literally debilitatingly shy, haven't had a friend until they were 35, couldn't talk to anybody. And these people are now people that you would meet and they're the most outgoing people on planet Earth. So you can be at Ground Zero with confidence and gain it.

Elle Russ:
That's also to say that the world and people in general are designed to sort of chip away your confidence. We see that with, it doesn't matter if it's a loved one, I talk about the downer effect in my book, downers and toxic people. You're going to get reactions from people. And you know this Melanie, when you're in a creative profession, you and I are both actors, when you're in a creative profession, you get more people questioning and skeptical of your future success than almost any other profession. It could be a musician. It's any kind of creative profession where a lot of people are kind of looking at you going, good luck with that. That's a downer. That's someone that's projecting their lack of confidence in you on to you. 

Elle Russ:
What are you going to do about it? Because we're living in this meat suit. It's your life. And that's part of this book, too, is taking those hits and turning them around. And understanding also not to take those hits and let them define you. So if you weren't raised that way, then your first order of business to get rid of the parental garbage, that sustain these stories about you, that you chose to believe that are affecting your confidence. And so, I also want to start off by saying, Confident as F, that term, is really to be meant to be all encompassing, inside and out. You can speak on stage in front of 50,000 people and then get off the stage and not even be able to have a conversation with your loved one because you just can't handle it. You're not confident in this arena. We need confidence from the bedroom to the boardroom. 

Elle Russ:
You're never going to get what you want in life unless you speak up and step up. And it's up to us. So we've got to shed all of this BS around us, including parental stuff and stories. I can absolutely give specific examples, and I do in my book. I think as you read and you understand, the reason this is different from a lot of self-esteem books or confidence books is that it's not about acronyms and to-do lists. This is like real life stories from my life and other people I've coached and people I know that when you read these bits, you go, okay, I get it. I get it. I know what I need to do now. That's what I think other books on this topic are lacking in substance.

Elle Russ:
The same with thyroid books, and that's why I wrote the Thyroid book. I wanted to be like, yeah, but give me something. Tell me really how to do it with the thyroid. I was like, really tell me what the blood work is. What am I looking for? Give me an example. Give me success stories. Give me something to sink my teeth into so I can have hope here. And the same goes for this book in terms of, well, there's not blood work examples in there. You can't detect confidence on a blood panel. It's about relatable real life stories we've all been through. We've all had similar experiences. I'm just laying them out for you so that you can go, aha. 

Elle Russ:
And if you're listening and you think you're highly confident, which I was as well, I had a stumbling block to being ... I was confident. Like, literally one of the most confident people I've ever met, I am. If anyone hears me on podcast would be like, that chick is a no BS, confident person, and I am. But I also had some pitfalls going on with that. And in order to become confident as F, I had to work through that so I could be all in one. Not just on the outside, not just over here, not just in business, but also in personal and other areas. Everyone's got something to learn. So if you think you're highly confident, this book is also for you. Because highly confident people have major pitfalls. And those pitfalls are, we do not like to be vulnerable at all because it's seen as a weakness. We also are inaccessible because of that as well. 

Elle Russ:
So people while they might admire us and come to us for advice when there's an emergency because we're going to get it done and handle it, we also kind of are unreachable. People look at highly confident people like, I kind of like can't get to know them. We're not accessible. And that's where less confident people really have the number on us. It's a symbiotic relationship. So while people came to me throughout my life needing confidence, like calling me up because they're like, I'm afraid to ask the boss for a raise or how do I speak up to my family member? That was always seemingly one-sided. Like, I'm there as some confidence coach.

Elle Russ:
But I learned a lot from them. Those people are better at receiving. They're better at letting people take the helm and be in control. They are more diplomatic about the way that they respond. Meaning, highly confident people are often quite confident and can be reactive and not think before they speak. That is something I've had to learn. I'm sure there's still moments when I have to really bite my tongue and go, hold on a minute, take a breather before you respond. So we can learn a lot from them too. It's not that less confident people don't have qualities that we need. There is a symbiotic relationship there, if that makes sense.

Melanie Avalon:
I love it so much. That's one of the things that you so beautifully laid out was just how, I think we often have a very, like you just discussed, limited view of confidence. Like we think it's the person who can talk to people and be happy in a room and light up a room. But really, there's so many different layers to confidence, and you provided so many examples of people who were seemingly competent in one area of their life, but not others.

Elle Russ:
It might behoove me to give that example. I'll give one of those examples right now that's in the book. Perfect example is John. So John is one of these seemingly very highly confident people. He is an anesthesiologist. So we have to put you under before surgery. That takes a lot of confidence in one abilities. That's someone's life on the line. Okay. You're putting a needle in someone's spine. Hello? Confidence, right? Does it with zero reserve, completely confident. And on the other hand, he's also a spear fisherman in the ocean. This is an extremely rigorous sport, okay. You are out five miles on the ocean, you're spearing a 250 pound fish, and then it takes an hour to wrangle it to the surface. You're out there with sharks. It's freezing. I mean, this is also an incredible level of confidence.

Elle Russ:
Yet, John couldn't talk to his neighbor about something really seemingly simple. And this spread to other areas of his life, in relationships. So here he is confident on the outside, also, good looking guy, in shape, like nothing there that would tread upon his confidence. What happened was, is that John had just washed his house, he cleaned the whole outside of the house, and then he realized his neighbor was setting up to clean their house the following week, and he was very, god, he's going to get dirt all over my house. He was stressed out about it and going back and forth, and then creating all of these sort of future arguments he might have with his neighbor. We really broke down the exact conversations in the book.

Elle Russ:
But essentially, I was like, "Well, hold on a second. You love your neighbor, you talk very highly of him. He's a nice guy, right?" He's like, "Yeah, he's totally nice." I was like, "Okay. So what's the problem here? Why can't you just go to him and say, hey, man, I just cleaned my house. I see that your workers you're going to do yours. Is there any way you could put up a tarp or? It's a one sentence conversation." He's like, "Well, I don't want him to think I'm a jerk." I said, "Well, hold on a minute." So we unwrap this, and finally, we got to the point where it's like, look, you can simmer around for weeks stressing yourself out. He could wash his house and then get yours dirty. Now you're all mad. You've created this false tension and conflict in the neighborhood that doesn't have to be there. All it takes is a one sentence conversation. 

Elle Russ:
Finally, when I convinced him, we danced around it, he did go to his neighbor and literally said, "Hey, I see you're washing your house. I just clean mine. Is there any way or workers could put up a tarp?" And the neighbor reacted as I thought he would. The neighbor was like, "Hey, man, of course. We'll protect it. And if for some reason I get your house dirty, I'll have my guys clean yours too." And John came back and was like, "Oh, my god, that was so easy." The reason that's such a great example is because here you have this confident person on the surface and this is also a warning. Just because somebody is confident in certain areas and abilities doesn't mean they have self-esteem and they're confident on the inside. And the inside is actually more important. 

Elle Russ:
Some of the most confident people are the quietest people in the room. This is not about writing a book, speaking publicly, being an actor, none of it. It's just being comfortable with who you are and stating what's true for you. Being authentic. Confident people are the most authentic and authenticity reigns supreme in life. People want to hire you, people want to do business with you. People want to be friends with you because they know you're not going to BS them. Now, on that note, and I do mention in my book. Hey, look, you have to have an editing button, right? If I'm your grandma's house for Thanksgiving, and she's got a horribly ugly sweater on and says, "What do you think of my new sweater?" I love it. I'm not going to tell her it's ugly. Let's just be real, right?

Elle Russ:
There's times where you're going to have white lies, not everything needs to be facts. Let her have that because disagreeing is just ... That's just not nice, right? So there are moments where we're going to have to edit ourselves and not speak the truth. But for the most part, confident people do. That is something that is so much more desirable to everybody, and it reign supreme. So it also gets you what you want in life when you're authentic and you speak and move forward in life with what you truly want and what you truly think, you often are more successful.

Melanie Avalon:
So speaking to that idea of being authentic, I hope I can express this right. So when it comes to confidence, how does it interplay with a person's feeling of their own authenticity or their own belief in themselves, compared to their feelings of other people's perspectives? So what I mean by that is, for example, I'll often feel very confident in my ability to do many things. So like me getting them done, I feel very, very confident in that ability. But where my insecurity, which I talked about in the beginning, often comes in is more about how I'm perceived in those things. So how it's received by the world.

Melanie Avalon:
So it's like this half confidence. It's like the confidence is sort of is like inside of me as far as my ability to do things. But then I get just really, really terrified of what people will think. So does that mean I actually have no confidence? Or does it mean that I just have confidence in part of myself, but not the full part of myself? So the tension between you feeling what you're capable of doing versus how people perceive it?

Elle Russ:
Yeah. Here's the thing. I mean, back to sort of even ancestral health, we have this built-in ... We're living with other people. We don't live alone on an island, right? We're not castaways. So we do need to feel valued by our tribe or by at least one person. You can be really confident in yourself because you're a lovely friend and everyone loves you. That could be it. You don't even need to have a special job or any kind of accomplishments or resume. It's really a feeling from inside. And so you know, Confident as F is inside and out. So you have confident in certain abilities. But you might not have confidence in a full, true way because you might still be caring about what other people think. And to some degree. 

Elle Russ:
Now, we all do, right? I put out a book, I want people to like it, right? But at the end of the day, I don't even care if one person buys my new book or the other one. I'm proud of myself. I did it. I'm confident in that. And so that's okay. In fact, when I wrote my first book, and all these reviews were getting up on Amazon, people were like, are you like checking the reviews every day? I'm like, no, the exact opposite because I'm confident in it. I don't care what anyone has to say about it. Now, you have to live life that way, especially in an online world of social media. Do you know what I mean? I mean, you're going to get people who are going to project that onto you and it's how you take it. 

Elle Russ:
So the most Confident as F person, and this is why I think it's important to lean into some vulnerability, if you're a highly confident person and that's your issue, which it was mine. Because that is the ultimate in not caring about what other people's opinions of you are. And when you're at that point, most of the time, the opinions are going to be good because you don't care. Do you know what I'm saying? It's almost like an energetic thing. You're so like, it's okay, because I'm happy with me and what I do, so that whatever anyone says, oh, well. Now, that sounds crass in a way, because it's not like I'm going to go call my friends today and tell them to eff off and I hate them and not expect some kind of blowback for that, right? I mean, we live in this world where we have to treat people well. And yes, we do care what our loved ones think.

Elle Russ:
But here's the thing, at the end of the day, like my mother, I love her so much. I've never met a better mother in my life. Literally, not heard of a better mother. My mother is a saint. But if she called me today and went nuts and told me to eff off, I'm sure it would really hurt. However, at the end of the day, I'd really have to eventually get to a point where her opinion of me doesn't matter. That takes work, that can be hard, and people who have grown up with such kind of parents who have abused them, verbally abused them, et cetera. So again, this takes inner work and that's the point of the book is to inspire everyone to do the self-examination to unravel that. Here's the thing, it's like, are you really going to let other people's opinion of you win? Not if I can help it. No, you're not. 

Elle Russ:
Now, I got hit several times. I talked about how people doubted me many times in my book, it comes up. It's not to say that you don't get an initial hit. We have egos. We're primal being. You go ... It doesn't feel good. And then you have to go, this doesn't feel good. I need to unravel this. Why doesn't it feel good? And when you really think about it, you are allowing someone else's opinion of you to dictate how you feel about yourself. That is giving your power to someone else. That is not confident as F. That's going to lead you down a road that is, again, going to probably trip up your advancement in life and the achievement of your dreams and your goals. And that's why you don't talk to people about your ... I think this is Steve Harvey quote, "Don't tell your million dollar dreams $100 people." That's part of it.

Elle Russ:
Stop coming up the brick wall if every time you talk to your friend Suzie, she seems jealous and supportive of your dreams. Well, guess what? Stop calling Suzie. And you might need to think about even being friends with her. So it is about ditching bad vibes, toxic people. And then again, cultivating it in yourself, turning it around. For example, with dating. Years ago, a woman was expressing to me that she felt online dating was depressing. And I said, "What? Why do you think it's depressing?" She goes, "Well, it's just a lot of rejection." And I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "Well, I email all these guys and like no one emails me back. It's a lot of rejection." Let's just unpack that for a second. 

Elle Russ:
So I said to her, I said, "So what if you found out that all of the guys who didn't email you back, that you feel rejected by were convicted felons or beat their last wife or were horrible drunks? Would you feel like you dodged a bullet or would you feel rejected?" She's like, "Oh, my god. I'd feel like I dodged a bullet." Exactly. So what is she doing in that environment? She's allowing strangers who she doesn't even know to dictate how she feels about herself and allowing herself to feel rejected. These are people doesn't even know. Now, even if she did know them and she liked them and they still rejected her, still the same goes. But you see how insane this is, right? 

Elle Russ:
So you get one bad review or you get haters on Instagram or whatever, you have to learn to not engage and move on. It's not to say that it's not going to hit for a minute, but then you have to really go in your head and go, hold on a minute. I don't even know this person. And what does it say about them? Says more about them than it does about you, that they actually took the time to go send out some hate. These things are all workable within the mind and within the soul to get in there and reason it out and go, hold on a minute, what was I thinking? But most people don't do that. They just run with that bad comment or that bad review or whatever it is. We often, again, are putting our comment. 

Elle Russ:
So back to the dating, going on a date too, I had a couple of friends that one friend who was talking about going on a date with a woman, and he was like, I just hope that like blah, blah, blah, she likes me. I said, "Nope. Nope. You don't know her. You've had one conversation with her. She could be a serial killer, for all we know. You go into that date, and here's your modus operandi. It is, let's see if I even like this person enough to continue beyond this date. That's a pro you move, that's confident as F." Not, I hope they like me. It's a different standpoint to come in from. And so eventually that woman who I was talking to about the dating, I mean, she got it. But if you really think about it, we do this a lot. We allow a parent, a teacher, someone else in our life to tell us what we can and can't do and what we may or may not be good at.

Elle Russ:
Now, this is not about ... This is a quote in my book. "It's not about proving them wrong. It's about proving yourself awesome." What are you going to choose? What are you going to choose? So we really do have choices here. It's just most people don't look at it, they're on autopilot and they just let these things go. But with each hit you get from somebody that's going to chip away at your confidence, you have a choice. I'm arguing for making the choice towards you. Because when you make pro moves for you, my belief and it's been in my experience, that the universe drops you prizes all the time. Even if it's speaking up against someone who's bullying you, adult bullying is a thing. It rarely happens to me. But a couple times in the past five years, a stranger has tried to bully me with major regret. They didn't realize ... Maybe they learned a lesson. I don't know. Who cares?

Elle Russ:
But at the end of the day, I still sometimes will speak up if I have to, but I'm really challenged on it because I am a person who speaks up. Back to thyroid really quick though, one of the things Louise Hay found out, and I talked about in the Paleo Thyroid Solution is that, when I look back in hindsight, when I got hypothyroidism, I was in a relationship with a kind of a passive-aggressive person who had to walk around on eggshells on, they were moody, and I felt choked up, like I couldn't speak up. And here's the thing, I speak up in every other area of my life, but I couldn't romantically. It's interesting that later on I find out that thyroid issues are really related to not speaking up or not speaking your truth or not expressing your creativity, et cetera. So not speaking up can also harm you as well. 

Melanie Avalon:
I actually think in Louise's book is that you can heal your body or you can heal your life. I remember reading under the hypothyroidism one, how it related to the voice and like not being able to speak up and everything. I know people might say that that's not scientific or things like that, but I actually think that it really, really makes sense. It doesn't mean that you discussed in your book as well, the whole idea of what we attract to us. You give me example of, I don't know if it was on your friends or clients or somebody that you were helping, who had seen all these therapists and all these things, and then she read The Secret and it changed her life. It's so funny. I read that and I was like, my goodness. Because actually, Elle, I read The Secret and once I finished reading it, that's what I decided to do this podcast. And here we are. 

Elle Russ:
It was a major change in my life, and for anybody listening, there's a movie, The Secret, it's a little bit of a cheesy production value. I suggest the audio book because it's four hours and it literally is all of the extended interviews. And it really sinks in that way. It's something that really changed my life. But here's the thing about The Secret, the information in The Secret is really about the power of intention, the power of the subconscious mind. These are not new concepts, The Secret just kind of revamped them in a nice packaged way. These come from, I mean, there's biblical verses, you could look to your own Bible if you're religious for ... You believe the thing first and then it's shown unto you. Ask and you shall receive. Or Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind, these are looking at ways of get what we think about whether you like it or not. 

Elle Russ:
You can discount that, there's a scientific book on it called The Intention Experiment where Lynne McTaggart, who's an investigative journalist decided, all right, look, if this intention secret thing is real, let's forget the woo-woo stuff, let's look at science. To see what scientific experiments, if any, can cooperate this. And that whole book, if you need science, is all the science behind the law of attraction and the power of intention. So whether you believe it or not, that's fine, but it's working, whether you believe it or not. So you could try to tap into it and see what it's all about. That audio book, The Secret, has changed so many lives that I've known. And of course, all of the speakers in that series as well are amazing. Like Mike Dooley and Lisa Nichols. There's just so many other wonderful experts, as you know. 

Elle Russ:
So here's the thing, there's so many people like, let's talk about parental garbage for a minute. I want to talk about Brandon's story because this is kind of a simple one that people would gloss over and not really think would be applicable to them. So Brandon is someone who grew up in a household like everyone had everything they needed, no one was struggling or suffering, no one was abused. Lovely middle upper class like white picket fence. But Brandon's dad was one of these guys who like loses hammer out of the toolbox and then go blame Brandon for it, for stealing it. Brandon didn't steal it and would be like, I didn't steal it. Yes, you did. I know you took it. Where is it? He'd always get blamed for stuff that wasn't his fault. And then Brandon's dad would find the hammer and then not even apologize. Like F you. Thanks, Dad. Right?

Elle Russ:
So Brandon, the way this carried over about until he was 40, was once he became a contractor, an adult and was working on a variety of projects, the same pattern would repeat itself. He would get blamed. Something would go wrong, wasn't his fault, and he would get blamed for it, and he would get blamed for it in a patronizing way in front of all the workers. Very embarrassing. Get yelled at. So totally bullied. So we've talked this out and I was like, well, hold on a second. This never happens to me and I'm not a better employee than you. It's just got to be something in your belief system. We looked at it. I asked about the childhood. This is classic psychology. We repeat patterns that are familiar whether they're healthy or not. It sounds sick. This is why people keep going to an abused husband because their mom was beaten. And that's what they learned about love. And it's familiar to them. 

Elle Russ:
It's not right. It's not healthy. It's just what is. Someone, everyone out there has something in their past that they can relate to where this might need to be cleaned up. So the first order of business is really getting Brandon to see that he doesn't have to be wrong, and that this is just a story. This was the story put upon him like you're the brat that's always wrong in the household. And then it took a little mustering to bring Brandon to the point where the next time this happened with this bully boss on a gig, he was going to speak up and say something to the effect of, hey, listen, if you don't talk to me in an appropriate tone, I'm going to walk out on this job right now. Now again, you have to be prepared for that financially in every way. But Brandon had, had enough of kind of taking it and just ... 

Elle Russ:
By the way, bullies prey on that. They preying on people that don't speak up. And oftentimes when you bully a bully back or call them on their shoes, they acquiesce and they're stunned. Usually. Because nobody ever does it. So Brandon finally did this one day and spoke up. And it went exactly the way I thought, just kind of like with John's neighbor. The bully, his boss was like, stunned. And also Brandon said this to him in front of everybody because he was being chastised publicly and said, hey, just call it out. He apologized. Didn't do it again. But then what happened is ... I mean, first of all, Brandon was so excited that day. It was like, I am so proud of myself. You would have been so proud of me. I stood up. It feels good to stand up for yourself because that is a primal instinct. Don't deny it. 

Elle Russ:
So after that, Brandon started to attract positions and jobs on contracts, and they went great, nothing went wrong. In fact, he would get emails afterwards being like, we loved working with you. Everything was so smooth and perfect. And he'd call me every time like, oh my God, what a different life Brandon is living now. Now I will say this. Once you've overcome a challenge like that, okay, you're not speaking up, you're getting bullied or whatever it is. And okay, then you finally kind of get over it, you tackle it, you make a move to change it. The universe will deliver as it did with Brandon, really great experiences, but you might get a test or situation. You might get one thrown at you to be like, did you really learn it? Did you really learn it?

Elle Russ:
So Brandon did get one out of many years that kind of was like ... And spoke up immediately in that moment. Because his confidence was fueled by the outcome of previously doing it, and he didn't really have any shame about it anymore. The moment a new contract or manager was kind of a jerk, he just immediately was like, hey, not going to accept that. No. Called it out. And it was over and the person apologized. And so you might get challenged after you sort of complete a challenge. You might still get a tester, but that's classic. Brandon's life is completely different now. His work situations are amazing. And again, it wasn't that I'm a better employee than him. But I've never had that experience in my life, except I've had the opposite employment experience. 

Elle Russ:
Everyone loves me. They keep promoting me. Everyone thinks I'm amazing. Like, this is my story. That's my experience. Now at other areas of my life that needed to work on but not that. So what's yours? If you're listening, there's something and here's how you detect it. Does something keep happening? Is there a pattern that keeps happening, whether it's in relationships, or whether it's in work, family? Doesn't matter. Where is it that things don't feel good, that kind of keep coming up and keep happening? That's your indication to go, hold on a minute. And looking at is there something from my parents or from my past. 

Elle Russ:
It could be teachers that told you, you were going to amount to nothing. It doesn't matter who or what it is, you got to look at that. Because there's some kind of story you're carrying through. Think about it. Brandon all those years allowed his Father's opinion of him to dictate how he felt about himself and dictate how he operated and his confidence in the workforce, and now it is 180. And that's just one simple example. So everybody's got a little something that they need to look at.

Melanie Avalon:
And so when somebody does find some sort of issue that they're struggling with their confidence and addressing it, gaining confidence in that issue or whatever it may be, is it a matter of gaining confidence? So like doing the thing that is confident? Or is it more about taking away the fears and the anxieties so then you are confident? So is building confidence about going forward and being confident or is it about losing the fears and losing the anxieties and then the confidence can just naturally be there?

Elle Russ:
It's a duo depending. Because you can force yourself into an act as if situation, and that might fuel it, but then is the substance really there? Have you really looked at the angles and the tangents behind that. Do you know what I mean? And if you look at the angles and tangents behind that from the inside, it's going to actually help fuel the outer. Listen, I talked about performance confidence in the book. And I don't know if you've had this. But when I started doing sketch comedy, we used a different word, but we used to call it the Pre-Show Poops. Because when someone starts performing for the first time live, it's like 20 minutes before the show, all of a sudden you're like, oh my God, I have to like go to a blowout in the bathroom. It's a common thing. It kind of happens with stage performance. 

Elle Russ:
I had it for the first three sketch comedy shows I ever did. And then finally on the fourth and last one of that series, I didn't and then I didn't have it after that. That is still an uncomfortable situation you have to work through. It's not to say that there won't be times when you're not uncomfortable. It's getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and that can be worked on. It's just like with Brandon, mustering up that, speaking up for the first time. It wasn't comfortable to do that when he first spoke up. It's awkward, it's uneasy. But it fueled his confidence from there on out, where now speaking up if needed is not at all mustering up those nervous tension yuckiness on the inside. Is not to confrontation still isn't uncomfortable if you have to have one. So you have to move forward even through the uncomfortability, is just that it gets easier over time. 

Elle Russ:
So you can kind of take actions that are confident, but I still would say that looking at the bigger picture of why you're even there in the first place is going to help you get there. And to know that, yes, getting on stage for the first time, I wasn't super confident when I did that. But I was like, I'm here. I agreed to this. Show's about to start. I don't have a choice now. You asked for this. I sometimes do even though I'm super confident in public speaking. I've had moments. I was at Paleo f(x) last year and my speech was the shame of disability and the disability of shame. And it was the first time I was really talking about it in a public way. 

Elle Russ:
I had a moment right before I went up, as the person was introducing me where ... Look, and this is going to happen. You have a moment of like, I'm sure you've had it before auditions, I have too. Where you're like, oh my God, who do I think I am? Like, who do I think I am? Like, there's just a minute of kind of freak out. And then this is where confidence comes in. It's self-talk. It's like I've been before an audition where I've had to talk to myself in the lobby of that audition and go, you asked for this life, Elle, this is what you wanted. You wanted to be an actor. What are you doing, man? Come on, you've done this before. What are you doing? Stop it. Let's go. You're going to kill it. And I'm giving myself a pep talk on the inside.

Elle Russ:
I did that last year too when I had that moment. I was like, hold on a second. You love this. You're comfortable with this. You've performed many times. Stop. You could go out there and nail it. Go out there and nail it. And that is again, the internal thinking of someone who's confident versus someone who lets those thoughts continue, so that when they go on stage, now they're shaking. So you got to turn it around, you got to pivot. And that's what this is about, is recognizing those moments where you need to pivot and give yourself a pep talk. You're all you have. You're it for you. It doesn't matter if you're fighting for your thyroid health or anything else in life. No one cares more about you than you. No one's going to do it for you. 

Elle Russ:
So you got to put those big girl pants on or big boy pants on and take a step forward. And when you do, the rewards and prizes are inevitable. The universe, God, whatever you believe, really does reward pro-you self. No one cares more about you than you all the time. It's like, I've seen it happen in so many scenarios where someone leaves a toxic relationship, finally, and then some amazing things happen to them. Not surprisingly. Because they have finally taken the stand for themselves. Who else is going to? So the world, universe or whatever is going to honor you if you do. But if you don't, don't expect much in return.

Melanie Avalon:
So you touched on it just now. Part of the book. One of the things you go into detail is your personal disability that you had with your hands and how it affected your confidence. It really resonated me the part of it where you were talking about, and you just touched on it, about the shame aspect. I think that is such a huge ... Well, I know it is for me, I know it has been for you. So I imagine a lot of people probably struggle with this as well. But when you have something in your life that is haunting you or hurting you are that you're ashamed of, it's amazing not only how it affects your own perspective of yourself, but your fear and engaging with others because you have the secret and you can actually connect with anybody. So what would you say to people who are struggling with their confidence because they're shamed of some aspect of their life?

Elle Russ:
Yeah, this is really important. So that chapter is Shame Disables Confidence. And it does, it just does. It doesn't matter what it's about. So I'll tell my story in a minute. But let's say you're ashamed of being molested when were a child or let's say you're ashamed because you actually have a health thing right now. When I was going through hypothyroidism and I was sick and didn't know what was going on, I was ashamed. It's embarrassing to have a health issue. It just is. We can all look at someone to go, you shouldn't be, it's not your fault, blah, blah, blah, that's discounting their shame. It just is. When you're suffering and things are different, and you're different than everybody, then there is a sense of shame and shame is really a deep sense of unworthiness. And so that is going to project out forward. 

Elle Russ:
So it doesn't matter if you're ashamed because something was your fault. Maybe you killed somebody years ago because you were drunk driver and you're still harboring shame and guilt about it. You could have unsightly mole on your back that you're embarrassed about. It really doesn't matter. You could have been an addict and engaged in behavior from the past and now you're sober that you're not proud of and you're shamed about. It doesn't really matter what it is. But the bottom line is, is you have to get good with it. You have to get to the point where you have no shame about your shame. That doesn't mean to do an interview or write a chapter in a book or a Facebook Live. But it does mean you have to either work with friends, a therapist, a life coach and get good with it.

Elle Russ:
It also doesn't mean you have to preach it from the rooftops. There are things that are better left unsaid. I'm not saying you have to wear your heart on your sleeve and share this thing you're ashamed about with someone unless you feel you need to. But if you are harboring shame, it is going to project outward and likely not yield good results. And that was my case. So I'll give a little bit of a cliff note version of the story. When I was 22 years old, I was killing it. Now, here's the funny thing. I had always kind of want to be an actor and a performer of some kind. But I thought, that's ridiculous. Like, I doubted myself on that. I was my own skeptic. I was like, no, that's so unrealistic. So I was like, I'm going to go be a lawyer and make a ton of money so I can retire early. And that's what I'm going to do. That's a trajectory. I know the benchmarks in that industry, and I'm going to go in that direction. 

Elle Russ:
So after college while I was awaiting law school, application responses, I got a salary paying job working. I was the seventh person hired at a very fast growing company in San Francisco during the tech boom of the 90s. Next thing you know, I'm managing 100 men throughout the State of California on Fortune 500 jobs, I'm making six figures. I got my own office. I got a set of Armani suits. I am so excited because I'm like, F law school now, right? I'm making more than a starting attorney. I'm just going to hang here because this company is blowing up. And now I'm going to be retired by the time I'm 35 with Porsches in the driveway and a couple of homes, like, no doubt. In fact, my next promotion was to be making a quarter of million dollars a year and I would have been 23 years old. So I was even more successful at 22 than anybody I had ever known in high school or elsewhere. 

Elle Russ:
Listen, people were incredibly impressed and I felt so like ... I had gotten kicked out of high school back in the day so I was extra vindicated that it was like aha, got kicked out, but check now mofos. I was really confident and really excited about my future. And then one day, I definitely got my ass handed to me, the universe cut the golden handcuffs literally and figuratively off my wrists because I got a horrible repetitive strain injury that left me permanently disabled. I'm rated at a 40% disability by the state of California. That makes sense. If you can't use your legs, that's probably a 60% disability. So what happened is my arm stopped working, essentially. I had chronic tendinitis in both of my arms. I couldn't even lift a fork to my mouth. My arms went numb every night. I could not even wipe myself without pain.

Elle Russ:
I had to have my friends carry groceries a block away from my house home because I couldn't even handle that. I could barely run my fingers through my hair. I was in chronic pain 24/7. My arms were visibly inflamed and they felt like they were on fire. I couldn't even speak with my hands. Couldn't sleep on my sides, I still don't. And while I am so much better now because it's been many years and I've been able to not have to work with my hands repetitively. The day that I realized that this was permanent and I would never be able to go back to a job using my hands repetitively eight hours a day. And for those out there, I challenge you to think of any job in this world that you don't need to use your hands repetitively eight hours a day, five days a week. I can't work at a Starbucks. I can't be a grocery checkout person. I can't be a waiter. People who are in a wheelchair, if they have use of their hands, they have way more job prospects. This is a hand-based world. 

Elle Russ:
The only jobs in that arena are what we're doing now. Using our voice, podcasting, acting, writing with my voice, anything with my voice. So I'm here left at 22. And now everyone's starting their career, I had this promising future and then it just ended. I had this moment where I was sitting in my apartment in San Francisco, and my hands are just a mess and my arms are a mess, and I'm crying feeling sorry for myself and I had a moment and I had this thought. I said, oh my god, who is ever going to want me? Who's ever going to want me? I have dead arms. Like, who's going to want to marry me? I can't even clean up a kitchen. I can much less get kids out the door for school or make lunches or anything. I can barely wipe my hand through my hair. I can't say that I would want a guy at 22 whose arms were dead and useless now. Oh, my god. 

Elle Russ:
That moment was my first moment of shame, this horrible sense of unworthiness, this horrible sense of I'm different from everyone. No one's going to want me. And an incredible sense of embarrassment of being completely defective. So it literally lasted 20 years. I carried the shame forever. And so while I was still confident in my life, in every area, the way that this shame of my disability affected me was in personal romantic relationships. I wouldn't tell anyone I was dating that I had the issue. Because here's the thing, I have something you can't see. And that can be a little bit of a double-edged sword because people are very empathetic when you're missing an arm or leg. They can see it. They understand it.

Elle Russ:
When you have something they can't see, could be hypothyroidism, could be rheumatoid arthritis, could be my hand injury, it's tough because people question it. They are constantly asking you questions about it. And then every time I would go into it, it would lead me into a discussion about the whole story, which would just create this extra sense of shame. I kind of learned, there's more details about this in the book, but I kind of learned over time like, you know what, it just feels better to not say anything. I'm not telling anymore new people. The people that already know, fine. I'm hiding this because it's just too much trouble, and it's not working for me.

Elle Russ:
So I would date these guys, and I wanted to find a relationship, but I wouldn't tell them about my situation, because I was so ashamed about it. And what do you think that brought me? You know what I mean? And so when it really came to a head and when I really realized I needed to change this and it hurt me also with friendships. I have wonderful friendships. I've known people since I was seven. But because of this shame, I would always stay on the outside of groups and not let anyone get to know me too well. I would decline invitations for things or personal stuff with people because I thought, the more they get to know me, they'll start to ask like, well, how do you make your money because you don't work. 

Elle Russ:
We had a credible long-term, private disability policy with my company. So I was able to live, it was a preschool teacher salary, but I was able to live and not have to work and rest my hands, which is why now I can play a game of ping pong with you and not have a problem or play tennis a couple times a year. I swim regularly, I lift weights. I still have the issue though. And so if I were to go back into a job ... If I worked at Starbucks tomorrow, within one week, I'd be in chronic pain. So I still have to gauge how I use my hands. So I was embarrassed about receiving money that was associated with something called disability. I was embarrassed that I just was disabled. Like that's not a word anyone wants associated with themselves. I totally own it now. 

Elle Russ:
So I was so ashamed. Here I am, this proud alpha female who's superstar confident, and my gosh, now I'm defective. Like, who wants to admit this? And also there's the vulnerability pitfall. I don't want to be vulnerable and open up and share how I feel about this to people. And I'd rope other people into my shame. Like, I have a boyfriend that would meet my friends and I would prep them and be like, hey, they don't know about my disability. So don't say anything. Now I'm roping other people into my massive lie. I would dance around it semantically, and I would avoid the topic altogether. What I was waiting for as I was always like, once this relationship gets to a certain point, or wait for them to say, I love you, and then maybe I'll tell them. Then I'll feel safe, right?

Elle Russ:
Well, what it really did is it backfired on me, and it kept me out of probably some deep friendships that could have been developed because it was really one sided. So people be sharing stuff with me about their life. But here I am in the background, it's like, well, you don't really know me, and I can't really trust you, because you don't know this thing about me that I think you might reject me for. So therefore, I'm over here. You can share with me. That's a very one-sided, isn't it? And so, there were relationships and people I probably could have become closer to and had a bigger different tribe. No would have, could have, should have. No going back. But I'm telling the story so that you listening don't allow this to happen in your life.

Elle Russ:
So with romantic relationships about six years ago, really it hit the fan. I was in a relationship with a guy I absolutely thought no question I would marry, met the perfect guy, still have nothing but lovely things to say about this person. But what I started to notice is, and I thought it was cute at first, I was like, he's kind of like a little bit of a robot. Like he's like was very kind of professional with me in a way, even though like, we spent time with his kids all the time. We were holidays together. We were very close and on this trajectory towards a lifelong commitment. Yet, they couldn't express themselves in words. I got no emotional intimacy. He showed me he loved me but he couldn't speak words of appreciation. After a certain period of time, no relationship will survive that. There has to be emotional intimacy there, not just physical intimacy, et cetera.

Elle Russ:
So I knew something was wrong because I would start to feel choked up. Again, that choked up feeling in your throat like you can't speak. I knew that was bad. It was like a year in relationship and I hadn't told him about my disability. And here this is coming up and so I bring it up. Long story short, I think they misinterpreted it. Who knows? We ended up breaking up. I called my life coach bawling my eyes out. I said, "This seems like such a cruel joke. Why would the universe do this? I've done all this work in my life to try to find this relationship. And here I am, I found the perfect guy and the only thing wrong with the guy is this one thing, but this one thing is such a deal breaker. I can't go through my whole life never being told I love you or hearing words."

Elle Russ:
He said something to me that was so brutal and so true. And it hit me like brick. He said, "Did you tell him about your disability?" And I said no. And he said, "Well then, I guess you are the emotional robot. How do you expect to find someone who's going to be open and emotionally available to you when you are the closed off robot, who are not emotionally available? Did you express your love? Did you express yourself?" And I lost it. Melanie, I lost it. Because it's so true and it was so painful. So painful because it was me. I'm the common denominator. It was me. Yeah, what did I expect? What did I expect? Right? So after that, I launched a journey where I was like, okay, I got to get over this shame thing. I got to deal with this. This is impacting my life. Not other areas of my life. Well, maybe the friendships and stuff. But my confidence and all the other areas were still astounding and amazing, but this area.

Elle Russ:
So if you think one area in your life that you're avoiding or that you need to work on is not going to affect the others, you're wrong. It's all connected. And I thought I could shuffle this thing under the rug over here and live this life, but I was harboring all this shame. And people would say to me, I don't know why you feel shame, that's not your fault, or no one's going to care. I know that they're trying to be encouraging. But that is really like telling a person who's ashamed of something that they're ridiculous for feeling ashamed. So it didn't really help. You know what I mean? No one ever really had the juice to help me with this until again, my coach so harshly told me what he said, and it was so true.

Elle Russ:
So I started to work on trying to be more vulnerable. I started with a couple of friends that I had become close with, that I hadn't told this to. I thought, all right, if I'm going to have a deep, long lasting friendship with these people, eventually this is going to come to ahead, they're going to find this out about me and it's going to be worse later for me probably to say it. So let me just pull the Band-Aid off. And I couldn't even get through the conversation I'm telling you now, just even a few years ago, without bawling my eyes out and literally snot running everywhere. Just a total mess of a human being. I couldn't even ... It wouldn't matter to who it was, I just couldn't even ... I just bawl my eyes out. 

Elle Russ:
So it started there. People didn't care and they were so ... And it brought me closer to these people. We have closer relationships now. And then some really interesting stuff happens. And this is where we could talk hippy-dippy, but this is proof that you know what, the universe will step in and give you prizes when you honor and tackle challenges. So there's a fellow podcaster named Karen Martel. We were talking one day just offline, and she said, ... We're getting to know each other and she's like, "Hey, Elle. You do a bunch of things. What's your main source of income?" Melanie, that question for me for years was like awful because I'd have to admit that my base salary or what's consistent in my life is a disability payment, which is like a nightmare for me.

Elle Russ:
So in that moment, I thought, I can keep this charade up. Or I can start to practice because I want a relationship with someone, I want to get married. So I got to practice this and I'm just going to just tell her. So I told her a cliff notes version of the story, and this was her response. "Oh, my god, Elle. That happened to me. I have a hand injury because I was a body worker for 15 years and was using my hands repetitively. And that's why I'm a podcaster and a health coach." And she said, "Oddly enough, I had always wanted to be a health coach, but I thought it was ridiculous and unrealistic. And the universe cut the golden handcuffs off of me, and now I'm doing what I love." And I lost it. I got off the phone with her and I cried my eyes out. It was like, if that wasn't a frickin sign that I was on the right path with this, I don't know what is. What are the odds the first person who's kind of a stranger I pulled that Band-Aid off with and she's got a hand disability? Come on.

Elle Russ:
Then it gets even more crazy. A couple weeks later, I'm interviewing a woman on the podcast. Her name is Jezlan Moyet. She's the host of the Good Morning LaLa Land and EverTalk LIVE, she's a model. Someone said, hey, you should interview her because she's got a really interest health story. And I didn't know what it was Melanie, I just thought, okay, I'll find out about it on the podcast. I'm interviewing her and I had to put the microphone on mute because there's just tears streaming out of my eyes when she says that she got into a freak accident that severed nearly every tendon and nerve leading to her left hand. And after eight hours of emergency surgery, she woke up and she could not feel her left hand and her first thought of shame, just like mine back in San Francisco, who's going to want me, her first thought was, oh my god, am I ever going to feel a man put a ring on my finger?

Elle Russ:
Now, again, in that instant, just like me back then, she had this instant of, oh my god, you go from one moment being fine to the next moment, you're permanently disabled. Now you're different. Now, you may be thinking of yourself as a financial liability. Not to mention, who's going to want me? And so I lost it because what are the odds that in my foray to just sort of rip off this Band-Aid and start to have a little bit no shame about my shame, that I run into two women with permanent hand disabilities that you can't see. And you can't see Jezlan's hand disability either. She looks totally normal when you see her, but she's in chronic pain. She's got chronic regional pain syndrome. 

Elle Russ:
I instantly felt less alone. Again, one of the benefits of being vulnerable and opening up. That's no different than someone going to a cancer support group or something. You're dealing with other people that understand you and know what it's like. It's like plane crash survivors, they only want to talk with other plane crash survivors for obvious reasons, because they've been through it. So here I have two women that are using their voice in life to make money just like I am now, but also have had disabilities you can't see. I feel less alone and then I get to discuss with both of them, both the levels of shame that we experience about this in terms of romantic relationships and otherwise. If that isn't a direct sign and a gift that I was on the right track here, I don't know what is. I mean, what are the effing odds of that happening? 

Elle Russ:
That's where the universe will conspire for you if you step up and out of shame or anything else. You step up to bully a boss that's patronizing, it doesn't matter what it is. Could be, you need confidence to be a stay-at-home mom, you're going to have to deal with other kids parents, you might have to deal with some bitch at the PTA meeting or speak up somewhere. So this confidence is not about being some high power badass out there or writing books and public speaking or any of this kind of stuff or some corporate whatever. It's the feeling inside that wherever you go, you're comfortable within yourself being who you are. And you're confident in staking your ground and standing up for yourself when need be. 

Elle Russ:
Now, you don't always speak up. I'd rather have my ego punched than my face. Yeah, don't speak up to people if you're in danger. But this was like a 20-year issue with shame. That was just when I look back. And here's the thing, not a lot of people cared. In fact, most people were very inspired by it. Because now, when I was younger then and injured, I thought, okay. Melanie, I sat there and I was like, I don't have my arms. So what do I do? I have my voice. And the funny thing was is I'd always wanted to be an actor anyway. So I was like, well, I guess now I'm forced into it. I don't have a choice. I don't have a backup. So I have no choice now to pursue acting and voice. 

Elle Russ:
I immediately went back to Chicago to do The Second City for a couple of years to get my voiceover demo. Then I came back out to LA, thank God, podcasting and voice recognition software is out there. I've written two books now and host a podcast and I'm able to use my voice. It's a success story that I never thought would be one because I just thought I was totally screwed. And that's a gift that came wrapped in poop. And so same with hypothyroidism. I never thought during all that suffering, that ... It seems like, why? Why did six years of my 30s get wasted to being sick and miserable with hypothyroidism? I look back now and I would do it all over again because of all the people I've inspired and helped. It makes every one of those days suffering worth it. Now it makes all of those days of shame ...

Elle Russ:
Now I have no shame. Like if I meet anybody, I'm happy to talk about it. I really don't have any shame about it. When I did the talk at Paleo f(x) last year called The Shame of Disability and the Disability of Shame, a girl walked up to me afterwards. She was 26 years old and she was crying. And she said, "I'm 26. I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was like 19. And none of my friends understood and they're all happy and healthy and partying and having a good time. They're questioning me because they can't see it. I'm different. And I carried all this shame." And she said, "I thought I had dealt with it." She said, "But I didn't even know who you were. I just knew a speech was starting. I decided to sit down to be like, well, let's see what this person has to say. And I was blown away that this was the topic. Because after you spoke, I realized, I need to do more work here."

Elle Russ:
That's what I'm about now talking about this topic, we all need to get flat with this. We all need to move in the direction. And again, it's not about a Facebook Live. If you want to write a book about it, great. But you've got to get okay with it within yourself and having no shame about your shame. Doesn't mean there might be some residuals left, but you can't let it dictate your life. Because it will and you'll likely draw in other people that are also hiding things, or draw in other people that are harboring shame in a similar way. Or again, the reflection of however that manifesto for me, not speaking up and being vulnerable and expressing my emotions in a romantic relationship and sort of waiting for them to take the helm on that. Or worried about that. I'm not surprised I attracted an emotional robot. And now my experience is the opposite. I would also argue that the most Confident as F people are okay with showing vulnerability and emotion, because that is the ultimate and not caring about what other people's opinions of you are.

Melanie Avalon:
Hi, friends. I hope you're enjoying this fabulous conversation with Elle Russ. If there's one thing that can really do a number on your confidence, that would be body odor. Unfortunately, the solution to body odor often involves putting on toxic deodorant full of aluminum, which is a toxin, which blocks your sweat glands so that you can no longer let toxins out. It's just really an unfortunate situation. That's why I'm so happy that there's a company called Native that makes non-toxic deodorant that actually works. That's the key. Because I think a lot of people try to switch to "natural deodorants" and then it doesn't work. And then it's just a complete fail and you decide never to try natural deodorant again. 

Melanie Avalon:
Thank goodness Native works. Thank goodness they're amazing. Native is formulated without parabens, aluminum or talc. They don't test on animals. They use ingredients that you actually know what they are. So things like shea butter and coconut oil. They even have beneficial probiotics in their deodorants. They have amazing scents including classic and seasonal ones. I personally love the unscented one because I'm a really sensitive butterfly and I love that they have that option. But they also now have a custom scent option, which is awesome. So I did a little quiz online and it is so fun. You go and ask you these questions about your personality and your type and what you like and then they create a custom scent for you. How cool is that? 

Melanie Avalon:
So I know I said that I do think unscented but I actually might be switching over, or at least, I want to see like what they create for me because that was pretty cool. I love Native, everybody I know loves Native. They're just really, really amazing. I know for me, it was hard to make the switch to natural deodorant because you can fear being sweaty and stinky and doing a number on your confidence. But thanks to Native, they make that so easy, so doable. It's like not even a thing. So thank you Native. And native does have an amazing offer for my listeners. If you go to nativedeodorant.com, and use the promo code, MELANIEAVALON during checkout, you will get 20% off your first purchase. So again, that's nativedeodorant.com using the promo code, MELANIEAVALON during checkout for 20% off. All right, now back to the show. That is such an incredible story. I can't believe that the girl had the same hand disability.

Elle Russ:
Two in like a couple of weeks, like two different chics with hand disabilities you can see there.

Melanie Avalon:
I just think the shame thing is so huge. I mean, I know for me, I haven't really spoken about this that much publicly, but where I am right now with my podcast and everything has really come about because of my own personal health issues that I've experienced. And it's just me like relentlessly searching for answers. And I often have a huge aspect of shame that comes with that because I feel like I'm putting forward this content to help people when I'm struggling to help myself. So I'm like, who am I for anybody? Why should anybody listen to me or who am I to say anything? So that's just something I've been like working on myself, is not having the shame aspect around that and just continuing to search for answers, and bring forth content to people that can help. But it's just really, really crazy about our own judgments about things. 

Elle Russ:
You're not the only one, and I'm glad you brought that up. That was a very vulnerable move to say that. That you're in a ... Sometimes going, well, I've got still some struggles over here. Like, who do I think I am preaching this, right? Well, it doesn't still mean that what you're putting out there isn't positive and isn't helpful to everybody because it is. And you're an incredible interviewer and you do put out great content. I know you love to research and geek out on that stuff, which is really helpful for your listeners when you've really researched a thing and looked into it. Most health coaches or people that are out there doing this, they do. There's something within them they've got to work on. 

Elle Russ:
Listen, there's some other podcasters also that have health shows that have had struggles. I think what really resonates with people is the authenticity of being vulnerable about that. You're more likely to get people who are going to want to listen to you because you're honest and open about those things versus the other people that aren't. And while some may judge it, okay, do whatever you want. For example, it's like after going through the hypothyroidism thing, so for people that don't know, it's not always the case. But 99% of the time, usually someone with hypothyroidism has major weight gain issues. They get fat and it's uncontrollable until they fix it. I get bummed out.

Elle Russ:
Recently, a friend had texted me about they saw a fat trainer at their gym. They're like, it's just so hypocritical, right? It's like, who wants to be with a personal trainer that's not fit? Walk your walk. But I kind of read them the Riot Act on that because I was like, hold on a minute. You don't know if they're going through like hypothyroidism right now. You don't know if they're struggling with something that they're trying to figure out. And that doesn't mean they can't tell you how to lifted damn dumbbell. Doesn't mean they still don't know their stuff. Si I think we're very quick to judge other people. I mean, we all are right? So that's one of the things too. Getting out of other people's businesses or not. 

Elle Russ:
Now, a simple judgment is you walk by the store and you see some like horrible chartreuse blouse or something that you're like, oh my God, that's ugly. But I mean, that's like a base judgment, right? But you don't know until you're in someone's shoes. And I remember I was judged as well by some people who didn't believe me that I worked out because I had gotten so fat during hypothyroidism. And I was still working out, which you shouldn't do when your seriously hypo. And I remember feeling awful that day because they didn't believe me. It's like, they rolled their eyes like yeah, right. She works out. Inside, I was like, I do. Damn it. I'm struggling here. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't know what's wrong with me. I've gone to 500,000 doctors, I still don't know what's wrong with me. 

Elle Russ:
Everyone in the world is going to ... People are skeptics. People are so called quick to point out faults or judgments. Now, the wonderful thing about both the disability and the hypothyroidism is that it forced me into compassion and empathy for not only people that are disabled but people with health issues. A level of compassion and empathy I did not have in those Armani suits in that office being some badass corporate chic making all this money. So I'm glad that I got my ass handed to me, because this is a much better world to live in. And so now when I see like maybe before I was hypothyroid, I would see someone who was obese or really grossly overweight and judge it and be like, oh my god, stop eating or like ... Not to them, to their face, but just in my head rolling my eyes like, oh my God, get it together. What a joke. 

Elle Russ:
But now I realized what an addiction it is. I've been a sugar addict. I also realized that you could have something wrong with you and go to 500 doctors and they can't figure it out. And you're suffering and you're getting bigger and bigger. So now it's like when I see someone who's obese, it's not a judgment at all. It's almost like an immediate empathy and compassion of like, I hope they find out what's going on. That's my first thought versus like, oh my god, stop shoving your face. Right? So I'm glad I got hit with that. I had to get humbled with that myself. And again, that's another gift from this too, aside from all the other gifts that have come from these experiences. Because now I'm literally living the life of my dreams. 

Elle Russ:
I can tell you this for sure, Melanie, because people my age are absolutely on this, which is my friends who are my age, they have the kids, they've got the 401(k)s, they've got the savings account, they've got the trajectory of the thing that I had before my arms were injured, but they are unfulfilled in life. They are wondering now, what was it all about? What do I do now? Or the kids leave for college and they're like, now what? And they're trying to find their purpose. I was forced into mine through a disability, and also through a health issue. Again, two gifts wrapped in poop. And so I'm here to tell you that whatever's thrown your way, you don't know that it's not necessarily the best thing for you.

Elle Russ:
Usually, the things that are incredible in our lives are things we could not have designed or planned anyway. I would challenge anyone to go back to some of the best moments in their life, and the way it unfolded was probably not exactly how they could have designed it. Probably even better than they could have designed it, and that's co-creation, right? Having faith in some unknown, whether it's quantum physics or a god. And in general, I think being Confident as F is cultivating and having ultimately the sense of, no matter what happens, I'm going to prevail. That's truly confidence. I will prevail no matter what. And I've been so inspired. 

Elle Russ:
As far as the arm the thing goes, I got the opportunity to interview Bethany Hamilton. She's the famous surfer who had her arm bitten off by a shark when she was 13. If anyone's out there and has any kind of physical disability, I suggest watching Soul Surfer, the movie, based on the story for life with that. It's something I watch every year. And one of the reasons I do is because there's a part in that movie where she's 13 years old and wondering who's ever going to want me. Now if you look her up, she's got a very handsome husband and two kids. She travels all the world, she's inspired so many people. She is just ... 

Elle Russ:
In fact, I say this in my book, I'm not happy and successful despite my disability, I'm happy and successful because of it. And I would say the same goes for Bethany Hamilton. She has such a wider reach than she ever could have in life if she hadn't gotten her arm bitten off by that shark. So, I love that movie. I think it's very inspiring for anyone who's going through a challenging time. And I got to interview her as well, which was a really nice kind of like 180 to the whole thing to be able to interview. And I've been able to interview a lot of people that I've admired all these years. I've interviewed people from The Secret. When I first discovered The Secret, it was 2007. I have been able to interview several people from that exact movie. Something I would have never thought at all even possible at that moment.

Elle Russ:
My life has been better and better because of these seemingly awful things, not to mention, got to write two books about it. Which just fueled back into my performance writing and all the things that I love to do. Again, I was always confident in so many ways, but that shame in what I went through, especially with hypothyroidism during those years. And if you're out there and you're suffering with any kind of like thyroid issue, which can affect your brain and your emotions, yes, it's harder to be confident. It is. That's just true. You got to get yourself better first. I mean, you can work with what you work with. But yes, if your brain is being affected, your neurotransmitters. You know how it is Melanie, when you're suffering in a hypothyroid state of some kind, it's more of a challenge to access happiness. So yes, I mean, that's a caveat here, right? But you can still move towards that direction.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, it's so incredible. And I think it just adds such a wonderful, wonderful ray of hope for a lot of people. I do have some other quick questions about some of the things that you discussed in the book that also really resonated with me. One was you talk about why we shouldn't say sorry all the time or apologize. That has really stuck with me. I remember the first time somebody ever told me, don't say, sorry. It was probably about five years ago or so. She was the therapist, but she wasn't my therapist. But kept saying sorry. It's funny once you realize how often people say sorry, you'll realize people say it all the time. It's like we're apologizing for everything. And once you pick up on it, you're like, you're apologizing for things that you don't even need to be sorry for. So what are your thoughts on that? On why we feel this need to constantly say sorry or apologize and should we or should we not? 

Elle Russ:
We should not. Confident people don't justify and they don't apologize. Also, it is really lowering yourself to a weaker or less confident vibration. I don't know, this is just I think in our vernacular, like everyone's so used to apologizing for stuff. That's not even your fault. Like someone gets into a car accident and you're like, oh my god, I'm so sorry. Now, I get it. Like, that's a natural thing for us to say. Like, you're like, I'm so sorry that happened to you. That's really what we mean. But then it just kind of boils over into everything. One of the things that I've noticed with less confident people is that they do justify a lot. 

Elle Russ:
So for example, I had a friend years ago, and this isn't in the book, but the essence of it is, who let's say someone asked him to do something like, hey, we want you to come to this party. Even though he didn't want to, he'd agree to it. And then later, he'd find a reason to cancel or whatever. And so finally, I said, "Look, you can either be honest up front and just say no, because then now you have like created this thing where you look like a terrible flake. Like, which one would you rather have? Being the upfront honest, authentic person, which is more admirable and people actually respect? Or this guy that is constantly bailing on plans you've made?" Like, what's worse? I mean, I think everyone listening knows which one is worse, right? 

Elle Russ:
And the other thing too is that, creative people often feel like they have to justify stuff. I'm sure you've gotten this too. Actor, writer, doesn't matter what you're doing, people be like, hey, what are you up to? What are you working on? And you feel the need, right? There's this moment of like, you have to justify yourself. Justify your place in this world in some way. Like, well, I'm working on this or I've got that. So one year, I was like, you know what, I'm just going to totally not even justify. I remember one summer someone was like, hey, what are you up to? What do you have going on? And I said, "Absolutely nothing. I'm going to do is zero this summer except for hanging out the beach and stand up paddle." And you know what, no shame about it whatsoever. Just right back at him. Just like, nope. I'm going to feed into that, like, I'm doing nothing. And I'm totally fine with it.

Elle Russ:
But we have this thing, like we need to justify. It's the same of like, hey, keeping busy? One of the worst things to hear for me. Because I'm like, why would I want to keep busy? Where did that come from? Why are people validating that as if it's somehow, you know what I mean, a thing we should aspire to. Isn't everyone in this world trying to be less effin busy so they have more free time on their hands? So try to look at ways where you're justifying or over-explaining the thing. It's better to just ... It's a very weak position and makes you look kind of flaky in a way, if someone asks you to do something, and you're like, I'm sorry, I can't because ... And then you go on some long rant about what it is, you got to pick up this, you got to do that.

Elle Russ:
First of all, no one wants to hear it. Second of all, it's just not a confident platform. You just come up and say, hey, thanks a lot. But you know what, I'm out of town. Can't make it. If that's the truth, that's easy. Or just in general like, you know what, no, but thanks so much for asking. People love that. You'd be so surprised, people love that. They love it. They secretly love that whether they're going to tell you in that moment or not, it's just you are going to be more admired. You're going to be seen as that person that's going to fuel you in every way. So just try to look for places where you're justifying your position in this world. Do you think a dog has to justify their place in this world or a beetle? No. And neither do you. You don't have to justify yourself on this planet.

Elle Russ:
But if you are in a creative profession, you're going to get it a lot more than most people. You just really are because people always like, what are you working on? What are you up to? Kind of stuff. Because unless you're in some 9:00 to 5:00 job that is kind of standard, you're going to get it a little bit more. I think creative people because we don't have solid benchmarks, like if you're going to be a lawyer or a doctor, you know the trajectory of that. You do this, you do that, you become partner. Like, there are actual tangible benchmarks. There are zero benchmarks in our industry. There are none. You have to find your own way. You know what I mean? 

Elle Russ:
It's not like you go, well, I'm going to get a five-picture deal with NBC and then the rest of my life is good. No, I mean, you don't know what's going to happen, right? The check's not in the mail until it's there. We've gotten rejected a million times at auditions over and over again. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is, if I do this, then B will happen. Right? You can do that in lots of other industries. So creative people, they need that warning even more. Have you experienced that? I'm sure you've experienced all this stuff I'm talking about with creative professions. You've probably even sensed a vibe from people in your life when you even came out and said you were going to do something creative or be an actor. Where you kind of whether they said it or not, you notice that they sort of roll their eyes and we're like, yeah, good luck with that Melanie.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. Well, ironically, growing up my family was actually very, very supportive, which I was so, so thankful for. And it's interesting because we're talking about being confident in different areas and things like limiting beliefs and stuff like that. I really as far as like the acting and everything, I never struggled with confidence surrounding it, or cared what people thought, until I lost confidence in myself in a way. That came about with the health issues. And then after that, it was like, I was so much more vulnerable, even though I'm sure there was the exact same amount of people believing or not believing. I'm sure that didn't change. But my inner confidence or my inner perspective definitely made me more aware and vulnerable to those things.

Melanie Avalon:
I'm just so fascinated by the concept of like limiting beliefs. And it's really, really haunted me so much. Because you can look at these things called limiting beliefs, they're things that we see them as truths for why we can't do certain things. And why I'm fascinated by them is when a person has a limiting belief about something, they're going to really, really believe that's reality. So for example, you might have a limiting belief thinking that you could never be an actor. Or you might have a limiting belief thinking you'll never find love. Or you might have a limiting belief thinking that you'll never fix your health condition or get well again. The thing is, every single one of those situations, the future of it is uncertain. So why do we have limiting beliefs about some things and not others, when in the end, they all are uncertain?

Melanie Avalon:
Like my example is, my career. I never had a limiting belief about it. I was like, I'll do it. Yeah, and I just never questioned it. But then like with my health issues, which is another struggle, another challenge compared to like acting or podcasting or something like that, I have so many limiting beliefs. I'm like, I don't know if I can get through this. In the end, both of those are uncertain, whether or not I'll be better, who knows? Or whether or not I'll heal certain things, whether or not I'll be an actor, whether or not I'll have this podcast. But the limiting beliefs are just ... They ring as so true. I'm sorry that's a whole like tangent, but I think it really ties into confidence.

Elle Russ:
Yeah. I'm glad you brought that up because that relates to a friend that I can think about who is a kind of a famous artist, and they're very confident in their abilities as an artist. They know they do great work when they have a show. They are confident standing in front of their paintings on a wall. This is an area where they're confident in. Yet, it's really hard for them to talk to women and not be nervous and shy on a date. So it's amazing. And so one of the things I pointed out to him was this, which is interesting, so you can have a limiting belief in one area and not another. Yet, like you said, it's really all a choice if we look at it. 

Elle Russ:
But what I pointed out to him because he kept claiming that he wasn't confident. And I said, no, that's not true. Clearly, you're confident over here. You're confident over here, just not over there. But isn't it funny that you consider yourself to be a not confident person when you technically really are in this one arena? Just not over here. He also happens to be very confident in his business that he does aside from the art, but just wasn't confident with relationships. So again, it's like making sure becoming Confident as F, all encompassing. Finding those areas. Because I guarantee you everyone listening is confident in something even if it's like you're confident that you're a good friend. Or you're a wonderful mother. It doesn't matter what it is.

Elle Russ:
You could be like I'm kick ass at ping pong. It really doesn't matter. Everyone has some sense, if they really look at it, that they are confident in some kind of ability, even if it's a quality or characteristic. Like you be, I'm a really good person. And then trying to spread that and let that filter into the other areas where you're not. And again, if you look at your life, there's areas where you're confident and areas you're not. We want to make them all Confidence as F, all of it, let's get it all. And that doesn't mean there's not going to be moments. But it's worth that effort. It's worth that self-examination because I'm here to tell you, life is better. It just is. 

Elle Russ:
Again, that's a great example. You were confident in this creative endeavor that a lot of people are actually not, or have had issues with like stumbling blocks or parents that were supportive and be like, I'm going to be stupid actor. What do you think? At least you didn't have that. But then this health thing hits you. Look, when my hypothyroidism hit me, I had even more shame. Because now I'm like, oh, god, I'm disabled and I have this thing. I don't know what's happening to me. I'm falling apart. My hair's falling out. I'm a mess. I can barely get out of bed. I could barely function. Now who's really going to want me? Oh, my god, double extra shame. A pile on top of shame, just like with a side of shame. It was brutal. 

Elle Russ:
The interesting thing though is that my initial disability of my hand disability and being able to have the disability income there, allowed me to solve the second, essentially, disability, which was a health one. Both things complemented themselves. When I got fat and I was acting and going out for lead roles and series regulars and sitcoms, I had that body. Then I got hit with hypothyroidism and I was like, oh my god, I'm super fat now. I know this industry, there's no way I'm going to be able to be a leading lady. And that led me into being like, all right, well, I have this history of sketch comedy and comedy. So I'm going to go back and do that because of I don't know what's wrong with me. But if I'm an end up being fat, then I guess at least I'll be the fat funny friend. I mean, this literally was a thought in my head. 

Elle Russ:
I went back to do sketch comedy and that turned me into a writer and here we are. And I never expected I'd be a writer because my hands were injured, people. I never expected like anyone had ever said like, you're going to you know ... I would have never, ever been like, yeah, I'm definitely not going to be a writer. So, that hypothyroidism led me into something that again, worked back around to all of my dreams and I just followed the path that was ahead of me. Whatever stumbling block was there. And I had horrible shame. That was one of the things that was so embarrassing for me. Showing up at my theater and like here I am fit and then six months later, I'm huge and I'm going through all these issues, and I don't know what's wrong with me, and I don't want to talk about it, because no one wants to keep talking about the problems and being in that broken record. 

Elle Russ:
There were nights and times when it was really hard to perform. And I probably exhausted adrenals and I still wasn't better. But I forged through that, because I would rest during the day and then try to go to the theater at night and muster up the energy to complete a comedy show. And then one day it led to me asking a friend there, hey, have you ever written a sitcom? Have you ever written a ... You know. And now I have a award winning documentary out and have plenty of things to show for myself in the way of sitcoms and film scripts. I would have never guessed that, that would have been my life. But it turns out it all so goes back to, if there's something in your life that you really want to do and you think it's stupid and realistic, and you're going to go to the practical thing, take a look at that again. 

Elle Russ:
Because the universe might cut the golden handcuffs off your wrist too, and force you into it anyway. And that's where it's like pursue your dreams regardless of how unrealistic. It doesn't even matter if you fail, do it because you're going to regret not doing it. I guarantee you that had I not had my hands injured and I had the 401(k) and the Porsches and the millions of dollars, I would still probably regret never pursuing acting and pursuing a career in speaking and acting and all of the things that I just spoke about. So you can do it now or wait for something to hit you and smack you right into it. 

Elle Russ:
I'm sure, I don't know if you want to share it, but there have to have been like me things that you've really learned. I mean, clearly your level of empathy and compassion for people who are sick, you understand that than maybe you didn't before. There are lots of gifts in here that relate to our personal characteristics and the way we relate to people. I know that if you met someone on the street crying because of some health issue, you would be the right person to talk to them. And you probably would, and you'd go out of your way to be like, I understand. You'd share your experience. These connections are important. That's kind of what we live for is our relation to others in that way. So, I'm sure there are gifts and there's more gifts too down the pike for you, but I'm sure you've already had some.

Melanie Avalon:
Exactly. You touched on it so much. I mean, I feel like I'm still in this. I mean, we're always ... We look at things like we're either on the way to something or at the destination when really life is constantly a journey. But the amount of things I've learned so far have, even though I'm still trying to work my way through things, I am so grateful for what I've learned so far. I'm grateful for I know I will be. I'm grateful for things that haven't even happened yet. But yeah, as far as just like relating to people, I think it's given me a really ... I don't know. I appreciate the perspective that it's cultivated, especially in the health and wellness world, because I think so many people in this world think there's like one right answer to everything. This one thing will solve everything or this diet will fix everything or just do this, just do that. 

Melanie Avalon:
Because for me, so many things have worked, but so many things haven't worked, and some things have worked sometimes, and somethings haven't, it just made me realize there is no one right answer. That's why I am always searching. That's why I'll never ... If somebody says something's not working for them, I will totally understand. It's made me realize how important it is for people to find what works for them individually. And then on top of that, I mean, I started all of this focused on like the physical aspects of things like diet, fitness, health. But now honestly, what is really sticking with me the most is the mindset about everything. 

Melanie Avalon:
And then it comes full circle, because I've realized more and more with all the research that the mindset ties into the physical on a whole nother level beyond what, I think, beyond what we can even like slightly grasp. I mean, like on a quantum physics level. So it all comes full circle and I'm really grateful for the journey even though it gets ... I mean, it's been really dark, it gets really dark at times. But it's definitely made me really appreciative of humanity.

Elle Russ:
Yeah. And struggle and passion. These things are really where it's at. I just thought of something funny as I was looking at, I have a copy of my book in front of me. So on confidence, I know a fellow podcaster, this New York Times bestselling author, they're very successful. And they were talking to me because they've only written in the health arena. When they were interviewing me about this book, they asked me, they said, like offline, they were like, hey, how did you get yourself to be seen as a person to talk about this topic versus health? Because you're known as like the thyroid person or the health person, and now I'm moving into self-help writer or self-improvement. He was talking about potential publishers and what they might think and how could he change their perspective on seeing him in a different way? 

Elle Russ:
Right there, you don't wait for permission. You don't. You do it. You declare it. That's confident as F, right? He doesn't need to wait for a publisher to tell him he is or isn't a self-help person. Just write that damn book. Just do it. Right? If you are, you are. They accept it or not. Who cares? Then self-publish it. Right? So it's just interesting. Like even some of the most confident people already New York Times bestselling authors will still have these moments of waiting for someone to give them approval to move forward in a direction. You can't wait for that. Nobody can. If you wait for that, then you're going to be waiting for more moments going by where you're not that thing. Or you're not pursuing that thing. 

Melanie Avalon:
When I think we wait, we feel like we're not ready. So we're like just waiting till we're ready to do things. 

Elle Russ:
Absolutely. You have to move through it. You have to take the first step. That's such a good point because so many people were like, again, when I lose the weight I'll do this, or when I finally get there, I'll be comfortable with this. And look, some of those things can be valid. But for the most part, you just have to do. You have to take a forward motion. And that's usually in speaking of ... The story of my life past several years after publishing the first book is literally an example of it never hurts to ask. And that's part of speaking up, right? You're going to be right back where you started if you didn't ask. So you're already there. You could get rejected, that's possible. But at least you asked and now you know. Every time I have asked, everyone said yes. Every single time. So I'm a big proponent of that. Again, this goes back to just being able to get inside and say, hey, I'm going to speak up about this, or I'm going to do this. I'm going to take another one step in that direction.

Elle Russ:
Now, let's say you want to be a writer, that doesn't mean sit down and start writing the book. Maybe that means, you know what, get a book on it. Maybe I'm going to watch a YouTube video. Maybe I'm going to take an online course. Maybe I'm going to go to UCLA extension and take a writing class, whatever. It's just a step in the direction. You don't have to go claim and declare it everyone that you're now a writer and wait for everyone to bag your confidence on that. You don't have to be challenged there. But you have to take some step in the direction. The reason I know you're going to succeed is because you keep persevering. Right? And so perseverance pays, it really does. It really does. And everyone that I've coached and know that has persevered and continues to look for answers, they find them. They find them.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. It reminds me of a recent episode that I had was actually with Dr. Z, Eric Zielinski. He wrote The Healing Power Of Essential Oils. And he actually had a Bible verse in that book that resonated with me on so many levels, and I think perfectly kind of sums up what we were just talking about. Because the Bible verse basically said that we take glory and suffering because suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance leads to character, and character leads to hope. And hope does not put us to shame. I keep thinking about that, that is such a beautiful concept.

Melanie Avalon:
So basically we have this suffering, we can actually ... It's a good thing. Like, we can take glory in it. Because if we persevere through it, that's what made me think of it, because you were saying, keep persevering. If we do keep persevering, it builds our character, builds who we are, that builds our hope. And then I just love that the next verse is saying ... It's basically saying hope is not a bad thing. Hope does not put us to shame. Which brings all full circle with the same thing.

Elle Russ:
Yeah. Hope is on a high vibrational level towards success and happiness. That's sort of like one of the last stops up the scale there, you know what I mean? Versus despair or anger. Right? And so if you can get to hope, then ... And even again, like you said, I've had it too. You have hope, you try a thing, doesn't work. Damn. But you keep going. Because when you don't, now you are in despair if you stop persevering and looking for answers. I know you probably have too. I've interviewed so many people who have cured themselves of MS, rheumatoid arthritis. I mean, you name it, you name it. Things out there that doctors are like, yeah, that that can't happen. And it happens. And then they wrote a book about it. Just kind of like, whatever. 

Elle Russ:
But some of these stories are even more impressive, because really they're at least part of the medical community, whether they know what they're doing or not, would say, yes, hypothyroidism is solvable. But doctors would never say that rheumatoid arthritis is solvable. But it is. Turns out it is. I've known a couple of people who were debilitated, sentenced to a life in a wheelchair. And they're like, nope. No. And they didn't give up. And then they fixed it. And now you check their blood and they don't even have rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, they were once on biologics for 10 years and doctors who were like, just going to have to be the wheelchair. This is the way it goes. Sorry.

Elle Russ:
So again, if those people didn't persevere and say, I'm not going to ... If I didn't persevere, I wouldn't have helped people. So had I not stepped up and gone, no. I don't care that I've seen 50 doctors, and they have led me in the wrong direction and don't know what they're doing. I am not going to live like this. I'm going to find a way to fix this. I'm not surprised I did. But at the same time too, what if I hadn't. So my gift that I gave of being able to dispel this information and help others would have never gotten out there. But that seems kind of wrong now in hindsight, looking at the success of that book, and what it's done for people's lives. And who knows, second edition will happen maybe and blah, blah, blah, and continue on. I'll always talk about thyroid forever and help anybody with that. 

Elle Russ:
I mean, that's far more profound than me sitting alone and having solved it or not solved it and just not have been able to make that contribution. Right? And same here as well with my experience with confidence and my shame of my disability and everything else I've been through in life. If I just kept this to myself, and I will tell you this, no would have, could have, should have, right? But this is why I'm talking about this, which is, once I finally got over the shame of my disability, everybody actually was right in terms of like, what was I ... 

Elle Russ:
Like, I can't believe I could just hit myself over the head. That I let so much of my life be consumed by this. Let so many relationships go untapped further, because I didn't want people to get close to me because they find this out or whatever. I'm not going to go back, clearly, at this point. But I just think about all of that time, and I don't want people to spend 20 years, because I'm here to tell you it's worth it. It's so worth it.

Melanie Avalon:
I love that so much. Speaking of time, I know we are ... We've been talking for quite a long time. I do have just two quick final questions. The first one is, what would you say to people who feel like being confident ... I think a lot of people don't want to be confident because they think it's egotistical or selfish or that it's you're not humble if you're confident. So what would you say to those people?

Elle Russ:
Yeah. So that's a good one. Here's the thing. While people are listening to me talk and they're like, all right, she's a total type A alpha. I get it. She's super confident. I am also a super softy. I love babies and dogs and I cry at stupid hallmark movies and like, I'm still totally that person. I'm a mush. However, I'm not asking people to be type A alpha like me, right? I'm asking them to be confident on the inside. You don't need to speak up and be that on the outside. As far as humility, if people are ... One of the things that is a negative connotation of confident, confident people are kind. Confident people are not jerks that are out there boasting and pontificating. That's a false sense of confidence. I'll just give the example for my book. 

Elle Russ:
I have a girl who does facials for me occasionally and not surprised, like a lot of people in my life, she needed confidence and had some issues with self-esteem and insecurity and we've gotten to know each other over time. And she came in for a facial and she said, Elle, she's like, I was thinking about you the other day because I walked into like a party and I feel like all eyes are on me. I'm self-conscious, I feel insecure. It's like when I walk into place, it could be a restaurant anywhere, and I was thinking about you and I thought, I bet Elle doesn't feel that way. And then she's like, how do you feel when you like walk into a place? And my immediate response was, I walk into every place like I own the mothereffer. Now, that sounds really cocky. And I get it. But let me unpack that.

Elle Russ:
I don't walk into a room trying to prove anything. I don't need to even care if anyone asks me a question about myself. I don't need to give a resume. I'm not there to brag or talk about my accomplishments. I'm not even there necessarily to talk to people. I'm just there comfortable in myself, observing the situation and I'm open to conversation or not or learning about people or not. There's nothing about that experience that is reflective in how I feel people are going to perceive me. That is a place of true confidence. That's confident as F. I wish that upon everyone. Just going to dinner by yourself somewhere it can really be a good exercise in testing that one. And that's also awkward. It can be uncomfortable, but it's a good one to try to do at some point. Because it's a place of feeling judged and there's people around you and they're all together and you're alone. That can be a really good one.

Elle Russ:
But it is about feeling just comfortable in yourself. If you feel like you have to prove things to people, that's not confidence, that's weakness and insecurity. Confident people also aside from the justifying and apologizing, I'm going to throw in here, confident people are not jealous at all. I am not a jealous person. While I understand the concept, I don't understand it. Because number one, it is really hoping that the person you're jealous of fails. That's really what it is. It's secretly hoping that person fails when you're jealous of someone. That's shitty. That's that's not a good vibe to be putting out there. But also it's really feeling a lack, like there's not enough for everybody.

Elle Russ:
So if someone comes to me and they want to be a writer or podcaster, I don't feel threatened at all. In fact, the opposite. Because I know that helping them, it's just going to fuel my confidence and fuel my success as well. That's not exactly why I do it. But I also just I'm not threatened. Confident people also don't compete. My thing is when you compete, you lose. So for example, even if I were in a sports competition. I'm not there thinking I'm going to kick their butts. I'm just thinking, I'm going to win. Two different vibrations. The first one is my validation based on other people's failure. And the other one, the second one is I'm just going to win, is just me prevailing. By the way, I often win contests. I really do. And probably because that's my story, right? Since I was a kid, I was like, I win a contest. I call in the radio station, I win the album. 

Elle Russ:
That's totally different. It's a different vibration. So, I talk about all these different little aspects, things that can pick away at our confidence. You got to be down with other people's confidence, right? I'm down with OPC, man, other people's confidence. Stop chomping on other people's confidence unless you want yours on. Stop being a downer. I go through this in detail in the book about, I put like nine different downer effects in there and things that come up in our lives where people question us or will chip away at our confidence, and how we are going to react and what we should do with that information. 

Elle Russ:
So, this is a personal game, this is your life, it's you on the inside to externalize it. And while we want validation, like of course, I want people to think that I wrote a good book, that's nice, but even if they didn't, that's okay. Because I'm just proud and excited that I completed it. And I did it and I know it's good. And I like it. That's enough for me, even if one person bought it, it's okay. And that's the same way I felt about the Paleo Thyroid Solution. I was like, if just one person, if one person just got affected by this in a positive way, that would be worth it. And I can't sit here and think about book sales, because that's not what it's about. It's about helping other people in the accomplishment in and of itself. 

Elle Russ:
The outcome or what people think of it, while it's nice, by the way, because I have that outlook, I believe then that's why I'm successful at it. Because again, I'm not caring so much about what people think, so essentially not surprised that they think it's great. I bet if I cared so much, and I was looking at reviews every day, maybe it won't yield the same outcome because that's a level of kind of resistance. Do you know what I mean? It's a low vibrational, low self-esteem angle, looking and seeking and hoping people are going to validate you. Well, you have to validate you. And that's what this is about, right? Getting into self-examination so that you are ...

Elle Russ:
Now, a lot of religions, and I had a whole section of my book on like, listen, what if you're very religious, you believe in God using your face to feel your confidence. Sometimes people talk about humility, you mentioned it. Humility can be kind of like ... It's almost like it can be kind of a grandiose thing, like you're so important. It's downplaying one's ... Some people are taught to downplay their ... Not brag. So people were like, I don't want to be boastful or cocky. Cocky and boastful comes from a place that is sort of apparent vibrationally to the people around you. We all kind of know when someone is like bragging in one of those kind of ways versus someone just touting their abilities. You know what I mean? 

Elle Russ:
How do you think you're going to get a job? You better be able to tout your abilities. They're going to ask you what your strengths are. Good luck with that. You know what I mean? You must try to point these out, find them. Instead of trying to look. If we keep looking for limiting beliefs, there's more and more you're going to find them. We need to start looking for the positive ones, for the aspects of ourself that we appreciate, right? Building ourselves up that way. Because that practice begets more confidence. And every time you speak up in a situation where you didn't.

Elle Russ:
Look, everyone's had a scenario where they walk away and they go, like the next day, they're like, I wish I could have said that. I wish I should have ... Well, you have a chance on the next one. Do it. And I guarantee you when you're done, regardless how awkward or uncomfortable that moment is, you are going to feel so good about yourself and that will just continue to fuel confidence.

Melanie Avalon:
I love it so much. You touched on so many things that listeners, you have to get this book because it's just a wealth of knowledge with all of this stuff. It's really wonderful motivation. I love how in your face it is to the point ... I mean, I think we need that because I think there's a lot of hand holding a lot of times when it comes to these things where it's like, okay. The approach that you take is very refreshing and very to the point and I think it's often very much needed.

Elle Russ:
Thank you. Well, it's funny because I know some people who bought it for like every member of their family. This is one of the books where like, if you know someone that's a victim and simmering in victimhood or someone that needs help with this, and you can't tell them because they're not going to listen to you. Buy them my book. I'll tell them. I'll say the things you don't want to say. I do it in that book. In fact, I had an experience in the book where I lay out a whole situation with like a downer, and then I brought the book to that person. I go, by the way, I want you to read that. That's you. That's you. Call them right on their shit, right there. Just, hey, yo, this chapter, that part, that's you. What do you think of that? 

Elle Russ:
They're like, oh my god, I did not. I see how you could have seen it that way. I didn't mean it that way going. I go, I know you didn't mean it that way. But let's look at your words. That's what you did. You're a downer. You tried to chomp on my confidence. Don't do it to other people. Enough of that. Stop it. They got the message. They got the message. Now, I have a different delivery. I'm such a no BS person from downtown Chicago, like a tough chick, right? Like, of course, I'm not for everybody. I'm not expecting anyone to even ... Like, some of my best friends are the quietest, sweetest people you'd be like, I can't believe she's friends with them. 

Elle Russ:
This is not asking people to be like me. You know what I mean? I'm not asking you to adopt this level of confidence on the outside that I have, this ability to speak the way that I do. That's just not everyone's scene. But you don't need that. You don't need to become me and how I'm confident. You just need to be confident as F in the way that's right for you. Again, you could be a stay-at-home mom, you could be the quietest person in the room. One of my best friends from high school is the most confident person. But he's the guy where you'd see him at a party and he'd be in the corner, kind of alone. And I bet you people at the party are like, that poor guy all alone in the corner. Not poor guy, trust me. 

Elle Russ:
He's just observing, enjoying himself. He's not there to prove anything. He's not worried about people looking at him. He's not worried about being judged. He's just confident as F, standing there observing himself and enjoying himself at a party. And I kind of wish that upon everybody. And he's also one of the most soft-spoken, the quietest person in the room. Those are often the most confident people. The loudest guy in the room is not really always the most confidence. They are usually the most insecure, depending. And so it's funny because as talkative as I am, and as much as I get interviewed, I take a backseat in a lot of those situations, because I don't need to prove ... I mean, I'm here to prove my book and talk fabulously because I'm being interviewed. 

Elle Russ:
But when I'm in a party or somewhere else, I don't feel the need to be the life of the party or talk extensively or anything. In fact, because you and I both do what we do, I'm actually more inclined to give other people the room, give other people the floor. I've had enough, I'm good. I'm confident enough, I don't need to prove it to every room I'm in, right? That's confidence. And it's self-esteem. They're interchangeable and that's really what I mean by confident as F. So I'm hoping to give another connotation of confidence. Because people who are outspoken like me will take offense to it thinking like, well, that's ... I don't want to be that. And I get that. I'm not asking anyone to be me.

Elle Russ:
But I am asking you to dig into your life, dig into your past and your present, look at your friendships, look at your relationships, look at your patterns, and find the areas where you're lacking in confidence and self-esteem and let's get it together. Like this is so possible for everybody. It really, really is. And everyone's got their own take on it or their own flair or their own scene. Again, you don't have to be on a soapbox like I am or whatever. You know what, it is a really quick, easy, fun read and I hope people appreciate it. I'd love anyone's feedback. If Get the book and we'd love to hear your feedback. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yes. So for listeners, I will definitely be putting a link to the book in the show notes. Again, the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/confidence. And thank you so much, Elle. I know you answered this question on the last episode, but I can't break my streak of not ending every single episode with the same question. Really, it's because I realize how important mindset is, and it makes me always end the episode with a smile. So what is something that you're grateful for?

Elle Russ:
Since we were just talking about it, I would say that right now, I'm really grateful for my arms, just that I have them. So even though there are limitations, I'm grateful to have them. Someone might be out there and be like not have their legs, but they're grateful for their arms or something. Sometimes I'm just grateful for the basics. So I would say that I'm grateful for that. But also I'm grateful for the challenges. If you work through them and persevere, they become incredible gifts and I'm just so grateful. I know it sounds cocky, but I'm proud of myself. I sometimes cry just out of being proud of myself for overcoming the shame.

Elle Russ:
Sometimes I cry because I'm so proud I stepped up and wrote a book about the thyroid stuff. And I cry about my old self, even like suffering or whatever. And now being where I am, the gratitude of being better. I know anyone out there suffering from whatever it is mental, emotional, physical. I've seen too many 180s. I've interviewed too many of these people. I just know it's there for you. But you have to try to do your best with mindset. And like you said, you mentioned a good book, The Secret. I think, some other ones almost every teacher and person interviewed in The Secret has multiple books. If you go down that rabbit hole, it's a really good place to start. They all have incredible journeys, all incredible success stories.

Elle Russ:
Lisa Nichols who I interviewed, she really is rags to riches. I mean, we're talking like poor in Compton, food stamps to multi-gajillionaire. You know what I mean? Struggled with weight issues for years to now fit and healthy. And she actually, and not to extend this interview much longer, but it touches on what you said earlier. When I interviewed Lisa Nichols, she was kind of overweight when she was in The Secret, and now she's much thinner and healthier. She actually admitted on the show for the first time that she had great shame in admitting that she had a physical issue at the time because here she was preaching this stuff about The Secret and mindset, yet she was struggling with something she didn't know what it was. Turns out it was a thyroid issue of all things. I'm not surprised that got revealed on the podcast with me, just serendipitously.

Elle Russ:
She harbored a lot of shame about it because she was out there talking about mindset and how you can change your mind and your life and your body and all this stuff. And meanwhile, her body was falling apart and she didn't know what was going on. She was just too embarrassed to kind of reach out for help, because she was in that same scenario that you kind of discussed earlier. So Lisa Nichols is a great inspiration as well and her story is really from ground zero to mass success. And every one of those speakers and authors in that audio book or book or movie, The Secret, is a great place to start. 

Elle Russ:
They're really motivational and incredible people. And they've all helped me. I read all of their books. I wouldn't be here right now if I didn't use those things to fuel me. So I guess I'm grateful for ... Sorry, that's a lot of things to be grateful for. But yeah. I'm grateful for you too, for giving me such a great platform and the time, and of course, I love your book as well and had fun interviewing you about that. That was great.

Melanie Avalon:
Well, thank you so much, Elle. I am so grateful for you for all that you're doing for your books, for everything. I'm really excited to see what comes of all this and the future, and hopefully interviewing you again in the future, maybe book three or maybe ... We'll see where the world goes. Maybe I'll be interviewing you about your leading role in some movie or something.

Elle Russ:
Hey, I'm open. You know what, here's the thing. We all got to be open to the unknown possibilities because that's where the juicy stuff lies. Everyday, we think the same thoughts, we keep going in the same direction, we're thinking about the same outcomes or future to try to get to a point. Again, some of these authors we talked about can really get you there to be open to unknown possibilities. Because my life has been just that. And I tried to control and make it right. I had plans and there's that quote, "When you make plans, God laughs." Boy, that's true in my life. So just start to be open about unknown possibilities that you can't even foresee and that could even spark some good stuff.

Melanie Avalon:
I love it. I love it so much. Any other links to plug for listeners to follow you? I'll put links to your Instagram, your book, your website, anything else to put out there?

Elle Russ:
No, I mean, that's it. Yeah, you can just search me and everything should come up and the book is on Amazon and Kindle and paperback. Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
Perfect. All right. Well, I will talk to you sooner rather than later, hopefully. 

Elle Russ:
Thank you. Bye.

Melanie Avalon:
Thank you so much for listening to the Melanie Avalon Biohackers Podcast. For more information, you can check out my book, What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine, as well as my blog, melanieavalon.com. Feel free to contact me at podcast@melanieavalon.com. And always remember, you got this.

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