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TMHS 372: How to Defeat the 4 Categories of Fear & Tap Into Your Potential with Koya Webb
Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” We all live with fear—it’s a basic human mechanism hardwired into our systems to protect us from danger.
In today’s society, we have far less things to be legitimately fearful of than our ancestors did. But on the other hand, we have so many more inputs and decisions today that can easily become paralyzed by non-threatening fears. We might fear judgement, failure, rejection, inadequacy, and a number of other things. While it’s perfectly normal to experience this emotion, it’s important that we don’t let it sabotage our careers, relationships, or from tapping into our potential.
In her new book, Let Your Fears Make You Fierce, Koya Webb outlines the four major fears that we all experience, and how to overcome them in order to live out your dreams. Koya is a transformational specialist, an internationally recognized yoga teacher, and a holistic health and wellness coach. On today’s show, she’s sharing her own personal transformation, as well as practical, universal tools you can use to overcome your own fears. So click play, listen in, and enjoy the show!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How perfectionism can stop you from making progress.
- Koya’s journey from track star to yogi.
- The lessons Koya learned from sustaining multiple injuries.
- What having a breakdown of identity can teach you about growth.
- The correlation between fear and love.
- How fears can manifest as physical pain.
- The power of breathwork and its accessibility.
- How social media can lead to a fear of failure.
- The importance of practicing affirmations.
- How to overcome self-judgement and heal yourself.
- The four types of fears, and how to work through them.
- What it truly means to appreciate and fall in love with yourself.
- The importance of appreciating our differences.
- How to associate loss with love.
- The difference between being a victim and a creator.
- Why resisting change can be counterproductive.
- What “fear of being the first” is, and how to overcome it.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Organifi.com/Model ⇐ Get 20% off your Organifi products!
- Foursigmatic.com/model ⇐ Get 15% off your daily health elixirs and coffee!
- Beating Financial Stress & Getting a Money Mindset Makeover – Episode 364
- Taking Bold Action & Helping People Win with Pat Flynn – Episode 370
- The 4 Stages of Personal Growth with Michael Beckwith – Episode 365
- The Surprising Truth About Helping Others with Scott Harrison – Episode 314
- How to Find More Peace, Health, & Happiness with Jane Wambui Kaberere
- A Course in Miracles
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- Let Your Fears Make You Fierce by Koya Webb
- Get Loved Up Community
- Connect with Koya Webb Website / Podcast / Instagram
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
You are now listening to The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. For more, visit themodelhealthshow.com.
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I am so grateful for you tuning in with me today.
I was just hanging out talking with my team here about this new app for me, because you know I come from St. Louis to Los Angeles, a DoorDash, Postmates. We didn't really have that.
People weren't delivering out into the wilderness where my house was at, so this is like a whole new reality. And it's so interesting to see like the access and the deliverability of various foods and items from the store, this kind of thing. It's really interesting to see for me being new to this.
And I just really felt compelled to share this because this is such a great opportunity because at no other time in human history could you just use this phone, this device in your hand and be able to create an income for yourself and to take care of your livelihood and the livelihood of your family, whether it's through Uber, whether it's through social media influencer status, or it's through delivery with Postmates and things like that, it's really, really powerful.
And for all of us, there is no excuse, there is no reason that we can't take action to better our circumstances. For all of us, it might not be your goal to your mission, you might not have been in elementary school like writing down your goals when you grow up, like, "I want to do the DoorDash when I grow up," and your teacher is like, "What is a DoorDash?" You were like, "It's not invented yet, okay. I have psychic powers—"
Anyways, it might not have been a thing yet but it's a thing today. And as you'll learn today on this episode, all the things that we're doing, might not be exactly the thing that you were intending on your path, but whatever your path is, whatever your ultimate goal is, you can absolutely get there. The road is not going to be a straight road.
And a lot of us, that's one of the things that we say, it's one of the reasons that we don't take action is because of money. We say, "I want to go to that event, but—." Or, "I want to be able to take this trip, but—." There is a way today more than ever.
And this is why I've been doing shows recently on financial wellness and really working on our financial fitness because we have to get past those stories that we tell ourselves.
And I'll put them, like masterclass episode that I did personally in the show notes for you guys, just a few weeks back, and also just some of the guests that I've have had on recently as well including Pat Flynn.
And just changing our mindset, because it's a really important muscle for us to work today. And we've got so much opportunity access.
Now, on the other side of the coin, I was just in a conversation with today's guest and talking about some of the businesses that are taking a hit because of apps and services like DoorDash and like Uber, for example, in the cab industry just taking such a huge hit.
And the truth is we have to adapt. We cannot put all of our "eggs" in one basket today, we need to be able to pivot and to diversify.
And the thing that rings true through no matter what it is that we're doing is the person that we are, it's the quality of our character, it's our experience, it's the quality of the things that we do and the way that we live our lives, that translates.
And when we had Michael Beckwith on recently and he shared and he said to me, he was just giving an example that no matter where I am, I am it. It can't be taken from me, it can't be separate from me.
And so even if all the things that I've been a part of right now, if I'm just taken in and planted in another place on the planet where nobody knows me, I will find my way back to where I am today. And it just really resonated with me because it just speaks to the fact of like you become it.
We're trying to chase after and find and accumulate things, but it's not about attracting something, it's about becoming it, it's about putting yourself in position, growing yourself as a person so that no matter what you pivot to, whether it's pivoting it from a corporate job into entrepreneurship or pivoting from entrepreneurship to creating a charity or not for profit, and you bring yourself to it, so the success you've accumulated.
A great example is Scott Harrison who we had on a while back, who is the creator and CEO of Charity Water. He was an epic, legendary night club promoter in like New York City, and he took that, the esteem and the experience that he accumulated and he put this into this not for profit, for him something a lot more meaningful and impactful.
And so it's growing ourselves no matter where we are, we might be in some sketchy situations. We are going to talk about that today. But it's giving us opportunities, growing different skills, different muscles.
And so there might be a mom and pop type restaurant where people aren't coming in as much, so hitting that DoorDash and they're laying back watching Netflix and getting that comfort food delivered right to them.
So I do want to shout out just for us to still get out and go experience and engage in the world outside, of course. But at the same time for those companies like Blockbuster, for example— what?
Do you even remember Blockbuster? We used to go to family video, it was another one too, I had Star video.
When I was a little kid, I would actually get on my bike and pedal to Star video and I rent video games, I rent like Nightmare on Elm Street 17 or Friday the 13th 27, there were so many of them, and I'd go back to the house and watch them.
And why would we want to scare ourselves? I shared at the show my experience when I was very little of my mom taking me to a drive-in, so inappropriately when I was like 5 and seeing a Nightmare on Elm Street with my stepfather, which was just like traumatizing for me like there's no reason I should have saw that.
And I had nightmares for like until I was like a teenager because of that experience, and I never told anybody, but I shared it here on the show. And it wasn't until I was 16 years old, maybe 15, 14 somewhere in there, but Freddy was chasing me in my dreams and I was running.
And then I just stopped, I was like, "Listen, man, we're not getting anywhere with this, you're chasing me, I'm running, we're not really going anywhere, this is getting old." And he kind of agreed and we just like shook hands or whatever, it was like his good had. And then that was it.
But having that experience of going to the video stores and the hunt of getting out there, standing by the return box, like, "You got the movie in yet? The Lethal Weapon 3 in yet?" But you have to adapt. Netflix came along, first, it was sending stuff in the mail. Wow, interesting.
And then they got it where it's just coming directly to your television and game over. But Blockbuster had the opportunity first, they had the funds, they had the ability to create the infrastructure, it was like, "Nobody's going to do that, people will always going to want to come into our store."
We have to grow and adapt, it's not going to be a straight line to our success, we're going to get off sometimes, but every challenge that we're presented with is giving us the opportunity for growth.
So I am really pumped about this episode today, we're going to be talking about this and a lot more and how fear is a really big contributing factor to our ability to adapt and to make it to our ultimate goal. So super excited about that.
When my guest got here, I like to give my guests gifts, I gave her some Organifi Gold, I know that really resonant with who she is and what she's doing with her teaching and her practice.
And the hallmark ingredient that is centered around in the Gold formula is Turmeric, and Turmeric is one of the most potent in this category, these "superfoods" but it has a lot of clinical evidence as to its efficacy.
One of the things that it's noted to do clinically is it has anti-angiogenesis property, so this means that this substance is able to basically cut off the blood supply to cancer cells.
And here's one the most remarkable things I saw recently, so Turmeric, and as you know the flagship kind of active ingredient is Curcumin, and this study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition and covered that in addition to being able to down-regulate inflammatory cytokines so that's what is really noted for, the biggest claim to fame that Turmeric has is it's anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric actually was found to upregulate the activity of one of our major satiety hormones called Adiponectin. Adiponectin, so you might know about Leptin as being a satiety hormone. Adiponectin, so first of all, it is as a satiating capacity but it helps to actually assist the body in burning fat but without increasing hunger, and that is what makes is so remarkable.
One of the other things that Adiponectin has been found to do is it helps your body to mobilize fat from your viscera, so like the visceral belly fat region, it has this ability to turn on lipolysis where that fat is getting mobilized and released from the viscera, and it moves it to the safer, in many ways easier to burn area, in the subcutaneous fat.
All right, so it takes it from the dangerous fat and puts it in more of a safer place. It's really, really crazy stuff, interesting stuff found in Turmeric, and this is the basis of the Organifi Gold product.
So it's the Turmeric plus some other amazing things that make it taste great. Medicinal mushrooms are in there as well, so a lot of people use it for bedtime to help them to sleep because Reishi is in there.
Definitely check it out, it's so tasty, folks like it, you can have it hot with hot water or with some almond milk, have it cold. I like to throw it in smoothies myself.
Organifi Gold, pop over there check them out, it's organifi.com/model, that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model, you get 20 percent off everything they carry. That's organifi.com/model.
Now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.
iTunes review: Another 5-star review titled "The Model of Health all over the world" by Cassy C Guidinger. Shout out from the Lou. I first read "Sleep Smarter" a few years ago, learned you were from St.Louis and started following everything you do. I've passed along the book and Model Health Show to many friends, family, and clients.
My husband and I recently moved to Germany and with a mix of traveling and time zone changes I just reread your book. And it did the trick again. I'm a personal trainer in St. Louis and listen to the podcast between client and now on road trips here in Europe, I always learn something, become extra motivated and have so many tips and resources to share with clients, from your expertise and that of your guests, I can't get enough. Keep it coming, Shawn.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh I definitely will, thank you so much for leaving me that review over on Apple Podcasts. And everybody, please if you've yet to leave a review, pop over to Apple podcasts and leave a review for the show. I appreciate it so very much.
And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is Koya Webb, she's well noted to be a transformation specialist. She's a highly regarded expert who's contributed to many platforms including NBC, CBS, and Steve Harvey.
And she operates from a place of intentionality and is noted to be a thought leader in yoga. And she is an internationally renowned yoga teacher.
And that's how I first found out about her. And she's got a new podcast called Get Loved Up and she also has a new book called "Let Your Fears Make You Fierce." And this is an awesome, awesome conversation with Koya Webb, check it out.
Shawn Stevenson: How long is your podcast, you've been doing that?
Koya Webb: Oh goodness, I should know this question. Maybe 4 months.
Shawn Stevenson: Okay, it is pretty new, pretty new.
Koya Webb: I'm new.
Shawn Stevenson: Was it one of those things where you were thinking about it for a long time of doing? Or you were just like, "I should do this."
Koya Webb: It was like, "Definitely I should do this." I don't know how long I was thinking about it, yeah, it was definitely, "I should do this." It just came up and I was like, "Okay."
That's how my life has been, things come up and I mean they're like yes or no. And if his gray I don't move, I don't do anything, until it's like a clear yes or a clear no.
So with the podcast, it was just, it came up and it was like a clear yes. I was like, "Alright, how do we get started?" I just went and so it's been amazing.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, that's dope. Like, you being who you are, you're so established in you like you can feel good even 5 years from now when people are going to listen to episode one because you are you. You're still like figuring stuff out.
Koya Webb: I'm not attached to that. I'm not attached to like if I've changed or something is shifted because that's all part of the journey. I think before I started and definitely before I wrote the book, I was attacked, I was kind of a perfectionist, I'd go, "It has to be perfect."
And who says this is absolutely true, I'm not sure, I said, "I don't know if I want to write that," I was so caught up, unlike being perfect, I couldn't get anything done.
And as soon as I was like, "You know what, it's okay, who you are right now is a beautiful person, and who you'll be in 10 years is going to be a beautiful person", and they're not going to be same; just actually understand they are absolutely not going to be the same person.
You'll have the same soul, the spirit, the heart for people, but you're going to evolve and that's beautiful. So it helped me get things done.
Shawn Stevenson: That's so heartwarming to hear that, just because that idea of perfectionism just keeps so many people imprisoned.
What you just described I literally did that, my first book which shall remain nameless, many years ago when I was just—
Koya Webb: Where is it?
Shawn Stevenson: You know what's so funny, is like maybe every other week, and this book is at least, this was 10 years ago at least, somebody will find it in like a random library or like a 5-cent bookstore and they will tag me on social media, like, "This book changed my life", and I'm like, "Really?"
Well, you know, because I was in the process, but that's the beautiful thing, is that it's always like that. And so that's so refreshing to hear that. And you just kind of just getting it done and you're going to keep going back and looking at it with updated eyes.
Koya Webb: Absolutely. Already, already I'm ready for the second one. I'm like, "Okay, I got some ideas."
Because in writing a book as you probably know from writing yours, you change and evolve the process of writing it, you're going through healing, especially when you include like, I include a lot of personal stories with mine, so going through those stories again and going through the work again, I went through a whole evolution, a whole realm of healing even writing the book.
Shawn Stevenson: That's awesome. That's powerful. And I picked that up as I was reading. And the first thing I want to ask you about is how did you, I know a little bit, but how did you get from like Star Track athlete to Yoga, like you're a superstar.
And I know it's not like, “It’s in your head,” but I mean, you are. I remember when I saw you up here at the studio the first time when we bumped into each other, I was like, we're Facebook friends from like 5 years ago or 6 years ago whenever it was, and just seeing your growth because I went back and looked and it's astronomical.
But I didn't know the pre-story, and the pre-story was you were out there in them cleats doing the track thing. So how did you get from there to where you are? What was the catalyst?
Koya Webb: The catalyst— I think the catalyst is even today I'm still that Tomboy that lived in the country, that loved to climb trees and that was ambitious and inquisitive and that love to play and loves people.
Really, that's how, because there's so much as you read in the book that has happened to me along the way. And I think that when I was running track and field, it was an outlet for me, it was like, "I want to get out of the country, I want to see new things." I was always into just seeing things and having experiences.
I'm very much adventurous and I want to see the world. And so track and field gave me that opportunity to like travel, see the world and you know do something fun, run around the track in circles and jump things, which being an athletic, young girl it was fun for me.
And so really, I think the catalyst, the big shift was when I actually had an injury. And I think a lot of times when things are going great you think, "Okay, this is it, I'm set, this is going to last forever, I'm going to do the work, I'm going to do everything."
And then when something happens to change that, especially unexpectedly, it's like devastation. And so for me, everything that I did was surrounded around track and field.
Shawn Stevenson: This was in college, right?
Koya Webb: This was in college.
Shawn Stevenson: So where were you at school? So first of all, you grew up in—
Koya Webb: I grew up in Tennessee, Humboldt, Tennessee.
Shawn Stevenson: Did you go to school in Tennessee?
Koya Webb: I went to school in Humboldt, Tennessee, I graduated from Humboldt High School and after Humboldt High School, I went to UT Martin. So I didn't go to Knoxville because actually, I went there for what do they call it when you go and you check out the school and everything, you're shadowing like the teachers and the athletes and you're deciding if you want to go there.
And one of my friends, we went out for a party, and one of my friends went missing. And so it scared to me. And even though my mom and my father, and I don't think I've ever really told this story much but I remember that I was going to go there because my dad and my mom went to UTK, and after my friend turned up missing I was like, "I don't want to go there, I need to stay close to home.
It's safer, I can be close to my family." I was a middle child so I was like really taking care of my family a lot, so I decided to go to UT Martin my first year in college. And I gained as freshman 25 pounds. Not the "Freshman 15".
Shawn Stevenson: 25, quarter pounds.
Koya Webb: 25 quarter pound. But I didn't understand and it wasn't like that I just got unhealthy, actually, it was the opposite, I was very strong and healthy, I was an athlete, I was on this track.
But I had food because I ate it in moderation and modestly when I was going up because we didn't really have much. So here I am in college and we got a buffet.
Shawn Stevenson: You got that meal tickets.
Koya Webb: Not just one buffet, we head 7 buffets, we had like the pasta buffet, the Thai buffet, the Chinese buffet, and me being adventurous, I wanted to try it all. So each time I would sit, I would get like 5 plates of food, I'd have ice cream and because I ate anything that I wanted and worked out, I really didn't get the concept that there was anything wrong with this.
So I ate all this food, and you know in the south, they like them thick, so I was getting curves, I was like, "Oh yeah, this is nice." And I just kept eating. And so you know, long story short, my performance didn't follow, after I gained 25 pounds, I was a high jumper. I couldn't get my butt over the bar, I was like, "That was just an extra couple of inches on a backside that are really holding me back."
So I tried and I really had a tough year, my freshman year was very tough. And I was just like, "Okay, this has to change." And so my coach was like, "Why don't you come to Kansas with me? I'll give you a new start."
I got bullied a lot, I got jumped once, it was just like, it was horrific, I wasn't supposed to be there and I do believe that sometimes when you need to make a shift or a change, things happen to kind of push you in that other direction.
So I had a really tough freshman year, gained a lot of weight and my coach just felt so sorry for me, he was like, "Koya, come to Wichita and stay with me, we're just going to start over". I was like, "Alright."
So I went to Wichita, I was like, definitely it is not going good, the guy I was dating I broke up with him too, so I went to Wichita.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, this is all bad, when they say it's all good, it's not all good.
Koya Webb: It was not all good, it was like, "What have I done? And what am I doing, maybe I don't even want to go to college?" I definitely questioned.
I was like, because I looked at a different world and they had a cool college campus. It was fun and that's what I was looking for. So I was like, "Okay, this is not what I thought it was going to be," but I didn't give up.
And I think that's so important for people when they do find themselves in places where "I'm not fitting in, I'm not doing well," just to not give up but to find out, "If not this then what? If not this then what?" And so I was like, "Okay, if not this then what?" And my coach is like, "Maybe this."
And I was like, "Alright, let's try it." So being the open-minded person and being just like, "All right, here we go to Wichita, “Wichita State? Where is that? Kansas."
So I went there and I started over. And the coach was like, "Sometimes people can," and they're timid to tell women especially things about weight, but he was like, "Okay, let's talk about gravity. So you gained a little weight, not able to go over the bar. So what are you eating?" And I was like, "Everything, food is so good and I went on and on."
He is like, "Okay, so you're going to have to cut it down to 3 meals a day, and you're going to have to cut it down to 1 or 2 plates." He still gave me 1 or 2 plates. And I just cut back, that's literally all I did. I was more conscious about my eating.
And then everything stabilized, because of course, I was working hard, 4 hours on the track and in the gym, and again, this was healthy. I went from we're talking about 115 to like 135 so I was still, and I'm 5'10 so and now I look slim but I weigh 160 pounds.
But weight is weight, it doesn't matter how it looks, it's when you come to athletics, it's just about science. And even now I tell people whether they want to be big or small, "Don't be attached to the weight, just look good and feel good and be happy with what you see."
And so, but anyway, I wasn't, I was feeling good and I was looking good as I wanted to look, but for my athletics, it didn't work. So I started running track, within a year I was slated to win the conference meet, everything was going great, my grades were good, I was headed for a, 4.0 that season.
And I was walking home from practice and I got this sharp pain in my back. And I was like, "That was weird, it felt like a lightning bolt down my back." And I was like, "That was weird." And so I kept walking, I was like, "Oh," and then I fell to the ground. I was like, "This is crazy, I don't know what's happening", I had never felt anything like that before.
So they took me to the doctor and coach is like, "You have a stress fracture in your fourth lumbar and it doesn't look good." I was like, "What do you mean it doesn't look good?" Like, "What is it, it doesn't look good? Can we like patch it up? I've got to take a week of?"
He was like, "You need to really stay off of, it's a fracture in the bone so you're going to have to take the season off". I'm like, "The season?" The season I'm kind of slated to win? The season I am supposed to help, you know, I was a team captain, like we were trying to go in for this championship, like, "This season?"
And he's like, "Yeah, Koya, if it doesn't heal," he was like, "you can still be a coach." And I was just like, "Wait, we went from slated to win the conference to coaching?"
I was devastated, it's like my heart bled. And I was just like, one day, I have chills now just thinking about the moment and how I felt, and it was just like everything that I worked so hard for and all that work was just like completely, it just like disappeared in one day.
I couldn't believe, I had a huge depression. I was crying in my classes, the teacher was like, "Koya, I think you need to go see a counselor."
And I was just like, nothing mattered, I didn't want to live, I was just like what do I have now? If I don't have track, what do I have?
And so I went to a counselor she was like, "I think you should try yoga." They are like yoga. I am thinking, "Yoga." I am thinking, "Buddha?" I'm thinking, "Different religion?" Parents are not going to feel good about this, I'm thinking. And she was like, "No, it's just stretching."
I was like, "Why do you want me to stretch?" Like, "I'm not going to be running track, I'm not doing that." But I really didn't have a choice, to be honest. And so I went in there, I'm seeing these people looking like it's bliss and it's painful. I cannot touch my toes, I'm standing on my head, I feel like my brain is going to ooze out, everything is painful.
And they're like, "It'll come, it'll come, it's peaceful." I'm like, "You guys are lying, this does not feel good, and I don't feel good, I don't want to be here, I don't want to be alive. I just was so frustrated and the teacher came to me and she was just like, "Just breathe with me, just breath with me."
And I remember saying, "Okay." [taking a deep breath] And I remember this chill going through my body and I was like, "Oh, that felt really, really good." And I remember before, when I had that feeling, that tingling sensation was when I got baptized when I was a little girl.
And I remember mom and dad saying, "When I'm going to know when I get baptized, when I'm going to know?" They're like, "You'll feel it, you'll know." I was like, "How? What sign am I looking for?" They are like, "You'll know." And I felt that sensation throughout my entire body and that's when I got baptized.
So when I felt the sensation I knew, I'm like, "This is a good thing, this is really good, so I'm going to stay here." So I stayed in the yoga class, I did the yoga and then I started swimming, I started biking and I healed my entire body.
But I also healed my mind and I learned to sit in silence eventually some of those painful poses became more comfortable, but it was a lot of pain, it didn't happen overnight, it took an entire year, an entire season, and I did try to go back halfway and it was like, "Nope, you're not ready."
And after that, I won the conference meet and led Wichita State to its first women's championship. So what I wanted to do the year before, I took a year of humble work inner reflection to finally get to that place.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that is amazing. I mean, when I read the story and just hearing it kind of fleshed out in more color here, I was just shocked, like, to go through that situation, and we hear stories similar to this, but there's about to be a change that we're going to talk about next.
But you did, you came back and you kind of fulfilled your goal, but then your goals changed, and that was really one of the most remarkable things in the book.
Because I think that the breakdown of your identity really helped to make that even possible, because so many of us really attach ourselves to this idea of who we think we're supposed to be and if that thing is taken away, then what are we, and we are lost?
And there can be a great clearing that takes place and you get to see, like, "Wow, I can actually pick and choose and dance with this stuff a little bit."
And so you decided to get off of this track, literally, get off the track of you know the Olympics and all the stuff that you thought about doing when you were growing up and focusing on helping other people. And specifically through the medium of yoga. So what was the catalyst for you to have the audacity to do something like that?
Koya Webb: Well I first, and thank you for picking that up, because I do believe it was a big revelation to me as well, because what didn't change was my mission and even the reason that I wanted to run track and get Olympic gold medal, because I'd see Marion Jones, I see these athletes and they were making a difference in the world.
And so being a young girl and from a small town, you're like, "Well, what is my impact, what can I do to make the world a better place?"
And I was like, "Well I know that if I do this thing, that I can help people." And I just wanted to help people, I've always wanted to serve, I always wanted to see people happy, it's starting with my family.
And I thought I wanted to be a nurse, a doctor, anything that had to do with making people feel good. But I realized, "I don't like hospitals, I don't like seeing people in pain," like all this stuff is way too much for me.
And so I shadowed all of these occupations and I remember the first person that I met there was actually happy because, at some point person that was a nurse they are like, "I love helping people but I don't make much money."
And then I interviewed a physical therapist, "I'm a physical therapist, I make good money, but I don't see my family that much." The first person that I met that was happy with what they were making and what they were doing was a personal trainer. And so that was what I decided to do, I was like, "Well, they're happy and I just want to be happy."
My mom and dad were big influences in my life. My dad was very strict and very stern "You've got to do the work, get a good job," he was not okay with, of course, me not knowing what I wanted to do.
But my mom was always like, "Whatever you do just make sure you're happy, just make sure you're happy."
And so I was like, "Well, that person is happy," and if this shadowing that we do in college and high school is about finding what you want to do, I knew from coming from humble beginnings that it wasn't going to be money that's going to make me happy. I knew that.
I was like it's going to be the feeling that I have inside and it's going to do be around helping people. My dad said I was going to be a teacher. I was like, "No dad, I'm not going to be a teacher, I don't want to sit in the classroom, I think that's very boring."
But he saw me and how I love to share knowledge once I learned to read, I helped my brothers, I helped my people in my church. And he saw that at a young age but I was like, "No, no, no way."
So what happened there was after I won the conference meet, I was like, "Alright, I'm going to Olympics, I'm trying to see Olympics, I'm close, I'm ready, I can do this."
So I moved to California and I didn't know a soul, I didn't have a cousin, a relative, no one, I just moved because The Olympic Training Center was in San Diego.
I looked online and I found this coach, Ron Sheffield and I called him up, I was like, "Hey Ron, I get your… " he was like, "Who is this?"
I was like, "This is Koya, you don't know me," he's like, "Who is this?" "This is Koya, you don't know me, but look, I would love for you to be my coach."
He's like, "Who is this?" "Look, I know this is super weird, but what I can promise you if you agree to coach me I will get better and better every single day."
And he was just like, "I don't know you, but I like your attitude. So I'll coach you." And I like, "Oh my God," I couldn't believe it. I don't know, people are like, "How did you get the guts?" I was like, "I don't know, like somehow it was in me, it was destiny."
And so I moved here, he agreed to coach me, that's all I needed. And so after 6 months I became a personal trainer I was training for 24-hour Fitness and I was training from 5 am to 10, then I practiced from like 11 or 12 until about 4, and then I go and I'd personally train again from 5 to 10.
Because I had an apartment, I was trying to do it on my own, very independent. And what happened— I pulled my hamstring.
Because again, even though I learned with yoga the first time I was like, "Thanks yoga" so I still was more mindful but I wasn't doing yoga on a regular basis. I stopped taking care of myself, I was losing sleep.
I remember looking in the mirror at the gym and my eye was jumping from the stress because I had stress from working out, I had stress from training so many people, I had a waiting list.
And I was just like, "Why?" I was so sad again, it wasn't as devastating as the first time, but this time I knew what to do. I was like, "Going back to yoga." But this time I said, "I need to know more about this yoga, this changed my life."
And I really just said thank you the first time, I really didn't stick with it, and so I decided to do yoga teacher training.
And that is what changed my life, really studying the mental, the spiritual and the physical aspects of breathwork and meditation and these different limbs of yoga that teach you to be more mindful and live in a more mindful way and teach you that everything centers around focusing on the breath, focusing on the spiritual connection that you get that chill that I felt, that was spirit.
And we all have it, everyone has the breath, everyone has the opportunity to connect with Spirit, every single day. And once I found that I said, "I want to give this gift to every single person who's open to receiving it." And that's what I'm doing.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow. I love that. This just takes me back to a conversation I actually had on, she was the most requested person, it is my mother in law.
Koya Webb: Oh, how nice.
Shawn Stevenson: We've had some incredible—Arianna Huffington, which we talked about earlier, Dr. Oz, all these great people, she was most requested because she's had the biggest impact on me.
And when we first met, it was maybe like the second or third time that we ever, that I saw her, she said, "If I could give everybody one gift it would be meditation." And she'd been teaching meditation for a couple of decades, meditating for maybe 40 years at the time.
And being from Kenya it was very, that was not something that was done, and she just said she wanted to give everybody this gift. And to be honest I thought she was crazy, I'm like, "What, why would you say that, can you give everybody a car like Oprah."
And it wasn't until I engaged in it, it wasn't until I participated that I realized it is the most invaluable thing. And so you getting that and being so adamant, and the great thing about it, about you is that packaging it up in a way that is easy unwrapped and attractive for so many people.
Somebody on my team here in the studio today was like, "I did a class…” it was a couple of years ago and just like you have people from all walks of life, men and women and just everybody who are looking for that opportunity to just get better and you really have that come across in the way that you teach.
And so in your book, speaking of teaching and putting this all together, you do share some of your stories, but the catalyst is really, and I want to ask you about this specifically, why on earth would you have your first book be based around dealing with fear?
Koya Webb: The reason is, when I moved to California and I started doing yoga and I finally kept evolving and kept following my dreams as well, I mean I did the modeling, I got into some TV, I did some commercials, all the things which again led me from San Diego to then LA and I remember at a point where I just felt a little lost.
I felt lost between that this spiritual depths of my soul and reality, or media, or working and job, and I was in Hollywood and I was experiencing all these negative really hard to deal with things.
And then I was also experiencing the depth of my exposure to practice daily and it was like this huge duality of my life. And I was going to church regularly but everything wasn't always making sense and it was a very confused period in my life.
And I remember walking through the doors of Agape spiritual center, which I know you are familiar with, and things started to make sense. Things started to make sense and I started to understand how to navigate this world that I love, like I love, because we are here to have a human experience.
I love being part of the human experience, I don't want to go like to the island, which is really nice, I think if I had my way for I'd really wanted to not be responsible for my mission, then I would go to an island and just live there.
And so not doing that and being in the world, going to Agape, I took a course. I was learning a lot, the music, the minister Michael Bernard Beckwith, Ricky, they just really fed my soul the way it needed to be fed.
And I went to the course called the "Course of Miracles" and I read the book, and that really broke down every emotion to love and fear. And it really helped me understand all of these emotions, the fear, the doubt, the worry, the anxiety, all of that is fear, it's some sort of fear.
And when you can look at fear, this is kind of what I kind of brought to myself, this is how I relate to it, when you break down the fear and realize that fear is just an opportunity to love more or is placing you that needs love, whether be a relationship or business or whatever, I realize that I can move to a place of love and I can be fierce in love and that's why I chose "Let your fears make you fierce," because fear can be our friend.
Fear is not against us, it's just there to show us where we need to love more. Fear that my injury is going to make me not able to live my dream that was a fear.
But what was love? Love was, look, if you'd start this practice it's actually going to be your occupation, which I didn't know at the time, but loving myself at the time which is going to that yoga class, loving myself at the time was getting help; loving myself at the time was just taking one day at a time to do something for myself, and eventually everything worked out.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes it did. So that's the name of the book "Let your fears make you fierce".
And one of the things that you talk about that really jumped out at me, fear as physical pain, specifically, this is out-picturing of fear in and of itself, and I love that you put this in here because we look past this so often but physical pain being an indication that something needs attention, but what we tend to do is like when we're in pain, everything is just wrong, it's just wrong.
Nothing is right and it's very, very difficult to see the brighter side, to operate. We feel like we are not adequate, but pain which is an out-picturing of fear can be an indicator that something just needs attention. So changing that, flipping a switch in our mind to see pain differently.
Koya Webb: And that's the same thing you see fear as your friend, you're seeing pain as your power. Because if you think about it. You are in the gym, most people watching, workout.
When you are in pain, when you feel that lactic acid build-up and you're sore, what's happening? You feel it it's sore, it hurts, but your muscle is over-repairing itself so you can be stronger.
So the same thing happens when you're in pain, if you allow yourself to heal that pain or when you are in fear you allow yourself to address that fear, then you actually become stronger on a spiritual and emotional level. So it is all connected and it all mirrors each other, if you look at it closely.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I love that. Yeah so, and I just wanted to get this across for everybody, because we're all, the human body is so amazing like it's not just based on trauma, like something that happens physically, like you know we hurt a muscle or a bone doing something, but our bodies really display pain from even just our thinking.
And so just carrying a lot of stress, maybe that is creating a lot of pain in your neck, and it's just like paying attention and asking when you're feeling their pain like, "What is my body trying to teach me, what is my body trying to say to me right now?" Just to slow down and start to reidentify.
But I think another part of it is like it's also when it happens in our body and we know the answer is giving us action steps, you know what I am saying? So we have to change.
Koya Webb: We have to change, and that's why I wanted this book to be practical application because you hear it all the time, "You've got to change, you've got to do something differently, you got to do something for yourself," but what does that look like?
And for me, the breathwork connecting with spirit is number one. And anyone, even if you can't move a limb, even if you're in your hospital bed listening to this right now, one thing we all can do is breathe.
Once you have the breath of life that is Spirit and that is the guide, right? And then you take that breath and you start to meditate, you go on to meditation and that meditation can be receiving what I call divine download, spiritual downloads, or it can be really asking a question from you and really focusing on visualization or what you want to manifest.
So there are so many ways that you can use, the breathwork and meditation, to calm anxiety, to calm stress, to get yourself to oxygenate your cells so that you can get back to a place of peace, of a little bit less pain, because I know it doesn't go from pain— I didn't go from my back hurt to running on the track overnight, it took time.
And so when we go through this time of not caring for ourselves or not caring for people we love or not caring for the world, it's going to take some time to balance that out. And I think that's something that people don't have enough patience for some time.
Sometimes I see myself getting impatient and I just have to remind myself, like, "Koya, things take time." you heard that, I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to do that thing and I am going to be all good," but that all good might take one or two years and I think we have to enjoy the journey and realize we are spiritual beings having this human experience and realize that part of this experience is growing every single day, not being perfect. I'm still not perfect, I have all the principles in the book, I do the meditation, the yoga, the chakra work, the breathwork, the goal setting, the vision, all the things right, all the time.
But at the same time, it's like being in school— you're not graduating until you actually go into the ground, you're going to the next level and then you'll have a series of tests and hopefully you pass— you go to next level, you don't pass— you're probably staying in that grade.
And this is a sermon that I heard, I think before I moved to LA and I loved it because it helped me realize that it's not about getting to a point where you have no problems or nothing can touch you or nothing can hurt you— part of life is experiencing transition, experiencing growth, spirits and change and once you start to accept that, like accept the reality, you can really look at it like, "How can I grow from this? How can I feel this? How can I share this? How can I mourn with my family when I need to mourn? And how can I heal when I need to heal?"
So you understand the duality of life, like in the day, in the course of one day we have the sun and then we have the darkness, but in the darkness we're not all set, we are resting and we're recovery.
And so when we have dark times in our life, we have to understand normally that's the time when we need to rest and recover. And if we start not looking at it as positive and negative but just at an event, a thing, we learn to make peace with it and we learn to move through life and find more happiness.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it, love it. So there are 4 specific categories or types of fear that you address in the book and these are all very profound. And we're going to talk about those right after this quick break, so sit tight, we'll be right back.
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Shawn Stevenson: Alright, We're back and we're with Koya Webb, the author of this epic new book "Let Your Fears Make You Fierce". And before the break we were talking about these 4 specific categories that our fears fall into.
And I really wanted to have you on to talk about this because from us getting from here where we are to where we want to be in our lives, a lot of that which is dictating our inhibition has to do with fear.
And because we all have so much potential there's so much possibility for every single person but it's always, we hear this thing about fears holding us back and so you really broke down and dissected these. So the first one is fear of failure. So let's talk about that one a bit.
Koya Webb: That is the biggest one. I mean just think about it, whether it is you're going to write a book, you're starting a relationship, you're starting a new job. I think I don't know anyone who's not experienced fear of failure, because you wonder, "Am I good enough? Am I worthy enough? Can I do this?"
And that takes you out of that space of love of knowing like you can do the best you can, you can do a good job based on the tools that you've been given, right?
But we're always judging ourselves compared to someone else and that's kind of where social media and a lot of people are experiencing so much anxiety with social media because now we're in a constant state of comparison.
When you're in that constant state of comparison you can't be in love. But if you can meditate and get yourself back to, "I am worthy, I'm going to do best I can," you're good. So when you feel the fear of failure, it usually comes from, "I'm not good enough" or, "I am not worthy."
And a lot of times it can stem from childhood, but once you say, "You know what, I'm just going to do the best that I can. I'm going to give this like 100 percent and let the chips fall where they may."
And that attitude can get you through anything. And you might not make it, like most, "The Tipping Point", that was one of my favorite books to read and realize it takes 10,000 hours to be successful at something and realize that you know what, it doesn't matter if it doesn't come day 1, day 2, day 3, and the biggest thing that I got with this, the biggest lesson I got when I was trying to play basketball, I always tell my track and field story, but I played basketball in high school and I didn't make the team, I didn't play in junior high.
And when I went to high school I was running track and field and I told my track coach like, "No one's really looking at the track, everyone loves basketball," and my dad loves basketball and I was a daddy's girl, so I was like, "I want to play basketball."
So I asked my coaches, I was like, "You know, can you get me on the team?" He was like, "I don't know, the team is not really winning, do you really want to play?" I was like, "Yes, I really want to play basketball, so I was hoping you can get me on. You know I'll do, I'll work hard, you know I'll do whatever it takes." He's like, "All right."
So he talked to the coach and I was in earshot, he was like, "Look, can you give Koya a chance, even if she's riding the bench, she's definitely going to run up and down the court, you know, she'll play some good defense, she's a hard worker, she's a good girl. Can you put her on the team?"
And the coach is like, "Well, it's not like we have anything to lose." And I was like, "Yes!" I was happy, I didn't care it was a losing team, I just wanted to play. And so I went out and I started playing, and I was not good. I mean, I could not dribble, I would lose the ball, I would throw the ball.
And I remember the one time when I practiced, I would dribble around my pole in my basement, I was like, "I'm going to get this thing down," because I was tall and lanky and just figuring out my body, but I was, I couldn't get it down.
And so I practice and practice and finally I'm like, "You know, if I just get one chance, if I get one chance," I practiced the specific layup that I was going to do, exactly how I was going to grab the rebound, I visualized it and I got an opportunity.
The person in front of me fouled out, I got into the game, I was like, "Alright, where is that rebound, I am going to get it, I pictured this a million times, I am going to do it. So I snatched the rebound, I went to the burner bouncing that ball so hard and running down the court with all my might, and I laid it up and I was like, "Yes!" And no one was yelling, and I was like— And then my coach was just shaking her head, just like, "Koya, that's the wrong goal."
Shawn Stevenson: Oh my god.
Koya Webb: And I'm like, "Oh, no." "Get over here". And I was like, "Oh."
Shawn Stevenson: Is there a video of this?
Koya Webb: I hope not. It was the most humiliating. I looked in the crowd, my dad was just laughing. And I was just like, that is the most embarrassing thing. I've done some more embarrassing things since then, but that at that time was the most embarrassing thing. So I sit on the bench and I was like, "Oh man, it felt so good to do it" But it was the wrong goal.
And so, believe it or not, I don't know how, but even though I shot at the wrong goal, I was really happy inside because I did exactly what I said I was going to do and my friends are laughing.
I'm kind of a comedian underneath, most people don't know this about me, but I was laughing at myself. I was like, "Oh my god," And I was just like, "Okay well, I mean we weren't winning anyway."
So I was just like, so anyway, so that happened I rode the bench for the rest of the season because the coach, you know, we didn't have a winning streak and she didn't need anyone shooting at the wrong goal, to further the humiliation of the lost, right.
So I rode the bench. But then the third year, my junior year, we had a new coach. And the coach didn't know any of us and so they would just let us play and the coach was a man, he said, "You're going to play based on how good you are. No one has a position, no one owns a position." I was like, "Oh, opportunity."
Because I'm a hard worker and I was like, "Oh, I'm going to start," I just said in my mind, I was like, "I'm going to start, I knew it."
And so I worked hard, and I'm a team player, and the person that I was taking their place, and they are like, "Oh, she's talking about me."
But I knew that if I did my best that I would do well just because I see people, I see everyone, and as I rode the bench I would see what moves I should make and how it should go.
So I paid attention, I worked hard, I played. I played my heart out, I started. At the end of that year, I got Most Improved Player of the year. And I did the same thing my senior year and I got MVP most rebounds and most points.
Shawn Stevenson: Unbelievable.
Koya Webb: And so that's how I knew, if anything that I want it bad enough, if I put my heart to it then it will work out.
I knew after that that I wasn't afraid of hard work and that it was going to take hard work to get anything that I wanted, but I saw the results and I was just like, "Wow", I'm literally like, "I can do anything. Yes, yes!" I was really excited.
Shawn Stevenson: Why was I just listening to that on my way here today?
Koya Webb: Really? Get out.
Shawn Stevenson: I swear to god, the Carters like, as a matter of fact, no no no, I am going to pull it up. I'm going to pull it up.
Koya Webb: He is like, "I've got to show you.". Wow, that's so funny.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah man, come on, right here.
Koya Webb: It's right there. Yeah, he is telling the truth.
Shawn Stevenson: I mean, that's the different track on the album, but I listened to that one first, that's nice.
Koya Webb: That's so cool.
Shawn Stevenson: See, we're in the zone right now.
Koya Webb: We're in the vibration, serendipity, I believe highly in serendipity, as well.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. These moments are always happening, even then, you were scripting out how things were going to go, and even with that fear of failure, like you didn't, you had already failed before, you already failed in high school and now you've got a clean slate in a sense and an opportunity even though you couldn't believe in bounce a ball to play with grown people.
And the story, like you did fail, you did fail, but you just kept showing up. Most people just don't do that. If you just keep showing up and it might not have the exact— it might not be the exact picture, it would be a different flavor of it sometimes or a different you know, different color of it, but it is so crazy.
I've talked to so many people over the years who they saw a certain dream in their mind and they got right, I mean, most of the people that, of course, I have had on the show, they've met that dream, it might have a different version again, but so many of us just when we meet our opposition we stop, because of that fear of failure.
Especially once you get in it. And so what I want to encourage people to do and what you're doing as well is with the 10,000 hours, just take the first hour because it seems so daunting, it seems so much, 10,000 hours. You're not going to catch me, I'm like in the 50, 60, 70 thousand, 80 thousand. You know what I'm saying?
But you have your own track and your own opportunity and you need to get hour one under your belt, you know. Hour one is guess what, you got 50, 60, 70 thousand hours that are about to past anyways.
Koya Webb: Absolutely.
Shawn Stevenson: So what are you going to do?
Koya Webb: And you're not thinking about the hours as well, because I always tell people enjoy the journey, because once you get there, you're going to be onto the next thing, you're just going to want something else, and so not even worrying about when is it going to come.
And I like to remind people you don't fail until you stop trying. Because if you listen to anyone, anyone on your show, it's like you try and it goes different, you might change paths, but you don't fail until you stop trying, because even though my path transition from track and field to life coaching, to being a thought leader and teaching love consciousness, I'm still helping people.
And that was my mission, at the end of the day. And so yes, things change, but are you happy? Are you doing what you love? And those are the things you have to ask yourself. And if so— keep going. Keep going and enjoy the journey.
Shawn Stevenson: And in the book, you have this specific sentence, "This challenge is not me failing". Speaking of failure, when that failing moment happens, from how we label it.
You said, "This challenge is not me failing, this is me getting stronger". Right? That's what it is, it's just developing those muscles to be able to pivot, to be able to adapt, to be able to see things differently, that's what it is.
Koya Webb: Right. Even in the mind, like when you start to think like, "Okay, I'm saying I don't love myself, and I don't love myself, I don't feel good about myself."
And you say the affirmations and I share affirmations in every chapter and people are like, "Why am I saying these affirmations, these affirmations are not true".
But if you think about it, the more you say the affirmations, the stronger you get mentally. So even if you don't believe it yet, your mind is getting stronger to believe it, and then eventually what you believe is going to match what you're saying.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so good, so true. I love this so much. So fear of failure is so important because I know everybody listening has a talent, a gift, a mission, something of value and we need it, like we really need it right now.
And there's that proverb and I might mess the numbers up but it's said, "Journey of a 1,000 miles starts with the first step." You know, and so I'm just really wanting people to take that first step, whatever that calling is.
Maybe you might be in your thirties and you're like, I've had hoop dreams too, Koya, I've had hoop dreams. And just going and joining a league.
And just doing something that feels good to you, like you could barely dribble, but they ended up like what an incredible story, I'm so grateful that you shared this story with me because of the comedy in the beginning like you literally score on your own goal.
But I saw the beauty in like she's fulfilling her vision, it's just a little backward. But you know what I'm saying, but you just kept showing up and the opportunity will present itself.
Koya Webb: Absolutely and sometimes it doesn't look like you think it's supposed to look, but how do you feel. Like we might be in a job like, "I would never do that," or even be in a relationship like, "I don't know about that person," but you feel good in it. You feel good around these people and so sometimes it doesn't look like how we think it's going to look.
And you know, when I start eating a certain way, eating plant-based and I'm from the South and no one in my family is plant-based, and I never thought I would be the Vegan. My parents ask me, "What do you eat, salads?" And they tease me all the time but I'm like, "But it feels good."
So even though it's different and even though they don't understand it, I'm like you know, I share my food with them, there's that they can't share their food with me anymore, but they also respect it and they also see my happiness and want me to be happy. And so that really does make me feel good.
And again, it's all about what makes you feel good. I think if people remember that one thing, not looking outside of themselves for happiness, approval and just really tuning in, and you do that with the meditation and breathwork, and so when you do that you're able to actually feel what's actually making you happy.
Shawn Stevenson: That leads us to the next fear, this major fear of these four which is a fear of judgment, and how that can debilitate us.
Koya Webb: Absolutely, the fear of judgment— the number one judgment is us judging ourselves, us judging ourselves as not worthy enough or not good enough if we don't look like this, if we don't wear this, if we don't say this, if we don't have these accolades, we judge ourselves and say we're not good enough.
And then we look at people outside of us and see how they are affirming our own self-judgment, but people don't, people are like, "Oh they judge me."
No, you're actually judging yourself and now you're looking at people to affirm the judgment that you have on yourself. And I think if people realize that, they will do the self-work to see like, "What do I really feel about myself?" And I will say, like I have so many insecurities. It started with my hair and then the color of my skin, and then even being tall as a tall woman, having all these things being different and having these self-judgments and when you have that, you really have to heal those spaces else you're always going to find someone that's going to affirm exactly what you're thinking inside, and guess what— that's fear and it's the opportunity for love.
So you have to work with saying an affirmation, "I am beautiful, I accept myself," learning how to work with your hair, learning how beautiful your skin is, learning to fall in love with your height whether you're short or tall or in between.
Whatever it is you have a challenge with, I know we all have challenges with something that we want to change. But if you can fall in love with the person that you are, it is going to help you pull out of that. But if you kind of look around it is going to keep reminding you of like, "Yeah, I affirm that, yeah, you are tall," and poor girl it has this, this and #tall girl problems.
And sometimes we just kind of affirm all these negative things but I love like now we're starting to say, "I am different, this is how I'm different and this is beautiful." Different is beautiful.
And the more that we can embrace our uniqueness we all have unique gifts and talents like you mentioned earlier and if we can all realize that, look at all of nature, nature is our most beautiful example, everything in nature is different, but it works together to make a beautiful world.
And if we can just realize we are all different and beautiful and it takes our differences to make up this beautiful world, then we would stop trying to be someone else or do something.
We would be inspired, I'm sure the sun is inspired by the moon, the moon is inspired by the sun, but they shine at different times and we are just like the sun and the moon, we're meant to shine in the light, in the darkness, just shine and just be ourselves.
Shawn Stevenson: I love that because with you sharing those things about the things you were worried about judgment behind, because when people see you today, they are like, "What does she know about judgment, she's beautiful, she's impacting all these lives, she's got it together," right?
And you sharing that and opening up, and you did that throughout the book in many different ways, obviously. I think it just gives us more freedom to realize that these are really self-imposed judgments.
And you also talk about it in the book that you're not a victim, you're a creator. So can you elaborate on that a little bit?
Koya Webb: Absolutely and I think it's a good thing that I shared this because it was really hard to share that chapter of the book, because I shared how I've been assaulted and I feel like when things happen like assault, really traumatic things like world catastrophes, loss of a child, things and you're like, "What, what can I do to change that? What did I do wrong?" All these things you want to have a reason, right? Well, what I realize and what helped me heal through that time is just realizing that things happen in the world and sometimes there is no why, there is no why.
But no matter what happens you have this opportunity to grow from it and not let it take you out. And I believe we all, no matter what we all are going to experience someone dying in our lives. And I think that's something that since everyone is experiencing it, they can relate to it more.
The more that we realize like, "Okay, this person died and I'm not happy about it because I love this person, but I'm going to remember the good that they were in this world and I'm going to take that with me, I'm going to live with that."
So when something happens and for me when this all happened, I had to remember that I am a good person and I am loved no matter what happens to me. I can't think of why, I can't think of what I could have done differently, that is just going to make me pull my hair out and cry for years upon years, which happened.
I still think that there's something that affects my relationships today, that I have to constantly heal from and work through, but I'm still happy, I'm still healthy, I'm a good person. And I think that's what we have to remember, that no matter what happens, you remember love. And everything else is an illusion.
For people to offend you, let's say it's a job or another person, they're in a sick state. If you can have compassion no matter what, that can also help you forgive yourself for being hurt for so many years and also forgive that person.
So I had to do some deep forgiveness work and realize that I could say, "This happened to me," and really be mad at the world for the rest of my life because this happened to me. Or I can say, "This happened to me and I'm going to create a space for other women to share, other men to share when they have been assaulted, when they've been taken advantage of."
And let's just talk about it, let's talk about how it makes us feel, let's talk about how much this sucks, and let's talk about the people that we are regardless of what happens to us. And so I use it to empower myself and to empower others.
So instead of being a victim I made myself a creator. And that's what I'm doing every single day and I really, really challenge and also just like, I challenge everyone that if you do feel like you're a victim in life, see how you can become a creator, see how you can turn those lemons into lemonade because it's never going to get easy, you're never going to have enough why's and sometimes it's not going to make sense.
But what I do know for sure is that you can get out of it, you can connect back with who you are and that's a spiritual being have a loving experience, having a human experience, having a loving human experience despite when negative things happen.
Because negative things, they don't last forever, injury doesn't last forever, and trauma doesn't last forever unless you let it. And every time I see some of that trauma bubbling up around things in our past, I just go to my mirror work, go to my gratitude journal, I just start again telling myself that, "You're okay, you are loved," I keep reminding myself that.
Shawn Stevenson: Thank you for sharing that. Just to go back with this fear of judgment, I think again, today really offers a really powerful opportunity, but also another level of self-imposed limitation because of our access to like the social media and things like that.
Because I know a lot of people listening have been thinking about, "I want to start a podcast," or, "I want to do something with social media, or become a vlogger, a YouTuber," all these different tools that we have access to. Or, "Write that book," and we're debilitated because we're worried about what other people are going to think.
Now, there is an inherent kind of like human concern of connection, just like the amygdala, it's just like a primal we want to be accepted in the tribe. But this is losing track and just thank you for sharing that, of your innate value, you're so valuable and a lot of these things we cook up in ourselves, we look for affirmation of these things, and so today more than ever.
And I just want to give this really quick word— however weird you are, which you probably got your weirdness, however your quirks the way that you communicate, I promise you there are other people who will resonate with you, there are other people who are feeling the same way and just like you said to create an opportunity to have those conversations.
It's so cathartic and healing because we separate ourselves, we're more connected than ever and we're so much more separate than ever, in some ways. And so I want to just encourage you to look at that fear judgment and ask yourself like, "Is this really debilitating me, is it really worth it, my fear of judgment versus me giving my gift?"
Because like I said, we need you right now and you not sharing your story, your experience, your insight, it's a little bit selfish.
Koya Webb: Absolutely. The world needs everything each and every one of us has, else we wouldn't have been created. We are all so necessary and we're necessary at the highest version of ourselves and that is my goal even with this book.
And I think when you remember your why, not just, "I'm going to do a podcast because Shawn is doing a podcast, I'm going to do a podcast," but first of all, is it fun you? And why you're doing it. I'm doing a podcast because again, I want to serve people and I want to put a positive.
So I think sometimes we look at what other people are doing and we say I'm going to do that because that's the way to be successful, and it's superficial, and sometimes when it's not a deep-seated why or it is not a deep-seated reason that you're doing this, you can feel lost and you can feel unfulfilled.
And so that's why when I start things, I'm like, "How does this make me feel?" And if it doesn't make me feel good, I let it go. I mean, there was a point in time I don't even know why this came up for me to share, but I guess I'm going to share it because sometimes I get downloads so it's embarrassing.
So I am going to share something embarrassing now. I got this opportunity to play lingerie basketball. And I'm going to regret the fact that everyone is going to Google and look at those pictures.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so good, please, continue.
Koya Webb: I don't want to. Okay, so I got this opportunity to play lingerie basketball and so in high school, remember I ran track and I played basketball, but I chose track and field because I got more offers.
And I had a bad experience playing basketball, like you know, it was a different kind of energy there that I wasn't comfortable with.
And so I got this opportunity like, "Yeah, we're looking for girls for this like semi-pro league lingerie basketball," and I was thinking, "Oh well, I like lingerie and I like basketball, so let's do this. I think I can still play and like you say, you don't lose it, you can do it at any age."
So it's exactly what I was thinking. So I go out, I'm training, I'm having fun. I see the outfit I'm like, "Oh, that's, I guess, okay." And so I wasn't really connected with it but again, I had this passion in me to like see if I still had it, see if I could still play and I could, I actually had a shot because I was a little bit more confident, I had been doing the work.
So here I am playing, totally stage left of my purpose, like there is nothing that I was going to do with a lingerie basketball to help many people.
Shawn Stevenson: Well— go ahead.
Koya Webb: I mean, you could. But I mean the point was that just in respect to everyone else that play lingerie basketball for me it was definitely a detour from what I was doing, which I was life coaching at the time.
Shawn Stevenson: This is so good right now. Like the paradox, I love this.
Koya Webb: But it was so good because one, I was financially struggling so that extra cash per month was good. 2, I love basketball and again I love lingerie so I played it. And so what happened was it was really rough, I didn't like what came with it.
So at the end of the day it wasn't because it was laundry basketball and not that it was just a detour, but I wasn't happy because it was a lot of cattiness, it was a lot of arguing. This one girl just wanted to fight me every single day I remember asking her, "Why do you want to fight me?" She was like, "I don't know."
She wanted to beat my face for no reason, just because I was who I was and I was likeable and I'd bring oranges for everyone on the team, I'm just a nice person, but some people don't like nice people.
They just want you to be mean and gossip and do everything else and I refused so I was not liked. So long story short, I knew that I needed to get out, I was like, "What am I doing? Why am I here? Yes, the basketball is fun, the lingerie is cute but you're not in an environment that's helping you grow, and right now you're trying to get your life together, you're trying to make a life for yourself, but this is not, you're not happy and you need to shift."
But I couldn't because I signed a contract. So I was in there and I remember the game, and I was like me, "Man, I don't like this girl, I am going shove this ball, right," I was just going to like you know and we went on and this is the athlete in me.
So we're under the goal, we're like boxing each other out, pushing each other, I mean, we're just fierce, and we're going high and I'm scoring, she's scoring. And I remember I was all the way, and my ego was all about, it was just like scoring all over her, like making her look like the worst player on the court.
And I remember dribbling down the court and I all of a sudden— pop, dribbling, my knee went out, I flew in the stands, completely ruptured my ACL. Complete rupture. That game, right there, no one touched me, she's just like and she didn't, it literally just popped.
And I don't know how many people believe in energy, but I was 100 percent competitive, 100 percent like, "I want to beat her and I want to show her like I'm the best player on the team," and all of this stuff and then I was out. I was out.
And so you know, doing no work and having done the work and having me injured, this is my third time, I realized that, "You are not where you wanted to be, you're 100 percent in your ego in competition and this is going to give you an opportunity to breathe and love on yourself, and think about your why and think about where you want to be." And let me tell you, I did not want to lose my ACL to get this lesson.
But when I was on crutches, and when I was in my bed when I got the opportunity to breathe and meditate, I realized that that was a detour that was a detour. And I think it's okay, you know, it's okay to have those times in life where you're in a toxic relationship and you know that person isn't good for you, but you stay in it because it's kind of fun and then you're like, "I need to get out."
And sometimes different things can push us out and maybe we realize it and get out on our own or maybe different things happen. But this was a detour and my out was that injury and it hurt, and it took a long time, I think a whole another year to heal.
But at the same time then I started making food and I started healing myself. Again, I got away from my practice because I started focusing on basketball more.
So yeah, I think, you know, when you are committed to the practice, even when you make detours, you'll be guided back. And that's why I want to give everyone this gift of meditation and yoga and that's why I share these tools in the book, is because it's not about being perfect.
And even if I haven't gotten an injury and still played, I think eventually I would have had decided like you're not healthy so you need to ask yourself should you stay or should you go. So that was my story, I don't know how I got on that tangent, why that downloaded at the time, but I'm like okay.
Shawn Stevenson: Listen, it's because you know, this is, I'm so grateful that you shared this because so many people like they've got that story like this, I don't want people to know this part, you know what I'm saying, and like you gave that good reference point of like being in a toxic relationship.
And so many people have experienced that or they're experiencing it right now and just to know that we're still getting this feedback that things do need to change, but everybody has had these situations that they're not necessarily like pumped to share, but you can still change, you can get back on track and you can have those detours.
And wow, because the thing is life, when we talked about that first step of a journey of a 1,000 miles taking the first step, it's not a straight path. That's the thing too like you're going to have these random crazy things come up along the path, but they're all developing something, there is a gift in it somewhere.
And so that like firmly cemented you on where you are supposed to be. So thank you, that's awesome. So I didn't even know there was a thing, first of all, I know about lingerie football but now I know.
Koya Webb: I think it's very similar, very similar, but I think they're trying to start a basketball league. And you know, and I think it didn't manifest fully. Is the lingerie football thing still going on?
Shawn Stevenson: I have no idea.
Koya Webb: Me neither. Like I said, again, everything that other people do is not for you, for someone else it might be the thing, and that's another thing I think is important to talk about too, like what was not for me could be for someone else.
I ended up not running track and field, but someone else maybe kept going and now they have a gold medal.
And so it's not really about comparison or worrying about what it is and what it isn't and what it should be, or what should you do, what you know, asking other people. It's really about doing the internal dialogue, "What is it for me right now?"
And I think if we always go within to work things out instead of looking outside of ourselves, we'll be led and guided to our exact path that we need to be doing, and no one else knows it.
So even when I teach I tell people, "I'm sharing my story so that you will be inspired, but I don't expect you to do everything that I'm doing, every little thing is like you have to find out what works for you and hopefully I give you enough tools that you can try a couple out and keep the ones that you like and toss the ones that you don't, but realize that this is a personal journey we have."
And when we bring people into our lives they're helping us, they're also challenging us in ways that we need to be challenged to grow and evolve, but it's all a process of us becoming the best version of ourselves, it's all a process of us truly enjoying life as us, not anyone else.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, absolutely. And this is a great segue to the third fear, and if we could talk about this quickly, fear of change.
Koya Webb: Oh, yeah. Well, the only constant thing in life is change. So I don't understand like why we fear it so much. But the only thing constant, like everything in life changes and we get into jobs, we get into relationships, even when ourselves and we're like, "I don't ever want to change, I always want to feel this."
Well, the constant thing is you're going to feel sadness, you're going to feel pain in our own selves and we're also going to feel it in our relationships, in our jobs. You're going to go through this and the more you resist— what, the more it persists.
So the more you're like, "I don't want to, I don't want to," the more you're going to, the more you're going to feel it and you're going to have to breathe through it because it's just teaching you the lesson for peace and that's the thing we all want, world peace.
How does world peace happen? Well, it starts inside. How can you have peace? Stop resisting change, because change is inevitable, it is going to happen.
And so when these things happen, just asking the question, "What is this trying to show me? What is this trying to tell me? How is this leading me towards love?"
Because if love is all there is and fear is an illusion and even the fearful stuff, even the hard stuff, even the seemingly bad thing is still a journey towards love, and that's what I truly believe.
Shawn Stevenson: Love it, love it. And the final one, and again, there's so much more laid out in the book, but just to have this framework of these various fears, and I was actually surprised to see this one, because I was kind of scanning before I even got to it, because you know sometimes your consciousness can jump ahead a little bit and so I was like thinking about what would the fourth one be, and then to see this one I was surprised but then it was like, "Yeah, this makes sense." So it's fear of being the first.
Koya Webb: Yes. And if you're the first, if you have ever been the first in something then you can really relate to this, but actually, we're all the first in something, because we're the first version of ourselves.
Even if you're a twin, you're the first version of yourself. And people are afraid to be first, that's why they're so afraid to be themselves.
And that's an uncommon one but I realized that after a lot of study, it's just like, if you think about it, if you're the first one to go to college, you're afraid because you don't have anyone to look at, you don't have a template to follow, so what do you have to do? You have to figure yourself out and you have to do the internal work.
We are the first people, we are the first in everything that we do, because we are the one, so what does that take— internal thinking and self-assessment which is what the book is, just so what are the top 10 things that you like? What are your goals? All that needs to happen on a weekly basis, even on a daily basis sometimes when we're changing a lot.
But I think the fear of being first is what holds most people back, they're looking for an example that they can follow, that they can latch on to, that they can say, "Okay, if this works for them then it can work for me."
And that's beautiful, it's very beautiful to be inspired, and it's very beautiful to look on social media and look online and have inspirations, but again, inspirations, not necessarily a template because unless you realize that there are going to be some differences.
And I think when people are afraid to be the first at something, it holds them back. They're perfectionists, they're like me, like I'm a perfectionist so perfection breaths procrastination, and you never put it out there because you think, "I want it just like this, I have to say the perfect thing and I have to look perfect and everything has to be perfect. And until it's perfect, I can't do it."
And you're just holding back all that beauty from the world, all the beauty of who you really are, all the beauty of what you can really do because you're trying to be perfect or you're trying to be like someone else.
But if you're not trying to be perfect and you're not trying to be like someone else, then you will not have the fear of being a first, you will go forth knowing that the world needs exactly what you have, exactly the way you have to share, whether it is quirky, or funny, or weird, or loud, or solved or whatever, the world needs is just like that, because as you said before, someone can relate to it.
And then someone will be inspired to be their quirky, unique, amazing self. And I think that's what the fear of being first is all about, it's not being afraid to be you.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for being you and sharing your story and putting your life and your experience and insight into your book. And also you have a new podcast as well and I'm just really in awe, of you know, you come in from Humboldt—
Koya Webb: Humboldt Tenessee.
Shawn Stevenson: Because you know, it's very close to humble, because I know some people are like, "Did she say humble?" Yeah, Humboldt.
And to where you are today and the millions of lives that you've impacted through like just, and again, you've said it's not perfect but just working on, working through being more you and sharing that with us, so thank you for that.
Koya Webb: Thank you so much for having me, it's been an honor to be on your show. And thank for creating this platform and giving me the opportunity and so many others the opportunity to share.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh, thank you. I receive that, thank you. So let everybody know please where they can pick up your book and also connect with you online.
Koya Webb: Thank you. Well you can pick up my book at KoyaWebb.com and you can find me online at Koya Webb on Instagram, also my company Get Loved Up which is all about self-love, unity and eco-friendly living.
You can find those both on Instagram and all the other social media, so Koya Webb and Get Loved Up.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, thank you, Koya.
Koya Webb: Thank you so much.
Shawn Stevenson: Everybody, thank you for tuning into the show today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this. I feel good. I feel like I got a soul hug today and that last fear really jumped out at me.
And I've shared bits and pieces of my story, of course, here on the podcast over these years, but yeah, the fear of being first is very difficult if you don't have a model or have an example, but this is why we need that exposure and that's why this show exists, this is The Model Health Show.
But ultimately, you are creating your own template, your own model of success, of happiness, of health and it's going to be different from every other person and it's beautiful.
And so really operating and working through that fear of being the first because that's ultimately what you're going to find yourself at, is creating your own model of how things are going to be.
And so for me, I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and not having an example, it was hard, alright.
The school was easy to me, but the process of graduating took a long time because I was the first and there were so many different things associated with that. And we can always acknowledge these fears but we could transform them and even transform our language behind them.
Looking back, I don't really feel like I was in fear of being the first, I felt like it was my destiny, it was my mission to do it.
And I changed the fear around, I changed the words around in my mind to just make it something more empowering, not to say that the fear wasn't there because clearly, clearly, it was there, but you know, even creating this podcast there was nobody that talked like me or that looked like I did doing this, and for many years just even looking at the top of the charts on this medium, I was the first person and I had to go through my own mental concerns early, very, very early on, prior to this podcast being started, about how much of myself can I actually be.
And thankfully, I saw that you know, the greatest gift that I can give to everybody is to be authentically myself and to allow all the different quirky— like we just stopped the show to talk about the Carters album, all right, and if you don't know what that is, it's all good, you know, Beyonce Jay Z album, but you know, like those little things about me, it's okay if everybody doesn't get it but it's a part of who I am. And some people that do get it connect even deeper.
And I just want to encourage you to do that as well, you might be super into like My Little Pony, I don't know, you might be super into Gumby, I don't know, whatever that is, allow those things that you feel are kind of strange and quirky, or funny, or fun, or real, something like Koya shared today, like her going through a traumatic experience, being more open and brave to share who you are, where you come from, and where you're going because I think it's really going to connect you deeper with other people and also inspire you and inspire other folks as well.
So thank you so much for tuning into the show today, if you got a lot of value out of this, make sure to share it out with people that you care about, tag me, tag Koya, please let her know what you thought about this episode and we've got some powerhouse, epic stuff coming your way very soon, new show topics, epic guests that are just going to knock your socks right off your feet.
Alright, so make sure to be ready for that. Alright, take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
And for more after this show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.
And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that this show is awesome and I appreciate that so much.
And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to have to transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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