Ep. 341 Mastering Your Mind: A Deep Dive into Confidence and Mindset with Craig Siegel

Your trusted source for nutrition, wellness, and mindset for thriving health.

Today’s episode is a true gem! I am thrilled to introduce Craig Siegel, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of The Reinvention Formula. Craig is recognized globally as a keynote speaker, TEDx speaker, and host of the CLS Experience Podcast, where he has conversed with some of the most influential figures in the world. Having the privilege of being a guest on his show in 2023, I am delighted to have Craig joining me today to share his remarkable insights and discuss his inspiring journey. 

In our conversation today, Craig shares how the pandemic became a catalyst for his evolution, which he refers to as his global awakening. We explore the importance of setting audacious goals and the transformative power of vulnerability. We also look into neuro-linguistic programming and clarify how it can cultivate confidence and reframe your mindset. We discuss the role of adversity, ego dynamics, and why service implies love, and creates a lasting legacy.

This conversation will infuse your year with invaluable wisdom, and I look forward to additional collaborations with Craig going forward. 

Stay tuned for more!

“You cannot change the past. But you can change the meaning you give it. As a result, you can set yourself free and become liberated.”

– Craig Siegel


  • How the pandemic restructured Craig’s life and helped him redefine himself
  • Craig shares his journey of embracing vulnerability and authenticity
  • The benefits of having bold, fearless, and audacious goals
  • How being willing to look silly or make mistakes can lead to success
  • How mindset influences growth, both personally and professionally
  • How neuro-linguistics can reprogram belief systems
  • The power of choice and imagination for creating positive change
  • Why it is essential to align your decisions with your personal and professional goals rather than being driven by ego
  • Why building a community based on mutual support and collaboration is even more important than building an audience
  • How authentic conversations can lead to inspired action

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Craig Siegel

Craig’s Book

The Reinvention Formula is available on Amazon and most anywhere books are sold.

For free inspirational messages throughout the week, text Craig at 917-634-3796 using the code CYNTHIA and share your favorite nugget from today’s conversation.


Cynthia Thurlow: [00:00:02] Welcome to Everyday Wellness podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.

[00:00:29] Craig Siegel, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best-Selling Author of The Reinvention Formula. He is a globally recognized keynote speaker, podcast host of The CLS Experience which features some of the biggest names in the world, and a TEDx Speaker. Today you are in for a treat. I had the opportunity to interact with Craig when I was a guest on his podcast in 2023. Today, I wanted to bring him on the podcast to share his incredible wisdom, his inspiring story with you all.

[00:01:01] Today, we dove into how the pandemic shaped him into the person he is today. He calls it his global awakening, the role of big audacious goals, why vulnerability is so transformative what is neurolinguistic programming and how it can cultivate confidence and reshape your mindset, the role of challenges, the power of ego, why service is love and making a legacy. I know that you will find this an invaluable conversation to start 2024 out with and expect more collaborations with Craig in the future. 

[00:01:39] Craig, I’m so excited to have you on the podcast today. Listeners probably don’t know, but we connected in 2023 for your podcast, and it was like an instant chemistry/kindred friendship. So, it’s nice to have you on everyday wellness. 

Craig Siegel: [00:01:51] Thank you for having me. There’s no place in the world I’d rather be. And you’re absolutely right. That was magic. We built a friendship ever since. I’m excited to be here. Let’s have some fun. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:01:59] Yeah, absolutely. So, I enjoyed reading your book, and I would love for you to share with listeners how the pandemic shaped where you are today and the person that you have become. Because I think your story is so inspiring. I think, especially at the beginning of the year, this is really a great way to reflect back on the last four years, which it’s hard to believe that’s almost four years ago, but where are we now versus then? And what are we doing differently in our lives? And how are we showing up differently in our lives, personally and professionally?

Craig Siegel: [00:02:28] Yeah, the pandemic was a pivotal moment for the world, but for me specifically, it’s almost as if there was two Craigs, one prior to the pandemic and one after. And I’ll give you a little bit of background story just so your listeners have a little bit of context. So, prior to the pandemic, I spent 13 years on Wall Street, and I was making money, and I was doing my thing and apparently, as it turns out, there’s more to success than just making money. And essentially, I was a gladiator in the wrong arena. I think many of us in life are trying to find our path. Maybe we don’t have mentorship or guidance, and we just form this expectation of who we’re supposed to be. 

[00:03:05] I know that was me, and I was following the footsteps of other people’s expectations, but the truth is, I don’t even know who’s. I just created this persona. I was a Wall Street guy. I was making some money. I was materialistic, probably had a bit of an ego, if I’m being honest. And then all of a sudden, it started to get very dark a few years back, a couple of things happened at once. I just got out of a toxic relationship, which is never fun, although it happens for us. And then ultimately, my best friend, my dad, had just gotten diagnosed with cancer, and he’s still battling. And it occurred to me that I’ve been going through the motions for quite some time.

[00:03:38] And just to be clear, I still worked hard. I had my own business. I pivoted from the stock thing and started my own business. And it was lucrative, but it’s not why I’m here. And it wasn’t exactly like it was helping my soul expand. If anything, it was contracting. And so, Mondays, I was looking forward to the weekend. I was that type of cat. And some days it was even a struggle to get up. And then after the things happened with my dad and so forth, I found myself with a dark cloud hovering over me. I started to drink a little bit more than I’d like to admit, but I didn’t stay there very long. All of a sudden, I was drawn to the sport of running. And this is pivotal because prior to that, I had never been a runner before. I always like to lift weights and work out and so forth, but you couldn’t pay me to run. 

[00:04:19] Then all of a sudden, [Cynthia laughs] I started running. And I’m running all these marathons at pretty fast times and paces and now I’m literally paying to run marathons. And that season was so divine for me because, number one, it gave me a purpose at a time when I was desperately looking for something aside from just my career. And probably most importantly, it showed me that I could be successful at something that I didn’t necessarily have experience in. And then fast forward the pandemic. I mean, talk about a global awakening. I looked at that moment as an historic opportunity. And when I say that moment, I thought we had two weeks. That’s what they said in the beginning. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:04:59] We had no idea what we’re in for. 

Craig Siegel: [00:05:01] No. It’s crazy to even think about that. You and I were just chatting before we hopped on. I was like, it’s almost been four years already. And so, in that brief window in the beginning, I shut down my office. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t have an organized, structured work schedule. And I always had work, I think, ever since college and so forth and discipline and structure, and I didn’t have that. And when I got really quiet and I really just connected a bit of a spiritual awakening, it occurred to me just how miserable I had been for quite some time. And to take it even deeper, I did this eulogy exercise where I considered the fact of, if this was it for me, what was my legacy, impact, contribution, relationships. 

[00:05:39] And I had a realization right then and there that I had significantly underachieved across the board. And I was not cool with that. I was not okay with that. And so, if not now, then when? And I was studying personal development for 15 years like a lunatic, I was obsessed with it. I stumbled upon that when I got to Wall Street, and I kept that with me forever. And I suppose the writing was always on the wall. I just didn’t think I was worthy of turning that into a career. And when I got really quiet in the pandemic, it occurred to me that this personal development thing is more than just a passion. This is my assignment. And so, literally, the next day in a run, I started to put things together, and it started to come to me. 

[00:06:15] I didn’t want to be the next Tony Robbins. I want to be the first Craig Siegel. I’m like, I love personal development. I can communicate pretty effectively. I like to take things that I like and that I’m good at and marry the two. And that’s a good, tangible exercise for your listeners in case anyone’s looking to reinvent or find that they’re here for something more. Make a list of some things that you love. Make another list of some things that you’re good at and find some commonalities. And so, I created my CLS brand, and my thought process was, there’s a big difference between a dream and a vision. A vision is a little bit more organized. 

[00:06:44] And so, I put together what I call a ten-lane highway, with each lane representing a different way to make an impact, contribute, monetize, and some of the lanes look like coaching, speaking, podcast, book deal, TED talk, communities, all the things. And then I reverse engineered, and then I had that moment, can I really do this? It’s a little bit late. I was 35 years young at the time. And then I considered what for me was the COI, or I like to call the cost of inaction. And I made it so real for myself that I would have rather died than chosen to go back and be miserable, because quite frankly, I wasn’t even alive. I definitely wasn’t aligned. And so, I leaned in, and the universe liked that bold, messy action. 

[00:07:25] And for the first time in my life, I was in alignment. And I built a trusting and surrendered. And then over the last three years, say very humbly, the brand exploded. The podcast, the book deal, speaking all over the world of communities, all the things. I just got engaged, a brand-new puppy who I’m hoping you won’t hear during the interview, [Cynthia laughs] sold the business on Wall Street. And this is it for me in some capacity for the rest of my life. And I like to say it doesn’t take time, it just takes alignment. Definitely a long-winded answer, but I think it’s good so that your listeners have a little bit of context. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:07:56] Yeah, no and I think your enthusiasm is just infectious. Your energy is infectious. People are drawn to you and your messaging because you’re just so real and vulnerable. And you talk quite a bit in the book about vulnerability, why it’s so powerful, why it’s so transformative. And one thing I’ve learned over the past, “Gosh, it’s like almost eight years since I last left clinical medicine.” No one connects with perfect or perfection. And so, one of the most important things we can do is to display a degree of vulnerability which allows people to lean in and understand that we are all going through something, whether it’s emotionally, physically, philosophically– And to me, and I know you probably would agree with this, vulnerability is an expression of self-love. 

[00:08:46] Vulnerability is a way to create intimacy when you are communicating, whether it’s a thought or a message. And certainly, for me, I spent 16 years in clinical cardiology and pivoted. And I remember saying to my husband, I had no business plan. I just kept saying, I know I could make a bigger impact. And I always tell people, like, don’t do what I did. But no, no in all seriousness, I was like, I’m going to be successful. And that was the mindset that I had. But I found that the more I shared my story of what changed for me. What was I no longer in alignment with in traditional allopathic medicine, writing prescriptions for lifestyle-related diseases as an example, or even just being a middle-aged woman and saying to myself, like, everything I used to tell my patients isn’t working for me, how can I help other people with this pain to purpose story? 

[00:09:33] And so, the more that I share, and at times, I will hold my breath and say, I really want to share this, but that’s the time that I will find individuals are more likely to connect with me. They’re like, “Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for sharing that.” Talking about weight loss resistance, talking about poor quality sleep, talking about the inability to have enough energy to go about your day, take care of your family, etc. And so I know that for you, that vulnerability that you have shared, that has been so transformative in your life. When you are speaking to either your community, your podcast listeners, or you’re on a stage, how has vulnerability been a very effective way to communicate your message and your brand? 

Craig Siegel: [00:10:11] Beautifully said. And I think that for me, the two best ways to connect with anybody, whether it’s an audience of 70,000 or it’s one to one on a sales call or maybe on a date, I think two ways to really connect are vulnerability and authenticity. And I know because I speak from contrast. And for a while, for 35 years, to be exact, I was inauthentic. And I was never really vulnerable, because when I grew up, for a man to show their feelings and be super vulnerable, it was looked at as like a weakness, I would say. And now, ironically, I think it’s the exact opposite. And, I mean, just look at for everybody listening, who do you really connect with? Do you love the people that are perfect across the board? I never did. 

[00:10:52] I like to give this analogy because I’m a bit of a nerd. When I think of comic book characters, I could never really relate to Superman. He was essentially like an alien. I know this kryptonite, but how can I relate to that? Batman was always my guy because he’s a man and he puts on his suit and he’s really rich and he fights crime. And to me, that was somewhat attainable. And he has a lot of flaws. I think everyone loves a hero’s journey when they go through some stuff and then have the courage to get back up. That’s what people really gravitate towards like the rocky movies. And if you’re not vulnerable, that means you’re not showing some of your scars and you’re not letting people really in. 

And it’s interesting because we’re recording this a little bit after New Year’s and it’s become trendy for everyone to show their highlight reels of the previous year. And oftentimes you don’t see many people showing some of the challenges or the tough moments. And just to be clear, those are inevitable. With every year, there’s good and bad, ups and downs and so forth. And so, if you really want to resonate with somebody or connect to them at a deep, intimate level and build a rapport, you have to be willing to be vulnerable. It does take courage, but when you do that, it lets the other person or audience their guard down and gives them permission to be vulnerable as well. And that’s when the deepest connections are formed. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:12:08] Yeah. And it’s interesting to me because I know I was raised in an environment where perfection, what was expected of me, whether it was scholastically or the way I dressed, this is just what my parents imprinted on me. I’ve come to find– Someone said to me the other day on a call, “I love that you’re so comfortable to come to a podcast or do a call with group members, and maybe your hair is in a ponytail and you’re in gym clothes.” And I was like, “Oh, it’s taken a long time to get to that point” because I’m constantly having to work on showing up very authentically, which means sometimes it’s without makeup, sometimes it’s when my hair is in a ponytail. Sometimes it’s when I am, in fact, in gym clothes. I’ve showered.

[00:12:49] But helping people understand that no one or people struggle to connect with perfection. Like, I know on social media there are people, I don’t follow a lot of them, but there are a couple, and I’ll see them up, and I’m like, they’ve got 500 filters on. They’re 65 years old and they look like they’re 20. And I’m like, good for you that you’re maintaining where you are. But at some point, people want to know there’s some degree of vulnerability, because there are people on social media, I think about Paulina Porizkova, who’s this beautiful woman. She’s in her late 50s, and she talks about wrinkles and cellulite and all these things, and how she was remarking about how different it is to walk down the street at 57 versus 27 and how she doesn’t garner the same attention. 

[00:13:30] And she’s like, I’m not looking for the attention, but the point is that I’m a different stage in my life. I’m not interested in doing fillers, Botox or surgery, and I don’t judge anyone who does, but I’m showing up authentically because this is who I am. And so, it’s amazing to see how a lot of people will resonate with that. They’re like, “I really respect that. I admire that.” And then other people just come at it and they’re like, “Well, you look, and I’m paraphrasing comments that she shared, but you just look old or you got wrinkles. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, we as a society, it’s like, this is why a lot of people aren’t vulnerable.” 

[00:14:00] They’re fearful of what people will say to them, or they’re fearful of being judged, or they’re fearful of being in a position where they feel so vulnerable that then they’re uncomfortable. And so, it’s navigating understanding, who are you speaking to? Who’s your audience? Because then you have a sense of how much can I push the envelope versus do I need to be a little bit more cognizant of the community that I’m speaking to? Do you find that to be the case that you will perhaps pull back a little bit depending on who you’re speaking to? 

Craig Siegel: [00:14:29] I would say for the most part these days, I lean into vulnerability. Obviously, you don’t always show your whole hand to everybody, [Cynthia laughs] maybe your personal life or your family, that you want to just keep on the wraps, whatever the case may be. But for the most part, I like to disarm everybody. And the way to disarm people is to be vulnerable yourself because it’s contagious. And then everyone really can lean in, be intimate, and that’s when the real magic can happen. So, of course, depending upon the room or the situation, I might dial it back a little bit. But for the most part, I like to come at people with vulnerability because I think it really does disarm them. And then right from the beginning, you guys can create some sparks. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:15:07] Absolutely. And I think as we navigate a new year and for so many people that are talking about, not per se, creating New Year’s resolutions, but maybe there’s a word, maybe there’s a word that’s going to define this year. Mine is alignment. I’ve been talking quite a bit about that and how, unless it’s a hell yes, in my life, it’s a hell no. That’s something. That’s a standard. I know we both share that. But helping individuals, like, if you’re working with them, creating big, audacious goals, this is something that my business coach from last year used to always say, big, audacious goals. And there’s a quote in your book from Chris Voss that says, “If you’re not embarrassed by who you were a year ago, you’re probably not growing enough.” And that definitely resonates with me. 

[00:15:45] I look back even two years ago, and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, I wasn’t doing nearly as much as I could.” And I’m not talking about doing more in terms of doing more of my business, but just growing more, working more on the interior so that I can show up very authentically with my audience. But I love that quote that you featured in the book, and it was something that really resonated with the idea of the big, audacious goals. 

Craig Siegel: [00:16:07] A lot of people come to me to coach them or help them with building the brand and putting themselves out there. They see, I say humbly, the success we’ve had, and I’m totally okay with giving that back because I want everybody to win and succeed and so forth. But a lot of people are afraid to put themselves out there because they might look silly, right? Or what if someone judges them? Or what if they look stupid, whatever the case may be. And the irony is, if I go back to some of my content from a year ago, I’ll have a good chuckle. If I go down like a highlight, forget about it. In fact, the first eight months when I started my brand, I didn’t have a laptop. I didn’t have an LLC.

[00:16:40] I was just putting myself out there, bringing the passion and the energy and just trying to add value. And I would never delete that stuff because it was like, season one of your favorite show, and then it goes on and there’s more of a budget and so forth. But you got to be willing to put yourself out there. And to be honest with you, I feel like you can relate to this. We’re growing so rapidly now with the inner work and the spirituality and connecting and alignment and so forth. You’re probably not the same person you were a month ago at this point, and it is what it is, but that’s good, because that means that you’re continuing to evolve, expand, grow, and shine your light and so forth. And so that quote always resonated with me as well, for sure. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:17:18] Yeah. And it’s interesting because my team was asking, “What are you doing a highlight reel for 2023?” I said, “We should do something.” And then I sat down to write what are the things I’m most proud of, personally and professionally? And then I felt like that inner critic was starting to creep out. Like, my children are teenagers, so I respect the fact they don’t want to be on social media. They give me an out a couple of times a year, but other than that, they really don’t want their photos shared. They get embarrassed because their mom is embarrassing because they’re teenagers. And I was thinking, I want to make sure I at least mention something that they did this year that I’m super proud of. And so I was saying to my team, is this too much? 

[00:17:56] It was like, the feeling like I’m the super proud mom, but I also don’t share a ton about their wins because it’s their win. It’s not my win. I’m proud of them, and I’m super supportive. And my team was like, “Why not share their win?” This is something they’re so proud of. And so, as were chronicling the 2023 personal wins, I was like, “Really? Everything comes back to your family.” That’s my feeling. Like, ultimately, the way that I show up in my life is because I’ve been with Todd for 21 years, married for 20. I have an amazing older son who’s 18 now, which is hard to believe. He’s a high school senior. And then I have a 16-year-old who’s a sophomore, and he is comedic relief for the house. 

[00:18:34] But it’s like, ultimately, these are the things that make me who I am. I invest in myself, but my family is the most important thing. Like, my nuclear family is the most important thing. It’s how I show up and why I show up in my business every single day. Beyond the– Yes, I love and am passionate about helping women, but at the end of the day, I’m a mom and a wife, ultimately.

Craig Siegel: [00:18:54] I love that you do that because that’s part of your personal brand. And I do that as well. I often show my fiancée, my family, my pops, my dog. And I know there’s a lot of influencers, entrepreneurs out there that don’t like to show that side. And then it goes back to what we were talking about earlier. It’s hard to connect with somebody. And just to be clear, not everything on our filming life is perfect, but it shows a humane side. Humanity like, we have a family, you’re a wife, a mom. These are things that you’re really most proud of. And then you do other things and you have a career and you impact so many people and so forth. But that’s a part of it. And I love to showcase that stuff, too, again, makes it relatable and build a connection and the word vulnerability comes back to me. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:19:33] Yeah, absolutely. And there’s a methodology that I’m familiar with that you talk about as a huge influence in your work, but neurolinguistic programming. I’m familiar with Byron Katie’s work, and I’m not sure if you’re familiar with her work. That’s called the work, but it’s a pivot. It’s a take on NLP, so neurolinguistic programming. And I would love for you to touch on what this is because some listeners may not be familiar with it, but it is incredibly powerful, especially to help reshape our mindset. I think for nearly everyone that’s listening, I always say there’s a lot of new things that we can do to incorporate, to continue to level ourselves up. But that mindset piece, it’s like a knife that has to be sharpened on the regular. It’s really important that we’re actively doing the work internally so that we can show up differently in our business and our personal life. 

Craig Siegel: So good. So many people want, how do I do this? Well, how do I build a brand, or how do I get back? How do you get those people on your podcast? And that’s all important. But ultimately, in my opinion, it always comes back to mindset. You have to be available for it and so forth. And when I got to Wall Street right after college, essentially, I was a fish out of water. I was very inexperienced. There’s a lot of people out there that were doing very well for themselves and so forth, and I wanted to be great. And so out of nowhere, I just stumbled onto YouTube and started watching motivational videos. And that led me to NLP somehow, some way. And I became obsessed. And I remember I found a mentor in Manhattan here. 

[00:21:01] And I would go and see him once a week for years, and I would just ask him to teach me everything I wanted to learn. Sometimes he would have to kick me out. He’d be like, craig, I really got to go swear, I got to eat dinner with my wife. All right, just one more question. I was so fascinated with it. And essentially, it’s funny because you can ask probably 100 people what NLP means. That follow it and you might get 100 different answers. For me, it was being able to reprogram my mindset. I can change the way I looked at the world, I could change my perspective, I can cultivate confidence, I can build rapport. And a lot of people talk about all the things that we need to add in life to be more successful. 

[00:21:41] But one of the things that I learned in NLP are giving up the stories of our past. So essentially the universe can write a new story. And a lot of the negative thoughts that most of us have and are just replaying. It begins to deactivate the law of attraction, or manifesting or being able to do great things. Negative self-talk, anger, guilt, shame, unworthiness. A lot of us begin to cultivate these thoughts which turn into beliefs, and then we actually give them energy. And as a result, we’re creating resistance to being able to manifest what we desire in this world. Whether it’s success, relationships, wealth, happiness, peace, all the things, everything is energy. And so, I built up a lot of those limiting beliefs for quite some time. 

[00:22:24] I don’t even know how the new society, maybe my parents, they did the best they could. And so, I had to uninstall and unlearn a lot of the beliefs that I had and then reinstall more empowering and enriching ones that gave me opportunities and possibilities, as opposed to limitations. And an example I’ll give is, there’s a movie, The Matrix. I say a movie like most people probably heard of it. When I first saw it and I write about this in the book a lot. There’s a whole chapter. I thought it was like this cool sci-fi movie with Keanu Reeves. But then I went deeper and I rewatched it again and I encourage everyone to give it another watch. And basically, when he becomes unplugged, it’s like he’s finally removing this filter, the society, the limitations, all the stuff that we’ve been programmed to believe. And then he could look at the world from a different lens, a different perspective. And where he once saw limitations, now he sees possibilities and opportunities. That’s really what it is. It’s changing your frame of the world.

[00:23:21] People don’t actually look at the world as it is. They create this frame based upon their belief system. And the good news is, we weren’t born with any of these beliefs. And so now that we know that we can uninstall them and replace them with more empowering ones. And as a result, we could start doing new things. We could take in new information, we could make progress, we can think bigger, play bigger, and so forth. And so that was my understanding of NLP in the beginning. 

[00:23:48] And I would learn how to develop confidence, how to approach a pretty girl when I was single and I used to be insecure, whatever the case may be, on sales calls, I was able to build rapport and create connections, the language inside my head. I started to be nice to myself and positive, and it just changed everything for me. So, when I think of NLP, I think of a technology and a great tool to have in your arsenal where you can reprogram and remove a lot of the limiting beliefs that we’ve cultivated. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:24:12] Yeah, I think there’s so much cognitive dissonance, if the past four years haven’t taught us that, whether it’s people put themselves in a silo, that they’re only going to listen to this news network or only listen to this one individual to get information. Byron Katie’s work is what I’m most familiarized with, but it starts with a question of, is it true? Whatever the belief is, is it true? And I first heard her on Lewis Howes probably five or six years ago. And it was like I went down this amazing rabbit hole of like, oh my gosh, we have these stories we tell ourselves about our childhood or maybe our young adulthood, and it’s like, is that even true? We all have a filter. And so, for me, it created a lot of, I have her books, I’ve done the work. 

[00:24:52] Eventually, one of these days, I’ll do a workshop with her in person, and it evolves into, is it true? And then you’re looking at it like, “Okay, is this what really happened with my dad when I was x years old?” And then can you absolutely know it’s true? And you’re like, “No, you can’t.” So, it’s like, let’s rewrite what our perception was at that time, given what we know now. And to me, it’s very powerful and freeing because we don’t have to have a fixed mindset. We don’t have to continue the narrative of what we’ve heard as a child. As an example, I grew up with parents that got divorced when I was seven, and back when I was seven, not a lot of people were divorced. So, there was a lot of animosity and anger between my parents. 

[00:25:33] And for a long time, my brother and I just tried to ignore it. But you can imagine it made quite an impression on us growing up. And so, I tell my brother all the time, I’m like, listen, “We don’t have to recreate what we grew up in.” That’s number one. Number two, a lot of things that I perceived as a child weren’t actually correct. And it isn’t that my parents weren’t doing their best or I wasn’t doing my best. It’s just the reality of our circumstances. In a lot of ways, I think our brains are trying to protect us. So, it’s like, this is the narrative we’re going to tell ourselves. But it’s very freeing when you get to a point when you are not constrained by the limitations that your mind creates. You talk about limiting beliefs, scarcity, mindset. 

[00:26:10] It’s not that I don’t ever have those feelings, but for me there’s this energetic desire to make sure that whatever my thoughts are, so your thoughts and your actions go together so cohesively. It’s like if I start thinking a certain way, I’m like, “Nope, I’m just going to do this pattern interrupt.” And how can I think about this differently? How can I go about reframing this situation or this issue or this problem? And I’m sure we’ll get into talking about challenges so that I look at it as something that happened for me, not to me, so taking responsibility, obviously for myself, but also looking at it differently so that I’m not playing a victim, I’m not playing someone that didn’t play a role in what’s going on, but allows me to be in a proactive stance as opposed to being the opposite. 

Craig Siegel: [00:26:54] That’s a great word. And a quote that comes to mind is, “You can’t change the past, but you could change the meaning you give it.” And as a result, you can set yourself free and you could be liberated and you can let go of all that baggage that you’re carrying around. And you mentioned victim mentality and stuff like that. I think that plagues a lot of people. And I speak from experience because for so long I was like, “Why me? And bad luck and all these things,” and then I took ownership. And I’m like, “Look, I don’t love where I’m at right now and I don’t have to prove of it, but I do need to accept it.” And now I could begin to make some positive change. And literally, as soon as I did that, it felt like I shed 1000 pounds. 

[00:27:34] And then I gave myself grace. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I did the best I could and then I started making positive changes and reinvented myself and upgraded my identity and shed some old skins that no longer served me. And even now, going into the new year, I think about “What is a hell yes in this year?” You mentioned something like that earlier. And what will I no longer be saying yes to? What no longer serves me as we go into the next season and so forth? And so, I think that the good lesson here in this awesome conversation is that there’s always a choice, and we have to be confined to certain situations or belief systems. We have the ability to use our imagination and let stuff go and replace certain things and allocate our energy somewhere else. And I think if you’re willing to do that, change doesn’t take very long. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:28:23] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I always use the example that in 2020, we were still living in Northern Virginia, and with the pandemic, and it was like a tween and a teen and two of us being home working and the dogs being home. Looked at my husband, I was like, “Do you love living here?” And he was like, “No.” And so, we literally, in three weeks, put our house on the market and relocated to another part of the state. And we’re 1000% happier for a variety of different reasons. But to me, it’s like taking action when you’re inspired can make all the difference. Because in 2020 was the year that we sold a house. We started building a house. We lived in a rental. That’s when I had my book deal. I mean, it was like all these things. 

[00:29:00] It was almost like the pandemic happened for a reason for us to make us realize that we were not in a place where we were particularly happy location wise, and so 1000% happier where we are now. And I’m like, “Oh, it was the best decision ever.” Like, my teenagers may disagree, every once a while they’ll grumble, but overall, they’re very happy, too in our new place. But I think it’s one of those things that coming out of the pandemic, so many people trying to find the reframe of the human experience of being in this pandemic experience. And so, to me, adversity and challenges are just part of life. 

[00:29:35] And every time that I’ve gone through something tough, I mean, we’re coming up on five years since I was hospitalized, and I tell everyone, I’m like, “Listen, I never would have known that being in that hospital bed my impetus to get home was, number one, to be with my family.’ But I was also felt called to do this talk, which ended up changing the trajectory of my life and my business. I mean, in such profound ways. And so, I always look at it as, yeah, 13 days in the hospital wasn’t fun, but look at all the other things that have come out of that because I showed up. I was like, okay, let me show my kids that I’m okay, despite having been in the hospital. And then it changed everything. Like, everything about our lives changed for the better because of that point of sacrifice prior to this big growthful period in our lives. 

Craig Siegel: [00:30:19] And one thing that you did there, you did many things that were great, but you made it not about you. It wasn’t about you showing up, like, for you, ego. It was like, “Who can I serve? Who can I help? Who needs to hear this?” And when you operate from that vibration or that frequency, that’s what the universe really loves. And that’s when great things tend to happen. And it’s funny because a lot of people, especially now, I know we keep going back to resolutions. People are like, “I need to do this in 2024. I need to hit these goals.” But it’s a lack mentality, because when you need something, it’s like you’re doing it for ego and you’re creating subconsciously the resistance of not having it. 

[00:30:54] But when you come from a sense of service, from love, from doing the right thing, that’s when all the possibilities can happen. And make no mistake about it, I know this is deep stuff, but I know you connect with this. Just like we have the laws of gravity, the universe has laws. And it took me a very long time to buy into this stuff. And when you do things for the right reason and you take your ego out of the equation, great things tend to happen.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:31:16] Yeah. And it’s interesting because I still have people that will say to me, “What did you do to make your talk go viral?” I was like, “You don’t understand. I was as shocked as anybody else. It was like, just happened to be the right topic, right time, all the things came together. But I look at it as the universe takes and the universe gives. And you mentioned that pure intent. I did that talk specifically to show my boys I was okay, because I had only been out of the hospital for less than a month when I did that talk. And so, I still can’t watch the talk because it’s painful, painful emotionally for me to see it, because I’m like my brain hadn’t caught up with my body. 

[00:31:52] But how many people show up in their personal and professional lives solely focused on ego generation, which you never generate a good decision from that place. I sometimes will say to my husband, if I ever feel like someone says something to me or something happens online or in the business, and I feel like I have to take a step back. I’m like, “I’m not making a decision right now” because I can feel like I’m not making the decision in the right frame of mind. Like I need to make the decision. Take my ego. I think I have a healthy ego, but take it out of there and then make the decision based on what’s best for the business or what’s best for the individual we’re dealing with. 

[00:32:28] But so many people are on autopilot in their lives and they use ego to make every decision whether it’s the really big house, the really expensive car, the super prestigious, whatever it is that they’re doing, they’ll chase things instead of really being in alignment with their goals and their intentions and allowing things to come to them. It’s like they’re constantly chasing it. Like, I had a guest last year who said there are a lot of people in our health space that are so desperate to do the next thing, and that desperation actually messes with, well, they’re not in alignment, but it also messes with the delivery of what they’re looking to achieve. 

[00:33:08] And so, I was saying, it’s not that I’m suggesting that we be passive, but I do think that there’s a degree of being honest with yourself about why you want to do something. If I walked around saying the woulda, shoulda, couldas that’s not productive in terms of creating growth in my business or just personally or professionally. And so, I’m curious, have you found that to be the case as well when you’re working with individuals or just, I mean, obviously working on Wall Street, you worked with a lot of individuals who had very probably over-the-top egos. Where does that fall into place for you now? 

Craig Siegel: [00:33:39] I’m so conscious of it. And it’s so interesting because last year one of the coolest, most expansive things we’ve done. And it’s interesting, last year we had record business and all that stuff and a lot of highlights, blah, blah. But the thing that was probably the most fulfilling to me is because I do so much coaching now. I just wanted to be a student again, and I started taking a class at The Kabbalah Centre, and I’m going to put Kabbalah and anyone– I like to take things I like from different things and make them my own and leave the rest. But Kabbalah is really all about taming the ego, or they call it the opponent, so to speak. And one of the things that they’re really big on is sharing without an agenda. 

[00:34:19] So, in other words, if you can get to that point, that’s when you just receive so much more light, or in our terms, abundance. And anytime you do something just to get recognition or something like that, you’re operating from ego. Even like somebody wants to give a big check to charity, but they want people to know that they did that. That’s not doing the right thing. And it’s very interesting to me, but the ego, we don’t want to completely dismantle it. It’s there to keep us in check, but it’s an opportunity to overcome it at any time. When we have an opponent to overcome, then we can gain more expansion or light or connection or whatever it is that we’re looking for, which leads to all the great stuff. 

[00:34:57] So, it’s good to have it there and it’s great to overcome it, but you have to be able to identify it. And you said something earlier about you want to react sometimes when something happens to business, but now, you know, you got to the point where you haven’t so much growth, where you take a step back. Let me take a second and respond from a level headed frequency so to speak. And that shows a ton of growth. And that’s something I’m working on myself. Sometimes, you just want to react or you see a negative comment, whatever the case may be, and you’re just so quickly to want to respond. But that is your ego. We know that we have an opportunity to say, “Okay, let me practice one of my greatest superpowers, which is resistance.”

[00:35:33] I’m not going to succumb to it and take a step back. So, the ego is always there, obviously. I mean, you look around, you see a lot of people have bigger ones than others and so forth. But in this game of life, if you’re able to identify it and have the practices in place to overcome it, that’s when we really live in that abundance, unlimited field of potential and so forth. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:35:54] Yeah, it’s interesting. I was around family members, obviously, around the holidays, and my sister-in-law has a very big job, but you would never know she has a very big job because she’s super down to earth. And she was being introduced to people at this party we’re at, and she just said, “I’m a consultant.” And in the back of my head I was like, “She’s a baller.” I mean, she could just say, this is what I do. But that’s not how she leads. And I was asking her about that. I said, “How has that evolved for you?” And she said, “I don’t let it define me. What defines me is being a mom and being a wife and being around family.” And she’s like, the happiest people I know at the level I’m in my business are the same. 

[00:36:29] And I was reflecting on another family member who was completely the opposite. Still a good person, but led with her ego all the time, bad financial decisions and real estate decisions. And I think that having that ego in check is so important. I’m almost at the point now, sometimes I don’t share things publicly that I could, and it’s not because I don’t want to share them. It’s just I’m like, “I’m going to enjoy this privately.” I’m going to enjoy this private win. And I don’t need to show that I’m a baller by doing X, Y and Z. My team will sometimes say, “You need to share more behind-the-scenes stuff.” And I was like, yeah, but if it doesn’t enhance my message, what’s the point?

[00:37:10] That’s where I think that the ego is this dual edged sword of being conscientious and careful. And you even mention in the book that if we move with our ego, it’s low vibration. So, for those of us that talk about alignment, energy, and things that the quantum, all of these things, it says, look at me. You want to take center stage or assume a sense of vanity, and you look at it as your opponent preventing us from being with the universe or infinite possibilities. So, to me, that section of your book really resonated because it’s something that if you acknowledge it, there’s point of acknowledgment. I’ll give you an example. I’m a nurse practitioner. I don’t pretend to be anything other than who I am, but every once in a while, I’ll be on social media. 

[00:37:52] My team will say, “Do you want to respond to this comment?” And it’s usually like, “You’re old, you’re not a doctor.” Nurse practitioners know what they’re–. And it’s like, every once in a while, I’ll just feel that kind of irritation. And I’m like, no, we’re not going to respond to that. We’re not going to respond to that. There’s no point. It’s like we’re just reciprocating this negative, low vibrational frequency energy. And even people who are healthy have moments where you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to take a step back. I’m not going to say anything because I’m not going to change their opinion. And I know who I am and I know what value I bring. And I always say bless and release. Like, you have a good day, you go do your thing.”

[00:38:29] But I think for a lot of people, the ego piece is one that they struggle with. And I love that you mentioned sharing without an agenda, because how many people are constantly on the sell? Like they’re always trying to sell something at one time. And sometimes I’ll tell people like listen, I have no affiliation with this company, I just like it. And I’ll just say, that’s why I’m sharing it, because it might help someone else. Or if I do have an affiliate relationship, I’ll say, “Oh, by the way, they are an affiliate, but I still like them.” But I think sharing without an agenda is a great way to explain removing that lack of ego or helping people understand that you’re coming from a place of service as opposed to self-serving. 

Craig Siegel: [00:39:05] And think about how much value that you add for free, like this podcast and a lot of the content you put out there. And I try to do the same. I give away so much stuff for free. And then people have an opportunity to go deeper and work with us in other capacities and so forth. But yeah, there’s always an agenda usually. But when you’re enlightened enough. When I say enlightened, my definition is, if you’re enlightened, that means that you believe that there’s a lot more going on than just this 1% reality. Most of this stuff is happening right this second is beyond our logic. So, as long as you know that you have an opportunity to tame the ego, and the ego is very dangerous. And I’ll tell you this, it’s interesting. I also wanted to post a win. 

[00:39:48] We were doing our books and so forth for the year and we hit a major milestone. And I was thinking, I was like, “Should I post this?” [Cynthia Laughs] Ego, but a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs look at me as somebody that totally reinvent themselves, didn’t have a business plan per se, and really has made a gigantic impact and unapologetically made a lot of money too. And that’s inspiring to people. Make a long story short, I didn’t post it. I still might, but I was wrestling with, is this coming from ego or whatever the case may be? And I decided to just resist. But ultimately, a lot of people that are not manifesting the life or the things that they desire in this world. And there’s a lot of people that think they’re like, “How come that person always gets the breaks? Or how come her TED talk went viral?” Whatever the case may be, a lot of the times it’s because you’re allowing your ego to dictate. And if this conversation, if you take one thing away, it’s really start to identify what is the ego and give yourself an opportunity to overcome that. And that’s when all the blessings will really begin to manifest. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:40:49] Yeah, I think it’s so important and something that– I have one child who wants to work on Wall Street. He wants to be a quant finance guy in college and go work on Wall Street, and the other one wants to be an engineer and trying to help the one who wants to go work on Wall Street understand, I was like are you making this goal something that because you intellectually want to be a baller on Wall Street and you want to learn all the things? Or is it just simply because you’re focused on the monetary gains? And it’s interesting, even as a 16-year-old having these conversations with him, and he’s pretty honest. And he just said, “I think it’s probably a little bit of both.” And I said, “Okay, I can respect that.”

[00:41:28] Let’s go to college first if that’s what you want to do before you put that big audacious goal out there. But helping our loved ones understand that having goals, having achievable things, is certainly something to work towards. Now, you talk a lot about community, creating a community, having a like-minded community. What do you think are some of the integral components of creating a successful community? Because there are people that listen to this podcast that are newer entrepreneurs, maybe a lot of them are clinicians that have pivoted into the small business space. How do you create a lasting imprint on your community? How do you create a strong community? 

Craig Siegel: [00:42:10] Yeah, I think vulnerability, authenticity, not even just going the extra mile, but the empty mile. It’s never crowded and you know one thing that I really did in the beginning, when I first started CLS and I was putting content out there. For the first few months, I had no agenda. I wasn’t trying to monetize. I just wanted to add value and build some brand awareness and hope that people caught on and connected with it. And I remember very specifically, Cynthia, in the beginning of the pandemic, some nights I would stay up till 02:00, 03:00 in the morning, just responding to every single person that was gracious enough to leave a comment on that piece of content. 

[00:42:46] And then when it was time to open the doors and launch something and let people know how they could work with me, a lot of those people signed up, and some of the feedback they gave was, you actually cared. When I interacted with you or your brand, it always felt like a personal connection. It wasn’t like one of these ads or just like, you book a Zoom connection call and someone else’s team member hops on. To the best of my ability, I always wanted to made it so that I actually cared, because I actually do, sometimes to a fault. And so, when you operate like that, you start to build a community, which is different than an audience. And so, I think an audience, if you look at social media and so forth, a lot of people have big audiences. Some you might be able to argue that’s fake. It’s like metrics and vanity. But a community is very loyal and engaging. If you ever reinvent yourself, you’re never starting over because they’ll come with you.

[00:43:42] And one thing about our CLS membership that we have is there’s no egos in there to the best of my ability. In other words, everybody’s supporting and elevating each other. Everybody’s seeing how they can help somebody else. And a lot of the guest speakers will come in and said they’ve never seen a tribe like that. And I believe in my soul that there’s more than enough for all of us to win big and impact as many as possible. And so, my thought process was to build an army or a community that people that are just helping each other, no egos, there’s enough. No one’s competing. 

[00:44:14] And you talked about your word for 2024 being alignment and so forth. I actually have a couple this year, but one of my themes, one of my mantras is not to compete, but to collaborate and collaborate with other communities and put yourself in front of new audiences, let other people be in front of you and so forth, and just bring everybody together. And so, I like to showcase the difference between a community and an audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with an audience. That’s great too. But a community is a little bit more intimate and a little bit deeper of a connection, I would say.

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:44:44] Yeah. Now that’s a really beautiful explanation. And I think for so many of us, for a couple of months now, I have been the person answering DMs on Instagram. And so, my team kept saying, “You should never let people know that you’re the one answering.” I said, “Well, actually, it’s been interesting for me to be at a grassroot level because the questions that people answer are things that are asked pretty frequently.” And so, for me, having my ear to the ground, obviously I’m not manning the support inbox for my business, but it’s interesting what I’ve been able to garner just from a personal level, being the one responding. It may take a while, but I’m the one that’s responding to DMs on Instagram. 

[00:45:22] That’s not an indication to go start sending me a bunch of DMs, but trying to make sure I’m pointing towards people, towards resources or making recommendations. I mean, things that are general or pointing them towards programs or other things that might be helpful. But it’s amazing to me how much of an impact that makes because people will say, “Oh my gosh, you actually responded.” Sometimes people just send incredibly heartwarming stories about– They took action after listening to a podcast or read the book. And I’m like, “That’s awesome. I’m so happy for you.” Thank you so much for sharing that. And they’re like, “I can’t believe you responded.” I’m like, “I will do it for as long as I can.” I will eventually get to a point where I won’t. But to me, I just genuinely enjoy connecting with my community. To me, that makes a huge difference and it allows me to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

Craig Siegel: [00:46:10] Yes, and I see you doing that and I acknowledge you for that. [Cynthia laughs] I’m the same way. I used to respond to everyone. Now, obviously you can’t get to everybody, which is a good problem to have. But people ask me often, “What’s your secret? How did you do that?” And sometimes I’ll literally just say, “It’s because I actually care.”

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:46:26] Yeah. 

Craig Siegel: [00:46:27] And I think a lot of people don’t. A lot of influencers, entrepreneurs, coaches, whatever the case may be. I don’t know how much they care. But me and you, the best validation that you and I will get is that someone will listen to this conversation today, post about it, and do something different with their life or take some inspired action because you and I showed up authentically and had a great conversation. And that’s really what it’s all about. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:46:50] Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t say more than that. Well, Craig, I know I’m going to be seeing you in New York in about a week and a half. Please let my listeners know how to connect with you, your amazing podcast, grab your book, which I highly recommend, The Reinvention Formula. And I’ll just tell you, I read a lot of books. So, when I recommend a book, it is genuine. If you’re looking to uplevel your mindset in a way that it’s written so that you can read it and take action. And there’s lots of great quotes, lots of resources, you’ve got links back to your podcast which makes it really easy to kind of reaffirm some of the lessons that you’re sharing. Let my community know how to connect with you. 

Craig Siegel: [00:47:27] Yeah. Thank you. This is an awesome conversation. I love every time we get together. Anywhere you buy books, The Reinvention Formula, anywhere you listen to podcasts, the CLS experience, anywhere on Instagram or social media @craigsiegle_cls. We have our website cultivatelastingsymphony.com. You can find a little bit about the community and so forth. And if you love this conversation and you like free inspirational messages throughout the week, you can text me at 917-634-3796, text word is Cynthia so that I knew you heard it here and let me know your favorite nugget from the conversation. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:47:58] Awesome. Thank you so much. 

Craig Siegel: [00:47:59] Thank you. 

Cynthia Thurlow: [00:48:03] If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend.