Interview

Leaders who light the path

Disco

Disco is the founder of Labyrinths Journeys and helps people start a new chapter in their life.
When a new life is calling it often comes with doubts and uncertainties. Disco helps people to overcome the uncertainties. He shows his clients a path that leads them to live the life that fits to who they truly are.

Michael Gerharz: What’s so difficult about starting a new chapter in life? What keeps so many people of doing that important step?

Disco: The main thing is fear of the unknown. You might be in a place where you’re not necessarily happy or you’re waking up in the morning and you’re not full of excitement. It’s hard to wake up. You keep hitting the snooze button and just kind of delaying as much as you can your day, cause you’re not really passionate about what you want to do. You’re not really excited about what you’re about to do. So, at that point, you have a decision to make whether to change something or just kind of stick with what’s familiar and has been working so far.

I think, the fear of the unknown and uncertainty about what that change could lead to is what’s holding a lot of people back.

The next step, I think after you’re already at a point that you realize: “Okay, this can’t keep going on. I can’t keep going on like this forever. I need to change something.” Then I think the next thing that’s holding people back is that they don’t know how to go about it, they don’t have the tools. This is where I want to help people take that leap.

Fear of the unknown and uncertainty about what a change could lead to is what's holding a lot of people back.

And how do you help people to overcome these fears of the unknown and to actually take the first step?
My work is based on three elements that combine together. All three are actually necessary in order to start a new chapter in life. The first thing is to have a better sense of where you’re going. What is it that you’re actually called to do? When you’re not clear about that, you don’t necessarily want to go and just make more money for the sake of making more money. You realize that there’s something beyond that that’s important to you. That’s calling you. So, the first step really is to identify what is this thing and remove all the noise. Connect to something really deep inside you that you feel passionate about. Something that you’ll be excited to wake up for in the morning and work towards. The second part is identifying which stories you were telling yourself, for probably as long as you’ve lived. We adopt a lot of these stories when we’re kids, stories about the things you can and cannot do. Once you identify these stories and acknowledge that this is what they are – they’re stories but not necessarily absolute truths – then it’s about how to replace these stories into things that your unconscious mind will send to your conscious mind regularly instead of these limiting beliefs.

The first step really is to identify the thing that you'll be excited to wake up for in the morning and work towards.

The last part, which is kind of the more technical part, is how to build habits. Basically, what we are able to do is a result of habits. If I have a goal and I want to become a marathon runner, I’m not going to become one, unless I show up every day and do the work to become one and train myself. And that’s true not just for physical things but also for the type of person I want to show up as and be in the world. If I want to be calm and decide that meditation is key for that then I need to show up every day and do the meditation. I started saying that this is the technical part because there are really very simple and clear ways of building habits that make the process a lot less intimidating than people often tend to think.

So, these are the three elements and I offer both, a kind of focus on each of these three, or a more comprehensive program that kind of tackles all of them and ties everything together over a longer period of time.

If I understand correctly what you’ve said, there seems to be sort of a struggle between the gut and the brain before people are actually ready to take that next step. They’re feeling that something doesn’t really sit right and they feel that something must change, but somehow they don’t trust that feeling. It sounds like one of the major problems is that, as you put it, we tell us stories to sort of rationalize that we shouldn’t trust that feeling but rather stick to what we know.

How can we decide which side we should trust? How can we find the right balance between gut and brain?

This is a great point. It’s really a big cause of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty for a lot of people. Martha Beck describes it as the social self and the essential self. If you’re going towards your north star, then this is where your essential self is calling. But on the other side, there’s the social self which is based on the other people. What will other people think? Usually you can identify it to just a very small group of people, maybe just a couple. Often, in your mind they’re very critical of you and you’re kind of attached to that critical voice and let that guide our actions.

First of all, it takes awareness. You need to become aware of that process happening. And then you need to kind of weigh: What is it that’s really important to you then?

It’s not like you need to completely ignore the social self – otherwise you’ll go off and do things that are extremely unacceptable – but there is a lot of room to navigate. Once you’re clear on where you’re headed and what is it that’s calling you, then the voices of the social self will slowly weaken. You’ll be able to just ignore them and understand that they’re not what you should be paying attention to.

Once you're clear on where you're headed and what is it that's calling you, you'll be able to understand which voices you should be paying attention to.

That takes time and it does mean sacrifices. I think that’s another reason people are afraid of to make that leap. If you’re in a place where everything is yery familiar, not just your work, but also your surrounding people know you in a certain way. And if you’re about to make a big shift, some of these people won’t understand you and might question you and it might not fit with what they had in mind, the image they had in mind of you.

At that point, you need to make that decision again. Who do I want to please here? Do I want to please these people that know me in a certain way, but it’s not necessarily the way that feels meaningful to me or important or authentic? On the other hand, do I want to go ahead and listen to my inner voice, to my gut feeling and follow that?

It’s a play. There are no clear rules, but again, once you develop the awareness, then you’re better able to make a judgment and decision.

It feels a bit like there’s one important difference to a lot of other approaches to this sort of life changing approaches. I mean we’re living in a world where everyone’s sort of expected to self optimize and to stretch their goals and become a better version of themselves. A common advice is that to achieve this we’ve got to leave our comfort zone.

But when you speak about these things, it sounds more like we should stretch our comfort zones not to leave it constantly, but to adapt the comfort zone so that it truly fits to ourselves. It’s not about living a life that’s constantly on the edge, but finding the life that sustainably fits to who we are.

Exactly. Getting out of your comfort zone might be a helpful kind of category to think about that idea of social self. You’ll need to stretch out of what’s currently acceptable in your current life and your current circles in order to make that leap to a new zone, a new comfort zone. There is that kind of middle ground that you have to just push through and go through.

One of the things that’s holding people back is fear of the unknown as you’ve put it in the beginning of our conversation. How do you manage to make them see that there’s a better way?

I think this past year is a great example. There’s always going to be unknowns and there’s always gonna be sticks in our wheels and unexpected situations that are completely out of our control. This past year showed that to everyone very clearly.

So, the first thing is to acknowledge is that change is the only thing that we can be certain of. Things will keep changing. And what we need to be able to do is to adapt to these changes and have the tools for how to deal with changes when they happen. How to not be afraid of changes, but see them as opportunities. Some of the tools that I am using kind of lean more towards esoteric and mystical in a way. These tools I find really helpful in embracing and making it into something that’s kind of mysterious in a really exciting way, a way that allows you to think of these changes as possibilities and things to discover and explore rather than things to be afraid of and try to avoid.

Change is the only thing that we can be certain of.

Let’s try to make this even more concise. If I met some friend of mine who’s at the verge of changing something or who feels unhappy with their current way of living. If you could wish for me to pass them one phrase along, what would that be?

I would ask you to tell them that change is possible and that change is something that you can learn how to get comfortable with and even excited about, and when you do it’ll motivate your days and fill them up with excitement and curiosity.

So, basically turn the exact thing that frightens you into something that excites you. Now that’s a powerful message.

So, change is possible you said. When you went through that masterclass of mine “Leaders Light The Path”, wwhat changed for you, especially regarding the communication of your ideas?

The masterclass really opened my eyes that I was playing it safe. I was in a way afraid of what will people say and kind of trying to play it safe with my communication about what I do and how I do these things to please people that are not necessarily open-minded or at the right place on their journey. In a way, I was trying to think of how to lure them in.

The work in the masterclass really showed me that this is something that I shouldn’t shy away from, that this work is for a specific group of people that are interested in that type of work and are curious about it. And that these are the people that I need to reach and address. I should actually fully embrace the unique parts of my work and share these messages with people so that I find the right people to work with.

The “Leaders Light the Path” masterclass showed me how to fully embrace the unique parts of my work and share these with people.

So, rather than be everything for everyone or having something for everyone, be something really special for the people who you actually want to serve. And who deserve your effort.

Exactly. This concept of not being everything for everyone is something that I was aware of. I actually thought that I was pretty much there, but during the masterclass, I realized that I can narrow it down so much more to something that I’m personally really excited about, something that makes me wake up in the morning excited and doesn’t get out of my head because I constantly think about it and I constantly think about how to share that with more people that I know are out there and want that. A lot of my friends share these kind of interests and curiosities and are looking for someone who is able to tell them more about these things. So, why shy away from sharing these messages and finding these people?

Very powerful. Thanks for sharing that.

One final question that I have, and that I pretty much ask everyone who’s who, who gets on this show, um, who was a leader or is a leader that light the path for you. And in what way?

I’ve been taking a lot of courses and trainings this past year. I’ve been very lucky to work with three great people just this past year that I can think of that have really lit the path for me on this journey.

One of them is Seth Godin. I took his marketing seminar and that really helped to look at marketing with different eyes.

The second person is a woman named Danielle Lisky. I took her writing course. Her approach was so interesting and unique and very much esoteric and mystical. That really pulled me in that direction and allowed me to see how it is possible to do this work through that lens.

And the third person is you, of course. The master class we just talked about really opened my eyes. Some of the concepts that you shared with us were really eye-opening. I’m very, very grateful for that. I learned a lot an I’m absolutely thrilled and grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in it. So, thank you.

Thanks a lot for these words. This is really quite the group of people to be named along with. Thanks for sharing all these insights for taking the first steps when a new life is calling.

If that’s you, dear reader, if you find yourself on the verge of a new life and if you feel that something about the way that you, you live your life currently doesn’t feel right anymore, then I strongly encourage you to give Disco a call and look at his coaching programs. Reach out to him because he really has a gift of showing you where that feeling comes from, where it leads you to and what you need to do to take the first steps and then to find the habits to make it a reality.

Thanks for sharing, Disco. Keep lighting the path.

Thank you, Michael.

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