Ferne Kotlyar

I Am Not The Man I Used To Be - Fridays with Ferne: Episode #39

Ludo didn’t always live on the right side of the tracks. As a young professional, he was cocky and greedy and was influenced by the wrong people. He started working for a big firm and embezzled a lot of money. He got caught and went to jail for several years.

After being released, he turned his life around and became a different person. He started a big company that was built on trust and philanthropy. Ludo wants to keep growing his company, but his time in jail is holding him back; people have preconceived notions of who they think he is, and Ludo doesn’t know how to make them see beyond his past.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we have Fridays with Ferne, and today is Fridays with Ferne! So Ferne, welcome!

[00:00:18] Ferne Kotlyar: Hello, hello! How are you today?

[00:00:21] Kim Ades: I'm great. For those of you who are just tuning in for the first time, Ferne is my daughter and every week, she comes to us with a new case for us to work on. So Ferne, what do you have for me today?

[00:00:33] Ferne Kotlyar: So today, our case is about a man named Ludo. And Ludo grew up a bit on the wrong side of the tracks. You know, he had a bit of a tough childhood, he didn't grow up with much money or particularly good influences. And as he grew up, he did some things that he regrets. He did some money laundering and he ended up in prison for a little bit.

And kind of in prison, he had the chance to reflect and decided that he was going to, as soon as he got out, he was going to turn his life around. And as he did, he put in a lot of effort to change his life, to completely move up and flip things around and have a completely new perspective.

And so he put in all this effort and really worked on himself. And then he tried to kind of get into the business industry. And as he started to make money and started to have more of a name, people started to realize that he had this bad history, that he had gone to prison, that he had a bit of a tarnished record.

And that really hindered him in a lot of ways. So people would not want to work with him because of his past. And people would-- kind of clients would figure out and feel betrayed and... It was so messy for him.

And he just felt very, very frustrated because he had changed so much and he didn't know how to erase the past. He didn't know kind of how to become a new person, kind of like a Jean Valjean type of thing, where--

[00:02:08] Kim Ades: I was thinking of that.

[00:02:09] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah! [Laughs] You know, it's a classic case where they did something bad, he did something bad, and he doesn't know how to move on from that because of the people around him won't.

[00:02:22] Kim Ades: Okay. So I just want to stop for a minute and address the audience and say, it's unbelievable that I come onto these podcasts with Ferne and I have no idea what she's going to throw my way [Chuckles]. Every week she throws something new, and I really don't know what she's going to give me, so here's another example of that, clearly.

But this is a great story because the truth is we all have a past, we all have a past that we may or may not want to erase. And the question is, is it possible to erase the past? And the answer is no, it's not possible to erase the past. The past is part of our lives experiences and it's part of who we have become over the years.

And so the question is, do we want to erase the past? We might want to move on from the past. We might want to go a new direction. We might want to keep the past in the past, because a lot of people don't know how to do that, they relive the past over and over again. We definitely want to deal with our past and sometimes understand what brought us there, so we don't go there again. But we never want to erase the past.

And so his attempts at erasing the past, as we can see, are futile in his case. And so what do we want to do? We want to talk to Ludo -very interesting name choice, by the way-, and what we want to do is we want to say, "Hey, Ludo, how did your past actually serve you? How did it help you become who you are?"

And I'm sure that he would think about it and say, "well, if I hadn't had these experiences, I wouldn't be the person I was. I wouldn't have learned about what was really important to me. I wouldn't have examined my values. I wouldn't have come out the other end. I would have stayed where I was.

If I never went to prison, I wouldn't have taken some time to really think about what was important to me and decide that I wanted to move in a new direction. I would have stayed in that place for a lot longer. And so my history is actually part of my present".

And so the first thing we would do with Ludo is help him understand how valuable, how important his history is, as opposed to wanting to erase it. The second thing we would do is we would teach Ludo about people who are super successful. And people who are super successful, every single one of them have some kind of adversity that they deal with at some point in their lives.

But those super successful people have a high degree of emotional resilience. And what does that mean? Emotional resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, with speed and agility. But not only that. People who are super successful, what they do is they take their adversity and turn it into an advantage somehow.

So what he's doing is he's taking his adversity and he's trying to tuck it under a carpet, trying to hide it. And what happens when we're hiding things? We're not authentic. We're not real. We're uncomfortable. We have shame. We have guilt. And when we live with shame and guilt and discomfort, we can never thrive. We just can't. It's impossible.

And so what I would encourage Ludo to do is examine his story and figure out how to bring his story to his present, how to leverage it, how to use it to his benefit, to his advantage, because the truth is probably there are a lot of people in the world who are struggling.

And if he were honest with his clients and the people around him, "Here's my history. Here's what I learned. Here's who I'm working on becoming", people might give him a better shot. But if he looks as though he's hiding something, what happens is the mistrust or the distrust increases.

[00:06:09] Ferne Kotlyar: Do you think that people have to talk about all their bad history in order to not--

[00:06:14] Kim Ades: They don't have to talk about their bad history, but it's okay to be open about it in the right time and in the right moment, when it's appropriate.

[00:06:21] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah. It's not that he wasn't open about it, it's just that people, you know, found out... Somebody else told them, so now it's a big deal. But it's not that he was hiding it, it's just that it shouldn't matter.

[00:06:33] Kim Ades: Well, it does matter because who I am is a function of my past to some degree. Right? And if it keeps confronting him, then let him put it right out front. So if he's running a business, tell your story on your website. "Here's my story, here's who I am, here's what I'm doing, here's why it's important to me, here's the impact I want to leave in the world. Here's why my history matters and what it taught me along the way, and now where I'm going and the legacy I want to leave behind". And so let him leverage his story.

[00:07:10] Ferne Kotlyar: And in terms of other people's stories, if their stories aren't as dramatic, should they be kind of announcing all their dark past?

[00:07:19] Kim Ades: I mean, we don't need to live in the past. We don't need to recreate the past over and over and over again. We don't need to focus on the past. But when Ludo tells his story, he's telling the story of his journey. "Here's the journey I took and here's where I am now, and here's where I'm going".

And so the history is just there to explain the present and the future. Right? So for him, it's a story you tell to help people understand where you're heading now. And that's the focus. The focus is on the future. We're not asking him to look behind him. We're asking him to be okay with his journey. Let go of that guilt, the shame, all of that.

[00:08:02] Ferne Kotlyar: And once he puts it on display, if he faces more adversity, more questions, more people who dislike or distrust him, how does he deal with that?

[00:08:14] Kim Ades: You're going to have that in your life and you're going to find people who are forgiving, who are open, who are willing to give people a second chance. And you're just going to lean towards that. And the more you have that in your life, the more you will receive that in your life.

And so, you know, it's an interesting thing because in all of our lives, there are people who are a match for us and people who are not a match for us. I see this all the time in coaching. In fact, I just had a conversation with someone just this week about that very thing.

So when people go through Frame of Mind Coaching, what happens? They start to change a little bit, right? Their vantage point changes, their energy changes, their ability to handle complicated or adverse situations change. They become more at ease, more at peace. They don't want to engage with drama as much. They don't want to be involved in conversations that are negative or draw out their energy, right?

And so what happens is, as they shift, the people they used to be a match to, start to fall off. The people that they are now a match to start to be attracted to them. I know it sounds a little bit abstract, but as I change, I focus on and I look for, and I bring into my world people who are a match to me now. And so that's going to happen with him too.

And part of the process is being okay with the fact that some people are dropping off, that are no longer a match. And when we're not okay with it, when we're holding on, when we feel resentful that they're falling off, that's when we're not looking forward anymore, we're looking behind.

So we need to continue looking forward, we need to be okay with the idea that some people fall off. We need to be okay with the fact that some people are not a match to our current energetic state or a current view of the world. We need to be okay with that. And we need to just keep going, carry on and let go of those things with greater ease.

[00:10:24] Ferne Kotlyar: It makes sense. So if you were to give Ludo one last piece of advice, what would it be?

[00:10:31] Kim Ades: It would be to take his story and leverage it, and use it, be open about it. Bring it to the website, go be a speaker. Tell your story, tell people about your journey and tell people even that it's hard to acquire trust when people know your history.

Talk about it, talk about the challenge. Talk about how difficult it is. Talk about what you're looking for, what you want, what you're trying to do, what you're trying to achieve and how you've had to forgive yourself. Right?

[00:11:00] Ferne Kotlyar: Yeah.

[00:11:01] Kim Ades: And you're looking for forgiveness from others too, if that's part of the story. But essentially leverage your adversity, turn it into something that's useful and beneficial. And so that's my advice for Ludo.

[00:11:14] Ferne Kotlyar: Makes sense to me. That'll certainly make him unique.

[00:11:17] Kim Ades: Sure. It makes me want to sing this song with the... Is it Ludo or...? There's a song with a Ludo in it. For any of you who are listening and you know the song I'm talking about, reach out. I'd love to hear from you.

[00:11:30] Ferne Kotlyar: [Laughs]

[00:11:30] Kim Ades: I don't know if you guys know, but I have a song running in my head 24 hours a day. There's always a song in my head. And every time I hear a word, I think of a song that goes with that word. So if you know the song I'm talking about, please reach out.

In the meantime, if you have that you are thinking about that you would like to share with us, please reach out. Ferne needs all the cases she can get her hands on.

[00:11:54] Ferne Kotlyar: Yes!

[00:11:54] Kim Ades: How do they reach you?

[00:11:55] Ferne Kotlyar: Please email me! So fernekotlyar@live.com.

[00:12:04] Kim Ades: And reach out to me as well, kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. If there's someone in your world who can use some executive coaching, look us up, go to our website, check it out. frameofmindcoaching.com.

If you know a young person in your life between the ages of 18 and early 30s, who can also use some support, some coaching, please check out thejournalthattalksback.com. And we will see you next week. Have a great week.

[00:12:30] Ferne Kotlyar: Bye!

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