Ep 113: How to Blow Your Own Mind at Work - with Kyla Mitsunaga


  • The top 3 core values of high performing teams.
  • How to feel psychologically safe at work, even in challenging or toxic work environments.
  • How psychological safety creates mind-blowing results at work and in your personal life.

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If you’re a leader of teams, or someone who considers themselves to be a high performer at work and in life, but you often procrastinate and feel stuck in your feelings - i.e. irritated at your boss, angry with a colleague, anxious about that deliverable, this episode is for you.

I have a very special guest on the podcast today, my friend Kyla Mitsunaga!  Kyla is first and foremost a Mind-Blowing Results Coach who works with highly driven and high-powered humans just like you who are ready to start feeling like a million bucks. She is an expert in the subconscious mind, so naturally I wanted to sit down and talk to her about how she helps her clients use the brain to blow their own minds at work and life. 

Listen in as we dive into the core values of high performing teams, the concept of using feelings in your body as the “truth” for what’s really going on in your work environment, and a quick and easy 3 step process to use throughout the day to create your own psychological safety, stop procrastinating, and start delivering results that align with you or your teams bad*ss selves.

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You got this, rockstar.

Loving this work? Follow me on LinkedIn @sarahlmoody for more cognitive coaching and book a complimentary workshop for your team at sarahmoody.com!

Download Full Episode Transcript

Welcome to Rock Your Brain. Rock Your Life. The only podcast hosted by a high achieving tech, entrepreneur and certified coach that teaches you how to use proven cognitive tools to rewire your brain and break through the second pandemic. Burnout if you lead a company or badass team and need a proven, evidence based cognitive course to retain and develop them, this podcast is for you.

Sarah helps humans break through burnout, have insane work life balance, and feel magical at work and in their lives. Again, here's your host, certified coach and tech industry entrepreneur, Sarah Moody.

All right, Rockstars. I am so excited this week. I have one of my girlfriends who's also a coach on the podcast this week, Kyla?

Yes, exactly.

Oh my God. So I have to tell you a quick story. First of all, we know each other because we both coach with the most amazing coach named Simone Seol and that's how we met.

And we met in this coaching container called the Mystery Room. So we were like deep in a mystery for like six months, and then we fell in love. And we also live near each other, which is amazing. And I'm gonna turn it over to you, my love, and I want you to introduce yourself and then listeners, we're gonna tell you a little funny story about what happened earlier this week and how we're on the podcast today.

All right, girl, over to.

Awesome. Thank you, Sarah for having me. It's so great to be here. I absolutely adore Sarah. So if anybody adores her as much as I do... I don't think that person exists yet. Or . I'll take 'em down. Just kidding. Okay, so sweet. Thank you. I adore her and everything she's doing, and if you're not getting coached by her, get coached by her ASAP.

You're so sweet.

And just be in her world. She's amazing. Yes, we met in our mystery room. Five month coaching container and we live close to each other here in the Bay Area. I am like the Asian auntie version of Liam Neon and taken for those of you who've seen, taken one, two, or three mm-hmm. . Yeah.

And you know how, like Liam Neon says, What I do have is a very particular set of skills... and in my case, subconscious mind skills. Skills I've acquired over very long career, and in my case, a depression. Skills that make me a nightmare or a daydream or something in between. For awesome humans like you all who want motherfucking.

Like five figure months, a summer home in Portugal, retired by the age of 45, no more chronic back pain, and all kinds of other results in your business life and your life. So that's me. 

Who doesn't want all those kind of crazy blow your own mind results? Let's go. Oh my God. What an intro. Okay, so. You have to hear this story.


About earlier this week. We met at my club, The Battery, here in San Francisco, and at the end of dinner we decided that we were hop on Zoom and we would record this podcast for you all because Kyla's got some pretty flipping amazing resources for you all around how to blow your own mind by using your brain.

 Okay, so we came up with a podcast outline on drum roll, please.

Where is it?

The receipt. Oh, the receipt. Yes. We wrote the outline of our podcast on the back of the receipt. So for all you high achievers that are like, I got to put together the plan on a, in a, in a deck or, you know, plan on a page or a six page Amazon outline. No back of a receipt. That's how we did it in 10 minutes.

Yep. So, all .Right, let's dive in to today's topic around how to blow your own mind at work. So, 


was talking about like she's done a lot of studying around core values of high performing teams. And so I'm just gonna turn it over you girl and just start, start talking about it. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you.

So yes, I used to do corporate happiness stuff, you know, corporate workshops on happiness around the world, including with high performing teams like at Microsoft and Merck, and you know, some of these doing some name dropping right now. Um... 

That's all good. Our audience loves name dropping.

That's for you to like, get hooked in now.

That's for you to be like, what? So. And you know, a lot of my workshops were based on Daniel Coyle's book called The Culture Code. If you haven't read it, I highly suggest reading it. It's a great read. It's easy, it's not super thick. But he does this research on the top three core values of high performing teams around the world.

 Teams at like Google some more name dropping, the Navy Seals, IDL, you know, and what he comes up with is 

Never heard of any of those companies, girl.

Where have you been?


So he comes up with three, and they are, number one, purpose, number two, vulnerability, and number three, psychological safety. And so, If you know Google, right? 

What's the number one core value, though, out of all those?

Exactly. You read my mind. Pun intended

by the way, just so that you all remember, we are both all about the mind, the brain. Okay. So this is, This is, Yes. Love it. Go ahead.

Yeah. So you know how Google likes to like analyze a shit out of everything. So Google looked at their top performing teams. And the number one core value there was psychological safety.


Tell us more about that. What does that mean?

Yeah, so psychological safety, here's a, here's a great example. Yeah. So let's say you fucked up at work.


Or you made a mistake.


Or you are just feeling shitty.


Would you feel safe enough to go to your team and tell them? Mm. Right.

Mm-hmm. , because if you don't feel safe enough right, then you won't be able to be vulnerable, which is also one of the top three.


And you may or may not be able to fulfill your purpose of being there. Mm. Right. Yeah. Does that make sense?

Totally. Totally. Yeah. I love it. So, you know, some of the research that I actually stumbled upon earlier today, kind of into this idea of psychological safety.

So there's this new research that's come out from the big staffing firm, Adecco Group, all around the future of work.


 They interviewed like 122 chief people, officers from big companies around the globe.


And what they found is that the number one thing that they can do to change the culture to impact psychological safety is to create the space at work where we can talk about our feelings, we can talk about our, our struggles.

We can talk about, you know, what's working and what's not working in our overall mental health. The shift is to destigmatize this kind of belief that so many companies have had where if I talk about my feelings and I'm vulnerable, I am perceived as weak. Right? So that whole belief is being turned on its head.

And what I loved about the research is it really talks about how when teams talk about their emotions or their feelings, they see increases in productivity, performance, creativity, innovation, and of course retention. 


And of course happiness, like what you just talked about. Right. So there's such a correlation between psychological safety, Let's get everyone talking about their feelings and emotions.

Right? But guess what? It's gonna impact your bottom line too. Yep. You're taking performance, which is amazing. So psychological safety, creating actually equals growing your business, deliver amazing results, blowing your own mind and maybe even your boss's brain as well 

Exactly. I love that.

There's this great book by Sean Aker. The Happiness Advantage and the gist of his book is basically like, you know, piggybacking on what you were saying, Sarah, that everybody thinks like it's success and then happiness or. Right. Psychologist success first and then all the other emotions and feelings and then afterwards.

But it's right.

Once you're successful, then you'll be happy.

Right. It's a lie. It's a lie. It's actually happiness and what we're gonna be talking about next, like all of these other success emotions. Yeah. And then success. 

Right. You know, I did that chase for years. Try and be like, keep wanting to be successful and more and more successful so that I could be happy or increase how happy I was.

And actually it did the exact opposite. Mm. I only was more burnt out, more depressed as I became more and more successful until I found our tools and started coaching myself two years ago. So, totally. Speaking of emotions and feelings and success, feelings and success, emotions. What's, what's your number one?

Success emotion, Kyla?

My number one success emotion, which I, I realized recently is sadness and also it's cousin more serious cousin depression. Hmm. And, um, you know, how that shows up for me is like I realized right before, you know, super quote unquote successful moments in my business, like filling one of my retreats in Palm Springs, for example.

I am like, Bubba down. I have these bubba down moments where like I'm on the floor and I'm like, Oh my God, my life is over. I'm so sad, I'm not gonna be able to do it. You know, and all the things. And then I realized that my entire business and therefore career. Has been built around depression, like my own depression, you know, similar to you, you've like coached yourself through, your own burnouts and

My own eating disorder. All the things.

Yes. All the fucking things. And here I am like trying to suppress. Mm, my sadness and my depression and I'm like, wait a second. Like the, my entire company, and my branding, and my message and everything is like, Hey, you're not alone. Like now I have these tools, and resources, and experiences, and coaching shit that I can help you not be alone in your sadness and depression.

Mm-hmm. So that's when you notice that you feel sad and depressed, like right before that retreat. What do you do? Like walk the audience through what you do and how that, how that correlates to success?

Yeah. I mean it's, it's really quite simple. Like, so I used to just like suppress and be like, Oh, like that's bad.

Right? There are only, there's like bad emotions and there's good emotions. Right. And I can only feel the good emotions. Like happiness. Yeah. And gratitude and positivity. Right. And then I would beat myself up over feeling sadness or depression, right?


So really what I started doing was just, I have this, something called the triple A method, which is awareness, acceptance, and then action.

Mm-hmm. and then looking back, you can't act on something you don't accept. Mm. You can't accept something you're not aware of. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Right? So simply mm-hmm. , you begin bringing awareness, Okay, I feel, you know, sad or I'm feeling depressed today. Mm-hmm. and then. What can I do to like accept it, right?


Maybe that we're gonna talk a little bit about movement in the body later, but


maybe it's like some movement for your body. Mm-hmm. , right? Go for a walk, do some exercise, move your body, right?


And then once you've accepted it, have some kind of action.


Oh, maybe I can reach out to that person about my retreat.


Maybe I can talk to, you know this former client of mine about it, maybe they might be interested in it, right?


So you can act on it without the weight of that emotion. It's very neutral place. Right? Right. Yeah. That make.

Totally, totally. You know, my success emotion is loneliness, so I felt lonely probably until

I don't know the middle of high school probably. 


So probably till I was about like 15. And then I've even gone through lots of stages of feeling really lonely and probably I really moved through and learned how to love and accept loneliness actually in 2020 when I was forced to be alone. So just two years ago.


And so, what happens for me is when I notice loneliness.


So I get that awareness of loneliness.


What I do is I feel her, and I bring her to my dining room table.


So I bring loneliness to the table. So the table, the di, think of like a captain's table, like I'm the resource adult.

Sarah's at one end. Lonely little Sarah here. I've got, you know, maybe scared Sarah. Like all the different kind of hard feelings or shadows or things that, you know, we all, all of us humans have. I just bring little lonely Sarah to the dining room table and I just ask her like, "Well, what's going on honey?

And what are you feeling? Like, tell me about the loneliness and where is it in your body? And, 


and so I help that part of me, that feeling, feel loved and accepted and heard and understood, and that's how I process that feeling through my body. And then back to what you just said, the third step of like, then I can go take action of like, I'm neutral.

I'm no longer like feeling that loneliness. I just can then take action from a place of being that fully resourced adult


 human, Sarah. That's confident and calm and all the things. I love that. Yeah. And it's also when you do that, right? So whether it's like movement or talk,

I talk to her, I talk to that feeling, right?

In your case, talking to her, right? You're dissociating.

Mmm Mmhmm. 

Right? So you're able to then gain clarity.

So by dissociating, meaning you're pulling, you're making it like a third party. What does that mean?

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Okay. So usually we like associate, right? Like, Yeah. Into like, I don't know, like a memory, right?

Like I'm so triggered cuz my boss, you know, my boss. Scolded me and critiqued me very heavily. 


And that brings me to this memory when my mom used to do that. Yeah. So I'm gonna be like, really like, ugh about it, right? 


So that's the awareness and then in the acceptance part, you're dissociating. So into your body, right?

Where either, you know, you're bringing out the lonely Sarah, or I'm bringing out like depressed Kyla, and you're talking to her.


Or you can even, like you said earlier, right? Where in your body do you feel the loneliness? Where in your body do you feel the sadness? 


That's another way to dissociate, right?

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. 

And then you're able to work through and get to a place of like, Oh, now I understand, you know, the loneliness Sarah needed this for me.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. 

Right. A fully resourced human. Give her those resources, right. Imagine giving her those resources. What does she need? Love. Yeah. Safety.

Yeah. Right. What did 


What's that?



But more often than not, guess what all these parts of you, whether it's sadness, depression, or loneliness or whatever, or anger. They just need a big, healthy dose of love and acceptance and compassion. That's it. 


They just need to be heard and not ignored.

Mm-hmm. not ignored. Mm-hmm. . Exactly. So most people don't think of like sadness and loneliness as success emotions, do they?

No, they don't.

Tell us more about that. 

I think, you know, like why? Yeah. Mm-hmm. It's kinda like what you were saying earlier, right? Like most people, for most people, they're not, It's not psychologically safe. Yeah. For them to talk about their emotions and so they repress any kind of emotion. And usually what, what I see, and you know, you see this on LinkedIn or you, you see this with clients, right?

Like, well, you know, why can't I be more positive?


Why can't I be more resilient?


Right? And so then they start being upset. The, and judgey self judgey on the fact that they can't have those kind of success emotions, Right. Related to positivity or resiliency. And it's like, that's okay. You know, like all emotions, right.

Need to,

Are neutral. Don't, don't know. Yes. Don't judge.

And when we sit with that emotion, either talking to her right move, like figuring out where in our body we feel that right. And we really sit with those emotions with psychological safety within 


Right. Then there's like this incredible opening, right?

Like, Hey, it's okay. It's okay to feel that. 

Yeah You're right. You're creating psychological safety within yourself.


And that is also too what ideally your team leaders and CEO and everybody from a culture perspective are also doing in your company. Kind of back to the core values of what we started off the podcast for high performing teams.

So how do you do this with your clients? Yeah. How do you. How do you pull it all together for them? 

Yeah, that's a great question. So

by the way, y'all, the name of her program like is probably gonna blow your mind. I mean, she's gonna talk about how to blow your mind, but like the name of her program made me laugh my ass off.

Oh my gosh. Yeah. So the program is a nine week. Growth course, and it's called On Growing: From Icky to Bomb Diggity in Nine Weeks.

Yes. I wanna grow from I, Well, actually, two years ago before I started this work, I would've signed up for that program because I felt icky and I wanted to be bomb diggity. Yes.

In nine weeks. Who doesn't want huge transformation in nine weeks? Yes. Oh God, I love that.

Thank you for being so enthusiastic. Oh my God, I love it. Yeah. Um, but yeah, it's really just for folks who have like done no personal growth work and they're just really starting from ground zero and that's okay.

Yeah. And then you're, you're being walked through beautiful. Nine weeks. This is really like a journey to get to right before this, what we're gonna get to soon about the body and really tapping into the body to unlock some really cool, magical stuff. But so, The three principles that I usually share with clients and anybody who will listen to me.

Number one, the mind lies. And I know you talk about this a lot.

Oh my God. Literally, I'm like, Listen, brain, whose side are you on today? Because I, I just don't like how I showed up in that interaction. Exactly. He's lying all day long. 

Totally. Yeah. Mind lies to protect us. Right. We're,

you've gotta love him for that.

Yeah. We're survivalists, right? Want to feel two tigers everywhere. . Exactly. Number one, the mind lies. Number two, the body doesn't. 

The body doesn't lie. I love that.

So you can see this in dis-ease, right? When the body is in dise, something will show up, An ache, a pain, inflammation. Um, that's why 70 more than 70% of our diseases are stress related.

Hmm. Dis-ease not at your body is not at ease. I love that. 

Right. So number one, the mind lies. Number two, the body doesn't. Yeah. Number three, because of number one and two, the body holds the key to unlocking your subconscious mind where 90% of your thoughts live. Mm. Okay, so wow. That's. Something to think about.

Just let it percolate. Cuz we're throwing a lot at you right now. Yeah. But what is a quick fix? Right? So back to the title of this entire podcast, right? We talked about the three top core values for high performing teams, right? The number one was psychological safety, and then it was purpose and vulnerability, right?

How do we create psychological safety from within? Mm. Right.


So we already know that your mind lies. Mm-hmm. So you can't really trust it. Yep. When it's like you or you know, have some feedback, your boss gives you some really like kind of harsh feedback. Feedback. Yeah. Yeah. And you're like, Oh my God, my boss hates me.

Oh my God, I'm gonna get fired. That's your mind. Yes. That's your mind. All right, so we tap into the body. Right? Because the body knows, and maybe you'll be feeling that heartbeat, like your heart's being

Some anxiety, maybe some anxiety. 

Anxiety for sure. Yeah. Maybe you, you feel it in this pit of your stomach, right?

You're bringing awareness, the a, a method awareness into that, right? Working on the acceptance piece, maybe you wanna like put a metaphor on your anxiety, right? Maybe it's a shape. What does that shape look like? Right. I usually, I love these questions of like what you were talking about Sarah. Right. Like what does that shape need from me?

Yeah. Right. Why are you here? Yes. and usually number three is an interesting one cuz it's like, who do you belong to? 

Mm. Right. So much of my voice belongs to my stepmother yeps voice. I'm dethroning right now. That's a great question. Whose voice is that? Yep. 


if it, I know you love this one, Sarah, because you know, if it doesn't serve you, it doesn't belong to you.

Nope. Right? So, So team, what Kyla's saying is, if a thought doesn't serve you, meaning that thought of, Oh my God, I'm gonna get fired. It's not serving you just because you had one conversation with your boss and your boss wants you to like completely redo the deck, that does not mean you're gonna get fired.

So that thought, because it doesn't serve you showing up being a badass at work, it doesn't belong to you, whose voice is that? So much of the work I'm doing right now is dethroning my stepmother's voice, that that would've been her voice. 

Yeah, totally. That's a great summary. Um, so when you are, that's the, that's the acknowledgement, the acceptance, Right.

Of the Triple A. You're accepting, Oh, wait a second. Like, it's not my voice. Right? Right. Not to say that we're like, you know, you know, "Oh, like let's blame others." It's not that kind of a situation. Right. It's just recognizing your patterns, right? 

Yes. Yeah. Like my stepmother did the best that she could. She had a very limited toolbox.

Yeah. I'm not gonna blame her. I'm going to be like, Well, I'm gonna unravel my subconscious mind with these thoughts that are on loop that I got from her.

Totally. Yeah. Exactly. And so if you find yourself still spinning in anxiety, like maybe you're having a, a panic attack. Right. Totally normal. 

Cause your brain thinks you're gonna get fired, so you, Right.

So you feel anxiety then what? 

Mm-hmm. Right? So then a really quick fix is, Uh, before we get into it, just wanna say that, you know, anxiety and depression, right? Like, they live in one hemisphere of your brain. Okay. So we just wanna balance it out using our body, the wisdom of our body, right? And it, and giving some distance, right?

Like we talked about the dissociation, right? Earlier. 

Yes. Yeah.

So all you gotta. You don't even have to walk around. Like, you don't even have to like leave your desk if you can't. If it's not convenient for you to leave your desk. Yeah. Right. All you gotta do is clap to the left. Clap to the right. Okay.

Doing it left right.

How long?

Left? Right until you feel.

Oh, and how long, I mean, like, you know, for the, I I'm sure I'm gonna get a bunch of questions like, how long can, like you, like you could feel better what, in five seconds? Five minutes?

Mm-hmm. Yeah, you could, you could feel better in like 10 of those.

1, 1, 2, Hmm. Two. Three, three. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , even counting helps. Mm. Focusing on the number. You're focusing on the sound. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And what's happening out happening is your body is balancing out from left to right the focus and bringing that out from the anxiety of your mind, bringing it back out. And it could be 10, it could be 20, could be 30, but it's pretty quick.

That's so awesome. Mm-hmm. . So I know you all, like when you feel anxiety at work, I know this from all of my clients. You go into freeze mode, you hop onto Instagram, you decide that the apartment needs cleaning, like all the things. What's great, Kyla, about what you're sharing is it's a way when you're in that really stuck emotion that's not gonna get you to be that badass at work, that you all wanna be blowing your mind.

Mm-hmm, is using this three step process to shift the feeling inside of your body from anxiety to what do you typically see people move to in this circumstance? 


Like the feeling of what kind of calm or ease or mm-hmm. . Yeah. And from that place of common ease, you know, then it's probably gonna be a little easier for you to go and work on that deck.

Right? Go work on that deliverable. Go. Give that presentation to the board, right? Yep, exactly. That's so great. Okay, so feel a difficult feeling that's gonna stop you from being a badass and blowing your own mind at work. Then just notice, create awareness of the feeling, like anxiety. Clap your hands together to the left, to the right.

You're balancing your mind out.


You're dissociating.


 Can be a couple seconds to a couple minutes. Mm-hmm. , and off you go. Mm-hmm. , off you go. GSDing. Blowing your own mind at work.

Yes, exactly.

I love it. All right, so how can, how can our listeners find you? Uh, it's a spelling test, . Oh, well we got a bunch of high achievers on this line, so.

Exactly. It's gonna be fine. I love it. Uh, it's, and we'll, we'll have all of this in the show notes and, and on the site, but Totally. It's just my first And what's website to you? 

On kylamitsunaga.com. 

Okay. And you're on LinkedIn? 

Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on Instagram and I'm on Facebook. Nice. Not on. Not on Twitter, although I have a Twitter account.

Okay. That's okay. So go find her on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook and you've got a 

really quick, easy tool to use all day, any day to blow your own mind at work. Okay. All right, girlfriend. Oh my God, this has been so much fun. Yeah. And it all started with a receipt. It did. Right. All right. Rock stars have.

Kyle, I thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your expertise around the mind and the body, and how to create psychological safety at work and then just blow your own mind. So this has been so amazing. I love you so much.

Thank you, Sarah. I love you more.

We're not gonna have a love you more competition.. All right, rock stars. Have a beautiful rest of your day and I will talk to you next week. Okay, Bye


If you're loving what you're learning in the podcast, you have to come and check out the Rockstar Program. It's my coaching program where we take these neuroscience based cognitive tools and we use them daily to break through burnout so you can fall passionately in love with your life and your career again.

So join me over at SarahMoody.com/rockstarprogram I would love to have you join me. You can also follow me @sarahmoody on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. I can't wait to see you.



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