Interview with award winning speaker and teacher Dr. Lynn M. List
Dr. Lynn M. List is an inspired author, award-winning speaker and teacher, a recognized leader and a personal coach. She was voted the 2009 inspirational Leader of the Year by the Christian Woman’ Small business Association in San Antonio, Texas. She currently speaks and teaches God’s word in churches, businesses, government agencies and community centers. We have conducted an interview with her.
What inspired you to write this book "Changing Your Life by Changing Your Mind: The Power of Expectation"?
I’d have to say, my life inspired me to write this book: specifically the struggles in my life and how they warped my thinking. I was born into a poor family in upstate New York. My dad had been a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. He was 17 years old when he was taken in the prime of his life. He never saw his family after that day. He did not know how to show love or affection. He never once told me he loved me. My mom became an alcoholic after the death of her firstborn. I was physically and emotionally abused during my childhood. Through those experiences, I learned and believed that I wasn’t lovable or valuable. I responded accordingly and my life was miserable. I didn’t meet Christ or know God until I was 19 and away from home in the United States Air Force. You’d think after meeting Jesus, suddenly my life was perfect, but that was not the case, at all. Meeting Jesus made me want to be better. I wanted the abundant life promised to believers. Jesus took me on a journey of change: carefully managed and tenderly orchestrated change from the inside out. The most profound change, of course was the change in thought and belief. If God was supposed to be my father, I didn’t want much to do with him. My experience with my father tainted my view of God. I wanted to know God but I was afraid. I wanted to change. I tried to “be good” but knew I couldn’t sustain it. I wanted God to love me and help me. When I made a mistake, I waited to be punished. The normal ebbs and flows of life were misinterpreted by me as God either being happy or angry with me. What I’ve written in “Changing your Life by Changing your Mind: The Power of Expectation”, is what I learned over twenty years of tears, struggles and breaking free of wrong thinking. How could any decent person keep that breakthrough a secret. I had to write “Changing you Life by Changing your Mind: The Power of Expectation “ or I would have exploded!
How do you keep the people you coach to feel motivated every day? What is your personal strategy to cope with their expectations of you?
Sometimes it is challenging especially if someone, other than the person them-self, thinks he or she needs to change. Sometimes people come to me and start by saying “ My mom” or “my husband” etc. think I need to change. It isn’t until the person them-self realizes that they need to change and can change. It is that commitment that motivates them internally. Only they can change themselves. I have found when I work with people close to me (family and friends), I run into difficulty. They often project there feelings on me and take out their emotions on me. This prevents them from taking 100 percent responsibility for their own journey which is necessary for success. I do have my clients sign a commitment contract.
I stay connected to my clients. We communicate daily. We focus on the good. We pray. They know they are not alone. My basic strategy is to be invisible as they find the answers they already know. One of my mantras is “let your past make you better not bitter.” I say, I’m a life coach because people understand what that means, but I am really a facilitator, teacher and change agent. Some people walk away from me in anger but, they always come back, when they are ready.
How powerful do you think your role is with this ability to change people's mind about their key beliefs?
I think what I do, anyone can do. (That may be the next branch to my ministry, teach others to do what I do.) I think people find their own key beliefs. Their beliefs are deep inside them overcome by the noises of life. Sometimes people reject their beliefs because of fear: fear of loosing friends, fear of being alone, fear of how people view them, fear of being like their parents, or fear of hard work. You get the picture.
I am a facilitator. Being a facilitator is a difficult role. You don’t preach, you don’t judge, you only speak at well-timed, well-thought-out intervals. Each person already knows the answer; it is deep inside them. I just facilitate bringing it into the light. My encounter with Jack Canfield while attending his Facilitation Skills seminar honed my skills as a facilitator while guiding me through my first breakthrough, forgiving my father. Once I understood what my father had been through in a Nazi work camp, I understood he did the best he could with the resources he had. I was led through that by a facilitator during my training. I worked through many other issues after that. After forgiving my father, I had to forgive my mother for not being there. I had to forgive myself and I had to forgive God. I even came to the place of being able to forgive the man who raped me!
People either want to change or not. They either want their lives better or they want to be a miserable martyr. It’s a choice to change your mind. I always say,” Change your mind and your life will follow.”
I am also a very spiritual person and often people are brought to me by what I call “divine intervention.” For example, I’ll be seated with someone I don’t know at a dinner party or event and they’ll suddenly pour their heart out to me about their pending divorce. We talk and have two or three encounters. A few hours, days or weeks later, they are on their road to restoration. We may never speak again after that. Recently, while traveling in Colorado, my husband, his military brother and I stopped at the Rusty Shovel on Taco Tuesday and met a young lady, Lisa, who opened with “I was just praying about…” She needed a few words of encouragement. She needed to see herself as God saw her not as other people saw her. I hope we meet again. My life’s mission is to help other people heal their pasts and move forward better.
Recently, I completed treatment for breast cancer. I had chemotherapy and multiple surgeries and am still on oral medication to keep the cancer from returning. The old me would be thinking “why is God punishing me?” The changed me says, “ Praise God I am where I am; a strong mountain, able to thrive during a difficult situation.” Bad things happen to good people and not so good people all the time. The only power we have is how we react. What we think, what we believe and what we say out loud determines our outcome. If we keep thinking what we’ve always thought, well keep getting what we’ve always got!
Which are the 2 most common myths and/or misconceptions about your expertise that you wish to dispel?
People assume I’m a counselor! I am not! Let’s dispel that myth right now. My experience is my life. I am a trained facilitator, teacher, leader and speaker. My doctorate is in Educational Leadership. My dissertation was on “the Self-fulfilling Prophecy” –another named for the Power of Expectation. My research is discussed in “Changing your Life by Changing your Mind: The Power of Expectation”. I examine science, spiritualism and Christian beliefs and where they intersect with each other. Yes, I am a Christian but what’s in the book applies to everyone. It is truth, plain and simple!
People also assume I’m a guru who is full of magic spells and rituals. They assume if they do everything I say just right, the spell will be cast and everything will be perfect. There is no magic about what I teach or discuss. People say, “I meditated and read my affirmations everyday this week and I still feel lousy.” It’s not magic; it’s not a ritual; it’s not a formula; it’s a custom plan to facilitate you to get better…to change your wrong thinking and replace it with right thinking. It really isn’t “hard-work” either, it is letting go; a release from having to be right, do right, act right or feeling false guilt for not doing right or being bitter about your past wrongs…it really is simply changing your mind.
What is your least favorite topic to speak in public?
I’m very comfortable speaking about almost anything as long as I have the facts. I taught in the military for years. I taught some very dry topics and some more exciting ones. I don’t like to teach or speak on forced topics. A business with an agenda or a church raising money for a building are forced topics. I love to talk about things I am prompted to talk about by the Holy Spirit. I love open-ended invitations. I believe those are the best events or conversations! One of my most fun topics is called “Be a Kid.” I was asked to speak to the Christian Women’s Small Business Association in San Antonio Texas, and simply asked to help motivate these beautiful entrepreneurs. Through prayer and study, “ Be a Kid,” was developed. I have a chapter devoted to it in “Changing your Life by Changing your Mind: The Power of Expectation” but there is so much more on that topic; enough information to write an entire book by itself. The event is interactive; everyone has fun and best of all everyone has an”aha” moment. The event was so much fun for me to do and it was right on target for what those sweet ladies needed, at the time. “Be a Kid” is now one of my most popular events and the Christian Women’s Small Business Association voted me “Inspirational Leader of the Year” in 2009.
I love teaching my Visualization and Affirmations Workshop and my Ask, Ask, Ask Seminar. My favorite is custom workshops on similar topics.
Where can people reach you for future engagements and your book(s)?
You can find me and contact me at www.drlynnlist.com and @drlynnlist on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter and Lynn M. List on LinkedIn. YouTube has video exerts of some events, workshops and classes. Check them out.
The book “Changing your Life by Changing your Mind: The Power of Expectation” is available on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and direct from the publisher.