Today on the podcast:

Paul Scanlon has trained and mentored people for over 30 years as a keynote speaker all over the world. After three decades in the not-for-profit sector, Paul has successfully transitioned and reinvented himself as an educator through both his LIVE and online Masterclass events in Communication, Leadership, and Personal Development.

Paul’s three strands of focus are: Communication, Leadership, and Human Flourishing. His hallmark is making complex things simple. Paul passionately believes it’s more important to grow people than things.

He believes that there’s greatness in everyone and knows that most need the help of a well-chosen coach or mentor to discover it.

He is also the host of the podcast Growing Big People with Paul Scanlon. This was a fantastic conversation and one I am very grateful for having. Although Paul’s microphone quality isn’t as high as other podcast guests, the value he speaks more than makes up for it. This was a mini therapy session for me so I hope you get as much from it as I did.

Episode Outline

  • 06:15 Paul’s backstory and how he got into the not-for-profit sector
  • 08:12 How labels can become our identities and how to watch out for that in your own life
  • 11:23 How to change your and upgrade your identity through repetition
  • 15:03 How to step away from an egoic identity
  • 20:00 What Paul wishes he knew in his 20s and 30s that he knows now
  • 24:30 The dangers of social media on the ego
  • 27:39 How to develop “getting back up skills” when life knocks you down
  • 33:58 The super power of reframing
  • 39:15 The art of unlearning beliefs, habits, and behaviours that are no longer serving you
  • 47:17 Why it’s okay to outgrow people
  • 54:35 The one Instagram post that Paul would want everybody to see

Key Points

  • One of the big traps people fall into, especially with the political and cultural climate nowadays, is boxing themselves into a certain identity, or what Paul calls “labels”. By labeling yourself solely by your sex, race, political affiliation, or religion, you adopt the “ghetto mentality” and limit your potential to grow and connect with people around you. Avoid imprisoning yourself in an echo chamber and open your mind to all that the world offers.
  • Social media has normalized our natural human tendencies to focus on the “highlight reels” of those we admire. This has created a generation of people who lack “getting-back-up” skills. Paul encourages us to read stories of great people and pay attention more to how they recover from setbacks than to the glitz and glamour of success that only comes after endless trials and hardships.
  • It’s so hard to let go of beliefs, habits, and behaviours that are no longer serving us because 1) we don’t know what to replace it with, and 2) we often learn these things via people we respect like our parents, and we fear upsetting that person by changing. It’s okay to outgrow people. In fact, almost every new version of you that emerges involves leaving someone behind.

Powerful Quotes by Paul

  • Most of us are living an egoic identity. […] Labels are for packages, not for people.
  • Sometimes we need a crisis to serve as a wake-up call for us to change.
  • The drive to gain and to have and to become is the ego. And the part of you that doesn’t want to do any of that—the healthy part of you—is the soul. The ego is battling to keep that suppressed.
  • Falling down and crashing and burning is going to happen; but it’s less fearful when you have good getting-back-up skills.
  • Pain loves company.
  • Unlearning is the most underestimated part of learning.
  • Why the hell do people make complex things more complex?

Guest Info

Paul Scanlon

Following 30+ years working in the not for profit sector Paul has transitioned into a season of empowering and building people through his signature events, mentoring and courses on communication, leadership and personal development.

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