Whenever elite fighter Hazel Gale entered the ring, she felt fear. Not just the rational fear of being knocked out. But something deeper as well. The fear that she didn’t deserve success, and that she would let everyone – especially herself – down.
Watch this interview on YouTube here https://youtu.be/1VDpu_KfZwk
On today’s episode #308 we will cover:
✔ The story of elite fighter, Hazel Gale, that took her from confident champion, to burnout.
✔ How she now helps others with what she discovered from her life’s journey.
✔ What is the research-based BETWIXT (story-based wellness app) and how does it help take us to new heights?
✔ Where can we ALL begin in our own personal “Journey of Our Mind?”
✔ How can we identify behaviors that self-sabotage our results?
✔ What are some common “monsters” and what can we learn from them to take us to new heights (personally and professionally).
✔ Where can we begin our own transformational journey of The Mind?
While others saw a confident world champion athlete, Hazel was plagued by anxiety, self-doubt and depression. It was these things – the monsters of her mind – that she felt were her most dangerous opponents, and she waged a war. It was that hard-fought internal battle that ultimately led her to burn out.
Now the founder of the story-based wellness app, Betwixt[i], Hazel is pioneering a new approach to digital mental health that she calls mindful entertainment. A sought-after London therapist, Hazel has created a revolutionary system for overcoming fear, underperformance, and self-sabotage.
There is never a good time to confront the monsters that hold us back, but if we truly want to be our best selves, our highest performing, it begins with a deep level of self-awareness that our next guest has discovered through her own journey of life experience, and now helps others to do the same in the most captivating and unique way, that I’ve ever seen.
Welcome back to The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, where we connect the science-based evidence behind social and emotional learning (that’s finally being taught in our schools today) and emotional intelligence training (used in our modern workplaces) for improved well-being, achievement, productivity and results—using what I saw as the missing link (since we weren’t taught this when we were growing up in school), the application of practical neuroscience. I’m Andrea Samadi, an author, and an educator with a passion for learning and launched this podcast 5 years ago with the goal of bringing ALL the leading experts together (in one place) to uncover the most current research that would back up how the brain learns best, taking us ALL to new, and often unimaginable heights.
For today’s episode #308, we will be speaking with Hazel Gale, she’s a former kickboxer and boxer with multiple World, European and National titles. Her outward success, however, had a dark side: the stress of competition and relentless self-doubt drove her into an emotional and physical burnout that led to years of chronic illness.
Hazel’s eventual recovery inspired her to qualify as a therapist and coach, and for over a decade she worked with high-level athletes, business executives and others as a master practitioner of cognitive hypnotherapy – an evidence-based approach that combines elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and traditional hypnotherapy with theories of modern neuroscience.
Hazel’s 2018 book “The Mind Monster Solution” was published internationally and became an Amazon bestseller in both mental health and psychology.
Currently, Hazel is the co-founder and the chief creative officer of Betwixt – an award-winning app that blends psychology with interactive storytelling to make wellness feel like an adventure instead of a chore. I downloaded this app, and was blown away with what she has created here. If you want to learn more about who you are, at the deepest levels, I highly recommend this app. I downloaded it for free, and was able to go through the first interactive story, and experience the app, before deciding to purchase it. You can continue your journey for free, or for $19.49 you gain lifetime access. I did purchase the app, as I liked what I saw, and am curious what else I will learn from Hazel’s “Journey of her Mind.”
So How Did I Meet this Inspiring Author, World Class Athlete and Wellness App Creator?
When I was introduced to Hazel, I was drawn to learn more from her story from the mental resilience side of her work. While we know that mental resilience is critical in the sports world, it’s equally as important in most people’s day to day life. Mental resilience is as crucial to my day as brushing my teeth, and when I’m struck with difficult situations, I feel like I have a lot of tools available already to me, just from hosting this podcast. We were introduced to the Fisher Wallace[ii] brain stimulator that was once our most listened to episode, that helps keep anxiety at bay, while also improving sleep. I’m clear about the benefits of daily exercise to combat stress, improve a student’s academic achievement and help keep our focus in the workplace from our interview with Dr. Ratey and his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain[iii]. I’ve bought myself a Whoop device when I turned 50 to measure and track my sleep and recovery for our interview with Whoop’s VP of Performance Science, Kristen Holmes[iv], I’ve got a clear understanding of how to eat the right foods, and nourish my gut-brain axis after our recent interview with Neurohacker’s Dr. Kelly[v], and a few episodes where we’ve looked at building our mental resiliency with Horacio Sanchez[vi].
We’ve built a great list of tools and resources that go deep into combatting stress, as this has been one our main focal points for improving productivity in our schools, sports environments and modern workplaces. While we did meet with Erika Ferszt and discussed work burnout, on EP 198[vii], but what were we missing I wondered when I saw her work?
Here’s what it was: I’ve never met with a world class athlete who had to rebuild themselves and overcome the physical and emotional burnout that led her body to break down in the first place. What she has done to rebuild herself shows the high level of mental and physical strength that she holds within herself, that can help anyone who needs to find a new pathway in life, towards health and wellness, with her model. She is the real deal. I only wish we could be in the same room with her for this interview, because she’s has some talents that she knows she has, that have taken her years to develop, but these talents are what she will help us all bring out in ourselves.
I do have some questions for Hazel, that I’d like to know myself around building up my own mental strength, and I hope you find this interview helpful with Hazel’s high level of understanding of what’s needed to create the mental mindset needed at the highest level of sport that we can transfer into our own personal life experience for heightened success. I know that this is just the beginning of the journey, but am grateful to have this chance to open up the doorway of possibility that maybe we could ALL be much more than we are today.
Let’s meet this elite world class athlete, Hazel Gale, and see what we can learn from her story that takes us from confident champion, to burnout, and see how we can all rebuild ourselves from the inside out.
Welcome Hazel Gale, thank you for joining us on the podcast today. Where exactly are you located in the UK?
Intro Q: Before creating your questions for today, I listened to the podcast episode you did with The Mind Muscle Project[viii] and at the end of this episode, you had me thinking about your book, (that we will get to) and what my monsters are (or subconscious programs that hold me back). I had no idea that I would be thinking and writing notes, and talking over with my husband about “who” I really am because I’ve been on this quest for over 25 years. Before we talk about this launching point–which is what I want us to uncover at the end, can you begin with an overview of your life, and what happened to get you to where you are today, with the focus on this story-based wellness app that you’ve created?
Q1: I have over 13 pages of notes from that podcast episode we mentioned. It’s all about your life’s journey. We all have a life and a journey, and it really is neat to connect all the dots as we look back, and think “Oh wow, if I didn’t do that, I’d never have ended up here!” Looking back now, what were some of those pivotal moments for you? What would you say would be that first AHA moment of “this is where it all began for you?”
Q2: While this was a “Moment of Truth” for you, when you fell in love with kickboxing, and it might have been the beginning, looking back now, and seeing where this moment took you, and how have you designed your app to help others to pause, think, and understand about their own personal “moments of truth” isn’t life an incredible journey? Your story is especially inspiring to share.
Q2B: How did you tie the most current research into your app?
Q3: Your love of kickboxing was almost the end of you. While I’m not a pro athlete I completely understood your need to train and the strength you received from it. My Whoop device measured me at Too Much Strain, Not Enough Sleep for a good year before I stopped overtraining. I’m sure I could dive deep into that part of me, (that I connect to with you) and maybe others who connect with your story, it’s a good place to look at. At what point did you REALLY understand the MIND, the importance of looking at the stuff that underneath the surface with the iceberg analogy, getting closer to the truth of who we really are, and then uncovering this with your app?
(STORY 1: The In-Between: The Ice World, Exploring the Change You Want to See, STORY 2: The Game of Trust: Exploring the Things You Love, Appreciate and Value, STORY 3: The Power of Flaw: Your Journey Awaits).
Q3B: Where does hypnotherapy come in for you to digging deeper into the depths of our mind?
Q4: What inspired you to write The Mind Monster Solution: How to Overcome Self-Sabotage and Reclaim Your Life[ix] I wondered want it is that you’d like to open up for others with your book and life’s journey?
Q5: As we are all thinking about our purpose in life, and using our strengths, and getting through difficult times, I think that a lot of this we’ve got to discover on our own? I was listening to a recent podcast episode of Dr. Andrew Huberman[x], on self-awareness it’s tied to our mental health, and I rarely sit down and actively think “hey, that thing that happened yesterday made me defensive” and then sit down and get to the root of it before I do anything else in my day. This rarely happens unless I’m about to interview someone like you, who has made me think a bit deeper than usual. What’s so important about knowing the Monsters in Our Mind that hold us back, and becoming more self-aware in this process? What are some common monsters?
Q6: This is the same question again, just asked after I saw the artwork you have at https://www.mindmonsters.online/ and I was trying to figure out mine, or what I would draw and it wasn’t that easy. How can we figure out quickly what our monsters are, so we can draw them out, know them, and become more self-aware in this process to create change?
Q7: You said something about that if “I am the common denominator” and I keep having this issue, then there MUST be something about ME here that I’ve got to understand. I think this would be an incredible book to write…The Common Denominator of Me or something. How do we bring these things to surface so we can “see” them, and create change?
Q8: What superpowers do you think you’ve developed from understanding yourself (listening to your body) at this deep level?
I recognized one of your talents, and it had to do with being able to read someone who was sitting in front you. What goes on inside us, shows up loud and clear on the outside. I have this superpower as well. Put me in front of anyone and I can “feel” what they really are thinking.,
Q9: I absolutely LOVED your Betwixt App for mental health. I downloaded the app, and did “The In-Between” The Ice World, and for someone who moved from Toronto to AZ over 22 years ago, because I can’t handle snow/ice or the cold. The app brought back the memories of the cold for me, in a way that made me wonder…what about the cold weather drives me bananas? What should we be paying attention to with this app? Who is the narrator supposed to be? They say “you humans fascinate me” Who is talking to me? How is this app designed to help us to grow/improve/change?
Q9B: I know there is research behind the stories. Can you explain this?
Q10: Is there anything important that I’ve missed? I wanted to have us end this interview with a deeper level of self-awareness, or at least some steps to get there.
Hazel, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me, and sharing your fascinating story of rebuilding yourself from the inside out, with our audience. I knew there was a lot for me to learn from you, when I heard your interview, and story of strength where you rebuilt yourself, and now help others do the same, I really wanted to meet you. If people want to reach you, what’s the best way? Other than downloading the app, are there other services you offer?
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
When I said “may the journey of our minds begin” I really meant it. This is really important work that we are covering here on the podcast. If we truly want to be improved versions of ourselves, it begins by looking within, finding our truths, learning, changing and growing. These types of changes don’t happen overnight.
Look at how Hazel had to learn about who she was at the very core with years of thought and introspection, and then she created the BETWIXT app to help others to do the same.
This is where it all begins. I am going to take some time to go through the APP, thinking about my own Journey of the Mind, and we will have Hazel back on the podcast to discuss what I learn, on a future episode.
Until then, as you listen to this episode, I hope that you started to think:
- Who are you?
- How can you be an improved version of yourself?
- What are your monsters that could possibly lead you to self-sabotage?
- Could you possibly MAKE A CHANGE to change your own life?
These are difficult questions. Like we noticed, it took Hazel years to uncover the answers for herself.
I noticed my WHOOP device saying “hey, you aren’t getting enough sleep, and your strain is too high” before I thought “maybe I should do something differently.” It’s pretty obvious now looking back I needed to create more balance with my daily activities, but I missed the daily message until I noticed my feet and legs were hurting, prompting me to make some changes.
I hope this episode has made you think more about who you are, in a deeper way than you would usually think, with some possible ways that you could me MORE than you are today for yourself and others.
And with that thought, I’ll see you next week with some NEW ideas to take our results to new heights.
CONNECT WITH HAZEL GALE
Buy Hazel’s Book on AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Hazel-Gale/dp/147366246X/ref=sr_1_1?hvadid=604569085381&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9030091&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=17706718117481243741&hvtargid=kwd-757439751793&hydadcr=25775_13483905&keywords=the+mind+monster+solution&qid=1696379192&sr=8-1
Download the Betwixt App https://www.betwixt.life/
[ii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE on “My Personal Review of the Fisher Wallace Brain Stimulator” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/update-one-year-later-on-my-personal-review-of-the-fisher-wallace-wearable-sleep-device-for-anxiety-depression-and-sleep-management/
[iii]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #116 with Dr. John Ratey https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/best-selling-author-john-j-ratey-md-on-the-revolutionary-new-science-of-exercise-and-the-brain/
[iv]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #134 with Kristen Holmes VP of Performance Science from Whoop.com https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/kristen-holmes-from-whoopcom-on-unlocking-a-better-you-measuring-sleep-recovery-and-strain/
[v]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #305 with Dr. Gregory Kelly https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/returning-guest-dr-gregory-kelly-on-qualia-synbiotic-optimizing-digestion-and-mood-with-prebiotics-probiotics-and-postbiotics/
[vi]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #111 with Horacio Sanchez https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/resiliency-expert-and-author-horacio-sanchez-on-finding-solutions-to-the-poverty-problem/
[vii]Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast EPISODE #198 with Erika Ferszt on Preventing Workplace Burnout https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/mood-and-stress-expert-erika-ferszt-on-using-your-brain-to-prevent-workplace-burnout/
[viii] The Mind Muscle Podcast with Hazel Gale https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/mind-muscle-project/930-tbt-hazel-gale-this-Uj-8PwxDV07/