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Self-Esteem and Leadership with Randy Haveson

Jun 11, 2020

Join me along with my special guest Randy Haveson, author of "The Ego Cleanse: Becoming Your Own Best Friend." We will be talking about ways to build healthy self-esteem, the destructive impact of low self-esteem, and how both impact our ability to create positive change.



Mendhi Audlin: (00:00)
Hi everybody. It is Mendhi Audlin live with you this evening for the first of many special events. This event is made even more special because of our guest today, who I am so excited to introduce to our "What If" UP family. Actually, the truth is, my friend Randy Haveson is no stranger to the "What If" UP process. He is actually in my personal mastermind group and we "What If" UP together every year when we come together. Randy is a phenomenal author and speaker. He talks about lots of different topics, but one really felt like a good fit for where we are this month with our, "What If" UP community. We are focused on personal growth and personal development and Randy has a book called "The Ego Cleanse." Randy, first of all, welcome, and thank you so much for being here.

Randy Haveson: (00:56)
Mendhi, thank you so much. I'm honored to be here and your first guest, I'm a little verklempt.

Mendhi Audlin: (01:03)
Well, I'm super excited to have you here. Just to begin, I want to share with our community who you are and why this work means so much to you. So, if you could, take a minute to share your story, where you came from and why this topic of self esteem is so important to you.

Randy Haveson: (01:23)
Okay. I grew up in an amazing family that everybody thinks that they want. We lived in nice houses, took great vacations, went to private schools, the whole thing. But while everything was wonderful on the outside, on the inside, I was dying. I had no idea who I was, where I fit, what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to be. I just was always paralyzed with fear. When I was in my teens, I started like many teens...not all, but many... experimenting with alcohol and other drugs and ended up finding marijuana. Then I found cocaine and my life just took off into another realm. I started using more and more. All of a sudden, my grades were going up and I was doing better in sports and things were actually improving in my life. I thought, wow, I really found something that makes me feel okay.

Randy Haveson: (02:15)
When I got to college, it started to get a little out of control. Then I dropped out. My first year, I went back home because I was pretty much on academic suspension and wasn't doing real well. Then the drug use just was spiraling out of control to the point where in 1984, I was sitting on the edge of my bed with a knife in my hand, debating, which wrist to slice open first. So that was my bottom.

Randy Haveson: (02:41)
I ended up turning my life around and I found an amazing therapist. I found a support group through the 12-step program that really helped me to find myself. Through the steps and the work with my sponsor and work with my therapist,I realized that while everything on the outside was going well, on the inside, I really felt disconnected. The drugs took me away and I didn't have to think of it and I didn't have to deal with it, but all of a sudden the drugs were gone and I had to deal with me.

Randy Haveson: (03:11)
I started that journey and I started watching people that were relapsing and wondering, why am I not relapsing? I realized that I was starting to feel better about who I was and where I fit in the world. I ended up going back to college. I ended up getting my bachelor's degree and then went on to get a master's degree. I started realizing that I could do whatever I set my mind to doing as long as I got out of my own way. I realized that just because what was going on on the outside seemed to be wonderful, on the inside it wasn't. There was a disconnect.

Randy Haveson: (03:44)
I remember this so clearly. One day I'm sitting at home. I'm watching TV and a commercial came on that said, "Do you want to feel better about who you are and raise your self esteem? Buy our product! You're going to feel better about yourself and you're going to be the person that you've always wanted to be." I thought, "Wait a minute. My self esteem depends on how many follicles I have on my head?" That just sounded totally ridiculous.

Randy Haveson: (04:08)
I realized that our society is selling us this lie: that if we're the right number on a scale, if we look a certain way, if we have the right GPA, make enough money, have the right kind of shoes or the right label on the back of our shirt that that gives us worth. I know that's not true. Society is selling us this image, that ego and self esteem are the same thing. What we have is who we are. What I came to realize is they're not connected. They're actually on opposite ends of a continuum. When we focus on those outside things that we think we are, we lose touch with who we actually are on the inside.

Randy Haveson: (04:49)
So I started to develop this theory about ego and self esteem and how they relate to each other and how to build self esteem and let go of ego. It became a presentation, and over the years it kept evolving and changing. A lot of my work was done in the substance abuse education field, but lately it's become so apparent with everything going on that I want to focus on self esteem because I realized that if we can help people raise self-esteem, then we take care of the symptoms of low self esteem and big ego, which is drug abuse, eating disorders, domestic violence, you know, all of these symptoms that are happening out in our communities. At the root of all of them is low self esteem.

Randy Haveson: (05:38)
That's why my mission now is: to bring people to this new awareness of the difference between the two and give people the tools they need to build a more solid sense of self esteem and let go of ego. So I wrote my book with the help of a ghost writer because I am severely ADD and to sit down and write a book was very difficult. I've learned that it's okay to ask for help. The book is written and I'm about to launch my new workshop and life is pretty awesome. It's because today I have self esteem and I know that difference. So now, I want to help others to get theirs.

Mendhi Audlin: (06:15)
I love it. So, Randy, you talked about the signs and the symptoms of low self esteem. I'll speak for myself... I feel like I've come a long way in the journey. Most of the time I feel pretty confident and self assured, but sometimes I'll find myself in a situation... For example, the first year I was in our mastermind with all of these amazing speakers and bestselling authors and this incredible group of people that came together, suddenly all my confidence kind of went flat. I thought I was doing pretty good on the self esteem journey, but in certain contexts, all those insecurities popped up. So what are some of those telltale signs that let us know, okay, in this area, there's still some work to be done? And then how do we create this shift?

Randy Haveson: (07:06)
Perfect. Number one, there is no such thing as perfect self-esteem. We all have our days of being more ego, more self esteem. What you just defined is a perfect example of when we compare ourselves with other people, we always see them as being more than us. So we feel less than which is a total ego thing. That is ego shining saying, "I'm not good enough. I'm not like them. I'm not as successful as, he makes this amount. I'm only making this amount. So am I really allowed to be in the same conversation?"

Randy Haveson: (07:45)
The answer is, of course, is that it's not about how much money they make and you absolutely earn your seat. There you are amazing. I think about where you came from, and I've known you a very long time and I am so proud of where you are now and what you're accomplishing. It's like, you were wondering where you wanted to fit and all of a sudden it's like, you've found it and you just went BOOM! It's been awesome. I mean, talk about someone who's walking the walk. This lady right here is just phenomenal.

Mendhi Audlin: (08:18)
Well, you know, I love you dearly. I also know that being around positive, supportive people is really important. It's a great way to lift our self esteem. Obviously, we don't rely on outer stimulus, but if we're challenging ourselves to experience what it is like to see ourselves in a new way. It's like what we create here, in our work with "What If" UP and with your work with Ego Cleanse. They work well together to uplift.

Mendhi Audlin (08:48)
If we don't do that, what are some of the hidden costs? What are some of the things that that show up in our life? What happens to us when we are, living from low self esteem? Or when we are leading from low self esteem? Whether we're leading a family or leading a business or leading a community, what happens when that leadership is coming from that space of not being healthy in terms of self esteem?

Randy Haveson: (09:22)
Ah, there's a lot of chaos. Communication is poor. The leaders at the top feel like they need to really be in control and they aren't able to give autonomy to other people. You know, one of the things, when I ran a business for a few years, it was like, hey, I want your ideas. I want you to tell me if you think I made a mistake or if I'm going in the wrong direction, you know, let me know, because we are all equals in this room. We all have the same vote. I remember we were talking about something that I was putting out one idea, they were putting out another idea. And I said, "Let's vote." And they said, "Wait, what about you? I mean, you're the CEO, isn't it just your choice?" I'm like, "No, what's the vote?" And it came out four to three against what I wanted to do.

Randy Haveson: (10:04)
I said, "Okay, well, we're going to do what you guys want to do." They were just blown away. So a true self esteem organization, everybody feels like they're a part of it. The ego states, "The person at the top is in charge. They're controlling things. They want it done their way. They don't like criticism at all. That is a blow to their ego ." People high in self esteem, you can criticize,. You can say, "Oh my God, I don't really like that shirt that you're wearing." It's like, "Okay, well, I'm sorry, you don't like my shirt, but it's not about the shirt." It's allowing, you know. Having a self esteem -induced environment encourages more growth and just an easier stress-free environment. When there's ego, it's just chaos and stressful. People are sick more often. They don't show up on time. They want to leave early. They're not invested as much. So those are the kinds of things that happen when it's an ego based environment.

Mendhi Audlin: (11:07)
I want to do a shout out to those who are watching live and thank you so much for joining. So if you want to, leave a comment. There's one that we've gotten from one of our friends on Facebook. "I'm glad that my self esteem does not it depend on the amount of hair follicles!"

Randy Haveson: (11:23)
Exactly. That's awesome.

Mendhi Audlin: (11:26)
Yeah. Thanks for sharing your comments and posting them for us to share with our community This is designed to be a forum for you, as well as an opportunity to learn and to grow and to think about things in a new way. You know, obviously, 2020 has been very interesting year to put it lightly. So let's talk a little bit about that. Where we can go from here. For me, these past few weeks with all of the protests and "Black Lives Matter" and all the things happening in the world has been an excellent opportunity to get educated. It's been about looking for blind spots. I've been looking at: Where am I a part of this? I think my challenge that I have been finding... and I'd love your advice on this... Is how do I own those blind spots and own the things that I've done in the past without coming from a place of guilt and shame? How do I forgive myself for what I couldn't see before?

Mendhi Audlin: (12:35)
Let me just start with that. How do we forgive ourselves... Whatever the subject may be... When we recognize that, "Hey, I didn't see that before. I see it now, and I feel like crap. I didn't see it before." How can we shift that? How can we learn and grow from our mistakes and do it in a context where our self esteem is intact and healthy?

Randy Haveson: (12:59)
Yeah. Great question. The first thing is to realize it's important to forgive yourself. You weren't intentionally doing anything wrong. It's not like you were doing something intending and then realizing, Ooh, maybe I shouldn't do that anymore. It's like, wow. I had no idea that that was damaging in any way. So by being open and being willing to do things different, that's the first step and the forgiving yourself comes from, you know, would you forgive your best friend? You know, I talk a lot about becoming your own best friend. If your best friend one day said, Wow, I realized that some of the things that I'm doing, might've been pretty damaging and I want to do them different. Would you say to your best friend, "Oh my God, I can't believe you were doing that. How dare you?" Right? Why do we give ourselves such a hard time?

Randy Haveson: (13:49)
I realized you have to say, okay, what are my blind spots? And then I realized, wait a minute, they are blind spots. I don't know. So my task right now is to just be open, to listen to feedback when I have opportunities. What are some of the other things that I can do in order to be a part of the solution? I feel like Emma, part of the solution, I want to do more. So I'm just open to it. We can't beat ourselves. Well, we can, but we can choose not to beat ourselves up over blind spots because they're just that. But being willing to make a change, being willing to be open to new things, that's where the esteem comes in.

Mendhi Audlin: (14:33)
So now let's take that and extrapolate from that. As we step into healthy self esteem, as we forgive ourselves and move forward with a vision of what we can create from here, what is the potential impact of that? So when people can move into healthy self esteem, now what happens?

Randy Haveson: (14:55)
Oh, wouldn't it be great if we had a more self esteem based community rather than ego based?

Mendhi Audlin: (15:03)
What if!

Randy Haveson: (15:04)
When it comes to the impact of a leader with healthy self esteem, is that the people around you feel more empowered. They're happier. They want to come to work. They go from, "I have to go to work" to, "I want to go to work. I get to go to work." It's an environment where people get to play and be themselves. They don't feel shut off that they can express themselves in any way that they want to. So the organization, I believe when organizations and businesses grasp this concept, bottom line, they're going to have more profits. They're going to have happier employees who want to be there. You're going to have to make them take vacations because they feel like coming to work is more of a vacation. So the impact is felt, and then they go home and they're happier and they're less stressed and they don't take things out on their families.

Randy Haveson: (15:53)
So that's another part of it too. It becomes pervasive in our community. And that's why right now ego is so pervasive. We have some great examples right now of that difference between ego and self esteem. The protests are based in self esteem. Hey, we need to make this change. Things aren't right. And the riots are about ego. "I'm going to use this and take advantage of it. I'm going to get what I want. This is about me.' So one of the things I just did, I developed a tee shirt. Actually, this thing came to me about "we" over "me".

Randy Haveson: (16:27)
You know, that's what I want the focus to be. "We" is about self-esteem. What can I do to make our community and my family and our lives better? "Me" is about what do I need to do? It's all about ego and bettering my life. What about me? So the "we" over "me" is a movement. Because we're seeing unbelievable examples: Wearing a mask versus not wearing a mask. I wear a mask because when I'm out in public, because I care about you and I don't want you getting sick just in case I'm asymptomatic. So the self esteem says, I'm going to take care of the people around me and wear a mask. Ego says, "You can't tell me what to do." Total ego. So we have great examples out there of the difference in the dichotomy between these two. My whole goal here is to bring people to this new awareness and help them to see that, wow, there's some simple things that I can do in order to start raising my self esteem, feeling better about who I am and where I fit in the world.

Mendhi Audlin: (17:27)
Yeah. I love it. Andi is here. She says "trickle down culture." It does. It does infiltrate into the culture. So thanks Andi, for sharing your comments. As you're watching, if you have questions for Randy, please just post them in the comments and we'll do some some Q&A here.

Randy Haveson: (17:47)
I guess with the theme of this program, we want this to trickle UP!

Mendhi Audlin: (17:53)
Oh yeah!

Randy Haveson: (17:54)
It's grass roots. It's like, let's raise this level of self esteem. You know, I love your, What If UP thinking. Because people get caught in the what ifs... "What if this happens? What if that happens?" But you know, I remember the first year at the mastermind, when we did that What If UP process. I was talking about writing my book. I left feeling like I could take on Superman. I mean, that session was so powerful. That was my biggest takeaway from that first year

Mendhi Audlin: (18:23)
You showed up the next year and you gave us all your book!

Randy Haveson: (18:28)
I said that I was going to do that. I said, "Next year, I'm showing up, I'm bringing everybody a book."

Mendhi Audlin: (18:32)
Yeah. That's how it works. I love that. As a leader, that the energy that we put out there, it does trickle down. But also, I think the leader doesn't have to be the person at the top. Right? That's sort of the ego-driven model. But if we could all lead from within, what if we could get teams that were onboard with the mission, with the vision and here's where we're going and we all get to step into it? Then it can trickle up and it can trickle out and it can make a huge difference. What is your vision? Randy, if you were to paint a picture of what a world looks like with healthy self esteem? Paint a picture for us.

Randy Haveson: (19:13)
It would be like being at Disney world all the time.

Mendhi Audlin: (19:17)
If you know Randy, that's a big deal.

Randy Haveson: (19:20)
Oh yeah. That's why I moved to Orlando. What it would look like? People would be more considerate and polite to each other. There'd be more respect. I feel like respect starts with self. Once we really know how to respect ourselves, then we can truly have respect for others. We would have less violence. We would have no violence because violence is an ego thing. You know, being angry is self-esteem, Hey, I'm angry about this. This is a violation of my boundaries. I'm not comfortable with this. I need to tell the person, but violence is acting on that anger, which is an ego thing. I need to be better than you. I need to beat you. With self esteem, we're all equal. There's no one better or worse than anybody else. We're all on the same plane. A world with self esteem means that we're all free to be exactly who we are without fear that we're going to be criticized, put down, "Oh, you're wearing that?' or, "Oh my God, did you see that haircut? What color is that hair?" You know, we just accept each other for being who we are. We're accepting yourself and accepting of others. I mean, that's the idea. That's Xanadu. I mean, that's the ultimate place to be.

Mendhi Audlin: (20:34)
Yeah. I love it. I love it. I'm grateful to all of you for joining into the conversation. Douglas is here from Houston, Texas today. Greetings! We are so glad that you could join us. Thanks for your participation, for your questions, for your comments. Let us know, what would help you. Let me ask you that question, Randy. When you think back on your life, what was one instance you think of when you think about moments where you've had a significant shift in terms of how you've seen yourself?

Randy Haveson: (21:08)
Ooh, probably one of the biggest happened six years ago when my business was falling apart and I had the wrong people in the wrong positions and didn't act quick enough and the business ended up failing. At first I kept saying my business failed. That means I'm a failure. I equated those two and I got caught up in the ego level. What are people going to think? How do I tell people that it didn't work? What are they going to think of me? I got really caught up in the ego part of it. I went back to therapy and I started really digging in with my friends again. I realized that just because my business failed, that did not make me a failure and meant that that point in my life was over. Put it to rest. Thank you for the opportunity.

Randy Haveson: (21:57)
I helped a lot of people along the way, and now it was time to move on to something else which might be writing a book and developing something new. But I didn't know that at the time. I thought, "Oh my God, my life was over. What am I going to do? I don't know. Am I going to just go stock shelves at the grocery store?" I had no idea because I felt so horrible about myself. But then I realized that was my business that failed. I didn't fail. I did my very best and it didn't work out. So it was time to dust myself off, get up and start moving forward again, and I did. And now just a short six years later here I am and my life is amazing beyond words.

Mendhi Audlin: (22:37)
I love it. It's so exciting to see. You know, we've been friends for ages and its joyful to see all that is showing up for you and what you do it. And it's joyful to see all of you that are joining. Elisa is here...

Randy Haveson: (22:53)
Elisa? What are you doing here, Elisa? (Background: hi!)

Mendhi Audlin: (22:59)
We also have Donna here from Chesapeake, Virginia. So thank you Donna, for joining us and being part of this special event with my good friend, Randy Haveson, author of "The Ego Cleanse." So Randy, you are committing your life, your talents, your gifts to helping people create these shifts and to be able to really experience healthy self esteem. Tell us about what you're doing, how you help people and what a next step might be for someone who wants more of this in their life.

Randy Haveson: (23:27)
Sure. You know, it's funny how life takes its twists and turns. Again, I feel like self esteem is: you're able to be flexible. Ego is: I want it my way and very rigid. So I was just about to start doing live workshops here in Orlando. I had my first one scheduled for April 22nd or April 26th, whatever it was. Then in March, all of this stuff happened. It was like, okay, so I'm not doing live events now, what am I going to do? And then someone said, well, why don't you do one on video, record yourself esteem workshop, put it online, let as many people can see it as want to see it, see it and start developing your community that way. I thought, okay. So I found a videographer and we recorded the workshop. Actually the first time I did it, it didn't go well.

Randy Haveson: (24:18)
I had a sweat stain on my shirt and my videographer didn't tell me. So I looked at the video. I'm like, "There's a sweat stain." And a part of me was like, "You know what? It's a sweat stain." That's just part of how it goes, just do it. And then I realized, you know, what? A lot of people might be distracted by that. So I need to do it again. So I did a second round and the second one I was like on and just on fire with the ideas and all the things that I wanted to say, and I didn't forget things like I did the first time and it came out great and he edited the video and put these cool graphics in it. It's ready for launch actually yesterday was the day it became officially ready for launch.

Mendhi Audlin: (25:02)
What if it all works out?

Randy Haveson: (25:05)
I know, right? Yeah. So now the goal is to build the community and there's an opportunity for people to join, to get a membership and join our Facebook community for Ego Cleanse. The goal is, you know, whatif a thousand people, 5,000 people are a part of that community? And then a year from now, six months, nine months from now, when we can open it back up, now we can have everybody come for a live event and have like... an esteem-fest here in Orlando and Saturday do work on ourselves and what we can do to make the world better and ourselves better, then Sunday go have an inner child play date at the magic kingdom. I mean, that would just be it! That's what I want to build. That's my ultimate. Yeah.

Mendhi Audlin: (25:48)
That sounds like so much fun. And, just being with you is a rollickin' good time. Being with you and a bunch of other people who are whole and complete and not judging, not blaming, owning our process and committed to growing and being that change in the world, what a great opportunity.

Randy Haveson: (26:12)
Yeah. But even for those who aren't yet whole and complete, but working on it, people at all levels of self esteem. You know, when I started, I was about as close to pure ego as you could get. So it's about making small little changes, not huge leaps, self esteem is not about "lose 30 pounds in 30 days." That's not what self esteem is, 30 pounds. I mean, self esteem is I'm going to lose a pound this month.

Mendhi Audlin: (26:41)
You know, I want to have the best self-esteem of anyone. I want to be the best at it. ;-)

Randy Haveson: (26:45)
No, no! (laughs)That's ego. Yeah.

Mendhi Audlin: (26:52)
Yeah. I'm going to ask you one final question. So for people who are maybe in that space of, you know, I'm just not there. I'm struggling. I feel anxiety. I feel stress. I look at the news, I feel overwhelmed. I don't know what to do. I don't feel like I can do anything about it. I don't feel powerful in this. For people who are really emotionally, mentally struggling through this time. What advice would you give them?

Randy Haveson: (27:24)
Take time each day for you to do something for yourself. One of the things that I talk about in raising self esteem is I separate self into four different parts, there's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In order to build self esteem, it's important to do something in all four realms every day. So when you do positive things for yourself, even when, you know, one of the things I talk about in the workshop, in my book, when you have positive self esteem, it's kind of like when you see those news clips of their tornado that rips through the community, but there's that one house that's still standing. That's the way I look at self esteem. We can have chaos going on all around us, but when we're solid with who we are, we can say, "Oh my God, I can't believe that news story."

Randy Haveson: (28:13)
"Oh my God, I'm so sad about George Floyd and everything that's happening with that. And I'm just angry about the people who are turning protests into riots and you know, the political structure and all, you know, I'm just... Gaa!" But then I turned that off and I go back to, okay, what can I do to be of service? I find that gratitude and service are the two things that build self esteem and get rid of all that negativity more than anything else. In my morning prayer, every day, it's always: What can I do to be of service today? The cool part is today, it's this!

Mendhi Audlin: (28:46)
Yeah! Well Elisa says, "Hey, spread the positivity, dude." Andi jumped in and said "Making progress and eager for more."

Randy Haveson: (29:00)
Yeah, cause there's no "there." You know, a lot of people say, "Where's the finish line? I need to hurry and get to the... No. There's no "there." I heard a saying once: "When our "there" becomes a "here," we simply obtain another "there," which again seems better than "here," if that makes sense. So it's about being okay, where you are and realizing that we're going to make baby steps in this thing. It's not huge leaps.

Mendhi Audlin: (29:26)
I love it. Well, let's "What If" UP as we close out with some possibilities for a world that is growing and evolving and shifting consciousness from the inside out. What if that vision that you hold for every person on the planet, living from a place of positive self esteem, what if that is not a far off vision? What if that is not a far off thing? What if you, me, and all of us here are part of that process?

Randy Haveson: (29:55)

Mendhi Audlin: (29:59)
Mm. So that's a possibility.

Randy Haveson: (30:03)
What if we actually do come to a place where our society is racially equal and we no longer have gender bias or racial bias or religious bias? That we truly see each other as equal and on the same plane?

Mendhi Audlin: (30:18)
What if every one of us is part of that journey? What if we own our own evolution and growth? What if that spills out as the ripple effect? The Jimminy Cricket effect? There's a little Disney for you. What if it's happening now and what if it's building momentum in this moment just by us being together?

Randy Haveson: (30:44)
What if a year from now we look back and say, wow, that really made a difference?

Mendhi Audlin: (30:50)
Yes, yes, yes. That's a Randy Haveson. Thank you so much for being my guest today. The author of "The Ego Cleanse," and you can get that on Amazon. You can Google it. The link to Randy's workshop, if you want to check that out is up on the screen right now. So you can go and sign up for that, be a part of that and see what's going on. Of course, if you haven't been a part of our "What If" UP community, we invite you to be here too, because we are here to create these kinds of possibilities. And this month, our focus is "What can I do?" How can I start within, how can I grow myself so that what I do within myself can spill out into the world to make a positive difference? So, Randy, thank you so much. Thank you for all of you who joined us.

Randy Haveson: (31:34)
This was so much fun. This was awesome. Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me. I really appreciate it.

Mendhi Audlin: (31:40)
Well, we'll do it again sometime soon. Thanks everybody. Bye!

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