Elle Nelson is a Mental Performance Specialist and former soccer player. Elle has turned her professional athletic career to helping individuals and teams harness the power of their minds for success. In addition to running her consultancy, Rise Over Run, LLC, Elle works with corporate clients through Limitless Minds. Brett and Elle get personal with conversations about their own practices for self-growth, and Elle leaves listeners with a challenge. Join us as she shares her experiences in personal growth, balancing priorities, and communication in parent-athlete relationships and personal settings.



Brett Gilliland: All right. Welcome to the Circuit of Success. I am your host, Brett Gilliland, and today I’ve got Elle Nelson with me. Elle, how you doing?

Elle Nelson: Hi there, Brett. Good, thank you. How are you doing? 

Brett Gilliland: I’m doing great. I’m excited to have you today. We’re gonna talk, um, for those listening and, and watching, uh, we’re gonna have 50% of this is gonna be about us as parents. Uh, raising children with sports. Elle was a, uh, dual college athlete. You’ve played golf, uh, I believe in France, in England and the United States, uh, at a, at a very high level. Um, you, you know, you’ve done the college thing, so I want to talk parenting slash sports, and then I also want to talk business, mindset, culture, all that type of stuff. Sound good?

Elle Nelson: Absolutely looking forward to it. 

Brett Gilliland: Awesome. Well, you are with, uh, IMG. So that’s, uh, anybody in the sports world probably knows who IMG is Down in, I believe in, was it Bradenton, Florida? And, uh, and then, uh, Limitless Minds is another company that you, uh, that you work with and you also have your own, uh, consulting company.

So you are busy and, uh, we’ll dive into all that work that you’re doing. But I’d love to kind of just pick your brain a little bit on what’s made you the woman you are today. Uh, to wake up and get to, you know, kinda work for three different companies and run your own deal. 

Elle Nelson: Yeah, absolutely. Good question. Diving straight into it. So what’s made me the woman I am today, I, I mean, I think a lot of that, of course we could start early on, like with my parents, we, we won’t go into all of that detail, but I think I had parents who instilled pretty strong values in me from a young age, right? It’s like if you start something, you’re gonna finish it.

You’re gonna give it all you’ve got. Um, Whole heart, whole head in the game. And uh, my dad came from a pretty heavy sporting background. He played hockey in college and up in Canada. So sport was something that I was involved in from a really young age. And then I ended up getting into, um, you may have said golf, but it was actually soccer.

Brett Gilliland: Oh, did I say golf? I’m sorry. I, I play golf, so.

Elle Nelson: No, it’s totally fine. I figured that was the case. Uh, yeah. But I was like, oh, I’m pretty sure he knows that. But it’s fine. Uh, so soccer was my main sport and I got into that from a pretty young age. I ended up doing the club thing, high school thing, traveling.

Uh, and then to be honest, I think like big picture answer, a lot of my mess up, a lot of my obstacles adversity that’s made me who I am today more than anything else. Yeah. Uh, I, I ended up like getting into quite a lot of trouble when I was in high school. I was a pretty bad kid for a while. I think my mom even threatened to like put me into a group home.

At one point I ended up quitting soccer for a year, my junior year. And when I did that, I was also in a car accident. So I was just getting into a lot of trouble and. After that year, I realized what I actually wanted and I started doing it for myself. So I realized before that point, I was doing it for my parents.

I was doing it for other people to please them, and that for me, even today, I see that it’s like a really big turning point. Where I started making my own decisions, uh, doing it with good intention, knowing that even the tough decisions and the decisions that scared me, like going away for college and playing soccer in college, I had a lot of doubt in myself, but I knew that I wouldn’t regret it, that I would grow from it regardless of how it went. So from that point forward, I started making the hard decisions, um, becoming more resilient and choosing to go for what I wanted and doing it for the right reasons. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. And how do you think that you, you chose that? I mean, it, it’s hard as a kid, right? I think you said your junior year, so you’re, you know, clocking in at 17 ish years old and, and to make that decision to say, I’m doing this for myself now. What was it, what was that, maybe that light switch moment, that aha moment that made you think that? 

Elle Nelson: I think for me, it, it, part of me felt like at that age, I hit rock bottom in some sense. Um, like I, I had gotten in a car accident where I was drinking and I was just making poor decisions and acting out, and I didn’t quite know why.

Uh, so when I got to this point where I was like, who cares? I’m not playing soccer anymore. I’m not doing anything for anyone. I don’t know if I wanna, you know, stay in school. It felt like I had nothing to lose. And so when I got to that point, it felt like, Any decision I made, what’s the worst that could happen?

I’ve already figured out what happens when I don’t have any of it, and that’s when I said, well, what is it that I actually want? Like, what, what is it that I want? Where do I wanna take things? And, and for me, that was the turning point where I chose soccer. I committed to school, and seeing where I could take both of those things, but I, I kind of needed that. Because it made me do it for me and not for anybody else. 

Brett Gilliland: So what would, what message would you have for that 17 year old, you know, Elle now, or that 17 year old girl or boy listenin’ to this, or their parents are listenin’ to this? What, what message would you have for them to not have to go through what you went through or your parents went through with that?

Elle Nelson: Yeah, I, so, I mean, I, I won’t give advice to my younger self cuz to be honest, I don’t think my younger self would’ve even accepted it at that time. 

Brett Gilliland: She might, whatever, buzz off.

Elle Nelson: If I could have tried. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah.

Elle Nelson: If I could have tried, uh, or talking to parents and to younger athletes now, I would say to, um, You know, have open conversation and explore ideas.

Uh, I think sometimes, like when I work with younger athletes and I ask them, okay, why is it that you do this? Why is it that you play your sport? A lot of times the first answer is, well, I don’t know cause that’s what I do. And so we spend some time exploring that. Like, what is it that you like about it?

Does it bring you joy? Are you doing it for social reasons? Where do you wanna take it? And then having that conversation with parents as well, because sometimes there’s a misalignment of goals. And I think for me, um, and it’s not just about sport, right? This could be academics, this could be life. You know, what is it that you want out of your life?

Why do you do the things that you do? Sometimes with my parents, they wanted me to play sport for different reasons than I wanted to play sport. Um, they wanted a certain career path for me that was different than what I wanted for myself, but we never really had that open conversation. So there was just like some tension that existed because we just assumed that we were on the same page and we didn’t have that open communication around what both of us wanted and how my parents could support me in that, how I could be understanding and kind of compromise some of the things that they wanted for me. I think that conversation wasn’t really happening at that age, and I’m sure a lot of that was due to me not really wanting to have those conversations or realizing that that would be helpful.

But I would encourage that from a really, really young age cuz it can just help with support and kinda navigating the changes that are happening at a young age. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. How, how did you, like, how did your parents handle you? Cause obviously you were, uh, successful at your sport and, and you did take a year off and, and, um, and all that stuff. But how did they handle, like, what did they do well, and if you’re open to it, maybe is there anything that they maybe didn’t do well that as a parent and people listen to this, they’re all parents with kids, what we could do on the, on the good and the bad side to help our child, uh, succeed in what they want to do.

Elle Nelson: Yeah, good question. I think, um, at, at first I would probably say that my, my parents took like the helicopter approach for a while. I don’t know if you’ve heard that term, like the helicopter parent, where they were, you know, I was the first born child, so I was the one they were cautious with. There were a lot of restrictions.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: They wanted to make sure they did all the right things and so they monitored every little thing that I did to the point where I think I felt like I didn’t have, um, I didn’t feel independent. I didn’t feel like I was making my own choices. And so I started to rebel. And I think part of that you can probably see in my career path now, like I, I like to choose what I do.

I like to do multiple things. Um, and so when they were telling me what to do and kind of trying to restrict me a lot of the time, uh, not that the, the rules were bad. I think that they were just constantly like, okay, who are you going with? Where are you going? How long are you gonna be there? Uh, let me talk to their parents.

I think there weren’t very many opportunities for trust or letting me make the decisions and kind of live with the consequences. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: And I could have used that a little bit more. So I think it got to the point where they realized that that wasn’t working. Like they were suffering and I was suffering.

And so then they kind of took the opposite approach and they were like, do you know what? Hands off. So when I quit soccer, they were like, Bad decision, don’t agree with it. But instead of saying, no, you’re gonna tough it out, you’re sticking with it, go back in, finish that. They were like, okay, that’s fine.

Brett Gilliland: You do you. 

Elle Nelson: It’s good. Yeah. And so they backed off. And when they backed off, I started to realize, oh, okay, actually. I am grateful that they were supporting me, but maybe that support could look a little different. And then as I got older, you know, like going into my senior year when I started playing soccer again, we had more conversations around what that support could look like and how we both could compromise on things and they can feel respected with the rules they enforced.

But I also felt like I could earn some trust and have some autonomy. So I would say, um, That one of the best things that they did and that I did, was having those conversations around what that navigation could look like, what that support, what that trust, um, and autonomy could look like. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah…

Elle Nelson: Because…

Brett Gilliland: I think that’s huge. I mean, Go ahead. 

Elle Nelson: Oh, go ahead, go ahead. 

Brett Gilliland: Well, I was just gonna say, I think, and again, I, you know, I have four boys and so, you know, you certainly wanna, uh, protect them and, and guide them, but you also wanna let them kind of fly the fly away, right. And, and hopefully come back and, and, uh, but it’s scary as a parent, as, you know, with a kid driving and all that stuff.

And my 17 year old, uh, you know, ironically is my oldest first born. And so, uh, I’m, I’m, I’m exactly where you were at with your parents and my son plays soccer and. And so it’s, it’s great and all, but it’s like, it’s one of those things too, like I took the approach my parents did. So you couldn’t, as a child, you couldn’t get me off the golf course.

I mean, it was sun up, sun down. Um, you know, I would, I would miss social stuff until it was like dark where I literally couldn’t see the golf ball. I mean, it’s all I wanted to do. Me and a couple of my buddies, Derek and Blake and these guys, we would just play all day long and, and, but my parents never forced me to do it.

 Right? They never forced me to do that. And so I’ve kind of taken that same approach with my kids. But then there’s also the times where I regret, personally for me, I didn’t challenge myself more. I think I could have done more with golf, but I didn’t have a challenge, uh, to myself or from others that made me want to go to that next level.

So I’ve struggled with that. Right? Is how do you hold our kids accountable? How do you be there? How do you support ’em? To go to that next level if they want to go to the next level. But how do we challenge the heck out of ’em in a respectful, loving, kind way? 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. 

Brett Gilliland: Your thoughts on.

Elle Nelson: I think you bring up a, I think you bring up a really good point and I, I wanna like, I should have thrown this in early on as a disclaimer, and this is something I say with both parents and young athletes that I work with, is like, there’s no one right way.

It’s not like a black and white type of relationship. Relationships never are. It’s very gray, and I think that’s the most beautiful part of the process. Um, um, Remind me. Okay, hold on. Sorry. Remind me the last part of what you said. Cause I, so just like…

Brett Gilliland: How do we challenge our kids, right? How do we challenge our kids enough but you not be over the top, but yet like, you know, like to even take my fourth boy for example, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got a junior, I’ve got a freshman seventh grade in, in third grade.

So no matter what, right? But pick any of ’em. How do you challenge that person if they want to do it? Bet. I’m a big believer in that if they wanna do it, this is their passion. I’m never gonna say, I’m not the dad that’s like, you’re gonna go do golf and you know, my first two don’t really even, they like it, but they don’t really care.

I would love to have a golfer, but I’m not gonna push that, right? So how do we push our children to do what they love, to get to the level of, whether it’s D one or D three, whatever they want to go, or professionally, how do we do that? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah. So, uh, two things come to mind. I think one thing is setting the example yourself. Uh, so how do you demonstrate that that’s what you do on a daily basis? You know, is it something around being active and signing up for a marathon or a 5K and showing them that you’re putting in the work you’ve committed to something and you’re gonna follow it through and it shows up and it’s reflected in your behaviors and your choices day to day.

Uh, you know, being open and, and honest and vulnerable to the extent that you feel comfortable of like, Hey, this is the job, this is the career that I have, and my kids get to watch me. I, I think of it like if I were to have kids, I’m working from home, so they would kind of see me do what I do and see that I’m working hard every day.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: See that I’m passionate and that when you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t mean that it’s always easy and that the hard parts are where you can grow the most and they can see me work through that. They can maybe hear me talk about it. It’s not complaining, right? It’s not focusing on the problem, it’s focusing on the solutions, and they can actually hear the way I talk about what I’m going through and how I’m going to overcome it, how I’m going to stay committed to what I’m, you know, working on or passionate about what my career path is. So it’s kind of living that out. I think that’s one of the most important things or the best things you could do. 

Brett Gilliland: So lead by example? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah, lead by example. Would agree? Disagree? Disagree. Any thoughts on that? 

Brett Gilliland: Oh, I would a hundred percent agree.

I mean, I think it’s, um, it’s, yeah, it’s critically important for that. And, and I, I’m very open with my kids and, and, you know, work and, you know, I don’t get into details, right, and names and all that kind of stuff, but like, hey, I struggle with something today and, but here’s what we did and here was a solution and I’m a big journal guy and here’s what I did in my mind, you know, we can have a pity party and cry about it all day, or I can go to my journal and I can work my way out of this.

Whatever that problem is, to your point of what’s the solution? Yeah. Don’t, let’s not just Right. Keep adding fertilizer and water to the problem. It’s like, hey, there’s a problem. It’s how we deal with it now. Mm-hmm. Let’s go in my way of journal our way out of it and put a game plan together. And I think it’s important for them to see that.

Elle Nelson: Yeah, complete because it, it transfers over to like, if I were to come home from work and I’m like, oh, you know, John and Susie were so terrible and this is so hard. I didn’t talk to ’em about it, but I’m just venting cuz I’m frustrated when I’m home. Right? And I don’t like this, and oh, I’ve gotta go to work today.

Your kids are gonna see that. But then we can’t blame them when they’re like, oh, I don’t wanna go to practice. It’s gonna be so hard. We’re gonna run. I didn’t like that. The coach should play me. Right? Like, we are modeling the behaviors. And so if they reflect those, we can’t really be mad at them because, we we’re doing the same thing. So lead by example is number one. I think two would be like, what is success? What is success? What is it that they want to achieve? Because success can look very different. But then beyond that, and I think this really transfers into the corporate space as well It’s like, what are our values?

What is success? But then we have to dive deeper than that. It’s what are the behaviors that are gonna reflect it day to day? So if they say, you know, I wanna play D one. Okay, well what is it that you need to do? What is it that if you do consistently on a daily basis, it’s going to help you achieve that?

It’s going to help you find this process. We know this process isn’t gonna be easy, but that’s where like the good stuff is. Yeah, like that’s where we grow. It’s not just the outcome. I think our society especially, we’re so focused on the outcome and if I get here, I’m gonna be happy. And if this happens then I’ll enjoy it.

Or all I wanna do is win this national championship. Well then all these coaches that win the national championship, they get there and it, it doesn’t take long for someone to ask, okay, same thing next year. Right Now, all of a sudden they didn’t really get to enjoy it that much. It’s already back to the grind. So if you don’t like the grind, You’re gonna make yourself miserable eventually. 

Brett Gilliland: So that’s so funny you say that. It’s like, I find that I love the grind, I love the journey, and I, I actually, for me, I do better when there’s more chaos than when there’s not chaos. Right? Yeah. It’s, I don’t know, it’s, it’s kind of weird, but it, uh, when what, when you said that you gotta enjoy the grind, it’s true.

Like I, I’ve enjoyed the last. Eight years, nine years of building a business and being on the grind. Right. It’s, it’s a lot of fun. But, but again, to your point is you gotta, you gotta want that. Right. And, and another thing we were talking about too is I think it’s important that my wife and I, we’re not the family.

It’s like, oh, it’s, you know, here it is. Sunday night we got, oh, the old Mondays. Thank God it’s Friday. Versus thank God it’s Monday. And it’s like, no, let’s ha I mean, every day is the same for us. Right. But, but you gotta find passion in what you do. And if it’s, whether it’s your kids. The kid playing soccer or the parent at work.

I mean, if you’re not loving what you’re doing, man, you need to make a change, you know? 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Completely agree. Um, my favorite day of the week is, is Monday. I’m gonna be honest. And it’s, it’s not because Monday’s the, the easiest day of the week. It’s cuz I love what I do and I’m excited to show up.

I’m excited to build momentum for the week ahead because I’ve trained my brain to think that way. The process really is the best part. Um, And I, I think it’s like that, are we focused on the outcome? Are we focused on just, you know, winning the game or are we focused on achieving mastery and what we’re doing on a daily basis? Because if we can focus on achieving mastery, the outcome takes care of itself. 

Brett Gilliland: That’s right. And I always say clarity proceeds mastery. Right? So the clear, to your point earlier, do you wanna play division one? Do you want to play professionally? And I can’t remember who it was, but somebody was saying maybe it was Bryce Harper or somebody, you know, plays for the Phillies and the major League baseball.

And he was like, So many people said they wanna just make it to the major leagues right now once you get there, it’s the hardest thing about being in the major leagues on any professional athlete is staying there. Right. It’s not getting there. I mean, it’s hard to get there, of course, but staying there.

Mm-hmm. From guys I’ve talked to, but it’s like his goal is to be a Hall of famer. Well, getting there versus being a Hall of Famer, that’s two different things. My work ethic must be different. My choices, my food intake, my exercise. Everything’s different if you’re trying to build a hall, a hall of fame career.

And that’s that clarity I think that we all need per personally, professionally, uh, as a kid and as an adult, right? 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Completely agree. Yeah. So what part of, um, go ahead. Oh no, I was just gonna say, part of that I think is getting clear on, on your values too, cuz that’s going to dictate and drive the direction you wanna go. That’s, that’s a whole nother conversation. But what were you gonna say? 

Brett Gilliland: That’s another podcast, right? So, um, let’s talk about your webinar since we’re on this the Kid thing and, and I think this is important. So you, you have a April 6th. You have a webinar, which it’s $10 a person. So this is, this is not a barrier of entry problem here, right?

Um, but this is called College Ready. It’s for parents, it’s for kids, it’s for coaches. So talk to us about this webinar and what it’s gonna do and what people can get out of it. 

Elle Nelson: Yeah, absolutely. So it’s April 6th, five to 7:00 PM Pacific time. Uh, and that is going to be trying to provide as well rounded of an insight as we can into what preparing and going into college looks like.

So it’s gonna have college coaches, strength and conditioning coach. Uh, I’m gonna be on there as well. From the mental performance sports psychology side. We’ve got, uh, a youth international coach, a sport recruiting company, so we’re trying to cover all angles. Uh, and then we’ve got two coaches, division one and division three.

So we’re trying to provide insight into eligibility, what college coaches are looking for when it comes to film, how you can stand out to college coaches, uh, how you need to prepare your body to reduce the risk of injury, and go in ready to play. What type of mental attributes do you need? What are the differences between college divisions?

It’s gonna have a live q and a Wow. So that way you can get all your questions answered in one place. Uh, so that’s really the goal of it, is to…

Brett Gilliland: I love that.

Elle Nelson: …and make sure it’s cost efficient. Everybody has access to it. 

Brett Gilliland: And where do we find that? What, uh, where do we go? Assuming there’s a website we can sign up.

Elle Nelson: Yeah, so linktree.com/sportspsychology. If you type that, you’ll see a link to register. And then you can also, um, find that link on my Instagram, which is the @signriseover.run. 

Brett Gilliland: Perfect. We will put all that in the show notes too, Ellie, so everybody has an access, uh, easy link to get to that. So that’s awesome.

That sounds like an amazing event. And, uh, I think I know what I’m doing from seven to nine Central time on April 6th. I already see where I’m gonna set my house. I’m gonna watch it. We’re gonna have some fun. We’re gonna learn. And, uh, so you mentioned recovery. So this is, we’re gonna bleed into now, into the, uh, into the culture and the mindset and the business side of this, uh, this podcast.

But this goes, this is kind of a way that can help both. So what do we do for recovery, um, to help our bodies? So if we’re an athlete, as a child, Me, a 45 year old guy that likes to work out is a little sore today. I did legs yesterday, so I’m a little sore. Uh, what can we do to, uh, recover and, and feel better?

Elle Nelson: What can we do to recover and feel better from a physical standpoint? 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: Oh, okay. Let, let’s take it back to my college days. Um, so I, I mean, day after something tough, I would say, Like, we’ve got all these new things now with the, uh, thera Gun rolling out. Movement is medicine, right? 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah.

Elle Nelson: Like lighter, longer movement, whether it’s a walk, whether it’s a bike ride, get some type of movement in mobility work, flexibility work, especially if we’re tired and sore. So any sort of post-game day for me would look like that.

Brett Gilliland: I’ve been writing this stuff down. 

Elle Nelson: What would you say, what’s, what’s on your recovery day today then, Brett? 

Brett Gilliland: Mine will be stretching and, uh, maybe some yoga and, uh, I’ll probably still get on the rower and, uh, I don’t work out on Wednesday mornings. Um, And so, cause I do a, uh, Tuesday mornings I work out really early, and then Tuesday night I do about a four mile walk when my youngest is at soccer practice.

So give myself Wednesday morning to just not have to, uh, dive right back into exercise. So I’ll fit it in sometime today and get it done. But I, I think, you know, for me it’s, it’s, there’s the ice bath people talk about and, and I’m not perfect at that, but it’s, uh, it’s certainly something that is, is helpful.

I, I feel completely different after three or four minutes in an ice bath at 40 something degrees, it is absolute hell for 30 seconds, at least for me. And, uh, you know, you see people get in these things and they act like nothing happened. Well, I get in it and you think I’ve been shot, uh, every time it happens.

And so I think it sucks and, but I do it. And it feels better. Uh, so that I do a sauna, uh, for recovery, I think is a big deal, but the stretching and just moving your body is, is a big, big deal. 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That cold exposure therapy is becoming more and more popular. I’m seeing that all the time with how people start their day, like the cold tubs that you can have at your house now.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: Yeah. That’s becoming more and more popular. So I, I’ve, I’ve gone through phases where I’ve tried it, but I’m similar to you where I’m like, especially in the morning and if it’s already cold outside. Yeah, it’s, it just feels so cold. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. It, uh, it does. It’s absolutely terrible. But I will say it’s worth it. Every time I do it, I’m happy I’ve done it, but it is hell, uh, getting into it. So for those listening, just give it a shot, especially here in the Midwest, you can just turn your bathtub on. Just the cold water only. And it’s, you know, in the wintertime like this, it’s really cold. Um, and so yeah, give it a shot. 

See if you can last three or four minutes in there. And, uh, but you gotta focus on your breathing cuz your heart rate goes about a mile a minute. And, uh, just, but the breathing part is huge. And which leads me to my next question is, I saw on your Instagram the, uh, the post of Lionel Messi. Right. And so during the World Cup, he’s got a, he’s got a, I think it was the extra kicks, penalty, kicks, uh, at the end of the game, they’re in overtime, double overtime, whatever it was.

Talked about. Breathing, right? Breathing. Mm-hmm. Shoulders up. That was the post. Talk to us again from the business mindset and then the kid playing sports. Why is breathing so important and what do we need to focus on there? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah, I mean, breathing is is huge. It can be used for so many things in so many different ways, so it’s something that I talk about pretty early on when I’m working with clients just because it’s one of the easiest things to grasp, right?

We do it naturally, but actually if we can do it a little bit more efficiently or with purpose, it can help us calm down. It can help us refocus. We can also use it to kind of like boost our energy, hype ourselves up a little bit too. So I think there’s a lot that we can use breathing for, um, And then like even from a workout standpoint, right?

We’re supplying oxygen to the body. We can get more out of our body when we’re supplying that oxygen. So there’s so much that, that the breath and breath work can be used for. In that particular case, when I shared the video, so talking about the World Cup, it’s like these high pressure moments, high pressure situations.

So in sport we can see that in really important games, really important moments, um, in every single sport. So I think like free throw is penalty kicks. That can be good examples. Um, so there’s that. But then there’s also giving a presentation. About to deliver some type of workshop, have a difficult conversation.

We can use the same breathing in those moments as well. And what it is, is it’s just moments where if there’s high pressure, we might be carrying some tension. So for me, I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders. I don’t know. Do you carry tension in your shoulders or have anywhere in your body that you carry tension?

Brett Gilliland: I do. Mine’s right, right here, kind of in my neck slash left shoulder. 

Elle Nelson: Okay, let’s, so, so oftentimes it’s like through the neck area and the shoulders. Yeah. And so what we do is we take a big deep breath in and we tense everything up. Right? Right. So we tense up the area that we know is holding a lot of tension already and pressure.

So we tense it up to acknowledge that we know it’s there. And then deliberately on that breath out through the mouth, we drop the shoulders, we release it. So by doing that, we’re releasing tension, but also we’re drawing our focus away from whatever might be causing anxiety and choosing to be back in the present moment.

Because to think about the breath, we have to be present with it. So all of a sudden we’ve let go, even if it’s first let second, we’ve consciously let go of whatever was holding us back, and we’ve decided to be in the moment so that we can be our best in that moment. Does that make sense? 

Brett Gilliland: It does. And I, and I, I a thousand percent believe that, and because I’m, I’ve been meditating and breathing, whatever we want to call it, mindfulness, uh, for, gosh, probably a decade at least now. And it, it, it was a game changer, life changer for me, and I, I share this all the time on here and in public with people is, is that breathing part is hard When you’re having a, an anxiety moment or a stressful moment to believe like, oh, a couple deep breaths are gonna help.

Yeah, whatever, man. Buzz off. Right? This is, You know, whatever cuckoo talk, but it, it’s so dang true, right? And, and it is just, if you start to believe it and you start to try, just give it a chance. Give it a try. It is a life changer for people that struggle with that stuff. And it’s, for me, I can be in a moment, in a meeting and just start to feel it for no reason.

But you can just kind of do some deep breathing, right? Breathe in through the nose slowly, out through the mouth. You know, people talk about box breathing. I think that’s important for our success in any aspect of life. 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. I think so as well. And it’s, it’s even like the, this is something that I do every single night before I go to bed.

So I’m one of those people who just, you know, right before you fall asleep, your mind starts to just relax and all of a sudden those thoughts, right. You’ve been trying to control your brain all day to stay focused on tasks. So now you try and go to sleep and, and my thoughts, I don’t know how you are, but like my thoughts are like, Right.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Right. 

Elle Nelson: it’s like I come up with the craziest inventions, the conversation I had two years ago. My brain will go a million different directions, and so I use my breath and it’s kind of a form of meditation, but I think that word can be kind of off-putting sometimes. So I just use my breath and I pair it with a tide, like an ocean tide.

So as I breathe in, the tide comes up, breathe out. Tide goes down and I picture an ocean. So it’s a form of imagery and visualization as well. And that’s my way of relaxing, clearing my mind. And it’s like any thought that comes, I don’t fight it. I let it pass. I’m observing it, I let it pass, and I go back to my ocean, back to my breathing every time I’ve done it. I’m not kidding, Brett. I fall asleep in three, four minutes tops. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. So you’re laying in bed like, like ready to go to bed when you’re doing that. Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. I go to bed a lot with just a meditation going off on my, you know, my phone, which I shouldn’t have it right next to me, but it’s in the nightstand next to me.

And you know, I’ll have that kinda peaceful music going and do the same thing, that breathing and I, I need to probably visualize the ocean, but other. My only thought would be I would be like excited and thinking about the ocean that I wouldn’t go to bed. Cause I’d be thinking about vacation or something, but, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll give the ocean thing a shot and see what happens. But, uh, yeah, yeah, no, it’s, it’s critically important. What, what are some other things, Elle, if I followed you around, would I see, so I get the breathing at night. Um, what other thing, obviously there’s exercise in there, I assume daily, or at least five or six times a week. What other things am I seeing that you do to be at the top of your game? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah, I. I mean, I’ll go with the first thing that pops up in my mind. I would say my self-talk out loud and in my head. I used to be kind of embarrassed about the things that I say out loud, but I am not embarrassed anymore. If you’re around me, you might hear me say something to myself and I, I have to work at it every day. 

I think it takes a lot of practice, a lot of consistency. Just like you have to show up at the gym every day. You can’t just stop and think, you know, your, your muscles are gonna stay the exact same way. Right. Like, you have to be consistent. And so my self-talk is very consistent. I’m trying to create a default mindset very intentionally.

Um, that’s not, oh, I’m always gonna be confident. No, I might not always be confident, right? Because I think confidence is like a feeling. It can come and go, but I’m gonna be courageous. I’m gonna make the tough decisions. I’m going to lift myself up. I’m gonna focus on solutions. And so I think you can hear that in the way that I talk to myself.

So, I’ll give you an example. I, I might be, um, talking to someone or in and around having a conversation and something might come out of my mouth like, oh, that was so annoying, I didn’t like when that happened. And then I’ll, I’ll actually out loud go, hold on. Let me try that again and I’ll re-say it and, and I will say something like, um, Do you know what that I had a response that I noticed with that.

So in the future I’m gonna try and conquer it like this, like I will out loud and other people will hear me cuz I will literally be like, hold on, let me try that again. Which I, I’m not embarrassed of because I’m sh you know, kind of demonstrating to others that I wanna practice what I preach and I’m hopefully encouraging other people to do the same for themselves.

It’s like we tear ourselves apart all the time. It’s so easy to do that. It’s not helpful. So I wanna challenge myself to do hard things. I wanna challenge myself to try things I’m afraid of. I wanna challenge myself to, you know, create a new default mindset, and that means. Consistently kind of talking to myself the way that a good coach or a good friend would. Right. It’s challenging and challenging myself, but I’m making sure it’s helpful and not hurtful. So…

Brett Gilliland: I, I love that because it’s funny, I, I have, uh, for some reason, I’ve got, and I, I agree with this, so I’ve lived my life that way, but when it comes to my golf game, I’ve been telling myself I’m absolutely terrible at putting over the last probably five years I’ve been saying that, well, guess what?

My putting’s getting worse, right? So this year, 2023, I always say to myself, I’m getting better every day, right? I’m getting better every day. And I know that today I’m gonna be on a conference call that I don’t have to talk much. I’m looking right over there at my putter. And the seven golf balls and the little hole I’ve got, and I practice, I do 21 putts a day.

Right? And I’m getting better every day. And so I’m telling myself that this is the year I’m gonna become a phenomenal putter. And, and, and who knows, right? If that happens. But I believe that there’s a better chance of me telling myself that, that I will end 2023 as a better putter than I started it. And you can use that putting analogy for anything, right?

I’m gonna be better at presenting in the boardroom to potential clients. I’m gonna be better at whatever. But you gotta tell yourself that, right? I’m getting better every day. I’m getting better every day. So I love that. 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. 

Brett Gilliland: That’s great stuff. So how do we, how, what’s, what’s the path to build better confidence again for the business person, the, the student athlete? How do we build more confidence? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah. So I think there’s a lot of different ways that I could take that. Um, I think we have a lot of different sources of confidence. So figuring out what those sources are is the first thing. It’s, you know, is it rooted in affirmation from others? Like getting positive feedback all the time.

Is it getting awards and recognition? Is it in noticing that I’m mastering or kind of unlocking certain skills? Is it noticing that I’m improving in a certain way? Like there are a lot of different sources of confidence. Are they coming externally or internally? Because we wanna make sure that it’s not just through a reinforcement by others.

Because sometimes we don’t have that luxury. Sometimes uh, you know, our boss doesn’t give a lot of positive feedback. Not because they don’t think positively of us, but they just don’t think about giving that feedback all the time. Right, right. Like, we might not always have the luxury of getting that. We might not always have a coach who’s gonna lift us up cuz they’ve got a whole team of people they’re working with.

So we have to make sure that we reframe and look at sources of confidence that we have more control over, so that way we don’t feel like we’re just being impacted by things all the time. Right? Like all too often if I’m working with an athlete or if I’m working with somebody in the corporate space, it’s like all I had, I delivered a really great presentation or workshop.

I’m feeling on top of it, very confident. I had a great practice, great practice for a great game. I’m feeling on top of it, oh, I didn’t do very well, or somebody called me out. Now I’ve got low confidence. It, it’s exhausting. It’s up and down. It’s up and down. It’s so it’s got to be focused on that, that process too, which again, is something that’s in our control.

It’s noticing. Notice the little wins. Notice when you tried something that the you six months ago wouldn’t have tried. Notice when you were just a little bit more consistent in something that you’ve been trying to improve on. Notice when you’ve achieved a certain skill that a year ago you didn’t think you’d be able to do, or you got that promotion that you didn’t think you were in.

I think the promotion can be a bigger example, but there’s more day-to-day stuff that we often don’t notice. We just expect it or like, okay, now what? We got it now what? Because we’re constantly hard on ourselves, so it’s making sure our confidence is at least somewhat rooted with things that are in our control.

And then recognizing when we make progress, like give yourself some credit. We don’t do that very often. 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Would you I think those, would you allow me to give a shameless plug to my own journal that I am so pumped? This is, uh, my journal, 22 years in the making is now live on Amazon, so, but my point of bring, yeah.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Um, my point to this is, is that every day it, it made me think of gratitude, right? Things that you, little victories, little things that we’ve gotta be thankful for every day. And when we write those down every single day, you start to have more gratitude in your life. Isn’t that crazy?

Well, it’s not ironic. So that, that’s something I have people write down anywhere from three to five things in this journal and their daily planner, uh, every day. But at the end of the 90 day worksheet or the 90 Day Journal, there’s a gratitude worksheet. And this gratitude worksheet talks about, you know, month one, month two, month three is actually go through your telephone, look at all the pictures you’ve taken, look at all the things that you’ve done, the experiences you’ve created with friends and family.

Hopefully write those down one after another. All the things we’re thankful for. Month one, month two, month three. And then at the end, let’s go ahead and pre-book some amazing experiences with your wife, your her husband, your kids, your friends, your family, whoever. And get ’em booked, and now let’s have an amazing next 90 days.

Right? And so just keep rolling through that, uh, I think is important, is what came to my mind when, when you so eloquently talked about how to build confidence. I think gratitude’s part of that.

Elle Nelson: Mm. Yeah, I would completely agree. It’s like what, what you focus on, you attract, right? 

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. 

Elle Nelson: So if you’re focusing on the things that you’re grateful for, you’re more likely to notice those things. If you’re, if you’re not, it’s not that those things don’t exist, we’re just not looking for them. So what you’re looking for, It multiplies. So I, I think when you mentioned that gratitude, if that’s a practice that you have consistently, it means you’re gonna be looking for the things that are going well.

You’re gonna be grateful even for the adversity. You’re gonna be grateful because you’ll be able to notice more often how you’ve grown from it. 

Brett Gilliland: Yep. 

Elle Nelson: I am significantly more thankful for all the not so good times. All the times where I didn’t make the team all the times where, you know, I didn’t get such great feedback because I struggled with it, but then I was like, wait, I’m struggling because there’s room for growth.

Like, yeah, this is a message that’s being sent to me. Um, and that gratitude journal and reflection is such a good way to reinforce that. Thank you for sharing that too. 

Brett Gilliland: Absolutely. Thank you for letting me, um, I’m gonna have some fun. This is the second time I’ve done this and I’m gonna, I’m gonna put you on the spot here, but it’s your Instagram account, so you’ve already gone public with it, so this will be nothing embarrassing.

Elle Nelson: Okay? 

Brett Gilliland: Uh, but I want you to pick a number between one and 10. 

Elle Nelson: Okay, I will choose nine. 

Brett Gilliland: 1, 2, 3. All right. Now pick between, uh, one and three.

Elle Nelson: Three. 

Brett Gilliland: Okay. Thank God you didn’t pick one because it was, uh, so basically what I did is I went to the 10th row of your Instagram account and I, uh, picked, and the row you picked was the Lionel Messi was number one. So I’m like, oh, great, this is gonna backfire. I already already talked about the Lionel Messi quote.

And so you said number three. And so that one says, Uh, build a life you love. Uh, things I like my day to consist of coffee, learning, movement, helping others, pausing hard to do, but always worth it. Laughter, enjoy pushing your limits. What daily habits are your non-negotiables? So that’s a great quote, right?

And are great posts and it’s got the life of Elle right there in your video. So, so walk us through that post. Why are those things important? Why do we share that and what do you hope others get from it? 

Elle Nelson: Yeah. Oh, I think this is really actually related to your, um, gratitude journal because it’s the, the power of consistency and habit and the things that are non-negotiable in my day because they keep me grounded to my values and on track.

So for me, I mean the things that you mentioned in there, like movement, being active every day, finding time to pause so I can be in the present moment. Uh, like all of those things are really important to me because it reflects who I am, what’s important to me, or it helps me stay on track and stay plugged into what’s important to me.

So I feel like the best version of myself when I have those habits, uh, and those habits help me mentally, physically, and spiritually. So what I would recommend, I mean, this is something that it’s not gonna be the same year after year, after year. I think there’ll be some minor changes based on what’s going on in my life.

But for the most part, if I look at the last, like even 10 years, all of those things that I listed have been pretty consistent for me in my day and usually as part of my morning. Uh, so I would recommend for anybody who doesn’t have a morning routine or at least some type of routine throughout the day.

Try and find even the smallest of things, even if it’s two, three minutes a day, to incorporate things that are reflected in what’s important to you or helping you be the best version of yourself. I. So that’s, yeah, that’s…

Brett Gilliland: And my guess is, um, you know, we, we don’t go way back, but my guess is, uh, what I’ve learned about you already through my research and through today is it’s, I would even almost call it boringly consistent, right?

I mean, you just show up every day, even on days you don’t want to do it. Um, you show up and you do it. And I think I even saw one that you said, A crappy run is better than no run. Right. So it’s an all or nothing attitude that we have and, and I’m stealing the words mm-hmm. Out of your post there. But it’s so true.

I think so many times in business and in and in personal lives, whatever, it’s, it’s all or nothing. Right? We can’t have a crappy day, and I’ve learned to even celebrate a crappy day because I still got up and made some things happen. 

Elle Nelson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. And it, in that, it’s like, what are you looking at? Are you looking at the fact that you didn’t do as well as your highest standard?

Or can you look at it with like appreciation and some gratitude that like, Hey, I still did something. It’s not all or nothing. We all too often think it’s all or nothing. Yeah. Uh, right. Like I, I wanna make the team so I either go and talk to the coach and say, I wanna be on the team, or else I’m gonna quit.

It’s, it’s not like, okay, what’s the in between look like? Yeah. What does this conversation look like? What’s the compromise or what can I do? And that’s reflected in habits day to day. I think that it’s celebrating when it’s not as good. 

Brett Gilliland: Well, this has been absolutely awesome. Uh, Elle, where can our listeners find more of you?

Elle Nelson: Hmm. Uh, find me on Instagram and LinkedIn probably. Uh, More so than other places I would say. Okay. So Instagram, I think I already mentioned earlier, @riseover.run and then LinkedIn as well. Uh, yeah, probably there…

Brett Gilliland: Awesome.

Elle Nelson: …more so than anything else. 

Brett Gilliland: And you’ve got your Link Tree. For those that don’t know what Link Tree is, you can check it out on her. Um, Instagram handle. I’ve got one as well. And it just kind of shows you anything that you’d want to get from that person. So that, uh, that’s good. That’s great. Elle, it’s been awesome having you on the Circuit of Success. And, uh, we’ll, we’ll see you, uh, on April 6th, uh, at your webinar. And, uh, for those people that listening, she does respond.

Hence how we’re together on, uh, on this podcast today. So reach out, um, any questions you have for Elle and Elle it’s been awesome having you. 

Elle Nelson: Likewise, Brett, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.