Episode OverviewIn this episode, Shireen talks with mindset expert Daria Tsvenger about growing up in Russia, moving to America, and the feelings of helplessness, loss of identity, and hopelessness that stemmed from it. Find out how studying neuroscience helped Daria overcome her fears—and what she’s doing now to help other people navigate life changes and develop positive mindsets.
CEO - Edvo
Daria TsvengerDaria Tsvenger is a Forbes-featured mindset expert and founder of a self-discovery program “The Dream Sprint.” Her work has helped hundreds of people tap into the power of the brain to gain clarity and turn their dreams into reality. Daria has shared her expertise on TV shows such as “Good Morning LA-LA-LAND”, “Simulation” and major publications like “Vogue”, “ThriveGlobal” and “Forbes”. More than 30,000 passionate dreamers are following Daria’s work.
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Shireen Jaffer 0:00
Hi, everybody. Welcome to the evolution podcast where we question what makes our life truly ours. I’m Shireen Jaffer. And I’m very excited to introduce you to some incredible people with fascinating stories. I’ve got Daria here with me who is a mindset expert and the founder of the dream sprint, will learn all about her childhood in Russia, where she was really considered a childhood prodigy. And then talk a little bit more about how where she found herself when she came to America. So, Daria, thank you so much for being here.
Daria Tsvenger 0:34
Thanks to me, and I’m really excited to be one of the first people on the podcast. And it’s my pleasure to share my story, especially starting with the childhood because I honestly think that the childhood is the experience that gives a really good launched our lives and that way we associate ourselves with our childhood. It’s also really Because this is where we can either get our power power from, or get our DC power low.
Shireen Jaffer 1:08
Yeah, I mean, I I know, we talked briefly about your childhood before this podcast episode. And it was so interesting to me to hear about how you were brought up and how supportive your parents were because unfortunately, that’s not something that I get to hear from a lot of people. And it’s interesting because, you know, as you had mentioned in our conversation, your childhood can either empower you or you know, there’s there’s a lot of trauma that can be built up that you have to essentially work through later in life that shaped a lot of your decisions.
Childhood and How it Shapes Us 1:39
it is, you know, there is the saying that, it doesn’t matter how you bring up your children, they will still have something to tell to their psychotherapists. It doesn’t matter what you do, you can be the perfect parent. So, and I think it’s it’s a part of human nature to have emotional trauma. And this is normal and you know, nobody Just childhood is perfect is just what we decide to put attention to. And what we decide kind of like bootsy do we decide to grow. So of course, there were like negative moments in my childhood the things that I won’t, you know, wish my kids to experience, but the things that I choose to become, is this positive things that literally helped me to, to shape this open and excited and enthusiastic passion for this life in general. So, and I know you also had like very supportive parents who, you know, encouraged you to go for things.
Shireen Jaffer 2:42
Well, my my child was interesting because I was born actually in Pakistan, or Pakistan with the right accent. And I was there until seven and then we moved to America. And unfortunately, my dad was stuck You know, back in the country for about five years because of immigration issues, so I feel like I almost grew up with one parent. And then my dad joined us when I was 13. So, for me, it was really interesting to see essentially my mom take this, you know, my brother, who was 12 at the time, and I was seven, take these two kids in a foreign country, we had no family around us, and just raise us and she was working three jobs. It was her first time really in America. And so I feel like I just had to grow up really quickly. And I I just appreciated my mom so much that I would like to think I was an easy child, but I did I did really try hard to not be, you know, a kid that took things for granted. I was I saw her struggle, a lot younger and that’s definitely shaped obviously who I am today. But yeah, it was, but they were both supportive, just in very different ways that I think, what most people think of when they think of supportive parents.
Daria Tsvenger 4:05
Yeah, yeah. Interesting because for me, like the financial support was not there at all, like, my parents have a, you know, very humble background. And I started to earn money since I was eight. And basis, but you know, I’ve never felt like a need, of course, we have like food on the table and stuff like that, but nothing extra. And we were eight. So, you know, Russia is an interesting country because Russia has free health care, free education and free extracurricular activities for kids. So basically, you can raise children with zero costs. And that’s why we didn’t feel like we lacked something because we go into free school to free swimming pool to free sports club to free singing lessons and everything like that. So that’s why I felt always that I’m probing and that I’m properly entertained but without, you know, financial investment. And main families were like us like it’s it’s very popular that people in Russia and in many other countries no leaf kind of like paycheck to paycheck. And this was my reality but I wanted I always wanted something more and I always wanted, you know, to to buy fancy clothes. This is what kind of like my goal when it was eight year old girl and I started to do MLM multi level marketing things I was selling like cosmetics from door to door. And it was so much fun. So I was always I always used to have my savings. I, I think I was pretty much self sufficient person for as long as I remember myself. I was, you know, because just my parents didn’t have money. So that’s why I couldn’t rely on them in this case. But they were always like, supportive of everything that I do in terms of I could literally tell them everything. Like if I was dating a guy I could tell like, and my mom and my father like what’s going on? How’s it going? Stuff like that. So I had no like taboo questions to discuss. And, you know, grades were not the issue in terms of I was not afraid if I’m like, I don’t know if I’m not studying properly or stuff like that. So and because of the transparency, I think it established a lot of trust. Because if you can be honest, and you know, if that you won’t be charged, I think it’s it’s incredibly empowering in terms of, you know, establishing trust between two people.
Shireen Jaffer 6:30
Yeah. So it’s interesting to me, because obviously, one of the reasons I wanted to interview you is despite having well not despite because you had such incredible, incredibly supportive parents and because you had the environment that empowered you and allowed you to ask questions and allowed you to explore. There were a lot of incredible things you were able to do before the age of 18. I remember you telling me, one of your story is, but tell us more. Tell us more about your accomplishments during Your teenage years.
Daria Tsvenger 7:01
Oh, yeah, I, my parents like invested a lot of time in me, in terms of if they saw any spark of talent, like, even if it was a really tiny spark, they made sure that it grows. And this is how they they caught that I was really kind of like prone to writing poetry. And by the age of eight Yes, it was, I don’t know something something something it is about this age. I already had my first poetry book published like on a national level, and it was just a grant from from the government. So again, no investments from our side, just you know, passion, enthusiasm and from away right place, right time. And I became this kind of like, in my region, at least, like the Prodigy child because a lot of like, national media started to be interested and, you know, they always love to cover stories about like, people Which is tough.
Shireen Jaffer 8:04
yeah, I mean, that’s incredible. And I think that goes again back to having that environment that empowered you in such a way and parents who allowed you to just explore your creative freedom. But again, you know, most people don’t have the shadows, right. I feel like I talk to a lot of people that, unfortunately, don’t necessarily have that environment don’t even live in a city or a country that invests in their people in the same way that you know, you experienced. But I reckon I remember in our earlier conversation you had said, when you move to America, something changed. And it’s that, to me was so fascinating, and I’m always interested in and hearing how the culture impacts people when they come from abroad and how they feel about it. So tell us more about that transition from Russia and when he moved here how old you were at. What did that feel like?
Dealing With A Major Life Change 9:02
Yes. Oh, that that was really tough. So, I was, it’s so interesting because now I remember I was such a different person. Literally in my world before I moved to the US. I didn’t think that mental health is a thing. I didn’t think that people can be depressed or you know, can be really emotionally down and it’s it’s hard to get out of the state until I experienced that on my own my own self. So I always give myself like, lucky I thought about something, the opportunity immediately arises and stuff like that. So and I didn’t know any other state basically. So I was constantly feeling high without actually like, taking anything, and I even I even didn’t drink alcohol like zero at all. So I was like supernaturally high from life.
Shireen Jaffer 10:03
And you’re talking about before you move, because these are the these are the feelings you’ve experienced since childhood where everything seems to be working out, you have an idea, you find the opportunities in the universe is essentially working and in your behalf in a way.
Daria Tsvenger 10:20
Yes. And I moved to the United States because of my husband’s job. He’s a tech entrepreneur. So it was a it was a smart decision to move to San Francisco at that point. It’s the first city where where I moved, I was 20 years old back then. And I thought, okay, like, no problem moving to the yes should be should be fine. Because before that I used to wait for half a year in Asia, and it was it was fine, although the culture was also different. But somehow this half a year experience was totally, totally beautiful. But then when I moved to the United States, of course, I didn’t have documents ready and everything Like no permission to work like every other immigrant experiences. And in this case, I, I found this emptiness. I literally I had nothing to do nobody to talk to. I was living in a beautiful place. Like, really everything was really, really beautiful. But I couldn’t enjoy this things like everything became so blank for me. And I just I felt like I don’t matter, because my language skills were not really good. And everybody around me seemed way smarter and way more talented than I am. Just because I I couldn’t understand what they do and they couldn’t understand what I do. And then I started to realize that Oh my God, when all this external things are taken away, like what’s left
Shireen Jaffer 11:56
Hmm. And this I think, people first of all, thanks for But because I think a lot of people right now at least, you know, we just were timestamp it’s it’s what April 17 2020. So, you know, we’re we’re in the middle of our Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. And I think a lot of people are feeling that way right now. They’re realizing they’re losing their jobs and they’re far away from their families and they’re not necessarily getting to go be part of activities that they’ve enjoyed outside and they’re sitting there, they’re asking when all these external things are gone. Who am I and? And that, is that is that what you relate to when you were going through that journey yourself?
Daria Tsvenger 12:37
Yes, it’s totally this feeling. And, of course, culture. Culture means means a lot of things. And it was it was interesting for me to see what part of me is just my culture. What part of me it’s just my job, but part of me it’s just, you know who my friends are, but when everything is taken from you was left. And this question drove me crazy because I couldn’t understand what’s left. And it seems that it was emptiness inside. Like, you know, there is a baby and it’s and it’s crying and it has like its its little toy. And when you take away this toy, the baby’s frustrated and it doesn’t know, like where to put attention to. So this experience brought me to, like incredibly low self worth. And this this sense of loneliness, because I couldn’t acknowledge my set for myself. I thought that everything was fine. My Instagram personality was perfectly fine. And I couldn’t acknowledge either to my friends or to my family, because like, they would say, like dari, it’s your choice. Just Just come back. Like why are you there? And I didn’t want to do do this because I, I loved my husband and I love him to this day. So I didn’t want you know, anybody give me this glucose and I, I knew that it’s my responsibility to take care of myself. And it’s my responsibility to find ways and circumstances that would bring me to my normal enthusiast stick optimistic self, because I knew that this is who I am. And yes, the circumstances change changed around me, but I must find this resources inside myself and rebuild it again. Because if I was able to build it once, probably I have this skill in me. And you know, this, this path, this path that I can uncover for myself to get myself out. And this is this is how I stumbled upon neuroscience and neuro psychology and started to learn how the brain works, and why do I feel what I feel Why do I experience, what experience? Where do thoughts come from? All these hard questions start to I started to wonder. And I was really glad that I had Stanford University in a reachable distance from me. And I started to you know, just go there for open lectures and meet people. And then I, you know, enrolled in the program. And then I started this big nonprofit, which, which was bringing top scientists to give practical tips for normal people like you and I, you know about how they can apply the science about how the brain works to the everyday lives and this is kind of like was the launch platform for me to do the work that I’m doing now? Hmm.
Shireen Jaffer 15:47
So I love that and here’s why. I think it is. So normal for lack of better words. I don’t really like the word normal, but It’s very common for, you know, people to feel these feelings of not knowing what their worth is or not knowing what their identity is. Right? And I think it’s, it’s, it’s hard to find answers for yourself when you don’t know where to look. So how did you? How did you know to go into neuroscience in the first place? Because it seems like doing that research and learning those things, is what helped you understand what you were feeling right and helped you understand that everything you revealed was justified, and then of course, how to take control of it and how to how to move things around, which we’ll talk about, but how did you know that you should or that you could even look there in the first place to find those answers for yourself? Tell me more there.
Figuring Out What We Want from Life 16:54
That’s a That’s a really great question. So I started to pay attention to the clues that life was given me and the way my mind works the weight also the way I was brought up, my mom is a functional medicine doctor. So we were we were this family and personal others family who you know looks for a root cause and doesn’t treat the treat the symptoms. So I saw my experience and my feelings as a symptom to the root cause. And I started to search for the root cause because I realized that if I was if I were just to dumb, the symptoms, nothing Nothing good will happen from that they will still you know, poke around and show up. And that’s why it it’s just it’s really great question and I want to now I want to reflect and remember what was the trigger moments for me, it’s like thank you think a shoo in for for making me for prompting me to this to this thought because now right now I don’t remember what was this turning point of me being interested in in the brain? It seems it was forever.
Shireen Jaffer 18:10
I will, I’m happy to help with that thought. But, you know, I think it’s, it probably goes back to, again how you were brought up, right? This obsession with figuring out the root cause, because that thinking that approach to thinking becomes natural over time. And I think as a society, we are so often focused on just fixing the symptoms, that a lot of us don’t even learn it from a young age, that there’s a root cause and how to even navigate to identifying that root cause. I think I told you this a while back, but, you know, Edvo for example, a lot of the work I’ve been doing has always been helping people get jobs and helping people find meaningful work. But sometimes I talked to people and it’s very clear that you know, they’re looking for a job because that’s what they are. is the best best next step, because they’re unhappy with their current job. So for them, it’s well, if I’m unhappy with my current job, I must need a different job. But sometimes when we get to the root cause we realize they, it’s not that they need a different job. They don’t even like being an employee, they don’t want to be within the employee employer relationship where they have this one job, even if they like it, at the end of the day, they’re dependent on this company, to pay them a salary and to pay their benefits. And, you know, they they’re Reliant and that’s actually what brings them the the misery and the disengagement. It’s not so much the job only. And it’s been fascinating for me over the last few years as I’ve helped people in their careers, how many of them, how many of us have just been taught you know, to go from one company to another growing your career, go to the companies that give you those opportunities? yet so many people feel miserable doing that, even though they say, but I have I have a good job it pays me well. I like the work I’m doing. But I still find myself not really aligned. And so it again, it’s, it’s so important to go back to that root cause and I think because you were growing up, or you grew up in with that mindset, it probably happened to you naturally where you started questioning, why do I feel this way? and really getting into the root of how the brain functions and how our bodies function and the impact of that?
Daria Tsvenger 20:36
Yeah, You’re probably right. And I so agree with you that it’s hard to recognize what do you truly want? Because our culture, it gives us this easy shortcuts that seemed like truth. But essentially, it’s not the universal truth. And although some people are completely happy with this Cultural truth and maybe it’s truly fits their personality to truly fits the person they are. But it’s not one size fits all approach. And that’s why it’s so important. Like when you’re feeling down when when when you feel that nothing is working, come to yourself. And what I mean by that, ask yourself this freaking question what is that that you want? What do you want? What do you want? Not what somebody else’s not what your parents want from you not what your job wants from you, but what do you want? And maybe it’s not just about a job because our life it’s not about it’s not just about the chop, and unfortunately see, like the biggest thing in the western in the Western culture is that life equals job and job is taken away, there is no life left, which I hope that this crisis will actually bring up to lights and people will be will start to cherish things outside the job. Because when there is no job, you have to learn how to find life and other things.
Shireen Jaffer 22:07
Yeah, I think I think even on the financial point, right, I, I think when people, it’s I, I felt like, you almost have to be privileged to even think about those things sometimes. And obviously, correct me if I’m wrong. But I think it’s, you know, you’ve got to not have to worry about your basic needs, right, paying the bills, putting food on the table, taking care of your kids, at least their basic needs had. And when those pressures are out away, then yes, it’s, it’s, it’s thinking about all of that, but I I’ve talked to so many people that even I question, you know, why why do you live in such an expensive house and why do you Why do you have so many quote unquote burdens that you don’t want to who? Who said you needed those things and going back to Daria, what you mentioned, it’s, it’s that societal definition, right? It’s that societal construct Go get a job and then add a nice house to it and add a nice car to it. And so much of how our society to find success is through addition just adding things. And we don’t talk about subtracting things. We don’t talk about subtracting a toxic mindset, right? Or relationships that do not inspire us to be our best self, or, frankly, even things we’ve learned right from, from our childhood or even in our adulthood, just things we’ve learned ways to think our mindset that have been conditioned in us because of our environment or our how we were taught. And I think you grow up and you realize, maybe you realize, oh, wow, I think in a way that doesn’t actually serve me and harms me and keeps opportunities away from me. I limit myself subtracting that mindset, and we don’t talk about those things. As a society, we just focus on adding more and more things to help us feel successful.
Daria Tsvenger 23:59
Yeah. That’s very true. I also noticed that like, for example, every month I see like dozens of people who are like completing, completing the program, the dream sprint and one of the tasks is basically to figure out what it is that you truly want and what your fears are and what you don’t want. That’s why I have so many like generic insights on the society, not the society. I won’t claim that I know the society but on some on on a good mass of people from society like it with like hundreds of people who are sharing this insights with me. And it’s crazy because, like, how many how many times the main the main dream, the main goal is just to pay off the credit card debt that people just don’t know even how they got into this credit card debt. And what is interesting that I know many of these people in real life and I would never think that they are in such a Bad financial state, they live like very fancy lives. And for me this concept is just, it’s out of my universe. Because the way again, the culture shifts us like in Russia, there is no thing like a credit card. It’s just not it’s just not a thing. Everybody uses the debit card. And the debit card is when you know, you earn the money, you put it there, and you can’t spend more. Because you ran out of money, you just ran out of this. There is nobody lending money to you. So for me, it’s, it’s really, and I think this is about the country. It’s not like people want it. It’s just what the culture prompts you to do. Because it’s such an easy access to money, you can swipe your credit card here and there. But then this data is accumulated and you don’t feel like it’s accumulating. So it’s also interesting how the choices that that we have basically we don’t make these choices. They’re made for us unless we are concerned Have them and restrain ourselves from using these easy choices.
Shireen Jaffer 26:06
Yeah, I think being cautious being conscious and being aware, also cautious, or briefings is so important. And it is really easy to get at a point in your life or you’re just doing what you believe is right. But you believe it’s right, because you’re told it’s right. And it’s not something you actually deeply in your core, or even if you think about it logically, right. It doesn’t actually make sense if you just take the time to think about it. So I totally agree. Let’s talk again. So you’re good. Let’s go back to your story. You are, You have this realization, Wow, I’ve, I’ve gotten into a life of negativity. your mindset is not enabling you anymore. your mindset feels limiting. And so you go in and now you’re studying how the brain works, and you’re studying Why do you feel the ways that you’re feeling? What do you find out? What do you discover?
Dealing With Negativity 27:04
Yes. Interesting. Great question. So, first thing that I discovered is that it’s so natural to feel negative. Because the way our brain evolved is that the brain which survived was the one who spot all the threats in the environment. This, basically the survival wasn’t sure. So no wonder that, you know, giving the challenging environment if we experience challenge, and challenge is everything, which is uncertain and uncertainty comes from any any change in life. So when basically something changes in your life, your brain doesn’t know what to do, and it thinks that it’s uncertainty and that it’s bad and starts to scan the environment for all the threats and that’s why it’s it’s really easy to follow. On the negative, it’s really easy to amplify and even fantasize the worst case scenarios it would happen naturally no effort needed. no effort needed, like completely free for you. free service. free services we have to be cautious because sometimes we don’t need them as much. So the service that requires an investment, it’s when you are spotting the bright side and spotting the opportunities and spotting what’s working and putting things into perspective. But this requires first awareness that you’re spotting on the footpath things. You know, there are like I reckon categorize people into like two buckets, the bees and the flies. You know what the bees do? The bees, even in the dumpster, they will find the flower and they will Fly to this flower and they will, you know, do their thing because this is what they feel thrilled for. They’re interested only in flowers. But you know what flies do? They are finding a brown mess within a field of flowers, and they are aiming directly to this mess.
So it’s always our choice. Do we want to be a bee? or a fly?
Shireen Jaffer 29:31
Yeah, I mean that’s a very I think that’s I definitely I definitely also have met people that align with one more than the other right and i think different places in our life and different points in our life and different different environments. We can also swap right we can worse what is a be all the time but that said, I totally agree. I think it’s so important. To recognize that I tell a lot of people this right now, especially as they’re, you know, maybe they’ve been laid off. Maybe they’re dealing with job cuts. A lot of them are thinking, Well, why did I get laid off? Right? or Why did I? Why did I get let off laid off and someone else did it and they’re in this mindset that was just still focusing on a negative versus saying, Okay, well, how can I still maintain the relationships at my last organization and, and leverage them to add both add value to their life but also, you know, have value for myself or maybe they can serve as connections to my next opportunity. So I think the sooner you convert to the the mindset, the more opportunities you will find because I believe life does have a way of, you know, opening doors if you’re paying attention, but if you are so hyper focused on The negative, I think you’ll attract even more negative. And I’ve also personally experienced that where if I get a negative thought process, I perceive everything around me as negative, I attract people who are negative. But when I’m positive, I, I attract all those opportunities and that energy as well. Yes, so true.
Daria Tsvenger 31:23
And I totally agree with your comment that we are experienced in different states and all of us have potential to express traits of bees and traits of flies. It’s just a matter of our awareness. Sometimes, you know, we have to be flies and we have to find one start working. But now, we shouldn’t stay in this mode forever. It serves us it’s not because what I also see is that sometimes when people go in this personal development route, they’re like, Oh, I have to be positive but I have to be positive, but actually positivity can be really toxic because when positivity is Ignorance is just ignoring the negative thoughts. And because I actually don’t like work negative, I think we have just different emotions and some emotions are less pleasant than the other. So when you are experiencing this less pleasant emotions, you don’t have to just push them away because they will come back triple force, you have to process them. You have to learn to recognize them and to be aware of them and to recycle them essentially. Because if you’re not recycling your garbage, it just starts to you know, go back. And we don’t want that. We want to recycle our garbage all the time. And that’s why I actually love more. The term optimistic rather than positive because positive it’s like you ignoring stuff that snapped? Oh, no, I don’t see the negativity. I think that the life is awesome. But no, there are challenges. And there are things that we have to acknowledge. We can’t just be you know, ignorant. People who live in their own like imagined world, we live with the real world and right right now people are suffering. Some people are dying. And it doesn’t mean that we have to suffer too. But it means that we should be at least recycling our emotions around that, at least not be nigra just Oh, nothing is happening and then you go, you know and hug every person on the street. It doesn’t help.
Shireen Jaffer 33:25
Yeah, no, I think very powerful. positive versus negative. is is almost the two extremes. Right? And then, but more so the optimistic. Yeah. And there’s a range of motions and motions and you have to see things for the way they are. But, but stay in that optimistic mindset. So you can also see the opportunities to make those things better for yourself and for those around you. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Daria Tsvenger 33:51
Because when you are optimistic you are acknowledging how things are, but then you choose to see the bright side But not the bright side that you just imagine, but you just find it and you focus on that, but not being ignorant to what’s going back.
Shireen Jaffer 34:08
Yeah, absolutely. So So, you so you enroll yourself, did you enroll yourself at Stanford? Or were you taking classes a different way?
How The Brain Reacts To Change 34:19
Yes, I was. I enrolled myself in Stanford extension. It’s still like, it’s still on campus training with with Stanford stuff. But it was not like a master’s degree or like PhD. It was like professional education.
Shireen Jaffer 34:34
Got it. Okay. So you’re at Stanford and you’re learning all these things right about mindset and and where to focus ourselves and what our survival brain does and where we need to actually put in the effort and put in the investment. So how did that impact you how what are some steps you took from you know, going from already having that natural, positive mind Add to that, entering a point in your life where you lost that and now you’re rediscovering it. Tell me what you did then.
Daria Tsvenger 35:08
Yes. So, first thing that I did, after I realized that I shouldn’t blame myself for feeling this way. This is just how my brain reacted. And because I didn’t know that it’s natural, I started to blame myself. And this is coming back to the concept of unnecessary suffering. So there is necessary suffering that just happens in our life. But when we decide to narrate this unnecessary suffering with it’s so bad, it will be just worse when we just start to imagine things go with worse This is unnecessary suffering that we should learn how to process so I process my unnecessary suffering. I realized that I like the world is not ending like I’m actually pretty fine. And I put things into perspective that like how lucky I am how like literally blessed I am to have things that I have relationships that I have. And I started to show up. You know, I started to show up with my whole self, I started to accept my flaws. I accepted that. Okay, although my my English is not perfect, and I probably would never become a native speaker or I not right now I even don’t have this goal at all right now. I think that my accent this is what this is why I step down. This is what’s unique about me rather than this is what’s flawed about me. So it was a lot of perspective, shifting work. And then I just started to boldly pursue actions. I you know, although I didn’t have a work permit, I created this nonprofit. It’s called brain power hub. And through this brain power hop, I teamed up with a really established person She’s now a friend of mine. She works in UCSF in the neurological department. And we started to literally invite top minds from Berkeley and Stanford to give this big talks about practical application of neuroscience. And this is how I met incredible, incredible scientists. And this is how I was introduced to their research because I was literally working with them and organizing like full feeders of people for them. And it was so much fun, we were able to like sell out from scratch with no audience like 300 500 tickets, which was a real interesting thing. You know, to go through and when I started to do actions towards this space where I, I saw myself because I didn’t know how I can enter the space. And this was the best thing at that time. And this is how it all started.
Shireen Jaffer 38:00
That is incredible I mean that really allowed you to completely turn your life around at least life in America
Daria Tsvenger 38:10
it was a good starting point and then I you know the Gestalt therapy is like when you want something but you do not kind of like allow yourself it but when you actually go through this unload experience, you find out that you don’t want it. So this happened with the job because I thought like, Oh my god, I want to earn six figures, Silicon Valley Valley salary, but I can do this because you know, there are so many people who graduated from like UCSF, Stanford and Berkeley UC San Francisco, it seems that those are the only places where people graduate from so I’m like, and and i back in Moscow, I used to be pretty good, you know, in marketing and public relations and public speaking and all These kind of like language, heavily language related things. And I’m like, you know what, I will be employed like for a six figure salary in a hot Silicon Valley startup for marketing position. And I’m just I should do this. And I’ve done this without any applications, or anyone sending the resume type of thing. And I worked in the startup for like six months and then parted my ways, because my guesthouse was closed. I realized that I’m totally worth of these things, and I can get them whenever I want. But it was, you know, my I had to have this experience. And since then, I’m on my entrepreneurial journey.
Shireen Jaffer 39:46
That is awesome. Yeah, I think it’s true. It’s almost like you think you can have things and then when you have them you realize, Oh, I never wanted this in the first place. However, I know that I can have it because I proved myself
Daria Tsvenger 40:01
Shireen Jaffer 40:03
Interesting. Okay, so talk to us more about in your work today. In your work today you work with I’m sure people from all different backgrounds at all different points in their life. What is something even after working with so many people what is something that still surprises you about working with them?
Daria Tsvenger 40:23
Oh, interesting. Actually the nature the nature of of people who who tend to come to me extremely ambitious people, but extremely confused. This is kind of like my, my profile, the profile that I’m working for the most, maybe because I’m in California, and we have so many people who are like extremely talented, extremely ambitious, but struggling to find their place in life or struggling to get the speed that they want and they want to figure out like, what’s internal is wrong with them. What’s like, blah in them, and that’s why they come to me to help them figure this out.
Shireen Jaffer 41:07
what what do you think leads to the confusion?
Daria Tsvenger 41:12
unforeseeable change in life
Shireen Jaffer 41:17
Tell me more.
Daria Tsvenger 41:18
Yeah. So as, as I talked, as I mentioned earlier, that change is something that is perceived as threat. Yes. So our brain literally thinks that when we change something, it’s a threat. And that’s why First of all, it’s hard to change something when you want. Even if you don’t, it’s so hard. It’s it even if you want so badly, it’s hard. That’s why people always like put off tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, like the starting date tomorrow. It’s never today. And this is very natural, because change means pain. And it always meant pain for for our brain to run, you know the evolution process. And that’s why right now, we inherited this brain which perceives any psychological change as literal like a physical threat. And that’s why the trigger point is when unforeseeable event comes into into life, for example, in many cases it can be, it can be a breakup, or it can be a marriage, or it can be, you know, when when business has to be, but it’s not really easy for for people to pivot their businesses because there is so much uncertainty, and that uncertainty is perceived as a threat. That’s why it’s so easy to be stuck and to be in the research mode. Basically, research moved I call sometimes the procrastination mode, because how many projects I’ve seen started this way, like, oh, let’s research this. Oh, like, let’s like, and the project just puts off and puts off and puts off right, because it’s this fear of actually facing the real thing. That’s why I really have a I have a mentor of mine. He is 82 years old. He is like a multimillionaire person who you know, did everything in his life. He saw, like, I think six different crisis and great depression and all of that. Andwhat he, oh my god, I think I lost the thought I wanted toremind me what I was just what was your mentor?
Shireen Jaffer 43:30
your mentor, 82 years old, change dealing with change,
Daria Tsvenger 43:35
change, change, change?Oh, yes, yes, I remember. Okay. He told me that dari You know, there is always a desire to not to show the world something until it’s perfect. And he was like Daria for people like us. 87% is already perfect. So don’t bother doing 100 don’t bother doing white 190 denied, when it say to seven is good enough, you just show it. And I resonate with this so much, because in my nature, I’m not perfectionist at all, and like proofreading an email it literally, it’s, I feel bad to do this every time. And that’s why, you know, this mindset of fearlessness and ability to act and to act from the place of inspiration, not from the place of fear. Yeah, remember, we discussed this with you, in our previous talk that there are two types of actions and some people can make actions and act but they will just act because they’re running away from something. But actually, when you are going towards something, this is a totally different quality of action. So this is what I noticed people need the most help with actually to define what’s What’s the uncertainty that they face? Which will like walk them through what’s happening with them emotionally and that this is okay. And then if people know what they’re going through, they can anticipate their emotional states, and they won’t be surprised by them. So they will be like, Okay, this is fine. This is what I expected. But it’s not what I want to bite.
Shireen Jaffer 45:23
Right by this. Yeah, you know, it’s so interesting. I love that you said it’s about what you’re going to versus what you’re running away from, because that goes back to our earlier discussion on the optimistic mindset. I hear so many people saying, I need to get out of my toxic job, or I need to get out of my bad relationships, right? And all those are true, but it’s also I want to make room for a more productive, more meaningful job or I want to make room for a more productive or meaningful relationship. I think You’re saying the same thing, essentially, however, it’s a completely different mindset. That’ll also then shape the action, which is something I feel like I’ve had to reprogram my mind from over the years is going from that I’m running away from something to bring change into my life or to make change into my life. Versus I want to make room for something I want to go towards something. And that is why this change is happening.
How Our Words Influence Our Goals 46:32
Yes, yes. And it’s very true. This is this is actually one of the first. First things in the dream sprint that we do. I walk people through all the formulations. Basically the way you talk to yourself, it influences your lot. And the way you talk to yourself, this is how you form your desires. This is how you communicate what you want, what your goals are, what you dream about, and if you’re communicating the wrong destination, the destiny From which you want to move away, there is no direction. So, you you you stay stuck, because when there is no destination, you just you know you can run like like like a supersonic. But without without the particular purpose.
Shireen Jaffer 47:17
That is so true, I think the power of words is definitely something that is undermined. Today, I think the way you talk the way and what I mean by that is the words you use, to communicate with yourself to communicate with others to communicate your thoughts is so powerful because the way you communicate them as the way you understand them and internalize them. And by the way, that’s also the way people around you internalize what you’re trying to say. And it is so important to be mindful of the word. And so an example for example, I was talking to my I was talking to my team the other day. I’ve said we’ve got a lot of shit to do. And I caught myself because I said, we’re not doing shit. Our full 50s we are bringing impact to this world. And we take immense responsibility for that. So why is it that that, of course what I say, you know, we’ve got a lot of shit to do, let’s make shit happen, right? These are things that as a society we say this is casual language. However the power of it, the impact of it is so small compared to we’re going to bring change into this world. We’re going to impact we’re going to enhance we’re going to empower I mean, the the power in those words, and the energy it can create, not just for you internally in your mind, but also for the people you’re communicating to. I think it’s totally understated in in ourselves Today.
Daria Tsvenger 49:01
so true. So true. That’s why only by learning this, he already had several steps. Literally it just just by learning how to how to communicate to yourself because when you do it once your brain will catch you when you are not communicating properly and he and by repetition This is how the habit is formed. And you will find yourself in a new habit.
Shireen Jaffer 49:29
Yeah, it’s like, you know when so I do I coach people on public speaking and communication and I make them aware of how often they use filler words like, um, and like, it’s so funny because of course, for the remainder of the day, anytime they say um, or like their, their brain is correcting them and they’re so hyper aware of it, because it just comes from that cautiousness and from that self awareness of how you communicate and how you feel and how you think it’s It’s absolutely true. Thank you so much for sharing all this tech tips area.
Daria Tsvenger 50:04
Of course, thank you so much for asking all the smart questions. I love hearing interview style. You know, I’ve been on many podcasts and I think yours questions are the smartest that I, you know, experienced so far.
Shireen Jaffer 50:18
Well, I appreciate you being about I think, you know, my, it’s my big intention with this is to just inspire people to think for themselves because what your story really showed me is, you know, whether you come from that supportive childhood or not, it’s inevitable that you’ll probably go through something that puts you in a mindset that doesn’t serve you and it can happen to any of us. And you by simply asking yourself, why do I feel this way? and exploring a variety of perspectives, not just the emotional perspective, but actually getting down to how does my brain work and What does the evolution of our brain tell us? That gave you the answers to one make you recognize, oh, this is I mean, this is not just a meeting, this is how I’m programmed to feel. And then to you realizing, oh, but then I also have the ability to overcome that programming or to embrace that programming and improve upon it. Because now I understand how it works. And that is truly My belief is once you recognize, once you think and recognize how things are working, how you are working, there’s a lot of power because you then know how to navigate that you know how to take control of it. And unfortunately, I think today because whether it’s our education system or whether we just prioritize as a society, everyone is forced to be taught what to know right in school, we’re taught here are the subjects you need to focus on. Here’s what’s going to make you successful. And I think a lot of people now are realizing, wow, I did everything I was told to do. And somehow I still live paycheck to paycheck somehow I still don’t feel aligned. Somehow I have all this money, but still don’t feel any sort of happiness, or, or any meemic. So, thank you again for sharing that story. Daria. I am so so grateful.
Daria Tsvenger 52:26
Of course. Very, very welcome.
Shireen Jaffer 52:30
And Daria, how can people find you? How can people get in touch with you? How can they learn more about your program?
Daria Tsvenger 52:37
is a website it’s called thedreamsprint.com. You can find me there. You can find my Instagram link there, Facebook link there. And yeah, I think this would be the main resource.
Shireen Jaffer 52:51
Perfect. All right. Well, thank you so much, and have a great weekend.
Daria Tsvenger 52:55
Of course. Have a great weekend.
Also, our CEO, Shireen Jaffer, hosts weekly virtual hangouts to bring people together. If you want to know when the next one is happening or get the curated email update,
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