#65 The Core of Personal Growth

Today's Guest: Joey Chandler

Today, I interview Joey Chandler, a good friend for years. This story takes place in the middle of a transformative phase in his more current journey, rather than walking back through his childhood. Joey went through a very rough period over the past couple years where he was struggling with COVID, going through a separation, and dealing with shifts in his business. He was frustrated and feeling a little lost.

After all the work he’d done in the past, studying and teaching about purpose, he felt a deep longing to get to the roots of his own identity. He believed that if he could figure out who he truly was, he’d begin to find the answers to the other questions that were presenting themselves in his life. And what he has learned about himself is that he’s all about love: courage, connection, and commitment. After peeling back the layers, he slowly but surely realized that these things were the key to renewing his sense of purpose.

Joey explains further, saying that we’ll always have problems, or obstacles, or challenges that can give us anxiety or fear. Those things never change. But when we bring more and more and more of ourselves to the situation, our own presence diminishes the issue, and our perspective becomes less about fear and more about confidence and feeling equipped. We have courage.

In learning more about connection with others, a friend pointed out to him that who we are and what we value are two very different things, and it’s important to personify love to people. Finally, Joey talks about commitment. He says that who we really are is just beneath the surface waiting to emerge. Finding your true self takes commitment, which is a daily investment of time, practice, and trust. But when you commit to something true and good, rooted in love, it can be the surest footing of your life.


Joey Chandler is a purpose-based relationship coach and host of the Love Launch Podcast. He works with entrepreneurs, executives, coaches, and consultants to make their purpose part of their relationships and everyday life. He has been coaching and leading transformational workshops for 20 years and his purpose is about people loving their life. He lives in northern California, is an avid skier, and recently published his first book – “Thrones of Wisdom – 99 ways to get off the pot while on the pot.” Joey offers a quick survey on his website where you can create your own Core Statement, which helps you to “describe who you are in everyday language”.

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Transcript of Interview

ranscript of Interview

Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast 

Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing

Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com

Episode #65 Joey Chandler


“The Core of Personal Growth”



(00:35) Dr. Doreen Downing

Hi, I’m Dr. Doreen Downing, and I’m a psychologist and I host of this podcast, Find Your Voice Change Your Life. What I do here is invite guests who have some story about somewhere in their life where they feel like they didn’t have a voice. And that could be way early in life or it could be currently. And we’re going to hear today from my friend Joey Chandler and I know Joey, because as a purpose coach, I went to him and I discovered so much about my purpose.


I know you have been going through some major changes, personal insight. And I’m excited to have this idea of voice coming through in this very moment, in this time of life, rather than something that happened way back when and there’s a trauma or some kind of challenges at school growing up. I mean, that may be true, but what it sounds like we’re in for today is a treat about somebody who is discovering their true voice right here, right now. So Joey, I know you wrote a book. So I just want to mention that “Thrones Of Wisdom 99 Ways To Get Off The Pot While On The Pot”, and that you do live here in Northern California, not too far away from me. So that’s exciting that you and I have been able to see each other at networking events, and also the coaching, the marvelous coaching that you do. So I would like to recommend people to look you up, Joey Chandler. I guess it’s Joeychandler.com?


(02:22) Joey Chandler.net


(02:23) Dr. Doreen Downing



(02:27) Joey Chandler

Oh, thank you so much. I’m so excited to do this call, because so much of what I’ve been going through, I think you’ve been talking about forever, so I’m kind of catching up to you. So I am very, very excited to talk. I now, as you said, I used to coach purpose, and I will talk purpose and why and values and all of these things. And now I describe myself as a core growth coach. I help people figure out who they are at their core, and then how to grow that in their life. And the reason for the change was that in January, I just got to a point where I just didn’t have anything left, I was going through a separation, COVID, I was living alone, struggling with my business, just a whole bunch of stuff. And it’s not anything unique to me, given everything people are going through these days.


But I just had this moment where I said, okay, I can’t be anything besides me. I just don’t have the energy to be anything else besides me. I said, okay, well, if I can’t be anything else besides me, who am I? And how can I be more of that? And that singular question, has been driving my life for the past six months and completely changed my life. Because fortunately, for my purpose work, I actually had a sense of who I was. And I just was able to just refine that over and over and again, and just build this foundation, to where I’m like, okay, this is who I am, and I am able to take steps and action. And the very best part about this whole approach is that on those days, when I have nothing, I get to the point where I have nothing left because that does happen, I now just have this process, I can say, okay, who am I? And how can I be more of that? And who I am, as I say I’m about love, and what love means to me is courage, connection, and commitment. And every morning now, I wake up and I have some conversation with myself of like, how can I bring more courage, connection, or commitment to my life? And it is just really helping me move forward.


(04:30) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, it sounds like there was a moment of like a breakthrough moment. It was probably you know, like breakthrough moments often happen as a result of a series of previous moments, like a building collapsing, just doesn’t all of a sudden collapse when it has a good structure, but it’s been getting weaker and weaker and weaker until it just collapses and I’m not saying that you had a collapse, but you had a breakthrough or some sort. Can you say a little bit more about that moment, earlier this year?


(05:05) Joey Chandler

The best word that I have to describe it was a surrendering moment. I just like I had nothing left. And so I couldn’t do anything else. And one thing that I was doing was, I don’t exactly remember the exact days, in the movies this will be all lined up. But in reality, I was writing a lot of copy for my website, or some material, and the word love just kept coming up over and over again. And before I had done that I had my purpose as being around freedom. But the way I look at stuff is that if the language is showing up over and over again, then that says something. There’s something there to at least notice. And before I had kind of always was able to resist the idea of love, because it’s come up before but I was always had kind of good reasons and did kind of work past it. But at that point, I said, I guess I’m love because I got nothing else. And I just surrendered into love. And really, from that day, I went forward. And then it’s been this surrendering and honestly a refinement.


On my podcast that you’re on, my Love Launch podcast, I interviewed a guy and he told me the story about how the Navy SEALs do things in sets of three. Because apparently, when people are shooting at you, you can remember three things, but four or five doesn’t always work. And I used to say that my core or my purpose was around five things. And when he said that I was like, okay, that’s easier, three things. So I switched, I narrowed it down. It took a bit of work. I narrowed it down to connection, courage, and commitment.


And turns out the Navy SEALs were right, it’s easier to remember. And then I just keep surrendering, and I keep letting go. If it’s hard for me to do, I generally try not to do it. I still catch myself. And I have a habit of trying to force things through things and get excited about stuff. But I’m building up more and more. If it’s hard for me to do, if it takes work beyond me, I’m starting to question a little bit and I usually can find a way that is more aligned with who I am. And just keep taking steps. I’m not perfect at it. I got a lot of work to do on that. But I’m getting more and more to the point where I can be like, okay, this is who I am. And you know what, this feels right. So I’m going to do that.


(07:42) Dr. Doreen Downing

I like that feedback instantly it feels right. So with courage, connection, and commitment, those three, I guess you call them guide lines, or…


(07:54) Joey Chandler

I call them drivers.


(07:56) Dr. Doreen Downing

Drivers. Okay. And so you talk about courage and you were, seems like juxta positioning it to something you don’t want to do. So how do you know when you need to call on courage as opposed to saying, surrender? Let go?


(08:16) Joey Chandler

Good question. I think it’s a little bit of a gut reaction. Courage, one of the really interesting things about this process and because I narrowed it down and now I’m thinking over and over again, what does courage mean to me? What does commitment mean to me? I started exploring what courage means. And I realized that having courage like to do something you may not want to do is one thing, but there’s also, when you do something courageous, like you ask somebody out, or you do a bold step, or that feeling that you get after being crazy, like inside of being courageous or a little bit nervous, a little bit scary and you do it and it’s awesome and all that. I love that feeling.


So courage has become a feeling as much as a thing to do. I like it when I am courageous. Like the most loving and romantic and things I’m most proud of in my relationships were the times where I was courageous. Where I said something, where I did something, where I apologized faster. Those are the moments that I love. So courage is not just something I need to do in order to do something else. It’s actually an experience that I’d like to have in my life.


(09:37) Dr. Doreen Downing

Oh, I love that explanation. Thank you. In the sense of how we bring this back to voice. What you just described was speaking up, and communicating something that might be difficult, or something you really want, but are afraid to ask for. And that sensation, it’s a physical sensation I get it. It’s not, oh, I have to do that, and like, oh, get your fist going and say I’m courageous and trying to convince yourself. Another C word, convince yourself, but I love that whole sense of an embodied sense of what courage feels like. There’s a little bit of excitement. And they do say fear creates the same physiological response as excitement.


So, it’s you noticing, is there something like a yes in it? Does it feel like there’s something about taking that step toward and into the experience? Because it has a yes. And the surrender, to me feels like what you’re talking about. It’s not a push, even though courage sounds like it’s a pushing.


(10:54) Joey Chandler

Yep, absolutely. Are you a skier at all?


(10:59) Dr. Doreen Downing

No, but I know you are.


(11:01) Joey Chandler

So there’s a moment when you’re jumping off a cliff. There’s a moment when, you imagine you’re approaching a jump or a cliff. And you get to a point where you can’t stop. You can stop, you can stop, you can stop, but then you get to a point where you just don’t have the time to stop, you’re going to fall off, even if you tried. And in that little second, that’s the courage spot. That is the spot where it’s like, oh, it’s scary, it’s thrilling, it’s all sorts of things, but it’s awesome. And the interesting part is that the more that…I love that idea that you’re talking about courage as a push, the more that I do this, the more that I grow my sense of who I am, I realized that I actually don’t have to be, I can rely less on the pushing of courage.


Because something, again, this is something that I’ve just started recently starting to explore. If you can imagine there’s some challenge or something that you want to overcome. And your perspective of this thing is that it’s really hard. To make a sales call or get up in front of a stage. And I think you probably addressed this, but if you could actually grow who you are, if you get a sense, okay, this is who I am and then you practice being yourself in more places, you’re going to grow who you are. The challenge of getting on the stage stays the same size, but who you are gets bigger. So your perspective of the challenge gets smaller, it becomes more manageable. And while you may take a little bit of courage, it’s not the courage that is so much that you can’t do.


(12:46) Dr. Doreen Downing

That white knuckling courage.


(12:48) Joey Chandler

Yes, you don’t need that. You get to the point where like, courage is fun. Courage is fun when you know you can do it. When you know you can jump off that cliff, and it’s going be great, you know that. But if you don’t know that, it gets harder.


(12:59) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, the knowing I’m getting is more about connecting to the core. It sounds like your specific C is core. And so connecting with your core and who you really, truly are, expands. I love that explanation of how you can move towards something that it has the same amount of fear or anxiety or elements that you had before, but you’ve got more of you that enters into the arena.


(13:32) Joey Chandler

Yes, that’s exactly right. It’s really amazing. Because you started to be like, oh, now I’m trying to say like, okay, I have this challenge that I want to do. I want to hit a certain number of sales. I want to speak in front of a certain number of people. Whatever those challenges are, if I can’t do it, rather than trying to force myself, I’m starting to think, okay, how can I grow in terms of my courage, connection, and commitment, so that that challenge becomes more manageable?


(13:59) Joey Chandler

Yes, I get it. And the connection to the core means, for me when I listened to you, and for listeners that your core has a voice.


(14:09) Joey Chandler

Yes. Absolutely.


(14:13) Dr. Doreen Downing

Say more about that.


(14:15) Joey Chandler

Yes, this is one of the things and I also want to point out like, I’m not talking about core values. And there’s a point, because when I first started doing this, I was like, oh, I’m going to become a core values coach. And there’s a lot of people searching for core values. I was really excited. Like, business. But I was talking to a friend of mine, she’s like, you’re not doing core values. And she made this really wonderful point. She said there’s a difference between who you are and what you value. And that difference is subtle, but it’s really powerful. What I’ve come to see is it’s the difference between being in love and valuing love. And so I’m in the being in love stage. That’s what I want. That’s what I’m talking about.


So who you are, your core has very much a voice. And I think just like we’d like to be called our name, who we are at a core likes to be called the name that we have, a clear name. So when I say I’m about love, and what love means to me is courage, connection, and commitment. I’m able to tap into myself, just at a deeper level, just like I would if by calling you, because I can call you Doreen versus if I didn’t know your name. Does that make sense?


(15:32) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes, well, I would say, this is something that occurs to me right here. When you say I am about love, I would maybe take the “about” out and I am love. It is a little more direct when we’re talking about connection.


(15:48) Joey Chandler

You know this is the beauty. This is the exact process of whittling down just the extra stuff. So I’ll start saying I am love. That takes a little work for me. So I’m going to work on that.


(16:05) Dr. Doreen Downing

Let’s go into it right here. What do you notice about the work?


(16:09) Joey Chandler

Yes, well, it sounds weird. I am love. Like, how does that work? And, no, it really is. I am love. It sounds funny. Like I’m trying to imagine saying that. And I think it’s going to take a little practice, but I will do it. I am love. My name is Joey Chandler and I am love. And what love means to me is courage, connection, and commitment.


(16:38) Dr. Doreen Downing

Okay, yes. So what I get is that you are dropping down and embodying. And as you do that, there’s going to be even more revelations to you, I think. And this is really good for people to see is that the first hint is kind of the hiccup. Am I close? If I say love, what is that? How do I expand what that really means in terms of a being state? So I think you’re showing people right here, the process of what it means to get closer to growing your core, if your core is love.


(17:20) Dr. Doreen Downing

I would say am love that it helps me think well, what is my core? I get a lot of feedback about how warm I am. I am warm, I am warm. And it just starts to radiate out in terms of what I love about being. When I say I am warm, I’m sure there’s more I could…In fact, I will be doing this, I will be inserting lots of different words to learn more about myself and what I can grow. But I am warm. I am courageous. Because warmth helps me step in and feel like I can relate, radiate. And so you said courage, connection, and commitment. Say something about commitment now?


(18:12) Joey Chandler

Yes. I just want to put one point out because people are probably thinking this, actually, from all my purpose work. On my website, there’s actually a survey that will walk you through this process to help you find your words. It takes about 10 minutes. When you know the question, you got to warm up really quick. When you know the prompts to ask, it’s not very difficult. Because who we are at our core is right underneath the surface. You’ve known me for a long time when I say I’m about love that’s not a shocker to you, I’m guessing. Right? And so who we are is right under the surface, but we just like I did, I am love is hard for me to say. We don’t have training in how to express who we actually are.


(18:59) Dr. Doreen Downing



(19:01) Joey Chandler

It’s there. But we just don’t practice it or our parents, their parents, we don’t practice it, it’s vulnerable. But you go through that stage of just like anything, when you first start doing it, it’s scary, you can fall down, and stumble. And you kind of don’t want to do it. It’s that drawback. But the more that you do it, the more that you can practice. I can start to say I am love, like I can start to say that now more quickly, because I’ve said I’m about love a million times. So commitment came to me, actually it’s a relatively new word for me. And it’s been about the last month, contribution was the word before that.


(19:45) Joey Chandler

And about the same time where I released all that, I don’t know if we talked about this before, but I had this huge release of fear. I just realized I had been afraid that I wasn’t enough and that none of my programs where ever good enough, and nothing I do is ever enough. All of those fears, and I just notice how much fear I was holding. And it was like this. And I just had a sense of, I am never enough like it’s never about me. I don’t know if anybody else has this experience, but for me that I’m never enough, the way it shows up is I create program after program after program, I get about three quarters of the way through, and then it’s not good enough. I quit. And now I can’t even tell you how many PowerPoint slides I have, millions of practice slides, things I’ve been working on. And so when all that fear goes, the word I was saying about now in the mornings, I always repeat them, I’m about love and I’m love. I’ll say that now. And one day I said, I am courage, connection, and commitment. And two things happened immediately. I said, wait a minute, I’m about contribution. That’s not right. But then I said, oh, but that feels so good.


(21:08) Dr. Doreen Downing

Oh, there you go again. The feeling…


(21:11) Joey Chandler

It was so like, I’m contribution. And I’m like, oh, but that feels so good. There was something about the commitment. And I realized that contribution was again, the fear that I wasn’t enough that I had to contribute for people to love me. I couldn’t just be me, I couldn’t just commit to being me, that was not enough. So I had to go and contribution is an incredible word like there’s nothing you know. But then it brought me back actually to thinking of skiing and rock climbing because there’s things that you do in sports that, like on rock climbing, you’ll step onto a rock, and there’ll just be a little bit of a knob. And that knob, that little bit of knob will hold you 100% if you commit to it 100%. But if you don’t commit to it 100%, it won’t hold you. That makes you slip off.


(22:13) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes. I think I’m getting the idea of how the three are connected around finding and connecting to your core and then committing to your core. It’s not committing to being out in the world necessarily or committing to other people, really, actually, first, it’s committing to this core that’s inside of you. So that you are saying yes to the core and the core is hearing you. So this whole idea about the voice? It’s like the, I am love, I am warm is radiating out because you have committed to it.


(22:58) Joey Chandler

Yes, absolutely. And again, as I explore it more, and this is the beauty of having simple words. Because now these words percolate in my brain, I start to have different definitions. And I can have conversations like this. And people tell me kind of different things. And I get different perspectives. And some people say, hey, why? Why are you saying “about” why not just say I am love? And because I’ve committed to these words, I can have conversations. I know more about them. I know more about courage, connection, and commitment now than I did a week ago, and certainly more than a month ago, and way more than six months ago.


Oh, yes, just saying this is the perfect example, this conversation. Removing the about, getting that feedback, it opens up a whole new world, all of a sudden, I’m trying to imagine myself in front of 1000 people in a big conference. Hi, I’m Joey Chandler, and I am love. Difficult to say that. It’s going to take you some time but that would be a powerful thing. And I would say let me explain this is what I mean by that. You need to go into it.


(24:06) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes. And I think what you’re talking about also is the language of being is different than the language that we normally learn in school, and how we learn to talk, and how we learn to communicate. You’re taking us into a realm of being and so that has a different language. Don’t you think?


(24:32) Joey Chandler

I’m curious but can you say some more about that? I haven’t heard it described that way.


(24:38) Dr. Doreen Downing

Neither have I. I just kind of think that because my work is about finding voice and the voice we’re talking about, the voice that comes from core being, it’s a whole different sense of I am warmth is different than I am about warmth. As you’ve talked about so far today, it’s a direct experience. That’s what being is. And most of us don’t talk from being. Most of us talk from about, or most of us talk about what we know and values. So communication to me comes from this deeper level of being, where we’re designing or developing, speaking from a whole new language, the language of being nervous.


(25:33) Joey Chandler

Absolutely. I mean, I find this so amazing, because you are constantly growing in this state. Because I am now literally here thinking, what does it mean that I am love? I don’t even know what that means. There’s so much to talk about, or explore. What if I am love? How would I live my life like? There’re so many things and in that experience of being incredibly grounded and completely realizing that I know almost next to nothing about who I am. And what’s really possible, is a very, very common experience.


In the past six months, I’ve been having this each time I let go of something, when I went from five words to three words, when I went from contribution to commitment, when I went from I’m about love to I am love. Each one feels very, very secure, and grounded, up until the time that it’s not, if that makes sense. Yes. So I don’t regret any of the time I spent with those five words. I don’t regret any of the time I spent with contribution. I don’t regret ever saying I’m about love. But then once you kind of peel a little bit like an onion, all of a sudden, like, oh, this is the new layer.


(26:48) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes, I get it. I am being love. I am in the state of being-ness. And that is what you’re you’re looking at. Seems like that’s what you’re teaching today is about how we arrive at at being and being is here now. It isn’t in the past or in the future. It is so totally here. Wonderful. Well, Joey, we’re coming to the end. And I want to make sure that again, you can guide people to find out more about you, because you are so exciting.


(27:27) Joey Chandler

I’m so bummed. I’m like no, let’s keep talking. Yes, the one thing I just want to point out is that we all have far more experience being who we think we should be, rather than who we actually are. I have a lifetime of or much more time to think about who I was, I have more time thinking about what it means to be I’m about love. And now I’m going to have to practice living in the world of I am love. I have some new clarity now. But now we need practice. And I just want to put that out to people. Don’t expect to just be able to be, especially in this world, immediately. It takes practice. And that’s really what my work is about.


(28:11) Joey Chandler

If they go to Joey chandler.net, there’s a form they can fill out. And I run challenges on a monthly basis now. We call it the core growth challenge where we spend five days asking who are you know, who are you at your core? And how can you bring more of that to your life. And I also do coaching, where and the amazing part about this is the part that I’m most excited about is that when you tap into who you are, and you explore that, you simply can find solutions to problems faster. You’re more confident, you’re more creative, you have the courage to take action. And so if, especially if you’re a leader, and because leaders right now are stressed, they’re exhausted, or they’re overwhelmed. If you’re in that space, and you’re responsible for leading, please get in touch with me because we can help you figure out who you are, get grounded in who you are. And that’s going to help you find solutions to the challenge that you have faster. And with less stress.


(29:09) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes, how it overlaps with what I do in terms of finding your voice, it feels like the clarity comes from being curious. And then you find your own inner answers. And you find your connection to this core, which is your being and the strength of that. Then you bring it to your voice, then you become it, meaning your core is your voice. Oh, this is wonderful to be dancing in the moment with you, Joey. Anytime, let’s keep doing this. And so again, I just want to appreciate you for what you’ve brought to me and your different stages of growth and whatever those PowerPoints that you made were ones that I completed, and I will go back to your Joey Chandler.net because I want to see this new you, what you’re offering again, okay.


(30:19) Joey Chandler

It will be very similar to what you experienced before. It’s just, fine tuned. It’s just all about who you are at your core but I’d be interested to see like it would be, and I will just say this for everyone, all the people, that because everyone should work with you as a for a speech coach, and doing the work that I do, it makes you more coachable, because you’re not defending yourself as much.


(30:41) Dr. Doreen Downing

Yes. Well, you described that today about how the “Aha!” wakes you up. And you love that sense, oh, something new. Let me explore.


(30:56) Joey Chandler

Yes, thank you. This has been wonderful.


(31:00) Dr. Doreen Downing

Great. Wonderful for me too, Joey.

Also listen on…

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.