May 4, 2023

Investing in Yourself: The Key to Achieving Success with Dr. Zerri Gross

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As we've all heard in so many of my past guest interviews on this podcast, success is not a solo journey. I'd love for you to join me and Dr. Zerri Gross in this episode as we discuss the importance of seeking help from others and intentionally investing in yourself to find the personal and professional success that you deserve.

Dr. Zerri (Dr.Z) Gross is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Z is a retired Veteran, trauma-informed yoga instructor, and owner of a wellness coaching and training company, Greater Self LLC, which supports therapists, service providers, small business owners/leaders, and healers with embodying a work-life integration to spend their time in ways to money that aligns with their Greater Self. Dr. Z also provides psychotherapy in her private practice Dr. Zerri Gross Family and Counseling Inc.

•[6:15] Dr. Zerri explains the importance of being open to new ideas.
•[9:28] “What are you thinking about? What's your body doing when you're thinking about those things? And how's it actually supporting you as an individual to grow yourself to take care of yourself to maintain what you have established?”
•[11:51] Dr. Z explains some of the pillars of self-reclamation that she teaches her clients.
•[18:17] On the subject of surviving, existing or thriving, Dr. Zerri asks if you are giving yourself grace to take breaks and rest?

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Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode number 125. 

As we've seen in so many of my past guest interviews on this podcast, success is not a solo journey. I'd love for you to join me and Dr. Zerri Gross in this episode as we discussed the importance of seeking help from others, and intentionally investing in yourself to find the personal and professional success that you deserve. Dr. Zerri, who also goes by Dr. Z, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who holds her doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She's also a trauma informed yoga instructor, Reiki Master Healer, Goddess, Temple, priestess and Army veteran. She facilitates mindful wellness workshops for mental health to individuals and business organizations. She has also worked effectively as a psychotherapist and whole life coach with adolescents, healers, therapists, veterans, and other professionals and has conducted diversity discussions and training for change. She's developed her own coaching protocol to support her clients in building the foundation in the four areas of mind, body, self, and reclamation, and she combines traditional and alternative healing modalities. In her holistic approach. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and collaborate with Dr. Z in recent months. And you're going to see in this episode, how grounded and thoughtful she is about our path of life, and how we can encourage others to follow the nudge to greatness and the life that they want. Let's go listen to this episode together now.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn about powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast. 

Hello, everyone. I have a very special treat for you today. I have Dr. Zerri Gross here today. She is a very accomplished she's a retired vet. She's a trauma informed yoga instructor. And she's a therapist. And I know she has a lot of wisdom to share with us about the mind, the body and the spirit connection. And I can't wait to dig in with Dr. Zerri. Dr. Zerri, thanks for being on the show.

Dr. Zerri Gross  3:06  
Thank you for having me. Christine was really awesome getting to meet you and you reaching out to say hey, why don't you pop on by and share a little something about yourself. So thank you. Thank you. Yes,

Christine Li  3:19  
Yes, no, my pleasure. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. On this episode. Let us know your backstory, your history. And what brought you to today?

Dr. Zerri Gross  3:31  
Well, funny story when I first saw what you were doing, and just like things along the lines of like procrastination coaching was like, Oh my God, if I had met you, like 15-20 years ago, I probably wouldn't be here today because you would have helped resolved pretty much my whole life in a nutshell, which was consistent, continuous, always procrastination and waiting to the extreme last minute to do everything. And I mean, everything, everything. think one of the few times in life I maybe did not do that was when I was in the military, which coincidentally happened to be around the time when 911 And I happened to be pregnant when 911 happened. So it was like lots of lots of feelings. For sure. Yes, like, Okay, this is this is intense. I'm here, I'm still alive, and I'm growing a human being in my belly. For the first time ever. We cannot procrastinate for just a little bit in life and just start preparing.

Christine Li  4:33  
Okay, so the military structure it sounds like helped you to kind of see that there was a way to change your habits. Yes.

Dr. Zerri Gross  4:41  
Totally. And because I did it there and I was successful there. Believe it or not, because folks nowadays we like you were always on time. I was like, I promise you I was because there wasn't another option. Because as soon as I got out I was like well, I will actively ensure that I am never on time for the rest of my Probably been fairly successful more often than not to finally get back to a place of literally almost 20 years later starting to hone in on the fact that how I actually spend my time totally makes a huge impact on what's happening for me as a whole person. And how that kind of looks is like incorporating like my business, greater self LLC, which is my coaching and like wellness and mindfulness business where I share a lot more about like my yoga practices and what that looks like and how to incorporate it to do yoga off the mat. Hence, not being attached to things, but also recognizing if you have set a time to do something, if you spend time doing that one thing, and don't necessarily incorporate extensive multitasking all the time, it's easier to get things accomplished. For me,

Christine Li  5:54  
yes, yes, I would say for me, too, what ended up causing you to feel like, you know, this is something to really bring into my life permanently, what allowed you to make that shift?

Dr. Zerri Gross  6:07  
Part of it started when I always gave away like free advice and helped other people strategically set themselves up for success. So a family member or friend would say, Hey, I'm thinking about doing this business or this thing, and I like, oh, just do that, that that, and it'll be done. And I'm like, Cool, thank you. And then I will go back to my life and be trying to do like, I'm gonna finish my doctorate degree, I'm gonna get licensed as a therapist. So I'm gonna learn No, I'm gonna work at this place and work at that place. And I have like, a million jobs. At this time, two children. This is probably somewhere I don't know, around 2015 ish or so. And I'm trying to do all these things at once. And I think what helped was for the Licensed Marriage Family Therapist says the last one, back when it was two different ones, and I even was during the period of when they transitioned to new versions of test, I'm like, come on, I failed the second of two, the first time with like, 11 points. I was like, Ah, I can't do this. I was also trying to do like, a doctorate degree. And like I said, I had two kids. And I had three jobs at that time, like I had a day job, a night job on the weekends, and then a place that I was volunteering at. So I don't know why it clearly didn't work most effectively. And I wasn't doing great across any of those places, just to be clear. And I was like, Okay, fine. I'll come back. I'll do it again. I think I waited a whole nother year. And I failed again, by one point. I was like, seriously, like, seriously, seriously. I was like, You know what, you have to do something different. There's going to be a benefit and following the strategic patterns that other people have set out for you to be successful and things and to start reaching out to other people that know more than you that have achieved greater success than you because while you have spent many years like becoming a really great therapist, like having great success, like getting people through therapy, graduating like teenagers through school and having them do awesome and teaching people yoga, and you know, your kids being pretty alright, too. internally. For me, I was struggling and like anxiety and depression and physically, like I did not feel good. And I realized all these things were connected. And I really needed to reach out, I started investing in myself and reaching out to different people to solve different components. And I was like, okay, great, this person can help me like physically get in shape. This person can help me with my mindset around money, this person can help me with how to create a business, this person can put stuff together that I have no idea how to do in a business. And when I started noticing this, the more that I was available and open to other people helping me and meet spending my money. So putting my money where my mouth was, and then actively taking my time and following their process, not my process, because that's what I was doing. And it wasn't working very fast, following their processes and then starting to get more intentional about okay, tap into you. What are you thinking about? What's your body doing when you're thinking about those things? And how's it actually supporting you as an individual to like, grow yourself to take care of yourself to maintain what you have established? And what does further investment look like? I started getting more and more specific to every single minute of my time that I spend when I have done it intentionally to accomplish one goal at a time. I have been more successful. I have even been more successful at helping other people be so successful. And if I keep repeating this for myself, and creating my own coaching program, it just it made sense because everyone would come up with the same concerns. And I was like, well, let's put it all together, document it, create this process and take people through a journey, coaching wise, that allows them to have the same levels of success, but more because they're not attached to it like I am. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it's my thing. I totally have to be successful. So what happens when I'm not? That I don't know about you? But that always feels like the thing like if you're successful, you have a doctorate degree. And the same with you, Christine, like you have a doctorate degree. I know people expect. They have expectations. And it's like, but I'm still a person. Yeah, still a human being. What does that mean?

Christine Li  10:49  
Yes, well, I'm so glad to hear that you survived the journey and that you've been successful at finding your productivity piece that you've found mechanism and a strategy and your just your relationship with your own vibes, that you've gotten to a place where you feel like you can be successful and repeat that success, and then share it with others as well. I really feel like that is a journey, right? And it does take oftentimes, an external investment of cash of time of energy of listening to other people, even when you think you know yourself the best, that it really does happen that when we invest in experienced coaches, and therapists, and supervisors and mentors and courses, that you can actually shorten the time that it takes to make these huge leaps personally, yes, yes, I absolutely agree. And you know, I do,

Dr. Zerri Gross  11:48  
like, oh, boy that can't imagine.

Christine Li  11:51  
Yes. So let us know, what are some of the pillars that you teach your clients, what are some of the can't miss out on this material, things that you teach?

Dr. Zerri Gross  12:05  
Well, fortunately, and beautifully. At the time of this recording, I was actually going through a launch and was sharing, revamping how I actually went about giving free info to get people invested. And, you know, just sharing some things. And the things that I like to share as my greater self is ultimately a mined by the self reclamation, what I am taking people through as a reclamation of the greatest version of themselves, and how to continuously and systematically do that. So the components that we go through are the mind. So we go through and work, work out some of those intimate relationships, like with your money, and like how you got there, some beliefs you may hold about yourself, and then we move into the body component. And these are just like short snippets, because there's definitely more but the body component of how are you physically actually taking care of your body? Like, are you eating? Are you sleeping? Are you moving it? Like? What are you doing to yourself, so that you can physically manifest and do the things that you're mentally working on? As well as looking at the self? How are you caring for yourself? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you like take time away to rest your mind? Do you read stuff that helps you like, what are you doing to really take care of you so that you can be intentional of how you're setting goals about reclaiming where you're gonna spend your time? How you're going to embrace my 5am process of what mindset Are you going to use to then manage your time, your resources and maximize what you do have access to, and then be able to monetize it, so that you can manifest what it is you really want. And you won't miss intentional opportunities to find financial freedom, because you're tapped into you. You're checking in with yourself. And you're really being intentional about how and why you're doing things.

Christine Li  13:57  
Wonderful. How do you see women holding themselves back? So they have access to you, you're telling them these important principles? And then what happens? What is the resistance that you see what are the most common patterns?

Dr. Zerri Gross  14:14  
Well, I'm glad you specifically said women because the current life coaching cohort that I just described as GTV, which is greater therapist vibes, and it's not just for therapists, everybody has their own therapists have their own selves. But it isn't just for women. However, I recognize there's a huge benefit and actually looking at and sharing more about women embodying being the goddess and what that looks like, so that they can break through some of those barriers so they can really embrace more of what happens in GTV. So what I find is that everybody knows the body holds the score, like your body holds, whatever has happened to you, any traumas you've had. So I do EMDR and like therapy, and what I noticed just as things keep coming In connecting and making more sense, when I looked at the seven chakras, since they're the most basic ones, for most women, we tend to store and hold a lot of our hurts and traumas in our bodies. And because our lower sense of gravity, like around the womb area, where life has the capacity to create in the first place, is where we store most of our hurts and traumas, which then impact and kind of block all those other areas of energy, to where women are now showing up. They're showing up and trying to get there or make it owning more masculine energy, instead of embracing what they innately naturally already have access to, and effectively can totally use and like, Hone and own than the way they may be going about competing in an arena where there wasn't competition.

Christine Li  15:48  
How would you describe the feminine energy?

Dr. Zerri Gross  15:52  
I would describe embracing feminine energy, one understanding, everybody has both. So the feminine component is really that space where you're able to be in a loving, caring, nurturing body. It's not an aggressive like, rip everything to shreds. And like, whatever happens happen, it is more of a How can I take care of? How can I give? How can I do for others? How can I take care of them? How can I ensure that others are well, which can sometimes lead to that space of martyrdom where you don't take care of yourself, and you intensify like those wounds and those things that are preventing you from succeeding, because you're so concerned and worried that energetically someone might perceive you in a way that isn't accurate? When genuinely women are meant to be beautiful, kind, soft, loving, caring, and there is totally space for having a business mind that's as sharp as a sharp, like, they do go together. But the way you do it when you're embodying when you're embodying your feminine energy does look different than when you're in a space of like, how do I chop heads off and like cut everybody out? It doesn't facilitate collaboration, us being on this podcast together as being able to work together just as women in general, is a sign of feminine energy, like really flowing with each other and supporting each other?

Christine Li  17:21  
Yes, so are there moments where either the men or the women are feeling like, they're they're just blocked, they can't move forward? They're really clinging to their older habits. They're doubting the abundance, they're a doubting their sharpness of mind. Do you see that? Or do you think that people once they're exposed to your process, they really just flow in and they're moving without difficulty? Is it something in between?

Dr. Zerri Gross  17:52  
There is no like to say there are states of existence and function. And yes, most people come in, in a space of like survival mode. So there's like surviving existing or thriving or as I say, becoming a G greater version of yourself. And that's the space where you recognize you can be surviving in one area of life existing than another and thriving and one. Most people come in and survival mode across multiple layers. And when they do work with me, what they're able to recognize is, I can give myself grace to be doing amazing, one day, and for that day, my 100% is whatever it is, and tomorrow may look very different. So what they do gain when they worked with me is okay. This isn't working, what do I want to do to change it? Let me work on these small micro things periodically, so that I can experience success in this area the way I want to, while giving myself grace that every single thing can't be 100%. If I'm actually integrating the life that makes sense for me. Wonderful walk away, not in survival mode, but actually existing are thriving, and believing like not only am I awesome, I also need to take breaks and rest. And if I'm feeling those things like impostor syndrome, it must be time for me to take a break because clearly this isn't true or accurate. Let's look at all of what I've accomplished.

Christine Li  19:19  
Yes. Beautiful. It sounds like a celebratory stance towards opportunity and the future. And it also sounds like you have a wonderful community of clients that are supporting each other who are supporting each other.

Dr. Zerri Gross  19:34  
Totally, totally, totally, totally. What I appreciate is that because you have that collaboration of other people, and cohorts, instead of only one on one coaching, they do get the benefit of hearing what other people are experiencing. And it's like an immediate normalization like oh my gosh, so I'm not the only one that thought this felt this way and I'm not the only one who's also willing to choose to stop doing that, or to start doing something else. And these people know what I'm talking about. So now I have other people to actually collaborate with, as I'm exploring that some of the folks have, like, gotten together and like they work together. And I'm like, please, like, connect, like, totally like, the reason you all were in these cohorts, specifically was so that you all could build these relationships that I was just the facilitator of ensuring you got there. That's all.

Christine Li  20:31  
I think you might be shortchanging yourself still. You're right. Here, you're really the energy to, and you've walked that walk before. And my next question was going to be and still is, how do you feel now that you're on this side of the journey that you came onto the podcast saying, I was a multiple year, procrastinator who couldn't show up anywhere on time. And now you're the leader of women and men who are learning how to thrive in their own lives? What have been the benefits to you, of building this program, doing this work and making the shift from your old self to the current self?

Dr. Zerri Gross  21:14  
I would say the biggest benefit is, is being able to recall where I was understanding that, even if, for instance, a day I woke up and was like, Oh, my gosh, I just can't I just can't anymore. The reality is, yes, I can. And because I do have the folks that I have held they are, it's kind of like when when you want to make sure that you keep doing the things that you do well, then you coach other people, because it creates an immediate accountability for me to continue to thrive to move from, okay, a year ago, this time last year, I was employed at an agency. Now I'm only employed by my companies that I own, and what that structure looks like. So being able to take those leaps of faith and maybe I jumped too fast on things, and I'm not sure I'm going to change that part. But there is this part of that feels great. Like I would not have I would not have met you had I not taken those leaps back then there would have not been a possibility to so it feels amazing to be on the other side of the current version, understanding that a year from now like, oh, my gosh, I can't fathom how awesome it's gonna be done to.

Christine Li  22:26  
Absolutely. I love that attitude. I love doing this podcast because I see and investigate and inquire to my heart's content. But how are people who they are today and I get to hear the backstory, and I get to admire all the steps, all the work, all the trust, all the investments that went into the journey that could make people show up here as success stories, I love showcasing the women and men who have done this, and it's really an example to everyone, that there are more opportunities, even though you've already made that journey. There's always other opportunities, there's always ways that you can elevate your energy, there's always ways that you can take care of yourself in a kinder, smarter way, perhaps to if I might say so. Yeah. And Dr. Z, I want to thank you for sharing your time and your energy and your spirit with us today. And I know you have lots of ways for people to stay in touch with you. Could you share some of those with us?

Dr. Zerri Gross  23:35  
Absolutely. So of course, there's the social medias. On Instagram, I'm not mistaken. I'm just gonna Fingers crossed. It's super hard that I remember my stuff is on Instagram, and I believe tick tock and you too. And all of the things that's greaterself_doctor.z on LinkedIn, I believe it's Dr. Zerri Gross Is the Facebook page that you can totally find me at. Okay, wonderful.

Christine Li  24:16  
Please connect with Dr. Zerri. And also, I believe you have a free download for our listeners as well.

Dr. Zerri Gross  24:24  
Absolutely. So I have two options. But we're going to go with the one because if you jump into my world, you're totally going to see the options for the other ones. So I wanted to share just since we were speaking about the mind, body and self interest, that connection, and opportunity, I had to share some info about the mind body self connection for mental health with an organization. So it is a download of a webinar that's maybe probably no more than like 90 minutes or so, as well as an e book of that same information. So like if you just want to flip through and get the word, you can flip through it, which I think is kind of cool. We'll and you can watch the video and just get a little insight of how what we think about impacts how our bodies function. And it also impacts how we show up as who we are. And we can always like keep circling back around to those things and looking at what you believe and makes a difference and how you show up and how you function.

Christine Li  25:19  
Yes, absolutely. Therapists unite. Right. And I believe that there's really always a clue to what's going on because we're always expressing ourselves. Our body is telling us something our mind is spinning a tale of some kind for some reason, and if you get good at investigating, you can get good at tweaking things. Get your answer, you know where to go.

Absolutely. And where to go to CBT look.

Yes, yes, yes. So many techniques. And so to get doctors Aries free download about this mind body spirit connection you would go to make time for success. Again, it's make time for success. And please do send doctors every kind note and Instagram just to make sure you stay connected with her.

Speaker 2  26:14  
Thank you so much, Christine are awesome host Thank you. Thank you people.

Christine Li  26:21  
Thank you Dr. Zerri for being so awesome. I love your vibe. I love your work. I wish you all the best and I wish your community strength, happiness and embracing all sorts of potential as I do my listeners here on the Make Time for Success podcast. Thank you for being here. Thank you, Zerri. I will see you soon. And dear listeners. I will see you next week when the next episode drops. Take care. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you've heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon!

Transcribed by

Dr. Zerri GrossProfile Photo

Dr. Zerri Gross

Dr. Zerri (Dr.Z) Gross is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a Doctorate of Education in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Z is a retired Veteran, trauma-informed yoga instructor, and owner of a wellness coaching and training company, Greater Self LLC, which supports therapists, service providers, small business owners/leaders, and healers with embodying a work-life integration to spend their time in ways to money that aligns with their Greater Self. Dr. Z also provides psychotherapy in her private practice Dr. Zerri Gross Family and Counseling Inc.