Personal Growth

Transform Limiting Beliefs, Embrace Critical Thinking, & Navigate Holistic Health with Dr. Josh Axe

Episode Notes

Have you wondered how a single negative comment can shape your beliefs about yourself?

In this episode, we dive into the crucial distinction between critical thinking and limiting beliefs, exploring how they shape our decisions. My guest, Dr. Josh Axe, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Think This, Not That, shares his personal story of overcoming a powerful limiting belief and helping his mom navigate through cancer. He offers some powerful critiques of our current medical model, and some practical tips to navigate a more holistic way towards health. Do not miss this thought-provoking episode!

Here’s what we cover:

  1. The difference between critical thinking and limiting beliefs
  2. How one person’s negative comment created a limiting belief
  3. The negative effect of limiting beliefs
  4. Josh’s journey with his mom through cancer
  5. An incisive critique of pharmaceutical ads in the U.S.
  6. How to balance natural & medical interventions
  7. The power of reverse-engineering your life based on your vision for the future

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Additional Resources:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 105: 4 Lies We Tell, the Mental Health Benefits of Honesty, & How to Stop Lying In Your Relationships
  • Episode 103: Name, Frame, and Brave Gossip
  • Episode 104: Overcoming the Fear of Vulnerability—Strategies to Stop Feeling Alone and Build Meaningful Connections
  • Episode 105: 4 Lies We Tell, the Mental Health Benefits of Honesty, & How to Stop Lying In Your Relationships
  • Episode 10: What are Limiting Beliefs and How Do I Overcome Them with Mary Marantz

Music by Andy Luiten

Sound editing by Kelly Kramarik

© 2024 Alison Cook. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Please do not copy or share the contents of this webpage without permission from the author.

While Dr. Cook is a counselor, the content of this podcast and any of the products provided by Dr. Cook are not specific counseling advice nor are they a substitute for individual counseling. The content and products provided on this podcast are for informational purposes only.


Alison Cook: Hey everyone, and welcome back to this week's episode of The Best of You Podcast. I am so glad you're here this week for another episode where we're talking about how to Name, Frame, and Brave our way through areas in our lives that bring up dissonance inside of us, a feeling of inner tension, these areas that have potential for good on some level and also some potential for harm.

In today's episode, we're talking about the dissonance of our limiting beliefs, and as I write about in I Shouldn’t Feel This Way, our minds can be used brilliantly to help us solve the problems that we face. Our minds can also be used to dupe us into self sabotage, into thinking traps, and into staying stuck in negative thought patterns. So our minds are a crucial component to our overall health.

They're not the only component–I want to be clear; we are minds and emotions and a nervous system and a body. All of these parts of us have to work together to create the kind of melody of our lives. In today's episode, we're going to focus on our mindset and to cue up this conversation that I had with our guest today, I want to differentiate between what it means to be a critical thinker versus what it means to hold limiting beliefs. 

So what's the difference? Thinking critically involves trying to assess and analyze information, consider multiple perspectives, and evaluate evidence to make informed decisions or judgments. You're questioning assumptions, you're examining biases, you're assessing the validity of what you're hearing. It could not be more important in this world today to become a critical thinker. 

A limiting belief is a belief that constrains you or holds you back; these are beliefs that are typically negative and self defeating, and they can stem from our past experiences, from the ways we were conditioned. Maybe our teachers told us we weren't good enough, or maybe in our peer groups we felt like we were less than, or we have a fear of failure. 

These limiting beliefs come out as, I'm not good enough, or I'll never be successful and they prevent us from pursuing opportunities or taking risks that could lead to growth and fulfillment. So you want to be someone who thinks critically, who evaluates what's coming your way, whether it's what other people are telling you, whether it's what you're hearing in the news or on social media, you want to evaluate the truth of what you're hearing in any given situation.

Someone who's a critical thinker approaches information with an open mind, with curiosity, who asks questions, who seeks to understand and who gets underneath the assumptions and maybe even the motivations of the person who's presenting information. Someone who holds limiting beliefs, on the other hand, would accept information or viewpoints without questioning them. I'm not smart enough, so I have to accept whatever these other people are telling me.

A critical thinker makes decisions based on careful analysis, weighs the pros and cons, considers potential consequences, seeks outside opinions and relevant information. You strive to make an informed decision based on multiple perspectives. Somebody who resorts to limiting beliefs makes decisions based out of fear, self doubt, or negative assumptions about themselves or their abilities. They create self imposed barriers. I can't do this for myself, so I have to blindly trust other people. It hinders your ability to pursue opportunities or find real meaningful solutions. 

Finally, critical thinkers actively engage in self reflection and continue to learn, to expand knowledge, to expand skills, to expand perspectives. They are open to feedback and constructive criticism, and they use that as an opportunity to grow and improve. 

Whereas if you are trapped by limiting beliefs, instead of looking for opportunities to grow and develop, limiting beliefs can create a self perpetuating cycle of missed opportunities and even self sabotage. I'll never get it right. We give up or let go, or resort to letting other people dictate our opinions of our own selves. 

I want you to become critical thinkers. People who think critically about the information you take in, who get second opinions, who get third opinions, who analyze the data, who consider underlying assumptions and motivations.

I want you to move away from becoming people who are limited by negative self talk. I'm not smart enough. I have to assume that those people know better, that other people are wiser. Those limiting beliefs don't lead you to the best that God has for you.

Our guest today talks about these limiting beliefs in his brand new book called Think This, Not That: 12 Mindshifts to Break Through Limiting Beliefs and Become Who You Were Born to Be. Dr. Josh Axe is a doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist. He founded one of the largest functional medicine clinics in the U. S. and runs the popular health website, DrAxe.com, where you can find recipes, natural remedies, videos, nutrition advice, and fitness tips. 

Dr. Axe is a board certified doctor of natural medicine he earned his doctorate from Palmer College and his master of science in organizational leadership from Johns Hopkins University.

His brand new book, Think This, Not That, was a New York Times bestselling book. He is here today to talk to us about limiting beliefs and about how we can embark on a more holistic journey to health. Please enjoy today's conversation with Dr. Josh Axe.


I'm so thrilled to have you here today to get to know you. I know we have mutual folks in common through your work in Nashville. I love the emphasis that you put on holistic healing. I really want to get into that today, but I also love that you have this new book out all about limiting beliefs. Could we start there, Dr. Axe? I'm curious. 

It's about this journey as you've been a healer, as you've taken a deep dive into all these holistic ways of healing. When did you realize the power of mindset, the power of our minds as a part of that?

Josh: I think there've been a couple instances that really opened my eyes to it. I would say that one was when I was back in high school. Another was my mom battling cancer. Another was when I was diagnosed with a spinal infection not that long ago and was told I may never walk again. It was so bad. 

But going back to the actual, I would say, the inception of it, was when I was in high school. I remember going into freshman year of high school, I was in English class and I had a teacher who asked me to stay after class. She said, Josh, what do you want to do after high school? I said I want to be a doctor. 

I said that because the year before my mom had gone through chemotherapy and I remember she had lost her hair and thinking I want to help people like my mom not have to fight cancer in this way and heal. 

She laughed out loud when I told her I wanted to be a doctor. She said, with your grades, you'll never get into med school. She said, my daughter barely got into Ohio State med school with a 3.8. She said, you've got a D minus in this class and you got an F on this paper. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. You need to try harder.

For me, looking back as a 13, 14 year old, I didn't really know a whole lot better. So I thought what? Basically, the thing I walked away with was, I'm not smart. Then a couple weeks later, my mom brought me to see another doctor and I got diagnosed with ADHD. They're talking about me like I'm not in the room.

I remember thinking to myself, gosh, not only am I not smart, I'm like, I'm medically not smart. There's something wrong with me. In high school, I really stopped. I didn't really try much. I always had trouble paying attention, but I really didn't try. The only reason I graduated was I knew if I didn't graduate, my dad would be irate.

So that was my motivation: not getting my dad too upset. I graduated with a C minus and barely graduated. Then I applied to a bunch of colleges, got denied by most, but one college, actually it was the University of Kentucky. They said you're not accepted, but If you come and do summer classes and you perform well and you get an average above a 3.0, we'll let you in. 

I had a lot of other things so I think that's probably why they even gave me any shot at all. I said, you know what? I really don't want to be the kid that stays home and goes to community college or doesn't graduate. So I said, I'm going to try. I had English 101 again for college. That was the first class I took. 

I said, I'm really going to try on this paper. I tried. And, yeah. It was like deja vu. Her name was Miss Williams. She said, Josh, can you stay after class? I thought, oh no, not this again. She said, what's your major? I said I haven't picked a major yet. She said, I want to let you know that I think you're a really talented writer. I think you should consider being an English major, a journalism major. She said, you actually got the highest grade in the class on this paper. Great job. 

It was like having a memory transplant or a mindset transplant. I went from believing for four years, “I'm not smart and I can't do it” to thinking, “Wow, somebody told me that I'm talented and I could be great at something”. It literally, radically changed my life in a major way. I think about this, if I wouldn't have heard her say that, or somebody along the way say that. 

Then eventually I went to become a doctor. I went to Johns Hopkins, I graduated there with a 3.9 GPA and wrote some books. I did some things. And I wouldn't have done any of those things if I would have held on to this limiting belief. For me, I started realizing my beliefs and my mindset are so incredibly important. 

We know that this is true. Everything from the scientific literature, we see, like the Rosenthal effect and psychology literature makes me think about that. Or the Bible, of course, talks about how as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

But I really took these things that I learned and actually, from there, it really helped me in helping patients because I realized that if I had a teacher tell me something that I can, a lot of these patients that I took care of, their doctors would tell them things like, for instance, they would give them limiting beliefs. 

“Hey, it's genetics. There's nothing you can do about this, or you have to be on this pill the rest of your life”. It really limits the patient. So when I started working with patients, I realized I'm going to do the exact opposite. I'm going to let them know, listen, your body has an amazing capacity to heal. 

Alison Cook: Yeah. I love that you're bringing that in. For too long in our culture, there's been this kind of dichotomy between the hard science of medicine and then the “softer” science of what I do in the field of psychology. You and I both know that there is no divide like that.

They all come together. The mind, the heart, the soul, the body, they're all integrated. God made us with a nervous system. It links it all together and we need all the different tools, but it's really hard to find someone when you're hurting, whether you're sick physically, whether you're struggling with limiting beliefs to find someone to bring it all together.

So tell me a little bit about how that evolved for you. You started out in functional medicine, and I've heard you talk about the story with your mom's cancer. You had some sort of red flags but I'm not sure the pharmaceutical industry is really giving us everything that we really need. Tell me about that evolution for you. How did you land where you are today, where you're really integrating all of these different things, including what we believe?

Josh: Yeah, for me it happened pretty early on and I'll give you an example why. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer as a kid, I thought, and I'm going with her to these treatments, she's going and getting chemotherapy, she's throwing up in a bucket, all of her hair is falling out and then for the next 10 years after those treatments, like my entire high school and college, I remember my mom would be exhausted all the time. 

My mom was one of those moms. She worked and she was a mom and she was a wife. She did all these things and she was worn out. I remember seeing the devastating effects of conventional medical treatments early on and thinking, there has to be a better way. I think I was aware of that very early on. Then eventually, when I went on and started studying more of these practices of natural medicine in school for that, by the way, when I was about to open my clinic that same year, my mom was diagnosed with cancer again.

This time we decided to go through a whole natural protocol. I'd been really blessed to be able to study under a doctor who was practicing functional medicine at the time. I had learned a lot about nutrition. In fact, I started working as a nutritionist before I graduated to become a doctor.

I ran all this blood work. We would do new micronutrient tests and fatty acid profiles and microbiome tests and heavy metal proof, all the stuff. We would look at all those things when my mom got that diagnosis, and we decided to take care of her all naturally. We started juicing vegetables and doing bone broth and a lot of herbs like turmeric and astragalus and a lot of these mushrooms.

Her body healed. It was amazing. We went back after four to six months and redid a CT scan. I remember the doctor's exact words, because he called my mom and he said, what have you been doing? She shared it. He goes, this is highly unusual. We don't typically see this, but your tumors have shrunk by more than half.

We want to see you again here next year. She went back then, and was in complete remission. So my mom now is in her seventies, the best shape of her life. I think when you are able to experience it, that's big. I’ll also say, I grew up in a household of faith like we prayed. So I would say it integrated very early for me because of my family and having my faith growing up and being able to see my mom's miraculous recovery. Now that I've had time and you're going to be much in line with this, now that I've looked at the research on neuroplasticity and what happens when we think about healing versus not, and the mind-body connection, there are so many of these examples of this, but if you even study the placebo effect, it's the amount of times the placebo outperforms or equally performs the medication or the supplement or whatever you're taking, it's tremendous. 

We know that the mind is powerful. And then you read the Bible, and it's a similar thing. If you read the Bible, life and death is in the power of your tongue. So I think the combination of my faith and this experience with my mom were two big things.

Alison Cook: A couple of things that are coming to mind, because I want to share with you a personal case study to talk through from my own life, but a couple of things come into mind. One is the literature, the research on prayer, the efficacy of prayer. Secular research that shows its benefits.

And it doesn't mean you don't still need scientific interventions and medical interventions. But when you were talking about limiting beliefs, there's such solid research in social psychology about self fulfilling prophecies. If we have a negative mindset toward relationships, when you feel like people aren't going to like you, or you feel like you're going to be rejected, you tend to create environments in which those things happen. 

To use the biblical metaphor, we tend to reap the kinds of seeds that we sow, and so the way that we think really does influence what happens, our outcomes. Dr. Axe, this is the quintessential, especially here in New England, I had a long journey with Lyme disease.

Josh: Yeah.

Alison Cook: It was so interesting, and I still deal with the after effects, but what happened is the treatment, the onslaught of antibiotics, created a whole separate set of issues right now that are harder in many ways for me to overcome. I've had to shift my mind and I want to ask you about this. Is it advertising? I think of myself as a critical thinker, but why do so many of us buy into this idea that the pharmaceutical industry is really the only way to go, because even me, it's like, antibiotics will knock it all out.

Now, I did need antibiotics. I did. We do need these medical interventions. I want to be clear about that. Also, there was a point at which they started to do more harm than good. The only way now for me to heal those residual effects is good old techniques; it's like exercise interventions, all the things you're describing.

I also think there's something where, at least to myself, I can only speak for myself, that I want the magic pill. I want the thing that makes it all go away and it's harder in many ways to do the integrative approach of, yes, you need to eradicate the thing that's hurting you, but you also need to be about those natural supports, those natural things that God has given you through exercise, through food, so I wanted to share that with you two questions.

One is, why do we buy in so much to this idea that the pharmaceutical industry is the only way, whether it's depression, whether it's a complicated diagnosis, and then what's the balance? What's the balance where we do need the prescription, and also, we need so many of these other tools at our disposal?

Josh: Yeah. So what I would say is, I think it comes down to two big things. One is exposure. We are exposed to pharmaceuticals on a constant basis. The U. S. and New Zealand are the only two countries, literally the only two countries, that are allowed to run pharmaceutical advertisements.

Now, because most other countries believe it's really a conflict of interest to try and sell a drug and run advertisements for those because you don't want health care to be primarily a money-making industry. You want it to be more of an altruistic industry based on physicians helping and having a heart for a patient.

The pharmaceutical industry and the advertising and the billions of dollars poured into that creates a real issue, with a real conflict of interest. One of the big issues is that it's on TV. It's on advertisements. Most people are on them. In fact, 89 percent of people over the age of 65 are on at least one medication. 

The average woman starts their first medication, which of course is birth control, at 15 years old. So all that being said, it's in our social groups, it's on social media, it's all over the place. Number one, is there a greater exposure to that or other things? The exposure is incredibly high. The second thing, and I don't think I've ever heard anybody bring this up, but I think some of it has to do with certainty. I think a lot of medical professionals are absolutely certain and they're trained for four years, 12 years, in a lot of cases.

They may think, this is the thing. This is the only cure. This is the only way. This is the only thing you can do. So I think when you're talking to somebody and they have this level of certainty and they've been elevated as this is the highest way, I would say, if somebody were to ask what is the highest position you can hold of any in terms of an authority of any profession? Name something higher than a medical doctor. 

Maybe a rocket scientist, but still not even then. So I think there's a level of certainty that's there as well. So I think those are the big reasons. I think we've actually created this sort of appearance that medicine is superior to nutrition and things that are holistic. Like somehow they've cracked a scientific code that we could never reach with. 

What's crazy is when you look back at medicine, now, this is still true today, 1/3rd of all medications today, those compounds originally came from plants and now they're synthetic. So for instance, metformin comes from lilacs and aspirin comes from birchwood. And, so medicine itself actually came from nature, but now they've been able to synthesize it so now it's stronger and cheaper essentially.

I think those are some of the biggest issues now in terms of what the balance should be. My opinion is going to be stronger than some and it's going to be maybe lesser than some, but my opinion is that probably 90 percent of medications are unnecessary today.

The reason I throw that number out there is that if we were actually going, and that number could be higher, it could be a little lower, but I do think that certain conditions, let's say ADHD, let me give an example. When I was a kid and I had bad ADHD, they would have diagnosed with a severe ADHD and I got prescribed Ritalin and Adderall and so I know this, but if my mom would have put me in a soccer game or a video game or gave me a book I liked, I was sucked in.

Nobody could focus better than me when my diet changed; my hyperactivity went 100 percent away. 100%. So all that being said, I really believe the way the medical profession should work is if you have somebody come in with high cholesterol or diabetes, I've helped hundreds of people reverse type two diabetes. 

Patients would come in and I would say, okay, we're going to put you on a diet, and it's not really a diet. We're going to have you eat a lot of meat and vegetables, okay? That's the diet, meat and vegetables. We're going to get some good fiber. That's the diet. I'm going to have you start walking. If you can lift weights, great. But if not, let's walk three times a day for 20 minutes. 

I'm going to give you some supplements. I'm going to give you chromium picolinate. I'm going to give you bayberry, which now the extract is called Berberine. I'm going to give you cinnamon and maybe some fenugreek. Okay. Let's do that and let's see what happens. 90 percent of the time, and this isn't an exaggeration, if you bring me a diabetic and I do that with them, versus you bring somebody that's practicing conventional medicine, 90 percent is going to have a better outcome 10 years from now.

Almost every time those patients reverse their type two diabetes. This isn't an exaggeration. It's the reality of what happened. I really think that's the sort of thing that should happen when patients come in. I think the other big side of things, I believe that probably close to 80 percent of diseases should also be treated with emotional, spiritual, and mental support, because this is well known in Chinese medicine.

Every condition has an emotional, mental component. For instance, if somebody has high blood pressure, that's so much stress related. It's almost always anxiety or anger. Those emotions cause blood sugar to spike, or blood pressure to spike. If somebody has worry, they'll get an upset stomach that affects the upper GI.

Grief–if you are holding onto something from the past and haven't let it go, that affects the immune system. A lot of anger and bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness–that affects the liver. Now I'm quoting Chinese medicine here. We know, and here's another prime example, fear affects the adrenal glands.

Everybody knows that. Your body puts out more cortisol and adrenaline and these stress hormones. We know that based on different types of emotions you experience, they affect different organ systems. To me, if somebody comes in and they've got a condition, you name it. If we treat it the right way with diet and lifestyle and then bring in that emotional mental component of addressing that issue, people heal.

My point here is that I don't think we should do away with medications. I think that should be the first line of defense for as long as possible. If somebody is not experiencing a breakthrough, then, hey, let's get them on medication for the shortest time as possible but let's use it then.

Of course there's emergency medicine, which I think we're actually doing a pretty good job of. You fracture your femur in half and you're in the E. R., do what you're typically doing there for the most part. But that's, I guess that's my opinion on that.

Alison Cook: Yes. Why do we so quickly jump to synthetic medicine versus looking at the lifestyle, the whole picture? When we bring this back to this idea of mindset, of limiting beliefs, I have a lot of medical folks in my family. One of the things they all talk about is that so much of it is trying to get the patient, and I'll put myself in this category, to understand this is more holistic.  

To understand and to believe, because you can tell me all day long that I need to change my diet or I need to do this exercise. But I have to do it. I have to go do it. It's this relationship between you and your patient. That is discerning. There are all these biblical qualities: discernment, wisdom, being a healer. You're walking with your clients, and your patients, and so like me as a therapist, I have to try to work with the mind.

I can tell you this all day long, but you have to leave my office and go and implement some of these micro changes. How do you, as you've worked with patients over the years, how do you work with them on these mindset issues? Do you have tools? I know that's where this book came from in many ways, is to walk us through them.

But how have you learned, how we can be our own worst enemies and how we can actually harness the power of our minds? What are some of the tricks and tools to help us buy into this more holistic, empowered way of managing our health?

Josh: Yeah, I'd say it's two things. I think this is very biblical in its foundations, and it's really leveraging pain and pleasure. This is something many of the top psychologists do today. It's something that I've done when I worked with patients or helped people with other areas of their life.

I'll give you an example of this. If we go back in the Bible and look at what God says, how we should look at him, one of the quotes that comes to mind is, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. There, the word fear is actually used constantly in the Old Testament, especially in terms of how we should view God.

Now, the word fear there is not necessarily the sort of fear that where we’re huddling in the corner, where we're fearful of being burned up. It is partly that, but in addition, it's this reverent awe and wonder of wow, God, you are so big and so great. I think one is though, it's fear and it's pain. 

You want to use that for your good. The other is pleasure. This is really tied to, love the Lord your God with all your heart. Like it's this idea of love. It's more of the positive, but you want to leverage both the negative and the positive to help yourself change.

The way that I like to do this with patients or even myself, is show them two paths. Here's what's at stake. If you want to continue, if you decide to stay on your same diet with type two diabetes, and you're not going to make any changes whatsoever, I want you to know the likely consequences.

We could use data to show this. It's likely going to cause nerve degeneration where you could lose your foot or you're gonna have trouble walking. You're going to feel very poor in this way. It also leads to heart disease. It also leads to a decreased lifespan. You could go and show it and I want you to go a step further and think about how that's going to affect your family. Think about how that's going to affect your kids. 

So you actually want to create pain for them because this is true with everything in life. Our awareness is tied very closely to our ability to grow in an area. You look at the people that are very spiritually strong, when you get around a lot of pastors or priests or rabbis, and they have this serenity to them. It's hard to upset them or get them off because they have spiritual awareness.

It's a very high emotional IQ. There’s emotional intelligence, but it's the very same thing with the body and your life. The people that I see have the best health have a very high physiological IQ. They know what's going on in their body. They can start to tell and they become more aware.

If somebody isn't aware, like most people have not thought about what the outcome is if I don't reverse my diabetes or if I don't do the right treatment. People don't become aware of that. Like people do with cancer, they're told that you could die. But with diabetes, they don't say, you're going to die tomorrow.

So my point is I say, hey, here's the likely outcome. Now here's the other outcome. If you make these changes, write down what are the things that you most want in this world. Is it to be at your daughter's wedding or your granddaughter's wedding? Bring your kid somewhere?

We did this with my mom, by the way, I did this exact same thing. I'm sharing with you. She said, I want to bring my grandkids to Disney World in my seventies. You know what my mom's doing today? She's actually, I talked to her. She's picking up my niece and nephews, three of them, and they're going to Disney world this week.

So I think that really being able to help people gain a greater level of awareness of the outcomes and tie pain and pleasure to those things based on what they really want, their desires in life gives us at least a better shot.

Alison Cook: Yeah. It's seeing the big picture. This is more than taking a pill and it'll go away. It's really understanding there are choices. There's some things we don't have control over, but there's a lot that we do. What do we have control over?

I love what you're saying. There are two paths, Here's one and here's the other, and why wouldn't we do what we can within our control to choose the path that we want? I imagine you walk people through this in the book because there's a sort of future self exercise I hear in that.  Imagine, visualize, see what you want to be doing. We don't do that enough. What do you actually want 20 years from now? Then let's work. Yeah. That's powerful.

Josh: Yeah. One of the exercises I have people do in the book Dr. Alison, is a process I call visualization to realization. I've had so many people who have started reading the book and they say there are a few exercises in the book they quit and things that radically changed their life. One of those is this process, what I have people do, actually, there's one step before visualization and that is prioritization.

Thinking about what is exactly what my life should look like? Some people might say, I want this second home or I want this financial goal. But we haven't really thought about, okay, I want to make sure I'm in my 70s, bringing my kids to Disney World. I want to set it up to where my kids want to come back for the holidays and whatever it is. 

So people haven't really often thought about what are my biggest priorities in life? What matters most? Because all the time we sacrifice our time with our family for other things, or time or our faith. I'd start with that. The next is visualizing it very clearly. My wife and I actually were able to do this. It was amazing. So we got married down in a little place in Florida. It was called 30A.

It's where the Truman Show is filmed. It's around Panama City Beach and Destin, Florida. The day after we got married, we did a mini honeymoon there and we rode around in bikes. It's this big neighborhood. I said, it'd be so cool to have a home here one day, and so we went back and I said, you want to do a vision board?

So we made this vision board and I went online and did a search for the neighborhood. It was called watercolor. I looked up watercolor homes and I found one. I liked it. Never seen it before. Put it up there. Five years. So step one is, we want to prioritize. So we talked about having family time here and all kinds of stuff.

So then we visualized and then we wanted to strategize. How would we make this a reality? So we said, okay, let's start setting aside for us. We were able to do 1000 a month and then more over time. We started saving towards getting a house there. Then we created it as a system.

It automatically came out of the bank account. What is in this fund? Five years later, we weren't in the position yet. We're still a few years off. But we were in the same neighborhood with my in-laws on these little bikes going around, and I had this idea and I looked over to my father in law, Joel, and I said, hey, what if we go in together and we get a house or we get this lot because we found this perfect lot, our dream lot down there. 

They said, hey, we're in. We decided and we bought this lot and I was at my house. This was the next week and I was recording a podcast and I remember right before I was looking up and I was looking at my vision board and I thought. There's something so familiar about that house on my vision board. By the way, there are thousands of houses in this neighborhood, thousands.

I realized that the lot we bought was next door to the house on my vision board. In fact, part of the picture was that lot and it's crazy. We've been praying about this for years. And listen, visualization isn't about getting a lot in your favorite vacation neighborhood, but really, iit was such a powerful reminder that when you go through the right process and the Bible talks so much about visualization, God says, listen, look at the stars of your sky, Abraham, so numerous shall your descendants be.

For me, I think that this is a really powerful exercise people can go through. I go through in detail in the book of how to do that. Some other people have been able to do that and birth their dream business or write their dream book or create their dream family environment or heal from a condition.

Alison Cook: It's really powerful and we're not taught that. I'm glad you tied that to scripture because there is the again, that sort of woowoo version of that, that we can see out in the culture.

Josh: The manifesting word.

Alison Cook: But there's also science behind it. To me, the biblical component of it that we're not often taught, because here's the thing when you do that, my husband and I have been doing a lot about this, we're hitting an empty nest. What do we want our lives to look like when we're 80? You align your dreams and your hopes with reality. 

Here's the other thing, even in your story, there is some cost on the front end. You have to put some savings away or for health, I started to realize I want to be healthier. I want to do this work for a really long time. And there's a cognitive distortion, a thinking trap in my mind, that I don't have time to exercise because I've got so much work to do. 

But the truth is, if I don't make time to care for my body and exercise and do these things that I need to do to heal, I'm not going to have those 20 years, like your mom, like you're saying, you're not going to be taking the kids.

When you start to really think practically and wisely and align what you long for with the truth, we have to delay gratification. We have to do these things. We start to work with the grain though, of how God designed us. That's what I hear in that. You still have to take some steps there to achieve that goal. 

You went to your father and also, if you hadn't taken some time to really prayerfully consider the life that you want. you can't create it. It's so powerful.

Josh: One of the things I always do, Dr. Alison, is I will picture and visualize those things based on the priorities that I have, but then I always recheck with God and say, God, make sure I have my priorities straight. If you have a better vision, I'm going to sit here, but what's maybe something more clearly you can show me. I always invite God in that process.

Alison Cook: I love that. I love that. It's a partnership with God. Yeah. I love that. Tell us, Dr. X, you do so much. You've got this book, you've got a practice. Tell us how my listeners can find you and all the different things you have to offer.

Josh: Yeah. I'll say one of the things that I know we started the show with is overcoming these limiting beliefs. This is something that radically changed my life, when I say that I believe that changing one single limiting belief can absolutely change someone's life. A lot of people listening to this might be one limiting belief away from that dream relationship.

One limiting belief that's keeping them from great health. One limiting belief that's keeping them from that thing that they've been dreaming about. That's why I wrote this book. By the way, we didn't get into this, but a year and a half ago, I had a spinal injury. Because of a medical mistake, I went in to get something really natural done and then my disc and my bone got infected while doing it.

I didn't walk for a year. In fact, this time last year, I wasn't walking, and I was told by a doctor that I might never walk again. I wrote this book while I was in bed. When I was having all of these limiting thoughts. I was in this place where I was told, I went from having great health, to I'm gonna never walk again. I said, I want to write something that will help people experience a breakthrough. 

Using mindset medicine is what I called it. I really did that in this book. I think if anybody's looking for a breakthrough this is such an amazing book to check out. If people go to joshaxe.com and get the book there, or you can go to Amazon, buy it, and then go to joshaxe.com, I have hundreds of dollars worth of free bonuses. People will get the workbook. 

They'll also get a mindset masterclass, a whole masterclass. It's worth hundreds of dollars there and loads of other bonuses attached to audio interviews from some amazing people like Irwin McManus and lots of people that people would recognize.

If people want to take advantage of that for the next couple of weeks, they can go to joshaxe.com, get the book and you'll get it on Amazon, plug in the code and you'll get hundreds of dollars worth of free bonuses. The book is called Think This, Not That, because there are all these things that we think all the time that are leading us down a destructive path versus I teach people hey, think this, and if you do, you're going to have that outcome that you've dreamed of. 

People can check out the book. Ialso have a podcast, which I know you're likely going to be on here in the future. That's the Dr. Josh Axe Show. I cover a combination of health content, but also a lot of mindset content as well there. So they can check out the podcast, the Dr. Josh Axe show, and then I'm on the social channels @Dr. Josh Axe, but I want to say, Dr. Alison, thanks so much for having me. I'm a huge fan of what you do, because again, as we've talked about, I'm such a big believer in mindset and biblical psychology and for healing. Again, it's been a real honor to be on today. 

Alison Cook: There's so much overlap I'm so grateful for what you're doing. All the people that you're helping. I'm so grateful that you're so healthy. I can see you right now in front of me, you're up and moving around. You did it. You overcame. Yeah, that's amazing. Thank you so much for being here. Check out Think This, Not That.

Josh: That's right. Think This, Not That. Yeah. Amazon.com, bookstores nationwide, but you can also get at joshaxe.com.

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