In this episode, Amanda chats with Reece Anderson about all sorts of things – it was a big, deep, fun chat! We covered: self-leadership, connecting with teens and also the interesting ways that Reece brings the parents along for that journey and really looking at the whole ecosystem and the environment at home when working with young people.
We talked a lot about honouring who we are as people and each other, without the labels – gender, a diagnosis, etc, and also the power in doing that as a youth mentor. We also touched on really honing in on what it is that lights you up and what you love to do, and the way that you love to show up for people.

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Sound bite

[00:00:00] Reece Anderson: Because, and, you know, I worked in a mental health space with youth a couple years ago, we would do this kind of short stay work with these young people. But then they were going home to the same environments where nothing was changing. So quickly, that work became undone. Cause they were going back to the same, unstable, toxic, not fun environments. So I had the philosophy that will, I don’t think that’s all on the adults or the parents or whatever, but imagine if we’re all kind of doing the work together. Yeah. Then everyone lifts and then you can change the conversations you have. Then you can kind of challenge each other in a healthy way, because you’re both learning the same stuff.

generic intro

Hello and welcome to the youth mentor podcast. This is your short burst of inspiration tips and research about teens for parents, educators, and mentors. I’m your host, Amanda Rootsey, founder of teen personal development school Shine From Within and coach to incredible youth mentors all over the world. Now I certainly don’t know it all.

So I interview the experts about what’s going on for youth today. From psychological insights to really practical advice, this is your moment of inspiration, motivation, and a few laughs amidst the ever changing world of teens and tweens.

Episode Intro

[00:01:19] In this episode, I chat with Reece Anderson uh, about all sorts of things -we chatted about self-leadership we talked about, um, mentoring teens, but also bringing the parents along for that journey and really looking at the whole ecosystem and the environment at home when, when working with young people and, um, the interesting ways that, that he likes to do that. 

[00:01:45] And just, you know, we talked a lot about honoring who we are as people and each other, as people, without the labels and that the agenda, the diagnosis, all of that kind of thing. Um, And also the power in doing that as a youth mentor, too. And just really honing in on, on what it is that lights you up and what you love to do, and the way that you love to show up for people. Um, 

[00:02:08] Yeah. So it was a cool chat. I hope you enjoy it. And um yeah let me know what you think.

[00:02:13] Oh, and one more thing I just wanted to pop back in and, um, give you a bit of a trigger warning to Reece does share his personal journey with mental health at about the 28 minute mark. And, um, shares. Uh, she has a little about. Suicide, um, and a little bit of, um, grief and, and losing his mom. So. 

[00:02:36] Um, yeah, just wanted to make sure that I share that with you here so that you can, um, you can opt in to listen or, um, yeah. You at least know that it’s coming. Enjoy the episode

Episode Begins

[00:02:48] Amanda: Hey, Reese. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having me uh, so I guess to start with, tell us about yourself, just, you know, such a simple question. Go. 

[00:03:01] Reece Anderson: such a simple question. my name’s Reece. No, um, yeah, so obviously my name’s Reece. Um, I’ve just actually recently completed amanda’s amazing training, which it was so cool.

[00:03:12] I really enjoyed that. It really blew my mind. Um, but yeah, I run a, I run a business called we overcome anything, um, where I’ve worked with. I’ve obviously just worked with the adults, but I’ve in the past six months, I’ve branched out to teens as well. So that’s been exciting. Um, I live in Brisbane, but I’m from New Zealand, very proud Kiwi.

[00:03:36] Um, I just recently put a birthday. I’ve got a birthday in a couple of weeks and I put on there that I was 21, but I’m not 21. I’m double that, but I just thought 21 would be funny. Because maybe I’m in denial, turning 42. And I have a beautiful daughter Eden, who is six going on 16 and keeps me on my toes.

[00:03:58] And I work in mental. And my day job,

[00:04:02] Amanda: so good. Yeah. So you’ve been working in mental health. You started, we overcome anything and it was kind of mostly adults, right? Like you, you’ve got this flourishing Facebook group where you go live most days and run programs and things like that. So why, what made you decide to go into working with teens and young people?

[00:04:24] Reece Anderson: Yeah. Good question. Um, I think there was always the teen elements. So I’ve been doing the coaching and mentoring probably for about four or five years. Just as a hobby, if you like. Um, and often when I’ve been working with some adults or parents, or have you on a term, it they’ll be like, oh, can you just maybe talk to my son or my daughter and not just, you know, and I, and in part of my mental health journey for a couple years, I worked with youth, um, worked with 16 to 24 year olds as a, as a peer worker.

[00:04:55] Um, and that was fun. I just, I just felt like it’s, uh, they just. They kind of get it a bit more than some of us adults. And that’s not saying that adults are silly or anything, it’s just think just because we are so a lot of us are so in our just behaviors and traits that we’ve had for so long that when you’re younger, you’re a bit more open to possibilities and learning and maybe challenging yourself in a different way.

[00:05:25] Um, and I just, and I think at the same time, it keeps me feeling a bit younger to be honest. Yeah. , um, that’s always like is good, but I just, I just, I love the, the energy and I think I learn just as much from them cuz they challenge me in ways and I’m like, oh, but that’s kind of been fun and trying to work that out and yeah, I don’t know, but that’s probably why that’s why.

[00:05:51] And then last year and I saw your course and I was like, I’m gonna just gonna commit. And then that just really bought it more alive for me. 

[00:05:59] Amanda: So awesome. Yeah. They’re so cool. Hey, like we, you just ran your first class in the online academy with a couple of, uh, teens that were there live and, um, they just blow me away every time they’re so onto it.

[00:06:13] Right? Like so smart. 

[00:06:17] Reece Anderson: I think it’s the, the awareness. Yeah, that’s what I was like. I was like, am I talking to adults? And that’s the thing. We, I don’t think they get enough credit for that. And I think, you know, in homes is can always be own their houses.

[00:06:33] Something’s bit a power imbalance of, well, I’m older. So I’m more authoritative where I know in my house with my daughter, I might, well, I don’t see myself as the bigger person. I see myself as, what can I learn from her? And if I’m open to that, then she’ll learn off me. But if I’m trying to shove things down there or trying to be the authoritative figure that’s not gonna work.

[00:06:55] So for me, it’s just, yeah, I think it’s, um, trying to change the game up a little bit and, and see them as, um, I saw this really cool quote the other day. It was about , if we don’t try and empower the youth, then nothing changes or something like that. Like it’s about cuz a lot of them are a lot of them.

[00:07:18] Smart intelligent, but in, in different ways, right? In different ways. And it’s about empowering them for them, for them as them, not because they’re 16 and everyone who’s 16 should be there and everyone who’s 15 should be there or everyone who’s 14. Is there, it’s going well, you’re Amanda, you’re 14. What’s your gifts?

[00:07:41] What lights you up? And some, you know, I’m not saying, cause I think there’s a lot of pressure. You know, um, you know, the, one of the girls on the call then before, right. She’s 15 asked to know what she wants to do. Shit. I’m 42 and I’m gonna just kind of working that out. Yeah. , you know, and it’s about, I think there’s so much expectation, I think on the younger ones too.

[00:08:02] And I think that’s a big part of me too, like seeing in the mental health, some of the struggles and stuff they have, I feel like if they can have some tools that I have to offer and it might set them up better going into adulthood to not go through the stuff that I went through and a lot of other people go through.

[00:08:21] Amanda: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It must be interesting going from, um, that mental health space where the kids might actually be in crisis or going through a lot of trauma to now being more in the mentoring space, which is preventative really, um, Yeah, it sounds like you and I got to see it tonight. You know, you hold that space really beautifully for, for them to just share what’s coming up for them.

[00:08:49] And, um, yeah, really listen, and just ask questions and have that respect straight away from the start for them. And you can see how quickly it leads to them being more open to, to listen and to chat too. 

[00:09:05] Reece Anderson: Yeah. And I think. You know, I, I ran this event last year and I had a 16 year old girl come in and speak.

[00:09:13] And, um, she’d been through quite a bit of trauma and it wasn’t there to talk about the trauma, but it was just giving her own kind of insight to what she would wants more of as a teen from her parents or teachers. Anyway, she just said this one sentence, she just goes, I just want to feel heard. And she just paused.

[00:09:35] I looked around and there was about 10 mums crying mm-hmm because we don’t, we don’t listen. And, you know, we said before, I it’s taken me a long time to listen properly.

[00:09:53] Like if you ask a question, you need to zip it and let them, sometimes you have to sit there in silence, who cares? But if we’re gonna empower people, especially teens or whoever you ask a question, let them try and figure it out. Cuz for me there’s never any right or wrong answers. 

[00:10:13] Amanda: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:10:14] You know? Yeah, so, okay. Reese, I know that you also, so you work with teens, but you also do a lot of work with teens and their parents like together, the whole families, or just with the parents or just with the teens. I feel like a lot of youth mentors are either a, just. Afraid of spending any time with parents because, uh, one, we got into this cuz we love hanging out with kids and not necessarily want those hard conversations, I suppose.

[00:10:45] Um, but two that can also feel like a messy space. I think of working with both together as well, like the teens and the adults. And um, I’d love to hear how that works for you and how that yeah, how that happens. Because I think if I think back to a conversation we had uh, a couple of weeks ago in the youth mentor conference, someone was sharing that, um, she has to have a lot of really clear boundaries so that the parents know that her time with the young person is totally confidential.

[00:11:16] And I’m not gonna share that with you and, and vice versa. Um, but I don’t know, just from chatting with you, it feels like it might be a little bit more organic and that’s, and it works well for you. Yeah. Can you just tell us a bit about how that works? 

[00:11:29] Reece Anderson: yeah, so obviously I don’t, haven’t done a lot of it, but I’ve done a lot of it in my day job, and then I’ve done a little bit of it in the space too, so yeah, I think firstly, it’s not always together.

[00:11:41] Okay. So, um, for example, this one family, this one family I’ve been working with, it’s like. I met them all together, cuz that was the best way also to get the teen engaged. Um, and this particular person doesn’t engage with just anyone. So it was either like she’s gonna engage with you or she’s just gonna tell her to go and that’s cool.

[00:12:00] I’ll whatever. Anyway, she engaged. Then I spoke to mom, spoke to teen separately, like separate sessions and then came together. Mm. So it’s about, yeah, that’s confidential. That’s confidential. It gives me insight where they’re at both on their own for themselves and maybe where their relationship’s at. Mm.

[00:12:22] And then it’s about, okay, let’s come together and go, then I can help. Cuz I’ve got a bit of insight. I can help them kind of speak their truth without the emotion getting involved. Cause when the emotion gets involved, that’s when it goes pear shaped. So, and yeah, I, I, I guess I do have quite a direct approach. I’m okay to call parents out. Hey, those words aren’t okay. Have you thought about maybe using something different? Because the end of the day, 

[00:12:50] you sometimes don’t know what you’re saying or doing until someone points it out. So if I can be there advocate, advocate for the teen, say, Hey, look, mom, dad, or whatever. I’d also go, well, hold it. But you, and then also go, yeah, that doesn’t mean you can just be arrogant and play up and all the rest of it either.

[00:13:09] So just finding that mutual respect that, Hey, this is a chance for you all to work on yourselves, to better yourself, but it’s gonna make your environment at home so much better. And I, and I shared with you before about, I went to a house last year and I spoke to them. I five minutes on the phone. I arrived on the Tuesday.

[00:13:30] I was there five minutes, the kid ran off and I just turned to the mum and said, you’re the problem? And she just started crying and we sat down and we hadn’t. I spent the time with her. The, the young fell came out and we shot hoops and hung out for a bit. He actually wasn’t the problem. So I worked with mum and the outcome of working with mum was the son started to sleep.

[00:13:59] He started to go to school, um, started to sleepovers back into his sport and this person would not leave the house. He’d go to school, come home, stop playing sport. Wasn’t sleeping properly. Cause I think he just felt really overwhelmed. Mm. Um, and it’s, and the mum was doing nothing wrong. She was coming from a good place of coming from a place of love and compassion and wanting the best for her kid.

[00:14:26] But sometimes

[00:14:30] that can be overbearing, but we don’t realize we’re doing it. Hmm. Cause we’re only doing what we’re probably our mom and dads did and et cetera, et cetera. So I love. Because, and, you know, I worked in a mental health space with youth a couple years ago, we would do this kind of short stay work with these young people. But then they were going home to the same environments where nothing was changing. So quickly, that work became undone. Cause they were going back to the same, unstable, toxic, not fun environments. So I had the philosophy that will, I don’t think that’s all on the adults or the parents or whatever, but imagine if we’re all kind of doing the work together. Yeah. Then everyone lifts and then you can change the conversations you have. Then you can kind of challenge each other in a healthy way, because you’re both learning the same stuff.

[00:15:29] I, I think that’s the challenge we have at the moment. I think there’s a real, I think a lot of places have we have a real big power imbalance. And teens are sort of trying to work out where they fit parents, trying to work out where they fit with their busy lives. And it all just becomes a little bit hectic.

[00:15:48] Imagine someone coming in and just going, Hey, okay. Here’s a space to deep dive into whatever you want.

[00:15:57] It’s quite powerful. 

[00:15:59] Amanda: Yeah. I bet it’s like your superpower. It’s like you, the, the whisperer. Whisper, but not just like the teen whisper, you’re like the call out of things too. And bringing everyone together. 

[00:16:17] Reece Anderson: Yeah. And it’s, and I sort of talk like a, like, it’s easy. It’s not easy, but it’s goes back to this whole, I guess, integrity for me going well, my body’s telling me that someone needs to be said here mm-hmm and I can’t leave that room or leave that space until I do, because I’ll be doing them in injustice if they choose not to take that advice or that’s cool. But I, I know that I’ve put it on the table, whatever they choose to do, it’s up to them. 

[00:16:45] Amanda: Well, there’s so much power in having things reflected back to you. Isn’t it? Isn’t there. Like it doesn’t even have to be about advice.

[00:16:50] I imagine even just commenting on what you are observing and the way that you are seeing things play out and offering that different perspective. And that neutral perspective must just be huge for families in that way. 

[00:17:06] Reece Anderson: Yeah. Could it, it, you know, could even be just changing a word you’re using. Like I, you know, we spoke earlier was about, I hear a lot of parents use the word disappointment.

[00:17:16] I think it’s just a terrible word just to put on a child or a teen or whatever, even an adult, because they’re gonna carry that and they’re gonna become that. And it was interesting. Actually, I had this teen a while ago and we first session were having a chat and I was like, you know, so what are you, how would you best describe yourself?

[00:17:37] And she goes lazy, unmotivated and tired. Right? Aww. Where does that come from? My mom. Cause they’re the words she gets told all the time. Mm. Sad, right? Yeah, but, and, and I don’t think the mum’s doing it intentionally, just in the moment. You’re like, oh, just you’ve been lazy or you’ve been this, but we need to become mindful of what we’re saying to people.

[00:18:08] And I do it with my own daughter. I’d always have to catch myself. Cause sometimes in the moment, if you’re tired, you’re stressed or whatever. Sometimes you just, oh, I put myself in time out, people go what I go . But I know that I’m not coping with a situation and I’m, there’s no one winning. I said to Eden, daddy’s gonna time him out.

[00:18:25] And I gotta time out outside for five minutes, take some breaths, come back in. And nine times outta 10, we can get through what we need to get through because I’ve showing up differently. Cause it’s up to me when I’ve got a six year old, right? Imagine that if you had a parent and a team who could distinguish, okay.

[00:18:42] Things aren’t good and you could step away and then you come back. As soon as the emotions get involved, that’s when it can go pear shaped. 

[00:18:52] Amanda: That’s so cool that you hold that yeah. That you love to hold that, um, complicated space for, for these things to, to bubble up and to be resolved and to be heard, at least like you said, holding a space for them to feel really heard.

[00:19:07] Yeah. That makes me think about, regardless of whether we wanna do that work ourselves of actually. Being in the room with, with them all. And, and I, I feel like that’s, that takes a very particular skill set, perhaps. Um but even just thinking about what you said around the environment at home, and if we are working with young people, well, what can we do to, to bring the parents along with us, even if it’s an email home afterwards saying these are a couple other themes.

[00:19:40] That we talked about, or these are a couple of questions you could ask your young person over the next couple of weeks, or this is something you might like to try, or I don’t know, some something that, that doesn’t breach confidence, but that kind of, um, gives them some tools too, or some insights as well.

[00:19:56] And even if it, even if it just prompts them to think, oh yeah, there’s some work here I can be doing too. Could make a bit of a difference in that yeah. In the longevity of the work that we’re doing, whether it’s workshops or eight week programs or one-on-one mentoring, if there’s something that involves the, the whole ecosystem at home, that’s gonna have such a big impact.

[00:20:18] Reece Anderson: Yeah. Because if you think about, um, if you are say an athlete and you spend your whole day in an environment where it’s training and nutrition and everything’s. You know, and then, but then you go home at night and it’s about being sluggish, eating whatever you want, not looking after yourself. Like, you know, that’s tough going from one to that where it’s like, wow, to that going, ah, this isn’t what I’ve been taught over here.

[00:20:52] And it’s, you know, if you’ve got four people at home doing that, and you’re the one coming in trying to be fit and healthy, that’s quite tough to. To fit into, right? Yeah. Um, yeah. So yeah, I think if you can kind of have that holistic approach of, you know, you think about how many workshops you probably run for teens, but then what are they taking home?

[00:21:17] Mm-hmm cause if some people aren’t open to it, I don’t understand it then might be hard for them to break through.

[00:21:23] Properly for themselves, right? 

[00:21:26] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. And like you said, there’s so much about it that comes back to power too and privilege and that sort of thing as well, you know, the young people aren’t yet in any kind of position of power, so even advocating for themselves and what they need at home Is obviously so, so challenging for them.

[00:21:48] So there’s, it’s one thing to teach them how to advocate for themselves. But if you can also like what you’re doing, hold that space where you are actually kind of bringing everyone to the one level and being that neutral person. Yeah. So cool. 

[00:22:01] Reece Anderson: But you just hit something quite important there actually about, you said, um, knowing what they want.

[00:22:09] I can probably go ask 10 adults. What do you think you need in certain situations? And I guarantee nine out of 10 will have no idea. So even as adults, most people dunno what they need when they’re in crisis or when they’re struggling or when they’re happy or sad or whatever. Right. So of course our teens are learning that same kind of thing, but imagine knowing that you’ve.

[00:22:33] Maybe the adult in their house learning the same thing. And you are trying to deep dive in helping each other. That’s pretty powerful. But for me, it’s like a lot of people dunno what they want and certain moments of their life. And I was definitely one of them for a long time. But now if I’m in certain situations, I can go, okay, what do I need?

[00:22:53] I need to call someone. I need a massage. I need to go for a walk. I need to eat dinner. Mm, I need water, whatever I might bit need. I can very much stop and go. Right. What does my body need right now? And who can give, help give me that. Mm. So that you can keep showing up for your daughter or your clients or yeah.

[00:23:14] Whatever, or yourself, it doesn’t have to be for anyone else, because then all this stuff goes into relationship and our relationships, right. Not just romantic relationships, but. If you can get clear on what you, your boundaries and who you are at a, you know, in that teen those 10 years, it makes it really a lot easier to try and distinguish who your people are because you know, a lot of, you know, a lot of people are, oh, just a lot of please and fit in and all this sort of stuff.

[00:23:42] But if you can actually go, well, no, this is who I am and what I stand for. And these are my values. And I’m starting to understand that a bit more, leading that into adulthood. It’s powerful. Cause then you’ll attract the like-minded people rather than the people that just might be there for the good times when it gets tough they’re not there. Mm. 

[00:24:04] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. That’s why this work so important, right? Yeah. Holding space for those conversations, having some of those tools as a young person. I feel like so many adults can think back and go. I wish I knew that when I was a young person, imagine what that would’ve shifted or changed.

[00:24:25] Reece Anderson: Well, it’s a catch 22, right? Because I think about my own journey and think, well, if all those things were different, but then I wouldn’t be probably who I am today either. So it’s that. Yes. I have to go through the trenches a bit to learn all this stuff. Yeah, that makes sense. So, um, and then if you can, you know, then hand that down to younger people, so they don’t go make the same.

[00:24:49] Well, they’re probably still the same and they make the same mistakes, which is fine, but they’ll have more of a toolbox than I did to navigate through different things in their life. Um, yeah, but I don’t think I would change anything. 

[00:25:03] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s been the biggest shift for me as a youth mentor over the last 10 years actually, is, is in those early years, it was like, here are all the things I wish I knew and I’m gonna teach them to you.

[00:25:14] And now it’s like, actually, everything you just said, I needed to go through whatever I went through to be who I am today. And you’re gonna go through stuff too. And it’s all fine. You’re gonna be okay. Yeah. And let’s just, I feel like it’s so much more now about just holding space for them to feel heard, as he said, rather than let me teach you all of my, all of my wise knowledge that I have as a 25 year old or whatever, when I started . 

[00:25:39] Reece Anderson: Yeah, well, exactly. And it was probably limited then, right? It’s like, wow. Right. But, you know, from whatever you’ve been through, but from, you know, it’s experiences, right. Experiences are learnings and we can either learn and grow from them.

[00:25:54] Or we self sabotage and we going to darker areas. Right. Which I definitely was there for a long time. But yeah, I think there’s, uh, it’s, it can be fun as well. It’s not all just, oh, I gotta be a certain person. It’s more. I think if you can find out who you are and what makes you click it makes and your open-minded, can make it a lot easier to, to take on what you need to take on for you.

[00:26:22] You don’t need to take on everything, but what are these useful things that are gonna work for you to help you get through? Yeah. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, is it? Yeah. 

[00:26:38] Amanda: Yeah. You’re good at that too. Reese, when you are, um, with, with young people, the way that you open up about not having things all together yourself, and some of the things that you’ve been through, you can see straight away the students just kind of.

[00:26:54] Almost like having a breath out of like, oh yeah. Okay. This is nice. This isn’t another adult trying to pretend that their life is perfect. And they’re going to teach me these things or particularly with social media now. Right. With all the influences. It’s so much about look at me. Highlight reels. Yeah.

[00:27:13] Yeah. And so to just have that kind of real conversation and that real space and that curiosity of just asking questions from them. It’s magic magic. What happens next? 

[00:27:27] Reece Anderson: but it’s true. Like, I think, um, we, you know, like we spoke about in that session today, we, we kind of avoid the hard conversations and stuff where yeah, I, um, I’m very open book and I don’t share my stuff to go.

[00:27:40] Yay. Look at me. I share my stuff exactly to go. I’ve been through stuff I’m not, I might not fully understand everything you’re going through, but do you know what I’ve been through enough to know that life can suck? But you can also get through this stuff. And if you can create spaces where you can have open, curious conversations, it’s powerful.

[00:28:01] Yeah. We just don’t, we don’t have enough of them. Yeah. Um, and I don’t think we have enough of them, even as adults let alone with the young people. So, um, and I guess that’s, I use my journey. So there it does, it does help other people feel. Relaxed and okay. Yeah. um, but it’s, I feel very honored and I always feel very, um, what’s the word like? It’s a, I it’s like a, um, like it’s a big deal when someone. Tells you some stuff. They probably haven’t told many other people. Yeah. And I don’t take that for granted because I was that person many years ago, who would not do that because I never felt like I had probably had a safe space.

[00:28:57] Amanda: Yeah. I feel like we’ve referred to your journey a few times. But it’s, I think we need to now hear it, you know, like it’s, like, what is this journey you’ve been on 

[00:29:11] Reece Anderson: this journey? Well, like, you know, I had a, I had a good upbringing and stuff like it was, you know, um, I was very sporty as a teenager, but like, um, I was, but I worried a lot stressed over silly things and probably looking back, I could have probably done better in my.

[00:29:26] Um, like I was a top runner tennis player. I played rugby, did all those things, but yeah. Ran for New Zealand and stuff, but I think it could have been, I still think looking back the mental side of me was always just self sabotaged and not good enough. And even though I was better than most was still not good enough.

[00:29:47] Um, but yeah, so what actually happened at 20, I had this panic attack, right. And so I rang the ambulance. I was on my. They wouldn’t come. And I was like, I didn’t know. I was a panic attack. This is, we’re talking 22 years ago. Right. So mental health for me was, I didn’t even know what the hell that was. So, um, ambulance, I got my grandparents to come over and they were like, oh, when they came over and I was literally sitting like this, and I think there was like 180, 190 beats per minute.

[00:30:14] My heart was doing, which I don’t think I even do that when I’m full capacity playing sport. The very next day, I went to my GP who just gave me some medication, which I just thought, oh yeah, no worries. Didn’t really think anything of it. Very naive. Um, and then from that day, I just, everything changed.

[00:30:32] Like I started withdrawing, started feeling tingly, anxious. Just felt yuck. And then within three to six months, yeah, I developed severe ticks. I had follow on head swings, follow on, on swings, used to grab my forehead to the point of blood every day. I’d grab my ribcage to the point of blood every day. Um, and it would get worse as the day went on.

[00:30:54] So I’d sort of the morning wasn’t too bad and then it would just progressively get worse. And then that turned into just drinking a lot to kind of compensate. Um, and at 25, um, I did try to take my life. I was just, just having, I was burnt out. I was working like 67 hour weeks just really to avoid any responsibility, um, climbing the corporate ladder.

[00:31:18] And then at 27 I decided to move to Australia. Right. But at the time I said, no, I had one of my best mates was over here. So I had a job sorted, had a place to stay. To be honest, I just was running away thinking, oh, if I moved another country, everything will just go away. But you carry everything with you up?

[00:31:36] Mm-hmm so I came over here and I got all these head scans done. Just, I got given more medication. To the point where I’d wake up in the morning and I probably shouldn’t have been driving. I was like a zombie. If you had touched my arm, I didn’t even feel that. I just felt nothing. I felt nothing. I was just, and then, um, unfortunately at 30 of my mum passed away with cancer and she was probably the one person who just, she was my, she just got it.

[00:32:03] She was looking for other ways and alternatives and I could talk to her. But I lost that and I just lost myself even more. So I just spent more into like deep sabotage and, um, and then, um, I came back from when mum passed away. I was away for a couple months and I came back to Australia and I been promoted at work.

[00:32:24] Go figure, alright, your mum dies and you get promoted. How’s that? Um, I was like, anyway, got promoted. And I came back and I was like, right. I was, I was put weight on, hadn’t been running. I was just yuck. I just felt yuck. And I said to my boss, right, I need to do something for my mum. I’m thinking I maybe just run.

[00:32:44] I run a marathon on a treadmill in the, in the, in the branch. Cause it’s a bank manager at the time. And she goes, let’s just Google something. So we Googled word records and it came up with this 12 hour challenge on a treadmill. Okay. So from that day I started training and getting fit. Um, and in August, the following year, I, um, on my mum’s birthday, um, I ran 12 hours on a treatment and we raised $20,000 for cancer council.

[00:33:14] And for me, it was bringing together family, friends, work colleagues. It was massive. And I did this still on medication in a public area. I was, my ticks were going off my, my end of the day, my whole, my whole front of my head was scabbed. Cause of just grabbing it all day for 12 hours and sweat. And my ribs were like blood everywhere.

[00:33:34] Like it was horrific. Um, but that was kind of the catalyst to me, starting to go. Okay. I can have a different possibility for myself. And I guess because of the sporting background kind of helped cause I was quite a good trainer. So training was quite easy for me. Um, just my body didn’t always like it. So I was like trying to find that healthy balance.

[00:33:57] Anyway, I lost, I got engaged that had broken off as well. I went over to China, ran on the great wall of China marathon to. Did that on my own. And I was I’d come off a couple of my meds on my own by then with no help. Just don’t recommend that by the way. Um, and, and I came back and I met my, my daughter’s mom who put me onto her GP and I’d had a bit of, I’d been back for a wedding and I just totally was an idiot.

[00:34:26] And I was just like, no, not enough. And I went and saw her and. We sat here like this. She had not been in the eye and she said, yeah, I’ll help you, but you need to take some, you need to take full responsibility and stop blaming the world of what’s going on and I’ll help you. So I went to every week for two years, my GP, we spent an hour every week for two years.

[00:34:46] And we, I learned tapping. I learned healing. I learned all these fascinating things that have changed my life. And it was. Am I fully recovered, probably never be fully recovered, but I still get little things. My body still does funny things I still, and what we worked out was I had that first panic attack because when I was 16, I watched two people die of a heart attack in two weeks, right in front of me.

[00:35:07] Wow. So I’d carried that. And then that’s why I stopped playing my sport and I still get it. Now. Sometimes if I’m real tired and run down, my heart tells my head and my heart go. You’re gonna have a heart attack. So that’s the inner conflict I have sometimes. Um, Which is really annoying, but I just learn to navigate through that.

[00:35:28] Mm. Um, and yeah, I don’t really get the ticks as much. Sometimes I do driving and stuff, but it’s, it is what it is. I just go, it’s my body responding to something. So it’s been the past 10 years. I’ve just worked really hard on myself. Continue to work hard on myself. I’m not perfect. I stuff up, I don’t claim to have all the answers.

[00:35:48] I just. I’ve just got to a point now where I’m passionate about what I do and like yourself, just trying to put myself out to do the best I can to hopefully help other people and not go through what I went through.

[00:36:05] Amanda: ah, thanks for sharing that with us. It’s um, yeah, so. Beautifully aligned to the work that you do. Obviously. I think a lot of people that’s we get into this because we’ve been through something or, or we’ve learned something and, and yeah, we, we wanna kind of share that, um, You just ran a class on self leadership and responsibility and yeah.

[00:36:28] To hear that story again, and there’s elements in there that I hadn’t heard before, too. Um, just the power of. Of recognizing what power we do have in our own lives and not, we can’t do anything about EV you know, what else is happening around us, but there’s a lot of power in taking that responsibility.

[00:36:45] Hey, it’s so inspiring to hear that you, yeah. You know, you almost no longer get tick and, and were able to do all that work and with the support of someone that you could reach out to, and, and, um, that really had your back that whole time, too, that cheer with you. 

[00:37:02] Reece Anderson: And I still see my doctor. She literally lives around the corner from me and, um, I go and hang out in her backyard.

[00:37:07] That’s my doctor sessions. We just go sit outside of her house cuz she works home. And um, I see her every six to eight weeks cuz she, her I’m, I’ll never forget this. After I started getting a bit off of my meds and started getting a bit better. She said to me, I never wanna see you when you’re sick. I only wanna see you when you’re healthy.

[00:37:28] Hmm. And what she meant by that was that if you neglect your health, but if you come to me only when you’re sick, you’re never gonna actually move forward. So I saw her last week, I was online actually last week and I was thinking, yeah, I’m all good. And she asked me two questions and I was in tears. Hmm, because I was, I knew I wasn’t good.

[00:37:48] I was just trying to be a bit of a Marty cause I didn’t wanna talk about it. And then she just, but she just knew, she said your left shoulder was slightly moving and this is through video. So she just knew me. And I was like, yeah, haven’t been sleeping for five nights. She’s like, yeah, no, I can tell. And then we deep dived and it was what I thought it was, it wasn’t that, but she was able to get that outta.

[00:38:09] Wow. Who is this magical GP? her name is, I don’t wanna say her name,

[00:38:17] but she’s just has a different way of seeing things. Yeah. So I’ve been medication free for eight years. Yeah. Wow. And. Just full disclosure there. I did that with support. Don’t do that on your own. Just put it out there. Yeah. But you’re not suggesting that that’s the right thing for anyone else either. Of course.

[00:38:35] But I, I always like to say that just cause it’s my own journey and it’s I, yeah. When I share that sort of stuff, I just like to say that that makes sure you go get the right support for yourself if you are looking at doing that. But yeah, I’m definitely not perfect. I have, I had a real down week, last week. But yeah, there’s the lots going on in my life. And it’s some, a lot of it’s good stuff, but your body still reacts in different ways and that’s okay. And I just learn to accept it. And I guess that’s why I’m in this space.

[00:39:02] Mm. Because it’s not about me going, oh, I know the answers. It’s about me just going, I can hold space for you and then hopefully you can navigate what you might need.

[00:39:13] Amanda: That’s all it is. Isn’t it. 

[00:39:16] Reece Anderson: That’s all it is. We just click our fingers and then you make it sound so easy bit of kumbaya, and then life’s all done and all, you know, all sunshine roses. But, um, yeah, I just think it’s, it’s fun, right? It’s fun to be doing stuff that just lights you up as a person and to, and then to be able to give that to other people, you can’t go past that.

[00:39:44] Yeah. Um, it’s honing in on what, what your thing is, isn’t it? Or just embracing all of who you are, maybe. I don’t know, but when I think about what you can do, there’s no way I could do that. The stuff, the, the complexity of, of navigating yeah. Family dynamics in that way. I don’t think, but that’s okay. That. Yeah, that’s Reece’s thing.

[00:40:14] and then I sit here and go look at Amanda’s Amanda’s massive community and look at what she’s built. And then every email I get, it takes you to a new thing that you’re doing. And I’m like, oh my God, like, I am so basic compared to all of this, but then I go, you’ve been doing it for 10 years, like, and it’s amazing.

[00:40:30] And I go your gifts. Like you, you just create these communities of people and it’s amazing. And I just, but then I go, I’ve got my things and you’ve got your things. It’s easier to compare I’d or go, oh, I could never do that, but it’s like, well, but that’s Amanda and I race. I just gotta focus on my lane.

[00:40:48] And if I do that, then I don’t get sidetracked by the other stuff. 

[00:40:55] Amanda: Yeah. I love that. It’s hard to bring yourself back I feel like sometimes, Hey, when you, when you are, because there’s so much amazing work in the world, so many amazing people in the world, there’s so much inspiration around. I love what you said, then just bring it back to your own lane and cut back into don’t get me wrong.

[00:41:14] Reece Anderson: Don’t get me wrong. Cause you go on, you know, social media, right. And it’s like, oh, look at all those people doing stuff. But then I just go especi. If I know them, I go, that’s not even them. And I just go, if I’m showing up on social media, I just make sure I’m genuine Reese. Cause what you see in this interview, what you saw in the class before, what you see in my day job, what you see with Eden.

[00:41:36] I don’t change as a person. Like I’m when I was really ill. I didn’t know who the hell I was. I was after over here, Bob, over here, just didn’t know what I was. I was always trying to fit in. Right. Yeah. I don’t try. I don’t fit in anymore. I just I’m Reese. I show up, this is who I am. Take it or leave it. 

[00:41:55] I’ll just show up in genuine, authentic me. And I know I’ll fit in where I need to fit in and if I’m not fitting in, it’s just not aligned to me. Yeah. And that’s okay. Yeah. So I think, um, and I just try to pass that on to others. 

[00:42:20] Amanda: Love that. Well, we could chat forever. Of course we have many times before.

[00:42:27] dunno what you’re talking about. oh, no, it was, it was so cool having you part of the youth mentor training in, in that latest round. Um, I loved the way that you would just show up, like you said, authentically, as you, right from day one. Um, but even the way that you can inspire others and empower others, um, the way that you would get everyone going in the Facebook group, jumping and doing lives yourself and stuff like that.

[00:42:52] Like most mentors don’t do that when they come into the training, but it’s a, yeah, it’s a beautiful gift that you have of just going. Um, yeah, this just what I’ve been up to come on, everyone get involved. This is a good place to learn and practice and stuff. So get in there. 

[00:43:07] Reece Anderson: Well, you know, if you’re gonna get up in front of teens or adults or whatever, and present, you’re gonna practice cuz most people don’t like speaking.

[00:43:14] Right. So I’m just always, and I had to learn the hard way too. So I just, I don’t know. It’s just what I, I think it’s just a natural thing I do. And it’s yeah. I like to, um, you know, and do you remember the, the question that one of the girls asked on that last round and she’s. How do you find being the only male in here?

[00:43:32] Remember that? Mm-hmm yeah. And I just turned around and says, I don’t see a male and female in here. I just see people that are inspiring each other. For me, it wasn’t even a thing. So I’m the only dude like whatever, like for me, I was like opportunity. Well, you, I could learn more about females and how they tick and stuff, but it was more about I’ll just get inspired by what people are doing.

[00:43:53] I don’t care what gender you are. Or if I’m the only one of the male, but who, it just doesn’t worry me. Like it’s about, for me, it was this opportunity to bring what I wanna bring and be open to what they can bring to me. And I think if we get, start getting caught up in genders and all those sort of things, then you just, you miss out on the gold.

[00:44:21] Amanda: Yeah. I like that. That’s another whole conversation. I feel like too, isn’t it just busting down the gender binary and doing our stuff for teens and yeah. Let’s not focus on it being girls and boys and all of that stuff. 

[00:44:38] Yeah. I think if we just take away.

[00:44:43] Whether it’s a diagnosis or a six label or a, whatever it is, take all that out and just go, right. Amanda, Reese, Bob Jane, whoever, and just get to know them for them. Mm. Because when we start doing labels, that’s where they like in the mental health. I don’t look at anyone’s diagnosis. I don’t even care. I don’t even look at their records when I meet them.

[00:45:04] I just go, Hey, how you going? They’re like, huh? Do you wanna know this stuff? Just let me, you just tell me what you want. Don’t you tell me what do you be comfortable telling me? You’d tell me, I’ll ask them questions and let’s just get to know each other. Oh, okay. Like. It sounds simple, but it’s not done.

[00:45:22] Yeah. And I think that’s important with working with young people too, is, is sometimes the parents can wanna give a really detailed history of what they think’s going on or behavior things or, or diagnosis. And sometimes that’s really necessary and important. And other times it’s nice not to go into a session with a young person and have all of those preconceived ideas already, or to have any kind of labels already floating around.

[00:45:48] Reece Anderson: It can halt, subconsciously can stop you from being more curious. Yeah. Cause sometimes if you can get to those certain things and they say to themselves to you, you know, you’ve got trust and you know, you’ve got rapport or if you’re going, oh, mum told me that da, da, da, straight away. Yeah. Yeah, there’s a wall.

[00:46:08] Amanda: So, and there’s so much respect and, and empowerment too. I think in allowing them to self identify in that way too, they can choose how and when and why they wanna share something with you. 

[00:46:20] Reece Anderson: Yeah. Because you don’t have to share your whole story with every single person you meet, you know, and you share what you feel comfortable sharing.

[00:46:32] And yeah, but I think it comes back to, yeah, you just gotta meet the person where they’re at and just who they are. Doesn’t matter about the labels. I just, I just, I, you know, it’s, that’s a whole conversation. We can have too around labels.

[00:46:48] Amanda: yes. Well, okay. So where can people find you, Reece? How can they join your Facebook group adults? How can they, are you on Instagram? Do you need me to tell them this went really good. Last off . Yeah. So obviously you can, um, I have a Facebook community. We over, we overcome anything, um, which it’s a private group, but I share a lot of stuff in there.

[00:47:08] Reece Anderson: I do lives and there’s content in there. It’s all free. Um, then I’m on Instagram, overcome underscore Australia. Overcome it’s at overcome anything underscore a SRE Aus, sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything. And, um, and yeah, I obviously have a website too, which is reeceanderson.com, which you can check out’s -got a bit more about me and what I do and stuff on there. So, um, that’s fairly new, so yeah, that’s where you can find. 

[00:47:42] Amanda: Cool. Thanks, Reese. Cool. Having a chat with you in this way, getting to, um, share you on the podcast. And it’s been so awesome getting to hear all the, all the things that are coming to life with me overcome anything and the work that you’re doing and, yeah, it’s cool.

[00:47:59] Reece Anderson: Yeah. But thank you for, I think obviously the mentoring program that you’ve obviously seen. What I do. And you’ve been a big supporter and you’ve, you know, got me doing that school stuff and got me doing the class and on here. So I really appreciate the support that you give, not just probably to me, but, uh, I think all the mentors that are, have got a lot of benefits out of what, of what you bring.

[00:48:23] So thank you. Thanks.


[00:48:31] Amanda: I hope you enjoyed that chat with Reece. We could obviously keep on chatting forever. Um, But yeah. Check out, check out Reece at reeseanderson.com. Find him on Instagram @overcomeanything_aus and check out his Facebook group too. And, um, yeah, come on over to shine from within, if we can support you with anything to do with supporting teens. 

[00:48:53] Whether it’s running a, um, a program in your school or supporting teens through our book or our online academy, or, um, if you want to become a youth mentor, we’ve got lots of free things for you. We’ve got free eBooks and quizzes and trainings and stuff to get you started. So, um, yeah, come and come and check us out. 

[00:49:13] But, um, Lots more, lots, more cool conversations coming up here on the youth mentor podcast. And I just really want to thank you for. For being here. For tuning in for listening, for caring about young people. Um, to being open to, to these sorts of conversations. It’s um, yeah, it’s really special. It means a lot. And I’m so. 

[00:49:35] Honoured to be in your ears. Enjoy the rest of your day or evening and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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