Your Mother Was Right: Be Yourself, w/ Connell Barrett

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Dating can be stressful, even in the best of times, let alone in the wake of a global pandemic. But not to worry, delightful dating coach Connell Barrett ( is here to help you stay grounded in your authentic worth while you're out there looking for love. The tools he shares in the course of this fun conversation will help you make good use of fear, recognize the difference between rejection and projection, and step out of expectation and into creation.

Highlight Reel: 1:00 - Mom was right: be yourself 3:00 - What we're here to do 5:00 - Giving soulfishly 11:30 - Connell's journey 13:45 - Authenticity tools for dating (and life) 21:00 - What rejection is and isn't 23:30 - Give the present of your presence 25:30 - Who's the hero of your story? Who's the villain? 35:00 - When lightening strikes twice 39:50 - Buy into your own worth

Adrienne MacIain 0:03

Hey everyone, welcome to the That's Aloud podcast. I'm your hostess, Dr. Adrienne MacIain. And today we have Connell Barrett. Connell, please introduce yourself.

Connell Barrett 0:13

Adrienne, thanks for having me on. I'm a dating coach for men. I am like Hitch, the real life Hitch, if Will Smith was a skinny ginger, and I help men gain self confidence, learn to flirt and get great relationships, all by being authentic and not using any sketchy creepy pickup artist stuff. That's who I am. Thanks for having me.

Adrienne MacIain 0:36

Absolutely. So, I just want to say, like, full disclosure, I used to be a dating coach as well. I specifically worked with people on the spectrum. So I was helping folks who don't have that natural socialization gene to figure out what is this all about? What is flirting? How do I do this? So I really appreciate ethical artistry that helps people to build better relationships. So thanks for being here. And my first question to you is, what story is the world not getting?

Connell Barrett 1:12

I think the biggest story the world's not getting in the realm of dating and courtship and relationships is the power of being yourself, being what I call radically authentic. I never thought I was going to become a dating coach. I just wanted to go out and learn the art of connection, learn how to flirt. I always felt like I wasn't enough for women. So the reason I went on my journey of learning about the art of connection is because I wanted to figure out what's the code, like, what works, what do women want? What do men want? How do we connect? And what I found repeatedly, I saw this pattern over and over again. Once I rejected the pickup artist moves, and once I rejected playing it cool and trying to be Mr. James Bond Cool on dates, when I really leaned into being the dorky, nerdy, Star Wars loving, history book reading dweeb I am, and I mean that with love, when I showed women that true self, that was when I started making real connections with women. They really liked that, at least the ones who like my type. So I think in dating, the world is missing this idea that mom was right all along. They're gonna like you for you. You have to lean into that, be vulnerable. It's scary. It's actually fairly easy to do. But--Sorry, it's simple to do. It's not easy, but it's simple to do. And I think that's what we all have to do.

Adrienne MacIain 2:36

Absolutely. I really think the world needs this story, not just in the dating realm. This is the story that I think the world is missing, that authenticity is the key to attracting everything that you want. Just sending out that beacon of: this is me, this is what I value, this is who I am, will bring you everything you're looking for, not just relationships.

Connell Barrett 3:01

I agree. I think that I go back to something that Aristotle wrote about. And don't get me wrong, Aristotle was wrong about a lot. He thought slavery was good. He thought eels came from mud and rainwater. But he did get a couple big things right. He talks about this idea of eudaimonia. What is eudaimonia a fancy word for, for living a life in harmony with the world, but also with yourself, and allowing your true nature to come out. And in a nutshell, he basically said we're all here to become the best versions of us that we can be. That's why we're here. And I really buy into that and believe that. And I also think that when you are vulnerable and authentic, you become your most attractive self, to the kind of person who likes that type. And you don't have to really work on being you, you're already you. You have to work on taking off the masks that hide the you, that takes a lot of work. But the real core you I feel like we're all born with that. And I feel like dating and life also is about evolving into the most you version of you that you can be.

Adrienne MacIain 4:15

Yeah, it should be the easiest thing in the world to be ourselves, right? And yet, it can be so difficult because we've gotten all these messages. We've had to put all these different masks on to kind of play the game of the world and get by. I think one of the things that I've really come to in the last few years, and I'm working on a book on this right now, is that the best way to actually be ourselves is not to like navel gaze, and spend all our days, you know, trying to unwrap the mystery of like, Who am I? But actually just go out and do the things that feel really good. actually get out and give your gifts, give, give, give, give, give all the gifts that you have. And by doing that, that's how you actually find your true self, what do you think about that?

Connell Barrett 5:02

I love that. I think giving is important. Giving. What you just described to me as a refined sort of selfishness. Because we're all selfish, right? We're all walking through our lives, meeting our own needs, we have to see how we're wired. But we can meet them in high frequency ways. We can meet those needs in ways that also let other people get what they want, and give other people what they want. And one of the things I learned when I got into dating and learning about dating, and I traveled the world for five years, working with classy dating coaches, sketchy pickup artists, I worked with a hypnotist who helped me get over my social anxiety. And one of the things I learned doing that was, it felt really good when I focused on two things: growing and giving. When I was just focused on me growing and getting, I felt selfish, I felt small, I felt I wasn't happy, I would get a quote unquote, result. And then I feel like is this all there is? But when I focus on making it about giving to other people, whether it's a woman I'm dating, or a client, or just a night out socializing, and trying to make every person's night, a little bit better than before they met me, that felt so much better, and I feel like that's a an elevated way to approach dating relationships and or just people in general, like, I'm, I don't know if I'm succeeding or not, but I'm trying my best to give you the best podcast interview possible. You'll tell me if I succeed or not. It's not about I'm getting to get what I want. It's really No, I want to give Adrienne what she wants. And then if you get what you want, you probably will want to help me out too, which is a nice bonus.

Adrienne MacIain 6:46

Absolutely, yep. You got to give people what they want to get what you want. That is definitely a truism. I also like the word soulfish, I've been using that this year.

Connell Barrett 6:56

I like that, too.

Adrienne MacIain 6:57

It's like a deeper level of selfish, it's, it's recognizing that your desires are actually signaling you to something much deeper your place here in the world, the gifts that you have to give to others. And so when you listen to that desire, especially your kind of core desired feelings, recognizing what do I want to feel more of? And what do I want to help others feel more of? When you kind of fill up that bucket and just let it spread out to other people? I think that's where the magic really happens.

Connell Barrett 7:31

I agree. For me, the magic is the answer to this question: what lights you up? What vehicles in your life make you feel the most present, authentic, giving, growing, connected, and whatever that is? do that thing as much as you can. Whether it's traveling, or my case, being a dating coach or doing musical improv, which are two of my great loves. And I feel like you, if you ask yourself, what lights me up, and you follow that well-lit path as much as you can, you really can't go wrong. Because you're following what I call the higher self. The reason I became a dating coach is all of a sudden I looked around I was I was doing some coaching on the side, this is about almost 10 years ago. And I became a different not a different person, I became a best-person when I was coaching, I was giving to my clients, I was helping them connect with women. I was sharing what I learned, I was getting paid, which doesn't hurt. I, I just felt so useful and significant and not generous, but contributing. And that's why I became a coach because I was so lit up by the feeling that I get from doing this. And I feel like hey, you've got we got to go through life looking for things that light us up and just do that thing as much as we can.

Adrienne MacIain 8:54

Absolutely. So this season is all about hindsight. 2020. So let's talk a little bit about the transition that happened during the year 2020. And what was the biggest obstacle for you? And what was the biggest gift of that year?

Connell Barrett 9:09

What do you mean?? 2020 was a great year! It was awesome. 2020 started, everything went great. Ask your question again, because I'm a smart ass. Ask again, and I'll give you a real answer.

Adrienne MacIain 9:23

So what was the greatest obstacle of 2020? And what was the greatest gift for you?

Connell Barrett 9:29

The greatest obstacle was I had to disconnect from people because I was afraid of getting COVID I essentially locked down for a year by myself part of one partially because I was afraid of getting sick. Also because I had a major book writing project. And it was really hard for me to detach from my loved ones I mean in person in real life. So I had to find connection and other ways. I went deep inside I wrote a book I tried to connect with my past And I connect with reading books as well. So that was the biggest challenge for me in 2020, was just feeling like I was in solitary confinement for a year. And, but the silver lining to that was, but now that we're close to, if not in a post COVID world, or at least we're in a post-pandemic world, the silver lining for me is this incredible sense of gratitude. I recently went home for my birthday, and I kissed my dad on the cheek for the first time in years. And I remember thinking two things: Wow, he's got really sharp stubble. And also, I'm kissing my Dad! I'm next to him. We're all safe, we're happy. Or I should say we're in in each other's lives. And that just has new meaning for me. What was the second part of your question? Because I feel like I rambled?

Adrienne MacIain 10:51

Yeah, no, no, you totally nailed it. I think that's, that's a really big one for so many people, the gift of just recognizing how precious those in person connections really are, and how easy it is to take them for granted.

Connell Barrett 11:05


Adrienne MacIain 11:06

Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about your journey to where you are now. Everyone loves to hear that kind of rock-bottom story of like, this is why I knew that something had to change. Because when things are tolerable, we tolerate them, right? When did things intolerable to you? And how did you dig deep and get past that?

Connell Barrett 11:31

There were two inflection points that happened fairly close to each other. I never really dated in high school and college, well into my 20s. And I finally married the one woman who wanted to be with me. And she dumped me nine weeks after our wedding. And I joked at the time, I said, "Hey, our marriage is over so fast, we fought for custody of the wedding cake." So I was trying to laugh through the tears. But it was really painful. So when when she left me and justifiably so we were both settling essentially, I wanted to date around and and I married her because I felt like she was the only woman who would ever be with me, just not the right reason to settle down with somebody. And, and then I tried to become single, but I just had all this, I had all this anxiety about walking up to an attractive woman and saying, "Hi," I felt like I'd get rejected. I felt like that, that would be proof that I wasn't good enough romantically for romantic partner. And so I was in Starbucks one day. And I saw this really attractive woman who looked like my crush at the time, Katie Holmes. And I tried to approach her, but I couldn't. I even I even walked around her table as she sat there drinking your iced coffee, want/trying to approach her but I was like a little scared shark couldn't do anything. And she got up and walked out. And I said to myself at this point, and I was about 30, that she walked out. And I said, there's another woman who who I'll never get to meet, because of fear. Because of the fear of rejection, I've got to fix this. And that was the second inflection point that sent me off on this journey of, okay, I'm going to find coaches, I'm going to get help to learn the art of romantic connection and dating and just figuring out how this how you, when you don't feel confident as a man, when you feel like you're too introverted or too dorky, or too nerdy, just not that cool guy women go for it, which is how I felt, how do you fix that? And that was the inflection point that set me off hiring coaches that led me on this journey of dating, self development, growth, and eventually becoming a dating coach myself.

Adrienne MacIain 13:40

Awesome. So you talk a lot about authenticity, obviously. What are some tools that you use to help people kind of get back in touch with their authentic selves?

Connell Barrett 13:51

Yeah, I have all my clients follow a fairly simple rule when they go out on a date, or out to meet women in a social situation. Their mantra is, "What I'm thinking and feeling is what I'm saying and doing." I want them to be way less filtered. Not entirely unfiltered. I don't want them to say vulgar things. But I want them to speak their thoughts. And it's a concept I learned doing improv comedy, which is really powerful. It's just speaking that character's thoughts. And what's really powerful about that, is a lot of single people, men and women get really stuck in their heads. How do I say the flirty thing? Or how do I get them to like me? Or how do I say the cool, witty thing? And that is an understandable question to ask, but it doesn't really serve you. What's much better is to get in the moment, listen, and then speak your thoughts. You know what you're thinking and feeling and saying and doing? So I tell my clients, if you're thinking if you see that attractive woman at Starbucks and you're really nervous, but you'd love to meet her, there's your quote unquote, pickup line, walk over and say "Hi, I'm really nervous, but I had to meet you. Uh, hi, I'm Connell," she might like it, she might not. But at least you're giving her the gift of a genuine, well intentioned, flirt flirtatious moment, as opposed to walking over and doing something sketchy and creepy and like a move. Don't do that. So I would say to anybody who's out in the dating world, speak your thoughts take action based from that true, authentic place. And in a more maybe practical way, a practical application of this is going back to what we spoke about earlier, what lights you up? What do you love to do? Do you love cooking? Take a cooking class. Are you a travel nut? Go on a job on a trip, even if it's by yourself. Follow these passions that light you up. And it's amazing. If you follow that well-lit path, then it's incredible the potential friendship opportunities or romantic opportunities that will arise, because you're going to be meeting other people who have the same passions as you. And if you have two authentic people who both love, cooking, travel, LARP, whatever it is, then you're going to have something instantly to connect about. And that makes finding somebody to share your life with easier.

Adrienne MacIain 16:13

Absolutely, those are great. I would add so I always say you know what, what you want is on the other side of your fear. Fear is there because you care, you know, you're scared because you care. So if you see someone and you want to approach them, but you're scared, that is exactly the person that you should probably go and talk to. Because that is that part of you that saying, Yes, yes, I want this, I want this so bad, but it's scary. So one of the exercises I always like to give people is wasting attention. So look at someone that maybe doesn't give you that terrifying feeling. And just go over and just give them a nice conversation. You don't expect this to go anywhere, right? You're just going over to give this person a nice little conversation that they will then walk away with and have a nice feeling for the rest of the day. So--

Connell Barrett 17:03

I love that

Adrienne MacIain 17:04

--practice on people that aren't quite so scary. so that it becomes a little less terrifying. When that moment comes. And you're like, "Oh my gosh, can I talk to HER?"

Connell Barrett 17:14

Absolutely, yes, you can. It's like batting practice, it's good to take some cuts in the batter's box, when the the manager is throwing the ball versus the 95 mile an hour fastball. Because you get those reps, you get to learn the process of oh, walking over to somebody, sharing with good intentions trying to make their day or night better is what I advise my clients to do. And I you said something before that I loved and I say something in the same sentiment and a different way. You were talking about fear, how fear is... Can you say what was your angle on it again? Fear?

Adrienne MacIain 17:50

Everything you want is on the other side of your fear, and you're scared because you care.

Connell Barrett 17:54

So good. I'm gonna quote you on that. That's great. I love that. I will happily. What I tell my clients is: your love life is like a boat, and fear is the wind. And that wind is pushing you somewhere. Your boat wants to go to where that fear is sending you. Question is, are you going to trim your sails and say, well, wow, I'm gonna go talk to her or him and follow that fear? Or are you going to drop the sails and crash at sea and never get to your destination? So of course, it's, you know, it's sort of a matter of understanding that you're afraid because you care, to your point. So there's only two ways to make that fear go away. You can avoid taking action, and not get what you want. Or you can be courageous, take some kind of chance, whatever that chance might bem even if it's just saying hi to that intriguing stranger, and then the fear will go away. You might get a phone number, you might not. It might go great, it might go weird, but at least, no matter what, the fear is gonna go away. But only by taking that second path. Do you have a chance to open up the possibility of a romantic connection?

Adrienne MacIain 19:04

Yeah, the only way out is through.

Connell Barrett 19:07

You said it better than me.

Adrienne MacIain 19:10

No, I love that. I love the boat analogy. I think that's brilliant. It's absolutely it's the power. It's the thing that pushes you to where you need to be. But we are so conditioned to run away from fear that as soon as something becomes uncomfortable, we run in the other direction, we avoid, we avoid. And that is exactly the wrong thing to do. As soon as that discomfort comes up that's telling you something worthwhile is on the other side of this uncomfortable feeling. And so that's when you should dig.

Connell Barrett 19:42

Yeah, it's comfort now, pain later, or pain now, comfort later. In other words, you've got to go out there and, again, I'm in the dating context, so I'm telling my clients, you've got to make yourself uncomfortable. You've got to go on dates with women who scare you, because "Oh gosh, what if she? What if somebody like her doesn't like me? What will that mean about me?" And I say to them, well, first of all, it doesn't mean anything, it just means that maybe she's not your type. Secondly, the only way you're going to get a woman like that in your life is if you do lean into that fear and say, "Hey, I'm gonna do what scares me and give them my best shot." Because we need to get into the arena and take those chances. Or else we don't get the kind of love and results and growth that we want to be fulfilled.

Adrienne MacIain 20:28

Yeah, and that's so true. Rejection doesn't actually mean anything about you, it means something about that person. And you might remind them of an ex, you might remind them of their mom, you don't know what's going on in that person's head, right? That has absolutely nothing to do with you. So whenever you get rejected, just remember, like, that doesn't say anything about you, it says something about them. Now you can actually, you can get feedback of course, if somebody has some useful feedback, like, take that, listen, but that doesn't mean that like, what they say is necessarily true of you. It could just be a projection. You were going to say...?

Connell Barrett 21:07

I was just going to say that, especially in dating / courtship phase of dating, it feels personal, but it's not personal. Someone who barely knows you, somebody who has one date with you, or who matched with you on an app, and then they ghost you, they really can't reject you. They don't know you. If your partner of seven years walks down this stairs one morning and makes coffee and says, "Honey, I'm leaving you for Ryan Gosling. You've never made me orgasm, and you're a terrible person, and I've never loved you." Okay, that's rejection. And I will drink with you at the bar and help you try to get over that. But if a first date says, "Hey, I'm just not feeling it." Or if a Tinder match goes quiet. That's not rejection. That's information. It could be as simple as a matter of types. Maybe that person likes the Beatles, and you're the Stones. Hey, you know what? Stones rock, nothing to take personally, just look for a Stones partner, not a Beatles partner.

Adrienne MacIain 22:10

That's great advice. I love that. Yeah. And I think that's such a good point that when we first meet someone, they don't really know us. And again, they have all these projections in there, a lot of people aren't even in present time with you, you know, they're in their own paths are they're projecting past you toward an imagined, you know, fantasy future. And so that's why it's so hard to really connect with people. And this is why it's so important to be ourselves and be authentic and be in the moment. And just by doing that, you can actually inspire that other person to start to do the same to take off their own masks. And to get a little more comfortable with, like, just being here now and really connecting with somebody.

Connell Barrett 22:50

You're so right, I have a first date tonight with a woman from Bumble. And I've caught myself in the last couple of days projecting, not a future with her, but projecting this image of her, and what she'll be like, and what we might be like as a couple if it works out. And I've noticed that, and tried to cut that off at the past, because that's not going to help me tonight, it's not going to help her have a good time with me. I want to, I want... Don't get me wrong, it's fine to daydream and be like, oh, tonight, it's her. That's fine, that's fine. It's dating, right? At the same time, I like to say, give the other person the present of your presence. And let go of those, those mental projections. Because guess what there's gonna be you're gonna create something with that person, that's going to be so much more vivid and specific, and completely singular, because the two of you are making it together, that that chemistry the vibe, it's going to be better than whatever your head was projecting. So turn that projector off. And get into that moment with that person. It's going to be, I'm coaching myself right now as we do this. It's gonna be so much better than "Oh, man, I thought he or she was this, but they didn't meet my expectations." Well, those expectations were in your head. Let go of expectation and get into creation. I just made that up. That's pretty good.

Adrienne MacIain 24:12

Love that. I'm gonna steal that one. I love it. Because that's the whole thing, right? When you set expectations, like, that's the whole thing. It's just a mismatch between like, I expected this, and then this happened. That's what disappointment is. And so if you can get rid of this part, then this part doesn't happen. But it's so much easier said than done. I know, I was super duper guilty of that back in my dating days. Like I would have these experiences where I would, just like you said, build up this whole basically relationship with a person after a few conversations on text. Then we get together in person, and it's like, if I feel the chemistry and they don't, then I suddenly feel like, you know, like you said, we had this whole relationship and now it's over, and what did I do wrong?? Which is ridiculous. It was just my projection of this person. And you can go through entire relationships like that, too. You can have an entire relationship with someone where you think that you're dating a person that they never said they were, and never even tried to be. And then when they turn out not to be that, you're like, "Oh, you deceived me, you've hurt me." No, they were just being themselves the whole time. And you saw what you wanted to see.

Connell Barrett 25:30

Exactly. Yeah, it's a lesson you probably have to learn multiple times more you catch it. But sometimes just understanding that you play these stories in your head, like you run these movies in your head. And I say, play a different movie. Either turn the projection off, or at least play him or at least play a movie that is not about the other person and you play they play a movie that's about yourself. Yeah, play a movie that makes you the hero of your own story--dating story, romantic story, business story, life story, personal growth story--and make it a good movie. I should say make it an empowering movie, don't make it a horror movie. Maybe make it a rom com, or adventure story, or perhaps a comedy. Whatever kind of story about yourself you want to play in your head is going to inform your emotions and form your actions and form your emotional state and your beliefs. And that's just I feel like a really powerful way of going through life is, you know what? Right now, for example, I'm single again, I should say I'm single post-COVID, after a year of lockdown. And my story is, Hey, I'm the real-life Hitch, looking for love. Which is true, literally true. And so every date I go on, every woman I meet, I'm trying to think, all right, my story is: I'm the dating coach who's looking for love. And I'll find it sooner or later. It's just a matter of who and when, not a matter of if, and I think that's an important thing for people to realize is: is it's a matter of when, if you want it to be not a matter of if.

Adrienne MacIain 27:08

Absolutely, yeah, I you're speaking my language, of course, I, my whole thing is, you're the hero of your own story. I always help people find their Hero's Journey story to recognize that what they've been through, they didn't just go through it to go through it, right? Things don't happen to us, they happen for us. And so that story is actually the roadmap that you can now use to help other people through that same territory that you've been through. Because that story is not for you anymore, you already lived it, you already had that. That story's for somebody else now. And so that's why it's so important, I think, to share our stories, and recognize that we are the author of our own story. I always point out to people: author and authority, they come from the same root, which is a powerful leader. And so you have to be that powerful leader of your own life, because nobody else can do it for you, even if they want to, even if they desperately want to. And sometimes people do desperately want to live our lives for us. They can't.

Connell Barrett 28:11

Right. Yeah, there's, it's very empowering to buy into that author concept. Because it gives you empowerment, it gives you control, not control of everything, but it gives you a lot more agency than if you think the world is happening to you. One of the first things I say to guys I work with who want a dating coach, I say, I'm your dating coach, I'm here to guide you. Um, but remember, I'm Yoda. You're Luke. You're the one who has to battle, to take his lightsaber out and do battle and take, go on this journey. In other words, you have to take responsibility for your story. And to continue the protagonist-movie analogy, which I really love. I tell people, I say look, you have the hero of your story. And it's you. That is, it's your best self that higher, best authentic self. At the same time, every movie has a villain, right? And it's important to understand who the enemy is. And there's a bad guy, there's some kind of conflict or villain in almost every movie. And the bad guy I call the lower self. It's that fearful, doubtful side of us who listens to that lower voice that says you're not good enough, you can't do this. Why bother and the world is happening to you, not for you. And we need to give that lower self a cigarette, blindfold, and put them put them against the wall, and get rid of them, because they're really the ones who are keeping you your best, higher, most authentic self from achieving the kind of fulfillment and happiness you want. So that's my model of things, not just dating, too. It's about life. It's like oh, what does my hero want to accomplish today and how can they make sure I vanquish that lower self is trying to trying to mess up my my life? We've got to send that person far away, extradite them, send them to the Gulag.

Adrienne MacIain 30:11

Well, I always try to help people integrate that part of themselves rather than send it away, but I totally see what you're saying, I think--

Connell Barrett 30:18

I agree. You're right.

Adrienne MacIain 30:19

You have to you have to make friends with your demons, you know, you got to ask them out to tea, because they don't actually go away. They just come back. It's like a little kid. You know, if you ignore it, it just like gets louder and louder and louder. And interrupts you more and more until you're finally like, "What? What do you want????"

Connell Barrett 30:34

That's right, I agree with you. I'll correct that. And actually, it's not a demon, it's not an alternate personality. It's just doubt. It's being human. It's our, it's an essence of ourselves trying to keep us safe. So it's actually a well-intentioned version of ourselves. So we don't need to treat it like an exorcism. But yeah, we do need to have tea. We do need to have tea and say, "Look, you're not running the show, but have another chamomile."

Adrienne MacIain 31:01

Exactly. Like you sit in the backseat. I'm gonna drive, you know, treat it like a little kid. You know, it's well intentioned. It's just it throws tantrums because it doesn't have good tools. You know? Yeah, like, "Mom, this is scary! What are you doing? Don't do that." And it's like, "Okay, I get it. But you know what? Mommy's got this. Like, you can just have a cookie, and chill out, like, everything's gonna be fine."

Connell Barrett 31:24


Adrienne MacIain 31:25

So at this point, I'd like to transition a little bit. I think you've probably heard one of my episodes before, so you know what it's about to happen here. But I like to take people through this little exercise. And so what I'm going to have you do is just close your eyes for a moment, okay? And just breathe in. And when you breathe in, I want colored light to come into your body. And just tell me what color it was.

Connell Barrett 31:50


Adrienne MacIain 31:52

I love it. Okay, try it again and see if it's the same or different.

Connell Barrett 31:57

This time, it was yellow.

Adrienne MacIain 31:59

Nice. Alright, yellow, the color of the solar plexus. That's the you part of you. So let's dive into that.

Connell Barrett 32:08

Well I just listened to Coldplay, so maybe I heard the song Yellow.

Adrienne MacIain 32:13

Excellent. So now what I'd like you to do, I'm going to kind of wave a magic wand over here. Okay. And as soon as I do that, everything that you most deeply desire will come to pass here now in this moment, not in the future. It is happening right now. And I want you as soon as I tell you to tell me. What's the first thing you see in this new ideal reality. Okay. Magic Wand waved. What do you see?

Connell Barrett 32:42

Hmm, I see myself at a live event for dating, helping men and women. There's men and women at the event together, and they're talking, they're flirting, some of them are exchanging numbers and planning to meet. And a gentleman comes up to me, mid 40s, divorced dad, and he tells me how much my coaching has helped him. And he takes his phone out and he shows me a photograph of a selfie of himself and his new partner. And he's just full of gratitude for what I've been able to do for him. And that makes me feel like wow, I'm really achieving my life's purpose. I just, I almost want to cry in that moment.

Adrienne MacIain 33:26

So let yourself feel that. Let yourself really be there and feel that he's looking at you with that gratitude. He's got tears in his eyes. You've got tears in your eyes. Really, really be there. And what can you hear in the background?

Connell Barrett 33:48

Laughing, a lot of laughter. Men and women laughing. A lot of conversation and sort of a sense like a swelling, kind of a swelling, excited buzz. Yeah. Because at this events, a lot of people, men and women who have been struggling with something feel optimism, so it's like a hopeful buzz. And a little bit of a flirtatious buzz because it's sort of a meet and greet slash training event. And there's a sense of possibility in the air.

Adrienne MacIain 34:20

Well that's what flirtation is, isn't it? It's just hope. Right? It's that new opportunity, that new possibility that hope so feel that buzz, feel that buzz of hope in the room. And then I want you the the event is ending and I want you to go somewhere. That's kind of your happy place. It's like a special place that you go. That just makes you feel perfectly at ease and perfectly at home. And where do you go?

Connell Barrett 34:50

The rooftop of my apartment building.

Adrienne MacIain 34:53

Nice. So you're up there and I want you to smell something really wonderful.

Connell Barrett 34:59

Okay, you don't smell that many wonderful things on rooftops. But let's see what I can come up with. You know that smell of rain? Right when it starts to rain, not mid rainstorm, but just as it's begun to create this really pleasant smell, even in a city, that smell of humid air, rain, and the rain mingles with the street to cement that smell of, of, of urban fresh rainstorm. That's what I'm smelling.

Adrienne MacIain 35:30

Yeah. And you can feel the raindrops are starting a little bit, but it feels good. So you're gonna stay up there in this rain. And then something unexpectedly wonderful happens. What is it?

Connell Barrett 35:44

Hmm. Could be a bolt of lightning. I'd love to see a big, powerful, beautiful bolt of lightning in the sky, as I associate rain and thunderstorms, not with darkness and dark and stormy night, I think it is natural and beautiful and powerful. So seeing a big bolt of lightning would be just enthralling at that moment.

Adrienne MacIain 36:11

Excellent. And so I want you to kind of take that as a good omen that something good is about to happen here and you get some really wonderful news. What is it?

Connell Barrett 36:22

Oh, wonderful news. I think the wonderful news is that my book has reached a new bestseller list, which would make me feel incredible, because that means enough people have found it and read it, that it's helping enough men and women. And also it makes me feel, I'd stand a little bit taller, I feel really confident and feel proud that something I did has is out there in the world and the people are really paying attention to I would love to get that news.

Adrienne MacIain 37:03

Now I'm going to, I don't usually do this, but I'm seeing something for you. So I'm just going to throw this in here. I see a woman on this roof, and she has your book.

Connell Barrett 37:11

Oooh. Okay!

Adrienne MacIain 37:13

She has your book and she comes over to you, and recognizes the picture and just wants your autograph. I want you to have a little interaction with this woman to see that.

Connell Barrett 37:28

I would, she would come up to me and say, "Hey, I think are you Connell Barrett?" And I'll say "Yeah." And she'll be a little bit shy, but sweet. And she'll have the book, and she'll ask me to sign it. And I'll have to go into my man bag and find a pen because she didn't bring it. And luckily, I always have Sharpies with me. So I will feel really grateful and, and excited. And a little bit surprised that a woman is asking me to sign it, but still really grateful. And she'll say, "Well, I know this is a book for men. But your book really helped me. This, your book made me get in touch with my authenticity. And it allowed me to be braver and bolder in my dating life. And it just really helped me and that will be touching to me because it'll be so surprising." And I will write--her name is Trish, and I'll say: "To Trish. Wow, lightning struck twice on this rooftop. Thank you." And then I'll sign my name.

Adrienne MacIain 38:37

And then she asks you, because she's of course getting in touch with her boldness, to add your phone number.

Connell Barrett 38:43

Nice. Yes. And I will write my phone number at the bottom of the page. I'll be and I'll be giggling and probably definitely blushing knowing me.

Adrienne MacIain 38:54

Excellent. All right, we can end right there. You can open your eyes. Thank you for going on that journey with me.

Connell Barrett 39:00

Wow, that was powerful!

Adrienne MacIain 39:02

Was that fun?

Connell Barrett 39:02

That was great. Doing it is even more intense than listening to it, because it's so experiential. Yeah, that was incredible. Thank you, Adrienne.

Adrienne MacIain 39:10

You're welcome. You're welcome.

Connell Barrett 39:11

Do you have this woman's phone number by the way? Is she around?

Adrienne MacIain 39:16

I am sending it out into the universe that she needs to find you, and this will happen.

Connell Barrett 39:23


Adrienne MacIain 39:24

Absolutely. So you know the next time you hear the name Trish, you're gonna be like whaaa?

Connell Barrett 39:29

Yeah. I like it.

Adrienne MacIain 39:31

Or see lightening...

Connell Barrett 39:32

She must be Irish. Yeah, exactly.

Adrienne MacIain 39:36

Well, thank you so much. This was such a wonderful conversation. I feel like so many wonderful nuggets came out of this. And I just want to give you an opportunity before you kind of tell people where to find you to leave them with one key takeaway.

Connell Barrett 39:53

My, the one key takeaway is: I want you listening to... Buy into your worth. And do it-- the way we do that is-- don't use an affirmation, that's not as powerful as what I call an incantation. What I would say is every morning, what you can do is say out loud, three specific things about you that make you a great catch, or a great partner, or a great husband or wife, or wherever you are in your life. Say it out loud, say it with emotion, say, "I am an amazing catch. Because I'm intelligent, I'm witty, and I make incredible banana pancakes," or whatever your reasons are, say it out loud, say it with some emotion. And you'll start to feel it. And you'll feel a little bit, maybe a lot more confident. I do that every morning, minus the banana pancakes part.

Adrienne MacIain 40:48

I also really recommend singing your affirmations, because music is one of things that can just cut through our self doubt. And little questions that come up when you say affirmations because it feels kind of weird to say things out loud sometimes saying things sometimes feels less weird, at least to me.

Connell Barrett 41:06

Absolutely. Yeah, I agree with you. (Singing:) *I completely agree, Adrienne.* Sorry, I need musical accompaniment.

Adrienne MacIain 41:14

(Singing) *Fabulous!* All right, well, where can people find out more about you and your books and everything else that you have?

Connell Barrett 41:23

If you just go to a random rooftop, you'll see me up there waiting for my people. But if you don't see me on the rooftop, my website is, and on my website, they can check out my book, Dating Sucks, But You Don't. And if you want to get the book, awesome, it's also on Amazon. But if you just want to go to my web site for lots of free tips, and practical advice about how to have better first dates, how to succeed on the dating apps, there's a lot of free videos and tips at

Adrienne MacIain 41:55

Fabulous. Thanks so much for being here.

Connell Barrett 41:58

Thank you for having me. This was a cool, quirky, fun, and totally soul-- I feel really, really soulfish that I was able to experience this. So thank you--

Adrienne MacIain 42:08


Connell Barrett 42:09

-- for letting me be soulfish.

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