In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

It’s not everyday we get to welcome a world champion to our show- let alone one willing to dive into the weeds on everything from building a brand to standing up for yourself when no one else will. 

Julianna Peña is the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion and ESPN’s 2021 Female Fighter of The Year (among MANY other awards). Her victory over Amanda Nunes has been called one of the greatest upsets in all of sport and today she joins us from Las Vegas where she’s (at the time of the recording) filming The Ultimate Fighter (TV show) and training to defend her title. 

On today’s episode we cover:

  • Cutting through the B.S and building a trustworthy team around you 
  • How to craft an authentic brand & lasting legacy in today’s world
  • The difference between liking & respecting opponents and coaches
  • Why / how to stand up for yourself even when no one’s with you

As Julianna mentioned in this episode, building your brand isn’t just about getting your name and face in front of more people- it’s about building relationships with those who follow you and creating a legacy and reputation that will stand strong even when you’re gone. 

That’s precisely what we want to help you do at our Brand Builder workshop. This is the final call and we only have a few spots left!

Check out for more information!

Connect with Julianna:

Via instagram: @venezuelanvixen

Via Twitter: @venezuelanvixen 

Today’s episode is also brought to you by our partners:

  1. DFND: As our official compression partner, DFND is engineered to help everyone who loves to train and compete go harder longer, recover quicker, and get better faster. Their first line of compression wear was tested on special forces trainees under the harshest training conditions in the world, but now they’re worn by athletes at all levels and anyone serious about performance. Use code: AOC20 to get 20% off your order. 
  2. Dynamic Fitness & Strength: If you’re in the market for affordable, customizable equipment with customer service that won’t be beat, these are your guys. Their team has over 160 years of coaching experience so they obviously know what coaches and athletes want / need; When you’re ready to build that dream facility, or just upgrade your home gym head to and tell them the Art of Coaching Team sent you. 

Finally, if you read Conscious Coaching and you’re ready to take the next step- check out the Conscious Coaching Challenge. This 30 day communication challenge is designed for you to do on your own time, from anywhere in the world. For just $99 you will get our best communication content, a community of coaches and direct access to our team.


Brett Bartholomew  0:06  

Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode.


In the combat sports world, they say styles make fights. Well, isn’t this the same in coaching and leadership as well? A tactic that serves you in one circumstance with a particular individual or group of individuals can often fall flat when you try to use it with another. And there are countless parallels between sport and leadership. Which is why today I chose to sit down with UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Julianna Pena, the Venezuelan Vixen, who just last year beat Amanda Nunez someone who is widely regarded to be the best who’s ever done it. 


But Julianna isn’t just a fighter, nor is she just the bantamweight champion of the UFC for that matter. She’s a mother. She’s a businesswoman. She’s a coach on the hit series, The Ultimate Fighter, and she’s a great friend. So I’m looking forward to hearing your guys thoughts on our conversation that is brought to you by DFND


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And additional thank you to our other partners Yeti Lumen Momentous Marriott, and Dynamic Fitness and Strength. The latter of which Dynamic is my go to for all things gym equipment, whether it’s clients of ours in the tactical community, the sporting world, or the corporate community. Dynamic fitness and strength has everything you need for large scale training centers, bespoke home gyms and other innovative solutions that can fit any space. Best of all, and something that’s huge for us, they are approachable, they are accommodating, they are no nonsense communicators, and they will work with your budget. So go to my dynamic Again, my dynamic To learn more, and tell them Brett set you alright, let’s roll


welcome back to another episode of The Art of coaching Podcast. I’m here with Julianna Pena. Julianna. What’s up? 


Julianna Peña  4:31  

What’s up, Brett? How are you 


Brett Bartholomew  4:32  

I’m doing? All right, how are you?


Julianna Peña  4:34  

I’m great. Long time no see, brother. It’s been a minute


Brett Bartholomew  4:36  

long time. No, see, it’s been more than a minute, you know, for our audience. Let’s give them a little recap. When did we first meet 2014 2015


Julianna Peña  4:44  

Something like that. When were you at the Expo?


Brett Bartholomew  4:48  

Yeah, my last year would have been 2015. So I think it was like the year prior to that and for anybody listening like what remote like what was that all about? Like why did you come and train in Phoenix that time Do you remember,


Julianna Peña  5:01  

I think the UFC just sent a bunch of UFC fighters over there to get us training at the facility. I think this was pre PI this was pre, you know the UFC, stepping into like facilitate any sort of coaching or strength and conditioning programming for the UFC athletes and they kind of just wanted us to go down and check it out. That’s why I remember being there. I was just checking it out having a good time.


Brett Bartholomew  5:24  

It was a good crew is like you Rashad Evans, Luke, there are so many good people. And the thing I remember about you, and it’s carried over, obviously, I mean, you pulled off one of the most stunning upsets, and one of the best fights in UFC history, if not the best, 


But that’s so not surprising, because being from the Midwest, I took to you really early on, because you were just no nonsense, let’s get to work. Sometimes with athletes, especially in combat sports, I mean, you know, this, like, strength training, and all that stuff can be really, it’s just outside the culture, it was for a long time. So there needed to be all this like trust building, there needed to be all this coloring between the lines of like, alright, this is not going to make you stiff and slow, like, but you just took to it. You’ve always been like, let’s just get to it. Let’s do it over what will ever make me better? What is that about you? Like, where does that come from, and your background, that inherent trust and just work pail attitude.


Julianna Peña  5:37  

I think that you know, I come from two parents that literally were nose to the grindstone nonstop, they were literally they’re both immigrants coming to this country with the idea of no one’s gonna hand you anything in this life. And you have to go out there and get it. So if I’m in a situation where somebody is, let’s say, an expert in their field, I’m going to listen to what they have to say, because what they have to say is gold. And I’m just going to trust that that is what I need to hear. And that’s what I need to improve. And then I’ve always also been the type of person where you point and I’ll shoot, you just tell me how you want it to be done. And then I’ll take care of the rest. You just leave, show me what you want. And then I’ll take care of everything else. So it’s always been like a I’m very coachable. And I find that a lot of people say that about me, she’s very easy to coach, she’s listens really well. And she’s, you know, a fast learner. And I just equate that to just my upbringing and my parents being go getters and making sure that they instilled in me to have that go getter attitude. And if you want something, you just gotta go out there and get it. And so if I’m being surrounded by experts, I’m just going to trust what they say. And if they tell me to go, you know, run a mile, I’ll run two miles, you know, they tell me to jump, I’ll say how high.


Brett Bartholomew  7:22  

That’s a perfect explanation. But here’s what I want to know. Right? Like, and there’s people from a lot of different professions that listen to this, but I think everybody can relate to it. Everybody now says they’re an expert, right? Especially with like social media and everything. And before social media was radio, before that it was a newspaper, people always loved to blame social media, I think he’s just made it more widespread. 


But given that given you saying, Hey, I’m gonna listen to the expert, how do you know, especially at this point in your career, right where I’ve had to imagine, especially now you’ve seen your share of users, leeches, people that are just going to say whatever they want, because they want to be associated with you, people that you probably met once, in a hallway, once you won the championship, we’re probably like, Oh, I know her like claiming you. So at this point in time, like, or any point in time in your career, how do you really discern who’s an expert who’s not? 


Julianna Peña  8:12  

You know,  and that’s a very great question, Brett. Because at this point in my life, especially now, since winning the championship, everybody that I’m going to meet is going to be very hard to wade through the waters on who actually has my best interest, everybody that I’m going to meet is going to show me their best face, they’re always going to constantly show me their best side from now until forever, because they want to, you know, make sure that they’re painting themselves in a great light. It is very difficult for me to kind of get the gist because I come from a very gullible type of personality where my coach used to be like, did you know that if you go down the street, they’re going to show you the secret Death Punch? Well, you can learn it in two training sessions. And if you learn the secret Death Punch, and you do it in a fight, you can kill somebody. And I was like, I didn’t get mad if I show up there. And if I go learn from them, and he’s like, You idiot, there is no secret Death Watch, they just wanted to see what you’re gonna say you can’t be so gullible you can’t listen to literally everything that everybody says all the time. Like, just because some guy says that, you know, he’s got this secret Death Punch doesn’t mean that he actually does you have to be a little bit smarter than that. And so that’s something that I’ve been trying to stick in my back pocket for many years since my upbringing as an amateur into the professional field and I feel like I don’t know if it’s a women’s intuition or just being an intuitive person. I feel like a guy little special magic on the inside, but I can pretty much tell when someone’s you know, full of, you know, beans and when they’re legit and when they’re legit pros. 


And then I also couple that with a side of humbleness for my own regard, I don’t know everything people call me an athlete and I’m like, You think I’m an athlete? That’s a nice she’s a professional. She’s, an expert in her field. And I’m like, Wow, that’s great. Like, thank you so much for thinking of me like that because I truly don’t have all the answers. I don’t have you know, every single thing dialed in 110%, I look to those people that are my mentors in my life to lead me and to show me the way. And then if I have any questions, and I take it back to those mentors, and I make sure that my team around me is the one that I can trust that I can fall back on, if I ever have issues with Can I trust this person? Is this person legit or not? And, you know, if they are as legit, as they say they are, they should have a track record, right, I should be able to look them up, I should be able to see what has this person done? And what have they accomplished? And kind of get the accolades in that way and see, is this person real? Are they the real deal? Or are they just full of beans? And so I kind of just go based on feel, how I get the feeling? Do they sound like they know what they’re talking about? And then kind of take it from there? 


Brett Bartholomew  10:43  

Yeah, I think I mean, one, I appreciate you not dodging the question, being super thorough and hitting it from a wide variety of angles. Two You know, I think one thing that I try to tell people is, and I think this is underplayed, but I’d love your opinion. And this is a show where you can always disagree with me, right? Like, I think consistency of that track record matters as well. And what I mean by that is, I think I’ve seen the opposite standpoint. Now, as a coach, there have been people that will, you know, they start building a following really quick, maybe they’ve worked with this person, that’s super bowl, this person, that UFC, this person, here and there, and then their social media game, all this stuff picks up really fast, and people be like, oh, so and so’s killing it. And then 10 years later, they’re nowhere. You know, you can’t find them anymore. They kind of just blast and dust. And so I think one thing I tell people to when they when you’re picking a coach, you know, you can’t just go off of who they who they’ve worked with, because anybody somebody will train somebody once and be like, all like that person. Yeah, that I’m claiming them. But it’s like, is that person been around for 5 10 15 years? Now, sometimes that’s age dependent, like when you worked with me, in 2015, and 2015, obviously, like, different age, different time, but like consistency matters. And I think like that goes into the relationship you build. And I’ve heard you mentioned personality a few times as well, too. 


How would you describe your personality in the sense of like, if there’s a coach, you’re working with a new coach, or I know you’ve a publicist, anybody that works with you, managers, you serve you, how do you describe your personality to them, so that they get you better,


Julianna Peña  12:15  

I would say, a really sweet, funny, nice girl mixed with like, a gigantic side of crazy. And that crazy is like a good crazy, I would say like, I’m not like crazy, like, I gotta take crazy pills. And I’m gonna be like, you know, calm one second, then screaming the next but like, my mentality is kind of like, whatever it takes, and like a kill or  be killed and a kind of like, extra, extra extra if I can, because I just want to do whatever I can to get the job done. I want to do whatever I can to get the most opportunities, I want to do whatever I can to just make sure that I’m doing my best and presenting myself in the best light forward and putting my best foot forward. So it’s very, let’s see, my personality is very easygoing, extremely easy to deal with. I will push back if I feel like that I need to push back. I’m not a pushover, by any sense in any sense of the word. And I think that one of the things that separates me probably from other fighters that I noticed is squeaky wheel gets the grease closed mouth, don’t get fed. I have no problem being boisterous. I have no problem speaking my mind I have no and actually, it’s been a detriment to me too. Because sometimes, I have no filter. And I’ll just think what I’m saying right away. And it’ll be like Julianna chill, you know what I mean? And I’m like, sorry, but this is how I feel, you know, and just like, think about what you want to say first before you say it. 


But one of the things that I think is kind of been like a good thing, but a bad thing is the fact that like if I feel a certain way, if I think a certain way, I’m a heart on my sleeve type of person, you’re gonna know whether I’m happy, mad, sad, you know, if I’m feeling purple, if I’m feeling pink, you’re gonna know because I’m gonna let you know because I don’t shy away from my feelings. And I am kind of the type of person where I’m not shy. And like I said, closed mouth don’t get fed. If I continued to just, you know, let the UFC dictate the matches that I was going to make. I would have never got the fight with Amanda because I had been calling for this fight for five years. Although it was very annoying to some viewers and cringe. It was like, This is my truth. This is what has happened in my career. I’m not making this up. And I just need somebody to listen to me. I just need somebody to give me a shot. I just need somebody to give me my chance and opportunity because what I’m telling you is the truth and so falling on deaf ears is kind of very annoying for me and my standpoint, but continuing to speak in my truth and state and you know, I’m not shying away from it. You know, I could have been like well, they said I couldn’t have it and then never talk about it again. Or I can say I’m gonna keep saying the same thing until somebody freakin listens to me and if it’s a no I’m sorry, but closed mouth don’t get fed. And that’s what I had to do in order to get my shot. And so I think that, you know, there’s a fine line, you don’t want to be too annoying, right? You don’t want to be like constantly like, golly, this person won’t shut the EFF up. But at the same time, you definitely need to be your own advocate, you definitely have to be your best representative and your number one star player is you. So make sure that you’re putting yourself out there and giving yourself those chances and opportunities.


Brett Bartholomew  13:44  

Oh, that’s spot on. And, you know, I’m glad that you talked about that, because you mentioned humility earlier on. And something that there’s always a lot of conversation around coaches with is people think that if you’re not, you know, people think that if you do speak out, and you become your own advocate, that that’s not humble, right to say that you’re amongst the best, even if you know, like, Yeah, I’m a lifelong student. But you also need to know and take pride in the fact when you know, you’ve done the work. And you’re one of the best, but you certainly aren’t, you’re the best. And like, it’s amazing to me that there’s this dichotomy, that if you speak up or you’re an advocate for yourself, or you build a brand or you try to get yours, that it must be in you’re not humble, right? That it must mean that like, oh, no, like you’re drinking your own Kool Aid. And like you said, what people don’t understand is if you don’t advocate for yourself, nobody else is going, nobody goes to bed at night, aside from your family, and sometimes not even that for some people worrying about Julianna Pena, right and worrying about everybody else. And so I just always thought that was so weird on my journey. When I left, it’s so poo pooed on in strength and conditioning, Oh, you don’t build your brand. You don’t do this, you don’t do that. And it’s like, well, you know, at the end of the day, like it’s an extent your brand is your reputation. That’s all that is, right. I don’t know how you view it. But like, I view that as an extension of your reputation and who you actually are, it’s an embodiment of your values. 


How have you looked at that? You know, as you’ve navigated this, because like you said, It took half a decade to get the fight you deserved, then now you’ve got to capitalize on it. Because you know, this stuff doesn’t last forever, right? Like, did you ever look at building a brand or a persona or anything, like as a bad thing? Or how do you navigate it now?


Julianna Peña  17:02  

Well, it was such a difficult thing for me in the beginning, because I’m so I want to say, shelled in a sense that I’m like, Oh my gosh, if I show somebody me hitting mitts, then they’re going to get a read on me. Or if I show the way that I’m training in jujitsu, which is what people want to see, they want to see me training, they want us to meeting that they want to see me doing the stuff that makes me the best. But I’m like, I can’t show any of it. Because if I show it, then they’re going to get a read on me. So I’ve constantly had this struggle between wanting to share more so that I can continue to build that brand, and wanting to Shell away and be like, no one’s going to know anything about me. And that’s where I’m going to get them on be flying under the radar every single time because they’re not going to know anything, they’re not going to know how I punch in and then it’s like, Julianna, it’s not a secret. You get locked in that cage, you stomp across the cage, you grab the girl, you throw her down, and you beat her up, like what are they going to see? What are they going to know? Like? It’s not a gigantic secret is anybody who’s seen your fights and knows how you fight? Exactly. And so I’m like, I know what I still think you know, so I’m constantly fighting myself between being my own like conspiracy theorists and like wanting to keep everything hush hush, and like needing to branch out and be more of that brand that you’re talking about. 


And another one of the things that I noticed is like before, it was like, Well, I don’t want to just keep being a selfie queen and show pictures of you know, how pretty I am. And then, you know, be grungy and being like a fighter and then I, maybe I need to take off more clothes. Or maybe I need to get a boob job. And maybe I need to be like doing like some Swimsuit edition that like, you know, Sports Illustrated or something, or I’m not taking off enough clothes, I’m not showing enough skin. I’m not. And I’ve thought myself on that too on like, trying to feel like I bet you I could have a million followers if I would have took some clothes off a long time. You know what I mean? If I would have done this, or if I would have done that. And I don’t think that I’m starting to realize the importance of my brand, until now becoming the champion or it’s like you want to talk about getting paid big money, right? Well, you need a big following to talk about big money. And the only way that you’re gonna get that following is by shedding light on the other parts of your lifestyle that you haven’t done before that you are not wanting to do and that means you know, doing the sexy photo shoots, that means doing the mitts and showing the side of the training that people don’t get the opportunities to see all the time unless they see me fighting live. 


So I’ve constantly had this problem and right now I’m coaching a team of fighters right now and I’m like, this is something that I need you guys to understand and it’s something that I’m still trying to understand myself your brand is very important and you getting exposure and making sure that you’re taking the most out of this opportunity is extremely important and showing people that side of you and showing that people you know you can dress up like a girl but you can also kick some ass or you can you know show your training and show how you how you hit a bag or how you spar or you can you know, put stills and just one shot you know what I mean? Like it is very important to spend She in this day of day and age, with, you know, us going into, you know, some meta universe and like everything being about computers and branding and influencers and stuff like that it goes back to the closed mouth don’t get fed, if I go quiet and I go rogue and I have 10 followers, who’s really gonna care want to watch my fights or anything like that. 


Brett Bartholomew  20:19  

So it’s all a relationship, right. And I think for what it’s worth, I mean, I’m no expert, but I think you do a wonderful job of that, I think that way, and there was something I can definitely relate to with you is, you know, I think it was like, I can’t remember four or five years ago, I decided that on my Instagram, I wasn’t just going to keep showing videos of me training athletes, because there’s more to me than that, especially as we cross over into art of coaching and work with so many other things now in in coach coaches, but I was just like, I remember looking at my wife one day and being like, I’ve never wanted to just put that stuff on Instagram, like I want it to be about. So, you know, I remember we started posting pictures of our son or trips or just me being you know, it’s a snapshot of different parts of the shoebox of who you are. And all these people started saying, Oh, why are you doing that? You know, just like, people will tell you, you should show more skin, you’ll get a million followers. And it’s like, at the end of the day, like who do you want to be? And yeah, you’re like, you know, I know, for us, like our following on that side of things slowed down, but we got higher quality relationships, higher quality followers, you know, and that’s what you want, right? Like, if there’s a point, and you gotta play the game to a degree, but you don’t need 50,000 people reaching out being like, hey, you know, send me a pair of like socks, or you’re trading Brian, like a bunch of like, crazies, right?  You want people that are invested in you emotionally invested in you, because those are the people that watch you fight, and they care about you, and they’re gonna buy the things that they know, support you. Because you’re not the kind of person that’s going to be like, Yeah, I’m gonna go buy some ostrich leather seats and an Escalade, right, like, you’re just pragmatic. 


Julianna Peña  21:50  

I mean, you hit the nail on the head right there with just isa ISA is first and foremost, when we talk about that branding thing and like getting naked. I’m just like, is this the kind of thing that I’m trying to show my daughter, you know what I mean? And so that’s also another pool for me for boundaries. I have a daughter, first and foremost, I have a daughter and keeping her safe and making sure that she is safe and has everything that she needs is a big number one focus for me. It’s crazy that I am living in Vegas for this last month, and she’s been with me this entire time. I feel like I love this thing. Everywhere you go I go champ. And so I literally take her everywhere I go and she everything I do. She does everything she does i Do you know, we’re a package deal. We come together and we literally do everything together. And her for sure is my number one boundary, making sure that she’s safe and making sure that she has everything that she needs. With that boundary comes help. It takes a village and I absolutely wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my mother. My mom has been by my side helping me coming out to Chicago coming out to Las Vegas and making sure that not only I’m taking care of but that Isa is taken care of and she’s making sure that like if I need to go to practice. She’s watching Isa, she’ll take her baths, she’s making sure that she’s fed she takes her down for naps. I mean, she puts her to bed sometimes, 


like my mom and Isa Are you know, they come together and those keeping that core foundation of my family. First and foremost is the most important thing because yes, I’m fighting for myself, but I’m also fighting for my family for the pride of my family and making sure that my family is proud of me at the end of the day. That’s one big thing that I care about is I want them to be very proud of me. And so making sure that my foundation of never losing sight of your family and making sure that your family is the number one thing is always going to be a big foundation for me as a family is a big one. That’s a big boundary. And I’m not gonna let anything come between me and my family. 


The next thing is is that I’ve had these people in my life for a long time. My head coach Rick Liddell has been with me for 13 going on 14 years this year. And he taught me how to fight he taught me how to throw my first punch. And he’s always led me on the path that he thought was great for me and for fighting and for my career. He basically gave me a career. And so having that custom motto having that person that is your ride or die that you know that you can trust with your life that would literally take a bullet for you is is very important. I know that Rick has my back 110% through and through and vice versa. And another boundary is making sure that you have the right people around you I had an agent that was in my life since I won the ultimate fighter that literally I mean, I’m not gonna say he didn’t do anything for me, but I’ll tell you Do that compared to the agent that I have now. And obviously, like, to his defense, he’s gonna say, well, now you’re the champion. So now it’s easier.


Brett Bartholomew  25:07  

It shouldn’t have to, yeah, no, they should be able to show you that. 


Julianna Peña  25:10  

I got rid of him before I became the champion. And when I got that new agent, he came in and got me more money in the three, four months of working with him than I had ever received in the entire 10 years of working with my old agent. And so I think that making sure that you have the right people, that agent was not a great fit for me, this agent is a 10 times better fit for me, he’s done so much for me in such a short amount of time. With that being said, he understands the value of building my brand, he understands the value of making sure that my brand gets bigger. So he’s building a team out behind him, so that they can help me a publicists, media teams, lawyers, making sure that my taxes are straight with his tax guys, you know what I mean, and just making sure that like, I’m gonna be trying to buy a new house and stuff like that he is facilitating everything around me and making sure that my group is small, that they have my personal best interest. And that making sure that like, this is the team. And I like to say it like and I told the kids that I’m coaching on the Ultimate Fighter where the 300, nothing gets in and nothing goes out. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:16  

That’s a great analogy. 


Julianna Peña  26:18  

Yes. And so I have always been making sure that the people that I have with me, let’s say like my striking coach, when Gregory had been with him six going on seven years, I’ve been with the same people for a very long time. These are people that I trust. And I like to keep my circle small. And I like to say this, and it’s not always nice, because I don’t mean it in a rude way. But it’s like no new friends, you know, like no new friends, I just want to keep the people that I not to say that I can’t build relationships, of course, I want to build relationships. But I want to make sure that the people that I have around me are a one type of people and people that I can trust.


Brett Bartholomew  26:57  

No question. I mean, brief aside in that. I think something that always bugged me as a coach is when I would work with an athlete, regardless of sport, and you’re with them during their hungry years, they’re scrapping, you know, and it doesn’t even need to be their early years. But then all of a sudden, they make a play, or they win a title or they win a Super Bowl or whatever. And then there’s been so many times I’ve just watched that person, not just change because everybody’s kind of changed, you should change. But I mean change in a completely different way where it’s like, oh, shit, you just lost who you were completely, you know, and then as a coach, nothing is more draining and defeating, then seeing your voice this voice that they want to drown out. And it’s not for any other reason now then, just everything inside their head is muddied. You know, and I think about that, even with you and me. I mean, you said no new friends. You and I haven’t worked together since 2016. Right? Like, I moved to Atlanta, I was out and, like, what made you keep in touch with me then? I mean, given everything in your life, this is a completely selfish question. Yeah. Like cuz you’ve avoided doing that you haven’t gone that other path you haven’t picked? I mean, you were just on Joe Rogan. You’ve done interviews every here and there. You could have easily said piss off. Brett, what made you come do this show today?


Julianna Peña  28:18  

Well, it’s one of those things that I like I said, that intuitive thing where I feel like I know when people were legit or not. And when I met you, I was I didn’t have like a legitimate strength and conditioning coach, but when I met you, I was like, he knows what he’s talking about. He knows what he’s talking about. He knows how to coach. He knows how to motivate he can even work with me even though my slow ass, I’m like, trying to do some. I’m trying to do it, right. Like, he’s patient. He’s, he’s understanding he’s trying to even if I fuck it up, he’s gonna be like, it’s okay. We got it. We’re gonna do it again. You know what I mean? I could just tell your coaching cues, everything about you was 1,000% the real deal Holyfield, you were a legit legit person. 


And so you can’t say no to people like that. You can’t say go eff off, I never want to talk to you again, I know that you’re the real deal. You know what I mean? And so I of course, want to keep those relationships with people that I know, are real and that are good. And that are obviously, I would I would consider a friend, you know, somebody who’s has my back?


Brett Bartholomew  29:20  

Yeah, well, no, I value that. And I appreciate it. And I think it’s, you know, part of the reason I asked that question is because you’re coaching now, too, right? You’re not only an athlete, but you’re a coach, and so segue within that, because I’m going to talk to you about how you navigate the personalities from the other side, right, like now you’re leading them and, you know, in my previous book, conscious coaching, I talked about these things, archetypes and archetypes. I mean, we get like, you know, if you see a movie, there’s a hero, there’s a villain archetypes are kind of heuristics. 


And so I was gonna see if you notice these things, but first off, I want to tell you the archetype that I saw in you because this is something I never really got to express with you. And you can tell me if some of them are off and nobody’s ever won it. Right, nobody’s ever just one thing. But here are three things that I saw on you. One of the archetypes in the book that I mentioned is the soldier and the soldier is very much. I mean, as you describe yourself, they follow instructions, they’ll sacrifice to achieve a team or individual goal. They have this love of the process. They’re very detail oriented, they’re very resilient, they’re very disciplined. Now, with virtue comes vise, right? A risk of the soldier is sometimes they don’t know when to quit pushing. If not, if they don’t, if they’re not aware, they can risk their health, you know, and they can kind of shoulder everything on their back. So like whether this steadfast, unrelenting, super loyal person that can also be their downfall sometimes, before I go to the other ones is yes or no, any of that resonate with you, 


Julianna Peña  30:47  

Hundred percent 


Brett Bartholomew  30:48  

hundred percent. Cool. The other one, and admittedly, this is a little bit of me, there’s the Wolverine. Now, the Wolverine is somebody that is your self reliant. Now, you said, you’ve got your 300. But even if you didn’t, you’re somebody that’s going to figure that out. Adversity is a huge part of who you are overcoming it, right? You’re also this curious person, which is hand in hand, because when you’re curious, you want to see how far you can push things. You want to explore things. Now with that, right? Like, there can be some anger and there can be some kind of fear, or at least some strong emotions that you channeling like people can read you wrong, like you might be about love, and loyalty and all that. But if somebody catches you at the wrong time, they might be like, Oh, okay, you know, and so do you think there’s any Wolverine in you?


Julianna Peña  31:33  

Yeah, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And that is, yeah, you’re dead on so far to for two.


Brett Bartholomew  31:40  

Okay. Last one is, you know, there’s a bit and don’t don’t mistake the wording because you’re the champ. But the wording is the novice and the novices like this. They’re very eager, they love rapid improvement, they want to keep up with their peers, they can go clean slate mentality, they can be very enthusiastic. Now oon the other side, right? Certain  times, the novice can be like, they can get overwhelmed, because they try to take on too much at first, that’s fine. They’ll eat that up. But they can keep going and keep going and keep going. Sometimes the novice can also get impatient, right? Because they want to learn they want to get progress. I mean, we’d see this, whether it’s in the weight room, and athlete wants to learn some certain protocol or exercise, we see this in the corporate setting, somebody learns a little and then they want to take on, we see this in the fight game. So you have this clean slate, enthusiasm you want to learn. But like anything, there can be a tendency to sometimes bite off more than you can chew. Do you see any kind of novice in you?


Julianna Peña  32:35  

Yeah, especially today, impatient. I had a hard training session today. And I was very upset at that. Because I’m like, why I’ve been doing this forever. Why don’t I know how to do this already. Like this is unacceptable. Like I just wanted to keep doing it. Because I was so upset about the fact that like, Okay, I just won World Championship and I’m still learning on how to throw a damn jab. You know what I mean? Like, when am I going to learn this? Like, what? Why don’t I know this already? Like, there’s so impatient. Like, he’s like, Okay, we’re done. You know, you’re not feeling that great. Like, well, we’ll start again, you know what I’m like, No, you know, and so it’s like, that also ties into the whole, you know, Soldier thing of, like, always trying to white knuckle everything and needing somebody to like, hold me back, you know, and just be like, just chill, we’re done for today. You’re done, you know? And absolutely, those three absolutely resonate with me.


Brett Bartholomew  33:22  

Cool. So with that, and you might not have known this, but like, you know, when I coach you and everybody else where there’s you ever shot anybody? Like, I use that to kind of structure aspects of the training session, it helps me tailor my words to you how I approach things. Do you notice and you don’t need to use those words, but like, how do you notice that you approach the coaching aspect of it, navigating the different personalities? And what do you find also, is a little bit more difficult? Is it teaching teaching the stuff from a tactical fighting standpoint? Is it navigating the personalities and the communication? What have you taken to and feel free to take this broad or narrow just have fun with it?


Julianna Peña  33:58  

I honestly the number one thing that I noticed is right off the bat. Not everyone not every fighter is Julianna Pena not every fighter is like Giuliana Pena, you know, and so that was like, a hard pill to swallow. Because I’m like, I’m telling you, I’m not just saying this because I like the sound of my own voice. Although I do okay, I’m telling you this because I’m trying to keep you alive. Okay, so please don’t fight me. I’m not trying to be you know, like, act like I know so much more than you. But just trust me when I say this, you know, stay in position. You know,it’s so frustrating for me because they’re not all like me. Not all of their fighting styles are like me. Another thing that I noticed is like one of them for example, just a real shy, reserved guy. You know what I mean? I’ll be like, Hey, how’s it going? good. I’ll be like, he hates me. you know what I mean? 


Brett Bartholomew  34:52  

you, internalize it like that. You think that they hate you just if they won’t give you much.


Julianna Peña  34:56  

We exist and that’s the thing that I need to like quit taking personally It’s like, this guy probably has nothing against you. I’m sure he likes you just fine. But like, if he’s not like chopping it up with me, like, I would like a machine gun that I could talk to a rock, you know what I mean? And so like, when I don’t get anything back from him, and it’s just like very like broad, like, Good, fine. Okay, you know what I mean? I’m just like, what’s his problem? Or maybe it’s my problem. Like, why does he hate me? Like, what did I do? You know what I mean? Like, I talked to him, like, Did I do something? did I upset you? You know what I mean. And so that’s another thing that I’m trying to like, not take personally, you know what I mean? Not everyone is like Julianna Pena.


Brett Bartholomew  35:38  

Quick break in the action to just drive a point home and bring something to light. Your every day, all of us deal with some form of interpersonal obstacle, whether that’s a colleague, a boss, significant other athlete, or client. And these obstacles usually include learning how to get them to change behavior. While that requires knowing how to best approach a situation as well as knowing what to say and how to say it. Well, that’s where all of us that art of coaching come in, think of us. And yeah, this is said tongue in cheek as a GPS for your brain and your mouth. And that way, you don’t end up making a wrong turn or regretting something that you said, Well, it’s for this reason that we have created the conscious coaching challenge. Just like when you see people do challenges for their fitness or their finances, we thought it was a bit odd. Nobody was doing this for the relationships and the way they interacted at work and power dynamics and learning how to play a game. So what we did is we’ve created a 30 day challenge 30 days of micro interactions designed to upgrade the way that you interact in the moments that matters most. Now, you can do this all wherever you’re at in the world on your own time. And what we’ve done is we’ve distilled some of our most critical subject matter into digestible for weak bits. And we’ve created a community around this. And so it’s a combination of small assignments, don’t worry, they’re not boring. They’re things that you can apply every day, we have our community, you will get access to myself and Ali Kershner. 


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Julianna Peña  38:07  

Why does he hate me? Like what did I do? You know what I mean? Like I talked to him like Did I do something? Did I upset you? You know what I mean? And so that’s another thing that I’m trying to like, not take personally, you know what I mean? Not everyone is like Juilanna Pena, and not everyone has the same personality as you and that’s okay. 


But one of the things that I think that I’m trying to structure to them is okay, you may not be the same exact fighter as me. But there is some things that I promise you that I can give you that will help and benefit you in your fighting career. And so I just need you to just trust me, because I feel like for a while, this one kid in particular, I would tell him, you know, to stay in position. And it was like he was purposely I felt he was purposely not wanting to be in position because either I told him or he just didn’t buy into it. He didn’t buy into it. then he got in this fight. And then the next fight that he’s gonna be in, all of a sudden when I say position he’s getting right into position, I can tell now that he buys into it now. And it’s from, like his maybe not necessarily mistake that he made, although I would say that he was at a position in this fight. And that’s kind of what got him into a little bit of trouble. But I’ll just say that by him buying into what I asked him to do, and I know you’re big into buy in. It has dramatically changed his stance and it will probably changed, you know the outcome of his fight moving forward. Next week.


Brett Bartholomew  39:34  

Yeah, well, like listen, and you’re right. I mean, there’s a couple of things here one, I am big into buying because when people buy into something, they give more effort, engagement, they pay more attention, and generally with more effort, engagement and all those things come better outcomes, right, like buy in just trust plus commitment and you did the right thing there. You know, sometimes people will reach out and say, What do I do if I can’t get this person to buy it? And it’s like, listen, there are a lot of factors that are getting To determine whether somebody buy in buys into something, right, and some of them are like way meta, it can be the environment you’re in if I have a conversation with you in one environment versus another environment, right, like if we’re trying to talk in a noisy restaurant, and I’m trying to get something or I’m trying to convince you of something, versus us outside in a park on a sunny day one on one, if there’s timing, right timing in people’s lives, like you said, they wouldn’t listen right then when they’re training, but after they’re getting their ass kicked, right, and then the pressure and the threat is greater that resonates. 


And so sometimes what I tell people is like, you know, preach the gospel, use the words if necessary, meaning that like, somebody just planted the seed in their head, let them go have the experience they need to have come back to I mean, I’ve had athletes that didn’t want to do X, Y, and Zed, then after about three pulled hamstrings, they really want to learn more about how to get you know, like, so it’s just like, and I think that was a mistake I made Young is I felt like, you mentioned, man, I want to help I want to do this. So I didn’t fuse so much effort and electricity into trying to teach them and I’m like, now I’m just like, alright, you need to have the experience you need to have because perspective isn’t something you get till just after you needed it. And so once that person gets their clock clean, now they’re going to listen to coach Julianna, a lot more. And so I think, you know, for what that’s worth, it’s a perfect example, 


give me another one that you’ve learned that you just feel like, it was a coaching struggle for you at first or something that you’re liking to navigate. So is there another person and you don’t need to use names? But is there another personality or something that you’re trying to figure out how to coach the best right now?


Julianna Peña  41:30  

Yeah, um, one of the things that I found very difficult to deal with is somebody who moves like a cat and who is extremely fluid in the way that they move, never seen better. Head slipping, never seen. So somebody be so elusive. I am borderline thinking, bad, there’s nothing they can learn from me. They’re, they’re pretty dang good, you know. And then when the fight came melee mag, and none of that mattered at the end of the day, you know, but it was like, when I tried to tell this person something, it was like in one ear out the other over my head, or I know best, you know what I mean? 


Brett Bartholomew  42:07  

royal, that’s the time we call them the royal they feel like they know, they got it. They’re locked in, although they’re usually like you said a little bit naturally athletic. So they kind of feel themselves a little bit. That can be a really poisonous kind of mentality. They’re not bad people, right? They just need to kind of get the royal kicked out of them a little bit. 


Julianna Peña  42:25  

Yeah, exactly. And so it’s a struggle when I’m trying to tell this person something or they’ll say, I don’t need to know that because that’s never gonna happen to my fight. Okay. All right. Hey, you know what it might not happen tomorrow might not happen the next day. But I guarantee you one of these days, you’re gonna be put in a situation where you’re gonna get flat on your back, and you’re gonna need to know how to get up, I’m sorry. And so it’s just like, well, it’ll never happen, they’ll never get past my hand will never be able to take me down. It’s like, that kind of thinking is cancerous, it is horrible, horrible, horrible. And I don’t like there’s nothing I can do for a person like that. There’s nothing I can do for somebody who knows. I can’t stand a  know at all. Because I’m not a know at all. And I by no means have all the answers. I’m a student of the game. I’m still learning. But when I come across somebody who is a know at all, I’m just like, I’d rather not even deal with them at all. Because there’s nothing that I can. It’s just, I’m falling on deaf ears again, you know, a waste of my time. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:25  

That’s something I’m trying to I talk to my team a lot about, because even when we try to help other coaches, or certain coaches that are like, you know, love your stuff, but I’m just trying to finish my training certifications. And then I’m like, listen, dude, I get it, do you. But if you’re, a coach. And by definition, a coach works with people. So if you’re constantly just studying exercises, and all this, and you’re not studying personality, and communication and psychology and behavior change, then you’re doing this thing in reverse, you know, but then when I try to talk people, I’m like, You know what, the ones that get it, get it? Because you hear from those people three years later, and they’re like, oh, turns out, guess what, just knowing how to teach Julianna kettlebell swing or a clean doesn’t mean that like, I’m a great coach. Like, there’s more to it than that, you know, because those things are a lot easier or like in your case, right? Teaching them different principles and elements of fighting style, and hey, protect your blind spots under understand all these pieces. They’re gonna listen to you once that trust is built in that makes the tactical emphasis so much easier. 


And so I mean, but is it something you like? I mean, at the end of it, like do you feel like getting experience more and more experienced coaching? And I know this is something you’ve done for a while, but do you like it? Or does it frustrate you?


Julianna Peña  44:31  

I love it frustrates me to be honest. The reason why I’ll give you a few reasons why I like it. And I think this is a pretty selfish reason for liking it. I’ve always just waited for somebody to just say you’re in charge. And you go here and you go here and you do this and you do that. You know what I really like? I’m a Madonna. Like, I’ll literally be like this business. You know, like, I love to be in charge. I love to be in control. There’s nothing more than I like them to be in control and to be done. like gaming things and telling people what to do, trust me, that’s the best part. But I’m also noticing that that’s actually like a lot, right. And the one thing that I’m saying that I don’t like about it is, this is a very important time in my life, like, yeah, you want the belt, that’s cute, but what are we going to do moving forward to, like, retain the detail and continue to hold on to this belt, this is awesome opportunity to get to coach this show. But in the back of my mind, I’m like, you don’t want to listen to me to do I could be you know, lifting, running, I could be at home back on my routine train myself that I have to like 10 to eight babies right now when all I really truly want to attend to is just myself and score. Stop fighting is a selfish sport. 


And it’s a team thing, because I have my team behind me. But like I as an individual need to be making sure that I’m on my grind, and I’m doing my routine, and I’m on my stuff every single day. So now to be having to split that two times a day to be coaching this team is what I’m finding difficult where I’m just like, I gotta get out of here, because I gotta, I gotta get back on my mind. Well, it’s like, forget about these guys. It’s the Jullianna Pena show after this, you know. So that’s the challenge is trying to, you know, I’m invested in them, I’m 100%. All in with their success. I’m 100%. And all in with what their failures, their success, or their failures, whatever, they’re part of my team. Now they’re part of my family for life. I’m 110% invested in them. But it’s also causing me to get a little sidetracked from what I know I need to be doing. 


And, you know, the good thing is, is I know Amanda’s dealing with the same thing, she’s obviously having to do the same thing too. But you know, I’m  sparring Today’s my day off, I got to spar, I got to get, you know, my work today. And sometimes, as the competition has been dwindling down, there’s been a little bit more free time to like lift, and he admits and, get some training in on my own. So that’s good. But in the beginning, I’m just like, 110% focused on them. And I’m like, I need to be focused on like, what I need to do. And so that’s kind of difficult about coaching, because my career isn’t over yet. I’m still fighting. When I’m done fighting, of course, I’ll be coaching and I’ll be, you know, able to focus all my attention on what I have in front of me. But right now, it’s like my mind is a little bit somewhere else, when I need my mind to be 110% in this because I just keep bringing it back to myself, you know, and I’m really like, that’s not what I would do. That’s not what I would do. Let me show you how to do it. You know what I mean? And I can’t because it’s not about me right now.


Brett Bartholomew  47:26  

Yeah, well, I mean, you touch on something that a lot of people listen, to be a coach just like to be a parent. And you look at these things, they both rely and they’re like, kind of in the gray area of leadership, because there’s no just one way to coach. That’s why we call our stuff the art of coaching, there’s no one way to parent Right? Like, how do I want to phrase this, they both inherently do need to be a little bit more of a selfish act, you know, and this is why I never really liked a lot of the leadership books and coaching books out there is like they make every coach sound like they need to be like just the most like, perfect pure person, you know, just like it’s always serving bass leader, it’s always others, it’s never them. And it kind of created this martyrdom, culture that you need to feel bad, if anything’s just about you. But the reality is, you can’t fill other people’s cup if yours is empty. You know, like we always use the analogy. And I know some of our listeners probably get tired of it. When if a plane they say put your mask on before somebody else of a plane cabin pressure, and an empty sack doesn’t really stand up, you know, if it’s not filled. 


And so I think it’s important that you realize that you’ve got to be inherently a little bit selfish in order to be selfless, because otherwise you’re not going to have much to give, you know, and, you know, changing gears for a minute. You mentioned Amanda, Amanda Nunez, of course, she’s doing the same thing. You guys are coaching against each other. I want to think about how I phrase this, so give me a second. It’s not perfect. In my next book, I’m talking a little bit about like this flawed view of leadership and one part of the book talks about likability and respect. And this idea that almost like some people think great coaches and leaders should always be selfless. There’s a lot of people that think great leaders need to be likeable. Right? Now you look at you and Amanda, you’re both fiercely competitive. You want nothing more than to defeat the other person. But from what I can tell, and granted, I don’t know much. You seem incredibly respectful of each other as athletes and people. How do you view the difference between liking and respecting sake? Because not you can’t go into the Octagon I’m like, like that person. But there’s this risk. How do you navigate this dichotomy of how you look at likability respect and all those things from a fight standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, coaching standpoint, any of that? Does that make sense? What I’m asking you?


Julianna Peña  49:44  

Yeah, I think one of the things is probably been maturity. Even since becoming a mother I have grown to realize that you don’t have to hate the person that you’re going to fight that. You know, as much as I think that is life or death in there. It’s not life or death. At there’s more serious situations like police officers that actually risked their lives on a daily basis or soldiers that go fight for our freedoms. That’s life or death. You know what I mean? So I think it’s a little bit incorrect of me to say that is a life or death situation, even though I feel like it is. it’s, you’re not gonna die. I mean, I will never say never. But like, you know, the the sport is pretty safe. And for the most part, I would say that back then I used to feel like she has her ears pierced three times on this side. She’s trash. I hate her. You know what I mean? I’m just using like a vague explain. Yeah, I don’t care about somebody having their ears pierced. But I just mean, like, you know,


Brett Bartholomew  50:42  

you find reasons to hate somebody to get yourself.


Julianna Peña  50:45  

Exactly, I don’t need to have reasons to hate you to want to fight and win. And that is, I think, one of the biggest changes that I have made from a fighting aspect, because before I used to be like her shoes, or peach, she’s gonna die. You know what I mean. And now I’m just like, it’s a sport. It’s a sport, and I don’t have to hate this person. I absolutely respect them. Because they’re at the highest level that there is, and they’re competing against the best in the world, you absolutely deserve my respect. And I think that I’m trying to make and help the sport grow. I’m trying to help more women get into this sport, I’m trying to make sure that you know, reigns forever, and that it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger, especially for women, especially us both being women. So I want to come across as respectful as possible. If you push me into a corner, then we’re going to have some issues. If you push me I will push back because I’m not a pushover. But am I going to start something? No. Am I going to, you know, let you walk all over me? No. But am I going to be respectful? Absolutely. I’m trying to always bring it back to like, what my motto was in high school, and it was like treat others with dignity, class and respect. And I’ve always tried to keep that in my forefront. I’m still learning. I’m still growing, I sometimes have not acted in that way. But I do want to try to especially since becoming a mother set a good example of the way that you should treat people, and I will never start anything intentionally. 


Will I finish it? Absolutely. And will I push back? Yes. But I’m not out there to you know, make Amanda to be some horrible person, I’m not out there to try to fight her outside of the octagon or have some gigantic drama. If that unfolds naturally, then that’s one thing, but it’s not my position to try to like make her look bad by any means. Or like make her look foolish, or to try to be a bully in any way, especially in this day and age. It’s like Frick, you can’t say anything without some. Yeah. Well, they can’t do anything without somebody trying to cancel you two seconds. So you just got to be very careful and mindful of the way that not only my perceived and on a camera front, but just making sure that you just do everything in a respectful way. So that you know, you don’t get canceled.


Brett Bartholomew  53:03  

Yeah, no, no doubt. I mean, so you did a wonderful job. They’re talking about like the fact that you don’t need to stir up some fake hate and drama, you did a wonderful job talking about respect. Talk to me, though, again, about like, so you obviously respect her. But how do you look at that term? Like, like, do you like the person? You know, like, if you, if you and Amanda, and this isn’t getting spun anywhere, right? I’m just saying like, I don’t know how much you get to know each other outside of the octagon or that but like, how do you look at that differentiation between? Do I like this person in respect? And if not, Amanda, think about anybody else that you’ve fought or anybody else that you’ve competed against in your life? How do you look at that differentiation?


Julianna Peña  53:37  

Well, there’s things that Amanda has said, that has been irritating to me to make it seem like I don’t necessarily like her. I understand that she’s a fighter. But I also understand that some of the things that she says is kind of like, That doesn’t even make any sense. If you just think about it for a second if you just like, just listen to what you’re saying. It doesn’t make any sense. And I think that probably comes from my personality, being very argumentative. In a sense, if I hear something that I don’t like, I’m gonna argue till I’m blue in the face that you can understand what it is that I’m saying. But there’s some things there that she says that just doesn’t make any sense. And I find that hard to really, like, you know what I mean? I’m just, I’m sure she’s a nice person, I’m sure you know, the people that have been around her. They like her just fine. You know, I’m sure she’s super nice, but like, from my personal interactions with her and I’m just like, she’s just sometimes it not made a whole lot of sense to me. But 


Brett Bartholomew  54:35  

I can appreciate that. There’s


Julianna Peña  54:37  

Doesn’t have to be best friends.


Brett Bartholomew  54:39  

No, and I think like the reason I asked that I keep bad is is with you navigating parenthood and coaching too, right? Like you look at that, I think it’s not my job. It’s tricky because what we call referent power, this idea like people can have power by being a likeable person, right? We know that that that makes certain people gravitate to that individual. And so As a coach, there’s an element to that you want somebody to gravitate you as a trusted resource, but I think trust and respect go together much more than trust than liking. You know, now it’s tricky. There’s interplaying, right? Like, for somebody to trust you, they’re gonna like you and whatever. But I just think I never really went into coaching me, like, I hope this person likes me. It was like, my job is to be respected, get them results, and through that, if liking happens, that’s fine. But as parents, you’re gonna have to make an unpopular decision. As coaches, you’re gonna have to make unpopular decision. And I’m imagine like, you know, Isa is going to Isa is gonna go through periods where she doesn’t like you, just like Bronson is not going to like me, my two year old, but they’ve got to respect you. 


And so how do you look at that in the coaching context, because there’s a lot of coaches out there that they can’t let their insecurity get the best of them, they want to be liked, you know, and then they think that that’s a pathway to respect. Do you feel like it’s more important to be liked and respected? Do you like what are your thoughts on that from the coaching and leadership or even parenthood standpoint, then?


Julianna Peña  55:55  

This has been a gigantic struggle for me my entire life, because you could even just bring it back to when I was on the Ultimate Fighter, I had to fight a teammate, and now they had to split up the coaches. Well, I took it as a complete personal vendetta that two of the coaches were gonna corner against me and choose her over me and they’re like, Well, what do you want us to do? My all you need to be on my side, talking about like, you guys are all my friends. You don’t even like her? Like, why would you corner against me like you’re my friend. You know, one of the things that I’ve always constantly struggled with is wanting to make sure that everybody likes me. And being likeable and making sure that I do everything that I can to just try to be perfect, so that everyone will be on my side, I want everyone on my side, I don’t want anyone against me, I want everyone to like me as like, a fan, right? That dirty comment to me, I’m doing everything that I can to, like get them to like change their mind and be like, Oh, well, now that you talked to me, I told him that I’m a fan to you. Now Julianna, like, I’m always trying to, you know, turn them so that they come on my side. And it’s like one of those things, it’s like you’re wasting your time. You know, not everybody has to like you. You don’t have to get along with everybody. You don’t have to like everyone. And it’s okay, that some people don’t like you. 


And that’s really hard for me to accept. For example, if I truly found out that maybe one of my teammates, or my coach or the fighters didn’t like me, I would be so devastated. But at the same time, it’s like, I know that I gave everything that I could to this person. So there’s absolutely no reason why he couldn’t like me, but maybe I came across, for example, some bad way. And now for example, he doesn’t like me, whatever. The thing is, is that I noticed that, for example, trust and likability, my coach Rick Liddell that I’ve been with for the last for 13 years. Half the time I hate him, I want to frickin just smash his head into a wall. But I respect him. And I know that he’s not going to lie to me. And I know that he’s always going to tell me the truth. So if my rep was dogshit, he’s going to tell me that was dogshit, you know, and he’s not out to make me his best friend. He’s not out to make me like him. He’s trying to get me better. And so that’s one thing, as far as a mentor is concerned, that I’ve learned from him, I don’t need them to like me, I need them to respect me. And I absolutely respect him without a doubt. And I think by him telling you that that was dogshit, almost in a sense, makes me respect him more, you know, because I know that he’s not going to lie to me. And I noticed that about parenting. 


This is going to sound horrible, where I’m from, if you didn’t do what you were told the first and second time, you would get a POW. Okay, so and that’s how I grew up. Now. I’m trying not to pow my daughter, but the girl don’t listen, you don’t want


Brett Bartholomew  58:32  

that her screaming in the background, by the way.


Julianna Peña  58:34  

That’s Rick’s kid though. That’s Rick’s kid. Yeah. But so the other day, I noticed I asked her three times three times to do something, and she didn’t do it. And so I gave her a pow. And all of a sudden, she came, I love your mom, I love you so much. And she gave me more hugs and kisses than she ever has. I’m like, You never hug him, kiss me. But the second that I give you a pow, all of a sudden, you’re telling me how much you love me, you know what I mean? It’s so funny that it’s like, I made a stern decision to give her power which was completely unlikable. But by giving her that pow it made her respect me more and give me her made her give me more affection. And I was like, This is so weird. It’s


Brett Bartholomew  59:12  

Now what you hit that I’m so glad you gave that example because it’s the truth. People think they want something. And there’s a difference between what somebody wants and what they need, of course. And so there’s times where somebody thinks something’s gonna make them happy. Oh, mom’s love is going to make me happier coaches attention is going to make me happy or money or this is going to make me happy. And then they get that and they realize, well, did it make you happy? Like maybe it made you happy for a moment, but it didn’t make you whole. Whereas like when you get the exact opposite of what you thought you wanted, you get closer to what you need, you know, you shouldn’t need that dependence on this lady like she should understand like, okay, mom gave me a POW. And regardless of what anybody’s beliefs are that like look at the intended effect. Sometimes you have to do what might be the wrong thing. for the right reason. Would you agree? 


Julianna Peña  1:00:00  



Brett Bartholomew  1:00:00  

yeah. And it’s just like, I think that loss of gray area in today’s society, you know, like, who wants to grow up and try to be president now who wants to grow up and try to be this where, like you mentioned, no matter what, oh, this person was divorced at 30. They can be president or, oh, this person had a picture in their Dropbox with their wife on date night, oh, I’d be able to presidency, you know, and it’s like, what you’re gonna get is a bunch of scared, insecure, dishonest, morally corrupt people that feel like they’ve got to lie about everything, just to be accepted, just to be light. And then to try to keep up that facade. Just I mean, that would burn you out, you know. And so go ahead.


Julianna Peña  1:00:35  

It goes, straight hand in hand with the society that we’re living in where it’s like, you get a medal, you get a medal, you get a medal, you get a medal, everybody gets a medal. Everybody’s a winner, you know what I mean? It’s like, that’s the way that this society is becoming now, you know, unfortunately, it’s crazy. But that’s what it is. It’s like, yeah, no one would want to be a president, because look at the scrutiny that you do. Anytime you  take a step. It’s front page news, you can’t do anything, right. Oh, he stepped drum, you know what I mean? It’s like,


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:01  

I think too, like, there used to be an old quote, If you want to be liked by everybody sell ice cream. And even now, that wouldn’t be the case, because then somebody would need dairy free ice cream, or you wouldn’t have it, you know, and it’s just like, that is the society we live in now. And so again, I think that’s a great example. And I even found with certain athletes, like, if somebody came in at a brooding mood, you know, and they were just in a really bad mood, cool, man, I’m not going to talk to you for a little bit. And you know, if you’re like, Well, why aren’t you talking to me? Why are you I’m just gonna be like, listen, it looks like you got something going on, when you’re ready to chat with us. And so I found, just like you gave, you had to give your daughter a pow. It’s like, I’m not gonna feed you. What, like, I’m not gonna get into this with you, when you’re ready, let me know. And I remember that athlete came up and said, I respect you, like, give me that moment, because I was in a shitty mood anyway. So like, sometimes people just seem to chill out. And like, do the thing about what you want to do do the opposite of that. And it might lead you down a better route.


Julianna Peña  1:01:50  

Right? Well, and with my strength conditioning trainer, like I’m dragging us, by the time I get to my sessions, I’m literally dying, I’m on my third training session. It’s the last place that I want to go, I’m in a crappy mood, I’m hurt, I’m tired, I just want to go home and eat and rest. And he’ll literally be like, how’s it going, and I’ll be like, I can’t even want to tell him because I break his heart just by telling him how I really feel, you know, and I’m just like, but he’s just like, I promise you, you’re gonna feel 10 times better walking out of here than when you walked in. And he ends up being right every single time, if I can just give him that time and go in there. Every single time as I’m walking out that door, all of a sudden, I have a smile ear to ear, I’m happy. I’m on cloud nine. It just took me taking that step of like, going through the hard stuff that I didn’t want to go through, and he’s not gonna, you know, make me feel better. All of a sudden, he’s just gonna say, let’s get to work. And then once I get to work, then all that other BS gets out of my head. And then I ended up leaving there 10 times happier then the way that I showed up.


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:50  

Yeah, well, sounds like a phenomenal coach, you know, in terms of knowing that, well, listen, I have at least like 30 more things I want to ask you. But I like Cam want you to walk away from this conversation, especially since it’s been so long since we’ve caught up feeling better than when you walked in. And I know you’re balancing filming, I know that you’re balancing training, I know that you’re balancing everything. So I’d rather leave the audience wanting a little bit more. And, you know, give us an opportunity to do a round two down the road when this season of life slows down for you. 


So I just want to say thank you for this. And it’s so nice seeing your face again. And I appreciate the love and the trust, whether I was in LA when I was in Phoenix now, you’re a part of my 300. And I hope you know that I’m always here for you, and I value you tremendously. And I will smile ear to ear the day when my son gets to kind of see and meet you for the first time. And I just couldn’t be happier for your success and everything that you’re doing.


Julianna Peña  1:03:42  

Thank you. Thank you, Brett. Of course, it was such a pleasure to be here. The only criticism that I have is that you don’t have my jersey hanging up behind you though


Brett Bartholomew  1:03:49  

I was about to ask you. Like this, thing because you don’t know this. You know, when I was like just coaching I never asked people for anything, right? That’s just I didn’t get into it to do that, whatever. But then when I started to become a when I became a dad, and this isn’t something that made public before but my wife and I had to do in vitro to have our son there was a very long journey. And I wanted our son to know that, you know, no matter what you’re born with, in life, what advantages or anything like that, like all the athletes, there’s a bunch of jerseys behind me and upstairs and different things. Like you need to go through something in life to really become who you are. All these people had talents. They had gifts. Some of them had privilege and whatever. But like the thing above me says smooth seas don’t make for a skillful sailor. So we call it the adversity wall. Some of them dealt with mental health, alcoholism, a nearly career ending injury, all these things so it would be an honor. Should you want to shoot someone over here. This is the these are the people I’m going to tell my son about some day and give them examples of what they overcame to become who they were and you’ve had injuries you’ve had so many things and you’re so this humble, lovable, awesome, respect, worthy, incredible person. So fix that shit and I’ll send you my address?


Julianna Peña  1:05:01  

Yes, please send me your contact in Boston you have something for sure


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:05  

we’ll do where can everybody go to support you Julianna before we sign off? Like where can everybody go give a website social media, whatever you want.


Julianna Peña  1:05:12  

Yes, we’re still building out our super sexy website. That’ll be up soon, but Venezuelan vixen on Instagram and Twitter and then you can find me on Facebook Julianna Pena, the Venezuelan vixen.


Brett Bartholomew  1:05:22  

That’s amazing. Cool. Well hang out for a second. I’m gonna sign off here. And then you and I will chat for a moment afterwards guys, for Brett Bartholomew and world champion Julianna Pena. Thank you for sitting down with us. This is the art of coaching podcast. We’ll talk to you soon.

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