Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo is one of the nation’s top psychologists. She’s built her career on turning complex psychological ideas into bite-sized concepts that are easy to digest. She’s published multiple books on self-improvement and overcoming the battle with our inner selves and given talks at numerous events, as well as appearing on Good Morning America and The TODAY Show. She also founded her company EleVive, which stands for “Elevate your mindset, thrive in life,” geared towards improving teens/tweens’ relationships with their parents. There’s no denying that Dr. Lombardo helps many people across the world strengthen their mental health—but it all started with one patient.
Originally a physical therapist, one of Dr. Lombardo’s patients had a surgical amputation that—unbeknownst to her at the time—changed the direction of her career. “I was excited to help him walk again, and he was just like, ‘Get away from me’.” Her colleagues decided they would simply give him Prozac when it was clear that he needed more than just pharmaceuticals. “I was like: ‘What! You just cut his leg off! I feel like he might need to process this or talk about it,” she says emphatically. “I knew something more needed to be done on top of medication.”
Although she loved her job, Dr. Lombardo took this as a sign that she should be doing something more. She expresses, “It was almost like the heavens opened up, saying, ‘This is your calling, Elizabeth. You need to go back to school to help people like this gentleman’.”
With the goal of providing better support for her clients, she obtained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She went on to write A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness in a heartfelt effort to help people before they needed the proverbial “shrink’s couch”, and to give them the skills to deal with whatever life throws at them in a way that gives them fulfillment and meaning.
Our Own Worst Enemy
The Chicago-based psychologist’s motivation to be the best and help as many people as she possibly could soon became an obsession. “Even before all the success, there was this voice telling me, ‘You’re not good enough’.” This line of thinking led to Dr. Lombardo writing Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. The topic continues to be something Dr. Lombardo addresses frequently. “In order to have not only a happy life but an authentic life, we really need to keep that inner critic in check and not let it control us.” She states, “I knew it was stressful for me and my husband, and like most self-help authors, I wrote the book for everyone, including myself.”
Green Zone, Red Zone
One of the many concepts that Dr. Lombardo teaches is that of the ‘Green/Red Zone’. The ‘Red Zone’ is a heightened state of alertness but with intense emotions, while the ‘Green Zone’ is described as a calm state of alertness. “This concept of Red Zone thinking vs. Green Zone thinking is really powerful. When we’re in the Red Zone, we’re using our limbic system to fight, flee, or freeze instead of using the frontal lobe.” Dr. Lombardo goes on to say, “Something like that is so basic but so powerful. It’s not rocket science—it’s rocket fuel.”
Dr. Lombardo’s mission is one filled with endless service to her patients—but she certainly hasn’t lost her passion. With the current heightened awareness of mental health throughout the world, there’s no better time for Dr. Lombardo’s concepts than right now. “I enjoy giving people bite-sized information to better understand [themselves and each other], and the tools to better improve their lives most of all.” When speaking about her mission she explains, “I’m trying to change the world by providing the information and tools so that people can be their best selves in whatever way they can be.”
Dr. Lombardo is currently working on the True Success Formula trilogy, with each book focusing on one of three variables: passion, purpose, and people. She says, “For over 20 years, I’ve been trying to convince organizations and companies about the importance of mindset, emotional intelligence, and all of these things in terms of their productivity and their bottom lines. I think people are realizing just how important these are.” elizabethlombardo.com