This week on Beyond the Checkbox, we were honored to have Dr. Bill Howatt join us as a guest! Dr. Howatt ‘emptied the tank’ of knowledge on us and we couldn’t be more grateful.

If you didn’t have a chance to watch or listen to the episode, OR if you’re just looking for more from the great Dr. Bill Howatt, here’s a recap of this week’s episode.

Here are this week’s key takeaways:

Adversity is part of Dr. Howatt’s Origin Story

Looking for a source of inspiration? Dr. Howatt spent the first few years of his life in a foster home. He’s spent his entire life living with a mental illness, auditory and visual dyslexia and ADHD, and only learned to read and write at the age of 18 AFTER GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL!

With the gift of a near photographic memory, Bill sat at the front of his classroom everyday and would attentively listen to his teachers, memorizing the lessons and somehow finding a way to recall that and legibly scribble it down on exams and assignments.

Here were actual words from his Grade 2 teacher that, you could say, were a source of motivation for Bill:

“Bill, you know what, you’re a big kid, you’re gonna be a good farm hand because your brain doesn’t work.”

Dr. Bill Howatt went on to not only graduate from high school, but he played football with Acadia University and got his BA in Education and Social Sciences, proceeded to get THREE PhD’s (!!), and a post doc at UCLA. Did we mention that he went on to publish over 60 books and 400 articles?

Legendary stuff. Disney is going to come knocking any day, for sure.

The Power of Self Compassion.

Dr. Howatt couldn’t be more accomplished. He’s an expert at his craft and highly educated, as you’ve just learned. Yet, even with all his accolades, Dr. Howatt spoke on how imposter syndrome can still creep in, but the important thing is being real with yourself about who you are and to accept your own imperfections.

“We are trying to project to the world what we want the world to accept us as. We have some artifact or some reference point of who we’re supposed to be, versus just getting really comfortable with what you do have: the good, bad, and the ugly of it.” – Dr. Bill Howatt

Bill explained that even to this day he often has to remind himself that he doesn’t need to be perfect, he just needs to be true to who he is.

Learning how to replenish your ‘Resilience Battery’ When It’s Low



Dr. Howatt aptly compares resiliency to a battery. And like a battery that needs to be recharged, so does our resiliency. We just need to recognize the warning signs. Bill explained what his warning signs are, personally:

“Days when being yourself isn’t good enough, it’s a sign like the ‘warning light in my car’ that my resiliency is down and my emotions are there and I just need to charge my battery up and then I get perspective. I’ve learned when we start worrying about what other people are thinking we’re at the end of our rope, we’re kind of fragile.”

Bill elaborated and explained things like self-confidence, the belief in it being ok to share our point of view or even have discourse, is when you know your resilience is more charged up.


What a great interview with Dr. Bill Howatt! We hope you enjoyed (or, at least our recap).

For anyone interested in Bill’s book, ‘Stop Hiding, Start Living’ head over to his site and get it pre-ordered!

Was this your first taste of Beyond the Checkbox? We are now well into our first season, with 8 episodes featuring a star-studded guest list including ATB Financial CEO Curtis Stange, former NHL star and Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster, Kelly Hrudey, Mary Ann Baynton of Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, and many more.




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