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If we don’t believe we deserve it, and if we don’t accept ourselves as we are, no amount of work, meditation, awareness, or activity will help us produce our best life. The radical roots of our journey start with accepting ourselves, just as we are, in all our immeasurable worth. This episode will explore how we have been discovering that sense of worth and acceptance.

You can’t do the work if you don’t believe you deserve it. You can’t even go to self care.

You can watch the videos of all of the Living Richly Podcast episodes on the Living Richly YouTube Channel.

Show Notes for Episode 8

Here are a few of the tools, resources and links we discussed in this episode:

  • We love Kelly Flanagan’s book Loveable. It is challenging and enlightening and liberating. And was also a bit of gut punch to our view of the world. We’re grateful to you Kelly for your thoughtfulness. (Come on our show!)
  • We’ve learned so much about how the brain works as we’ve been working to build a better life. And one of the great resources we found was Joe Dispenza’s book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself“. A great resource for deeply understanding what’s going on between your ears and, more importantly, how to change it. (Come on our show Joe!!)
  • Dr. Sherry Cain has had a massive impact on our lives. She is a psychologist with extensive experience. She brings a depth of insight, a level of caring, and a gentle persistence that has been absolutely transformative in our lives. (You’re totally coming on this show Sherry!)
  • Jim Herrington has been mentioned a number of times. He and Eric are particularly close and we all deeply admire his thoughtfulness and perspective. We encourage you to get to know him better. (And oh yeah Jim! you’re coming on this show!!)

What is your One Thing? – Wordwraith Books

Your Personal Affirmations

We promised you a tool to help you develop your personal affirmations. It’s super simple. Write 20 positive statements about you. 20 Positive Affirmations 

Episode 8: The Most Radical and Meaningful Place to Start

The reason people often choose to be selfless is because the opposite is self acceptance. 

Rob Dale, Eric Deschamps, Trefor Munn-Venn

Welcome to the Living Richly Podcast. My name is Rob Dale, and I am here with my great friends Trefor Munn-Venn and Eric Deschamps. And, uh, we have been exploring the idea of what does it mean to live your best life? And hopefully you’re able to tune into some of the other, uh, podcasts, some of the other episodes.

And, uh, last, uh, time we. Kind of using the language that it mattered. We were talking about creating your best life. We’ve been begun to, to look at some of the elements that, uh, we are using. Um, and we made it pretty clear during that, uh, last episode, uh, that we don’t have all the answers. That there are probably many different ways people may be shocked by that.

Yeah. Yeah. No. Oh, wait, no one would be here. No, no. They wouldn’t be shocked. But that there could be all kinds of different ways to, uh, get to that place of living your, uh, best self, your, you know, uh, we have a model or a way or an approach that we are going to be exploring, uh, over the next number of episodes.

Uh, one thing though that I think we all agree on that is, Absolutely essential. Uh, dare I say, you cannot get to a place where you are living your best life until you first get here. Uh, and that is, and I love the language that we’ve used in, in previous episodes of this idea, of this radical self-acceptance.

Massive. It is. It is absolutely. First thoughts, when I say the word, the words radical self-acceptance, uh, what is, what comes to mind for you guys? Uh, couple of things. One, one is that, uh, I think over time it’s becoming more clear that self-acceptance should be the single most natural thing ever. Right.

And I think the word trusting that You used the word natural though. Well, and I think we put the word radical in front of it because, . Uh, I think we live in a world that does not encourage that to happen at all. It’s, it’s, if you’re doing it, people are like, oh, look at that. You know, like there’s, there’s a lot of negative, uh, attitude that goes towards someone who said, yeah, I really love myself.

Because I think we’re, we’re in a system designed to say, you shouldn’t love you. You’re not enough. Right. Whatever you’re doing, you could you give a little bit more, right? How many people do we say, ah, yeah, I give 110% in everything I do. I’m like, why would you do that? Right? It’s a waste of energy.

They’re prob probably, it’s usually a lack of judgment about where what needs energy and what doesn’t, but they feel like it has to be on everything all the time in order to just be enough. So anyone who’s prepared to say, I love me, I accept me the way I am, I’m enough just as I am, suddenly seems. Right, right.

It see, it seems extreme compared to what we experience on, on a daily basis. And, um, as we were preparing for this episode, just the conversation around, to your point, this being the, the one thing that is so crucial. The thing , I knew you’d doing it. Had you doing, was that city slicker? That’s city slickers.

Billy Crystal. Yeah. Trying to find, put on show notes. . Hey, ask Jack Fz. What’s the, what’s the secret to being, uh, living a happy life? And Jack bla the one thing Billy, here it is. Um, the one thing, uh, this is, uh, in our, uh, from, from our perspective and our, our. Say in our own, uh, shared experience personally and, and in our shared experience, the three of us, uh, that, uh, how can you move to, uh, putting yourself first if, if radical self-care would be the, the next sort of, uh, if you accept yourself first and you start to, uh, take better care of yourself, putting yourself first more often, uh, in life, and that in itself is another step towards then becoming the best version of you, which would be.

Self-actualization, right? Like, uh, bringing your best, uh, your best, uh, self forward. Um, how can you take any of those two later steps if you haven’t taken the first one? Uh, if, if you don’t believe that you’re worthy of investing time and energy in. Why would you invest in self-care? Um, if, if, uh, if you don’t believe that you are, uh, worthy, or if you have a very low opinion of yourself, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re not accepting who you are and have a very critical self-view, how could you possibly put your best life for, or, or create your best life and put your best self for it?

That runs in, in, in, uh, total opposition, uh, to, to, to that position. And you can’t, uh, no matter how hard you try, None of us can sustain actions that are contrary to our core beliefs for any length of time. We, we can, we can modify behavior temporarily, but we cannot transform until we change our thinking.

That’s where the transformation starts. So we, we talk about again, what society kind of, how we look at this and it’s not really as natural as we’d like. Certainly when I think of, you know, when people talk about self accept, Early on before I began this journey was kind of like, ah, that’s just some of that kind of the granola, crutch crunching, kind of like fufu, right?

It was just kinda like, come on, like what is, wait, what? , you know what I mean? The granola crunching, fufu, what are you eating? You know, like duck. Silliness, right. It was just kinda like, come on. And, and even society, I mean, there are certain things that certainly in a North American society that we seem to, as a culture value, we value hard work.

We value sacrifice, results. Uh, we ra the value results. And we performance and we value performance, but we also value, it seems, selfishness, selflessness, uh, the idea of being able to, oh, I’m gonna be, I’m going to give of myself for others. And we, we kind of, and so then I, I’d rather burn out than Rusto.

Right? Yeah. That old say that. All of these sayings and in a sense is, is radical self-acceptance seems like at its surface level, uh, to be in contradiction to. Well, and I, it actually is, yeah, it actually is a complete contradiction to that. And, uh, I mean, coming from the background that, uh, well, all three of us did in one way or another.

Uh, the, the notion of self-sacrifice, the notion of selflessness is held up. Uh, those things are held up as pretty important virtues. They’re almost like right there with godliness. Um, and yet, and, and for years I embraced selflessness as a goal. Uh, something I strived for, um, and to the point. Right. You, so your goal was to not be, not be, to not be selflessness is very definition is to have no sense of self.

So shorten that. No self. So imagine living your whole life, uh, with no true sense of self. Yeah. Uh, putting you, you, you, you are putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own to your own detriment. Uh, and that only feeds, uh, your belief. You don’t deserve it. That you don’t matter. That, that your voice doesn’t matter.

Your needs don’t matter. Your wants don’t matter. That it’s all about living, uh, for other people. And we’re not by any means suggesting on this podcast. And yes, you’re listening to three guys talk about self-compassion. Uh, shocker, , um, uh, It doesn’t happen very often, uh uh, but we, we have this notion again of, um, uh, we’re living for other people and we’re not living true to ourselves, and as a result we pay a, a pretty heavy price for that.

It’s only when we begin to understand that actually being selfless is actually selfish, because in. In an act of trying to help others or put others first. Um, you show up as half a person or a fraction of yourself, uh, when, when you practice self-care, which is a natural outflow, when you begin to truly accept yourself for who you are and begin to, uh, um, embrace your own worthiness and affirm your own value as a human being.

Uh, flawed and, and, and, and, uh, in some ways limited and with gaps and, uh, the good, the bad, and the ugly when you begin to embrace all of that. And begin to put yourself first. You, you actually show up better in every single role, responsibility, relationship result you bring actually a better version of you forward.

Uh, uh, so selflessness and what we’re talking about, definitely run cap. I’m, I’m not talking about there, there are certainly moments where being selfless, self sacrificed are required, but living, uh, as a way of life, it’s problematic. He’s very well, and I, and I wonder listening to. Uh, explain that. The thought that came to mind was, this is why for a lot of people, the reason why they choose to be, um, selfless is because the opposite is self-acceptance, right?

And it’s like you are saying things. You can’t bring your, the fullest version of you. You’re only bringing half of you. Well, that’s good because, uh, nobody. All of me anyway. Nobody wants the full me, they, right. We have these ideas and these scripts that say, well, I’m not, I, I don’t have anything to bring.

Uh, so I’ll just bring selfless, I’ll bring less self. Right, right. And we’ve created all these scripts around why then being selfless is such a wonderful virtue. Uh, and it’s almost as a defense mechanism to the fact that we don’t. An acceptance of who we are. Right. Right. Uh, and I think all of us could testify to, uh, this, this wrestling with this issue in our own personal lives of, of, of beliefs that we held about ourselves that were very self-defeating.

Um, uh, uh, we’ve talked about in each of us in our own way as we told our story in previous episodes. Uh, but I’m wondering for you guys, like how did that show up this sense? The, the, the struggle with this whole notion of coming to a place of accepting self. Uh, where did you come from and what were some of the key things that helped you move from a place of, uh, uh, uh, where, where you, you didn’t accept yourself fully, uh, to now perhaps accepting yourself more fully?

Oh, stop looking at me. Yeah, go ahead. All right. All right. All right. You got this, the. . Right. So this is one where this is work in progress. Mm-hmm. For me, without a doubt. Without a doubt. Um, there are good days and there are less good days. Um, but I think the, for a long time it showed up as a frustration.

And the frustration was no matter what I did, I still felt outta whack and I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I used the only move I had or felt I had, which was to work harder. Right? And, and that just exacerbated the problem. I, I think when it really started to shift was, um, kids really actually helped with that because suddenly you find yourself, Saying to your kids, I think the truths that you need to hear for yourself mm-hmm.

and, and there’s like a little discomfort that starts to show up cuz you hear yourself saying it to them saying, Hey, it’s okay, you made a mistake. It’s not your identity. You just made a mistake and that makes you very human. . And yet when when I make a mistake, that’s not the message I’m giving myself, which is, hey, you’re just, you’re just human and it’s okay.

No problem. Right? And and I think that actually, , that gap started to make it more clear to me going, why aren’t I saying that? Right? And we, we’ve talked before about Dr. Sherry, who we’ve all worked with. She’s amazing. We’ll put a link in the show notes, go find Sherry . The, um, and, and about that notion about who, like, how are you speaking to you?

Yeah. And, and why would you speak to you that way? Um, you know, so in some ways for me it’s, it’s not even about trying to love myself better than anyone else, right. I’m just trying to love myself equally to, to maybe how I love others. And maybe at another point I’ll kinda go, maybe I’ve got a little bit of a privileged spot because I’m me and I know me better.

Um, but that’s, uh, you know, maybe heading in that direction. But I think, you know, that that piece for me has been huge around how do I find a little bit more. Uh, compassion in my, when I pointed at me, right. All these things we do externally. Yeah. Right. How supportive are we prepared to be? Right. You talked about being selfless and being there and supportive with others.

Right. I think very often, you know, we kinda go selfless one and selfish at the other. If I’m not being selfless, yeah. I’m being selfish, kind of going boy. I think there’s a massive gap in between those two and that’s where, you know, self-acceptance. There’s a lot of room for, for that to live. And so it’s trying to spend a little bit more time, I think, in that space and really trying to shift my thinking as I do it.

Right. Yeah. I think for me it was, you know, it’s interesting that, uh, I, I talk about this in, in the podcast, in the episode where I share my story. Um, I talk about the idea that even, you know, my mom and on when she, uh, before she passed away, wrote letters and talked about me being, you know, I’m, you’re the peacekeeper, you’re the one I don’t need to worry about.

And I know that for me, uh, most of my life, that was a script of I’m the bridge builder. I’m the one that kind of, and so where my value where. I matter when I can come in and support and help others, right? And bring people together and help resolve iss, you know, all of that kind of stuff. And so the notion of what my needs were and that, uh, like I would, I would get fiercely probably angry at myself.

If I, uh, was put, well, I wouldn’t push for that. I never did, uh, and never had that voice to say, Hey, I, I have needs, or I have, you know, uh, and, and felt silly or, uh, that felt like I was being an, um, um, you know, unfair or whatever. If I did speak up for that. Because for me, everything, this notion of, you know, the idea of self-acceptance, no, no.

I am accepted when I. Show value to others by serving them and supporting them. Uh, this idea of self-acceptance, cuz then, well, how do I serve myself and support myself? Well, I can’t, so therefore I’m no longer, I’m not accepted. Right? So that was the idea and the scripts that were there, I think certainly as I started to work through, so, hey, no, wait a minute.

My needs matter. Uh, what I care about matters. It doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. You know, someone else thinks it’s foolish or silly, it’s what matters. And the more I began to say, okay, how do I, how do I express that in a way that is, is still, you know, it’s, it’s where I’m expressing the true what I have, uh, and, and accepting myself at that level.

That’s when this journey began for me, certainly of, of being able to say, okay, this, I do matter and I need to start by, I, I don’t, I I need, I think I said this in, in that public, I don’t need somebody. To, to value me because I’ve found a way now to say, no, no, I accept me. Uh, if you accept me, great. If not, right.

Oh, well. Right, right. I can still relate to that one. I mean, yeah, one of my, uh, scripts for a long time. Uh, and this one is still a bit of a work in progress for me, uh, has less power than it ever did, but it’s still, uh, from time to time hold some sway. And that is, is that I’m pretty. to, to, to, to have in your corner.

Like, I’m a pretty useful guy. I’m pretty resourceful, helpful giving, um, uh, so, you know, convinced myself that I’m useful, but not terribly likable, right? Uh, not terribly lovable. So, you know, uh, again, I find my worth or my value in doing good things for others, but really at the end of the day, Uh, that’s about it.

I’m, I’m just, I, I’m, I’m like a tool in your toolbox, that favorite hammer you go to, uh, when you, you gotta, you gotta, you know, to, to a hammer. Everything’s a nail. I get that. But I, this whole notion of, again, usefulness versus, uh, uh, being lovable, likable. Um, and that reminds me of, uh, a book that Sherry did introduce to us.

We’ll make sure to link that into Kelly, Kelly Lanigan’s book, right? Klin Flanagan’s, uh, lovable. It’s called. It’s a very disturbing book. Very disturbing book. Really good book. . It’s very, And I think all three of us, um, that was, it played a significant role. Yeah. In, in our, um, uh, uh, transformation along this front.

Our growth on this front, ongoing growth. I loved how you called it a work in progress, . Cause I think many of these are a work in progress, um, for all of us. Um, that was an act, real generosity to myself, being able to like I think I can do. Yeah. I’m gonna do it. I did it. I did it. I I did it yesterday. Yeah.

Uh, but he, he introduces, uh, Flanagan introduces a really interesting concept. I mean, Um, you know, all three of us are executive coaches, leadership coaches. We work with leaders all the time. So I remember when I first started reading the book and he talked about three sort of basic human needs, right? Uh, the need to feel worthy, uh, that you’re, that you are enough.

And that’s really what we’re talking about here today. Um, the need to be in relationship. Right. To find your people, uh, to be loved, uh, and to love back. Um, and, and third, the need for purpose that your life matters and that you’re making a difference. And I remember reading that and saying, yeah, duh. Like, I, yeah.

Right. It’s not news to me. Wow. You know, like, I know this to be true. Then he made it really uncomfortable. Yeah. Does any He said the sequence matters, and I’m like, what do you mean the sequence matters? And he, and he goes on to lay out that actually, if you. Settle the worthiness question first. If you don’t give, and the only person who can settle that question is you, uh, right.

Uh, I, I have to settle the worthiness question within myself. I have to affirm my worth, and if I don’t do that, I’m gonna chase that sense of worthiness and value in the other two. I’m gonna chase it in every relationship. Yeah. Uh, really unrealistic expectations on others to be my primary caregiver, uh, and to affirm me and make me feel good about myself, which is totally unfair to do to anybody else.

Yep. Um, or, or I’m gonna chase it in my work, uh, right in, in what I do, uh, in trying to make a difference and to add value. And I remember that just. Stop me dead in my tracks cuz I’m like, holy shit. I have been living in two and three, uh, running after a sense of validation that I’m okay. Uh, please someone tell me I’m okay.

That was most of my adult experience. Um, uh, chasing it in relationships, chasing it in the work that I did and when I wasn’t getting it, just double down and do more. Uh, and this whole notion of the definition of insanity, uh, doing more of the same, expecting a different result, like it just wasn’t working.

And, and when he backs up, he says, when you, when you can give yourself and affirm your own worthiness and settle that question, and to our, I don’t, I think it’s a question you continue to settle over time. I don’t think it’s ever, uh, I, I, right, completely settled. But the more we, uh, are able to look ourselves in the mirror and be okay with who we see there, um, uh, then, then we bring a better version of our.

To all of our relationships and our relationships are enhanced. And our work, uh, what we do on a day-to-day basis is just enhanced. The difference we can make is enhanced. Why? Because we’re showing up, uh, uh, as a, again, a, a fuller expression of our authentic self. Well, and, and, and again, this is why we go back to when we say this is the one thing when this is the, the foundational.

No, I’m not. I’m not doing it. You’re doing it. Come on. Come on. Do it with me. Nope. The one thing. Nope. Stop it. That sounded great, Rob. Yeah, so job. Everyone thinks new job now. Yeah, you Exactly. You did great. Yeah. You’re really getting, you’re really coming along. The one thing, uh, not even close. What I love, no.

What I love about the fact, as we say, this is being the one thing that, this is the foundational piece. You cannot take this journey until you get here. It’s not that you and I so appreciate. . It’s not that you have to have this completely figured out to take the journey. You have to at least be at a point where you say, Hey, you know what I am, I deserve, or I am worthy of taking this journey.

Right. Or that’s powerful and, and right. It’s that starting point is gotta be. Or else if you, if you, if you come into this goal, well, I don’t even deserve to live richly cuz I’m a rotten person or I. Okay, well then that’s what’s, that’s gonna be the experience. Yeah. Uh, to be able to take this journey. Now let me ask one last thing before we kind of jump into a little bit of the, how do we do this, some of this stuff.

What do you say to the person who listens to someone talk about, I’m learning to accept myself. I’m learning to be Okay. Uh, who says, well, that’s just Narciss.

I would say that person doesn’t understand what a narcissist is. Okay. Right. I, I would say it caringly, but that’s, it’s not narcissism. The, um, this is where we, we have to avoid kind of black and white distinctions between things. Yeah. Right. And to, to recognize. We’re, we’re not talking about two dimensional things.

We’re talking about really complex, uh, spaces. So caring for yourself and about yourself doesn’t mean you don’t care about others. Right, right. That’s exactly right. Because what’s interesting is most people are doing the opposite, which is caring about everyone else and not caring about themselves. Right.

So it’s the either or. Yeah. Right. And we we’re big fans of the, and both. And, and most people are excluding themselves. , right? They’re excluding the, the critical character of their own story in their own life, uh, from every circumstance, right? When they’re saying, I’m not gonna care for that character.

Everyone else deserves it or needs it. Uh, but not me. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think that’s, uh, thank you cuz that’s what I was going with that is this idea that, oh, I got it right. Yeah. No, you did great. You did a good job. Yes, yes, yes, sir. He gets, think about even, uh, the, the background we came from, you know, it’s, it’s.

Said that Jesus at one point, uh, when he was asked what the greatest commandment was, uh, is, uh, you know, by some religious people, uh, he answered, you know, love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And then he makes an interesting, uh, comment. He says, love others. As you love yourself. And I remember for years I could not figure out what that meant.

Uh, right. Love others as you love yourself. And I realize now I couldn’t, I couldn’t, uh, understand that concept cuz the notion of loving myself was so far, uh, from my experience. Uh, I talk about the deep self-loathing and the harsh, cruel inner critic that I lived with for so many years that, that I created, uh, that, uh, my, my.

Uh, you know, my own choices, my own beliefs created this state, uh, where I couldn’t, uh, look myself in the mirror and, and like what I saw. Um, uh, and so I think people need to, uh, come face to face with this reality that many of the beliefs that we have about ourselves are simply false, right? Um, they’re based on.

Maybe partial evidence. Uh, there may be partial evidence that supports their point of view, but I think if you look at, um, the bigger picture, there’s other evidence that would also counter, uh, some of those beliefs that they hold about themselves. Okay. Let’s stand down for a second. Yeah. Just cause of the light, God damn nature.

I didn’t see any chance for sunshine. Right. Well, it’s, uh, so that just tells us all about you, doesn’t it? That’s for. Have we got some? Uh, yeah. Hey, by the time it’s up, it’s gonna fade. I can tell. All right. Yep. . Yeah. But I’ll be back.

Yeah. I, I, I, again, and I know I threw that one in there almost as a bit of a, Uh, off the cuff, but I think there’s some powerful about that idea. Yeah. And this is where I’m gonna jump in and just to finish that thought, is if you want to, you know, for those of you that really do value caring for others and children, others, you wanna serve, people fully, start with you.

Yeah. It’s, it’s, uh, I think, uh, it’s worth even noting like self-care, self-sacrifice are powerful, but what’s motivating it right. Oh yeah. What’s motivating, what’s behind it? Is it because that’s a genuine expression of who you are? You’re, you’re, you’re a generous giving person who’s giving or are you doing that Cause it’s how, because that’s how you get, or, and it’s how you get acknowledged.

Right. For a long time. For me, that’s part of it was how legend for me. Right. Oh.

Would I really fuck people up if I change shirts now? Mm-hmm. halfway through an episode, they’d be like, I love people are watching watching you. Anyway, so good. Hey, all eyes are on Trevor. Yeah,

Okay, so we just finished on, uh, yeah, the ev there’s that. If people looked, uh, honestly, they would find that there’s actually evidence to the contrary of what they’re believing. So anybody can just jump in on that? I’ll jump in. Okay. 20 minutes. Just a little over 20 minutes. Okay. Okay. The thing with beliefs is a belief is anything we repeat, right?

It’s actually not about evidence, it’s about repetition. Right? Right. This is why, that’s how advertising works. Right. Consistent message to a consistent audience. Cuz if you say it off enough times, people believe it, right? So that’s literally why that exists. And it happens internal at a core psychological level.

Whatever we’re gonna repeat is what we’re going to believe. Which is really daunting in one sense and really liberating in another because we can, it’s daunting because we start to clue into all the things we keep saying to ourselves, right? You talk about, we, we, we kind of created this, there’s like a passive creation in our life.

And I think as we step into a richer life, there’s an active creation of our life. Right? Right. So these, there’s these things where sometimes it’s an off comment from a teacher when we’re a kid going, you’re slow. And, and we, we just grab onto that and go, well, yeah, but I’m slow. And then the ev we’ll, The brain will start to align evidence to, to support that or not, right?

Depending on what we say to ourselves. So we’ve got room to, to reorder what that looks like, but sometimes, right, it’s a, it’s a terrifying notion, right? If we go back to Kelly Flanagan, like, I was gutted when I read that, right? Kind of went, Hey, find your, you know, set your purpose. I’m like, yep, I got my five year plan.

I got all that. How many five year plans I’ve had? Well, a lot. It feels like the. , you start to live that out, your people will show up as you said, that connection, and then you get that sense of worth out of it and it’s and, and, and as. And he said, okay, so this is how it flows. I’m like, yes, exactly. Yeah, exactly.

And that’s when he turns the tables and goes, yeah, you’re performing for worth. And I was like, cool. And then, then he said, you need to anchor into that worth. Then your people will show up. Hello people. Hello. And then. We, our purpose will actually start to truly right, reveal itself to us. But to do that, what we have to shift is that belief.

That belief, and to be, have the courage to let go of beliefs we’ve had for a long time just because we’ve been repeating them and challenge them with evidence. Right. Challenge them and say, what’s the, if you put a hundred people in a row or uh, you know, a jury of your peers, could you make the case?

Could you make the case? Right? Right. One of them for me was, I’m not smart. and, and too long, like I, I have to work harder cause I’m not smart enough. I got gotta do all this stuff. And then one day I was like, is that actually true? Right. So there was that curiosity kind of kicking in a little bit. And I started to go, actually, I’m not sure if that’s true.

And then over, over a bit of bit of time, I was like, actually that’s not true, but that’s not enough, right? Because. Right. The repetition of a belief forms a neural pathway. Right? Right. And the brain is lazy. The brain will go wherever There’s a nice clean path. Right. The more you say it, the bigger the pathway, the faster it fires, the easier, the more automatic it is.

Right. Well, think of walking through a forest. Are you going to blaze your own trail or are you gonna follow the trail that’s already there? Exactly. That’s how the brain works. Exactly. You have to follow the trail that’s been already, uh, established. Yeah. And, and it, it’s, it’s based on reinforced messages over years and years.

So it feels safe and easy and all. Stuff, but we, we, if we don’t have an alternative path to go down with the brain, it’ll keep going back to that one, right? So the realization to say, well, that belief isn’t true, is the first critical step. But the next one is you need a counter message. Right? Right. And I think that’s actually a radical act, right?

It’s to say, I am going to develop a new belief, but I’m gonna do it grounded in evidence. I’m gonna do it grounded in reality, I’m gonna do it grounded in self-acceptance. And realization, and that’s what I’m going to anchor into. And then it really is about repetition. We have to find opportunities to keep saying it to ourselves day in, day out.

In the same way we’ve been doing the other messages right day in and day out, and people go, oh, I can’t repeat it that long. I’m like, you’ve been, you spent your whole life doing exactly that, right? You can do it. You’ve been meditating in a negative way for so long that now we’re just talking about meditating on a different message.

And, and yet it’s, it’s, it’s, uh, it sounds simple and yet the process is not easy. Right. Uh, when we think of just how negative our self-talk can be, how we talk to ourselves in a way, for most folks, I think this is true. Um, what is it like 80% of what we say today is the same as yesterday and 90% of that is negative.

That’s it’s, and that’s, and it’s internet data. That could be, I think Abraham Lincoln said that that was, as Abraham Lincoln. Uh, but, but the truth is are mo whatever the statistics are. When you, when you think of your self-talk, how much of it is encouraging, empowering, affirming versus negative and critical and putting yourself down and cutting yourself, uh, down and, and selling yourself short.

Um, part of the work of transforming that is starting to pay a. To those, uh, those messages starting to not just let them flow through your brain, uh, sort of as an automatic response, right? Uh, but rather pay attention to this. That’s interesting. I, uh, I’m thinking, uh, this thought, this is, uh, and, and you’re gonna, uh, we, we talk about scripts and superscripts.

When you start to pay attention, you’re gonna notice. That there are some similar themes Yeah. Um, that show up. I mean, one of mine, uh, was that I’m fatally flawed. That I’m, I’m different from everybody else. Uh, that everyone else is worthy of, of a second chance and grace and forgiveness, but not me. Uh, not me.

I, I fuck everything up. Uh, right. Uh, everyone leaves me was another one. Right. Uh, uh, that while I mentioned another one earlier that, that I’m useful would, not terribly lovable. I mean, these were all recurring themes. That really formed the essence of what I truly believed about myself. And, and so no matter how much I tried to try to act contrary to that, I would have moments of it where I would try to modify my behavior, but the beliefs would pull me right back in it.

It’s, uh, move. Uh, another great illustration would be, uh, we off-road, uh, with our Jeeps and, uh, often when you’re, uh, in a, an an off-road situation, Vehicles that have gone ahead of you have made deep ruts, uh, you know, in the mud or in in the road, try not falling into those ruts as you’re driving, right? Uh, even if you try to go, it just wants to pull you back in.

And that’s what are, in many ways our ruts are those, uh, those negative beliefs that we have. That, uh, uh, if we’re not deliberate, we’re just gonna keep falling back into them and they are going to determine our behavior and how we show up in the world, you know? And it’s, and it shadow forces. I, I love what you said earlier about, you know, sounds so easy, , right?

Oh yeah. Just, uh, you know, I wish there was an easy button for that one. Yeah, I, I do too. And this is, I, I, while I believe you can, um, Rewrite those scripts on your own. This is where the power community comes in, because oftentimes we don’t even realize we’re saying them. Yeah, we, we say them so often. Uh, they be, they’ve become, uh, they’re, they, they’ve just become almost phrases how many, uh, and, and you know, for those listening, how many of you, uh, you know, you say it or you hear other people say it all the time, oh, I’ll fuck my.

Right, right. It’s a real kind of just, it’s like, okay, is that really the, the, the, the script that you want to continue to go on? And I think the, the notion of community when it comes to these scripts, we often don’t even realize we’re saying them right. Until somebody else, uh, kind of challenges that thinking.

I remember, uh, going through a difficult time. It was, uh, after I’d, uh, ended my second marriage, uh, uh, and, and, uh, a lot of stuff that had gone on there. And I remember, you know, in tears kind of just saying, well, I’m just. And that was a script that I had. You know, I’m just broken. I’m not able to love properly.

I don’t know how to love, I don’t know how to, you know, all of this kind of stuff. And I, and, and I think it was you that said to me, we were, the three of us were together, but I think it was you that kind of, you, it was one of the few times that I, I felt like you almost got mad at me. Uh, and I’m hard. I’m not very supportive in a time of, uh, racism.

It was so good. It was, was that rage that showed up. It was soft rage. Soft rage. You know, loving, loving rage. Loving, nurturing rage is what? Well, you, you, you actually said stop using that language. Yeah, that sounds like me in that. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But it wasn’t rage. It was a friend listening to another friend believing a lie and coming to his rescue in that moment.

Right, right. To challenge the thinking out loud. And community is such a powerful thing. Uh, I remember, uh, I, in, in, uh, when I tell my story in one of the earlier episodes, I talk about, When Jim Harrington, my mentor, invited me to Houston. Yeah, right. For those few days I was in such a bad place. I’d been ignoring his email for months cuz I was ashamed about the state of my life and, and was embarrassed to let my mentor that I hadn’t spoken to in 10 years to say, this is where I’m at right now.

And when I finally reached out to him, uh, he invited me to come down for a few days and we had a, a, a number of very powerful life altering conversations. And, but I remember at one point he. Coming up against this very, uh, um, uh, cynical self. He was coming up against my inner critic and how I was talking about myself.

And at one point he simply wanted to affirm me. He says, Eric, you’re a really good man. You’re a good man, right? And I looked right back at him and I said, no, I’m not. He says, yes, you are. And I’m like, no, Jim. I am not, I don’t believe it. Uh, and I was so firm in my position that I am not a good person. I’m not a good man.

And he said, it’s okay, Eric. I know you don’t believe it, so I’m just gonna keep believing it for you and reminding you until you can accept it for yourself. I don’t think you can actually overcome, uh, some of these superscripts and really negative beliefs about yourself in isolation. You need people around you who are going to challenge.

and affirm you and love you and, and support you as you begin that journey. And I know that can be hard to hear. Mm-hmm. , uh, cuz for the longest time I felt very, very alone. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, and to have heard someone say to me, well, you need help to do this, might have just made it feel worse. Um, so if you’re listening and that’s you.

Listen, uh, you’re never as alone as you think you are. Uh, true. And even that’s true. If in this current context, uh, maybe this podcast is a place for you to just, uh, hear some things that are gonna encourage you along. There are people in your life, uh, that will help you reach out. But there it starts with again.

Um, uh, uh, right. Like, uh, uh, being willing to be open a little bit. Well, and I think, and, and I would say also that one of the starting point, if, if you don’t have that community, you can’t pinpoint that person or those individuals. A starting step. A a starting point can be even just to write down to journal hundred, right?

So to write out those thoughts as they come to you so that you can see them. Kind of glaring back up at you from that paper, from the, you know, screen, however you’re putting it. Uh, because it, you know, there’s always, until it passes through the lips or the fingertips, it isn’t real. Right? It’s not clear.

It’s not clear. And, and for us to be able to look at that and go, okay, now that I see it in print, I seen my, I’ve written it out. Now you can, is this. Uh, what’s the evidence for this, right? There’s some things you can do. So, so powerful and I’m a big, where community is where you’re going to really be able to, uh, explore some of those things.

A great place, if that’s not available to you right now, is at least journal out. What are some of the things you’re telling yourself when they come up? Take a second and quickly write ’em out somewhere. Type them out on a note on your phone. Uh, but get them out of your. Onto something that you can now look back on, uh, and begin to explore.

Yeah. Right. Because you, you’re, you are not your thoughts. Right? Right. You and your thoughts are not the same thing. And there is in, in, in almost observing them in writing, writing them down and observing them. I think, uh, you’ll come to realize how, uh, sometimes some of them clearly will see like, will seem like distortions.

Yeah. Uh, that there, there’s really very little evidence to back that up. Um, some of them you’ll feel pretty convinced, but at least you’ll know what you’re dealing with. And to your point, this is where now you begin to choose a different path forward. Uh, you begin to, uh, I remember. Again, early on in this work, being asked to write down, uh, 20 positive affirmations.

My, again, my self, my self view is so, so bad. Like I like in deep self-loathing. So the notion of someone saying, write down, write 20 things, 20 I am statements that are positive. I, I think I got to maybe three and then I froze. I, I couldn’t, I couldn’t come up with anymore. Uh, but that initial list, I would keep coming back to it and I, with encouragement, I’d keep coming back and sometimes I would stray two steps forward, one step back, right?

Yeah. Yeah. And then I’d come back to it. And, and over time, I, I was just actually in preparation for today’s show, I was reading back, I’ve got a list now of affirmations that, um, these are, they’re affirmations, but can, can you give us a couple example? Yeah, I mean, uh, one example is, um, uh, uh, instead of I am fatally flawed, I’m a deeply complex and interesting individual,

Oh, wow. Right? Uh, which is a complete shift. Right. That, that, that I think if you put a hundred people in a row, they’d agree with that. Right? Yeah. Uh, Uh, you know, uh, I, I affirm my sense of humor. Interesting thing is I’ve always been a funny kid. I, I still remember, uh, growing up, uh, one of my favorite comedians, uh, or the shows was the Carol Burnett Show, or the Tim Con with Tim Conway, and.

Uh, who was the guy who, oh, you’re that old? I, reruns, dude, reruns, . Oh, oh, okay. . Okay. But I dunno if you remember the, that Tim Conway would do the old man, he’d do his old manst stick. Right. And I used to do an impersonation of that and make everybody laugh. Um, and, and so I was always the kid that would make people laugh.

But then I. People say, Eric, you’re too loud and you’re too, you’re too big of a personality and you need to dial it down. And to the point where I, I, I, I learned, like I was so conflicted about right? My own, uh, uh, how I showed up in social situations that here I am a pretty confident guy normally, socially.

and I was always second guessing myself at every dinner party, at every social outing. Was I too much? Was I too little Right? That I, right. And so being able to just come to a place where I say I’m a funny person who brings joy to the world, and, uh, it’s part of the gift that I bring and just embrace that fully.

Uh, so it’s when you, you begin to recognize what are the, what, what is the, what is the junk? Yeah. That runs through your mind in those moments of self-doubt, of anxiety. Inner conflict, paying attention to the messages, um, and jotting them down. And then a, again, just to get present to what are the shadow forces?

What are the things that are going on in the shadows of my life that keep pulling strings on my behavior? And, and I’m not suggesting that you’re powerless here. Remember, your thoughts are your own. Yeah. You choose them, you believe them. So, uh, as, as, as long as you see as yourself as a victim in this process, you, you won’t make any progress.

Uh, what I came to realize is I’d become very lazy in my thinking. I, I was letting my thoughts, uh, uh, just run away, uh, uh, uh, on these negative path. Safe though, right? Right. So those thoughts we, we learned to live with. Right. Better the devil. I know exactly. Than the goal. I don’t, right? Yeah. For me, 17 sentences, 17 thoughts were, were running my life.

Wow. Right? And, and so, you know, there’s probably another 170 I 17. Wait, let’s get the list. You know, we’re gonna post the list in the show notes by way. Yeah. No, we’re not. Can I ask you what one of them was? Can you give an example again so that Sure. And you know, I share, I shared it in, uh, uh, in the episode where I told my story, but one was that Chris is better than me.

Right? Right. So my, my identical twin. And so that shaped, A massive set of behaviors. Another one I shared around, I’m not smart enough. Right? Right. It drove all this kind of behavior. So there’s a, a host of these, and for me there were like 17 core thoughts, core sentences that were basically running my life.

And, and so they’re, but there’s, they’re also really familiar. Right. You know how to live with them. They seem, they seem so familiar, it’s hard to imagine them anything other than true or natural, right? When in fact they, they were just assembled over time in a passive way. And it’s this active courage to be able to, one, write them down.

So look at them. , get ’em outta your head and put ’em out so that they’re in front of you. A and in that moment already, you just separated yourself from your thoughts cuz you’re observing them, right? Like you’re looking at the, it’s the observing you is the you, not the you who was doing the thinking or even the you writing it down, right?

Uh, you can, even if you don’t take another step forward for a while, you’ll start to catch your own thought. And you’ll start to observe you. And again, it’s the, you observing you is the you that is trying to find a voice in this thing, right? And it, it creates so much space. And then it’s, it’s to start to say, how can I deconstruct this?

How can I change this? How can I find another way? What’s an alternative? Right? I love the, I love what you just shared there as well because we, we need to start to re rewire our brains in that sense. Basically, another way to. Listen, you, you, you passively chose to say this to yourself. Do you want to actively choose something more constructive?

Right. Yeah. Right, right. Yeah. And, and this is where that self-worth is so important because if you don’t feel like you’re worth it or deserve it, yeah. Mean, why would you change your thinking? Because actually then that thinking is running counter to how you see yourself. Right? Totally. I mean, we think we’re, we’re talking to ourselves all the time.

If we’re honest, right? We’re talking to ourselves all the time, why not make it more positive? Yeah, why not make it more so you could say anything. You, you can say anything. You can choose the language. You can choose. I get that many. Again, all of us, our Scripps are influenced by our family of origin. What kind of home did we grow up in?

And what I’ve discovered is, uh, you know, really rough background to what would you’d be considered, sort of like the, the, a great traditional family. Um, we all end up with, with mental head, head trash that we need to take to the curb. We, we all grew up with false, uh, often, uh, a mixture of true and false.

And it’s the, it’s, it’s the lies or the half trues that get us into trouble, especially the ones that. Again, uh, are, are more predominant, uh, in our life. So identifying them is a start, uh, beginning to reframe and identify what’s a counter message that I want to be able to, when that thought comes, I need to have an argument ready for it, uh, right to say no, that’s not what I choose to believe.

I am not fatally flawed. I am interesting and complex. Um, right. Uh, uh, I’m not a big personality in a negative way. Big personality that brings people, uh, laughter and joy. Um, the ability to counter the lie with a, a, a belief that actually empowers you, uh, and those lies can need to be challenged. Uh, well, can I, yeah.

Jump in. I, I think you, you want those positive affirmations to be there, not just when the negative comes, but to get into the habit of, of reaffirming those positive, uh, On a regular basis. Uh, a great book that that really spoke to me a along with lovable, was, um, uh, breaking the Habit of Being yourself.

Yes. Right. Yeah. Uh, and the breaking, breaking the Habit of being Yourself. Uh, of course, one of the things that he does tremendously. Why am I blanking on the author? Um, do you remember who, uh, I don’t, we’ll, we’ll put it in the show notes. He’s good. Uh, yeah. He, he talks, he has a. Section of the book is, is on the, the, again, how the brain is wired and the fact that you can truly rewire the brain.

Uh, in fact, you can rewire the brain even when it comes to pain and all these other e elements, like there’s so much the power of the brain that we have that we, we simply don’t tap into. Words matter and the words we say to ourselves and the scripts that we tell ourselves and he uses, he certainly recommends as a practice.

Joe Dispenza, Joe Dispenser. We were just talking about him earlier today. Joe Dispenza, uh, sorry, Joe. Um, he, he, he speaks about the idea of, uh, he uses meditation as the formula for doing this, but really what he’s talking about is taking time daily. To set certain affirmations, right, and to repeat them so that less and less do the negative ones come because the neg, because the brain is rewired where the negative ones don’t have space anymore, right?

One is a reaction to fear. I need to have something to counter when a negative thought, right? Uh, or, or, or a negative belief shows up. The other is, again, moving towards self-care wellbeing. Uh, where you are reprogramming your brain with the new, the new message. And I’ll say this, you know, we, we, we say that this whole notion of self-acceptance is so central to this living richly journey.

I’ll say another important element that goes right along with that is developing some sort of reflective practice. Yeah. I, I don’t, I don’t know if you can actually. Do go on this journey of moving from perhaps a place where you have a low opinion of yourself, uh, uh, and you have very negative mind mindset in your own direction, uh, to a more positive one.

Uh, or even if you are there, you and you have a relatively healthy mindset to move into. Than that radical self-care, radical self-actualization. I don’t know if you can do any of that without some sort of reflective practice in your life where you’re stopping on a regular basis. You’re slowing down from the hustle and bustle, and you’re, you’re, you’re reflecting on what really matters and bringing your life.

Into alignment with it. I think, um, uh, again, to borrow another jism, he said the number one problem with leaders today is that we’re not stopping often enough to think deeply about what we’re doing. So a reflective practice is, I think, foundational to this kind of work. . Yeah. It’s practicing the pause.

Right? Right. The, you know, if we go back to the, the, the story you shared when I, when I challenged you in your, in your moment of need, the, uh, part of that is because we have to interrupt. Ourselves. Right? Right. So here was my friend hurting in an emotionally loaded moment, starting to form a script or to dramatically reinforce one.

And, and I did get, like, I, I was, I was worried for you. I didn’t want that to happen. I’m like, no, no, no. That. , you’re not broken right there. We can be hurt. Yeah, for sure. But, uh, you know, my belief is that we are whole and complete, even if we’re hurt. Right? That was the other thing Flanagan says, Kelly Flanagan says, is, you know that, that core sense of self, you know, you, you can’t break it.

and you can’t stain it. Right. Which I thought was really powerful, this notion of shame. He goes, but you can sure as hell bury it. Right, right. And so our job, , I know, I know. He’s not a guy I like, thank you, Kelly. However, very uncomfortable, but really like. So good. Right. I think it’s one of the books I, I probably recommended more than any, but that that notion that, you know, there is that peace there that that is, it’s there and it’s whole and intact and what I didn’t want for you in that moment Yeah.

Was for you to translate any part of that into a belief that you are gonna carry forward or reinforce that there’s something wrong with me. Cuz I look and go, man, you are a great man. Right? Yeah. You were really great. You thank. Just like inherently wonderful, you put up with us. That’s part of it, , but the uh,

Rob, we’re gonna call you Saint Rob, three Miracles, , and you’re the books, two of them, two of them are here, two thirds of the way there. Self-love and you’ll have a hat trick. Right. But that, that, yeah, that recovery is so important, right. And to be able to say, uh, you know, to be there with one another as soon as people start writing this stuff down.

Right. And even for, like, I try and think about the person who is like, if you feel all alone in the world, there’s no one around you who’s going, yeah, I’m on that journey as well. And life is shit. Maybe like I, we don’t know your circumstances. You, we don’t control that. We don’t have that. And if you’re feeling all, all alone, I tell you the moment you start to write this down, you also start to be in alignment with all kinds of people that maybe you’re not in direct contact with yet.

But, uh, this is where I say I’ll trust ke Kelly Flanagan, right? And say the more you anchor into that sense of worth, your people will show. Yeah. Right. Absolutely. Your people and your community will arrive and, and if in the short term it’s us from a distance doing this or you want to comment like, we’re gonna respond back, that’s for sure to be part of that.

But that there’s, there’s a loan in terms of I don’t see anyone physically in front of me. And then there’s a loan, which is, I’m the only one in the universe. And you’re not that second one. Right. Right. No one is right. Yeah, absolutely. The, uh, what you said earlier about reflection, um, Just as we talked about the idea of writing down when those negative scripts come in, this is why it’s so important with those affirmations to write them down, right?

And to be continually, however you’re reflecting every day when we’re reflecting, when we’re doing that reflection, that journaling, that meditating, whatever. Form it takes. What we want, uh, to be doing during that time is, is reaffirming the positive, the, the accepting thoughts. A negative thought is there.

That’s interesting. What’s the truth? What’s a way I could say that? And that, that speaks life into me. And I’m gonna write that down and I’m going to make sure that I’m journaling it in that way. Yeah. Um, we’re, we’re pretty well out of time, uh, for the today last. No, we have infinity. Let’s keep going. . Any, any, any So negative Ralph.

Any last thoughts before we wrap up today? He turned them right here, right? Yeah. He turns notice how, no last thoughts from Trevor. He’s cut off. You’re cut off that cut. Yeah. Uh, I would say this, I mean, you might be listening to this and obviously maybe you’re in a place where you’re just in a really bad place mentally in terms of what, uh, how you view yourself, how you, um, uh, how you speak to yourself.

Uh, maybe you’re a leader listening to this and saying, no, I’m actually pretty good. Uh, I know what’s interesting is, uh, when I speak to leaders and I think you guys would echo the same, and I think it both cuz out of personal experience, uh, but also, uh, Thousands of conversations that we’ve had with leaders now is you can always find an area of someone’s life where they go from confident to not competent, to not successful, to less than successful, where they feel, uh, that they are messing up.

That all of us have areas of our thinking or beliefs about ourselves, uh, that need some adjustment. Um, and, and, and so anybody will benefit from, from doing this type of work. It’s about choosing. Your thoughts, choosing the way forward and not letting the shadow forces have their way. Um, the other thing, uh, that I would say, um, is again, uh, this, the importance of making space in your life to, uh, to do this work.

Yeah. Uh, few minutes a day. Uh, you know, if you’re, if you’re, you know, again, if you’re a warrior, Uh, like you’re, you’re, you’ve already got the skillset, right? If you’re a person that worries a lot, you’ve got the skillset we’re just taught now, focus your thinking on different material. The final thing I would say is when it comes to your self worth, when it comes to your worthiness, um, I.

Only you can give that to you. Uh, no one else can give it to you. And the beauty of it is no one else can actually take it away. It is something you give yourself and it is the most precious gift you will ever give yourself, uh, um, in the world. Yeah. Yeah. I, my thought was similar. It’s, you are the, you you’ve been waiting for, right?

Um, you don’t actually need anyone else to come rescue you. Uh, there it’s in front of you to accept. Uh, and, and with that, I would encourage, uh, be very gentle. Be very gentle with you. Your, your critical voice. It’s trying to serve a purpose, but not in a healthy way. Uh, time to fire him for her time. Time to let her go.

Let him go the a and replace it with a gentler voice that’s there to support you the same way you would with a friend. You care about a family member, you care about a child, you care about anyone. That’s the voice that you need. To be using with you right now. Uh, let that voice speak loudly. Yeah. So we got a free resource for you today.

Why don’t you, to, uh, get a, uh, have available for yourself and it’s, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s pretty simple PDF that you can download from our website. That just is a place where you can write out your 20 affirmations. Um, you can grab that pdf, you can open up a notebook of your own and use that.

But if you do want to go there, and then also the links to the books that we’re talking about, uh, be able to get ahold of those in case you didn’t get a chance to write them down. You can go to our website live Uh, now we mentioned a lot of the, uh, at the end of the podcast, the, the live, uh, s.

Slash act. And the reason we’re using that extra act at the end is, is a reminder that this takes action, that this takes a deliberateness. Uh, but of course, so we encourage you to go there live, uh, slash act. Uh, but if you just go to live richly, do live, you’ll still find the resources.

Uh, but we want you to go and check out the website as a starting point to be able to access, uh, the PDF and some of the other. And if you’re enjoying these conversations, we invite you to subscribe, uh, to the podcast, subscribe to our YouTube channel, uh, so that you’re, uh, made aware of, uh, all the episodes as they are dropped into, uh, the world of the interweb.

Um, and, uh, we hope you’ll continue to join us for these conversations. The, this is a great time to share with others. Uh, if, right, we talked about feeling alone and maybe you’re the only one. It, it’s a great moment to reach out. You might be surprised who else needs this? Who else is trying to find some of these pieces that you’re finding, that we’re finding that others are finding as well?

So if you can think of someone that you know, who they might benefit from it, give it to them as your gift to them to help them along their way. Uh, keep sharing. Yeah. Thank you for spending the last hour with us. Hope that you found a lot of value out of this, uh, resource, this episode, and that you’ll join us on this journey as we continue to talk about what it means for us to live richly.