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[My Personal Battle to Greatness] How to Conquer Worry, Doubt, Overthinking, Overwhelm, Fear, Stress, Anxiety & Depression… When the Entire World is Against You…
All of us, at one point or another, go through life suffering some kind of major event, catastrophe or trauma that seems to be the end of it all with no light at the end of the tunnel, feeling like you’re unable to ‘fix’ the problem, getting overwhelmed, bogged down and depressed.
Why is it that some people go through these traumatic events with a breeze and others suffer severe anxiety, depression or worse, end it all, leaving their loved ones behind being unable to take the pressure…
I’m known as the ‘roller coaster success kid’.
Just when I think I have life all figured out. POW
Something dramatic happens.
I can almost say with certainty, I’ve been through 90% of people’s worst fears. And as you’ll see, I’m not saying this to mock anyone.
I’ve been through Hodgkin’s 3B Cancer at 15, an ‘accidental’ needle poke to the heart during a swollen drawing heart surgery, heart attack, AFib, anxiety, alcoholism, obesity, depression…
And that’s just health. (Bankruptcies, government suing me, wife holding kids hostage…)
But guess what…
I May Have Lost A “Few” Battles, But I’m Winning The War!
Not only have I discovered the root cause of anxiety and depression: (please doctors, I’m not trying to take away your pharmaceutical bonuses. And yes, I acknowledge there are serious mental illnesses in less than 7% of the cases)
In layman’s terms:
Anxiety = Continuous Overthinking
NOTE: For more information on overthinking, I wrote a great article on beliefs that you can find here.
I’ve solved it.
I’ve solved ‘How to overcome worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression in 5 Simple Steps.
Now, I wish that I could tell you that the secret to overcoming your worst nightmare is to tell yourself; ‘Hang in There Champ’, ‘Stay Strong’, ‘Believe in Yourself’, ‘It will all be fine in the long run’… but… I’d be like all the other people and doctors that have never been through it themselves.
It’s ‘simple’, but it still takes a significant conscious effort on your part. Before I simply break it down, let me first start by sharing with you why I ‘qualify’ to share this information with you.
I would never wish this upon my worst enemies.
Just when you think you have life all figured out, you’re being evicted out of a hotel room for non-payment after you lost $47,000,000 just 17 days prior and you just got voted off the island from the community you spent 10 years creating…
Your wife leaves you, taking your three miracles away from you, using them as leverage until she gets everything that I had left, including a crazy amount of alimony (and half of what I had just lost), your friends have disassociated themselves from you and go around your back to work with the people that caused your collapse, you’re having panic attacks every couple of hours and are fearing another heart attack…
And every time you hear a sound coming from your phone, you know that it’s bad news, you keep getting hate emails/texts from clients or people you thought were friends threatening to kill or destroy you because they may lose money….
All because I ignored a government agency’s ‘warnings’ to cease “teaching Canadians how to invest in a foreign country during tough economic times” who decided to make my life a total nightmare.
Investigating all my businesses, my business associates and partners, my clients, my students, my friends and my family due to an estimated One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000) leaving the Canadian Banks and the economy due to my teachings.
It was the perfect storm for the average person to make a killing. I was not going to stop because it didn’t fit within the bureaucratic agenda and I was being shaken down and intimidated to stop.
Obviously, after 4 years of the biggest stresses, anxieties and a period of depression, all public accusations that temporarily ruined my credibility and forced me to declare bankruptcy, later turned to be false and they withdrew all their ridiculous false accusations. But I’ll tell you…
Those Were The Toughest Times Of My Life.
I grossly underestimated what government agencies can do behind closed doors outside the eyes of the law, and how easily people follow the ‘majority’ vote.
As Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban said after spending 8 years refusing plea bargains as I did; “When you get accused, it’s not just money… I had to go through my mind, what if I lose, what will I tell my kids ….You don’t know what it’s like to fight…” securities, a government agency drunk with power, and when they start intimidating you, alienating your every client, investor, student, friend and family members all behind closed doors, they are able to circumvent the laws that regulate the courts in their own self-proclaimed and regulated “tribunals”.
So… do I know a thing or two about worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression?
You tell me!
It was around 10pm on October 16, 2013.
I’m sitting on an old, yellow carpet with yellow drapes and white sheers beating on my right shin as an old window heater unit is pumping heat at full blast in my room as it’s 14F (-10C) with wind chill outside of downtown Ottawa.
I’m in the corner of my hotel bedroom with my bare back up against the wall, my elbows on my knees and my hands holding my head as I rocked back and forth, over and over again, and something inside of me is forcing itself out of my lungs as I yell as loud as I can handle. It’s completely out of my control.
A voice in my head is yelling even louder and keeps repeating ‘we got this Steve, you’re not alone, we got this Steve, you’re not alone, we got this Steve, you’re not alone’…
In the background, a very loud thump is echoing through the room, but I can hardly hear it and couldn’t care less.
It was the hotels’ security at my door ordering me to “open up now”.
Just A Year Prior, I Was In Control of $1 Billion Worth of Real Estate
As I mentioned, though, I’m known to be the ‘roller coaster success kid’. I had already been through a lot in my 27 years.
I’d already seen death 3 times overcoming stage 3B Hodgkin’s cancer in my teens, heart failure from a drowning heart caused by a 27 lbs mass in my chest, and suffering a heart attack at 23 years old.
I had been homeless with a newborn surviving off of kraft dinner and hot dogs after facing foreclosure and a personal bankruptcy after my heart attack, when prior I was making millions as the #1 real estate agent in my market and living the so-called “dream”.
ONLY to pick myself back up and work my way back to controlling over $1,000,000,000 in real estate and making an income of approx $12million/year 5 years later.
I don’t know if a roller coaster could even come close to comparing to those “ups & downs”.
But despite all of that…. October 16, 2013 was still THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE
This time, my fall was different.
My two biggest fears at the time had come true
- The fear of disappointing people who trusted me
- The fear of being left alone
I’ve had one mission, one vision, one purpose: help 100,000,000 people break out of the vicious life cycle of ‘conformity’ and help them think for themselves
…believe in themselves, get rid of all fears as they are simply prefabricated illusions. To help people to Stop and Think in order to achieve greatness, all by the time I’m 50 while I’m retiring as a Billionaire.
For the first time, after everything I had lived so far, I wanted to give it all up.
For six months at this point at least, a division of the Ontario/Canadian government that oversees the market started attacking me from every single angle they could possibly fathom to shut me down and make an example of me in the eyes of the Canadian public.
You see, I was one of Canada’s most followed public figures, achieving new heights of success during a world recession. It was the perfect storm for Canadians to buy a piece of sunshine, and I was not being quiet about it.
In fact, I owned and operated Canada’s most successful ‘seminar company’ based on its 88% success rate (apparently, the average is an 80% failure rate). During 3 years of operations, I taught over 34,000 people (both live and via online teachings). I offered a full 3-day intensive course that focused 1 day on reprogramming the unconscious and subconscious mind (without directly telling anyone) to ensure my students limiting beliefs wouldn’t stop them from missing out on the opportunity, and two days of how to invest in Real Estate ‘site unseen’.
I also offered two high-end coaching programs. One for $40,000 focused on building a large portfolio of homes, and one for $100,000 to work with me personally on buying apartment complexes. It may seem expensive reading it just like this, but I received over 2,000 applications, personally hand selected only…
I Personally Worked with 487 That Bought and Sold $560,000,000 of U.S. Real Estate in 5 Years.
428 bought and sold over $560,000,000 of U.S. real estate and 59 actually failed.
Related: You can find out why the 59 failed in my “11 Deadly Sins of Success” Article Here.
Out of the 34,000 that took my courses, there’s an estimated $1 Billion in Cash that left Canada to acquire U.S. real estate and the governments DID NOT LIKE THAT.
In addition, I was on the news everywhere, TV, Radio, Newspapers, and magazines.
From August 2012 to September 2013 alone, I had personally acquired through my U.S. corporations 402 apartment Units in Phoenix Arizona, acquired a ton of land in North Dakota and started a man camp (temporary housing units for oil workers that could’ve been as big as 3,000 units), acquired 320 acres of land to subdivide into 10,000,000 sq.ft of commercial property and 10,000 homes, bought the ND city’s waste management plant and a trucking company. This didn’t include the portfolio I already controlled before then.
This gave me control of over $1 Billion Dollars worth of US Real Estate from my home in Canada’s national capital while conducting all of this with my passport alone.
Take a moment to Stop and Think about this. I was teaching Canadians to follow my lead; to bring all their money, and their friends and families money (no osc, I was not teaching how to ‘raise private money’) out of the Canadian economy and into a foreign country’s economy, while Canada was struggling to prevent a recession.
I Was Not Being an Obedient Servant Like the Government Expects
It’s not like if I was teaching anything new. Real Estate Investing courses have been around forever. What they didn’t like, is how I turned a ‘scammy’ industry into a legitimate program that guided, supported and more importantly, lit a fire under everyone’s’ butt, making them take action and accountability for their own future as a massive collective group.
They really didn’t like that I had built such a large and powerful community that spread all across Canada.
I simply couldn’t keep this opportunity for myself. It was the perfect storm;
- The Canadian dollar was at par with the U.S. dollar for the first time in 40 years
- Real estate was selling for pennies on the dollar.
- Americans had lost the American dream, turning into a “nation of renters” and
- I had a step-by-step system to do it as a Canadian with the right connections and knowledge.
As seen below, through my teachings, my students and I legally transferred over $145,000,000 into the U.S. and out of the Canadian Economy, which turned into over $560,000,000 worth of total acquisitions and sales after mortgages. And this only includes what I could track through my currency broker that I only shared with my 487 coaching students, and does not include the 34,000 other people that came to my seminars and/or listened to my online teachings.
Needless To Say, I Was Canadian Public Enemy Number One
And they made it their mission to destroy me.
I could have stopped it all very quickly and saved over $860,000 in legal fees by accepting a plea bargain which would have salvaged my companies and reputation. But what would that teach my kids? Sure they are too young today (2, 6, 7 & 10) to understand, but I teach my students to STOP & Think long term. Every action you take always has a long-term consequence.
I would have rather spent a few years in jail for a white collar crime I never committed, then to teach my kids to succumb to intimidation and cowardly take the ‘easy’ route and live with it for the rest of my days.
Accepting a ‘Plea Bargain’ to pay for the fees that the government agencies incurred during the time they tried to ruin my life, (and actually ruined the lives of many of my investors that lost a lot of hard earned money), just didn’t fit within my beliefs – I couldn’t do it.
This long-term stubborn thinking pushed everyone away. Everyone thought I had completely lost it. I wanted to fight, while everyone wanted me to sign a check (including my lawyers who approved every single move I ever made but dumped me on the side of the road the moment the government agencies started investigating).
Very few people stuck around.
There was one person that was really helping me keep it all together. Or so I thought.
This was a really good friend and mentor of mine who I traveled with, vacationed with, and paid over $1.9 million to assist me on coaching some of my students over a period of two years. He was helping me cope with all of the stress like most good friends do …
But that all changed on October 16, 2013.
During that day, he and I had discussed a succession plan for him to take over my educational company to fulfill my students’ contracts and keep my staff working. We even discussed for him to make the announcement during my “Wednesday night Q&A”, which I had hosted for the past 2 years. All of my students religiously attended these calls in order to stay motivated and talk out their challenges for me to help them solve.
This ‘Friend’ wanted to announce a takeover of my company operations, as they all knew him well already, and he mentioned I sounded too depressed, and suggested I take a break, “it’s almost all over Steve” he told me.
9:45pm turns around, I check my phone to see what time it was and if he had texted me an update, only to see 27 unread messages. After taking a quick peek, I noticed they were all from students and staff and they all referred to an email multiple times, so I took a look at my inbox…
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:39:24 -0500
Subject: Immediate Resignation of xxxx xxxxxxxx to the Martel Group
Tonight I have turned in my resignation to The Martel Group of Companies and to Steve Martel. I have felt that I need to distance myself from all of the negativity and current challenges….
This was that one person that claimed to be by my side, “fighting in my corner”, as he went through tough times as well in the past and said he had wished that he had someone to walk him through his tough times.
I trusted this man with all my heart. I completely let my guard down thinking this one person believes in me.
The One Person I Trusted Most & Built Up As a God Figure To My Community Stabbed Me In The Back In Front Of Everyone.
He had just emailed my entire database; my clients, my students, my investors, my staff, my coaches, my business associates, even some family members, with his “Immediate Resignation of xxxx xxxxxxxx to the Martel Group”.
He had strategically positioned himself to do a hostile takeover (while befriending me), and I allowed my guard to be down and be vulnerable.
That very day, while everyone in the world hated me for reasons they didn’t have a full understanding of, he was supporting me, creating a plan with me over text messages. He convinced me to ‘skip the Wednesday Night Call’ as I sounded very depressed. He said since he was taking over, it should be exciting news for all the students.
The last person that was helping me through these tremendously hard times, had just played me like a fool during my weakest times. He had created a mutiny without being prepared as I had my guard way down.
So here I am, October 16, 2013, sitting on this old yellow carpet with my world crashing down around me. I’m alone, I’ve let people down and I don’t know what to do next. The worst moment of my life.
Tell Me Now… Do You Think I Know A Thing or Two About
Worry, Doubt, Overthinking, Overwhelm, Fear, Stress, Anxiety & Depression?
I’ve been through the most feared health issues, I’ve lost entire fortunes, I’ve been publicly humiliated, I’ve been left alone with no support, I’ve had my children literally held for ransom in order to get money, I’ve been flat broke, homeless, disconnected utilities (making games of taking cold showers with the kids), foreclosed, cars repossessed…
And here I am today on my path to be a Billionaire, inspiring millions around the world to take control of their lives through all these lessons I’ve learned.
So I say we turn all this negativity around and start creating an action plan.
Permanently overcoming worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression is a Three Prong Approach.
- The Conscious Quick Fix: How to STOP & Think in Order to Stop IT Dead in Its Track. I’m going to share with you the quick immediate remedy on how to stop worry, doubt, fear, negative thoughts, overthinking and an anxiety attack dead in its tracks. But it’s only a quick fix.You could keep putting duct tape on a leaky pipe, but every day you’ll need to put new duct tape until you replace the actual pipe.This 5-Step System will help you when you start feeling that sense of overwhelming. When you can feel your blood boiling, the pressure going through your veins, rushing to your head, flowing into your brain it causes your vision to start being impaired and you can feel your heart racing like it’s going to blow out of your chest. Your mind just starts thinking about your worst fears, the worst case scenarios, and all the ‘What If’s’ over and over exaggerating your very worst nightmares over and over.The Conscious Quick Fix will help you Stop the overthinking dead in its tracks, and help you gain control of your mind and thoughts to stay positive and able to Think constructively.
- The Subconscious Reprogramming: How to Manage Your Expectations to Manage Fear.I’m going to share with you the key ingredient to permanently cure Doubt, Worry, Stress, Overthinking, Fear, Anxiety & Depression by gaining a true understanding of why our brains are so apt to focus on the negatives, and how to identify the triggers, your expectations and reprogram your mind with empowering thoughts that puts you in control.
- The Unconscious Instincts: How to Gain Full Control of Your Mind in Order to Understand and Get Rid of Fear.
Over time, with self-awareness and constant affirmations, our minds will completely eliminate the instinct of being fearful and replace it with being in control.Fear is a prefabricated emotion created by doubt, worry and overthinking, and only 3% of the people who control all the wealth are able to control this emotion. Master the 7 Core Traits of the Ultra-Successful and never, ever feel worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression again.
NOTE: I have a great 7-video series that explains what are the 7 Core Traits of The Ultra-Successful and how to master them.
Let’s work our way backward starting with The Unconscious Instincts: How to Gain Full Control of Your Mind in Order to Understand and Get Rid of Fear.
There are 5 different levels of thinking:
- Thoughtless Drifting
- Mindless Worrying Thoughts
- Empowering Conscious Thought
- Empowering Subconscious Thoughts
- Empowering Unconscious Thoughts
For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on Mindless Worrying Thoughts.
Mindless Worrying Thoughts
Mindless worrying thoughts are the negative voices in your head that continuously focus on mindless, nonexistent worries that naturally escalate to the worst case scenario of anything and everything causing stress and anxiety.
Example: You’re waiting at the bus stop for your child and you look at the time only to notice the bus is 10 minutes late. What does your mind do? Most minds will instinctively jump to negative, worst case scenario thoughts.
Oh no, did something happen? Did the bus get into an accident? Is my daughter/son ok? Maybe I should call the school to see… maybe I should take out my phone and see if there’s anything on the news… and on and on and on… even imagining calling your spouse in tears because your daughter suffered a fatal accident. Yes, the mind can get that crazy if you allow it to be.
In Order To Start Thinking, You Must First Learn To STOP Mindless Worrying Thoughts The Moment They Enter Your Mind And THINK Of Positive Things.
Scientists have proven that 92% of all worries invading our minds are completely out of our control, fictitious and will never happen. Yet, our instinctual negative bias lets worry and doubt take over our minds which then turns into fear. Fear turns into stress and stress transforms into anxiety.
Stopping thoughtless drifting and mindless worrying is key to taking over control of your life. Then, we can start planning and thinking constructively.
NOTE: You can find the full article on “7 Ways to Stop and Think Like the Ultra Successful in Order to Gain Control of Your Life” article you can find HERE.
In the beginning, it’s not easy. You really need to work on your self-awareness in order to STOP it.
NOTE: You can find more information on “The 7 Levels of Self-Awareness & How to Spot Secret Hidden Opportunities That Most Miss Here”.
The more you practice Stopping negative thoughts and replacing them with ‘happy thoughts’ as I’ll describe below, the more you’ll become instinctual.
Let me break down how a thought actually works. Before we bring down a “thought”. I need to give you a quick 10,000-foot view of the anatomy of your mind.
NOTE: This is an excerpt from “5 Steps to Create Empowering Beliefs” You can read the full article here.
Your mind is broken down into 5 main compartments.
#1: The receptors identify anything and everything to pass down information to the brain. Nothing can come into our minds without you smelling, hearing, touching, tasting, seeing or feeling (intuitively). Once something is ‘identified’, the brain then acts as a system of filters to decide how you’ll act or ignore.
#2 The hardcoded and in-accessible (yet controls our every action or inaction) is The Unconscious Mind. This is where we store everything we believe: whether beneficial or harmful, true or false, factual or fictitious. It’s where our beliefs are stored. Limiting or empowering, it acts as the first filter and dictates how the information gets passed down to the Subconscious mind.
#3: The Feeling, sensing and emotional Subconscious Mind stores all your experiences and memories of the past. After retrieving information from the Unconscious mind, it determines how you feel about any information/situation based on past experiences. The Subconscious mind is an extremely powerful tool that can propel you to success, or destroy you.
#4: The last filter before an action or inaction is triggered is the logical, educated and critical thinking Conscious Mind. This is the part of the Mind that allows us to STOP AND THINK (when well trained), depending on our level of awareness. This is the voice in our head, the words that come out of our mouths, and the decision maker. Don’t forget, the Conscious mind follows the orders held by the Subconscious and Unconscious mind.
#5: Your level of Awareness, which resides within the Conscious mind, determines how you perceive every single event and experience in your life. The more you are able to STOP and THINK, the more you use your mind, and the deeper your level of awareness about the world goes. View awareness as the lens you see the world through that then determines how your brain interprets and experience every event in your life.
Our receptors are the first line of defense, intercepting every piece of data around us. It’s scientifically proven that our receptors can identify between 20 thousand trillion and 38 thousand trillion pieces of data per second! It’s absolutely insane what our minds are capable of doing, and that is why our minds are supercomputers.
More than 99.9% of everything that is intercepted is automated and ignored by our conscious minds.
All of this information goes through a series of 3 filters.
Our first filter is the unconscious mind, which acts as our instincts. Most of the 99.9% of information stops here. Once a piece of information is deemed ‘important enough’ through a series of filters within the unconscious minds, the thought goes through your subconscious mind. This will extract every experience and any memories you have of this thought in order to pull the right emotions on how to react to this information. Lastly, the thought goes in your conscious mind, where you can constructively think about it, or decide to drift amidst your emotions.
The reason I needed to share this with you is because fear is very deep down in our unconscious minds. Unfortunately, this is a gift from our ancestors from millions of years ago, when they used to walk the earth with Dinosaurs and other dangerous animals.
Back then, it was necessary to think of every worst case scenario because it was the only way to live another day. The worst you anticipated, the more prepared you were.
Unfortunately, today we still have the fear instinct with very little use for it. Our minds instantly find the worst case scenario for anything, even though it’s completely necessary.
There are only two types of fears the Ultra-Successful Believe in.
- Actual life-threatening fears. If we are standing on a railroad track and we can hear and see a train coming full speed ahead towards us, instinctually, our Unconscious mind sends a rapid response to the Conscious mind telling it to jump out of the way.
- The fear of future regret. In our World, people have all these fears of taking action on the chance they may lose everything and are terrified of not ‘fitting’ in or being embarrassed/ridiculed by their circle of influence. 94% of these fears created by doubt and worry are based on unsubstantiated mindless chatter in your brain, fearing things that most of the time, will never happen…One fear that every human being should have is being 90 years old, nearing death, thinking back on their lives and regretting not ever taking action, and missing out on their dreams.
Unfortunately, in the 21st century, fear is used by the ultra-successful and other powerful people to control the people that don’t have the ability to stop worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression… Which is over 97% of the population.
In order to permanently cure worry, doubt, fear, overthinking, stress and anxiety, you must focus on controlling your mind and emotions.
So how do we start?
How to STOP & Think in Order to Stop IT Dead in Its Track.
Anyone who has hit rock bottom knows this feeling; the feeling of trying to pick yourself back up, knowing that the only direction you have to move is forward, which seems like an almost impossible task.
For some it’s one pivotal moment, for me, it was a dragged out process… but what does remain consistent between one moment of this feeling or years of this feeling, there are certain actions, certain changes that need to take place to allow yourself the opportunity to walk away from worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression.
And throughout all of what I have been through, if I can only share this advice with you, and it makes a difference in one person’s life, then it all will have been worth it.
- Creating Your Happy Place: Throughout my ups and downs of the past 4 years, there were times when I wasn’t living in a very good space. Heck, there were times when I literally didn’t have anywhere to live.
So after I had determined that I needed to get the heck outta where I was in life, I needed to decide on where it was that I wanted to go.
I needed a vision.
Now I know that the term “vision” gets used without a lot of clarity at times but what I am talking about here is the vision of what I wanted to create for my life.
For me, it has always been the vision of having my feet in the sand, my wife by my side and my children returning from school.
This has always been my “happy place”.
The moment I have a negative thought that won’t disappear with me simply Stopping the thought and thinking of something else, I would immediately go to my happy place.
There’s more to it, but I’ll give you all the pieces then give you an action plan.
Your happy place can be anything, but it’s crucial that it’s something in the future. A goal, a vision, an achievement of some kind. Something to make you look forward to and fight for.
It could be you meditating in Tibet with the Monks, or on a boat by yourself in the tranquillity of nature or hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s your happy place.
This sounds a little silly, but here’s where I got it from:
On a more philosophical angle, Dr. Viktor Frankl in his book “Man’s search for meaning” describes the power of the mind as the ability to allow or reject anyone/anything from changing his/her attitude. He would know about this specifically; he was in a concentration camp during the Nazi occupation for three years. He survived as he was able to escape the horrendous torture by living in his happy place.
I never focused on the how, and I never thought about the plan. But what I did need was as many details as possible. I needed to feel the sand under my toes, feel my wife’s hand interlocked with mine. I would need to feel and hear the laughter as we stare out at the abis smelling the ocean air. I needed to anchor the positive emotions of the vision of my happy place so that my Subconscious mind could feel these emotions. Without my inner mind feeling them, I might as well be watching something on TV, completely unrelated to my vision.
So knowing where I wanted to go was the first step to transitioning from a life of anxiety and fear of uncertainty to a life of abundance and clarity. The moment negative emotions would take over, I’d immediately close my eyes and go find the feelings I’m looking to feel in my happy place.The second step to mental clarity (and sanity) was….
- Embracing the Unknown: I mentioned that when I was creating my happy place that I didn’t need to know HOW I was going to get there, and that I never thought about the plan.
This is sooooo important and goes against everything that WORRY tries to do to you.
So many times I hear the ill advice from people saying, “you can’t do anything without a proper plan.”
Unfortunately, that breathes Drifters.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’m telling you to know where you are going and forget the how. Focusing on the how will create more worried out Stress and Anxiety to think about.
Your job is to have faith in yourself. Believe that you are in control of your future and start taking the necessary steps to taking control of your life. And once you believe this, you will see the world through a complete set of different eyes (As I described in my 7-Steps to Self-Awareness Article Here).
Just like driving to a destination at night. You don’t know what lies a mile ahead but it will unfold 300 feet at a time.
Work on yourself first and Limitless opportunities will start showing up in your life.I promise.
Never forget, if you knew the plan to be on that beach completely (or whatever your vision is), you would be there already. You cannot know yet, and that is ok – it means there are a journey and learning to do!
If I had focused my mental energy and emotions on how much work it was going to take to move on from bankrupt, no family, nowhere to live, no money, no friends, no business… to where I am today, then it never would have happened. I would have been paralyzed by how overwhelming it was and I never would have TAKEN ACTION.
Embrace the Unknown and Your Journey to Discover The Plan
So embrace that the answers won’t be right in front of you… you are going to have to go out and look for them. Believe me when I say that…
If you focus all of your desire on your ‘happy place’, then the clues on how to get there will reveal themselves to you.
You just have to be open-minded enough to see them!
NOTE: This goes hand in hand with raising your level of awareness, but that is not what this is about. You can read more about raising your level of awareness here.
- Know the Triggers of Your Emotions: What do I mean by triggers?
Emotions such as worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression all have triggers and becoming aware of exactly what these triggers are will be crucial for you to know how to remove them from your life.
A good strategy for identifying these emotions and when they show up, is to take a pen and a pad of paper and write out all of the things that you spend time worrying about, and the same for all of the things that you doubt will ever happen, and so on.
Once you have the lists written out, begin to write out all of the things that would have to happen for the positive outcome to happen.
For example, I was worried that I would never be able to build a successful business again. I acknowledged the concern and then began to brainstorm all of the things that I would need to do TO BUILD a successful business again. This sort of acted as the beginning of an action plan as well… or at the very least a starting point.
This proved 2 things to myself.
The first was that I began to increase my awareness of how frequently I was thinking the thought “I’m worried/concerned/frightened that…
”The second was that as I became aware of when I was having worrisome thoughts, I was able to avoid what event caused the thought and I was able to transition into a space of creativeness as I began to brainstorm on how I could turn that worry into a positive outcome.
- Develop Your Power Sentences: You’ve heard my main sentence by now…
“We Go This Steve, we got this”
I think I’ve said that to myself more than a million times over the past 4 years!
It sounds so simple but it is a small sentence that contributes to the larger picture of having a positive relationship with yourself.
Worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression; these are all breeding grounds for negativity within your thoughts. This is universal for all human beings – they are instinctive reactions that you were born with for emergency fight or flight modes. Not allowing yourself to succumb to these negativities is what separates us from any other animal in the animal kingdom.
These negative states of mind have the same effect of watering your garden with acid rain; nothing positive will grow. By having a power sentence that we repeat during these down moments, we give ourselves something positive to focus on. We remind our mind that this is a temporary down and to bring us back up towards our vision. By inserting one positive thought over and over, it helps to change your state of mind. Plus, you are your best friend or worst enemy – remind yourself you are there for yourself!
There is a direct correlation between your thoughts and your emotions, which is why having a positive power sentence that you can repeat to yourself. Use this to interrupt negative thoughts. It is so important if you want to overcome your challenges.
- Pattern Interruption: Scroll back up and re-read the bit on emotional triggers.
As you become increasingly aware of what your emotional triggers are, you will want to break the anchor that those triggers have with those emotions you automatically feel.
This is where pattern interruption comes into play.
The moment a negative thought sets in your Conscious mind, you need to immediately say your power sentence which will move your mind in such a way that it will cause, or trigger if you may, a NEW and POSITIVE emotion.
As we know in everything in life, the pain will subside… and when it does, I bet that you will go on thinking new thoughts and forget what it was that was causing you to stress/pain. This is the kind of strength you need from this pattern interruption. It has to be something that snaps you out of what you were doing.
Immediate Physical Movement
This goes hand in hand with Pattern Interruption. Your feelings are in your motion. The less you move, the more you slouch, and the more disempowered you are. The more you move, the more you smile, the happier you are.
As we created a ‘Power Sentence’ for our Pattern Interrupt, we also need to develop a ‘Power Move’ which can shift our emotions within a snap of a finger.
My power move is to Shadow Box (invisible boxing) the negativity that’s around me. Not only do I actually shadow box (if you saw me do this, I’m sure I look pretty silly punching the air with my eyes closed), but I visualize myself punching negative thoughts that are around me while telling myself “We Got This Steve, WE GOT THIS”.
That’s my power move as I grew up doing martial arts for over a decade as a child.
What would your power move be?
It could be jumping up and down, it could be a stretch, it could be a push-up, it could be shadow boxing, it could be a plie, etc., whatever you would like it to be, as long as you make sure that it gets your blood pumping a bit. The idea here is to change blood flow (and therefore the chemistry) within your body, which will help to elicit a change in emotions.
An example of this was when we found our children had a trigger to difficult emotions. They were saying “It’s too hard” and “I can’t” every time a situation started feeling tough. This trigger would create an emotion inside them of doubting their own abilities, and they would start to feel anxious and quit.
We decided to try a specific pattern interruption with them to stop this emotion in its tracks and to learn to view nothing as too hard and to ask for assistance if they needed it. We started having the children do 5 pushups while saying “I Can Do Anything I Put My Mind To” every time they used these 2 phrases. At first, they were not pleased, especially since “the other kids do not have to do that”.
Soon enough, though, they start catching each other saying it and were doing 5 pushups every time it was said, even without us parents being there. Within about 2 months or so, the children literally did not have these sentences in their vocabulary and actually started correcting other children around them. We were so excited the day our children came up to us trying to do something and said, “I am trying to do this but it is very tricky. Do you think you could help me?”
The pattern interruption, the power sentence (I Can Do Anything I Put My Mind To) and the power move (the pushups) became a bridge for changing their thought pattern and helped take away a stressful and anxious situation where they doubt their own abilities.
Some may view this as extreme. But it worked, we made it fun and the kids used it on us many times as well (even though it was when I’d say… “I can’t pick you up from school today…”) and we’d play along.
Believe me, once you understand the power of beliefs, and how children develop limiting beliefs (learn more here) and how it impacts their future. As a responsible parent, you’d apply this as well.
Remember: A pattern interrupt is NOT a punishment!
Shift from Me to We
Now, I want to draw your attention to something very important. Notice that I use the word WE in my affirmation “We Got This Steve, Don’t worry Steve, WE GOT THIS”. What I am about to tell you is very important.
The “WE” stands for present tense Steve & future tense Steve. That is who I am referring to in my power sentence. Why?
- It gives you a champion on your side that you know got through it. As we know in everything in life, the pain will subside… and when it does, I bet that you will go on thinking new thoughts and forget what it was that was causing you to stress/pain. Your future self has already been through it all, and they clearly made it through, even if you don’t know how they did it yet. Let your future self be a cheerleader on your side of the court. It isn’t you telling yourself the ‘we have it’, it is future you telling present you, “I am with you, together we have this”.
- Seeing yourself in the future tense allows for your creative mind to work on ways that you can overcome your current challenges. How is this future version of myself making it through this? What can I do to be more like this version of myself?
- It gives you something to work towards: the version of you that exists in your happy place.
I know it sounds a little out there and wonky, but I promise you with all my heart. Connecting with your future self who is happy and accomplished your vision will dramatically help you control your emotions, worry, doubt, overthinking, overwhelm, fear, stress, anxiety & depression.
I also love envisioning how my future self is laughing at what I think is a challenge right now… but I’ll keep that for a different teaching.
So now that you understand the logic behind it, here’s your action plan when negative thoughts start invading your mind:
- Be aware that it’s happening and you do have control over your every thought.
- Stop them immediately
- Jump into your Power Move (pushing the thoughts away)
- Repeat your Power Sentence over and over while You are…
- Envisioning your happy place, seeing the future you laughing at this small problem you’re currently overthinking for nothing.