Oct. 27, 2021

E128 Freedom from your Family's Toxic Legacy with Mike Forrester | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, I'm going to have a conversation with Mike Forrester. I met Mike a couple of months ago after being on his podcast. I was so moved and impacted emotionally by his journey that I knew that I wanted him to come on and share his experience with the Unbroken Nation.

See show notes: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e128-freedom-from-your-familys-toxic-legacy-with-mike-forrester-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes

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In this episode, I'm going to have a conversation with Mike Forrester. I met Mike a couple of months ago after being on his podcast. I was so moved and impacted emotionally by his journey that I knew that I wanted him to come on and share his experience with the Unbroken Nation.
So many different ways about the way we grew up through tremendous amounts of trauma, but having this massive shift in our lives put us in a position to heal, grow and change, and be of service.

Mike shared with us about his journey to recovering from a tremendous amount of narcissistic abuse from being this borderline; there is a sociopath and learning this process of building resilience through vulnerability and self-love to tap into his full potential.
There's a lot of power in this conversation, especially if you're a man or woman right now – struggling. Especially if anyone is struggling right now to move into what's next in your life, maybe you're sabotaging your relationship, your marriage, or hurting your kids, you're still in this place of repeating the generational trauma. I want you to hear Mike today because he will talk about what that journey has been like to move through it and be on the other side. So, listen and find the space to sit with us because it's incredible, and there's a tremendous amount of value that Mike will deliver for us today!

Learn more about Mike Forrester at: https://www.hicoachmike.com/

Learn more about NW Recovery at https://nw-recovery.com/ 

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Learn more about coaching at https://coaching.thinkunbroken.com

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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. Super excited to be back with you with another episode. Today, we're joined with Mike Forrester, who helps men learn life, strategies, to achieve confidence and self-worth.

One of my favorite subjects on planet earth and so incredibly important not only necessary for men, but for women as well and people in general, but I really love this conversation with men because it's one more not having enough. Mike my friend, what is going on in your world today?

Mike: Doing well, my friend. Appreciate you having me on. Thank you.

Michael: My pleasure, my friend. It's going to be an amazing conversation. Before we jump into creating a little context for The Unbroken Nation who's listening, can you tell us a little bit about your story, journey, and how you got to where you are today?

Mike: Sure. So along the way, my mother was paranoid schizophrenic. My father was passive and so you can imagine that makes for a really great home life for learning toxic behaviors. I've been got married, discovered along the way that what I had experienced from my parents, was love in the way that they knew how to express it, but it wasn't necessarily healthy love. And as I started dating, my wife's girlfriend at the time came across that kind of epiphany and tried pushing her away. We struggled through the beginning of our marriage because I communicated one way, she communicated a different way and mine was yelling as loud as you can, person who's the loudest is the one that wins the argument.

Continued on we had children and do that anger that insecurity the way that I was handling the trauma and the stuff that I had learned and how I had identified myself, then played out in just a really unhealthy really pathetic way as a dad and it wasn't until I stopped asking for help and quit trying to pretend like I had it all together that I was then able to heal myself and from that place, it then made space for my wife to grow and blossom and become who she is and for the relationship with my children to then get to a healthy connected way, just that I had never experienced before in honestly didn't think that I ever would.

So we're now in a place where I have four adult children, three daughters, one son, and two grandchildren. So I'm going to a great place again, a place. I never thought I'd be. So that's why I reach out and I encourage other men to change because we're not stuck to who we are or who we were nor what we experienced.

Michael: Man, that's so powerful, and congratulations. You know, I look at my life when I was at rock bottom, destroying every relationship, destroying family, destroying community like – it's an analogy I use when I wrote my book, I said; “It's like standing inside of a house that you've set on fire while you're holding the matches.” Right? And you're like why is everything burning down? Oh, I don't know. And so, you know, I huge testimony to you in that mission. Here's what I think is so interesting like people hear things like this and they go well, you did that but my life's different and I go. I don't think it's necessary that your life is different, it's about the choices and the decisions that you make.

You know, one of the things that I think happens in our journeys. We sacrifice so much of ourselves, our people, our families to try, to gain, the love of our parents, to get approval from people. What does that be like for you? Because I know that's a part of your journey.

Mike: That was 100% a part of my journey and I didn't understand it at the time, that was the problem. And so as I'm going through I'm obviously wanting my parents loved approval, respect and I'm not able to get it. And so, I just treated my wife like cannon fodder and so I would literally throw her under the bus in arguments and conversations, decisions, behavior, even to where I'm looking to just get, you know, Mom and Dad to say, hey, I love you, your worthwhile you're not the mistake we told you, to have them change their decision and the way that they saw me and it never came because they weren't in a place to give it, you know, they were hurt themselves and when you're in a place of hurt, you can't give that.

And so it was being fortunate enough to have that explained to me, to understand it and work through it and for my wife to be forgiven because I mean all intents and purposes man, she bore the brunt of me healing at a time, I didn't understand I needed healing. I knew I wasn't where I wanted to be, but I didn't understand why.

And so that for me is why community is so important, is the sites, somebody being able to speak into you and tell you hey, you're sacrificing your wife, you're sacrificing yourself, you're doing this without that. I never would have gotten to that point where I was able to elevate and care for my wife, as she deserved and needed without trying to get my parents to approve and acknowledge me. So it took a long time but man, it was worthwhile a hundred times over.

Michael: One of the things I think is so like literally fascinating about that concept in that journey, is that thing we're vying for, we also simultaneously push away, right? It's almost like this part of ourselves where because of the limiting beliefs that we put it into our lives as an adult. We sit here in it and it's like, I want this thing but I don't deserve this thing and there's so much context to what I call the chaos of it all. How much did the way that you were talking to yourself, play a role in the impact of your relationships, in your family, with your wife, with your friends, and most importantly, with yourself?

Mike: Dude, it was foundational. It totally guided everything I did, whether it was personal or business. It was the driving force of everything. Understand because my parents, you know, said, hey, you're a mistake, we didn't intend for you, we don't want you, that sets a behavior. It also when like you're struggling in school, you don't find out until you're 40 years old that it's dyslexia, you know, there's a struggle and identity there as well because you're not fitting in at school, continue that forward to where, I'm trying to fit in its work, and I'm still struggling there. It's one of those that, at that time, I had a victim mindset, I thought things were always against me, didn't matter what it was, the problem was, I'm reinforcing that belief.

And so when I'm seeing something happen, if it's having a negative result, that just reinforces the belief that yes, you know, I'm not good enough, I'm not the right guy for this, I'm not worthwhile, all those messages that will tell ourselves, those things were just reinforced and became like concrete and my mind. And it was, so pervasive that I even poured over into my children, you know, you're working to parent your children and from where you're at is how you're going to you know, almost lay on that pattern. I taught them how to play small because one of my things I was always in the belief that if something failed that made me a failure and so you can imagine how small I played in life when I'm working to not fail. I never took chances and I imprinted that belief into my children so strongly that I mean, even today is something that we're working on to get them to where, give it a chance, just go for it, give it a try. So I mean, it's something that's foundational, Michael.

Michael: Yeah, absolutely and I love that you've kind of switched the mindset around it because I find this so frequently in my own life fears everywhere, man. I don't know of a moment in my life that I'm not faced with a tremendous amount of fear. Am I doing this right? Am I showing up and limiting myself? Am I trying as hard as I can?  And then those are internal fears and then there are the fears of the world will I be rejected? Will, I'd be judged? Will people like it? Will they not? Will they buy it? Will they show up that thing starts to happen? And then all the snowball effect of it.

And I found that the number one way that I've been able to combat fear in my life is to do it anyway, right? Because ultimately at the end of the day, you're going to either prove or disprove the hypothesis that you're going to fail or win like – there's no other way to do it, and it's insane to me that we can become so stagnant because our mind allows us to be when all we are is like we're literally one action away, but here's what's fascinating to me about this is I look at this and I go so much of this is a repeat of the patterns that my parents put in place. You Know, it was fear about money, fear about success, fear about love, fear about human connection, right? And you talk about this idea of repeating patterns, everyone in my life used to scream and so that was the only way I knew how to communicate. Talk to me about and I know this is a big part of what you help people understand, talk to me about not only understanding and identifying the parental patterns that we bring into our lives, but how you reframe those changes, those breaks, those and start to move forward.

Mike: I think the one thing to understand is that it's like they're going to continue coming at us, right? We have to heal ourselves and once we've got that base to build from, we can look back at stuff. I didn't understand why I was always anxious when they're you know like the fridge wasn't full, there wasn't food in the pantry, keeping it fully stocked and the same thing with the freezer, when those things were empty or there was space, it set off an insecure feeling inside of me. And it wasn't until I was on my journey and able to see things differently than looking back at my childhood going, okay, mom and dad used to put a chain and a lock around the fridge and they controlled when we could eat and what we could eat, from that, it was then one of those of I wanted to make sure that I had plenty of food, it was always accessible, didn't matter what it was, but it just needed to be filled the most ridiculous part of it was that I had a freezer that was full and I kept it filled for 5 years. Now, I don't know about you, but beef that's been in the freezer for five years is definitely not what you want to be eating or serving to anybody, but the fact that there was stuff there and that it was full, that gave me that secure feeling that completeness and I've had that pop-up, you know, in driving through the desert and going, why do I hate the desert? I've not lost an arm. I've not been lost in the desert. There wasn't anything, really clearly or apparent problem that was there. But in looking back at it, my wife was able to help me see. Hey, your dad used to say he could go into the desert with a knife, you'd never find him and he'd fully survive. Okay, right there is separation, right? Being abandoned, my mother because she was paranoid schizophrenic and we grew up in duplexes, didn't want anybody to necessarily hear her. So she would have my dad, put us all in the car drive out to the desert and she would berate us, you know, just tear us up one side and down the other. Well, those are not two things that are going to nurture a great feeling and so once I was aware of that stuff, I could then separate the events from the place and go, the desert isn't a bad place.

It's I had bad stuff happen there and that was solely placed on those people and so I was able to be in the desert with my wife, my friends and have a great time because I didn't have that kind of like a hidden issue, it was separated, it was now visible in known and I could work through it. You know, like even as an adult there were times where I didn't have money, and like you talked about, I had limiting beliefs around money because my parents displayed those really vividly, they acted it out.

Well, when I was an adult and my wife and I had children, we didn't have money to pay the bills and so it wasn't uncommon at that time to have a utility truck, come around, and it's disconnecting our services, even as an adult, dude. Years later, I would see a utility truck and I would go high anxiety because I'm thinking, did I pay the bill? Didn't I pay the bill? I would run downstairs, Michael gets on the computer, check the utilities and see nine times out of ten, it's paid or the other part is hey, you still got two weeks to go in your good but it was that memory that a statute meant that was still playing out in my current day. That I had to just really cut the tie be aware of it and move on from there.

 Michael: Yeah, and I relate to that. You know, I remember being in my mid-20s and borrowing money to pay my rent, right? And being in this place where this hilarious story comes to mind, we're talking about learning behaviors. When I saw people buy a car in my life as a kid, it was always that like a Buy Here, Pay Here place, right? Or you'd get some terrible beater car off the side of the street or whatever. And so, when I'm 18 years old, the only thing that I've ever known is to go to buy here, pay here place and this is going to sound insane, but it's a hundred percent true when I'm 18 years old because I don't know and I hadn't been educated and no one taught me.

I go to a Buy Here, Pay Here place and I get a car with a 26 percent, the interest rate at 18 years old, I've never had a credit card, I've never had a loan, I knew nothing about this and then four years I drove that car and people like that's insane, I'm like, wait, there's another option. So I think so much of this assure in this thing of breaking patterns and understanding behaviors, and I teach us to my clients all the time, “You have to understand to get to where you want to go, you have to understand how you got to where you are.”

And so that, those unformed behaviors, those patterns, those things that happen like – they happen in your life and you have to start to make meaning of them and educate yourself around them and start to heal through them. And now I'm like, okay, I never get a car with a 20% interest rate, 26 percentages for right? Do you know what I mean?

One of the things I'm curious about and I think would be very beneficial, especially for The Unbroken Nation today, is to talk about the journey of the moment, maybe not even the moment, but the moments that led up to this place where you were, like – I got to get my shit together. Because I think that a lot of us have these experiences and often don't pay attention to them until it's too late. And so what was that journey like for you?

Mike: Man, good question, and honestly was a build off, Michael. It was from one of those of you who talked about doing what you know to do, man. I was living that out, the problem was I wasn't satisfied and if I'm in control of things and I'm doing so well, why am I in a place that I'm not satisfied? And for me like that low self-worth, that lack of confidence and even respect for myself. Man, that just put me in a place where asking for help was not something that came easy. So I had a whole lot of pride but it wasn't priding as an elevating, it was pride again in playing small and playing safe.

And so, as I'm finally reaching that point of being fed up with it. I saw a couple of guys at work that in seeing how they're relating with their wives and their children, and they're talking about their life, it's like – that's where I want to be. So I knew the destination that I wanted to be. I just didn't know how to make the transition and get there. So I started asking them for help and it was from that point of asking for help and taking that first step that the rest of them came easier, not easy, but easier. And so that was where I really started asking questions taking it in processing it and trying to work through the discrepancy of this is how I've acted, this is how I should be acting and thinking, and trying to close that gap. It didn't come quickly, I was used to manipulating and so my wife had learned that yes, I would start making changes, but those changes were based on me trying to get a reaction.

And so once I finally got to the point where I was broken and genuinely wanted to heal and get help it, then took time to go about that and have my wife and children trust that fact, you know, they've become I'm used to the fact that he's going to go, he's going to have an experience, can it come back change for a bit and then we're right back into it. You know, it was one of those, I became Mike, my own worst enemy because of the way I behaved in the beginning but even those steps at that time, still helped me to learn. You know, like – behaviors thought processes, which I could pull from later. I just wasn't doing it in the best way, case in point, I'd listen to a podcast. The guy that was speaking was like – I get away with my wife for four days. We go on a retreat, I asked her these ten questions and we just have an amazing time, who doesn't want that? You know, that's absolutely what I want. But the problem in the way it played out, as we got away, I asked these questions, keep in mind, I'm still insecure about myself and about our relationship and everything around me.

When she starts trusting, to give honest answers, I'm defending myself I'm saying; Yeah, but this. So in the process, I'm discrediting what she's sharing and saying no, that doesn't matter, that is not how you build trust. Fortunately, she understood that I kept working on it, and from that, that's now a pattern that, we play into and I'm not at the point anymore where hey, you know, that's not true, that's invalid. I understand what she says. It's not always comfortable but what she shares is her perspective and I need that in a relationship.

Michael: Yeah, I mean that's so powerful. We could dive into all of that, so much depth. A couple of things come to mind, one is recognizing and understanding that sometimes we are manipulative, and sometimes that's ingrained in us, right? I remember learning how to be manipulative, from a very young age became a defensive mechanism, it became safety. This is something I don't think people talk about. They look at people with behavioral viewers, who are in this fashion, and they say, oh, they're a narcissist, right? And I go maybe, but maybe also it was this inherent trait that was groomed and grown in them so that they could survive not only in their home but in society that then carried over that no longer serve them, that became the way that they communicate. That's what I think is really interesting about this, Mike, because I remember these times of being a kid watching, my mother, my stepfather manipulates me, my siblings and situations and scenarios that we were in and then me and return doing that as safety and survival. I became an amazing liar, dude, like the best of all time. Like – I probably top 10 all-time and that helped me be in this position where it was survival, in the streets, it was survival when I was selling drugs, it was survival in school and then serve me until it didn't. And that's the thing I think, people miss out on is that you come to this recognition where you're looking at your life, you're going, Oh my God! I'm trying to control everything, trying to manipulate everything, I'm trying to step into this in a way that gives me safety, gives me the parameter to have security even though, like – here's what's really fucked up about it. Like – it's not right but it's so ingrained in you, that you can't remove yourself from it until you start to heal around it. Right? And so I really appreciate you bringing that up.

The other part of it that I think is really fascinating that I would love for you to go a little deeper into is talking about giving yourself the grace to allow the thoughts and emotions that your wife had to be that and not control it because that to me is singularly one of the most difficult things in the healing journey to recognize that other people's truths are not in your control.

Mike: Yeah. And for me, that was probably one of the hardest things was like – giving myself grace, giving myself forgiveness. It's still something that I'm continuing to work on. The thing is, I had created this pattern, the way I behaved when you begin to see somebody repeatedly act in a specific manner. What are you expecting? You're expecting exactly what you've seen and when it's something different, it's like when is the other shoe going to drop whether we're thinking that out loud or not? That's kind of our expectation.

And so my wife, was the first one to really believe that this was a genuine change when it came about but for my children and I had been verbally abusive, you know, and so they're less open to trusting because they've been so hurt, right? My wife had a time where it's like she wasn't with me. So she had time to understand who she was and see outside of that. My children have known me ever since they were born, so that's all their life has entailed. You know, it's one of being as consistent as you can when you slide back going, okay, this is something that I have I am continuing to work through and becoming the new me because as much as you want other people to trust yourself, you're still setting that pattern, you're still creating just like your talk, we've talked about new pathways, new thoughts, that stuff is still being laid out. Who I wanted to be when I first started asking questions was not who, like – I want to be going down the road, right? Things are going to change just as goals changed when we move along, who we want to be in and what we want to embody is going to change too.

So you've got to just remember this is a change from who you've been your you're not going to have it come overnight, your undoing years of training, years of patterning, right? If you look at your parents, your parents learn their behavior for somebody, their parents, so your grandparents, whether we're seeing it day in and day out, that is usually like – a generational thing that's been passed along and that's where being these change-makers these chain breakers, it's vital that we start with us.

Give ourselves grace, give ourselves the forgiveness, allow our spouse and our children to also have that grace to trust and learn to expect us to be on this path that we're on but it's like – we're messing with the process, the path that's been set out and it doesn't happen overnight, but I'll tell you straight out. It is the best thing you can do because again, do you want your children to grow up with the same things that you received most times? No, I mean there are some things that came from my parents that it's like, that was great. Hey, cool, but the rest of the staff know, there's a reason why I have trauma childhood, the trauma that I work through. I don't want my children having to go through that nor do I want my grandchildren because if you look at how it plays out, man, I don't want that be in the legacy that I leave, the Heritage, that's known for my family. So yeah, just give yourself space as you're changing to actually change and when you don't stay with that pattern, just let it go because the more you get fixated and frustrated with it, the longer, the more likely you are to continue that pattern and you don't get back to the place you want to be where you're in that healthy spot. So give yourself the grace.

Michael: Yeah. I love that and very well said. And in this process, there's going to be bumps in the road, there's going to be mistaken, there's going to be a failure, there's going to be, I can't believe a fucking did that again. Like – it's gonna have like, I promise you, as much as I know the sun will rise tomorrow that will happen. And the thing that I always leverage can I look at it as data and not beat myself up about it because beating yourself up about it is not going to change the situation as much as you want it to, as much as you think smashing your own head into the wall, was going to fix the problem, it's not. And the other thing that I try to measure is can I create this huge gap in time of when I repeat that behavior because I think that becomes a really interesting measurement not necessarily like I'm counting the days but I'm going, it's been seven months since I did that thing. Okay. Now, can I make it seven years, right? I think changes in evolution, right? But in that process, people always say, well, two steps forward one step back. I think it's just inevitable, it's a part of this journey. Mike, I think one thing is fascinating in, this is like as being a man is looking at the social construct of what it means to be a man to have manhood, that is engulfed in trauma and try to figure out who you are and how you're supposed to be. I don't think I've ever asked anyone this question before but I'm really curious and so if it catches you off guard, I understand why. What does it actually mean to you to be a man?

Mike: That is a multi-faceted question my friend because it's not just like one area, like – I can't just say, hey, I've got to be machismo and, you know, stand in this space, who I am to my children is different than who I am to my wife, to my co-workers, to my friends and even to myself.

You know, it's one of we really need to understand, who we are to then understand? How we're going to show up for different people? For me, it's being compassionate and understanding, right? I'm the dad to three daughters and one son, their needs are different, and so how I interact with each of them is unique. I need to give them space and meet them how they need me to show up. My wife, sometimes she needs me to listen and not fix it. I need to be able to ask questions to get clarification. Are you looking for me to fix something? Or are you looking for me to step in? Do you just need you to know, like a sounding board? It's going to be different, and I think for each guy, it's honestly going to be different how we show up, right? Michael, how you show up is different than how I'm showing up, we've had great conversations on, what's going on in our lives and where we're going and I think that's a uniqueness that we can bring. Like – I don't come from the side of trying to, I protect my wife and family, but I don't bring that overbearing like that negative side of it anymore. You can have behavior or like an aspect that you can carry positive or negative. I was wanting to protect my family, but anger doesn't play out from love. I can do it a different way and show up to still allow them to grow and be them and come alongside them but as far as being a man it's oftentimes just stepping into stuff that's uncomfortable and admitting it and walking that journey. You know, it's like – I come with love, I come with compassion, I come with us as much strength as I can and the courage to just try it.

And I think that's a big piece is showing up with courage even when we don't know the answer. But being vulnerable enough to say hey! I don't know exactly how this is going to go but if you're willing to go through this with me, then let's go for it. And I don't think anybody's, honestly, expecting us to have all the answers, you know, because that kind of takes it away where it's like, why don't I measure up to you? So being genuine, authentic, vulnerable, I think of something we, as guys need to do more, but from a place of love from a place of strength, not overbearing or controlling, manipulative like I was before.

Michael: Yeah, I have a lot of appreciation for that. I think about often the idea that we measure ourselves up against other people. And the only thing I ever try to measure myself against is myself and that's played huge dividends in my life. And that doesn't mean I don't have markers of people who are like a step ahead of me and I go cool, they did it, that may be the way that I go and then I'll find out and that wasn't it. But, you know, the societal I did like a man means you got to watch the game and have a lot of sex with strange women and drink beer, I'm like, is that true? What does that really mean? And so creating the social change in your own life, first by proxy will impact the world because I'm with you man – love this interesting concept to me, right? Because I look at I go when I was a child nonexistent, whatever that word was I've no idea what the fuck that meant.

You would hear it, you would see it on movies about like, oh that love is this or that and then you kind of go. Oh wait, I have no idea and as an adult, it's like how do I cultivate that right? And I kind of narrow it down into this, be a good person, do good things that to me feels very much like a definition of love.

And so, I think when you carry that while also understanding vulnerability plays this interesting role, you know, I think men and I'll speak for myself when I stepped into vulnerability initially and I was like – I need help, and I was looking at my life from this rock bottom moment that 26 years old and measuring my future and going, I'm going to fucking die into years if I don't fix something. Asking for help became not only simultaneously, the most vulnerable thing that I've ever done but more importantly, it became the most empowering thing that I've ever done and filtering that through this scope of, I'm willing to be vulnerable because I'm going to die, that's how I look at it. Right? I go. If I'm not vulnerable, I'm gonna die. I apply that to a lot of situations, right? And that's become, very beneficial. What if any tool? Because I think I want to try to. I don't think I know. I want to try to make this a little bit, more practical for people, listening to men, and women, however, you identify, don't think it matters. What can someone do right now to be able to tap into love, to vulnerability, to try to move forward into a healing journey?

Mike: Great question. I would say the first thing we're going to go back to this is to give grace. You did not end up where you are today, just, you know, accidentally it's not overnight, been patterning, there's been training that's gone on, understand where you are, that's vital. Look at – do I have anger issues? Do I have issues with asking for help? You know, where are these points that I'm struggling with conversely, man. Look at where you're strong.

What do you do well? What do you hear people say? Hey, I love this about you. I'm a nerd. I love assessments. So like disc Myers-Briggs, they helped me figure out what my personality was like to give me insight into myself. So if that's your bent look at some personality test, figure out. Where do you operate from? I think understanding also, do you accept and process books better like through reading or is it through listening to podcasts, or is it conversations? Understand how you take in information and look for stuff that people are saying, hey, this is a great book that got me to this point.

You know, for me boundaries were one of the first books that were groundbreaking for me. It was also one of the hardest ones because I needed to put up a security area to protect myself and my family from my parents in their behaviors. Again, like – we talked about throwing my wife, under the bus that helped me to stop that behavior or at least a lesson, it particularly in the beginning, but I came to protect her and my family through that book. You know, and just understanding where you want to get. I think community with guys, I know, for me, I played small. I looked for small groups where it wasn't going to be an intimidating environment but I was also playing a chameleon. Looking for groups where the men are healthy, they're talking, they're vulnerable even if it's just one guy that you meet with, find somebody who's in a different place in the road down from where you are that's where you want to get to that, can give you input.

And then I think one of the hardest things to do is to be quiet and just take notes, listen, whatever you need to do, here what with that person has to say, because often our perspective is skewed and we need somebody on the outside to tell us that, you know, to give us that perspective without the taint from our parents and the trauma that we've gone through.

So, but yeah, give yourself grace. I mean, you're learning and discovering who you are and it's going to be a process, it's not going to happen just overnight getting to where we are, didn't happen overnight. So give yourself the time.

Michael: Yeah, I love that. I love it and I say often I believe and I don't think there's any way to really prove this but I believe it takes you as long to get healthy as it did for you to be unhealthy. And so, you know, I look at my journey, I go shit man. I got like another 40 years ago, right? And so, it is very much about grace, it's about patience is about a lot in yourself space to know you're going to make mistakes to connect with other human beings and to ultimately just trust that you're making the right decisions.Mike, this has been an incredible conversation, my friend and I would love to go deeper but for the sake of time, before I ask you my last question, can you tell everyone where they can find you?

Mike: Definitely! Thank you for having me. So the best place to find me as it hicoachmike.com and you can find me @hicoachmike on Instagram and Facebook. And if you like what you're hearing, you can also find me on my podcast, Living Fearless today, where you can find other men who are going through the same journey you might be going through, that you can relate with. And Michael and I have the same heart, the same desire to see people healed because we don't want to see this pattern continued.

Michael: Powerful, my friend and thank you so much for being here. Mike, my last question, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Mike: To be Unbroken means to keep putting my foot forward for the next step to have the courage, the confidence, the strength, not to be like, hey, I fully got this but to just to be I'm open to continuing moving forward, to continue doing my best and from that you're going to find that you encourage the people around you. For me, as I imperfectly do stuff again like – I talked about earlier, gives my children space and almost like permission to try their best and to move forward instead of being afraid of, that failing to make them a failure. So for me, it's just continuing to move forward, the best I can.

Michael: Powerful, my friend. Thank you so much for being here.

Unbroken Nation, thank you for listening.

Please, as usual, like, subscribe, leave a review.

Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.



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Mike Forrester

Men's Transformation Coach

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.