Dec. 22, 2021

E160: Setting Yourself Up For Success During The Holidays | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, I talk about setting yourself up for success during the Holidays. I think it's more pertinent than ever to acknowledge that we need tools right now, especially in 2021; towards the end of it, Christmas is around the corner....
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In this episode, I talk about setting yourself up for success during the Holidays.

I think it's more pertinent than ever to acknowledge that we need tools right now, especially in 2021; towards the end of it, Christmas is around the corner. For some, Christmas was not filled with trauma and abuse, and I am not envious of them. No, quite the opposite. I am thrilled for them because that means that someone in their lives took the mantle of peace, understanding, communication, and love. For the rest of us, I only hope that we can step further into our truth and seek not only safety but hope that one day we will no longer be on the backside of holiday cheer but instead be at the forefront of happiness.

We all have different trauma experiences in life, but this will not be the barrier to Becoming the Hero of Our Own Story.

How do you put yourself in a position to be successful along with setting yourself up for success in the future in a time, which you are being set up to fail?

COME, JOIN and LISTEN as I dive into this episode!

-Be Unbroken.

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Hey! What is up, Unbroken Nation! I hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world. I'm Michael Anthony author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma and you're listening to or watching my podcast. And so I just want to say thank you so much for being here and being a part of this.

You know, my goal with speaking about what I talked about every week and the guests who come on and all the things that I do is to give us as trauma survivors, (A) Community and (B) Tools, so that we continue to move forward in our lives and that’s so much about what this is and I think it's more pertinent than ever to acknowledge that we really need tools right now, especially in 2020, towards the end of it, Christmas is around the corner, New Year's is right behind that and then what 2021, and what is that going to be? What is that going to look like? And I think starting right now we can put ourselves in a position to be successful as we head into next year by starting right now with personal boundaries. And so I'm going to leave you in this conversation, some ideas, some thought, some tips, some tools to step through what's next in your life in a way that is about you first and foremost.

All too, often in society, especially here in America, we are put in a position where we have to measure our value by our family and I don't think that's necessarily fair and I don't think it's a good measurement for whether or not we deserve the things that we have in our life. So often you hear, but it's your family, but it's your family, but it's your family. Well, I don't believe in that, I don't believe that we have to put ourselves in a position in which we allow toxicity to run our life.

Now, how do you move through that? I posted the other day something to the effect of it's odd that we live in a society that puts Family First over self-care, over taking care of yourself, over putting you first and toxicity, as we know, is running a rampant and hand homes around America and the world, I don't want to just sing a lot of America because it's everywhere and the idea and notion that family has to always come first, really, drives me crazy because that catapults into work, has to come first, girlfriends and boyfriends have to come first, and pets have to come first, and neighbors have to come first and strangers on the streets have to come first and I don't believe that leads to sustainability.

We as individuals have to put ourselves first. Now that said this does not come from a selfish place, this just simply comes from a place in which we have to acknowledge that. If we do not take care of ourselves first, how are we going to take care of the world?And when I think about goals, I think about attributes, I think about all the things that I want to accomplish or do in my life, if I don't put myself first, I can't possibly move towards those things. And yet we live in this society that constantly tells us your needs are secondary to everyone else and you've heard it and you've seen it and you felt it and you witnessed it, and that's not true and especially right now.

When you think about this, this idea of being in toxicity and being around people during the holidays, because the universe and the world says we're supposed to as archaic. And when you think about what it means to put yourself in a position to be successful in life, it's very much that airplane mentality, I'll set it up, zillion times. You have to put your oxygen mask on first, and if you don't, how are you going to serve other people? Here's the problem though, especially right now, the holidays first off in general are incredibly triggering, right? Then you tack on covid, then you tack on unemployment, then you tack on all the other things that are happening in the world right now and chaos and sues and that starts intrinsically inherently an internally with us first and then you see it kind of seep into the outside world. And so how do you put yourself in a position to be successful along with setting yourself up for success in the future in a time, which you are being set up to fail? Like I'm going to say it because I don't hear anyone saying it. We are getting set up for complete and utter failure, not just economically but socially and mentally and emotionally, and across the board. Right now is probably one of the hardest times in human history to actually put yourself in a position to show up for yourself.

Tools are limited, money is limited, access is limited and yet we have the ability if we choose to find our way through it, no matter what.

Now, how do you get to that place? I don't think that you can get there if you are triggered if your brain and your body are disconnected and your dissociated and you're attacking everything from left field at a hundred miles an hour without really understanding how you got to where you are right now, you are going to have no benefit in this journey, right? Because you're not going to be able to recognize what is actually happening, and we also call this being present. And so I think about this with pause, take inventory of your life, look at where you are, and look at where you want to go within the next 90 days, right? So we're talking about March, not that far away, March is not that far away. So, how do you start game-planning for next year, right now? How do you put yourself in a position to be successful when you're being triggered and impacted by the holidays, by Christmas, by toxicity. You have to pause, you have to take a break, you have to remove yourself from everything and decide what is it that you want your life to look like within the next 90 days? And I choose 90 days because I think it's powerable, I think it is very easy as an access point to start creating change in your life within 90 days, right? We know that it takes 66 days to create a new habit, that's great, but I'm less interested in curious about habits, right now and more interested in the impact of what you do on a daily basis between now and 90 days from now to set yourself up for success.

And that starts at this moment, we are a few days away from Christmas and some of you listening and watching right now are going to do something that, you know, you should not do, you're going to go to a family event and that's not a covid thing, that is a self-care thing that you are going to break a promise to yourself that you are putting yourself first by going and putting yourself into a toxic scenario.

Now, look, I'll say this, I recognize not everyone has to deal with toxicity right now in the current moment, but that doesn't mean that you cannot still be triggered by events of the past around this time of year.

The way the food smells, the way the candles are lit, the darkness like it's so much, right? And then you tack on the holidays, right? Go be with Family, go be around the people who you don't want to be around, put yourself second by the Christmas presents you can afford, buy the dress you can afford, show up with the things that you shouldn't bring like the list goes on and on and on about the way is that we put ourselves secondary in this process.

What I want you to think about is this; as you move forward in your life, how are you going to be successful if you're unwilling to put yourself first? And being unwilling to put yourself first means injecting yourself to an effect, the torturous environment of toxicity. I think about this all the time when I was a kid all I ever wanted was someone to come and rescue me and I mean, I'm not making this up, this is not hyperbole, this is true. All I ever wanted was someone to come and rescue me, someone to come and knock on my door and say hey Michael, I'm your real father, I'm Mr. Rich guy, I'm whomever and I'm here to take you away from all of this, from all the toxicity, from all the abuse, from all the torture, from all the everything. I'm here to rescue you. That person didn't come, that person isn't coming for you either and I'm sorry and it sucks and it's fucking unfair and I wish that weren't the case, but I want you to understand this, that means that you are in the position to be in control of your life. That means that you are in the position to create the change that you want and to get to that place that starts with showing up for yourself first and foremost.

The very first thing I think about in this process, how do I put my boots on first? Got to walk out the door? I got to go down the street, I gotta go and take care of all the things in life that one has to take care of. Well, how do I put my boots on? How do I put myself in a position to be successful first? Knowing that the second I walk out the door everyone is going to want everything from me. Now, this is hyperbole or an analogy however, we want to describe it. So I think about this, if I'm going and I'm putting myself in situations that are toxic to me, is that not a form of self-sabotage? You hear about it all the time, STOP SABOTAGING YOURSELF. The problem is people don't know that they're sabotaging themselves. I and this may be your experience right now was stuck in a habit loop based on experiences, that told me this is the way that I am supposed to behave because this is Human behavior and I'm going to burn down everything in my life because it seems like that's the thing that I'm supposed to do – loop again and again and again, ad nauseam until the moment that you stop and you go, what is really happening in my life right now, and am I show up for myself? Can I stand up for myself? Can I put myself in a position where I come first all the time?

Now, look, you may have kids, and you may have family and you may have a husband and or a wife or a partner or whatever you may have business obligations, you may have friends, you may have all the things and I hope that you do. I hope your life is fucking amazing right now, I truly do. But if you're not putting yourself first and you're listening to this and you're thinking about how do you turn your life into something that you're going to be even more proud of than where you are right now, within the next 90 days, it starts with this, put your self first, remove yourself from toxic environments without guilt, without shame, without beating yourself up because let me tell you this, the most important, I've mentioned this in the podcast many times for the most important thing that I've ever done in my healing journey started as a teenager when I removed toxic family members from my life and I've not spoken to them since and it has been the most beneficial thing I've ever done. Now, it's also the hardest, it's the most difficult because of the society norms that say don't do that, you're a bad guy, your bad guy if you take this person who's an asshole out of your life that's on you, no. I vehemently disagree. In fact, I would argue with anyone but one of the greatest things that you can do is remove toxicity from your life.

Do you want to set yourself up for success? We have to stand up for ourselves, and you have to stop fucking worrying about what people are going to have to say or think about your actions when it comes to your personal sovereignty and self-care. My secret, my superpower of the thing that I have that if I could bottle it up and I could give it to everybody on planet Earth is that I don't give a fuck what people think when it comes to how, I take care of myself, I don't care. Your opinion matters, zero and how I decide that I need to take care of myself. Nobody lives for you; nobody breathes for you, I say it all the time. Only you get to choose how you show up in this life and because of that, you are in this amazing and distinct position that gives you an afford, you the opportunity to step into something really beautiful and that's called SOVEREIGNTY, that is called your POWER, that is called being the HERO OF YOUR OWN STORY. And yet, even as you listen, there's that part of you that's going, but, but, I have to, I should, I have to, someone's telling me, the family's going to look at me, neighbors, are going to judge me, so what? Here's the thing, on a long enough timeline, you're going to die, that's the truth and that's not to be super negative, in fact, I find it to be very empowering. And the reason is I leverage the idea of death and how I create my life and my future and knowing that this time of year is one of the number one times of the year that people died. I can't help but question why? The answer – STRESS. Stress kills, more people, worldwide than anything else and of course, there's smoking and there's drinking, and there's getting hit by cars and icicles falling on your head and who the fuck knows how we die because there's a lot of wasn't weird shit happens, but stress and I think about how I can mitigate stress at every avenue in my life so that I can be successful moving forward. The number one thing that we have control over is who we spend our time with?

Think about this; said this during Thanksgiving I'm going to repeat it and I'll repeat it next year and the year after that until everyone starts doing it when you get in your car to drive, or on the bus ride, or on your bike or however you get there to the place that your heart, your gut, your soul is screaming do not go and you go, you are doing yourself a grave disservice.

Every time that you go and you put yourself in that position and you show up at that place that, you know, you don't want to be, you are lying to yourself. And look, you come by that honestly and I do too, I get it, I used to show up, I used to go all the time, I'd be there, on house, uncle's house, cousin's house, Grandma's house be like – I don't want to be here, I fill it wrenching my soul to step into this place where I have to be with these toxic people, where I have to get mistreated, right, I have to get yelled out where I have to be talked down to, where I got to be treated less than where I have no, right and who I am or my existence or my say or any of those things. And feeling the impact of that as an adult is asinine. Think about this, right?

If the form of insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting the same result, then by definition, putting yourself in this position where you come secondary is insane, why? Why are you doing that to yourself? Why are you putting yourself in a position to become secondary in a position in which, you know, that you'll walk into this room and you'll be the black sheep, you'll be the person that people don't want there, you'll be the person that people should on the whole time you're there, you'll be the person that as soon as you walk through the threshold of that door, you're questioning, why am I here? What am I doing? It's okay if you don't go, in fact, I implore you to not go. If there's a part of you that said, please, please don't go and you're sitting in the car and you're looking at the pumpkin pie and you're begging yourself not to go and you have to have the drink or smoke the join or get high before you walk through the door? You're in the wrong fucking place. You need to pause and take care of your life, for real.

And look, that's hard. I get it. I get it. There are obligations, there's family, there's Society, there are all these things. Personal sovereignty is the most important cornerstone in this healing journey.And to be triggered right now, it's so incredibly difficult to step into that place because your mind and your body are not connected.

So I'm gonna give you a tool right now that you can take with you that I want you to use and utilize starting right now and that is just MINDFULNESS and you hear about it all the time and at this point, I set it enough that I want you to be able to take it with you in a palatable way. So let's think about this for a moment, okay?

Mindfulness is the practice of just being aware. If you are dissociated your brain and your body are disconnected. Your brains on LaLaland and your body is here not autonomic state just doing what it thinks it's supposed to do. Getting in the car, grabbing the pie, walking into the door knocking on it, walking in sitting there dissociated, looking at your phone hearing the blah, blah blahs, drinking the drinks, and being like, how did I get here? That's a problem. We want to avoid that, we want to mitigate that risk, so how do we do that? Mindfulness, the first thing you have to do, PAUSE.

Guys listen, there is so much happening in our lives on a day-to-day basis, that it is almost impossible to be present without having really liked the reality of it it's impossible to present without putting yourself in a position with establishing space in which you force yourself to be present.

I don't have a better way to explain that other than being present is about intention and so, how do you put yourself to be intentional about being present and mindful? You have to pause, even if that means you have to schedule something into your phone to do so, right? And I have done that.

If you look at my phone, there are calendar alerts, this is check-in with yourself, that might be an option, okay? But let's say it's the moment before you're going to walk out of your house into this scenario in which you know, you're going to be further triggered? I want you to stop once you close your eyes and I want you to breathe for just one minute as slowly and as deeply as you can.

Now, of course, there are all kinds of breathing exercises that exist in the world and you can go and find those and that's not what I'm pushing you towards. What I'm pushing you towards right now is just stopping, breathing as slowly as you can, and thinking about every part of your body independently, from your toes to your head, to your fingers and back down because I want you to recognize where you are and I want you to slow your breathing and I want you to feel your body and I want you to then after 1 minute, MAKE A DECISION.

You know, Mel Robbins, who will my love and adore often talks about the five-second rule, and that is so spot-on, but I think and if you don't want the five-second rule is basically within five seconds of thinking, something you make a decision, that's gut instinct, that's following your intuition, that stepping into the known of who you believe you to be right? That's super reasonable, I love the five-second rule, it's powerful, it works in my life, but it used to take me a minute to get there. And that's why we start here because we're so dissociated because of being triggered that our brain and body really need the extra time to step into what's next. So PAUSE, BREATH, TAKE INVENTORY of all of your body, top to bottom and then make a decision. And at that moment that decision that you make needs to be one that is fortified within the trust that you have within yourself that you are doing the right thing for yourself.

And then I want you to carry that over into everything else that you do all year long. So step into 2021, I want you to carry that idea with you every time that you feel like you are questioning yourself about the choices and decisions that you make, I want you to get Mindful and I want you to step into being inside of your body to make a choice.

Your brain and your body, are connected in a way that is meant to create a survival mechanism because ultimately, the number one goal as a human being is survival, to live, it's a lot harder to live when you're always stressed out, when you're always triggered more so when you're always putting yourself in situations or positions that, you know, you should not be in and we do that because we come by it, honestly, ever since we were a child we had to be thrown into these positions, in which we had no say.

If you take anything with you today, the one thing that I want you to understand is that you have to say, in everything that happens in your life from this moment moving forward, whether or not that works for you, lies in the decisions and in the decisions that you make, the things that you do are going to determine your future, they're going to determine your life, they're going to determine your next 90 days. So how do you create a pathway in a goal within 90 days that are attainable and achievable? You pause. You think about what you want life to look like 90 days from now.

The exercise about mindfulness and about Christmas and walking through the doors is not just about that one day, that is a tool to set you up for success for the rest of your life because this is not the last time that you are going to make a hard decision.

This is not the last time that I'm going to challenge you to put yourself first. This is not the last time that you are going to show up for yourself and the question is, are you going to do it? Are you going to take this tool? Are you going to create an ideal goal? Are you going to move towards it every single day within the next 90 days?

Look, the reality is you can say I want to be a millionaire and I want to start the next Amazon and blah blah blah, but what if your 90-day goal was to do, only the things that you felt honest for you? What if your goal was to stop saying yes, to things that you want to say no to? What if your goal was to show up for yourself? What if your goal was to stand up for yourself? What if your goal was that no matter what, for the next 90 days, you're going to put on your oxygen mask first? That's what this is about, guys, that's what this entire journey is.

Putting yourself in a position to be successful by making choices and then taking action against those choices that are inherently true for you, that's this process, that's what life is, that's the secret that body tells you.

If you want to be successful in life, you are going to have to put yourself first. Of course, I've said it before, there's a fine line between being selfish and taking care of yourself, right? And that's all about intention, is all about choice, that's all about the way in which you're doing it.

So I want to say this, and this will be the last podcast before the end of the year, and I want to thank you all who have hung out with me this year. The tens of thousands of lessons around the world, like it's incredible to me. I decided to make this podcast more seriously over the summer, and I felt the impact of it in my own personal life and also from the information in the responses that you guys give me and it's beautiful and I appreciate you and I want to say thank you, I'm so grateful for that, you're willing to spend time and listen to me because I recognize that there are a million people in the world that you could go and listen to and so, thank you. I appreciate that.

And I also want to say, please, if, you know, someone that could use this kind of information share this with them and know this, like during the holidays, it may seem like we're alone and it may feel like nobody gets us, but there's a community of people just like you right now who are listening to this. And I want you to connect with them on my social media @MichaelUnbroken, that's on all the things @MichaelUnbroken.

There are people in those channels, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and here on YouTube, and my podcast who need human connection and I think that if we can come together, we can create that and that's what this is so much about.

And the last thing I'll leave you with is, I know that a lot of you have gotten a copy or got your copy of Think Unbroken on paperback and I want to say thank you for that and means the world. I'm getting ready to launch something very special what the podcast. And starting the first week of January, I'm going to have guests every Thursday who are Specialists, who are experts, who are people that I believe brings something incredibly valuable to the table of this, mental health journey, who I believe understand, and identify what it means to Think Unbroken, who have seen the world through a different perspective and scope, and I'm so excited to share them with you.

And so, I wish you a healthy and safe new year.

I cannot wait to see you guys on the other side of this.

Please like, subscribe, comment, follow.

Tell a friend, leave a review.

It would mean the world to me.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.



Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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