In this episode, I'm very excited to be back with you with today's episode, which is a little bit different than usual; it is a keynote that I did with Tom Bilyeu, Impact Theory, Discord Channel called “Melon Minds.”
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e234-how-to-be-the-hero-of-your-story-impact-theory-melon-minds-keynote-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, I'm very excited to be back with you with today's episode, which is a little bit different than usual; it is a keynote that I did with Tom Bilyeu, Impact Theory, Discord Channel called “Melon Minds.”
It was amazing because, as you know, I talk about Impact Theory pretty frequently on this show. Tom is one of my mentors and someone who's a community I always want to give back to.
I've wanted to be able to share more of my Keynotes here, sometimes it's hard to get them, and sometimes there's legal obligations in which I can't, but this is not one of those case scenarios, and what started or what was supposed to be a 45-minutes keynote turned into over 2 hours with Q&A.
It was an absolute pleasure at the beginning of it. There was a little bit of issue with the mic going, but once we got that rocking and rolling, we were off to the races, and it was amazing to be of service and serve people and hear these beautiful questions and give to this community.
You know, generally speaking, when I go do a keynote, it's like 45 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes of Q&A, and that's a wrap. I had told Tom's team been specifically, I said, dude, I'll go as long as we want to, as long as people have questions to ask I will be here and I would have gone all day if they wanted to keep going, but you know, it's a Saturday afternoon.
I think it's really beautiful when people show up because I'll tell you this, in the same way, that those people (you), for instance, who listen to this are going to find success. Those people who invest their time, effort, energy, or money into their lives will see the greatest differentiation between where they are now and where they want to be.
So that said I'm very, very excited to be able to share this keynote with you, to be able to share a little bit more the inside of what it's like when I'm on stage and also be able to share what it's like to be in a live Q&A with me and this one's a longer one.
So I hope that you will buckle up and strap in for this because it's going to be an amazing conversation!
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This is why there's always a technical difficulty. There's always something that's going to happen. There's always going to be the next thing that's interrupting our life that gets in the way that we've got to figure out how do we navigate it? How do we move through it? Right?
And I think that's one of the most incredible things I've come to discover about my human experiences recognizing and understanding like that next thing is coming, right? And the thing that you have to understand is everyone in this room right now has the ability to do something incredible and that's to be the hero of your own story.
So I'll tell you a little bit about myself before I do that, I'm going to read a quote to you from someone who's inspired in both changed my life.
“Decide who you want to become make that the center of your focus.”
Few years ago, I was looking at my life and I was asking myself who do I want to be? How do I want to show up in the world? How am I going to become the person that I know I'm capable of being?
Let me tell you a little bit about myself, but I'm also going to talk to you about Childhood Trauma and Abuse and how that impacts us how that shapes us and how ultimately that can be the thing that stops us from being who were capable of being and some tools for you to overcome that. I start with some stats here, because I think stats will tell you more than anything I could ever tell you.
In 1994 Kaiser Permanente, in the California Center for Disease Control along with Dr. Felitti, did a survey called the (ACE) Survey Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey and it was a series of ten questions. And I won't go into all ten but basically, it comes down to.
If you had these experiences, if anyone in your family was arrested, had mental health issues, had a suicide attempt, didn't take care of you, hurt you, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and sexually, there is an increased likelihood that you're going to suffer ramifications from those experiences.
Now, according to the CDC depending on where you fall in this category of the amount of abuse that one has suffered in their childhood can determine a ton of different outcomes in your life, in fact, depending on where you fall in the scale of this, ten questions from the ACE score. You could be up to 15 times more likely to commit suicide, four times more likely to be an alcoholic, four times more likely to inject drugs, three times more likely to be absent from work, to have serious depression and your two times more likely to smoke and here's what's really interesting about this. When I found this survey, when I learned this information, it changed my life forever.
When I was 4 years old, my mother who was a drug addict and alcoholic, she actually cut off my right index finger and I know what you're thinking, holy shit, how could somebody's mother do that to them? See? My mother was continue waiting, child abuse, you've probably heard that old adage hurt people, hurt people, well that was true of my family. And when I was six years old, she married my stepfather the most abusive guy you could ever imagine he'd kick the shit out of my brothers and I put me in the hospital little multiple times and never met my real father. But one of the greatest things ever happened to me when I was 8 years old, I was lying in bed one night and I was praying, I said, God, will you bring me my real dad to save me and rescue me? And I discovered something really important in that moment. Nobody's coming to rescue you. Now that became an amazing tool for me, once I learned how to leverage it. Spent the majority of my childhood homeless and deeply in poverty. In fact, I live with thirty (30) different families between 8 to 12 years old, we were always living somewhere different with strangers, with friends, with church, in a van, wherever we could sleep that night. And at 12, my grandmother adopted me. Now, you think that be a godsend, right? But I'm biracial, I'm black and white and my grandma's old racist, white lady from a town in Tennessee you've never heard of, in fact, we had a copy of mine comp on our kitchen table and my uncles in prison in the Aryan Brotherhood as we speak, so, insert, identity crisis. Got high for the first time when I was 12, I got drunk at 13 and by 15 I was expelled from school for selling drugs and I was trying to figure out what to do with my life was breaking in a house is stealing cars, running from the cops, getting shot at and hurting people and I got put into a last chance program and I still did not graduate high school on time and I found myself at 18 years old, looking out on the world, thinking to myself, what is the solution for this? What is the solution for poverty, for homelessness, for abuse, for pain, for suffering in my 18-year-old brain said, it's money.
So I made a declaration of myself, I said, by the time that I'm 21, I want to make a hundred thousand dollars a year legally.
Now, that legal part of super important because as of today, I've got family in prison for life, I've been in handcuffs multiple times and my three childhood best friends have been murdered, like I knew the path I was going down, I knew what my life was going to look like and so I said to myself, alright, go make money. But I knew I had to do that legally and so I landed a job with a fast food joint and at 18 years old I had 52 people under me, I was learning leadership skills and how to read P&LS, how to hire and fire, and how to navigate Corporate America and I can promise you I made every leadership mistake you can think of. But I knew that those skills they had utility in that, those skills that I was learning today, those would help me in my future.
Fast forward a couple years, one day, I'm on MySpace.
So I'm going to age myself a little bit here and I'm talking to one of my homies who grew up in my neighborhood, who grew up right around the corner from me, went to the same high school with me in the same classes as me and he had just gotten a brand-new Tahoe and I was like man, how'd you get that Tahoe? Because I'm over here thinking like yo, he's moving serious weight over here. He tells me something that changed my life forever, he goes, oh man, I'm working for this insurance company. Now that blew my mind, cuz I didn't know that was a thing that you could do. The only thing I knew was Buy Here, Pay Here, unemployment lines, WIC vouchers, 7 and 10 dollars, and twenty-five dollars, health care, right? I didn't know what it was like on the other side. I only saw struggling in pain and I saw him coming up and I said to myself, oh, that's how I get there, that's how I get to that hundred thousand dollars a year.
And so I made a declaration myself, that's the direction.
And so I started learning more skills how to write resumes, how to interview, how to do cover letters and I was relentless about applying for job after job after job in the insurance field and sure enough as I head into 21 years old, I land a job with a Fortune 10 company. No high school diploma and no college education because I got massively clear about what I wanted.
And then that thing happened to me that happens to people when they get money for the first time and it destroyed my life and I found myself over the next few years, partying out of control, drinking, smoking, getting high, hooking up with people, my life was a disaster. And as I was heading into 26th, I was 350 pounds, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking myself to sleep, cheating on my girlfriend, and that's when I put a gun in my mouth, I was done. I was like, I thought this money was supposed to solve these problems, but it doesn't and it didn't.
And the next day, I'm laying in bed.
Keep in mind, I'm 350-pound. 11:00 in the morning, I'm smoking a joint, eating chocolate cake and watching the CrossFit games like if that's not rock bottom I don't know what it is. And so for whatever reason, I stood up and I went and I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. It was the first time I've ever looked at myself and I remember being 8 years old, and the water company they came and they turned our water off, but they were always turning our water off, turning our electricity off, turning off the heat in the winter and this really incredible moment happened as my mother was asking and begging the utility guy, not to turn off the water, she said, I got four kids. And he was just doing his job, so I get it and turned off our water. And I went in the backyard and I grabbed this little blue bucket and I walked across the street to our neighbor's house and for the first time I stole water. And I remember being like when I'm a grown-up, this will not be my life.
Now, it wasn't financially because I was good, but it was in every other way because I was still that hurt lost, little boy. And as I looked in that mirror, I realized for the first time I was breaking the promise I made to myself and when I grew up, this won't be my life. And as I looked in the mirror I ask myself the most important question I've ever asked myself and a question that if you're willing to ask yourself will change your life forever.
What are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have?
And the answer as I looked in that mirror that reverberated through my body, like electricity was “No excuses, Just results.”
What that meant in the moment that I was not going to be the victim anymore, and you have to ask yourself.
Are you going to no longer be the victim?
And as I thought about that, I realized I had to stop putting up with my own bullshit. I just start taking care of myself, I just to start doing the things that I knew I needed to do.
You know, every one of us has that thought that thing that keeps us awake at night. Is pounds on us, you can't sleep, you can't think straight, it's always there in the moments of silence it's always waiting for you to do something about it. And I decided in that moment that thing that kept me awake at night would be the thing that I did every single day and that's called facing fear. And in that moment, I decided to face my fear because I knew if I didn't; if I knew if I didn't then on my deathbed but that last gasp of air that right before it's over, right before it's over, I knew the truth and I was going to die with regret. And dying with regret is a life unlived, and I don't want that. I don't want that for me, for my people, my community, I don't want that for you.
So looking in that mirror and coming to the answer of no excuses, just results I knew I had to step up for myself. I had to stop smoking, stop drinking, stop cheating, stop lying, stop hurting people, start learning, start loving, start growing, start caring and as I stood there, looking at what was next in my life I knew that I had to start doing the things that scared me the most by facing my fear, by stepping into vulnerability, by stepping in a compassion and empathy.
And I went to therapy, I went to men's group therapy and trauma-informed therapy and CBD, and NLP, and EMDR and ABC and all the acronyms, I went to everything, I went to groups. I learned, I started getting educated, I became a learner and what happened in that as I started getting informed and Trauma education and today I have over 30 trauma-informed certifications and certificates. I still do not have a college education or a high school diploma. I started taking care of my body, I started removing the toxic people out of my life.
One of the things that you have to understand is that when you start going through this journey, there are going to be people around you who don't like the you that you're becoming, who want to pull you down, who want you to be the person that you were.
I think Jay-Z says “It best people around me saying that I changed why didn't do all this work to stay the same” and a recognized in that light I had to let go of these people who were holding me back and trying to keep me as the old me because that's not who I wanted to be and if I stayed that me, I wouldn't be here talking to you today. And right now there's somebody in your life that you need to look at and have a real deep conversation with because they are keeping you from being the hero of your own story. And as I got deeper into this work one day I was just sharing my story online.
People started reaching out to me, and they started saying, hey, that thing, you posted, man that changed my life, that thing you posted, that thing you wrote that impacted me, hey, that podcast, you made it saved me today when I was about to take my life.
The thing that you got understand about this guy's I never planned on having this, but I said to myself, what if I gave back? What if when I was at my lowest? What if that when my life suck the most, were shipped with so fucking hard, I could barely stand? What if I went and been of service to other people? What if I showed up for them first? What if I created something of my life that was different than what everybody told me I was going to be?
You know, here's the crazy part about life growing up being this person that's told…
You're not good enough.
You're not strong enough.
You're not capable enough.
Well, you start telling yourself if that shit, and it becomes true. And then what happens is you recognize the truth.
You are in control of everything that's next. You decide the person that you want to be but it all starts with mindset; it all starts with the way that you think.
And what's really fascinating to me, especially in this personal development and I know you guys are in here because your learner's but I don't think people really tell you what mindset means and you can't see it right now, but there's a giant sign in front of me that says mindset is everything.
Mindsets, very simple.
“What you think, becomes what you speak, and what you speak become your actions, and your actions, become your reality.”
And some of you are being so mean to yourself that if you said that shit to me, I'd punch you in the face and you're expecting to be successful. Think about this, you grew up in everybody's telling you, you're not good enough, you're not strong enough, you're not capable enough and as a child here’s the truth about trauma and abuse in the things that happen to us.
When we're young, I don't think traumas necessarily just the scars that we carry, I have the burn marks, I have the cutoff finger, I have the memories, but that's not the hard part. The hard part is recognizing understanding the truth; that traumas, the theft of identity because you see when you're growing up you have to understand and look at your brains purpose. It serves one purpose, your brain only cares about survival. Your brain, only cares about you surviving long enough that you can procreate and watch your pro creations procreate, that's it. It doesn't care about your dreams, doesn't care about your goals, it doesn't give a shit about the color shirt you got on your brain wants you to survive. And your brain is very malleable and plastic and so every single time that you are learning your adapting in your growing, in these circumstances, in your brain is making meaning of your environment to help you be able to decipher or safety in the world.
And so when you're four years old, 8 years old, 12 years old and you're being inundated with violence pain and suffering because of who it is that you are because every time you try to tap into being you, there's a ramification. What happens is your brain learns to stop being you. Because that's survival, because the greatest thing that you could do is not be yourself because every time that you do you suffer and so your brain goes well, why the fuck would I want to be me if every time I get hurt? And it adapts and here's the crazy part about that, that serves you for a period of time, it serves you for safety and it's an autonomic response to the stimulus in your life that keeps you in survival mode. And then your 12, 14, 17 and you’re in safety, but you bend who you are? You placate who you are, for safety, so that the other people around you will protect so that you don't get ostracized from the community, so that you don't get lost in this. And then one day, what happens is your 24, 36, 52, 75 years old and you don't know how to say, yes, and you don't how to say no, because you've never been allowed to be you. And the Michael standing here in front of you talking with you today is a realization of the idea of the person that I thought I could be when I was willing to face the fear of becoming myself. And the only way that you're going to become yourself is by understanding that thing about mindset. You see again what you think becomes what you speak, and what you speak become your actions, and your actions become your reality.
I'm going to teach you right now, the first thing that I teach people when they come into programs with me. Because if you listen to what I'm about to say, and you understand truly, then it will change your life forever. You grab a pen and this thing is mightier than the sword, it is the most powerful tool in your arsenal, nothing is going to bring you more value in your life than you picking up a pen. And you're going to write down what I'm about to tell you. And you're going to repeat this to yourself every single day until you convince yourself that this shit is true.
I am the kind of person who is kind to myself.
I am the kind of person who is kind to myself.
Now, why does that matter?
Because what you think becomes your actions and your actions, become your reality and you operate through the scope of kindness, then in the moments in which you must face of discerning who you are and you have to make decisions about what is next in your life, you will ask yourself, what would a kind person do right now? What a kind person show up for themselves? What a kind person stick to their boundaries? What a kind person say yes or no because they need to?
And as you leverage that your life will change because you will operate through kindness and that will reflect your actions and that will become the world that you live in. And in this world, you were still going to have to face fear. You are still going to have to face the truth, that there's always going to be the next thing and as you're in this, you realize, like there is causation and correlation to all the actions that you take in your life.
Person that you are now, if it is true, which I believe it is, that we are the sum total of all of our experiences leading up to this moment, that means that everything that's ever happened to you and your life and forms who you are. And so, it's not only just the abuse and trauma that informs us, but it's also our environment, it's our neighborhood, our teachers, our peers, our community, our family.
Think about this when you're seven years old, and you're in second grade and you sit down and your coloring the house with the Moon and the Sun, and the clouds, and you decide, I'm going to make the sun purple and Miss Smith comes up to you and she looks at you and she goes, what is wrong with you, the sun's not purple. And in front of the entire classroom, you're embarrassed and that sets a precedent for you never being willing to show up for yourself because your brain has learned in that moment. Ahh, if I'm me there's pain, if I'm me there suffering, if I'm me there's hurt, embarrassment, shame.
Men as you're an adult and you're moving through the scope of kindness in your being you, the thing that you have to remind yourself of in order to make this actually work, is that you are good enough, you are strong enough and you are capable enough. Guess what the truth about this shit about your life, about the person that you want to be, is that there ain't no Disney moment and nobody's coming to save you. If you want something in your life, you're going to have to go and earn every inch, nobody's going to hand it to you. But the greatest thing about that is that as you go through hell to become who it is that you decide that you are. You're going to gain confidence, you're going to grow, you're going to gain skill and ultimately, when you look in the reflection in the mirror, you're going to have this thing called Pride.
I know a lot of you are hearing this right now and you're like, yeah, I get it, I'm falling, I'm tracking, I've been trying to do the work, I've been trying to show up in my life, I'm listening to the podcast, I’m coming to Tom, I'm listening to Michael right now, but my life is still fucking disaster. Yo, I get it. Taken me 12 years to be here with you today since that moment I looked in the mirror, you're going to have to deploy massive patients to go through this process because every single day is a learning opportunity, every single day you're going to discover something new about yourself because you're having a human experience. You've never done this before this moment right now you've never been in it before, this is all brand new and so you're going to make mistakes.
You're going to fuck up, like, that's the truth of it but can you learn from those and not destroy yourself and not beat yourself up over them, but instead, say I learned something today, and then leverage that as you move forward in your life and understanding that those lessons, those become the tools that you leverage you go further into your life because again, the next thing is coming and you're sitting here, I know you're listening, you're like, okay cool, this is making sense, I get it, I get it mindset, action, thinking, trying to create this life, but where do I begin? Where do I begin?
This is the hardest question.
Everybody always ask me…
What step one?
Step one is acknowledgement.
Step one is acknowledgement looking at an understanding the truth of life.
We are not culpable for the bad things that happened to us as kids. It's not our responsibility that the people who were supposed to take care of us, didn't, that's not on you. You've got to let that go. You've got to be willing to put that to the side. You've got to be willing to heal through that. And in that acknowledgement, recognizing that you are not culpable brings you to this moment of today and looking at your life.
Got to ask yourself that question.
What am I willing to do to have the life that I want to have?
And if the answer is anything less than no excuses, just results, you're going to have to get really serious with yourself because from this moment forward your route of excuse, from this moment forward it's on you, from this moment forward you have to understand the truth.
This is your house. You own this. This is your life right here and trauma, abuse, the past, the shit that we carry, it's like trash in your front yard, every time you walk through your front yard, you're going to see that trash and you didn't put it there but it's your responsibility to pick it up.
Now, I wish that wasn't true, I wish I wasn't having this conversation with you, I wish I was doing literally anything else on planet Earth right now, but I'm not, and I'm here with you, why? Because I recognize that my trash that's sitting in my front yard comes from the generations of abuse that has led me to this place in which I had to make a decision. You see what I do is very simple. I have one goal; I have one mission in my life… To end generational trauma in my lifetime through education and information, so another kid never has to have a story like the one I just told you.
Starts with learning, that starts with having the conversation, that starts with the willingness to understand the truth that you are in control.
Now as you get deeper into this, I want you to think about something that's very important. See, people always come to me and they're like, yeah, man, I get it, but I feel so alone. There's fucking 8 billion people on planet Earth y'all, chances are somebody, somewhere has had an experience, like you have had.
I'm going to talk to you about the three C's.
Community Connection and Commitment.
See, nobody great has ever done anything on their own. You can't name them because they don't exist. We are a communal species and by nature, we are built to be together, to grow together, to heal together, to change together. Look at this room right now, we're here together, why? Because we want to be better, why? Because we know if we can be the best versions of ourselves, and we can impact our community, our neighbors, our kids, our family, our partners our church, right?
We know that, when we come together; to be great, the world will bend itself to us instead of us bending ourselves to the world but Community has everything in this and if you feel like you're alone, there's this fucking thing called Google and you can do this really cool thing called searching, and in that what's amazing is that when you are looking, you will find as long as you have clarity about what you want.
Community is everything in unfortunately some of us are in the wrong community. You've got to take measurement of that and ask yourself…
Are these people serving me?
Are they bringing value to my life?
Am I bringing value to them?
Are we an alignment?
And that's where connection comes in. You know, you can be in the wrong Community, even though you have these people in your life that you've known forever.
Today, they may not be the right people, you know, I'll never forget, I was 29 years old and I sat down my three best friends at the time and I told them everything that I just told you about my background and I'd known those guys for 10 years and in five minutes, you guys know more about me than they did. I sat down and I told them, I said, hey, I got to go on this journey, I've got to go figure out what is next in my life and as I went through this journey, I explained it to them. One of the guys picked up his phone to check the score of the game and in that moment, I knew, I'm in the wrong Community, these aren't the people to go where I need to go.
And people serve us four seasons of our lives and ultimately it's going to be you having conversations and getting internal to find out whether or not these other people in your life are holding true to your boundaries, your character, your morals, your values and if they're not you have to make hard decisions because here's what happens, if you're in the wrong Community, you're going to be in the wrong connections and connections are everything because you need that part of people who are willing to bring you up to hold you accountable in a healthy and sustainable way and to watch you prosper because they want to see that because they want to see you succeed and in return you want the same for them and you got to be committed.
So many of us are not committed to our futures, so many of us start, but never finish. And if you're willing to ask yourself, what am I willing to do to have the life that I want to have? If it's anything less than no excuses, then you're going to fail when it comes to the side of commitment. You've got to be willing to show up. You've got to be willing to face that fear because if you don't face the fear of showing up every day and discovering who you are, nothing will be different, nothing will change. And yes, some days are going to be incredibly difficult, we all know this.
We're living in a time right now where every day is harder than the last, but you've got to commit to showing up for you first because if you don't believe in yourself, who will?
You have to think about as you go deeper into this journey about the person that you want to be about having massive clarity. Most people don't know their values. Most people don't know what they stand for, and you've heard the old adage, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. I want you to think about the values that you have in your life about who it is, that you are. I'll give you my values because some people don't know where to start, some people never heard this word before. And when I was 28 years old, I was figuring out something for the first time, I have no idea who I am because I was having a human experience. So I thought what are the words that define me? Who was it that I am? Who is it that I want to be? Who is it that in twelve years, twenty years, thirty-seven years from now I can be, if I'm willing to figure it out and have massive clarity.
And as I sat down, I thought to myself, my values are honesty, kindness leadership, self-actualization and no excuses. And when you can figure out your values and every one of your values should be specific to you because those will become this beautiful filter for the way that you operate through your day to day life. So that every time something comes up that your question with that, you have to decide on in addition, you can sit and look at your values and go, okay, am I operating as the person that I believe that I am? And if you're not, then it's really easy to say no.
And the greatest thing that happens when you're stepping into creating and crafting your identity as someone who has been through the turmoil of hell and you're looking at your life and going, I've never done this before.
The greatest part about this entire experience is that you get to dictate who you are and your identity will become whatever you want it to be, as long as you're willing to go and look in the mirror.
The greatest success that I believe people can have, is that moment when you look in the mirror and you're okay, with the reflection, that means you're going to have to do the work, that means you're going to have to show up, but most importantly, the means you're going to have to ask for help, there's no shame in that. There's no shame in asking for help in raising your hand and saying, I don't get it. There's no shame in I need support because I'm figuring this thing out that is tortured me for the entirety of my life.
What's really beautiful about what's next, is that as you do that again, that thing confidence that grows, your impact grows, your ability to be the hero of your own story.
And as I sit here today, I look at and I reflect on my life about the things that I've done and people always ask me, well, how did you write a book? How do you have a top, 100 podcast? How have you spoken in countries around the world? And it's really simple, guys.
I made a decision about the person that I wanted to be and I committed because I was connected to the right community, right?
Those three C's those come into play but I had massive clarity about the life that I want. And that PEN, this thing we talked about earlier, this is the greatest tool because when you sit down and you define who you are, you have something to move towards and when those moments; those moments that come up because I assure you that they will in which our brain reverts back to survival because it goes, you're not good enough, you're not strong enough, you're not capable enough, you need to remember that has been groomed into you, that has been embedded into, that has been lied into you.
And today as you're going through and you have that moment and that thought pops up you gotta shut that shit the fuck up because if you don't it'll take you over and the way that you shut that up is very simple. Again, you ask yourself that question. What would a kind person do in this moment? And if you are operating through the scope of kindness than anything is possible, my friend.
Going to leave you with this…
Decide who you want to become make that the center of your focus
as from Tom Bilyeu, and that quote impacted my life so much because it holds so true, because when you decide and you focus, you can be the hero of your own story.
And my friends with that…
You can be Unbroken.