Sept. 22, 2022

The Truth About Gratitude | Trauma Healing Podcast

In this episode, I want to talk about this scope of understanding where you're at with what you have,...
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What Are You Grateful For? 

In this episode, I want to talk about this scope of understanding where you're at with what you have, and having gratitude is about many different things.

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What is up my friends. I hope that you are well tonight, just wanted to pop on and say hello and talk about a couple of different things, but predominantly the thing that I wanted to talk about the most is just looking at life through this scope of understanding where you're at with what you have.

You know, one of the things that I'm incredibly grateful for the longer that I have Think Unbroken, the longer that I coach, the longer that we have the podcast and the more people that are impacted by it is just this massive sense of gratitude. And having that gratitude is about a lot of different things. Part of it is interesting because it's about self-actualization for me.

You know, if you are looking at your life and you feel stuck, you feel broken, you feel lost, you feel like you just cannot figure out which way to go or what to do. You know, one of the things I try to teach my clients immediately is like, let's look for the positives in life. And look, I'll be honest with you, like, I am a realist, like through and through to my core, to my bones, I am a realist top to bottom. I wouldn't even necessarily put myself in the category of being an optimist. I might even be a little nihilistic just to be honest with you. But the more that I think about what it means to have gratitude, the more that I'm able to sit in the presence. You know, it's easy to get lost, especially when we suffer, especially when we have pain, especially when we come through abuse, when we come from trauma, when we come from a world telling us that we're not good enough, we're not strong enough, we're not capable enough, we don't matter, we're not important, we start letting that narrative dictate our life. Right. Think about this, how many times have you found yourself living into the expectations of other people? You know, I found myself there many times over the course of my life, where suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and I'm like, I'd have no idea who the reflection on the other side is. And when you can sit in gratitude, the thing that happens is it brings you to the present. And look, I'm not saying that you're not having a hard day, cuz look, sometimes you have a hard day, but one of the things that happens far too often is people with those hard days, turn into hard weeks into hard months, into hard years into a hard life. And I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound very appeasing, doesn't sound very appetizing, I guess I should say not appeasing. And how do you find the positive sif you can't remember cuz you were stuck in survival mode. I mean, that is the question, right? I mean, that's ultimately the singular reason why we put together Unbroken Con, why we're doing this conference, this November, why we're going to attempt to have the biggest trauma transformation conference in the history of the world like our goal is 50,000 people.

You know, you have to find the positive because you have to, and this is gonna sound weird until you start to do it. You have to literally force yourself into gratitude sometimes, you have to force yourself into looking for the positive sometimes because we're innately I mean, look from a programming standpoint, it's very easy to go and find the negative, right? We go and when we find the negative, because it's right there, it's so much easier to hold onto, especially, I mean, like look at society today. Look at the culture we live in, look at the media, look at social media; social media's a lie. Like I'm telling you guys this, like can't stress this enough, even as someone who is on this every single day and trying to bring value to the world, like I do not get caught up in the scrolling and the reading and the commenting and the liking, like, and I know like a lot of times I don't even reply to the comments you guys make and it's not because I don't want to, it's just, cuz I know if I get caught up in this world, what happens and the thing that starts to occur when you look at it is. You know, the false positivity of the world is just as dangerous as the negativity of the world. And there's a lot of people who will leverage false positivity and be like, oh, life is great. Life is grand. Everything's perfect. There's no problems. That's dangerous. Like that is super dangerous because you're not being realistic because I'm gonna tell you right now, there are problems in the world, there are moments of suffering, there is pain and that doesn't mean that there cannot be joy and happiness and love and compassion and hope in that same exact space, it's a dichotomy, right? That's the way that this works. You can have both, you cannot have light without dark. You can have not have ying without yang. You cannot have sun without moon like that is the way that the universe in the world works. But you have to ask yourself, what are your belief? What are you attaching yourself to? What is the thing that you're looking at and calling your attention to on a day in and day out basis? Because so many people, what they do is they go, oh, I got stuck in traffic today. And it pisses them off to the point that it controls their entire day. They think about this, we've all been guilty of this, right? You're like, oh man, I hate this damn traffic, right? We've all been there. Like I hate this is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. And it's like, well, ask yourself this. When you're 85 and you look back at this moment, do you think that traffic would've been that important that it controls your entire day? When you're 85 and you look back at this moment, will that conversation with a stranger on the street that rubbed you the wrong way? Will that be the thing that you wanna hold onto?

And gratitude can be difficult, guys. I get it. I mean, I was homeless as a kid. I was abused. My mother cut my finger off. I stole food to survive. My three childhood best friends have been murdered. Like I get it. I always want to be very clear about this. I don't always retell these stories so I can be like, woe is me. I've done my work. I've done my healing. I didn't become the number one trauma coach in the world because I'm sitting here like dumping my shit. It's because I want you to understand that unequivocally, I am one of you. I am in this journey with you and I understand how difficult it can be. I know how hard it is. I know how much it sucks on these days where you're like, fuck man, can I just get a break? Like I get it. They have to ask yourself and really, you truly have to look at it and you have to go, what am I grateful for today? Am I grateful that just that I can breathe, that I can be here, that I still get an opportunity that I still have another chance. Am I grateful that I have friends and family in a community. Am I grateful that I have a job. Am I grateful that I can even watch this or listen to this right now.

Gratitude, doesn't always have to be this big grandiose thing.

Every single morning when I get into my journal, which actually it's over there in the backpack song and grab it. But every day when I get in my journal, I write down three things that I'm grateful for and its simple stuff. And it's look and eventually, like you're gonna run out of things to be grateful for. You can only be like, I'm grateful for a hot coffee so many times. Right. But you can be grateful for being in this moment and recognizing one of the empirical truths about life. Like this is it. This is happening. There is an infinitesimally, small percentage of a chance of a likelihood that you would even be here right now. And I know that maybe getting to this point in this moment sucked and it wasn't fun and there was pain and there was suffering and there was hurt. But there's also some in there; there has to be just because of the way that the world works, just because of the way the universe works because of ying and yang and the balance to the universe. There has to be positivity in there somewhere as well, there has to be gratitude in there somewhere as well. And that's just for the little things.

And you know, one of the things that I think that's really important is that we have to get out of our own space. You know, when I go back and I rewind my life when I was about 29, 30 years old, I spent a tremendous amount of time by myself. A lot of that was about introspection, a lot of it was about looking at and assessing all of the pain, the suffering, the trauma, and the abuse that I'd been through. A lot of it was having the space to really understand what was happening in therapy and group therapy and coaching and finding a space in being alone to understand myself better, not getting consumed with all the activities of the world that can call my attention. And in that that's really the space where I discovered gratitude because I found myself being thankful for the tears. I found myself being thankful for the anger. I found myself being thankful for those moments when I would sit in my therapist's office and be like, dude, I do not want to be here right now. I hate this. Right. And the gratitude and the thankfulness for that came because I knew that even though it hurt and even though it sucked, and even though I did not want to be there, it was moving me towards my goal. And ultimately my goal was very simple, it was. Can I be okay with the reflection in the mirror? And that was it, and gratitude played a big role in that because what happened was the more that I could just be okay with me, the more thankful I became for me.

We're embedded, we're ingrained, we're groomed into believing that we're not enough into believing that we don't matter, into believing that all the abuse and the things that we suffered were deserved. But I'm gonna tell you right now, they weren't, and you're not culpable for those things. And you know, it breaks my heart that you had to experience those things, but you're at this precipice right now where you have to make a decision about what's next, where you get decide, when you get, say, you know, Tony Robbins taught me this. So, I was in this private coaching with Tony and we're having this conversation and he said this before, but for whatever reason, this particular day, probably just because of the context of the conversation, it really struck me, he goes, life is happening for you, it is not happening to you. And it just made me think like, yeah, I get that Tony like life is happening for me, but man, a lot of this for me, stuff is fucking sucked and he laughed and he goes, yeah, it does, but you're doing something with it. And that's the thing that I think about, like, there is this small fraction of dare I say, GRATITUDE for the experiences of my past, because of those it's allowed me to be where I am today, to coach thousands of people, to have Think Unbroken Podcasts, that is one of the biggest shows in the world, to be able to write bestselling books. But most importantly, all that stuff aside like seriously, I mean this thoroughly, if I quit thing, if I closed this down tomorrow, I would be good because you know why? Because I get, go look in that mirror and I get love myself every single day. And I don't look for the outside world to give me that because it starts with the internal gratitude that I have for my willingness to show up in my life every day. And that's the thing, you know, people ask me like, how do you write books and have a podcast that airs every single day and, you know, be traveling the world all the time and speaking on these stages and coaching all these people and watching life transform. Guys, it's cuz I started with myself first and that's the thing that you have to do.

We're so afraid to invest in ourselves because of worth, because of shame because of guilt, we don't think that we deserve it. And this'll really blow your mind. When I was 26, I looked down at my feet and I realized that my shoes cost more money than I invested in my personal development in the entirety of my life, and if that don't fuck you up, like, I don't know what will, right? So many of us we're scared of $49 or a hundred dollars or $300 or $3,000, even whatever that number is. And there is, you will never lose money when you bet on yourself, you will never lose when you choose you. You will never falter when you look in the mirror and you say, I do this for me. And it starts with a little bit of gratitude. It starts with a little bit of self-love and just going, I deserve this. Like you deserve to have a transformed life. You deserve to leave trauma in the past. You deserve to look in the mirror to love yourself, to be free of the things that you've suffered and to be unbroken.

Like this idea about Think Unbroken this isn't just conceptual, this is real. You know, there have been thousands of people who've gone through these programs that we've created and their lives are completely different because they decided to bet on themselves. Then when I ask them why they go, because I believe that at this point, unless I do something nothing's going to change. And it's true. And a lot of these folks who I coach when they start this program, when they come through, Think Unbroken, whether it's reading the book or a conference or coaching app or anything, you know, we all start at the same place.

And so, I'm always really serious about reminding you guys like I am your peer like, that's it. I'm not better than you. I fuck up every day. I am learning all the time. You'll notice if you're watching right now, I'm in a hotel room in another hotel room at another conference, learning again, absorbing and growing and having mentors and having coaches and investing in myself. Why? Because I know when I do this, I get to deliver to you guys better. And so, I'm grateful that I get the opportunity to do this. This is the very thing that drives me every single day. When my friends are like, dude, you work 90 hours a week. And I'm like, I know because I'm trying to end generational trauma. I'm trying to be that change in the world that I want to see and I'm grateful that I get the opportunity to work those 90 hours a week.

And so, my hope is that you will come and join us at Unbroken Con. If you go to this November, we just put up some of the speakers on the website today, literally this afternoon, and they're powerhouse people. Leslie Logan, Jamie Brownstein, Anthony Trucks. We're doing a never before release interview with Gabor Maté, my man, Dan who's a powerhouse rockstar, Gloria Zhang, more people that I cannot announce yet that I will this week, they're not on the site yet, so I don't wanna tell you about 'em. And I got so much gratitude for them, they trust and believe in me and Think Unbroken and our mission and most importantly, they trust and believe in you. And so, they're gonna come and deliver, they're gonna show up, they're gonna play all out to help you.

And so, I hope that we see you there. I said my friends before we go, I want you to just take five minutes after this and grab a piece of paper and just write down something that you're grateful for. And if you do that every single day, I promise you you'll watch your life be different. It's really, really, really easy to hold onto the bad things. And if I gave you a piece of paper and I said, write down a hundred bad things, you'd be able to do within a blink of an eye, but I just want you to write down one thing that you're grateful for. And carry that into your day into your week and bring that into everything that you do going forward.

And my friends sign up, join us at

Watching live during the trauma transformation

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Michael Unbroken


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