Feb. 10, 2023

Think Unbroken

In this episode of the Think Unbroken Podcast, Michael Unbroken takes a personal approach to explore the meaning behind the company and the podcast... See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/think-unbroken/#show-notes

In this episode of the Think Unbroken Podcast, Michael Unbroken takes a personal approach to explore the meaning behind the company and the podcast. After five years of recording with intention, the host shares a story about what Think Unbroken means, and why it's important for listeners to understand the company's mission. With a focus on creating closer connections, the host sheds light on the significance of the question asked at the end of every episode, "What does it mean to you to be unbroken?"

Get ready for a heartfelt and introspective journey as the host reveals his own answer to this question and provides a deeper understanding of the Think Unbroken Podcast.

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Learn how to heal and overcome childhood trauma, narcissistic abuse, ptsd, cptsd, higher ACE scores, anxiety, depression, and mental health issues and illness. Learn tools that therapists, trauma coaches, mindset leaders, neuroscientists, and researchers use to help people heal and recover from mental health problems. Discover real and practical advice and guidance for how to understand and overcome childhood trauma, abuse, and narc abuse mental trauma. Heal your body and mind, stop limiting beliefs, end self-sabotage, and become the HERO of your own story. 

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Hey, what's up my friends! Hope that you are having an amazing day. So today I wanna talk to you about what Think Unbroken means, you know, for heading into five years now, we've been recording this podcast with intention, and for almost six years now, Think Unbroken, has kind of been a thing.

And I was thinking about this a lot, about what I wanted to share with you today and to get to Think Unbroken, I want to share a story and this is a story like I've not shared before and I don't wanna say there's hesitancy in it because I want to be able to create space to bring us closer together but ultimately, you're gonna have to bear with me as I get through this because I thought about this a lot and I realized like there are so many people who have no idea what this company is, what we do, what our mission is, and more so, if you've listened to this podcast for any a significant amount of time, you've probably noticed, like at the end of the episodes, I always ask people, you know, what does it mean to you to be unbroken? And so, I'm gonna answer that here today for myself also, like as we go through this.

When I was a kid, I think the one thing that I always really, truly felt like was that I was supposed to be in a different home like I distinctly remember that being young and I would watch films like Annie or Richie Rich or you know, things like this, and I'd be like, I want something different like I'm supposed to have something different and obviously I didn't get that. And one night, I'm sick like pretty, I was very sick as a kid. One because we lived in a house full of rats and roaches, you could hear them in the walls, they would crawl on us at night like, in fact, one time, like went and crawled in the inside of one of my little brother's ears, we had to take him to the hospital in the middle of the night like it was disgusting. We would literally wrap the blankets around our heads to keep bugs from getting in our ears and our mouth like that is what it was like. And one of the houses, actually a couple of the houses we lived in, couple of the apartments as well. And in one night I was pretty sick as it would come to turn out, I'm actually allergic to shellfish and roaches for whatever reason, fall in that category I'm not a scientist. I don't know. And I'm having these coughing, this coughing fit, and I can't breathe and it's like anaphylactic. And my stepdad comes into the bedroom like pissed off. I mean, this dude was raging over everything all the time like the scariest thing for me as a kid was like, if this guy walks in the door, what is going to happen? And it was always like that when he was around every day. My mama was less so scared of, even though she was super violent, but I mean he was like 6’4, 250, I mean, who knows? He's a big ass guy. And so, this one particular night, he comes in, he's screaming at us, he's yelling at us, he would decide to wake my brothers up for some reason, I have no idea why, and we're just getting berated. And he's like, why are you sniffling? Why are you coughing? You're like broken, what is going on with you? And I'm like, I don't know. I'm sick all the time. Now, obviously looking at the research, if you read any trauma literature today that's tied into how our physical wellbeing, it all points to the same thing like you grow up in a cortisol state in an dangerous, violent environment, you're going to have some health ramifications. And so, I had asthma, asthma had hearing issues as a kid. Even today, I still have massive tinnitus in my ears, sometimes it sounds like a constant kind of thing. And I would get sick, I would be hospitalized a lot, we had a nebulizer, like even at one point I was using an inhaler like three or four times a day I was using medications for migraines, I'd get these crippling migraines that I would lay on the ground blinded this, it was literally torture. If you've ever had a migraine, you know what I'm talking about. If you've never had a migraine, it's like someone has smashed your head in with a freaking bat and you can't see straight, you can't breathe, you can't think, and you're in just tremendous pain, and this would be constant and frequent as a kid. And he would always be like, you're broken, your whole thing is messed up, what is wrong with you? And I would just be like, I don't know, man like what am I supposed to do? I'm fucking eight years old. Like how do I manage this? I have no clue.

And I remember being like as a kid, like why does he keep calling me broken? Like, I don't have any control over this. In school, I would run into the same thing. I was actually just having a conversation with this about someone. I had a math teacher in high school, I won't say her name, but I hope she's listening to this, I really do, I mean, what I'm about to say. When I was in school with her, she would call me lazy all the time. My brain, even to this day, does not comprehend math like it just doesn't, it never has. I don't know why, like whatever that thing is that people get that make them really good at math. I don't have, my strong suit was always English and language and writing and stuff like that, and creative writing especially. And so, it would be in this math class and like in the moment she would be teaching me math and I would get it right in real time, like I would understand it and then she would walk away and she'd be like, tell me what I just taught you. And I would have no clue what just happened like, I don't know if there's like a dyslexia for math, but that's what it was. I was always like, this is really strange to me that we're here we are, we're sitting in this room on when she's next to me and I'm an afterschool tour, and I get it for eight seconds, she walks away, tells me to explain it. I no longer understand what in the world is happening, and that even has held true to today. In fact, one of the reasons my GPA was so low in high school, not only because I didn't go, but I was taking pre-algebra as a senior and I remember just being like, I don't get it. And I had a teacher who just passed me. So, I got lucky in that aspect, even though maybe we needed more tutoring who knows? But one day I overhear her just mumbling like under her breath as she walks away from me, she goes, this kid's broken like this is ridiculous. I will never forget that. I hope you're listening ‘cuz I will never forget that you said that. And it didn't drive me to be like, oh, I'm gonna go and like work on math, it was just like, whatever, who cares? I hate school anyway. Well, fast forward a bit more, get into my teens and my twenties, dating, relationships, interpersonal relationships, friendships, all of these things like, because I literally, I mean, what I'm about to say, I did not know how to be a human being, like I did not know how to function as a person because I was only ever like trying to be something either I wasn't or what I expected or thought other people thought and expected that I should be, and that carries a, a heavy burden and toll. And so, I put myself in this position of always just being what everyone wanted me to be. I get in this conversation one night with a woman that I'm dating, it gets heated, she calls me broken, I'm lying-in bed that night, this is now almost seven years ago, and I was like, you know what? That's not me, that's not who I am. I'm not broken, right? And it was like a lightning bulb moment. I've shared this before, but it was, it was like something hit me in that moment, ‘cuz I'd been in this healing journey for a couple years. I was creating some changes in my life and I just thought to myself, oh, okay, I got it now. I'm not broken, this is not who I am, this is not how I think and that's where it began.

And today it's what's interesting about it is like as I map conversations with people I coach, whether it's in our group coaching or one-on-one coaching, or just people I meet at events and conferences, having conversations, speaking on stage, every person I talk to comes up to me and they say, at some point in my life, I've been called broken, and thank you for allowing me the space to not believe that anymore, and that's ultimately what all of this is.

Now from a coaching perspective, from a mental health perspective, from a conversational perspective in the podcast, I'm always trying to lean in and find that one little gym that I believe will help somebody that I believe will transform someone's life. I'm always seeking that in these conversations in the hope that it will appear, that it will show itself, that it will give someone the thing that they need today. And the reason why I asked that question at the end of the show, what does it mean to you to be unbroken? Is because I want to understand that from people like because I'm even understanding it, right? Every single day, hundreds and hundreds of interviews later, like, I'm still learning what that means, right? And when I ask that question, what's so powerful is, I will say this, a lot of times we get a similar answer, but on those occasions where someone just drops a bomb that gives me goosebumps, I'm like, that is why I do this show. Give me something that no one else can give me. Let's talk about things in a way that no one else can talk like let's create context that no one else can create. And the deeper that I get into this, the more I realize like there's a million different answers to what being unbroken means, but for me it's about this transformation.

I think about where I'm at today like I'm very fortunate in a lot of ways. There's circumstances that realistically, I mean, I have no idea how I made it out of, like, it's hard to comprehend sometimes. And it's this reminder that whatever the thing is I'm supposed to be doing is this because there's been a path laid in front of me that I've had to choose not to ignore and step into despite fear, right? Because I mean, I will never sit here and be like, I'm not scared about doing this, there's heavy weight on it in terms of my own expectations of what I want to do and create in this life and in this world. Every year, about twice a year, I go through and I map out my life top to bottom, and that process takes hours and hours, and it's like I block off a chunk of my day, I just did this three weeks ago and it took me about four hours. And I just sat and I created, I said, these are the things that I believe in my vision I can have. And one of those things in that vision is to be steadfast in my mission of helping people heal trauma, but also in my mission of healing my own trauma.

You know, and I've said this many, many times there ain't a day that's coming ever in which this journey stops, it's like when you sign this dotted line, you are in this, and I'm in it too and trust me, I have my days. You know, I have those moments where I'm like, what is the point of this? Why bother? Why show up? Why put in all the effort, the energy, the time, the money? And I just sit in and I go, because I know with massive certainty that someone who's listening to this will have a different outcome in their life. I believe that in my soul. I know because every day, and I love it, and I thank all of you who do this every day I get messages, emails, DM’s, texts, where you're like, thank you for doing this. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for giving me the permission to be unbroken, and it's not lost on me how powerful that is, because I need it too.

You know, I get that from my mentors, my coaches, the people who support me in my life and in my journey. And as I get deeper, again, another layer, the thing that I realize, like at the crux of all this is I created Think Unbroken as my own need to change something like as a kid, I was like, I hate this environment. And I truly mean it. And I know a lot of you hated your environments as well, we have that in common, and it sucks. I mean, I'll call it what it is, it's definitely not fair. And I was trapped for a long time in that, I was trapped in the victimhood of it all and the victimhood of it was I'm not good enough, I don't matter of course, I come from this environment because if my parents loved me, then maybe they would actually have tried and that kept me stuck in relationships, in friendships. I mean, I've shared before even my own brother told me, never talked to me again. It kept me from being able to understand love, something I'm still navigating, still trying to wrap my head around in its entirety, and it kept me stuck, limiting beliefs around everything, around money, around health, wealth, all of the things. And it pushed me in this place where, and I thank God, like, I mean this, if not for social media, I don't think I'd be here with you. And what I mean by that is there have been people I have learned from that I have never met, there have been people who have changed my life that I've never shook their hands. And then the opposite, there's people who I have met and I've spent time with and I've had dinners with, and I've traveled the country with and I've spoke on stages with, and those things have come. And one of the things that I think about constantly is setting myself up for success in the life that I want to have based on knowing, understanding, and reflecting on the truth that I fully and entirely believe we have the ability, I believe this, I want you to take note of this like if you take anything from today, I want you to take this. We have the ability to have the life that we want to have, there's no question in my mind, zero, that we have that ability. It is deeply ingrained in us, but in order to get there, you have to go on this hero's journey. You have to accept responsibility for your life, that's what I had to do, that's what I'm still doing. I mean like, even though I’m almost 13 years into this journey, like I still have made massive mistakes. I've ruined relationships. I've destroyed business partnerships. I have messed up friendships. I have put myself in debt again. I have done all those things right? And it's been a part of the healing journey, I've also rectified those things. I've pulled myself out. I've had better healthier relationships, better healthy business partnerships, I've worked on getting myself out of debt, and now I don't have to worry about that anymore. Right? And there's so many different facets to it that were just kind of like, can I take a deeper level of accountability in my life for all the things that I'm doing? Because there were times like even it's so subconscious like I wish I could explain to you the level of brainwashing that we have that tells us from a subconscious like you are probably not even coherent of some of the actions that you're taking, but when you're doing them, if you can reflect back on them, you can connect the dots and see why you've done the thing that you've done. Right. I'll give you a great example.

A few years ago, I guess this would been about four years ago now, I got myself into a program that I probably shouldn't have been in, and I thought my instinct on it because I was like, oh, these people see me, they can probably help me. And one of the worst business decisions I probably have ever made in my whole life was paying this company multiple five figures and being like, they're gonna help me go to the next level and my gut told me, don't do it and I fought myself. And that is a lesson that I've learned like ‘cuz that turned out to be a freaking disaster. And the older that I get and it's a weird thing to say ‘cuz people when they get older, they always say that, and I'll look back on this in 30 years, I'll be like, man, when I was in my thirties, I was really dumb. You know, I think that's just the nature of it, but the older that I get, the more I realize like, like true healing this real sense of unbrokenness comes in, following and trusting your gut, that's it. Like that to me is the crux of it, because I spent so many years not trusting myself, not believing in myself, not having confidence, not holding on to this notion that my truth was valid, and instead letting other people interject their truth into me and choosing at times to believe it as fact, which in reality it's just not, ‘cuz only our individual truth ever creates fact in our life. And going further down this path of self-discovery led me to this place where I had to take a lot of acknowledgements of the choices and the decisions that I was making and that I make today like even today, like speaking on stages in the podcast, in the books and blah, blah, blah. There are still these little intricacies and nuances of behavioral patterns that are still ingrained in me, like it's wild sometimes the way that just in a moment, I'll have a thought about something. And I have to challenge it immediately, I go, that cannot possibly be true like there is no planet in which that thought I just had is rational, and yet it shows up.

The other day, I shared something on social media, I'm gonna find it real quick and I'm gonna share it with you. It was just this little poem that I had written because I wanted to share kind of my thoughts that I had after speaking in Nashville. And I had a lot of people reach out to me after I posted this, and they're just like, dude, thank you for sharing this. And if you didn't see it, I'll read it to you here real quick because I realize like, even though these thoughts that we have may not always serve us. And a lot of times you have to throw them away, sometimes the thoughts are valid, and that's the nature of it like there's some truth in there. Sometimes the thoughts are okay, that's the nature of it. We don't always have to battle everything all the time, but we do have to decide what we're going to carry with us and what we're going to put away. I have found and discovered, especially in the last six months, like I've put a lot of thoughts away around worthiness, around love, around money, around friendships, around business, and I've made a choice in a decision in my life to really take assessment of everything all the time, every single day, and hold myself and those around me, which I think is really important and probably not talked about, to hold all of us together as a collective to a higher standard. And I'm not afraid of the ramifications of that because I know that a byproduct of a higher standard is the likelihood that people will leave my life, even people who I've grown with over the last couple of years, because I look at it, I go, for me, I want a higher standard and I want that of the people around me so that we can rise each other up. And that's a journey that I'm in the midst of taking now because I look at my life and it's like, am I actually really showing up? And that's what like being unbroken is about like are you really showing up? Are you really truly showing up or are you showing up in the way that they told you, you should be? Right. It's a really interesting question.

So, I'm gonna read this, just a part of it because this is the part people reached out to me about, said;

“It's okay to have intrusive thoughts.

It's okay to want more.

It's okay to have suicidal thoughts.

It's okay to be loved.

It's okay to be happy.

It's okay to let go.

It's okay to push yourself.

It's okay to cry.”

And that for me is like truth. You can have all of the emotions you're allowed to. You can push yourself and you can also take care of yourself. You can climb Mount Everest and you can also lay on the beach and do nothing. You can go to therapy and you can also just sit and journal, like you can do everything that you want to do. You can do everything that you need to do. You can do everything that you've been allotted from the universe that you choose to bring into your life, you're allowed to do it. Like that is what is so beautiful about this human journey. And I realize like some people will not agree with that, right? I even have to catch myself with mentors and people in my life of being like, okay, I'm not them, they're another level like they figured something out, like either a – I'm never going to figure out, cause it's not on my DNA, or b – it's just not how I'm built. And I've realized we have to stop trying to be anything other than us and to live in full authenticity at all times, and that's what being unbroken is. It's really truly this accumulation of all of these experiences and all of these events of our life coming together and simultaneously freeing ourselves of the indoctrination of the past. And that creates freedom. And on the other side of it, giving ourselves permission to be exactly who it is that we are today in this moment, and whether that's happy or sad or angry or loving or whatever it is to allow it to exist, and not fight it, and just to show up and live in it without fear.

And so, all these people for all these years would call me broken. I must have heard it a thousand times. And I thought for a long time, this is true, that's why I'm obese, that's why I smoke these cigarettes, that's why I cheated on my girlfriend, that's why I'm 50 grand in debt, that's why my car's been repoed, that's why my friends don't like me anymore, that's why, that's why, that's why. And then I realized the truth. Those things aren't true. I'm not broken. Am I in these situations? Yep. How did I get there? 99.9% of it was my fault, my choices, my decision. How do I get out of this? Well, you gotta go on a healing journey. Get a coach, get a therapist, go down the path, learn, grow, heal, become unbroken, and that's what I think about every day.

My hope is very simple like, can I give something, anything in here, in all of this content that changes your life and allows you to step into what's next, and ultimately that's where it lives but like anything, the decision is yours. And sometimes actually quite frequently, especially in the beginning, it may feel like making these kinds of decisions is not in your best interest because you like the comfort zone, it feels safe there. But if your life is not everything that you want it to be, you're going to have to make some choices that are different. And ultimately, that's what I believe to be the cornerstone of change, of growth, of healing, of all the things that are next for you.

And so, with that said, my friend, thank you so much for listening.

Do me a favor. Go on Apple Podcast. Leave a review. Just think look up Think Unbroken Podcast. Hit follow at the top, go down, leave a review, screenshot that review, and then go and upload it to book.thinkunbroken.com and it will send you a free paperback copy of Think Unbroken in anywhere in the United States, $0. I'll take care of the shipping too. I've got like 150 something copies that I'm just going to send to anyone who leaves a review.

So, if you'll do that, it'll mean the world to me.

Take care of yourself, my friend.

Go step into your greatness. You decide. Ask yourself this question.

What does it mean to you to be unbroken?

And Until Next Time.

My Friend, Be Unbroken.

I'll See Ya.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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