Nov. 17, 2022

Unlock Your Full Potential with Powerful Techniques and Strategies for Mental and Trauma Healing

Join us as we delve into the world of mental and trauma healing. In this episode, we will be discussing powerful techniques and strategies to help you transform your life. Whether you're dealing with past traumas or trying to overcome current challenges, we've got you...
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Join us as we delve into the world of mental and trauma healing. In this episode, we will be discussing powerful techniques and strategies to help you transform your life. Whether you're dealing with past traumas or trying to overcome current challenges, we've got you covered. Our expert guests, Dan Stillman, Austin Josie, Stefan Stefansson, and Lee Hopkins will share their personal stories and professional insights to help you break through your limiting beliefs and unlock your full potential. Tune in now and start your journey to a more fulfilling and empowered life on the Think Unbroken Podcast.

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Dan Stillman - How To Become The Best Version of Yourself

Michael: Do you think that is a tool that can help people navigate that space of feeling like massively unhappy and disconnected?

Dan: There's probably a bunch of different components, but it's definitely a tool. I know it's for me, like, listen, I'm a survivor, just like you, Michael of trauma. Right? I have days where I have, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I don't feel well and something could trigger, something that has affected, something from a trauma thing ‘cuz that neuro pathway is that is still there. Right? But real time, resilience skills is a tool and it could definitely help if you have as many tools as you possibly can in your tool chest to help keep you sane and not spiral down the rabbit hole. Like I like to use the term staying north of neutral. Right. When you look at a pie chart and you look at a wheel of life and each piece of pie is a part of your life, such as relationships, career, whatever it is, spirituality. And for some reason at your job, something bad happens and you go from a seven down to a three. What do you do? You gotta dig into your tools, and one of those tools is real time resilience skills, to question the thoughts that you're having, cuz you may be thinking, oh, my boss is an asshole. Right. He just might be but he just did this to me but then instead you gotta think, well, maybe this person's having a bad day. Like, why did this happen? X, Y, and Z, like get fact based dead data evidence for evidence against it's like you're taking your brain to court. Right. And you have to use like real time resilience skills to say, Hmm, what's really happening here, you know?

Michael: Yeah. I love that, Dan. So, I say this to myself all the time I do not trust my brain. Like, when you understand neuroscience, when you understand the impact of trauma and being in a cortisol state and what it's like to grow up in that, and then to like navigate dissociation and then recognize behavioral patterns, and then you get into these things that are triggers on emotional scars, it's like, your brain is not trustworthy until, and this was my experience until I understood the research and the science and the practical functions of the brain because I realized something really important and I'm gonna lead somewhere and I wanna know your thoughts on this. For a long time, I felt like every time I listen to my brain, I get in trouble. Right. But every time I listen to my gut I'm right. And I was thinking I was coaching one of my clients recently I said, how many times have you had this moment where you meet someone or you do something or you're in an interaction you're like that doesn't feel right. And then a month, six weeks, five days later, it doesn't matter, you go damnit, I should have trusted my gut. Am I on the right path there?

Dan: Oh yeah. You have an intuitive thinking system, which is your gut feeling. And you know, when you're making like some serious, there's a difference between making a short-term decision when you're going to the store and you gotta purchase something off the shelf, compare with like a decision that's really a hardcore decision that you have to make that may impact your life, it's always the good, if you could sit on it and really kind of think about the decision and not rush into the decision, right. Sometimes those things come quickly, it's your gut feeling like for instance, just as an example, you've probably, had this experience. You look at the weather report they say, it's gonna rain. You look in the mirror, you're talking to yourself, brushing your teeth say, you know, I should take my umbrella today. Right. And that's your gut telling you. And then your other voice comes into your head, which is metacognition ‘cuz you're talking to yourself, says, nah, you don't need the umbrella, that's your ego. What happens? You go outside. You don't put in the umbrella. And you get ringed on you're like I should have brought the umbrella. Right. So, it's so true, it's like, you know, it depends on what kind of decision you're making, but I always try to listen to that first voice. Whenever I question myself from when I say, nah, I'm like, whoa, whoa, whoa, what's that nah? That's when I gotta say practice the pause, Dan, practice, the pause, you know.

Michael: Yeah. That's so great. I want to go back a little bit. When you're in this pivot to start stepping into the path that you're on now, I'd love for you to kind of paint a little bit more of a picture that has led you down this pathway, because obviously you do a lot of really beautiful things around psychology and mindset, but particularly I wanna talk about positive psychology. And so, I'm curious, like what led you down this path and how has it impacted your life?

Dan: Yeah. So, you know, listen, the journey of learning didn't stop when, you know, I explained the story when I was 22, till I was 26, you know, I did wind up getting a divorce and I have two kids and I had to learn from that experience and then I got in another 10-year relationship, which really helped me become a man because this person taught me how to not be a people pleaser again, you know. I'll remind your audience that I didn't have that father figure, right? Like there is no playbook that's given to a man, you know, when he is born, we were taught how to open up doors, how to do certain things but we're not taught how to express our feelings. So, I still had to learn how to become my true, authentic self, how to be more vulnerable, not be a people pleaser, like how to interact with people, especially with someone from the opposite sex. And in that 10-year relationship, I learned how to be vulnerable and accept a strong woman into my life, how and be able to ask for help. I learned how to express my needs and wants. I learned a bunch of things in that relationship. And one of the things that I could take away from, you know, that relationship is I got into yoga and meditation, which was like almost the last piece that I needed to learn and it I'm going into, you know, what the question that you asked me, because you know, and that relationship had ended, like people, I believe that people come in and out of your life for reasons, I believe things happen for a reason. And you know, when I was 48 years old, I was at a job for 11 years and I got laid off from that job, and I thought to myself, wow, I'm looking back at my life and all the things that we discussed in the story that I shared and I said, there's meaning to this. There's something that I should be doing, right, what is my true purpose? Now, I've been very successful in it, but I'm like, there's something I have a gift, what is my gift? And that's when I came up with the word, YoMenga; YoMenga came into my mind, I was sitting on the couch meditating and the word YoMenga, which is the word men in between the word yoga. And that's where this journey started, basically how I got into positive psychology, integrative medicine, and all these things, because I created started to create this business YoMenga. Besides what I have holistic WellCare advisors, and then I have so, I have three things that I'm working on. And I decided, I said, you know, I need to create a course because ll these things that I learned that have helped me if I would've known them between the ages of 21 and 29, and I'm talking about positive psychology principles, such as growth mindset, real time resilience skills, self-regulation, mind traps, how to become your own CBT therapist, how to understand that your neuroplasticity, how your brain works, your limbic system, prefrontal cortex, all these wonderful things that positive psychology teaches you, I said, I need to like create something that I could help people between the ages of 20 and 29, which are those people are called vicenarian, if you didn't know that. I said, because if I create this course, these people are gonna have a better head start than I did because, you know, I think when you turn 30, I think that's when those are your most important decision-making years. I think that's when you're deciding, do I wanna get married? Do I wanna have children? Where do I wanna live? What career do I really wanna get into? And I think if I would've had some of these skills back then I probably would've made much different decisions. So, that was really the main and also while that was, you know, the get real deal and heal course that I created, that was part of YoMenga but since that time, since 2018, when COVID hit, I had to pivot and YoMenga kind of gone in a different direction. And now, you know, this holistic WellCare advisors is what I do also as well, has kind of gone in a different direction, but they all kind of tied back to each other. The thing that, you know, with the YoMenga thing, I just felt that, you know, back in 2018, when things were coming out, like Matt Lauer and a bunch of other people were getting in trouble for a lot of the things that they were doing. I said, you know, I didn't like the word toxic masculinity, I don't mind the word masculinity, but I'm kind of offended by the word toxic because I don't consider myself a toxic person. What I consider myself as an uneducated man. So, when I refer to anything that has to do with teaching men, how to become more spiritual, emotional, physically better for themselves, it's I like to call it uneducated masculinity, so that's kind of how that started as well.


Austin Josie - How To Use Your Mindset To Build Confidence

Michael: Lay out the path to the shift, because I wanna know, even personally, I wanna know, like what started to transpire, where this shift started to actually solidify, because I think a lot of people, they'll read the books, they'll do the podcast, they'll even get a coach, but the shift won't actually take place, it's just kind of like top of mind. Was it through execution? Was it through proving yourself, right? Was it through like, what was really happening in your day to day that was building your confidence and the shift in the mindset?

Austin: Yeah, for me, it was the execution. I feel like good chunk of people and I've been able to talk with quite a few people on kind of a more coach role now. And people will invest in the books, they'll invest in the podcast, they'll invest in courses and different mentors. But the part where hesitancy and in action takes place is when it's actually time to take that next step and execute. I think execution even done like imperfectly, it's gonna teach you so much more about the process and about yourself then any perfect action or inaction is ever going to do because for me, there's this really good quote, it's by a guy named Eddie Pinero. And he says I was willing to make failure an old friend and walked hand in hand side by side with them. And that's really when I realized even when I failed or even when things didn't go right that I could come back from it, but also learn from it and make it better the second time around. I think that was when I truly started realizing there's no hole that I can't get out of, there's no obstacle that's in my way that either through my network or me personally, I don't have the skills to overcome or I can acquire those skills to overcome.

And so, for me, like, before when I was working like as an accountant, like I went to school, did like all of that. And I didn't pick up like a book or like really listen to podcasts besides like comedy podcasts or like, you know, just casual, like entertaining podcasts. And then when I made that decision in May to really invest in myself, I was like, okay, well, you know, he recommended a few different books, I started reading and just being able to act on those incongruences with like my journey that I was reading in these books and then acting on 'em, made all the difference.

Michael: And action is the cure. You know, and I think about that every single day, it's you look at what it really requires is, and I think everybody, at some extent kind of gets caught up in the learning phase of life where you're just consuming, consuming, consuming, but ultimately it is action, it's the willingness to take all of these lessons, all this information that you've learned and you've garnered and be able to effectively deploy it in real time scenarios. And then I think what happens, and this is my experience, because I've been an entrepreneur for a very long time, but in the beginning, there was a fear, right? And even this subconscious fear, if I go back, gosh, almost 15 years now, thinking about even the way that I was pricing myself in the world, it was like, I'm scared to ask for what I know I'm worth. And I think that's one of the really difficult hurdles that people have to overcome and that's realizing that for a long time and really for the majority of whether it's in school or it's in real life and you're in career, the world kind of tells you, Hey, you're $46,000 a year, you're worth $80,000 a year and then you go, well, how do these guys over here make $80 million a year? And it's such about a shift and a willingness to learn and understand your value in the world. When I think about this and I just got caught up because I was thinking to myself, okay, you and your wife are making the same amount of money, which is very common, right? You're putting yourself in this position to go and build something on your own, you have a child on the way, you have a mortgage so you're probably needing to make at least, you know, $7,000 a month. Right? Whatever that number is. How in the world do you shift your mindset around money, around driving revenue and around your worth when all you've experienced is this pocket over here?

Austin: Yeah. I mean, you're exactly right like we were making the same amount of money and we were making a very comfortable like living. We were able to take our two weeks’ vacation every year and go do some really cool things. Really my biggest mindset shift, like when it came to money was like, okay, well, I can either continue to make this comfortable amount of money and be okay with it, which, I mean, a lot of people make that decision, I'm not saying it's the wrong decision, but I knew it was the wrong decision for me personally. And I started realizing, you know, at the time I think I was making like 70,000 or 65 somewhere in that area. And almost exactly what you said like happened is just like, okay, like here I am building this business, I'm making 65,000 as an accountant and pretty soon, like my business was kind of matching what I was making and I was like, wait a second. Like you, I worked, I went to school for four plus years, I've been climbing up the ranks as an accountant to get to this spot and like I've went through all these raises and all these things. And here I've built this business in, you know, the space of like five, six months and it's because I was providing so much value to my customers, that I was having customers that were sticking with me, I was finding new customers from just referrals and then like my ethic to just go out and be consistent about finding new customers, kind of on my cold outreach efforts, all those three forces combined, and I was already matching like what I was doing. And so, I looked at it and I was just like, okay, so I can either stay and continue to make this probably for the next couple years until I get that next promotion which is never guaranteed or I can go bed on myself and then I can give myself a raise every single day, and ultimately that's what did it for me where it's like I mean, like I said, that mindset shift of wanting to bet on myself, knowing that I could overcome those obstacles, even when I lost half my client base due to seasonality and then looking at it and being like, well, no, I can come back from this. I can find more clients. I can make a more consistent revenue even through the slow months with these home service-based businesses and really realizing that kind of pushed me to that next level.


Stefan Stefansson - How to Build Fulfilling Relationships and Self-Growth

Michael: Do you think that is because now obviously in the framework of men, but I think, and people in general, why do you think people are not stating what they want or what they need out of relationship? Is it fear? Is it maybe they're scared of the potential of success like, what is it that you think is keeping people from being able to have the kind of relationship that they want to have?

Stefan: So, if you talk about the both sexes, I think that's the fear of rejection or fear of turned down, it's like an individual story would be like everybody has come through, especially men, maybe it happened to me. So, it wasn't San Francisco when kind of a single times I would go in a bar, travel quite a bit from a work. So, I would like, always when I travel to always make a point of not just staying in the hotel, going out, having a dinner and maybe having a drink. And then there's one typical leaving I'm in a bar in San Francisco and nursing my drink and this lady comes in and sit next to me and she looks very approachable kind of want to strike up a conversation and I kind of started that whole self-thought I should I do it now? I should do it now. Then I finally get up the courage and asking her, and she says, blatantly, no. I was like, whoa, and that kind of totally kind of knocked the wind out of myself shortly after like crawl out that bar like rejected and like, what's wrong with me, like was landing in my teeth or all that kind of a like horrible self-doubt comes in, flowing in such a huge focus is that a lot of that time, people are so scared of that rejection or opening themselves up to vulnerability that they always think of the worst thing. And they always projected on themselves, it's like, there must be something wrong with me. In this case, this lady could be she was waiting for somebody or she would have wasn't really in that mood to talk to anybody. So, it's more, I think one of those focuses just don't always make it about yourself, it's like when you always like, tend to compare this with treat yourself as your best friend. So, let's just, your friend is doing something awesome and he comes up to you and says, how was I? You would never say to him, if you're a true friend, you are horrible. You should never do that again. You wouldn't you always try to back him up and always say something nice to him. And I think a lot of the time we need to focus on that ourself, it can't be so hard on ourselves all the time. And I think for men as well, going down to the men specific focus is that we are very afraid of opening self ourselves up to any intimacy because again, it comes out, we are not masculine enough, we are weak, see look down on me and I don't want to so we kind of pretend to put up a shield of everything's okay.

Michael: How do you step into intimacy while still remaining masculine for whatever that means for you? And obviously masculinity is gonna be different for everybody, everyone has their own definition, but how do you, instead of having that feeling like if I'm intimate, people will look down on me and I won't be strong and I'll be emasculated. How do you do both? How can you be a man in the way that you choose and want to be a man, but also be intimate and have that thing that you're seeking?

Stefan: I think a couple of things in my mind, at least so one is had opinion in a relationship. So, if somebody asks you a question, have opinion on that question, but you can say, that's my opinion, we can decide. Like men tend to do quite a lot is the woman says let's go out on a date, let's go somewhere, where should we go? And you're saying, and the man will say whatever you want there thinking by doing that, we are pleasing her, allowing her to choose. But sometimes they want you to be present and make a decision or have at least opinion of what they should be doing. So, I think that's very important. The other thing as well, and it comes as well, knowing what you want out of it because if you don't know what you want out of it, then you don't really have opinion on what your relationship should look like. And I think those two things are very important from a masculinity perspective, is that knowing what you want, have an opinion on things that people want you to do, and then to express those opinions and those wants and needs because you can be very masculine and then do everything as like, as you call chop the wood and make the money and all that kind of thing, but that's just very small part of being a whole, a masculine or I prefer to kind of focus it on as like a high value man or maybe not the right word, like a gentleman, that's how I always brought up. And it's not always about opening the door or things like that, but it's still offering now women as well now wanna be treated equal and all that kind of thing. But I think in everyone wants something to be treated nicely, like somebody that does something for you, it doesn't mean that like you're being made any less valued, but it's just a people show up. I think it's the kind of the main focus, I think.


Live Your Truth: An Honest Conversation with Lee Hopkins

 Michael: And I think one of the things also is like you have to hold true to those things for yourself like it's everything on the line. Like, I really believe that and I would say the greatest shift in my journey and many people's journey, and I won't put words in your mouth, but I imagine your journey is to not negotiate with yourself about those things.

Lee: Absolutely. And one thing that I did a tool that I use to help me because I'm such a people pleaser, that I would negotiate, I would try and put those things in negotiation. And so, I think, well, how does this benefit me? Because we always do something that's going to benefit us. So, how is it gonna benefit me to bend this one time for this person? And I need to pay attention. Did it have the impact that I want? And was it being a good move, essentially, was it a move that I could do for this one time and it'll be fantastic. Most of the time that didn't happen, most of the time I thought things would benefit me but of paying attention to it. I'm tracking it. I'm not just going ups. I'm not being upset because my boundary had been violated. I made these conscious ways to let my boundary be violated to see if I can get something that I thought I wanted, Oh, that didn't work. Let me fix that boundary, is it right back to where it was because I don't like this. And so, being conscious of that, having that experience and paying attention to it has really helped me hold those boundaries like it's everything on the line. You give up if you want to, but make sure you get what you wanted when you gave it up.

Michael: Yeah. I mean, that's a really powerful truth. And I have come to find in those moments in which I've bend my boundary, which we all do, like, I'll never sit here and be like, oh, I figured it out one time and that was, that held fast forever. I think that's nonsense because the world doesn't work that way. And what I discovered was in those moments and in those times in which I would bend or I would placate, or even to this day if I'm like, Oh, I really want this thing, and I sacrifice a part of who I am for it, I'm immediately reminded why the fuck I don't do? And I think that's one of the really, really important things that people have to hold onto is like recognizing like, just because you think you want, it may not actually be the thing that you want and to effectively bend who you are to get it is dismissive of the experience that you're having and the decision that you've made with yourself. But so much of it, it's a fucking mind game because you're constantly in that ebb and flow in the back and forth of the pressure, of the chaos, of the existence of all those. And that's why I always remind people, if you could get really clear on your values, really clear about your values, it makes it so much more difficult for you to binge your own boundaries to allow people to step into your universe and into your life without the permission of having first gone through that, you know, that gate. This is the stupidest thing I've ever said in my life. If you wanna come into Michael Land, you have to make sure that you are in sync with me and my values. Period.

Lee: Absolutely. And if I could just share something really quick with you about finding people with your values ‘cause I think that it might help really to, to hone in on some values or things that we can connect with other people like really quick, your history, hobbies and habits. Those are things that will really help you find yourself in the right place to connect with other people. Your history, reflect on your history, where you come from, where you're going, your hobbies. The things that you like to do, things that you won't give up and your habits, their daily routines, or whatever that you do and you want to continue to do that, that you just won't give up. And all these things, your history, hobbies, and habits should be things that bring you joy that you wanna share with other people. It's gonna help you make a better connection quicker if you talk about those things as part of who you are.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


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

Lee HopkinsProfile Photo

Lee Hopkins


Coach Lee Hopkins (he/him/his) is a transgender man who helps people create lasting friendships. After struggling with loneliness most of his life, he's tried various ways to resolve it— including moving across the US to find his tribe and fit in. He’s learned that the key to creating meaningful relationships is not “fitting in” or “finding your tribe”, it’s about attracting your vibe. He’ll show us how this is possible for everyone.

Dan StillmanProfile Photo

Dan Stillman


Transforming lives through positive psychology, transformational mindset techniques, and integrative nutrition

Most people, if not all, have experienced trauma in their lives, even at a very young age. The sad truth is, many of them are having difficulties acknowledging this trauma and eventually healing from it. Not only does this affect their self-image and how they currently live but also their relationships. And just like these people who are constantly dealing with what seems to be a never-ending cycle of ups and downs, Danny Stillman also struggled with the feeling of not being good enough, what can be wrong with him, and whether or not he did something wrong to be faced with all of these battles. Fortunately, he was able to rise above all odds, with a renewed mission to help other people get out of that same pain and numbness to start living to their full potential.

Now that he is a certified Positive Psychology Practitioner, Transformational Mindset, and Integrative Medicine Health Coach, Danny decided to implement his experience and knowledge through Danny Stillman Coaching. By teaching life concepts that aren’t commonly taught at home, in school, or in the workplace, his clients learn how to understand and manage their emotions positively and gain the skills to make the right career, relationship, home environment, education, financial, and health decisions for a more fulfilling life.

Personally, Danny himself is a living testimony that it is possible to break free from pain and sufferings brought about past experiences. Growing up as an only child, only to have been abandoned by his dad and close family because of his mother’s sexual orientation and to have experienced physical abuse, Danny did not have an ideal childhood. To add, he managed to grow up with little to no guidance from an adult and when he eventually became one, life once again challenged him with his mom's diagnosis of cancer and a marriage that resulted to divorce.

As someone who lived through so much but managed to get back on his feet, Danny offers personalized sessions that make use of positive psychology that combines neuroscience, mindfulness, contemplative studies, and holistic medicine to help people manage their own emotions and regain control of their lives. He also offers the Get Real, Heal & Deal online course that can be helpful for people by learning three antidotes that will transform their lives into a more meaningful and impactful one. Danny also developed Integrative Nutrition, a 6-month program for those who want to take the holistic and whole-health route to their own health journeys that supports a lifestyle change physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Currently, Danny is also building another brand called YoMenGa, a premiere holistic health and wellness dedicated to the everyday man. He believes that through all of his certifications, he would be able to tailor suit programs exclusively for men.

Stefan StefanssonProfile Photo

Stefan Stefansson


Having struggled with relationships himself for over 20 years, on this journey, he has learned so many things along the way that he wished he had known. So now, he has made it his mission to share this knowledge with others who are experiencing something similar. As a result, he is a passionate solution-oriented coach focused on helping men master themselves to find and create the relationship of their dreams.
Stefan is keen to share his journey with other men to help them master themselves and be a better partner in their relationship.
Stefan has a passion for his family and most sport. He is in a loving relationship and has a fantastic daughter. Weekends are spent with family and friends and staying active in various activities.

Austin JosieProfile Photo

Austin Josie

CEO, CMO, Husband, and Father

I'm the CEO of EVIG Marketing and CMO and co-founder of Rize Academy. My journey started when my wife and I found out that we were having our daughter and I realized that we wouldn't be able to just live off of my income as an accountant. I started EVIG as a way to fulfill my wife's dream of being a full time mom and it has grown to surpass my original expectations. My purpose now is to help others break free of the limitations that they set on themselves and become free.