Sept. 2, 2020

How to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, Accelerate Your Growth, and Realize Your True Potential with Ryan Sawyer

How to Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, Accelerate Your Growth, and Realize Your True Potential with Ryan Sawyer

Ryan Sawyer had it all. He was a successful college football coach. Happily married he was starting a family. But underneath the surface there was darkness. In this episode we talk with him about the path that led to writing his new book "CHOICE...

Ryan Sawyer had it all. He was a successful college football coach. Happily married he was starting a family. But underneath the surface there was darkness. In this episode we talk with him about the path that led to writing his new book "CHOICE POINT: Break the Cycle of Self-Sabotage, Accelerate Your Growth, and Realize Your True Potential."

Ryan tells the story of his battle with depression and anxiety as a national champion college football coach and how keeping his secret nearly cost him his marriage and family. 

He shares his journey of self-realization, and the 8 principles of transformation. You will also learn about the tools and practices anyone can use to completely shift every area of their life.



Intro: [00:00:00] This is the fit mess with 

Zack. And Jeremy, 

Jeremy: [00:01:01] Thanks so much for listening to the show. We're very excited to bring our guests to you this week. His name is Ryan Sawyer. He has a brand new book out it's called choice point all about his struggle of going from a, a national champion coach of a college football team to on the floor, battling depression and its darkest moments and how he's found a way through and found a new life and how he's using.

Everything he's learned to share that experience with you and to improve your life. All right. So before we get to the interview, I had a really interesting experience this week, Zach, that I wanted to share with you, because I think in the end, it relates to a lot of what we talk about with, with coach Sawyer.

Um, you know, that feeling, and I know this is happening for everyone everywhere right now, when you're walking through your yard and you walk through a spider web and it's just like, you're just, ah, like, I don't know where it didn't see it coming. This feeling 

Zach: [00:01:55] my reaction is usually quite a bit more 

than just, ah.

Jeremy: [00:01:59] Is it more something like that?

Zach: [00:02:01] A little bit like that, but if he saw me 

from across the street, you would think, 

Oh, there's the crazy guy again.

Jeremy: [00:02:07] I kept having moments like that, but in my mind, for some reason, walking through my yard, living my life, doing my thing, I would flash to these moments as a child when I was angry. Like alone screaming, just having these traumatic experiences.

And I just, for no reason, they just kept popping into my head and I was like, God, that is weird. Where's that coming? I haven't thought about that in 20 years. That's so weird. And it's weird because you are, I was re-experiencing all of that fear, the shame that went with it, not knowing what to do. Like all of these feelings would just rush through me as these memories would pop into my head.

Couldn't figure out why one item in my kid's room. And we often are just sitting with our kids, trying to get them to fall asleep. And I decided I'm going to take a moment and I'm going to meditate on this. I'm going to really focus on these memories and try and figure out what it is that they're trying to tell me.

And so I just sat quietly was breathing. And just thinking back to those moments and trying to figure out what is the deal. And I was holding my daughter's hand and I noticed that she was snuggling with her porg, her, her porg puppet that we got in Disney world. And in that moment, I flashed back to when we were in Disney world together and how normal life was, we were laughing at coronavirus.

We were laughing because one of the people that was with us was sick. And we were like, ah, you got, you got the Rona in front of them, but all of a sudden, it all connected for me. That I was, I was my body, my mind, my spirit, whatever was trying to make me process the fear and insecurity and the lack of safety that I'm feeling right now because of this pandemic.

It's, it's something that. You know, I live my life in my house and in my yard, I very rarely leave my own property. So I don't, I don't have to wear a mask every day. I don't have to do a lot of the things that people have to do to get through the day. I just stay home, which is kind of a dream situation for me.

But in that moment, recognizing how different the world is from six months ago, I just started weeping. Like I just was totally crying about. The, the loss of normalcy than the feeling of fear and just the recognition of how I don't feel safe. And that's not something that I've processed in the, in this whole, in this whole time.

But the crazy thing was it connected all the dots that I was having with those memories. And it was like something in me was trying to say, dummy, sit with this for a minute. Like acknowledge this, go through this because you're just ignoring it, pretending that the world is fine outside by hiding in your house.

And I cried through it. My kids cried with me. It was kind of a, you know, it was a lovely little shared moment where I was able to show them vulnerability, able to show them that it's okay to be afraid. And, uh, and. And at once I was at peace with all of it and that feeling of fear went away and those memories have not come back.

And when I try to think of them, my relationship with them is different. I don't have that same, like, Oh, the shame of being out of control and, and sadness and, and all these things. Um, so it was this really powerful and it just reminded me how much, you know, we talk all the time on this show about how important meditation or something like it, you know, yoga for you.

How important it is. And that for me, you know, thinking back on the last few years using meditation, there's been no more powerful tool in finding my own healing then using that for these moments, because I have had, I've had now a handful of these moments where something from the past, some traumatic experience comes up and I'm able to revisit it and see it through a different lens and, and to really heal and grow from it.

And so. I just, I opened this show with, with that story, hoping that, that someone who's out there trying to struggle with these feelings struggle with this reality, you know, just to remind you, not even to necessarily meditate, that's not even what I'm trying to push, but just sit with the feeling. Just, just find a way to just experience it because.

Anything else will prolong your healing from what we're all going through. So I just wanted to share that because that, it was just when I have these moments, they're, they're life changing. They're extremely powerful. And so I just, I hope that that hearing this will help someone who hears this story, um, and, and finding their way through whatever life is throwing at them right now, because of the way we're all living.

Zach: [00:07:14] Right. That's really powerful. I mean, we are all going through a rather traumatic time here. And even if you don't want to think of it as traumatic, we've all lost something very dear to us. Um, and you know, my, my wife and I are on vacation right now and I use big air quotes here, vacation because we went to, uh, a different location.

And, you know, even today we, we went to the downtown where. You know, there's signs everywhere saying, you know, you have to wear a mask. If you're here, you wear a mask. So everyone's wearing a mask. We tried to go into a store and it's a, you know, this cute little bookshop that we go in every year and they're like, you, you need to wait outside.

We are, we're at our max capacity of eight people. Usually, you know, 30, 40 people in the store. 


And then it was 

time to get some lunch and we're like, okay, we're good. Can we get lunch? Well that please just take out that place is take out that place it's take out. And we finally found a nice place where you could get a sandwich neat, you know, at a picnic table, but it is, you know, the, the normalcy, right.

We, we have a lost it. And who knows if we're going to get it back anytime soon, right?  we will eventually, but. 

This is 

forever changing us in, in my mind, it's very traumatic because I lost something that I valued greatly. And that was this, you know, going on vacation and experiencing a downtown or, you know, going to the mall to pick something up or as much as I hate going to the mall, I would love to go to the mall just to like stroll through and see people and see faces.

Right. The, um, You know, being here on vacation again, everyone's wearing masks when they're outside. I can't see faces. I just see eyeballs. And I really don't like that. I like to see people's faces. I like to smile at people. I like to see people smile back. It's it's very depressing to be in this situation.

So kudos to you for, for stopping and acknowledging that you are actually, you know, 


by this experience, you need, you needed to process it. 

Jeremy: [00:09:23] And, and I think a lot of it is there's so much change happening for me this week. Like, you know, right now, right now I'm living it up, man. The family's out of town, they're gone, I'm all alone.

It's just me and the cat and we hate each other beyond that. That's great. 

Zach: [00:09:37] So let me guess you partied it up last night, went to bed at eight. 

Jeremy: [00:09:41] I actually, no, I did stay up till midnight. I had some star Wars stuff to watch, so, you know, I had to, I had to do that. But 

Zach: [00:09:47] Oh really existing star Wars or old star wars.

Jeremy: [00:09:51] Yeah, it's the resistance cartoon. It's it could have been a lot better, but this week there's a ton of change, uh, school starting for my kids, sort of it's online. They're still gonna be here. Uh, my wife, her last day at work was Monday. So she's going to be adapting to learning this new role that she's taking on.

And you know, me, I'll still be here doing what I do every day. But trying to figure out how I fit in the mix of my wife's new schedule, my kids' school schedule, which I saw, they emailed it today and they've got it broken down like per half hour for, for when they're not on the screen, like do this from 10 to 10 30.

And this from 10 30 to 11, I can tell you right now, not happening that schedule will not be followed by anyone anywhere, other than when you have to be on a call on zoom or teams or whatever you're using. That's when we'll follow the schedule outside of that good luck. So this week being a point of transition, I think, is what highlighted that, that instability, that, that sort of fear that was bubbling up and, and sort of feeling out of control again, because I don't know what life is going to look like next week, when you know, normal, the current normal takes over.

And you said something interesting about, uh, not. About being worried about or thinking about ever going back to normal? I don't think we'll ever go back to normal. I think that we will establish new normals that we will all get used to. I think that we will be wearing masks for years. Um, so learning to adapt around that and, and adapt around a vaccine when it's here and who uses it and who doesn't and how globally it's distributed and all of the things it's going to create in normal that.

We won't recognize. And so I've given up the idea that we're ever going back to normal. I just want to get to a point where it's safe to get on a plane and go somewhere for a while. 

Zach: [00:11:51] Yeah, no same here. And that plane is going to go to Orlando or LA for Disney 

Jeremy: [00:11:57] or Hawaii. 

Zach: [00:12:00] That too, that would work 

any of those in a pinch and take just quick rant, just a real, just real quick.

Jeremy: [00:12:07] All this shit, of course happens the year that I finally get off my ass and sign up for an Alaska airlines, uh, you know, rewards card. I've put this off for like 15 years, but finally I was like, you know what? Finances are starting to get under control. This bill is going away. That bill is going away. I'm gonna start racking up some miles.

This is going to be great. I'm going to travel. It's going to be just going to be terrific. I'm going to take advantage of the thing that all of my friends have done. Forever. And now I basically get the luxury of paying the service charge without the benefits of using the free flights. So pissed anyways, that rant rant over, but just, just quickly story of my life.

Right. Finally, finally, get on board for the big win and a 

too late. 

Yep. You're 

Zach: [00:12:54] right. 


And when you say the new normal, right? I think the big thing is that everyone wants. This to just go away, poof. And we go back to normal tomorrow. Right. 

Jeremy: [00:13:07] And some are saying we're already there, but you know, they're wrong.

Zach: [00:13:12] Um, 

yeah. So a college in ne close to where we live, um, and where I grew up, uh, interestingly enough, that all those kids went back and they had a wild, crazy party, um, about a week ago. And now there's 177 cases at the college. Like. Just blew up to the point where the governor has to, is going to have to bring in the SWAT team.

Jeremy: [00:13:36] Oh my God. Yeah, I am. I am curious to see if there's any fallout from the Republican convention, because there were several people gathered without masks and many of them in a fragile age group. So I'm just, just curious, not, not a political statement. Just curious. We'll see, we'll see. So with all this talk about, you know, sort of how we're surviving the current pandemic and the state of the world.

Um, this is something that's been sort of a theme, I think for us. And we'll be in coming episodes is, is choosing how to live with this, choosing how we allow it to affect our lives. And. I think for all of us, there's going to come and there are starting to be points for us, uh, times when we need to make a choice.

Like how much are we going to isolate from friends? How much are we going to not let our kids play with other kids? How much are we going to let this completely isolate us from the world and for how long. I know that the armor for us, and that is starting to crack. We're starting to have, you know, distanced outdoor barbecues going out on the Lake, doing things that are safe, you know, an outside.

And of course, you know, as we're starting to do that, the weather's starting to turn. So it's going to be very difficult to have outside gatherings that sort of, um, but, but again, the point of, of just making a choice and that's where I want to introduce our guest, his name is Ryan Sawyer. He was one of the coaches for Eastern Washington university.

Won a national title, uh, married to a lovely bride, starting a family on the outside. He had it all. He had the dream job. He had everything going for him. And that was after years of quietly battling depression. And, and this, this feeling underneath that, that something wasn't right. And it all came to a head when his wife just found him in a ball, crying on the floor.

Because the depression at that point was winning and he had a choice to make. And so we had a conversation the other day about that choice and how it has completely turned his life around and why he doesn't even recognize the man. He used to be,

you have the dream job, a job that people would work their entire lives to get you won the championship. All the things that. That you would strive to accomplish. So I'm curious to hear how you answer the question that I get asked a lot. What did you have to be depressed about? 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:16:03] Yeah. And that's, that's the question right there that leads to in the moment when you are going through, uh, you know, this experience of depression and anxiety that makes it even worse because the compound effect of guilt.

Adds up because that's the very story I was telling myself, like, Hey, you don't have anything to be depressed about. So then the story just reaffirmed itself because then you beat yourself up for it. I mean, you look back at your life and say, I had this good yeah. Childhood experience, you know, parents were together.

I mean, it wasn't perfect, but it was, it was healthy, you know? And, uh, and so why is it that I'm experiencing this? Why is it then? My early teen years and my later teen years that I experienced suicidal thoughts. And why is it in my early twenties was, was just a sabotage of, you know, not being able to sleep and all the above.

Right. And, and so why is it now in this situation where I'm living this dream life from the outside, looking in, I mean, it's my dream job in the division. One deep as a line coach just won national championship, you know, Mary and my wife. And so what's really going on. And I think that. Inner turmoil, not only judging myself and feeling guilty because I'm experiencing it.

You know, it just compounds that the experience of it. But in all reality, what I have found is that we don't need to have a reason, you know, this is something that can be generational. It can be something that is a compound effect over time of just not being aware of not being controlled of what's happening from an internal perspective and really what it comes down to is the meaning making that we place on.

What's happening in their lives, right? So all the way back to our early childhood development, something could happen and made you feel like I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy on stupid, whatever it is. And then you continue to reaffirm this limiting belief about yourself. And until it continued until it actually will, at some point manifest itself into.

This physical reality of what we call life. Um, you know, and, and, and that's even where we found ourselves in my marriage, my wife and I hide it. You know, we, we, uh, when I left coaching, there was no, I would it's like the end or the result or the outcome of mean saying, Hey, this is now we're overcoming.

This was out at the beginning. Right, right. That was the beginning of the fight. And, uh, and you know, eventually we let ourselves down a path where we were. Even more apart and, and grew further and further parts of the point where we're, we almost had to end our marriage because we just didn't see any other way out of it, you know?

And that was a reaffirming belief that I felt like sooner or later, I'm going to screw this up. Uh, I'm not, I don't deserve to be happy. I don't deserve this beautiful family and home. And so, yeah, I think that's just. Being hyper aware of what's the narrative that's running in our mind. 

Jeremy: [00:18:52] Yeah. Yeah. When I guess when and how did you discover that what you've been battling all this time was depression.

Did you know, as a, as a young man, or was this a relatively new discovery? 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:19:03] You know, I had suspicions, you know, there was definitely major signs. I remember reaching out when I was like 22. Uh, for help and getting a little bit of answers from the doctors at that point in time, or just like, Oh yeah, you're, you're, you're, you're bipolar or this, you know, and here's some medication and I take it for a while to help me sleep.

I feel like a zombie and. I stopped taking it. And so, you know what I was experiencing, I did it so internally and I suppressed it so much. I never told anybody, even my wife didn't know that I was dealing with depression until she found me curled up in a ball in a corner of a real one day going what's going on?

What are you doing? Yeah, so, I mean, I think there was definitely moments throughout my life where I was, it came to a number of a head. To where I realized this is, this is not right. This is not normal. But I honestly, at the time, Jeremy, I thought that there was something wrong with me. I just thought I was fundamentally messed up.

Right. And again, I had this belief that sooner or later, this depression was gonna win. And it really wasn't until I spoke it out loud. Well, my wife found me in that curled up ball, but I said, I'm depressed. Like that was the first time that I said it. I admitted it. I was able to look. Yeah, you got it.

Honestly, in that moment I have this. Small sense of relief because I was, I was being, I was being authentic for a moment, right. Wearing the mask that has caused more regressions, the brushing and, and, uh, and, and, and suffering. 

Jeremy: [00:20:34] Yeah. Walk me through some of the steps that you took then to start climbing out of that darkness, what you walked away from, sort of how you decided to change your life and go on the path that you've been on.

Ryan Sawyer: [00:20:46] . 

Yeah So 2015 walked away from coaching. And, uh, I initially went down the road of like Spartan trade, you know, I lost 70 pounds and I became a Spartan SGX coach. And I thought, Hey, the more I can push myself. The more relief I'll find, right. Because I'd have these moments where if I did 300 bourbons and did this and that and the other, but I'd have a, I have a couple of days of calm, but it was just because I beat myself to death almost.

Right. Yeah. Yeah. I like to say that, uh, the tired muscles, uh, tired muscles, quiet, dark voices. That's something that I say to myself a lot. 

So I thought, Hey, this is the answer. I'll just have to continue to get better. Pushing myself physically. Right. And that honestly didn't last long. And, uh, you know, eventually Heidi and I, like I said, we're, we were kind of at this breaking point with our own marriage where we, we realized we have to do some major work to, to have a chance at saving this.

Right. So. We, we started to do real, more deep internal work. I mean, I went down the path of meditation and a, you know, I had a very intense meditative practice doing dr. Joe Dispenza's work. And really for me, Jeremy has, I I'm trying to a guy that's super resistant. Super. I used to be very, very skeptic about, just about anything.

It's always out of my realm of comfort. Right. I mean, I felt like I had a lot about life figured out at the time when. When you're, you know, in the top of RA professional now, as in, you know, you kind of thing that you kind of have things figured out. For me, it was starting to connect the dots to what was happening on a scientific level.

Yeah. Like what, what does this neuroplasticity, what does that mean? You know, and how old are our cells reproducing? Like what's, what's going on there and epigenetics. Right. And to start to realize that, Hey, I can rewire, like, if I created this mess, I can untangle it. 

Jeremy: [00:22:31] Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:22:32] Alright. So I have to start to learn the tools on how to witness my thoughts to let them go, to be able to replace them with something that's serving me to be able to heal these parts, these fragmented parts of myself that are from early childhood development.

That, I mean, it's trauma doesn't have to always be some sort of abuse. It can just mean this, this meaning making that we can continue to. Compile over time that eventually this is all these little tiny paper cuts 

Jeremy: [00:22:57] and they add up. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:22:58] And so, um, the process of, of meditation I'm in hiding, I got into some pretty deep emotional work called shadow work, where we really are able to trace back to the origin.

Of where we made these agreements with ourselves that, uh, example that I'm not worthy or I'm stupid or whatever these things are that continue to play out as narratives in our minds. Right. And therefore show up in our lives. We go back and we kind of find the root of those things. We rewrite the narrative from that 10 year old or eight year old boy.

Right. And then we are able to visualize it, picture ourselves, like how would our life have been different with a different narrative you're smarter. You're worthy or you're capable, whatever it is. Right. And then you're, and then from there you're able to recognize like, okay, if this was the truth for me, how would I then authentically show up in this moment?

Right. And it started to take small incremental shifts and small, authentic actions towards building your confidence in a way that you haven't before and to build and to experience more peace than eventually. Over time, you know, with these practices and meditation, the breath work is doing the deep shadow work and, and, you know, yoga and somatic movement that you actually can.

I like to tell technical, you can teach your body how to feel the way you want to feel. 

Jeremy: [00:24:17] Yeah. And so 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:24:19] the more I feel guilt and despair, then I am programming my mind and my body to feel more of that in the future. So I release it, not judge it, but just release it. I'm not suppressing it. If I can release it and I can replace it with something and I can teach my body how to feel peace and joy and be abundant, then that's what I'm going to attract more of in my life.

Jeremy: [00:24:40] It's so interesting. So much of your story resonates with me because I was very similar. I felt like I had life pretty well figured out this deck was stacked against me. Depression was going to win all the, all of the things that you're saying here. Um, and through. Similar thing, meditation breath work. I had these experiences where I went back and reprogrammed these events that happened in my life and healed from them in a way that years of therapy couldn't do, but in like one session of breath work or one meditation just corrected it.

And that has sent me on this other journey, trying to do more of that and trying to connect with what I can only describe as like a spiritual journey, you know? Um, And that's been really hard to grapple with because I was, I was a pretty, and I'm not a religious person, but, but it is really hard to go from, you know, the earth is a rock and we're all here by accident.

And, you know, it's, we're all, all this stuff's just going to happen too. There are other forces that seem to be at work that we can sort of control. I mean, it's, it's sort of star Wars, like, right? Like yet you have you connect to the forest and you can make things happen in a weird way. Is that, uh, does that sound, is that in line with sort of where you're at and how has that shift been for you to, to kind of open up to a more spiritual experience?

So there is 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:26:01] no question that I was of the mind frame. Like, you know, there is no, God, we're all just here on this wrongful while we're here. So you might as well have a. A good time while you're here and party it out and whatever, right. There's a real bigger purpose. And just, I would just shrug my shoulders with people.

Like, I don't know what you're talking about, but when things started to show up and really part of it was for me, it was like, recognize them. They get why not take on a doc for somebody else. I see somebody else experiencing something that I want to experience more joy and peace. And I'm like, so I want to know what's 

Jeremy: [00:26:34] working for them 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:26:36] to start their day.

Like, what are their beliefs? How, how, what is our internal process that actually is working? Because obviously mine is not 

Jeremy: [00:26:45] right, right. It was pretty apparent 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:26:48] to me that like, whatever internally is happening inside of here, like it's needs to be reprogrammed. 

Jeremy: [00:26:53] Right. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:26:55] Well, this old hardware out and install 

Jeremy: [00:26:57] some new ones, right?


Ryan Sawyer: [00:26:58] So it was honestly, I just opened the door a possibility. Like what about your thoughts? Let me hear what you believe in. Okay. So I would, I would meet with people who are very universe driven, like, Oh, everything's about and whatever terminology, university, gods, whatever it really, to me, it's all the same.

And I'm not a religious man, but I am a spiritual man and it's become to a place now where like my spiritual practice before was right. For an outcome of my quieting, my mind, right. A specific outcome. And now I have a spiritual practice that is because I want to remind myself of what I'm connected to.

Right. This larger, this larger energy that's at work in my life that, that we can co-create width. Right. And, and so there's no question that there was. A ton of resistance. And then I can recognize some that are innocent, small in a way. And the more that I open up and be curious and kind of keep that beginner's mind, the more that more, the possibility was being allowed into my life.

And the more I was able to, man, this is such an important topic. I was able to let go. Yeah. I was able to surrender and I used to hate that word. Right. I was able to surrender parts about myself or, I mean, this is, I think a real common principle that's coming up a lot recently in my life is. Is the price of a new life is the old one.

Like we have to be willing to cut ties. Yeah. You know, and, and to let go of and realize, Hey, maybe I was wrong for 35 years. Right. Maybe. And that's okay. Now it's opiate. And that version of me, it was wrong or right. Or wrong, or had a different perspective of life. But this version of me is gonna open up my mind and see what is possible with it, with a different way of perspective, perspective life, you know, and, uh, So it was, it's not overnight, no question.

It can be for some people, they have some miraculous experience, then it's like, Oh, now I believe I'm a believer. Right, right. But it was incremental for me. 

Jeremy: [00:28:57] So how does that translate to your life now? Do you still have moments of depression? Is it still an ongoing struggle? Uh, how, how is life for you now?

Ryan Sawyer: [00:29:07] Yeah. So now I would say I'm a very healthy person, mentally, physically, and emotionally, but there is the times I don't equate it. And this, this is going to be, I haven't really talked about this before in public. So what I now experienced is what I call upgrades. Okay. When I am stepping into my power in a different manner, right.

When I'm taking on something new or stepping outside of my comfort zone. For great example is my book, right? This, this idea that I have enough capacity to write a book, right? And then I have enough actually put it out to the world and then I'm creating a coaching model. That's kind of based in the foundational principles of the book.

And now I'm on all these podcasts and doing like, this is breaking some serious. Conditioning. 

Jeremy: [00:29:58] Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:29:58] Right. I am healing. Parts of myself, parts of myself are dying off old neural pathways. Certain genes are firing and other genes are turning off right. In an, a main cells, reproducing it with different vibrations.

So this is a chemical 

Jeremy: [00:30:16] shift. Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:30:18] It creates different reactions within your body. Right? Very easily. If I were to be in the story of what I'm feeling, I would call that depression. I mean, there's been eight or 10 day spells where my vibration is low and I feel this sense of loss in my chest. And I'm having a hard time, really passing is, or a clear vision for my future.

Right? All these things sound very familiar to 


Yeah, but yet I am in that recognizing no, this is the process of transformation I'm fully in the river right now. This was a few weeks ago. Okay. So I'm weeks away from my book launch. I'm a weeks away from this whole Hindu experience of life because I'm transitioning from not just having my residential painting company to being an author speaker.

And running this coaching model with my wife. Right. So life is about to drastically change and I put myself out there to such a level and being vulnerable enough to where I kind of feel like I'm walking down the street naked. 

Jeremy: [00:31:20] Right. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:31:21] So there's parts of me that don't don't want me to tell this 

Jeremy: [00:31:24] story?


Ryan Sawyer: [00:31:25] sure. Hard to meet. They're still like don't no, don't, don't say that part. Don't talk about incoming traffic. We don't want that part. Right? Right. 

Jeremy: [00:31:35] Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:31:36] So that neurological what I call pruny right. I'm pruning old neurological connections. They used to wire and fire together. Right. Creating new ones.

And so that experience, which creates chemical reactions and everything else within our bodies. Feels like depression now, even my wife's like, are you doing okay? And I'm like, I'm not suffering, but I'm not comfortable. You know, I'm not just waking up like, Hey, life's a bunch of roses, you know? Right. But I recognize the more that we take honest step out of our comfort zone and, and take on a new belief and really integrate these things into our lives, to where now we can't go back to an old experience where this new experience life is is, is completely different and new and fresh.

There's gonna be some conditioning that gets broken there, and it could very well potentially show up and be labeled as anxiety or depression, but it also can be labeled as just like anticipation and excitement. Yeah. And, uh, you know, and so I, I really, I do everything I can to just sit back and witness what I'm experiencing now and not attach or identify.

Yeah. Oh boy. Here it comes. Yeah. Di, you know, you're trying to put this book out there and in this depression is going to come back. You better run it hide because that's, what's really happening underneath the surface. That's a story that's wanting to be told by my narrative. And so I let it go and I replace it and I let it go and I replace it and I let it go.

And I replace it over and over. Yeah. The last few weeks. 

Jeremy: [00:33:12] Yeah, I'm sure I can, again, I can relate like, just as. As a dad who was trying to work from home, trying to do a podcast, trying to start a small business, all of the, like it's tons of stuff to get overwhelmed by. And when you do get caught up in this has to succeed or else there's going to be a problem, or, or I have to be a better dad, or like when you put all this pressure on yourself to do and be these things.

That are, like, you mentioned the river, you can't change the direction of the river. You can only change, you know, you can slightly alter your path on it, but the river is going to take you where it's going to take you and, and being able to let go and let that river happen. Let that experience happen, opens up so many more doors than it 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:33:54] closes.

Jeremy: [00:33:57] Um, 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:33:58] yeah. And to add to that too, I think that one of the pieces that we, especially in our, in our culture is we get attached to the outcome. 

Jeremy: [00:34:05] Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:34:06] Yeah, attached. Probably. I'm assuming that I'm doing this podcast and invested all this time and equipment and energy and this and that. And the other thing, if I do all this work and it doesn't succeed, like I'm going to be a failure, right.

Whatever that year that's running. Right? 

Jeremy: [00:34:19] Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:34:20] There's no question like the voice, the voice that's trying to keep you in a no, not even comfortable. Like, I don't really like that, that word comfort zone because what I was experiencing. Wasn't comfortable. Right. I mean, 

Jeremy: [00:34:37] but it's familiar. It's what it's, it's the song, you know, it's the knob.

Yeah. Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:34:43] It's all, you know, it's the experience of guilt and despair and depression, anxiety these days. Like if someone calls that comfortable, like, no. 

Jeremy: [00:34:51] Yeah. My therapist likes to say that, uh, that kind of conditioning is like, you know, you know how to play one song on the piano. So when you sit down, that's the song you play.

And it's not until you start learning new songs that it suddenly becomes interesting and exciting and you actually grow. Yeah. Yeah. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:35:06] Different impressions on your minds. There's fast now the song that's running. Right, right. Yeah. It's 

Jeremy: [00:35:11] so interesting. Um, tell me a little bit about this transition. I mean, going from forgive the expression, but the typical macho football coach guy to being this vulnerable open dude.

How, I guess what's been the reaction from people around you, have you, have you lost friends? Has, has anything changed where people sort of see you differently and you're not as connected to people as you were? 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:35:34] No. For the most part, the people who are in my life now didn't know that guy. 

Jeremy: [00:35:40] Oh yeah. See, that's interesting.

Ryan Sawyer: [00:35:43] And be like, no, no, seriously, honestly. Listen, like, you know, pictures of football or coach him headphones on 270 pounds on the can of Copenhagen. Yeah. It's just, you know, honestly, you know, I saw a picture just a couple of days, popped up my memory in 2012 and it was in my whole D-line. I had like, you know, 18 guys there in a, in a team photo and I've got my arms crossed and I'm, you know, sunglasses on.

I don't even recognize that person. You know, I mean, I can even remember what it was like to be him, but I don't recognize it from my current experience now. Like, yeah. Okay. And so there's no question that there's been a change in some of the relationships in the lab and even in some of the really close ones like that was part of the guilt of going through leaving.

I mean, my nucleus of support. In my circle of influence, it was around coaching. My brother who had came to almost every game, my dad came to us every game we were super close. And not that we're not close now. Yeah. You know? Yeah. And all of my best friends were all from football. Either players. I played with, or guys I coached, or guys I coached with, I mean, it was the whole life is built around this identity.

And so now, uh, I have a lot of friends who are more in the coaching world or the entrepreneurial world and that type of stuff. And, uh, and so they don't really know that person, you know, so there's definitely been some people who I spend less time with no question and, uh, and have different relationships shifted, you know?

Um, but really it all comes back to like, The experience of being in the four walls of my own home. Like the majority of my time is spent here 

Jeremy: [00:37:25] and 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:37:25] we are always focusing on what it's like to have the inter experience of being me first and then the, the week so that I spear meaning what is it like to be Ryan?

And then the we sphere of Heidi and I, and then the it sphere of our family. Right. And so we were always working from the inside out and honestly like, I get so much more fulfillment than I ever knew was possible out of those four walls that I live in. Right. And, and so I have less need to like go out and have a beer with the guys type of stuff.

Like I used to like, no, like get me the hell outta here. Get me out on the town where I can. You know, run a muck. 

Jeremy: [00:38:08] Right, right, right, 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:38:09] right. You know, so, um, there's definitely been a transition. There's definitely been a transition there. Um, but I'm also coming across and meeting a ton of really, really impactful people.

And, you know, guys like yourself there, they're out there doing things that are uncomfortable and growing, you know, like I'm really not into chit chat of like, Hey, so I mean, I'll talk about the Seahawks for five or 10 minutes maybe. 

Jeremy: [00:38:31] Yeah, yeah. But 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:38:33] uh, not much. Yeah. Yeah. And so I want meaningful relations when we're talking about growth in life and evolving it, spiritual, this and that, and the other, you know, and going beyond or whatever it is, the conversation sparks into, you know, that those are the conversations I want to have.

Jeremy: [00:38:49] Yeah, absolutely. That's why my buddy and I started this podcast. It was just like, you know, we felt like we're two sort of middle-aged guys that are having these conversations and people need to hear. Middle-aged guys having these conversations because they hear all they hear from guys is Seahawks, baseball, beer, you know, work.

And, and that's, it's always the superficial, superficial topics that, that they don't help you move along as, as a person, they don't help you grow. And I think when you do share your real authentic experience with another person and let them in a little bit, you both grow from that experience. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:39:26] Harshly. And then the conversation turns into, you know, Oh, if I would've known this or I could have done that, or I wouldn't have blown out my knee, I would have been there.

We're just living in the past, man. I want to be present with you or I want to talk about what's next for you. 

Jeremy: [00:39:41] Yep, absolutely. Let's talk about what's next for you. You've got the coaching business taking out the book. The book, as of the publishing of this episode is available. So I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Uh, Tom, tell us about the coaching program as well and what you guys have gone with that. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:39:55] Yeah. So this, this whole idea of being a coach outside of sports was something I was super resistant to for a very long time. Uh, but it wasn't until I realized, like I like, I I've just been an absolute assessment learning and making myself and experiment, you know, I've now have six minutes certifications between.

Being an unbeatable mind coach and a mindfulness meditation teacher and a Kokoro yoga instructor. And I mean, all of these different pieces of the puzzle that I really dove into those things deep, my old practice. Right. And then it was understanding like, Hey, listen, I'm not taking all this information in and digesting it and integrating it for just myself.

I want to share it now. And so how do you now we're kind of doing our own things. She was coaching one-on-one and having success doing that. And I was doing workshops and teaching breath and yoga and, and visualization and different things of that nature. And then we, we thought we started like, you know what, I see us going down, this math, where you're getting busier, I'm getting busier, we're spending less time together.

And we've been down this path before. Like, we're gonna make sure that we are aligned because I know on the other side of this is. Going to have to be work that we're going to have to untangle. Right. So I was like, how can we align ourselves? Well, that's now the name of the membership is being aligned.

And so. It's not couples, uh, coaching, but it is this idea of principle that individuals do their own work. Right. And we're setting up a membership that is starting in September and it's 30 days free for the first 30 days is free no obligation. And so it can, people can hop in there. And in this membership, it's going to be unique because.

I'm going to have a ton of content on breath and meditation, and even have some yoga practice in there a little bit and things of that nature. And then eventually we'll go into all kinds of principles of like,

Jeremy: [00:41:49] and you just froze 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:41:50] up.

Fort mental toughness, porcelain in the membership. It'd be courses that we could sell. 

Jeremy: [00:42:01] So is that, so you locked up for a minute and write it right. When you said the big four principles, he froze up. So pick up from there. 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:42:07] Yeah. Within the membership we have we'll have breath work and meditation and yoga, and then like other types of courses, like the big four mental toughens from a me to unbeatable mind or art.

To process stuff, which is the shadow work. And we'll be able to support people within the membership with that. Like all these pieces could be courses that are outside of the membership, but we're putting them within the membership. Right. And then what we're going to do is we're going to do a monthly topic.

They are basically things that we learned along the way that helped us connect the dots to deepen in our own practice. Right. So how does perception work? Like you hear this idea though, that, you know, people are just, remitters reflecting back to our own need for healing or whatever that like let's understand these basic principles and let's do a lesson each month about a principle that we can have some journaling prompts behind that and some challenges and things of that nature.

And so we'll have questions and answers calls, and then we'll split up and do men's and women's calls as well. So the men, the men can go with me and we can get more specific into what it means to be a man type stuff. And within these principles and practices. And so, yeah, so this is the kind of, the next thing for us is to develop out this membership where we're really truly serving.

Our community. And it's such a reasonable price that we feel like people can ebb and flow at their own pace. Like we recognize the importance, uh, people, you know, being able to where they work on themselves in one season and pull back, and life is happening in the next, but we think it's so important to be guided and be mentored and have some sense of accountability and, or just guidance.

Right support. Right? Yeah. It created an environment of growth to where. People can kind of flow in and flow out and be as involved as they would want to be, you know, depending on the season of life. So, uh, that's, that's kind of our, our concept with that without going too much deeper into it. But, uh, we're excited about the model and doing it together, you know, in a, in a way that we're now we're enjoying is working together and enjoying.

Collaborating together and building it out and eventually, hopefully coaching together, obviously. So 

Jeremy: [00:44:11] yeah. It's powerful stuff, man. Do you have a, you have a terrific story and I really appreciate you taking the time to share it with us, and I wish you the best of luck with the book and with the coaching program and your journey forward from here.

Ryan Sawyer: [00:44:23] You as well, man, I think you're a great job with this podcast. So thank you for having me on and wish you the best of luck 

Jeremy: [00:44:30] again. That was Ryan Sawyer. He's the author of choice point break the cycle of self sabotage, accelerate your growth and realize your true potential. I love, love having conversations like that.

Whenever I can get real spiritual and woo with people. That's, that's the sweet spot. I love having those kinds of conversations. So. And just full disclosure. I have not read the book yet. What I've heard about it is fantastic. And, and speaking with him, uh, I anticipate good things. So head over to Amazon, check it out.

There's a link on our website, the 

Zach: [00:45:05] I was actually a little disappointed that I couldn't join in on that conversation. 

Jeremy: [00:45:09] You were having some problems with the, with the house, what was going on with your place? What's not going place. 

Zach: [00:45:19] That would be a much shorter 

Jeremy: [00:45:20] list. All right. Fair enough. Fair enough.

Zach: [00:45:22] We bought the house almost a year ago and every single month, something big has kind of gone on us this, this month. That was the air conditioner. 

Jeremy: [00:45:31] Oh, well, at least that's the end of summer. So it shouldn't be too bad. 

Zach: [00:45:35] Yeah. It's it's not, 

Jeremy: [00:45:37] Hey, you know, I know a terrific way to cool off. Grab yourself a frosty cold athletic brewing company beer.

I actually have one right now. No. Do you really? What are you drinking? I'm drinking the run wild 

Zach: [00:45:50] IPA. 

Jeremy: [00:45:50] This is, 

Zach: [00:45:52] you know, when, when I made the choice to stop drinking, um, there was nothing on the market that, that tasted good. I mean, it was just all pretty much garbage. Right. And I, I succumb to the fact that I would never drink beer again.

Um, And I genuinely like beer, like the alcohol part of it was, it was a nice side effect, but I actually really enjoyed the nice ice cold, you know, hoppy IPA and, you know, with athletic brewing company, it's th th it's like drinking a real beer. It is a craft non-alcoholic beer, and I'm so happy. I found these guests.

Jeremy: [00:46:33] If you can't tell by now, they are a new sponsor of the show. So we're, we're super excited about this partnership, um, and for a number of reasons, but for. One, like you just suggested the ability to have a beer and not feel like you're faking. It is remarkable. The other day I went for a bike ride for the first time in months.

And when I got home, I had a, I believe it's the freeway. It's the double hop IPA and all man sitting in my lawn, drinking what tastes like an actual IPA. Yeah, it was, I just, it was like, Oh right. That's why I used to love doing it. This is amazing. So, so thank you to our new sponsor athletic brewing company.

We have a link to them on our website as well. And they're widely available in most, you know, beverage centers, wherever you're getting your normal beer and wine. Uh, I've seen it on a number of shelves around here in Seattle, but again, there's a link on our website and we cannot recommend them enough because we can not string stop drinking them enough because they're delicious.

So very exciting news to have them on board. And 

Zach: [00:47:33] if you live in an area where they actually don't carry them in, in a local store, just head on over to their website, athletic, and you can have some wonderful non-alcoholic craft beer delivered right to 

Jeremy: [00:47:44] your door. Doesn't get any easier than that.

Zach: [00:47:48] So, Jeremy, I've got a little bit of a, a challenge for myself. You know, you feel free to follow along, but I know, Oh, that maybe this isn't your thing every day. Um, You know, one of the, one of the areas that I've been struggling with lately is, you know, fitting in time for yoga. I, I have trouble meditating because I can't sit, still have I'm super, highly sensitive in my entire body.

So I, I feel pains and things, and I can't sit still. And yoga is my meditation. That's when I process things. That's when I breathe, that's when I get right in my head and that, you know, carries me through the week. Um, not that I. Do yoga once a week. I usually do it multiple times a week, but over the last three weeks, I haven't even done it once in a week.

So, um, I need to challenge myself to get better there. I need to, I need to get that back into my life. And I'm going to challenge myself to get at least three sessions of yoga in per week for the next month, at least 

Jeremy: [00:48:48] because. 

Zach: [00:48:50] Yoga is my medicine. It's so beneficial for me. And when it's not there, like the depression sets in the anxiety sets in, um, just things that don't let me live my life to my fullest set in when I'm not doing yoga.

So I just don't know why I ever fall out of it, but maybe I need these moments to remind myself that that 

Jeremy: [00:49:13] stuff is important. Yeah. It's amazing how much. In the last, you know, several, several years of this journey, uh, there's things like that, that I learn and I incorporate, and they're amazing and life changing and all of the things.

And then somehow they become too hard to keep, to keep up. Either you go on vacation, you get sick, you get injured, you get you just forget one day, whatever it is. These things will knock you out of that habit. And, you know, you'll hear a conversation like this. You'll read a book, you'll see some meme on Instagram, whatever, and you'd be like, Oh God.

Yeah. I used to do that every day. I used to do that three times a week. I used to eat like that, whatever. And you suddenly remember, God, my life was so much better when I did that. I should try that again. And that's, you know, I go back to the story. We began the show with, uh, being able to just meditate and.

The power that I have to meditate. I think I underestimate my ability with it. Um, because it, that whole experience that I shared took like five minutes. It wasn't even a lengthy thing. I have this ability that I forget about. And I'm not, I'm not trying to brag. That's not the point of this. I think the point is that I've done enough of it that I've gotten better at it.

Just like, you know, I can't, I can't throw a football and one time Russell Wilson couldn't either, but he worked on it and got really good. But I have, I have this ability when I, when I just shut the fuck up and sit down for a minute, I can become one with the ocean. I can go back in time. I have these experiences and this ability to fix stuff in my head and in my spirit or whatever you want to call it.

And when I have those moments, I go, God, why don't I do this every day? And that's where I've been. So my, my challenge, which began a few days ago has been meditate more. I need to get more specific and meditate every day. Uh, I'm, I'm going floating tonight. So I'm very excited to have an hour of just silence and a sensory deprivation to go even deeper.

Um, so that's, that's my challenge to myself is to, to listen and, and, you know, we talked a lot in, uh, the interview with, with coach Sawyer about, um, about having a coach about having a mentor. That's something that I think is very important, uh, can provide a lot of benefit. But I think you also need to remember that your, that voice in your head, not the fucked up one, not the one that tells you you're a piece of shit and lies to you and tells you how awful everything is.

But the one that when you really listen, has the answers that one's right. And you need to find the time to be quiet and, and differentiate between the liar and the mentor because you have one in you. We all do. But we get so wrapped up in the right now, surviving, you know, and, and just being safe. But also working, raising kids, all of the things that we're doing, um, that, that voice gets drowned out.

Zach: [00:52:28] Yeah. And everyone has those voices. And the one that you feed is the one that you're going to hear the most. 

Jeremy: [00:52:32] Yeah, absolutely. So, so I, in the same vein, I'm going to be a, um, I'm challenging myself to meditate every day because I just I'm, I'm in one of those zones right now where I remember this, this is what put me on the path that has, that started this entire journey for me.

And it turns out I'm pretty good at it. So, so that's what I'm going to work on, uh, in the coming days until at least until we meet again and hopefully beyond 

Zach: [00:53:01] good for you. It's they can't, I can't sit still to meditate, but an hour of yoga, I think 

Jeremy: [00:53:08] gives me that it's the same. Yeah, 

Zach: [00:53:11] same thing. It's just. It puts me in a different place.

It really does. And it's, you know, I thought it was, I thought it was all, um, just woo bullshit. When I've heard people, like say they go into a yoga class and they leave feeling different, but it's true. Like. I go into a good yoga class five, a good session. I literally will walk out feeling 

Jeremy: [00:53:39] like a different person, but 

Zach: [00:53:42] if there was depression there it's lifted a little.

If there's anxiety, it's reduced a little, if, um, something was going on that had me worried or, or some physical ailment, it's always just lessened a little bit. And I can approach my day with a. 

Jeremy: [00:53:58] Just a 

Zach: [00:53:58] completely different mindset. 

Jeremy: [00:54:00] Yeah, absolutely. 

Zach: [00:54:01] That's what it's all about is changing your mindset. 

Jeremy: [00:54:04] All right.

So with that, we're going to wrap things up a special thanks to our guest, Ryan Sawyer. Again, his book is choice point. There is a link to that on our website. There's also a link to our brand new sponsor athletic brewing company. Uh, go there to have your, uh, your nonalcoholic craft beers. And we're talking top-notch delicious craft beers sent to your house, or find out where you can buy them in your neighborhood.

Um, and with that, we'll get out of here. And if you have not yet, by the way, please do subscribe for our email newsletter. We are putting a lot of attention on that and trying to get, um, a lot of valuable tips, things like this, things that we're working on, things that we're doing to improve our lives.

We're trying to share those, uh, through that newsletter. So we hope you'll sign up. You can also do that at our website, the with that, we're going to wrap things up and we will be back with a brand new episode in just a couple Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening. See everyone. We know this podcast is amazing and does not seem to lack anything, but we do need a legal 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:54:57] disclaimer, Jeremy and Zach are not doctors. They do not 

Jeremy: [00:55:00] play them on the internet. And 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:55:02] even if they did play them on the internet, 

Jeremy: [00:55:04] they would be really bad at 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:55:05] it. Please consult your physician 

Jeremy: [00:55:07] prior to implementing any changes that you heard on this podcast.

The listener assumes that Jeremy and Zach do not 

Ryan Sawyer: [00:55:13] know what they are talking about and that you will do your own research on the topics talked about on this 

Jeremy: [00:55:18] podcast.


Ryan SawyerProfile Photo

Ryan Sawyer

Coach at IHP Coaching

Ryan is a Licensed Unbeatable Mind Coach, Certified Q Process Facilitator, Certified Oxygen Advantage Coach, Certified Kokoro Yoga Instructor, Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher, and Speaker.

Ryan is also a former national champion college football coach.