May 10, 2022

How To Heal From The Effects Of Childhood Trauma As An Adult with Michael Unbroken

How To Heal From The Effects Of Childhood Trauma As An Adult with Michael Unbroken

Our guest is Michael Unbroken, host of the Think Unbroken podcast.


Our guest is Michael Unbroken, host of the Think Unbroken podcast.

ABOUT THE EPISODE

Most of us have some kind of trauma in our past. Usually during childhood…and to varying degrees. But in some way, it has changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. 

Sometimes, we can’t help but feel broken. Trauma can shatter our sense of security and overwhelm our coping skills leaving us feeling isolated, ashamed, and afraid to reach out for help. But reaching out for help doesn't make you weak. It means that you're human and you're trying your best and it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. 

That’s according to our guest this week. We’ll talk with Michael Unbroken, host of the Think Unbroken podcast about the mess of a life you were given and how to start cleaning it up.

What We Discuss with Michael:

  • People shit on “childhood trauma” and say get over it, it’s the past - how damaging can it be?
  • Why Mindset is Everything. 
  • There are no shortcuts, there is hard work and on the backside of that is getting your life back.
  • Why people tend to resist how much control they can take in life
  • Why we spend too much time avoiding bad things even though they are part of, and maybe the more important parts of this journey.
  • How do you flip the switch before hitting rock bottom?
  • Are you ever “better” or is this a long game? 
  • How you can start to begin to heal!

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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS EPISODE, CHECK OUT: 

How to Let Go of the Past: Tips on Releasing Trauma with Ashra Bennett

Transcript

[00:00:00] Unbroken Content - USB: Most of us have had some kind of trauma in our past, usually during childhood and in my case into my twenties and also to varying degrees. But in some ways it's changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. 

[00:00:14] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Sometimes we can't help, but feel broken. Trauma can shatter our sense of security and overwhelm our coping skills. But trauma doesn't have to be a life sentence. That's according to our guests this week, we'll talk with Michael unbroken host of the think unbroken podcast about the mess of a life you were given and how to start cleaning.

[00:00:32] This is the fit mess conversations with world-class experts in the fields of mental, physical, and emotional health. And this episode 

[00:00:41] Michael:  A here's trauma. In a nutshell, it's like owning a house and in your front yard is trash and every single day you look at this trash. Now you don't put the trash. 

[00:00:53] It ain't your trash, but every day you walk over it, you look at it, you go, wow. That trash is there. And trauma is walking past trash everyday.

[00:01:03] That's not yours. And deciding to clean it up. You want to heal, take care of. 

[00:01:08] Do the thing don't blame the world for it. 

[00:01:11] Now, here are your hosts, Zach and Jeremy. 

[00:01:14] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: TRO

[00:01:14] Zach: Welcome to the fitness brought to you by athletic greens. Thanks for listening while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing right now. I'm Zach and he's Jeremy. We've been through all kinds of struggles and we ended up stronger because of them.

[00:01:26] And we want to help you do the same. So if you're sick of your own shit and you're ready to make a serious change, you're in the right. 

[00:01:32] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: is that can, sometimes that shit you're sick of is the shit you inherited or otherwise had dumped on you when you were a kid. You and I both had traumatic childhoods. Mine was a bit more garden, variety trauma than.

[00:01:43] Uh, yours was borderline abuse and certainly neglect.

[00:01:46] Unbroken Content - USB: definitely neglect.

[00:01:48] and Yeah.

[00:01:49] the, the abuse from the neglect, yeah. As a kid, I thought it was normal. Like it's I look back at it now and I can still remember my feelings of, of normal, of, being home alone for days on end. And I was five, five years. on then by myself. And one of my favorite things to eat was hamburger. I didn't know how to cook. So I just opened up the raw hamburger and eat the raw hamburger out of the fridge. 

[00:02:19] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Quito extreme.

[00:02:21] Unbroken Content - USB: exactly. But that's when there was food in the house and sometimes there wasn't food and again, five years old, I would walk a mile down to the grocery store and steal food. And of course I'm five, the fuck else. Are you going to steal, but candy 

[00:02:36] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Did you, did you know you were stealing or was it like I'm hungry? That's where the food is. I'm going to go get some.

[00:02:43] Unbroken Content - USB: I knew I was stealing because, , When I was a kid, there was those, like Brock's hard candy, um, displays where you could like, , put five butterscotch and three peppermint and like, you know, a couple of your peppermint patties into a bag and then you'd pay like per pound. Well, they always had that box on the front that you could like put a nickel in and take a free sample.

[00:03:03] Right. And I, five years old, I would sit there and like, pretend that I was putting a whole bunch of nickels. 

[00:03:09] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: my God.

[00:03:10] Unbroken Content - USB: And then fill a bag up and then walk out the front door. Thinking that I just fooled everyone. Surprise, surprise. When CPS came and took me away from my mom, one of the reasons was somebody saw me stealing candy from the grocery store. 

[00:03:23] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: That's insane.

[00:03:25] Unbroken Content - USB: So to me it was normal, but clearly it was not normal. 

[00:03:29] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: yeah, in my case it was, you know, I think my story is a dime, a dozen, you know, there was alcohol on the house and certain people abused it and other people had to try and protect the kids from that. Yeah, that just creates all kinds of insecurity and instability in the house. And that's like that kind of shit sticks with you until you're 45 so far, you know, I mean, you work your entire life trying to change the script of be small, stay out of the way don't cause trouble because there's enough trouble that already exists.

[00:03:57] , and you just feel like everything you're doing is contributing to whatever the chaos and the drama isn't. That's. I mean, I think that's pretty standard. I think most kids went through that in my time in the eighties or whatever yours, your case, much more significant, much more serious, but no matter what your trauma, as you're about to hear , it is yours to clean up.

[00:04:18] You didn't put it there. It's not your responsibility. It's not your fault that it's there, but it's your fault. If you don't do something. You have to start taking action to get over that stuff and find a way to be fully present in your life and to not let those stories that you learned when you were five and stealing candy, or when you were five and hiding in the room, because there were fights going on down the hall, like that stuff will haunt you and will hold you back from experiencing real growth .

[00:04:52] And real joy, honestly, in your life, because you will constantly be sort of reliving that trauma in, in small ways. And so that's why I'm so excited to share this interview this week because Michael and broken, but he does with his show is so powerful and he ha he's just a fountain of information and tools and strategies to get through that stuff.

[00:05:12] And to really, you know, we say all the time, you don't have to clean up the whole mess, but at least start clearing the path. So you can get from one point to the. And start to deal with that stuff, because otherwise it is just going to be with you your entire life.

[00:05:24] I promise you, you are going to get so much out of this interview and it's going to test your comfort zone. It's going to probably make you squirm a little bit, make you feel a little bit guilty for not doing more.

[00:05:36] But sometimes that's what you need. And so I promise this is something you are going to get so much out of before we get to it. I have to tell you about my new favorite supplement athletic greens.

[00:05:45] Jeremy: I started taking athletic greens because Zach told me to, for months, he shared why it was so helpful for him while I was swallowing three fistfuls of vitamins, three times a day.

[00:05:54] I have to tell you, I noticed a difference on day one. I felt better and didn't have that 4:00 PM energy crash that I thought was normal.

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[00:06:18] So reclaim your health and arm your immune system. Now with convenient daily nutrition 

[00:06:22] To make it easy. Athletic greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. Those are so. All you have to do is visit athletic greens.com forward slash fit mess again, that is athletic greens.com forward slash fitness. To take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.

[00:06:43] You'll also find that link on our website, the fitness.com. 

[00:06:46] Unbroken Content - USB: All right, Jeremy, I know you and I like to talk and talk and talk before we get to the interview sometimes, but today we got to stop. We got to hand it over to Michael unbroken. He's the host of the think unbroken broken podcast. And we started by asking him how he became unbroken after his very traumatic childhood. 

[00:07:03] Michael: Every single day I'm trying to get better. I think that ultimately the one thing I've I've discovered to hold true about this entire experience is just massive failure is going to happen every single day, because we're doing things we've never done before. We're learning things.

[00:07:22] We've never learned we're having this, this human experience. And so I'm just like, Driven stubborn. Like I just, I know the life I want to have, and I'm just not going to settle. So, you know, getting into this place where I am today, look, I blame the world for a long time. It was always somebody else's fault.

[00:07:42] It was always, there was always someone to blame. There was always a way for me to, to play the victim. And dude, I did a really damn good job at it. And then you realize one day, like nobody cares do something and that's, what's led me to where I am.

[00:07:56] Jeremy: So I want to get into how people can make that switch, how they can find that place to decide I'm done being the victim. I want to do something. But I want to give people a little bit of the background of where you are coming from and the traumatic childhood that you had, because I know your story. And when I hear it, I, I know there are two different ways that it can be heard.

[00:08:16] It can either be heard as men, how inspiring this is going to get me off my ass or what's wrong with me? Why can't I make the switch? I haven't had anything nearly that troubled and I can't get motivated to do. 

[00:08:29] Michael: The one thing I know to be true is every choice that you make today impacts your tomorrow. I mean, you know what, let's talk about let's context, right? Cause that's everything. When we have these, these conversations, I, I grew up in Indianapolis. My mom was a drug addict and alcoholic. Um, when I was four years old, she actually cut off my right index finger.

[00:08:50] And people always be like, how could your mom do that? I'm like, you know, hurt people, hurt people is a continuation of abuse. When I was six, she married my stepfather who was hyper, hyper abusive. I used to lay in bed at night and pray for somebody to send my real dad to come and save me. And, you know, they never came.

[00:09:08] I spent so much of my childhood homeless and deeply in poverty back to live with 30 different families between eight to 12 years old church strangers vans. Like it was crazy. And my grandmother adopted me when I was 12. I'm biracial black and white. And my grandma's all old racist, white lady from a town in Tennessee.

[00:09:29] You never heard of, like, we had a copy of mine comp Hitler's autobiography in our house. My uncle is in prison for life as a part of the area in brotherhood, you know? And so it was like this crazy ass juxta juxtaposition of like growing up in the hood. With this. And so I started getting high when I was 12 drunk when I was 13 and by 15, I was expelled from school for selling drugs.

[00:09:50] And I was breaking into houses, still in cars, hurting people, running from the cops, getting shot at like, it was craziness. And I got put into a last chance program. Still did not graduate high school on time. And in fact, in summer school, my teacher literally just hands me, my diploma. They're like, you got to get the hell out of here.

[00:10:06] We're done. And I was working a warehouse. Putting microchips into motherboards for 12 hours a day, like just microchip, motherboard. It was nonsense. And they fired me like probably because I was stoned and I'm sitting in my car. Um, what is the solution for all of this, for poverty, for abuse, for homelessness.

[00:10:31] And I was like, oh, it's it's money. Right? It's gotta be money. And so I made a declaration of myself that by the time I'm 21, I'm want to make a hundred thousand dollars a year. So fast forward, I'm working for a fortune 10 company, no high school diploma, no college education. I'm making that money. I hit my goal, but my life is a complete disaster.

[00:10:51] Because I had money to do whatever I wanted and I had not done any work. And so I'm like heading into 26 years old. I'm 350 pounds smoking two packs a day, drinking myself to sleep. And that's when I put a gun in my mouth, I was done, man. I was like, oh, money was supposed to solve this. And it doesn't. And the next day I'm laying in bed.

[00:11:16] It's 11 o'clock in the morning. And keep in mind, I'm 350 pounds. I'm eating chocolate cake, smoking a joint and watching the CrossFit games like, dude, if that's not rock bottom, I just, I don't know what is, and I know it's funny, but it's like, holy crap, man, it doesn't get any lower than this. And I went into the bathroom and I was looking at myself in the mirror and I remember being eight years old.

[00:11:42] And the water company came and turned our water off. Do they were always turn off the water, the heat, the electric something. And, uh, went in the backyard, got this little blue bucket, walked across the street to our neighbor's house. And I stole water for the first time. And I remember being like, when I'm a grownup, this won't be my life and it wasn't financially, but it wasn't every other way.

[00:12:06] And as I looked in the mirror, I realized I was breaking the promise I had made to myself as a child. And I asked myself, what are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have? And the answer was no excuses, just results. And 11 years later here, I am talking to you.

[00:12:25] Jeremy: I want to ask you.

[00:12:26] about that, that eight year old boy. I I've heard, you know, Zach shares a story of being a kid and he had a very traumatic childhood, but he didn't realize how he just thought this is, this is child. This is what it's like to be a kid. How did you know then that what you were going through was not normal and that's not what most kids went through. 

[00:12:44] Michael: Yeah, that's an awesome question. being homeless. And living with all those families showed me that what was happening in my house was not normal. Now what I will say is there were good people and there were definitely bad people in all of that, but the good people, the bad people, I was already used to that beating the crap out of their kids, yelling, screaming, and fighting, cussing, hurting, already knew that life.

[00:13:08] So I was just like, oh, that's just whatever, that's my daily life. But it was the good people, right? The healed people. Who were kind to their children, kind to each other who were, who they didn't yell, they didn't scream. They didn't hit each other, dude. You know what blew my mind one time, I'll never forget this. This kid like back talked, his dad and his dad didn't slam him into the wall. And I was like, whoa. That's insane. 

[00:13:37] And that's like a really dark thing to recognize because in my home I talk back to my stepdad. He'd beat the crap out of it. 

[00:13:47] Right. And, and so being that age, it was, had I not been in the circumstances I was in, dude, it was just chaotic.

[00:13:56] We'd constantly get bounced place to place to place. And so I learned so much about people and one of the greatest things that I learned about people is the ability to read them. I I'm a better judge of character instantaneously than anyone I've ever met in my life. I know within five seconds of meeting someone, whether or not they're living within their.

[00:14:16] Values and our moral character and in what happened was looking at those experiences that I had and learning how to make meaning of people became this really interesting idea that I had looking at life and going. This doesn't make sense. Something doesn't add up here.

[00:14:38] Jeremy: I think that's unique. I think most. Maybe don't have that wisdom that, that you had, and, and it seems to have served you later in life, because then you find yourself watching the CrossFit games and you decided that that's enough. I'm not, I'm not going to do this anymore. Walk me through just that thought process, like how, because we hear all the time, it always takes rock bottom.

[00:14:57] Right? Like, so, so tell us what was sort of going on for you and sort of what you hope people learn from your ability to do that at that point. 

[00:15:07] Michael: I wish you didn't have to get to rock bottom, but after, you know, having my own show as well, and I'm a guest all the time, I've talked to thousands of people over the years, we all had to hit rock bottom. I think there's something. Even though my goal is to like, mitigate that. Like, I think there's something about facing the truth of your reality.

[00:15:29] That is the thing that pulls you out and up into what's next. And as much as I wish we didn't have to have that, I don't know anyone who didn't have that moment of like coming to Jesus for lack of a better term. 

[00:15:41] Jeremy: Um, 

[00:15:42] Michael: And so. As I was in this, I realized something very, very important. And what no excuses just results means is that I'm not going to negotiate with myself.

[00:15:56] And that's the reason why people fail. They negotiate with themselves. 

[00:16:00] Cause let me tell you this, your dreams and your goals do not care about your excuses. And so I would find myself at the beginning, look, dude, I'll be honest with you. At 26, it started to plant the seed. It took me another three and a half years for it really to start to like blossom in any noticeable capacity, because you have to think about this.

[00:16:23] Like people who suffered traumatic experiences, like it's not my finger getting cut off. It's not the cuts. That's not the bruises. It's not that the trauma is the theft of identity. It's us having who we are taken from us by the people who are supposed to protect us. And so. You know, you think about this, the brain serves one purpose, 

[00:16:47] survival doesn't care about anything.

[00:16:50] It only cares about. Can I make sure that you live long enough to procreate to watch your procreation procreate? That's it right. And the brain is very malleable and adaptive. And, and with that, what it does is it makes meaning and assessing. All of the circumstances of our lives. And so when you find yourself as someone who's 5, 7, 9, 10, 12 years old, and every time you make a mistake or fail, or try to experiment and figuring out who you are and there's pain there suffering there's ramifications.

[00:17:22] Well, the brain learns that that's not what it wants and it goes, oh, holy shit. I can not be me anymore because every time I'm me, I get hurt. 

[00:17:30] So in order to adapt, I'm going to stop being myself and the worst part about that. As it serves you, it protects you and it keeps you safe. And then you realize when you're 22, 26, 30, 30, 7, 55 years old, that you don't know how to be yourself.

[00:17:48] And the hardest thing that I've. Ever gone through in my life is reclaiming my identity. And so in those three years, after looking at this and going, okay, I'm going to put an effort to creating this life. It was struggle after struggle after struggle, after struggle. Cause I had never done any of those things before.

[00:18:10] You know what I mean? And, and people are always like, well, what are the five steps there? Aren't none. 

[00:18:15] You just keep showing up every damn day. Right. You keep doing the work you keep failing forward. You keep asking hard questions. You keep pushing yourself. You stop negotiating with yourself. You stop making excuses.

[00:18:28] You stop blaming the world. Cause look 

[00:18:30] Michael Unbroken: there ain't nobody coming to save you. And there is no Disney moment. People are sitting around here waiting, going, oh God, please. Somebody rescue me. They're not coming. So the thing about this, and it's a hard truth. I wish it wasn't. But you know this to be true at your lowest.

[00:18:47] Nobody was there to pick you up. It's not that they're not there to support you. It's not that they're not there to help guide you, but you got to get your own ass off the ground. You got to get back to your own two feet and you gotta be willing to ask for help and to reach out to people and go through it and then realize this is an iterative process and that you're going to fail.

[00:19:08] You're going to learn. You're going to make meaning of it. And you're going to try again. 

[00:19:12] Michael: And so that's what those first three years were really like for me is just like, damn dude, all I'm doing is screwing up. I thought I was getting better. And that's where people. They go, oh, I thought it was getting better, but I don't see the change in what you actually realize.

[00:19:27] It's going to take you about 15 years. So you might as well just buckle up and keep going forward.

[00:19:34] Jeremy: I'm about 10 years into my journey on this path. So maybe I'm not quite there. I definitely know. I still have some work to do along the way. People stumble across shows like this one and others and books and all the, all the short T the shortcuts, the tips, the tricks, the strategies, uh, even in your bio, you say there are no shortcuts.

[00:19:52] Trust me. I've tried them all. Can you share some of the things that you've tried that, that you thought were a shortcut that ended up not working out so Well, 

[00:20:00] Michael: Well, I, you know, I think it's just about the dedication and the commitment you have to it because you know, over the last 11 years I've done every modality you can name. Literally EMD S EMDR, excuse me, CBT NLP, ABC, all the acronyms therapy. Men's group therapy, men's group trauma therapy. Done them all coaching, personal development, reading the book.

[00:20:26] Going to the conferences going to the seminars I got over 30 trauma-informed education certifications, continuing to learn, grow every day, trying all the workouts. I've done everything from acupuncture and Reiki to bodywork and Rolfing to everything in between. I spent every single penny of own and every free moment of my life trying different things to get to the place I am.

[00:20:47] All the blood works, all the DNA tests, all the bio microbiome, things, all the everything's. I just, I literally just took a continuous glucose monitor out of my arm. Right. Just trying to figure out who I am and optimizing my health to be able to navigate this. Right. All the therapy, all the hypnotherapy. I mean, I can keep going through literally all of them.

[00:21:06] And the one thing that I've discovered about. Is that something's working, something's done. And the things that work you need to double down on and the things that don't work, take them out of your life because people are always trying to like make the thing that doesn't work, work. If it ain't work and stop trying, 

[00:21:23] like I'm like great example.

[00:21:25] Like I will never go to another AA support. 

[00:21:30] Jeremy: Um, 

[00:21:30] Michael: That does not work for me at all. Not even remotely. And when I was like seven, my mom would take us to AA meetings with her. Like it's crazy child should not be in that 

[00:21:42] Jeremy: I went to, I went to, uh, Alateen meetings as a kid. Same thing. 

[00:21:48] Michael: Yeah. There's no reason for our kids to be in that environment. Right. Because you know, we'd sit there and I just, I distinctly remember this. Being like your literally people would get up and, um, I'd be like, I'm Michael and I'm an alcoholic. And I look at it, I go, that's your fault? Why am I in this room?

[00:22:06] And that's not me casting judgment. I promise. It's not just looking at and rationalizing it as a kid. I'd be like my mom's an alcoholic because of the choices she makes. My stepdad's an alcoholic because of the choices he makes. And then me like being a grownup and trying to find where this all starts to like come together.

[00:22:25] I would sit in these AA meetings and people were like, I'm an alcoholic. And I'm like, I'm not an alcoholic. I never felt that way once in my life. And so I recognize that doesn't serve me, but, you know, I was literally willing to do whatever when I say no excuses, just results, dude. I literally mean it.

[00:22:41] I've done everything you can possibly imagine. And what people want is they want the three steps. 

[00:22:47] I mean, I got a six week program. I got a 20 week program. I got a year long program. Guess what? I'm a decade plus away from day one on this. I'm still doing all the things. Every day. I wake up, journal meditation, drink water stretch, go through, create my life every single day.

[00:23:07] No matter where I am in the world, I make my bed, I make hotel beds. You know what I mean? Like I'm not driven to creating this life and that's what it is, whatever shortcut you think you're going to find it. That's not there. Whatever it is that you think you're going to circumnavigate to get there faster.

[00:23:25] It's not there. You're going to have to put in a tremendous amount of work. And I think if you are just willing to acknowledge and accept that while simultaneously reconciling the fact that some of the stuff you do just is not going to be beneficial to you on a long enough timeline, you will win. And I think that's what people have to understand.

[00:23:44] Jeremy: I still, I mean, even hearing you say this, there's a voice in my head that I have to fight constantly, that responds with, but you don't understand.

[00:23:52] but, but that's, I can't because the world and I'm constantly. Why not me. It can be me. So,

[00:24:01] I have to imagine somebody listening to this right now is thinking, but you don't get it.

[00:24:03] Cause I have to work. And I have the kids and I have the responsibilities and all like, I, it's not a choice. It's a disease that I got from my dad and all that. Like, and I, and I imagine your clients must come to you with yeah, but you don't understand. so. so what is the counter to yeah but 

[00:24:20] Michael Unbroken: So,

[00:24:26] Jeremy: Hello?

[00:24:28] Michael: so.

[00:24:29] Jeremy: what's your

[00:24:29] point 

[00:24:31] Michael Unbroken: Are you trying to justify Are you, are you complaining or are you celebrating? I don't understand what you're doing when you tell me that. 

[00:24:38] Michael: Right? 

[00:24:38] Michael Unbroken: Because here's, here's the truth of it. And I'm not trying to be crass. I promise. I promise I'm not, but what you have to understand is you, I can pull up every excuse on the book right now.

[00:24:48] I never have met, and this is not a competition. I've never met someone in my life who had a worse childhood. than me And, and I'm not saying people didn't, but what I'm saying is like, when I leverage that, when you use those words, but this is my life, my family did this, you're playing the victim, 

[00:25:08] you're being a victim.

[00:25:10] So guess what? You can either continue to be a victim or you can become the hero. 

[00:25:15] Michael: But the only way that works is you've got to be willing to acknowledge. And this is where it gets interesting. You have to be willing to acknowledge that you are not culpable for your past. 

[00:25:27] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[00:25:27] Michael: It's not my fault. I went through those things, but if I want to leverage that in my present, that's on me.

[00:25:35] If I'm unwilling to do the work, to go to therapy, to go to coaching and read the books, to go to the seminars, to listen to the podcast. And I just want to blame the world. You know what my response to you is. So. Keep complaining. 

[00:25:49] Watch your life be the same in seven years. Do something about it and watch how beautiful it can be, but you've got to be willing to face the fear.

[00:25:59] See, that's the thing that holds people back. And I'll, I'll tell you why, because, you know, growing up, we understand the baseline of the theft of identity, right? And when you become a grownup, the thing that you have to figure out and understand, and honestly find peace with, you're not a child anymore. And unless you're willing to.

[00:26:21] Both except that and hold onto it in these moments, nothing's going to be different because everybody's always looking for the reasons why they came. Um, solution-oriented, I'm only looking for the reasons why I can, 

[00:26:36] like, I'm supposed to be dead or in jail. I promise you this, but I'm here and you're here too.

[00:26:42] And if you're listening to this, if you're listening to this and you have acknowledged the truth that you had, things happened to you. Well, guess what? Now you can start to create causation and correlation. And what this means is that when you have this it's evidentiary that you have supporting data of why you're, where you are in your life.

[00:27:01] And then this really interesting thing happens because you have now acknowledged it. Every choice you make after this point is a choice that you have decided to make. And so if your life sucks, it's your fault. And people don't want to hear, dude, 

[00:27:17] I'm going to get an email I sorta got, I'll send it to you when it happens.

[00:27:20] Someone who's less than any of us right now is going to email me and talk about, oh, you're blaming people for their 

[00:27:25] past. You're you're holding your. I'm not what I'm saying. And please send me the email cause I know it's coming. It happens every single time. I say this it's your fault because you now have acknowledged the truth of the reality of your experience.

[00:27:41] Here's a here's trauma. In a nutshell, it's like owning a house and in your front yard is trash and every single day you look at this trash. Now you don't put the trash. 

[00:27:54] It ain't your trash, but every day you walk over it, you look at it, you go, wow. That trash is there. And trauma is walking past trash everyday.

[00:28:04] That's not yours. And deciding to clean it up. You want to heal, take care of. 

[00:28:09] Do the thing don't blame the world for it. And that's, that's the truth about it. Why it's so difficult for people because we should blame the world. We have every right to be angry. We should, but if your life isn't what you want it to be.

[00:28:23] You've got to do something about it. Cause I don't know about you, but I've never had a dream in my life that somebody cared about more than me. 

[00:28:30] Jeremy: Um, 

[00:28:32] Michael: And the people who are stuck right now, and they're like, I hear this, but I don't know what to do. And I have all these experiences and I'm stuck. What are you doing?

[00:28:41] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[00:28:42] Michael: What are you doing? Like literally, what are you doing? Are you reading the books? Are you listening to the pod? Because people go out and have money. I go cool. Me either. I didn't have money. When I started this journey 

[00:28:50] at all, I wouldn't spend $5 for books. I didn't have it. So what did I do? I read it all. I went to the library.

[00:28:57] I still got all my books come from the library. Even to this day, I started going to the gym. I started eating healthy. I started making the right decisions for my body and then it was okay. I got therapy. I'm going to go be honest with my therapist. Holy crap. 

[00:29:11] Imagine that I'm going to get a coach. Wow. I'm going to have somebody push me, show me that I'm giving up on myself.

[00:29:20] Dive deep into the science and research of trauma so that I can understand the re the ramifications of all of those experiences, you know, and people will go, my life sucks instead of at home and watch Netflix shut up, 

[00:29:33] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[00:29:34] Michael: just shut up, because you've decided this and you don't want to hear it. And I'm like, look, I'll tell you the same thing at Jeremy.

[00:29:40] I'll tell you everything that I tell my clients when they come in, I'm here to be your coach. I am not here to be your. I'm not going to coddle you. I'm not going to baby you. I'm not going to be like, oh, I'm so sorry. What I am going to do is sit with this through you and say, this is the game plan, or are you ready to execute?

[00:29:59] And if you are like the thousands of people, who've gone through this with. On a long enough time on your life will be incredibly different, but we live in this society in which we, we get opt out all the time. We get to blame the world for everything. And the one thing I want you to ask yourself right now, if you're listening to this and you're like, man, this guy is kind of an asshole instead of labeling me and ask to what you may like.

[00:30:22] I probably am like, I definitely have my moments, but I want you to think about this. Are you taking care of yourself? Or are you taking it easy on yourself? 

[00:30:33] Cause I promise you, these are not the same thing.

[00:30:36] Jeremy: So on that note, So much of this work, this growth, this healing is incredibly painful. It's incredibly tough. but in my experience, overcoming those things, facing those fears, facing those challenges, that's where the strength is developed and that's where life becomes so much more rewarding.

[00:30:53] Is that, do you agree with that? Is that, is that, do we need to lean into that pain and stop running? 

[00:30:59] Michael: A hundred percent, 

[00:31:00] a hundred percent you have to. And, and it, and it sucks and it's uncomfortable and it's dark. And I wish you didn't. I wish you, I wish dude, I'll tell you this. I'd be the richest man on planet earth. If I could invent a pill that would have helped you forget your child. And it'd be the most wealthy man on planet earth, but that's impossible.

[00:31:21] It doesn't exist and it never will. And if you are looking at your life and you are like, I have plateaued, it is because you have not yet been willing to step into the darkness. You know, going through this journey is like walking through a tunnel, man. You have at the end of the day, Every tunnel, no matter how long that tunnel is, has light.

[00:31:42] And you have a choice to make, you can walk through that tunnel alone, or you can walk side by side with someone. And I think that's the part people miss, you know, people come into coaching, they listen to the podcast, they read the books because I'm there with my handout saying I will walk next to you. I will guide you.

[00:31:59] We will go through this together because that light is there, but you've got to want that light. You've got to be committed to it because you'll never do one session. You'll never read one book. You'll never listen to one podcast and your life is different. It's just not going to happen. It is about repetition.

[00:32:15] It is about continuing to show up. It's about clarity, about who you want to be. You'll about seven years ago. Six seven, somewhere in that window, I sat down and I just started writing the person I wanted to be. All of the top to bottom and I'm still moving towards that person, but I am more self-actualized in being this person than ever, because I made a decision.

[00:32:42] I had clarity. And so what you need to do is you need to create clarity in your life. What do you want? Who do you want to be? And how do we want to get it? And then go towards that with obsession. Honestly obsession every single day and be willing to do anything that it takes to get there. Like this idea about no excuses, just results.

[00:33:01] If I ask you the question, what are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have? And the answer is anything less than no excuses, just results. I promise you nothing's going to be different in your life because I can always find the excuses, but what we need to find are the solution.

[00:33:18] Jeremy: Part of what my understanding of your story is that , you sort of were shown this path by a teacher , who shared with you that it's in the hard work. Like that's, that's where the bounty lies. Can you share that a little bit? Because I just think that's such a powerful message that I think someone who is lost on this path, hasn't had that conversation with that mentor or themselves, and just understanding that it's in the heart. 

[00:33:43] Michael: Well, you don't mean thank you for doing your research seriously. Um, I don't tell that story very often. And so when people bring that up, I know they're paying attention. And so I thank you. I'm very grateful. So my senior year of high school, my girlfriend calls me like three days left in school. And, uh, she's like your name's not on the graduation list at home.

[00:34:03] I'm like stone playing Diablo too. Um, and, and I was like, uh, oh no. So I get in my car, a drive to school, go upstairs. The second floor left corner of the building, Mr. Bushes classroom, the irony, my first period business teacher. And I wait for the period to end. I'm standing there on my rate, dude, you know, I'm 18, I'm a monster.

[00:34:28] And he comes out and I'm like, why did you fail me? Just that tons of expletives, like just being a monster to this guy. And dude, he's been a teacher for 20 years. He knows what's up. I told them at the beginning of school, I said, I'm not coming to your class. It's too early. I'm literally selling drugs at night.

[00:34:48] My grandma's in a coma. I'm working a job at that Hollywood video, trying to cover up the money. Like it was, it was like some kind of crazy movie. And I told him, I was like, I'm not coming to your class. And he goes, I get it. He wouldn't just because I get it. Check in with me, do homework. We'll figure it out.

[00:35:06] check in with him or do homework one time. And so I'm standing there and going, how dare you fell me? He goes, and this is incredible. He says, I didn't fail you. You failed yourself. And he said to me, the most important thing literally to this day, anyone's ever said to me, because what you need to understand about life is you're not going to get by in your charms and your good looks.

[00:35:29] If you want something, you have to earn it. And the barest moment that I felt. The shame, the guilt was exactly what I needed to feel. It was exactly what I needed. And in that. What happened as I had to go to summer school. So if you look up my high school, Northwest high school, it's no longer school. It got defunded because it was such a nightmare.

[00:35:59] Hyper violent kids would get murdered outside the school. It was like our, our, our cops had guns, real guns, dogs, canine, the whole nine man. It was like some shit you see out of a movie. And Harris polls did a study called the dropout factory. And my high school was listed as one of the worst schools in the country.

[00:36:19] And so to not graduate from that school is almost impossible because they just want you out what the streets deal with you. And so to not graduate, all of my friends, ostracized me, I got uninvited to every event and every party I was totally embarrassed to. And, you know, I had to go and tell my, my grandmother who's in the hospital who just got out of a coma.

[00:36:41] Like I'm not graduating high school. I got to tell my girlfriend, who's totally embarrassed that she's dating the biggest loser in the whole freaking school. I'm not graduating high school. And then I go to summer school and the craziest thing happens is that teacher tells me we're just going to pass you.

[00:36:59] And I was just like, what is happening right now? And. Without Mr. Bush standing up for me. That's what he did when I, when I look back at it now I understand what he was doing when it happened in the moment. I was like, you're you're in my way. You're keeping me from living my life, you know, and what he actually was doing, he was showing me, man.

[00:37:24] He was showing me my future 

[00:37:26] because he was telling me I was setting myself up for failure. And it's, it's the greatest thing to this day that's ever happened to me.

[00:37:35] Jeremy: And it's been several years and I know that, uh, at least in my case, Um, I'm a few years behind you and, and a lot of work behind you. Uh, I have a long way to go, and I think you've alluded to having a long way to go does this, and, and you said there's, there's always light at the end of the tunnel, but are you ever better or is this something that You will literally do until the grave?

[00:37:56] The self-help the trying to, trying to get better?

[00:38:00] Michael: You know, I, I think that better is a dismissive word. Um, and the reason why I say that is cause how do you define better? What I always think about as different? How can my life just be different than it was yesterday or 10 years ago, or even today? How can it be different tomorrow? And the thing that I've come to discover it's, it's funny.

[00:38:24] Cause even the client I was coaching today. Two years crushing it. Life's amazing. Haven't talked to him in a while. You know, when he calls, he's like, Hey man, can I get a session? I really need help. And I was like, yeah, sure, man, whatever, let's make it happen. And he hit this wall and it's been a long time since we talked and I go.

[00:38:46] Yeah, I dude, I get it. One of the things I tell my clients when they come in, but I tell everyone what I want everyone to hear right now is when you step into this journey, it's a rest of your life journey. I don't, I don't think it ever ends. I'm not saying it doesn't get really, really good. Cause I promise you, dude.

[00:39:03] It does like I will. I love my life. 

[00:39:06] I love my life, but I have my moments. I have that thing that happens, that hasn't happened in a long time. I have that, that trigger, that response, that, that autonomic response that sends me into that spiral that I go, man, I got the tools, handle it, get it done. Cause the hard days are going to come.

[00:39:27] Anyone who thinks they're not, that's so dismissive, you're missing truth because you're going to have hard days. Not every day is going to be great. And I think the biggest challenge is on those hard days to keep going forward, to keep continuing, to show up for you, to be crystal clear about your , objectives, and move towards them with no objective.

[00:39:50] Other than saying, I'm going to just do it 

[00:39:53] most days, dude, honestly, dude, most days when I'm like, I don't want to do this anymore. When I'm recording hundreds of podcast and writing more books and all the things I go, well, if I don't do it, who will. 

[00:40:04] And I remind myself that I dedicate my life to the decisions I make.

[00:40:09] And so when you have the hard days, that's, especially the time you need to ask yourself, am I taking care of myself or my taking it easy on myself, because if you're taking it easy on yourself, that one hard day is going to turn into 30 and then into a year really fast. And so it's about pushing yourself through, because look, you, you have to understand the truth about it.

[00:40:33] There is going to be the next thing that happened. That throws you through a loop that you feel like you got hit in the face with a baseball bat by, and, and you have to be mentally cute of that. Like, you need to have the awareness of recognizing, like I'm doing really good. It's been six months. I'm crushing life.

[00:40:54] Everything is great. And then. Boom. It happens. 

[00:40:57] And when that happens is going great. I have the tools. I know what to do. And then executing against them. Is life going to be better? I don't know. I don't know how to define that, but will life be different? Yeah, it will.

[00:41:09] Jeremy: Yeah, you and I both know there is no one or two things to, to fix it, but if you could recommend one or two things for someone to start that they're, they're ready. They've they've made the decision. They've hit rock bottom, or they're just trying not to w where do you start? 

[00:41:25] Michael: Dude, you know, honestly, if I could go back in time, I would have hired a coach before a therapist, 

[00:41:30] because I think the immediacy of changing behavioral patterns and reframing understandings is at, at the beginning. In my opinion, outweighs talking about the past. 

[00:41:45] And so there there's there synchronicity all my clients.

[00:41:50] I always, they've got to have a therapist. Right. But I, I always think to myself, if I could do one thing before. I would have hired someone like me to help me get the fuck up. Right. Because I was so stuck at the beginning and I go into therapy and nothing. It didn't help. Like, it really didn't help at the beginning.

[00:42:08] Cause I just felt like I was just dumping crap. And I look at, I look at it now and I go, yeah, I know you gotta get. Stuff off your chest, but nothing. I, the three years of suffering could have been an expedited. Had I gotten somebody to help guide me in the beginning. So I would recommend somebody, you know, reach out to a coach or read a book or listen to podcasts like this and start taking action immediately make decisions about your life immediately.

[00:42:34] So I think that's one of the other big thing is, you know, you got to have some grace for yourself. You have to have some compassion for yourself in this, because you're going to screw up a lot. You just are. 

[00:42:47] And, and if you're willing to be compassionate in that journey, it's going to pay massive dividends in your life because you'll, you'll realize and understand that everyone's going to screw up a lot.

[00:43:01] Jeremy: And if somebody wants to follow you, hire you a to be their coach, , whatever they're looking for, how can they find out more about you? 

[00:43:09] Michael: Yeah, I'm everywhere at Michael unbroken. , and I, I literally put everything out at the thing I'm broker and podcast. , so you can look up things on broken on iTunes or Spotify or whatever. , and you know, my books are in the library. My coaching is in the app on the iOS store and Android. So you can just look up thinking, bro, it's all there.

[00:43:26] It's all there. And there's so much free stuff. It's just like, just start. , so that's why.

[00:43:31] Jeremy: Awesome. Uh, we will have all those links in the show notes for this episode@thefitness.com Michael. Much of your time today. Fascinating conversation and a thank you for all the work you're doing. It's important work to have in the world. 

[00:43:42] Michael: Yeah, it's an honor. My friend. Thank you for having me. 

[00:43:44] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: sincere thanks to Michael and broken. You can find the links he mentioned in the show notes for this episode@thefitness.com and I am so stealing his analogy about people dumping trash on your phone. The fact that you didn't put it there, but you're the one that has to clean it up.

[00:44:00] That is such a beautiful illustration of what it is to have trauma in your past to have just been brought into this place, given this life. And somebody dumps a bunch of shit on you and they don't bother to clean it up and they end up blaming you for it and all of the things. And if you don't get off your ass and start getting that stuff off your lawn, it's going to sit there forever and it's going to rot and it's going to make your.

[00:44:26] A mess. It's going to just be disgusting. So I, I could not love that analogy more. That is such a beautiful way to describe what it means to live with trauma.

[00:44:36] Unbroken Content - USB: I was thinking about that even more , I always wanted to pick the trash up and throw it back to the neighbor's yard. 

[00:44:44] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Yeah. 

[00:44:45] Unbroken Content - USB: Right. 

[00:44:45] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Yeah.

[00:44:46] Unbroken Content - USB: And that just continues the cycle the chain never breaks. And I was like, no, you pick the garbage up, you put it in your garbage and you send it off with the garbage man. 

[00:44:56] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: To be incinerated and destroyed where it can no longer harm anybody else.

[00:45:02] Unbroken Content - USB: There's just no reason to throw it back over the fence. 

[00:45:05] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: I also love his perspective on making promises to yourself, especially if you, especially, if you've had a rough time. Finding ways to take care of that kid and you make him or her the promises, they need to feel safe and healthy. I try and think about it like with my kids, if I promise them anything. If we're, if we're going to go do this fun thing, just bringing them into the world, I'm basically promising them that I'm going to keep them safe and, and give them a decent life.

[00:45:29] If I break that promise, that's, that's a, uh, an unforgivable. So why not treat yourself the same way? Why not make yourself the same promises and hold yourself to those promises? When, when you say that's it, I'm not going to, you know, eat like shit anymore, that's it. I'm not gonna like, pick your, pick your vice, but make that promise to yourself, to that childhood version of yourself, because you don't want to let that kid down.

[00:45:53] You've been letting this version of yourself down long enough, but think about that kid that needed someone to be there for them to, to make them promises and come through and show them that they were, that they were important. To deliver on that promise if you treat yourself that way, that's when you that's cleaning up the mess, right?

[00:46:10] Like that's getting the trash off the lawn.

[00:46:12] Unbroken Content - USB: I've told you this before. I have a picture of myself as a kid that I can see when I leave my bathroom. and I do just that, , I tell the kid, don't worry. You're not going to be eating raw hamburger forever. You know, things like that, which ironically, like when I order hamburger, I usually order it so rare that it's cold in the middle still. Cause I really

[00:46:28] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: I was going to say, do you still have to say, and would you cook it please?

[00:46:31] Unbroken Content - USB: No, I'm just like, just to sear the outside, please. Like, I like the crunchiness, but I like the inside to remind me of my childhood. 

[00:46:39] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: Tastes like pain.

[00:46:44] All right. Finally be patient. This is a lifelong journey. Once you start, no, that you may never get out of the tunnel. Literally. You might never get out, but you will get closer to the light and it will bring more light in so that it'll be easier to see where you're going. It's going to be a long struggle and it will not end, but it will get a little better.

[00:47:08] Unbroken Content - USB: Yeah, the tunnel will get more comfortable. There'll be pads on the walls. Might even be a couch or chair for you to rest. And like it's going to get easier, but it will still be a struggle.

[00:47:20] Unbroken Content - Mic 1: And don't let the conversation in there. Join us in our Facebook group, where you and fellow fitness listeners can connect for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals and a very supportive community. That link is at our website, the fit.com, where we will be back next week with a brand new episode.

[00:47:35] Thanks for listening. 

[00:47:37] Unbroken Content - USB: Tehran.

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Michael Unbroken

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