rob actis law of action

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From the moment I first heard Rob Actis’ voice in an audition, I knew that he would be the voice of The Miracle Morning audiobook series. As he was recording the first book, he started doing his SAVERS, stopped sleeping in until noon, and, amazingly, discovered that he was narrating a book that was changing his life in real-time.

Rob decided at the age of 4 that he wanted to speak to the world. 54 years later, he’s a radio personality, commercial voice actor, and the leader of a new movement getting people motivated to take action in their lives.

Today, Rob joins the podcast to discuss his new (and first) book, The Law of Action: Gain Perfect Clarity, Boost Your Confidence and Get More Results NOW. We talk about facing your fears head-on, what’s really going on when we procrastinate, and how to get unstuck when you’re in the planning stage – and truly transform your life.


  • How laying in bed with a life-threatening blood clot taught Rob to overcome his fears and stop settling.
  • The method Rob has used his entire life to get things done – and why it’s not as simple as it initially sounds.
  • How to dissect the hidden forces at play when we think we’re procrastinating.
  • Why imperfection and success are not mutually exclusive – and the power of acknowledging failures and being vulnerable.


[ctt template=”12″ link=”80Yux” via=”yes” ]People have a fear of taking action, but usually, the inaction is a bigger consequence of actually taking action.” – Rob Actis[/ctt]


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Hal: Achieve Your Goals Podcast listeners aka Goal Achievers, what’s up? It’s Hal Elrod. I’ve got a little bit of a cold, so you might hear me clearing my throat or sniffing or whatever but I’m sure you’ll be alright. Anyway, today I’m excited. We have an author interview today and I love author interviews I think partly because I’m an author, so I can appreciate what it takes to write a book and if it’s a really good book what that takes because now that self-publishing is a big factor in the publishing world, anybody can write a book which is both really cool and got of a quality control issue if you will.


Well, today this is a treat. This is a special individual that I’m bringing on the podcast in that this is the voice. He is the voice of the Miracle Morning book series and I’m talking about Rob Actis. Rob Actis is the narrator for the Miracle Morning book, the original, and he’s narrated every single book in the series so let’s see. Look at my wall here. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, The Miracle Morning for Salespeople, the Miracle Morning for Writers, for Parents and Families, for College Students, for Network Marketers and I think there’s a few that are not on my wall yet. But he now published his first book, The Law of Action.


And, Rob, I’ll bring you on officially in a sec, but I never told you this but for years and I’m sure I’m not the only one but ever since The Secret came out and Law of Attraction, I’ve always said that they missed the Law of Action. They missed the Law of Action and what’s cool is you wrote the book like you addressed that early on. You wrote the book on that, man. So, yeah, I’m excited to have you on. Before you respond, we engage in this conversation which I’m excited for. I just want to tell our listeners I want to give the official intro so everybody listening you know who Rob Actis is.


And he decided at four years old that he wanted to speak to the world and now 54 years later not only has he accomplished being a radio personality and successful commercial voice actor but also, he’s leading a movement that gets people motivated to take action in their lives and Rob’s experiences and triumphs are a testament to that. One example is when traveled to Hawaii to overcome a debilitating fear of heights by taking action and booking a helicopter tour in Hawaii which I did just two weeks ago with the doors off and it was actually terrifying and exciting but read the story in chapter 2. You’ll hear that story when you read chapter 2. And today Rob relishes in facing fears head-on, overcoming them, and inspiring others to do the same.


In Rob’s new book that I just mentioned, The Law of Action, shows the incredible results that you can get when you take the time to intentionally decide, plan, and act in your life and it starts out with an emotional roller coaster story about the time that Rob almost lost his daughter in an unusual kind of a freak medical emergency and I was reading that this morning. I was tearing up and before the chapter ends, Rob also shares about his own medical situation that almost took his life because he didn’t take action soon enough. And Rob is passionate about sharing The Law of Action with the world. His intention is to help people see they are not only worthy of greatness but also capable of breaking down any task in manageable steps and taking massive action. So, Rob, what’s up brother? How you doing?




Rob: Well, first of all, thanks for that great introduction and I am really excited to be here and it’s amazing to think back when I answered an audition and said, “Hal, I am the right voice for this and I need to voice your book.” And the journey that I’ve gone on with you and how you progressed because you’re like, “Well, I got this book and I’m going to create a movement and I think it’s going to be pretty good. I’ve got a little bit of a following. I got other books,” and what you have created and have transformed the planet with people getting up early and just doing the life SAVERS has been remarkable. It’s humbling to be part of the Miracle Morning family so thank you for allowing me to be part of the Miracle Morning family and then I’m really truly humbled. Thank you for allowing me to share The Law of Action with The Miracle Morning Community.


Hal: Absolutely, man, and we’ve discussed this many times over the years that it feels very serendipitous that you answered that ad and I heard your voice and I’m like, “This guy’s voice is freaking magical. So, this is the one.” We had a handful of people audition to do the audiobook and yours was like hands down. Once I heard, “Listen, everybody,” and then yours stood out absolutely. It was cool as you were narrating the book, you kept pinging me, calling me, texting me, you going, “Hal, this is changing my life like I’ve never narrated a book that actually is changing my life while I’m narrating it. I’m doing the Miracle Morning,” and yeah that was such a cool thing. And I’m sure we have people listening right now to you answer that just for you talking that have listened to the audiobook and like, “Whoa, that’s the voice. That’s Rob.”


Rob: Well, I was not a morning person so when I read that in a book that I was not a morning person, I was not a morning person. What I used to do was get up and my now ex-wife Nikki used to laugh at me and my daughter too because I would stay up all night, I would get up at like 7:00 in the morning and my daughter would crawl into bed with me and say goodbye or good morning and then I go back to sleep, and I get up at like 11:30 or 12:00.


Hal: Yeah. I remember that.


Rob: And then I started reading this book and I’m like, “Wow, this is interesting.” I’m like this is really kind of stupid. Why would anybody want to get up early? And so, as I progressed, and I started reading it, I started doing the life SAVERS. I’m like, “Let’s give it a shot and see what happens.” And it has really literally transformed my life and I’m a big preacher of the Miracle Morning. I tell everybody about it and it’s pretty remarkable how it has empowered so many people to start their day off the right way.


Hal: Awesome. Well, I appreciate that. Well, let’s get into the book. And before we talk about The Law of Action though, I have to ask you about your daughter, Aiden. The book has a dramatic beginning about Aiden and you both almost dying and you all pulled together, and you overcame enormous odds. Why did you include this emotional story as the first chapter and then how is Aiden doing today?


Rob: Well, I have to say that when you started talking about that, it’s still really fresh as I’m sure when you talk about what you went through with the car crash, there’s still an emotional connection and it’s still hard. I mean, my eyes are welling up at the moment and it’s brutal and the reason I included those things at the very beginning of the book because I wanted to get people’s attention and I wanted people to know that life is short and life is precious and at any given moment your life can change in a dime. And I also wanted to share that and as you read, you know being in the hospitals if you don’t take massive immediate action and start driving your chair in a hospital, you will not get the care that you deserve. You have to be an advocate for yourself or in the case of my daughter, Nikki and I have to be an advocate for her because she was in a coma and she was 14 years old.


Hal: Yeah. You’re absolutely right. I got the book in the mail yesterday. And so the plan was this morning just to scan the entire book and kind of get a big picture feel for it because obviously, I don’t have time to read it cover to cover and for whatever reason I started the pages or to scan was early on where it was the story of Aiden and I could not put it down and just word for word I read, read, read and then I also looked at the clock and I had in my schedule this morning from 5 AM to 7 AM was writing my next book and all of a sudden I look up and it’s 5:13 and I’m like, “Oh shoot, what am I doing?” So, I mean, yeah, which is a testament to how good the book is and how good your writing is. It pulled me in. Let’s talk about The Law of Action. If I understand correctly, you wrote this book after realizing that this was a method that you had been using for your entire life. When did you figure out that it can help others?


Rob: Well, so when I saw The Secret, I said to myself, “You know what, there’s got to be like The Law of Action because people want to think things positive and I do affirmations and I believe in meditation and visualization as we all do. However, a lot of people don’t understand you have to take action that nothing magically happens and it’s funny because in my life I looked back and saw ways that I took action and didn’t take action and that happened when I was laying in bed because of a blood clot and I was trying not to die. So, I was laying in bed with a blood clot that went from the top of my thigh to my ankle which was caused by inaction and the universe played movies in my head for many, many, many days and I saw my life of where I turned left or where I turned right and ultimately taken responsibility for everything and I saw that when I didn’t take action, things happen which is inaction and when I took action, things happen. And what I noticed was people have a fear of taking action but usually, the inaction is a bigger consequence of actually taking action.


Hal: Sure. What we fear it holds us back and then we go nowhere and then the consequences of not doing anything are the life of mediocrity and settling and all of those things, right?


Rob: Well, you know, and the thing is, is that so The Law of Action is based on three things which I came up with is decide to do something, plan to do something, and then take action. And they’re like, “Oh, that’s simple. Okay. Why do I have to need to read a book?” Well, the issue is that if you look at your life right now and all the things you have on your plate, you have great ideas. You decided to do something, you plan to do something, and you fail to take action. You’re saying, “Oh, that’s procrastination.” No, actually from a deeper level it’s actually a fear and once you find out what that fear is, you can move through that fear and get into action, and it could be a fear of success, a fear of unworthiness, a fear that I’m not enough, a fear of what your family will say. There’s a lot of different fears and when you figure out exactly what that is, you can dissect it and burst through it because what I found that if you don’t take action, things happen and usually it’s not what you want to happen.


And if you do take action, the empowerment of your life which has to do with my helicopter experience was your life will be transformed because once you decide and plan and act and actually get through that, you’re like, “Wow, I did that,” and then you can do it again and again and again and I found that the most successful people including you, you decide to do something, you plan to do something, and you act. You decide, you plan, you act. And so, the most successful people do that faster and do it at a forward momentum and the more you decide to plan and act, the more you get done and what happens is the universe goes, “Oh, you’re playing at a bigger level.” So, what happens is opportunity just starts coming your way because you’re ready for it.


Hal: Yeah. Or you’re not ready for it but you’re taking action. It’s putting you in a position to where it shows up and then you get ready. You’re, “Oh wait, this is an opportunity that I wasn’t even maybe expecting it,” but it shows up because you are taking action.


Rob: Exactly. So, like you do coaching, correct?


Hal: Not so much anymore but, yeah, I did for a lot of years.


Rob: Okay. So, let’s just take an example. There’s a lot of people that do coaching and you can hire a coach, and coaches or even just being one of your masterminds, it’s expensive to work with Hal Elrod, correct? It’s a lot of money.


Hal: Sure. Yeah.


Rob: Okay. So, however, when you do that, and you take action and you put forth the energy of that action into being a part of a mastermind or a high-level coaching program, you are playing at a different level and what happens is everything around you shifts. Would you not agree by that?


Hal: Absolutely.


Rob: So, that’s the importance of taking action and that when you do that, everything around you changes, because you now are a different person. You’re now an action taker and the universe and people around you are seeing you different and they’re responding different to you which is a total beautiful thing.


Hal: So, let’s get into some tactical or practical tips from the book that we could pull some wisdom out of the book and share with the listeners. For somebody listening, they’re like, “Yeah, this all makes sense. I know that I should take more action or I know there are some things, some fears that I’m letting hold me back,” whether it’s fear of failure as you said or fear of what others will think. There are so many different fears and often we use different words of fear to describe them. So, if somebody is procrastinating on taking action toward their goals, toward their dreams, what are some tips for them to get out of the thinking about it phase or the planning phase or the wanting phase and actually moving into the deciding and the acting phase?


Rob: Well, first of all, I want you all to really stop for a moment and just really get that you are worthy. In addition to that, why not you? I talk about in a book how I was sitting with my ex-wife Nikki and she was like, “Well, you’re sitting here looking at the TV saying why can’t you be on those national TV commercials?” and I’m like, “I’m just a guy living in Gilbert Arizona and, yeah, I’m good and I’m doing top-level stuff but I’m not doing national commercials.” And she’s like, “Why not you?” And then I thought to myself, “You know someone’s going to get the job. Why not me?” And so, a lot of people go through life they’re like, “I could never be a person who brings transformational change by teaching people how to wake up early and starting their day fresh.” Why not you?


And so that’s really one of the ways to overcome and get into action is once you realize that why not you? And that’s really important because you are worthy to do this and by doing the Miracle Morning and doing your life SAVERS in the morning, you will become the person you need to be to have the life that you desire and that’s really important. So, your personal development is key to this because ultimately that’s your foundation. So, you want to look at the things that are holding you back and really dissect them but know from your core that you are worthy and also the imposter syndrome shows up a lot. It affected me as you read at the beginning of the book. I was 98% of the book done and I almost didn’t finish it.


Hal: Yeah. A, I’ve been there before with the whole imposter syndrome of who am I to write the book that’s going to get people to wake up early and that is one of my most important affirmations or self-doubt in our lack of worth who am I to be special or the person that does this thing. I’m just me. I’m just the plain old me. And so, the most important affirmation or one of the most important fundamental affirmations that I’ve read for years states I am just as worthy, deserving and capable of achieving everything I want in my life as any other person on earth and today I’m committed to proving that through my actions.


And I think for all of us to affirm that every day that I am just as worthy, deserving, and capable of creating, he didn’t get specific. You don’t have to say achieving anything you want in life. You can get real specific and go of becoming a millionaire or having an amazing spouse who loves me or losing my weight or whatever it is, whatever that result as you get specific, but I think that is so foundational, Rob. You make a great point that it does start with that worth, that feeling worthy of success because only when you feel worthy of success are we going to then create the plan and decide that we’re going to work towards it and commit and follow through and take the action. If we don’t feel that we’re worthy or deserving or capable, eh, I’m not really going to take action because I don’t really believe that I deserve it. So, I think that’s just a great place to start.


Rob: Absolutely. It’s really important for people to understand and this is a barometer you can to is that all of us have self-doubts. I have self-doubts and I was very vulnerable in this book and I shared some strong self-doubts and I was very transparent and it didn’t make me look good in the eyes of some people. They’re like, “Why would you admit that you fail?” Well, because I did, and most people don’t. That’s one thing about you, Hal, is that you admit when you fail, and you admit your weaknesses and I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart from a lot of other motivational or inspirational people is that they present their lives as absolutely positively perfect and it’s not true. We have great lives and we also have challenges and so when people that are not as successful as other people that they look up to and they realized that they are not as successful, and they do have challenges and they do have trials and tribulations that, “Oh, well you know what, I guess this is reachable. I guess this is attainable.”


Hal: Yeah. And you’re absolutely right. I know for me that’s when I connect with somebody when they’re vulnerable and they’re human and they share their faults and fears. They go, “Oh, okay. It’s okay for me to not be perfect,” and then I look at their level of success and I go, “Wow, I can be imperfect because you’re sharing that you’re imperfect but look at what you’ve achieved. That means that I can do it too.” I think that is such an important thing is to really be open and vulnerable in that way. What it’s been like to create the book? What’s it been like going through that process of being someone that you’ve read a lot of books, narrated I should say a lot of books. What’s it been like to write your own?


Rob: It is a whole lot more work than I thought and it’s funny because when I say, “Oh, you wrote a book. Well, no, I wrote a book and I have a whole team behind me. There is a cover designer. There is a content editor. There is an editor. There are layout designers. There’s the back-cover copy person.” I mean it’s a team to self-publish a book and to do it in the right way. And it’s amazing because it’s like birthing a baby. Not to discount for the ladies that I’m birthing a baby. I don’t want to get…


Hal: Yeah. There are some women listening right now. I would argue that.


Rob: I know. Well, I’m just saying from my experience of what I’ve seen because I’ve been there in the delivery room. I’ve seen a baby being birthed, my daughter Aiden, it’s not easy and I give women credit for what they go through for birthing a baby but I’m just giving the fact that it’s really difficult and it’s also a roller coaster. And it’s funny because I wrote the book I needed to read because now that I have the book, I refer to this book every single day and I go to different chapters I’m like, “I totally needed to read that,” and it’s amazing that way how to create something from nothing and to be so vulnerable and to declare you’re going to do something and then actually do it. So, I decided to do something, I plan to do it and then, oh my, did I ever have to take action because I’m writing a book on action. So, everything throughout this process has been, “Oh, well you’re the action guy so you actually have to accomplish this because you’re talking about action.” So, it was a very interesting thing. It’s very humbling to see some of the emails that I’ve received from people and this was right after the book came out of like, “Wow. I did this, this, and this and my life is better because of what you wrote in your book.” And that could be very emotional to look at an email like that and like, “Wow, I did something and actually made a difference in someone’s life that I don’t even know. That’s a good life.”


Hal: Yeah. It’s very fulfilling. So, I know you’re looking even bigger than the book. You’ve created The Law of Action Community. I know you’re really viewing this is a movement. What do you see for the future of The Law of Action Community and for the movement?


Rob: Well, I just imagine what a world would be like where people are unstuck and they’re not in a planning stage. Imagine all the things that aren’t yet invented or the courses that aren’t yet here or the books that aren’t written or the stories that aren’t told or the meals that aren’t prepared or the cars that aren’t built based on people that are stuck in a planning stage. So, my desire is for people to break through their fears and get into action because if we have a life filled with action and those surrounding us, we’re going to have a lot more fun, a lot more opportunity, a lot more excitement and a lot more new things to experience, and a lot happier people that are going to have a happier ever after because people don’t all realize but you deserve to have a happily ever after. And I want The Law of Action to be a catalyst for people to have a happily ever after which I believe everyone deserves.


Hal: Yeah. For every one person that creates, follows through and take action and invent something or just even start a business or create some idea, there are always 1,000 people at home watching on TV or whatever and they’re going, “I thought of that. I thought of that. They took my idea.” It’s like, yeah, they took your idea. It’s their idea too but they actually took action and then ran with it and now they’re reaping the rewards and so was everybody that they’ve shared the idea with. So, I think it’s such an important book because, for anybody listening, if you want to create results in your life, what’s more important than learning how to get yourself to consistently take action, the necessary actions that will move you in the direction of your goals, your dreams and, Rob, you just said your happily ever after. I’d say everybody listening should probably start by getting a copy of The Law of Action book. Where is the best place to get a copy of the book?




Hal: There you go. Okay.


Rob: Yeah. You can also get two free chapters at TheLawofActionBook/TMM. Special hello to all The Miracle Morning listeners but it’s available on You can get it as a Kindle. You can get it as an actual book.


Hal: So, there are two free chapters at


Rob: Yes.


Hal: Got it. or go straight to Amazon. If you don’t need the two free chapters and you’re convinced, you’re ready to go. I started reading this morning. I got pulled in. So, the book is The Law of Action: Gain Perfect Clarity, Boost Your Confidence and Get More Results NOW by the one and only the voice of The Miracle Morning, Rob Actis. Rob, I appreciate you, brother. Thank you for being on the show today, man.


Rob: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m excited because actually, I get to go shortly because I got to go jump back in the booth because I’m doing another Miracle Morning book in a series so there you go.


Hal: Which one you’re working on this today?


Rob: Today is the Miracle Morning for Millionaires which I am totally, totally loving it.


Hal: Awesome.


Rob: Like, I’m so excited about this book.


Hal: Now, that’s great. Miracle Morning Millionaires and then the other is the Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery which I know those are the two that you’re working on in the short term.


Rob: Yeah. They’re both amazing books. A lot of people are really having a challenge with addiction and recovery and I love how this all came together, and I love the way it was all put together and it makes so much sense. I’ve shared with a few of my friends that are in recovery and talk about some of the content in the book and they’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s great,” because it’s so difficult and The Miracle Morning to start your day especially in recovery is just such a beautiful thing.


Hal: Yeah. That’s how that came about is the Miracle Morning accidentally got placed in the addiction or recovery category on Amazon. I literally do not know how it got in there and it became the number one best-selling book in that category and a bunch of like clinics, recovery centers started buying bulk copies for the people that were going to their program. So anyway, that was totally like an accident, but we saw the need. So, well hey, anybody listening, you’re not allowed to get The Miracle Morning for Addiction and Recovery or Miracle Morning Millionaires until you’ve read The Law of Action. Actually, you do whatever you want. It’s not up to me or Rob. But hey, Rob, you’re the man, dude. I appreciate it. I’ll see you this Saturday at the Miracle Morning movie screening. You’re coming to Austin?


Rob: Absolutely. I am making a special trip to Austin to see the movie and I’m excited. I’ve already worked with Nick and so there’s a special surprise of me in the movie which I’m super excited about being a part of.


Hal: Yeah. You did some voice work in there, man. You are the voice of the Miracle Morning for sure. Well, I appreciate you, man. I can’t wait to see you this Saturday and if you’re listening to the podcast, you are a goal achiever. I love you, I appreciate you, and go out and read The Law of Action, get the two free chapters but most importantly, take action on your goals and your dreams because you deserve nothing less than whatever it is that you truly want and are committed to achieving in your life. I love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you next week, everybody. Take care.



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Dr Richard Shuster -Hal Elrod

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Having survived a near-death experience myself (or maybe two of them?), I am pleased to bring you today’s guest Dr. Richard Shuster, who walked away from a near-death experience that forever changed his life’s journey – and led him to become the neuroscientist and altruist he is today.

After Jon Berghoff’s recent appearance on Richard’s podcast, The Daily Helping, Richard joins us to teach you how to Face YOUR Fears and Find Your Mission, sharing his inspiring true story – and the unexpected twists and turns that brought him into alignment with his mission.


  • How a devastating accident became Richard’s spark for major personal and professional growth.
  • Why we’re motivated by the need to feel significant – and how it affects everything we do.
  • What altruism really means – and the importance of not expecting anything in return.
  • How to listen to the world in order to align what you do with what you care about.



If you enjoyed this post and received value from this episode, please leave a quick comment below and SHARE with your friends. Thank YOU for paying it forward! :^)

COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.


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Dr. Richard: If I think back to my upbringing, I grew up in Michigan to two really wonderful down-to-earth parents. My mom was a school teacher initially. Dad was a dentist and did things like giving away procedures or discount, did things to families that couldn’t afford it. So, I always have these really nice, as I look back an adult, influences in my life and role model so to speak. But something kind of changed in me when I got out of college and I don’t know what that switch was that flipped but it wasn’t a good switch. It was essentially I got into the rat race so to speak and my first job was in IT sales and I became very, very focused on accumulating as much wealth as humanly possible. And I’m not, as I’ve said on a number of shows, I’m not anti-capitalism. I’m not anti-entrepreneurship. In fact, quite the opposite but I think I wanted stuff for the purposes of having stuff, to have a really expensive car for the purposes of saying, “Look what I can drive.”


And one day and this was back in 2001, it was just kind of an ordinary day for me. I got in the car and I was driving to go have dinner with one of my cousins and I was kind of sitting at the base of a hill where it was 5 o’clock and the sun was in my eyes and this silver BMW just came flying. I flat out didn’t see it. I got the ticket. Sure. I deserve to get the ticket. I rehashed that scene a million times in my mind since then but essentially, as I’m in the middle of this left-hand turn I see a car screaming at me and what’s really interesting what we know about the brain and this research goes back literally there are accounts of this over hundreds of years, civil war, revolutionary war, notes from soldiers and such. People who are in a near-death experience oftentimes experience what is essentially a slowing down of time, almost to nothing. Like if you think about the Matrix and Neo’s kind of moving and these bullets are wheezing by him in slow motion. That’s what I was experiencing. I could see as this car was just about to slam into me, I knew I was going to die like I was just so sure. And as I can see my windshield shatter and there are little shards of glass floating everywhere, and I see that center console crushing into my side, my thoughts immediately and I didn’t have my life flash before my eyes like people say that happens, but I was reflecting on what I have accomplished in my life. What was I proud of?


And when my parents got that call because I was single like that’s who is going to get that call from the police that their son was dead was going to be my mom and dad and I’m thinking through myself, well, what are they going to be proud of that I’ve done in this world? And the answer was not much. Yeah, I got a degree, big deal. Anybody can go to college and get a degree. It’s not that challenging. But I really just was into thinking, “God, I’ve done nothing.” And as literally like my airbag deployed, I’m spinning back into oncoming traffic and what stopped me was a telephone pole that my car ricocheted into.


So, as a result of that, I’m conscious for all this but I did break my back, suffered some severe internal injuries, did some significant damage to my neck and I was in pretty bad shape and it wasn’t like an Uncle Scrooge moment like I was visited by the Ghost of Richard Past and how can I change but it was about what kind of things can I do to make my life more meaningful in a way that’s helpful for others? And that really kind of the catalyst for me that started me on this long road that I’m on today where ultimately, I’m a clinical psychologist. I have The Daily Helping and I’m launching a nonprofit for kids here in the near future as well but that was really the spark.


Jon: Wow. Well, thank you for sharing that story and a few things that I find personally interesting is you talk about how at the time that you had this accident that you wanted to own stuff in your life for the sake of owning that stuff and I think there’s a quote from the Fight Club, isn’t there? It’s something like, “Careful of the things you own for they will own you,” or something like that. But what I think about when I think about that story and I feel like there’s a great question in here for all of us to consider which is, what is our fundamental motivation that’s driving what we do? That’s a question that I am so passionate about because I feel like as individuals if we can get connected to what is motivating us and become aware of that, we can then realize how certain motivations are actually creating or not creating different byproducts in our life that we may have been unaware of.


So, some people would suggest that what you’re talking about is you were driven by, motivated by the need to feel significant, a sense of status, uniqueness or importance based on the things that you owned. And I really think that if we can start to get conscious about what’s motivating us, that can unlock, and it did for you because we’re about to hear about your story of what happened since then and I’d encourage every listener to think, what is truly motivating me? What is really driving the things that I do? I’m a fan of a psychologist from the 60s, a guy named Ian Marshall who developed a model that he calls the Scale of Motivations. We’re all familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Tony Robbins really helped to popularize the concept that were driven by certain emotional needs.


But when you look at these different models, they’re all saying the same thing or Barrett Values Index. Anybody can go take that assessment for free and you can see what kind of motivations are driving you. But they’re all saying the same thing which is, can you become aware of at the deepest level why you’re doing what you’re doing? And my personal belief, Dr. Richard, and I don’t know, it’s not truth, it’s not reality, it’s just what I feel so it’s my truth I guess is that the more we can shift our motivations from being more self-focused to more others focused, to be more service-oriented and the Barrett Values Assessment is literally a way of measuring that, I feel like that can absolutely transform the scale and the size of the opportunities that the world puts in front of us because people know whether it’s conscious or unconscious, the opportunities and the people connected to those opportunities will resonate based on the actual motivations that are driving what we’re doing.


So, I just wanted to stop and call attention to that because it’s such a big deal. And so, tell us since that car accident, since you started asking what was important, how did that change? What happened next in your life and how you decided to dedicate your life and your career? And tell us more about what that has led to.


Dr. Richard: So, the timing of that accident was really interesting for me because I had started an IT consulting company at that time. We had already won our first bid with the government which was pretty wild, so we were in the process of doing this and one of the things that I had done was I had talked to everybody and anybody about this. I used to refer to this as the Shuster Empire like again I think back how arrogant and obnoxious of me, but I was going to build this massive IT company and do all these great things. And so, I convalesced but I went back to work. Jon, it was kind of like everything was just a bit of a shade of gray for me like nothing was the same. I went to work, and I did my thing and I think I was lying to myself for a while because I just I felt like if I walked away from it at the time at least that’s what I was telling myself. I was going to let so many people down and I stuck with that and I stayed in that role almost for two years and two years too long.


Each day I got more miserable. Each day I knew I wasn’t in alignment with who I’m supposed to be, but I was scared. And I think so many people for them fear is what stops them, fear of the unknown, but I knew I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing but I had no clue at all what I was going to do next. Eventually, I just really was honest with myself and just I’m not happy. I’m not fulfilled. I need to do more. And I walked away from that company, flat-out walked away and I went from working 60 to 80 to working zero in terms of hours and just had all of this time by myself and I, just kind of sitting there thinking about what was next, some regrets, I wasted this time, I worked in technology for these years. I’m not interested in technology. A lot of these should have, could have sort of scenarios in my mind.


And then one day I find myself at a grocery store and I heard two women talking about their daughters in social media. This was back when Myspace was a thing, not Facebook. “Have you heard of this Myspace? What is this? And then they’re posting these pictures,” and I just kind of interject and I don’t usually do that. I don’t usually butt into other people’s conversations, but I just said, “Hey, excuse me. I couldn’t help but overhear. I’ve got a bit of a background in technology and security and I could share some things with you.” So, one of them wanted me to come talk to their school. And so, now all of a sudden, I’m talking to some parents and I’m starting to do some speaking about internet safety and that got me closer because now I’m helping others and the time I spent to technology didn’t seem like it was so wasted to me because I was actually using it in a way that’s helpful.


Then at one of these talks I gave, there is a gentleman in the audience that was on the local police’s cybercrime unit. I don’t know why that guy wasn’t giving the speech, but he wanted me to team up with him and now all of a sudden, I’m kind of on this circuit tour with the police doing these big talks. And the big talks with one audience it was well over a thousand people which was really cool. And I’m helping people on a grander scale and at one of these things a school, I can’t remember if it was a counselor or principal, somebody came up to me and asked me if I’d be willing to mentor that there were a lot of women that were signed up, but they didn’t really have any male mentors and they had a need and I said, “Sure.”


So, they gave me this young man who is at the time the seventh grade and we started doing this thing together and mentoring for a lot of people. It’s like therapy but not really but it kind of gives you a taste of having a direct impact in somebody’s life. And over time, the problems that this young man was having started to change and I’m not going to be so arrogant just to say, “Well, I’m the reason that everything changed for him.” However, it was really cool to be a part of that process and so I learned of a local social work program, a master’s in social work program that was opening up and I went down there and talked to them, applied to that program and that was a very powerful experience. This was around the time of Hurricane Katrina, so I got to work directly with some of those families that lost everything from New Orleans and then moved westward to Texas where I saw them.


And then things just kind of started falling into place, Jon, and then having accomplished the master’s but wanting to do more. I sought out a doctorate in clinical psychology and was able to do my dissertation on the impact of social media on personality functions. So, there again, the technology comes back. Everything was kind of full circle and I love what I do day-to-day and it lets me help people directly, but I wanted to do this podcast as a way of whereas the direct clinical work is the micro, the podcast is more of the macro where hopefully, I could have more of a societal impact which is why I started that.


Jon: Yeah. So, I want to ask you about some of the things you just brought up. I also have a note here and forgive me if this feels out of order, but I want to hear from you about what you call the neuroscience of altruism. I want to hear from you about what is that, what can we learn from that, and how can we apply that in our everyday lives.


Dr. Richard: Well, that’s really a central tenet of my show and it’s not something that I talk about episode by episode because the show is essentially me interviewing people about their expertise to help people. But one of my show’s objectives is to get a million people in a single day to commit acts of kindness for others. And to pull it into the neuroscience, that’s important, is that we are particularly in the United States a very we-focused society. Everything we see is it’s me, me, me and we’re in a really awesome time scientifically to where we can actually see what’s going on in the brain in real-time. And what the research has shown is that if somebody were to give you $1,000, that would be cool for you, but what’s also really exciting is that in terms of hormones that get released in our brain like oxytocin and dopamine, we get the same experience whether or not we’re helping or giving. So, why not give?


So, I try and really implore people to spend some time every day and I end every show with this. I tell people to go out there and do something nice for somebody else. And it’s interesting, I had a discussion with somebody on one of my episodes about altruism. Altruism does not mean you go hold the door for somebody or give somebody $20 thinking that karmically you’re going to get paid back 200. That’s not altruism. Altruism is truly giving, expecting nothing in return, and that’s what I want to encourage people to do.


Jon: That’s awesome. Well, tell us about this nonprofit that is in the process of being approved that launches when? In the next few months?


Dr. Richard: That’s the goal. So, we are simply waiting for the IRS to grant us 501(c)(3) status and my lawyer told me last week that I’m in that 90-day review so if all the documents are in a row, then we’re going to be collecting money really soon which is so exciting for me. This is a passion project for me. I talk about miracles. Certainly, I think my car accident was a miracle that I survived. I still don’t know how I did.


The other miracle on my life involved my firstborn son and it was the inspiration for this nonprofit. When we were at 31 weeks, my wife collapses at work so I’m on my residency so I’m seeing patients doing my thing and I get a call for my wife’s place of work that she has collapsed. She can’t move and so, of course, we’re fearing the worst thinking it’s the baby. We rushed her to the hospital and they do all of the tests that one would expect them to do and the doctor came out and he says, “Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the reason you’ve been experiencing this pain is because your kid’s been kind of doing a little tap dance on your sciatic nerve and that’s really painful. But the bad news and we wouldn’t have known this otherwise is that your amniotic fluid, you’ve had a leak in your cervix probably so insidious you would’ve never known. And your amniotic fluid levels are so low that if we can’t raise them in the next 12 hours, we have to take the baby today because he would suffocate and be dead, without question he would die.”


So, my wife’s at pediatric occupational therapy. I, in my residency, am working a lot with kids because we were connected to Joe DiMaggio Hospital and I’m seeing kids with severe developmental disabilities, so we are seeing the worst every day like the worst-case scenarios and so what the literature shows is that a kid born at 31 weeks, not great, not great outcomes most of the time. So, we’re freaking out. So, they stick her with an IV full of fluids and 12 hours goes by and the levels go up just enough to give it some more time and 12 hours becomes 24 becomes 36, become 6 weeks. And so, she was on bed rest, my wife, for the rest of this pregnancy and he cooked to 37 weeks which is great but because the fluid levels were high enough for him to live but not enough for him to move and he spent the last six weeks he’s wedged completely just kind of like cranked all the way to the left.


So, if you turn your head as far as it could go to where it’s painful, that’s where he sat under my wife’s rib cage for the rest of that pregnancy. So, when he had to be taken during emergency C-section, his head was pretty misshapen, and he had so many problems, so many problems, and what people don’t realize that when a child develops, an infant develops, everything is connected. So, the sensory input they get from crawling, things they hear in their environment in terms of what they see, what they hear, it all comes together. My son had no idea. When other kids were walking, my son didn’t know he had a right side of his body. He needed speech and PT and OT and a helmet that we couldn’t afford but we really overextended ourselves to get him the help that he needed. And what was really remarkable over time is that because of the people in our life particularly at his school that went so above and beyond to help him, he eventually caught up and exploded. When the OT would say my son needs more sensory input, his teacher would text my wife pictures that they then putting shaving cream on his feet which was really important.


And so, we were so touched by that and as I was kind of moving through to jump into the future a little bit with this podcast, I had interviewed Bob Burg who is at the time my first published author, big guest. I was really optimistic, and I just said to my wife that night, “God, I’d really like to when this takes off cut a check back to his old school for $10,000 and earmark that money just for speech, PT, and OT.” And then the little cartoon light bulb went out and freaked out and ran downstairs and went to GoDaddy and saw that was available and I bought it and emailed my lawyer. So, that was the inspiration. I have a perfectly wonderful, happy, healthy five-year-old boy. And even now like we go to birthday parties on the weekends we’ve got young kids like I see them on the playground and he’s climbing monkey bars or something and I almost cry like I’m so grateful and it’s so amazing to me that he can do these things that a lot of people would just take for granted.


So, when we’re able to take money, what we’re going to be doing is helping kids just like my son because there’s a lot of foundations and charities out there for kids that have severe disabilities. There’s really nobody playing in the space for those kids that just need a little push, those kids that just need a boost to reach their true potential and that’s where we’re going to be. So, schools will have the ability to apply, we’ll vet them, and then the funds will be distributed directly to the school so that they can go out into their community and bring in treating professionals to help these kids that just need a little time, limited push to get back on track and ride their ship.


Jon: Dr. Richard, what an incredible story and thank you for sharing that to hear how personal it is for you and I can relate as a parent. One of the things I invite everyone who’s listening to think about and this will be my next question for you is I love any kind of final thoughts you have that can help all of us on the idea of how to continually keep figuring out what our mission is and aligning what we do with that. And I hope that when others hear your story, they are not only inspired but they are inspired not just by the story itself but by the idea that one of the things you are exemplifying is you’re constantly listening to what is the world telling you, what are the opportunities that the world is giving you to align what you’re doing with what you really care about.


And I love what you said earlier that in your career, you would stay in a role maybe for too long but I think all of us can relate to in our lives as entrepreneurs or otherwise, we all have decisions that we’re facing and many of us have decisions that we put off or we rationalize not making a decision and that makes us feel good about this in the short term but what none of us want is to look back and think, “Oh my gosh, should I have made a different decision?”


So, I love that your story embodies really listening to your passion, your mission and being willing to follow that and I encourage anyone who’s listening to think about maybe where has fear held you back for making a critical decision to doing something that may be more closely aligns whether it’s a little or a lot with what you really care about, with what you really value because life is so precious. This whole ride is such a short ride. So, Dr. Richard, any final thoughts from your journey, any lessons you’ve learned about just aligning everything you do with what matters most?


Dr. Richard: It’s a great question, Jon, and I’m actually in the process of writing my first book which is going to delve into this very specifically. One of the things that I think is so neat to do is to step back and talk about those things you’re passionate about. Many people if you’re an accountant or in sales and maybe you love helping others, but what do we really enjoy? Like, if you strip away the need for money and to pay the mortgage and tuition or whatever fiscal responsibilities one might have in your life, ask yourself what it is that you really love to do? And as you’re asking that, I mean, probably everybody who’s read the Miracle Morning and then the Miracle Morning Community is very committed to achieving goals and being very introspective so find out what you love to do and identify what your values are. And values are different than strengths. The values are different than passion. It is who you are as a core person.


My mission is value-driven and for me, my mission is to be of service to others even if it is no benefit to myself. So, for me, every action that I take drills down from there. And that’s really the first thing because if you can identify who you are and how you want to make an impact in this world and then find activities which bring you passion, you will kind of stumbled into as I did ways to tie those two things together and be able to provide abundance for your family and your loved ones.


Jon: Wow. I love how clearly you’re able to share that and I also love, Dr. Richard, that for anyone in here who’s been a listener for a long time, we have some folks listening to this podcast who they’ve heard me for the past year and they may or may not realize that I’m just standing in for my buddy, Hal, who started this podcast. And for anybody in this community who knows Hal, a lot of what you just shared resonates with how he has shown up in the world for so many years. I can’t help but hear your mission and think that is so much a part of who Hal is and how he has grown his global community. And I have seen because I’ve known him for a long time and I’m just getting to know you, but I’ve seen for Hal going back 10 plus years, he’s been living out his own mission so similar to yours which for such a long time he is so authentically being committed to he calls it Selflessly Adding Value Every Day, the SAVER model. Interesting because his Life SAVERS is part of his Miracle Morning framework, but I love that personal mission that you have, Dr. Richard. And one more time before we part ways here, where can people follow you? Learn from you? And stay up-to-date with what you’ve got going on?


Dr. Richard: Best way to do that is to go to which is kind of the mothership for everything that we’re doing. As the nonprofit launches, we will certainly post everything that’s there. That’s going to be but like I said, can’t take money yet and then podcast is available on all the usual places, iTunes, Google Play. We’ve got our app in the App Store so that’s kind of where everything connects to I should say.


Jon: Awesome. Dr. Richard, good to be with you, buddy. Take care.


Dr. Richard: Likewise. You too.




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4 scientifically proven ways to breakthrough your fears

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Fear, doubt, hesitation, anxiety, concern, frustration, self-limiting beliefs…. Whatever you want to call it, we’ve all been there.

So, how can you proactively overcome all of it?

In this discussion, Jon Berghoff shares from the heart and opens up about his experience with FEAR—yup, even an uber successful guy like Jon struggles with such self-imposed limitations.  

In fact, it’s something he’s had to deal with for his whole life. As he puts it, “I live with fear. It’s not something that ever goes away.

Maybe he can’t eliminate it—I don’t think anyone can—but he does consciously decide how to work with it. Today he’s going to share the 4 scientifically proven ways to breakthrough your fears.


  • #1 – The impact a formal mindfulness practice can have on breaking through fear.
  • Discover the 3 attention skills that are absolute lifesavers when it comes to dealing with fear.  
  • #2 – What story are you telling yourself? Learn to manage your internal narrative so you can accelerate in the areas that matter most!  
  • #3 – How to reframe the things you fear so you can move towards the things you want.
  • #4 – The importance of changing your physiology and being smart about what you put in your body.
  • And much more…



If you enjoyed this post and received value from this episode, please leave a quick comment below and SHARE with your friends. Thank YOU for paying it forward! :^)

COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.


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[00:00:03] Hal: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. The show that empowers you to wake up to your full potential and achieve your biggest goals and dreams. I am your host Hal Elrod and I invite you to join us each week as we share actionable strategies to take you life to the next level as well as interview world class experts and entrepreneurs who have achieved extraordinary goals themselves and we ask them to give you a peek behind the curtain and teach you exactly what you need to do to do the same. Ready? Here we go.


[00:00:32] Jon: All right, all right. We’re going live. Hey, what’s going on everybody? We’re going to talk about fear today. Fear. How to conquer it, how to overcome it. I’m kind of pumped to talk about fear and we’re talking today about four scientifically proven ways to break through our fears. I’ve been really looking forward to talking about this. I deal with fear all the time..I have to deal with fear every single day. I’ve been dealing with fear for as long as I can remember what I’ve been dealing with for whatever that’s worth. So look, let’s get right to it. I would love your questions, I would love your stories, I would love your feedback. I would love to interact directly with you. I am watching the live stream as we record this.


The topic today is ‘fear’. I want to start by sharing from a very personal perspective. Fear is something that I know many of us who are members of the Miracle Morning community, many of us who are the Achieve Your Goals podcast community, fear is something that we probably all deal with in our own way. Fear is a very personal thing and so it’s only fitting that today if I’m going to talk to you about ways of breaking through fear is a very personal conversation for me. I can admit that I live with fear. It’s not something that every goes away. I live with it and I’ve learned to work with it. I finally figured out, I think I figured out, although since I think I figured out something it usually means I haven’t really figured anything out.


I feel like I finally figured out that I can never really eliminate fear from my life as an entrepreneur, as a parent. I can’t seem to get rid of it. What I can do is I can learn how to work with it. Thank you Samantha, thank you Christopher for the questions. By the way, I’m going to address those questions head on in just a second here. How do you calm yourself with fears of the future? How do you cope with fear of what others might be thinking of us even strangers that we don’t know?


[00:02:35] Jon: I’m happy to address all of that. I’ll start by saying that fear has played a big role in my life and I’m going to go back to in high school. There was a time in my life in high school where, and I don’t really put too much energy in trying to fully understand or comprehend why certain things in my life worked out the way they did but I know this. I know that when I was in high school I lived with an intense amount of fear. I was afraid to go to school every day. I was afraid of what people thought of me. I was afraid of what they might say to me about me. I was so afraid that I really barely made it through high school. I just became completely socially disconnected. I think I became disconnected from who I was.


I got lucky and not everyone gets lucky the way I do that I really stumbled into an opportunity and many of you who know me or we have gotten to know each other you know my story that I stumbled into an opportunity to be an entrepreneur at a young age. That was like a way out for me. I was lucky that I got to sell Costco knives and that company had a culture where I was able to completely let go of the life I was living during the day and go live a different life selling kitchen knives. If that sounds weird, it is. But interestingly and that’s where Hal and I met. Many of our good friends Jon Vroman, John Ruhlin


In fact we did an episode a few weeks ago where five of us came on. We’ve known each other for 20 years. We had John Ruhlin and Jon Vroman, John Kane and Hal, Hal the odd ball who is not named John. But we all grew up in that culture. I got lucky that that was a way out for me but not everybody gets that lucky. So if I share something with you today that helps you, that makes me feel really great. I’ve learned a lot about dealing with fear. Today I’m going to share with you four strategies to deal with fear. Even if you’re somebody who feels like fear is necessarily slowing you down at least not in a conscious way.


[00:04:33] Jon: I have found that for me even when I am crushing it at life, there are always little voices in my head that will come up and I might not use the  label fear to describe them but it might doubt. It might be hesitation. It might be a limiting belief in myself. It might be an anxiety. It might be a concern or a frustration. To me these are all derivatives. They are all like the brothers and sisters and cousins of fear. The four strategies I’m going to share with you today I’m going to start with the first one which is maybe the more complicated of the four strategies I’m going to share


The first of the four strategies I’m going to share to deal with fear in an effective way is what I would call and I think this is really important, we all have to learn how to build a practice of mindfulness. Now, there’s a lot of different labels and a lot of different words I could use that might mean the same thing to a lot of us. Some people call these contemplative practices and I’m going to go way into this right now. I’m going to dive deeply into my experience with meditation. Some people call it meditation, some people call it practices of connectedness. You might call it prayer, you could call it whatever you want.


But I’m going to tell you that in my life, one of the things that has really, really helped me and as I said earlier not to figure out how to get rid of fear, I have decided I can’t get rid of it. But I can learn how to work with it in a more effective way. I can learn how to work with it where it doesn’t have a grip on me. In the four strategies I’m going go to share with you today, in the final three they are actually really practical. Not that mindfulness or meditation isn’t but it’s the one that most people struggle with. That’s why I’m hitting it head on. I’m starting with it. So let me talk a little bit about mindfulness meditation and what that’s done for me. I want to give credit here to Julianna Raye. Somebody if they could tag Julianna in the comments so she knows I just gave her a shout out.


[00:06:26] Jon: I want to give credit to Julianna who I was introduced to about three years ago who is my mindfulness coach. If you want to learn more about Julianna you can go check out I had been introduced to meditation, I may have been 15 years ago. It’s when I started meditating. In fact when I started… I never shared this. I might as well share this. When I started meditating, I had come across at the time it was only available as an audio program, maybe it’s a book nowadays. There was a Deepak Chopra audio program called ‘Synchro Destiny’. He had these six different meditations. These six different meditations they were all of like Eastern origin.


So they were literally these like Hindu and I could be getting that wrong. I think they were these Hindu sayings but he interpreted them. I’ll never forget. I had that audio program, ‘the power of synchro destiny’. I don’t if it was the title or the subtitle but I transcribed word for word the whole program. Just by pen and paper. I had someone who would taught me, if you really want to internalize something you’ve got to put pen to paper and recreate it basically. I transcribed all these different meditations that he taught. In that transcription, I then started meditating and I’ll never forget, this might sound like the most trivial example of the power of meditation.


But it is kind of crazy. I had been meditating on a certain saying, I think the saying. I think the meaning of that saying, it’s been 15 years. I don’t remember exactly but it was something about connectedness. I’d been meditating on that one word for about a week and I was driving in my car and I decided out of nowhere I’m going to call up this girl that I used to know  like years ago and she was never anything more than a  friend, or a loose acquaintance. Just a friend that I knew. I thought her number was still on my phone. I’m going to call her up for no reason. Well, I called her up and it just so happened that as I called her I was on my way home from an indoor soccer game.


[00:08:34] Jon: I hadn’t spoken to this girl. Her name was Suzie. I won’t say her last name to protect the identify of the innocent here. I call her up on my home from my soccer game. It just so happened that during that game I had sprained my right ankle so badly that I could barely drive my car. I was driving it actually with my left foot, which if you’ve ever done that it doesn’t feel safe. Suzie answers the phone. No exaggeration, this is the truth. This is exactly how the conversation goes. Keep in mind I had been meditating for about a week on connectedness and what I had learned about certain meditations is that depending on what you believe on quantum physics and a bunch of other things, that we actually can create connectedness across time and space.

I don’t know if I really believe any of that until Suzie picked up the phone. So she picks up the phone and she says, “Hey Jon. I haven’t talked to you in years.” I said, “I know. I just figured I’d called, just saying hey.” About a minute into the conversation and she’s like, “Well, what are you doing right now?” I say, “Well, I’m driving home from a soccer game.” And I tell Suzie, I say, “Suzie, this might not sound safe but I injured my right foot, I’m driving with my left foot.” She goes, “Is this some kind of a prank?” And I said, “No. This isn’t a prank.” She’s like, “What are you talking about?” It got weird for a second. She was silent and she said, “Jon, you wouldn’t believe it.” She said, “But I’m driving my car and I’m also driving with my left foot because I recently sprained my right ankle.”


Now, that’s a true story and  I remember I was silent and then I got really weird and she and I both decided it was really weird, we ended the conversation and it never really went anywhere after that. It’s kind of a funny story. I’ll tell you this. I have since that moment, the list 15 years. I have had many, many, many instances where the deeper I went with meditation the more I had synchronistic events in my life and many that were more than just trivial. Ones that actually led to really important accomplishments, personally and professionally. So that was how I was introduced to meditation.


[00:10:40] Jon: Thank you for your patience in hearing my rambling. I’ve never told that story of that first synchro destiny moment. They told me maybe there’s something to this meditation. But today’s podcast episode or live stream if you’re watching is about dealing with fear. Over the years what I’ve learned about meditation and having a contemplative practice is look, I could talk right now about all sorts of band-aids that we can put on our emotions. In fact I think that’s what a lot of us do in our lives. We destruct ourselves from our emotions. I joke with my wife or my friends it’s like do I want to deal with my emotions right now or just eat a piece of cheese? For some of us it’s not a piece of cheese.


It’s something else or it’s a drink or it’s a puff or it’s zoning into the television. In my mind those are all the same things. They are all things that we do to avoid feeling what we are feeling and that’s just the human experience. So fast forward, 13 years later I was first introduced to meditation, Julianna Raye, my coach who I met about three years ago maybe four years ago, she taught me a practice of meditation that helps me to build three attention skills. So I want to share these three attention skills with you because I believe in my experience has been that in dealing with fear these three attention skills are absolutely life savers.


By the way if you have questions about dealing with fear I don’t know that I have answers to your questions but you’re welcome to post them in the live stream. I can see a bunch of them that have come in already and I’m trying to share these stories and talk as I’m reading what you’ve posted. I think I’m going to do my best to help you out. So mindfulness meditation helps to develop three attentions skills. I’m sharing these three skills with you because I want to sell you on developing a mediation practice because I believe that without having a formal practice you can’t develop these three skills any other way.


[00:12:31] Jon: It would be like saying well I know all about going to the gym and I know all about lifting weights and then expecting my muscles to change. I can’t know all about something when it comes to mindfulness or meditation but not practice it and think that I’m going to get better. Sometimes we think intellectually we can just understand our way into changing who we are being. We have to actually nurture practices and habits that change our way of being if that makes sense. Mindfulness meditation, the form that I learned from Julianna has helped me to build three attention skills. Number one is what we call concentration power.


Concentration power is the ability to stay focused on whatever I deem to be important at any given moment in time. When it comes to dealing with fear that’s really helpful because often times fear is allowing my mind to wander into the future, to wander outside of what I really need to be focusing on which is probably something that should be right in front of me. So building our concentration power through a mindfulness practice is a fantastic antidote to fear. Stay focused on what matters because often times if we unconsciously move into a state of fear, it is just because our mind might be wandering away from whatever is actually more important in that moment.


The second attention skill is what we call sensory clarity. Sensory clarity. Sensory clarity is the ability to detect, to discriminate, to distinguish our sensory experience. So what does that mean? Well, I’ll just make this personal. For me, a lot of the time when fear is taking over from me, what happens is I don’t really notice what’s going on until it’s too late. I don’t know if any of you can relate to that. I don’t really notice what’s going on until the internal chatter in my mind has been going on for so long that it’s like it’s paralyzing. Sometimes it’s not the chatter, for me it is often the chatter and when I say chatter I’m talking about just conversation in my head where I’m actually talking through either a conversation or literally talking through the future that I don’t want to have happen.


[00:14:41] Jon: But I don’t notice until it’s so late in the game that that fear is like it’s got a grip on me. I don’t know if you can relate to that. Sometimes it’s not a conversation in my head. Sometimes it’s images in my head where I don’t realize until it’s too late but I have literally played out in my head like what it looks like for my business to fail, my wife to leave me, my kids to be all messed up. I don’t know if any of you have ever played any of these things out. You don’t realized till it’s too late. Like oh my gosh, that’s a little out of control. Sometimes it’s not a conversation in my head and it’s not the voices, it’s not the images.


Sometimes it’s just the physical feeling of type of fear. It’s before I walk in to give a presentation, before I walk into a social setting. That’s what it could be for a lot of you. Before I go into this important meeting or moment, there’s something in my chest, like a physical representation of anxiety. If you’re listening right now, if you’re paying attention you might notice that I just called out three different ways that we actually experience our moment by moment experience. It’s through what we hear, and I’m talking about inside of ourselves. I’m not talking about the sound of the cars or the birds or the wind.


I’m talking about the voices in my head, or sometimes it’s things that i see or sometimes it’s an emotional feeling. Now, here’s when I know I’m really messed up. I know I’m really messed up when I’m talking to myself, seeing things and feeling something all at the same time. That’s what Julianna my coach calls that we’ve become inter-tangled our sensory experience and we have to learn how to unravel that. Untangle it. So at this point, some of you might be listening thinking, well you’re completely describing an experience that I have from time to time, which by the way if I am describing your experience and you want an immersion in helping you to transform fear into courage and an unstoppable confidence, make sure you join us in San Diego next month at the Best Year Ever Live Blueprint.


[00:16:39] Jon: We’re 30 days away, 300 or 400 or you are going to be there., Hal and I cannot wait to spend three amazing days with you designing the year of your life for 2018 but back to our regularly rescheduled programming. So I shared with you earlier, I’m talking about four ways of dealing with fear. The first one is to develop what I would call a mindfulness or meditation practice. What I’ve been trying to advocate for here is when you develop a mindfulness practice… By the way if you are watching the live stream, give me a shout out, a hallo, a question, anything. I need to know if this is of interest. So just post a comment, question, idea, just so I know you’re still there.


So, I’ve been talking about meditation and how it builds three attention skills. One of them is concentration power, the second one is sensory clarity, the third is what we call equanimity. This is a big one when it comes to dealing with fear. Equanimity is the ability to avoid the push and the pull of our internal experience. What does that mean? What it means is, imagine emotions are kind of like a wave and they come and go. When they come, if we are unconscious about it, they can grip us and they can pull us under the water. If you’ve ever been sucked under the water at the ocean shore, at the beach you know that that’s a scary feeling.


Well, that happens to us all the time with our emotions. Our emotions come and go like a wave. They don’t just show up at our doorstep. They slowly creep in, they expand and then they slowly go away.  So when we talk equanimity what we are talking about is can we allow our emotions to come and go without allowing them to throw us under the wave? So those are the skills that mindfulness helps us to build and the reason I wanted  to stop and talk about those because if you’re listening and you’re like me, I can’t hear about those skills and not agree that okay, I have to learn how to build these if I want to learn how to deal productively with fear.


[00:18:29] Jon: So let’s circle all the way back to if you don’t have a regular meditation practice what can you start doing right now? Well, I am not an expert in teaching meditation, I would direct you to and go learn from Julianna, start a regular practice right now. Pick up her mentor’s book, The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young. We will be leading and teaching meditation at the Best Year Ever Blueprint event next month but I just wanted to finish this point by saying, look if fear is something that you deal with on a regular basis or any disempowering emotion, the first thing that I’m sharing with you today that has helped me in a huge way is having a regular mindfulness practice. Having a regular meditation practice.


And it’s subtle. But it builds and it can be really, really helpful. I told you I was going to share with you four strategies today. Four strategies for dealing with fear and in an effective way. The next three I think are a lot easier and a lot more practical and almost instant and it’s more noticeable to notice the results. So here we go.


The second of these four ways of dealing with fear and I don’t have fancy labels for these so you just going to bear with me as I stumble through this because this isn’t’ like some canned talk that I give. This is just me riffing on how have I dealt with this and I got a few scribbles on a piece of paper. If you are on the live stream, there’s my scribbles right there. Those are my notes. So you can see how interesting it is for me to turn that into something coherent.


The second of the four ways that I want to talk about is what I call managing your internal narrative. Managing your internal narrative. Now, what do I mean by managing your internal narrative? Really what I’m talking about is what is the story that you are telling yourself about what’s happening in your life or in your business? Whatever the arena in your world, it can be your family, it can be in your business, it can be where you go to work every day, it could be everything. But my point is, what story are you telling yourself about what’s going on in your life?


[00:20:34] Jon:  I’m going to specifically give you a resource here and the resource I want to give you is an example of a story that you can use to maybe replace a disempowering story. I’m holding up a diagram and what I’m holding up a diagram of is something called the Hero’s Journey. I’m a huge fan of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey it’s a philosophy that I learned about from a great teacher by the name Joseph Campbell. If you want to learn more about the Hero’s Journey just Google it. You can also check out a great documentary called Finding Joe by Pat Solomon. I love Pat. Super cool dude. We had him at our Quantum Lead mastermind event a few years ago and he was the executive producer.


I could be wrong on that title of finding Joe, a documentary about the Hero’s Journey. But the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell and this is the non scientific inaccurate explanation of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey it’s rally Joseph Campbell’s discovery. Joseph Campbell studied mythology, religion and he really studied culture and civilization across time. one of the things that Joseph Campbell found is that when you look across all of the stories that had been told all across history when you look in religions, cultures, societies, indigenous, modern and you even look at film, modern day Hollywood films, Joseph Campbell pointed something out.


I think Hollywood is obviously taking a cue from these stories to go back across generations and civilizations. But what Joseph Campbell found is that there’s a, what he calls a monolith or a monomyth which is there is a universal plot line. There’s one storyline that is kind of embedded within all of the stories that have ever been told. If that sounds crazy, do your own homework. Go check this out. It’s really, really cool stuff. But what I love about the Hero’s Journey which is the label that Joseph Campbell uses to describe this journey that we are all on is that the Hero’s Journey allows us to really reframe the story that we tell ourselves about our lives.


[00:22:40] Jon: I’m going to give you a really high level overview of the Hero’s Journey. If you’re interested in the Hero’s Journey, there’s an episode that we did on the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, we did this like a year ago or two years ago. It was a long time ago where I think we brought Pat Solomon on. We talked about the Hero’s Journey, we maybe have done more than one episode on this. So I’ll find it, we’ll post it and you got to go check it out. But here’s the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell. It’s the idea that in our lives there’s a journey that we are all on whether or not we are conscious of it.


If we become conscious of it my experience has been that I can accelerate it. My  experience is that I can actually participate in that journey but if I don’t become conscious of it or I don’t consciously articulate where I’m at in the journey, I can become paralyzed. For me this is a great way of understanding what’s happening in my life in a way whereby understanding it that almost becomes a form of mindfulness. This almost becomes a form of meditation to where the fear doesn’t get a hold of me. I just understand the role that it’s playing if that makes sense. So here’s the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell.


There’s really like three or four phases in the Hero’s Journey that we can all connect to. The first phase of the Hero’s Journey is what Joseph Campbell calls act one. Sometimes it’s called separation. This first phase is where we go from what we call the ordinary world which really just means we interrupt the pattern of our everyday thinking because I truly believe that if I think the same thoughts every day, if I feel the same emotions and I get dressed the same way and I eat the same food and I do exactly the same things and I say the same things, not much is going to change in my life. So the Hero’s Journey is asking us to recognize that really the first step on our journey is to listen at a deep level for a calling to maybe step out of our ordinary world.


[00:24:36] Jon: I like to re-interpret that and say what I really hear there is we’ve got to be willing to open up our minds. We’ve got to be willing to open up our minds to see things a little bit differently and to maybe sense that that the world might be calling something of us that’s greater than what we have currently recognized. So, in this first part of the hero’s journey, really what happens is it’s what we call answering the call. So there might be some of you right now who are sitting in fear, in your lives and in your businesses. One of the things that could help you out is if you recognized that maybe in your Hero’s Journey the reason you’re feeling a sense of fear is because you feel a calling to something more.


And you’re simply afraid of what could happen if you pursue of that calling. You’re afraid of the unknown. You’re afraid of the uncertainty. See I have found that for me personally when I stop and recognize that hey part of my fear just comes from whatever stage I am at in the journey and not realizing that I am just at a certain stage it is actually very understandable where fear is normal and natural. Just by recognizing that it can help us to deal with the fear. So according to the Hero’s Journey, the first stage is what we call answering the call. Answering the call means that we decide that we’re going to follow this whisper.


We’re going to follow this internal voice. We’re going to follow our gut. We’re going to follow this opportunity and that leads us into the second stage and that moment where we go from that first stage of deciding to answer the call, by the way how many of us have resisted answering the call in our lives? We hesitate. Well, the moment that we decide to answer that call, Joseph Campbell calls that crossing the threshold. Some people call it crossing the first threshold.


[00:26:30] Jon: Crossing the first threshold is where we decide that we are going to move from feeling or hearing or sensing that that the world is giving us a chance to do or create or be something more that we are actually going to commit to following that. Then what happens is once we cross that threshold, we get into the second act of our Hero’s Journey. For some of you, maybe what you’ve done is you feel like you’ve answered that calling. Samantha asked the question, “How do you figure out the calling?” That’ a great question. I’m a really big fan of Otto Scharmer out of MIT who teaches something called Feary You. One of the things they teach in Feary You it’s called Presencing.


Check out the book Presence. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve ever found about connecting to your deeper purpose so that you can create the future that you want your dreams. It’s some pretty crazy stuff but it’s a bunch of really smart people that I personally really respect and one of the things I’ve learned from them is that in order to connect to a deeper intelligence and there’s all these fancy labels and infinite intelligence, a deeper wisdom, a consciousness of connectedness, a field of information and energy. So all these different labels out there. In order to connect to that deeper connectedness one of the things we have to do is we have to learn how to open our minds and what does that mean?


It means let go of our old patterns and ways of thinking. We also have to learn how to open up our hearts. Which means we have to learn how to see the world from the shoes of other people, from the eyes of other people. When we allow ourselves to let go of how we’ve been thinking and what we’ve been believing and we allow ourselves to let go of how we see the world and see it how others see it, it might draw us to a point where we not only can open our minds and our hearts but we can open up to the potential and the possibility of the highest calling that the world has for us. Now, personally, one of the questions I’m always asking myself is what are my highest strengths? What are my highest strengths, talents and capabilities. When have I been at my best? Why was I at my best? How can I take the factors from those moments and keep re-inviting them into the present and combining that with what gives me joy, what gives me passion.


[00:28:37] Jon: That’s Presence by Otto Scharmer, Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers. There’s probably 100 books called Presence but it’s the one that’s co-authored by Peter Senge and Joseph Jaworski.So that’s my answer to how do I figure out that calling is… Well first of all I never stop asking. I never stop asking why am I here, what’s my purpose? What meaning can I give to what I’m doing? How do I keep applying my strengths? How do I keep connecting the dots between the opportunities, the people in my life, the strengths that I have and what gives me joy. I just don’t stop asking. That allows new exciting things to emerge again, and again and again. So back to the Hero’s Journey. For me and the way Joseph Campbell describes it is that once we make that commitment to follow that calling what happens is now we go into this second act.


These I’m just paraphrasing here but really at that stage in our lives or in our journey, maybe you can all relate to this if you feel fear in your lives right now. The second act is where we what Joseph Campbell calls we face some sort of supreme ordeal. We face a supreme ordeal. What does that mean? Well, facing that ordeal we meet people on our journey that become mentors but we also meet people who become villains and we also come across ideas that are going to help us and we also come across destructions but ultimately we find ourselves facing some sort of moment.


It’s a moment you might call it an obstacle, an adversity. Joseph Campbell calls it the Supreme Ordeal. Depending on the interpretation of the Hero’s Journey some people call it the rebirth or the reincarnation of people, some people call it dying and being reborn and actually if you look across cultures and you look across religion and you look across stories that are told, this whole storyline of some part of me has to die in order for some new part of me to be born, that really is a universal story line.


[00:30:35] Jon: So this second act of the hero’s journey as Joseph Campbell has identified, this journey is present in every culture, every civilization, every religion, every myth if you deconstruct the. What really helps me is when I can step back and go, I’m going through multiple Hero’s Journeys in my life. Maybe I got one in my personal life, one in my business. For me every client I have is like through a whole Hero’s Journey but sometimes I have to stop and just recognize you know what I am just facing the natural moment of a supreme ordeal right now. I’m just facing natural experience of some major adversity. What really helps me when I feel fear in the face of knowing that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be as Hal always says.


It’s knowing what’s on the other side of that. Because what’s on the other side of that second stage is what we call the third threshold. Which is where after we face an ordeal, after we face some major adversity on the other side of that there is usually some sort of transformational discovery. I don’t know about all of you but I can think one ordeal I faced after another after another. For me I remember having kids. And any of you who are parents having a kid, talk about having a polarizing experience. It’s like the greatest moment of your life and then a few days later it’s like the worst moment of your life when you’re dealing with these things you’ve never dealt with.


It’s like this unavoidable ordeal. What’s been interesting for me with having kids is after the second and then the third I started to finally realize that for me at least, speak for myself, they bring the equal part challenge and opportunity. That reminds me how life works, that’s how nature works. Where I live now I grew up in San Jose California where there were no seasons. I feel so lucky to live where we have seasons. Not only because I learn how to love, I trail around in the snow, I’m outside every day. I’ve reframed what cold weather means to me.


[00:32:31] Jon: My kids they cannot wait for the snow. We go skiing three, four days a week. But I love the seasons because when I look at nature, I feel like nature has a deep infinite wisdom. Nature has been the invisible school long before school was a word. Nature reminds us that life operates in seasons. So when I see nature turning from one season to the next, it reminds me of the next journey. It reminds me that in life we go through a winter to come through to a spring and a summer and ultimately a harvest. In the Hero’s Journey, on the other side of any ordeal we can find incredible transformational positive benefits.


That eventually leads us to depending on which version of the Hero’s Journey you study, where it all circles back to where I take that wisdom back to my community, back to my family, back to my business, back to my clients, back to my team, back to myself. Now, I’ve gone through this journey where I’ve come out a brand new person. So let’s go all the way back to this call today is about fear. I told you I’ll share the four strategies. The first one we talked all about mindfulness and meditation. The second one what we’re talking about here is we’ve got to learn how to manage our narrative. We got to learn how to manage the story we’re telling ourself.


I’m using the Hero’s Journey to give an example that when we learn how to see a place in our own Hero’s Journey, we can learn to accept that certain emotions are just part of the journey and we can become decided because we understand what’s going to happen next. Hopefully this is helpful. Hopefully this makes sense. The third way that I want to share with you today to deal with fear is to redirect your focus.


So the third and final way that I’m going to share with you today to deal with fear is about redirecting our focus. One of the ways that I redirect my focus and if you listen to last week’s episode or the week before that, you’re noticing a pattern, it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what I do in my day job. It’s about designing questions. I design questions for teams, and cultures and companies and communities and institutions to shift an entire group of people.


[00:34:27] Jon: But everything we do in that work applies to individuals. So how do we redirect our focus? By choosing new questions to ask. Because if I’m living in fear there’s a good chance that I’m unconsciously asking questions like what’s wrong? Or how bad is this going to get. What if I’m unconscious? I’m going to keep asking those questions. I don’t know about all of you but I don’t know a way to ask a question like what’s wrong, what do people think of me or how badly could this go or how did I get myself into this position? I don’t know how to answer those in a way that’s going to make me better off. What I know if I keep asking those questions, I’m just going to get really smart about what’s wrong, what’s not working or what’s broken.


So again, those of you coming to our Best Year Ever Blueprint event next month in San Diego the whole event is guided by five or six questions and you go through an activity as part of a supportive community and when people live it, it’s changed their whole life because they are ready to bring new questions, new ways of being in new plans into to 2018., Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Questions like well, what is it that I actually want?


Whatever area in your life you have fear around, let’s say it’s finances. There’s two steps. One is you got to reframe it. You might say, “Man, things are terrible. It’s crazy. The IRS is coming after me. I’m not making any money. I can’t keep track of anything. I got all these problems.” Great. I’m going to ask you this, “What do you want?” I’m going to keep asking that until you learn how to frame the situation in a way where we can now have a conversation that moves us towards something, not away from something.


Because telling me what’s wrong or what you don’t want, doesn’t tell me what’s right or what you do want. You can say, “I got all these problems.” That doesn’t answer what should we strive towards. It just tells us we got problems. You can say we got problems all day long but all we are really doing is fixing a broken bus to that Chevy. Nothing wrong with the Chevy but that’s not the same as saying what would it look like to design a Tesla? If you got fear in an area of your life I’m going to ask you to reframe it. What do you want in that area? I want to be thriving. I want to have confidence, certainty, I want to have a plan in place, I want to be growing, I want to be developing, I want things to be working, I want to be successful. Great.


[00:36:33] Jon: Now, we can ask a whole new set of questions like what would that look like? Or who do you know is excelling in that area that we can go learn from? What actions could you take immediately, the smallest actions to move you towards that? What’s a big bold step you could take symbolically to move you towards that? When have you been successful in this area? Why does this matter to you? These are all questions that once you have a positive frame can help you drill in a positive way to reshape your focus towards something worthwhile.


The fourth and final answer I’m going to give you today to dealing with fear, thanks for tuning in to Achieve Your Goals Podcast and for tuning in on the live stream. Hope you enjoyed this. If you did, share it with your friends. If we’re going to see you in San Diego next month, awesome. If you’re still waiting to get your tickets I’ll make a personal commitment. If you pick up a ticket to if you sit through the first day and it doesn’t completely change your life, come up and let us know. We’re not going to ask questions. You don’t have to tell us why, we’ll just hand you a wad of cash to give you money back, go out have a nice night on a town. That’s our guarantee.


If it doesn’t change your life in the first day we’ll give you everything back plus 200 bucks to go and have an incredible night on the town. We make that guarantee every year. Nobody has ever asked us for anything back. We offer it, it’s an incredible event. Can’t wait to see all of you one month from today. That’s why I can’t stop talking about it. The wad cash guarantee. That’s right. Don’t come by yourself, bring a friend, bring a couple of friends.


Hey, the last advice I want to give to all of you, this is what I do to deal with fear and it’s the easiest and it’s the most obvious. The first one I gave you is the most complicated, developing a meditation practice. We went way into that. The second one about managing your narrative and then the third one about questions. These get simpler until we get to the last one here which is about changing your physiology.


Change your physiology. I’ve noticed the fastest way to shift what’s going on for me emotionally what’s going on in my mind is to change my physiology. It’s why I spend most of my days standing, it’s why I do yoga every single day. It’s why I move my body two, three, four times a day because I have noticed that when my body get’s sedentary, that my emotions get stuck at the same time.


[00:38:35] Jon: If you find yourself not in a great place change your physiology. Of course I can’t say that without saying I truly believe that a lot of what is dictating our habitual emotions more than anything else is actually what we eat or don’t eat. Whether or not we hydrate. I truly believe that because our emotions reside inside of us physically that if we’re eating a lot of shit, if we’re eating a lot of processed foods and a lot of dead food or we’re putting stimulants into our bodies everything that I’m talking about today it doesn’t work when the fuel that we’re putting in our bodies, and there’s no separation between what we eat and our ability to manage emotions.


They are one and the same. So we’ve got to develop practices and habits where we’re putting into our bodies the kinds of foods that give us lasting fuel. We’re talking about whole foods. I’m not going to go off on any particular diet. It’s not my area of expertise. I eat 80% vegan and the other 20% I do whatever the hell I want. I feel great. I don’t consume a lot of caffeine but once in awhile I do. I notice I’m a lot better off when I get rid of stuff like that in my life. So just throwing that out there. Fourth and final way to deal with your fear is to change your body, move your body around and be really smart about what you put in it.


Hey, love all of you. We’ll see many of you a month from now. Read all the small print, bring your family, if you’re not having fun after the first day, Hal and I will give your money back plus a couple of hundred bucks to go have a night out on the town. We’ll talk to you really soon everybody. Take care. Bye, bye.


[00:40:11] Thanks for listening. To learn more about The Achieve Your Goals podcast and to get access to today’s show notes, transcript and exclusive content from Hal Elrod, visit Thanks again for joining us, be sure to tune in next week for another episode of The Achieve Your Goals Podcast.






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Tim JP Collins - Hal Elrod

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Today we’re releasing a special bonus show between Yo Pal Hal and Tim JP Collins. In this never-released conversation, Tim will show you how to look at anxiety from a completely different perspective, so you can learn to manage it and start living the life of your dreams!

Having struggled with anxiety on and off throughout his life and then finally experiencing an uncontrollable panic attack at the height of his career, Tim knows what it’s like to live life in fear.

Tim explored traditional treatments to cope, but eventually realized that his anxiety was thriving because he was trying desperately to hide it. Tim finally learned that instead of running away from his anxiety, he needed to lean in and embrace it. Overtime, he was able to get his life back!

Now, Tim JP Collins is known as “The Breakthrough Anxiety Coach” and has dedicated himself to supporting others who suffer with anxiety, stress and panic attacks. His approach isn’t just about coping, it’s about moving past anxiety and fear to live the life you were destined for.

Tim is also the creator & host of The Anxiety Podcast. Each week he interviews people that have stories that you will be able to relate to. The interviews are raw, real and vulnerable and people share what’s really going on for them.

Tim believes that the more out of alignment we are in our lives, the more anxiety & stress will show up.  So he really looks at the bigger picture when working with clients.


  • The defining goal that gave Tim the confidence to take control of his destiny.
  • Tim walks us through his entire morning ritual, from the moment he wakes up until the time he begins his workday.  
  • Learn how to increase productivity, lower stress, and take control of your life… all with this one little habit.
  • Find out why anxiety can dramatically hinder your ability to set and achieve goals.  
  • Tim shares the story of when he had a massive panic attack during an important presentation and why the traditional system for treating anxiety completely failed him.
  • Find out if the food you eat is a contributing factor to your anxiety.  
  • What is the #1 reason anxiety shows up for 25% of the population?
  • Deliver the best presentation of your life by harnessing the power of nervous energy.
  • Discover the 3 C’s to beating anxiety and becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Find out how The Anxiety Journal can help you feel less anxiety and more excitement… with only a few minutes per day! 



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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.


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[00:00:31] Jon: Achieve Your Goals podcast listeners, this is Jon Berghoff with a special episode, Episode 169, with Tim Collins. And listen, here’s why this is special because we have unearthed, we have uncovered, we have discovered, we have dug out of the ground this episode that was recorded previously between Hal and Tim Collins and it has never before been released. And by the way, if you’re turning in and you’re like, “Who are you, Jon, and where is Hal?” you can always go back and listen to Episode 152 to know that I am standing in for Hal while he heals and recovers as he is battling and winning his battle against a rare form of cancer. And if everyone’s wondering, I’m in touch with Hal regularly. He’s doing well. He is going through either his sixth or seventh round of chemo which is a lot. That’s my understanding. And he’s doing really well considering his circumstances. So, his spirits are high. He and I spent most of our time making jokes about life and whatever else we can joke about. So, I just wanted to pass that along and let you know that Hal and his family, they’re champions right now. They’re champions and your thoughts and your prayers go a really long way so thank you for that.


So, I’ve been standing in. Again, Episode 152 is the infamous episode where Hal passed the torch so that I could carry on while he is healing and he will be back at some point here. But again, you’re going to listen in to a conversation that Hal had with Tim Collins who is an anxiety coach so you’re going to hear a conversation about how to deal with anxiety which I think this is a topic that probably can help many of us in many different settings and environments. So, I hope you enjoy and we will see you on the other side. All right. Cheers.




[00:02:16] Hal: All right. Goal achievers, welcome. Welcome. Welcome to another episode of the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your friend and podcast host, Hal Elrod. And today we have a guest that I’m so excited to talk to in that he came very, very highly recommended from someone whose opinion I value very, very much. And first, I’ll tell you who recommended our guest today which is Jon Vroman, the host of the Front Row Factor podcast which if you don’t subscribe to that but you like amazing interviews and great podcast episodes, check out Jon’s Front Row Factor podcast. But our guest today is Tim JP Collins and Jon had him on the show and just said, “Hal, if you’re looking for a guest that is just so insightful and adds a ton of value that my listeners absolutely love and I think yours will too, I got one for you,” and I said, “Yeah. Of course,” and he introduced me to Tim. Tim and I met before but haven’t really connected deeply.


And so a little bit about Tim. He helps people overcome anxiety and stress to consider what is possible in their lives. And obviously, when it comes to achieving goals, anxiety and stress both play a part. And we’re going to find and talk to Tim, the expert, on how does anxiety and stress what part do they play, how do they hinder or affect our ability to achieve our goals. And Tim’s approach isn’t about just coping. It really is about moving past anxiety and fear to live the life you are destined for and Tim is the creator and host of The Anxiety Podcast. And each week Tim interviews people that have stories that you’ll probably be able to relate to. And the interviews are raw, they are real, they are vulnerable and people share what’s really going on for them and then you can hear Tim coach and help people through different situations. It’s really, really cool. So, Tim, how are you doing my friend?


[00:04:07] Tim:  I am very well. Thank you for having me. Happy to be here.


[00:04:10] Hal: Yeah. I have to mention, true story, and you don’t know this I don’t think but Jon said, “And Tim’s got a great accent which always adds a bonus to the podcast.” I was like “Oh cool. Yeah, we need more people with that accent on the show.” So, yeah, that gave you a leg up.


[00:04:26] Tim: Extra boost.


[00:04:27] Hal: Extra boost.


[00:04:27] Tim: Having an English accent in England nobody really cares but you come to North America then instant celebrity status so, yeah, I’ll take it.


[00:04:33] Hal: Yeah. It’s great. You sound sophisticated. It’s fantastic. Now, what about having an American accent in England? Are you like a jerk from over the pond or how do the English react to the American accent?


[00:04:43] Tim: Mostly they like it. Yeah.


[00:04:44] Hal: They do? Hope in that.


[00:04:45] Tim: Anything that’s different from the norm is going to be useful. Yeah.


[00:04:48] Hal: It opens up immediately, “Oh where are you from?”


[00:04:50] Tim: Yeah.


[00:04:51] Hal: Well cool. Let’s start here. What was the first defining goal that you achieved in your life regardless of what age that was at but what was one of the first defining goals that gave you the confidence that you can achieve bigger and better goals?


[00:05:04] Tim: I think it was I didn’t go to university. Very much to the disappointment of my parents at the time but I didn’t go to a university and I started out in sales and I just kind of created my own niche and worked hard. And through kind of setting a goal of getting this job, I’m working my way up kind of the old-fashioned way, just start at the bottom and working my way up. As I got promoted and hit some of those early goals, that was what already gave me the confidence that I could do more or ultimately, I suppose another way to rephrase that is to say that destiny was in my hands. My destiny was in my hands. If I wanted a bigger and brighter future I could take it or I could watch TV tonight and not take it. So, I learned early on through kind of setting goals of achievement that if I put some extra effort in, in the short term, it paid off and that’s something which has repeated itself a few times in my life now.


[00:05:59] Hal: I love that. You and I share that in common as my answer to the question is very similar with when I was 19 and started in sales. What were you selling at the time?


[00:06:07] Tim: This was in like the late 90s. I was selling Internet firewalls, email servers, all that kind of stuff.


[00:06:13] Hal: And what age was that that you started?


[00:06:15] Tim: Twenty years old. Yeah.


[00:06:16] Hal: Oh, we started at the same age. Yeah. So, 20 years old started in sales. So, before we get into your expertise, I want to ask you about your morning ritual because I know you have one. Tell us when do you wake up, what do you do for that first hour or so and how has it evolved?


[00:06:30] Tim: Yeah. So, it’s interesting timing so I’ll just come back from Europe and I’m now back in Vancouver in British Columbia and because my body clock’s totally out of it and waking up for like three or four in the morning which is ridiculous even for an overachiever.


[00:06:44] Hal: Sure.


[00:06:45] Tim: But I do love mornings which is good based on your Morning Miracle experience but I’ll tell you the morning ritual in a moment. But there’s something magical about being up early because you kind of feel like you’re getting a head start. But also as I’ve matured, I’ve come to realize that nothing really good happens at nighttime. I used to have a boss that used to say to me bad things happen after midnight or he said, “At midnight you’ll turn into a pumpkin,” or whatever. So, that’s a bit late for me these days but I find like even after like 10 o’clock, I’m not really doing anything productive. So, I do like mornings. Normal time I get up would be around 6 o’clock, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later if I’ve been out working on a project or something but normally it’s around 6 o’clock. And a mutual friend of ours, Ben Greenfield, I some time ago adopted his kind of stretching routine.


[00:07:34] Hal: Oh yeah.


[00:07:35] Tim: So, my morning routine consists of about 15 to 20 minutes of stretching so I just kind of start on my head and move all the way down to my toes and stretch every part of my body and then after that, I’ll sit and do some meditation for probably about 20 minutes. So, those two things are my staple. Immediately after those, I take a cold shower which is something which I’ve learned to embrace myself and also use on my clients for a number of reasons but I do love the cold shower to kind of kick off the day.


[00:08:04] Hal: Talk about why that is. So, what are the numbers of reasons? What are the benefits for our listeners that might be on? Why would you take a cold shower ever let alone early in the morning, right?


[00:08:12] Tim: Yeah. So, the cold shower thing is beneficial for a number of reasons. Number one is that it sets off a million dive response which we have. As humans, we’re built with this dive response so it actually stimulates your nervous system when you get into very cold water. And so, when you put the cold water on your face or as you turn on to your body, it stimulates your nervous system and you by calming it down naturally with your parasympathetic nervous system, you’re actually exercising your stress muscle effectively. And so, when people jump into cold showers and they hyperventilate and they’re like, “Oh,” that’s kind of what it’s like to start with and then over time it’s like an adaption phase. You realize that you actually get better at handling the cold shower and now I can step into it and I don’t even breathe differently or anything.


[00:08:57] Hal: Don’t even react or tighten up or anything?


[00:08:59] Tim: Yeah. Just step straight in. So, that’s the kind of physiological response and I recognize the people who I’ve done this over time have felt that they can handle stress better. And part, too, of it is I think where it comes to making decisions in our lives about moving forward and having the choice to take action, sometimes you stood there in the morning at 6 o’clock in the morning or 7 o’clock in the morning and you’re looking at a stream of cold water that you’re about to step into and you have a choice. You can do it or you cannot do it. So, I think it’s another thing about people when they’re stressed or anxious have to kind of decide to take action to improve their situation. So, if you’re willing to step into a cold shower on a regular basis, at the start of the day you’ve already done something which was uncomfortable. You’ve already embraced a difficult moment and I think that sets you up then for success throughout the day.


[00:09:52] Hal: I love that. It’s kind of the how you do anything, it’s how you do everything. So, you’re developing that discipline to, like you said, do the, “It’s easier not to get in a cold shower.”


[00:10:00] Tim: Overcome adversity, step one.


[00:10:02] Hal: Yeah. Awesome. All right. Thanks for sharing that and diving on the cold shower bit. I know like Jason Gainard, he does ice baths and takes it even further.


[00:10:10] Tim: Yeah.


[00:10:10] Hal: But, yeah, really cool. So, all right. So, we got wake up at 6 AM, 15, 20 minutes of stretching a la Ben Greenfield, 20 minutes of meditation. By the way, meditation-wise, is there any specific type of meditation that you do?


[00:10:22] Tim: I just keep it simple. I do guided meditation.


[00:10:24] Hal: Guided? Okay. Is there an app that you use or that you recommend that you prefer?


[00:10:28] Tim: Yeah. There’s one. There’s a podcast that I use called Meditation Oasis.


[00:10:31] Hal: Oh wow. I haven’t seen that.


[00:10:32] Tim: Yeah. I like that one. And I think for me the most important thing of meditation is just finding somebody whose, if you’re doing guided, whose voice that you like the sound of. It sounds kind of basic but yeah.


[00:10:42] Hal: What’s it called again? Meditation Oasis?


[00:10:44] Tim: Meditation Oasis, yeah. If you just google that, you can either go on the app or go on their website and grab some.


[00:10:49] Hal: Oh they do have an app? Okay. Very cool. All right. So, we got cold shower and then what?


[00:10:53] Tim: And then after that, I had a cup of tea. I go back to my English roots. I would start my day with a nice cup of tea. I’ll typically sit down at that point and look at what I’ve got on that day, look at my notes and kind of to-dos and I’m a classic kind of eat the frog type person so I’ll start with whatever the biggest, most difficult task is. Before I get into email, before I check Facebook, before I do anything, it’s like what do I actually need to achieve? And so, it took me a long time to kind of foster that practice but now I can sit down with a notepad and a pen and whether I’m writing a podcast episode or working on some content for a blog post or something, I’d like to do that before I get embroiled in the outside world so to speak.


[00:11:31] Hal: Yeah. I love that and then from there, once you’ve reviewed your daily to-dos, you’ve gotten clear on what the frog is that you’re going to eat, that most difficult task, then you dive in and that’s how you glide into your workday?


[00:11:42] Tim: Yeah. And as I said to you before I start recording, at the moment I’m living a bit of a nomadic life which means that I’m moving around a bit. My kids are often with me. So, the last few days, for instance, I’ve been staying in an Airbnb in Vancouver and I’ll just go to the local coffeeshop and switch my phone off and then just put it on airplane but I’ll actually power it down because again there’s something psychological when you just push a button and instantly be live again. So, I power it down, sit with my notepad and I’ll write out all my stuff by hand and figure it all out in my creative mindset before I actually need to put it online.


[00:12:12] Hal: Got it. All right. I love it okay. Really powerful, man. It’s so funny. I wrote the Miracle Morning obviously and it was probably a month ago or a few weeks ago that someone goes, “Do you ask that like Tim Ferriss always asks his guest for the Morning Ritual, do you do that too?” And I was like, “No. Why am I not doing that?” So, then this is really an example of I’m so glad that I’m starting to do this because it is really enlightening to hear there are so many different ways to start the day and like your rituals and not only does it work for you but I think it could work for anybody and really increase productivity and lower stress and all of that. So, yeah, thank you for sharing. Let’s dive into your expertise which is overcoming stress, overcoming anxiety or maybe in some ways using those to your advantage. Starting with anxiety, how does anxiety relate to or hinder our ability to set and achieve goals?


[00:13:01] Tim: So, on the hindering side, anxiety makes us very introspective. It puts us in a primal place of survival. We evolved to survive, to endure. Without that, our species wouldn’t be here today. So, anxiety is as old as time and we’ve evolved into these very complex beings living in boxes and consuming all sorts of information on demand all the time and our minds really haven’t caught up to us and probably never will from an evolutionary point of view. So, anxiety hinders us because it’s just not on the agenda we wanted to be on a lot of the time and what happens when people are experiencing high levels of anxiety is that basically self-care goes out of the window so we don’t really pay attention to diet, exercise, mindfulness and all the important things which make a huge difference. So, we’re actually compounding it and making it worse.


And the mindset of an anxious person is like, “I just need to get through the day. I just need to survive.” So, speak to somebody with anxiety about what they’re doing next week, next month, next year, they won’t have a clue. They have no idea because anxiety is making you play small. It’s making you get through today and at the end of when I was – and I can go into my story if you want. I suffered with anxiety myself. That’s why I do what I do but I would literally get home from work and be like, “Oh my God, I’d manage to pull it off,” like I managed to keep the illusion alive that my life is all right when on the inside, I’m dying.


[00:14:34] Hal: Yeah. Dive into the story. I love to hear the story.


[00:14:37] Tim: Yeah. So, my story I kind of, as I mentioned, I’ve gone into sales and I did what a lot of people do in sales. I chased promotions and pay rises and I got fancy business cars and then I got fancy business cards and I worked my way up to be Vice President of Sales for a technology company. So, I had a team of people under me, seemingly everything was great, kids were in private school, big house, extra car, all of the good stuff. Looking outside in, people will be like, “That’s amazing.” But inside I felt very disconnected. I felt like I was living a bit of a hollow existence and all of this stuff was kind of building up on my shoulders. The people at work wanted me to travel more, do more and sell more and my family is like, “We want you to be home more and be a dad more and be around more.” And so, I was starting to feel the pressure and one day I went to do a speaking engagement, went to the presentation, got up on stage and had an M&M style meltdown which, I mean, I didn’t even know how to spell anxiety at this point like I wasn’t aware of it as a thing. And I felt like I was having a heart attack. In that moment I thought I was dying. I started to sweat. I got vertigo so I didn’t even feel comfortable standing anymore. My throat felt like it was swelling closed so I had this kind of massive panic attack with adrenaline surging and all that kind of stuff. All these people kind of sat and then crowd looking at me like, “What’s wrong with you?” And I had to walk out of the room. I couldn’t do it. And public speaking nerve is very, very common as you know and most people once they start talking and they have engagement or somebody in the crowd smiles or you crack a joke or something and you’re like, “Okay,” and then you can kind of you forget about you and you concentrate on the audience and the message. But in that case, I totally sensitized myself and I went, had to leave the office that day and I was staying in a hotel, I was traveling and just went into a really dark place.


[00:16:26] Tim: So, I just started going to the worst-case. I almost like I’d switch something on in my body I couldn’t switch off and it was like, “Now I’m going to lose my job then I’m going to lose my house then everybody’s going to find out and I’m weak and I’m broken and I’m…” It’s just a horrible situation to be in. Unfortunately, being the Vice President of Sales, I mean, I had to continue to pretend to be the guy who had all of his ducks in a row and I really didn’t and the system failed me as I believe it fails a lot of people. And that I went to the doctor, they prescribed medication which has its own list of side effects and rarely works anyway. I spoke to psychologists and it didn’t really make me feel better. So, that was fast forward quite a long way of me figuring out on my own, realizing that diet had a huge impact on mental health and the way I felt. And exercise and journaling and meditation, all made a huge difference.


[00:17:17] Hal: What was the diet if you don’t mind sharing any dietary differences from pre-anxiety to what you changed and how the diet affected your ability to cope?


[00:17:26] Tim: Yeah. Of course. On my part, of course, I’ve recently interviewed some experts on ketogenic diets, on gluten intolerances, on autoimmune challenges and what I believe now and this is kind of the latest research and science is telling us that inflammation caused by the foods that we consume has a neurological effect on our bodies. So, there’s a book written by Dr. Perlmutter a few years ago called Grain Brain, talking about the fact that gluten intolerances create inflammation in our bodies which then create inflammation in our brains which causes early onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, etcetera. And then our linking that to anxiety and depression and all sorts of other things. I interviewed somebody the other day called Dr. Tom O’Bryan and he’s a specialist in this subject and gluten specifically and he says that although only 1% of the population has celiac disease, every human is intolerant of gluten to some extent.


And so, I kind of figured out some of this on my own pre-podcast thing all kind of working in anxiety and just started to refine my diet, started a bit of a paleo diet, started exercising more and just really figured out myself in terms of what made me feel better over time and putting all these pieces together and that was kind of eventually what when I started talking about this to friends and families and on Facebook, people started to reach out and ask for my help. And that’s kind of how I fell into the world of becoming an anxiety-focused person because I just feel that it’s stigmatized. It’s not a funky thing like it’s not a sexy industry to be in but it’s very important and it’s very underserved in terms of – most of the people I work with now work with me because I actually can understand how they feel. And you don’t get that from a doctor. I mean, doctors obviously have to be a specialist and everything or generalist, I guess because that’s the nature of the job. So, yeah, I just love the subject, I love nutrition, I love exercise, I love all of the components that can go into making you the best version of yourself.


[00:19:30] Hal: And I think that what you’re talking about it being underserved, it’s true because so many people, well not just so many people, but everyone at some level I think or at least in certain circumstances we deal with anxiety. And to your point, if you’re a doctor and I’ve got my own thoughts on most doctors, it’s just, “Oh, let me check my roller decks of drugs that I can prescribe for…”


[00:19:50] Tim: Right.


[00:19:50] Hal: “Let me look under A for anxiety. There it is. Okay. Here you need 30 milligrams of this.” So, like you take a more holistic kind of natural approach which was cool.


[00:20:00] Tim: Yeah. And the other thing I was going to say on that is the nutrition in all those parts are absolutely key and I used to have asthma when I was younger, well, for most of my life and then when I cut out gluten, my asthma went away, my seasonal allergies gone away. I’m not allergic to pets anymore. I got rid of a rash that was on my arms. So, it’s not like it’s just mental like there’s a physical manifestation of this for a lot of people as well. But the other piece of the puzzle, once we’ve covered a lot of the foundation, is that I do fundamentally believe that for a lot of people, anxiety is the result of being out of alignment in your life. And what I mean by that is if you’re in a relationship which doesn’t serve you or you live somewhere that doesn’t serve you or you’re working in a job that you hate or there’s something in your story which you haven’t resolved. Disalignment, much like on a car if you don’t put air in the tires and you don’t fix the suspension or put oil in it or eventually, the steering wheel starts shaking and for us, our steering wheels starts to shake. For sensitive people, it’s anxiety. For other people, it might be depression or it might be weight gain. It’s different things to different people but for those one in four, 25% of the population, anxiety shows up when we don’t take care of ourselves first in our own lives.


[00:21:10] Hal: So, if we’re in a job we hate, if we’re in a relationship that we don’t feel good about then the side effect of that is anxiety. It causes anxiety for us.


[00:21:19] Tim: Correct.


[00:21:20] Hal: Got it.


[00:21:21] Tim: So, I believe it’s people who have anxiety and then think a pill is going to fix it searching for a cure like the cure is everything. The cure is you, the cure is what you eat, what you do, who you live with, your life’s work. It’s just some of those things are more significant in terms of change for some people than others but they’re all on the table. When I work with people it’s like, “Right. Let’s start with a blank canvas and see what we’re working with here,” because there’s just so many ways that you can do better.


[00:21:47] Hal: Yeah. So, I know anxiety and stress are kind of two different areas that you have expertise in and help people to overcome. I wanted to know if they’re one in the same or what the difference is between the anxiety and stress and how stress plays. It’s kind of the same question on anxiety, how it relates to or hinders our ability to set and achieve goals. What factor does stress play in our ability to achieve goals?


[00:22:10] Tim: Yeah. I think stress, by comparison, can be useful.  


[00:22:14] Hal: Okay.


[00:22:15] Tim: Stress to when you are writing your book or one of your books, I’m sure a deadline as sometimes made you do more work in a focused manner. You’re like, “Oh God, it’s 11:00 at night but if I do another hour then…” That’s stress. That’s a time crunch. That’s you having to do something but you want to do it. It’s positive. And you could also say that interpreted correctly, public speaking is stressful. It doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing. You could say, “Right.” If you ever see professional sports people being interviewed, they always say, “Were you nervous before the big game?” and they’re like, “No. I’m just excited.” So, physiologically it’s adrenaline. It’s sweating. It’s an increased heart rate. You can interpret that as anxiety or you can interpret that as excitement. So, I always say to people with public speaking, “Take that nervous energy, turn it into performance energy,” and that’s when you’re taking anxiety, handle stress in that case and using it for something good.


[00:23:12] Hal: How do you do that? How do you turn nervous energy into performance energy? What is performance energy?


[00:23:16] Tim: Yeah. So, I think first up it’s saying instead of concerning yourself with what may happen from a bad point of view, it’s saying, “Imagine if this was absolutely amazing, imagine if what I said today could impact a person in a crowd and change their life, one person out of 100, out of 1,000, whoever you’re speaking to.” So, it’s firmly saying, “I’ve got to stop making this about me and make it about the people I’m speaking to and serve them as best as I possibly can.” It doesn’t mean without nerves, that doesn’t mean without your voice shaking or you’re forgetting a line or something but it means that you’re going to get through it and you’re going to do it. The other thing I do believe because I’ve experienced this myself and I’ve been on both sides. I’ve done the choke and I’ve also killed it, and if you take that energy, let’s call it the nervous energy and you say in nature this would be the most alert, primed, awake version of a human you can ever find. Your vision is better. Your hearing is better. You’re amped up and ready to fight to the death or run for your life. So, if you’re on stage, imagine if you could harness that energy and include it in your presentation and delivery it to the people watching you, you’re going to be more animated than anybody they’ve ever seen speak before. You’re going to be so engaged and so passionate about your subject that it’s going to blow them away. So, that’s what I mean about performance energy you have. I feel it now talking to you because this is getting me revved up but you can harness it and channel it into good instead of letting it kind of take over the reins and chase it down the rabbit hole.


[00:24:45] Hal: I think you’re right about stress being – what is it? The term is eustress. E-U-S-T-R-E-S-S, right?


[00:24:53] Tim: Right. Yeah.


[00:24:53] Hal: Eustress which I believe a form a positive stress. But like for me before I speak and I’ve given hundreds of speeches, there’s always an element of nervousness of stress but it’s not fear. And so, I think I don’t know if that’s a distinction that maybe anxiety is stress that it’s fear-based whereas performance, what did you call it, performance what?


[00:25:13] Tim: Well, performance energy.


[00:25:14] Hal: Energy, that’s right. So, it can stem from that stress that is just based on the fact that you want to do a great job. So, in fact, even if I visualize it going well over and over and over again, there is still that nervous excited energy which is it really is a form of stress. My body is definitely physically feeling some stress, right, but I think it keeps you on your toes and make sure that you’re ready.


[00:25:34] Tim: I would add on to that just to add one piece on top of that is to say that if you’re not feeling any stress, if you’re not feeling any nervous energy or performance energy, if you’re not feeling it then you probably shouldn’t be giving a speech because you probably don’t care about it.


[00:25:49] Hal: Yeah. I know you’re right and I’ve done that before where I was too confident. No stress and you’re like, “I got this,” and you’re like, “Ah, I needed a little stress to keep me on my toes and give me that edge,” and even just that stress leading up to something to make sure you’re preparing because you got a little stress. You’re like, “I got to make sure I got it. That thing’s coming up. The speech is coming up. The game is coming up. I got to be ready.” Yeah, I think it is a healthy thing. So, to kind of bring this all to a really powerful conclusion here, I know you’ve mentioned a lot of different tips and strategies on overcoming anxiety, not eating foods that cause inflammation for example particularly avoiding gluten which I do us much as possible, avoid gluten, exercising regularly but how would you wrap up like what are your best tips and strategies for people listening to overcome anxiety?


[00:26:34] Tim: So, for somebody who is suffering from anxiety today or is feeling anxious, the first thing I always talk about is leaning into it. So, anxiety makes us want to squirm out of our seats. For anybody who’s listening and who’s experienced it, know I’m talking about. Your stomach turns upside down, your head feels tight, your heart rate increases and so it makes you want to run. It makes you want to avoid it. In some cases, it makes you want to fight it. You get tense, you get resistant and Mike Tyson is like – sorry. I was going to say anxiety is like Mike Tyson. It’s going to be stronger than you, it’s going to be faster than you and it’s going to beat you up. So, we know that, and this is going to sound a little bit woo-woo, but in rejecting anxiety and pushing it away and trying to fight it, you are rejecting a part of yourself.


And in my experience, I’ve learned that the best way to start to heal the anxiety and to recover from it is to embrace it and say, “This is part of me. Only it’s the sensitive side, it’s a way to empathize with people and connect with people through sharing vulnerabilities and I’m going to pick it up and put it in my pocket and carry on.” The only way past it is through it. So, instead of getting agitated and trying to avoid it, I mean, our minds just have a fantastic ability to remember things we don’t want to think about. So, your teacher at school says, “Don’t think about pink elephants,” as an example. You start thinking about pink elephants. That’s just what we do. So, if you’re like, “Don’t think about anxiety, don’t think about this bad thought I’ve got in my head. How do I get rid of it?” Well, it’s going to persist. So, leaning in and embracing is a concept where you tell somebody with anxiety they’re like, “You’re off your tree.” You’re like, “No. Actually, bear with me. This is what it’s all about.”


[00:28:16] Hal: So, it seems like it’s almost the – and I guess this is true with anxiety, probably fear as well or any negative emotion that hurts us or stops us or paralyzes us, it’s almost our judgment of ourselves for feeling the emotion that is harder on us than the emotion itself. If you have fear, and you go, “Well, okay, I have fear. Fear is normal. We all have fear. That’s fine. I’m going to do the thing I’m afraid of even though the fear is there,” versus, “Oh my gosh, I’m afraid, what does that mean? What’s that going to do to me?” So, the judgment of the anxiety or the fear I think can cause us more problems than the actual initial feeling of anxiety or fear. Would you say is that kind of accurate in what you’re talking about like embracing it versus judging it and resisting it?


[00:28:57] Tim: 100%. I mean, when I get on the phone with people, two things are almost always there on my first phone call. Number one is they’re extremely hard on themselves, “I’m broken. There’s something terribly wrong with me.” And number two is they’re fighting it. They’re resistant to it. They’re trying to like to battle it every day and you can’t win against strength from you trying to fight back to it. The second part I was going to mention before was in my coaching and just as kind of a mantra I use this term called the three Cs.


So, the first C and this is what I encourage people to do when they’re feeling anxious when they’re having a panic attack or when they’re just feeling like very high levels of anxiety. So, the first C stands for curiosity and so curiosity means that your anxiety, you’re kicked off by your amygdala. It’s your primal croc brain. It’s just instinctual. So, it could be doing it because it’s an old neural pathway that’s been created or for whatever reason. So, curiosity allows us to say, “Hang on a minute, is this real?” It engages the prefrontal cortex to say, “Is this actually a threat or is this just good old fashioned anxiety trying to wind me up again?” So, it’s kind of like pan and interrupt. “I’m feeling this crazy stuff going on my body. Hang on a minute. Is this relevant? Is it? Or is it just old stuff repeating itself which is often what anxiety is?”


The second C stands for courage and that is courage to stand there and be uncomfortable but actually to feel the feelings. This is kind of like I talked to you about embracing it or leaning in. If we try and avoid the feelings, they’ll get stronger. It’s like a smoke alarm going off. If you don’t go and attend to the smoke and put the fire out then they’ll keep ringing. So, the courage means to be a bit uncomfortable. It’s why I take a cold shower. I’m a bit uncomfortable but I’m stronger because of it. So, stand there, feel the feelings, acknowledge them and they will pass out of you. If you try to fight the feelings they will persist, they’ll come back and they’ll carry on.


[00:30:53] Tim: And the third C stands for compassion. And that’s because anxious people are hard on themselves. We’re all hard on ourselves really but anxious people are even more hard on themselves. So, it’s kind of incorporating those other things while saying like, “This isn’t my fault and it’s going to be all right. If I let time pass and I work on this process and work on myself, it’s going to get better.”


[00:31:13] Hal: I love it. Curiosity, courage and compassion and I think that we could all use a little more curiosity, a little more courage, a little more compassion in our daily lives and in doing so minimize and overcome the anxiety that we’re feeling but I think that just in general, you mentioned earlier, that the whole being out of alignment in our lives, that’s where anxiety as a result of and I think that when you abide by your three Cs and encourage our listeners, write those down, put in your affirmations, right, curiosity, courage and compassion, that would bring us more alignment, yeah, in our lives?


[00:31:48] Tim: Absolutely. Yeah.


[00:31:48] Hal: Wonderful. Awesome. And then also not eating foods that cause inflammation especially gluten. So, that’s a component that you recommend people who are cognizant of and take action on that.


[00:31:58] Tim: Yeah. And actually, I was talking to Dave Asprey about this, of Bulletproof fame, and he put it in a good way which is like, “You could be doing meditation or journaling or whatever but if you’re smacking yourself in your face with your fork three times a day by eating the wrong foods then how can you expect to not be anxious if that’s a trigger for you?” So, we struggle to think how our mental challenge could be affected by food or could be affected by exercise or something else but the more I learn about it, the more it just makes absolute sense why it is totally connected and why it does make a massive difference. I mean, we don’t have time for it on the show today but you can get into obviously like caffeine and alcohol, sugar, all those sorts of things which all have their own different reactions in our bodies. But, yeah, if people want to just look up some nutritional based stuff, I always typically say check out paleo or check out the whole 30 type plan which is what you just eat real food for a period of time. And I think it’s massively relevant in a world where convenience is key.


We’re constantly distracted by technology. It’s about good food. It’s about switching off your phone for a couple of hours during the day and going for a walk in nature with nothing apart from yourself and maybe a notebook to capture any amazing creative ideas you have. But the more that we are connected 24/7 to electronic devices that are pinging us and giving us these little bits of stimuli and chewing off bits of adrenaline in our brains, the bigger challenge we’re going to have. So, all of these approaches when combined just changed the way people live and when they, as I always say, stop coping and start changing. Coping is taking a tablet and hoping that if you take that pill then you’ll be fine. Changing is saying, “Why did I get anxiety in the first place? How can I live with that life and what am I going to do moving forward to improve my situation?”


[00:33:57] Hal: Instead of putting a Band-Aid on it, it’s actually going to the root cause.


[00:34:00] Tim: Right.


[00:34:01] Hal: Before we wrap up, I know you have a new journal that I don’t know if it’s out yet but it focuses exclusively on helping with anxiety. Tell us about the new journal.


[00:34:08] Tim: Yes. So, the point of the journal was I love the Miracle Morning. There’s loads of brilliant books and the stuff I’ve utilized out there but I kind of wanted to encapsulate some of the things that we’ve talked about before, some of the concepts and put them in in a daily workbook type format of people. So, the presale is actually underway now. I mean, we can include the link for that but it’s called The Anxiety Journal just to keep it simple and my podcast is called The Anxiety Podcast. It’s kind of easy to find and The Anxiety Journal is really about noticing how you feel on a daily basis, about investing in yourself. One of the questions for instance on a daily question is, “If I had no fear today, I would do what?” So, it’s like what is holding you back and can you dream about what’s possible in your life if anxiety is in the way? Because for many people, talking about the alignment piece, but for many people actually leaning in to be in a bit uncomfortable and taking those difficult strides is part of the solution. Your future is part of the solution and saying, “Right, I’m going to start a business or start a new relationship or move house or whatever and it’s uncomfortable,” but you’re going to do it anyway because you know deep down that is the best for you. And so, the idea of the journal is to support people in that process and to help them facilitate change.


[00:35:26] Hal: Awesome. And I just found it. It is on your website. For all of our listeners if you want to go pre-order your copy of The Anxiety Journal, it’s and then you’ll see Journal on the right side toward the top. As well as a bunch of cool – there’s the Lean into Fear audio that you use when you’re having panic or anxiety attack, free workshops. So, Tim has got a bunch of great resources on this site. Is that the best way to get in contact with you, Tim, to work with you or thank you or…


[00:35:58] Tim: Yeah. Also, another domain which points to the same place is just


[00:36:04] Hal: Okay.


[00:36:05] Tim: So, that’s maybe easier.


[00:36:06] Hal: There you go.


[00:36:07] Tim: But yeah Tim JP Collins is my name and if you want to find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it’s just TimJPCollins on any of those platforms. Feel free to friend me or ask questions. And one of my episodes every week is answering a listener’s question. So, yeah, there’s free resources on the site for people for that and then for people who want to do more involved stuff one-on-one with me, we can talk about that as well. But yeah there’s lots of stuff out there for you.


[00:36:32] Hal: So, that will redirect to your website?


[00:36:35] Tim: Yeah.


[00:36:36] Hal: Cool. And I just ordered a copy of your journal.


[00:36:38] Tim: Thank you.


[00:36:39] Hal: Yeah. Figured it was appropriate to do while I was talking to you and I tried multitasking.


[00:36:44] Tim: There you go.


[00:36:45] Hal: Yeah. But, cool. Hey, Tim, really, really, really insightful, man. Thank you so much for being on the show today.


[00:36:49] Tim: Thanks for having me. I loved it.


[00:36:51] Hal: Yeah. Pleasure. Well, goal achievers, thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you got as much value and nuggets and wisdom from Tim as I did. And again, I just ordered a copy of The Anxiety Journal. Go to Up at the top, click on Journal.


And if you are not yet registered, signed up, locked and loaded for the Best Year Ever Blueprint in San Diego, highly, highly recommend and invite you and encourage you to check it out. I know a little over 200 spots are taken but there are 400 seats in the room and probably sell very quickly but if you go to, that’s, check out the highlight video from last year and if that resonates with you, join us for a few life-changing days in San Diego. I hope to see you there and, otherwise, I will talk to you. Thank you so much for being a listener of the Achieve Your Goals podcast. I appreciate you probably more than you know but love you and appreciate you and I will talk to you. Take care, everybody.




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