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We’re filled with ideas and beliefs our whole life. Whether it’s from our families, our religion, our hobbies, or something else.

Sometimes these beliefs don’t expand our happiness. And they can fill us with more anxiety, depression, and misery. But we still cling to these ideas even though it leads to suffering because of the backlash we’d get if we were honest.

In this episode, I’m giving you permission to ditch these bad beliefs so you can experience a new world full of unlimited joy and happiness.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • How your ego traps you into thinking you’re superior and creates endless suffering (13:30)
  • Why challenging your fears and limitations is the most difficult, yet most effective, way to ditch anxiety, depression, and addiction (14:03)
  • The insidious way peer pressure makes us cling to ideas, beliefs, and religion even when it’s sabotaging our happiness (and how to finally break free) (15:28)
  • Why being wrong about your deeply held beliefs helps you discover a new world filled with untapped joy (16:55)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: Many moons ago in the years when there was a Kung Fu school. Look when I I've told you a little bit about this I was eight years old when my parents put me into martial arts. And then at 16, we moved to a place where Shaolin Kung Fu was the thing. And I was so hopped up on it, watching the TV series and indoctrinated by that. And I've talked to you about how naive I was and how I believe things like the Bruce Lee movie was actual reality and not a screenplay and how I believed all of these legends. And I held them as truth because I didn't have any reason to question them. And so I went into Kung Fu with this completely enamored, like fantastical imaginary view of what it really was. I went in there believing I was going to learn to shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips and Chi-blast people like dragon ball Z, shoot them across the room and, and, you know, control their will and all and death point strikes and all these other, and well, I did learn a lot of stuff like that. [01:35.3]

My ideas and fantasy about it were totally different. And so I went in and I trained in Kung Fu for about 17 years. I went off and on during college because I was moving away to college and I would come back and then I trained on my own. And then during graduate school, I was really heavily into it. And at a certain point, I had an opportunity to go open up a Kung Fu school. Now you should know this, the organization I was in was one that was; it was teaching Shaolin Kung Fu. And at the time there was a grand master. He was supposedly the grand master of all Shaolin. And he is currently featured on a number of sites saying he's all BS and whatnot, and it's not legitimate. I having trained with him a number of times and felt some of the power and his capacity can recognize that he's not a bad martial artist. Like he definitely had some serious chops and he wasn't just some pushover, like everybody's sort of made him out to be whether or not he was everything that, all the legends that we told to claimed. I don't know. [02:34.3]

Because I watched several legends while I was there, take shape from, okay, so-and-so did this one thing to it, turned into a whole, he did the special move from here. And then there was a hand print on the back and so-and-so, and, and then pretty soon all the students are whispering and a rumor has started. And then you have this fantastic, a legend that comes out on the other side. This happened to me once when I was at ASU, I was teaching Kung Fu there for credits. We had a bunch of college kids in there. And after one at the end of one semester, all the college kids want to know the same thing. Like what if, can we get our professor? And I'm pretty laid back as a teacher. When I teach kids, we just rough house and play around. I teach adults, I want them to punch me. I want to feel it. I want to get better. And so, like, it was a fairly informal environment, but I was still kind of caught up in my ego a little bit. So I wore my Gi and my black belt with all the stripes on it, to show my authority with all my patches. And you know, I would show them techniques. These are techniques that I had trained that they'd never trained. So obviously I was better at it than them. And it doesn't mean I didn't have any skill. I did lots, but I'd never been in a fight in my entire life to this day. I've never been in a fight ever. [03:43.3]

I have been in a few close calls that never escalated to a fight. One of them involving a gun, but I've never, ever been in a fight. It's not my mentality. It's not something I ever want to do. If I have to, I will do it. And I've seen a few instances where it's, where maybe I won't die in a fight where I'm like, okay, maybe I do have some skills, but I've never been in a fight. So there was always a question in my mind, am I even any good at this? Because I had learned a bunch of forms. I had learned all these different Chinese weapons forms and how to spin swords and different kinds of swords and stabs and three sectional stabs and chain whips and daggers and short sticks and nunchaku and all these different kinds of things, right. Spears and stuff. And I learned all this stuff. So we get to the end of the semester and I had taught them a basic two person staff sequence. We'd done a bunch of sparring and sparring is not fighting, not the way that, I mean, the way I do it now, it kind of is. But the way I did at the time, it was the way I had learned, which was like, sort of as play acting. Like if you poke them once, you know POWWW, Okay, good job, good job. Right. [04:40.7]

And like no hits to the face and, you know, be aware of the crotch and like all the rules around it. And that, and while that is, there are some things like that in MMA and stuff, that's, that's real fighting still. But the way we were doing sparring, it was more like live action, role play, you know, you're like, Oh, good job, good shot. But that wouldn't happen in a, in a real altercation. Right. And so it wasn't really sparring, although it gave me some way of learning, how to move around bodies in motion. So we did that. And then at the end of the semester, these four students come up and one of them is in the back of the corner. And he he's like, Hey Shifu, I have a question. Yes, they called me Shifu. And I'm like, yeah. He's like, what if I do this then the other, and then I hear some of what one of the other guys go Now! And then three of them jump on me and the fourth, one's kind of hanging back like, Oh, I'm not sure what to do. And so I'm standing up and I'm surrounded by three. And from my perspective, I was host, like if they had wanted to start punching me that would have happened. And I had to wriggle out of that, but I just started grabbing fingers and twisting and head budding and this way, and that they took me down to the ground. I wasn't out of their grip, but a few of them were in a little bit of pain and a fun pain, but a few of them were a little bit of pain. [05:47.0]

One of them was standing up like, no, no, I'm good; I'm good I'm going to go. And that was the end of it and they're like, we had a good time, it was the last day of the semester and they left. The next semester some of them were in my class, again, learning some different things. And I overheard them talking to a couple of other students in the class and I heard them say, yeah, last year four of us jumped him only three of them had, four of us jumped him and he took us all out, like so fast. Like he took us all on so fast and I'm sitting here going like what? That's not how it happened now, my ego, you know, my, Oh yeah, that's awesome. I want people to think that about me because if they are afraid of me, they respect me, then I won't have to deal with fighting people. So yeah, there was that. And so I was actually, I wasn't about to set the record straight, but that, that legend had happened over the course of a couple of months. When the people, everybody who was there was involved in the telling of the story, and then that story got retold by other students to the point where now it seems like I can take on eight people at once and with a single finger just wipe people out and all kinds of other stuff within a very short amount of time. [06:49.6]

Not that I heard any of those tails, but I'm just imagining. And the same thing happened in this Kung Fu organization. Well, at a certain point, you know, I went down to Phoenix to open up a Kung Fu school. And I was supposed to take over for another school in the organization where they were done. They were pressing charges against the head of the organization for sexual assault. I didn't see at the time any evidence that that was necessarily a true thing. And so I kind of sided with them. And so I went down to take over because they wouldn't didn't want to be affiliated anymore. And the other team, didn't the other instructor wasn't about to give up. I was naive. I probably should've thought about that more clearly. And so I ended up opening the school, just a mile from them or a couple of miles from them on their side of town. And there was a little bit of a altercation for a while. They would come in and threaten my landlords and they, somebody was coming in and threatening my landlords. I had pictures of them. There were a couple of students from the other school and some people stole my signs. I was calling my, the masters I was studying under going like, okay, am I going to have to like fight for my life here? [07:52.6]

Like I'm walking out to my car at night, like looking around for someone to jump me after class. And I'm not making any money, I've got no students, but I was still clearly a threat. And so the, my teachers are saying like, well, just let him get the first hit in and then take him out. And I'm like, I don't know, Oh that I can take him out. Like, I'm a new, what I don't, I'm a new, he's got up higher rank than me and all the, all the stories I had. But eventually things worked out in a certain way and they didn't ever like me. But, you know, we managed to kind of get along amicably. And I had my classes for a while. And at a certain point, I started having questions about Tai Chi and whatnot. People were coming into my school and they were asking me, you know, about internal energy stuff. And they were asking me about other martial arts. And I had learned all of the ways of objection handling to tell them why, what they knew was not good enough and that they should train with us and all of this stuff. [08:45.2]

And for the most part, I probably was more knowledgeable about the martial arts than many of the people that came in, just because I'd been doing it since I was eight. And most of them were like picking it up after a few years break or they did it as a kid, or they were just interested in it now, and they'd never done Kung Fu. So it wasn't a big deal. But I started getting unsatisfied with my answers, the answers I had been given as a kid, as a kid growing up in martial arts and as a teenager, no longer satisfied me. So I started asking deeper questions. I started looking and reading in books and I was getting conflicting answers with things I've been taught. So I'd go to my masters and I would ask them and they would say, well, those people don't know what they're talking about. And then I would say, well, I want to learn this. And they'd say, well, you already know more about it than anyone in the area. So just keep training and then you'll, you'll figure it out. And that wasn't satisfactory to me. I was like, well, do you, or do you not know how to help me? [09:33.4]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [10:01.2]

And then at one point in time, I started having some experiences on my own. And I started seeking out secretly other masters to train from because mine weren't giving me anything. And I started having some incredible experiences of perception, of deepening of energy inside of my system and of awareness of healing stuff. And I started doing healing training at the time and really delving into that and having amazing results where I was helping people heal from broken bones and from ailments and chronic pain and suffering and all kinds of other things. And I was just doing some simple work with them that was about sensing and perceiving and opening space. And, and so I had these questions and at one point I asked one of my teachers a question and I could clearly see the, she was making up the answer on the spot. Now I can't fault her for this. I have done this many times since, and many times before that, like I make up an answer on the spot based of what makes sense to me. But in this case, I could see that this was like, she was really didn't have a clue what I was talking about. And so she made up an answer that didn't make any sense. [11:04.6]

And at that point I was like, okay, well clearly, maybe I've been taken for a loop. Maybe I've been, you know, strung along for a little bit. And because I felt like I was strung along for a little bit, I was like, I was a little upset. And so, you know, I was still training with some other masters. And at one point, you know, it seemed clear that, Oh, yes, the, the one person that was allegation, he really was doing some sexual assault on some people. And so at that point I was like, look, the business model sucks. You know, the masters aren't teaching me anything. And it might be that my students are going to be endangered by this leader. So I went and I found another, another group of people to train with. And since then, I've trained with a bunch of different people and different styles of martial arts and so on and so forth and eventually left teaching martial arts. Although I'll probably run some classes just locally at some point in time, cause I love them. And, and so I left, you know, I, I was disgruntled, I went and found some other people and their answers made better sense to me because it mapped onto my personal experience. [12:05.4]

Instead of me just trusting the legends and stories that I've been told despite how amazing they were, all the promises inside them. And if you just train this long this'll happen. And there was this dangling of the carrot of like, Oh, this secret form 10,000 bees attacking and like, Oh, this secret preying mantis form, that's never been shown before. And the secret of 10,000 Lotus blooming and, and all of the secret death points that are happening in, in intense muscle control. And you can do this and this death point and that death point and Oh, this never before released shell in sickle form and, and, and chisels and daggers. And like all the things that we worked with, it was a constant dangling of a carrot that the next secret was behind the next door. And finally, at a certain point, I looked down at my life and I recognized that I wasn't getting the answers that I wanted. And so I moved and I started looking for other answers. [12:51.5]

And once I found some that were there, it took some courage for me to say, Nope, this system is no longer working for me. I can't say whether it's legitimate or not. There was a lot of court cases involved. They actually sent me some documents to, to sue me at a certain point. And then I left. Then I went and I found a different, a different system that made sense to me, that was giving me the, what I was seeking for in my life. Why do I tell you this? Since then, what has changed in my life is so radically drastic that I cannot imagine ever having stayed and what that would have done. In staying I was keeping my ego in check. I was keeping if I had stayed, I would have kept an ego about knowing the most, being the best, having the only way, the only true way of getting things done, this is the best martial art. Everyone else is a sham of being the authentic Chinese martial art, despite not being Chinese and therefore, maybe misinterpreting what the Chinese texts say and all of the different things that were there was a very big ego trip. [13:52.4]

And I was learning all of these skills and all of these things and laughing about them and whatnot. And yet at the same time, all I was perpetuating in my life was a sense of superiority and therefore suffering. And when I shifted and moved into training in a way that challenged all of my limitations, demanded that I look at my fears, fears of death, fears of injury, fears of hurting other people, demanded that I learned how to help people, to learn how to breathe, demanded that I learned how to challenge the way that I operated on an, on an average day, all in the part of my training, that is where like I was able to get out of addiction, depression, anxiety, so many other things. It's not the Kung Fu was bad. What I learned there prepared me it's that it was no longer sufficient. You may be going through some things in your life where you're clinging to something that you've been taught, traditions, religions, recovery methods, treatments, ideas that you've been taught that, you know, maybe there's peer pressure on the outside to maintain. [14:49.5]

This is the only kind of stuff, but there may be something on the inside of you that is looking at your life saying I'm not getting the results that I wanted because I wanted to be an amazing martial artist. But at the end of it, as a fourth degree, black belt, there were fifth, sixth and seventh degree black belts that did were not better martial artists than I was. They simply had spent the time in there. And likewise, there were some first degree black belts that could've kicked my rear end. So clearly rank meant nothing in many ways. And they were just better martial artists than I was. And so I wasn't getting that. I wasn't getting the confidence from it. And I certainly wasn't getting a sense of peace on the inside. It was just more drama, if anything. And so I wasn't getting those results that I wanted. And it took courage to leave. And for you, what's going on in your life, it may take courage for you to step up to somebody who's telling you say 12 step programs are the only way and say, that's great, but they haven't gotten me what I wanted. I didn't want a lifetime of sobriety. I wanted to be able to graduate from suffering to leave addiction behind and depression behind and just live a life of happiness. I wasn't getting it from there. Some people might, but I wasn't. [15:55.1]

So I moved on. It took courage and people have, since that time constantly like made fun of me or told me that I'm wrong. Despite the fact that I'm getting the results that I wanted. If it's a religion, it takes courage to step up and to declare, this is no longer doing what I need. You don't have to be upset about it. You don't have to be mad about it for some other people that religion might be the thing that fills them up. But if in your life it's not, then it's, it would take courage for you to step up. And the whole family looks at you and say, Hey, that's not the case. You know, you're wrong and to have to do that, but in the end, your life is your life and they don't get to experience your life. You do. So are you going to do what they're telling you, even though they're not the ones that are having to deal with the consequences of it, you are. And so like, you do have to take ownership of the fact that it's your life. It's nobody else's. And that means in the end, what's the guiding principle that you're going to live by? [16:49.2]

Do you want what you're having now? If not, you might have to look at some of the things you've been holding on to, and just ask the question. What if this isn't the best way? What if I'm wrong? What if it's not the only way? What if there's a better way for me? May not be the best way for everybody, but what if there is a better, more efficient way for me. That kind of questioning is what led me to find all the things and discover all the things and do all the things that I'm doing now. There's a question about like, what if there's a better way. And you naturally do this, but I want to give you permission to do this even in the big things in life. Because in the end, it's your life, I'll say it again. In the end, it's your life. The only person who will experience your life is you. And all you have is right now. And so how long will you clean to something that is not giving you the experience you want? That's up to you. It was difficult for me. And I had to find my way out of that organization, but I had to default what guided me was defaulting to the truth of my situation, to look at what was going on in my life and say, this is what's actually happening. [17:50.6]

Despite all the stories of them telling me I'm a great martial artist, I'm looking at it going, I'm not one. I can see that I'm not. It's very clear to me that I'm not. So why sit here and try and delude myself, instead of acknowledge and embrace the fact that this isn't working for me the way I want it to and go find what will work. If you have the courage to do that, despite the fact that there will be people around you that will be upset that you're not doing what they want you to do. Guess what that'll happen your whole life. It'll take some courage, but it can open up for you like it did for me, a brand new possibility that you may never have dreamed was even a viable solution, a viable option. You can open it. Like my life has changed so dramatically from the time that I left that organization, I've learned so much that I would not have learned had I stayed. [18:36.3]

And the things that I learned helped me with more than just martial arts. They helped me with addiction, depression, helping other people, business stuff, all kinds of things, because I was willing to step up and say, you know what this isn't working for me. And my life is worth it. I'm worth it enough. And I'm going to love myself enough to say that I deserve a little bit of happiness in this life and so do you. So whatever it is that may be holding you back, look at what's happening in your life. If it's not what you want, I invite you to do, what's needed for you to shift that. If it is what you want, I invite you to take more time celebrating that because I didn't do that enough. And so just remember my message today is, ‘It's your life, no one else will experience it and you will stay in one place as long as you choose to, but the choice is yours. [19:22.3]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [19:40.9]

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