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Most of us put life on “extreme difficulty” mode. We make life excruciatingly hard by creating problems out of thin air then beating ourselves up after we can’t solve them.

But you don’t have to live life this way. If you stop creating problems, most of your suffering disappears almost instantly.

It sounds wacky, but it works better than any other program I’ve tried.

In this episode, I’m sharing how letting go of your issues gets rid of them much faster than trying to solve them.

Show highlights include:

  • How subconscious negative affirmations zap your energy and excitement levels without you even realizing it (6:02)
  • The “Amusement Park Map Method” for talking about your negative feelings without trapping yourself in those emotions (11:16)
  • The insidious way 12-step programs can transform health people into full-blown addicts (12:50)
  • Why trying to solve your addictive tendencies backfires and creates more internal struggle (and how to finally overcome your addicitons) (15:14)
  • 2 words that instantly free you from self-induced guilt and shame whenever you say them (16:45)
  • Why ignoring your problems actually makes them disappear faster than obsessing over solving them (20:40)
  • How going skiing can erase most of your suffering overnight (22:37)

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.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

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: And welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today. I want to take you on a little bit of a different trip. You see a lot of people out there talk about the power that words have they'll, they'll be out there and they'll tell you that words have power. And I want to give you some insight into this all I think, because what I would suggest to you is that words only have the power that you give them. Words in and of themselves are just sounds in the air. And if you don't know the language in which they're spoken, they don't really have much power for you, but if you know the language and then you give them a certain meaning beyond them, then what happens is they tend to have power over you. So today what I want to do is I want to take you on a little bit of a trip, and then I want to give you a way of operating with words that can possibly help you end some of the struggles that you've been going through. All right, and it's going to go a little bit, something like this. [01:30.9]

We're going to talk about back, and I think I've told this story on the podcast before, but I want to be sure that you get the picture. So, I'm going to tell it again if I haven't and that was back when I was, I was turning, I think, I can't remember now. I think I was turning 35, but I might've been turning 33, one of those two years and I was getting close to my birthday and my birthday's in March. And so, it was the beginning of the year, we'd been through new year’s and as I was getting close to it, I started thinking back over my life. And I just started seeing this pattern started to emerge in my life. The pattern was that I would get really super excited about all this unlimited potential that I had, you know, all the dreams that I, that I had growing up and all the dream big and change the world stuff that I had indoctrinated myself with, as I listened to other people. And I was just totally enamored of this idea that I had this limitless potential, something inside me, just itching to get out. [02:30.0]

And so, each year, and it literally was almost a yearly cycle. Sometimes it was smaller, shorter, and I do go through several cycles in a year, but each year I'd get really excited about some massive potential I have. So, my idea or some feeling inside of myself, and then I would go for it. I would put everything I could into this idea. And I would in a very short amount of time, have some momentum with it. But then what would happen is that the momentum would stall or I see that there was other kinds of things that were getting attached to it that I didn't want, or it wasn't working out the way I wanted. And I would get into this, this rut, this flat, this plateau where nothing seemed to be working anywhere. And then all of a sudden, I would just give up. I would just feel like nothing was ever going to work out. It didn't matter how hard I tried and I would go into a funk. Sometimes it was only for a couple of weeks, many times it was for a couple months where I would just be going through the motions in life, but just be nursing my wounds in the background. Until finally I would come to a point where I would have this recognition that I don't need to sit there in this funk. And then I would get back up and I would get super excited about my potential again. And then I would go do stuff. [03:40.1]

What were some of these things? Some of these things were, I would start a business for instance, or I'd have an idea about how to improve the business, or I would, you know, sometimes be helped along by marketing where I would read messages and then getting spired and hire a coach. And this would make me really super excited about all the changes it was possible. And that would take me for a couple months before I started losing momentum and steam. And so, this happened over and over and over again. And as I was nearing my birthday that year, I just looked back at that and I saw this for many, many years previous, and I thought I am sick and tired of waking up every year, the same guy of doing all of this effort and putting in all of this work and still every year, nothing has fundamentally changed about my experience of life. I wasn't happier. I wasn't more successful in any arena. I was just kind of like bouncing around between different experiences without ever feeling like I had gone anywhere or done anything or really improved what I was hoping to improve. And it was devastating. [04:49.0]

So, as I was thinking about that, I just started saying this over and over, man, I am sick and tired of waking up every year, the same guy. So, people would be like, Oh, cool, well, what, what's your plans for this year? What are you excited about? And I would tell them this, like, man, I just realized this and I'm just kind of sick and tired of waking up the same guy over and over again. And after a couple of weeks, as I was thinking through this, I started to notice that I was going to teach my Kung Fu classes in the morning. I was teaching at Arizona state university. I was teaching Kung Fu and Russian Systema as well as Tai Chi. And then I would have a break during the day and then I would do some private lessons or work on another job. And then I'd go and teach at my kung-fu school at night. And I noticed that all of a sudden, like in the middle of the day, I started getting extremely fatigued and I would have to go home and I would just be exhausted and I hadn't done much in the morning, but I would just be so exhausted and I wasn't staying up later or anything. [05:49.0]

So, I started having to take naps. And after a couple of weeks of this, I thought, wait a second. Why what's going on here? So, I sat down and I started journaling about what was going on. And as I was journaling, I had the question like, why do I suddenly have no energy and I'm tired all the time. And the thought that entered my head was, well, you've been saying you're sick and tired. And I thought touché, of course, I've been saying I'm sick and tired. So now I'm experiencing being sick and tired. [06:23.0]

Yes folks, what I experienced was what might, you might be called a negative affirmation. What is a negative affirmation? I don't, I don't, I don't even know what the, what if there is a word for it, but I was experiencing instead of a placebo, a no cebo effect on my own self, by the words that I was using. Why? Is it because those words create that note? But because in my mind I had attached a certain meaning and a certain truth to them. And so, I had given those words, power by declaring myself sick and tired. Does that make sense? And so immediately at that point in time, I was like, Oh, okay well. And I shifted my language to saying, I'm done. I'm done with waking up every year, the same guy. And I started saying that and after about two or three days, all of a sudden, my energy came back. I wasn't tired anymore. I didn't need to take naps anymore. And I sat down and I thought, Oh, okay. And at the time I thought words have power. [07:25.5]

I need to be careful with my words and I still think it's important to be careful with your words, especially the ones that you don't think are nonsense. So, you actually think mean something. I think it'd be careful with how you deploy your words. And if you've been one of our coaching clients or, you know, anything of that sort you'll know just how much of a stickler we are about the kinds of ways that you described your life experience, because they can hurt you and they can help you. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, and you've listened to me, tear down words like addiction and depression and anxiety and trauma and healing and all of these other concepts and triggers and whatnot, these things that people talk about. If you've heard me tear them down, it's precisely not because the words themselves have power, but because we, you and I have given power to those words. And one simple way of getting rid of the power that those words have, is to make those words kind of stupid sounding. And in one approach that I often do with that is to look at them and ask myself, simply does it exist? [08:26.0]

And you'll notice I get that for some people it's probably irritating because they feel like it dishonors their life experience for me to say, look, depression doesn't exist. We're not dishonoring the life experience. Your experience does exist. Depression, as a thing is not a real thing. Why am I doing that so that you cease to give the word power so that you cease to say, I am depressed. I have depression so that you can stop allowing that to start to control and create your experience. [08:57.7]

Now by saying this, I don't mean, Oh, well, I'll just look on the bright side and be positive. No, cause if you're saying the word still in your head, you're still saying them. Does that make sense? It doesn't matter if you're saying them out loud and trying to put on a good show for everybody while still saying them in your head, or if you're just saying those words out, out loud, right? If you're saying something different than trying to be all nice while still saying I'm in your head, or if you're just saying everything else out, out loud, it doesn't matter. But in the end, if you're still saying those words internally or externally, then they're still creating your experience. And that's the thing that needs to shift. We have to stop giving power, AKA the truth value to those words. Stop assuming that the words we use are the reality we are experiencing. Because one of the first deceptions that starts to occur in the human thinker is the belief that the words, you're saying are the reality they're referring to, right? [09:56.9]

If I say chocolate, that word is not chocolate. It's not the chocolate I'm talking about. It's a sound in midair and I have a certain picture or idea, whatever, meaning to it. The chocolate is the chocolate. My words are not it, but because we've used, we're so used to them, referring to them, start to believe that the words we're saying are the reality that we're experiencing and while that's useful in society and it's helped us do all kinds of amazingly wonderful things. It's also a trap, because when you say words about yourself automatically, we just start assuming that those words are reality and they're not. They're just sounds. They're just thoughts. That's all that they are. And they are no more real than any thought anyone could possibly have as fantastical as it seems. It's just a sound. It's just a thought and the content of it, isn't real. [10:53.8]

But if you, you hold them or believe that they are real, then all of a sudden, your body, your physiology is going to create the situation that manifests that. So, if you say I'm an addict you have in there that notion that that is a reality for you guess what your body will create situation where that's the case. I'm an addict, I'm an addict in recovery. I'm depressed. I have trauma. I have PTSD. All of these words, I want to tell you are useful when they are used as a kind of diagnosis, as a kind of somebody gets on the phone and says, Hey, where are you? And you say, well, let me check the map. Oh, I'm right here. That's the only use for those words. Oh, I'm in addiction land. Cool. Good to know. I'm moving on. Oh, I have a PTSD thing. Okay, cool. Moving on. It's the map in the amusement park, right? It just has a little dot that says you are here. It doesn't mean you'll be there forever. It's just like you are here now because you know where you're currently standing, you can navigate to the exit or to the, the rides that you want to ride. [12:00.3]

Same thing. But if you're using these words as a diagnosis of who you are as a, this is what I have, this is what I have to deal with. I'll always be this way. Even mental health struggles, things like bipolar, things like schizophrenia and whatnot. I'm not saying that you're not having those issues. If they're experiences, you're having, they are very, very real. And it's very important to look at your real time experience, see what it is and learn exactly how to not just work with it, but work with it in a way that continues to make your life a better and better experience. Not just cope with it. But I want to give you permission to let go of any diagnosis that you have and only use those words when they're useful in helping you improve your life experience. So, if using the word addict has been useful for you, then use it the second, it stops being useful, stop using it. I found it very, very useful in the very beginning, when I started going to 12 step meetings for the first couple of weeks saying, Oh, my name is Bob and I'm an addict was very, very useful because it allowed me to admit something to myself about the amount of control that I had been pretending I had that I didn't have. [13:08.9]

But after a couple of weeks, it stopped being useful. Cause it just felt like, okay, cool. And let's move on. And at that point in time, that's when some of the issues started to show up in terms of what I started noticing. And then months and I mean, I went to those meetings for a couple of years, you know, and I just noticed that people were saying this over and over, I'm an addict or I'm a recovering addict or I'm this, that, and the other and their behavior matched perfectly what they said that they were. Matched it perfectly. They would behave like an addict, even if they weren't, they would be like a dry drunk, right? They would behave like an addict, even if they weren't participating in their behavior, because they had said that that's what they were. [13:50.8]

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. [14:18.3]

And years ago, When I was doing this whole thing, I was sick and tired and suddenly I became sick and tired. And when I shifted to saying, I'm done that changed. Now, what is the genius of that term? Now I just said that because I had to come up with another word. So, I didn't realize just how powerful this approach was and this is what I want to suggest to you. Instead of being busy, judging everything that's happened in your life, Oh, that's such bad behavior. Oh my gosh. Instead of being busy, trying to over comment or fight or anything like that, Oh man, I just have to overcome this. I got to get over this. All of those are seeing the issue as a problem, which means you and I are creating a problem in our mind and then trying to solve it. Step one in problem solving is to stop creating things as a problem, then you don't need a solution. Then you can just do what you want to do in your life. But the issue arises when we look at life and then we judge it as problematic. And as soon as we judge it as problematic, we move on. [15:22.1]

But Bob isn't that irresponsible. I mean, if a person is being like having addictive behaviors, shouldn't they see it as problem. My answer to that question is no, because seeing it as a problem, doesn't change the behavior. It only makes it harder to get over it. Seeing it as a problem, not only makes it so you have to deal with the addictive behaviors, but it also makes it so you have to deal with your own guilt and shame about it. Seeing it as a problem now exacerbates the situation. Just because you don't see addictive behavior as a problem, doesn't mean you might not want to explore a different experience in life. I don't have to sit there and look at my life as a problematic in order to get myself to move, that's just how society has built itself. Right now, most people in order to motivate you will make you feel bad about your current situation. And if you recall in the episode where we talked about the garden of Eden, that's all that Satan did. He made them feel bad about their current situation in order to motivate them to do something that he wanted them to do. [16:23.1]

Don't get me wrong, you can motivate yourself that way you can try and make yourself feel bad in order to get yourself to change your life. But how long do you want to keep doing that? Do enjoy that process. Do you enjoy beating yourself up? Life beats you up, and then you beat yourself up a second time, two times beat up for the same thing. Do you enjoy that? Or would you like to live a life? You can simply do what you want to do. And when you're ready to do something different, you shift into doing something different by simply being done with the first one. See, when you say I'm done, what you're saying is I'm done moving on. When you're done with dinner, I'm done with dinner. You don't have to judge dinner as good or bad. You don't have, there's no judgment in it. You're just done. Cool. I'm done beating myself up about things that aren't happening right now. Things that have happened in the past. I'm done with them taking forever to accomplish things. I'm done with, with reading into everything my wife does, or my kids do so that I think that there's some ulterior motive going on and feeling like I don't know what's going on. [17:28.9]

And I feel like there there's some subconscious battle happening. I'm done with feeling like I'm never going to get over this thing I'm done with behaving like a victim all the time and feeling like everything's happening to me and there's nothing I can ever do about it. I'm done. I'm done. I'm done. Now, when you start saying this, this, this mean that your, all of the external circumstances of your life will change, will eventually yes. But what it will do and what it has done for me. And I've done this, I've even been doing this quite a bit this week. You know, as, as I've done this a lot, what does change or what has changed for me is the feeling of being burdened by life vanishes. And I'm brought back to this one moment, the only thing that's actually happening, and then I can go. Cool. What do I want to do now? And then I can just go do it. No burden, no change to break, nothing to overcome, no problem to solve nothing. I'm just done. I'm done having problems. Cool. What do I want to do now? [18:26.9]

You still can do what's in front of you. You can still finish your it's not about living in irresponsible life. It's not about throwing all responsibility to the wind. It's about being the most, the best kind of responsible that any human could be, which is to only deal with that, which needs to be dealt with instead of complicating your life further, by trying to solve things that aren't actually happening and don't have any bearing on the present moment. So, let me give you a final example of this, where that might help your situation before you go seeking problems. Right? Here's the thing a little while ago, I realized as I was sitting back and I was considering some things, I realized that, you know, my wife and I we've had this incredible experience in our marriage ups and downs and faith changes in my addiction and kids and beautiful moving place to place and all that other kind of stuff. We've had this really beautiful, wonderful journey together. And there have been many, many times where a problem arises. [19:25.2]

And we, I mean, I learned how to talk about stuff and bring things up so that we could actually figure it out. And I remember at one point there was a guy, a client of ours who was like, you realize these are like high level negotiation tactics that they teach, you know, hostage negotiators and stuff. And I was like, well, it better be, cause I was always wrong. She had the hostages and stuff and so I learned how to talk about all this stuff. And so, we would have these big talks and we would send emails back and forth when we couldn't talk about it, cause it was too emotional until the emotions were dealt with. And then we would come together and we'd talk about stuff. And as I was sitting there thinking about it, I realized that like there were so many times throughout our entire 16-year marriage to date where she would say something like, I thought everything was fine. And now like, apparently it wasn't the whole time. And as I sat back and thought about that, I thought, wait a second, in her mind, everything was peachy. Then I looked at our life and I decided there was a problem. And so, I needed to fix this problem. [20:27.0]

So, in my infinite stupid wisdom, I brought the problem up, meaning created it in her mind and then tried to offer solutions. And so, with them we had to have our little TIFF about it and almost invariably the best solutions that we ever had were the ones where we brought it up, nothing ever got resolved and we both just kind of let it drop and then it wasn't a problem anymore. And as I sat back and thought about that, I thought, Oh my goodness, almost all of the problems in my marriage have been created by me deciding there's a problem. And so, then I would look at her and she would have a, you know, a facial expression or something. And I would look at her and I would see something and I'd be like, Oh man, she's thinking something different. See, I created that thought. So, then I would ask, ask, and you shall receive. So, I was like, Hey, what's going on behind you? She would say, Oh, nothing, nothing. But she would say it in a way that I thought, Oh, now she's hiding something. So, then I would look and seek and you shall find, and I sought. And she would say, no, no, there's nothing going on. It's just, you know, and so then she would come up with a reason why she was a little bit upset and then I would keep knocking on that door and she would open it wide open. And then there would be an issue. [21:38.3]

I created the problem in my mind. And then I went looking for it and then I had to solve it. But when I stopped assuming that there was anything beyond face value to everything that she was doing, literally our marriage transformed overnight and it was already good. And then it became something absolutely incredible. So much fun, so much playfulness still being able to accomplish everything we need to accomplish and coordinating with the kids and things so much easy honesty because there aren't these underlying issues that I used to think that there were, because she never thought that they were. She was always like, I thought everything was okay and then apparently it wasn't. But that was just me, that was my thinking. So, as you go about your life this week, I'm going to invite you to look at all the things that you thought were problems and ask yourself if there was, if I could just take everything at face value right now, if things are just right here in front of me, would it actually be a problem? [22:36.9]

You know, if you go skiing down a mountain, do you look at every mogul as a problem? Oh, there's a bump there, a bump there, a tree there. Oh my gosh, these are all problems? Or do you look at all of them, it's like, Oh, that's just the mountain. How do I want to ski down this so, I have a really solid fun experience? You can navigate what's at face value. It's when you think there's this invisible stealth mode problem in the background that you have to deal with, and it's not there. Most of the problems you're struggling with in your life don't actually exist except in your mind. And the moment you stop making them into problems, you don't ever need a solution. They simply vanish. [23:15.1]

Now a way to help with that is to, I'm going to suggest this, use the phrase, ‘I'm done.’ Just try it out. It might not work for everybody. But just in the moment, when you find yourself getting all, all upset about something, you just feel like, Oh, I'm done being upset about this. I'm just done. I'm done being upset about it. I'm done thinking it's a problem. I'm done assuming there's more that needs to be done, that needs to be done at the moment. I'm done freaking out about it. I'm done putting more effort in than is needed. I'm done putting in less effort than I want to. I'm done procrastinating this thing. Just try I’m done. I'm done seeing this as a problem. And it, over time, it'll start to train your mind that it's just doesn't hold on to things as much. It doesn't hold onto certain things as much. It doesn't create problems as much. It will take some time and training, not a ton. You'd be, you'd be surprised within just a even the first day, you'll find it's useful, but even within a week or two, then suddenly you're training your consciousness to no longer create problems out of what's in front of you. Which means it's a lot easier to deal with what's in front of you because you don't have to deal with that plus the problems you created in the first place. [24:21.2]

So, as we finish up today, I'm just going to remind you of final time to remember that you can be done creating problems in your life and experiencing them as problems as soon as you want to. Because most of the problems that human beings struggle with, most of the suffering that human beings have come from the creation of problems in their own life mind first. And if you can be done with that, you'd be surprised how beautiful life becomes. [24:48.6]

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. [25:07.0]

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