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Too often in life we have a “poker face.” We hide our true emotions and pretend to be unfazed by painful feelings. We do this in our relationships, with our spirituality, in our careers, and on social media. 

All this bluffing and hiding your authentic self tricks the people around you. Not only does it harm them, but it harms you. Whenever you lie, you force your brain to justify it — which drowns you in worry, fear, and even resentment. 

In this episode, I’m revealing how to lift off the mask to your “poker face” so you free yourself from mental hang ups that suffocate your happiness. 

Show highlights include:

  • How “poker facing” your partner sabotages an otherwise healthy relationship (1:31) 
  • The almost too-simple, yet profoundly effective “cheat code” to make your life easier (7:01) 
  • How a “Truth Reality” liberates you from the burden of lying you’ve accidentally placed on your shoulders (7:07) 
  • The weird way your emotional baggage subconsciously makes your worst, most irrational fears come true (7:16) 
  • Why going to church every Sunday can weaken your relationship with God (10:30) 
  • The radical mindset shift that instantly eliminates anxiety, depression, stress, worry, and fear (13:40) 

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: Welcome back folks to this high stakes’ poker tournament. Okay. It's not a high stakes poker tournament, it's just one more episode. I've never played poker in a high stakes’ scenario. I've never been inside a casino. I mean, I have been inside casinos, but I've never been in there to play like blackjack or poker or any of the other things. And so, I've only watched from the outside. We played a little bit as kids with candy and I've heard of people and met people and talked to some people who've studied it or played it and whatnot. And I've learned a little bit about poker along the way. Not that I could play exceptionally well and not that I really like that type of risk. I definitely approach other types of risks in my life just fine, apparently, but that type of game, hmm not as interested in. [01:18.2]

And yet there's something about poker. There's something about this game that is exceptionally a powerful metaphor for what's happening in most people's relationships. Now, a couple of weeks ago, I talked to you about Jasmine and my relationship and the hiding and the, the lack. It's not that the communication was bad. We were talking incredibly well. We had great conversations about certain things, and yet there was stuff that was always held back, right. And we were basically playing poker as a couple and many people do this in their relationships. And we do it in social settings. We do it on Facebook, we do it When we say hi to somebody, you go to church, what is the face that you put on? Is that face an actual representation of how you feel on the inside. Frazzled with the kids, and then you look at someone you're like, hi, how's it going? And it's a fake eye lift and the fake smile, but on the inside, you're like, oh my gosh, I just want to go back to sleep. These are all poker faces. What Bob? Yes. [02:17.9]

All of your expressions that are not true expressions of how you feel are poker faces. I have them. You have them. I'm trying to get rid of them. There are many that I don't even realize I'm doing, but they are masks. They're layers and layers of protection about how we really feel, because we're afraid that if everything were on the table, if everything were on the table, that we would be rejected, we would be hurt. We might hurt other people that life would fall apart, maybe we were afraid of death. There's a lot of fears on the inside. And so over time we learned to stop being genuine to stop. What's funny thing about genuine and authenticity and stuff. These are big things nowadays. And people are like, I just need trying to be authentic. You can't be authentic on purpose. You, you just simply are what you are like to be authentic is already a strategy. You try and pretend to be something that you think you are or that you want to be. And it's not what you are. So, it's like trying to love somebody on purpose. Excuse me. Hold on a second. I'm going to love you now. It just doesn't work that way. It's a by-product of the way that you operate in daily life. Forgiveness, love, authenticity and stuff. These are all things that just come as a by-product of seeing things for what they really are and having the courage to just accept all that is and live and dance with reality as it is. [03:38.2]

So here we are in these relationships with all of these poker faces. It's funny because in the Old Testament, the word for faces always plural. You know Moses, didn't look at God face to face in, in Genesis chapter 11, I mean Exodus 11, I think it's Exodus 11, right? He didn't see God face to face. What he saw was God faces to faces. See if I only show you one of the cards in my poker hand, and you know, I only turned one over then you still don't know what else I hold. And there's lack of trust. There's not the ability to re. You're going to bluff your way through, or you're going to have strategy and you're going to figure it out. So as the game goes, the more that you can see of another player's hand, the better your own strategy can be. But if they can see your hand, you don't get us. I mean, you can have a strategy all you want, but you don't get to bluff. You don't get to kind of push people's buttons and kind of work with them and use your facial expressions and read their ticks and all the other things, all the extra effort that goes into reading somebody else's mind because we're busy, hiding things from other people. [04:44.0]

And so many times in our relationships, we're doing the exact same thing. I'm not showing my wife, my friends, my kids, my whole hand, because it's different if you're showing, if you're not doing it because while they don't need to see this right now and that's it. But so many times, even when I was saying that I was saying that, but I was really on the inside feeling, no, I don't want them to see this because I don't know how to respond, or they'll probably get mad or they'll be upset, or it might ruin them or all these. I'm doing it out of fear. And so, I would hide my hand. I would hide what I was doing or hide what I was thinking or hide what I was feeling and my wife would do it and my kids do it and friends do it. And on Facebook, we're cultivating things and hiding stuff. And all the gurus are out there pretending to be perfect and to have mastered their life so many of them. Because it feels like the only way that they'll be able to win at their business or their life is to hide their hand to bluff just a little bit, to make things seem a little bit better than they really are to make promises a little bit more than they need to. [05:44.0]

And all of this is basically poker. One person trying to get something out of life because they're afraid that life itself is not enough. Did you hear that poker is one person trying to get something out of life because they're afraid that life itself as it is, is simply not enough. And when we're doing this in relationships now, obviously the game poker is also a fun game and whatnot. So, all of you who play poker, that's fine. I'm not condemning you. I'm talking about this in relationship and talking about this other people. What I, what I think is funny about the term poker and poker face is that if you break it apart, you get poke her face. And what a poke in the eye, it is, you're trying to blind them so that they can't see all of you. If you just poke them in the face, they won't be able to see everything that you're doing. And are you poker facing your wife or your kids or your husband or your friends or your Facebook contacts or your clients? Am I poker facing them? Man, I've taken a lot of time, especially recently to really look at this. [06:50.4]

Where am I not being a 100% honest? Am I being 99% honest, but where's the 1%? Am I being 67% honest? Where's the extra 33%. Because the more honest you are, the less you have to hide, the easier life is. Truth, reality is always the most liberating and freeing option. Always, always, you might not seem like that because you've got all kinds of weird catastrophe stories about what's going to happen, pretending that you're a prophet that knows exactly how things are going to go down so that you can turn around and tell people, see, I told you, that's how it was going to happen. And if I hadn't done this thing and yada yada, yada, but let's be honest. You don't really know you guess. And often your beliefs about things make you behave in ways that make your beliefs self-fulfilling prophecies. If you would stop having beliefs about how things are going to go down, you might just discover that the person on the other side of the table will also put down their hand. And the two of you can have a good laugh and enjoy more than poker facing each other. Maybe you can just enjoy chatting or talking or going outside and enjoying the natural world or building an entirely different life that isn't centered around. You having to show up a certain way to get what you want out of a relationship. [08:05.1]

No relationship is going to be very powerful. If it's built around this idea that you've got to get something out of that relationship, because you're because it's like a business contract or something. You know, all right, I go to work and I, I get all the money and I bring it home. And I paid the bills and that entitles me to be able to sit on the couch and watch my shows. And my wife is supposed to cook the meals and all that stuff. All of those things that can happen in certain relationships, but other relationships that's not gonna work right. And any relationship where that's like the idea too, people sniping at each other and like holding each other hostage because they didn't do the thing that they think they are entitled to and all that stuff. That's not a relationship. That's a poker game. That's where the two of you are hiding certain things to try and bluff and manipulate other person into making a blunder so that you can take advantage of them and get what you want out of the situation and win. And that might be a fun game. A lot of people enjoy that kind of entertainment. People love playing poker, but doing that inside of a relationship, I'll submit to you is not going to give you the opportunity to experience true union oneness and the incredible healing and laughter and love that is possible when you set all the cards down and you let them see everything that's going on. [09:24.7]

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. [09:52.6]

So, let's step back and look about, look at this because some people who are listening are single and you don't have a relationship, but let's step back further and look at this in terms of your job. Are you poker facing your job? What about the rest of your life? What about your church and your spiritual relationship? Are you going demanding things, are you hiding things and holding back and bluffing and keeping things secret so that you can win and get the blessings that you want? How many people go to religion? Not because it's intended this way, but because it's often used this way, go to religion in order to secure for themselves, a kingdom in heaven, secure for themselves, a better afterlife. They're going to check off the boxes and do the things not because they really are giving themselves wholly to what's there, but so that they can get the promise on the other side. It's still a business transaction. They're still going into life with a strategy, trying to extort it for what it is. [10:55.5]

When I started thinking about extortion, I like to use exotic and big terms that are sort of jarring because they make me think in different ways. Sometimes I started realizing that I was, I was extorting, all kinds of things out of life. Think about our energy sources, for instance. There's rocks in the ground, what do we do with them? We take them, we put them through heat processes or grinding processes or pressure or other types of things. And out of that, we squeeze a certain amount of energy that then is produced as electricity or fuel or whatnot. And so, there's basically, there's this energy in the planet and we are taking it and we are extorting it and using the planet so that we can get the energy out of it. And then throwing away the waste products, not like native cultures did or indigenous cultures did, but in the west right now in Western society, we're throwing these things away without a care in the world. Like the earth was meant for us to dominate and therefore it doesn't really matter how we treat it. And yet the earth is our only home. The sun is the source of almost all the energy on the planet in some way, shape or form, and almost all the light on the planet, except for the light that we've managed to build on our own. And so, like the trees that have grown that we're using for fire, well, how did they grow sunlight? Right? If we wouldn't have wood and we wouldn't have trees, if it weren't for sunlight. And even the absence of sunlight and the rhythms that are created by moonlight, moon is just a reflection of the sunlight and the things that grow under moonlight, they're still being grown by the sun. [12:25.0]

The sun is the reason for all this stuff. And we use solar energy and we do all kinds of stuff. And yet we don't give any credence to it. We don't take time to reverence the sun for all that it gives us or the earth, because we're busy extorting it just like we do our relationships, just like we do our businesses and other things we put in minimum effort for maximum return on investment. And I'll have you consider the possibility that anytime you're going into anything with a strategy to get something out of it, what are my takeaways? Oh, I'm going to go to this business seminar. What were your big takeaways that taking away is part of the problem. You know, you're going to get a takeaway is missing the experience entirely. Oh, well, what were the lessons you learned getting a lesson is missing the thing itself, right. Would you rather have a lesson or would you rather have a life? What if I got no lessons out of it, but my life was beautiful. [13:20.9]

Too often, we're going to see what we can get out of stuff. What can I get out of my wife or husband? What can I get out of my boss? What can I get out of my career? What can I get out of this vacation or this experience, or this email or this marketing message or this Facebook post, and we're doing it unconsciously. And sometimes consciously, we're not really aware of how much we're busy trying to get, get, get, get, get, get, get. And as a result, it feels like everything is running away from us because who wants to be near someone that's constantly trying to get something from you. Really, who does? What would happen if we turn the table? And instead of getting, instead of having this calculation of what can I get dropping that entirely and going, wow, look at what's here. What if I gave myself to this? What if I let, what is here in? What if I loved all of it? What if I danced with what's here? And what if I started giving myself into this? [14:17.2]

Well, you'll experience is a radical shift in anxiety and all of the different things that are happening inside of your system. Like whether you're depressed or stressed or anything else, the stress, the depression is you believing you don't have enough and you're chasing things to go get them. But the minute you just stop and start looking at what's here and what you do have and what's actually important, then all of a sudden, in some way, shape or form, those types of things start to disappear. And they are disappearing with honesty to be real. I asked myself one time, you know, cause there are periods of time where I'll go to bed and my mind is just racing, racing, racing. Have you ever had anybody say something to you or a situation didn't turn out the way you wanted it and you just found your mind replaying over and over again the same situation wanting to, you know, oh, I could have said this, or man, if I had said it that way and whoa, this is a way to do this. And this is a way to offer it with that. And there's that kind of calculation and extortion. And if you notice, like there's some part of you, that's trying to defend something and that defensive something it's called a lie, right? [15:22.5]

The difference between what is obvious, AKA the truth and what you are oblivious to is that the spelling, the two words you just insert an L and an I into into obvious and you get oblivious, you put a lie into what's obvious and now you become oblivious to what's. There there's a lie in there. There's some part of you that hasn't been a hundred percent honest, a hundred percent true, a hundred percent something, whether it's a lie about whether or not you think it's important or whether or not that's true, or whether it's something you said. And so, you're going to defend it, the truth, the word for truth in Hebrew, I think I've said this before, Emet it codes the same, the word Amen comes from that and it truly, right. It means that which could be relied upon. You can rely on it. It doesn't need a defense. It doesn't need justification. The grass in is there whether you believe it or not, whether you love it or not, whether you water it or not. I mean, obviously it needs water to grow, but it’s there, right now that can be relied on. [16:22.2]

All of your thoughts and ideas are not reliable at all. And so, anything you're saying that isn't reliable is going to require a justification. We're going to require a defense, going to require all the effort of playing the poker game, of stepping up and bluffing and holding your face in a certain way and calculating strategy and seeing how much you could get out of the dealer and questioning what's next and all of that effort and all of that emotional turmoil, because you're busy trying to hide something that's true. And maybe you don't know it yet. Maybe there's an area of your life that you just blind to yet. I've had, I've had many of those. And when I become aware of them, sometimes it's a little bit painful to be like, oh wow. I was not really honest in that situation. And then to rectify that situation to the best of your ability is fine. But recognize that all that external, like all the rumination in your mind and the frustrating stuff at night and all the worries and stuff you have are because you're operating on lies and lies need defense because otherwise, they can't exist. [17:19.1]

The truth is the only thing that exists for real. And so, your brain is busy trying to protect these lies. And so, when I've had times where I'm like, oh, I could have said this. I could have said that just because I'm trying to hide from the fact that maybe I didn't set up the situation in a good way, or maybe I overshot things, or maybe I wasn't really honest with myself or with them about what I could do or what I was thinking or what it would look like. And so, then I was just hoping that things would turn out differently and that all came from lying, right? And all of the extra work. And as soon as the truth has said, boy, I started sleeping really well at night. As soon as the truth, truth comes out, boy, all kinds of other things start to become a lot easier. When I'm no longer playing the poker game, when I'm no longer keeping my face straight and like doing all the right things and checking all the boxes. And when I'm simply being what I am at a moment and being honest with it and real and true, there's a gentleness and a love and a calmness that comes into life. [18:18.4]

And if you bring that into your relationships, into your life, into the things you're doing into your spirituality and your religion, into your business and your career, and you start being honest and you stop playing with a poker face, trying to win some phantom game that everybody's calls success, that you, instead of trying to win the game of success, which nobody can define if you stop and you just enjoy the fact of being what you are and what you were created to be and operate from that place, instead of feeling like you have to hide and be anything different than what you really are. Beautiful, beautiful things can happen and you can walk away from the game table and you can step out into the rest of life and huge things that you maybe even never imagined can be right there on your doorstep, the moment you stop poker facing everyone. You don't need to poke her face, the face of life, the face of wife, the face of kids, you don't need to poke her face, the face of business or career, the face of leisure activities. You don't need to poke her face. The face of friends, the face of Facebook, the face of social media. You don't need to poke her face, the face of self-worth. You don't need to sit there and bluff your way anymore. You can be honest and real and you can lay your cards down and you can just simply admit, this is all I have. And I've really, really loved to build a powerful, beautiful life. [19:48.7]

And you might be surprised that you can live life outside of the game and still experience all the joy and have all your needs met and everything else. It's just that you don't have to put up all the energy and all the effort to treat everything like a business transaction and to try and extort happiness from everything you're doing. Because suddenly for the first time, you finally okay with just the hand you've been dealt and that's perfectly fine, and life is good anyway. [20:16.9]

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. [20:35.1]

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