In this episode, I speak with Mark England of the “Enlifted Method”—a coaching system that will help you shed any victim stories you have through the very careful and thoughtful process that Mark has been teaching to people for many years (you can learn more about it on his website, enlifted.me).
The show starts with Mark sharing his own story as he explains how important words, story, and breath are to helping us disengage and do some more productive thinking about the way we think. This is such an interesting premise that we’ve discussed on the show before—how much our past programming and traumas (both large and small) can affect and compromise our ability to enjoy and be productive in everyday life.
You will love Mark’s engaging and casual storytelling style, and the conversation gets pretty deep as we talk about the things that keep us stuck in life—after listening to this episode, you will never again be cavalier about the words you use to describe your own life and the things that have happened to you. As you will hear, it’s not about what happened to you—it’s about what you think has happened to you that makes the biggest difference.
It is not what happened to you, it’s what you think about what happened to you. [00:43]
Sometimes when you repeat the story of your experience several times, it begins to change course. [06:42]
The organization teaches people the power of their words. People who come to them are most interested in learning about the victim mentality and goal setting. [13:01]
The definition of the victim mentality is an acquired personality trait where a person tends to regard himself or herself as the victim of the negative actions of others. Even in the absence of clear evidence. [15:29]
It’s easy to see the worst in people and take things personally when your breath is trapped in your chest. [16:40]
Why is breath so integral to your process? [23:29]
Until you get into the story, it is really hard to get out. [28:51]
Most of us have a recurring theme from unprocessed childhood trauma that plays out for the rest of our lives. [34:52]
Does this method run afoul of traditional psychotherapy and counseling? [41:55]
Self-deprecating internal dialog can be examined by writing it down, and read aloud several times. [44:09]
The more emotional one is about their story, the more attached they are to how the words are put together. [47:29]
Breathing is an important part of this training. [48:55]
What people take this Enlifted Method Workshop that Mark teaches? [54:20]
After listening to this show, what can a listener do to understand this process? [58:58]
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Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.
Hello, listeners. It’s time to talk to Mark England, the proprietor of something called the Enllifted Method. And that is a coaching system that will help you shed your victim stories through a very careful, thoughtful process that Mark has been teaching to many people for many years. And we start right out with him in his compelling storytelling style, talking about his own victim story, how he came to terms with it, and how important words, story and breath are to help you disengage and do some more productive thinking about how you think. What an interesting premise. And you’re gonna learn more at the website Enlifted.me. But I think it’s really interesting, and it goes to the popular topic these days of how our past programming and traumas, both Little Ts and Big Ts, affect and compromise our ability to enjoy and be productive in everyday life. And you’re gonna love Mark’s casual style, but we really go to town and try to get deep and get underneath some of the stuff that’s keeping us stuck. You will never again be cavalier with the words that you use to describe your own life and the things that have happened to you. It’s not what happened to you, it’s what you think about what happened to you is the key variable here. So let’s learn more about Mark’s life’s work and the Enlifted Method. Here we go.
Mark England. Welcome.
Brad Kearns. Thanks for having me.
We are gonna learn about the Enlifted method, which is an extremely interesting, compelling, my initial reaction looking at the website, it’s like, Hey, now we’re gonna get in deep and, and put this missing piece together, especially in the coaching world, because we’re all pretty well filled up with information, logistics, and then we wonder why we’re not executing to the level that we dream about. We have things like words, story and breath as you propose on your website are important. So I think maybe you can introduce yourself to the listeners and then, get into this wonderful work that you’re doing.
Happy to Brad. My name’s Mark England, and I’m currently calling in from the robust one stoplight town. This is a fake southern accent, even though I do have a little bit of a southern accent. Yeah. I’m from Virginia, both sets of my both mom’s side, dad’s side. They’re from Virginia too. Yeah, we, we, we got a family farm 10 minutes outside of a one stoplight town, Dale Wind, Virginia. And a lot of the words and story and breath, story started when I moved over to Thailand in 2002 to follow my dream of becoming a professional fighter.
Fighter. What kind of fighter?
Yeah. Kickboxing and MMA.
And so I wrestled in high school. That was cool enough. Took my first jujitsu class in college in 1996, and that was way better. First time I got choked out in a class was the, which was the first class I went to. I didn’t know what I was doing. And a guy put me in something. I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve gotta learn this. And that turned into me training hard for six years. And I had a handful of amateur MMA fights, and I won a couple of state kickboxing titles. And I said, I’m moving to Thailand, everybody. And I did. I ended up living over there for 10 years, which still sounds strange to say, especially something for a country bumpkin to say. And, the plan was to go over there for, for one year, Brad, and train, and come back and go pro. That’s very not what happened. Went over there and jacked my knee up for the second time real good the second time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Right. Had my second knee surgery. The doctor said, I remember like it was yesterday, your career as a fighter is over. You could become a very good swimmer. <laugh> and I, right. And I’m picturing laps next to grandma at the pool. Not what I had in mind in at 26 years old and darkness descended
And I entrenched, uh, an inflamed, majorly inflamed victim mentality. So much so I didn’t smile. I didn’t, I definitely didn’t laugh. And I don’t think I, I cracked a real smile for over a year until I got sick of that. And then went down to, so the first five years of me living in Thailand, I was an elementary school sports teacher at an international school. Great gig. Loved the kids, super fun. The second half I was a coach slash counselor, at a cleansing resort. They did fasting programs for, for the second five years. And while I was doing the teaching thing and, starting to work on, on my puckered up face, I was going down to this cleansing resort and doing these, these programs. This great great gig. I pay them a good amount of money to not eat.
I get a yoga class and a coconut once a day and, and they get my money. And I, I pay. I liked it. So anyway, my third trip down, I went to an emotional detoxification workshop. And I’m one, I’m glad I went. I snickered at the, at the name emotional detoxification. I went and the gentleman that was running that workshop was a guy by the name of Barry Musgrave who turned into my mentor in this work, unbeknownst to me at the time. And he talked about words, and he talked about stories. He talked about identities, and he talked about breathing. And he asked everybody, is anyone stuck on a story? Like, you got a story that, like, you’re still, you know, and this woman shot her hand up.
New Speaker (00:07:36):
And she had a, it was a stinger of a bad breakup story. The short story is that her and her friend, she was in college, went to the beach, got a house, went to the beach. Her boyfriends, he and his friends got the house next door at the beach for beach week add alcohol press play. And he hooked up with her, one of, one of her best friends in front of everybody one night, and then dumped her in front of everybody. The next night. She, she told more of the story, and that was the gist of it. And it, I mean, we can all like that. Come on, man. That’s, that’s some Ouch. And he had her tell that story three times. First time. He didn’t touch any of the language, any of the words. I’m gonna talk more about language and words in the next hour. I’m gonna do it a lot, for good reason.
Second, and she, so she told the story through first time angry. Lot of tears. Cool. Tell that same story again. So she gets into it and he starts to make some adjustments with the words and the thing loosens up now. She’s sad. No tears. And everybody’s starting to lean in. This is getting interesting. Third time through, he had, he knew what he was doing. He had her stop at the sentence that held the whole thing together. He did that to me. And he had her repeated a few times. So everybody’s staring at the same sentence, or spell. Webster’s definition of a spell, not mine is a word. Or a combination of words, of great influence. And that combination of words was greatly influencing that woman since the day that it happened. He did that to me. And again, had to repeat it a few times. So everybody’s looking at the same sentence. And he goes, that last word, take out that last word. Take out me and put in himself.
Right? And you see, it was such a radical departure from the story that she had been relentlessly telling herself that it was, she said it in half of a sentence. It was clunky. And it went up at the end. He did that to himself. It was a question. And then you see it catch the, the breath came out, sigh of relief, everybody of pressure. And she let this breath out. And, and then, and then it caught. And she goes, he did, he did do that to himself. And then she started talking about the, he lost friends. He, it was actually worse for him in the end. And then, and then the last thing she said before the whole thing was over was, you know, he was actually kind of weird. That was never gonna work out anyway. And I go, this is exactly what I did.
I’ve fallen in love on side a few times. I go that I, I pointed at it, not literally. And I was like this because I had that same sentence. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, He did that to me. He shouldn’t have been kicking that hard. We were just warming up. Hmm. And I did not know what the victim mentality was. I did not know the words that forces people to create it, whether they want to or not. And that was my first introduction to the, the whole world of getting our language working for us. ’cause most people’s language is working against us. So fast forward a number of trainings that same spa, January 17th, 2007. I put my poster up with all the other coaches and facilitators at, at the spa that worked there. And that was the day that I turned pro. And I’ve been somewhere between full-time and overtime the whole time for the past 16 years, researching, coaching, and presenting on the power of words and stories.
Just a couple of extra metrics. So who is this guy and why should I listen to him? I’ve been doing it for that many amount of years. This is my 332nd podcast that I’ve been on talking about this one thing, which is the power of words. I’m the co-founder and head coach of Lifted and I deliver all of the trainings for a certificate for our certifications of certified 350 level one students. So far I’ve got a teaching background and, I’ve been in a doc three documentaries, one’s been published, three online court. So like, I, I get it. I, you know, I’ve, I’ve got, I’ve got some hours on the clock, and the work fascinates me. I love the people I meet through it and I wake up. I’m very grateful for this field of study because it holds my attention. I was a horrible student school, so I was bored. This, on the other hand, I wake up and I’m like, cool, I get to go do this.
You’ve discovered your inspired purpose as Dr. John D. Martini would say. That’s freaking awesome, man.
Yep. I saw that guy for the first time, what the bleep do we know in, in 2005? I watched that 16 times one summer.
Nice. <laugh>. Yeah. Get it in there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you’re, uh, you’re focused on this stuff. You’re focused. I love that.
Tell me what the organization does.
We certify coaches. Our main revenue stream are the most of the amount of hours on the clock for us as an organization goes to certifying our coaches and, um, developing the community and the brand. That’s where almost all of my hours are. 99% of my professional hours are teaching class, going on podcasts, and, you know, attending the work meetings and such. So yeah, we, we are teachers. My business partner, he comes from a i’ll, I will use the word prestigious background in professional development and sales training. He was Jeffrey Gitomer’s right hand man for, uh, six years. That guy wrote the best book, the most, the, the most well, uh, sold book on sales. I think it was either Sales Bible or Little Red Red Book of Selling. And so we’re both teachers in very real sense. And, um, we, we teach people about the power of their words, and it starts with the victim mentality. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So we, we paid, um, a gentleman about four years ago to, the word is scrape our social media, and which is they, they, they go in and look at all of our posts and everything, all the comments and everything. And he came back and he said, there are two things that people are most interested in listening to you all about. And the first one is the victim mentality, and then a very, very, very distant second is goal setting.
So, yeah, I’m very,
Yeah. Why set goals if you’re buried in victim mentality,?what do the goals matter?
That’s, great, great point. I’d rather have goals than not. And when the victim mentality is entrenched, is, inflamed, it makes going after the things that are interesting, important to us, um, make our life better, that much harder. And that, that’s the thing that trips people up in my opinion more than anything else with their goals, is, is the victim mentality. I’m very happy to recite the definition of that for the umpteenth time and then break that. Is, is that a good place to.
New Speaker (00:15:26):
Yeah. Let me hear it. Yeah.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a pen, I invite you to write this down because I’m going to recite the definition of the victim mentality. Most people have never heard the definition of the victim mentality, much less written it down. And when pen hits paper, so that the numbers are 30, 50, 80, we remember 30% of what we hear, 50% of what we write, and 80% of what we teach. And if you put pen to paper Yep. You get, you get 20% extra return on investment for listening to this show. Here’s, I’ll do it twice. So first time slow, so you can write it. And then second time, I’ll elaborate on some of the, the key points of the, the victim mentality definition. The victim mentality is an acquired personality trait where a person tends to regard himself or herself as the victim of the negative actions of others, even in the absence of clear evidence.
The victim mentality depends on a habitual thought process and attributions, I’ll do that again a little faster. The victim mentality is an acquired personality trait where a person tends, its a tendency, sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down. A person tends to regard himself or herself as the victim of the negative actions of others, even in the absence of clear evidence. The victim mentality depends, underline that word as it has to have a habitual thought process and attributions at the end. What’s an attribution? It’s a characteristic. The main characteristic that we pay attention to is breathing. Most people’s breath is trapped in their chest. And, yeah, it’s, it’s easy to take things personally, when our breath is trapped in our chest, it’s easy to see the worst in people. When the breath is trapped in the chest, it’s very hard. It’s called amygdala hijacking.
You look that up. It’s very hard. Chest breathing turns people into horrible listeners. Um, and it’s super hard to, to feel comfortable in our skin when our breathing is trapped in our chest. And so the, the habitual thought process, the victim mentality depends on a habitual thought process. Habitual accurately implies duration and addiction. And then thought process, thought process, thinking processes, also known as certain words used repetitively over time, forces you to stare at the victim villain mental imagery, whether you want to or not. And regardless of how smart you are, it’ll work. That’ll work for, for me, it’ll work for Einstein, as in he did that to me, or she never lets me think for myself, or I need them to respect me more. Really? Do you need them to respect you more? Do you need you to respect you more? Mm. And when and when I know how to use my words, also known as thinking about our thinking. That’s my favorite Alan Watts quote, when we learn to think about our thinking mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we become alive in a new way. And yeah. When we do that, we gift ourself choice and more space and more clarity. And here’s, here’s where it comes back to, is the baseline. We unlock our breathing. Mm.
We unlock our breathing. Yeah. We’re, we’re known as the language people, Brad. We might as well be known as the language and the breathing people and gun to head. It’s about the breath push comes to shove, it’s about the breath. Like I’m, I’m there to help people with change some words and keep doing that until the breath resides down in the abdomen where it’s supposed to. We’re supposed to breathe abdominally. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> parasympathetic state most of the time we’re not designed to live well with, in these chronic upregulated in psychologically inflamed states. What are you, you’re jumping, what is that in the background? You’re jumping over a, um, are you a pole vaulter? Not a pole vaulter. It’s a high jumper.
That’s a high jump bar, sir. For those watching on YouTube. Familiar with my logo plastered on the back wall. And, there I am smiling. And what’s my favorite hobby these days? It’s, it’s a captivating, athletic event. And, I’m a victim of, uh, uh, uh, my genetics are for endurance athlete. That was what I did. Uh, back when I was young, I was a, a professional competitor in triathlon. So now I do something that’s completely, um, you know, disparate from my life experience and my, my highest, you know, genetic attributes. But it’s so fun to try to get good at something that maybe I’m not naturally inclined to. And then I no longer have to inhabit the victim mentality. ’cause I’m gonna get better and better even as I age. I love it.
That’s great, <laugh>. Yeah. That’s, that’s
So I’m thinking, you know, and what
You thinking, I just, I just rattled off all kinds of stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I feel like a victim, someone inhabiting the victim mentality is probably gonna give you pushback. And they’re gonna deeply believe that they are indeed a victim, and you’re wrong. And, and <laugh> and so on and so forth. And then you could probably nod your head and say, well, you know, if you believe so and you want to carry that, and I guess that’s where that breaking point came with the woman reciting her story three times and choosing her words differently. But that probably takes a lot of convincing, um, to, to, to many people who are trapped and stuck
Until they write their words down, until they write their words down, and they start changing their words, you know, with the help of someone who knows what they’re doing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and to get this on the table, there’s a very big difference between victim blaming and victim mentality explaining. And we are firmly in the second camp. Victim mentality explaining. And, um, yeah. So life happens, things happen, and, and then they have happen once. Just say they happen once. And then how many times do I replay that story in my head? So I’m saying I’ve had no control over the story in my head about the thing, the interpretation. Let’s say it’s a divorce. When it happened when I was seven, let’s say, let’s say I really got that interpretation, spit, spit, shine, clean. I got, I nailed it the first time. I told myself a story about what it means that my dad’s leaving.
And, how now I’ve got to, you know, take responsibility. I’ve gotta make my mom happy. So, ’cause I’m, I’m the only one here now, and now I grow up with this story that I, I’ve gotta, you know, be there for everybody all the time. Is that the kind of story somebody wants to, to play out because it’s common? Mm-hmm. Something along those lines very rarely do stories that have a certain rhythm, cadence and words to them, that trapped the breath and force me to stare at a person in my imagination doing something to me. Very rarely does it work out well when I have to wait for that person in my imagination to change their behavior, for me to relax and have a good life. Hmm. That’s, that’s called hell.
So yeah, we’re, we’re about, we’re about going into the story and taking a look at it.
And why is the breath so integral to this process of exiting the victim mentality, I guess taking responsibility for your thoughts, behaviors, actions?
Yeah. Because mechanically speaking, good luck changing your mind or your client’s mind while the breath is trapped in the chest. So again, it’s called amygdala hijack. When someone goes into a stressed state and the breath gets trapped in the chest, they get myopic mm-hmm. <affirmative> in their focus. And so they get myopic and fixated, and the pictures are up close and scary. And not only that, we lose, like I said, access to our listening abilities. We’ve all had a conversation with somebody who’s been in an emotional state. Mm-hmm. How’d that go? It’s, we have language to describe that. It’s like talking to a brick wall. And we also lose access to our creative faculties. Hmm. And we can observe that in storytelling. We can also observe that phenomenon. This, you’ll relate to this in movement. Go out there and run some wind sprints and tell me what your field of vision looks like.
Are, is, are you in an upregulated state? Yep. What are you able to see that thing that you’re focused on? I mean, are you able to, to think about other stuff real well and create it in like <laugh> problem solving and stuff? No. You’ve got it’s singular in focus now. Now go out and go on a walk and slow down your rate of walking by about 30%. It’s the magic number, oddly enough. It’s called a stroll. Go on a stroll and watch how much extra space that you’ve got. Our man, Charlie Chaplin knew this. He said, life viewed under a microscope is a tragedy viewed from afar is a comedy. I can keep going on the mechanics of story, if you’d like me to in this conversation. Sure. Yep. Most people keep their stories of ouch and pain and sting and woe.
And the evidence that they use to convince themself that they are a victim of circumstance up here in their head story kept up in the head, oddly enough, takes up a lot of space. It swirls, it’s seemingly infinite. Where does it stop? Where does it start? There’s the worst part again, ouch. Story kept up in the head. The story is in your client. Your client is in the story for the most part. It’s subjective, it’s still personal after all these years. One of the things that we do, it’s, it’s as basic as you could get. And, it’s as basic as you can get when it comes to helping people change their mindset. And it’s as basic as you can get with the enlifted method. We go in there and we help people get those specific memories of ouch and pain and sting and woe and title them out and write them out conversationally airing on the side of more detail than yet than less with full sentences and punctuation.
And yes, sometimes the pen can feel like it weighs 900 pounds. And that’s, I’ll take, I’ll take a little bit of sting right now versus a few decades of bumping up into that thing. And once a story is extracted out of its preferred environment, trust me, it’s, it wants to stay up there. It’C just safe. It’s at home and it gets out on paper. Then you’ve externalized the story. You’ve given yourself some distance, and then you can start reading it and reading it slow and getting some breath in between the sentences. And then, then it gets a lot easier to change the words. So breath trapped in the chest to come full circle. Make it simple. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> breath trapped in the chest. That’s attachment to the story. Mm-hmm. It feels real. Mm-hmm. It’s, it feels true. Yes. That person did that to me. Mm-hmm. Uh, and that means this about my life. ‘Cause it’s not the story that gets us, buddy. It’s the meaning that we assign to the story. Mm-hmm. And, uh, breath opens up and they start to let go of this death grip on the meaning. Look, the same thing that he did that to me. No, he did that to himself. That guy was actually really weird. <laugh>, Thank God I’m not with him. She was not thinking that 10 minutes before. Mm-hmm. He was a victim of life.
So I guess when you get someone going and relating their victim story, for example, they’re gonna transition into shallow panting sympathetic tone, because they’re asked to relate their victim story. And that’s where the trap occurs where they, they can’t really have personal growth because they’re, they’re too stressed and too myopic to see a bigger picture until they’re, until they’re facilitated as you relate in the account of the girl retelling the story and, and checking the words.
You just said that better than I did. Yeah. Until you go into the story, it’s really hard to get out of the story. Um, the, the way forward is in oddly, it’s the way forward is in, I know of no other way. I wish there was an easier way, because sometimes that’s really tough to go into those things. I wish there was an easier way than to, to, to go back in there. But here’s, it’s like a spicy tie dish. I lived in Thailand for 10 years. I ate some really spicy dishes. It’s like a spicy Thai dish. The story burns going in Mm. It smolders while it’s in there, and then it burns coming out. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, everybody go eat a spicy Thai dish and message me in 48 hours, assuming everything is working as it should. And, um, and that’s why part, the reason why people can and tend to avoid revisiting those stories in details. ‘Cause the devil is in the details. The more detailed we get in our recount of an event, the more we feel. And if someone doesn’t know how to get that feeling all the way through, get it spicy thai dish, then it’s just burning bad again.
Hmm. I wonder if there’s another level here where we have the clear examples of a victim, uh, circumstance victim story like the girl related at spring break. But then there’s also, like Cynthia Thurlow talks about big T trauma and little T trauma. So I’m thinking of, you know, my personal background. I don’t have a ready-made extreme victim story to relate where somebody, uh, kicked me too hard and, and busted up my knee. But perhaps I’m not even consciously aware of certain victim stories or an accumulation of victim stories that are compromising my life and holding me back because they’re sort of, uh, an amalgam or they’re just underneath the surface of my conscious memory. But maybe there’s a repeating pattern where, you know, it’s like the, uh, why me, why do I always find myself, um, <laugh>, you know, in <laugh> in the runner up position when I wanna win or whatever it is. And then I have to even identify the victim story, I guess is my question. Yep.
That’s it’s common and it’s easy to check. And what do I mean by easy to check? Um, so let’s say someone has, and this is most, I’m, I’m speaking to people as if they’re coaches, and if they’re not, it’s, this is a pretty easy thing to relate to, whether it’s personally or you’ve seen other people deal with patterns and themes in their adult life. Let’s pick one that I worked with very recently. This gentleman, he was struggling at work with imposter syndrome, especially when it came to giving meetings or facilitating meetings in front of his peers. And he said the same thing happened every time, is that he would get up there and he would have these, these, um, they weren’t like full-blown panic attacks, like shut the whole, uh, system down, but it was taken up some space, these feelings of being an imposter and being not good enough.
And it had been happening all throughout his professional life. Okay, great. That’s the theme. That’s what he told me he wanted to have work on. And I said, can you give me an example of that? And he said, that’s easy. It happened two weeks ago. And he told me the specific, we actually, we gotta write it down title, a specific story, the specific story that happened two weeks ago, and write it out on paper, which is very rare to do. You wanna write it conversationally like it’s going in a book. Mm-hmm. And so he read through that story and you know, what happened, Brad? Those feelings got stronger, which normally happened. Okay. It’s a good thing. And then I asked him, when was the first time you felt that pressure in your chest of not being good enough of being an imposter and, and being scared of judgment? He goes, oh, that I was bullied all through middle school. Mm-hmm.
And, um, and he goes, I haven’t thought about that in years. Why would you? ’cause you’re dealing with the outside layer of the adult onion at work. And very rarely do people get into the story deep enough to make those connects back to the stuff that happened in childhood and adolescence. And I asked him, I was like, let me guess. Um, you remember the worst event, the worst bullying event? He goes, yeah, I definitely do. And he hadn’t titled that he hadn’t written it down and just been in there smoldering, like I said, and we got the, it was three, the three most prominent bullying events. Got them from up here and titled and written out conversationally. And then put them through what we call in the enlifted method, the four step process, which is exactly what I said a second ago. Title it, right it out conversationally read it.
Whatever you feel is correct, read it slow. 70% of your normal rate of speed when, or speech, when someone slows down their rate of speech, the breath starts to unlock. Trust me, you want that? And then read it again. Slowish with a breath at the end of each sentence. Hmm. And what that does is it gets the breath to descend down into the abdomen. And so, um, this is good for your YouTube people. Which to, again, this is the mechanics of story, everybody. This is not about the why. This is the how So story kept in the head breath, trapped in the chest face.
He’s covering his face with a comp book right now, people Yep.
Wherever you look, there it is. <laugh>, get the story written out, air it out, and the, as the breath descends, the breath descends, the picture moves away.
And so now I go into the observer as opposed to the relentless participant and what people are most haunted by when they say, well, I’m a victim of the thing. It’s, it’s the relentless participation in the story. It’s not the thing that that could ’cause Did, did it happen today? That thing that happened 20 years ago? Did that happen today? Externally? Or internally? No, I watched that movie again in my head. And that’s the thing I wanna stop. Yeah. We can’t go back there 20 years ago, but guess what? We can turn the volume down on this thing that happened this morning again, in your mind.
So you had the steps were to title it, read it slowly, 70%, reread it with breaths in between each sentence. And then it was a fourth step. What’s the Yep.
It was, you got one, three, and four <laugh>, step one, which is good. Most people have no steps. Uh, um, and, and, and so what happens? They just do their best and not bump into those bump up, bump up into those stories and those feelings, even though they keep bumping up into those stories in some form or fashion and those feelings, like the guy I mentioned who was at, at work and just kept every time I he was, he was dealing with that for 20 years. That’s that’s the real, that’s what I was talking about. That’s the real scary stuff, you know? Yeah. Oh, oh. Um, I’m just gonna deal with this for 50 years and it’s gonna get majorly in the way of my professional career, as opposed to going and writing in those stories out. It’s
So, Mark, are you, are you contending that this guy being bullied in middle school and not properly processing those memories was a direct and really strong driver of his imposter syndrome in the conference room?
I’m saying that definitively.
Wow. And I mean, we hear this now. It seems like a recurring theme from behavior experts psychotherapy that we have these unprocessed childhood traumas, and then they play out for the rest of our lives until we, kind of acknowledge them, process through them and then they lose their power. Is that a good generalization, uh, to bring some, some of these ideas together?
You just said it as good, if not better than I did. Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. Talking about going in there, you know, talking about going in there with a specific tool, which is like the four steps. Everybody title it, write it out conversationally. Don’t write about it. Write out in detail what happened.
Step Two, read the story. Let yourself have the feel. Okay. People are meant to feel feelings. It’s, trust me. It’s okay. Especially when it’s on the way out. And, and then step three, read the story at 70% of your normal rate of speech that’s going to loosen up your breathing. And then step four, get a breath in between as in a full breath, as in a in between each sentence.
And you’re gonna zoom out.
Okay. So if I’m in your workshop right now, and we have the next 20 minutes to go and write down our story, and let’s say, hypothetically speaking, I kind of draw a little bit of a blank because I don’t have this profound memory of extreme bullying in middle school. Of course, I can probably come up with a list of 20, middle T traumas. I was too shy to talk to the girls in high school. I felt marginalized as an athlete because I, I wasn’t as good as I, I wanted to be, uh, whatever it was that kind of made me shrink into a corner. And, and I have, you know, I can recite some of these different snapshots from from past life. Would this, would this qualify? you know, 20 little t traumas, uh, and, and go he head up with, you know, someone who suffered, you know, a violence at the hand of others or something that is, you know, really extreme and something easy to pinpoint.
For sure. Um, first things first, um, play at your own level. You know, I’ve given somewhere around 750 workshops and it’s always play at your own level. If somebody wants to go in there, cool. I, I’ll go in there with you. If somebody doesn’t wanna go in there, I don’t want to go in there either. And if nobody has, if you don’t have a story, fantastic. Great. <laugh> excellent. And I’m not sure what the difference between a little T trauma and a big T trauma is and Right. What the definitive line is. Uh, ’cause I’ve seen some seemingly minor stories create some extremely negative emotional reactions and patterns in people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. ’cause a lot of that’s up to opinion, right? Um, oh, sure.
And here, here’s, here’s another piece of that answer is that it doesn’t matter. You can for step, um, procrastinations and you can for step, ’cause it doesn’t matter what the context is. It’s not context dependent. It’s like, it’s like it’s, it doesn’t, it only works for divorces and dog attacks. No. It works for any story that bothers you,
Right? Yeah. And I mean, I’ve been, uh, I’ve been challenged or scolded here when I, uh, utter up a, you know, a positive spin. And, you know, it’s like, well, you’re diminishing your own suffering by saying, you know, comparatively speaking. You know, I haven’t had any, uh, terrible, uh, traumas to complain about. But that in, that, in, in, in itself could be a coping mechanism that’s keeping me trapped in a certain victim, victim position, I suppose.
Yeah. And my question to that is, um, how do you feel about yourself?
Yeah. Yeah. Like, you know, I don’t, I don’t matter enough. You feel you feel good about yourself. Exactly.
Exactly. No one will ever really love me. I’ve got that whole thing going on, and that, that idea and that feeling, but nothing ever really tragic has happened. Let’s, tell, would you like to get rid of that feeling of not being good enough? It’s a tele phobia, folks. That’s what, 95% of this stuff boils down to a tele phobia. Yeah. There’s a word for it. It’s the fear of not being good enough. And, um, why does, why does it have to be? It’s, yeah. It’s, and I didn’t, I don’t need, I didn’t need a PhD to create the story of not being good enough when I was nine. I don’t need a PhD to change it. And I also don’t need a PhD to analyze how much it bothers me.
It bothers me. Yeah. That’s all I need to know. Yeah.
I mean, let’s grow up a little bit here. People.
So speaking of that, I wonder if, do you ever run afoul of the world of traditional psychotherapy and counseling? Where, are there any objections to where this stuff can be someone might consider it harmful or off point? Or does it go synchronize hand in hand with someone who is a big consumer of traditional, uh, models that are, um, you know, in the mental health world?
Yeah. Um, it’s, at the end of the day choose your path. My advice is to shop around <laugh> and get a second and third opinion. I’ve never met anybody who said, I really wish I never got that second opinion.
I mean, really. As far as traditional psychotherapy and psychiatry goes, like clinical psychiatry, like cognitive tho those people are on a different level than I’m, I’ve got an IQ of nine <laugh>. I come from a very blue collar background. I have a handful of m m a fights. I wanted to be a professional fighter, and I was an elementary school sports teacher Okay. Before I got into personal development. So take, take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. If you’re looking for someone who’s got a very, well, like I said, you’re, if you’re looking for Einstein in this world, I’m not that. I’m just someone who stares at words and how they influence people.
So the, the words themselves, you’re placing great importance on that. I’m gonna also ask further about the breath, but, when I’m thinking of like, day-to-day examples of, oh, I’m so spacey. I’m sorry I’m late for our podcast. It was 15 minutes ago. I’m, gosh, I’m such a, I’m such a dork. I kept you waiting. And so these, we were
Both right on time, by the way.
I know. It’s, it’s a miracle for me. I mean, it was like, oh my gosh, here I am cranking. But you know, when we engage in that self-deprecating language, it’s kinda like the imposter syndrome person who’s in his head is, doesn’t feel qualified. But a lot of times we verbalize our lack of abilities. And then I guess we manifest those because we’re using those words in, in a pattern manner.
Yeah. You know, most people’s language, and when I refer to language, I mean internal dialogue and external dialogue, what we think, what we say, what we write is very patterned. And people, it’s, it’s the easiest thing to overlook Brad. It really is. It’s overlook. Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah. Because it’s, it’s, it’s right bet. It’s right under our nose what we say. It’s right between our ears, the voice and our own head. And it’s right at the end of our fingertips. It’s what we write. And, here’s an interesting thing to think about. Here’s a position that I take is that most people’s problems, which they would define as super big and complicated, they think the answer has to be as big and complicated. And I’m here to say no. It’s almost exclusively the opposite. First things first, let’s get that thing written down on paper so we can look into it.
So it’s a lot easier. The fastest way that I know to slow down a story is to write it down. Mm-hmm. And, and, you know, and that’s really where the rubber meets the road. Here’s another’s a on pa, uh, brand analogy. For very rarely does a car mechanic take a car out to the highway and it’s 70 miles an hour, start popping the hood, pop the hood, and start changing out parts. It’s the same thing for our story. We gotta park that thing. We gotta park that thing so we can start taking out words and seeing what is what. And Oh, wait a minute. My dad leaving when I was seven, that wasn’t about me. That was about him.
Do I do I want at 47? My dad leaving when I was seven was all because of me. I wasn’t a good enough son. If I’m thinking that I’m not a good enough son, but so much so that my dad leaves the house, then I’m gonna have this not good enough thing chasing me around the rest of my life. Very scary. Very scary. And very rarely is that kind of story gotten on paper. And we’re not talking about writing about it, journaling about it, or journal, like writing it out to, and allowing myself to believe the story. Mm-hmm. Okay. That’s what most journaling is. I don’t recommend that. ’cause now it’s, it’s, it can, it can be good. And a lot of times it’s either neutral or negative. ’cause now I’ve got the proof in writing. I’ve got it in writing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, no, no. Write. So you can think about your thinking. Right. So you can look at the story as opposed to, and observe the story as opposed to believe the story more strongly. And, did I come close to answering your question on that? About the language patterns of, of people?
Yeah. I guess even writing the story, you want to be, um, <laugh> mindful that you’re not putting in all these, um, adjectives. Right? Where just like the lady telling the story about spring break and then this uncaring asshole went and hit up on my friend, you know, like you gotta just write the story in a, in a, as factual a manner as possible. I would assume
That’s coming. What you wanna do is to write it, um, as, as you, as it as it was when it first happened. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
BecauseThat’s your draft. And then, and then you can go in and, and change some words and have a second draft and a third draft. Okay. Most people don’t even have a draft to hand in pen to paper. So you’ll get to the elaboration of the story or the editing the story once you get through the emotions and feelings. Okay. That’s the normal progression. It’s not always, and it’s the normal progression. ’cause, the more so the more emotional someone is about a story, the more attached they are to how the words are put together. Hmm. And what you wanna do is you want to down-regulate their nervous system in context to the story. So then they’ve got some space and clarity and are less, less attached to the story.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So with the breathing, I wonder if you’re familiar with the popular book Oxygen Advantage, Patrick McKeown. And it was an insight to me. I I’ve known about the relationship between, uh, nasal diaphragmatic breathing and parasympathetic function and how you wanna use the entire diaphragm and take these nice breasted. He also argues for minimizing your breathing at all times, taking the minimal amount of oxygen necessary. And I wonder if that’s flowing into your training at all, or if you have any insights on that.
That’s the first I’ve heard of that. How I breathe. So I had somebody, one of Paul Check’s friends. Interviewed me a few weeks ago and they said, so what has this stuff done for you? And I thought, thank you for asking. And I said, iit’s unlocked my breathing. Hmm.
It’s unlocked my breathing. I can go on in detail about other things. It’s done. And that’s irrelevant in one sense. Okay. For me, because, yeah. I very clearly remember, I tanked my fight career with bad breathing mechanics. I ended my fight career with a victim story, which was why I was training so hard. I was gonna prove to everybody that I was, I was good enough. And I was not scared. I wasn’t that scared little boy on the playground from, from elementary school. ’cause I had a couple of stories of fights breaking out and me running away and me beating myself up for all those years. Hmm. And then it gets me into the fight game. And that was my main thing. And so, you know, I was, I was already mad internally. And I go in and, and I’m, I’m training with these stories running in my head. Breath trapped in the chest. You’re gonna, things are gonna break. Like, uh, uh, <laugh>, my buddy Brian Jones from the Brian Jones Rock and Roll revival, deep, deep, deep meditator, longtime deep meditator. He said, um, we’re having these conversations ’cause we do. And, and he said, what? Doesn’t matter what it is, if you hold your breath, you’re gonna hurt yourself.
Whether it’s kung fu fighting, whether it’s go, go out on a date and hold your breath. Tell me how that goes. Get up in front of a group of colleagues and give a presentation about something that you could be a world expert and, and hold your breath and tell me how that goes. Get on the sales call. Hold your breath. Tell me how that goes. It’s like, go on vacation with your family and hold your breath. And you’re like, oh, tell me how that goes. So we’re still on the conversation about minimal oxygen. I’m way more concerned, interested in about how smooth my breathing is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I like smooth inhalations and smooth exhalations. ’cause my breath used to be very staticky and spiky. It’s like, ’cause my story was really staticky and spiky. It had all these thorns and, and broken glass in there.
And every time I bump up against, it’s like, ow. And then I blame somebody out in my life. See ob obviously, folks, I’m, I’m <laugh> I’m using some seriously basic analogy mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, to this stuff. Yeah. So if, if you need more, if you need credentialed, um, experts in this, uh, go listen to go listen to Jordan Peterson. I Okay. Go listen to Jordan Peterson and overlap what we’re saying with him. ’cause he’s the smart guy talking about this stuff. We’re the basic people, or at least I am. Yeah.
He has a whole workshop. There’s a website you can go to where he has you engage in a deep writing exercise. Yeah. Know
We’ve all done it. Yeah. You know about that. Like what’s he, he’s wanting to hear Oh, we’ve all done it.
Yeah. It’s called Know Thyself.
Oh, Know Thyself. That’s right. Know Thyself.
Yeah. All of our all of our team members and contractors have done that. So, so we know where to place them for them to succeed and play on their strengths.
And the, all the other cool stuff that you learn in there because he’s a high level clinical psychologist and he’s, in my opinion, uh, telling the truth to people mm-hmm. <affirmative> about what they can do with their life and their story. Yeah. So, and we have a breath work coach. So Wim Hof got a, I went to middle school with the guy, lucky me. He’s a second degree Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt, owns his own school. And he’s one of a handful of level three Wim Hof instructors in North America. Are you familiar with Wim Wim Hof? Sure. Wim Hoff method. Yeah. And so he does, um, he and I have done at least 15 workshops together. Compare, pairing up, um, story, doing the story work, and then going in and breathing at the second half. It’s like, it’s like starting a car that hasn’t been started in a while. It just blows all this stuff out of people. They leave, like, thank you. And he’s the breath work coach for the enlifted community. He does a, a quarterly breath work workshop for everybody. ’cause we talk about that a lot. Low and slow breathing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, get your breath low and slow when you’re coaching people and watch what happens. Hmm.
So when one is taking the training, the Enlifted Method program, is it often you’re working with people who are in a coaching role, like, uh, personal trainers and life coaches and people that are then gonna help, um, take their clients to the next level? Or is an individual consumer or a mix or who, who’s attractive for this?
Good question. Sixty-five roughly 65% of our coaches are from the fitness industry. Wow. Uh, another 15% are from the nutrition space. Um, and we have a smattering of life coaches and, and other different people that coach exclusively coach men, exclusively coach women. Uh, we have even have a singing coach. And then there’s about 10% of people that, that come in that don’t want to, uh, coach, um, per se. They just wanna get better with their words and their stories, um, and like their parents and they wanna help their, their kids with it when it is time, which is very cool. Yeah. We did a, we went on a, in 2017, January 20th, 2017, uh, I flew from Thailand to Los Angeles to do a podcast.
And it was at the time the most popular podcast in the, the fitness and CrossFit space. It was called Barbell Shrugged. And, um, I told my business partner, I was like, man, if we can get this conversation in front of the fitness folks, um, it’ll catch. And we did. It’s a good story about how we did and I’ll skip it. And so when that show dropped, we got introduced to the fitness industry by the best mouthpiece in the game at the time. And, uh, things have changed. Things have been different since it was one of those before and after moments. That was the, that was the very first. And we were on fumes for years, man. So I get it. I get that too. Um, and that’s, that’s why, that’s why 65% of our coaches come from the fitness industry. Yeah.
So specifically with fitness oriented goals and that mm-hmm. <affirmative> coach client relationship where there’s so much practical instruction and guidance being dispensed. But a lot of times the main goal of like losing excess body fat or achieving a competitive goal, I would assume that the story gets quite a bit in the way to the extent that the other stuff’s just not gonna stick until we get to the root of the problem and unlock that so then the potential is actually allowed to unfold.
You’re right. You’re right. Usually that’s the thing that makes or breaks people. We have, I don’t know, 35 people in the community that have gyms. And I ask them, how many times have you seen somebody walk in the gym with all the physical talent in the world and they just choke it up? Like it happens way more than it doesn’t. And, um, and, and yes. So having the ability to go into your client’s story only if you want that ability, right? Mm-hmm. Only if you want that ability is another way that you can add value to the client and coach interaction. There are some people in the fitness space or any space that, that are like, I want nothing to do with my client’s emotions and feelings. Mm-hmm. <laugh> and my respon my reply to that is, yeah, I get it.
Mm-hmm. And there are people that say, yeah, I do wanna go in there and, and work with people at that level. And I say the exact same thing in the, in the exact same way. Yeah. I, I get it. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So it’s, it’s like I said, it’s play at your own level. If somebody wants to go in there, cool. If they don’t, that’s cool too. Um, yeah. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what people need to think, nor would I want to know what people need to think. That’d be weird. That’d be weird on both sides of that, that street. All I’m there to do is help people think about their thinking and learn about how their words are influencing them for better and for worse. And if someone wants a victim story about God knows what, go for it. It’s your story. I can light that thing up, man. Go for it.
Yeah. Don’t judge it.It’s, that’s okay. Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah. Stay there if you want. Yeah.
Yeah. I would, I was, if somebody had told me this stuff back when I first got introduced to it, I’ve been like, dude, you can go ahead and leave me alone.
<laugh>. Right. So what’s a good suggestion to leave the listener with? If we want to dabble and explore. Of course we can go get the training and we’ll, you can, uh, promote how, how we connect with you. But, uh, if we’re gonna do a simple, basic exercise now after listening to this show to kind of get us connected, what, what do you think, uh, would be a good, good idea?
May I answer that Brad in about four minutes? If I can do it, if I can answer that in four minutes, I’ll, it’ll be a, it’ll be a full answer.
Here we go, people.
Okay. Great timing. And it’ll bring some other stuff that we’ve talked about into the conversation. That second sentence of the definition of the victim mentality. The victim mentality depends on a habitual thought process, even in the absence of clear, depends on a habitual thought process and attributions habitual thought process. So there are certain words that the victim mentality has to have. There are three in the enlifted vernacular, there’s three pillars. Okay? There’s projections, there’s negation and there’s soft talk. We already talked about projections. The keywords are you, she, he, they them, uh, dad, mom, the government. You, I, I need you to respect me versus I need me to respect me, or he did that to me. No, I did that to me. Wow. Okay. That’s different. Then there’s negations. Negations force people to stare at the worst case scenario. I can’t keep living like this.
There’s a picture of me living like this. I won’t make that mistake again. There’s a picture of me making that mistake again. So won’t, can’t, isn’t, haven’t not, uh, shouldn’t those words again? Force us to stare at the, the stuff that scares us, whether we like it or not. And then here’s the answer. Soft talk. Soft talk. Here are the soft talk keywords. And soft talk is the easiest place for people to start thinking about their thinking. ’cause all, there’s only a handful of words and all you gotta do is take it out and you’re going to feel it. And when someone feels the difference between, I think I’m drinking too much coffee and I’m drinking too much coffee, or it’s almost like I’m procrastinating versus I’m procrastinating, procrastinating, or I guess I should have that conversation with them or I should have that conversation with them.
Think should, could maybe kinda, I’m kind of overreacting. No, you know, you are. Take out the kind of and own it. <laugh>. Okay. Um, hopefully, probably, possibly, uh, one day, one day I’d like to run a marathon. How about today? How about today? You start training or one day I’d like to, to join a gym. How about today? Whatcha gonna, what are you doing? You’re gonna watch the news tonight. Go join a gym instead. You’ll like the outcome better. Try those words if you start plucking them out. And we, on our website, we’ve got a handout that this is the top of the, I just got a thousand of these things made soft talk challenge. I hand, I just went down to Texas and I handed out 1500 of these things. I did six workshops and went on three podcasts and met with a bunch of people.
And these are the words, everybody. You can get this exact handout on our website and at, no, excuse me, that’s our ig, www.enlifted.me. That’s, it’s got all the stuff about the certs on there and go get this printed out and watch what happens. And you’ll feel it. And when you feel it, you’re like, man, that, that elementary school teacher, MMA fighter, he was, he was serious about my words. I am and I’m sincere. I promise you, if you take some of those words out of a text message, you’re gonna have a better response. Mm-hmm. If, if you take the, some of those words out of a conversation you’re having about a big decision, you’re gonna make that decision faster and smoother. And you are going to like the way that feels. Mm-hmm. And then from there, it’s like, okay, well, what other words? Or causing me to talk myself out of loving myself or doing things that are important to me, or being a good listener. Being the, being a good father, being a good, you know, whatever it is. ’cause there’s, if you got a problem with something, there’s, there’s very likely it’s an understatement. There’s very likely some key words in there that you can change. Mm-hmm. And, and other things will change.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you were showing on the video that list of words which we can download at enlifted.me, but it was the probably sort of should, uh, coulda, woulda all that kind of stuff. So, um, we’re in the groove. People check your, check your words. Try one day maybe could possibly. So I’m gonna try to remember as many of those as possible. Whoops. Cross that one off. I’m gonna memorize those words, man.
Yeah. Perhaps I’ll make that, uh, long jump jump or the, the, no, I’m gonna nail that. Yeah. You know, be your own hype man.
Right on. Right on Mark Englandeverybody bringing it from the Enlifted Method, please visit enlifted.me E N L I F T E D .me. And that’s the starting point. But of course he gave us some nice miniature homework assignments. Thanks so much for spending the time, Mark, and keep up doing the great work.
Thank you Bur thanks for having me all. And thanks for everybody. Thanks everybody for listening.
Thank you so much for listening to the B RAD podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally. Become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.