Conquering Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
Conquering Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
In this The Faces of Business, David Stone, Co-Founder, i-fearless, Co-Owner, blüStone Marketing, talks about his experience as a successful business owner who suffered from self-doubt, imposter syndrome, anxiety that significantly affected his life, and how he turned his life around with the personal development work that led him to help people conquer these challenges with i-fearless.
We discuss how people can take charge of their life and live in the world without being afraid of it.
Fears, worries, and self-doubt are natural. Early childhood is a time when the formation of personality starts. Narrating his personal story, David says that he fell victim to money-related anxieties at a very early age. It was partly because of his parents’ discussions and partly because of his outer perception of the world. He recounts his early days of struggle. He would work tirelessly during the day and sleep in his car at night. All the while, he might look calm outwardly but remained anxious and insecure inwardly. One fine day, he decided to take charge of his life. He read many books on self-help and motivation of which one was The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer. After studying the subject, David realized the possibility of getting rid of anxiety, fear, self-doubt, and impostor syndrome.
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To a certain degree, fear, anxiety, worries, and other existential threats are normal. Naturally, in the face of real threats, our reflexes are on red alert. David argues that sometimes some perceived threats consume us. They always keep us on red alert even when we safely retire to our beds. Interestingly, he has his acronym FEAR which reads ‘fantasized events appearing real.’ He has a clinical approach to working with his clients. He believes in scrutinizing these “invisible curses.” Furthermore, positive habit formation helps us conquer anxieties, worries, and insecurities.
While talking about his successful i-fearless, he said that it works on dialectics. This program considers both right-brainers (reason) and left-brainers’ (creativity) perspectives. It works on the paradigms of introspection. To him, symptomatic treatment of anxiety is short-lived. Deep breathing, going to nature, taking herbal tea, and living under ideal conditions might help suppress stress and anxiety. However, the problem can only be rooted out through introspection and retrospection. If anyone wants to know the source of their mental stress, they must pause and look back.
Similarly, David’s 13-Week Audacity Method Course is there to liberate people from their worries, anxieties, and impostor syndrome. When internally burden-free, people can perform to the best of their abilities. It is a hybrid program that contains online and on-site activities.
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While concluding the discussion, David reiterated his resolve to work tirelessly for his cause—to help rid people of their mental problems and take charge of their lives.
Damon thanking David for his time served as an ending note.
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anxiety, people, self doubt, habit, fearless, book, impostor syndrome, anxious, rid, learned, worrying, worry, red alert, study, walking, world, invariably, threat, question, talking
Damon Pistulka, David Stone
Damon Pistulka 00:04
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited for our guests today. I’ve got David Stone here and we’re gonna be talking about conquering. I just looked at it conquering self doubt and impostor syndrome. And we’re gonna be talking about David his book. I fearless man, let’s get into it, David. Glad to have you here.
David Stone 00:30
Thanks, Damon. I am thrilled to be here and thrilled to share this stuff with your listeners and your viewers because self doubt impostor syndrome anxiety oh my gosh, it’s just I mean, we’ve had up to here with epidemics, but that certainly is one of them.
Damon Pistulka 00:47
Yes, yes. And I tell you, when we connected on this I was in got your books looking at them and go on through them and stuff. I mean, I’m really inspired by your story and let’s kind of start there because you use you started in one of your latest books here the fearless decision you talked about, about actually living in your car. And being a successful international marketing consulting linear cart. Let’s start and talk about your background and
David Stone 01:19
what you hear something you hear every day is somebody Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. That’s exactly what happened to me. I. And not only was that but I was 55 years old, and has had a career for many decades and a successful career. But here’s the really interesting thing is that anxiety and self doubt and impostor syndrome, they are, they’re sort of, I like to call it an invisible curse. You know, on the outside, you look great. Everything you like, you got your act together, everything’s going just fine. And, and yet, on the inside, it’s just a mess.
Now, nobody can see that from the outside. But on the inside, you’re a mess. And you think, you know, I don’t belong here. How did they let me in? Yeah, they gotta find out. And the thing about thoughts is, and we’ve heard this so many times, but ultimately, they create your reality. Because the things that you think about are the things that you focus on and the things that you draw to you. And one of my go to anxieties, if you want, was always money. And I grew up as a kid, you know, had a wonderful upbringing as a kid.
Five was one of five. And so we had a family had a wonderful upbringing. The only thing that wasn’t there was not. And so I spent my childhood watching my mum and dad once a month, sit around the kitchen table, and worrying, oh, how are we going to see Oh, and all those over the table and the looks on their faces? And oh, who are we going to rob this month to pay them and on and on? Yeah. And so I grew up with, you know, these thoughts being put in my head, I’m not blaming them or anything, they were doing what they had to do. But I grew up being indoctrinated with this idea that money doesn’t grow on trees.
The only way you can be rich is to be lucky or crooked. You know, those are the two routes to getting to being wealthy. And so I carried that into my adulthood and you just sort of believe these things. And sooner or later it catches up with you. And so when you have these beliefs in yourself, self limiting beliefs, what happens and they’re below your level of consciousness because I was out there I was making six figures as a marketing consultant traveling all over the country and around the world.
And yet, there’s this thing going on inside my head that saying you don’t belong here. And so you start to self sabotage. And it doesn’t matter how much money you make. All you have to do is spend that much more and there isn’t enough. And so here I was, and this was 2000 Mine summer, unfortunately it was summertime. And all of a sudden I’m I had a house foreclose on me I was trying to juggle a couple of houses at the same time I had some anyway one year I won’t get into all the details but suddenly here I am.
literally living in my car and not living in my car as in the Hertz guy that you know the hurt the road warrior who keeps hurts in business. I was literally and I pull into the rest stop it was a truck stop at night and remember very clearly in South Carolina, and I pull in to you know get all comfy, pull the pillow in my back seat, lay the seat back, wrap my leg around the gearshift and go off to sleep.
And the next morning I’d wake up and I would drive to the public library was a great office because they had Wi Fi and I still serving my clients. Clients didn’t know if you have out this, but Eric’s going anyway. So, you know, I find myself in the situation. And of course, the first thing you want to do your first instinct is, who do I blame for this? Whose fault is this? You know, must be the government’s fault must be the economy’s fault must be, you know, my clients fault. That’s it. That’s it. It’s my accounts receivable. They don’t, they won’t pay me those, whatever. And anyway, see, look around trying to find somebody to blame.
But then when you think about it long enough, you realize, or I realized, at least that, for all the events that led up to this, everything that happened that led up to this, there had been one and only one person consistently present for everything that happened. And it was the guy in the mirror. And so I sort of spent Oh, well, just a minute. And anyway, I remember very clearly that morning, I’d woken up and really, and it was beautiful, some morning sun coming up to the pine trees. And I sort of looked in the rearview mirror, because that was my vanity mirror to get brushed my hair with.
And I said, Okay, wow, maybe it is me. And then it sort of hit me. And I said to nobody in particular, but anybody who might have been listening, said, okay, my way has not worked. This is what my way has gotten me. There’s got to be a better way. And I’m wide open to it. And what was really interesting, because as soon as you open yourself to solutions, I mean, because we try to muscle through everything. No, I can do this. I’m tough. I’m resilient. But as soon as you open yourself to solutions, it was very interesting that very day, I drove to the public library where I would work.
And by mid morning, I get up, I’m sitting at one of those little tables I get up have to go to the US the men’s room. And I’m walking through the stacks, the where the other books are, and this book had had fallen off and was laying on the ground. So when I guess it bumped it or whatever. And I know a neat guy bent down to pick it up. And I looked. And it was a book by the late great Wayne Dyer, who was a wonderful self help person. And I started flipping through the pages. I said, Okay, somebody’s listening here.
Yeah, that that was the first of literally hundreds of books that I have read courses I’ve taken studying that I have done because what I realized is, what was the blame was inside here in my head and the thoughts that I’ve been having, and the self limiting beliefs that I was growing. So I said, All right, I am going to learn everything that I can possibly learn about how I got here, what was going on in my head, and I knew it had nothing to do with the economy because all these other people around me are doing great. And I had lots of clients and everything else. So I said, Alright, it’s in here somewhere, what can we find? And I spent, I spent quite a lot of spent.
I mean, fortunately, the living in my car part only lasted about a month or so. But the study part to still go into this very day. But it took me a couple of years, but I learned so much about it. And what I learned was allowed me to get rid of these, get rid of anxiety, get rid of fear, get rid of self doubt, get rid of impostor syndrome. And I can safely say today that there is nothing that goes on out there that knocks me or to me frightened or gets me, you know, anxious or whatever. I have challenges just like it. Yeah, yeah. But that’s all they are, as I look at them and say, oh, okay, there’s an interesting, what are we going to do about that? But yeah, lying awake at night? Not
Damon Pistulka 09:02
anymore. That’s awesome. What? That’s great. And we’ll stop just for a moment. I want to say hello, Ronald Henderson. Thanks for being here. Today. Ronald’s out of the DC area. Great to see here today. Chris Logan, out of Wisconsin. So he’s great. Great to see you today. Chris. Thanks for tuning in, guys. So you see it, I just have to giggle a little bit, because what else can I do? Well, yeah, well, I mean, I giggled a little bit because you talked about open yourself to solutions. And how you describe you walked by and found that Wayne Dyer book lying on the ground, and he opened it up. So I have to ask what was the title of that book?
David Stone 09:53
I’m just looking behind me here. And yeah, just, I mean, this is not a false background. And this is where I learned. I can’t, I think, I think but I can’t remember for certain, but it was I think it was called The Power of Intention.
Damon Pistulka 10:11
I find the power of intention. Yeah, I
David Stone 10:14
guess it’s up there somewhere. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 10:16
I just finished that book not too long ago. So okay.
David Stone 10:20
But it just suddenly got me I thought, Okay, well, wow, my thoughts, what’s been going on in my head that gotten here, and kept wanting to blame outside circumstances all the time. But the outside circumstances have gotten nothing to do with it. They are the result of what’s going on in my head. There’s, there’s two interesting things. phenomenons that go on. And by the way, what I started to do, once I had said, Okay, I gotta learn about this, I started a really intense study.
And what I decided to do, and this is what I do with now with all my students in my, with my clients that I work with, I said, I’m going to take a very objective view to this, I’m going to be like a scientist in a laboratory, and I have this blob of anxiety, I have this blob of self doubt, sitting on my laboratory bench, I’m wearing my white lab coat, and I’m going to study it, and I’m going to measure it and weigh it and probe it and dissect it and learn everything that I can learn about it in a very detached kind of way. And, and that was really, really useful, because I learned some really amazing things. Number one that I learned is that we, as humans, we are born with two and only two fears.
Were pre prepped, we come pre programmed, and the two we are born with is number one, loud noises. And number two falling. After that every single thing that we you know, that goes bump in the night or that we lie awake about is learned or conditioned to us. Yes, and we teach ourselves. And the vast, vast majority of those things are things that are in our heads. Because, you know, the human body is an amazing miracle thing. And it is designed that if it’s threatened in any kind of way, it knows how to respond. So and this is millions of years old, this biology that we’ve got. And so, you know, your caveman walking along and the saber toothed tiger jumps out of the bush.
And we are pre programmed with our biology to sense a threat. And the instant we sense a threat, our body takes over and it kicks in and a couple of really interesting things happen. Number one, we start pumping hormones and cortisol, adrenaline, some of these other things that prime our body for action, our heart rate goes up our breathing rate increases, our muscles get actually stronger, our reflexes speed up, and we are ready to take action the fight or flight thing that we all know about. And so you know, the saber toothed Tiger comes away by the beat him off for you run away.
And these days, we don’t have any of those. But you know, you’re walking along the street, you step out, you go across the street and you turn out there’s a bus coming. You know, same response, Oh, I bet something happens, your body kicks in, you’re praying, you jump back onto the sidewalk, the bike goes by. I was close. But then the body settles down again, the hormones go out of your system, your heart rate slows back down. Everything’s cool. But here’s where it gets really interesting. Our body is an a miracle. But frankly, it’s really stupid.
Because your body cannot tell the difference between an oncoming bus and laying awake at night worrying about my finances in retirement. You enter the body, it’s exactly the same it oh, there’s a threat. Something bad is about to happen to me. So it goes into red alert mode instantly. Except with a bus. I know what to do. If I’m worried about my friend didn’t like my Facebook post. I don’t know what to do. And so I saw were we so many of us remain in this chronic red alert state. And you know, constantly with the adrenaline and constantly with high blood pressure and all that other stuff. But we don’t know what to do.
So we start to realize that all of these reactions we’re having are all fear based anxiety, self doubt impostor syndrome. All of these have their route is fierce,, I’m afraid something bad is about to happen, I may not be able to put my finger on what that is. But something bad is about to happen. And yeah, I’m responding this way. Now, when it’s a bus, I know what to do. But when that the threat is sort of vague, or off in the distance somewhere, I don’t know what to do. And so I just kind of there and vibrate if you want. And then it gets, it just gets worse and worse and worse and worse. So, so that’s the first thing is that we have this sort of biological response to threat.
And it’s built in. Now a couple of other things that I learned is, you know, we’re pre programmed, we have what’s called a negativity bias. And again, this is a million years old, because it says, I need, you know, if something bad’s gonna happen, I need to know about it. And it would be nice if I noticed that before. And that was useful a million years ago, today, the number of things in our life that we encountered, that are genuine threats to our well being are very low. Saber toothed Tigers anymore. And we’ve all been taught to white load ways before we cross the street. But we have all these existential threats, all these vague, far off threats that we respond in exactly the same way to.
So the other thing that happens, just for fun, and again, in my laboratory, as it were, that I learned is we were trained as children to worry, you know, your mother, when you were a kid, I love to blame the mothers, it’s all we had Mother’s Day, the other day, God bless her, but it’s so much fun to say, Mom, it’s your fault. Why because, you know, it was don’t talk to strangers, and, you know, wash your hands, you could get sick, you know, your handle off now.
And so. So we were taught as children that the world around us is a threatening place. And when you’re six years old, and you’re walking home from school by yourself, don’t talk to strangers is really good advice. But if nobody eventually got around to telling you, you didn’t, don’t have to be strangers anymore. And now you’re 26 or 46, or 66. And you still have this thing about talking to somebody you’ve never met. That’s not so great anymore. And now it gets in your way. And that self limiting belief and that impostor syndrome, and that self doubt, become obstacles to your career, and to your success, and to the success of your business, and all these other things.
So now that now their limiting beliefs, then, and let’s just keep piling on top of here, right? Because the world around us, is conspiring to make us worried. I mean, you’ll walk through an airport. And there’s all these video monitors that are blaring, CNN or Fox News or whatever. And I love the headlights. Oh, breaking news, here’s what you need to know right now. What do I need to know right now? And it turns out what I need to know right now is there’s a typhoon on the other side of the planet. Why do we need to know this right now? Well, because the news guys is trying to sell eyeballs on the screen, because they’ve got advertisers.
And the more they can dramatize things, the more I’m going to pay attention. But once again, I’m in this constant state of elevated stress, and red alert mode and everything else. So now I look around and the whole world is worried. And I think oh, wow, worry must be normal. So I feel worried or anxious. And I think oh, well, there’s nothing I can do about it, because that’s normal.
And my response to that is, yeah, it is normal. But it’s not biologically normal. It’s normal in the same way that potholes in the road are normal and underfunded. Schools are normal and racial profiling is normal. They’re normal. But that’s doesn’t mean they’re good or required. And anxiety is the same as it’s normal in simply that so many people experience it, but it is not required. That is what I discovered in my study. It is not required. It’s not required. It’s not necessary, and we can choose to opt-out of it.
Damon Pistulka 19:26
Yeah, that yeah, that’s well, no doubt because it is when you get to the heart of it. The fear, the anxiety, the worry that we induce into ourselves is the vast majority of our anxiety. Yes.
David Stone 19:51
Oh, absolutely. The worry is the worst part. You know, if we ever you know, and when I work with, with clients and I And we, you know, we start dissecting it. And what we invariably discover when we’d start, you know, what exactly is it you’re worried about? And then, you know, there’s this list of things. And then I asked, you know, have you Has any of these things ever come true? And invariably, the answer is, Well, no.
The, on the rare occasion, look, in my case, you know, my worst fear was being broke and homeless. Well, it came true. Now, I would not want to do it again. And I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. But I survived. It was one of the better things that happened to me in my life because it shifted everything and set me off on a new course. And so all that worrying about it in the ensuing Okay, rent cheap. And, and so the worry is far worse than the actual whatever it is, you’re worried about.
Damon Pistulka 21:04
The worry is far worse than what you’re worrying about. I like that. Because it is it a lot in well, and then too, I think I read this a while ago, it’s you know, every moment that you spend worrying is the moment you can you’re wasting that you don’t have anymore.
David Stone 21:19
Oh, yeah. I love that. Yep. That’s right. You don’t have it. And I mean, there’s so many of those these wisdoms, there’s, you know, the coward dies, 1000 nests, the hero just won. And then one of my favorites is the acronym for fear F E A R, which can be fantasized events appearing real. Yeah, fantasized events appearing real, because that’s all they are, is fantasize. The only place they exist is here. They’re not out there. They’re just, you’ve just made it up. And yet, we’re suffering as if they were real. Yeah, so what?
So then what, after all, this has been a win, it’s when I discovered that so many people have it, and they’ve had it for so long. This is where the secret starts coming out of how to get rid of it. What we discovered is that worry and anxiety and self doubt and impostor syndrome are nothing but mental patterns, thought patterns that have become habitual. And we have repeated these thought patterns so often.
And so for so long, they’ve simply become habits and like any habit, they drop below our level of conscious awareness and be aren’t even aware of what’s going on. And that habit, there are some really good habits you know, you walk in at night after you know, for home from work, drop your keys in the little dish by the front door. And I don’t have to think about where my keys are in the morning, because I know they’re right there in the little dish. Now, do I remember dropping them in the bowl? No, because it’s a habit and I don’t have to remember it.
That’s a useful habit. But as we all know, there are many habits that aren’t quite so useful. And this is the question that I ask when I’m working with, with clients and with students. I asked them I said, Okay, we’ve been through this phase one, we’ve studied anxiety and self doubt and impostor syndrome. In the laboratory, we’ve learned everything there is to know about, and there’s all kinds of exercises that we go through. Now, having discovered that this is nothing except a mental habit. Here’s the question we ask, is this habit serving you? Is your life better? Because this happened is here? Now, that’s an honest question. And you can answer it, sir. No.
Because if you say actually, yeah, I think my life is better off with because I worry regularly or I’m anxious, then my response is, God bless you carry on and work harder at it. But if you say actually, no, I can imagine that my life would be better without it. Then we move on and say, Okay, great. Well, let’s, let’s carry on.
So this method that I work to put together for myself, and kind of perfected on myself is what I teach now I call it the audacity method. It has three parts. And that’s the first part that studied in the laboratory. And I call that pattern interrupt. And psychologists use these terms when we’ve got mental patterns that are going on we want to put a stop to them. Because they just they’re on continuous repeat loop on
Damon Pistulka 24:37
without even knowing it.
David Stone 24:39
Without even knowing. Yeah, and it’s like you know, if you ever watch on YouTube, you see those when they set up Domino’s you know, they’ll set up like an entire gymnasium full of them and it’s fun to watch it push the first one and they go and go and go and oh for hours and it’s fun to watch. But don’t get all you need to do is stick your finger in front of one domino and then It all comes to an end. And that’s what we call pattern interrupt. And we that’s what we do when we just when we step away from, from experiencing the anxiety and the self doubt, personally, actually getting them this some interesting language is there’s a language thing that we use to that really kind of reinforces it.
I want you to imagine it’s dinnertime, you’re in the kitchen, you’re chopping carrots or something, get ready for dinner, and the knife slips and you cut your finger out, that hurts. But the cut is there on my finger. It’s highly localized, the pain is highly localized. And I think out and I decide no, I don’t need stitches, I just go to the bathroom and get a band aid, wrap it up. And we’re good to go. Now it hurts. But I know that in a couple of days, it’ll be fine.
And I’ve completely forgotten about it. The language that we use is really important because we say I have a cut. My finger hurts left foot feels just an I have a cut right here. When we are talking about anxiety, when we are talking about self doubt and impostor syndrome, the language changes because we then say I am anxious. I am an impostor. And that is dramatically different. Because as soon as those two words I am really, really powerful. Because they describe our identity. That is who you are. I am anxious. I am David, I am six foot one and I am anxious to start. But if I have some worries that I’m dealing with right now, then suddenly it’s like a cut and I distanced myself from it.
I have a cut. And I think what would I like to do about this? I have choices, I can go to the hospital and get it stitched up by can put a bandaid on it, I can let it bleed but the poor choices or my when I use that same language, I have some anxiety. Okay, good. What would you like to do about it? Would you like to deal with it? Yes, I would please. Okay, great. Here’s some options. But as soon as we say I am, well, that’s a whole person experience.
And this is why our pattern interrupt protection, pulls it away from them steps away in that scientific arm’s length kind of way so that we can look back at it and say, Okay, I get it. I see what it is. I see how it got here. What would I like to do about it? And that shifts everything, because now you are taking control of the asset instead of taking control of you. And that makes all the difference?
Damon Pistulka 27:52
Yes, yes. It really does. And I just want to step back for a moment now your practice now i fearless. I like that. One of the things you talk about I fearless, you help left sided brain people that explain that the premise behind that?
David Stone 28:12
Yeah, well, the interesting thing about it, and we joke about left brainers and right brainers and, yes, you know, the engineers with a pocket protectors and all the rest of it, we have some fun that, but the truth is that everybody is a little bit of each, you know, even the most artistic person in the world has, you know, a left brain. And this is the secret to the audacity method is employing that left brain logic, the formidable power of left brain logic to step away, analyze it in this in this arm’s length, scientific kind of method, and then ask some questions because, you know, scientific method, the scientific method is based on objectivity.
It says, I’m going to study this thing, I’m not going to have any preconceived notions about this thing that I’m studying, whether it’s a bug or a leaf, or a tree or art star, I’m going to learn every I’m going to observe it. I’m going to learn when I then I’m going to reach conclusions about it. And that’s why we want to leverage this left brain ability to be to exercise reason and logic.
And the other thing we do is use the Socratic method and remember Socrates back in Greece, and that whole Socratic Method is about asking questions, asking questions and probing and we ask questions like, Is this serving you? Because it’s a legitimate question to ask him if it is great, but if it’s not okay, next question. Would you like to get rid? Yes, I would actually. And that is a very different stance that I anxious Oh, I can’t sleep now. I’m Now I’m worried about my health. I’m worried about worrying. I love it. We have anxiety squared.
Damon Pistulka 30:07
David Stone 30:08
Yeah. That’s why I’d say you know, helping left brainers because it doesn’t matter. Everybody can be a left brain or for a little Yes. And that’s all we need.
Damon Pistulka 30:19
Yeah, I understand that now. And I really, really appreciate you explaining it because it is stepping back and looking at that anxiety or what’s causing that anxiety from a different perspective, rather than it is us. Rather than it’s something I’m dealing with. Or exactly, you’re setting it off on a shelf, like it should be rather than it’s part of us, it’s just something we’re dealing with.
David Stone 30:44
That’s exactly right. And that’s one of the things that’s gonna hopefully we are, you know, approaching the end of COVID, we’ll see what happens. But for the last couple of two or three years, man, it’s been, you know, anxiety central around here. And it’s, I’ve there’s been all kinds of advice floating around about how to deal with anxiety. But most of the advice I daresay, all the I’ve ever seen, you know, if you google how you know how to treat my anxiety, what it focuses on, and if you’ve, you know how to deal with self doubt, the advice focuses on dealing with the symptoms of it.
And the advice is, you know, do deep breathing, go for a walk in nature, have a nice cup of herbal tea, and a weighted blanket and put that on yourself. Now, in the moment, each of those things is very helpful and makes you feel better. But it doesn’t root it out, root out the problem. Because tomorrow when something comes along, that makes me nervous, I’m going to feel exactly the same way again, I’d much prefer to get at your what is that the root of this to begin with? Yes, and let’s get rid of that, and never have to deal with the problem again.
Damon Pistulka 31:55
That is so great, because you one of the things that that that is frustrating from for me I think about in personally just seeing how anxiety is treated as they do just treat the symptoms, treat the symptoms, take a pill, you’ll knock the systems back and knock the second factor Noctus systems back. But and we know there’s our minds are much more powerful than that. And now, granted, there’s medical conditions that maybe this is something you can’t get completely rid yourself of. But your mind that’s can. Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.
David Stone 32:33
I think this is a really important point that needs to be stated, Damon, and that is that I get it, that there are genuine mental health issues. And here we are in May. And it’s mental health awareness month, there are people who deal with genuine mental health conditions or genuine physiological conditions that result in anxiety and worry and all those other things. And God bless us that we have the treatments and the medications that are available to help with those. But that is not the vast majority of us are fully capable.
But we turn far too easily to say give me a pill, you know, to Prozac or whatever it is then to, you know, to calm me down, rather than saying no, I don’t want to put up with this. But it doesn’t need to be said that, you know, we’re not talking about 100 Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 33:37
no, no. And I just think that we’re far too. We’re looking for a quick solution in a lot of senses. And that’s nice and everything. But what we’re talking about here is not a quick solution. It’s something that you have to learn and replace habits and Deus and yes, it’s not going to take you your entire life, but it is effective for a lot of people.
David Stone 34:05
Oh, yeah. I mean, the audacity method course that I have is it’s 13 weeks. And you’re done. And if you’re not done, you get your money back. Yeah, because that’s all it takes. And frankly, you know, I could you know, if somebody came to me, and first of all, they have to come and say, I really want to get rid of this because there’s another group of people that, frankly, anxiety because it brings there’s payoffs you know, there’s always a payoff for behavior.
People who smoke, you know that they know it’s not good for them, but they do it and if you could really get out they say well, because it comes down or it makes me fit in socially, whatever it is. There’s always there are some people that just you know, say, Well, I like the sympathy, I enjoy the drama, whatever and if you want to keep it I’m not going to argue with you.
Damon Pistulka 35:03
But it did it is one of these things where you said you have to have a desire to change. Yeah. And a deep desire to do the work it takes to change. Yeah. So as you’re, as you’ve gone through this, and you and you look at yourself, and you go back to the beginning, what do you think was the one thing that made the most difference for you? You know, there’s a lot of different things. I’m sure you’re teaching your audacity method, but what do you what really hit home with you that you go? That’s really kicked it off? For me?
David Stone 35:33
Ah, good question. The biggest thing of all, and I mentioned when I was telling the story, sort of looking in the mirror and realizing that it was the guy in the mirror that was responsible for this, the biggest thing for me was the decision to take 100% responsibility for absolutely everything that had and will ever happen to me.
And this is really critical, because as long as I say, Well, it’s my boss, it’s the government. It’s the, you know, the local politicians, it’s my employees, whatever, as long as I say that, then I am completely powerless to make the changes. Now, it might be, it may very well be that something external happened. I mean, gosh, COVID came along. I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. But there it was.
But as long as we continue to point the finger and say, That’s why my that’s why I’m suffering, then until that thing decides to change, you’re going to continue to suffer. And as soon as I say, even in the face of that thing, and this thing, and every other thing, I am going to work with what I’ve got, and I’m going to take responsibility for the outcomes, then now you’ve got the power. And you get to decide what you want to do. So that was the single biggest decision that I made. That launched everything else. Now this one’s on me, and I’m gonna figure it out.
Damon Pistulka 37:08
Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, when you read, you know, the thing that comes to mind, and I don’t even know why, when you think about some of the people that were in concentration camps and the horrible atrocities they endured, but their mental that they chose not to be a part of it. I just think that is one of the best
David Stone 37:29
examples. Oh, yeah. Well, there’s a famous book written by a fella named Viktor Frankl who was an Australian Austrian psychologist prior to the war, and he was Jewish. And like, so many he got ended up in a concentration camp. And he decided, and this is the choice that we make, he decided to make the most of it and decided to treat it as a study. And he watched it observed and read realized that the people who were there who nonetheless had some larger purpose in life, something that they were intending to do, were the ones that tended to survive.
And the ones that did not, were the ones that tended to perish. And he wrote a famous book, and it’s called Man’s Search for Meaning.
And that came out of his experience in the concentration camps. But it’s interesting that you bring that up, because that’s exactly right. And that is actually one of, because we have these three steps. The first step is the pattern interrupt. The second step is what we call, release, and reset, where we, the people I work with, actually get to experience even for a short period of time, what it feels like to be completely fearless and worryfree and anxiety free. That’s pretty addicting. And then the third part is where we lock it in.
And in that third part, we repeat, we introduce some replacement habits, replacement mental habits to replace the anxiety habit. And one of them, one of the three is what we call replace, replace it with purpose. And what that says is, and I believe very strongly that every single one of us was put here on this planet for a reason. And if you look at some of the well known, you know, you’ll look at the Mother Teresa’s of the world and the Nelson Mandela’s and the Steve Jobs of the world.
You know, they had big purpose. You know, I’ve got purpose right now. Everybody has a purpose. Some of them are big, some of us are small, some somebody’s purpose might be to be the best damn gardener that has ever been in to make a flower garden that just brings joy to people. That’s an amazing purpose. And when you have that and you wake up in the morning saying, This is why I’m breathing today in order to accomplish this, then the little obstacles that come along to get in your way are nothing other than inconveniences that I will find a way around you.
They are not game stoppers. But when we lack purpose, or when we’ve taken our wheat, or we’ve forgotten about it, or we’ve never embraced it, then, you know, we don’t have that incredible horsepower, that drive that gives us the strength to go through the obstacles that invariably get thrown in front of us. But when you’ve got a reason for getting up, I mean, Nelson Mandela, this guy was in prison for what? 27 years? Yeah, yeah. Couldn’t possibly carry a person through that, except we saw it after he got out. Okay, this is what I’m here for. And incredible, Earth changing, changes that came about.
Damon Pistulka 40:58
Yeah. It’s so incredible. And I like your three step process. Because you know, you’re, you’re stepping back, you’re taking a look at it, you’re releasing, you’re just experiencing what your life would be like without the fear and anxiety and impostor syndrome, self doubt. And then I think you talk about locking it in and replacing the habits. That’s, I think a lot of people we can read, we can do the things in and even sometimes feel what it’s like without it. But if you can’t replace those habits, the old ones just keep working in the background.
David Stone 41:39
That’s exactly right. You have any habit can you can get rid of it, but only by replacing it with a different habit. nature abhors a void. We’ve heard that before. So that old habit will come in unless you fill that void with something else, then that old ones just going to keep coming right back again. And because it’s been you know, because that’s the mental groove that you’ve worn in your neural net. Yes. That’s the easiest one to fall into. Yes, it takes some practice.
Damon Pistulka 42:09
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it is. And, and so we’re, I can’t believe it. But we’re already getting close to time here a lot. But it’s, it’s awesome to get to talk to you today. David, the. So tell me a little bit about your program your and the 13 week program, some of the other things you’re doing there at I fearless. So we don’t want to leave without talking about that. Oh, well,
David Stone 42:35
I appreciate that. Yeah, I fearless. And it’s I hyphen, fearless. yeah.com. Its mission is to help people conquer anxiety, self doubt, and impostor syndrome. That’s what we’re here for. Now. I see that it’s like opening a door for people. Because once that door is open once those obstacles are removed, wow. It’s like, I don’t know if you saw the Kentucky Derby a couple of weeks ago. But that horse does what you say and I’m out of here, I’m winning. So that’s our purpose is to remove these invisible obstacles and from individuals and from teams. Because there are teams in work situated workplaces in companies that work together. Now, here’s one of the interesting things statistically, as much as 85% of the adult population experiences self doubt and impostor syndrome, I think it’s like 75%, for self doubt, and 85% for impostor syndrome. So look around you, you know, either you’re sitting in your car, look around you that find 10 people, eight of them are experiencing it, or at work, the people that you’re working with on your team. Now, that’s kind of like dragging an anchor, I call it carrying 100 pound sack of rocks on your back. How can you possibly perform at the highest level when you are being slowed down obstructed, dragged by this load that you’re pulling behind you? And so what I fearless does is work with you either as an individual, or with a team, and your team members, small teams, and identify what you know where these things are, and then get rid of them. And then you’re free to say, Okay, let’s go. So that’s what I feel is does we have I mentioned the audacity method course. For that, that works with individuals. We also have a course called unleash your audacious team. And that that works. small teams, you know, up to 10 people that we work with. We have another program that I worked at an in person thing for helping people who are afraid of public speaking, because that’s a, that’s a really common one as well remove those ghosts, fears and doubts. But that’s what we do I work with through those courses. I also work one on one with coaching with individuals, the audacity method course, as I said, it’s 13 weeks. It’s a cut. It’s a hybrid, some of its online with exercises and videos and exercises that you do. But at the key points along the way, it’s one on one with me to do personal coaching. And you mentioned a couple of books that I’ve gotten. They’re available on the website as well, there was the unsubscribe from anxiety, which was the first one I wrote and then oh, there we go. Thank you. And then the fearless decision. And so you know, so those are available on Amazon. And I, as I say, I here’s the funny one. I turned 68 This coming weekend. All right. And when I turned 65, three years ago, I said, I know what I want to be when I grow up, I finally figured it out. And so this is my mission, and I’m gearing up for my next 40 year career. And I think an absolute blast retirement. What the heck is that? I don’t, I don’t know what you’re talking about. So awesome. But yeah, so that’s what I fearless is about. And I’m available to help with those resources.
Damon Pistulka 46:37
Nice. Well, David I so if someone wants to reach out to you, LinkedIn is a good place to get to your hyphen. fearless.com.
David Stone 46:46
Yeah, yeah, that’s it. My personal email is David at I Hyson fearless.com. And I was I open them myself. I don’t get filtered. And if somebody reaches out to me, I will reach back.
Damon Pistulka 47:02
All right. Well, I just want to thank you for being here today, David. Again, we have David Stone here from my fearless we’re talking about conquering self doubt, impostor syndrome, anxiety and listen to your inspiration. Thank you so much.
David Stone 47:18
My pleasure, Damon, thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this with your viewers and your listeners.
Damon Pistulka 47:24
Oh, we’re very welcome. You’re very welcome. Thanks so much. And thanks, everyone for stopping by and listening. Ronald, Chris, and everyone else is listening. Thanks for being here. We will be back again next week with another show.
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