How to Redefine the Role that Trauma Plays in Your Life
In this podcast (episode #417) and blog, I talk to top podcast host and author Michael Anthony about healing childhood trauma, the power of identity, why we should do something different every day, the power of helping others, and so much more.
Unfortunately, as Michael notes, childhood abuse is prevalent in America and around the world. It is one of the biggest elephants in the room when it comes to mental health. As uncomfortable as it is to face, childhood trauma is something we need to talk about more, and on a much deeper level.
Michael understands this more than most people. He is a childhood trauma survivor. He was the son of drug addicts and abusers, and molested by a family friend. His own mother cut off his finger when he was just 4 years old. He was homeless by 10, a drug addict by 12, and an alcoholic by 19.
But Michael is also a trauma warrior. As he notes, he “created the life he wanted through self-actualization and mindset training.” But this change didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken his entire life and a lot of hard work to get to where he is today. As Michael points out, “Mindset is Everything. There are no shortcuts, trust me I’ve tried them all. There is hard work and on the backside of that is getting your life back.”
Money, success or anything else cannot heal you unless you put in the work mentally and emotionally to manage and heal from your trauma. You cannot run from or suppress what happened to you. Like Micheal, you have to face what happened and work through it. This doesn’t happen overnight, and it will look different for different people, but acknowledging and dealing with the past is the key to your future. The question you need to ask yourself is what are you willing to do to have the life you want to have?
Michael has dedicated his life to helping others ask this question, heal and end generational trauma. As he notes, “Through mindset and hard work, I have become the happiest, healthiest, and most in love with myself than I have ever been and I want to gift the world with the tools and knowledge I have accumulated to do the same. I am no longer that lost, lonely, unloved, and broken little boy. I AM UNBROKEN.” He is more than just a trauma survivor and warrior. He is also a trauma mentor who helps change lives on a daily basis through his work, book and podcast.
Trauma steals a person’s identity. This is what we have to recover—this is what “doing the work” involves. When we experience trauma, we have to rediscover who we are and what we want. To heal, we have to own who we are with no consideration for who or what people tell us we should be.
And, as we move forward, we have to be willing to fail. We will make mistakes on our healing journey as we learn to love ourselves and change our behavior for ourselves, not for someone else.
This is not just about having a better life. “Better” is a hard concept to measure and wrap our heads around. Instead, we should aim to be different: to do something different every day that helps us become the person we want to be.
Why? “Different” is measurable: we can compare how we behaved yesterday to what we did today. And, if we do just one thing different every day while asking ourselves the question “What do I need?”, then, over the course of the year we will have done 365 new things, and our lives will be incredibly different from where we started out. “Different” keeps us looking AND moving forward. It helps us see how our lives have transformed in real and tangible ways.
For more on healing childhood trauma, listen to my podcast with Michael (episode #417), and check out his podcast Thinking Unbroken, and amazing book and work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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3:00, 11:45 Michael’s incredible story
13:30 Money & success won’t heal us—we have to do the work mentally to overcome & manage what has happened to us
14:30 We can’t run from or suppress trauma—we have to face & deal with it
19:50 How trauma steals our identity & how we can find healing
26:00 We are not just afraid of failure; many of us are afraid of success as well
26:30, 32:00 How to be different, not just “better”
33:40 The importance of knowing what we value & stand for
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