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Hello people, andy, here, I went from depressed and suicidal to living a life of abundance and joy. If I can do it, you sure as hell can too. So this podcast, be a little gentle with this one, and I'll try and be a little gentle as I talk about this topic. But we're going to deal with a little bit of past trauma, a little bit of sexual trauma, and if you're listening to this and maybe you have some trauma in your life that's a little bit fresh or you haven't fully worked through it, you don't have to do what we're talking about here. This is something that you would do more at the advanced stages of processing and healing trauma, and there's no obligation to do anything like this. This is just a story of what one of the guys in the coaching group did and it really helped him. So I thought I'd share it because it's it shows you the point that you can get to if you really embrace a lot of the things that we talk about with self love and rewriting the story and finding a more positive way of framing things and dealing with trauma and processing and healing and all of that sort of stuff. So, basically, there was a guy in the coaching group who, when he was younger, he'd gone through quite a bit of trauma, where he'd gone through some sexual trauma, and this comes up a lot. Actually, I think a lot more people have gone through sexual trauma than maybe we think. Especially if we're someone who's gone through trauma ourselves, we often feel isolated and alone and we feel like it must just be me. Nobody else is weird or bad or whatever you might think about yourself or feel about yourself, and we think it's just us alone. But lots of my clients have gone through sexual trauma and women Imogen, my girlfriend went through her own sexual trauma when she was a child and she shared that in a few videos. But it's a lot more common and if you are going through or you've been through something like that, please don't feel alone, because you're definitely not anyway. This coaching client had gone through some sexual trauma when he was younger and, as I said, he was that sort of the advanced or the late stages of healing it. He'd done a lot of therapy, he'd done a lot of healing. He had written out a lot of the thoughts that he'd had over the years and he'd processed them and heal all of them and he was that sort of the final stages, where he posted in the group and he said I think I want to come up with some reasons why I'm grateful for my past trauma. You know some really loving. In his words he said something along the lines of I want to learn to love what happened to me because then I can own it, then I can take control over it and not be a victim. And again, if this doesn't resonate with you, you don't have to do this, you don't even have to listen to this podcast. But he was at that stage where he was like I want to learn to love what happened. I want to learn to accept it, to see that it was part of my journey and it's what helped me become who I am right now. And the reason why he wanted to do this was he wanted to step out of the role of victim and he'd already laid the groundwork for that over the past, like you know, several years of working through his trauma with therapists and himself and friends and all of that sort of stuff and he wanted to step into the role of, you know, owning it and taking action. In other words, owning what happened to him and doing things to move forward and make the most of the opportunity to grow and to heal and make the most of his life, rather than, you know, being stuck in that mindset of this. Bad thing happened to me and you know it's horrible and it's not fair. Again, if your own trauma is a little fresh and the idea of saying I'm going to look for 10 reasons that I'm glad this trauma happened, if that seems undoable or insane to you, that's okay. You don't have to do this exercise. But in that case I would recommend speaking to some therapists, speaking to some friends. You know you're welcome to hit me up for a coaching call if you think that would help. But I would do whatever you know you feel is right for you to heal and process and work through that trauma. And so what I said to this guy was you know we can all help you with this and we ended up helping him. You know he wrote a few reasons. He wrote his first three reasons. Then he asked us for a little bit of help and we were able to sort of go in there and gently and again gently but gently, sort of come out with some other reasons why his life was better off for that thing having happened, or he was a stronger person now for that trauma that he went through, for having happened. And what I said to him, you know, to remind him to be gentle with this. And again, he wanted to do this exercise. I would never tell anybody to do this exercise if they're not ready or if they don't want to. But he asked to do this exercise and what I said was you know, if you're struggling to come up with 10 reasons why it could be a positive thing that you went through this experience, you can kind of think of it like this we're not saying that the thing that traumatized you was good and we're not saying that it was bad. We're not really coming up with any value judgment on it whatsoever. But what we're saying is could you possibly come up with some possible reason why it might benefit you now, in this moment? In other words, is there any sort of silver lining at all, like anything at all, or could you find a reason that right now, in the present, you could take some action to make what happened a good thing? Like, is there some action you could take right now to turn what happened into a victory, to sort of own what happened, to take action, to step out of that victim role and into the role of, you know, the assertive man who takes action and takes full ownership of his shit. And, as I said, he came up with a few more reasons. We came up with a few more reasons and he was very gentle with it, which was what I recommended and I reiterated to him. This isn't so much about labeling the event that you went through or the trauma that you went through as good or bad or anything like that. It's more your reframing it as okay, that thing happened to me, what am I going to do about it? And as we went through this exercise, there are a couple of the other guys a couple of other guys in the group as well who'd been through their own trauma and they were able to sort of gently do this exercise a little bit as well and they found a little bit of healing in it. One of the guys I'm going to have him on the podcast in the next week or so on my YouTube channel. I'm not sure if he'll be comfortable talking about the trauma. I think he will be. I'll ask him beforehand and it'll either come up or it won't come up, but if it does come up. I think it might be interesting to hear from his point of view. You know him learning to own the thing that happened, to own that trauma, to own that sexual abuse and move forward and say, look, this was the thing that happened in my past. I'm going to move forward. And that guy in particular, his story is very fascinating because he came to a lot of this stuff way before me. He sort of figured all this stuff out himself and through the coaching program or by the end of the coaching program he was in a position where he said you know what? I think I kind of I'm learning to love that trauma. I'm learning to love the thing that happened. I'm learning to. You know, I would never condone it and I wouldn't wish it on anybody else, but I love that. That's part of my past because this made me who I am today. And some of the reasons that a couple of these guys came up with for, like, being grateful for the trauma that they went through was, hey, it's helped me be a lot more assertive with my boundaries and now I'm able to know what I want and what I don't want. I have a very clear indication of what I'm not okay with and what I don't want. So I can be much more assertive. One of the guys in particular said something beautiful that really resonated with me. He said you know, the fact that I have gone through, or I went through, this sexual trauma when I was young means that now I absolutely understand ideas of like, consent and other people being happy with what I'm doing, and I can be so unbelievably gentle and respectful with the women that I date because I know what it feels like to have my boundaries crossed, and so I am so empathetic and loving in the bedroom and I really make sure she's happy with everything we're doing. And if there's even the slightest hint that she might be even 1% uncomfortable, I'm able to stop and I'm able to give her a hug and I'm able to say hey, what do you want to do? Do you want to try something else? Do you want to? You know, change positions. Do you want to stop? Do you want me to do something else? Like, and so you can see how? And again, be gentle if you do want to do something like this and if you don't, that's beautiful, but you can see how gently learning to even just start looking for, is there any way that I can own this and make the most of it. And that again might sound like a radical notion and for some people that is a radical notion. You know, this event that I went through, there's no way that it could be good for me. It's bad, it was evil, it was fucked up. You know all of those sort of emotions and if that's where you are, hey, that's beautiful. You know, but if we're able to get to a point where we can look back and say, okay, that thing happened, how do I win now? You know, how do I turn this into a victory right now, in this moment? Or, you know, like going forward, how do I take ownership of this thing? How do I step out of the role of victimhood, where something happened to me, and I step into the role of, I guess, in the driver's seat, where I choose how I tell the stories about my past? And I went through this process myself, with my depression and my suicidal, you know, years that I went through. I eventually got to a point where I was able to heal all of that and let all of it go and be okay with it happening and not say that it was terrible, that I was depressed and it was terrible that you know, my second girlfriend was a little bit violent and she was doing her best, but you know, I was able to move past labeling that as a bad thing. That happened and eventually I was able to get to a point and again I was very gentle with it and I had many years of therapy and books and working through all of this stuff and you know, I was able to get to a point where I now look back at my depressed and suicidal years and I'm like man, wasn't that the most beautiful thing that ever could have happened? Like, what a gift. Like the fact that I felt like that means that now I can help other people who might be depressed, because I know what it fucking feels like. I can help someone else and I can understand and love somebody else who's feeling suicidal, rather than being freaked out about it or not knowing what to do. No, I know exactly what to do because I was there. I understand, I'm able to meet any person who's down in that low place. I'm able to meet them with compassion and understanding and say, hey, I understand, I'm here. What would you like from me? What can I do for you. You know the time when I went to jail. I'm able to look back on that now and say that was the most beautiful thing that ever could have happened, because it taught me to take a step back. It taught me, you know, I want to be kind to other people. I don't want to end up in jail. I don't want to hurt anybody, I don't want to be mean to anybody, I don't want to be unkind to anybody and I haven't been perfect with that over the years. But you know, I've done my best. But the depression and the suicide and the abuse and holding that knife to my wrist so many times when I was younger I'm glad that all happened. It's meant that I really, really, really care about other human beings. Funnily enough, it really helped me embrace my fear of death when you feel like dying every single day for the better part of eight or nine years. If you're able to come through that, like I was and I'm so unbelievably grateful for all the people that helped me when I was able to come through all of that and be on the other side of it it's like man. I'm not that afraid of death, especially going to jail as well, like if you've been suicidal for years and then you end up in jail and then you get your shit together when you come out, my God, man, like nothing in life really scares you. It's just like nothing can compare to wanting to die every day for nine years. Nothing can compare to going to prison, which for a lot of people they think that's the worst thing that ever could happen to you, and I thought it was. But it ends up being the most beautiful thing, as in. I thought it before I went to jail. I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen. But going in there, man, absolutely beautiful. So that pain I went through that trauma, maybe a more loving, more kind, more resilient and more action-oriented human. I'm very glad all of that happened, unbelievably glad. But I really want to reiterate that it took me quite a few years to get to this point. I've been working on my self-love, I've been working on peace and happiness, for I mean, I guess, if we count the depressed years or from like when I first started getting my shit, together with depression, I've been working on the shit for like 14, 15 years at this point and it's not binary. It's not like you have to put in 15 years of work before finally you get to be happy. You know I've been happier and happier over time during those 15 or 14 years, but it's a pro, at least for me it was a process, right. And some people just have an epiphany and they wake up and they go fuck, I don't have to suffer, like I'm allowed to be happy. You know, maybe my content will help some people with that, hopefully. That's kind of the point. But I think for most of us we don't really just wake up one day and have a big epiphany, or it's more like a series of epiphanies over 15 years. I've, you know, had I don't know 100, 1000 epiphanies over the last 15 years. Okay, it was a process. You know, if anyone listening has some trauma or unresolved stress or pain from their past or even pain that you're going through right now, if you're not ready to heal that and you're not ready to process that, you just you don't want to right now, you want to do it later, that's okay. Like I'm never going to force someone to deal with things that they're scared of or deal with their pain or any of that sort of stuff. But if you think you might be ready, you think you might be ready to start grieving through it and processing it and, you know, maybe turning it from a bad thing into okay, can I find just one fucking reason why this might not be the worst thing that could ever, could have, like, can I find one little bit of silver lining? Or, if I can't even think of a silver bit of lining or I'm not ready to even think like that, like that thought is like fucking insane to me. Can I at least take ownership of the situation right now? Can I take ownership of this present moment and no longer be a victim? Can I step out of the role of victim and step into, okay, the person? I'm the person who takes action. I'm going to do something right. This second Doesn't even really matter what it is, as long as it's one little baby step towards my goals or towards the person I want to be or towards the life I want to live. Can I reach out to a friend and tell them what happened, if that's something that you're feeling ready to do? But you know the trauma that we go through. If we're eventually ready to process it and face it and work through it and heal it and eventually maybe even love it that trauma can often be there to teach us something. You know that trauma can be something beautiful eventually, maybe, if we can get to that point, and if we can't, that's okay too. Nothing bad happens if you have trauma that you bottle up for the rest of your life. Yes, you would probably be happier if you let it all out, but none of us are perfect, right? I probably still have unresolved I know I do. I have unresolved stories, unresolved thoughts, unresolved limiting beliefs. We all do. That's part of being human right, and my mission is always to just be a little bit better. You know, I say it all the time progress, not perfection. And so if you do go through any of this, or you do have some trauma that you would like to work through, or some unresolved feelings or tension or whatever you know, be gentle with this stuff. Yeah, like however you would treat or whatever you would say to your best friend if they were going to go through or heal some trauma, give that advice to yourself. Right, be gentle, be patient. You're doing your best and that's all anyone can ever ask of you. I talk a lot more about all of these concepts in the video course that I just did. It's called Play to Win. I'll leave a link in the description below to that. You can pay whatever you can afford to pay for that, even if that's just $1. So there's a link in the description to that and I'll read out a little catch up from one of my old coaching clients. So I've been, I've hit all my old or a bunch of my old coaching clients up and I've said, hey, you know, if you're up for it, let me know what you've been up to for the last you know since we finished coaching. Let me know how your life is going, let me know your thoughts on the coaching program and, if you're cool with that, I'll read them out in podcasts. And so this comes from one of my clients, steve, and so he signed up and he finished his coaching in about early 2022. So that's like a year and a half ago. He finished up and one of the questions I asked was what were your three biggest achievements or learning lessons? And he said I signed up for coaching because I wanted support and guidance with dating. I'd read the articles and guides that Andy had written about dating and I knew the actions that I needed to take, but I often got discouraged when attempting to do most of this on my own. I reached out to Andy because I wanted someone to encourage me when I hit roadblocks or got stuck along the way. A few of the biggest achievements I made during the coaching were during my first cold approaches, going on a handful of dates and getting laid for the first time in years. Andy was incredibly patient with me and it would have taken me longer to hit those milestones if I had been trying to do this on my own. And this guy, steve oh my God, like what an absolute legend, what a trooper. He probably took the longest that anyone has ever taken to start actually approaching women. He went out there basically every day for six weeks straight for hours a day, pushing up against his anxiety, his fears, his doubts, his insecurities, all those voices in his head that said he wouldn't be able to do it. And this motherfucker just hung in there for six weeks. You can't imagine the amount of insecurity, doubt, fear, all of that shit in his head and how many times he almost had a breakdown and at one point basically did have a mini breakdown of just like I can't fucking do this, like I've been going out for six weeks. This motherfucker was so unbelievably committed to making it happen. He ended up flying across the country to go and meet one of the other members of the coaching program who was able to be like basically a wingman for him and they went out together and then he started doing his first couple of approaches and then he ended up getting laid twice during his time in the coaching program and, like my God, like what an absolute legend Steve is like. He hands down wins, the award for the person who put the most amount of effort or had the most resilience, I guess, and persistence and perseverance with learning to approach. So, my God, the dude is like an absolute legend of a human being. So you know, I asked him some other questions about his time in the coaching and he basically said you know, super valuable. It would have taken me way longer to do this by myself, but big shout out to Steve. My God, like the dude did some amazing shit at his time in the coaching program and I'm so unbelievably grateful to him. I'm going to take a little second here to say how goddamn grateful I am and I've told him several times, but I want to give him a big shout out. So he basically built here and you know one or two other guys but he's really really, really massively responsible for building or contributing so much to the members only accountability group that we have the group that we have on Discord. He has put so much time and effort and love into building that place. He's like hand coded, like bots, to run it and he's got like he's organized. People have their own log in there and they can post their stuff in there and he's set all these different like groups and channels and my God, he has put so much effort and love into that place. He really has he's basically run it and I've said thank you to him, you know, a bunch of times but my gratitude pales in comparison to how much love he has put into that place. So I'm so unbelievably grateful to him, and anyone who comes to our coaching program and checks out the Discord will say like holy shit, this place is amazing. It's basically another free coaching program that you get for the rest of your goddamn life on top of the coaching program, and he was one of the guys that helped build it. A lot of guys in there contribute to it and I'm super grateful to them, but he's the one that's been responsible for, like running it and setting it up, like the tech you know, know how and stuff like that. So I'm so unbelievably grateful to him and I'm really grateful to him. He goes on to say about coaching I recommend, if you're on the fence but you're not sure about coaching, just sign up for the free consultation with Andy and have a conversation to see if y'all would be a good fit for each other. Reflect on what it is that you want and be honest with him and yourself about what your weak spots are and how or where you need some help. If you don't know, I'm certain he'd be more than happy to help you figure it out, which, yeah, I would. If y'all are a good fit, he'll help keep you focused and on track to achieve those goals to the best of his ability. All you need to do is put forth the effort. Yeah, and Steve definitely did so. Big shout out to Steve. He's kicking ass these days. He's lost a bunch more weight since he finished up in the coaching program. Yeah, I'm so fucking grateful to Steve. I'm grateful to everyone in the coaching program and every client I've ever had. But, my God, steve has put so much love into that place. So if you'd like to, I guess if you'd like to meet Steve, and if you would like to be coached by me and join that fabulous discord for the rest of your goddamn life, I will leave a link in the description below to the coaching. As Steve said, I'm happy to jump on a call with you when you know, make sure you're a good fit, answer any questions you might have, blah, blah, blah. I'll leave links in the description to that and the video course that I mentioned. But, as always, latest in gentlemen, go out there and crush those goals. And, as I said, if you do decide to heal some of your trauma or face it or process it, you know, be gentle with this stuff, like I say that to everyone, but especially with like trauma and stuff like that, you know you don't have to fix it. You're not well, I was gonna say you don't have to fix it all at once, but it's not even about fixing it. You know you're not even broken, it's just about healing it. But you don't have to heal it or process it all at once. You can take your time with this shit. I definitely took my time with my, a lot of my trauma. So you know, be patient, take your time. You're doing a bloody good job, as always. Go out there and crush those goals and have a good time doing it.