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Break Out of the
Herd Mentality to Make Major
Career and Life Transitions


Theres Gotta Be Another Way: Break Out of the Herd Mentality to Make
Major Career and Life Transitions

Copyright 2016 by Tripp Lanier

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or copied in

any form without written permission from the publisher.

Lanier Creative Services, Inc.

1121 Military Cutoff Rd Suite C #361
Wilmington, North Carolina 28405

Contact the publisher:

Contact the author:

Table of Contents

What is This Book and Why Bother Reading It? 4

Section 1: My Personal Story and the Lessons Ive Learned 9

Section 2: Coaching Stories What Really Matters & What Really Works 31

In Their Own Words: Interviews with Clients 50

Section 3: How to Identify the Mindset thats Limiting You 51

Next Steps 88


What is This Book and Why
Bother Reading It?
Look around. Most of the people you see are choosing to simply follow the
masses. Theyre choosing a false sense of security and temporary comfort
instead of living the lives they were put on this Earth to live.

Many of the ones we may call successful are doing it, too. Theyre playing
a game they learned as kids. Theyre efforts to win the game are just a
way of finding security by proving theyre special or avoid looking like a
loser. But are they truly free? Truly powerful?

If we could listen to their thoughts wed hear constant self-doubt, self-

criticism, and the fear of missing out (FOMO). So much energy is
exhausted anticipating threats, trying to control the future, and comparing
themselves to others.

That doesnt sound like much fun to me. In fact, when I get into that
headspace it drives me nuts.


Theres gotta be another way, right?

Over the last decade Ive spent thousands of hours helping smart, forward
thinking folks navigate big challenges in their lives. Their ability to move
forward successfully boiled down to their competency in two areas:

Mindset - How many opportunities have we missed because of the

BS were telling ourselves? How does fear keep us from playing full
out? Are we creating what we want or simply trying to avoid all the
things that could go wrong?

Relational Skills - How many business partnerships have soured

because the truth was held back? How many marriages have failed
because they couldnt communicate without fighting? How are we
hiding what we truly want because we dont want to rock the boat?

So what does this all mean? While we may love to play the blame game

Feeling stuck or that something is missing in our

lives is directly tied to our mindset and our abilities
to navigate relationship challenges.


Now let me ask you this Did you ever take a class growing up for either
of these? I didnt think so. Typically we learn this stuff by following the
herd. We learn it by unconsciously following unconscious people.

And yet, as I mentioned, our mindset and relational skills have the greatest
influence over what will happen in our lives.

Now, most folks out there will never consider living any other way than
continuously avoiding the stuff that scares them. And thats fine. But this
book is not for those people.

This book is for the very few men and women who
want to switch into a powerful, creator mindset and

What do I want to create with the life that I have? What kind of positive
impact do I want to have on myself and others? If I dont know how long I
have to live on this planet, then what the hell do I want to do with that
precious time?

This book is for the people who are walking their own paths and creating
the lives they truly want. Instead of playing not to lose, theyre learning
how to design a life thats rooted in what has them feel most alive, free,
and connected to the ones they love.


Theyre tired of being motivated by negative self criticism and self doubt.
Theyre tired of the hollow victories the feeling that no matter what
they achieve its never truly satisfying.

They dont identify with the herd, the superficiality, and what passes for
important to so many. Theyre choosing to slow down and simplify. They
refuse to be a part of the frantic rat race.

Theyre redefining what it means to be successful. Theyre learning how

to align their work in the world with what truly matters to them. They want
to earn a great living and experience deep fulfillment by doing something
that positively impacts others.

They want their relationships, livelihood, and career to align and give them
the peace of mind that comes from living with a deep sense of purpose and

Does any of that resonate with you? If so, heres

what youll find in this book:

In the first section, Im going to describe the ups and downs of my own
personal and professional journey. How I course corrected from playing it
safe to designing a life and career that support my family and align with


what lights me up. Youll also learn about the mindset required to thrive
beyond our finances.

In the second section, youll hear some stories about a handful of my

coaching clients who have already created extraordinary success. Youll
hear how theyre creating new possibilities as they move beyond their
conventional, domesticated lives to do what they love most.

And in the third section, youll gain an understanding of what causes the
limiting mindsets that keep us stuck, be able to spot them in your own life,
and then take practical steps so you can get moving.

Yes indeed. There is another way. And

who knows? We may even have a few
laughs along the way.

Ready? Lets have some fun.

Tripp Lanier
Somewhere near the beach
January 2016


Section 1: My Personal Story
and the Lessons Ive Learned
Whats wrong with me?

I was sitting in my new SUV with that new car smell and the heated leather
seats and the killer sound system. I was parked in the garage of my mid-
century modern home with a wall of glass that overlooked a lush, beautiful
back yard complete with a party deck, BBQ grill, and a big yellow dog that
was 72 pounds of pure, tail-waggin love.

Seriously. What is wrong with me?

Was I having a mid-life crisis in my early 30s? And if so, why?

I had built a dream life, but something was off. Way off.

Several years before this moment in the garage, I

went through a major emotional and spiritual

I finally grieved my mothers suicide which happened when I was 13. Let
me explain.


After she died, Id spent years ignoring and trying to outrun my emotional
life. It was like trying to outrun a train. I spent so much energy controlling
my emotions and even the conversations I was having with others. I had no
clue how much of my energy was spent trying to keep an 800 pound gorilla
in a garbage can.

I had pretended to be fine by doing whatever I could to avoid being

alone. And then one day my live-in girlfriend moved out. Emotional
triggers of abandonment were pulled, and my whole house of cards came
crumbling down. The train ran me over. The gorilla was out of the can. And
I was a wreck.

I could barely get to work. I didnt want to eat. I lost 30 pounds. I couldnt
even distract myself by watching TV. Everything felt and sounded painful
and harsh.

In the darkest moment I actually considered taking

my own life.

And it was in that moment that I did what I had previously believed was
impossible - I found forgiveness for my mother.


I began to heal. I spent the better part of the following year learning how
to enjoy being with myself. During that time I didnt date or pursue
women. I preferred the serenity of being alone.

My eyes had been opened.

Instead of feeling scared of the world, I was now curious. I discovered

personal development, meditation, and spirituality and read voraciously.

Following that period of healing and recovery, I lived my life full out. I
travelled regularly and poured myself into creating and performing music.
I designed my business to support these adventures because I was
determined to live fully. I took pride in how things had turned out.

Which is why several years later I was so damned confused as I sat there in
my new SUV in the garage of my killer house with the smiley-faced-tail-
waggin dog.

I couldnt understand why I was now feeling trapped and unfulfilled.

What the hell is going on?

Bottom line: Something was either wrong with me or something was

wrong with my life.


Lets run down the checklist:

Scraped together my own boutique media production company right

out of college so I can surf, travel, and play music on my own terms?
Lots of Look at how special I am! work for clients like ESPN, fancy-
pants ad agencies, and high profile political campaigns throughout
the southeast? Check.
Bills paid? Plenty of money in the bank? Check. Check.
Traveling the world with nothing to care about other than finding
good waves and good times? Check.
Sexy, funny new girlfriend that wants to get married and have a
baby? Check.
Cool house? Nice car? Lots of toys. Check. Check. Check.

My late-twenties had been full of crazy fun

experiences like:

Drinks with David Lee Roth in a strip club.

Drinks with Zen Masters (not in a strip club).
Recording my own songs in the same studios where some of my
favorite albums had been made.


Struggling to keep up as I recorded tracks with Paul McCartneys
drummer in an LA studio that looked like a space ship.
Performing our own songs in stinky night clubs and having people
sing them back to us (which is really amazing).
Sharing the stage with our musical heroes.
Befriending thought leaders and influencers like Ken Wilber, one of
the worlds leading-edge philosophers.
Seeing the world, swimming with whales, and contracting stomach
parasites from Costa Rican rainforests, too (which is not so crazy

From the outside, my life looked inspiring.

I was living Tim Ferrisss Four Hour Workweek lifestyle years before hed
even thought about writing that book.

But now I was beating myself up I created everything I set out to do. So
why cant I be happy? I thought if I got to this point then it would all work
out. So many others would love to have my life. There must be something
wrong with me.

Because up until this point, life had been one big path of growth and
adventure towards some big ideal in my head. But now things were on a


plateau. I could see that if I didnt make any changes, I would stay right
where I was for the next 5, 10, 30 years.

And that scared me.

I didnt want my best days to be behind me. I didnt want to be on a flat


I was ashamed to admit this. I felt like an ungrateful, spoiled brat. I

complained. I tried blaming my girlfriend, my clients, the town where I
lived - you name it. I tried to ignore this nagging sense of dissatisfaction.
Until I couldnt any longer. Something had to change.

But how would I fix this?

Things seemed very black and white. In my head I was creating this dire
either/or scenario: Either I do something crazy and risk losing it all or I
suck it up and keep doing what Im doing even though Im not happy.

Neither of those options was a win. No wonder I was feeling trapped.

I had been seeing life with a finish line mentality. Up until then it was all
about getting to a certain point and then expecting things work out.


It didnt occur to me that I might just need to course correct instead of
flush it all away. I didnt realize that it was simply time for a life
transition. I hadnt yet learned that life isnt about finish lines its about
our ability to make changes. Because after all, change is the only constant.

I didnt know it yet, but there was nothing wrong with me or my life. This
was simply an opportunity to deepen and learn and grow.

But growth meant change. Scary change. And I had a serious case of the
golden handcuffs. Sure, I wanted things to change, but I didnt want to
lose anything I already had.

So what was going to change?

I took a long hard look in the mirror. I could no longer complain or blame
my girlfriend, my clients, where I lived, or even the world for my situation.
And since beating myself up wasnt helping, it was time get in the drivers
seat and take 100% responsibility for what was happening.

You see, Id always believed that I wasnt part of the crowd. And Id
always believed that I saw through the bullshit and superficiality that
salesmen and the media used to manipulate the herd." (After all, I owned
a media company - we made our living crafting messages to the masses.)


But now my laser-like awareness for bullshit and superficiality was turning
towards me. Things felt off because I was out of alignment with myself.

The reality? I was unconsciously choosing to live in a superficial world. All

of that stuff I mentioned before may have sounded kinda cool, but I was
afraid to devote my life to something with any real meaning or purpose.

Heres what I mean

I was doing work that was way out of alignment with my values. You
know those awful political campaign ads that try to scare the shit out of
you and end some guys career? Yeah. I was making that trash. I was doing
work that was designed to divide, misinform, and scare people. Talk about
soul-crushing. But the money was good so I kept doing it, and I was too
afraid to consider doing anything else. Strike one.

My girlfriend and I werent really connected. She wasnt part of my

deeply personal, creative, spiritual, and personal development world.
Instead of being honest, I was walking on eggshells around her. Because we
didnt really value the same things, I never felt like she was an ally. She was
a great gal, but deep down I knew she wasnt going to be a partner for life. I
was in limbo terrified to commit to her, but also afraid to leave the
relationship because I didnt believe that I could find someone who could


excite me and connect with me on so many different levels. I was settling.
Strike two.

And I was living a split social life. I had my friends where I lived in
Florida great people that were fun to hang out and play with. And then I
had another group of people (in Boulder and California) that I felt really
connected to. Every month or so I was getting on a plane to go connect
with my tribe in Colorado and then Id come back home and go back to
playing a role. Even though I was more accepted and challenged by the
folks in Colorado, I was too afraid to leave my comfy, predictable life in
Florida. I was afraid to lose or hurt the friends I had there. Strike three.

Bottom line: I was hiding out.

I had grown so much, but I was hiding my depth. I was a fragmented mess.
I was playing various roles in order to be successful and accepted:

The professional guy had it all together, followed the rules, kissed ass
and made sure my clients were happy.

The social guy was the life of the party, settled for making small talk,
and did what he had to do to fit in with the crowd.


The creative guy was the artist, the musician, the entertainer who had a
message and something emotional and meaningful to express. This part
was more true to who I was, but I rarely shared this with others not even
my girlfriend at the time.

And the spiritual guy was voraciously studying philosophy (secretly!),

eastern mysticism (secretly!), and doing things like 10 day silent
meditation retreats or various weirdo personal growth retreats (secretly!).
Again, I was hesitant to share this even with the girlfriend I had at the

Im sure there were more roles, but you get the point. I was like George
Costanza struggling to keep my worlds apart. I believed that if these worlds
intertwined then Id be judged, rejected, and laughed at by all of them. My
clients would bolt. The money would dry up. My friends would think I was
a freak. Because I was living a life aligned with fear, I kept up the song and

I was trading my power and peace of mind for a false sense of security. I
was running in circles to avoid the truth. I was working hard to make sure I
looked like I had it all together.

And. It. Was. Exhausting.


While I liked to believe that I was different from the herd, I realized that
this exhausting song and dance was my way of making sure I stayed firmly
entrenched in it.

What would they think of me if I was honest about what I wanted? Would
they believe I was rejecting them? That I thought I was better than them?
And who the hell was I to want an even better life than the one I already

Theres gotta be another way.

Stuck in a fear based perspective, I believed there werent any other

options. But what I didnt realize at the time was that it was only my
mindset that had me believe this was true.

Let me explain

Fear, Scarcity, and Your Big Self

I believe most of us are navigating the world in a combination of two ways:

The first is our Young Self. This shows up when were scared or hurt or
defensive. We lash out or play the petty games we learned at an early age


to avoid discomfort or weakness. Even as adults, the young self drives us
and hurts us and those we love.

For the young self, life is often one big grade school pissing-match. Is it
safe? Whos on top? Whos winning? Am I missing out? Ill prove to you
that Im strong and special! (BTW lots of successful guys run their entire
lives from this mindset.)

The second is our Adult Self. Its the conventional, domesticated guy
who plays by the rules. Does what he needs to do to fit in, to be liked, to be
successful. Not too big, not too small. And society rewards us for fitting in,
for being the good guy."

This mindset is critical for having a civilized society, but is this where we
feel most alive?


Fact is, these two ways of living are firmly rooted in fear and scarcity. The
thought of going out of bounds here has us gasp, But what will they think
of me?


The Big Self: Another Way to Navigate the World

The Big Self has nothing to prove, is not motivated by fear or scarcity. And
hes not burdened by a need to fit in or meet the expectations of others.

The Big Self is bold in his willingness to lead, and knows hes on this
planet to give and create instead of triumph over others.

The Big Self has a firm allegiance to what makes him feel most alive,
connected, and whole.

There is no template for the Big Self. Its unique for each of us. You cant
follow someone elses way of doing it. It cant be found out there.

Why? Because weve always had it within us. Its our

essence speaking through us. Its something bigger
than us being expressed as us.

So while I was trying to figure out what to do next, I could sense a desire to
rebel, to blow up my conventional, domesticated life and return to my
young, wild, and free self. But thats just what youd expect from a
rebellious teenager.


And I also knew that simply following the rules, doing what others
should do, and coloring within the lines wasnt gonna cut it either. That
was just more of the same.

I had a choice I could play it safe (and live a life rooted in fear) or I could
go for what I wanted (by learning how to live as my Big Self). I could
continue to bullshit myself and settle for life on the plateau. Or I could be
honest with myself, start taking some risks, and continue to learn and

While I wasnt eager to be lonely, desperate, or broke, I knew I didnt want

to play it safe either. My exhaustion was telling me that it wasnt worth it.

I didnt want to be one of those guys who gets into his later years and gets
all grumpy and resentful that he tapped out early on in life. I didnt want to
blame others or some imaginary monster under the bed for being a wuss
and pissing away this one life I had been fortunate enough to have.

I didnt want to keep reading about those people - the ones who lived
with vision and courage and took chances that fired them up and think to
myself, I could have done my own version of that.

No - I wanted my life to read like a great book.


I wanted lots of interesting chapters all the way up to the end. I didnt
want it to get to page 27 then wrap it up with, Aaaaaaaaaand then Tripp
spent the next 60 years getting fat, stupid, and fragile. The End.

When I accessed this Big Self mindset, the focus shifted from fear to
desire. Instead of focusing on what I needed to avoid, I focused on what I
wanted to create. I began to feel some fire and hope.

So what would I want if I wasnt afraid?

I wanted to feel alive! I wanted to feel like my life was getting more
engaging and meaningful as I got older.

I wanted to feel free, to live in a way where I didnt feel like I was in the
closet about who I was or what I cared about.

I wanted to surround myself with people who got me and all the interests
I had especially all of the spiritual, personal development stuff that I was
hesitant to share with others.

I wanted to be with a woman who was an ally someone who was truly
there to help me have the best life I could have and vice versa. I wanted to
know we were connected and aligned on a very deep level.


I wanted an exciting sex life. Definitely.

I wanted to feel confident in my relationships. I wanted to know that no

matter what conflicts may come up, we could work through it and become
stronger as a result.

I wanted my work in the world to have a sense of meaning and purpose. I

wanted to make a great living helping people do what they love and make
the most of their lives.

I wanted simplicity and ease. I wanted to stop exhausting myself. To slow

down and learn how to attract opportunities instead of striving and
fighting for them. I wanted to live as though there was nothing to defend
or prove to anyone.

I wanted a sense of freedom, the ability to express myself fully and follow
my interests wherever they may lead.

And most importantly, I wanted to feel peace to know that deep down I
was okay, that everything was okay, and that everything was going to be


After spending so much time complaining and
blaming it felt amazing to finally own what I really
wanted in life.

And then the fear kicked in. But I dont know how to do all of that stuff! I
dont have the time or resources to figure that out. And who the hell am I
to live like that? I dont deserve that. I dont know anybody else living like
that. Why should I be any different?

I could feel myself contracting again. But from this powerful mindset, I
knew it was only fear. I was reminded of Mark Twains great quote, Ive
had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.

It was so helpful to remember that I had faced similar fears in the past. And
I remembered that I had pushed through them before.

I remembered that when I really wanted something I learned what I needed

to learn. When something truly mattered, I created the money and time
necessary to make it happen. And I realized that deep down I wasnt here
to sit on my ass or play small. I was on this planet to stretch and grow and
live as my Big Self.

It was around this time that I began getting help from others through
mentors, a mens group, and coaching. And while the work was mine to do,


I couldnt do it alone. This support system was critical to the process
because it kept me from backsliding into my comfortable, old way of doing

And slowly but surely my life changed.

Over the next few years:

I ended the relationship I had been in - and faced the fear that I may be
alone for the rest of my life.

I moved to Boulder and immersed myself in an amazing community of

folks doing great things in the world.

I met Alyson, got married, and began building

the relationship Id always wanted but didnt
imagine was possible.

I sold my company and house back in Florida

and started the process of becoming a
professional coach.


I fell ass-backwards into podcasting (when podcasts were brand new) and
used my media experience to create content that actually helps people
change their lives for the better.

Through The New Man Podcast I gave myself a degree in What Really
Matters and What Really Works by interviewing dozens of folks who have
inspired me including big-name best selling authors whove been on
Oprah, bald-headed zen masters, bald-headed philosophers, death-defying
big wave surfers, game-changing rock stars, and military heroes with
brains, balls, and heart.

In short, Ive sought out and continue to learn from anyone who can help
me, my coaching clients, and my listeners live an extraordinary Big Self

Over the following ten-plus years, I made a lot of mistakes and explored a
lot of rabbit holes creating the next phase of my life. Im not going to paint
some fake, Disney-esque picture it was messy and scary at times.

And it makes sense that as a coach I now guide others through that
territory. As a result, they get to learn from the mistakes Ive made and
course correct much more easily.


What Things Are Like Now

These days Alyson and I have a young

daughter and a simple life thats aligned
with freedom, love, and ease.

By design, we can live and work from

anywhere. Were currently in a small beach
town where I can easily break away and surf
without a crowd when there are waves.

Im no longer hiding out. For a guy who was once afraid to be associated
with personal and spiritual development, a simple Google search will
reveal its what Im most known for.

I make more money now than I did when I had all of that overhead and
strain from doing stuff that didnt align with my values. I have long
weekends and take at least one week off per month - every month.

Three days a week, I coach a handful of clients (and groups) who live all
around the world.

Ive gone from coaching the guys who listen to The New Man Podcast to
also coaching the people who are guests on The New Man Podcast.


I make a great living helping the truly extraordinary people on this planet
create lives and businesses that serve their Big Selves and do so in a way
that allows them to thrive financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Always Learning and Growing

Im still learning and growing and course correcting. I hit plateaus and I
make transitions. I still work with a coach and a group of others who can
teach and challenge me. Again - there are no finish lines.

There have been a lot of challenges along the way, but in many ways
making that decision to start living as my Big Self was the most
significant. That was the moment that everything shifted in service of
more alignment.

Now does that mean I dont experience fear anymore? Fat chance. Fear is
always present for me. And as a guy with a business and family, Im
constantly aware of how I slip into my young and domesticated selves -
even on a daily basis.

But through the years Ive practiced - over and over again with myself and
others - how to get back up and not let it eclipse who I truly am and what I
truly want.


A Takeaway for You

So before I share some stories about how Ive helped my clients course
correct their own lives, Ill leave you with one of my favorite lessons that
has helped me loosen up and keep things in perspective when things feel
really serious and Im afraid to take action.

I learned this on a meditation retreat with a Zen Master named Jun Po

Denis Kelly (right after he hit me really hard with a stick):

He said, Tripp, you cant fuck it up. And you cant get it right.

Heres to you living as your Big Self, having fun, and helping others along
the way.


Section 2: Coaching Stories
What Really Matters & What
Really Works

Here are a few short stories about some of the clients Ive worked with.
Their backgrounds and circumstances are quite different but they all share
a few common traits:

They were tired of hiding out.

Like me, they had become tired of playing a role. They were outgrowing
their domesticated selves and living in a way they felt they had to in
order to be successful or accepted.

They were tired of playing not to lose.

Up until we began our work together, these guys had been primarily
focused on what they might lose if they were to make a big change. They
were playing defense. They were tired of letting fear control their lives.

They were ready to take action.

They were no longer researching their options, or just thinking about
making a change." They were committed even without 100% certainty
about their future. Staying stuck was no longer an option.


Deep down all of these men were hungry to step into a new, bold way of
leading their lives. They were ready to live in greater alignment with their
full selves. They wanted more freedom, power, and choice. And they
wanted their relationships, families, and careers to thrive as a result.

A quick note: Ive withheld the names of these clients in order to reveal more
intimate details about their process without compromising their privacy.

Lets dive in.


When Mark and I began working together he was managing his familys
properties and investments down in South America. He was young and his
enthusiasm for life was infectious.

That said, he was living a fragmented life. He spent a lot of time concerned
about meeting the expectations of his family. He worried a lot about how
he was perceived in the community.

As I got to know him I realized he was one of the most passionate people I
had ever met with regards to personal development, bio-hacking, and

I thought he was nuts!

When I asked him why he loved this stuff so much he told me about how he
had lost his father to cancer and then gone through a break up around the
same time. He went through a very dark period, but these empowering
ideas and practices helped him become stronger than ever.

But no one around him was really aware of this. He was keeping his
personal development hobby out of sight. He was worried that it might
draw criticism and rejection from others.


As we worked together, we began to gain more clarity. I asked him, Mark,
if you werent afraid, what would you want to do?

I could hear the fear in his voice, but he slowly began to answer. I would
start a company that would license and translate the books that have had
such a big impact on me into Portuguese. I would want to make it easier for
the people of Brazil to benefit from these ideas. I would also make it easier
for them to have the supplements and products that help my body and
mind stay sharp. I would write articles and make videos that share the
ideas and practices that have worked for me and share them with other

This was a big vision. It was exciting! And it was totally possible.

So I tested him. So when will the first YouTube video be made?

You would have thought that I was asking him to jump out of a plane.

What? Are you serious? But what will they think of


He was laughing from the tension and anxiety as we made an agreement

for him to create a short, simple video. And even though he was scared he


was more excited. He followed through. Step by step he began creating
content. Within a few months a community began to grow. His vision was
becoming a reality.

And then one day I asked him, Mark, who are you?
What do you do?

He answered quickly, Well, I, uh manage properties and investments for

my family.


More silence.

I asked, Really?

You see, he was still telling a false story to himself about himself. He was
still playing a role in order to be loved and accepted. He was still seeing
himself as this guy with a little hobby."

I pushed back. When are you going to own the fact that you are a guy who
is changing the lives of other Brazilians for the better? When are you going
to own the fact that you are much more than just a property manager? Do


you think Im coaching you to be a better property manager? Is that what
were doing here?

I refused to see him as an amateur. And it was time for him to turn pro as
Steven Pressfield would say.

Something shifted for Mark in that moment of challenge and reflection. He

removed a barrier for himself. He gave himself permission to step more
fully into his Big Self.

And as a result opportunities began to open up.

Because he was no longer hiding out he found

himself meeting and partnering with some of the
experts, authors, and thought leaders he had once
placed on a pedestal.

But what about his family and the people he was so afraid to disappoint?
Instead of rejecting him, they were inspired by his enthusiasm and
leadership. They were believers because they had witnessed and already
benefited from his own positive growth.

Instead of criticizing him or pushing him away, they were asking him for
ways to improve their own lives and health. They were wanting him to help


them find new products and personal development opportunities for

He was creating more alignment in his world. He was living with more
wholeness and less fragmentation. And he had way more energy because
he was spending less time juggling these roles in order to protect himself.

To this day, Mark is continuing to grow and align his passion with his work
in the world. Hes writing a book, publishing his own content online, and
developing products in his homeland of Brazil.


When Andy was in his mid-20s he left his cubicle job and with a few grand
fumbled his way into business. He was on the path headed for hot women,
expensive cars, and big watches.

The reality? He was soon $250,000 in personal debt while struggling to

maintain an image of success and strength. He wasnt sleeping. He was
overweight and under enormous stress. And he was on a path leading
straight into a wall.

Andys focus wasnt just on the money. It was on something much deeper.
He was driven to stand out, to be above the rest.

He was striving to reach a level of success and

stature so that no one could fuck with him."

A few years later he sold his share in these companies. Now Andy was
sitting on millions. Youd think relief would come easily for him, right?

Not so much. Even without the day-to-day firefighting of running his

previous businesses, he was still finding ways to stress himself out. He had
trained his mind and nervous system to run on URGENT.


I thought if I was successful then the rest of this
stuff would take care of itself. So now what?

He was sitting on a pile of cash and the option to go in any direction he

chose. But that freedom of choice had become a burden.

He knew he was tired of doing things the old way - through struggle,
competition, and drama. And he was beginning to realize that he was
unconsciously creating ways to make his life more difficult.

Even though he had hired me to help him make a professional transition,

we needed to address what was happening under the hood, too. I wasnt
interested in helping him create another avenue to exhaust and deplete
himself. I wasnt inspired to simply help him win another pissing match
with the world.

Through our discussions we began to unwind the programming and

motivations behind his decisions. This generated greater awareness. And
with that awareness he began to see that he could create the next phase of
his life from a new place of self-acceptance and true strength.

He no longer had to do things because they were challenging or extreme.

He no longer had to do things in order to prove anything. He no longer had
to do things in order to be special or stand out from the crowd.


He could simply do them because they created
greater joy, meaning, and connection with others.

So now he has way more choice in a good way. And hes using that choice
to blend his love for adventure travel with coaching and business
consulting. Along with his wife, hes created a foundation to help build
schools in Central America. And hes spending more time asking how can
I help and serve others? vs how can I stand out?."

Even though it still feels good to stand out from time to time, too.


James had an amazing track record playing alongside some of the major
tech companies. He was a pioneer and inventor in the early days of the
internet as we know it developing technologies that you and I use

Like many of us, he learned how to play a role in order to be successful. In

this highly competitive world his professional style could be very
adversarial. He had even been called a shark by some of his colleagues
along the way.

Eventually it became exhausting always trying to out-think and out-

maneuver others. Much of his energy was spent scanning for threats. Much
of his time was spent playing defense, trying to control the future.

And while this helped him be very successful, it only

worked to a point. There was always a limit to how
far he would go.

The truth is that he was not a shark. He was incredibly caring,

compassionate, and thoughtful. He was deeply committed to his family and
spiritual path. He was most alive and at peace when he was helping others


instead of playing this game. And he was tired of the massive gap between
who he was paid to be and who he really truly was.

At one of our first meetings overlooking the water in Santa Monica he even
asked me,

Can I have a heart and be successful, too?

To me it was like he was asking, Do you think my car would be more

powerful with 8 cylinders instead of 4?

I said, Lets see.

Since then hes been challenging this limiting belief that he has to
abandon his heart and values in order to be successful." Hes learning that
hes far more powerful when he brings more of who he is his Big Self
into everything that he does.

Hes stepping into the role of King finding ways to guide, teach, and lead
others based on the lessons hes learned along the way. Hes letting go of
those fears that keep him out of the moment. These days hes more
present, more fulfilled, and more aligned. Hes utilizing his immense
creativity and powerful skill set to provide a positive impact with meaning
and purpose.


I have to admit that I was intimidated by Barry when he contacted me. He
was an oil man, a self-made multimillionaire from the mid-west the kind
who owned a jet and played polo around the world.

His company was basically on autopilot which freed him up to focus on

other things in life.

It also helped him see that his marriage and family

were in trouble.

Early on in our talks, Barry told me that relationships were truly difficult
for him. Because of his money and power, he felt that very few people
actually liked him for who he was. It seemed like they would tell him
whatever he wanted to hear because they ultimately wanted to get
something from him. Although he was rarely by himself, he often felt

He was a kind man with a big heart, but he felt most comfortable being in a
position of power over others. In fact, most of the people in his life worked
for him.


He preferred this way of navigating relationships because it allowed him to
be firm and direct about what he wanted. After all it was just business
and he was the boss. It wasnt personal.

But with the people he loved and cared about, he felt far less powerful. He
couldnt give orders to his family. He couldnt just fire them if things didnt
go his way. The idea of co-creating with others was foreign.

Here was a man who had tremendous power and

resources, and yet deep down he felt like a

He told me he was like a ghost in his beautiful home. His marriage seemed
purely superficial. There was no connection, no passion, and certainly no
sex. He blamed his wife for his choices to pursue women outside of the
marriage. They merely went through the motions with their marriage

Barry gave a lot of lip-service to this idea of protecting the marriage." As if

being miserable and dishonest was somehow going to benefit anyone or
anything other than himself and his wife and children.

He was afraid to admit to her that he wanted more depth and connection.
He wanted more excitement. He was tired of walking on eggshells around


her, afraid to disappoint her. He was terrified to be honest and face the
reality of their relationship.

At the risk of getting fired, I challenged Barry to take 100% responsibility

for this situation. He cant control other people, but if he didnt like how
things were going, it was time to stop doing his part to perpetuate it.

Barry, are you paying me to feel sorry for you?

Because from this angle, youre the one common
denominator in all of these situations.

Screw you, Tripp. And then he laughed a bit. He bristled some more, but
then expressed his gratitude. I wasnt there to please him or kiss his ass
like so many others in his life. We werent going to make anything better
by throwing a pity party every week.

As he revealed more to me through our sessions I began to help him see

that he was playing a role. He wasnt being himself - not with her and not
with his children.

I helped him see that when he plays this role, its impossible to connect
with him. He was like a man hidden away high up in a castle surrounded by
a moat and a guard at the door. There was no way in. He was not accessible.


This realization softened up his complaining and blaming of others. He
could see how his striving to keep the peace was suffocating him and the

He began to consider that his relationships could be

stronger even if there was conflict along the way.

He learned how to stop playing defense, and we worked on tools for

speaking up and co-creating what he wanted with others. He felt
empowered. He began to see new possibilities.

After more time together, he had a bold conversation with his wife and
owned that it was time to course correct their marriage. They started
counseling - this time for real. And instead of simply trying to protect the
marriage, his focus shifted to how they could become allies to one another
in service of their greater happiness and fulfillment even if that meant
they were no longer married.


David contacted me at a turning point in his life. He was a young co-
founder in an ambitious startup focused on real estate development and
investing. They were getting lots of attention in the press, rubbing
shoulders with well known folks but behind the scenes David was hitting
the wall.

He had just ended a serious relationship, and his work situation

desperately needed to change. He was constantly putting others and the
work before himself, fearful of letting his investors down, and walked
around as if the whole world was on his shoulders.

As we spoke it became clear that his exhaustion was rooted in the belief
that he also needed to constantly project an image of positivity and

It was all bullshit.

For him, it was unimaginable to bring the truth of his experience or what
he really wanted out into the world even with his business partners. He
believed that if he showed up more authentically that it would hurt his
companys success, that it would damage everything he cared about.


He didnt want to let his partners down. He felt it was his duty to play this
role full out, but as a result his relationships were superficial. He was
hungry for more depth and truth, but he didnt see how his happy guy
persona was keeping that from happening.

Even though people were kissing his ass left and right, deep down he was
resentful of his partners and this company. He had dreams of escaping and
running away.

It never occurred to him that he could sit down and

figure out a way to course correct with his partners
instead of blow everything up.

The first thing we worked on was simply clarifying what he wanted. For so
long he had identified with his partners and the needs of the business. He
had lost touch with himself and his inner authority. He was concerned that
even clarifying his true desires would jeopardize his situation.

I helped him identify what was his zone of genius" the work that
aligned with what he cared about most. The work that he would do for free
just because he loved it so much. Just talking about this lit a fire under his


Then it was time to ferret out those limiting stories - what stories was he
telling himself that kept him stuck and playing small? Again, he felt
energized once he started to see that most of this stuff was simply not true.

We challenged his all or nothing mentality this idea that he had to

perform his duty at his own expense or run away and piss everyone off. He
began to see that he had lots of options. We practiced relational tools so
hed feel confident to have those challenging conversations.

Eventually he began opening up with his partners.

Hey, Ive got a story that says I have to do XYZ in this company or were
going to be screwed. Is that true? I care about our relationships, I care
about this investment, and I also dont want to go crazy. What Id most like
to do - and where I believe Ill bring the most value - is if I focused on ABC.
When can we explore these other possibilities?

Turns out he wasnt alone. It was time for all of them to revisit the
agreements and conditions that were created years previously.

Bottom line is that he learned how to get out of his own head, cut the
bullshit, and actually talk to people about what was going on. Instead of
playing the victim, he learned how to get honest with himself and others to
co-create a better situation in his company and his personal life.


In Their Own Words: Interviews
with Clients
Below are a few interviews with coaching clients. Click the links to hear
them tell their own stories and describe how their lives are different as a
result of our coaching work together.

Gerry Campbell - When Life and Work Get Out of Balance

Brian Smith - Hard Lessons Learned from Making Millions
Liam Casey - How to Turn Your Life Around


Section 3: How to Identify the
Mindset thats Limiting You
Im not the only kid who ever went out on the end of a diving board and
got stuck.

Im pretty sure this will kill me. This looks scary!

What if it hurts? What if I look bad?

Most of the time we feel stuck because were resisting the call as Joseph
Campbell would say. He was describing that part of The Heros Journey
where we are being called into the next phase of our lives. When we resist
the call, were fighting against our own natural growth and development.

Resisting the call exhausts us and crushes our confidence. Imagine a

telephone ringing constantly in your room and you have no way to turn off
the noise (other than to answer it).

No wonder it becomes so tempting to drown out this noise and numb out
via the internet, TV, shallow relationships, excessive food, or porn.

Were stuck because were unable to see how this growth is just part of our
development. Were avoiding uncertainty and striving for what we already


know even if its not where we feel most fulfilled, alive, free, loved, or at

You want to know the worst part about all of this course correction stuff
Ive been talking about? Its resisting the call. Its being in limbo. Its
the stuck part. Its being out there on the end of a diving board trying to
avoid the scary stuff. Instead of engaging our lives were frozen trying to
analyze, strategize, predict, or control an uncertain future.

When it comes to facing my own challenges, like everyone else, I have my

blind spots. I can BS myself. This is why I dont hesitate to call on another
coach to challenge my stories and hold my feet to the fire so I can step into
my Big Self and create what I really want.

Unfortunately, this change doesnt manifest simply by reading books and

listening to podcasts. It comes through action. It takes time, effort, and
perseverance. It requires engaging the process consistently.

From over a decade of coaching men and women through their own heros
journeys (along with my own personal experiences), Im going to identify
some of the limiting beliefs and stories that keep us stuck and what you
can do to get moving again.


I dont know what to do or how to do it.

Steve Chandler says we never really have a how problem. We have a

want problem. And often times that want or desire is being minimized by

Steves point is this: If we want something bad enough, well figure out a
way to do it. If a gun was pointed at our head or if there was a million
dollars in a briefcase to reward our efforts then wed suddenly get bold and

We would invest in ourselves. Wed ask the right questions, wed hire the
right folks, wed deploy the structure to get it done. Wed figure out a way
to create the time, energy, and money in order to follow through.

Consider that going for what we truly want is often much easier than the
safe route because we have the force of that powerful desire inside. This
powerful force has us commit, seal the exits, and make a simple decision:
Im doing this now.

Creating a door where there was once a wall.

One time I got an email from a guy interested in coaching with me. I
reviewed his questionnaire and nothing really jumped out. My coaching


schedule was full so I emailed him back, Thanks for your interest. Im full
right now. Here are the names of a few other coaches you may want to
consider. Good luck.

He got back to me thanking me, and I thought that was it. In his world, he
had hit a wall.

But that wasnt it. A few days later he emailed me back saying, Listen,
Tripp. I appreciate the other referrals, but I contacted you because I want
to work with you. I dont want to work with any other coach.

This guy was clear. He was bold. He was owning what he wanted. He was
testing the no. And the impact on me? I was inspired.

This is the type of guy I love to work with.

I emailed him back and we set up a call. Through the power of simply
owning what he truly wanted, a door appeared where there was once a

You see, I dont believe that anyone is a commitment-phobe. Were all

deeply committed to something which is typically staying safe and
looking good to ourselves and others.


So when we talk about how commitment has the power to create
opportunities, fear is often the first thing to come up.

I dont want to get trapped. I dont want to waste time, energy, or money. I
dont want to fail and look like a loser.

Heres the thing We dont have to be wishy-washy, waiting for the

perfect thing with the perfect outcome to come along before tapping into
that power of a commitment. We dont have to water down our impact on
others and the world because were uncertain or scared about the future.

Instead, we can ask ourselves, Even though theres a lot of uncertainty

here, whats the smallest thing Im willing to commit to? Whats the
smallest commitment Im willing to make that, come hell or high water,
Im going to follow through on?

By doing this, we get out of that flaccid way of showing up in the world, we
get out of waiting-mode, and we bring that inspiring power that creates
doors where there were once walls.


Is she the right girl for me?

Earlier in this book I talked about how I was one-foot-in, one-foot-out

with a previous girlfriend. For years, I was in this painful dance of
avoidance. Is she the right girl for me?

For me to show up in that fear-based, wishy-washy state of mind had an

impact on her and our relationship. She was afraid of being judged, of
being rejected, and she showed up defensively. I would sense this tension,
create some story about her, and then judge the relationship based on that.

Do you see how toxic that cycle can be on a relationship? How could things
possibly flourish in that kind of environment?

When I met Alyson (my wife) I was determined to make sure this didnt
happen again. I wanted to remove all doubt by playing full out.

But how could I know if she was the right one for me? How could I know if
we should get married, start a family, and grow old together?

Those questions were rooted in my fear of being trapped. I wanted to stay

safe. And I was trying to predict the future - which no one can do.


Instead, I shifted into a different mindset. Given where I am in this
moment and given the information I have right now - how can I show up
fully? What am I willing to commit to right now even though I still have
doubts and fears?

The cross-country blind date

For instance: Alyson and I were introduced via some mutual friends. She
lived in Colorado. I lived in Florida. We spoke on the phone one time for a
few hours and I was lit up. After we hung up, I was clear that I wanted to
meet her and talk to her again. Problem? She lived 1,600 miles away.

Now heres the part where I could have dicked around for weeks and
months and then told myself You know, Im just not really feeling this
anymore. And the opportunity would pass.

But instead I made a decision to commit to the very next step: I want to
meet her in person. And soon.

I called her right back. Im going to fly out to Boulder next Thursday. Lets
go to dinner. I hung up the phone and bought a ticket. I had no idea what
would happen but that was a risk I was willing to take. And in the grand
scheme of things that risk was pretty small.


That first weekend together was very powerful for us. We knew we were
falling in love and we were also deeply concerned about the distance and
all of the complications that may create in our lives. A wall seemed to be in
the way.

At the end of the weekend, I told Alyson, Look. I dont know if this
relationship will last five months, five years, or five lifetimes. But Im fully
committed to finding out. Im not going to walk this Earth knowing youre
alive and wonder what could have been.

I didnt commit to marriage. I didnt commit to some huge vision or

outcome to the future. I didnt create some hoop for her to jump through
to justify my commitment. And I didnt shrink away and hope that some
doorway would magically appear.

I simply made the decision that I was going to do my part, show up fully,
and see how this relationship unfolded from that powerful way of being.

Earlier that same year I had planned - and stalled - to take a few months off
to live in Boulder. After meeting Alyson I recommitted to that idea. Ill
come out here for two months and then we can see what the next step is.

Next step after next step was taken. And one of those next steps was our
wedding a year and a half later.


None of this would have happened if I retreated back to my lets wait and
see mindset and hoped for something to justify my commitment.

I owned what I wanted in small increments. I also acknowledged my fears,

doubts, and concerns. Taking all of this into account I created small
commitments. This allowed me to show up powerfully and avoid being
wishy-washy (and all of the confusing toxicity that brings).

Doorways appeared where there were once walls.


When Im helping someone through a similar scenario, its important for

him to realize his freedom to explore all kinds of options. Regardless of
what he tells me, he often does know what he wants to do. Hes just letting
fear and uncertainty eclipse that desire.

We need to clarify that powerful desire by taking fear out of the creative
process - even if just for a few moments.

Grab a journal and be willing to scare yourself as you answer these



If I wasnt afraid, what would I want (in this particular area of my
If I didnt need to have some big, long term plan for my future all
figured out, what would be fun/rewarding to learn or create next?
If I knew that everything would be okay, what would be fun/
rewarding to do next?
If I wasnt afraid of the outcome, what conversation would I have
with ____________?
What do I really want and is that different from what I think I can

When Im working with someone through this, Ill help them get through
the surface answers down to the deeper truth. From this place we can
challenge their limiting stories, excuses, and fears. Many times when we
hear ourselves say this stuff out loud, we cant believe these stories have
such power over us. Theyre really not so bad.

Now even though fears may be present, ask yourself, Whats the smallest
commitment Im willing to make? Set a deadline, follow through, and
then create the next step.


I have to make a radical change, and I
have to have the perfect plan.

Often when Im talking with a client about what they want to do next, they
believe it has to be a massive, radical change.

Something big. A new career. A new town. A new marriage.

He believes that in order to have the life he wants he would have to turn
his life upside down. Understandably hes scared. So, to stay safe, he now
needs to have the perfect vision and plan in place. This is a crafty way for
his fears to ensure a win. Its also how hell lose his fire and confidence.

And as long as he believes this huge all or nothing with the perfect plan
scenario is the only way forward, he gets to stay safe even if hes not
fulfilled or lit up.

The big change is just a bunch of small changes.

What he doesnt realize is that the big change will be a series of small,
consistent, incremental shifts over time. Itll be something that is based on
all of the experience and hard work hes already done. And this is much,
much easier and less disruptive than a sudden, 180 degree flip.


Many times we believe well only be lit up by our lives once weve crossed
some magical, pre-destined finish line far in the future. Not true.

Lets challenge the idea that we need to make some big drastic change all
at once. Instead imagine were building a fire.

Commit to the fire.

Instead of being drained by the pressure to commit to some big plan,

commit to feeding and fueling that flame a little at a time. How? By
experimenting and learning about what actually grows the fire in your day-
to-day life.

This way, instead of feeling stuck hoping for some big change way out
there on the horizon, youll be engaged and gaining momentum as you go.
No more waiting. No more wondering.

Waiting for my ship to come in.

After selling my company, I was stuck trying to figure out the next phase of
my career. I imagined this opportunity was going to show up magically one
day like a grand ship in the harbor.

Toooooooooot!!! Tooooooooooooot!!!


Today is the day! My glorious new life has finally arrived!

In reality, I was scared. I wanted to find the perfect path before

committing. I wanted the sure thing. I wanted it all planned out.

And this meant I didnt do squat. For years. I basically sat there on the
sidelines feeling powerless, waiting for something to come along. It was

I poked holes in every opportunity that did come along. My critical, fear-
based mind saw all the problems and all the ways they could fail. And by
doing this, I kept myself from taking action. I continued to sit on my ass
and play it safe.

But I was losing my confidence. I was depleted. I felt repulsive like my

negativity was repelling any good fortune that may come my way.

Eventually I realized that trying to predict the future and find the perfect
plan wasnt going to work. It was time to switch up strategies.


Getting into action.

With the help of my mens group and some mentors, I shifted my focus. I
stopped looking out there for something to come along, and instead I
began to just listen to myself. I developed my own sense of authority.

What would have me feel more alive today? What do I want to learn?

I found my curiosity, and I gave myself permission to follow it wherever it

may lead even if I couldnt predict the outcome. I let go of my need to
know the outcome and I just did it. This felt risky at the time.

I have no idea if this workshop or training is going to turn into the next
career for me, but I really want to learn this stuff. I love it. When I do it I
feel stronger. I feel more confident. I feel more alive.

I was building my fire - a little bit of air and a little

bit of fuel at a time.

I kept going. I was creating momentum. I was engaged. I was meeting

people. The next steps presented themselves. I kept connecting dots one
after the other. And because I was already taking small risks, it wasnt so
challenging to take even bigger ones.


More air. More fuel.

I started coaching a few people. They introduced me to more interesting


Hey Tripp. Have you ever thought about hosting a podcast?

What the hell is a podcast? I said. Sounds interesting. Lets give it a


More air. More fuel.

Instead of trying to nail down my future, I was simply committed to one

thing: building my fire. No big plan. No big vision. I was allowing myself to
follow my curiosity and course correct as I went.

Joseph Campbell would call this following your


At the time I felt like I was bouncing all over the place. My fear-based mind
didnt like this game of connect the dots. This isnt a plan! I want certainty


But that said, I had a fire now. And because I was doing the things I found
interesting, I was enjoying it. My confidence was growing. I was attracting
opportunities that I never could have imagined - much less planned for.

As I look back now, I can see how the dots line up perfectly. Each dot was a
gradual, incremental shift towards what I wanted. And with each dot, I
gained practical, valuable skills. I built confidence and mental strength.

Instead of gambling on some plan that would result in me feeling alive,

free, and fulfilled I created those experiences and built upon them along
the way. If something didnt jive, I used that experience to make a course
correction. I didnt have to rethink my entire life because things didnt
suddenly go according to a plan.

My commitment was to the fire not the path.


Theres no way I could have planned the way my life has turned out. And
theres really no way for you to plan yours either.

So what can you do?


Commit to building your fire. What are the activities, relationships,
locations, and ways of living that strengthen you? Instead of hoping youll
get around to doing these things, what if you designed your life to put
them first?

Follow your curiosity. What do you love to read about and learn? Where
does your attention naturally want to go? Give yourself permission to
follow this even deeper. There are no hobbies.

Get engaged. If youre comfortable being a spectator reading books and

listening to podcasts find ways to get in the game. Take a training. Join a
meetup group. Hire a coach. Volunteer. Get out of isolation and into an
environment where youre interacting with others that love this stuff, too.

Expect resistance. Always. Theres a part of your brain that is very strong
and it wants to keep you firmly attached to your couch. Its going to try to
convince you that moving forward is an awful idea and the whole world
will suffer for it. You dont have to believe this voice.

Even if this is something you really want to do, expect resistance to show
up. Feeling resistance doesnt mean its a bad idea. It doesnt mean you
dont want to do it. Its just resistance. It means youre stretching outside
of your comfort zone. Thats all.


Your success whatever that means to you will be a product of doing
the things that build your fire. Challenge your domesticated beliefs. Dont
make the mistake of hoping that your fire will magically come along after
youve done all your chores like a good boy or girl.


What will they think of me?

Another reason why we get stuck is because were already successful. In

other words, once we create success in our lives were terrified to do
anything to threaten this comfort or our self-image of being a success.

As children we allowed ourselves to fall down and make mistakes when we

were learning to walk. But as adults weve become precious and fragile.

As adults were now far more powerful than that little guy who crapped his
pants all day, but were fearful to do anything that may upset our sense of
comfort, rock the boat, or make us look foolish.

One of my favorite sayings - because I have to remind myself of this often

- is this:

Life is more fun when we get over ourselves.

Learning how to walk is no different from any other creative process. It can
be messy and uncomfortable sometimes, but lets face it you and I both
know how to do it or we wouldnt be walking would we?

But if we believe were precious and our successful self-image is fragile,

then were not going to allow any of that creative experimentation


nonsense. Were going to prioritize looking good before this path of
greater possibility.

Were going to wait for the sure thing to come along. But wait! Oh right.
Waiting around for the sure thing to come along just means were stuck.

When Im working with a coaching client, I always know when were

heading into the most important work. Why? Because hell often ask:

What will they think of me?

This is the turning point. This is the opportunity to no longer be steered by

bullshit and superficiality. This is the doorway where he becomes his own
leader and blazes his own trail. This is where he steps into his Big Self.

I still hide out.

Ive been confronting this fear again as I write the book youre holding
in your hands right now. For years Ive done a wonderful job of hiding
behind the role of the podcast host. Ive hidden behind the stories and
experiences of my guests.

But that only lasted until I was called out continuously by others
including my coach and the coaches in my mastermind group.


Heres what I mean:

I completed the first draft of this book thinking I had bared my soul. The
two people helping me edit basically yawned.

Are you kidding me, Tripp? Come on. I want to hear more about you and
your story. Bring it on. Lets go.


I told them, But I dont share this stuff with just anyone. I only share it
with people that I feel safe with. And as I heard myself say it, I realized I
was letting fear get in the way of showing up powerfully.

The next draft. More vulnerability. Same response.

Come on, Tripp. Youre still holding back. Telling these stories and
experiences is going to help us connect with you and learn these lessons.
Please open up.

They were right. I read a lot. I know what helps me connect with the author
and his or her message. And yet here I was, playing defense. Wanting to


hide out. Wanting to stay safe. And by doing so, I was diminishing my

As I tell these stories that I rarely share with others, I know that thousands
of people are going to read this. Many folks wont care. Some will even
strongly dislike it (for whatever reason). But a few others will be served by
the risks Im taking.

When the fear comes up, instead of trying to convince some folks to care or
contort myself so others wont judge, I remind myself to play full out for
the people that will get it. Im going for what I want instead of playing not
to lose.


One of my favorite phrases is lets see as in, Lets see what happens if
you try this out.

Since we know the way forward is a path of experimentation then the first
part is to simply create a small experiment.

What are you wanting to try or learn? What conversation are you scared to
engage? What would that experiment be for you?


Make it something small.

And for the second part we need to challenge this idea that our precious
world will come falling down if we step outside of the norm.

Most of the time, our imagined fears are far more dramatic and inflated
than anything possible. Nonetheless if we let our imagined fears drive our
actions theyll keep us stuck.

Challenge these scary thoughts as if they were that imaginary monster

under the bed. Grab a flashlight and go look for yourself. Conduct the

Come on. Lets see.

Now youre in motion.


Im not one of those guys.

If a guy isnt blaming a lack of information (I dont know what to do or

how to do it) or a lack of resources (I dont have enough money or time
or ________) then hes up against the most insidious limiting belief:

Im not one of those guys.

Most of the time were stuck because were telling ourselves a story based
on a limiting sense of identity. For instance:

Im not a startup founder, Im just a guy who manages investments and


Im not a mentor, Im just a guy who starts and runs companies.

Im not an author and speaker, Im just a guy who helps people with their
lives and businesses.

Believing this crap means we dont see the opportunities to grow and
change and take the very next step thats right in front of us.


This disconnect between reality and identity can run deep and undermine
what we truly want to create in this lifetime. In essence were telling
ourselves we dont deserve all that life has to offer.

Now lets see how deep this limiting belief can go:

Im not one of those guys who lives an extraordinary life.

Im not one of those guys who has a loving, drama-free intimate


Im not one of those guys who creates great fortune and then allows
himself to enjoy it.

Im not one of those guys who deserves to have great health, wealth, love,
pleasure, meaning, and fulfillment in my life.

Letting these stories lead our life means that no matter how hard we work,
we will always find a way to push away the good fortune and love that is
ours to receive. It robs us of our opportunity to experience great love, joy,
and fulfillment. This is why its so damn insidious.


Pushing away the rewards of our efforts means that at some point well be
exhausted and depleted because were not allowing ourselves to receive,
recover, and refuel.

Heres how this has shown up in my life:

One day I was talking with my coach. I was successful but scared to admit
that I was a bored with my coaching practice and podcast. I had been in a
good groove, but now it was time to grow. I was resisting the call.

It was time to step things up, and I didnt see the next possibility. But it
was obvious to my coach.

He said, Tripp. Youve always coached the listeners of The New Man. What
if its time for you to also coach the guests you have on The New Man?

I felt like something shattered in my brain. I never realized that I had

placed this limitation on myself. Coach the authors and thought leaders
and influencers of the world?

Who me? Im not that guy.

And yet I already had done this. There were several people who had been
guests on my show who had become clients. But in my mind I brushed it


off as some kind of fluke. I never let it sink in. I was still telling myself a
small, untrue story about who I was and what I did in the world. Now it was
time to align this story with reality.

I am that guy.

And with that adjustment in mindset, my actions are different. I see doors
where I had previously only seen walls. I see and treat myself differently.
And therefore the world treats me differently now, too.


Rooting out these limiting beliefs is challenging to do on your own. Its like
performing surgery on yourself. That said, if Im working with someone Ill
ask them certain questions to help them see where they may be blocking
what they truly want from entering their lives.

Grab your journal and complete at least five responses for each of these
sentence stems on your own (if they fit for you):

Im not one of those people who has solid, loving relationships

because __________.
Im not one of those people who has a lot of free time because


Im not one of those people who is in great shape because __________.
Im not one of those people who has financial security because
Im not one of those people laughs a lot and enjoys life fully because

This will help you see the toxic beliefs that limit your opportunities. And
then ask yourself, Is this really true?

What if its not completely true?


No matter what I do, its never enough.

Early on in life many of us learned how to jump through hoops and

measure ourselves against others through numbers - grades, SAT scores,
how much a guy could lift, how many girls he had dated, etc..

For many, we learned how to find direction and purpose by playing some
kind of game, outperforming others, or achieving a score for whatever we
did. Winning that game made us feel that we were enough, that we were
special, loved, or accepted. It made us feel safer in the world.

This progressed into our adult lives if we got a hot shot career, earned a
specific amount of money, or owned a house in a certain neighborhood. We
believed that these things identified who we are as people. The idea of
going backwards ushered in anxiety.

As a way to deal with these fears, many of us

bought into an unconscious belief:

If I just make enough money, if I just have enough _________, then Ill be
ok. Everything else will work out.

We assumed that if we performed well with the objective, measurable

stuff, then our confusing world of fears, emotions, and relationships would


simply take care of itself. If we made enough money, if we were acceptable
enough, special enough -- you name it -- wed be safe from the challenges
of the world.

Which would be great if it was true.

It reminds me of that story about John D. Rockefeller when he was asked,

How much money is enough money?

To which he replied, Just a little bit more.

In other words, its a trap. No matter what this part of our psyche is
seeking, itll never be enough.

This part of us is never satisfied.

As a guy begins to wake up and realize the truth that things dont
magically work out if hes successful, he begins to say things like:

Ive gotten to this point and I thought things would be different. I thought
Id be fulfilled. I thought Id have the relationships I always wanted. I
thought Id be able to relax. I thought all of this would be enough. But its
not. Doing this stuff used to make me feel good but not anymore. Now


what? Im sick of living with this pressure. What the hell am I supposed to
do next?

He may be tempted to double-down and continue playing some version of

his game in hopes that itll scratch that itch once and for all. But deep
down he doesnt trust the game anymore, hes becoming cynical. And he
doesnt see any way out of it.

Keep in mind, success has many faces...

The Personal Development Jackass

My friend, Brian Johnson (creator of the amazing Philosophers Notes) once

called me a personal development jackass.

There have been times in the past where I had a hard time just doing
things for enjoyment. I felt like I always needed to be improving or
getting better.

After devouring personal development for so long, I had created a maze of

hurdles, conditions, and super high expectations for myself. Instead of
using these ideas and practices to create a more enjoyable life, I was using
them as a way to measure my self worth. I was trapped in a game of trying
to be enough by becoming perfect -- as ridiculous as that sounds.


My inner critic was on steroids!

I couldnt just enjoy my life because there was always something to

improve. I was constantly sending myself the message that I wasnt doing
enough. As a result, I was in a chronic state of disappointment.

Self-acceptance? Personal enjoyment? Sure. But only after things are

better than they are now!

(Im describing this as if its all in the past, but the truth is I continuously
practice gratitude, self-love, and self-acceptance to keep this critic from
controlling my life and ruining my day.)

Making an Escape

Deep down I unconsciously believed that if I did this personal development

stuff the right way then Id be able to outrun and escape the discomfort,
insecurities, and vulnerabilities of life. I wanted to believe that this growth
would somehow protect me from the scary stuff -- being judged or hurt by
others, worrying about finances, worrying about the future, you name it.

Deep down, I was trying to outrun the things I didnt like about me. I
believed that winning this game was the way to be enough -- to finally be
lovable and acceptable to myself.


I was so focused on getting it right that I minimized my inner authority.
Because there was always something to improve, I was convinced that I
was lacking something. In this small mindset, I was disconnected from my
sense of wholeness my Big Self.

Are You a Loser?

Being a perfectionist is just one way that this judgmental mindset can
dominate our lives. For others it may be about achievements, money, being
the best, or being extraordinary in some way.

Regardless, this happens when we attach our self worth and well being to
the outcomes of our efforts. It happens when we define who we are by what
we do. For the guy playing small, these two things are one and the same.

In the herd mentality we may say, Win the game and youre a winner.
Losing makes you a loser. We dont see that winning the game simply
means we won the game or that losing doesnt suddenly define us as
losers. In this small mindset we dont see that theres daylight between the
outcome of the game and what defines us as a person.

This explains why some folks get really bent out of shape when they lose
anything. Its not about the money or whatevers at stake for them the
loss is an attack against them as a person.


Shift into great freedom and power.

What if your personal and professional growth no longer needed to prove

that you were special or acceptable? What if your success didnt need to
protect you from the judgements of others (or yourself)? What if your well-
being wasnt attached to the outcome of whatever youre creating?

If you want to shift into a truly powerful mindset - The Big Self - its time
to recognize that on a fundamental level were not defined by what we do
or how well we do it.

Instead of waiting until were perfect or successful to accept who we are,

it means learning to love and appreciate ourselves as we are right now -
including the stuff that were not so crazy about.

Wait a second - what about goals, growth, and


I want to make this very clear: Wanting to grow and improve and learn and
succeed are not bad, unhealthy, or wrong. Not at all. Its the motivation we
want to keep in check.


We fall into a trap when we seek success as an escape from our lives and
who we are right now. We fall into a trap when we use this stuff to cover up
our imperfections.

Because no matter how hard you try to run away from yourself and the
things you dont like about yourself, well, they just run right along with
you. And no amount of money, status, or wins are going to make a lasting

Itll never be enough. In this game, theres no way to win.

Take the pressure off. Comparing yourself to others

and beating yourself up stops now.

We dont have to buy into our negative circus-funhouse-mirror perspective

in order to make positive changes. We dont have to believe the ads and
brands that prey on these limiting beliefs and tell us well finally feel
complete once we consume the product theyre selling. We can face our
fears head on and improve our lives and careers and relationships without
being motivated by fear, scarcity, and self-criticism.



Now it would be great if we could just snap our fingers and make this
gratitude and self-acceptance stuff stick. But it takes practice. After all, if
youre like me youve spent decades developing your inner-critic and
awareness of whats not enough.

When fear and self-criticism begin to tear us down, we want to be able to

quickly come back to our Big Self. The questions below are designed to
help you tap into your Big Self and reveal what is most valuable to you.
Grab your journal and use these questions to exercise that muscle of inner
authority, power, and self-acceptance:

How would I treat myself if I was already successful? How can I live
that way now?
How would I live if I had nothing to prove to myself or anyone else?
What would I do if I wasnt afraid of what others might think of me?
What would I do if I wasnt attached to how much money it would
What would I do if I wasnt worried about winning or losing?
What would I do if I didnt have to be extraordinary or special?
What would I do if I wasnt trying to figure out how it might get me
ahead in some way?


What would I do if I wasnt worried about being better or improving
in some way?
What would I do simply because I enjoyed it?

Notice if you feel more free simply by answering these questions

truthfully. You may find yourself saying, Could I really live that way?
Could my life really be that simple?

If you continue to develop this awareness youll learn through experience

that the lasting peace and relief were seeking isnt a result of winning
(even though thats a lot of fun). Its not on the other side of being

That peace and relief is, however, directly tied to our ability to be grateful
for what we already have, to appreciate ourselves and our lives simply as
they are including our desire to make them better.

Click here to listen to my former client Kamal Ravikant discuss his journey
to self-love and acceptance. Its an amazing story about how he fell apart
as his startup was coming apart -- and what he did to pull himself out of
that hole. I highly recommend reading his book Love Yourself Like Your Life
Depends On It.


Next Steps
Thanks for taking the time to read this book. I hope youve found a few
helpful ideas to use in your own life, business, and relationships.

If you havent done so already, check out the mindset and relationship
audio courses available at Its free to become a

And if youd like to go deeper and discuss applying these ideas to your life
or business, you can reach me via

Heres to you living your best life with freedom, joy, and true power.

With gratitude,

Tripp Lanier