Clément opens up about his own battles with anxiety, self-doubt and self-sabotage. He talks about his experiences, Pete Davidson’s depression and the various tools available to use that can keep us grounded, functioning and aligned with our center. If you suffer from anxiety, self-doubt and/or self-sabotage, check out this episode.
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[00:00:01] Clément: So I haven’t been publishing as much content. We haven’t had as many guests on lately. Things have just really taken over in my life and other areas and it’s not bad at all. It’s actually incredibly promising and there’s a lot of opportunities opening right now. So I hope that you bear with me. If you are someone who tunes in regularly, I want to apologize to you for that, but I wanted to record this as a result really quick before I run to my next meeting.
[00:00:27] And this episode’s all about self-sabotage. Self-sabotage has many different forms. It’s like a broad way of describing behavior that you manifest through your emotions, your trauma, your experience, which works against you.
[00:00:48] And you may not be aware of it, or you might be aware of it, but you just don’t know how to stop yourself from doing it. It’s getting in your own way. And there’s nothing worse than that because, if you can’t trust yourself to be your best leader or your best supporter, then who are you going to turn to?
[00:01:10] So Really what we’re talking about here is a fundamental way of seeing yourself that doesn’t serve you, that needs to change. And what’s happened in my life recently, is that I’ve started to notice thoughts re-emerging or resurfacing that I thought I had actually overcome.
[00:01:29] I believed I had moved on from transcended on from cured, but what’s really becoming clear now is that a lot of these deep seated traumas and behaviors, they really are difficult to eliminate. And in many cases, like probably my own, I don’t want to say, never say never, but I just feel like these are so deeply rooted in me from when I was younger and through my developmental years.
[00:01:59] That it will be very difficult indeed for me to get rid of these behavioral patterns and the thoughts that I have around self-sabotage and imposter syndrome, anxiety, those kinds of things. So look. I listened to an interview recently of Pete Davidson, the actor slash comedian from, I think it’s Staten island in the United States.
[00:02:25] And he was being, asked, are you suicidal still? Because he did try to kill himself, I think once recently. And to that he answered, I still feel depressed every day. It’s something that I’m not going to get rid of now, but what I do to deal with it is I recognize that, there are things that I can do.
[00:02:48] There are tricks that I can implement to get my mind into a better state to get myself moving and distract myself. So he recognizes something that I think many people maybe don’t, which is we have tools available to us. And this is something that I deal with on a daily basis. Especially more so, and I’m talking about anxiety, not suicidal thoughts, but anxiety definitely is a daily thing for me.
[00:03:23] And it’s really exacerbated by the kind of work that I do. It’s very fast paced, very I think a lot of things that I do are quite risky in nature because, I am very ambitious.
[00:03:36] So there’s a high level of anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis. And it’s exacerbated the more work that I’m doing, that’s high pressured, the more the anxiety sets in. I had a little bit of a falling out with one of my parents recently. Which isn’t a new thing, I’ve dealt with that in my whole life.
[00:03:54] But this was particularly upsetting because I felt like it was almost like a bait and switch. I We’d been getting on so well and you got to try to be as empathetic as possible with the people that you get hurt by the most. Because they all are coming from the certain angle and perspective.
[00:04:13] And if you can empathize with that, the chances are, you’re not going to be as upset or offended or any of those things. Beyond that it’s really difficult when it’s one of your parents and one of your family members. So if you’re listening to this and that’s you, then I completely relate to you.
[00:04:28] And I think regardless of whether you felt like it was anyone’s fault, whether they should or shouldn’t have done something or said something, you have a whole toolkit available to you where, you can, for example, when you feel depressed or anxious in the morning, all right, this is a proven technique, and bringing up another comedian in this Jerry Seinfeld, who is an incredibly popular comedian, he had the entire Seinfeld series back in the eighties and did recently on Netflix comedians in cars getting coffee. He’s a very funny guy, but he’s a self-made, as you would say, self-made incredibly successful person and he did it through pushing himself to do the very most difficult thing.
[00:05:19] That you can do in any profession, which is to literally go out there and bare yourself, right? Put your S become incredibly vulnerable and do your best. Not to let it get to you when you fail. Imagine what it’s like being a standup comedian and you go on stage every night and you’re just starting out and your jokes are like missing and people aren’t laughing and maybe even sometimes you’re getting booed.
[00:05:43] Can you imagine how hard that must feel and how much damage that must do to your ego? So he used to feel terrible in the mornings because he knew what was coming potential, crash and burn in front of an audience. But he said that the best thing you can do when you feel that way is not to stay in.
[00:06:05] But to get up immediately and start moving your body. And when you start moving your body, the chemical reactions that take place, things just start to flow and your able to get back to center again and feel a little bit more optimistic and energetic about the day. So moving your body.
[00:06:27] It might not even be walking. It could be stretching. It could be going to the gym, it could be doing anything. It could be having sex. It could be any of those things. Just moving your body and breathing is a great way to deal with any kind of anxiety or depression, or self deprecating mindsets and thoughts.
[00:06:49] And it’s helped me immensely. I go to the gym a lot. I’m starting to think now maybe a big reason of that is to deal with the anxiety that I have. experienced on a daily basis. So it could be a lot to do with that. I know that I feel a lot better generally speaking, when I’ve gone to the gym.
[00:07:05] I know that the gym isn’t for a lot of people whereas they’d rather a workout outside. I met a girl recently who is adamant that she’ll never set foot in a gym and, for her working out is having sex. That’s what she basically is saying which I found quite interesting, but she’s very honest and open about it and I think there’s nothing wrong with that.
[00:07:24] I think she’s got a great point. There’s no reason why that shouldn’t be your preferred source of exercise. It’s an amazing way to exercise physiologically mentally, emotionally. So, you know, There’s lots of ways. Actually bandaid that, especially at the beginning of the day now, throughout the day, these thoughts come back, the recur there are events that can trigger them.
[00:07:47] And I don’t like using that word because of how it’s being used lately today. But whenever you’re putting them in a position where, there’s a lot more pressure, socially on. That for me specifically is a very anxiety fueled situation and be in, because I have a lot of imposter syndrome and imposter syndrome is where you and I recently talked about imposter syndrome, but it’s where you worried that people are going to figure out that you just don’t know what you’re talking about because you already don’t believe that you can do what you do, which is ridiculous because.
[00:08:25] You’ve already done it, right? You wouldn’t be there if you hadn’t. I get the most pressure when I’m in a situation where there’s a lot of social pressure on me. A lot of people are relying on me to do something, but it could be having a meeting with a family member, because of his. Maybe you don’t want to see them because they’re going to remind you of all the things that they made you feel bad for, or that you felt bad for. When you interacted with them, they got angry with you when they shouldn’t have they told you that you were worthless, they called you names.
[00:08:55] They did all of these things, stuff that I’ve experienced too in my history. And I do also get anxious sometimes when I’m. When I have to meet with, let’s say my father, I do sometimes feel a recurrence of, dread and anxiety. Because I still haven’t been able to move on from a lot of that mentally and emotionally.
[00:09:14] There, there are so many ways that we can get to the root of these feelings, but this particular episode really is all about. Treating the symptoms because they’re very real. And I prefer not to go down the road of pharmaceuticals. I’ve never been a fan of using any of those kinds of drugs antidepressants to stimulate some kind of numbness.
[00:09:35] And placidness to. Whatever you’re reacting to mentally and emotionally, I think the best way, and it’s not as easy, it’s very easy to take a pill and wash it down with water and then just wait. That’s an easy way to deal with this. Okay. And I don’t judge you negatively if.
[00:09:52] How you’re dealing with your symptoms and that’s how you’ve been taught and told to deal with your symptoms. I’m not putting you in a bad batch. I’m just saying that it’s. I recognize that this is not the easiest route to just face your fears. Which is how I prefer to do it, because I recognize that the way out of this, or one of the ways out of this, right?
[00:10:16] So that you don’t let this control your life so that you can always rely on yourself no matter whether there’s an availability to the drugs, no matter whether there’s an availability to someone who can consult you and guide you and relax you with as an availability to a partner, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, whatever, who that you can spend time with to distract you.
[00:10:38] The preferred way that I choose is to face the fear. And I’ve been, look, I numbed myself a lot in the past. I used to be an alcoholic who’s to drink. For all intents and purposes, I probably still am an alcoholic because I think addiction, again, like this trauma addiction is something that all.
[00:11:00] I can stay with you for the rest of your life. All it takes is one drink on your back again, your brains, your whole body physiology is triggered again. So you know, Russell brand talks about that addiction being something that it’s not easy to eliminate that kind of behavior, that’s something that’s very well glued into place.
[00:11:21] So it’s all about maintenance, right? It’s all about using tools to help yourself stay on track throughout life, mentally, emotionally. Right spiritually tools. Now there’s so many people talking about tools. Mel Robbins is someone I quote often who has the five second rule, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And then you do what it is that you’re putting off or that, you need to do.
[00:11:47] It’s a mental. Tool. It’s very simple. It’s very accessible. Anyone can do it. There are there’s Byron Katie, who, if you haven’t heard of her is you might say enlightened. So she’s incredibly spiritual, very in touch with herself. She has something called the work and I’ve done that before. And I super highly recommend that I used to have chronic self-sabotage.
[00:12:13] And I found Byron Katie through an ex partner that I had at the time, Byron Katie has written a number of books on her experiences of transcending, the ego and becoming, very spiritual, spiritually enlightened. And she wrote a course or she wrote a program which is. A number of questions, like not a lot five questions I think.
[00:12:39] Okay. And it’s called the work and she wrote a book around it to explain it. And if you go to our website, Byron is B Y R O N. And then Katie with a I E the N K a T I E. If you go to her website and you look at the work it’s available, the program, the process rather is available on her website. So you get the process there and I highly recommend you go and do it because I did it.
[00:13:06] I spent about two hours doing it. It’s a thought process. It’s a way of flipping your paradigm upside down. If you feel like you’re not worthy by the end of that exercise, the goal is that you’re going to feel worthy because there’s no other way of looking at your situation. And you can use that for a lot of things, right?
[00:13:28] So it’s a very flexible process. I highly recommend that I used to have self-sabotage chronic self-sabotage to the point where, I’d get clients for my digital agency back in the day, I’d get clients. And I would be getting clients coming in, willing to pay me, ready to pay me. They already paid their bill and I would be putting the work off, putting it off.
[00:13:50] One day, two days, three days, four days, they’d be asking me, Hey, what’s going on? What’s happening with this? And I didn’t even reply. And that’s why it’s chronic. It was chronic self sabotage and I did the work and I figured out that I was so scared of letting people down of being a failure that I actually preferred to just avoid it completely.
[00:14:16] And that’s an ironic approach because that means absolute certain failure. But in my mind, that’s how I had chosen to deal with the problem. And it was a very damaging thing. I lost a lot of business and clients and reputation because of that. It was a very difficult part of my life that I had to recover from.
[00:14:36] And yeah, a lot of it stemmed from again, developmental years and my childhood growing up. And like I said, those things get, they get wired into you. They get glued into you. And if you’re the person who’s been trying to. Find ways to completely eliminate these behaviors from your from your reality.
[00:14:57] And yet you haven’t been able to do that yet. I’m not saying that you should give up trying to eliminate them, but I think at some point, acceptance can be a powerful thing because once you accept something, you somehow become more at peace. And then, maybe it won’t be a such a heavy thing and maybe it won’t take it.
[00:15:14] So harshly, like for example, Nowadays, when this happens to me and these kinds of like self-deprecating thoughts I’m not good enough. I I’ve never been good enough. I’m always a failure. All of these kinds of things that pop up in my head when I get these triggers they, I don’t get washed away with them, so to speak. I don’t let them affect me so much these days because I get that it’s something that people go through and it’s not necessarily the reality. It’s just a, like a program that’s on loop and I have these tools, so I just choose to accept it. Now, take a deep breath, for example, I meditate a little bit.
[00:15:55] I maybe stop what I’m doing and focus on something like meditation, or maybe what I do is I consciously allow the feelings to come through and not resistant because the more you resist something like this, the stronger it gets. So for me too, Not resist, whatever feeling or emotion I’m experiencing at that moment where I literally can’t leave.
[00:16:26] Let’s say in a meeting or if I’m on a deadline or right there. There’s some success in just. Saying to yourself. Okay, I’m going to let this pass. I’m actually just going to let it pass. I’m not going to resist it. It’s happening. There’s nothing I can do about it. It feels like I might be having a panic attack.
[00:16:47] It feels like it might be having an anxiety attack. I’m just going to sit with it. I know that it doesn’t kill me. I know that this has happened before and the worst has probably already had. And even if the worst does happen, I don’t think anyone’s really going to care that much because we’re all human.
[00:17:04] The kind of shit that people have to deal with these days. We know a lot of people who have to deal with a lot of shit and we don’t give them shit because of it. And in actual fact, we probably try to empathize with them even. And see them for what they really are, which is they’ve got valued offer.
[00:17:20] They’re a decent person, right? If they’re friends of ours we try to understand them, so as long as you don’t let this, as long as you do what is necessary to treat the symptoms. Okay. And you can still continue to work on the root cause. And I would recommend that. But, always try to brush up on your tools to deal with the most awkward, challenging moments when they occur.
[00:17:47] Because the chances are that it’s going to take some time to actually relieve yourself from them completely, and it might not ever happen. And that sounds awful. On this podcast, I try to be really. And again, I’m not saying that you can’t do that, but for me, I’ve come to the point now where, I’m 38 years old.
[00:18:05] I feel like many others before me, my life is going to be partly focusing on not letting my demons take me over take control. And I’m completely okay with that. Now. I know it’s not a nice view. It’s not nice to know that there’s that within you, that may rear its head and surface at times and be dreadful and make you feel terrible.
[00:18:30] And at times super depressed and anxious, but I think there is some huge growth personally. Growth in being able to deal with those things in a conscious manner and to have that kind of control is powerful. So pat yourself on the back, if you are. Dealing with this and it hurts, but you’re still going on and you’re still moving forward and you’re still doing the hard things.
[00:18:59] And you’re still in those situations where the anxiety arises and you’re dealing with it because that’s how you should be doing it. Do not give up being.
[00:19:08] Productive happy human being do not give up on that journey because that’s the best place you can be. And these things that you think that, you’re programmed per pattern of behavior, your mindsets, the things that people call you out for, that doesn’t mean that’s you, it’s just, it’s perhaps just a pattern that you need to have a better way to deal with.
[00:19:30] And you can work on getting to the root cause of it, but don’t let yourself judge your own value based on your negative thoughts and behaviors. So I’m going to leave this at that point. I hope this has been helpful for you as being cathartic and therapeutic for me.
[00:19:46] And I will see you on the next one. Take care, have an amazing week.