Saturday, January 1, 2011

Steve's Story

I feel blessed to have been born to parents that loved to serve and really valued their relationships with others. If I owe my success to anything, I believe it is witnessing and learning that.

As a young man, I milked cows in the summers, worked with my father in the sheet metal trade and at 15 worked at our family's new music store.

I loved to read and fortunately for me, my father left books lying around that were radically different than the ones I had access to in school. Reading books with titles like "The Magic of Thinking Big", "Psycho-Cybernetics", “How to Win Friends and Influence People"...... my life was forever changed. I learned that “giving up” wasn't an option.

Somewhere in this process I became "functionally unemployable". Besides being an aspiring Rock Star, no employer could offer me the financial future I desired. Commission sales and marketing was the only thing that made any sense to me. Not punching a clock gave me the freedom to do my music the way I wanted.

There was only one problem…..FEAR…..and a lot of it.

- Fear of girls
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of making phone calls
- Fear of what people thought of me
- Fear of anyone not liking me
- Fear of making a mistake
- Fear of failure and humiliation
-Fear of responsibility
- Fear of the dentist…to name a few

There I was, hell bent on succeeding in the two fields (sales or entertainment) that guaranteed I would have to face my fears.

I plunged forward, believing all the books and tapes that said I just had to want it bad enough (have a big enough “why”) to overcome my fears.

To accomplish this, in addition to all the sales and PMA books and tapes I could get my hands on, my life started including:

- Affirmations
- Vision Boards
- Goal Cards all over the place
- Visualizations
- PMA Rally’s
- Self-Improvement Seminars

I wish I could report that I was an immediate success at sales or Rock Stardom, but I can't.

It would be well over a dozen years before I could report anything close to business success. 12 years that included:

- Trying a couple dozen MLM opportunities
- Bending tin again
- Selling signs, advertising and insurance
- A car repossessed while giving a biz opp presentation
- Touring with a band
- A stint at pouring synthetic marble
- Bankruptcy
- A couple of years at a battery warehouse
- Dropping the Rock Star dream to raise 4 children

Watching me over those years you would have witnessed a person jumping from business to business, determined to get what he wanted. I was ultra optimistic and regardless of how tough things were, I would state that “everything was great”. Believing that I could not afford “the luxury of a negative thought” as that was “a down payment on an obligation to fail”. I stayed the course, not realizing consciously that I was jumping around to avoid really facing my fears.

One fateful day in 1984 I accepted the fact that what I had believed and been doing regarding money wasn't working. I had to do something radically different. Taking my biggest risk to date, I took $5000 I had borrowed to save our house from foreclosure and invested it in a training program called "The Future Millionaires Home Study Training Course on Empire Building." The training itself wasn't anything new or earth shattering but the relationships I made as a result of the national and local events changed my "Mindset" ever so slightly and set the stage for major improvements in every area of my life.

Almost immediately the insurance agency I had been struggling to maintain became profitable. We were able to sell the house and get a nicer one. I then created lucrative partnerships with a couple of my new mentors, sold my insurance agency, never to work again…. except from my home.

Never again would I have to miss any of my children's school programs, be kept from coaching their sports teams or attending any of their activities because I was chained to an office.

Still, all this had little impact on reducing my fears, I had learned new ways to ignore them (exercise and staying busy) but they eventually showed up in another form of self-sabotage… severe joint pain, severe fatigue, weight gain….

In my continued search for better ways to handle my fears (with money and health issues now) my life ventured through a multitude of new experiences, including:

- Hundreds of health products…vitamins, minerals, herbs, oils, tablets, capsules, juices, homeopathics, patches, tinctures, cookies, powders, sprays, ointments, flower remedies, electronic energy devices……

- NLP, fine tuning my sensory acuity, mirroring, re-patterning & re-framing

- Listening to and creating subliminal recordings

- Several Experiential Trainings where I pounded on chairs and screamed for hours, walked through love tunnels, sang “The Impossible Dream” with all I could muster, was the brunt of the foulest language I had ever heard, confronted my comfort zones with “stretches”, played the Red – Black game, walked on hot coals and broke target arrows with the soft part of my throat in Hawaii

- Listening to positive tapes for 14 hours a day & night

- Getting in touch with and hugging my inner child

- Bonding with my male and female nature

- Primal screaming

- Ropes courses, trust falls and leaping from poles 40 feet in the air, blindfolded

- Yoga, chanting and meditating for hours at a time

- Fasting, cleansing & colonics

- Confessing all my “sins”

- Getting in touch with my “guardian angels”, earthbound possessing spirits and “ascended masters”

- Sweat lodge and finding my power animal

- Past life regressions and re-birthing

- Rolfing, Cranial Sacral, Reiki, Kinesiology

- Hypnotherapy, Rapid Eye, Auditing and Releasing

- Brain re-patterning

- Psychotherapy, group, marriage counseling and retreats

- Personality, I.Q., psychosis testing


- Physic Surgery in the Philippines 

- Singing to myself in the mirror... and more

Over 20 years have past since I made that fateful $5000 decision in 1984. Years that included all the above and more:

- Creating large successful organizations in multiple MLM companies

- Lots of new friends as a result of the above and heartbreak over watching less than 5% of the people that joined me in those companies have the same experience that I did, regardless of how much I would try to do for and with them

- The excitement of traveling to exotic places

- New homes, new cars, new toys

- Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain and gain

- Unwise decisions, including challenging the IRS which resulted in a 2 ½ year long, very expensive legal battle and 10 months in federal prison for eventually pleading out to: “aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return”. While there, my 30 year marriage ended in divorce, my children struggled and I was unable to be there for them. I could only watch as I lost most everything I had identified myself by. As I was forced to face so many of my FEAR demons head on, this turned out to be the best experiential training I’d ever attended.

- I discovered I could be happy with nothing but myself

In the process I learned some valuable lessons:

- Relationships are far more valuable than knowledge or skills.

- Knowing better doesn't equate with doing better.

- Making yourself or anyone else feel worse, to get them to do better, does not produce long term positive results.

- Pain is mandatory in life, suffering is optional and is created by our opinions. (And… most pain separated by time becomes humor.)

- All things seem to eventually end up working together for good. (And… reminding someone of this when they are in the middle of a challenge doesn't do either of you much good.)

- Letting go of programmed beliefs and assumptions and allowing a deeper wisdom than our conditioned opinions to guide us to what might be beneficial in each situation... always works best.

- It is not about what I do differently but what I feel and speak differently that makes the difference. There are two worlds, one of Abundance and one of Scarcity. The world I see outside is a perfect reflection of the world I feel inside.

By far the best thing to come out of all that has happened in my life is my wonderful companion and sweetheart "Linda", our blended family of nine incredibly diverse children, their spouses and seven of the greatest grandchildren in the world.

Read Linda’s inspirational bio at www.LindaStay.com

3 comments:

alexandra1_atl said...

Good Morning Steve and Linda,
Can I relate to your bio or not!!

I have a similar list of careers, personal development books, tapes, seminars, churches, groups, positive mental training exerises...blah, blah, blah.

I completely know now that it is all about accepting and loving first ourselves then others. The thing is we cannot love others until we love ourselves. Then we can do amazing things and have the deep rooted self love.

All we can give is what we have. BUT the cool thing is that the way we learn to love ourselves is by giving to others all that we have to offer from the depth of who we are.

It has been a long road, hasn't it? Today I do not look for love or approval. I AM GIVING IT AND RECEIVING IT EVERYDAY! It is something, a great gift, that everyone wants.

Thanks for opening yourself and your experience for all of us to relate to.

Love,
Alexandra Barrett

Angela said...

Hi Steve

you are such a wonderful person that is why you are blessed. I know I will be learning from your experience.

I can relate to your positive experience in life which made you a good person inside and out. thanks for sharing!

Angela Dysuanco

David Walz said...

Steve,

How can I find out more?

David Walz
davwal01@gmail.com