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4 Elements of Emotional Wisdom

Is It Okay to be Really Sad? 4 Elements of Emotional Wisdom

It's Okay to be Really Sad

Around the same time my Grandfather died last year, my son’s best friend moved away. I told Ben, "It's okay to be sad." The kid’s parents bought a beautiful new home across town, so my son has lost his favorite friend, the kid who sat next to him every day at lunch. To my little boy, it seems unfair. And although losing a friend he had only known six months pales in comparison to losing the patriarch of our family, the same truth applies to both: it's okay to be really sad.

When we prevent ourselves from experiencing the full spectrum of human emotion, it's like we're sawing off an arm or leg with a dull butter knife. It's hard, painful, and unnecessary work. In denying ourselves the right to feel angry, sad, or disappointed - anything but joyful - we're amputating pieces of our souls. This just causes more trauma that will eventually, stubbornly, rise to the surface.

We treat much of our trauma and pain the same way sickness is treated in the Western world. Too often, we treat the obvious symptoms while ignoring the root cause. Over-the-counter cold medicines are designed to treat the effects of the illness: a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and congestion. They make us feel better because we can’t see the symptoms anymore, but the virus is still wreaking havoc on our systems.

It’s the same when we feel overwhelmed. We might use words like anxiety, stress, despair, worn out, exhausted, or just plain done. If we aren’t dealing with a genuine psychiatric diagnosis, we’re describing intense emotions that we are used to stuffing down or covering up. But what would happen if we stopped trying to squelch or rush through it? What if we asked our emotions what they’re trying to communicate to us? Isn’t listening to our inner voice a great mark of wisdom?

It's okay to be really sad: the truth about emotional wisdom. via @iamsteveaustin #emotionalintelligence #catchingyourbreath

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4 Elements of Emotional Wisdom

What is emotional wisdom? 

Emotional wisdom is the collective knowledge and experience that result from having lived a life of emotional diversity. You obtain emotional wisdom by learning from past mistakes and taking that which you’ve learned into the future with you. It is give-and-take: you receive the experiences and decide what serves you the best to remember and use in the future.

Our emotions are continually giving us messages about what feels good and what doesn’t, what feels right and what feels wrong, what is acceptable and what isn’t, and the ultimate direction we should be going. Our emotions tell us when things are great, or when they need to be improved.

In denying ourselves the right to feel angry, sad, or disappointed - anything but joyful - we're amputating pieces of our souls. via @iamsteveaustin #catchingyourbreath #emotionalintelligence

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In this article, we’ll examine 4 steps to help you achieve greater emotional wisdom.

  1. Listen: A huge part of developing emotional wisdom is in learning how to listen to and interpret the experiences we have. By listening to your emotions, you can gain a broad understanding of what’s going on inside you. What’s going on inside you can affect your physical health and mental well-being, so it pays to listen carefully. Doing so will help you manage stress, which can manifest itself in many negative emotions.

  2. Trust: Trust in your ability to feel and be felt, and interpret your feelings accurately. Trust that you can handle whatever emotions come your way - after all, you’re still here, aren’t you? We are all much more capable than we tend to give ourselves credit for, so while you’re listening to your emotions, trust that what you’re hearing is the truth. Never second guess yourself when it comes to feeling. Whatever it is you are feeling is valid and worthy.

  3. Reflect: Your ability to look at your emotions realistically concerning the situations with which they arise is essential in developing your emotional wisdom. Notice we said reflect - not react. As you are listening to your emotions, logically examine whether your emotion matches the situation that it came from. Often, we are used to telling ourselves stories regarding our feelings that simply aren’t true - they are just habits. Therefore, honest reflection is a valuable skill to possess.

  4. Adjust: The ability to adjust your emotion to your present situation is a sign of true emotional wisdom. Like anything, this takes practice, but when you learn to interpret the messages your emotions send you accurately, you can adjust as you feel necessary.

True emotional wisdom comes from looking within and listening carefully to what we feel to give us clues that help us live healthier, happier, more productive lives.



Watch this transformational webinar by author, life coach, and suicide survivor, Steve Austin. 

Do you control your emotions or do they control you? Read this. via @iamsteveaustin #catchingyourbreath #emotionalintelligence

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Avoid These 8 Mistakes to Help Your New Habit Stick

8 Mistakes to Avoid to Help Your New Habit Stick

I've started a new habit this year. It's called "Note to My Next Day Self." I'm learning about it from my friend Tracy Winchell, and it is transforming my life. But can we be real for a sec? Starting a new habit isn't easy to do. If you're starting a new habit, keep reading to learn 8 common mistakes to avoid.

The world is just beginning to understand the influence of habits on success and failure. There are so many things you do (or fail to do) each day that shape the quality of your life. Whether it’s flossing your teeth, contacting potential clients, doing push-ups, or saving money, it might not matter today or even six months from now. However, it can matter in a significant way down the road. 

If you're starting a new habit, keep reading to learn 8 common mistakes to avoid. #tinychanges @rebootspodcast @iamsteveaustin

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Imagine the difference between 2 identical people over 10 years: 

  • One saves 10% of his paycheck. The other saves nothing.
  • One brushes his teeth every day. The other isn’t very consistent.
  • One reads something useful each day for 20 minutes. The other doesn’t.
  • One exercises for 30 minutes each day. The other prefers to watch TV.
  • One practices the piano for 30 minutes each day. The other doesn’t.

What would the differences be in 10 years? The first person will have a healthy savings account, have all of his teeth, gained the knowledge from 100s of books, be in great shape, and know how to play the piano. The other won’t have any of those things. 

You can rely on positive habits to change your future for the better! #tinychanges

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Building a new habit is much easier when you avoid the common pitfalls that can derail your efforts. Avoid these mistakes when trying to develop new habits:

1. Trying to build too many habits at once.

Changing a little at a time is the key to ultimately evolving a lot. We feel uncomfortable when trying to change too much at once. How many habits can you build at one time? That depends on the habits you’re considering, but a good rule of thumb is no more than three.

2.A lack of patience.

Habits can take a while to take hold. You might have heard that it takes 21 days to build a new practice, but that’s been found to be the minimum. The most comprehensive study on habit development found that it can take nearly 300 days to form a habit in some cases. The average is 66 days.

3. Failing to prepare for the obstacles.

Think about the challenges you’ll face and plan for ways to deal with them. For instance, if you want to go to the gym after work, but the gym is too far away, or the traffic is horrible at that time, it’s going to be very difficult to be successful. Plan for going at a time that will be easier for you or pick a gym that’s closer to your home or work.

4. Choosing a habit that won’t have a significant impact on your life.

Since you can only create a couple of habits at a time, pick something that will have far-reaching effects. For example, meditation can impact your life in many ways.

5. Trying to change too quickly.

Instead, build up to the habit you want to acquire. If you're going to develop the habit of flossing your teeth, start with one tooth. Do one push-up. Take an evening walk for one minute. Get in the habit of doing the action and then increase the duration. Make it so easy that you can’t possibly fail to do it.

6. Believing that slow progress isn’t relevant.

It can be hard to believe that doing one push-up will ever matter. But one leads to two. Two becomes five. Five eventually becomes 25 or more. How much progress have you made in the last year? Maybe going from one to 25 push-ups in a few months might not be so bad after all.

7. Focusing too much on the benefit of the habit.

Results can take a while to appear. For example, if you adopt a walking habit to lose weight, you’re not going to jump on the scale after your first walk and see any weight loss. Focus on the development of the habit. Be excited about growing your new habit.

8. Failing to control your environment.

Your environment matters. It’s a lot harder to get yourself to play the guitar each day if you keep it in the closet rather than setting it out where you can just pick it up. It’s harder to stick to a low-carb diet plan if your house is full of bread, donuts, chips, and pasta.

Give yourself the best chance of success. Avoid underestimating the usefulness of positive habits and the negative impact of poor practices. We don’t think about our habits, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Creating effective habits will lead you to a life you enjoy!

Creating effective habits will lead you to a life you enjoy! #tinychanges @rebootspodcast @iamsteveaustin

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On Friday, January 18th at 11 am CST, I'd love for you to join my friend, Tracy Winchell and me for a free webinar. We’re gearing up for a workshop to show you exactly how this works. It’s called TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled. It’s Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:00.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here.

  • You’re not alone if your New Year’s resolve has fizzled.
  • You’re not alone if you expect way too much from yourself.
  • You’re not alone in unnecessarily beating yourself up.

My friend Tracy and I will teach you how to unfollow the annoying voices in your head and learn to follow the voices who will tell you the truth about yourself - compassionately and with love and grace.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up.

Click here to join us in the LIVE workshop - where we’ll show you how.

TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve Has Fizzled is Friday, January 18th at 11am CST.

Click here to grab your seat.

If you’re already beating yourself up because the New Year is a lot less shiny and bright, please join us.

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Encouragement for When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled

Tiny Changes: What to do When Your New Year's Resolve has Fizzled

"92% of people won’t make it to February with their 2019 goals. Don’t be 92% of people."

~ Jon Acuff

Depressing, isn’t it?

We, humans, create grand expectations for a brand new year and for ourselves, but so often we’re busted before we even get used to writing the new date.

It’s even worse than we think it is because for every wrecked resolution, every habit that never fully hatches, and every promise to paint a healthier, happier, harmonious portrait of our lives, we - in the words of author James Clear - “…lose sight of who we are and what we can become.”

When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. What we say we will do is pretty often an unrealistic expectation.

When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. #tinychanges

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Jon Acuff in FINISH: Give Yourself the Gift of Done tackles perfectionism.

One person described it this way: “I start with the belief that I could do something. Then I get all excited and start dreaming. At first, I feel confident and like I know what I am doing. Then my dreams get big. Then I want perfection. Then all of a sudden I feel inadequate to do the job because I don’t know how to do it at that level. Then the dreams die, and the goal is forgotten. The best part is most of the time all that I mentioned above is mental. I never actually started anything.”


This has been me, but I’m changing my tune.

How? Lots of ways. Mostly, though, I’m learning how to set reasonable expectations for myself and other people.

You know what? It doesn’t happen overnight - just because I “decided” to live life differently. Don’t get me wrong, the decision to be different and to do life differently is important. But lasting change comes as a result of a series of daily choices.

You know, habits.

The RIGHT habits! Not like the ones a lot of us have already messed up on this early in the new year. But simple ones. Practices that don’t require us to be perfect and only take a couple of minutes to do. (Keep reading to learn more about some new tiny habits that are WRECKING me for good.)

But first, let me ask you a question...

What’s the number one frustration you have with yourself? The thing you tell yourself the most?

  • Is it that you’re a failure?
  • That you’re not smart?
  • That you’re a quitter?
  • That you’re weak?

One more question…

What could happen if you learned to stop beating yourself up?

What could happen if you learned to stop beating yourself up? #tinychanges

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James Clear is a habits guru who wrote the book Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.

Clear explains how our identities and habits are intertwined:

This vicious cycle of beating ourselves up spirals and spirals and we no longer know how to be kind to ourselves. We no longer know how to set reasonable expectations and achievable objectives with weight loss, fitness, career goals, family objectives, and standards for behavior. We lose sight of who we are and what we can become.

Clear talks about building tiny habits that change the way we see ourselves, giving us the confidence to stack habits and routines onto our first habits, and ultimately improving our lives for the better.

A few weeks ago my friend Tracy Winchell of the Reboots Podcast told me about one of her favorite journaling habits. Every few days she writes a note to her next day self (maybe you’ve seen me practicing this on Instagram and Facebook). Tracy tells me this singular habit has helped her change the way she sees herself.

Through this exercise, Tracy has learned to encourage her next day self, and to set expectations for her attitude toward herself and others. She shared one of her notes with me, and I was blown away! No really, I freakin’ LOVE this exercise (almost as much as I love my friend, Tracy.)

I knew right then that my people HAD to learn how to do this.

Because if James Clear and Jon Acuff are right and that our identities are wrapped up in our habits, then building a habit designed to change the tapes we play in our heads ABOUT OURSELVES is a freakishly powerful method for creating clarity!

For some of us, mid-January means a return to the same old same old: a return to bad habits, and giving up new ones we said would bring us a better 2019.

But we can choose a better way by making a decision to stop the negative self-talk. And then setting up a ridiculously simple method - that takes no more than 10 minutes a day - to change the tapes in our head.

Oh, yeah. And the method still works if we only do it 10 to 15 times in any given 30-day period.

It’s my friend Tracy’s “note to next day self” journaling technique, and it’s helped her send the lying jerks in her head back to wherever the hell they came from. And it can do the same for you and me.

On Friday, January 18th at 11 am CST, I'd love for you to join my friend, Tracy Winchell and me for a free webinar. We’re gearing up for a workshop to show you exactly how this works. It’s called TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled. It’s Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:00.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here.

  • You’re not alone if your New Year’s resolve has fizzled.
  • You’re not alone if you expect way too much from yourself.
  • You’re not alone in unnecessarily beating yourself up.

My friend Tracy found freedom from the negative self-talk during a time of massive change in her life. She was walking through the hell of losing a job, selling her house, moving in with her mom, and dealing with the loss of a close friend. And we’re going to show you a ridiculously simple method (that will take less than 10 minutes, a few days a month) that will help you kick your negative self-talk to the cub.

"My soul sometimes feels like a Twitter feed where I’m following a million of the most annoying people ever, and I can’t find the Unfollow button."

-Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox

Is this you?

It’s no way to live, is it?

If you're ready to take a bold step toward choosing NOT to FEEL THIS WAY ANYMORE, sign up for our free webinar.

My friend Tracy and I will teach you how to unfollow the annoying voices in your head and learn to follow the voices who will tell you the truth about yourself - compassionately and with love and grace.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up.

If you're feeling like this year is a lot more of the same old stuff: procrastinating on building new habits, failing to give up old habits you don’t want anymore, and beating the crap out of yourself, you’ll want to hang with us for this webinar.

  • If you’re ready to stop beating yourself up because you want to change but can’t quite make it happen…
  • If you’re ready to set some reasonable expectations for yourself and get past the fear of failure - or success…
  • If you’re ready to FINISH something excellent in 2019
  • If you’re ready to change the relentless tapes in your head that say you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve a reasonably happy life…
  • If you’re ready to tell yourself the truth - the good, the bad, and the ugly - about who you are and who you want to become in 2019…

Click here to join us in the LIVE workshop - where we’ll show you how.

TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve Has Fizzled is Friday, January 18th at 11am CST.

Click here to grab your seat.

If you’re already beating yourself up because the New Year is a lot less shiny and bright, please join us.

For now, though, rest easy. Don’t worry about it if your New Year’s resolve has already fizzled. You’re normal!!! And it’ll be okay. I promise.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up for this free webinar, "TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year's Resolve has Fizzled." with @iamsteveaustin & @rebootspodcast #tinychanges

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11 Ways to Practice Mindfulness without Meditation

How to Gain Immediate Access to My Exclusive Weekly Affirmations

If you’re a fan of Catching Your Breath: The Podcast and all of my self-help content, you’re going to love my brand-new weekly affirmations. For just $5 per month, you can support my work with Catching Your Breath, plus gain immediate access to my exclusive weekly podcast affirmations. Think of it as a weekly permission slip to slow down and catch your breath.

Support Catching Your Breath: The Podcast, and get VIP access to my new exclusive, patron-only content by going to today!

Currently available to patrons-only:

  1. 11 Ways to Practice Mindfulness without Meditation
  2. I Love Myself Because I am Worthy of Love

Support the show. Get VIP content. It’s that simple.

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When you’re tired of all the fighting.

My strongest desire of all? To belong.
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great…” -Maya Angelou
(from Braving the Wilderness, by Brene Brown)

The Worst Kind of Hangover

When I started writing Catching Your Breath, I knew I’d have to get really honest. No pretense. No masks. Strip it all away and get nekkid.

So I did.

And since the book released in October, I’ve had what Brene Brown would call a “vulnerability hangover.” So, I’ve been pretty quiet about my personal life lately, choosing to focus on creating courses and self-help topics, rather than the deep things that roll around in my soul on a regular basis.

It’s safer that way, I say to myself.

Just market yourself as the expert.

You won’t offend as many people if you’re not so personal.

You’ll ostracize yourself less.

Give the personal stuff a rest - you deserve a break.

As a result, I’ve been avoiding my emotions. I do it really well.

I’ve chosen to listen to and encourage others in their pain and confusion and sense of being “stuck,” while ignoring my own needs and watching my soul wither in the process. Pouring myself out, and wondering why my cup feels constantly empty. One friend calls it "compassion fatigue."

The emotions bubble up, and I swallow them back down and move forward.

Keep writing. Put your ass back in that chair and get to work, mister.

This might be a strange way to describe it, but my soul feels sad. Sort of like the grape that’s been left too long in the noonday sun without access to whatever gives it life and fullness, and all that’s left is a wrinkly raisin.

And who really likes raisins?

I’m not in a dark place. I’m mentally well. I’m healthy. I’m happier than ever in the roles that matter most in my life: husband and daddy. What I’m struggling with is my lack of feeling connected to a larger community. My friend Stephanie says the desire to belong is innate, and she’s right: I’m feeling like I don’t belong. And that makes me sad.

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great…” -Maya Angelou

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Living in the middle is a real struggle.

The natural question that follows is, in the middle of what?

It feels like being in the middle of everything, and nothing. It’s a feeling of being “stuck”. Of fitting everywhere and nowhere all at once.

I feel in the middle politically (socially liberal AF, but fiscally conservative). One part of me is incredibly passionate about social justice and matters of equality. And the other part of me is so sick of the fighting and protests and all the yelling.

There’s a side of me that wants to shut down all my extracurriculars, work my predictable 9-5 job, pay my bills, and be left alone. No more sharing. No more trying to help. No more believing that I might have something to say. But there’s another side of me with a real desire to lead and encourage.

My strongest desire of all? To belong.

My strongest desire of all? To belong.
Insert Thrive Leads Shortcode

God Stuff

Theologically, I’m in the middle of not knowing. One the one hand, I’m desperate to believe in the Eternal Something that is greater than me. And on the other hand, I don’t want to debate theology. I’d really LOVE to belong to a small group of some kind, but I’m so scared of getting involved because we live in a time when everyone feels the need to poke holes in your perspective and try to “save” you. I'm not looking for that.

I just want to belong somewhere, just as I am, Billy Graham.

I’d really like to go to a Christmas Eve Candlelight service this year, but I’d like for no one to assume that it means I believe in a virgin birth or worship White Jesus. I’d love to sing, “O Holy Night” and embrace the beauty of Advent. But if it’s just for the sake of nostalgia, is that okay?

I miss the days when Brennan Manning's Ragamuffin Gospel was tangible and as refreshing as a glass of sweet iced tea. I could sense God with me all the time, even in the midst of the mess. And as much as I’d love for my spiritual life to feel that sweet and simple again, right now it doesn’t.

I know in the deepest part of my being that I’m still loved by God (whatever that means), that I am the beloved. I think my problem is that I get stuck in my head way too often, and don’t allow myself to live from the center of my heart. I really struggle to just let my mind rest. It’s not easy for me to let my spirit breathe. I’m always trying to figure out the formula. (And what if there isn’t a formula at all?)

I think this could be the greatest gift of a safe community: the invitation to get out of our own heads and live from a place of love. But people are scary!

Oy, the struggle is real.

Finding myself in the middle - more hungry for kindness than to be proven right - is a really lonely place. All around me, everyone is taking sides. Fighting for their particular thing, and many of them are just and worthy fights. But I don’t see many people being willing to simply stand in the middle, choosing to listen to the angry ones as well as the wounded ones. Yet that’s precisely the place where I feel called: to respect and embrace the humanity of everyone.

This shit is not easy.

I don’t want to fight anymore. I’m exhausted from all the ways we’re told to care about every single thing. I’m tired of every ant hill being turned into somebody’s mountain. I’m bone tired from all the demonizing of “the other.” My soul is weary because I genuinely believe there is no “other,” just a thousand different faces, born of the same Source. That we all belong.

 There is no “other,” just a thousand different faces, born of the same Source. We all belong.

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All We Need is Love

I also don’t want to have to prove myself to you. I don’t need my theology or politics to be right. I also don’t have a desire to prove you wrong. There was a season when I wanted to fight, but these days I just want to love and be loved in return. I want to sit around the table and break bread and drink grape juice (or pizza with Jack and Coke) and embrace our shared humanity. I want to look you in the eyes and find our common ground. I want to love people til it hurts, but I’m not sure where I belong right now. I don’t know what to do with that.

Isn’t a sense of belonging central to our humanity? In the most tribal parts of our brains and heritage, don’t we desperately need the assurance that we belong somewhere? Is there a place, community, or shared conversation, for those of us who land in the middle?

In this wobbly, uncertain season of my life, what I’d love more than anything is to belong to a community where safety, empathy, and kindness are the foundation of everything that happens, where we have honest conversations around the issues that really matter. And sometimes we just sit and rest in the knowledge that every little thing is gonna be alright.

I’d love to have access to regular doses of honesty, stillness, and a community that embraces one another exactly as we are. No “man” with all the answers. Just friends who sit around on couches or at coffee shops or bars and listen. Listen with the goal of learning, not converting. Listen from a place of curious compassion. Listen so we can love better. Listen because we genuinely care about the soul of another. Listen, because we’re sick of all the talking points. Listen because everything and everyone belongs. Just listen.

I’d like to land there - softly, quietly - without a lot of fanfare. And just be welcomed, gently.

I don’t know where I fit. But could I sit next to you?

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6 Tips for Starting Over

6 Tips for Starting Over – Rather watch instead of read? Click the video below!

Before we ever move into the New Year, we have to let go of our yesterdays.

Letting go of anything can be painful. You may need to let go of a person or an idea that you’ve held on to for years, but now know that they’re negative forces in your life and you must let go or suffer consequences.

Before you take action to rid yourself of yesterday’s baggage, you must be willing to accept the changes that your new beginning will bring. You need to open up to the possibilities that lie ahead and not hang on to the bad memories and actions of the past.

You may be letting go of some bad habits in your life such as unhealthy eating, smoking or saying goodbye to a job that no longer holds a bright future for you. Intellectually, you may know that you have to let go in order to experience progress, but actually taking action is difficult.

When you’re finding it hard to let go of negative areas of your life and make way for new beginnings, here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Accept the past. Whatever you’ve done or been in the past is history. Only until you accept that past can you let go of it and set yourself free to move on to a better future.

  2. Take action by meditating. Meditation may not seem like action, but when you meditate, your brain is working overtime to bring clarity and focus to your life.

  3. Set your goals for the future. Nothing helps get rid of the past like looking toward the future. Align your goals with the life’s purpose you see for yourself.

  4. Don’t think of yourself as a victim of the past. Terrible things may have happened in your past, but when you continue to see yourself as a victim, you’re hanging on to yesterday rather than letting tomorrow guide you down a path of new and better beginnings.

  5. View past mistakes as opportunities. The horrific mistakes you’ve made in the past can be a springboard for making you a better person.

  6. Visualize yourself as the person you want to be. No matter how you want to change from what you were in the past, you’ve got to let go of that old image to begin creating the one you desire.

Believe in yourself and that you can let go of all of yesterday’s regrets and mistakes and make the future brighter. You’re only given this one life, so treat each day as if it was a gift. Unwrap it carefully and with excitement.

This is the kind of thing I’m doing in my 12 Days of Giveaways.

Today’s giveaway is an additional 8 Steps to Starting Over. It’s a brand-new PDF that will help you make 2019 your best year yet.

There are 11 more days of giveaways, so don’t forget to sign up right now. The link is in the description for this video, plus I’m putting it in the comments below. Sign up for FREE, transformative self-help content, right in your inbox!

Click here to sign up –

And don’t forget that my Catching Your Breath Academy sale ends tonight. If you sign up for the annual plan before midnight tonight, CST, you’ll save an additional $40 off the already discounted price.

What is the Catching Your Breath Academy?

As a VIP subscriber, you will gain access to my exclusive courses. Each month, you’ll receive a new self-guided course, based on proven self-help principles.

As a reader of my blog or books, you will now receive added content that only VIP members can see. And can I tell you something? You are going to LOVE these transformative and easy-to-digest courses!

You get…


As a subscriber, you gain immediate access to the Catching Your Breath Community on Facebook. Each new member shares an introductory post to build a sense of belonging.


As a member of the Catching Your Breath Community, you’ll have access to other members who are actively working to create calm and success in their personal life. The potential for new friendships and powerful partnerships is unlimited!


Each month, I’ll host a live video in the Catching Your Breath Community, where you can ask questions and have a chance to be coached by me on a topic you’re passionate about. Just imagine the power of someone watching your progress and being personally invested in your success.


In addition to the community, accountability, and coaching, you’ll receive five exclusive self-help articles each Monday, written by me, focused on the current month’s topic.

How it Works:

Members receive approximately 25 lessons per month (1 per day, Monday – Friday). You also have access to community, accountability, and coaching via the Catching Your Breath Community on Facebook.

Sign up for the Catching Your Breath Academy by clicking right here.

Before we ever move into the New Year, we have to let go of yesterday. #catchingyourbreath

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The 1 Question that Really Matters: Who Are You?

My Grandfather passed away on February 28, 2018. His tombstone simply reads, “Ben House: 1935-2018. Here lies a man.”

A couple of weeks ago, a member of my community suddenly died. The man was only 50, and he dropped dead in his office, shortly after lunch. There were no warning signs or significant health concerns. He left behind a partner and two children.

I think the saddest part of this story is that his obituary started with this headline, “John Long, 50, an Accountant.”

My grandfather’s tombstone and John Long’s obituary both made me pause and consider who I really am. I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit, considering what my own obituary might say.

How will my tombstone encapsulate my life?

What about you?

If those options are too morbid for you, how would you describe the essence of who you are in just a tweet?

I’ll tell you this, I don’t want my obituary to say, “Steve Austin, 80, an Interpreter.”

I hope mine will mention how a second chance saved my life. I want people to know what a dedicated family man I am; how, even in the midst of an imperfect life, my wife and I have created a marriage and a home some only dream about.

At my funeral, will my friends and colleagues talk about how I served the underdog, embraced the outcast, helped hurting hearts heal, and led overwhelmed people on the sacred journey from chaos to calm? I wonder if my kids will mention how much I love to study history and play the piano.

There might even be Deaf people at my funeral, in need of an interpreter. My point is not to discount my day job – I know it’s unique and a gift and has supported my family for more than a decade. My point is to say that I am much more than only a sign language interpreter.

But this story really isn’t about me. The big question is: who are you?

If that’s too hard to answer right this moment, maybe start with this one: where are you?

Have you ever walked into a new shopping mall only to be overwhelmed with the size and selection? Usually, right near the entrance, you will find a map that says “you are here.” Once you get a lay of the land, you can compare where you are to where you want to go.

Whether it is a mall or any other destination in life, it is vitally important to know EXACTLY where you are.

Knowing exactly how your life is working right now will:

  1. Allow you to appreciate what you are doing well and feel successful.

  2. Allow you to be motivated by the things you are unsatisfied with.

You need to know exactly where you are today at all levels of life. Take some time now, to write down:

  1. What are you happy with?

  • Health

  • Relationships

  • Money

  • Passion/Energy

  • Work

For the results you are happy with, write down why you are happy.

2. What are you unhappy with?

  • Health

  • Relationships

  • Money

  • Passion/Energy

  • Work

For the results you are unhappy with, write down why you are unhappy.

If you type a destination into Google Maps but fail to enter a starting point, you aren’t going to get very far. Without a starting point, the results would show you a map of the town you’d like to visit, but you’d never get any instructions on how to actually get there.

You have to know where you are before you can begin mapping out a plan for getting to the next destination. If you’re tired of spinning your wheels, it’s time to get clear on where you are. This is deeply personal work, but the results will change your life.

I’m thrilled to announce that enrollment is now open for the Catching Your Breath Academy!

Class starts December 31, 2018. You can join right now.

To get all the details and sign up today, just click here.