Momentum Podcast: 901

Final Episodes 2 of 6 The Trauma Advantage

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As Alex and Cadey, make the monumental decision to close down their company and podcast, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. In this episode, Alex delves into the topic of processing trauma and its profound impact on entrepreneurs' lives. Alex shares his own experiences and those of entrepreneurs he's worked with, highlighting the pervasive nature of unprocessed trauma and its manifestation in various aspects of life, from anxiety attacks to feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Through poignant stories and introspection, Alex illustrates how unaddressed trauma can hinder success and fulfillment, urging listeners to confront their own emotional wounds.

As Alex and Cadey embark on a new chapter in their lives, they invite listeners to join them in their quest for deeper connection, understanding, and contribution. With heartfelt gratitude for their listeners' support, Alex reaffirms their commitment to returning with a renewed sense of purpose and vision.

Full Audio Transcript

Thank You For Listening!

This is the Momentum podcast.

So many entrepreneurs experience success. They experience momentum. They start putting money in the bank. They have a business. It's actually working, but they still feel uncomfortable. They feel like they could lose it all. They feel like they can't spend their money. They feel like they can't move forward and still have all of these feelings that if you get the context, the reality of their situation, they don't make sense. This is one of the reasons why processing trauma and understanding your trauma gives you an unfair advantage as an entrepreneur.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so We can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, We are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.

Welcome everyone to episode two of the final six episodes of the Momentum podcast. Man, I didn't think I would feel this excited and this grounded and this, Validated by this decision for Cadey and I to close down our company and shut down this podcast and give ourselves some time and space to figure out what to do next. But it actually feels like one of the best decisions we've ever made. I just feel so congruent and so excited that we're doing this. And I'm also excited to share this topic with you today. When I sat down and decided that we're going to only have six episodes of the podcast left, I made a list of what I felt was the most important messages that are needed to be heard, the most important messages that I could share, and this one feels even more important than some of the other ones because the message in the market today about processing trauma or having anxiety or having feelings is so fundamentally challenging for me. And here's what I mean. The message in the market today that I've heard over and over again are things like, sometimes I feel anxiety, but I just push myself through it. Or, sometimes I feel like I can't really get something done and then I just motivate myself through it. Or sometimes I'm having negative feelings and challenges and then I just change my state and I don't feel them anymore. And now if you're somebody who's been in the personal development world, you've probably heard all about three of those things. And if you're someone like me, who's been in the personal development world. You probably actually tried to do those things. I know I did. I tried state changes. I tried not paying attention to my feelings. I tried not paying attention to my emotions. I tried doing something different. I tried going on a walk. I tried all kinds of things to try and get to a place where I felt comfortable, where I felt grounded, where I felt present. And I've seen this in my clients as well here's for me from my perspective, what unprocessed trauma and unprocessed Issues causes in an entrepreneur's life.

Now, I want to start this by saying if you don't feel like you have any issues, if you don't feel like you have negative feelings, if you don't feel like you have imposter syndrome or self doubt or any of those things, then maybe you don't need to process trauma or maybe you're in a place where you need to get more in touch with your feelings and understand what's really going on. But I don't want to impose this on you. So if you don't feel like you have any of these things, this episode is probably not for you. But if you're one of those entrepreneurs that does feel imposter syndrome every once in a while, or feel some challenges getting things done, or you have floods of emotions come up, or maybe you're one of the entrepreneurs like me who has experienced panic attacks or anxiety attacks where they just shut you down. I can remember As a kid, I used to have them all the time. They got classified as asthma attacks. I've seen anxiety and panic attacks classified as asthma attacks, as seizures, as all kinds of different stuff. And for me, they were usually called asthma attacks. But what would happen is I could feel some discomfort in my body. My face would get flushed, my chest would get tight, I'd start breathing radically and it was like a runaway freight train that took me in the direction of not being in control, not feeling grounded, not feeling present, not feeling in my body. And it was very dramatic. And I've actually watched more than one entrepreneur go through this in my presence. I've had people have panic attacks and the best thing you can do for somebody in a panic attack is breathe, and they will breathe with you and they will calm down with you. And I've been through that process so many times with entrepreneurs. Now, panic attacks are pretty dramatic. It's like a big red flag telling you something's going on, that there's something to work on, that there's an opportunity here. But that's not how it presents for all of us as entrepreneurs, unprocessed trauma and unprocessed feelings and repressed feelings can come out as rashes or I twitches or pain in the body or inflammation or weight gain or brain fog or trouble sleeping or trouble getting up or lack of energy or lack of engagement, just lack of feeling like you really want to do something. And it can also come, In disguise as having doubts about your life and having doubts about where you are and having insecurities that don't make sense.

I'll share a quick story with you. This is like a very clear, very poignant story about processing trauma. So I'm not going to use names, but I've been working with an entrepreneur in our programs for I think three or four years now. And she's absolutely extraordinary. And in that time period, I think her business has gone from three or 400, 000 a year to over 2 million a year. And she is a intense operator of a business. I think her margins are up at 60, 70, maybe even some months as high as 80%. So she's bringing home seven figures a year or more and when I spoke to her recently, she said, I have millions of dollars in the bank and I just bought a house and I paid for and I just bought a car and I paid for it and I still feel insecure. I feel like I shouldn't spend money. I feel like I need to save money. I feel like there's going to be a problem. And I just have this level of insecurity and buying her car, buying her house was were just incredibly difficult for her. And this is someone who has a very healthy business making a ton of money. And so those feelings of insecurity and lack and need and lack of abundance. Are actually a trauma response from her childhood that is showing up in the present. And even though the context of her situation has completely changed. Even though the financially financial security in her situation is almost absolute she still feels all those feelings of insecurity and doubt and Sometimes even up to and including panic.

And i've said this before When our central nervous system is triggered You When we're in that place where we're feeling insecurity or doubt or panic or discomfort of any kind if we get to a place where we're feeling that at over a four out of 10 we are in a childhood trauma reaction and so often entrepreneurs are running their lives over a four out of 10 in an emotional response, any emotional response over a four out of 10. You're in a childhood reaction. And when I think about that, yeah, It really tells me that like the businesses I ran in my twenties and thirties, I think my inner child was at the helm most of the time. That's why they were erratic. That's why I made really quick decisions. That's why I didn't really consider a lot. That's why I was always making decisions from a place of lack or anxiety or not feeling like we had enough or not feeling like there was enough. And it was incredibly challenging. And, I've been processing and understanding my trauma since I was 26. I've done EMDR and somatic therapy, and I've worked with a lot of different types of therapists on different trauma, EFT and trauma release exercises and all kinds of other things. I've also used psychedelics and plant medicines to help me understand and process trauma, and for me personally, I've gotten to the place where On a daily basis. I actually feel good. I don't have those doubts. I don't have any imposter syndrome whatsoever. At this point.

Sometimes I wonder about what Cadey and I are going to do next, especially taking this time off. And I wonder about it with excitement. I wonder about it with inquiry. I wonder about it with curiosity, but not with the feelings of anxiety of not doing enough and not delivering enough and not being something and doing something and having a business and all those things that used to come to me. I've made one of the biggest decisions in my life to not have a business for a period of time. And I can say with. Complete congruency that I'm grounded and I'm present and I'm aware and I'm excited about this decision. And I can tell you that the same is there for my wife, Cadey. She's grounded and excited and all about this decision. We both done a ton of work on this and for you as an entrepreneur, here's what I want you to know. This is my belief. All of us have trauma. All of us. Every one of us has had some traumatic experience in our lifetimes. Trauma is when the nervous system gets overwhelmed. And we're not able to record and understand and process everything that's going on in the moment because there's too much. And then that gets stored in the body as trauma. And so Many entrepreneurs I, not many, all, every entrepreneur I've ever worked with has trauma. And in the cases where we have had entrepreneurs go process their trauma, it has been one of the biggest catalysts for their success.

I'll share one more story. I've shared this one before. You know, I just shared a story of an entrepreneur we're working with right now where I can really see the poignant and clear. Result of her trauma in her communication because where she is, is not what she's communicating Where she is in a place where there's a lot of money and security and financial wealth and she's completely changed her life and what she's communicating is she's still in a place of lack and scarcity and frustration and fear. And I had another client that was similar. His name's Cosmo Khosravi. Actually one of my favorite people. He's super funny. He runs a company called Cosmos Q. It's a barbecue company. His company actually sponsors, I think, like six of the top pitmasters in the world. And they go to these barbecue competitions and they win and, he has a really, a company that he loves. He loves barbecuing and he loves doing what he does and, loves the business and loves his clients. And a few years ago, his business, Cosmos Q, was at a few million dollars, and we were at an event here at my house, and, I had spent some time with Cosmo, and I had seen some of those same feelings of lack and insecurity, and maybe a little imposter syndrome, or coming, making decisions from a place of scarcity, not from a place of abundance, making decisions from a defensive place, rather than an offensive we're excited to go forward place. And we were at my house one night for one of our events and Cosmo came and sat down with me and he said, Alex, okay, you know me, you've seen my business, you understand my business. Okay, what do we need to do in the business to grow? And again, it was at a few million dollars and he's like, where do you think, where do you think we should move things, change things? Like he, he wanted me to tell him what to do in the business. And the answer I gave him, I think surprised him, said, Cosmo, your biggest opportunity is to work on yourself. And he's what do you mean? And I said, Cosmo, if you process some of the trauma you have as an entrepreneur, you will let go of some of these feelings of scarcity and frustration and fear, and you will start bringing in feelings of abundance and excitement and curiosity and move forward in momentum. And we talked about it for a while and I didn't know if I was convincing him or not, but by the end of the conversation, it felt like I had gotten through to him and he was probably going to do this. And we left the event it was a while before I followed up with him, but a few months later I talked to him and he had started doing EMDR therapy and Cosmo had very clear trauma when he was a child. He had a huge burn on his body and was left in a burn ward without anybody there that brought up feelings of not being seen, not being heard, abandonment, not being protected, not being supported, all of those things and those came with him into his adult life. Those feelings of not being seen, not being supported, being abandoned, not being protected not being taken care of, those feelings are incredibly challenging feelings. And when they get into our subconscious, when they get into our body, when we take those with us, every decision we make in our lives is governed by that past trauma, governed by that, those past issues. And so Cosmo started doing EMDR and started processing the trauma he had when he was a child and It started working and I correlate him processing trauma with his business growth because he was at a few million dollars and within six months or a year he was at 10 or 13 got it up to 13 or 14 and the business was exploding and now Cosmo is all about optimization and getting in radical health and biohacking and moving things forward and taking care of himself and radical self care. And this is stuff that he's never done before and never had done in his past. Why did this happen? He processed trauma and let go of some of those negative feelings about himself. He processed trauma and understood some of those negative patterns about himself.

And when we do that, we first step in this place of self awareness. We are aware of what's going on so that we can process it. Then we move from self awareness to self acceptance. We accept what's going on and we can process it even more deeply and we can make better choices. Thank you. And then we move into this place of self appreciation. We process with self awareness. We start accepting ourselves. We start appreciating what we do. And then we move into self love. You can't just walk around in self love every day. You don't just jump into it. But when you move yourself towards self awareness and self acceptance and self appreciation, you can move into self love. You can't just walk around in self love every day. You don't just jump into it. But when you move yourself towards self awareness and self acceptance and self appreciation, you can move into self love. And self love It's so nebulous and so difficult. I just want you to know if you're listening to me and you're like, Oh, I don't want anybody else to tell me to love myself. I used to say the same thing when people would say, all you need to do is just love yourself. I would say, why don't you just go F yourself? But I wouldn't say F because it was so frustrating for me to try and understand what this meant. And here's what I've learned over time. Here's what I've learned sitting here at 51 years old. You don't just step into soft love. You work on yourself. You develop yourself, you process trauma, you understand yourself more deeply, you understand where your wounds come from, you catalyze and process those wounds, you transmute and transform them into a better understanding of who you are. I think it was Rumi who said, the wound is where the light enters you. The more we understand our trauma, the more we understand the challenges we've had, the more we process those things, the stronger we become as human beings, and this goes hand in hand with success. And for me, success doesn't just mean making a lot of money. Success means making a lot of money and being able to appreciate it and being able to feel stable and secure and grounded in the world and being able to feel confident and committed to what you're doing. That to me is success. Making a bunch of money and feeling insecure every day and feeling like you don't have enough and feeling like you just need to keep growing and feeling like you just have to stay on the hamster wheel. That might look like success. There might be financial numbers there, but believe me, I was somebody who was in that situation. of feeling lack and insecurity and frustration and fear on a daily basis with huge financial results. And I can look back and tell you, I was not successful. I was so poor. All I had was money.

I didn't have happiness and have connection. I didn't have good relationships. I didn't really understand myself. I didn't really respect myself. I was actually creating all of that success through self abuse through working every day through taking on all the responsibility through taking responsibility for everything, including what my team should have been doing. Beating myself up and really self loathing and self hatred drove so much of that success. I would get up in the morning and say, you've got to make this happen and get out of bed. And, you're going to be a failure if you don't do these things. And so much of my entrepreneurial career and so much of the quote unquote success that other people saw was really me coming from a place of scarcity and fear and the little inner child inside of me, wanting to be seen and wanting to be heard and wanting to be connected and not abandoned. And once I understood those things, I started producing from a totally different place. I started producing from a place of abundance. I started producing from a place of confidence and commitment and excitement, and you can too. And there is no way that I would have made the decision, the incredibly exciting and so validating decision to shut down simple operations with Cadey and for the two of us to take a period of time and just take time off. I would not have done this had I not processed trauma, understood myself better, stopped paying attention when everybody else was saying about me and created a relationship with myself.

And so I hope this is meaningful to you. I'll give you a little insight into what Cadey and I are doing. This is funny. This is who we are. So we sent out the announcements last Thursday and today I'm recording this on Thursday, March 28th, so it'll release on the 29th and we decided to join a six month tantrum mastermind with Laila Martins. So next Wednesday we are flying over to Manchester, England. So our first act as a free couple who's no longer running a business is to go over for a weekend couples retreat and tantrum mastermind to understand more about our relationship. And to go deeper with each other to go deeper physically and mentally and spiritually and even at a soul level So we are really excited about this And what i've learned through the studies that i've done I'm, so obsessed with trauma And with trauma release and how does this work and releasing sexual trauma releasing childhood trauma? well tantra is a ancient discipline that refers to weaving. Weaving the mind and the body together the mind and the heart together, and it also is all about relationships, and through Tantra. You can actually use sex and physical touch and intimacy to heal sexual trauma and any type of trauma that you have as a couple. And so Cadey and I not only have done tons of work individually, but we're, we, and we've done tons of work as a couple. And now we're stepping into what we feel is this heightened state of learning and engagement and excitement, not just around what we're going to do in the future, but who we're becoming today. And how much can we take on? And understand to really get the absolute most out of this lifetime. And for me getting the absolute most out of this lifetime, I want everyone to understand does not mean making the most money. It means having the best relationship with myself. It means having an extraordinary relationship with Cadey. It means being a friend and advisor to my daughters, Kennedy and Reagan, who are now 14 and 17. And Reagan's going to be transitioning out of the house. And it means having extraordinary relationships around the world. And it means contributing to people's lives at the deepest level. And here's the irony. I know if I do those things, there will be more money than I've ever needed, but it's not my goal. My goal is to connect with me, with my wife, with my daughters, with the people that we serve. And to make a massive contribution in the market and spend as much time as I can with Cadey.

And so there's a quick update on what we're doing. And if you're one of the, I think it's now hundreds or thousands of people who have sent us a message telling us if you've sent us a message of appreciation or validation or a story about your life and how we've impacted it, I just want you to know they mean so much to me. This has been a really extraordinary time period, because since we made the announcement last week, every single day, people have messaged me to let me know how important what we've done has been for them. And most of them have never been our clients. They've just listened to the podcast, or watched videos, or been on the YouTube channel, or seen me speak at events. And so, I want you all to know something. I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to message me. It means so much to me. And I also want you to know, we're not gone forever. We're coming back and I know what we bring back, regardless of what period of time it is, six months, a year and a half, two years is going to be the biggest thing we've ever done. And we both have a knowing about that. I said it here, it's going to be the biggest thing we've ever done and I'm going to spend the time and the energy and the spaciousness needed to allow intuition to tell us exactly what that is and I will share with you along the way.

Thank you so much for being a momentum podcast listener. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you do me a favor and if this episode or any of the episodes have meant something to you, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave us a review, I read everyone personally. I can't wait to see yours and. I just want to thank you again for this journey, for being a listener. If you've listened for a long time, then thank you for being here with me. If you're new, then thank you for your interest in your validation. I love you all and I can't wait to see you on the next episode. Thank you.

I am truly grateful that you have chosen to spend your time listening to me and my podcast.

Please feel free to reach out if you have a question or feedback via our Contact Us page.

Please leave me a review on iTunes and share my podcast with your friends and family.

With gratitude,


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