Episode 76 - Transcript - Fixing Our Flaws Series - Self Esteem - John Sonmez

By Michael Rhodes | August 12, 2022

This is a transcription of Episode 76.  The transcription was done by software, apologies for anything that seems out of whack. A link to the episode is below.

Michael 0:00
Joining me today is John. John, why don’t we just jump right into it once you just tell me a little bit about yourself?

John 0:16
Yeah. So I am John Sonmez, I run a company called Bulldog mindset, where I teach men personal development, basically how to get rid of the victim mindset. And to develop their masculinity. I started out as a software developer, actually, and I did that for about 15 years, that’s kind of the typical computer nerdy type of guy, and very shy, very lazy, you know, not very physically fit. And, you know, I turned my life around through personal development, and really transformed who I was, and then went on to start building businesses and writing books and running marathons and doing all kinds of stuff. And so that’s what really got me into the idea of helping other men. Because I knew that if I could transform if I could become successful in these areas of my life, that I could help other guys to do it. So yeah, so that’s

Michael 1:07
my story. Awesome. So let’s jump into the topic at hand, which is self esteem. Let’s define it. What how do you define self esteem?

John 1:16
Yeah, I mean, in simple terms, self esteem is how you view yourself like how you truly view yourself, not what you tell yourself, not what you tell other people, but it’s kind of like what Dr. Maxwell Maltz would say in in his book, Psycho Cybernetics is is the true thing that subconsciously you believe about yourself, which you also cannot escape, because you cannot rise above that level, or you can’t be below that level, whatever you believe about yourself, subconsciously, truly is what you will be.

Michael 1:50
And that rabbit holes happen all the time. So forgive me, but how do you make? Do you think guys know, ultimately where they’re at? Because Because you mentioned you know, where you’re at subconsciously? Or do do you? Do they have to dig into they have to bring the subconscious to the surface in order to really know where they’re at? Or do you think guys generally know, like, I don’t feel very good about myself?

John 2:15
Yeah, I mean, I think guys generally No, I think where, where they have to do some work to figure this out, is when they get into situations, like they think that everything always happens to them. Why is it always happened to me, right, kind of this victim mindset thinking that they’re just unlucky. And what it is, is they have a deep rooted subconscious belief, they don’t deserve good things. They don’t deserve that they’re not capable of achieving this thing. So their, their brain works to make sure that they stay at the level of exactly what it evaluates them what they truly believe about themselves.

Michael 2:51
Yeah, yeah, good point. And so how do you what’s the what’s the answer? What are the things that you recommend that guys do to start raising that level of self esteem? Yeah, so I,

John 3:00
I really tried to focus on identity, I feel like identity is the most powerful force in the universe, right. And it’s sort of the same thing, like it’s who do we identify as what is the identity that we hold, I would, I would call that our self image, our self esteem comes from from that. And so like self esteem is, is more of that second layer, right? So identity is like who we are, who we truly believe we are, and maybe that self image that we’re talking about, but self esteem is what we feel about it, right. And so the only way to control it, we feel about it is to actually change that identity. And so, you know, you always act from your nature, like you, you act what you are, right, so it’s a lot of guys, they try to change habits, right? You know, one of the big ones like addictions, like porn addiction, and, and, you know, drugs, alcohol, video games are all these types of addictions. And it’s like this rubber band, what happens is that you use your willpower, you try to stop something, stop, stop, stop, and you can do it for a while, but then that rubber band eventually snaps and it snaps back the other way you binge, right? And the reason why is because you’re trying to do something that is against your nature, your identity. Whereas the the way to really change the way to really build a self esteem and change is to change this identity. And the way that you do that is really two ways. One of them is the environment that you’re in right so you are what you pickle it if you put a cucumber in pickle juice, it will become a pickle, right? And so when we look at guys today and the environment they’re in, most guys are in an unhealthy environment. In fact, they might have gotten out of an unhealthy environment when they’re in a relationship where they were abused or not treated properly or given respect and in these things that would build their self esteem and their identity. So the first step is to look at the environment and say, Okay, what am I consuming? What am I reading? What am I watching on TV? III, what am I watching on YouTube? What people are my hanging around, right? Who are my friends who are the because that is going to determine who you are. That’s the brine that you’re pickling in. Alright, so if you want to change your identity, and you want to have a high self esteem, start hanging around people who are successful who are like you who liked the person you want to become, start reading that those books start consuming that content, you’ll become that that’s how you choose identity. And then the second way that you change the identity is through actions acting as if you’re already the identity you want to be, right. Because when you start doing something that someone who had that identity would do you actually become that right. So for example, I, I’m, I’m a pretty big guy, roentgen, 30 pounds, you know, six, but I don’t, I’m not exactly a distance runner. But I’ve run marathons and I ran an ultra marathon, a 50 mile race. And the way I did it was I just woke up one morning, and I started saying, Okay, well, I’m going to, I’m going to change my identity to be a distance runner, even though it’s not the thing that genetically that I’m built to do. And I just started running. And I started running as if I was a distance runner, and just setting up a schedule, even though I was slow, even though I was not. And eventually, what ended up happening was I became a person who ran six marathons and ran an ultra marathon, because in that became my identity. I believe that because I did it. So. So when you do those two things, you change your identity, then what’s going to follow is the self esteem, because now you’ll look at yourself, and you’ll say, Look, this is who I am, I’m doing these things, I’m proud of that person, that gives me a high esteem for myself, I believe that I’m actually an awesome guy, because there’s evidence of it right? And we don’t have evidence of it, we can’t believe it. And so that will raise the self esteem. So it starts with identity, you change the identity, which causes your actions to now be in line with someone that you would actually be proud of. And now you’ve built your self esteem.

Michael 7:03
Yeah, so I think, you know, step one is is I mean, like, like I said, but I think even sort of pre that is sort of finding those models in terms of like, okay, I want to be like everybody loves David Goggins. Right, but maybe you don’t want to be David Goggins? Maybe there’s some dude. You know, maybe there’s just that one aspect of your of yourself that you want to change or whatever, and there’s someone else that does that thing better. So it’s kind of that sort of the pre is figuring out, what is it that I don’t necessarily like, right, and then what and who has what I do, I think, is that is that yeah, yeah.

John 7:40
Yeah, I was gonna say I, in my in my Bulldog, mindset membership, we’ve got this exercise that I have the guys go through. It’s called the look in the mirror exercise. And you basically stand in a mirror completely naked. And you you don’t judge you observe, like physically, everything first of all, and you kind of write it down like, Okay, what, what parts of you, don’t you like, right? Are you too fat? Are you down? Good and bad? Yeah. And I mean, okay, I got good shoulders, alright, my nose is too big, whatever, like, you’re just making a list, right? And then you do the same thing. Emotionally, right? You catalog your character, you say, okay, am I am I afraid? I’m afraid to talk to women? Okay, that’s fine. That’s what it is, right? I’m afraid of these things. Alright, I’m, you know, I’m, I’m a reliable guy, like, you know, I’m a little bit too much of a nice guy, let people take advantage, I’m afraid, you know, whatever, you make the whole list of everything. And then you go through this list, and you’d say, for each thing, first you prioritize, and you say which things if I changed about myself, would have the biggest impact on my life, that would get me to where I want to be more closer. And then for each one of those things that you prioritize, you look through it, and you say, Okay, is it something that I can change or accept. And those are the only two choices because you either have to change it, or you have to accept it. Like, for example, if you’re too short, you’re not changing that, right. But the path to building your self esteem and growing as a person is to finally accept that because as long as you’re in denial, and you’re fighting it, and you’re judging yourself against something that you can’t control, and you can’t change, you’re going to feel crappy about yourself. But once you embrace and accept things, then it frees you from them. So and then it gives you some action. Now you can do some things. Now you can make that list just like you’re saying, now you can come up with that guy that you want to be saying, Okay, well, these are the simple things that I need to change if I work on these things, and how can I come up with a plan to fix these things to change these things around and be inserted, evolving into that guy that I want? And then you can do that assessment, you know, once a year and say, Okay, now where am I at now? Now, what things you know, it’s the way to make progress forward and you could feel good about it because you know, that you’re going the direction you want to go, you’re becoming the man that you want to be. And that’s going to give you a good view of yourself.

Michael 10:00
Yeah, what what sort of timeframe? You know, you mentioned a year and in terms of being able to look back, but what other if you really try to make a specific change to up your self esteem? What is a good snapshot to kind of look at, like, you know, in 90 days, I want to be this, and 120 days and six months, whatever it is, what’s, what’s your sort of that sort of narrow snapshot that you have guys look at? Yeah. So

John 10:27
what I mean, I look at it longer, right. So because to me, commitment is the most important thing, right? So what I always say is that I have this five year rule, right? Anything that you want to become achieve major success, and it takes five years, right? So let’s say that you want to become financially successful, you need to commit to something like a business for five years, if you commit to building a business for five years, there’s no guarantee but that it’s as close as a guarantee as possible, right? If you commit to, to fixing your body to getting in shape for five years, and five years, you could be there, you can be a very different person to becoming good with women, five years, whatever it is, five years is sort of that that commitment level, because your whole entire life could change in five years, right? And the problem that I find is that most guys, they just don’t commit, they try something out, they’re like, Okay, well, I’ll try this out for 90 days, or whatever it is. And yeah, you could make some changes and advancements in nine days. But the problem is, is that if you have the mindset of you’re just trying it out, and you’re just thinking in 90 days, you’re not committing to the long term, you’re not actually even going to make it 90 days. So that’s why when you put in your head, and you say, Okay, I’m committing to five years, right of these things, that’s where you actually make the changes, because that’s when you truly believe it, because the biggest factor in making change is truly believing it. And, and that’s, that’s difficult for us to do. Most people say they’re going to do something, but they really in their head, think I’m going to try and see if this works. Instead of I must do this, this must happen. This will happen. I’m committing to it.

Michael 12:07
It’s almost Simple, right? I mean, I mean, the mechanism, right? You commit to something and you do it, it’s it sounds in in theory is it’s very, very simple. What are some of the things that you see guys stumble with, like, through their process, like, quitting? Or like, what are some of the things that you see that you have to coach men to sort of get through in order to continue on?

John 12:36
Yeah, I mean, just right. On the topic, we’re just talking about the biggest one is commitment. For sure, right? Because I have a lot of coaching clients that and about half of my coaching clients, they follow through and they get things done, but the other half of them, it doesn’t matter what I tell them, they’re never going to get anywhere because they’re not going to do it. Right. I you know, I tell them, put it on your calendar, right? Okay. So if we’re going to do workouts now, then put them on your calendar, right? If you’re going to make YouTube videos, and you’re gonna do three videos a week, put it on your calendar, right? What day are you going to do it what time block, put it on there and commit to that thing, right? If you can’t commit to that simple step, you’re never going to make the progress that you want to make. I think the other thing that I see a lot is guys that have really, really big ambitions, and they they’re just biting off too much right without building trust in themselves first, and these kinds of things are kind of related. Because you have to have trust in yourself. Most of us have eroded the trust in ourselves, right? And you can tell this by a lot of times when I get a new coaching client, I’ll say okay, pull up your iPhone, right? And pull up the alarms. And let me see the alarms page. And it’s like, you know, 6am 610 626 30 like, Why do you have? What do you have 15 alarms? Oh, so I get up. So you turn them all. So you’d like turn them off? You don’t get up when your first alarm goes off? I was like, why is that? Like you don’t have faith you don’t trust yourself? So you make a commitment just for tomorrow morning, about what time you’re gonna wake up and you’re already lying to yourself like you don’t believe yourself. You don’t trust yourself that when you say you’re gonna get up at this time, I was like, How old should you get? How are you going to do the rest of the day? How the heck are you getting to the gym? How the heck are you starting this business that you’re supposed to be working on? How are you gonna like go out to and start start you’re talking to women plan that you’re afraid to do? Like you’re not going to do any of these things if you can’t even get up in the morning when you say so you don’t trust yourself. So what you have to do is you have to build this trust in yourself with small steps right so that you know that if you say you’re going to do something to yourself, that you’re going to do it and so it starts with the simple thing of the alarm. Okay, I you know, everyone listening right now if you have multiple alarms, you need to delete them. You have one alarm, you set that alarm and when that alarm goes off, you get up if you Can’t do that simple step, then you’re never gonna have enough trust in yourself to do bigger things, right? And that’s what it comes down to us. Because when we commit to things, when we put on our calendar, when we say, Okay, I’m going to run a marathon this year, do you really trust yourself, if you don’t, if you can’t even wake up, and you don’t trust her, you just know that you’re going to try to run a marathon, right? But you need to be at the level of when you say you’re gonna do something like if you say, I’m gonna run a marathon, today, you go and you buy the tickets for it, you go, and you get it at a 16 week training program, and you put all the dates on your calendar of exactly what runs, you’re supposed to run that when I know, you mean it, and that’s when you’re actually gonna get results. But if you’re not at that level, it’s fine. You have to build yourself to the level by taking small steps and never lie to yourself, because we don’t lie to ourselves, but we have to reset that trust. And then once we reset that trust, then we can count on, you know, whatever we say, in our mind that we’re going to do, and that’s really moving, you know, it’s really freedom, right. And when I define freedom, freedom, in my mind is your ability to exert your will upon the world, right. And so, if you cannot do what you think in your head, if you can’t make your body do what the thought, then you’re a prisoner in your own body, you’re just watching the movie of your life, you’re a pinball in a pinball machine being knocked all around, and whatever happens to you in life, it’s just random chance because you didn’t have influence or control over it, you just were sitting along for the ride. Because if your thoughts do not result in your actions and changes in your life, then then that’s what it is, you’re not in control, you’re not sovereign in your life. So let’s,

Michael 16:33
I like to recap these things. And you know, the guys, no, this is this is going to be part of a new podcast series, this is fixing our flaws. And so this one’s gonna be a bit shorter. So I want to recap, sort of what we talked about in terms of steps. If I’m a guy, and I’m listening, I’m like, okay, great, I’m pumped. What do I do now? What did he say again? So step one, is sort of identify what it is you want to change, and, and who you want to model. Right? Is that fair? Yeah. And then step two is is, you know, essentially, work towards that, and change your identity by accomplishing these things. Is that is that kind of where we’re at? Yeah, I

John 17:17
would say, kind of part of Step two is, is change your environment first. Okay, and take the actions of the of the person right act as if you’re already the person you want to be. So yeah,

Michael 17:29
okay. Well, John, I really appreciate it. Thank you for doing this. I know this is quick. But there is one more question. One final question I asked everybody. And that is, what are some words of wisdom you would impart to a man who’s just starting this process, his divorce process? He just got papers you just got left, whatever the case is, what are some words of wisdom you would impart to that man?

John 17:50
Yeah, I mean, I would, I would say that the most important thing is for you to, to not to let go of trying to control situations to accept whatever is happening, like to just practice acceptance, like, you know, there’s so many things in life that you can’t control, just accept first practice acceptance. And then once you have accepted and you’re willing to accept whatever outcome comes, right, like, you have to kind of view these paths in life and say, Okay, well, there’s, there’s multiple paths that that could happen, right? You know, and whatever happens, you have to have a plan for it, and how it will work to your best and really believe that because in life, you either win or you learn, and either route is good. Now, some routes are more painful. But whatever you’re going through in life, you can use that as a positive experience, in order to improve yourself, there’s something that was wrong, there’s something that that you needed to learn in this cycle of life right now, that has caused you to get to this point, and it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault that you didn’t know the things that you that you you are going to learn now. But you will learn them by acceptance. And so accept what’s what’s happening, work towards whatever future that you want, but be willing to accept whatever path that that life takes you down because there is a lot that you don’t have control over. And ultimately, any path can become a good path for you because it will result in your growth and in some way, you’re either going to win or you’re going to learn.

Michael 19:23
Amen, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a it’s an excellent way to look at it. It’s sometimes difficult, especially in the very beginning to get to that state of mind. But that is essentially where you need to get is that this is where I’m at what do I do now? Not you know, what, what did I do then what why and all these questions that sort of linger, that can linger and but quickly disappear once you decide that it’s time to accept it as is and just start moving forward? Yeah. Well, John, thank you again, I really, really appreciate this. We will do it again. We’ll do a longer version, more expanded. version. How can people find you? What’s the best way to get in touch with you?

John 20:03
Yeah, best thing to do is good a bulldog mindset.com There’ll be a little pop up there for a quiz that will tell you your Bulldog score from zero to 110 Quick questions there. And then from there, you know, I’ll give you your score and tell you how to improve your score. And we talking about improving yourself and, and some tips around that some videos and stuff like that. So just go to Bulldog mindset.com.

Michael 20:24
Awesome. John, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.


Yeah, no problem.

Episode 76 – Fixing Our Flaws Series – Self Esteem – John Sonmez


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