Updated: Sep 22, 2022
There were 6 main steps I took to UNFUCK myself, this is step 3...
A vital part of my recovery and getting my life back on track after suffering a broken back and, in more recent years, of chronic knee pain (and the mental struggle that came with it), was developing a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE! I had decided I would consciously change the way I think and be willing to do whatever it takes to turn my life around (STEP 1) then start cutting out the negative shit in my life – the news, toxic people etc, as much as possible so the next step was to start working on how to think more positively and focus on the right things.
This blog is about the importance of PMA in improving your life and how it helped ME overcome 2 of the biggest struggles in MY life!
I don't claim to be any expert and I by no means have all my shit together (we're all a work-in-progress regardless of how your life is going!) but I have learned that focusing on what you CAN do and CAN control and the POSITIVE things to move you forward have a MASSIVE impact on the quality of your life and I want to help as many of my fellow rockers and metalheads out there as I can!
First I'll take you back to March 2000, the time that I broke my back, left arm and wrist in a 3-wheeler accident at the age of 19 and had my whole world turned upside down. Words can't REALLY describe the fuckin' HELL I went through and no-one except those who have experienced something similar will understand. Obviously it was DEVASTATING and the physical pain was unbelievable but the worst was actually how it affected me mentally and naturally for a while a fell into that VICTIM MINDSET and feeling sorry for myself - “why me?...This is not fucking fair! Etc etc).” Regardless of your situation, one thing is for sure – constantly dwelling on the past, the bad things that have happened to you and feeling sorry for yourself does not help – IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE and keep you stuck! It's natural to feel these things but don't fucking stay there!
If you want to know more about that incident and the year or so followed, check out my other blog THAT DAY I BROKE MY BACK! but the thing that snapped me out of that was hearing about 2 other men here in Northern Ireland who broke their necks and were PARALYSED from the neck down!
THAT shit made me realise that, even though I had it bad, I still had a lot to be grateful for and was a lot better off than them! At least I could take a few steps and had 1 arm working... AND my hearing was still fine so I could listen to loads of METAL!
From that point on I decided to concentrate on what I COULD do – walk as far as I could every day, which was about 20-30 yards when I got home from hospital and later, as that improved, I did the stretches and exercises given to me by my NHS Physiotherapist.
Although experienced, she didn't seem to care and didn't check to see if I was even doing them correctly, BUT rather than bitch about it I paid to go privately to another Physio who was AMAZING! She not only made sure I was doing the exercises correctly, told me to get in the pool and start swimming or moving in the water as much as I can but made sure I was focusing on the right things MENTALLY.
She was full of that PMA, telling me not to be dwelling on the bad shit and of how other patients of hers' did awesome things like writing books and work on cool projects WHILE they were recovering!
"DIG DEEP FOR THE STRENGTH THAT YOU SEEK!"
My BIGGEST driving force for recovery was my desire to get back to playing drums in my METAL band and write, record and play the music I loved everywhere possible!
Rock, metal and hardcore music has always been a MASSIVE part of my life since I discovered it when I was about 12 years old and there's nothing to this day that I am more passionate about!
Speaking to her REALLY fanned those flames and ignited that fire in me even more and as I recovered more and more I was practicing on my drum pad, coming up with riff ideas on a bass guitar, writing lyrics whenever I could and swimming, walking and doing my physio exercises every day and I bounced back!
I am truly grateful to her for that – her words meant MORE than the actual physical help she gave me. Everything starts in the MIND so don't underestimate the power of giving someone a few words of encouragement when they're down!
Fast forward to 2015. I had been suffering from chronic knee pain for about 3 years, had to quit drumming and playing in my band, went through a break-up and everything pretty much fell apart in my life and it seemed no-one could help me until I read THE SECRET and realised I needed to make BIG changes in my life! You can read about that in more detail in STEP 1: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET – CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
In short, I was anxious, depressed, in constant pain and feeling sorry for myself (while pretending everything was OK on the outside) – VICTIM MINDSET!
I realised, once again in my life, that I felt down and out BUT had a lot to be grateful for as there's ALWAYS someone out there who's worse off, and still fighting they're way through it and kicking ass!
If you don't BELIEVE you can do something then chances are you won't even TRY but I had now made that decision. I would overcome this shit by doing whatever it takes and FUCK that Doctor telling me it's just something I'd have to deal with the rest of my life – that's only his opinion! Never let ANYONE decide YOUR future! There's ALWAYS a way to improve!
So... as well as consciously deciding to think differently about things and focus on the POSITIVE and completely cutting out watching and listening to the news and staying away from toxic people and any other negative bullshit I decided to CONSUME as much positive information as possible.
In the mornings while having breakfast, instead of the usual bullshit UK morning breakfast shows I started watching podcasts on YouTube like THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE, IMPACT THEORY (formerly Inside Quest) and LONDON REAL and I then discovered other great ones from these guests such as THE MODEL HEALTH SHOW.
There was always something positive to take from these episodes and I either learned something new, realised something or it gave me hope when a lot of the guests on these shows talked about how they hit rock bottom, had poor health or had a rough childhood/upbringing but overcame the odds because they were determined, developed good habits and overcame a lot of adversity to achieve great things! It give me more fuel to hear other people talk about being told my doctors there was no hope and nothing could be done to heal them but refuse to accept it and find a way of turning their life around through changing their diet, trying different types of exercise or even things that most consider WEIRD!
A lot of these podcasts/shows I watched or listened to basically interviewed a range of successful people from various backgrounds including:
health and nutrition experts
ultra endurance athletes
world champion bodybuilders
multi-millionaire business owners
ex-Navy Seals and Marines
I became fascinated with how successful people think compared to most. I thought “clearly these people are doing something different and became fascinated with how the mind and body ACTUALLY work at optimal levels. It was great hearing people who thought and acted differently than the masses – people who figure shit out, don't care what others think, let nothing stop them and NEVER GIVE UP on themselves or their dreams!
Brilliant podcast with UFC legend GSP's coach Firas Zahabi (even if you don't like MMA)
Although these people are from all different backgrounds I started to notice they had a lot of these traits in common and helped me realise that MINDSET really is the most important thing!
Pretty much all of these people prioritise their mental and physical HEALTH, consistently push themselves out of their comfort zone and make a point of helping other people wherever they can.
Listening to these taught me a lot about mindset and got me trying things like yoga, meditation, taking COLD SHOWERS and eating differently and learning a bit about how the mind and brain work.
THIS is a must-listen - ex-Navy Seal David Goggins developed a PHENOMENAL mindset!
I also listened to a lot of music (mostly METAL and HARDCORE), music podcasts like THE JASTA SHOW by Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta who's full of the PMA and Doc Coyle from Bad Wolves/God Forbid's podcast THE EX-MAN as well as comedies like FAMILY GUY! It's important to have a laugh and watching my favourite show ever, FAMILY GUY, as well as AMERICAN DAD and THE CLEVELAND SHOW at night time for years probably saved my life and gave me something to smile about when I felt like life wasn't worth living! I lost count of how many times I watched Seasons 1-11 on DVD (I still watch it regularly!)
LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE they say and I think there is some truth in that!
If you're NEGATIVE all the time, refuse to try new things or CHANGE and don't BELIEVE that you can do anything to improve your life then you WON'T! SHIT HAPPENS but don't stay stuck! Never stay down, always GET BACK UP and keep fighting!
It's not about what happens to you in life, it's how you REACT to it!
Great episode I watched with UFC trainer Mike Dolce & Shawn Stevenson from The Model Health Show on Aubrey Marcus' podcast who is a friend & business partner of Joe Rogan.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION!
1. EVERY MORNING make a point of thinking of 3 things you are GRATEFUL for in your life (these can be big or small things). SET REMINDERS or stick notes up in the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom if you have to ntil it becomes a habit.
Challenge yourself to do this for 7 DAYS then extend it to 2 weeks then a month etc.
Examples I use:
“I'm grateful that I have all of my limbs”
“I am so grateful I can walk”
“I am grateful I can hear amazing music” or “I'm grateful for my eyesight”
“I'm so grateful that I have food to eat & clean water to drink every day”
2. “Brainwash” yourself with POSITIVE shit and learn to think for yourself! Fuck what other people think and don't give up trying new ways to improve your life or overcome your struggles just to FIT IN!
What I did was add them to my "WATCH LATER" list on YouTube or create MOTIVATION and PERSONAL GROWTH playlists and just watch 10-15mins every morning or longer when I got the chance. You can also find most of these on Podcast Apps (I use Podcast Addict)
Brilliant documentary about former MR UNIVERSE Dorian Yates - I'm not into bodybuilding but his mindset is amazing and he talks about overcoming adversity and struggle!
I also recommend doing some reading – I started doing this every night before sleeping, just reading a few pages. They might not solve all your problems and fix your life (that's up to you) but they'll give you some inspiration and teach you a few things. Here's some books I recommend. Use this list to refer to. Pick 1 and START!
Positively Unstoppable – The Art Of Owning It – DDP Diamond Dallas Page (ex-WCW wrestler & owner/creator of DDP YOGA)
The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
The Paths We Choose – Sully Erna (singer of GODSMACK)
SURVIVING FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's METAL MAYHEM - Jeremy Spencer (ex-drummer 5FDP)
The Good Psychopath's Guide To Success - Andy McNab & Kevin Dutton (ex-SAS & psychologist)
Relentless – Tim Grover (Michael Jordan's trainer)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson
Can't Hurt Me – David Goggins (ex-Navy Seal & hard motherfucker!) - Audio book is amazing in this one!
The PMA Effect – John Joseph (original frontman of The CROMAGS)
Remember thinking NEGATIVELY all the time makes you more depressed, holds you back and wears you down. If you start reading, watching and listening to a lot more positive material, learning things that will help you then your MIND won't have as much time to focus on the BAD THINGS!
If you're thinking none of this will help or it won't be interested JUST FUCKIN' TRY IT and keep an open mind! Remember, if you want you life to change YOU need to change! “STEP 1 CHANGE YOUR MINDSET...”
Fascinating documentary with Movement Specialist IDO PORTAL
& the importance of MOVING to the body and mind!
It worked for me so it can work for you if you're ready to make the effort! You CAN change and you can completely turn your life around!
NOTE: Don't expect your whole life to change overnight - this is not a quick-fix!
Changing your life and developing new habits isn't always easy but it CAN be done and it IS worth it! Hang in there, BELIEVE you can do it and...
NEVER GIVE UP! Steve
“You're life won't change for the better until you do!” - Jack Canfield STEP 1: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET – CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
STEP 3: P.M.A. - A New Found Power!
For more about me, BORN 2 BLEED, metal-inspired apparel, mindset coaching, inspiring stories from metalheads around the word and some awesome rock, metal and hardcore playlists hit the button below.
And please share this with anyone you know who needs some inspiration!