#272 – Are You An Anxious Achiever? With James Heppner

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service on the episode today we have James Heppner. James, welcome. Thank you. And I love your title ethical marketing. I was just on a call where the host queued up what is a true friend and so we’re talking about authenticity and how to go about doing things were so anyway, I think you’re about some good work and I like your topic so fantastic. Thank you very much. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure, I’ll take just a quick quick half a second. I am a strategist. People call me the self help hacker and it’s likely because I can get right to the root of the base of um what controls a lot of people, what controls what they want, what they want less of basically. And so I’ve been doing this for the last, what is it, 12 years now and um I’m a ferocious achiever, achiever. Not that anxious and not anxiously striving, but I think all of life is here for uh the gain that if we allow it to become it and I think we have to uh we have to just be aware that everything that we participate with is an invitation for us to experience and why have all the anxiety and we can just participate in a non rushed and non judgmental, non anxious way.

I think that’s that’s um that stands out as as paramount for me in my life. Anyway, thank you for that. There’s a lot to ask you about there. But you said that you’re a ferocious achiever, but without the anxiety. That’s an interesting, I don’t know concept. I’ve not thought about that necessarily that achievers carry anxiety. Did you, were you always that way or did you learn to deal with that. I learned to deal with it where I’m at now is um so I’ll just say it this way, I help people to achieve greater gains with less strain. And typically an anxious achiever is one that the more they want to accomplish, the more they want to achieve, the more anxiety they have and the more strain they have. And so I haven’t always been the way that I am now, I’ll just say it this way, just take you right back way back. I um loved achieving and I found a way to accumulate, so you’re gonna hear achievement accumulation and it was personal accumulation, wealth and status and whatever else this little boy was trying to do, which is which is fine, right?

It was fine for the moment and then I went through a journey and the journey, I checked out a life for 2.5 years and it was during the real estate crisis in 2008, I owned a land development company and a real estate company and basically I just remember thinking perhaps what I’ve achieved thus far as a fallacy and maybe I can’t do it all over again and not realizing that, you know, you gotta be careful when you make decisions when you come through a tunnel like that. My decision was, you know, my achiever in me, the achiever and often achiever stands for, you know what generates or stress, achievements are often stress related. That’s a lot of people if you want to, if you want to put another word for stress, it’s just achiever, basically. And so the reason I chose achiever, non anxious achiever is I realized that my decision at that time when I exit the tunnel stating that achievements or being achiever was taking or what was the thing that took me into that dark place.

That wasn’t the thing. I came to the appreciation that we’re all wanting to achieve something. But how do we go about achieving and not letting achieving become the bad word? How how do we actually embrace what we’re doing? But what is it really that we’re after? I think what we’re really after is doing things in a non anxious, non stress, non heavy, nonjudgmental, non attached way where we’re going, Yeah, we’re achieving. But we’re in flow. You know, we’re inflow, we’re enjoying the experience. It’s a journey. It isn’t just a destination. Actually, what is a destination in life, right? It’s circular. Often we think it’s linear, linear, linear is the lie life is circular. So, well, we were only a few minutes into the episode and I already realized that I might be an anxious achiever. So that’s that’s something that actually hasn’t happened to me. I didn’t haven’t done an episode before where immediately I thought, yeah, I think I’d probably fit that category. So for those people who are also in that position, What do you say to them?

Hmm? Gosh! You know, all I can say is I get it. I live that Till and I’m 46 now. I lived until I was 30 And I came out of that tunnel at 33. So for 30 years I lived that way for longer than how I’m currently living. All I’ll say is this, there’s beauty on the other side. Is it work? It’s work. True. It is work to address. Why do I achieve? Where do I get my value from? Like often what happens is we put these achievements uh in our path. We set ourselves up to reach for something. And to be totally honest, I think it’s for us to validate our worth. And the thing is Why would an achievement ever define our worth? It did for me for 30 years. And then when the market crashed. Well here I was thinking maybe it wasn’t worth a lot when it was literally an industry thing. It was an economy thing. What would I have to do with me? You know? So trying to validate ourselves through what we’ve accomplished what we accumulated.

You know, those are all very interesting, interesting ways. So, I think the first thing that I would say is I hear you And I feel you because at the depth of of where is peace found. We’re not talking about peace, where you’re spinning somewhere floating away into the sky. We’re not talking about that kind of peace. That’s boring piece. We’re talking about electrifying piece, alive in peace, meaning you don’t need to check out and just go meditate 18 hours a day. You got to come down to earth at some point in time. So this isn’t like the flip opposite, Like stop doing what you do and just sit there and do nothing. It’s like wait a minute. How could I do something and move my hands, move my heart, move my brain and have all this movement. Draw me to the life giving energy of electrifying piece. You know, coming to the place where yeah, I wanna gain, but how do I want to accomplish that? Or another way of saying it is? How do I want to achieve that? Do I want to achieve, gaining more through anxiety? And honestly, all I know for me and my relatedness to this is the more you work towards gaining achievements with anxiety, the less present you are.

And when you’re not present, you’re missing an awful lot. You’re not seeing what’s directly in front of you. It’s really difficult to participate with what’s really in front of you. And it’s hard not to give meaning that isn’t completely biased. Gosh, I get it, our life experience, we take it in and we evaluate, we we give meaning based on how we interpret the world. I get it, but there is a place the power of the pause, it’s like I’m achieving. But let’s sit back now before I just get hustle, hustle hustle. Let’s take a step back. Let’s breathe. It’s like, wow, we’re here. Now I’m gonna decide because I’m the owner of my life, I’m gonna decide how I’m going to participate with this project. What’s the energy I’m going to bring to it? I’m not going to bring energy. Listen, I’m gonna see if I can make this happen because if I don’t, my anxious fear is that I won’t have the capacity to handle a worst case scenario. If we’re doing that, it’s anxious achieving rather looking at and saying, you know, here’s a project directly in front of me and the truth is it will reveal evidence of just reality.

I mean, you try anything, it’s gonna spit on evidence. Oftentimes people don’t try things because they’re afraid of the evidence. It’s gonna create. That’s true. But when we can look at and say, well, honestly, what, what do we think is gonna happen? Well, for example, let’s see, ask a girl on a date or you start a business. Any variety of option is a possibility. So I always suggest people, people take a pen and paper and write down your worst case scenario. The worst case projection. The worst case outcome. You write that down, write the best case, right? All the in betweens, then look at it and be like this is about what could happen, okay, and then ask yourself, how do I feel about all this and typically the field is what really traps people. They’re like, I don’t know about this, Maybe I can just take the worst case, maybe it isn’t going to be quite that bad, then they change it, make it a little lighter. The truth is you want to build a musculature to be able to handle whatever might happen and when you get to that place, when you do that, just be about that work.

And so I guide people on that journey. When you get to that place in very blue, what happens? You ask yourself, so what am I gonna do now now that I’ve seen? What is the possibility and not just possibility, What’s the inevitability. Inevitability is something will happen, it’s any one of these things or an assortment of and then ask yourself, so what am I gonna do now? I’m not gonna just push this aside and not do it, just pretend it never happened, or am I just going to participate with what’s directly in front of me, meaning, oh, this is how I create courage and self respect. If I go towards something and if I trust that I have the inner capacity though, I’ve never maybe experienced what’s gonna happen here, If I do this, this is worth. Self respect, healthy confidence, natural confidence comes to play and then we can go at it and be like, you know, yeah, this is what I’m going for, this is what I’m working towards in relation to achieve ments. It’s true, but it doesn’t have me not be with my family properly or be with my spouse or partner properly and it does, you know, it doesn’t have me wake up in the morning in a cold sweat.

What has me do is just engage from a peaceful, quiet, energetic, vibrating state, able to see things in real time because you’ve already done the work of accepting any case scenario. Because here’s the thing, a lot of people, you know, they find me, I have a podcast called weekly wins and losses and also ferocious achiever. Weekly wins and losses when we talk about is how do we properly onboard? Not just the winds that we want, but the losses. When you ask yourself the question where in life has anything that I’ve ever chosen to focus on, worked out exactly the way that I had wanted. The answer is nowhere that’s never happened. It’s never exactly the same. So it isn’t just a possibility that we might have a perception of losing what we thought was gonna happen. It’s an inevitability. The reality is the inevitable truth is something going to happen and it won’t be exactly the way you thought it was.

So therefore you got to build the musculature to be able to onboard and handle that because you do have the capacity and when you handle that capacity, oh my goodness back to the point that I mean earlier yourself respect goes up, your confidence goes up and you realize that all you need is inside of you. Now, not later. It’s not out there, it’s in you. So it’s it’s a personal game. It’s an inner work. It’s an inner job. Thank you for the answer. And there’s a lot of good stuff there immediately. What came to mind, this is an affirmation from Tony Robbins. Like all I need is within me. Now, if you got a Tony Robbins influence at all, he’s one of the people that really supported me in my journey and still does to be honest, but absolutely absolutely. Regarding your answer that the way I sort of interpreted it was when you get clarity, what it is that you’re actually trying to do, you can decide how you go about it. Whereas when you’re being an anxious achiever is like a default, my default is to be, I don’t know, to be worried or concerned about it and keep going until you reach that thing.

Whereas if you’re purposeful about it, it’s sort of a better way to live life. So that’s fair. Absolutely. I think we have to be so cognizant lee aware at what we keep in circulation because what we keep in circulation is what actually creates our life experience and it’s how we’re going to participate with what’s directly in front of us. When I say what we keep in circulation, What I’m referring to specifically is what you so eloquently said like who we are as a human, like what are based dry fuel is whatever that ends up being. Oftentimes we see life through a lens and if our lens is we need to ensure that we have worth and how do we do it, we need to achieve more, achieve more and it’s not really enjoyment at that point, it’s just who we just wanna make sure the world still needs us and it’s like wait a minute. How about we get to that real quick. The world needs you and I whether we bring anything or not, the world needs us.

It’s true. There’s no debating it. When you think about empathy, you think about what can a human being do that a bot can’t do. This is the first time you and I have talked you and I are face to face. You’re not anywhere. I’m not anywhere other than here. You’re not trying to flee your presence. I’m not trying to flee my presence. Look at the connection that’s being created right now. We don’t know each other really. This is magical. It’s incredible. Thank you for that. I’ve also never heard that a magical connection on my podcast. So I’m taking some boxes at the moment. I appreciate that. I’m interested to know how, how you came to this. So you know, I’ve never heard anyone talk about it and it’s quite, I would say quite introspective. So how did you learn this stuff well? And I think, you know, just going back to when I was mentioning earlier, my journey has served me many a lesson. And one of the things that I think we have to always keep front and center of our lives is the transcendence that we crave.

How is it that we’re going to go about it? A lot of people go about transcendence through excluding. So they have a bad story, they have a bad experience, they have something they don’t like and the easy thing to do, the not the thing that takes no courage to do just an accident of your life. Or ask that person out of your life, or that was horrible and see no value in it, you know, and it’s always I got through life or I got through that relationship because of in spite of that’s what happens if we transcend through exclusion. It’s always in spite of I crushed it, you know, that darkness I crushed it. Never again ask yourself what happens if it’s crushing it? And it’s never again in spite of talk, they’re never gonna build the empathy towards being able to relate with other people when they experience that? Why do you think you experience that? It’s a gift for you to make safe and emotion? And instead of saying in spite of here’s the trek listeners, we have to find a way and do the work.

So, we can finally authentically consistently automatically be like because of I got through this because of or I am who I am today, because of. We got to find the gift in everything because if we do then we’re doing the ultimate transcendence which is transcendence through inclusion. But that’s difficult work. That’s work that typically requires a bit of a guide because the self sabotaging mechanisms are so intense. Someone needs to walk the journey a professional, whether you find myself, find someone else, I don’t care find someone to help you through that space. Because here’s the thing we were all created to create. We tell ourselves a story that well, I’m not a good creator. See uh there’s so much anxiety that I have when I create, Oh wait, wait, let’s separate that it’s not creating an anxiety and anxiety is a choice, let’s be honest. What a society model society often models, you know, these people who are achievers in the anxious way, you know, what do we see on television?

Movies, like Yeah, just driving it, of course, they have issues like relation, they’re not properly lined with their families or they’re out of touch. You know, we need to create our own narratives about what it means to achieve its to create with what with with all of the universe. Like think about the source of wisdom and power and whatever you want to call. If it’s God or universe or Earth whatever that is for you for me it’s God. But I get to I get to stand next to God or source. I get to co create with this most amazing power. We were every one of us which created to create. one thing that I can tell you for absolute fact is this one thing, one single thing that when people talk about, I don’t know what my purpose is. I don’t want to be non empathetic and be like I don’t get you, I understand where they’re coming from. However, there is one thing that we all have in common our purpose is to create and create what what’s on your heart, the uniqueness that you were born with that’s gotta come out that’s gotta come out and you gotta build a proficient muscle towards having a little funeral towards it didn’t go the way I thought it was gonna go every every time I create something, whether it’s a poem, whether it’s an article, whether it’s a blog or a podcast, I have to do a mini funeral.

Like I have to just sit with, oh it didn’t go exactly the way I thought it was gonna go. Can I handle it? Yeah. Did I feel like a bit of crap. Sure why is that the bad news? Listen I’m a humble human being. What does that look like then? Well that means that I get to be fully human. I don’t have to be God. Isn’t that incredible Holy smokes, I don’t have to achieve with this anxiety. I get to stand next to the creator of all creators, whatever that is for you. And I get to just participate and play and I get to bring what is that on that That I feel like my heart can’t let go of the thing that I yearn and eight towards I get to bring it and everyone has that everyone has something a little bit different than the other person and that’s what they must bring into the world, meaning they must create that in the world. And in order to create, you have to get beyond fearing the evidence that it’s going to create because the evidence that it’s going to create is it likely won’t show up and turn out exactly the way you thought. So what’s required there? It’s not the world needs to be some different. The human who creates it has to ask himself.

So what was this sent to like take me down? No, it’s sent to show me that I have the capacity to handle this inner emotion and of course I’m gonna get long in the tooth on this one. I’m gonna make it really quick. But we gotta make emotions safe. We actually crave comforts and discomforts virtually equally. I’ll tell you a short story, the short story of hip hits this guy on the earth loves life. He’s got the good life. He was kind of tired of working hard in life. So he chose what he thought would be as close to Utopia as possible. He wanted all the financial resource, he wanted to have friends, all these things. He joined a gang, start selling drugs. He had a close tribe, his family left him earlier and now he had a family one day. Pip. Just realized somebody talked to him about, you know when you die, what do you think’s gonna happen? He says, I don’t know. The truth is I don’t think anybody really knows because when people say they’ve been there and come back, what does that even mean? I’m not sure Pip just made a decision and pip said, hey listen, I just got to like the truth is I have killed some people haven’t done some really nice things.

So I’ve got to make a decision to kind of make it right or kind of go to these people and ask for forgiveness or something. I gotta do something. One day he’s doing, you know, he’s doing his work and going about business and all of a sudden this firefight going on and he’s like, oh sh it looks around and goes, oh man, I didn’t get a chance to but he starts running thinking perhaps I’ll just runs, he ducks behind a bush, whatever and he tails it again and he gets he gets pegged and he just feels something momentarily and it’s black the next moment he’s in another place, he doesn’t know where he is, but all that he knows is that there’s a person standing beside him and it looks to be in his mind’s eye an angel and he thinks very interesting crap, I didn’t make it right with these people crap. I promised myself I was going to, but there is another side, what do I do now? And he thinks to himself, you know, pep, you’re a pretty smart guy and this angel is smiling at you and pip remind you know, just remember that you’ve been pretty good at manipulating people in the situation who you are even good at that on the earth.

Even though pip realizes he wants to now try to apologize, he’s like, let’s see maybe if I go for, because the angel says go for a while he goes, if I walk with the angel, maybe he’ll, you know, I’ll just do this. He says, if we walk up to this golden gate whatever and we walked past, I’ll be like, hey, just hang on a second bro, hang on, hang on, hang on, let me tell you who I really am, I’m so sorry and then maybe we’ll go back through that gate or whatever it is. So you start going for a walk and sure enough to get close to the city on a hill, it’s beautiful and and uh they walked through the gate not pass, but they walked through pipes like ship, I made it and he goes, I think they got wrong do I am they got the books cooked, I’m not the guy who they think. So he looks at the angel he goes this is beautiful and angels yeah this is all for you and pip goes for me. Angel goes yeah it’s all for you. As many people here as you can see. One thing I’ll tell you is whatever you touch turns to gold whatever you do you’re gonna win.

And it’s like really? He goes yeah this is ultimate utopia. The angel says pip goes awesome tips like oh my goodness one like I didn’t ask or tell them who I was earlier apologize because you probably would have looked at my books and taking my D. N. A. And seeing that I was a different human. Anyway so the angel goes so I’ll leave you here, you live here for the rest of your life and here’s a little business card or a little card in case you ever need me. Just call me pip, puts in his pocket and it goes into the casinos because he loves gambling and everything he does turns to gold literally. He wins everywhere. Blackjack BLTs, he can’t lose everything turns to gold. He wins everywhere. He thinks oh my goodness this is incredible. For about two weeks. He lives in this penthouse suite at the top 18th floor one day. His friend calls him it’s like 12 o’clock. His friends say hey where are you? You’re not downstairs and goes, yeah, I’m not sure if I’m bored or depressed. Like we live in between the tension of boredom and depression. But he felt a little bit of both already. Like I’m bored and depressed, I can’t lose if I tried. No risk is nothing really.

And his friend says, yeah, the only thing is a new level of winning. They just introduced it, you gotta come down. It’s like, okay, so he’s like, nah does it anyway, takes the elevator down, joins his friend enter the casino. Oh my goodness, it is another level of winning. They play the game once. Boom pip just feels this euphoric. You topic high, it’s incredible. But there’s this little seed in there that makes me go, there’s something about this that’s missing something empty. I don’t know what it is, but he just plays it again halfway through. He sees the comment has enough, takes his hands, pushes the table and the chips go flying. Everybody’s like, what the hell do you think you’re doing pip walks outside, reaches in his pocket wearing the same pair of pants he wore back, then pulls out the card, calls the Angel Angel and he says to them says the angel, hey listen, I think there’s been a mistake. Angel says, oh what do you mean pip goes, I don’t think I should be here. Angel goes, where do you think you are? Pickles what pip says, well obviously I’m in heaven. Angel says you’re in hell. See we humans think that Utopia is what we want, bullshit.

That’s hell. And if we’re constantly working towards achievements, because we think what we absolutely want is for it to turn out exactly the way we thought bullshit. That’s hell. We want to experience something that makes us realize that were greater than just having to have it the way we want both. Comfort and discomfort are a gift and we need to find a way to be grateful for both because selective gratitude. That’s the ultimate health. And I’m not talking about changing the facts. I’m not talking about hyper bowl. I’m talking about looking at life for all that It is and saying how is this a gift? How not converting a negative to a positive because I remember a loss was negative. So it was never a negative, It was never bad. A loss was just a loss. We give it meaning. We gotta get back to getting a proper meaning. Thank you very much for the story. I enjoyed it. Story time with James kicked in at the end there. I wasn’t I wasn’t sure I was going to get it, but right at the end.

I was like God. Yeah. And I think it makes a lot of sense. So thank you also wanted to pick up on one thing he said at the beginning. Your answer, which was The all of the struggle that you went through with with the 2008 financial crisis. Um and being a anxious achiever, it now means that that is what you can help other people with and therefore it wasn’t a negative thing necessarily because you can help others with it. So I just wanted to highlight that you’ve given a lot of value today so I really appreciate it. Um the one thing that I ask everyone who comes on is James, what does success mean to you? Mm Oh my goodness, what does success mean to me? I’ll say it like this, the true measure of success though, it’s nice to have an experience for myself. But the only reason that I go for anything, the only reason that I want success in any area is so that I can become more if it’s just for my gain, I’m not interested, I give, I give two cares, I could care less.

Success means how is this affecting the greater good? If I achieve something, it’s my job, it’s my honor to see how it is. That maybe what I have achieved is what maybe the world could stand to hear about. Maybe there specific people, maybe the industry, it’s got more than me because I care less about legacy on my life. I don’t care that people remember my name at all zero, but I’m put on this earth here so that I can make a positive difference so that I can benefit the earth and humanity. they don’t remember me, I could care less. I’ve been put here for a purpose and for a reason and everyone who’s listening to this show, everyone in the world, that’s exactly the same. We’ve all been put here for a purpose. We must get beyond that. Everything has to be attached to our name. That’s not the good news. The good news is you want to participate in a non anxious way with life. We have to get beyond herself.

We’ve got to make it so that it expands and we widen the circle. People that work with me, they’ll know that if ever ever if ever they show up and it’s like, oh, now I’ve grown enough, I’m done. I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Why did you choose to lie to me? To begin with? Was it all just about you now that you have what you want now you’re done. What’s the purpose of all of this? Why did you actually do this? So what you could just calm your nerves and get away from your inner anxiety. You’re gonna wake up to deeper anxiety someday. If you if you just stop now and anxiety is holy smokes, I just did it for me. I don’t give a sh it about, that’s how we honor how, that’s how we’re thankful for the breath we’ve been given, I think we’re thankful for the breath we’ve been given when we say I’m going for something and that’s fine. But let it be known that the only reason I’m doing this is to have an experience of life and help people in their experience of life, it’s gotta matter, it’s gotta mean something, not only to me but to the greater world around me. It has to well, um, I think if that’s your, why you’re doing what you’re doing the next day in this episode, you have helped me.

So I very much appreciate all the value that you brought um and the passion as well in the prep for the episode. I did a little bit of research and you got a fair amount of experience with the old podcast. So it shows you mentioned in the answer that, you know, if it was someone was working with you, if someone does want to get in touch or perhaps higher as a coach, where do they go? I think the best thing to do and this is a gift that will offer each and every one of you go to James Hepner dot com forward slash quiz and there you can take a quiz where you’re going to discover if you’re maximizing And also how you’re sabotaging your life. So just take some time. Honor yourself, have some fun with it, 80 questions, just a multiple choice, you’re gonna have a great time, you fill it out and you’re gonna get some results and that’s going to show you exactly and precisely which areas to laser down on to make all the difference. We all want to find that master switch of our life and I kid you not, I work with some ferocious at very high level decision makers and high level individuals.

I value high, high value, I kid you not this quiz, this is the one thing that all of my work works around. It comes around this one thing and honestly I’ll give you a white glove experience. So for a limited time you do the quiz. Um so perhaps what what what your people can do is just mention, you can you can just mention your name And I will remember this episode and I’ll give him a white glove experience being I’ll get on the phone if you will help you understand how the results affect your life and I’ll just give you a complete no charge. It’ll be a short little thing, I can’t do this, you know, you know it’ll be 15, 20 minutes, but it’s gonna be a really intimate cool experience and you’re gonna know exactly which areas to laser you want to work with me. Great if you don’t, it’s up to you and again, so that’s the quiz and once you’re there you’ll see you have other links, you go under services, you’ll see there’s one on one coaching there, you’re gonna see exactly how I help my people. So there’s there’s two simple links. Well thank you for that. Very generous. And I am glad I met you and thank you for all the value today.

No problem. Thank you so much.