Dr. Sean Stephenson is a motivational speaker, an author, and a board certified therapist. Sean was born with a rare bone disorder that stunted his growth, and caused his bones to be extremely fragile, resulting in recurrent, painful fractures. Sean has reached millions of people around the world with his message, including Sir Richard Branson, President Clinton, and his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as the Biography Channel in a one hour documentary about his life called “Three Foot Giant.”
TTN: Sean, I want you to know that it was your book “Get Off Your But” that ultimately led me to decide to start this website to help and inspire talent, which is something I had wanted to do for a long time. So it is a special honor to get to interview you today and share what you have to say with the world of talent…thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Sean: You are very welcome!
TTN: Your book, “Get Off Your But” is all about ending self sabotage. What do you say to that little voice that rears its ugly head telling you that you won’t be successful, you aren’t good enough…this will never work?”
SEAN: When that voice comes up in my head, I haven’t been taking care of myself. I have been really sitting with this concept of insecurity, because you know insecurity, fear, doubt, all of that is what we are talking about here, and that is something that lies dormant in all of us. I don’t believe that we ever get rid of those things. It’s almost like how in medicine they say we all have cancer cells that live inside of us, but some of us do things and live certain ways and have events that happen that trigger those cancer cells, and then they begin to flourish. I think the same thing about insecurities, fears, doubts and excuses. I believe that we have those components living inside of us but we can do things, or not do things, to trigger or not trigger them to flourish inside of us. Whenever I have those doubts or insecurities begin to brim to the surface, I know I haven’t been taking care of myself. So I go back to my self-care list, and make sure I’m getting adequate sleep, make sure I’m hydrating, make sure I’m exercising, make sure I’m meditating or praying. I make sure I’m spending time with those I respect and admire. I have a list of about 16 different things that I can do to take care of myself mentally, physically, spiritually and financially, and I find that those (negative) voices make an appearance when I’ve been ignoring that self-care list.
TTN: How important do you believe your “mindset” is in order to be able to achieve your goals and dreams?
SEAN: My background is in the mindset, in fact my doctorate is in clinical hypnosis which is all about the unconscious mind, the operations that are happening outside of our conscious awareness. So I am a huge believer that our mindset is 80 percent of our success and failure. Only 20 percent, or less, is actually what we are doing or not doing physically. Your mindset is super critical in your trajectory, in making sure that you know where you are going. I believe that the reasons why your mindset is important, is that if you look at the conscious and unconscious mind, we will just use other words here, we will call it “will power” versus “imagination.” Will power is what people think they need more of…I need more will power to stay on this diet, I need more will power to get back out there after having my heart-broken, I need more will power to make this business work. I don’t believe that it is will power that we are deficient of. I believe that we are deficient of imagination…and it’s not that the imagination is not there, it is just that we aren’t utilizing it properly. When we were kids we used our imagination far more, we were aware of it and we played with it. Our imagination was all about having fun and coming up with ideas and being creative and playful. But then as we get older, we tell ourselves we can’t do that anyone because that is crazy. So what happens, is the imagination doesn’t go away, the imagination says, let’s serve the master (meaning ourselves) by conjuring up fears, like conjuring up worst case scenarios and worries. So the imagination is always present, whether it is there for your play and enjoyment or for your setbacks and your concerns. So when I am talking about mindset, I mean we need to get our imagination back on board with visualizing what we want, visualizing play, visualizing fun, visualizing things getting better and more colorful and more amazing. It is not about willing yourself through the tough times, because will power burns out. It’s like rocket fuel, it definitely burns out quickly. This is why most people last only a few days on their new year’s resolutions, they think that will power is what they need instead of, affirmation, visualizations and working with that imagination,
TTN: What do you feel is the single most important thing that you do to consistently promote a “go for it” attitude within yourself?
SEAN: It’s the self-care list. I call it my “When Life Works” list. Because when your life is working you are doing those things, and when your life is not, you are not doing those things. It is very simple. I am blessed to have people around the world pay me really good money to tell them the basic simple principle that I am giving to you for free, which is you need to make a “When Life Works” list and stick to it! If people did that they probably wouldn’t need therapists…I would be out of a career! It would be a wonderful thing if the self-help movement wouldn’t need to exist because everybody was doing their self-care list, but that’s not the case.
TTN: In your book, you give a lot of credit to your family and others close to you who support you. How does having a “pit crew” as you call it, benefit one’s pursuit of their goals?
SEAN: Well, you really can’t get to where you want to be in your life if you don’t have the right set of people around you. And if for some reason you actually trick the system, and you do it on your own, what a sad miserable existence! How much fun is it to achieve your goals by yourself? I think it is more fun to make money with people you love, make projects complete with others and your incredible peer group. Because on days that you are drained, because you didn’t do some self-care or you are just facing huge odds, it is really helpful to have people who believe in you behind you, to support you when you don’t know whether or not you can make it yourself. Having people around you that believe in you on days that you don’t believe in yourself…that’s very important!
TTN: This site is dedicated to inspiring talent. Many individuals reading this are contemplating taking their talents to the next level and many are trying to earn a living through them. This is an area where talent will likely face rejection after rejection, and will have to persevere while constantly hearing the word “no.” What suggestions do you have for dealing with constant rejection?
SEAN: You need to pretend as if everybody is in your life to encourage you. Some are going to do it in ways that are very apparent, and some are going to do it covertly. The covert cheerleaders in your life look like your doubters, your haters, your skeptics and cynics. But if you tell yourself “you know what, they are just testing me to see how strong my vision is, to see how strong my commitment to my goals are”…then you start to see them as people who are there as your teachers, they are rooting for you just as much as those people who are saying other things to you. Then you don’t hold any of that in and take it personally. Rejection only sucks if you take things personally. You realize that they are all either cheering for you or challenging you to be better, then you don’t get stuck in that trap of believing them. There are going to be people who are easy to beat and people who beat you, but they are all good practice, they are all good for honing your skill set. The best way to deal with rejection is to tell yourself that everyone is secretly on your team!
TTN: Do you suggest having other interests outside of your goals or your career? What do you do for fun?
SEAN: Yes of course. If you don’t have something outside of your passion then you don’t get any decompression time. When you take on a successful life, you take on a lot of pressure, if you will. Pressure is good. The way you grow stronger muscles and bone is to put them under load. But the way you rest is the time you decompress, when you don’t have to go under a load. And the ways that I do that, is I play video games, I hang out with my wife and my dog, I like finding new restaurants and food, I love to read I like to spend time in nature and I love to exercise. These are all things that help to relieve that stress and that compression from taking on big audacious hairy goals!!
TTN: What are you working on currently, Sean?
SEAN: Right now my time and attention is on something that I call Sean Stephenson’s speaking secrets. I am really excited to teach people how to get into the business of professional speaking. More specifically how to make $10,000 an hour speaking. I have a live event here in Scottsdale, Arizona in August, 14-17 that I am going to be teaching called 10,000 dollar speeches. It is specifically about how to break into an industry and share your expertise and your passion!
WANT MORE SEAN??
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