Casey Ryan – You Don’t End Up In Meetings Because Things Are Going Well

With me on the show today is Casey Ryan of Ryan life coaching she helps bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Casey, how are you? I’m doing well. Andrew, how are you? I’m doing great. We’ve had some technical difficulties getting the show. But the baby’s good, the computers good, we’re good to go. So a great thing is to reset. Everything is reset God’s will not mine.
So give us a little background on how you grew up and, and what kind of led to what happened. You know, you got sober in 2005. And I’m guessing that wasn’t because things were going well before then. And now. I mean, I was just like a casual drinker. And I thought, you know, let me try out a meeting that might be a great social event. And I just stumbled into now 13 years later, it’s like life is wonderful. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be so passionate about sharing a message of recovery and really
I love when people will tell their stories of what it was like because that’s really what resonates with people, you know that emotional connection, things were going great. Most people wouldn’t stumble into a 12 step program or find themselves in a courthouse or in an IOP. So no, life was not going great when I walked into a meeting, what was the background before you started coming in? I think so much of my background of my story is probably just a lot of shame. And this perception of life that perception of not fitting in there is always one of the best lines and if I write a book, it will probably be titled, a mild sense of impending doom. There is always this mild sense of impending doom in my life, and it led to physical feelings, legitimate physical sickness, when I was a child, just constantly on edge of feeling that I didn’t fit in questions about life.


I came from a broken family and I never understood you know why my dad left and there was a poverty on with
Living with my mom, my dad didn’t understand why we needed money. So there was a lot of talk of money. My dad didn’t understand why the lights were being shut off. And some nights around candles because electricity wasn’t paid. There’s just a lot of conflicting things about who I was what my worth was, where did I fit in, I believe that like I was the cause of my mother’s depression, and my father leaving basically, and no one ever told me different. And it’s not to blame anyone. So many children, especially nowadays come from a broken home and some of them overcome it. I was not one of those. And there could have definitely been a predisposition with some sort of depression or mental illness beforehand. But there’s just always again, that sense of impending doom that I did not fit in and that I was the cause of all of my family’s problems, basically. So I stayed really quiet. I kept all of this to myself. I never told my mother about my physical illness that I had, I mean, I’d be doubled over in pain, which is if you
Feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. And today, you know, I understand that is just nerves. In short, it’s it’s nerves, it’s emotions are something that physically happened to us, you know, it’s why we call them feelings like we feel emotions, we physically feel those. So it was going through that there is my grandmother had also sent me to my brother and I to Catholic school. My family was very big in the church. So when I could go to Catholic school, we lived out of the district and my mom had to drive us. So it was just feeling like we didn’t fit in there. And I had no friends because the kids that I went to school with didn’t live in my neighborhood. We were one of two divorced families in the entire school. There wasn’t much going on with minorities. And I was just always that really curious kid in religion class when there’s this talk of God. And Jesus can do all these things I was like, but how and why and it didn’t make sense. And I was one of those kids that was like, raise my hand and ask these questions and I will
wasn’t feeling the effects that they were talking about of being, you know, joyous and free. So again, I mean, that led to a lot of conflict. Looking back on all of it. I just kind of say to myself, it’s all BS. But again, understanding that when we go through these things, that is still my story to tell, I can’t change the past, I can’t change how I perceived the world around me. I can’t change any of that. All I can really do is somewhat understand it today and go forward. But the way that I really wrap it up is in one word is that I felt shame. I felt shamed for who I was. I felt shame because I believed I didn’t fit into the world. I felt shame because I was just awkward basically. And I took like the world’s problems on my shoulders. So fast forward, but I started acting out horribly as a child and I have an older brother and I wanted to always get my way I was in terror. I would be you know, fight with my mom. I would fight with my brother like physically fight with my brother and siblings.
Do that. And then I would have these temper tantrums. I didn’t do anything that my mother said. And then I go in front of my dad and I was this quiet little child and I just had these emotional outbursts all the time, and how my mother kept it together in any way, shape, or form. I have no clue. So that was one of the first signs was, I think the first time was like, my quietness, I’d have bouts of not eating. My mom had started sending me to a counselor and I was about eight at this time. And by eight, I mean, I was having suicidal thoughts. You know, that’s, that is like the thing of shame of believing I, the world would be, you know, better off without me. So I started having suicidal thoughts at about eight and I started acting out really bad. My mom was taking me to a counselor. And then I was about 10. And my mom was a smoker. And I think there’s just this thing of seeing stuff on TV of what older kids do and it was like, just go smoke and in fifth grade, I was suspended from school for smoking on school premises, and I got some other girl in trouble. And my mom being the enabler that she is, and she had to pick me up from
Catholic school and fifth grade poor, she’s mortified, but it was just Well, let’s let’s go to McDonald’s and let’s go to the mall. Because what else are we going to do with our day? My mom is the quintessential enabler, I can get more into, you know, my relationship with her later. You know, she just didn’t know what to do. And so that eventually, I told my mom, I wanted to leave Catholic school and be around other kids. You know, who were in my grade. So I started going to public school, and from fifth to sixth grade, I had to basically reinvent myself. So there’s this reinventing because nobody in the neighborhood knew me. I was just the girl that went to Catholic school and no one knew her. So when I got into junior high, I put on that tough, fully exterior, because I was so scared again, the shame that if people knew me, and you found out that I was fearful, you just you wouldn’t like me. So I became this horrible believer and just really kept on this tough face. started picking on other girls. Basically, my
next door neighbor. So how kind of, you know, drugs get into this and wanting to fit in my next door neighbor had an older brother and we’d hang out over there. And her mom were like three jobs. And you know, one day there’s there’s pot that’s there and someone passes it. And I’m not going to say no, because I want to fit in with these kids. So you know, I do it. nothing really happens. I don’t think the first time in a couple weeks later there’s there’s alcohol there. And the first time I ever really got drunk that night, I was also like,
alcohol was never present at my mom’s alcohol was president my dad’s house. And the thing that I knew about alcohol was when it came out, everyone acted differently. The party started when the bottle of Bacardi and there’s a little bat on the Bacardi bottle. When that bat came out, the party started at my dad’s, and everyone got loud and everyone started laughing and people are jumping in the pool and doing all this other stuff in
Things got crazy. And I wanted that I could tell that there was a difference from a very young age when alcohol was around how people acted.
And I was attracted to that. What I also could tell with alcohol was that on vacations with my dad and my stepmom, on a Saturday or Sunday night when that bottle of Bacardi came out vacation was ending early, because they would end up getting into a blow up flight. And we’d have to drive hours home from our property in Wisconsin, and complete silence because they had gotten into a massive fight. When I my first drunk, there were cases of 14 of MTD. And I had this mask on of like, I can do anything. I’m, I’m whatever you want me to be. And so I started drinking 40s and I don’t even remember how many I drank on my first drunk. I mean, it was probably six beers on my first drunk at 11 years old, and blacked out the first time. You know, woke up in, woke up in a bed and God only knows what happens and all that
I remember thinking, and I was sick too. And of course, I’d acted like a jerk. I don’t remember what I did. But you know, my girlfriends weren’t happy with me. And it was just like this moment of like, you know, and the 12 steps are in the book where it talks about like, I had arrived. And I felt like it was gone. People liked me.
I didn’t have that knot in my stomach for just, you know, a few minutes. And when I woke up, a lot of that shame was still there because people are telling me like, you know, what did you do but and I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.
But the party was there and that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be around those older kids. I just, you know, I wanted I wanted to fit in. And
I won’t I won’t go through it slowly. I will just say that from that first drunk of being blacked out, it went into stealing from my mom’s you know, already small purse every single day to buy weed or to somehow get alcohol or to have something
My bias cigarettes, hanging around all of the older kids to get what I wanted. And if that meant, you know, having sex with someone that meant having sex with someone, I wasn’t known for being a prude in the neighborhood, that’s for certain. And I feel like as a woman, that is something that’s important to talk about, because as women even in recovery, it’s something that we look at, and it’s something that we don’t want to talk about, but it’s still part of our story. And it’s still something that we do, and we can’t change it. It’s just one of those things that we did what we had to do, because it’s what we knew, it’s what we knew at the time. It’s It’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just what we did. And there’s probably a lot of worse things that we could have done than to like physically use our bodies to like have some 18 year old guy buy us, you know, a handle of jack daniels within that. I mean, it was any I was one of those if it was around, I was doing it if I had to break into your house to get it. I was doing it by choice.
years old, I had a I was facing a burglary case for literally breaking into someone’s house to get alcohol. You know, the cops were over. I was not I was the girl that friends, their parents didn’t want me over there. If again, if it was around, I was going to do it anything to help me escape. And looking back at it now, none of that stuff really helped me escape. I was just always chasing, always chasing, always chasing, always chasing. I believe that there’s this massive misconception in a way that maybe this is just for me like that drugs and alcohol somehow numbed a lot of my pain. It just gave me something else to focus on. It gave me something to you know, project my energy toward than focusing on that not that was in my stomach. The thoughts that were swirling around in my head of everyone else is better than me. I’m never going to get these grades. I’m never going to do this and never be able to do that. I was just able to project my thoughts somewhere else and not focus
With what was going on with me, I truly don’t believe that it was like known in any way and maybe that’s just like a word that we use because we don’t know how to describe it. I just was able to focus my energy on something else. So, you know, to go through it, it was you know, I was drinking alcohol luckily by 13 and kicked out of two schools. Final it was freshman year of high school, I was kicked out on assault on a teacher because she was trying to stop me from assaulting someone else and I ended up hitting her. I mean, I would drink at school I would drink after school drink before school. Alcohol is just I loved it because it did. It was able to send me into oblivion basically. And of course me like, like the life of the party, too, because I like to have stuff. So, you know, I was at I was at a party one night with some friends and heroin happened to be around and kind of just like alcohol. I hadn’t seen
Some of the negative side effects of it, because I was dating a guy that was doing heroin, and his best friend was doing heroin, and they were injecting and I just thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. It was just disgusting what they were doing. And I remember asking, my friend Glenn one time said, Glenn, why don’t you just stop? It goes, it’s not that easy case. And that is a line that will stick with me, I think for the rest of my life. When I’m doing certain things or when I’m expecting someone to do something that seems so easy, of, it’s just not that easy case. You know, remembering what the still suffering addict goes through remembering what it’s like to live in limiting beliefs or in shame. I was at this party one night and I thought I was doing a line of cocaine and it turned out to be heroin that just led to boosting things and selling it and doing horrible returns at a big box store. won’t go into the details of that, but I was official
10 year old heroin addict I was shooting $120 a day where the heroin, I’d cut back on my drinking because like a good addict, you know that those two don’t mix all that well. And what had happened was I was facing a battery case and I could not drop clean for the life of me from that battery case I was sent to juvie still couldn’t stay clean afterwards. And then they ended up sending me in to downstate Illinois to a treatment facility to an adolescent treatment facility. And kind of, like I said, of just wanting to always fit in and this thing of shame, and perfectionism. You know, it’s like, my shame came from my perfectionism. I believe that everything that I had to do is 100% perfect. And if I wasn’t, then I was wrong. I went to this treatment facility and to be 100% honest, at the time, I wanted to stop. I had, I had infections in my arm, my best friend who I was using with at the time, she had gone into treatment a couple of weeks before me I was really broken and beaten. And it was at that point where I wanted to
Stop, but I didn’t know-how. So going to that treatment facility really was the best thing for me. And I got down there and just completely excelled for six months. I was, you know, one of those that was like the star of the treatment center, you know, you’re a coordinator and all this other stuff. But really what it was I was also just feeding back into the addiction of the shame, and the perfectionism. If I don’t do everything perfect. People are going to judge me, I am absolutely worthless. And as much as I was physically clean at the time, I mean, I was 16 years old. I can’t blame myself for not knowing I really wasn’t working on some of those core things of Who Am I some of the real like mental health things. It wasn’t working through a lot of that childhood stuff. I was just kind of going through the gauntlet of what happens in treatment. What did come out of that was, I learned to journal that was probably one of the biggest things I would journal every single day pages a day, and I was still extremely depressed. But what that did is I was able to find this outlet.
of writing, which I had loved to do when I was younger and somewhat gifted and expressing myself in that way. Luckily I journaled every single day and being able to look back on it and finding that outlet and really looking at my thoughts on paper and saying, What is going on here? This isn’t true, but why am I thinking it so being able to analyze all of that, so I get out of treatment, I had went to a 12 step meeting, and it was a bunch of older men. And again, I was 16 was a noon meeting, it was out in West suburbs of Chicago. And I think every man in there must have been like, 60 plus years old. And I remember that sat down, and this guy has asked me, you know, how old are you are 16 because you’re not even old enough to drink, get out. And I just looked at him and he just kept saying, Get out. And luckily having six months of treatment under my belt, and knowing, you know, traditions of 12 step programs, I thought, you know, the only requirement for membership is a desire to you know, it’s a desire to stop basically
I just kept repeating that in my head. And I thought if this man doesn’t know me, I deserve to be here. But from that it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and but I knew I wanted to stay sober. So I just said, You know what, I’m not going back to that meeting and and I went to a different meeting, ended up staying clean for two years and met like a wonderful fellowship of people did all this just crazy stuff that clean addicts still do. We were not boring. It’s not we just didn’t go to work and like, keep our heads down. You know, we had a lot of fun. So it was a great introduction for me. I ended up relapsing after two years from that what I can say, I think to put it usually how I put it in the simplest terms is that, you know, from living in Chicago, we have some rough neighborhoods, and I would go to meetings and some rough neighborhood and some of those rough neighborhoods just to kind of get out and you hear some pretty scary stuff. When you walk into those meetings.
And there’s that saying of, there’s yes in the program. And when I realized
All of those yet that I had heard about came true for me. It wasn’t just juvie anymore, or any of these things. I mean, it was being homeless, ending up in BRAC houses ending up in strange places wondering, am I going to get out of here alive? Is this person calling going to be enraged me? How did I even get here in the first place? I would think all the time in these situations, what have I done, I was awake. And it was like I was living this physical nightmare, thinking how am I going to get out of here alive? And when I say that I literally thinking, how am I going to get out of here alive? waking up in some of those homes or neighborhoods? constantly just doing it over and over and over again, that thing of insanity and then wondering what the heck am I doing and then there were times when it was good. And I would drink with Chicago police officers and Chicago firefighters constantly just carrying this mask of everything’s good. Everything’s good. Every
Things good, everything’s good. I think if you were to have met me on the street when I was drinking a bottle a day and doing $100 worth of heroin a day, you probably would not have assumed that I was an addict. Maybe besides like some of my physical characteristics. I was a master manipulator and things. And I think that’s probably one of the ways that I was able to get out of some of this stuff alive is that they’re like, you know, maybe they just thought like, this person. There she goes, this I don’t know. I literally have no clue.
On the surface, it seemed like you were holding it together even though your life was insanely out of control from what it sounds Yeah, those people that knew me they obviously knew what I was going through. I think that caused a lot of the shame it was it was like how could this woman just continue to do all of that stuff and you know, I no different than any other addict when it comes to that and when it comes, I guess I’ll wrap this up when it comes to like the you know, the physical consequences of that.
four year relapse
in and out of institutions in and out of hospitals three I believe three times going TO to prison to like to I do see on on drug felony charges you know I wasn’t the most stealthy
heroin user there and even you know even I was just a bad criminal in that way and it was just a thing of like I didn’t care you know you just you go there you act as if
you know even going into the penitentiary It’s not like I was some hard nose. But it really was just like, what are you doing here? And I don’t I look at that today. If I ever question my worth or my value today, I look at how well I was able to get along and fully function with people in
in the penitentiary. And be that just the kind of actress that I was
If those people like kind of didn’t view me as a criminal of like, really, you really don’t belong here, I get it, but you really don’t belong here. Those people could see it. Like, why can’t I see that in myself?
So, there was one fateful nights of,
of getting arrested and it’s kind of like the universe works itself out perfectly. Where I was driving to my from my mom’s house, I can’t remember. I was in the suburbs, and I had open alcohol in the car, had drugs in the car had gotten pulled over. Being in the suburbs. The the county jail system is a little bit different. I’m on parole at the time. I think I’ve been out of prison for about, I don’t know, two, three months. Maybe it wasn’t long. And I had I was drunk like nobody’s business. I mean, just absolutely lick and I get pulled over.
And they take me in.
They did not get the drugs on my person they were hitting. So I have drugs when I’m in jail. I’m in a blackout drunk. And I wake up and apparently I had written some, it was like two three pages this like, life story of how I was what I felt how I was ready to get help all of this other stuff. And I didn’t see it until I think two days later, my parole officer had come to see me. And I was just like, Casey, what are you doing? Like I can only help you if you really want to get this but I can’t I can’t get you out of this one. And he shows me this, this handwritten thing and I’m like, I did not write that. But here I am staring at it is my handwriting is, you know, it is my story. And it’s my signature on the thing and I’m just blown away because I have no recollection of writing this thing. And what what my parole officer had said to me was like, if you really
Want to do this like I will fight for you because I believe that you know, an addicts place is not in prison like an addict places in treatment. But he knew the hurdles that we were going to have to that that we were going to have to try to jump here on. Given my background, I’m considered a wall so any sort of like treatment is off the table because you let me out of handcuffs, I will run from you, you know, a trial of these things before so he didn’t really see it happening thank the universe. I had the P o that I did that believed in treatment for addicts and not just you know, penal institutions. So he had to go to his supervisor, which was a huge know.
Then once he was able to tell his supervisor, yes, then we had to go through like a state board to have him fight for me. And then even once that was approved, then we had to go through the county in which I was being held, to fight with them to try to get me treatment and all of this
This entire process took six months of sitting in county jail waiting for this when I could have taken a prison sentence and been out in, you know, a couple of months. But it was this thing of waking up in the jail cell. And just saying to myself, it was almost like this. That moment, you know, that moment of clarity of something’s got to change, and I’m going to take action.
And I think when I woke up, my sobriety date is 917 2005. I gotten arrested on the 14th. As I said, I had some drugs and stuff in there for the first couple of days. So you know, on it was like on 917, when, when all of that ran out, or on the 16th, and all of it ran out. It was just what action Are you going to take? What are you going to do? And I made a conscious decision to say, I don’t care what happens, I will get treatment, because that is where I belong. Going back and forth to prison will not help me and I thought for that and
Most inmates pretty much all of them who knew my story thought I was absolutely insane. Like, why would you sit in county jail for a minute longer than you have to? And all I could say to them was, I need treatment, I need treatment, I need treatment. So I was ended up I had gotten drug courts, which led me to, you know, transitional housing, I op all of that other stuff. And
and then just kind of, you know, into 12 step programs and into different recovery and counseling.
What was different this time versus the other time when you had a couple years before like, what’s what’s making this one stick now coming up on 14 years, the biggest thing would be taking, you know, taking the action. It wasn’t just
I think before when I was in the program, granted, you know, I was a little bit younger, but it was still just this thing of wanting to fit in. One thing that really stuck with me this time.
When I started going to, I was doing this for me. I wasn’t doing this to please anyone else. The mask had to come off of like, my life is all together. I’m wonderful. That had to go. And those first couple of years in the program, it was still like doing it for other people even though you know, I didn’t realize it at the time. I didn’t I did not realize it at the time. But I also wasn’t talking about insecurities. I wasn’t talking about fears I wasn’t humbling myself I guess enough to say I’m not perfect. And I need help here. This You know, this time it really was It was truly me saying I need help. I have no fucking clue how to manage my life. I have no fucking clue how to manage my emotions. I don’t know how to stop shooting dope and drinking. I need someone to show me the way and before it was kind of just like a social events.
And when you know this, this time
I was 21 when I got sober. And I remember going to meetings and I would see other 21 year olds and they were hanging out and they’re socializing, they’re smoking their cigarettes and everybody’s like dating each other. And I wanted so bad to fit into that crowd. I think most people could understand I wanted to fit into that crowd so bad, but coming from my insecurities.
I didn’t want I don’t think I wanted anything more than to fit into that crowd than my sobriety. And I would look over at the parking lot and see them chatting it up and
think of like, oh, who’s dating Who? And then I would go into the meeting. And I would hang out with like the 55 year olds who taught me about life. I think that’s one of those things, though. And it comes down to a lot of getting out of our comfort zone. And when you see people your same age, all doing the same thing. I mean, it’s difficult to tell somebody you shouldn’t be hanging out with the people.
Who are where you are because you can’t grow. If you’re not stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone and you’re not going to be learning, you know, I like to equate it with kids playing t ball. So you could be emulating the kid who is the best at t ball. But if you have a major league player right next door, who’s saying, this is how you get into the majors, everybody’s going to want to flock to the T ball player because he’s close enough to their level. But the reality is, if you want to get substantial results, you need to be doing things that are substantially different than what you’ve currently been doing. And I touch on that a lot with my clients when we’re doing business coaching, and they’ll be they’ll be kind of stuck in the mindset of, here’s how I always do things therefore
This is the way that they need to get done. And I’ll open their eyes to just things that are completely, completely out of their comfort zone completely. Just opposite and backwards, of how they’ve been raised everything that they think they know, will just turn things completely upside down, like you should hire people to do the work for you get percentages instead of, you know, 100% it’s better to take 10% of a watermelon than it is to take 100% of a grape and you’ve been eating grapes your whole life, it’s time to eat watermelon. So how did you get into life coaching? It seems to me that the beginning of your life, you were not really in a position to be giving advice. So what?
Well, yeah, and I mean, I can even say that for a long time in my recovery too. So part of the big thing with my story of like going into coaching
Was that I had worked, you know, just kind of did like the normal recovery thing kind of did like the normal life thing I had, you know, I went back to school, I wanted to go into social work, and then I realized, like, I really don’t want to go into social work and, you know, make that money and, you know, and it I felt like it just overlaps too much with what I was doing. You know, in, in a program like this, you know, it’s not what I want to do. And, and I was working at a restaurant and it’s a great restaurant here in the Chicagoland area and
 I decided to stick with them and to move to move up with them.
Because they have like, you know, like, you know, leadership training, stuff like that, that people just kind of walk to in a way. So I was very fortunate to have to have just even started with that company and I stayed with that company for 10 years. And in management there I learned so many skills of just this, you know of coaching of leaders.
of talking to people from all different backgrounds of you know, the 50 employees on any given day that are there, and managing those people in it in an extremely stressful environment, and really getting to know them, how to tailor the talk to them how to be really 100% honest, how do how am I authentic that when I show up to these people every single day, they know what to expect from me, whether I’m having something personal go on at home, whether they’re having something personal going, when they show up to work, they they know that Casey is Casey. That’s it. So from that I learned, you know, authenticity. I learned how to be accountable to people, I learned how to really just truly be myself and not be ashamed of that any longer. But even within that, it was I don’t know, it was maybe eight years into doing and I was just like,
not, not what I want to do for the rest of my life. And I looked at all the things
Of You know, it’s a great company, great reputation, you know, I got a bunch of zeros on my paycheck, it’s, you know, filled that kind of very the extremely empathetic part of me of coaching and leadership until I just decided like this is truly is not what what I want to do and, and then all the limiting beliefs come in of well, I never finished my degree because of this job and I’m an addict and I have, you know, my background of, you know, multiple felonies and so all of that stuff started coming back in about 10 years into sobriety. And, and I was going through a divorce at the time and just, you know, all of these things. And I think my from my divorce it was, it was one of the best things that happened to me because I learned, I really learned my own inner strengths. I really learned I do truly have control over my emotions, maybe not immediately when they happen. But if I sit on something for more than five seconds
Like, that’s my choice, emotions are going to happen. We’re just human. And from that I learned so much of just how to overcome things and not let outside you know circumstances affect who I am. So I ended up leaving that management job to go travel. So I spent was about 11 months out of the country. And from that I had met a lot of coaches who were just like crazily doing the deal. And
I’m like, my god like this. I love you loved what they were about. And I was so drawn to what they were doing of not because they were trying to do it for a paycheck, like I mean, I met some extremely authentic coaches where it was just they had a message of what you know about yourself, what you believe about yourself, is pretty much bullshit. Like, let’s uncover that bullshit and
Let’s get down to the real you as a human being which qualities,
stop telling yourself the Bs, because they had gone through it too, and they had suffered through it. So for me, my draw to go into coaching was to, you know, break down those lies. It wasn’t too. It was like to end you know, to end human suffering.
it is you, you have a profound impact on the people that you’re coaching and the ability to basically hop into somebody’s brain and rewire the way that they think and the way that they view and all the things that happen on the inside to be able to do that and be effective. I mean, that really does completely change somebody’s outlook on life and how they handle the world and it’s it’s like the idea behind 12 step recovery.
You have your life is a complete wreck, and you play a giant role in it. And you can translate that into coaching where your life not necessarily has gone to crap, although a lot of times it has. But the idea that you can rewire that and you can take control of what’s going on in your life and impact your destiny, those are all really really impactful things that people can’t just pull out. Without getting assistance from some sort of outside force. I kind of look at it, like the sponsor sponsee relationship, but it’s in a more professional way. And I think it’s really great that you can get in with people and erase the suffering or at least get it to a point where it’s manageable. What was one of the things that’s really stood out to you since you become a coach, something like one of those big wins? I think one of the things that really stands out is that most, most people know what they need to do.
They’re just not willing to take action. And there’s, you know, there’s probably many reasons why people are not willing to take action. And I think it’s one reason to why people even question like, why do I really need a coach for this? You know, what, why do I need a life coach, recovery coach, transitional coach, a business coach, you know, I know what I need to do. It’s like, well, if you know what you need to do, then why aren’t you doing it? You know, so that’s one of the basic things I think that’s one of like, the big aha moments, is it’s not that these people are stupid.
That is not the case, or that they’re, you know, ignorant to a lot of the things that actually needs to happen. It’s that they don’t know how a but the reasons why they don’t do them are a little bit greater. So that could be, you know, their, their past beliefs that they don’t even realize those subconscious things of, you know, when the fear comes in a little bit of having to go to, you know, either it’s going to the gym or maybe like going to a networking group or asking the boss for a raise.
You know, starting their own company, whatever it might be, you know, when the amygdala goes off, and they’re thinking that it is the end of the world, when really all they’re doing is asking to have their needs to be met. They know us somewhere they know that all I’m really doing is asking to have my needs to be met. But then we go into that fight or flight mode, and you think it’s the end of the world. And because of past situations, we shrink back from doing those things, and then we just stay in our comfort zone. So yeah, I probably say that’s, that’s one of the biggest thing is that a lot of people will come and it’s not that, you know, come to me, it’s not that they don’t know what they need to do. They just don’t take the action for whatever reason, and that’s, you know, that I think that’s the greatest thing about coaching is having someone there to basically kind of like in early sobriety, I had, you know, a sponsor, I had counselors, I have these people in my life to like, hold my hand basically. And they didn’t write out the paperwork for me, but they were there to hold my hand.
Give me those little tidbits of information that I needed to hear and walk me through the process. And then if there was something that I wasn’t aware of, because they had been doing this a little bit longer than they would throw me that information.
Yeah, and that’s one of the things that really drew me to the coaching world in general. It was a lot like 12 step work. But it wasn’t just impacting Well, if I do this, I get to stay sober. But you can apply these things to so many different aspects in your life. And I think growing up, you know, our parents hold us accountable. Our teachers hold us accountable. And we kind of just go through life with, okay, give me the assignment. Now yell at me until I do it. And then Welcome to the real world. You get to make decisions, and we kind of fall back to I’ll go work for somebody, tell me what to do. I don’t want to make decisions. And then when we have the
opportunity to do something impactful and do something big and different, then we fall into, but nobody told me to do this and nobody’s going to hold me accountable. So it’s, you know, we’ve got this epidemic of obesity in America. And it’s not because we haven’t been told to eat healthy and exercise like that’s, that’s all you have to do. And it goes back to well case it’s not that easy. But it right. But it literally is, though, the action is just that easy. But if we don’t have a big enough why, then you know, maybe we’ll do it for a couple weeks, couple months, but push comes to shove and eating healthy is not that fun, every single day. And you eat a pizza and you get away with it and then it’s like, I didn’t even want to be healthy anyway.
But we can have that same mindset with our lives, like you said, asking for a raise, going out and making the jump into entrepreneurship, all of these things. It’s not super, super difficult and especially like the asking for a raise, like you just go ask a question. No one’s ever been like, now you’re fired. Like, the worst case is back to work. And you ask the question, it’s really not going to be as devastating one of my coaches, he always says, it’s never going to go as bad as you want it to.
And I think that’s how we all just jump to immediate worst case scenario. And it’s usually not even that bad. Yeah, I had when before I left the country, and I was I was considering traveling and again, I mean, I had kicked around the idea of leaving this job for two years beforehand. And
I had vacation I had solo vacation to Puerto Rico and
I had met this guy, and him and his wife had started a brewery there, which Puerto Rico did not have. And they had honeymoons there. They fell in love with it. And they had left their jobs here in the actual states, I guess. To start this, he’s like, everyone thought we were crazy. And so I had told him, you know, what was going on with me. And he’s just in Syria, because everyone is going to tell you, you were fucking crazy. You just do it. But his thing was, he just looked at me said, What is the worst that can happen? Is it really what what’s the worst that could happen? I said, Well, by the time I return, you know, I’ll be 35 and what if I’m broke and I can’t get a job and, and I’m living in my mom’s, you know, second bedroom goes, Well, if that is the case, if that’s where you physically are, and you and other people are judging you. Let them judge like you’re the one that took a risk of leaving this extremely stable job to go travel and experience the world and do all this other stuff. Forget them. You’re the one that’s going to have, you know, years of memories
of, of traveling in crazy places. So what and I, you know, thinking of that what is the worst that is going to happen? What is the worst that’s going to happen if, if I don’t hang out with those 20 year olds when I get sober when I’m 20? And I’m going to a 12 step meeting, what’s the worst that’s going to happen if, if I tell myself, you know, I’m going to make a commitment to go to the gym? Two days a week for 30 minutes, and I actually get over there and I hate it. So what can you go back home and sit on the couch if you want to? But really, and I’ve asked myself that question so many times and I use it a lot in coaching to, to really draw out what the person is thinking, what is their mindset, what is their biggest fear? Because that’s what this guy did with me basically, not kind of, you know, not knowing that he was coaching me, but drawing that out, what is the what is the mindset of, you know, of the coach, he basically what is their projected scenario here and when a coach can kind
tap into that, then they can start, you know, backpedaling that that worst case scenario. All right, well, let’s realistically look at what could happen here.
So I’ve used that a lot of what’s the worst that could happen?
Yeah, when I started my IT company that was the exact conversation that I had with myself, and it was a whole lot of things had lined up perfectly for me to make the jump and, and basically, the conclusion I came to was, the worst possible case scenario is it doesn’t work, I empty my retirement and I’m like, 28 living with my parents, which I did for the first 20 some years of my life anyway, it’s not really going to be this terrible thing, even if it doesn’t work. And I mean, my goal initially was just to be able to pay the bills in my own work, doing some
thing that I enjoyed. And I mean it grew to way, way bigger than I thought it ever could. And I hadn’t even considered what if something better than I imagined happens and that’s kind of that happens in recovery where one of the quotes that I hear a lot is if I had my craziest dreams come true when I first got in the rooms I would be selling myself so short and that was definitely my experience with coming into the rooms because all I wanted to do I didn’t even want to stop drinking but like I wanted to stop getting in trouble for drinking and then just kind of did a fake it till you make it kind of deal.
But it’s been just such a crazy journey to see where I was when I was starting out, facing that fear and I still run into it all the time. I’ve got a couple of
opportunities in the pipeline that are just big and, you know, I’m thinking, What if it doesn’t work out? What if it doesn’t work out? And if if I just play the tape, worst thing that happens, it doesn’t work and I lose some money and I can get money again. Like that’s, that’s most of the big problems that I run into now is I pay for something that isn’t what I hoped it was, and then I just have to earn it again. That’s that’s 99% of worst case scenarios at this point. Yeah, and it’s speaking of like money, I mean, that was a huge that was a huge like, self limiting belief for me, because I, you know, mentioned like, with my childhood, there was, you know, there was poverty and living with my mom and then at my dad’s you my dad had money, but he wasn’t willing to fork over any of that. And there was always this battle with money with my mom and my dad and it happens to be
through my brother and myself. It never went directly
Was my mom, my dad because they didn’t speak it always was directed at us. So I felt like I was not worthy of money basically. And so I would save and I would save and I would save.
And I just the scarcity mentality. So that came into play of like, you know, going into workshops when when I was overseas and really like treating myself or you know, having my own coach doing those things, you know, to benefit myself if there’s anything that I need to spend money on now, it’s like looking at is like, it will come back. This is an investment. And it’s not to say that you we don’t spend money on things and it doesn’t turn out but the bottom line is having to have that belief that this will work out because if I don’t spend the money, then it won’t. Then I just I literally will never know because I have never even attempted to do that. So it comes down to you know that simple saying like it’s better to, you know, try and to fail than to have never tried it all. Whatever
botching that one. But you get the point. That’s one of those things when they ask people on their deathbed, do you have any regrets anything you wish you did over?
You can’t take that money with you. And no one’s thinking, I wish I had saved more. I wish I had. You know, it’s always the regret of a wish I’d taken that chance. I wish I had spent more time with my family. It’s never something along the lines of
I’m glad I played it safe and nothing exciting happened. But that’s how we live our lives. And if we don’t have somebody pushing us, all the people that live in mediocre land, which by definition is a majority of the people. They will all cosine it. You shouldn’t do your startup that’s risky. You shouldn’t travel the world. What if there’s a terrorist attack? I think that’s one of the craziest, one of the craziest things like what if there’s a terrorist attack in America in your
Your hometown like that. That can also happen it’s not like they’re scheduled out and you’re just planning to be there wrong place wrong time like it. It can hell I had learned playing safe from my mom and she did not like the idea of me traveling whatsoever and I would say to her mom, I drive 80 miles per hour on the highway every single day or you know, it was like 60 miles to and from work and like that right there is the most dangerous thing and we all do it and we don’t think twice about it. So and with that she like a terrorist attack. I lived with a family in in Palestine for about three weeks. And you know, when we think of these things can I’ll Weren’t you scared? And this and this.
They were the most wonderful people ever.
You know, it’s not to say that I wasn’t kind of, you know, on the lookout, but it was they were the most wonderful country community. hospitable people that would
Literally just say, you know, come in coffee, tea, coffee tea, because it’s kind of what some of them just knew in English, and they just want it to be around you. And so when I look at that, it’s I never would have had that sort of experience right there. I would never have had that understanding about culture and community, and curiosity that they almost have had I stayed here and gotten out of that comfort zone, and thought, Oh, well, it’s too scary over there. But having like, again, really recognizing what we do, what is the worst thing that can happen? Well, I, you know, I think is that I can get into my car, the most dangerous thing that I do every single day, and I could get into an accident, but no one wants to look at that because for some reason we trust because we feel like we’re in control. We trust that it’s, you know, because it’s comfortable for us. You know, getting into the car and driving is comfortable. The statistics are staggering to have how many people dying
accidents. But so often we just kind of take life for granted. And just kind of assume that our time is just an infinite thing. And I know that I just personally am. I am more risk tolerant than the average bear. Like, I’ll come out and say it. But at the same time, we’re all on earth for a set amount of years. And it’s I look at it like a movie, you know, it’s eventually going to end. And I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I don’t want to be sitting on my deathbed. Thinking. Glad I played it safe in didn’t try that startup. There’s just so many experiences so many things that I’m extremely grateful that once I took the plunge and got extremely uncomfortable, and then realized on the other side of it, running your own business really isn’t that scary in the first couple of
months it’s like, but I mean, it’s kind of just like any other job except for at this job if it goes wrong, you can lose everything versus just getting fired and stopping income it can go the other way, but it’s just another job and the day to day doesn’t mean it’s it’s crazy different all the time. But it’s, I don’t know, I guess it’s the kind of chaos that I like. But Casey in in wrapping up, what advice would you have for someone that’s struggling with addiction trying to get sober or just starting out? If they’re just starting out in, in recovery, you know, ask for the help. Like, there’s a simple thing of you know, there’s no, there are no stupid questions.
And just, you know, what I always think to have a newcomer coming in is that it’s it’s scary. It’s unknown territory. It looks like
Everyone has all of their stuff together. And just to keep in the forefront of your mind, everyone was new. At one point, everyone had to walk into their first meeting at some point. They didn’t come in with this host of friends. They didn’t come in because their life was great they came in because they needed help. And how uncomfortable that is, you know, when we really think about how uncomfortable it is to walk into a room of strangers and ask for help. Like that is truly like a cry of desperation when we walk into a room of strangers and ask for help. But this just shows where we’re at in our life. So just remembering everyone was new ones everyone is starting out doing these things.
You know, what is what is the end goal and keep that keep that in the in the forefront of your mind is that you know, maybe you just want to quit drinking. Maybe you don’t want to, you know, start a business or do all this other stuff. Maybe you just want to quit drinking. And but if that is your end goal, I just want to quit drinking. People say
That a 12 step meeting or a coach or, you know, this facility can help me do that. Keep that in the forefront of your mind. Like, that’s what worked. For me. It wasn’t about being popular. It wasn’t about making money. It wasn’t about anything else. It was just, I need to stop doing this stuff. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes. And I think that sometimes it’s a lot easier said than done. But just like anything with, you know, talking about coaching or business as long as I know, my purpose and my intent, why I’m doing this, no matter what I do in the middle, I can’t fail. I think of the first couple of years of sobriety, and it ties in a lot to my coaching with, you know, with mental health, too, is that I suffered from severe depression, so it wasn’t just probably coming off the drugs too, but like severe depression the first couple of years and I like to talk about this because people go through it and they think that they’re crazy and they think that they’re different in that they’re never going to get this sobriety thing. But also there is a you know, the biochemical component to all of this too. I would cry
Like in fetal position, sometimes it just like rocking and shaking and it’s not that I wanted to use drugs or alcohol, but I knew drugs or alcohol would know me for a little bit basically. And I would just sit there and like, sometimes pull my hair out and just say like, I’m not like completely out but you know, like pulling my hair and just say, it’s gonna be okay. Like you don’t want to use you don’t want to use you don’t want to use and that wasn’t because I was physically addicted to something else like that had to do with my mental health too. And but my, the, you know, my thing was when I first got sober, I said, Nothing is going to get me high. Nothing. I am doing this for me. And years into sobriety. I would just repeat that when things really got tough. So set like, set the intention. What do I intend to do? If it’s at the beginning, just to get sober and not pick up a drink than you, then nothing will get in your way, is what it comes down to. Like keep it simple, stupid.
Love that. And what advice would you give somebody who’s maybe on the edge wants to get into entrepreneurship, but they’ve been at their job for the last 10 years, and they’ve invested a whole lot of time in it. What advice would you give for that person who’s on the edge? Well,
go back to that guy saying, What’s the worst that’s going to happen? I would say, if someone isn’t really ready to take that big leap, you know, for me, it was a little bit different. I had financial stability at the time. You know, I was able to just up and quit my job and do some soul searching and stuff. I understand that not everyone is in that position. But there were also things that led up to it. There was just this curiosity of what is what is it like to go out by myself? And I would start to do things just kind of spontaneously, you know, I go for like, you know, runs along the Lakeshore that I had not done before. I was
Go to different tours, I would go to shows by myself, I would learn to just kind of build up my self esteem of what did I like I was curious and maybe an entrepreneur, maybe they don’t even know what they want to do. They just know that they don’t want to work that nine to five, but they don’t really know what they like they don’t have their purpose. They don’t have you know, there’s plenty of people that go into it, they like they know they have it inside of them. They just don’t know what the actual product is going to be. So my first advice on that is get out and do things and that might take a year of discovering yourself, you know, go Google things that are going on in your area and do those things and do a lot of them alone. Don’t have your best friend there to tell you how great it is or how horrible it is that it’s boring. Go and do those things by yourself. You want to get outside your comfort zone and know what it feels like to be lonely. You know, wondering, am I running my business correctly? Go out there for a year and do go to meetups by yourself. Go to networking
yourself, go on tours by yourself, go to shows by yourself, do that stuff alone and get comfortable with you. Because that’s where you start to find out what who you are and what you like, and what drives you
to people that you can help. So you know, when you’re talking about entrepreneurship, it could go so many different ways, not just coaching.
So I would say if someone isn’t in that financial position, where they don’t know what they want to do, do something by yourself for the first year, go on meetup, go on event, right? Go on, you know, Facebook, whatever it is, and find out things that are going on in your area, but do them by yourself. And then once you start getting into that, and you say, hey, these are the people that I want to help. If you’re like me, you want to do everything all at once. And you know, I don’t know exactly at the beginning. It’s, you know, I want to do this and I want to start this nonprofit and I want coach and I want to have this Incorporated, learning to slow down and network with a lot of other people, right, who are maybe who have gone before.
You in certain areas,
you know, see what see what’s out there, you know, get outside your comfort zone at the beginning, you know, go to, you know, go to some networking groups see what the market is that’s out there. See, this is what one thing that I actually do. I will go to networking groups and see what just as more like to kind of perfect my coaching skills, find out what the mindset is of some of these people when they’re transitioning in a job, or they’re going to do a startup know some of this stuff. I already know what to hear it from a vast majority of people, I can then get easier into the mind of a client, right? If that makes sense. And you know, going to some of those, I’m a talker and again, you know, I said like, always putting on this face that everything is good. Well, once you start to figure out what your business is going to be
About, yeah, go to those meetups and just say, What do I have to lose? Like, I don’t owe these people anything, but there could be a client in there, there could be $10,000 in there. I don’t know, there could be a potential business partner in there.
You know, go to go to mastermind, you know, find someone find a group of people who are really doing the deal and that are going to lift you up, hold you accountable, give you the business ideas that you may not have even thought of yet. That’s so great. And where can listeners find you? I am at Ryan. Life. Perfect. All right, Casey, thank you so much for being on the show. And guys, if you liked the episode, please subscribe. Check out Casey online. She’s doing great things. And Casey, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks, Andrew

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