Mike Skrypnek was recently “forced,” through a pros and cons decision with life and death, to uncover and seek treatment for unhealed trauma buried for 40 years. Mike is resilient and this is his story.

You can read stories of resilience and share your story at: www.iamresilient.info

Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised. 

About the Guest:

Mike Skrypnek is the catalyst that ignites your passion to help you make a cosmic ripple effect. He knows that the multiplier of entrepreneurial success extends through generations.

At our core, we all seek happiness, calm and love in our lives. This is true personally and professionally. The right ideas and strategies move us from the limits imposed on us by money to the purposeful impact we seek. People, processes and systems help us strip away our fear of losing time to unproductive work, or distractions that prevent us from the freedom we desire. While, a sense of lack in our lives drains our energy and we lose the confidence to fulfill the dreams we have imagined for ourselves.

Mike is an international bestseller of eight books, a paid public speaker and sought after business coach who has shared his insights and wisdom with thousands of passionate purpose driven entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives. His Grow Get Give philosophy and training guides you to focus on your impact, freedom & dreams, so you will receive all the money, time & energy you need.

Mike lives, loves and adventures with his wife and their two young adult children in the beautiful Sea-to-Sky corridor of British Columbia, Canada.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/growgetgive/

 https://www.mikeskrypnek.com/

About the Host:

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. As a pioneer in the industry, she has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, launch their businesses and more. Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 bestselling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur and co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “The Resilience Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.

Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.

Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below. 

Subscribe to the podcast

If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app.  

Leave us an Apple Podcasts review

Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review.

Transcript
Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments, while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.

Blair Kaplan Venables:his insights and wisdoms with:Mike Skrypnek:

Thank you so much, Blair. Thank you. I'm humbled. I'm glad that you know sometimes you don't know we have we met a couple of years ago, right. Almost a little bit, maybe even more. And actually was over three now. Actually.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah, it was before Shane's heart attack.

Mike Skrypnek:

Yeah, I think it was pandemic time. But it was no, it wasn't, it was beforehand. Yeah. And, you know, you, I've always loved being in the coaching role. And often, after years go by sometimes you don't understand the impact you get to make in people's lives. So, you know, I'm grateful for having that opportunity.

Blair Kaplan Venables:nd so it must have been early:Mike Skrypnek:had a crisis this year, or in:Mike Skrypnek:

things changed immediately. And I, you know, looking back, I'm like, why did it take me 20 or 30 years of my adult life to not deal with it, I get the kid part. Because you just bury shit, and you just hide it for the time being. But that's a that's a survival mechanism. But as an adult, you know, I really wish someone might have pushed me harder for

Blair Kaplan Venables:

that. Well, oh, my gosh, Mike, thank you for sharing. First, I'm really glad you're still here, because the world needs your message. I am so proud of you for reaching out and getting help. Second, yes. If you're listening to this conversation, it's not too late to get therapy. And what you did Mike was so brave, because you were thinking that it was the end. And you made a choice. Or maybe we can dive into that a bit more but you chose to keep living and to fight through it. And to tackle those demons. And a lot of people don't or they escape and they numb and you are here on this earth in this body for a reason in this lifetime. And you went through some hard shit. But here you are. Hear you are to tell the story, you made it out the other side of that rock bottom, so that you can heal and tell your story. And it that does take a lot of vulnerability because really bravery is vulnerability. And as an entrepreneur, I know how challenging it can be. Because you're trying to decide what to share what not to share. But at the end of the day, we're all people going through shit, and the world is heavy.

Mike Skrypnek:ugh that, prior to October of:Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah, it sounds it sounds like it. And, you know, I admire you for turning your pain into purpose, because that's something that I found a lot of comfort in as an entrepreneur, and I really appreciate your you know, your ability to articulate what happened and the process you're going through and be that catalyst for other men who need a safe space, need to have those conversations. You know, I, if you're open to it, I have a question. You know, you said you had a really dark 10 days, where you were contemplating suicide, you made it to your to do list, but like, you didn't go through with it? What was that catalyst at the end of those 10 days where you knew it was time to get help? And how did you do that? Did you ask your wife to help you to do reach out? Did you Google like, can you walk us through those those, those final days? Because maybe someone doesn't know they're there? And they're listening to this? And we want them out of that space? And not, you know, going through with the checklist?

Mike Skrypnek:

Yeah, I mean, I had, I had every emotion, you know, I experienced the shame, the guilt, the lack of interest in dealing with anybody, the hopelessness. Just complete withdrawal, full on depression. And, you know, and fear. And, you know, I was gripped by that, like, I couldn't function for that time. But I was, you know, functioning, if you will, I was getting through the days, my family was well aware that it was in a bad place, and I just didn't know how to get out. I'm fortunate. I have a lady in my life, who is who was a client of mine in the financial services industry. We did some work together in the coaching industry. I helped her write one of her books, who and she's a psychologist, and P, a PhD in psychology. And I called her actually texted I texted her, I said, I need help. I said, Diane, I need help. And I need to talk like today. And she said, Okay, let's do that. And she was there for me. And then we spent some time, this was like, a Friday when I did that text, and I knew that I was safe with her. I knew that she's non judgmental, she did know some of my past because we had done some work before. But, you know, it was kind of super, it was really a simple process. And she opened herself up to me professionally and personally. And you know, that conversation turned everything around. It didn't fix everything. But it sir, it turned the page and the page was, you're right. What if I went into a hole and stayed in bed? What if I, you know, didn't get out of bed for three days? What if I just called it a day? What if I went and killed myself? You know, she walked me through that, you know, and all of the answers were not, you know, like, I'm like, Okay, this is stupid. This is a stupid process. Why are you doing this? She goes, Well, Quit fucking around time to get your shit to get like she's a good friend. Right? So she doesn't hold any bars with me. And but it was enough to get me to the next stage, which is, how do I get functional again, and I could not reach out I needed to get my business back live because it was dying. It was dead. It was zero. I had zero revenue coming in from that point for the foreseeable year. Right. That's where my business was. And I had to, in order to not to pay my bills, I had to get on the phone and work or email or whatever, right? I couldn't. So the only thing I could do was create. And so after that 10 day window, and after this kick in the button, I started to create, and that was I kind of was a little bit manic about writing every single day and posting on LinkedIn. That's just my platform. And I was able to do that. And it helped me it was therapeutic. I didn't like talk about my issues. I was just topic. Next topic. Right? Right. Right. And for me writing was the was the cure, to getting back into kind of somewhere in humanity. And then I found I looked up another individual I needed a man to help guide me who was a high quality psychologist and counselor who did EMDR because this is trauma and it was a trauma based experience. And I needed to get out of that anxiety and that intense sense of trauma that people who've gone through it that PTSD. I needed that out of my life. So I could do with some regular stuff with a calm head, so I found a fellow in Vancouver. And he was able to meet with me. And we started a process, which ended in December. And so from October through December, those few conversations with my friend who is a psychologist, this new fellow who's now a friend, and a good man,

Mike Skrypnek:

you know, helped me open up and talk to my mom about it. My kids, like my kids, I told my kids about my challenges. And everybody was in, they said, We'll carry the freight. And so you figure out that you you're being resilient because you think other people won't carry the freight for you that they won't lend a hand, they won't give it our hearts to you, and you're not worthy of the love that they're giving. And the reality is, they're always there, they're always ready. And they'll always give you the love and carry the freight. You know, the people in your life who care about you, most will do that for you. And men tend to always carry the burden of doing it for everyone else. And that and never giving out reaching out and asking for help. And so that process started to just help me emerge. But I was still screwed, like I was not doing well. I was like, I gotta find a job. I can't go, I can't go out and find people to work with me, I'm a disaster. Why would anyone want to, you know, work with me and I tried to get work. For two months, I sent out 250 applications, apparently, I'm on hireable, which is kind of an interesting aside. My resume is pretty good. Anyways, but after my intense, a two week period of intense treatment, basically daily for two to three hours of EMDR and counseling. And after the end of that, the entire world open up the universe will opened up for me, business started calling me, I started getting Opportunities Project started right away. And I didn't reach out to anybody, it just started happening. And you know, that's an important part of where you are, when you're limited, and you feel unworthy. And we have a lack of self worth, and limitations and fear and shame and guilt. You're always operating at 90% or 60%, or 95%, whatever that is, you're never operating at your full potential. And it felt like the moment I got to that other side. I became unlimited. Every opportunity is unlimited. I'm worthy. I trust, being able to talk like this, and I'll be fine. People aren't going to all, you know, navigate, you know, gravitate to this conversation. But you know, the hell of them. It's okay, I'm good. I used to worry that everybody would be pushed away and I wouldn't have nobody around anymore. But the reality is, you know, it doesn't even matter.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I yeah, like I think what you're saying is so like, I I don't know what you I can empathize with what you went through. But as someone who speaks about my personal life a lot in business, I understand. And as someone who has been doing this for years, the right people work with me the wrong you know, the ones that aren't interested or not the right people, they're not in my sphere. Before we go on what quickly what is EMDR

Mike Skrypnek:

it's it's no I hate I hate that I always forget the actual what, what it stands for eye movement, desensitization, desensitization and reprocessing. So it's a process, some people kind of relate it to a hypnotic hypnosis style. But it's, it was definite. It's been widely used and was heavily used in people who have suffering PTSD. The military, really, there's a ton of studies that have been able to support the use of this because it's just so what rampant and it's so effective. It is almost like a miracle. And it's really weird. And I say it's really weird, because you're, you're it's an eye movement, bilateral kind of thing. And it's just, it's just an odd, it feels like how can that fix my brain, but it's about rewiring the neural pathways, where you have preset that because trauma, like locks you in, especially as a child, and for men, which was interesting in my studies, in my research was the average age of a male who's been sexually assaulted is 11.4 years old. That was precisely my experience in my time, and it locks in that trauma. And then the pathways that get set are all about how you protect yourself from further damage. trauma. And so the survival pathways get preset at that moment. And so EMDR is a mechanism, just one mechanism of rewiring those neural pathways to change how they behave in that survival moment, you don't rely on those and change your thought patterns. And when you begin to rewire those, you begin to be more open and you get tools, and there's no anxiety. The big thing is there's zero anxiety with both circumstances, when you think back to what happened, and how you think the rest of the world is dealing with you. Right? I always protected myself, right, there was always a protection piece. And one of them is I used to, you know, pick really, really exciting, entrepreneurial, you know, men who were just totally successful to work with, like, that was where I gravitated, I loved high performing men, right. But the problem is, is I didn't like high performing men that were good with good intentions. I liked people who were extremely, deeply flawed. So every time I would get into bed in terms of business with these people, they would blow shit up. And I would be a huge victim because I was all in. Right? And that was the repetition. I was like, Ah, how do I do that again, and I just kept repeating that. So I'd be with these amazing, charismatic, innovative entrepreneurs. And I'd be their right hand person going into battle when I was younger in my 20s. And they would just completely blow up. They were cheap, scoundrels, liars. You know, they were so deeply flawed that it was always too late. By the time it was all revealed. And, you know, that was a pattern that really cost me dearly, financially. But it also set some real protection mechanisms and how I didn't, I stopped bringing in men to my life, I thought, that's one way I'm going to be okay is I'm not going to bring any leadership men into my life. And then I repelled them all along, somehow, subconsciously. So now I don't have I don't have that sense of it. EMDR is completely erase that for me. And immediately, immediately, two things happen. incredibly good men of high caliber. And in high intelligence, and high whatever high worth immediately started talking to me, out of nowhere, people were either in my sphere or barely. The other was, a number of men reached out to me, I said nothing publicly about my healing. Men reached out to me during December, that were going to kill themselves that had contemplated it that had deep secrets that had just been unveiled, like, men reached out to me, who I never had that communication with whatsoever. Because they needed my help at that moment, and I gave it to them.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

It's like your whole vibe and energy changed. And the universe at a higher power was working.

Mike Skrypnek:

No question. Yeah, it's always in for me, I've always said that. It's not the physical bits and pieces and molecules, it's the space in between. And when you're in a trauma based protection mode, you know, this resilience protects you from that space. And it just when you get to open that up, you get to share your space, it becomes part everybody becomes part of the same. And and for me, that was that's just been huge. It doesn't solve all your problems in business. But it certainly what it does is take out the terror, that you're no longer afraid like, I'm not in by any mean, looking forward ahead to my business right now going this is a secure business I feel really good about, however, it's in a really good place. And there's some really great things going on. So and the other stuff I'm not worried about. So I'm not acting from a place of fear or scarcity, you know, it's always abundance and openness and worth,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

um, something you touched on a bit earlier. I think we just quickly touch on before we wrap up the interview, I have a couple more questions. But this is really important because you actually had someone in your circle who was a psychologist who was able to help you. First of all, there are no coincidences. And so she was in your life for a reason. You helped her she helped you and it's great. What about those people who are listening who are in those dark days in those 10? You know, your 10 days where you've contemplated suicide? If someone's listening to this, and they're thinking about suicide, but they don't have a psychologist in their life, what do they do?

Mike Skrypnek:

Reach out to any professional one? 800 Whatever. It doesn't matter,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

people that's actually not a phone number. Don't do don't actually dial one and 100 Sorry, one, Google look, what should they Google? Suicide Prevention.

Mike Skrypnek:

That's a helpline suicide prevention. You know, one of the things I think that a lot of People consider is that oh, how can someone in a psych I don't do psychology stuff. They're they're flaky people, they're you. They talk about things in my feelings I'm suffering right now and I need help. The key is is they know what they're doing. They're professionals. They're trained 99% of the professionals who call themselves psychologist, have a degree of training and can get you out of that moment. All you need to do is get out of that moment. So that the next moment you can do some research, find people I needed EMDR because I had distinct trauma in my life. That was physical, it was sexual. It was an awful event. That is an easy thing. Two psychologists or counselors that do EMDR in my neighborhood, boom, you will find a bunch. And these people can help you. Yes, you have to ask. Here's the thing. Shame. I didn't ask for 40 years Blair. I didn't ask till I was so afraid that I might do something stupid. I should have I should have the whole way along. If anyone is ever listening, that is contemplating their challenge that they go, Yeah, I've had this trauma, I'm navigating this, you're not navigating it, it will bite you in the ass. At some point. I didn't navigate it. Someone should have had a strong position to me. And guess what? They're fearful. They feel shame. They feel guilt. I feel incredible guilt. This person went on to molest a ton of people. I didn't say a thing when I was 11. I couldn't I don't blame myself. But I know that dozens of other boys were traumatized. And boys had killed themselves. And I know boys went on to travel traumatize other boys as men, like, this is a terrible thing. I had enormous guilt and shame over it. I don't have that guilt and shame today. I don't feel that. And that's what you need to get over in order to get well is you need to come to the other side of what those words mean. And that's the book, I mean, the book that I'm writing is going to talk about those words, because they're, they're heavy. And they're the thing that prevent you. So your sphere, your fear, your guilt, your shame, your embarrassment, those things are the only thing standing between you and unlimited worth and getting well again. And so you got to understand that everybody on the other side of the professional phone, they get it, they understand it. This is their day to day. Your story.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I it's funny, it's not funny, but that's not the right word. I was actually going to ask you prefer advice you just gave it. But you have, you have this like immense amount of wisdom. And you know, from our last conversation, which was many moons ago, you are carrying yourself differently. Because I knew you before you dealt with the trauma, and you just seem like a completely different person. And I'm excited to get to know this, this version of you. And our listeners are so lucky that you are here to share your story because someone listening needs to hear this. And when you are ready to start doing your book promotion, you that you tell me wherever this this radical Resilience Project, you know, if the podcast is here, or social media and everything, I will help you promote this because this is information that people need you shared your stat earlier was it? What was it?

Mike Skrypnek:

Two and six? At least I think it's higher, but two and six, at least talk have talked about it men have been or living with childhood trauma, please that one in three seconds. That's sexually abused. I'm not talking about other forms of abuse. And I you know, I'm lucky I wasn't an addict. I didn't I'm not recovering. I don't have a recovery story here. You know, I'm meeting men who have the recovery story and then have to deal with their trauma. Like there's a double edged sword, people in recovery, addicts addiction, like there's so much trauma based. I've been lucky now I've had eight interviews in the last month and a half with men who are just absolutely astonishing. And you know, another thing Blair, for me, like on a business level, because you have to solve some of the challenges mine wasn't, I didn't destroy my personal relationships. I just had a lot of business challenges. My family has been a core of love. My parents and my growing up was a core of love. Like there's always been that and I'm lucky I'm very fortunate because if I hadn't, I probably would have been a stat, I would have been an addict or dead. It would have been pretty simple or I would have been abusing other people. Okay, those are probably the three outcomes if I didn't have the love and security of a good family life. These, my curiosity is the patterns, the patterns that we've used to resilience we built, this is an it's an it's crazy, because I think of it in a good way. But this is a negative is it's the patterns we built to survive. And, and we had no choice. And then we had no consciousness about it. I'm curious about men who've been successful in spite of that, and then had a crisis and are on the healing side now. So I want to look at both because the message I have is, it is a miraculous change. When you are finally on the other side of healing. Your life changes profoundly. And mine is only three months into really,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

yeah, just near the beginning of your journey. I mean, but it's different.

Mike Skrypnek:

And there's no going back. Like, that's the great thing, there is no returning to that previous person. And it's the pivot, that was an absolute change for me. So that's, that's the message is that if you're wondering, you know, if I should deal with this, I have this thing, but I seem to be okay, you're not okay. And you need to deal with it. And you need to like, deal with it today. And you bring in the team, and they'll help you. Right.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

So that was your advice. The whole podcast is advice. Here's just

Mike Skrypnek:

my advice is, you don't have to be honest with everybody in at once. You know, be honest with yourself and a professional first. The people that love you most in your innermost circle. Yeah, guess what, they will be perfectly fine. When you tell them what your trauma was, they will be fine. And they will not only do that, they'll rise. And you You never bet they could rise. Because you're a successful leader. This is the man I'm talking to, is you thought you could carry all of this, everyone else will carry more than you could ever imagine. And you can trust that. And then your journey can begin like it's it's powerful.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

That is powerful. You're not alone. Like you're not going through this alone. They're professionals, your family, your friends, you have a support network. And, you know, Mike, where can people find you if they want to connect with you and work with you and follow you and your story.

Mike Skrypnek:

If they can spell my name, they can find me on LinkedIn. And that's my sole point of social media access that I spend any kind of time on. And contrary to the social media peoples out there, this is I pick one platform. You can find me at Mike script nick.com. And if you're a man who is on the healing side of a journey, and you've been in you know, you find yourself rather successful, and you'd like to talk about this, I'm doing interviews with Mike script like.com forward slash unlimited worth project. That's where they can find me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.