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SPI 620: How to Take Control of Your Emotions with Michael Bauman

How do you measure your success? What if you’ve actually been doing it wrong ever since childhood?

Many entrepreneurs are stuck in a loop, their minds always going through the list of things they haven’t done yet. Not only is this unhealthy, but it also impacts their businesses. So how can we rewire our brains and pursue goals effectively?

This is another fantastic installment in our Teaching Friday series. We love inviting members of the SPI Pro community to share their expertise with us and provide actionable tips that can take our businesses to the next level. Our guest host today definitely delivers on that!

Michael Bauman is the CEO of Success Engineering. He helps entrepreneurs optimize their mindset, habits, and productivity through one-on-one coaching and masterminds. He also hosts the Success Engineering podcast.

In this session, Michael gives us a new perspective on enoughness and shares the strategies we can use to encourage healthy, powerful thought patterns. You’ll be able to follow along with the steps and exercises as you listen and feel the massive impact these tactics can have on your outlook.

So how can you feel enough as a business owner, a parent, or a spouse? How can you feel like you’ve worked hard enough? Listen in on today’s talk to gain a new understanding of your emotions and how you can harness them to propel your life and business forward.


SPI 620: How to Take Control of Your Emotions with Michael Bauman

Michael Bauman: Now, this point is really, really important. If we can actually understand that our emotions might actually be signposts that are pointing at fundamental needs, that we’re not meeting, or maybe not meeting in a healthy way. We can actually start to put in different behaviors that can meet that fundamental need without going towards the unhealthy way that potentially we do it before.

Pat Flynn: Hey, hey, it’s Pat here. You’re about to listen to something a little different on the show today. It’s not our usual Friday format where I follow up on Wednesday’s episode. Don’t worry, those aren’t going away forever. Just a little break to bring in something even more special, in my opinion. And this episode and the next few are a part of our Teaching Friday series, which we do with our SPI Pro members.

We have an incredibly talented pool of people within SPI. Why not give our pros, the spotlight and teach you here on the podcast every once in a while. it’s just one of the perks of being a part of Pro in fact. With each episode, you get to hear a different pro, teach you something special from their area of expertise.

Without further ado, I’ll let them take it away. Oh, and if you want to find out more about SPI Pro and be a part of it, you can go ahead and apply at

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your guest host, he has hot air ballooned over Cappadocia Turkey, slid down from the Great Wall of China, bungee jumped from Auckland Harbor Bridge New Zealand, biked the streets of Rome, and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, Michael Bowman.

Michael Bauman: “Before we even sit up in bed before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reveri of lack” quote from Brene brown in Daring Greatly.

So today, I want to talk about how you as an entrepreneur can actually feel like you’re enough.

Now I found in my experience working with entrepreneurs and just in my own life in general, I found our definition of success is so intertwined with this idea of not feeling like we’re enough. A lot of times we’re pursuing this image of success, we’re pursuing an appearance of success. So I might be making a certain amount of money having a certain amount of revenue, or profit reaching a certain level of fame or recognition.

But underneath that, we’re actually pursuing, how can we feel like a success? And I feel like it’s so interchangeable with the idea of enoughness, it’s almost like how can I feel enough in every area of my life? So how much money, how much recognition fame achievement is enough?

How can I feel enough as a parent? How can I feel enough as a partner, or a spouse, or as a boss? Like how can I feel like I’m good enough as a boss? How can I feel like my physical body or my appearance are enough? How can I feel like I’ve done enough, worked hard enough? That’s like an everyday thing for us as entrepreneurs. How can I feel like I’m contributing enough or making enough of an impact?

So what if these questions actually underlie our feeling of success or failure, and this fundamental feeling of lack drives us as entrepreneurs to create massive empires of accomplishments to fill this void, but somehow no matter how much we achieve, we’re still left, not feeling enough?

And the problem with enoughness is it’s an internal problem that we actually try to solve with external solutions. So what can we do instead? How can we feel like we are enough?

Well, the first step is to become aware of when you don’t feel like you’re enough. So then you can begin to notice all of the patterns, the trends and stuff that may be contributing to that feeling.

So I want to begin with creating a not enoughness list. So I want you to list the top three to five areas of your life, where you just, no matter what you do, you just never seem to feel enough. And some categories you can use to think about this, if it’s beneficial for you, you can think in the areas of physical, so your health and your body, the areas of emotions. So it’s maybe like, I never seem to be able to handle my anger or process it well. And then you have the areas of mental categories. So productivity, you know, never feel like I get enough done. Learning, never feel like always have that imposter syndrome.

Maybe it’s financial, maybe it’s business, you know, no matter how big my business grows, it never is enough. Maybe it’s relational. Like I just never feel good enough as a father or as a spouse, or maybe it’s just your contribution. You’re like, I’ve never, you know, I’m not contributing enough. I’m not doing enough.

So those can be helpful frameworks for you to think about this, but I want you to start and just think about the top three to five areas of your life, where you feel like you’re not enough.

Now, what I want you to do is I want you to recall in your mind, in as much detail as possible, a recent moment where you felt like you were not enough.

So where were you? What were you doing? What were you thinking about at that time? What were you feeling physically in your body? What were you feeling emotionally? What time of the day was it? And then who is around you or maybe you’re alone, what did that look like? So while we tend to view our behaviors and our emotions, it’s kind of these spur moment, things that just come outta nowhere, right, in reality, they are intricately linked with our environment.

The thoughts that we’re having, the routines that we have a around us, the, even the people that we’re interacting with. So what I want you to do in a, in a non-judgmental way, ask these questions to notice some of the patterns, some of the behaviors that may be contributing to that feeling of not enoughness.

So the questions again are where were you? What were you doing? What were you thinking about at the time? What were you feeling physically? What were you feeling emotionally? What time was it? And then who is around you? And these questions are incredibly powerful as an awareness tool in any area of your life.

So you can take any emotion that you’re feeling, any behavior, maybe it’s a behavior that you don’t really like. And filter it through these questions and get an idea of what are some of the things that may be contributing. And then once you have that very clear picture, you’re visualizing this very clearly in your, in your brain I want you to backtrack in your mind, maybe one to two hours before that you remember not feeling enough and ask yourself that same set of questions. And then just keep going back, you know, maybe it’s a couple days even to include any relevant data that you think would contribute to that.

And what this starts to do is you start to notice there might be specific environments or maybe specific people that trigger this feeling you’re looking for these triggers.

It might be a specific thought pattern. Like when you have this thought, then it always triggers not feeling like enough, or maybe there’s a memory that does that. Or maybe it’s a specific activity or a specific time of day, right? Maybe you’re surrounded by a bunch of entrepreneurs that, you know, on the outside appear more successful than you.

And so you always feel like you’re not enough. So this is a really powerful tool to help you notice some of these triggers and patterns that contribute to you not feeling enough. And then as you’re doing this awareness exercise, I want you to actually pay special attention to where the feeling of not enough actually shows up for you in your body.

So maybe it’s like tensing in your neck, maybe it’s shoulders tightness of your chest, clenching your jaw. Where do you actually feel that in your body? So at this point, some of you guys might be wondering what in the world this has to do with entrepreneurship. So let me kind of explain, let me gimme a little bit of background.

So our modus operandi when it comes to our emotions is typically to either ignore. Or repress them or try to change them without adequately recognizing and appreciating the message they’re trying to convey to us. So emotions, essentially, they serve as our body’s natural warning and protection mechanism.

It’s similar to pain, right? When you’re in pain, your whole focus is around that specific spot. And a lot of times it’s how do I get out of pain? How do I move out of this? And it’s a similar with emotion. It’s our body’s way of expressing there might be fundamental needs that are going unmet.

Now this point is really, really important. If we can actually understand that our emotions might actually be signposts that are pointing at fundamental needs, that we’re not meeting, or maybe not meeting in a healthy way. We can actually start to put in different behaviors that can meet that fundamental need without going towards the unhealthy way that potentially we do it before.

So when you look at human needs, psychology, you have things like Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy and needs. A lot of people are familiar with that, but there’s an area that Tony Robbins has actually done a lot of work in and he lays out six fundamental needs that human beings have. The first four are primarily to just survive, and then the last two are what you absolutely need if you want to have any fulfillment in your life.

So as human beings, we have a fundamental need for safety to feel like we’re safe. And this can, you know, there’s different words for this. This might be certainty, a sense of certainty, a sense of comfort, a sense of control.

A lot of times for entrepreneurs it’s control. I know that word definitely resonates for me, you know, just trying to control everything. So we actually have this fundamental need for certainty and for control in our life. Then on the flip side, we also have a fundamental need for variety. And for change, like as human beings in, in life in general, everything’s always changing.

And if everything stayed the same, it would be absolutely boring. So we have this need on the other side for variety and spontaneity and fun and creativity, a lot of creativity falls into this category of variety. Then we have a need for significance to actually feel like we matter. And this is one that’s often overlooked and potentially as entrepreneurs a lot of times we try to meet that through our business.

So we go, I’m gonna feel significant because my business is doing well or I’m making a certain amount of money, but then if that isn’t happening, then we don’t feel like enough. Right. We don’t feel like there’s this fundamental need that’s getting met.

Because a lot of entrepreneurs channel, I mean, people in general, but business is a conduit for trying to meet these needs. So we have this need for significance and it’s actually a fundamental need. Sometimes we write it off and say like, oh, I don’t need that. No, there’s this need we have to feel like we matter and to feel significant.

Then the fourth one is a need for love, a need for connection, a need for belonging. And it’s important to note with this one. It’s actually internally and externally as well. So we have a need to connect with ourselves on a deep level, and then also connect with other people and be a part of social groups.

So those first four, the need for safety and certainty the need for variety or change the need to feel significant and to feel like we matter. And then the need for love and connection, both with ourselves and with other people. These are fundamental things that everybody needs just to, just to survive.

Then the next two are ones that are absolutely essential. If we’re looking at feeling fulfilled and that’s the needs of growth feeling like we’re actually growing and that we’re actually developing, we’re improving. And then the need for contribution or making an impact or feel like we’re giving back and contributing in some way.

Those two growth and contribution, we need those two to feel fulfilled. So what you wanna do when you feel this sense of not enoughness one, we can look at it as a signpost and go, what fundamental need do I have that I’m potentially not meeting or meeting, maybe meeting in a way that might not be as healthy or as positive. And I can actually use the feeling of not enoughness as a signpost or a trigger to think about what fundamental need I’m maybe going unmet.

So it’s important to look at these fundamental needs and just ask yourself the question, how am I meeting the need for safety or certainty in my life? What does that look like? So basically what has to happen in order for me to feel safe? What has to happen in order for me to feel in control, right? What has to happen in order for me to feel like there’s enough variety and enough spontaneity in my life? And looking at the rules you actually have for this, like I only feel safe or I only feel like I matter, or I only feel enough, right, if my business is hitting this certain amount of revenue.

Oh, interesting. So we can actually start to look at these rules that we have undergirding, how we meet these fundamental needs. And then you, you have to ask the question, how often does this have to happen for me to feel like I’m enough for me to feel like I’m at or to feel like I’m not alone, whatever one of those needs that you’re looking at meeting.

And then looking at what are some of the potentially unhealthy or less positive ways that I’m using to meet these needs. So that’s where a lot of times our, the behaviors that we don’t like, or our addictive behaviors and stuff they’re meeting these needs is a way that we go about meeting these needs, but in a way that might not be the healthiest for us.

So this also allows this tool to be a window into some of those things. And then we can look at, are there ways that we can actually meet these needs for certainty, for variety, for significance, love, and connection, you know, growth and contribution in ways that are actually healthier for us. And we can almost bypass the behaviors that we typically use to meet those needs, but it all starts and comes back down to that awareness.

So that’s why that awareness tool, those questions at the start is so important to get an idea of what triggers this need, and then to look behind it into what fundamental needs you have.

And then Tony Robbins follows this up with an exercise called the highest intent exercise.

So a lot of times we view, again, these emotions, like they’re bad. We try to repress ’em or ignore ’em pretend that they’re not there, but really those emotions we can look at, there’s a positive intent behind it. So what you can do is you can actually just sit with that emotion feel where you’re feeling in your body, and then ask it, what are you trying to protect me from?

So it’s there for a reason, what are you trying to protect me from and, and see what it says, right? And then you can follow that up with a question. If I was completely and totally protected, what would be even more important than that? For a lot of people, it might be to actually feel loved, to feel again like they matter or like they’re significant.

And you can ask that question again. You can go. If I, if I completely felt completely loved and I felt like I completely mattered what would be even more important than that? And at this point, you know, this might be different for different people, but at this point it might be, oh, now I actually wanna give that love to other people.

Like if I feel totally loved and totally protected, maybe I actually want to make, make the people around me feel like that. Right. And then you can follow it up and you can just continue going. Like, if I was completely and totally making everybody around me feeling like they were totally loved, totally protected.

What would be more important? And for different people, it might be a connection to God. It might be a connection to the universe. It might be a dissolution of, of self, right? There’s different avenues that people would go on that, but very quickly you can use the emotion that you’re feeling and get to a, a lot higher intent, a lot higher purpose that lies behind.

Then you can bring that purpose down from that 10,000 foot level back into your emotion. So you can say, I’m gonna bring that connection with God, or I’m gonna bring that connection with the universe or that oneness with everything. Right. I can bring that back down into loving other people.

How would that change how I express that love to other people? And then you bring that down into feeling loved yourself, right? Like if I was completely connected with God or if I was completely connected with the universe and I bring that back into myself or completely connected with everything that there is, and I bring that down into loving myself.

How would that change that? And then you bring it back down into the feeling of not feeling enough. How would that change? How that feels now very quickly in the span of just like a couple minutes, you can see how using that feeling of not enoughness can actually be a trigger that you can use to go to a lot higher intent and purpose, and actually bring that back into the feeling.

So instead of pushing it away, instead of repressing it, you can use it as that trigger.

Now, what if I told you that since you were a kid you’ve actually been measuring your success incorrectly? So for years and years and years, you’ve actually been using a faulty measure, an inaccurate measure of your success.

So world renowned, entrepreneur, coach Dan Sullivan talks about how, the only way that you can measure the distance that you’ve traveled is from where you started to where you are right now. This is profound because it can change everything about how you measure success and how you can actually feel like you’re enough in a phenomenal book that I’d recommend all entrepreneurs read.

It’s called The Gap And The Gain. So it’s by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. And in it, he talks about, we are constantly measuring ourselves in the gap. So basically we’re at this point and instead of looking at the distance, we’ve traveled from where we started to where we are right now, which is the only way we can measure distance, we actually look at the distance from where we are now to where we want to be.

So what we’re doing is we’re actually creating, we’re putting ourselves as a player, into an infinitely losing game. Like that is just the structure of the system. You’re putting yourself into an infinitely losing game because where you want to be is a goal post that is always moving further away.

So it doesn’t matter how far that you’ve moved. If you’re not measuring that distance, but you’re measuring the gap from where you are to where you want to. You are infinitely losing. Like none of us would enter a match or, you know, go to the casino where we know that it’s a hundred percent of the time we will lose all of our money at the casino, or we will guaranteed to lose in a sporting event.

Nobody would go in with the odd stacked against them like that. But we have actually, as entrepreneurs, we’ve actually been measuring our definitions of success incorrectly our whole life a lot of times. And a lot of times it comes from something that might have happened in our childhood, but there’s ways that you can actually change it right now.

And this is the concept that they talk about is measuring the gain rather than measuring the gap. And this sounds so simple, but it changed everything for me. Like what if we actually measured the gain? So incredibly powerful exercise is just sitting down, look back over the last decade. Look where you were at that point and actually measure, just start making a list of all of the things that you have accomplished in that period.

Right. Maybe your revenue has quadrupled since then. Maybe you’ve like gone through tremendous adversity and tremendous challenges and you’re still here. Whatever it is, just make a list of all of those things. And you’ll start to be surprised at how many things you’ve actually done and how many things you’ve, how much you’ve grown, how much you’ve developed.

It’s extraordinary. And then what you can do is you can actually, I started putting this into my every day, right? Every day as entrepreneurs, we’re looking at it and we’re going, okay, you know, what’s my to-do list for the next day. What, what did I get done today? How did I do, you know, what’s my to-do list for the next day.

What’s my weekly to-do list. What’s my quarterly goals. You know, we’re super good at that. But what if you actually put in celebration habits now, this sounds trite, but what if you actually started to measure the gain? Right? What if every day, along with your weekly review, you actually had like a done list, right?

What if you actually said I did this, this, this, this, and this, or if you didn’t get stuff done that day, what if you actually were like, I overcame this challenge, or maybe I was actually present with my family or maybe I actually took a vacation. You know, what, if you actually looked at that and then what if every week, along with your weekly review of what you got done and what you need to do, what if you actually celebrated all the things that you did, you know, what are all the amazing things that you did this week?

And what if every month you put that in? What if every quarter, what if every year you actually have a celebration, because what that does is that’s your lived experience, right? Like your day to day life. If we’re constantly in this losing game, we always feel like we’re not enough. We literally have formed the framework for us to constantly be losing and not feeling like we’re enough.

What if we changed that? What if you actually started celebrating. And it’s harder than it seems, right. It’s harder than it seems to actually go. I’m gonna celebrate myself, but you get to choose the life that you wanna have then celebrating yourself that changes the state that you feel. And that’s actually what we’re looking at.

We’re actually looking at feeling something different. Then we have to change the stories that we have about ourselves to be able to feel something different. So incredibly powerful tool, just think about, are you measuring in the. Or are me, are you measuring in the gain? And this is as simple as like maybe you’re eating a sandwich and you’re like, oh shoot. They put on too much mayonnaise on my sandwich.

All of a sudden you are measuring the gap, right. You’re measuring the gap of, oh man, I wish my sandwich, you know, had less mayonnaise on it. Instead of looking at I’m eating an incredible sandwich. It’s this really simple shift. But once you start to notice it you’ll notice that all throughout your day, you are measuring the gap.

So you can actually change that and measure the gain. You can celebrate the gains that you’ve actually had and change that feeling of not feeling enough into one that actually celebrates what you’re doing.

And the last thing I want to give you is what I call enoughness bookmarking.

So what if you could start your day and end your day feeling enough, regardless of what actually happened in the middle? So I came across this idea again, when I was reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. And in it, she has a section that talks about wholehearted living and a quote stood out to me and she says, no matter what gets done or how much is left undone, I am enough.

And isn’t that what we all wanna be able to feel like no matter what gets done or how much is left undone I’m enough. So what I started doing is I started bookmarking my days with this phrase, when I wake up in the morning. I say, no matter what gets done or how much is left undone, I’m enough. Right? And you can do this in every area.

You can say I’m enough as a father, right. I’m not perfect, but I’m enough as a father. And my, the physical body that I have is enough, right? Maybe it’s you don’t have a six psck. Maybe you’re not incredibly strong and you don’t have the perfect body that you want. But it’s enough. And actually on a cellular level, it’s performing thousands and thousands of just mind blowing processes that are keeping you alive every single minute of every single day.

And what if that’s enough, right? So in every area of life, you can actually use that. Like, no matter what gets done, I am enough, right? No matter, even if I get really angry today, I’m enough. And you’re separating this core sense of actually being enough from the problems that you actually have during your day.

And then at the end of your work day, No matter what you got done and what remains to be done, you’re enough. So now what I want you to do is I want you to think back to at the start of this, where I talked about thinking about those top three to five areas where you don’t feel like you’re enough, and I want you to create your own enoughness bookmarks.

So it might be something like, no matter how much I weigh I’m enough. No matter how much I have in my bank account or investments I’m enough. No matter whether my business fails to succeeds I’m enough. No matter what people say about me, I’m enough. I’m enough as a parent, I’m enough as a partner or a spouse or a business owner as an entrepreneur.

And initially it may be quite difficult to say these phrases. As you’re essentially combating a lifetime of neurological conditioning saying otherwise, but through repetition and consistency, you may actually begin to notice a shift in your perception. It might not happen overnight. But you may begin to notice how you approach your day from a position of feeling enough and how that just changes everything about how you feel.

And this allows you to begin to separate your identity and your worth from what you do. And it’s okay if you don’t feel that. Any habit, the results are found in consistency that’s compounded over time. So there are four really powerful tools to help you just beginning to unravel, where is this not enoughness coming from and trying to ground your, your life in feeling like you’re enough.

So remember that, that awareness, where are you? What were you doing? What were you thinking? What were you feeling physically? What were you feeling emotionally? What time was it? Who was, or wasn’t with you, then you have that fundamental needs actually asking what fundamental needs am I trying to meet? Am I trying to meet a need for certainty or for safety?

Am I trying to meet a need for a variety or significance or love and connection or growth or contribution? And then taking those things and going up to that highest intent, like Tony Robins talks about and going if I was completely and totally protected, what would be more important than that? If I was completely, totally loved, what would be more important than that?

And ladder up to what is your highest intent and what is your purpose and using your emotions as a assigned post for that, and then start changing the way you measure success. Actually measure the distance you’ve traveled, put in consistent habits in your day, in your week, your month and your year that celebrate the things that you have done and put you into that game and read The Gap And The Gain by, you know, Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy, cuz it’s amazing.

And then bookmark your day with enoughness start your day and no matter what gets done, what gets left undone I’m enough and then end your day by that. And I wanna leave you with a quote from Michael Singer, from the Untethered Soul, another phenomenal book, it says, he says, imagine what fun life would be if you didn’t have those neurotic personal thoughts going on within you, you could actually enjoy things. And you could actually get to know people instead of needing them. You could just live and experience life instead of trying to use life to fix what’s wrong inside of you. You are capable of achieving that state.

It’s never too late. So I want to ask you which one of these tools stands out to you the most. They don’t do anything unless you implement ’em. So I want you to take one of those four things that I mentioned, the awareness, those fundamental needs, or the highest intent, the gap in the gain, measuring your success, or just bookmarking your day with enoughness.

Which one are you going to implement today? So if you guys are interested, I’d love to have you check out my podcast called Success Engineering. And in it I’ve interviewed everybody from Broadway directors and Hollywood actors to multimillionaire CEOs, to neuroscientists, to essentially look at how do we define success and also pull back the curtain on the things that are behind it that we don’t typically see.

So some little loneliness, some of ’em not feeling like you’re enough for imposter syndrome or the fears and the doubts and insecurities that they actually went through to achieve the level of success that they have. So love for you guys to check it out. And always you can check out my website,, if you’re interested in more resources on any of these topics.

Pat Flynn: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is Sara Jane Hess. Our series producer is David Grabowski. And our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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