They say if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always had. Today’s guest tells us the secret to our desired future is the courage to let go of the past and the ability to rearrange our thinking. It is never too late to reinvent yourself, and it starts with changing the way you think. Tune in to your inner genius, your inner sense of what is best for you, and use that to start thinking the thoughts that will lead to the success you desire!
Join us as Gabe speaks with best-selling author and radio host Ken Foster. Ken has some ideas on how you can re-model outmoded thinking that is no longer giving you the results you want.
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Guest information for ‘Ken Foster’ Podcast Episode
Ken D. Foster is a visionary, business strategist, best-selling author, and the radio show host of “Voices of Courage,” syndicated in over 100 countries. His new book is called, “The Courage to Change Everything: Daily Strategies & Essential Wisdom to Awaken Your Inner Genius.” Ken is a Change Maker who pushes the envelope and challenges you to think differently and see the unseeable, know the unknowable, and do the impossible. .Learn more at www.KenDFoster.com, www.CouragetoChange.us, and www.VoicesofCourage.us
About The Psych Central Podcast Host
Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.
Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Ken Foster’ Episode
Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.
Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, where guest experts in the field of psychology and mental health share thought-provoking information using plain, everyday language. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard.
Gabe Howard: Welcome to this week’s episode of the Psych Central Podcast. Calling into the show today, we have Ken Foster. Ken is not only a bestselling author and syndicated radio host in over 100 countries, he’s an expert on courage and is helping people redefine themselves through courageous living. Ken, welcome to the show.
Ken Foster: Gabe, thank you so much for having me today, I really appreciate it.
Gabe Howard: I really appreciate you being here. Let’s talk about courage, because when most people hear the word courage, they think of, you know, running into a burning building, saving people. And I imagine it’s much more complicated than that. How do you define courage?
Ken Foster: Well, courage, as you may know, comes from the Latin word cooler, which means to speak one’s heart. So it really doesn’t have much to do with running into burning buildings. Courage, I’ve found, it’s a feeling that you can actually feel in your body, just like you could feel fear. Your heartbeat might start pounding, your brain might start getting foggy and shut down. You can feel fear. You can feel courage, too. The courage is almost the opposite feeling. You have a sense of expansion. You have a sense of power. You have a sense of I can accomplish this in your mind. You start having powerful thoughts going through you. I would say in terms of today, courage is almost a frequency. You can tune your radio dial to fear or you can turn your radio dial to courage. Right? Or to strength or power or passion. So courage is a lot more than what we think about what we defined it in the past. It really is a powerful force within all of us that we can use to transform our lives.
Gabe Howard: One of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show is because you have a new book out, The Courage to Change Everything, and in the book, you talk about the importance of becoming aware of our inner genius. Can you elaborate on that?
Ken Foster: I sure can. So our inner genius has to do with the mind. It has to do with us tuning in. You know, most people focus on, and most psychologists focus on, the conscious and subconscious mind. But there is a third mind and it’s the super conscious mind. We might call it our intuition. Some people might call it a gut feeling. For most people, that is undeveloped. They might have a gut feeling about one thing. And then they go to have a gut feeling about something else and is totally off. But we can develop that inner genius. We can tap into that mind on a consistent basis by a couple things, by a couple of ways. One, we can get still and quiet our thoughts. I’ve been a meditator for the last several decades and I’ve learned how to just stop, stop the mind, realize that I’ve got a lot of thoughts floating by my mind all the time. And I can pick any of those thoughts to focus on. But really, I’m the observer of the thoughts so I can get into a place where I come to mind and tune into that part of myself.
Ken Foster: And in another way, I could do this because I realized that with the right questions, we can access higher states of consciousness within ourselves. For instance, a simple question that anybody can ask is if I was courageous, what would I do today if I was courageous? What are the next steps I would take in my life? That is a simple question. But when you start to ask that, it changes what you’re focusing on. It changes your energy. You start moving in a direction of possibility that a lot of times we don’t have when we feel stuck. But a lot of that’s in the book. What I did is I laid it out in a way that everyday people can drip astute wisdom into their mind. We’re sort of combining it with some courageous strategies and some time tested wealth principles. What happens is that when you do this on a little daily basis, right, only takes 10 minutes a day or so, what happens is, in fact, you’re going to step into what I believe is your natural state of greatness.
Gabe Howard: I imagine that you have to be pretty self-aware for any of this to work, because a lot of the things that you just described. I’m thinking. Am I even aware that this is going on in my own life? What role does self-awareness play in having courage to make a change and to do something as big as changing your whole life?
Ken Foster: What I found in my own life. I started this path about twenty five years ago and at that time I was in a place where I was estranged from my family. I was surrounded myself by a bunch of kind of lowlife friends. I was making a ton of money, but spending all of that, I was living in the city that I didn’t want to live in. And I was in a place, so I was like, why am I doing this? Why is life showing up this way for me? And I thought, I need to make some changes. And I didn’t know really how to make those changes. I went to a therapist and he gave me some insights. Actually, the greatest insight that therapist gave me, I was with him for a year is. I started hearing this inner voice saying, you’ve got to feel the pain to make the change, feel the pain to make the change. I went to the therapist. I told him, this is what I keep hearing. And he says to me, I can’t help you anymore. Follow that voice. I was like, wow, I can’t believe I came to him because I was hearing voices. But he was right. It was right. I needed to follow that inner wisdom. We all have that.
Ken Foster: So how do we become aware? We start to become aware by the results we’re getting. I became aware looking at the results that I was getting. There were dismal results in relationship in finance. I had no spiritual life in my career. Things were not going well. So I looked at the results and I thought that’s what we needed to focus on. So if you’re not getting the right results, then what has to happen is you have to say, OK, what’s got me here? Well, there’s only one thing that’s got you there, and that’s your greatest thinking. If you could have thought differently, you would have done differently. I guarantee everybody would do differently if they knew how to get the results they want. So I wrote this book. This book drips on your mind every single day so that you can start reprogramming your thinking with success thoughts. You know, I have an affirmation I’ve said for years, the perfume of success thoughts blows in me, blows in me, the perfume of success. I just love that because I am tuned into success thoughts. And I want anybody that comes in my space to be able to tune into those success thoughts so that they too can create more success in whatever area of life you’re working on.
Gabe Howard: We know that the world is moving faster than ever and, you know, people are stressed out. People are panicking. People are burning out. And finally, the World Health Organization has officially recognized burnout syndrome. I think this ties in a lot because I think I think that people need the courage to change their lives because their lives aren’t working for them anymore. Is there any insight that you can share about how it takes courage to avoid being overwhelmed?
Ken Foster: Well, it takes courage to look at ourselves. It takes courage to understand that we don’t have to stay stuck. A lot of times people come to me and my coaching practice. Over the last 24 years, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs running companies, 300, 400 million dollar companies. I’ve worked with individuals just starting out I’ll tell you this, they all have a lot of common right? One is overwhelm. And you know when they come, they always feel like a victim to this overwhelm. It’s like I can’t slow down. Don’t you know I’ve got bills to pay or I’ve got company employees that are depending on me, whatever. I have to do this and I have to do that. There’s a lot of have to, should and must be involved with over well. And so if one says, wait a second, I’m the one generating the overwhelm. I’m the one creating this in my own life. I’m the one making the choices that is creating the overwhelm. We take back our power and it takes courage to do that. It takes courage to step into that part of ourselves that really has the answers that inner genius and not only to tune into your intuitive side, but you know what to do. You ask the right questions and you look at your results. You go this is not working. I know I’m going to change something here. So part of that is this inner game where we look at our courage and we say, listen, I’m taking full responsibility for everything that’s showing up in my life. All the stuff that I would like, even the stuff I want to blame everybody for, want to blame my wife or my kid or my boss. I’m taking responsibility because it’s ultimately us that are making the choices that are creating the overwhelming stress in our lives. Now, this isn’t good news for some of you. I know that you’re listening. You’re going this guy’s full of it. I don’t. Listen, if you only had my life, and I want to say this, I’ve had your life. I’ve had your life many times. And I’ve created overwhelm in a lot of different areas of my life. But each time what I find is this, stop. S T O P, stop. Slow down. If you want to succeed, you need to slow down to succeed and take some time to calm your mind. Go out, walk in nature, do whatever you need to do to get back to you. And then you’ll start to realize that every choice you’re making is either creating chaos and overwhelm or power, calmness and peace in your life.
Gabe Howard: One of the things that you encourage people to do is act now, do what they love now and not later. I’m a big planner and I want to put everything off until tomorrow. So I kind of have an understanding that you’re going to say, hey, you know, seize the moment. There’s no time like the present. Don’t put off your dreams. But why do you say it?
Ken Foster: Well, I’ll tell you a story. Last year, October of last year, I was on a stage here in San Diego and the fella that I was onstage with, he was playing a song. He was the keynote speaker, playing a song, playing on his guitar. And I just saw how he moved the audience. So I got up on stage and I said, you know what? I put my guitar down 10 years ago and I am going to be back on the stage and I’m going to sing you guys a song next year, and the audience loved that. But I got off stage and I thought, wow. What did I just do? And why did I say that? Well, we were talking at the time about doing things you love to do without putting them off. And I love playing music. I love it. I’ve been playing all my life, but I put it aside. So I thought, I’m going to do this. So I hired a singing coach and I took classes on how to song write. I really got into it. My family backed me. They bought me a new guitar, because I didn’t have one, for my birthday. So ultimately, I got back into what I love to do. Now, this culminated in me singing a song on our anniversary to my wife in front of 50 women. Right? And I’ve never really sang in public before. I sang one time in my life in public.
Ken Foster: So I’ve been doing that. And so the point of the story, not only did I do it, get back into what I love. It’s stretched me every point of the way. The singing voices help my voice on radio. I have a radio show. Taking the music lessons, helped my concentration and focus and helped my mind think in different ways. It opened up a whole new world of understanding of how to hear sound, how to hear music, how to connect with people. All this came out of following what I love to do. So I believe this. We’re all here growing, evolving and becoming a better version of ourselves. Well, all of us saying those are the ones that are actually working on themselves are doing that. The rest of us that aren’t working ourselves, and I include myself because in certain areas I’m not. But the ones that aren’t working on themselves, they’re just staying stagnant in that area. Right. But for the rest, you’re growing, you’re evolving. You’re becoming all you can be. So if we start doing what we love, by the way, all kinds of speaking events and all kinds of other things came my way in the business side of this because of this following my heart, following my love. If you’re not doing something that you love, that you really love, you’re really limiting yourself your life.
Gabe Howard: I think that’s really awesome and I like what you said there, so my next question is how important is it to look to the past when determining how we should move forward to create future success? Because if we’re going to do it right now and we’re not going to wait until later, we can’t just ignore everything that we’ve done up until this moment. Right? That seems sort of counterintuitive. Just to immediately end one thing, to immediately start something else. So how do we move forward especially so rapidly?
Ken Foster: The past is an interesting concept, right, so you can deal with and I say that because some people are really good at just moving on, moving past the past, taking their experiences in and bringing it into the future. Other people, not so much. They get stuck in the past. They get stuck. Let’s say I worked with a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs. So if they started a venture or business and they hired the wrong people, some of them tend to not want to take that risk that they don’t find the courage again. It’s like, you know, I’m no good at hiring. I’m no good at doing X, Y, Z. Well, of course, by defining themselves as I am no good or I can’t do this, they really limit themselves. So it’s driven from the past. What I want to say about that is we really create our future in the moment. Each moment is creating our future. Each moment that we are present, that we are moving forward, that we are thinking in a positive, upbeat way. We are creating a positive, upbeat future. If we were thinking in a downtrodden negative way, most likely it’s out picturing in our actions and creating a future that we may not want. So I believe in the moment as we create our future. I’ve worked with so many individuals on their intentions and their goals and their dreams. When we get clear that in the moment we are actually generating that dream and what’s going to happen with any dream, it doesn’t really matter who you are, it’s like a seed in the ground. You plant a seed and all of a sudden now that seed has to go through the earth. Once it comes up through the earth, now the bugs are going to try to attack it. Now the sunlight’s gonna try to fry it. You know, there’s gonna be a lot of challenges for that little seed. And the same thing with any seed we plant. Those seeds, if we continue to move forward with that dream, with that seed, it takes courage to do this. Right. Because when things look like they’re all falling apart, most people stop. But the ones that create success, look at what’s all falling apart and realize that’s just there to make them stronger. It helps them grow or maybe to help them realize that they may need to move in another direction or let go of people or places or things. But it is there for us to expand ourselves, become more powerful and tune in. And all of that, all of that takes courage. And if we haven’t developed the courage, if we don’t realize what courage can really do for us, if we haven’t tuned in to that inner genius that’s inside of us, that’s pushing us and calling us to move forward with courage, then what happens is we get stuck. Time and time and time again.
Gabe Howard: We’ll be right back after these words from our sponsor.
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Gabe Howard: We’re back talking with Ken Foster about courage. One of the things that you talk about is that it’s possible to reinvent yourself at any age. Listen, I’m only 42 years old, so I recognize that I’m not old, but I’m not young. I’m middle aged. But that just sounds like nonsense. Once you hit about, you know, 20, like you’re just you’re just set in your ways forever. But I imagine that you don’t believe that.
Ken Foster: Well, not only do I believe this, I live this. I live this life I tell you back. So at 42 years old, I had torn up my left knee several years earlier. I had a medial meniscus tear. And the doctor went in and operated on it. I remember that was the most painful thing I’ve ever been on in my whole life or been through and my knee was swollen for several months and I could barely walk. And I stopped pretty much exercising, doing anything at 42. What motivated me was a woman in that she was a walker. She loved to walk outside. OK, I guess I’ll start walking with this woman because I really want to be with her. Right? So that started it. So I started walking. And then one day I thought, well, maybe I could run. And I ran one hundred yards and I went, wow, that’s amazing. I didn’t realize I could even run again. I thought I was done at 42. And then I thought, well, you know what, I’m going to keep running. So I kept running. I met a guy on the. His name is Goth. Goth Lindsey was his name. He had run an under a four minute mile in high school. And he started training me to run. Next thing I knew, I was doing marathons. Next thing I knew, I was doing triathlons. Next thing I knew, I was competing at the world triathlon meet in Penticton in British Columbia with 3500 other athletes. Right? Can we reinvent ourselves? Well, I can tell you, I completely reinvented myself. And today, I’m still a triathlete. I still work out. I still run, bike, and swim. But you wouldn’t have known that at 42.
Gabe Howard: So the simple answer to the question, of course, then, is we really can reinvent ourselves at any age and that not only have you, but other people have as well. So that makes me ask how? Because I think that, like you say, people are listening and they’re like, yeah, that’s not true. People can’t do that. And I’ll be perfectly self disclosing. I’m agreeing with the naysayers. How can we do it?
Ken Foster: Well, it all starts in the mind. It all starts with letting go of our limited thinking and also our program thinking from society. So we have a lot of limits that are placed on us when we’re tuning into the TV constantly, we’re turning into other people’s opinions of what we what reality should look like and how it can be and what’s possible for you. Quite frankly, we have to start to let go of those that way of thinking and start to tune into what it is that we really want to do. I had a fellow on my radio show yesterday who had reinvented himself. He didn’t want to reinvent himself. He loved his life. He created massive amounts of wealth. He’s traveling the world. He was doing a lot of really good in the world. And he got a serious disease. It crippled him. He was going blind. It took him four years to recover from it. But he said, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because what had happened to him is that he had gotten caught up in this world that basically says the bigger the house, the bigger the car, the prettier the wife, the more you have, the happier you are. He realized that wasn’t true at all. He has more happiness in his life today. Now he’s out speaking, training, he’s writing books and doing things that he’s completely reinvented himself.
Ken Foster: All right? He went from this mergers and acquisitions specialist in Silicon Valley to this keynote speaker who is out changing the world. So can we do this? Yes, we can do this, but we have to change up the way we think. Again, I wrote the book, The Courage to Change Everything so that we could start to rethink the ways that we’ve been programmed. So I’m teaching individuals the important psycho spiritual methods for harmonious development and full expression of your latent capabilities. Another way, you know, I reinvented me, I couldn’t spell in school. I was I didn’t know grammar at all. And thank God for spell check. Right? But 15 years ago, my wife challenged me. Hey, why don’t you write a book? And I didn’t really have any capability at the time, but that I had potential. And I thought, you know what? It resonates with me. I like it. I’ve been journaling for years. I said, OK, I’m going to take this challenge on. And I learned and expanded and grew and did what I need to do to become a best selling author. So can we reinvent ourselves? Absolutely. Do we have to live the same way physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, consistently with where the past has been? No. The past doesn’t equal our future unless we keep our same beliefs. If we keep our same beliefs, then, yes, the past will equal the future.
Gabe Howard: We’re about out of time, it goes so quickly. Ken, I’m glad that you were on the show. I have one final question for you. I imagine that in order to fire forward, we need to ignite our courage. How can we best do that?
Ken Foster: Well, the best way ignite courage, first of all, is figure out one area of your life that’s not working. I don’t care what it is. It can be a relationship, career, health. Set your intention to heal that or develop that or grow that, whatever you need to do in that specific area. Set a strong intention. Get clear with some steps. Steps right now. One, two, three, three steps that you’re gonna take to move forward with making that dream come true. Now, here’s where the courage comes in. You can set the goals. You can set the dream, you can set the intentions. You can take three steps. But the fourth step and the fifth step and the sixth step, that’s where your courage you’re going to have to develop it, because what’s going happen? Just like I said earlier on in the show is that you’re gonna be tested. There’s a lot of things that’ll come up your way to test your resolve. Can you? Do you have the resolve, even if you don’t believe that you can accomplish it now? I don’t. It doesn’t matter. Find the courage to take steps in the direction of your dream on a consistent daily basis. And eventually that dream will come true. The book I wrote, The Courage to Change Everything, has 365 days. Every day you can go in and spend about 10 minutes reprogramming your thinking, tuning into success thoughts, to wisdom. This isn’t my principles. These principles have been around the planet for years, for ages, for eons, and people use them consistently. How about if you start using? How cool is that? I know I applied them in my life and my whole life has changed. So I hope I hope you’ll do the same. I hope you’ll step into your courage. The simple way to do it again, is what I just said. You can also ask the question to get going. If I was courageous today, what are three steps I would take to change my life for the better?
Gabe Howard: Thank you so much, Ken, tell everybody the name of your book, where they can get your book, and your Web site, please.
Ken Foster: All right. The name of the book is The Courage to Change Everything. You can purchase that at my Web site at CouragetoChange.us. That’s Courage to change dot U S. The Kindle version is also available on Amazon. And Gabe, thank you for having me on this show. This is what you’re doing is really helping people to make changes that they need in their life. I applaud you for that and I applaud this show.
Gabe Howard: I appreciate that. And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. And remember, please support the show. You can get one week of free, convenient, affordable, private online counselling anytime, anywhere, simply by visiting BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. We will see everybody next week.
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