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An Open Conversation About Trauma, Shame And Narcissism

Episode #785

What lies at the heart of behaviors labeled as narcissistic?

How do deep-seated fears and insecurities influence decision-making and relationship dynamics?

In this engaging conversation, Doug Holt and Mark Hainsworth delve into various psychological and relational dynamics, raising thought-provoking questions about personal growth and behavior. They explore the concept of narcissism, dissecting its origins and manifestations, while also examining the role of fear in decision-making and relationship dynamics.

With a focus on self-awareness and taking proactive steps, the speakers challenge listeners to confront their fears and embrace change to lead more fulfilling lives.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the underlying fears and insecurities that can contribute to behaviors labeled as narcissistic.

The conversation highlights the importance of self-awareness in understanding and addressing these patterns, as well as the significance of taking action to break free from stagnant or harmful cycles.

Through exploring the depths of human psychology, listeners are encouraged to embark on a journey of personal growth and transformation.

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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Mark Hainsworth 00:00

Don’t cry, you’re all right. Don’t get angry, there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. And that constant message of there’s nothing wrong with you, the subconscious mind is saying there’s something wrong with you. Okay. So then there’s the confusion because the message’s saying there’s nothing wrong with me, but I knew something was wrong. My body was telling me something was wrong, my emotions were telling me something was wrong. And then there’s the external voice saying there’s nothing wrong. So what ends up — that was the outcome of that I get not to trust my body anymore. So then the disconnect.

Doug Holt 00:29

Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of the TPM show. If you’ve been following these last few episodes, you’ll notice that I’ve had a lot of amazing guests. And this one is no exception. I have the amazing, our head of coaching the master coach, Mr. Mark Hainsworth is with us. Mark just finished leading 13 men to the promised land through our program called The Alpha Reset. I say that tongue and cheek, but the truth is when I talked to the guys, absolutely phenomenal experience. And everybody that’s had an interaction with Coach Mark knows that he is one of the best in the world at delivering for men’s coaching. And so Mark, thank you so much for being here.

Mark Hainsworth 01:05

Thanks, Doug. Thank you.

Doug Holt 01:06

Yeah. So we plan this, our script, we know exactly what we’re talking about. I say that, again jokingly is what, we decided to do is just have a conversation between you and I, and just cover that conversation. So guys, this could go anywhere, and I’m hoping it does.

Mark Hainsworth 01:23

Yeah, and having just come off the Reset, what I realize is that for the last three or four days, I’ve been tapping into 11 guys who have come here to do some work on themselves. And I think every coach will relate to this, and you probably will as well. The day after a reset I’m done, and I think we just naturally carry stuff. Not that we carry stuff. It just brings up the stuff that’s stored inside of us. So as men check in and chat to us and tell us their story and start to do the work, there’s always something that I can relate to, and then it stirs my emotional stuff. So it’s three days of hard work.

Doug Holt 02:06

Yeah. What I always say as a coach when I try to relate, running a Reset, if it’s 11 men, I’m doing 12 resets. I’m doing one with each of them, and I’m doing my own.

Mark Hainsworth 02:17

Exactly, exactly. Exactly.

Doug Holt 02:18

Yeah. And it comes through there. One of the things I want to talk to you about is this idea of how trauma and shame can be linked.

Mark Hainsworth 02:25

Sure, sure. Trauma and shame, you know, the guy that gave me the key way to understanding it — I carry trauma. I think we all carry trauma at some level, some is more extreme, some is easier, but at the end of the day trauma is trauma. And the Canadian, he lives in Canada now, [inaudible 00:02:47] he’s probably one of the world experts in this and he said, it’s the key way. He said trauma isn’t the event. Trauma is what happens inside of me as a result of the event. And my basic understanding, really basic understanding is that in that moment when someone who is close to me, mom or dad does something that makes me feel not seen, not safe, like I don’t count, or that I interpret that I’m not seen, I’m not safe, I don’t count, the thing called shame happens.

So in our subconscious mind, the trauma triggers the shame, they become really closely interconnected energetically. And then the shame starts to drive the behavior because fundamentally when we haven’t got the capacity when we’re very young to just recognize that this is just an event and I’m actually okay. Little boys need to feel like they’re okay or something like this comes in, some sort of wounding comes in. There’s a belief that well, why would somebody who loves me, my mom or my dad or my brother or my teacher, they’re supposed to love me. They’ve done something which I interpret as, wow, this hurts. And I’ve got two ways to go here. I can actually look at it and go, well, they’re just unconscious, unloving fool who doesn’t know how to see me. Well, if I take on that belief, then where does that leave me in the world?

Doug Holt 04:25

Yeah, safety, right.

Mark Hainsworth 04:27

Safety. So what do I do to make my world safe again? That’s what the brain does. The brain tries to keep me alive. What do I do to make myself safe again? Well, I’ll just make up a story that I’m bad. The only reason someone would do that to me, that wounding event must be because I’m bad. And it’s safer to make the story that I’m bad than it is to look at the reality of the people that are looking after me aren’t capable.

Doug Holt 04:51

Yeah. I think it’s something interesting, Mark, when I talk to guys about their stories. I think most men when I talked to them think, well, I don’t really have stories from childhood, right? But the truth is kids don’t have the ability to, they don’t have enough information to make rational decisions about their world.

So for example, my daughter who’s three, turning four actually on Monday, for her, the bad guys are in the closet, right, or whatever. And so that’s a reality for her. And so it’s not that she’s making up a story. I mean, she is to us, but in her world, it’s reality. And so that’s the — So if something happens to create trauma, there is an action that happens, and the story or the interpretation of said action, and then we’re talking about with the shame, that becomes almost a character issue, right? Because we make us bad, like Doug is bad, or Doug is not good enough, and that becomes a character flaw in myself that I see.

Mark Hainsworth 05:50

Yeah, absolutely. And I love that word that you bring, this character flaw because the world or — Well, does the world perceive it as a character? The moment I go into shame, and if I’ve got an aware parent who looks at me and goes, it’s okay. You are okay. There’s a possibility that we can recover from that shame becoming embedded in the system, but it requires a level of presence and emotional understanding. If that doesn’t happen, it feels like I’m broke — There’s a piece of me that feels like I’m broken. And then I go and see the psychologists when I’m in therapy at the age of 35, and I’m feeling broken, [inaudible 00:06:35] going all the way back to that original wound. And if there’s just someone who was aware enough and loving enough and caring enough to say it’s okay. I just wait until the next trauma happened when there wasn’t a loving, caring person around to pick me up on the next one.

Doug Holt 06:51

Yeah, yeah. There’s really two conversations here for me, Mark is one’s coming up for me right now as a father, right. My son, I don’t like to always, hopefully, it’s okay, but he’s very sensitive, and I’m not used to that. Growing up in a family of boys we beat each other up and made fun of each other all the time. To me, that’s just what it was. My son’s very sensitive, so I have to be very conscious when I — I can have a perception as a father of upsetting my son and it being no big deal. Like, oh, come on, it’s no big deal.

However, when I’m on my game is what I’ll call it, and I think I am most of the time, at least I would give myself an A on that. I will kneel down to him and say, hey, bud, what’s really going on for you? And then explain to him, hey, dad really loves you and I didn’t mean it to be like this and sit down, explain it to him. And he’ll then have the wherewithal to explain what’s happening for him and why it hurt his feelings. So that’s one. So for dads out there, fathers or anybody that’s a coach or coaching a sports team or dealing with young men or young boys, it’s on us to be very cognizant that just because we may not feel it, doesn’t mean that they are not interpreting it as such. And the second part is what you and I do working with men, how is that trauma manifesting into their current life and their actions, either holding them back or allowing them to do things that are self-destructive?

Mark Hainsworth 08:17

I’m hearing these two questions there, the holding them back and the self-destructive. And I think in my experience I’ve been able to look at that self-destructive behavior and as I explore that, and there’s a really powerful question that comes here. I got a man standing in front of me saying I’ve got a saboteur, I got a self-destruct. And I ask what is the intent of the saboteur? What is the intent of that self-destructive energy? What’s it trying to achieve? What’s really fascinating, is it’s actually trying to get needs met; trying to get needs met. And if we can bring enough awareness to the guy that when he goes into that self-destructive mode, he can look at, I’m trying to get my needs met, but it’s my little boy inside of me that’s trying to get the needs met. It’s not the adult.

Because when we’re born, all we are is a bundle of emotion and pictures. There’s no language, there’s no story when we’re born. It’s just an experience of emotions and images. And so when something happens when I’m 50, that goes back to a re-energizing of the original experience when I was a kid, to which there is no story, there’s only feeling. And then the saboteur comes in and goes, no, I’ve got to fix this. How do I fix it? Well, I can make up a story that I’m not good enough. I can act out. I can throw a tantrum, I can cut off. I can cut off from my feeling world. And that’s where we ended up in disconnect. Suddenly I disconnect from myself because the feelings are too intense, too painful.

Doug Holt 10:06

Would it be fair to say also, Mark that the saboteur so to speak, then goes out and creates evidence to make that true?

Mark Hainsworth 10:15

Well, absolutely, because in that traumatic event, I take on a belief and it might be I’m bad, it might be I’m not worthy, it might be I’m not lovable. If there’s a really deep, a sense, an experience of deep abandonment, and disconnect, then there becomes a cut off, there becomes a gap between who I really am and what I’ve got to show up as in the world to get that love back. And effectively in that disconnect, a set of goggles go on. It happens in a sort of belief system.

The belief system says, okay, this is the way the world is. And because it’s had an energetic, the experience has been energetically heightened, emotionally heightened, the brain gets programmed with I’ll always be abandoned, for instance. I’ll always be abandoned. It’s like putting the set of goggles on that filters out all experience other than experiences where I’m going to feel abandoned. So suddenly I can only see the world through that lens so I’m going to be abandoned. And even if there’s someone desperately trying to love me, like, my wife, and I’ve got this deep seated belief, I can’t see her because I know she’s going to abandon me. And the brain will filter out anything that doesn’t align with I’m going to be abandoned.

Doug Holt 11:42

Yeah, that was my story. Right? So I had a deep — I didn’t know it at the time till I started doing work in my 20s of fear of abandonment. And I could look back at this pattern I had of dating women who are great women, but I would always leave first, because I’ll leave them before… And then I started creating a narrative in business that I have to do it all myself, right? And it all came back through this whole, when I look back at it now, it’s me creating this narrative, this reality. And it’s laughable to me now because I can look back and go, holy crap, these people were all around me loving me, trying to help me, and I was too busy pushing them all away because you’re going to leave anyway, so I’ll leave first. And it created this whole chaos.

When I look back at that storm, I was the creator of the chaos. It wasn’t the environment around me being chaotic, it was this guy over here. And to me, and again, it’s laughable now and we can see that with so many of the men coming through who were having problems in their marriage, problems in their business or other issues. And it’s so easy, I think for most people to play the victim of it’s not my fault, it’s all these other people. Again, my thing, it’s all these women. I’m leaving them because they’re not good enough. There is this part of the relationship that’s not good. But it would in fact, if I’m going to be honest with myself, the truth is I was just scared of being abandoned. So I would just leave first.

Mark Hainsworth 13:09

Sure. I think I can track back in my history where I didn’t want to get involved with women. I’d be friendly with them, but don’t get me involved. So women might look at me and go, well, he’s aloof, can’t get close to him, you know, he’s push, pull. He’s in, out. I’m confused, because I’m not sure if he’s really interested or whether he’s not interested. And I was dealing with this internal conflict of just stay at your distance and you’re safe. Stay the distance and this is great. So I was creating safety by keeping them at arm’s length.

Doug Holt 13:45

I think most people do that. Don’t you?

Mark Hainsworth 13:49

Of course. And it’s like, I’m not going to get too close in case I get abandoned, so keep you at arm’s length. And whereas my partner has also got the fear of abandonment, but she deals with it the way she makes it safe is by kind of clinging on.

Doug Holt 14:05

You’re not going anywhere.

Mark Hainsworth 14:06

Yeah. So in order to satisfy her need, if I need some love and connection I’m going to cling on because I’m scared I’m going to be abandoned because that’s the lens I see the world through. So that’s the way she compensated. I compensated with stay your distance. So she’s perceiving, oh my God, he’s not interested. He’s abandoned me already. And I’m going she’s too clingy. It’s like I’m not going to get close to her because I might get abandoned. So the underlying thing was fear of abandonment. Well, we had two different ways of dealing with it, compensating for it. The moment we were able to see that we both had the same fear, suddenly it’s like oh. It’s like think about it, came in. Ping. Ah, now I see you.

Doug Holt 14:45

Yes. Well, this is how codependency starts and this is why so many couples can get in relation with each other in a codependent factor, right. And until they really, they break apart when one of them breaks the codependency. Unless they come to what you guys did, and obviously you guys are aware of saying, okay, this is what’s really happening for us. We’re both meeting a need in a different way. Once you figure it out, ah, now we can come together.

Mark Hainsworth 15:12

And the need was we both needed safety. And we both needed love and connection and we were trying to find it in two different ways. And the two different approaches were triggering a fear in the other that the need wasn’t going to get met. So it’s just like dancing around this puzzle that was completely unsolvable.

Doug Holt 15:37

Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. I know, for me my story was, it can’t be a fear of abandonment because I’m a tough guy, or whatever, right?

Mark Hainsworth 15:50

Exactly. I had that too. I said I’m going to survive this.

Doug Holt 15:53

Yeah, yeah. So this is, almost like it’s ridiculous, so to speak, and so I ignored it. And I think a lot of men do that where we don’t want to look at — I think we don’t — I’ll speak for myself. I didn’t want to look at this whole idea that I had childhood wounds. One is my parents separated when I was four, divorced when I was five. However, my story was, I have nothing to complain about. I grew up in a middle class family. I knew I was loved. Shut up, Doug, and move on. Right? I think a lot of men have that where we don’t want to look back at our past because we associate it and say, hey, I’m a man now because of my age, not because of anything I’ve done, because of my age. So therefore, I should just be able to handle everything as it is.

Mark Hainsworth 16:42

I think from what I’m hearing, the messaging that I always got was oh, get up you’re all right. Don’t cry, you’re all right. Don’t get angry, there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with it. And that constant message of there’s nothing wrong with you, subconscious mind is saying there’s something wrong with you. Okay. So then there’s the confusion. There’s a message saying there’s nothing wrong with me, but somebody must be seeing something wrong. I knew something was wrong. My body was telling me something was wrong. My emotions were telling me that something’s wrong. And then there’s the external voice saying there’s nothing wrong. So what ends up with that was the outcome of that, I get not to trust my body anymore, so then I disconnect.

Doug Holt 17:25

I can see that. I also think that for me, when I talk to guys, I hear this a lot. And I hear it a lot because it was my story. Right? You know how it is with listening is, well, I don’t have it as bad as so and so, right. Which is a worth thing. Like, I’m not — the self-worth, I think, issue that comes in. I grew up in the middle class family and I wasn’t starving. You know, so what do I have to complain about? You know, shut up, stiff upper lip and get on with it. And I think a lot of the men that we work with, they’re businessmen, right? And businessmen typically have the elk of like, hey, we can push through. A lot of them have a story of I can pull myself up by my own bootstraps, I can outwork everybody, etc., and I don’t have it as bad as the other guys.

Mark Hainsworth 18:10

Absolutely, absolutely. And there’s just tying into that, I’ve also observed over the last couple of years that men will get, I’m going to call it addicted to work because they get a sense of connection. They get connected to a sense of I’m significant here, I’ve got variety, I’m in charge of my own world. If they’re lucky, I’m doing something that I love, so they get that sense of love. They’ve got a community that’s working for them and around them and with them. So the love and connection, so suddenly, work brings on some of those aspects that we need. Those needs that we need to be met, we can meet it in the office. And there’s an addiction, especially if there’s been some sort of disconnect when I was young, I can connect to something that feels significant in my work, and I just dedicate to that because it’s meeting the need, unconsciously.

Doug Holt 19:06

Yeah, my trainings when I started studying, I think it was my 30s or so, early 30s I remember learning that if you can get three, it only takes three human needs to be met to form an addiction. Right? So work is definitely going to be for men, it’s going to be this idea of significance, right? That’s a big thing for a lot of guys. Then you have the uncertainty of the variables of business. We also have the certainty, the flip side of you know what you’re doing, what’s going on. So there’s three human needs right there, addiction. And you can go on. You can have connection. You connect with people, you connect with your co-workers, they become your friends. And so you can really see how this starts to formulate especially if things aren’t going well at home, right, with the woman that you, you know, a lot of guys make their wife a replacement for their mother in some ways, in some aspects. And so if you’re not getting your needs met at home when you go through the door, then men start to shift, and then you’re really — that addiction really is kicking in with the work.

Mark Hainsworth 20:05

And we also kind of copy our parents. So the way that my dad might have been addicted to his work, whether he was addicted or not, he would spend a lot of time out at work, he’d come in for his meals, and he’d go off to work in the evening and get up for his breakfast and go off to work during the day. So he was doing his thing. And he was probably getting his feeling of significance from the content of his work and what he was doing to serve people, but also able to bring back the money.

Doug Holt 20:31

Yeah, he’s a provider.

Mark Hainsworth 20:33

Provider, protector. So I’m meeting a need, so I feel significant. I’m needed, need to be needed.

Doug Holt 20:38

When you’re working with the men, is there, you know, we use the 80/20 analysis a lot in TPM and in general. Is there an 8020, with some of the trauma that you’re seeing the guys coming out with from childhood?

Mark Hainsworth 20:59

That’s an interesting question. I’m not quite sure how to answer it. Is there, so it’s like, — [crosstalk] common thing, the common thing. What’s the common theme? The common theme is I’m not lovable. I’m not good enough. I’m not lovable. I don’t matter. I’m not worthy. So I see it, there’s an underlying shame theme. These are these early beliefs we’ve take on about ourselves, that are incredibly painful. And in order to survive, to avoid those feelings that are uncomfortable, I’ll find something that satisfies the need and makes me more comfortable. You know, I think we’re all pre-wired to seek pleasure, rather than pain. Why on Earth would you go and seek pain in life?

Doug Holt 21:53

Unless that’s your pleasure.

Mark Hainsworth 21:56

And because we don’t have the conscious awareness of what we’re doing, because we’re still being run by this supercomputer, the subconscious mind that was programmed between the age of zero and seven automatically, let me do something that takes away the pain. And we get kind of addicted to the pleasure. And so we focus on what brings us the pleasure, but the pleasure, seeking the pleasure itself is reinforcing the avoidance of the pain, which creates more disconnect.

Doug Holt 22:30

Yeah, when you said that, it reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a client, and I just called them out on this. And he was like, holy cow. How do you know? But what he was doing was, it was with porn, right? He wasn’t going to his wife, his wife and him haven’t been intimate in a while. So he would in a moment of needing a dopamine hit, he would go to porn, jerk off, and then he’d have a little bit of shame, right after it, because he knew what he really wanted to do was be intimate with his wife, and he wasn’t doing it. It was going for that quick hit. I think a lot of men get caught in that cycle.

Mark Hainsworth 23:03

That shame cycle. Yeah, there’s the shame of the past, and there’s the fear of the future. So we get caught in this cycle between if I’m — Well, there’s the fear of being found out, I think, on any addiction, what I’m noticing with any addiction, somewhere there’s a shame component and somewhere there’s a fear component. And the shame attaches us to the past, and the fear is of the future. So we can’t be in the present, because we’re bouncing between those two emotional states.

Doug Holt 23:38

What’s the fear of the future?

Mark Hainsworth 23:41

The fear of the future is if I change I might get abandoned.

Doug Holt 23:47

And even if it’s a harmful thing that they’re doing, so to speak, they’re obviously getting, I’m just working this out for myself, I’m a little slower than most of the guys listening to this. They’re getting their needs met in some way by what we’d call probably a protector or something in their bodies that’s serving them to some some level. And that’s the scary thing is if, in the future, I stopped that behavior, what’s going to happen? I’ll get abandoned. What it reminds me of is somebody, and they explain this while we’re there so I can share it.

Somebody that we were with a couple of weeks ago, they were talking about how they completely quit, stop drinking. And they were, I don’t know if they shared this, but I know this, they were really scared. They weren’t scared if they could do it or not. That wasn’t an issue. They didn’t have a problem. What they were scared of was what would life be like afterwards? How would other people treat them? Would they lose their friends? Which I thought was to me as somebody who wasn’t going through that because I was drinking at the time that this person made that choice, it sounded ridiculous. Like why would you lose — You’re going to lose people who aren’t your real friends, right? And your real friends, but to them was very real. And that was the hardest thing for them was that fear of being abandoned by their friends and by their by their crew.

Mark Hainsworth 25:04

So there’s the fear of abandonment. So let’s play this — Can we play this out?

Doug Holt 25:10


Mark Hainsworth 25:11

I’ve got a bunch of friends I go drinking with. We have a great time, we might talk about soccer game, we might talk about the last relationship I’ve just walked out of, whatever the topic is, but there’s a sense of connection, and we’re able to escape from whatever it is that we’re carrying inside. But we know that meeting these friends three nights a week is not good for the liver, it’s not good for my focus at work, etc., and they’re kind of dragging me down. So I’m going to go right, I’m going to move from this, I’m going to stop drinking. So what’s the first thing that happens?

One, I’ve got to get into my body, the stuff that I’ve been ignoring by going to the booths to escape from it. Two, I get the fear of abandonment. And then this three, which is my buddies, where I get some sort of connection are going to judge me. So there’s a fear of judgment, and judgment drives shame. And then shame drives the addictive behavior, and we go around this never ending loop. So the perceived connection of boozing with my buddies, if that goes, abandonment, judgment, shame. So there’s fear, shame, disconnect, loss of certainty. They’re not going to be there for me, and it’s all so intermingled.

Doug Holt 26:31

Which goes back to like primal, you look at brain chemistry, right? We’re pre-programmed to be accepted by the tribe. Because the theory is back in the day, if you were in the savanna and if you’re by yourself and you twisted an ankle, the saber tooth tiger was eating you, they were chomping on you. Whereas if you had a tribe around you, they could protect you, they could defend you, pick you up, and carry you away. And so this fear of abandonment, this is why it’s so real for so many men is because we’re pre-wired that we need to be accepted by the community in order for our own primal safety.

Mark Hainsworth 27:09

Yeah. Talking about community, I don’t know why this has come up. So a previous girlfriend of mine died when she was about 45 of cancer, very sad times as she left behind a 14 year old daughter. I call her my surrogate daughter. She adopted me as a replacement parent. Fabulous girl. She just had two twins.

Doug Holt 27:34

Oh. Yes.

Mark Hainsworth 27:35

So I’m known as a surrogate grandfather to these two twins. And the fascinating thing was she brought these kids around to stay over. So she slept over in the spare room with them. And the next morning, I was laying in bed and Debs brought one of these children, these young girls, she must have been six weeks old, maybe seven weeks old. Laid her in the bed next to me and she said, Mark, you can look after her. I said okay, fine. And I just sat with this youngster and watched every expression on the face.

So there’ll be sort of peace in the moment and then there’ll be a funny expression and then there’ll be a squawk and a movement, and then a yawn, and then a smile. And all of this stuff was going on. So I’m just watching the body language of a seven week old infant going, she’s got everything, she’s got everything going on. And I could just observe it. And then what was really fascinating was I could see it coming. I thought, oh, there’s going to be a whale now. And this whale came out of her mouth. And there was the expression, an adult expression of someone who’s having a really bad day, and there’s this whale coming out.

And I just reflected back with the same whale and the same expression. And she moved on to the next expression. She just moved, she was just flowing with whatever energy was going on. What I found really interesting was the mother came in, dummy in the mouth, let’s pacify her. Mother not able to sit with her own discomfort. And I’m sure, having never been a mother, I don’t. So there’s that maternal instinct that comes in to protect from the pain and protect the child and give the child a sense of nurture. And it just left me with a question, what’s the best way to deal with this for our infants? Is it just to acknowledge and hold and let them go through the emotional journey of whatever they’re experiencing?

Remember, there’s no story. The child’s got no idea what’s going on. It’s just the emotion. So it kind of just brought me a first hand experience of what do I observe when I’m kid, you know? Is it the grandfather just lies there with me and okay, it was okay to feel for a moment and just have someone acknowledging that? Or do I feel more comfortable with a mother that comes and shoves a dummy in my mouth to shut me up?

Doug Holt 30:07

Yeah, that’s interesting when you think about it, there’s so much at play here. So the woman’s is from a biochemistry, I go to that perspective too, because I think it’s what’s really controlling our emotions. You know, where’s that really benefiting from? So you know that she is just one, she’s probably exhausted too. She’s got oxytocin just pumping through her body. And then the third thing when I was listening to your story, as well, as you know, is that child pre-programmed to try to get you to connect with the child for the child’s own safety. Right? Because they say there’s only two things that babies are innately afraid of, right, being abandoned and falling. So only two things that they’re innately just — the fears that they could have.

Mark Hainsworth 30:49

Fear of falling, fear and noise. I’ve heard fear of noise as well. Fear of noise, which is why we need silence, anyway. We’re digressing. But yeah, so fear of falling, and what was the other one you mentioned?

Doug Holt 30:59

Fear of abandonment, being left alone because they’d die. Yeah. I’ve read it’s the only two pre-programmed things that are with them, and every other fear is manufactured. Although some people talk about snakes being one that’s DNA. But I think it’s really fascinating when you think about it. And again, I keep reflecting as a father where I show up and what I do. And then you know, my brother, you and I were with or my other brother, I see so much of my father in them at times, right. And most men say the same thing. Not all, but a lot of guys, like I’m never going to do that. My dad does. You know, and I find myself doing these mannerisms or certain behaviors that my dad does, subconsciously. And if you think about just at that level of the programming that goes on, and from when we were kids, if we don’t look at it, that we’re going to carry on and pass on. It’s crazy.

Mark Hainsworth 31:53

I’ve got to tell this story. I was in the UK for The Alpha Reset in November. I wouldn’t say I left home at the age of 11. So I moved to a boarding school when I was 11 years old. So I basically had 11 years living in the environment where my father was. There was two years of that when he was away at college so I lived with my grandparents and my mother. He’s now 87. Okay. So when I left home, he would have been 38. So we’re 50 years down the road. We’re sitting together at the breakfast table, my mother comes in, she says something. I look at my dad, he looks at me and I mouth across the table what I want to say and he bursts out laughing. He said I was about to say exactly the same thing. So it’s passed on, it’s passed on from the family. The boys copy the father, the girls copy the mothers, all of the family dysfunction travels down to the next generation, unless we are aware of what’s going on.

Doug Holt 33:01

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s a lot of where the deep work gets to happen is looking at that, and breaking those chains. And you and I have talked about it, and it’s not something we talked about in the podcast. My wife and I talked about it as well, is this idea that not only can we break these familiar chains or bonds that are on us, repeating the same pattern our father did, or our mother or anybody else, but we can actually heal past traumas, generational past traumas, which is an interesting topic to talk about, because how much proof is there, what have you. But now there’s kind of more and more DNA research that shows that we can change the structure of our DNA based on our thoughts, our beliefs and how we change our habits.

Mark Hainsworth 33:44

That’s the world of epigenetics, isn’t it?

Doug Holt 33:45


Mark Hainsworth 33:47

Yeah. Talking about intergenerational trauma, I’ve recently been through a really interesting training course working with intergenerational trauma and how to shift it. And of course, as part of going through that training course, I had to start looking at well, what intergenerational trauma am I carrying? And it’s a very — what I find is it’s a very intuitive place. I’ve got the emotion because I feel the emotion that is difficult to deal with, and I tap into it. And then I go back, well, what’s it feel like? You know, and I then go into the family history. What was my dad’s story? What was his father’s story? What was the great grandfather’s story?

Go to my mother’s side, what was the family history there? And it’s really interesting because that uncomfortable sensation that comes up in me that I’ve been struggling to deal with for years, I tap into it, and I went straight back to my mother’s father.

Doug Holt 34:41


Mark Hainsworth 34:42

Yeah. Suddenly, I’ve got oh my goodness, I’m in the First World War. So he’s living in the First World War doing whatever he was doing. I think he used to look after the horses, but he will have come back from the First World War with some sort of traumatic impact. In order to survive that research is showing that the human system can develop trauma tanks on the DNA that are generated by his survival of that trauma, and then they get passed down through the sperm. And the mother’s take their trauma passed down through the ovum, and the offspring are pre-wired to survive the traumas of the two parents. That’s what some of the latest research is showing. They’ve proven it in mice. And just by this training that I went to on intergenerational trauma, I was able to, my goodness, I’ve been carrying this automatically.

Doug Holt 35:39

But with that, part of me wants to say immediately is that trauma a good thing because it’s teaching… So now here, we have Mark Hainsworth here. He’s been programmed to be able to handle that trauma. Should he clear that up or should he keep it?

Mark Hainsworth 36:03

I love that question. I love that question. And what I’ve realized for me is I’ve got this capacity to understand trauma because I’m pre-wired to deal with it. And at one stage, as a coach, I thought, if I programmed this out of my system, is my antenna for it going to go away? Am I not going to be as effective as I am, because I’ve cleared the trauma? Am I not going to be as sensitive to it? So you know, my system, I would class myself as a mild empath. My system’s hardwired. It’s like an antenna for the emotional undercurrent in a room.

If I resolve the trauma that’s given me this capacity to be an impasse, am I no use anymore? And there was a day, I think I’d had a day where it was just like, had enough for clients today, I’m exhausted. And then something came up and I’m going to resolve this trauma. I’m going to try it, see what happens. What I found was I’ve got the capacity to still be sensitive to the emotional undercurrent, but I don’t get the emotional triggers. I don’t get as much. I’m able to hold it without being in it.

Doug Holt 37:21

Yes. Okay.

Mark Hainsworth 37:22

Does that make sense?

Doug Holt 37:23

Makes complete sense. Yeah, you’re dealing, you’re still, I guess what I’m going back to is this idea that the generational trauma, what I heard you say was, it’s there to help us navigate the future trauma in our DNA, potentially.

Mark Hainsworth 37:36


Doug Holt 37:37

Yeah. But it doesn’t mean we have to be triggered or controlled by it when we take care of it. So that’s the cleanup that gets to happen.

Mark Hainsworth 37:43

Yeah, it’s like I now get, instead of the automatic trauma response in order to survive, I can go take a choice. Okay. Oh, there it is. I recognize the signal. Is it safe? Yes. Okay, make a different choice to normal.

Doug Holt 37:56

Yeah, I call that not being like my dad. Not being triggered in the same ways that he could get triggered. It’s interesting to me, because I would classify myself as a natural skeptic, right? And people I trust, like yourself, my wife have had these generational trauma experiences, where they’ve been explained to me that they’ve I’ve never had one, that I could associate with a family member. But they’ve explained to me that they’ve been able to go back through their generation and have healings happen. When it happened for you when you were able to point it back to your grandfather, tell me what that feel like. Are you able to have a sense of the scene?

Mark Hainsworth 38:37

What it felt like was a massive sense of loss. I don’t know what the story was, the massive sense of loss, inconsolable sadness, and no words to describe it. So it’s like carrying this sadness, and I can’t talk about it. That was what it felt like inside of me.

Doug Holt 39:00

You’re feeling it now, aren’t you?

Mark Hainsworth 39:02

I’m hovering on the edge of it. So the inconsolable sadness, I can say that really easily. But there are no words to describe it, that’s where the emotion kicks in.

Doug Holt 39:13

Got it.

Mark Hainsworth 39:14

And I remember when I was at boarding school, about once every — we used to go three terms per year. And I remember it used to happen regularly. Halfway through the term. I would walk into my house masters office, — I can feel the emotion now. And he used to look at me and say what’s up? He’s a lovely old man, he’s in his 60s. We used to call him Rocky Turner. And — used to say what’s up and I just used to be there silent. And somehow he knew that they were no words. And he just said, take a seat, you can talk when you’re ready. I used to sit there while he carried on doing his work, 20 minutes, it was resolved and I walked out.

Doug Holt 39:58


Mark Hainsworth 39:59

He just had this deep empathy, and he just knew there’s no talking about it right now. I needed to be with someone, but I didn’t need to — I didn’t have the words anywhere. I couldn’t communicate what was going on.

Doug Holt 40:14

Yeah, I think it’s more than being with someone you need to be with someone that can hold space the way he could sounds like, and you just naturally intuitively knew that he was — [crosstalk]

Mark Hainsworth 40:21

Hat was a safe place to go to.

Doug Holt 40:23

Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Hainsworth 40:24

And to me, that’s bringing that back to relationship. As men, can we hold the safe place when there’s no words to talk about what’s going on? How can we be safe, first of all in ourselves, can I hold myself in my own space before I can be a safe place my wife drop?

Doug Holt 40:47

Wow, that’s powerful. If we can create that space for our partners, then the sky’s the limit, right? Feminine energy can flourish. I got to think when I’m thinking about what I called Doug 1.0, before I really started working on my marriage, and I think about a lot of the guys that come through the program, initially walking through the door, I didn’t understand how to hold space. Like for me, safety was physical safety, not emotional safety. And the reason I couldn’t hold emotional safety for my wife is I couldn’t go there for myself. And I just wasn’t — I wasn’t willing to. It’s not that I didn’t have the capacity, right, because I have sense, but I wasn’t willing to.

And one of the things that I’ve learned, and I like to say this a lot on this podcast because a lot of guys have this. The programming that we’re taught is to be stoic is to be strong. And to me, it’s just the opposite. It’s courage, right? Courage is being scared. Most guys are scared to go there emotionally because of what people think. And so the stoic part is the easy part, that’s super easy. Being vulnerable, I don’t really like the word vulnerable for a lot of reasons, but it gets tossed around a lot.

But being able to allow somebody in, being able to go somewhere, even when it’s scary, that’s courageous, and that’s where I see these men coming through the program. That’s why these guys have had so much success in other areas of your life, they go there anyway. It’s scary but they still go in. Just like the fireman goes into a burning building to save, we call them a hero. Because we know he’s scared and he does it anyway. And that’s what I think for men now, that’s the new courageous thing is to go into your own inner world even when the fire is burning and raging, and go ahead and rescue the child. Maybe not rescue.

Mark Hainsworth 42:43

It’s the courage to go and do what needs to be done, whatever that happens to be, is what comes up for me. But what I found fascinating on this recent The Alpha Reset was the number of guys — look at them saying, can we go there? So I got this sense something’s going on. It’s like a blank sheet. I’ve got no idea what’s going on in a guy when he arrives. I said well, let him paint his own picture on his own blank sheet. And occasionally, something comes up and I just feel like there’s something happening there. What’s happening? And they go, should we go there? Does an invitation, and they look at me, and they go, yeah, I think I can trust you. That is the most — there’s this sense of privilege that someone trusts me, and there’s something actually quite nice about that. It’s a nice feeling.

But it’s the realization that it’s not safe for them where they are to go to that place. So they already know I can’t go there because it’s not safe. It’s scary and that’s that. Come, I’ll walk with you. Effectively, I’m saying come, I’ll walk with you. And if the trust is there and the connection, okay, and then we go there. But fundamentally, this was another learning I got a couple of weeks ago; going through life, fear kicks in. Something in my system, something in my subconscious mind goes uh-uh, and I wake up. The next step is it’s not safe. The next step is I don’t trust this space. The next step is not sure I can trust myself. The next step is self-doubt erodes self-confidence. And it’s bang, bang, bang, and it happens in three nanoseconds. The safety is gone. The fundamental thing is fear is telling me the safety is gone.

Doug Holt 44:45

Yeah. Interesting. Have you found that over time that you’ve been able to dissect that much quicker?

Mark Hainsworth 44:51

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And do you know how I dissect it much quicker? Take it step by step. So this reaction that happens in half a second that causes me to shut down, to protect, is to open up that half a second into little steps, and just imagine taking the next step, and the next step, what happens in my body in that moment, take the next step, what happens in my body in the moment. And that’s the most beautiful methodology, a friend of mine in Australia put together, being able to walk that path. So here I am sitting in, let’s call it home, I’m calm, I’m centered and grounded. Something happens, the trigger happens, fear, safety, trust, self-confidence. Basically, I leave home, I could go completely ungrounded, and it’s happening automatically in order to keep myself safe. That’s what my body does. I can open it all up step at a time and understand that I can actually come back home, rather than be stuck in the trauma.

Doug Holt 46:05

Do you walk the steps in reverse or do you go back to the starting point to figure out how you got there in the first place?

Mark Hainsworth 46:13

I do it a step at a time. Okay. Take the step, what’s that? It’s fear. Okay, come back home.

Mark Hainsworth 46:18

Okay, gotcha. I’m with you now.

Mark Hainsworth 46:21

Yeah. Take the next step. Oh, the fear is not so bad. This time I survived it, don’t have to go down the automatic route, I’ve got choice. Take the three steps, oh, not too bad. And by being able to understand that the pattern is the same. It can be different triggers, it can be different endpoints, but the pattern is the same. If I can become familiar with the pattern, the automatic pattern that I do to make myself safe, keep the connection in place, get my needs met, feel significant, if I can understand the pattern, then when the trigger comes, I go, oh, there it is again. Take a breath, come back home. Sorry, what was that? Can you just say that again? I’ve got myself safe with myself, I can now hold space for whatever it is my wife has just said to me.

Doug Holt 47:09

Gotcha. Have you ever found, Mark, do you ever try to create a new pattern or new reaction to the trigger rather than doing the steps, so to speak? Said another way, let’s say your partner triggers you when they criticize, or you feel that they’re criticizing you? Have you ever tried to play with the idea of changing the narrative to the story of the trigger so that when that appearance of criticism comes up it has a new narrative for you?

Mark Hainsworth 47:46

What I’ve noticed is that if I can own the trigger, take the steps, come back home, go okay, that’s what I heard in my system. If I can own that, I come home and I can say, can you just say that again? Because now I can hear what you’re actually saying. I’m not hearing what my filters are telling me. So do I reprogram the way that I respond to that trigger? The awareness is one way of doing it, but to reprogram the belief, the original belief about myself that causes me to run down that track. If I can reprogram that belief, then I get a different outcome.

Doug Holt 48:34

Yeah, that’s not what I’m talking about.

Mark Hainsworth 48:37

So how do I reprogram the belief?

Doug Holt 48:40

I’m just asking if you do, I’m just curious. Something I work on is re-associating the trigger, giving it a new association so it doesn’t become a trigger anymore. It just becomes or it triggers a different — a reaction I want to have.

Mark Hainsworth 48:52

Yeah. So sometimes I can. If it’s an easy one, I go, okay, I can see it now. I think for me, as a recognizer, I’ve got this piece of me that responds this way. And if I can hold that somewhere in my awareness, and when the trigger comes I go, oh, I want to go down that route. And I go no, I don’t need to go down there. I can stop myself. I remember one day I was living in Chicago, and I was walking down the street with a friend of mine, and he said something. And I said to him, I’d learned to love and trust this guy. Big Bad John we call — something.

Doug Holt 49:34

Big Bad John, I love that.

Mark Hainsworth 49:37

And I said, Johnny, please can you just allow me for one moment, I’m going to get angry right now. And out it came like a monster. Thank you. I just needed to do that rather than keep it in. And so I had the awareness that the anger was there and I was controlling it and I just thought why am I doing this? And that was a powerful moment, because he looked at me — what just happened? He said you never liked this. I said well, maybe I am.

Doug Holt 50:10

You just don’t see that.

Mark Hainsworth 50:12

Yeah, because I hide it from myself.

Doug Holt 50:14

Sure. Because being angry is bad.

Mark Hainsworth 50:15

Yeah, certainly. Be a nice boy, Mark.

Doug Holt 50:18

Yes, exactly.

Mark Hainsworth 50:19

Keep that smile on your face Mark because then you’ll get fed and a cuddle maybe.

Doug Holt 50:24

Yeah, I mean, that’s how we learned to get our needs met, like we’ve gone back to this baby, right. Babies are trying to assimilate. That’s why I think there’s been so much science around studying babies, babies make people smile and there’s this natural release of oxytocin into our brains. So we’re getting this hit neuro-chemically to keep the baby alive. And what are we doing now as adult men? How are we playing this out into a different role?

Mark Hainsworth 50:54

Well, in the emotional space, my view is really that the little boy is running the show. The emotional state of the little boy, he’s running the show and the adults got to learn to be with that little boy. And when the emotion kicks off, it goes right back to our early experience that this is who I am, a bundle of emotion, and therefore it’s true. When the emotion kicks off at 55 years old, it’s like, is this really true? Is this really true? The situation that I’m feeling is actually what’s going on?

Doug Holt 51:24

Yeah, I think about it all the time, Mark, and when I tell the guys is I have them pull out their phones, right? I go, how often do you upgrade the software on this phone? You know, three, four or five times a year, whenever it says upgrade, you wait maybe a day or so? How many times have you gone back to upgrade your own software and look back at what that programming is, rather than people just piling new programming on to you?

Mark Hainsworth 51:46

Exactly. You know, I worked with men, and there’s a lovely little process that I run when they’re sitting with a dilemma that they’re trying to resolve. And it’s a really simple exercise. And I don’t know if any of the clients have been listening to this podcast, but some of those guys [inaudible 00:52:03] oh, I remember this. And what’s fascinating is that if we go into the pattern, that automatic pattern, and we have the conversation, what do you know about parts? What do you call it parts?

Doug Holt 52:15

Car parts.

Mark Hainsworth 52:16

Yeah. And you said, what’s the purpose? What’s the purpose of what you’re doing? I don’t know, this is just what I do. The subconscious is just doing this automatically because that’s the way it’s programmed. It doesn’t know how to ask itself why it’s doing that.

Doug Holt 52:33

It’s a great way of doing because I think that’s fascinating for the guys listening who’s having this experience is even the most skeptical person in my experience, they’ll start a dialogue between these two opposing parts, the dilemma, right, which choice. And they’ll hash it out right in front of you.

Mark Hainsworth 52:50

Yeah, absolutely. And then that’s exactly what we do is like, okay, so what’s the one choice you can make? What’s your system telling you maybe you should do? And what’s your other option? Okay, so what’s the risk? If I go down there, what’s the worst that could happen? If I go down there what’s the worst that could happen? Well, 10 times out of 10 actually. There’s a perceived bad outcome and then we challenge the path they haven’t walked down yet.

Doug Holt 53:20

How do you do that?

Mark Hainsworth 53:22

Well, we say you know what you’re doing right now, this repetitive pattern isn’t working for you. Have you tried the other option? No. Why not? Because of the perceived bad outcomes down there. But have you tried walking the path? Could it be different?

Doug Holt 53:35

What you’re describing right now is exactly what Coach Andy Torr brought up earlier. Excuse me, no, Ryan Peach brought this up earlier about how many men he gets on a call with and their marriages aren’t working. Of course, it’s the wife’s fault as we all know. The marriage isn’t working and they’re just going to keep going down that path harder rather than trying this other path, because they don’t know where that path leads.

Mark Hainsworth 54:00

And as Mark Smith would say, why are you doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different outcome? That’s madness.

Doug Holt 54:08

Yeah, it is. It really is madness, but it’s safe. Because we know what that outcome is and we know we’ve lived through it.

Mark Hainsworth 54:14

We survive. We survived using that pattern when we were young. And generally that pattern is what we learned in the family to survive in the family system.

Doug Holt 54:24

Yeah, fascinating, isn’t it? I love this stuff. One question, and I know we said we’re going to let the conversation go everywhere, which I love, by the way, is I hear this a lot in popular culture now, partially because what we do, but also I just hear is this concept of narcissism. And I’d love to get your take on it of what is narcissism and how does it play out or how do you see it playing out with the men that we work with and why do you think it’s gotten so much attention lately?

Mark Hainsworth 55:07

Let’s start with the last question. I guess I’m not aware that it’s gotten a lot of attention lately. So that’s an interesting topic in itself. Narcissism, I’m trying to simplify it.

Doug Holt 55:22

Thank you.

Mark Hainsworth 55:28

Can we do the what if scenarios?

Doug Holt 55:31

Let’s do it.

Mark Hainsworth 55:33

Let’s bring this back to me. So I’m going to make this up because it may not be entirely true. If, during my childhood something happens that causes me to believe that I don’t deserve to exist, can be a simple thing. But the emotion tells me, I don’t deserve — I don’t want to be here. I don’t deserve it. There’s no connection here, but the system has to survive. So then I go, okay, what can I do to make my world safe? You hear the wording? What can I do to make my world safe? But because I’m in the disconnect, I can’t connect to me, so I’m suddenly blaming the world. It’s the world that’s unsafe. What do I got to do to make the outside world safe, such that I can be in it? I’ve never explored this like this before. So I’m making this up as I go along, just in case you’re wondering.

Doug Holt 56:45

You’re doing a great job.

Mark Hainsworth 56:47

What can I do to the outside world to make it safe to give me a sense that my tribal connection is intact? Every time something happens, that gives me a sense of safety, it’s the world that’s doing it to me. It’s not something I’m creating for myself. So what have I got to do to get the world in order? I can throw a tantrum, I can blame my husband. If I’m a male with narcissism, I blame the wife. It can go both ways. Yeah. And the only way I can survive is to fight to make my world right. And the only way that can happen is if everybody else’s world is wrong. So then it becomes a fight for my experience of the world. This is the only way I can survive, my world has to be right. And because it’s an on-off situation, it’s a right-wrong situation, it’s a disconnected place.

Doug Holt 57:54

No gray.

Mark Hainsworth 57:55

No gray, no gray. The other person’s world has to be wrong. And I will fight for my existence in order for that other person’s world to be wrong so that my world is right. [crosstalk] How does that land with you? Does that make sense?

Doug Holt 58:10

Makes complete sense for me, especially when I look at it from, with my coaching hat because I haven’t experienced a lot of that personally. And I’d say the last couple years, I’ve been hearing it a lot on — from talks with other coaches or professionals across the board, people that I know. We talked about a friend of ours who self-diagnosed himself as narcissistic. I think his partner called him narcissistic and he looked into it and goes wow. But then he read the list to me, I’m like, come on, man. Everybody’s got all these things.

Mark Hainsworth 58:42

We all got pieces of it. We’ve all got pieces of it.

Doug Holt 58:46

Yeah. And I think that could be dangerous though too, right? In the sense of, not all pieces of it, but the danger can lie in the labeling, right. Because again, he called himself narcissistic and I laughed at him, right, because he’s a friend of mine, I joke with everybody, but give him a hard time. Then he read the list to me and I was like, well, shit, man, we all have all those. You want what you want. Well, don’t we all want what we want. You want to be loved? Well, don’t we all want to be loved? It was like, the list was so generic. And I saw in this particular man a defeat in him that I don’t normally see, because he had accepted the potentiality of this label, right. And it was a temporary thing. But I started seeing this going on more and more.

And you and I have talked a little bit back and forth about narcissism and we’ve had encounters, somebody mutually that you and I know who, I think we both agree was narcissistic. So I find it very interesting. You know who I’m talking about. I find it like a very interesting conversation. And I think I’m hearing more and more men talk about it. And it could just be my circle of influence, but I feel as, or I’m more attuned to it, of course. Right? It’s kind of like when you want to go buy a vehicle that nobody else has, and all of a sudden you decide, you go out into the road and go for a drive and all of a sudden, there’s one. There’s one. And they’re there. All of a sudden, they’re everywhere and they always have been. And I think narcissism might be the same thing for me.

Mark Hainsworth 1:00:15

Yes, so the more awareness of it, definitely. The psycho-therapeutic world has put a label on this, and it’s unfixable, okay. But I’d love — Can we play with this?

Doug Holt 1:00:25

Oh, yeah.

Mark Hainsworth 1:00:27

So I’m sitting in this space where let’s imagine that my partner, I’m labeling her as a narcissist. I’m struggling with this because why is it the women are always blamed as the narcissists? Anyway, so this is with the greatest of respect. No, no. Let me imagine that I’m a woman and I’m looking at my husband as a narcissist. How’s that? Can we spin it around?

Doug Holt 1:00:52


Mark Hainsworth 1:00:53

Here I am, I’m a woman. I’m looking at my husband as a narcissist. He’s only interested in his work, he’s only interested in his buddies, he’s not interested in me, he’s always out traveling. He hasn’t got time for the kids. It’s all about him. He’s a narcissist.

Doug Holt 1:01:08

You’ve talked to my wife.

Mark Hainsworth 1:01:12

Okay. What’s she not getting?

Doug Holt 1:01:15

Connection. She’s not getting my time in that case.

Mark Hainsworth 1:01:18

Well, she’s getting to feel like she’s not important so she starts to fight back saying what about me? Which is narcissistic. Stop making it about you, make it about me. So there’s this projection that goes on.

Doug Holt 1:01:31

I see what you’re saying.

Mark Hainsworth 1:01:32

The moment the word narcissist, I mean I get men coming, my wife says I’m a narcissist. I said have you held up the mirror to her? You know? Well, she says it’s all about me. I said, is she actually wanting it to be more about her? And they go, well, yes. I go oh, it’s just a narcissistic tendency.

Doug Holt 1:01:51

Gotcha. It’s like the selfishness of calling somebody’s saying, and I tell this to the men all the time, does your wife call you self — Oh, she says I’m selfish. What she’s really saying is you’re not doing what I want you to do, which is really the truly selfish thing. Yeah, interesting.

Mark Hainsworth 1:02:07

But I do agree that that narcissistic, when it becomes a really deeply entrenched, it’s very difficult to help to resolve it. Because if the narcissist, the person who’s been labeled as narcissists, if the narcissist were to suddenly go, oh, hang on a minute. I’m seeing the world out there as the problem. For as long as I’m focused on the world out there, I don’t have to look at myself. And if I spend all of my focus, looking at the world out there, there’s actually nothing left inside, and it might be terrifying to go inside to look at this, because there may be nothing there. At least I get to sense that I’m significant fighting for my truth. When in actual fact, inside I might feel completely empty because I never put any focus on my internal state.

Doug Holt 1:03:06

Yeah. And then which would equal death.

Mark Hainsworth 1:03:08

Yeah, perceived death.

Doug Holt 1:03:09

Well, yeah. Exactly.

Mark Hainsworth 1:03:12

Complete desolation down there. Where is self? You know what, I find it really fascinating. I mean, I can look at my narcissistic tendencies. I’ve got them. And at the end of the day, I just wanted to be loved and held.

Doug Holt 1:03:30

Yeah. I’m perfect so I don’t have any of those problems.

Mark Hainsworth 1:03:34

I’m getting there.

Doug Holt 1:03:36

Yeah. I always find it funny when people think that we as coaches have it all together. You know, we just might be a few steps ahead or a few steps if we’re working on the issues that you’re working on, right and going through it. And when I think about kind of this whole idea of narcissism, it reminds me of one of the exercises I like to take the guys through a lot. And it’s this idea of like, okay, what happens if you fail? What happens if your marriage doesn’t work out? What does that mean to you? Well, oftentimes, it means I failed, okay? What does failing mean to you? Like then what? Right?

Well, if I fail, it means I’m not good enough. Okay, then what? Well, if I’m not good enough, then people aren’t going to want to spend time with me. Okay, then what? Well, if they don’t want to spend time with me, then they’re not going to love me. Okay, then what? Well, if they don’t love me, then I’m going to be alone. Okay, then what? Well, if I’m alone, why am I even here? So you’ve associated the separation of your marriage, the divorce with death. All right. And so can you see what the trigger, why you’re fighting for this or why you’re fighting for your beliefs or the need to be right rather than being happy?

Mark Hainsworth 1:04:41

And sometimes even the men, if my marriage fails then I might as well die. And that’s the deep rooted belief, because I’m a failure. What’s the point of me being here?

Doug Holt 1:04:55

Yeah, and it’s, they say a permanent solution to a temporary problem, unfortunately, as they go through it. And it’s a matter of, it’s kind of like you’re talking about taking the steps. You almost have to take the steps of what the fear is, and what’s going on to see how far it goes down. And I would say every time I’ve done this exercise with a group of men or an individual, it always leads to being alone. Which leads to not being loved, was the one step before that, right. Then it’s being alone, which is the real true fear. Which is counterintuitive to guys that are sitting on the fence. You know as well as I do, I think the last time I heard we had 25,000 downloads of the podcast. So 25,000 people presumably, that are recorded are listening to this, which tells me there’s probably a lot more. And out of that, that means a lot of these guys are just sitting on the fence not taking action out of fear, right. However, the real fear is, if they don’t do something, then that’s when the real problems can happen.

Mark Hainsworth 1:05:58

I think there’s a fear of getting off the fence into the same paddock as my wife. Because the last time I got into a paddock like this, and got rejected, it was too painful. I don’t want to re-energize that pain.

Doug Holt 1:06:17

Yeah. What’s something you think — I mean, if a guy’s sitting there and he’s sitting in that fear, what’s one thing he can do if he’s sitting at home right now or he’s driving the car on the treadmill, wherever he may be, and he’s sitting in that fear of indecision?

Mark Hainsworth 1:06:36

He’s got to recognize it first. And so just acknowledge that there is a fear. And a lot of guys, it’s pretty weak for us to admit they were scared. So can we just acknowledge there’s a fear here, and there’s a threat to us in some sort of way, and what is the fear? And the being on the fence, I think there’s two fears. What happens if I take that opportunity, or option A to get off the fence or option B? And it’s like, you keep asking, what’s the worst that can happen? What’s the worst that can happen? And there’ll be a catch 22, which is why it’s safer to stay on the fence. Safer to stay in the indecision than it is to face the annihilation of whatever the worst case outcome is death or death.

Doug Holt 1:07:25

Yeah. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Mark Hainsworth 1:07:26

Yeah. We call this life.

Doug Holt 1:07:30

Or training grounds or something, which makes it really interesting. You know, I always enjoy talking to you. And I appreciate all that you do for the men in the movement. I mean, seeing these, I always say 13, because I know there were a couple other people there. But the 11 men that came and are going back to their families, to their communities better men, I just can’t thank you enough for all you do. So I really appreciate you.

Mark Hainsworth 1:07:55

Thank you. And I have loved this conversation. It’s been kind of, let’s just go and explore where this goes. And I’ve got a couple of little bits of… Ah, there’s another piece for me to go work on.

Doug Holt 1:08:05

Oh, as have I. As have I. Thank you, my friend. Appreciate it.

Mark Hainsworth 1:08:10

Fabulous. Thanks.

Doug Holt 1:08:11

Gentlemen, as we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action. There are a lot of insights in here. Mark and I purposely didn’t have an agenda for this conversation. As you can see, it spins off too many webs. So definitely go back and listen to some of the nuggets that Mark has left here for you. And just make a decision. Take one or two nuggets and take action. Don’t go from one podcast to another, one show to another on YouTube, whatever it may be. Just write them down in your journal, and take action and keep making progress. We’ll see you next time on The KPM show.


All right, guys, that’s a wrap for this episode. But as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. You see, there are two types of men that listen to a podcast like this, those that go on from one podcast or show to another just hoping things are going to change and realizing that they’re going to be in the same place month after month, year after year.

You see, I was this guy so I completely get it. You may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man, a second man that listens to a show just like this. And this is a guy who takes massive action so they can shorten the learning curve, compress time, and get RESULTS to be the WOLF. See, WOLF is an acronym for Wise, Open, Loving, and Fierce.

Now ask yourself, which one am I? And just be honest with yourself there. And there’s no judgment on my end. But if you’re ready to move from deactivated DEER mode, which is Defend, Excuse, Explain, and React to activated WOLF, Wise, Open, Loving and Fierce, then go over to thepowerfulman.com/grow. And go there now. In fact, I’ll make it super easy for you. I will even put the link right in the description here so you can just click it and go over there now to learn more. Guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go from deactivated to activated, because like I said, life is too short for average and I’ll see you on the next episode!