289 | How To Overcome What’s Keeping You Stuck

“Now I can just be… it’s almost like being free.” 


Today we are talking about what I often refer to as “junk in life.”  We’ll all have junk. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Worry – about our work, families, kids, money, deadlines…
  • Insecurity
  • Fighting or disunity in our marriages, friendships
  • Feeling not good enough
  • Judgment
  • Needing to be right
  • Being self-centered
  • Perfectionism
  • Fearing failure or fearing too much in general
  • Striving and trying to get others to approve of us
  • Needing to be in control
  • Feeling responsible for others
  • Feeling guilty
  • Getting offended easily
  • Anxiety…

That list I just read may be some of junk in your life, or maybe it’s other stuff…The problem is that it holds us back until we gain perspective on it. Today we’re not staying focused on the junk, but taking about how to overcome it…NOT putting a bandaid on it, or finding distractions, but taking the steps to get past it.

Which is why we have a special guest on today! Someone who can speak to getting unstuck, and starting the process of overcoming this kind of junk. Our guest is a small business owner, a fantastic leader, husband and father.

Getting past the junk…with Ryan Albritton:

Chris LoCurto: What “Aha moment” did you have that changed your actions or thought process?

Ryan Abritton: When I recognize them coming up, I realize now to stop myself and don’t lose worth in that moment. Don’t lose control and let those lies creep in. I don’t try to self protect by losing the control. So that was really probably the biggest Aha is I don’t need to self protect. You know, in those moments I mean that those are lies. That’s not true. Calm down and gaining perspective on whatever situation is going on.

Chris LoCurto: So talk about the self protection because, if I would have pointed out self protection to you before a year ago, would you have seen it or believed it like you do now?

Ryan Abritton: No.

Chris LoCurto: People don’t believe that they self protect. I mean we and a lot of folks coming in. Did you know that you were lying to yourself before coming in?

Ryan Abritton: No Way. You don’t think of it as lies…

Chris LoCurto: So there’s something I want to hit. Well let me ask this. What do you think is the greatest change you see in you?

Ryan Abritton: The greatest change in me I think is being happy and accountable and calm…and the level of frustration is just almost obsolete. I mean, that’s probably the biggest thing. You can’t know how frustrated you are until you go through Next Level Life. I mean really. I mean you just don’t even know it. Now I see how I really do this. Now I can just be… It’s almost like being free….keep reading our interview here.

We guide people through a 2-day process to help them get past the “junk,” improve relationships, and discover what’s holding them back from peace and freedom in life. What would that look like in your life? Get more information, and find out here: Your Next-Level Life

Have you found​ freedom and peace in​ YOUR​ everyday life​ with Next-Level Life

Download the full transcript here  |  Download the episode

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Chris LoCurto: Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.

Chris LoCurto: Well folks, welcome to the show today. Today we are talking about what we refer to as junk in life, so if you’re ready to talk about junk, we have junk. We all have junk in our lives, and today we get to talk about it. Now, what am I talking about? What does that look like for a good number of people? It’s worry. It’s worry about work, worry about families. It’s worry about kids, money, deadlines, whatever that is. It’s all of this worry that we tend to have, the bad things in life. It’s those things that just constantly cause us to feel like something bad’s going to happen. Insecurity, fighting or disunity in marriages, friendships, which are just terrible. It’s tough. That’s junk. Feeling not good enough. Judgement needing to be right. Some of us not being able to be wrong. We get a lot of folks that don’t realize that they can’t be wrong.

Chris LoCurto: It really affects them. Being selfish. Perfectionism, yes, perfectionism is junk. Fearing failure or fearing too much in general, striving or trying to get others to approve of us. Good night. So many people spend so much time trying to get others to approve of them needing to be in control. Feeling responsible for others. Yes, this is a is long list and just a piece of what we experience or what we go through, what we discover. Feeling guilty, getting offended easily. Anxiety. How many are all just getting anxious just hearing this list? I know it’s a lot. That’s nothing. We discover a heck of a lot of stuff that people are dealing with that we would call junk in their life, you know, that’s just a list that I read, but maybe there’s other stuff that you’re experiencing, so this may be something that’s hitting home, but you may have other things in there that I haven’t mentioned that are probably hitting home as well.

Chris LoCurto: The problem is, is that it holds us back until we gain perspective on it. That’s just the beginning phases for us to really gain some great understanding on what it is and what do we do with it. So today we’re not staying focused on the junk, but instead we’re talking about how to overcome it, not putting a bandaid on it or finding distractions from it, but taking steps to get past it. We don’t want you to learn how to cope with it. We want you to get past that kind of stuff, which is why we have a special guest on today, someone who can speak to getting unstuck and starting the process of this kind of junk. So our guest is a small business owner, a fantastic leader, husband and father. Our guest today is Ryan. Albritton. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan A: Thank you Chris, glad to be here.

Chris LoCurto: So good to have you on. Were you getting anxious through that whole list?

Ryan A: A little bit, yes. [laughter] Bringing up a lot of bad old stuff,

Chris LoCurto: There’s a lot on there that just hits home, right?

Ryan A: Right.

Chris LoCurto: Before we get into all this stuff, I’ve got to get to say you have one of the coolest names. It was great discovering this because your last name, Albritton in Russian means werewolf.

Ryan A: That’s right. You brought that to our attention

Chris LoCurto: Yeah we discovered that. I don’t remember who it was, I think it was savannah or somebody discovered that. LoCurto in Sicilian means the short.

Ryan A: Not as cool as werewolf

Chris LoCurto: But I’m six foot three, so come on [laughter]. So we have a lot of great things to talk about today. You and I first met. Gosh, was it? I don’t even know

Ryan A: It was a mastermind retreat in November of 2016

Chris LoCurto: There you go. So you’ve been through so much stuff. You’re in the next level mastermind group you’ve been through next level life. You guys literally just finished StratPlan last week. Is everybody still alive?

Ryan A: We are. [laughter] We are hanging in there for sure.

Chris LoCurto: Very tough, tough week but a very powerful week. Loved having you guys in here. So you and your brother Brad, are co owners of this business and you also happen to be the reigning cornhole champions here at the Next-Level Mastermind retreats.

Ryan A: This is true. We do have the best record of anybody. I think we lost one game.

Chris LoCurto: I think it was one game, but I think it was after like 20 games and they were just go ahead and win it. That has been one of the things we got these funky little trophies that we do at the next level mastermind retreats and these guys have won it over and over again. It’s just been, you hear guys trying to set up teams, right? Some of the guys are trying to set up team, some of the guys are trying to, you know, set up those ringer teams and nobody’s done it yet. So, before we get into all the stuff, tell us a little bit about you, what life is like, what do you do for work, your family, how do you do it, all that kind of fun stuff.

Ryan A: My brother and I own a commercial flooring business here in North Carolina. I have been married for almost 10 years and have two boys, seven and four. They take after their mother. So that’s good. [laughter] And we’ve been in business for 15 years. This is a family business. My Dad was in business, started in the seventies and his dad before him had a furniture business and we’ve kind of just grown it up, moved over to the commercial side over the last 15 years and we’ve both been through next level life.

Chris LoCurto: Yeah, so there’s definitely no issues when it comes to family business, right?

Ryan A: None at all. Sarcasm.

Chris LoCurto: Which is powerful this is third generation because usually it’s the third generation that tanks the business because they could careless, especially with, you know, the stuff that we just did last week. It’s just there’s such a great, powerful future ahead. Let’s talk about how you started a process to get past the stuff that was holding you back, because correct me if I’m wrong on this, but you knew coming into this that there was some things that were holding you back that you wanted to get past. Does that sound correct?

Ryan A: Yes

Chris LoCurto: So before coming through next level life, what was life like? Let’s say a year ago, what was some of the junk you were experiencing?

Ryan A: Big people pleaser and wanted the approval from man. I didn’t realize that before, but that is exactly what it was, which left me feeling unworthy and rejected. And I have a lot of defensiveness um brewing inside of me. I didn’t hold myself accountable. So a lot of junk.

Chris LoCurto: It’s crazy because to know you, everybody talks about the Albrittons. I don’t know if you guys actually believe me when every time I mentioned this, but everybody loves Ryan and Brad. I mean every time you guys are here, if you’re not here, you know, we just have great clients in this mastermind group and you know, you just miss people not being here. And you guys are, are some of those that people just absolutely love to hang out with and be a part of. So here’s this Nice Guy, Ryan…you. Great personality, fun to be around. Funny, obviously an expert a cornhole, but there’s this underlying issue of people pleasing. And it’s so funny because so many times we don’t realize some of those people that are really good at relating to people are really good in settings like that struggle with people pleasing and because it’s just like, oh, it’s such a great guy or great gal and you don’t realize that deep down inside so much of that stuff is the “hey, but do you approve of me?” So talk about that rejection side. What is that? What was that like to experience that? How did that, how did that happen? What was like to experience it? What did you tell yourself through all of that stuff?

Ryan A: It’s really, it’s frustrating and you lose a lot of worth internally battling the acceptance of others. Not being able to see it like I can now. It really, you know, you can always push it aside and try to. You keep going, you do what you do, but you, you’re frustrated on the inside wondering why? Why can’t I make that person happy? Why can’t they? I can fail them, but I’m not really worried about it. And it really takes control of your attitudes and your actions

Chris LoCurto: It becomes a responsibility doesn’t it.

Ryan A: Right. Yeah. Yes.

Chris LoCurto: the “I have to make this person happy” because what do you feel if they’re not happy?

Ryan A: A lot of rejection. I feel sad. I feel like I’m not good enough. What did I do to make them upset? Why don’t they don’t they like me? Why are they interacting with me like I think they should…a lot of that.

Chris LoCurto: And is it safe to say that many times you feel like it’s your fault.

Ryan A: Ah, yes. It’s never the other person’s fault. It’s always mine, yeah.

Chris LoCurto: There’s so many of the folks that come through this process that deal with the same thing. I, that was a big part of, at least the first half of my life was that people pleaser process of wanting people. Mine wasn’t as much.I needed to make you happy. I know that’s a big push on yours. We’ve got other folks, our clients that have come through that. The happiness part is a big, you know, the people pleaser part. Mine was, I needed to make sure you weren’t hurt. I need to make sure that you were taken care of. I needed to serve you. And if you ever were hurt then obviously I did something wrong. You know, if you had a bad day at work, it surely was my fault. Even though we don’t work together.

Ryan A: Right [laughter]

Chris LoCurto: And if I can’t fix that or you know, do something about that, then it’s again, it’s that rejection comes in, but more than anything I feel like that I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. So what did that look like in your day to day life?

Ryan A: Gosh, it really puts a lot of…when you push down things like that, it brings a lot of frustration and quick temper and unfortunately my family got the probably the worst part of it because you’re more comfortable with them. We want them to be happy to. I want my wife to be happy, but it really brings on a lot of frustration because you’re trying to…You can’t people please. I mean that’s not. I know now it’s not a good way. It’s not healthy and you didn’t recognize that, but it really brings on a lot of frustration and feeling out of control.

Chris LoCurto: The out of control part. What happens there? When you feel out of control, what is your go to?

Ryan A: Well, I know now it’s not surface level responses. They start creeping in and you start telling yourself the lies.

Chris LoCurto: Yeah. For those of you that don’t know, in next level life, we have a sheet that’s called surface level responses, which is what we’re referring to right now as “junk.” We all have these surface level responses that we do. You know, it can be procrastination, it can be people pleasing, it can be feeling not good enough. It can be control, it can be having to be right. It can be all the, you know the things I listed and there’s about 700 different surface level responses. You know and what you do is that when you don’t know how to handle or you don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, you know which points back to the root system where we discover where so much of this stuff comes from. You know, why do I feel like I have to be a people pleaser? Why do I feel rejected if I don’t make somebody happy, why do I feel not good enough? When we discover those things from the root system, then all of a sudden the surface level responses make sense. We can make different decisions. We can change those. So what changed in how you deal with those surface level responses? Like what “Aha moment” did you have that changed your actions or thought process?

Ryan A: When I recognize them coming up, I realize now to stop myself and don’t lose worth in that moment. Don’t lose control and let those lies creep in. I don’t try to self protect by losing the control. So that was really probably the biggest Aha is I don’t need to self protect. You know, in those moments I mean that those are lies. That’s not true. Calm down and gaining perspective on whatever situation is going on.

Chris LoCurto: So talk about the self protection because, if I would have pointed out self protection to you before a year ago, would you have seen it or believed it like you do now?

Ryan A: No.

Chris LoCurto: People don’t believe that they self protect.

Ryan A: Yeah, you go to a place in self protection where it’s a safe place for you and so you can telling yourself the lies is really where were your self protecting because you’re bringing these lies in and you can go to a place that you’ve known all your life and you can then lose control and those things are what gets you out of control.

Chris LoCurto: I think it totally makes sense. I mean we and a lot of folks coming in. Did you know that you were lying to yourself before coming in?

Ryan A: No Way. You don’t think of it as lies.

Chris LoCurto: That’s exactly it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me Chris, how would I know that I’m lying to myself? but it’s like, don’t worry, all of a sudden it’s going to make a whole lot of sense when you start to see some of the stuff you tell yourself, but I’ve literally had people go, well, I don’t think I lie to myself, but it’s like, oh, that’s adorable. You do it. It’s stuff that when you see it, you like, it kind of pisses you off.

Ryan A: Yea, now it does.

Chris LoCurto: I’m doing that to myself. So what’s been the biggest change in your life? What have you walked away from it and you know, helping yourself to stop the things that hold you back. What’s been the biggest change?

Ryan A: The biggest change has been putting God first and getting my worth from him and knowing that I can get it from other people and the accountability that I give to myself now on knowing and being in control of my emotions is probably the biggest. And I think my wife would probably say the same thing.

Chris LoCurto: How would she put it?

Ryan A: You know, being able to not lose control over something that is very minor. She would say I’m a lot calmer now than I used to be, not letting small things get to me.

Chris LoCurto: And it seems like it’s not a small thing at the time.

Ryan A: Right, and those things fester when you know when you’re not in control and with my personality, letting things build and build and build and then they blow… and then every little thing. Now we have such a happy…I mean it changed our marriage. I mean we have literally changed. Next level life literally has changed our marriage. My life. Our communication is so much better. Realizing that, you know, we get our worth from God and our marriage is because of him and that really speaks to her and I think most people can get to that level of communication to each other and love. It’s just amazing.

Chris LoCurto: So there’s something I want to hit. Well let me ask this. What do you think is the greatest change you see in you?

Ryan A: The greatest change in me I think is being happy and accountable and calm…and the level of frustration is just almost obsolete. I mean, that’s probably the biggest thing. You can’t know how frustrated you are until you go through next level life. I mean really. I mean you just don’t even know it. Now I see how I really do this. Now I can just be… It’s almost like being free.

Chris LoCurto: So you just mentioned something that for me is huge because when you’re people pleasing and you’re frustrated and you’re trying to grab your worth from another human being and it’s not working and it causes frustration and stress because, and this is hard for some people to understand. The frustration isn’t. I’m not successful at making somebody happy. The frustration is I’m not worth crap. Right? It’s that I’m not good enough and that would you agree that that’s where your frustration came from?

Ryan A: Yes

Chris LoCurto: I’m not good enough and that frustration, we wear out on the people that we do love because we know that we’re good enough for them to an extent. Obviously they’re with us so they’re choosing to be with us, but we’re needing worth from, you know, somebody to tell us that we’re worthy of something. We’re worth something. And the crazy thing is you have somebody at home that’s probably more than willing to tell you, but it just doesn’t solve the problem because once again you cannot get worth, sustaining worth from human beings. You cannot get sustaining life filling worth from somebody who gives it to you for 30 seconds and then you’ve got to go find it again. So you just mentioned that the love aspect. How has that affected the love in your relationships?

Ryan A: Yeah, we really went over this in next level and understanding God’s love for us and what he had done, what he has done to show, show me how worth his love I am, and it was so…That literally changed my perspective, my life. I don’t think I really understood what God’s Love was really, and then sharing it with my wife after I got back. I mean it changed both of the way that we look at each other. My wife and I were like, it was almost over. We weren’t communicating. I was lost. You know, we grew up Christians, but you know, I didn’t know God really didn’t have a relationship and it was just God, I just, man, I went that November when I went to that, to that mastermind and it literally, it changed and then after that, out to the next level, it just, y’all saved me, man.

Chris LoCurto: Well, it is a god thing. We are blessed to be here and be a part of this, but my gosh, this is his gifts and talents. I love that I get to use them. I love that we get to do this, but not only is it his gifts and talents, but you to actually make the decision to do it, to go back and make that change in your life. So I’m proud of you. I’m glad God has put us together in each other’s lives. So powerful, man. Absolutely powerful. How do you look at your boys now?

Ryan A: Haha oh man…

Chris LoCurto: I know with pride because I got to see pictures of these kids.

Ryan A: Yes, very proud of my children. But those are God’s children and you know, I have been blessed by Him to take care of them and love them…I can try to like he does and it’s just amazing, you know, not pushing my frustration on them over the last couple of years since my next level has been or a year. It’s just been, I know I’ve been a whole lot better for them.

Ryan Albritton: Yeah. It gives them freedom to be themselves obviously, but also they’re on a path of discovering God’s love for themselves as well. Yeah. Good choices man. So help those that are listening right now who struggle with similar things. Folks. There’s a ton of you out there right now that you’re listening to this in one of two things is happening. Oh, one of three things. One thing you might be saying, I don’t relate to this at all. That may be a lie that you’re telling yourself. Another may be, I don’t want to face this, I don’t want to think about this, and another may be I absostinkinlutely relate to this and I don’t know what to do. So what tools do you have now? Now that you’re on this side of things, what tools do you have to overcome this to see real change in your life? What are the things that have helped you to grow and see a difference in your life?

Ryan A: When I feel the lies start creeping in and that usually happens in conversations. I will literally try to stop myself and recognize that…”wait a minute, don’t let this, don’t let this get you into that place.” I’ll stop, take a minute, gained the perspective, stop myself from letting the lies creep in. And that way I’m able to keep myself in control. I don’t lose control, let the frustration creep in, let the defensiveness come in, the rejection. And that’s really just being able to have gone through next level of life to recognize what my surface level responses are.

Chris LoCurto: What do you do? How do you battle the lies? Do you use the truths? Do you…what do you do to stop that process?

Ryan A: Yes, the truths. The what is, what is real. These are all lies. So obviously I have the truth that is the other side. And you go through those in your head knowing that I am worthy. I don’t need, I don’t need this person were to be a happy, calm, functioning person.

Chris LoCurto: Right, absolutely. And that’s one of the toughest things is that people don’t understand. #1 they don’t understand that they do lie to themselves. And then what the actual truth is. One of the things I always say is the truths are rarely the opposite of the lie. You know, you’re not good enough that you don’t battle with I am good enough because you don’t believe that anyways. Right? So discovering what is that truth, what is that truth? You know, why am I telling myself this? And what is the real truth that battles that? So what advice would you give our listeners who are wanting to take their lives to the next level to get out of the junk and surface level responses that they’re living in?

Ryan A: I would say don’t let the fear of change and a deep dive into yourself stop you from being the best you. It really, you know, it’ll change yourself and you will change your family. If you’re married, your wife and your kids, you will have a different perception on everyone around you and your life.

Chris LoCurto: So powerful. Now, I don’t remember who came through first?

Ryan A: Brad.

Chris LoCurto: So where were you? Were you like, no? [laughter]

Ryan A: He called me after we were done and it was this whole new person. So I was like, alright, well I gotta go, you have to go through this. And I was like, okay, I will.

Chris LoCurto: Everybody has the same exact fear coming in. When people walk through the door, almost every single event that morning that they come in I ask the same question or Joel asks the same question, what are you afraid of? Now we’re having breakfast. You know, were downstairs having breakfast, just talking through drinking coffee, getting to know each other, and I’ll always ask the same question, what are you afraid of? And it’s always the same exact answer. The fear of the unknown. I don’t know what we’re going to discover. So let me ask you, did you discover anything that you didn’t know about or you were shocked about? Just blew away and made you unhappy that you came through?

Ryan A: Absolutely not. There was a lot of self discovery, nothing that you don’t know that it’s in there, but it’s nothing that you should be that, that terrified of.

Chris LoCurto: And we do have some people that come in really nervous and some people that are like, oh no, I’m not afraid of anything. I just don’t know where we’re going to discover. And it’s like, okay, so you are worried, you’re worried about what you know, the thing you don’t know about, and it’s the same thing over and over again. And that’s, that’s any situation. You know, whenever you’re going into a self discovery that always tends to be the fear. So if you could go back to a younger Ryan, what would you tell him?

Ryan A: Getting your worth from people is only going to lead to frustration. Start now building your relationship with God and understand how worthy I am in his eyes.

Chris LoCurto: Amen brother. Amen. That is good stuff. Well man, I am so glad you came on. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.

Ryan A: [laughter] A whole five days.

Chris LoCurto: I’m super excited about all the things that you’ve got going on in your life and your business, and so I’m just proud that we get to be a part of that process. So thank you for coming and doing this and helping out other people hear what you experienced.

Ryan A: Thank you so much for having me Chris. I love you guys.

Chris LoCurto: Absolutely brother. We love you too. Well folks, there you have it. So many of us have experienced this in life. So many of you listening right now, you have been hearing this for the longest time. You’ve been hearing that you need to get your tail in here and walk through this process. Some of you have struggled with the rejection. Some of you struggled with not feeling good enough or not worthy enough.

Chris LoCurto: How long are you going to keep you from getting that changed in your life where you can have, as Ryan just said, freedom. How long is it gonna take before you’re willing to get in here so you can change your relationships and experience love on a much greater level, so don’t allow the lies. Don’t allow the surface level responses to hold you back. Make the decision. Super easy. It’s really easy. You don’t even have to make the decision to come. Just make the decision to get more information and have a discussion with Joel, super easy, chrislocurto.com/next level life.

Chris LoCurto: Do something to get you past all of the junk that is holding you back. I hope this has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, Change Your Business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.

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