Read an Edited Transcript of the Show:
Hey. What’s up, brothers and sisters? My name is Craig Perra, and I am the founder of The Mindful Habit System. And I am so, so excited. I don’t know if excited is the right word, but I am eager. No, I feel compelled to talk to you about failure, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. I’m going to share with you a personal failure and how it’s impacted me. It’s really, really impacted me. Very triggering. I feel low. We’ll talk about that in a little bit, but I feel it in the fiber of my being and that’s really relevant. And in fact it has impacted these broadcasts. If you notice, it’s been a while, because when you’re in your head, when you’re analyzing everything, when you’re wondering well, other people are going to think, you’re not showing up in life the best way that you possibly can. And learning to respond to failure is critical. Mandatory. I’m going to prove to you that it’s mandatory.
And I want to say hi to everybody who’s joining me on this live stream. If you want to get notifications of when we live stream and to let you know we’re trying to make the social media channels… What’s the word I’m looking for? Accessible, right? Not sex and porn, not sex and porn. We’re going to be focusing on digital addiction, healthy sexuality, habits, mindfulness. So you decide, but I think you can follow me on those channels. It’s YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and LinkedIn. You get a notification when I’m going live and eventually I will have regular scheduled opportunities to, so you’ll know when to join me live and you can join these live streams and get your questions answered. And I like to say hi to Dan who’s joining us. Welcome, welcome, welcome. This is Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions, a podcast to help you create healthy sexuality in a great life.
One of my goals is to change is the conversation from sex addiction and porn addiction to sexual health. I think that shift is very, very important. So us men and women too can move beyond sobriety to healthy because I think I know that that shift, that movement is the solution is the solution I like to preach. The cure is the aggressive pursuit of a great life. And you’ll see that today, particularly when we talk about failure. The other goal of my podcast or this broadcast is to provide practical, actionable advice, practical, actionable, actionable, that means you can do something about it, and to help you drive systemic change, to help you change your habits and belief systems. And of course, another goal is to promote my programs. If you are struggling with compulsive sexual behavior and you need a punch in the face kind of program that’s going to shake things up, visit the website at themindfulhabit.com.
Now, in the spirit of driving systemic change, today we’re going to talk about failure. I have failed recently. It’s rattled me. It has me inflicted with the bite of imposter syndrome, and it’s made me feel bad about myself. And it’s obviously impacted me showing up for these broadcasts because it just has dialed down my self-confidence. And let’s agree just going into this, how we respond to failure is massively impactful, massively impactful. Now, thank God I have my coaching for that boost, for that bump. I’m blessed to be great at what I do. I’m a master at my craft for the right guy and having that lift, having that lift makes it easier. I noticed that I is I could go from failure mode to boom, on feeling good, good chemicals in the brain.
Anyway, let me tell you about my failure. Let me tell you about my failure. Listen, it’s… Anyway, I don’t know how it’s going to come across. It’s not a big one. No one died, but it’s important. It made me feel like crap, made me feel weak for a short period of time, made me feel pathetic for a short period of time, made me feel like an imposter for a short period of time. And the operative word there is short period of time.
Here’s what happened. I had to get an MRI. I ruptured my brachial plexus stretching that has caused nerve damage to my hand. If you saw my hand side by side, the right hand is atrophying as we speak. There’s places where there should be muscle where there is not. So I’ve had to get nerve conduction studies and MRIs. I’ve gotten one MRI already. And the MRI that I did get, I get panic attacks. And listen, brothers and sisters, please. This is another mission of the podcast is to remind you and to beat into your brains this isn’t about getting to a certain place where you reach some level of emotional intelligence, where you stop practicing self care, where you stop learning, stop growing. That cannot happen. Your mental health is going to change. It’s going to evolve. You’re going to have other struggles.
This panic attack thing is new for me. It is not something that I experienced. It happened about two years ago. I had to get an MRI for neck pain and all sorts of problems that I have. And before that, I’ve done 20 MRIs, maybe more than 20. I could do three related body parts in one sitting. I could lie there like a vampire, and it could be the closed in, really didn’t bother me at all. This last time I lay down. I feel like I’m losing my ability to breathe. I start freaking out, get me out, get me out, get me out. And ever since then, I’ve been blessed with panic attacks and they have been so impactful that I have on me at all times a silver pill container with Valium, because in better life to through chemistry, there is absolutely no shame in having medication to help you better your life.
Are there people out there who are abusing it? Yes. Are there people who are on medication too long? Yes. Are there side effects? Yes. Alternative arguments. Yes. And it’s the right thing for some people. And it’s the right thing for me, because what has happened is a prescription of 30 Valium will last me five months. And because if I have it, if I have it with me just knowing I have it with me, that helps me better navigate the panic attacks. They don’t happen very often now. I think this prescription is going to last even longer to eight months. That’s kind of where we’re headed.
So, I’m watching the divisional playoffs, the LA Rams with my neighbors. I had one drink. I had one drink. What’s the big deal? What’s the harm? And then I think to my, myself, I have a lot of time before I get to the MRI. I’m going to take a half of my Valium. I take half of my Valium. I realize, crap. Then I took the lorazepam 45 minutes later. Same kind of medication. No, no. Then I realize, wait a minute, before I take this second pill, I should go online and say, what’s the problem. If I take a Valium with an Ativan lorazepam and the top five things that come up is death. You are going to die if you mix these medications. Oh my God. Now I’m starting to have a panic attack.
A quick read told me no, not at the dosage that I was talking about, but that’s where it started. We get to the MRI place. I didn’t take the medication as prescribed because of that. I didn’t take the two pills when I was supposed to. I did not get my MRI. I failed. I failed. I failed. I failed. I chickened out. I chickened out something that I had done 20 times before. During the procedure, the guy who’s helping me says, “Hey, do you know anything about mindfulness?” Oh, you mean the word that I name my company and dedicated my life to? Yes, I do. So that made me feel even worse. I felt pathetic. I felt weak. And my daughter had just done the MRI a little time before. My body is also jacked up. Because if anybody’s had a panic attack, that’s not a mental event. That’s a physical one. That’s a physiological event. My body is all jacked up.
I walk out with my head down, go tell my wife. And as I’m feeling shitty, right, I’m feeling bad about myself, well, guess what happens? Maybe you’ve been in this place. Maybe this rings a bell. There my mind starts a Rolodex of all my other failures. And if you’ve been paying attention to this podcast, or if you’re one of the incredible, awesome people in one of my programs and we’re working together, you know that there have been a tremendous amount of failure. This whole program is built on failure in the list. And then what happens? Right? So, now the list is going through my head and I start to feel even worse. I start to feel even bad. And guess what happens when we feel bad, when we feel worse, when you’ve got the health struggles that I have? Triggers. Sex, drugs, escape, run away, piece of shit.
These are the thoughts that are in my head. And now this lasted a few hours. The reason it lasted such a short time is because I know in the fiber of my being that I am going to fail. I know it. I know it. In fact, I know it so much and I so believe that the road to success is paved with the bricks of failure and is the byproduct of someone’s ability to overcome in how they respond to failure. I’ve learned that lesson and I hope you do too someday. And even if you haven’t learned it internally, because there’s a difference from knowing that lesson intellectually, anybody who’s in business and has any education around failure knows you have to create a culture where people learn and grow for failure.
I was a compliance professional in risk management, assistant general counsel for a billion dollar company. I knew exactly the role, the climate, the environment, the culture that we wanted to create around failure. So we learn, we grow. And knowing about it, we can fix it. We can do something about. We cannot make it worse. So I knew that intellectually. It took a long time for that to absorb into the power of my being. But because it has been absorbed into the power of my being, I have what I call are failure protocols. Failure protocols are tools, actions that I can call on that allow me to meet myself where I am. And what I’m not talking about is thought suppression, running away or I’m not even talking about the self soothing. It’s okay. You’re going to do better next time.
There’s a place for affirmative affirmation type language. But that affirmation type language has to exist in union with the self-deprecation, self-loathing, imposter syndrome, shame, right? That’s going to come. It’s worse when you stuff it down. It’s worse when you stuff it down. So anytime I’d have a negative thought like, “Oh, you’re a stupid piece of shit. You should have been able to do this.” And I’m going to figure it out and you don’t have to talk that way. There’s no reason for you. And I’m talking to myself now to use that language. Come on now, we’re all working. We’re all trying to figure this out together. We’re all trying to figure this out together.
So I have not control over the narrative, but an awareness around the narrative that allows me the enough space to step back and say, “Wait a minute. I’m having some negative, unhealthy thoughts.” That’s time for action. That is when I implement my failure protocols. So what I want to share with you in this broadcast is what my failure protocols are. And I invite you to create your own failure protocols. You’re likely going to find that different types of failure require different responses. And what you are going to find is that there is no universe where you don’t fail and that your success has to be how you respond to failure, because what is it? It will kill you. It will eat you alive. It’ll destroy you. It’ll make it worse. It’ll make it worse. It doesn’t make it better. You beating yourself up and you crapping all over yourself and the self-loathing, the self-deprecation. It’s not making it better. It’s making it worse.
And another reality, it’s in the past and it happened. There’s two choices. It can kill us or it can make us stronger. Saying it isn’t enough. We need, I need actually, here’s what I do in order to help me make myself stronger. Not if, but when I fail. First, I teach that failure is a gift. One of the first things that I do is frame the opportunity, frame the opportunity. If I get better at this, I’m going to be better able to help people who have panic attacks, I’m going to be better able to help myself who have panic attacks. I’m going to learn tools to help me emotionally and physically regulate. So the opportunity here is significant and the opportunity in every single one of your failures is significant if only, if only you respond to failure better.
And listen, in the beginning, start with don’t make it worse. That’s a good place to start. I failed, but at a minimum, what I’m going to do now is not make it worse. Let that be your starting point. So first I frame the opportunity. Then I have to tell somebody, and I’m blessed to be in a place where I can tell my guys, I can talk to the partners and share with them my failure. I can talk about it on this podcast.
But the first person I told was my wife, Michelle. We have a certain arrangement that I think is important to have. And honesty when you are married to someone with mental health challenges as she is, we can either recognize that reality or we can run away from that reality. So I am able. A lot of guys don’t have this. I feel for you, brothers. I can be honest. I can be honest. I can say my head is spinning. My mind is bouncing all over the place. I feel like an absolute worthless piece of shit. Trigger to use drugs, triggers to escape with sex. I can say that. I can say that. And I’m so blessed and so privileged that there’s an environment where, “Oh, whoa, I’m so sorry you’re going through that. Thank you for telling me.” Because what does she want? She wants the truth and she doesn’t blow a gasket. She knows. So, anyway, I’m totally blessed. I’m able to share that. So tell somebody that’s step two.
And listen, some of you guys are like “I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine.” You can either continue to deal with the fantasy, and I’m not talking about sexual fantasy. The fantasy of you’re going to be successful and not being open and honest about it. Or you can, like I did, it says, wait a minute, I have to be able to share this stuff. Because when I share this stuff, things don’t go south. You see, we all want things to not from going south. There’s a reality here. And listen, there’s just a study that just came out that says hypersexual people have more oxytocin in their brain. They’re eventually going to find the chemical concoction for being an asshole who lacks empathy and gets their needs met in an unhealthy way with sexual expression. They’re going to find the genes. They’re going to find the chemistry. Tell somebody.
The other thing that I do, the other thing that I do is I treat it as both an emotional opportunity and a physical opportunity. And let me tell you what I mean by that because I think that’s really important. A lot of people think that their addiction or their getting angry is a mental issue. It’s a mental problem. If you had to divide physical problems over here and mental problems over here, you’d see my anger’s a mental problem.
Baloney. You getting triggered sexually. That’s a physiological event. You getting angry, experiencing rage at your partner’s lies. That is a physiological event. Me having a panic attack activating at the neurological level the fight or flight defense mechanism in my body, that is a physiological event. So I have to respond to that physiological event with exercise, with breathing, with a forward fold an ongoing recognition that that part of me has been activated. And that’s the same part of the child work and, I’m not getting into that now, but there’s a similar energy around that activation. So it runs deep is what I’m telling you. You have to respond to it. Be aware of it.
Self soothing. So give you just a quick example. I have changed my TV habits. I have watched a children’s cartoon that I love that is really kind and quiet and soothing, right? So that is something that I do that helped me with those physiological, treating it like a physiological opportunity.
The other thing that I have to do is I have to forgive myself and I’ve got to check. I’m not going to thought suppress. I’m not going to beat a part up because always the more you beat a part up, the more worse it gets. And remember this, please write this down. I will always lose in a fight with myself. So when I fail, as I’ve shared with you I have failed, I have to forgive myself. I have to talk kindly to myself. And see, there’s a way to motivate and drive without shitting all over yourself. You worthless piece of shit. How could you fail? You’ve done this procedure before. You’re an embarrassment. Your daughter did it.
A lot of that language, and this is particular for us men, a lot of that language that we learned in our childhood that kick in the ass, don’t be a worthless piece of shit language, while it certainly has had some motivating capabilities, a motivating component, it isn’t making things better. It is making things worse. And you can still use that inspirational, motivating, kicking the ass language without the negative legacy of the baggage and the shame and the self criticisms.
So let me recap my failure protocols. First, remember failure is always a gift. Always. Even the big failures? Yes. Even the ones that upset someone else in your life? Yes. Even the ones that you shouldn’t have made because you said you wouldn’t? Yes. Every single one. So first, frame the opportunity. Second, tell somebody. Third, you got to forgive yourself. Talk kindly to yourself. There’s a way to motivate and drive without crapping all over yourself. Have that list. Take action and find the gift. Find the gift. Literally take that one belief system. Remember change is a function of changing, not just our habits, but our belief systems. And one of the belief systems that has to change is your relationship with failure.
In summary, you will never be successful unless you turn failure into an opportunity, into a gift. To help you challenge your belief systems around failure, I’d like you to think about this. You must fall in love with it. You must celebrate it. You must embrace it so you can learn and grow from it. Let’s look at the alternative. Wasteful suffering that never makes the situation better that occurred in the past that you can’t change anything about. It never makes it better. Crapping on yourself. Self-loathing. Misery. Suffering only makes it work and ironically increases the chances that you will repeat that failure because that’s what happens when you don’t learn from it and grow from it. You are destined to repeat those mistake again. So commit from this day forward to finding the gift in every single failure in your life.
Thank you so much for listening to Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions. I am your host, Craig Perra, and I’m going to hang out here to see if anybody has questions in the chat. Nice to see you again, Dan. If you have any questions in the chat, please ask. All right. Thanks, brothers. Thanks, sisters. My name is Craig Perra, and you are listening to Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions. Please find me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, LinkedIn. I don’t do much on TikTok, but maybe that’ll start. Thank you so much. And if you need more help, please visit the website www.themindfulhabit.com. Wishing you well. Feed the right wolf. Bye.