Episode 372: There’s Nothing Wrong with You! with Todd Sylvester

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, Todd Sylvester visits us to share his inspiring story of resilience, redemption, and hope. Todd is a powerful Mental Fitness Coach, speaker, author, and podcaster who loves helping those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, or self-hatred. He didn’t grow up in a favorable environment, yet he managed to excel at his favorite thing in the world: basketball. Years later, after losing the scholarship he and his family fought so hard to get, he fell into a dark place of alcoholism and violence.

Rob Shallenberger: Welcome back to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners. This is your host, Rob Shallenberger. Awesome guest today. We met Todd Sylvester a handful of weeks ago. I hadn’t really heard of him, knew anything about his story. And then after listening to his story, I felt like this would be something that everybody would benefit from hearing. We may not have the exact same challenge — if you want to call it a challenge, I don’t know what you want to call it. But we may not have gotten the same journey, but we all have different journeys that are going to require certain things of us. So I thought it’d be awesome, Todd, to have you on here. Todd, before we jump into your story, why don’t you just give a high-level, 30-second overview of who you are, your background, family? And then we’ll really jump into the details of the story, which are obviously going to be the bulk of this podcast. 

Todd Sylvester: Absolutely, Rob. Thank you for the honor of being on your show. It means a lot to me. And I’m grateful for your listeners that are tuning in, and I know this is going to be a great half hour with everybody. So, I’m married, I have four kids, I have two grandchildren, they’re everything to me. I’m a mental fitness coach — it’s what I’ve labeled myself. I’m more of a mentor, I like that as well. I was doing life coaching before it was ever famous or popular at this point. It seems like everyone’s one of those these days. I’ve been doing that for 33 years. I had an addiction issue — which we’ll get into — for about 10 years, and I’ve been clean for 33. And my passion is to help other people, whether they’re struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or self-hatred, you name it. I’ve listened and helped anyone and everyone through just some of the most difficult things. And it’s been such a blessing. So, that really is what I do. I love speaking. I love doing one-on-one sessions with people, that’s just really what I do, it’s the passion of my life. 

Rob Shallenberger: I love it, Todd, and I hope our listeners will hang all the way through this podcast because your story is amazing. And I love the questions that you posed us as a group when I heard you speak: who are you? And then your answer to that. I hope our listeners will stay tuned because it was really impactful to think that way. So, let’s go through the story first because that really sets the context for everything, and then we’ll get into what this means to us as the listener, part of the podcast, maybe part two of the podcast if we want to call it that. So why don’t we jump in, Todd, to the story? You can start as far back as you want, and take us through really where it all evolved up until today. 

Todd Sylvester: I’ll just get right to it. I took my first sip of alcohol when I was 11 years old. I didn’t get drunk, but I fell in love with the rush of it. My dad was a drinker. My mom, unfortunately, eventually got addicted to opiates. So I kind of grew up in a dysfunctional family. I knew my parents loved me though; they did everything they could to show that despite some of those challenges and struggles. So by the time I was 13, I got involved with every other drug under the sun. And from that point on, I was drinking almost every weekend and smoking pot every single day, which eventually led to a full-blown addiction. My passion growing up was basketball, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to get a college scholarship. When you’re younger, you have hopes and dreams of playing in the NBA, that’s really what I was focused on. And I learned at a very young age, Rob, that I had this all-or-nothing mentality. And that can be a really good thing if it’s pointed in the right direction. But going in the wrong direction, it can be very destructive. So basketball was my obsession and I practiced two or three hours a day starting in sixth grade, and I just said, “That’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.” And everything was going good in that direction. I made the high school basketball team in my sophomore year we took first in the state. I led the sophomore team that year in every category, played varsity. Junior year we took the second state. I led the team in every category again. And then my senior year, we took first in the state, I was voted team captain. I just had this great run. But I had, obviously, this drug and alcohol abuse going on through all of this. And everything seemed fine until about my senior year, when I noticed this voice in my head that I had even when I was younger, but it just magnified as a senior. And it was this voice that was telling me, “You’re pathetic. You’re no good. No one’s ever gonna want to be with you. You’re a loser. You’re stupid.” And the list went on and on and on. And for some reason, my fear was just magnified.  

Todd Sylvester: And I was very depressed in my senior year. Friends, coaches, and my parents were starting to notice something was wrong. And I didn’t put it together with the drug abuse. I didn’t know what was going on either. I’m like, “I just don’t know.” I had thoughts of ending my life. And it was just a rough senior year. But like I said, we took state our senior year, which was one of the best moments of my life. I actually played the best game of my life that senior state final game. And a week after that I got offered a full-ride scholarship, which was one of my goals. Way back in sixth grade that’s what I wanted, I achieved that, and I thought, “Wow, this is so incredible!” My family was very happy for me, my friends were, I was bragging about it to everybody. So I just thought, “Man, I’ve got this secured, this is wonderful.” And then when I had that secured, at least I thought it was secure, I went off the deep end. I just started doing things you couldn’t even dream of with drugs and alcohol, to the point where I got alcohol poisoning, I should have died several times overdosed, that kind of thing. Again, still having thoughts of ending my life, still struggling, but thinking, “Well, I’ve got this scholarship, this is who I am, and that’s my identity.” So I thought everything was fine. Well, I started practicing with the team aI graduated, and I barely graduated with that. But started practicing with the team, I got the scholarship, within about two weeks into it, the coach pulls me into his office, and he just sits me down, and he looks at me and said, “What’s going on?” And right when he said that I knew I was in trouble because I wasn’t practicing like I normally was; mentally, spiritually, and physically, I was a complete mess. And I just said, “Hey, coach, I know I’m not playing well. I’m sorry. I will work harder. I’ll do better.” And the coach just said, “You know, Todd, this is the big boy league and we don’t have time to mess around. If there are kids that are walking on; they’ve seen want this more than you do; they’re working harder than you.” And then he goes, “I hate to do this, but I’m taking away your scholarship.” And when that happened, I was devastated, I literally got on my knees and started crying in that coach’s office, and I was begging him to give me another chance. And he basically just said, “Sorry, the decision has been made.”  

Todd Sylvester: And my first thought was, “How am I going to tell my dad?” He had spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the years to send me to all the best basketball camps. I had a basketball court on the side of my house, and most kids at that time didn’t have one of those. And he did everything in his power to make sure I had every opportunity to be good at basketball, and now I have to go tell him I lost the scholarship. And then the next thought was, “How am I going to tell all my friends? I’ve been bragging to everyone that I’ve got a scholarship, and now I somehow have to tell them. I don’t have it anymore.” So I felt a lot of shame. I just felt like I’m a worthless person. Who practices two or three hours every day and then loses their scholarship because they’d rather get high? And again, just that voice in my head that I mentioned earlier, it just got worse and worse and louder and louder. And after that, I became this angry drunk. Every time I would drink, I would punch holes in the wall, I’d pick fights, I would throw chairs through windows, all this violent stuff. And really what it was I was hurting so bad inside I didn’t know how to deal with it, and it just got magnified because of the drug and alcohol abuse. I ended up trying out at several other colleges and universities within the state of Utah and then outside the state — got cut from every single one of them. And then, I’ll never forget it was a Thursday, I’m sitting in a house with five other guys, it was just this party house, and I decided that I was going to end my life. That’s kind of a hard thing to say even at this point. I got to that point where that voice was so vicious and my life seemed worthless because, again, my identity was basketball. Now that’s gone, I just thought what’s the point of living? So I planned my suicide and I was going to end my life.  

Todd Sylvester: So the next day came and I was going to go home and do what I was going to go planning on doing. Then something that just changed the course of my life that I didn’t share so much when we first met, Rob, but I don’t know if your listeners believe in God or a higher power, I’m not here to try to convince anyone of anything, but I basically had God save my life when I didn’t even believe in God. I had reached out based on a friend saying, “If you’re down and out, this is a way you can maybe get some help.” And so I did. I received an answer, which was really amazing. But I was still struggling. And luckily, I had this mentor that took me under his wing. I get choked up about this too. This guy, who’s still my mentor to this very day, took me under his wing and started meeting with me every week and helping me through this process. And what I didn’t realize, Rob, at the time, but what I realized now is he became my rehab. There wasn’t rehab on every street corner like there is today. Rehabs weren’t even been talked about back then. So, not knowing this, but this guy, this mentor, my friend became my rehab. And he believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. So I started meeting with this guy every week. It takes me eight and a half months before I can look this mentor in the eye and say, “I made it three days clean this week.” Just to put that in perspective. And again, I’m still struggling, that voice is still going strong in my head. At the same time, Rob, I’m a bartender at a restaurant, which obviously is not a good idea if you’re trying to stop drinking. But again, I didn’t put those things together in my head, I’m just like, “It’s my job.”  

Todd Sylvester: As a bartender, I’d get tips from the waiters and waitresses because I’d also make their drinks for their customers. And then anyone that would sit up at the bar, I’d get tips from them as well. And I’d get a lot of change from them. I’d always get everyone’s change, so I put this change in the cupholders of my car. Just about this eight-and-a-half-month mark where I made it three days clean, I’m pulling out of my neighborhood on a beautiful Saturday, it’s a sunny day, it’s warm. And out of the corner of my eye, I see this little girl selling lemonade. No big deal, I just keep on driving. And then I had this impression come over me, almost again that voice, but a different voice that said, “Turn around and give her all the money in your car.” And I thought, “Wow, that would be amazing!” I had about $40 worth of change, and 33 years ago, that was a lot of money. So, I turned my car around, I pull up, and this cute little fourth-grade girl is sitting there at a little lemonade stand and I asked her, “Hey, how much for a cup?” And I think she said 25 cents. So she pours it and hands it to me. I set it on my dash and then I tell this little girl, “Okay, cup your hands like this.” And so she does. And as her hands are cupped, I just start scooping all this money into her hands, and she’s freaking out. She’s literally going, “Oh my gosh!” And she’s getting emotional so I started getting emotional, I’m going, “Oh my gosh, this is unbelievable.” And it takes me like 10 scoops to give her all this money. And the last scoop I give to her, she throws it on her little table there with all the other change and she takes off into her house. And I’m thinking she’s going to go tell her parents some dude just gave her a million dollars. And as I pull away, I start to cry like I’ve never cried before in my life. I don’t know if you’ve ever cried so hard you feel like you’re cleansing your soul, this was one of those soul-cleansing cries. I had to actually pull my car over, I’m crying so hard. I throw it in the park, I put my face in my hands, and I just sob. And for the first time that I can remember, Rob, I felt like I mattered in that moment, I loved who I was in that moment, I wanted to be clean in that moment. And it lit my soul on fire.  

Todd Sylvester: As a matter of fact, one of my favorite quotes happens to be on this back wall, “The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.” It’s by Ferdinand Foch. This lit my soul on fire. And that all-or-nothing mentality kicked in and I thought, “If that little girl is there next Saturday, I’m gonna give her all my money.” Ironically, earning as a bartender. And so next Saturday comes, and on purpose, I drive by the same place where she was the week before. And sure enough, she’s out there selling lemonade. And I pull up and she recognizes me and her eyes get really big and she’s just like, “Oh my gosh, here’s the guy!” And I give her like $20 in quarters, nickels, and dimes. I do this the next week, I do like $30. The next week, $25. The next week, $20 again. I do this every Saturday for the next two and a half months. Think about that. And I’ll tell you, every time I pull away, Rob, I just start to cry. Again, I don’t know how to explain it, but it was more intense than any high that I ever experienced with alcohol or drugs — not even close. The feeling and the intensity of it, every time I left that, I just felt like I mattered, I wanted to be clean, I wanted to be different, I wanted to try to be a better person. And again, it was the thing that led to me completely changing my life. So, there’s more to the story, and since we do have time, so I want to share one little part of this. I’m not a church-going guy at this point, I don’t believe in religion so much at this point, and I’m still struggling with the God thing, to be honest. 

Rob Shallenberger: Meaning, just to clarify to go all the way back, you’re giving the money to the girl. You’re talking about clear back then. 

Todd Sylvester: Clear back then, yes. But I decide, I’m going to go check out church one day, I’m just going to go. I thought, “You know what? I’ve never been. I’m gonna go see what it’s all about.” So, I go, I sit in the very back corner next to the wall, thinking, “Okay, I’m gonna be here five minutes and I’m gonna bounce.” So as I’m sitting there and I’m looking across the congregation, seeing who’s all sitting there, on the other side of the congregation, there’s that little lemonade girl with her mom and she recognizes me, and she’s like, “Mom, there’s the guy!” And they’re waving at me. My heart starts pounding, I’m waving back, and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, this is unreal.” So I decided to stay, I stayed the entire time when the church was over, they come walking over. My heart’s pounding, and I stand up because here they’re coming. The mom is crying. And she gets up, and she hugs me really tight, and she’s up here in my ear and she says, “Todd, thank you so much.” Well, she didn’t know my name, she just said, “Thank you so much for what you’ve done for my daughter.” And I said, “Oh, no, you have no idea. This has been for me.” She goes, “No, you don’t understand. She was saving for a trampoline. You put her over the top and she just thinks you’re the greatest. She got her trampoline because of you.” Again, I go, “Again, this was more for me.” And then the mom goes, “We have a favor to ask you.” And I’m like, “What’s that?” She goes, “On Wednesday, there’s a daddy-daughter date, would you go as her date?” And little does she know she’s asking this drug addict alcoholic to take her fourth-grade daughter to this daddy-daughter day. She just thinks I’m some good dude that gave money to the lemonade stand who happens to maybe go to church. And I go, “What about her dad?” And she said, “Well, we were divorced when she was younger. He’s not a part of her life. She would really love you to take her.” So I say yes. Because she’s standing there too just smiling at me, how can I say no? So I say, “Sure.” So as I walk away, I’m going “Man, why did I say yes to this? I can’t even believe I said yes.” I’m like, “No, this isn’t me.” So, anyway, Wednesday comes, I go pick up this little girl. We’re driving up to the canyon at a picnic site where all the other dads are there with their daughters. We show up late. We walk into this picnic site. I don’t even know her. I don’t know anyone there, and I’m sitting here going, “Why did I say yes to this?” And I’m a fish out of the water so to speak.  

Todd Sylvester: Well, we get there, and one of the games they were playing there was how well do you know your dad? How well do you know your daughter? Favorite color, favorite food, that kind of stuff. And I look at her and I said, “I’m sorry. We’re not gonna be able to do that.” I kid you not, Rob, she says, “Let’s guess.” And I kid you not, I wouldn’t have believed it had I not been there, we almost got every answer correct, and we’re high-fiving each other. The other dads and girls are thinking we’re cheating because they know that we’re the newbies or whatever. And I go, “No, we’re not cheating, I swear. I can’t believe this is happening.” It was so surreal. I used to be drinking the night before, hungover, and doing some of the most horrible things. And here I am with this pure innocent girl and we’re having hot dogs and Kool-Aid. Again, so out of my normal stuff. Well, they gather everyone in to say a blessing on the food. I was like, “Blessing on the food? Is there something wrong with the hot dogs? Why would you bless the food?” I just thought that was weird. You gotta understand, I’m a complete infant in any of this. So, this guy just start saying this prayer over the food. So I’m looking around, everyone folded their arms, so I’m like, “Okay, I guess you fold your arms.” I honestly didn’t know. And oh, everyone’s bowing their heads so I bow my head, I’m just kind of looking around. And then I close my eyes and I hear this voice in my head that says, “Todd, you’re in the right place doing the right thing. You’ve made an impact on this girl’s life that she’ll never forget. And I love you.” That’s what I heard. And I don’t know how to explain this, Rob, but I felt this feeling from head to toe. It was so intense. I didn’t know it then, but what I can explain now, it was nothing but love. It was so powerful. I lose it in the prayer. I literally just start bawling my eyes out. They get done with the prayer and the guys are like, “Dude, relax, man, it’s just hot dogs.” Lindy, who I was with, she goes, “Are you okay?” I go. “No, these are happy tears.” And it was in that moment, Rob, that I said, “I will never, ever put poison in my body ever again. And I’m going to do whatever I can to dedicate my life to helping kids like Lindy or anyone else who may be struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression, you name it. I’m going to do whatever I can, all or nothing.” And that was 33 years ago. I’ve been clean and sober for 33 years, and this is my life’s work. This is my life’s passion. This is my life’s mission. And I’ve been going strong ever since. 

Rob Shallenberger: It’s one of the most incredible stories. I know that you only shared a brief portion of the whole story. Incredible, Todd, and I tried not to get emotional, too, because I believe that God is intricately involved in our lives. There’s a purpose for every one of us that we’re not an accident. There’s a reason we’re here and that we have a purpose. So I totally agree with that background and the feeling you felt and that that experience was real. So now as you shift maybe part two of this, what does this all mean to you now? What have you now learned over these last 33 years as you help others that are going through and navigating their own challenges? What do you see? What do you tell people? How do you help them take all of those lessons learned? How do you now help them bless other people’s lives? 

Rob Shallenberger: Yeah, it’s a great question, Rob, and it comes down to this. What was worse than the addiction and the abuse that I was wrestling with was the self-hatred that I was feeling. And it was based on a belief that I wasn’t good enough, that I was different so I can’t connect with people, and that my problems are too big I’ll never be able to change. And I had this belief that was so intrinsic in my system, so to speak, that it led to the behavior of abusing drugs and alcohol. So, what was worse than the addiction was actually the self-hatred off of these belief systems. So, one of the greatest things I get to do, and you can’t see it here on the screen, but over on this wall over here, my clients, right behind me right here, on day one, I have them read this quote that’s up here, and it says this: “The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize there’s nothing wrong with you.” And 10 out of 10 times, Rob, my client who’s sitting there for the very first time, starts to cry, and they get emotional. And I’ll look at them and I’ll say, “Has anyone ever told you that before?” And they will say, “No, I’ve never heard that before.” And I’ll say, “That’s the truth.” It doesn’t mean you don’t have stuff to work on, but it means to your core, you’re good. And then I tell my clients, “The problem is, though, you’ve been telling yourself a different story. And that story is what’s keeping you in this self-hatred, in this pain, in whatever you’ve been struggling with.” Because the most powerful force in the human psyche is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. So, when they hear that on day one, I mean, I’m talking about heroin addicts, coke addicts, meth addicts, they’ve been in and out of prison, rough lives. And they hear that from me on day one, and they literally are just dumbfounded, so to speak. So if I could share one of the most powerful things I’ve learned in my journey is I used to believe something was wrong with me, but that was the lie. The truth was there wasn’t anything wrong with me; the problem was, though, I was telling myself a story that there was. So the story, our narrative, is so critical in our mental health, and to be able to move forward and connect with people in a more positive and impactful way. 

Rob Shallenberger: And I love, Todd, that you’re talking about at the core. It’s not that we don’t have things that we can all improve on — of course, we do. But at the core, it goes back to your comment earlier, to bring God back into this discussion, that we are sons and daughters of God, and have a divine heritage, and at the core, we are good people. I love that. Let me see if I captured that quote, I wrote it down: The most delightful surprises to realize there’s nothing wrong with you. 

Todd Sylvester: Pretty close. “The most delightful surprise in life in life is to suddenly recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you.” 

Rob Shallenberger: This is what was interesting, and maybe you can expand on this, you said that 10 out of 10 people were blown away by that quote because I think at some point in our lives, we’ve all gone down that path, that thinking of “Oh, this is wrong with me, and this and that.” So, when someone sees that, they have the aha moment, they’re in your office, how do you help them to start shifting then their thinking to align with the core of what is true? 

Todd Sylvester: Well, first of all, I have them identify what is their narrative. What is it? I literally have them write it down. What are the negative things you tell yourself? And I’ll tell you, some of the lists that I get from people, Rob, it’s vicious. I mean, we’re talking some of the most horrific things you can ever imagine saying anything to anyone; yet, they’re telling themselves this. So we first identify what is the negative narrative, because if we don’t know what we’re up against, how can we fight it? So we literally get that down on paper. And then once we have that, now we know this is what we’ve got to go in and change, not just for a day or a week, or a month or a year — permanently. And the interesting thing is, when you think about it, this negative list, even though it feels true to that person, I will tell them, “These are the lies you’re telling yourself. They’re lies.” They might say, “Well, Todd, I haven’t always told the truth. So that’s why I called myself a liar.” And I’ll say, “I get that. And I know this is gonna be hard for you to accept, but you weren’t born a liar. You were born honest. You came out and you were always honest. You learned along the path to lie.” So we identify these things as lies. And then what we do is we actually literally flip those negative things and add their name. So, for instance, if they say “I’m stupid.” On the other list, I call the champion list, they would say, “I, Todd, am brilliant.” And what we do is we flip the script on every single one of those negative things they’ve been telling themselves. And now this new list becomes not only an affirmation but also becomes a declaration. Again, going back to who I am. So the champion list actually really is the truth, even if they don’t fully believe it yet. On a basic level, that’s where we get started. We start reshaping the narrative, and then I teach them a technique on how to overcome that, it’s called Recognize, Refuse, Replace. It’s a similar technique that Olympic athletes use, and it’s amazing. It reshapes the self-image, we reprogram the self-image, and it’s permanent and it’s a beautiful thing. 

Rob Shallenberger: Man, I wish we had time to go even further into the Recognize, Refuse, Replace. While we’re on that topic, though, of shifting the narrative and the story, share with our listeners the “I am” question that you asked us that night, the common response, and then how we can respond to that question. 

Todd Sylvester: The common response if you ask someone, “Who are you?” They don’t know how to respond to it. If I say, “Hey, who are you?” Most people go, “I’m not even sure how to answer that.” And it’s difficult to love something that you don’t know. I didn’t like who I was, I actually hated myself. And if someone asked me back then, who was I, would have said, “I’m a basketball player.” And when that got taken away from me because of my choices, now my identity is gone, so now I’m nothing. But that was all a lie. So the natural response or the most common response is, “I have no idea who I am.” I just had a client right before this session. I asked them the same question, and they’re like, “I have no idea.” And really, the best way to help someone figure that out is what are the characteristics of a child learning to walk. I always ask, “What is it like when a child falls down and gets back up, falls down and gets back up?” Well, the answers I eventually get from clients are, “They have determination, they’re strong, they’re brave, they’re tenacious, they’re forgiving, they’re loving, they’re kind.” The list goes on forever. And then I’ll ask them, “Where did they get those?” And they ultimately say, “Well, they were born with them.” And I said, “Exactly, what does that mean about you?” And then I go, “Well, I was born with them, too.” And I’ll say, “What’s the proof?” And they’ll go, “Well, I’m walking.” And I say, “Exactly, but see, you have forgotten”.  

Todd Sylvester: And one of the takeaways I want your listeners to hear is the most accurate definition of depression that I’ve ever come across in my 33 years is this one: Depression is pretending to be someone you’re not. See, when we were little kids, we loved ourselves, we loved everyone, we had faith as big as the universe. And somewhere along the way, because of struggles that we all go through, some worse than others, I get it, but we start forgetting who we are. And then what do we do? We pretend to be someone we’re not. So, who I was, I was a kind, loving, strong person, but I’m over here doing drugs and drinking and manipulating and lying and cheating and all that stuff. That’s not me. Even though I was doing it, I was going against the true core of who I was; therefore, it left me empty, sad, hopeless, and depressed. So when we get back in line with who we are and I start living within that, I actually start being honest, kind, and loving, I’m now in line with who I am, who God made me to be. And therefore, guess what? The most depression I have found in my 33 years of experience meeting with over 18,000 clients, the depression they were struggling with goes away. It’s amazing to me. 

Rob Shallenberger: So, Todd, just kind of a fun question here. Now, 33 years later, you’re a completely different person — I mean, cocoon, butterfly — just a totally different person. So, when we ask you, who are you, how do you respond to that now? 

Todd Sylvester: I’m love, I’m light, I’m energy, I’m strong, I’m brave, I’m tenacious, I’m courageous, I’m compassionate, I’m sympathetic, I’m loving, I’m forgiving, I’m kind, I can do hard things, and the list goes on. That’s who I am, and I know it to my core. It’s not just intellectual, I know it in my heart. And that’s how I answer every time. A lot of people might say, “Well, I’m a father.” And it’s true, I am a father in the sense that I have kids, so I get the label father, but that’s not who I am, and I know people wrestle with that. Who I am makes me a good father. All those things make me a good father. I do get the label father because I have the kids, but it’s not ultimately to my core who I am. Who I am makes me a good father. 

Rob Shallenberger: Man, I love it. I hope our listeners can sense the power in those words because words carry power with them; as a man thinketh so is he. And just as you were saying those words, a person can’t help but feel the power in them versus the darkness, of all the other words that were said earlier. Todd, I cannot believe that we’ve been going for 30 minutes. So, as we get ready to wrap up, two questions; number one, any final tips for our listeners? I feel like we just barely scratched the surface. I’d love to do this again and go deeper into some of these conversations. And then number two, how do people find you? Because I’m sure there’s going to be some people that say, “Hey, I would love to visit with Todd, I have a son or daughter.” How do people find you? How do they get your book? So maybe those two questions. If you could answer those, we’ll end on that note. 

Todd Sylvester: Absolutely, thanks, Rob. I guess a final tip is if I could tell any of you listening at this point if that voice in your head that’s telling you you’re no good, that you can’t live up to this or that, or you’re less than, that is a lie. And just like I said in this episode, the most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you; that is the truth; that is the absolute truth. So if you could take one thing away from this whole episode, walk away knowing that there’s nothing wrong with you to your core. Yes, we have stuff to work on, but remember that. So, that’s the one takeaway I would love you to run with. And then how to find me? I have a website, it’s And from there, you can find my Belief Cast, which is a podcast that I do as well, which is really cool. And you can find my books on Amazon. There are links on my website. My social handle is @tsinspires. You can find me on all social media stuff. I’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions or anything at all that I can help you with or if you have a loved one who’s struggling, I’d be happy to do whatever I could to help out.  

Rob Shallenberger: Well, Todd, it’s been an honor having you here with us today. I think I can speak for everybody in saying thank you for sharing, not only your story but these extremely valuable tips that you’ve shared because these are things that all of us can apply in our lives. Just to reaffirm what you’ve said, there is such division in the world right now, there are such loud noises, divisiveness, and polarization, and it’s so easy to get sucked into that negative world. And just that one question that I asked you, who are you, and your answer to that is such a counter to all the divisiveness and anger and hate that seems to exist in the world. So, this is so important, the narrative that we have going on in our brains and that we pass on to our children or nieces or nephews. So, I can guarantee you, I’m going to go back and relisten to this podcast. I’ve already taken great notes while you were talking. And I’m going to read your books. I know my wife is now listening to your podcast. These are big things that we’re talking about in the current world that we’re in. So, really appreciate you being here. To all of our listeners, thank you. Hope you have a great rest of your day and a wonderful week. 

Steve Shallenberger

Founder, Becoming Your Best

CEO, Executive, Corporate Trainer, and Community Leader.

Todd Sylvester


Mental Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker

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