Healthy Men’s Leadership and Empowerment – Tripp Lanier – HPP 92
In today’s episode, we are joined by Tripp Lanier, a professional coach, author, and host of The New Man Podcast.
As a coach, Tripp has been guiding men toward connecting deeply with themselves, living lives of meaning, and achieving success from the inside out. We dive into topics around what hinders men from moving forward with their lives in terms of relationships, career, and business.
Men and Success – 05:54
“So if somebody comes to me and says they want greater success in their life, or they want more sex, or they want to make more of an impact, or to start to create a legacy, I’m listening for what’s really going on in their own life and starting to see their life as a whole”
Men in Positions of Power And Leadership – 08:27
“And it’s essentially our ability to answer the question, ‘What do I want?’ For most of us, there’s a lot of folks that we see out there in the world that are following those questions. Those questions are driving them—And even people in great ‘leadership’ positions are still driven by these types of questions”
How to Break Out of the Comfort Zone – 21:08
“So there’s just a lot of things where it’s pretty easy to kind of chunk down and understand things from a very basic business level and start to see why things aren’t working. And then we can see the disconnect between our brains and the stories we tell ourselves”
Worth And Financial Value – 24:14
“The fee is about the change that we’re creating, the impact that we’re having. And that’s contextual, that’s different for each person based on their life and their financial situation. I’m able to be pretty fluid in the work that I do, I don’t charge necessarily the same amount for the guy up the street as I charge somebody who makes much, much more”
Is it Necessary to Have a Purpose – 30:20
“And that there was somehow there was going to be this story and this identity that was going to arrive, choose me, this is it, this is what I’m here to do. And now I finally have permission to hit the gas and get going, and that screwed me, it really screwed me. After a while I said I can’t do this anymore, this is actually killing me”
The Fear of Failing – 40:35
“What does it look like when you’ve got real support? Like people that are just cheerleading like, ‘Go go go, you’ve got this, of course you have this vision, Will, of course you’ve got to go for it.’ Imagine what that’s like, instead of like, ‘Oh, really good luck with that.’ So I think it’s great to assess that—especially if we grew up in shitty relationships or watching shitty relationships”
Full Episode Transcript
Keith Kurlander, Dr. Will Van Derveer, Tripp Lanier
Tripp Lanier 00:00
Well, if we were to really take a look at your actions throughout the day, most of the time you’re answering the question, What do I do so that I’m not uncomfortable? What do I do so that I don’t put myself at risk? What do I do so that I don’t look like a moron, I don’t look like a failure. And even people in great, quote, leadership positions are still driven by these types of questions.
Keith Kurlander 00:21
Thank you for joining us for The Higher Practice Podcast. I’m Keith Kurlander with Dr. Will Van Derveer , this is the podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health. Hey there, welcome back for another episode of The Higher Practice Podcast. We have some exciting news to start off with, which is something we’ve been talking about in the last few weeks and that the integrative psychiatry Institute just opened registration for a psychedelic assisted therapy program. So super excited about this training. There’s so much need right now for really comprehensive psychedelic assisted therapy training. And this particular program is a year long program, really excited about the depth that we’re going to be able to cover, we’re going to be really focused on three main medicines, ketamine, MDMA, and psilocybin, and how to get involved with ketamine currently, since it’s the only psychedelic outside a research setting that therapists could get involved with right now. So we’ll be getting pretty in depth ketamine, but also covering how to work with MDMA and psilocybin, with the anticipated approvals as they move through phase three in the FDA. This is a very cutting edge aspect of psychotherapy right now, as psychedelic medicine starts to really innovate and change the way we think about psychotherapy as another tool that we can use. So if you want to check out that training, go to psychiatryinstitute.com/psychedelic. And we’re happy to talk with you. We’ve got an application process that includes a phone call with our student success coordinator. So come online and check it out and see if you’re interested. So today’s podcast we are talking with somebody who’s been really involved with coaching men for almost 20 years. He’s His name’s Tripp Lanier, he runs the new man podcast, if you’re not familiar with the new man podcast there, he’s really focused on how men can be empowered, healthy, have intimacy, have freedom, when she talks a lot about in this podcast, and some of the unique challenges men face and some of the commonalities men face. So it’s an interesting episode to just hear from a men’s coach. And somebody also has been very involved with leadership and what healthy male leadership can look like. Tripp Lanier of professional coach, author of the book, This Book Will Make You Dangerous, and host of the new man podcast, which for over a decade has been downloaded by millions of people. Since 2005, he spent 1000s of hours coaching people all around the world, who want to get out of the rat race, and become more of an authority in their field, and also earn a living doing what they really want to do. Over the years, he’s also designed several businesses support his simple lifestyle focused on freedom, ease, meaning and fun, let’s welcome Tripp to the show. Hey, Tripp, welcome to the show.
Tripp Lanier 03:55
Hi Keith, hello Will, thanks for having me. It’s good to see you guys. Again, good to talk.
Keith Kurlander 03:59
So good to see you again.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 04:01
Good to see you. Again.
Keith Kurlander 04:02
It’s been a while, Tripp why don’t you say a little bit about just what you’re really up to right now what you’re focusing on before we kind of dive in to this topic of men in leadership, want to know and just say a little bit more about what you’re up to?
Tripp Lanier 04:17
Yeah, these days, I’ve been talking a lot about the book that I just released, the books called This Book Will Make You Dangerous. And it’s the culmination of being a coach, professional coach for 15 years to men, but also just being in the personal growth personal development fields for 20 plus years. And before that, I was a business owner trying to un-fumble my way through life. And someone came to me recently and was like, why don’t you write a book and I said, Well, I throw most books in the trash, because they essentially just try to perpetuate a mindset and a worldview that I don’t really want to help with this idea that you just need a little bit more. And then once you get there, you’ll be set for life and there’s this golden velvet rope area of life and I’m just not interested in perpetuating that idea. And so the question became, what would you? What’s the book, you wouldn’t throw in the trash. And then I thought about who I was 15 plus years ago, when I was 20. plus years ago, when I was dealing with the fallout of my mother’s suicide that I hadn’t dealt with in 13 years at that point, and just fumbling through life, and knew to I was seeing a therapist at that time, but not really applying myself certainly not open to things emotionally, I was really cut off from that whole thing. And there was this whole world, there was a whole world waiting for me. And so I started thinking about that guy like that guy that’s crossed over and starting to see that there’s another world available to him, if he’s willing to get to know himself emotionally, and integrate that part of his life a bit more. And so yeah, I’m gonna re connect with that guide, trying to help him out and pull him through the widest end of the funnel into this personal growth stuff. And it’s been rewarding to see that it’s connecting with folks and providing an on ramp into that conversation.
Keith Kurlander 05:54
Let’s start with what you just talked about. Very high level very meta, you’ve been working with men for a really long time, a lot of men who are trying to achieve more in their life, gain better intimacy skills, gain better leadership skills, gain better success in businesses, and what if we just start really high level, which is like, what journey? Do you tend to have to take most men on in terms of where they’re coming from, to where they need to get to? And what are they bringing in the beginning of their journey? If we talk about things like, what are some common men’s issues? That’s another way to say that you’re really looking at common men’s frameworks that are very outdated, old and really need to shift?
Tripp Lanier 06:38
Yeah, well, there’s, I think there’s the things that I see that they’re needing, and then the things that they say that they’re wanting. And so I don’t think that they have to be opposed to one another, I think that they can work in conjunction with one another. So if somebody comes to me and says they want greater success in their life, or they want more sex, or they want to make more of an impact, or to start to create a legacy, I’m listening for what’s really going on in their own life and starting to see their life as a whole. And starting to recognize that they’ve got a sense of their mortality, it’s like, what when we start to recognize that their mortality is in play, what do we really play for here, what’s more important than just making another zero on the net worth? What’s more important, just being more desirable or more admirable, to other folks, these are things that I’ve been challenged to deal with in my own life. And so I like to use those things, okay, let’s use money, or let’s use success, or let’s use sex, or as a doorways into a much deeper conversation about who you really want to be, and what the experiences you really want to have in this lifetime. The specifics of that will be pretty different for each man. But most of us are just wanting to feel more free, more alive, more deeply connected and loved for who we are. And we all essentially just want to have greater peace of mind when our head hits the pillow at night that yes, I’m living my life. And if I were to die tomorrow, I’ve lived my life fully. I’ve yet to meet anybody who doesn’t want those things. And so instead of getting caught up in fancy terms, or really fancy high level ideas, I just try to bring it back down to how can we live with greater freedom, alive, just love and peace today, as we work towards some of the things that we want to create. And oftentimes, if we’re doing our work, and more freedom, and lightness, love and peace are being experienced, sometimes those things we thought we really couldn’t live without, or maybe aren’t so such a big deal anymore.
Keith Kurlander 08:27
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I’ve worked with a lot of men also over the years. And I like how you’re saying, like, you don’t tend to, you try and pierce through the content of what they’re first talking about, and to what’s behind that, what they’re really trying to go after. And I love the concept of just more freedom, more lightness? And what if we drop it down to masculine power, or power in men. And we start to talk about leadership a little bit. What have you, again, this is still kind of high level, but what have you kind of learned about in terms of healthy and unhealthy power and leadership for men, some of your takeaways?
Tripp Lanier 09:08
I prefer to break leadership down into a very, very, very simple kind of model. And it’s essentially our ability to answer the question, What do I want? This is very different from what I should do? what’s expected of me? What will they think of me? For most of us, there’s a lot of folks that we see out there in the world that are following those questions. Those questions are driving them, I wanted a greater, deeper purpose in my life. Well, if we were to really take a look at your actions throughout the day, most of the time you’re answering the question, What do I do so that I’m not uncomfortable? What do I do so that I don’t put myself at risk? What do I do so that I don’t look like a moron? I don’t look like a failure. And even people in great, quote, leadership positions are still driven by these types of questions. They’re defensive questions. They’re survival based questions. What do I do to get through this and not be harmed whereas leadership, I think is coming back to all right, given that things are scary, and given that life’s gonna be uncomfortable and risky, and people just aren’t going to get me and I’m going to be criticized from time to time, what do I really want? And I think that that question starts to put us on a much different path in life. And we can call this masculine. But I think it’s just more of that kind of arrows, that part of us that is here to create and bring something into the world, whether we’re we identify as male or female. But I think more and more, it’s just that Yeah, what is trying to live can be lived through me. And as me, and most of us had never practiced, what do I want, even at the most basic level, they get up in the morning, they put on the shirt that everybody else wears to work that day, they never asked themselves, what shirt do I want to wear? What food do I want to put into my body? How do I want to be touched by my lover, most of us just aren’t doing it. We’re just in this autopilot mode and going through life in that way. And then we wonder why we feel trapped. We feel drained, we feel isolated, we feel bored, we feel overwhelmed. We haven’t stepped into that self leadership first. And then we can start to talk about the ways and I think we can start to segue into some of the ways that things are healthy, in that regard. Most of us are not asking ourselves what we want, because it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous, meaning that if I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to own my power. And I’m going to speak up for what I want, I might get criticized, I might be rejected. I am vulnerable in that sense. On the second side most of us have associated owning what we want with dominating others or belittling others or diminishing others in some way. Neither of those options are very good. I run a podcast called the new man. And the tagline is beyond the macho jerk in the new age wimp, the macho jerk bulls people over he postures through life, he’s still a fear based thing. But he’s essentially just running people over as the answers that question, what do I want, whereas the new age wimp, just tell me what you want. And I’ll go along with it, we’re all one here, baby. So learning how to own our power means we are going to be firm and what we want, but we’re also open to what the impact is on others, and that we can co create with others, and that’s a really nuanced place to be to be able to own both of those things in the world. And then take that step slowly, One by one, we’re typically we’re collapsing, or we’re posturing.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 12:16
Okay, that’s great Tripp, thanks for that sort of fundamental connection with self first, what do I want? So it sounds like that’s a big theme, and your work with people is seeing that a lot of guys are struggling with it? Can I even access my own desire? Can I lead from the desire to create, and I’m curious, when people get to the next level, let’s say they’re able to do that fundamental kind of bachelor’s degree and self knowledge of self desire, get the practices in place to do that every day, then, let’s say there’s a purpose of bigger vision of an impact or a vision to create that’s bigger than just something that they’re going to do themselves personally, and they need to get other people involved. They need to enroll other people and their vision and their mission. What do you see as the big kind of bugaboos are the big stumbling blocks for guys who don’t want to go down the domination path or the new age wimp path?
Tripp Lanier 13:17
Yeah, it’s being in a relationship, it’s really learning how to, can I own what I want and still be in a relationship with others. And I’m challenged by this, I love running a lean business, I love having a lot of control. It’s an edge for me to rely on others to depend on others to not be disappointed by others. That’s the big fear. And so for a lot of us, it’s just navigating that enter personal domain of recognizing this is my role. And this is what’s different in an organization is that I have a role. And my role is to be responsible for ABC, which means I’m going to be asking you to do certain things. And it is our agreement, that is your job to do those things. So there’s a power differential there. It’s co-created. But there’s a power differential there. And I still see a lot of guys afraid to own that power. And just assert, I want ABC done by Friday, will you do that? There’s this thing, I don’t want to be a jerk. I don’t what are they gonna think of me? I don’t want to be the cool guy. So they’re stuck in this pattern of protecting and pleasing and proving, but I think more and more, we’re kind of gotten really sensitized to things and it was necessary. But I think now it’s great to come back and be able to integrate some of that firmness with also some of that sensitivity, Hey, I know this is gonna have an impact on you. But we have an agreement here, this is what we’re doing, we’ve got a mission, we’re creating ABC, and your role is to do XYZ, so I want that done Friday. And I think most of us don’t understand that. It’s a real gift to be able to say, I want ABC and I want it done Friday, we can always come back and say something different, but I don’t like being in organizations or not like being in situations where there’s not a clear sense of somebody’s driving or somebody’s putting some ideas out there. It turns into a swamp. I was recently working with a doctor on something I needed and he was really wishy washy up, he gave me like three options for something. And I had noticed I was getting anxious. And like, what’s I need to help here? And he wasn’t really willing to put it out there. I said, Doc, what would you do? If you were in my situation? I had to coach him essentially and he was like, Oh, well, I would do ABC, I was like, thank you. It was such a service to own that and put that out there, where I think he just didn’t want to be a jerk and didn’t want to be. I don’t think he was protecting something. And I understand that, but it’s really his job to own that and put that out there. And then let me decide to see me as an individual, and then let me decide what I want to do.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 15:38
Yeah, so then people abdicating that power can create anxiety and an organization and people who are in a consensual agreement to fulfill their responsibilities, essentially?
Tripp Lanier 15:51
Exactly. And I think without a clear mission, without a clear sense of what we’re doing, then the mission becomes, hey we’re all here to get along, we’re all here to have a nice time. I’ve been in organizations like that, and it’s like, what are we? We’re not getting anywhere. We have meetings, but we’re not creating anything, we’re not making a difference.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 16:08
Do you think that fear of upsetting someone or fear of being perceived as an asshole is always trauma based? Or? I mean, are those patterns from childhood or from culture? Or what is your sense? Well,
Tripp Lanier 16:22
I think they’re hardwired. I’m not an evolutionary biologist. But there certainly is evidence to support that if you did anything to dominate too much in the group, and you didn’t really you weren’t worthy of that role, you would be challenged and you’d be put in your place. And if you didn’t do enough to pull your weight, if you were a freeloader, you also got booted, too. So I think we’re hardwired to maintain a certain position, a Goldilocks position within our group. And so when we start to exercise power above that, there’s a real vulnerability. I’m from the south, there’s a saying that the further up the flagpole you get, the more that we can see your ass, and most of us are just afraid to show our ass in that way and are afraid to be that vulnerable. But again, if we’re going to throw around this idea of leadership that comes with the job.
Keith Kurlander 17:08
What’s the impetus for I mean, I think this is gonna, there’s gonna be a lot of answers here. But how do men start climbing up the flagpole and within themselves. Right? So like, wherever you’re out on the flagpole and you’re wanting to be more empowered, you’re wanting to lead more, you’re wanting to create more, you’re wanting to serve more, you’re wanting to achieve more. And you’re somewhere on the pole and have all different kinds of issues of why can’t get to the next part of the pole. So just maybe a little, it could be a story of someone or just a little thought here on how men break through different layers in themselves to get to that next level of inner leadership. That Yeah, it’s late to adult leadership.
Tripp Lanier 17:52
Yeah, I think it’s first is to really establish what our metrics are, I’m going to use that term rather, it sounds kind of cold. But for many of us, we tend to find an ideal. We idealize a person, we idealize a figure, we idealize, we come up with an image in our mind, we might even get a foam core board and put pictures on it. And we say, this is where I’m going. This is where I’m headed. And it’s externalized. And what we don’t understand is that we’ve externalized this vision, this ideal, but we have a theory that if I were to create that, then I’m going to feel differently. Because we know it would be a failure. If we created this external idealized version of ourselves, this leader, this guy up the flagpole, or this picture of our organization, we know would be a failure. If you got there. And we’re celebrating, we pop the champagne, I say how you feel, he says I actually feel trapped, I feel drained, I feel isolated. I feel overwhelmed. Same, huh, we got something wrong. Because I meet a lot of those guys, they’ve done something really cool for themselves and for whatever. And then you have a deeper conversation with them. And then like I feel empty, something’s way off, something went wrong somewhere. They didn’t, the theory didn’t pan out, they created the vision, they achieved that ideal, but it didn’t land for them and their inner authority. So the metric for me is like let’s start from this place. Let’s start in with awareness. Imagine we have these gauges on the dashboard. Okay, am I moving in the direction that’s allowing greater freedom Am I allowing greater lightness and greater love, greater peace of mind as we go? Now I can go put these flags out there and I can move towards them. I want to make a certain amount of money. I want to have a certain size for my business. I want to have a wife and kids etc. Whatever those things might be those external types of things. But we’re going to be checking in with these internal metrics where you got to develop a certain level of emotional intelligence along the way, what am I actually feeling? And so the leadership quality comes in like I’m paying attention as I’m moving towards my external outcomes, these goals that I have, but I’m also checking in with myself my own authority and saying, how does this actually what’s the experience actually like, and I’m willing to be honest about that. I thought if I got a PhD and I went down this career path, it would be amazing, and it sucks. Or I thought, if I got married, and I had a kid, it’d be great. My parents would be off my back, I’d finally be a success, and everything would be great. And it just didn’t pan out, so it’s like, do we have the guts? To be honest with ourselves and say, Hmm, this isn’t quite the experience I was wanting. So can I tap back in and say, What would allow greater freedoms given that this is where I am? What would allow greater freedom, a lightness, love or peace in this scenario? So I think it’s key to start with that internal authority, that emotional awareness, build on that bit by bit, small baby steps to larger steps, and but then also be willing to say timeout, we’ve gotten off track here. And we need to take an assessment of what’s happening, but most of us don’t want to do that. Because we’re back, we’ve created an identity. But I’m the guy with the PhD, and then fancy practice, and the people following me and all this kind of stuff, I can’t switch now, what will they think of me? I don’t want to end up on the street, those types of things. That’s all too common, and to me, that tells us that we betrayed our inner authority along the way somewhere.
Keith Kurlander 21:08
Right. Well, it sounds like this is a spectrum, but if I just separate two types of guys, here, there’s the guy who’s really good at achieving external goals and, but yet internally, it doesn’t feel in congruence and feels off and isn’t satisfied and fulfilled. And let’s talk about another type of guy for a moment, person who spent their entire adulthood on emotional intelligence and feeling whole and integrated and really trying to work on themselves and has intimacy but is really having trouble achieving the next step in their life, external goals, they’re just having a lot of trouble in moving the needle forward, and either growing bigger practice, or whatever it is, how do you approach that type of guy?
Tripp Lanier 21:55
It’s essentially the same thing, right. And I met a lot of these guys in Boulder when I lived there, right, which is, everything was kind of seen and processed through the lens of personal growth. So if my practice wasn’t going well, and I’ll speak to myself, right, my early days of my coaching practice, I might need to go do some more ayahuasca, and kind of can convene, communicate with the other spirits so that I can open this up this next realm, and then that’s going to work. Or I can start to talk to more people who might want to do work with me, I can get out into the world, and start to share stories about how I help other people that’s vulnerable, I don’t want to do that. Let me go back up in the mountains and have another ceremony. That’s where I’m comfortable. So our commitment to avoiding discomfort, our commitment to avoiding risk, I don’t want to waste time, energy or money. I also in my community, it’s not good to build business in my community over here. It’s greedy, who wants to be a capitalist? That’s not who I am, that I’ll be excommunicated. If I were to move in that direction and start to focus on money. There. Again, we’re up against these commitments, the content changes, but the desire to avoid discomfort risks, and this threat to our self image is the same.
Keith Kurlander 23:10
So like you’re looking at the perceptions, emotions, that are basically keeping a person in their comfort zone, versus taking a risk in behaviors that will actually probably achieve the goal, right? Yeah.
Tripp Lanier 23:25
Yeah, and it’s wonderful to be able to leapfrog and be like, Oh, yeah, the reason why X, Y, Z is happening in my life is because of something over here. I’m actually pretty comfortable dealing with problems in this conversation. But if I were to actually learn a new skill, like how to network and get out into the world and talk about my practice, and share the story about the work that I do, that’s pretty confronting, I don’t want to do that. But as a coach, that somebody’s like, oh, why would you expect that your practice would thrive? If nobody knows about it? Why would you expect your practice to thrive? If you’re not asking your fees, you’re basically Mr. Pro Bono guy. So there’s just a lot of things where it’s pretty easy to kind of chunk down and understand things from a very basic business level and start to see why things aren’t working. And then we can see the disconnect between our brains. And the stories we tell ourselves that say, Well, I can’t go do that stuff.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 24:14
I think this issue about financial health is really important to bring to the conversation. I think that there’s just speaking from my own experience as a young doctor, that was that guy that you’re talking about who undercharged people early in my practice, partly because I wanted to do good work and have people have access to it. But also when I grew up and got older, I realized that part of my motivation for doing that was because I was afraid of being perceived as greedy or money driven, or those kinds of projections that I think are actually pretty strong in our culture, and especially in the conversation around therapy and healthcare. I think that people are fraught and I think I’m fraught too, even now I’ve like, Is it okay to make a good living providing health care? You know what I mean? I mean, there’s, we have single pair systems in other countries, and we have this system in America that’s got a lot of problems. I think it’s interesting to look at the issue of financial disempowerment and therapists and medical providers. It tends to be a really sensitive topic for people.
Tripp Lanier 25:27
That’s right up there with sex, and it points to worth. Yeah, whatever I’m able to do or not able to do in the bedroom is a reflection of my worth, or my value can be. And then also, this thing of, if I were to really charge something, or be denied something, we can actually put a measurement on it in our culture, we do tend to put a measure like this person is more valuable, and I think it’s ridiculous. They make more money. But I learned a valuable lesson early on, it was like, I realized that a client of mine was spending way more money on lawn care for his home, than on the work that we were doing. And there was a big, he was telling me how important our work was, but then where his money was being spent. And he was spending, I think you’d like if he lived in this super fancy neighborhood in Malibu, he spent like $30,000 a year on his lawn. And I wasn’t making that money. It’s a lot of money on lawn care, right? landscaping, and it was just like, let’s just come back to when we say we value something, do our actions align with that, it still comes up and it’s just the numbers change. But it really is that if we can just start to relax. Yeah, but I’m not my fee. Right? The fee is about the change that we’re creating the impact that we’re having. And that’s contextual, that’s different for each person based on their life in their financial situation, I’m able to be pretty fluid in the work that I do, I don’t necessarily charge the same amount for the guy up the street as I charged somebody who makes much, much more, right. The fee is based on the context, and I feel much more engaged and inspired when the client and I both realize, hey, what we’re working for is really important, and the fee matches that if one of us feels like, Tron is just not the fee just doesn’t work here, then I think we can both be insecure about it. But I like to frame things from that position. It’s just see, is there a way to where like, yes, you say this is really important in your life. But you spend more on ABC? We’re not there yet, we’re not in alignment yet.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 27:31
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I agree. I think it also goes to the point about being aware of what your comfort zone is, and, and also what your goals are, in your own authenticity, your own expression in the world. is more financial empowerment, a part of that landscape for you and your authenticity? Or is it more of an injected value? Or maybe you’re subordinating to an external or cultural message, or a family message that I’m not valuable unless I’m more financially successful? So I like to think of it as really just physically true for the individual, and what’s the path to more of that authenticity. And also, I think, as a therapist, I think it’s just generally a truism that if your client doesn’t have skin in the game, if they’re not spending enough on therapy, that they think about it, the likelihood of actually getting that person significant changes, weight reduced, you know, I mean, it has to be meaningful, what the investment is to perceive that you actually are making a big commitment to growth and change.
Tripp Lanier 28:39
Yeah, and I do a lot of filtering, before I will take on a client, I work really hard to make sure that I’m not bringing a tourist on, I work really hard to make sure that somebody is not coming into my practice. And somehow just believes that because they’ve gone through the process of hiring me that the work is done. So there’s a lot of testing that goes into it, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve chosen that the path that I have is because I can really set that bar pretty high, and it weeds out a lot of the people that are just kind of circling the drain and not really interested in doing the work. I don’t think that those folks are really helpful. What happens when we work with people that are truly helpful, it’s so invigorating, it’s a wonderful experience to be able to help people. I came up with a really technical term for it, based on Joseph Campbell’s work, right. It’s like there’s people that are ready to go through that they’re in their ordinary world. And there’s that separation, and then they’re on trial, and I call it pre f it and post f it. Pre f it is they’re still in this place where something’s going to come along and make the change for them that the next book, The next podcast, they’re not going to really have to do anything uncomfortable. They’re not going to have to do anything that’s going to be at risk for them. Something else is going to come on, they’re still essentially in a drama triangle in a victim place, and not really to take responsibility. At some point though. It’s like, Okay, this is up to me. I’ve exhausted all the avenues. Nobody’s coming to save me. Those people are wonderful to work with, and I’m not talking about being in a crisis. I’m not talking about being desperate. But there’s just places where they have really rooted themselves in self ownership. And just like this is up to me, I can’t blame this on my wife, I can’t blame this on my parents anymore. I can’t blame this on society, it’s up to me to do this work. And Wow, those working with those people is a dream.
Keith Kurlander 30:20
Yeah, definitely, I think when somebody is inspired to make a big change in their life, and there’s real inspiration and determination, there’s magic in that experience of working with people that are in that place, for sure. And I spent a lot of time in my 30s really focusing on purpose and values and the relationship to growth, of knowing your values and your purpose and identifying them and learning how to align behaviors to the purpose and values. And I’m curious about your thoughts on just being purposeful, particularly as a man and how important is that? And, I’m not making any assumptions of what that purpose is, but just, you know, how important is it that quote, unquote, a man is on purpose? I mean, obviously, this could apply to women, too. But we’re talking about men today. So what would you say about that?
Tripp Lanier 31:18
I went down that purpose road, influenced by a lot of the teachers who probably were all talking about same or the same, folks. And it was a trap for me, I spent a long time, kind of chasing my own tail looking for purpose. And then I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere I was in this place of waiting for purpose or waiting for, in my mind, the way that I was framing it is that it was a story and it was an identity. And that there was somehow there was going to be this story in this identity that was going to arrive, choose me, this is it, this is what I’m here to do. And now I finally have permission to hit the gas and get going, and that screwed me, it really screwed me. After a while I said I can’t do this anymore, this is actually killing me. I’m getting weaker, waiting around for this thing and starting to create a story that something was wrong with me.
Keith Kurlander 32:11
Tripp are you saying you were coming from a place of wanting to discover some big purpose that you just didn’t know what it was? And you thought when you discovered it, everything would be fine?
Tripp Lanier 32:23
Yeah. Which is actually really common, right? Some guys read these certain books that are very idealistic and kind of rooted in these archetypes and that and they sound wonderful. And then there’s like, yes, this is what I’m missing in my life is this sense of identity and what I’m here to do on this planet, before I die kind of thing, and there’s a story. And we create purpose from this story, or this identity, the ego, what I found is the ego is like, Yes, that’s me, I love this story. I want to go out and tell this story to the world. This is my purpose, I’m going to show up to my men’s group on Tuesday night, and we’re going to sit here on site, my purpose is bla bla bla and life and it sounds really fantastic, but it just wasn’t working for me. What I did find worked for me, when I finally gave up on this idea that I was gonna find this fantastic story was just doing what had me fit where I was curious, following my curiosity, not in a hedonistic way, it was actually very challenging for me, it was more like, gosh, I’m really drawn to this work, I want to learn how to do this better. I can’t do that, I mean, who am I? I’m not really a person, like I had to still go through this dip of learning, I still had to go through this challenge of that. But I was listening to that, looking back on and I was listening to inner authority like, go here, there’s something here for you. There’s something that’s drawing you to that there was a hunch, that curiosity. And I found that the more that I did that, the more expansive, I felt, I didn’t know where it was going. I didn’t know where things were headed, and that there was even a purpose there. And what I learned from that process was that the purpose in my life would always be the same. It would always be some version of that peace of mind that we’re talking about that deep sense of wholeness, that I’m not living a fragmented life. So again, I come back to the freedom of gladness, love and peace, that no matter what I’m working on, the purpose of it is so that I feel more expansive in those areas. At the same time, I will have lots of missions in my life. And that word helped me that missions could provide things like meaning missions could provide a sense of direction, and a timeline that this is what I’m creating in my life at this point. But the mission was always going to be in service of that greater purpose, which was going to be that interior, state of being necessarily why I named my daughter Be. Right? So it’s just this reminder, just come back to the state of being whatever that might be, it was more of like, I’m kind of there, I’d have the sense of that. And when I was bullshitting myself or trying to get in my head, about what things were supposed to look like, I was betraying that.
Keith Kurlander 34:48
Yeah, it sounds like you’re differentiating that it sounds like you’re saying, Tell me if I got this right. That purpose. Where the trap is, is that you can externalize how you think your life should look or hope that eventually you’ll discover one day how you think your life should look. And that’s more of a fantasy reality than actually just servings in some way. In the present moment, an interest is what I’m hearing around, like what you’re most curious and interested about, and just serving in that way and just keep following that drive. And is that how you’re kind of segmenting mission versus purpose? Like purpose is more of a fantasy and a hope?
Tripp Lanier 35:35
But, I think the way that it was framed to me or the way that I understood how to take responsibility, the way that I understood it was, there was some story. My purpose in life is now to go and heal the suffering of men with my podcast in bla bla blah, just sounds cool, but it’s just total bullshit. Okay, what actually was more true as I’m going to do, what actually makes me feel more alive, what has made me feel more expansive, what gives me a sense of meaning, what blows my heart open? At the end of the day it is like, now I can be awesome, I can’t believe I got to do that, I get to live this life. That to me is how I know I’m on track, or I’m on purpose is when I’m moving in that direction, and it’s not an easy path. There’s a lot of risk taking, there’s a lot of discomfort, there’s a lot of who the hell is this guy to think he can go in this direction. He doesn’t have a PhD, he doesn’t have all this stuff, it’s a lot of challenge in that regard. And so that’s where these shorter term missions can become like, Okay, I’m going to learn how to do this skill really well. And I’m going to develop a practice in this way, I’m going to develop a podcast, and those are all in service of they’re all essentially experiments. Let me see, let me see if this has me feel more expansive, let me see. And if it doesn’t, after a certain amount of time, a year, three years, whatever, two years, six months, then we know we got good data, and we can move on. But that helped me far better for me the way that I operate in the world, then coming up with this vision of this idea and kind of like, putting it over my eyes, and then moving through the world as if I’m going to become this person, and then I’m finally going to be enough, and I’ll finally be loved. That stuff still felt rooted in I’m not enough and I need to prove something.
Keith Kurlander 37:13
When you work with men do you sometimes have to tease out like a man saying to you, I really know I want to be doing this thing in the world, I really know I do. Like, but I can’t get my behaviors behind it, I keep doing addictive behaviors, whatever it is. But I really believe this what I want to do, are you having to tease out like, is that fantasy? Is that actually kind of a mission? Like how do you deal with that issue?
Tripp Lanier 37:44
Let’s say that you are all three of us, right? We had some epiphany today, and we have this thing that we were able to see for the first time like this is what I feel drawn towards. And I’ve been hiding it from myself. But I’m actually drawn in this direction. I’ve created a story about who Will is, who Tripp is, who Keith is. And now I’ve got this hunch that this is where I’m moving this is what’s really more true for me, that’s a terrifying place. It’s really scary, we are going to come up with all kinds of stories, to avoid that. It’s going to be like, Oh, you gotta be freaking kidding me. This is not my This can’t be my way. This is gonna threaten everything that I want to do. So to answer your question, it is I expect that resistance to come up. I expect my client to have a really hard time saying, Yeah, let’s go full steam ahead. I expect him to give me the best excuses ever. Oh, man, the moon, are you kidding me? The moon phase right now I can’t do that. And everybody knows, the bass are on the other side of the lake, you can’t fish around here. There’s, there’s so many excuses, and I hear excuses all day long. And it’s more like, Come on, let’s just chunk it down. What’s the smallest thing that we can do? And let’s see, let’s see how this impacts your experience. I remember I was in this place of like, what do I do what actually has me feel alive. This was years and years ago, I’d been invited to kind of help facilitate a workshop in San Francisco for men, and was just everywhere I went, I just felt like I didn’t belong, I wasn’t in my place, and it wasn’t doing a thing. And I was facilitating this workshop. And it was basically a lot of guys that weren’t part of the kind of our background. They’ve never been in men’s groups, they’d never done any kind of emotional work, none of this kind of stuff. And there was this guy he’d gone through, he’d been led through the process, and it really activated him. And he was having a lot of emotions, and I just nobody was really supporting him and I said, hey, let’s go up on the roof. It was a maybe four or five storey building, we’re in downtown San Francisco, we go up on the roof and he’s having his processes. He’s crying, I’m just sitting there holding space with I’m just looking at him and helping him out, and he’s like, Oh, God, and He throws up over the side of the building. Meanwhile, there’s a little cafe right down below and all these people are looking up and watching this guy throw up. And in that moment, I heard a voice go, this is it, this is what you do. And I was like, Oh, you gotta be freaking kidding me, like this is not it. This is not helping you heal. I learned that it wasn’t about helping guys as necessary with their emotional stuff, but it was just being there and supporting that. That’s where I felt alive, that’s where I felt like I belonged, that’s where I felt that wholeness and that sense of meaning. And since then it has transformed, it was never a linear path, it’s always been deviating. And it’s always been up to me to come back on the, Oh, where’s it going? Now? Where’s it Oh, it’s more of these guys. Yeah, I like guys that are creating in this way. And then it just keeps shifting, I wouldn’t do that, if it was married to that vision of what it had to look like or that story, it’s always about coming back and kind of feeling it as I go down the road, if that makes sense.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 40:35
Speaking of married, using that word in a different context, kind of a little bit of a right turn here in the interview, but I’ve been thinking about how I felt a call in my life a few years ago, that was a call to create this institute with Keith, and to actually have a bigger impact in the world. And the seed of that call was inside me for years, but it wasn’t until I had a new relationship in my life, a new woman in my life, that my level of resource and security in my emotional world had elevated to the point where I wasn’t having to constantly be in a conflict with my partner, or check and make sure everything’s okay with my partner, because we were in a more healthy, dynamic, and getting met and known and seen in ways that I hadn’t had before in my life, that the call became something that I could actually admit into conscious awareness. And so I’m curious about your thoughts, I mean, I know, I’ve admired Allison for years and known her as a friend for many years. And I’m kind of curious about your thoughts about the bigger cause relational context about the fear of going bigger, or the fear of doing something that other people might judge or that you might fail, or whatever the fear is?
Tripp Lanier 42:07
I think it’s simple to cut back to what men typically do, right, which is men tend to make work the center point of their life, they say, family is really important. But if we look at where their time and energy is put to work, if you take a guy’s job away from his career, like he will, tailspin, that’s his identity, that’s his sense of like, Hey, I’m earning my keep. There’s all that primitive wiring stuff that just gets activated, it’s a really, really dangerous place. And so most of the time, we’re kind of waiting for work to be in its right place, and then we feel a permission to pursue everything else, right? Oh, well, I’ll go do a vacation two weeks out of the year, and I’ll get around to maybe spending some time with my wife unless she wants to go to therapy, or it will go to therapy every once in a while, like whatever these types of things are. But that kind of becomes this block, and everything seems to fit around work. But guys are really glad to do that, it’s where they find a lot of reward, a lot of control there. If we were to flip that model, and is essentially, like, what am I really here to experience in my lifetime? What am I really here to give? And then I could start to look at is anything an obstacle in there. Now, if there’s this arrow, this giant arrow that I’m just on this path, and I’m moving? I don’t even know where it’s going, necessarily, I don’t know what it looks like. But is my relationship, something that’s an obstacle? Or does it actually add energy to me? Most of the time, we’re just getting by in our relationships that drain, and it’s a drag, where we live can be a drag, whether it’s the weather, or the fact that we don’t get outside and do things. We don’t have community, or the people that we’re with. Maybe there’s a certain groupthink in that community, like you described, where it’s like, I can’t go big, because my community will judge me for that. So essentially, we want to kind of do this integrally informed look at what’s supporting me, is my body where I live, the type of work that I’m doing, my relationships, my own self talk, how are these all allies to me? And not just getting out of the way but actually supporting me? And I think most of us are just kind of like, Can I just what’s not a drag for me? But I like to push a little further and say, what does it look like when you’ve got real support? Like people that are just cheerleading like, go go go, you’ve got this, of course you have this vision? Will, of course, you got to go for it. Imagine what that’s like, instead of like, Oh, really good luck with that. So I think it’s great to assess that. and for a lot of us, we don’t know what most of us getting by is the goal, especially if we grew up in shitty relationships or watching shitty relationships. But what does it look like to really be in a partnership that supports us in that way? And so I think, I find that really helpful when I talk to people, that I talk to my clients. It’s like, why are you choosing this woman? or Why are you choosing this partner every day? Because you are, you’re choosing this partner every day, so let’s get really clear about why you’re choosing this partner every day. And that can be a tough question, because there’s essentially this inertia like, well, I chose her then, so she’s still around. And we might realize that I choose this person, because therefore I don’t have to be my big self.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 45:18
Versus being with a person who demands you to be your biggest self.
Tripp Lanier 45:22
Or loves you into your big self, like loves you so much, that they see your big self and your gifts and all that you have to give. And just say, I got you here, baby, I want this for you. If you want this, I’m here for you. I’d love to see you spread your wings, it’s so hot when you spread your wings. It’s scary for me, because I’m afraid you might go away, I’m afraid it might diminish some of us but I see our relationship as something bigger. These are the vowels that Allison and I took: I’m here to support you and your bigness, even if that means I gotta get out of the way. It wasn’t about the marriage, it was about how we support each other in that place where we can support one another in that place. So there are times when she wants to launch a program or I’m doing my thing, and it’s a Initially, there’s a contraction that, well, you’re gonna, Well, she won’t see you, or that’s gonna be kind of a pain in the ass for me. It’s like, Well, no, where am I going to ground myself here?
Dr. Will Van Derveer 46:17
It’s not to say that every part is on board 100% of the time, I mean, their younger parts are going to come up and, and do get scared, and don’t know what the change means. Or, if you’re going to get taken care of, and all those things.
Tripp Lanier 46:31
And I think it’s great to have space for that in the relationship. And I might be a pissy little seven year old in the kitchen for a half an hour, and we’re gonna do it at the gym. And then it’s like, alright, alright, this is what we’re really doing here. And I get it, yeah, let’s do it.
Keith Kurlander 46:50
Are you willing to share any ways, Alison was able to really challenge you in a way to grow, that you just couldn’t see happening without it. Some ways that you know, your partner was there for you to push you not just be supportive and say like, I just want you to fly. But wait, she actually said like, you need to get your shit together or like, like the way She challenged you to grow. That was really helpful for you?
Tripp Lanier 47:20
I don’t know she’s ever been, you need to get your shit together, there’s never been like that vibe. There’s always been more of a, an encouragement, like you got this, like, I see this in you. But not like, if you don’t do this, or else right, there’s still that tinge of that I demand it or else. It’s just more like, water’s fine.
Keith Kurlander 47:44
Like trust, like seeing who you are.
Tripp Lanier 47:47
Yeah. And I see that you’re bigger than this, you’re bigger than this challenge, kind of thing, and when you want to go there, let’s go. Right, or I see you getting ready to go through this and I got you kind of thing or role primarily with one another. And then I will come back to a story, we have been really clear that our roles together are that we are lovers, so nobody, I don’t want her to be my men’s group, I don’t want her to be my coach. And vice versa she does not, she really doesn’t like me being her coach, as much as I try sometimes and fail. So it’s we don’t play those roles, but we bring people into our lives that will. And so that might be some places where she will push back or I will be like, Hey, you, this is a place where you need some support here. I don’t want to play this role, but you need this role, you need somebody in your life to play this challenger role. I can be a supportive person, but we need to challenge you here for you because you’re hiding out. So I’m going to protect the dynamic of ourselves as lovers here, but yes, this is where we would be gifted by having some challenges in our life there. And that I think that’s where it kind of comes back to take a village type of thing. One thing that she did help me with early on I was, I’d always been taught that anger was bad, I didn’t see the difference between anger and aggression. So early on in our relationship, I was really pissed off about it, I dismissed it. I completely disowned the part of me that wanted to not be married my entire life, I’d been in a rock band, I was used to playing in the field, I was used to kind of having anything I wanted whenever I wanted. So I wouldn’t fall in love with us and we got married, and then this part of me was like, What the f dude, you didn’t? Like we were supposed to just kind of really party this thing out the rest of our lives. And I was depressed and really down, and I think I went up and saw Dewey one time and scared the shit out of a horse, but we went flying across the thing, like Get away from me. So it was like, I remember her sitting me down and I was just like, I think I’m really angry. And she’s like, I’m not afraid of your anger, and she’s like, I’m okay with your anger. And I wasn’t okay with my anger, I’d always been taught that it was bad. And I was taught that it was unsafe, especially around a woman, and she was more like no, I got it, I can hang. And it wasn’t bringing aggression to her. I want to be really specific that it wasn’t about like coming at her with anything but the fact that I could be angry, but I was in a dynamic where owning my anger was not safe. And so that was transformative for me, I got in that moment, I really got she demonstrated, I love you more than probably you love yourself, I accept you more than you accept yourself, that inspires devotion in me. Like that is like, I will move mountains for you, lady, instead of having somebody come at me and nitpick me and you’re not doing this enough. And you need to own your thing you need to get like, f you, I don’t wanna have anything to do with that. But this person that can demonstrate like, I see you, and I accept you, even in the places where you can’t accept yourself, you got me. So that was big, and that’s where I really started to get what it was like to have somebody to have my back. And that was a, I guess a love language for me. Is that that kind of loyal? Yeah. Having somebody be that loyal for me.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 51:00
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing that Tripp. Yeah.
Keith Kurlander 51:04
Well, we gonna wrap up. Same way with everyone basically, asking you kind of a big question, which is, if you had a billboard with a paragraph on it, if you want to see it once in their lifetime, what would you say in that moment to them?
Tripp Lanier 51:20
Get over yourself. I say be bold, be playful, and get over yourself like it. Those are the things that I come to every day. So it’s easy for me to come back, but life’s a lot easier for me, I’ll just speak if I can get over myself. Like it’s just that tends to be the place where I get tripped up over and over again, like I started thinking too much about this.
Keith Kurlander 51:43
Is thanks for being on the show Tripp.
Tripp Lanier 51:45
Thanks, guys it’s a lot of fun.
Dr. Will Van Derveer 51:47
Great to see you Tripp,
Keith Kurlander 51:47
Yeah, good to see it. Well, I just want to thank Tripp again for being on the show. Taking time to dive in and just surrender psychology, leadership and it’s issues. And again, just another reminder that we just open registration for our psychedelic assisted therapy training would be a great time if that’s something you’ve been waiting for the right thing to come along. psychedelic assisted therapy curious and want to know where to start a great training check out. We’ve got a year long program, we have optional vibe experiential. We got the greatest faculty, thought leaders, pioneers in psychedelic medicine around research and also all the techniques and protocols you need to know. So if you want to check that out, that’s psychiatryinstitute.com/psychedelic. We look forward to connecting with you again on the next episode of the higher practice podcast where we explore what it takes to achieve optimal mental health.