The Toxic Cycle (and Identity 1) - Strong As Hec

"Even salt looks like sugar."

My daughter blew my mind when she said this.

I was impressed.

We were talking are paradigms and perception.

And how things aren’t always what they appear to be.

And in her child-like wisdom she says, "yep, even salt looks like sugar."

It was a proud dad moment.

Paradox Series: If you're just join us, this is a continuation of our "Paradox Series." You can review past posts here.

[August 2018]

I set out "on mission" to help men become better men––multi-dimensional men. How to be strong in: mind, body, emotion, spirit, and community.

But I had no clue where to start.

I mean hell...

... I'm still working on myself.

"How can I help other guys? What could I really have to offer? I've never helped men in this capacity."

These were a few of the many stories I was telling myself.

But the biggest story was...


At this point I was working crazy hours.

  • I'd coach at Hardstyle (my gym) till ~11pm.
  • Then come home, read, and research on what problems men were dealing with... and how I can help them.
  • I'd edit videos.
  • Write sales copy for my products.
  • ... and write emails/posts like this to you.

I did this until ~6 in the morning some days (just ask my wife). She always got my slop of "left over" energy.

I was not being a father to my kids.

I was not being the very thing I was trying to help other men become.

A Better Man.

The result?

I felt like a fraud.

Here I was putting out this message about "being a better man" when I wasn't doing it well. This led to negative self-talk. Self-sabotage. Shadow projections.

I intentionally delayed launching Better Man Blueprint for 6 months.

My rationale was...

"Well, If I don't complete the program... men can't enroll and discover that I am in fact... a fraud."

(... this is every man’s greatest fear by the way. Being found out that he's not who he’s portraying himself to be.)

This story made it impossible to grow my new company.

Because of the growth struggle I worked harder—and longer.

Which led to EVEN less time with my family. Leaving me again feeling like a fraud.

And this, brother, is…

The 'Toxic Cycle.'

Here’s the framework.


Your circumstance leads to your story and the belief you have about yourself.

This is...

Identity #1: Your 'Natural Identity.'

An identity built with straw, on a foundation of lies.

(... the salt which looks like sugar.)

This false belief not only creates your problem. It also keeps you from solving the problem. The end result is SEDATION to escape the pain of your reality.

You become a slave to the very thing you perceived would bring you freedom.

Here’s what my Toxic Cycle looked like…

TRIGGER: Business ➡️ Story: Felt like a fraud trying to teach men to be better ➡️ Problem: couldn't grow my business ➡️ Sedation: avoided my family to work harder and longer ➡️ Trigger: Less time with family ➡️ Story: Felt like a fraud 🔁

(And on it went.)

What does this mean for you?

What belief do you have about yourself?

This is important to know because.

It's your thoughts and belief about yourself which lead to your current results and state in life (positive or negative).

The SOULution

The way out of this cycle?

Living the Better Man Code:

  • Awareness (CONFESS)
  • Adaptation (REPENT)
  • Aligned-Action (ATONE)

The code is an  illumination of conscience through a thought coaching model we call "Bucketing Work."

Bucketing Work frees you FROM your Toxic Cycle of sin FOR a better life.

It's where you:

  1. Face yourself and dive beneath the surface of the soul through an examination of conscience to discover the truth.
  2. Expose your Toxic Cycle and the belief you hold about yourself.
  3. Reveal your addiction to particular sin(s) and the root cause of WHY you do what you do.

    (This is where we self-sabotage our efforts. And destroy all of the progress we have made.)
  4. Renounce the lies, Repent, and create a new belief about yourself.
  5. Reclaim the TRUTH of your identity (i.e., Identity #2) and Cleansing of Conscience so you can take aligned-action toward your goals once and for all.

In short.

Bucketing Work is an examination of conscience which leads to an interior transformation.

And what emerges is, Aligned-Action toward the goals you say you want.


... as I've displayed...

An interior transformation cannot happen without an external experience.

And that's what I'll unpack in my next post.

The "Paradox of Externals."

Gotta run.

Appreciate you reading.

hec g.

P.S. "SIN."

That's a pretty touchy subject, huh?

Many people don't believe in sin.

In fact, according to Venerable Fulton Sheen in one of his sermons.

"We are living in about the only period of history in which there is a universal denial of guilt."

What is "sin?"

I think St. Augustine gives the best definition.

"Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God, and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law." ~ CCC 1849, St. Augustine

Why do I share this?

Because sin clouds the intellect.

It literally makes us DUMB.

And the longer we remain trapped in our Toxic Cycle... the darker our intellect becomes. Making it harder to judge rightly and give both neighbor and God their due.

Something to think about.

[To be continued...]