If you’re doing something worth doing, you will not get it on your first try, it’s just not going to happen. – Clifford Starks

Watch the full and inspiring interview with Clifford

If you prefer reading, here is the transcribed interview

Ziv: Hey, I’m Ziv and this is “On the Journey”. Every week “On the Journey” expose the intersections of wellness, spiritual inquiry, mental health, personal growth, and purposeful living through the eyes of the people we interview.

Clifford, I’d love to hear about your journey.

Clifford: Yeah, thank you, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on.

Well, I will tell you, I’ll start with life is tricky. I remember it was Forrest Gump says it best. Life is like a box of chocolates.

You never know what you’re going to get.

Ziv: I relate to it so much. I totally. So what’s in your box of chocolates?

Clifford: So my box started, one of the earliest memories I have was my biological father leaving. So I was four years old and he drove away and I didn’t know why. All I knew was people leave in your life. Like, that’s kind of the memory that I had.

My mom did end up remarrying and she remarried when I was six. But she had she had introduced him into my life around four. And I was just understanding him and figuring that whole thing out.

And it was a bit confusing. You know, it’s a bit confusing. So going through that process and also seeing death at a young age, my grandfather passed away when I was five. It stung me in a way, knowing, like, oh, crap, I’m going to die one day. It was just it was terrifying for me.

And I remember my mom consoling me because she knew something was up. And I don’t think she she realized how, in fact, I know she doesn’t realize how much that hit me because later on in life I told her, yeah, I remember like it was yesterday.

And so going through it and understanding life the very best that I could and fumbling and bumbling like everybody does as they go through their process. I learned several amazing habits, and it did come from the man my mom remarried to.

He taught me very powerful habits that still stick with me to this day and as I’ve gone through my journey, I say you have things that serve you and you have things that no longer serve you, and so you get to choose what you’re going to use and essentially your bag of tricks.

Life is going to give you so many things that you might not understand in the moment that you're having them, but they can help you later on in life if you learn how to use them. Click To Tweet

Ziv: So I’m curious, what can you tell us about these habits, how did they start? How do you practice them today?

Clifford: So his first habit was actually about taking responsibility. And it was everything was take responsibility of what happens in your life and look within you and whether there’s a good consequence or bad consequence, take responsibility for what you’re doing. And so that one really hit home for me.

And he told me that when I was like six, he told me that when I was pretty young.

Ziv: It’s amazing that it resonated with you at that age.

Clifford: Yeah, things have always kind of resonated with me and as I as I’ve gone through my coaching journey, I learned so many different lessons on the journey.

Ziv: How do you develop a habit of taking responsibility? How do you do it? Because it sounds like a mindset, not like a habit. So how do you develop the habit of taking responsibility?

Clifford: Yeah, so the habit of taking responsibility, you know that saying just do it right from Nike, just do it?

It’s not that simple.

And I feel you have to be in the right environment to be able to even start taking responsibility, like sometimes people get in the enough is enough club and say, I’m just fucking done with where I’m at, like, I don’t want to be here anymore. And they do the things that they need to do, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. It depends where they’re at on their journey.

I feel since I had two loving parents, and I had a safe space to go, it made it easier to take responsibility.

If you have someone who's getting beat up and kicked down consistently and they have like nobody on their side, it makes it harder to take responsibility. Click To Tweet

And so even though that was one of my first lessons, it’s not how my modality works. That’s the fifth lesson on my steps. Like, I have six steps that you go through and I don’t take you through that lesson until you feel comfortable enough to take on that lesson. If you’re in a loving, caring space, it’s easier to take responsibility.

Ziv: So what are the steps? Walk us through those steps.

Clifford: So it starts with number one and number one is a three part step. It’s having clarity, thinking big and feeling big. If you’re clear on what you want and where you want to go and you can think big enough because so oftentimes people think too small and you’ve got to feel it, too. You’ve got to feel through that thought as if you’re already there.

The second step is effective planning. And what people get a little bit hesitant with the plan part because they think it has to be this long, drawn out plan. No, it just needs to be an effective plan. If you have a three step process and you know you’re going to follow through those three steps, it’s not so hard. So simplify your plan so that it’s defective, not ineffective.

And the third is act with passion, that’s where you learn the biggest lessons when you’re taking that intense, passionate action. And so I never tell people to go with passionate action until they have the thoughts, have the clarity and have a blueprint on the clarity. You know, there’s a book called Ready Fire Aim. And I agree, ready means you have to have something ready. You’re not just firing like a maniac that doesn’t do anything for anybody.

The fourth step is just have faith in the process, because you are going to fall and you are going to fail.

If you're doing something worth doing, you will not get it on your first try, it's just not going to happen. Click To Tweet

And so having that faith, that unshakable faith to say, OK, I knew this was going to be a part of the process and I know I can learn through the steps.

And then finally we start talking about taking responsibility like that doesn’t come until you’ve gone through those first four layers and then the sixth is greatness with it. Be the best version of you, because I feel everybody has their own unique form of greatness.

I have my own form of greatness, just as you have your own form of greatness and you have your own unique blueprint of seeing the world and your perspective. Click To Tweet

Ziv: So that’s that sounds like a good plan, and on the paper, it sounds even, OK, so it really makes sense.

But then we come to actually implement it, what do we do? What are the actual steps that we need to do? You can choose one of the steps and just show the practical side of that.

Clifford: Ok, so the let’s go with the thinking big in the feeling big. OK, so in thinking big feeling big, it comes down to the environment we surround ourselves in because if we have people shitting on us on a regular basis, it’s going to be hard to do that. It’s just going to be harder to do.

And so we work on three systems, our visual like we see, and some people are more visual than others. They can just they can see it and they they feel that feeling just from seeing it. Then there’s auditory they hear it. So you hear certain things and you’ll you’ll get a feeling from what you’re hearing.

And then some people just need to actually apply it and do it like the kinesthetic where it’s a movement, so body movement. And so when we look at those three systems and practice, so I don’t like saying fake it till you make it. I like the saying, just be it. If you’re just it you grow into the person you need to become.

And so if I sound confident, if I feel confident, if I’m hearing confidence in my head, if I’m seeing confidence and if I’m responding with the way my body motion is of confidence, then that is confidence.

So there is no like, oh, just fake being like, no, you’re not faking it. If you try and fake something, it’s going to get into that subconscious mind and it’s going to mess with you.

Ziv: How do I get into the position where I see here and in confidence what what I actually do?

Clifford: Yeah. So it depends on what it is to you. Everybody has their own feelings for it. And I know everyone’s felt confident in doing something at one time, even if it’s something simple like saying your ABCs.

We look at that and say, well, that’s trivial, anyone can do that, and that’s true, but look at how complicated you can make things with your ABCs, like just the ABCs alone entire libraries have been filled with twenty six letters. And so when people realize that kind of information, they realize just how much power they hold within them.

And so it starts with starts small before you go big. And I know it’s kind of counterintuitive because you say we said think big and thinking big is thinking big enough for you if you’re already a big thinker. Some people are just bigger thinkers than others. And so they’ll say, like, oh, I can do this and I can do this. But it’s like you’ve got to feel through it, too. And sometimes you can think so big that you know it’s just not in your zone at the moment.

Like, if I were to say, for instance, I’m going to destroy Amazon, like I’m going to be better than Amazon ever could be. And I’m living in one, so I could just start with something to get some momentum going. Momentum plus results equals alignment.

Ziv: Ok, so let’s I want to be more confident. OK, there are situations where I don’t feel comfortable I don’t feel confident in other situation I do. What should I do? How do I start small? What’s my first step?

Clifford: So what you do is get into your confidence state, right. When you do feel confident and be as aware as possible. See like how do you stand? How do you sound? What are you hearing? What’s making you feel that confidence?

And then you go into that unconfident state, you go into that zone and then you ask yourself, get really aware, how is my body posture, how do I sound? What am I thinking about? And then you practice going in and out of both of those states. You know when you’re in your unconfident state and you can you can almost shake yourself back into a confident state.

Ziv: So I choose in a way, I find the good baseline of how I feel, think and when I’m confident, I go into the place where I don’t feel like that.

And I just like ping pong between like in a feedback loop between where it’s good and where I don’t want to be until I am able to be more confident zone, right?

Clifford: Yes. And the crazy thing is there’s ways to anchor in to feeling confident, something as simple as just rubbing your fingers together. So whenever you are trying to say go into a confident state, and you start rubbing your fingers together, when you’re starting to feel unconfident, go into that rubbing of the fingers and that’s going to shake you into OK, I remember this.

Ziv: Like priming cues for confidence.

Clifford: Mm hmm..

Ziv: Clifford, thank you so much. Thank you so much. We started from your own journey and we get your six steps, each of them sound simple, yet we know things are not as simple.

And then we got into very, very practical ways to make this big plane into small steps that become a life change, right?

Clifford: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me.

Ziv: Thank you. Thank you so much for your experience and your time and your knowledge.

Who are you?

I graduated in Kinesiology in 2005 and became a personal trainer. I also became a professional fighter in 2009-2017.

It has always been more than just transforming the body though, the mind and spirit play key factors to ones success. Which I definitely learned through my journey as a fighter and a coach.

I have been honored to be given the opportunity to work with many clients on their mind, body, and spirit. Helping other’s live happier more fulfilled lives. I realized just how important the mind was in the process of accomplishing any real success.

I became extremely fascinated with psychology also had my personal life experience to pull from as well. I am always learning and growing. I love the saying if knowledge was all it took everyone would have 6 packs and be Millionaires.

Knowledge is good to have, but applied knowledge is better, so I continue to take action. To grow as a person and a leader is the same as health, you never stop.  


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