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How to Find Your True Self with Doug Dane

George Grombacher March 30, 2023

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How to Find Your True Self with Doug Dane

LifeBlood: We talked about how to find your true self, what that even means, the benefits of doing it, why so few of us ever do, how to avoid regret, and the role perspective plays in this important process, with Doug Dane, author, coach and speaker.   

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Doug Dane

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hey, what’s up? It’s George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Doug. Dane, Doug, are you ready to do this?

Doug Dane 0:09
I am ready to do this. Let’s go. All right, let’s

george grombacher 0:11
go. Indeed, Doug, is an author, a coach, he’s a keynote speaker. He is a physical, emotional and sexual abuse survivor. He’s helping people to get unstuck from past trauma. His debut book debut book is mistaken identity. Doug, excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work, why you do what you do?

Doug Dane 0:35
Yeah, well, thank you. I’m born and raised in Canada, I divide my time between Canada, New York, and I have a 20, almost 20 year old daughter. And most of my work, really, in the past 30 years has been spent trying to help people do a couple of things. One is, think for themselves. I wasn’t really thinking for myself, I was just kind of following what I was taught to do. I didn’t realize I could take control of my own thinking and my own mind, rather than just kind of running with this program that was drilled into me, and a lot of people are stuck in some area of their life. Some a little Psalm a lot. I try to get people unstuck and see that they can rewrite their story, they don’t have to let their leave their life to fader to chance they can take control the thinking and life is hard. But if you’re in charge of your own mind, and you change the way you see yourself, life can actually be enjoyable to me. But we’re struggling, I think it’s just wrong. So I tried to do my best to wake people up one at a time if it takes to help them change their life. So

george grombacher 1:43
I appreciate that so much. I think that we all are carrying around some degree to your point, some of us a lot, some of us just a little. So how do you think about it? Is it an obligation to ourselves? Is it just something that we ought to do just the promise of life could be so much better?

Doug Dane 2:11
Well, I think I think we ought to do it. I think for sure, parents need to do it. I mean, I was a young person that struggled most of my life, I became an adult that struggled. And then through those struggles, I didn’t treat myself very well. And so therefore I’m not really capable of treating others, as well as I could be true. I think if you feel better about yourself, then you do better in the world. And you can help other people do the same and teach them rise up, take them with you guide them. So I think a lot of people are there’s a great term or I heard called hypnotic rhythm. I think a lot of people are just kind of hypnotized and, and going through life. And I think a lot of people I know I was, I was in conflict most of my life because it was a toll on me. We all have a pull inside of this. In our hearts, there’s a purpose and a passion, there’s a pull on us. It never goes away, it continues to pull on us. And I think if we don’t, you know, pursue that and find out who we really are and, and try to live our life that way. I think we live with a lot of conflict. And if you’re living with conflict, I think you create a lot of conflict. So I think my answer would be I think everybody has a responsibility to if you don’t, you know, listen to it’s your choice, it’s your life. But life can be a lot better than what it is for people.

george grombacher 3:34
That’s really interesting. It’s a good way to think about it. That when we’re constantly encountering resistance, and we find ourselves always in some form of conflict, it’s very possible that it’s because we’re fighting against this current or the pole in what is that pole? Is that a pulled back towards who we really are?

Doug Dane 4:00
Yeah, I think it’s, uh, I think, you know, if you believe you were created in God’s image, and that means you’ve been given all the talents and abilities to carry out whatever moves you I mean, we’re all passionate about something, we all enjoy different things. And so that is really the real you. A lot of a lot of adults were young people that had, you know, their dreams cut down. I have a client of mine who always wanted to think since she was little girl, and never pursued it, and now she’s pursuing it and she’s singing and she’s earning money. And she’s, and she’s loving it. So I think yeah, I think we all have a calling. I discovered that you don’t have to, you know, find your calling. I think it finds you if you meet your true self and that means that we have to uncover all the things that we are told about ourselves and our true all the negative opinions we have of ourselves because of our experiences and our stories on my case. A lot of abuse of natural He grew up really questioning yourself. So yeah, I think everybody has a means here for some reason. And that, that that little fire, it’s like one of those birthday candles, you know, never blows out, you can try to blow it out or ignore it. But I think it’s innocent. A lot of people you know, and their life and regret looking back and oh my gosh, I should have done something about that.

george grombacher 5:24
Which is obviously a terrible thing. And way too common. I love the birthday, the birthday candle analogy. And it’s small for a lot of us. But it’s still there and easy to ignore, but at our peril, because we won’t we’ll go through life with conflict, and then we’ll be on our deathbed, to your point be like, shoot, I really should have tried to nurture that.

Doug Dane 5:55
Yeah, well, listen, the only reason the flame is small is because you think you’re small. We just, you know, we just got programmed to believe things to that our cells aren’t true. We a lot of limitations, a lot of beliefs. You know, we didn’t get things right when we were little we were punished and made to feel small. And I think a lot of people just got convinced that, you know, they’re only capable of this much. And they just kind of live within that. Within that context. You know, I say to people don’t, don’t doubt your limits, because you’re never going to reach them anyway. But, yeah, I mean, people are walking around, in conflict. At first, I thought it was just me, when I started doing this work and telling my story and going public. I thought maybe it was just me that was struggling. But I’ve talked to 1000s of people. And most people are walking around in conflict, because they’re just not living their life the way they want to live it. They’re afraid to be themselves because they’re afraid of judgment, they’re afraid of criticism, they’re afraid of failure. And that’s no way to live. You don’t have to live that way. And so if you can take a bit of time to take a look at who you really are, and discover that I call this mistaken identity, you are mistaken about who you are and who you’re not. If you could take the time to undo that. Life gets a lot later, like life gets a lot more peaceful. And when you’re lighter and peaceful, then you can see things you didn’t see before we’re so wound up, we can’t even see what’s right before us the opportunities or what’s within us that we could be doing and expressing we’re so we’re so fearful of judgment. And judgment, I think is the real pandemic. The first and most important chapter in my book is stop judging we, we judge ourselves, we were judged when we were little by the adults, we took that on, we judge others that creates conflict within us. We cause conflict in our life. We got to stop judging ourselves and get a clearer factual picture of who we really are what we’re capable of. Not many people do that. More people need to

george grombacher 8:11
is that because it’s well enough alone, it’s this isn’t great. But the fear of the uncertainty of doing something different could be worse.

Doug Dane 8:22
Well, listen, if you think about when you were little, really little, you’re your little baby boy, you arrive here and you’re just you’re happy and you’re free. You’d have no judgment, you’re not waking up in the morning going, I wonder how this diaper looks on me. I mean, you just you’re just free, you’re creative, you’re imagining the play, you discover you, you learn to walk, you learn to fall, but then you develop a little bit of an intellect and your parents notice that you’re now paying attention and that you understand them. And then they start drilling in rules, values, beliefs, and then your program you better get it right. And if you don’t get it right, you’re punished, criticized, teased, in my case I was hit. If you do get it, right, there’s not a whole lot of praise. And so you’re brought up really judging yourself a lot. And the other pressure that came at a very early age is conformity. Like you really were go to school, in your families, and communities and clubs, whatever, there’s this conformity policy that goes on. Plus, you’re judging yourself. So you have this fear of what other people are gonna think I mean, and then you just feel you feel off track, early age, something just doesn’t feel on track. You don’t know what the right track is yet, but something feels off track. And as we get older, you know, the conflict continues to grow and it’s like a virus and we start not liking how we feel. And we start to question ourselves and we don’t feel good We think there’s something wrong with us. There’s nothing wrong with us. The only thing is wrong is what we believe or the way that we were brought up. In my case, you know, a lot of people suffer from abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, etc. And so, we are now in as in a situation society where I mean, mental health problems are are on the rise, funding requirements are on the rise, like the system is set up for people like me, where people just in general who were struggling in life, something deals a blow. Our system is not equipped to handle it clearly. I say, Listen, obviously, it ain’t working. Because it ain’t getting better. And to me, people are just locked into the idea that I don’t feel good. I’m depressed, I’m anxious. And nobody really questions anything. They just they question why they feel the way they feel. They question What’s wrong with it, but nobody really questions why they feel there’s something wrong with them. Nobody questions, the upgrade, nobody questions. You know what happened, they were kid like, for me. My story was blocked out till I was 39 years old. I mean, I was going through life, struggling in relationships, doing well in business. Feeling like there was something wrong with me anxiety, depression, nervousness, fear, criticism, worrying about being around other people pretending to be somebody I wasn’t just to get buy in, and succeed. And 39 years old, I wake up and I go to counseling, my marriage fails, and this whole story starts to leak out. And so I’m gifted because I have the gift of knowing the story. And now, I looked at the story from I see the story as a positive thing, not a negative thing. I just changed my perception. On my story, I think my story is a gift actually, that I went through, because now I can do what I’m doing here with you. But a lot of people have a poor attitude towards their story. They’re, you know, I was dragging my victim mentality, around with me most of my life, feeling like a victim and sometimes acting like a victim, which is, you know, convenient at times. And I just got sick of myself, feeling the way I was feeling like, Wait a minute. And as I build my own awareness for the last eight years, studying mindset and self image and writing one talking more, I realized, ah, the wonder I don’t feel good about myself. But again, I started to question the facts, rather than questioning myself, and that was free.

george grombacher 12:32
started questioning the facts instead of questioning yourself. So it’s not, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with me. I’m saying, let’s explore why it is that I’m feeling this and try to get down to the actual root cause of it.

Doug Dane 12:50
Yeah, that’s it, we don’t go to the root cause we don’t really come up with a cure, we just kind of mask it with, you know, therapy and pills, and whatever. So the fact is, I was abused as a child. That doesn’t mean that I’m a victim. Now. The fact is, I got off to the wrong start in life, it doesn’t mean I can’t change the direction of my life. And so yeah, we’ve got to get to the root cause of why do we feel the way we feel about ourselves? Listen, you could come from a great family. And wonderful parents, and I talk to you all the time. They say it’s Doug, it’s not just, you know, people like you that went through a store like you. On the weekend, I was doing an event and somebody came up because I had wonderful parents, you know, at a really, really good light. But I still really fell off track my whole life. I said, Do you remember? Do you remember when you got off track and she recalled a situation where, you know, she was working on on something that her parents really cut her down and her teachers really cut her down and she just locked into that belief. And carrying on for a good part of her of her life until she started to wake up a little bit. So yeah, we got to just look at the facts and our beliefs. You know, I was saying stuff the other day. I think kids should misbehave a lot. I think they should misbehave against the parents rules. So the parents evaluate the rules, because sometimes I had dumb rules raising my daughter, I just inherited them. I had some pretty bad rules. If I carried on with those, I really would have gotten in trouble. So yeah, it’s the cause is really the upbringing, your programming your story, your experiences, and how they were perceived for you and told how you should judge and perceive them, or how you judge and perceive them. And then that’s the filter you live your life with. So you want to change your life. Want to change your story, you want to feel better about yourself, just change your judgment, your perception, because it’s off track. If you feel off track, your judgment your perception is off track. plus, society loves to throw on a nice heavy layer of guilt and shame, resentment. And it’s nobody’s fault that they do it to you. That’s what they learn to do. Guilt and shame plays an important role, but it’s only supposed to be in the moment. You should feel guilty and a little bit of shame just to correct yourself, but you shouldn’t carry it around for the rest of your life. But that’s what you were taught to do that.

george grombacher 15:33
Yeah. When when you really think about it, which you obviously have, and I’m grateful for it a lot. It makes, it’s almost as though it couldn’t have worked out any other way. When we take a young person and just feed them into the meat grinder of, of could form follow the rules. And if want, if you stick out, it’s in group out group. And that’s, you know, a story as long as time.

Doug Dane 16:03
Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting, because we’re all unique. There’s nobody like us. There’s nobody better than us. And we’re no better than anybody else. We just are our ourselves. And we’re taught to express ourselves and be ourselves. But it’s a double binding message, right? Like, be yourself, George, but conform, be or do what you want George, but you better worry what the neighbors are thinking, be yourself. But you know, it’s a it’s a dumb game. And I’m just on a mission to get people if I can just eradicate judgment, you know, to some degree or another in other people, especially judging themselves, you get a much different perspective on life. But like you said, when we were little, and start first started, we were imitating the adults, you know, shaved, like Dad, eat, talk, everything like that, then we became hypnotized by the rules. So we just kind of went through life and that formed our image of ourselves. And we believe that was us with all of our limitations and all of our negative qualities that got pointed out. And then away we went, because your your self image is what runs your mindset. And your mindset directs your brain and your nervous system. Not a lot of people know that. Your mindset, your mind controls your brain and nervous system. I didn’t know that. When I found that I got no wonder. I think what I think and the wonder, I feel the way I feel because my mind directs my brain and my nervous system and my mind is run by my self image or my opinion of myself. No wonder I got lost. In the wonder I was wandering around aimlessly, just trying to get it right. We were off track we got he got mister, we did it. What’s that? When you get your iPhone, you get the OS update. We need an operating system update all of us, you know, this idea. But a lot of people will take the idea that it’s a nice idea to but they’re so locked into conformity and fear. They’ll stay down that, that that road that most people go down, take the road less traveled, it’s a much less crowded place and a lot more peaceful and free.

george grombacher 18:28
That’s the truth. It is. It is in many ways, I think our life’s work to try to get back to where we were when we were born.

Doug Dane 18:38
Yeah, yeah. And I think our life’s work. I love that. I think our life’s work is to help other humans. Help other people do better in life, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself, if you’re helping somebody else. I’m a big fan and follower. Gandhi. And I’d love listening to his story. And he just moved into a life of selfless service and you don’t have any money or any weapons or anything like that. But he became a leader of you know, 400 million people followed and plus became a global leader, leader all around the world, just from the idea of service. Go out and help somebody, get your get your mind off yourself. Stop. My mentor said, Doug. You got to stop thinking about yourself. You’re so self centered. No, no, I’m not. He goes. Yes, you are. I didn’t know he met you. So you’re always thinking about yourself. Because I was so uncomfortable with myself. He said, You stop worrying about what other people think of you, you realize that they very rarely do. And you can go out and help other people take your mind off you and focus on others. And you’ll start to feel better about yourself and that was true. And then what you do is when you help other people and help them make them feel better about themselves. You feel better. The judgment disappears, the conflict disappears and you become More equable and calmer and more peaceful. And you can’t judge people, if you’re out there trying to help and serve them. A lot of judging others if you stop judging yourself

george grombacher 20:17
Well, Doug, good news, bad news. You’re on the right track, but you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Doug Dane 20:25
I am, I made a decision a while back that I am prepared to die on this hill, I’m gonna die of something anyway. And so I just got locked into what is the wrong that I want to write in the world. And it’s just plain wrong, that people are struggling. It’s wrong that people continue to suffer from the out the effects of trauma and abuse from their childhood or in young adulthood for late adults. But it’s just wrong, that people are feeling so lousy about themselves and the system doesn’t have the answer. You have the answer within you. We don’t have to follow the path, a worn out path that we keep on following. So that’s my mission. Try to make people feel better about themselves so they can do better in their life and help other people do the same.

george grombacher 21:12
Amen. Well, Doug, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they connect? And how can they get a copy of mistaken identity?

Doug Dane 21:23
Yeah, I mean, the easiest way is to go to Doug And you can get access to my book there comes out April 4, you can pre order it now we got a couple of bonuses online if you did do that. And we’re just typing Doug Dean on on the internet and social and you’ll find me there and I’d love to hear from you.

george grombacher 21:44
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, so tuck your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to Doug Do you And check out everything that we’ve been talking about today and get your copy of mistaken identity and start doing the work. Thanks again, Doug. Thanks, George.

Doug Dane 22:07
Appreciate it.

george grombacher 22:08
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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