Justin Stenstrom is a nationally-acclaimed life coach, author, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the Editor-in-Chief of EliteManMagazine.com, the founder of Elite Life Nutrition, and the host of the Elite Man Podcast, where he interviews some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, and high-achieving individuals, including guests like Robert Greene, Grant Cardone, Dr. John Gray, Bas Rutten, Wim Hof, Kevin Harrington, and many others. Once anxious, insecure, depressed, and unhappy, Justin’s overcome many of life’s greatest obstacles and loves nothing more than helping others do the same.
His first book, Elite Mind, shares Justin’s honest battle with anxiety and depression, and the methodical, broad search he did to uncover the tools to free himself from the grips of both of them and live a life he describes as “elite”. What is his story, and what it means to live this way make up the heart of our conversation.
- Justin runs the extremely successful Elite Man Magazine and Podcast and a supplement business.
- He’s also just released his book, Elite Mind, which is about anyone facing struggles they want to overcome, but also who want to stand out, be part of the game and make things happen through self-belief.
- Despite the success he’s found and how sure of himself he is today, people may be surprised to learn that he faced crippling depression and anxiety earlier in his life.
- It was actually because of his struggles that lead to his work on mindset, confidence and dealing with mental illness.
- He had extreme anxiety, panic attacks, faced suicidal thoughts, became a shut in and more.
- As he pulled himself out of that place, he started to push the envelope in terms of not just being free of the anxiety and depression, but actually achieving greater and greater things for himself.
- He described his childhood as very happy, and he felt like a big fish in a small pond until going to a much larger high school and feeling lost.
- Junior year, he skipped class with a classmate to smoke pot. This was his trigger moment.
- Justin tried to look cool, and smoked a lot of it, not knowing that it was laced with PCP (most likely, though he never verified it).
- He started to hallucinate, seeing three of everything, and felt like he was losing his mind.
- That experience was the catalyst for him to go down his anxiety, panic attacks, depression and, after it kept building for weeks, thoughts of suicide.
- He described the situation as the building up of kindling over time, and then that experience with the laced pot was the match that sparked the fire he fell into.
- A few days after the episode, he came clean to his parents, who took him to a doctor who dismissed most of what Justin told him he was feeling, and prescribed an anti-anxiety medication.
- Justin was told to follow up with a psychiatrist, who prescribed many more medications, but didn’t really listen.
- While Justin isn’t against medication in specific cases for specific people, he now knows of so many other modalities at our disposal that we can try, too.
- Being a teenager, he did what the doctor told him, and took the pills.
- His father looked at all the meds, and sat Justin down to talk about trying to do the work instead of just taking pills and not trying to work on things.
- That advice from his father was what Justin needed to look at working on himself and figuring things out himself.
- I asked about the fight in Justin, and he was reminded of how he had been boxing for exercise before this, which instilled a mentality to push through.
- Justin sees anxiety as a sense of something bad happening in the future, and you lingering in that moment rather than the present one.
- Anxiety can only exist when you stay in that moment in the future rather than surrounding to living in this moment right now.
- For him, allowing himself to be in the present moment rather than fighting the anxiety was the key. He lets it pass through him rather than railing against it, which only gives it more power.
- Thinking that there’s something wrong with him, he’s doomed or any other strongly judgmental view of yourself takes your power away, so please recognize that this is normal and ok.
- Going and talking to someone about it is one of the best ways Justin thinks we can deal with it. Have a therapist to help you unpack the areas you are taking anxiety from, you can see them and address them.
- He had a friend who would not talk to someone and felt he was too cool or manly for that, and ended up taking his own life.
- Putting people (or yourself) down for seeing help and calling them a loser is totally wrong. Getting help is winning.
- We talked about the need to find a therapist you click with. Justin had met with four or five before finding the one he really connected with (though some of the others were good, too, but just not as connected as this one).
- He also stressed that the word ‘therapist’ doesn’t have to mean psychiatrist or psychologist. It can be a social worker, counselor, life coach, religious leader, etc.
- We talked about the chapters in Justin’s book that talk about different modalities that can help, and did help him – exercise, therapy, diet and more.
- After he figured out the anxiety and depression, he wanted to do things that fueled and excited him.
- The last section of the book is all about having the unbelievable confidence to be able to do things that might have scared you or breaking through the barriers that have stood in your way.
- You become a new person, an evolved person.
- He talked about a variety of things he did that he didn’t want to or even insisted he would never do, like taking dance classes and riding roller coasters, which he’s now ended up loving after being totally afraid of them.
- Website: EliteManMagazine.com
- Book: Elite Mind
- Facebook: @JustinStenstrom
- Instagram: @justinstenstrom
- Twitter: @JustinStenstrom
Subscribe to The Do a Day Podcast
Keep Growing with Do a Day
- Get Bryan’s best-selling first book, Do a Day, which is the inspiration for this show and can help you overcome your greatest challenges and achieve in life.
- Read Bryan’s best-selling second book, The 50 75 100 Solution: Build Better Relationships, to tap into the power we all have to improve our relationships – even the tough ones we feel have no hope of getting better.
- Get started on your journey to Better with the Big Goal Exercise
- Work with Bryan as your coach, or hire him to speak at your next event