4 Ways to Reduce Stress & Manage an Anxious Mind

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Do you ever feel like you are your own worst critic? So many of us beat ourselves up if we feel like we have failed at something, hurt someone, or just generally weren’t the best version of ourselves. 

I used to be a pro at this. I remember constantly feeling frustrated and struggling to forgive myself and move past things that I wasn’t proud of. But it turns out, forgiving yourself and others is the key to a success mindset. 

The incredible person who taught me this is someone who has changed my life for the better. He has shown me how to develop some key emotional intelligence skills that have brought me success. This extraordinary human is Chris Lee, who has been an amazing coach to me since we met at a leadership workshop. He was a trainer for the workshop, and I remember the experience being some of the most powerful few days of my life.

Chris taught me how to be aware of the anger, resentment, and anxieties that were holding me back, and he showed me how to let them go. He taught me how to be vulnerable and open and how to forgive myself and others. And today, he’s going to teach you how to do the same!

Guys, I am so excited about this conversation with Chris Lee. It can change your life if you let it.  Today, he shared some powerful wisdom about managing your emotions, understanding how to unlock your greatest potential without beating yourself up, letting go of things that don’t really matter, and understanding and recognizing your ego. 

Chris managed to do all of this by giving us five simple steps to handle breakdown, which he defined as an “event or situation that does not line up with your vision.”

By following these five steps, you can discover when you are in breakdown and move past it faster, transcending out of a victim state into a state of abundance where you can take massive action to get the results you want! Ready to learn these five steps? Let’s dive in!

Who Is Chris Lee? 

Chris Lee is a transformational facilitator, coach, and TV personality. He has traveled the world teaching and empowering people, including global business leaders and Hollywood celebrities, to live extraordinary lives. 

Hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Chris has been hard at work for 30 years, leading seminars and workshops for over one million people all around the globe. He has worked with companies such as Dreamworks, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Sony and has collaborated with top Latin IV networks and radio shows.

Chris is not only a transformational speaker and incredible coach—he is also an author! Lee is the author of the bestselling book Transform Your Life: 10 Principles of Abundance and Prosperity. In his book, Chris shares the life-changing principles of abundance and prosperity that he teaches in his workshops.

This guy has so much wisdom to offer, and I am eternally grateful to have him as my coach and friend. 

As I mentioned, Chris shared the five steps that you can use to move forward from breakdown. But before we dive into those steps, it’s important to know exactly what breakdown is and how you can recognize when it’s happening. 

What Is Breakdown?

Have you ever felt like you aren’t being the version of yourself that you want to be, but you don’t want to address it? According to Chris, most people ignore breakdowns. Or, they wait for the breakdown to become so huge that it hinders their daily lives. When this happens, the breakdown becomes much more difficult to deal with. 

So how can you know if you’re in breakdown? Chris mentioned that it’s all about feedback from others, since we often cannot see it happening by ourselves: 

“Feedback lets you know that you’re in breakdown. … So when you step on the scale and you think it’s broken or when you check your savings account or checking account and there’s minus lines instead of plus signs … when you’ve taken more out than you’re putting in — whether it’s your relationship, your body, your finances, or your business — you’re in breakdown.” – Chris Lee 

So whether you are receiving feedback from other people, numbers on the scale, or your bank account statement, you can often see breakdown in observable areas of your life. Oftentimes, we are stubborn and ignore breakdown in those areas of our lives by simply avoiding them. 

This could take form in avoiding relationships. Or maybe it looks like ignoring our families, health, or spirituality. Whatever it is, breakdown prevents us from being successful in certain areas of our life. It stops us in our tracks from achieving our goals, and it shouldn’t be ignored if we want to live a great life. 

Thankfully, there are concrete ways to handle breakdown using emotional intelligence, and Chris divided these ways into five simple steps. The first step? Take responsibility. 

Step #1: Take Responsibility

It’s so easy to blame others for our problems, and we all do it in some capacity. But when we are experiencing breakdown, blaming external factors for our problems is actually going to hurt us rather than help us. That’s why the first step in handling breakdown is to take responsibility for it and refuse to let your ego take the wheel: 

“The first step is to take responsibility and say, ‘You know what? This is my breakdown. It’s not my mom’s, not my wife’s, not the economy’s.’ … You’ve got to evaluate, first of all, yourself because what we tend to do is when the result is not happening is point fingers. We become a victim of the economy, a victim of our partners. … Very rarely do we go, ‘Wait a minute, let me take a look and see how I’m accountable for this.’” – Chris Lee 

Taking responsibility for your breakdown pulls you out of victim mode and gives you the chance to create change. For example, let’s consider a situation where you are experiencing breakdown in a relationship because you continuously failed to follow through with your promises to your partner. 

Instead of blaming your partner or something else, take full responsibility for your actions and apologize for them. Acknowledge the breakdown fully, and see it as an opportunity for growth instead of a place to get stuck: 

“The breakdown can turn into a blessing when you take responsibility for it. So the first step is to acknowledge it in a positive way. … Victims, when there’s a breakdown, get mad. They blame, don’t acknowledge it, sweep it under the rug, beat themselves up, … but that gets them nothing but another breakdown.” – Chris Lee 

You can either remain in victim mode, or you can take responsibility for the breakdown and move to Step #2, which is to identify the problem

#2: Identify the Problem 

So you’ve taken responsibility for your breakdown and acknowledged it in a positive way. Now, it’s time to figure out what caused the breakdown in the first place! Identify what was missing from your life that caused the problem: 

“It’s about you looking at how you’re showing up and how you’re being that interfered in the result that you wanted. … So [for example,] I promised to sell 10,000 and I sold 1,000. Okay. I got it. I acknowledge it. Now what was missing for me? It’s not about the client. It’s not about the economy. It’s not about your boss. It’s not about the resources or the material that you have to sell with. It’s about you looking at how you’re showing up and how you’re being that interfered in the result that you wanted.” – Chris Lee

If you promised yourself that you would lose ten pounds and you gained 20, think about what was missing. Were you missing a vision of what you wanted to look like? Or maybe you didn’t have a gameplan to lose the weight. Perhaps you just didn’t do enough cardio. 

Whatever it is, identifying the reason behind the breakdown is the next critical step to being about to overcome it. Chris said it perfectly: 

“Identify from a responsible standpoint versus being a victim of the breakdown.” – Chris Lee 

So after you have held yourself responsible for the breakdown and identified the reason behind it, you’re ready for Step #3, which is all about letting go

#3: Forgive Yourself and Others 

I’ve achieved success, accomplishments, and money in my life so far. But for years, my success was driven by anger, ego and resentment. There would be big highs, but then there would be lows that were just as deep. And those lows of pain, insecurities, frustration, and loneliness were often caused by the fact that I would not forgive myself and others:

“Sometimes we have breakdown because of other people … but we need to forgive because if you don’t forgive yourself and don’t forgive other people, you will never be successful because regardless of the result, you have resentment that will not allow you to enjoy it.” – Chris Lee 

Think of all the people who are billionaires but are still resentful and unhappy! Chris noted that they end up being unable to enjoy their success because they don’t forgive. As long as you remain angry at yourself or others, your breakdown will continue to sabotage your life. 

So how do you start forgiving? I know this is much easier said than done, and many of us carry blame towards ourselves or others that we cannot seem to get rid of. If you find yourself in this place, Chris had some incredible advice for you: 

“Forgiveness is a choice that you make every day. … Everybody has a right to change and a right to transform. So you do not need to be defined by your mistakes. You do not need to be defined by your past. And so if you make a clean break and choose today to forgive yourself, it’s something that you get to do every day. … Being mad at yourself is a waste of energy because you’re the only one that can resolve it, and you can resolve it being mad, or you can resolve it by loving and accepting yourself.” – Chris Lee 

Now, as opposed to coming from a place of anger, ego, and resentment like I used to, I approach breakdown from a place of love and a desire to leave a legacy. Then, once I have forgiven myself and others, I can start to look towards the future and make a new commitment to myself, which is what Step #4 is all about! 

#4: Visualize Your Commitment 

After you have taken responsibility for the breakdown, identified the reason behind it, and forgiven yourself and others, it’s time to make a new commitment to yourself, whether it is to your body, your business, your relationship, or any other aspect of your life that you need to improve. One of the best ways to do this is through visualization. 

Take some time to close your eyes and imagine your goal in your mind. What do you see? Maybe you see yourself achieving the relationship that you dreamed of or celebrating success in your business with your friends and family. What does that sound like, look like, and feel like? Really take the time to visualize it: 

“I recommend that you actually do this every single day. Take five to ten minutes to just envision and visualize the life that you’re headed towards and the life that you want. If you’ve got the power to imagine it, you’ve got the power to create it. And I think that we don’t take enough time to focus in detail. …  The clearer you the vision that you want in your head, the easier it is to pay the prices to get there.” – Chris Lee 

Guys, it might feel ridiculous at first, but I promise you — visualization is so important to making a dream turn into a reality. It gives you clarity about what you are chasing, making it easier for you to make the choices needed to get to your goals. 

But visualization is obviously still only half the battle. You need a plan of action in order to get your dreams out of your head and into your reality. That brings us to Step #5  —  the final step of overcoming breakdown. 

#5: Create a Plan of Action 

If you know me, you know that I talk a lot about taking massive action. It’s essential to have a vision and know why you are doing anything, but you also have to actually put those visions into action to transform fantasy to reality. 

Chris mentioned that a great way to do this is to surround yourself with people who will help you achieve your goals: 

“It is very important to create a plan of action — to surround yourself with people [who] will support your action. If you want to lose weight, you can’t surround yourself with people [who] don’t care. If you want to be healthy, you can’t surround yourself with people [who] go out and party every night. … If you want to be in a committed marriage, you surround yourself with people [who] are in committed marriages.” – Chris Lee

If you want to create a successful business, you don’t surround yourself with financially irresponsible business partners, right? It’s the same with everything else that you want to commit to in your life. You have to surround yourself with people who will help you take massive action. 

Chris calls this a “buddy system.” Find someone who has the same goal as you, and keep each other accountable for taking action to reach that goal. It’s so much easier than trying to do it all on your own, and you can make great relationships in the process!

Why You Should Listen to This Chris Lee Podcast Episode Right Now…

Chris Lee is an incredible mentor and friend, and he has helped me and so many others find peace and gain lifelong emotional intelligence skills! I am so grateful that he took the time to share his wisdom with us today on The School of Greatness. 

He also shared more wisdom about how to enroll others in our vision, how to look inward to discover things about ourselves, and so much more, so be sure to go listen to the rest of the episode! I asked Chris what his definition of greatness was, and his answer was beautiful: 

“My definition of greatness is having my life and my actions and my results line up with my vision.” – Chris Less

I love that. What an incredible reminder to take massive action and stay consistent with your vision to get the results you desire. I hope this episode was helpful for you wherever you’re at in life right now. My challenge for you is to think about these questions: What are some areas in your life that aren’t serving you? What is holding you back from getting everything you want on all domains? Where are you in breakdown? 

When you find the areas of your life that are in breakdown, you can use the five steps from Chris to turn that breakdown into a weapon of success. And if you need any help along the way, you can connect with Chris over on his Twitter or Facebook! He is happy to answer any of your questions. And be sure to share your greatest takeaways from this episode by tagging Chris, @chrisleemotivator, and me @lewishowes, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode!   

Until next time — remember to visualize your dreams and take massive action to turn them into reality!  

To Greatness,

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The School of Greatness Podcast

Chris Lee on the School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes

“Whatever you resist, persists” – Chris Lee

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Lessons from 27 Years of Emotional Intelligence Training
  • The 97% of What Stops People From Achieving Their Goals
  • The Role of Coaches in Emotional Intelligence
  • How to Elevate your Way of BEING
  • The Key Ingredients to Transformation
  • Important Lessons about the Law of Attraction
  • The Important Process to Creating Extraordinary Results
  • The Secret Weapon when Approaching Failure
  • Steps to Overcoming Breakdowns:
  1. Acknowledging the Breakdown
  2. Take Responsibility and Identify the Missing Link
  3. Forgive Yourself
  • How Forgiveness Works
  • Why Enrollment is Essential to Leadership and How to Cultivate it
  1. Be Inspired
  2. Create Intention
  3. Cultivate the Relationship
  4. Generate the Vision
  5. Make the Offer
  6. Call to Action
  7. Follow Up
  • Plus much more…

“If you don’t forgive yourself and you don’t forgive other people; you will never be successful.” – Chris Lee

Continue Seeking Greatness:

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