Jason Connell is a writer, speaker, and former magician. Over the past decade, he’s helped thousands of people develop authentic confidence, self-compassion, self-love, and new levels of personal integrity. He has worked with many high profile clients, including fortune 500 executives, professional athletes, artists, and entertainers, and senior White House officials in the Bush and Obama administrations. Jason is also the founder of Ignited Leadership, a human service organization that holds training and speaking events to help today’s young adults become tomorrow’s visionary leaders.
In this interview, Jason starts by discussing his background and the work that he does. He describes a difficult time in his personal life that changed his perspective. He explains why success does not necessarily lead to happiness, and that what really matters is our relationship to ourselves. We then ask Jason why opening up is such a vital part of building stronger connections. He explains how to reveal your true self in a slow and controlled way. He also emphasizes the importance of allowing yourself to feel pain.
Chris and Jason talk about dealing with trauma and how it affects us. Jason points out the cultural elements working against us, including the desire to be happy 24/7, and our tendency to isolate ourselves when we're suffering. Jason then describes what it means to be authentically confident. He dispels common assumptions about confidence, and offers advice on how to cultivate it. Jason also talks about accepting yourself, acknowledging discomfort, and facing your fears. He explains why "fake it until you make it" is an ineffective strategy that sends a toxic message to ourselves.
Next, we ask Jason how people can allow their excitement and passion to overwhelm their fears. He describes the mechanical approach and the spiritual or emotional approach. Jason talks about the role of acceptance and forgiveness in the process of healing from emotional pain. He then discusses why self-compassion and self-love matter. Jason describes how to improve our relationship with ourselves. He explains how to take action to motivate our feelings, and improve our internal dialogue.
Jason discusses why suppression is harmful, and how to recognize if we're suppressing something. We then ask Jason what personal integrity entails, and how people can live with more integrity. He explains how most of us live two different lives: our dreams and desires, versus our actions. He provides some examples on how to close the gap between our inner and outer worlds. Jason also describes how the tension between external behavior and authenticity inspires internal change.
Chris and Jason talk about how different tools are appropriate for different times, and emphasize the importance of not comparing ourselves to others. Jason recommends pausing to reflect on and celebrate our progress. We then ask him n for advice on getting through difficult times and using suffering to our advantage. He distinguishes between two types of pain: grief due to a death or loss, versus pain due to something that was our fault, and offers strategies for dealing with both.
Jason talks about letting go of pain in order to step into something new. He reveals the ritual that he uses when closing out a phase of his life, in order to foster a sense of closure and rebirth. Finally, we ask Jason how people can become better leaders, live with more purpose and meaning, and make a bigger impact. He discusses how doing things for others naturally enhances our leadership abilities and improves many other aspects of our lives.
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