Changing the Narrative and Rewiring Your Brain with Johnny Elsassar

Happy Friday feels, Tribe! How have your thoughts been this week? What have you been saying to yourself? What stories have you told yourself? Have you stopped once to reflect on what you were thinking about this week?

It’s okay if you didn’t. Most of us weren’t taught to think about what we’re thinking or question our thoughts. But the longer I’ve been in the self-development and business space, I’ve realized that I can create my reality — my feelings, environment, relationships, and income — by recognizing and intentionally choosing my thoughts. 

Let’s be real for a second. I’m not suggesting some get-rich-quick scheme. Thought work is HARD work. But it’s work that pays off BIG time. If you’re ready to shift your reality by shifting your thinking, you're gonna love today's message!

One of my favorite humans is joining us to discuss mindset practices that you can implement today to attract abundance and rediscover your purpose. We're also going to talk about blockers that might prevent you from manifesting your dreams, and some of the latest genetic discoveries about creating our reality with the way we think.

This epic human is Johnny Elsasser, former Army Ranger, husband to one of my best friends, and fellow podcaster. I call him JohnnyCakes because the first time we met, that’s what popped into my mind. I know it's not super professional, but we had such an incredible connection from the moment we met that he literally feels like a brother from another mother. Anyways, I know you’re going to love what he has to say, so I’ll stop talking and let you get to the good stuff! 

Who Is Johnny Elsasser?

Johnny is the founder and facilitator of the Art of Masculinity — a podcast and online course helping men own their masculinity in a way that honors them and not the societal norms and expectations placed on them. As an Army Ranger who served four combat tours between Iraq and Afghanistan and protected the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq for five years, Johnny knows firsthand what rugged masculinity entails. 

After returning to the U.S. and civilian life, Johnny lost his sense of purpose, which led to depression, loneliness, and eventually divorce. During this season, he realized there was more to masculinity than being an alpha male who could give orders and navigate a battlefield. As he recovered his sense of purpose, he started a podcast to shed light on how alpha men struggle and what is possible when they are open to growing together.

Since then, he has been featured in podcasts such as Tuff Love, Destined to Be, and Think Yourself Healthy, sharing his message about building a strong foundation in authentic masculinity.

I have been SO inspired by Johnny and his drive to help others step into their true power, rework how their brains function, and completely transform their reality with inner work, accountability, and mentorship. What he shares today is no exception. If you are having trouble getting to the next level of yourself or your business, this episode will give you the tools to get out of that rut and step into your power. Let’s go!

Why You Need To Ask for Help If You Want to Be Limitless

Raise your hand if you like asking for help? You didn’t raise your hand, did you? That’s what I thought. Of course, you didn’t. I kind of half-way raised mine because if I’m being fully human, I don’t like to ask for help either. However, since being in the self-development space, I’ve learned that people are often happy to help me, and I frequently witness my life and business explode to new levels as a result. So, I’m better at asking for help than I was, but that doesn’t mean I love it. I just see the value in it.

That got me thinking, “Why is asking for help so hard?” If most of the time, the people who love us are willing to help, and we experience incredible growth and breakthrough when we ask for help from mentors, why do we hate it so much? Johnny’s immediate response was that it makes us feel weak and less than.

“It's a sign of weakness. Especially when you have an overly masculine personality, or if you're alpha. Obviously [for] the alpha women out there who are boss ladies, it's a sign of weakness. And men don't like to ask for support because that's saying that either ‘I'm less than you because now I no longer can do it on my own.’ Or it's admitting that somebody else is more masculine than them. ... we're taught [asking for help is] emasculating. We're taught that if we can't do it on our own, we're not good enough to be the alpha male.” - Johnny Elsasser

I fall into the alpha female category and can confidently say that asking for help makes me feel not enough. But here’s the thing: feeling inadequate when we need to ask for help is a preconditioned belief. Johnny said that if asking for help makes us feel sick to our stomachs, it's the result of years of evolutionary processes telling us that asking for help is wrong. 

No one wants to be weak. But we all need help. It’s called being human! We don’t know what we don’t know. And sometimes life throws us a curveball, and there aren’t enough hours in a day to handle alone. 

We're tribal humans. We need to learn from one another, and we need support from each other. And in reality, there's nothing wrong with asking for help. But because of years of being wired to NOT ask for help, we have to stick our necks out there and do the asking, sick-stomach feelings and all. 

In other words, you’ve got to leap! Ask for help, discover that it’s not as disempowering as your brain is telling you, and begin to rewrite a new narrative that says, “Asking for help allows me to unlock the best version of myself, my life, and my business.”

Why You’re Reading All the Books and Nothing Is Changing

As children, our brains are like sponges, absorbing the actions and responses of those around us as a blueprint for our behavior and, eventually, life. This is important to understand because our brains are designed for automation — which means, as adults, we are engaging with the world from a perspective that was ingrained in us when we were kids. Johnny explained that if you really want to change your life, you need to bypass your prefrontal cortex, also known as your conscious thinking brain. 

“Cognitively, your subconscious is a million times more powerful than your prefrontal cortex, [also referred to as] your consciousness. Your conscious brain can understand 40 different thoughts at one time. Your subconscious can understand 40 million. There are actual proven studies that they've done on this. If the subconscious has that power on us … we have to bypass that prefrontal cortex. We have to get back there, find out what is serving us, and what is not. Then we have to rewire that.” - Johnny Elsasser 

If you’re trying to get to the next level of yourself — reading all the books doing all the things — and still not seeing results, chances are while you’re seeking out the right information, but you’re not repatterning your subconscious. So, even though you know how to do better, you’re not because your subconscious automated brain kicks in. Here’s how Johnny explained it:

“If you're blocked in your business, if you're blocked in receiving money, if you're blocked in relationships, there is pre-wiring and programming in your subconscious. And if you can't address it, if you can't get back there and figure out what that wiring is, and figure out a different way to connect a new synaptic, hard wiring, you're gonna fail to actually get past that block. And then you're going to wonder why you read all the books, and you're going to wonder why you list all the podcasts and nothing changes.” - Johnny Elsasser

Take a second and think about how many things you do without thinking about it:

  • Brush your teeth in the morning
  • Scroll Instagram whenever you're bored or stressed
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re making dinner

That's how powerful your automatic brain is. You do all those things and MORE without thinking. So, if you’re stuck in the boat of reading the books and not seeing results, know that there's nothing wrong with you. Your automatic brain is just so powerful that gathering new information doesn’t change its patterns. For change to happen, you have to take time to intentionally think differently and do things differently. 

Yes, there’s reading involved. Yes, there’s learning involved. But there’s a whole lot of “I’m gonna do ____ instead of _____” involved. If you’re ready to get past the limiting beliefs that hold you back, keep reading because we’re about to get into the “do this differently” part of today’s message!  

Affirmations: The Secret to Empowered and Abundant Living

So to sum up: if you’re not experiencing the next level of abundance you think you deserve, it’s probably because of limiting beliefs and pre-programmed behavior. But what Johnny and I both want you to know is that you are not a victim to external circumstances or the 95-99% of your thoughts and actions that are automated. You still have everything you need to be the hero of your own story! 

I know because I was programmed for debt and absolutely no financial success. If I had lived on auto-pilot, that’s exactly that’s where I would be. But here we are. I’m debt-free and running a multiple six-figure business that positively impacts others' lives and brings me joy daily!

Once you understand that you are in control of your thoughts and your subconscious, the next thing you need to do is identify an area of your life you want to focus on changing. In that area, ask yourself: How did my family handle this? What did I see modeled for me? What do I say to myself when I experience these situations?

After you’ve observed your own pre-programmed automation, the next step is to change it. Johnny explained this scientifically as creating different synaptic responses in your brain. Basically, you’re building a bridge in your mind. The more you spark that synaptic connection (aka, cross that bridge and think that thought), the more the new thought becomes hardwired into your brain. This is why affirmations are so powerful: 

“Affirmations work because they're setting a different synaptic connection. ... If you don't change the story [you’re telling yourself], nothing will change. But you have to hardwire your subconscious because that's controlling [your thoughts]. The more you tell yourself, ‘I am abundant ... I'm going to crush this. ... I’m a badass entrepreneur.’ Guess what your automation becomes? Abundance — manifesting everything that you want. And that is where we need to get to because [that’s where] all our power is.” - Johny Elsasser

If you’ve ever shrugged off affirmations as too woo-woo, or you’ve had a friend who thought they were weird, now you have the science that backs them up. My husband and I LOVE affirmations and have experienced firsthand the power and abundance that comes as you leverage them to recreate new neural pathways. 

Most thoughts that frequently and easily come to you have their own neurological pathway. That’s why they come so quickly and easily. They’ve been thought a million times, you’ve seen life support them, and you’ve walked through experiences that made them true for you. So whatever you frequently struggle with — fear, financial stress, inability to lose weight, cyclical, unhealthy relationships — you can change by making a stronger neurological pathway in your mind. 

As you intentionally choose your thoughts and the stories you tell yourself, you’ll rewrite your subconscious mind. Gradually, your brain will begin to work in a whole new way! Your automation — the things you do and say on auto-pilot without ever thinking about it — will support who you want to be and everything you want to have in life. How crazy and incredible is that?!

Why You Need to Listen to This Johnny Elsasser Podcast Episode Right Now...

Tribe, this is what I want you to take away from today’s message: You are powerful. You are powerful because your thoughts are powerful, and you are the one who has control of them.

Your thoughts can keep you stuck and hold you back from everything you’ve ever wanted, but your thoughts can also be your roadmap to manifesting all the abundance you could dream of. You control both of those outcomes. It’s up to you to think about what you're thinking about, intentionally choose your thoughts, and change your actions to align with the new story you’re telling yourself. 

It is my greatest hope that you take hold of the power inside you today by taking to heart and putting to action what Johnny shared with us. If you do, I know you will experience incredible life-changing results!

You can find Johnny and his epic content on Instagram and his podcast, The Art of Masculinity. He is also about to launch an eight-week course helping men create healthy habits, deal with negative self-talk, and rewire their brains to a life based around who they choose to be and not others' expectations. Ladies, do your husbands and favor and make sure you put their email address on the waitlist for that course. Just do it!

As always, if this content impacted you, pass the link along to a friend, or share a screenshot on social media. Don’t forget to tag me @thejennkennedy and Johnny @johnny.elsasser.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend and start recognizing your thoughts as what they are — something you control! I can’t wait to chat with you again next week!!

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