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Episode #84: How to Face Your Inner Struggles to Rebuild a Better Life

Tips to Rebuild a Better Life

Teena Evert (00:05): You're listening to The Confident Careerist Podcast, providing inspiration and guidance for career-minded professionals who want to break free from their limitations and step into a life of more personal power, positivity, and prosperity.

Teena Evert (00:29): Welcome back to The Confident Careerist Podcast. Today, I have a very special guest. His name is Nate Rifkin and Nate Rifkin was suicidal and drank alcohol every morning to get through the day. He dropped out of college. He went broke, bankrupt, and even worked on street corners, waving around a sign. Nate has prospered by combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living. As a spiritual explorer, he dedicates himself to the Daoist mystical tradition. As a leader in the field of business, he has written marketing campaigns that have generated tens of millions of dollars in sales. Nate currently lives in Golden, Colorado with his lovely wife and he publishes articles on his website Naterifkin.com. Nate, I am so excited to have you on The Confident Careerist Podcast today. Thank you for being here.

Nate Rifkin (01:28): Thank you. I'm honored Teena - I just, I just hope I can share some strategies that can help your listeners transform their careers.

Teena Evert (01:36): I'm, I'm sure you can. So Nate you know, your life has not been easy and quite frankly, you have experienced a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, and you've found a way to dig deep and revive your career and transform your mind from an enemy into an ally. You shifted out of the depths of despair by elevating your life and career to levels of success that you never dreamed possible. And this inspires me so much because like you, I've had my share of inner struggles that resulted in years of self-sabotage, self-doubt and self-abandonment, and it was through my healing journey that I discovered that success and happiness was about developing critical life skills, probably more so than all the essential career skills that we need to develop to accelerate or to advance our career. And so I'm really looking forward to learning about your journey. And I know our listeners are leaning in as well. I want to start with the present. What are you up to in your life right now?

Nate Rifkin (02:53): Oh gosh. Well, thank you. Yeah, I'm up to a lot of things. I'm working on book number two, so actually right before our conversation, I was adding some notes to the outline there.

Teena Evert (03:05): Awesome.

Nate Rifkin (03:05): Yeah. Yeah. And, and that's, that's sort of the long longterm project and more shorter term, I, I'm also a writer in the advertising field as a copywriter. So, you know, I work in the health field and I I'm self-employed and choose my own hours. And you know, my, my big, my biggest client is actually on the other side of the country, but I get to, I get to write here from my office in Golden.

Teena Evert (03:34): That's great. And what do you like to do for fun when you're not working?

Nate Rifkin (03:39): I am a strange guy, so here's what I'd like to, I'm just putting it out there. My both me and actually my wife too, we're actually studying to become and training to become Daoist priests and both get our doctorate in Chinese Energetic Medicine. So our fun consists of studying and training for that. But, you know, when I'm taking a break from that, I also absolutely love walking around the foothills here in Colorado and hanging out with some of my friends who are also self-employed and business owners.

Teena Evert (04:11): Yeah. Wonderful. Well, it's a beautiful place to live and I, can I get that, when you are passionate about something, it is fun, captures your attention for hours at a time. And so I, I, I appreciate that. And good for you. It must be fun to have something to share so intimate with your wife, you know, something, something that's, I guess so expansive.

Nate Rifkin (04:36): Yeah. In fact, I, you know, we it's such a, kind of a rock in our relationship, well I guess a pillar would be a better word that yeah, we, we, when we first met, you know the short version is, I don't know if we'd beat together today without this kind of training and stuff. So like you said, in your introduction to the inner, the inner work you do is just essential.

Teena Evert (05:02): I am curious, at some point, you recognized because you woke up at some, at some level that there was a gap and where you were in your life and where you wanted to go and you bridged this gap somehow. And I think that was part of the practices that you've learned. I'm curious to just learn more about your, your journey. I think a lot of myself included, a lot of listeners, a lot of the people that I work with, they're not immune to inner struggles, and everybody has a different level of that and different tolerance of that different, you know, histories of all kinds of variables. But what I find fascinating is how we are able to overcome, or, you know, not let those inner struggles keep us in that place of despair, keep us playing small, keep us stuck and all those self-destructive ways of living.

Teena Evert (05:57): That's why I say that the life skills that I learned were more important actually had to come first before I could learn how to develop the career skills, because the career skills, like let's say, interviewing or negotiating, right. Or public speaking, I couldn't do any of that if I was beating myself up inside. If I was my own worst enemy, then I couldn't deal with any negative criticism from outside. So I had to get really strong on the inside. So I would love to hear a bit about your, your journey, whatever you feel comfortable sharing so that we can put it in context a little bit.

Nate Rifkin (06:33): Definitely. Yeah. Let me, let me set the stage as it were. So I mean, I, the, the really quick version is I come from a kind of a dysfunctional family. And I grew up as a depressed, angry kid, teenager all through high school. I did go to college for three semesters and I was so miserable that I started thinking to myself, you know, what, what the heck do I really want to do with my life? I, it's kind of interesting because in preparation for our conversation, I was remembering how, I don't know if you did this, but back in high school, they had those thick phone book sized, like Princeton review, like career guides.

Teena Evert (07:18): Oh my gosh, yes!

Nate Rifkin (07:18): Remember those? For, for the, yeah, for any youngsters listening to this, we had these things called, you know, books called the Princeton review, and this is before like, the Internet. Well, I mean, there was the Internet, but I mean, I'd be paging through it.

Nate Rifkin (07:32): There was like police officer, fireman, lawyer. Very useful. Yeah. Right. So the only, the, the only ones actually really jumped out to me were related to being an entrepreneur or business owner. And I didn't know how it's going to do it, but that kind of spoke to me. So I went to college and I studied Exercise Science. You know, people would joke with me. He was like, well, you're going to be like a gym teacher or something. And these people don't get, it's like personal training is huge and it's growing and it still is today. This was like 15, 16 years ago. And, but after, after three semesters of college, or even, even sooner than that, I started thinking, you know, if I'm going to be an entrepreneur or business owner or something like that, or even self-employed, is anyone going to like grab me and be like, Hey, show me your degree from UMass Amherst, which is where I was going.

Nate Rifkin (08:28): I doubted that. So I dropped out and I said goodbye to nobody. I doubt anyone even noticed I was gone. And I moved to Boulder and I started up my own internet based business. And I had a talent for writing and marketing and placing ads and in building out that side of the business. But I had no, like you're saying, the inner work, I was really, really lacking in and I had no fundamentals. So I got more and more depressed because I started going deeper and deeper into debt. And I was just a lonely guy. I just, I hated myself. I thought I was a loser. And the interesting part is I was actually doing a lot of typical kind of superficial self-help stuff. I was setting goals; I was visualizing my success; I was even doing some affirmations; I had the vision board when, on the rare occasion people came over. I, I hid the vision board because it was kind of a bad, I was embarrassed by it.

Teena Evert (09:35): The law of attraction.

Nate Rifkin (09:37): Yeah, it was yeah, I was, I was, I was so excited when I bought the glue stick and cut out stuff I want to know, anyway. So I started drinking alcohol every morning just to get through the day because I just, I just felt like I needed that to feel good. And I was deeper and deeper into debt. I was just like, maxing out this credit card over here and maxing out the other one over here. And that was the, that was the low sort of trench into my life. Eventually though, I had a, I had a teacher of mine that was teaching the marketing and the business side of things. And he was into a spiritual tradition called Daoism. And he was very much into his inner life and meditating. So he started teaching meditations, and I was interested in this because one, nothing else had really worked for me.

Teena Evert (10:32): Yup.

Nate Rifkin (10:35): Two, there was just something that appealed to me about this idea. It's like, oh, there's these people from the other side of the planet for thousands of years, they've been meditating on mountaintops and caves and became enlightened. I was like, Ooh, that's cool.

Nate Rifkin (10:48): I mean, you know, and I think it was, I didn't get it at the time, but there was something to the idea that, you know, when you're in a rough spot, if someone comes along and says, you know, you should do this like really simple, like boring discipline that'll really turn your inner life around. It's like, no we're, we're attracted to the exotic stuff. It's just how we operate as humans. So fortunately, that kinda got me hooked. So I started meditating every day and I started with just 60 seconds, by the way. And I added five seconds per day. I kind of, I didn't get at the time, but I was kind of falling backwards into a really great way to build a habit. And I noticed over time, as I felt better and better about myself inwardly, I actually started craving the alcohol less until one day I just stopped. You could say cold Turkey because I, I just didn't feel any better drinking in the morning compared to not. So from there, people are like, man, you know, there's something different about you. And that was the beginning of my like inner turnaround. There there's plenty of more like career things I had to do because my outwardly, my life was still a train wreck, but, but I inwardly, I was feeling good during the wreck.

Teena Evert (12:15): This episode of The Confident Careerist Podcast is sponsored by Claim the Lead, a career development company that works with students and professionals at all levels and stages of their careers. What makes this company unique is that they approach career development, holistically. Claim the Lead provides a transformational process, relevant strategies and a game plan to ensure that you have what you need to be confident in your future. Get the professional help you need to build a career and create a life that you love by visiting Teenaevert.com.

Nate Rifkin (12:48): And I think, I think that's key the the openness, you know, feeling ready and being open which is, which was something for the, my, the first like few years I, I was not, I was very closed off. And so I think that's a, it's sort of a good sort of sort of opposition to like, look at us like the being in a great environment, being closed versus being open to it. It makes all the difference.

Teena Evert (13:15): Absolutely. When we are scared or just really stuck in our stuff, we get tunnel vision.

Nate Rifkin (13:25): Yeah. It's yeah. It's all part of the fight, flight or freeze response. It's, it's, it's your, body's trying to help you. It's like, no, you, you need tunnel vision because you're going to die. But you know, there's a disconnect because the key to actually our us thriving is to be in that creative space where, where you, where we're not fearing for our lives. Yeah.

Teena Evert (13:45): Yeah, yeah. And I remember my healing journey, I was very, very disconnected from my body and my feelings, everything was disconnected and being in nature, woke me up. And then I had to learn how to be in my body. And that took me on a whole another journey into studying Somatic Psychology when I got my master's degree. So I think that we can probably relate in terms of the work that you discovered, because it helped you unwind perhaps a lot of the fear and the fight or flight that you were operating on for, for most of your life.

Nate Rifkin (14:27): Oh, for sure.

Teena Evert (14:27): Yeah. That led you to the bottle.

Nate Rifkin (14:30): Yeah, and for sure. And, and the, and the meditations I do, it's a great, the thing I love about Daoist, it's, it's a very body-based discipline. So I wasn't necessarily comfortably sitting on a cushion, just getting lost in my thoughts or trying to shut them off. There's a, there's a huge emphasis on breathing deep into your belly, relaxing your muscles and, and in my case, I doing this in a standing posture. So it's, it's very much about being in your body and feeling like you've like you've never felt before in the present moment.

Teena Evert (15:02): Well, the perfect title of your book is Standing Meditation. Wow. Now I want to go back to something. How, how did you discover your unique gifts, your talents, copywriting marketing. How did you arrive at that?

Nate Rifkin (15:20): You know, I I've always been a writer as long as I could remember and probably the simplest shortcut I found to really figuring that out was that people would tell me, oh, wow, you're you know, you're, you've got something here you're pretty good at this. And my immediate reaction was to be confused because I would think to myself, well, isn't this something everyone does? Or isn't this something everyone can do. So, I mean, and so that's, that's why I'm always on the lookout because it's tough for us to see our own talents. Cause we're, we're so biased. So I always try and look out for something where I do it. It's no big deal, but other people tell me, wait, that's a big deal. That's, that's how I know it's a talent. Yeah.

Teena Evert (16:08): Yeah. And it's something you also enjoy.

Nate Rifkin (16:11): Yeah. It's something I enjoy actually and in fact it reminds me of I forget who said this originally, maybe it can't be attributed, but the quote goes, a writer is someone who can't not write. And I think, I think you could replace writer with just about anything there. So it's, you know, if someone has a creative endeavor or just something that could be made lucrative where they can't not do it, that's I think that's a gold mine.

Teena Evert (16:41): Yeah, for sure. Now what were some of the skills that you actually had to develop to become a successful business person? I think of skills as, you know, things that maybe, maybe some of it comes natural, but we had to seek out mentors' resources. We had to, we had to work at it to develop it just like your Standing Meditation.

Nate Rifkin (17:05): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, there's so many, but you know, what comes to mind to answer your question is, I was thinking, which are the ones that I really struggled the most with developing that were the most crucial, like the most counter-intuitive ones. One of the biggest ones was the insight to start digging, digging a well, long before I actually needed to siphon water from that well. So what I mean by that is one of my biggest downfalls when I was first starting my business was that I really did not push myself to meet fellow business owners and fellow self-employed people. And years later, we're talking 5 to 10 years later, I look back and I realized that that, that was, that was one of my biggest mistakes. It was one of my biggest downfalls because right when I could have used a grid, a network of great relationships was the, the moment that where I needed that was when it was too late to build one.

Nate Rifkin (18:13): Now, now too late in that moment, of course I learned from my mistake and now I have a bias where I'm always not always, but I'm, I'm frequently willing to sit down and have a coffee with someone, and this was before the lockdowns. But now that those are lifting, I'm going back to the habit where there's no immediate like, oh, I can measure this payoff or the, you know, I'm going to get this, I'm going to give this an exchange for it. No, no, no. I think in terms of you know, planting, planting seeds, where there can be a mutual benefit later. So that was, and that's, I mean, that's a great light way to go through life, but for the entrepreneur, the business owner, or just someone who's very career minded,

Teena Evert (19:05): This episode of the Confident Careerist Podcast is sponsored by Claim the Lead, a career development company that works with students and professionals at all levels and stages of their careers. Choosing the best career path for you and navigating change requires a clear understanding of yourself and what makes you unique. It requires developing critical life skills to flourish through difficult times and essential career skills to accelerate your success. Get the professional help you need to build a career and create a life that you love by visiting Teenaevert.com.

Nate Rifkin (19:40): All you have to do is look back on your previous 5 years, your previous 10 years, how did building a well early on in terms of relationships end up being some of my biggest necessary breakthroughs later. And I think if anyone does that, they'll be shocked. So they, oh wow. I was hugely underestimating that impact.

Teena Evert (20:05): Hmm. That is a great point and that's been coming up a lot in my conversations over the past week, actually. The idea of how important it is to build relationships, call it networking. Sometimes people think of networking as transactional, but planting those seeds and not going it alone. And if you were raised without a lot of guidance and a lot of pain and, you know, lack of psychological safety, you probably learned to do a lot of things on your own, but to be successful in your career, whether you work for a company or on your own, those relationships, that network is super important. And it's also going to being, going back to being open and ready. You never know when the next opportunity is going to come your way and it's going to come from your community.

Nate Rifkin (20:58): Yeah. Yeah. And I'm glad, I'm really glad you brought up the, the, the really the X factor in this is that people who go through rough times and earlier in their life, they do develop this armor like self-sufficiency that it it's tricky because you think, well, it's a good thing because there's so many people out there who don't even develop this kind of mental toughness and self-sufficiency. But my, my teachers like to say, they give this metaphor, think, think of yourself as in like a race, like a triathlon. But one where there's like the, it starts where you have to cross water and you're allowed to like wear flippers and the flippers stuck to your feet. They help you traverse the water faster, but then once you get to the other side of the, of the lake, you have to climb up about. Now, those flippers were amazingly helpful to get you across the lake.

Nate Rifkin (21:56): But as soon as you hit that mountain, you'd better be kicking those flippers off. So as useful as like the, the idea of going it alone and, and just kind of being guarded and mentally tough, and self-sufficient, as useful as that is, you have to first recognize, it's like, okay, I am entering a different phase of my life right now, so I can let that go. And, and the way that I let it go was to combine that insight with a daily discipline of going inward and meditating, because that way you can start to unpack the layers of emotional armoring that you've had.

Teena Evert (22:31): Yeah. And you can allow that defense mechanism that kept you safe and allowed you to survive, to break down. Yeah. And I'm sure there's times when that will serve you when you bump up against obstacles, you know, in your future, but you'll know you can turn it off when you don't need it. And it's not always operating unconsciously. I think one of my innate gifts, as I am always wanting to learn, I'm always curious and creative and I can't turn that off. If I woke up one morning and I couldn't be curious or creative or keep learning, it would be like, there was no oxygen to breathe.

Nate Rifkin (23:11): Yeah, yeah, you can't, you can't not do it.

Teena Evert (23:13): Yeah. And I also had to embrace that, you know, life, I had this mental block thinking that life always had to be hard. Like everything has to be hard and it doesn't have to be hard. It, I had to change my relationship with that word in my vocabulary that, you know, maybe I have to work at something and be intentional and purposeful so that I can master it, or so it serves me well and allows me to live a better life, but things don't have to be hard. I don't always have choose the hardest path that you were your younger self. And if you could have received one piece of critical advice or inspiration, you are just starting your education or career journey, what would it be?

Nate Rifkin (24:01): Oh, that's, you know, for me, that's a simple one because it's actually part of why I wrote the book. I, I w- I would say there's a lot of strategies and tactics out here, but you need to work on your inner self first and because that's gonna, that's gonna affect how you interact with absolutely everything around you. So, and then I teach them something like meditate and breathe into your belly and feel the breath and relax your muscles and repeat and, do this every day. And I'm going to check back on you in 10 years and if you don't do it, I'm coming after you.

Teena Evert (24:37): When we talk about working on the inner self, what does that mean to you? What are some, what are some more examples that you could provide the audience with? Like, maybe even, maybe even as an example, right from your own life of, what do you mean by, you know, oh, what do you mean,I'm not, I don't want, I shouldn't look outside right for my right path. I need to actually look inside. How do I do that?

Nate Rifkin (25:03): Oh, that's, that's a great question. I'd love to go into it. So for me, it relates to why all the superficial self-help stuff didn't work for me is because I was constantly in a state of looking out where for satisfaction and striving for something and feeling bad if I didn't get it. Instead, when I started doing a daily meditation practice, I jumped off of that hamster wheel of working with my thoughts and fighting with my thoughts and trying to, trying to change my thoughts and be more positive. And instead, I actually started paying attention to the feelings in my body and, and trying, not trying, but I was directing my muscles to relax. And I was breathing deeply into my belly and I was feeling the breath. I was listening to my breath, and I was doing this for a set period of time every morning.

Nate Rifkin (25:58): So how is this going inward? Because as a result of doing this, I was doing several things simultaneously. One, I was giving my conscious mind a bone to chew on, like, like it was an excited puppy. So instead of fighting my thoughts, I gave them a task and the task actually embedded within it, relaxed my thoughts, and it actually sued them away until they would quiet down. So by tuning into my, the feelings of my body and the sensations of my breath and relaxing physically, I was, it was almost like tricking my mind into being quiet. It was really cool now, as, and as a result of quieting my mind, my body was able start going through an emotional processing that it never was able to do before. So old, old traumas and old buried anger and buried fear and buried grief from traumas at a young age, started to finally bubble up.

Nate Rifkin (27:01): Now, when this happens to a lot of people and they meditate, they think, oh, no, this is bad. Or, oh, no, I'm doing something wrong. No, this is actually, you're finally able to they're bubbling to the surface because you're, you're in a place where you can finally release them. So I was doing that. And by the way, I was, I didn't actually really know about all these mechanisms. The cool part is it happens as long as you go through the process. It's not it's not a surface chattered mental thing. And, and finally, because of the way I was breathing deeply, and, and it's very simple as, as breathing, imagine breathing into your belly, I was massaging my organs and tissues because my lungs would fully expand and my, my diaphragm would start to press down on my, a large and small intestine, stomach, spleen, liver, panc, et cetera. And that's part of how I was able to release these old pent up emotions and traumas because we have, we have so many traumas stored in our body that create these coping mechanisms and patterns. So it, it was, so it was so par, it was such a paradox for me, but it, it works so well,

Teena Evert (28:18): Yeah.

Nate Rifkin (28:18): but by avoiding all the mental part of it and just diving to a body-based practice, I was actually able to resolve all the mental, not all, but I was able to start resolving my mental gumps.

Teena Evert (28:29): Powerful. And I'm a firm believer in the body-based practices. We can only do so much if we stay in our cognition and they call you for sure, you've heard shelf help, what do they call it? Shelf

Teena Evert (28:42): Help shelf help.

Teena Evert (28:45): You know, I'm, I was a self shelf help junkie too. And it only gets you, so it helps you understand, but then you have to put in your body. And something that was, I was thinking about as you're talking is when you grow up in a dysfunctional household where the world doesn't feel safe, you know, your sense of psychological safety, isn't there, and you're always searching for it. When you start to connect, this is my experience to the body, you come home within your body. I don't know how else to say it. All of a sudden, all is well, you feel safe. It's such a different experience of the world, of your relationship with the world. It's almost like turning yourself inside out. I don't know how to quite articulate it, but when I was in Alaska, it was almost like I took the peace and the love, I felt nature.

Teena Evert (29:32): And I, and I moved it through me and it, it, it started to dissolve all that buried stuff or help not dissolve it, but help me process the stuff that was stuck in stored and keeping me angry. And really just my thing was to abandon, abandon myself, like not eat and not care for myself. I'm I imagine, you know, drinking is another way to do that. But just sort of checking out and over everything, overworking, over exercising over everything, you know, so finding a sense of balance in my life. Well, and harmony was key.

Nate Rifkin (30:15): Yeah. Yeah. It's like, you know, the, the, how the Daoist described it as that we, you know, they, it, the whole concept of meridians, like the channels that acupuncture has work with that comes from the Daoist tradition and, and they, they frame it in terms of opening up those channels and allowing the energy to flow, because when you do the blocks get processed and resolved, which, which allows you to feel that, that comfort and that sort of like, it's just, like you said, just like actually being safe in your own body and feeling great in your own body. Yeah.

Teena Evert (30:54): Powerful. Thank you for sharing that. I think you probably answered my second question, which is in order to gain confidence and build a meaningful career, what would be the one thing that you would recommend listeners do?

Nate Rifkin (31:06): Yeah, it would be, I mean, to just, but I can add to it because I started with the idea of this body-based meditation practice, and I think it's super important to number one, recognize that it's okay when you start to actually feel a little uncomfortable because it's, it's not, you're doing something wrong necessarily. As long as you're focusing on relaxation and breathing deeply it's that stuff is getting processed. And then to gain the confidence, it's taking that addition to your life and, and making it a daily discipline. And that's what I fell into when I was doing it starting with a minute. And then I, I added time. So by the time that I stopped drinking, I it's been so long. I forget exactly, but I might've been doing like 5 to 10 minutes a day, and by that time it was part of my identity.

Nate Rifkin (32:01): So when you can focus on doing something on a daily basis, that's healthy and then do it enough so that it becomes part of your identity, you can now look back on that and say, I have actually transformed myself on an inner level. So what are you doing? You're actually proving to your own skeptical, doubting, negative talking mind that you have in fact transformed, and you have in fact changed your identity. And now you have this healthy aspect to your identity. So I've, and I've done this in multiple areas of my life had done this on my, my inner life. And I've done this financially by saving money every week. What, and it works so beautifully because you're literally proving to yourself that it's true. And when you prove to yourself that something is true, even if it's just a little bit, you, you become unstoppable because now there's no, there's no inner conflict. You, the self doubt melts away real fast when you can actually show a tangible proof.

Teena Evert (33:03): Yes. And there's that inner confidence, that authentic confidence is what I like to call it. When we keep promises with ourselves, our confidence grows when we break promises with ourselves, our confidence erodes. And so just, it sounds like you are able to get yourself in the right mind, body, spirit, emotional space, to take those baby steps. Let's just say saving a little bit of money, understanding that that would build that. You know, you're not going to pay off all your debt tomorrow, unless you maybe win the lottery. But you know, going from deep despair to bliss, doesn't teach you anything. You have to go through the steps to rebuild. That's why I think a lot of people who are in deep despair used drugs to get high because they go from the bottom to the top, but there's no integration that happens there. There's no embodiment.

Teena Evert (34:03): So I find it very inspiring and encouraging to, to you didn't say it this way, but like I'm thinking like just baby steps and forming new habits and building that confidence over time, and you are unstoppable, you feel in control, or maybe that that's not a great word, but claiming the lead is what I say in your life. You're in the driver's seat. You're not being driven around by someone else or locked in the trunk in the dark. You are, you are empowered to, to create the life that you really want. That is so inspiring.

Nate Rifkin (34:40): You just reminded me is that it's also once, once you develop these kind of daily disciplines that are so healthy for you, you can relax about it. Just me personally, I was, I self sabotaged so much and I, and I got so lost and I failed so much because I was always like, I want this specific thing by this specific date. I want to get it in this specific way. Whereas when I started taking the daily discipline approach, I began to actually relax around I don't know how exactly I'm gonna build my life the way I want it, but I do know that I am on a very great trajectory. And as a result of building that relaxation and, and faith in the outcome, I kind of allowed more awareness for those cool synchronicities to occur.

Teena Evert (35:30): Yeah. Not being attached to the outcome and letting it unfold, trusting that process, relaxing, relaxing. I love that word.

Nate Rifkin (35:40): And then when you get riled up and be like, I know I am relaxed. I really did. It's like, all right return to the breath. I've been there.

Teena Evert (35:48): Yeah. Well, you know, you've probably heard that that physiologically excitement and fear really are similar, the differences one you're breathing. And so you can be relaxed and excited, I think perhaps at the same time, or maybe, maybe it's maybe, I don't know, maybe they don't go together, but it's different than feeling scared and being reactive.

Nate Rifkin (36:09): Yeah. Yeah. I think the re the reactive part is key. You can, you can kind of be in a, in a more excited state, as long as, as long as it doesn't spill over into sort of like losing, you're losing your awareness and becoming reactive instead of responsive.

Teena Evert (36:24): Yeah. Great. All right. So one last question, which I believe you also answered in order to help people who feel stuck in their career or their job, job search in their life. Let's just say, what would be the one tip or strategy for them to get unstuck today?

Nate Rifkin (36:44): One is to start with that with a meditation practice that works for you before you do absolutely anything. I liken it to, if you're going to go to a job interview like in person, would you neglect to brush your teeth and take a shower? Probably not.

Teena Evert (37:03): Oh, not.

Nate Rifkin (37:03): Yeah, so I re I really honestly think of meditation the same way. If, if I step out the door or if I hop on a Zoom call or anything like that, and I haven't done some kind of inner work like that, it's like the, I know I will be emitting a signal that's going to be picked up by everyone to interact with, even if it's beneath their conscious mind and it's not going to be a good one. So I would start there. And then from there it, I would interact with as many people as possible because healthy peoples possible, by the way, because I think when we're, and I've been there in, in job searches multiple times in my life and the trouble is when we isolate ourselves, we get a very skewed perspective and we get very down on ourselves.

Nate Rifkin (37:53): And it's like, when we're alone, that's, it's like where that wounded gazelle. Fear can start stalking us and overtake us. But if we get into a centered place and meditation, and we, and we go about our daily discipline of meeting, you know, meeting new people, following up with people we know, having those conversations, we get that relaxation, that, and that relaxation allows for those, those cool breakthroughs to happen, because I know anyone and, you know, I'm sure your listeners, they already know the practical steps of like, you know, looking, looking through where there are job opportunities and that, so, and I, and I know from experience that what can get in the way of, of landing the, you want, isn't so much not following the paint by numbers process. It's that one person can come from it in a certain state of, of being, and another person can come at it from another state of being, and that's gonna make the difference.

Nate Rifkin (38:51): It can, it can leak through in body language. It could leak through an eye contact, or it could leak through in some other subtle way. But I'm, I know through experience that when you, when you do those two steps, you know, the inner step and then talking to people step it melts away that deep seated inner resistance. And it's tough because I know the, the, especially during a job search I've been there where the voice always comes up, it's like, I am, don't worry, but it's like, if you still are grabbing onto that there's still deeper work to be had.

Teena Evert (39:32): Yeah.

Nate Rifkin (39:32): And there's no way around it

Teena Evert (39:34): No way around it well said. It's how do you want to show up? Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? Those are the things I ask myself regularly when I get kind of spun up and maybe reactive or too focused on the outcome that I lose the connectedness of the journey. I forget why I'm like, when I'm doing a podcast, why am I doing this? If I'm not grounded, then I'm not really able to have a good connected conversation. And for me, that's really important. That's why I do this right. It's part of me building relationships. And I love to have deep conversations and I love to share information and add value. So I, I, I agree with everything you've said, it's so powerful and I'm, you're so, so wise, and I don't want to judge that you're 35, but I I'm going to say it like, you know, I think when we've been through a lot and we've done the work, it shows it, it shows and there's, and there's no, you know, you could be 55 and doing the work, but you're, you have so much to share amongst your age group, so much, so please keep doing what you're doing.

Nate Rifkin (40:50): I appreciate that. It's, I always look to make sure that I'm still bringing my best and being helpful.

Teena Evert (40:56): Absolutely. Now, how can our listeners learn more from you, learn more about you, connect with you?

Nate Rifkin (41:04): I wrote a book and it was a, it was a three-year process. And it's, I, I think, as we mentioned earlier in our conversation, it wa- it was, it was in part answering your question like if you could go back to your, a younger version of yourself, I haven't, I haven't figured out how to actually be able to go back in time to my younger self, but I can do the next best thing, which is write. I wrote this book and, and have it as a resource to people who are wanting to begin their journey. So it's called The Standing Meditation. You can go to thestandingmeditation.com and you'll get more info on the book. Actually. I think that that URL just forwards to Amazon because that's, that's where I'm selling my book. It's on Amazon, and if anything I said resonated today, that book is kind of like the the much, much bigger, bigger dose of that.

Teena Evert (41:56): Yeah. Well, I'm looking forward to diving in, thank you for sharing it with me and also I'll be sure to leave that link in the show notes, as well as the link to your website, because I know you do a lot of writing and sharing there as well.

Nate Rifkin (42:10): Great. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Teena Evert (42:11): You're welcome. Now, one last question. Is there perhaps one more golden nugget of wisdom you'd like to share with our listeners?

Nate Rifkin (42:21): Yeah. You know, cause I already mentioned the, how would the, what they can do starting today and the, and the other, the other thing is a reminder that I I've, I give myself to this day because I, I'm not done. I've, I've got you know businesses that I want to build today and it's that I can only focus on what I can do and the outcome is always going to be a surprise. Like I know that some wells that I dig are not going to go anywhere. And some wells I dig are going to surprise me and there's going to be a great business relationship as a result or a breakthrough in terms of book sales or something like that. So I always remind myself that I'm, I have to be completely cool and open with whatever the result is because, and I learned this the hard way.

Nate Rifkin (43:16): If I get bitter and frustrated over not getting immediate results with something I do, those other wonderful results that were lined up for me are going to get stripped away. I'm going to, I'm going to not see them. I'm going to sabotage whatever's coming down the pipe. So it's almost like I maintain a very healthy, confident paranoia. It's like a positive paranoia that that it, that I, I, I commit myself to maintain that nonchalant attitude because when you have a nonchalant attitude, the, your, your life is going to start prospering over time in a profound way that it would not have had the breathing room to do if you're grasping with, with and clawing at an immediate result. And I know it's, it's, it's tough to do, but a lot of great things in life require a lot of inner growth like that.

Teena Evert (44:19): Absolutely, getting comfortable, being uncomfortable. I love this healthy, confident paranoia.

Nate Rifkin (44:27): That I don't know how else to put it, but yeah, it's like this, it's devotional, devotional paranoia to knowing it's like, I gotta be, I gotta be cool about it all.

Teena Evert (44:36): Yeah. Well, you have so many amazing life experiences and examples that remind you of this, this better path, this healthier path, this more expanded enlightened path to be on. And I so appreciate you being on The Confident Careerist Podcast and sharing, just sharing you. And I want to encourage our listeners to check out The Standing Meditation and your writings on your website.

Nate Rifkin (45:02): Thank you, Teena. It's an honor to be here.

Teena Evert (45:13): Seeking work and building a career that excites you, gives you energy each day, and makes a positive impact in the world takes time, but the effort is worth it. Get the professional help you need to build a career and create a life that you love by visiting teenaevert.com.

Teena Evert (45:32): I'm so happy we met, and I'm so glad that you were on the The Confident Careerist Podcast.

Nate Rifkin (45:37): Thank you for having me Teena. And so, yeah, have a great day.

Teena Evert (45:39): Okay. You too. Bye-Bye

Teena Evert (45:48): This episode of The Confident Careerist Podcast has ended, but be sure to share, subscribe, rate, and review so that we can continue to bring you the best content and head over to teenaevert.com for additional information and resources.


Nate Rifkin Interview The Confident Careerist Podcast

Nate Rifkin, Author of The Standing Meditation was suicidal and drank alcohol every morning to get through the day. He dropped out of college, went broke, bankrupt, and even worked on street corners waving around a sign. Nate has prospered by combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living.