Evolution is Required – Joe Bernstein

“More people can be open-hearted and heart centered and that is a form of leadership that the world is aching for today even in the business.” Joe Bernstein

Self-transformation is not an easy journey. However, what is even more damaging is choosing to remain complacent and sticking in the comfort zone. Our guest today, Joe Bernstein has lived on both worlds and understands well the importance of changing oneself and aligning individual values to the realities that surround us. According to Joe, playing safe due to fear is not an option for individuals who want to be future leaders.

Joe Bernstein Founded Drop the Armor Wellness because he is on a mission to help other men feel the love and freedom that he learned to cultivate when his life fell apart in 2013. After learning to thrive romantically in response to divorce, losing 160 lbs without diets, and leaving his 1st career to build a mission focused business, he became LIT UP to help other men do the same. His clients are often successful business owners, executives in tech, top individual performers, leaders, creatives, entrepreneurs or anyone who wants a Lit Up Life. They are big hearted men that often feel stuck in their heads, stuck in their careers and desiring more social or romantic connection. Joe helps them to let go of overthinking and using stress as a motivator, to live a life rooted in a clear head, an open heart, and solid guts. He also leads transformational men’s initiations in the Mankind Project and is involved in Showing Up for Racial Justice DC Chapter Healing Team.

In today’s episode we will discuss more about how leaders can get pas their comfort zones to realign their values with their goals. We will also talk about why it is important to take risks to pursue greatness as well as to be open-hearted when communicating with people.

Listen in!

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  • I was raised pretty risk averse and my family was loving and very supportive. [3:36]
  • There wasn’t a lot of accountability and there was a lot of playing it safe. [3:46]
  • I embodied the beliefs of scarcity, fear and risk aversion. [4:05]
  • On top of that, we were caught up in the eighties trying to be really healthy but eating all the crap we were told was good for us and I was really overweight. [4:11]
  • I ended up embodying a lot of limiting beliefs and what we believe is what we create. [4:31]
  • By the age of 26; I was working at a retail job that I loved and thriving in my career but nothing else in my life was happening. [5:27]
  • Fast forward I dated and I found somebody and we got married, but that went downhill really fast. [5:47]
  • At 31, I had been obese most of my life and at the peak of my career without a college degree and out of nowhere, the woman I was with and who I thought I will be with forever decided to leave and everything fell apart. [5:56]
  • I had played it safe all along and just did the stuff that I thought was easy to get a comfortable life but that did not get me to where I wanted and everything fell apart. [6:45]
  • I had to make a choice between taking responsibility and learn about what had gotten me to this point in my life or continue on this path.[ 6:57]
  • The breakdown in my life was when I got an insatiable desire to learn about human potential and started actively reading and leaning on personal growth. [7:12]
  • Within a year I had lost over 100 pounds, transformed my dating life and had a lot of confidence in my social life and started performing better in my leadership roles. [7:32]
  • I was very connected with men’s work where I had worked in men’s organization to help men with emotional intelligence and leadership and so I decided to be someone who helps other men. [7:52]
  • Since then, I have been on the path to creating my own life, where every day I am excited to do what I do and what I spend my time in and I am really aligned to values. [8:08]
  • For me, shocking potential is really about helping men in that place where they got comfortable in life and are feeling stuck and not aligned anymore with their value.[8:23]
  • We are in this time where things have changed and it has been a wake-up goal for a lot of people. [11:18]
  • A lot of people are in a place of reassessing values and taking big leaps and to me that is what getting lit up is all about. [12:43]
  • More people can be open hearted and heart centered and that is a form of leadership that the world is aching for today even in the business. [15:54]
  • When the world changes around us and we recognize that our values have shifted, it can be really hard to claim the space. [16:57]
  • Things change in our lives and if we aren’t aware of how they have changed and make a shift in our priorities, then that is where we can feel really stuck. [17:44]
  • So many are conditioned to think they don’t have the power but if you are at your work, you do have the power to negotiate terms. [18:38]
  • Commercial break. [20:15]
  • We think about evolution as these big sweeping changes physically within a species, but reality is evolution for humanity because we are so conscious and intelligent. [22:45]
  • It is really about making small shifts all the time to be connected to what really matters. [22:59]
  • We are at a stage in humanity where evolution for leaders is required. [22:06]
  • The ability to understand our own values, feel, take responsibility and also communicate in a healthy way that is non-damaging. [23:13]
  • We are taught to lead based on force, scarcity and creating fear, efficiency but people do not want to be led that way. [23:48]
  • We cannot as leaders be cookie cutting anymore but understand individuals that we are working with on both sides of the transaction. [24:20]
  • When we are hiding what is truly important to us whether it is from us or others, other people feel that and they end up trusting less and responding less to calls for action. [24:48]
  • Leadership and emotional intelligence is the point where we are evolving to in order to help people experience emotional fluency. [25:50]
  • There are capacities that leaders need to develop and for me the two most important ones are courage and compassion. [28:31]
  • The future is not going to be led by a lot of the old strategies. [29:40]
  • There are only three choices in life, love or fear, courage or comfort, and creation or consumption. [31:37]
  • You can create the levels of mindfulness where you have awareness of your choice points and you will stack good choices that will lead you in life, and before you know it you will look back and your whole life will be different. [31:55]


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