Matt is a 6ft 4inch heavily Tattooed strongman, who lives to serve. After 2 unsuccessful marriages, and several jobs in the corporate world, he decided to follow his heart. 6 years ago he qualified as a PT. This started him on the road of compassion, forgiveness, and battling with getting to know himself. Matt's sole purpose is to normalize talking about emotions, support accepting and loving yourself wholly, and to help you find your inner superhero.
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🎶 Podcast Intro: Welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast, where we give you the encouragement you need to lean into the uncomfortable stuff life puts in front of you, so you can love your life. If you are ready to overcome all the yuck that keeps you up at night, you're in the right place. I am your host, Melissa Ebken let's get going. 🎶
🎶 Episode Intro: Matt Wilson is a six foot, four heavily tattooed strong man. This is the guy that can put the straps on and pull a big, heavy semi through a long distance. He is strong. He's from Northern England and he joins us today to talk about a different kind of strength. Sometimes when life knocks us down, we've got to reach in and connect with something very strong inside of ourselves to be the superhero that we need in our lives.
Today, Matt's going to tell us how to do that, and how he has done that. If you'd like to keep the conversation going or ask a question or make a comment, make sure you hop over to the blog. It's linked in the show notes and check out the video of the podcast over on YouTube. That link is also in the show notes. Without any further delay. Let me introduce you to Matt. 🎶
Melissa Ebken 0:23
Hey, Matt, welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast. How are you doing today?
Matt Wilson 0:28
I'm very good. Thank you. And thank you for having me.
Melissa Ebken 0:31
Absolutely. Now we can tell by your accent that we're not meeting up here in the United States. So tell us where you're from.
Matt Wilson 0:38
No, we're not. I am in the UK, England, I'm in Leeds, which is in the north.
Melissa Ebken 0:45
Yeah. And that's usually nice and cool up there, but not so much lately, huh.
Matt Wilson 0:50
No, we've had a little bit of a heatwave, as I'm sure a lot of the world has. And it's just very humid, which we're just not used to, in the UK.
Melissa Ebken 0:57
Yeah. Well, Matt, I'm glad you're joining us today. I can't wait to hear your story. But first, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Matt Wilson 1:05
Ooh, wet start on that one. Well, I'm a life coach, a personal trainer. I've got a podcast myself, which is very much why I'm impressed at the way that you do in this one. I'm thankful that you've invited me on as well. And I'm also a competitive strongman. And I'm a Cub Scout leader, as well. So I have a few things that I like to get involved with all very active, and all about, I suppose, helping others and serving others using my experience. So it's pretty cool.
Melissa Ebken 1:36
I love it a life coach a podcaster. What's the name of your podcast?
Matt Wilson 1:41
It is the Superhero Finder. I'm also a superhero addict. I love it. I love Marvel everything.
Melissa Ebken 1:48
Awesome. So if you're listening, make sure you check out the Superhero Finder podcast. And you're a Cub Scout leader. You're a strongman competitor. I can't wait to talk a little more about that. And for those who are listening to the podcast, if you want to jump over on YouTube and watch the video of it, you will see that, Matt well, I don't have a height identifier there. But you're what 6'4"; you're a big guy.
Matt Wilson 2:15
About 6'4". Yeah, yeah. About one stone at the moment. So about 136 kilos, in bodyweight so.
Melissa Ebken 2:22
So yeah, you're a substantial presence. And I would imagine you do quite well in the strongman competition.
Matt Wilson 2:28
I'm doing okay. But that's a very good way of putting it I like i. A substantial presence.
Melissa Ebken 2:33
Feel free to use that. I will, I will. So Matt, what about pursuing uncomfortable drew you to this podcast? Because I know you have some uncomfortable stories that brought you here.
Matt Wilson 2:47
I do. I'm, I've, what, if I've learned anything over the last few years, it's the uncomfortable, feels terrible, when you're in it. But there are some absolute gems of lessons and challenges to be, you know, to be got from it. Chances to grow and chances to, I suppose better yourself and to find, you know, find those that truly close to you, and find the things that are important to you and prioritize and I suppose you one of the first things would be the pandemic. And, you know, I'd just come out of a relationship of a marriage, which I'm sure we'll get into as well. And I just found a new relationship a month before we went into lockdown in the UK, which was March 2020, I believe. So, you know, coming from that, if you'd have asked any of us before we went into those lockdowns and those measures, could we have survived? If we had to do that, then I think the answer would be a resounding no. Well, how would we survive? Because life completely flipped itself on its head, but that, that resilience in that that way that you managed to find a way through to find an income maybe in self employed as well, you know, I went from being able to see maybe 35 people a week, up to 100 a week doing classes to then not being able to see anybody so then it was kind of it's almost that bite off like that. How do I manage to survive this? How do I get a business through this? How do I keep the roof over my head? And really, coming out of that it's I don't know where the event this is such an odd feeling. I almost can't remember how I did it. I just did it. Yeah, you know, I can't pinpoint the things that I did. Yeah. Yeah. Just just the idea of that resilience, just keep moving. And it's funny because it was exactly the same the weekend that's just passed. So I did. I did a truck pulling competition.
Melissa Ebken 4:48
A truck pulling competition, very casual. Yeah, but just go out. Grab a semi pull it along. Sure. We do it all the time.
Matt Wilson 4:55
It was. So for anyone that's for anyone that wants that idea of the trucks it's, one of the pulls was a 23 ton truck, I pushed an eight ton truck cab, and then pulled the 23 ton truck with extra cargo. So it was then 40 ton. Oh my goodness. I pulled it over 20 meters. So that was perfect because it was people asked me how difficult it was. And when I talked about that, when I talked about the lockdown, and, and and some of the other challenges, it's one foot in front of the other point point yourself in the way that you feel is the right way to go. And just one foot in front of the other. And that's exactly how the truck moves. So it's just, you know, I'm thankful that we're now having this conversation after I've done that event, because that really sums up how to get through most things. To be honest, it's that kind of that tunnel vision, you know, where the end result is, you know, where you've already decided where you want to go. And possibly, how are you going to do it as well. Who you surround yourself with, so that, you know the idea of that support that community, the people cheering you on, surround yourself with the people that want to do that they want to invest their time in in seeing you succeed. And you know, you can it's just proof that you can achieve anything you set out to do no matter how, you know, no matter how high the barriers are, no matter how high the mountain seems, you know, seems in front of you.
Melissa Ebken 6:17
Yeah, and a couple of things stand out there. Sometimes you need to have the long vision. You need to see the horizon and where you're headed. And then sometimes when you're in the thick of it, that's not as helpful as just the next step in front of you. Just take that next step. I'm great at remembering quotes and terrible at remembering who said them. But someone had a quote that said, if you're going through hell, don't stop. If you're in the middle of a trauma, if you're in the middle of a difficult time, don't stop, just take that next step, take that next step, keep putting that next foot in front of the other.
Matt Wilson 6:57
Because as long as you're moving, you're not staying where you are. And that seems really obvious. But when you're physically moving, that you you're not staying in that, I suppose that in that mental place. You know, there is also a quote, I'm also good at remembering the quotes, but not the people who said it as well. So you know, but it's that the definition of I think it's the definition of madness is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result. And if you stay in that same place, when you're feeling, you know, under the car show, however you want to put it, then you're always going to feel that way. Because you're still there. But like you said, if you keep moving, then there's a chance you're going to find out that you're somewhere else, or at least you're going to progress somewhere with it or find something else out new or you know, not there still, which is a very pertinent point.
Melissa Ebken 7:51
Now, you mentioned you had just started a new relationship just a month before all of this went down. Had you had good fortune in relationships in your life, Matt?
Matt Wilson 8:06
So I'm gonna do a politician's answer here. And then I'll go into some detail. I think I have no regrets when it comes to my relationships. None at all, I think. And there's been a bucket load of challenging times and traumatic events and you know, relationships, which on hindsight, weren't healthy, borderline, abusive, borderline, you know, bullying and other things like that. But no, I mean, the simple answer is no, this, I've been married twice. I'm on my second divorce, and I'm 35 years old. So take whatever you want from that. I will say in return, I'm not scared of commitment.
Melissa Ebken 8:48
Ok ladies, you heard it here first.
Matt Wilson 8:52
But I think, you know, I think on both times when I got engaged and when I thought I'd found the one. Looking back. There were some decisions that I think I made without enough context. And without enough understanding of where I was, which is why I've called my business, I'm doing it for me, because it had to I have to, at some point, turn things around and think, What can I do to make myself happy? What can I do to take care of myself, and it's a really long journey. And I feel like like you just said about taking one step in front of the other. I feel like I'm in quicksand sometimes. But looking at those two marriages, retrospectively, it's how can I understand that I made decisions based on how I felt at the time? And how can I accept that that was the right thing for me at that time? But also understand that I'm thankful that they didn't work. And I'm thankful on the second occasion, that actually I was part of a conversation where I chose to agree that it wasn't working. So that, you know, there's there's a lot of things to be taken from that for me in terms of I knew on that that conversation that broke up the second marriage. As soon as I said, No, it's not right. Because at that point, we were going through IVF, as well. So there was all these. That's a stressful process. Yeah, absolutely. It's really stressful. And there's a lot of things going through. And the question was, you know, this, we're not ready for, you know, we're not we're ready for a baby, this isn't right, is it? And my answer was simply no. And by saying that no, I felt this massive weight lift off my shoulders huge. And, you know, from that point, that marriage was no more. And, you know, we live together for another three months after that. Because my, my ex partner didn't, you know, didn't have a job at that time. Financially, she couldn't support herself outside the house. So that was difficult in itself, that was another challenge, living with a former partner, but not actually being with them. But thankfully, you know, we were still friends, even though regardless of what happened, because you take the relationship apart, I suppose. And both as human beings, you know, we have mutual respect for each other. And again, you know, from that there's, there's a load of strengths that that I can take, I mean, I've identified all throughout that process, that what you would normally categorize as a weakness. In, it manifests in me as a real need a real natural place to help people. And throughout the, throughout the second marriage, we were, you know, there was a lot of health scares, or health issues, which, in one led to the IVF, etc. And I think that was one of the massive drivers for me as well was that I felt, really, I felt really needed, I felt really comfortable in that relationship, because I'm a, I'm a helper, naturally. So you know, there was always something for me to be able to concentrate my, my focus on, my energy. And, you know, I realize, I digress at this point. But one of the hardest one of the biggest challenges, not quite relationship wise, was when I wasn't in a relationship. Turning the focus back on myself. Because I realized for years, I've been in that role where I've been something for somebody. And that's how I'd identified and that was the story I was telling myself. And then all of a sudden, when I am not anybody, anything for anybody, I was, but in my head, well, that's gone. I was still a brother, I was still a son. You know, I was still all these other roles to people, I was still a personal trainer, I was still this, but I was questioning who actually I was because all of a sudden, the time was mine to do with what I wanted to do. And it just didn't know what I wanted to do. Because I didn't know who I was anymore. Crazy.
Melissa Ebken 13:09
Yeah. So what would you tell someone who is going through a divorce or who's newly divorced? You know, I hear a lot of times how isolating that can be. Do you have any wisdom?
Matt Wilson 13:22
I, I would say that it's so important to surround yourself with the people who nourish you. And by that, I mean the people who are there to listen, the people who are there to give you advice without judgment. The people that will just make time for you and the people that you really feel comfortable with being around. Now them four different types may be completely different people and all those people may not have all those things. And that's absolutely fine. Because if you can find that, there may be somebody that you just want the just, just happy to listen. They may not say anything, you may just want to talk and get something off your chest. And that's just as valuable as somebody that wants to give you advice. Because that's the that's the strength in the connections, the relationships that has helped me really try and find myself. And those are the people that when I'm really struggling to I suppose not feel shameful I feel a lot of guilt if I've got free time. Because that free time in my head for years engrained has been spent helping people so if I've now got free time to spend just on me that idea of being a little bit selfish, and recharging my batteries and doing all the things I need to do for my welfare. Feels like it's not the right decision sometimes and I have friends and I have people looks surround me, that tells me that just help me kind of help bring the backup and help my logical brain go. Okay, no, do you know what I do need some time to myself, even something as small as you know, I start my workday at 630. I've got some people that like to train 630 in the morning, which I understand some people don't know that 630 happens twice during the day, but then it can finish at 9pm. And you know, not throughout that day, I don't ever have a day, that's 14 hours long, consecutively. There's always gaps and spaces between that. But some sometimes during those gaps, it's really difficult to relax, because you still got a half work head on, because you're still going back to work. If you're working from home, then I'm already in the office, so to speak. So sometimes I just need those people to remind me and give me that accountability to say, look, you need to spend some time on yourself. You know.
Melissa Ebken 16:05
And if you're feeling selfish or shameful about it, you know, maybe another way of looking at it is if I really want to help other people, the best version of me that can show up would be the most help. And the best version of me that shows up is the one I spend time working on and developing.
Matt Wilson 16:25
Absolutely, absolutely. And that's where I'm headed right now. That's where I'm headed. And you know, if we imagine I like my analogies, if we imagine trying to turn the Titanic, it just takes a while. So there's this big idea, this big thing that you heading for, it just takes a while to turn. And I've actually, I'm gonna, I'm gonna put it this, I'm gonna use this just to put it out into the world. I've acutally, during lockdown, I wrote a TED talk. And I thought I would like one day to do a TED talk. And I wrote it. And I think I only did two drafts. And I left it alone. And I thought, that is what I want to say. And actually, the title of it is, Is Selfishness the Key To Being the Best You Can For Others? And it's exactly what you just said there. It's investing that time in yourself to be more effective. And almost what works with me is if I flip that around and say, the world deserves the best you, the world doesn't deserve 75% you. It deserves the best you so how do you get that. And if you need to have an nap, you need to play some games, you need to take some downtime to be that best version of you, then that's what the world deserves. And sometimes, you know, that won't always work for everybody. But for me that has a bit of a guilty conscience. That gives me a reason to use that for a positive effect.
Melissa Ebken 17:55
Yeah, and the guilt and the shame. I mean, is that really serving you or anyone else?
Matt Wilson 18:03
No, not at all. But I think sometimes it's, especially what I do. I find that I'm really, really good at helping others. And I know the right answers, and I know how to help others. But actually applying that to myself is a different story.
Melissa Ebken 18:19
Right, practicing what we preach, that's probably the biggest challenge that any of has. It's so much easier to help others than to turn that into ourselves.
Matt Wilson 18:31
Yeah, of course. So I'm I think he's, it's important at that point to recognize that if you surround yourself with people that maybe fill in the gaps, fill in the things that you recognize aren't your strong points, then that's just as powerful. So I have, so that's why I have people that will remind me that actually, I tell people to do those things, but I don't do it for myself. And it reminds me that I do that, and therefore I then start to do it. Yeah, you know, and that's just and I've come to realize and accept that that's just as okay as me being good at applying, you know, you know, taking the spoon of my own medicine or practice what you preach or however you want to put it. That's absolutely fine. That's not a weakness. It's a strength to actually be able to accept that and find the people that will help you fulfill that.
Melissa Ebken 19:23
Well sure and how it takes your ability to help others or to teach to a whole new level when you've done that the difficult thing yourself. You're so much better informed for others who are doing that difficult thing.
Matt Wilson 19:40
Yeah, of course, it's I suppose, that's the other thing about what I do and when I when I help people and that kind of natural, that kind of rescuer or helper kind of I suppose way of living is is losing track of what you were saying. I've just lost. You know when you just have one of those thoughts, and it just leaves the station before you've had a chance to get on the train.
Melissa Ebken 20:14
So I have a couple more questions. One, going back to relationships, how does the Matt who is in unhealthy relationships approach a healthy relationship, next?
Matt Wilson 20:26
Oh, okay. So it's been really, really, really difficult to approach a healthy relationship. I'm in, the most healthy relationship. If you were to write in a dictionary, the meaning to a healthy relationship, I reckon the relationship I'm in now, and that's not from necessarily heart perspective. But that's from a logic and from a, from an educational perspective. I think I'm in it. And that causes its own challenges. But the challenge is for me to change my thought patterns. Because when you go from when you go from a role where you feel needed to do things. So when somebody even somebody just asked you are, when you're on your way home, could you just nip to the shop? Can you do this? Can you pick up some groceries? Can you you know, anything? That just seems normal. Sometimes in some relationships that can be, you know, a bit more of a needy needy dynamic, or that can be a little bit more extreme. But for most people that's expected between, you know, between partner, or your spouse or whatever. In my relationship now, we are both so similar, that if we ask each other to do something while they're out, even though it's something tiny, we'll both be very much is it okay? And are you sure you don't mind? So we both make these big deals out of asking a favor, because we've put other people's time, I suppose, first or a bigger, a larger priority. That you know, it does, it causes its own challenges, because it's we're two individuals that are better off together rather than that need each other to survive. So the need becomes an extra piece of you that you then get added on. You know, rather than that, oh I could never survive without you. Or I don't know what I'd do without you. Sometimes that can not be, I don't think it can be particularly a healthy thought. But actually, when you're in a relationship where I know that my partner could survive without me and she did for several years before before she met me. Sometimes it's, well, the lesson has been trying to learn my own value, and what I bring to relationship you know, and I have not been used to thinking about what I bring to the relationship because what I brought to the relationship in those other relationships was strength, resilience, being able to deal with anything. Being able to think on my feet, all these protective things, rather than just being loving, caring, honest, genuine, you know, and just try and try to be quite relaxed about things as well. So it's, it's funny how it gets turned on its head when you get a healthy relationship, you'd think it but the answer and you think there'd be a, a whole world of relief. When there is the you've got to find it. Or I've find I have anyway, I've got I've got to find it. I see it. But I've got to find it. Because sometimes I'm battling myself in terms of you know, what's going to happen next? Is this too good to be true?
Melissa Ebken 23:53
Sometimes instead of answers, when we're in healthy situations, whether it's in a relationship or in a spiritual place in ourselves or what have you. The thing is, is it's not always that there's a better answer, but we have better questions of ourselves.
Matt Wilson 24:13
Yeah, I like that. That's quite true.
Melissa Ebken 24:18
You know, you describe yourself as a six foot four, heavily tattooed strong man with his heart on his sleeve. Now are you meaning literally you've got a heart tattooed on the sleeve in your arm? Or do you mean the common understanding of you wear your heart on your sleeve? And it took you a while to do that?
Matt Wilson 24:36
Yeah, I think I've got many tattoos one of them isn't the heart. However, you know, I have got superheroes so I've got one arm that's full of Marvel comic characters, which is a love of mine as I've said but it's you know, there's several things about the superheroes which I kind of attach to myself. So there's one of my favorites is Ironman and he wears this shield and his armor. You know, and his armor protects him and it protects. The reason he's got his armor is because of his heart. So it protects his being it protects his life off. As well as some of the others. But yeah, if there's anything that I've learned about myself is that I'm very, very willing to be open about anything that's happened to me. And, you know, that goes from talking about my, you know, my dad took his own life when I was 14. So we're going back, even to that age, you know, all the way through kind of school and other things. And you know, there was little bit bullying and moving house and being at several schools and the challenges there. And, you know, the two, the two marriages and other other relationships and all these other things. And it took me a while to realize that actually, it's okay to talk about them, you might choose who you have the conversations with, because it's very easy to make things awkward, if you just really that, that people weren't expecting it. But actually, when you when you find the right person to talk to, it can be really nice to, to know that, I suppose that you're not alone in some things, and that some of the things that have happened are completely normal, but not necessarily, right. But they are normal, it's not just you, and you're not a burden to that person that you're telling, you know, it's, and I do it in the hope that somebody else hearing my experience of it will then take something away from that, that will then help them explore some of the similar challenges they have. So rather than being a closed book, I kind of see myself as a bit of an open book when it comes to it.
Melissa Ebken 26:58
One last question, Matt, how would you encourage people to be the SuperHero they need to be in their own lives?
Matt Wilson 27:11
I would, I would look at, I would look at two things, I think. And I do believe that we've got an absolute collection of superpowers already within us. Not laser eyes, necessarily, or superhuman strength, although some people do have that. But I think one thing would be to realize and understand what you're passionate about, and where that energy comes from. And sometimes finding a way to channel that energy, in terms of how to focus yourself when you're going through something that can really help. And having a purpose. Like, if you're a Captain America fan, he does everything for America, you know, for the state to protect, he's very much protective and that and that's it, he's by design, but he has a purpose. If you know your purpose and you know, your passions, then that can be really nice way to direct your energy. The second thing would be in terms of navigating things is to use your gut and to get in touch with what feels right, or what feels like the path that's creating the less the least friction. Because it's usually right. And it doesn't mean if you so if you feel that something's not quite right and you got it doesn't mean that it's not the right thing, it might just mean that you need to think about it a little bit more. Or that you need a little bit more preparation, or you need some time to think. But if you can get on board with what you gut thinks, then I always see that as pointing you in the right direction. And then if you know where, like I said about your purpose, if you know where the point of, I suppose where your energy meets you, your passion is and where you can get that from, then that's going to be the power that drives you forward. And then if you've got the right people around you, they'll come with you. And you can be your own Avengers.
Melissa Ebken 29:04
I love it. Find your purpose, and your passion. Follow your gut. And we're all of those things intersect where your passion and the needs around and your energy all intersect, then you're going to be on the right path.
Matt Wilson 29:20
It doesn't matter where the destination is tremendous. It doesn't matter where the destination is. I just wanted to say that it's the journey is just going to be magical. It'll be amazing.
Melissa Ebken 29:32
Matt, thank you. Is there any last thing you would like to leave the listeners with today?
Matt Wilson 29:37
I think if you're ever feeling deflated, I think if you're ever feeling challenged, or you're not yourself look at some of the things that you've done. Look closely at the things that surround you. Be grateful and show gratitude for what you You have and worry less about what you don't have and understand that the real power comes from within you and that you're stronger than you think.
Melissa Ebken 30:10
Beautifully said. Thank you, Matt.
🎶 Episode Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We drop a new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way. 🎶
Matt is a 6ft4 heavily tattooed strongman, who lives to serve. After 2 unsuccessful marriages, and several jobs in the corporate world, it was time to follow his heart. Six years ago he qualified as a PT, which started him on the road of compassion, forgiveness and battling with getting to know himself. His sole purpose is to normalize talking about your emotions, to accept and love yourself wholly, and to help you find your inner superhero.