Momentum Podcast: 334

The Walk Changes Everything

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As an entrepreneur, if you don't find a way to offload pressure and noise every single day, it will catch up to you. Do you sometimes have feelings of panic, chest tightening, eye twitching? Whatever your symptoms of stress may be, they all make it harder to see the future. Stress makes it harder to be creative and it shuts down any feelings of intuition or insight that help us move forward. I've been working with entrepreneurs for long enough to recognize the patterns that put us in this place but more importantly, I know that there are some simple shortcuts to get you out of that physiological pain. The walk changes everything.

Full Audio Transcript

There is a real trade off to growing a world changing multimillion dollar business. Sometimes it's anxiety, sometimes it's stress. For some entrepreneurs it's back pain, frustration, confusion. Sometimes it's headaches, eye twitching. We become symptomatic in all different kinds of ways including back pain, neck pain, muscle tightness, and more. There is one thing I've found that works on all of this. I want to share it with you.

Today, I want to go back to a strategy that I use all the time in coaching entrepreneurs, but first, let me set this up for you. I think my work is unique in what I do with entrepreneurs compared to the average coach out there, compared to the average person who's teaching anything out there. When you look at the vast majority of products, of information in the marketplace, they show people how to get started, they show people how to get off the ground, to get the ball rolling, to start their business up, to get the confidence to take those first few steps. Well, most of what we do is working with entrepreneurs who are past that point and are now at the point where they're building teams, getting leverages, building ... Getting leverage, building an organization, and building a real infrastructure around them.

Here's what happens for us as entrepreneurs when we do that. Each time we add a person, each time we add infrastructure, each time we add more to our business, the responsibility level for us goes up. And I want you to know that that can make you have symptoms of all kinds, and become reactive in so many different ways. I've watched it for over 20 years. These days when one of my clients says, "You know, Alex, I've been having this weird eye twitching thing," I'm not even surprised anymore. When someone says, "My chest feels tight sometimes," or "I feel like I can't breathe or like somebody's standing on it." That seems normal to me. It's just the symptoms of anxiety. When an entrepreneur walks up to me at one of my events and says, "You know, everything's been going great, but my neck pain, my back pain, it's gone up and I've seen every type of doctor I can and nothing is fixing it."

In fact, one of my clients is going through a lot right now personally, and she in the past week has had some histamine responses and rashes all over her body. Her face has felt hot. She's had tightness of the chest. She's had trouble breathing. And all of it, in my estimation, in my hypothesis, I believe that it's all, everything is related to stress. It's related to the pressure and noise in our body. In fact, let's just call it pressure and noise.

Let's look at everything that happens to us in the world, causes pressure and noise of one type or another. And as entrepreneurs, when we increase the exposure we have, when we become more vulnerable, when we build a team, when we surround ourselves with an infrastructure, when we declare we are going to change the status quo, what we inherently do is raise the pressure and noise in our lives up. And I don't see that any different than physiological pressure and noise, than getting a cold, than getting sick, than having a virus, than getting the pathogen. Because all of it lowers our immune system, increases anxiety, and can make symptoms show through much stronger. In fact, it can make us get sick. It can make us fall apart. We can have a hard time. We can feel anxious. We can have panic attacks, anxiety attacks. We can feel like somebody is chasing us.

All of those things to me are related to the exact same thing. It's the pressure and noise in our body going up. And as entrepreneurs, if we don't find a way to offload that pressure and noise every single day, it will catch up to us. See, it will slow us down from doing what we need to do. It will stop us from wanting to move forward. It'll take away our sleep, it'll take where our focus, our concentration. When the pressure and noise goes up to where we become symptomatic, all of that urgency in the present that we feel, the eye twitching, the pain, the frustration, the pain in the chest, the trouble breathing, any of those things, the feelings of anxiety, the feelings of panic, whatever it happens to you, and there is a massive range here, whatever it is for you, that shortens your time horizon. It makes it harder to see the future, which is literally what we do to create our lives. It makes it harder for us to be creative, to find solutions to problems, to move forward in the way that we really want to. It shuts down any feelings of intuition or insight that we have to help us move forward, and it becomes increasingly frustrated.

Then what can happen, if you've been in this situation before you know what I'm talking about, the fact that you're having the symptoms increases pressure and noise even more, and then it becomes multiplicative. It's duplicitous. It piles up on itself. Because now the symptoms make you even more stressed, more pressure and noise, more frustration, and that makes it feel even worse, and it makes everything that's going on for you feel more dramatic, more frustration, more challenging. And this can become a never ending spiral in your life where you just keep getting more stressed, and keep getting more frustrated, being more symptomatic, getting sick, breaking down, and feeling the massive pressure of constraint.

I want to help you get past this, and I've been working with entrepreneurs long enough to recognize the patterns that put us in this place. But more importantly, I've been working with entrepreneurs enough to know that there's some shortcuts to get you out of that physiological pain, that pressure, that pressure and noise, the eye twitching, the frustration, whatever it is for you. And it's simple. This is a suggestion I've made several times on this podcast. This is a practice that I have every single day. My high end clients, almost every single one of them does this. In fact my client who's been having the anxiety this week, she's been doing it almost every day too. You get up, you go outside, put on some minimalist shoes or get barefoot, and go for a primal walk.

Here's what a primal walk is. It is not going out in speed walking around your neighborhood, because that could actually raise the pressure and noise. There are some simple guidelines here to follow to have a walk be effective and actually help lower the pressure and noise in your body. See, all of those symptoms that I described, in my belief system, you are having those symptoms because you are approaching or you are entering or you have entered fight or flight. Your body has become highly reactive because you have an evolutionary process running around that is telling your body you are in danger. When there's too many calls, too much pressure, the business piles up, there's too many different things to do, your body has this ancestral ancient instinct called fight or flight that tells you there's a wooly mammoth around the corner and keeps you on high alert.

And we have to let your body know that it's just not necessary. We have to let your body know that it can let go of that fight or flight. We have to let your body know that there is no wooly mammoth. And the only successful way that I have seen entrepreneurs be able to do this is to get up and go for a walk. Now, hyperhydration helps. Go to if you haven't yet, and take the 10 day natural thirst challenge. That will change everything for you. It will definitely make it so that you can withstand more pressure and noise. But there gets a point where if any of these things had been happening to you, if you're having any of these symptoms, if your kids are having any of these symptoms, acting out, being frustrated, overreacting, or being reactive, then go on a primal walk.

Here's how you do it. I'm going to give you some simple guidelines to make it so that it's as effective as possible and it works for you, and then I want to share with you some of the results of my clients have gotten. You get up, you go outside, and I do this every day, first thing in the morning with my daughters. And in order for it to be a primal walk that actually works, get some minimalist shoes on. Feel the ground. Let your body actually feel the ground as you walk. And let your feet react to the ground around you. Walk through grass, walk on rocks, walk in sand. If you're in a city, find a park you can walk on. I use Vibram Five Fingers, but Zero and Vivo Barefoot and some other companies have some great shoes out there that are almost as good. I love my Five Fingers, and I think ... I'm kidding. The other shoe companies have some great shoes too that make you look a little less abnormal, but I'm fine with looking atypical. I've always been atypical, I lean into it.

But the shoes actually make a difference, because we want your body to feel the world around you. We want to activate the massive interoceptors and exteroceptors, all of the sensitivity in your feet. Your feet are one of the most sensitive places in your body. And as you walk, we want full activation of your nervous system. We want full activation of the neurology and proprioception, the understanding of where we are in the world.

This is going to trigger that small part of your brain responsible for knowing where you are so that we can calm you down. We're going to bring you back to the present. When your feet can feel the ground, that will happen faster. And then as you walk, carry on with a brisk pace, but breathe slowly in and out exclusively through your nose, so that you are breathing in an out, nasal breathing only, and see if you can get to the point where you're breathing in for three seconds out for three seconds, then four, then five, and if you can get up to six or seven, you start entering this ideal breathing pace where you will balance not only the oxygen levels in your body, but the CO2 levels in your body, which will calm the nervous system. It will aggressively lower the pressure and noise in your body.

And then the third thing that you want to do when you're on a primal walk is rather than looking down like we have all become accustomed to doing today, look forward. Look far off in the future. I call it tracking. Pick a target far off in the distance. I said far off in the future. It is the future. You're walking towards it. You'll get there eventually. But far off in the distance is what I meant. Pick a target in the distance and track all the way there, just like an evolutionary hunter would.

So here's the suggestions again. One, minimalist shoes or barefoot. Two, breathe in and out through your nose slowly, all the way in, all the way out until you can get to that five, six, or seven second count so you have the ideal oxygen and CO2. And three, track something far off in the future as you walk towards it, just like a hunter would.

Here's what you're going to find. Typically within the first primal walk you ever do, your body will calm down. You'll actually think clearer, you'll see clearer, you'll actually feel better, you'll feel the momentum of having fight or flight release in your body. Because here's what happens when we do this. If you're walking and breathing deeply and tracking in the distance, your body understands near immediately that you are not in fight or flight. See, emotions and reactions puts you into fight or flight. We are going to use your physiology and evolutionary triggers to pull you out of fight or flight. By walking slowly and breathing deeply and tracking in the distance, you will calm your physiology and that will calm your nervous system, that will calm your mind, and we will bring you back to the present, and a lot of those symptoms will go away.

In fact, Bradley who works with ... Sorry, I meant Ryan Lee, who works with Brad Gibb. Ryan was at one of my events a few months ago. And he told me that he had been having really bad back pain, neck pain, mid back pain. And he had done just about everything to get it to go away. He'd been to therapists, to massage therapists, he'd been to physical therapists, he tried acupuncture. He said he tried just about everything. And I suggested the primal walk to him, and within a week his body pain had dissipated and gone away. I have a friend right now who's dealing with a lot personally. She's having some challenges in her business and her personal life and her marriage. And she is continuing to have chest pains and heart palpitations, and she wears a monitoring device. I wear the aura ring and so does she, so she knows even at night she's having some erratic heartbeat patterns. Getting up and going on a walk is calming her down and releasing the tension in her body so that she can go back in and move her life forward.

This is not an isolated incident. By just getting the people that I've worked with to get up and go on primal walks, we have gotten rid of anxiety, tension, prescription medications. For some, they've even been able to get rid of things like eye tension or eye twitching or muscle pain or all types of different things. Even chronic headaches. Just by getting up every morning and religiously doing the primal walk so that you are keeping your body out of fight or flight.

You are an evolutionary hunter, clearly one of the most important people in the world. We need you operating at full capacity because we all go forward faster together, and you owe it to me, to every one of us, and to yourself to get out and calm your physiology, be present and aware, and create a better future for all of us. The primal walk will absolutely change your life.

If you're interested in more strategies like this, and the first planning system created exclusively for entrepreneurs that will help you understand where to focus, how to move forward and change your life even faster, check out It's the course that I wrote exactly for entrepreneurial personality types. And so that you understand what it is, it is the basis for the personal part of the coaching that we do with our clients that pay us over $60,000 a year to be in our coaching product. They have the exact platform, the Ten Momentum Masterclass.

If you go to, you can watch a web class I did about how people like us can move forward, create more momentum, stop limiting behavior, and get what we really want out of life. Go to, and if you're feeling symptomatic in any way, reactive in any way, get up right now. Go try a primal walk. Kick off your shoes. Take 10 or 15 minutes. Walk. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Gaze forward, track something off in the distance. And watch as the tension, the stress, and the pressure and noise melt out of your body and you get back into momentum.

Check out when you have a minute as well.

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