Podcast Ep 163 - Overcoming Obstacles and Chasing Your Fears with Nick Klingensmith

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Show Notes

Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear? In this inspiring episode, host David Hall sits down with public speaker and life coach, Nick Klingensmith to explore the depths of overcoming obstacles and not just facing, but CHASING your fears.

As we navigate through Nick’s story, listeners will learn about the transformative power of pushing past life’s hurdles, the importance of setting tangible goals, and the resilience required to surmount personal trauma.

Whether you’re looking to harness your natural strengths, or seeking a reset, or anyone in between, this conversation is bound to provide that spark of motivation you need. From Nick’s brush with mortality as a 4-time cancer survivor to the adrenaline rush of Spartan races, his journey exemplifies the quiet strength we all possess.

Tune in to discover how to redefine your obstacles as opportunities, build a foundation for accountability, and ultimately, become the architect of your own triumphs. Discover why embracing vulnerability can be your greatest weapon against fear, and be strong.

How You Can Overcome Obstacles:

In our lives, the path toward embracing our true selves is often riddled with challenges we never expected to face. I had the privilege of sitting down with Nick Klingensmith, a man who has continually risen above his defining trials to emerge not just successful but genuinely enlightened and inspiring to all who encounter his story.

Our conversation spanned from Nick’s trials through health issues—including being a 4-time cancer survivor, managing type 1 diabetes, and journeying through alcohol recovery—to finding his identity and purpose in the unlikeliest of places: amidst the rough-and-tumble world of obstacle course racing. Through Nick’s remarkable experiences, we learn that challenges are not merely to be faced, but to be chased with courage and conviction.

Despite the adversities that once seemed to dictate the course of his life, Nick has strikingly transformed potential defeat into an arsenal of wisdom, strength, and empathy. A sales professional and coach by skill, he embodies the art of disconnecting from the outcome and has refined the pure essence of focusing on the process which, he insists, applies as much to our personal endeavors as it does to sports. Nick’s approach to helping others is through defining tangible, actionable goals and holding them accountable, principles derived from not just his expertise but from the raw moments of his life.

“I had no interest in really being that uncomfortable. And if you’re not familiar with Spartan Race, think of a of a of a trail race with a lot of mud and a lot of obstacles. It’s things like climbing over walls, hanging from various multi rigs, climbing ropes, carrying heavy objects under barbed wire. Just think of the the most uncomfortable thing you can do. Go put it on a race course and do it.

I signed up for this this one race, and I had no idea that one little thing would begin to lead to another. And that ultimately throughout this process, I started taking back control over my life.” — Nick Klingensmith

Quiet and Strong Podcast, Episode 163

Our in-depth discussion explores Nick’s evolution as a writer and speaker, an element that revealed his innate introversion and creative force which he has learned to wield effectively in his solitary pursuits. Writing his memoir, a journey that involved paring down a voluminous draft into a poignant narrative, became a meditative rite of passage for him. As someone who once tried to fit into the box prescribed by society, Nick’s story is a powerhouse of self-knowledge and transformation.

Sharing his story, Nick does not shy away from vulnerability. Instead, he encourages listeners to confront their fears and take small steps to progress, offering his life as testament to the potency of perseverance and the importance of discovering one’s true north. He invites us to join him in the realm where overcoming obstacles is not just about physical stamina but the clarity of the human spirit and the fortitude of purpose.

As Nick concludes, living inspired requires not just facing fears but seeking them out and CHASING them, identifying the purpose behind every action, and stepping out of our comfort zones to uncover fulfillment. My conversation with Nick challenges us to rethink how we view our introversion, our limitations, and the excuses we may harbor. All of us at The Quiet And Strong Podcast believe deeply in the transformative power of embracing your introversion, and Nick’s journey from his writing to his first Spartan race underlines the beauty of this message.

We invite you to engage with us further, and to those interested in self-discovery, we offer a free personality assessment to understand your introverted strengths better. Nick Klingensmith is a beacon for those chasing serenity, courage, and a life unbounded by fear, and I urge you to delve into the full episode to absorb the full gravity of his insights. Until the next time we speak, remember to embrace your quiet strength and chase the life you wish to lead, and Be Strong.

Key Takeaways

– Embrace your true self: Nick Klingensmith discusses the importance of not trying to fit into predefined boxes.

– Focus on the process, not the outcome: In sales, coaching, and life, concentrate on the steps you’re taking rather than getting fixated on the end results to reduce stress and mental fatigue.

– Overcoming personal obstacles parallels sports: Nick draws parallels between the perseverance needed in sports and in life’s challenges, using his sports experiences to help others build resilience.

– Setting and achieving goals: Nick provides actionable strategies for his coaching clients to define, plan for, and achieve their goals, emphasizing accountability and personal responsibility.

– The power of vulnerability: Sharing his own story, Nick encourages others to be raw and open, to overcome trauma and excel in their careers, using his experience as a cancer survivor and recovering alcoholic as a testament to resilience.

– Personal revelation through solitude: Nick finds strength and inspiration in solitary activities, emphasizing the need for meaningful connections over superficial ones and how embracing introversion can enhance creativity and productivity.

– Small steps toward progress: Rather than comparing yourself to others, focus on making incremental advancements in your personal and professional life.

– Live inspired and chase your fears: Nick exhorts listeners to actively seek inspiration and step outside their comfort zones, associating the act of chasing fears with finding a deeper life purpose.

Make Changes Now:

After listening to this inspiring episode of The Quiet and Strong Podcast with David Hall and guest Nick Klingensmith, here are a few immediate actions you could take to apply the lessons discussed:

1. Self-Reflection and Embracing Introversion:

Spend quiet time to reflect on your own journey and personal challenges. During this time, consider how your introverted nature can be a strength in helping you focus deeply on your goals and creativity. Acknowledge and embrace your introversion rather than seeing it as an obstacle.

2. Define Tangible Goals and Create Action Plans:

– Inspired by Nick’s coaching approach, write down specific, measurable goals that you want to achieve, both short-term and long-term. Next, craft a step-by-step plan outlining the actions required to reach these goals. Remember to include milestones to track your progress.

3. Push Beyond Your Comfort Zone:

– Identify something you’ve been avoiding because it scares you or makes you uncomfortable. Like Nick’s first Spartan race experience, commit to one challenge that will push you beyond your comfort zone. It could be signing up for a class, starting a new fitness regimen, or speaking publicly on a topic you’re passionate about.

4. Personal Accountability:

– Take responsibility for your path to improvement. Whether it’s related to your career, personal health, or other aspects of life, ensure you hold yourself accountable. If helpful, consider finding an accountability partner or coach like Nick to help you stay committed to your plans.

5. Practice Daily Connection to Purpose:

– Reflect on what drives you and find ways to connect your daily activities to your greater purpose. For example, if you value helping others, look for opportunities to volunteer or support someone in your community each day. This alignment will build resilience and motivate through challenging times.

After action, consider revisiting the podcast episode, taking notes, and maybe even reaching out to the host or featured guest via their provided contact information for additional guidance or to share your progress.


After being thrown out of a Las Vegas hotel in a drunken haze, jeopardizing his career and relationships, Nick Klingensmith had to make a change. A 4-time cancer survivor, type-1 diabetic, and recovering alcoholic with herniated discs, nerve damage and sleep apnea, he defies it all when he finds Obstacle Course Racing. Refusing to accept his limitations, he’s completed over 100 Spartan Races, 6 Major Marathons, several Ultras and scores of other obstacle and endurance events. As someone who has walked the path of a sales professional, Nick is an expert in propelling other achievement-driven professionals and leaders to overcome fear and rejection and push past self-limiting doubts, by inspiring them to take purposeful action towards their goals. Nick is a raw and passionate storyteller who holds nothing back when revealing who he used to be and the person he is now.

Connect with Nick:

Website: StrideMotivation.com

Socials:  LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter

– – –

Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

david [at] quietandstrong.com

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

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Timestamped Overview

00:00 Nick Klingensmith overcame obstacles through obstacle course racing and now inspires others to achieve their goals.

03:48 Reluctant start leads to life transformation through Spartan Race.

08:17 Race redefined life, newfound serenity, new beginning.

11:39 Trained for 10k race, followed 30 day program, adjusted for intermediate level.

15:36 Embracing solitude, finding purpose, publishing a vulnerable book, connecting with others’ stories.

19:28 Realizing introversion, extroversion, and embracing it.

21:56 Embracing vulnerability and self-reflection in sobriety.

25:46 Overcoming obstacles in life, job loss compared to physical challenge.

30:07 Finding purpose in daily activity is powerful, as seen with a man reconnecting through travel and another overcoming trauma for his dog.

31:53 Resilience comes from purpose. Excuses weaken with purpose. Fear is the biggest excuse. Excuses show lack of growth.

34:05 Confront fear, most fears never happen.

37:44 Thank you for joining, connect further at quietandstrong.com. Personality assessment now available.

Podcast Transcript

Nick Klingensmith [00:00:00]:
Is the greatest excuse over them all, and it can be paralyzing. And to say overcoming your fears is easy. It’s not true. So I don’t believe I’ve overcome my fear. You know, I’m afraid of snakes. I’m not gonna go handle a snake. I’m deathly afraid of snake. I’m not gonna bring it to my house.

Nick Klingensmith [00:00:14]:
I don’t want one as a pet, but I spend my weekends in swamps. So I’ve gotten where I can move beyond fear, and I don’t allow fear to prevent me from living my life. And I think fear can be a healthy reminder sometimes. You know, when I was afraid for my job last fall because I wasn’t doing it enough. Right? If I’m afraid for my home, it’s because I haven’t saved enough. If I’m, like, afraid of losing the life that I’m living, it’s because I’m clinging on to something that’s just outside of my control anyways. Fear is this thing that we we tell ourselves that prevents us from taking that next step.

David Hall [00:00:59]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 163 of the Quietest Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we’ll our each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me.

David Hall [00:01:24]:
Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. After being thrown out of a Las Vegas hotel in a drunken haze, jeopardizing his career and relationships, Nick Klingensmith had to make a change. A 4 time cancer survivor, type 1 diabetic, recovering alcoholic with herniated discs, nerve damage, and sleep apnea. He defied it all when he finds obstacle course racing. Refusing to accept his limitations, he’s completed over 100 Spartan races, 6 major marathons, several ultras, and scores of other obstacle and endurance events. As someone who has walked the path of a sales professional, Nick is a expert in propelling other achievement driven professionals and leaders to overcome fears and rejection and push past self limiting doubts by inspiring them to take purposeful action towards their goals. Nick is a raw and passionate storyteller who holds nothing back when revealing who he used to be and the person he is now.

David Hall [00:02:27]:
Alright. Well, welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, Nick. Nick, it’s so great to have you on.

Nick Klingensmith [00:02:32]:
David, thank you for having me. Happy to be here.

David Hall [00:02:34]:
Yeah. We’re gonna talk about your great story. And first, just tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey. Now you’re a keynote speaker, best selling author, and a life coach. How did you get there?

Nick Klingensmith [00:02:47]:
No. I had I had to go through a lot, so I had something to say. You know, the irony is that I wanted to be a writer since I was in the 1st grade. I, I I always wanted to write something, and I I wrote fiction throughout throughout school as sort of a project. And, I even tried to get something published in the early 2000, and, you know, it didn’t land at all. And then I really took a hiatus from writing. And the reason I mentioned that is because, you know, in the last 19 years, I’ve had cancer four times. I’m a type one diabetic.

Nick Klingensmith [00:03:21]:
I’m a recovering alcoholic. I have 7 herniated discs from 2 different rollover fatality car accidents. I almost died from meningitis. I had COVID. There’s probably something I’m leaving. I have sleep apnea. There’s something I’m probably leaving out here, but I I redefined and changed my life when I became an obstacle course racer. And when I was first introduced to Spartan Race, we’re talking 7 years ago, it was something that I didn’t wanna do.

Nick Klingensmith [00:03:48]:
I had no interest in in really being that uncomfortable. And if you’re not familiar with Spartan Race, think of a of a of a trail race with a lot of mud and a lot of obstacles. It’s things like climbing over walls, hanging from various multi rigs, climbing ropes, carrying heavy objects under barbed wire. Just think of the the most uncomfortable thing you can do. Go put it on a race course and do it. And, you know, I signed up for this this one race, and I had no idea that one little thing would begin to lead to another. And that ultimately throughout this process, I started taking back control over my life. And it was through that experience and then later writing about it that I was able to see the lessons of my life that really allowed me to complete my journey or really to be part of my transformation.

David Hall [00:04:35]:
Yeah. So with all the challenges you described, all the health challenges, what made you decide to start that?

Nick Klingensmith [00:04:44]:
You know, when when my boss walks in my office on a on a Friday afternoon, and he goes, I wanna do a Spartan race, and I want you to do it with me.

David Hall [00:04:52]:

Nick Klingensmith [00:04:53]:
And I looked at him. No. No. That sounded miserable to me. I had no intention of being that uncomfortable. And I went home that night, and I I was reflecting back upon all the stuff I had just told you. But then at that time, I had just been promoted at work. I just started a new relationship with an amazing girl as my now wife.

Nick Klingensmith [00:05:16]:
I had just beaten cancer decisively for the 4th time, and I somehow found myself stuck and lost. And it kind of occurred to me that I already was that uncomfortable. I hadn’t overcome any of my adversity. I had only survived it. And so I knew I needed a change. I needed a catalyst, something to just something to mix it up. And I think what was perfect about the race is it wasn’t you know, he didn’t say go be a Spartan racer with me, and let’s go run marathons. It was one race.

Nick Klingensmith [00:05:46]:
It was a 10 k ish distance, and it was 9 weeks away. So I didn’t decide to change my life. I decided to do one uncomfortable thing, having no idea that it would change my life.

David Hall [00:06:00]:
Had you ever done anything like that before?

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:04]:
I’ve run. You know, at the time, I was I might have been running 10 to 15 miles a week. Okay. I’ve done some 5 k’s. I ran track in high school, and I was a competitive beach volleyball player for nearly 20 years. But when I say competitive, I don’t mean professional, and I didn’t win anything. Well, that’s not true. I won about a $170 over those 20 years.

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:24]:

David Hall [00:06:24]:
Okay. Alright.

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:27]:
So, I mean, I had done athletics. And so what it was is that I knew I I knew I could be athletic. I knew I could live a life of fitness. I just needed the thing to get me started.

David Hall [00:06:41]:
K. So that was your first?

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:43]:
That was the first.

David Hall [00:06:44]:
And then tell us about all the many others that you’ve done since.

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:49]:
Let me first tell you a little bit about that first race.

David Hall [00:06:51]:

Nick Klingensmith [00:06:52]:
Yeah. Because there’s a few key things that happened that day. Number 1, when I’m walking to the race and I’m seeing other racers finish, they’re jumping the fire, they’re getting the medals, they’re walking through the corral. Have you seen Gladiator?

David Hall [00:07:05]:

Nick Klingensmith [00:07:06]:
Remember that first battle scene? And, you know, afterwards, everyone’s just kinda looking at Maximus as he’s walking around with Caesar and just the amount of, like, respecting. You’re looking at him like, wow. These these warriors. Right? That’s how I saw these other racers. I mean, I just saw them coming off with mud and dirt and grit and badass written all over them. And I was like, wow. I’m gonna go do this. I want what they had.

Nick Klingensmith [00:07:27]:
So it gave me this immediate feeling of feeling like I was a warrior and not a victim. You know? I wasn’t living in a bubble that day, and I had before. The second thing is and I’ll ask you this. When was the last time you went out and played and weren’t afraid of getting your pants dirty?

David Hall [00:07:47]:
It might been a while for me.

Nick Klingensmith [00:07:48]:
It’s been a long time for most people. Right? Well, I can’t tell you how liberating it was to just be out in the world, out in nature. Like, you know, this isn’t Busch Gardens, man. When I’m running through a swamp, there’s gators in that swamp. You know? There’s snakes, things I’m afraid of. When I’m climbing mountains, I mean, we’re not taking a lift to the top or climbing the mountain. And to just go out there and without fear, without doubt, without reservation, without thinking what society is telling us to do and just play like a kid again. Oh my god.

Nick Klingensmith [00:08:17]:
The spiritual reset you hit. And then at the end of the race well, actually, throughout the race, especially when I’m not a, you know, I’m not a great athlete or anything, but when I achieve, like, or accomplish that one obstacle that I didn’t think was something I could do, it was, like, it was redefining. You know? So here I was. I went out in the race, and I basically just ripped open any expectation of what I thought life was. And now all of a sudden, I started redefining even what I believed I was capable of. And so when I finished that race and I just looked back, it was this feeling of serenity that had come over me in a way that I have I had yet to experience. And I remember the next day sitting out on the water out of Flagler Beach outside, on the East Coast of Florida, having breakfast with my wife, and it was the newness of it. It was literally like day 1 of my new life.

Nick Klingensmith [00:09:06]:
And so when I went back to work the next day, my boss and I, who again, I thought it was a one and done race. We I went into his office this time. We got up on his whiteboard, and we started planning the the the next year. And every race presents a unique obstacle or a unique opportunity to inspire yourself and to learn something about yourself. Because it might be the obstacle that you overcome for the first time, that race that you run your best, you know, your your best time in. It might be the fear that you overcome. There’s just so many different things out there that ins you know, you get that taste of achievement and inspires you to to go to go chase more. And that’s really what it’s been is that I didn’t just say I’m going to go run a 100 Spartan races.

Nick Klingensmith [00:09:49]:
It was just what’s next, and what do I learn now, and how do I get better at this, and what skills do I develop? And the thing is is that training for these races, it’s it’s training for life because, yes, I’m doing physical activity. That’s one thing, obviously. Right? But, like, at the same time, it requires purposeful intention. Like, you have to be very purposeful with your time. You know, you have to learn things. It’s not just a physical game. So you learn things about the obstacle. You learn things about yourself.

Nick Klingensmith [00:10:15]:
It’s a it’s a process for overcoming obstacles, and it’s the same process as obstacles that we face in life.

David Hall [00:10:23]:
Did you have to change some training for that first one? You know, you said you had 9 weeks. Did you do some different training than you had been?

Nick Klingensmith [00:10:31]:
Yeah. I mean, because I had only been I hadn’t been doing much. You know? I’ve been running a little here and there, doing a couple push ups here and there. Yeah. In my book, I describe my training program prior to Spartan race as, scribbled notes on a coffee napkin, almost like a task list that will never be completed. It was just miscellaneous jargon. And so what I did for the the Spartan race since I had no idea how to train for it. Now these days, all of the information you need about Spartan is online and through social media communities.

Nick Klingensmith [00:11:04]:
I mean, you can learn literally everything. Back then, though, there was a lot of mystery behind it, and they just wanted you to train for everything. And, the CEO of Spartan even had written a couple books, and a lot of it were about mindset. And he’s an incredible marketer. I’ll tell you that. And I was buying because I really wanted the mindset shift as well of just doing hard things and getting uncomfortable. So I actually found, like, a 30 day training program called Couch to Sprint. The sprint is a 5 k distance obstacle course race.

Nick Klingensmith [00:11:39]:
The one I was training for was a 10 k, which actually turned out to be about 8 and a half miles. And so I took the 30 day training program. Now, again, I wasn’t on the couch, though. I was an intermediate or beginner, you know, hybrid athlete, if you will. And so I took that, and I just ratcheted it up. I followed the pro the program for about a week, but the program was, like, had some walk runs in there. You know, walk for 3 minutes, run for 1, stuff like that. After the 1st week, I just said, okay.

Nick Klingensmith [00:12:08]:
Well, I can just run for 10 minutes straight. And so I started ratcheting it up. And that’s what I did over the 9 weeks is I just I trained everything, and I I conditioned my body not to necessarily perform or excel during the obstacle course race, but really just to prepare it to to get through it.

David Hall [00:12:25]:
Yeah. So you mentioned your book. I’m gonna read the whole title here. So Through the Fire, the story of the 4 time cancer survivor, type 1 diabetic, and recovering alcoholic that became an obstacle course racer and defied it all. So tell us about your book and what made you decide to write that. You said you’d always wanted to to write.

Nick Klingensmith [00:12:46]:
Yeah. And I I love to write. So, something I don’t, haven’t actually talked to a lot of people about, but I was a private investigator for 20 years. My dad was a cop. He was a PI. I used to work for him. And, I like writing a lot of fiction. And so I actually started writing, like, a series about a private investigator on Martha Zingert, where I’m originally from.

Nick Klingensmith [00:13:07]:
And the thing is, as much as I love writing, I never really committed to writing that series of the books. And over the over the years starting in, like, 2017 and 2018, I call this, Facebook therapy, but I would do a Facebook post about whatever was ailing me and how I was overcoming it. So if I was doing a cancer check at Moffitt Cancer Center, I might be like, f you, cancer. I’m coming to getcha. You know, I’ll start writing things like that. And then when I finished a race, I’m like, I might write about, you know, my herniated discs and how I did this and how I can overcome it. I didn’t realize that I was basically writing speeches and writing little blurbs that other people would resonate with. It was really just sort of a self talk way to put it out in the the atmosphere.

Nick Klingensmith [00:13:55]:
And what ended up happening later throughout 2018 as I was really into the mainstream of this life is people were reaching out to me, and they were telling me that I was inspiring them. And they’re telling me I should write my story. And I just it hadn’t occurred to me yet until I sat down literally at the end of that year, and I just started writing. And I I realized the reason I keep mentioning those fiction novels is I go I have the whole story now. I have something to write about. I even told my boss back in 2020 when I was working on revising the book. I was having a bad day with diabetes. And he was like, I’m sorry.

Nick Klingensmith [00:14:31]:
And I go, I’m not. And he goes, why not? I go, because this is why I get to write a book. Like, it was the thing that had happened to me provided me the thing that I that I wanted to do. So I just started writing. I would I would sit down, grab a legal pad, think of a scene from my life or a scene from the races, and I would just start writing about it. And so the first draft was a 125,000 word mindless manifesto. It was. It was everything from, like, a history of Spartan.

Nick Klingensmith [00:15:01]:
It was a training journal. It was a how to. I had positioned myself as, like, a fitness expert. I mean, it was just this ego driven movie poster that had nothing to do with what I had gone through. And so nobody was gonna read a 500 page memoir about somebody they’d never heard about. Obviously, I had to edit it. And so as I’m going through the exercise, and it took me about a year of doing this, of slashing and cutting and cutting and cutting, you eventually begin to strip away the bullshit you’ve been telling yourselves. You begin to start seeing through the lies, and you begin to start seeing things in a different perspective.

Nick Klingensmith [00:15:36]:
And this was a critical part of my journey for me because, you know, when we talk about, introversion and whatnot too, it’s like these are the times where I truly embraced being alone in that solitude. And it wasn’t like I didn’t wanna be around other people. I was embracing the things that I was doing. Like, this is where that was my spiritual, like, time. It was meditative to be able to do all that. And throughout that process then, that’s when I became to realize the lessons from my life and understood that I then have a gift that I can help share with other people. And so I published the book, which was probably the scariest thing I’d ever done in my life because of just how naked and vulnerable I truly went through the whole exercise. And the feedback I got from people then was remarkable, not praising me, telling me their stories.

Nick Klingensmith [00:16:29]:
I mean, the occasional praise is fine, but I’ve never really been comfortable with it. Like, everybody likes a little validation, but it’s kinda like you want I don’t know. I want the quiet validation. I wanna know, but I don’t wanna really want you to tell me because then I’m gonna feel uncomfortable about it. So the real the real power came when people reached out to me and told me their story and how I inspired them to share theirs or to write a book or they told me about cancer. They told me about their addiction, and that that’s truly what helped to transform my life. And, also, you know, when I said I realized I hadn’t overcome my adversity, I’d only survived it. It was then that I realized that not only have I overcome my adversity, but that I can now overcome any adversity.

David Hall [00:17:12]:
So in that, you did mention introversion, and you are a fellow introvert. So just tell us just a little bit about how’d you figure that out, and how did you learn to embrace it?

Nick Klingensmith [00:17:24]:
I’m gonna be candid. The nail on the head was our conversation because I’ve never I’ve never thought about it in the way that we talked about. Okay. So I was talking to my old boss, a little while back. He’s a good friend of mine, and he knew me when I was drinking. You know? Like, he’s been friends for almost 20 years now. And I was telling him how when I was becoming a motivational speaker, I was like, hey. Maybe I get to start being more social again.

Nick Klingensmith [00:17:50]:
And he’s like, why? I’m like, because I spend you know, I’m I train by myself for 3 hours a day. If I have free time, I work on my book or I write. And so on the weekends, I like to get up, do a long run, go the dog park, come back, write. And by then, I don’t wanna go be social and do things. I’m sort of done for the day. I always choose that type of activity. And I was telling him that, well, hey. Now that it’s my full time job to write my books and work on my creative stuff, maybe I’ll be able to free up some more personal time.

Nick Klingensmith [00:18:18]:
I’ve yet to make that decision, and it’s because I realized it’s not that I don’t like being around people. It’s I prefer these activities that allow me to to use what I have. I have this cognitive ability. I have this creativity. I have these things that I can do that I can really flourish on when I’m in the right environment. And I had to realize it’s you know, there’s actually a line from a reggae song, and this is what first put it in my head. I don’t know if you ever heard, listened to the band Revolution. I don’t remember the the word for word, but he was like, you know what? What’s wrong with just sitting back and just writing? That was the sentiment of the lyric.

Nick Klingensmith [00:18:55]:
And I was like, seriously, what’s wrong with that? Why do I have to feel like I’m supposed to do something and be something else? Like, I’m enjoying myself. I’m not hiding. Right? Like, I’m not isolating. And that’s what I used to think it was, is that isolating. And I realized that’s not that’s not the same thing. You know, I keep very close personal relationships. You know, it’s funny. This week with the social media going down a couple times, I realized something too that I appear like an extrovert to so many people because I am social, but those are so surface level connections.

Nick Klingensmith [00:19:28]:
You know? Like, the things on there’s a difference between sort of being that that that social and really enjoying the lots of people and being the life of the party, but that’s what got me drunk. When I was out there drinking all the time, the only time I really enjoy being the life of the party and just being at the center of everything, I had to get drunk to deal with it. And I and I just didn’t realize that. So I know I’m going around in circles here, but that’s because this is a brand new process of just learning these things and then seeing that, a, I’ve been this way my entire life even as a child, b, it’s not what I thought it was. You know? I believe there’s probably a big misconception between this concept of introversion and extroversion. You know? And and then lastly is just embracing it. And, like I said, it was like our conversation when you and I spoke. It really just kinda put a couple things in perspective, and I go, okay.

Nick Klingensmith [00:20:23]:
Not only am I this way, I like being this way, and I can use this for a lot of good things.

David Hall [00:20:29]:
Yeah. Well said there, Nick. You have a gift. It came to you naturally. It’s something you’ve always had. You know, I’ve always been an introvert. We like people. You know? It’s just you know, we need our time to use our gifts.

David Hall [00:20:43]:
We enjoy our time to use our gifts, you know, when there’s just a a balance there, but we have important people in our lives that we like to spend time with, but it it’s all it’s all a balance, and it’s not good or bad. It’s just, you know, we have some great gifts that we need to share. So, yeah, that’s amazing. So this is still pretty recent for you to this understanding.

Nick Klingensmith [00:21:04]:
You know what’s crazy? When I putting out the book really changed everything for me. And, you know, I get so so naked in the book. I mean, I I opened the second chapter with, you know, me getting thrown out of Vegas hotel for trying to have sex with a hooker while my get a closet while my girlfriend is sleeping down the hall. That’s pretty vulnerable to put that scumbag level of yourself out there. I talk about how scared I was when I got cancer. I talk about how I just bawled when I lost my cat and how, you know, how I’m still trying to process when I lost my mom. Putting these things out there and just being so vulnerable to the world. Because, I mean, I it’s easier to put them out there when you want looking people in the eye, you know, when I can write a book or I can take a video, and I’m not having to see the people’s reaction.

Nick Klingensmith [00:21:56]:
But I’ve come to embrace vulnerability as a superpower. And because of that and being willing to be humble and being willing to call out my own faults You know, the first 2 years I was sober, it was all about looking back and just kinda cleaning up my wreckage of my personality and the and some of the damage that I might have caused. But I almost think I shut that valve off after that for several years because now I’m looking back at years 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of being sober, and I’m seeing things different than I saw now. And I and all these lessons just keep pouring in. And so I’ve just been in this self reflective journey here for a little while, and I’m learning so much about myself that I I hadn’t before. So the floodgates are just pouring in. And it’s almost like when I when I stopped drinking, I knew I was an alcoholic for a long time. It wasn’t about accepting it.

Nick Klingensmith [00:22:47]:
It was just about when I was ready to do something about it. So I think this is something that I’ve known about myself. I’m just now embracing it, and now I’m getting comfortable with it and learning more about myself instead of trying to force myself into a different box.

David Hall [00:23:03]:
Yeah. That’s the key. You know, really being your true self. And on that reflection, that’s a gift you have. As introverts, we have a gift to think about where we’re at, where we wanna be, how we wanna be better, and it’s it’s a gift.

Nick Klingensmith [00:23:18]:
You know, I’ve also because of, like, self reflection, and this is a I’m coaching a guy right now on, he’s a sales guy, and he’s kinda hit a bit of a bit of a wall. And what I’ve realized as a as a career sales professional and someone who used to consider myself a bar stool salesperson, meaning that, like, I was, again, life of the party type person. But I look back at all the sales training I do. I look back at the way that I coach people to do sales, and I even look at the book I’m writing right now on sales, and I I realize how much I have taken myself out of the process. I talk about math over emotion, just, you know, effort over outcomes. Just like, we are the vehicle. I don’t need to live and die by every sale. I don’t need to hang on to every person’s reaction to me or validation to me.

Nick Klingensmith [00:24:09]:
Basically, I’ve I’ve created this process that is not about me. And because I realized when I am living and dying by every other person’s reaction and approval, dude, it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting. And it it’s it gets almost impossible to do your job unless you’re someone who truly thrives in that in that environment where you have to be surrounded by, well, people, all that you hey. It’s exhausting to force yourself into that box, but the more that I’m able to disconnect myself from the outcome you mean, you have to know your process. You have to know your building blocks. But the more that I take my my ego out of it, the more that I take my personality out of it, the more that I realize it’s not a judgment about me and I am just executing a process, I can do more without it taking away my mental stamina.

David Hall [00:24:57]:
Yeah. That’s great. So all these things you learned, now you’re speaking, you’re you’re a coach, you’re a life coach. How do you bring these concepts to others through your speaking and your coaching?

Nick Klingensmith [00:25:09]:
Well, the speaking you know, I share my story into great detail, and I really talk about certain defining moments. And, again, this is something that you don’t realize when you’re in the moment. You know? And but going through it all, I I go through my story, and then I take the most relevant lessons that really apply to building resilience. And these are things that apply to everybody. You know, one’s one of the feedback I get a little bit is a lot of people don’t know what obstacle course racing is. A lot of people know what it is, look at it like a hobby or a game, and that’s fine. It is for some people. It’s hard to translate that lesson that, no.

Nick Klingensmith [00:25:46]:
I’m not gonna come in and talk about sports. Like, again, the process for overcoming obstacles in the woods is the exact same as in life. And I’m gonna give you a real example real quick. When I lost my job in October, that’s the exact same thing as me looking at, an obstacle called the Olympus wall, which is a a a slanted wall that you have to traverse horizontally. And it’s got these little small holes, and it’s got rock climbing grips, and it’s slippery, and it’s just it’s one of the hardest obstacles there is. It’s the exact same thing as losing a job because the first thing you have to do is say, what does overcoming the obstacle look like? What is success? You have to define the obstacle. Right? So for me, in the in the Olympus, well, it’s getting to the other side hitting the bell. You know, when you lose a job, it’s like, okay.

Nick Klingensmith [00:26:33]:
Well, generating revenue, how do I get there? And then we just have to look at ourselves and say, where am I weak? Where am I strong? What are the things I need to work on? What skills, knowledge, strength do I need to get in order to overcome this thing? And then it becomes a matter of planning and preparation. So the lessons in resilience apply universally. Now coaching is a little bit different because I wanna get more tactical. And the way that I help people specifically when it comes to coaching, and this is both for for sales teams or just individual professionals, is most people do not know how to define their goals. Most of the people I’ve been talking to and I’ve been talking to a lot of people. They’re giving me these vague goals. Like, I wanna get promoted as many times as I can. I wanna be a best dad.

Nick Klingensmith [00:27:20]:
I’m a be a better husband. Congratulations. You have failed on all 3. You can’t set emotional goals and expect to have a tangible objective. So I’m working with them on taking these vague, you know, concepts, these life visions, and turning them into something tangible and actionable and then defining a plan that helps them to achieve their goals. And then I simply kinda transition to an accountability partner. But if you look at, again, my life and the things I’ve done, one of the key lessons I’ve learned is about personal responsibility. I am responsible for everything in my life that happens from this moment forth.

Nick Klingensmith [00:27:56]:
I may not be at fault. I may not be to blame, but I am responsible. I remove excuses. I removed doubt. I removed fear because none of those things matter. All that matters is pushing us to take that next step and removing those barriers. So that’s how I’m working with individuals. Everything from helping them to get their careers back on track, overcoming personal trauma to take back some of their own life.

Nick Klingensmith [00:28:18]:
The process really is is kinda the same.

David Hall [00:28:21]:
And how do you help people find what their purpose is so that they can make those goals?

Nick Klingensmith [00:28:29]:
So, you know, there’s a a purpose for doing something in a life purpose. Right? Like, our purposes can evolve, and I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck. Like so the first guy that I’m coaching, that’s exactly where he got stuck. He he’s a director in he’s reached director level, and, he’s in telecom sales. He’s been there for a long time. He knows he’s hit a ceiling in his industry unless he goes and works for another start up, which he doesn’t wanna do. So he’s achieved some some levels of success. He recently got married, got a new house.

Nick Klingensmith [00:29:01]:
You know, he’s really checked a lot of boxes lately, and now he’s like, yeah. I need a kick in the ass. And as I’m talking to him and I was like, alright. What’s your purpose here? What’s your why? What are we working for? And he gave me this nonsense about saving for retirement, blah blah blah. Basically, he’s like, you know, I’m gonna work till I’m 65, and then I’m gonna take a vacation with my wife and yada yada and golf on Sundays. I’m like, dude, shut up. I’m like, if any of those things were true, you wouldn’t be on the phone with me right now. That’s what got you here, but it’s not driving you anymore.

Nick Klingensmith [00:29:33]:
So it starts with a I almost wanna say, like, a therapy conversation because we have to get naked and vulnerable and find out what is in the next part of your life. It’s sometimes we know we don’t know how to articulate it, but more often than not, we just don’t know what we wanna do. So for him in particular, we were basically able to articulate the fact that he doesn’t wanna wait 20 years to start traveling with his wife. So cool. I’m like, let’s put some dates on the calendar. Let’s put let’s find out some locations. Let’s find out how much it’s gonna cost. Like, let’s plan it out and then drive you there.

Nick Klingensmith [00:30:07]:
Because then if he can connect his daily activity with the purpose of traveling the world, dude, I can stand in my head for 10 hours a day if it means I’m gonna go experience the rest of the world to get to travel the world and share that experience with another person. So, you know, another guy who experienced some trauma, he had injured himself and then was he basically became, like, isolated, like, afraid to walk, afraid to shower, afraid to do anything that requires him to use his leg, including walking his dog. That’s the part that was breaking his heart. Not living his life is one thing. That wasn’t enough to get him going. But when we really broke it down to the fact that, like, dude, your dog is sad. Like, we’re gonna get you walking or you’re gonna have to give him up. Like, he’s like, hey.

Nick Klingensmith [00:30:56]:
I can’t do that. And I go, alright. So now we know what we need to do. Right? This is an important why. And as a dog owner, number 1, I wasn’t gonna let him give him up. I just want him to know the alternative.

David Hall [00:31:04]:

Nick Klingensmith [00:31:05]:
Like, we’re gonna get you going here. He got walking that day. That day. Like, we’re still working on bigger goals and getting back into life because, you know, you can hit these setbacks real easy, but, like, he literally would not go outside his house. And I I suggested he just go on a 10 foot walk, and he sent me video of him walking back and forth with his dog in the backyard. I was like, I win because my purpose to overcome every obstacle and inspire others they can too. So when I saw that I inspired him to overcome that obstacle, that’s like me ringing the bell that day.

David Hall [00:31:36]:
Awesome. And so still people might get their purpose, have their goals, but be afraid of of doing that. How do you help people push past those limiting beliefs that they might have?

Nick Klingensmith [00:31:48]:
Yeah. The first part, though, I’m gonna keep going back to the why and the purpose.

David Hall [00:31:51]:

Nick Klingensmith [00:31:53]:
Resilience thrives when there is a sense of purpose. I I walk through fear when I have a sense of purpose. You your excuses don’t have the same power over you when you have a sense of purpose. Now that said, we have to put things into perspective because fear is the greatest excuse of them all. Excuses are one thing. Okay? Like, as a matter of fact, the the newest client I brought up yesterday, I was really proud of him because he told me all these things that were sort of wrong yesterday. And then I was like, man, you’re growing already. And he’s like, how do you know that? I go, because you didn’t offer one excuse, not one.

Nick Klingensmith [00:32:30]:
And here’s what I here’s what I like to say this. I’ve called Wells Fargo before, and I said, hey. I don’t have any money, but I got a lot of excuses for you. No. You don’t accept Wells you don’t accept excuses for mortgage payments? Oh, they have no value. None. None. So it doesn’t matter.

Nick Klingensmith [00:32:52]:
They are 100% bullshit. They are a lie that you are telling yourself. So just, like, honestly, I’m gonna be a dick about it. Shut up. There’s no excuse I’m willing to hear. You are responsible. Now as far as fear, fear is the greatest excuse over them all, and it can be paralyzing. And to say overcoming your fears is easy.

Nick Klingensmith [00:33:10]:
It’s not true, so I don’t believe I’ve overcome my fear. You know, I’m afraid of snakes. I’m not gonna go handle a snake. I’m deathly afraid of snake. Not gonna bring it in my house. I don’t want one as a pet, but I spend my weekends in swamps. So I’ve gotten where I can move beyond fear, and I don’t allow fear to prevent me from living my life. And I think fear can be a healthy reminder sometimes.

Nick Klingensmith [00:33:31]:
You know, when I was afraid for my job last fall because I wasn’t doing it enough. Right? If I’m afraid for my home, it’s because I haven’t saved enough. But if I’m, like, afraid of losing the life that I’m living, it’s because I’m clinging on to something that’s just outside of my control anyways. Fear is this thing that we we tell ourselves that prevents us from taking that next step. I actually fear effort. I do. My favorite run, my go to exercise, the long slow run. I’d rather run for 4 hours at, like, a low heart rate than train hard for 20 minutes.

Nick Klingensmith [00:34:05]:
So today, for example, I had to go out and do a high intensity workout. I was actually afraid of it. We just have to step into fear because every time that we do, we see that it doesn’t it doesn’t have any power. The only power fear has is the the power that we give it. And it doesn’t mean that every fear is unfounded. You should fear the hot flame over the stove. You should fear playing in traffic. But I’m gonna tell you that if you look back over your life, and I’m gonna make up a stat because why not, 99% of the fears you’ve ever had never manifested.

Nick Klingensmith [00:34:39]:
And the reason I know this because we found no monsters in the closet, no boogeymen under the bed. I’m still here. I’m still breathing. I still have my home. I was terrified of losing my job. That was 5 months ago, and instead, I’m kicking ass at a new career. Like, there’s all these things that we are afraid of, We make up in here. Its only power source is here, and so we’re the only ones who can do something about it.

David Hall [00:35:02]:
Yeah. So how would you sum that up? What’s the way that we overcome our fears? How would you put that in a nutshell?

Nick Klingensmith [00:35:08]:
Chase your fears. Don’t face them. Chase them. Literally do what scares the shit out of you. Find something that you’re afraid of and go do it. And I’m gonna encourage people to start small because the reason that most people won’t do it is, like, if you’re afraid of heights, you probably don’t need to go skydiving today. Alright? But you could stand on the 3rd step of a ladder. Alright? If I’m afraid of snakes, I can go for a walk in the park, walk in the grass.

Nick Klingensmith [00:35:34]:
It’s not about overcoming the fear. It’s just simply about opening up the space that we live in and not allowing fear to interfere with it. So if there’s something you’re afraid of, go find out if it’s worth being afraid of. If you don’t believe me about the hot flame over the stove, hold your hand over it. Let’s find out what’s worth being afraid of. Chase your fears because that’s what living is. That’s what that entire first race was for me. I was afraid of everything out there, and it was the most liberating experience I could have imagined.

David Hall [00:36:03]:
I love that. I love that. I’m still I’m not I’m afraid of snakes too, and I’m not going in the swamp. So I’m not I’m not overcoming my fear of of the swamp.

Nick Klingensmith [00:36:12]:
I didn’t overcome it. I pushed past it, and that’s because my why my why puts me out there. Yours may not. Yeah.

David Hall [00:36:19]:
I’m gonna overcome some different fears.

Nick Klingensmith [00:36:21]:
So There you go.

David Hall [00:36:22]:
That’s great. Vic, you have such a great story. I love how you also talked about how you embraced your introversion. Is there anything else that you wanna share today?

Nick Klingensmith [00:36:33]:
Yeah. Absolutely. I I love leaving people with this, which is this, live inspired. I close every one of my videos with it, and I mean it. It’s to live inspired means to look for inspiration, and inspiration is everywhere. You know, if we’re talking about stepping out of our comfort zones, if we’re talking about stepping out of fear, right, every time that I do, it’s a high five. Like, so go meet that one other person. Go do that one thing that scares you.

Nick Klingensmith [00:37:00]:
Go do that one thing that’s uncomfortable. Do something to challenge yourself and inspire yourself. If you’re if you’re somebody who’s having trouble getting off the couch, don’t look at me and all my medals and say I need to do that. Just go for a walk. Nothing inspires progress like progress.

David Hall [00:37:18]:
Great. That’s great. We’ve had such a great conversation, Nick. How can people find out more about the work that you do?

Nick Klingensmith [00:37:25]:
My website is wwwstridemotivation.com. I am everywhere on social media at Stride Motivation, and, I’d love to hear from some people.

David Hall [00:37:37]:
Alright. That sounds great. Again, Nick, thanks for being on the show and for this wonderful conversation.

Nick Klingensmith [00:37:42]:
Thanks again for having me.

David Hall [00:37:44]:
Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at david@quietandstrong.com, or check out the quietandstrong.com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media, and other items. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code. I’ll add a link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood.

David Hall [00:38:22]:
Get to know your introverted strengths and needs, and be strong.

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