#089 Lead Your Life Boot Camp with Joey Mascio

#089 Lead Your Life Boot Camp with Joey Mascio

This week, Joey and I wanted to give you a peak inside of the week we spent working with a southern California middle school.

Day 1 The Origin of The Hero

Day one was the scariest day for me.

I’ve spoken in public many times, but this time was different, it was in front of hundreds of teenagers.

At most, we probably only spoke to about 200-250 students at a time, but that’s a lot of teens.

The goal was to share a message that was fun and entertaining, yet educational and motivating, and from each period we wanted to get about 10 to 20 students to signup for our 4-day boot camp.

It was amazing to speak to this many students, and it was fun to see the students that were really catching the message, and they were excited to join the boot camp.

The message was basically that it’s easy to live the life of a sidekick but way more fulfilling to live life as your own hero.

We shared the message of me accidentally lighting my school bus on fire which really hooked a lot of the kids and shared how, even if you make mistakes, you can still become a hero.

Every good hero has a good origin story.

No matter what your past looks like, you can start being your own hero TODAY!

Day 2 Hero Thoughts vs Sidekick Thoughts

Day 2 was a lot of fun. This is where we met with the 10-25 kids that signed up with us from the day before and we taught them the difference between facts and stories and the difference between hero thoughts and sidekick thoughts.

For the first activity, we played a game, Fact vs Story.

It was fun helping the students to develop some awareness about whether their thoughts were factual or just stories.

The game was a fun reinforcer.

Basically, your sidekick thoughts are your natural lower-brain thoughts.

The last activity for day one was Your Name the Blank.

This is where students come up with a hero identity.

Mine was Ben the Inspirer. Joey’s was Joey the Creator.

It was fun seeing the students identify as the person they wanted to be!

Day 3 Managing Tough Emotions

This was one of my favorite activities!

On day 3 we taught about managing tough emotions.

We taught that emotions can’t hurt you and that allowing them is better than avoiding, resisting, or ignoring them.

For this day we did two awesome activities.

The first activity was Pull Ben Out of the Circle. We did this with a tug-of-war rope and a circle taped on the ground.

We’d let students try to pull me out of the circle. Sometimes we let 2-3 students try together and none of them could, unless they cheated. lol

Then Joey would ask, “Do you think I can get Ben out of the circle?”, and all the students would yell “No way! Ben’s way bigger.”

Joey would pretend like he was about to pull, then he’d drop the rope, and now without a fight, I’d just leave the circle on my one.

The lesson was that by simply allowing emotions, you lessen their discomfort.

The next game we played at the end of the class was avoiding emotions. It was fun. The lesson was to not try to avoid and run away from your emotions.

Day 4 Let Your Hero Be Your Guide

Day four was my favorite, and by the responses that we got from the students, day four was by far the fan favorite.

On this day we taught that you are responsible for yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results.

We did an activity with an “Anti-Gravity” stick and challenged the kids to put it on the floor, but there was one rule, your fingers had to be on the bottom of the stick and your fingers couldn’t break contact with the stick. Inevitably the stick would start going up instead of going down and students would start blaming each other.

It was a powerful lesson about taking responsibility and trusting others.

We taught about hero thoughts vs. sidekick thoughts and how we have thoughts that don’t really help us to be the person we want to be. We taught that you can choose which thoughts you listen to and let guide your life.

For this activity, we built a maze and had the students break into groups of 3. One student had to be blindfolded, and the other two students in their group were either their hero voice or their sidekick voice. The hero voice was supposed to tell the blindfolded student where to go to get out of the maze. The sidekick voice was supposed to give them bad directions to keep them stuck. The blindfolded student didn’t know who was their hero voice or who was their sidekick voice. They had to learn from experience.

The students loved this activity.

Day 5 “To Be Honest, It’s Like The Avengers, But In School!”

Day 5 we closed with Joey’s story of the crow and how, now that the students know how to fly, it’s important to intentionally fly rather than simply going back to their old ways.

We also asked had a discussion about the things they learned and how they hope to apply those things to their lives.

Most of the students LOVED the week-long boot camp.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the students in their exit survey responses.

  • “To be honest it’s like the Avengers, but in a school.”
  • “It’s magical you have to go and see yourself.”
  • “This bootcamp is a hands on experience that helps you control your emotions.”
  • “The best experience I have had in middle school.”
  • “I would say it was super helpful for your well being and its a fun way to learn how to control your life.”
  • “We talk about mental health skills and play games.”
  • “The lead your life boot camp is a really peaceful place where you can feel open to be your self.”
  • “I would describe it as a place to help find the superhero in you and help you control your life.”
  • “Thank you so much Ben and Joey. I feel like I became more aware that I’m in control of my emotions and my life.”

Seriously, it was magical!

Are You Interested In Attending a Workshop With Your Teen?

So, Joey and I want to ask you one question.

Would you and your teen be interested in attending a live workshop with us, where we’d do exciting activities that make learning fun?

If yes, please go fill out our interest survey!

All this interest survey does is help us know if this is something that parents and teens would be interested in, and if yes, it will help us make it magical.

It also puts you on a list to be the first to know if we decide to make this happen.

#081 From tough to powerful parenting moments

#081 From tough to powerful parenting moments

Most parents see “tough” parenting moments as something that has gone wrong or needs to change, but I see “tough” parenting moments as huge opportunities.

What are “Tough” Parenting Moments?

Bottom line is, whether or not a parenting moment is “TOUGH” or not is based on your thoughts about the moment.

Tough parenting moments can be anything from a fight with your teen, to broken rules, to letting go and letting your teen make their own mistakes.

One of the toughest things I regularly do with my teen is letting him make his own decisions when I disagree with the decision and think it’s dumb or wrong.

Other times, tough parenting moments look like me arguing with my teen, desperately trying to get him to see things my way.

If you’re like most parents, you’ve experienced tons of “tough” parenting moments.

You know the frustration, disappointment, anger, and even sorrow that can come with tough parenting moments.

What you might not know is that these tough parenting moments are actually HUGE opportunities!

These moments are opportunities for growth, for both you and your teen, and for powerful connection.

Most Parents Want “Tough” Parenting Moment to Go Away

Most parents simply want these tough parenting moments to go away.

I get it!

Tough parenting moments can be super uncomfortable, but that’s not the answer.

When it comes to tough parenting moments, most parents spend tons of energy trying to make the problem go away or trying to change their teen, hoping that will make it go away.

If you’re like most parents, you’re probably guilty of avoiding tough parenting moments.

Maybe you’ve given in to your teen’s demands and backed down from your boundaries.

Maybe you’ve made the tough parenting moment even worse by fighting with your teen and trying to get them to change.

The bottom line is, tough parenting moments aren’t the problem.

If you’re trying to avoid tough parenting moments, you are missing out on powerful parenting moments.

“Tough” Parenting Moments are Actually HUGE Opportunities

If you’re like most parents and trying to skip, change, or avoid tough parenting moments, you’re going to miss these huge opportunities.

Instead, I want to invite you to start looking at this “tough” parenting moments as opportunities.

I want you to start looking for opportunities in two areas, growth and connection.


First, let’s talk about growth.

If you’re experiencing tough parenting moments, these are nothing more than opportunities to grow.

It’s only tough because it’s challenging.

Challenges force us to grow.

Embrace the challenge.

Commit to learning whatever lessons are there to be learned. Not only will this help you grow as a parent, but this is part of the process of continual development.

Tough parenting moments have helped me grow in the following areas:

  • Patience
  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Setting and upholding boundaries
  • and Relationships.

Don’t pass up the opportunities for growth because you’re trying to avoid these “tough” parenting moments.


This is one of my favorite things to talk about.

This was one of my secrets as a high school principal and one of the reasons I was so successful.

“Tough” parenting moments are an opportunity to build and improve your connection with your teen.

I learned this as a principal. I noticed that often, when I had to discipline my students because they had gotten in trouble, afterward we had a way better relationship than we had had before.

I realized that these “tough” principaling moments were huge opportunities for me to connect with my students.

I had the power to turn these moments of students being in trouble into powerful moments of connection and friendship.

I learned that it was pretty easy.

All I had to do was stay calm, listen, treat the student with kindness and fairness, and do my best to let them know that I wasn’t mad and that I cared about them.

And here’s the best part.

This made those “tough” principaling moments even easier.

You can do the exact same thing and make tough parenting moments powerful opportunities for connection.

These are nothing more than opportunities to stay calm, listen, treat your teen with kindness and fairness, and do your best to let them know that you aren’t mad and that you love and care about them.

How To Turn “Tough” Parenting Moments into Powerful Parenting Moments

  1. Find the opportunities
    • Seriously, LOOK for the opportunities.
    • Every time you catch yourself thinking, “This sucks,” or “This is a tough parenting moment,” OPEN YOUR EYES and look for the opportunities!
    • I promise, this “tough” moment can be a huge gift if you choose.
    • This is an opportunity to grow!
  2. Commit to connection
    • Be 100% committed to connect to your teen.
    • Show them that you love them.
    • Show them that you are confident that they will be okay.
    • Let them know that you trust that EVERYTHING will be okay.
    • Connect with them right where they are.
    • Stay calm, listen, treat your teen with kindness and fairness, and do your best to let them know that you aren’t mad and that you love and care about them.
  3. Embrace the moment
    • Far too often we are guilty of not being present.
    • Don’t try to avoid the moment.
    • Don’t try to fix, change, or improve it.
    • Be in the moment WITH your teen!

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership!

Start being the parent of your dreams TODAY!

#081 From tough to powerful parenting moments

#078 Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone With Ali Terry!

Most parents come to me because they’re uncomfortable, but once they start changing and growing they get uncomfortable again.

Discomfort Sparks Growth

Most people who sign up for coaching with me do it because they are experiencing discomfort of some kind.

They want to change something so that they can feel better.

Discomfort isn’t a problem, it’s just part of the human experience. Discomfort helps us know when something is wrong. Discomfort helps us know that it’s time to make a change.

Discomfort has the power to fuel the effort to create a change.

When we can look at discomfort this way, without judgment and shame, we can see discomfort as simply an invitation to start growing and creating change.

Often time, it’s discomfort itself that sparks our willingness to make a change.

Growth comes with Discomfort

As I mentioned, most parents who come to me looking for coaching, are coming to me because they are experiencing discomfort.

One of the things that parents realize is that just because they started growing and changing doesn’t mean that their discomfort will go away.

In fact, growth itself is uncomfortable.

If you’re like most parents, when you started working on your own growth, you simply traded your old discomfort for a new discomfort.

It’s important to realize that discomfort doesn’t mean that something has gone wrong.

In fact, discomfort can mean that everything is going right.

Discomfort can mean that you are actually growing and transforming.

Identify and Lean Into The Discomfort

It’s important to identify the discomfort that you are experiencing.

Is your discomfort telling you that something needs to change?

Is your discomfort showing you that you are in the process of growing?

Most of the world tries to avoid all discomfort at all costs.

Once you identify your discomfort, what it feels like, what’s causing it, you have the power to choose whether or not you will continue with the discomfort.

Most of The World Tries To Avoid Discomfort

If you’re like most parents, like most humans actually, you try to avoid discomfort.

This is something that we are hard-wired to do. Avoiding discomfort keeps us safe and comfortable.

The problem is, this also keeps you from growth!

Avoiding discomfort will halt your own personal growth.

This is why it’s important to continuously embrace discomfort.

Embrace Discomfort As Part of The Process

Discomfort is part of the process of growth and improvement.

Embrace it!

It doesn’t mean that anything has gone wrong.

Oftentimes the discomfort that we’re avoiding, like fear, worry, or anger, is actually exactly what we need to lean into for growth.

This has been true of the parents that I work with that are afraid and worried about their teen’s choices.

5 Simple Tips to Manage and Grow Through Discomfort

  1. Be Aware of Your Discomfort
  • Where is your discomfort coming from?
  • What’s causing your discomfort?
  • Whereare you feeling the discomfort?
  • Is it inviting you to change?
  • Is it due to growth?

2. Buckle Up

  • This is going to be a ride!
  • Be committed to the process.
  • Don’t give up when it’s hard and uncomfortable.
  • Be willind to change and do something different.

3. Choose Your Discomfort Based On Desired Results

  • It’s uncomfortable to go to the gym, but we do it becuase we want the results of being healthy.
  • Understand that you will likely be uncomfortable either way, might as well choose the discomfort that connects to your goals.

4. Lean Into Your Fear

  • Sometimes the thing making you uncomfortable is the actual answer or solution.
  • Be willing to lean into the uncomfortable emotion.

5. Be Patient, Allow the Growth Rather Than Forcing It

  • Don’t Force It
  • Have Compassion For Yourself.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! It’s better than ever!