Rabbit Hole: How to Deal With Obstacles & Knowing When To Quit /Brett Steenbarger, Josh Mansour, Paula Giraldi

This is a ‘Rabbit Hole’ episode, where I explore the topic of ‘obstacles’ rather than the achievement of one particular person.  I seek to understand why some people are able to overcome and even grow from life’s challenges, and why others can’t, and, if this mindset can be cultivated? I speak to world renowned psychologist Brett Steenbarger, I reflect on my conversation with NRL Athlete, Josh Mansour, and I speak to mother/cancer battler, Paula Giraldi.


The catalyst for this journey was a personal injury.  In August of 2020, just 4 weeks after gyms opened back up in Australia, I tore my pec muscle off my tendon.

On Monday 10th of August the injury happened. On Tuesday the 11th, after confirming it was a torn pec, I changed my diet to lowered calories, largely plant based, no alcohol and had a 30 day plan that was focused on recovering as fast as possible.

I felt I handled the injury pretty well, considering how serious it was and how important exercise is to me. The way I figured was, there was nothing I could do about it ,and it at least gave me the chance to spend more time with the kids and appreciate my wife more.

This episode isn’t about me though. It’s about understanding the mindset of those who grow from obstacles and setbacks and those, who’re defeated by them. With what’s going on in the world, I can think of no better time to explore this subject than now. 

 I lean on three people to help me understand the subject:

  1. Brett Steenbarger: A Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Brett works as a performance coach for hedge fund portfolio managers and traders and has written several books on trading psychology. He has also written several dozen peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles on the topic of brief approaches to cognitive, behavioural, and emotional change and recently published a blog book on trading and spirituality.
  2. Josh Mansour: Josh is one of Australia’s most accomplished NRL players, having represented state, country and his club the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  3. Paula Giraldi: In 2020, Paula found out she was pregnant with her fourth child to her longtime partner who she was in the middle of a messy separation with.  Then she found out she had breast cancer. Paula’s story is about how ordinary Australian’s can be extraordinary people.



Places We Go

  1. Why some people get stuck on setbacks, and others overcome them?
  2. Can the ‘solution’ and ‘growth’ focused mentality be cultivated?
  3. Changing from ‘Why?’ to ‘How?’
  4. The power of ‘purpose’ when dealing with pain
  5. When quitting is a good thing



Have feedback for the show? Let me know on LinkedIn at FabDM or Instagram at @FabXIII

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