Which Voice are You Listening To?

Have you ever lain awake at night worrying?  

     Failed to act on something, try something new or even live into a dream, because you let that voice in your head talk you out of it?  

You know the voice I’m talking about. 

    He or she reminds you of all the reasons you’re not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, young enough, old enough, or whatever enough to go after your dreams or start something new. 

      This negative voice likes to keep you just where you’re at, in your rut and in your comfort zone. Or, even if you are trying, or even accomplishing, great things- you still can’t lose that voice that tells you you’re not good enough. 

   Perhaps you even worry that others will find this out. 


In this blog I am going to share with you 5 steps you can apply right away to silence the negative voice and amplify an empowering one- a voice of Confidence that says “Yes I Can”!  


This empowering voice not only shows you how and why you must, but also grows you into the confident you that will!  


  I also show you how to do the same for your kids and others. There is no greater gift you can give them. 


But first, let me tell you how I lived this story too, and applied exactly the action steps I’m going to share with you. 


     By my mid-thirties, I had accomplished a lot- or, at least, come far for where I’d come from. I served with the famed 82nd Airborne Division and turned 18 on a mountain in Honduras. I won an Army Green to Gold Scholarship and went to college and earned degrees in philosophy and communications. I served as an officer in Germany and then stateside, and had a pretty successful career where I made it to Captain, worked as a Director of Operations for a while, opened my martial arts school where I was having some relative success, gone back and earned an MBA and was testing for my 5th degree Blackbelt… 


  And still I never felt good enough.  


I was that guy who would lie awake at night wondering if I could really do any of this, when it may all unravel and rather, I would be found out.  


I often felt that I was still pretending, acting, trying to impress someone that wasn’t even around to watch. 


Yet most of the time I was in denial about most of that.  


  What I did know was how to just hide my feelings and make things happen; I was well versed in that, and that‘s probably the reason that I kept “succeeding”. 


   But something happened one day that started me on a journey. Our greatest breakthroughs often start with pain. 


I was sitting on the scaffold of a roof in Alabama. Some other martial arts masters and I had assembled as part of a project called The Ultimate Blackbelt Test and, for this particular part of the test, we were rehabbing homes in Alabama. An elder mentor I looked up to called to me to do something and tossed me down a power tool (which of course I caught).  


  I found myself overwhelmed in emotion, tears actually streaming down my face as I kept working. This was the first time I ever remember anyone trusting in me…to throw down a power tool and just expect me to catch it?  Wow.


But that day I also started to work on some of the negative baggage that was keeping me stuck in the feeling of “not good enough”, no matter what I accomplished. 


I’ve gone on to accomplish many more great things since that day, including becoming an author, induction to a Martial Arts Hall of Fame, my 7th degree blackbelt and, most importantly, creating an amazing leadership development academy that also happens to teach the most practical self-defense ion the world. 


   And I’d like to tell you that I never dealt with the doubt or negative feelings again, but that wouldn’t be true. 


The truth is, it took me about another decade to really master my thoughts, beliefs and emotions in such a way as to conquer that. I had to discover where the baggage came from, and reprogram limiting beliefs that were creating the resistance. 


   During that journey I read, studied, learned and grew so much and, yes, also applied the things I was learning every time I was battling with that voice again, often while lying in bed at night worrying. 


But not only have I been able to come to a place in the journey where I do feel good enough and approach my work, decisions actions and reactions with Confidence- but I’ve had the amazing honor and privilege of helping so many others to become Confident and Competent Blackbelt Leaders, going after their own dreams- and to help many who’ve struggled with imposter syndrome, anxiety and/or limiting beliefs to rewire their minds for confidence and success!  


This story was hard to tell you. I generally prefer these days to focus on my mission and what’s important next and to leave the things of the past in the past… 


  But I found that if we don’t share where we came from, it’s harder to go back and grab others to bring them with!  


One of my missions today is to make sure that other people don’t have to go through that. 


  Truth is, it’s one of the most underlying goals of my academy. 


I want every student to graduate from my dojo and into life as a confident leader who knows they are equipped for the challenges, opportunities and adventures of life. 


  My Blackbelt Leaders are equipped for anything!  

And they know it. 


And listen, I know that even now, as you’re reading this, you may be already telling yourself all of the reasons this doesn’t apply to you. 


  It may be all the reasons that it can’t work for you. That, of course, is the same negative voice we opened this blog with, the one that always tells you all the reasons why not… 


Or it could be that insidious version of the voice that says it doesn’t apply to you. 


I’m good. I got that. I have all of the confidence I need.  

  But I’ve helped very successful businessmen now to work through their imposter syndrome and anxiety at key times too. Winners need this too and, the bigger the game gets, the more we do. 


One of the Blackbelt Leaders I’ve had the honor pof personally coaching told me I was worth millions to him in his business by helping him unstick his thinking at one critical time; perhaps I’ll get him to share his story… 


But for now I’m just trying to say that everyone can benefit from increasing their confidence, decreasing limiting beliefs, silencing the negative voice and empowering the empowering one…. 


   For themselves and for others!  


I’ll share one last secret I discovered that has been so relevant to my work. 


     While it’s awesome and important when I can help another adult to make the transition I did- from imposter syndrome and the perpetual feeling of not good enough I’d developed in youth and carried into my adult life… 


  It’s even more awesome when I can be a part of sowing the seeds of Confidence and empowerment into kids and young men and women, before they have to go through all that… 


And it’s really, really awesome to me when I get to help the parents help the kids and help the parents help the kids!  

  That is to equip parents with the same tools we use to raise up confident, competent, focused Blackbelt leaders ready to make a difference in the world and knowing that they can do it!  


I’m getting chills just writing this. 


I’m about to give you those steps, that anyone can take to start silencing the voice of negativity, empowering the voice of truth and creating confidence in their lives and the lives of those they’re in charge of (to raise up or even in their community or work place)… 


  But I do want to also challenge you to do this here:


If you are not yet a student, register yourself or your kids or, best yet, your whole family, for a free 2-week trial and orientation here! 


     I’d be honored and privileged to serve you, and this could be your call to your journey too!  



5 Simple Steps To Silence the Negative Voice and Empower The Empowering One: 


  1. Modify your input– Read, listen to and watch more positive, edifying and educational material and less negative. Also associate with positive people and try to stay away from those that feed your negative thoughts. 
  2. Modify your output– Be careful what you say- to yourself and to others. Both affect both them and you more than you know. 
  3. Challenge Your Beliefs– This is a simple and not easy piece. We first have to identify our limiting beliefs and whence they came, and then do the work to change them. But it can and must be done to defeat the bad voice and empower the good. 
  4. Act “as if”– One of the best ways to start growing into the person that you want to be is to pretend you are already that person. Twenty years ago, when I wanted to become a better teacher, I pretended I was my mentor Grandmaster Silva. I walked the floor of my classroom, taught, made decisions, and interacted with students in the way I thought he would. I did that until I could do it as myself. It’s a s in the self-protection piece of what I teach when I tell students to train and act “as if” it was real, so their minds will prepare for what happens when it is; we can do the same to become the confident, positive versions or ourselves. 
  5. Decide to Become the Confident, Competent You You’re Called To– Tony Robbins says that decisions are the pathway to power and that it is on moments of decision that our destinies are made. I believe this 100%, apply the principle consistently in my own life and teach my students to do it too. The first and most important step is to truly decide that you will become the version of you that you want to and are called to be. Only in true decision will you have the power to do the rest. 


It’s up to you!


Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo

Author, MBA & 7th Degree Blackbelt

Founder & Chief Master Instructor,

Krav Maga Martial Arts


About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commissioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., 33549. Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding areas.

See for more information and to order my book, Developing Your Superpower, Meditations on Mastery, Volume 1.

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