Charlamagne Tha God  he is a successful radio presenter. He has the #1 hip-hop radio show on the planet, the “Breakfast Club”. He is also the author of 2 best sellers: Black Privileges and Shook One.  I read both books in no time! They both are probably the most influential self-development books I have read. Up there with the books from the great Tony Robbins.  Scrap that, better than Tony in my eyes. Why? Because I can more easily relate to Charlamagne. Because he is Black, true, but also because we both seem to have experienced similar experiences. Well, you know… kinda… because he is a multi-millionaire and I am nowhere close.  The other thing is that he keeps it 100.  He talks about something that people do not talk much about in the Black community: Anxiety and how therapy helps.

If you grew up in a Black environment, you probably heard things like: “Why would I go to a shrink, I am not crazy” “Praise God and everything will be fine” “shrinks are only there to steal your money”.  Ask yourself, do you know a Black person who has seen a therapist (or talked about it)?  I did not until Charlamagne.  His stories were so vivid, that I decided to look into options to take care of my mind, the same way I take care of my body.

I train hard at the gym. 3 to 4 times a week. Not 3 reps of bench pressing and spending the rest of the hour chatting to my friends.  A good training is when I feel on the edge of passing out. I have a trainer, I am surrounded by people who are just as motivated and hold me accountable. This is how I give my best.

Now compare this, to what I do for my mental health. True I meditate. At best 3 times a week for 15 min.  True, I belong to a Mastermind group where we talk about deep topics every month. True, I have the most supportive spouse who helps me to express myself and supports me. True, I have wonderful friends I can talk to.  Yet, if I compare it to my ultra-strict training and eating habits, I am nowhere close.

Why does it matter and how does it relates to negotiation. By now, you understand that this blog is more than simple bargaining.  This is about how can you be your best self, have a clear mind and make the right moves every day!  So here is how therapy can help:

  1. We all suffer in some ways from PTSD. If you are like me, you probably thought that PTSD was for war veterans.  No it is not.  Many things can cause trauma.  Like seeing people beaten up real bad for no apparent reasons, or people shot with a bb gun again for no reason, or a gang setting fire to a bus so that the rival gang is stuck and beaten up.  These are things I have seen. And I thought it was no big deal. In hindsight, the way I scan rooms I enter, the extra awareness I have in many situations to this day probably come from these experiences.
  2. Talking to a therapist sounds healthy.  Better to prevent a problem than to cure it.  If everything is great today, excellent.  Still, you probably have some crap from the past that you never dealt with. That you compartmentalized somewhere. Again, around me, people who could just move on where considered tough. I am now convinced that tough people pay the price sooner or later.  And what does it mean anyway to be tough? To be heartless like some of the old school heroes in movies? Rather, I believe in what Charlamagne quoted “to share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable, to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength”.

I am looking for a therapist now. Preferably through an app and that would not cost a crazy amount.  Ideally, I would like to match what I spend on my body on my mind. Not that easy… It seems we are a long way to have a therapist at each street corner, like we do for gyms.  Still, I will try and invest in myself, my whole self. You should too.