The phrase “beyond your past” isn’t just another commanding cliche in the ever-popular world of mental health, self help, awareness and wellness.
For Matt Pappas, a gifted podcaster and expert communicator the concept of going beyond your past isn’t just another trendy mental health fad, either.
It’s a way of life.
I asked him in a recent interview what were the driving forces behind the creation of the ‘Beyond Your Past’ podcast on the Mental Health News Radio network.
The bio on his website www.beyondyourpast.com said his focus was to help people rediscover their authentic, true selves despite the pitfalls of traumatic pasts. Given my own background with that sort of thing I had to know more.
Interestingly, Matt used to do a sports podcast for a fan site that he ran years ago and got a lot of enjoyment out of it. The connection to fans, the love of competition, the ups and downs that inevitably come with following a team you love had their place.
So, why did he navigate from the polar opposite genre of sports to create a show on a mental health network? What really got him motivated to take such a calculated risk?
The natural progression, he said, was for him to develop a program based on a desire to more fully pursue advocacy and help others find their own sense of purpose and contentment.
This stemmed from experiences earlier in his life as a trauma survivor.
“I wanted to take it to the next level and include a podcast so I could share in my own voice and connect in a very personal way with those who were already following my blog and encouraging me.”
As a host of a show which focuses on topics related to wellness, treatment and working through the damage of what we’ve already been through he was able to develop a following and a recognized voice that’s really helped carry the messages of strength and survival to people in the audience who absolutely need them.
Mental illness and addiction thrive in isolation and the only way to overcome those is by finding community. By finding purpose. By acknowledging the pain of your past.
When Matt first started ‘Beyond Your Past’ at MHNR it was, he said, about simply sharing daily life. Highlighting the normal struggles. Focusing on the small triumphs. And on helping people learn to live as a survivor of trauma by taking ownership over their pain and putting in the action to get through it.
Over time as he got more comfortable talking about those things out loud, he became more empowered and more bold.
“Realizing that the audience whom I was connecting with was cheering me on as much as I was cheering them on. The feedback I was receiving encouraged me to start bringing on guests who were on a similar path and who had a passion for inspiring others in their healing journey.”
Talk about inspiration.
Matt has literally added to the philosophy on self discipline across the network in a group of sel starters, advocates, speakers and influencers and especially enjoys his work on “Beyond Your Past’ because he said it’s made his messages clearer.
And his audience more connected to the content and has found ways to get better and stay healthier.
Matt did say that becoming mentally well is a process- a fine line- that needs to be crafted which incorporates things like defining healthy boundaries. People, he said, need to realize their own limits in recovery and treatment and manage the expectations that a person might put on themself to realistic levels so they don’t get burned out.
The old saying of, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first, really applies to how he formats his show. And it applies to advocacy in his opinion, too.
One of the best parts of of being part of the collective network of podcasters at MHNR is the team that Kristin Walker has put together.
“It’s passionate advocates who care as much about supporting others as they do about their own show. We all cover topics that nobody wants to talk about and we do it in a very real, down to earth way.”
For many listeners, and podcaster colleagues alike, getting real isn’t just a brand strategy. It’s honesty and integrity in the content and topics that are what it’s all about.
In the world depression, anxiety, fear and other mental health challenges can cloud a person’s judgement. I tossed out a question to Matt about how he aspires to help people in his audience see that they’re not alone while working to connect with others using his podcast as a platform.
His response was one of humility and gratitude.
“One of the primary goals of each show is to always let others know that they are not alone. That the struggles they face are real, and difficult, but not insurmountable. The struggles we face as survivors of trauma, and those who deal with anxiety, can cause us to feel hopeless and alone at times, but in fact the community of survivors around the world, numbers in the millions. Which means that we are far from alone. We just need to reach out for help and be okay with being vulnerable enough to ask for it.”
Getting over the fear of vulnerability can be challenging. As a certified life coach and master motivator he brings a sense of focus and lived experience that’s uniquely suited to coaching. A frequent theme on Matt’s show is willingness.
Illustrating that dynamic is the idea that taking that first step allows a person to see the possibilities of healing and thereby allows them to open up to wellness in a whole new way.
Ultimately, his goal with ‘Beyond Your Past’ is to reach every person who listens and bring a message of hope. To reiterate that they are never alone and that healing from trauma and anxiety is not only possible but very realistic and attainable.
Tuning into a catalog of 68 fascinating shows of his at MHNR brings hope to a place that perhaps didn’t exist before for many and ultimately is an example for living life open to the idea that becoming free and healing from trauma and anxiety is not only possible but very realistic as is going beyond your past.
For more information, past episodes and upcoming shows, please check out Beyond Your Past.
‘Beyond Your Past’ is a proud member of the Mental Health News Radio network, available here at Mental Health News Radio Network.