In this episode, Rebekah welcomes Joseph McClendon III to the show; he is a Doctor of Neuropsychology and one of the most sought after Performance Specialists in the industry. Joseph reveals his amazing ‘pain to purpose’ transformation from the victim of a hate crime left for dead, to his struggles with homelessness… and how he turned it all around, teaming up with Tony Robbins along the way, to become the extraordinary coach, leader, author and speaker that he is today. Joseph has touched, moved, and inspired over 3 million people worldwide with his workshops, coaching sessions, and seminars. Tune in to hear Joseph discuss his approach to beginning to heal the deep racial wounds that plague America. With the proven results that he has seen in the millions of people he has helped, Joseph has found a way for the United States to heal and unify as never before.
Click to Read Transcript
I’m really excited for the show today because I have a very special person that’s joining us. Joseph McClendon, thank you so much for coming on Pain to Purpose.
It is my absolute pleasure, Rebekah.
Well, you wear a lot of hats and I was trying to figure out what to call you. Because one of the things that I have seen several times is that you are the most sought out performance specialist in the industry. And you’re also a neuro psychologist. So before anything else can we kind of unpack the two of them?
It’s a lot to unpack, but I’ll do my best. Yeah, I put it like this by profession, I am a neuro psychologist. I help people get over fears and phobias and emotional challenges and things that hinder their lives and keep them from going forward… beliefs and things like that. And I had a practice in Los Angeles for many years. And because it was Los Angeles, I got really good at working with the, I’m just not going to say the worst of the worst, but I’m going to say the freakiest of the freaks, because, you know, they came out of the woodwork there, and I enjoy doing that Rebekah, I really do. And my calling is to do it larger and to really spread the gift of being able to help people help themselves to a larger base.
So that’s my profession, but by trade, I’m what’s known as an ultimate performance specialist. And kind of a high-end life coach or high-end mentor, if you will. I have hadthe privilege of working with Academy Award winning movie stars and Grammy winners and major sports figures and things of alike and millionaires and billionaires and everything in between. And so everybody, we all share the same type of nervous system and because we do, then my expertise is being able to go in and help people tune their nervous system to best suit their behaviors, and create new behaviors that are going to get the outcomes that they want.
Is this something that you have always wanted to do? I just wonder how did you get started in this from a young child. Were you out to help people?
No, I was like every other kid, it was all about me.
You know, every other teenager coming through those times, I was fortunate in that I had the greatest parents on the planet. And that’s, you know, other people can argue with me, but mine were the best. My mother was a classically trained opera singer of the day. And so she had a lot of discipline in her skill there. My father was a military man. He joined the service at 17 years old to escape poverty and living in New York at the time, especially hard on me because I was the only boy in the family. And he taught me that you have to have integrity. You got to have tenacity. You got to have energy, you got to have joy. You’ve got to be kind to people. And so those values are what I was raised with, and I did well in school. I did well in graduated from school and really set out to seek my family.
Unfortunately, at 17 and a half years old, three grown men tried to take my life because of the color of my skin and beat me up pretty bad. Let me forget, I still have one of my ribs because you can’t put a cast on your ribs. And when it’s knocked out of place and broken, literally broken, it’s going to heal that way. So the extra ones healed, but the internal ones didn’t. And as a result of that experience, and a couple of others, I became homeless. I lost my pride, I lost my dignity. And I wound up living in a cardboard box behind an old drive in theater in Lancaster, California. And but what changed me I know it’s a long answer to your question. But what changed me and what set me on the path that I am on now is somebody came to me and gave me a book. Somebody I didn’t know, just a kind person. The book was Think and Grow Rich and that was my first introduction into personal development, if you will. But I read the book and I always tell people, I read the book, and I did the exercises in the book, which was really important. And my life started to change. But when I went back to the man that gave me the book, to thank him, and I said, Thank you for doing what you’ve done, you changed my life. What can I do for you? You know, I’ll never forget this.
He said, Joseph, what you do for me, is what I’ve done for you, for as many people as you can for the rest of your life. And I took that, you know, at the time, you know, I was still a kid, but I didn’t take it to heart as much, but that’s why I do what I do right now. I’ve been in service to do that. And I will also say that it is when I first started studying psychology, I still had some deep-seated emotional challenges and fears and things within myself. So all of us psychologists and psychiatrists say we’re out to help other people, but it’s funny, heal thyself first. So that was my main reason.
It’s really amazing to because after everything happened with my story, and I became a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, I really started to look into the self development and psychology aspect too and, in fact, went on to study it. And what I’ve learned through that is just the ability to help myself through things that I can’t change in my life, I will always be an amputee, I will always be a survivor of a terrorist attack, and so on and so forth. But what I can change is my mindset and my perspective. And that’s what I love so much about what you do because you took the worst parts of your life and you went out to help others with it.
Yeah, and the greatest part about it is originally I studied traditional psychology and that works. It just takes especially in this day in an age of instant gratification, it takes a long time. And most people don’t see it through one expense to time. And three, because it’s not producing rapid results. People tend to, you know, they’ll get a little bit of results, but then they’ll fall back to their behaviors and the habits that they have. And they may reduce it a little bit, but they’ll just live with it and go, this is who I am. And this is what I do and they produce they continue to go through life that way.
So what is different about what you teach people?
I always tell people, if you think of because neuro psychology is different than traditional psychology, traditional psychology, if I’m going to help you or if you come to me and I go, Okay, tell me about your past and I talked to you and I’d asked you questions, and I pull things out of you through my voice. Through my voice, I’m causing you to make pictures and sounds in your mind. That’s called thinking period. From those pictures, in my end, you’re going to come to conclusions on your own rarely does it a good psychologist suggest for you to feel a certain way we, we let you come to that conclusion based on the things that we say to you. The philosophy is, if I tell you something, you may believe it. But if you tell you something, you will believe it. And so my word, my methodology of being able to interact and enter your world is through my voice. But we have five senses. And so as a neuropsychologist, I get to use all five different ways of entering your world. And we all there are hundreds of kinds of combinations of five, five numbers, and so I can find out what your combination is that best works with you just through a few questions, and then I can approach you and help communicate to you through the nervous system, or the nervous pathways that work best with you.
That’s just the beginning of it, if you will, but it makes it easier, quicker and faster for me to go right to the core of your challenge. And so I utilize that to produce better and quicker results. What I teach people… see I have to at the risk of sounding arrogant, I have two unique skills. One of them is doing that, too. And for other people, you come into my office, you got a fear of dogs, take a guess what’s going to be in my office, it’s going to be a dog. And at the end of that session, you’re going to hold the dog and you’re going to be fine with the dog. My other unique skill is teaching people to do it for themselves. Because you know the old give a man a fish you feed him for a day teach him to fish, he does it for the rest of his life and he can teach other people. And so my preference is the latter. I do it through demonstration.
When I do seminars and workshops, I have something called tell, show, try, do. I’ll tell you, meaning I’ll explain it to you, then I’ll show you through an example. And then we’ll try it together and I’m going to give you something to do so that when you leave me, you’re able to perpetuate, you’re able to initiate and continue that process so that it goes away. And so that you become a different kind of person. And so, my methodology and teaching is just like that dog in the office. You get around me, it’s not going to be just Joseph, yak, yak, yak, we’re going to do something and you’re going to produce a result.
I love that because from my experience, at first, I was just going through a traditional therapy settings. So for 18 months, I went to a therapist sat down in the office, and I felt like while it was helpful me at the time, just in that short amount of time. As soon as I left the office, I was terrified to even drive home because I thought every car was going to get me. And it wasn’t until I learned different things about reprocessing your most traumatic memories and some of the things that you guys do is it really just expands the knowledge on what psychology is but more specifically, how neuro psychology is so different.
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my amazing interview with Joseph McClendon… you won’t want to miss it!