Unveiling the Path to Personal Transformation: Insights from Craig Sotkovsky

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In this interview with Craig Sotkovsky, we delve into the profound insights and strategies he shares regarding personal transformation and self-discovery. Craig’s unique approach to assisting individuals in overcoming life’s challenges centers on understanding the power of the mind, the importance of confronting one’s past, and the pursuit of lasting happiness in the present moment. Through his experiences and expertise, he unravels common misconceptions about self-improvement, emphasizing that personal growth is an ongoing journey and that true fulfillment often lies within ourselves. Discover how Craig’s guidance and wisdom can help you navigate life’s complexities and unlock your inner potential.

[Q] Who do you assist and how do you help them?


 I work with a range of clients, but my focus is on those who are genuinely committed to making significant changes in their lives. This often includes individuals who have faced challenges such as sexual or mental abuse, dealt with narcissistic relationships, or find themselves in difficult situations despite holding high positions of power. I’m selective in my clientele, as I’ve found that within just 15 minutes of conversation, I can often gauge their level of commitment.


When I turned 50, I went through a period of adversity myself, dealing with cancer and financial hardships among other challenges. During that time, I realized the importance of acquiring certain skills to overcome these obstacles. As I developed these skills, I discovered a demand for the knowledge and insights I had gained. This led me to my coaching work. Essentially, I help people gain a clearer understanding of themselves by acting as a mirror, assisting them on their journey of self-improvement.

[Q] What are the primary challenges your clients face?


 The most significant challenge I see in my clients is often their ego. It’s intriguing because, by the time they reach their 50s or 60s, they’ve accumulated a wealth of life experiences, such as friendships, heartbreaks, and various achievements. However, many find themselves at a point where they’re asking, “What’s the purpose of it all?” They’ve built successful businesses, put their children through college, and achieved remarkable feats, yet they’re plagued by a sense of unhappiness. It’s a surprisingly common predicament.


People tend to focus on their external accomplishments, the material trappings of success, such as big houses and fancy cars. But when they’re alone in their grand homes or driving their expensive cars, they often realize that they’ve lost touch with themselves. Reconnecting with their inner selves becomes a significant journey for many of them.

[Q] What strategies do you use to help your clients get back on track in life?


 I rely on some fundamental strategies to guide my clients toward positive changes. I first pay close attention to their body language, both subtle micro-expressions and broader non-verbal cues. When I pose questions, I often ask them to close their eyes, allowing me to detect any flickers or indications of what’s truly on their minds. Growing up in a Sicilian household, reading body language was a skill we all had to master. It taught me that communication isn’t just about what people say, but also how they say it. Over the years, I’ve honed my ability to spot when someone isn’t being truthful – it’s almost like a superpower.


The primary obstacle many of my clients face is their ego, often described as “edging God out.” One personal example is when I battled lung cancer, which I developed as a result of being a 9/11 responder at the World Trade Center. My cancer journey began in 2012 and just a few months ago, I received my last clear report. During that challenging time, I realized I had fallen into a self-sabotage mode. I felt like I wasn’t earning anything, particularly after relocating from Mexico- where my wife, daughter, and I had lived for seven years- back to the United States. I was launching my book and speaking career when I fell ill. I started to focus on material possessions, feeling like I didn’t have enough, as if I lacked what I needed.


In the end, I discovered that it wasn’t about the tangible possessions I’d leave behind for my family; it was about the intangible aspects. It was about the lessons and stories I’d shared with them. I firmly believe that as we face life’s challenges and grow, we should also be expanding within ourselves. Unfortunately, many people neglect personal development, fixating on external influences like money, cars, houses, and trips. However, behind closed doors, they often find themselves in unhappy situations, self-sabotaging relationships, or telling themselves stories about why they aren’t where they should be. My role is to help people understand that they are exactly where they need to be in their personal growth journey.

[Q] What leads people to seek your help?


 People usually come to me when they reach a tipping point of emotional or psychological pain. It’s that moment when all the quirky strategies and coping mechanisms they’ve relied on throughout their lives just don’t work anymore. They’re in a state of profound distress and start searching for a kind of magic bullet or miracle solution. However, what I emphasize is that the real answer lies within themselves. Rather than seeking external validation, they need to turn their focus inward to find the solutions they seek.

[Q] Why do you think some people avoid seeking the help you offer?


 Ego plays a significant role in people’s reluctance to seek help. Many individuals only reach out when they’re in dire straits, as I mentioned earlier. I don’t hold back because if someone reaches out to me, it’s a sign that they are in significant trouble. I can relate to this because I went through a similar phase in my own life.


There were moments of apparent success when I walked off stage feeling like garbage because I hadn’t addressed deep-seated issues from my past, including childhood abuse and sexual trauma. These unresolved experiences can shape a person, making them constantly expect the worst and struggle to build healthy relationships, often leading to codependency problems unless they confront their own issues.


My role is to assist people in moving beyond the emotional baggage they carry from past traumas and events. It’s about recognizing that these are just stories, and we attach intense emotions to them. By reframing these narratives, life can become beautiful. With specific practices and habits, you can bring about profound positive changes in your life. Personally, I’ve invested thousands of hours in this journey of self-improvement.

[Q] Can you share any tips or strategies for those struggling with these issues?


 Absolutely. One crucial concept for individuals to grasp is the power of tones. I encourage people to become attuned to tones that resonate with them. A valuable resource is the Silva Method by Jose Silva, which dates back to the 1940s. When you listen to his materials, you’ll notice subtle tones playing in the background as he speaks and develops strategies. This isn’t accidental; it’s intentional. Jose Silva understood that these tones bypass your conscious mind and directly impact your subconscious thoughts.


Your subconscious, particularly the reticular activating system, is naturally inclined to please you. It absorbs everything he’s saying and how he’s saying it, leading to potentially life-changing effects. You can easily access such resources on platforms like YouTube, giving you a practical tool to start transforming your mindset and addressing your challenges.

[Q] Do you provide ongoing support to help clients maintain these habits?


 Typically, I work with clients intensively for eight weeks, covering mind, body, and spirit. Within these eight weeks, we have eight one-hour sessions, although some sessions may extend to 3 1/2 to four hours, depending on the individual’s needs. My aim is to achieve significant progress during this period. If we can’t make substantial headway in eight weeks, it might not be the right fit. I believe in a mutually beneficial relationship, not just a financial transaction where I take your money and leave. You won’t find automated payment links like PayPal or credit card options on my website because I prefer a more hands-on approach. I guide people through their personal growth journey, offering a unique experience.


However, I do offer follow-up options for those who want ongoing support beyond the initial eight weeks. If someone reaches out months later seeking assistance, I’m more than willing to help. I understand their triggers and nuances, and my commitment goes beyond just the one-hour session. I spend extra time preparing notes, sometimes dedicating 3-4 hours to ensure I’m fully prepared for our next conversation. This allows me to provide ongoing guidance on their projects and ensure they stay on the right path, benefiting them in the present moment.

[Q] What are the most significant outcomes of working with you?


 The most substantial outcomes often involve either regaining control of your life or discovering how to live life in a new and fulfilling way. I typically don’t mentor 20-year-olds extensively anymore, although I do engage in conversations with them. The reason is that younger individuals have a lot of life experiences ahead of them.


In today’s fast-paced entrepreneurial world, many people can amass significant wealth quickly, becoming multi-millionaires in a short span. They often believe that money alone will solve all of their problems. However, they eventually realize that it’s not just about the money; it’s about how and where you make your money and who you surround yourself with. Your state of mind while acquiring wealth also plays a crucial role. Money tends to amplify your personality – if you’re a good person, it can lead to positive outcomes, but if not, it can magnify negative traits.

[Q] Could you share an example of someone who went through this process with you and the outcome they achieved?


 Certainly, let me tell you about a client I’ll call “Steve.” He was a highly influential individual with several underlying issues that needed addressing and confronting. It’s crucial to approach these situations with care, especially when dealing with people’s emotions and pain points. Some individuals may require the expertise of a psychiatrist or psychologist, which is beyond my scope. However, for those I can assist, we engage in one-on-one sessions where we delve deep into their specific challenges by addressing their unique life stories.


In Steve’s case, we focused on his personal narrative, and he was able to transform his life by confronting it instead of avoiding it. It’s a common tendency among entrepreneurs to try and evade their problems, thinking they can deal with them later. Unfortunately, this often leads to problems compounding over time. Addressing and understanding one’s identity and desired self before major life events is a vital lesson I offer.


As people age, they can lose touch with themselves. Their early experiences from 0 to 8 years lay the foundation, and their teenage to 30s years solidify their individual identities. If they haven’t addressed their issues by their 30s, these problems tend to escalate as they reach their 50s. Life throws various experiences at us, such as marriage and parenthood, for which we often feel ill-prepared in our 20s. We might dismiss the wisdom of our parents or grandparents until we reach our 50s and begin wondering, “What’s next?” This sense of emptiness and self-sabotaging behaviors become increasingly common.


I strive to help people understand that these emotions are shared by many. This understanding allows them to connect with others, listen to their words and phrases, and gain insight into where they are in life and where they are headed.


[Q] What are some common myths or misconceptions about your work?


 One of the most prevalent misconceptions is the expectation of instant results. Many people think that mastering oneself is a quick fix, but in reality, it’s an ongoing journey, a continuous conversation with oneself. While I may work intensively with someone for eight weeks, they might encounter new challenges years down the line that they need help with. Some hesitate to reach out because they feel embarrassed, thinking they should have it all figured out by then. However, personal growth is an ongoing process, especially for entrepreneurs who often face evolving challenges.


Another misconception is that people primarily seek a sounding board to share their stories without seeking guidance. While listening is essential, some individuals just want someone to listen to them talk about themselves endlessly. This reminds me of one of my catchphrases, “Nobody laughs or  cries in a different language.” Through my experiences living in various places and engaging in diverse businesses, I’ve realized that fundamentally, people all seek happiness. So, why not focus on being happy in the present moment? Concentrating on finding happiness now can become a habit that leads to lasting joy.


I’ve had many reasons to be miserable, including facing multiple cancer diagnoses, but I refuse to let external circumstances dictate my happiness. I understand who I am, why I’m here, and what I can offer to the world. I believe in showing people that their only competition is the person they see in the mirror.


People also often burden themselves unnecessarily. I recently had a conversation with my daughter about this, highlighting that we might perceive ourselves one way while the world sees us differently. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because nobody has walked in our shoes. Our stories are just that—stories. What truly matters is changing our emotional attachments to those stories, whether they are related to needs or wants. Once you achieve this, life becomes simpler, though not necessarily easy. We must strive to make our lives easier and stop dwelling on past narratives that lead to self-criticism and guilt.

[Q] Where can people learn more about your work?


 To learn more about what I do, visit my website at Craigsotkovsky.com. You can also connect with me on social media using the handle Craig Sotkovsky. Feel free to reach out, and I’d be happy to share more about my work and how I can assist you.


Jeremy Baker

Jeremy Baker has a passion for helping his clients get recognition as experts in their fields. His approach to interviewing helps his clients tell their stories and talk about their unique set of experiences and backgrounds.