Maria Menounos

How To Build Confidence and Ditch Perfectionism

World acclaimed motivational speaker and life coach, 25-year-old Nick Santonastasso was born with Hanhart syndrome, leaving him with one arm and one finger, no legs and a 30% chance to live.  Yet, Nick went on to become a varsity wrestler, bodybuilder, key recurring speaker at Tony Robbins’s events, a life coach, and an entrepreneur. On our show, Better Together with Maria Menounos, Nick not only offered incredible life lessons and takeaways for anyone and everyone facing hardship while seeking success and fulfillment but also shared his incredible, inspirational and unique journey where he teaches us how to build confidence and ditch perfectionism.

Nick’s parents often pushed him to fail, for example. They would lay out his clothes in front of him and force him to figure out how to get dressed without help. This was to ensure he would be able to sustain himself in the real world as they would not always be there to help. However, even more inspirational is Nick’s dedication to helping others. He argues that as humans, we are meant to serve others. When feeling down or low, he encourages all to help another in need. Doing so will relieve your own suffering. He also reminds us that, as cliche as it sounds, adversity really does make you stronger. You will only grow through the tough times. 

1) Condense your journey.
  1. a) Find someone who has the life you want, analyze and model yours after it. 
  2. b) Study others’s mistakes to avoid making them yourself.
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2) Change the rules of your life. 

Most of us are on a dirt road to happiness and highway to hell, as Tony Robbins says. We make it so hard to feel happy because of the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves and others. Change the rules of your life and celebrate your achievements. In doing so, you will find yourself instantly happier. 

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3) Create a vision of your dream life for motivation. 

Whenever you are feeling tired or worn out, go back to that vision. It will give you the fuel to keep going. 

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4) Success rewards speed. 

The faster you fail, the faster you move forward. Don’t wait for the world to hand you opportunities, make them. 

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5) Perfectionism is the lowest standard of life. 

Perfectionism is only holding you back. It can never be achieved because you are just chasing the impossible. 

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6) Create a peer group who challenges you to be your best.

The people who you surround yourself with will make or break your experiences. You want people around who will push you to reach your full potential. That may not be your family or friends, and that is ok. 

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7) Stand guard of the door to your brain

In the wise words of Nick, “Stop consuming shitty content.” Only allow elevated content that will better you. 

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8) Focus on the positive, not the negative in all situations. 

Nick’s parents, for example, focused on his 30% chance of survival when he was born, rather than his 70% chance of death.  

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9)  Create a healthy relationship with failure.

Failure lies in all areas of life. Instead of fearing it, embrace it. Nick found that it was actually through his failures that he grew the most. 


Listen to the 2-part interview here:

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For more, check out Better Together with Maria Menounos, your Life Improvement series. Subscribe to Youtube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.