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Cracking Creativity Episode 24: Steven Shewach on Busting Bogus Beliefs, the Stereotypes of Masculinity, and Changing Himself for the Better

Steven Shewach is the creator of Bogus Belief Busters, an idea dedicated to bringing self-help to the masses. He is also the author of Man Date, a manual for men on how to make meaningful relationships with fascinating dudes without being weird or awkward. In this episode Steven talks about how he plans to help people overcome their bogus beliefs, his thoughts on masculinity, and how he turned his life around after being a self-described asshole.

Here are three things you can learn from Steven:

You can repurpose old ideas with a simple twist

Steven is on a mission to help people bust their beliefs. Through his project, he is trying to translate life’s universal truths into something that is relatable to the general population. He is doing this by creating characters out of our behavioral problems, and bringing them to life through the use of super heroes and comics. Some examples of his characters include the Unfinisher, Not Enougher, Apeaser, and Expecter

He is taking the lessons that people have learned over millennia, an repackaging it for this era. By building a highly visual brand and merchandise, he hopes to make self-help relatable to a broader audience.

Masculinity isn’t what you think

One thing Steven has noticed, is that masculine stereotypes have caused problems in men’s lives. A few of these include always being stoic, repressing your feeling, being powerful, and doing things alone. Men who try to fit these ideals become trapped, and it’s hard to get out.

Instead of closing themselves off, Steven wants to help men forge meaningful and soulful friendships. He wants to create a space of vulnerability and openess where men can explore their feelings.

You can change yourself for the better

Steven describes himself as an ex-asshole. Before making the change, he blamed other people for his circumstances. Instead of accepting responsibility for himself, he put it on everyone else. He acted out in anger, frustration, and sadness all the time.

During a three day period, he came to this realization, and has tried to become a better person ever since. He tries to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. The key thing is to recognize your negative thoughts. You need to listen to what your body is telling you and orient yourself to a positive place.


  • belief chief runs the bureau of bogus beliefs
  • create a world called bogus belief busters
    • mix of super heroes genre and personal growth
  • beginnings of Bogus Belief Busters
    • started with his first character – The Unfinisher
    • bogus beliefs and beneficial beliefs
    • started with unfinished projects around the house
    • seeing pattern of not being able to finish
    • characters can be made from behavioral patterns (Not Enougher, Apeaser, Expecter, etc.)
    • create a different way of looking at things you want to change
  • how he came up with the different characters
    • personal growth – we teach what we need to know
    • belief chief is omnipotent and all knowing
    • being functionally delusional
    • having characters/feelings that are universal
  •  not having all the answers
    • taking content from the millennia
    • takes content from different disciplines and repackaging it in different way for this era

“Not only do I not have all the answers, I’m seeking the answers from the cumulative answers of human kind.”

  • having the idea for years and starting up a team to work on the project
    • working with a branding strategist and graphic designer
    • creating highly visual brand and merchandise
  • going from character to story that resonates
    • on not building a business but a slow-ness
    • it will reveal itself when the time comes
    • put project on hold to work on another project
    • similar to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
    • teaching lessons through characters

The idea of bringing out this content about personal growth and how to live the best life through characters, I think is very visceral through the human experience. Most people connect with storytelling… especially with visual components of that storytelling.

  • the negative connotation of self-help
    • bringing self-help to the general populace
    • using a familiar delivery mechanism (comics) and changed the content within it (self-help)
  • taking a grand idea and actually executing it
    • not being great at executing big plans
    • learning to let go of a blue print or timeline and just let it develop
    • going where your energy takes you
  • changing direction when you need to
    • idea of perfection
    • iterating and improving upon things
    • start with version 1.0
    • let the public and tribe tell him where to go, to co-create together

“I don’t really think perfection is a healthy goal to attain because I don’t believe it is possible.”

“I think that’s a really powerful thing, to bring people in to what you’re doing and have them help you in as many ways as possible that’s reasonable to the creator. Have them co-create with you.”

  • startups and MVPs – minimum viable product
    • being surprised by the product that ends ups being successful
    • Twitter origins as a podcasting app
    • balance of having your stamp on something and allowing it to morph into something else

“As a creator… there’s a balance between… holding steadfast to your vision, but also being willing to let go at the right places and at the right time, and moving with where it wants to go.”

  • starting a website
    • listening to marketing advice and begrudgingly did it
    • went into men’s coaching space as the Mantor (man’s mentor)
    • helping men not be assholes – ex-asshole himself
    • figuring out how many get trapped in ideals and stereotypes
    • masculine stereotypes cause problems in men’s lives
    • being stoic, repressing feelings, being powerful, and going alone are not helpful
    • help men forge meaningful and soulful friendships
    • create spaces of vulnerability and openness
The stereotypes for masculinity are unattainable. Click To Tweet
  • thoughts on Lewis Howes‘ speech at World Domination Summit
    • didn’t know him before
    • when he heard the title “Myth of Male Masculinity” he thought the speech was going to go in different direction
    • when you have expectations, and they aren’t met, you feel let down
    • applauds him for being open and vulnerable, but didn’t feel he went deep enough to dismantle stereotypes

“You can’t be all things to all people.”

  • exploring the idea of the Mantor
    • Derek Murphy – helped come up with subtitle of the book: A manual for making meaningful relationships, with fascinating dudes, without it being weird or awkward
    • helping men step into their personal power
    • likes to take big topics and infuse lighter approach and humor to them
    • Man dating- men dating other men for friendship – light hearted play on dating
    • connecting with other men in deep and meaningful way without it being awkward
    • likes to tackle things through humor because he thinks people will be more receptive to it
  • building meaningful relationships with other people
    • find ways that you are similar to them
    • recognizing people instead of ignoring them

“At the base level, we all have the same basic human desire, and that is, we want to be loved, we want to be acknowledged, we want to be validated, and we want to be heard… that to me is the universal connector so when I remember that, I feel like I can connect to anyone.”

  • making the switch from being an asshole
    • The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
    • that’s what he was doing, so he realized he needed to change
    • attributes the insight to a three day period that shifted the way he saw reality
      • he was victimizing himself and putting responsibility on everyone but himself
      • acted out in anger, frustration and sadness all the time
      • calls himself, RNT – recovering negative thinker, but has to work at it
  • recognizing if you are thinking negatively
    • listening to your body
    • you have physiological response before you have a feeling/thought
    • orient yourself to a positive place

“Remembering how beautiful and fantastical life can be is a really powerful practice to see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty.”

  • the Hero’s Journey
    • something known to unknown and back again
    • movies from Star Wars to Disney all use it
    • call to adventure, threshold they must meet, mentor, move through challenge, revelation at the bottom, transformation, and return
    • used in creating narratives
    • the Hero’s Journey happens naturally
    • when you’ve bottomed out, the only through it is up
    • what will your transformation look like?
    • Phoenix rising out of the ashes
  • difference between people who rise out of the ashes and those who don’t
    • A belief is just an opinion that you think is true
    • belief is what causes you to believe it’s the truth, even universal truths
    • people who aren’t willing to take accountability and responsibility for themselves are the ones who won’t make it out
  • the placebo effect
    • the way your thoughts have an affect on your body

“My belief is that our beliefs form our entire reality at all dimensions.”

  • the next steps
    • Man date – launched book in September at the Gentleman’s expo
    • Bogus Belief Busters – re-brand with artis
    • getting rid of everything he owns and work on projects while traveling internationally
  • morning routine
    • had a morning routine and stopped a couple of months ago
    • blog post – I have a routine intolerance
    • was using Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
      • Silence/meditation
      • Affirmation
      • Visualization
      • Exercise
      • Reading
      • Scribing (journaling)
    • was doing it for 1.5 hours
    • create time for yourself and set path for the day
    • while on it, a lot of great things were happening
    • stopped because he was traveling, which threw it off
  • books/resources
    • any book by Eric Maisel – writes from a psychological perspective
    • fan of technology and leveraging it as a tool instead of a hindrance
    • likes tools that help capture, make, and share his creative output
    • Seconds Pro – allows you to create multiple timers in a row
      • used with Miracle Morning steps
    •  Day One Journal – syncing writing on all devices
    • Text Expander – shortcuts for text outputs
  •  definition of creativity

“My definition of creativity is the use of our great many faculties, meaning thinking, seeing, hearing, doing, in a synergistic way, that yields something tangible or experiential to oneself or others.”

  • being more creative

“I think the way to do that is to have an open mind, to experiment, to muck around, to be curious, to investigate the curious, and work at your edge, wherever that is.”

“”I think it’s also about constraints. Sometimes when the canvas is too big, or too open, creativity is overwhelming… By having some restraints, it actually causes us to become more creative.”

“To re-create literally is re-creating oneself, our version of reality. We can become a different person if we want to be… in any facet that we want, it’s all about choice… I think that being creative is about playing, and disrupting ourselves, and both integrating new things but also being expansive.”

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  1. I really respect the issues that Steven is exploring and I applaud his openness about his struggles. But frankly he sounds a bit lost, scattered and overwhelmed by all his ideas and thoughts. Interesting that he says he can’t finish anything. On his website he says his book will be released mid September. It’s now later in October and there is apparently still no book. I hope he figures it out. Sounds like a good guy.

    • Thanks for the feedback Donald. He talked about being intentional and not getting caught up on any one thing. I think many of us, especially creatives, have a ton of ideas. It’s all about balance and intentionality.

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