Jim Dethmer — How to Shift from Victim Consciousness, Reduce Drama, Practice Candor, Be Fully Alive, and More (#434)

“So many of us destroy our aliveness through pretending. I wasn’t going to pretend.”  — Jim Dethmer

Jim Dethmer is one of the world’s leading voices on conscious leadership. He is a co-founder at Conscious Leadership Group, co-author of the #1 best-selling book on conscious leadership, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, and an international speaker. And he has advised hundreds of CEOs and their teams to eliminate drama and build trust within their organizations.

Top hedge-fund managers, heads of major hospital systems, tech leaders, elite thought leaders, and YPO chapters and forums rely on Jim’s wisdom and guidance to become highly self-aware and to create conscious cultures. Currently, Jim’s focus is on working with the most devoted conscious leaders—with a particular interest in those leading underserved populations—and training the next generation of conscious leadership coaches.

Visit conscious.is/tim for a list of free resources on the topics discussed in this episode and to sign up for a free webinar from Jim Dethmer and Diana Chapman.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

This podcast is brought to you by LMNT and 5-Bullet Friday.” More on both below. 

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#434: Jim Dethmer on the Power of Radical Responsibility and How to Be the Author of Your Own Life

This episode is brought to you by LMNT! What is LMNT? It’s a delicious, sugar-free electrolyte drink-mix. I’ve stocked up on boxes and boxes of this and usually use it 1–2 times per day. LMNT is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and perfectly suited to folks following a keto, low-carb, or Paleo diet. If you are on a low-carb diet or fasting, electrolytes play a key role in relieving hunger, cramps, headaches, tiredness, and dizziness.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear another episode with someone who’s committed to “aliveness”? Listen to my conversation with Michael Lewis, who told me how he’s cultivated the narrative that he’s “one of the happiest people” anybody knows.

#427: Michael Lewis — Inside the Mind of the Iconic Writer


  • While Jim Dethmer himself isn’t active on social media, you can find the Conscious Leadership Group online at any of the following:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | LinkedIn


  • How did Jim’s journey bring him to co-found Conscious Leadership Group? [07:02]
  • How did Jim identify Byron Katie as a high-credibility guru with whom he should spend time, and what has he learned from her — particularly about coping with the stressful and disturbing thoughts we’re all thinking during these unique and trying times? How do her four questions provide options and action over complacency when difficult decisions need to be made? [10:29]
  • Who are Gay and Katie Hendricks, and what have they taught Jim about avoiding drama-based conflict in close relationships and living in the “zone of genius?” [28:52]
  • The technique and benefits of conscious breathing, with words of wisdom from the world of marksmanship. [32:05]
  • Before you can get emotionally intelligent, you have to be emotionally literate: how the Hendricks have helped Jim co-exist with heightened and activated feelings in a constructive rather than destructive manner. [37:39]
  • What does Jim mean when he asks: “Can you accept yourself for being scared and below the line?” First, we need to determine where we are in relation to the line. [49:57]
  • When trying to take responsibility for his actions, how does Jim distinguish between personal accountability and self-blame (or resorting to blaming others)? What is the real benefit of accepting radical responsibility? [58:06]
  • Jim shares some personal and professional examples of accepting radical responsibility. [1:04:38]
  • On the 15 commitments that Jim and his wife Debbie established early in their relationship that determines how they engage with one another in a cocommited rather than codependent way. [1:09:18]
  • Some of the candid or uncomfortable conversations that are the most important to have, and how you can best ensure you’re open to receiving those kinds of conversations before you initiate them. [1:20:52]
  • If you’re in quarantine with a significant other, are you able to separate facts from story? Are you more interested in being proven right, or are you more interested in becoming closer? [1:30:39]
  • The four contexts that answer the question”How are we being with the content of life?” To Me, By Me, Through Me, and As Me. [1:36:38]
  • Jim shares what entailed his own “descent into the ashes” — a particularly difficult time in his life. [1:50:28]
  • When someone finds themselves going through their own descent into the ashes, what does Jim suggest they do? [1:59:18]
  • What are you willing to put at risk for full aliveness? What won’t you put at risk for full aliveness? Jim talks about Scott Peck’s tunnel of chaos and the concept of pseudo communities versus authentic communities. [2:02:20]
  • The Four Pillars of Integrity. [2:07:57]
  • When Jim left a career in midlife, from all external appearances, at the top of his game, how did he end up quitting? Was it a sudden epiphany or a long, slow realization? [2:10:48]
  • Parting thoughts. [2:20:37]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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19 Replies to “Jim Dethmer — How to Shift from Victim Consciousness, Reduce Drama, Practice Candor, Be Fully Alive, and More (#434)”

  1. Hi Tim – I have a suggestion for a podcast guest: Ed Seykota. He is a legendary trader from the market wizard book. He created a personal development method called the Trading Tribe. I think you will find it very interesting. I would love to hear you interview Ed. Thanks for all your work!

  2. Wow Tim! So much packed into this conversation. The part that got me hooked was how Jim had said he borrowed from others and just distilled it down to a 3X5 card idea. I’ve been on that same path and love finding others that have successfully done the same thing! Thanks for all you do!

  3. Hey Tim, Actually I’d like to know if there is a way to no longer receive you PodCast emails, but still continue to receive your Fantastic Friday 5-Bullet email message, please? thanks, Dave

  4. This entire episode made me say FUCK YEAH.

    Excellent content, fellas.

    Especially loved the healthy, conscious coupling conversation. It’s a damn difficult thing to encounter in the modern love…scene.

  5. Thanks for your work. Your discussion around “from blame to taking responsibility” and “from entitlement to appreciation” reminded me of “Patterns in Interpersonal Interactions”, Karl Tomm. When I listened to Jim Collins discuss “the flywheel”, I was reminded of this work also. The power of the gaze encouraged is it provides a system and approach to shift the space of interaction between persons and even sociocultural patterns. Bests,

  6. Hi Tim,

    Loved this episode! long time listener first time commenter..was compelled to reach out as I have noticed over the last few weeks you seem to be acknowledging, working through and accepting some behaviours that make you feel shame (story from fact). i.e. anger discussed in this episode. I too during the COVID isolation have been working through similar feelings. My partner has also been guiding in this area. Our partners are often the ones who know us best and spending this extra time with them due to the current situation has possibly lead to a deeper knowledge of one another and has enabled this critical rework of parked feelings.

    its defiantly been liberating for me and I felt happy to think I was possibly sharing a similar experience with you.

    Always a pleasure listening.
    I’ve dog eared Tribe of Mentors

    Ben Dormer
    [Moderator: LinkedIn info removed.]

  7. So many takeaways from this episode. “Before you can get emotionally intelligent, you have to be emotionally literate” is my quote of the week. And the detailed discussion about co-dependent vs. co-committed was pure gold. I really appreciate the deep dive on the relationship discussion. Thank you for wading into all these weeds so we could learn and grow.

  8. One of my favourite episodes! I ´ve paused and went back many times. So many interesting and wise ideas! Thank you so much Tim for inviting Jim to your show and conducting the interview the way you did with great questions, as always. And, by the way, I take this chance to say I appreciate it very much how, despite the name of the show 😉 , you step aside and you do give your guests space and time to speak and explain fully and thoroughly their ideas and insights.
    Keep up what you do, you are great at it! And stay safe and sound.

  9. Hi Tim – just want to say Big Thank You for all the amazing and diverse content – adds tremendous value!

  10. Tim – Check out This Book Will Make You Dangerous by Tripp Lanier. It’s along the same lines as what Jim talked about, but said in a different, slightly irreverent way. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  11. I was part of the leadership team of a Fortune 500 corporation that Jim worked with until I retired five years ago. I thought it was coincidental that I heard him on your podcast the day after his training helped me out of a dicey situation. Jim would say that was the universe sending me something I needed, and I suspect he would be right. The day before I was fishing alone in my boat and when I was taking a fish off my hook I accidentally impaled my hand very badly with the very large hook. There was no way I could drive the boat back to the ramp, get it back on the trailer and drive an hour back to my town with just one hand safely, so I had to remove the hook myself. It was a pretty gruesome process and after I had done it I was pretty shook up. There was blood everywhere. I was shaking and my heart was just racing. I went back to my training and laid down in the boat and just breathed, just focused on that. In minutes I was back in a good place and finished a great day of fishing. It was a strange place to apply that I suppose but it made a big difference.

  12. I love this discussion of consciousness. I am fascinated by the hard problem of consciousness which I explore in my own writing and research.

  13. HI Tim,
    I just finished the Jim Dethmer interview and wanted to let you know how helpful it was. It’s been a difficult week and this interview was truly chock-ful of great relationship tools. I hope you have Jim on again to discuss more of the integrity inventory. On a personal note, just want to say thank you for your openness and leadership. I find your podcasts very supportive.

  14. Hi Tim! Curious why LMNT would be worth the cost compared to a trace minerals product like this one:

    [Moderator: link removed.]

    (If that doesn’t show up as a link, its called Trace Minerals, 40,000 Volts by Trace Minerals Research on Amazon.) I’ve been using this along with Stur flavor enhancers so it doesn’t just taste like salty viscous water 🙂

    [Moderator: link removed.]


  15. This was one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in quite a long time. I’ve listened to it twice already. So many opportunities for growth available to me through these tools and practices. Thank you!

  16. Hey Tim, been a fan for years. Your books and YouTube wisdom and especially the content you discuss at lengths with your guests have helped me tremendously.

    I’ve recently been in a rut and Jim Dethmer’s episode has given me so much insight and hope that I utilized his teachings right away and suffice to say I’m doing better now. Thanks for changing my life.

    Favorite line (in essence) – let emotions run through you; the universe is working through you.

  17. Hi Tim, one of the best episode! I am just going through a terrible relationship problem and this is exactly what I needed now to learn from. Thanks Tim!