Full disclosure: I first met Stephen Ladd when I was brought on board to write a brochure for Human Form Fitness, the gym that Stephen and his wife, Michelle, own and operate. The brochure was being created on trade, meaning I would get paid in gym time. I still feel bad about that arrangement—they got a tagline and a few paragraphs of advertising blather. I got a whole new life, one that is so far superior and authentic and satisfying than I could ever have imagined when I first waddled through their door on Chesapeake Ave.
Stephen doesn’t know this, but I was bothered by the word choices in their logo’s brand descriptor: Holistic Health, Fitness and Performance Institute. First, “institute”— it’s a gym, fancy pants. Second, “holistic”—that word, like luxury has lost all meaning in today’s advertising parlance.
It’s staggering how wrong I was.
It IS an institute, “an organization for the promotion of a cause.” In this case, that cause is the well-being of Human Form members. And I now understand just how holistic The Human Form is. In fact, I’d offer it as the bar by which all other usage of the word be measured.
So, fast forward to when I began seeing Stephen for his particular brand of transformative life coaching. Much as I did upon hearing the words luxury and holistic, I may have rolled an eye skyward when I read transformative.
Once again, staggeringly wrong. (Why does anyone listen to anything I say with a track record like this? Why are you even still reading this testimonial?)
A session with Stephen is NOT like going to a therapist. (I’ve done that. It served its purpose until it didn’t. And I felt emotionally beat to shit after nearly every session.) Stephen is not going to give advice. He’s not going to judge or shame. He’s not going to insist that you blame your parents for toilet training you two days too soon. What he will suggest, however, is a different way of looking at things. He’ll listen to what you say as you engage in conversations that are interesting, illuminating and, yes, even fun. He’ll help you understand how the mind works—how your mind works. And eventually, I still don’t know how, it all clicks.
For me, it was a series of little-to-medium insights over about a month or two. It was about learning that I didn’t need to react immediately to situations and I eventually became more comfortable sitting with things and the feelings they evoked. I was finally able to trust that when the time was right, a course of action would be obvious and inevitable. And I didn’t need to do anything to make that happen. Just breathe. Well, I had to breathe anyway, didn’t I, so what did I have to lose? And then…
Hey…will ya look at that…transformation.
Before I knew it, I noticed significant improvements in my mood and how I navigate the world—at home, at work and everywhere in between.
Stephen (like Michelle and everyone else even tangentially associated with The Human Form) is a hidden gem. The world he and Michelle created is like the Brigadoon of Self-Improvement. (Ooo, new tagline?) If you’re feeling stuck in life…questioning decisions…replaying the past…worrying about the future…or engaging in any other human-type behavior that you suspect is holding you back from living the life you want, I suggest you sit yourself in Stephen’s comfy chair. (Yes, it’s the one with the poop emoji lumbar pillow.) Start chatting and be open to all that mind-blowingly delicious possibility.
Stephen Ladd is not only a fantastic transformational life coach….He is an amazing person who has helped me beyond words.
Working with Stephen over the last six months has been literally life-changing for my personal and professional life. Looking back to our first session I vividly remember him saying this…”If anything we do together feels like work, then we are not on the right path”. He had me at hello! You mean to tell me that I can unequivocally change my person without trying? Sign me up and bring it on! I have been trying for YEARS to find an approach to living my best life…..Countless self-help books, therapy, CBT…you name it. I have accomplished more in my time with Stephen than all the aforementioned combined.
Through talking about “HOW” my problems are created through life experiences my eyes have seen a new light. By realizing nothing external, not anything or anyone can dictate my happiness other than me has literally transformed me into a brand new man. I still go back to my old ways, however, with the help of Stephen the time between those “episodes” are less and less frequent.
The clarity of mind I have achieved in a very short period of time is the best breath of fresh air I could have ever hoped for. With the help of Stephen I now know that the world is forever my oyster.
Please trust me…Stephen Ladd is one of a kind. I am honored and blessed that our paths crossed and will be forever grateful for his humor, kindness and guidance.
I can’t help but smile every time I tell myself to CTFD!
“Stephen has been with me through all my ups and downs of my adult life. I met Stephen at a time where my athletic career was coming to an end and after being diagnosed with a lifelong learning disability. A few months after we met, my younger brother passed away, and I knew Stephen could help me with the extreme grief that was to come.
While I still utilized the tools Stephen taught me from our original sessions, as with most people in my age group, I got caught up in the perpetual merry go round of life. Working 2.5 jobs to pay the student loans and the mortgage, all while starting a family. For several years, I followed Stephen’s work as a fan.
After my wife and I welcomed our 3rd child, I knew that I needed to change the trajectory of my life and regain some motivation to live a fulfilling life that my family and I would be proud of. Stephen welcomed me back and we have been kicking ass towards my goal of being self-employed and writing/producing/directing full time.
Stephen has truly been a life saver for me!”
“Working with Stephen came at the perfect time in my life. I had committed to a huge life transition which included a relocation to a new state and a new career trajectory. Stephen and I starting our coaching during a time when I was feeling a sense of disconnect from my community and a loss of direction. Our conversations and the tools he provided allowed me to slow down and appreciate my journey. Change is stressful on the mind and body as well as relationships. Stephen helped me navigate my own emotional “flare ups”, giving me insight into my partners needs, and in turn, improving our communication and understanding of one another. I look forward to continuing to work with Stephen and use his reflective feedback, tools and knowledge to help me move forward towards a more fulfilling and present life.”
“This man can listen like nobody’s business. He can peer deep down into your heart and soul and let you know he gets it, understands it – and no matter how dark it seems to you, he sees the light that shines there and helps you to see it too. He has mad coaching skills, a great sense of humor, a sparkling intellect and the makings of a life-long friend.”
“Many thanks to Stephen Ladd and his coaching services at Renegade Life. The sessions with Stephen have been amazing. Right from the beginning, in the discovery process, I have started to gain a clear understanding of my “hidden” patterns that have been keeping me from accomplishing all that I want in life. This awareness is already bringing about positive changes. I am excited to continue this work.”
“A few months ago, I witnessed a traumatic car accident in which a young woman died; and shortly after I began having frequent flashbacks, night terrors and almost debilitating levels of stress.
Through working with Stephen, I learned strategies to reconceptualize that experience in addition to practical strategies to deal with my stress and anxiety. He helped me to realize that although my life calling is helping people (I’m a healthcare professional), it’s unrealistic to expect that I can help everyone, and that unrealistic expectation was the primary cause of my undue suffering. I learned that our values and expectations drive our emotional responses and that reframing these can go a LONG way in dealing with emotional turmoil.
I quickly noticed a significant reduction in flashbacks and waking up at night, and within a couple of weeks, I was totally back to normal. I still think about that young lady from time to time, but it’s no longer in a way that interferes with my emotional well-being; but rather an intentional commitment to face the inevitable traumas of life and use them as growth and learning opportunities.”
“Honestly, I do not remember how Stephen Ladd and I met. I only remember that we were suddenly creating programs together and helping a helluva lot of people. As an NLP™ and hypnosis trainer, I had the privilege to take Stephen on a very deep dive into the subjects; and Stephen introduced me to the Renegade lifestyle.
I immediately learned that Stephen has a few traits that are the most difficult to teach… listening and hearing. When I witnessed him working with a client, he listened to them; but he also heard them. Stephen can get to the root of a client’s challenge and help them make a core transformation using humor and laughter, asking the right questions at the right time, and teaching them to “drive the bus” instead of letting their emotions control them.
If you are deciding whether to book some time with Stephen, just do it. He will not disappoint.”
“I can honestly say that Stephen is the most accepting, welcoming and respectful professional I’ve ever worked with, including coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, friends, and family. He creates a safe and nonjudgmental environment where I feel comfortable sharing absolutely anything, including things I don’t like about myself, or perceived flaws and character weaknesses.
He helps me to better understand my patterns, beliefs, and behaviors and gently examine what is behind them and alternative choices available to me.
Most of all, Stephen takes the time to truly listen to what I’m saying. No lecturing, directing, or judging. He just wants to understand me and my current worldview; and the questions he asks always help me to look more deeply into how I tick, and how I might tick better.”
“Stephen is a mastermind when it comes to readjusting your thoughts and behaviors. He gives you a chance to discuss the things and actions that you may need in your life to feel more fulfilled as a unique individual. I think the biggest benefit I have received so far is being able to evaluate situations that might be causing me stress or anxiety and developing a mental game plan to decrease that. I highly recommend that you sit down with Stephen for at least one session – you’ll be back for more.”
“Working with Stephen has been very insightful. During our sessions he was able to get me to look at things differently. And as the quote says, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Things did change, fast. His ability to read between the words is a gift — it’s in his DNA. Stephen is incredibly kind but will always tell it like he sees it. I’m grateful, and excited to continue to foster my own “Renegade Life”. Thank you!”