Real Men Feel: Ep. 292, Living a Full Contact Life | Intimacy, Feeling, and Choice

March 4, 2023

Living a Full Contact Life | Intimacy, Feeling, and Choice Episode 292, March 3, 2023

This year, I’ve begun martial arts classes for the first time, and I’ve been having a blast sparring with guys half my age. My guest has a bit more experience than that and a very eclectic background. He believes embracing intense and difficult emotions is the road to a fully lived and satisfying life.

Nico Verresen is a former professional Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts athlete with a master’s in Psychology. He specializes in resilience, performance, quality of life, and happiness. He’s prepared 4 World Champions in various martial arts and, as a mindset coach, helps train business high-performers to turn their stress, setbacks, and intense conflicts into a competitive advantage.

We discuss the dangers of having a high drive and great ambition but low self-esteem and the importance of choice. It is freedom of choice that brings fulfillment. Nico stresses we must chase our values, not our goals.

We also explore belief’s critical role in stress and the difference between pleasure and entertainment. Living a full-contact life means feeling fulfilled and no longer afraid of emotions.

Topics and Questions

  • 1:19 – Nico, How long was your fighting career?
  • 1:29 – As a professional athlete, you had to remain calm and focused under intense physical and mental stress. Did that come naturally?
  • 5:15 – How have your MMA skills transferred into other areas of life?
  • 8:40 – What inspired you to go from knocking people out to helping them smile?
  • 12:19 – What are some tips for being ambitious but enjoying the journey?
  • 14:53 – When we first spoke, you mentioned living a full contact life. What does that mean to you?
  • 17:57 – You can’t have the feeling of victory without facing anxiety. 
  • 19:14 – Most people try to avoid stress, but you say stress can be turned into a competitive advantage. Tell me about that.
  • 27:48 – How can we use conflict, disagreements, and fighting to create better relationships?
  • 33:19 – Is hypnosis your preferred tool?
  • 37:23 – Nico, what’s the best way for people to learn more and connect with you?

“You don’t need to run away from any emotion”

Nico Verresen


Nico Verresen —
Instagram — @nicoverresen
Facebook —
YouTube —


Book a call with Andy →

Listen here:


Want to help support Real Men Feel? Visit

Watch this episode on YouTube.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Enjoy Real Men Feel on Spotify

Listen to the podcast on Google Podcast.

Let us know what you think here in the comments, or shoot an email to

Grab the Real Men Feel Guide to Friendship for a list of places you can meet more male friends, and subscribe to the Real Men Feel newsletter.

Photo courtesy of Nico Verresen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *