Nick Santonastasso Gave the EXPCON Keynote, ‘Failure Is Not an Option’

Entrepreneur, bodybuilder, motivational speaker and internet sensation Nick Santonastasso gave an inspirational keynote on Thursday with a delivery style ranging from that of a football coach, therapist, spiritual leader and religious revivalist, leaving those who attended EXPCON’s second general session with a feeling of energy, power and a sense of relief.

Nick Santonastasso had a big presence on the stage with his motivational messages.

“I’m here to kick you in the butt with my non-existent leg,” he said to opening laughter of his condition, in which he was born with no legs and one arm, the result of a rare congenital disorder called Hanhart Syndrome, which, according to the National Institutes of Health, has affected less than 1,000 people in the U.S.

His hour-long keynote was filled with provocative thoughts, words of wisdom and suggestions to inspire.

Law of exposure. “It states that if I’m exposed to a greater way of living, I can’t be unexposed. If you’re up for being exposed to information to change your life, you will gain value.”

Law of energy. “Energy can’t be created or destroyed, but it only changes form. High energy equals high income and high opportunities. A low-energy person won’t attract high-level opportunities and income.”

Nick Talked About the Power of Focus

Nick recounted how in 1996, a doctor told his parents that Nick — during an ultrasound — had a 30% chance to live. “The doctor said my limbs were not being developed. I was missing arms, legs and he said ‘his face was messed up.’ They lied. I’m beautiful.”

Nick’s parents chose to focus on the 30%, which is the anecdote Nick used to talk about focus.

“What I focus on, I get more of. What I focus on expands. Most people focus on problems. What I focus on, I feel. What I feel is my life. And that also means the quality of my life. You have to master the power of focus.”

A Defining Moment in Nick’s Life Led to His Huge Success

Nick recalled how his life turned around by being open to opportunities. He said he moved from his home in New Jersey to Florida to become a bodybuilder. He was encouraged to attend a mastermind and it was that gathering in which he met a ‘random Russian guy’ who said ‘you’re going to be on stage with Tony Robbins one day.’ Five years later, that is me.”

Nick’s philosophy is to keep opening doors and finding opportunity.

“If I never got in that room, I would never get the results I have today.

“To get to the next level, you need to upgrade your identity. By doing that, you need to get into the right rooms with the right people who are way further ahead than you are.”

The Day Nick Felt He Became a Man

It was 2020 and it was Nick’s dad’s birthday when the unfortunate news came that Nick’s brother, Mike, died from a drug overdose. Nick’s dad asked Nick to tell his sisters because he didn’t have the strength.

Nick moved the audience throughout his hour-long talk.

“I stepped up for my dad and I thought, ‘Wow – maybe I could be a man. I can’t pick up my girlfriend or take a long walk on the beach with her, but I can step up for my dad.”

Nick said his brother’s passing did two things: It alleviated his brother’s suffering and gave Nick the gift to be a man.

“And now I will master psychology so I won’t suffer the way he did.”

Nick asked himself questions that changed my life:

  • Who am I going to become because I am going through this?
  • What’s the gift? What’s the learning? The gift is there if you’re ready for the gift. 

On the power of the brain:

“The majority of things holding you back you can’t see. That’s because by the age of 35 you are 95% unconscious. That means only 5% of you are conscious of making a drastic change. But, change is hard and scary. That’s because your brain wants what is known and comfortable and certain. It likes pattern recognition.”

“For example, you go to change your life, start a new diet, start a new relationship, but your brain doesn’t like these new feelings. So, you end up self-sabotaging your growth. Your brain says you are just like your mother, like your father. The brain talks you out of specific things. I call these override moments. It’s an unwiring and rewiring process.” 

Nick Offered Three Focus Patterns That ‘Screw People Up’

Nick said there are three things to ask yourself that could unlock things that are stopping you or bothering you from moving on:

  • In my life, for the majority of the time, do I focus on things I have or things I don’t have?
  • In my life, for the majority of the time, do I focus on things that I can control or things I can’t control?
  • In my life, for the majority of the time, do I focus on the past, present or future?

Other Random Thoughts:

“Right now, there is something you are putting off. What is it? That’s the thing you need to pursue. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

“A lot of times, anxiety and stress is coming from lack of preparation.”

“Emotional integrity. If every single time an emotion arises and you suppress your emotions, you are lying to yourself. If you keep suppressing, you keep lying. In this culture, we soothe ourselves so we don’t want to face what’s bothering us.” 


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