Ugh, Not Another Post About Fear
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.
I don’t believe there’s a way to write a post teaching someone how to stop being afraid. It’s simply a decision you have to make in your own mind. Every time you feel that nervous, uncomfortable feeling in your stomach – push forward and take a leap of faith.
If I look at my life, the things I feared becoming the most are what I have become. Fear turned me into a person I hated. Someone who regretted the past and wished they could have done things differently. I allowed my fears to consume me, making my fears reality due to my behavior. It’s as if I willed them into existence by focusing so much of my attention on those negative outcomes.
My biggest fear in life was turning out like my father. An unhappy, angry, poorly adjusted man who was stuck in his past. He didn’t know how to have deep, meaningful relationships, even with his own son. His limited financial success only came through illegal means.
This is exactly who I became for many years. I was so afraid of following in his footsteps that I became someone much like him.
I’ve destroyed my intimate relationships and pushed those who loved me away because I feared hurting them. Ultimately, I ended up hurting them worse because I was afraid to hurt them. I never allowed myself to be happy and comfortable in my relationships. I felt nothing could possibly last. I was certain I would ruin it at some point.
Once someone got too close I felt the need to sabotage the relationship. Only to later realize what I did and try to reclaim what I destroyed to no avail. The guilt and shame I felt kept me coming back repeatedly trying to fix the past. Each attempt making the situation worse and more painful.
I squandered away more money than I care to think about waiting for financial opportunities to present themselves rather than seeking them out. I feared losing the nest egg I accumulated by taking chances on businesses or venturing back into the job market. I didn’t believe in myself or my skills when it came to making money in the legitimate world. I was afraid of the time, money and hard work recreating my career would entail, which caused me to waste large amounts of time and money.
Whatever I feared losing became what I lost. (more…)
Fuck You WordPress
You cocksucking piece of shit platform. I save a draft and you tell me “the action can’t be performed at this time.” I lost everything I wrote over the last two hours. Why do I constantly have to save my work in a word document to ensure I don’t lose everything I wrote when I click save? You’re a piece of shit Matt Mullwenberg, choke on a bullet.
I can hardly think straight while writing this post. My anger and anxiety coupled with the fact I’m incredibly tired makes this all the more uncomfortable. I want my post back. I want to be able to re-read it, edit it and post it as I had originally intended. I don’t want to write it all over again.
I feel like I will explode thinking about this. The thought of trying to remember what I wrote in order to rewrite the post makes me uncomfortable to the point that I want to shout and cry. I want to break my computer, tell everyone how unfair it is, disparage WordPress and go to sleep. I feel drunk with rage. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
I’ve been pissed about losing my work for hours now. I’ve spent more time pining over losing the post and looking for ways to recover what I lost than I have trying to write a new post. My post was well written and powerful; something people should read. Possibly a literary masterpiece. Well maybe not quite that good.
That’s the problem with life. Its easier to brood and complain about what happened than it is to change it. Taking action and making changes takes conscious effort.
My life parallels this episode. I fight accepting what’s happened in my life. I try to reclaim what I feel I lost: Relationships, businesses, my identity, my size. The list goes on ad nauseam.
I’m nostalgic. I love going into my past. I look for anyway possible to get back what I’ve lost instead of putting in the effort to start something new and moving forward. Even when I know there is something better for me out there. I’m like a child who needs to keep all of his toys, including the ones he no longer plays with.
I backtrack and try to reclaim old relationships. I look for ways to rekindle a spark when we have proven we can’t coexist numerous times. We can’t be happy because life throws a curve ball into our plans and we never quite recover. We don’t put the time and effort necessary to be a happy, healthy couple. We never work through our wreckage and heal the wounds of the past. We only rush back into each others arms in order to quell the pain of loneliness and the of being alone.
I debate going back on steroids all the time. I walked on the boardwalk today and looked around thinking about the looks I used to get when I was more muscular. People would stare and make comments to me about how I looked. Someone would always make the obnoxious comment, which they thought was hilarious, “You need to workout more pal.” I used to complain how I hated the attention. But obviously I didn’t hate it that much If I’m missing it today. Regardless of the issues steroids have caused in my life I still want to use them again.
My past business venture was very lucrative. It allowed to me have an inordinate amount of free time to spend however I chose . I was able to travel, buy anything I wanted without thinking and I never had to work very hard. I also had many sleepless nights, visits from various three-letter authorities and had to lie to most people about my career. Still, I miss those days and often consider going back into that business. I have to work hard now to make in a year what I used to make in 2-3 months. But I no longer have to worry about going to jail. So there are obvious trade-offs.
So why do I stray from my present and do whatever I can to get back what was lost? Fear, comfort and laziness are the main reasons. I’d rather deal with The evil I know versus the evil I don’t know. It takes a lot of time and hard work to create something new. I’m impatient and want my life to be how I remember it. Quite often I don’t have an accurate recollection and romanticizing my past.
You can’t always recover what you’ve lost. Sometimes you need to make a decision whether to dwell over what no longer exists or make something new. Life is constantly changing and having to rebuild and recreate is a big part of it. Starting from scratch is overwhelming and seems impossible at times. However, it’s a necessity in life. Take what you have learned, let go of the past, move on and start new.
Hustling – From the Streets to the Boardroom
“Read this and maybe you will be someone one day”
Those were the words my dad spoke as he handed me a book on the Mafia. I was 12 years old and very impressionable. I would stay with my dad during the weekends. He would rent gangster movies for me to watch while he was away at work. He was obsessed with the lifestyle.
During my childhood my dad was involved in criminal activities that ranged from selling drugs to running numbers. He tried to hide it from me, but I knew. He hung around with low level, wannabe mafia types. They sat in diners all night long drinking coffee, breaking each others balls about women and how “rich” the next guy was. The fact of the matter was none of them were rich.
They told stories about the past while laughing obnoxiously loud in public places, creating a scene. The majority of what came out of their mouths were either lies or half-truths. It was like watching a bad episode of the Sopranos 20 years before it was a show.
As a kid I loved it. I couldn’t wait to be around his friends. I thought they were the greatest. I idolized them. They had nice cars, which my father never had. Some wore gaudy jewelry and always carried big wads of cash.
They were always excited to see me and treated me like royalty. Unlike my father who usually put me down and made me feel less than. When I grew up I wanted to be like them. I had become obsessed with that lifestyle.
At 13 I started selling weed to my friends. At first, I stole it from my brother and my friend’s dad until I found my own source to buy it. I bagged it up in little dime bags and sold it to friends for $10 a piece.
Even back then I remember wanting to make sure I always gave people a great deal. I packed the bags I sold nice and full, removing the stems from the buds. When I bought weed from other people it was mainly stems and seeds. I hated that and wanted to be different, even it meant I made less money.
As I got a littler older and progressed from selling weed to coke, my mentality on making a profit changed. I cut my product, but tried to maintain a certain quality standard. I found that if I added seven grams of cut to an ounce of quality coke and mixed it well people rarely complained. To stretch my profits further I would make half grams weigh .4 instead of .5 and my grams weigh .8 instead of 1. These two tricks net me an additional $500 in profit if I didn’t use too much of it myself. (more…)
Purpose and Progress
Last night I made the decision that my life had fallen off track the last couple of weeks. Ever since my vacation to California I had become unproductive and had lost focus of my goals. My life had become all about play and very little about work. I decided this was no longer acceptable and I needed to correct my behavior in order to restore some balance to my life.
Last night I set my alarm earlier than normal so I could get a head start on a productive day. As the alarm on my phone blared its annoying cry this morning at 6:30 I tried to figure out why I was getting up early.
I could think of 100 reasons why I wanted to hit snooze and stay in bed. I had fallen asleep late. I woke up several times during the night. My allergies were killing me. My dog was being adorable the way she way laying with me. But I literally couldn’t think of one reason as to why I should get up and start my day.
The outcome was obvious; I hit snooze. Over and over. After the fourth time I hit snooze I finally woke up, measured my dick, hit my knees, said my morning prayer then went to the kitchen to make myself a protein shake and eat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
The sad reality of what got me out of bed this morning is that I had an erection I wanted to measure. Lately I’ve been feeling like my penis hasn’t been working correctly. This has been a struggle for me ever since I got off steroids almost two years ago because I now have low testosterone levels. In my mind it looks and feels much smaller than I remember. This summer it felt and worked fine but I had a mental blow to my ego/penis that made me second guess the whole situation.
The only motivating factor that could drive me out of bed this morning was my fear and insecurity. I had a good, full erection that felt right for once and I wanted to get out of bed quickly to measure it before It went flaccid. Once I measured it I felt a little better and started my day.
On days like this it’s clear to me I struggle with my vision and purpose. When my thoughts about staying in bed asleep far outweigh my ability to wake up and start my day, I know there is a huge disconnect. I can make 1000 excuses as to why I couldn’t wake up and start my day early. But the reality is I didn’t have a strong sense of purpose for my day.
I had my list of goals I want to accomplish today written down. I made sure to look it over last night before bed as a reminder of the productive day I needed to have today. But when my alarm went off I couldn’t think of anything on that list. The comfort of laying in bed was overwhelming. I came very close to cashing in my day before it even started.
These days become all too common in our lives. We only get up out of a sense of fear that if we don’t we will experience negative repercussions in our lives. We may miss our bus, get fired from our job for not being on time or get up out of fear that our penis shrank. But how long can those negative factors be the driving force in our lives and allow us to have a meaningful and successful existence.
For me, fear only drives me enough to do the bare minimum to get the job done. There’s usually not a lot of satisfaction in things I do out of fear. Facing my fears and doing things because they scare me, not because I am scared of what happens when I don’t do them, is something altogether different. For me that’s where purpose comes in. Part of what makes me feel alive is doing new activities that I am afraid of or being put in situations that take me out of my comfort zone.
My purpose may change daily. But without purpose my days just exist. They tend to lack meaning and rarely lead to any progress. They become the rat race, drowning in the tedium of everyday life.
My purpose doesn’t need to be some grandiose goal every day. But it needs to have meaning and serve my life in a manner that allows me to create progress. When I am able to create progress my life becomes a journey. Turning life into a game by challenging myself through daily experiments to see what I can accomplish so that life can have more meaning than just getting out of bed to measure my boner.
Maybe I’ve Just Looked At It All Wrong
Single at 35, unsure about a career, living off my savings in a small apartment I rent with the only thing that loves me unconditionally, my dog. I look at my life and feel like I am a failure. I should own my own house, I can certainly afford it. I should settle down, have a relationship and a family. Live a more “normal” life.
People often tell me I need to put roots down and create a life somewhere. But what if that’s not the path for me right now? I have no urge to own my own house. I only want a house because I am embarrassed by the fact I don’t own one at my age. I’m embarrassed by how I choose to live even though I have the means to live much better.
I put all these outward expectations on myself. I don’t live the life I envisioned I would at 35. People probably look down on me and my behavior. Wondering when I will pull my life together and “grow up.” I beat the shit out of myself mentally and emotionally. I have so much guilt and shame from my past and it spills over into how I judge my life today.
These past 5-6 months have been very difficult for me. I lost my relationship with my girlfriend, her son and the life I thought I was going to live. I am unhappy with my career choices. I’m not making the type of money I am accustomed to. Life has drastically changed in many ways.
During this time I have struggled with depression to the point that I have contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. I have told myself that how I am living is unacceptable. But why? Who’s rules have I been living my life by?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fucked up a lot. I have put life off for longer than I should. Maybe I have Peter Pan Syndrome. I’ve missed out on a lot of great opportunities and relationships in my life because of my choices. However, those same choices are whats driving me to change my life for the better.
Fear is the driving force behind all my negative thoughts about my life. Fear that I will never find someone to share my life with. Fear that I will never have a family. Fear that I wont be able to find success in the legitimate world. Fear that I will end up like my father. Fear that I will settle for a life less than I am capable of living. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of failure. It’s this illusion of fear that I have allowed to run my life and keep me from living the life I deserve. (more…)
Dealing with Crippling Anxiety and Fear This Morning
I went to bed last night feeling well and free looking for to the day ahead, but my mind and my dreams had other plans. I woke up in a mental prison. I was covered in sweat feeling like the flu hit me. It wasn’t the flu that had me paralyzed to the point I couldn’t get out of bed. It was my mind. My fear and anxiety crippled me. I was pretty sure the day was over before it began. The Struggles with my life I have been facing had apparently snowballed overnight. They all flooded me at once. It was too much. Thoughts were racing through my head about my business, my life, my ex. Thoughts of how the stress is eating up my muscle causing me to lose weight and get ill. The stress is causing my already thin head of hair to fall out quicker. Over and over again the same thing replayed in my head. I’m lost and I’m not making progress!
After about 90 minutes of laying in my bed, tossing back and forth, I decided I had to get up and drink my morning shake. As soon as I swallowed the last gulp I stormed back into the safety of my bed. I cuddled with my dog for a little bit. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I got up and sat on the couch. My hands and body were trembling. It was as if I had done too much speed. My brain was causing the rest of my body to get totally out of whack. I knew I had to take action an do something to get out of my head.
The first step was to try the mindful awareness app that had been sitting unused on my phone for months. My therapist had recommended it as a way to to help center myself. The app made a slight difference, calming my breathing and allowing me feel the spots where the anxiety was resonating from. It wasn’t enough to get me off the couch.
Next I went to YouTube and looked up motivational videos. I watch a few until something clicked. This video spoke to me for some reason. I played it repeatedly until I worked up enough energy to take a shower and head to the gym. I literally listened to this video for the better part of two hours. The strength I found in the words I heard got me out my house and through my workout.
The most impactful part of the video for me was when they discussed “yet.” The speaker talked about how people put in the effort and they keep pushing and pushing, but they aren’t getting to where they see others or where they want to be. They are giving it there all and putting everything they have into their life but it just hasn’t happened “yet.” That three letter word, yet, gave me hope. It fueled a fire inside of me to do my best with what I had today.
On many days like this I would look at how late it had gotten before I got out of bed and given up on the day. Before the day had even started I would have looked at it at a failure. I would tell myself tomorrow would be better. Then I realized all was ok. There was still plenty of time in the day to make it great. I can still accomplish and build today. there is no reason to trade today in and take a mulligan. I Forgave myself for feeling defeated. In my head I made the choice to make the best day I was capable of.
This morning allowed me to revisit several principles the world and others have taught me over the years:
- Even though I hurt like hell it didn’t kill me
- My life is much better and more fulfilling than I give it credit for
- I do not have the answers to my life right now and that’s ok
- The human mind is so powerful that it can be my best asset or my worst enemy
- I can’t always control my feelings but I can control how I let them affect me
- The only way to get out of my head and feel better is to take action
Even though I didn’t know what to do or how to make myself feel better, I still took action. That was the only cure for my situation. Action allowed me to change my outlook. If one thing doesn’t work I have to change my approach and try something else. I needed action to get out of my head and refocus my thoughts. To give me the strength and energy to get through the day.
The universe, God or whoever; taught me a valuable lesson today. Like most experiences in life I need to look at the pain I went through with gratitude for the knowledge I have gained. Now I have a plan for tomorrow or any other day in case I wake up feeling the same way. I have created a contingency plan. I know the steps I can take if I feel this way again. I have the app ready to go and I have new motivational videos lined up to to watch. If those things aren’t enough I have articles ready to read, podcasts to listen to and people who I can talk to.
It was a reminder that every day I need to create, build and live the best life I can. Some days little victories like getting out of bed are a huge success. I have to take these little successes and allow them to accumulate to bigger successes. Before I know it life has a way of shifting itself from fathom to abundance. When I look at very successful people I know, they key seems to be humbleness and humility. To do the right things on both parts of the spectrum and to show appreciation and gratitude for the life you live.
I Want To Be The Drunk Guy Dancing At The Bar
I turned to my friends and said “look at those idiots, I’m so glad we don’t have to do that.” I ridiculed the guys dancing at the bar, trying so desperately to meet girls.
In reality, most of the those people are out there living life and having fun. They are the ones who have real courage. They aren’t afraid to look foolish to people like me. I sit back and judge, but often I don’t have the balls to be out there doing what they are.
Now I don’t necessarily want to be the drunk guy dancing like a maniac at the bar; even though I have. However, in my mind, it’s a perfect analogy for people who do exactly what they feel like doing. They don’t worry about other people’s judgments, they just go for it. That’s the person I want to be in all aspects of my life.
For the last 10-15 years I was “too cool” to try new things. I felt I didn’t need to do these activities because they were below someone like me. It’s insane how I would spin this shit in my head. The fact is I wasn’t confident in myself. I feared how other people viewed me. Deep down I looked up to those who conquered their fears and dance drunk at the bar. They don’t seem to fear rejection. They feel they have something to offer and aren’t afraid to prove it.
Years and years of getting what I wanted without having to try very hard put me at a disadvantage. I missed out on an important skill set for a successful life. The ability to deal with rejection and failure.
I listen to the voices in my head that tell me I can’t do things. I’m not good enough or I don’t have the skills. My mind will come up with any excuse why things won’t work out or why I didn’t really want something in the first place. This is inner dialogue that wants to trap me and keep my life small.
Today I fear taking little risks like talking to strangers, starting new businesses, approaching a girl. When I put that into perspective of how I have lived my life for the last 20 years it’s insane. If I fail at talking to a girl, she tells me no and I feel a little embarrassed. If I fail with a company, I may lose money and set myself back financially. If I failed in my old lifestyle, I would have easily ended up doing 5-10 years in jail. To a normal, well adjusted adult this equation doesn’t add up.
For the longest time I rarely second guessed what I was doing. I knew the consequences of my actions, as well as the repercussions that came along with my choices. But, it seemed worth it somehow. Part of me felt I didn’t have anything to lose at the time. I became a victim of my own circumstances. I convinced myself this was how I wanted to live my life. Don’t get me wrong, at times I was scared for my freedom and there were many sleepless night.
Normal, healthy risks in life scare the shit out of me. I create irrational thought processes in my head based on fear. Even when there is no evidence anything horrible will happen. To quote Jamie Foxx, “on the other side of fear there is nothing.” There is no definite outcomes in life, only what we can create.
Doing the same thing every day is my nightmare – A fate worse than death. Turning today into an experiment makes life exciting. What can accomplish and how can I make progress? Answering those questions makes my life worth living. If I’m lucky (I use that word in loosest sense) things may even go my way. I will taste success that day.
When I try something new I build confidence in who I am and what I can endure. I reinforce the lesson that pain and rejection won’t kill me. I can’t dwell on the past or worry about the future because my mind is forced to be present and focused on what is occurring this very second. That’s what being alive is about; living right now. Nothing can every happen in the past or the future, because all there is is now.
Quieting the noise that goes on in our mind’s establishes mental freedom. Tune those voices out and see how much better your life becomes. Go out, get hammered and dance your ass off to whatever song you choose.
That Feeling In Your Gut When You Just Know
There are very few things quite as powerful as your gut instinct. It’s amazing how intuitive we really are as humans. How much our body gives us so many signs and clues as to what we should and shouldn’t be doing if we truly pay attention.
The obvious things that hold us back from truly following our gut are fear and doubt. Those two things are a son-of-a-bitch. They can wreak havoc on your outlook and life. We all can very easily persuade ourselves to think that gut feeling is just a pipe dream. Perhaps we started to late for it to work, or its too difficult a task for us. Those things may all very well be true. However, no one ever truly knows unless they try.
Wayne Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I am a firm believer in this affirmation. There are so many points in my life that I look back on with regret saying “fuck I should have done this back then.” The reality is that some of these things I still want to do and can do with my time.
I REALLY like the excuse of “Im too old” or “I missed the wave.” Those two thoughts allow me to be a giant pussy from time to time. Never attacking the passions and goals I have. I hate the thought of starting over. Not making money and having to worry about finances makes me cringe. The sad reality is that I AM starting over now at 35 anyway. I quit my previous career over a year ago. I’ll get into that whole bag of shit at another time. Time is passing anyway so I should just start over doing something I love and have a passion to do.
An hour ago a friend texted me asking me about working out. She was talking about how she wanted to tone up and and she needed help. She lives near me so I just offered to train her a couple times a week. I got so excited when she said yes. I love training people. In general, I have a passion to help anyone reach any goal they may have. It’s a fucking amazing feeling. Plus, I figured it will force me to go a couple more times a week. It will be great way to get in summer shape for me as well.
All of the sudden I got that feeling of fire in my gut. That feeling of excitement to use my gifts and knowledge to help someone else. By helping others I get back such an amazing amount of fulfillment internally. This was gods way of giving me another kick in the ass saying “hey dumby this is what you should be doing with your time”
I started making some goals in my head. Get my training certifications. Write more. Start helping people reach their goals mentally and physically. Train people. Start a meal prep company like a friend of mine has in Baltimore (If you are down in the Baltimore area check him out https://www.facebook.com/fitfoods2you). Then the reasons started pouring in of why I cant do this.
- I already committed to business last year and spent a lot of time and effort working on it
- I have to get my training certificate and that’s hard and time consuming
- I should have done this 10 years ago when I first had the idea
- Im not good enough
- And most of all IM JUST PLAIN, OLD AFRAID TO LOOK STUPID AND FAIL
All those excuses for the most part are just bullshit. Yes, there is some truth and failing is a possibility. But I can fail doing shit I hate doing. Which has happened to me on several occasions. The reality is its easy too dream and hard to create. It takes a huge leap of faith into the unknown. It takes facing the fears of what could be the treacherous reality in the future. It takes courage, confidence and hard work ethic. I have lacked these three things in many aspects of my life over the years.
I fear putting myself out there and how others will receive me. I fear taking risks because I could fail and look less than to others and myself. I fear that I don’t have the capacity to handle the turmoil and hurt of failure. The funniest thing about this ridiculous fear is that for the vast majority of my life I took huge risks with my freedom to make a living. Its strange how that fear never stopped me even though it was always on my mind.
I keep reminding myself that all the things that made me safe and successful on the other side of the law can be applicable on the legit side. I need to develop the work ethic and courage to fall on my face a couple times and keep picking myself up. I need to be firm, but fair with myself and my abilities.
I have been out of the legitimate business world for such a long time. Many of the skills that made me successful 8-10 years ago in corporate America have rust on them. It will take time to polish them up and get them up to a speed that I feel is acceptable and truly produce results. Until that time I need to keep making mistakes and learning from them. Once my skills are at that level I will need to strive to keep getting better. Progressing by pumping out more and more reps and continuing to learn. Complacency is one of the most evil and dangerous character defects out there.
I see SO MANY people out there that have started out with much less of a cushion financially than I have and done SO MUCH more. Many of these same people also lacked many of the skills and abilities I have. They know much less about how a business is run and the inner workings of day to day operations. Very few have tasted the type of financial success I have and don’t fear living with less the way I do.
WHAT THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LACK IS CONFIDENCE, DRIVE, AND THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO CHASE THEIR DREAMS AND MAKE THEM A REALITY. They do not fear what others think. In their minds they are already successful. These types of attributes can’t be bought or faked. However, they can be learned. Every time you face your fears and take it head on, no matter what the outcome is you learn invaluable lessons about yourself and life. Those lessons are the building blocks to a happy, successful and fulfilling life. Just like reps in the gym. You build the muscles to change your life. You wont always come out on top but if you can keep pushing forward you will grow an amazing confidence in your abilities. You will be able to create the world around you that you always dreamed of. I have seen this happen to others around me in many different aspects of their lives, not just financially. It is something to truly revel
Fuck My Funk – How I Came out of my Slump
Coming out of mental and emotion tailspin is never easy. At times I allow myself to spiral out of control very quickly. I get lost and am not sure how to turn things around. The last 2-3 months I have gone through this pretty badly. During this period I’ve been experimenting with actions and ideas that are turning my attitude, mindset and ultimately my life around. Theses are the things that are working for me.
Motivational videos – I wake up and the first thing I do is watch a video on my phone. I try to find something to watch the night before so I have it ready for when I wake up. Sometimes I’m really feeling one video that’s working and Ill listen to it a couple mornings in a row. Lately I will listen to these videos several times a day. It gets me through the gym, work and whatever else I’m doing.
Exercise – Within an hour or waking up I head to the gym. I like to get it out of the way first thing so I can spend the rest of my day focusing on other tasks. Exercising gets the endorphins going in my body and helps me let off some steam. Some times my friend will drag me with her to Hot Yoga. Recently I started doing sprints with my dog after the gym. We walk a block and then run a block. Its cold as shit out in Philly and Im really out of shape from a cardio standpoint. But, it forces me out of my exercise comfort zone and all I can think about is just trying to breath and keep up with her. She loves running so it allows me to connect with her more as well.
Write – For me its cathartic. I get to take all the shit that’s eating me up inside and put it on paper and see it for what its really worth. Writing has allowed me to take an outside perspective on my internal feelings. I can better evaluate whats going on with me and weed out the real problems from the bullshit
Force myself to do things I’m fearful of – Doing things that take me out of my comfort zone helps me build confidence. It enables me to face my fears and learn to trust in myself. I become more cognizant of that fact my fears live only in my head. The consequences for taking these little risks are never as bad as I imagined. I learn that I am able to handle rejection and failure and keep moving forward towards my goals.
For example; Sunday I was at the gym and a really cute, fit girl came in and started working out near me. I wanted to strike up a conversation with her, but my game is pretty weak. I was afraid to speak to her, so I decided I was not going to leave until I did. I had already finished up my workout. I was forced to do exercises I don’t normally do until I built up the courage to go over, introduce myself and talk to her. It took me about 25-30 minutes of doing ab exercises that I hate, to finally go up and start the conversation. She was nice, nothing bad happened. She didn’t run away screaming “stranger danger”. Ultimately, she wasn’t really feeling me and I didn’t get her number, but the outcome didn’t matter as much to me. I just needed to do it for me. I needed to show myself that I have courage to do what I fear.
Ask myself the question “how does this serve you” – This is a concept I learned in rehab. Whenever I have negative thoughts or want to take negative actions I ask myself that question. The majority of the time, just saying these five words will instantly stop me from following down the negative path I am heading. It takes the power away from the negative thoughts and allows me to refocus my energy and attention.
Pray – I know this will make some people cringe. I’m not religious. I don’t practice nor am I here to proselytize a certain religion. I’m not even really sure I know who my God is. What I do feel is that something greater than myself is out there. Every night before bed I get down on my knees and talk to God. I give thanks for the days events and I ask for the strength to work on my character flaws and defects.
Sometimes I ask for a reprieve from whatever is bothering me at the time. I feel there is a certain sense of humbleness and humility in asking God, the universe or whoever for help when I am struggling. For me it helps right-size me. I do believe in the saying “A prayer without action is powerless.” If I don’t do the work things will never get better.
Laugh – The power of laughter is something I lost touch with until recently. Statistics say that the average child laughs about 300 times a day. While the average adult only laughs 5 times daily! Somewhere along the way I lost my sense of of how important it is to laugh. I need to fill my life with things that make me smile, laugh and feel good. Laughter helps me deal with my problems and not take things to seriously. Lately when I need a laugh I go to YouTube and look up Dave Chappelles old stand up. No matter how many times I’ve watched it I’m laughing my ass of seconds.
Give back – Going out of my way to do for others is 100% foolproof way for me to get out of my own head. Whether its having a conversation about whats going on in their life or helping them build towards a goal its always effective. If I am truly engaged in what they are doing or saying I don’t have the capacity to worry about whats going on with me. Its a nice break at times from myself.
I train a friend of mine at the gym three times a week. She is a HUGE pain in the ass. She whines and complains the whole damn time. I often wonder why I put myself through the aggravation. Then I realize there are so many reason why this is good for me. It’s great practice for me to be creative with my problem solving skills. It gives me insight into the perspective of people who may not be as driven as I am. People who want results, but don’t really want to put in the work. It forces me to look at aspects of my life where I fall into that category. There are so many benefits that better my life from helping someone else better their’s.