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.