I feel a lot of guilt, sadness, regret and anger. Much of it is related to the past. It’s not constant. It comes in waves, but it hits hard.
Once you learn to accept that the past is the past and that it can’t be changed, you set a precedent to move forward with your life.
But, no matter what, I’ve learned from one of my role models — Andy Frisella — that you have to earn the right to feel good about yourself.
Some people might disagree with that and spew insipid platitudes like, “happiness is a choice regardless of your situation!” but the truth is, happiness is a choice… yes… but “regardless of your situation”? No. While I believe in making the best of every situation and using it as an opportunity, if you are poor, struggling to scrape by in life and hardly able to live paycheck to paycheck, you might be able to take solace in that you have your physical health and are still able to live your life, counting your true blessings, but I highly doubt you are happy, or at least as happy as you could be.
I don’t remember if I wrote it here or elsewhere, but I also believe that action cures fear.
In the way you earn the right to feel good about yourself, you do so by taking action and doing something that yields that result.
2010-2013 were blunders in my life. Those were four wasted years where I did not advance in my life. I did have some good moments in 2010 and on a lesser scale in 2011, but I accomplished nothing in regards to building a better and brighter future for myself. I spent much of my time bitching, moaning, groaning and crying (to myself only) about missing my ex, who was a crazy, dirty, lying, cheating, childish human being, and doing nothing about it.
I could have made myself busy. I could have strode to keep myself busy by working out more and reading, but no. I spent a lot of lonely nights jacking off to erotica on Lush Stories, intermittently playing video games, reading inane bullshit on the internet and doing nothing to ‘level up’ in life.
In 2014, I went back to college. It was at a community college, but still, it’s college. It was a huge milestone for me. Right off the bat, I took public speaking despite hardly being around a whole lot of people for a few years. I knew I had to make this choice in order to grow. It’s funny how one of the girls in that class remarked near the end of the semester that I was “so calm and collected” even though I was nervous as fuck. I always went first in class, because my theory always is, in public speaking, people are too busy worrying about their upcoming speech to truly pay a whole lot of attention to yours, and besides, even if they do key in on you, they’ll forget about you soon enough!
I felt great. I was building confidence.
I continued another school year in 2015-2016. I took a shitty chemistry class, and I hated my lab teacher. I also made a great friend, at least for that time period, named Dillon. If that was the 2009-2013 version of me, I would have quit going to school just like I did when I first tried college in the fall of 2009.
This past year, I completed my final year at the community college. I think I would have finished up in 2015-2016 had I not been forced to take developmental math for a few semesters. I took a year of math this past school year and made an A last fall and a B this past spring semester. I’ve been accepted to a university this fall as a junior. I’m mostly taking online classes, but I will be taking a night class at the same community college for five weeks through the university.
I’ve built confidence and, in many ways, I feel great about myself.
But you can’t just do the right thing a few times and expect it to last… you have to keep the momentum going by continuously doing what you need to do. Don’t feel like working out? Do it, anyway. Don’t feel like studying? Do it, anyway. Don’t feel like writing that paper? Do it now! Do it, anyway!
Because when you are done, you will feel a whole lot better about yourself than you will if you procrastinate and watch shitty YouTube videos instead.
I heard somebody say, elsewhere, I think on Reddit, that you “should find enjoyment in everything, even if you dislike it”… BULLSHIT. That is nice, in theory, but truthfully, some things just suck! And no matter what, through whatever positive thinking channel your mind goes through, you will never enjoy it, and sometimes it’s best to put your head down and grind through it. Once you start something, sometimes you realize it’s not as bad as you conceive it to be.
If I work out every single day for 90 days, I will feel better about myself than what I would if I kept procrastinating.
By doing so, you earn the right to feel good about yourself.
I struggle almost daily to stay on track.
It’s fucking hard. But that’s OK. Because nothing worth doing or accomplishing in life comes easy!
Sometimes I procrastinate. Not as much as I used to, but I’m still working on it. It happens. No excuses. It’s easy to be suckered into doing things that are not apropos to what you should be doing.
But man, when you get into that flow of doing the thing you need to be doing, accomplishing tasks that need to be done, and you complete them, it feels good. It’s liberating.
You have to earn the right to feel good about yourself. I think that is an undisputed truth. I appreciate Andy Frisella for talking about this on one of his podcasts. If you don’t know who he is, Google him and thank me later.
I’m sure there are antagonists out there who exist that will be antagonists of this mentality, but that’s their thought process and not mine.
I didn’t start feeling better about myself until I started doing shit that made me feel uncomfortable, stepping out of my comfort zone and attempting to achieve a modicum of success.
If I kept sitting in my bedroom, on my computer, jerking off to sluts on Tumblr and not doing anything, no matter how badly I want to feel great about myself, I’d still — deep down — always feel depressed and awful about myself.
Whenever you go out and do something that you feel needs to be done in regards to accomplishing your tasks and goals, you feel good. I believe that’s an undisputed truth as well. But you have to do it day in and day out and build that perpetual momentum to consistently feel good about yourself.
No, not every day will you feel like a million bucks. This is life and we are all human beings, prone to difficult days, but you can’t have sunshine without a little rain.
Keep grinding, keep hustling, do what you need to do. Embrace the suck. Consume some caffeine (or not) and bulldoze ahead. I believe in you. If I can go through hell, you can, too.