6 Ways To Be a More Positive Person Today

Practice Gratitude

IMG_1520I love reading old birthday cards.

I love them so much that during an embarrassing emergency, I managed to run out of the house with only my license, keys and birthday cards.

Because apparently cards beat shoes in my world.

 

If putting yourself in a positive state of mind is something that you find difficult, this practice will be a game changer.

Everyone has something to be grateful for. If you’re in a dark place grasping for the smallest bit to appreciate, let’s start here: you are alive.

Now build on that and become the Scooby Doo of gratitude, sniffing out things that make your insides feel all warm and gooey like a Cinnabon fresh out of the oven whenever you think of them.

Carve out the time for this on a daily basis, ideally first thing in the morning. It could be as little as 30 seconds while you’re sitting on the toilet if you’re seriously that pressed for time.

Start with the present. What can you be grateful for right now?

Example: A strong and powerful body. My ability to write and connect with people. Having amazing friends and loved ones in my life.

Now, moonwalk to the past. What are some things you’ve experienced that you’re glad you did?

Example: Dancing like a complete fool to Kanye with my best friend Jerry at his wedding. Going to celebrate the cigar bar with John, Laura and Rob. Getting extra swole with Brian Patrick Murphy. Watching Lindsay absolutely nail her performance.

Finally, do your best ninja flip into the future. What are some things that you’re looking forward to taking part in?

Example: Competing in an upcoming jiujitsu tournament. Being in the wedding of one of my best friends. Getting to go to a comedy show with my boys.

Make your gratitude practice as general or specific as you want. I’ve found that deeper that I dive into specifics, the more I’m filled with a sense of happiness, so I urge you to use this as a time to Jacques Cousteau the shit out of your life. Old pictures, letters, conversations – everything and anything is fair game.

If you need a physical reminder, the Five Minute Journal is something I’ve used with much success.

Ready to level up your game even more? Express gratitude toward someone else.

It could be a thank you for something they’ve done, an e-mail/letter/carrier pigeon letting them know how they’ve impacted you, or an even more powerful in-person heart to heart conversation.

When in doubt, start with a quick hit of gratitude.

You’re uplifted by giving and they’re uplifted by receiving. Everyone wins.

Fill Your Cup First

You know that adorable pre-flight speech about sweet slides, conveniently located life vests and oxygen masks that nobody listens to while they diddle with their phones? It’s actually amazing advice.

I sat next to an anxious first time flyer and her precious baby boy, who by the smile on his face clearly had no idea that he was about to be hurtling through the sky in a metal tube of magic. As I’m talking to help calm her nerves, we hit a crazy patch of turbulence, and immediately my mind goes into “WHAT IF WE RUN OUT OF AIR?!” thinking.

Well, I’d be pretty useless to help those two if I were passed out in my seat like a doofus because I didn’t put my oxygen mask on first before tending to them.

Cup

The same concept applies to your state of mind. It’s hard to feel positive if you’re always running on empty.

Taking care of yourself, contrary to popular belief, isn’t selfish. Doing so actually puts you in the best position to help and serve the ones you care for. It sets the stage for you to be the best version of yourself, the fully pimped-out Batman instead of the asthmatic kid with broken glasses, narcolepsy, rickets, leprosy and 15 toes coming out of his face.

Your life is your cup. To fill it so that it overflows and puts you in a state of abundance, where you can give freely from that excess, identify activities that add to you and do them daily – your well-being is too important to lose it in the shuffle mundane tasks.

A few of mine are spending time with friends, stand-up comedy, martial arts, listening to podcasts, trying to put a smile on people’s faces and spending quality time alone.

Your list will be different.

Much like washing between your butt-cheeks, doing these things on a regular basis is non-negotiable, unless you want your life to resemble a crusty, crumpled up Dixie cup.

Choose Your Company Carefully

When I worked the front desk at the gym, I dreaded his arrival.

He’d walk in with the most downtrodden, Charlie Brown posture known to man; the look on his face resembling that of The Grinch’s while watching children play with puppies and unicorns in a field of flowers and sunshine.

For months on end, I listened to his tales of woe. There was always some new drama, some new thing that wasn’t going his way, some new person whose sole purpose in life was to destroy him. Never in my life have I wanted nothing more than to turn into an Alex Mack-esque puddle and slide out of a conversation.

Oh yeah, my point: be careful of who you let into your life, even casually.

DramaFree

As we tend to adopt the vibe of the company that we keep, the people in our lives have the power to uplift, challenging and helping us grow into the best version of ourselves, or they can act like an energetic punch straight to the crotch. The more we fill our lives with the former and distance ourselves from the latter, the more enthusiastic, free and capable we feel.

If your life were a movie, would you want to fill it Scar, Frank Underwood, Joffrey, Cruella de Vil and Vigo the Carpathian type characters? No.

Would you let someone run around your house projectile vomiting on every surface they could find before leaving, but not before promising to see you tomorrow so they could do it again? No.

This, however is a two-way street. To attract amazing people into your life, you also have to make sure that you’re the kind of person that they would want to spend their time with as well.

Embrace Your Emotions

Fear. Anger. Sadness. These are just a few of the wide range of emotions that we each have access to, every last one serving a purpose.

Emotions are like science, physics and other laws of the universe. They exist, and while you can refuse to believe their importance all you want, you can’t escape the very real consequences of doing so.

For the majority of 2015 I was in a state of depression. I deleted social media accounts. I stopped taking calls and texts. I let my e-mail build up and generally kept to myself. Part of the reason I stayed in it for so long was that I didn’t fully acknowledge the rough shape I was in.

I spent much of my life glossing over the “darker” emotions because I felt like they were bad and unnecessary, so when the time came to deal with them I was woefully unprepared.

I felt like shit, and I didn’t want to feel like shit, so the only logical solution was to skip past the shit and pretend like I felt amazing.

Wrong answer. Like trying to sprint on two freshly broken legs, it only made things worse.

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There will be days, maybe even a long stretch of them, where everything isn’t fine, where you don’t want to put a smile on your face and you’re seconds away from uppercutting someone if they make one more well-intentioned but asinine comment about “everything happening for a reason” and “one door closing so another one can open.”

And that’s ok.

If you want to strengthen your optimistic outlook on life, these are the most important days.

Stay with the emotions. Don’t try to shortcut the process and skip them. Feel them fully, deeply and completely. Own them without censorship so they can run their course.

If you don’t, they’ll come back even stronger like a horror movie villain, popping up in your life in the strangest of ways: road rage, yelling at an old lady because she’s taking too long counting her change, cruelty to animals, destructive belief systems.

Embracing your emotions doesn’t mean dropping to your knees in the middle of the street, ripping your shirt open and crying to the sky as cars honk at you; there’s a time and place for everything.

It can be a quiet, inward process as well as an explosive outward one that requires help. Men, get in touch with the men in your life that you trust. Women, do the same with your women. If you’re really having trouble, don’t be afraid to find a therapist to help you work through them.

It can be a scary and vulnerable process, but also an empowering one. Once you work through and integrate the emotions, they lose their grip on you and you’re free to return to your happy baseline, only now you’ve added more tools to your tool belt.

Embracing your emotions doesn’t make you weak, a pussy or anything other than a complete human. The more you numb yourself from one emotion, the more you numb yourself from all emotions, including joy.

Now when you choose to adopt a positive mindset, it’s an active choice instead of it being the only option you actually have. That’s true strength and freedom – the ability to adjust your internal state to appropriately meet the demands of an external situation.

Get Into Your Body

It’s easy to have so many thoughts and worries bouncing around our heads that we actually forget we have a body.

You know, that awesome meat suit we experience everything awesome in this world through. That thing.

If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, move.

Go for an intense workout. Go for a softcore workout that would make the elderly point and laugh at you. Jump around like the Holy Spirit just invaded your bones. Take a leisurely walk. Meditate. Have sex. Do some jumping jacks. Sprint until you’re gasping for air. Dance to your favorite song. Stretch. Take 30 deep breaths.

Maury

It is through the body that we take action and through action which that we transform ourselves for the better.

It’s also a method that we can use to sharpen our intuition, developing the ability to hear and “trust our gut.”

I don’t know exactly why it works, but it does. Do it and I promise you will be in a better place than you were beforehand.

What If It Was a Gift?

In his book No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert Glover challenges the reader to ask themselves a simple question whenever they find themselves spinning their wheels and stuck in stagnation: what if it was a gift?

I lost a relationship with the woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. What if it was a gift? It lead me to develop a rock-solid sense of self-esteem. It showed me the importance of integrity, self-love, ]setting healthy boundaries and illuminated personal short comings that I can improve on.

I slipped into a depression that I didn’t think I would make it out of. What if it was a gift? I found several groups of men – something that before I had no idea that I needed – who are committed to growth and playing the game of life at a higher level. I learned to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything alone. I discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I developed a greater sense of empathy for the struggles, known and unknown, that we all go through.

I injured my knee badly. What if it were a gift? I stopped ignoring my restrictions, hired a coach and started to take my health and movement quality more seriously, setting myself up for a great quality of life further down the road.

Bless

Painful events happen and will continue to happen until the day we die. That is out of our control.

What is in our control, however, is how we respond and the meaning we extract from these events. It’s just as easy to paint everything that happens to us in a negative light as it is to draw conclusions that guide us in the direction of positivity and inward growth, and this exercise is a fantastic way to develop out ability to choose the latter on a consistent basis.

Further Resources

Everyone:
Find a mental health counselor

Men:
The School For Men
The Maintaining Alpha Facebook Group
The Sterling Institute For Men

Women:
Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman
Untame The Wild Soul Woman podcast

 

Compare More and Create More

StarsAs part of the Instagramed, hyperconnected culture we live in, comparison has gotten a bad rap lately, becoming as universally despised as stealing candy from babies or pushing the elderly down elevators shafts. I’ve even taken part in that conversation.

– Your friends are in relationships, eating wedding cake (mmmmmm!) and having all the sex while you stare wistfully out the window, waiting for your one true love to appear as a single tear rolls down your cheek.

–  You hit a personal record in the gym, only to watch someone warming up with your newfound max.

– You pull out of the lot after just buying a used car, only to have someone pull up next to you in your dream ride. For added insult they’re also making it rain like they’re the King of Zamunda.

But what if comparison could actually be used as a tool for growth?

We’re often told to avoid comparisons completely, but by doing so we take a major catalyst for our own evolution off the table.

1. Don’t use comparison as a tool to measure or define your self worth.

It’s unacceptable.

We only deal with the productive around these parts, and using comparison in this way is as unproductive (and messy) as trying to eat ice cream with your forehead.

You are great right now, as is. You are enough, as is.

This is your mantra. Come back to it as often as you need to. It’s absolutely true and is the basis for any self improvement going forward.

Now, let’s go about making great even greater.

2. Their success does not detract from yours.

Unless you’re one of the immortals from Highlander, that is.

Highlander

Life isn’t a zero-sum game where for you to win someone else has to lose.

My swole doesn’t take away from your swole. Her accomplishments don’t take away from his.

A scarcity mindset will grab your life by the neck and slam it face-first into the dirt if you let it.

There is enough out there for all of us.

The sooner you incorporate this into your daily operating system and stop focusing on what you don’t have, swimming in a pool of emo, finger pointing and excuse making, the sooner you can free up your mental and physical resources to cut loose, go out there and get yours.

Abundance: it’s more than a word describing dancing bread.

Now that my terrible pun is out of the way…

3. Comparison is rocket fuel for growth.

Two of my favorite writers are Julien Smith and Mark Manson.

From the seemingly effortless manner in which they convey messages sticks like Spiderman webbing, when I read their content I feel something stir inside me (insert dirty joke here) and I want to stop whatever I’m doing and write until the lead of my stubby little pencil snaps off.

Here is my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructor Gabriel Gonzaga, a UFC heavyweight fighter, 4th degree blackbelt and a stand-in for the Rocky Mountains on the weekends.

TeamLink

On a regular basis I witness him and my other teammates perform moves that look straight out of a comic book – and I compare myself to every single one of them.

They’ve shown me another level of what’s possible in areas that are important to me, and I’m better because of it.

Ultimately, comparison can serve as a spark for asking better questions:

What do I admire about what they do and how they do it?

What lessons can I learn about myself? 

What virtues do they display that I can personally improve upon?

What inspiration/mojo can I glean from their feats that I can take back to my own unique practice?

As humans we are wired for growth and are happiest when we’re doing so.

When you surround yourself with and compare yourself to greatness, or at least those who are further along the path than you are, with the right mental framing the only option is motivation to step your own game up.

Don’t coddle yourself into living a life any less magnificent than the one you want to lead by refusing to stare wide-eyed into the accomplishments of others and turn inward.

Success in any area leaves crumbs, so eat ‘em up and get to work on bringing the best out of yourself as only you can.

“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.

There are better writers than me out there, there are smarter writers, there are people who can plot better – there are all those kinds of things, but there’s nobody who can write a Neil Gaiman story like I can.” – Neil Gaiman

The Fuck Factory

Imagine that you run the most prestigious company in the world, Fuck Inc.

Your job as CEO is to deliver potent, pristine, high-powered fucks when they’re needed the most.

You’re the equivalent of Oprah in her prime.

You get a fuck, and YOU get a fuck, and you, so far in the back row that I’m not sure you can see me? I hope you’re ready to catch, because I’ve got a hot fuck coming your way!

You’re passing out fucks like you’re the Mayor of Fuckville.

Money is growing on trees, puppies are running into your arms like you’re a magnet for all things adorable, and steaks are cooking themselves and jumping into your mouth.

Life is good. Until it isn’t.

A sudden, unexpected demand of fucks comes across your desk and you’re caught with your pants down on a day you’re going commando.

You run downstairs into your Scrooge McDuck vault where you’ve stashed away a few hidden fucks for such an emergency.

Too bad it’s not enough, and your ration is quickly depleted. Your company is now forced to do something it has never done before: write fuck I.O.U.s

Like showing a starving man a picture of buttermilk pancakes, this does nothing for those whoneed them right now. You’re doubly screwed, compromising the quality of your once pristine product while simultaneously digging yourself into a fuck deficit the likes of which the world has never seen.

Soon you’re forced to shut down your once thriving business because you can no longer keep up with the demand.

So, how do we keep Fuck Inc. from closing its doors for good?

Know your value

Worth

This is the well from which all future fucks spring.

Your fucks are valuable, in limited supply and take time & energy to replenish, so don’t give them out to people and situations that don’t merit one.

Most things in life only require a damn, which you have a stockpile of at any given moment.

If you don’t value your fucks, then you’re sending signals to everyone else that they shouldn’t either.

Plug the holes

ByeFelicia

If you’re leaking fucks faster than a new Kanye album, it’s only a matter of time before you deplete your supply all over again, only this time it’s worse because you knew better.

Learn to say no.

To naysayers and doubters.

To expectations placed on you by others, both real and imagined.

To feeling like you have to eat all the food on your plate because if you don’t, some kid in China will starve.

To modes of exercise that make you want to stab yourself in the neck with a pencil.

To knowing (or worse, caring) about what’s going on in Kim Kardashian’s world; she gives approximately zero fucks about the happenings of yours.

This is your life. If you aren’t careful about what you give your energy to you’ll find yourself being pulled in a million directions like the last flat screen TV on Black Friday.

Everyone has a voice, but that doesn’t mean you should listen to their unfiltered jibbajabba. Don’t discount your self-awareness for the sake of prioritizing theirs.

The simple act of plugging your holes gives you an instant fuck boost. The fucks you do have now stay in your bucket waiting to be spent instead of immediately leaking out.

And the next time you sense a fuck-draining vampire scenario coming your way, lean back and dodge it like Neo in The Matrix.

Aggressive Fuck Redistribution

fuck-this-shit

You’ve patched up your leaks, started saying no to the bullshit and took back your power by hiring a bouncer to keep all the fuck thieves out of your party. Here’s where it starts to get mad delicious.

Now you get to say yes and actually choose where you spend your fucks.

The whole “zero fucks given” movement is misguided, the equivalent of hopping in your car and yelling “zero wheels needed” and then being upset that you’re not going anywhere.

Fucks are our rocket fuel, and to live a fulfilled life you actually do need them. Our attention is our most valuable resource, so it’s time to do the work and prioritize where you want to allocate that resource.

What are your values? Spend your fucks in a way that reinforces them daily.

Who do you love and want to serve? Spend your fucks in a way that supports them.

Who do you want to be? Cast your fuck ballot in a way that creates that person through action.

AFR: Aggressive Fuck redistribution.

Having your fucks siphoned of can leave you feeling, tired, dirty and worse for wear than if your browser history was made public.

On the other hand, actively choosing from moment to moment to allocate your fucks in a meaningful way is empowering.

Wisely spent fucks beget more fucks. Spend 1 and get 2 (or more) in return.

Congratulations – you’ve just turned yourself into a perpetual fuck machine.

When you feel like you’re running low on your fucks, that’s the time to do whatever you need to in order to bring them back to baseline – exercise, hang out with a friend, go sit in nature, eat some ice cream in the dark and fill the carton back up with your tears.

There is nothing noble about running yourself into the ground. All guts and glory will only get you so far. In the marathon of life, it’s a constant dance of knowing when to push like the Devil is hot on your ass and knowing when to lay back in the cut and recover.

From this moment on, a fuck deficit is no longer acceptable.

Do this by any means necessary, because if you wait until you’re truly at zero fucks, everyone loses – both you and the ones you love and serve.

4 Things I Learned From Going Old School

Phone

This is my cell phone.

I get 9 hours of talk time. Texting is horrible because I have to press a million buttons so I’m more likely to actually call you as reply. Every picture looks like the Blair Witch Project thanks to my 2.6 megapixel camera.If you tried to shoot me and take my Cinnabon, I could use it to deflect the bullet and then call the police to report you for being so rude

The Mysterious Case of The Great Half-Asser

I’m known for my legendary workouts.

Not legendary in the “his work ethic inspire the hopes and dreams of millions around the world” sense, but more like “he has been here for 2 hours and I don’t think I’ve seen him lift anything yet…is he even sweating? What the hell is he doing?!”

I’d walk in with the good intentions of crushing 6 exercises, but then I’d do some arm swings and check Facebook. Do a few chin-ups then scroll through Instagram. Warm up with some light weights before firing off some texts. Before I knew it, my 60 seconds of rest was long gone, stars exploded in a blaze of glory and a new President had been elected.

Since getting rid of my smart phone, the quality of my workouts has improved dramatically. I’m stronger, leaner and my cardio is better than it has been in at least a year, and it all comes down to focus.

For the best results inside the gym and out, a full-ass approach is required. A half-ass approached will yield exactly what you’d expect.

Phone_HalfMeasures

If I’m in the gym, I’m there with a single purpose: to give my best to the training at hand. If I’m diddling around on my phone between rest periods, while seemingly harmless, it IS taking away from my mental sharpness and commitment to my workout.

Does a lion stop to take a quick selfie because #beastmode right before pouncing on a gazelle? Does Lebron text some quick LOLs right before a championship game?

There’s a time and place for everything. Give your phone a time out in the gym for a month and see what happens both. You’re worth it.

From Good to Great Sex

I was in bed with my lady one night and she made an offhand comment that gave me a moment of pause: “you’re always on that thing.”

And when sitting there on the phone, I can’t say that she didn’t have a solid point.

It made me think back to the big moments of our relationship and what made it feel like a bag of magic and vanilla frosting 24/7. When we were together, we were really TOGETHER and not staring into the glowing box of infinite distraction. Looking back, we don’t have many pictures of us or the things we did because we were so in the moment that we didn’t think about trying to capture any of it.

A few years ago I heard Danielle LaPorte speak at a conference and she said something that always stuck with me: our presence and attention is the most important gift we can give to someone.

Girl, you just wait 'til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

Girl, you just wait ’til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

PREACH.

Good sex is fairly easy to come by. But great sex? That doesn’t happen by accident. One of the key ingredients of that sizzle pie is genuine connection, and there are opportunities for this connection in every moment if we’re open to them.

It’s like those couples you see out at dinner, unblinking eyes pressed up against their phone like they’re getting the most important retina scan of their lives. I bet they’re going to race home and set the bed on fire. I wish my sex life was like theirs…said no one ever.

So there were major improvements in that area, but also every other area where I was interacting with another awesome human being.

The Constant Itch

If I was by myself or I wanted to avoid doing something I’d whip out my phone and see what was happening in the Internet rabbit hole.

If I was out and there was a lull in the action or conversation, I’d browse the Internet as a reprieve from the boredom.

I found it increasingly difficult to keep my attention focused on one thing, from reading a book to writing to seeing a ridiculous thought in this crazy mind of mine through to completion.

In the background of every moment there was the quiet whisper that there was something, important or not, that I was missing out on and if I just reached in my pocket I could pull out this thing that would give me access to all of it, the present moment be damned.

Check the phone, my precious.

Check the phone, my precious.

Am I documenting this for my own benefit once my memory starts to fade, or am I doing it to share it with other people for who the hell knows what reason?

Now without it, I feel more like a sharper, more energized, creative version of myself.

When I’m bored, I can be with that boredom and see what, if anything, comes of it. When I’m talking with someone and the flow drops off, I can see that as an opportunity to resurrect the conversation like a conversation wizard instead of pressing the abort button by taking the easiest escape route – my phone.

I’m a Tool

A good 90% of the time I found my phone in my hand, I don’t even remember consciously reaching for it. It’s like in the horror movies where the terrified home owner burns the demonic doll, only to look up 5 minutes later and find it sitting on their bed, unscathed, eating Cheetos.

That’s when I knew I was screwed. It was no longer something I chose to do, but something that happened because it was a habit that ran on autopilot, with or without my consent.

Y'all got that WIFI?

Y’all got that WIFI?

The smart phone started off as a useful tool, and the problem with tools is never the tool itself, but the user. After becoming reliant on it and using it on a daily basis for so many things, came to the sad conclusion that this thing had a vice grip on me, not the other way around.

It’s like a full-blown crack head saying they’ll just have a little bit of crack, or a sex addict saying they just want to cuddle for a few minutes – it never works.

So I had to cut it off completely by getting a phone that can only do the basics, because if I left any window to my old habits open while trying to form new ones, they would just sneak up on me quicker than Michael Myers in a Prius.

Sound Familiar?

If any of this resonates with you and you want to stop yourself from going down the slippery slope, here are some steps you can take without going full old school.

  • Keep the phone in your locker or gym bag when training.
  • When you’re with others, leave it in the car or put it on silent/airplane mode.
  • Have designated times during the day/week when it’s completely out of your possession, especially when you’re working on a mentally challenging task.
  • Turn off all notifications.

I’m almost 2 months in and doubt I’ll go back anytime soon, if for no other reason than the look of disgust on people’s face when they see this relic, like I just showed them a pair of 100 year old balls, is priceless.

It’s Always Your Fault

ChrisBus

Imagine you’re the passenger on a bus. You pull the cord to let the driver know that your stop is coming up, but instead of slowing down they slam their foot on the gas and veer out of control as they turn to stare at you.

Their hair is disheveled, shirt filled with random stains and the funk of 1,000 years invades your nostrils. Their eyes are bloodshot and the last good tooth they had abandoned ship years ago. For all you know they may not even be wearing pants!

To say they’re methed out of their mind would be the understatement of the century.

And that’s when it finally hits you: wherever you want to go, this bus definitely isn’t getting you there.

Why Victimhood Is Killing Your Gains

Have you ever felt like things were constantly happening to you and that you were just a passenger along for the ride?

It’s exactly like being on that bus, except way worse because it’s actually your life.

I’ve been there, and on any given day I can easily slip into right back into that passenger seat if I’m not careful. Blaming, defending, complaining – these are all tools of the trade.IMG_5119

And I get it. Sinking into that victim mentality and letting it run amuck has a certain seductive appeal to it.

When in that mode, it’s easy to think that you’ve got it all figured out and that if only those other people out there would get their act together, you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

You’d be in much better shape if your co-workers would stop bringing all sorts of treats and delectable fatty foods into the office…

You would have time to hit the gym if people stopped making so many demands on your time…

When dieting for a photoshoot, I felt myself mentally blaming friends I was going out to eat with – how could they order that when they know I’m trying to get mad sexy?

AND WHY ARE THESE FRENCH FRIES SO DELICIOUS? DOESN’T THIS RESTAURANT KNOW THEY’RE MY FAVORITE AND THAT I CAN’T POSSIBLY RESIST?!

On the outside, I played it cool. On the inside, I was whiney and had a pretty bad case of the emo.

It’s tempting to feel like you’re always the one in the right, making it easy to blame everything on something outside of you and keeping the pristine image of yourself intact.

That’s taking the easy, low-effort approach to living life.

Blaming others will never better you. It only ensures that you stay exactly where you are and miss out on the best parts of life

Whenever I find myself playing the victim, I tell myself one thing that never fails to pull me back from the brink of destruction…

It’s Always Your Fault

BreadHead

Are you not exercising as much as you’d like? It’s completely your fault.

Looking like Captain America pre-Super Soldier serum? Certainly your fault.

Do you feel like you can’t create the kind of relationship that you want to be in? It’s definitely your fault.

Are your eating habits spiraling out of control and it’s wrecking havoc on your mental and physical well-being? It’s for sure your fault.

If you’re anything like me, hearing that something is your fault can make a piece of you immediately want to jump on the defensive.

The goal here isn’t to send you down a self-critical rabbit hole of shame and doubt, but to empower you. This is all about self-acceptance with as little judgment as possible.

“It’s your fault” is a helpful mental shortcut capable of sneaking past all your hidden defense systems, leading to the end result of it being your responsibility.

Let’s say I kidnapped you and dropped you in a pile of quicksand (which I have on hand at all times).

It’s not your fault that I was a big ‘ol meanie and snatched you up while you were watching How I Met Your Mother, but if you want to live long enough to see another episode then it’s your responsibility to do something about getting out.

If something involves you, you play a role in the situation and bear the responsibility of bringing about change.

Own it all. The good, the bad, and the fugly.

When you stop looking for things outside of yourself to blame, you’re forced to look inward and search for ways to better yourself.

Instead of all of your resources going towards deflecting and complaining, they’re now funneled towards finding solutions to get you where you want to go.

Only by claiming responsibility can the process of true growth begin.

Be Your Own Hero

Hero

This is your life. Hold yourself accountable to it.

You are responsible for everything in it, from the look of your physique to how you make a living and the quality of your personal interactions.

Others can help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s great if they do, but no one else is responsible for making anything happen in your life but you.

No one is coming to save you. Fully embrace this fact.

Stop the momentum dead in its tracks by asking this question: what’s one thing I can do in this moment to help myself?

No matter how small the answer that you come up with is, do that thing and then build off of it relentlessly.

Regardless of your situation, there are dozens of things that you can do today to snatch your power back from the claws of victimhood and actively create the life you want to live.

It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok not to have all the answers. It’s ok to say you don’t know but that you’re still looking.

It’s not ok to blame your problems and struggles on others.

Staring right now, you are no longer a victim.

Action and a deep, ever-evolving understanding of self. is the only thing that can and will save you.

Go forth and act boldly, even if it looks like a hot mess until you get the hang of it.