We so desperately want to make huge and massive changes to our lives, especially when you start looking outwards and seeing what is possible. Maybe you want to do something huge and start a side business. Then again perhaps you see are starting to see the different possibilities if your family and the relationship with your wife. That body of yours has been abused and stuffed full of food. You find that you are expanding but it’s your waistline and not your horizons. I get that trust me that is what started me on my own journey.
However, we often talk a good game but each night we sit in our chair and repeat the same rituals we do every night. We spend a little time with the kids before sending them to bed, or if they are teens, you see if you can get more than a grant from the teenager as they transition to the bathroom. We try some new stuff and there is so much to learn. We see the people on the internet and wonder what do they have that I don’t? Why do they have such incredible skills in metalwork or Bow making? You could never do that. You don’t have the money nor the skill to even try something that epic.
You look crappy. You feel crappy. So much of your world seems crappy, so why even try?
Making a change as to who you are is a big move. That move is the massive action I often talk about. It is difficult to change the habit you have, then looking at changing your family and who they are is next to impossible. So why are there so many people online living in the land of awesome? Were you sitting on the toilet playing games when god was handing out talents for everybody? That answer is no, we all have a natural curiosity towards something. How do you stop being so crappy at life and start excelling at something and becoming awesome?
How do you find out what you like? The biggest step we make is first having the desire to want to improve who we are. Often we want to change so much because well we want massive action, right? Well, for action to happen you have to look at life as a snowball. Yeah, it may roll downhill, but as it does, it picks up more snow.
So to be able to go from feeling crappy to be awesome you have to start with yourself. Even if you don’t know what you are going to do, you are a square one.
To find out your skills or passion about something you have to get curious. Yeah, building axes from a raw piece of iron looks cool but do you really like that sort of stuff? I don’t know nor do you, so start being curious. If you look around you may find that there is a blacksmith group in your area. They may even have a blacksmith shop that you can use for a small fee or maybe you can start by just visiting someone. You can always find an organization centered on your interests. Meetup is a great place to start.
When there watch and pepper those folks with questions. Yes, there are stupid questions but ask them anyhow. Experienced people don’t find new people’s questions stupid. People love to share their information. It makes them feel good to share what they know with other people. Don’t just go once but go several times you will meet new people each time. They will help you come to understand your interest better with each visit. If going to the weekly meetings starts to be a slough though, ask yourself why.
You are getting into this hobby to better yourself and to understand yourself in a more complete way. Therefore, you have to always be asking yourself this important question. Be curious about yourself, and why you are interested in whatever topic that draws your attention.
Making a change in yourself is not instant. You may follow a passion rabbit hole for months or even years and then find out that you have lost interest. That is fine. You learned all that you needed to know about that topic to satisfy your curiosity. Again, ask yourself the needed questions and search out the answers to those questions. The knowledge fairy doesn’t always bonk you on the head with the answer. Many times the hobby or pursuit of knowledge is like chasing a rabbit. The darn thing likes to hade from you. From there you may run down a different channel of growing.
If your interest wanes quickly then good you found something that you are not passionate about. You can keep looking you have my permission but the person who matters most is you, so make sure you give yourself permission to keep looking also. There is one mindset piece that will help you on your journey and that is we all started out crappy but if we keep at it we can become awesome
The Starting line
Yeah, I sucked at blogging for a while. I didn’t know that coaching was even an option for me when I started out 3 years ago. I sure as hell didn’t know how to be a coach. Yet my search for myself has shown that this is a logical path to take for who I want to be and what I want to accomplish. We want to play the most dangerous game with ourselves when it comes to where we want to be. That game is the comparison game. Comparison is the thief of joy. We see people who have been working on their craft for 10 years and wonder why we don’t have the notoriety that they have. You want to be a rockstar of your field yet no one knows who you are.
Yet if you look at those same people back when they started, they were in the very same boat you were. They made crappy items just as often as you do. In fact, I bet they still make crappy items. Most people do. They make those rookie mistakes. They just choose not to show them all the time. The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is that they started. They put in the work which is what most people don’t want to do. They want an easy road and you have to earn the ability to be known by putting yourself out there and putting your neck on the line.
Starting is often the hardest part and at the same time the easiest to do. The start for many of us is the most exhilarating part. We see a path clearly right there in front of us and it is nice and smooth. The well-worn path is a nice start to the journey. Yet that path often changes when you go around the first bend. That is because many people see that there are rock and maybe a fallen tree across that path and so they turn around and go back. That is why that path is so worn. People walk up and then walk back.
That first bend is often the first big challenge that can make or break a journey to being awesome. However, that tree across the path is only the first in many challenges you will face. Each one has the opportunity to completely derail you. With each of those different obstacles, more people decide that they have had enough and stop their journey. If you do attack the problem at hand you will learn more and more about what you are capable of doing.
The Discomfort of Growth
The different challenges you face are always points of discomfort. Getting out and putting yourself on the line is not always a pleasant experience. There is the apprehension that someone is going to throw an opinion in your direction. These arrows of discouragement happen to each person who has been here before you. They can make some pretty gnarly scars depending on how you react to them. When you progress beyond them through those scars can and should become medals of Honor to you.
You survived the crushing blow of pointing out a huge flaw in that knife that took you 2 weeks to make. Perhaps you laid the grain of the ax handle in the completely wrong direction, and won’t stand up to the first tree it is applied to. They may leave a disparaging remark on your Etsy page.
Those attackers are the people who gave up on their journey and don’t want to be reminded that they stopped their journey. The pioneers of your field are the ones that give you the encouragement to keep on. They see the hardship you have faced and know that you will face more but you have made it this far.
Being able to handle discomfort allows you to grow both in person and in mindset. It is like your pectoral muscles when you haven’t really used them for a while. You start doing 100 pushups a day suddenly you can’t have people touch your chest for the next week. Yet eventually you start to have larger chest muscles. The discomfort of the pushups produces your ability to do more pushups.
There are always bigger challenges
Each spear and arrow that is cast in your direction is a reminder of how new you are to your journey. When an arrow finds its mark, yeah it hurts and you become wildly uncomfortable. Yet there is a reward for each challenge you beat. That armor will help you with the next attack that comes your way. That armor can be either knowledge that a personal opinion is just words, or it can be a physical limitation that when you make the needed adjustment you realize has been weighing you down. If you drop that belief, you are suddenly able to progress faster but still hold more.
Each challenge is going to be a bit different and a good deal larger. There are also many unforeseen challenges that many men never even realize they are going to face. Each can a part of where they are going but also challenges and arrows being shot can also be from inside their circle of trust.
Those challenges can be often the most wounding. As you become a better person in whatever field you have decided to pursue you will have friends who will question you. You will often have to leave friends behind. This can be scary and sad. Your lifelong friend suddenly doesn’t provide the support you need. You can be an inspiration to them to better themselves yet that journey to become their own for of awesome is one that only they can take and their path may very well diverge from yours. You can be OK with that and you can still be friends but you just won’t be as close as you once were.
You may also have friends who attack you. They may tell you that you have changed and you are not the person you once were. That arrow can be a mortal wound to your journey unless you take that comment as a good thing. Yes, you can have it as an indicator of how far you have made it on your journey. You shouldn’t be the same person you were before this journey of self-discovery.
Your old friends are attacking you again because they don’t have the courage and drive needed to make the journey. They see themselves in your actions and it makes them uncomfortable. They may wish to be awesome also, yet they can’t find the courage or the drive to leave their cave. They want to just buffer their problems with Netflix and junk food instead of seeing what the world holds for them.
I’m not saying that you have to unfriend them. Yet, there are times that old friends have run their course and your paths diverge from each other. you can still be friendly when you see each other, even take time to reminisce how far you both have traveled.
I talked about Imposter syndrome before but this is a tricky enemy and you can’t ever really dispose of permanently. That is because this person lives in your head. He tells you not to reach for that brass ring because you really don’t deserve it. If you happen to win at a challenge that you’re facing, he tells you that you were lucky. He is a liar and will try to steal your success because you are not worthy of such accolades that you may be receiving. If you meet him, and you will, you have to overcome those thoughts. That’s because if you do not he will be happy to hold you at your current position. The imposter will be giddy if he can drag you back a level or more.
So use the truth against him. Let yourself celebrate your winnings. Profess your worthiness. He is a tricky opponent but he does have a weakness that is truth.
This enemy of awesome is those stories and particular beliefs that you are limited by x, y, or z. They show up as excuses or other that’s just how I am types of tales. This enemy along with the imposter can be formidable foes.
One of the best ways to dispatch his attacker is with your quest for information. Talking to men in your mastermind is one way you can change your belief system. They can see the whole forest in spite of the trees. They can help point you in a better direction and even offset the lies you say about the current quest. You can shift those belief systems quite easily because a belief is nothing more than a thought, you perceive to be true. You do have to stay on top of the stories and make sure to keep the mental programming in check. Negative thoughts creep in when you least expect it and doing so will corrupt your stories so keep a constant vigil for the poorly founded beliefs you have.
The Set Back
There are times that you will slip back to lower levels of excellence. Often this will happen when you didn’t fully learn a lesson or apply your newfound armor in the proper way. For many men, the setback can often become a swap and it can bog you down because we become obsessed in the detail of why we failed instead of accepting that we did slide down a bit. Discouragement can cause us to question ourselves and our why. Yet if we fight through this bog, we find that the ability to accomplish what we set out to never left us we just forgot to use it.
The Lonely Desert
So many times when we are making some significant strides in our progress towards being the best we can be we find that we don’t have anybody to talk to. You can feel that low point of feeling as if you are all alone this desert can rob you of your motivation and cause you to question why you even started this journey in the first place. You may be faced with the mirage of your old friends who wanted you to stay comfortable. They can haunt you at times but that is the trick of the lonely desert.
You may be having a problem of finding a fountain of knowledge to draw from and you lose traction under the sands of insecurity. However, those that can help you are close by mainly in a mastermind that you are a part of these people can offer the needed encouragement when you are climbing those dunes. They have insights into what can help. If you are open to your group they will help you many times when you least expect it and they are able to drive away from the mirage of feeling lonely.
Use your compass
Your compass is your “why”. Simon Sinek is the person who has so effectively expressed knowing your “why”. This helps point you in the direction you need when you are caught up in the minutia. All of us men who have progressed through the journey of being awesome have needed to rely on why you are doing what you are doing.
Fight with yourself
If you watched any 80’s movies, you probably saw the movie the Never Ending story. There is a scene where Atreyu meets the southern oracle. The first gate is the one with the big sphynxes and he has to believe that he is worthy of being there. Atreyu has to know that he has the courage to proceed. The second gate is where he faces himself. Now in the story, it’s a fight with his true self and this gate is where most of us men are tripped up. We prove that we are brave enough to try. However, many more shows that they can’t and are left behind. The second gate is where we have to face what we are truly after. The second gate is a huge challenge.
We have to make it a point that we know who we are and more often than not we struggle when facing an adversary of our true intentions. I am sure you have met people who put on airs that they are one way when in real life they are the complete opposite. Often these folks are men who claim to want to help others when in all reality they only care about themselves.
This is a challenge that can cause us to doubt our motives. When in reality, looking into ourselves should help reinforce our beliefs. We see our shortcomings which allow the imposter to take hold. Therefore, the fight with ourselves is scary, very uncomfortable but in the end, it makes you stronger and shores up all doubt you have of yourself.
Through the whole journey, you may think that the world is attacking, you and you have no way to fight back when in reality you have some of the best weapons a man could have in his journey.
This tool is pertinent for you to keep the right mindset. It is easy for a man to slide into scarcity or even victimhood if he doesn’t have the cloak of gratuity on his shoulders.
Being grateful allows you to see and understand all of the blessings you have received. Those blessings act as fuel in your tank as you navigate your way to your destination. Each day write in a gratitude journal. If you write down at least, 3 points you can say you are grateful for you to add more layers to your cloak. Your cloak can help your attitude can stay more positive and it makes you open to learning new skills needed for your journey.
As mentioned, your mastermind is there to help you as you help the other members. It could be viewed as a board of trustees or just you and another guy where you meet each week at a diner and drink coffee. Whether you are a part of the Conclave of Men or another men’s group these guys will support you and guide you through some of the challenging bends in your adventure to become awesome.
Even if you lose some of your old friends there are always new people waiting to fill that void. You are the average of the five people you spend the intentional time with. So often, these friends can help change the mindset and help forge new beliefs that can help you get over different pitfalls that are laying in your way. Be mindful of who your friends are. Friends can bring you up as much as bringing you down. This is one of the biggest differences between friends and masterminds groups.
Friends can hold you back out of the goodness of their hearts. They don’t want you to be hurt so they can discourage you because you are doing something they don’t understand and can sound scary. Therefore, if you can find a friend or two who encourage you and know that what you are doing isn’t going to kill you and that it can carry you far. These friends are hard to find but invaluable as you work your way to being awesome.
If you wind up stuck sometimes getting someone who is impartial and can point out where your mindset and belief systems are getting in the way. Often a good coach can point out when you believe in the stories you are telling yourself and can propose a plan that can help you get moving again. Coaches can do this much like sports coaches they have exercises and drills for you to perform they encourage you to take the steps to help you achieve your best. If you are interested in being coached schedule a call and we will see if I can help.
As mentioned at the first be curious. Ask yourself why. Ask yourself questions as to what is holding you back. Make those powerful questions to get the most motivating answers. However, don’t ask limiting questions like why you are fat or why are you so dumb. These questions will be answered by your mind and will do nothing but hold you back.
Allow yourself to be excited you have made the decision to change from feeling crappy and not doing much too making progress to feeling and reaching for excellence. The journey is long, trying and full of ups and down from the different challenges and enemies that are going to stand in your way.
When you have a breakthrough celebrating that win. Treat yourself allow yourself time to embrace that full breadth of what it means to be making this incredible journey you are on.
Trying to get out of the world of crappy is tough but the rewards are bigger than you imagine. Every time you crest, a hill there will be a bigger hill with more obstacles standing in your way. However, it can be scary, know that staying in a crappy position in life is an option you rejected and you want better. Therefore, the quest for better and better will happen before you know it.