Self Help Advice for People Who Hate Self Help Advice

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Recognize your nothingness, your complete insignificance to the world, your complete lack of importance. Recognize that everything you’ve ever said, done, and will ever do has absolutely no real importance and will be forever lost in the endless spectrum of time.

Stop trying so damn hard, stop trying to be happy, to be someone, to control things, to be successful. Be wrong, fail, celebrate pain, celebrate your mediocrity, celebrate your complete lack of knowing what the fuck you are doing.

Fuck “shooting for the stars,” fuck the “you can do anything you set your mind to,” and fuck all the little motivational quotes people throw out on social media so often that they’ve lost all significance and meaning.

No one is thinking about you or really paying attention to you.

And once we realized this. Once we fully understand and accept all this.

You’ll see why this is all incredibly awesome news.

Before I go further you’re probably already thinking. “O boy, here we go, Leddy’s lost it. He’s hit a rough patch and in some cynical dark hole and going to rant on about how life is meaningless and sucks.” Actually life’s pretty fucking great. And I don’t bring that up to make you feel like shit or impress you, but rather to impress upon you, some seriously counter intuitive life advice that will actually ease your anxiety.

Starting with counter-intuitive self-help reminder #1. You are not special.

“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” – Tyler Durden

Tyler’s right. You are not important or significant,  And this is great news. Let me explain why.

 

Unnecessary pressure and anxiety

Most of us as kids growing up are constantly being told and reminded that we’re special. You can do anything, be anyone, achieve anything. You have limitless potential and can change the fucking world if you wanted.

This can be inspiring advice, but ironically, as we get older this advice that you’re told growing up, can really mess you up. Mentally crippling you and can give you crazy anxiety, depression, and ultimately sets you up for failure.

Let’s face it, the 99.999999% aren’t going to be billionaires, celebrities, athletes or even remotely famous. For the vast majority the only kind of fame you may have any chance of amounting too is getting a few thousands youtube hits.

It’s just not realistic. The people you know in that teeny tiny margin of the .0000001%, usually dedicated their entire life to that single thing they’re known for and even then there are millions of others exactly like them who didn’t get to that level.

But you’re not told that growing up. You’re told your super duper star spangled awesome that you can single handily save the world if you want. So what happens when you finish school and not only are you not the super hero you were told you would be, but you’re nothing except a college statistic with a boat load of debt?

You feel fucking depressed, confused, anxious, and freak the fuck out. What happened to my childhood dreams?!

No one ever told you growing up about the struggles, the pain, the sacrifice, the failures, set backs, emotional distress, and just plain damn hard work that goes into it. And then even then you’ll probably still fail. No one ever tells you that as a kid.

One of the biggest problems I’ve come to realize for people in their 20s (30s, 40s, and even 50s included) is that we freak out because we have no idea what we are fucking doing!

And instead of exploring and celebrating that uncertainty (like everyone should! I mean for christ sake you’ve been on this earth for only 20+ years, 18-22 of those years you were in school, and you seriously think you’re going to have your entire fucking existence all figured out and laid out in a nice, neat and problem free little lifestyle? what?! shut up and get lost, no seriously), it scares the living shit out of us, because we’re told we’re superheroes and rockstars, meanwhile we’re drowning in student loan debt, bills, and are neurotic basket cases.

So chill out. Relax. Accept your averageness. Feel comforted in knowing there is no pressure, just the pressure you choose to put on yourself.

father speaking to son

“Hey Johnny listen, you have the power and potential to do great things in life, but I gotta tell ya, there’s a very high likely-hood you’ll be average. You can slave your whole life away to be the greatest, and there’s a minute teeny tiny fraction of a chance you will be. So when you finish school and it does happen, don’t panic, explore the uncertainty, the world, and all it has, and recognize no one else (not even me) really knows what the fuck they are doing. ”

In summary: You can be awesome, but you very highly most definitely won’t be. So relax.

 

The danger of self help industry

This is a big danger of the self help industry. The self-help industry essentially plays the same role to adults as most parents do to their kids. Again, telling you you’re special, awesome, unique little snowflakes. You can do anything with a little hard work and imagination, and you’re all just super duper awesome unique unicorns that need to spread your wings and fly (some shit like that).

Unicorn

Yeah, something like that

Now you may be thinking “what’s wrong with that? what’s wrong with inspirational quotes and being told we’re awesome” (bitch, don’t kill my vibe).

Look I love this industry. I do. It’s responsible for changing countless lives and has affected my life tremendously.

But while it can be helpful, once again, it can be damaging. It can lead to an insane amount of anxiety and unnecessary pressure. How do you feel about yourself when you are constantly reminded every single day that you have the ability to do all these amazing things, but you’re barely keeping afloat?

The other major issue of self-help is most advice promise “quick fixes for radical life changing results.” 3 quick ways to change your life…5 steps to becoming rich…1 week to be skinny…4 secret words to say to someone to have them love you (I wish I was making this shit up).

I’m not going to dive into this deeply because it can be an entirely different and long post in itself, but the obvious point is you cannot change your life quickly and easily. Change requires constant focus, growth and effort. There’s no end goal, just a little better over time.

If you’re really grasping this so far, this should be alleviating a lot of your life anxiety about the stresses and pressure you put on yourself to be much more. But let’s go further here.

Kill (the concept of) Yourself

There’s always this concept thrown around about “finding yourself.” Finding who you are, your passion, your calling, life purpose. The self help industry LOVES this, “how to find yourself or discover your true calling in life,” type shit.

But what I truly believe, we really should be told, what we really need to hear and do is pretty much the opposite. You need to kill (the concept of) yourself.

“It’s only once we’ve lost everything, that we are free to do anything” – more Tyler Durden for ya

I’m not talking about losing everything in the materialistic sense (although that helps as well), but more so losing your identify, your sense of self, your labels, any idea of who you think you are. Everyone talks about trying to find themselves, but I’ve found this to be counter productive and bad advice.

Why do you want to find yourself? Why do you want to label yourself or give yourself an identity? I’ll tell you why. Because it makes you feel comfortable. It provides you with a sense of purpose and worth. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling when you can put yourself in a neat little box with a bowtie on and it say “that’s me!”

However, here’s the interesting thing about creating an identity or label for yourself. It’s usually negative and based off fear (and you hardly ever notice that).

Going to back to when you were a kid. You didn’t have many labels for things or people, almost no sense of self, and no identity. You were free. But as you got older you started labeling things, you started hearing no, you failed, you had set backs and saw limitations. That reminder and voice that we can do anything starts to annoy us and feels like it betrays us. No one told us there’d be set backs and failures. No one told us no.

Slowly we built an identity around these failures, these fears, these limitations. We failed at something once or twice and said “can’t do that,” on to the next “can’t do that.”

But these labels, this identity, will own you. You will say I am X, Y, Z and therefore anything outside of that is not something I’d do. I am shy, I don’t socialize a lot with strangers. I’m anxious, I can’t handle doing something uncomfortable.

Fuck that. Fuck all your labels and who you think you are. Labels and identity will limit you and hold you back. Labels are only as powerful as you decide to make them.

Labels and identity are self imposed. Meaning they DO NOT EXIST. You created them, therefore, you can destroy them. So do it. Destroy them. They will bring you nothing, but a feeling of imprisonment. A limiting life set of beliefs that are bounded by what you’ve label you can handle.

I hear all the time “OMG I’m 25 I don’t know what I want to do with my life, I don’t know my passion, I don’t know what I want, I don’t know what I want as a job, will I ever get married, will I have kids, I’ve accomplished so little, holy fuck I suck”

Whoaaaa calm down kemosahbee. This is all part of you trying to make an identity out of yourself. You trying to label and find out “who you are.” Which instead of comforting you, like you hoped it would, just creations limitations and anxiety. You’re suppose to be exploring uncertainty, not running from it. I get it feels a bit uncomfortable, but that means you’re getting somewhere.

So fuck, finding yourself and fuck creating an identity or labels for yourself

Finding yourself is the most misguided advice you can give. Again, what you’re really saying is I want an identity, I want a feeling of purpose and importance in this big crazy chaotic world. You want to fit in as another puzzle piece and need to be shaped the right way to do so.

So drop it. Kill (the concept of) yourself. Of this person you think you are.

Strip yourself of everything you think you know about yourself. If you get anxious around wanting to feel special just remember you’re a big ball of bacteria and decaying matter who’s sole purpose to is to eat away and destroy this big blue and green ball that we call earth.

Now breathe.

The Three Most Important Words To Tell Yourself

three-most-important-words-to-tell-yourself

Some of you are going through a hard time right now. For some of you, it feels like you’re almost always going through a hard time.

Some of you are scared. Some depressed, overwhelmed, stressed, sad, angry, anxious, and alone. And some of you feel like you just can’t fucking handle it anymore.

No matter what you feel, your situation, your background, upbringing, or whatever sort of endless shit storm of fears and problems you seem to be stuck in, there’s some good news.

And that’s that every single fear you and I have ever had, have, or will ever have, can be traced back to one single underlying fear.

That’s right, at the bottom of every single one of our fears, no matter what it is, lies one universal fear…

But before I reveal this grand fear, you need to better understand fear by taking a closer look at it. (Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand, it’ll be ok)

Holding hands

Look see. Here’s a super cutesy ass pic of me holding your hand as I walk you into fear. I got you

Fucking fear…

It’s been said that if you really want to get to know yourself, you need to understand what you’re afraid of. While that is very true, there’s something that’s equally, if not more, important. And that is understanding fear itself and where all your fears comes from.

When we break down fears there are 2 things you’ll notice. 1. There are literally millions of different things people fear and variations of those fears. 2. Although there is a seemingly endless amount of fears people have, every single fear stems from one single underlying fear (which I’ll get to, I promise).

The endless number of fucking fears

There are fears of things that happen to you. Getting sick, hurt, aging, disasters, rejected, humiliated, becoming alone, losing friends or family, getting fired, failing, succeeding (yes actually becoming successful is a fear).

Then there are fears of things that we are trying to make happen. Breaking up with someone, giving a presentation, losing weight, quitting a job, moving to a new place, going to travel, driving, flying, asking someone out, applying for a new job.

Then there are the emotions behind those fears. Anxiety, anger, sadness, regret, confusion, uncertainty, love, empathy, overwhelmed etc.

So what scares or frightens you? Is there something you want to do, but afraid of the potential outcome? the failure, success, embarrassment, rejection that may result. Are you afraid of bad things happening to you? getting sick, fired, broken up with, divorced, hurt, or even your own inevitable death?

Maybe you want to ask someone out, but fear the rejection that may result. Maybe you want to make more friends, but afraid of people not liking or accepting you. Maybe you want to stop drinking, but you get nervous in social situations without alcohol to calm your nerves. Maybe you want to end a bad relationship, but fear being alone and getting back out there. Maybe you want to tell your boss to fuck off and follow a passion, but fear failing or what you’ll do next.

Maybe one of the above describes you, maybe multiple, maybe all, or maybe none. It actually doesn’t matter as much as you’d think and we’ll break down why

The root of all your fears

hand fear

As I’ve alluded to multiple times, although there are so many different types of fears people have, whether it’s something that could happen, something that will happen, something to be done, rational or irrational fears, every single fear can be traced back to one single underlying fear.

I can’t handle it! 

I know, that wasn’t exciting, sexy, and was very anti-clamatic. I’m sure you were hoping for some ground breaking, earth shattering fear or phrase. But let’s look at this and realize why this is actually not only true, but also awesome news.

Again, the underlying fear of all everything your afraid of is the fear that you can’t handle it.

Looking at the fears I listed earlier. You’re not actually saying I’m afraid of becoming humiliated, rejected, sick, aging, alone, failing, traveling, driving, quitting a job, asking someone out etc.

You’re saying: I can’t handle being humiliated, I can’t handle being rejected, I can’t handle being sick, I can’t handle aging, I can’t handle being alone etc.

You fear your inability to handle each of these situations.

You may being saying “I’m afraid to ask that person out because maybe they won’t like me and reject me.”

What you’re really saying is “I can’t handle the idea of getting rejected.”

Maybe you’re saying “I want to quit my job and pursue a passion, but I don’t know what will happen from there.

What you’re really saying is “I can’t handle the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen from this choice” or maybe “I can’t handle the idea of trying something that makes uncomfortable and then failing.”

Even seemingly protective and rational fears stem from the idea of not being able to handle something. For example, maybe you’re boyfriend or girlfriend is going on a skiing trip and you say something like “babe, please be careful”.

What you’re really saying is “I won’t be able to handle the thought of you getting hurt or something bad happening to you.”

I’m not saying any of these things said, done, or feared is necessarily wrong. Feeling a bit worried, concerned, and afraid of something bad happening to you or a loved one is completely natural. Fuck, it’s what makes us emotional humans!

But what I am saying is that all these worries, fears and anxieties come from the same root fear of not being able to handle something.

And now that we know that, now that we understand there is only one true root fear, we can get to the most important part.

The three most important words to tell yourself

Now imagine this. Imagine you could handle it. Imagine you could anything that is thrown your way.

Imagine any bad thing that could happen to you, anything you want to do, any shit storm you encounter, any emotions, anxieties, and fears you could handle. Imagine there was nothing you couldn’t handle. What would be left to fear? Nothing.

If you could trust yourself to handle anything, there is no longer a root fear. Without the root fear, there is, you guessed it, no fear.

Life will never be predictable and bad shit will always happen, but the question will always be, can you handle it?

With that, you may be able to now guess what the three most important words you can ever tell yourself are.

I’ll handle it.

Again, you may be a little let down right now, thinking I was going to tell you some profoundly deep, wise, and mind blowing thing you’ve never heard. However, I kind of did.

These three words are the most profound thing you can ever tell yourself for any situation that you’ll ever deal with.

Break up? I’ll handle it. Big presentation? I’ll handle it. Quit your job to pursue a passion? I’ll handle it. Get on a plane despite terrible fear or flying. I’ll handle it.

The difference between someone who seems confident, fearless, and does whatever they want, is not that they are some fearless super hero, but rather they trust themselves to handle it, to handle the situation. That’s it. They handle that situation, that fear. It can truly be that simple.

Chuck Norris handle it

And you’re not any different. You had, have, and always will have the ability to handle any situation. It’s not a matter of trying to control a situation or outcome, but rather being able to handle anything that happens to you or you want to do.

I’ve already used this quote, but it bears repeating as it fits well with this idea. “I believe that 10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react to it.

How will you react? Will you handle it?

For anyone who has been through a serious anxiety attack like I have. Where the room feels like its closing in, your sweating, shaking, heart racing. What you’re usually telling yourself is “I can’t handle it!” So change the script.

I’ll handle it, I’ll handle it, I’ll handle it!

A couple months ago I shared my journal entries from the 41 hour period of my travels where I was sick, alone, depressed, angry, lost, confused, robbed, and scared out of my fucking mind. Appropriately titled 41 Hours of Perpetual hell.

A lot of you messaged me and commented on it. The #1 question I got over and over is “how the fuck did you handle that?” (Other questions involved “how’d you not flip a shit on that German woman, where’s Belgrade, and how the hell goes to Serbia in the first place…valid questions people).

Simply put. I just kept telling myself “I’ll handle it” over and over. It’s all I could do or say.

So, how will you react? Whatever shit gets thrown your way. “I’ll handle it.” Whatever anxiety and fear may be going through you. “I’ll handle it.” Whatever terrible thing just happened to you, got fired, broken up with, divorced, lost a loved one. “I’ll handle it.”

Shit, get fired up about! Bad shit happens? “Fuck this bullshit I’ll handle it.” Sick? “Fuck this illness, I’ll handle it!” Buggin out for no seemingly god damn good reason “Fuck these worries and anxieties, I’ll handle it!” (clearly I have a running theme here I prefer)

Fuck your fears

Fuck that fear, you’re handling that bitch

It doesn’t mean things will always be easy. Things will get thrown at you that sometimes seem like it’s just too much. Things will still be hard and suck at times, that much I can promise.

You may find yourself in situations that leave you feeling fucking shattered and hopeless. You may find yourself in situations where you have no idea what the fuck you are going to do next. You may get anxiety so seemingly crippling that it shakes your core. You may find yourself 4,500 miles away from home in soaking wet clothes outside in the cold, throwing up every 20 minutes, in a country where no one speaks english, lost, alone and scared out of your mind (okay hopefully no one else experiences that).

But if you can learn trust in yourself your ability to handle the situation, you’ll watch as the fear diminishes and you find yourself able to handle anything that comes your way.

No matter what. Repeat those three words. “I’ll handle it”

Because you will. You’re a fucking superhero in your own movie that is your life and no matter what shit storm comes your way, no matter what you want to do, you’ll handle it.