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.
“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).
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.