Fears come in many different nuances. Approaching a stranger can scare me less (or more) than meditating for 20 minutes. I believe most of our growth comes through facing our fears. And I say that on the basis of my own life experience. It’s almost always worth it. Granted that we have the right mindset and strategy to handle fails so it doesn’t backfire and create deeper emotional scars.
But fear facing is by definition incredibly hard. I mean, it’s doing what we fear. What we try to stay away from. Why would any sain person run towards it? Especially when we feel weak. When we’ve told ourselves that social anxiety, for instance, is our burden. Our destiny. But if we somehow could find a way to more actively work on facing these fears, I promise you, life would change. But we need to find what drives us, what gets us motivated, what pushes us to do it.
Personally, challenging my self, making a game out of it, or, ‘repaying a debt to myself’. That’s things that get me going. It might work for you, it might not. Because we’re different. But if you don’t start trying different things, you won’t find out.
In the video I bellow I explain my “debt”-method which has helped me, motivated me, to face hundred of fears and made me do things that I am eternally grateful for I did. Just by tricking myself to get some extra motivation. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not sure it will work for you.
Today’s Fear-fail: Naivly thinking that just because something works for me, it doesn’t automaticaly mean it’s going to work for someone else. I mean, this is not news to me, but still I try to fix my broken sister with my toolbox. Or sell her on my ideas. And that just made things worse tonight. But how do you do when your tools doesn’t work, and that’s what she screams for? A soloution. Fuck, I don’t know and it makes me almost fall down into that deep dark hole as well. BUT, The real learning (reminder) tonight, is to not allow myself to do that. I can’t affor do be down there, because then I won’t be able to help her nor anyone else. And I owe it to the world to do that. Save people, from themselves.
Today’s fear facing: A lot of actions at work today which forced me to flex those fear facing muscles. Like concretizing a plan with my boss to go down to 50% work time in April, and then 100% of after that. But, posting my latest video for sure is worth mentiongin:
Today’s new thing: Listened to a guided meditation breathing exercise while walking home from the office. Nice. Although I had a thousand things flying around in my head. I’ve been waking up around 3 AM every night for the last 2-3 weeks due to all these thoughts. The upside is that I get some nice work sessions out at this time, before crashing 2-3 hours later and cramming out one hour more sleep before getting up again. Some part of me kind of like it though.
Sleep well, tonight I hope I really do… Starting to take it’s toll on me!
I keep telling myself ‘Failing is great, that’s how you learn”. But in reality, I often play it too safe and are quite unfamiliar with fails that’s delivered from external persons. At least in a work context. Not today though.
Today’s fail-learn: So a part of my work role includes content creation like making videos, among other things. That means I have to step out of my own personality and into the companies when I create content. Adjust it to the context and the people it’s meant for. At that point, I failed with a video I posted last Friday. And today I received the notice of that. It wasn’t appreciated as it was seen as way too ‘unprofessional’. Looking at it again with fresh eyes, I totally agree. I got caught with a theme and got tunnel-visioned. I still hurt though. Bad. The emotions within just kept expanding in a very unpleasant way after I got the message.
I know I can’t be this reactive to feedback. I can’t let a thing like this impact me for hours and hours. Because if it does, it’s a fail for real. I have to objectively look at what went wrong, concretize the learnings and then move on with them. It’s my responsibility as a human being, with a drive for a great life, to do that. To use it as a source of motivation and an opportunity to level up.
But it’s bigger than the specific fail itself. If you let it get to you, you’ll start fearing fails in other life areas too. You’ll start to play it safe. It will become an emotional scar you will try to protect yourself from repeating. You, I, want to learn how to balance just on the edge of overstepping it. But to do that, you first need to know where the edge lies. The thing is, it’s not static. It’s constantly going to move around, and in some areas you’ll have a better feel for it than in other. This means you just have to get used to once and a while failing some. And this message is aimed mostly to myself. Because if I don’t practice what I preach, it makes me a hypocrite. And I wont accept that fail.
Either way, today sucked at one time, now I honestly feel good for the lesson and this whole reflection it made me go through. Thanks, past fail-Alex.
Today’s Fear facing: Excluding the actions that followed as a result of what I just wrote, I also had a nice interaction with Birgitte and her dog Ajax on my way home. I knew that the best way to shake off the last bit of fail-feeling, was to face some fears and connect with a stranger. Always makes me smile and drasticly changes my mood.
Today’s new thing: Tried a new caffeine-free tea from one of my favourite brands. It was awesome! Not so awesome when I spilld half of the cup into the keyboard though…
Today’s fear facing: I went on 4 dates with a girl just before Christmas. She was really nice! But perhaps I was a bit off towards the end. Having a really intense period at work and as usual, my workaholic tendency got the best of me. Anyways, she never replied to my messages after Christmas, and I’ve been wondering why – why? So today I mustered up again and wrote another text telling her I’d appreciate if she could give me an explanation. And this time she actually did reply, and finally, I could get closure. You have no idea how nice that made me feel. I have a hard time letting things go if it’s not done in a good way. Free! All thanks to some fear facing. If you want to know what the text said, check out this Sunday vid.
Today’s fail-learning: I’ve already used this once this week, but today the implication of the fail got strengthened. I was so ready to ask the gym girl I’ve been talking about out today. BUT, she wasn’t there this morning. DAMN YOU (ME)! Filled with disappointment for not having done it earlier in the week when I had the chance, I seriously felt I’d let myself down. The good thing with it hurting some, is that we have a great opportunity to learn for real. We remember the consequence of doing what we did. A clear reference case to look back at for similar situations. Because if it hurt badly enough, we remember to do so whether we want to or not. That is if we really reflect upon what happened and how an ideal scenario, or at least a better one, should have played out. Planning a new strategy for successful execution the next time the opportunity shows it self.
Today’s New thing: I bought eggs again. I’ve been vegan-shopping since this summer. Today I made a conscious decision to allow myself only to buy eggs again on weekends. Has to do with the book Dirty genes I’m reading. Too tired to go into the details now, but, it feels a bit like I’ve cheated on myself.
By the way, can’t keep my eyes oopen anymore, so I’m not even going to readd through this text, as I know it usally adds another 15 minute to the post… CAN’T TAKE THAT RIGHT NOW! I’m lazy.
Today’s fear facing: Tougher climate in the consultant business these days, at least for our company. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a combined work role where I got spend 25% of my time doing content creation and marketing. Today I had a tough conversation with my boss which meant that thing had to change. So, long story short. If we don’t find an assignment that feels very “right” to me before the end of March, I’m going to take at least 6 months off. Scary ass thing to say, because all of the sudden it’s so real. Even though it’s something I’ve both spoken of and wanted to do for a long time now. But when it’s really out there… Damn.
Some times you need to burn your ships in order to make that real change happen. And I know change is what I truly want. Need. It’s just that big change like this is so gotdamn scary. I also know that I’d tell anyone else feeling like that “then you know you’re on to something good”.
This whole thing created an emotional explosion within as soon as the meeting was over. So many thoughts and feelings rushing through my head. Typing it all out helped some, but not all that much, to be frank. One second happy and thrilled, the other filled with anxiety and fear. It was so interesting observing. Instantly my mind just started screaming like crazy for food. “eat Alex, eat.”. Yeah, it’s my get-away-from-realty-drug.
The best-worst thing was that I had my fourth salsa lesson coming up in the late afternoon. Worst because I always dread it, fear it. It’s the last thing I want to do since dancing doesn’t come easy for me. I have to think. Hard. Which is also my biggest problem. Yet, when I’m there and have made it through half the lesson and kind of taken in the new moves, I enjoy it so much. So much! To get the chance to dance with some ladies, for a Munk like me, is just lovely. Totally got present-oriented and was forced to let go of what had occupied my mind throughout the day. A much-needed mind reset.
Today’s new thing: Well, I learnt some new salsa moves and danced with some ladies I hadn’t danced with before! Also having a really scary conversation like that was a long time since. I know I’m just repeating what I wrote up there, but in lack of better things in a tiered state like this, I’m doing the best of what I’ve got… ;). But honestly, starting a beginners salsa lesson is one of the best things I’ve done. Truly needed that! Both in terms of facing fears, but also doing new things and breaking my old repetetive routine life.
Today’s Fail-learn: During one of my in-the-search-for-smiles-videos I did during last December, I asked a girl at the gym for a smile. And she was just such a joyful person that I couldn’t help but to love her! At least to the point that I felt it would be nice to talk some more with her! So my mission this week has been to ask if he wanted to grab a cup of coffee/tee some day. Two times I’ve seen her, and two times I’ve failed my self. I’ve promised myself to NOT make that misstake if she’s at the gym tomorrow. Not another fail on my watch, yesterday Alex. Tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes.
A heads up for tomorrows fear facing. Haven’t done any live streaming on my Youtube channel in some time. Tought it went horrible the last time and created a bit of an emotional scar. So, I know what I have to do tomorrow!
Oh, Just realized I forgot about posting yesterday. That’s a fail in itself. If something really is important to you make sure there’s s system in place for making forgetting it isn’t an option. Fail-learn – puting up a reminder.
Anywasys, I got dragged down a DEEP WHOLE OF A COMPUTER BUILD. It hijacked my mind for the last couple of hours of the day. It also made me completely INSANE since I wasn’t able to reach a conclusion for which components to buy for the CPU cooling. Bought me an I9-9900k which apparently is on fire… You don’t care about that, BUT it was yesterdays fail. Learning – bee more strategic in your evaluation process for making decisions. Can’t just jump around between different reviews, not collecting and storing data in a comparable way. Seriously made me feel really anxious and awful before finally giving up heading to bed. Exhausted after having been up since 0400 in the morning, and this being too much of a brain-activity-demanding task the last hours of the day. FAIL.
NEW FAIL-SCHOOLED ALEX – made a new more stragically deliberate effort this morning, and I’ve finally reached a decision. You need closure on things, otherwise, it will eat you up! Feels so great now.
What about my daily new thing then? Well, building a computer isn’t someting I’ve done in ages. And besides what I just described the first part when I actuallt started building with the parts I had, was great fun. It’s like being a kid again building lego. Sort of!
So to the fear facing? Had a lot of interactions at work where I pushed myself. I jumped on the boat to be the first one out doing a presentation in a meeting we had. Also, I spoke openly and directly in a very vulnerable way to a person I like very much at work. Just saying how much I really enjoyed her company and what a great person she was. And this in a non-complicated way! And some more. And all of them were the greater moments I take with me from the day. The real pay off comes when you have to work for it.
So, now I’m at par with where I should be again! Have a nice day, and go out there and kick some fears in the nuts!
Refering to yesterday’s post for whwat I’m up to. No novel today, only logging my three actions.
Today’s Fear action(s):
I make weekly video presentations of colleges, and today I dared to reach out and ask one that wasn’t really an option. Perhaps not the most “daring” fear, but it intimidated me and I identified it as a fear. So I had to do it because I know it has the potential to turn out great. It’s forming that daily habit that’s important right now, not the level of “scariness”.
Today’ Fail-learning happening:
I was really not feeling that well last week. Healthwise. Forced me to not exercise for some days (that’s really tough for me). But yesterday I woke up feeling great (almost), so had a nice strength workout and felt good about it. Today, however, I may have pushed myself a bit hard when I ended the 9 km run at the treadmill with an intense (!) spurt. Been feeling dizzy and like I wanted to puke all day long. Need to be more patient and take better care of myself – that’s the learning. That damn dopamine kick from a hard workout is soo luring… I’ll be more aware, promise!
Dared to stand my ground in a customer errend for a product delivery I was very unsatisfied with. Usually, I’m way too much of a “softie”. Today I didn’t budge, without being rude in any way, it’s never personal in these errands. I ended up getting a nice compensation AND getting smiles from what seemed like a happy person helping me.
Today’ New thing:
I’m currently reading a book caled “Dirty genes”, which is all about how our way of living impact our genes and by that how out bodies work and how we feel. One of the tips there is to sweat a lot. So I made my entire run with a thick sweather on to make the fluids flow! And that was a new experience, sweaty, experience. Especaially sinse I usually tend not to sweat that much.
No, this is nothing special. But it’s these small things that over time ads up and make me ready to jump on the more impactful things when they emerge!
Yeah, it comes and goes. Usually, it presents itself when I don’t know what to do. Like the emptiness after having finished a project and not yet decided what the next thing will be to throw myself at. And this could happen just after getting home and don’t have any clear agenda for what I’m going to do and being a bit too exhausted to figure that out. Which often means ending up with me eating infront of the computer “doing things” for the last hours befor going to bed.
Today really was one of these days. I’ve felt great ever since I got up at around 4.30. Had a super productive morning, great workout and even better day at the office. Then back home again, kind of collapsed and got filled up with this grey cloud of anxiety. Just because slowing down and allowing myself to bread, because that slow down also allowed my crooked thoughts to spread like the plague. It’s like I HAVE to be in constant movement to not let the bad thoughts keep up with me. Which to some extent is really good since it makes me quite productive (and I genuinely love that), but it’s horrible in terms of having a healthy work-life balance. But realizing this is also very powerful, having that self-awareness. For that I’m grateful. Because it means I can try to fix it. Will fix it.
In the short term perspective, I just did. 15 minutes ago I was standing in the kitchen feeling like shit. Paused, and realised I was and asked myself why? No clear answer. Honestly, don’t know at this point. It’s like hormonal imbalance. So I then dared myself to just try to be happy and do the things that make me happy. First of I just forced myself to smile and jumped around some. Took some salsa steps (the third lesson coming up this week!). That got me started.
Then I asked what I could do more to change my mood? I thought back to my intense daily blog post period. I liked that, it forced me to some deeper self-reflection and it made me maintain my daily habits of facing fears and trying something new – daily. So I thought, why not get back to that. At least this week. Nothing long, just stating those three things I used to. Daily fear; Daily New thing; Daily Fail-learning. For my sake, because history told me it worked. Because it forced me to actually do it throughout my days too and it made me feel proud when I summarized it in the blog by the end of the day.
Today’s fear action: I got back to the girl that stood me up this weekend for the date we had planned. She didn’t answer, but at least I made an effort!
Todays New thing: Learned how to scald almonds ( I have a 2,5 kg bag of almonds covered with a salt and chilimix which includes gluten, which I don’t to eat )
Todays Fail-Learn: I need to eat more evenly throughout my days. I was all dizy at the gym and light-headed at work beacuse I only had a 350 kcal meal for the entire day until I got home. And that’s after an intense 1-hour workout early in the morning. I keep tricking myself into making my twisted relationship to food contiune. But today I really took in how I felt and relaized I can’t do that to myself no more! Not like that hasn’t happened before, but I have the drive to change things for real now as I’m reading the book DIRTY GENES. Makes me focus on what I’ll gain from fixing things, instead of what I’ll lose. Which most approaches to fixing bad habits have a tendency to do.
Ah, what do you know, now I actually, honestly feel proud and great about this evening. Thanks for listening. See you tomorrow, fear facer,
Yeah, I know. Failed on my daily-blog-post-January-challenge. My early mornings – starting the day at 04,30 for 2 hours of productive work and then hitting the gym – is for sure moving the needle on my personal projects and life overall. Which is great, and I can feel the slow, but impactful progress. But my earlier evening content creation time for sure has been suffering. Also, been feeling a bit down this week due to a whole lot of confusion (from within myself) about work.
ANYWAY, working on implementing DEEP WORK. It’s great. So great. Been working really hard on not multitasking while in focused work sessions with a defined problem and a limited time. I’m getting better at it, but god damn it’s hard. And energy demanding. For sure contributes to my “DEAD”-state at the evenings. Make sure to check it out, the audiobook can be found on Youtube: https://youtu.be/jGNiIpqWkUI
Also, I’ve been trying scheduled free time, and today I took the opportunity to randomly watch some youtube videos that caught my interest. And this one I strongly recommend to people that are a bit lost in life, but don’t know where to start. It’s the The Japanese Formula For Happiness – Ikigai !
Ops, only 14 minute left of internet time. Got some things to take care of beofre SHUTDOWN.
Some are allergic to motivational videos, some are not. I’m consume them daily. Not as my main source of motivation, that has to come internatly Butt it’s like an espresso for your brain. Giving you a little extra bost. In this one, Tony Robbins delivers for real.
Yeah, did a live stream to since it’s Friday! Was a bit chaotic and a little it of everything, but we had fun! Got to share some personal stories too, on request.