Age 22 – Becoming the man I want to be

I started from a place of hopelessness, a long time ago. I found hope again through volunteering with children. I turned over a brand new leaf in college, fighting through a great deal of challenges to make myself better.

After graduating, I have taken even more challenges on. I gave up porn, masturbation, misogynist rants, 4chan, video games, and TV. I even gave up visiting social anxiety forums, seeing as how I primarily used them to feel better about myself. This left gaping holes in my life. I filled them with one thing, mainly. Socializing.

I’m healing and growing, but there are still wounds in me.

If I had to give myself tips if I ever regressed they would be

  1. Love yourself. I like to think of myself at various points in my life. In my best moments and in my worst. I love myself for being weak, vulnerable, sensitive, hurt, and angry. I am these things in addition to my more positive qualities. I can’t be me without everything.
  2. Say yes. Like a wonderful friend of mine showed me, be like George Costanza and do the opposite. A lot of my decision making has been based on the simple premise of thinking of what I would have done before and doing the opposite (ex: going to a staff meeting, which resulted in me coming across as confident and interesting with my insights, being told I had “intuitive dexterity,” and having an overall fun time).
  3. Say no. Identify problems and take responsibility. Don’t do the things that are harmful (as best as you can). It is possible to end habits of incredible power (e.g. porn, video games).
  4. Ask for help; trust others. People usually like it when you try to get to know them. I started seeing a therapist who has shown me a lot of deep seated issues I was holding onto. I learned that the rejections/bullying from middle and high school and early childhood trauma leave me at once afraid to let loose as well as distrustful of girls. My need to pick up girls was less about finding a girl who makes me happy as it was about proving that I am lovable and as good as other men (fallacy). My new goal is to find a girl who makes me happy. She doesn’t have to be impressive to others. It’s not a competition. Bullying/rejection/trauma also made me scared to ask for help because I thought I wasn’t worthy of it. I have found a great deal of happiness in opening up to and relying on others. I don’t have to be perfect. What kept me sane most of all was staying in touch with my family, my coworkers, my students, my friends, my mentors.
  5. Be confident. Make eye contact. Stand tall. Talk to people. Start conversations. Dress well; take pride in your hygiene. If you set a goal, trust that you can achieve it. I just rode a motorcycle on the freeway for the first time today. How in the absolute fuck did that even happen? I met my girlfriend by starting a conversation as she was walking into a restaurant to get breakfast. Confidence is not always about being the loudest, the life of the party. Be confident in being okay with being part of a group. Sit and enjoy their company. You belong there. They want you. Paradoxically, feeling insecure makes you more likely to have a reason to be insecure.
  6. Go back to your core. Same friend, more great advice. You can try to make yourself better, but there are truths that define you (you can change these, but it would be incredibly difficult). I start from simple premises. God loves me. I love myself. I am loved by others. I am worthwhile. I am sensitive, caring, intelligent, and brave. I value family. Working with children makes life worth living. I’ve battled through a lot of shit, therefore I know how to do battle. I’m growing. I want to make a positive difference in the world…Other actions simply lead off of this base of power, like branches off of a tree. If I lose a branch or two or twenty along the way, it’s okay.
  7. Environment is significant. Most of my toxic actions were centered/incubated in my bedroom. By moving into my own apartment, I was forced to change. I set up a conducive laboratory (hence my username). It was basically a large studio apartment with a cardio bike, inversion table, weight set, and bed. Being in social situations where people want to be met is conducive to developing a social circle.
  8. Having a way to track progress and make daily efforts towards a goal is motivating.

LINK – 150 Day Report

by laboratory1a