When I was young I remember always feeling like an alien to this world. I felt like I was just pretending to be human. I was always looking outward to other people's reactions to figure out how I should be feeling.
Should is a dangerous word. I should have this kind of job. I should be making this much money. I should major in this. I should be more focused. I should be more like my sister.
Should will often put me in a comparison mindset. And that is always a lose / lose game.
Anyways, I've always felt like I should feel understood. But I don't. Even as an adult with an understanding wife and an amazingly imaginative kid, I feel like nobody understands me some days.
In part it is because growing up, feeling like an alien, I felt that I shouldn't express my weird point of view. Especially because I was easily hurt when I tried and people still didn't get it.
So I felt like I had to stand back and observe people being people.
But here's the truth.
I can't stand back and watch anymore.
It's not fair to the people who are trying to understand me.
I'm no longer a kid.
I don't need to be so guarded.
I will probably always have a whisper in my head that says, "nobody understands me." That's okay.
What's more important to me is that I open up to the people who have truly earned my trust.
Because I want to understand them better.
Because being loved is nice, but being understood is life defining.
I want to challenge you to reflect on any old armor that doesn't fit in your life anymore.
Is there anyone in your life who has more than earned your trust and you aren't opening up to?
I have a hard time not getting all consumed by my latest hobbies.
For example, I like audiobooks. This makes me think that I should narrate audiobooks. Not only should I narrate audiobooks, I should be produce audiobooks! While I'm at it I should write a book about creating audiobooks so that I can do that audio narration!
I can't just like audiobooks. I have to BE audiobooks. Hobbies can easily consume my identity because I'm always looking for a deeper meaning. So me liking audiobooks MUST mean more. It must be a sign that this is what I truly want to do.
The problem with these rabbit holes is that they usually distract me from what I really wanted to work on. Then I burn out with audiobooks and my original goal of writing a blog post. Which leads me to the good ol' you'll never finish anything pity party.
I think there's a way to use this to our advantage though.
You see, these rabbit holes often come with a great sense of urgency.
Let's bottle that extra energy and use it as a carrot stick.
What I started doing lately is creating a list of all the projects I want to dig into. Say narrate an audiobook. I put it on my master list of super secret projects. Then I let myself know that whenever I finish what I'm currently working on I get to pick from my treasure box of future projects. Moreover, if I get inspiration for an upcoming project, I write some quick notes on my master list (no research allowed). When I finally get to try out a new project, I have a head start...
before the next idea pop us.
If there are any strategies that you find helpful, then please comment below or feel free to shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday, I spoke at the BEZZ Nutrition Workshop. Essentially my speech boiled down to: we need to find a plan that works for you - right now - given your circumstances.
What's best for me isn't necessarily going to work for you.
Beyond that, what works for you today may not even work for you in the future.
When I did my Q&A, most of the questions were asking me for permission:
"Can I put cream in my coffee?"
"Can I drink red wine?"
"If I'm fasting, can I fast dinner instead of breakfast?"
The truth is, it depends. I can give you the basic macro and micronutrients you need, but after that, it's about finding what's sustainable for you.
You don't need permission from me (or anyone else) to try something.
Just try it!
Trust your intuition and how you feel along the way.
Being attuned to our bodies is one of our superpowers.
You don't just have permission to find what's best for your health.
You have an obligation to find what's best for your health.
Your quality of life effects the quality of life of everyone around you.
Now go be a scientist.
“Is there anything worse on earth than being yelled at? You’re already wrong. There isn’t.” — Paul F. Tompkins, Laboring Under Delusions
I’ll confess a paranoia — I’m constantly afraid of being yelled at.
This is why my dentist will never see me every 6 months.
The appointment could be booked.
My heart can be pure.
But once the day comes, I’ll cancel the appointment, because I haven’t been flossing.
Heaven forbid the dentist sees my gums bleed — he’ll yell me right out of the chair and then ask me to spit.
The stakes only seem to raise with age.
The older we get, the bigger mistakes we’re capable of.
We get into massive debt.
We drive drunk despite our better judgement (Now I ride a bike).
We give the wrong address when we’re trying to put a hit on someone’s abuela (Shit gets real — fast).
When I’m at the worst of my paranoia, I won’t answer my phone.
No matter who’s calling.
I won’t answer it.
I’m terrified that people are calling just to yell at me. Like all my friends and family conspired to really let me have it.
Even if I had a friendly conversation with someone last week, I’m convinced they hate me now.
There are messages on my Facebook from good friends that I ignore.
I burn some bridges this way.
For example, I used to have a manager for my comedy — But guess who stopped answering his phone? (It was me.)
Medication and therapy have been pretty essential for me.
But also, after making some big mistakes, you start to see the people in your life that won’t judge you.
“Where your ass was at? I take attendance like a classroom” — Drake, Where Ya At
When you shut down, and stop answering the phone, you learn who’s going to keep calling you anyways.
Make note of that.
Keep a list of people whose opinions of you matter in your wallet (I included myself on my list).
It may help to remember — not everyone hates you.
Johnny Magz is a public speaker, health coach, INFJ, recovering perfectionist, and proud dad. He loves to share stories about health, self development, and comedy.