This is not just a glimpse into my life, but this is me really walking up to the ledge, thinking: “am I really sharing this with everyone?” and “am I about to do this?” The reality is that I am really sharing and I’m nervous as hell. Part of the reason I’m even writing this is to bring to light a men’s coach who has really helped me and many others through his work. In honor of how authentic and loving he is with each and every person he comes in contact with, I thought I would try it for myself.
I’ve always found it amazing how one can look to the past and see the parts that have hurt them the most, see their insecurities, and pinpoint their struggles. I’ve never been one for the past, though; I’ve always found it important to move forward beyond those pain points. Even when you move on, the effects of those personal struggles linger as you evolve.
There are many areas where I see those effects in how I am today – whether it’s a change I’ve made or am trying to make.
+ In middle school I used to have “friends” that would often say they were coming over and would end up ditching me to do something different. This especially hurt me at a young age as it was just a short time after my parents’ divorce. Going through those transitions wasn’t easy: do you know how exciting it is to prepare for people to come visit – snacks, games, movies, trips, and more. Then they don’t show up after everything’s been put together.
> I wonder if that’s why I prefer going to other people’s places? > Maybe that’s why I have amazing and dependable friends now? > Perhaps that’s why when someone needs me I’m there for them?
+ During that stage of having a poor group of “friends,” my thoughts and ideas would often be disregarded or made fun of simply because they were different.
> I think that’s why I sincerely listen to others. > I try to focus on being a “we” person and not and “I” person. > I love even the most outlandish and creative ideas.
+ I’m very perceptive to the feelings of others, so I don’t like when I see people in tough positions and feeling lost or trapped.
> I think that’s why I love to help others and connect them to resources and people, whether it’s for business or something personal. > That’s probably why I love working with college students, helping them find their way. > I’m able to connect with others and I actually feel what they’re going through, even if I haven’t personally.
+ I used to be so shy that I’d turn red even before I said “hi” to a girl, hell even if I saw a girl. And this happened all the way into college
> That’s probably why I had sex much later in life. > That’s why I have had to learn to share myself better with women. > This is most likely why people see me as calm and collective. It’s taken practice!
+ Years ago, I was often told that I had a higher register for my voice and therefore people would perceive me as being gay. That bothered me, mainly because I’m not!
> I used practice vocal techniques to deepen my voice, and I still use them today. > Now I often hear that I have a soothing voice, and people enjoy listening to me talk.
+ I used to be overweight, wear baggy clothes, and really lack self-confidence
> I learned to dance when my parents got divorced to occupy my mind and time since I was often on my own; eventually it helped me get in better shape > Now, I exercise and stretch when I wake up before I go to bed and often walk all 50 blocks of central park when it’s nice out. > As for self-confidence, I developed an entrepreneurial mindset and now live life to the fullest mentality. I am often taking risks to challenge myself, my thoughts, and my habits.
+ A few years ago I fell into a depression for a few months and often thought about suicide. Wondering what it would be like, why people do it, and if it made sense since I was feeling stuck. Sometimes you feel there’s no way out or you’re hesitant to make a change or decision. In fact, you can often get caught in a negative thought loop focusing on all the wrong aspects of your life. When you focus on those negative aspects, it can become a downward spiral. Thankfully, I eventually was able to step out of that.
> I thought, “this is stupid, who would want to live like this? And who wants to be dead?” > What did I learn? If you don’t like where you’re at, change your life. I’d rather make a dramatic change, face a person, and start over than be dead. > A lack of decision making is what causes disharmony in life, negative thought loops, and feeling trapped. If you’re making decisions, even a bad one is temporary and a new decision can be made. Lack of decisions leads to poor decision making.
+ The hardest thing for me to do is share myself with others and I want to so badly, but it feels like there’s a void. In fact, as I’m writing this piece, there are tears welling up in my eyes.
> I’m working on it and Mike Hrostoski’s work and recommendations are the best I’ve found. > I give more hugs now even though it still feels awkward to me. I can only imagine what those receiving them are thinking! > I just want someone that I can share myself with, that they know I care about them and I know they care about me in return. I’ve achieved that with many of my friends, but never intimately with a female. One day.
I’ve been studying Zen Buddhism for about a year now and recently have been going to the Zen Center in New York City more frequently. In fact, I’m at a place where I believe I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
I still wish I could express to people how much I really care about them, but it’s during those times I revert back into the shadows and simply smile or act like I wasn’t paying attention. I know it won’t last forever and I’ve grown considerably compared to where I was at a year ago.
It’s like we are born open and willing to share our true self, get closed up along the way, and then have to decide if we’ll take the steps to reopen who we truly are and share that. Acknowledging both the compliments and the negative remarks from others and learning how to handle those.
You can accept a situation, change a situation, or leave it. You choose!
Mike Hrostoski has helped me learn and discover how to become better at sharing myself with others and creating better relationships. I encourage you to check out this site - if you don’t, I’ll beat you up!
And if you’re interested, I highly recommend this conference because with him, it won’t be anything less than amazing. – Check it out here
If you know someone that feels stuck, share this with them. If you’re feeling stuck, it can get better.
*The link above provided for the conference is an affiliate link, but I wouldn’t even take part if I didn’t approve. If you would prefer the direct link, that can be found here