This is a personalized post from the base camp of our founder, JD Arbuckle.
If we’re not trying to create top quality tools for your mind, body, life, and soul on Conquer Today, I’m on Reddit answering questions from individuals who need real mental health help. If you visit these online forums such as r/selfhelp, r/mentalhealth, or even just r/decidingtobebetter, they are filled with people going through remarkably tough life challenges without a guide. That’s heartbreaking.
When you grew up in a tribal environment, you went through ten different initiation ceremonies before you hit adulthood that gave you the power to transform yourself psychologically. You were surrounded by men and women who were dedicated to growing you, because you were the future. You could even go to the tribe’s medicine man and talk about your problems. We still have those, but now it is $200 an hour.
Browse through some of our top upvoted responses to questions from fantastic people fighting their own battles, rambling and weird ideas included. Notice how we often repeat the same concepts in different ways. There really are answers, people. There have been answers all the way since the beginning, it’s just up to you to find a language you can decode and work with.
“Why do people seem to dislike me before they interact with me?”
I know this answer makes you want to groan, but people dislike you because you think people dislike you. Tough to grow when you start from that perspective.
Just like you, that cashier is living in her own world. Day after day she helps hundreds of boring and crappy people. Chances are, that person in front of her broke through her wall somehow.
Perhaps the person in front of you made a joke, complimented her dress, or just said hello with true kindness. Sometimes we do this to women with a goal of seduction, and of course that doesn’t work half as well.
Just start chucking little stones out there at people’s walls. We are all hurting and angry and bored. We show that to the world in different ways.
But we are all so grateful when someone peeks their head over our walls and says hello. Try that more often. Ask someone for the time because your phone is dead, and then compliment them on something and walk away forever. No pressure, no goal.
Have fun building this skill over and over, because when you heal yourself enough and get enough “stones” in your arsenal of experience, you can walk up to cashiers like this and destroy their entire wall with your trebuchet (gotta insert them memes).
You can bring happiness to the sad, and excitement to the bored, but not until you destroy your own walls first.
“I feel stuck in a purgatory between childhood and adulthood”
What you wrote as your title is infinitely more important than the details you dived into, like homework.
To realize something like that is wonderful, and means you’ve taken a step in development from “unconscious incompetence” (not knowing what your doing is ineffective) called “conscious incompetence” (knowing what your doing is ineffective). Awesome!
The next steps are “conscious competence (switching into working hard doing what is effective) and after that, unconscious competence (effortlessly doing what is effective after practice and mastery).
I would focus more on higher level change like that, seek out psychology and philosophy that will help you continue to grow. Our world doesn’t give us the steps anymore, unfortunately. It’s up to you.
Now, as practical advice, use Kaizen to get your shit done. It’s the art of small daily improvements over time that lead up to huge results.
Write just one paragraph of that paper, and then stop. If you can get started way ahead of time, you could potentially write one paragraph in the morning each day for a month, and have a 15 page paper done.
It’s all about breaking up bigger goals into smaller tasks. Get as small as you need to for you to get moving, because it takes much more energy for an object as rest to start moving than it does to keep moving.
Same with nutrition: Don’t change everything at once. Switch just your breakfast for now into a perfect nutritious meal, because we usually have a ton of willpower at the beginning of the day. Do this for a month, then move into lunch, then dinner.
“How do I change from being someone who’s “boring to talk to” to someone who’s “interesting and fun to talk to?”
I always did the “ask questions instead of talking” thing too, which is like the classic social conversation advice. That works unless all you can do is ask questions, which is where I felt comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable talking about myself.
The only right way to do this, without all the lame tips and tricks that never make you feel safe, is to become interesting and fun. Both in the real world, AND in your own mind. When I got OUT of my OWN DAMN HEAD and just started paying attention to others and the real world, it was so much easier.
Because when you are in line at a coffee shop talking to someone, maybe a cute girl, endless questions is just interrogation. But if you are relaxed, in the moment, and just trying to have fun connecting to another human you can make jokes about the menu items, talk about how one time you drank 8 coffees and tasted colors, or something funny you saw walking to the shop, just people watching.
That’s all WE want to talk about even, that’s how you stay safe and connect with people. Talk about the world around the both of you like you are on the same team.
Finally, I used to react that way too. I was overreacting, reacting too quickly, just trying to be liked. I see it in my friends now too that I’ve stopped it, they start laughing before I even finish the joke and its kind of frustrating. So if you are uber-reacting to people thinking you are connecting, you are really coming off as an actor.
It takes courage, but actually react. Instead of going “holy cow, wtf!” when someone says, “you won’t believe what my cat did today, pooped on the floor”, take a breath and actually stop and think if this is really worth a “holy cow, wtf”. It’s not, so then you can think about how you actually want to respond instead of waiting to be liked by giving positive affirmations.
You’d go, “Lol, well thanks for updating me on your cat’s bowel movements! Keep me posted!” and now suddenly your a valued member of the conversation by proving that your not just there to get dumped on (not me and not you, but some people just love to ramble and get words out, and look for easy targets to do so).
So much more to discuss here but hopefully this will help kick off some ideas.
“How many of us here are actually disciplined? Is this sub the blind leading the blind?”
I’d say I’m pretty disciplined, but it’s not really discipline anymore, like others are saying. I ENJOY it. I feel worse when I DON’T do these things, and they aren’t too stressful for me.
It’s so great how everyone is saying, “Yes, I am disciplined here but not here”. You’re not supposed to be this god among men. You are supposed to be the best version of YOU, not the best version of a human. If you hate reading and have always hated reading, why are you trying to force that? Watch a documentary a week instead.
I use Google Sheets to run my two startups, my life and errands, my network, my budget, and more. That system saves my life. I’m in decent shape and eat well (plants & animals, nothing more to it), I could definitely do better with my meditation and learning…
It’s great coming here and hearing other individual’s strategies and struggles. We’re all in this together!
“I can’t stop idealizing this woman. Need some perspective on this.”
Hey man, I wanted to point you to one gigantic flaw with this woman:
She doesn’t like you.
Sure, she checks all your boxes for the ideal wife, except for the simple fact that she has no interest in you! What a crummy partner that would make.
Focus on getting your self-esteem up, and one day you will realize how silly this obsession is. You can’t think your way out of it right now, so work on yourself.
Good luck, here for ya!
“I’m 54, got a low paying job, no wife, no girlfriend, not more than 2 friends, and it’s pretty lonely.”
I wish I had all the time time in the world to talk to you, but I’m headed out the door. My mother and stepfather recently moved out to Texas, and found this place called Hill Country Youth Ranch. It’s 50 acres with 10-15 cabins, and they take care of young boys and girls who have been abused or abandoned. The man who founded it is a good man, and he has been doing this for decades.
My parent’s can’t get enough, and they are house parents to a group of kids. They teach them to clean up, take them to town to play, bike around the ranch with them, and have real conversations when things get rough. They are parents to kids who never had them.
I might want to encourage you to look into something like this. There is nothing more noble and heartwarming. You’ll be able to have kids. You’ll be able to constantly be around other great people and close friends, your other volunteers. You get paid to be a houseparent too.
Wherever you are, there is something like this. You might just find a woman there who shares your same values and maybe you live the rest of your life together, who knows, but that’s not the point. I truly hope you think about pursuing a route like this. Shoot, let me know if you want to be connected with HCYR. They are always desperate for help.
“How do you deal with the overwhelming feeling of having so much to do, that you just sleep/avoid it all together?”
It’s almost not even that… It’s breaking down either one of those into something so stupid simple you get the ball rolling. Taking an object from no movement to any movement takes a lot of energy, keeping it moving is easier with momentum.
If you have to do laundry (easy), all you have to do is get up from bed and put it all in the bin. Flop back down if you have to, but chances are just that little bit of movement totally breaks down that inner barrier, and you’ll put the load in the wash anyway.
If you have to find a new place to live (hard), just go online and write down three phone numbers of places you might like to look at. You don’t have to call. But with the paper in front of you and the computer up you might just go for it and schedule a tour anyway.
“I want to completely change myself, but I’m unable to. I waste all my time.”
Hello my friend.
Sucks you’re feeling this way. I was there about 6 months ago. It’s pretty painful, and what I’m about to tell you probably won’t stick, because the way your brain is running right now is just completely negative in terms of polarity or energy. The things I believed about myself were 100% true 6 months ago, and 100% untrue now that I am in a more positive state. So, as I try and give you some advice below, try to use the word, “Maybe” instead of “No way.”
So, maybe you’re not a piece of crap. Maybe you have a ton of hope and potential but you’re just stuck in the pit. Google the allegory of the cave by Plato. When you’re so deep in this mind-state, it’s impossible to see things as they really are. It’s chemical. And it can change through painful transformation and work.
The first red flag I saw was, “I want to completely change myself.” No one could get out of bed with a goal that huge, and it’s impossible anyway. You need to focus on Kaizen: Small daily improvements over time that add up to big results. If you just start walking down the street and back once a day for this entire week, in 5 years you’d be an absolute beast of physical strength, because you would slowly build on that habit and evolve.
You need hope, a lifelong goal that you can tie yourself to. You ARE a warrior, but you are dormant and untrained and unconfident. And a warrior without hope just stays in that pit with nothing to do. What is that really cool thing you could never do today, but maybe a long way off? Is that degree a huge source of pride? Do you want a great job, or be in great shape, or a great family? Ignore your brain, which will try and tell you everything you just thought of is stupid. It’s not. Think lower, with your heart. It feels a little different, I promise.
It’s really tough to get off the computer or focus on productive things without that big piece of hope. Humans only make change for two reasons, to avoid pain or to gain pleasure. Avoiding pain is more motivating. So, you’re close my friend. You’re angry and frustrated at yourself, and you’re in pain, and you’re about to change. I promise. Embrace it, fight every single day. Turn the computer off and walk outside, even if you know you’re going to walk right back in and turn it back on. Just put in the effort.
The final toughie: Comparing yourself to others, “I’m so far behind.” It seems so stupid when someone tells you not to compare yourself, when we have real life metrics like friends and likes and money and power to prove how good we are. But it’s all insecurity and selfishness. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now, because no one else has been you or been through your path in the history of the world. Be yourself.
Learn to LIKE yourself. There’s a huge difference between hating these bad habits and hating yourself. Be like the football coach who screams at his team to improve because he loves them deeply. Don’t be the like the bully who screams at people to bring them down.
I hope something in here helps you. Go create a new account with a better user name (It was something like ‘isuckbad’). The words you use to describe yourself and repeat to yourself are extremely powerful, and there’s so many people in the world trying to bring us down anyway, we don’t need to help.
Leave a comment: Do you have any mental health help or advice for these people?