Success Story Season 1 Episode 22 – The New Us

I am in a time in my life where stress and anxiety take over and start driving me. It’s a month before final annual exams and this is where I do most of my binge watching, binge eating, and basically anything from knitting god knows what to cooking things I would never have time to try normally. I would want to do everything but study. I don’t know if to call it escapism, or coping mechanisms, but it is what it is. And it is a very unhealthy cycle that only amplifies the stress levels that fuel it in the first place. So, this new year, one of my goals is to be comfortable with feelings I don’t like and being able to function and do what needs to be done. 

This is honestly the best time for me to perfect this because this is the most stressful time in the year for me. And I don’t want to spend another year with the same regrets and same patterns steering my life. 

The only way that I have found from listening to countless people and reading all the books and research out there is that the only way out is through. 

There is unfortunately no magic potion or routine that can help you achieve the control you want in your life without doing the painful work. 

Your thoughts are not you. They only have power because you give them power by acting according to them. 

You are your actions. You are what you do. You are what you don’t do. And that is the kind of proof no amount of therapy, or medication can replace for your brain. Your brain is an evidence-driven machine. It doubts whether you can pull off this exam season studying consistently because you never have achieved it in the past. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. 

I like to simplify things in terms of input and output. If you want a different output, it makes sense to change the input right? And yet most of us miss this. 

Whether it’s pain, stress, boredom, sadness, fear, you have to do what you promised yourself. You need to be able to separate your thoughts from your actions. I am sitting here at 3 in the morning writing this newsletter because I promised myself I would no matter what. And I wish it was the case with studying for me, because that is where I break most promises to myself. And I can blame a thousand things for that, pull out a hundred different reasons, but it wouldn’t change that fact that my brain sees me failing at keeping my word every time I choose to do something more comfortable and less stressful than studying. 

Feeling not okay is fine. It’s actually pretty normal. Our obsession with feeling okay all the time is the real problem. Because that isn’t possible no matter what you do. You can Netflix and chill all day and still feel pretty hollow and stressed out. It’s actually what I’ve spent most of my life feeling. Because it’s so much easier to be wrapped up in fictional lives than live our own where we don’t have the luxury of getting everything we want at the end of an 8-hour season. Where the painful hard work isn’t a 30-second montage. It’s years. Sometimes of boring, repetitive work. 

It’s where failure, disappointment, loss, and all of the other feelings we’re too afraid to feel are all happening to us. It’s realizing that escaping all those feelings is also escaping all the feelings you wish to feel like accomplishment, pride, love, and happiness. 

So, until I crack this for myself, you should hear it from people that actually have overcome this. 

Podcast of the week 

Leila is who I’d want to be in a few years. She is one of the most powerful women I have ever come across and has a way of articulating her frameworks for getting what you want in life in a very realistic, get-to-work kind of way. You would want to take action once you’re done listening to this. There are a lot of phrases that will make you want to pause and have an epiphany of your own. Her words have gold hidden in them so listen carefully. It can change how your 2024 turns out. 

In this walk and talk episode, she dives into how she deals with all of her negative thoughts and feelings and doesn’t let them stop her from basically taking over the world. She doesn’t sugar coat anything, and it personally really helps validate all the struggle that I face. Because it isn’t easy. For anyone. Not even for somebody as accomplished as her. And she’s here to tell you that that’s okay. It will only keep you from the life that you want if you let it. 

Homework for the Week 

You all must have your 2024 goals all written out, and if you don’t please at least set an intention because if you don’t plan or decide a direction you want to take this new year, life will do it for you. And 9 out of 10 times, it won’t be to your satisfaction. 

But that’s not the homework I want to assign this week. I want to take it a step further and confront the mother of all problems: making the same mistakes again and again. 

So, this week, I want you to write out 3 things that you no longer want to be doing this new year, your previous techniques to deal with them, and then plan out how you are going to do differently. 

I’ll give you an example to show you how specific this needs to be to work: 

Problem: I crave dessert after my meals and end up eating something really unhealthy and sugary.

My previous technique that wasn’t working: I tried to fight the craving, but I usually just gave in eventually. 

My new research-based technique: I will eat a piece of gum when the craving strikes because it’s known to be used by fitness coaches to fight cravings. Also, chewing the gum can help me deal with any stress that could be driving the craving in the first place. 

Now, your turn. 

Quote of the Week 

 “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

—Calvin Coolidge

Happy New Year, my friends! 

2024 is going to be different. Because you said so.

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