Last week I visited my parents and staying in the house I grew up in, in the lovely city of Townsville. Stayed in my own room, slept in the bed I have had since I was 13. So wholesome, much family #callmefamilymanmicko
I haven’t been back in a while, so it’s always fun to have a trip down memory lane and ponder over all the great (& not so great) decisions I made as an adolescent. A highlighter green painted ‘feature’ wall, daily straightening my hair & extremely tight fitting shirts were among some of the finest.
It’s always funny to look back at where you’ve come from to really see your own progress.
I stumbled across some of the purchases I made that reminded me that I was unbelievably insecure as a young man.
One of my favorite past times was to go down to the local supplement shop and buy literally anything I was told would make me look anything like not me. It’s easy to blame the workers there for taking advantage of insecurities, convincing young people (I was 14 when I first purchased a supplement!) to buy supplements & products in search for validation – but I think it’s more of an industry to blame.
Pictured below was a product I paid $80 for (fucking $80!) when I was 15/16 – Beauty Bum.
Beauty bum was retailed at the time as an answer to cellulite. It was paraded as a cream you rub into your skin to ‘shrink fat cells’ (spoiler: it doesn’t really do that)
I would literally rub this into my stomach skin after every workout in the desperate hopes that it would rid me of my ‘unwanted fat’.
All I wanted as a young man was big muscles, for the same reasons of a lot of young men. I wanted to feel secure.
Growing up, I hit puberty late. I was the shortest in my grade until year 11 (including the girls). I was bullied by some of the other kids. I never made the footy team. I wasn’t allowed to be a part of the rowing squad until grade 10 due to my size. I wasn’t accepted in with the ‘cool kids’ (most of which are still in Townsville – shots fired).
I was desperate to be accepted within some sort of group (without realizing it at the time, I was purely craving tribalism). I seriously thought this would make me happy.
All of this is to say: Insecurities will chew you up and spit you out – unhappier, often worse off financially and more unstable than you were originally if you let them.
I was so lucky to find the gym as an outlet for all of my pent up teenage angst-y emotions. I poured so much anger, hurt, fear, jealousy and even hate into lifting weights initially. It took me some time, but I eventually realized that while being productive, I was training for the wrong reasons.
I was investing all of this energy to try and prove other people wrong – I was basing all of my success on the feelings I had toward other people. People who have most likely forgotten any wrongdoing or my name.
It literally took me until around 2015/2016 (meeting my best mate, Nick) to take this in and rewire my thinking. A proper paradigm shift.
You see, Nick didn’t give a shit who you were. Happy to see you succeed, celebrated with you when deserved, but also there to laugh with you when you failed. I liked it a lot.
From this point on, I started working out on my progress not to prove anyone else wrong – but to prove myself right. I realized that I would never receive the validation I was desperately trying to get from these people – and rightly so! But, I COULD receive the validation I deserve from myself & the people who I choose to have in my life. I knew I could be better – it was about time I focused on proving myself right.
Big moves here.
Once I started to take this into account, I was now using POSITIVE ENERGY to fuel my progress.
Shit started to change.
Suddenly, my progress wasn’t met with as much immediate negative reaction from myself (comparing myself to a kid in my grade who was would get a 5 o’Clock shadow at 14 years old – like, seriously, what the fuck kid of genetics are those). I actually started to congratulate myself on milestones, and look for the next one.
What I even wanted started to change. I saw that I was trying to excel in areas that these other people thought to be ‘fully sick’, instead of actually finding what I value.
I had never wanted to excel academically, now I do.
I had never wanted to be ‘fit’, just big. Now I desire to have a balance of the two.
I never wanted to run my own business, I just cared about getting a decent job. Now I want to run a business that has the capacity to change over 1 million lives.
Insecurities are everywhere. You see them everywhere. From the guy in the gym with next to nothing one – grunting with each rep, to the person who buys the car they obviously cannot afford, to the lady with make up an inch thick on her face – beads of sweat managing to squeeze their way to the surface – insecurities are everywhere.
Insecurities take your personal power away. You end up making decisions based on what you think other people think. It’s giving all of your personal power to another person/persons! In some cases, such as a younger version of myself, you make decisions that have the capacity to dictate the rest of your life on these false pretenses.
I completed a degree in Architectural Design because of insecurities. If I hadn’t of identified that, I could be in a career I fucking hate, punching my time card, not creating the life I aspire to have.
Don’t allow these false narratives you’ve created dictate which way you move in your life. Take real control and put yourself in the driver’s seat.
Step 1: Identify your insecurities. Don’t be ashamed to have them – they are a part of you right now & everyone has them. Find them. Next time you see something that makes you feel small, weak, ashamed or inferior – don’t shrink away from it. Challenge yourself to dig into that and find out why you feel that way.
Step 2: Change your language around the way you speak to yourself about this insecurity. I.E. I would love to buy that jacket, but it wouldn’t look any good one me – why do they make mannequins so muscular?! Pause. I feel small & unworthy of looking good in that jacket. This is due to feel inadequate as a young man. Ok, how about this – I LOVE that jacket, however, right now it isn’t the right fit for my frame. However, if I dedicate myself to an 8-week muscle building program it could be. Looks like I need to find an event in 8 weeks’ time to wear this too!
Step 3: Make a plan.
When you find an insecurity you don’t like, you also need to make a plan of action to challenge it. You are worthy of feeling good, however, you’re the only one with the power to make this happen. Everyone else is too busy dealing with their own insecurities to help you out of yours.
Identify an insecurity. Dig deeper into WHY you have it. Change your language around the way you speak to yourself about it. Find a way to challenge it. Succeed in the challenge. Feel amazing. Move onto the next insecurity.
Create your path in life, don’t let life create your path based on imaginary what ifs. Take ultimate control & create the life you aspire to have.
Creator of his own cool shit
P.S. Didn’t even spell check this one so suck it xoxoxo