Nervousness, anxiety, depression, procrastination, worry, anger, all of these things, can be wiped out with a little bit of awareness
They exist in your feelings, emotion and thoughts, and they ALWAYS will. But it is ONLY when you believe they are bad - when you wish they weren't there - when you have attached to them, that you are the puppet.
That's when you are controlled.
That's when you are enslaved.
That's when you are fucked.
When you take a freezing cold shower, when the cold water hits your skin, it will instantly bring feelings, emotions and thoughts into existence.
Those feelings, emotions and thoughts didn't exist BEFORE you stepped into the cold shower.
They were brought into existence.
Replace freezing cold water with anything you want.
Asking someone out on a date.
Taking on a big goal.
Creating a business.
They all do exactly what a cold shower does.
They bring feelings, emotions and thoughts into existence.
They weren't there before.
They didn't exist before.
They only exist because of what you decided to do.
You took a cold shower and you felt uncomfortable.
You took on a big goal and you felt uncomfortable.
You now have choices.
The first choice is to get away from the discomfort.
That's what most people do.
That's the "flight" response.
The second choice is to suck-it-up and push through regardless.
That's what most entrepreneurs and business owners like you and me, do.
That's the "fight" response.
Which is the better choice?
The answer may surprise you.
None of them.
Both choices will enslave you.
The "fight" OR "flight" response to ANY situation, whether that be depression, anxiety, worry, anger, resentment, procrastination, and even taking freezing cold showers, is the reason we struggle.
THE. ONLY. REASON. WE. STRUGGLE.
It took me 4 years of cold showers to get this.
For waaay too long I was taking cold showers using the "fight" response.
I pushed through the discomfort every time, and I felt good about doing it.
Hey, look at me. I'm a strong, disciplined, courageous person.
Delusional at best.
However, what if I replaced "cold water" with depression, or anxiety, or worry, or anything else which made me feel uncomfortable? Would I have to just keep pushing through those feelings, day in and day out, for the rest of my life?
Many entrepreneurs are doing just that.
They struggle daily with their demons, but because they push through regardless, fighting each and every day, they will NEVER be in control of their lives.
That's when I finally understood what ALL the great mystics and sages had been telling us for thousands of years.
You are enslaved ONLY because you believe your feelings of discomfort are REAL.
They DO exist.
But, they DIDN'T exist BEFORE I stepped into the cold shower.
They DIDN'T exist BEFORE I took on the big goal.
They DIDN'T exist BEFORE my brother was murdered in cold blood.
Before enlightenment I felt depressed. After enlightenment, I continue to feel depressed.
The depression is not the problem.
The worry, doubts, fears, uncertainty, anger; are NOT the problem.
They never were.
Those are feelings.
Those are thoughts.
Those are emotions.
They are your delusions.
When you can step into a freezing cold shower and NOT run or fight, but just BE, that's when you are detached; that's when you are in control.
When you feel angry but you don't attach to it and let it dictate your decisions, you are in control.
When you can carry on about your day, without a care in the world, all while feeling depressed, anxious, and uncertain, that's when you are in control.
When you can work hard, even when you feel like procrastinating, that's when you are in control.
But here's the kicker: If you struggle with these things, and push through regardless, you are NOT in control.
You are still a slave to your feelings, emotions and thoughts.
Now ask yourself: How often are you actually in control of your own life?
Self discipline is a crock of shit.
You shouldn't have to force yourself to do anything.
It should be simple.
There shouldn't be any resistance unless you attach to the feelings and thoughts that you have brought into existence.
Take a cold shower right now.
Prove to yourself that you control your life; not your feelings and thoughts.
If you can't do it, then you are NOT the master of your own life. Your thoughts and feelings are what dictate your decisions. And let's not kid ourselves here, your thoughts and feelings can be manipulated at any given time by any given situation.
You are essentially a puppet waiting for the next person, place or thing to pull your stings and make you dance.
Dance for me.
If you CAN take a freezing cold shower.
I'm impressed, but just know I have did it every morning for nearly 4 years and it wasn't until recently that I realised I was still a slave to how I felt about it.
Sure, I pushed through the discomfort, but the fact that I had to push through at all, just means that I was disciplined, it doesn't mean I was in control.
Now, if you can take a freezing cold shower and have NO reaction mentally, whatsoever, well now you are finally understanding what it means to be detached from your feelings and emotions.
Everyone should make it their goal to detach.
Because that's the ONLY way you will ever be in control of your life.
I know, this sounds like a lot of woo woo self-help bullshit, but there's NOTHING spiritual or religious about this.
It's actually quite obvious when you think about it.
You can do what Susan Jeffers says in her book, which is to "feel the fear and do it anyway", just understand that if you are pushing through using discipline, then you will ALWAYS have to use discipline to do it.
And that, my friend, is why people are successful but still miserable.
It's why Superstars with fortunes, kill themselves.
It's why Rock-stars are addicts.
And it's why YOU will never feel in control of your life no matter how much you achieve.
It's not about feeling the emotions and dogmatically fighting them every day, it's simply about feeling the emotions, knowing they are NOT you, and effortlessly moving forward with that understanding.
Resistance is coveted and worn like a badge of honor in business.
I'm telling you that resistance is what will burn you out in the end and it will be the reason you never feel comfortable in your own skin.
Resistance is the absence of awareness.
Resistance is what you feel when you are fighting all the time to do the things you don't feel comfortable doing.
Resistance is the illusion that YOU are your feelings, emotions and thoughts, when in fact, your feelings, emotions and thoughts are nothing more than what you have decided to attach meaning to.
If you want to know when you are detached from your feelings and thoughts, and therefore in control, it's when you can strip naked, turn on the freezing cold water, and step right into the middle of it without a thought, and without flinching one bit.
It's not easy when you have habitually identified with your feelings and thoughts for years, but if you understand everything I have said here; really understood it, then it shouldn't take you long to adjust.
Like meditating, the key is NOT to react to your feelings and thoughts, it's to notice them from a detached place and watch them come and go while you stay in flow.
Yes, from time to time you'll attach to certain feelings and thoughts, and react in a negative way.
But again, just like with meditation, you notice the attachment to the emotion, let it pass as you observe, and quietly detach from it.
Yesterday I felt like lying down.
That's what happens when I'm about to procrastinate.
In the past I would have done one of two things:
I'd lie down (flight)
I'd force myself to work (fight)
I did neither.
I simply noticed the feeling, smiled, walked over to the computer without a thought in my head, and I started work.
Completely detached from how I felt in that moment.
You can start this today.
Jump into a freezing cold shower even when your feelings and thoughts are trying to control your decision to do the opposite..
That's REAL control.
That, in fact, is the ONLY time when YOU are actually in control.
All other times are dictated solely by how you feel and think.
And as you now know, feelings and thoughts come and go and are easily manipulated by people, places and things which are constantly changing from one moment to the next.
- Declan "self help guru for a day" O'Flaherty