Doubt, Confidence, and Succeeding

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“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay

Five years ago I started training people to help them lose weight. Prior to getting the game started I had been sitting on my certification for six months. For nearly half a year I was a personal trainer to nobody. I didn’t even try to find a client to train nor did I even bother telling people I was a trainer. My confidence was non existent and I had no self-esteem regarding training. I also had some negative body image doubts that held me back. We all do. This happens to many people.

The lack of self-confidence and self-esteem in the world is devastating to goals, dreams, and action taking. Our doubts about our appearance, our ability, and our self worth hold back our true greatness. It stops us from achieving the highest of our potential. If you ever want to improve your life dramatically and take your achievement to a higher level, you need to push doubt aside and take the action.

Our fears are usually stronger than our confidence and esteem. This is why it’s so hard to take action. We think we lack the courage needed to push the envelope further, but the truth is, we are strong enough and we are courageous enough. The step forward we take will prove this.

You have to understand that failure is okay and that it happens. 2016 was a pretty big failure for me in terms of my goals. I fell hard in many areas of life and I let other things control my actions instead of owning it and grabbing the wheel. My attitude sank and my confidence was flushed down the toilet. But the fact that I notice it now is all I need to make sure I don’t let it happen again. I’m okay with my failure. I accepted it. Not that I wanted it to happen, but I knew it was possible and if I did fail, no big deal. Dust off the shirt and move forward.

Five years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to say that. I would have felt horrible and defeated and most likely would have quit. My successes were up and down and even though I was higher in the past than I am now, I know I can get there. The journey has increased my confidence, my esteem, and my attitude. When I wrote five books in two years I was on fire. The last two years that fire was suffocated by doubt, fear, laziness, anger, and mental exhaustion. Not a big deal. Back to square one and onward from here.

One of the reasons my confidence sunk was because I put what people said and believed above my own beliefs and values. I let negative thinkers, cowards, and people who disrespected me get the best of my emotions and feelings. It was a hard hit to the face followed by another to the gut. What I should have done was thanked them for what they said and did and removed the thought from my mind for good. We often get tied down by negative people, thinking, and energy. My energy balance was broken and the results showed.

In 2017, it’s not what you think. It’s not what my family thinks or what clients say or coaches say. It’s about what I believe, what I see and feel, and where I want to go. I am in control of my life. I’m confident I can take this to the next level and I’m confident you can level your life up as well. Close your eyes and visualize what it is you want to achieve. Once you open them, get to fucking work.

Being Positive, Selfish, and Getting to Work

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September 22nd, 2016 is the last time I published a post on this site. I’ve been away too long. I fell flat on my face, bit the dust, and ran away like a scared puppy. In over five years of writing blog posts and books, I thought I wrote it all. I lost my mojo more than once and this last time it’s stayed hidden. I’m going to attempt to bring it back or just create some new mojo out of nothing. My mind has been preoccupied on other matters. I’ve been busy helping men and women lose weight and fell better at the gym. I’ve been practicing Jiu Jitsu, although I had a four week layoff due to a MRSA or Staph infection that practically crippled my left hand. And of course, I’ve been home with my two little kids who have drove me nuts and then turned me into butter.

During this past year I realized that my attitude and my mindset changed. There were plenty of hard times and my energy was exhausted early being home with my kids. I dealt with some issues that tore me apart, but I think I sowed myself back together. My positive spirit and mental attitude seemed to be lost in space. If you search back through many of my blogs or read my books you’ll see that being positive and upbeat and happy is a major part of my life. In 2016, it wasn’t that way at all. Most of the time, I simply faked it when I had to.

I’ve had trouble over the past five years with my energy and my attitude. During this time I’ve built Activate Fitness in Hackettstown into a great place to be for weight loss and to just feel awesome. I had two kids and was nearly divorced twice. Going through older posts you’ll see where my attitude went up and where it dipped. It’s just a part of our life cycle, but I’m not okay with it. Being positive is rare these days. People are afraid to be positive because so many people are tied down by negative forces that when we show positivity and happiness, they think there’s something wrong with us.

Before my children were born I was a big time fan of Floating and Meditation and when life got hard, I abandoned my practices. I see now how that was foolish and I realize even more now the awesome power of float tanks and meditation. Those two critical components of my positive mental attitude vanished overnight and left me high and dry.

I went to hear a speaker yesterday at our Jiu Jitsu school. His name is Cornell Thomas and he lit the fire under my ass again. One of the best things he said during the hour or so speech was this “Never let doubt stop your do.” and I realized that in 2016, my doubt crushed my do. His energy was great and obviously I borrowed some as I feel different today, but it will be a long road back to where I once was. In the past, I could write through a stream of consciousness up to five thousand words about being positive and happy without taking a piss break. Now, my attention is good for maybe thirty seconds. When I wrote five books, it came easy. It came naturally. The work was fun and it didn’t seem like it took a lot of effort. Today, writing is draining. But I know why.

I need to take a break from certain things in my day to day routine. I need to be selfish and spend more time improving myself so that I can recharge my important energy. I need to stop stressing over working and writing and get on the ground and roll with my kids. Instead of answering the twenty emails I get each day, go to the movies and relax. Instead of being at the gym at five o’clock in the morning, sleep in and get important rest. And that’s another thing, a totally different topic, but something that pisses me off. People wear getting up early as a badge of honor. For the past five years I’ve been getting up super early, most days at four, and while many people claim great benefits from rising early, I think it’s not the best option, for me and my happiness. Many awesome people come to train at my gym at Five O’clock every single day and they love it. For me, it’s crushing. I need sleep and I operate ten times better when I sleep, if not a hundred times better. If you have to wake up early to workout, make sure you get to sleep earlier than normal and do your best to make it the best quality sleep you can.

Remember, living life activated takes work. It takes a lot of work and for many people, like me in 2016, that work feels like it’s not worth it, but at the end of the year when you come up short in your goals and you feel like I felt (exhausted, angry, tired, lazy) you’ll see that the work needed to be fully activated, to be awake and alive, is most definitely worth it.

Stay positive they say… I say live activated.

From Nothing to Something: Going from Rock Bottom to Living Activated

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If we go back just ten years ago my life was very different from what it is now. Ten years ago I was hiding from the world around me. I literally was hiding from the law over a traffic violation that I failed to pay, which led to a warrant. I was young and afraid. The real world in front of me was a scary place and I had no clue how to deal with it and make it in a world of sharks and lions. I was terrified of trying and therefore, I hid. Unfortunately this did nothing good for my life and I ended up being homeless. At one point I delightfully gave up all of my possessions and moved forward with the clothes on my back and maybe ten other items.

Drifting through life with no plan was the order of the day and most of the time I was under the influence. Much of my time was spent like a hermit. I hardly went out, I had few friends, I didn’t care for my appearance or health, and I was broke. For awhile I was coasting through a shitty job as a lighting salesman slash stock boy slash driver slash cleaner. The job actually wasn’t shitty, but I would have rather been partying with my friends hiding from people. But I did what I had to do. Once I lost that job because of my lack of caring about anything, I was broke. I couldn’t afford food, I couldn’t afford car or health insurance, and I couldn’t afford a place to live. A few months was spent squatting in my Grandmother’s house that was for sale. I stayed until the last possible day. The heat was turned off and I slept on the hard floor with a sleeping bag I had from my days camping.

Once I was forced to leave because the sale of the home was finalized, I had nowhere to go. Twelve or so days was spent hanging out at my friend’s house on his recliner. His parents had no idea I was sleeping there. Once they found out, I was toast. A few nights were spent sleeping under a bridge and I came to a point of life or death. Do I march forward or quit like a whiny ass punk? Luckily I decided to move forward and caught a break when my Aunt allowed me to stay in her home.

Within a few days I got a job as a landscaper, doing mostly hardscaping work. Which for those who don’t know is the construction of paver patios, walkways, retaining walls, and such. It was hard work but looking back now, I miss it. Being outside in the hot sun working your ass off, sweating like a pig, lifting heavy objects for ten or twelve hours a day was brutal, but it built character and I never felt better. I was doing exactly what our biological DNA is built for. Working with your hands and heavy objects and the weather around you is good for the soul. Sure it sucked when it was a hundred degrees, but the ice cold beer and steak dinner afterwards always sat nice.

About a year of doing this while pretending I was a licensed driver, it was suspended because I failed to appear in court, it was time to face reality. I couldn’t keeping hiding and had to address the law. Thankfully, it was silly and the prosecutor actually laughed about it. My warrant was dismissed and I received a fifty or sixty dollar fine. That was a brutal lesson on why it’s important to get the job done right away and to face my unrealistic and blown out of proportion fears.

Once I got my license back and a car I started working for my mother. For quite awhile I enjoyed the air conditioning, the heat, the convenience of a kitchen and bathroom, and sitting by a computer. That quickly changed when I realized my primal nature was to be active and not sitting all day. I started to get a little stir crazy, even though I wouldn’t accept to believe it.

During my time as a medical biller I met my now wife and we quickly hit it off, got married, and bought a house. All while I wasn’t ready for any of it. Coming from what I went through in the previous years before meeting her, I wasn’t ready to be the man of the house, let alone have a house. But like the day I left my Grandmother’s house to become homeless, I rolled with it and went to work. As life as a new homeowner and married man unfolded I began to realize I wasn’t happy about my work. I didn’t want to be there but knew I had to be. I also knew there was more in store for me and more I can share with others, I had to figure it out.

So I spent most of the first year as a newly wed new homeowner working on becoming a personal trainer. I wanted to help people get in shape. For the past two years I was working out and lost about sixty pounds of fat. I thought I knew what I was doing and wanted a way out of the office and into a world of my “own thing” being my own boss.

Here’s the thing about training and having my own business… I knew nothing. I thought I knew everything but I quickly became aware of the fact that I was in for a big surprise. Through my focused efforts and intense studying I received my personal trainers certification and then promptly hid the fact, out of foolish fear, that I was a trainer. For several months I did nothing about. Finally after some pep talking from my wife, I decided to give it a go and offered my services as a personal trainer for free.

Now this was about five years ago from today. When I first started Activate Fitness, I was scared shitless. I was afraid of the other trainers in town, I was afraid of internet trainers, I was afraid I didn’t have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. I was afraid of gym owners in a twenty mile radius. I absolutely did not want to take action on my dream. I was frozen in place and had zero dollars to make something from nothing.

But I said FUCK THAT and ultimately took control of my life and destiny and decided to do it anyway. Starting out training others for free or for five dollars is how I had to get things going. It took years for me to finally be able to open my own gym and when I did, I was just as broke as I was when I started. My wife was pregnant and we had no money to lose but we took the risk and I threw myself in the middle of the street, ready to help people change their lives.

I stood there in the arena and took my bumps and my bruises and kept coming back fighting. I failed hundreds of times during my years of owning Activate Fitness. I worked through competition opening all over the place and kept my vision pointed straight ahead, success or die. There is no room for failure. It’s do it or lose it. Mornings came when I said Fuck it and wanted to quit. I waited patiently and silently begging for my wife to throw in the towel on my dream and bring me back to safety. I cried because of the stress of dealing with others. I cried because the numbers weren’t good. I cried because I missed precious time with my family and neglected them, especially my wife, for years.

They can stab me with their sword and dare to declare victory but with courage and hope I won’t stop. I choose to live my life activated. I choose to live awake and alive. I choose to be the one in control and refuse to let others control my life, my way of being, my destiny. I stand here today a man who has seen rock bottom but a man who also braved battle and decided winning was the only option. I refuse to lose. I will not lose.

You can choose to live life activated.

You can choose to take control of your life.

You can choose to chase your dreams and gear up for the war you’ll definitely face.

You can choose to wake up and live awake and alive.

Will you?

Join us here for support and accountability in your journey to living your best life: Your Life Activated

Yes, You Can

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Do you want to lose weight?

You can lose weight.

Do you want to earn more money?

You can earn more money.

Whatever it is that you want to accomplish in life is within your ability of doing so. You can travel the world. You can get season tickets to your favorite team’s games. You can quit your job and start that business you have been dreaming of. You can sell your house and scale down if that is what you want.

Whatever you want.. you can do, get, see, and live.

There is only one thing stopping you from achieving your wildest dreams and that is your own fear while not having a positive belief in yourself. Many people struggle with overcoming their fear. Napoleon Hill, author of the world’s most successful and highest selling self help book ever Think and Grow Rich, never published Outwitting the Devil while he was alive. He was afraid of criticism and thought he would get a negative response and ruin himself. It’s one of my favorite books.

In High School, I never tried to join the wrestling team. I wanted to, my friends wanted me to, and I enjoyed watching it. My fear of failure, fear of effort, fear of hard work, and fear of people laughing at me prevented me from ever trying. Today I practice Jiu Jitsu and had I wrestled, I’d be much better.

Our minds are our best friends and our greatest enemies. Our mind is capable of conceiving dreams, ideas, goals, solutions, and more. It is also capable of breeding in fear in reasons of why those dreams are stupid, why those ideas will never work, why those goals are outlandish, and how those solutions will result in failure.

But, you can make the right choice, every time. As a coach I have met my share of angry and bitter people. You can smell the anger and bitterness when they walk in the door. Each time I try to engage in positive and encouraging conversation, but those people are hard to crack. They’re stuck in their ways, stuck in their beliefs, and have something deep inside that is bothering them. They’re choosing to keep it in. Instead of accepting whatever trouble it may be, they stoke it with wood and feed their fire. They’re choosing to let it burn. I see this in people throughout life. Instead of choosing to find a solution and doing the work to overcome whatever roadblocks they face, they sit and dwell in fear and negative attitudes.

Most of the time, they don’t believe they can change, they don’t believe they can be happy, they don’t believe their life can be better. And so, they stay stuck and hold it in. Eventually this will manifest as dis-ease, wrinkles, grey hair, weight gain, depression, divorce, loneliness, and more. All because they think they can’t. The truth is, you can.

Ask for help, seek advice from a friend, a family member, or a professional. Notice what troubles your mind and then run towards that trouble and fix it. Accept the past for what it is and concentrate on making today better. Do your workout, write your story, eat your healthy food, go see that friend, make the changes you need to and don’t worry about failure or criticism or change. You can live your best life and you can live the activated life. Do it now.

Why You Fail

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When someone fails at my gym, it’s a dagger to the heart. They might not know that I care but I want everyone to be a success. When somebody has a hard time, I want to help. However, we don’t ask for help. There is a silent struggle among us all. People are struggling with many different things in life behind closed doors and nobody ever knows, because we don’t ask for help.

A big part of why you fail is not asking for help. Either we assume we know the answers or we try to find the answers ourselves. Part of my problem is I don’t like to bother people. Asking someone for help, to me, is like asking someone to drop everything and attend to my needs. I can’t do this easily. Why should they help me when they have their own life, their own journey, their own struggle?

But not asking for help will bring failure. We can’t do everything alone. When we’re sick and our efforts to rest and take medicine do not work, we ask our doctor for something stronger, or we ask “what’s wrong?” We get the help we need to feel better. When our cars break down and we can’t figure out why, we get it towed to the service center. We ask them “What’s wrong?” and they help us. When our plumbing breaks and we can’t fix it ourselves, we call a plumber and have them come out. We ask them “What’s wrong?”.

It’s different though when it’s us that needs fixing. We can’t just ask our friends or family “what’s wrong with me?”. But the truth is, we should. We need to. It’s important to ask. We won’t solve our problems or get answers to our important questions if we keep them to ourselves.

Failure is an effort that comes up short, and like I said the other day, it’s not failure if we don’t stop trying. Most of the time, trying again is going to require we ask somebody for help. Why can’t I get my website to work the way I want it to? We ask google. Why not ask your brother or sister who works in the IT department at a major corporation? Why can’t I lose weight? We ask google and get a billion responses. Why not ask your brother or sister or friend who is a personal trainer, a doctor, or a nutritionist?

If you want to succeed you’re going to need to ask people you know for help. You’ll have to spend money with a coach or a service of some sort. You’ll need to invest in yourself. You’ll need to spend time with other people who are there helping you, and then not feel bad about it. Like in the Godfather, Bonasera asks for a favor. He needs help. He goes to his friend and asks for it. He doesn’t care that it’s the Don’s daughters wedding day. He asks. And Bonasera gets his help and the Don knows that one day, the favor will be returned. That is how you succeed. You help someone, and they help you. When you ask.

You can’t do it alone. Stop trying and ask.

Fear

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Last night after a long evening at the gym I headed to the Jiu Jitsu school. Class started at seven thirty in the evening and it would be my first taste of a different type of class, a combat Jiu Jitsu class. Instead of the traditional drilling and rolling class based on the ground game, I’d be learning more self-defense with takedowns and striking. Training for a real life scenario if ever needed. When I arrived it was late and the usual crowd was gone for the evening. There were a few guys rolling and it was quiet. It seemed like nobody was going to stay and I didn’t want the instructor to have to stay for just me.

From the moment I walked in to the moment we started class I was overcome with a sense of fear, much like the first time I had gone to see what Jiu Jitsu was about. I was feeling fear because I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I got there I didn’t know any of the guys finishing up their workout. Were they going to stay? What’s the striking part of the class all about? Did I need my gloves? The questions rolled through my mind and the fear kept getting stronger.

As I sat there I consciously felt the fear and told myself to stop acting silly. It wasn’t my first time at the school and I knew I could handle anything that was thrown my way last night. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was just experiencing a natural thing. Our body is programmed to feel fear. Feeling fear has been one of the most important things to keep the human race alive through our evolution. It was only natural.

I know many men and women who come to my gym filled with fear. You can see it in their eyes. You can sense it coming from their pores and the energy is definitely what many describe as a thin sheet of ice. Several women I’ve met have never returned because their visible fear must have gotten to their mindset. It happens. We all have that fear of the unknown. Men and women alike, when it comes to the gym, are afraid they can’t handle working out. Millions of Americans do not exercise because they’re afraid of what effort it’s going to take and they don’t want to experience failure, again.

Fear will take a strong hold around your neck when you over hype it. When you experience fear and continue to think about it over and over, you make it larger than it actually is. While being afraid of the gym is okay, the truth is there is nothing inside of it that is going to harm you. People are nicer than you know. They won’t laugh at you, they won’t bite you, and you won’t bother them by being a beginner either.

Fear is vital to your survival, yet the way you use fear can be under YOUR control. If you feel that your fears control your life, they will control your life. If you notice the fear, accept it, and begin to consciously handle it, that fear will not prevent you from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. Stand tall in the face of fear and scream into it with the courage you have within your mind, heart and soul.

Failure

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As a coach I see people fail all the time. I see people fail to stay on track with their goals. I see people fail to seek the support of those around them who are willing to help. I see people fail to give it time. I see people join my gym with the goals and dreams of getting in shape. They sign up for a twenty one day program and they come once. They fail to return.

I see people join in transformation challenges who start with a bang, only to fizzle out within a week or two, or when something throws them off schedule. I see motivation in their eyes and willingness to try, but something stops them dead in their tracks and they never (or at least from what I see and know) get into the shape they wanted when they started.

But is this really failure? In my opinion, failure consists of quitting your efforts to try. If you get a result that isn’t what you expected it’s not failure but rather a lesson that we must use to help us change something that didn’t work. In business and personal endeavors unrelated to my gym I have gotten poor results many times and failed.

In the past few years I self-published five books. My first book Becoming Awake and Alive sold one copy on Amazon. My second book The Essential Essays of Activate Fitness sold zero. My third book On Living Your Best Life sold one copy on Lulu or Amazon, I can’t remember. My fourth book The 15 Principles of Fat Loss Success has sold zero on Amazon. The latest of my five, Your Life Activated has also sold zero on Amazon or any other on-line store it is in.

At my gym and with friends and family, I probably sold ten books total. I took this to mean I failed. What happened since is that I stopped marketing them. I stopped writing about them, talking about them, and mentioning them. I accepted defeat (AKA I quit).

A few years ago I started a new training program for small groups of three or four people. These groups were strictly off limits to others not a part of the group. It started off okay and I filled my slots of three people. As time went on, it didn’t work. People went into my normal groups or they quit and then I stopped trying. I accepted defeat. I quit.

Quitting is the only way we can fail. Had I not given up trying to sell my books, I might have sold the stock I have in my possession. Had I not given up trying to sell spots in my small group private training classes, they would probably be booked. But I let my emotions and feelings get the best of me and accepted failure.

When people fail in the gym, it’s not because they can’t do it. It’s because they accept not trying again. When you don’t lose weight there is probably only one or two things that went wrong that can easily be changed. The problem is, most people accept quitting as an option and therefore, they experience failure.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have the power inside to keep trying. We have the resources available all around us to get the help we deserve and to make it work this time. You have the desire for success. You have the desire to live activated. You have the desire to feel the best you have ever felt. You have the strength to face poor results and learn from them and fight back. The question is, will you do it?

“The easiest thing to do for most people when facing an obstacle is to quit. With this mentality most people die without ever reaching their full potential in any aspect of life.

You must understand your worth, and your desire to succeed must remain strong even on your toughest of days.

Keep showing up, celebrate your small goals achieved along the way, and stay dedicated when motivation fails.

It’s worth it.”

- Tom Deblass

5 Ways To Boost Your Confidence

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I remember the three or four months at the end of last year where I was getting crushed in my Jiu Jitsu training. I went those four months without tapping anyone out. I was getting put into submission after submission and I was always on my back. Not a good place to be when rolling and it began to discourage me. I would see guys that started the same time as me getting taps and they looked confident.

Those same guys would run through me like a hot knife in butter and no matter what I did, I was still losing. Going for a few months without any “little wins” was very hard and in my time as a personal trainer, many people who go that long without a little win end up quitting. They lose confidence in their ability and they don’t want to fail anymore.

Instead of quitting I enjoyed the process. I knew that as a white belt and a “newbie” it was part of my journey to get crushed and destroyed. So what did I do? I listened to every piece of advice my coaches gave me and I put them into action. Ninety percent of the time my efforts in doing what they told were curtailed by my training partner, but nonetheless, I kept at it.

One day, I won. I got a beautifully executed rear naked choke against a training partner with high energy and a lot of skill. My confidence shot through the roof.

Sometimes though, our confidence doesn’t go up and despite our efforts it seems we stay stuck. The truth is, we can change our state and our confidence in a split second when we consciously choose to. Below I give you five tips to help you boost your confidence. I use these five tips still to this day. Boosting confidence is something we must do daily because staying “up” doesn’t happen effortlessly.

1. Use Affirmations for your Greatness

If you’ve ever read any books or listened to any tapes from Louise Hay you’ll know some powerful affirmations. I have on my iPhone six audios from Louise Hay and listen to them daily. Her affirmations are some of the best I ever read. You can quickly google them and see thousands of pictures of powerful affirmations she teaches and uses. But you can’t expect to say them once or twice and be good. They need to be repeated thousands of times and if you don’t believe you are or have what the affirmation says, keep saying it anyway.

2. Do an extra workout

Feeling down? Feel discouraged? Jump up and down and get your body moving. When we feel a lack of confidence, a quick ten or twenty minute workout can change a lot of things for your mindset. Exercise is powerful in helping your emotions and feelings. Often when someone is discouraged due to the lack of their results in weight loss, an extra workout can change the game for them. Even though you feel discouraged and feel like quitting, do one more before you make a rash decision.

3. Write a Journal about Your Greatness

Grab a notebook and write all of the awesome things about you. Write about your dreams, your goals, what you see for yourself in the future and what you wish you can do today. Write your fantasies and write your problems. Write about your lack of confidence. Write a story about how you’re a badass warrior forced to face your confidence villain in an ultimate battle of control. Write about the weapon your warrior is going to use to slay the confidence villain and then kick the shit out of your doubts.

4. Read A War Story

I started listening to the Jocko Podcast and during the episodes he often reads from a book written by a solider about war. The epic stories of loss, devastation, crippling effects, and effort are so powerful they make all of your problems and doubts look tiny. There is no better way to put your life in perspective then by hearing the stories of men and women losing friends and fellow soldiers in battle. The hardships they faced in the trenches and being able to survive can motivate you to look at weight loss or whatever it is you face as a tiny matter that you’ll easily win.

5. Treat Yourself to YOU Time

For me, Jiu Jitsu is me time. It’s my time to forget about being a father, a husband, and fitness coach. It’s my time to forget about bills, to forget about cutting the grass, to forget about my problems with writer’s block, to forget about my problems with my strength workouts, and to forget about being someone people look to for answers. It’s my time to overcome my demons and train my mind to be better. Find yourself time to do something for yourself. That could flotation, meditation, yoga, a shopping trip, a trip to your favorite bar, a bite to eat at your favorite diner. Whatever it is, treat yourself to it and tell yourself that not only do you deserve it but that you earned it and by doing it you’ll become better. When you understand that treating yourself to you time is deserved and earned, being present in those moments will help you become more confident to face your daily life.

One more for good luck and if all else fails in boosting your confidence..

Throw a party at your house and invite the people you love. You don’t need a reason, just say it’s to come hang out and relax. Once you throw your party, look at who is there. Those people care about you. They came to be with YOU. If that doesn’t boost your confidence then you’re not allowing yourself to see your true greatness and you’re not being open to the awesome things that make YOU who YOU are.

The Examined Life

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It started back in 2011 when I truly began to examine my life. I opened a brand new book called The Secret and dove in. Immediately I was enthralled by the book and devoured every word in less than a few days. This moment would open a new world to me and little did I know that learning, reading, and self-examination would become a huge part of my life. Each day there are a few things I must do and learning is one of them. Whether I watch a video, read some of a book, or get my hands dirty, learning is at the forefront of who I am.

The examined life is a life where we do not settle for what is told to us, instead we seek the truth for ourselves. For a few years I spent a lot of time seeking for the truth from things such as mastermind groups, books, videos, movies, and more. What I failed to see is that the examined life starts and ends within. Mostly everything we need to know can be discovered from ourselves, in our mind. While books and groups are an invaluable way to learn and discover, the truth will come from within. I wonder if this is why meditation is a huge part of life for many people? In meditation you focus on nothing, try to at least, but what often happens (to me) is the examination of thought, emotion, and feeling.

For me, self-examination is a way to consciously realize who I am and why I am the way I am. I wonder what makes my mind tick. I’m fulfilled when I can sit quietly and seek answers through what my mind is telling me. I also enjoy looking into the actions I take and figuring out how I can get better. How can I become a better husband? A better father? How can I increase my endurance for Jiu-Jitsu and my energy levels for everyday life activities? What makes my mind focus on the past problems instead of enjoying the present moment?

Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it will be shown or given to you. The only way to truly discover who we are is to examine the little things that make up our large days. What kind of worker are you? What kind of lover? What kind of father or mother, sister or brother are you? What makes you angry and how can you overcome that? What do I want for my life, my family’s life, in the next five years?

The best thing we can do to understand this is… write. If you go through many of my blog posts you’ll discover a sort of journal. Every post I write is a reminder to myself. Eat better, sleep more, train harder, be a better father, find out why I get angry and why I cycle through emotions, and more. Writing down our thoughts, feelings, and emotions for different situations in our life is the best way to improve our actions and understand what makes us act the way we do.

“The life unexamined life is not worth living” according to Socrates and in my opinion, I agree.

 

Jiu Jitsu

bjjbelt

Last summer, in late July or early August, I embarked on a new journey. I entered into a brand new world to me but a world with a storied and celebrated history. I enter a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school for the first time. Nervously I sat waiting in my car, afraid of what I was getting into. As a gym owner, I thought I knew how people felt when they first came to our gym. The nerves, the anxiety, the fear. Problem was, I had no clue how they felt, until I put myself in their shoes. As I sat in the parking lot I anxiously went over all possible scenarios of what I believed was going to occur.

Jiu-Jitsu is at the root of it, a self-defense martial art. For a long time it has also been used in combat sports and in tournaments of it’s own kind. Millions of people throughout the world are participating daily in Jiu-Jitsu practice. The sport, the art, was popularized by the historic Gracie family in Brazil. Hence the reason it is vastly known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, there are other types (Jujutsu) and it originated in Japan from the basics of Judo ground fighting. Jujutsu itself is said to have been created in Japan as an art in close combat against an armed person when one is unarmed.

Throughout the world you can find Jiu Jitsu schools where men and women and even children of all types are practicing daily. Some come to learn, some come to sweat, some to lose weight, while others come to fight. For me, the reason I chose to start Jiu Jitsu was to find an outlet for my primal energy and a way to silence, or in the least tame, my monkey mind. Being an owner of a gym, in which I train the majority of the members, is hard on my energy outlet. People come every day to learn and to exercise so they can feel better. However, this left me drained. Add into it the fact that I am a stay at home father to two very young children, my mind felt like mud and I needed some valuable me time. After talking to a few people I knew about the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there was no question I had to try.

Since that first day I have fallen in love with the martial art. It is hard. It is physical and it takes a lot of patience. One reason I fell quickly in love with the art is the fact that it is a lifelong adventure. There is no black belt in a few years. For me, it will take closer to fifteen or twenty until I get there. The person I have become after only one year of training is a light year away from where I was when I started. My mindset has improved. I am stronger. I am in better shape and my skills have increased greatly. Jiu Jitsu has given me a way to see that I am not at my best and the journey to living my best life and being fully activated will continue until I pass from this lifetime. There will always be room for improvement, whether it’s on the mat, in my business, as a husband or as a father. As the great Tony Robbins would say, “we either grow, or die”. I chose this journey to grow.