The Constant Battle Against Self-Doubt & My Thought Process To Overcome It

No matter what progression I make, there always seems to be that one day or week that I trip really hard and catch myself with my forehead on the pavement.  A single event, but usually a chain of them, occurs that strips away my blooming positive outlook.  Sometimes these mental clouds are as trivial as a business call gone awry, a rude prospect that forces me to look inward, a friend who disappears from my social media feed, an argument with a significant other, not getting my way with a service provider, or a client/friend who decides to work with someone else.  Whatever the cause, once that snowball starts rolling down the neural pathways of my noggin, a darker and more pessimistic overview can quickly take shape… What was it that I said that offended these people?  What turned them off?  Am I not likable?  Annoying?  Stupid?  Of course, in reality, it’s completely beyond my control, but being “liked” is something most of us desire.  Something, as a people pleaser, I definitely desire.  But, if you do not believe me, then go look at your own social media feeds and see how many pictures and “thoughts” you post.  Are they just any photo?  Just any thought?  Not likely, instead they are probably photos that people will view favorably, that people will “like.”  Or something that your “tribe” will “like” that will persuade the clearly unreasonable opposition to see your point of view.  Even if you are not in your own photos, one’s intent is often to paint the portrait that you are good at, in the simplest case, taking those photos.   Check out my sexy montage of #mountainscapes on my Instagram account.  Ohhhhh yeah, I’m soooo good at pictures.  Don’t you think?!?!?!  Like them all a thousand times per!!

Most people don’t want you to see them at their worst.  Maybe they feel that type of honesty would jeopardize their career or image, maybe they’re not proud of who they really are, maybe it’s fear, maybe they’re private, maybe they’re depressed, maybe, maybe, maybe… the list of reasons goes on for infinity.

I’ve met some incredibly kind people lately, but I’ve also met some vicious assholes.  Funny thing, the kind people who I have come across do not loom in my head as long as the negative interactions do.  I am unsure if this is a “me” thing or if this is human nature, but I would bet on the latter, with an exception being the small percentage of people who have broken out of that type of restrictive thinking.

IT IS PART OF THE JOB:
Everyone knows that a career salesman has many confrontations with rejection.  As we’ve all been told, it is part of the job, and one that we, as salespersons, must become fairly comfortable with and learn to overcome.  Being a salesman who has had to cold call businesses and work his way through the phone lines of Seattle’s technology industries, host open houses, sell gym memberships to people in the artery clogged state of Indiana, travel to Montana only to find his client forgot that we had a meeting (yes, that actually has happened to me more than once), etc., I have become well-adversed with rejection.  It, literally, happens more often than not and typically isn’t bothersome.  What we don’t typically get is verbally “sized-up” by some random prospect.  I had this happen recently, and although I felt I was being attacked, I do not think this individual felt as if he were attacking me.  After helping this not-so-gentleman with questions pertaining to a home he was viewing and the cost of homes in the area, he started lambasting me and told me he was “not impressed” and “not sold” on, basically, what… me?  If it was not ME that he wasn’t sold on, I missed his point, although when I asked him, he seemed to say it was not.  Oddly, I was not pitching him, I was simply assisting him, to the best of my knowledge, with his many questions, and so this came across as an insult.

“Excuse me sir, I just want to be clear, I am trying to help you with the questions you have asked by getting you the answers.  As is my job, I would love to assist you in the purchasing of this home or the sale of yours.  If I said or did something to offend you, I apologize, but I am unsure where the miscommunication here is occurring.”

He, again, said that I had not done anything wrong, but his tone was such that I had not done, at least, something.  Otherwise, what was he not sold on or impressed by?  He had expected a level of service from me that he was unsatisfied with.  I left that Open House feeling somewhat deflated, mentally going through the conversation and where I could have ventured off-piste.  I ranted to a couple of friends.  I was left ruminating on the question: What did I do wrong that would merit his response?

LOOKING INWARD & RUMINATION:
Once you start falling into the pattern of negative thinking, it makes you over analyze everything.  Was I coherent and present during the conversation we were having?  Did I come off as too pushy?  Was I impolite?  The answer is: OF COURSE I WASN’T PERFECT.  I am a pretty new agent.  To have perfected a new craft in just a little over two months does not reflect the true nature of the human learning curve.  Even just from a sales perspective, I could have controlled the conversation with more authority.  But, that’s not what I was thinking right then, that comes later, because rumination does not end at the one event that started it off, it leads to: Is that why So-&-So did not respond to my message?  Emails, phone calls, text messages, DMs, or any other attempted contact that went unresponded to start adding weight to my mental plight.  Clients that changed their mind, do the same.  All of a sudden, something that had not bothered me is bogging me down, making me doubt my capabilities… my likability… this is self doubt.  I have (temporarily) lost.

THE REALITY:
People are busy!

“I would’ve responded if they had contacted me,” I say to myself, but is that always true?  Do I miss calls and forget to text people back?
     Yes, dude, you do it all the damn time.

AND, People are dicks!

Dane, when was the last time you decided you wanted to yell at someone who really didn’t deserve being bullied?
     Uhhh….

Did you, Dane, ever lose it on a lady at Papa Murphy’s over a coupon?
     Oh shiiiit, why ya gotta bring that up? 

Did you mean to make that poor pizza maker’s night utter and pure shit or were you just irritated over a coupon policy that was out of her control?
     Well…… 

So, maybe this guy did or didn’t have a reason to talk to me like that, but, dude, just brush it off, learn from it and move on.

and, PEOPLE ARE NOT YOU:
I am unique.  You are unique.  Everybody interacts differently and has their own opinions and thoughts.  There is not one right or wrong way, there are just infinite ways and infinite outcomes.  Even the people I idolize most will have completely varying and contradictory thoughts to my own, also, they’ll have completely complimentary and similar ones.  One person’s negative opinion does not define me, nor does their positive opinion.

As much as we want people to act in a certain way, it takes some sort of voluntary or forced control to have them comply, such as an authoritarian regime or employment.  In fact, the more we push our own agenda on others or try to control them, the more others will tend to turn from it.  Don Juan DeMarco has women swoon over him while a love sick puppy repels the same ladies.  .

The loudest voices receive the harshest criticism, something to be kept in mind when we decide to speak.  If we decide to yell, we might get attention we do not want.  This is both literal and figurative.  It applies to both the three-dimensional world and the digital.  It applies to getting in political fights on Twitter, peacocking in a bar, posting a provocative photo on Instagram, claiming expertise in a particular subject, or even just holding a forward facing job where interacting with people and social media is a necessity.  Everything is subjective and not everyone’s opinion will be fair to you or I.

NOW, THAT I’VE HAD MY PITY PARTY:
And it’s a good thing I did, because then I did some thinking and if I don’t have that occasional shitty pity party, I then don’t do that thinking, and I then forget all the things I’ve been teaching myself.

  • I forgot that social media is a negative time suck, and though I need to play in this world, I, also, need to keep my wits and not fall into comparison models, the judging of others, or self-critiquing.
  • I forget to turn off the TV or video games and journal, write, meditate, exercise, and get outdoors.  The foundation that has gotten me where I am right now.
  • I forgot that my life is the only one I am in control of and that the actions of others are exactly just that: their actions.  They don’t matter to my goals.
  • I forgot that I can do whatever the fuck I want to do if I just stay on MY path.

After some reflection, I remembered my goals, and realized that, for just a second, I had let someone else’s opinion of me enter into my world and make me question it.  But, now, I’ve reframed my thinking and I also remember the cool CEO who was nice enough to respond to a LinkedIn message that I had sent him a couple weeks back about his inspirational panel discussion.  I remember the hiker I met at the top of Mailbox Peak who wrote for Powder Magazine and Teton Gravity Research, who gave me incredible feedback and advice on my writing.  Who told me to OWN IT.  I remember the clients who agreed to work with me.  The family, friends and co-workers who are rooting for and support me.  The hikes I get to go on.  Ski-days I take.  Physical feats I’ve accomplished and the ones I want to.  All of a sudden, I’m like, “hey, fuck your own doubts, dude.  And, fuck those, for lack of a better term, haters.  I’m pretty Gad damn rad!”  The fact here is that I am just jumping into something feet first and it takes time to perfect that.  It takes throwing myself into situations that I’m uncomfortable with, and that one guy who disapproved of whatever it was he disapproved of, is nothing more than an opportunity to learn how to make him my fan.  And, then, it’s like, BOOM, laser beam focus back on, until the next thing throws me off and I GET TO reevaluate everything all over again.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

 

 

The “Halfway There” Evaluation; Goals for What’s Ahead

I’m in the driver’s seat, speeding through my checklist of daily tasks, accomplishing more each day than the day prior.  No longer am I procrastinating on things that I have been fearful of… Taxes?… call a bookkeeper, find a CPA… Credit sucks?… repair that motherfucker.  No new leads?  Call all your friends and setup coffee dates.  All my new found habits are, now, routine… Work, exercise, meditate, journal, write… Turn the TV off.  As Gary Vaynerchuk stated in Tribe of Mentors, “squeezing the fuck out of the seconds [of my day].”  And, that’s what the goal was, but there are times when it feels kind of boring or lackluster.  When I’m not motivated.  That’s when I need to keep my eyes on the prize.  So, with that said, it is time to reevaluate my Quest, see where I am at in each vertical, and see where improvements can be made.

MENTAL HEALTH:
Depression is gone, I haven’t had it in a while now.  I stay busy, exercise, meditate and journal, and with that, my mental clarity has never been better.  I can say that this was the outcome I have been wanting out of all this.  Happiness coincides with mental health, and a positive disposition is key to my growth.

One thing I have learned over the past six months is not to hold resentment against myself for not completing one of my tasks.  If I flup up, I just look back at where I was when I started meditating and regain my footing.  It’s very easy to forget to take care of mental health when I get busy, but it’s also very easy to meditate and doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes out of my day.

GOAL:  Now that I have built somewhat of a foundation, I want to take it up another notch.  My goal for the remaining six months would be to continue with the habits I have made and use them to alter emotional responses that I have.  Those responses include: anger, anxiety, frustration, impulsivity, impatience, and others.  

My lovely girlfriend pointed out that I am picking my thumbs, again.  I had completely quit doing that for a couple months and, all of a sudden, I’m back gnawing those nubs like a squirrel gnaws a nut… Fuck.  Done.  Quit that shit and move on.  I had a short stint where I wasn’t meditating regularly, and for whatever reason, that’s when I started picking my thumbs again.  That also coincides with when I started my new career.  Whatever the root cause, this habit can be put in check, as I recently had it in check.  No more lapses.

PHYSICAL HEALTH:
I have been consistently lean and strong for a while now.  Aesthetically I look pretty good, as well.  My gym routine is solid; I get some cardio (rowing, running, hiking, skiing, etc.), have progressed in my yoga practice, lost weight, have almost rehabilitated my shoulder (I think), and eat an all around healthy diet of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables… with the occasional pizza binge. 🍕

This, simply, just needs to continue.  I’m satisfied with the results, but would like to put a couple pounds back on.  That is going to be dependent on how my shoulder and neck feel.  If they continue feeling better week after week, then I might be able to start lifting a little heavier, again, which would allow me to obtain some mass.

GOAL:  Get in climbing shape.  I want to climb some mountains and I need to train for that.  That is the last missing link in my fitness routine.  Adventure routine, more so.

Which brings me to my second goal here which is something I have been trying to do throughout this quest, and that is to complete one adventure per week.  Whether it is skiing, hiking, biking, etc., just one adventure a week and I feel better in so many ways that I would almost put this under mental health if it weren’t for the profuse amount of sweat that trickles off me.  Anyways, hiking season is now upon us, and I plan on hitting the trail regularly, which I have already started doing.  Mount Saint Helens is coming up in May. #ADVENTURING


CREATIVITY:

I write pretty regularly now.  I am working on writing a book.  I write this blog.  I write in my journal.  This area could still be worked on though.  I spend more time watching TV than writing, so it would make sense to flip those habits and write more than I stare at a big screen

GOAL:  Turn off the TV and write, paint, edit a video, etc.  My goal here is to put whatever time I put into TV & video games, instead, into my creative outlets.

Also, in the creative vertical, my goal is to finish writing a book by the time I get back from Patagonia.

CAREER & LEARNING:
I have started my new career in Real Estate.  I’m ecstatic about that, and although I started off slow in this vertical six months back, I feel like I’ve made insane progress here in the last two to three months.  I have some definite goals (which I’ll keep to myself for now) and way more room to grow here than all my other categories combined.  Watch out world, I’m getting after this one.

As for learning, I am learning a bounty of knowledge about real estate.  I’m, also, reading multiple books a month and applying what I learn to my life, business, etc.  It’s interesting how much reading does for your brain overall.  More or less, my vocabulary seems to be expanding, and my ability to read faster and for longer periods is strengthening, too.  A lot of my ideas start with something I read and expand from there.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, BITCHES!

GOAL: I want to keep on with two books per month goal that I set for the New Year.  It’s helping me commit to a certain amount of Audible/reading.  I would prefer to spend more time actually reading, but right now, with the new career, I am going to have to commit to the hybrid approach that I’ve been doing thus far.

I don’t know where to put this one, but I think it fits best under Career, since it will likely benefit my career the most, but I need to get up earlier.  630 AM would be a good time, but that also means I need to get to bed earlier.

RELATIONSHIPS:
Oddly, or not so oddly, starting a career selling real estate has helped me reconnect with many people that I had otherwise lost touch with over the years.  Having kind of been a hermit for the last two or so, it’s nice to reemerge from my shell and be socializing again.

My girlfriend and I are on the same page now more than we have been in a while.  It probably helps that I am having some success at work — haha.  I love her and she’s pretty (she made me write that, but I do and she is).  Beyond that, I should probably spend more time with my family and go visit a handful of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

GOAL:  I cannot tell you what my goal is because my girlfriend would get mad at me.  🍑🍆 .  Hahahaha.  Just kidding…. Or, am I?  🤨  No, I totally am…. Or, am I?  I am.

IMG_2487.jpgGirlfriend and me at a show in Seattle meeting my favorite folk singer, Austin Basham.  He was a super rad dude.

In summary, I have completed so much in the last six months, but have no time to rest and way more to do.  I think that once my quest is complete, after I feel that I have maxed out my verticals, well, then, maybe next year I enter TIER TWO.  Also, there are some other verticals that are not included in my quest that I probably would include if I were to revise it…  Financials (money, investments, savings, credit, etc.), adventures (although this is somewhat prevalent), organization, productivity.  I guess you’ll just have to wait for what I conjure up six months from now.

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

PS ~ I have a ton of vids to make a great VLOG, but editing that shit takes so long that I keep putting it off… So, coming soon!

 

Book Reviews: Jordan B. Peterson, Bone Clocks, Enlightenment Now, & Dark Matter

I have been reading, or pulling a cheat move and listening to, at least two books per month since the New Year.  Here are some short reviews on what I have read.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Fiction; Book)
Beautifully written fantasy-type novel that spans multiple decades and tells a unique story. The character development was the headlining act, the book is essentially written in 5 novellas that all intertwine.  The British styled writing was a bit hard to follow, and at times I found myself drifting into other thoughts and having to reread sections, but that seems more like a personal issue than an issue with the author’s ability to paint such vivid narrative.  David Mitchell is the same author who wrote Cloud Atlas.
4/5 stars.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Fiction; Audible)
This was a fun read with a good concept but it had a fair amount of, as I like to call it, cheese.  Terribly corny similes were making me laugh out loud, but the idea made for entertaining sci-fi.  At the end I thought I was listening to an episode of Rick & Morty.
3/5 stars.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (Non-Fiction – Psychology; Audible)
Yawn.  For how much controversy surrounded this guy, I was underwhelmed and rather bored with his book. I think I heard him on Joe Rogan’s podcast and thought I’d check the book out. Some intelligent concepts and I understood his stance on many of the principles, whether I agreed or not, but I didn’t find them tremendously useful.  Furthermore, I hated, with a fiery passion, the heavily repeated religious sentiment that plagued the pages of this book and found myself following these parables down worm holes that ended with some bland and tasteless analogy for “Take Action” or “Be Responsible.”  My opinion: You can get a much better book containing many less words and without the religious undertones and proverbial nonsense, but you’ll catch a couple wise insights.
2.5/5 stars.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker (Non-Fiction; Audible)
I loved this book.  Bill Gates, apparently also did, calling it, something along the lines of, his new favorite book of all time… but I’m too lazy to Google that and find the actual quote… so, hopefully, that is close enough.  Anyways, it was a lot to take in, and there are many charts that I haven’t even had the opportunity to review yet, but this book argues, with statistics and valid reasoning, the case for why we are currently living in the best time humanity has ever seen.  It paints a realistic picture of a world where life has been getting better and better even though humanity seems to think the opposite.  It paints that realistic picture and it looks a lot like what reality is.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who has had a disposition that the current world is shit.  Pinker will make you think twice to bitch about it and maybe even inspire you to step up and make the difference you want to see in the world.  With that said, there are still problems and the book also argues the counter points and brings to light the reality of current political landscapes and the cultures that arise from them, on both sides of the political spectrum, that could be harmful of the advancement of the Enlightenment’s ideals.  Not for everyone, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.
4.5/5 stars.

I forgot to review the two I read in January:  Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Both of which were incredibly good and easy reads.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

 

 

The Bluest of the Birds; Gorging on Crab Legs

Yesterday was another awesome day at Crystal Mountain.  It was my first bluebird (sunny) day of the year.  In one week I had my first REAL powder day and my first bluebird day.  I would categorize that as an exceptional week.  The runs were fast and, although the snow was heavy, even chunky, off-piste, the steeps were open and filled in beautifully.  Ski season in the Pacific Northwest is no-longer stuck in the early season rut where scoping out rocks and creek holes is a requirement.  We’re ready to rock up here and I spent yesterday hanging with two of my good buds doing exactly that… Rockin’!  I won’t bore you with descriptions of ski runs I took, but it was another fantastic day making my quadriceps sing in joyful agony as I worked on form, speed through bumps, and just all around having a swell time.

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This past week I have been working on aspects of my quest that I feel are helping me turn the page and move forward.  My creative output has drastically been increased as I’m writing daily now.  I started working on a book.. meaning, I’m going to write one.  I’m also reading much more than I was.  I have cut my TV and screen-time down to a minimum, although I still need to cut time spent with my newsfeed back.  Video gaming has been eradicated from my daily task list.  All-in-all, I’m making some serious strides towards accomplishing the goals I have set while still putting time in to work on my physical and mental health.  That has me feeling good and my relationships are benefiting as well.

This morning my girlfriend and I woke up and went on an early day date to a well-known local restaurant, Salty’s on Rodondo, for a belated birthday crab leg feast.  Did I mention that my girlfriend and I share the same birthday?  Well, we do.  Thank you, Jossy, for the birthday gift!  It was a great morning full of delicious food.  After I was done eating a food-coma came over me and I crashed HARD AS A MOTHERFUCKA.  It’s crazy what a cinnamon roll and excessive calorie intake does to you once you switch your dietary habits.  I felt absolutely destroyed.  I cannot remember the last time I had an all-you-can-eat buffet, but my last two meals have been such.  I will be abstaining from attending anymore fuck-my-face-with-food events for the foreseeable future.

My gal had her work’s holiday party last night.  Another challenge in sobriety is attending things that you hate to attend, like a party full of strangers, and not being able to drink yourself through the experience.  With that said, hilariously sung karaoke was a highlight of the night.  Also, when the Director of Operations of a Fortune 1000 company wished the entire party a happy birthday and didn’t correct course… yeah, that’s a fucking laugh riot, right there.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

a Kick Ass Weekend; This Coming Week

This weekend was pretty productive and well-rounded.  Friday night I spent the evening with my lovely girlfriendi at the movies.  Blade Runner 2049 was incredibly well done and kept me locked in through the entire movie.  I don’t say this about many movies, but I will definitely have to re-watch that one.  After getting home, I wrote in my journal until about 2 AM; I was pretty wired from having a coffee later than usual and wanted to get some thoughts onto paper.  I think I will publish what I wrote on here later this week.  I was letting the pen just run and found myself  touching on some ideas that came to me about humanity and the environment while I was watching Blade Runner.  Maybe I’ll add a little more to it first.

I started off Saturday with some writing followed by a solid upper-back workout at Gold’s Gym.  Soooo many pullups!  My overall strength seems to be climbing and I’m starting to up the intensity of my workouts.  I then followed some advice from Dr. Rhonda Patrick (if you don’t know her, Google her and check out www.FoundMyFitness.com) and made sure to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards.  I try to do this after every workout, barring the ones when I run to the gym because that seems really out of order and too damn sweaty.

I got cleaned up after I got home, did some chores and headed to my friend’s, Erik and Story’s, apartment where I spent the night having some awesome conversation while watching both WSU and UW smash their opponents on the football field.  Honestly, I’m not that into sports anymore so I was only half watching, but I had a blast yukking it up with my dude and dudette.  It was really fun to see them since I don’t get to very often.  Erik received a huge promotion at work and is now the Executive Vice President of his company.  I’m super proud of what he’s accomplished.  He also had some solid advice for this blog and my quest this year that I am pretty positive I will be implementing.  I’m going to think more about this and elaborate later as I make some further changes.

Today my friend Lauren and I went for a 15+ mile bike ride out to Woodinville, WA (from Redmond, WA) and back.  It was a pretty great ride except for the parade of children who were participating in a biking event and nearly got themselves killed multiple times by randomly coming into oncoming traffic.  Oncoming traffic being me on a bike.  I don’t know the math but I think 5 year old kid on bike meeting a 200 pound man on a bike going 30 miles per hour equals SPLAT.  It was less than ideal, but, to find the silver lining, it made the ride harder going from full speed to a near stop and back to full speed every quarter mile or so.  My quads will thank those lil’ rascals later…

Next week I have some things I need to get done in all of the five areas of my quest.  To help overcome areas where I am falling short, I have set five easy goals to help me get there:

1.) Time block 5 hours at least once this week for doing some sort of creative project or brainstorming session.  I did get some brainstorming done through journaling and conversation this weekend, and writing and doing this blog gets some points in that column, but actually getting into a 100% flow state is something I need to achieve and aim for.  Also, something I need to time block for as it’s not as easy to just get wrapped up in hours alone these days.  I think Friday afternoon could be a good time for this.  Monday evenings also, since it could set a creative mind state for the week.  Thought: Experiment with this.  I’ll start with Friday this week as I have a lot on my plate and will move it to Monday next week.

2.) Take care of loose ends and issues that I’ve been procrastinating on because they give me anxiety.  Face those fears and check the items off the list.  Taking care of some personal issues will definitely help with my overall mental health.

3.) Meditate daily, no exceptions.

4.) Yoga AT LEAST once per week.  This is the missing link in my physical health routine so far.  Diet could improve as well, but I’m doing moderately well there.

5.) Study.

Two more items I need to get to this week are rearranging the five key areas of my quest and giving this blog some structure.  The five key areas were well intentioned but they’re just not quite right to me yet and need to be further adjusted.  This journal style blogging is also not exactly what I want to do here, or maybe it is and I just haven’t quite found the right voice yet.  Either way, I am going to spend some time thinking about what I want to write as I go forward.

One thing I am looking very forward to this week is day hiking the Enchantments.  I did this last year and it may have been one of the hardest things I have physically done in my life.  With the craggy peaks and the neon yellow larches… It’s seriously like walking through the Lord of the Rings.

I would like to write more but I got tied up making dinner for the lady tonight and almost put this off entirely.  I’m getting quite tired now and want to get up early tomorrow to get a start on the week.  Goodnight world, I’ll catch ya soon enough.

🤙 ,

~Dane