Month: July 2019

Conquering Fears

The Obstacle Is The Way

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No wonder Ryan Holiday chose this title for his book.

The Obstacle Is The Way, always, always, always, always, always.

Do you have something bugging you in your head? Taxes? Your economy? Come on, I’m sure there is something, there is always something. The truth is that there is nothing to do about it but to confront it.

Years can go by without us confronting what needs to be confronted and in our minds, we think that nothing happens, “I’m just going to let it go”. Sometimes that is the best way forward, but other times what’s happening is that we are just postponing our advancement in life, just staying stuck for the lack of courage to make a decision of what is it going to happen with what we know needs to be addressed.

So, the best we (you) can do is to confront it.

Now, there are different ways of confronting what needs to be confronted. What’s the best way? The way of reason of course.

Sometimes our problems keep being problems because we are just lazy thinkers. Lazy to grab a book on the subject and figure the best way to deal with whatever problem you have.

I assure you, whichever “insurmountable” (sometimes they are insurmountable, trust me I know, excuse the sarcasm) problem you may have, has already been experienced and solved by someone else. I assure you that there is a book pertaining to the problem you have and how he or she solved it.

We are all different, but, we are also very, very alike. This is for our benefit, as there are literally thousands of books that can aid you in whichever obstacle you found yourself at the moment.

So, now that we know that any obstacle you’ll ever have has already happened to someone before you and that you can deal with it with the help of us, your fellow humans. There is one more thing you need to know.

And that is.

Will and faith. 

Will and faith. You need to make the decision to engage, to begin, to make the google search, anything, but begin and then to prepare. Once you feel that you are prepared and ready to take the difficult conversation or begin that business, brother, you need to have faith. Not faith as in wishing to go in a certain way, but Alan Watts faith, the type of faith were you “Let go”. Once you’ve done your research, your reading, you need to engage. How will you know you will be successful, you don’t. That’s why faith is for, I hope you win, I really do, but, if you don’t, well, the obstacle will still be the way. 

You may be having the best time of your life, you may be going through a rough spot, either way, there is always a way forward. You know where that way lies for you.

Lastly, Goethe.

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

a great complement to this read: Start

Subscribe and receive Subscribe here the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism.

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.

I’m always open to suggestions and am happy to answer any questions.

Modern problems

How To Win Confidence (Real Confidence)

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Be cool, come on be cool.

Have you ever found yourself saying that in your head? Maybe in an interview? Maybe at a party where you don’t know much people? A first date?

You have confidence when you feel that you have things under control. You are confident when you know that you’ll be able to handle anything that life throws at you. People love and admire the confident, of course, as they provide contagious security and ease everyone craves.

Let’s imagine that you are going to throw on a parachute from an airplane for the first time in your life. You and your friends hire a skydiving company near your town, hop on the car and off you go for some adventure.

It’s time, you get on the plane with your friends and the instructors, you feel a thousand butterflies in your stomach. Once you get high enough and the pilot opens the plane gates, you can see that Jerry, the imaginary instructor you are going to throw yourself with, is visibly nervous and shaking. What’s wrong Jerry? You ask him. Is everything is OK? He answers with a broken y ee ss.

Why the hell is he nervous? Is he just a novice at this? You start to freak out. You jump, either way, nothing happens, you land safely, but, the horror with jumping down with “no confidence” Jerry, was not good at all. A matter of confidence. Confidence is contagious. If Jerry’d look cool and in control, you would’ve felt way, way better.

So, confidence is a good thing, obviously, how can you get more of it? Is it possible to master it?

Real Confidence

Confidence can be faked, I’ve done it, I’m sure you’ve done it as well, but it’s highly unlikely that a faked confidence can hold for long or get you through life, confidence is about control remember? Faked confidence will not get you an A if you didn’t study.

Real confidence is earned.

Whenever you have to tell yourself: “be cool”, “calm down”, it’s because confidence is obviously lacking, you don’t feel under control. And this last bit is the key, being under control.

You gain confidence when you feel or know that you can handle stuff. What if I’d ask you to tie your shoelaces, as in challenging you to do it, would you get nervous? I supposed not, you’ve done it so many times that by now you are quite sure of your capacity to do it. You are confident of your abilities, you are in control.

We all hate feeling not being under control. We all would like to feel confident all the time, that’s just natural. But we confuse what we need for what we want. What you need, is having good reasons for feeling under control, actually being capable. To master your abilities, being able to handle what needs to be handled.

But we crave the feeling of security, we crave to feel like James Bond under gunshots, cool as can be. The problem with focusing on the feeling of confidence itself is that you are concentrating your attention on something that you don’t have yet, something that you haven’t earned.

Social interaction is a perfect example of this. When you don’t know people, or when you are at a party where you don’t know anyone, it feels like your confidence drains away. When at a party if you focus just on yourself (me, me, me, me) How do I look? How are others seeing me? Why can’t I act more confident? I think you know what I mean, the never-ending twister of overthinking.

If you fall into this trap, you will not be able to focus on actually starting conversations and showing interest in other people, social interaction can be mastered as well. But, see? Correct focus is in directing attention to the things that are happening, not on your head and why you are not confident at the moment. When you tie your shoelaces, you are not thinking about how do you look while doing so, you just do it. It’s the same for everything else.

This leads me to say, stop trying to be confident, let confidence emerge by itself.

Confidence is earned once you feel that you are in control, just like tying your shoelaces, you don’t even have to think about it, you focus on doing it, once you master something, confidence will come, rest assured. Therefore, focus not on the feeling of confidence itself, but rather in dealing with reality accordingly.

Isn’t it liberating? Stop trying to be confident. Stop. Focus on doing stuff right instead and confidence will come.

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.- Theodore Roosevelt

a great complement to this read: The Pathway To Psychological Freedom

Subscribe and receive Subscribe here the Askesis ebook to further develop your practice of stoicism.

Visit our Patreon page for more stoic, Patreon only content. Thanks.

I’m always open to suggestions and am happy to answer any questions.