I can help you. I’m just a regular guy with a pretty stock standard upbringing.
I hit a massive brick wall and made the decision to take every piece of my life and put it back together in a way that works.
I call this process “Re-engineering your life.”
Yep, I like that description a lot.
Many of you have very similar challenges to what I faced and so I want to use storytelling and a few practical strategies to help you.
Here’s how I re-engineered my life and how you can do the same:
Dealt with mental health.
Mental health has always been a taboo subject. Last week, on LinkedIn, I came out of the closet. I shared a photo of me in primary school and told my lifelong battle with anxiety.
It wasn’t easy, but it was a must. A few years back I cured myself of my mental health issues.
You can do the same by using these strategies:
- Admit to yourself that you have an issue (biggest one)
- Seek professional advice to begin with
Put together a list of fears and tackle them one by one (this builds confidence)
- Attend a Tony Robbins Event and walk on fire (helps you see that anything is possible)
- Practice meditation before high-stress events
Overcoming anxiety for me was not easy. It required me to break my comfort-zone and deliberately seek out strategies and practical things I could do.
Re-engineering your life is about getting your mind in order first.
Deal with the issues of the mind and you’ll finally be able to see your future clearly and the possibilities that are available to you.
Believed in myself through persistence.
During the re-engineering process, I wrote down what I was saying to myself.There were lots of insults I was saying to myself. Every time there was a challenge, my mind was telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I had zero belief in myself. I was my own worst enemy. Acknowledgment of this fact changed everything.
I altered the conversation in my head to “I can do it and there’s no harm in trying.”
I deleted the “I can’t do it talk” and chose blind optimism and a default response that would set me up to win. Sure there was failures. I tried lots of challenges and failed at most of them.
I went for job interviews and then vomited afterwards from nerves.
I cried a few times when girls broke up with me.
I got a plane and nearly passed out from fear.
Through every situation though, I built an inner belief. This voice of positivity in my head got louder and louder.
The more challenges I tried, the more times I learned a few lessons. These lessons turned into goals that I was able to achieve.
It sounds cliche but believing in yourself is at the center of all transformation.You can’t re-engineer your life unless you believe in yourself.
I’d encourage you to go for blind optimism. It will allow you to fail more and gain much bigger wins. The choice is yours.
Let go of anger.
All of us are holding anger inside ourselves (except maybe Nelson Mandella — when he was alive). That guy was a legend, but we’re not all Mr. Mandela.
I was holding anger from past relationships, an ongoing family feud, neighbors that stole my car spot, the guy that mowed the lawn because he let grass flick up onto my car and even the person in front of me that was walking too slow.
Everyone was consciously my enemy. This was a fucked way to live.
The anger built up inside of me and it made mediating nearly impossible. The constant chatter in my mind from all the anger never stopped.
“Every person I met was violating some BS rule I had in my head that they were supposed to adhere to without knowing what it was”
Many of us are living in denial. We think we’re not storing anger, but we are.
What did I do? What can you do? Start forgiving people who you’re angry at. Don’t do it to help them; do it to help yourself. Set yourself free from negativity by quitting the ‘Anger Games” (did I just turn a movie title into a catchphrase?)
Practically I did the following:
- Gave the neighbor I was pissed at a lift when it was raining
- Forgave BS family issues from 10 years ago that had nothing to do with me from the beginning
- Stopped caring about the grass hitting my stupid car and washed it
- Showed compassion to strangers rather than wondering why they walked so slow
Re-engineering your life is about forgiving more so you can clear your mind and make room for awesomeness.
Limiting beliefs about money.
The startup culture of wearing a t-shirt and jeans for the rest of my life and walking over everybody else in pursuit of the almighty dollar screwed up my ideas about what money really was. This #StartupLife made me become obsessed with money and the creation of it. I started to believe that I would never have enough money.
I thought the dream of owning a home was unlikely because my idea of home ownership was a mansion with six bedrooms in the best postcode in Australia.
These beliefs have since changed and I’m now not obsessed with mansions. I’d rather spend money on experiences and holidays. This challenge with money, if I’m being honest, is not entirely fixed and still needs work. Such is life.
With that said, what changed my beliefs about money was this the following:
- Spending time with the homeless
- Seeing what the regrets of the dying were
- Watching about 50% of my relatives die in a short space of time
- Looking back on when I had lots of money and seeing how unhappy I was
- Working with successful entrepreneurs that sold their businesses and became chronically unhappy
It’s amazing what real-world situations can do to show you what’s real and what’s not.
Don’t believe everything Instagram tells you about life through photos. You don’t need all those shiny toys and the wanting of them is distracting you from what matters.
Felt sick and tired.
Our eating habits can often be forgotten. We’re trained through advertising to see cake, soda and deep fried food as okay.
What changed the game for me was when someone asked me the following:
“How do you feel Tim? Energy-wise that is.”
The real answer was tired and sick even though I didn’t want to admit it.Energy is a bonus but feeling sick is where the real problem lies.
You’re not supposed to walk around feeling unwell and having to take tablets from the chemist. Getting real about whether you feel tired is a big step. Once you acknowledge the truth, there are easy ways to fix the problem.
Imagine you felt high on energy every day. How would that make you feel?
It’s a question so many of us can’t answer because we’ve never experienced it. Once you do, you’ll never go back.
“Re-engineering your life is about feeling good and having the energy to do what you love — and care for those you love”
Quit my boring career.
Lots of us are going to work and hating it. We keep doing it because the addiction to money that pays the mortgage on the oversize house we don’t need is too great.
Money can never replace a career where you wake up each day excited to go to work. I’ve left this nightmare of a life where work sucked. I’m sure you have too.
When I quit doing work I hated and got closer to my passion for social media, blogging and personal development, I saw a drastic change. Work became a driver for everything I did outside of work. I was able to marry my career and my passions together. They began to blend into one.
“Job dissatisfaction is very common and getting rid of it will make you feel like a new person. It’s not easy though”
I did tonnes of interviews.
Got a bunch of rejections.
Persisted for a long time.
Most of all, though, I kept taking small steps towards something that I loved.
That last one was the defining moment for me.
Instantly transferring to your dream career is tough. Taking small steps towards it is much more practical and achievable in the long run.
Re-engineering your life involves doing work you love. Not for the money; for the love of it. Waking up will never be the same when you’ve got to do work you love.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net