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Alexanderle

Trust the process...

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I came to a positive realization again. Despite my recent failures, everything is fine. It is the same with learning a language: It makes sense that I am a fool at first and that I am failing in regard to social activities. So I just have to keep going and to make baby steps. Now the question that arises, is: How can I make baby steps towards my fear of sitting alone in a lecture? The first real thing is just continue to go there. This is the first big difference in comparison to basically my entire past. So that is fine to do. I also found the Mindshift App designed to tackle anxiety. Will maybe give that a try. I will also continue to sit more in the front of classes to actually pay attention and get shit done. Right now I am not only on track regarding my lecture, but actually in front of time and most of my peers. So that is alright. Once again, I will also try to focus on other people during the lecture to get out of my own head. Those are some starting points I would say. The rest I figure out later.

Today I also started to work on my bachelor thesis. Right now it is about sorting out my materials and really understand, what is going on. Maybe tomorrow I find some time to start writing a bit of structure for the introduction etc. 

So overall, I am quite fine right now and focused. It is not perfect, but it is enough to keep me going. 🙂

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Everything is alright I would say. Today I was working very hard for university. I attended the lecture sitting next to a person, I talked with. So that was going ok. The challenge will be, how I react, when this person is not there on Thursday. I guess we will see. I was also studying a bit in the library afterwards and then I attended some sport classes. Right now, I was painting a bit, and my bedtime is visible on the horizon. So with a positive attitude, I finish this day. May tomorrow come to me. I am ready to rumble.

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Alright then. So today was the first day, where I managed to have breakfast without watching any TV or something. I also woke up quite early and had an amazing morning routine. Quite on point. Maybe I can repeat the whole not watching TV thing again. I was listening to some music and watched the Sun rise. Really funny but be awake "before" the sun. ^^ I attended to lectures today, one was "mandatory" the other one was completely unrelated. A famous philosophy professor from the USA was giving a little talk. Was quite interesting, not gonna change my world, but whatever. The important part is that I was there. Talking or looking to other people is still a challenge. I have some serious problems man. xD
But I continue to throw myself out there. It is the right way.

There are two interesting concepts, I found today. The first concept is the idea of painbodies. According to Eckhart Tolle, they are a cumulation of our previous history of "failures". At some point, it loops and creates a vicious cycle. He suggests to not ignore this anxiety feeling, but actually focus on it and accept it. Interesting concept, maybe I will try that out in a lecture.

The second concept is the idea of the Network, which in a similar way like other organizations, tries to organize and structure mental diseases. The idea is that an outside event triggers a certain response. Maybe a huge mistake at work causes a sad mood. Under normal circumstances that will vanish eventually, in other cases, if could also cause sleep problems, which could also cause exhaustion, which creates even more intense sad feelings, which eventually could cause suicidal ideation and voila, we have some symptoms of a severe depression. This is quite a new approach to look at mental illness categorization, but I really like it. I think that this concept can also be used in a positive way. I get one activity right, like fixing my diet, which can cause me to move a bit more due to weightloss, which then let me exercise more, which causes me to improve in other areas etc. Not sure yet what to do with this information, but I wanted to write it down, because this has some potential. No idea for what, but we will see.

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3 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

There are two interesting concepts, I found today. The first concept is the idea of painbodies. According to Eckhart Tolle, they are a cumulation of our previous history of "failures". At some point, it loops and creates a vicious cycle. He suggests to not ignore this anxiety feeling, but actually focus on it and accept it. Interesting concept, maybe I will try that out in a lecture.

I just got into "A New Earth" of his. It's my second book from him, I like the spirituality of it and it makes me wonder a lot. I wouldn't even say it's a "book" per se.

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Interesting @Ikar have not heard of that one before. I just watched a couple of videos of him. Overall, I think the idea of living in the presence is quite a nice and fresh take of the world, even though other "enlighted people" have said similar thinks. I just think, it is worth to try out some of the stuff to see, if it is helpful. 🙂 

Why would you not call it a book? 

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8 minutes ago, Alexanderle said:

Interesting @Ikar have not heard of that one before. I just watched a couple of videos of him. Overall, I think the idea of living in the presence is quite a nice and fresh take of the world, even though other "enlighted people" have said similar thinks. I just think, it is worth to try out some of the stuff to see, if it is helpful. 🙂 

Why would you not call it a book? 

It doesn't have a story-line and it's not giving any advice either. It's just text that is supposed to help you to connect some dots that you didn't see before.

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I really value some of the insights here. 

There are two types of relapses and you keep highlighting this.

The first type is still very attached to his former self and feels overly proud about not gaming. This is why when he relapses, there is the unhealthy reaction.

He thinks he “lost” the streak and exaggerates the failure, but he cannot see the big picture. Because he feels defeatist, he goes on a gaming binge and feels much worse. “I might as well just game the entire weekend since I played one game”

The second type knows the complexity of it. He starts attaching to new activities. He is estranging himself from the old habit. He is learning much faster. Just maybe there can be that negligible relapse after which he is happily disillusioned- he doesn’t want games anymore. He is still cautious and on the lookout. But no relapse will have this self-fulfilling acceptance of defeat.

Edited by Amphibian220
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@Amphibian220 Wow, the way you just described that - amazing. This has to be saved somewhere, so I won't forget the phrasing. And when I really look back to my past, for instance when it came down to my diet, I tried numerous times to change it to the better. But once a relapse occured, I just gave up. Once I started this second approach, it just kinda worked without a lot of problems. It worked for my diet, it worked for gaming, it worked for self discipline overall.
 

What is so fascinating, what I was thinking about is this: What am I actually doing here? Gaming is really not a problem for me. Out of all the things, it is the easiest thing for me to pretty much ignore. There is just no desire whatsover. For my social life, eating and procrastination, it is a lot harder. Maybe because I cannot just delete food or every distration including in my mind and so on. And right now, I have a couple of things, I am struggling with: Waking up early, my diet is a little bit more messy than before, procrastination and pornography. It is not that I am now at a negative turnaround and I relapse completely. I am still the "type 2 relapser". However, I have been thinking, what caused the latest troubles? There are days, where I am super focused but relapse to porn, days where I eat bad but don't relapse to porn or days where I procrastinate without anything else. A possible psychological model that coupld explain it might the so called ego depletion theory. In a nutshell, it states that we only have a certain pool of willpower in the tank. Once it is depleted, we have no willpower to get other things done. The only change that might cause this are the "social changes".

My old module is over and in this module, I have to adjust again to my social situation, have to deal with scary lectures and literally force myself to go there. I still do it, I even attend sport courses now or visit the sauna. So this is a gigantic leap. Such a leap, which I never did before. So this could explain, where the energy went. Maybe it is just a little bit too much to deal with it all at once. But I am still not worried: My eating is not so bad, because I really don't eat sugar. Just a bit too much carbohydrates. I am also working out quite a lot. So I might actually need the extra food. I am getting more ripped than ever. In the evening, I was eating salad like usual. If I would now order muffins and cupcakes that would be a bad thing. I am just not as strict as previously. My procrastination I can also figure out I am sure. One day I am a high tech machine, the other day there is some struggle. The porn I worry a little bit, because I know the influence, it can have on me. But this I figure out as well. I know, how important is now to keep going in the social area. I will still put all my energy in that area, even for the sake of "neglecting" something else. Eventually, everything will be back in order and I learned something new.

Thanks again @Amphibian220 for the valuable input regarding types of procrastinators. This led to the vast amount of text above and helped me to start the thought process to figure some things out and to structure my situation a bit. I don't know if my theory is correct, but for now it is enough as explanation. Nothing to worry, I keep firing.

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You know, I was really tested awhile back with my theory. 

After I did what scared me, I started reacting differently to situations. I was parking and there was this good parking spot, but some men were standing next to it. My usual reaction would be to look for another space, but here I said “Hey, let them complain or what, it will be interesting how this plays out” The guys were friendly and polite when I got out of the car. I was okay, but it would even be cooler if they said something and I defended my ground.

Truth is you have to be brave and have trust in yourself to make changes, but you mustn’t be crazy too. I am now on this island of calmness, but I cannot sit this out. I am going to attack again tomorrow. We all know what this means- doing things that are tough but right to do. When you win, you get a lot of willpower (i dont forget that my balance of activities must be right)

Many folks are afraid of stepping up. I just hope we keep giving each other conviction. 

Edited by Amphibian220
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I hope so too man. But so far, it has been working out. Actually, this kinda answers my question, what I am doing here. Despite the fact that I am really not struggling with games anymore, it just feels good to share this journey or process with other people, who have a similar background. They understand my struggles more than everyone. And it feels good to motivate and give something back to other people in this forum. 

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I was reading an interesting article about the idea of acting as if, which is a technique, where we pretend to already reached something and in order to actually reach it. Very fascinating. However the most fascinating is a study, I learned about. It was unfortunately never published in a peer reviewed journal or replicated, however a couple of older people during the 80's were put in an environment, which was designed like the 1950's. They would only watched shows of that time, only saw pictures of their younger self, no mirrors, only 50's stuff. The study suggested that over 60 percent of them showed improvements in pretty much everything, from posture, memory to hearing or vision. This is crazy. So I am wondering, why it was never replicated. Because things like placebos etc. certainly could be possible. Also the study could have flaws otherwise. Nothing is ever perfect. So I am sceptical about that. However, I like the possible consequences of something like that. I like to ponder it:

I always talk about the importance of identity based habits. That my actions influence my thinking and attitude and therefore, who I am and vice versa. This could also be the case for my environment. Constantly seeing something, I have not done yet, seeing something not being tidy or whatever could also influence my thinking and attitude. We know by now that a change of environment can have vital effects to us. But if my environment really would look like the way, I want it, maybe this is a good way to drastically improve my whole situation even more. First of getting rid of every piece of technology, garbage or whatever that I don't need or use anymore. Having my cloths in a need order. Everything really cleaned up. Maybe some cool motivational posters or in general a new touch of my environment that gives me the feeling to be a cool classic gentlemen. Right now, my environment is still centered around my computer. This in some way needs to change. Just something fresh. Definitely something to consider. So the next couple of days, when I have time next to my thesis, I will consider that. Besides, everything is absolutely fine i would say.

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8 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

 

. This could also be the case for my environment. Constantly seeing something, I have not done yet, seeing something not being tidy or whatever could also influence my thinking and attitude. We know by now that a change of environment can have vital effects to us. But if my environment really would look like the way, I want it, maybe this is a good way to drastically improve my whole situation even more. First of getting rid of every piece of technology, garbage or whatever that I don't need or use anymore. Having my cloths in a need order. Everything really cleaned up. Maybe some cool motivational posters or in general a new touch of my environment that gives me the feeling to be a cool classic gentlemen. Right now, my environment is still centered around my computer. This in some way needs to change. Just something fresh. Definitely something to consider. So the next couple of days, when I have time next to my thesis, I will consider that. Besides, everything is absolutely fine i would say.

Having your things in order gives a clear mind and a better ability to focus. If the house is messy, it can cause nerves. Although I was compulsive about it some time ago. Over the years I got to a good point where I dont spend too much time on cleaning, but do it frequently enough. It raises my spirit actually

Dropping dead weights is important. By choosing not to watch non-essential information, I started becoming more proactive and confident.

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I don't want to get all "trendy" on you, but have you seen that Netflix show with Marie Kondo? Lol. I personally haven't seen it but I read her book a few years ago and it totally changed the way I look at organization and cleaning. Might be worth a look if you think that changing your environment will help you a great deal.

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Alexander, 

Have you had improvements? 

How is your exercise routine, diet, social interactions? Are you getting out of the house more often? Have you tried communicating more with your peers?

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@ceponatia thanks for the recommendation. I will look into it. 🙂

@Amphibian220 It is going on quite well reagarding exercise, diet and learning. I eat, what I want to eat and cook a little mit more lately. My exercising goes better than ever. I am learning, how I intend and even stuff like painting and language learning is going alright. I feel that I already made some great improvement regarding my portraits and I use my nba league pass to learn some spanish as well as Netflix and Duolingo for Dutch. Quite intriguing. 

The biggest struggle is still communication with peers. I feel to be a little bit more relaxed and I have someone to sit next to the lecture, but it is still a long way to go. 😕 I feel a bit stuck, as I am not sure, how to properly proceed and get over myself, but as long as their are even small improvements it is ok. But yeah, not satisfying. I hope you are ok as well!

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It is going ok I would say. I still have some struggles with pornography and waking up early. However, despite that I still feel on the upward spiral. My lecture today was pretty ok, which was the case, because I had someone to talk to. Lucky coincidence, but it is motivating. It is really just this weird scenario, where all the opportunities are there, but I am just to "shy" to take advantage of them. However, in general I feel that I am breaking through. I was starting to look for more social activities to attend to or to join some kind of group or association. But I am struggling a bit with that. Those associations at the university are quite expensive and I fell that it is somehow to late to join some of them now, because I will "only" spend one and a half years at this place here. So I am not really sure about that. I used to be part of a juggling association, but eventually I stopped, because I you guessed it, was gaming instead. But I am not really motivated to go there anymore. So that is not an option. Guess I have to figure out, what I might like and have to force myself to go there. It has to be easy, if it is too much outside of my comfort zone, I will probably not do it. But yeah, I feel that it is going ok. About the porn thing, I need to focus on the positive aspects of quitting again. I kinda fell back into porn, once I stopped that one night stand thing I had going. Not hard to figure out, why there might be an connection. While this one night stand certainly gave me a little boost, it was really not that rewarding afterall. Right now, I am almost at that point, where I would take it back. But that is not an option. So I have to deal with the consequences and get back on track regarding my "sexuality". 

I was learning a valuable thing from the area of cognitive behavioral therapy. When you have a problem, try to ask yourself why it is a problem and go deeper and depper. Challenge your beliefs and then make a list with arguments for and against it. Very useful. In general, I have become quite interested in that stuff. Maybe I will find some time to read a book or some journal articles regarding that. 

That is it for now. I overall enjoy, where I am right now, but at the same time, I cannot wait to finally leave this place and not to be here anymore. The hardest challenge is yet to come, which is not get right of this computer screen to be my daily center. I spend way too much time in front of it. I want to use it for work and chilling here and then. But, I don't want to have other things to attend. This is gonna be a way harder challenge and to quit gaming. Overall, gaming, pornography, netflix, facebook or whatever you are addicted of. It all starts in front of that screen. Maybe I am not here because I am or was an gaming addict, but a screen addict or something like that!

No I go to bed. I have to go to bed a bit earlier to get back on the waking up early hypetrain again. I really enjoyed it there ^^

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Good luck with this upcoming plan Alexanderle.

What helps me to stay away from browsing the web is Mr Glover’s reasoning.

If you made it a rule to be a man of dignity and honour, you will not accept mediocrity in yourself. Looking at erotic imagery or one night stand is settling for scraps - having it cheap and easy. If a guy pushes his anxiety away and speaks to a girl without trying to be someone else, he gets good treatment overall. They may not like your ideas- but they like you.

women like guys who are vulnerable to an extent- who say what they want and think.

I hope you make some leaps and your spare time becomes healthy and valuable to you. Its very important to be a healthy and disciplined guy when you’re by yourself. That’s when you start living it and people treat you with due respect.

Edited by Amphibian220
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12 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

Its very important to be a healthy and disciplined guy when you’re by yourself.

Exactly.

Because then it doesn't matter whether you get rejected or not; you have enough stuff to do on your own. You're not desperate trying to find a relationship that would define the most of you.

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That is very good stuff and so true.

13 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

If you made it a rule to be a man of dignity and honour, you will not accept mediocrity in yourself. Looking at erotic imagery or one night stand is settling for scraps - having it cheap and easy.

That is what I was thinking about it. It was cheap and easy. That is nothing, I should aim for. Maybe this kind of reasoning helps me to move towards something else than this crappy porn stuff.  

41 minutes ago, Ikar said:

it doesn't matter whether you get rejected or not;

This is something, I am struggling with. In general, I would think the same and even recommend people the same thing, but it is quite hard to really start believing it deep in myself that getting rejected does not matter. I mean, this is something that might still pull me away from just going to people and start talking with them or even to initiate a nice flirt.

43 minutes ago, Ikar said:

You're not desperate trying to find a relationship

That is what I have to remind myself off regularly. Because the temptation to become desperate is always there. xD

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1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

This is something, I am struggling with. In general, I would think the same and even recommend people the same thing, but it is quite hard to really start believing it deep in myself that getting rejected does not matter. I mean, this is something that might still pull me away from just going to people and start talking with them or even to initiate a nice flirt.

The idea there is that most people you will talk to will have none or little impact on your life. The amount of people you meet also matters in friend/date selection. Do you meet every day, every other day or every week? There is a lot of factors. But people generally don't tell each other to piss off; most likely both of you will feel that those conversations you are having are going nowhere, but that's natural. You can't befriend everyone in a way that would benefit both of you long-term and make you want to meet every now and then.

1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

That is what I have to remind myself off regularly. Because the temptation to become desperate is always there. xD

I am having a hard time finding enough time to obsessively ruminate about some potential relationships. There's a difference between being thoughtful/prepared for the next interaction you might have with someone and daydreaming on hours on end what is the optimal plan. Balance.

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Interesting. I will try to ponder that a little bit. Seems right that I try to be friends and nice with everyone. And then I kinda always blame myself for stuff, for instance, when I am not best friends with the whole world. And yeah the problem is that I find enough time to ruminate about relationships. Should I get more busy? xD

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I feel that a new level of momentum is coming. I had a very good and effective day. I woke up early, I did my full morning routine and started to work for university. I am thinking about, what James Clear says about Pregame Routines (https://jamesclear.com/how-to-get-motivated). I used some things like cleaning my desk, drinking a glass of water and having my coffee ready as well as turning my phone and all distractions off. Also activating my distraction block program for the browser. This worked quite well.

I also started to create a huge list of goals, I want to achive and a list of "identities", which I want to become eventually. Let's see what happens with that. Like usual, I let those things develop.

Regarding my social life, I generally feel that I get a kind of necessity. The feeling that, if I don't get this right, why even bother with anything? That is not something bad, as it also worked for changes in my diet. So maybe this necessity and negativity, paired with my goals, could create even more momentum. Like I always say: I will never go back again. Only forward. Oh, I also resisted porn to today. So overall, it was one of the better days this year. No I will go to bed. I feel that going to bed a little earlier helps extremely. So good night world. Tomorrow, I will turn into a beast I feel. And if not, I will be a sweet puppy. xD

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The “rejection” thing.

I agree with Ikar

a lot of the people we chat with don’t define or change our life. So we cannot get rejected per se. I’m sure you met people in your life that it was hard to connect with. Are they then entitled to feel rejected? Unless there are some legal or work obligations, I dont think so.

We want to connect with our peers, but over what? We can explore mutual interests, opportunities, sport, advice. The strongest one I think is a common great goal. 

So none of us can get “rejected” by our peers. This threat just doesn’t exist.

Women that we admire may dislike us, but as discussed by Ikar this will be okay with you as a mature guy.

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You define your life. 
 

Whatever someone thinks about you is a reflection of them and not you. 
 

Rejection is only a story the ego comes up with. 
 

Have a beautiful day my friend. 

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