Taking the First Step out of an Emotional Hole

I don’t have it all together every day, but at least right now I have more days where I feel like I do. Days where I wake up early, make a dent in multiple projects, go to the gym, and still have time to do something fun.

But that’s not where I’ve come from. Last year I had long strings of days where I couldn’t get out of bed, struggled to focus on things for ten minutes straight, binged on junk food, and never left the house.

Those were days where I didn’t even bother dreaming about what the future might hold because the person I knew I needed to be was so far from the one I felt stuck as—the one that felt about as capable of accomplishments as a piece of decomposing roadkill.

When you’re at the very bottom, it all looks rather hopeless. So how do you even start dreaming? Especially when, in order to get out of the pit of despair, you need to first realize that you are the sole reason why you are there.

That is a hurtful truth.

You are responsible for where you are now and you are responsible for where you are going.

I dug the hole I was in for myself.

And if you hate where you are, that’s on you.

In order to climb out of a place you’re unhappy with, you can’t endlessly wait for a magic spark to light a stick of dynamite under your ass, hoping that one day you’re going to wake up one day as the person you want to be.

But whether you’ve had it all together and lost it or feel like you never had it at all, change doesn’t work instantaneously, and the path out is not straight up.

Tomorrow you’re going to be a lot like who you are today. Even if you put your adulting pants on, get all the things done and live out your ideal day, you’ll still only have had one amazing day. If a day like that is not replicable, that’s not who you are—yet.

Who you are is made up of the actions you have repeated. The many, not the few.

If you’re not a terribly heroic person today, you sure as hell are not going to be that person tomorrow. Because even if you want to be Batman tomorrow, no one is handing you a batsuit to go out and fight crime. You need to build it yourself.

You can take this news one of two ways: you can decide that the process isn’t worth it because it’s not going to happen fast enough, or you can face the reality of being a human and start creating your new identity.

Here’s how: since having one amazing day isn’t replicable, that’s not the goal you should set.

The goal is to find ONE promise that you can keep to yourself every day.

That’s how you build up momentum and incite change.

You are what you repeat.

You are what you repeat.

You are what you repeat.

When I was laying in bed with my festering emotional sores, I had no trust in myself, and very little that I felt capable of. I kid you not, my goals included walking ten minutes to the nearest Pokestop once a day (Pokémon Go for the win) so that I could say I left the house, and taking a shower—things like that.

If I can go from there to building an empire (okay, I’m at a village right now) in a year, you can pick yourself up and start working on yourbatsuit. Or Deadpool, if that’s more your thing.

Whoever you want to be, create a small ritual today that you know you can replicate without fail from now until...don’t pick an end date. When you have mastered that ritual (and only when you have mastered that first ritual), pick a second one that you can replicate without fail.

And if you’re not sure what to change first, start with your underwear.