NeeNoise left this comment on my last post:
He got me thinking about where I started and where I am now, and I guess I have come a long way. It’s often hard to give yourself credit for your achievements (partly out of not wanting to feel arrogant, and partly because you’re so focused on your future goals you forget to take a moment to glance back at where you came from). But it’s a very useful – even required – exercise to do every now and then.
I’ve touched a bit on my journey on other sites/forums, but let’s flesh it out a bit more.
Like everyone in the world, I was born with a handful of natural advantages, and a handful of disadvantages. I’m 6ft2 tall, very witty and funny, extremely intelligent, and had a great upbringing with two very loving and supportive parents. I don’t have any disabilities or health issues. I was born into a 1st world country where I can be whomever I want to be. I’m extroverted (though I wasn’t always), charming (I wasn’t always) I’m optimistic and happy (I wasn’t always).
But we’re not here to talk about what went right in my life. Let’s look at the things I fucked up!
- I was extremely suicidal from age 14 to 23. As in, every single day I’d have fantasies of killing myself. I lost count of the number of times I found myself in the kitchen holding a knife to my arm. I used to cross the road, see traffic coming towards me & think, “If I just closed my eyes and stood in front of this car, it’d all be over.” The only reason I didn’t was because my self esteem was so low I didn’t even think I deserved to end my suffering.
- I developed extreme agoraphobia, to the point where I could not leave the house unless someone came with me. I couldn’t go check the mailbox out the front of my apartment. The only reason I survived was my girlfriend at the time did EVERYTHING for me.
- I was on the cusp of obesity. I weighed 104kg (229lbs) with NO muscle mass.
- Was in an abusive, violent relationship for 6 years… then I left that one and walked right into a second violent, abusive relationship for another 4 years. Clearly I thought being emotionally, verbally and physically abused was totally ok and something I should put up with. After all, I did it for a decade.
- I really did have NO muscle. I was not a strong person. I literally couldn’t do a single pushup (even with my knees on the ground!), or a single chinup, or a bodyweight squat. It’s been hell to get to where I am now in terms of strength/muscle, and I still have so far to go.
- I’m balding VERY badly – my receeding hairline is very bad. It used to be such a huge point of insecurity for me I’d think about it at least 10 times a day; it’d always be on my mind.
- I was 28 by the time I got serious about self-improvement. I had all sorts of insecurities & doubts about being too old to fix my life (after all, 30 is supposedly “past your prime”). I certainly thought I was too old to be hitting on 18-25yo girls (how wrong I was…) I was terrified that if my life was this fucked up in my late 20’s, it’d take me til my 40’s or 50’s to fix it.
- I had ZERO fashion sense or knowledge of how to dress myself. Half my clothes were ones my family had bought for me a decade earlier…
- I used to call myself a feminist, and was convinced all women were beautiful delicate flowers who could do no wrong. I had all sorts of fucked-up notions about how men should be gentle & kind and not masculine and not be too muscular and not want to have sex with women and other shit. Took me a lot to overcome that brainwashing.
- I absolutely DID NOT believe I had the right to talk to girls. I didn’t think I had the right to stop them in the street, or hit on them on Tinder, or try to have sex with them, or “bother” them by starting a conversation. I felt like a loser who wasn’t on their level. That was hell to overcome. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
- I started out with NO confidence. I was meek and scared, not just with girls… I guess with life in general. Despite being funny and good at talking to people, I didn’t believe I had the “right” to be a cool, fun guy, so I held myself back. I thought being cool was “arrogant” or something. Stupid.
- I had no self-awareness. I had absolutely no idea why I did the things I did; I was reacting to everything emotionally like an animal would, with no pause for thought or any sort of rational logic behind any of my day-to-day decisions.
- All sorts of other self-esteem/self-doubt/low-confidence issues that I let hold me back.
So I certainly had my issues and things I needed to fix. I was a complete and utter trainwreck, by most accounts. Suicidal, depressed, 10 years of abusive relationships, obese & unfit and generally a pretty fucking big loser.
How’d I fix it?
- Depression: Eventually I hit rock bottom & had a breakdown, which forced me to tell my family and friends about my depression and suicidal thoughts. I saw a counsellor/psychologist for 9 months, read hundreds of self-help books, taught myself CBT, worked on breaking down my negative thoughts and negative habits, and trained myself to be optimistic instead of pessimistic.
- Agoraphobia: Since being around other people terrified me, I forced myself to do the opposite. I remember the first day I set myself a goal of walking around a shopping centre by myself for an hour. That was a herculean task for me at the time; I even called up my mum afterwards & told her about it, I was so proud of myself. I eventually started putting myself into social situations every day; I went clubbing by myself 5 nights a week for about 6 months and chatted up bouncers, bartenders, girls, guys, anyone and everyone. I made a tonne of friends and became the social person I am today.
- Abusive relationships: Eventually I got to a point where I realised, “I deserve better than this. This isn’t me.” I walked away from a 4-year relationship and decided from that moment on I’d walk away as soon as I got even the slightest hint a girl had abusive tendencies. It’s been years since I put up with even the slightest hint of disrespect. Looking back, it’s insane how much horrible shit I put up because I thought I deserved it.
- Weight: I started counting my calories religiously, walked for 6+ hours a day every day (no exaggeration)… most days I’d stay up til midnight just walking nonstop. I took the stairs all the time, I bought a “standing desk” so I’d never be sitting down, I did tonnes of cardio, I started playing sports again. I was obsessed with reaching my goal weight, and ended up losing 35kg (77lbs) in about 9 months. In the future I’ll write an article going into more detail on how I lost the weight.
- Weak/no muscle: Started hitting the gym, which was terrifying at first. I was so intimidated because I was BY FAR the weakest person there. I read absolutely EVERYTHING I could on bodybuilding, powerlifting, nutrition, sleep, exercise, etc. Hired a strength coach and got into powerlifting. I went from a guy who couldn’t even do a pushup to (at the time of writing) being able to deadlift 2x bodyweight (162.5kg/358lbs), squat 1.5x bodyweight (120kg/264lbs), bench 1x bodyweight (80kg/176lbs).
- Not having the “right” to talk to girls: Oh man, this was a tough one. I had a complete breakdown when it came time for me to actually start hitting on girls. I had to go through several weeks of hell where I did nothing but process my emotions, my insecurities, my doubts, my fears, etc for 8+ hours a day. I literally took time off work to work on it. I had to sit down and ask myself, “WHY don’t I feel like I deserve to talk to women? WHY do I feel like I’m not good enough? WHY do I feel like I’m a loser?” That was incredibly confronting and by far the hardest thing I’d ever had to face. Much harder than everything else on this list.
- Feminism/screwed-up sense of masculinity: This one took me about a year to “un-brainwash” myself. I specifically sought out masculine sites and books such as The Rational Male, Good Looking Loser, Danger & Play, The Red Pill Reddit, and others. I joined a local Meetup group dedicated to self-improvement and self-knowledge & made friends there. The more I got to know women, the more I stopped pedestalising them & started treating them like (relatively) normal people.
- Balding: I wore a cap/beanie 100% of the time, whenever I was outside. This was really just avoiding the issue… so I recently went to a barber, showed him my receeding hairline and he came up with a haircut that almost entirely covers it up. You can’t tell I have old man hair now.
- Fashion sense: Did a tonne of research and went shopping with a mate who’s great with fashion. Slowly improved my wardrobe/accessories over a year or two (with lots of trial and error). Got an ear piercing and a tattoo as well.
- Self-awareness: This was something I had to teach myself over time. The CBT helped, as did my counsellor, and some anger management books, as well as books on philosophy, ethics, psychology, self-knowledge, etc.
- Confidence: That just came over time, from kicking ass with my goals.
I’ve achieved other things in my life too – I got briliant at photography & Photoshop by sheer hard work day in, day out. I did a “365 Project” where I had to take a photo every single day for 365 days in a row. I’ve gotten laid enough times I’ve now lost count, including a bunch of threesomes (something I never thought would EVER happen to me in a million years). I’ve banged 100+ girls from Tinder/online dating/approaching in the street. And I finally set up this site, which is something I’ve been saying I’ll do for ages.
So as you can see, I’m a long way from where I started. I obviously still have a LONG way to go – I feel like I’m about 5% of the way into my journey. I haven’t worked on finances/starting a business, my body is only 10% of where I want it to be, I still have a bit of a way to go with sex, and I feel like there’s a million billion things I’m still to learn. I’m super excited for the future.
One good thing about sharing my story is it’s encouraged others to share theirs with me. One such guy who went through a huge metamorphosis is “WhiteKnightRises” on the self-improvement forum, Good Looking Loser.
Life wasn’t going well for him; virgin, had no goals or direction, he was losing friends, felt like he was “socially retarded” & had no chance with girls. He went through a period of months where he pretty much didn’t leave his room other than to take some tests at university. Shit wasn’t going well.
He finally lost his virginity at 21 (after knowing about pick-up artist stuff for 2 years). He didn’t get laid over the next year, but then started to get his act together the year after. He got laid a few times and then moved to Korea because he didn’t feel like he had any career options at home. He found Good Looking Loser, starting hitting the gym & has since gone wild with girls, including a year where he banged 38 girls. Pretty awesome progress, and a far cry from the person he used to be.
He sums it up in the exact same way I sum up my own life: “I can’t even relate to myself from like a few years ago.” (You can check out his site at whiteknightrises.com).
“The reality is life is hard. But it’s survival of the fittest – only the strong survive.”
So if you’re at the start of your journey, or feel like a complete loser, or worry that your life is so much worse than everybody’s else’s, or wonder if you’ll ever be able to achieve anything, you’re not alone. I felt like that, WhiteKnightRises sure as hell felt like that, and a million other people have felt like that.