How to STOP Beating Yourself Up!

🛑 STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! 🛑

There’s a voice inside of you that no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try, it’s ready to tell you what’s missing from your life. 🗣️

There’s a voice inside you that no matter how much you believe you’re doing well, it comes knocking at your mental home to challenge you, to instill some form of doubt:

“Are you SURE you’re doing enough?” 💭

“Do you REALLY believe everything you say you are is true?” 💭

“Do you TRULY deserve what you have been given?” 💭

I’ve felt this in me before, multiple times in fact! You are not alone! 👥

There’s the psychological term “imposter syndrome”. It’s the tendency for us believe our achievements pale in comparison to what we feel we’ve actually done.

To put it another way, we don’t feel the status, success, or fame we’ve received in our lives is equal to our own feelings of self-worth. In our minds it doesn’t feel “deserved”. And we have this irrational fear we’re ultimately going to be exposed for the “fraud” the voice inside us says we are. ☝️

Would it surprise you to hear even the most famous individuals have experienced these feelings before? Individuals like Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, and even Meryl Streep have openly expressed feelings like this. 😱

You wouldn’t expect to hear that coming from a celebrity, right? Despite all their wealth, awards, and recognition they’ve received, there’s a voice inside them too that doubts whether they deserve what they’ve been given. 👍

This feeling is universal. You are not alone! 👥

What’s easy to forget in certain moments of our lives is all the achievements and impact we’ve made on the world. When this little voice starts to appear in your head, it’s a sign it’s time for an expansion in perspective. 🤯

I’m not saying we’re all going to be celebrities or are following the same path as these individuals. What I’m saying is these feelings of self-doubt are all too common, these feelings of inadequacy and not being enough just where we are. But there are solutions. 😁

A character from the film “Before Sunset” may have summed up the human condition quite well: “I feel like I’m designed to be slightly dissatisfied with everything.” Can you relate? 😅

This past 2 years has truly been a journey: ups, downs, lefts, rights, zig-zags, and any way the Wonkavator is going. Even now, being almost 2 years since I made big changes in my life, I still have heard this voice come up from time to time. It creeps up when you least expect it, too. As I write this, I can already hear the echoes of this voice in my head. 🗣️

But I have a solution for this voice as well as the ones in your own head. 💡

📍 Disconnect yourself from these voices. These voices are not You or Me. These are voices rooted in Fear: voices from toxic people in your past, voices from destructive opinions said about you, voices which are no longer serving you today or tomorrow. It’s time to let them go.

📍 Unconditionally accept yourself wherever you are right now. The past, literally, no longer exists! It’s only being carried in your head now. The problem is we often carry the negative parts of our past into our future. So let’s instead take what’s most useful from our pasts into the future.

📍 Reflect on all your achievements, all the moments in your life you can be grateful for. These voices of self-doubt are temporary, especially when you reflect on all the achievements and long-term impact you’ve made on the world. Remind yourself that everything you’ve done in your life has had an effect. It’s the same reason why an act of kindness can have a ripple effect.

📍 Remember WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. You are where you are today for a reason. Something might have pulled you here, something might have pushed you here, but either way you’re here for one reason or another. And when you have strong enough emotional reasons in your mind to be where you are today, your self-doubts will easily start to disintegrate. If you can’t think of strong reasons, create some new ones!

Writing this post was in its very own way cathartic for myself. As much as there have been times I’ve heard this voice of self-doubt, I remember all the amazing things I’ve done in my past that have shaped me into the person penning this very post. 🙌

This is a moment in time I won’t ever get back. None of us will, not even you reading this very post. What we do with this time is what matters. ☺️

Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not worth it to your future self. You’re not alone; I’ve felt it before too. But the key is reminding ourselves that these voices of doubt are not here to stay; they are coming to pass. 😊

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Why You’re NOT Alone! (PERSONAL)

🎒 I KNEW IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!! 🎒

It was elementary school. I was a quiet, soft-spoken child. I talked with my classmates like any other kid. I played at recess with friends like any other kid. I did get a bit more in trouble than any other kid though, I’ll definitely admit that! 😂

But for the most part, I could’ve been seen as any other “normal” kid. 👦

And yet, I was different. I knew as early as 1st grade something was different about me. Of course, at that age I didn’t have the understanding I do today about what these differences could’ve meant. 🤔

In 1st grade there was another boy in my grade. I had never met him; he had a different teacher. I never talked to him; he had his own friends. But something in me, something I couldn’t understand, kept deciding to take second glances at him whenever I saw him. And it eventually went from second glances to many glances. 👀

Again, I didn’t know or understand why. The only explanation I could come up with in my mind was: “I just like how he looks.” 🤷‍♂️

I liked looking at this boy’s face. It really confused me! Remember I was just a little boy; I had no conception of what sexual attraction was at the time. I had heard about having “a crush” on girls, but that was suppose to be with girls, not boys. 👧

So as much as I questioned why I liked looking at this boy, it only kept coming back to the same simple conclusion: There was no reason. I just did. 👍

Then in 2nd grade there came another boy, but this time he was in a higher grade. The same types of feelings I had for the boy in my grade happened again with this boy. 👨 Again, no reason. No logic. But this time, my interest in him took an even bigger chunk of my focus while I was in elementary school. 🏫

I still have many memories of it all. But there is one other memory from elementary school I won’t ever forget. 😱

It was the moment I finally asked myself:

“Could you see yourself kissing a girl?”

I visualized it and I said: “Yeah.” 👍

But then I asked: “Could you see yourself kissing this boy?”

I visualized it and my response: “…I could, yeah.” 👍

But I also wanted to say no…👎

There is a part of me that is concerned sharing this with you all. By far this is the most vulnerable entry I’ve ever written about my personal life. I’ve NEVER written any of this down until now, let alone to a wide social media audience. It’s a part of me I’ve kept out of the limelight, purposefully not being a part of my online “brand”. 👤

A part of me has been scared of judgment. A part of me is also very comfortable with who I am at this point in my life that it doesn’t feel the need to share it. And there’s also part of me that is still scared of being typecast into a label of sexuality for what is only a mere fragment of my identity. 😨

But this post has been waiting to be shared for a long time. It’s been waiting to be shared for someone who needs to hear my story. 📖

Sometimes I forget this part of me which I’m now very comfortable with is not the same thing for others. While I’m now far more accepting with who I am, many others out there are still struggling with their own self-acceptance like I did. I was in the same boat for a very long time. 🚣

So in honor of Pride Month, that is why I write this post. Because this post is not written for me…✍️

📃 It is written for the individuals who hide a part of who they are to be socially accepted.

📃 It is written for the individuals living in fear of rejection if people knew this part of themselves.

📃 It is written for the individuals shaming themselves because they’re in toxic environments which also shame them: “It is wrong!” “Immoral!” “An abomination!”

📃 Just as important, this post is written for the skeptical who are willing to seek to understand through the eyes of a gay male himself.

Yes, I identify as a gay male. 👍 And I share this post for all of these people above. Because it’s so easy these days for a person to condemn someone they’ve never met, to label an entire group of individuals as simply “this” or “that”, to demonize from behind the safety of one’s computer screen. 💻

It’s always been easier to generalize than it is to understand each individual’s uniqueness. 😔

But understanding builds bridges. 🌉

Understanding sparks connections. ❤️ Understanding encourages bigger perspectives. 🌌

So amongst the Voices of Generalization I add my voice this Pride Month for continued understanding. 🏳️‍🌈

It took me until I was in my 20s to finally become more accepting of my sexuality. And some of you might be thinking:

🗣️ “You probably didn’t have a supportive environment.” 🗣️

But as a matter of fact, I was raised and surrounded in a very supportive environment. There were even points I “came out”, but often only going so far as to claim I was bisexual. It was never to a point I was fully comfortable saying it. It was also because I had never in my life been sexually attracted to a woman. 💃

In other words, everyone else around me would’ve been okay if I just “came out of the closet”. 🚪 The problem is I personally wasn’t okay with it. 👎

Me! I wasn’t accepting of myself! And me accepting myself had nothing to do with my external environment; it had everything to do with the internal environment I carried inside me. 😨

I hid my sexuality in shame because I was insecure admitting it. A part of me just didn’t want it to be true. 😖 A part of me believed if I could simply be attracted to women like most men that life would be better for me. There were days I wished I could wake up and be attracted to women just so I could blend in a little bit more into the crowd. 👥

Why? Because I didn’t want to be negatively judged by the wrong person. I didn’t want to be potentially bullied for my sexuality. I didn’t want my male friends to start assuming I was only friends with them just so I could sleep with them. 😓

Who, if anyone, would “choose” to have a sexuality which leaves them open to so much potential ridicule, criticism, and rejection? 😞

🗣️ “How do you know you’re gay?” 🗣️

I would ask a similar question back: “How do you know you’re straight?” 🤔

Because you’ve never been sexually attracted to someone of the same sex? It’s the same with me, only I’ve never been sexually attracted to the opposite sex. 👍

Again, I wanted to be. I can definitely a woman as “beautiful” and “gorgeous”. But you could’ve shown me as many Playboy magazines as you would’ve liked…nothing would happen to my physical body, trust me! 😂

So, I’ve known for a long time. And while I’ve been on a journey of personal growth the past few years my sexuality has really taken a backseat as I developed more parts of my identity. I’ve rarely participated in the LGBT community for a very long time. 👤

Before, my sexuality used to be a HUGE part of my identity. Now it’s but a tiny fragment and focus in my life. 🔹

Before, I use to seek out a significant other because I believed being in a relationship would validate me and give me happiness. But now I realize my happiness starts and ends with me and having a significant other is about sharing my cup with another, not getting mine filled up. ☕

So I share this with all of you now not for me, but for those who need to hear this. 🌎

For those who are still struggling:

❤️ There is nothing “wrong” with you.

❤️ Your worth is not dependent on other people’s approval of you.

❤️ Your worth is more than someone else’s opinion of you.

What matters is knowing who you are and living with that authenticity. What matters is the approval you give to yourself to be who you are. What matters is the opinions you say towards yourself.

Because once you build that self-love and self-acceptance within yourself:

💪 There’s less of a desire to try and make others accept you. You simply live your life with the people who matter most to you.

💪 There’s less of a desire to seek validation from others about who you are. Because you will have already created that validation inside you.

💪 If a person discriminates you, there’s less of a desire to fight back but instead understand them and be a part of the change you wish to see in the world.

💪 You’ll no longer feel like a victim of circumstance but instead a creator of your circumstances.

Shine bright my Pride family, and I’ll be right beside you. 🏳️‍🌈 Please SHARE with post with anyone who needs to be reading this! ❤️

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Why There’s Always ANOTHER Layer! (PERSONAL)

🍊 THERE’S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! 🍊

I’ve been around the Personal Development community for over 3 years now. I’ve read many books, heard lots of speakers, and met hundreds of people who continue to help me grow into my best self! 👤 I’m forever grateful! ❤️

But yet, I can hardly say I’ve grown into my greatest potential! 😱

🗣️ “Wait! Are you saying all this stuff’s just a bunch of hooplah, Donald?!” 🗣️

Oh no, not at all! I’ve gotten a ton of growth through Personal Development. 👍 But what I’m saying is the longer I’ve been around the community, the longer I’ve focused on growing myself, the longer I’ve immersed myself in the piles upon piles of material, I can safely say I still have a long way to grow. 🌱

On an even brighter side, life never gets boring because of just that! It’s why im going to be sharing another story with you all! 👨‍🏫

One thing I can assure you, say you decide to go on your own journey of personal growth: As long as you keep making the choice to never stop growing, you truly will never stop growing. 👍

Some people will stop after watching 1 motivational video. Some will stop after reading 1 self-help book. 📖 Some will stop after attending 1 transformational seminar. Some will in fact stop at the end of the section in the library labeled “Personal Development”! 😱

But if you decide to keep growing, you will keep growing. But that also means more than just living your life inside the Personal Development circle. 👍

Last week I was having a conversation with someone I consider a dear friend as well as a mentor in my personal growth, Charles M. Hawkins. Charles in fact was the gentleman who first encouraged me to write down my thoughts like I’m doing right here. He saw in me what I for a long time wasn’t willing to acknowledge: a gift for communication through thoughtful writing. ✍️

And because of him you all now get to put up with my lengthy social media posts! 😂 Muhwahaha! 😈

Anyways, as Charles and I spoke we got onto the topic about my time Crewing at Tony Robbins’s events. I told him how I was a big fan of Tony Robbins’s work…but not in the sense he or others may think me to be. 🤔 On the surface, I can definitely see how some others may see me as a “fanboy”, a “sheep”, or a “naive” individual. But I told him about how in-depth my reasoning goes as to why I actually support Tony’s work. It’s not at all black-and-white! 🔲

(If you want to know more about my reasoning, read my post here: http://bit.ly/2QH65RZ)

But what started as a conversation about Tony’s work soon branched into many different subjects, from the Hard Sciences to Philosophy to Sociology to Social Media. They were all subjects I’d been self-educating myself on the past year, and I found how they were all interconnected in some form or another. 🔄 I led Charles down many territories of thought, and as much as my explanations fell into tangents I somehow was always able to bring it back to the overall root. ☘️

I was showing a side of myself to Charles I don’t typically share. It’s one I don’t share much on social media either. And I know some of you have heard me say that statement many times before! But like I said earlier:

🍊 THERE’S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! 🍊

I revealed to Charles the Intellectual part of my personality:

📌 The one that sees a more complex world than the one we like to make it out to be.

📌 The one which loves to analyze and get to the root of issues.

📌 The one which sees a world filled with many paradoxes and contradictions.

📌 The one who has an idea, and will then debate that idea in his head for a period of time.

📌 The one who is hesitant to come out into Donald’s everyday life out of concern no one will understand him.

Fear peeked in his little ugly head throughout our conversation. 😨 “I hope you’re not boring Charles!” “I hope you’re explaining this well enough to him!” “I hope you’re still talking like a ‘normal’ human being!” 🗣️

Eventually Charles asked me a question I’m not at all surprised he asked: Was there a moment I decided to go outside the Tony Robbins and personal development environments to learn all these things? ⁉️

Quite often it’s easy to stay inside our comfort zone by surrounding ourselves with ideas we’re already familiar with, ones which don’t challenge our current paradigms of the world. But I was doing that. Why? 🤔

The best way I could answer Charles: At some point I decided my personal growth could not end at Tony Robbins’s doors. 🚪 I decided my personal growth could not end at the library section labeled “Personal Development”. I decided my personal growth could not end at only learning about topics that I was interested in or reinforced my current worldview. 🌎

The past year I stepped outside Personal Development, not away from it but took time exploring what other subjects the world offered. I’ve been self-educating myself on various topics from Philosophy to Psychology to the Hard Sciences. I’ve even learned about topics I’m NOT interested in! 😲

By no means am I saying this to toot my own horn or act like I’m somehow now intellectually superior. I’ve only just started developing this part of me. And I’m going to continue to let it grow! 😁

(For those who want to continue expanding their knowledge base, CrashCourse has become one of my top favorite Education channels on YouTube 💻:https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse)

I’m grateful I’ve taken the time to step outside the Personal Development field to see how else I could expand my mind. And you know what: some of the topics I use to once consider ‘boring’ as a kid I learn now and find very fascinating! 😄

But I never would’ve re-discovered them had I not decided to step outside the realm of Personal Development. 🙌

🌟 Paradoxically, you limit your growth when you limit yourself to just Personal Development. 🌟

But of course, what is to come of all this learning I’m doing? 🤷‍♂️ Education is pointless if I’m not also finding ways to use and integrate it in my life, right? As the quote goes: “Knowledge is not power; it’s potential power.” 💬 Nothing comes of knowledge when it’s only sitting in your brain! And what if you die with all this knowledge just left in your head?! ⁉️

I thought about all this as I continued talking with Charles. I admitted to him these kinds of topics where they get complex I don’t usually talk about. Why? Because Fear likes to rationalize in the mind:

😨 “Your online brand needs to stick to a singular focus!”

😨 “People won’t understand what the hell you’re talking about!”

😨 “People want simplicity; that’s Entrepreneurship 101!”

But if you were to ever tell me to a write a book on a singular topic, I’d surely write you a book. But the best book title for it would be “Assorted Writings”! 😂

It was only until this conversation with Charles that I was reminded for the millionth time…

🍊 THERE’S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! 🍊

I thought I had gotten over my fears of judgement and rejection from others. I have in many situations! But here it was appearing again, hiding in a crevice I never thought to look into! 🧱

Charles gave me an important lesson last week: If you have a gift, open it. Don’t let it go to waste. Don’t let your fear of social acceptance waver your sail from reaching its final destination. ⛵

So now, with the realization I was still holding back, I’ve decided in the coming year I’m going to be sharing with you all a lot more of Me in future entries. 👤 I’m going to share topics that are more in-depth and things I believe will benefit others to learn about. It’s not to bore you; I can assure they all serve a greater purpose than hearing myself ramble. 😉

It doesn’t matter if I think in complex ways some people won’t understand. It doesn’t matter if I won’t always be accepted for my lengthy posts. It doesn’t matter if my thinking so often falls on Yellow in the Spiral Dynamics scale. 💛

They are only “flaws” if I embrace the belief that they are. But what if they are in fact my greatest “gifts”, and I’m wasting them by hiding them? It’s time for them to be shown a lot more! 👍

If you have a talent or skill you believe is useful in sharing, go and share it! 🏃‍♂️ I think of the scene in “Good Will Hunting” here where Will’s best friend Chuckie gives him some tough love, but it’s exactly what he needed to hear (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i8eIzSeC8w). 📺

Share your gifts. 🎁 Share your skills which others don’t have. That goes for anyone, not just me. Like this movie scene illustrates: If you won’t owe it to yourself, owe to the people who want you to see you succeed. Owe it to the people who want to see you thrive. Owe it to the people who need to receive what you can give them. Life is far more than just about focusing on yourself. 🌎

It’s why I share this post with you all today. It’s my hope through my own stories that you see them reflect through your own. 🙌 As I’ll always continue to tell you all: I’m not perfect, and I will never claim to be. I’m perfectly imperfect, just like all of you. And I’m also still growing just like all of you. 🌱

🌟 The moment you say you know all there is to know is the moment you stop growing. 🌟

I think of Socrates’s quote: “All I know is that I know nothing.” 🗣️ And the more I’ve continued to learn and grow, the more I keep seeing how that quote rings true. 🔔

Because…

🍊 THERE’S (ALWAYS) ANOTHER LAYER TO PEEL!!! 🍊

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Why We Should ACCEPT Our Emotions!

⚠️ WE REPRESS WHAT WE WON’T ACCEPT!!! ⚠️

Last Friday I went into the city to help out at an event at the United Center. Needless to say, Service was the name of the game once again. 🙌

At this point that should just be my middle name, right?! 😂

I woke up at 4am, boarded the train at 5:20am, arrived in the city at 6:20am, and got to the Center in time for the 7am meetup. I got to meet some old and new faces. I made a few new friends. I got to hear a bit of the speakers. And overall it was a fun time! 😄

It was around the late evening when I got back to Union Station to depart home back in the suburbs. If I had to describe how I was feeling at the time, it would simply be: exhausted. It was a fun day, but I was also ready to crash! 😝

I felt like a walking zombie as I wandered through the train station: half-alive, half-focused, and empty-headed. The only difference was I didn’t crave any human flesh but my bed so I could get some sleep! 🧟

I’ve experienced these kinds of moments a few times the past few years, these moments where I’m feeling so completely exhausted. But at the same time, I’m also fascinated with them too! 😲

For a temporary moment in time, I’ve become devoid of meaning and purpose. For a moment in time, I’m devoid of any thoughts about my life or who Donald Arteaga is. And all the while I’m feeling like a zombie, there’s also a part of my brain that is self-aware of it happening! 🧠

It’s why as I wait for the train to arrive, I keep trying change my focus to things other than my exhaustion. I start thinking about the things in my life I’m grateful for. I keep trying to change my focus to things other than my current feelings. It works for short boosts…but my mind quickly wanders back to the visual of my bed Bed. Bed. Bed. Bed. Bed. 🛏️

Getting to my bed, for that moment in time, had become my Ultimate Life Purpose! 😂

It sounds silly, right?! But perhaps Abraham Maslow was right when he said the #1 need of human beings is getting their Physiological needs met: food, water, shelter, clothing, and (yes!) sleep. 😴

🛑 But there was an even bigger problem I wasn’t seeing at the time!

🛑

“What was it?”

👎 I was trying to pushing away what my emotions were communicating.

👎 I was trying to deny what I was feeling.

👎 I was refusing to accept my current state of exhaustion.

I share this post with you all because I believe there’s a CRUCIAL detail so many of us keep missing when we’re trying to change our emotions. And because we miss this detail, we are REPRESSING what we feel rather than ACCEPTING it! ⚠️

What’s the difference between repression and acceptance of our emotions? 🤔

📌 Repressing is denying to yourself the emotions you are currently feeling. You pretend like they’re not there with a mask of another emotion. When you’re angry and deny you’re feeling angry, that anger may build up and come bursting out later in a way you don’t want it to.

📌 Accepting is acknowledging what you’re currently feeling AND being okay with it. You may not like the current emotions you’re feeling, but you nonetheless accept them before you make the conscious choice to change them.

The problem was I was repressing, rather than accepting, my feelings of exhaustion. I kept telling myself: “Wake up! Don’t be tired!” and tried pushing it away with alternatives. 👊

🌟 It wasn’t until I accepted my feelings of exhaustion that its focus in my mind started to dissolve. 🌟

Have you ever had a moment where you felt resentment towards someone, and you kept telling yourself you couldn’t “let it go”? Acceptance is another form of letting go. But in order to let go of your resentment, you have to first acknowledge you’re feeling resentment, and be okay that you’re feeling it.

🌟 We can’t work on an effective solution if we won’t acknowledge what the problem is. 🌟

Our society likes to tell us what we should and shouldn’t feel. We should be strong when we’re feeling weak. We should be happy when we’re sad. It’s all with good intentions, and they have a point about changing our emotions. The problem is they miss the detail of Acceptance.

🌟 In order for anyone to change their emotions effectively, they first have to accept the current emotions they’re feeling and be okay with them. Then the change can begin! 🌟

🛑 THE WRONG WAY: “I shouldn’t feel depressed. I will force myself to feel happy.”

✅ THE RIGHT WAY: “I am feeling depressed. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a natural human emotion. But now I do want to feel happier, so I am going to take actions to make that happen!”

As I was riding on the train back home I started to accept my feelings. I let myself be okay with feeling exhausted. I didn’t negatively judge myself for it. After all, I had been awake for over 18 hours. Could I really blame my body for feeling like that?! I can definitely tell you: I had a DEEP sleep that night! 💤

So again: in order for anyone to change their emotions effectively, they first have to accept the current emotions they’re feeling and be okay with them. Then the change can begin! 🌟

If this made sense to you, I’d appreciate it if you SHARE this post. I know there are many who need to hear this in a society that encourages repression over acceptance! 😔

Much love! ❤️ #TranscendLabels

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