I Wish You Weren’t So Scared
I wish you weren’t so scared.
I wish you would just take that first step.
I wish you would share with your wife what’s really going on inside your heart, tell your parents how much you love them, leave that soul sucking job that is killing you every morning when you step into work, or tell your friends that you actually don’t enjoy getting drunk every weekend and watching sports anymore.
I wish you would talk to someone. A therapist, a coach, the free employee assistance program at your work, a trusted friend, a mentor. Anyone.
But I get it. That shit is scary.
I wish I wasn’t so scared.
Most of you only see me at this fearless, globetrotting, partially clothed adventurer who spends most of his days either resting or playing. You see me as a man who does whatever he wants whenever he wants, even if it goes against what the rest of society thinks.
Which is all true.
But for a majority of my life I stood paralyzed in fear. Utterly paralyzed.
Growing up speaking Japanese until I was 5 years old left me with a meek, shy, fearful persona for most of my childhood.
Being one of the most overweight kids in elementary and middle school made me afraid to play sports, swim, or talk to girls.
I didn’t kiss a girl until I was a senior in high school. I used to be so terrified of girls that I would make excuses to not talk to them or be around them.
I regularly numbed out with alcohol instead of just working through my social anxiety and repressed emotions.
I lived with my parents until I was 24. I never moved out for college because my family couldn’t afford it and I was terrified of going into debt from hearing my parents argue about money.
I moved away from my hometown of Tucson, AZ for the first time when I was 27. If I didn’t get a full ride for graduate school I might have never left.
The first time I ever lived on my own in an apartment by myself was when I was 29. I would regularly eat a whole pizza and drink a bottle of wine a night to fill in the loneliness that I felt at that time.
I’ve had every sexual dysfunction in the book, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. I thought I was broken and that “once you turn 30 it all goes away.”
My favorite answer to any real question that a girlfriend would ask me was, “I don’t know.” In my twenties, getting into my heart was an impossible task for anyone around me.
And for a majority of my life I sat on the sidelines talking shit about everyone who had the things that I desired the most. I was the biggest hater in the world. Full of resentment and unfulfilled dreams.
So I totally get it.
But so was I.
And if I can do it, anyone can.
Just take that first step, whatever it is.
I don’t care if it’s with me, with another coach, with your wife, or with your body.
But just do something.
I don’t know what that first step is for you. But you do.
Take it today.
PS – In this moment my heart goes out to the fathers and husbands who feel trapped, the men over 50 years of age who feel they are well past their prime, and the men who identify themselves as “losers.” Your beliefs make you who you are, not your temporary circumstances. Take that first step my friend. I’m right here in the trenches with you brother.