“Check yo self before you wreck yo self” Ice Cube

I threw my beer on the floor and walked out of the pub as the glass smashed…

We had lost the cup final in extra time and the world was over.

I always did stupid things like this. Anything would set me off on a life hating mission of retribution against the world around me. No one could tell me anything.

At 19 – 22, I was a nightmare. Bad things had happened in family life, I felt like I was a failure and I was jealous of everyone else for no reason. I thought everyone had a better life than me.

I was lost.

The weird thing is, most of the time I felt happy and then I would just change in an instant. I had no confidence and felt that the world was always looking at me trying to destroy me.

I didn’t know who I was or how to manage my feelings yet I was comparing myself to other people all the time. This is the quickest route to obscurity and irrelevance.

The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yourself.

Every time you pay attention to other people’s lives you take energy away from your own progress. More and more self-doubt creeps in and nothing happens.

This is a big problem with social media…

Do not compare yourself to the bullshit lives of others.

No one ever posts about the real stuff and the shit they have gone through. They post about that one time they got a ride in a Ferrari or that one time they got upgraded for free to business class.

You don’t hear about how they just lost all their money in the casino, but they will flash their cash and ‘check in’ beforehand.

You hear about everyone’s winning bets on Facebook but never about all the money that they lose.

You see pictures of the food that turned out well, not their burnt toast.

They edit pictures of themselves and their partners to make them look less ugly.

It is a highlight reel, not their reality…

Pay no notice, don’t try and keep up with people who you only see through a filter…

Focus on creating the actual life that you want. I only consume social media, podcasts, video, and the content that I like, to learn. That’s it. I’m not pissed off because the people I listen to have way bigger audiences than me and they own private jets.

Why compare myself to people with 20 years more experience, rather than staying patient and sticking to my own game plan? You have to enjoy the process, know your own strengths and believe in yourself, especially when you are just starting out…

Play the long game.

The more I read and listen to stories from my heroes I realise that most people who achieve noteworthy success get over massive setbacks and personal challenges along the way…

They are patient, resilient and relentless in the pursuit of their goals. They know who they are, what drives them and they focus on getting what they want, over time. Nothing happens for anybody overnight EVER.

The people you admire have probably worked 15 hour days for over 20 years. You just don’t see them grinding, eating shit and being rejected time and time again on their Instagram. You see the end results.

Using self awareness to get over setbacks in order to to move forward is crucial to winning the war on life. Small battles need to be overcome quickly at all costs…

I’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating — what happens to us in life isn’t as important as how we react to life.

Bad things happen to everyone, this is a fundamental fact of life, so why be surprised when bad things happen to you? Using the power of self awareness can improve how you deal with difficult situations…

I still wallow in self-pity sometimes. I get anxious and worry about pointless things. I often don’t even know why until the strain goes away and only then do I realise the cause.

I bottle things up without knowing it — this never ends well for me. Understanding this has been a massive lesson in self awareness personally.

I now try and face everything head on and deal with it by saying to myself…

‘This is just life, what can I learn from it? Where is the opportunity here?’ Then I move on, having taken all the positives and dealt with the negatives.

For me, an initial horror show is better than a lifelong one. Try it…

Deal with things head on, straight away. Have the courage to look down the barrel of that gun, be a fearless warrior and change your life…

Understand how you actually feel about things by recognising negative emotions and dealing with them adroitly rather than lying to yourself by expecting things to be OK without addressing the problem.

Practising emotional intelligence in this way and developing greater self awareness helps me to take a better course of action when dealing with adversity.

Not only does this make me happier, it opens my eyes to the opportunities hidden in the chaos. They are always there. It could be a way to improve family life, a way for me to deal with an emotion better, an idea for a new article or something huge like a business idea that could solve a problem for thousands of people.

Tony Robbins left an abusive childhood behind to build a billion dollar empire around life coaching. From being chased by his mother with a knife, to advising US Presidents…

“If my mom had been the mother I thought I wanted, I wouldn’t be as driven; I wouldn’t be as hungry,” he said. “I wouldn’t have suffered, so I probably wouldn’t have cared about other people’s suffering as much as I do. And it made me obsessed with wanting to understand people and help create change.” Tony Robbins (Source: CNBC)

If you had a loser Dad or a loser Mum I’m sure you learnt a lot about what not to do with your own kids. Use the power of these experiences to fuel your future.

I didn’t have these kinds of problems but I want to learn to operate on a higher frequency, to use more of my brain, and to allow myself to look at the world with an open mind…

A mind that knows itself and can adapt to life without expecting to be given anything without searching for it. A mind that can be objective, brave and creative.

I know that if I can improve my self awareness just 1% a day and limit the noise of other people’s perceived successes around me… if I can deal with the negative and turn everything into an opportunity, I will be the best version of myself that I can be…

That will definitely be a life worth living.

-Matthew Brown

I hope you found this helpful. This is the first post in a 3 part series — next week I’ll be publishing a follow up article looking at the techniques you can use to become more self aware, related to my own experiences.

The series will then be completed with an article on how to use self awareness to build your business/career. I look forward to sharing these with you.

If you don’t want to miss these follow up articles you need to join The Business of Life Club now — it’s quick, easy and free… just add your email address where prompted in the right sidebar or at the bottom of this page if you are on a mobile device.

No spam I promise, just awesome free content.

Thank you for some of your attention.

Related — How to Never Worry About Anything Ever Again