Matt's Words of Wisdom
5 Hard Decisions That Made Me The Happiest I've Ever Been
Seekers Day has officially launched! It’s the only time of the year we have a discount and that we bring back the best sellers. 30% off the whole Seek Discomfort site for only 48 hours. Let’s goo!!!!!
I used to struggle with severe anxiety and self doubt.
It was a constant.
A permanent state of anguish.
Throughout my 20s I stuffed it in.
I accepted that that’s just the way I was.
But after I completed the Ironman I realized I could overcome anything.
That if I set my mind to it, anxiety could become a thing of the past.
And so I took on my healing with the same determination I did the race.
I made hard decisions that put my mental health first.
And in the process, I began to feel like myself again.
There’s still a ways to go, but the progress in just a year and half has blown me away.
That’s why I wanted to share the five tough decisions that got me to this point.
1. I Deleted Instagram
On January 1, 2020, I permanently deleted my personal Instagram. I had nearly 300,000 followers, a blue checkmark and access to an awesome community of people. But I was constantly checking it. And I knew the data on its damaging effects on the brain. If I was committed to my mental health, it had to go. It’s been over a year and a half since I removed it, and I have become blissfully unaware of what’s going on in other people’s lives. I’m present. Unencumbered by needing to perform for likes. Happy with enjoying a sunset without needing to test different filters and check how many people saw it. It’s been transformative.
2. I Started Therapy
In June, 2020 I started therapy. For all of my life I shunned it. My family mocked it. No adults in my life did it. But the science behind therapy is very clear. It works. Studies show that people who attend any kind of talk therapy for just a few months have increased well-being and reduced anxiety and depression. Why does it work? Because most of our decisions are unconscious. So long as we act unconsciously, we can’t make changes. Therapy makes the unconscious, conscious. Your patterns are brought to the surface. This newfound awareness allows you to first accept and then change your behavior gradually. I’ve gone to therapy every week for a year. It’s pricey but priceless.
3. I Set Boundaries
As I began to get better, I started to notice how toxic some friends and family were. These were people who insisted that they loved me but consistently sucked up my energy. I had maintained these relationships out of fear, guilt and history. They nagged, complained, gossiped, brought me down, and feared the world. I decided to limit my interactions with them. I set very clear boundaries. I wasn’t mad at them. Quite the opposite. I felt sorry for them. But I couldn’t save them from their misery. My energy was my priority. They could no longer have space within my inner circle. As soon as I set boundaries, it was like taking forty pounds off my back. I felt lighter. I felt responsible only for myself for the first time. I felt free.
4. I Quit and Left
On February 25, 2021 I announced that I was going to stop hosting on YouTube. Not only did I decide to leave my job of five years, I got out of Los Angeles too. I wanted to write, to focus on business, and to leave the US mainland. I agonized over these decisions for months. Would my friends hate me? Would it be worth it? What if I’m making the wrong choice? But now, having done it, I feel like I’m cheating. I’m living the dream. I am in awe of my life. I get to do what I love, writing and business development, while working remotely with my best friends and living in my new home of Puerto Rico. And who knows, maybe I’ll still hop into some adventures once in a while :)
5. I Spent A Month Alone Without My Phone
As many of you know, last month I set off on my own into the mountains of Puerto Rico to disconnect and reflect. It was the first time I got to be alone with my thoughts for an extended period of time. It was excruciating and by far the most discomfort I’ve ever experienced. And because of that, the rewards were massive. I processed years of pain, grief, and confusion. I answered questions that had kept me stuck for decades. I fully reconnected with myself.
My 86 year old grandmother is the happiest person I know. Unlike most people her age, she is constantly surrounded by loved ones, always engaged, always laughing.
She experienced severe trauma and abuse as a child living in an alcoholic home. And yet her optimism reigns supreme.
When I asked her recently how she did it, she said, “Happiness is a decision.”
We all have a choice.
To succumb to the pain or make the hard decisions to overcome it.
I’m thankful that I chose the latter.
Happy Seekers Day you beauties <3
Song I’m Jamming To: You might have heard this one already. It’s Lil Nas X’s new song, INDUSTRY BABY. It’s frustratingly catchy and hype. I can’t stop bouncing around to it. The music video is also out there and I love it.
Photo: I surprised Thomas for his birthday a few weeks ago in LA. It felt so good to be back with my besties :)