Betting on Yourself

Your life is a series of choices. Sometimes those choices will ask you to bet on yourself – to pursue what you love, even if there is an emotional risk in doing so. When you bet on yourself, you awaken a world of possibility. When you bet against yourself, you always lose. 

In this episode of, Michael is joined by Alex Ray as they talk about what it means to bet on yourself and why doing so can help you get unstuck and feeling more enthusiastic about your life. 

Today’s Guest: Alex Ray

  • https://coachalexray.com/
  • @coachalexray

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Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of gay men going deeper. This is a podcast series where we talk about mental health, personal development and sexuality. Today, I will be your host. My name is Michael and I have a very special guest with us today. Alex Ray is joining us, say hello, Alex. Hi everyone. Hello? Okay,

guys, today we are talking about betting on yourself. I wanted to dedicate an entire episode to this concept of betting on yourself, because in my opinion, there are way too many people out there who are hiding themselves, who are hiding their natural gifts, hiding their natural abilities, hiding their natural talents and ideas when they could be shining bright. And right now the world needs you more than ever.

So today we’re going to be covering exactly what this means to bet on yourself will shed some light on that. We’re going to talk about what the benefit of doing so is, and we’re going to give you guys some tips on how to do it. So Alex and I both know a thing or two about what it means to bet against ourselves and stay ahead.

And we also know what it means to bet on ourselves and have lived to tell the tale. And here we are today. And our goal is to inspire and empower you into listening to that small voice within or intuition, inspire you to believe in yourself, to trust yourself, to take a risk, to have your own back, to be more of who you are by showing up,

being seen and shining bright. Because when you bet against yourself, you always lose always a hundred percent of the time and you lose. But when you bet on yourself, you awaken a world of possibility with it. So let’s get to know our guests today. Alex, Ray, Alex, go ahead and tell us a little bit about you, but about who you are and what you do Or so the very brief introduction that I like to give is that I used to be extremely insecure and felt like most of my life was spent just kind of observing myself from the outside,

constantly judging myself. I grew up in a very religious Christian cult that taught of course that LGBTQ plus people, although all I knew about was being gay, I knew nothing else from our community that we were going to hell and I dealt with depression since second grade and I was in and out of therapy for years. I was on medication and in 2017 I attempted suicide.

It hit absolute rock bottom and completely hated myself. And coming out of that was the, the key really to being the confident person that I am today. I really truly think that had I not hit rock bottom. I wouldn’t have had the desperation to go and take my own mental health into my hands and been able to go and seek out the help that I really truly needed.

So I’m thankful to be here today. Now as the queer confidence coach and help other LGBTQ plus people love being their authentic self. I love it. And the listeners of this podcast know that that is definitely something that we hold in high regard here. So we’re really happy to have you today, Alex. Thank you. Okay guys. So the first thing I wanted to do is explain this term betting on yourself for anyone who may be a little bit unsure about what that means.

I was thinking about this and I was like, how do I explain this in like non coachy terms? So I’m going to give it my best shot. And then I was pleased by all means, you know, I’ll give you a chance to explain as well. So the way I wanted to define it was it’s taking a chance on something that is for you or for your future with no guarantee that it will work out.

So you can bet on yourself in very big ways. Like Alex told us some of those examples in his life where he had these, these crossroads moments where you chose you, you chose your future, we chose your well-being, but you could also bet on yourself in small day-to-day choices that you make. So some of the ways that I can describe how I bet on myself in those big ways through my life is coming out,

right. I came out at the age of 19. At the time I had no role models, no mentors, no coaches, no guides, no one in my life who was gay. I didn’t know what to do, what to say, how to be gay or anything, but I just came out because I just, I was tired of holding it in.

It was just not sustainable for me to hold it. In. Another example is when I started my blog, I started a blog four years ago and I was sharing my very personal stories about sexuality and spirituality. And I was exposing myself to the world, opening myself up to judgment and criticism from the world around me and my loved ones about these very vulnerable topics.

And then the most recent example I have is when I started my own business. So I was in the corporate world for 13 years, very comfortable, very financially lucrative, but I had an opportunity to continue on that path. Or I had an opportunity to do something new and I chose to do the new thing and in doing so, I risked my reputation.

I risked humiliation failure and all the financial stability to do something that I felt very deeply called to do, which was starting my coaching business called really smell. So that’s me. Those are some of the big ways in my life. Now for others, it could be things like ending a relationship. It could be something like going back to school or doing a career change.

You know, when you’re in your fifties or sixties, people say, oh, I’m too old to a change, but you’re never too old. Sometimes it could be hiring a coach or you can bet on yourself by taking an idea, like a creative idea and putting it out into the world. Like I did with my blog. Some people maybe want to make music or write a screenplay or put their artwork into the world.

That could be a way you bet on yourself. It could be something as simple as wearing the clothes you wanna wear, right. Or don’t want to wear. It could be something like sticking to your fitness plan, even when you haven’t seen any changes. And I know a lot of us can resonate with that or something like making the first move and asking somebody out.

So at a high level, I would say it’s about taking a risk where your success or failure is completely up to you. And that’s very scary. So you have to believe in yourself more than you doubt yourself. And that’s also very hard for a lot of queer people to do, but at the same time, it’s about recognizing that there’s an innate goodness within you.

There’s something in you, a light, I call it, I refer to this as a light within you that you want to share it with the world that you want to shine bright and noticing that, and then honoring it by, by saying yes to it, by moving towards it, by shining a bright, not dimming it. Even if that scares the absolute shit out of you,

which it does for me. So hopefully that helps shed some light on this topic of bang, betting on yourself. And I’m curious, Alex, tell us what, what it means for you to bet on yourself. How do you describe it? I would describe it as the same way that betting on ourself is really just about risk and being willing to take risk.

And I would say, like there were a few things that I have a little bit of a different experience, which are like, I don’t really think I needed ever to believe in myself more than the other thing. And I don’t know that we really need to. I, I think what I’ve experienced with betting on myself has been that oftentimes I was like,

not really sure how it would go at all and had, you know, a lot of evidence that I would probably fail miserably, but I was willing to do it anyway because why the fuck not, are we allowed to curse on this podcast All the time? Why the fuck? Not like why we only have this one life that we know of. I mean,

I also do believe that we have past lives and future lives, but we have this one life right here right now. Why not? Even if there’s like a 10% chance, it might not end up going the way that we want it to. I would rather find out than live my whole life thinking. What if, and I think that’s kind of,

that’s been the driver for me, even when I really felt like I didn’t feel confident. And this is also goes to some of what I teach. Like a lot of people think that being confident that embodying confidence means you feel confident all the time. And it definitely does not like I feel nervous. I feel afraid. I feel uncomfortable all the freaking time.

And I think that really is what has driven my success in betting on myself and my willingness to do it because I do fail more times than I succeed. And I’m okay with it. And I’m willing to do it for the hell of it. Yeah. Let’s, let’s talk a little bit about what it means then. So, you know, at the beginning I had said that there,

there, the reason why I wanted to do this was because there were a lot of people that I see that are not betting on themselves, they’re running against themselves. And then that doesn’t serve anybody. Right? Like even though, even though yes, you might have, you know, as you said, a 90% chance of failure, is it not worth the 10%?

Is it not worth the 10%? So Alex, what do you think, why is this such an important thing to do? Why would you advocate for someone going through all this discomfort, failure, potential humiliation, just to bet on themselves. I think because ultimately just trying is a huge confidence booster in and of itself because when you don’t even get, when you don’t even try,

then what you’re telling yourself is I’m not capable. I don’t think highly of myself. I’m certain I’m I stuck. I don’t know how I’m incapable. I’m unworthy. I’m not right. All of those things, you are reinforcing with your behavior and your choice. Not to do it, not to just give it, give it a try. And when you decide,

okay, Hey, I’m going to be uncomfortable. I’m really not sure how this is going to go, but I’m going to take a chance. Anyway, I’m going to risk it. You give yourself the opportunity to go and see how you do and learn from it. But also you have the opportunity to have a brand new way of talking to yourself on the other side.

And if right now, the way that you talk to yourself on the other side is like beating yourself up and shaming yourself and punishing yourself. Then of course, you’re diminishing your confidence more and more and more and diminishing your view of yourself. But in order to also build confidence, you do also need to go and do thing that scares the shit out of you.

And then on the other side, even if you fail, practice, speaking to yourself in a different way, practice speaking to yourself, like our friend would more encouraging or at minimum, like, okay, what did I do? Well, our brain is so wired for what didn’t work. Like go to that place. First of what did work here,

the first thing you could start with was just, you get tried. You didn’t keep sitting on your ass. Yeah. Changing that success criteria to having tried and not the results. Right? So the successes, the successes, I took a shot. I shot my shot regardless of what happened, where it went, I’m not good at sports metaphors or regardless of where that shot went,

what matters is, Hey, I tried and it was not the same as, you know, sitting on the couch, doing nothing, which is what I’ve been doing for the last, you know, year. Right? Yeah. And you’re measuring, I think what you just described as measuring success, based on the things that are within your control, like you have control over what you do.

You have control over how you talk to yourself. If those are your two measures of success, great, then you can go have success. Even if you don’t end up with the result you were hoping for at the beginning. Yeah. That’s what kept me not betting on myself for betting against myself for, for so, so many years was, you know,

there was a lot there, but it was this. I didn’t want to fail total fear of failure. I was a perfectionist and I could not accept anything less than that from me. So therefore all of these stories were just keeping me stuck yet deep down, like my inner being my inner calling, there was something within me that was just like, no,

Michael, this isn’t enough like that. Like, I’m not, my story was I could be doing more. Like I was in a corporate job getting paid lots of money, doing all the things, check, check, check that society. My family said I should do, but I looked around. I’m like kid, that’s all nice. But I,

I know that I could be contributing. And for me it was, it was very much fueled by the sense of contribution and service. But I had something to share with the world, with my community. I didn’t know what it was at the time. I did not know I was going to end up coaching. It started off with a blog and from there kind of snowballed,

but it had, I not even taken that chance to even just start the blog. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today. So it’s those little, little chances you take, even if they seem insignificant or even if you’re not sure, like, I didn’t know. Nobody knows. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next, but try, try and see what happens.

And I love to what you described there of, I lost my train of thought for a moment. Hold on, look, y’all, this is life. This is real life phrase, ADHD. Here we go. But measuring success based on a measurement that you’re happy with or you’re satisfied with. And a lot of people that are having that dichotomy between,

I think I should feel successful, but like, I don’t feel successful. It’s just a matter of looking at like, okay, what’s the measurement that you’re using. And are you happy with that measurement? Does that measurement actually align with your soul and your desire or not? And if your desire like you and I have very similar desires for our life and that’s to like find a feeling a sense of fulfillment through helping others.

And like I used to work in the tech industry and had a job that looks nice too. And I was going places and I like didn’t want to do it at all. And I knew that I wanted to coach since I was 13. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that this is what I wanted to do for a living. I didn’t know people got paid for it either.

Like public speaking. I thought that was unpaid for some reason, like none of this stuff I knew, but I knew like the essence of what I wanted to do. And I knew that it wasn’t, I wasn’t meaning it. And so I think that’s important for all of us to take a look at like what, how, what are your measurements for success?

And do you like those measurements? Or is there something that’s maybe more true to who you are? Yeah, for me it was, you know, for, and for a lot of people, I think it’s, it’s what we were conditioned to believe or measurements of success, your job title, how much money you had and whether you had a house,

you know, clothes, you wear that kind of thing. But of course, you know, you and I both know that that’s not where that’s not where the success is. That’s not what happiness is at all. So defining that for me, I’ve redefined it as a sense of fulfillment. And then in terms of mindset piece, like we talk about,

you know, happiness. But now, now for me, it’s not about happiness. Such just want to be at peace with whatever, whatever the world brings me. That is my, that is what I try to orient myself to. Like, I just want to be at peace with whatever’s happening. What’s yours out of curiosity. What have, what have you,

what are you kind of emotionally aligned with? So I think mine really go back to this really amazing tool that I found through Mike IML. Do you know him? I had a podcast on him last time. Okay, perfect. So meeting my sensitivities, I think is really mine. My sense of success or not. Right. So mine are three iconic empower,

thrill, curious, and support. And when I’m meeting those five, I feel amazing. And when I’m not, when I’m denying myself any one of those, then I don’t feel, I feel like I’m failing in life. And so I use those as a great way to kind of judge, okay, where am I? And do I want to do this thing?

Why do I want to do this thing? And is it really actually going to be something that fosters me feeling like empowered, for example, or empowering other people, if that’s not happening, then I don’t think I really want to do it. I definitely was missing that piece in the tech job that I had. Like, it was so damn boring.

I never felt like I was meeting any every now and then like support. I could, I was meeting that it was supporting people, but I think all the others were totally missing. And so none of it felt fulfilling to me. So let’s talk then about what it, what it looks like when you’re not betting on yourself or when you’re betting against yourself.

So the way that I can describe it for myself, as you know, when I’m not, when I’m not betting on myself and I’m not taking those, taking those actions or taking those risks that we talked about, then I’m giving into my, I know that I’m giving it into my self-doubt narratives more than I’m giving into this sense of belief. And you know,

the doubt is always there. So let’s speak, let’s be honest. The doubt is always there. We’re not trying to get rid of that narrative, but for me, it’s about not feeding it as much with more thoughts on that, on that pile of dope. Another way that I used to do it is conforming to just conforming period, conforming to norms.

Averages were not me. Right? And that just didn’t feel good to me. I was like, this, this, this does not suit me like a, a corporate. I was in the financial industry that did not suit me. Right. I come from a very traditional Catholic background that does not suit me as a gay man. That’s not suit me another way is just the sense of,

I call the dimming, my light or dimming, dimming your light, basically like trying to like appease others and doing so by denying who you are by denying the truth of you, denying yourself, your dreams and your desires. To me, that is what, when I felt the most stuck in my life, when I had felt that the most apathetic and hopeless,

I had air quotes, everything that you would want, all of my basic needs were met. I had everything, nothing was, nothing had gone wrong, but I was denying myself the truth of me. And that is what it feels like to not bet on yourself. What, what, what about you, Alex? What would you say? It feels like when you’re in the opposite.

I think some of the, the symptoms that I noticed are like really, really similar to yours. I think we probably have a really similar past, both growing up religious. Also, I came out at 19 as well, and I actually, I did have a friend at the time that I had met like maybe a year prior to coming out. But so I at least had like one,

one person in my life that I knew who was gay. Oh. And then I also had a boyfriend, like I did actually have a boyfriend when I came out. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there. A lot of my symptoms were like people pleasing, like excessive just to Nile of my needs and my wants and my desires. I got into a lot of toxic relationships because I was ready to just kind of latch on to the first guy that gave me any kind of attention or affection.

And I ended up getting into several kind of like over and over repeated patterns of being with narcissistic guys. And one, like, one of them in particular was like a very emotionally abusive relationship, but I was like signed up for it. I was like, yes, give it to me. Come on, let’s have the thrill of this toxic relationship.

I think that I was like enjoying it consciously. I hated it. But subconsciously I was very attached to being treated by someone else the same shitty way I was treating myself internally. I didn’t think that I had any kind of hope for having, you know, a loving, healthy relationship that was different. I also don’t think I had seen that really modeled well for me ever.

And I was also subconsciously addicted to that thrill and the rollercoaster that it gave me. I didn’t know it, but like subconsciously I liked every moment of that con even though consciously, I was like complaining to my friends nonstop about like how hurt I was and blah, blah, blah. So I really see like a lot of ways that, you know,

we call it whether you call it manifesting or something else. I manifested a lot of negative stuff in my life. A lot of turmoil, a lot of unnecessary bullshit because I didn’t really see myself as being capable of having more. And I don’t think I even really knew what to look for. How, how do you think we figure out what it is that we do want?

So in your case, in that example, I think it all has to start off with tuning in to that the first step is that self-awareness like, what is it that you truly want? And how do you figure out when you’re there? What, what happened with you? So I like that relationship ended and very like, and then I attempted suicide.

It was all like back-to-back. And then he, and I ended up getting back together for a short time, but I think that kind of rock bottom desperation of, oh shit, like this is life or death. I can’t go on this way. And therapy and medication aren’t doing anything. Like I, if they were working, I had been in and out of therapy for like,

I don’t know at that time, like seven or eight years collectively. So it was like, if this shit works, it should have worked by now. And the missing piece that I realized was no one can ever do any of this for us. Everyone is just a resource. Every book, every speech, every interaction, every experience in our life is just a resource for us to do what we want with it.

We’ve always got the power to choose how we want to use it. And it really like, unfortunately it’s all a lot of responsibility. All of it really is on us to do what we want with it. And I think, I just thought that if I kept showing up to therapy where read the book or whatever, that I would just, my life would change.

And it didn’t because it’s not about intellectualizing this stuff, you can know all the things and still like have a life that you really freaking hate, but it’s about taking, okay, okay. Now I know it’s intellectually there, but now I need to actually practice it. And I need to be honest with myself and with my therapist at the time, or later down the road with coaches,

I’ve worked with be upfront and honest about like, okay, here’s what I’m noticing. And here’s what I’m seeing. And I’ll allow them to also do their job of reflecting things back. And instead of getting defensive about actually taking it and going, Hmm, okay. Maybe this is actually a great thing. Like to have this extra awareness that I wouldn’t have had already.

It’s like trying to learn how to dance without a mirror. You don’t even know what you look like. You’re like, I look amazing. And if like, when I sing in the shower and I think it sounds amazing, and then I record it and I’m like, oh, I’m not so sure about that. I might need some lessons. Same.

I was just doing that before this podcast. Yeah. So, and that self-awareness is key and it is hard, I think for people to take ownership. And that is part of betting on yourself is taking ownership of, of, of your life, including, well, not including knowing that the only thing that you truly have truly have full control over is what you think,

what you do, your words, your actions, and how you respond to, to all the bullshit life throws at you that you don’t control. You do control how you show up for it. Right. And so that’s part of, part of betting on yourself as like, okay, I am going to, I don’t know how the world’s going to treat this,

but I know how I will show up. And I’m making a commitment to myself to show up in, in whatever way, you know, self-compassion kindness. I think it’s really important that when we do take those risks and we fall flat on our face, which will happen, we pick ourselves up with kindness and gentleness. Right? Yeah. So I know that we both talk a lot about having this concept of having your own back.

Let’s talk about that a bit, explain to the viewer or listener what that means. So having your own back is really just kind of goes back to what we were talking about. The very beginning of how you respond to yourself, what you say to yourself, your self talk, right after anything happens, and then what you decide to do on the other side of it.

So for example, with dating, if you go and you ask somebody out, you can decide ahead of time. I’m going to have my own back. Meaning if they say, yeah, sure. I’d love to go out with you. You’re not going to immediately create a story of, they don’t really mean it. They’re just people pleasing me or,

or you do that. Cause that might be your default. Honestly, it’s souls minded. You fall. Like I’ll still catch myself sharing that. And I’m like, oh my God. But I realized like, okay, it’s just a story. That’s okay. Like, I don’t really know that that’s true. And, and just admitting like, maybe they are people pleasing me or maybe they’re not,

but I got it. Yes. So like, let’s just let it be what it is or the other option is they say no, right. They don’t want to go out with you. And then, so maybe your default right now is, oh my God, I’m I knew it I’m worthless. I could never be with someone like them. You know,

what’s wrong with me. And if that’s your default where you’re at having your own back would look like at the beginning, just going, okay, I see that. I hear that. And that’s definitely just a story that I’m telling myself and it’s optional and I’m willing to just let myself be in this moment. And instead of trying to fight myself and even what we’ll do is we’ll sneakily like beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up.

Right. So at least just observe it and go, Hey, I’m not going to beat myself up. That’s what I’ve practiced for however many years of my life. Of course I’m doing it again. And let’s just let it, let’s ride this wave. And eventually we get to the point of like, I’m okay with the fact that I’m not for that person.

Thanks for just letting me know that. No, you don’t want to go out with me because you know what, I’m an amazing person. And I want to go out with somebody. That’s like, hell yes. I want to go out with somebody. That’s excited to be around me. So I’m all right with it. Like they were supposed to say,

no, they were supposed to say no so that I don’t go and waste my time, hanging out with somebody who doesn’t really want to be around me. I think that that’s like the clearest example I can give. What do you, what do you think? That’s a great example. I love using that one too. Like we get rejected all the time online in person doesn’t matter.

Rejection is just part of the game. A way I like to use it for myself. Having my own back is when I make a decision, I historically am very, have been, have been very indecisive. And now I’m probably like among the most decisive people I know, like I will just make a decision because I’ve learned this, that I will have my own back,

no matter what. So faced with option a or option B, there’s great things in a great things. And B there’s risks in a risks and B I could go on and on, especially as an entrepreneur, as a, as a business person, like you can just spin yourself in circles, not taking any action at all thinking, oh, there’s a right decision and a wrong decision.

But I’ve used this concept of having my own back to say, okay, Michael, I am where I am today. And I’m going to make, I’m going to choose this option option a and no matter what happens, even if it’s a fall flat on your face decision, I will have my own back. And I’ll say, listen, honey, we tried,

we made the best decision we could at the time with the information we had it didn’t pan out. Nothing has gone wrong. Yeah. Yeah. It would be, life would also be so boring. Right. If every decision we just, we knew the outcome and it went perfectly every time. Yeah. That was not very fun. And then you lose the thing and you lose that opportunity to practice that.

Self-compassion right. We lose that. We don’t, if everything you do is the right choice, then you don’t get to learn how to be kind to yourself. Yeah. And it also puts all of the onus like out there and removes your control over being able to talk kindly to yourself no matter what happens, because if it relies on going perfectly, then you’ve got no control over it.

It’s a really great example. Yes. Yeah. I think, I think this is a skill that, I mean, I know you teach it a lot in your coaching and I think it’s super important. It’s just a skill to develop. It’s not something that we’re born with. At least I certainly wasn’t born with it and I’ve had to practice it over and over.

And I sold it over again. Let’s talk a little bit about, you know, I wanted to do this podcast and I was thinking about the person out there who has something within them that they’re not sharing. Right. That, that they have an idea, a business in mind or a truth that they’re not sharing. They have something within them that they’re hiding.

And for me, the concept of betting on yourself is about bringing that to the surface. First of all, with yourself, owning it, having that awareness and then having the courage to share it with the world. So what do you think let’s speak specifically to queer people right now? Why do you think queer people have a harder time with this With like speaking their truth?

Sure. You mean speaking their truth, sharing who they are authentically sharing their, their creativity, their passion. Yeah. I think, I think it really has to do with the expectations that we think are out there for us, because to a certain extent, some of it is obviously yes, it’s up to society, but also there’s lots of times that I realize,

like I thought there was this expectation from other people and there wasn’t. So it was really all in my freaking head the whole time. And most queer people don’t grow with queer parents. And as a kid, we are looking at our parents for patterns that we should mimic and how life should go. Like we’re taking in a lot of information during our early developmental years.

And I think the, the lack of seeing people like us, especially from our caretaker or caretakers, is why a lot of us struggled to, to when, when we start being coming more in touch with our sexuality or gender identity, et cetera, we’re like, something is wrong because like the humans that raised me are like this, and I’m not like this,

oh shit. And it activates some of that primal instinct of like, I’m going to be kicked out of the tribe. I’m not say I’m going to die. So let’s try to fit in how can I, how can I force myself to be a little more assimilated at how can I be more similar to those I see around me. And then I think that pattern ends up just sort of continuing throughout life until we address it.

How to on, Yeah. I, I, that resonates with me a hundred percent. That sounds a lot like my story. And I think that pattern would continue until I got so uncomfortable that I had to do something like, and she’s just got so uncomfortable. Like, okay, something’s got to change. And most people who show up, you know,

on my doorstep as a coach, looking for coach are at that point where they’re like, something is just missing or I can’t keep doing this, not in a, something has gone wrong way, but more so like they, that they’re at a loss for passion or purpose. And they can’t quite figure out where it is or where it comes from. I think it always,

to me goes back to, okay, what are you not sharing with the world? Like where are you not being authentic with yourself where you’re not in alignment with who you are. And that might seem very Lulu or spiritual to some people. And it is for me, I have a very deep spiritual practice. And that was something that I, I had a lot of not,

I guess, shame, maybe shame is what the word I hit it because I was still unsure about it. And so my blog at the time was really me coming out about this and talking about things like the universe and divine and God, and I had kind of reframed what the word God means to me and then aligning my desire to that. And when I did that,

for me, it was like, oh my gosh, talking about this really feels empowering. Alex, Alex coaches, a lot on confidence. Talk to us a little bit then about where does it come from? So I described confidence or I define confidence as the ability to create your own calm in any circumstance. And it comes from exactly what we’ve been talking about with the ability to have your own back.

And when you know that you can have your own back then like, okay, great. Now you could do anything you freaking want to because there’s no longer this risk to you beating the shit out of yourself, mentally about what a terrible person or worthless person you are anymore. And it gives you the ability to then go and make mistakes and try and fail and experiment and ultimately succeed or not like you get to go live your life without the focus being on.

What if, what if, what if whatever Confidence isn’t in the stuff it’s not in the it’s, it’s not, it always felt very far away from me. Like I never felt like a confident person because I was quiet, shy, introverted kind of kid. And I thought confident people were extroverted loud. I had kind of had that mentality of what it meant to be confident.

Then I changed it to become kind of like, I liked what you said. What did you say? Create calm. Yeah. Yeah. When I could create that calm within me, then nothing. I shouldn’t say nothing. Fear became a lot less of a detractor. I was like, yep. Here’s fear. Here’s fear. Yeah. It’s like feeling that you have about any other feeling can be calm.

Like, I feel terrified of somethings, but I’m like, okay, I’m calm about being terrified. I’m not like I have to hurry up and fix it. I got to get rid of all anxiety in my life. I’m like, Nope, this is part of being human. I’m going to feel this entire range. And I’m, I’m here for it.

Sign me up. Let’s go Allowing, allowing the negative emotions to be there. And sometimes they really fucking suck. And it’s still do for me. I’m not saying that I’m cured, but you know, you, you, your capacity to feel becomes so much greater. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Yeah, totally. Okay. Hopefully we’ve inspired the viewers and listeners out there to bet on themselves.

The, the next question might be how exactly does one do that? So let’s talk about that. How, what are the steps? If we had a guidebook to bet on yourself, what would you tell them First? I would first start with that, having your own back. And even if I can bring in like the three steps of confidence, which are be willing to be uncomfortable,

or you just it’s okay. It’s okay to be uncomfortable here. Second and take action on third, have your own back. Like I would first start with like, make sure you like, bring that framework in so that you’re not just sort of betting on yourself in a way that’s not really actually betting on yourself. It’s more like here, let me traumatized myself.

So those things I’m trying to think of. What else? I think the other piece that’s really important, especially that we brought out with today’s discussion was that they make sure that they’re using their own personal measure of success here, that they like their measurement of success here. Because that way you can actually bet and decide like, did you win right or not?

And then what did you learn from it on the other side? How do you like what actually went well as something to always start with? Because your brain will always go immediately to what didn’t work, but first start force yourself. What works well for me, even if it was like the tiniest, tiniest, tiniest thing, maybe it’s just as simple as you actually tried.

You took action. You did it. And then allow yourself, okay, now I know what works well, what doesn’t really work and what am I going to do different the next time that I encounter something like this? Yeah. Those are very powerful questions. And you’re right. You know, your brain will always go to the negative first and that’s okay.

Nothing has gone wrong. We all do that. It’s just, it’s the way we’re wired. It’s fine. But we also have the choice then to say, okay, I hear you. Let’s go now to the other side of things and look at what digital also thank you for that. I would say for me, it’s, it’s about knowing who you are,

right? So self-awareness that first step? Like what are your core values? You know, you talked about yours really awesome, or they definitely, as you mentioned them, you know, they definitely encapsulate you from what I, what I see on the, on social media for me, journaling has helped me figure out who I am truly authentically what I want truly authentically,

not what society wants me to think I need, or want practicing radical honesty as well. I did a podcast with Mike about sex positivity. And one of the things we talked about there was just being radically honest with yourself about your desires in the bedroom, but this applies to life. Like, just be honest about what you want. Right. And then yes.

Going back to what you said, using that as your measurement of success, perhaps instead of something that was kind inherited from, from society, from your family. And then once you’ve identified those things that you want aligning yourself, being more intentional with your thinking, changing those narratives, or at least becoming aware of the ones that aren’t serving you, acknowledging them.

We don’t want to like deny them, acknowledge them and then start to create new ones, changing those beliefs, questioning the beliefs and then changing them. Yeah. Yeah. I think those are the first two, the first two main steps. And then of course I think embracing discomfort is something. We also talk a lot about on this podcast because I think it personally keeps a lot of people stuck.

You know, people come to me and say that they’re stuck or apathetic. And the first thing I look at is what actions have you taken in your life? What risks have you taken? How have you stepped out of your comfort zone? And chances are 99% of the time. It’s a big fat zero. Yeah. Yeah. And then in coming with the,

with the embracing discomfort is yes. Having your own back because as you do that, it’s super important that you’re going to land on soft ground, meaning like your own arms kind of, I imagined myself cradling a little, little hurt, baby. Michael who’s who’s been who’s failed or who’s had his heartbroken or his feelings hurt or something like that. And treating myself with kindness and compassion.

Yeah. Fantastic. Anything else to add on those steps to bet on yourself? That was fun with that. Yeah. That’s such a good one. Yes. Like y’all we take wife or way too fucking seriously. It’s just not that big a deal. Like nothing is that big of a deal. And there, there are there’s pain and there’s joy.

And when you get to feel the entire spectrum, but that is what it is to be alive is to feel so like, let’s go, let’s feel, let’s just have an experience in this lifetime. I’m just feeling a lot. And yeah, it’s going to, not, some of those feelings are going to be really crappy, but also some of them are going to be really amazing.

Yeah. And denying the feelings or how we buffer against them. Or it’s usually what actually hurts us is actually the denying of them. That hurts us more than actually just fucking feeling them. Right. Need lonely if you’re lonely. It’s okay. Just be lonely. Have your own bag, treat yourself with kindness. I acknowledge what it is, but it doesn’t like,

I don’t know anyone who’s had a feeling forever. They don’t last forever. No, no. In in fact someone told me I, there you have to Google it, but some kind of study where they tried to see like how long you could actually experience an emotion for. And the longest that like the average longest that a human can actually hold on to a,

an, an emotion is 90 seconds. Wow. That’s it? Yeah. That’s amazing. Okay. Again, check it, Google it. Make sure I’m accurate. I think it was 90 seconds. You know what I know. It was not very long at all. And I was like, huh, that’s so interesting. So if maybe we were like,

let’s feel sad, even more sad, even more sad, even more Saudi, even worse eventually you’re like, it’s done. I don’t have any more sad left in me. Yeah. I was just thinking about it. As you said it, you know, what I do is if I’m sad, I’m sad, then I’m like, then I want to get out of the sadness.

So then I get anxious about being sad. And then that just adds another one. So now there’s 90 seconds of another one. And then all of a sudden they’re piling on that. I’m like mad at myself that I got sad in the first place or something, or we get stressed or anxious about the negative emotions. So maybe the 90 seconds of one could turn into 180 and then you’re doing two.

Right. That makes sense. Yeah. Alex, so let’s finish off with giving our listeners of one thing that can do today to bet on themselves. I am going to challenge you to have an uncomfortable conversation. Yeah. Okay. Go ahead. Go have an uncomfortable conversation and then use everything that you just learned in this podcast to like follow through with it and have a different experience.

Just even demonstrate to yourself that, oh, okay. Wait a minute. There isn’t another possibility, like maybe difficult conversations in the past always led to one outcome for you. Now they can lead to something else. Something a little more repeatable or inviting, but you might enjoy it more. Yeah. Good. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. I guess,

gosh, you’re going to ask me something they can do to bet on themselves today. I would say take action. Some small action. So I always go back to, to this version of me who was not taking action and staying stuck because I didn’t know. Or I told myself, I didn’t know, try. I would say, make the attempt to take the shot,

make the attempt to do something. Even if it’s going to be, even if it’s not gonna work out, just do something in service of you. Let’s be clear in service of you doesn’t have to be big. Like we don’t want to, like you said, traumatize ourselves, or just do something in service of you and see what happens. I guarantee that even though there’s going to bring up fear,

just doing something for yourself, will that acts will feel good for you and empowering. It’s like, all of these are like just bad on yourself that you’ll survive. You’re not going to die. Let’s just keep it that simple. Okay. Thank you Alex. So where can our listeners and viewers find you? I keep it really simple. Any platform I’m on just search coach,

Alex Ray. So Facebook, Instagram TechTalk and my website is also coach Alex gray.com. Awesome. And I will put all of that in the show notes. So if you’re listening to this on the podcast, or if you’re on YouTube, just go to the show notes and all that information will be there. Okay. Any final words? That’s it from me?

I think. Thank you so much, Michael, for having me. It’s been an honor. And thank you listener of this podcast for having us in your ear for the last like hour. We appreciate your time. Thank you A hundred percent. Thank you. Yes. We hope this episode inspired you to bet on yourself. Because as we said at the beginning,

the world needs you. The world needs you to show up to be you. The world needs your, your beautiful contribution. And you’re just showing up as your beautiful self. So if you have any questions or need some support around this, like I said, we’ll have our info in the show notes. Please go ahead and leave us some comments on YouTube.

We’ll be reading and replying there. If you’re not already in the gay men’s brotherhood, Facebook group, please join us. We have about what do we have? 4,600 men now. Yeah, it’s all about personal development, mental health and sexuality, just like this podcast. And a reminder for our viewers listeners out there, this podcast and YouTube channel is fluster and viewer supported.

So if you enjoy what we’re creating, how you can support us by heading over to our Patrion page, in the show notes and help us support the show, it helps us to continue making amazing content for you and supporting our community. And finally, the gay men going deeper membership is open. So if you’ve been waiting to join us in there, we have a bunch of guys joining us.

Now we’ve got weekly zoom calls with like-minded guys and we go deeper on all of your personal development and dolls and sexuality topics. So join us in the membership and we’ve got some awesome things, programmed and ready for you in 2022. So head over to gay men, going deeper.com to join us. Thank you again, Alex. And thank you. Listener viewer.

Have a beautiful day, everyone.

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