Creative Status: Episode 9: Charna Cassell: Trauma & Transendence

Creative Status is a podcast about using your creativity to increase your status and improve your health, wealth, and relationships.

The most addictive thing on the planet is EGO ?

When I’m coaching people I often see them struggling with an addiction to their own sense of identity/ego/personality/whatever you want to call it.

This wouldn’t be a problem if their ego ‘stuff’ actually served them and helped them to ACCEPT themselves and life unconditionally but 9 times out of 10 it’s formulated as a DENIAL of the real self and a refusal to embrace life as life itself.

When we’ve identified in this UNREAL way then we just end up creating FRICTION, FRUSTRATION & MISERY for ourselves that prevents us from getting where we WANT to be.

When we don’t understand that an UNREAL personality is just a survival response to the shame, guilt, and trauma that we’ve been through then we fall into two TRAPS:

1. We think that we actually ARE this (shame/guilt/trauma) RESPONSE and so everything we do in life is FILTERED through this false identity and the assumptions about ourselves, the world, and reality that come with it.

In this state, when we try and make changes in our lives, we just end up ‘rearranging the furniture on the Titanic’ and rearranging the SYMPTOMS of this fundamental problem (a sense of DISCONNECTION from ourselves).

2. We think that our personality is ‘fixed’ and so we don’t realise that we can REPLACE WHAT DOESN’T SERVE US with something REAL that does.

More often that not, this is a process of UNLEARNING all of the things that we’ve put in our own way.

In both cases, because we’re dealing with an ADDICTION, it will be HARD to change our habits and we may have to chip away at it several times before we get where we need to be.

One way to overcome this is to create a DAILY PRACTICE that will help us to realign ourselves and to BECOME who we want to be.

Charna Cassell is the host of the Laid Open Podcast and the founder of the Center for Passionate Living – she uses a lot of holistic and somatic techniques to support people in this area but her work ultimately explores bridging the gap between the sex-positive and trauma healing worlds.

I dissovered Charna’s work via her podcast and I wanted to reach out and talk to her about some of the ideas she’s shared around the journey from trauma to transcendence. This is a path that’s come up many times already on Creative Status (and will again because it’s so fundamental to the human journey) but I really love Charna’s ability to humanise and give practical steps for walking this path and growing more whole.

If you want to understand the mechanics of deconstructing trauma in our lives and using creativity as a vehicle for doing so then this conversation will really help you.

Listen to the full episode using the player above or on your favourite podcast platform!

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Creative Status Episode 1: Flow, Freedom, Chaos, and Creativity With Sabrina Lindner

Creative Status is a podcast about using your creativity to increase your status and improve your health, wealth, and relationships.

In this episode of Creative Status,  life coach Sabrina Lindner and I discuss the ins-and-outs of the creative FREE FLOW state and how we can tweak our lives and mindsets to spend more time in this amazingly creative place to improve our lives and get the kind of results we really want.

Along the way, we also explore creative ways to figure out our real values, how to walk the fine line between order and chaos, how people have misconceptions that give reality a ‘bad’ reputation and hold themselves back from life, the relationship between creativity and the shadow self and a load more insights that you can start implementing right away.

If you want to understand the practical side of ‘unblocking’ yourself creatively then this episode will definitely get you on the right track.


Leave a voice message to share your thoughts and to be (maybe) featured on future episodes of the podcast: 

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Free one hour creative workshop to take you brand or project to the next level.

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‘Why Do People Play Mind Games?’ – The Truth About POWER, SCARCITY, and EGO


Intro: What Does It Mean To Play Mind Games?

This article is about the UNREAL mind games that people play, why they play them in the first place, and what you can do if you find yourself involved with somebody who’s trying to pull you into this kind of mental bullshittery.

Before you read the main bulk of the article you need to know that these games are simply a form of DRAMA and that all drama is simply an unreal attempt of one person – or parties if you look at it culturally – to drag another person into the narratives and ideas that their EGO depends on for existence.

If you’re a rational adult human being and you find yourself engaging with somebody that plays ‘mind games’ with you then you need to realise that the only REAL way to ‘win’ is to simply walk away (or as I’ve said a million and three times on this website and elsewhere: “Gimme something real or GTFO”).

Mind games always stem from somebody being INSECURE about their position in life and the way that they see themselves because of a PERCEIVED lack of power or status (because they’re insecure and they’re comparing themselves to others based on ILLUSORY standards and ideals that exist in their MINDS alone – hence these games being called ‘Mind’ Games).

If you engage with the ‘game’ then it just means that you’re being insecure at some level too and you probably have some work to do in terms of RESPECTING yourself and setting the real, healthy boundaries that having such self-respect entails.

A general ‘rule’ of life is that you get what you tolerate and so if you put up with these kind of mind games or even find yourself playing back then you’re just inviting more unnecessary drama and more BS into your life.

This is always a distraction from the fact that you’ve lost touch with your own PURPOSE at some level and so you find solace in engaging in the pettiness and prickliness that comes from mind games.

This article will help you understand why people play these games in the first place, some of the most common and basic games that get played, and what you can do to WORK ON YOURSELF and disengage from this kind of nonsense whilst keeping your sanity intact and growing REAL.

Here we go:

What Type Of Person Plays Mind Games? – Ego, Scarcity, And Control

The first thing you need to know about mind games is that – like DRAMA – they are played by people who are insecure and have an emotional need to CONTROL things in order to keep their insecurity at bay.

In other words, playing MIND GAMES is a form of CONTROL FREAKERY which means that it’s an attempt by somebody to control their external surroundings – and the people in it – in such a way that it allows them to keep their self-image in place and to keep unwanted emotional ‘stuff’ at bay.

If you haven’t read much of my writing before then you might need to know here that when people are being unreal in this way their SELF-IMAGE/EGO is actually an UNREAL construct that has been created by the person in question (unconsciously and consciously) to help them hide certain underlying emotions from themselves.

Almost always, these emotions are ‘negative’ – like shame, guilt, and/or trauma – but it’s also possible that they’re trying to hide positive emotions from themselves because these emotions have caused them to get in trouble in the past.

An example here is that maybe they had a situation somewhere in their history where they freely expressed their ‘joy’ or ‘love’ but this just ended up getting them HURT and so now they disowned these positive feelings behind a self-image that helps them convince themselves they don’t have these feelings anymore (so they won’t get hurt again).

Whatever the case may be, ‘Game Players’ are using the games that they play in an attempt to manipulate people into acting in such a way that they can tell themselves the STORY THEY WANT TO BELIEVE ABOUT THEMESELVES IS TRUE (when it isn’t – because if it was they wouldn’t be playing games as THE TRUTH SPEAKS FOR ITSELF).

They WANT TO BELIEVE this story not because it’s true but because it allows them to keep hiding from themselves and not have to do the difficult work of facing or re-integrating their emotional ‘stuff’ (and the point should probably be made that what we ‘want’ doesn’t have any impact on the truth at all).

In short, then, the type of person who plays mind games is almost always an INSECURE CONTROL FREAK (though they might not and probably don’t identify as that).

Along with control freakery, there are also a few other characteristic emotional and thought patterns that game players also embody:

The first is that they almost always have a SCARCITY MINDSET and see life as a zero-sum game.

That might sound a bit ‘technical’ but all it means is that they see the REAL and IMPORTANT things in life (like ‘acceptance’, ‘truth’,  ‘feeling good’, etc.) as being SCARCE instead of ABUNDANT (which the real things are because reality applies to EVERYBODY) and so they believe that if somebody else feels good then it somehow means they won’t be able to (that’s the Zero-sum game part: if I have X then you can’t have X whereas in reality it’s possible for us to both have X at the same time (A Non-Zero Sum Game)).

Because of their underlying insecurity, seeing life in this way just causes them to constantly be comparing themselves to others and to assess themselves according to BULLSHIT STANDARDS that they’ve created for themselves about what it ‘means’ to be ‘winning’ in the context of the game (which they also made up).

This feeds back into their control freakery and so not only do they attempt to play games to control situations and to mask their insecurity from themselves and others but also at this extra level of being able to convince themselves that they’re ‘winning’ some illusory competition that only exists in their heads because of their INABILITY to face and perceive REALITY accurately.

In short, then, these GAME PLAYERS are ultimately detached from their real selves, created a FAKE IMAGE of themselves to try and act out as a response to this, and then end up trying to use games as a way of controlling the world around them in order to keep hiding and to convince themselves that their FALSE PERCEPTION of reality is the truth about things.

How To Tell If Someone Is Playing Mind Games With You: Mental Tension, Anxiety, and Addiction to Dramatic Situations

To understand if somebody is actually playing mind games with you, it’s essential that you understand one of the ‘simplest’ and most common mind games known to humanity (in fact, this is probably the most common mind game on the planet and you’ve probably been dragged into it at some stage in your life).

This game is known as THE CHASE (or, at least, that’s what I’m calling it) and it exists because of a simple law of human psychology that pervades all of our minds when we’re running on instinctual autopilot and letting our EGOs operate for us instead of being real.

This law of human nature is one you’ll have heard in some way, shape, or form before probably:

People want what they can’t have and don’t want what they can have.

Again, this comes back to something that was mentioned above: a SCARCITY MINDSET.

When we PERCEIVE things as being ‘scarce’ – whether they actually are in reality or not (hence it being about ‘perception’) – then our human instinct is to treat them as being VALUABLE.

If we perceive something as being abundant or something that absolutely anybody can ‘have’ then our tendency is to think that it’s not valuable and to no longer want it.

This is just a weird ‘bug’ in human psychology but it’s something that we all instinctively ‘know’ and are driven by – if we live on instinctual autopilot – and is why Game Players use this quirk of human nature as the foundation of the majority of the games they play.

The Chase – i.e. making ourselves seem more ‘scarce’ than we actually are in order to control situations – is something that you will see playing out time and time again in many different areas of life:

-In the world of dating, you might run into a game player who purposely ignores your texts or makes themselves otherwise unavailable.

-In the world of business, you might bump into a marketer that will tell you they only have a limited number of their products/services available.

-In your social circle, somebody might attempt to give themselves the PERCEPTION of higher status by making themselves hard to get hold of or making their time more scarce than it actually is.


I’m sure you can think of examples in your own life.

Of course, not everybody that’s unavailable is playing a game – maybe they’re just busy or they actually have a life. With GAME PLAYERS, however, they are purposely manipulating situations so that you will think they’re more ‘valuable’ than they actually are.

If you’re not aware of this then you’ll end up doing exactly what the game is designed to make you do: CHASE THEM.

This is the easiest way to know if you’ve been dragged into a mind game (and happen to be ‘losing’):

-You constantly find yourself ‘chasing’ another person.

-You constantly feel anxiety or mental TENSION because you’re always on the ‘lookout’ for signs that they’re going to give you valuable attention (or whatever).

-You don’t feel like the relationship is ‘balanced’ in terms of the respect you’re giving each other but for some reason you can’t stop yourself from engaging in this UNREAL way.


Another common trick that GAME PLAYERS play is that they will initially bombard you with the kind of attention you want (which they’re normally good at figuring out on a person-to-person basis because they’re master manipulators).

For example, they might – at the start of a relationship – spend all night texting you or whatever and making you feel like they understand you (assuming that’s what they think you want and what you respond well to).

Once they’ve got you ‘hooked’ then they’ll withdraw this attention and then try to get you sucked into the CHASE.  This is how they increase the odds of getting you to play the game – they get you addicted (because of your own insecurity, tbh) then they play with that in order to enjoy the thrill of the chase.

Ultimately, like all mind games – the ‘thrill’ that Game Players get from playing with you in this way is that they feel POWERFUL.

This ‘powerful’ feeling comes from the perception that the person doing the chasing is less valuable than the person being chased (because of the law of human nature shared above that we want what we can’t have and that we don’t want what we can have).

This is a very ‘animalistic’ thing and ultimately comes down to the way that human beings have a natural tendency to assess social situations in relation to POWER.

All of the games that people play are ultimately about attempting to see oneself – for the sake of one’s EGO ‘stuff’ – as the most ‘powerful’ one in a given dynamic.

Here are some other simple games that are commonly played that evolve around the same BS way of thinking:

Common Games That People Play (To Increase  Self-Perception in Terms of ‘Power’).

Most mind games are some sort of variation of ‘The Chase’ and all have the idea of ‘power’ over another person at their heart.

Some of the most common games that people play on a daily basis and that you can get sucked into if you’re not careful are:

“Yeah, but” – This is a game named by the Transactional Analyst Eric Berne and basically involves the Game Player asking you for some advice about a ‘problem’ that they have in life only for them to shut down every suggestion you make with “Yeah, but (and then an excuse for not doing it)”.

The ‘game’ here is that – if you’re not careful – you will end up trying to ‘chase’ them by coming up with more and more suggestions as to how they can solve their problems.

Because they have no desire whatsoever to solve the problem – which might not even exist in the first place – or to let you know that the advice you’re giving is ‘good’ enough or effective they’ll just keep deflecting anything you suggest.

An insecure person will keep playing the game which just allows the game player to feel ‘powerful’ or ‘superior’ (really a mask for their own insecurity).  If you’re secure (i.e. REAL with yourself) then you’ll snap out of it and just let them get on with it by themselves.

Talking over you/ Not listening – This is a game that some insecure Game Players will play in a group of people.  Because they have convinced themselves that the person who talks the most is the most powerful or important then they will  make a conscious effort to speak over anybody else who talks in the group.

In their minds, they tell themselves that this must mean they’re the most important or powerful because they’re doing the most talking (even if they’re chatting nonsense!). Again, they’ve fallen into the Zero-sum trap (mentioned above) and have convinced themselves that attention is ‘scarce’ and so they need to try and ‘take’ it from others using these kind of games.

If you’re not careful/real, then you can get caught up in this game and either end up being subdued and hiding in yourself or even turning up the volume yourself and talking over others. Both of these approaches are actually unreal and mean that the game BEAT YOU –  the best thing to do is simply to not play by only talking when you actually want to talk or WALKING AWAY if the game becomes too insane.

Ignoring – Another game that is obviously related to the chase is that Game Players will ignore you on purpose (in social situations, texts, whatever) hoping that they will lure you into a CHASE for their attention.

Again – as a reminder – people who play these kind of games are only doing it because they’re INSECURE but if you’re not careful you can take it as a ‘personal’ thing and end up getting caught up in the chase or even questioning them about why they ignored you in the first place.

If somebody does ignore you for whatever reason then you need to remember that it says more about THEM than you.  As soon as it starts to ‘bother’ you, then you’ve lost the game.

Teasing – Sometimes, people will ‘tease’ you to see if they can get a rise out of you or to make you lose control of yourself emotionally.

Of course, some ‘teasing’ is done in good spirits and is just ‘banter’ between friends (so there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it).

On other occasions, this kind of unreal teasing is just a GAME that people are playing in an attempt to see if you’ll lose your cool, take it personally, or try and defend yourself in some way.

In all of these cases, the GAME is about making you lose control of yourself and to see if you will DOUBT your own self-image (which if you’re insecure and unreal you will).

When you do give the Game Player a sign that you’ve been shaken or bothered by the ‘teasing’ then they feel that you’ve lost control because of them and so – by extension – they have some kind of POWER over you (because you lost it over yourself).

Etc. – These are just simple examples of the common mind games that people will play with you and there are many other variations but they all have the same thing in common: they’re about somebody wanting to feel POWERFUL and in CONTROL of somebody in order to mask their own insecurity and feel like they’re ‘winning’ the game.

The Perception of Power: The Source of All Game Playing

The short answer to ‘WHY’ people want to play games with you in the first place is because they’re insecure (i.e. they have underlying shame, guilt, and/or trauma) and so they attempt to pacify these feelings of insecurity by doing things that make them PERCEIVE themselves as powerful (and perception is not reality).

This means that they become skilled in looking for other people that may be insecure and luring them into the dance of the CHASE in order to feel that they have power over people (and if they have ‘power’ then they can’t be as weak or insecure as they sometimes feel – at least that’s what they tell themselves).

Really, this just boils down to human beings being ANIMALS and animals being wired – in many cases – to think of life in terms of DOMINANCE and SUBMISSION.

If somebody lures you into their game and you give into it then, ultimately, they have dominance over you (because they’re controlling your relationship with REALITY and the actions you take in it) and you have become SUBMISSIVE to their will.

In short, that’s what all of these ‘mind games’ are actually about: testing you to see if you can be made submissive for whatever reason and give up your own REAL relationship with REALITY for somebody’s unreal relationship with BULLSHIT.

If you can, then they’ve beaten you in the ‘game’ and have used you as a vehicle for flipping the script on their own self-perceived submissiveness and allowing themselves to feel DOMINANT.

Whether you like it or not, that’s what mind games are always about – attempting to increase one’s sense of POWER within the social hierarchy and masking the shame (etc.) that comes from being unreal.

How To Outsmart Someone Who Plays Mind Games: Abundance Mindset and Walking Away

The short answer in terms of finding a solution to the problem of mind games is that you need to develop an ABUNDANCE mindset.

This is because and abundance mindset is ALIGNED with reality itself (which is whole and therefore abundant) and so it circumvents all of the unreal programming that causes you to get caught up in the GAMES that come from having a scarcity mindset in the first place.

When you have an abundance mindset, for example, you know that whatever you think you ‘want’ from other people isn’t SCARCE and so you will be less likely to get caught up in the CHASE.

You will also understand that ‘power’ isn’t a Zero-sum game (like the Game Player thinks) and so you won’t have to waste your time getting caught up in the false duality of dominance and submission that the POWER GAMES ultimately rest upon.

The only REAL power that any of us have in life is abundant because it comes from cultivating a REAL relationship with ourselves, the world, and reality.

The long-and-short of all this is that you would only get caught up in UNREAL GAMES if you’re being unreal with yourself at some level.

An abundance mindset allows you to start telling yourself a story about yourself and your life that is more aligned with REALITY and so you will be less likely to either play unreal games with insecure game players or you will not let the effects of the games bother you because you know that the PRIZE IS ALWAYS WORTHLESS (because it’s not real – just a false perception of power).

This brings us to the final point which is  that the easiest way to OUTSMART and ‘win’ when somebody is playing mind games is simply not to play.

If somebody is trying to lure you into a ‘chase’ or is playing any of the variations that we’ve talked about in this article then the best approach is simply to NOT GET INVOLVED.

The more REAL you are in yourself – because you’ve worked on your own emotional ‘stuff’ and you’ve raised your AWARENESS of why these kind of unreal situations emerge in our lives – the easier it will be to walk away.

This,  again, comes down to having an abundance mindset – if you’re  being UNREAL with yourself for whatever reason then you might end up putting your own personal GAME PLAYER on a pedestal and thinking that they’re more scarce than they actually are.

Actually, that’s just a sign that you’ve been dragged into some kind of game and that you’ve put them on an unreal pedestal because of  your own unreal ‘stuff’.

When you’re being real you realise that you DESERVE real in return and so you don’t need to WASTE TIME on somebody that would play games with you.

Realise that there a billions of people out there in the world and that somebody, somewhere will want to be in your life – either as friends, romantically, or otherwise – without playing games.

You can only realise that and walk away to let it happen if you have an abundance mindset.

Remember that “REAL ALWAYS WORKS” and go find the real stuff – life is too short for MIND GAMES and the only ‘thing’ allowing games in your life is you.

Stop playing and start living.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

“I Used To Be Creative” – How To Be REAL Again


What Causes Loss of Creativity and HOW TO GET YOUR CREATIVITY BACK

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A problem that I find a lot of people struggling with when I’m coaching is that they “USED TO BE” a certain way – creative, joyful, confident, whatever – but for some inexplicable reason they’ve witnessed these REAL qualities fade away and they don’t know how to get them back.

When people find themselves having this particular problem they often start to believe that those qualities have slipped through their fingers forever and they just have to learn to live without them.

This article will show you that this way of thinking is actually part of the problem – as well as showing you how those qualities became clouded and hidden from you in the first place (and how you can get yourself back on the track to getting back in touch with them).

One thing you need to know before you start reading is something that’s been said on this site and in my books before:

What’s real about you is always real.

The kind of qualities that we’re talking about here – in particular, for the sake of this article, our CREATIVITY – aren’t something that are special or scarce but something that are vital, essential, and REAL to all human beings by virtue of being human in the first place.

They can’t go anywhere because they’re REAL – you can only distance yourself from them or prevent yourself from stretching the muscles you need to stretch to make the most of them.

We’re going to focus on the quality of ‘being creative’ as an example but what’s going to be said here applies to any real human quality that will allow us to keep growing, keep learning, and moving towards more WHOLENESS in our lives (i.e. a better connection to ourselves, the world, and reality).

We’ll start by looking at the main reasons you became DETACHED from your creativity – or, at least, started looking the other way – and then we’ll look at some things you can do to start tuning in again.

Here we go:

You started listening to the world more than yourself and you became conditioned to think the unreal things about you are real.

As the age old story goes, we’re born real but then the world starts to creep in and make us believe that we’re unreal.

It does this by giving a bunch of false beliefs and assumptions about ourselves, the world, and reality that we take on board as the truth about life and then hypnotise ourselves into believing.

As enough time passes, we forget that we’ve been hypnotising ourselves with these unreal beliefs and actually start to believe that we actually are whatever it is we’ve been telling ourselves we are.

Some people spend their whole lives believing this unreal story – always with a sense of restlessness never knowing why.

If you’re lucky then you can WAKE YOURSELF UP and start being real again – but only if you do the work required of diving into yourself and your belief systems and learning to flip the script by separating the real from the unreal.

In relation to why you “USED TO BE” creative but now hardly find yourself ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE, it all starts with this unreal story and the effects of your conditioning and your capacity to resist and wake yourself up instead of hypnotising yourself.

Somewhere along the line, you’ve allowed the world to condition you into believing that your creativity is not important (or even existent in the extreme cases) and so you’ve started to value the world and CONCEPTS more than yourself and EXPERIENCE.

Unfortunately, because the world doesn’t generally want you to be ‘creative’ and instead wants us to be a productive, money-driven member of society you probably ended up valuing the cultural values and ideals of a results-driven uncreative world.

This could’ve been something that you picked up from your parents when you were younger – who perhaps didn’t value your creative work as much as they could’ve done (or simply didn’t ‘get it’ because they weren’t on the path that you were on).

Maybe it was your peers who valued video games or whatever else – usually some other distraction – over doing the creative work that you used to enjoy doing.

Maybe it was just the general culture you grew up in and the messages you picked up from movies or mainstream music or whatever about what you ‘should’ be doing with your life and the kind of person you ‘should’ be.

It might be something completely different but it’s always the case that something somewhere along the line gave you a bunch of ideas that at the very least made you see your creativity as being LESS IMPORTANT than it actually is and – in the worst cases – made you give up on it completely.

You ‘Grew Up’ and Stopped Growing

At the end of the day, creativity is something that we ALL have – even though it can express itself differently in all our lives – because it’s something that is ESSENTIAL for the process of human beings growing more real and becoming more WHOLE.

The short-version of this is that the creative process allows whatever is going on in your unconscious mind to come to the surface and to be processed in the light of your conscious understanding – this means that you’ll have a better grasp of who you really are, what you’re really thinking, feeling, and value, and will be able to make better decisions moving forward on account of whatever INSIGHT is revealed (because more insight leads to more REALITY).

See this article about creativity for more details about that process or listen to the Creative Status Podcast.

Because creativity is so vital to our growth, we can end up being a “used-to-be-creative” if we reach a stage where we trick ourselves into thinking that we’ve done all of the growing that we need to do and that we’re now a final product instead of a work in progress.

If you tell yourself that you’ve ‘grown up’ and that you know everything you need to know or that you’re ‘right’ about everything or any of the other UNREAL qualities that come with seeing yourself as ‘finalised’ and ‘done’ learning or growing then you just end up causing yourself to believe in what I call the ‘Illusion of Stasis’.

The Illusion of Stasis is just the irrational idea that you no longer need to move with life and that the ideas you carry about yourself, the world, and reality are the final word about these things.

When you start to believe this then you end up having EGO RESISTANCE to the natural flow of reality itself (aka THE REALITY WAVES) and so you end up living in a little box and trying to control everything instead of facing and growing through the CHAOS of life (because you’ve created a false sense of order with your EGO / self-image).

The solution here is to let go of who you think you are and to allow yourself to start GROWING and moving forward again. Your creativity will have to kick back into action if you do because that’s what it’s for: to help you navigate this process in the context of your own life.

You became outcome-dependent because you forgot how to play.

If we’re not careful then as we get older and ‘wiser’ (or not), we can become incredibly results-driven and obsessed with the outcomes of whatever it is that we happen to be doing.

There’s a longer article about outcome-independence here on this site, but the short version of what it means (if you don’t know) is that your feelings of self-worth and levels of self-acceptance are dependent on the outcomes of whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.

This is an irrational approach to living and a form of CONTROL FREAKERY because nobody can always achieve the outcomes that they want to achieve all of the time and so by putting your self-acceptance in the hands of outcomes you’re putting the way you feel about yourself at the mercy of chance and chaos (instead of being REAL and taking it as a given no matter what by practising UNCONDITIONAL SELF-ACCEPTANCE).

In relation to our creativity, outcome-dependence prevents us from setting out on a creative journey or by starting a creative project in the first place because we condition ourselves to believe that it’s simply not worth doing unless we can guarantee certain results.

The problem is that creativity – like life – is ultimately about facing UNCERTAINTY and the UNKNOWN and riding through the EDGE of our ideas about ourselves to be able to allow something new to emerge out of CHAOS.

In other words, if you try to get guarantees from the creative process then you’ll set yourself up for failure and be disappointed…

Creativity isn’t a one-way street – it’s a two-way exchange of information between you and reality itself. As you set out with an ‘idea’ about what you’re going to create – be it a book or a painting or whatever else – those ideas will guide you and serve as your map but you will have to learn and modify the original plan in the light of reality.

As the saying goes, “The map is not the territory”. Ever.

If you’re outcome-dependent then you won’t be able to ride out this chaotic pathway because you’ll need everything to be a certain way and try to control things to ‘protect’ your self-worth (which doesn’t even need to be protected because you’re always worthy no matter what outcomes you attain – what’s real is always real).

The opposite attitude here is to be outcome-independent which means that you set out on your creative journey knowing that all you need to really do is “do your best and forget the rest” because it’s the PROCESS that will help you the most to learn and grow real, not the end results or outcomes themselves.

If you find yourself being too ‘rigid’ about your creative goals and lapsing into outcome-dependence to the extent that you can’t even get started then you need to introduce a more PLAYFUL attitude to the way that you’re approaching things.

Ultimately, this just means staying curious, seeing what happens and taking some of the pressure off yourself to get certain results – when you were younger and “used to be” creative this is most likely the attitude that you had: it was FUN, not something serious that your whole life depends on (or at least your levels of feeling good about yourself).

In short, it’s not WHAT you do but HOW you do it.  If you create a piece of art (or whatever) in a ‘serious’, outcome-dependent way, it’s going to be a lot less real than one that’s created in a ‘playful’, outcome-independent way.

You Stopped Being Curious Because You Think You’ve Seen It All

As we get older, we can risk becoming jaded and feeling like we’ve seen it all, done it all, and been everything we will ever be.

This is, of course, a consequence of ‘growing up’ as we discussed above but there’s also a slightly deeper issue which is that our attitude becomes unreal and ends up blocking our ability to get outside of the hamster wheel of the same old thoughts and ideas we usually have and the same old things we do because of them.

Most of us will end up finding ourselves in some kind of a routine – in many ways, this is something that we need to bring a sense of structure and order to our lives and as long as this routine supports our growth without being too RIGID then it will add value to our lives.

Problems can arise, however, when we end up creating a routine at a time in our lives when we’re one version of ourselves and then life and who we ‘are’ changes around us but the routine doesn’t.

When this happens we end up just going through the motions and living on autopilot:

-Going the same way to work every day.

-Eating the same foods.

-Having the same conversations with the same people.

-Doing our hobbies at the same time each week.


You know what I’m talking about probably because we can all end up falling into this trap at some stage in our lives.

Having this problem of just going through the motions is a SYMPTOM of the FUNDAMENTAL problem of losing our curiosity.

We’re no longer curious about different ways of going to work, eating different things, talking about certain things, or doing our hobbies when we do – we just do it because that’s what we’ve identified with those things and so “It’s always been this way”.

The way out is to MIX THINGS UP by bringing some curiosity back into your life:

“What if I do it this way?”

It doesn’t have to be anything complicated but – ultimately – by being curious enough to at least ask yourself different questions you can start getting different results (if you act on the answers you get).

If you keep acting out on the answers you already think you have then you just end up putting yourself in an imaginary bubble and holding your back from the REAL LIFE you could be living as a consequence of your real creativity.

To be creative again, start asking yourself some new questions.

You learned to judge yourself and that held you back.

In short, the main reason why you “used to be” creative but no longer find it as easy to express yourself or to explore creative ideas and projects in the way that you used to is because you have picked up JUDGEMENTS.

Almost always these judgments are at three levels (the only three levels that exist): yourself, the world, and reality.

At the level of YOURSELF, you have learned to judge yourself if you express certain qualities that your creativity requires of you: taking RISKS, not being ‘good’ enough (because you’re being outcome-dependent), judging the version of yourself you see in the CHAOS of the creative process as it unfolds that your EGO isn’t ready for yet.

At the level of the WORLD, you have learned to judge what you think your work ‘means’ to others instead of just enjoying the process and learning what you can from it for YOURSELF (and then letting it just mean what it actually MEANS).

At the level of REALITY, you have learned to judge the way that things work and to BLOCK yourself from allowing your creativity to take you in the direction you need to go in so that you can make the unconscious conscious and grow more WHOLE.

All of these – and any other – judgements that you pick up and treat as being real take you out of REALITY because the only thing you can do with reality is accept it and judgement is the antithesis of acceptance.

When you have this attitude, you end up living in a way that is in direct contrast to the values and qualities required to be truly creative – in short, you have become CLOSED to life instead of being OPEN and seeing where life and creativity will take you (which is always where you need to go because your REAL creativity is the vehicle of your natural drive towards WHOLENESS).

How to Overcome Lack of Creativity: Get Out of Your Head and Into Reality

As always, the solution is to remember that “Real always works” and to start training yourself to be more open and real again.

This means stopping and catching yourself when you judge, embracing uncertainty and risk instead of running from it, and making sure that you’re on a journey of learning instead of ‘knowing’ everything.

If you spend too much time in your head then you can never be truly creative because you’re blocking your mind-body system from working together as a whole and fulfilling your natural drive to move towards more connection in yourself and life as a whole.

Like I just said, your creativity is the vehicle for allowing this natural drive to move forward – actually, whether you try to consciously direct it or not it will still do its thing (because what’s real is always real and never goes anywhere).

That’s a topic for another article but the short-version is that to live a life without friction,  you need to embrace and ride WITH this process instead of against it and that means opening to life instead of sticking in your head and trying to control everything from the closed parts of you.

You’ll know what this means in the context of your own life and where you’re holding yourself back (and if you don’t check out the 7-Day Course at or read my books about it).

You “used to be” creative because you have temporarily bought into the illusion that you’re not. The way out of this temporary blip in your life is to get real again, see yourself as you are, and start living as whatever that is instead of the uncreative being you’ve allowed yourself to think yourself into being.

If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

Sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay in touch (you’ll get access to the 7-Day Personality Transplant for uncovering your life purpose):

If you want to find your own real life, start moving towards unconditional acceptance, and finding a sense of purpose then check out this 7-Day Course that you can start right now:

The ‘F It’ Moment: How to Stop Being Intimidated by Life


Stop being intimidated

One of the biggest problems I see people having to deal with when I’m coaching is that they’ve become INTIMIDATED by life.

This can show up in all kinds of different ways but the impact of having this problem is always the same: it stops them from taking the kind of ACTION they really want to be taking and from getting all of the amazing benefits that only action can bring.

In my own life, I struggled with this problem when I was younger and I’d been conditioned to stop believing in myself by various unhealthy influences in my life.

It was only when I really reached BREAKING POINT in my late teens and realised that the ideas in my head were stopping me from getting the RESULTS that I wanted from life that I was able to have a breakthrough moment of thinking “F it” and just decided to do whatever the hell I wanted (and disappeared to Japan).

That might sound a little reckless but – in retrospect – when you’ve been locked in your own MIND for however many years and then projected the mental cage outwards into the world around you then having a “F it” moment can be the only way out.

In fact, when things get serious enough and you resist reality for long enough – by NOT ACCEPTING YOURSELF – then eventually you’ll reach that crossroads where the only two options are to either keep resisting in a futile attempt to try and stay the same or to step up and say “F it” and then do something that might actually change your life and set you free.

These days I’m not intimidated by life at all and it’s because I put myself on a path of going out there and actually FIGURING OUT FOR MYSELF who I am and what I’m capable of (and not judging my own self-worth based on the results that I got) instead of letting the world TELL ME who I am and believing it without any real thought.

I could probably have never put myself on that path – or would’ve at least taken a lot longer to get there – if I didn’t reach that point of just saying “F it” and going out there and getting over my fear of truly LIVING.

If you find yourself being intimidated by life then the way out is REALITY but before you find it you might have to find yourself saying “F it” so that you can step outside of your programming and just going out and taking ACTION (the only real ‘cure’ for anything – especially the cure for a life lived from behind a mental cage).

This article will help you understand what that means and what you can do to start feeling truly ALIVE again.

Here we go:

Symptoms of Being Intimidated by Life

When we become intimidated by life we either STOP taking action completely or we only take the actions that are within our comfort zone and so won’t STRETCH us or show us the EDGE of our ideas about ourselves.

When this happens, we just end up living an inauthentic or UNREAL life where we ultimately play the role of a pawn in somebody else’s chess game (some boss we don’t even care about, some domineering partner or family member, or simply our ideas about ‘society’ as a whole).

The most common place we end up when we’re intimidated like this is the WAGE CAGE (i.e. some ‘job’ that you found yourself in because you forgot you could actually CHOOSE your own life if you stepped up and focused on the real stuff).

In short, we end up in this UNREAL STATE because by giving into intimidation we end up giving up our ACTIVE POWER and then listlessly floating along through life without any direction.

The way back to reality is to recognise the symptoms of living in this unreal manner, saying “F it”, and then getting back on track to finding our REAL LIVES again.

If you’ve become intimidated then you’ll probably suffer from some or all of the following symptoms:

Passive Mindset

When you become intimidated by life you’ll develop an UNREAL MINDSET that stops you from taking action.

This might show up in a variety of ways but the most common are things like negative thinking (which is almost always a way of trying to justify not taking action), ‘excusitis’ which is just a fancy way of saying that you’ll constantly come up with EXCUSES not to do what needs to be done, and self-limiting beliefs that tell you there’s something fundamentally ‘wrong’ with you or the world so there’s no point even trying.

All of these ways of SEEING and interpreting ourselves, the world, and reality just cause us to try and avoid acting in the world as a way of staying in our comfort zone (where we often don’t even want to be anyway because we’re miserable there as a result of resisting REALITY).

All of this is really caused by being INTIMIDATED by the perceived consequences of taking action and the emotions we’ll have to face by doing so (regardless of if we ‘fail’ or ‘succeed’).


As a result of not taking ACTION, you will probably become restless and irritable. This is simply because you know that there’s more to life but your intimidation has stopped you from going out and getting it.

When you don’t ACT, then you don’t let your unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ (shame, guilt, and/or trauma) heal itself in the way that it needs to and instead you ‘block’ the healing process behind the static beliefs that are stopping you from acting in the first place.

This causes inner friction and frustration that is experienced as RESTLESSNESS.  This is really just the DESIRE of your real self – which you’ve become detached from – screaming to be expressed in the world (and the only way you can do that is by becoming AWARE of the real ‘stuff’, ACCEPTING what’s true, and then ACTING on it).

Never Speaking Up

Intimidated people are scared of the TRUTH and for that reason they refuse to speak up and share the truth as they see it.  A big part of this is because they literally fear the truth itself because it would show the futility of their PASSIVE way of thinking and being in the world.

On a perhaps simpler level, people who are INTIMIDATED by life are almost always shame-driven individuals who have a feeling that they’re not good enough following them around like a ghost (which it is…a ghost of the past) and so they don’t want to risk ‘rocking the boat’ with their opinions or ideas in case somebody disagrees with them (which to the shame-driven individual is something that triggers all kinds of unsavoury emotions).

For this reason, when people have become intimidated by life they rarely – perhaps even never – share with others what they really think, feel, or want to do for fear of being rejected (not realising that by not sharing they’ve already REJECTED THEMSELVES).

Negative Thinking

We spoke about this above as a symptom of having a PASSIVE MINDSET (which all intimidated people eventually develop). Just to clarify a little more, negative thinking is ultimately just a form of UNREAL PESSIMISM that come from somebody trying to DEFLECT life at all costs by trying to explain it away.

That might sound a bit technical but all it means is this:

When people are intimidated it’s almost always because they have unresolved SHAME that causes them to feel like they’re not good enough in some way.

In order to try and hide from this shameful feeling (which is never real, always something they’ve picked up from outside of themselves and then taken onboard as a judgement that they continue to hypnotise themselves with), the intimidated person will concoct a POINT OF VIEW of life that justifies the story they’re telling themselves so that they can try to HIDE from their shame instead of dissolving it (by taking action).

This UNREAL POV is always negative because negativity always explains away action.

In practical terms, it just means that the intimidated person will always look on the (unreal) dark side of things in order to find reasons not to do the things that will actually free them (and you can always find a million reasons not to do things if you set your mind on doing that).


Another thing that intimidated people will do to avoid taking action is to procrastinate.

In simple terms, all that means is that they will focus on taking actions that feel like they’re doing something but that are actually a distraction from the REAL stuff they could be doing that will make a  big difference to their lives.

For example, I know a few coaches that would benefit from organising and having SALES CALLS but because they’re worried that they’ll be rejected or even that they’ll be successful and actually have to coach somebody they instead procrastinate by playing around on social media all day or doing other unimportant things that are their ‘hobbies’ but won’t really get them anywhere.

These tasks allow them to tell themselves the story that they’re ‘busy’ and doing things whilst also (conveniently) avoiding the things that would get them where they want to be (with the cost of having to push through their comfort zones and face themselves and other people).

Not Taking the Actions You Really Want To Take

In short, then, when you’re an INTIMIDATED person, you might be ‘busy’ in the sense that you’re constantly doing things but you probably won’t be doing the things you really want to do because you’re AFRAID of having to face yourself at some level.

Some people can spend their whole lives wasting time on distractions and busyness for this reason. If you realise you have this problem as you’re reading this then the question becomes: “What are you going to DO about it?”

Maybe it’s time to say “F it” and do some of that stuff you’ve been putting off that could change your life?

Being Outcome-Dependent Instead of Outcome-Independent

I’ve already spoken about Outcome-Independence a lot on this site (because it’s so important). If you haven’t read the main article and you’re unfamiliar with the term, then all it means is that you can live in one of two ways:

-1: Outcome-dependence (Unreal): Where your levels of self-acceptance are CONDITIONAL and affected by the outcomes you get as you go through life.

-2: Outcome-independence (Real): Where you “do your best and forget the rest” but your levels of self-acceptance are UNCONDITIONAL and not affected by the outcomes you get.

In other words, with outcome-dependence you NO LONGER feel ‘good’ about yourself if you fail to get the results you want whereas if you’re outcome-independent then you still feel good even if you ‘fail’ as you know you can pick yourself up again, learn what needs to be learned, and either try again or ACCEPT some reality that can’t be changed.

When we’re INTIMIDATED by life, we end up putting our goals on a pedestal – because we think they’ll fill the void inside ourselves (that can only be filled by ACCEPTANCE OF REALITY) – and so we inflate their importance to the extent that we become INTIMIDATED BY THE THINGS WE WANT.

Again, this comes back to our relationships with ourselves because if we become a shame-dissolving person instead of a shame-driven one it becomes a lot easier to say “F it” and go out and chase our goals in an outcome-independent way.

Imposter Syndrome

If an intimidated person actually does manage to overcome themselves and take ACTION without working on their emotional ‘stuff’ then they find themselves in a position where they feel like a fraud (Imposter Syndrome).

This is ultimately because there ends up being a gap between the way that they show themselves to the world and the SHAME that they still feel as they used action as a vessel to try and run from it instead of dissolving it.

When this happens, the intimidated person ends up being worried about being ‘found out’ (i.e. having the world reveal itself to agree with the skewed distortions of their shame).

This just adds a whole new layer of intimidation that they have to deal with because they have to find new ways to keep ‘hiding’ themselves so that they won’t be exposed as a shame-driven individual.

In reality, they could just say “F it” and keep doing what’s worked for them to get them where they are but they’re so afraid of being “found out” that they take everything too seriously to see clearly.

General Lack of Confidence

Perhaps it goes without saying, but when people become intimidated by life, they lack confidence.

This is usually for two reasons that build on each other:

-1: They keep telling themselves a story about why they can’t/shouldn’t/best not take the ACTION that they want to take (and because practise makes perfect this causes them to miss out on their own potential).

-2: Because they don’t take this action, they end up not getting results (which just reinforces the unreal story they’re telling themselves).

Once you’ve stopped taking action and you end up believing that the consequences of not taking action are WHO YOU ARE then you end up in a self-perpetuating loop that causes your confidence to dwindle.

The longer you stay in this loop the worse things can get. It’s so bad that some people spend their whole lives on this hamster wheel, going around in circles and ruining their own lives.

A shortcut to getting out of it is to realise how bad things have become, have an “F it” moment, and go out there and start ACTING again (which as you build momentum and get results will increase your confidence).

Anxiety and/or Depression

If you don’t solve the problem of intimidation then you increase your odds of becoming anxious and/or depressed. This doesn’t mean that all anxiety and depression are caused by being intimidated but it does mean that a lot of it is.

The short version is this:

Anxiety will enter your life when you create a FALSE IMAGE of yourself in an attempt to hide from your intimidation instead of pushing through it and see what’s actually REAL.

This false image just causes problems because you’ll use it as a FILTER to try and avoid reality and avoiding reality will constantly add friction to your life (which is experienced as ‘anxiety’).

Depression enters your life when you’re so intimidated that you stop MOVING. This is a consequence of developing the passive mindset mentioned above – when you start to see and think in this way then you just end up taking yourself out of action, away from any sense of purpose, and experiencing live at the level of existence alone (instead of thriving in life).

In both cases, you need to learn to say “F it” so you can start moving in a more REAL way again.

How You Became Intimidated

If you recognise the above symptoms in yourself then there’s a good chance you’ve become intimidated by life (that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living in constant fear but it means the limits of your fear are ripe for exploration).

This means that at some level you need to say “F it” and to start taking the right kind of action again so that you can get RESULTS from life that are REAL to you.

It might be helpful to know how you ended up being intimidated in the first place (if you look at kids, for example, they have to be TAUGHT to be intimidated by life – that means in your own case it’s something that you had to learn. The good news is that if you LEARNED it then you can also UNLEARN it).

Here are some of the most common reasons for becoming intimidated by life:

Basically, you got sent into your HEAD somehow.

The short-version of what happened is that you got sent into your HEAD for whatever reason and decided to identify with it and stay there.

Normally, this is because in our early years we are made to feel ASHAMED or GUILTY in some way (or in the most extreme cases, TRAUMATISED) and it causes us to think ourselves into a fragmented version of ourselves that disowns certain emotions and desires.

For example, maybe you had a high school teacher who insulted your artwork and so you created a ‘version’ of yourself that has no interest in artistic pursuits.  The original interest is still down there – in the Shadow Territory – but you create a mental image of yourself that denies it.

This is just a hypothetical example but the point is that something happens that sends you into your head and your INTIMIDATION is just your ego’s way of keeping you there.

You might’ve listened to OTHER PEOPLE instead of yourself.

The only person who can live your life for you is…YOU.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where people will attempt to give us all kinds of unwarranted and unreal advice about how we ‘should’ live our lives.

More often than not, this advice is usually just passed on from one INTIMIDATED person to another and so it just ends up doing more harm than good.

If you listen to this advice then you’ll end up being intimidated and not listening to your own REAL VOICE which knows there’s nothing to be intimidated by.

You compared yourself to others (usually the highlight reel).

We can become intimidated – especially in the age of (anti)social media – when we look at the lives other people are portraying themselves to be living and compare ourselves and our lives to what we see.

The problem – as the old saying goes – is that when we do this we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes footage to their highlight reels. This can end up making us feel that we’re not “good enough” (that shame again) and this stops us from taking action (which, ironically, would get us where we want to be).

The solution is to realise that you can’t be compared to other people because you’re living your own life and you’ve had your own experiences which have made you the UNIQUE person that you are right now.

Comparing yourself to others is just a way of NOT ACCEPTING YOURSELF (because of the unresolved emotional ‘stuff’) and this prevents you from accepting who you are and then expressing it with your ACTIONS.

You lost your balls somehow (but you can get them back)

The super short version? Something has happened to you that’s caused you to lose your BALLS and to overthink every little detail of your life instead of ACTING on it.

You can get your balls back but you need to unlearn all of the BS that’s stopping you from recognising the truth about life: that the only person with any POWER over your life is YOU.

You let your ‘protective’ emotions like anger be turned against you (often into depression or sentimentality).

Sometimes, emotions that help us protect ourselves and to define healthy boundaries in our lives are ‘shamed’ or belittled by ‘guilt’ (in an attempt to control us) and so we develop an unhealthy relationship with them. The most common emotion that this happens with is ANGER.

When we disown our anger then it doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere – it just becomes something that we stop expressing. Because we have a mental ‘block’ that stops us expressing it externally, our anger simply TURNS AGAINST US and will be experienced as a hypercritical inner voice that constantly judges us, etc. eventually leading to a lack of action and then DEPRESSION.

Alternatively, we may also end up being overly sentimental about things because we end up experiencing everything through the FILTER of depression that a detachment from our healthy emotions can cause (and because a lack of anger can stop us from moving forward with our PURPOSE).

When we end up in this situation, we end up being intimidated by life because we think that we lack the strength to handle it (when, actually, we’re just hiding this strength from ourselves).

You let your interpretation of the past skew your vision of yourself in the present.

In short, if you’re intimidated by life in the present then you have a DISTORTED interpretation of the past and who you have become because of it.

What this might look like is different for everybody but it will usually involve you writing some kind of STORY for yourself to try and live out that DISOWNS vital parts of yourself because of shame, guilt, and/or trauma.

If you want to be REAL again and to stop being intimidated by life then you need to start writing a REAL STORY (or more accurately unlearning the BS story that stopped you expressing the real story in the first place).

This will probably mean FORGIVING YOURSELF at some level so that you can let go of the beliefs you picked up that caused you to be intimidated in the first place.

A short cut to doing this? You guessed it: you have to learn to say “F it”.

How To Stop Being Intimidated.

So how do we bring this all together and get life moving again? It’s simple in theory but not always in practice (which is the core problem).

The short answer is that you need to start talking ACTION.

The main SYMPTOM of the PROBLEM of being intimidated is that you stop taking REAL ACTION and then your life ends up being some unreal thing that you don’t want it to be.

You could spend the rest of your life trying to figure out exactly why you became intimidated in the first place (and maybe after reading the above list you have some basic idea) but the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter THAT MUCH.

If you want to REVERSE the symptoms of being intimidated then you need to start taking some kind of ACTION in your life.

More than that, you need to start taking REAL action so that you’re not just distracting yourself from the REAL version of yourself and making the problem worse (by being busy for the sake of being busy and procrastinating, etc.).

What this means in the context of your own life might be different to what it means in anybody else’s life but probably there is some ‘thing’ that you’ve wanted to be doing for a while but keep finding BS reasons (really EXCUSES) to put off doing.

If you can think of something like that then you’ve just given yourself as starting point.

All you really need to do now is to say “F it” and START doing it.

It’s either that or keep being intimidated and living an unreal life for the rest of your days.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

Sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay in touch (you’ll get access to the 7-Day Personality Transplant for uncovering your life purpose):

If you want to find your own real life, start moving towards unconditional acceptance, and finding a sense of purpose then check out this 7-Day Course that you can start right now:


The Veiled Veil: How to Escape the Matrix


Escape the Matrix

One of the most important things that you can embrace about life if you value your freedom is the idea that:

“THE WORLD IS NOT REALITY” (quoting my own books, Personal Revolutions and Shadow Life).

If you don’t step back to acknowledge this then two things can happen, both of which hold you back and limit your capacity for FREEDOM and its expression:

  1. You start to limit yourself INTERNALLY because you take a sense of identity on board that is given to you as a conceptual set of ideas from ‘The World’ (which isn’t real).
  2. You start to limit yourself EXTERNALLY because you start to see external barriers to your own growth and progress towards your goals (that also aren’t real because they’re rooted in your perceptions of ‘The World’).

This isn’t to say that ‘The World’ isn’t a thing that doesn’t exist (in the sense of at least being ‘there’) but it’s something that only really exists as a consequence of human ideas about life and what it ‘should’ be.

It’s a kind of MATRIX that exists as the sum total of all our collective doubts and fears about life that we project over whatever is really ‘out there’ in reality.

Nothing ‘wrong’ with that and it’s just something that human beings do in order to ‘survive’ whatever they’ve already been through (just like we do at an individual level by creating an ego for ourselves in order to keep surviving life based on what we’ve already seen of it).

The problem, however, is that a lot of the IDEAS we come up with about life and what it is are actually limited and unreal because the thinking that caused them in the first place is actually DISTORTED and untrue because of the natural limitations of being a human being.

That might sound a bit much but all it means is that the DEFAULT way of thinking and being in the world for a human being is often more about SURVIVING LIFE rather than THRIVING in life (something that you’ve probably heard before).

This being the case, we create a collective MATRIX for ourselves to live in that allows us to go through the motions of living but never to actually live in the REALEST possible way.

Perhaps that’s fine because not everybody is ready to pay the cost of living a real life and many people are ‘happy’ to just go through the motions and to take things at face value.

If you’re one of the Real Ones that feels like there might be more to life than just ‘the Matrix’ of the World, then keep reading because this article is going to simplify your relationship to it and give you a few simple techniques and strategies to start breaking out and finding freedom again.

You only get one life so there’s no point holding yourself back and being INDIMIDATED by a world that doesn’t even exist and living a life that never truly makes you feel alive.

Here we go:

Human beings need to be WHOLE if they want to be real but – unfortunately – we’re ‘made’ of FRAGMENTS.

Before we get into this, you need to understand an important difference between WHOLENESS and FRAGMENTATION.  If you’ve read some of my ‘stuff’ before then you’ll know what this means but if you haven’t here’s a super quick overview:

Essentially, human life becomes more ‘complicated’ than we often want it to be because we are torn (as a result of our bodies and our social programming) between two states of being.

The first state, is what I would call a REAL state which is a state where we’re constantly moving towards WHOLENESS in ourselves by connecting to our true values and intentions, uncovering and ACCEPTING hidden ‘parts’ of ourselves that may have been disowned in childhood (like certain emotions etc.), and generally putting ourselves on a path to be more authentic.

This real state will also see us moving towards more WHOLENESS in relation to the world around us: for example, by having less barriers erected between ourselves and others so we can have more authentic relationships, finding people that share our values, and understanding the similarities between ourselves and every other human being on the planet rather than just being obsessed with and motivated by the differences.

Finally, the real state will allow us to keep going into a deeper relationship with REALITY. All this really means in simple terms is that we embrace our inherent CONNECTION to life as a whole and to the systems within systems (ad infinitum) of the universe as a whole.  This doesn’t necessarily need to mean anything ‘mystical’ – it just means that we all play a role in the universal unfolding of the universe as ONE relationship.

When we are able to live in this REAL STATE then we’re able to keep flowing and growing with life and to generally avoid a great deal of friction, frustration, and  misery in our lives. This is because we’re not holding ourselves back with illusory mental blocks or ideas that cause us to act as something that we’re not.

This is where FRAGMENTATION comes in – fragmentation is just anything that causes us to think, feel, and act like we’re DISCONNECTED from ourselves, the world, and reality.  This is almost always because we have PERCEIVED these things incorrectly and because we have INTERPRETED these perceptions incorrectly on top of that (this is the VEILED VEIL which we’ll discuss in more detail in a second).

If you tend to CHOOSE fragmentation over wholeness then you will end up removing yourself from reality (because reality is ultimately about working with what’s WHOLE) and you will end up causing yourself to live in a state of FRICTION that will eventually turn to frustration and misery.

The most common form of fragmentation that the majority of us have to contend with is our own SELF-IMAGE (aka ‘Ego’ in the language I use) and the way that we separate and DISCONNECT ourselves from the whole of ourselves, the world, and reality in order to protect it (because we think protecting it will help us – which it might in the short-term but only causes more problems in the long-term).

For example:

At the level of ourselves, being ATTACHED to a certain fragmented image of ourselves cause us to DISCONNECT from all of the emotional ‘stuff’, values, or intentions that are real about us but which go against that self-image (usually because we want to hide from those things for whatever reason – usually social conditioning and self-hypnosis).

At the level of the world, being attached to this fragmented self-image (that we’re separate and not the ‘same’ as others) causes us to create unreal NARRATIVES about our place in the world and to start playing ROLES that are disconnected from reality (usually either acting as ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ human and playing either a ‘hero’ or a ‘victim’, respectively).

At the level of reality, being attached to this image causes EGO RESISTANCE that causes us to resist things about reality that cause us to grow more WHOLE – for example, we may resist change, we may resist facing our weaknesses, we may resist the fact that time is precious because we’re going to be dead one day.

These are all examples but the basic principle we all need to follow is that – to be a ‘happy’ human being – then we need to consciously make a CHOICE to move towards wholeness and connection despite there being a natural drive towards FRAGMENTATION inside all of us.

When the will to fragmentation starts to win, we just end up being ENSLAVED to the Matrix of the world because we believe that the world is reality and the identity we’ve created to survive in it is the truth about us.

‘Escaping’ and living our REAL lives means that we understand the unreality of fragmentation and make a shift into a REAL STATE that allows the world to slip away from our experience of our fragmented ideas about ourselves so that we can move towards wholeness (without expecting to be fully whole, just embracing wholeness as a direction to keep MOVING in).

This means battling our own biological and cultural limitations and making sure we step into what’s whole rather than just acting according to the fragments of ourselves that we picked up from our fragmented perception and interpretation of ‘The World’.

The Veiled Veil: Limited Perception and Interpretation

This is where we come to an inescapable problem of FRAGMENTATION that every human being on the planet has to contend with: the VEILED VEIL.

The Veiled Veil is what emerges when you’re in a fragmented body on a fragmented planet and when you have a machine in your head that uses fragmented concepts to try and make sense of everything it perceives (that ‘machine’ is your brain, btw).

Even though the ‘truth’ about reality is that everything is WHOLE and just one system relating to itself in different ways, human beings have TWO different levels of fragmentation that can block them from experiencing this wholeness to the greatest extent possible.

  1. Limited perception.
  2. Limited interpretation.

When these two things come together you have what this article is referring to as the Veiled Veil.

It’s called a ‘veil’ because it places a layer of fragmentation between ourselves and our experience of life as a whole. It’s called a ‘veiled’ veil because it doesn’t just do this once but two times.

At the first level of PERCEPTION, we experience the wholeness of life as being divided and fragmented because of our BODIES.

The fact that we’re in bodies in the first place means that our perception is limited.

My body is positioned in a different place in time and space to yours and so will have a slightly different perception of the WHOLE to you. Furthermore, all bodies are incapable of perceiving everything around them – for example, unless you have eyes in the back of your head you can’t see what’s behind you as you read this.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, it’s just the way it is but what it means in terms of wholeness versus fragmentation is that the primary information you bring in through your senses is completely FRAGMENTED from the very outset. To think that you’re perceiving the truth is a mistake…you’re just perceiving (like the rest of us).

The second level of fragmentation of the Veiled Veil is our INTERPRETATIONS of what we perceive. Because what we perceive is already fragmented, we’re already disconnected from the reality of the whole – but we complicate and fragment things even more by also being BIASED (consciously and unconsciously) in the way that we interpret things we’ve perceived.

This usually comes back to our own relationship to ourselves and our own emotional ‘stuff’ – for example, if we had a ‘bad’ relationship with somebody in the past then we’ll be more likely to interpret what they’re doing in the present as being ‘bad’ too. Another example might be that we CHOOSE to believe something about somebody because it fits in with the way that we want to see ourselves (the ‘ego’ stuff mentioned above).

Either way, what this all boils down to is that the NATURE OF REALITY is wholeness but the way that we perceive and interpret life as a default – from behind the Veiled Veil – is FRAGMENTED.

‘The Matrix’ is just what happens when we choose to continue believing in fragments in our own lives and when we choose to believe that the collective fragmentation of ‘The World’ is real also.

To free yourself, you need to condition yourself to step back from the influence of the Veiled Veil as much as possible.

Survival Value and the MATRIX

Just to be clear, we need the Veiled Veil so that we can survive life on earth but it isn’t the TRUTH about life – it’s the MATRIX that keeps us plugged into an unreal world that holds us back from REAL LIFE.

If you want to start freeing yourself then you need to improve your relationship at the two levels that the Veiled Veil causes you to buy into unnecessary fragmentation: the level of perception and the level of interpretation.

What we can do: Limited Perception

You  need to find  the EDGE and taste WHOLENESS

It’s probably impossible for a human being to live in a complete state of wholeness for their whole lives – this is because we’re in fragmented bodies in a fragmented world and because we will always have emotional ‘stuff’ to work through that distorts our perceptions and interpretations from time-to-time.

Even so, it’s more than possible to have a TASTE of wholeness that will permeate into the rest of your life and give you a direction to move in and return to if the ‘matrix’ starts to suck you back into ‘the world’ (and the unreal version of yourself that ‘lives’ there to keep the illusion going).

This is something I’ve talked about a ton in my books and in the 7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock for Realness and Life Purpose but the short-version is that you need to put yourself in situations that get you out of your head and allow you to feel completely CONNECTED to your surroundings.

Some examples:

-Riding a motorbike fast.

-Making love to somebody.

-Climbing a mountain.

-Getting in a flow state with a creative project.

-Etc. (the list is endless).

In these kind of cases, you will experience being completely whole and as one with life itself.  This means that you managed to find your EDGE and to get out of your ideas of yourself – in other words, there is no separation between you and life. It’s just life experiencing itself.

The more of these kind of experiences you have (Abraham Maslow called them Peak Experiences) the more you will understand your REAL IDENTITY beyond the Veiled Veil.

You need to think in terms of systems

Thinking in terms of systems can also help you to perceive things in a way that is more ‘reality-aligned’ and not limited quite as much by the Veiled Veil.

A ‘system’ in this context is just a series of interrelated parts sharing a connection.

Seeing things in this way, allows you to make a shift towards wholeness instead of just being caught up in the ‘default’ way of the body to limit everything to separate parts.

As a simple example – right now, as you’re reading this, we are not just too ‘separate’ entities but have created a new system that exists between writer and reader. That means that in this moment, we are ‘One’ and the exchange between us is a system. From that system, something ‘real’ might emerge.

That might sound simple but seeing things in this way – and making a conscious choice to remind ourselves to do so – allows us to see things in a way that’s more aligned with the natural WHOLENESS of reality.

Other examples:

-If you’re in a group of people, then you’re not just all separate individuals; you’re all ‘part’ of the ‘group’ system. Seeing it as ‘one’ thing allows things to flow better between the ‘parts’ (people involved) and to allow something bigger to emerge.

-If you’re walking through a forest (or whatever), then you’re part of that system whilst you’re in it (and even when you’re not, tbh). This helps you to see how connected you are to it – even if you’re only playing a small part, you’re still ONE with the system (and it’s only your perception that makes you disconnected if you get caught up in the default way of being).

-If you have a pet, then you and the pet form a new system and this connects you to each other on a deep REAL level. You might not see this if you’re in the ‘default’ way of perceiving but seeing it as a mutually beneficial system allows you to go deeper into it.

These are simple examples and it might seem almost trivial to make this shift but seeing things as systems allows you to step out of the fragmented view of life and to start moving more towards WHOLENESS (which is always more real and allows you to feel more ALIVE).

Train yourself to look for WHOLENESS instead of FRAGMENTATION and to act on what’s whole.

In short, you need to train yourself to overcome the limited perception of your body (which of course you can’t do completely because you’re in your body) and to start looking for the real connections between things.

How far you choose to take this is of course up to you but it might just be about asking yourself from time to time:

“Am I CHOOSING wholeness or fragmentation right now?”

You don’t have to be perfectionistic about it but it will usually be clear which direction you’re moving in.

Act in a way that moves you towards wholeness and your life will usually reflect what you want to a deeper degree.

Learn to BREATHE

Focusing on your breath from time-to-time is another great way to bring yourself back to wholeness.

Again, this doesn’t have to be anything complicated and you don’t need to meditate for hours at a time (unless you want to). Your breath is a great metaphor for some of the things we’re talking about here, though, because it’s connected to the WHOLE.

Your breath is connected to the whole of your body as it carries oxygen throughout the whole SYSTEM. More than that, the breath also connects the inner and outer world and so can show you that you’re not just an independent entity but interdependent with reality as a whole (the breath you breathe is shared with all the other living things around you, etc.).

There’s loads of good stuff out there about breathing but a simple technique is just to do 7-11 breathing when you want to remind yourself to get out of your head: you breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11.

What we can do:  Limited Interpretation

You need to stop treating opinions as facts.

At the Veiled Veil level of interpretations one of the easiest things you can do is to learn to tell the difference between opinions and facts.

A lot of the time, we interpret things as meaning whatever we want them to mean because a general rule of life is that MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE (see below).

This could be about anything but the short-version is that whatever is going on with their relationships with themselves and their emotional ‘stuff’ causes people to act irrationally and to believe whatever will support their egos, justify their fears, give them hope, etc. etc.

When people slip into this unreal way of being they come up with all kinds of skewed distortions about life in the form of narratives and conceptual ideas that they treat as FACTS.

This gives them short-term comfort but in the long-term it just causes them to become more FRAGMENTED and to live lives that they don’t really want to be living.

If you have the emotional resilience, then a way to get around this is to be HONEST with yourself about whether or not what you think is just an OPINION or if it’s an actual fact (true for all about REALITY).

If it’s just an opinion then all you have on your hands is an INTERPRETATION of reality. That’s fine just as long as you are open to changing this interpretation if need be as you keep moving forward and growing more REAL.

You need to realise that MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE (and try to kill this tendency in yourself).

Most people don’t believe in the TRUTH, they believe in what they want to believe in order to feel good about themselves and life.  If you’re not careful then you might also fall into this trap (as the old saying goes “ignorance is bliss” but if you want to live a REAL life then you need to be truth-facing, not truth-avoiding).

People believe what they want to believe because it’s easier than facing difficult truths about life and the people that share it with us. It also gives us a kind of false ‘hope’ that we’ll get whatever it is that we want and need in the way that we want.

Here are some examples:

-Somebody might believe that they can grow their business by simply ‘manifesting’ clients or by finding a quick fix (like posting on social media once a week and watching the clients come crawling). Both of those go against reality but people WANT to believe it works like that because they WANT to believe they can do it without doing any WORK (people hate that).

-A guy might go to a coffee shop every day and he develops a crush on the girl that works there. He WANTS to believe that she feels the same way so he starts to tell himself a story in his head that she’s madly in love with him and he starts looking for evidence that this is the case (when really she’s just being nice because she wants the tips).

-Somebody wants to believe that she can lose weight fast in only 5 minutes a day by buying some MAGIC BULLET from the shopping channel on TV (do people still use those?). Of course, in reality there is no magic bullet but people WANT to believe in them because they don’t wanna do the WORK.

-Somebody is in a relationship with an irrational emotional retard but wants to believe “they’ll change” because they don’t want to do the difficult emotional work of breaking up, finding a new partner, accepting that the love wasn’t as deep as they thought, etc. etc.


These are just examples but the POINT is that people interpret life to fit into what they WANT from life. That’s fine if you wanna live in Cloud-cuckoo Land but if you wanna get actual RESULTS then you need to understand that this is just a case of you skewing things from behind the VEILED VEIL in order to justify your own BS.

You need to give up CONTROL FREAKERY

Another thing you can do to manage your life in a more real way at the level of interpretation is to stop trying to CONTROL everything.

If you lapse into CONTROL FREAKERY it’s always because you need life to be a certain way to justify your own interpretations of life. That would be fine if interpretations were the truth but because they’re not, it just causes all kinds of tension in your life, ruins your relationships, and stops you growing.

In the very best case, control freakery will just lead to you managing to create a bubble for yourself to live in but this bubble will always burst when reality creeps back in.

Instead of trying to control everything – which is always EGO – you need to switch to an approach where you can handle UNCERTAINTY and keep growing with it.

The TRUTH about life is that “the only certainty is uncertainty” but this means having to also face uncertainty in yourself (which control freaks hate which is why they’re control freaks in the first place).

When people have a lot of shame, guilt, or trauma that they don’t want to face, they create INTERPRETATIONS of life and try to hide from it behind a false certainty. If you’re a control freak, you need to accept that facing this stuff is just the way back to WHOLENESS and will give you the real experience of life you want.

You need to ensure you have an attitude that keeps you LEARNING

In short, your way out of the Matrix (which is really your relationship with yourself) is to stop acting like you know everything and to put yourself on a path of LEARNING.

Acting like you know everything is the same as acting like your perceptions and interpretations are completely true. Because reality constantly changes and evolves around us this is an UNREAL STATE to be in that just causes problems (including anxiety and depression in many cases).

The REAL approach is to accept and even VALUE uncertainty without letting it affect our own levels of self-acceptance so we can keep growing real and become more WHOLE.

Learning to learn means we can let go of our attachment to interpretations and:

-Not have to worry about being seen as ‘right’ all the time (a form of Control Freakery)

-Not needing to be perfect

-Not being afraid to change our minds


In other words, we won’t have to live our lives defending the fragmentation that makes us miserable in the first place!

You need to stop getting involved in unnecessary conflict.

Finally, developing a REAL relationship with your own interpretations of yourself, the world, and reality allows you to step back from engaging in unnecessary conflict (aka DRAMA & BS).

When you know that the TRUTH is whole and that people can only argue about their INTERPRETATIONS of it, then you don’t need to argue about your own opinions and you don’t need to be bothered about other people’s (whether they’re positive or negative).

Somebody calls you an asshole? Just their interpretation (which might be accurate).

Somebody doesn’t like your political opinions? Cool, they’re just your opinions and they’re entitled to theirs.

Somebody thinks their method of doing [whatever] is better even though it gets the same results? No problem, carry on.

All that really matters is what’s either gonna move you to more wholeness or bring more fragmentation into your life.

If somebody shares something – positive or negative –that helps you on that journey then take it on board. Otherwise, just smile, nod, and move on because the TRUTH can handle itself.

Bring it all together by growing real

The long and short of all this is that you can keep pushing through and EXPERIENCE life deeply by growing REAL:

Choose a purpose that keeps you moving towards wholeness and shattering your interpretations of yourself, the world, and reality (so you can remove layers of fragmentation and become more REAL) on the way there.

As you become more real, you become more whole, and the rest will fall into place. Get in touch if you need some help figuring out how to do it.


You can either live life in an unreal state and be miserable or you can get REAL by pushing through your limits and shattering the VEILED VEIL and leaving the Matrix.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

Sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay in touch (you’ll get access to the 7-Day Personality Transplant for uncovering your life purpose):

If you want to find your own real life, start moving towards unconditional acceptance, and finding a sense of purpose then check out this 7-Day Course that you can start right now:


The Black Rose: “Gimme Something Real or GTFO”



The easiest way to build a real life for yourself is to learn to spot the difference between real and unreal in ourselves and others (so we can change, ignore or walk away from the unreal stuff).

In this context, ‘real’ means that you’re moving towards WHOLENESS via your true potential, you’re not blocking yourself with negative or irrational thoughts that distort your view of yourself, the world, and reality, and you’re not engaging in DRAMA or unhealthy ego dances with people that don’t support you and your growth (and who you don’t support in return).

Ultimately, this boils down to two incredibly important things:

  1. Having the best possible relationship with yourself.
  2. Having the best possible relationship with others

Really, these two things feed off each other because if you don’t work to ACCEPT yourself then you’ll never be able to provide the most amount of value you can to the world and have the best possible relationships with the people in it.

Because relationships are so important to living a ‘good’ (REAL) life, we need to be able to understand which relationships are worth keeping, which are worth ditching, and which are worth healing if need be.

This article gives you a simple but effective metaphor for just that.

Here we go:

Tending To Your Garden

In the metaphor that we’re going to run with, your life is a garden; you are the gardener and your job is to ensure that you take responsibility for making sure that your ‘garden’ is more populated with flowers (roses in this example, but you can use whatever you want) more than weeds.

This means that you need to realise that you have POWER over the garden and that if you take RESPONSIBILITY and make REAL CHOICES then this garden will be one that you actually want to spend time in.

If you don’t acknowledge your POWER, refuse to take RESPONSIBILITY and become passive and just let things happen or let nature take its course, then your garden will become overrun with WEEDS and it won’t be the kind of place you actually enjoy being in.

Roses or Weeds? That’s the basic choice for all of us but we have to step up and actually MAKE THE CHOICE otherwise we just end up living a life surrounded by unreal relationships and all of the DRAMA and BS that comes with them as everybody tries to uphold their own ego ‘stuff’ and act like an emotional retard (that’s what ‘weeds’ do).

In short then, the quality of your life will be affected by the quality of the relationships you CHOOSE to cultivate and nurture – first, the relationship with YOURSELF and then:

ROSES – the REAL relationships that add mutual VALUE to the lives of the parties involved.

WEEDS – the UNREAL relationships that don’t add mutual value and bring drama and unnecessary conflict.

Gimme Something Real or GTFO

Sometimes, we don’t realise how much power we have over our own ‘gardens’ and our ability to change the scenery.

All this means in practical terms is that it’s up to us who we ALLOW into our lives or not and that we’re more than capable of setting boundaries by saying “NO” to the unreal relationships and people that hold us back.

This might sounds strange if you’re emotionally attached to certain unhealthy ‘weeds’ that aren’t serving you but – actually, as an ADULT human being – you can kick absolutely anybody out of your life for whatever reason you want (that isn’t a recommendation that you should but just a reminder that it’s your CHOICE and you can do what you want without having to JUSTIFY yourself).

Here’s a list of ‘weeds’ that you can start to remove from your garden anytime you like:

-Fake friends that only seem to take from you and never give anything in return.

-People who don’t share your values or moral code and act in shady ways that go against your integrity.

-Family members that keep trying to fit you in a box or cause drama because of their own ego ‘stuff’.

-People you’ve outgrown for whatever reason and that are holding you back.

-Irrational people or emotional retards that are constantly causing trouble or problems for you.

-People that have stabbed you in the back too many times.

-Basically: anybody that you feel doesn’t BELONG in your garden (based on your true values, intentions, and moral code).

Get the trimmers out and say goodbye to those weeds.*

*This is an amazing thing and very empowering but it also means that if you act like a Weed people can trim YOU from their garden.

This doesn’t mean that you should get rid of anybody or everybody that annoys you – if you do that then it’s probably just your ego driving you and you’ll end up LONELY.

In the cases where people are clearly a drain on your time, energy, and attention, though – i.e. acting like bonafide WEEDS – then don’t be shy to step up and set a VALUE on your life that it actually deserves.


A simple – and very effective – rule of thumb to keep in mind here is as follows:


Make this one of your official standards for living your life and ensuring that the people you CHOOSE to keep around are bringing the REAL stuff (in exchange for you giving them the real stuff too).

How To Spot A Rose:

If you spot a Rose in your garden then you need to do the work of nurturing the relationship and keeping it there.

This means giving something real in return (quality time, energy, and attention), appreciating its value, and ensuring that you keep it away from weeds that might be trying to KILL the relationship.

Here’s how you can spot a ‘Rose’:

They bring joy to your life

A rose will bring a sense of joy to your life by allowing you to see life CLEARY and to be your REAL SELF.


This joy will bring energy to your life and make you feel more alive on account of the relationship being LIFE-ENHANCING.


Laughter often comes from a sense of shared TRUTH and that’s exactly what the REAL relationships are built on.

They support your goals and your purpose

The roses in your ‘garden’ actually want you to reach your goals and to move towards your life purpose because they have an ABUNDANCE mind set and your success is their success.

They help you learn and grow

The roses also realise that you won’t stay the same forever and that as life moves and those reality waves sweep over you then you’ll learn and grow into the next evolution of your realness (i.e. you’ll go more deeply into WHOLENESS – connection to yourself, the world, and reality).

In contrast, life is a little different when you let the weeds take over:

How To Spot A Weed:

They constantly make you miserable

There’s hardly and joy in your life when the weeds are involved because they’re unreal. This unreality brings FRICTION in the form of drama, frustration, and eventual MISERY.

They DRAIN your energy

The unreal nature of this misery-inducing activity will eventually drain you of energy and you’ll constantly feel depleted and lethargic around them (that’s what happens when you ALLOW the weeds to wrap themselves around you and to restrict your breathing).

There’s hardly ever any laughter

All this misery and untruth is hardly then environment for laughter (but there’ll be plenty of arguments and dramatic moments).

They belittle your goals and try to derail your purpose

The weeds want you to feel bad about yourself because they feel bad about themselves too. “Misery loves company”, after all, and so the weeds don’t want you to take action that might fill your life with more roses.

They don’t want you to learn or grow (usually so they can CONTROL you in some way and keep you the same).

Furthermore, a weed will constantly try and convince you not to grow or to do new things. This is because they don’t want you to OUTGROW them because if you do they might not have a hold on you anymore – it’s about CONTROL (so they’ll often use SHAME to try and stop you growing and GUILT to stop you doing things that are real to you as a way to convince you to stay the ‘same’).

Perhaps by reading that you’ll have already been able to see that some of the people in your life are ‘Roses’ and others are ‘Weeds’.

What you do with that information is up to you, of course, but in general you need to nurture the relationships with the roses and use them so that everybody can grow more real and you need to get rid of the weeds in whatever way works for you.

There is an exception to the rule, though:

Enter the BLACK ROSE

Sometimes, you’ll meet people in your  ‘garden’ that are hard to categorise as either a Weed or a Rose. Sometimes, they appear to be a friend; sometimes, they appear to be a foe. In this case, what you have is a Black Rose.

The Black Rose appears when you’ve taken a passive approach to letting people in your life but don’t get close enough to figure out if they have the potential to be a Rose that can add value to your life or if they’re just a Weed in disguise waiting to complicate things.

In this case, things could go either way – it’s up to you to take an active role towards making the relationship work for you (or stepping back if there are clear signs that the Black Rose will reveal it’s true nature as a Weed).

There are three main ways to handle a Black Rose appearing in your garden:

How to handle the Black Rose:

Figure out if their  ‘good’ side is real or not.

Sometimes, the Black Rose will look like a nice addition to your garden but the closer you look the more you realise that appearances can be deceptive.

Maybe, for example, they will constantly let you down by saying one thing but doing another. This mismatch between words and actions is suggestive that they are being untrue in some way.

Another sign might be that they constantly gossip or say negative things about the other Roses in your garden. This is a sign that they’re just a WEED in disguise trying to destroy things from the inside out.

Obviously, you should probably try and give people the benefit of the doubt but if the Black Rose gives too many signs that the ‘good’ is just a mask for weed-like behaviour then you should be wary (and be prepared to get the pruners out when things get more intense).

Figure out if their ‘bad’ side is real or not.

Sometimes, the Black Rose might just look ‘bad’ on the surface of things because they’re moody or have a strange sense of humour or whatever. It’s possible that this is just because they’re going through some ‘stuff’ and so you might be able to tend to it and turn it into a real relationship.

This depends on how much energy you’re willing to invest overall but it’s a good way to add more roses to your garden if you give the right people the benefit of the doubt.

Figure out if they’re ‘neutral’ or not.

Sometimes, a Black Rose is actually just ‘neutral’ and the best thing to do with it – if they’re not bothering you – is to just leave them in a corner of the garden where they’re just getting on with their own thing.

This applies to people that are ambivalent towards you and that you’re ambivalent towards (basically acquaintances on the periphery of your social network) – if you see them, you can say “hello” or whatever but you don’t have a particularly meaningful relationship with them and neither or you are really interested in one (for no particular reason – just how life is sometimes).


Your life is in your hands but you need to know that you have a responsibility to nurture the ‘garden’ and see things clearly.

You can do this by remembering “Gimme something real or GTFO” and making sure that you’re doing the best you can to cultivate the real relationships and let the unreal ones fall by the wayside.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with other! 🙂

Sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay in touch (you’ll get access to the 7-Day Personality Transplant for uncovering your life purpose):

If you want to find your own real life, start moving towards unconditional acceptance, and finding a sense of purpose then check out this 7-Day Course that you can start right now:

The Faces of Humanity:  How We’re All Made Up of Different Versions of the Same Person


Live Without Your Mask

There’s a (pretty) famous Japanese proverb that talks about how we all have 3 faces.  It goes like this:

“The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone.”

I think it’s true, but – actually – we can take it a little deeper by exploring how there are more than three faces that the average person ‘has’ and also where they  come from and why.

Perhaps even more importantly than raising our AWARENESS of this ‘stuff’, we can also ask ourselves what we need to ACCEPT, in the face of these faces, as well as what ACTION we can take to improve our lives and grow more real accordingly.

(Awareness -> Acceptance -> Action – it works every time: see ‘Shadow Life: Freedom from BS in an Unreal World’ if you wanna apply this to your life as a whole).

If you read this article, it will help you to make sense of the MECHANICS of your relationships with yourself and the world and to start unblocking yourself and moving forward towards the only thing that really matters: an experience of WHOLENESS (or ‘connection’) to yourself, the world, and reality.

The ‘problem’ with all of these faces we each have is that we either think they don’t ‘exist’ or we think that only one of them ‘exists’ and try to ignore other parts of ourselves.

Actually, it’s completely normal and healthy to have multiple versions of ourselves in different contexts and situations because different contexts and situations allow us to express certain REAL qualities about ourselves that we might not otherwise be able to express.

Everything real about us is always within us – sometimes, it just needs a little bit of help to express itself.

The ‘FACES’ we show the world aren’t necessarily the same as masks (which mean that we’re ‘hiding’) – although, of course, they sometimes can be if we have an unreal relationship with our own emotional ‘stuff’ (shame, guilt, and trauma in the shadow or fear, pride, and desire of the ego, etc.).

All of us are FLUID because reality is in FLUX – sometimes, we just forget that and this can cause confusion if we think that we’re supposed to be ‘static’ (which is just UNREAL).

These are the most common faces of the ‘average’ human being (if such a thing exists). As usual, they fit into the only three levels that anything can fit into: The Self, the World, and Reality.

How many do you recognise in yourself?

Self-Facing Faces

At the level of our relationship with our ‘Self’ we have four faces (at least). Whatever it is that we really are is what EMERGES in the interplay between the four of them.


Face 1: Who You Wanna Be (To Yourself)

The first face we all have is the ‘Future Facing Face’ (or whatever you wanna call it). This is basically the face we carry of the person we want to BECOME.

This is comprised of all kinds of things that are related to the desired future we have for ourselves and we have to constantly SHOW ourselves this face in order to remind ourselves of where we want or even INTEND to be going.

It is comprised of things like:

-Our standards

-Our goals

-Our ambitions

-Our vision


Some people show themselves this face more than others and – indeed – you have to keep showing yourself this face in order to BECOME this face.

The reason that a lot of people become stuck or stagnate in life is because they haven’t cultivated this ‘face’ and given themselves a direction to move in.

That’s when other less ‘positive’ (or – at least – future facing faces) faces tend to get a hold of them and weigh their sense of identity down in an unreal direction.

The only ‘problem’ with this ‘Future Facing Face’ is that if we have an unhealthy relationship with our own emotional ‘stuff’ (shame, guilt, and trauma etc.) then the future becomes a projection of our EGO, rather than anything REAL (because we are creating goals and a vision of ourselves based on the fundamental assumptions of denying who we really are as a way of avoiding facing our shadow ‘stuff’ etc.)

Face 2: Who You Think You  Are Now (To Yourself)

The second ‘face’ that most of us have is the face of who we think we are NOW (i.e. in current reality). The keyword there is ‘think’ because it’s a product of our thoughts and mindset, not who we necessarily are in TRUTH.

Some of our thoughts might be ‘real’ or accurate (i.e. aligned with actual, valid truth) but often they aren’t because we get caught up in our INTERPRETATIONS of life, rather than life itself.

Anyway, this is the ‘Now Face’ and it’s a product of all of our self-assessments and conclusions about ourselves based on where we’ve been, where we think we’re going (based on the Future Facing Face), and the ways in which we JUDGE ourselves in the present to varying degrees of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (which is what all judgements deal with).

It’s ultimately, a product of the STORY we tell ourselves about who we happen to be right now.

The interesting thing (imo) – and the thing that makes the biggest difference to the quality of our lives – is not necessarily the STORY itself, but the WAY IN WHICH WE TELL THIS STORY.

If we tell the story in a way that is fixed as a FINAL DRAFT then we will stop ourselves moving and take ourselves out of reality (and be less likely to show ourselves a real Future Facing Face because we have conditioned ourselves to be PASSIVE).

If we tell ourselves the story in way where it is constantly being written and updated then we will be more likely to keep learning and move into real life (whatever that is in the context of our own lives).

Face 3: Who You Fear You Might Be

The third face is the ‘Fear Face’ – this is the face of who you FEAR you might be. This is usually shown to us when our emotional ‘stuff’ gets a hold of us and distorts our view of ourselves by our SHAME, GUILT, or TRAUMA (or a combination of the three).

When shame distorts our vision of yourself, it will affect your view of both your ‘Future Facing Face’ and your ‘Now Face’ because it will take unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ from the PAST and cause you to stop trusting and believing in yourself (so these three faces are ultimately about the Future, the Present, and the Past and your real or unreal relationship with each).

This SHAME will tell you that you aren’t the type of person to be able to get the future that you want.

It will tell you that who you are right NOW is no good.

This is just your FEAR talking and the unresolved emotions you carry within yourself that make you feel like you’re not good enough. The FEAR FACE is the one that you show yourself when you start to believe that this shame is the truth about you (because you haven’t started to DISSOLVE the shame by facing REALITY and have instead become driven by it).

It’s the same with GUILT and TRAUMA:

When guilt distorts your vision, you convince yourself that you’re a ‘bad’ person in the present and that you ‘don’t deserve’ the future that you want. This is just your emotional ‘stuff’ showing you your FEAR FACE.

Trauma – which makes us feel powerless – will  distort your ability to tap into your own power and will make you feel that you can’t CREATE the real future that your (real) ‘Future Facing Face’ wants to you to move towards (because it will distort your view and tell you that you’re passive).

There is more variation and complexity here but  – ultimately – you have a face you show yourself in your weaker moments that is purely comprised of your FEARS about yourself.

This is ‘normal’ and part of the human experience but the more overpowering your emotions are the more you will show yourself this face and start to believe that it’s who ‘you’ really are.

If you listen enough and believe it, that’s when you stop moving and stop growing REAL and hide behind ego instead (which is just a mental box you put yourself in to keep all your emotions and ‘shadow’ stuff at bay).

Face 4:  Your Shadow Face / The Unknown

Beneath the surface of all of the faces we do show ourselves from time to time, there is another UNKNOWN FACE that bubbles away beneath the conscious experience of ourselves and that drives the course of our lives without us even knowing (not consciously at least).

This is our SHADOW FACE and it’s comprised of all the different things about ourselves (qualities, goals, ideas, ‘parts’, etc.) that we have at some stage in our lives cast aside and disowned as being ‘unacceptable’.

This usually happens because the World CONDITIONED us to believe that certain things shouldn’t exist and then we hypnotised ourselves to live as though they don’t – this being the case, over the course of our lives we try and act like these things don’t exist or suppress them (with socially unacceptable emotions like ‘rage’, for example).

The TRUTH of the matter, however, is that these ‘hidden’ parts of ourselves are just as REAL as the parts that we do face and – as what’s real is always real – these parts never go anywhere.

In fact, they’re not even ‘parts’, they’re just certain EXPRESSIONS of what we are as a WHOLE. We just conditioned ourselves not to EXPRESS them.

Even though we try and hide this ‘Unknown Face’ from ourselves, the ‘parts’ that comprise it never go anywhere and continue to call for our attention (so we can integrate them) from beneath the surface of ourselves.

One of the most common ways that these parts ‘call out’ to us is through PROJECTION.

All that means – at the simplest level – is that we try and hide these parts behind the CONSCIOUS FACES we show ourselves but UNCONSCIOUSLY we project them onto the world outside of us.

A classic way of determining this kind of thing is to look at what annoys us in other people.  For example, if somebody’s RAGE annoys you – it’s probably because you haven’t ACCEPTED your own rage that’s bubbling beneath the surface of your conscious faces.

What this means in the context of this article is that we all have a FOURTH FACE: the Shadow Face that is shown to us as a reflection of ourselves in the world or as a projection reflected back from others (if we can decode the matrix).

Facing this ‘Unknown’ face is the best chance we have at growing more WHOLE (instead of just being fragmented by only facing the fragmented, surface level faces created as a response to keep the shadow ‘stuff’ at bay).

World-Facing Faces

There are two main types of World-Facing Faces that we show the world (and which are affected by our relationships with ourselves and our ‘Self-Facing Faces’):

Face 1: The Character You  Play In MOST Social Situations To Survive Them (Who You  Show To Strangers/People You Just Met or Want to Keep at A Distance).

The first face that we have for the WORLD is the default face that we want to show other people. This is influenced by all of the SELF-FACING FACES and how we ‘feel’ about ourselves but it’s also inspired by two other things:

  1. How we need others to see us (because of our emotional ‘stuff’).
  2. How we have LEARNED to survive social situations in the past

This ‘DEFAULT’ FACE is just the one that we use to make sure we can get through life on a daily basis and to interact with people we might come across like strangers we have to talk to (people that work in coffee shops, taxi drivers, people we meet for the first time at networking events, etc. etc.).

We will try and COME ACROSS in a certain light in order to reinforce the stories we tell ourselves because of our Self-Facing Faces and the ‘Shadow Stuff’ we want to keep at bay but we will also put on a strategic way of being based on how we survived social situations in the past.

This might involve using strategies like ‘being polite’ or maybe even something like trying to be ‘humorous’ and making jokes. Whatever strategy you use, it’s ultimately about gaining CONTROL of the interaction so that you show the face you want to show.

Everybody does the same thing and it’s something we have to do to keep ‘society’ going.  Depending on how REAL you are with yourself will affect how much of your real self can shine through(the most whole version of yourself possible in a given moment).

Even if you’re relatively REAL, there will still be a slight warming up period around new people whilst you figure them out – whatever strategy you use to ‘warm up’ is just your DEFAULT FACE for the world. It’s not ‘You’ – it’s something that you CHOSE based on your conditioning and expectations of yourself and others.

Face 2: The Face You Show The World In Different Partnerships or Groups (E.G. Might Be Different Among Friends That Parents).

This is where things get (more) complicated.  There are multiple versions of this face which is the face that you show different PARTNERSHIPS or GROUPS that you’re involved in based on your own relationship with yourself (and your ‘Self-Facing Faces’) and the EXPECTATIONS that whatever group you’re in has for you (and what you think about these expectations and whether or not you care about modifying the way you come across because of them).

Here are some simple examples of your CONTEXTUAL FACES:

You might have a face that you show your parents that you wouldn’t show your friends.

You might have a face that you show your friends that you wouldn’t show your parents.

You might have a face that you show your boss that you wouldn’t show your wife/husband.

You might have a face that you show your wife/husband that you wouldn’t show your friends.

You might have a face that you show yourself (one of your Self-Facing Faces) that you wouldn’t show any of these people (not a group, just here to demonstrate the point).

The short-version of all this is that each one of these partnerships or groups forms a new SYSTEM and you need different faces to SURVIVE them because of the roles you’re asked to play and the EXPECTATIONS that come with that role.

You can still be REAL in each of these context but how much realness is able to creep out depends on the DEPTH OF INTIMACY in each of these relationships and whether or not you’re allowing expectations to be more main motivation or realness.

The number of these CONTEXTUAL FACES changes and varies over the course of our lifetimes depending on how many different groups we’re engaged in or how big our network is (or isn’t) etc.

Reality-Facing Faces

Even though in reality we are ultimately WHOLE (i.e. not divided into all of the different categories and labels that we use to make sense of the world – which we’re doing in this article too because it’s just how we make ‘sense’ of the world), we have at least two faces that show us a reflection of REALITY.

Face 1: The OBSERVER making sense of all this .

The first of our Reality-Facing Faces is the OBSERVING FACE.  This is just the version of ourselves that occasionally (for most) is able to STEP BACK from the complexity and confusion of the interplay between all of the Self-Facing and World-Facing faces and to watch things unfold.

This Observing Face is important because it is a version of ourselves  that we are able to show ourselves BEYOND JUDGEMENT.

All of the other faces mentioned so far – apart from the SHADOW FACE (which contains who we would be if we stopped judging ourselves)- are ultimately unreal because they involve JUDGEMENT at some level (which is always unreal because all you can do with reality is ACCEPT it – the opposite of judgement).

The OBSERVING FACE is an AWARENESS of what we have observed or are observing and allows us to hold space so that we can start to respond instead of just reacting to the promptings and conditionings of the other faces.

This comes from the place of WHOLENESS that is within us at all times (in fact, is what we are) and allows us to come from a place that’s REAL instead of being a fragmented consequence of our outdated biological wiring, emotional ‘stuff’, or social conditioning and programming (like the other faces mentioned at the levels of self-and world).

The FACT that you can OBSERVE all of the other faces is proof that they are not ‘You’. They are just survival tools that form the foundation of the EGO (which is fragmented, not the bigger which is an EXPERIENCE of being alive which always comes back to AWARENESS).

Face 2: The REAL self (who knows what to do with all this Awareness and to ACCEPT it and to take Action)

The final Reality-Facing Face that’s relevant here is the one (which is really part of the same process) that you show yourself when you ACCEPT what the OBSERVING FACE has become AWARE of and decide to take ACTION based on this (Awareness -> Acceptance -> Action, it works every time).

When you take this kind of REAL ACTION it allows you to stop holding yourself back based on the limitations of your Self-Facing and World-Facing Faces and to put yourself back on track towards a natural DRIVE towards wholeness that we all have.

By taking action you always learn more about reality and you always  become more whole because you  will eventually end up having to bring your SHADOW ‘stuff’ to the surface (as you find the EDGE – i.e. where all your ideas about yourself meet reality and you can grow more REAL).

In short, the realest faces you can show yourself are the ones that EMERGE when you are able to step back from the ‘other’ faces (Self-Facing and World-Facing) and to put yourself on the path of growing real.

When you do this, you realise that you have NO faces – you’re just FACING THE TRUTH and constantly moving forward and experiencing life as a WHOLE.



If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

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Unreal Personality Defects and Types (How to Spot and Handle Annoying People)


The world is populated with a wide array of characters and personalities. This article will help you spot some of the most troublesome and give you some quick tips for handling them (though, as a general policy the best rule is always “GIMME SOMETHING REAL OR GTFO”).

A lot of these personality types and defects overlap with each other but consider this list a basic set of ‘building blocks’ that can be mixed-and-matched to build an unreal way of being in the world.

You may even notice some of these traits in yourself – just remember that the solution is always “REAL ALWAYS WORKS”.


The Action Avoider

The Action Avoider will do anything to improve their lives except take ACTION. They are constantly spending time doing courses, reading books, coming up with theories, etc. but never actually implement any of the things they learn here.

Because they’re constantly adding new ‘knowledge’ to their repertoire they’re able to come up with increasingly complicated and convoluted excuses for not getting anywhere (which allows them to fall into other roles listed here like the ‘Victim’ or the ‘Excuse Maker’).

How to handle: There’s no point wasting time trying to get an Action Avoider to act or improve their lives. Just smile, nod, and then let them get on with it.

The All-Eyes-On-Me

The All-Eyes-On-Me is kind of Attention Whore that will interrupt the flow of social situations whenever they feel people are not giving them enough attention. This might mean jumping in on conversations, speaking over other people, doing or saying unusual/extreme things to shock people, or causing drama in order to become the focal point of attention once again.

How to handle: You need to understand that these kinds of people are acting this way because they hate themselves and have confused external ‘attention’ for ‘love’. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be still annoying but it allows you to step back a little and be less annoyed.  You can also just tell them to STFU if you feel so inclined (but they will probably just turn that into more DRAMA to get the eyes back on them).

The Anger Issues

The Anger Issues can flip at any moment and will scream, shout, and maybe even smash things up to assert themselves and let the world know how ‘angry’ they are.  A lot of the time, these people will  be quite self-righteous in their anger (because there’s a hint of the Moralist within them) and they will also get more angry as their anger is allowed to feed on itself.

These people are often angry for two reasons: 1) they have a ton of unresolved shame that has turned to rage and which causes them to explode, 2) they’re actually very afraid of life and the world and use their anger as a way of pushing people away as a sign that they shouldn’t be screwed with in the future.

How to handle: You need to understand that these poor, angry bastards are just responding to whatever they’ve been through in the past. As long as  they’re just screaming and shouting and don’t get physically violent then you can usually just ignore them and let them release some steam.

The Attention Whore

The Attention Whore is just the cousin of the All-Eyes-On-Me.

Whereas the All-Eyes-On-Me tries to manipulate EXISTING social situations in order to get attention, the Attention Whore goes the extra mile and will actively try to attract attention by creating NON-EXISTENT situations to get attention.

Attention Whores have confused attention with love and so their modus operandi is to do extreme things in order to get attention. This might involve dancing around naked on Tik Tok (a fabricated situation), creating drama to talk about online (false situation), or simply filming and sharing things about their lives that have been blown out of proportion to get attention.

How to handle: Stand back and appreciate the absurd lengths that the ego will go to in order to be ‘seen’. Don’t give them  attention and they’ll eventually get bored or move onto the next person.

The ‘Authority’

The Authority is somebody who is insecure but is able to hide behind a ‘role’ or mask that the majority of people will bow down to and treat as being an authority on the truth. Examples might be ‘doctor’’, ‘the boss’, ‘politicians’, etc. etc. (not all of them, just the ones hiding behind the role).

These people won’t have a rational discussion – especially when they know they’re wrong – and will instead just hide behind their role.

How to handle: These people will try and get you to avoid certain topics or to doubt yourself because you don’t have the ‘Authority’ that they do. What you need to do is value the TRUTH and to either stick with it or to refuse to argue with these people (unless you totally have to).

The Breakthrough

The Breakthrough is a kind of Action Avoider but focuses on introspection and analysing themselves (because they’re SELF-OBSESSED).  In short, these people are constantly having breakthroughs with their ‘healing’ but always have the same problems (i.e. they don’t get anywhere or move forward).

This is because these people have convinced themselves that raising AWARENESS of themselves is the only way forward in life. Actually, they’ve forgotten (or don’t know) that this is just the first step and that we also need to ACCEPT certain things about life as well as to take ACTION.

How to handle: Let these people get on with their self-obsession and to keep having their  breakthroughs. They’re not hurting anybody except themselves.

The Chameleons

These people don’t know who they are so they create a personality to match yours. At first, this might seem like you’ve made a new friend but a lot of the time they’ll try and manipulate you into meeting their emotional needs or simply in getting you to fill the void inside themselves.

You can’t always spot a chameleon but a clear sign is that they always agree with you. This might seem ‘nice’ but it’s actually unhealthy as if you never disagree with a person then there’s no chance of you growing together.

How to handle: If you come across a chameleon you need to find a way to get them to show their true colours. This might involve an honest conversation or to put them in a situation where they get out of their comfort zone.

 The Chip-On-the-Shoulder

This personality type usually feels like the world owes them something because of something they’ve already experienced. What is ‘owed’ will be different depending on what the Chip-On-the-Shoulder thinks they’ve been through.

For example, they  might think the world owes them a living because they never asked to be born;  they might think the world owes them attention or recognition because they secretly believe they’re a genius, they might believe that everybody should kiss their asses because they’re superior for some reason.

Most often, they have suffered with something – like an illness or whatever – and they think that entitles them to have everything else be okay. When it isn’t they get surly.

How to handle: You need to remember that you don’t owe anybody anything (and they don’t owe you anything either).

The Clique Member

The Clique Member usually has low self-esteem and a weak sense of self and so they join a group (of other assholes)in order to fill the void (because without the group they feel like nobody).

Because the clique and its rules gives them a sense of worth and meaning they will use the clique as a benchmark for judging others and attempting to feel better about themselves.

How to handle: Remind yourself that anybody who needs a clique to feel good about themselves is compensating for something.

The Comparer

The Comparer is a twisted individual who needs you and others to be jealous of them; they are never fully present in social situations because they’re constantly comparing where everybody stands in relation to everybody else in relation to some empty/unreal point system they’ve created (for example, who is the most ‘liked’, ‘respected’, ‘whatever’).

These people are very insecure so they create an imaginary standard to hold others to based on how they already WANT to believe that they’re ‘winning’ (wanting to believe and the actual truth are different things).

How to handle: If you meet one of these idiots you need to remember that the ‘score’ they’re keeping is unreal (so let them keep the points). You also need to remember that if they’re comparing themselves to you and trying to make you jealous then you already ‘won’.

The Competitor

A cousin of the Comparer – instead of trying to make you jealous or keeping score around imaginary games in their head, the Competitor will try and turn EVERYTHING into a competition so that they can feel ‘better’ (again compensating for whatever feeling of worthlessness that’s motivating them to act in this way).

If you say you’ve travelled to 10 countries, for example, the Competitor will tell you that they’ve been to 20. If you get paid £50 an hour, they’ll get paid £100.  These people are driven by TOXIC shame which has caused them to constantly  externalise their inner battle and try to convince themselves that they’re ‘better’ than the shame makes them feel.

How to handle: A lot of the time, The Competitor is actually making things up. Even if they’re not, the only way to win the game is not to play and to realise that being ‘better’ at certain things doesn’t sum up your worth as a whole.

The Compromiser

The Compromiser refuses to grow so tries to convince themselves that what they have is what they want (even though it clearly isn’t). In other words, this personality type will constantly try and persuade themselves and others that what they have in life is exactly what they wanted (when it isn’t because they’re unhappy).

This is just a way of maintaining their comfort zone and not pushing through to  the other side of their own shame, guilt, and/or trauma. They’re harmless enough but you can waste a lot of time on them if you’re thinking about working together or something like that.

How to handle: Let them get on with it. Eventually, something might wake them up when reality creeps in.

The Conformists

Conformists are obsessed with following rules a certain way (because it gives them a sense of control).  Almost always, this is because they have lost touch with who they really are and need to be told what to do in life to make up for it.

Conformists need the rules to exist and to be rigid in their adherence of them as a kind of CONTROL FREAKERY that keeps all of their unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ at bay and gives them a sense of order in a chaotic universe.

How to handle: Let them follow whatever rules they like whilst still following your own (as long as you’re not hurting anybody).

The Conspiracy Idiot

This isn’t to say that conspiracies don’t exist but this kind of person instantly jumps to thinking that EVERYTHING is a conspiracy without giving things rational thought. Basically just a reactive way of being that supports their EGO.

Usually, these people think they’re being big brained or have genius levels of intelligence but actually all they’re doing is refusing to believe anything, rather than using their brains to figure out what’s worth believing and what isn’t.

How to handle: Take everything with a pinch of salt and realise that believing nothing is just as dumb as believing everything.

The Control Freaks

Control Freaks need to control every little detail of life so that they don’t have to face  their own toxic shame, etc.  This is just a defence mechanism to keep a false sense of order in their lives so that nothing unexpectedly triggers their unresolved emotional ‘stuff’.

Control Freaks need things to be a certain way so that they can keep their EGOs exactly where they are and – by extension – keep avoiding all of their ‘shadow’ stuff or the things about life that will challenge them.

How to handle: Realise that Control Freaks fear chaos because they fear themselves. Don’t let them tell you what to do.

The Copycat

The Copycat wants to be you for some reason: usually because you have some knowledge that they want or because you embody certain qualities that they fear they lack in themselves.

The Copycat will constantly pick your brain and then pass off your knowledge as their own.  They will also copy your style/creative work/personality and act like they’re original.

How to handle: Remember that imitation is the biggest form of flattery (apparently) and let them get on with it.

The Criticiser

The Criticiser is constantly finding ways to be critical and to stop you from moving forward with your goals (whilst usually having either given up on their own  goals or rarely making progress). They are basically trying to make you DOUBT yourself.

In most cases, the people criticising what you’re doing won’t be doing anything in their own lives. That’s actually why they’re doing it: to justify their own lack of action and to persuade you not to take any so they won’t have to face themselves.

How to handle: Realise why these people are criticising, don’t listen, and keep doing your ‘thing’ until you either get results or learn a lesson.

The Crusader

A kind of ‘Hero’ who thinks that they’re extra important because they’re on some kind of crusade. Usually, this is just a BS thing they either made up or exaggerated because they want to feel like ‘saving the world’ gives them the moral high ground.

In most cases, the Crusader is just a Moralist that’s come up with some kind of cause to bolster their levels of self-worth and ability to try and control others with guilt (and thus feel powerful) for not doing all of the amazing things that they are.

How to handle: Realise that anybody who is on a crusade to save the world is usually trying to avoid or hide from themselves behind it.

The Deal Maker

Always on the verge of the next big deal or million dollar breakthrough. Been this way for years and never have any money. The Deal Maker is harmless enough unless you actually get involved with them as a business partner (and lose all your money).

Ultimately, these people are projecting their success into the future because they feel that they don’t have enough of it now and don’t want to do any real work. Also they truly WANT to believe that the next deal will be the one and so they can get incredibly deluded because they need things to work out to hide from their shame or whatever unresolved ‘stuff’ they have.

How to handle: Don’t get involved in any of these ‘deals’.

The Defensive Type

Constantly looking for a fight or trying to prove something to the world (to make up for their own ‘stuff’). The defensive type is really only ever trying to defend themselves from one thing: the TRUTH.

The defensive type has usually created a very rigid self-image for themselves and will constantly be on the lookout for anything that contravenes this image so they can deflect it (in a reactive way, usually – actually reacting to their own shame, not the actual external stimuli).

How to handle: As with many of these types, you just have to let them get on with it – don’t try and change them as they can only change from the inside.

The Denialists

People who don’t want to face reality despite the evidence to the contrary. Will continue believing the sky is green because it suits them.

The Denialists don’t want to face reality – no matter what – because that will mean facing their own EMOTIONS or letting go of the self-image they created in order to hide from these things in the first place.

The Denialist needs to seem themselves in a way that keeps their emotions at bay, the world in a way that justifies why they seem themselves in the way they do, and reality is seen as being whatever they want it to be so they don’t have to face the TRUTH.

How to handle: You need to realise that people always believe what they want to believe, especially Denialists. Don’t waste time trying to change them (it’s not your job anyway).

Drama Kings and Queens

The more unreal somebody is the more likely they’ll be to become a DRAMA KING or QUEEN. This is because in order to continue being unreal we need to bring drama into our lives to distract us from reality and to create situations that support the unreal stories we’re telling ourselves.

These people are constantly causing drama because they need attention and a way of avoiding their shame, etc. In short, by creating dramatic situations, it allows them to get attention – which is a substitute for ‘love’ when we’re being unreal. It also allows them to keep DISTRACTING themselves from the work they need to do on themselves to GROW REAL.

How to handle: Refuse to engage in drama and ignore their pleas for attention when you don’t engage.

The Driven One

The Driven One is completely outcome-dependent and needs to achieve a certain goal before they will give themselves permission to feel good about themselves.

Because their self-worth depends on achieving a certain goal, they become MANIC and blind to anything else. This obsession (which is always EGO) means that they will backstab just about anybody to get there.

How to handle: Realise that these people are only using you and could stab you in the back at any time.

The Dumb Rude Person

People of low intelligence are usually incredibly rude. They have no ability to look at themselves (a short-term superpower). Normally, these people won’t get any results but they will be rude to you on the way to not getting there.

How to handle: If somebody is habitually rude to you then you can assume that they’re probably of low intelligence and so not let it bother you (this applies to their compliments as well as their insults).

The Emotional Retard

Constantly flipping out and has no ability to regulate their emotions.  Often uses lashing out as a way to get attention (because it used to work with mummy and daddy).

The Emotional Retard will usually think that their emotions or ‘feelings’ are the most important thing in the world but they won’t know how to handle them.

How to handle: Emotional Retards are best avoided. If you do come across one, then you need to learn to ignore their outbursts and not feed into them.

The Energy Vampires

Could have a lot of the personality defects already discussed but  ultimately just end up draining you. They feed on your energy because they have used up all of their own with their EGO stuff.

How to handle: If spending time with a certain person leaves you feeling drained then you need to find a way to GTFO.

The Entitled One

Feels like they can have whatever they want whenever they want. Over-inflated self-importance.  This is similar to a few of the types already mentioned but is usually down to a sense of INFLATED SELF-WORTH.

More often than not, these Entitled Ones were raised to be little princes or princesses by their parents and it’s carried into adulthood.

How to handle: Realise that reality will eventually humble these people and if it doesn’t at least they’ll be miserable (as their expectations are constantly disappointed).

The Excuse Maker

Constantly coming up with new excuses not to do what clearly needs to be done in their lives or for having let you down. Will often be emotionally manipulative.

The Excuse Maker is a kind of Action Avoider that is skilled at coming up with BS reasons as to why they haven’t needed to do certain things.

How to handle: In most cases, the Excuse Maker is only hurting themselves. If they make excuses about responsibilities towards you then you need to call them out on it (and then walk away and count your losses if that doesn’t get you anywhere).

The Expert

A person who has a lot of CONCEPTUAL knowledge (not experiential knowledge) about a certain type of topic and will constantly use this knowledge to put themselves on a podium. Often happens with psychologists, psychotherapists, and coaches (*cough*).

The Expert will hide behind their knowledge and use it to make you doubt yourself as a kind of ‘Authority’ (mentioned above).

How to handle: Realise that knowledge is important but that it can also be used to manipulate or control people. The only thing that counts at the end of the day is what gets you RESULTS and improves your life.

The Future Famous

These guys think  they’re going to be famous one day so act like assholes now.

How to handle: Walk away and watch from a distance.

The Genius

Somebody who usually does some kind of ‘artistic’ thing and believes that the world likes it as much as they do.  Normally, their ‘art’ (or whatever) isn’t as good as they think but they’ve impressed themselves and somebody in their lives (mummy and daddy, usually) is making them think they’re God’s gift to the arts (or whatever).

The Genius is usually very pretentious and self-important and will constantly be trying to get you to see them as they see themselves (‘special’).

How to handle: Remember that we can all be a genius if we’re open to our own potential; don’t believe people’s hype about themselves, believe your own eyes.

The Gossip

If they’re gossiping about others, they’ll gossip about you.

The Gossip wants to use words to bring people down in order to build themselves up. As usual, this usually comes back to unresolved SHAME and an attempt to compensate for feelings of low self-worth and to prevent themselves and others from taking ACTION (and growing real).

How to handle: Don’t engage in gossip and don’t trust anybody that does.

The Groupie

The Groupie will constantly tell you about ‘famous’ people they’ve come into contact with, no matter how indirectly. Their main aim here is to show off a social signal of status and to make themselves seem exclusive or important.

The fact that people are impressed with ‘celebrities’ as people who are famous for the sake of fame itself (as opposed to actually having talent etc.) is almost always a sign that somebody doesn’t feel as successful as they want to and have chosen to live vicariously through somebody else.

How to handle: Smile and nod. Let the Groupie keep kissing ass.

The Grudge Holder

The Grudge Holder holds a grudge against you or the world and acts like a psychopath because of it.  Essentially, they lack the capacity to let go of the past and to forgive themselves and others.

A Grudge holder is dangerous because they are using the grudge to explain away their own personal responsibility for their lives and using a specific thing that happened in the past as an excuse for not moving forward.

Almost always, their identity is involved and they are unable to see themselves as they need to see themselves because of whatever happened.

How to handle: If you actually did something wrong then you need to apologise. Once you’ve done that they either forgive you or you move on. If they’re holding a grudge over some (imaginary) slight to their self-image then you should probably just try and GTFO as the issue is much deeper (their emotional ‘stuff’).

The Guilt Trip

These people will constantly try and make you feel guilty as a way of controlling you.  Essentially, they don’t want you to DO anything that will allow you to change or grow into a more authentic version of yourself because they like the way you are now (because it benefits them).

If you do start growing more real they’ll say things like “You’ve changed” – what that actually means is that they don’t know how to control you anymore and they don’t like it because now they might have to grow too.

How to handle: You need to remind yourself that guilt is a useless emotion. It only benefits whoever is trying to control you.

The Guru

The Guru wants to solve everybody else’s ‘spiritual’ (etc.) problems but completely refuses to change  themselves.  Really, this is just a type of MORALIST (see below) who thinks that the path to salvation is being just like them.

Almost always, this is just an ego ‘thing’ – they like the idea of being able to tell people how to live their lives and what needs to be done to save the world (which always benefits them).

How to handle: If you come across a ‘guru’ just remind yourself that they’re just as human as the rest of us.

The ‘Healed’ One

The Healed One has read a ton of self-help books and/or watched videos online and now thinks that they’ve done all of the work on themselves required to be a perfect, ‘healed’ human being.

In a way, the Healed One is just a type of GURU who will act like they have all of the answers about what YOU need to do to heal your trauma and how quickly you should make progress doing so.

How to handle: The Healed One is usually hiding certain things from themselves and is focusing on healing everybody else as a distraction. Remember that you only need to listen to yourself when it comes to your own ‘stuff’.

The Hero (the “more than” human)

Always trying to deny their own weakness and constantly creating imaginary problems or causes that they can swoop in and ‘solve’ to be seen as a ‘Hero’. More often than not, they will try and force other people into the role of either the ‘Persecutor’ or the ‘Victim’ to support their Ego DRAMA (see the Drama Triangle).

The internet has given birth to all kinds of heroes who create causes and crusades (that never seem to solve any problems in real life). They often build themselves around vague concepts that nobody would really disagree with – needing world peace, saying everybody should be kind, trying to create hope, etc.

Most heroes are trying to compensate for something and/or are motivated by the attention and validation they’ll get by dedicating themselves to their Crusade.

How to handle: If it’s a crusade you actually care about then get involved but ask yourself if the Hero is actually solving the problem or just using it as an excuse to get attention/money/power/whatever.

The Identity Trap

Wants to see themselves as a certain way and will ask the world to see them that way too (regardless of how real it is or whether they’ve done the necessary work).

This could be anything: maybe they want to be seen as an ‘artist’, a ‘genius’, a ‘nice guy’ or maybe it will be something more specific. Either way, the Identity Trap is using language to try and control you and to change the power dynamic of the relationship by having you defer to their INTERPRETATION of reality (not reality itself).

How to handle: Help people move towards their goals and be supportive but don’t be worried about seeing a spade as a spade (whilst also knowing you might be WRONG).

The Inner Child

The Inner Child will throw a temper tantrum and becomes bratty when things don’t go their way. This is really just a form of emotional manipulation (i.e. using their emotional stuff to take you hostage and get what they want from you).

The Inner Child will usually blame their tantrums on their childhood trauma or whatever issues they picked up back then. All they’re really doing is avoiding responsibility for their own lives and giving into their emotions instead of learning to regulate them and get where they want to be.

How to handle: If you meet an Inner Child remember that even if ‘bad’ stuff has happened in our lives we are still responsible for what we choose to do after.

The Jealous Ones

Always letting you know that they’re more successful than you (because they perceive you to be winning in some way and so want to try and put you in your place).

The Jealous Ones have the same underlying shame as the Comparer and Competitor but they have created a FALSE IMAGE of you in their minds based on their own insecurities. Essentially, they see you as ‘winning’ in some area and because this drives them mad they have to let you know it’s not the truth (even though it might be – not that it matters).

How to handle: The Jealous Ones live in their own sad little world and that’s the best place for them. Just keep doing your own ‘thing’.

The Judger

The Judger will constantly be judging other people in an attempt to ensure that they never have to look at themselves (all judgement comes from EGO and they just want to keep their ego where it is).

The Judger is related to the Moralist but not just about what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but also what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (or anything else in between). These people are obsessed with giving you a label that makes them feel ‘good’ about themselves and makes you look ‘bad’.

How to handle: Remember that all judgements are unreal and only exist at the level of ego.

The Kiss Ass

Constantly kissing ass as a strategy to get where they want to be in life but doesn’t realise it’s actually just making things harder for them.

Nobody respects a Kiss Ass (including themselves) – they use ‘ass kissing’ as a social strategy because they think it’s a shortcut to getting where they want to be. Almost always it backfires because people will use them and not give them what they want.

How to handle: If somebody kisses your ass ignore it. Refuse to kiss anybody else’s.

The Know-it-All

The Know-it-All has romanticised conceptual knowledge (like facts and figures in the form of TRIVIA) and thinks that this is all there is to human intelligence (basically, that it’s about memorising things). Because they have overvalued being ‘intelligent’ in this way they also refuse to listen to anybody else at any time (because it goes against their self-image).

These people know everything except how to be happy (if you observe them). Their lives are usually a mess because they are incapable of LEARNING and moving forward (if you think you know everything, you won’t be open to learning new things).

How to handle: Let these poor creatures keep pushing the rock up the hill of life whilst you get on with yours.

The Losers

Losers are usually lazy people or those suffering from many of the personality defects listed in this article.  Because they haven’t got anywhere real, they decide to stay in an unreal place with a bunch of other unreal people.

How to handle: Stay away.

The Magic Pill Taker

The Magic Pill Taker uses ‘magic’ to escape their problems and to keep justifying their personality defects.  More often than not these people will also believe that they have magical powers like being psychic or whatever (though they are incapable of using these powers to actually improve their lives and get what they want).

Despite the evidence, these people will dismiss the actual truth about life (that you need to WORK to get what you want and not rely on magic) as being too left-brain or logical etc. (when you need left and right brain thinking to get anywhere).

How to handle: If you want to drive them mad ask for some evidence of their [psychic] abilities. Otherwise, just refuse to buy into this magical way of thinking and stay real because REAL ALWAYS WORKS.

The Material Boy/Girl

Obsessed with material goods and think that these things will make up for their lack of real character or personality.  In short, these people think their expensive clothes/cars/whatever make up for either having no personality or having an awful one.

How to handle: Choose to invest in experiences and developing character instead of material goods. Don’t be impressed by superficial things.

The Money Pit

The Money Pit is always talking about how much money they have (though often seeming to have financial problems if you look between the gaps). They will often be a Material Boy/Girl because they want to give the illusion of wealth and status rather than actually cultivating it.

How to handle: Remember that money is a tool, not a personality.

The Moralist

Constantly needs to define and be what’s ‘right’ (but almost always about why you should change).  The Moralist thinks that they’ve figured out all of the rules and regulations about how we should behave if we want to live a moral life.

Unfortunately, the Moralist won’t use this information to improve their own life and be a better person but to tell you what you need to do to conform to their thinking.

How to handle: Remember that there is no ‘Final Solution’ and there are plenty of moral ways to live a good life.

The Naysayers

Will try and turn you off getting started on your goals – usually because they gave up on their real life and want everybody else to do the same.

You’ll find Naysayers all over the place and they have usually never done anything with their own lives (which is why they’re trying to stop you from getting started).

How to handle: Let your results speak for you by refusing to listen and getting things done.

The Needy Ones

The Needy ones are constantly needing things from others that they can only give themselves.  For example, they might constantly be seeking ‘happiness’ outside themselves or even things like ‘love’ or ‘self-acceptance’.

The Needy Ones don’t realise that they have a lot more power over themselves and their lives than they believe. Often, they have also been conditioned to think that strength comes from being vulnerable so they tell you every little thing that they’re thinking, feeling, and going through.

What they really want is for you to tell them to snap out of it and that everything will be okay.

How to handle: You can help some of these people if you can get them to see the power of self-responsibility and to see that being ‘vulnerable’ doesn’t mean sharing every feeling that pops up, just the ones that are holding us back.

The Negative Ones

Constantly looking for negatives or reasons why things won’t work. No matter how good things might be, these people will find a million problems for every solution.

In short, the reason these people are like this is because they don’t want things to work out. That will just mean changing or facing themselves.

How to handle: Realise that these people are trying to avoid responsibility or something. Figure out what it is and refuse to take it for them.

The Nice Guy/Gal

These fake ‘nice’ people are actually just CHAMELONS. They use being ‘nice’ as a social strategy which often works and gets them the results that they need.

The problem is that a lot of these ‘nice’ people will actually stab you in the back when you’re no longer useful to them and they’ve found somebody more ‘important’ to be nice to.

How to handle: If somebody is too ‘nice’ all the time then ask yourself what they might want.

The Past Personified

Somebody who wants to keep reminding you of mistakes or weird things you might’ve done in the past (even though you’re completely over it and have moved on with your life).

The Past Personified is basically trying to stop you from growing because they’re jealous or whatever and they wanna put you in your place for the sake of their own ego.  They’re trying to throw obstacles in your path and test that the changes and healing you’ve gone through are real.

How to handle: If somebody keeps bringing up your past then remind yourself that you’re over it and tell them to catch up. If you’re not over it, then still don’t listen to them and figure out what you need to do to move on (which normally involves a process of Awareness, Acceptance, and Action).

The Pretentious One

The Pretentious One tries to cover their internal shame by creating a ‘unicorn’ (i.e. idol) out of some idea or concepr as a way of raising their own status.  Design, art, music, etc. are all popular  targets for the Pretentious One.

Essentially, what these people do is to inflate the value and importance of these things, acquire unusual or esoteric information about them, and then try to make you feel bad for not understanding (even though what is to be understood will keep changing so they can gatekeep).

How to handle: Realise that these people have overvalued whatever they’re being pretentious about as a substitute for their own perceived lack of value. In reality, nothing is that important.

The Problem Psychic

Always looking into the future for the next problem (because if things are okay now then their whole ‘Victim’ identity goes out the window).

Essentially, the Problem Psychic has created a personality for themselves that is dependent on having problems. If they don’t have one they don’t know who they are so they need to project into a future where everything sucks (so they have something to complain about, get attention, and stay the same – i.e keep their ego right where it is).

How to handle: Stay in the ‘now’.

The Psychopath

Obsessed with POWER, the Psychopath will do whatever it takes to be able to put themselves in a perceived position of power. This is sometimes because they’re a SADIST but also because power leads to money and sex (and their EGO usually needs both).

A Psychopath has no compassion or empathy and uses this to focus only on the goal of getting the power they desire. If they’re a Sadist, they may take pleasure in destroying people on the way there.

How to handle: Stay away as much as possible.

The Sadist

People who hate themselves and so find degenerate ways to take pleasure in other people’s misery. This might involve creating dramatic situations for their own pleasure where they can watch people squirm or it might be something more ‘simple’ like bullying somebody or turning a group against an individual to watch the fallout.

This is almost always about power and attempting to feel a sense of dominance which is experienced as superiority (to compensate for actual feelings of shame and inferiority).

How to handle: Realise why Sadists are playing the games they play and don’t react like you’re bothered. They’ll get bored and move onto their next victim.

The Sex-On-Legs

Somebody who thinks they’re completely attractive and irresistible to everybody (“every body”) so you should do whatever they want. The Sex-On-Legs has only ever been valued for their looks and so society tolerates their other personality defects.

As looks fade with age, a lot of these people end up having nothing to offer in later life except all of the gifts that the various personality defects bring.

How to handle: Don’t tolerate BS from people just because they look nice. Value yourself and expect more (from a relationship, anyway).

The Sex Pest

Constantly talking about how much sex they have as though it’s something they just invented themselves. Normally, Sex Pests are so impressed with the fact that somebody had sex with them that they need to slip every detail into every conversation.

Ultimately, the Sex Pest has made two mistakes: 1) They think sex is rare. 2) They think nobody else is having it.

They want everybody to know about it because they rarely get it and have a lot of shame around it.

How to handle: Change the topic. Congratulate them on losing their virginity at last (to be so excited).

The Smart Insecure Person

Some smart people are too smart for their own good. It can turn against them as insecurity which makes them play all kinds of weird games. This is the opposite of Dumb Rude Person.

These types use their intellect for extreme introspection and self-analysis but – because they’re driven by shame – this always leads to them coming up with reasons why they’re useless and why the thing they want to do won’t work out (thus turning them into Action Avoiders).

How to handle: Keep moving.

The Social Media Scenario Maker

Constantly worried about how they come across on social media and so creating scenarios to show off a life that doesn’t exist.  You can’t really hang out or be present with these types because they’ll constantly be looking for reasons to whack their camera out and manufacture a life that supports their EGO, not reality.

How to handle: Stay off camera.

The Solipsistic Navel Gazers

Completely self-obssessed. Constantly analysing themselves, talking about themselves and their problems. You’ll feel like you don’t exist around these people because they only like talking about themselves.

They do this because they feel like they don’t exist if they’re not talking (about themselves). Naturally , these people are Action Avoiders because the only thing that moves about them is their mouths.

How to handle: Smile, nod, and never look back (once you’ve managed to get away).

The ‘Special’ Ones

People who think they’re ‘special’ (i.e. ‘more’ or ‘less’ than human) and that everything that happens to them is way worse or way better than any other human being on the planet. This is just one of the (many) ways the ego stops people embracing their humanity via REALITY (which would allow them to move and grow again).

No matter what happens to these people it will be INTERPRETED as evidence of being special. Despite this, these Special Ones very rarely do anything special overall.

How to handle: As long as they’re not hurting you just let them get on with it.

The ‘Spiritual’ Egotist

Will act as though they’ve figured out deep spiritual truths (though almost always miserable which is why they got into spirituality in the first place). Will dismiss reason or truth as being a product of somebody not being evolved enough to understand ‘magic’ (i.e. whatever BS supports their ego).

This is linked to wanting to be ‘special’ and to ensure that unreal beliefs – which are always about what we want to be true, not the truth – are kept in place. In short, these people use spirituality to mask their shame and the ego it created instead of using it to dissolve that shame and find their true self.

How to handle: Stay on your own path and don’t waste time trying to change people’s beliefs (they can only do that themselves and you are probably wrong somewhere anyway).

The Swinger

Fluctuates between being ‘happy’ and having it all figured out vs. being completely hopeless and lost. This is usually because they’re avoiding reality but sometimes convince themselves that some crazy new scheme/idea will make them happy.

They would get better RESULTS if they were disciplined, consistent, and focused but because they’re not they experience life as a series of ups-and-downs as they find a shiny new thing to mask their existential dread only for reality to creep in again (before they move onto the next shimmering thing).

How to handle: Don’t buy into the fads and stay real.

The Sycophant

A special kind of ‘Kiss Ass’ that’s usually kissing an ass that isn’t yours. You have to be careful around them because they’ll sell you out to whoever that happens to be if they think it will get them whatever they want.

How to handle: Always be careful what you tell or do in front of anybody who kisses ass.

The Truth Sayer

Somebody who thinks they are the final word and authority on the truth (but usually only tells the truth about other people and can’t stand hearing home truths about themselves – *cough*).

They will happily tell others “the truth” about their lives but can’t handle others telling it about theirs. The ‘truth’ here is that if you value the truth it applies to everybody equally (even if you don’t value it, it applies to everybody equally).

How to handle: Remember that nobody knows the truth about what it’s like to be ‘You’ than you do (though don’t fall into the trap of thinking that means stop learning and growing).

The User

Only calls you or enters your life when they need something. Never there when the tables are turned or if you hit hard times (and so have nothing worth being used for).

These people are often Ass Kissers but they may also be Guilt Trippers or other manipulative types to get what they want from you.

How to handle: Pay attention to those who are only around when things are going well or those who try and make you feel guilty.

The Victim (the “Less than” human)

The Victim is constantly denying their own human power and ability to make CHOICES about their lives in order to try and get sympathy and to make excuses about not taking action. Usually, they will seek out a HERO to help them justify this way of thinking and seeing themselves.

Getting sympathy is often used as a way to distract others by focusing on the problem, not the solution. This is because moving forward will mean taking responsibility for the choices already made and the ones moving forward (which means facing reality).

How to handle: Have compassion for people who have struggled but realise that being a victim is only temporary in reality.

The Wannabes

These people are envious of something you have or the way that you are but won’t do the WORK to get there (so they’ll waste their time talking about you with other Wannabes and trying to drag you down – in their own minds at least).

They want the RESULTS you already got but don’t wanna commit to the PROCESS that got those results. To compensate they’ll tear you down and become MORALISTS to explain why whatever you’ve achieved is ‘wrong’.

How to handle: Let them enjoy their misery and keep going.

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The Cost: Are You Prepared to Pay the Price for Your Real Life?


If you’re trying to grow more REAL in an unreal world then you’re always going to have to pay a PRICE for your own REALNESS.

This is just the way that things are: if you want something then you have to pay the COST.  This is just a part of the human experience and it’s something that applies to ALL of us.

Our tendency of thinking about these things is that there’s only ever really a ‘cost’ for the ‘bad’ things that happen to us – actually, though, we often find ourselves paying a price just as much, if not more (as we initially perceive it), for the ‘good’ – or REAL – stuff too.

In other words: If you really want something then you’re going to have to pay for it. That’s “the Cost”.

This article will help you in two main ways:

  1. It’s going to help you understand this concept of THE COST so that you can pre-empt it and ready yourself to pay it without becoming disappointed or disillusioned.
  2. It’s going to help you stay motivated and COMMITTED to growing real by showing you that the cost is always worth it so you should always keep growing real no matter what(despite what the world might tell you along the way).

One of the greatest things you can do for yourself and the world is to know what’s REAL about you so that you can add more value to the world as an extension of acting on that AWARENESS (because the only thing that’s actually of any value is the REAL stuff and what you choose to DO with it).

Getting to the stage where you know enough about yourself, the world, and reality to be able to tap into this value and share it is a difficult road in itself – especially when the world is designed to condition us to be pliable and conformist so that we’ll be easier to control.

If you lack awareness of the extra COSTS of walking the REAL path then you might falter (which just means that the world has convinced you to be something and/or somebody that you’re not).

If you’re ready to pay the price and get something REAL then keep reading.

There’s always a price to pay. Especially when you’re shifting from unreal to real life.

“The best things in life are free”, that’s what we’re told but even these “best” things like ‘love’ or ‘kindness’ or ‘friendship’ almost always come with a COST of some kind. It might not be a monetary cost, but it’s always a cost nevertheless.

Maybe that sounds extreme but when you dig into it, you’ll see what I mean:

The COST of love is that you have to let go of your ego and learn not to at least think about other people and their needs(that’s a good thing once you learn how to do it but to the ego it’s a cost which is why so many people find it hard to fall and STAY in love).

The COST of being kind is that sometimes you’ll have to say “Yes” when it might have been easier to say “No” or that you might have to give up the time you could’ve spent on yourself to dedicate to somebody else (and your time, energy, and attention are the most precious things you have).

The COST of friendship is a combination of the two but also that you need to be able to at least offer some kind of VALUE to the relationship (in exchange for value as that’s how real friendship works).

That means that you can’t only TAKE from the relationship and that you have to GIVE something – whatever that is in the context of the relationship is the COST.

Sometimes the cost is worth it, sometimes it isn’t.  Either way, there’s always a cost and that’s just the way it is.

We can say that this is just a principle of being alive as a human being and it basically boils down to the fact that whenever we make a CHOICE then the cost of one thing is always something else (that’s just what a ‘choice’ is by definition).

Sometimes, we CHOOSE things that come with unexpected costs but there’s ALWAYS a cost. Always (just to drill the point home).

You need to understand this so you can get prepare yourself to pay when the time comes.

If you don’t understand this basic REALITY about life then when the costs of your CHOICES do creep in further down the line (as ‘consequences’) then you’ll be disappointed and disillusioned.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make the choices that have a risk of such negative emotions – it just means that you need to weigh the costs up before you get started (as much as is possible – nobody can predict the future with 100% accuracy).

As a simple example, let’s take two different paths that you might take in life: either stepping up and changing your life by doing that ‘thing’ you want to do (but are afraid of because doing so will disrupt your life), or NOT doing that thing and just leaving things as they are.

Two very different options – 1) doing that ‘thing’ and changing your life or 2) doing nothing and sweeping it under the carpet.

Different paths but both with a COST.

To decide which one to take you need to figure out the BENEFITS or PAYOFF of each one – maybe figuring out your true values and how aligned they are with the goals in question, figuring out how you might benefit financially, in terms of health, emotionally, etc.

A step that a lot of people tend to skip, though, is figuring out ‘THE COST’ (though they might think about their fears or reasons not to get started which are usually just EXCUSES – see below).

In the first case, of going out there and just doing that ‘thing’ whatever it is, the costs might be:

-Having to give up your ‘current’ thing.

-Having people be jealous of you or hate on you for being ‘successful’.

-Having to spend some time learning new skills instead of watching Netflix or whatever.

-Having people think that you’re crazy/weird/unusual or whatever because you’re doing something unconventional.

-Having to listen to people try and persuade you not to do that thing whatever it is.

-Having to RISK failure and the emotional ‘stuff’ that comes with it.


Depending on whatever the ‘thing’ is in your own life you could probably come up with a list of costs that’s longer than your arm – and this is just for the ‘good’ things that you want to be doing with your life.

I guess the basic rule is that you can’t have the sweet without the sour – it probably all balances out in the end but you need to know it so you’re not just floating through life with your rose-tinted glasses on setting yourself up for disappointment and disillusionment.

Ask yourself about that ‘thing’ that you think you want: Can you pay the COST(s)? If you can’t then maybe you don’t really want it.

To complicate matters, there’s also the other option: doing NOTHING and trying to forget about that ‘thing’ and just going through the motions of living in the same old way and getting the same old results.

That might seem like a simple way of AVOIDING the costs of going to get that ‘thing’ (which you may have some fear about which has stopped you going for it in the first place), but because EVERYTHING in life comes with an OPPORTUNITY COST, inaction will cost you just as much – or even more – than just getting up and doing that ‘thing’ in the first place.

Let’s say you do decide to do nothing and just leave your life as it is, even though that ‘thing’ (whatever it is) is calling out to you and life will continue to change around you anyway.

The costs might be things like:

-Having to get to the end of your life and REGRETTING never stepping up and doing what you realise you were called for.

-Having to watch other people who have stepped up to do their ‘thing’ doing it and getting RESULTS that you can’t even get close  to (and having to live with jealousy because of it).

-Having to PUT UP with whatever you’re currently putting up with and forcing yourself to tolerate.

-Having to have the people in your life just see you as being somebody who never did that ‘thing’ and never will.

-Having to always wonder if there’s ‘more’ to life or wondering what your real potential might look like (hint: there is more and your real potential looks like freedom).


Again, in the case of your own ‘thing’ it might be a longer list or it might be a shorter one. The point is, though, that – whether you make changes or you don’t – then there’s a COST to pay.

If you’re undecided about taking some action in your life or stepping up and being more REAL or not then you need to ask yourself what the COST of each path is and if you can HANDLE it.

If you can’t handle it then you know that:

  • It’s either not YOUR path and so you can forget about it


  • You have some kind of mindset issue that needs tweaking because you don’t TRUST in yourself and your ability to handle whatever might arise (and, trust me, when you’re being REAL you’ll be able to handle just about anything).

Basically, it comes down to this: Whether you DO or you DON’T there’s gonna be a COST so the only question is which one do you wanna pay? Do you wanna pay the cost of being UNREAL or do you want to pay the cost of being REAL?

I know what I’d choose every time.

The cost of being unreal is that you’ll always wonder if there’s more, never know your true potential, and probably spend the end of your life regretting all the things you didn’t do but could’ve done if you got over yourself.

Assuming that the ‘thing’ you want to do is actually REAL – i.e. it’s aligned with your TRUE values and intentions and the process of moving towards it will make you more WHOLE, not FRAGMENTED – then the main cost of NOT making the choice and going for it is that you’ll never KNOW yourself, you’ll never know the world, and you’ll never know reality.

This is because the PAYOFF of taking the REAL path is that you will connect with what’s real about you and find a way (that ‘thing’) of expressing it in the world. As you’ll have to do the work to make it happen then you’ll have to BECOME a more real version of yourself to get there. If that payoff is worth more than the regret of not even trying then it’s worth it.

The cost of being real is that when you’re making changes to go from unreal to real you have to let go of a lot of things and when you’re real you’ll have to deal with being hated by unreal people that can’t (currently) do what you’ve done.

The COST of taking the real path is having to LET GO of your ego and the things that are asking you to keep living out an UNREAL version of yourself and your life.

More than that, you’ll also have to pay the price of having to deal with people who haven’t stepped onto the REAL path trying to pull you off course by causing drama, hating, or projecting their own ‘stuff’ onto you (though if other people are constantly causing problems in your life you need to ask yourself if you’re the ‘UNREAL’ one seeing as you’re the common denominator).

The point is that – no matter what you choose – you’re “darned if you do, darned if you don’t”.  That’s just LIFE.

If you want to be REAL, though, you might as well make a CHOICE about what that looks like and the PAYOFF you get rather than just passively letting life happen and paying the costs for something you don’t want instead of something you DO.

In general, as you grow real, you’ll see that ALL COSTS are unreal because what’s real about you can never be taken away from (we’ll talk about that a little further below).

If you’re on a crossroads in life then what that basically means is that your choice is between:

  • An UNREAL life with unreal costs you can’t do anything about because you’re unreal (e.g living a life that’s a consequence of you hiding and paying costs you CAN’T handle because you’re UNREAL).
  • A REAL life with unreal costs that you can do something about because you’re real(e.g. living a life that’s a consequence of you not hiding and paying the costs that you CAN handle because you’re REAL).

In both cases, the costs are ultimately unreal – because you’re always real no matter what and it’s just your perception and interpretations (filtered through your identity) stopping you from seeing it.

On your way into your REAL life, though, you’ll have to grow through the things that make the costs seem real – your choice about how you handle this will affect how far you get.

Examples of the kinds of price you’ll have to pay if you focus on your REAL intentions and values.

Though there are no hard and fast rules, these are the kind of costs that you can expect to pay as you step up and start moving towards that ‘thing’ and your REAL life.

In all cases you haven’t really lost anything ‘real’ – you just STOPPED BUYING INTO unreality:

Letting go of unreal relationships that are holding you back.

The real relationships in your life will support your growth and movement towards the goals that are real to you.  The unreal ones won’t.

As you wake up to your realness and start moving forwards then the COST will be to set healthy boundaries and say “No” to the people that need you to be unreal (for the protection of their own unreal ego ‘stuff’).

The reason that you don’t really lose anything real here despite the ‘cost’ is that the only thing keeping you in such relationships in the first place was your own UNREALITY.

Not being able to watch Netflix as much.

Committing to growing real comes with the ‘COST’ of having to say “No” to unreal activities and distractions like spending all night watching Netflix or playing video games or whatever (obviously, this is a matter of degree based on the context of your own life).

As you start to CHOOSE the real stuff over the unreal distractions like this then you probably won’t have time to waste on such things because you’ll have found your REAL purpose.

Again, the ‘cost’ isn’t really a cost because all that’s happened is you’ve stopped acting out an unreal story in your head and replaced it with a real one. You simply changed your focus and it changed your life.

Having people hate on you or be jealous because you’re doing your ‘thing’ and they’re not.

If you think that everybody around you is going to be happy for your ‘success’ as you step up and grow real then you’re going to have a bad time.

It’s a harsh reality about life but some of your closest friends and family don’t actually want you to be ‘more’ successful than them or to even just start doing things that are important to you (usually because they never had the balls to step up and do what’s important to themselves).

If you’re going to put yourself on a real path, then this is something that you need to prepare for – it’s a COST that you’ll be asked to pay and if you’re not real about it then it can make your life miserable.

Actually, even  though this may look like a COST, it’s actually not a REAL one. The reason for this is that the only reason these people are hating on you is because they’re being UNREAL (because when you’re being real you know your own capacity to succeed at your ‘thing’ and know that others can succeed at theirs too – what’s more you want them to!).

If something is UNREAL then you don’t need to worry about it or concern yourself with it – the only reason that you would is because there’s some unreal, emotional thing going on inside you that makes you interpret this unreal hate (etc.) as being real.

When you learn to say “Gimme something real or GTFO” then you can either walk away from these people or simply stay real and learn to ignore their BS. Either way, it nullifies the cost and you’ve grown REAL.

Having to work hard and change things.

Going out there and getting that ‘thing’ that you want comes with the COST of hard work.  That may seem like a lot of unnecessary effort when you haven’t even got started yet but look at it like this:

You can either work to get to where you want to be or you can work to have to try and live with yourself for never trying.

When you look at it like that the ‘hard work’ isn’t really a cost as much as it is an opportunity.

Having to let go of your current way of identifying as you grow real through experience.

No matter what you’re trying to do or where you’re trying to get to, as you grow more REAL, you will inevitably change as a person and the way that you see yourself will change too.

For some of us,  this is a price worth paying for our goals because we know that we’ve chosen to aim for something real and so – even though we may change – that change will be for the better (because we shaved away layers of unreality to reveal the REAL stuff).

The ‘problem’ for a lot of people is that they’re scared to change because the sense of identity they’ve created for themselves is actually a box that keeps a lot of their unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ at bay.

This is actually the main reason that certain people DON’T want to choose the real path – they’re not ready to pay the cost of letting go of their cherished ideas (and illusions, tbh) about themselves (and the world and reality by extension).

When you start growing REAL, however, you’ll see that this sense of identity is actually completely UNREAL – yes, we need it to function in the world and it acts as a representation of whatever we’ve been through and survived but it’s not who we really ‘are’ (just an interpretation we created).

When you realise this, you realise that losing one form of it is not really a COST, it’s another opportunity to replace it with something more real so you can go deeper into life.

Having to deal with the consequences of being real in an unreal world (i.e. dealing with people who are ‘asleep’, NPCs, etc.).

If you decide to grow real in an unreal world (i.e. a world that just needs you to conform so you can be controlled) then you’re going to have to pay the price of STANDING OUT which will bring unwanted attention and disagreement (if you let it).

The problem here is often caused by projection – if you’ve started to put yourself on the path of growing real then, eventually, you’re going to have to face some of your own ‘SHADOW’ stuff (the previously disowned parts of you that were deemed ‘unacceptable’ by your own shame and the guilt that society conditioned you with in the first place).

These can be both ‘good’ or ‘bad’ qualities but for whatever reason, society has decided that it would be better if they’re not part of the human experience.

An example might be ‘creativity’, for example, which may take you to some places that the majority of people aren’t willing to go (because they’ve disowned this side of themselves in order to be more productive employees or whatever).

If you become real and trigger some of the hidden ‘Shadow’ stuff of the people around you then it can lead to all kinds of drama and conflict.

You need to be ready for it because it’s highly unlikely that you’ll do the work of growing more real, doing more authentic things and expressing your true thoughts, feelings, etc. without upsetting somebody.

The costs here actually can be pretty high if you come across an actual nutcase who’s completely repressed and sees something in you that they’re trying to hide from themselves.

You can usually avoid such people as you start focusing on your own real ‘thing’ and start meeting other Real Ones but you need to know that this is a price you’ll possibly have to pay.

Again, even though it can be costly in some cases, the core source of the problem is still the same: whoever is getting triggered by your ‘Real’ stuff is only that way because they have an unreal relationship with themselves.

That makes it easier to ignore and move on (“Gimme something real or GTFO”) but you need to be real enough not to poke the fires and push these people over the edge (although that’s actually what they want deep down as by sabotaging themselves they can eventually destroy themselves and allow the real version of who they are to creep through).

Everybody is constantly moving towards wholeness – even those who are locked inside themselves – that’s just a natural drive we have but you don’t really need to get involved and ‘save’ anybody from themselves as the only person with that power is them.

The more real you become the more you’ll see how most people are unreal. You’ll have to learn not to JUDGE and slip back into unreality.

In short, the more real you become, you will have to live with the COST of being surrounded by people who are living unreal lives in an unreal relationship with themselves.

You need to be careful not to judge here as judgement is always unreal and will just cause you to end up back on the unreal path you’re trying to avoid.

The final cost to yourself is that you will have to work to cultivate better emotional control and self-regulation and to learn to be patient.

If people are ‘unreal’ it’s not their fault, it’s just a product of their conditioning and you basically just have to let them get on with it until the time comes for them to find something real to hold onto (assuming that time ever comes).

There’s always a choice. No excuses.

Sometimes, you convince yourself you don’t have a choice which stops you moving towards your goals.  The truth isn’t that you “don’t have a choice” but that you “don’t want to pay the cost”.  Ask yourself why because a lot of the time it’s just fear, pride, or other ego ‘stuff’ that you’ve CHOSEN to keep in place so you can hide from your unresolved shame, guilt, and/or trauma.

When you want to do something but you’re scared of the cost you make EXCUSES – this is just the ego’s way of trying to resist paying whatever cost needs to be paid.

If you find yourself stuck on a crossroads where you don’t know if you have the courage to move forward or not and you start making EXCUSES to explain away what you really want to do (that ‘thing’, whatever it is), then you need to remind yourself that you can only lose things that are UNREAL because reality never goes anywhere (and even then you don’t really ‘lose’ anything because it was never there in the first place – it was just a product of the way you chose to perceive things).

This means that the price you’re afraid to pay usually has something to do with your attachment to your illusions about yourself, the world, and reality and that you’ve DISTORTED your view of things through the lens of your ego in order to try and stay the ‘same’ and refuse to take action.

At the end of the day, there is no real cost – there’s just a process of deconditioning and learning to understand reality.

In short, the price never costs as much as your ego will try and convince you it does before you’ve paid it and when you understand the reality of life you’ll see that the costs are never as bad as you think (because it’s usually unreal).

You need to be ready to pay the price but you also need to be ready to see that in REALITY it’s always worth it:

You can either choose the unreal life you might already be living or step up and grow real?

There’s always a cost but there’s always a CHOICE. Which one are you going to make?



If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

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