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I’ll be honest with you. I’m in my thirties and still find life hard.

I still feel like a beginner.

I still feel mostly clueless.

I still get scared and dread things.

For the most part, things are hopeful. I’m productive, I’m exercising enough, feeling positive, and I am grateful for what I have.

I can experience moments of brilliance, where I feel like I’m on fire, bursting with ideas.

But there are times when I allow things to affect me too much, to push me back, to drain the life from my chest until it is hollow.

It’s like losing my footing in the big climb of life, my grip has slipped, and…

Me doing ‘goofy’ confidence drills in London years ago

In my mid-twenties, I had tons of social anxiety.

I was totally fed up. So I created my own desensitisation program, which meant speaking to hundreds of strangers in the streets.

I set myself various drills like asking for directions, complimenting people, taking selfies with people, etc.

I approached people over and over again.

It changed my life, and taught me:

Through repetition, I saw that I was creating an image of people in my mind that frightened me.

The more people I spoke to, however, the less intimidating I found them.

As humans, we have a great skill at…

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Ever notice how distracted we’re becoming?

Yeah, I noticed this about me as well, until I started making some changes.

Read on to learn more about how I am making small changes that are improving my mental performance.

We all want to perform better.

We want to be effortlessly productive.

We want to create things that turn heads.

We want to be prolific and make good money from our creations.

This requires mental capacity.

But many of us are applying breaks.

We have habits that literally block us from enjoying full performance at work and in life.

This is no…

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Overthinking and I share a long history.

Thinking obsessively has done little but make me miserable.

Now, I do it FAR less.

Here are five ways to significantly reduce it:

  1. I have internalised that worry is not an effective life-management tool.

Most of us worry because a part of us thinks worry is putting us in control of our lives. I get it. I used to worry for England. I did it because it felt productive. But, unfortunately, it is very much the opposite.

The heavy volume of thoughts made me feel worse and drained me of energy — the…

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Social media can complement your life and work, or it can destroy you.

Platforms like Twitter have given me a lot over the years, from clients and customers to new friends, jobs-landed, and thousands of lessons learned.

In my sixteen years of using social media, I have also experienced its downs.

It’s made me depressed; I’ve been addicted; It has made me furious.

We can use social media as a tool to drastically improve our lives, or we can allow our mental health to suffer because of it.

Here are 4 ways to maintain mental strength (and avoid psychological despair)…

I’ve spent a long time looking back at my school years with deep regret.

I hated school because I hated who I was there.

I cringed over my quiet personality and pined for things to be different.

I wished I was cool and that more girls liked me.

This hatred made my present self anxious and angry.

Some years ago, I found a way to respect my younger self again.

I saw that I was doing the best I could, given my fearful thinking at the time.

I saw that I was quiet because I wanted to connect with others…

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Think for a moment right now about all the things in your life you wished were different.

Of those things, which truly matter?

What of those things are out of your control?

What of the things you wish was different can you feasibly have any influence in?

What do you desire that you don’t have?

(Don’t tell me it’s a Lambo)

How might you feel if you realised that you didn’t need to pine or wish for these things?

At all.

Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba (a wise Japanese fella with a penchant for spotless dressing gowns) has this to say…

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A brilliant thing I learned from one of my mentors was to ‘test’ rather than ‘trust.’

Most of us feel resistance to taking action, particularly when it comes to something new. This is because it isn’t something we’ve tried. We haven’t associated ourselves with that thing — whatever it is.


And so we come up with ideas about what we need to do to deal with the fear.

These are, of course, clever little lies: excuses.

We say we need to first ‘trust’ the process. Or we need to trust ourselves first.

(Come on, Nathan! Get real).

‘How can…

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It’s funny.

I study more now at thirty-six than I did at school or university.

I remember that learning was fun and occasionally intriguing during those times, but there was an undercurrent of resistance to what learning entailed.

It always felt like a bit of a push.

I think it was because we were obligated to learn so that we’d pass tests and avoid punishment.

Not always, but often.

Fear-based, rather than for love.

And it was that sense of learning out of fear that often drained it of enthusiasm. …

Seems alluring, doesn’t it?

The safe life.

The life of comfort and feel-good vibes.

Follow your bliss and all that.

Safety first.

Except nothing was created in safety.


Life springs out of risk realised.


Safety is where we perch between risks.

Devoid of creativity.

Rich in rejuvenation and rest. Yes.

But devoid of growth.

And so, if we get real with ourselves, we begin to see that our lives are in continual, beautiful transition.

Transition from safety to danger, and back again.

Yin and Yang encapsulated.

We can’t live if we only embrace the Yin.

Sometimes, and more…

Alex Mathers

Coach and Illustrator. Helping entrepreneurs lead with confidence. More: ; Illusory book:

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