Stop Hiding Your Enthusiasm

This episode is an outtake from a conversation where I realized how I stifle my enthusiasm because I want to protect myself from the pain of embarrassment and disappointment. One of the greatest things about my younger self was how passionate I was about my dreams and goals (I talked about that in episode 82). I decided to stop hiding my enthusiasm, and embrace that sense of unfettered excitement. There’s too much inner work to be done, and I can’t let my fear of looking foolish get in the way.

[00:00:00] thinking about my content, the content we’re creating, the things that, you know, my little journey in terms of being a content creator and a storyteller just recently, I’ve noticed something, which is that. Very slowly but noticeably my love for any kind of help I can offer to the world is growing again.
Like, I’ll see, you know, I would receive emails, so receive emails from people, that tell me, Hey, this whatever followup book really helped me or this YouTube talk of yours has been really awesome. Well, I just listened to a podcast interview from you. A bunch of people sent me emails the last couple of days.
Cause, um, I think SASStalk, we promoted some talk I gave, Hey, listen, listen to your talk. They’re super inspiring. This is helpful.

And I had grown a little cold on all these things. Not a little, very cold where I would get these emails and they would mean absolutely [00:01:00] nothing. It’d be very mechanical. Just some, like I heard, I’ve heard this a thousand times, so it’d be like, you’re really awesome.
This is really helped me. And I’d be just like, whatever, whatever, whatever, what do you want? Oh, you want this from me? Here’s the link. Here’s the answer. Here’s the thing. And I would just, it would just be a to do this email is a to do I got it done. I’m moving on.

And just recently I started looking at these emails and thinking, wow, isn’t this awesome. Like a human being, somebody, John, Bob, whatever. They spend an hour listening to me on YouTube. And then there were so inspired that they decided to send me an email, what an honor, like that’s amazing. And I would feel grateful. And then I started thinking about all the content that I’ve created about sales and entrepreneurship.
And I was started thinking. I stuff like I’m really proud of it, and I’m really glad I did all this. And it’s awesome that I’ve had and still have something to offer there where I think in the past years I was having the feeling that I want some distance [00:02:00] from it. Right. Like I’m, I’m so a little burned out by it.
And so not only am I not happy when I get an email about it, but I also, when I see that content, I always feel, I want to turn away from reminded of something if you don’t want to be associated with anymore. Yeah. It reminds me of something that I’m feeling like, ah, I don’t like this. Okay. I’m not, I’m not looking for, I wasn’t looking fondly back at it.
Proud, grateful, but more sort of a, I don’t want to be reminded. I want to forget. Almost, which is a sucky feeling, especially if it’s something that it good, it sounds like yep. Something criminal. And I’m like, I want to forget about at the time I was stealing, I provided tremendous value to people, but there’s still a, still a note of unhappiness with it.
I think partially it’s due to two things. One is that for in the first couple of years, I, I did [00:03:00] all that content out of just pure inspiration. And then I did it out of pure,
a feeling of responsibility and, obligation. Right. It was just an obligation. I just, I felt like I had to do it, so I was doing it, but I wasn’t inspired anymore. I wasn’t finding it creative. I was just feeling responsible to do it. So I was doing it. So it started turning from something that was art to something that was a burden work.
And I think the other flip side of it was that I had experienced a certain amount of growth in terms of my audience, my reach. And wasn’t able to continue that growth trajectory in many ways. And I think that that also brought a level of, I don’t know if shame is the right word, but this, when I look back at yeah, All [00:04:00] the sales startup content. When I look back at the startup chat, right? When I look back at all these things, there, isn’t a slight undertone of shame as well in the shame that I didn’t live up to it. I didn’t make it as big and as impactful and as good as I knew how to make it, because once I got it to a certain level of, of quality and reach, I had lost my inspiration around it.

And I was just doing it as work kind of cruise control. Yeah. And I remember, like, I remember having these ideas, these thoughts, I could do these 17 things to make this better, but I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I was like, I barely can even do it in the level. It is now to make it much better, would require a lot more work and.
Work that I’m not loving as much anymore feeling as easily. It’s not as [00:05:00] easy anymore because it’s work and now doing it more work, I don’t have it in me, but then there was always this guilt, this isn’t growing, this, isn’t serving as many people, this isn’t changing and evolving as much as it should. And so I always felt guilty for that.
So when I look back at that stuff, I think at least for the last two years at my content trajectory, which is, I mean, it’s insane. It’s thousands and thousands. Of pieces of content and I’ve influenced and touched and helped. Hundreds of thousands of people, some very, very, very small way. So I’m in very big ways, but lots of people. Yep. But when I look back at all that for the past two, three years, the main feeling was a little bit of shame and a little bit of like a, this was, I don’t know, shame and burden. Like I did this because I had to do it and I didn’t do it as well as I could. And I kind [00:06:00] of feel bad about all this. And then, you know, cynical side of me grew that looked at these things and went,

did it really matter? Did I really have any impact if I hadn’t done any of this, what did it really mattered?
Somebody else would’ve created and did create content around sales and startups and this and that. And people would have learned the stuff somewhere. So, yeah. Then you go into this like fatalism point of view where it’s like, life is pointless. Like it doesn’t even matter that I exist, you know, does it matter?
Does it matter in the abstract that if I hadn’t done this, the world will be different, significantly different, not really. ,

and just, just in the last weeks, I don’t know how and why, but just maybe because I’m getting into better and better place and I’ve done significant amount of inner work, but just in the last few weeks without ever making this a goal without ever writing this down as all, you should be more grateful.
You should [00:07:00] like your stuff. I didn’t even think about this to be honest, but I noticed that my, I I’m feeling different. I’m looking at these things. I started to look at them different to feel around them differently. The content. Yeah. Again, like where it used to be kind of black and white. Now I see color again.
I’m like, ah, this was great. Oh my God, this person emailing me, like how amazing that anybody would care to reach out to me and to watch my stuff, read my stuff. What a blessing, what an incredible blessing that I’m in a position where I can help. I can answer an email. I can give advice. It can point to something that’s awesome.
And like, it starts filling me up and fusing me with a little bit of inspiration and excitement again, where for a long time it had turned into this very mechanical, meaningless box. For me, that was just like a burden.

That’s interesting. Also like how, because this is [00:08:00] something you can force, right? The timing is like, just making me curious. Yeah. What brought that out?

I do not know. I can make up a story.
I easily have a narrative for it, but the truth is, I don’t know.
I mean, why have the last three days been so nice being back in Germany when usually the first couple of days when I’m back in Germany, I’m not as much in a good place. I don’t know. , I think right now it seems to me that a significant amount of this could be related to finding and creating more presence being, especially also more aware of parts of me that I think are and were insanely polarized and in, in our conflict and therefore were costing me humongous amounts of money. Right. We talked so much about my inner critic, Although episodes about my tense jaw, all the, all the discussions about waking up in the morning and being [00:09:00] exhausted.
all that now is ease is, seems easily tracked back to conflicting and polarizing parts in me. And as I started paying more attention to them, as I started doing more in a parts work, there has been more inner harmony. And with that more spaciousness to be present and be in myself or be a better version of myself.
And with that in many areas, I just seem to have more energy and more light-heartedness. and you don’t mind. My core state. And we talked about this a bunch, why truly am, a very energetic person. Somebody that is very inspired, usually, and very encouraging. And I had lost that and slowly but surely, I think I’m finding my way back to that.
And with that, I think then almost all things start taking on a different meaning again. So I think this a lot of this tracks back to just, me getting [00:10:00] to a much better place. And with that,
starting to see, I think things that until recently, like at some point everything had tipped to just being a burden, almost anything and everything in my life felt like a burden. Right. It was all work and responsibility, almost all of it. And now very slowly but noticeably things. The, the, the, the balance is tipping in the other direction, a lot of things that were on the burden, part of the scale, uh, trickling over to the blessing side of the scale. And it’s the same thing, but all of a sudden it appears different to me, right?
If you told me, so if you told me, I think today Steli in an hour, you ought to give a talk about how sales changed your life and why selling is important. I would be excited right now. I’d be excited. I’d be like I have a lot of the sales saved my fucking life. I have a [00:11:00] lot of things to say about sales. If you had told me the same thing a month ago, Hey, in an hour, you have to give a talk about sales. I would’ve wanted to make a huge hole in the ground and bury myself. Hmm. And I think the, the, this is just, we talked about content, but it’s other things as well.

We’ll see. I’m always, I always have such concern of being wrong and I have such humbleness of how often I’ve been wrong in life. That anytime I make statements like this, there’s a part of me. That’s like, we should make this, we should take this on and off because it might just be your mood this week.
And next, a law department love different coming in and saying, we can’t, we shouldn’t be saying yes. Yes. Those are the accounting and law and legal department. That’s like, wait a second. We have set such statements before, but we’re up here in wrong. And so we should not make statements like this. And that’s another thing.
That’s another part of me that I’m
changing or [00:12:00] transforming again, because I’m like, who gives a fuck? Okay. Can’t th there’s too much work in always like being the type of person that makes statements that will most likely not be challenged by anybody. And won’t be turned out wrong in the future. It’s all you’re doing is you’re chipping away at all your inspiration, motivation, all of your creativity.
Like you have to chip away at all of that until you have such a small grey cubicle unit that nobody can attack it anymore, but then it’s also not interesting. And then what to yourself. Right? So you’re like, that’s a great strategy to becoming a very efficient wheel and the machinery. Yeah. But it’s not fun.
And so there’s, so this is an in, uh, ended up part of me that developed. So incredibly of all the hardship and mistakes that I make that now. And you see this, if you listen to any kind of conversation I’m having almost, anytime I say something. [00:13:00] That’s a bit too strong. You can hear the wheels spinning in my mind, the departments, the people running from one room, another sending faxes down to the talking department going no, no, no, no.
Let’s take this back. Let’s make the statement more broadly. Let’s go in this moment. It appears to me. Of course, I know maybe next week the narrative will change all that shit, which is like correct to say, right? If, if I want to be Bulletproof that nobody will think bullshit. All that is is taking a life away from the fun we’re having the fun I’m having.
It’s much more fun to be like, I figured it out right now. I’m awesome now. Right? I’m back. I mean, I love everything and everybody, this is much more fun than going well at this moment, I’m in a good mood, but who knows if it will be a good move because it might turn out in them in a bad mood, but I’m just self decept, the seeding myself, and just trying to lie without noticing, well, then go fucking jump off a building and yeah, I mean, you can live life. Anything I [00:14:00] ever said and thought could be wrong or self-deception that I will never be aware of in life. I can always make that disclaimer internally and externally go through life that way.

And I do it because I don’t like the idea of some people, including you. Right. You’re like part of what I love about you is you’re my biggest fan, but also my biggest critic.
And you have seen all I bullshit. Right? So if I make a statement a bit too strong, I already know, or think, I know that remediate
this shit, even now, even now, when you said it, I was like, when you said like a month ago, if you would’ve told me to give a talk on sales, I would have, you know, and then, but you know, six months ago you told me when shit opens up. You’re so excited to be on stage again. Yeah. But this, okay, so this is true.
Let’s this, besides my point though. So let me push it away. I don’t even have to address this main point is [00:15:00] the main point is that, I mean, you know me, right? And so if I, if I let’s say we could rewind and I would have said, Rameen the reason for this is I’ve now finally transformed. Unburdened. And now I’m back to myself and I have energy and I love everything.
This is it. I figured it out now. I’m good. It’s impossible that you wouldn’t have thought Merle. Let’s see. You know, I would assume so. And it’s not just you, if Sophia and told me, you now figured everything out, I’d be like, oh, let’s see, let’s wait a week. Let’s wait a month. And so to protect myself from people thinking of thinking of anything I say, or do as well, maybe he’s full of shit.
I make these disclaimers it’s to protect myself from myself and my own then judgment and in a critic that will crush me if in a week I’m in a bad mood and I hate sales again, all my old [00:16:00] content, right. Then I’ll really punish myself. And I don’t want anybody to ever be able to think something critical of me that I wouldn’t think of myself. Right. It’s a protective measure. I am so self critical so that nobody could ever expose me by seeing something critical to me that I haven’t thought already, that I’m not aware of. And again, everything in moderation, it’s not that that is completely useless. It’s not that every legal department in the world is completely useless, right? It’s just very big extent. Most legal departments eventually become over bloated and then they’re creating less value than they are destroying. And I think in my inner legal and accounting department, it’s over, it’s over bloated right now in bureaucracy. And I need to be a little less afraid of saying things often that you might think are bullshit or will turn out to be bullshit. I mean, that’s fucking life. The, [00:17:00] I don’t think the measurement of my worth is, you know, how rarely. I, you know, I’ve said something where I changed my mind. Yeah. Yes, totally true. Because even, even with all my efforts, because I push very hard on learning, more, seeing more understanding more constantly, I discovered my own bullshit anyways, just bullshit. I am not aware of.

And I think it’s a question of balance. It’s fine. I mean, we all know people that every day have a different story. And then eventually it’s very hard to listen belief or interact with them at all, right. Where people have zero credibility to themselves and others. That’s not a good place to be. Right. I mean, we all get that and that some people are just like so full of bullshit that [00:18:00] it’s just every minute it’s a different story. In the end, it becomes them. Problematic,
but the exact opposite of that is the person that is the absolute cynic and realist quote unquote, right? The only, the only realistic thing, if you look at the history of humanity, is that things that seem impossible and crazy will at some point become normal.
That’s the only realistic thing. The realistic thing is not that everything we know now will be forever this way and will not change. Um, so when you were the hyper super cynical, hyper-critical hyper conservative type thing. That’s now that’s no use or no fun and not useful, not good. Nobody likes to talk to these people and nobody’s like, well, but they were never wrong.
Let’s talk to John because he was never wrong because he’s never said anything. Right. Well, he’s never made any real statement. Nobody says.

[00:19:00] Or thinks that, and so it’s about finding a better balance and I’m definitely, I’ve noticed this just moments ago, a am noticing how, anytime I say something that is a bit, um, too optimistic, or maybe not, it’s not a too optimistic.
It’s when it’s fresh enthusiasm, fresh positivity, something good has happened recently or something good is changing just now, then I’m so worried that it might be bullshit that I always have to give 20 examples and eh, you know, uh, you know, explanations and you know that a, but you know, who knows if I’m full of bullshit, who knows if this will stick, who knows what is true?
And then it’s kind of a bummer,

like instead of letting this little flower of positivity, giving it a bit of water, a bit of sun and seeing it’s going to grow, I need a trampoline. Uh, because he might not grow. So who knows? Right. So you need to pay [00:20:00] attention to this. So here’s the, here’s the major, eh, the, the, the thing to look out for, look out for thinking a bit more in the future.
I think Steli is a little full of it right now. I think that a bit more than you used to, maybe that’s a good thing.

If you think it all the time to the degree where you can to direct with me, that’s a bad thing, but I have a hard time believing that that’s actually another thing. It’s this, the overcorrection that we make, sometimes we’ve made mistakes in the past, and then we’ve overcorrected so strongly.
That we’re in a place that’s way too much. And then we want, when we want to negotiate ourselves back to a middle ground, there’s a part of us that says no, if we go back to a middle ground, it’s going to be it’s in the direction of our old past. And we’re going to remember what’s happened. We, we will slip and fall back to the worst case, right? We, we were at a [00:21:00] zero now we’re at a 10. If you want to get to a five, that’s on the way to the zero and you’re going to slip and fall back to the zero. And so there’s a part of us. That’s like, no, no, no. We cannot take any steps back because the steps back means we’re gonna regress back to our old self. And that’s a funny place to be in when it comes to personal development and evolution is, well, I went from one extreme to the other and this new extreme might be as problematic as the old extreme. And when I try to go to some middle ground. If fearful part of me, that’s like no fucking way. We’re not going anywhere near the direction we used to be in because it’s a slippery slope and we are sure we are going to fall back and it’s like, wait a second. When that happened, I was 19 years old. I’m 39, 20 years, half past, you know, I’m like, I’m 39. I’m not gonna listen at this point. Where mean, you know, when I was nine, [00:22:00] I mean, not when I was, how old were we when we met? I was 21, I think, right when I was 21. You know, I was, it was full of shit in many ways. And I had, I, you were the victim of this, of me going, this is the way I’m gonna, we’re going to do things. And then we didn’t do them this way.
I was actually thinking about this earlier and about your like impossible sense of possibilities and the space around you that you created, where it was like a bubble where it’s like, wow, you’re doing really well. Okay. Well, I don’t think we kept, but he is so sure. Maybe we can, and there was some, some, you know, on the one hand, you know, dumped, but on the other hand also amazing. And if you think about like, if our kids show us a painting right in there, do you like this? Right. And maybe it looks like shit because you know, it’s nothing special, but we don’t tell them, not really, they’re never [00:23:00] going to paint, but we tell them he has amazing and then they love to paint.
Right. And it’s maybe that will lead to them one day actually creating some like, actually really amazing painting. Yeah. So I think in encouragement, passion is really somebody said this, something along those lines, I’m paraphrasing wits. It’s a very delicate flower and it’s very easy to kill, like to trample on.
But if you, if you give it air and sunshine and water, it can grow to something really significant. And sometimes it won’t. I think we’re so afraid and so terrified of the, sometimes it won’t that eventually we just trample on everything because then we know exactly what the outcome will be. And also honestly, the, the, you know, you can overdo everything, right?
When you, if you, if you tell everybody, give up all your savings, uh, give me all your money, take all these massive risks. I’m going to bring you to victory and [00:24:00] then you fail. And then you go forget about that. Take on debt. You change the country, you live in, give me all your money. I will lead you to that.
You do that and you fuck it up again. And you keep doing that. It’s going to create problems with people. I mean, it is, you’re burning a lot of ground, but that is only true. True when there’s no learning happening. Right. There’s no conciliation and there’s no learning. There’s no, you’re not learning from anything.
You’re not improving how you execute. Um, and. I’m telling you with all even pretending to be with all possible humbleness that I might have no matter how much I can fuck up in the future, there’s no way I’m going to make the mistakes I was making when I was 20. There’s no way I cannot become that person again.
That would tell you, I mean, even today, [00:25:00] remember me, we started a NLP and hypnosis workshop company, and I had no idea about NLP or hypnosis. I’d never done a workshop in my life. I was an absolute nobody. And we were like, in three months, we’re going to do a seminar. That’s going to be costing two K per person.
And we’re going to have 40 people in it, because if you can believe it, you can achieve it. You know? And today. Where I’m way more capable of doing a week long workshop or seminar on anything. And we have a much bigger audience, a lot more money, and a lot more, I would not say in three months, we’re doing a, I would not dare to say I’m going to do a hypnosis workshop.
That’s a week long content in three months with 40 pounds put to K-pop. I wouldn’t right. I might do something much bigger. I have much bigger plans long-term but in the short term, I B I cannot think, like I thought with 20, so that’s a fear [00:26:00] that is irrational. That for me to go back and make the same mistakes I used to make when I was 19 20, 20, hopefully my future, there are new mistakes waiting.
Right. That’d be exciting, but that’s also something that, you know, it takes real courage to attempt. And that’s also, I think one of the things I really admire about people that have kept their enthusiasm and their optimism, even in later stages of their life is because it’s so difficult. It’s, it’s easier to be optimistic and enthusiastic in youth, but the older you get the heart of this becomes, and when you meet 40 year old people, 50 year old people, six year old people, the amount of optimism and enthusiasm you encounter is very rare.
and there’s been a part of me over the last couple of years that has been sort of bummed and disappointed in myself for how little of that [00:27:00] crazy enthusiasm and optimism that I’ve maintained. And how much of that critical cynicism I’ve done. And I’ve gotten to a place where I’m like, I don’t like this.
I don’t think this is awesome. I don’t think this is more useful. It’s just more safe. so be excited about a lot more optimism, enthusiasm, and a little bit more bullshit. And let’s see where that let’s see where that will take us, but I will work on, I will attempt, this is a little challenge for me. I will attempt in the next month or so to make a bit, to make bolder claims, to risk leaning out of the window a bit more and make a bit bolder claims, not for the sake of it, but when I feel it without hedging, without pulling back to a place that feels safe, just going where I feel I am in that moment.
And being okay if that’s, if, if [00:28:00] I lean too much and fall, maybe I can handle it. Like I’m not made out of porcelain. I can, I can fail. I can make a statement and take it back and be okay. Right. Um, tell, I’ll try to work on that a little bit and be more conscious of it because it’s so, it’s so funny to me and I noticed it and I just noticed it in our conversation where I do feel different now, but I’m afraid to say it.

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