How long does it take for habits to develop? Habits are the building blocks of our lives. I’ve been hearing too many of these motivational speeches lately. Why? I can only guess. I am in a very strange meta state. In other words, a situation that cannot really be clearly assigned to a specific mood. In theory, I should continue to work on my book in order to bring this project to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible. But these days my emotions twist quite a bit. Had the initial symptoms of a panic attack yesterday because someone told me that the beard didn’t suit me. Sure, no big deal, but my amygdala said: “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!! EVERY DECISION I MAKE IS UNSPEAKABLY WRONG! WHERE’S THE FUCKING EXIT OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE?!” Yup. About as much fun as it sounds. If you describe something like that to a neurotypical person, then that person would probably look at me with a raised eyebrow and ask whether otherwise everything was ok with me. Simple answer: obviously not. I have been emotionally completely overwhelmed because my fragile self-image has not received the confirmation it so desperately needs. Of course, on the outside I’m always the tough guy who doesn’t care about such comments. But, oh boy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’d like to be that guy, but actually, it always gets me. My mind knows that I shouldn’t worry too much about it. That it’s not really a problem if I don’t always reach 100% on the approval scale of my fellow humans. And often I deal with it quite relaxed, but somehow I am extremely sensitive when it comes to things that are very important to me. Be it my self-image and the perceived attractiveness or convictions and ideas that have become dear and precious to me over the years. That doesn’t come as a surprise, of course. The ego will try everything it can to protect its own self-image against any external attacks. Often it will strike back in an aggressive way, just to avoid living with the shame of possibly being wrong. Fortunately, it is becoming increasingly rare for me to actually become aggressive – at least not externally. Instead, my ego then questions itself and considers whether it was really so blind to recognize the obvious things. After all, others have seen something that one has not felt in the same way. But should one really make one’s own perception so dependent on other people and their judgements? Of course not! Be your own judge! One of those countless motivational statements regarding this issue would probably sound like this. This all seems so super simple and easy to implement, but as soon as I find myself in exactly this situation, it is always extremely difficult to regulate my emotions appropriately. I mean, hey, it gets better. That’s why I don’t hurt myself or others anymore. That is undoubtedly progress. I only wish sometimes that this progress would happen a little faster and that I would finally react to such statements like every normal person: Say “Fuck it” and move on. It could be that simple. Does conscious confrontation help? There are regular roastme threads on reddit – maybe that would be a place to learn how to deal better with rejection. Sometimes my head comes up with the strangest ideas. When I started writing these lines a few minutes ago, I didn’t think I’d end up thinking about something like this. Isn’t our mind an incredibly fascinating thing? The manifold associations and paths it chooses are all too often both unexpected and exciting. It is no accident that good ideas often appear when you don’t expect them. For me, this usually happens under the shower or on the toilet. When one’s own mind is relaxed and for once occupied with thoughts other than the search for the world formula, it leaves the beaten track of our everyday routine and instead takes completely new paths, which we have rarely or never seen before. Only those who do not consciously search for it receive true knowledge. Hey, that’s another Instagram statement with a sunset picture as background. If this continues, I can make a real collection out of it and become super famous as a trendy influencer. If that doesn’t sound like an ingeniously thought-out life plan.