How to stop caring what people think, is something that I’ve tried to figure out my entire life.

Growing up, I’d always fantasize about some day in the future when I bought/became/accomplished/dated x, y & z and THEN, I’d finally get to feel great about myself with no more f*cks to give about what anyone thought.

But like all fantasies, It was kept alive through my belief that the actualization of it was dependent upon the superficial.

It’s so much easier to become engrossed in a fantasy instead of the hard work it takes to get there. 

Deep down, I knew it would never happen. There’s no way I could ever NOT want to know, worry about or obsess over what other people thought of me.

My need for others to give me an identity soon outweighed the belief that I could ever do so for myself.

It got so bad that surrender was the only option. So, I accepted that this was who I was: a well-intended doormat; an emotionally lost, eternally-paranoid-and-embarrassed, insecure, never-good-enough-for-anyone, FAILURE. A failure that had acquiesced to living a life on the sidelines of other people’s actions.

(& the relationsh*ts I attracted always reflected and solidified this belief system)

Everything that I did was built off the question of “what will they think?”

It was exhausting.

I cared WAY too much to believe that I could ever get to a place of not caring at ALL.

Up until a few years ago, this was my life:

  • Not making a move. My life had become the never ending mannequin challenge. I actually experienced this with launching Post Male Syndrome. Most everyone that I knew looked at me like I had 7 eyeballs and 2 heads when I explained what I wanted to do… and then the name (PMS??), they didn’t get it at all. So, what did I do? I froze. I obsessed over the color scheme instead of the content. I wasted time and sat on an idea – MY idea – that the fear of judgement disallowed the execution of for far too long.
  • Approval addiction. Nothing mattered unless I had approval of the people that I pedestaled and of course, the disapproval/doubt of the “haters,” that I obviously had to prove wrong.
  • Obsessing (to the point of crippling social anxiety, health problems, lying & fearfulness that turned into paranoia), about what other people thought of me, my life, my decisions, my looks, my education, what I did/didn’t do, etc. I remember being MORTIFIED when my grandparents would pick  me up from Kindergarten and elementary school (they’d get out of the car and wait outside of my classroom). My grandparents were not born in this country. Their English is not the best and although they are all 4 still alive today, I can’t tell you what I’d give to be able to walk with them now in the way I tried so hard to avoid back then. The earliest memories that I have from school aren’t these carefree times with friends, just being a kid. My earliest memories are of doing everything in my power to be an unnoticed follower – to avoid judgement, negative opinions and the subsequent humiliation and bullying. The truth is, no one has ever humiliated, bullied or thought lower of me, more than I have humiliated, bullied and thought of myself. I remember being so scared of getting made fun of in school that I’d starve myself. Yup, I’d throw away my favorite Persian dish that my Mom made me and buy a 50 cent cookie, instead of run the risk of getting made fun of for not having the same sandwich and chips as everyone else. Today, I’d do anything just to know that my Mom had the everyday strength to cook that very meal.
  • Desperation for other people to fill me in on myself.
  • Jealousy. This was beyond going on an Instagram binge and dealing with a bit of a jealousy hangover. This was on a whole new level. I was so jealous of people that had zero sh*ts to give when it came to the opinions of others, I’d do everything that I could to attain the material possessions that they had. Why? I’d feel this intense (but ultimately very short lived), pseudo strength by having the same item as someone that had the one thing money couldn’t buy: immunity to the opinions of others.

Today, I’m one of  those people who I thought I could never be.

I’m currently writing a blog post under a photo of an outfit I’ve worn many times before. I still don’t have a photographer, I still don’t own a camera and I still take every single photo on my iPhone. I know that I’m doing the best I can right now, so I really don’t care.

Why haven’t I gotten around to stepping it up?

Because I know that perception will always be based on perception and connection will always be based on substance meaning. 

I’m more concerned with connecting and creating meaning than I am playing Inspector Gadget and SEARCHING for meaning in the opinions of others.

It’s not that I don’t care about other people, it’s that I don’t care to make the opinions that they’re totally entitled to, any of my business.

Here’s how to stop caring what people think & start living your life…

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Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship, breakups distort our vision. It’s not that we don’t know what to do after a breakup, it’s that we can’t see. 

Think about it this way…

You know how to drive a car, right? right. So let’s just say that you’ve been driving in desirable conditions for a while – great weather, no traffic, your favorite music on and the person that holds the key to your heart (& libido) in the passenger seat. What could be better?

Then one day out of the blue, your libido key holder says that he’s feeling sick, is over the drive and wants to get out of the car NOW.

Still in shock, you watch him get out in what seems like the most painfully slow motion EVER. And just like that, you’re on your own and without a GPS. You try to drive back home, but aren’t sure where home is (or if you even have a home. HE was your home). As the “omg-I’m-f*cking-homeless,” starts to sink in, what was perfect weather is now a snowstorm with fog so dense, you can’t see (& you can feel your ill-equipped car skidding).

What was zero traffic has now turned into a makeshift racetrack with cars swerving all around you amidst the snow.

What was your favorite music is now nothing but the beat of your stressed, scared & broken heart.

The car situation soon gets even more intense. You feel like you’re in The Fast and the Furious and you know your car can’t hang – with the other cars OR the storm. The weather continues to worsen and the fog becomes a whole new level of impossible.

You’ve got no choice but to pull over.

Scared out of your mind, you convince yourself that trying to call the shotgun passenger that once was, is a great idea the ONLY option.

So… you call. He tells you that there’s no storm, no race cars and that you just don’t know how to drive. He asks you to stop “making up stories,” just to get in touch and then “drives off” into Instagram oblivion with a new girl who’s everything you’re not… while you’re still stuck… on the side of the road… in the snow.

You don’t know what to do or where to go.

You’re LITERALLY lost without him.

Did you pull your car over because you don’t know how to drive a car?

No. You pulled over because the life that your fear gave to those “impossible” conditions, clouded your vision. You couldn’t see.

Did you call him because you don’t know how to drive a car?

No. You called because you were lost, scared, triggered and had convinced yourself that he was the only GPS.

It’s not that you don’t know what to do after a breakup, it’s that your internal GPS is compromised and your vision is clouded by scary emotional conditions that make acceptance, moving on & being “the one that got away,” seem impossible.

It’s time to regain that 20/20 vision.

Here’s what you need to know & what to do after a breakup…

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I don’t like sharing anything that I use unless: 1) I’ve used it consistently for a while 2) I’ve seen RESULTS that are not just worth sharing, but have made a difference in my life. Many of you have asked me to do more beauty, wellness and yoga/fitness posts (videos soon to come !!), so I wanted to start by sharing my favorite beauty and wellness products.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve been back from my ski trip and usually my hair, skin and overall health would have reacted in one way or another by now. When you go from a freezing (and incredibly dry) environment back to a humid, smoggy (hi Los Angeles!), by-the-beach climate, everything kind of goes haywire for a bit until it adjusts.

Not this time.

How? Why??

I have these beauty and wellness products to thank.

Here are 15 must-have beauty & wellness products that I currently have on solid rotation:

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We all want to find love, acceptance, security, meaning, connection & an understanding in our relationships that we can TRUST. For most of my adult life, I carried the burden of a past that had seemingly robbed me of the ability to attract and feel worthy of such an impossibility. The result? Stagnation. I could never evolve because I held onto grudges, memories, details, moments, words, pain and experiences from my past that had reduced the present moment into what felt like a never ending prison sentence. I wanted to love again, feel again, LIVE again and emotionally exhale once and for all – without the anchor of what was and the ghost of f*cktards past weighing me down. 

What I learned the hard way:

Until you let go of the past (and the heartbreak, angst, grief & unfinished business associated with it), you will never be able to fully love and trust (yourself & others). You’ll also never be truly loved and trusted the way that you want and deserve to be.

& because we ultimately attract relationships that reflect the one we have with ourselves, you’ll become a relationsh*t magnet.

By continuing to allow the heaviness of the past to weight down the bar that you’ve consistently decided to set for yourself, you’ll never be able to attract anything that remotely deviates from the how low that bar has become.

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted trying to outsmart and negate the above statements. For years, I engaged in a pattern of gravitating toward “project” lovers and friends that I had to be “good enough” for so that they’d choose me, change for me and I could be the exception to their rule.

Why I stayed on this wash-rinse-repeat cycle for so long:

My low self esteem, society, school, friends, family, etc., had me convinced that I just needed to get “stronger,” so that I could better carry the burden of a heavy past. The majority of my life was thus occupied with trying to “build the strength,” to carry the past on my emotional back… as opposed to taking off that way-too-heavy, out of date backpack for good.

That heavy backpack had become my adult pacifier. Yeah, I guess could have gone without it for a minute, but I always had to know that it was within reach.

I couldn’t recognize the badassness & STRENGTH that the pain of my past had birthed and therefore, never had the courage to let go of it, trust and love again.

Although it was painful, I was more comfortable “telling my story” to anyone that I thought could potentially rescue me and remaining a victim to events that had ALREADY come and GONE.

And as much as I didn’t like to be in pain, there was a certain level of comfort that carrying the pain of my past provided. Continuing to subscribe to the pain (and the self-limiting beliefs it bred), soon gave me the one thing I was never able to constructively give myself: an identity.

The past (and my pain/beliefs associated with it), became my identity and thus, ultimately detracted everything that I claimed to want and become in life. The more abandoned and alone I felt, the more I’d hang onto the past (and a corresponding identity), that did nothing more than and solidify the pain of my reality.

When I finally learned how to let go, I started to live a life in spite of a painful past, as opposed to one that was sabatoged and plagued by it.

Here are 5 steps to letting go of the past (once & for all), so that you can live, trust & love again:

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Happy New Year from Park City, Utah! I’m having so much fun even though I haven’t gone a day without working at some point in the day… but I also haven’t gone a day without skiing, eating gluten free s’mores with homemade marshmallows or having hot chocolate, so no complaints. I’ve been skiing for 23 years and Park City is by far, my favorite place to ski. This town is magical – everywhere you turn theres a roaring fireplace with hot chocolate being served (makes you want to curl up with a blanket, a good man & a good book), the town is covered in twinkle lights & the people are super laid back, engaging, friendly & down to earth.

So why am I writing a blog post on my phone during a ski break instead of eating lunch?

I HAD to announce….

The third of my 3 holiday giveaways is here!

Since you guys are loving the giveaways , I’m definitely going to keep them coming. It’s the least I can do to express my love & appreciation.

I put a lot of thought into each giveaway that I did this holiday season (& every giveaway that I do). I like to keep them fresh, different, fun, unique and “how-have-I-lived-without-these-products?!” USEFUL.

Every product that I choose to include is something that I not only use, but that I swear by. This one is no exception.

Here’s what I’m giving away…

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What a year it has been, FULL of life changing decisions.

This year was by far, the best year of my life but also the most difficult, painful and challenging. Last New Year’s Eve was a day that I will never forget – it was the worst day of my life (more about what happened here). There were many times that I didn’t think I could continue blogging and building my brand, let alone put one (emotional & physical), foot in front of the other. I was being pulled in so many directions, but because of YOU, I kept at it.

Looking back now, as I type this post in the same bed I was completely hopeless & inconsolable in just 365 days ago…

I made it. I’m still standing (and so are YOU), & I am so fearlessly and incredibly grateful.

Even though the lows were seemingly impossible at times, 2016 was very good to Post Male Syndrome. What started as a personal outlet in a time of emotional, financial & spiritual broke as a joke-ness, has turned into something beyond what I could have ever imagined. I am honored to have personally coached many of you this last year, from 19 different countries and counting. I’ve been fortunate enough to speak all over the country, where I’ve gotten to hug some of you in person. I’m finally able to afford it and in 2017, will be introducing video, podcasts & so much more. All because of each and every one of you. So thank YOU for creating this tribe and thank you for being the reason that I never gave up this year.

Not only did you give me a reason everyday to get up and focus on the bigger picture, you gave me the greatest gift of all:

You guys provided me with an avenue OUT of my own suffering by giving me the honor and pleasure of helping you out of your own.

Thank you. I am forever indebted, appreciative and in complete awe of the warriors, survivors & beautiful souls that you all are, all over the world.

So, here it is – a new year. I’ve never really warmed up to the idea of New Year’s resolutions. The whole concept kind of bores me honestly. Although it’s a clean slate and a new calendar, I feel like most of the time, we do it just because everyone else does (& eventually abandon it because of the pressure the entire concept inadvertently imposes). The truth is, you can decide to change at any given moment.

And who wants to play follow the follower? 

Been there, done that. No thx. I’m hungry for something LASTING (& I know you are too or you wouldn’t be reading this).

So instead, for 2017, let’s make INTENTIONS; life changing decisions that we can all decide and ACT upon NOW (instead of hopelessly hanging onto the threads of something that will wear off as quickly as the nostalgia of the holiday).

Let’s use the clean slate of time not as a tool that we’re in need of for resolution actualization, but as a motivational launching pad to propel us into life changing decisions that are executed the moment they are decided.

That moment is now.

Here are 15 Life Changing Decisions to make for 2017 (& beyond)

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