4 Signs That Those Negative Feelings Are Actually Calls to Greatness

How to know if it’s just in your head

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

From the time you take your first breath, you become eligible to die. You also become eligible to find your greatness and become the One Warrior. But it is up to you to equip yourself for the battle ahead. Only you can master your mind, which is what it takes to live a bold life filled with accomplishments most people consider beyond their capability.”

From David Goggin’s book Can’t Hurt Me.

What are you and I supposed to do with this, really? Are we anything like Goggins? That man is a freak of nature.

That’s the problem with reading about great people. It’s wonderful, but it can’t convince you that you’re destined to do something great, too. Great philosopher Kierkegaard said it like this:

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

David Goggins didn’t know he’d become David Goggins when he was 300 pounds, uneducated, and with serious learning disabilities. He only knows it now. To make it where he did, he had to take a leap of faith.

You don’t know what greatness is waiting for you to manifest. You can’t find out by reading about Goggins or anyone else.

Here are four (internal) signs that you are trying to manifest greatness:

1. Anxiety wakes you up in the middle of the night.

A lot of people think that depression and anxiety are just a malfunction of the brain. That’s usually not true.

I used to think it was, though. When I was suicidal after a breakup and getting fired — living on my brother’s floor — I thought my depression was just a “chemical imbalance.” It wasn’t. My life was a disaster, and my mind was trying to tell me.

Persistent anxiety is a warning signal that you aren’t everything you could be. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this — but it’s true. You are anxious because your unconscious mind knows you can do more.

Instead of quieting that signal with alcohol, drugs, and other pleasures — what if you listened to it? What if you asked what it needed to tell you?

I promise you, you will get an answer. You just might not like it.

David Goggins again:

“People find heaven on earth in many ways. I found it by having the courage to go through hell first.”

2. You haven’t found your true calling — yet.

People who have found their true calling are doing what they are meant to do. Good for them. For those of us who haven’t hit it yet — we still have some looking to do.

You can look at it one of two ways:

  1. You are cursed.
  2. You don’t even know your upper limits.

The people who are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing — they don’t care about “greatness!” They are happy.

We aren’t happy. It’s not a curse. Our nervous system wants us to keep going. Our place in the world is a little higher — and a little harder to reach.

It’s only a curse if you let it be. It’s a gift if you realize that you want to go higher. You just have to accept that it makes you unhappy to be where you currently are.

Here’s the hardest lesson that I’m still trying to learn: Stop pretending things are “all good.” They aren’t! I don’t want to be where I am. I want more. I’m not even sure what it looks like.

Now that I’ve accepted that, I sure as hell get out of bed with a little more drive.

Cheese is not the only motivation for mice. A cat chasing them works, too. Stop pretending the cat doesn’t exist.

3. Your social life isn’t what it could be.

Sometimes, we need to learn to shake hands, learn names, and look people in the eye. That would do wonders for a lot of people’s social lives.

For me, I was miserable until I moved to LA and made friends with other storytellers. Here’s something your current friends are never going to tell you: You need to move on. You have to make that decision for yourself.

Don’t hang out with people who aren’t your true tribe to not be lonely. Be lonely until you find your true tribe. I swear, they’re out there.

4. You worry about your life passing you by.

There is nothing more horrible than getting to the end of life and realizing you left most of yourself on the table. I’ve been struggling with this so much lately. I hate feeling like I’m getting older and not being everything that I want to be. Here are the facts:

  1. This ride is to the death.
  2. You have nothing better to do.

Make this pledge: you’re all-in. Actually, you’re already all-in — we just act like we don’t know that. Life is meant to be an adventure. It’s not meant to be “fair” or “fun” or “happy.” Those are terrible goals. The only things worth doing are taking as much responsibility as you can bear and facing the things that terrify you. Yes, they might kill you. But there is nothing better to do.

If you’re worried about how old you’re getting — it’s never too late. But don’t let that make you feel like you’re off the hook. You need to dive headfirst into life.

What do you do? Ask yourself. Ask the feelings of dread that come up with you think about stuff like this. I promise, they only want what’s best for you (I know how scary they are).

This isn’t going to be easy. You don’t want that. You’ve just been tricked into thinking that you’re not on a ride to the death.

Take your life seriously. It’s a gift. Don’t waste it. This isn’t a drill.

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Lost southern boy learning to be a well-paid storyteller in Los Angeles. Creator of The Creative Life Is Possible: taylorforeman.substack.com

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