How To Overcome Existential Dread

existential dread

Image Courtesy of BMM

TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

What Is Existential Dread?

Existential dread is that nagging feeling that nothing matters, that you’re just a small cog in a giant, indifferent universe.

You start questioning your purpose, your goals, and sometimes even your own existence.

And trust me, I’ve been there.

When I was living on the south side of Chicago as a young man it definitely felt like all my struggle was basically for nothing.

And repetitive drills and routines in military school only added to the monotony I’d feel.

But I found ways to overcome it, which ultimately led to my overall success.

Here’s how I overcame existential dread and how you can escape it too.

My Journey Through Darkness and Finding Purpose

There was a time when I started questioning my purpose, my goals, and even my own existence.

Maybe you have too.

It’s like staring into the abyss and feeling the abyss staring back at you.

But here’s the thing…this isn’t a sign of weakness or failure.

It’s a part of being human.

Understanding this can be the first step toward managing these feelings.

Recognizing that everyone faces these thoughts at some point in their lives helps to normalize the experience and makes it less daunting.

Growing up wasn’t easy for me.

I faced a lot of adversity in my past, from losing my father to suicide to getting involved in dangerous activities to put food on the table.

These experiences could have easily pushed me into a pit of despair.

But instead, they became the fuel for my fire.

I realized that I had a choice: I could let these events define me, or I could use them as stepping stones to build a better life.

It started with small steps…lifting weights, focusing on fitness, and eventually helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Each small success built upon the last, creating a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

One powerful way to combat existential dread is by finding your "ikigai."

This Japanese concept translates to "a reason for being."

It’s about finding the intersection between what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

For me, fitness and helping others became my ikigai.

It gave me a reason to get up in the morning and a mission to pursue.

When you align your life with your ikigai, you create a sense of purpose that drives you forward and gives your life meaning.

More Strategies to Overcome Existential Dread

To overcome existential dread, it’s crucial to develop go-to strategies that keep you grounded and focused.

I find that engaging in activities that you find meaningful and fulfilling can help combat feelings of meaninglessness.

This could be anything from volunteering, pursuing a hobby, or spending time with loved ones.

The key is to choose activities that align with your values and bring you joy, providing a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

I also believe that a daily routine and small achievable goals are essential to feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Routines create predictability and stability, which can be comforting during times of existential uncertainty.

Start by setting simple goals for each day, such as exercising, completing a task at work, or spending time on a hobby.

Achieving these goals can boost your confidence and reinforce a sense of purpose.

Most importantly, building and maintaining strong connections with others can provide support and alleviate your feelings of isolation.

Spend time with friends and family, join a community group, or participate in activities that allow you to meet new people.

Embracing Growth and Moving Forward

Finally, embrace growth and change.

Life is unpredictable, and that’s okay.

Instead of fearing the unknown, see it as an opportunity for growth.

Every challenge you face is a chance to learn something new and become a stronger person.

And by adopting a growth mindset, you turn obstacles into opportunities and fear into fuel for success.

Growth and change are inevitable parts of life.

By accepting this, you can approach challenges with a positive attitude.

Reflect on past experiences where you overcame obstacles and use those lessons to face new challenges.

Continual learning and self-improvement should be a part of your daily routine. Read books, take up new hobbies, and constantly seek ways to better yourself.

This proactive approach to personal development can turn existential dread into a driving force for self-improvement and achievement.

The BMM Takeaway

Escaping existential dread isn’t about finding all the answers.

It’s about taking action, setting goals, and finding meaning in the journey.

Remember, you have the power to shape your destiny.

Embrace your challenges, find your purpose, and live your life with intention.

If I can do it, so can you. Stay motivated, stay focused, and never stop striving for greatness.