By John Sonmez April 5, 2018

I Feel Like A Fraud… I Can’t Give You Advice Anymore

Lately, I've been screwing up real bad and I must say I'm in one of my biggest crisis. I feel like a fraud and I feel like this is never going to end.

It got to the point that, even by realizing how much I've accomplished, I still feel like a fraud. I feel like I fraud because, lately, I'm not even able to follow my advice. The same advice I give to you here on this channel.

What do I do in situations like that? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here. I thought I'd record a video. One of the “I fucked up” videos. You can check out my series of videos on fucking up here, but there's going to be some time … Some of these videos, by the way, just so you guys know, that's why I'm recording these videos because I've fallen off the wagon on recording videos daily, even though you haven't noticed because I had a bunch queued up, but I've fallen off the wagon a lot of different things in my life. I'm trying to get the shit back on track.
It's going to be kind of depressing, a little bit depressing, I'll tell you, with some of my videos, but they're real. They're authentic. I'm not feeling good right now. I'm not feeling the best. I'm not feeling the John that's on top of the world. I'm feeling like an imposter, like a failure, a bunch of shit. I don't need any sympathy, trust me, but I'm just telling you this so that you know because this is real. This is reality. This is what's going on. I don't feel in the position to give you much wisdom right now because I'm fucking up, but I'm going to share anyway because this is what I have to do. This is what my, essentially, I would assume, my job is, but my mission, this is what I'm doing. Well, fuck it.
Anyway, so I thought I'd do a video today talking about what I learned from falling off the wagon and describing a little bit more about how I've fallen off the wagon here. It's weird because I think, for me, it's a bigger deal than I think it'd be for most people because I'm talking to some people about the things I've screwed up. They're like, “Dude. You're still a millionaire. You don't have to work. You still have a better physique than like 99% of people on this planet. You can even run five miles. You haven't even lost any endurance,” all of these things they're telling me, “You still have YouTube videos. They're still good. You still have a huge channel with 150,000 subscribers or whatnot,” so I get it. I get it, but for me, I have standards that are really high for myself, and so to me, I'm failing. I'm falling off the wagon.
Anyway, what happened. Let me think about exactly how this happened. I started making some little slip-ups in diet and nutrition. I was running at the beginning of this year running every single day five miles. I was making great progress. Here's the thing. Here's a few things. Maybe this will be a longer video than I intended, but I gotta actually hit to the gym, but here's the thing that I've learned in life, which I should've seen this coming. Then I kind of did, but I ignored the signs.
You gotta be so, you gotta be so cautious when you're close to the finish line. I've been trying to get down, I mean, you guys have been following me for a long time. I've been trying to get down to a certain level of leanness, what would be essentially like 7% body fat, at least on my scale where I feel like I'm in my peak. I was so close this time around.
What I started doing was I started running five miles extra every morning. I woke up. I was doing regular routine, which my regular routine is pretty fucking tough, but I was adding five miles a day on top of that, and I was eating pretty strict. Well, what started to happen was because I was running those extra five miles, I started eating some junk, and I started wobbling. I was making really good progress, and I was really close. On my scale, I was like 8 point something percent body fat, just kept on seeing it drop down. I was perhaps in the best, had the best physique that I ever had, and then all of a sudden, I don't know what happen, was I had a couple days where I slipped up, around Valentine's Day. Around then, ate a little bit too much. Felt guilty. Got into that vicious cycle of guilt, that guilt-depression cycle where you lose your motivation because you feel guilty because you fucked up. I got into that cycle, and I went for a nosedive.
I ended up going to Vegas to travel to go to a conference, and during that time, I was kind of good, but then I wasn't sleeping very much, and all of a sudden, I started making these bad judgment calls, and I couldn't run. I started to get sick, and I couldn't really run, so I said, “Oh, well, I'm sick. I should eat.” Justification. All of a sudden, pretty soon, I found myself in this tailspin of making this justifications of saying, “Oh, well, I need to bulk up. I need to gain some muscle mass anyway, increase my strength. I can eat this pizza. I can eat these donuts.”
Ridiculous shit while I'm not running. At least I kept the lifting up. At least I kept the lifting up. I think I only missed one day of lifting when I was just too sick to get to the gym, but anyway, so I made all these justifications. In about a week and a half, I found myself in a place where I was, I was still sick, I guess. I'm still sick a little bit now, but I was sleeping in until 10:00, 11:00 in the afternoon. I could blame that on the sickness to some degree. I was trying to heal up, but I was eating shit. Not eating one meal a day and eating shit, and I was not running. Again, not necessarily my fault. I couldn't really control the running part of that. I wasn't making YouTube videos, or hardly. I didn't record very many in the last week and a half, and everything just felt like it was going to shit. My motivation was gone.
That's what happened. That's a hardcore fall-off. The thing about that that sucks the most, like one of the lessons, well, first, let's talk about that lesson. That first lesson in there is when you're close. You should've seen this coming. When you're close to the finish line, you have to turn on the afterburners and push extra hard. When I was getting close, I should've upped things. I shouldn't have put it in cruise control. I've talked about this I think in another video where I said blasting, what you don't want to do is you don't want to be a spaceship trying to make a moon landing, and you cut the thrusters. Then you think you're going to glide in, and then you don't make it. You don't have any way to get yourself momentum again. That sucks. I think it might've been in the momentum video.
Anyway, what you want to do is, you're getting close to the moon, you fucking blast the thrusters, and you blast right through the fucker. That's the thing. You gotta blast through the finish line. Big lesson there is I started cutting thrusters. I started saying, “No. I'm making it. I'm doing good,” instead of hitting it hard. I had plans on doing a physique competition that's like, what's it, like a week from now, a week and two days. Not going to happen. Not going to … I was going to make it there easily, but I cut the thrusters too soon, and I wasn't very cautious.
When you're in that position, you've gotta be extra vigilant, extra vigilant when you're getting close to victory because the universe tends to work against you in that case. Actually, it's you. It's self-destruction. I did this video recently on self-destruction, and I was talking about that. I hate to be a Debbie Downer all the time, but this is what I'm going through right now, so I'm being honest with you. I'm telling you guys what's happening, and hopefully you'll benefit from this, and hopefully I'll benefit from this by learning these fucking lessons.
The thing is, when you fail, and I'll tell you this, I'll tell myself this, which is when you continually fail like this, what it's telling you is that you haven't fucking learned the lesson yet. I'd rather fail now and then see, so I can gain these insights. If I just succeed, I don't learn anything. I get my goal, but I haven't grown. Remember, the purpose is to grow.
When you're failing like this, it's okay. You just have to take the insights from it. It is hard. It's a hard knock. Like I said, I mean, today, I'm fucking trying to run out there, and I'm like, “Oh, gosh, I don't even see the point of this anymore. I got so much uphill battle to fight to get back to where I was,” and this is a gambler's fallacy, trying to get back to even. I shouldn't be thinking that way, but I am. I've got so much that I have no motivation. I don't feel like doing this. I had to actually, I did this other video where I came up with my plan of what I'm going to do. I printed it out, and I'm going to stick to this damn plan whether I feel like it or not because I can't let emotions and my judgment decide what I'm going to do.
Where am I going with this? Anyway, big fall-off for me. Happened in a very short period of time. Week and a half, two weeks, max that this really falling off the wagon, which I gotta get back on it. Again, biggest lesson is that when you're getting close, oh, man, you gotta just hang on. You gotta really put in the afterburners. If I would've done that, I would've been there, and I wouldn't have hit this, but I didn't have that lesson internalized enough. Hopefully, next time, I will remember. I'll say, “Hey, you're getting close to the goal. What does this mean? It means you need to up the fucking shit. You need to be tight. You need to make sure that your diet is right on, add some miles, run some more, do some extra work to get there.” This is just a good way to do things in life. When you're getting towards the goal, fucking blast through the goal. Don't start to back off. Never start to back off because that's when the shit hits the fan.
The other thing that I'll say from this is that, another lesson, when you're sick, and there's actually two states, here, when you're sick, you need to be extra vigilant. A lot of this is just going to focus on being extra vigilant because when you're sick, you don't feel very good. It's real easy to justify eating some shit to get better, or it's real easy just by skipping workouts. Sometimes, you need to skip workouts. There was some points where I definitely couldn't run, but you know what I could've done? I could've walked. I could've walked on the treadmill for two hours instead of running for one. I could've done that, and that would've been fine. What I should've done was I should've tightened up my calories more, my diet more rather than loosen them up.
That's the thing is because when I'm sick, I know that I'm having less, I'm able to exert less, I'm staying in bed more, so I'm burning less calories. I need to be more clean with my eating and more careful and more precise. If I need to fast, then fast then, but I went with the other way. That's the other thing is being vigilant there.
The other one is sleep deprivation as well. If I'm sleep-deprived, never eat when sleep-deprived. This is one of those things that I found myself, I found myself doing this a lot, and this is big lesson here, is that when I would come home late at night, like in Vegas, or just coming home late at night from going out and hanging out with some friends or doing some stuff or going to some venue or something at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., that's when I should just go to sleep, but instead, I'm in the cabinets. I'm eating cereal, I'm eating shit that I shouldn't be eating. Sleep deprivation causes a lack in judgment. I just need to have the rule, when you're sleep-deprived, don't eat.
It's real simple. It's like these things that you have to learn, and you learn them the hard way. I know this is a bit of a ramble, but I want to give you guys the benefit of this. I mean, if I'm going to crash and burn, there should be some benefit, and I should be getting some benefit out of this, you should be getting some benefit out of this as well.
That's the big thing. That's kind of the lessons learned from this whole thing. I'm not out of it yet. That's the scary thing is I've gotta stick to the plan and I've gotta get back on track, and it's not easy. This is the shit that you forget about. It's like, you fuck up one day? Fine. You can recover that. That set you back, but you fuck up for a week or two weeks, you can do some pretty big damage, and it can be pretty disheartening trying to get back there because it's not going to take you two weeks to get back there. It's going to take you three or four weeks, for the most part, to get back there when you fuck up really bad. You're not thinking about that when you're screwing up. You're not thinking about adding one more day, which is actually adding three more days to the recovery.
Anyway, you can't control beings sick. It's going to happen, like I said, but what you can control is you can control what happened when you get sick and how much damage. I talk about this all the time, I preach this all the time, and I did not follow my own advice of damage control. Damage control. That's the big, big thing is damage control. Sometimes, you can't sprint out there on the swim. Sometimes you just have to tread water or hold the line. I wasn't following that advice, and that's the thing. See, if I don't follow my own advice, I fuck myself up, then it's real easy …
I'll tell you one thing here too. Again, this is the critical moment. That's why I'm recording this video right now too is because it's real easy from this point to go on a binge, a downward spiral of guilt and remorse and lack of motivation and just fuck up your entire life, but I'm not going to let that happen; instead, that's why I'm recording this video. That's why I'm like, “I'm going to record videos. I'm going to make sure I get to the gym. I'm going to make sure that I get back on plan. I'm going to make the plan, and I'm going to just grind it out.” Life might be fucking miserable, but sometimes you have to just commit to life being miserable for a while until you get to where you want to be.
Again, a lot of you might say, “Well, John, you're crazy. You don't even need to worry about this shit. Why are you even stressing about this? Just fucking live your life,” but it's important to me. It's important to me, and it's because I have that level and that standard. When you're not meeting your own standard, you feel like shit. When you are meeting your own standard, life is great. That's one of the big gauges of life. It's like you have a standard and you have to meet that standard.
I'm going to meet my own standard. Wish me luck on the journey. Hopefully, you'll continue seeing videos from me. Hopefully, I'll make it. I intend to make it. I plan to make it. I plan to be back, and I realize it's not that far. It's not that far, but you gotta have a plan, and you gotta plan it for these things.
Like I said, on one hand, this is, pisses me off. I hate falling off the wagon when I'm that close to success, but other hand, it's a lesson I need to learn. There's still lessons in here that I need to learn, and hopefully, you've benefited from them as I've shared them, and hopefully, I'll finally learn these fucking lessons, and I'll remember to be more vigilant when the shit starts to hit the fan so I don't end up in this situation again.
All right, that's all I have for you today. If you haven't subscribed already, click that subscribe button below. Click the bell so you don't miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."