My struggle with confidence and direction. Please give me some advice.

Hey Team, love the podcast. Four years ago I searched for a podcast to help me become a more resilient person. That search brought me to you guys. I can’t thank you guys enough for the wisdom, joy, and laughs you men have given me throughout the years. I was bummed out when the podcast stopped coming out but I just recently discovered that you guys are back on again. And man, I got to tell you guys that I was grinning ear to ear when I saw that there were new episodes. I might have looked like a jackass laughing in my car listening to you guys on my drives but I don’t care; this podcast brings me joy. I’ve always had a fixation on the character that makes a person a Navy SEAL and Team Never Quit has shown me what type of men you all are. Thank you for taking the time to share your lives with us, your audience.

I want to give a bit of a back story before I ask my question. I have always struggled with confidence and direction since I can even remember. I was bullied by my family members and other kids growing up. My aunts, uncles, and friends would always call me ugly and point out all my physical and verbal flaws. I had a speech impediment that had me avoiding saying any word with an “R” or “S” in it and I was always quiet so people wouldn’t notice. I eventually started fighting my bullies and went to speech therapy and my confidence grew. As I got older I started to get into alcohol and drugs. It had always been around my family and I didn’t think it was wrong or illegal until a nice friend freaked out when they came over to my house and saw all the drugs in my home. At 16 I was drinking and going to college parties and by 19 I had two DUIs. I had a mental addiction to weed (marijuana) and MDMA and eventually added more statements to my criminal record. I knew something had to change so I started to go to AA. I focused more on working out and started feeding my mind positive information. I knew the one thing I was missing was a mission. I always believed I was a dumb guy and I was terrified of math so I decided to focus all my energy on doing the hardest thing I could imagine. That for me was going to school and earning a computer science degree. I worked my ass off, staying disciplined every day to reach my goal. I worked and went to college for many years and eventually qualified for financial aid and was able to focus on my education full time. I love computer science, cybersecurity/hacking specifically; and I attacked each class like it was life or death so I always found a way to learn the material and get a good grade. I reached my goal this past December 2020. Finally got that bachelor’s degree!

I’ve been listening to David Goggins and it made me realize that this feeling is leaving me and I need to reach another goal. “There is no finish line, there is no end” as Goggins would say. Now I am studying to get into a master’s program. But one thing I am still not getting in life is confidence in myself and the direction to take. I know that as a man I must protect, provide, and preside over my family. I think I got the protect part down. I was a high school wrestler and dabbled in jujitsu in college and now I’m working on my boxing skills. But the provide and preside part is what I need to work on. I’m 29 years old and jobless. I’m financially dependent on my mom and I have done my best to help her and my family members out in all the ways that I am able. I have had job interviews and they have all said that I’m not qualified enough or that they can’t hire me because of my criminal record. I’m working on building my skillsets and I am actively searching for an internship so that I can become more qualified in the field of work that I want to do which is cyber forensics and network administration. It’s been hard. I can take the interview rejections all day. But it’s the feeling that I am not helping my family financially that’s tearing me apart. It makes me feel like a failure as a man. As I mentioned, I am studying to get into grad school so studying for that is taking up a lot of my time. It pulls time away from job searching and spending time with my family. I’m starting to question whether I’m headed in the right direction. I don’t know if I should focus on going back to school and hopefully earn more employment opportunities or if I should quit all that and start looking for employment opportunities now so that I can help my family financially. I know that if I get into grad school I would have to commit full-time to studying and so would not be working a job. My family is not hurting for money but we are living humbly, paycheck to paycheck, and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I was working. Furthermore, my overall goal in life is to make a ton of money so that I can build non-profit foundations that will help the kids in my community. I want to bring combat sports gyms, computer labs, media content creation studios, and pantries to my community. I feel passionate about doing these things because they are all things that have helped me in my life.

So I guess my question is: How do I gain confidence in myself when I currently don’t feel like a man for not being able to provide for my family financially? And how can I figure out if I am headed in the right direction? How do I solidify my path as thee-path to take? I don’t see myself as a man but a boy and I don’t know if I should be focused on making money or studying for school. Also, I know my mental image of a man is a bit skewed. I know that there are a lot of things that make a man a man but when I picture a man I picture someone who pays the bills, has a lot of cool things, and can afford to go on a date with any woman. And right now I’m just not that. Please help me figure things out. Love you guys.
-Marco

Author: Marco