How To Stop Feeling Like a Side Character
How To Stop Feeling Like A Side Character
While at Dreamcon a couple of months ago, someone in the crowd was accidentally passed over while asking a question and then yelled out “I’m tired of feeling like a side character.” This stuck with me for months and is the inspiration for this write-up. I have been fortunate enough to have had great family members, teachers, friends, colleagues, and mentors to help me along in life, so I am passing some of their lessons forward.
One of my introverted superpowers has always been listening to others around me, so I managed to pick up a thing or two on my way to my 30s. I like to think of life as one big RPG, where I am constantly trying to level up. Unfortunately, life isn’t Skyrim or Fallout where you can choose your build and we are all born with a random base roll. However, here are some of the ways I believe that you can stop feeling like a side character:
Diet & Exercise Correctly: +1 Strength, +1 Endurance
Let’s go ahead and start off the list with the most abrasive item…you have to diet and exercise correctly. You only get one body and there are no restarts in life, so this is critical. Every main character goes through a training arc, and you are no exception to that rule if you want to be the MC. You don’t have to go extreme and try to look like a Baki character, but being dedicated to fitness is going to give you the discipline, mental toughness, and energy you need for the rest of the list. The best part of diet and exercise is that it is mostly in your control and does not have to cost a lot of money. Here are some tips to get started:
- TDEE Calculator – This will give you a great idea of your starting point and your estimated maintenance calories (how much you need to eat)
- Understand that if your goal is a great physique or to lose weight that diet is more important than exercise
- Understand how macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) fuel your body. Proteins build muscle, carbs give you quick energy, fats help store energy and absorb vitamins
- Build muscle first (bulking) then slowly cut off excess fat (cutting). The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest
- A simple workout routine is:
- Monday – Chest / Triceps
- Tuesday – Back / Biceps
- Wednesday – Legs (DO NOT SKIP LEG DAY)
- Thursday – Abs / Cardio
- Friday – Full Body / Cardio
- Saturday & Sunday Rest
- Don’t ego lift and get a spotter when going heavy
- Buy a scale to measure your weight regularly and use MyFitnessPal to track your calories daily (at least while starting)
- When grocery shopping, generally if you shop the edges of the store those are really the only foods you NEED to eat. The aisles tend to have a lot more garbage
- The only supplements you need (at least starting out) are protein powder, preworkout, creatine, a multi-vitamin, and fish oil. Most of the other stuff is going to be junk or unnesscary unless you are truly going beyond.
Learn New Skills: +1 Intelligence, +1 Crafting
The world is constantly changing and technology continues to speed that up. You need to be a lifelong learner to keep up. Learning new skills challenges your brain and can simultaneously make you money and help save you money. It also makes the conversations and interactions you have with others more interesting. There is a sense of accomplishment that will bring you happiness when you create something. I am in tech sales during the day, but building Blerd gives me far more joy. I’ve had to learn a lot of new business skills along the way to make it happen that apply to other aspects of life. I also garden which makes people laugh sometimes when they see my size.
Life is hard and learning new skills helps you train your brain to handle a wide range of challenges and keeps your neural pathways active. Other people admire those who have honed skills, which is why artists tend to be so admired in our community. Successfully learning new skills also increases your confidence which attracts others. Here are some tips when learning new skills:
- There are more resources than ever. Before spending a bunch of money on college or a class make sure to search for the skill you want to learn about on YouTube first
- Write down your goals and what skill you want to accomplish. I keep mine on a white board that I am forced to stare at while I work my day job
- Block off time on your calendar to dedicate to your new skill. Work, friends, and family will try to commandeer your time if you let them
- Learn from others more experienced than you and go into things being humble
- It’s worth it to pay to learn from and consult with experts; don’t cheap out
- Don’t be embarrased to ask for help or to fail while trying something new. Some of the world’s greatest accomplishments were preceeded by failure
- Be open minded to ideas that challenge your beliefs and think critically enough to challenge them
Make Money: +1 Luck
One of life’s hardest lessons is that at the end of the day, nobody owes you anything. Unless you got extremely lucky and were born into a wealthy family, you will need to go out and earn money. Money isn’t evil and it does make the world go around. Anybody that tell’s you that money isn’t important is broke, doesn’t want you to win, or is scared to do what it takes to get it. The more unique and useful the skills you have (or how much of an expert you become) can directly impact how much money you make ultimately. Lucky for you, if you are the type of person who has read this far you most likely have what it takes. There are more ways than ever to make a living as the world becomes smaller through technology. Here are some things to understand about money:
- The more unique or specialized that your skill is, the higher the rate you can charge
- Intimately understand the concept of opportunity cost. If you do 1 thing, it is always at the expense of another.
- Invest as much as possible into assets, which are things that increase in value or can generate wealth for you whether actively or passively
- Generally, riskier investments lead to higher returns on your money. They are also the easiest way to lose a bunch of money. Take some risks but never bet the farm
- Charge what you are worth and pay others what they are worth
- There is more money in the world than you can even fathom
- Have an abundance mindset always that you can get more
- One of the funny things about money is the more you have the luckier you seem to get
- Take care of your credit with the utmost importance. Great credit will allow you to get assets with low or no interest. You can monitor your credit with a service like Credit Karma
- It is easier to earn more money than to save more money
- Understand inflation and how your money decreases every year if you just let it sit in a checking or savings account. You literally lose money this way. It is more important to invest than it is to save.
Two books that are easy reads to give you a basic idea of how you should view money is Rich Dad Poor Dad and Think and Grow Rich. You will need money to fuel all of the amazing adventures you want to have in life, so do not discount the importance of being good with finances.
Dress Well & Take Care of Hygiene: +1 Charisma, +1
If you want to stop feeling like a side character there are few better ways than learning how to dress well and taking care of your hygiene. Taking care of yourself will attract others to you and make your life richer. The main character always stands out and looks a bit different than the rest. Dressing well can help you express your individuality as you craft your own story. You do not have to lose all of your identity as you step it up. For example, in my last post, I dropped 8 of the best Black-Owned anime streetwear brands that you can check out to come up with your own look. Here are some tips to dress well and take care of your hygiene:
- Shower daily and wear deodorant, regardless of what celebrities might say
- Keep your nails trimmed, it’s easy to get grit under them
- Go to the dentist regularly and take care of your teeth. A great smile is magnetic
- Get your haircut regularly. You’ll look better and its good for your hair’s health
- Wear nice shoes and keep them clean
- Learn what colors look good together and what colors look good on you (see chart below)
- Understand the differences between which styles are appropriate for what occassions such as formal wear, business casual, streetwear, athleisure, etc
- Wear cologe / perfume. Memory and smell are strongly tied together and this can make you stand out
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles until you find some that make sense for you
- It is better to spend more money and buy a few high quality items than to buy a bunch of crappy pieces that will fall apart
- Have your own style, do not just follow trends
Reply to @dripis5ever I could do this all day ?♬ original sound – Wisdom Kaye
Party Up: +1 Perception, +1 Unity
Now that you are fit, skillful, smart, dripped out and smelling nice you are sure to strike up conversations with others. Life is about experiences and people. You will not look back and care about all of the stuff you have, but you will look back and remember the great times you had with others. Choose your party carefully as who you associate with can take you in different directions in life. I would always hear the quote of “you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.” Here are some tips when choosing your team:
- Hang out with people that you admire or can learn something from
- Contain jealously of others. Instead use that as fuel to work harder
- Get out into the world and travel. You will meet so many different types of people along the way
- Be minful and not opposed to changing your mind when new information is presented to you by others. Life rarely tends to be completely black and white
- Do not let others that drain your energy overly occupy your time. Is it hard to cut people off but it is also sometimes necessary
- People are paying less attention to you than you believe they are. At the same time, some are watching you when you think they arent
- Reputation is important. Treat others fairly and try to be kind when possible
- Stand up for what you belive in and protect others that you care about
Your path to becoming the MC will be tough and you are sure to ruffle some feathers along the way. Stay true to yourself and never give up! While you may not agree with everything said here, I believe that overall this is good advice if you want to level up. What would you add to this list of How To Stop Feeling Like A Side Character? Let us know on our social media @blerdofficial
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This was dope when you told me about it, and seeing it written out is even cooler. Great work!
Thanks so much! Hopefully it helps someone out there.
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