Before I start this new article, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who reached out to me after I shared my last article, and to tell you how humbled I am.

I had no idea that sharing my article would impact so many people. My LinkedIn and WhatsApp inboxes were cluttered with messages from people from all over the world, thanking me for sharing my story.

Thank you!

You can read my article about mental health here and how I found out I was suffering from depression here

But what next?

The reaction I got from my article got me thinking:

when was the last time you procrastinated or avoided making a hard decision?

In my last article, I spoke about discovering I suffered from depression – which is all fine when we are self-aware about a particular issue we undergo (see box for a reminder of what happened to me in 2019) – but what happens next?

Belly up

In Brazilian Portuguese, we have an expression called ‘empurrar com a barriga’, which in literal terms means to push something with your belly.

In simple terms, it means to procrastinate.

You see: becoming aware of a particular challenge that is bugging you is very important, but things won’t change much if you don’t take action.

In fact, nothing will change. Personally I (still) get frustrated when I see some folks expecting others to decide for them.

Nothing comes your way for free.

The beautiful and challenging thing about becoming part of the adult world is: no-one will tell you what to do, and no decisions will be made for you.

Action is everything

You may work consciously or subconsciously to have someone decide your destiny for you, but I don’t think that is sustainable.

There’s no doubt that 2019 has been a transformational and turbulent year for me – let’s face it, I could have spent it beating around the bush.

But that would have made the price of not taking any decision (which is a decision by the way) much higher for me.

For 2020, I hope you too can take the necessary action for whatever you’ve set as a priority in your life.

Hard decisions in 2019:

• Left Denmark and admitted to myself I had a problem I had to look carefully at

• Visited Psychiatrist number 1, but was not too fond of his style

• Visited Psychiatrist number 2, whom I liked

• Got referred to go to a psychologist and began cognitive therapy.

• Returned to Denmark

• Left (2nd) startup I co-created, left partner and finished a contract with 2 major clients

• Agreed with the ex-wife that we should divorce — the hardest and most complex decision of my life to this day

Published By Carlos monteiro

You can find me on Linkedin

This post first appeared on the Copenhagen Post where I have a column called Give Yourself a Chance

Disclaimer:

This text is not meant to make you feel sorry for me. Quite the contrary. I hope you can seek professional help if you find some of the symptoms I’m about to share with you

2019 marks 6 years since I first stepped in Odense as a resident.

Since I got here I never had a job, and it looks crazy when I share that with other people.

I created one for me, instead.

When I look at my professional accomplishments, I can tell you: 

I’m really proud of myself, and yes, I’m freaking good at what I do.

In my six years here I refused to do what most foreigners do:

  • Learn Danish ( at lær Dansk),
  • (perhaps) go to university ( to study all over again….)
  • So only and eventually, find a ( low level) entry job, that could or would grant me ” safety”.

To be clear: If you’ve followed the path I just described, you should know I have an immense amount of respect for you. It simply wasn’t for me.

I could never see myself complying with those unwritten “rules” since I thought I already possessed a very decent degree from an excellent university in Brazil and I did not arrive here green, meaning without any work experience. The fact was that I carried quite a decent work baggage with me.

But there are a few cracks in the picture

So, during these SIX years in Denmark this is what happened ( on the professional side):

  • Received an offer ( 1.5 million USD) from Brazilian multinational to be bought out of the company that I started out of a blog;
  • Received four ( insane) job offers,
  • Built incredible relationships with people I’d never conceived it would be possible.

Without moving here, I can tell you for sure.: None of the above would’ve happened. I will say it again — none of it! Moving here has forced me to get out of my comfort zone.

But it is not all flowers. I always find it a challenge saying no to new projects. I also tend to have several spinning plates with me at all times. Recently I’ve been struggling quite a bit with my feeling and it started to take a toll on my family.

Smartphone Swings

Over the last two years, I’ve noticed a few things:

Firstly, I use my smartphone frequently. It is fair to say I have a smartphone addiction.

On top of it, I began waking up every day at 4 am. At first, I thought it was because I needed to take a leak. Later, I began questioning that hypothesis. I’ve also noticed that whenever I woke up, I’d check my phone, first thing in the morning. A big “no-no”, according to several mental health specialists. 

My mood, due to my lack of sleep, and my anxious behavior started to change. I became short-tempered and prone to sudden outbursts.

The picture, all of sudden, was no longer so pretty.

Cathrine, my wife was (rightfully so) upset with me. The children also felt it. My mind seemed to be tricking me at times at work, and I wasn’t feeling so motivated to work. It’s like my mind and thoughts would get foggy and for some reason, I’d get tired and would feel my eyes getting heavy, drowsy.

Time OUT

So why do I write this post?

Well, I’ve been in Brazil for roughly 45 days. The reason was to seek out for professional help, so I could start a journey to take back my mental health back in order.

  • I’ve been undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy, learned how to practice transcendental meditation, relaxation techniques and visited a psychiatrist. All of that in just 45 days.

All I wanted was to avoid was medication. I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to avoid it.

In the end, my psychiatrist thought it was best not to give any sort of controlled medication, BUT I really need to start following routines we built together

He basically said that my nature is to be a wired person. People like me can have a tendency to suffer from anxiety, which can then lead to depression.

What is really important?

I’m at the beginning of a long journey. I can tell you, however, that I’m already ALOT better from when I left Denmark, more than a month ago.

In case you feel like you haven’t been sleeping much or you have weird/sudden mood swings, or you also feel you have thoughts that are awkward ( feeling sad, tired, demotivated)

Perhaps it is time you sought professional help.

We are living in an age where things seem to go faster than ever. Slowing down and paying attention to your mental health is a powerful exercise.

No work or money substitutes a healthy relationship with the people you love and who are close to your heart.

#mentalhealth #meaning #purpose #lifeReport this

Published by Carlos Monteiro

You can find me on Linkedin In

This story first appeared on The Copenhagen Post where I have a column and write for.

When I started my company Biassa three years ago, like many foreigners who settle in Denmark, I was struggling to find my feet here.

Getting proactive
It all began when I started sharing content from my blog on LinkedIn, and a few companies approached me to ask how much I knew about the Brazilian business environment.

It was then that I realised I could start ‘selling’ my consulting services – a much better option than waiting for the ‘perfect job’ to appear.

The journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been interesting, as I enjoy talking to all sorts of people from all walks of life. They energise me, give me a different perspective and at times help me with my blind spots.

Getting practical
I get contacted by many foreign students who are either looking for advice or a job. Invariably they’ve just finished their master’s and have spent their time doing a few voluntary jobs and unpaid internships.

I tell them to get practical – to ask themselves: What are you good at? What would you like to accomplish? What is your dream?

And then I ask them whether they have a LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn can be crucial, from sharing short-form posts to articles. Many users, for example, are unaware it has a whole section where you can share slides.

Starting a blog is a good option. That way, when you share content you’ll direct people back there so they can develop a better idea about you.

Getting pragmatic
Maybe I’m being too pragmatic or even conservative, but I’m not sure having a master’s degree means a whole lot nowadays.

We live in a glorious era in which middlemen are vanishing across the globe. For example, have you seen the number of CPG brands that are heading directly to the consumer? Soon we will no longer have a need for headhunters.

This year alone, I’ve received three job offers – in Denmark from Danish companies; no middlemen!

Forget perfect
We live in an age in which we can all be visible. And more importantly, we can be heard.

Remember: the internet is indeed a miracle, but the only way to explore and take advantage of it is by taking action.

So, are you prepared to roll up your sleeves, get practical and start to work, or are you just going to carry on waiting for the ‘perfect job’ to turn up?