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🥊 Tam's Jam: Solving my Low Self Esteem Problems, Training for MMA, and Living Life in The Arena (July 2021)

Tam Pham
Tam Pham
4 min read

Heyo! I just launched pre-orders for my new course, Life in The Arena.

There is always a lot of fear and uncertainty when launching something new. Will people buy? Will this new product actually transform someone's life? What happens if I fail?

Ironically, this is me stepping into my own arena. I'm scared, but I'm doing it anyway, and that's how I want to live my dream life.

If you missed the email last week to pre-order the course (at the lowest investment), you can do so here. Sign-up ends this Friday, July 9th.

For this month's issue of Tam's Jam, the theme is around living life in the arena. I want to highlight people I admire who have overcome their biggest fears and fully went after their dreams.

I hope you enjoy it and as always, reply back to let me know what you think! 😀

💝 How I Solved My Low Self Esteem And Low Confidence Problems Through Self Love

I've struggled with low self esteem and low confidence for the majority of my life.

I used to walk into the bathroom, stare at myself in the mirror, and violently squeeze my belly fat. I'd say to myself, "You're such a fat piece of sh*t", as I stepped into my nightly shower.

I've repressed all of the trauma and stories for years. I knew that I couldn't live this sad life anymore and I needed help.

Stepping into this arena for me was one of the hardest things I had to do.

But after going to therapy for the first time, having vulnerable conversations with trusted friends, and reading The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, I did the impossible.
I've learned to truly love myself.

Read the article here.

♦️ The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova

This was one of the best books that I've read during the pandemic.

It chronicles the full story of Maria Konnikova going from not knowing anything about playing poker to winning hundreds of thousands of dollars, getting sponsored, and earning a major title.

Konnikova apprenticed under poker legends who I grew up watching like Erik Seidel and Phil Galfond. Konnikova applied everything she learned and competed in tournaments while being afraid almost every step of the way.

More important than her new poker expertise, I admire Konnikova for dropping her ego and stepping into the arena. It takes a ton of courage to do something completely new and fail repeatedly as she figured out her path.

Konnikova stuck with it and surprised herself with not only her poker winnings, but her ability and confidence to master herself.

Read the book here.

🥊 I Trained To Become An MMA Fighter In 4 Months

A normal, nice guy in Aria Inthavong trains to compete in an actual MMA fight after just four months of training.

Aria's not that fit, not that tall, and has no experience in fighting. He honestly looks like he wouldn't even hurt a fly. (Very similar to me...)

But this Buzzfeed employee takes on a quest of a lifetime to conquer his biggest fear and literally step into the arena.

Win or lose (I won't spoil the ending), Aria has a life-changing experience that he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

This EPIC mini documentary has motivated me to take my first Muay Thai class, something that I've been scared of doing for years.

Watch the video here.

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

Last but not least, I want to share my favorite book of all time: The Art of Learning, which was a huge inspiration to me when I embarked on my quest to be a chess master.

Waitzkin was a chess prodigy winning his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine and dominated the scholastic chess world for ten years.

Waitzkin expanded his horizons taking on the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and ultimately earning the title of World Champion. When asked how he was able to be so good at two completely different crafts, he replied

"I've come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess. What I am best at, is the art of learning."

This book takes you on his entire journey in the arena and leaves you with practical takeaways to be a better student of your game.

I've read this book cover to cover at least 10 different times and get so hyped when my friends start reading it.

Read the book here.

👇 Below the Fold

🙂 Final Thoughts

My hope with Tam's Jam is that you (1) learn something useful and (2) live a happier and more meaningful life.

If you dug this, I'd love it if you shared this issue with a friend. You can forward this email or send them here to sign up for the next edition.

As always, let me know what you're reading (or watching). I'll share my favorites in the next issue of Tam's Jam.

With gratitude,


P.S. Last chance to sign up for Life in The Arena is this Friday, July 9th. I hope to meet some of you more intimately soon!

Tam's Jam

Tam Pham Twitter

I'm a writer and bachata dancer currently bouncing around Latin America. Trying to make the most out of my one wild and precious life.

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