I work with many different people and I can observe a big percentage of them are broken, depressed, lost. Negativity floods my feeds. It happens when you get out of all that “Be a shark!” “Set your goals” “Be the best, the King/Queen” “Success, Money, Success!!!!” kind of material shaped as “Inspirational” quotes, “successful” bloggers’ articles, business tweets etc.
That, might be useful and encouraging for some kind of people who need a push to achieve and accomplish what they consider success in their lives, but for others, it’s just an opaque veil to cover non-resolved emotional or mental issues, which provides them with a load of “failure” feeling, guilt, low self-esteem and the consequent abandon, confinement and ultimately —depression, under the motto “I’m not good enough.”
This auto-destructive process is due to several reasons:
- First things first. Emotional and mental stability must be well and firmly established before even thinking about financial/business or physical success or achievement. Together with work on your confidence, self-love and self-steem.
Which is the problem? Well, that would be an ideal state. Not impossible, but many of us are still on our way. We all have traumas, lacks, loopholes that slow our level of awareness and assurance, making us fail when we skip steps.
- Not everyone is the same way. Our minds are galaxies: volatile, ephemeral, extremely complex, a storm of stimulus transforming our perceptions, thoughts and reactions at an abysmal speed. How are we supposed to get the same result with such a simple thesis?
- The Sheep Effect. “What everyone does, everyone does.” That is —when we observe an insane amount of people following a flow (it applies to everything in this life but in this case, we’re talking about the “successful shark style) some people need to be part of it as an inner (biological?) need of belonging to a social group. That’s not wrong, that’s not good either. It’s just the way most of the people feel, and we can refer to all the mass-movements we see every day in the ads, news and media.
If no one needed to follow what others do, marketing, brands, companies wouldn’t have anything on us, since we wouldn’t fall for any social trick, “Get this to be cool.”
Well, that said, my point is that some of the people who “need” to follow, can’t follow. Because they are different, they are special, they need their own way. And precisely that, is their own achievement in life. The problem is, that is a particularly difficult thought to accept, since being different means that you need to find your way —alone.
- “Executioner” kind of society. What’s the other side of the blade? Society doesn’t like individuals and “different” people. It creates a kind of fear/negative curiosity that normally ends up in reclusion and rejection. That is an important element of pressure to make everyone follow the masses. “Stay with us or you will be targeted and rejected”.
This makes decisions even more difficult for those who need their own path and who, sadly, have already enough problems trying to find their own inner peace.
- “I am rejected” ergo “I’m not good enough to achieve anything”. Depression post-abandonment. It’s hard work to put your pieces together but so it is to accept that you are not like the rest and you have special needs and desires. This also means —you have special things to offer to society (yes, those who rejected you. Ironic, hey?)
Well, here we go then. What happens when you feel you fail and fail and everything you do it’s not good enough? Well, I’ve been there, and I have certainly been worse as well. The best I can do is to give my personal advice to those who are lost and those who wander off.
- You are different. Accept it, embrace it, love it —Love yourself. And I’m not talking about that kind of “hipster-cool different”. I’m talking to you, people with real inner issues: OCD’s, people suffering from psychological stress, bipolar disorders, obsessive compulsions, ADHD, post-traumatic stress, depressive disorders and many others (I think I made myself clear).What does it mean to accept and embrace it? It doesn’t mean to abandon and give up because “I’m just like this”. It means that facts are facts. We are this way, and it won’t change.We can adapt and love ourselves, making the best of our lives and learn how to give to others what makes us special, recovering our self-esteem and confidence, or we can drown in a continuous self-complaint, move everyone apart from us and wait for Death to take us when it’s time.I’m certain, you don’t want this. You want to be happy, you want to be loved and you want a life of abundance and realisation. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the same way than most people. It’s your way and only because of that, it’s secure and beautiful. Be proud of it. Make it yours.
- Not all days are going to be good days. You’ll break down today, and rise again tomorrow. Don’t blame yourself for that. Forgive yourself for not being a machine and having a heart that some days is tired and needs to lock itself. It’s okay —that’s alright.
- You need to get rid of people, as some people need to get rid of you. That’s a natural cycle, a selection of the souls we need near. Don’t torture yourself because “someone” abandoned you because of the way you are. It’s OK, it happens, and it will. Keep close a little circle which makes you feel safe. Most of the times, the fewer, the better.
- Stop circular thoughts of guilt. Guilt is the worse and most destructive emotion a human can suffer. It’s infectious and roots your mind to an irreversible point. Don’t let it in. Be strict with that. You did something you regret. Maybe your guilt is a consequence of the society rejection, of feeling you make others adapt to you because you can’t help the way you are.
Perhaps, you regret something you did —a lot. That’s alright, we all do eventually. You can’t change what happened, but you can react to it (take decisions, apologise, make some changes), learn (work hard on not letting it happen again) and most important of all, move on.We are humans. We are a mistake with legs. That’s OK, forget and forgive, tomorrow the sun will rise, want it or not.
- Set little daily objectives. Don’t look beyond. Improvement and success are not about shining like a star. They are about making little changes (don’t freak out, I know you don’t like changes (I don’t, believe me) but they are necessary and unavoidable, so take your time, your own pace.Achieving little changes will make your confidence and self-esteem grow, because you’ll realise you’re amazingly able to accomplish anything you want, but step by step.
- Don’t compare yourself. I know, I know, that is a cliche. But I really mean it. Get inspired, but not intimidated by others. Other people can’t feel and see what you do. They don’t have the same barriers and inconveniences than you. You need to be stronger, firmer, more dedicated. Smile to yourself, love the others and go back to work.
- Little things that will slowly make you happier:
- Grab a notebook and make it your best friend. Write all your fears, thoughts, atrocities in your mind. Write down the reason for your reactions. Draw, stick important things in it. Make it your token for a new “you”.
- Every time you see yourself in a mirror, smile to yourself. Silly? Not at all. When you start doing it, you’ll see the power of the warmth you’ll feel when you see yourself smiling at you, forgiving you.
- Get rid of symbols that hurt you. New life, clean emotions.
- Discover something that saves you from reality for a while (reading, drawing, colouring mandalas, plants?)
- Create, in your mind, a safe place where to go when you stress out. Somewhere you can go every time you need. Do you know which one mine is? The mansion of Crimson Peak: empty, in ruins, sinister, wooden, dark. What is yours? 🙂
Obviously, there’s a lot more. But I don’t want to get anyone asleep. If you have read until here (thank you), I hope this has, somehow, helped you. If you’re inclined, I’d love to know your thoughts, so the best way of helping one another is, precisely, sharing personal experiences.
Remember, you are different, you are perfect.
Have a beautiful day.