Have you ever felt like you were not good enough or that you were not worthy of some of the things that you really want in life?
When things don’t go as planned, we tend to blame ourselves and ask: well what were you expecting? You are not special. Why did you think things were going to work in your favor?
As I’ve learned, many of us humans go through that process. Why do we do that? I am not a therapist or psychiatrist and I don’t claim to know those things for sure. Everything that I talk about in this blog comes from personal experience after many years of living on this beautiful planet. What I have learned though is that to cope with failure, it is natural for our brains to come up with the narrative that we deserve what we are getting, that it’s something we should have expected. Bad things are happening to you? You must be a bad person or have done something bad before. Your business is not taking off and you don’t feel like working on it today? Well, your father always said that you were lazy, and he knows you better than anyone. Nothing is going to change that, it’s in your DNA. So why fight it?
We all have that little vicious voice that excuses our failures. We feed into it and we rarely do the introspective work of self-awareness that is necessary to get out of that vicious circle. The next step is to play the victim and to cry ourselves to sleep because it feels good, and the whole universe is against us. But true healing starts when we ask ourselves the real question: Why am I doing that to myself?
Answering this question could then help us answer the rest of them such as why do I procrastinate on things that will positively change my life? Or why do I put myself in the same kind of relationships where I never get treated the way that I want? Over and over again.
Doing this work on ourselves requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, and sometimes, that doesn’t mean that we’ll act on it immediately. It’s a work that might take years of practice. I would know, I am the queen of procrastination.
So why? Why do we do that to ourselves? We say we deserve the best, so why do we treat ourselves so poorly? Maybe it’s because we think very little of ourselves… in comparison to someone else? Whether it is a sibling, a neighbor, a coworker, or a big celebrity. Comparing ourselves to others means that we are putting them on a pedestal, above us. While I understand admiration for another person’s work ethic and talents, I personally don’t thing it is healthy to idolize other people. We are all humans after all. We were all born, and we will all die (sorry if I’m being a little bit morbid here, but it is to make a point). We all age and get sick, go through life with it’s ups and downs. No one is immune to tragedies, we all get our share. The real, raw emotional stuff, we ALL get it. The only difference might be that they, the people we admire, are good at playing the “Game of life”.
Now, I don’t believe in fate or destiny, or that kind of stuff. I believe in putting in the work that is needed to succeed. But success is different for everyone. My advice is to define what would make you feel successful. For some, it is a steady 9 to 5 job at the office. Others prefer to raise a family, and others want to travel and see the world. Your success is unique and does not have to equal someone else’s. I personally think that we find success and win the game of life when we stop belittling ourselves in comparison to others, and start living our lives according to our own standards.