Katy Perry sang it best:
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in
As an adult, we find ourselves lacking the time and space to sit and reflect on our strengths and weaknesses. Some days, we feel like a house of cards one blow from caving in, as Katy Perry described. Despite that, it is entirely up to us to choose the right strengths to turn up and entirely mute the weaknesses that hold us back.
The human mind can be a death trap sometimes. 💭 When negativity overwhelms, it’s difficult for us to break away from the vicious cycle that only serves to spiral down further into depression. However, the human mind is also brilliant in the sense that it is able to identify these mental triggers. It is the beauty of the human brain, of mother nature, and it is buried deep in our hardwiring. The trick is to use these triggers to run the more useful actions, instead of allowing yourself to tip further towards the depressive / negative state.
Here are some universal mental fix-ups that will work for anyone, regardless of your circumstances.
Treat every criticism as a building block towards your success
It’s easy for humans to notice all the things are wrong. It’s unfortunately one of the most useful human instincts that ensured the survival of our species. When we’re geared to notice things that are wrong, we could better avoid getting eaten by large predators. However, this is a pretty terrible way to manage life and interpersonal relationships.
Instead of giving more weight to negative comments, we ought to pick apart the bad bits and accept the good in it. There’s always something we can do to better ourselves. Focus on the positive elements of the other person’s comments and use them as building blocks towards your better self and your success.
Use the pressure to perform as a reminder that all of life is but practice, and remember that everyone goes through what you’re going through in some way.
(That being said, it also depends who you’re allowing yourself to receive this criticism from. Don’t get me wrong – a lot of criticism out there are constructive, if you peel the layers of negativity away. However, some people are really just there to hurt you (if anything at all, to feel better about themselves). In my previous relationship, I was unfortunate to have dealt with a highly insecure boy whose self-esteem reached a new low by demonstrating the need to put people down in order to feel better about himself. It’s these people you need to avoid at all cost. Nothing they say will ever amount to anything, so you’re better off tuning them out completely!)
Allow yourself to be imperfect
Let’s just make one thing clear: we have a lot of brilliant brains out there capable of marketing and branding themselves as the perfect human beings. Your Instagram feed is probably as colourful as mine is. It’s probably filled with perfect human beings with their perfect bodies and make-up and their perfect life. It’s also perfect marketing.
No one can escape feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and self-doubt.
She’s just another human being like yourself. She’s just as imperfect in her own ways, and so are you. Remember your intention to do your best and be the best at whatever you choose to do, but never allow that to paralyse your efforts and prevent you from being daring and learning to be brilliant. Life itself is a journey. Successes and achievements can only live up to their respective definitions by treading through the imperfections and challenges it throws at you.
❣️ It’s okay to be imperfect.
❣️ It’s okay to cry, to feel anger, jealousy, sadness.
❣️ It’s okay to not be okay.
❣️ It’s okay to sit back for a while, to pick yourself back up again.
❣️ It’s okay to be you, the imperfect little mess, who’ll always have some kind of flaw, who accepts it as part of life and finds joy in the process of continuously improving yourself.
Substitute insecurity for curiosity
Just like everyone has their imperfections, everyone also experiences insecurities once in a while. Here’s the happy truth: we all suck at things until we become really good at it. You are statistically speaking like most people. You’re not the best in the world even at your chosen profession. There might be someone in close proximity to you who makes you insecure about your skill set — a co-worker, a family member, someone on Instagram. There’s always going to be someone who seems to do effortlessly what takes you a tremendous amount of effort to get done, with much less results.
Instead of allowing yourself to sink further, take the first step to understanding that it is the nature of humans to be riddled with insecurities and self-doubt. Realise that not all things are permanent — your lack of skills in a particular area of knowledge is not permanent and perpetual. It is transient and it is temporary. Loss and failure are equally temporary as success and winning are. When you figure out and accept that you can seriously get good at anything you’re willing to put the time and attitude into mastering, insecurity loses its grip on you.
Remember that you’re in control. You get to decide to get good at whatever you want, whenever you want.
Ignore what you’re not good at today! Maybe you’re stuck in a financial rut, a bad relationship, a job with a terrible draconian boss who makes chipping away at your self-esteem her only goal every time you step into the office. By remembering that these things are temporary and transient, that you and everyone else around you are working towards being good at something, that you are not a failure for all of eternity, it removes you from the self-defeating loop of not being good enough.
Best way to get started?
💡 Write out daily reminders and goals, and stick it to your fridge!
Assuming you have access to your fridge every morning, you’re going to have to read it first thing after you get out of bed and before you head out to conquer yet another beautiful day. I never used to be one for motivational quotes, and it doesn’t have to be cheesy or cringe-worthy here, but I found this little tweak to my daily morning routine immensely useful. If you’re looking for an effective planner to get back on track in 2020, consider goal planner I’ve created just for you: