Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Recommendation - Clean Out Your Mind's Cobwebs

Typographic Silhouette by Steph Hilton

We've all been there, alot of us still are, including myself.. In that dark, cold place called insecurity where we don't feel we're "good enough" in some way or out of sync with those around us. If you're feeling helpless in the face of problems or concerns, inadequate to handle life's challenges, afraid of being discovered as unsuited to meet your responsibilities at home or on your job, feeling like you're unaccepted or rejected or experiencing an inner turmoil resulting from a lack of direction or bewilderment as to where you're going and what you're goals are, this is for you.

If we're so displeased with ourselves, either mentally or physically, it wouldn't be so mysterious if we fall into two common traps: perfectionism and self-downing.

Perfectionism has many aspects, including the valuable desire to "do better," "look better," and generally keep up to high standards. So far, so good. Striving toward betterment is great. The quest motivates us, and keeps us on a good path for the long run. But the idea that perfection could and should be attained will cripple our style, stunt our growth, and make us miserable.
Apart from that, the self-downing habit is a facet of perfectionism that also makes us do less well and contributes to our feeling badly about ourselves. Why place a rating of your entire self (your very being) for having trouble in one of your classes? You make your performance at this task, at that time, a measure of your worth as a person, which is destructive to one's morale.

For someone to get to that place, it could possibly be because of being raised in an unpredictable or volatile environment in which they were kept off balance or on guard, maybe because of experiencing a major tragedy or loss in their lives and having a hard time adjusting to the change, experiencing a major failure in life that led them to question their personal competency, not feeling accepted by "others" in their life so much that they become generally withdrawn in their interactions, having an unrealistic set of rules and expectations dictated by significant others in their life, having a poor body image making them believe that others see them in a negative light which makes them self-conscious, or maybe feeling that they're always overshadowed by people in their life who seemed to be more successful, smarter, better looking or getting more attention which makes them doubt their ability to gain recognition for their own successes and doubt their ability to achieve success in the first place...

It seems like we're all just bound to fall under at least one of these points.. and unfortunately, instead of thinking rationally to ourselves and setting reasonable aims, we sabotage our own best efforts to reach any of our goals by negative self-thinking.
Things like: "Everyone's looking at me, just waiting for me to make a fool of myself.", "I am ugly and awful to look at!", "I don't fit in here or anywhere else for that matter..", "I am so afraid that no one will like me" or "People are just nice to you in order to use you and get something they want from you"....

But there's hope! There's light at the end of the tunnel.. We don't have to be in that dark, cold place anymore.

Now, this is what needs to be done. For one to overcome these insecurities, they need to be willing to be put in vulnerable positions in life where they might get hurt and know it's ok. That life goes on and what doesn't kill them only makes them stronger.
We need to take risks! We need to have a healthy and humorous belief in ourselves in order to overlook our exaggerated need for acceptance and approval and take a rational approach to each problem we face so that we're no longer inhibited by debilitating fears or beliefs... *Run-on sentence!*
Another good idea would be to
reward ourselves for who we are and capitalize on our strengths, attributes, skills, and competencies.

Just keep this in mind: “The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity."
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