From the day we are born we are taught to be successful, smart and brilliant. To enjoy, be happy and go about our days with ease. We’re taught we need to ‘seize the day’ and then we are told that it’s done by not caring about tomorrow. To be ambitious, hard-working and perfect at what we do.
And so we are slowly taught that these are the measures of the quality of life. And with that we learn to hide our true self — the one that’s not a robot aimlessly chasing someone else’s dreams. The one that doesn’t think that the number of likes under your posts and the title you got at your last promotion will bring fulfilment.
And hiding our true self, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It’s been bubbling up inside and coming out in all the wrong ways. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, addictions — these are just the most obvious ones.
But there are also the less apparent and just as destructive ones. What about the destruction to our relationships? Ruptures we cause without even knowing it. Thinking even that it’s not our fault and ending up blaming others. Or just pitifully waiting for things to change; relying on others to come as our saviours; giving in.
And what about excessive professional ambition; the strive for social recognition. How does this increase our quality of life? Are we trying to convince someone of something? Could we even be convincing ourselves?
Why are we fulling ourselves that burn-out is something physical, rather than psychological. Why do we fall into despair after we get that promotion we’ve so long been waiting for?
These are all deceptions we put up to deceive others and ourselves. Luckily sometimes we learn that controlling and changing the world or the people around us won’t help us live better. It won’t make us happier, reduce our anxiety and mend our relationships.
And this is when the only thing left to change is ourselves…
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