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Blogmas – Demanding too much of oneself

I know it’s late, it’s the 8th of December and I decided I wanted to discipline myself with my blog writing by actually documenting this December, through Blogmas.

I will want to recover the previous 7 days by writing or sharing other insights and I will want to do it next week, because I have some days off. But today, it’s Blogmas No.8 :D. Hello! I want to touch the subject of demanding too much of oneself, or in a way trying to be more than what you should focus on, because there’s so much competition and, if you’re like me, you strive to attain sometimes, the same objectives, that actually, define someone else’s life path. But, because we live in this consuming society and social media is all over, our friends or people we follow make us want to need things and this makes us, sometimes demand too much from ourselves. Or at least, that’s how I feel.

I realised that I am getting inspiration from reading about a diverse range of topics. I am really motivated to write and share all these aspects I find enjoyable, useful, futuristic and engaging, but rarely actually get myself disciplined into jotting down the ideas I want to cover and actually start blogging. This Blogmas I will do this. This should not be taken as a demanding activity I ask of myself, rather, it’s a form of disciplining myself to be blogging and start living what I see at others that I aspire to be like.

I am hoping this would serve as a catalyst for you too, to discipline yourself with one thing only at a time in order to get what you desire.

We usually demand too much of ourselves because we feel we want to be the best, or better than someone else, with whom we compare ourselves. From my own humble existential experience so far, I have gathered in my thoughts cupboard that I tend to compare myself with either a person that I admire or a person that I am jealous of. And, the truth is, a lot of the times, we believe we are better than the person of whom we are jealous, which makes us be in a love-hate relationship with our own goals and with the discipline we know we have to work on to actually be in that spotlight that we so much admire and believe should be ours. Or maybe it’s just me. When I compare myself with someone I admire, I am inspired to share similar content or knowledge to what I see and enjoy, because I am drawn to that. Usually, when I admire someone, it’s because they are at a stage that I am striving to attain and I know it’s not going to be easy, and that person shares views or opinions very similar to mines.

When I compare myself to someone I am jealous of (because they have reached a point in their life that I wanted too, but I feel that person got it way too easy – of course, that’s a misconception – because they do something that I want to do too, but it feels like, that person stole my idea – again, there’s plenty of space under the sun – because the person is suddenly saying, doing or sharing things or stuff I know better than themselves, and I feel they share that for the money, for the trend, and not because that’s something they really believe in) it’s very toxic. I get demotivated to do things because “What’s the point?”, because that information or knowledge or idea was already shared in a quite good format and I, deep down, liked it too, but at the surface, my ego is saying “No, that’s not that good! I would have done it better!” and this idea of “I would have done it better” is extremely poisonous to our souls. We start thinking we are better and more talented than the persons we are jealous of and we believe of ourselves we still have time to do what we wish to work on, yet we never do, because we are subconsciously demotivated by that person’s success or what we believe and perceive as success (as this is experienced differently and uniquely by everyone) and we are actually jealous that they do “just do it” and a lot of the times, this jealousy does emerge from a quality or physical thing that we want very much for ourselves. As an example, a person I am jealous of is a Youtuber, but she is Romanian, and admitting to myself that I am actually jealous is a big thing and the first step in recovery, but I feel that I am actually jealous that she has the courage and the persistence of doing what she wants. I guess I started on the wrong foot because I could have had everything I wanted but I got myself into some trouble with loans and debts when younger and it’s taking me to a point that I had to work whatever (sacrificing my desires and my soul path) just to pay off the debts. Because I was working in a field I had no interest in, I worked a lot and overworked just to pay the bills, this has eventually hurt my motivation and got me to a point that I had no more energy left to actually pursue my passions and this job I had that paid the bills and helped with money budgeting began as a helping hand but it was supposed to be temporary and it became permanent which in turn made me a slave to the lifestyle the job was offering me. This comfort is hard to give up and I suppose it is easy to be jealous of someone that you think they got it easy because they did not have to struggle with something you had to struggle with. It’s a vicious circle. But the thinking pattern is wrong, it’s poisonous, it’s soul crashing. To get out of this, you need to gain perspective or rather, to re-gain it and re-think and re-group yourself from everything you had been through. To actually stop being jealous of that person, you need to forgive yourself for not doing more to reach that destination you think you should have been at by this point in time and not feel jealous of the person that did reach it because they had a different experience. They have other struggles and your own path is unique. So, to stop demanding too much of oneself, I believe, it is important to recognise the pain you hold inside, the poison cocktail made up of regrets, comparisons with the wrong persons, society and family expectations of you, your own erroneous perceptions of your future self, your hate towards your past decisions, your unwillingness to forget yourself which is transforming into perfectionism and this idea, an unconscious idea (just like in Inception, the movie, a small thought) that you do not deserve more because you have not reached those expectations you had of yourself. Maybe this jealousy is actually connected to the fact that you do not feel you deserve more because you have made big mistakes (which may again be a subjective perception) and you need to punish yourself, and because you followed that path which did not lead you to the desired outcome, you do not trust you could make a better decision in the future and you feel jealous that someone, similar to you, has actually managed to forgive themselves for their own mistakes and moved forward.

Maybe we are jealous because we do not think that the person we are jealous of deserves to forgive themselves, because we cannot forgive our own selves and we have this subconscious belief that we need to punish ourselves to deserve something, to be worthwhile of abundance. When someone that we engage with seems to have similar ideas as we have in a certain area that we are interested in and we want to reign it over, but they dare to do it and do not ask for anyone’s permission to do it, we might feel betrayed because “hey, we are the same in a way, why are you not punishing yourself anymore?”, “I still need to punish myself” and “I am not happy you left me here, I now hate you” but, there are times “I still love you” because it’s still a part of us in that person, we resonate with the person we are jealous of, we have common grounds too and we used to be in the same spot, it’s a love-hate relationship with the person we are jealous of, career wise, in my insight, anyway.

Something else, that I feel, is that, when we start doing what we want and what we dream of doing or buying, and we let ourselves experience that which we refrain from because we deep down feel we do not deserve it, we start having this tolerance towards the person we are jealous of, it’s like the jealousy diminishes and we actually go back to the initial relationship we once had with the person, of acceptance and “I vibe with you, I like you now”. So to stop being jealous we have to follow our dreams and wishes and work on something we are passionate about in the midst of the storm. That’s what makes us free of this jealousy.

Whenever I do a little more from that of which I want to accomplish, I feel less jealous of that Youtuber I was giving you the example with. And that happens because I know I am on my own path, and I am happy with my path.

If you are not happy with your path, you will start demanding a lot of yourself to cover for the fact you are not actually at peace with that, which you know you should be doing, but procrastinate because it’s harder to work on something you desire and on something you are passionate about than it is to go work. Self imposed discipline is quite hard to stick to because you do not see instant results, whereas at work, you get paid every month. It’s like a constant cognitive dissonance between what you know you could do and want to, but lack the energy and discipline to focus on tangible aspects that can be altered to divide that energy into activities that take you closer to your destinations and the actual 9-5 work and the other thing that creates this distress is the fact you kind of enjoy your current mood and comfortable lifestyle, generated by this external imposed 9-5 discipline of the work you do. I wish I could say, I know how it is because I had been there, but … I still am.

When I demand a lot of myself, I realise I also demand or expect a lot from the others around me. I expect the same level of excellency I offer. I expect the same level of conscientiousness and seriousness and I most of the times form a level of expectancy higher than the norm and higher than what can potentially be offered. We are human beings prone to mistakes and errors and we all struggle in a way or another. We need to remind ourselves more often that we are doing the best that we can at this moment in time, with the knowledge we have at this particular point in time. We are doing enough. But not enough for our egos. It’s our ego who is jealous, it’s our ego who is demanding. It’s not us.

This December, remember this more often and be more kind to yourself, to actually be kinder to the others. 🙂

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo By Chris Liu