Continuing on the topic from previous week about what Therapy is, how it effects our lives and career, and why it is so important to always keep your Mental Health in check. Something that we rarely do in Pakistan. Hence this series of blog posts straight from my personal experience with Therapy. With a single goal of spreading awareness and an effort to make it a norm to talk about our Mental Health and to see a Therapist, even when you feel like everything is just fine and you don’t need it. Having atleast one session and experiencing it yourself might change your mind. And even if it doesn’t, I guarantee you, money spent towards Therapy is just as important as money spent towards your Physical Health.
Now that we’re done with a recap of last week, I thought this week I’d share the key messages and questions to ask myself I learned in my personal Therapy and these may help you get a further feel for the kind of stuff I’ve discussed in my Therapy and the questions now I ask myself. Mind you, these are the questions that sounded RIDICULOUS to me the first time I heard them, but I came to understand and realize their importance as I had more sessions and as time passed. So the best thing you can do to yourself before you start reading this post, is to forget everything you think you know and look at this post with a fresh perspective in mind.
If I were to put a value on this post in terms of Money, the mistakes & lessons from this post alone costed me atleast 1 crore rupees. That got your undivided attention? Good, Let’s Begin then!
⁉️ Do You Like Yourself?
I’m starting the blog post with the perhaps most ridiculous question I had Ever heard. Do I like myself? Or multiple variations of it like “Do you think you’re a good person?”, “Do you like yourself when you see yourself in the mirror?”.
This question immediately activated all the defenses in my body, without me realizing. And my immediate answers was, well ofcourse I like myself. Of all the people in the world I would NOT like, why would I myself would think that I’m not a good person? But guess what, all of us at some point in our daily lives, feel this way on daily basis, that too without intentionally knowing about it.
If I only were to leave this blog post with this simple yet ridiculously important question, this would be the one. Period.
Why Won’t We Ever Like Ourselves:
Allow me to dig deeper into this question. See, what happens is, we interact with so many people on daily basis who tell us so many things. Some will joke about how you’re fat, or they may joke about how dumb or weird your are or even something as simple as telling you’re not good enough. These things don’t effect you the first time you hear them, or the second, or the 100th time even. But just like a drop of water can make a hole in a rock if it keeps falling on the same spot over and over again, even the rock will be left with a hole eventually. And the same that happens in our lives.
As we grow older and older, even something seemingly small that sounds ridiculous when you share it with others, oh specially when it sounds ridiculous to others, has a great potential to make a hole in your true self, in your personality, and in who you were meant to be. See, all of us start our lives with great ambitions. We feel like we can do anything we set our eyes to. We feel like the hero of our own stories. But as we grow older and older, society starts to shape us just like a water starts to shape a rock. And we start thinking that maybe others know better and we give in to start listening to what they say.
By doing so, by giving in, we already have accepted that others are better than us. Sure, every now and then again, comes a good advice from someone wise who has actually experienced, struggled and learned from his life and is at the place where you want to be at, like your truely *wink wink*. But something has terribly gone wrong when anyone can stand up and give you advice and you start doubting yourself. And 90% of the time, these people have done Absolutely Nothing in their own lives but they are the Loudest when it comes to telling you what to do with Yours!
Leaving us to wonder, “How the heck did we get here?”. Well, the answer to all your confusions and questions is very simple. When we were not worn down by the society and people around us, we used to Love ourselves. But as time passed and we started to understand emotions like Guilt, Shame & Self-Doubt, we started changing to fit in to the society. Even someone like myself who spent all his life identifying as a rebel, ended up falling into this trap!
And we end up accepting that if everyone around us tells us we are selfish or self-obsessed, they’ve got to be true. Right? Because everyone says so! That’s the biggest trap I fell into. Instead of looking at myself and figuring out for myself if what others say is even true or not? I simply started accepting and giving into the pressure of society and tried to “Fix Myself” which was is the worst thing one can do. And as you ask this question to yourself more and more, you start to see that Not Everyone tells you bad things about you. It’s just that the negative voices are the loudest. While many others think you’re so great. But they may not say so all the time.
🥇You Come First!
Similar to the above question, another thing really important to understand is that You Come First! Let me explain what I mean by that using a simple example. When you’re in an airplane and there’s an emergency situation, you’re advised to put on your oxygen mask first before you put it on your little child. Why do we need to be instructed that? It’s rather simple when you think about it logically. Right? First you put on your mask, settle yourself so you may protect your child. Your child obviously can’t protect himself. And in case you don’t put the mask on yourself first, you endanger your child even more as he will be left without any care or defense in case you pass out.
But us humans are emotional beings. We love to think that helping others is the best way to go forward. And it is. It really is. But not at the expense of your own health, safety and care. I knew this pretty clearly. When I started earning I would spend my earnings on myself first and used to share the rest with my family afterwards. That allowed me to still be motivated to earn more and I could see what my hard work earned me. And I would be happy to see myself sharing it with others as well.
But just like the above point, life got in the way and just as I started to have self-doubt and started to question myself unintentionally and somewhere in the deep depths of my mind, I started to doubt perhaps I’m not a good person because others say so. With that, the strong belief that I had to help myself first in order to help others also took a lot of damage.
See when you are not sure you like yourself, when you don’t absolutely love yourself. This happens, a lot of others good things in your life that helped you move forward start to fade out. And you end up feeling lost and not being sure how you got here.
How These Mistakes Cost Me 1 Crore Rupees
Earlier I mentioned that these mistakes cost me atleast 1 crore rupees. I didn’t pull the number out of nowhere. It’s been two years since I’ve been in therapy and have been facing my internal demons. And that has effected my energy and in turn my career. I started to feel less and less motivated to work and since I was already in therapy, I was able to discuss the problem with my therapist and dig deeper into why exactly was that happening. Otherwise, I might still be trying to just get over it and would try to fix the problem of motivated with some small patches here and there but the problem would keep appearing again and again until I put in the hard work and really looked at what needed to be done.
Take some time to reflect on these 2 things and try to see if you also might be falling into the same traps that I did and perhaps you won’t have to learn these lessons the hard way if you catch these in the early stages!
See you guys in the next one! And as always, if you have a question feel free to share what you learned or just say a quick hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on my Instagram or on Facebook.