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A Question I Often Ask Myself: Is Being Good Really Bad?

4 Oct
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good_girl_wooden_sign_L (Photo credit: CapesTreasures.com)

Many of us are taught from a young age that it’s important to be nice and to treat each other with respect and kindness. We are told that being a good person, who does good things without seeking a reward, is what takes us further in life and that in a round-about way, good things will come. It’s almost similar to the law of attraction theory isn’t it? Where if you believe in the positive and you send out positive vibrations, you will, in turn, receive positive results.

 

I’ve tried so hard to live by this. I try my best to be nice to people, to be a good person and to live a clean, healthy life. I don’t go out of my way to hurt others or do anything that would cause conflict. In fact, I’m the sort of person who idly sits by and tries to placate others to avoid conflict. If someone attacks me verbally, I don’t fight back. You may think this is cowardly but it’s far from it. The way I perceive it, if I fight back, the other person will then become more aggressive and things will just get messy. If I accept it, walk away and ignore it? There’s no mess.

 

Recently however, I’ve started asking myself why. Why am I being a good person? Good people seem to often get tossed aside than those who are a little nasty, bitchy or just plain mean. Good people are the ones being taken advantage of. Those who are nice are according to some, unattractive, which supports the saying of “nice guys finish last”. Innocent people, who have done no intentional wrong in their lives are the ones, most often, being hurt the most. Maybe I’m generalising. There are, after all, 7 billion people in the world. However, the basis of my questioning is due to being surrounded by people who go through the same things I do. Good people who do good just seem to have bad luck. Does karma even exist?

 

One of the things I’ve found really hard to deal with is the harassment and endless questioning I receive when I tell people that I don’t drink. By drink, I mean alcohol. It has nothing to do with religion or anything else and everything to do with the fact that I choose not to drink. The way I see it, I can have as much of a good time being sober, so why start drinking? More and more though, I’m starting to wonder. By trying to live clean, I get passed over. No one wants to party with the girl who doesn’t drink. Who would want to be around someone who can’t join in on the drinking games and fun? Why bother with someone like that? Sometimes it hurts knowing that all the good I’m trying to do gets me nowhere. No one wants to be around the good girl. I can’t understand why. I may try to be a good person but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. I’m not a prude. I don’t mind being around people who drink or want to party excessively. So really, what’s so wrong? What has the world come to where people who do bad things, who are corrupt, who lie and cheat get ahead? This is something that baffles me.

 

Remember my friend who was stood up for being “too nice”? She wasn’t alone. On the other side of the world, another friend is currently battling the same problem. Being passed over because she genuinely is a nice person who cares about people.

 

The thing that I suppose is important to remember is that life is what it is. Bad things happen. You sometimes lose. How I get through is by choosing to live in the present and to hope for the best in the future. Someone I admire once said that in order to make it in life, you’ve got to adapt and improvise. Keep being the best you can be. Practice being kind and respectful to others even if it gets you nowhere. You never know where it could eventually get you.

 

A Different Kind Of Cruelty

4 Jul

I didn’t get quite as many suggestions for topics as I hoped so here’s a post based on something that happened to someone I know.

*Please note that this was written almost as a one sided account, based on the feelings related to me, in order to stir up some healthy debate.

 

Cruelty. It takes on many forms. It is inflicted upon animals and human alike yet what is televised and reported in the news are only those that are of a ‘serious nature’. Is everyday cruelty not serious enough? The cruelty of being led on only to be rejected? The cruelty of someone dangling an object of your desire within an arm’s reach yet never being able to touch it? Doesn’t that count as serious? Maybe not.

To some however, that rejection stings. The hope of achieving something only for it to be snatched away. In some way, that’s just life and a lot of us are forced to deal with it but other times, it is just plain mean and nasty.

Take this girl I know for example, let’s call her Sarah. She had met a man at a bar and had been texting as well as e-mailing back and forth with him for about two weeks. He seemed decent enough and she was willing to take a chance on him after he had asked her out for coffee. She wasn’t exactly excited or thrilled beyond belief that she had a date but neither was she unhappy at the prospect.

Twenty-four hours after the invitation to coffee was sent, Sarah frantically prepared for her date. Just to be sure, she sent the man a message to confirm their meeting point.  This was the reply she received:

“I’m sorry but you’re too nice for me. I’m really sorry but I’m just not ready for all this. I have a lot of stuff to deal with and you shouldn’t have to be put through that.”

Now, Sarah, who wasn’t at all desperate or excited for the date, started to tear up. The man she had been conversing with had played her for a fool. He had given her the hope of possibly meeting a nice genuine guy and did a complete 180 on her. Doesn’t that sound cruel? What could have possibly happened to have suddenly changed his mind about Sarah in twenty-four hours? There are two possibilities:

1) He was a coward who couldn’t man up and be honest enough to tell Sarah that he was not interested; or

2) He had found someone else in the meantime, possibly during a day time date before his scheduled coffee date with Sarah that evening, and could not be bothered telling the truth, quite possibly to protect Sarah from being hurt.

Well, she got hurt anyway.

Both options clearly show the deceptive and game playing mind set of this young man. Could he have not been honest with her and mentioned that he had met someone? Couldn’t he have sent her a message earlier in the day to let her know beforehand? That, I believe is cruel behaviour that should never be inflicted upon any person. Why? Because Sarah spent that night questioning herself. Was she really too nice? What did that mean? Does the fact that she’s a decent human being mean that she will never find love? Because she’s too nice? Will she be alone for the rest of her life? Is she ugly? Was it her? That is exactly the kind of questioning that leads to heartache and pain, because that is when we start to question if we’re good enough. Our self esteem goes out the window and self doubt kicks in, which is replaced most often by self-hate. The mind games and deceptive conduct of human beings occur in such small ways that often it is too isolated to acknowledge. Unfortunately, it does happen and is by far the worst form of cruelty, in my opinion, because self hate is often the last straw before someone completely loses themselves.

What do you think? Would you approve of that man’s behaviour? Was it acceptable? Would you, as women, doubt yourself after receiving that kind of message and finally, would you accept it?

 

 

Self Doubt

23 Jun

Have you ever had the feeling of inadequacy? It often creeps up on you just moments before you’re about to achieve a particular goal you’ve set or even when you’re putting a plan together of how you’re going to achieve that goal.

That feeling of self doubt and inadequacy invaded my thoughts today. What if I can’t achieve my dreams? What if I’m wasting my time with this blog? What if, what if, what if?

This questioning of my abilities to do something meaningful with my life filled my thoughts until I came across a poster promoting the Katy Perry: Part of Me movie. Normally, I would have walked right past such posters and on rare occasions take a quick glance at them. Today, I found myself captivated by it. Not so much by the design of the poster, the bright colours or by Katy Perry herself but mostly by the tag line at the bottom. “Be yourself and you can be anything”. That was the tag line.

“Be yourself and you can be anything”. That tag line made me realise what I had been doing wrong all day. I was asking myself “what if” and not “why not”. It made me re-evaluate my thoughts and encouraged me to change my attitude. With that, my mood started getting better and I started thinking of all the possibilities, all the things that I could do with my life.

Self doubt is normal. Almost everyone has experienced that moment of weakness when they have felt that they just “can’t”. Yes, sometimes there will be setbacks. But if you wanted something bad enough, wouldn’t you do anything and everything to achieve it? I know I would. There are times when things will get too hard but the important thing is attitude. Changing your attitude and mindset goes a long way to helping you take that step toward achieving something, no matter how small that step is.

That was what I noticed today. By changing the way I thought, my attitude changed and I felt empowered.

On a side note, I also noticed that listening to some upbeat music for about an hour or so also helped rid away some of my negative thoughts.

What empowers you? What do you do when you experience moments of self-doubt?

 

© Dhayana Sena 2012.

Living with the Poison of Self Doubt

23 Jun

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Not sure if it’s the expectations placed on us as children, experiences with failure and embarrassment, an aspect of a guilty conscience or some combination of all three, but I have been plagued by self-doubt my entire life. It is slowly diminishing, coming to crawl, it seeps into my soul slowly now so I can see it no matter what its disguise. Nonetheless, it’s still there. Still gnawing at me like a petulant fly, an annoying little asshole hedging its bets on my disappointment. I sound either schizophrenic or like a sufferer of D.I.D. (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder), but I know I’m not alone in what-ifing so many of my decisions and pursuits. It’s a difficult cycle to break but not impossible, and certainly worth it.

We learn in psychology, and in the game of life, that as children we’re given mental and physical tasks and then our intelligence and…

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