It’s raining outside and you run to catch the bus that’s in the station.
Just when you are about to reach it, the doors close and you are left there, feeling cheated, all wet and cold. Why me?
You go to this fancy party that you’ve been really looking forward to all week. By mistake, someone trips the waiter and he accidentally spill a drink on your favourite outfit. You feel like your night is ruined. Why me?
After a long working day all you want to do is get back home, relax, change into something comfortable and stream that movie you bookmarked last Thursday night. Only to get home and realise that your internet connection is down. Why me?
On top of all of this, your crush still doesn’t know you like her.
“Why does all this crap always happen to me?”
When you live countless stories where you take a sedentary role like an extra in the background of someone else’s movie, you tend to be tossed around a lot when you switch from screenplay to screenplay.
Idleness is seductive because it also disarms you. It teaches you that one day it will be better, but not today. So you wait, forever grasped in its allure.
When the only motion that you carry on in your life is that of being reactive to what life is throwing at you, being bounced around from here to there, you are stolen from your time and energy.
Life sometimes appears to us like an eternity. That we have all the time in the world. But eternity is created in the moment, and that moment is defined by the actions you take now.
How about not playing it on the defense anymore? How about dodging some punches and then smiling at the camera for your fans? When you spread yourself out over too many things, you spread yourself thin.
How about working on improving on that one thing that will get you from the random cast member to the star of your own blockbuster? You know what you need to do to get there but you are procrastinating on it. The idea of narrowing it down to that one thing scares everyone.
“What if I miss out?” or worse
“What if I make it?”
Erase learned helplessness
Not only do you need to erase your mental hard drive completely, you must smash it with a hammer, throw it out the window and replace it with a better one. Metaphorically, of course. That something that needs to go is called learned helplessness. In plain psychology, this means not trying to get out of a negative situation because the past has taught you that you are helpless. You are unwilling to avoid that state even though it’s “escapable” because it has become ingrained in your identity and if you lose that you feel like you might lose who you are.
In India, elephant handlers often train baby elephants to be submissive by chaining them to a post. They’ll fight with all their will to break free. Day in and day out they’ll try, but eventually, they just give up. When the baby elephants become adults they no longer need chains to be tied in place; just a thin rope will do.
The power of being enough
Why not feel like you are already everything you need to be? All that would remain from your side would be to show it. No permission asking, no reaction, no self-limiting beliefs.
Most of your life you’ve been good enough. You’ve just been giving the best parts of you to the wrong people and somewhere along the way they tricked you and tied you up to a tree.
Nobody becomes a failure by accident. Everything is a choice. A choice to stop, a choice to give up, a choice to not care anymore.
The only way to not get overwhelmed by the environment is to be the one that overwhelms it instead. When you cease to act like a punching bag, you stop being the punching bag.
This doesn’t mean you need to be on a full blown out offense all the time and go in the other extreme, just learn to dodge the hits once in a while, with a smile on your face, like a zen master.
Missed the bus in the rain? Great! You have 10 more minutes to relax and appreciate the miracle of nature that’s performing in front of you. When did we stop being impressed by that?
Did a drink get spilled on your shirt? You now have the best ice breaker to open any conversation in that venue.
No Wifi in the house? Now you have no distractions around so grab that book you’ve been putting off for weeks and go through it.
Don’t assume that everything is against you. Instead, why not assume that everyone is cheering for you? The moment you become a strong presence in other people’s lives and you take action to organise your own life with small wins other people will want to join in too.
Make it real
Most people work really hard to appear in a certain way. They try to fake it by copying success stories, trying to achieve appearances instead of achieving results.
When you stop chasing the illusion of being someone else, you can’t blame anyone else. You take authority and shape your own reality.
And there you are.
Just you and yourself.
In all your authentic glory.
When was the last time you felt like a winner?