Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated.

September 03, 2021
Philippines

“Not to become someone else, but to be more thoroughly yourself.”
― Robert Greene, The Laws of Human Nature

My why for this blog: to develop internal fortitude to see things through

People have different aspirations in how much they are willing to grow. Life doesn’t give you all the answers but I believe that the greatest gift you can give to someone is to understand yourself enough that I can tell them who am I. All of us can be a bit difficult, the only perfect person we can think of are the people we don’t know.

Our emotions govern us, we feel something before we even have an idea what it was. My source of pain before was because I did not understand people. Everyone thinks it is the other person but the truth is most of the time some people are lacking self awareness that they become self obsessed that everything in life is about them.

If you are always blaming other people for what is happening in your life, you are probably going to end up bitter.

Here are the emotions I have dealt with and they’re meaning and might be for you as well.

Fear

I realized that if I can change my response to fear, I will take control of my life.

  • Failure – fear of judgment and ridicule

For some people, they have an idea what direction to head in, for most people like me, we have no idea. If you are driven by fear of failure, you have to slow down, break down your goals into small chunks (finance, relationship, career, etc) and work on it. It is always the pursuit.

When you have worked hard for certain projects and you still get rejected, just always remember that there is no way that you’ve worked this hard that something amazing isn’t going to happen. Keep pushing. Believe, that this is giving you experiences, skills, etc that are going to be of use in the future. Trust yourself that it’s there.

Stop fixating on whatever people are doing or saying – it’s all over the internet that’s why you feel that it’s what everyone is doing/saying . Look inside, focus on the internal changes that lay the ground work for a much larger change. Immerse in the present instead of obsessively looking at the future, develop patience and social intelligence. The opportunities will draw into you because people can sense how prepared you are.

  • Not good enough

When I was 25 yrs old, I was so sad inside. It was killing me. I felt I did not belong anywhere. I realized that fear of loss I had before stemmed because I felt I wasn’t good enough – when I fail, when people left, when I get rejected. I felt I needed to please people to be liked and so I did, I was a chameleon trying to blend in. I remember when a guy did not reply to my text messages, I felt a pang in my chest because I associated the not replying to I wasn’t good enough. I tried to work on my inner confidence – getting good at being rejected (I just go out there and talk to others), asserting my needs, saying no and standing up for myself. It did not happen overnight, I had to go through too many fuck up situations – my body was in a lot of stress when I pushed back to colleagues who were giving me jobs that were not within my scope, told a guy I liked him and where this relationship was going, finding work in the midst of pandemic, etc.

It was really hard to do when you have a pattern of silencing, starting the process is not going to be easy because the body remembers moment when I feel afraid to speak. It is ingrained in my nervous system. The body knows what conflicts feels like. My body resisted the change because I did not train it to avoid confrontation. It becomes automatic then it turns to a habit.

The moment when you feel afraid, you are going to reach for control in order to quiet the fear – not talking is a way of staying in control but if you always quiet the fear, it will backfire. The physical response to fear is encoded in my body, in my nervous system – tightening of chest, deep breathing, perspiring, itchiness.

You are going to feel uncomfortable the moment you talk to colleagues in balancing the workload, the moment you speak to meetings, talk to a guy you like. The more that you do this, your confidence will increase. I am still doing it, I still encounter tightening of the chest when I assert my needs because I wasn’t used to it but some of my fears have already died down and I couldn’t be happier, so keep pushing.

  • Past

I was so obsessed with my past that was why I could not move forward. We always pay a price for repressing our emotions and it eventually comes out. Instead of stacking up the positive, I was always stacking up the negative because I did not understand people. I thought it was all about me. When I stack the negative, I only focus on the negative things and when it piled up, I became angry. I became a pushover for taking it all in instead of being honest – honest with my needs, with my boundaries.

My friends taught me to let go of the past. They were with me in the most pivotal and transformational period of my life. I wouldn’t have gained the confidence I have without them believing in me. I started reaching out again to old friends and start being present. I want to show up for my friends who have done the same for me even in times I couldn’t love myself.

I realized that it doesn’t matter what the misunderstanding and the flaws were, what matters is where I want to go. There will be a lot of chances so I want to give them as much as I can to the people who are very important to me. It is not always seeking new landscapes but seeing new eyes. We are all crazy in our own little ways and we carry some past that we beat ourselves up for it but always remember- there are still parts to who you are and the people who love you will accept that your past is no longer important and you can start letting it go.

  • Change

I was self-soothing emotionally – every time I was not happy, I distract myself and have a story that I was doing this for a better cause – family, money, well-being etc. In the end of 2018, I had a goal – to find the right guy, it was on my vision board. It inspired me to take action and pull me through my fears. I was loving developing myself and I didn’t know that my change was going to impact other people on how I view life. Instead of bringing people to be a helpful force, I pushed them away. I didn’t know how to navigate the changes in my life. I have gained strength in areas of my life and it changed my personality.

I often judge people by how they live their lives, if they were not changing then that meant they were not happy, instead of seeing through a different lens, a compassionate lens. Some people are just comfortable in life and not go on an extravagant trip of a lifetime. They must be happy, same as people who are risk oriented in becoming their best self. I just see it as a projection of how I really wanted to live my life so I wanted them to change instead of accepting them for who they are.

I am tired of the fix/love yourself movement because the truth is you learn to love yourself in the context of your relationship with others. Relationship makes you better. I often ask myself now who do I want to be? Who I have been in a relationship? Do I want to create a love story or a life story? (This is for a guy haha)

BOUNDARIES

Boundaries are side effects of having self-esteem and low levels of neediness to the people around me. It is taking responsibility to my own emotions while not taking responsibility of the emotion and actions of others.

We all have flaws and struggles but dumping all your emotions to the people you care for without taking responsibility or trying hard to work on it constitute a poor boundary issue. A strong boundary understands it’s unreasonable to expect two people to accommodate each other and fulfill every need the other has. You can tell your partner whatever they did triggered you but you are working on that issue instead of emotional dumping for example “You shouldn’t do this because I feel so sad” “You are going to see your friends and I will be left here alone” -these are examples of poor boundaries and low self-esteem (It is a major turn off).

We will never know what stage the people are in dealing with their trauma. I am okay in dealing with trauma in a place of ownership. Anytime someone defends a person because of another one’s trauma, it can say a lot about your confidence and lack of self-respect.

EGO

I was constantly distracted, abandoning certain tasks over the other. I was in a pursuit of something/someone better. I was also so sensitive about slights, feedback etc. – it was a total waste of my time. Instead of telling myself that my soul cannot be crashed by any insults – it is not about me all the time. I have changed my perception over the years and it is very liberating.

When we are starting in our pursuits in life, we need to learn to submit to the people who have gone through things and learn to absorb everything I can. I have to remind myself that how much work is yet to be done not how much I have done. I can only control the efforts I put in not the results that come out. Humility kills the ego.

SELF-AWARENESS

This is the ability to observe, identify thoughts and feelings. I believe knowing yourself is the greatest pursuit in one’s life. People thought that they need to travel somewhere foreign to find something/someone interesting. When pandemic hits, a lot of us lose a tremendous amount of distractions – traveling, kids at school, work, going out a lot etc. All of us are now dealing with our own emotions that we have been avoiding for a long time.

Whatever you are feeling, there is something underneath that feeling. It is like peeling layers after layer and so forth and the more that you go deeper and know yourself, you then realized that you are also full of shit like the rest of the people you thought were. I am a mystery to myself and we need to understand the process of introspection. Being aware leads to self-acceptance. You become kinder to yourself and those around you.

Things that are helping me to peel layers of my emotions and get to know myself better – reading books, blogging or writing – when you pour your heart in paper, it is always semi-autobiographical and personal, if you can meditate it’s good too like praying, long walks and shared vulnerability.

There is no answer to everything and no two people view the same events in the same way. My attitude in how I look at the world will determine what I get in life. All my experiences have given me stories that organize my thoughts. Traveling, meeting new people, taking risks, strengthening my relationship, reading, working out etc added to rich layers of knowledge and practice that altered me from inside out. The incremental improvements, work habits and the ability to withstand criticism are manifestations of a deep preparation in getting myself better overtime. Knowing thyself is liberating and transformative.

Love.

Maria, sometimes Niskie