I hear it too often and also guilty of it myself for saying phrases such as: “I am not good enough”; “I wish I was as fit as ..”; “ I could have worked a bit harder..”; “I will never be as clever as him”; and “I am just not that bright!”. It is not surprising how easily we tend to think negatively and allow ourselves to indulge in self-deprecation.
Why do we allow ourselves to go through such a ritual? We are taught, perhaps through education (at least in competitive Asia), that not doing well in anything is due to the lack of practice and learning. Therefore, to excel, we are required to improve constantly. While seeking to improve is a virtue, in doing so, we are disallowing ourselves to recognise that sometimes it is alright not to be good at everything.
We live in a world where we are judged almost by how many likes we have on our social media; to fail can be devastating.
However, the constant task of “keeping up with appearances” can only bring stress which will eventually create a toll on our psychological well-being.
We should not live our lives by the standards set out by society, instead of to live our lives by our values – that is what matters to us most.
We need to learn to hug ourselves and show ourselves some self-compassion. It is alright to fail, and it is okay not to know everything, we are just humans.
We can never revisit the past and will have no idea what will transpire in the future, why not learn to be kind to yourself in the present.