The moment you realise…

As individuals, we are all unique. We got our own way of seeing the world, approach the world and behave. Due to that uniqueness, it can be quite hard to find someone you can connect with. When you do find someone who can, you wonder where has this person been and why he or she hasn’t enter your life earlier. And then, there are some people for some reasons just hate you as a person and their obnoxious interactions with you can make you wonder why do they exist. They just do and have their own clique in life.

And what’s my point?

I’m getting there…

Throughout my life, I have lived a pretty sheltered life and taking very little risk when it comes to my finances or education. As much as I tried to make my life my own, trying to be a trailblazer of sort, I kept falling back to making the “safe” decisions or choices because it all boils down to: how did it make me feel? And usually, after I made the decision, I feel like crap. When that happens, I had to backtrack to make another one. In part to make me feel good again. It’s especially so if it is a brand new decision that has repercussion on my life and it requires me to use information that I have yet acquired through experience.

For people who are more rational and has been through enough adversity tend to be able to stick to their guns and follow through on their decision. No doubt they have fears and anxiety of what the future holds, but they are better prepared mentally to deal with that due to what they have been through.

In my case, this flip flopping nature of my decision making process causes a lot of misunderstanding with people around me. And I don’t blame them. I simply don’t have the life experiences enough to toughen up my mind or gave me enough data points to make a good decision. And my mind never fails to worry about thousands little things that could go wrong…this is why I can suffer from insomnia relatively easy.

So if you don’t call that neurotic, I don’t know what to call it.

But that’s not to say I have not make decision that make me uncomfortable and then following it through. It’s just that I’m a little slower than most.

And you see what I just did?

Explaining myself to the world. Apparently, this act tend to piss people off. I have been told to just shut up and stop.

When it happens enough time, I have to wake up and realise I’m the square peg in a round hole due to my life circumstances stemming from nature and nurture. Most people, which isn’t a lot, I know found it irritating or frustrating when interacting with me. But that it’s all in the past. I have the power to change that.

For a start, I’m going to make a conscious effort to catch myself before I go on explaining my thinking to another person. It’s my life and I don’t need to justify the choices or decisions. No one wants to hear it and it’s not their fault. Everyone is a little busy dealing with their own crap in life. At the end of it, I only have to answer to my eighty-year-old self. As long as I don’t regret the choices I made (and I have that a lot lately but I can’t change those), I’m fine.

The other thing I also realise is that I have to stop. Stop announcing decisions I made with my emotional centre to other people. I’ll admit it will take a great deal of conscious effort not to make that mistake. Emotional decisions are fickle and can change very easily. In this hyper-pragmatic, rational world (roll eyes If it’s rational, we won’t have wars or that the stock market won’t fluctuate like it does), decisions have to be made with clarity and assertion. Once made, the person has to follow through till the end. The action taken has to either result in a success or failure before making course correction. Failing to do that, you don’t get to command respect.

And I’ve done emotional decision making for so long and often over the last few years that I believe I lost my credibility with people. It’s fine. No one is at fault here.

There are people who call me a fake news now, putting me as part of the global phenomenon just because of my emotional decision making process. But hey, it’s cool now that I have gone global.

Now, if there’s a genuine desire to understand me better because you care, then I will help you understand me better. And that’s if you ask me. Otherwise, I will keep my mouth shut. Or we can go on the journey together because I don’t understand myself fully either. But if you feel like the journey is taking too much of your time or energy, you are free to go. And I won’t blame you afterwards if you continue to misunderstand me or my intention.

All this realisation is actually pretty freeing and I finally can start being myself without worrying too much.

Becoming aware of the neurotic mind and overwriting it for a happier self

Let’s imagine that you grow up in an environment where your parents engaged in negative self-talk in front of you, self-punishing behaviours, call you stupid or brainless when you do something wrong, or continue bring up the past mistakes you made every time they are not happy about something you did today.

Then as you got older, you engaged in similar activities without being consciously aware of what you did.

And that’s all because of nurture. After all, you were just a child and your only true role models are your parents. Even when you have friends, they won’t be there to influence your life every hour of your life. So you will just learn that what your parents do is normal, therefore correct.

As a result, you don’t question all these learned behaviours. Until someone pointed them out or came to realise it one day because of what you’ve read or heard people talk about.

And you know what?

Those activities I mentioned earlier actually examples of being neurotic. And it actually leads to poor quality of life. You are never happy. And it can actually contribute to the development of “perfectionism mindset” in a person.

I know because that’s the kind of environment I grew up in. I seek perfection in my work. Was never happy, constantly depressed. Hated the world. And it was during my research to understand myself better that I came upon various psychology articles and essays about being neurotic and the neuroticism personality traits. It was then I realised I’ve got a problem.

So over the past few months, I have actually pushed myself to engage in self-compassion and self-care. It was hard at first since it was unnatural for me. But if you keep doing it, ¬†practising those skills for a while, it’ll become easier. Just like training yourself to be able to lift certain weights or to run a marathon.

And it took me a while before I was able to catch myself before I engage in such behaviours. And these days, I can see my mind doing all the weird negative self-talks and punishment-type thinkings. But I will myself not to act on them. I simply acknowledge those thoughts and then push myself to focus on the present. Because at the end of it, you can’t control the events that happened but you can control how you react or respond to those events.

So I actually feel happier compared to when I was in my early twenties and late teens. I also recognised it’s still a work in progress because those negative thinkings and self-talks hadn’t been completely eliminated from my mind.

The other thing that I also realise is, I was actually able to focus more of my attention to creating the kind of life I want because my mind isn’t cluttered with all those bad thoughts. With that, the friction to complete the micro-goals that will put my closer to my destination is much lesser.

What if

What if you have only five minutes left to live? After that you disintegrate into nothingness, leaving nothing for your love ones to even touch or bury. What would you do to maximise those five minutes?

What if you are given a choice. A choice to choose between receiving a million dollar a year but you have live like a slave, obeying every order and command given to you or live free but on ten dollars a day. What would you choose?

What if one day you can only remember what happen within a day and your memories get reset the next day? What would you do?

And what if you wake up one day to find yourself in a completely different gendered body and you can’t die because you are now immortal? How would you feel and live?

You see, there are just so many possible events that will happen in life, some of them implausible and some of them possible. Yet, the highly neurotic ones will always think about all. I for one am aware that I’m highly neurotic and constantly worry about things. I will try and be ready for those situations. But it is not the way to live your life. Yet the power of nurture and nature will require one to have a lot of will power to overpower. And it takes time.

Even then, it doesn’t change the fact that you should give yourself a pat on the back if you are slightly less neurotic than you are yesterday. One step at a time. Towards a better you.