You’re fat. You’re lazy. You’re not enough. You’re useless. You’re like the worst person that has ever walked on this planet.
Do you hear these words often? I bet you’ve heard similar words about yourself many times.
What have you done with them?
I have certainly heard bad words about myself in my whole life.
It often gets me mad or furious.
I guess you’re reacting the same way. But is it the right way? Is it just an insult? Or is there something valuable in it?
We like to hear good things about ourselves, to stay with people who have the same opinions as we. We refuse to talk with somebody who has a point but says something uncomfortable for you. We refuse to acknowledge there are things to be improved in us.
But does it lead? Nowhere. It leads to narcissism.
What happens when somebody only disagrees with us?
We get angry and stop listening to the person. And we stay within what we already know.
But is the right way? Or, maybe the things we don’t know are more important than what we already know?
I believe it is the case.
I guess you’re trying to be the strongest person alive. In that case, I suggest you look closer at what Friedrich Nietzsche summed up about the strength of a person’s spirit.
“The strength of a person’s spirit would then be measured by how much ‘truth’ he could tolerate, or more precisely, to what extent he needs to have it diluted, disguised, sweetened, muted, falsified.”Friedrich Nietzsche
So, do you want to be strong? Take the hard truth.
What’s the right path? To listen. To listen carefully because the person you are listening to might know something you need to know. Maybe he can tell you something hurtful that will be surely likely to be hurtful in the short run but it will definitely benefit you in the future.
Imagine you’re the skinny guy. And all the people around you tell you- “you’re ok the way you are”. Maybe you like to hear that. The problem is that it might cause a lot of problems like low self-esteem, feeling you’re not enough, low physical (and even mental) strength.
One day somebody might tell you – “you should build some muscles”. You feel ashamed because somebody offended your body. You deny. You cannot admit that. But, after you calm down, you think. And after facing facts you decide he’s right and you start doing something about it. You go to the gym and start lifting weights and eating properly. And you become the person you were meant to be. You lived up to your potential. And everything is better now. Even though it was painful at the beginning.
And you admit that facing the truth is the right way.
That was me.
Imagine who would you be like if you heard 100 bad things about yourself and do something with them? Who would you be then? Wiser, stronger, more skillful, more useful, more fulfilled?
You will hear a lot of things you might improve upon from people if you just listen. By confronting the truth – even that the most comfortable one – you are getting closer to your potential and your spirit is getting stronger.
And one day you become the person you aimed for.
Of course, sometimes it might be just “hate”. And people will say complete crap about you which you shouldn’t worry about. That’s why you only take seriously comments of others when you define whether or not there are true – by objective measures.
Diffpath v Typical Path
- Constantly trying to improve
- Listening to others carefully
- Feeling you’re enough
- Staying in the same place
- Ignoring other people
What to do now?
Think about all the bad things you have heard about yourself. Are they relevant? Pick one thing that you find valuable and implement a strategy of improving that characteristic.
Also, ask yourself: “What stupid things have I made in the previous week?”. The answer will pop up immediately. But you need to be willing to know the answer. You’ll discover another thing to work on.
Accept that there are plenty of things wrong about you. Listen to the people and your inner voice. Then go and do something with it.
So… How much truth can you tolerate?
Are you going to confront the truth?
Show me what you’re made of!