The Mind Bender

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The Mind Bender

Let me tell you a sad story

There is a girl who sings only when every window is shut.

Like most girls, she’s been learning the trait of silence since birth.

Everyone underestimates how important her voice is,

& the greatest tragedy of all is that she does, Too.

  • Amanda Lovelace

Did you ever ignore a rejection, thinking that you didn’t deserve it anyway? Did you ever give up on a relationship, assuming you weren’t good enough? Did you let someone walk over you, thinking it was okay?

We, humans, give ourselves less credit than we deserve. We are the superior species, and yet we doubt our strengths and capabilities now and then.

In this world of success, accomplishments define people rather than their failures; we have made our minds believe that we are nothing if we aren’t perfect. It is always black or white. But we fail to realize that we live a significant part of our lives in the greys.

More often than not our future is formed around these beliefs that we create because of external stimuli, which may be highly fictional. But once we start believing something, we try to find things that support our belief. And eventually, that becomes our trump card. It is like declaring the murderer already and collecting the evidence to prove your theory, without even realizing that you may be wrong.

If someone broke your heart, you might start believing you don’t deserve to be loved. We keep making excuses for ourselves for these small rejections. We start questioning the person we are. ‘Maybe I am not beautiful or understanding.’

“We accept the love we think we deserve” -Stephen Chbosky

Let’s rewind a little to the moments of our lives where we got trapped in thinking any less about ourselves.

  1. Molds made of metal.

We have molded ourselves in roles defined by society. It is so ingrained in our living that we believe in those roles and do not question their validity. You can either be a mother or a professional, a corporate person, or a philosopher. If you are juggling between home and work life, then you aren’t doing justice to either of them.

  1. The fear of rejection.

We are so scared of rejections that we convince ourselves we don’t deserve any so that when it happens, we can shrug away the disappointment and say, ‘I knew it, it’s okay.’ These fears permeate our emotional life too. We start fearing standing up to ourselves, assuming that we may offend the other person.

  1. It was tasty, but not like last time.

Seeking validation is a strong emotion. Who doesn’t like to be acknowledged? It motivates us to perform more. But many times, we try to be who we are, not just to seek approval. And if we don’t get that approval, we start feeling less about ourselves. We start weighing our work accordion to the amount of validation we get.

  1. You are your best asset.

A participant at a workshop once told me, one day her employer saw her working on Excel. He was amazed. “Why did you never tell me that you know this stuff?”. She had no answer. She assumed that knowing excel was no big deal. He immediately increased her pay and moved her to a better role. People value themselves less for things that come naturally to them. We have glorified struggling. If you don’t struggle enough, that result isn’t worth it. Someone who paints as a hobby may not appreciate his skills because it comes naturally to him that he feels it is not worth it since he doesn’t struggle while creating a piece of art.

  1. The dagger of our responsibilities.

In a well-knit and highly interdependent community like India, responsibilities constantly surround us. Doing anything besides what our family wants is not considered passionate; instead, it feels like betraying your family. Struggling in another city, far away from home, is considered being too money-minded. In such cases, we blame our responsibilities and become complacent.

What would have happened had Walt Disney doubted himself when he was fired for lacking imagination and creative ideas? What would have happened if Charlie Chaplin believed when the Hollywood chiefs said that his act was nonsensical. Maybe greatness comes from madness and that is why it is hard to find it. Not many people are comfortable being called mad. Nothing extraordinary comes from the ordinary.

We should stop predicting our destiny and believe that we are a speck of gold meant to shine.

Nothing binds you as your thoughts,

Nothing limits you as your fear

Nothing controls you as your belief,

-Marianne Williamson.

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