A lot of people remain unfulfilled because they have become the biggest hurdles in their own lives. Read on to find out how that can be altered
By Manjulaa Shirodkar
Right upfront I want to share that ‘I have been the biggest hurdle in my own life.’ Period. I could have done much more and risen far higher in life if early on, I had become aware of how I was stalling my own progress. And since I am saying this for myself, it is highly unlikely that it will be challenged anywhere by anyone. Now that I have made this single biggest admission let me tell you why this topic is important enough to be featured in Words Worth this week.
Tis because if you look around carefully, you will realize like I did, how a lot of people are making this very same mistake while remaining unaware of how much they damage they are causing to themselves. For it must be acknowledged that the biggest hurdle to our own progress is we ourselves. Blocking our own path is the worst thing we do.
To begin with, consider yourself dispensable. You don’t have to know it all or do it all. Stop believing that the world will stop if you don’t do some stuff on a regular basis. It won’t. The world was managing fine before you came along and will continue just fine when you leave. Yes, you could be making a big difference to some lives by being there all the time – be it for friends, colleagues, relatives who have you but you’re not exactly indispensable. Work goes on. As does life.
Next, stop crowding your mind with stuff that’s not your hassle. Women more than men, tend to take emotional decisions. Most want to be doing everything for everybody all the time. Its not possible nor is it a good idea. Stop being super women. It’s not important. What ever needs doing will get done and even it doesn’t get done, live with it.
Trying to change everything to fit your idea of perfection or doing work/chores to unconsciously seek acknowledgement- and then not getting it from those who you wish to please, can be very frustrating. Instead, prioritize what will be self-fulfilling and you will be a far happier person.
We create ‘blocks’ in our own heads when it comes to taking decisions. Small, big, indifferent. This dilemma of what will work, what won’t, what should be done and when is the right time to do it stalls us endlessly and eats into our time – not the actual task itself. Actually, once a decision is taken one tends to move fast and the work gets done in a matter of minutes, a few hours, a certain time frame if you will but it’s the thinking about it that takes up all our time.
So very importantly, learn to focus on cutting out the noise in your head. Stop thinking of 50 tasks that you think need your attention. Focus on the most important one. We tend to avoid that which actually needs our attention primarily because its going to be taxing. It needs effort, application of our mind, energies and above all, we want to do it perfectly each time. Leads to more stalling.
With time, the so-called task becomes so big in our head that we tend to start avoiding it.
Now we get into a vicious circle of delay and guilt and not attempt it. Often, its left incomplete. Project upon project, task upon task is left behind as we start a new one every few days, every few months. Sometimes we feel fulfilled having just made the list of all the things we want to do! We feel the task is done and over with, without even having begun it!
But if it has been started and is getting pushed to the back burner because the routine is being prioritized, trust me, it is more frustrating and leaves you with a feeling of ‘oh but I never get even five minutes to do what I want.’ To try and find our purpose in the mundane, in the tried-and-tested routines, working along on automation is being unaware that we’re missing out on our potential.
And worse, we seek validation for constantly wrapping up chores which would have been done anyway by others. And when that acknowledgment or appreciation doesn’t come, it makes us more miserable and we question why everyone is taking us for granted. Instead, focus on what will make you feel richer and better emotionally.
Most of all, we just get tired – with the routines; with the relationships (a lot of which are emotionally draining. Sometimes deliberately, other times unwittingly); the attitudes of those around us and most of all, by ourselves. The feeling of being burnt out and of time running out becomes paramount, leading to another cycle of unhappiness.
So, even though each of us has the potential to become as big as our dreams, we are so caught up in the Everyday that it’s tough to understand where we can be or what we are capable of. So, please learn to Get Out of Your Own Way, to become what you’re capable of. Focus on what is important. The rest will take care of itself.
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Manjulaa Shirodkar (nee Negi) is an established film critic and author, having worked in leading national publications. She is also a Film Selection Committee member for various film festivals.