So your life isn’t meeting the expectations that you have for it. Your love life is non-existent, faltering or about to implode. You’re stuck in a job you don’t like, or in a position that’s not what you want. Happiness eludes you. Whatever it might be, things are bleak. You are in a hole that you can’t seem to get out of. Well guess what, the truth is that the biggest cause of your problems is most likely you.
It’s a hard realization to make and it’s one that has taken me the better part of five years to come to, and that is that my biggest problem is me – and this is not a woe is me type blog post, quite the opposite. The reason why I have missed opportunities with women, missed opportunities with work, and feel like shit a lot of the time – is me. Self defeating thoughts, negative self talk – I am guilty of all these. Even worse for a while I was so negative that I would blame others for my predicament.
If I am critical of myself it is no wonder at all that women don’t date me for long. It is no wonder at all that more often than not I end up in the friend zone. I just wish I would have seen it sooner. After a rather awful relationship and subsequent divorce I lost my confidence and self-value. I was indecisive, unconfident and trying to please everyone at every opportunity in the hope that being nice would make people like me. In hindsight, this is what a woman wants in a friend but not in a partner. It’s a place where I still kind of am, but at least now I can try to stop myself from being a pleaser and refocus on actually being myself and placing an importance on what I want.
So it’s my fault. That’s an empowering statement to make. By acknowledging that I am cause of my problems, I can self analyse and make the changes that I need to make. This isn’t just about relationships, often we will defeat ourselves at work or in life in general. When you take responsibility for fixing the problems in your life your perspective changes. When you can say “I am the problem”, you can also free yourself to say “I can fix this”.
Life is an interesting thing for us human beings. It seems that for us lucky enough to live in the developed world, the struggles that plagued our ancestors are rather abstract and foreign to us now. The biggest problems many of us face comes through the basic structure of our social circles and social activities. The need to survive has been replaced with an almost hysteric need for something that we cannot quite achieve or even articulate. This leads us to ever growing dependence on anti depressants, pseudo science, self help books and an ever expanding market for others to tell us how to feel good.
I often look at the many perceived problems that I have in my own life and question why any of these things are problems at all. Financial issues. Will I ever pay my gargantuan mortgage off? Can I save some more money and not go into debt when I next travel? When really none of these things really matter when it comes to living a happy life – sure you need money, but why stress about it? My love life, will I ever find someone? Will they ever meet my inflated expectations? Will I ever have enough self value to stop playing second fiddle in relationships? All of these issues are so mundane and petty when looking at them from the outside, yet they are enough to stop me leaving the house on occasion. They are enough to wake me in the middle of the night and make my mind spin on them perennially like the earth on it’s axis.
So what’s the future hold for me? For you? For everyone? I think that a change is necessary. Looking at major elements of society there is a marked change in how many institutions currently function. Marriage for example; current statistics point out that most marriages will end in divorce, which is a kind of depressing thought. Think about it, the next smiling happy couple you see devoting a years wages on a party celebrating their love will most likely split. A change in our values and perceptions on some aspects of social structures, expectations, and thoughts on what constitutes a good life is desperately needed. What we need is some tangential thinking. How can we look at the way our species does things now, and generate some thought and energy on how it could do things in the future to address what are ever changing times. I’m not saying don’t get married, but what other options can we imagine?
There is literally no end to the thinking that needs to be done. Where does one start? Broadly I think that there are a few categories that can be explored. Relationships, work and education are some categories that I think need exploration. Now to start that conversation……