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*Warning: adult language ahead!
Connection has been on my mind.
Having started a new job, I was thrown into unfamiliar territory. For the last three months (while most of the time I have been swimming), there have been some colossal silently-whispering-to-myself “for fuck’s sake” moments.
It’s not easy to get to know new people. It’s even harder when you are as inappropriate as I am.
I’ve had to reign it in, friends. Big time.
Fortunately, there is one person who caught on to my personality antics rather quickly, and laughing together is our shared daily practice. Thank the stars for a fellow crazy on the team. Namaste, “the crazy in me recognises and honours the crazy in you.”
It’s still early days, but I couldn’t help but start wondering about what it is we all do, as humans, that we never talk about.
What are our shared dirty, little secrets?
I’m always fascinated by how we behave. I’m a side-hustling student of human nature, devouring content so wonderfully and readily available on the web.
In my search to find the answer to this question, I’ve come to some personal conclusions with one profound realization. Many of us suffer for only one reason: we avoid the negative aspects of ourselves.
Yet, we believe that the negative aspects themselves are the cause of our woes. In essence, avoidance is bad and leads to suffering, and acceptance of those negative aspects leads us to live more authentically. There’s some bumper sticker wisdom for you.
So, here’s yet another clickbait list with some of the pretty fucked up things we all do and would rather walk through hot coals than admit to anyone else:
1. We’re all master embellishers.
Remember that time you didn’t meet your deadlines during the waking hours of the day because there was an article you wanted to read about how to quell your anxiety, which spiraled into a two-hour deep delve, and you had to “work late?”
Yeah, me too.
Lying and embellishing walk a fine line.
It’s in our nature to take advantage of what we consider white lies to either make something out to be a little more interesting than it actually was, or, in some cases, to hide what it actually is.
There are (hopefully, unless you are a pathological liar) few of us who tell great, big elaborate lies, but all of us to some extent take full advantage of what we think we can get away with and not be caught out on.
And why do we do this?
Because on an inherent level, all of us have a need to be loved, respected, and admired. The real problem comes in when this is something that becomes out of control, and we have a hard time distinguishing fact from our embellished fiction.
I’m not saying we can all be beacons of pure intention, but we can certainly cut that out when it starts affecting us in supremely negative ways—like reinforcing our shame or feelings of not being good.
2. Assuming everyone else knows exactly what they are doing, and you have no fucking clue.
I’ve been working with some knowledgeable people; these guys are at the top of their game, and admittedly, my own insecurities have been eating me alive. In the beginning, I was so focused on not looking stupid that I started making mistakes because I lacked understanding.
I was feeding myself a destructive narrative that would play on repeat throughout the day, “These guys know exactly what they are fucking doing, and I have no fucking clue.”
We’ve all been guilty of this, right?
Instead of focusing on understanding, and the belief we should be nurturing within ourselves, we all feed the insecurity monster, until we are ugly crying in the shower. And yes, ugly crying is pretty much a thing—it’s when you know you’ve really sunk to rock bottom.
Stop assuming and get your focus back to showing up authentically.
If you’re the newbie at work, ask the million questions; if you’re the odd man out at a party, strike up a conversation; if you’re having a panic attack about something, share the concern with someone you can trust.
Our insecurities always trip us up, and I’ll bet that in almost all situations, people are feeling the same way.
3. Assuming you know exactly what you are doing, and everyone else has no fucking clue.
Well, well, well, reverse psychology at its finest.
Sometimes our irrational belief of not having anything figured out can manifest as its counter irrational belief, that we have everything figured out and no one else does.
We’re amazing, little creatures at feeding ourselves some bullshit, aren’t we?
To put it bluntly, this is dick behaviour.
No, everyone else is not clueless, and no, everyone else is not screwed up. We’re all a little clueless, and we’re all a little screwed up.
If you find yourself in this space, it might be time to readjust the attitude, and find that happy balance of accountability for your own shortcomings while recognising others. This is where self-awareness, empathy, and maturity have their time to shine—let them!
4. Feeling like we could have done and been more.
This one hits deep in the feels. Someone said to me once (she was actually willing to talk about it—good for her), dismayed and disheartened, “You know, if I had known in my 20s what I know now in my 30s, things could have been so different.”
*wipes tear threatening to roll down cheek*
That’s right, we all feel this way.
Although it’s something we usually like to avoid talking about, it’s a reality for us to look back and wonder about the “what ifs,” but it’s equally as important for us not to make a home for ourselves there.
Bring yourself back to the present and find the gratitude for where you are right now, what you had to overcome to get here. We often lose sight of our past victories in the haze of our past failures. There were victories, there always are, and we ground ourselves in those while we grieve the “could have beens.”
We will always have more that connects us versus separates us, and when we drop the pretenses, we can see it all the clearer. Keep learning and growing, because that’s the fucking point of it all.