"Clarity about what matters provide clarity about what does not." - Cal Newport
What distractions are you using in your life to run away from the REAL ISSUE? This is a question that we need to ask ourselves if we want to really have inner peace & joy. Many a times the problems that we think are not really the problems. The actual issue is something very different and deep seated. In today’s world full of distractions, how do we even pause for a while to connect with our real issues?! We don’t have time for all these, that’s the very common and expected answer. But, let me remind you that by not reflecting on the real issue, you are in a way adding on to the issue which will erupt one day & then no amount of distractions will be a saviour.
Many years back, when I took sabbatical from work to raise my child, I used to be very active on Facebook. Then my only way to fill my inner vacuum was to get applause for raising my son. My sense of worth came from there. I used to upload pictures of my son and I would get numerous likes. Those likes gave me pleasure, outwardly. It validated that I was doing a wonderful job of raising my son. Did I believe myself?! I am not sure, otherwise I would not have craved for likes after likes. I was pretty active then on Facebook and every day, my network would get to see some pictures of my son. Then came my self-validation bit. I would post my picture and felt good to see numerous likes on my picture. As if the likes were a revelation of the fact that I am beautiful & still I am. How stupid of me! Yet, I missed something. I felt good for some moments, then I would feel vacuum inside and again I would upload, get likes. The vicious cycle went on. I didn’t know then that I was running away from the real issue.
One day, I decided to deactivate my account because some part of me was saying that this is not worth it. This is not me. No offense to those who post pictures please! That’s how I felt. As I stopped using Facebook to distract myself from the real issue, I got in touch with my real issue. I had self-esteem issues myself. Revelation for me! Did I think I am worthy enough? No. Did I think I am beautiful? No. Did I believe in myself? No. I embraced this pain. And questioned myself, “When people around you believe in your abilities, what is stopping you from owning that? What’s the real issue?” And the real issue was I had the habit of deflecting abundance in my life. Every time anything good happens, every time I got a praise, I had the habit of deflecting it. Meaning I ignored it and didn’t let myself feel the abundance, the joy in the moment & neither did I open myself up to receiving the abundance. This acted as a big barrier in my life. This habit limited my experience of abundance.
I challenged this believe in me and tried to ponder, what exactly could be the issue. See, when you really want to find an answer, you do get it. When you are ready, the Universe starts revealing the answers to you. I had been a high performer in my life and I never settled for less. I always wanted to scale from one level to another. Most of my job hopping can be attributed to that trait. My benchmarks were high. What was good for others, was mediocre for me. I never enjoyed the success because then I deflected it by saying that I could have done better than this. That became a habit and unknowingly it started forming the wall and blocked abundance from flowing into my life. I still remember my days when I was pursuing my MBA; after the semester, my friends used to ask me how my exam was, and I would say, ok. When I asked them the same, they would say it was great. When results came out, I used to outscore them. Then they would come and tell me that I lied to them. But, I couldn’t explain to them what my problem was then. I didn’t know myself. Now I understand that all my life, I had set high benchmark for myself.
Again, the real issue is much beyond that. When inwardly you don’t feel you are good enough, you keep raising the benchmark for yourself thinking that attaining the next level would make you feel good. But, alas that’s not the case! You must enjoy the journey and not focus on the upper limit. Because there is no upper limit. You can scale to whatever heights you want to. Only you create that limitation to distract yourself from the real issue.
If you want to really feel inner peace, joy & happiness, then let abundance, joy & success flow through you every moment. Don’t wait for a particular thing to happen in your life to feel abundance. That way you are blocking it from coming your way. I have learnt it the hard way, I don’t want you to do the same. Better late than never. Don’t run away from the real issue!
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals