Guest post by Alison Dormaar, Pegasus resident and author
I’ve had an epiphany this last week. Perhaps many people may not be exactly sure what an epiphany is, but before you all reach for the dictionary, in a nutshell it means that you suddenly have a flash of inspired realization.
For me this has come in the form of two very different people. In this modern age we are so used to running frantically around after everyone and everything else, we seldom recognize the good in ourselves – or when we do, we are even more seldom willing to acknowledge the fact. I had two acquaintances, one of long standing and the other only a recent one, tell me I have many good qualities, and that the only person who refused to acknowledge them was myself.
As an aspiring writer, it is very easy to fall into the trap of self doubt and negative thought. Creativity, after all, often relies on the power of emotions, and let’s face it, those emotions can at times be very strong; depending on what happens in our lives, they can also be a raging monster that leaves us open to far more negativity that we can well do without. Having two very different people praise me out of the blue made me sit back and reassess the situation, and you know what? My biggest critic in this life was myself! If any of you out there can relate to this, read on!
Other people get their kicks out of your misery. For example, when I thought about moving to Pegasus, I had a regular army of folk gleefully lining up to tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t and none of the reasons why I should. Well, I refused to listen and I’m happy I didn’t! I came to realize that it was all about making themselves feel better at my expense, and unhappily many of we Kiwis specialize in this so-called “tall poppy syndrome”. And let’s face it, everything around us, especially in the media, is geared up to make us feel even worse. It’s all about advertising of course, in the hope we will buy whatever product or service the corporate cats are pushing, a ploy women’s magazines have used for decades. But when all is done and dusted, no, we can’t all be size six supermodels, master chefs, peerless parents or makeover magicians, and we can’t all have corporate careers in glittering offices on six figure salaries, no more than as individuals we can solve world hunger, reduce the swarming billions of our inherently selfish species on the planet overnight or refloat the sinking ship of global commerce. With spiraling living costs and unemployment an ugly spectre in so many lives nowadays, it is even more depressing when you receive constant knockbacks, and I know from my own experience that after some time it all feels very personal indeed. But this week after those few apt comments I received, I realized that low self worth was the result of soulless NUMBERS – of the sheer volume of outside influences telling you your shortcomings, not helped by your own bad self-affirmations adding to that number.
Change all that right now! Reverse the balance – for each negative thought, train yourself to think a positive one. Okay, you can’t be that “dynamic, passionate, driven” superperson so often required in job ads, and if you were you’d be an obnoxious robot. Unlike robots, you bite if provoked! You have feelings, hopes and dreams, you have family and friends, and I ask every one who reads this article to take a minute to reflect on the quality of those contacts and not the quantity. As they say, anyone who does not genuinely care does not matter, and is not worth your time and energy.
Another saying I have taken to heart is this;
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. (Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of the United States)
Amen to that!