The notion of success has been an oppressive cloud over my head for most of my adult life, casting its shadow and reducing me as I am right now to a speck of worthless dust. As it stands right now, I am a failure; I have this grandiose notion of the self I’m supposed to be and it is nowhere near who or what I am. So by default, I am a failure. Or at least, that’s how I feel about myself.
Perhaps it is a function of being in my 20s, a rite of passage of sorts that I must go through – the stage where one plants seeds in the soil cultivated by youth and flagrantly tries to keep up with nurturing the vast, barren field with little but sporadic buds peeking through to give reassurance that growth is happening. Working in tandem with my anxious nature that is prone to fear the worst, I find myself chronically stressed. “I am going nowhere”, “I never amount to anything”, “Maybe I am not cut out for life”, and other such dramatically dire statements. These ruminating thoughts just drain my energy, block creativity, and ultimately stagnate me by impeding my ability to take action towards my goals – action which would have the power to disprove, or at least quell these beliefs about myself. Then, knowing all this, I just become stressed about being stressed and the cycle continues, driven by compounding anxiety and self-hatred.
I can’t really say much about how to break free this state of being, for that is something I don’t have figured out. All I know is that it isn’t working for me to constantly be pushing myself to become this idealistic version of myself. The pressure certainly isn’t helping me get there and it’s stripping away the enjoyment of my life as who I am here and now. I suppose I’ve got to let go, but it feels so strange to let go of the notion of who I must/should become that I’ve clung to for so long. It feels like I am resigning to the unsatisfactory version of myself that I am now, and that by doing so I am making the self I had so desperately hoped to become now impossible to attain. But maybe I only feel that my current self is so abjectly despicable because of my idealistic standard of what my “best” self is.
How to let go, how to let go?