Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Are You Taking Yourself Too Seriously?

Image thanks to miller vintage

Life is a funny old thing. We wish deeply to have control, delude ourselves that we have it, or beat ourselves up time and again for not having it. We must, ultimately, accept that the world will keep turning with or without us, that life’s up’s and down’s happen, they just happen. But don’t be disheartened, this is great news! It means that suddenly there’s a huge weight off of our shoulders; we don’t have control; we don’t have the answers, well, why not just have a bit of a giggle then? The only negative in this equation is when we take ourselves too seriously.

I over think things, I over think things like a mad woman. Sometimes, this works massively in my favour: I get things planned, I get things done and I gain a deeper understanding of myself and of others. But sometimes, it just really sucks. Sometimes I analyse my existence to the point where I think I’ll just burst with the pressures and expectations I force on myself. Sometimes I can be having the simplest of conversations with another person and be over thinking it to the point where I can blow a basic nicety into WW3. You feel me? I doubt I’m alone. But where does this madness come from? I’m just trying to live a good life, just trying to get somewhere in the world, just trying to make people like me… WOAH. And there’s the big money statement: just trying to make people like me? What a load of bull. The truth is… I’m taking myself too seriously.

There’s something I’ve learned about life, that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who you know, who knows you or how high you sit in anyone’s estimation but your own. What really matters is how much fun you’re having; it's just that generally people like to chalk being popular up as a lot of fun. The problem is, when we start taking ourselves too seriously, we’re not having any fun at all, honestly. Instead we’re obsessing, we’re drowning in self-preoccupation, we’re losing out on the real joy that exists within ourselves, and that’s a royal mistake-a to make-a.

If you think about it, most of life’s madness, cruelty and unhappiness comes down to the selfishness of individuals, down to people taking themselves too seriously. We judge people for this, yet we nearly all do it. Wouldn’t it be really be fun if we just… hugged each other all the time, without even thinking about it? Or burst into freak bouts of laughter at the simplest of things? Just for once, completely disregarded the everyday censors we place on ourselves? Yes, people will put a lot of this type of behaviour down to ‘childishness’ or ‘immaturity’ like these are the worst things in the world, but couldn’t we all stand to learn a thing or two from our younger selves? Those kids who didn’t have the capacity to rate or to judge or to analyse; those kids who just wanted to have fun; those kids who didn’t have the time to take themselves too seriously.

Image thanks to David

Your Not-So-Serious Action Plan:

Don’t think, just do. Have a fun idea? Play with it! Take it somewhere; you’re the only one who can do it your way.

Worried about the impression people will get of you? Then know now that whatever you do and however you behave, you have absolutely, positively no control over what people think of you. Others will judge you whatever you do, so stop trying so hard and just be the most natural, enjoyable you. People will probably like it, if that helps.

Unsure about where you’ll end up on the old career path with such frivolous behaviour? I can’t tell you, but I can tell you that if you don’t loosen up now then wherever you get to is unlikely to be the most enjoyable, comfortable or deserved position. Whereas, if you strive to love what you’re doing every day and be enduringly honest to yourself, then your career is only ever going to go in a positive direction.

Recognise that life isn’t that complicated, life isn’t that serious.

So, if we’re all being honest here, have you been taking yourself too seriously?

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sandraaa_xo said...

i think this is just what i needed! :D

Cathryn said...

This was really helpful. I just need to learn to let things go. Thanks

Harriet said...

Definitely guilty!

I think it was one of the few bad bits about going to university actually, from the security of school and friends I had known for seven years to suddenly worrying again 'oh my goodness, do people like me?'

Although four years later I'm much more secure than I was I still have my moments like everyone, so thanks for the reminder!

Voila Megan said...

Glad to help ladies! We definately all fall victim to it sometimes, but it's having the courage to break the pattern that matters in the end.

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