A case for selfishness

I began writing on this blog at a time when I felt my insecurities were taking over my ability to be happy. I was an unhappy 19 year old. I had just seen an initiative of mine criticized and had taken the criticism a touch too personally. In many ways, this blog is my version of “Dealing with insecurities for dummies.”

Insecurities cause envy and self-doubt – two emotions that rouse the worst in us. These emotions make dealing with insecurities complicated because these emotions often complement each other. And, there is no easy way of dealing with envy or self doubt. The other challenge is finding a way to avoid the instinct that causes both these emotions to surface. This instinct is drawing unnecessary comparisons with people around you. The more you compare, the more envy you feel and the more you question your own self-worth. This is a vicious cycle.

The only solution I’ve found to get past this is a certain degree of selfishness and self absorption. This degree of self absorption enables us to relentlessly focus on ourselves and our own process. It fills our thinking-time with interesting challenges around issues we face rather than around what everyone around us is doing.

I am of the view that you don’t ever get rid of your demons. But, you do learn to keep them at bay. So, I don’t think you ever truly get rid of insecurities. You just learn to accept their presence, work with them, and consistently let your best self shine through. On some days, this is pretty hard to do. On those days, I just need more reminders that I am doing what I am doing for a reason and I have got to be patient to see it through.

Is there ever any guarantee that what we do will work? Absolutely not. That’s why we’ve got to work hard on our own process. If it doesn’t work this time, we’ll need to figure it out by next time. At the end of the day, our approach needs to be customized to our personality. And, that can only come with self awareness. Radical self awareness is easier said than done, of course. And, it is bloody hard to get to radical self-awareness when you are dealing with bouts of self-doubt. That’s why I recommend trying a bit of selfishness and focus on our selves first.

I’ve found that detour to help.