Margret Atwood in her latest novel says that human beings are turning into human things. She was hinting at technology for this shift.
Reasons for failing ourselves as human beings are those which stop us from understanding our unique possessions as human beings.
We are bound to fail when we
1. Agree: Each human being is wired differently to have a unique brain which he can genuinely use to THINK. We even have larger brains than most of our animal colleagues. That is why we have long childhoods spent under the care of our parents so that our brains grow completely.
But do we use our brains?
5% of the people think. 10% of the people think that they think and the other 85% would rather die than think.
Thomas Alva Edison
We seek familiarity and love people who agree with us. As we also want to be termed nice, friendly, adaptable, we love to show our agreement even when we might differ.
If two people genuinely agree on everything, it simply means that only one person is doing the thinking.
Original thinking makes us human. We might get laughed at or punished for our thoughts but we should at least try to have our thoughts that we could call our own.
Borrowing thoughts, agreeing to others is the biggest disservice we could do to ourselves.
Don’t forget – You are all you have got. Let us make the most of it.
2. Blame: Blaming means to hold someone responsible or accountable for misdeed/failure. The people who have this art are really talented as they can find anything or anyone to be blamed for all that goes against their liking.
Blame a bad dream if you mess up your presentation; blame the dropping sensex for problems in your marriage or blame your genes for being risk averse.
We generally love to blame our society, our system, our country for almost every problem and thus remain a part of the problem.
One who blames will find faults in others, offers excuses all the time and thus will say a lot, do a little.
People who blame say and never act. They are nonperformers who are neither objective nor honest in their evaluation.
When we blame others for everything without logically analyzing the incident, it shows that we are not dependable and confident enough to take charge of the situation.
This doesn’t mean that self blame is the corrective measure. It causes immense emotional damage when we self blame out of pity and agony. Self-blame by victims of any abuse causes more harm to them then the abusive incident.
Mostly, we use blaming when it is not needed at all. Most of the failures cannot be blamed on a single entity as there are collective factors leading to it. It is merely paying negative lip service which worsens the situation. We need to come out of the blaming attitude as a nation.
3. Compare: We fail ourselves when we fail to respect our uniqueness & celebrate our distinctiveness.
Our parents compared us with our siblings, friends.
Our bosses compare us with our peers, ex-employee or themselves.
We secretly compare our looks, our cars, our bank balance, our online presence and many funny things.
Comparing oneself with others makes one feel inadequate and small because we tend to compare ourselves with those whom we consider better off than us.
It is a sure shot way to failure as it causes frustration and heartburn only.
It is better to be an unfinished version of ourselves rather than becoming a complete version of someone else.
4. Doubt: I come across many young girls and boys who are champions of thinking- ‘I can’t! They shy away from even talking about their dreams as they are so sure of not being able to make them a reality.
Self doubt kills more dreams than any other obstacle. Knocking the T of the villainous can’t is one of the biggest challenges I have faced as a coach.
While mentoring students who are keen on becoming entrepreneurs, I calm down many anxious minds that go three steps ahead and retreat by two steps. It is dis-heartening to see so many promising students not having enough self belief to fight their mental demons.
Twenty five years ago, my parents sent my elder sister to a boys’ school having eighteen hundred boys because she wanted to study commerce which wasn’t available for girls in my town. They gave my sister a belief that she could go to boys’ school fearlessly to study what she wanted. After initial discomfort, fellow students understood her seriousness to study and teachers appreciated her commitment of being regular.
Self belief given by parents makes children fearless for life and self doubt given by them cripples children for life.
People not only doubt themselves but also excel at doubting others. They dislike trusting anyone. Every intention, every move, every action is doubted and they make lives of people around them miserable.
Many organisations celebrate 1st January as a holiday but my office was working on the first day of the year. My assistant told me that her mother in law grew suspicious that she was going somewhere else as offices don’t work on 1st Jan. I was shocked to hear that as my assistant is an employee whom we all praise for her commitment and integrity.
Doubt yourself and you fail to realize your potential.
Doubt others and you fail to gain respect.
5. Exaggerate: Most of us don’t realise how we magnify trivial stuff – positive as well as negative, which takes us away from reality
“This is the best employer I have worked with.”
“My Son has won a prize in every competition he participated in till date.”
“You missed the best celebration ever” are positive hyperboles that we use.
We exaggerate to build interest, to make people envious and to elevate ourselves. Have we ever thought it affects our credibility and our authenticity? People keep a proper tab on reality of the situation and youngsters surely don’t like this amplified stuff.
Not only this, we tend to exaggerate all negative happenings too by over generalizing or catastrophising general happenings.
“This always happens to me”
“It was such a nightmare” and
“You can never imagine what I went through” are reiterated by people who are obsessed with themselves.
Glorifying hardships, illustrating struggles and sensationalizing difficulties are hallmarks of a person who is under confident and unsure of himself.
Facebook envy is a new disease spreading up as friends and followers constantly compete for upmanship, oscillating between envy and exaggeration.
We never thought we could devise such new ways of failing as human beings.
Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go & Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.
Also read her best articles here!