This topic right here has probably been THE MOST talked about / discussed / requested topic i've EVER gotten on mirronotes. And to be honest, its a topic VERY DEAR to my heart because it's something i've gone through and experienced, analyzed to the core and reflected upon. I will share what I went through so hopefully others can reflect upon my experience and learn from me.
Because once upon a time, I was riddled in self doubt. I was a very scared girl.
In order to share my thoughts on this, imma have to give you some context. Because this issue " FEAR OF CHASING DREAMS" - is not everyone's problem. Ever seen your friend who just DOES THINGS happily, without a thought, and glides in life easily without all these fears pushing them back? Dia nak tu, dia buat tu. Dia nak pergi sana, dia terus pergi sana, dia nak speak up die terus speak up. They dont really UNDERSTAND why some people have trouble *doing* They'll probably be like "Tak paham? You want XYZ just do lah XYZ??? Apa susah sangat??" 😳🙄
Yes those kinda peeps. Very hard for me to talk to that lot sometimes because they just DONT GET the PARALYSIS of this conundrum. Lots of us AREN'T those thrivers and gliders...many of us - due to a variety of reasons - just aren't able to bring ourselves about and GO for what we want.
We might get bogged down due to low self esteem, low self confidence, lack of belief in oneself, lack of support, lack of resources, having other shit to think about because we have extra responsibilities in our family, fear of taking risks because we dont have much to begin with, not knowing how to move forward, not knowing how to start, some of us are heavily criticised if we dont ANYTHING wrong, let alone fail... some of us are even ostrasiced for wanting to go for what we want.
So let me clear on this : IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE THE BELIEF IN ONESELF THAT ONE CAN GO FOR WHAT THEY WANT. It is privilege to be BORN into the circumstances and the kinda exposure to have self esteem instilled in you at a young age / the kinda support / guidance as a child to believe in these things. So when you grow up, you already know *I can do things* It could be one thing or a combination of things working in your favor during your formative years growing up. You were always told you can, so you never felt held back...It seems like a lot of these "thrivers and gliders" especially the ones who arent able to empathize, are privileged peeps who didn't really have to go thru shit, thats why they cant comprehend others having issues. And when I talk about privilege here - I dont really mean MONEY per say.
Because you can have all the money in the world, all the nicest things growing up, but still be crippled with low self esteem and self doubt if you had the kinda parent that heavily criticised you or controlled you to the point you never learned how to listen to your own inner voice or you never learned how to make mistakes and getting up again because you were so afraid your parents might be angry for making that mistake. In both cases, you just end up feeling like a failure - how to even begin to THINK of chasing your dreams if you grew up in that environment.
In the case of self esteem, money doesn't play that much of a big part in it - it does to a certain extent only - but there are loads of rich people with low self esteem. Anyone can get low self esteem lah, it really depends on your upbringing kaya.
Truth is, self esteem, the ability to GO FOR WHAT YOU WANT, depends on your *CONDITIONING* - which impacts the way you view yourself and the world. Thats the BIGGEST difference between the go getters and the self doubters.
And obviously there's a spectrum to this. Some people doubt themselves more than others. Some people may be more doubtful in certain areas, some not. It really depends on the context. Where are you in this scale? It's good to have a think about this. What are the things that you feel most confident about like "Yeah i can totally do this" vs "Shit ive no idea how to do this and that scares the hell out of me" List it down.
Once upon a time I was a very very scared girl. I call those days my "dark days" From the outside, I was still my bubbly self, but inside, behind closed doors, I was in full depression mode about my life. I knew I wasn't happy (even that took a while to figure out) and I knew I needed to do something. But I didn't know what to do. I was in this phase for years.....at first it was gradual, and then it became more apparent that I was in a hole.
This was the kinda monologue I had :
"This is not the life I wanna live. im stuck. I dont know how to get out of this trajectory. I dont think I have the capability to change the course of my life. I dont even know how to change my life or if that is even possible! I can't move, I can't breathe. How long more do I have to live like this?" I started saying these kinda things in my head once things started to really weigh on me.....It just CREEPS on you and suddenly BAM, life FREAKING SUCKSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
So if you can relate to this, I see you girl.
Once I started to realize (and stop denying) that these negative thoughts weren't good for me.. that it was impacting every aspect of my life, I knew I needed to really make a CHANGE. I started to do so much reflection on WHY is it that im this hole in the first place (cause I had a good job, money, friends all that jazz but I still wasn't happy) and WHAT IS IT THAT IM NOT SEEING ABOUT ME.
It took me so loooooong to understand that I wasn't happy because I was tryina please other people on how I should live my life. That what I was doing with life DOESN'T fulfill me, DOESN'T excite ME - even if to others, it may look like I was excelling and doing "well". Basically I wasn't authentic to MYSELF. I was just pretending. Acting. Playing a role.
Several times i've told my parents I didn't really like how things were going for me in my career / life - but my parents - bless their souls - were the kinda boomers who are like "That's life. Deal with it. You have a job, many people don't. It's already good enough. Make it work. You can do it!" Which is, in some context, good advice - but their advice comes from their own conditioning and worldview - and most importantly - they are not living MY life. They have their own set of values and needs, they are NOT ME. If I want to be happy, I need to go against what they think is best for ME. I had to go against all my *good girl Kak Long anak pertama* conditioning to say NOPE, my parents, in this case, are NOT giving me the kinda advice that will make me happy.
Thats when I learned my first VITAL life lesson. You can't wait for approval, permission or an EPIPHANY to start making changes to your life. Your job is to LISTEN TO YOURSELF first and foremost and then consider what others have to say. CONSIDER, not NECESSARILY to LISTEN / FOLLOW.
So many of us live the kinda lives that we think our parents would want us to live. We do what we know they would approve of. We want their permission and approval to do things, even when we are adults. We feel bad if we go against their wishes. We dont feel good to do anything if we dont get their blessings. If they say one thing, even if we dont agree, it's still kinda there in our heads.
I stayed in my miserable career longer than I needed to because I was listening to my parents advice to just "Suck it up"
Don't get me wrong, I dont blame my parents for anything, they know what they know based on their own life experiences and conditioning. They wanted what was best for me based on what THEY think is the best for me.
But nobody else knows whats best for me except for ME. Nobody else knows whats best for you except for YOU.
My parents were not even demanding or scolding me to follow their advice, they were just casually giving the advice, they probably didn't even think that much of it, it was probably just a random Sunday evening to them, but somehow or another, I put their opinions higher than mine.On a pedestal. And that's not their fault, that was MY fault.
How many times have we NOT done something because we are afraid of what others might say / think? For me, it was my parents opinions - for others, it may be their friends, their peers.....How many times have we waited to get some sort of *green light* from others before we proceeded to do things that made us happy? Even if what we want HAS NO CONNECTION to these other people, somehow we just put their opinions and thoughts above ours, and we allow that to guide us? How many of you have partners who literally CONTROL what we think we can do with our lives. How many of you do things based on what other people are doing / thinking??? Consciously and subconsciously. How many of you are controlled by external validation?
They can *control* all they want - ITS UP TO YOU NOT TO ALLOW IT. It's important to realize, everyone has their own fears and interest, they can have them - we can't stop them from having them, but we can't allow their fears and interests to impede OUR NEEDS, OUR GOALS, OUR DREAMS.
And you can't blame ANYONE but yourself in this. It's very easy to place blame :
"Oh my mom tak bagi I buat ni dulu, so I tak buat lah, so thats why im unhappy"
"Husband I tak support, so I pun tak buat lah"
But then you end up bitter AF.
Lots of us are scared to go for what we want because of this main reason. Some of us even USE THIS REASON for not going for what we want. Some of us have been conditioned soooo severely that even thinking about doing things NOT in the *approved list of your community* scares the shit out of us. Whatever your reason may be - your HAPPINESS, is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. YOUR DREAMS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Stop WAITING around for support / permission / approval from others to do whats best for you. If they truly cared about your well being, they should understand. This is not about them - it's about you. Especially if what you are doing doesn't really affect their lives. You have to be your own cheerleader. You have to validate your own needs. Not everyone gets support - so create that support for yourself FROM YOURSELF. Be your own cheerleader.
Not caring about what others think, and listening to your own INNER voice is the first lesson of GOING FOR WHAT YOU WANT. It is THE FOUNDATION of everything you're about to do. You need to first believe in yourself, your voice, your opinions, your needs, your worth, to be able to even do ANYTHING worthwhile for yourself.
Because believe me, the moment you go for what you want, THIS SUPERPOWER, is VITAL in your survivability on chasing your dreams. Yes I said that right SURVIVABILITY.
Chasing your dreams is a JOURNEY. And it's pretty hard. It doesn't happen overnight - even knowing what you want doesn't happen overnight. It could literally take YEARS to even figure out what your dream is, let alone make plans to chase them.
So having your own back is THE FIRST STEP EVER in making this happen. You will make a lot of mistakes and go through lots of obstacles. People are gonna say shit. People are gonna discourage. People are gonna be weird. Thats just how it is. It is up to you to believe in yourself and LITERALLY DEFEND your dreams. Some people are lucky - I know I have been. I have had many supporters on my way to chase my own dreams - but gurrrlllll so many of them became supporters ONLY AFTER the dream was semi achieved. Lots of people were very "tak paham" when I first started chasing my own dream (which at the time was quitting my corporate life and being an free spirited artist - which to a lot of people who aren't familiar with the arts - is a crazy dream yang tak masuk akal and I got a lot of judgement)
There's so many more things I want to touch on about "Chasing Dreams" but this is the FIRST MOST IMPORTANT step we have to be clear about. You cant chase any dreams if you dont FIRST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
So how to start believing in yourself???? How to make yourself more confident? How to stop caring what other people think?
First of all, its awareness. AWARENESS IS KEY. You need a journal, online journal, physical journal - doesn't matter - do whats easiest for you. For me, I have a Notes App where I write down my thoughts. We need a journal because we need to read back what we wrote and analyze ourselves. We need to understand our situation and WHY we're in our situation if we wanna help ourselves.
If you haven't started on your dreams because you're scared about what others may think, you put other peoples opinions about yourself above you, or because you doubt yourself and your capabilities - you need to understand the WHY. Reflect about this. Ask yourself how you got there. You gotta dig deep and find the source of this low self esteem before you can even tackle it.
In my experience, I doubted myself because I always needed my parents approval before I did something. When I wasn't given the "approval" or "permission" I delayed thinking about making changes, and I also started to believe I didnt have the capability to chase my dreams in the first place. Once I realized I had to champion myself, and that I was forever going to be unhappy if I didn't help myself, and if I waited until other people change their mind I could wait forever, I made a decision to do what I felt was right - which was validate myself that I had to make these changes without the support I needed - and go to the next part of chasing my dreams - FIGURING OUT WHAT THE DREAM WAS AND MAKING A PLAN TO GET THERE. I felt my self esteem rise up a tiny notch the moment I had this awareness.
Self esteem doesn't just happen overnight, being sure about your dream doesn't happen overnight, having the confidence doesn't happen overnight either - its in the small steps. The progress is tiny and slow - but most importantly THERE IS PROGRESS. Little by little.
My favorite quote ever is SIKIT SIKIT LAMA LAMA JADI BUKIT. Because that's how ive been living my whole life.
Once you've conditioned your brain to believe YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE A CHOICE, slowly but surely all the limitations you place on yourself would disappear bit by bit.
There's a lot to touch on when it comes to this subject, and most definitely it wont be finished here in one blogpost.
The next part of this series is HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN FOR YOURSELF...
How I went from doubting myself, being depressed on the couch and at work - to thinking of my dreams, making plans, and making moves. It's important to note it took several years for me to even formulate what my dream was let alone make proper plans for it. I had no money and support so I didn't have the luxury of just quitting and chasing. I had to plan it all out. But at least I had a plan. That in itself already made me feel good about my life and slowly put me out of the depression. Some of you already know what you wanna do, but some of you don't. Either way, you need a plan. That's what i'll share in part two.
For the time being, if this post relates to you - think about all that I have said and how it relates to your life, and your beliefs. Of course - there is NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL solution - we all live different lives, but ALL OF US, on some level, care about what others think of us. So much so that we stop ourselves from living the life that we want. How much do other peoples opinions affect you? Who do you need approval and permission from? And why? If you make a mistake, who's pointing fingers at you? Why are they doing that? Why do you doubt yourself? What happened for you to believe that you dont have what it takes? It's good to just write this all out in your journal. Don't think so much, just write. Then keep it. Later in the week, re-read what you wrote and write new reflections. The objective is to understand yourself so you can make changes.
I also would like to stress that if you are going through depression, or even if you think you are, but you aren't sure, you should get professional help. In my IG highlights on @mirronotes I have compiled a list of "Therapists" you can refer to that to seek HELP. There is no shame in seeking help. I go to therapy regularly now to help me with life. I see it as a professional helping me with my mental health, the same as a personal trainer would help me at the gym. If you're paying a hair dresser to give you the best hair, pay a therapist to give you the best mindset.
And with that, I end my first post!
I hope this helps someone out there. Leave a comment below if it does! I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Bukan Gossip Girl.