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The Biggest Sacrifice for Growing up Is Becoming Indifferent

The Biggest Sacrifice for Growing up Is Becoming Indifferent

How often did you hear people say that growing up is tough? As a child, it probably made you feel like becoming an adult was a difficult journey but now you’ve reached that place, you feel that air of indifference about it.

When a young person complains about school being difficult, the chances are you’ve moved on from the turmoil you felt when you were younger and you now feel that indifference or feeling of nothing. The same happens when a child gets a new toy – you can’t relate to the child-like excitement anymore that they are experiencing despite having gone through that excitement at one stage.

With turning into an ‘adult’ comes the expectation of maturity and to switch off our child-like way of looking at things. It’s almost like a destination we’ve reached where we’re expected to release all child-like optimism that growing up brought us. But why is this? And what does it really mean to be adult and mature?

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From a Curious Child to an Indifferent Adult

Children think and act in the moment. Thinking back as a child you probably didn’t care too much about what others thought usually stemmed by having an incomplete understanding of the world. Fun and imagination is at the forefront of your mind where the smallest things – whether it’s someone singing, a flower or a bird – can become entertaining and curiosity is the name of the game throughout your day.

Yet as we grow up, the idea of self-control becomes much bigger inside of us. We’re taught to focus more on ourselves and heavily judge our actions or decisions. Society tells us to be self-aware of the consequences of our thoughts and how other people perceive us and us them- in other words, we’re told to act like an adult to be accepted.

So now that person singing, that flower and that bird are just that – we’re no longer mesmerised, the magic has disappeared and our perceptions are dulled down. Even if we want to sit and enjoy a good busker on the street like we would have done as a child, chances are we choose not to out of fear of what people think. We don’t give ourselves that permission we did as a child.

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The result of becoming an adult, means we’re confining and limiting our minds more than ever. Responsibilities come to the fore and our own interests, career, opinions and needs become more of a priority.

But we never question that our priorities are carved out of what is accepted ‘normal’ by society. We rarely like to be seen as different or going against what’s expected of us so we become indifferent. Our lives dictate that we shouldn’t stop and admire things like we did as a child because we simply don’t have time or feel it’s a waste of our attention.

The Confined Mind is a Limited Mind

The confined mind we develop into adulthood means we limit ourselves to real logic and know that being or doing something ‘abnormal’ is only really defined in the eye of the beholder. Yet we convince ourselves it’s us who’s governing our adult way of thinking.

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Acting on autopilot is common with all of us. We act based on what we’ve been told in order to stay comfortable and not seen as an outsider in society. Yet it’s this that’s stopping us from learning and growing. We stopped evolving into better beings as we did as children, the stimulation we embraced that helped us grow stopped and instead we become part of the masses all acting and living in an expected uniform way.

Growing up Is Necessary, Becoming Indifferent Is a Choice

Indifference is the death of child-like growth and optimism but we don’t have to grow up being separate and indifferent to things. Replacing judgement with curiosity is the key to finding that inner-child mindset.

  • Be mindful to what you judge as odd and change your perspective. It’s important to ask yourself why you find something odd, embarrassing or strange. Are you afraid of ‘odd’ actions or things? Why? Is it because at some stage other people told you it was strange and so formed your belief? Find out if you’re valid in thinking this way and see if you’re willing to change that perception.
  • Embrace what you perceive as odd. Once you’ve understood why you find certain actions odd, it’s important to see why people act this certain way. By seeing this from the other person’s perspective, letting go of the judgement and feeling of indifference, you allow your mind to open up rather than shut down like it would do automatically. Find the good aspects of why someone would choose to go against the social norm and their reasoning behind it. This will soften your adult indifference almost instantly.

So, next time you find yourself in a position where you’d like to do something but won’t out of fear of others’ opinions, or judging others for their choices and actions, ask yourself why you think the way you do. Has your opinion come from the limited beliefs of others? Why should it be perceived as strange or odd? It’s time to rediscover your child-like openness and get rid of the limiting indifference that’s ruling your lack of magic and imagination. Perhaps embracement of the strange is the new maturity.

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Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again

Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again

The idea of feeling like a failure grips us at our most vulnerable internal place—our inner sense of self-esteem and self-love. Although intuitively we know that in reaching high, we are guaranteed some degree of failure, when we fall short, that knowledge offers little or no consolation.

When we fail at something, all too often we think globally rather than in temporary terms. We think that we not only failed, but that we are failures. Feelings of unworthiness drag us down, leading to missteps and setbacks, defining us rather than merely offering feedback and educating us with useful information moving forward.

The good news is that we can build on our failures on the road to success.

Even if we know that failure is surmountable, it does not change the way we feel about ourselves when we experience it. Failure can take a toll on our self-esteem and feelings of self-love, diminishing our sense of optimism about our future.

So how can we feel better about ourselves? Below are 10 acts of self-love to try when you are feeling like a failure.

1. Forgive Yourself

The ability to forgive is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to ourselves to help us recover from our regrets and missteps.

Instead of beating yourself up for not knowing what is so obvious now, see yourself as a work in progress and give yourself the gift of forgiveness. You can’t see into the future, so you can’t plan every step to perfection. Give yourself a break and allow room for mistakes.

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Try a loving-kindness meditation to prepare yourself for forgiveness. This will open your heart up to the possibility of accepting your mistakes.

2. Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion[1] is perhaps the most important element of self-esteem and resilience. It used to be thought that achievement and success—rising above the norm—was the road to high self-esteem.

However, that road to self-esteem is far too conditional and assures that anyone at or below the norm is not as worthy or special. Self-compassion gives all people—high achievers as well as lower achievers—the assurance that they are worthy of love anyway, with no conditions.

3. Stop Judging Yourself

Suspending the labels you put on yourself is an act of self-love. Instead of calling yourself “a failure,” be more specific and less global[2].

Feeling like a failure? Talk yourself up!

    Feeling like a failure does not have to define you and your worth. Change your self-talk from “I’m a failure” to “I could not get things to work out this time” or “I made some mistakes and will use this experience as stepping stones going forward.” Label the experience for what it is instead of labeling yourself based on one mistake.

    4. Turn Your Failures Into Goals

    Instead of saying “I failed at my marriage,” you can say “I had trouble communicating in my marriage and am learning to communicate better now.”

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    The first statement is anchored in the past that cannot be changed, while the second has an eye to the future and is more empowering of what you can do now. If you can identify what caused your past failures, you can work to develop goals based on those shortcomings.

    5. Give Yourself a Hug

    Instead of letting your inner critic have full reign, how about just giving yourself a hug?

    Science has suggested that hugging increases production of oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones, which may also help reduce stress and depression[3].

    We all need hugs sometimes—especially from ourselves! If this feels like too much, give yourself a mental hug by writing down five things you like or love about yourself. This will give you the same sense of warmth and acceptance.

    6. Imagine Yourself as a Young Child

    Keep in mind that no one thinks of children as worthless or unworthy of love or happiness. And the truth is that we possess the same worth that we had when we were born.

    Sometimes we need to look behind the scars and wounds to see that preciousness and innate worth is still inside of us.

    Thinking of yourself as a child may also shift your mind and allow you to offer more forgiveness. Try to realize that you are still like that child, growing as you move through life.

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    7. Switch Your Mindset From Victim to Victor

    When you’re feeling like a failure, you see yourself as a victim of the past instead of focusing on your resilience and ability to spring back.

    After all, it’s not how many times we are beaten down and fail that matters. What really matters is how many times we get back up and try again, each time a bit wiser. Try to leave the victim mindset behind[4] and view yourself as a victor after overcoming failures to move on to something bigger and better.

    8. Become More Mindful

    Mindfulness is not just about meditating or breathing deeply and quietly in isolation. Rather, it is staying fully in the present in our daily lives with non-judgmental awareness in whatever you do.

    When you are mindful, you stay rooted in the present instead of looking back at your past missteps or feeling anxious about the future. As the saying goes, “Today is a gift, and that’s why they call it the present.”

    9. Calm Yourself with a Calming Box

    Sometimes we need something tangible to sooth us when we are feeling like a failure. As a therapist, I would sometimes have my clients create a self-soothing box to help them cope in stressful times.

    Using actual objects that serve to distract and self-soothe can provide soothing touchstones.

    A journal, a stress ball, or a polished stone to remind you of your self worth are all examples of things that can be placed inside a calming box and used to soothe you when you’re feeling down.

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    10. Connect With Others

    When people feel like a failure, all too often they isolate themselves, closing themselves up instead of opening up to others, but this is a fast way to damage your mental health.

    Seeking social support is one of the best choices you can make when you feel like a failure. Getting another person’s perspective will help you stop the tunnel vision that distorts your self-view.

    Asking for help and having the courage to open yourself up instead of closing yourself down will pave the way not only for avoiding loneliness, but it will also deepen your connections with others.

    This short TED Talk with Robert Reffkin offers some tips on how to create stronger connections to enhance your life:

    Final Thoughts

    These 10 tips to stop feeling like a failure will serve as a springboard for a resilient and full life. Instead of focusing on the failure that comes with falling short, be proud that you dared to pursue your dreams with courage and enthusiasm.

    We must stop thinking in all-or-nothing, global ways, so that our mistakes and failures become stepping stones for success rather than millstones around our neck.

    Use failures to help you move closer and closer to success.

    More Tips for When You’re Feeling Like a Failure

    Featured photo credit: Ethan Sykes via unsplash.com

    Reference

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