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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

More by this author

Anna Chui

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

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

People who have low self esteem are always hard on themselves. Sometimes they even cannot truly accept compliments because they would second guess people’s intentions.

    In this article, we’ll look into the symptoms of a low esteem person and what you can do if you find yourself having self-esteem issues.

    Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem Person

    Common Symptoms

    • Unable to trust your own opinion
    • Always overthinking
    • Afraid to take challenges, being worried you wouldn’t overcome them
    • Hard on yourself but lenient with others
    • Frequent anxiety and emotional turmoil

    Lesser-Known Symptoms

    Being a workaholic

    At work expectations are set clearly. Even if there’s pressure in the workplace, compared to relationships or the social world where so much is unknown and uncontrollable, work is more straightforward.

    It’s easier to meet the expectations and perform well at work. Therefore, some people with low self-esteem would shift their focus to work and put all their energies there.

    Overachieving or underachieving

    Many of us have already heard that people with low self-esteem tend to be under-achievers as they’re too afraid to take new challenges and not confident enough to fully utilize their talents.

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    However, there’s another extreme. Some of them are too anxious of failure and being rejected, so they will try their very best to be outstanding to prove their worth.

    Causes of Low Self-Esteem

    Most of the time it stems from our childhood. Here’re some negative early experiences that lead to low self-esteem:[1]

    • Frequent punishment
    • Frequent neglect
    • Chronic abuse
    • Harsh parental standards
    • Being bullied/boycotted
    • Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair
    • Lack of praise, warmth and affection
    • Staying in a family or group where other members are prejudiced towards

    Childhood is when we form our “Bottom Line” and “Rules for Living” which affects the way we think, that’s why all the negative early experiences can have a very long-lasting effect on our adulthood.

    How “Bottom Line” Affects Your Self-Esteem

    “Bottom Line” is how you usually feel about something, based on your early experience. For example, “how you felt when you first left home becomes the emotional bottom line for when you leave other things in your life.”, according to therapist Robert Taibbi [2].

    When we talk about self-esteem, the bottom line is about how people around you treat you, as we grow up taking the voices of people who are significant to us. Did they say you’re adorable, or you’re always not good enough? Did they neglect you that made you feel worthless?

    That largely affects the way you view yourself and hence affect your self-esteem.

    How “Bottom Line” Determines Your “Rules for Living

    Based on the “Bottom Line”, we would form our “Rules for Living”, which are the strategies for dealing with life. For example, if you have the belief that you are always inferior to others, your Rules for Living would be “better not to speak up and to keep a low profile”.

    How Low Self-Esteem Affects Every Aspect of Your Life

    So what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?

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    It Makes You Confuse Love with Low Self-Esteem

    Having a low self-esteem, you expect people to treat you badly.

    When people are being just quite nice to you, you feel overjoyed and have unrealistically good feelings for them. This can be easily mistaken as love and also scare people away who might be just interested in being friends with you (at first).

    It Makes You Have a Lower Hand in the Relationship

    As you think your partner is too good for you, you bear things that you shouldn’t stand for.

    Sometimes you even confuse love with self-esteem. Are you giving in really because you love him/her so much or you just dare not to speak up and bargain?

    It Makes Your Employers Feel That You’re Not Talented

    People with low esteem sometimes are actually gifted. But they don’t know how to show it and “sell” themselves.

    During meeting, they keep quiet, during presentation they speak weakly, during daily conversation they say “sorry” and “maybe” too often…As a result, employers and other colleagues perceive people with low esteem as people without much talents.

    It Can Lead to Depression

    Over time, low self-esteem can lead to depression according to a study done by University of Basel researchers.[3] Psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen added that low self-esteem is “a key factor in both the development and maintenance of depression”.

    How to Improve Self-Esteem

    As we can see, low self-esteem is a deeply rooted issue and leads to lots of consequences. To solve it, it’s not an easy task, but it’s possible. The key is, to use the right ways.

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    1. Ignore All Those “Positivity” Advice

    Very often, we hear people say “Stay positive”, “Hey cheer up!”. People with depression know all these do not help. It just makes them feel worse.

    Same for low self-esteem, simply telling people “To me you’re wonderful!”, “You’re actually awesome”, “Why don’t you appreciate yourself more?”, or even worse “Hey you should be more confident” does not improve their self-esteem. Instead, they would feel inadequate or even guilty of their behavior.

    2. Focus Elsewhere

    “Healthy self esteem needs to emerge subtly.”[4]

    Same as happiness, you don’t immediately feel happier when you tell yourself to be happier. You need some concrete ways to do so like pursuing a goal that truly matters to you, like spending quality time with your loved ones.

    When you want to improve your self-esteem, don’t try too hard on thinking of ways to do so. There’s no direct way to improve it. It should be a by-product of our overall life’s satisfaction.

    According to psychologist Abraham Maslow,[5] to live a fulfilling life, you should take care the 5 levels of human basic needs. To help you understand more about this psychological model we made a video to explain it:

    Or you can refer to the graph below:

    5 Levels of Human Basic Needs

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      To focus elsewhere, we’ve summarized the above items and put them into this list for you:

      • Deep connection with loved ones
      • A healthy body
      • Sense of control
      • A meaningful life purpose
      • Recognition and respect from others
      • Sense of security
      • Creativity

      As you gradually equip yourself with the skills to fulfil the above needs, you’ll forget about self-esteem and suddenly you’ll find that you just feel proud of yourself when you know so much that others don’t.

      Resources to Help Increase Your Self Esteem

      To help you gradually build your self-esteem, here’s a list of the best self-help books that can help you fulfil the goals:

      1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
      2. Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
      3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
      4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
      5. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health
      6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Busines
      7. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
      8. Thinking, Fast and Slow
      9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
      10. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

      The Bottom Line

      If you find yourself having low self-esteem, don’t be hopeless. Have faith in yourself that you can regain self-esteem and become a confident and successful person.

      How?

      Understand the root causes of your low self-esteem and overcome these causes with the advice in this article.

      Featured photo credit: Joe Gardner via unsplash.com

      Reference

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