Allow me to begin the write-up with a small story. It will enable you to understand and connect with the realizations better. It is just a conventional yet striking conversation inside the dressing room between the Captain and the Vice-Captain of a cricket team. To boot, the lesson learned from it is astounding.
A gripping conversation:
Captain: I don’t know, I am a bit confused whether I should bat at my usual batting position or should I bat next immediately after the fall of a wicket? Singh, who is customary to bat next is a not a very comfortable against spin. The previous two wickets which have fallen are of the spinner. Moreover, I think I can handle the spinners and the pressure better than him.
Vice-Captain: Then, go for it captain. Who is stopping you? Trust your instincts. Stand by your self-belief.
Captain: I discussed it with the coach. He does not seem to agree with me. He does not want any change in the batting line-up. My performance in the entire series has not been satisfactory. It is a very big reason why he is not backing up my decision.
Vice-Captain: (Smiles). Captain, you are my idol. In fact, you are an idol for the entire team. You make everyone proud when it comes to making independent decisions on and off the field. Not many are convinced when you take an unorthodox independent decision. However, all the critics are answered after the result of the game, which is most of the times in our favor. It is your self-belief, which makes things happen. The entire team looks up to you when we get stuck in a panic situation. You have never allowed the temperature of the dressing room rise. You have provided the best of answers to others’ question.
Having said that, I am sorry, but I am shocked to observe the uncertainty in your eyes right now. Why this uncertainty captain? You already have the answers to your questions. You can read the game better than anybody else in the team. Why are you not able to listen and abide by the answers to your questions? How can you allow just a poor performance in one series fade out your self-belief? How can you allow the coach to answer your questions, when you already have the answers? On top of that, you know that your answers are right.
One more thing Captain, suppose you acknowledge the coach’s decision and if it proves to be wrong, we will either lose the best captain or a good coach. Yes, we will no longer be able to look up to you when it comes to making tough decisions in the way we used to. Also, neither you will ask the coach for the valuable inputs nor the coach will be able to extend his best support. Indeed, we have coaches and mentors who help us, assist us, and guide us. Nevertheless, we must never let them define us.
Captain: Thank you for the advice brother. Now, I can listen to ‘MY ANSWERS to MY QUESTIONS’ by the restoration of my self-belief. Without delay, you will stand up face to face with the captain you know. Cheers mate. (Both shake hands).
The entire process:
You might have different and varied questions about yourself. These could be the questions regarding your apparent looks and mental capabilities, your dreams and aspirations, your compatibilities and preferences. Many times you may struggle to find answers about your goals and career, your life choices and priorities, your job and business, your strengths and weakness. Last but not the least, you might also seek answers about your intelligence and emotional quotient, and finally your interests and passion.Yes, you have many such questions related to your personal and professional life.
Subsequently, you try to find the answers when you come across any of these questions. Interestingly, you get an answer immediately from your subconscious mind and most of the times you get the right answer. However, the problem is most of the times you do not listen to your answer. It is because the echo of that answer is not loud enough for you to believe it. As a result, you ignore it because of the uncertainty and doubt. Eventually, because of this ignorance, your question remains a question for you, which keeps you in a loop with unclear life answers and choices.
The biggest obstacle-PEOPLE…
The biggest reason why you are not able to listen to and abide by your answers is ‘APPROVAL FROM OTHERS.’ You authorize others to make decisions on your behalf. It is shocking that you give others the right to answer the questions related to your personal life. You show more trust and faith in others than you. It demonstrates your lack of confidence in your belief system.
Agreed, sometimes it is the case that the decisions were imposed on you right from the outset of your childhood and now, either you find it very difficult to take your independent decisions or you are not allowed to make your decisions.
But my dear friend, whatever might be the case, you need to change the rules. If you carry on like this, you will never be able to develop a firm self-belief. This lack of belief in you will never allow you to live and breathe freely. This lack of uncertainty in your answers will never let you become a leader. You will always stand as a follower.
Believe it or not, you are an expert in giving free pieces of advice to others, but you fail when it comes to yourself. You seek the answers from others.Now the question arises, who these people are and why do you seek answers from them?
See, you try to find your answers from the ones you think are the right ones to guide you to the right path, help you to overcome your problems, boost you in your highs. You want people to console you for your loss, teach you sharing their life lessons, help you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses, assist you in identifying your core competence. Actually, there is no problem in that. In fact, you might consider yourself lucky if you have these people around you.
There are many reasons which initiate the problem…
The problem arises:
- when you allow them to impose their decisions on you.
- when you blindly trust their answers about you.
- when you straightway believe that those answers are right without giving any second thought to it.
- when you become dependent on them to make the decisions on your behalf.
- when you are not able to say no to others because of the intimacy of the relationship you share with them.
- when you allow them to control you.
Time for some Profound Realizations:
Always keep in mind that always take the help of others to guide you, not to define you. Remember, there is no one who can give you the right answers to your questions about yourself except you. Try to realize that it is only you, who is confronting all the problems and having all the questions. How could anyone else give you the answers to your questions without experiencing your feel? It is only you who is experiencing that feeling in that particular moment. As a result, it is only you who is in the best position to answer your questions.
Now, it also changes from bad to worse when your answers by them start proving to be wrong. Subsequently, you start blaming them for the losses or failures, and eventually, you lose that person who genuinely cares for you.
Sit back. Relax. Take your time. Allow your nerves to settle down. Seek and try to find the answers within yourself. Trust your instincts. It may take some time but at least and at last, you will have the right answers to your questions.
Amanpreet Singh is the founder of Happy Realization. From the negatives of depression to the positives of meditation, he loves expressing his experiences and the practical life lessons which he calls his Happy Realizations. He is a guest blogger in esteemed publications like Lifehack, Pick the Brain and Dumb Little Man.