Apr 10, 2017

Being Too Hard on Yourself Creates a Dangerous Feedback Loop

Posted by in category: futurism

Self-sabotage is a fascinating topic. Philosophically speaking, the impetus for every human action is the pursuit of some form of happiness. Why, then, do so many people purposely handicap themselves when striving for goals? What pushes someone to believe they don’t deserve and therefore shouldn’t have happiness?

Most research on this subject points to self-esteem. We like to think of ourselves as the heroes of our own story, a perspective influenced and informed by our reliance on narrative to create meaning in our lives. When we observe fault in ourselves, it can lead to a conscious or subconscious belief that we are unworthy heroes. Some people are better at dealing with these feelings than others. Those who aren’t tend to overlook the fact that no human is or can be perfect, and that heroes are as much the sum of their faults as they are the breadth of their positive qualities.

There’s also the fact that, in any hero’s journey, failure is part of growth. Indiana Jones doesn’t save the day until after he’s captured by the Nazis. Luke Skywalker doesn’t defeat the bad guys without first losing a hand. Princess Elsa screws up a whole bunch before she’s strong enough to let it go, as it were.

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