Self Improvement, self evaluation

I’ve been writing a lot about working on myself, about books I read and theories I tried to embrace. It’s a thing that seemed to be very effective and eye-opening at first, but it’s become a bane a year and a half onwards. A bit of self evaluation.

First off, why am I writing this? I’m not writing this to tell everyone how great it is and how easy it is with the right book. I thought that was it, but it wasn’t. I’m also not aiming to thank people, I did that before and I’m not sure I should’ve. It’s really an attempt to be open, atleast on paper.

I’ve found out two things that are holding me back in growing and developing myself in life. The first is a cripplingly low self esteem, which really makes me feel unappreciated, worthless and unwanted very often. The result of that is behaving as such and acting as such, which is not doing anyone a favor.

The second is an inability to embrace change on certain levels. This is particularly on a communicative level, which in turn is strongly related to that self esteem. I keep my relationships in stasis, because I’m afraid that speaking frankly and openly will influence then negatively. The trade-off? They’re not getting better either. It leads to a feeling of loneliness that I can hardly explain, it makes it excruciatingly difficult to strike up a conversation and make friends. If I start chatting with you, however forced it sounds, know that in my head I’m climbing a mountain. It’s not you, it’s me really, really wanting to and trying to connect.

I can’t stress that enough, I love the connection I’ve felt, however briefly, with a few people over the last 1,5 year. The process has been very difficult and there’s many nights I lie awake faced with my own failure on many fronts, trying to clutch at something to make me feel better about my life. It’s not a matter of changing perspective, it’s  trying to change an almost 20 year old self-defense mechanism that I’ve only recently started to understand.

When I figured out after a year of trying to change this with books and good advice, I broke down one night. I felt so utterly miserable and lost. I was not making progress, I was not connecting to my brothers, my family and friends. My colleagues probably didn’t like me or atleast must have thought I was odd and I just couldn’t bear it anymore. To boot, my PhD application fell through in like the last round and that vat of energy was completely depleted.

So in 2015 I turned 30 years old and found out I was completely lost, floating aimlesly, not knowing what I wanted to do with life. I had to crawl up and get my hands on stuff to change. I went to see a specialist, got some coaching going again and started doing some new things. What helped is my girlfriend (now fiancée, ergo new things), listening an talking to me, telling me to face the values I claimed to love. The hardcore thing, keep a positive mental attitude and do things with full conviction. I’m trying to do that really, really hard.

It’s been a tough year and today I got the wind knocked out of me again, but I refuse to give in and give up. And if I learned one thing in all that time, its that if I do feel like that, there’s always someone willing to help. You just need to ask. That’s the self evaluation, tomorrow it’s time to take steps again.

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