The Importance of Honesty Within
The first step to solving any problem, is acknowledging that there is a problem - to do that, you have to be critical of yourself, honest with yourself and fair to yourself.
When I was a kid, my dad always asked: what are your strengths & weaknesses? I always went with what I think he wanted to hear when it came to my weaknesses - all I can say is that my dad probably knew me the best all this time. Talk to Yourself.
If you want to know who you are, why you are the way you are & what’s going to make you happy, you need to have a very honest conversation with yourself. You’d think that is simple - it isn't.
Start by writing what your weaknesses are - this is challenging because I caught myself lying even as I was doing it. I found that:
Whether it was going out to a party, work meetings or a catch-up, I was always late & coming up with excuses when the reason was simply that I knew I’d get away with it, didn’t respect the people on the other side or worst, that I actually didn’t want to go.
I did things for people & got upset when it wasn’t reciprocated in the same way. I didn’t realise that we all express things differently - that difference needs to be respected.
Self victimisation was the worst. I did things to please, to be "the nice guy”. When I wasn’t appreciated, or if people on the other side were having fun while I was toiling, I’d post silly things on social media with a subtle jibe, wanting the world to know how much “I’d sacrificed” or how much I’d done. I’d work myself silly till I burnt out, take a few days off, & then go again. It was a vicious cycle.
I got upset for not getting the attention I wanted but the biggest irony was that I wasn’t giving myself attention.
Then I did my strengths - this is more important because you need to find what you love to do and charge yourself.
Don’t believe the foolish societal stigma that men aren't "emo" - talk to someone when you're down. I spent hours with my wife , who patiently listened & figured things out with me. The ones who truly matter are your family - the only ones you should seek love and comfort from; be honest about who you are & tell them how you want to be loved.
Learn to Let Go
With that, I learnt to find the best version of myself - to find what I love, continually do it & to not worry about things I can’t control; there’s a world of stuff that I can control.