The Building Blocks

Assalamualaikum wr. wb.

Of all things which I have learned during around six-months working, probably the biggest, and most important lesson is about learning how not to care too much on other people's judgements and expectations.

As someone who, ever since I was still a kid, has always been perceived by the society as someone "smart" or "reliable", I notice that as facile as those judgements can boost one's self-confidence, they can also create massive self-esteem breakdown if not achieved as frequently as expected.

This problem roots back to when I was a kid, a teenager, and pretty much all the time when I was at school. I am so used to compliments, I have always ranked well from elementary to high school, got many incredible opportunities, won competitons, even graduated with astounding GPA. The amount of those compliments are overwhelming and it was very enjoyable that I unconciously made my own self esteem out of those. Those compliments and other people's positive judgements were the bricks and mortars for my self-esteem's house. 

But then, I had to get out of my comfort zone and face the unexpected downturn in my self-confidence. At work, I sometimes feel useless, and dumb, if I see other people performed much better than I did. I feel depressed when my boss doesn't pick me as the one who does the most challenging job at work. I am pissed whenever my friends at work are talking about an issue which I have no clue about. I am very anxious when I realize that I am no longer the best performer and no longer the smartest one in the group. And as expected, it affects my job. I am no longer excited nor do I feel like I want to continue working. But then, I start to realize that those things can happen all the time and in any situation, and that there is something wrong with the way I value and motivate myself. That's when I found out that the bricks and mortars have never been there, my "house" was only made of collapsing straws.

A TED speaker whose talk I watched last night mentioned, "most of the time, people do not listen with the intention to understand, but with the intention to reply.". My wild guess says that it is one of the examples of how we sometimes value our image so much more than our actual selves. We think that we don't need to understand; we only have to reply so that everyone else can see how "smart" we are. But truth is, we can never lie to ourselves. Those knowledge that we obtain only to entertain our ego would evaporate very quickly you won't even realize they were, at one time, happen to be in our brains. And one day, sooner or later, we will realize that it's not how we are supposed to learn, or work. Instead, we should realize that we do everything for ourselves, and that's what matters most.

Well, that being said, I do have to rebuild my own motivation and self-esteem right from the start, again. And I am trying to do it now. Because we should have never been motivated because of other people's judgements; we don't need to impress anyone anyway. We should have done everything for the sake of our own development and of our own enjoyment.

I, myself, will also keep struggling and will keep you posted. 

Wassalamualaikum wr. wb.


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