Monday, March 16, 2015

Is your environment helping you to be confident? Or not?

For a long time I was struggling to be more confident in general, but I just couldn't. I had a lot of reasons to feel good about myself, to not be insecure around people, but not. I even read a lot of self-help book trying to figure out why i just couldn't implement the exercises and principles in order to change my life. I was frustrated not seeing the result I wanted. 

It took a few years for me to take all of the information and life experience in and finally make some sense out of it. It wasn't easy but it was the discovery well worth my effort. You see, I constantly read books, meditated, tried new things, pursued new goals, earned more money for years, even though I had success with these things, I never felt better about myself in front of people, I never felt i had faith in myself. But all the hard work, the books, the setback in life and other wisdom I took from smart people had finally clicked and it dawned on me that there was nothing wrong with me nor the world I was living in, it was just that I was in the wrong profession, the wrong working environment.

Based on my theory, there are 3 categories of people who are working:

1. Business owners: These people don't have a 9-5 job, don't have secure incomes. They own business no matter how big it is or how small it is, they are their own boss and they believe in the business they are doing

2. Employed people who love their jobs: These people work 9-5, have a secure job and absolutely love what they are doing. They are in the right field that matches their skillset and passions. Or they are fighting for a cause that they absolutely care about and will continue to work even if they won't get paid.

3. Employed people who don't like their jobs: These people are the majority of us. We hate every minute of what we are doing but we do it because we need the paycheck.

Each different category creates entirely different mindset and outlook in life, and it has become a lot more clear to me as how my environment is contributing to my quest for more confidence and betterment. 

For people that are in category 1, in order for them to be staying in the business and successful, they can't have a job mentality. They understands in order to make money, you have to invest first. They also understand that they can't depend on others, they can only depend on themselves. The most powerful mindset that these people have to make successful is their willingness to fail and they are not living their lives to please everybody. As business owners, you are always spending money on marketing, research, ads and buying new equipment. None of these investment will result in immediate return, but they look far ahead of themselves, they have visions. As a business owner, you are your own boss, you don't have to be afraid of nobody in your office, you aren't here to make sure others will like you so you keep your job. No, as a business owner, your staffs are your assistant, they should be worried about what you think of them instead. And lastly, as a business owner, you are always looking for new customers that are right for your service, you understand and accept that not everybody customer you come across in this world will like you, in fact a lot of them probably hates you. You will get used to pissing people off by sticking to your own standard. You will not just offer discounts, free services in exchange for their approval or positive yelp reviews. You are prepare to talk to them as a man, as a strong person by saying 'I am sorry, I can't do that Mr Gates.' All these action requires courage, which breeds confidence. Bottom-line, you learn not to give a darn, and that's exactly what confident people are like. 

For people that are in category 2, you love what you are doing and you will do it even if you are not getting paid at all. You draw your satisfaction from the accomplishment of work, rather than what others around you think. You won't care whether your boss likes you or not, you are not here to please your boss, you are here to fight for the cause that you care about or build that machine that you always want to build or even to prove that new physic theory that you know you can prove. You simply don't have time for any politics or concerns for job security. You are already living your life through doing the work you love. They won't trade their life with anything else. A lot of the Jiu-jitsu practitioners, Muay Thai fighters in Thailand are great examples of this. They maybe poor in finance, but rich in happiness. 

For people that are in category 3, you are not alone. In fact, most of us in this world are working for paychecks by doing something we don't enjoy. In this environment, you know you need the job more than the job needs you, so you should be quite, do the work and get through the day, the week, until your next paycheck. For us in this category, we can't take risk like business owners do all the time, we can't stay no to people because we are trained to say yes. We become attached to security and comfort, and we tell us excuses of why we are not making a change. We were all once ambitious and young, but the desire and quest for greatness eventually give away to the life of mediocre, we become fearful. Over time, we no longer trust our own ability to do anything, because we are so used to telling ourselves that we depend on this organization to provide, we depend on our boss to fight the politics, we depend on the country to improve economy. Without a job, I am nothing. The worst part of this is that in exchange for security, we are wasting our precious time doing things that I don't care about, it gets stressful, tedious and boring. It will eventually take its toll on our emotional well-beings, making us want to complaint even more. Eventually, we are convinced that our lives are gone, and we are just putting hopes on our kids.

Knowing what impact that the environment has on us is a very powerful realization. I no longer felt hopeless. Since I was the one who put myself in this environment, I can also get myself out of this environment. It is also very liberating to see that there is nothing wrong with me after all, it just the environment that I am in changed me to the way I am, and it is how our brain works. 

By no mean I am suggesting to not take responsibility by blaming everything on the environment. What I am suggesting is to acknowledge what different environment does to different people and decide what to do to improve the environment or remove yourself from it. Most importantly, you don't have to beat yourself up anymore if you are in this environment. You know that in order to survive in this environment, every action you take is more your best interest based on experience you have so far, so whatever it is, the action makes sense and it has nothing to do with you personally. 

Now, what environment are you living in? How is this environment impacting you emotionally? What environment would you wish to be in?
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