Moving Away from Self-Hate

In the face of rejection, we often ask ourselves, “why am I not good enough?” may it be for a job interview, or for matters of the heart. The introspection we engage is what we say as our path to being self-aware and changing what it is about ourselves that do not fit, and by changing, we move towards becoming better.

That is one aspect. The other side of the spectrum is that when we engage in these thoughts of not being good enough and without a clear plan of action of how to improve, it becomes an exercise of self flagellation. You start looking at the mirror and see all your flaws, telling your head why the other person does not like you and it becomes a downward spiral from there. It becomes depressing and pretty soon from an exercise of self awareness it becomes a series of mental gymnastics, repeating why you hate your life and start feeling trapped in it.

We all see these productivity hacks on the Internet — from writing our clear goals to devoting one hour a day to achieving them. That also works for self improvement. Got rejected by someone you like? Self assess. Is there a hygiene issue, do you have weird mannerisms or bad posture? Are you a slob? Start picking yourself up. I’m not advocating plastic surgery here but when we look at ourselves and see something we don’t like it should not be an exercise to defeat our self esteem but an opportunity to take control of things that we can. This is also the chance to love yourself. Supposing there’s really nothing wrong with you right now, then you just have to accept that. Isn’t there a saying, “you can be the juiciest peach out there and you’d still meet a person who hates peaches”. Maybe you’re just not his type. I see a lot of posts on the Internet about failed dating and non relationships, and I feel sad about it because it’s trying to fit into someone’s life and presenting the best version of one’s self and in the end the person doesn’t feel good enough because the target partner did not choose her/him causing a plethora of angst ridden articles. A playboy on YouTube put it succinctly like this, “your rejection of me makes you unattractive to me”. Take off those rose tinted glasses and assess why are you so hung up to be accepted by that person. Is he full of potential? Sure he can play the guitar well, he has so many dreams to consider but unless he has real achievements to back it up, that’s all talk without foundation and that is very unattractive. Same goes for women. They can look so pretty, dolled up and dainty, but when you rinse off that make up can she stand by your side and hold her end up in a partnership?

For career matters, we all have that one friend who seems to be successfully gallivanting around the world while having a high paying job while you feel stuck with your 10–12 hour days, earning barely enough salary and long commute. If you’re lucky it won’t be raining by the time you get out and you won’t be eating the usual take out for dinner. What makes them better situated than you are? Sometimes it’s factors beyond your control — they were born into richer families so it’s like playing a game starting from level 20 while you had to start from level one and that’s okay, we haven’t seen the end of the game. Who knows if they will continue the grind or maybe they will get logged out and die (okay morbid, but I’ve seen two batchmates die before finishing law school) so don’t compare and find your own niche. If you hate the job, imagine what your dream job is like and start building the qualifications you would need for it. Before opening Facebook, start browsing LinkedIn and send an InApply everyday. You won’t always get an acceptance or a reply but it’s better than doing nothing and feeling helpless about it.

At the end of the day it is all about taking control of what you can and letting go of the things that you cannot. I’m not a religious person but I liked this sermon by a pastor last Saturday, “hope stems from the knowledge that everything we do is temporary”, so if I’m suffering now, I won’t be suffering forever. Have a pleasant Monday.

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