By Victoria

August 18, 2015

To Hell With It

By Alex N. & Victoria L. But mostly Alex

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the results to change. Are we considered insane for sticking to what we know or to what we've become used to? Are we crazy for fearing change and clinging to what makes us feel safe? I agree that there is nothing wrong with accepting things the way they are and not changing what isn’t broken. But if you are dissatisfied with your life, realization comes when you can stop for a second and think to yourself, “Is fear the only thing stopping me from making changes in my life to get where I want?”

It all boils down to just that. When people stop themselves from doing something because of fear of what others think or fear that they cannot accomplish something, they prevent themselves from moving forward. There a comes a time where you need to stop cutting yourself short and just say "to hell with it."

All my life I’ve been afraid of driving to the city. My father would always tell me that I was a bad driver and I believed it. He didn’t mean any harm, but I took his word seriously. I wouldn't ever drive to the city, because I thought I couldn't make it there without crashing. This prevented me from going to places I needed to. I would always have my former significant other drive for me even when it was out of the way for him. When our relationship ended, I didn’t have him to drive me everywhere anymore. I had a job interview downtown and no way of getting there. Something just kicked inside me though and I said to myself, "To hell with it." I drove to downtown and I made it in one piece. Best part was it wasn't even as terrifying as I thought it would be. The drive was just like any other normal drive for me. Oh and I even got the job.

For me, it wasn't until I lost someone that I finally pushed myself in doing things I thought I couldn't ever do. Don’t wait until it’s too late to finally make a change in your life. When you cut yourself short, you not only put a strain on yourself, but on your relationships with others as well. Most of the time you don't even realize that your lack of confidence is affecting others. You need to just "to the hell with it" and push yourself to do whatever it is you've always wanted to do! People say to start doing small things that you aren’t comfortable with and that you’ll start to build up confidence over time. I say the opposite. You need to attack your problems directly. When you do something suddenly way out of your comfort zone, it makes all the other little things you were afraid to do seem like nothing.

Sure like with the driving story, I could have gotten into a crash. But I didn’t. It’s thoughts like those that prevent you from doing something. Clear your mind and just do it. Don’t think too hard about what happens if you fail. There will be times where you will fail. You need to accept that. But if you do fail, so what? It's not the end of the world. You just need to try, try again. Let it become a learning experience. Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! It wouldn't be fair to you if you didn’t give yourself a chance. Don't dismiss the idea of being the lead in your life’s play and instead accept being an extra.

Confidence is a small fire within you, like a lit match. It’s easy to just wait until the fire dies by itself and even easier to blow it out on your own, but what if it stayed lit? Even the smallest fires can spread and grow into great unstoppable forces. That is the potential within you. The only thing stopping you from being center stage under the spotlight is your fear of getting burned. You gain confidence in yourself every time you put yourself out there, whether it all works out or blows up in your face. When you truly face what scares you, you'll be able to say to yourself, “That was nothing, bring it on!”

Mark Manson states: "Confidence is the abstract way your mind deals with external stimulations, whether they be people, places, or situations. It is considered as an internal perception that a person lacks something that will make them fit in. For example, say a non-confident person is invited to a party. Immediately that person feels like he lacks the looks, the coolness, the social status, or something else that allows them to fit in. It feels as though no matter how highly you carry yourself, something keeps you from being like everyone else."

I believe that confidence isn't feeling the lack of something, but rather having an abundance, specifically the attribute that allows you to deflect the attitudes of others. What I mean by this is as you experience different situations with different people, you learn to not care about what they think, and only accept the positives. As your ability to do this rises, the effect that the negatives words or attitudes of other people has on you drops. It's just a matter of understanding yourself to the point where no matter what anyone else says, you know who you are and you're happy with yourself.

There is a gray area in which both point of views apply. Neither is absolutely right or wrong, as it depends on you as an individual and your situation. At that point it is up to you to decide which applies to you, do you recognize that you're missing something and want to work on it? Or are you capable of being comfortable with yourself and fending off the negativity of others?

There are going to be times where you doubt yourself, but that’s life. Things won’t always go your way and when you find yourself in rough seas, it’s easy to just stop. You become stagnant, dormant, and refuse to try again. You question yourself on why you should ever try again. Don’t conform to a life that you don't enjoy. Do the things that you've always wanted to. True success cannot be forced. It takes a bit of patience and passion when committing yourself. Fear has the devastating ability to eat away at you until there’s nothing left. No one knows you like you do so the only opinions that ultimately matter are yours. Let your life be defined by the chances you took, not the ones you missed. Finally, take a look around yourself, at everyone who loves you. You are special because you have people that genuinely care about you. Don’t take them for granted. You can drag yourself through your life or you can take matters into your own hands and create a story worth telling. Make that story interesting. Make it count.

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