Everyone always tells you to be open about your feelings, to talk about it and not to ‘bottle’ them up.
However, the male stereotype and my sense of ‘masculinity’ have not always allowed me to do this. Moreover, the fear of others’ judgements and the wariness that what I say may spread around and affect how others will perceive me has always made me very reluctant to confide in people. Besides, I often fear that being open may reveal ‘weaknesses’ and ‘fragilities’ that others can take advantage of.
I want to share a few lessons I am currently learning that is helping me to deal with this.
Trust in yourself. I am starting to learn that first I must learn to trust in myself by being honest and open with myself and confronting my problems, before even considering sharing my issues with others. It takes courage, self-discipline and the desire to improve your situation to face your problems head-on.
Confronting your problems first requires acknowledgement that they exist. Rather than pushing the problem or negative thought to the back of your head and ‘dealing with it later’, acknowledge its presence. It will free up your mind.
The problem will store in your subconscious and take up a lot of brainpower, affecting your productivity. Your feelings towards the problem can accumulate and turn into insecurities, ultimately manifesting into a more substantial, deep-rooted issue that will become even more difficult to resolve in the future. The problems I have pushed to the back of my head have always come back to rear its ugly head in the future, in the same manner that procrastination inevitably makes you pay in the end.
I often find that when friends consult me on problems that they face, I offer what I deem as good advice. Yet, how is it that I can’t think about my own troubles in the same way? I believe this is because when we think about problems unrelated to ourselves, we think of them in more rational ways. However, when trying to solve our own issues, we become clouded in our thinking, biased by emotional attachments to them. Writing can help to separate the emotion and rationality of the situations.
I have learned to write things down in my planner, thus, freeing up my mind for focusing on tasks that need completing. This way I can think more clearly and more rationally about my problems or even remind myself in the future how I have dealt with a similar issue before. I got this little bit of wisdom from Jim Rohn, the inspirational American entrepreneur.
Endeavour to find the source of the issue – helping to find the source can help bring peace of mind. Knowing the origins of a problem has helped me to create a stronger level of understanding about myself. Be open to the idea of having discussions with a trained expert such as a psychotherapist. Having spoken to one, I have now realised just how many of my insecurities and other problems stem from my childhood. If not, talk to someone you truly trust and see as wise, but also know not to judge, such as your parents. Hence, this is why those you choose to surround yourself with are so important.
As I write this, I am dealing with my own issues. Yet, I am also reminding myself that I need to deal with these problems so that I will return to a better-balanced and more peaceful mind. You can too. Just be courageous and face those problems.
Written by Freddy Thong
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