June 26, 2017
We all have fears; Fear of our dreams, fear of our future, fear of losing people, fear of the uncertainties, fear of death, fear of living life, and many, many more fears. The list of fears can never be stopped. But your state of mind and how you handle these fears can be changed. Lately, I’ve been coming to terms with my own fears too. For the most part, my fears are derived from the fears of others. But, what does that mean?
In my family, failure is never an option. In fact, this belief is not only persistent in my family but it also exists in other families all over the world. For those of you who may not know me well, I come from a strong Filipino home. My parents being Filipinos had implanted in my head to attain my life goals through being competitive academically, socially, artistically, and/or physically. To be the best, according to my culture one must be one of the 3 things: educated, beautiful, OR talented (Let’s call this the E.B.T notion). If you lack attributes in any of these 3 categories your life is deemed for failure, while having all 3 suggests your life will be better than most.
I say “FUCK THAT” to the E.B.T notion.
This notion is insanely absurd because it places a limit on an individual. What bothers me the most is how this concept ranks an individual according to their mental capacity, physical appearance, and inborn gifts. Why are we categorized according to the E.B.T notion? How does this lead towards our own self-fulfillment and dreams? I absolutely hate this notion because it implies failure IS AN OPTION IF YOU’RE NOT EDUCATED, BEAUTIFUL OR TALENTED. Instead of influencing a child to be a dreamer, and to believe in his/her own capacity we turn to the E.B.T notion to promote more fears and doubts. We instill the idea of “you’re not good enough” instead of promoting “you can do it”. We tend to emphasize more on the failure rather than the possibility of success. This idea gives birth to fears and doubts in our youths solely because it underlines that if you’re not smart, attractive or talented, then what else can you possibly offer. This notion develops doubts within our youths to the highest extent.
Frustrating. This whole notion in itself is out of shape. I understand that old habits never dies, such as old beliefs never fades. I understand the importance of education, but do we really need a million lawyers, doctors, scientists and businessmen? Being beautiful is a gift, but is beauty really the same in everyone’s eyes? For the women who were not born with a pretty face, does that ultimately mean we are obligated to surgical enhancements in order to be deemed as beautiful? Just like beauty, being talented is also an individual gift. But when we say “talent“, why do we automatically assume that the realms of being “talented” are only defined within musical, artistic, and athletic gifts.
There is so much more to life than just this.
The pressures we place upon the younger generation is too much. We expect too much from our young people, when we ourselves do not possess the ability to meet all these expectations. Due to our high expectations from our own failures, we force our youths to be better than US and the mistakes (or lack thereof) we made. For some, these expectations are influenced by unrealized dreams and goals that were never accomplished. Some, retains the E.B.T notion as mere tradition as it was something implied upon their lives in so they must do the same to their children. Regardless of the reasoning why high expectations exists, for the most part offsprings are often obligated to carry on their parents’ unrealized dreams. The children are expected to be better than the failures of their parents… and to be the next best thing.
This is unfair.
What we want from the younger generations may not exactly be what they want for themselves. We all have different gauges of success. For instance, some may define success through monetary achievements and material possessions. Some may define success through scholastics and knowledge. Some may define success by family intactness and strong friendships. Some will find success in pure solitude. For someone to determine the meaning of success in your life is truly limiting and insufferable. As we age, we will value things differently… some will value wealth more than family, education more than beauty, or talent over hard work. It should be your right as an individual to characterize your own life and develop your own values… it should be your freedom to decide what is truly important for your own good and happiness. For someone to imply the means of “how to live and how to have a good life” in your own life, is not acceptable at all.
You must break-free and follow your heart.
Life will always present fears and doubts in your head. The constant trouble of doubts will never leave your side, and even the most accomplished people have their own doubts too. For instance, let’s consider the situation of new university graduates. Yes, the new grads had definitely fulfilled one of the E.B.T requirements. But does that mean they’re ultimately on their way to a “happy-ever-after“? This question is so difficult to answer, because success and happiness varies for everyone. Some grads will find life fulfillment through knowledge and accomplishing a higher level of education. Some will not find any worth to this accomplishment until they find a job in which they can start acquiring monetary and career fulfillment. To some, this level of education may not be purposeful at all… to them, university education may just be a symbolic piece of paper in which they spent 4 years or more of their life achieving. Regardless of how you value your education, at the end of the day your happiness should only be characterized by you. Let’s keep expanding on this idea… shall we?
To those who value education, their definition of success is shaped by completing their university degree. To those who value money, their degrees is just another stepping stone towards their own definition of success. Lastly, to those who value education the least, their degree may just be a symbol of accomplishment that their families expected from them. That’s not all of it, here’s what triggers me the most…. what about the ones who will never find fulfillment in education… will they find fulfillment too?
If you think about, education is just one aspect of the E.B.T notion. Unfortunately, not everyone will satisfy each category of the E.B.T or to the extremely “unlucky” ones, they will never satisfy the E.B.T notion at all. Will these “unlucky” ones find fulfillment as well?
The answer is: YES.
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU FALL WITHIN THE E.B.T NOTION OR NOT, BECAUSE YOUR HAPPINESS IS BASED ON YOUR OWN AND HOW YOU DEFINED IT FOR YOURSELF.
If living a simple life means the world to you, then go ahead and pursue it. If you want to dance for a living for the rest of your years, then dance your heart away. If you want to become the next Donald Trump and make billions, then go ahead and hustle hard. Don’t doubt yourself just because others have doubts in you. Don’t trap yourself within the false boundaries that other people had created to limit your life. The doubts we have exists within the confines of this imaginary boundary that many doubters had created upon us. These doubters will always doubt you, and you must not let their negativity impact your life. Once you start doubting yourself, then that’s when you truly become a failure.
It doesn’t matter how, when and/or where you’ll find your happiness and self-fulfillment. Life is a journey… and through this journey you will understand more and more of yourself. Life will scare us all. We will find ourselves feeling lost at some point… and our doubts will haunt us from time to time. But the key to overcoming these doubts in our heads is simple: you need to believe in yourself and understand that you control your own life. Never let anyone else dictate your life for you… because once you start listening to the doubters, you will be become one too. A failure’s biggest mistake is doubting their own self.
Don’t doubt yourself. You can fucking do it.
Mary Dezleigh Teodosio.