Just an honest attempt to write an article about how pessimism reigns in our lives.
We all have come across this word so many time. Books, articles, some of us have even been called this. So we all know, what it means. Wikipedia defines pessimism as “Pessimism is a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardships in life outweigh the good or luxuries.” Yes-yes, these are the people who always see glasses as half empty, the guys who freak out and accept setbacks as the end of the world. They do exist, in fact they exist in all of us, even in the most successful of us. I for one am somebody who has been called a “pessimist” all my adult life. I never ever have been able to fathom why people call me this? I always felt myself to realistic and cheerful, but from people ranging from teachers to lovers, all of them cannot be wrong can they? I am a pessimist.
Put yourself in these situations.
You and your friends, plan to hit town side for late night drinks and parties. While everybody is excited and playing along, you feel a sense of fear in you, your gut is wrenched with fear of something going wrong. More than the excitement of letting your hair down with friends, if its this fear that occupies your mind, then my friend you are a pessimist.
Do not convince yourself that you were just looking at the larger picture, that you were just thinking the plan through. Do not fool yourself through this. If you had truly seen the larger picture, you would only have seen it as a day to enjoy with friends. You wouldn’t be battling your own self over whether its safe or not. Fine tuning any plan, thinking through, only makes everything stronger. But doing all this while forgetting the actual purpose of the plan and battling your inner demons, well that’s a pessimist. You not only undermine yourself, but the entire plan. The thing about fear and pessimism is that it rubs of easily, and more often than not, it could be you who spoils the plan.
How many of us actually have fitness goals? How many of us, actually look at people with fit bodies and crave for one like that? I’m sure we all have craved for it at some point. Many of us have taken efforts, stepped forward, have hit the gym and worked towards such a body. And how many of us have decided to hit the gym, gone to the gym, seen the exercises involved, effort needed, and gone back home thinking, “that’s not gonna happen”. No effort, no trying, you only listen to the voice in your head, wait a minute, the pessimistic voice in you which says you cannot do it.
Do not think that this voice is heard only by you, every human hears this voice through all his life. But how each human being reacts and deals with this voice is different, and that truly defines whether the person is an optimist or pessimist.
If you can relate any part of your life to such events mentioned above, then my friend, you can say the pessimist in you is well and truly alive.
The biggest bewilderment is that a pessimistic person finds it so difficult to accept that he is pessimistic. Its human nature, to live in denial.
Every time a tragedy occurs, something happens that challenges your beliefs, our first reactions is denial. That’s what happens when you realise you are pessimistic, you deny it, you try to convince yourself that you are not one.
Very often it can be very hard to point out and understand pessimism on its own, that is why most people do not even realise how pessimistic they can be. Pessimism often offers conquers a person through various forms fear, failure, denial, remembrance of past bad experiences and possibility of it happening again. It takes so many forms, it hides in small-small things in life, that we often fail to see its effects. Many of us are doing well in life, we are happy with our jobs, careers, we are content, and many of you will not agree with me if I call you pessimistic. Yes, you are, you have been, at some point, some small venture. Forget your jobs, forget the progress you have made in your career, think of the last time you wanted to do something, but you persuaded yourself out of it. It could be anything, from hesitating to help a beggar out to hiding your discomfort at your colleagues behaviour.
You may say these are petty things, these are not important, there is nothing pessimistic here. There is pessimism, the fact that you stop yourself from being true to yourself, even on a very small scale, shows you are pessimistic. And the biggest lie you tell yourself is that, this is just one day, one event, it doesn’t matter. Do not do that my friend, do not, when you do so, you only let your guard down so that fear and pessimism can crumble you from within. This may not have an instant impact on your life, but gradually it will have. You succumbed to fear one day, and as days go on you will seek solace in your comfort zone. As opportunities come by your way to grow and become a better person, you will convince yourself from taking them, and your mind is so powerful that it will project your decision as the right one. But the truth is somewhere down the line, at some moment, you let pessimism get to you. And ever since then, without you realising you danced to its tunes.
Pessimism undermines you through you. It starts off as an one off event, but slowly it hampers you daily, until you suddenly wake up realising you have lost so much in life.
I for one have been there, and I don’t want anybody else to get there. Where ever you are in life today is a beautiful place, where ever you are, I urge you to only be you. I urge you to get over your pessimism. Look at your life, look at the things, small-small things that you have stopped yourself from doing, look at events where fear got the best of you. Do those things again. Because the one way to go ahead in life and be peaceful is to grow as a person, but if you stop yourself from doing the things you truly crave, how will you ever go forward? This is the situation I dread. To see people who are in good positions in life, in the society, but as an individual, they are not themselves. They don’t do the things their hearts desire. They don’t live by their heart, they don’t grow as a person, they live in their comfort zone. And what is the root cause of this all? Fear, pessimism. Somewhere, someday they succumbed to fear, and they have been living like that ever since. That’s why you see grown up people, people pas the best years of life regretting roads not taken, regretting succumbing to fear.
That’s what I do not want you to do. There is nothing more beautiful than a human being, being himself. No matter where you are in life, after reading this, think of the little things you prevent yourself from doing, the little things where fear stops you. Identify them, face them, over come them, and watch how life changes and how beautiful life becomes. We all have this demon inside us, as far as I am concerned, this demon has beaten more than once, but I am getting up again, and from the battleground this is the message I want to deliver. Be somebody who follows ‘Carpe Diem”, which means to seize the day, seize your day my friend, be better than what you are my friend.
Go out there and be yourself. Kill the pessimism you, in every level, and watch how beautiful life can be, not just for you, but for all those who love you.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Deborah Williamson