How Constantly Viewing the 1% Stops You from Succeeding
The most liberating of all thoughts is disregard or “disconcern” for what other people think… Once you realize that most people are keeping up appearances and putting on a show, their approval becomes less important.
Jomar Delos Santos
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on why social media is more important now than ever, considering the context of social-isolation and finding solutions to tackle that problem online. This time, I wanted to include a precautionary take on why some forms of engagement can be debilitating for one’s confidence, productivity, and workflow.
This is coming from a guy that once fell into the comparison mental trap but managed to find his escape. Like anything, social media needs to be consumed in moderation and with a greater awareness of habits.
Have you ever tuned into social media to view something spectacular and by extension, escape the mundanity of everyday life? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Millions of people tune in everyday to view forms of entertainment unique to social media. But viewing people doing exceptional things, all the time, and in one place, tends to have an insidious effect on confidence, self-image, and motivation.
Social media and much of the internet is a concentrated hub for exceptionalism. What we need to remember to maintain a strong sense of self, is that we’re viewing but a small representation of the world. That embryonic piano prodigy that made you feel like an uneducated ignoramus is by no means an accurate representation of average piano talent worldwide.
It’s important to remember that social media (and by now the internet) fosters a culture of curated exceptionalism. People only put their best face forward. This is usually done out of good intentions. Realistically, you wouldn’t put out a mediocre showing if you had control over the quality of your output. Especially with everyone watching. But again, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-comparison when seeing perfectionism concentrated in one place.
This can be debilitating for some people. Goals and dreams that would otherwise be tackled with enthusiasm are dismissed because someone out there is doing your job better. You don’t have to be Arnold to lift weights.
You just need to be you. No one at the top of their game started from a point of perfection. Even that piano god with their seemingly endless pool of natural talent practiced day in and day out to get to where they are today. Start that goal on your own terms. If it’s something that makes you happy then by all means pursue it. It’s about how you view your ability to accomplish that task. Self-image is at the root of inner drive.
Maxwell Maltz spoke about the importance of supporting a realistic self-image and rewiring your brain towards a success-oriented mentality in his inaugural title, Psycho-Cybernetics. The book outlines ways to redirect your confidence back to supporting your current-self, and to avoid the paralysis of failure-oriented mentalities.
The most liberating of all thoughts is disregard or “disconcern” for what other people think… Once you realize that most people are keeping up appearances and putting on a show, their approval becomes less important. Excessive concern over what other people think inhibits personality more than any other factor.
Maltz makes some important points here. The first being a maintenance of a strategic “disconcern” for what other people are doing. This doesn’t mean eschewing support for your friends and family who put out work or choose to share intimate pieces of themselves on the internet.
This more so refers to a lack of concern that stems from knowing that you have your own shit going on.
There is a significant amount of power in knowing that you have a path separate from the people around you. Even if you’re doing something similar to another friend or associate, just knowing that you’re working towards personal progress together, rather against each other, can be incredibly energizing and liberating.
Free yourself from the mental trap of self-comparison and watch your work output and quality increase dramatically.
Next time you dismiss something because you can’t do it, think reflexively. Are you simply shooting yourself down before giving it an honest try? And if you have given it an honest try, how much practice have you put in? Only after that should you make a definite judgement on whether you can or can’t do something. You cap your own potential. Don’t forget that.
“Live in the present. The past is gone; the future is unknown — but the present is real, and your opportunities are now. You must see these opportunities; they must be real for you. The catch is that they can’t seem real if your mind is buried in past failures, if you keep reliving old mistakes, old guilts, old tragedies.
Fight your way above the many inevitable traumatizations of your ego, escape damnation by the past, and look to the opportunities of the present. I don’t mean some vague moment in the present — next week or next month, perhaps. I mean today, this minute.”
― Maxwell Maltz
Jomar Delos Santos
I write articles to clear your head (and mine).