Stop Taking Yourself Too Seriously

In today’s post I’m going to talk about the power of not taking yourself seriously. I also shot and cut a video about the topic, but as I have no time to upload it today I’ll add it in tomorrow. EDIT: And now it’s in!

Are You Taking Yourself Too Seriously?

When you start doing new things and to push your comfort zone, it is obvious that you’re going to encounter situations where you don’t do quite as well as you would wish. In fact, as you probably know, you quite often look very silly. This is a problem only if you’re taking yourself seriously. When you take yourself too seriously, every mistake hits at your ego and thus you tense up and start making even more mistakes.

For me personally particularly good example was when I was in the army. I was the worst shot of the company and it really bothered me. It made me wonder what is wrong with me. Every time we were at shooting range I lamented my failures, as opposed to just laughing at them and trying again. The thing became psychologically so big deal to me that instead of getting better with practice, my skills were deteriorating.

This is of course an extreme example of the case, but just goes to show that if you are on a journey to become awesome, you’re not going to last if you take yourself too seriously.

Treat Yourself as a Joke

This doesn’t mean that you lack self-respect – of course have self-respect, always try your best and don’t intentionally make a clown out of yourself (unless that is what you want from your life). But to really last on a journey that will deal you constant blows, you will have to learn to smile at yourself. Otherwise it will become simply too tempting to go back to your comfortable former life and never venture out of your comfort zone again. Only way to deal with constant discomfort and making mistakes is to give your self-image a rest and join the others in laughing at yourself.

Again using my army example, would laughing at myself actually improved my shooting ability? Probably not, but at least I would have been more at ease with myself and could have been more focused on the training itself, as opposed to focusing on fearing failure – which just brings more failure anyway.

Adopting the Right State of Mind

Just like any other change this will be down to the habits. You will simply have to learn to laugh at yourself at every chance possible, which will take focus.

I’m sure the guy I was at the army probably had the idea of not taking himself seriously in his mind, but its not that easy to actually remember in the moment. It takes years of cultivation to achieve that state of mind where you can take the life in a relaxed way, if it doesn’t come naturally to you. It is well worth it though and it’s a lesson becoming awesome really forces you to learn.

Let me know what you thought of today’s article in the comments!

2 Responses to “Stop Taking Yourself Too Seriously”

  1. Trina March 15, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was googling “how not to take yourself too seriously” and came across your post and i’m so glad i found it. Really what i needed after a stupid mistake i made at work last friday that left me so embarrassed i can’t get over it and need to google for advice! This has really made me feel alot better! I make mistakes at work all the time, but this recent one had so many people involved it was exceptionally embarrassing, but thanks to this i think i can probably show my face in the office on Monday. Thanks again!

    • Jarkko Helenius March 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Well if my post made your day, your comment made my day as well! I’m always glad if I helped out someone.

      If you never did anything you’d never make mistakes, so mistakes are just natural consequence of being engaged with life :)

      Jarkko

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