How to Lose Yourself Quickly – Ogechi Adili

Nothing destroys the radiant light of a great person faster than a broken mind. It all starts with a thought until it eats into your bone marrows; ruining something special even before it’s birthed.

To lose yourself is so much easier than self discovery and purpose fulfillment . I have examined this act using seven identifiers which you would discover as you keep reading.

I almost  lost a dear friend to attempted sucided due to the seed of comparison. She would always scroll through  her phone, stalking her classmates who had gotten admission into various universities . It started with admiration which is a good thing until it grew into  a destructive thought; a  standard measurement of how sensible her life was. One fateful day, she locked herself in a room and  started a recording on her phone narrating  how miserable her life was. She  overdosed on purpose  so she could experience perfect quietness. She couldn’t take it anymore .

When she was rescued, she couldn’t explain how she got to the point of making such a decision. We were all surprised that someone as lively and jovial  as her could pull such a  stunt. When the venom of comparison eats deep into an individual, it is most times not easily discovered judging from the  facial expression of the victim. It could be that friendly neighbor or the cute boy in class who seems to have everyone’s attention. It could also be the quiet girl at the back seat, chewing her pen restlessly and afraid to look anyone in the eye. I have just told you the story of a friend .

To us, she seemed happy but what started as a thought almost took her life. Competition could be healthy but comparison is deadly. Healthy competition makes you better. It ensures you aren’t comfortable at a spot. It stimulates ideas and spurs you to action  but comparison doesn’t . One thing people must understand is that we all have different paths to purpose fulfillment. Just as no two persons are the same even though they could be bound by family ties, their destinies are different .

It’s okay to be encouraged by another’s success but when it determines how valuable you see yourself; when it keeps you awake at night making you restless that you begin to hate yourself and even the little wins you have achieved suddenly become trash, it becomes a stepping stone to lose yourself and essence. 

Extreme anxiety is another sure way to lose yourself.  As defined by Merriam Webster dictionary , anxiety is a strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt , fear or uneasiness . It has to do with a heightened sense of fear of impending misfortune, ill or doom. Growing up, I was that smart, intelligent Kid in the block.

However, I had one challenge: standing before a crowd . Some might find this untrue as I was always in the spotlight, representing groups. However, I can vividly remember how my hands will quiver while holding a microphone. My voice would sound amazing but it took me a lot of courage to get the job done. I would always imagine tripping , or missing some lyrics of the song or poem .

All these things happened in my head. We are  humans and it’s okay to not fully grasp what the future holds. It’s okay to not have it all figured out at once . However, when this fear of the unknown turns into extreme anxiety, we do not only lose the courage to make bold steps but lose ourselves and all we could ever be. The moment you  let go of this fear;the doubt; you will realize how much time you’ve wasted neglecting how amazing you truly are.

The next stage of losing oneself is embracing and dining with the negatives. At this point you begin to believe you do not  deserve anything good. You begin to see yourself as the enemy. With the prevailing fear already eating the fabrics of your mind, you already condition your mind to receiving anything evil. Your expectations become negative. When something good happens to you, you feel it’s by chance and you put yourself on the edge.A state where you are   always on the lookout for the next bad thing. You forget that you are what you think you are .

Little wonder , the holy book in Proverbs 23:7 says; “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Your mind begins to project the negative , conjuring them to yourself. Soon, it becomes a lifestyle. Oftentimes, we fail to realize that our minds have life . The mind is like a baby. You feed it, groom it and nurture it. If it’s affected, your whole being receives the impact.

After the stage of  ‘embracing the negatives’  , if you really want to lose yourself, the next expected thing to do is confess the negatives. I used to know someone who never saw herself as beautiful.  Every compliment felt like ‘shades’ to her. Sometimes, she would say some demeaning things about herself. Whenever she received a compliment, she would always say;” before you insult me , let me be the first to  insult myself.”

We always laughed about it but when I began to experience intellectual maturity, I realized how destructive her words were. When you speak negatively about yourself, you unconsciously begin to carry yourself as such and soon, you will begin to spread the virus to those that come in contact with you. The dangerous thing is that how you present yourself to be is exactly how you will be represented .

Again, low self esteem is another sure route to losing one’s self. WebMD , defines low self esteem as when someone lacks confidence about who they are and what they can do. The negative occurrences begin to make the individual on this path lose confidence . You begin to see  yourself as a different human from another planet, just  created for failure hence, you don’t feel special, you don’t feel capable of being amazing.Your resolve becomes  shaken.

Your beliefs, your values, ambitions, dreams and aspirations become unrealistic and you gradually become a shadow of yourself. Just living the day as it comes. As at 31st of March, 2023 world health organization reports that over 700,000 people die of sucide every year. One of the causes of sucide is depression of which  low self esteem could lead to depression if not handled properly. It would surprise you to discover that the age bracket where this kind of death is common is between ages 15- 29. This is the age bracket where people are still figuring out themselves and the reason  for their being created. Imagine adding low self esteem to the mix? 

Furthermore, another similar stage to the aforementioned is self pity. At this point, you see yourself as a victim of circumstance rather than doing something to change the things you don’t like about yourself or the situation. There is this heightened emotion of sorrow, pain, disgust and bitterness about yourself. You enjoy your own bubble of sadness rather than talk to anyone about it. You become angry at the world. You declare yourself a hermit by choice. Creating a word where there is a great divide between yourself and the rest of the world. 

One way to truly know you have finally succeeded to lose yourself and your spark is getting off the stage. To you, this  becomes the next sensible thing to do . You see yourself chickening out of opportunities. You begin to hide your light and hide behind others . Procrastination becomes your buddy and some hide under the facade of being ‘introverts’. You prefer to die with your ideas that could rock the world and change the narrative just because of how scared you are of rejection. You prefer to stay hidden ; locked in a room of hidden potentials begging to see the light of day  rather than being seen . You bury them forcefully; building a castle of shadows on them so they would have no air thereby forcing them to die slowly.

One thing you have failed to realize is that so  many stars have taken this journey one step at a time until there is nothing left of their light. You are amazing but you have failed to realize it . Nothing happening to you is a mistake. Someday, another destiny would be rescued  by your story. You have taken this route but you can still turn back.

This message is for you. It is for you who have seen yourself bare and naked before this article  like a full grown woman in her element before a mirror . It is for you that this message has sparked a desire to be rejuvenated. It is for you who has  gotten to the point of no return. It is for you whose mind has been so infected . It is for you whose beauty the world is waiting to see . It is for you who had decided to listen to the still voices of potentials lying half dead waiting to be revived . Out of that dim candle can emerge a raging fire . The question is ; are you willing to get your spark back?

Ogechi Adili
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