The Vicious Hamster Wheel
Updated: Dec 17, 2018
“You can’t compare your journey to someone else’s…”
“Ceara, dreams come true…”
“If you want to get recognition, you need to take risks…”
I’m sure you’re looking for the connection in these three phrases, but let me save you a headache. None of them have anything in common. In fact, each one was said to me by different people and at different times throughout the past month. But if your mind is like mine and can create connections out of randomness, then you might be able to see where I’m going with all of this. And for those of you who still have no idea what I’m going on about, bear with me! 😊
We have all met people, at some point in our lives, that are super egotistical and think they have life figured out. Sometimes we meet these distasteful individuals once, but for some of us, we deal with them on a daily basis. Ego can be such a huge issue in our society. It not only irritates everyone around the person, but it also eats away at the person themselves; making them believe they have to be absolutely perfect in everything they do.
But, did you know there’s a flip side to being egotistical that’s just as damaging? I recently found this out actually. It’s called self-deprecation. In layman’s terms, putting yourself down. How can that be just as bad as egotistical, you might ask. Well, coming from personal experience, putting yourself down makes you depressed and also makes it hard to continue working toward your goals. Just like pride, putting yourself down radiates off of you, even if you don’t say anything that would indicate you feel that way. And sometimes, people who are closest to you can sense those vibes and relationships become more challenging too!
Pride and self-deprecation are the equivalents to a hamster running on its wheel. The hamster is running in a circle, getting nowhere! It has no idea that that’s what happening either, much like us when we fall into those ruts.
“Okay. Pride, bad; self-deprecation, bad. Got it. So, what does this have to do with the first few phrases?”
I’m getting there! Be patient! 😊
The first phrase was said to me on more than one occasion by my husband and I really didn’t care at all to hear it. I knew from deep down that I couldn’t and shouldn’t compare my writing journey to another’s. But self-deprecation was causing me to think I had to be at a certain point. Which, in reality, was seriously dumb of me. We all start differently with our journey and there will never be one person who has the exact same story, it’s like snowflakes in a sense—each one is designed differently.
As for the second phrase, that was said to me by a good friend, who by the way had no idea I was going through a rut. And, he’s right! Dreams do come true, but self-deprecation and pride will hinder any chances of that from happening! I was consumed with the thought that I needed to be at a certain point for those dreams to come true, that I forgot it was the journey, not the destination that mattered.
And as for the last phrase, a co-worker who only heard bits of my writing life stated that to me a few weeks back! Taking risks requires believing in yourself. And my self-deprecation squeezed out any urges I had to take those risks.
See folks, what it boils down to is having the confidence in your dreams and goals. I’m not saying it’ll be easy. In fact, slipping into those two vicious hamster wheels is the easiest solution, it happens to everyone at some point and can occur more than once. You just gotta find that happy medium, that middle ground where you know you are good at what you’re doing, but understand there’s more you can do with it—while at the same time not being overly critical of yourself! It’s tough, guys. But it’s doable. If you’re still not convinced, there’s a quote floating around the internet. No idea who originally stated it, but it perfectly sums up this entire blog post.