5 Uncomfortable Truths About Life You Need to Know
Life can be complicated. If you are expecting to read about an easy, simple, and happy tale about life then maybe this article isn't for you. Some of you may immediately question what I’m trying to achieve here.
Well, that’s the objective of this article.
If life was an easy ride, you wouldn’t be reading this. We all rant about how most things in life are complicated and hard to overcome. However, if you want the real reasons behind why you feel that way — there are some truths you may have to admit to yourself. And they aren’t pretty.
What are these truths?
Hold on. Let’s backtrack a little. To accept these truths you need to have the mental capacity to handle them. As the famous psychologist Nathaniel Branden once said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
Here are five uncomfortable truths to life to help you understand yourself better and reflect on your actions.
#1) Whatever You Are Feeling Today, Will Fade Away
No matter how happy or sad you are in the moment, you are never going to feel that way forever. Think about it. You won’t always be sad. At some point, you will welcome happiness in your life again.
You don’t have to constantly try battling your emotions or feel guilty for having them. You need to embrace them and treat yourself appropriately while going through them. Holding back on emotions will only make it worse and cause more pain, which you don’t deserve.
A post by Psychology Today states, ever since we were kids, we are told not to cry or worry about things. As a culture, we are often taught to avoid unpleasant emotions at all costs. Many of us even resort to using alcohol, drugs, busyness, or a variety of other self-afflicting behaviour.
Addressing your emotions with people you trust will help you through this process. Ultimately, you will look back and be proud of the actions you took. Maybe even have a quick laugh or joke about it. Our emotions and feelings are temporary, treat them that way.
#2) You Can’t Know the Outcome of a Decision, Before Taking It
There is no golden playbook that will help you make the right decision at all times. You just cannot know for sure. The only way to learn is to make a decision and see how it eventually plays out. Life is all about taking risks. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid this risk as a decision must be made.
We need to understand that all decisions are only made at a particular point in time, with the limited given information. It’s possible that a decision could have been made differently if any of these elements were changed.
The next time you’re questioning your decisions, ask yourself, “Was this decision the best I could have made at the time, given the information I had then?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve made the right one. Don’t think twice.
However, there is a simple hack you can use. I follow it myself. You can always make an informed decision. Chart out the consequences of the decision being made and then judge for yourself. This way, you aren’t second-guessing your decision and will always stand by it.
That’s how life is — full of decisions. Over time, you get better at it and ultimately you learn to make the right ones. Always make your own decisions, and learn to accept them with grace.
#3) You Learn About Others Through Their Actions
The phrase, “Actions speak louder than words” cannot be more appropriate. They also tend to happen immediately and at a much faster rate. Remember the time you rolled your eyes at an annoyingly bad story? Not this one.
Some responses can take place before we find words to describe them. My point here is that a person’s actions can influence what you think about them. Their actions can swing your opinion of them towards the good or bad side.
But if you don’t understand what those actions mean, it won’t make any difference to how you perceive them. However, the good news is that I have three easy steps to understand people’s actions, which have worked well for me in the past. It may be something you can use too.
- Understand the underlying motivation behind their action
- Identify the intent versus outcome of their action
- Don’t react to the situation but focus on their action
Using these steps, I’ve been able to gauge people’s actions better. It’s not always perfect, but no system for understanding people really is. At least the next time someone critiques your incompetence at work, you’ll have a better idea. And you’ll know it is more about them than it is about you.
#4) You Attach Self-Worth to What Others Think of You
Life is not meant to be understood in its totality. Many bad things may happen to you in your life. Many mean things may be said or thought about you. And we can try to understand them all but ultimately it only breaks us more in the process of doing so.
Self-worth is about how you value yourself. It’s not determined by a character certificate others create of you. It comes from within. But all of us can easily forget that our worth isn’t determined by these outside forces.
In an article for Psychology Today, Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, explains that we constantly measure our self-worth, without actually knowing how we do it — it could be our careers, our appearance, or our relationships. She uses the analogy of a random stick to measure our height as a comparison.
However, the “stick” we choose to measure our self-worth exists beyond our control. We measure it based on the items to check on our to-do list, the number of matches on a dating app, the likes on our latest social media post, the promotions we receive, and the list goes on.
To love ourselves, we must connect to what makes us human. We must love who we are, our goodness, no matter how many things go wrong in our life. This could be as small as exercising regularly, starting a journal, reading a book, playing a sport, or anything that makes you happy.
Bottom line is that your self-worth is determined by you. You are worthy because you say you’re worthy and because you believe it. Look within, and just know that you are enough.
#5) You Have No Choice
It’s a funny thing about choice. Most people believe that it’s very important to have choices in their lives. Some might even battle you to have the right to choose. However, when we look at it on a broader scale, the most important events in our lives offer the least choice of all.
Let’s put that into perspective. Where you were born, who you were born to, and when you were born are events where you have no choice, but to accept them. All your opportunities, privileges, and views stem from an event where you had no role to play. And these factors define who you are today.
Some choices may seem fairly straightforward. Picking between a well-cooked chicken steak and a KFC chicken bucket may not take me any time. However, some choices may not be as simple.
Does a vegetarian choose not to eat meat? If they do choose, couldn’t they simply decide to tuck into a fish fillet on a Saturday night? In some ways it seems like they should be able to, but, could they?
Personally, I know I can choose to be a vegetarian if I want to, or at least that’s what I tell myself. Truthfully though, I don’t think I’d make it past lunchtime.
An article on Psychology Today echoes my thoughts perfectly, as it states when one path is pursued, we automatically limit our choices in other areas. The crucial point is not about what we limit but actually who limits the choices in our lives. And that determines the choices we eventually make.
The ironic thing about truth is that there is no real truth in the world, there are only facts. And everything else formed around us is only an opinion. However, we build our lives around these opinions, which eventually become our truths.
Here’s the interesting bit though — although you can’t change facts, you can change your truth, depending on what you want it to be. Every single experience, decision, and action shapes your truth. You have a chance at running a truth for the better or worse. This is eventually your choice.
If we can accept these underlying truths to ourselves, we can enjoy a life filled with less anxiety, stress, or depression. You will have clearer expectations from life and the adventures it creates for you, which makes your life worth living.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” — Marcus Aurelius