"Loving yourself is not about getting a high score. Loving yourself is about accepting The Self even when it fails"
We all have days when we we do not perform our best. For example we can have days when we constantly make mistakes at work, or days when we forget to do certain things, or days when we lose balance and trip over, or days when we do not perform well in the sport that we do and so forth.
Underperforming simply means to perform less than our best.
This article will go into depth into the Causes of underperforming and address the suffering States of Mind that can come from underperforming.
Underperforming In Depth
There are two parts to underperforming that will be addressed in this article.
Firstly, we will look at the Causes to underperforming at at the physical level.
Secondly, we will look at ways to address the Negativity experienced in the Mind when one underperforms.
Underperforming at the physical level
The quality of our actions will always be determined by the quality of our physical and mental state.
For instance, if we are physically or mentally tired then obviously we will not able to perform our best. If we are mentally confused then our actions will be a confused one. If we are mentally agitated i.e. by anger and frustration then we would not be able to focus on the task at hand and thus resulting in underperforming.
Thus to address the cause of “underperforming” at the physical level, one will have to address one's diet and lifestyle as to why one is lacking physical energy. Also one will have to address it at a deeper level which is to examine why one is not mentally clear/fresh/aware/awake to do the task well - i.e. addressing the mental negativities within - our Sufferings.
It is important here to realize that whenever we experience Suffering, whether it it be gross or subtle, our mental state will be affected negatively. Thus naturally as we work on transforming our sufferings our mind will become clearer and clearer and as a result there will be less days where we will underperform.
Underperforming at the perceptual level
Why one would declare to oneself that one has “underperformed” will be due to the reason that The Self has set certain expectations on The Self. Thus perfectionists in general will experience the perception of having “underperformed” much more than those who do not set high expectations on oneself.
Now we will look at the negativity that can be experienced when one perceives oneself as having being “underperformed.”
When we experience Sufferings associated with Underperforming it means that there are Negative Ideas driving the experience – Ideas which promote the Rejection of The Self. To put in relation to the topic of Underperforming, these will be Ideas where The Self cannot simply Accept oneself as is – even when it underperforms.
These Negative Ideas will not only bring Sufferings i.e. judgement / criticism / negativity to The Self when it underperforms, but it will also create Fears of Underperforming as well.
Importance Of Addressing Underperforming
The fears and negativities involved with Underperforming has to be addressed if one wishes to experience greater happiness in life. Realize that one will never be able to experience happiness if one will never be able to be content with oneself in whatever task one does in life.
When the issues of underperforming is left unaddressed then one will not even be able to experience contentment even if one has reached great heights in life, and the negativity will push The Self to do even more and more which can leave The Self stuck in a cycle of self-criticism, disappointment and unsatiated desires.
As stated before, to perform well in life will always be correlated to the state of one’s Mental State. And that mental state will never be a clear one if one fears “Underperforming” because the fear will make one's one’s mind clustered with the thoughts of “failing”. Thus the fear of underperforming causes underperforming – making the fear a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For individuals who has deep issues with Underperforming they can experience a great deal of regret, of always looking back in the past to constantly analyze the ways in which one could have done “better” or do better next time – i.e. how one could've won whether it was an argument or a game, how one could've presented themselves better in front of a stranger or an audience and so forth. When one is in this mental state one may fall into the illusion that one is loving oneself by striving to improve oneself and not seeing beyond the illusion to realize that to truly improve oneself is to love the self no matter if one fails or not.
Path Of Creator
Underperforming In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The Path begins with The Self developing the intention to address the issues of Underperforming and this will involve the development of awareness of the impacts on happiness when one is negative towards oneself when one Underperforms.
To help with the progress, one can simply realize that one can never have “perfect days” every day. Although it is possible to carry a clear state of mind and awareness every day so that one will be able to perform one’s best, in reality it is highly unlikely because there will be things out in the world that will throw us off balance – i.e. we may not get enough sleep, someone may have said something to irritate our state of mind, we may have injured our hands so that we could no longer play sports as well before and so forth.
Developing this area of Knowing can take us to the realization that it is only “natural” for one to underperform because we can never be at our “best” every day. The deeper issue thus is not so much about whether or not to underperform, but rather to address the reason as to why The Self cannot simply Accept and be content with oneself when one underperforms.
The journey thus will require one to dive deep into the Cause of one’s Sufferings and that ultimately take one to go through lessons concerning Self-Acceptance to release it.
As the Seed Cause to all forms of Sufferings will all recede back to Negative Ideas, let us look at one of the Negative Ideas that can create issues in the mind concerning Underperforming.
A Possible Negative Mental Declaration
"It is not ok to fail"
For the mind which carries the negative declaration, the person will tend to hold a great fear in failing to meet expectations or fear been seen as a failure in other people's eyes.
The transition towards the positive declaration begins when one realizes that when one defines success through other people's reactions one will encounter countless failures because everyone's reaction towards the same performance will always be different. The journey thus will thus first involve redefining success through one's own perception of what it really is.
Expectations On The Self
We all have ideas about an "Ideal Self". For instance, we may think that in order to be successful we have to have a lot of money or be married with kids . Maybe we may think that in order to be “attractive” we need to learn many languages.
There is nothing wrong with having these ideas as these Ideas can serve as a higher goal for us to improve ourselves. However, when we become attached to these Ideas then it can create great Negativities in the Mind. Attachment in this sense simply means that instead of the Idea “It is ok to have lots of money” now The Self has declared “It is not ok to not have lots of money.”
When we become attached to such ideas then we will experience Suffering. For instance, if we do not get enough money, then we can experience states of Self-Rejection.
See Catalyst – Expectations.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
In everything that you do, simply tell yourself “Good Job” and leave it as is. Doing this will help you to become aware of the times when you simply could not say this. Realize that this is best done in moments when you are judging yourself for having underperformed. Simply observe the Inner Resistance each time you try to counter the Negativity that surfaces from within. Over time you will begin to know the reasons as to the Inner Resistance. This is how we develop the Knowing of The Self.
The Creator's MeditationLink here
When we meditate it is easy to encounter wandering thoughts as to what we did yesterday or what we will do in the future rather than simply focus on the Present. In all scenarios, always simply draw your attention back to the Present and Observe it as is. This is how we train the Mind to not criticise The Self for not having done something well in the past and from dwelling in the fear of not performing one’s best in the future. Also, the more one attempts to stay in the Present the more one will experience the Inner Resistance and this is a great catalyst for one to develop the Knowing of The Self.
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