This is quite a dark and emotional post...if you wish to not get triggered or feel any form of emotional discomfort, please do not continue reading.
Is There Such A Thing As An Inner Demon?
"KELUAR ENGKAU SYAITAN!! KELUAR!!"
(Begone! BEGONE YOU DEMON!!)
That's the first thing that came to mind whenever I hear someone battling their inner demons. Although, that is not the inner demon that most people are referring to when they complain of having them.
According to Psych2go.net, we can actually figure out whether we have any inner demons that may be affecting our lives or not.
I only realize that I have been repressing some of my negative emotions since young a few years back. It eventually led to negative self-talk and the urge to inflict pain to others.
Some days, I can be pent-up with anger or disappointment that I couldn't sleep well and it does affect my focus at work too.
I think everyone has at least a small-sized baby demon in them, who is feeding on their hatred and sadness, and it is growing steadily as they go through life with expectations and the lack of inner peace.
Probably, everyone has their dark past or in fact, they are still going through them as we speak.
I Hate Myself And Others Sometimes..
Some of you know me from the social media realm, some of you as colleagues, and others as friends since childhood or teenage years; all of you knew or know a different side of me.
Some might dislike me for what I was or still am. Some adore me for what they believe I am like in their own perspectives. Some see me as an inspiration knowing what I am pursuing. Others.... treat me like a useless joke.
But, I know myself quite well. I know that I'm not that bright, or responsible, or thoughtful or someone who shows superb initiative and leadership qualities.
I know that I'm quite clumsy with my hands and can be very socially awkward. I know I can be very forgetful or sometimes, I may look calm, but I'm panicking in the inside which is why I fumble a lot during emergency situations.
Worst feeling is that I know that I'm not a good comedian or rather I am the comedy itself yet I still try to be funny.
Some might say, I'm just being humble or simply negative.
To me, it just means that I know myself quite well. So, saying things like that won't make me feel any better. (Is it something like a form of patronizing too?)
The thing is, I feel like I have to give a 150% in life to meet the standards of the status quo while others are already succeeding in life at 99% effort and it is damn tiring sometimes.
Like, I'm always on a treadmill running at sprinting like a dog trying to catch up with life and every time I rest, shit happens.
Really, not exaggerating. Just the other day, I had to unwillingly pay SGD$1000 for an online membership course fees which I've intended to stop taking as I don't see the need to continue anymore, but I forgot to unsubscribe before the payment due date (Pfft).
It is certainly not a mindset-thing. You know, like those "typical" motivational speaker who keeps repeating that it's all in your mind?
Like, you can't tell a turtle or a snail to move faster and tell them that what's really holding them back is their mind? (Well, we can't even talk to animals in the first place lah)
You can't tell a handicapped person to walk faster when they are born with a neuromuscular disease that prevents them from walking normally, and that it's all their mind?
Yeah, you might think we can't compare physical or animal characteristics with what's in the human mind, but I disagree.
I believe it's the same thing for our intellectual capabilities as well. Some people are able to focus better or remember more things compared to others. Some people are able to multitask well. Some are good at solving problems quickly. Some are good at being creative.
It is how we are programmed uniquely as humans and sometimes, it is very hard to overcome our weaknesses and to know what are our strength which is the only way to overcome my inner demons, actually.
Overcoming Negative Self-talk
"Know your strengths and weaknesses, but master only your strengths."
Not sure who said that but it made sense.
Why should we waste our entire life miserably trying to make a living in a circus, juggling 10 balls on fire while balancing on a unicycle on a rope 10 ft. above ground when we could be better of being a salesperson mastering all the sales technique in just a month?
But, how do we know?
How do we know when should we stop chasing the rainbow? How do we find out what skills we are good at?
I can cycle without holding on to the bike handle quite well, does it mean I should be a pro-cycler? What if the things I'm good at is not even something I am passionate about?
In the end, it is still not easy. Living life according to our means is not easy. We are always forced to do things we don't like or things we are not good at most of the time.
I believe only a handful of people are lucky enough to pursue a happy and successful life - Some will win and some will lose. And that is something that I need to accept, that we all need to accept.
Because, in the end, it still doesn't matter.
This life is not permanent. We can still give our 100% to build the dream life as much as we want but not many of us will eventually achieve it before our time comes to meet our maker.
Working Hard Is Still A Must
I'm not saying we shouldn't put in any effort to improve ourselves or to stop hustling for a better life at all.
Islam puts so much importance in working hard to make our own living instead of depending on others.
Although there is a significant difference between simply working hard to sustain life and working hard to be better at sustaining and striving in life.
The former involves doing the same quality work consistently but more in quantity while the latter is when we develop skills and knowledge to achieve more in life for the same or lesser amount of effort.
For example, if my job requires me to carry 10 bags from point A to point B, I can put in more work by carrying 12-14 bags with the same amount of pay given. This is an example of just working harder.
But, if I want to develop my skills and knowledge, I could have learned how to build my own wooden cart which could carry 50 bags at a time.
For myself, I can only afford to carry more bags instead of learning how to build a wooden cart and I've learned to accept that that it is okay. Nobody is forcing me to better than what I already am.
Just like how I feel like there are no other options left for me than to work as a process technician to survive. Sure, I can be working hard to "carry more bags", but I won't be working passionately on it - I won't be learning how to develop new systems to improve the productivity and the operations etc.
On the other hand, I've always love to be involved with fitness, outdoor events, organizing personal development events, writing, facilitating, teaching, and many other things that a process technician does not do.
So, you may asked, why did I even bother pursuing the chemical industry line?
Because, this is the only job that is consistently paying me enough to sustain my life, support my parents, and even hobbies during this pandemic.
Right now, all I need to do is to work hard to meet the demands of my job as much as possible and if one day, when the company expects me to "Learn to build your own wooden cart", I still have a choice to meet their demands or not.
What I Really Have To Do
In the end, I've learned to stop comparing myself with others. I've learned to accept my flaws and weaknesses. I've learned to stop being affected about what others think about me and focus on giving my best.
And, even if "my best" is still not up to other people's standards, I shall accept that, I shall move on and move forward, and still continue to do what I can to survive and stay mentally well in this unfair and unpredictable world.
Most importantly, I've learned to love myself.
Zaid Omar is the founder and writer of this blog.. He is someone who values being the best version of himself with regards to his Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual aspects.