Whether you want to pay the price or not.

I hit my rock bottom.

A few weeks with many negative thoughts passing by. I met two different psychologists within the same week. Suppressed cries and daily short of breath that can last from dawn until evening. That’s what happened to me recently which I know, it all started from my mind.

The last session with the psychologist hit me differently. I already knew my stressors; such as being so hard on myself, overwhelmed by the workload, feeling lonely as project manager, etc. Well, I thought I knew. But, the therapist tried to unveil me layer by layer like an onion and it succeeded in making me understand what’s really happening to me.

The real causes are indeed the same stressor but with different perspectives. The session is concluded with a brief summary:

“I was always being hard on myself because I think it was important in order for me to grow. However, right now that mindset decapitates me and turns out I am going nowhere. So, please be kind to yourself, so that the problem that already manifests to your physical health can go away. And then you can keep growing slowly later.”

In addition, she also gave me a homework to notice when my negative thoughts emerge and take notes. That’s it. Simple yet takes a lot of effort, I think.

Today, when I tried to notice my thoughts, I was struck by a thought that I had a long time ago. It is a lesson that I got from some motivational books which I forgot the title. It is about whether humans can achieve anything that they want, but the problem lies whether we want to pay the price or not.

I want to have an athletic body fast, but do I really want to pay the price; going through a strict diet, intense amount of exercise and even pay a personal trainer? No, I don’t want to. So, I choose to simply exercise at home and still eat some unhealthy food with reduced portions. It still shows the result though, but with slower pace of weight loss and muscle gain.

On the other hand, do I really want to have work-life balance without thinking about job when the work hours are over? Yes, I wanted to, but I failed hard. I procrastinate on a whole different level, making me feel restless when I rest (how ironic). I can’t stick with the 8-5 and choose to work overtime while in the designated hours I prefer to procrastinate. That’s what makes me so stressed and overwhelmed. I admit that.

So, about the ability of someone to achieve anything, unfortunately it is not only whether we need to pay the price, but also another factor called probability, especially when what you want is actually something that other people want.

It’s different from building your body that basically is fully competing with yourself, landing your dream job, winning a writing competition and many others are mostly competing with other people. They also want to pay the price and there is a probability that they will take part.

All of us really have different levels of probability, some of us have it high, the rest do not. Paying the price won’t guarantee you to achieve it, but it guarantees you to increase your chance to win it. You can train so hard but still lose, you can compete in five different competitions but still won’t get any prize. But along the way, you are better than before, and it increases your probability to achieve the next one. I hope you get it.

Since this is my reflective writing, so the real question for me is, do I want to pay the price? If I say yes, then I need to work my asses off, especially on coping with my shortness of breath and anxiety problem.

I need to sacrifice by concentrating on the tasks during the work hours, so that I don’t need to be panic after 5PM because I truly believe that I am doing my best during the daytime.

I also need to become indistractable from most distractions, because that’s what it takes to pay the price. And I need to love myself more, not be so hard on myself, because that’s the biggest price I need to pay if I want to have a good life. Yes, I do.

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