Un-becoming: The secret to living a fulfilling life

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That moment when it dawns at us that all we need for success, happiness, and inner peace is the right mindset

Recently I read a post on a social media platform that goes like “ maybe life isn´t about becoming anything but un-becoming everything that is not really you so that you could be what you were meant to be in the first place”, although it was an anonymous quote (please excuse me for my ignorance if you know the source), but it touched me on a very deep level and answered many of the questions that I had been asking myself throughout my adult life.

Questions such as, why my life is so hard? Why despite working so hard I meet with failures in almost every area of my life? Why do I come across the most complicated, unforgiving, unkind, and sometimes vile and immoral people? Why this? Why that?

Little did my ignorant self know that all the failures and bad experiences I had been through were simply because of my limited beliefs and they were there to teach me lessons I wouldn´t learn otherwise and eventually put me on the journey of becoming the true version of myself. For there was something astounding that was happening to me with every trial I faced- I was transforming.

If you feel like you are the odd one out like this yellow flower, protect your originality and uniqueness because that’s where your true strength lies

Growing up in an educated and extremely loving middle-income family, which was a little too open-minded for the area we were living in, I was, as my parents quote it “a difficult child”. I am not sure if my parents and my siblings also acknowledge that I too had a difficult childhood. I was a complete misfit for I was too sensitive, too bold, too vocal, and simply untameable. However, despite being born a natural rebel, I was not immune to the external influences, which quietly and slowly ensued a certain kind of insecurity and fear in me.

Three of the strongest fears that I have been carrying with me so far were, the fear of displeasing God, the fear of letting my parents down, and the fear of others’ opinion. The first fear I just mentioned has its roots in the misconceptions I had about religion and the God. These fears were so paralysing that every time I did something off the books, I instantly felt like an outcast for God, my family, and the society I was living in.

And to cope with all these fears I found refuge in chasing perfectionism. Since this life is far from so-called “perfect”, it was tiring and not to mention a futile attempt.

I tried everything to even look like others, who seemed to be doing better in life. To mention a few; I would spend hours until my unruly and voluminous curly hair are on their knees, I would try different remedies to change my hair colour from jet black to light brown, I would do everything to camouflage pigmentation on my face and the list goes on and on.

While cutting nooks and corners to bring my life into a perfect shape that I thought would make me more loveable and acceptable for my family, and the people around, I took many wrong decisions one after another. Some of them shook me to the core and left me with hurts so deep that recalling them still gives me goosebumps.

Then came a time in my life when I started questioning everything that I was, even the grounds behind my strongest beliefs. I did it because I was tired to the bones. It turned out that my desire to live life fully was far stronger than my strongest fears and insecurities.

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

To start with, I had a microscopic analysis of my relationship with God. This was time taking but I was determined so I started my research. After a certain time of reading, inquiring, pondering, and praying I found out among many other things that God loves us even if we are frequent sinners and He forgives us in the blink of an eye if we seek forgiveness and repent on our wrongdoing. And eventually the fear of God transformed into love of God and I automatically started doing things pleasing to God because ‘all a lover does is to constantly remember his beloved and avoids anything that is displeasing’.

This changed everything but most importantly it made me truly fearless and free by making me realize that God is not my weakness but my biggest strength and ally. Having said that, the idea that I’m trying to convey here is that one should always strive to be the best version of oneself. And as I said earlier chasing perfection is useless and tiring. The truth of the matter is that no matter how hard we try we can never be saints because that is the way humans are made to function. However, continuous self-improvement is what we should be chasing after.

True freedom is attained when we overcome our fears and insecurities

If I compare myself now with my ten years younger self, the difference is huge. People who know my younger self are in awe of how drastically I have changed and improved. I would write in detail about what really helped me on the journey of un-becoming later. For now, I would say it is all about the mindset and how we master our own minds.

I have learned that the biggest corruptors, who are also very damaging overall both materialistically and spiritually, are basically three emotions namely fear, envy or jealousy, and ego or undue pride. One of the most damaging aspects of these corruptors is that they corrupt and cloud our thinking and decision-making capabilities. Our instincts, which are divine sensors to help us navigate life and reap its fruits, are made numb so we start messing up things and making wrong decisions.

And by the way, the reason why I said fear, envy or jealousy, and ego or undue pride are damaging because they lead us to other corrupt behaviors. For example, fear leads us to lies and lies lead us to other bad things such as insecurity, anxiety, loss of self-respect, and more fear (of getting caught, of losing something, etc.) and it becomes a vicious circle that is hard to break and even harder to come out of.

Here, I would also like to mention that lying is an absolute disrespect and disgrace that we show to ourselves because when we lie we trade our precious authentic self for something that could never be (no matter what it is that we are trying to achieve by lying) as valuable as our authenticity. Hence, until we are not free from these impurities, we keep living a miserable, unfulfilled, and dull life.

Cultivate a growth mindset, keep improving, keep believing and keep going- there is light at the end of the tunnel

Since I have just told you about the biggest corruptors, it would be unfair if I don’t share with you the three most important traits that, when practiced in the right sense, work as an antidote for anxiety, stress, and depression. They also bring along the fruits of mental peace and calmness. These are kindness, empathy, and forgiveness. It is when you learn to be kind instead of being right, when you stop judging because you know that only the person wearing the shoe knows where it hurts, when you start forgiving without the need for an apology.

And let me tell you a secret here, when we become truly kind, empathetic, and forgiving, apparently it seems like we are doing a great service to the people around us but in fact, we free ourselves from so many burdens that weigh us down and make our mind and body sick. In my humble opinion, it is the best gift one could give to himself but understanding and embracing this very idea takes a certain amount of wisdom and wisdom has a lot to do with experiences- in fact, bad experiences.

Many people confuse wisdom with age, I disagree with this notion to some extent, as only suffering awakens and opens our brains to the ideas that seem pretty dull and useless to a green, naïve mind. Pain and suffering are what forces us to understand and adapt the philosophy behind our thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, and actions.

Experiences (especially mistakes and failures) not age make us wise

I can write on and on but since I don’t want to be a bore, I save this discussion for some later post. For now, I’m just going to list the key ideas here,

  • Get Your Faith Right

God loves us, He loves to forgive, and He never abandons us. Why we do not get what we ask for because we do not truly believe that we can have it or He would fulfill our desire. Unwavering belief is the key here, no matter if all odds are against you or how bad your current state is, you can have what you want only if you truly and deeply believe that it is possible.

  • Take Care of Yourself

God and Family are sources of strength not weakness. Your first and foremost job is to make yourself whole. As the saying goes “if we are not happy with ourselves, we will not be able to make anybody happy”.

  • Embrace Your Journey and Learn from Every Obstacle You Face

Trials come to teach us lessons that we do not learn otherwise and transform us into our original selves. We are born an original no doubt but since the day an individual is born, he’s influenced by numerous people and things in his surroundings and by the time he reaches his twenties, he becomes something that these influences shapes him into be not what he was born to be.

Learning to get rid of all the influences that try to corrupt our originality and try to turn us into look-alike insignificant moulds, is the beginning of a truly fulfilling and purposeful life. However, I do not dare to say that this is going to be easy.

  • Try Not to Repeat the Same Mistakes (Make some new one´s instead ?)

You might have read the quote, “you are given the same test over and over again until you pass it”, guess what! it is actually true. Sometimes we feel like we are encountered with the same sort of trials and bad situations repeatedly, this happens when we do not learn what the trial came to teach us.

  • Do Not Compare Yourself with Others (to me it’s an outright self-disrespect that we all are guilty of)

Each one of us is unique, irreplaceable, and special in his/her own way and so are our journeys, therefore there is no point in comparing ourselves and our lives with others. Since we and our journeys are unique, it is an absolute waste of time and energy to be bothered with the opinions of others as well. This way our own progress on the journey of un-becoming and unleashing our true potential gets hindered and ultimately delayed.

  • Get Rid of
    • Fear
    • Envy or jealousy
    • Ego or undue pride
  • Practice
    • Kindness
    • Empathy
    • Forgiveness

So, by now if you still wonder why should we care about un-becoming everything that we are not? The simple answer is: because there is a whole new world on the other side of fear, insecurity, self-doubt, and resentment that is bursting with life, purpose, and true fulfillment.

PS: the picture that you are seeing at the end of this blog post is the one where I’m wearing zero makeup, with absolutely no hairstyling, and wearing an oversize $8 sweatshirt. Here, by no means, I’m saying that one should not be putting on makeup, expensive clothes, and fancy hairstyles, I still love to do that, what I want to emphasize here is that now I’m not afraid of others´ opinion and I fully embrace as well as value myself the way I am.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Sumera. I am a marketer and an economist by profession. I like to read about social, cognitive, and behavioral psychology. The topics such as inequality, racism, women empowerment, child abuse, and intersex rights are very close to my heart. Since I like to eat healthy (except for a daily dose of dessert that I cannot live without ;p) and stay physically in shape, I make sure to make time for a walk or jog daily and eat natural products like fruits, vegetables, and yogurt.

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10 thoughts on “Un-becoming: The secret to living a fulfilling life

  1. Ahned


    1. admin

      Thank you Ahmed for your feedback. It means a lot.

  2. Saima

    Amazing. Love your writing style

    1. admin

      Thank you Saima for reading my article and for your appreciation. Love

  3. Varteny

    Great writing and beautiful smile. ❣️

    1. admin

      Thank you Varteny. Love!

  4. Vlada

    Guuurl I absolutely loved this article! I agree with every single word.
    You have a gift! Keep on writing ❤

    1. admin

      Thanks Vlada. I’m humbled by your generosity.

  5. Muhammad Zubair

    Well.this article has answered alot of questions i had about my life but at the same time have also.raised few new questions, hope to.find answer of those in any of your future article . goodluck for your life and career.

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