Recently I shared the following thought on twitter.
Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
And you are not alone.
— Quintessential Mind (@theQSLmind) August 21, 2015
The tweet, as you can see, gained a lot of attention so I thought I should elaborate a bit on the topic.
Below you will find two personal stories that illustrate how this tweet found and still finds application in my life.
I am sure they will inspire you.
When I was a kid I remember I was a really good student. Studying was one of my top priorities and I somehow considered it unquestionable that I should study hard and be one of the top performers in my class.
Every year I would get high grades and every year I would finish among the top 5 students in the whole school.
My parents were really proud of me. This however didn’t really matter.
I wasn’t really studying for them. I was studying because I thought that studying would make me look cool and that the girls would like me more.
Little naïve me.
By the time I entered adolescence I had aced all my exams and I was considered one of the brightest minds in school.
That, however, didn’t give me the value I was anticipating, neither did it help me get the attention from girls that I truly desired.
My friends were also struggling with girls and whenever a cute girl would walk by or would be in the same class, they would all be impressed by her presence but they would all also come up with the same excuse: “Forget about her. She is out of our league.” 1
At some point, I started suspecting that something was wrong with my plan and that I should start reconsidering my options and strategy.
When I was 15 our school organized an exchange program with some students from a city in Germany called Hamburg.
The purpose of the program was to get a taste of a different culture and improve our skills in the German language.
My “exchange partner” was a kid called George. 2
George was a very extroverted guy who had a really good sense of style. Not the type of guy you would call smart or bright, but he had a very special skill that I was lacking dramatically – he was incredibly good with girls.
For George being good with girls was as “unquestionable” as studying was for me.
He wasn’t doing something special. He just had “it.”
He could just walk up to a girl, introduce himself and then you would see the girl blushing, playing with her hair and after a day somehow she was his girlfriend.
The kid was 15, he wasn’t good looking, his beard was just starting to grow and looked weird, he was skinny like an elf and if I can recall correctly he was wearing braces.
Needless to say that he was my first idol.
Growing up in a middle-class family in Athens, Greece, wasn’t an easy thing. Most of the kids at school were just too competitive, or too ignorant, or too aggressive. It wasn’t their fault but this somehow didn’t give me the chance to get a good idea of how the world really is.
Having the chance to interact with a kid like George, helped me expand my worldview and I naturally opened up myself to new possibilities. 3
I remember that after coming back from that trip, I experienced a sharp mentality shift.
I decided to change my perspective towards studying and girls and I started to focus more on how to improve my mindset and work on appreciating myself more.
I still got good grades, but I wasn’t really studying for others, but more for me.
At the same time, I somehow got rid of the pedestal I used to put girls on and decided to treat them as equals and feel comfortable around them.
I experienced a whole new reality that helped me enjoy myself and the people around me more.
I started getting attention from girls I didn’t even think they would want to talk to me and I had my first relationships.
And it all happened because of one underappreciated but incredibly important reason:
I stopped overestimating the world and underestimating myself.
And that felt good.
Almost 15 years later I am here in front of my laptop writing this piece, hoping to find the right words to inspire you and maybe be your George.
Because I think that everybody needs a George.
A George that can serve many purposes but most importantly to constantly remind you this:
Stop overestimating the world and underestimating yourself. You are better than you think.
Now, that’s not any easy task.
It’s not an easy task because it requires extreme honesty from your side.
You need to be true to yourself.
Once you are true to yourself, you can understand who you really are, find your purpose, and then create an ecosystem around you that can serve this purpose.
I will give you an example from my personal life that illustrates perfectly the idea behind this.
My girlfriend is a college student, but she also works at a coffee shop as a waitress sometimes during the week.
I really like that coffee shop so I hang out there sometimes to do some writing.
One day a colleague of hers playfully tickled her waist while I was there and I happened to see that.
I am a bit hot-tempered due to a weird combination of my genes, male evolution, and cultural background.
A relationship to me is something sacred. I don’t enter a relationship by accident but because of careful consideration of my life choices and needs.
I don’t really need to be in a relationship because I can also be happy while single, but I chose to do so.
So, for me being in a relationship is a big deal and I pay a lot of attention to things that to others might seem small or unimportant.
The move that the colleague did somehow hit a nerve and the moment it happened I felt threatened.
It was a threat that wasn’t really connected to things like jealousy or other similar feelings. 4 It was more like a threat to the respect I demand from people around me.
The way I would respect a girl that has a boyfriend, in the same way, I expect the kind of respect from others.
So, the moment the event occurred, I yelled at the guy aggressively and I told him not to do that again that he should respect other people’s relationships more.
My girlfriend tried to calm me down and the guy left kind of embarrassed and scared.
I knew that what I was asking, to some people might seem insecure or crazy, but to me it is important.
It is important because I am a person who is absolutely aware of what he wants in his life and knows exactly how to get it.
I know that I am in a relationship because I want to feel special and experience a great connection that I cannot find elsewhere. I know that the moment I lose that, there is no reason for me to be in a relationship. And she needs to know that too. 5
The next day I had a meeting with my therapist where we discussed all that.
I did a lot of self-reflection that day and after the session I also did my own research and I found out that I have a tendency towards narcissistic personality disorder.
Not the severe, narcissistic-asshole type, but I tend to expect admiration and respect from the people close to me, I sometimes lack empathy and I also have idealistic expectations about success, power, intelligence or romance.
Part of my narcissism is also empowered by my personality type.
Recently I did the personality type test and I found out that I am an ENTJ aka Commander type.
Below is a table that showcases precisely my strengths and weaknesses and I totally agree with it.
To be honest, I don’t like to think of my narcissism as a disorder.
I really believe that if I lacked narcissism, I wouldn’t have achieved anything special in life. To me, narcissism is a form of self-love that people rarely see.
Everybody needs a narcissistic aspect in their life in order to stop underestimating their capabilities and their potential.
Narcissism is what helps me crave for respect and also be respectful.
I like people who are narcissists in a healthy way and I know that they like me back. We understand each other and we are capable of building true and lasting connections.
But that’s ok.
It takes a lot of introspection to finally reach a point where you properly understand who you really are and what you need from life.
I consider my inability to tolerate behaviors and have high expectations a gift.
I really think that it is the secret ingredient to success and authentic relationships.
I know that it is rare to find, but this is what also feeds my drive to keep searching for it.
This is also the reason I write to you today.
I don’t know how easy it is for you to relate to my story, but I am sure that to some extent you desire the same amount of respect and admiration from your environment as I do.
I know that you are tired of reading all those BS success stories that you can’t really resonate with and the only thing that cause in your reality is confusion and frustration.
I know that you are tired of people in your environment not appreciating your hard work and telling you that you are not enough.
I know that you finally want your inner peace and a balanced lifestyle where you can find a creative way to actualize your potential.
So, to all that I say for the last time:
Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think. And you are not alone.
I am really interested in discovering our reader’s personality types, so go ahead and do the test and post your personality type in the comment section below.
Also, if you really want to start appreciating yourself more, you need to act like it. 30 Challenges-30 Days- Zero-Excuses is a great place to start.
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