Made Up Case Study: Self Sabotage
The phrase, "Leaving one's comfort zone" to achieve the unthinkable has been a staple of all pep talks we've come across in the decades passed. But the truth of it can be a little harsh, my dear reader.
Our comfort zone is simply a slave to what we are familiar with. We're more likely to choose something mediocre that we know, over some awesome unknown. That's why taking risks is always so nerve-wracking.
Athletes, Boxers, Wrestlers, Singers, Artists, Comics, have all had huge successes and yet so many of them end up right where they started. Broke/Bankrupt, falling from grace. Why, though?
Psychologists theorize that it is because of the concept of self-sabotage. It's the act of kamikazeing your success, with your actions, with full knowledge of the consequences. Be it not studying the exam that's in a week, or not working even though the deadline is approaching at light speed, screwing up a relationship you love over momentary fun.
Rags to Riches to Rags. BB King, Parveen Babi, Mike Tyson, Jake "the Snake" Roberts and many more.
Say there's a kid who's grown up in poverty and has always despised it. Even though he knows nothing outside of it. Not yet anyway.
He's a good fighter, though. Can throw a good punch. Growing up in a rough neighborhood makes you tough if you wanna grow up.
A high-flying trainer in search for his new prodigy picks this one up. Trains him, feeds him, makes him great at what he does. He gets a chance at the big leagues and knocks it out of the park.
He goes big, he wins big, gets rich AF.
Spends all his fortune on extravagant houses, cars, clothes, ladies, and drugs. Things he had only dreamt about back in the ghetto.
Few years down the line, on the top of his game, he fucks things up. Gets way too carried away, loses his title, his money, and his fame as suddenly as he found them.
Back to the ghetto, all be it a little better.
We've seen this story play out way too many times to really be surprised by the turns it takes.
"Should've managed his money better."
"Vote for Trumph"
People are quick to say stupid stuff.
Diving Into His Mind
Having grown up in hardships and constantly looked down upon for being weak or poor or both, planted a seed in his mind. All he wants to be is stronger, look better, dress better, live better and be rich. Be better than what he was. Because more than he loathed what they said to him, he loathed himself.
He thought what they had been saying was true, and let it define him.
His whole life had been a struggle to make those few wishes to come true. But here's the thing with open-ended wishes, they don't stop unless you make them.
The desire for love and admiration, even when you're already getting loads, leads to the alienation of the ones who already do, in pursuit of those who don't yet.
In pursuit of riches, power, and fame, his extravagance was simply his way of convincing himself of having left his old identity given to him by the nay-sayers from his early life.
But sudden changes don't change the person inside of you. All the fame and riches that came to him were never familiar to him, to begin with. Thus, he never understood them or truly accepted them.
In his mind, he knew all this would be taken from him, so he subconsciously took it away from himself.
Just to revert to a familiar demon. And guess what, he's more at peace with himself in being broke because he has always identified with it.
Over Compensation and Self Sabotage just met their soul mates.
Our comfort zone has less to do with our happiness and more with self-identity. Things and environments we're familiar with and have felt a part of will always be a place we'd gravitate towards. (Good or Bad)
So the question is, is there a way out of this cycle?
Might be. I don't know. I'm just a frustrated writer.
But I guess the trick of it all, is not to leave for comfort zone per se, but to expand it.
Experience more, Read more, Learn more from it. Keep pushing the boundaries of what you're familiar with. Maybe it'll work.
If not, you'd be more interesting, and more people would be into you. Maybe. Again, just a frustrated writer.
Either way, Win-Win.