The pessimist in me

I have been thinking about my pessimism lately. I am a natural pessimist - I always think of the worst case scenario in whatsoever situation I am in. My mind would wander to possibilities that scare myself off.

For instance, if I am waiting for my sister to meet me at a shopping mall. If she is late and she has not contacted me, my mind would wander to the worst possible thing that could happen. Did she meet an accident? Kidnapped? I would then dismiss those negative thoughts. I do not want to think so badly yet I could not quite help it myself. These hypothetical situations were mind-destructing yet my brain somehow wired the thought processes together to generate such ideas.

In day-to-day life, I also prepare myself for the worst. When I sit for an exam, I would fear failing. I keep telling myself what if I do not make it. Maybe I could not. Maybe, maybe. Most of the time I end up passing and my peers would just think I am being over pessimistic about things.

I guess my brain always tries to think of the worst case scenarios and those thoughts form who I am and how I bring myself about. Most of the friends hate that negative self in me - some even comment that I am a let down not only to myself but to others. I can imagine how annoying it is to have a friend who is always letting out negative statements about herself and her environment.

After synthesizing the feedback from my friends, I came up with two statements -

1. Trying to be humble but it kills
Being a pessimist can drain a lot of positive energy around your peers. You pulling down yourself is negative enough. But doing it all the time would cause everyone around you to be tired and drained out. A close friend of mine commented that on me after listening to me ranting about how I could not do epidural or insert central lines all the time. To me, it was being humble that I am learning junior doctor. But to her, it was just tiring to be reminded how lousy you are all the time.

"Can you just have some confidence? Don't keep saying you cannot do it!" said my friend.

2. Defense mechanism for disappointments
Nobody likes facing disappointments. It is sometimes inevitable but preparing yourself for these disappointing matters may be helpful at times. I think the core of my pessimism is itself a defense mechanism for me to face disappointments in life. I swim my thoughts over possible bad things happening so that if they do happen, I would not be too crushed. Or so I thought.

A few months ago, I thought for once, I was going to be positive about some things. I thought I could make things happen.

Guess what.

Things did not happen. Disappointments ensued.

And the very thing I was positive in (while everyone else being skeptical, obviously) ironically ended up the only thing I should not even have hope for.


Where does this lead me to?

I aim to be a more balanced person after this. Yes, I am terribly lazy and demotivated most days, but I should be more positive and hyped up. I should try not to build a safety net for myself to fall on anymore. I should not try to protect myself from disappointments because I have been disappointed over and over again. It is not something new anymore. I suppose?

Who is looking more positive here?


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