Self-deprecation, Wolves, and Fred Flintstone.

While at home on vacation, I decided to work on the truck. Having a lifter (tappet) ticking, I decided to change all of them on the passenger’s side of the engine. I’ll do the driver’s side when they begin to tick. Easy-peasy right? Well, maybe. The truck is outside, so rain, leaves, and pine needles are hazardous to an exposed engine. Then there’s the fact that the cast iron manifold is heavy. And as the laws of hoses and electrical wires go, when in a compromising position, something will grab hold and thwart any progress made. Despite the complications and aggravations, I love working on older vehicles. There’s a mechanical simplicity that provides a rewarding smile when fired up. The deeper the breakdown, the greater the satisfaction.

Anyone (male or female) who has worked on vehicles will agree that no advanced project goes perfect on older automobiles. This stress can present a mental challenge. For me, it comes in the form of self-deprecation.

“Why can’t I buy more reliable vehicles? I’m in over my head. Do you know what you’re doing, or are you pretending to be some great mechanic? Dude, face it, you suck.”

We can be downright mean to ourselves. But why? Aren’t we suppose to be our biggest fan? Yes. Yes, we are. However, we have this habit of imitating those around us. Receive support, and we self-replicate that feeling. The same goes with insults and criticism. We learn this at a very young age. Infants develop tones and attitudes that later affect that child’s developmental behavior. I’m not saying that a child raised with supportive parents will grow up to be a great person. I’m stating that that child has a greater chance of succeeding in life than a child without supportive parents.

“But I was raised by wolves.”

Then you, my friend, will have some hurdles to jump. In reality, we all have obstacles. The grass is always greener on the other side. It’s easier to find fault in ourselves than to see it in others because we have more incriminating information about ourselves than others. That’s how life is supposed to be.

Face reality. Knowing that we have the potential to be over-cruel to ourselves brings to light the fact that we need to throttle back on the self-criticism. Everyone has their good and bad points, no one is perfect, and lastly, don’t put people on pedestals. No one is better than we are. (Ok one more) Don’t look down at others. We are not better than homeless drunks. We are all human.

Why can’t I buy more reliable vehicles? Because I love to restore old cars. I love the mental challenge of fixing a broken puzzle. Yes, I do get in over my head, but I always come out on top despite not knowing what I’m doing. Yes, I make mistakes and mess up. I’m human. And there are times that that simple fact is hard to face because I fail to see others’ complications. Sometimes it appears that I am the only one struggling. But, that is because I am only looking at my flaws. My focus creates my perception. Fact: No one goes through life without a struggle.

For those of us who self-deprecate, stop. We are more significant than our negativity. Don’t listen to the “Yeah, but.” rebuttals that we present to ourselves. We are better and more valuable than that. Besides, “Yeah, but” is what Fred Flintstone says before he yells, “Dabba doo.”

Take the time to bask in self-complements now and again, but don’t go overboard. 🙂

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.

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