Have you ever seen a brooding hen? She sits still waiting and somehow, it looks like she is waiting for some sort of disturbance, some unlucky passerby that she would hack into. A piece of useful advice, don’t be so unfortunate. Those hens get really furious it’s often scary the way they scurry forward, with their feathers ruffled and then jump you! They literarily gain flight at such moments and just up and away jump you.

That however, is the only time a chicken’s fighting instinct kicks in, other times, they flight; they scurry off and away. They seem to be powerful only when it looks like what belongs to them is being attacked. Like their offspring’s. But when it has to do with their life, they run. In Nigeria, we would call that ‘picking race’.

So, fight or flight? Which one appeals to you when YOU are being attacked by stress, pain and or, pressure? The world has become fast. Pretty fast. And we seem to be in the midst of it all, and suddenly when we take a pause, it looks like we have been standing still for a long time. That is what dumps depression in our souls. It would do an individual a little good if that is where the cycle stops, but no fast is a gift that keeps giving. Soon, you turn around and view your life like a panoramic capture and you suddenly get concerned about how unimpressive your entire life looks compared to the images of others on the very faithful Instagram. And there, right there, regrets floods your mind; what if I’d picked that form and followed through with it, I would be internet famous right now, or I should have said yes to the other guy, now he is a star and I’m stuck with a 8–4 guy who is on the government pay roll, and the government has not paid in 5 months!

Shame comes with the package also, and instead of being a brooding hen, we switch clothes and fit right into that of the ostrich. We bury our heads in shame, when we see a long time friend riding that classy car with her pretty little angel strapped in the car seat. We are discouraged to press the play button any longer. (I couldn’t try enough the right time anyway.) So we just hold still on our lives and wait for something impressive to happen. It doesn’t. That’s the killer. We just remain on that same spot until…

Unfortunately until could be very destructive, how long does it take to press play and just move on with our lives? How long are you going to keep measuring your speed looking at someone else’s speedometer?

It’s quite baffling when you see the true faces of everyone without the masks they’ve donned. That’s when you realize no one is really that impressive. Like someone said, “we are all a little broken inside.”

That’s the shocking truth. You are not the only one struggling to fit in your own skin. When you see those few people that seem to get it all figured out, you need to understand that they did not come to the world with a compass to guide their ways, what happened was they were able to look past all you are looking at. The world of social media is not tailored to make you a better person in the least. It is tailored for you to become a bitter competitor. So some people know how to compete and others don’t.

Well that is just sad isn’t it? If that truly is the case, you need to stop being chicken or ostrich or whatever it is you have been trying to be. Yes a chicken attacks when it has something to protect and an ostrich buries its head in the sand once it’s scared. But you are a person. Stick with being a person. You have a greater advantage that way, two walking legs and you are about 6ft tall. Then if perhaps you know God, you are complete. So give your panic attack a sneak attack. Press the play button on your life once more. Close your eyes to what everyone else around you is saying, unless they are positively affecting you somehow. As long as you live your life from the outside in, you are greatly disadvantaged and the only time you get to be brave is when you’ve almost lost everything. Why wait till when things get that bad before you act?

What I’ve learnt from personal experiences is that it is easy to think of other people’s life as better than yours, it is also really easy to get crippled at the sight of your inabilities that you forget your abilities and sometimes, even though those abilities stare you right in the face, you ignore them because they were not what you asked for, or they are a little too mediocre compared to that of your friend or foe. I’ve learnt that it’s all just a matter of being deliberate about what you have. Comparing yourself to others who have gone ahead of you mostly is not the most level playing field and it’s certainly not where you should ever be playing. These people at some points of their lives were right where you stuck yourself to and what made them now admirable and even enviable is because they pushed ahead in spite. The act of deliberately blocking out distractions and discouragements can earn you a degree in personal development. You’ll never know how talented you are if you don’t venture into the deep. You’ll never know how much money you’ve being losing if you don’t start a new business.

Now, I must say I’m really sorry for making it look so easy. I for one know how hard it is to step out of a personally designed comfort zone. It is terrifying and sometimes it takes the whole of the self esteem you’ve acquired. It could even use up all your esteem building mantras “I can do all things” (that is mine). But it’s worth all the effort. Pressing play is worth all your will power. Don’t get too comfortable at self pitying.

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