You tell yourself that you’re doing it ‘because no one else will’, without even realizing that you are a martyr.
You spend your teenage years confident that graduating from this prestigious program would mean that you’re going places.
Although you didn’t really want to do it, your parents pushed you to go for it anyway.
And bless your siblings, you knew they weren’t smart enough to pull it off.
1. You’re Not Doing it For You
The school counselors tell you that this diploma would lead you to success.
So you get home and you study for hours on end. You also work through your entire weekends.
Even becoming depressed when there was no more work to do. It was your life.
Occasionally, your father would drop in. But only to insult you, overwork you, guilt you, and treat you like a dog.
During your late nights studying you’d put on YouTube and watch motivational videos to get through the grind.
“You’re already in pain, you’re already hurt. Get a reward from it!”
You constantly struggle, because although you put in the work. It feels like you can’t keep up.
But it was all going to be worth it because it meant that you could take care of the family in the future.
Your brothers had nothing to worry about. Because this diploma was going to make you a success.
And they won’t have to see their father anymore.
2. You’re Living a Fantasy
Self-sacrifice and a guaranteed bright future were the lies you tell yourself.
You told yourself that if you went through all of the rigorous work, it would mean something!
Although you got accepted to notable colleges, you’re rejected by the only good one that was close by.
So you end up going to a university that just about anyone can get into. Because it was second closest.
Flash forward three years later and your brother stumbled into the same school with less than half the time and effort.
At this point, you already left home and you’ve let yourself down.
I don’t have to tell you that reality is unfair. But sometimes you just can’t see reality. You’re just being hopeful.
When I hear people call themselves visionaries it makes me laugh.
These successes that call themselves visionaries are not visionaries. They’re builders, because they realized what they had already envisioned.
Martyrs are visionaries in the insulting sense of the word. They only see things for how they want things to be. Not for how they really are.
3. Because Your Life Belongs to You
You think self sacrifice will bring you further in life, but it won’t.
People are taking advantage of your goodwill.
And since martyrdom becomes your way of living, when life completely turns to shit and you finally take the lunge to leave your past life behind –
It will feel like the most selfish thing you have ever done in your entire life.
In your world, you dedicated much of your life trying to capture a better future for your family.
But they won’t see it that way. Not unless you tell them.
You can genuinely want to help your own, but if you’re living the fantasy of martyrdom, no one will see what you worked for.
You’re getting ready to leave your brothers behind with tears in your eyes. Guilt and shame.
Life was hell, but you believed that going through enough of it would make things better.
But it didn’t.
You saw your own mother go through it for years before she left. And as she endured it never got better.
You didn’t see her smile again until she finally let go of being a martyr for her children.
It sucks. Because as a martyr, someday you’ll have realize that what you do isn’t going to bring you the outcome that you want.
As I drove away from the house one last time, I felt guilty.
I kept arguing with myself in my mind until finally I hit my head to the steering wheel and cried out:
“But Dammit! My life belongs to ME!“.
You get sucked into martyrdom out of the goodness of your own heart.
But what you don’t realize is that these people will lead their own lives. You’re not responsible for them.
And people of the more sociopathic nature, will take full advantage of your goodwill. Even if they’re your parent.
Always put yourself first. Be selfish.
Not in way that would deprecate on anyone else.
But by striving for what you want for yourself, you will drive others to be the best they can be as well.
By not doing things for yourself, you rationalize why you’re putting yourself through the struggle.
You become a dreamer, and sadly you lose sight of reality.
Don’t just believe anything you hear or are told. Think for yourself. At least try to.
When life doesn’t go your way, realize that the problem is that you’re not living for you.
Being a martyr means your living for someone else.
And you must understand that these persons have their own lives. If they want it done or need it done they can do it themselves. You’re not their parent, so you don’t owe them anything.
You only have one life. So tell yourself:
“My life belongs to me”
That phrase is not selfish. That phrase is liberating.
Because it’s true.