Provocative opinions aired on the clothes line of life.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Self-doubt: the most effective virus

This morning I awoke to a DM from an esteemed Twitter follower, which informed me that an alleged 'bad blog' was circulating the internet about yours truly and inquired as to whether I was aware of it. Naively I ignored my better judgement and clicked the link, only to discover that it sent me back to the Twitter homepage. Ah, a virus. Naturally. I was then alerted to the fact that by clicking it, I had in turn passed the message on to all of my followers. Terrific.

If you've received this DM from me, I apologise. If you haven't clicked it and are one of the people who have replied to me warning that it's a scam - congratulations. You're a happy and secure person. However if you've succumbed to the paranoia (as I did) then you're going to have to change your Twitter login password immediately to prevent the virus hacking into your account. Apologies. I have self-esteem issues clearly.

Being an avid user of social networks, I routinely encounter scam attempts such as this on a regular basis. They're prevalent on both Twitter and Facebook, with a popular example being the sensationalist approach: OMG! Have you seen this? 

Like most sensible people I avoid these links and smugly mock those who give into their foolish curiosity. Usually by reprimanding them with a self-satisfied tweet dripping in condescension and derision. However now it seems I must eat my words, as for the first time I've fallen victim to one. Purely because I thought there was something negative written about me somewhere and I was desperate to know what it was. It's an effective method. Because even though the format of the scam is one which I've received countless times in my Twitter inbox, the phrasing of the question is clever because it taps into your insecurities.

I don't know why, but I always believe my worst reviews. I try to pretend it's part of my cool self-assured attitude and my need to view it is because I want to turn the criticism into something constructive. But all too often I fixate on the negativity and over-analyse it in my head. And what's worse is that sometimes I start to believe it. Being left alone with your thoughts can be both invigorating and perilous. While I implore you to recognise and respond to your inner-critic, I think it's important to note that you shouldn't spend too much time giving it credence.

You need to allow yourself just as much time to focus on the positives about yourself too and not feel arrogant about it. You deserve to bask in complimentary affirmations which you've given to yourself. I'm not advocating that you brag about your achievements, but by acknowledging them you'll naturally exude that inner-confidence which your critics don't have. Because no matter what you do in life there are always going to be people who won't like it and aren't shy about telling you so. But you can take solace in the fact that at least you're provoking a reaction. And besides 'haters gon' hate'. 

I'll leave you with a hilarious series of DM's which my unintentional spamming provoked this morning. If you think you're paranoid, you've got nothing on this guy. I don't know what Atlantic Bridge is, but if I'm killed to cover up an alleged Tory conspiracy at least my blog readers will know the truth.