We all see the articles talking about which steps to take towards happiness, how to improve self-confidence, how to become satisfied with your life, how to appreciate what you have, etc. But what about self-satisfaction?
Now, we don’t mean being smug or overly proud of ourselves. We are using ‘self-satisfaction’ to describe a justified happiness with who we are. How many of us are actually content with ourselves?
It’s different from self-confidence. That’s us believe we can accomplish things, that we are worthy, that we deserve things. It’s different from life satisfaction. That’s us being content with how our life is going. What we have and don’t have. What we have accomplished.
In today’s reading we are asked to recognize and explore the feelings we have when we reach a goal. We have spent the time and effort, sacrificed whatever we needed to, and we finally did it. We got to where we wanted to be. So, what is it that we feel in that moment? Is is relief? Pride? Excitement?
For some of us there may be anxiety or even ramped up determination – that goal was just one step in a long line of things we have to get done. There is always room for improvement. We aren’t done yet. We have to keep going. But…why are some of us like this? Why aren’t we just happy to be in the moment?
It probably has something to do with how we were taught to approach goals when we were younger, how we were praised or reprimanded. Were we taught that trying was the most important thing? Or was only achieving the goal something worth mentioning?
Regardless of what we were previously taught, what do we do about it now? How do we become more self-satisfied?
Here are five things to consider:
Realize that life is a series of lessons. You are here to learn. You were not born knowing everything. You have not learned everything. There will be times that you make a mistake. There will be times that you fail. This has no bearing on your self-worth. Appreciate the times when things don’t come easily. Acknowledge when you could have done better. Remember what you have learned.
It is okay to ask for help. You are not meant to do it all alone all of the time. If you feel you can’t rely on someone else to help you, there is a bigger wound there than you wanting to be independent. Ask for help…and better yet, make sure if someone offers help, you accept it.
It won’t always be sunny but that doesn’t mean the storm won’t pass. Remember that the only constant we have in this life is change. This means that tomorrow is a new day and who knows what it will bring. The bad times won’t always be bad. You can and will get through it.
In the words of Don Schlitz, sung by Kenny Rodgers: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run. There will be times in our lives when we feel like giving up but we need to push on. There will also be times where obstacles keep popping up out of nowhere and things seem to be getting worse. Sometimes it’s just not supposed to work out…and that’s okay.
Lastly, it’s important to have wishes, dreams, desires. But don’t let them make you lose sight of what you have currently. Don’t focus so much on the future and what is to come that you forget to live in the present…
Yeah, okay, it all kind of sounds like the usual self-help advice. But really, if there is one thing to take away from all of this, it’s – don’t beat yourself up so much. Want to be more self-satisfied? Give yourself a break.