It’s part of our culture to always try to improve ourselves. That can be a strength, but it can also set us up for always feeling “not good enough.”
How many people do you know who are watching their weight? Personal finance bloggers, myself included, are always touting ways to improve your finances and live better for less. Not gardening? Not canning? Not sewing? Not building your own furniture? Not throwing amazing parties on a dime? No clue about investing? Not saving enough for retirement? Not saving enough for your kids’ education? Not knitting? Not starting side businesses? Not cooking at home much? Not reading to your kids? Not exercising? Not getting enough sleep? There’s no end to the things you could be improving.
All of these things can make us feel pretty inadequate. Add to that typical frustrations at work, the challenges of parenting, and stress from the economy, and you could have a real stress cocktail. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Enter Leo Babauta. He says the most important skill to master is the ability to be happy with yourself. That is, appreciate yourself just as you are. Not your new and improved self that you picture some time in the future, but the person you are right now. Calm yourself and reflect on what makes you loveable. Ask people you trust what makes you loveable. I’d like to suggest writing down these things that make you loveable and put them in a jar. Reach in that jar often to read those qualities and add to them whenever you think of something else. This is not to give you a false pride. It is to remind you that worth is not defined by accomplishments alone. You will find that your relationships with loved ones is central to your self worth. That puts everything else in perspective and gives a sense of peace and fulfilment in the midst of our hectic lives.
When you have your priorities in mine, you can more easily choose which things to give your time to. The confusion and clutter will be less. You will be able to devote your energies towards activities that are consistent with your values. Your energies won’t be diverted to things that have little to do with your goals and beliefs. It just makes sense to direct your life your own way and not be told by the tv that you need a makeover or to buy the latest and greatest.
Click here to link to this wonderful article at ZenHabits.
(I find it helpful to read his post from time to time.)