We ask people for feedback. We make requests for recommendations or reference letters. We value the opinion of others in our career choices, whether to have chicken or fish for dinner and when we need to find out whether our reaction to that blowout was exaggerated.
Of course, we can’t operate in a vacuum and being the social creatures we are, it’s fun to get other people’s opinions on things. It’s nice, it’s interesting and it makes things fun.
But you cannot rely on others for your sense of worth.
If you choose to, it will be a moving target, shifting this way and that, leaving you like a puppet on a string. The reason for this is because your sense of worth is your belief in how much you are worth – not someone else’s belief.
As I have discovered, your sense of worth ultimately comes from you.
It is derived from the thoughts you are brave enough to own up to and declare to the world. It comes when you decide to stretch yourself and discover new things about you, good and bad.
And that is why a solid sense of self needs to come from a life well-lived, hereby defined as a life that is well and truly explored, where mistakes and failure are applauded and actively sought as much as the pleasure and wins. It comes from a life that you choose to stretch to capacity and more, from exploring new choices, new meaning and new perspectives.
You don’t get this life :
… from living by what others expect of you but what you expect of yourself. Having expectations of yourself means having to form thoughts about what you will or will not do/endure/explore. And once you’ve had these thoughts, to then go out and make it happen. So, in a nutshell, it doesn’t happen if you decide to watch your life slip by, allowing each day to pass in a sea of uniformity, blandness, of going with the flow, of reacting and of making do;
… from doing the established thing but what you believe is best and right for you in your particular circumstance. And how are you to know until you test it out for yourself, seeing as how you don’t have the answers to all the questions from the start;
… from living in a box and moving along a staid trajectory but indeed from going after what is in your heart, exploring your passions and learning along the way. Is curiosity something you actively embrace?;
… from holding back, sitting on the fence or pausing your decisions for some perfect time in the future when you are likely to be surer of your choices.
If you want to create more happiness for yourself, you have to know :-
… when to ask people for their opinion and when you need to ask that of yourself;
… that passing on making critical choices whether to a later time or to someone else, robs you of the experience that will make you wiser over time and takes away the power you have to decide on your life;
… what starts out hard gets easier over time;
… there really are no shortcuts;
… you always win. Even when you lose, you win.
Maybe you already understand that.