Sunday, February 27, 2011

Satisfaction vs. Progression: the mighty showdown

I have noticed a worrying trend in the world of self esteem. I call it: self satisfaction, which I know sounds a little dirty, but that's part of the fun. What I mean is, I feel like we are being encouraged to hang our self esteem on being satisfied with who we are. I think that's kind of dangerous. No, I feel like it's really dangerous.

The problem is, as soon as you are happy with who you are -- you're done. All progression stops. And this life is meaningless without progression.

I don't want to diminish any concerns about self esteem. I think they are real. I just think there is a better way to build self esteem.

It seems like the concept of self satisfaction relies on being told that you are good enough, that you are perfect just the way you are, that you shouldn't change. I see two problems with this:
  1. Either you believe it,
  2. Or you don't.
If you believe it that you have reached the hazardous state of lack of progression. You're a stalemate, standing water, moldy bread on the counter.

If you don't, then being told you're great isn't going to help much with your self esteem. I've heard some nice things about myself from time to time. My eye doctor told me I have the most beautiful eyes he has ever seen. However, when he paid me that compliment all I could think of is how they don't work very well. I've also heard some not so nice things about myself. They seem easier to internalize.

What if all my self worth was invested in what other people thought or said about and to me?

Instead, I choose to place my value in something else: my goals and the things they help me accomplish. I'm not ashamed. I have goals. I make lists and check them off. And when I accomplish a goal, even if it's as small as getting up on time in the morning (something I can't seem to master), I feel good about myself. That's right. I feel good. And it has nothing to do with anybody else. Not what anybody said. Not what anybody thought. It is a feeling that is all my own.

So I propose that this blog be kept to comment on the subject of GOALS with the hope that it might help somebody improve their self esteem in a way that is lasting and secure. In away that they control. Maybe the somebody will be me.

Goal #1: Write a blog entry every Sunday.

Stay tuned.