For decades we have been advised that the power of positive thinking will break us free from our chains of misery, anxiety and depression but frankly these factors are all on the increase. (Black Dog Institute)
Having just read above said title, this book is a fantastic read.
Let’s do a quick exercise:
- Do you say yes to invitations that you really don’t want to attend only to find on the day of the function that you REALLY don’t want to go or come up with some lame excuse such as your dog has chicken pox, so that you can cancel? All because you were fearful of (drum roll please…..) FOMO! (Fear of missing out)
- Do you worry what people might think of you? If they like you? If they think you are intelligent, attractive, or a super hero?
- Do you ever dream of quitting your job, you know the one you hate that pays badly to set up an uber awesome online business, but don’t for fear of what people may think of you?
You are not alone!
We all have these nagging doubts born from personal insecurities and as Mark Manson says in his book, our issues are nothing special – in fact, we are nothing special. Our issues are the same as the next person’s. It may be though, that the way we respond to certain experiences is different to how others react to those same experiences.
We have undergone decades of being told all about the power of positive thinking, that being positive will make us happy. However, in this book he explodes that myth by saying “shit happens, deal with it”.
He also says that trying to attain “things” only leads us to unhappiness – working harder to earn more money to buy a bigger house for your family whom you never see, because you are working harder to pay for the house is just dumb!! Do you really think your family will be happier in a lesser house but seeing more of you (less stressed no doubt) or living in a beautiful home with a family who doesn’t spend much time together – think about it!
His other message is to change your value system of who you are and how you want people to perceive you. Is it important to you that you live in a fancy house, drive an expensive car and wear beautiful clothes OR do your personal values tell you that being a kind, honest person with high integrity is more important?
Choose to measure yourself by who you are rather than what you do.
Here are some choices as to how you can change your paradigm around how you measure yourself.
Which identities will you choose to describe yourself?
For example, you might measure yourself by wanting everyone you meet to like you. Well, there are two issues here – 1 is that you are not in control of other people’s opinions and 2, this is so completely narcissistic and unrealistic that it can only end in failure and defeat. It will tell you that your self-worth can only be measured by others rather than defining yourself worth by more intrinsic values which are only valuable to you, placing you in control of your destiny.
However if you choose to adopt the value of being kind and letting go of judgement of others regardless of how they treat you, this puts you in control, making your self-worth based on your behaviours and your responses to experiences and people completely within your control and not dependent on others.
In book and workshop The A – Z of a Chic Image, we talk about comparisons. When we compare ourselves to others we can only be dissatisfied. There will always be someone happier, prettier, smarter, taller, richer, thinner – you get the picture. However, when we experience life just by letting go of these judgements and acceptance of ourselves and others, we can simply let go, leaving space in our hearts and heads for the things that really matter.
So here is the message – don’t give a flying f*ck about things you cannot change, let go of things that don’t serve you and fill your head with thoughts of gratitude and enjoy the gradual change in how you feel about yourself.