Do You Feel Bad About Yourself?
Do you feel good about yourself? Or do you feel bad about yourself?
Don't You Want to Feel Good About Yourself?
If you are feeling bad about yourself, you probably have the habit of comparing and judging yourself against other people. You think you are lacking something they have. You call it your failure and your deficiency. That's why you feel bad about yourself.
We Judge Things as Good or Bad
In school we learn that to understand things we must label them
. With our textbook knowledge, we make distinctions between objects, make judgments and assign value. We get a good grade in biology by tagging each plant with its genus and species, by identifying similarities and making distinctions. We learn mechanics better when we can compute a formula for the movement of a steel ball rolling down an inclined plane. To learn literature, we analyze the theme, plot and character motivation of a story.
In our daily life, we also classify people the same way
. We measure people for their beauty, wealth, knowledge, confidence and skill. But for beauty to exist, we must also see ugliness. For motion to exist, we must also have stillness. For wealth, we must see poverty. These are all qualities of degree. We spend a lot of time assessing the degree of wealth, the degree of activity, the degree of beauty for whatever or whoever comes into our life.
Why You Feel Bad About Yourself
Academic knowledge is deconstructive
. It tears down the whole to identify its parts. When it comes to understanding yourself and the life you lead, the worst approach is deconstructive. You struggle to understand yourself, and you examine each aspect of your identity. You measure yourself against the social yardstick you learned. You question your motives. You judge your character. You compare yourself to your friends. You measure your wealth and your appearance and your success. Every day, over and over, you judge yourself. And as always, you find yourself coming up short.
You feel bad about your actions, too
. You also waste a lot of time second-guessing your choices. You thoughts are full of “I should-have,” “I could-have,” and “I would-have.” Your mind is like a brass scale, weighing and balancing, teeter-tottering back and forth in the world of ideas, trying to find equilibrium. It's hard to calm down your thoughts.
Other People Want You To Feel Bad About Yourself
I used to have a job at a small Internet company
. The work was right up my alley and I know that I did well. But every year, the owner conducted a job evaluation. The procedure was quite formal. I was asked to complete a written report of self-evaluation. The highlight of the report was this question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your performance this year?
My first impulse was to make a joke. “For this kind of money, you’ll never find anyone any better,” I thought to myself. Of course, the boss wanted me to criticise myself and feel bad about my work. But after some reflection, I decided that I could not answer this question, and I told the boss why.
The only way to rank my performance is to have a measuring stick for comparison. All activity is relative to the scale you use to measure it. With what yardstick was I to rank myself? If you compare my management skills to Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice, I fall dismally short. But if you compare my work to the homeless lady who sleeps under the bridge, I look pretty darn good.
What Makes You Feel Good About Yourself
I don't feel bad about myself anymore
, because I have stopped judging myself and my actions. Now I have a better yardstick for my life than job evaluations, politicians and homeless people. Instead, when I want to feel good about myself, I ask myself how well I used my talents and resources. Have I found the best job for my skills? Does my work give me happiness and contentment? Have I looked in the right direction for personal fulfillment? None of these questions ever came up at my job evaluation, because the boss doesn't care. But I care and I want to feel good about myself.
Turn Off Your Negative Self Talk
So here you are again, feeling bad about yourself
. It is the result of analyzing, criticizing and deconstructing yourself. Your self-talk will always find something wrong if you let it. With your thoughts racing in your mind, the brass scale can never come to rest. Won’t you turn off your negative self-talk before it tears you apart? What’s the point of it all? Is this the best way to live life? If you turn off your self-talk, if you stop picking on yourself, you won't feel bad anymore. Give yourself a chance to know the real you and to like the person you are. This person is someone you can feel good about.
Let Nature Teach You How to Feel Good
I’ll tell you how you can feel good about yourself
. Don’t work so hard at life. Don’t judge yourself critically. Do not expect yourself to be a paragon of perfection. Do not blame yourself when things go wrong. Do not measure yourself against others. Trust your nature. Live peacefully. Just be.
Life is a mystery
. Time is a mystery. Growth is a mystery. Despite all the scientific research, the essence of life remains a profound mystery. There is no yardstick that can take the full measure of a human being. Instead of trying to understand, measure and criticize, recognize that you are like the sparrow riding the wind or the violet blooming in the grass. You are like the water spilling over the stones. Water does not judge the speed of the current. It does not measure the distance to the shore. It does not count the fallen leaves. You do not have to judge yourself anymore. You are one more creature of the world, living with self-awareness and introspection. Come to terms with life. Grow in peace with yourself.
So, today, just let life happen to you
, like the flowering of a violet. See yourself as a sparrow in flight. Think of yourself as a tree standing in the sunshine. Imagine yourself as the water flowing in the creek. The water does what fulfills its nature as it seeks its own level. You can be like the water. You can feel good about yourself. Life is life.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.
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