No pain, no gain?
When was the last time you heard someone or even yourself say something like…“I’m such a horrible person. I try to be positive but I always get so frustrated when xyz happens.”
Our guilt-driven models for motivation makes the above statement sound quite normal and sane. It falls right in line with an all too common thought process:
1) Observe a personal failure
2) Punish ourselves with thoughts of self-condemnation
3) Cultivate a strong feeling of guilt in order to avoid doing it again
4) Maintain a sense of dissatisfaction and disapproval until we’ve proven that we’re sorry by making positive changes.
Punishment doesn’t work
Well, here’s my two cents:
This way of thinking, far from helping us actualize our true potential, only solidifies our consciousness in a pessimistic, disempowered state.
We can’t empower what we refuse to first embrace. We must dare to love and forgive ourselves even when we seem most unlovable and unforgivable.
On the surface, this may seem a bit backwards. I can hear the well-meaning skeptic ponder:“If I allow myself to feel good about who I am right now, then wont I lose all my motivation for positive change?”
If that is YOUR question, then I ask you the following: “Is that approach working for you? If you’ve been beating yourself up when you fail, has that practice helped you create the happiness you desire yet?”
If not, might I prescribe for you the wisdom of Mike Murdock?“If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”
In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share my two cents on how I see human nature and what that has to say about the pursuit, the possibility, and the power of happiness.
I hope you’ll stop by.