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Don’t Punish Yourself

No matter how much I disappoint myself or others, I’m going to keep believing in myself. I’m going to keep doing the best I know how. I may feel like a loser at times, but I’m going to persist in looking for the qualities within myself that evince greatness. As I look for evidence of  beauty, genius, and magnificence in my own being, I cause those attributes to shape my thoughts and take form in my experience.

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.

Sound familiar?

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.

 Cheers,

 T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. “Not guilty”, on all accounts, of mediocrity

2. TK’s Two Cents “Your well-being is an emergency”

3. Kiss the Frog: Creating happiness through the power of appreciation

 
This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Hey TK…. been tied up last couple days but am out of the woods at work for next few so will pop by more often.

    I relate to the question, “If I allow myself to feel good about who I am right now, then wont I lose all my motivation for positive change?”

    Meaning I am familiar with it. I have asked myself it at different times and find it easy to migrate to. To me, fear keeps us from being happy in the moment and it looks for any reason to keep us in self-disatisfaction. It doesnt even want us to feel good in the moment and take a personal inventory of what is going well in spite of unrelated shortcomings or challenges. It wants us sick and doubting. Not sure why, but it is obvious enough that this gravity toward the negative if prevelant in our cultures.

    I agree, we have to be bold enough to try something new. Something awkwardly unfamiliar. We must be willing to blaze a new mental pathway.

    But for most of us, deviation from the familiar, even if it is the futile familiar, is uncomfortable and frequently avoided.

    From someone who has grit his teeth on many occasions and forced myself by faith to try the path less travelled (or never-before travelled), I can say with assurance that it is highly uncomfortable the first time or two. But as we repeat it, the new way becomes more and more familiar. Not unlike making a change to a golf swing.

    As we continue to repeat it, a whole new world often opens up. Certainly some amazing lights come on for us.

    We are like Captain Kirk in that we are boldly going where we have not gone before!

    We must stop listening to our fears that want us to stay sick, weak, and mediocre.

    It is ok to feel good in the moment. This does not mean we need to limit ourselves just to where we are in this moment. We can use the momentary inventory of positives and gratitude for them as a foundation to climb higher.

    Such is the journey of recovery and growth as I have experienced it.

    Thanks for another great post Bro!

    Chaz

    1. Hey Chaz,

      Glad to hear you rounded third safely and slid across homebase smoothly. In non-chicagoan speak, it’s good to hear that you’re out of the woods at work for a bit. You’re a champion, bro.

      You’re totally right about the way fear keeps us down and seems to work incessantly at making happiness look like something unattainable or undesireable. I think Ernest Holmes referred to it once as a “neurosis in the brain that repeats themes of morbidity over and over again.”

      But like captain kirk (and this resonates with me because I am a HUGE sci-fi/fantasy fan), we keep on exploring into those unknown realms of Self as we continually unearth new treasures in ourselves.

      This following statement of yours is something I need to qoute in the future:

      “It is ok to feel good in the moment. This does not mean we need to limit ourselves just to where we are in this moment. We can use the momentary inventory of positives and gratitude for them as a foundation to climb higher.”

      Right on target!

      On another note, I have a friend who is in AA and is always looking through my books and asking for good inspirational stuff to read. I referred her to your blog as another positive source from someone I regard as an “overcomer.”

      Thanks again for the feedback and for being such a positive force bro!

      Cheers,

      TK

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