Your quality of life begins and ends with you. It's that simple, yet so many of you always look outside yourself for someone or something else to determine your perceived quality of life.
Have you ever wondered why?
Is it your need to fit in, feel accepted, or wanted; maybe you are looking for validation you think you deserve. But, on the other hand, perhaps you don't even realize you are doing that because you think you're self-aware.
I don't mean looking at other people and saying, "I would never do that," or " I cannot believe what so and so did," because that is self-projection, not self-awareness.
Whatever the reason is, I want you to know that if you continue looking outside yourself, you will be looking for the rest of your life with no success.
That may sound harsh, but it's the truth and something I learned the hard way. You see, almost nobody is self-aware, but most people will tell you differently.
Several studies have been done, and some numbers may surprise you or confirm what you already know.
It's been said that 90 to 95% of you think you're self-aware, but the reality is only about 10 to 15% of you are.
You may be asking yourself why or telling yourself I'm already self-aware. Either way, I encourage you to read on.
It was my need and want to fit in or be part of the group, even if it meant I put myself on the back burner. It was important to me, so I did what I could to fit in.
Being there for everyone else, doing what they wanted me to do, and being what they needed me to be, I thought it was the right thing to do.
Whether in my intimate relationships, friendships, or with people at work, I wanted to be what they wanted me to be.
That is what I perceived as the quality of my life then.
Hey, I had some great times; laughing, partying, traveling, hanging out, and having stories for days. And I thought my quality of life was off the charts, which couldn't have been further from the truth.
As a result, I overlooked anything I wanted to be or do. Of course, I knew it deep down, but I still ignored it.
I was afraid to face the person in the mirror because it was easier to keep doing the same thing than face myself.
Writing this makes me a little frustrated because today I know better now.
The key word in all of this is I because there is one else to blame for my actions; it's all on me, and I understand that now.
Self-reflection is one of the most challenging and frightening things you will ever do, which is why so many people avoid it at all costs because it requires you to be self-aware.
At that time in my life, my self-confidence was at an all-time low for various reasons. However, from the outside, you would never know my confidence wasn't off the charts.
I carried myself well and said the right things that you would have thought I had my shit together.
But damn, was I fighting an internal battle, and all I wanted to do was bury it and not deal with it. My closest friends and family had no idea I was struggling so badly.
I start to ponder how the hell did I get here. It was like a perpetual alarm clock going off, and I couldn't stop it. I knew deep down I couldn't keep going down this path.
I was drinking too much, working for the wrong reasons, and hanging out with people I shouldn't be.
As a result, I made some horrible personal and financial decisions that ultimately became valuable life lessons and caused me to take action.
That's when I knew I had to take a long and hard look at the man in the mirror. It was time for some tough love.
I finally had to come to grips with the fact that I was responsible for all my decisions and actions. And the only one responsible for my happiness.
It was self-reflection time, and I was scared shitless to get started.
Have you heard what some experts say is the hardest thing about self-reflection; it's that you are not only the con artist but also the one being conned.
When you think about that statement, it's so true because you will always talk yourself out of doing something you said we would and then justify it in many different ways.
News flash, the only person we are conning or hurting is you; most of the time, you don't even realize you did that.
Listen, I'll give you a minute to reflect on what I just said because I know it most likely blew your mind.
That is one of the reasons why self-reflection is difficult; you can talk yourself out of doing it all the time.
If you've been following me for a while, then you know I believe discipline is vital for anything you want to do in life.
It's crucial to know that self-reflection requires intentionality and discipline, especially when you don't feel like doing it; that's when you need to lean on your discipline.
I want to clarify something; I'm not saying you should dwell on things because all that will do is cause you anxiety, stress, and fear, and you don't need any more of that in your life.
Self-reflection is about questioning what you do and why you do it, so you can see if there is a better or more efficient way you could do things in the future.
Now, all this needs to be done positively and respectfully. Remember, you are talking about yourself, and negative self-talk will not get you anywhere.Take my situation mentioned above.
If I dwelled on the crappy decisions I made and the grief I caused myself, it would do me no good. Instead, it would most likely lead me back to my old behavior of blaming others and not taking responsibility for my actions, and that's the last thing I want.
This process is not easy, but if you take the time to do it and hold yourself accountable, it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.
If you are in a similar place to where I was, this may inspire you to act and put yourself first.
As always, thank you for your time.