In this article, we deal with the connection between loving and accepting who you are, the inner struggles and turmoil, and how to create success in life.
This is a huge problem so many successful people have.
You might be thinking, what? How can successful people have this problem of loving themselves?
How is it that successful people could even possibly have the same problem that I have?
It’s easy to assume that successful people, those who have achieved in life, have everything figured out.
From my experience in the coaching and counselling world, over the last 25 years,working with business people, with consultancies through leadership training, when you’re dealing with the people who are “successful” in their careers or businesses, you imagine that they don’t have this problem.
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But I’ve seen this so many times, over and over again, especially in the coaching and therapy world. You get to see what’s truly beyond the surface.
The truth is successful people struggle with the same self-esteem challenges like the rest of us.
It’s really important to understand that although you have the perception that they’re successful and life is amazing for them, you can never truly know what’s beyond the surface, unless they let you in.
What often seems from the outside like an amazing life doesn’t seem so amazing to the person actually living it.
We all look at others thinking they have it all. They have what I need.
That’s the first problem.
We see that those people have a better life or a better body or better relationships, a better career, a better business even.
“The grass always seems to be better on the other side, the side I’m not.”
That’s the problem.
We stay busy, always trying to get to the other side.
Why You Shouldn’t Compare
We look at other couples and how happy they look. And we’re wondering, why are we not happy in our marriage?
We look at other parents with their kids, and they seem to be doing a great job. And we think, why can’t I get it right with my kids?
We look at our friends who’ve gone on to create success in their careers and their businesses.
They’re driving around in nice cars. And we’re wondering, why haven’t I got the same success? I’m just as intelligent. Why haven’t I managed to do the same?
The funny thing is, maybe you’re told all the time. Maybe people always congratulate YOU on your success.
But you don’t feel it inside.
They look at you and they’re thinking what a great life, but you don’t feel it. They could tell you all of the things about your life that they seem to love, but you don’t seem to feel it.
The Green Grass Illusion
We have this thing about when I get over there, where the grass is greener. If I have the clients I want or I have the business deals I need.
If I have the financial freedom or the car or the home, the amazing family life.
Maybe that job, that mindset. When I can get rid of these horrible feelings and thoughts.When I get that comfort and confidence.
We think that when we get to the other side, the “success side”, that we will feel so much better.
“I’ll be able to be happy with myself, I’ll have a reason then to love myself and love who I am.”
So we delay acceptance. We delay that love.
We delay that embracing of life until we get to the other side.
We say it to ourselves, or it’s going on in the background of the mind, For now I’ll just give myself conditional love.”
This is such a huge problem for so many people. At all levels of the ladder.
We say “I’ll make it my business to improve myself. I’m going to be in a constant state of self-improvement to become like him or her.
When I become like her, when I can do what she does, then I have arrived.
Do you feel like you need to arrive before you can accept yourself?
Do you really need to reach some imaginary destination before accepting yourself?
When you try to live life like the people on the other side of the fence are living, you don’t achieve it. What happens?
Slow down and think about this because it’s so important.
When we’re able to slow down and break down exactly what’s going on in our minds, we’re able to see what we’re actually doing up there in that mind.
When we set ourselves these situations like: “ I’ll be happy when I get to that. Life will be so much better. I’d have everything I need to feel great.”
We’re trying to be someone we’re not or something we’re not.
We’re trying to be where we’re not, the grass seems greener on the other side. But we’re not on the other side.
So if you set yourself this goal of getting to the other side and it doesn’t happen that way. What then?
We measure ourselves against other people; other circumstances; against other financial circumstances → when I have that house but then you get the house.
All of a sudden, there’s a bigger house, there’s a nicer house.
Over there is never real. Once we arrive there, it often looks much like where we started.
I’ll be happy when I get this or that. Yet it doesn’t happen.
When we do not accept ourselves, we don’t realise how great life is right now.
That’s a real problem.
When you struggle in life, with anything, even if you are successful, it’s a part of life. We have things that we struggle with at different times in our lives.
When you think about those things, how does it make you feel?
When you can’t achieve what you want to achieve. Or you can’t be like someone else or have what they have or be where they are.
How does that make you feel?
Does it feel like your confidence is in the dirt? Like you can’t seem to lift yourself out of this?
These thoughts make me feel this horrible feeling deep down.
Just when I think about those words, my confidence is in the dirt.
It’s in the toilet, I can’t seem to pull myself out of this situation, this feeling that I don’t enjoy.
There’s this deep-seated feeling in my chest when I think about it,a heavy feeling where you feel like it’s coming up your throat.
It’s such a horrible feeling; it’s the feeling that you’re not enough. That’s what it does to you.
Stop thinking about what you’ve just read. Stop thinking, stop feeling.
And just for a second, take a deep breath, hold it, and just listen to the silence. Slowly breathe out and keep doing that.
Keep taking deep breaths. Inhale and hold it for 10 seconds.
And then slowly let it out. Slowly breathe out. Keep listening to that silence. Don’t try to understand it. Just listen to the silence.
That’s the amazing ability that you have to enrich your body with oxygen that makes you feel great. It’s the opposite of what you do when you start getting deep down in the dirt.
Keep breathing. Keep taking deep breaths.
If you’re not doing this, you’re not going to know what I’m talking about. No one’s watching you. No one’s listening to you. No one can see you right now.
Even if they can see you, they can’t know how you’re breathing.
That’s the most amazing thing. Only the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim, Al Wadud knows what’s going on with you.
So just keep breathing. Just enjoy the silence.
You’re always enough. And the reason you’re always enough is because the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, Most loving; Al Wadud , the Creator of the Heavens and Earth is the one that made you exactly the way you are.
Never deficient. Never without. Keep breathing.
Keep listening to that beautiful silence.
When we listen to that silence, we quieten the mind. You drop out of your thinking that’s creating those horrible feelings.
We get caught up in the moment, trying to be like those who are living on the other side of the fence where the grass looks greener from here.
But when you go over there, it looks exactly the same as where you are.
We try to be this perfect version of a human being, forgetting that we are a perfect version of an imperfect human being. It’s those imperfections that make us; make you; so unique.
It’s those imperfections that make you so interesting. It’s why others would want to know who you are; because you’re so different.
It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s something to embrace.
It’s like trying to throw a pebble into a lake without causing a ripple, without disturbing the stillness of the lake. The ripples are the beauty of the lake.
It’s what makes it different from the sea.
If you could love yourself for who you are, you could become truly grateful and connected to the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, the Almighty, Allah (swt).
Trying to be someone you’re not or some way you’re not, isn’t actually the challenge you’re facing.
The challenge isn’t in having great aspirations. We should have great aspirations to be who we want to be and where we want to be.
That’s not the challenge.
The challenge is struggling to accept and embrace who you are now. Loving what is now;loving your life now. Who you are.
Now is the most important thing. Enjoying the moment you’re in right now is the most important thing. Over there is not real, it’s never real. Until you get there.
It’s the most exhilarating feeling to be in love with life exactly as it is. It energises you. It makes you so grateful.
It gives you those feelings that you want. It makes you a contributor to society, able to offer goodness to the world.
Where Suffering Comes From
The minute you become immersed in the idea that your life isn’t enough, you will suffer. If you believe your life is inadequate, that’s how it will be.
The suffering doesn’t come from you not being enough. It doesn’t even come from you not being lovable or not having enough success.
It doesn’t come from you not being as successful as someone else.
Your suffering does not come from not having a good enough job, not having the right car, not having the right home or big enough home, not having financial freedom or time freedom.
It doesn’t come from any of that. It comes from the struggle with who you are and not accepting life. Not accepting what we call divine decree, destiny.
Destiny is as we shape it, but it’s already been decreed. Because the one who created you is always looking after you. The Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful is always taking care of you.
You are that person. You’re never alone. You don’t have to depend on yourself.
If you struggle to accept life as you are; the person you are; as life is; how could you possibly love who you are?
The struggle isn’t with trying to get to the other side of the fence.
The struggle is with accepting life. And then building upon it.
I’m not saying that we should not build and aspire to build something greater. But you can’t build something greater on something that you’re not happy with in the first place.
It’s like having a rocky foundation. But if you can be truly happy with where you are, then you can build something amazing.
Cue the Breathwork
Go back to the breathing exercise because when you fall into this state of mind; where you start berating yourself and you give yourself hassle.
Fall into silence instead. Listen to the silence. Do that deep breathing exercise. You don’t need music to soothe your heart. You don’t need motivational speeches to do that for you.
You don’t need anything outside of you and who you are.
The minute you drop out of challenging yourself to be someone else, somewhere else, and accept and embrace who you are right now, you will find so many reasons to be in love with life.
Who you are is the most amazing thing.
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ
And whatever afflicts you from an affliction is from what your hands have earned. This is such an amazing verse because it’s telling us that there is a cause and an effect.
Whatever happens, it is connected to what we do.
That’s great news.
Because the opposite of this can also be true in that you will not obtain something in your life, except that have to do something to create it, to create that self-acceptance, that self-love.
Even self-respect is something that is created within you.
How to be Intentional – Purpose Driven
Your self-belief is created in your mind. It’s a thought, and your actions will only ever match up with your beliefs.
If you believe your life’s not good enough, it’ll never be good enough.
The minute you decide intentionally, to believe in yourself; to accept who you are, what you have, and where you are, your life will change forever.
It may not change from the outside, but from the inside, acceptance, love and respect will start to emerge.
It’s very much intentional. It’s not something that happens to you.
We afflict ourselves. We try ourselves. And at the same time, we can do the opposite. We can obtain what we want.
We just have to become intentional about it.
Dark moments in your mind are part of the human experience, even for the most successful individuals.
Success is relative by the way. If you find yourself in a dark place, you can be absolutely intentional about letting that go.
The key is to intentionally release negative thoughts, breathe deeply, and focus on the silence.
Do the whole deep breathing technique because it really helps.
This practice can change your state of mind instantly. It’s a technique, but it works.
You can’t flourish or do well without breathing. It’s how you’re built.
You can have the most amazing situation in life. All you have to do is accept it. That’s the first step.
Life is not greener on the other side. When you get there, you’ll see it’s the same. It’s the same as whatever you have now.
So make what you have now amazing. It’s a choice.
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