I want doesn’t get.
Did anyone ever say that to you when you were little?
In the context of teaching children manners – to say ‘I’d like to,’ instead of ‘I want,’ – it’s perfectly valid and well-intentioned.
But phrases like this – I want doesn’t get – settle into our brains and they stick, the surrounding context floating away with time.
You should think of others and not yourself
Be grateful for what you have
There are so many people less fortunate than you.
All these statements are absolutely true, necessary and important to be acutely aware of as we develop into compassionate, considerate adults but, without bearing in mind the appropriate context, I think it can leave us feeling conflicted and “wrong” when we start to think about what we’d like for our own lives, can’t it?
Especially when we talk about ideas such as ‘personal fulfilment.’
I don’t know about you, but that made me feel a bit cringey at first.
But here’s the thing. Part of the personal development journey to our own vision of success and fulfilment (Hey, you at the back, stop cringing. I see you 😜) is to develop a clear and healthy view of our self as an individual without making this synonymous with being self-centred, self-indulgent or selfish.
As you may know already, I’m on a mission to help us create a life round what matters to us most, achieve our own personal vision of success and fulfilment and have a positive impact on our world, because I believe it’s putting the effort into living our best life that allows us to do that.
To do the best we can for others we have to make the best of ourselves first.
We have to think of our self, and what we want, without getting stuck in the gratitude guilt of how lucky we are in our lives already.
And I get how difficult that can be, I really do. If you’ve read anything from me before you’ll know that I was stuck for years feeling selfish and ungrateful for wanting “something more” from my life.
But, as I started, tentatively, to work on my own personal development through Journaling, I began to see that my feelings of shame and guilt were unnecessary and that I wasn’t being selfish after all.
- Self-reflection, self-knowledge and self-awareness are important so that we understand the impact we have on others and can make sure therefore that it’s positive.
- Cultivating self-trust and self-assurance are essential so that we can navigate challenges without being torpedoed by self-doubt or self-destructive behaviour.
- Self-belief and self-compassion underpin the mindset that supports our personal development path and allows us to grow and develop our life in the direction we want it to take.
That’s a whole lot of self in there, isn’t it?
That’s OK, though.
When I started Journaling as a key part of my personal development, without really knowing what I was doing initially, I started to get to know myself better and realised it was something I hadn’t really consciously stopped to think of before.
Who was I as an individual? What did I really believe, like and want from life?
It sounds silly, because we all think we know ourselves, but if I asked you, Who are you? what would you say?
You’d probably tell me all the factual information - your name, maybe your age or family situation and where you come from, and most likely you’d tell me what you do for a living.
But how much does that really say about what makes you tick, what makes you special, what makes you unique? It certainly doesn’t say anything about your personal vision of success and fulfilment and what you want your life to look like from here going forward.
There are so many options. I know that figuring out what you want your life to hold for you next may feel overwhelming, but you can narrow it down by getting to know yourself better first.
So, I invite you this week to spend some time in your journal thinking about who you are. Who YOU are personally, not in relation to someone else, (X’s mother or ‘an accountant’ for example).
Who are you? What do you want from life for yourself?
It’s not as easy as it sounds, but have fun and take the chance to be as creative as you want!
Don’t be limited by your experience or what you already know how to ‘do’.
Let your imagination go and think big.
At the moment this exercise is just to get you more comfortable with thinking about yourself without feeling icky or getting an onset of the cringe. 😜
Remember, trying to achieve our personal vision of success and be happy is the best way we can demonstrate gratitude for the life we’ve been given.
So get to it! Have a good think about yourself! Happy writing and I’d love to know who you are. Come on over to Instagram @elleturnercreative and let me know!
p.s. If you still have concerns and feel some guilt about turning the spotlight on yourself in this way, grab your copy of the FREE guide How to stop feeling guilty for wanting something more from life and find out why it’s not only possible for you to find and live your “something more”, it’s necessary that you do so.
Start the next chapter of your life story, because you’re too important to leave your happy ending to chance.
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