One of the more elusive state that we are all searching for is the sense of satisfaction. True and deep satisfaction with ourselves, who we are and where we are in “life”. It is like the quest for the hidden secret treasure of life. Are you on that quest?
If you are not sure whether you fall into the “never-satisfied” category, ask yourself the following:
- Are you satisfied with your life at this very moment?
- You are satisfied until you find yourself desiring what your friends have?
- Do you have the “if or when I am this then I will be satisfied” voice playing in your head?
- Do you find yourself envious of someone else’s success or things?
You may be falling victim to one or all three of these mindset traps.
The 3 mindset traps are:
These 3 Cs will kill any hope of being satisfied and prevents you from enjoying the life that you have, right now. Let’s break each one down.
The Comparison Mindset: The What I Have or Don’t Have.
The comparison mindset shows up in the perspective of “The grass is always greener on the other side.” In another words, the comparison mindset basically says that “I am only going to be satisfied if I am better than everyone else.” The pressure that it puts on you is enormous because your feelings of satisfaction is dependent on what other people do or have. The variety of things that you are able to compare spans from the tangible things such as house, car, phones and so on, to the intangible such as the “perfect” family, the Instagram worthy moments and so on. Literally anything that can be compared with, the comparison mindset is onto it.
The underlying issue with the comparison mindset is that you are not satisfied with what you have. The idea is that you are defined by the things that you possess or accumulate. For example, you see your friends buying a new car, now suddenly your car is not good enough. Another friend just renovated her house and now your house looks old and run down. You notice that everyone around you has the latest iPhone and your current phone just seems to not be working as well. There is no limit to what the comparison mindset will find the faults in what you have or don’t have.
The antidote for the comparison mindset is the grateful mindset. The grateful mindset basically says “I am grateful for everything that I do have, health, roof over my head, food on the table. I am going to enjoy every moment and not waste any time on things that are not important.”
The grateful mindset shows up in people who are happy and satisfied with what they have and more importantly will celebrate and be happy for someone who has bought a new house or a new car or whatever else. The grateful mindset helps you to celebrate with others their success. The comparison mindset on the other hand holds you back and makes you envious and resentful of others.
Let’s practice the grateful mindset. Look for all the things to be grateful and thankful for no matter how insignificant they may be to you.
The Compromise Mindset: The Who I Am is not good enough.
The compromise mindset shows up in the perspective that says “I want to be so and so and therefore I will behave and act like that person, neglecting and compromising on who I am and my values and belief system.”
You want to be someone else. You see someone and what you perceive as their success or strengths or achievements and you want to be just like that person. Your desire to be like that person, basically blinds you to you, your unique skills, strengths, talents and contribution that only you can make. You are trying to be someone that you are not meant to be.
I am sure that you have encountered this in the workplace. You see someone who is more successful, and you want to be just like that person and have the same or better success. However, you are not that person, you don’t possess his or her skills or talents, the behind-the-scenes hard work and effort that was put in to achieve the success that they are now enjoying. Instead, you have decided that you will compromise who you are and your values systems to achieve that perceived success anyway you can.
You will never be truly satisfied if you have the compromise mindset.
The antidote to the compromise mindset is the authentic mindset. The authentic mindset says that “I am going to live my life authentically. Authentic to who I am which are shaped and developed by my beliefs and values system, my strengths and weaknesses, my experiences and unique contribution that I will make on the people and work around me.” The authentic mindset sets you free from trying to be someone else, and just focus on being the best you, you can be. Always remember that the mark that you leave behind is special. No one else can do the same.
For example, research has shown that identical twins could have the same DNA but they are not the same person. Their personality, strengths, weaknesses, talents and thoughts are different. We should be embracing our uniqueness and live out authentic lives.
The Critical Mindset: Nothing is perfect to me.
The critical mindset basically says, “Everyone and everything is not perfect based on my standard and judgement.” This mindset focuses on finding faults, mistakes, errors and just about anything that does not meet your definition of “perfection”. This critical mindset causes you to be critical of everything and everyone around you. Afterall, you will find what you are looking for. This shows up in constant complaints and grumblings, and criticism of people and situation around you. There is always something to be critical about because nothing is perfect in your eyes.
However, perfection is a myth because we are not perfect no matter how hard we try. It is hard to acknowledge that you are not perfect. However, the truth is that you are not perfect. No one is perfect. If we were perfect, we would be like gods. Clearly, we are not. Therefore, acknowledge that perfection does not exist and free yourself from the bondage of perfectionism. Trying to live up to a critical mindset is impossible.
The antidote for the critical mindset is the grace mindset. Grace? What is that? A simple definition of grace is to receive what you do not deserve. We want to be treated with a certain level of grace because we are not perfect and therefore will make mistake and the great freedom that comes from being accepted for who we are and all the mistakes that we have and will make, is a great blessing. It also takes the pressure off unrealistic expectations that you have placed on yourself.
Are you feeling somewhat uncomfortable? Good, because feeling uncomfortable helps to spur you to a better outcome. Ask yourself:
- What is your satisfaction level on a scale of 1 to 10?
- Which one of these mindsets is holding you back the most?
- What is your dominant mindset? Comparison, Compromise, Critical?
- Do you want to change your mindset in order to be satisfied and to enjoy your life?
- What areas do you want to shift your mindset?
True satisfaction comes when we are comfortable with who we are, what we have or not have, and where your life journey at this very moment. This does not mean that we are to be lazy or complacent. We should always be aiming to be better, to continuously learn and grow and improve your skills and competencies, all within the awareness of who we are, what our unique identity and talents offer and the appreciation of every moment of our everyday.
Let’s aim to replace the comparison with the grateful, the compromise with the authentic and the critical with the grace mindset.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends. Take care and step into the everyday with purpose.