In just the last few days, I have read and heard countless ways that I can feel good about myself…from consumerism…upping my physical appearance (because we all know that mascara is really how us girls feel more confident) to positive habits like eating clean (it’s not about losing the weight anymore…wink, wink.), decluttering my house, accepting myself just as I am, having goals (wait?! did I read my own stuff), etc. etc.
And at one level, I am bought into all of it (minus the mascara)!
For example, I am working on several new projects and my desk started to look like it was hit by a tsunami so I organized and decluttered it, which has cleared my head (and even enabled me to take this minimalist desk selfie)…
I feel good about starting to run again and my new Saucony (winner of the Runner’s Choice award at least according to the sign at the store, by the way) sneakers.
Of course, when it comes to exercise this isn’t unique to me; The research is conclusive that when you exercise regularly, you change your brain chemistry and so actually do feel better.
But still, all these ideas for feeling good strike me as very temporary; When I look back at my life (or even my year) if I spent most of my time focusing on looking good and keeping my house clean, I’d actually feel pretty devastated about myself.
This led me to thinking about actions and pursuits that even years later, make me feel good about myself in a deep positive way — an organized desk or finally coiffed hair was not on my list…I suppose those sprint triathlons I finished were pretty cool, but even those were not on the list.
Consistently, what was were ways I stood up for what was right, took action that reflected what I believe in and made a difference in someone else’s life.
So how can I feel good about myself? By knowing my deepest values and striving to live by them everyday. Making decisions and taking action from my brave core – that part of me that knows what is right at the deepest level and follows that action. Habits like taking a run or decluttering are awesome only if they lead me to loving more and taking action from a place of deep integrity as a way of life.