Aren’t many of us guilty of this? We feel bad, lonely, not worthy, depressed, or sad, and we reach for the easy fix. A quick trip to the mall. A dinner out in a new outfit. A fast car. New kitchen cabinets! And yet, deep down I think we all know that you can’t buy your way out of bad feelings. Feeling better is an inside job – and it’s your job to manage.
You know the feeling when you purchase that fabulous outfit made by the best designer ever and yet when you put it on, you feel bad about yourself because you don’t look ‘perfect’ – the truth is, it’s a reminder that you haven’t lost the 10 pounds from last summer and then you feel a bit bummed.
Likewise, let’s say you do something rude or mean and you didn’t mean it and that feeling of ‘jeez, what the hell did I do?’ lingers, so you run out and use money to fix the problem – you buy a lovely gift to make up for your behavior. This makes the other person feel better (and you feel better about your own behavior) – and yes it’s a short-term solution, but hey, it works!
Money comes and money goes. You get a raise. Life is good. And yet, there are still those nights when you are bored or lonely so stopping by the ole shopping mall becomes a good distraction. As you turn in for the night, you rationalize with yourself because indeed, you would like some new pants so really it’s no big deal.
Besides, there are a lot of people around and the idea of seeing new things, and having something to enjoy when you get home is enticing. A few weeks later, not only is that moment quickly forgotten, but the rush fades into frustration as you open your mail and realize your debt has expanded and your payments are now taking more of your daily cash flow.
And here we are today, almost mid-December. With only a short time left before the holidays, the pressure is on to buy the perfect gift, have the perfect outfit and deck the halls better than ever. But to what end? Are you looking outwardly to get validation, affection and comfort when this is yours to provide for yourself?
Outside fixes, using money and spending are just quick hits while the caring and feeding of you is an inside job. The real challenge and the harder thing to do is to own your feelings, own your actions and own your behavior.
In honor of Jim Rohn (if you are not familiar with him, check out his site, www.tribute.jimrohn.com, he was an incredible motivator and philosopher and he recently passed away), I offer his sage advice:
“Giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.” – Jim Rohn
Try these tips to move you along of nurturing yourself and working on this inside job, you owe it to yourself to take care of you.
1. Take 10 minutes each morning to reflect on what is great in your life – start the day in silence with your thoughts on gratitude
2. Send out at least 1 message of gratitude per day. Simple and genuine messages sent through a thank you card, a quick thank you via email, or a social media shout out will work – just one a day will make a difference.
3. If you owe someone an apology, just give it, without bearing gifts or expectations as to what you will receive in return.
4. If you could have handled a situation better, take stock and commit to do better next time. Forgive yourself and let it go.
5. Every evening for a week, write down five things you are grateful for before you go to sleep. It could be having a warm bed or dating someone new. Anything at all will help you focus your thoughts on gratitude.
6. Contribute your time or talents to a local non-profit.
7. Commit to watch 1 hour less television per day. Really, as entertaining as it can be, it also just takes your time and often sends negative messages.
8. Look through your shelves at the books you have purchased but never read or finished – commit to finish one this month.
9. Foster or improve at least one new relationship this month – take a step forward and make the effort.
These are things you can do to improve your self-worth and value internally. Your confidence will shine through, you will attract like-minded people and you will be richer for it…. internally.
Or as Jim Rohn would say, ‘if not you, then who? If not now, then when?’