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Who Do YOU Want to Be in 2023?

beliefs discover yourself financialempowerment self-discovery Jan 12, 2023

What is the “self”, and what does it mean in relation to money (i.e. the self-made millionaire)? I recently went down a bit of a rabbit hole on the meaning of the word “self”, and how it can fundamentally change the meaning of the word it’s paired with (such as self-worth or self-esteem).

The reason I delved into this in the first place was after having a conversation with my mother about why there is so much anxiety and depression in the world – even in children who aren’t yet burdened with the disappointment between expectations and perceived reality.

I believe there isn’t enough focus on helping people understand themselves – as in their sense of self. Who they are, who they want to be (and why). When we approach life without this understanding it makes clarity, calm and purpose almost impossible to experience.

This constant search for purpose and meaning is at the heart of why so many of us feel so unfulfilled and directionless, and why we aren’t living the lives that we want. It also leads to a lesser ability to handle situations that don’t go the way we want. Which leads me to the concept of “resilience”.

Resilience has become a somewhat overused word these days. Why has it risen to prominence, and why in spite of our focus and attention on mental health and resilience is there more depression and anxiety now than ever before?

While reading a book called The Gap and the Gain recently, the authors pointed out that Thomas Jefferson (one of authors of America’s Declaration of Independence) used the words “in the PURSUIT of happiness” in the historic document.

The idea then being that you are constantly seeking or pursuing things to make you happy, and it is a state that is never actually attained.

This then circles back to what I mentioned before about searching for our purpose, seeking out ways to contribute, be happy and find meaning in life. Looking for how to “find yourself”.

There are SO many different ways to express more or less the same thing. What it ultimately comes down to is that what we desire is always in the FUTURE. Not in the present. And as the future is inherently just out of reach, so too then is what you’re seeking.

Hopefully you’re still with me and this is making sense to you.

So, what I’m saying is, instead of searching or seeking or wanting, DO, BE or DECIDE right NOW to be those things you are looking for from the future.

BE happy NOW. Feel purposeful NOW. Decide to do something NOW. Start to change a situation you don’t like NOW. Adjust an attitude towards something that isn’t serving you NOW.

It might sound too simple, and in some ways it is. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy though.

To do this you need to take control of your mind and be disciplined and consistent with your resolve to be in the NOW. Trust me, this is something I constantly need to check myself on.

There are SO many concepts and stereotypes that we’re fed throughout our lives that are either utter nonsense, or are plain destructive. They are usually perpetuated to keep us small or to control us in some way.

I say enough is enough! It’s time to figure how who you are, what you want and why, then to see, hear, feel and believe those things NOW!

There is immense power in language, and the words that we use. This is why what we watch, what (and who) we listen to, who we socialise with and what we say is SO important.

Going back to the word “self” - it can either have a positive or negative connotation, depending on the word and the context. For example, “selfless” is considered a virtue but “selfish” is not.

The word “self-esteem” is defined VERY differently than the words “self” and “esteem” are as independent words.

The Oxford Dictionary defines self to be ‘a person’s or thing’s own individuality or essence’.

Let’s now look at the definition of esteem, which means to ‘have a high regard for; greatly respect; think favourably of’.

So, you could logically take the next step and think that “self-esteem” would be to have a high regard or respect for one’s own individuality or essence.

Sadly no. Here is how self-esteem is defined ‘a good opinion of oneself; self-confidence; an unduly high regard for oneself; conceit’.

Why is it that to have SELF-esteem is linked to being conceited?

It gets even worse when you look at the thesaurus for words that also mean self-esteem – vanity, egoism, narcissism, self-centredness…

Esteem in the thesaurus has these words – respect, value, treasure, prize, cherish…

No wonder we have such an issue with things like self-esteem and self-worth (which is linked back to self-esteem in the dictionary). We are trained to believe that they are horrible character traits and not to aspire to these!

Desiring a sense of self with this then just compounds the confusion. Not only are we not encouraged to learn about who we are, we’re also scared off even trying, for fear of being labelled a self-centred, egotistic narcissist!

Before an airplane takes off, the cabin crew demonstrates how to potentially survive a loss in cabin pressure by advising each person to fit their oxygen mask first before helping others. Because, if you pass out while trying to help someone, not only have you not helped them, you’ve also caused yourself to pass out!

This should be a metaphor for life – the only way to truly help others is to make sure we are on the path of helping ourselves. You don’t have to have everything figured out, but at least be slightly ahead of the person you’re helping.

Recognise you have VALUE and are WORTH the things you want. Spend time figuring out your individual self – read books, go to seminars, find a mentor. Whatever you need to do to figure this out. It will make so many other things (like money) SO much easier to figure out.