7 Fundamentals of Success and Happiness Only You Can Deny Yourself
Life's biggest frustrations and disappointments come from expecting too little of yourself and too much of others. Expectations shape all of your relationships, including in the workplace. By setting your expectations for yourself and living up to them you reduce your dependency on others for your sense of worth and satisfaction.
Counting on yourself greatly reduces your frustration while increasing personal freedom for yourself and others. It is the only way to develop the seven personality strengths necessary for success.
Self-awareness is your ability to correctly perceive your own emotions as they are occurring. When you are self-aware you are keen to your emotional tendencies across situations. You know which situations trigger certain emotions and are able to predict this with a reasonable amount of accuracy.
When you are not self-aware you tend to overreact angrily or fearfully when others don't meant your expectations that they walk on eggshells, read your mind, anticipate your feelings and never step on any of your triggers.
Bottom line, people cannot read your mind or take care of your reactions. Believing otherwise will destroy your sense of self and the morale of those you interact with. People cannot not know how you feel until you speak up. You must communicate with others regularly and effectively. You will find yourself traveling quickly on the road to success when you productively communicate what you’re thinking and feeling.
Seeking agreement and constant approval stifles your personal development while greatly compromising those you depend on to make you feel good. Commit to owning your thoughts, feelings and ideas without depending on anyone else for approval to feel good about them or not.
Life is not meant to be an endless “audition” for the role of meeting the expectations of others. Don't create a dynamic where those around you have to prove something to you or make things up to you if they don’t live up to your expectations.
The more you approve of yourself and your decisions, the less approval and agreement you need from others. Dare to be yourself, dare to follow your own aims without comparing yourself to others.
To be successful you must never view someone else’s success as your lack of progress.
You live in direct opposition of who you genuinely are when are caught up in trying to be the versions of yourself you believe others need and want you to be. You may not feel worthy to some, but never take for granted you are irreplaceable to others. Demonstrate worth by keeping company with those who appreciate you, rather than staying stuck on those who reject you.
Remember, no matter how good you are, there will always be a certain percentage of people you meet and work with who will not like you no matter what you do, how nice you are or how hard you work. When you truly understand your worth you will never vie for a position. When it comes to your success, you will not negotiate. You have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
Learn to live your life from your own sense of accomplishment, duty and responsibility. Do not hope for others to change. Refrain from trying to control or direct others. Focus on the changes you need to make to reach your desired levels of success, confidence and self-sufficiency.
Waiting for someone to change takes you out of the driver’s seat of your own life. Don't wait for someone else to take you to the level of success you desire. That is a miserable prison to put yourself and others in. Be self-sufficient. Stay aware of your emotions and any unrealistic expectations you have of others.
The more competent you are, the less you need and expect from others, the easier you are to work and interact with.
Truly powerful people never explain why they deserve respect, they simply do not engage with those who do not respect them. People will only respect you to the extent you respect yourself. Personal freedom, confidence and success come through your own self-development and learning. Accept that sometimes the best thing you can do is say “no.” Act on the internal signals telling you that you have reached your capacity in a situation. Set the boundaries necessary to keep you in a place of self-respect.
You will suffer if you expect that others will, or should, respect you no matter what. Have faith in who you are and a willingness to act upon it. Never ask anyone to do for you what you can do for yourself. When you practice self-respect you give yourself the opportunity to be happy and successful all around.
You are human. Approve of yourself in spite of deficiencies. When you have self-acceptance you become aware that others are also human. You stop expecting them to fit into your vision of who you think they should be. You no longer get angry when they fall short.
Focus on personal development. Seek ways to make your life rich, exciting, accomplished and happy, regardless of the holes in your Swiss cheese. Living this way reduces your need to control others. You become a healthier person to interact and work with. When you stop expecting too much from others you begin to appreciate them and depend more upon yourself to reach your goals.
Life is challenging because anything and everything outside of you is temporary. Stop needing life to always be OK. Embrace your good qualities and be aware of, and in progress with, your more challenging traits. There is always personal growth to be done. It is your dualities and complexities that make you interesting and inspiring to others.
Living to pleases others is not self-loving, it is self-diminishing. There is no path to success through being an underling.
In life you are measured by your ability to overcome adversities and insecurities, not avoid them. When you are aware of yourself you see yourself as a work in progress. This type of humility gives you a deeper understanding of others and their own humanity. As you focus on growth, and how to be more successful through changing yourself, your sense of control and confidence increases dramatically. Success is not about you being OK and all-put-together. You have to commit to yourself the most when you feel most challenged.
All these fundamentals begin with the world “self” because you are the only person who can develop these qualities. Other people or situations are rarely going to be exactly who or what you want them to be. Hope for the best and let go of any attachment to perfection. There is a direct correlation between your happiness, success and satisfaction and what your thoughts manifest for you in the form of relationships and opportunities for achievement.
Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.