You Are Not Okay the Way You Are and That Is Not Okay
In today’s culture the message that “you are okay the way you are” is ubiquitous. It is found on television, the Internet, magazines, blogs, books, in movies—everywhere. This is odd because if it were actually true a lot of companies would not be spending so much money marketing products to fix “the way you are.” Companies market beauty products, fitness equipment, diet books, supplements, etc. and people buy them. In fact, these markets are booming.
Telling people they are okay the way they are is a panacea. It is a simple solution to hide a difficult truth in life. The truth is that you are not okay the way you are. People go through a lot of trouble to hide this fact because change is difficult.
The reason it is not okay to buy into this lie told by society and the culture is because it is hurting you. If you believed that you were okay you would not work hard enough. To be successful you have to work very, very hard. You have to eat, sleep, and breath success.
Odds are that right now you are not good enough. You have to be more and do more. You cannot pretend that you are “okay the way you are.”
Quit Hiding from the Truth
This means that you have to fix the problems in your life. You cannot hide them or they will just find a way to show up again at some inopportune time, potentially ruining a career-making move or damaging an important business relationship. Far too many people have tried to sweep their problems under the rug and it just does not work. This is part of the reason most people are not successful.
You Are Ahead of the Pack
You have an advantage. You know the truth. You know you are not okay.
So let’s take a look at what can be done with that knowledge. There are many areas of your life that need to be improved before you can take even one step towards following your dreams and becoming successful.
Your health is the most important area to focus on first. Good health has a ripple effect that permeates its way into every other aspect of your life. When you are healthy you have the energy to do the work that needs to be done. You’ll be more positive and able to promote positive vibes to the people you come into contact with. Also, your mental faculties will improve.
Exercise, practice good hygiene, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, engage in activities that reduce stress, stay social and avoid those things which are counter to good health (drugs, smoking, junk food, etc.). Improve your health and improve your life.
Like your health in general, the health of your relationships also has a huge impact on your life. If your relationships are not healthy they will weigh you down.
Your relationships also anchor you to where you are in your life. If your relationships are unhealthy you are going to be anchored to all the problems that comes from those relationships. Sometimes it is best to cut ties with people that are holding you down. This may even require physically moving to a new place or even a new town.
You will also want to cultivate relationships with people who are successful, healthy, help you to grow, and do not add problems to your life. Once you cultivate healthy relationships with successful people you will be anchored, or better yet, rooted, to a place that will help you blossom into who you were meant to be.
Meaning and Purpose
A lot of people lack direction in life and you are probably no different. Meaning and purpose are the fuel that motivates you to work hard even when you face impossible odds. For instance, if you are helping people in the line of work you choose, you will think of those people first and fight for them. It is amazing how doing things for others can unleash a vast well of energy you never knew existed.
Try different things and explore different areas in your life that you think you were meant to explore. Sometimes what gives your life purpose will not be what you had in mind but it will be the thing that motivates you to get up every day and fight, especially on those days (and weeks, months, years) when you keep getting knocked down again and again.
If you are not dedicated to learning new skills and gaining new talents you can stop trying to be successful right now. There are very few people who are successful who do not continually learn new things. You need to keep adding new talents and skills to your talent stack.
Do not add skills to your talent stack that will not move you in the direction you want to go. For instance, if you choose to be consultant then you need to increase your communication skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to interact with other people. If you spend all your hours learning how to garden or build bird houses, you’re not going to increase your odds of becoming the best possible consultant.
You can still have hobbies, but the majority of your time and energy should be spent on those things which will help to grow your talent stack. Spend your time on things that will assist you in moving towards your ultimate goal.
At the end of the day, you cannot move forward without doing some difficult personal inventory. You have to turn over all the rocks and explore your limitations, all the mistakes you made, the people you hurt, the problems in your life, your personality flaws, etc. All the things that you have been hiding from. All the things that society has told you are “okay.” They are not. They are holding you back. You have to change them, fix them.
Then, throughout the process of moving towards your goals you have to keep reevaluating yourself. Make sure you are not slipping back into old habits. Make sure you are not surrounding yourself with people who are bringing you down. Make sure you are learning new talents that will help you to succeed.
You have to be honest with yourself. No one else will ever be one-hundred percent honest with you one-hundred percent of the time. However, you can be. This will put you light years ahead of everyone else who thinks they are “okay just the way they are.”