In order to truly be comfortable in your skin, you need to learn how to love yourself. If you can take a good look in the mirror, embrace all of your imperfections and believe the phrase that “no one is you and that is your power”, then you’ve won half the battle.
I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Money can’t buy you happiness.” The great American poet from Brooklyn, Fabolous elaborated on this once in one his classic lyrics: “Money can’t buy happiness, but it’s a damn good down payment.” This is a prime example of a false pretense that something tangible can determine your self-worth and self-awareness. Sorry, but only you can determine your worth. No amounts of money can allow you to reach true happiness and satisfaction but it sure does help.
A distinguished Psychologist named Abraham Maslow, well-known for his hierarchy of needs theory, told us that throughout our lives, we are motivated to meet a series of needs, starting with the most basic and working into the more complex:
1. Physical: food, air, water
2. Safety: shelter, money
3. Love and Belonging: friends, family, relationships
4. Esteem: respect, recognition, reward
5. Self-Actualization: reaching one’s full potential
There are so many people with wealth who still have mental health issues. There are so many people who choose careers and make life decisions based on their parent’s expectations and not their own dreams or passions. There are so many people who work 9-5 jobs that they hate and feel like they are stuck with nowhere to go in their career.
By defeating the “can’t” mindset and adopting a mindset of positivity and affirmation, you will feel less stuck in any situation thus giving yourself more self worth.
There are many people with endless wealth and talent who’ve achieved things beyond our wildest dreams who will never feel good about themselves. There are others with extremely limited resources and no talent who’ve achieved nothing yet feel great about themselves. Why is this the case?
It turns out that how we feel about ourselves has little to do with external factors such as wealth or praise, despite how vigorously society promotes those values. How you feel about yourself—your self-esteem—is largely determined by three factors that are essentially out of your control.
First, and probably most impactful, is how you compare with your same-sex parent. The question being, have you achieved more or less than that parent? This gives an advantage in the happiness department to those of us from less well-off backgrounds.
The second factor is how you compare to your close peer group. We don’t tend to compare ourselves closely to people we don’t know well or see on television. While we may desire a house like Kim Kardashian’s, generally, not having one won’t overwhelm our psyche. But if someone you grew up with, someone with whom you have a similar background and with whom you’ve spent significant amounts of time, buys a mansion, cures cancer, or starts the next Facebook, it will impact how you feel about yourself.
Moral of the story: Avoid befriending instagram influencers – their lives are not all that they are cracked up to be. They’re just flexing, while you are just living. They’re just trying to impress, while you are trying to progress. See what I did there?
The final factor is what type of affection you received when you were a child: conditional or unconditional. Did your parents give you love and praise only when you got good grades or your soccer team won the championship? If so, like a hamster, you’ll probably spend all or part of your life chasing praise and achievement. While that may lead you to do great things, it can also lead you to a lifelong feeling of emptiness. On the other hand, if your parents gave you love no matter your level of achievement, you’re likely to feel good about yourself no matter how things are going. That makes you much more resilient to failure; you won’t feel that a setback like losing a job defines your self worth. If anything, it empowers you to remind yourself that a setback is just the groundwork for the comeback.
You’ll never realize a fulfilled existence by focusing on external factors like wealth and achievements. The only path to sustainable fulfillment is to understand your internal, emotional self.
Once you discover what’s important to you, spend the rest of your days pursuing that mission, sharing your creations with others and getting closer to manifesting your best self.
That is the journey of a fulfilled life. So go out there and live your best life like Lil’ Duval.