Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2021
Understanding that being comfortable with yourself is better than being comfortable with everyone is synonymous with health and well-being. It is like the teaching that you acquire after a long journey, where you gradually leave behind certain situations to continue lighter, free from weights in your backpack and pebbles in your shoes. It is an awakening that allows us to lead life with greater integrity.
Although in theory it seems easy to understand and seems to give a lot of ideas for a book on personal growth, it must be said that in practice we are very wrong. To understand this better, we offer a small example to reflect on.
We imagine ourselves looking out the window at something that happens at the same time every morning. Here is our neighbor who, like every day, takes his little bonsai to get regular sunlight. He takes care of it with attention and obsessive dedication: he prunes it, waters it, feeds it ... we could say that he also gives it affection.
"When you love and respect yourself, someone's disapproval is nothing to fear or avoid"
-Wayne W. Dyer-
It draws our attention a lot for a specific reason. Our neighbor has never seemed a particularly happy man to us, has a job he doesn't like and is the classic person who tries to get along with everyone. His need to please has made him a puppet in the hands of almost all people: family, superiors, friends ... They pull his "strings" to such an extent that they have already begun to yield: our young neighbor has already suffered his first threat of a heart attack.
Every day, when we see him pulling out his beloved bonsai, we wonder why he doesn't dedicate to himself the dedication and love he reserves for his little tree. Our neighbor should certainly learn to feel good about himself, perhaps by pruning certain relationships, nurturing his self-esteem and looking for the warmth with which to recover dignity, self-love and well-being ...
Being comfortable with yourself: a question of logic and necessity
Epictetus said that “just as when we walk we try not to step on a nail or twist our ankle, in life we must behave with the same attention”. That is, avoiding that others harm us, not doing it to others and protecting us wisely from all evils. However, sometimes we don't, we neglect ourselves, we betray ourselves. We forget that it is not healthy to stop feeling good about ourselves in order to prioritize others.
Perhaps we underestimate the fact that trying to please everyone by postponing our needs is neither logical nor recommendable. Furthermore, it is a very high price what we pay when we let life go by feeling bad for one reason or another, feeling an emptiness inside, being indecisive and frustrated.
We must remember that what is cared for sprouts, that what is defended and nurtured bears fruit. We should understand that in some circumstances it would be necessary to put aside the emotional aspects and make use of reason. Putting feelings aside and remembering what we need is often key.
We know that emotional intelligence is very important, however at certain times the most logical and rational thinking is what works best. The reason? This mental approach prompts us to make firm decisions to start making changes to our advantage.
“Everything will be fine in the end. If you are not well, it is not the end "
Erich Fromm used to say that people have the skillful ability to live in constant contradiction. This sometimes leads us to think that if others are happy, then we are happy too. That if we tell that person what he wants to hear, even if we don't think so, we will gain his acceptance and complacency, and that will give us well-being.
These dualities are destructive, they are situations with a high emotional cost in which sense and reason above all should take precedence. If I don't like something, I walk away. If I disagree, I say it. If you hurt me, I defend myself. If I'm not happy, I behave to be happy in my own way.
The way to feel good about yourself
The way to feel good about yourself starts with a sense of balance. It is all about practicing self-satisfaction and prioritizing ourselves in almost any area, moment or circumstance. Healthier well-being does not lead to narcissism, but to this healthy coexistence in which we understand that to "be" we must also "let be".
To achieve this, we can reflect on the following dimensions. Each requires a correct internalization in order to be integrated into our life, with courage and with adequate psychological solvency:
- Confidence in themselves. Believing in our inner resources will allow us to be more competent in making decisions, to move forward knowing who to understand in our life, what we need at each moment and how we can achieve these goals.
- Learn to rationalize your thoughts. We stop feeling good about ourselves almost always due to an exhausting, critical and negative internal dialogue, which blocks our personal growth. We learn to rationalize thoughts to break down fears and stop being our enemies.
- Be friends of life. Instead of wanting to be "friends of all", of wanting to be comfortable with everyone to feel accepted, let's change our approach. We try to be friends of life, receptive to opportunity, optimism, a sense of freedom, and not complacency and dependence on others.
- Discover the potential in us. When we discover our strengths, when we take advantage of our virtues, abilities and talents, everything in us is harmonized. We feel the courage to start things without relying on others, things that satisfy us and allow us to progress in feeling good.
To conclude, let us remember that when we are comfortable with ourselves, what chance offers us begins to matter less. Because we have so much energy, confidence and optimism within us that nothing can stop our steps. Let's not waste this value that is within us all.