Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

March 23, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 2:55 am

Almost everyone, at some point or the other in their life, might have asked themselves about the reason of their birth, the purpose of their life, and the goals that they would like to pursue. These questions, if left unanswered continuously keep posing troubles to the individual and lead to an unknown displeasure and unhappiness.
No matter how much success a person gets, no matter how rich a person becomes, and no matter how many goals are achieved, somehow these questions keep on confronting the person. This will continue until and unless such accomplishments do not lead to self-satisfaction.
The only answer to these questions is to seek self-satisfaction. It is self-satisfaction that can keep an individual away from these troubling questions. Self-satisfaction should thus be the sole quest for human beings. Self-satisfaction should therefore be the ultimate goal of life.
Self-satisfaction is a sense of absolute fulfillment with oneself and ones accomplishments. As simple as may it sound, achieving self-satisfaction is not at all an easy task. But, there are ways in which one can constantly look out for self-satisfaction and in the process find answers to the many unanswered questions that life imposes upon us.
Victor Frankl talked about meaning of life and will to meaning, which means that if an individual has certain meaningfulness in life, then that becomes a driving force for the individual to move forward in life. Frankl says that people tend to go through a blandness or emptiness in life, which refers to existential vacuum and not being able to come out of it is known as existential crisis. The will to meaning helps an individual to overcome this existential crisis. According to Frankl, if a person has a meaning of life, then he/she can survive the toughest conditions of life and come out of it in a positive manner. This will to meaning enables the individual a personal choice to grow and develop, which leads to triumph and self-fulfillment.
According to Frankl, when people go through existential crisis, they try to fill the void by guiding themselves by conformity, conventionality, and traditionality, which do not provide any kind of help. People do not use the freedom to make their own choices in life in order to find their own meaning.
Frankl suggests three ways of finding meaning in life. The first is by experiencing something or someone valued by the individual. This mainly includes experiencing the value of another person such as parents, siblings, friends, lover, etc. In order to develop meaning in the life of the valued person, the individual can develop meaning in his/her own life. The second is by involving oneself in creative deeds such as art, music, writing, invention, etc. The third is by developing virtues such as compassion, bravery, good sense of humour, etc. Once a person finds meaning in life, he/she sets off to a journey of achieving self-satisfaction.
Carl Rogers talks about congruence and incongruence. According to him, people have a real self and an ideal self. The real self is what the person actually is or can be. It is the true potential of the person. The ideal self is what the person feels that he/she should be, which may not be the real potential of the person. People, at times, tend to move towards their ideal self rather than their real self, due to expectations or external pressure. This creates a gap between real self and ideal self. Rogers calls this gap as incongruence. If there is no gap between a person’s real self and ideal self then it is referred to as congruence. In a state of congruence, the individual is well-adjusted and mentally healthy and is maladjusted in the state of incongruence. The more the gap between the real self and the ideal self, the more there is inner conflict and displeasure. The individual feels threatened and anxious. They become defensive, and their thinking becomes rigid and constricted.
For instance, a youngster has his/her own interests and is perhaps very good at it, but chooses not to take it up as a career because it is quite risky and decides to go for something that is more secure. Going for a career that is more secure is more acceptable in the eyes of others and also somewhat guarantees quick success. Here, the real self of the person is that he/she is good in some other activity. But, due to external demands he/she prefers to go away from his/her real potential and prefers to go for something that is more secure. This might prove to be worthwhile initially, but in the long run it only gives dissatisfaction. There is no harm in going for something that is more secure, but it should not be at the expense of one’s true potential and definitely not at the expense of satisfaction.
According to Rogers, we should try not to conform to the expectations of others. We should rather come to terms with our own nature, trust one’s own experience, and accept the fact that other people are different. In this way, the gap between the real self and the ideal self will become lesser and a state of congruence will come into place. Once this happens, in terms of Rogers, the person is said to have become oneself. The becoming of one’s self makes the person what Rogers calls a fully functioning person. The fully functioning person, according to Rogers, acknowledges and expresses all his/her feelings, has no rigidity and preconceptions about what he/she should be, make and rely on their own decisions, acknowledges the feeling of freedom and takes responsibility of his/her decisions, and contributes to life. Becoming oneself and being a fully functioning person brings the person closer and closer to self-satisfaction.
Abraham Maslow talked about self-actualization. Self-actualization is the desire to become more and more what one idiosyncratically is and it is to become everything that one is capable of becoming. It involves the continuous desire to fulfill potentials and become the most complete, the fullest.
According to Maslow, people who have achieved self-actualization have some distinguished features. Self-actualized people are realistically oriented; they accept themselves, others, and the natural world for what they are; they have a lot of spontaneity; they are problem-centered instead of giving up to life difficulties; they have a need for privacy; they are autonomous and independent; they do not buy into stereotypes; they have few intimate relationships that are deeply emotional rather than having shallow relationships with many people; they do not confuse means with ends; they have a philosophical sense of humour, preferably directed towards themselves rather than being directed to others; they have a great ability to be creative; they are non-conformists; and they are open to individual variety.
Apart from this, self-actualization involves what Maslow calls peak experiences. This is a feeling of being more integrated, more at one with the world, more their own boss, more spontaneous, less aware of space and time, and being more perceptive. Being self-actualized and having peak experiences that Maslow talks about, is more or less being self-satisfied.
People should be intrinsically motivated in the things that they do. Intrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from within the individual rather than from external factors such as money or high status. It is the motivation that comes from the pleasure that one gets from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction that one gets in completing or even working on a task. Being intrinsically motivated is to be motivated by self-generated factors such as responsibility, freedom to act, development and use of skills and abilities, interesting and challenging work, and opportunities for advancement. These factors have a deeper and longer-term effect.
Usually, in order to earn their bread and butter, people choose a particular career as their work and they have their hobbies for leisure time. They keep their work and hobbies as two distinct things. It will be a lot better if people make their hobby as their work and career. A hobby is something that people enjoy to do and use it as a stress buster when they get tired of their work. Instead, if their hobby becomes their work then they will enjoy their work and be happy with the kind of work they will be doing. This will make them intrinsically motivated towards their work. Not only it will make them enjoy their work, but it will also drive them to excel in it.
The work of a person plays a very major role in one’s life. Work should not be seen as something that is burdensome; it should be something that is fun. If a person’s hobby becomes his/her work then he/she will have more and more interest in it, which will give a sense of satisfaction. When a person gets up in the morning, he/she should not say, “oh no, I have to work.” He/she should rather be excited and say, “oh yes, I am going to work.” This excitement and joy can only be there if the person is intrinsically motivated towards work, which can only happen if the person’s hobby becomes his/her work. In the long run, this will become an immense source of satisfaction.
A high level of self-awareness is required for self-satisfaction. An individual should have a realization of his/her strengths and weaknesses. This will make the person know about how good or bad he/she is at various things. This will also make the person more focused and will enable him/her to know exactly what he/she wants from life. When a person knows exactly what he/she wants to do, it generates an immense amount of positive feeling within that person and leads to a lot of self-worth.
This high level of self-awareness is very much similar to what Howard Gardner calls intrapersonal intelligence. People who are high on intrapersonal intelligence have a good capacity of being introspective and self-reflective. They are intuitive and skillful in recognizing their own feelings and motivations. It includes having a deep level of understanding, knowing ones strengths and weaknesses, realization of what makes one unique, and having the ability to predict one’s own reactions and emotions.
A high level of self-awareness or being high on intrapersonal intelligence also enables the individual to understand the meaning of success in its true sense. Success has different meanings for different people. There are individual differences in what people may desire and their meaning of success differentiates accordingly. Knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses gives a clear picture of these individual differences. This realization helps in coping with failure to a great extent and leads to a lot of emotional stability, which in the long run helps in getting close to self-satisfaction.
The realization of the true meaning of success also leads the person not to make inappropriate social comparisons. Comparing oneself with others is a very common phenomenon and it can turn out to be quite useful in assessing oneself. However, this may also be misleading. If one person is strong in a particular ability then it does not mean that the other person also is strong in that ability. Someone else, due to various reasons, might get success easily. Comparing oneself with that person might be disheartening and may make the person become impatient and lose focus. Rather than following his/her own interests, the person might try to do something else in which he/she may not be that good in. While comparing himself/herself with the other person, the individual might have a sense failure, which is wrong. That person is successful in his/her own way and making comparisons with him/her is inappropriate, which should not be done.
Delay of gratification is something that becomes very important in achieving self-satisfaction. People, at times, forget about their larger goals and become satisfied by smaller and relatively insignificant goals. They also, at times, ignore their larger goals in order to achieve the smaller ones. It is true that achieving small things is important, but it should not be at the expense of the larger goals that are in fact the main goals of the individual. An individual might achieve something that gives immediate pleasure and in the bargain may not be able to look at the larger picture. This can be harmful and cause dissatisfaction in the long run. The person should rather be sensible enough and be able to assess things properly. This may require ignoring the small, little pleasures in order to achieve the larger and much more satisfying goals in life.

Life can be highly unpredictable. Various ups and downs may occur throughout one’s life. There are moments of happiness as well as sadness. All this may create a lot of instability within oneself. The only way to maintain a proper composure in life is to seek and eventually achieve self-satisfaction. It is the seeking of self-satisfaction that guides the person through all the turbulence of life. Achieving self-satisfaction should be the main criteria in whatever the person wants to do

How to Achieve Success, Self-Satisfaction, and Contentment

Everyone in this world aspires to be successful. Living a grand life with almost everything on your hands is a dream that every person wishes for. That’s why they study and spend almost a quarter of their lives just to build a foundation for that so-called success. But have you ever wondered why it is so hard to be successful? Why does it require a long period of time, a great educational standing, and most of all, a passion and dedication that no can ever comprehend? You will only know the answer to that if you reached success, and can be called a successful person. How? If you are looking for ways on how to achieve that success, self-satisfaction, and contentment, you just landed on the right spot. Read on and start your way towards triumph.

First thing, be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Never pattern yourself to your idols and do the same thing, unless their passion is yours, too. You need to be unique, a certain market or industry, which may someday monopolize and dominate the global trade.

Second, follow your passion, not your parents’. If you want to be an engineer, never hesitate to do so. Remember that your dream and passion for something is the only element that can help you reach the finish line.

Third, do the trick. What trick? Enter the field where your fervor is needed the most. Say you want to be an engineer. Why not enter the construction industry? For sure, many companies will immediately hire you and even name how much you want to be paid.

Fourth, imply discipline. All of your hard work will be wasted if you just live like a one-day millionaire. Be thrifty. Stack up your money. It’s not bad to open a savings account. Also, you’ll be financially secured if you discipline yourself from the beginning.

Fifth, start a family early yet prepared. Times passes by quickly, so if you have the guts to start a family, do it now. Make sure that you’re financially, mentally, and emotionally prepared though. From this point onwards, you set a different priority, and that is your family. If you still want to live as a bachelor or a bachelorette, well you can take your time. It’s not nice to eat meat while it’s hot, otherwise you’ll get you’re tongue burned. Same way goes when you start a family unprepared.

Lastly, focus and set long-term goals. In order to achieve success, you must rely on your own skill. Thus, you need to focus. Don’t associate yourself with any debts or loans that you cannot handle. If you earned enough money, use it to buy income-generating assets, like company stocks or land lots. Live below your means, meaning, live in a simple but fulfilling way. Spend time with your family more. Once you’re content and satisfied, you’ll gradually feel success. But don’t brag and boast what you reached to others. Remember that you also start from the lowest point. A little humility alongside generosity to others who are unsuccessful in life can inspire them to start up and live their lives right.

Life Satisfaction and Self Esteem


Running two websites about self esteem and depression I get many emails from visitors who ask me questions relating to happiness, self esteem and general life satisfaction. This article is my attempt to answer some of the most common problems that come up.

Are you satisfied with your life?

If you feel you have purpose in your life and what you do everyday gives you satisfaction then you are lucky. Do you feel something is missing from your life and your potential is unfulfilled? Chances are there are many things which cause you to feel less than satisfied with where you are now.

If you stop to think for a moment I bet you could list many things which make you feel less than satisfied with your life but this is a question of your attitude. Everyone could make such a list and the result would be a negative feeling and unhappiness. If you approach your life looking at it from what is missing or what could be better then you will be unhappy and dissatisfied.

What will give you life satisfaction?

Life satisfaction does not come from money nor material things. It comes from what you do and how you use what you have. It comes from a positive view of what is right in your life now. Of course, things can always be improved but you should try to enjoy your achievements so far. If you always look to solving problems you will never be satisfied until everything is how you want it to be and that will never happen.

Only you can truly answer the question “what will make you satisfied with your life?”. However, most people have basic needs which make them satisfied.

Some of these needs are:

  • Friends
  • Successful relationships
  • Family (provides a sense of identity and belonging)
  • Feeling that you are needed and loved
  • Purpose in life (a difficult one but so important)
  • Having choices and options
  • Having achievable goals
  • Doing what you enjoy
  • Having the possibility to express yourself creatively and emotionally
  • Feeling that you have value (this is your self esteem)
  • Being understood and accepted for who you are

How can you become more satisfied and content?

My list above shows that these things have no link to money, they depend on you and your attitudes and feelings about who and what you are. In order to be more satisfied with your life you need to:

Reacting to Difficulties and Problems

One thing I realised a long time ago was that when I faced times when my life was not as I wished I would fight. Let me explain. If you are not happy then you may, like I did, fight everything and refuse to accept the reality of your situation. For example, if you don’t like where you live you can complain constantly and learn to hate this. This will only make you angry and powerless. Your self esteem will be affected negatively because the more you complain and hate where you live the worse you will feel about yourself and your life. It is far more constructive to stop fighting against everything you don’t like because that uses so much of your energy negatively, creates unhappiness and low self esteem.

So what is the alternative to fighting? It is accepting the reality of your life as it is now and being prepared to take a step back in order to think about what you can and cannot change. Accepting everything is not what I am suggesting but there are some things you have to accept and others you don’t. Maybe your acceptance is temporary and you should change your attitude so that you can live your life now more happily until you can change things as you want.

Fighting is not positive. It is aggressive and brings with it anger and negative emotions. What you want is to become happier and more satisfied so you are looking for a positive change. Building a better life comes from being positive and taking steps to move closer to what you want. Accepting things as they are now is a first and important step. Accepting that it may take time to get where you want to go is another important thing to do. Accepting who you are is also very important.

Even if your life seems intollerable to you right now, instead of fighting it why not try to work with it and use what you have now? If you cannot change things imediately for the better, why not try to like what you have now? What I am trying to say here is that you CAN be happy and satisfied with your life right now. You shouldn’t put off your happiness until you get exactly what you want. If you do that you will never be happy. Live for the journey, not the destination!

Learn from your mistakes and problems and see them as opportunites to improve. Make peace with your life and with who you are, get clear about the changes you’d like to make and then work out how you will move forward. Make sure that you try to see the joy in every day and that even if everything is not perfect, there are always things to be happy about.

I hope that this short article has been helpful to you. I’d love you to share this page with others and comment below about anything that you have read above. Thank you for reading this far and good luck with your life!


How Self-Esteem Relates to Job Satisfaction

Does a person’s self-esteem play a part in job satisfaction? Or, do satisfactory jobs increase self-esteem? Jean Scheid, a business owner discusses self-esteem and how it relates to job satisfaction.

Self-Esteem Studies & Research

I’ve read many articles on self-esteem and job satisfaction including a whitepaper from Claudia Garcez published in 2006 on HR Consulting Services by CG’s website.

Many researchers find that if a person is satisfied with their work, their self-esteem increases. Others say one must possess high self-esteem in order to feel satisfied in their career choice and job field.

As a business owner, I believe both of these are true and self-esteem and how it relates to job satisfaction are topics you should consider when looking at your current or potential employees.Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

The Outgoing vs. the Introvert

I often use my own employees to help my readers understand how things at the office do indeed work in real-life situations. An outgoing person will perform at higher levels, be happy with their accomplishments and hence, achieve great job satisfaction. On the other hand the introvert may also be happy with accomplishments and be satisfied with their job, even if they work at a slower pace or are afraid to ask for help.

  • How Self-Esteem Develops

    No matter what research reveals, if a person has low self-esteem, that level can come from learned experiences, life situations, peer pressure and the environment where a person was raised. So, does that mean a great job makes one satisfied and content will raise their self-esteem? If one has always had a low self-esteem level, raising it by obtaining the job of their dreams will not raise it.

    Societal factors can also affect self-esteem—we are only good if we look like that model on the magazine cover, or the star football player who won the Super Bowl.

    As an employer or HR manager, you can do things to raise self-esteem and increase job satisfaction.

  • Analyze & Improve Your Work Environment

    If I take a look at my employees there are some with high and some with low self-esteem. A single mother with three children always seems stressed, unhappy and unsure of her abilities. A man who constantly receives telephone calls from his wife about what’s he’s done wrong each day, and a manager that feels intimidate by his subordinates. All of these are examples of people that may have or are developing low self-esteem—inside or outside of the workplace.

    We all spend many hours doing our jobs and here’s where you, as an employer, can help.

    • My Single Mom Solution – As stressed as she may be, she’s a great asset to my company and I often tell her that. Over the years she has worked for me, I can see she is happy with her job duties, performs them well and does like her job. Encouragement from superiors and even co-workers can improve anyone’s self-esteem level.
    • Man With Nagging Wife – Setting personal call limits was a solution that worked best for this employee. Without the nagging calls from his wife, he was able to increase productivity and his mood improved while at the workplace.
    • Scared Supervisor – This employee had the knowledge, but not necessarily supervisory knowledge. By sending him to seminars about managing difficult employees and using a mentor to encourage and work alongside him, he was able to feel confident about his decisions and lead his team.

    So, it’s all solved right? You make some workplace changes and you’ve got high self-esteem and people satisfied with their jobs! Here, is where you’d be wrong.

  • Outside Forces

    In our three examples above, only the scared supervisor’s problem was internal and could be fixed entirely through guidance and training. The other two have outside forces that affect self-esteem levels.

    As an employer, you can’t be a marriage counselor for an employee with a nagging wife or hire a nanny for your busy single mom, but there are things you can offer to help self-esteem levels increase.

    Many companies offer wellness or employee counseling and assistance programs. The expense of these benefits far outweighs what you’ll receive in return. Most people with low self-esteem won’t discuss problems or feelings with a co-worker but will do so with an unbiased counselor—or people that can help them get their life back on track and feel the value in life.

    The University of Denver offers an employee assistance program (EAP) where employees can receive up to 5 sessions a year to deal with personal problems including family and child issues, grief, career decisions, financial problems, peer pressure from co-workers including workplace bullying, alcohol and drug abuse, general stress, marital problems and even how to be a better manager.

    These types of EAP programs can help your workers with low self-esteem more content in life/work situations and in turn, job satisfaction will be increased. Consider starting an EAP—start by calling your employee benefits carrier and see if they can help you set one up.

  • Final Thoughts

    When considering self-esteem and how it relates to job satisfaction, even an EAP may not be enough for some employees. There will always be the naysayers, the whiners, the bullies, and those who feel defeated about life in general. If an employee assistance program can’t help these people, do consider replacing them to keep job satisfaction and self-esteem levels high in your work environment. If you do replace a bad apple, make sure you go through an exit interview so the employee has a chance to understand their problems and perhaps make improvements before they tackle a new career or job.

A Little Black Pen.

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