My friend David wrote this epic article on self-esteem 4 years ago, and though I only stumbled across it last month, I haven’t been able to get this line out of my head since:
“Do I like who I am while I’m doing this?”
It’s a question to gain better insight about your habits, and after asking *myself* this now quite often, I gotta say it really shifts your perspective! And might just surprise you on which things actually *do* make you feel good vs those you *think* make you feel good because you enjoy doing them.
The question of “Do I like who I am when I’m doing this?” is a different question from “Do I like doing this?” You might find some gratification in arguing online, or overeating, or staying home Saturday nights, but that doesn’t mean that you feel great about who you are when you’re doing them…
In the same way, there may be things I find difficult or strenuous, but which are rewarding in that I like who I am when I’m doing them.
I’m not sure about that Saturday night part, haha, but something that did immediately jump out at me after reading this was our addictions to Facebook :) It sure is fun to check and pass a little time, but MAN do you always leave feeling worse off than when you got there! As soon as I realized this I experimented with shutting down my personal account and haven’t looked back since…. Been almost 5 years now and it’s blissful!! :)
This same line of thinking works well for our finances too.
- How did you feel the last time you put something on your credit card?
- Or when you made your last investment?
- How about when you played the lottery?
- Or that time you learned to do something all by yourself instead of hiring it out?
- What about when you launched that blog/podcast/side hustle that’ll probably make jack crap for the next handful of months, but by golly did you do it?! ;)
- Or when you’re absolutely killing it and bringing home LOADS of money?! (Something I noticed about myself is that whenever I’m raking it in I tend to want *even more* which is the opposite of how I’d like to be… And something I now strive to work on whenever those times do hit my life)
This question works with almost every habit of yours, and it’ll quickly tell you whether you’re on the right path or not. It won’t help much with the actual *fixing* of things – that’s hard work no matter what you do! – but at least it gets you to be more *aware* which is the first step to improving anything in life.
And again – the actual *action* itself is different than the *feeling* you get from doing it. There’s a lot of things I enjoy doing if left to my own devices, but it doesn’t always mean they’re good for me! So repeatedly asking yourself this question will better pinpoint the trouble areas as you go.
Something good to think about, anyways, as we head into the weekend here…
Highly advise reading the full article from David if you’re inspired by this type of stuff: Where Self-Esteem Comes From. His blog’s mantra isn’t too bad either ;) “Getting better at being a human“