Haley, a self-assured real estate broker, should have been happy with everything she has achieved in life. Yet despite all her career and material success, there is still one thing that eluded her grasp: contentment. Even if people saw her as being very beautiful, in her mind, she was so far from being perfect. In fact, it was her secret dream to have a body like that of Jennifer Lopez. Aside being on top of her career, she was pretty and she did get Friday night dates. But still…she thinks having a figure like this famous celebrity will make her life more complete. After months in the gym and a host of other exercise routines, Haley was still not satisfied with how she looked. Everywhere she looked, she saw beautiful, sexy, and confident women who represented everything that she was not — at least, in her mind. She was so full of envy and had so little self-esteem. Instead of having a great feeling after working out in the gym, she was still down with depression.
Nothing is wrong with wanting to look good. Everybody wants to be liked, of course, not only for who they are but also for how they looked. Even with all the adornments that money can buy, most people still cannot accept who they are. The insecurity still hounds them and prevents them from experiencing happiness and contentment.
Why can’t we get no satisfaction
But why do so many people fall into the vanity trap? Blame it on T.V. commercials, magazine advertisements, and even the Internet. Media hype and imagery all “conspire” to entice women and men to be “insecure.”
These days, dissatisfaction can also take on a new form. People also get insecure about their status in the office and in society. Not a few stories about office politics and rivalry have been about envy and jealousy. One gets the promotion, the other remains at the bottom of the food chain, so to speak — is a story that gets told over and over again in companies that have so much internal competition. But aside from the promotion and the raise, other things can cause envy. A career-driven woman who gets so much stress and anxiety over her job might secretly envy a homemaker. On the other hand, a homemaker might also have feelings of insecurity towards a friend who has made her mark in the corporate world. Like the song says, we can’t get no satisfaction.
Others try to overcome these feelings of insecurity by wearing a mask of “superiority.” Others hide their envy and insecurity through cynicism. Some even go so far as to belittle themselves while others go for the glory of success — no matter who gets hurt.
Depression, stress, and anxiety are the usual companions of people who can’t accept themselves or who try to outdo others who, in truth, are far better than they could ever be. Not everybody can be a Donald Trump, a Tiger Woods, or a Josh Groban. But one thing is certain: every person is unique and has been blessed with gifts. The key to greater self-esteem and self-acceptance is to discover those very unique, personal gifts. By capitalizing on what one does best, success will not look so far-fetched.
Whenever we struggle with stress and anxiety over our career plans, self-image, and with life in general, it may be good to remember that we can do something. Here are simple ways to take action now:
l Take action Â If you want something badly then save for it. Don’t buy something by taking out a loan and then get depressed once you get the bills. Remember, material things are good but external things should not determine our happiness or self-esteem. If you think you need something like a new car or a gym membership, plan for it. You might consider getting a second job or a sideline to increase your income and paying capacity. If what you need is to improve on your relationships, take action and make the first move. As they say, the only way to win a friend is by being one.
l Know your career and financial options Â Get a better knowledge on career and financial matters. Learn new skills to make yourself more valuable and marketable to employers.
l Learn the art of compromise Â Feeling good about ourselves almost always entails having good relationships with our family and people we work with. It is good to remember that we cannot and should not always get our own way. We need to be considerate of the needs and wants of others. Being willing to compromise is not a weakness but a strength.
Indeed, there are ways to win over envy, jealousy, depression, and lack of contentment. But we have to start believing in ourselves and have an optimistic outlook in life.