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It's An Inside Job

Updated: Apr 6

There's no shortage of advice on how to live your best life. Copious books, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and seminars cover the topic. Many offer excellent suggestions, but the volume of information is so vast that it is challenging to navigate it all and make an informed decision. Since what works for one person doesn't always work for another, you still have to decide what's appropriate for you.

Finding what works for you is by no means an easy task. However, what works best will take a lot of behavioral experimentation to build lifelong habits of consistent and deliberate behaviors that support your overall well-being. Our general well-being is a product of our perseverance. It is compatible with what psychologist Alfred Adler called the creative self.


Adler believes we are not passive but active actors in our lives. The creative self blossomed from the idea that humans can shape their lives through actions. We already know we are responsible for our well-being but sometimes forget we actively create the life we want through deliberate actions that produce positive outcomes. Even when our actions are not immediately positive, we still have a platform to build on.


Remember, people don't always have to like you or what you do, but you always have to love you unconditionally. Therefore, to grow constructively, you, at the very least, must minimize the conditions you live by. For example, when your sense of validation is determined by how others see you, it's a struggle to live confidently. Your validation is 100% an inside job; usually, the outside validation is not sustainable and depends on how the validator feels about you at a given time, so work on seeing yourself in a way that keeps your inner pilot light burning.


If you second-guess that your validation is 100% an inside job, see what happens when you complete a project and receive no feedback. How does that make you feel? Does the lack of acknowledgment make you feel invisible? Does the appreciation of your work come only from outside sources?


I do not mean to imply external validation is terrible; I am saying it should not be the only source of inspiration, joy, or pride you take from your endeavors. But if you value yourself enough, the lack of acknowledgment for your work won't be devastating. Further, you won't overcompensate to receive validation. Instead, you'll rely on what psychologist Carl Jung called rational functions. It involves your thinking, feelings, and judgment about your experiences.


Your thinking, feelings, and judgment are critical; most, if not all, of our distress is caused by how we think. Therefore, it is crucial to reboot your mind and not spend time scolding yourself for things that may or may not be fixable.


Jung further articulated that if you are not using your rational functions, you are probably using your irrational functions. Your irrational functions usually involve passively accepting your experiences as they are without evaluating them to gain insight to make better future decisions. 


Practice being transparent and recognize that living life entirely is not passive.


Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.

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