The Badge of Merit

I am not a self-motivator.

Okay, I suppose that’s not entirely true.  I’m really good at motivating myself to do things I enjoy, or that I think are important, or need to be done.  And I certainly wasn’t half-bad when I was doing my college classes online – you definitely can’t go to school without going to school (and get A’s!) unless you have the ability to motivate yourself.

So I guess it’s not so much that I have no self-motivation, as it is that I struggle to do things on my own merit.  I am one of those people that has to compare things to other people.  Not myself – luckily I somehow missed out on most of the insecurities that young girls often face in high school; no eating disorders or anything like that – probably because I was raised with a mother who was a psychologist.  But, say I were to clean the whole house without any help,  instead of sitting back at the end of the day, surveying the rooms, being proud of all the I had accomplished, and relaxing in the fact that the house felt wonderful,  I would probably sit there, steaming because no one else had lifted a finger.

This is something I need to work on.  It’s one of those fatal flaws I mentioned.

It was present in school as well.  I think that’s why I dreaded working in groups so much.  You see, I’m actually a pretty hard worker when it gets down to it, especially when I’m good at things.  And I was good at school.  But not everyone shares the same skill sets, and of course when you’re in a group setting, you’re going to be paired up with people who maybe aren’t as good at things as you are.  Or maybe they’re just slackers.  It used to drive me CRAZY!  In my mind, there was nothing worse than having to put in all the work to complete a project, and letting everyone else sign their names on it to take the credit.  Oof.  That hurts.

Did it feel good that maybe I helped someone get an A that they might not normally have gotten – perhaps boosted their self-esteem?  No.  Should it have?  Probably.

The thing is, we all know the key to being happy is to stop comparing yourself to other people.  You hear it ALL THE TIME.

Photo Credit: myrkothum.com

And I know it’s true, because I certainly haven’t found any joy sitting and resenting the heck out of everyone and their mother for stupid things that I should, instead, be feeling pride in.

If, instead of letting all of that pettiness get to me, I said to myself, “Wow, look at how much you’ve accomplished!  How cool is it that you were able to do all this today – when mere months ago you wouldn’t have been able to do half as much?  Go you!  You’re a cleaning rockstar!” not only do I think I would be a happier person, but I think I’d be a healthier one, too.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this.  My guess is there are a lot of other people out there struggling with the very same thing, and that’s WHY you hear all of those quotes repeated all the time.  We’re trying to talk ourselves out of it.  No one wants to feel angry over things that mean nothing in the long run.  No one wants to be miserable.  We just haven’t figured out any other way.  In the end though, it’s up to us to take the first step – and if we’re waiting for other people to do it before we do, we’ll be waiting forever.

Best Version of You Buncee

So now, whenever I feel that old resentful feeling start to rear its ugly head, I try to stop, take a step back, and remember – leaders and people who inspire never wait for others, they set out on their own if they have to, and often they’re a little ahead of their time as far as appreciation from the rest of the pack goes.

It’s a hard road, changing something that’s so ingrained in you it’s like a knee-jerk reaction in your brain.  But I’m walking it – and I’d love it if you joined me.

Even if you don’t, I promise I won’t get mad for walking it alone ;)

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3 thoughts on “The Badge of Merit

  1. I like this … this is very cool. I used to hate working in groups back when I was in school, it used to burn me out. But your way of thinking about it sounds much better. Wish I would have realized it back then, maybe I wouldn’t have been so crazy :)

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