Who's Responsible for Making You Feel Good About Yourself?
Earlier this week I put out an idea on Facebook and Twitter that created some buzz. I wrote "Happiness is self-contained." Not only is this idea the cornerstone of work I do with my clients around self-development, it is deeply ingrained into my concept of life.
No other person, nothing you can buy, nothing outside of you can create the type of long term happiness that truly being in touch with yourself can. In the same sense, no one can convey what value you have to offer other people, a relationship, a job, a company, or the world better than you yourself. If someone else can, then this is going to become a problem for you eventually. Not to say that you cannot depend on other people, but they are going to have their own personal filter though which they view you or convey you to other people, and over time it will be unlikely to remain congruent with how you see yourself or want to portray your value to other people. Ultimately you need to be able to depend on yourself first.
This perspective can alter your approach to life that can help you cultivate success in any area of you want to develop. Instead of coming into a situation hoping another person will accept you or be able to know you better than you can convey yourself or looking toward what you can get from other people, you will be leading with your natural assets and be bringing your value into the situation. People will feel energized by you and because of this be attracted to you, where in the latter case they may avoid you because they do not want to feel drained if they feel you're looking to them to always pumping your tires.
How does this apply to dating and relationships? Women who are approached all the time by men have developed a way they quickly distinguish between good and bad with the vast amounts of offers they get from men for dates, requests for their phone number, or to be in a relationship. What stands out most is if the guy does not come off as looking for the woman to give him something, particularly validation. With this perspective there should be no reason to be angry at a woman if she rejects you. When you hear that cliché answer that confidence is what is most attractive to women, this is exactly what it boils down to. If a woman you're interested in rejects you, honestly evaluate whether you were hanging your hat on her saying Yes to feel good about yourself. A woman does not want the responsibility of handing out validation to a man who is lacking in his own reservoir of self-esteem, like handing out change to a beggar who has no money of his own. The same goes for both men and women after being in relationship for a while, sometimes becoming too comfortable or even needy and dependent in the relationship. This can be a source underlying many breakups that could otherwise be avoidable. If the man, on his own, conveys a sense of confidence in himself whether she likes him or not, he has shown that he feels that he can offer value, strength to stand on his own in the face of social pressure, and this is the cliché definition of confidence in dating and relationships.
Bottom line, believe in what you have to offer the world. Your belief in yourself, alone, will make people interested. It is enough. You do not need anything extra. You, yourself, are enough. And You are responsible for conveying what you have to offer.
Photo Courtesy of Jamiesrabbits (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamiesrabbits/4376471879/)