We’re imperfect. We all have moments of weakness, regret, envy, jealousy, vengefulness, schadenfreude (gaining pleasure from another’s pain), anger, and even rage.
Last week I spoke about the Shadow Self (opens in a new window) and the importance of understanding it. In this post, I want to discuss how we can coexist with the Shadow and use the worst in us to bring out the best in us.
Motivation comes in many different forms, as does demotivation. Some things happen in our everyday lives that spur us forward or drag us backward. The difference is mostly mindset and how we allow the things in our lives to affect us. The opportune word here is allow.
We can’t fix thousands and thousands of years of human nature; we all feel envy, anger, sadness, and pain. However, we can transmute those feelings into something more productive. Something that will spur our lives forward, instead of holding us back.
Envy as an Example
Envy is outdated. It will hold you back, yet we all feel it. Envy has a way of worming its way into your brain, acting as a parasite; it takes away your joy, security, and empathy. Envy is a hard stop. Instead of allowing it to hinder you, use it to propel yourself forward. Use it to figure out the failings in your own life and what you need to do to obtain what you desire.
Somewhere along the way, you settled. You saw your lofty goals as too high and aimed a little lower. Yes, you hit your mark, but you’re now living your life in the shadow of what you truly desire. Your what could have been’s are haunting you.
You feel envious because you see the success of others as the success you should have had. You think that it should have been you that it could have been you. By being out of touch with your Shadow, and repressing the desires of the younger you, you’re living your life out of sync. You’ve taken on the less successful role, and your Shadow is starting to leak its desires into your conscious personality. Instead of pushing your desires back behind the veil and allowing it to leak, embrace it. Transmute it into something more constructive into something that will motivate you forward instead of depressing you.
Unchecked envy can and will lead to sabotage. Sabotage of another and the destruction of self. Instead of allowing your jealousy to take over, figure out what you need to do to see the success that others are seeing. This requires an objective look at the situation. Make an honest introspection of what YOU need to do, not how the other person is lucky, conniving, or a brown noser.
Transmute your envy into motivation. Allow it to show you where you need to improve. How you need to go about it. And what success looks like.
Transmutation Requires 3 Things
First, you MUST believe that you can build yourself up. Don’t believe in the idea that you’re not good enough. You are not and never have been the sum of who you are today. We all can learn more, get better, and excel. Instead of looking at who you are today, consider who you could be tomorrow if you just applied yourself to becoming more. Your capacity is limitless, and you have to stop with the I’m not good enough self-talk.
Secondly, develop both the work ethic and the plan to go along with making your capacity a reality. Thinking is great, but you must back it up with doing. What’s the difference between where you are now and where you want to be? How do you need to grow to get to that place? What work ethic do you need? Success is rarely a destination; it’s in the journey. Start today.
Lastly, be aware of the emotions that are holding you back. Spend time reflecting on your actions and get to know what derails you. Be thankful for what you do have, or you’ll run the real risk of still being unhappy when you finally reach your destination.
While I used envy as an example, you can transmute almost any negative feeling into something more positive.
Are you feeling regretful for something you did? Make it right. If you can’t make it right, then allow that feeling of regret to motivate you to think things through before taking action in the future. Let your disappointment turn you into a more thoughtful person.
Feel anger or hate? Reflect on why. Take charge of your emotions. Feel them. Give them life, but don’t act them out. What’s the root of your anger? Many times it is envy (opens in new window), but keep digging until you find it. Find your truth and develop a sense of understanding surrounding it and then ask yourself how you can use it to propel yourself forward.
Be ruthless with your self-honesty, and love yourself enough to let go of your conditioned beliefs. You are not a culmination of the things that happen to you; you’re the sum of how you allow those things to affect you.