How often you take time out to really reflect on the type of person you have developed into? Do you constantly measure up to the personal values you would ‘like’ to uphold?
Self-assessment is essential for success
If you are not your own #1 fan then you have some work to do. If you are not very comfortable in your own skin, others pick up on this (at least at a subconscious level), and won’t experience a natural magnetic attraction to you. No, this isn’t an ad for a dating website 🙂 … it’s a natural instinct to admire and want to be associated with people that are happy, confident and have an easy-going, relaxed sense of self-assuredness about them. People that have that quality attract the attention, camaraderie and cooperation of others, both personally and in business.
So how do they get to be that way? What makes them so damned relaxed and content? Don’t they have the same dramas in their lives the rest of us mere mortals do? Well yes they do. It’s just that (to a large extent), no matter what happens around them, or to them, they still like who they are. They are more driven by what type of person they are, that they adhere to the values they treasure, and they are more influenced by their own opinion of themselves and their environment, then they are of external commentary. They accept that opinions will differ, challenges will come and go (as will friends and acquaintances); that they will never be able to please everyone, so they don’t fret if others reject them or their ideas. They know that there is only one person that will be with them for their entire life, so they had better make sure they have the respect and admiration of that person… it’s themself. If you can’t respect and be a good friend to yourself, then how can you expect others to.
Confident, relaxed people understand if they get their own ‘inner’ house in order and make it comfortable and inviting, people that like it will want to visit. Those that don’t like the carpet or curtains can keep going down the street… they aren’t offended, because they love their house the way it is. This doesn’t mean their house is perfect either. They continually strive to improve the décor to suit their own taste and do regular housecleaning and maintenance. It is likely they do an annual ‘spring clean’ to discard what is not serving them well and check if an attitude or two needs adjusting. This is an ongoing process of assessing and remodelling to ensure they are happy and living with things they value the most.
“Enough about houses already!” I hear you say. Though I believe the analogy works very well for how they live in their own skin and how their minds work. Living to your own cherished personal values and moral principles will give you far greater peace of mind and inner contentment than trying to live up to other’s expectations, or worrying what they do or think.
How to feel good about who you are
In my book (Alcohemy), I frequently talk about a term I coined ‘Lifeometer’ (pronounced like ‘thermometer’). In fact it is like a thermometer, except it measures whether we are living our lives according to our true personal values and desires. It is our inner being’s guidance system and is hard-wired to, and expressed by our emotions, every waking moment. Our inner emotions (lifeometer), are an instant feedback mechanism that lets us know if what we have experienced, done, said or even thought, is aligned to what we desire, and if that desire is also aligned to our inner core values. If we say, do, or think things that are not in line with our core values, we will feel an emotion on the negative side of the scale. Conversely if we do, say, or think things that do align to our core personal values we feel good emotions. People that feel good about themselves are content they are living their life based on their good values and opinions, rather than letting others dictate what is appropriate. If someone else’s comment or suggestion positively aligns to their own internal value system, then they happily accept it. If it doesn’t align and feels negative, then they are as equally content to politely reject it, without confrontation. In doing so, their inner harmony remains calm and content and they remain happy knowing they are living to their personal values. As I state frequently in my book, they are the “Master of their fate, Captain of their soul”.
People like this have a natural sense of good self-worth and confidence about themselves. To them, their sense of status in the world is more driven by internal criteria, rather than external trappings such as titles, wealth, formal recognition or acclaim. If you are seeking true and lasting inner contentment you can’t base its source on something outside of you. You must create your wealth inside yourself… in who you are, not on things around you and that you have.
Good self-image verses alcohol dependence
So how does this tie into people who have an alcohol dependence? From my experience it is quite closely related. I know from experience that having an alcohol dependence/addiction, personal values and integrity are often discarded (or at the very least set aside), when the mind is affected by acute or chronic alcohol abuse. One of the first brain functions to go when effected by drinking alcohol is the ability to think rationally and make sound judgements. Any solid values and life principles you hold dear when sober, can become less consciously imperative, as the logic and rational prefrontal cortex is effected and we resort to the more primal emotions and urges of the amygdala, mid- and hind-brain. Basically, people who are usually considered honourable, when drunk can do or say things completely out of character, as they lose the ability to think rationally and instead act on very primal instincts. They are often racked with remorse and guilt when sober, as the realisation sets in that they contravened their prized personal values.
If you repeatedly find yourself in this position because of alcohol abuse, you have very little chance of establishing and maintaining the good sense of self-respect that is required for inner peace. Instead you will be trapped in a cycle of inner conflict and turmoil. As I stated earlier, if you don’t like and respect yourself for who you are, why should other people. They will be able to tell from your body language and the unconscious signals you give off, that you are not comfortable in your own skin and your natural attraction will be decreased.
If your alcohol dependence has grown to the stage where you can’t take a good look at yourself in the mirror and be extremely happy at the person looking back at you, it’s time to take affirmative action. Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse is a choice. What is your honest appraisal of yourself? Be the Master of your fate; the Captain of your soul.