Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress - Mahatma Gandhi
Being discontent in life isn’t always a bad thing. It can be an indication that you’re ready to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way.
Except for some people, that next opportunity never seems to show up. They want to stop being dissatisfied, but there is no real path forward out of that discontent.
When dissatisfaction is ever-present, it can begin to fester. It can lead to feelings of disappointment, jealousy, and even anger. These feelings are then enhanced when other people can get the opportunities that are wanted.
Knowing how to deal with dissatisfaction with oneself means first recognizing why those feelings are there in the first place. Is there a spiritual issue that needs to be resolved? Maybe there is an issue with your job that is affecting your life perspective?
Once you’ve identified the issue, you can begin to do more than just survive each day. You can begin to thrive when you start following steps like these to limit your dissatisfaction.
#1. Find a way to fall in love with yourself again.
Life is a journey. There will be mountains. There will be valleys. Our job is to keep walking until we can walk no more.
One of the most common reasons for dissatisfaction in life is a negative self-perspective. This often occurs when a dream or personal goal has not been reached for some reason.
In our modern society, many people also tend to tie-in their personal happiness to the levels of achievement they are able to obtain. It’s like a video game. You’re a better person, a happier person, because you’ve reached a higher level than others.
Except life doesn’t work that way. Would you tell a child they’re only good at baseball if they hit a game-winning home run?
You have successes. You also have failures. This is what defines you. And it can be easy to lose that perspective when dissatisfaction levels are high.
You can fall “out of love” with yourself.
So find a way to fall in love again. Choose to forgive yourself for any perceived failures. Stop judging your place in life based on what you’ve earned. Be proud of what you have accomplished.
#2. Rediscover what contentment means.
Happiness is more than just a series of positive moments. It is a reflection of contentment.
The only problem is that our society is often telling us that we must not be content with where we are in life. There’s a new TV to purchase. A new car to buy. In obtaining these things, it is said that happiness will follow.
Except it does not follow.
Contentment can be dangerous in the world of business because it stops you from innovating. Contentment from a personal perspective means that you no longer need worldly things to satisfy the need to be happy.
If you want to stop being dissatisfied, then look at what life has really offered you right now. Success does not create happiness. Your core values bring you contentment and happiness instead.
So make a conscious decision to be content in some way every day. When you reflect on your decisions and actions after this decision, you’ll find it is easier to put your dissatisfaction into a better context.
#3. Decide that you will overcome.
The medical bills might be piling up. The foreclosure was just finalized. The boss just came into your office and told you that you’ve been laid off.
There are many challenges that come in life. Being able to overcome these challenges is where contentment can be found.
Getting lost in those challenges is what often leads to dissatisfaction.
If you want to know how to deal with dissatisfaction in an effective way, then you must develop coping mechanisms and have tools on-hand that will help you overcome the challenges which will come your way.
By coping with challenges through an honest embrace of your feelings, you gain a deeper sense of self.
You begin to see that you are stronger than you ever imagined. This allows you to take action.
And that stops dissatisfaction. Why?
Because at the core of dissatisfaction is a feeling of boredom or an impression of personal weakness.
When you decide to overcome, you are making the decision to pursue your next dream or goal.
#4. Seek out a mentor who can help.
Can you recall the last time that someone told you they were proud of you for what you were able to accomplish?
Do you know the last time that someone honestly believed that you could do anything?
This kind of attitude is difficult to find today. It’s a lot easier to complain about the world in general than it is to look at the best things in life.
Many people have fallen for the lie that pulling others down is an effective way to build themselves up.
In reality, complaining just adds fuel to the fires of dissatisfaction.
Finding a mentor can break this pattern of discontent.
A good mentor is someone you admire in some way, but is also a person who believes in the value of “you.”
It will be someone who pushes you toward your next goal.
A mentor can be anyone.
As long as this person understands who you are, is willing to celebrate your successes with you, but challenges you during periods of dissatisfaction, then you’ll have a better chance to stop being dissatisfied on a regular basis.
#5. Stop blaming yourself.
There are enough people in this world who are more than willing to hurt you for their own personal gain.
Stop blaming yourself so you feel hurt as a personal penance.
Many people do not realize how much they blame themselves on a regular basis.
Do you often call yourself “Stupid” or a “Loser” if you make a mistake?
How many times have you looked at a situation and decided a positive outcome was “hopeless?”
How often do you think that your contributions amount to nothing?
Mistakes can offer us two outcomes: the chance to be better or the chance to be worse.
Self-blame masquerades as a way to be better, but what it really does is tear up your confidence into millions of tiny pieces.
Dissatisfaction then occurs because mistakes are repeated.
It is difficult to take responsibility for a mistake. Yet if you can make sure that the “buck stops here” when a mistake happens, you’ll find that dissatisfaction tends to stay away.
Making a mistake does not make you a bad person. It just makes you human.
There will always be people who are willing to judge you when they’ve never met you.
Instead of listening to those voices, listen to what your inner voice has to say.
Look at why you made the decision that led to a mistake. See what you can do to change that in future.
This is a very effective way to stop being dissatisfied.
#6. Focus on the big picture, but don’t ignore the small steps.
One of the biggest reasons for dissatisfaction today is the failure to achieve a major life goal.
This occurs because many of the goals that are set are almost impossible to achieve from the very start.
Imagine setting the goal to earn $1 million in the next 30 days. Could it happen? Of course it could.
The chances of the average person earning that much cash in that short amount of time, however, are about equal to winning the lottery.
So how could someone earn $1 million as a goal? By taking smaller, meaningful steps. Through the implementation of a plan of action.
A bunch of smaller steps will lead you to an overall goal more often than trying to take one giant leap.
How do you make sure you’re not ignoring the small steps? By creating an effective goal checklist.
Brandon Gaille offers you 8 Keys to Achieving Your Goals as an effective way to realize your full potential.
Will you be able to check every item off of your list? Possibly. The process of being able to check items off is an effective way to limit dissatisfaction.
#7. Stop expecting perfection.
There is a certain perfection that can be found in every moment. It is something that we must seek out.
To expect these moments of perfection to find us is a fast way to develop high levels of dissatisfaction.
To want what other people have is to seek out their perfection. What you need to seek out is your own perfection.
It’s easy to look at pictures of people online and say, “I want their life.” The only problem is that you’re seeing just a small snapshot of what that life happens to be.
Everyone can be smiling and appear happy in a picture, but inside they might be just as dissatisfied as the next person.
We also have different ways to find happiness and contentment. What works for others may not work for you – and vice-versa.
The end result is a personal quest to find perfection, but then feeling dissatisfied by the effort. As a result, stress is created, and then this negative cycle repeats.
One of the best ways to create a realistic outcome that is perfect for you is to make a list of the things that are currently stressing you out.
After you’ve created this list, then you can try to solve the problems that have created stress in the first place.
For example: if you are feeling stressed out because your home is always a disaster, you could hire cleaning service to help you out 1-2 times per week.
Some things will never change, no matter how much we each would like that to be so.
Some people are stubborn. Not everyone wants to look at themselves as amazing or beautiful. That doesn’t have to apply to you.
Bring out who you are. Do it for yourself instead of trying to please others.
In doing so, you’ll be able to find your own definition of perfection so you can stop being dissatisfied.
#8. Distractions only create more feelings of dissatisfaction.
If you want to know how to deal with dissatisfaction, then you’ve got to make sure that you are not settling for distractions to avoid how you feel.
Food, snacks, even alcohol – these can be good things, but they become dangerous things if they are used to cover up feelings of dissatisfaction.
Sometimes we just don’t want to feel dissatisfied.
So we choose unhealthy distractions that prevent us from feeling dissatisfied, at least for a little while.
For short-term gains, we end up paying with long-term consequences.
Mike Robbins suggests distracting yourself in healthy ways instead. Once the healthy distraction has taken place, meaningful coping skills can be used to deal with the dissatisfaction so it can be resolved.
Unfortunately, unhealthy distractions are often confused for healthy copying skills.
Watching TV, cruising Facebook, spending a night at the bar – these may help someone avoid the feelings of dissatisfaction. Once the distraction is gone, the feelings will return.
By recognizing our fears of discontentment, they no longer needed to be avoided.
Feelings of dissatisfaction aren’t going to kill you. They don’t define who you are. The real you will always be there.
So have faith. Your journey will reveal itself.
Keep your eyes and mind open and it will be easier to stop being dissatisfied on a regular basis.
It is not always easy to stop being dissatisfied.
Feelings of despair, loneliness, and rejection can often lead to a feeling of being dissatisfied with life.
Negative feelings will always be present, just as there will always be people out there who try to tear you down.
Learn to forgive yourself. Keep moving forward.
Be willing to accept who you are without comparing your circumstances to that of others.
Define what it means to succeed in your own way.
Read next: How to Stop Being Negative
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