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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity

5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity

You will never find self-fulfillment if you are struggling.

That is the lie I feel like we are all told. If we struggle, we cannot be happy and therefore cannot be fulfilled.

However, the problem isn’t the adversity itself; it is the way we look at it. We see struggle as bad, and to struggle is to fail. But it’s not.

To struggle is to progress, learn, improve, and grow.

Self-fulfillment is an elusive concept at the best of times, but when faced with adversity, it seems a great deal harder to find. Life is hard and doesn’t ever seem to go the way we plan. Life just keeps getting in the way, seemingly throwing new obstacles for us to hurdle over in order to reach personal fulfillment.

We still search for how to start living a life of self-fulfillment, that feeling of pure happiness and knowledge that we are doing the right thing at the right time. That feeling that no matter what, we added value into the world today.

In this article, you will discover what true fulfillment is, and how to achieve self-fulfillment even during tough times.

What Is Self-Fulfilment?

Self-fulfillment is the fulfilment of one’s hopes and ambitions through personal growth. It’s about reaching your full potential, achieving success, and building a happy life that you can be proud of.

It sounds simple enough; to feel fulfilled, you have to achieve your hopes and ambitions. So isn’t fulfillment just long-term happiness?

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Fulfillment Vs Happiness

Fulfillment and happiness are not the same thing[1]. Happiness is a temporary state; it happens and it goes away until the next thing makes you happy.

Fulfillment is much more long term and focuses on the bigger picture. To feel fulfilled doesn’t mean to be happy and joyous all day long, every day. Some days are going to be bad, but if you are doing something you believe in, something you want to be doing with all of your soul, you will find contentment in your personal life and feel fulfilled.

It is not a feeling of happiness or sadness, but instead an underlying feeling of complete love. You can love someone and still be annoyed at them, but you know you love them. That is fulfillment.

5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity

Here’s how to create self-fulfillment in your life in the face of adversity:

1. Work out What Your Core Values Are

What are your core values, and why are they important?

Our core values are the qualities we value most in the world; characteristics we admire or cherish in others.

If you meet someone and they are your type of person, but you can’t explain why, you have met someone whose core values are in alignment with yours. For example, if one of your core values is honesty, you will value and like an honest person. Just like if you meet a dishonest person, you will have an unspoken aversion to them.

But how do your core values affect your self-fulfillment?

Who you are defines how you will find fulfillment. If you want to achieve all of your hopes and dreams, it is much easier to find out where to go if you have a road map. Your core values affect every decision and interaction. You can’t feel fulfilled if you are doing something that goes in direct contradiction to them.

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If you are an honest person and you are doing dishonest work, you will not be fulfilled and you will be facing adversity within yourself.

How do you find your core values?

There are several ways to work out what your core values are, but a quick way is to look at a list of them and pick the ones you relate to the most. You can also learn more in this article: How To Find Your Personal Values For Living a Fulfilling Life

The first key to fulfillment is to live in alignment with your core values. Once you start to find them and make adjustments to your life to cut out anything that goes against them, your will start to find your adversity fading away as you embrace a life that you can feel proud of living.

2. Work out What Your Real Hopes and Ambitions Are

Work out your own hopes and ambitions, not the ones you have been told to have.

Now that you know what your core values are, you can move forward on working out what it is that you want to do. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Play a banjo in Bali for a living? Giving up your corporate life to start a charity? Or do you want to give up your charity to take a corporate job?

We aren’t born with the knowledge of what makes us feel fulfilled. We have to find it through trial and error, but fear often stops us from searching. At some point in our lives, we get ashamed of our interests and choices. To avoid pain, we conform to what society want us to do, and we stop experimenting.

Our dreams get confined to the back of our heads, and life gets too busy for us to worry about them. We take the jobs we don’t really care about and fill the void with fun activities, food, and material goods because there is something in our hearts that is missing.

The dreams we have are the key to a sense of fulfillment, which will lead us to better mental health.

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If you’re trying to figure out your dreams, check out the video below on how to follow your true calling:

3. Accept Your True Self

Whatever it is you want and whatever your core values are, you are never going to reach fulfillment without self-acceptance.

The reason we deny accepting ourselves as we are is because at some point or many points in our lives, someone has told us we weren’t good enough, worthy enough, or simply wrong in some way.

It’s important in this case to remember that flaws are subjective. Your flaws that you have been criticized for aren’t flaws at all; they are just incompatibilities with certain people. For example, if you are a very honest person, some may criticize you for being too direct while others will applaud your candor.

Accept yourself for who you are[2]. You don’t have to change the world to be important or special, but by embracing who you are and accepting yourself, you can change somebody’s world.

4. Understand That Change Is Inevitable

Self-fulfillment is fluid.

You grow, learn new skills, and unlock new possibilities—in short, you level up. You are always changing, you grow new core values, and your dreams and goals grow and evolve as you do.

A common adversity we face is our own obsession with avoiding change. The core of anxiety is often our lack of ability to control the uncontrollable.

But how is this relevant to self-fulfillment?

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The thing about fulfillment is that it’s the feeling of achieving your hopes, dreams, and goals, and they are always changing. Holding onto your old self’s goals when you find that something important in your life has shifted won’t get you anywhere.

You are evolving to become a new person all the time, and you can’t feel fulfilled if you are going after someone else’s dreams. The old you is holding you back, so it’s time to let them go and embrace this new, ever changing you.

5. Understand That Fulfillment Comes from Living in the Moment

To be fulfilled, you have to embrace the journey, with all its ups and downs and all its adversity.

We have this idea that once we hit a goal, buy that house, or marry that spouse, we will feel fulfilled forever. However, self-fulfillment is deeply personal, a reflection of who you are and who you want to be. It’s an ongoing process; it can’t be achieved through one event.

You don’t buy a house, have kids, and get a dog and automatically feel fulfilled forever. Human nature makes is so that we are driven to constantly seek better and more. We are biologically programmed to do so, which means one event or one goal cannot possibly help us create fulfillment.

Fulfillment has to be a daily process of embracing what you are doing and working towards your dream by offering value in a way that only you can.

Final Thoughts

You will always face adversity, but you don’t always have to struggle while you face it. You have the opportunity to change your life at any time, change the adversity you are facing, or change the way you look at the problem and situation.

Self-fulfillment needs gratitude, self acceptance, and understanding to thrive. Without them, it is hard to really embrace that feeling of unlimited contentment.

The most important thing you need to know is that you can overcome any adversity, no matter how big or small. The biggest illusion about self-fulfillment is that it is eternal and endless, but it’s not. It comes and goes with the tides, but embracing those key moments and really appreciating them are what give you the energy and strength to overcome any adversity.

More About Finding Fulfillment in Life

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Changing your mindset is no easy task, but having an open and positive mindset is a game changer. Your personal growth is what propels the choices you make for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Just something as simple as changing your thinking can change your life.

Importance of Mindset Work

There’s great importance in spending time doing mindset work. Within this period, we begin to understand ourselves, and through that understanding, we become more compassionate and patient with ourselves.

Our society and culture thrive on the busyness that life brings not only into our lives but even to our dinner table. With that comes some consequences of using “band-aid” solutions and quick remedies to get through particular blocks in our lives. Those solutions never last long and it’s about committing the time and effort to slow down, ground ourselves, and reshift our focus.

Changing your thinking is not only to be more optimistic but giving your mind the breathing room it needs to grow and expand. It’s about looking at everything that hasn’t worked for you and being open to other ways that might.

How to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

Here are 11 practical ways to change your thinking:

1. Show up

Not feeling the gym? Go anyway. Don’t feel like playing the piano after making a commitment to practice every day? Do it and play.

The payout of showing up and committing goes a long way. It builds confidence, and with that growth, your mindset begins to change.

Of course, showing up may not always be fun but by meeting these small goals on your list allows you to tackle on the bigger ones that may seem far out of reach.

2. Find an Anchor

We all need an anchor, or in other words, we all need something to believe in when our thoughts are wavering. Whether you are religious, have a spiritual connection with a higher power, or have someone who grounds you – hold onto it.

My dad first introduced me to the Law of Attraction when I was 17 and to be completely honest, I thought it was silly and never gave it much thought. Fast forward ten years and the Law of Attraction has become so integrated into my daily life that it’s become the anchor in my belief system. That anchor is also what propels me to be a better version of myself. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel when I have convinced myself that light does not exist.

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The purpose of an anchor is to ground you when your mind and/or external factors come weighing you down. It’s about having faith and trust in that one thing or power when everything else seems to go dark. This is one of the most important things you need to have if you want to begin to change your mindset.

3. Ask Why

It’s really that simple. In order to change your thinking, you have to dig deeper into what it is that’s causing a reaction.

  • Why does it bother me that another person took the parking slot that I was waiting for?
  • Why do I feel uneasy when I dine at a restaurant alone?
  • Why do I feel happy after I purchase a new outfit?

We ask “why” to a lot of external factors, but very rarely we ask that about ourselves. It’s also a way to get to know yourself as if getting to know a friend.

As we begin to answer these questions, we realize that it’s not the external factors that bring happiness, sadness, guilt, or joy, and it’s more about understanding our own values.

Now, have a conversation with yourself and reflect on your answers when you do ask these “whys.”

For example:

The reason why I’m irritated at this person for taking my parking slot is that I’m busy and have endless errands to run. I don’t have time to be looking for another slot.

Reflection: how am I managing my time and are these time restrictions causing me unnecessary stress? I should prioritize my errands so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

The reason why I feel uneasy when I dine in at a restaurant alone is that I don’t want people to think I have no friends.

Reflection: I care a lot of what people think of me including strangers and it affects my emotional well-being. I don’t have these thoughts when I see another person eating alone, so why and when did I start having this opinion about myself? I should start dining out alone so I can learn how to step out of my comfort zone.

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The reason why I feel great after purchasing a new outfit is is that I feel confident.

Confidence is key because it determines how I show up when I meet strangers, clients, and overall how I carry myself. How do I maintain this confidence without splurging on a new outfit everytime I need that extra boost? I could wear my glasses or carry a book with me to help me play that part.

Having these mindful yet straightforward conversations with yourself are simple ways you can change your thinking. Reflection is the key to understanding your strong and weak points.

Here is also a great article on the power of self-reflection and ten questions you should ask yourself.

4. Step out of Your Comfort Zone

As mentioned above, we all have a comfort zone. Like a turtle, we feel cozy and safe inside our shell, but to change your thinking, one must be willing to step out of that shell no matter how much that shell feels like home.

Our mindset will only begin to change if we allow ourselves to be exposed to the possibilities of change. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be one of the hardest things you can do, but it all goes back to building your confidence.

Some of the most significant friendships I have to date is all thanks to the five seconds I decided to step out of my comfort zone, introduce myself, and carry a converastion.

Strive to learn something new every day – even if it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at first.

Still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? Take a look at this article:

Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

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5. Look at Things from a Different View

I once asked a friend what self-love meant to her. She answered, “self-love means being a parent to yourself.”

I was never expecting that answer, but it got me the wheels in my mind exploring other definitions of what self-love could mean to others and myself.

Changing your thinking also means being open to other opinions, especially if it challenges your own. You’ll begin to realize that the more mindset work you dive into, the more you will be approaching new opinions and ideas from a grounding and calming place. Things that used to have you on your defense will slowly turn into a question of curiosity instead.

6. Slow Down

Here’s the thing. You take the same route to work and leave your house at the same time. While on you are getting off the highway, you stop by your favorite coffee shop to order your daily brew, then you’re out the door and heading straight to the office.

During this daily routine, have you ever noticed the color of the corner building right before you get off the highway? Or have you noticed whether your barista is left-handed or right-handed?

Probably not, because most of the time we tend to live our lives on auto-pilot.

Science says we make about 35,000 decisions a day;[1] therefore it makes sense that half the time our minds are on auto-pilot. There are great setbacks that come from having this “auto switch” including having those feelings of mindlessly scrolling through your phone or being so deep in your thoughts that you are mentally checked out.

One way to change your mindset is slowing down. When you slow down, you begin to find yourself in the same tune and vibrations as the world around you. You begin to become aware of what resonates with you and what doesn’t. You start becoming present.

If you want to change your life, you must be present in the life you are currently living in. By being present, you begin to shift to a state of gratitude.

7. Eliminate the Excuses and Create Solutions

How often do we use the word “but?”

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For instance, “I want to eat healthier but I’m so busy that I can’t meal prep,” “I want to buy a new car but I’m still paying off some of my debt,” “I would like to start my own business but I don’t have the time or finances for that.”

Now eliminate the “but” and imagine how you would feel if these external factors weren’t much of an issue.

This is a simple but powerful technique in changing your thinking. It’s all about tapping into those emotions and eliminating the roadblocks that we spend so much energy focusing on. Instead, begin shifting your focus from the but’s and toward the “how’s.”

Here’s some nice advice for you:

How to Stop Making Excuses and Get What You Want

The Bottom Line

Changing your mindset is a work in progress and one that should be eye-opening as it is rewarding. It’s about getting to know yourself on a deeper level and creating a friendship with yourself along the way.

There’s no one solution fits all, but it all comes down to taking that first step.

More Resources About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com

Reference

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