Advertising
Advertising

Published on October 1, 2019

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 felt like we are all told. If we struggle, we cannot be happy and therefore cannot be fulfilled.

But 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, to learn, to improve, to grow.

Self-fulfillment is an elusive concept at the best of times but when faced with adversity, it seems near impossible to find. Life is hard, messy 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 fulfillment but it’s like with every hurdle, the finish line just gets further away.

We still search for 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 and we are so proud of us.

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.

Sounds simple enough, to feel fulfilled, you have to achieve your hopes and ambitions and at a glance, that doesn’t seem too hard. But isn’t fulfillment just long term happiness?

Fulfillment vs Happiness

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

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

Advertising

It is not a feeling of happiness or sadness, it’s 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.

Why Is Self-Fulfillment Important?

You are reading this because you are struggling, you don’t feel like fulfilled in your life and you are looking for the answer that you’re missing.

When you feel fulfilled in your life, it’s like you are never looking for the emergency escape door, and it is a delicate balance to get it right. When you do find it, you get that warm cosy feeling all the winter movies promise.

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 and 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, interaction and build up the person you call yourself. You can’t feel fulfilled if you are doing something that goes in direct contradiction to them.

If you are an honest person and you are doing dishonest work, you will not be fulfilled and you will without doubt, be facing adversity within yourself.

How do you find your core values?

Advertising

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.

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 want.

2. Work out What Your Real Hopes and Ambitions Are

Notice I mean work out your own hopes and ambitions, not the ones you have been told to have.

Now you know what your core values are, you can move forward on working out what is it truly 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 all grew up being influenced by so many factors and people. None so more than our parental figures, who in most cases, only wanted the best for us. They told us who we were going to be so we could be successful and we didn’t have to struggle as they struggled. But nowhere, down the line, did anyone actually stop to ask what you wanted and who you wanted to be?

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

If you want to feel like you are achieving your hopes and dreams, then you have to actually be doing something to do with your hopes and dreams, not the dreams you have been told to have because of fear.

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.

Who you are is who you are, and there is nothing wrong with who you are.

Sure, you’re not everyone’s cup of tea. But I have some news for you, some people out there, don’t like drinking tea. Most people drink turmeric lattes nowadays!

Advertising

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 aren’t good enough, we aren’t worthy and who we are is wrong.

To that person, that may have been true to them. But here is the long hidden secret about people, flaws are subjective. Your flaws that you have been criticized for aren’t flaws at all, they are just incompatibilities with certain people. That flaw you were criticized for (shall we say Honesty), you were once too honest and someone told you it was bad. Someone else might appreciate your candor while you hung onto the negative that no one will like you if you’re honest.

Your flaw is actually a benefit in the eyes of somebody else. Which means, you can’t have flaws at all, you just have qualities that some other people don’t like. Some people will and some people won’t and that is okay.

Accept yourself for who you are, worts and all. 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 Not Only Important but Inevitable

Fulfillment is fluid.

I have spent the first 2 steps telling you fulfilment is based on who you are and your core values but, can you honestly tell me you haven’t changed?

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

A common adversity we face is our own obsession with avoiding change. We hate change, change isn’t safe, survival instincts kick in and we don’t know what could happen, we aren’t prepared and we lose control.

The core of anxiety is our lack of ability to control the uncontrollable.

We hate change but one of the most dependable things in the world is that everything changes. We all change, all the time. We suddenly decide we like marmite now, we buy new hats to mix it up a bit. When we control the change, we are fine; but with the stuff we can’t control, we go a little bananas.

But how is this relevant to self-fulfillment?

Advertising

Well the thing about fulfillment is, it is the feeling of achieving your hopes, dreams and goals and they are always changing. By trying to hold onto your old self’s goals and thinking hitting them will make you feel fulfilled, is just silly.

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

Which leads us to the next step.

5. Understand That Fulfillment Comes from Living in the Moment, Not Hitting a Goal or a Task.

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, marry that spouse, that is it, we will feel fulfilled forever. But fulfillment is deeply personal, it is 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 then just go Bam, Fulfilled Forever! That is not in human nature, humans 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 them. 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.

By working out what you value, what you really want, and understanding that it could all change at any moment, you have to accept yourself for who you are and live in the moment. This is the swiftest way to self-fulfillment.

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, 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

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

How to Stop Caring What People Think and Focus on Your Needs 8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work (And What to Do) 5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity

Trending in Mental Strength

1 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better? 2 Why You’re Feeling Empty and How to Fill the Void 3 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Be Happy Again 4 How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 9, 2019

Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

Do you need thrust to climb the life-ladder?

I feel everyone needs it in a competition-driven world.

That brute force is nothing but motivation!

Do you strive for motivation? It doesn’t matter you take one big stride to pursue your dream career or a small step towards bowing down to a boring monotony; each move seeks it.[1]

Whether it’s an excelling professional career or a steady personal growth, motivation inspires every dimension. And if it’s missing, the absence can bury anyone down under.

But did you know there are two types of motivation- Positive Motivation and Negative Motivation?

Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation

What Is Positive Motivation?

It’s a reward-based encouragement method.

Do you know what is the driving force of this motivational technique? It’s the imagination of possessions attached to success!

Whether it’s chocolate for scoring good marks or a raise after promotion; positive motivation is the catalyst that keeps the fire burning in your belly.

It could be the visualization of a bonus from the boss or foreseeing a smile on the face of a destitute. Irrespective of whether it’s a dream about a tangible materialistic possession or a zeal to attain an intangible divine feeling; expectation of any form of a reward is the drive of positive motivation.

Want to ride high on it? Just break your realistic goals into short-term targets. Set rewards when you achieve those little milestones.

Be it watching your favorite serial series on Netflix or a long drive with friends; make sure you treat yourself on every small achievement.

An immediate sense of accomplishment provides you the timely boost keeping you hungry and hopeful simultaneously.

What Is Negative Motivation?

It’s a punishment-based boosting method. Its drive seeps from the fear of failing anything and everything.

Advertising

It’s the driving force of some students who attend school just to fulfill the mandated attendance requirement. They know promotion to the subsequent class is impossible otherwise.

Unlike positive motivation, it’s a method in which an employee slogs because he’s afraid of his tyrannical boss.

It’s the motivational technique in which not the proud feeling after appreciation by the spectators but the fear of criticism by them motivate you to rehearse well for a stage appearance.

It works best in do or die situations where doing is the only way out. In fact, most of us have one such inspirational push in common:

We need to work hard to earn money which would otherwise deny us even the basic necessities for survival. And this fear keeps us rolling.

So yes, it’s a strong, intense and effective technique enabling you to accept the constant change.[2]

Which Type of Motivation Is Better?

Both positive motivation and negative motivation are opposite sides of a single coin.

When expecting rewards for success is your driving force, you excel on positive motivation. When the fear of punishment for failure is the thrust, you strive for negative motivation.

While the thought of achieving inspires positive motivation; its counterpart is driven by the thought of losing.

On which technique is better; I feel it depends- on the individual notions and the intensity of the situations.

For some people, positive motivation do wonders and in some situations, negative motivation creates magic.

We’ll assess a few practical illustrations to arrive at a conclusion on which type of motivation is better:

  • Suppose your motivational drive for a daily intense workout is you want to flaunt your tight abs in your upcoming beach vacation; you are riding high on positive motivation. And maybe your friend is a gym freak because he has six-pack abs. He fears if he doesn’t work out, he might lose his attractive body. Certainly, he’s is negatively motivated.
  • For some people, a luxurious lifestyle is a drive to work hard (positive motivation). And there is another set of individuals who work hard as they fear if they won’t, they might not afford bread today (negative motivation).

Allow me to relate to a presumption:

Suppose your boss agrees to promote you if you can make a lot of money in the upcoming project, it’s a reward-based positive motivation.

Advertising

And assuming he says that he will fire you if you fail in the upcoming project, it’s a punishment-based negative motivation.

So yes… both techniques play a vital role to make you strive, depending on variable situations.

While thinking about rewards and recognition is the demand of a certain situation; the other situation may seek an inclination towards the measures to escape punishments and criticisms. And that’s fine!

Still seeking a winner?

While both together are important; I feel the density of positive motivation should be in excess over its counterpart.

Let’s find out:

You know the level of motivation must always be head-high… right?

But did you ever introspect the intensity of which one?

When the raised level of positive motivation pumps up the energy levels, the elevated level of negative motivation can overburden you.

Let’s recall the scenario most of us have experienced.

As a student, when your parents promise a new bike if you do well in your exams; thinking about possession of a new bike kicks the endurance level.

And when your parents say they’ll cancel your vacation trip if you fail in your exams, the thought of losing on holidays infuses fear.

Now if I ask you which works better, giving an option, you won’t deny it’s the pleasure of achieving a bike and not the pain of losing a vacation which drives you more towards performing well.

That’s because it is pressure-free, stress-free, and the process is enjoyable. So in most cases, it’s the positive motivation winning!

Advertising

I am sure you love working under a smiling boss seeking your committed output offering incentives. And nobody likes to work their asses off for a frowning employer demanding efficiency by a threat of job firing.

Case Study: Which Type of Motivation Works Best for Me?

I’d like to share which type of motivation works best for me:

I am passionate about my blogging career. And trust me, it requires an immense level of dedication and energy to keep hanging on a broken branch against the strong flowing wind from the opposite direction.

While the fear of falling down encourages me to hold on, the anticipation of success drives me to climb up. Both are important to me depending upon the situation.

But yes, sometimes the negative motivation is tough to handle.

That apprehension of failure dents the quality of operation. Sometimes, everything seems dark and gloomy. The fear of losing shudders the self-confidence and esteem.

This leads to an observation:

If you have a long-term goal, accelerating only on negative motivation can be accidental. It might break you halfway.

If you have a weak enduring ability, the overdose of negative motivation can be dangerous.

Beware! It can be a gateway to negative emotions like sadness, frustration and of course fear. You may get affected to an extent it demotivates rather than motivating you.

If I ask you what motivates you to get out of your bed:

The excitement or the fear?

You won’t deny it’s the excitement; the reason is simple:

Excitement is a positive emotion- a byproduct of positive motivation. On the other hand, fear is a negative emotion- an extract of negative motivation.

Advertising

While excitement always keeps you on the hunt; trust me you cannot sail for too long pedaling your boat out of fear.

Here’s the bottom line:

Today’s fast and busy life is testing patience and self-belief. For that reason, motivation is important for everyone.[3]

On which type to choose, both are integral in their own unique way. It’s you who needs to consciously choose the one you feel can push you to success.

If you are blessed with the luxury to choose, I feel positive motivation is a safer option.

Obviously, if you see a lion far away in a jungle coming closer to you, no matter how drained your body is, you’ll run the fastest you ever ran. And that’s negative motivation working for you as you know what could happen if you stay there waiting for it.

I’m sure thereon, you’ll question yourself before choosing any of the motivation techniques.

Summing It up

The cornerstone of negative motivation is fear and the inception of positive motivation is a joy.

What I feel positive motivation should be the customary go-to method and negative motivation should be the last resort.

So my friend, when you know how to use rewards and punishments in the right way, it will seem as though reaching your goals is an inevitable outcome.

You decide whether you want to be joyfully pumped up or fearfully pushed… Good luck!

More to Boost Your Motivation

Featured photo credit: Ali Yahya via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next