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.
Table of Contents
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?
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 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.
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.
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. 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?
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.
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
- 5 Ways To Bring Happiness and Fulfillment Into Your Life
- How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment
- What Is Self Actualization? 13 Traits of a Self-Actualized Person
Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com
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