One thing I am trying to figure out in life is how to have some appreciation for myself that isn’t totally dependent on external factors.
For now, my gut still tells me that there’s only four things that make me feel like I’m worth something:
- When I make good progress in my work.
- When I feel appreciated by friends and family.
- When I make progress on learning a new skill.
- When I do something creative that I feel I can be proud of.
These things, in and of themselves, are not harmful to desire, nor even harmful to be motivated by. But the biggest challenge for me is that even the deepest feelings of self-satisfaction melt away as soon as I hit a moment where none of these four things are prominently featured in the foreground of my life.
And so the thing I keep wondering is how do I feel comfortable in my own shoes most or all of the time, without any dependency on external conditions? Or at least, how can I get comfortable with experiencing those moments of discomfort that are par for the course in the ordinary flow of day to day life?
I’ve had some luck with Buddhist and Stoic practices in working through these sorts of questions before, so maybe it’s time to go looking in that direction again.