Stephen Whitmore

Believing in myself

Sun Dec 10 14:53:00 PST 2017

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the themes of believing in myself, self-discipline, willpower, and motivation. Here are some of my recent reading materials:

I think this has stemmed from a recent sense of growing frustration with myself and my life – a frustration of lack of direction and commitment to direction in my life that has felt close to reaching the boiling point. I’ve observed this happening every few months for a while now: usually it culminates in me making some small progress in area of self-discipline that comes undone slowly over a period of weeks.

Making lasting meaningful change has eluded me, in some ways. But not: I’ve grown so much over the last year spiritually, but yet it feels like that doesn’t count. Maybe because it wasn’t intentional? It’s the act of setting a goal and reaching it that I’ve struggled so much with.

The ancient stoics worked with this. Looking back, so much of stoicism is geared around making intentional choices about how to live one’s life, and facing the inevitable consequences of those choices; standing firmly all the while.

I’ve been reflecting on this, and here is the implication I’ve come to presently:

Belief in one’s self comes from making meaningful decisions & living with the difficult consequences.

The example person talked about in this article was really powerful. Particularly when I realized that it was basically me. I try to bend myself toward my aspirations, but almost immediately cower away when either a) things get hard, or even just b) I imagine a potential future hard situation. I think I’ve spent a great deal of time training myself to shy away from challenging situations. Maybe even forgetting that difficult situations can be overcome?

Maybe the key is in remembering that change is always possible. That which seems impassable today will one day not be so. That facing the difficult consequences is an integral – and even celebrated! – part of positive change.