Until 2019, TV personality Simone Boyce (34) from Los Angeles was a true #GirlBoss. My social media was full of inspiring quotes, like “get up, kick the a**, repeat.”
She has built a studio in her home to record YouTube videos and regularly spends nights editing them. And when she got her dream job as a reporter, she was, in her words, “a walking zombie with bags up to my knees.” She no longer had a social life, because she had to be flexible and was often called upon unexpectedly to her work.
After the birth of her first child, she worked hard to make time for her family in addition to her career. But after my second maternity leave ended—in the midst of a pandemic—I decided there were more important things in life than work, and that was motherhood. I started writing the “Motherload” newsletter, which is about motherhood and entrepreneurship. She brings in a lot less money than this from her job, but it makes her happier. In my early thirties, I wanted to take every step of the career ladder, but I realized that this success meant very little to me. I had to reinvent myself in order to regain satisfaction with the life I was leading.
Boyce may have turned her back on the Girl Boss period, but society hasn’t yet. If we work hard enough, we can make all our dreams come true. But some — many — get to ask, “Is that it?” After a period. feelings.
This is due to a phenomenon called the “hedonistic cycle”. You go full speed towards your goal, but when you reach it, you keep sprinting to the next thing. Always dissatisfied with the present moment. For many, this ultimately leads to exhaustion and burnout.
Because of the epidemic, many people have had to sort out their priorities in recent years. And then it turns out that they don’t actually get that much satisfaction from a successful career where they work 27/7. This causes many to take a new direction: searching for one high of contentment.
Contentment as medicine
Psychologist Lisa Marie Bobby of the Love, Happiness, and Success podcast says being content is about being content with the things in life that make you happy. It’s about prioritizing what’s important to you, whether that’s in relationships, helping others, or learning things.
Pursuing satisfaction (not productivity) may seem strange and even deeply wrong, but that’s probably when you need it most. Nearly a third of employees are emotionally stressed, according to an American Psychological Association report. “Many people experience symptoms of burnout, anxiety, depression, or migraines,” says Jane Douglas, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Live your own life
“But letting go of this constant pursuit is easier said than done. Because feeling ‘good’ means you accept yourself and life as it is and you may also lose energy or motivation to make a positive change,” says Bobby. “You seem to give up.”
This is exactly what Boyce felt. “It’s very easy to get sucked into a stressful work culture,” she says. “You see success and wealth on your feed and feel like you have to work towards that, too.” This is why it is so hard to work at giving room for contentment in your life. Every time you have to suppress that voice telling you to work harder. “Satisfaction means being happy with things the way they are, rather than wishing things were different,” says Bobby.
The power of feeling good lies in the fact that you are living your life and doing the things that matter to you. In the end, you will live more consciously and create the life you want – not what other people (parents, friends, strangers on social media) say.
Bobby says that contentment can go hand in hand with growth and improvement. So break free from this productivity mindset, embrace contentment and feel at peace with who you are now by doing the following exercises…
Pretend it’s your 80th birthday
Imagine that you are eighty years old. You look at the friends and family who came to your party and they all love you. They stand and give speeches about you and what you mean to them. What do you want to tell them? Is this about work? That’s what we thought…
Name your feelings
Douglas explains that this hard work and perfection can come from a feeling of wanting to be seen and appreciated. If you get that promotion, or finish this project well, you deserve it. But you are good enough anyway. Point. Try to remember that and remind yourself more often.
Armand adds that this pattern is often programmed into our brains from an early age (get good grades, finish your plate, etc.). A psychologist can help you identify the deep beliefs you have about yourself and teach you how to deal with them in a healthy way.
How are you really
If being satisfied seems like an impossible task, it may be because you look down on yourself and speak with displeasure. Use the questions below to find out what really matters to you. (Write down your answers and/or speak them out loud!)
- What makes me happy?
- What have you achieved in the past year?
- How is my life, in a positive sense, different from what I expected ten years ago?
- “I won’t be happy until X happens.” Where does this belief come from?
- What do I think will happen after I get to XYZ?
- Fill in the blanks: If XYZ were different, I would be happy/confident/loved and respected. Is this true?
- Do I often think about what is “wrong” and what needs to be changed or what I need to change in my life? Where does that come from?
- What do I like about my life / what gives me satisfaction as it is?
- How do I feel when I’m free and don’t have to do anything?