The pressure of being a ‘good person’

Are you are finding it hard to keep up with what it really means to be a ‘good person’ in today’s increasingly ‘woke’ culture?

Are you drowning in the number of causes you feel pressurized into supporting or expressing support for because you fear that you may be regarded as ‘not a good person’ if you do not do so?

Are you are finding it harder than ever to avoid making comparisons between your life with that of others? i.e. Are you a good enough parent / daughter / son or provider? Why are you not as adept / skilled or emotionally stable as the other person?

Are you feeling guilty and stressed about how your life is not as perfect and curated as the perfectly motivated and inspiring lives of others you see on social media?

You are not alone

We live in a world where definitions of what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ are more fluid than ever.  What was acceptable as the norm or tolerated, may no longer be the case.

As we journey through life and take on more responsibilities, it is natural for some of us to feel a little overwhelmed because we are stretched for time, money and attention.

Being stretched out as we are, we may find it hard for us to maintain our sanity for a number of reasons when confronted with an ever-increasing number of causes and concerns we feel somewhat obligated to care for or find ourselves subjected to comparison with the life and choices of others.

Some of these reasons may include:

  1. Feeling pressurized into taking a stand before we have time to process what’s going on
  2. Feeling like we have reached the limit for ‘caring’ because we are running on a resource / attention deficit
  3. Forgetting to take into account how our circumstances may be different from that of others
  4. Comparing ourselves against unrealistic or unattainable illusions of success or perfection

It is very easy for us to be distracted by an ever evolving ‘flavour of the day’ cause or movement that is screaming for our attention and support.

It is very easy for us to feel pressured into doing certain things because we wish to maintain the self-image and identity we have of ourselves as a ‘good person’.

It is also very easy for us to succumb to the fear of being seen as anything less than a ‘good person’ because we lack the empathy, capacity or ability to care for what is regarded to be a ‘good and worthy cause’.

If you worry about not doing enough, or worry about not being a ‘good enough person’. Chances are that you are not a ‘bad person’ who’s rotten to the core.

Like a soon-to-be parent who worries about not being a good enough parent, chances are, you are going to do alright simply because you care enough to wonder and worry if you are going to be good enough in your new role as a parent.

How can you re-frame your perspective to maintain sanity?

What are some simple ways you can re-frame your perspective so that you can maintain your sanity as you continue on your journey becoming a ‘better person’ or whenever you start to question if you are ‘doing enough’ or feeling guilty about not being ‘good enough’?

You can start by affirming the following Fundamental Recognitions (FRs) that form the basis of ‘The Imperfect Experience’:

  1. We are the best possible version of ourselves we are capable of being in any given moment
  2. We possess the innate quality of being a good person
  3. We possess the capacity to become a better human being
  4. We can become a better human being by practicing with intent

Fundamental Recognition #3

We are the best possible version of ourselves we are capable of being in any given moment

This is an important recognition because when we affirm this recognition, we are laying down an important foundation within ourselves that helps us understand that no matter how imperfect our current state of being / response or behaviour may be, it is the best possible version of ourselves we are capable of being at that given moment because of what we subconsciously believe to be the limits we may be experiencing in the moment.

This is an important recognition because it allows us to take a step back from ‘fault-finding’ / ‘finger-pointing’ or ‘guilt-tripping’ ourselves for ‘not being good enough’.

It is a simple observation that gives credit to the fact that you (as a sum of your whole) are already doing your best.

By recognizing the fact that you are doing your best, it separates the act from its perceived efficacy.

As we take a step back and view our behaviour, we may note in a non-judgmental manner that ‘your best’ in that particular given moment, may not be good enough.

It no longer is a question of whether you are putting in the effort to do your best, but a question of how we can help you learn how to access the resources you need so that we can improve what the outcome may be as you continue being the best possible version of yourself in any given moment.

Fundamental Recognition #5

We possess the innate quality of being a good person

While we recognize that each and everyone of us is a result of our unique individual experiences and circumstances, it is important for us to recognize that we each possess the innate quality of being a ‘good person’.

It does not matter whether the quality we currently possess is developed, or underdeveloped.

If we look hard enough within ourselves, we recognize that it is present.

We are not here to pass judgement on whether what we possess in terms of qualities and characteristics is enough or strong enough to qualify us as a ‘good person’.

We are simply acknowledging its presence.

This is important because we cannot create something from nothing, nor can we reduce something into nothing.

By recognizing and acknowledging its presence, gives us a starting point from which we can grow and nurture the qualities necessary for helping us grow towards becoming a ‘good person’ by slowly becoming a better person.

Fundamental Recognition #6

We possess the capacity to become a better human being

This is an extension of the previous fundamental recognition. In affirming this fundamental recognition, we are giving ourselves a basis upon which we can measure and track our development as human beings.

While most of us may readily assume ‘being a good person’ to be the ultimate goal, it is ultimately a fuzzy and undefined goal that is highly susceptible to shifting benchmarks of definition.

What is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is often relative.

Like two ends of a stick, there can only be a right, if there is a left. If you were to break the stick into half,  what was previously the middle, quickly becomes the new left and the new right in two newly-separated sticks.

Just like how I may be deemed to be a good person if I were to compare myself with a serial killer, I may not be deemed to be a good person if I were to be compared with a social worker who has dedicate their entire life towards charitable giving and selflessly working towards the betterment of others.

Comparing ourselves against others is neither realistic, nor particularly rewarding because at best, we are better than a serial killer and at its worse, we may end up feeling inadequate and rotten about ourselves even though we are already doing the best that we can given our personal circumstances.

Therefore, while we recognize that we have the innate quality of being a ‘good person’, for the purposes of measuring our progress, it is much more sensible to benchmark our progress against ourselves instead of comparing ourselves against other people.

When we recognize that we have the capacity to become a ‘better person’ we recognize that we are doing our best based on our unique circumstances and that it is a quality that can be nurtured and grown as we we can move towards becoming a ‘better person’ in comparison to who we were before.

Fundamental Recognition #7

We can become a better human being by practicing with intent

We recognized the presence of our innate quality to be a ‘good person’ in FR#5 and we recognized that we possess the capacity to become a ‘better person’ in FR#6 and that it is a quality that can be grown and nurtured.

In affirming this next Fundamental Recognition, we are recognizing that we can grow and nurture the qualities associated with becoming a ‘better human being’ if we commit ourselves to practice and do so in an intentional manner.

This gives us a way forward and allows us to put in the necessary time and effort into focusing on what really matters in terms of helping us move forward from where we are now at the moment into becoming a better person than we are before.

Instead of getting ourselves caught up with what we think we ought to do or what other people expect of us to do and feeling overwhelmed as a result, we can re-focus on attention towards how we can cultivate a regular practice with the intent of helping us develop the qualities necessary for us to become a better human being than before. 

Moving forward

In our day to day life and when we scroll through social media, it is easy for us to get distracted and affected by seemingly fluid definitions of what’s good and what’s expected of us.

The Fundamental Recognitions provide us with a way to make a conscious effort to maintain our sanity and to re-focus our attention towards what really matters in enabling us to develop the desired qualities within us that will eventually help us become a better human being allow us to perform at an optimal level and create value for ourselves and others.

Get in touch with us to schedule for an initial consultation with us if you are interested in learning more about how you can become a better person by working on the conscious and subconscious level.

Based on an initial consultation, we can assess and develop a plan of approach that can help you  bring to the surface what truly matters to you in your life and help you  work towards overcoming some of these doubts & dilemmas you may be experiencing as you work towards becoming a better person.

Photo Credit: Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

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