Today we have instant access to just about everything at our fingertips. With Google Express, Amazon, Instacart, Facebook, etc. it almost seems possible to live a life without ever leaving your computer screen. While this life of convenience seems appealing, it comes with a price. The price? Higher levels of unhappiness stemming from comparing your "behind the scenes" to everyone else's "highlight reel."
With the barrage of new cars, new jobs, vacations, bonus checks, babies, and marriages, it is easy to feel like you are behind in, well, everything. The truth is that you are not, but these deadly sins will surely make you fears a reality and crush your business' or careers chances of success if you don't manage them.
Discontentment is defined as: "The condition of being dissatisfied with one's life or situation." I don't know about you, but that sounds just downright horrible.
Here is a little perspective on discontentment that I have learned over the years. At any time you can make a choice to change your circumstances. If you do not like your job, your home, your life... anything, you have the power to change it. You simply need to have hope and the conviction that something different it is possible, which leads me to deadly sin #2.
Self-pity is excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one's own troubles and the ugly sibling to discontentment, with one glaring difference, finality.
People who suffer the deadly sin of self-pity are operating under the illusion that nothing is going to change or save them from their troubles, ever. In their mind, every day is another day to wrestle and lose the battle with their inner demons.
How to vanquish this sin? Besides your best friend slapping you, the best way to stop this deadly sin is gratitude. Gratitude has so many positive effects on the body and psyche, the most beneficial being the ability to snap you out of darkness and shift your perspective from one of despair to one of hope - which leads me to #3.
This sin is defined by Merriam Webster as: "Not feeling or exhibiting gratitude, thanks, or appreciation. OR not agreeable or pleasant; repellent." I don't know about you but I like to attract great things, not repel them!
- Being more helpful, generous, and compassionate
- Being more forgiving
- Being more outgoing
- Feeling less lonely and isolated.
So with all these benefits, why have so few mastered the art of gratitude? The answer, it's hard at first.
Being grateful requires forming a new habit. As one of my very favorite authors, Jim Rohn says, "What is easy to do is easy not to do." You have to be conscious of your thoughts, your downward spiral temptations, and be very intentional with your daily actions. I always suggest to my clients to take baby steps. Do one thing today to get you in a grateful state of mind, then do it over again until you've got it, then build and expand on it.
Need some help getting into the gratitude groove? Find an accountability buddy and check out these resources.
We all know what this sin looks like. It can breed the most horrific symptoms of envy, greed, and self-loathing. Comparison happens when you use other people as mirrors to reflect your journey. This is perhaps the hardest sin to stop, but it is the one with the potential to bring you the greatest happiness.
Comparison leaves little room for you. Comparison robs you of your self-esteem, happiness, uniqueness, your skills, your strengths, and what makes you an incredible human being; leaving you with nothing but a shallow shell of who you could be.
In today's visually connected world, if you are not careful, comparison can become involuntary and subconscious, existing in your daily life just like breathing. Comparison is one of the hardest sins to conquer, but the first step is reminding yourself that the highlight reel you see online is not always reflective of the true story happening behind the scenes. Oh, and you can also nip this sin in the bud by spending less time following other people's lives and more time leading your own, after all, what you think, creates! Easier said than done, but a forward step.
Ego is a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. This is not to be confused with self-confidence. The tricky part about ego is that you need a little bit of it to have self-confidence, but too much ego can be a death sentence. You have every right to know your self-worth and leverage that, however, the cautionary warning with ego is simple: do not mix ego with condescension or being a know-it-all. In life and in business, most people want 2 things, appreciation and recognition. If you want to succeed, make your ego your amigo and make it about them, not you.
At the end of the day, remember this, ego is what you think of yourself, and credibility is what other people think of you. The best way to temper this sin is to utilize humility and gratitude as navigational beacons in the oceans of your mind.
We all suffer from some of these intermittently, the key is to not let them command your life! If you can break the bonds of these sins, then you will find better relationships, greater success, happiness, and joy start to flow effortlessly through your life, business or career.
Here's to being a sinner no more (well at least with these things!)