You're not wrong to be dissatisfied

28aba4a14168682a09b61f02e8f64258I remember as a kid the day I discovered that those spy novels my Dad read sometimes had bits of sex in them.  It was thrilling.  Now this - this was a lifestyle I could get into.  Be a spy, experience intrigue and danger, and then maybe go have a nice little bit of sex.  Later on, I started to realize that some of these books were actually terrible - they just had bits of sex in them which kind of distracted you from the bad writing. You have some pretty poorly written stories too.  They're cobbled together as you move through life, often from a place of trying to sort out what to do with what you've been handed.  One of the trashiest stories you might be reading and re-reading is that you are wrong for being dissatisfied.

This story shows up a little like this:

Things aren't good enough.  I'm not happy with my romantic life, my social life, and my career.  I'm unhappy everywhere.  But I'm always unhappy.  So the problem must be me.  I shouldn't be so unhappy.  I should just put up with my lot in life.  I should just learn to accept where I am.

This story, is bullroar.  (Sorry for using such strong language, but it's true!)

Dissatisfaction is a gift.  As long as we are dissatisfied, it means that we are unwilling to settle.  Unwilling to give up and live a life of complacency.

Note, there is an element of truth to that story - in the part that goes "the problem must be me".  Well, yes, the problem is always us.  But that is a good thing, for if the problem lies outside of us, we are powerless to do anything about it.

Your dissatisfaction is a good thing.  The problem only begins when you tell yourself otherwise.  If you start from the place that it's wrong that you're dissatisfied (read: that the problem is that you shouldn't be unhappy with where you're at), the inevitable conclusion is that you shouldn't be seeking to change your station or what you're up to, but instead change your attitude about it.

This is a bit slippery.  While it is always important to empower where we are, dissatisfaction is there to tell us when we're not aligned with our values.  That what we're up to is not really what we want.  Dissatisfaction is the language of your heart.

The story that you're wrong for feeling dissatisfied is actually part of a bigger trashier story: "I don't deserve what I want".  And, from here, the thinking becomes that If you don't deserve what you actually want, then your dissatisfaction is just beating yourself up for where you are.

Let's bottom-line this larger story.  It goes like this: "You aren't happy with where you are, but that's only because you want things outside of what you deserve or are capable of.  It's your fault for dreaming big, instead of learning to accept your lot in life".

The great leaders througout history have been great because they refused to accept their lots in life.

So look.  You can choose what you want.  But if you really want something new, it starts with empowering your dissatisfaction.  Listen to that heart.  Refuse to accept getting comfortable with dissatisfaction.  It is not your job to accept your lot in life - it is your job to thrive.

What is your pattern around feeling dissatisfied?  Where are you currently tolerating dissatisfaction?  Which of your values are out of alignment with each of those situations?