Are you never satisfied? At one time or another we all feel that we are missing something, but if it becomes a constant, we must look for the origin of the discomfort.
Some people seem like they are not quite satisfied with anything. As much as life smiles at them in many ways, they never have enough, they always lack or fail something.
Instead of rejoicing in what they have accomplished, they continue to think about the road ahead and what they don’t have (or others have and they don’t).
They can set unattainable goals and often find it difficult to limit their aspirations and accept that in this life you cannot have everything. They are the eternally unsatisfied, the great insecure.
Those who live next to them suffer when they see them permanently bitter, trapped by envy, by a feeling of incapacity, by the desperate search for appreciation or by anger at how bad life treats them, which they consider, above all, unfair.
The reason why some people are content with what they have while others are blocked feeling that everything fails them or they launch into an endless race in pursuit of high goals has to do, above all, with insecurity.
Insecurity makes you lose the ability to enjoy yourself and prevents you from evaluating your aspirations realistically by accepting personal limitations.
All people have needs to cover and, sometimes, we seek to satisfy them in the wrong way, that is, in a way that takes us away from happiness.
SOCIAL NEEDS: ACHIEVEMENT, POWER AND AFFILIATION
Beyond the satisfaction of physiological needs and protection and safety, all people require acceptance and appreciation of themselves and others.
As part of these social needs, psychology highlights three important human motivations:
- The achievement motivation has to do with the desire to improve. We want to give the best of ourselves in what we propose to undertake; this prompts us to face challenges, to improve personally and to try to stand out in some facet.
- Power motivation represents the need to make a mark, to exert some kind of influence over other people, and the desire for things to go according to plan.
- The motivation for affiliation is the need to have friends, to belong to a group, to cooperate and share with other people, to establish quality intimate relationships and to be accepted.
WHEN THE NEED IS PATHOLOGICAL
The achievement motivation encouraged to be tested, to face challenges and persevere in efforts despite the difficulties that may arise.
The power motivation is often expressed through the pursuit of prestige, fame or status of the effort to exercise some leadership in small groups, search for positions of responsibility or the desire to accumulate material goods.
The motivation of affiliation, on the other hand, stimulates to seek, initiate and maintain personal relationships.
Satisfying these motivations is normal and healthy to some extent, but it can become a source of dissatisfaction or even pathologies if the need or desire becomes excessive.
The achievement motivation carried the end often lead to pathological ambition; exacerbated needs for power could turn frustration into aggression, anxiety disorders, or depressive states; the excessive search for affiliation and approval of others could be at the origin of a multitude of dependencies or situations of abuse.
Either way can lead to chronic dissatisfaction.
At the base of these needs, when they are more intense than desirable, underlies insecurity in any of its forms: perfectionism, excessive need for approval and recognition, need for control, pathological doubt, lack of acceptance of one’s limits, inclination to constantly comparing yourself to other people…
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE DESIRE TO OVERCOME FROM THE EXCESSIVE AMBITION?
- The desire to improve or achieve a goal drives and encourages you to continue in moments of doubt or discouragement. It does not prevent you from thinking about other things or dedicating effort to other tasks.
- The objectives set are realistic. And every day, every week, you have the satisfaction of achieving some small goal.
- Ambition does not get in the way of regular relationships with co-workers or with friends or family.
- The desire to achieve the objectives set is perfectly compatible with the enjoyment and care of other facets of the personality.
- You enjoy the achievements, the challenges overcome and what you experience in the present moment.
WHAT DOES ENVY HIDE?
Overcoming chronic dissatisfaction requires learning to find the middle ground between the desire for improvement, influence or affiliation and excessive ambition, the attachment to fame, status, material goods or the search for approval at any cost.
No one can endorse Walt Whitman’s phrase – “I am enough as I am” – if he does not develop good self-confidence.
This implies learning to value yourself, to accept your own limits and to free yourself from traps such as envy, pathological doubt, the desire for control and perfectionism.
When a person undervalues himself, he tends to compare himself excessively with others and to magnify the good that he perceives or imagines in them.
A certain feeling of injustice can invade her then: why they do and I not? In this situation, letting yourself be corroded by envy only brings dissatisfaction and bitterness. In order not to fall into this trap, it is useful to understand that there is no point in comparing yourself with others.
Each of us is equally worthy and unique, and has the same right as others to be equal in some respects and different in others.
There is no alternative but to accept ourselves as we are, which does not imply that it cannot be improved. Each person faces life and its circumstances as best he can and knows how. One way to overcome envy is to try to get closer to the person who inspires you in order to get to know them better. If you can understand her point of view and her circumstances, it will be easier to stop idealizing her and even grasp the things that are shared with her rather than the things that create distance.
It is also effective to ask yourself honestly if what you envy is what you really want to achieve. If this turns out, it would be useful to abandon the regrets and direct efforts towards that goal, provided it is realistic.
In any case, you have to avoid feeling like a victim. It is useless to hide behind how badly one has gone through it or the insecurity that one has ended up having for one reason or another.
There comes a time when you have to stop complaining and start thinking about what to do to improve the situation.
And it is essential to develop gratitude for all the qualities that one has and all the helps that have been received throughout life.