Are we doing our best? Being the highly sensitive person perfectionist that I am, I get extremely frustrated when I’m not maximizing my talents and abilities or when I’m not working at peak efficiency.
In a similar vein, I get upset when others aren’t giving their best. I bristle when I receive poor service or a lackluster response from a person who is being paid to help me. I get angry when I hear about the latest scandal or blunder that our political leaders have committed. I get even angrier when I realize that I, and all the other taxpayers, will pay for their mistakes. I get distressed when I look at the current economic state of the world.
Highly sensitive people can easily get caught up in outer circumstances. This is because we are conscientious, have a strong sense of justice and fairness, and a tendency to think about things on a deep level. For us, it can be extremely difficult to remain at peace when things aren’t as we think they should be. We may be tempted to lash out or blame others for our unhappiness or for the problems of the world.
One of the most important things we can do to combat this anger, frustration, and anxiety is to focus our energies on things that we can control. While this may seem like common sense, HSPs often have knee-jerk reactions to the doom and gloom of everyday life. We don’t always stop and consider what is actually within the scope of our control.
If you’re not happy with your life circumstances, why not channel your energy toward something that you can change, like your own behavior? What can you do to alter your perspective or to change yourself? Are there specific steps you could take that would make you happier? As you move forward, be sure to reward yourself for doing something well. This will increase your self-esteem and motivate you to keep going.
If you’re not happy with the government, why not exercise your right and privilege to vote? Approximately 30% of registered voters actually vote. After casting your ballot for the people you feel can best serve your interests, release your concerns and take satisfaction in knowing that you have done all you can.
If you’re not happy with the service industry, why not go out of your way to compliment the person who does give the extra effort? Do this in front of others if possible, and tell a manager about it. In many cases, service people just need a little bit of appreciation. Not only will that person feel great, but you’ll have a sense of well-being too. You’ll also be increasing the likelihood that others will receive great service as well. When we reward outstanding behavior, we perpetuate it.
It’s important to remember that you are not powerless. You ARE powerful when you take the time to evaluate your circumstances and are realistic about the impact you can make on the world. If you want to elicit change, you must act from within your sphere of influence. Instead of trying to control external events or the behavior of other people, focus on your own behavior, become a positive role model, and shift to a more optimistic perspective.
Are you doing your best? How do you feel about others doing their best? How can you handle the imperfections of yourself and others? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.