Misguided Dignity – How pride in the wrong ideas can hurt you.

I love dignity. To me, its the way I feel my backbone to handle the pressure of opinions that cause me to doubt myself. It’s how I stand up for things that are important to me.

However, I have experienced my dignity getting me into trouble. It’s one thing to love what you believe in, but it’s another to be reluctant to confront and challenge it with new information.

We all want to feel secure and a part of something to enjoy a sense of belonging. But what about when our views are not fully integrated with a bigger picture that serves our heart in a meaningful and sustainable way?

I have been realising recently that our desperate need to be free can often create rebellion against ideas that are actually good for us. We end up being loyal to ideas that cause more drama than peace.

I have witnessed how our striving for high achievement can place us in situations where being honest is too costly. So we are too eager to trade our values for our need to be worthy by achieving. We may look the other way if a colleague or business partner has acted in way that does not agree with our morals. We then conveniently live in the denial that it was a one-off occurrence, or we can turn them around over time – or somehow we make ourselves believe that we can avoid the consequences of having a business partner like that.

Boredom can create a desperate need for adventure and if it involves relationships, it can take us down a path where we are allowing ourselves to be treated in ways we would normally not accept. But whether the thrill of being mischievous or the fear of being rejected becomes the justification, we can end up in situations that are so far from what we stand for, we wonder how we lost our way so much and begin to turn on ourselves in destructive ways, almost as if we deserve to be punished. This can take us deeper into that darkness and the habit of being there can feel like hell. Our identity can end up being fused with that way of being and we can get stuck in that darkness.

So when society or friends judge us, we feel defiant, as if they are trying to take our freedom away from us. So what we do is go in the opposite direction as if we are being dignified to live our lives on our terms.

But is it really our terms?

A way to test whether the direction you are going is aligned with the depth of your purpose, is by asking yourself these questions: – 

If someone treated my child or loved one like that, how would I feel about it?

If I continue to allow this to happen, where will it take me? What opportunities am I missing out on?

If people knew the way I was being, how would I feel? Should shame and guilt be emotions that I accept as part of my life if truth exposes me?

It is indeed a challenging journey into ourselves. The hypocrisy is ripe and the denial is thickly wrapped around our attitudes and actions. However, when we decide to find the place; where who we choose to be makes us proud and accepting of the judgments around us. From there we will know that our dignity is aligned with our integrity and is no longer misguided.

My latest book release Cinderella’s Secrets – The Untold Story of Ella, is all about how Ella reinvented herself to have the life she yearned for to reclaim her respect and dignity. Available in hard copy or on Amazon and iTunes.

George Helou is the founder of EP7 – Empowered for Purpose in 7 Steps. Life Coach, Work Culture Consultant, Author and Motivational Speaker, George has 15 years personal development experience and is based in his Life Coach Perth Office in Subiaco. 08 9380 8350. www.lifecoachperth.com

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