It is a well-known reality, and in fact a core principle of marketing/sales that most of the time most of the people buy what they want, rather than what they need.
People don’t really need luxury sports cars; they don’t need to have the latest iPhone or Apple product as soon it hits the shops, but they want them and so there is a market for those things. In a bizarre way, purchases seem to equate to successes in the 21st Century world.
I can think of a handful of people that I know who would like to lose some weight, and they have said that they probably need to do some exercise and/or need to change their habits, but they don’t. They still continue to eat what they want, and do little or no exercise. I could give you a bunch more examples, but I am sure you get the point now…We all know people who do what they want to (and probably shouldn’t) rather than what they need to, and of course being human we all have areas in our life where we ignore doing what we need to.
So, why do people buy or do what they want? Because they can is of course one answer, however there’s a deeper point that the current behaviour satisfies. That is what I call “scratching the emotional itch”. Another way of saying the same thing is that it makes them feel good, or perhaps more even relevantly that it fills some sort of gap in their self-esteem. Buying that thing or eating that whatever might well make a person feel good for a while…it might be something that makes them feel good or the outside world to know they have ….but it is unlikely to fill the gap long-term.
The only thing that fills the gap is addressing what the underlying need really is, but you can’t tell a person that of course, because they probably don’t want to hear it. The reality is that the only person who can address your own needs is you, and only when you’re ready.
Self-esteem is in some ways a tricky customer, because most people don’t want to confess they are lacking in it in some way, and so don’t want to be overtly seen doing anything about it. And many people don’t even realise they are lacking it. Yet self-esteem, or the lack of it, underpins many of our behaviours and drives in everyday life, and so it really is a core component of life.
Self-esteem is something that can be built, though, if you’re ready to do the work. There is an inner part of you (that’s in everyone) that wants to see you build your self-esteem in this life. And it talks to you through your intuition. For in many ways self-esteem is built on your ability to trust yourself (and life!), irrespective of what anyone in the outside world thinks of you, and a lot of that involves listening to your inner voice. What having good self-esteem means at the end of the day is that you are strong enough not to compromise yourself for survival, affection or success.
You are intuitive enough to know how to do that, whether you realise it or not, and it is easy to get started. All you have to do is listen…to yourself, and then act upon what you hear. The last part is often challenging part for many people.
Making a Start
If you WANT to make a simple start towards building your self-esteem, then grab yourself a blank piece of paper so you can do this simple exercise.
Divide the piece of paper into three columns
- In the first column, list 3 everyday things that your conscience (or if you prefer intuition) tells you that you should be doing but you are not (examples might be as simple “do more exercise” “drink less alcohol” etc. These are your needs.
- In the second column, list possible solutions to those 3 things. (examples might be “walk to the station” “don’t go down the pub every day after work”
- In the third column – list your excuses for why you have not done those things so far, and do so with COMPASSION for yourself.
- Make your list simple everyday things that are ACHIEVABLE.
Your conscience (we all have them) is probably the inner-tuitive voice that you try and ignore
- The first thing that pops into your head is usually a good solution (I don’t know is not an answer by the way)
- Compassion is the important word here.
By the way, “I don’t want to” – is a valid answer – however there’s likely to be more to it than that. If you come up with three “I don’t want to’s” then I’d suggest you have a chat with a friend about this, or call someone like me.
Choose the easiest one of the three to act upon. As I say that’s often the most challenging part. However, remember that this came up as part of your list – it is what you need to do. You may not want to but….the growth is always going to be outside of the comfort zone, and if you start balancing out your needs and wants, you might find your life changing more quickly than you expect.
Love & blessings