WHAT IS IT?
Dissatisfied thinking is a characteristic of many people who feel that whatever they achieve in life isn’t good enough.
Such people cite feeling:
- Empty (a hole which never fills up)
- As if something is missing (they need to keep achieving)
- Inferior to others
- That everything they have achieved (all their successes) is meaningless
- Discontented and unsettled
It has very little to do with wanting faster cars, better holidays or bigger houses, although some might try to fill the hole ‘hole’ with material possessions.
- Feel tense all day – physically and mentally
- Experience general anxiety and a fear that something bad is going to happen
- Compare themselves to others on a daily basis
- Live in the past or the future
- Don’t trust, are suspicious and feel cheated
- Feel guilty if they get off the treadmill or don’t live up to other people’s expectation
They exhaust themselves because they can’t stop the thoughts which echo: ‘keep going…improve…perfect’
IN THE WORKPLACE
Here is an example of dissatisfied thinking at work:
The thought: Must say later, come in earlier, do more, be seen
The reason: So busy, never enough time to complete the work
The motive: Being present will impress, lead to promotion
The fear: Will lose a job to younger, brighter, more dynamic person
There is a myth that work is an on-going process and is never completed (like housework). Quantity can affect quality.
The solution to this to remind dissatisfied thinkers repeatedly that quality has been achieved and that the working day is from 9 am to 5 pm and not longer.
Dissatisfied thinking is fuelled by:
- The need to keep up with other people
- Fear that if you relax and enjoy yourself something will happen to take it away
- An inner voice saying ‘just a bit more, you’re not there yet’
- Being told from an early age that ‘great things are expected of you’
- Being unrealistic in your goals and personal ambitions
- Living with other people’s values and not your own
KNOW YOUR OWN MIND
Is your thinking driven by what others are doing?
Being over-aware of what others are doing puts pressure on dissatisfied thinkers who can never relax in case they are being judged.
KNOW WHERE YOU STAND
Looking for that final bit your jigsaw could turn into a lifelong hunt. Change your mind-set rather than yourself
WANTS NOT NEEDS
Dissatisfied thinker focuses on what they need and not what they want.
Make a checklist of your needs and wants. Are they the same? What drives you? Spend more time thinking about what you really, really want.
HOW TO CONQUER IT
We all experience dissatisfied thinking from time to time. How might it be conquered?
- Take a walk to the top of a steep hill, concentrating on your breathing and using all your senses; the sheer effort prevents you from thinking anything
- Think positive thoughts, focusing on what you have achieved
- Talk to someone who is satisfied with their life (there are many people with very few outward symbols of success who think ‘This is enough’)
- Use logical thinking to rationalize your thoughts
- Every day, tell yourself you’re great.