Have you been accused of taking your life too seriously? Maybe you think too much, or you have a resting seriousface?
So what? Maybe life is better when you take yourself seriously.
Humor is a good thing. It can make your life better, it will make your life last longer and it will make the journey a little lighter. I’m not knocking the importance of humor. We all need a little more humor these days. The White House is on fire and the future is in doubt. We need to laugh, because humor is the one thing that can keep us afloat.
Have you ever considered that not taking yourself seriously enough might be what is holding you back? In fact, it can do you in. I know, because I have spent a good deal of my life laughing off my annoying traits. I laughed it off when my wife would talk to me, then nag me, then get angry at me. Taking her seriously is what needed to happen for me to see myself in the mirror.
What I saw wasn’t pleasant, but it’s changing me.
I work as an Addiction Therapist. In my Counseling work, I tell clients all of the time that feedback can change your life… if you let it. That is really wise, but sometimes I ignore my own advice. This time, the Counsellor needs to listen to his own advice.
The do’s and don’ts of taking yourself seriously
Taking yourself seriously does not come naturally for some of us. Laughing off our immaturity is a lot more fun than admitting to it. But eventually you need to grow up. Or not. Just know that the people who choose to grow up will leave you behind. Eventually you need to take yourself seriously enough to take care of your health, your relationships and your substance use habits. Once in a while, we all need to relax and have some fun. Go ahead once in a while: over eat, over drink and over indulge. But don’t let it over take your life.
If you need to grow up a little, here are a few (serious…) do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do laugh at yourself.
- Do have fun.
- Do laugh at work. It will keep you motivated and creative. If you want to read more about humor at work, see the link at the end of the post or click here.
- Do look for the humor in situations.
- Do make mistakes, make a mess, make trouble. Then learn from it.
- Do take yourself seriously. You have a lot to offer.
- Don’t get your shorts in a knot because you feel that you have to stomp out your weaknesses. Relax. We all put our shorts on one leg at a time. You aren’t any more messed up that the rest of us.
- Don’t get stressed out when you see your own mistakes. Okay you might just be a mess. Laugh at it. Then really think about it. Take a week or two to let it sink deep into your soul. Don’t beat yourself up, but take the feedback seriously.
- Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionism will twist your mind, harden your expectations and your arteries.
- Don’t sacrifice serious reflection. Life will get better if you are serious about a few things. For example: What you see in the mirror, on the scale and on your bank statement; what your doctor says; and most of all what your wife (or significant other) says.
- Don’t use humor to avoid yourself or your problems. That one will bite you where it hurts.
- Don’t confuse laughing at yourself with the belief that you are a joke. You are not. You have some seriously bad-assiness that you need to unleash!
- Don’t allow humor, frustration, perfectionism or anything else to get you off track. If someone you care about gives you some genuine feedback, take it seriously. Sure, don’t beat yourself up. But take the lesson and grow up.
I’m still working on this one. Taking feedback seriously without letting it wreck your mindset takes work. But that’s what it means to pursue the best for yourself. You have to look at your life like a work of art rather than a hobby. Best-selling author Steven Pressfield has another word for it: Going Pro.
The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him to uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious part of himself. Steven Pressfield
If you enjoyed what I have said, I’d love it if you would take time to read some of my other work:
One more thing, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line and I’d love to hear how taking yourself more seriously is what you need.
I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.
Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.
Keep it Real
Photo by Nana B Agyei