Congratulations. You played yourself.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve made an excellent choice. But you probably also made plenty of non-excellent choices within the past month, week, and perhaps even day. Playing ourselves is one of the most common ailments in our lives, and I assure you, it’s more serious and deadly than you realize.
Here’s how you can know if you’re playing yourself, and what you can do about it.
What Is “Playing Yourself”?
Playing yourself is the act of going against your best interests and intentions. We all have dreams and goals that we want to achieve, but sometimes we do things that aren’t aligned with those plans. We make decisions that we really shouldn’t, and we end up essentially betraying ourselves in the process.
Some of these “playing yourself” moments are very conscious and easy to spot. For instance, if you’re on a diet, you’re clearly playing yourself if you go eat a gallon of ice cream. You’re playing yourself if you’re broke but you’re still booking vacation plane tickets.
However some of the “playing yourself” moments aren’t as obvious. In fact, the majority of them aren’t. Playing yourself is more often unconscious and routine, affecting not specific instances in our lives, but rather how we live it in general. It’s a lifestyle, one that we unknowingly rope ourselves into.
Results vs Reasons
An easy way to recognize this lifestyle is to think about your goals, and how close you are to achieving them. Where were you when you first created those goals, and how far have you come since then? Why is this so?
Two things tend to happen with this exercise. People either come up with results, or they come up with reasons as to why they don’t have the results. Be honest with yourself as to what came up first.
If you’re trying to lose weight, did you think about the fitness milestones that you hit, or did you think of your excuses as to why you couldn’t eat healthy or hit the gym?
If you’re single, did you think about all the people you tried talking to, or why “right now isn’t a good time”?
This is the stone cold truth about life. You can have results or you can have reasons, and one of those things are completely worthless. You are playing yourself if you think your reasons make it okay to not go after the life you want. Sometimes the goals aren’t easy, but nothing worth it ever is. Don’t play yourself, even small results are better than big reasons.
Used To Be’s Don’t Make Any Honey
A lot of us are infatuated with our past, and unable to let it go to progress into the future. We think about how things used to be, and we cling onto those moments instead of focusing on new ones.
How would you define yourself? Do you think about your past actions and accomplishments, or do you think about what you’re working towards right now? Are your fondest thoughts about the good old days, or do you truly believe that the best is ahead?
It is very easy to get caught up in our past selves. After all, it is our actions and achievements of the past that got us to where we are right now. However you have to realize the present is all that the past is good for. What matters tomorrow is based on what happens today, not yesterday. You are playing yourself if you think otherwise.
You don’t have to live a certain way just because it’s how things “used to be” or always was. Don’t let good memories make you comfortable and content with staying where you are. On the flip side, don’t let a negative past become your future reality. It doesn’t have to be that way. Give up the person that you are, to become the person you can become.
You Let Other People Be In Charge Of Your Life
One of the most common traits of unsuccessful and unhappy people is their constant blaming of others. They play themselves and allow other people to be in charge of their lives.
These people are broke because their boss didn’t give them a raise. They’re unhappy because their significant other has an attitude. You’ll come across people who’ll say that they’re fat only because their mom won’t stop baking pies for them. Okay the last part might be a hyperbole, but you get the point.
Our lives are shaped by those around us. Our family, friends, bosses, significant others, and etc, are all constantly impacting how we live. However there is a big difference between impacting an area of life, and being outright responsible for it.
For instance, your boss controls your employment, but that doesn’t mean he’s responsible for your finances. If you’re not getting paid enough, it’s on you to work harder so you can get a raise. If your job straight up sucks, it’s your responsibility to find a new one. Even if you truly have the worst boss in the world, blaming him or her isn’t going to achieve anything. It’s your bank account at the end of the day, and you have ultimate control as to what it’ll look like in ten years.
Life is not fair. You are going to come across people who will do you wrong and make life harder than it has to be. The worst thing that you can do is let those people take charge. Don’t give them that power by blaming and handing over your responsibilities to them. They aren’t going to fix your life. Only you can do that. Don’t play yourself.