“Do I like who I am while I’m doing this?”

by J. Money - Published June 14, 2019

mini you

My friend David wrote this epic article on self-esteem 4 years ago, and though I only stumbled across it last month, I haven’t been able to get this line out of my head since:

“Do I like who I am while I’m doing this?”

It’s a question to gain better insight about your habits, and after asking *myself* this now quite often, I gotta say it really shifts your perspective! And might just surprise you on which things actually *do* make you feel good vs those you *think* make you feel good because you enjoy doing them.

The question of “Do I like who I am when I’m doing this?” is a different question from “Do I like doing this?” You might find some gratification in arguing online, or overeating, or staying home Saturday nights, but that doesn’t mean that you feel great about who you are when you’re doing them…

In the same way, there may be things I find difficult or strenuous, but which are rewarding in that I like who I am when I’m doing them.

I’m not sure about that Saturday night part, haha, but something that did immediately jump out at me after reading this was our addictions to Facebook :) It sure is fun to check and pass a little time, but MAN do you always leave feeling worse off than when you got there! As soon as I realized this I experimented with shutting down my personal account and haven’t looked back since…. Been almost 5 years now and it’s blissful!! :)

This same line of thinking works well for our finances too.

  • How did you feel the last time you put something on your credit card?
  • Or when you made your last investment?
  • How about when you played the lottery?
  • Or that time you learned to do something all by yourself instead of hiring it out?
  • What about when you launched that blog/podcast/side hustle that’ll probably make jack crap for the next handful of months, but by golly did you do it?! ;)
  • Or when you’re absolutely killing it and bringing home LOADS of money?! (Something I noticed about myself is that whenever I’m raking it in I tend to want *even more* which is the opposite of how I’d like to be… And something I now strive to work on whenever those times do hit my life)

This question works with almost every habit of yours, and it’ll quickly tell you whether you’re on the right path or not. It won’t help much with the actual *fixing* of things – that’s hard work no matter what you do! – but at least it gets you to be more *aware* which is the first step to improving anything in life.

And again – the actual *action* itself is different than the *feeling* you get from doing it. There’s a lot of things I enjoy doing if left to my own devices, but it doesn’t always mean they’re good for me! So repeatedly asking yourself this question will better pinpoint the trouble areas as you go.

Something good to think about, anyways, as we head into the weekend here…

Highly advise reading the full article from David if you’re inspired by this type of stuff: Where Self-Esteem Comes From. His blog’s mantra isn’t too bad either ;) “Getting better at being a human

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate June 14, 2019 at 5:53 am

Hey! I love David from Raptitude! I didn’t realise you guys were friends! How great!
Do I like getting up in the dark at 6am to participate in community service at a 12 Step meeting before work? I do not. Do I like myself (and enjoy myself!)) when I get there? YES I DO! Do I like not going out for a fancyish meal towards the end of the month and going to the budget supermarket for dinner supplies? I do not (I also don’t really care that much TBH). Do I like who I am when I hit a savings goal? YES I DO!

Reply

2 J. Money June 14, 2019 at 7:09 am

You know yourself well :)

Now see if you can find something surprising about yourself over the weekend by continually asking yourself this!

Reply

3 Max June 14, 2019 at 6:38 am

I think it is also a different question from “Am I good at doing this?” I am pretty good at managing groups of people, and get positive feedback from my team and engagement surveys. But I don’t always “feel good” about managing people and I certainly don’t always enjoy it. Particularly when I am dealing with offices that are too cold, or too hot – I start to wonder if I should have gotten my HVAC certification instead of learning to help people count beans. : )

Reply

4 J. Money June 14, 2019 at 7:13 am

Haha…

Guess there could be worse things – you could SUCK at your job and still have to do it! ;)

But you’re 100% right – even when you’re good at things it doesn’t necessarily mean you should – or want – to be doing them… I’ve turned down so many opportunities from this blog world that normal people would have taken in a heart beat, but deep down I knew they weren’t for me even if I’d be successful at it… Sometimes it kills me because I know I’m leaving tons of $$$ or exposure on the table, but on the flip side it feels fantastic staying true to myself so I try my best to focus on that :)

Reply

5 Deanna June 14, 2019 at 7:59 am

That is truly a great question to ask and a perfect reframe. There are a lot of hard things I do, like working out that don’t necessarily feel good in the moment but when I do them I feel great about myself. Thanks for giving us the litmus test for life. I am eager to read David’s post.

Reply

6 J. Money June 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for passing it forward on Twitter!!

Reply

7 One Frugal Girl June 14, 2019 at 9:46 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as a result of being around a very unpleasant, unkind relative. The more I am around that person the more I realize I NEVER want to behave the same way. Instead I want to focus on spreading kindness, compassion and lending a hand rather than just complaining about all that’s wrong with the world. Sometimes I find myself changing my life in the tiniest ways. For example, rather than rushing into a store and picking up my groceries, I deliberately walk just a little bit slower. Just slowing down I’ve noticed older men and women who have trouble separating the grocery carts. If I happen to be standing near the carts I make a point to give them one. That change in my behavior takes just a minute or two, but it makes their lives easier and it makes me feel good about helping. Why am I in such a hurry anyway? I definitely need to ask myself this question more often. It’s such an important question to ask!

Reply

8 J. Money June 14, 2019 at 3:51 pm

LOVE THAT!!! Helps slow down your *brain* too and probably appreciate the life and times around you more as well :) Something not as easy to do these days with the advancement of technology everywhere.

Reply

9 Paul June 14, 2019 at 10:28 am

But if I used questions like this as a financial barometer I would never buy anything… lol. Some of the posts just punch you right in the face when you read them. Consistent Quality out of that blog. One of the best lines “The best and worst thing about life is all the other people. Well, mostly.”

Reply

10 J. Money June 14, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Haha, glad you liked it man :)

Reply

11 Fire Year FIRE escape June 15, 2019 at 5:59 am

Man the way you feel about facebook is exactly how I feel about the news.
It makes you feel like crap! So I cut it out. Never been better.

Reply

12 J. Money June 17, 2019 at 6:25 am

Hah – same! The important stuff I always find out from my friends anyways :)

Reply

13 Mel June 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

Such a timely post! I just deleted Facebook from my phone PRECISELY because I hated the content and the way I felt when I scrolled through. This is my test run for deleting it completely. After a week, so far so good!

Reply

14 J. Money June 17, 2019 at 11:03 am

BOOM!

Way to get some of your life back too :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: