Self acceptance vs self flagellation

I've seen some founders say they really got successful from beating themselves up. Maybe you tell yourself you HAVE to be successful or you're a loser.

Since the odds in entrepreneurship are against you, this seems a bad approach and one that is putting happiness on hold until you become successful, which will probably take years. Saying you won't be happy for an undetermined amount of time doesn't seem wise to me. There's also a good chance when you get to a certain figure like 10k MRR then you'll want more and you won't be happy any way.

Others want to prove someone wrong

e.g. I'll prove my father-in-law/ friends/school teacher wrong by being successful

To me this is actually quite a destructive point of view since you are putting other people in charge of your happiness if you say you'll be happy when you've changed someone's opinion of yourself. And of course, we aren't able to force someone to change their perception of us/ respect us etc.

A counter mindset is to just accept yourself as doing your best while still aiming to improve your business and situation. That seems a lot more appealing to me. I know Tim Ferris has grappled with self-acceptance vs self-flagellation and he seems to think there is a sweet spot where you accept yourself but still strive to improve without the hating yourself part.

What do you think?

  1. 3

    It's a tough line to walk when acceptance and bs look a lot alike. Acceptance should include acknowledging shortcomings and seeking to improve them. Without that, acceptance becomes delusion.

    Critical self-reflection is vital and being imperfect is normal. Growth is life and stagnation is death. Chose to live.

    1. 1

      Totally agree, but happiness must occurs before it's hundred percent perfect (because it'll never occurs)

      1. 2

        Completely agree. Finding the right balance is incredibly important. Unfortunately, balance is probably one of the most illusive skills.

  2. 2

    I think you're spot on!

  3. 2

    Self-acceptance is incredibly important. You can have self-acceptance while working to improve your habits or performance. If you don't care about yourself, how could you find the motivation to improve?

  4. 2

    I agree with accepting who you are and doing our best while aiming to improve.

    I came across this concept while reading How To Happy and How to be Disliked - Adlerian Psychology.

    It's okay to be normal too.

    1. 1

      thanks - just ordered that book

      1. 1

        @petecodes Alright.

        If it's cool, I would like to know your thoughts when you are done with the books

  5. 2

    Being ambitious and self-demanding is one thing, and not necessarily a bad one when you're an entrepreneur. However not allowing you to be happy without a big success is dangerous. You might be impressed by the stories you read online on people reaching $500K/MRR in two months, but keep in mind it's not what happens to everyone. It requires hard work, a good strategy and understanding of the problem/required solution/expectations about the product, but also a bit of luck.
    Conclusion: do your best to launch your product and have the best results you can, without sacrificing your mental health and happiness.

  6. 1

    I think whatever works and get's you going.

  7. 1

    Thanks for the share Pete, it was actually perfect timing for me to find this.
    I guess what's harder for me is that I have a make-or-break deadline — the 9th of August marks the day where my savings will be zeroed, and I'll have to put Ripplr on hold again.
    So I do struggle quite a bit when I invest a lot of time in writing blog posts, reaching out to people, trying to spread the word about Ripplr, and signup numbers don't seem to move — makes me think that I'm kinda doomed to fail... But ultimately I guess it's my fault, probably I've started this with higher expectations than I should have.
    Either way, thanks for this Pete. It really helped!

  8. 1

    If this resonates with you I recommend you read "The courage to be disliked" this is one of the core concepts of that book and I think it makes total sense.

    Just re-read it and can only recommend to check it out :)

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