a new favorite question I’m asking myself

By November 30, 2016 6 Comments

You can listen to this post in audio, too. Click the player to download an mp3 file, or you can read below …


Today I  want to share a new question I came across recently. I’ve been asking myself this question at the end of my day fairly regularly, and I always find the answers that it brings up to be surprising and INCREDIBLY helpful.

It’s this:

What is the character trait of mine
that most got in the way of my happiness today?

The first time I asked myself this question, I’d had a rough day. All day long, my inner critic had been chattering in my head about my body’s changes during this pregnancy, and I was feeling overwhelmed by everything on my plate – the list of parenting, work, and pre-new-baby things I wanted to get done.

So, if you had asked me casually about what was bothering me that day, I would have said, 1) stuff around my body and 2) being overwhelmed.

But then I asked myself that question:

What is the character trait of mine
that most got in the way of my happiness today?

And as I reflected, and journaled about it a bit, the answer was clear: it was a lack of self-acceptance, a lack of being okay with where I am right now – in body and in mind and spirit – that had most gotten in the way of my happiness all day.

It was not the changes in my body, or the length of my to-do list. It was the lack of self-acceptance, of reality-acceptance.

And while I had no ability to change how my body has done this pregnancy, and no ability to add more hours in the day (or more stamina to myself) to get through more of that to-do list, this – the lack of acceptance – was an issue I could do something about.

I could see and feel how this lack of acceptance was hurting me, so I couldn’t just do it unconsciously anymore.

I could practice being more compassionate (and more in touch with reality) about where I really was.

I also asked power greater than myself – life, love, light – to grace me with more self-acceptance in the days to come.

All of that created a powerful shift, and more acceptance did come, and more peace and day-to-day happiness with it.

This isn’t about beating ourselves up, or blaming ourselves for everything. It’s about digging beneath the surface to see what in our own approach, belief system or patterns, is contributing to our unhappiness or stuckness. From there we can make change, change that allows us to address both the internal and external aspects of any problem.

So this is the question I offer you, to ask yourself at the close of your day today: What is the character trait of mine that most got in the way of my happiness today?

If you aren’t resonating with the word “happiness,” of course, you can substitute something like “peace” or even “gratitude” or “calm” – whatever you are aiming for in your day.


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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Nicole Sitek says:

    Hi Tara. Thank you so much for your post today (and all of your posts). I have been following you for a few years, and I am in awe of your ability to self reflect AND self correct. You have taught me so much.
    Today is my birthday, which is always a day of self reflection for me. What have I accomplished, what would I like to accomplish and what is possible to accomplish? I always seem to fall short. I work full time and have 2 small children, one who is permanently disabled. I’m also someone with high expectations and long to-do lists. It was especially poignant to receive this today, to help me take a step back and remember all that I accomplish everyday, and more importantly, that it’s okay if everything (or even one thing) was not crossed off my list.

    Thank you and best wishes on your pregnancy,
    Nicole Sitek

  • Elizabeth M says:

    This is awesome. Thanks.

  • Sophie Cospain-Davidson says:

    Tara, I read with joy your posts. They keep me honest and reflecting about the key questions. I am planning to do the Playing Big Course again. I get so much out of it and from reading your thoughts and reflections. I hope you find acceptance today. With love

  • Jin Zhang says:

    Another great piece Tara, thank you. I am wrapping up a project so as I go through the process of deciding what’s the next thing for me, it’s inevitable that I start to have issues with self-acceptance. Have I done enough? Did I meet certain expectations of my own vision and goal? Thank you for reminding me that while it’s important to challenge ourselves, it’s also important to find acceptance.

    With warmest holiday wishes,
    Jin Zhang

  • […] I read this question in  Tara Mohr‘s post : What is the character trait of mine that most got in the way of my […]

  • […] I read this question in  Tara Mohr‘s post : What is the character trait of mine that most got in the way of my […]

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