By What Percentage Do You Vote for YourSELF?

As the Presidential election unfolds, with percentages still being tallied for each candidate in several states, it is a good time to think about in which areas of your life you vote for yourSELF and by what margin.

What do I mean by this?  After many years working to optimize people’s lives—including their personal lives, their creative lives and their businesses—it has become clear to me that people often vote against themselves.  They doubt their prospects, don’t show up to support themselves or even dramatically undermine their “campaigns” for self-actualization.

This happens in people’s love lives as much as it happens in their professional lives. Here are just some of the ways:

  • Including people as partners who don’t merit the commitment or trust.
  • Not pursuing goals—personally or professionally—with real intention.
  • Pursuing goals that are not “true” to oneself.
  • Prematurely abandoning potentially successful relationships or projects that really require dedication and persistence.
  • Letting the competition force you into retreat.
  • Never declaring one’s candidacy for success at all.

Why would people sabotage their own campaigns for happiness and success and “not vote” for themSELVES?  Often, it’s because others, often early in life, convinced them that they were not worthy of love or respect or self-actualization.  Sometimes, it’s because they have “lost elections” in the past—losing businesses or marriages or, for that matter, actual political campaigns—and are loathe to “re-up.”  Other times it is because something eclipses what I call their “autobiographical imagination” of the wonderful chapters in life that could unfold for them.

There is no better time than today to mark your ballot for yourself, in every race you are running.  Think of what they may be.  Are you driving forward with the speed and momentum and confidence you owe yourself at work?  Are you insisting on developing honesty and depth in your friendships, in your relationships with your family members and/or in your intimate relationship?  Are you campaigning with confidence to reach the goals you really want to reach in life?

In any campaign for yourSELF that you feel you are not getting out the vote, in a big way, please reenergize your campaign.  Declare the goals you truly want to pursue.  Avoid voting against yourself.  And never concede defeat prematurely or without knowing, deep in your heart, that you can go on to fight another day.

Dr. Keith Ablow


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