There seems to be a tendency to quit pretty easily these days. Maybe it’s no more common than it was 50 years ago, but now we have social media to thank for the widespread admission of our failures. “I quit this diet. I never finished that book I was reading. I had to stop working out because it got too hard. I’m never going to lose weight. I’m never going to stop drinking. I’m desperate and pitiful. But look how many likes that comment got me on Facebook.”
Thank goodness I’m just exaggerating and don’t really know someone personally who has written all of that in one sentence on social media, though collectively I’m sure I have more than enough evidence to support these claims through acquaintances online.
So why give up and quit trying? Why just wave the white flag and throw a pity party? Because it’s easier than trying.
I did this for several years. I wasn’t so much looking for outside attention as I was enjoying feeling sorry for myself. I don’t believe others even noticed because I didn’t have anything too terrible to be sorry about. I was simply complaining to complain. Most of the time these complaints were internal, though a few words slipped every now and then – revealing my true self.
But I never gave up. Why? Because I simply couldn’t. Not in a hero type fashion where I’m committed to persevering until justice has availed. No. I couldn’t quit because there was a voice inside of me speaking louder than that pitiful little girl sobbing in the corner who was terrified of everything (the other voice in my head). There was a force within me that said, “If you give up now, you’ll never get to meet your dreams.” I don’t know about you, but those words got my attention.
What dreams? All of my dreams? You mean, I won’t get to see any of them? I decided that although I wasn’t sure which dreams were stake, I wanted to see how the rest of my story played out. Was it a happy ending after all? Did I ever go on to make big changes in this world? Will I make a difference some day?
I’m still working on finding those answers…
Often enough I’ve been told that although I’ve been afflicted by people I love suffering from alcoholism, I really haven’t had it “that bad.” From the alcoholic’s perspective, I haven’t been physically beaten repeatedly or had to suffer what they would call major traumatic episodes of emotional abuse. In their eyes, things weren’t completely awful.
But to that end all I have to say is, how the hell do you know? How do you know what I’ve been through? How can you belittle my experiences because your own trauma is far more superior in its ugliness? Why is it a competition to see who has the worst story?
No one really knows what I’ve been through and I don’t know what anyone else has been through aside from them telling me their stories. Don’t ever let anyone take away your life’s experiences and try to convince you that weren’t real or that it wasn’t that big of a deal.
I used to listen to that voice that said, “It’s really not that bad…” or,“It’s not like I’m hitting you…” or simply, “I’m fine. We’re fine. Everything is fine.”
What you have inside of you, that voice telling you the right things from the wrong, is there for a reason. Listen to it.
Why is it so easy to get caught up in the “trying to be perfect” mentality when we all know perfection isn’t attainable? We sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing it until it’s getting to the point of being ridiculous.
Why am eating nothing but protein shakes and salads? To have the perfect beach body selfie on vacation? Why am I making sure my kids have the right hair cut and clothes that are crisp and neat? To portray having perfect kids? Why am I so damn worried about putting on makeup for others? I don’t even wear it while I’m at home. Am I trying to be a different person when I’m around others?
I know I’m not the only person who struggles with the idea of perfection, otherwise there wouldn’t be the “Progress Not Perfection” rule out in the universe. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. (I figured if I said it three times, my fairy godmother would appear and say I was perfect in some way, but that didn’t happen.)
Foolishly, I tell myself I’m not trying to be perfect. I tell myself, “I’m not doing any of this to impress anyone.” Let’s be real, you may not want to “impress anyone else” but it feels good when people acknowledge the effort you put into something. Is this the pursuit of perfection or a whole other monster altogether? Is that the pursuit of acceptance? (Dang, now I’ll have to write a post on that one too. I digress.)
The reason I bring all of this up today is because I have been struggling with my own self-image the past few weeks and I needed to tell myself I’m being ridiculous. Like any good friend, I try to talk to myself in a constructive manner rather than tearing myself down. (The other way just doesn’t work for anyone and makes you feel like a complete failure all of the time. Trust me on this one.)
So to everyone reading this today (myself included), I wanted to tell you that you are a beautiful individual created by God.
There are landmines lurking everywhere. One wrong move and you can land on the one live explosive that is able to derail your entire existence. No, I’m not talking about actual bombs here. I’m talking about fear and the stupid lies it tries to tell all of us.
“You’re not ready. You’ll never be ready. You aren’t old enough to do that. You’re not young enough to do that. Why would they pick you for that job? Why wouldn’t she cheat on you? Of course you’ve gained weight. You aren’t as good looking as you used to be. You’ll never be enough.”
I have to admit, I became infuriated simply typing those statements and lies out. These thoughts have crept into my mind, almost daily. And when I’m really weak, sometimes every hour. Fear tries to tell us everything that is wrong with us, all of our flaws. There isn’t any mention of the things you’ve done right in your life or the goals you’ve already accomplished. Fear wants to focus on the bad, the negative, and the impossible rather than give you any glimmer of hope or confidence.
Don’t fall into fear’s traps. Those things you hear fear whispering to you isn’t reality. Maybe if you let fear control you long enough it becomes your reality, but that’s when you need to fight like hell to get your life back. You are in control…not fear!
Now, watch your step today. Be sure to step over those landmines hiding in the shadows. And for goodness sake, don’t let fear direct navigate for you anymore.
Do you ever feel like you’re not enough? Or that what you do for your family isn’t enough? Or as hard as you work on your job, it still just isn’t enough?
My friends, I’m here to tell you today that you are enough. You may not be fantastic at everything you have ever set out to accomplish, but you are enough. So often we get trapped in this mentality that we don’t measure up to the people out there who have been doing things way longer than we have, and we give up prematurely.
If you can just push past those doubts and fears, I promise on the other side of that self-accomplishment is pride you can only find within yourself. I’m not talking about that “ego-puffing” pride, but the kind where you truly believe in yourself and you start believing you are enough…you can do this!
So take on today not with the belief that you can’t measure up to someone else’s standards, but show up today as the person who believes in themselves and knows they are enough!
This morning, I feel compelled to share with everyone that we are all worthy. Worthy of what? you ask. Well, we are all worthy of life. We are worthy of being able to wake up every day and make decisions on how we want to live our lives.
Are we always capable of making these decisions? Maybe not every day. Some days we are tired and we just go with the quickest, easiest solutions. Some days we honestly just don’t care.
I believe much of the time, when I sit down at my computer to write out these posts, I’m given ideas of what to write about because it’s what I need to hear for the day. Maybe I’m dealing with self doubt this morning. Maybe my confidence is a little shaken. Maybe I’m just wanting to give myself a pep talk to keep on keeping on. But I know I wanted to share with all of you today that you are worthy. You are enough. You are doing amazing things in your life.
Isn’t is hard sometimes to tell ourselves those things? Well, that’s why I wanted to be the one to say them to you today.
So go…out into the world, shoulders held high, and show everyone how amazing you are today!
Fill in the blank: I’m not _________. I’ll tell you where my mind wanders and you decide if your answers relate to mine.
I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not an expert. I’m not confident enough. I’m not that good looking. I’m not brave enough. I’m not capable enough to accomplish my dreams.
Do any of those sound familiar? Or am I the only one who battles with self-doubt a time or two, almost daily?
We have these fears, or doubts, inside of us that cripple us from becoming either who we want to become or who we think we should become. For example, today I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m having a book signing for a book I recently published. I don’t need someone else’s validation that I’m a writer, yet I find myself fearful that someone will point at me and say, “You’re not a writer. You’re not good enough to be here.” I know I’m not Nicholas Sparks or the next Hemingway, but they also had to start somewhere.
The point I’m trying to make is that everyone faces doubt and fear. But what we choose to do with them is completely up to us. Are you going to let your fears cripple you? Are you going to let doubt hold you back from doing the one thing that you can make you sublimely happy? I hope not. I hope you can overcome the “I’m nots” in your life and tell yourself I am enough.