Are you better enough?
Here we are again, at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Everyone is giving their best advice on how to make your resolutions stick, how this can be the year that you lose weight, get in shape, get a raise, eat healthy, run a marathon, have a great relationship, write a book, retire, etc., etc. And to be fair, I am a big fan of big goals. But what doesn’t get addressed enough (and may actually be the key to it all) is the subtext that comes after these resolutions, the one that sounds something like this:
I should have done it already.
I shouldn’t have let myself get into this situation.
I need to do this to be successful.
I can finally be happy if I accomplish this goal.
Or the real kicker,
I will be better/ more valuable if I finally do this.
Translated: I’m not good enough just the way I am, today.
Now before I jump onto my soapbox of the intrinsic value of human beings, I want you to do a quick, and hopefully easy, exercise.
I want you to make a list of all the things you did this year, all the things you accomplished.
Resist the urge to minimize these things. Write them all down. When I did this exercise it included things like finally painting my bedroom after 16 years of living in this house. It included researching how to negotiate for a raise and then actually negotiating for one. It included helping my daughter get through the college selection process and completing another year of a weekly blog. I went to work every day, I survived COVID.
You get the idea.
It takes the focus away from what you didn’t do to what you did do, and with this, the subtle shift from shame to confidence can begin. You will see the things that were easy and fun and the things that were awful but you got through them anyway.
And then from this place, this place of possibility, potential and badassery, you can decide what challenges you want to take on for this year.
But here’s the second half of this. These challenges for the upcoming year are NOT going to “Improve” you. Confidence may be the first step but taken alone is not going to be enough (you know I’m right about this because of all the times you have started confidently but then maybe not achieved what you wanted.) In order to actually move forward, you need to address the subtexts that we were talking about above. The subtext of I will be “better” if I do this, I will be more valuable/worthy/loved. Fill in whatever word seems true for you.
The reality is, every person has intrinsic value regardless of what they do or don’t do. It is a basic human truth. Sometimes we know this intellectually but we don’t FEEL it to be true.
This example may help you realize that you DO believe this, at least for other people. Sometimes feeling something for someone else can be the first step to experiencing it in your own life.
Here we go.
Picture a bunch of kids during recess. There are some playing basketball, 1 kid gets multiple 3 pointers and another misses every shot he takes. A few kids are jumping rope and one boy is reading. There is some type of game happening that seems to be really just an excuse for tackling each other. There are kids in groups and kids standing by themselves. There is a child in a wheelchair and one with hearing aids. There are tall kids and short kids, kids of all different races. Some children are laughing and some seem totally glum.
So here’s the question. Which child is most valuable? Which one is best? Which one is less than the others? Which one should be ashamed or ostracized? Which one should be praised?
It’s easy to see when put like that. None of those things decide the value of any one of those children. And these are just characteristics and behaviors seen on a playground, but it also holds true for their grades, their social maturity, their ability to understand and express their feelings, their weight, their self-control. None of this dictates the level of their intrinsic value.
Where is this all going? What does it have to do with resolutions?
What would happen if you could settle into the following belief?
Your intrinsic value is already established and
independent of what you accomplish
you can set goals and accomplish them
from a place of fun and confidence instead of shame.
What if you are better enough?
You can pick resolutions not because they “improve” you but because you want the thrill of accomplishment, the satisfaction of overcoming something hard.
There will be periods that you feel a backward slide, it doesn’t mean anything about you as a person, it means the challenge is a tough one.
You are great this year. You will be equally great next year.
Now let’s go have some fun.
Need some help making 2022 the year that you actually accomplish what you want without a ton of suffering and self-doubt? Schedule a consult call here to see how I can help you be successful.