How often do you feel being something sort of not enough – not enough beautiful/smart/sexy/perfect? How often do you keep improving yourself by various studies/practices/courses? How often do you keep running in constant improvement circle forgetting what was your starting point? Well, I don’t know how about you but I kept going strong in this for quite a while. However lately I had one conversation which helped me to realise that all I was looking for was with me all the time.
So, I had this chat with an awesome young woman who shared with me that she was lost. She wanted to restore her self-confidence and find her true calling in life. Currently she is happily married, a mother of two, at this moment of life has no obligations to 9 to 5 job and has all the freedom to enjoy life in all ways. And yet she feels miserable…
She kept telling me how she was struggling to identify and finish all relevant studies, courses and seminars in order to be able to get all the knowledge she needed to start something on her own. It was really interesting to see this beautiful person ignoring all the talents and knowledge she already had and concentrating purely on what was missing or… not enough. When I asked her to tell me who she was she started describing me her personality features and other great things that defined who she was. But as soon as she finished answering these questions, she moved back emphasising what was missing as if a personality itself was not enough. And then it came to me in all its beauty – the realisation that each and every one of us are absolutely “enough” for who we are, not what we do! Our uniqueness is the best thing that ever happened to us!
But… If the reality is so simple than why do we ignore/not notice it and make our lives look like the race to perfection?
The times that we live in are wonderful. We can access incredible amount of information all over the world. While living in Europe I can study in the United States, Asia or Australia. I have access to the best teachers, mentors, books and communities. Even though today I’m a lawyer, tomorrow I can become a spiritual healer without leaving my house. All this freedom can be a blessing but if used unwisely it can become a curse – I can keep improving myself endlessly.
What I often notice is that people start developing (or even worse – fixing) themselves without clearly realising their starting point – who they really are and what is exactly that they are willing to achieve. Without these key elements you are destined for the work of Sisyphus – you’ll never get things right. Just imagine, you start a project to fill a bucket with water. Looks pretty simple, right? The tools you need are clear: a) bucket and b) water. The process is not complicated at all either – you take a bucket, you put it under a tap, you open a tap and you wait. Once the bucket is full you close the tap and you move on. No rocket science at all! However, if you do not know the size or the state of the bucket you do not know how much water you need and how much time it will take. What if the bucket has a hole – it would take forever! You could strengthen the stream, get another source of water but still it would not give you the result you want if you properly do not assess the bucket.
The same goes for us – if we do not clearly establish what qualities/features we have and what is exsctly that we want to learn we might go completely wrong way. Now think about it: if all you need to learn is to relax, calm down and enjoy the moment however instead you bombard yourself with additional classes, studies and seminars on “How to be more efficient” you will never be happy with the result, will you? Yes, you will definitely get additional knowledge, you will grow for sure, you will achieve results and yet… you will be craving for something more and different. Another course or a seminar perhaps?
What if you approached things differently? What if you accepted the fact that whoever you are today is enough! You do not need to fix or improve yourself – current set up is unique, one and only and exactly what you and the world need (this is not just my opinion, this is universal truth!). Keep learning, keep growing but please make sure you make evaluation before and after.
What if you don’t know who you are? Then maybe it’s time to get acquainted? Make a date with yourself – book some “me time” and make that inventory! Take a pen, a piece of paper and write down:
- who you are today (whether you are a women or a man, married or single, hard worker or a traveller, etc.)
- what your personality features you like the most (honesty, bravery, sense of humour, etc.)
- what, according to you is your personal strength (yes, don’t be shy, be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re a good listener or you’re an awesome cook. Remember we all are unique in our own way and it’s up to us to admit that!)
Once you know the above you can start deciding the following:
- new things you want to learn
- characteristics you want to develop
- new experiences you want to try
- seminars/courses/studies you want to start
Once you finish with that do one more thing – tell yourself this: what would it give you if you did one (or all) of the above things. Yes, identify your motivation! Honestly, do you want to start yoga because all of your friends already do it or because your heart is craving for it? Do you need this new seminar because you’re afraid you’re missing something out or because you truly want to get more expertise? Are you willing to go to a retreat because it’s trendy or because you’re relly looking for some “me time”? You might be surprised how well you know the answers. And I promise you, following that knowledge you will make the best choices for yourself 🙂
Now go ahead: learn, experience, discover! But let self sufficiency be your main motivation. Give yourself a “high five”, a tap on a shoulder, put a big smile on your face and conquer the world with your uniqueness!