Sometimes I wonder what it would take for some people to decide they’re enough, they’re lovable, they’re valuable to the world. You probably know these folks too – they’re the fantastically talented, successful, kind, beautiful ones. That pretty much encompasses almost everyone I know! Yes, I know some pretty amazing people.
So why are they the last to know how amazing they are?
I truly believe every single one of us is full of talent and potential. It’s simply up to each of us to find and cultivate that talent to be our best selves and apply that to our mission and purpose in life. And we don’t have to have the same traditional yardsticks for success: salary, job status, popularity, GPA, or level of education. There are many criteria for being a successful human being, including contribution to society, kindness, wisdom, well-being or other such virtues.
The people who I know who feel inadequate feel that way even despite success by traditional measures. These are highly educated, successful, and nice people! The US Department of Education website is down because of the government is shut down (errrrr!! No comment!) but what I can gather is that a vanishing small percentage of the population have graduate degrees. These Ph.D. and professional degree holders/pursuers are the ones that I am referring to.
I believe it has something to do with our explanatory style, an important component of optimism. These incredibly talented, smart and nice people compare themselves to the others who are more successful, smarter, more attractive, more hair, or whatever. Why not instead compare yourself to those who are less smart, successful, attractive? Or, how about don’t compare yourself at all? I know in some areas I’m “more” but in other areas I’m “less.” There will always be something that I can point to and feel like I’m not measuring up.
I’m not saying I never have those feelings. I spent too many years feeling inadequate to completely let go of that bad habit. Instead now I focus on what I’m grateful for and trying to improve in the areas that I have some growth potential. Ironically, when I quit judging myself and others, I have been able to feel like “enough” since I am now not wasting my time and energy on something so counterproductive.
What areas of your life can you change your mind and decide you’re actually “enough”? Or even “pretty darn good!”?
All: Don’t forget to send me questions or topics you’d like for me to discuss. Go either to this blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Talk to Susanna link on the left. Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you!