It’s Not Who You Are, But Who You Think You Are Not…

It’s alarmingly easy to beat oneself up – never mind our own inner dialogue, society is ever-imposing “shoulds” on us. For example, it’s difficult not to associate one’s worth with one’s work when the first question anyone ever asks when meeting for the first time is, “what do you do [for a living]?” 

I recently was discussing this with someone – the idea that when we have a certain job or title or paycheck, we feel better about ourselves. When we are looking for work, out of a job entirely, or even trying something new later in life, there’s a sense of unsuccessful.” Why is that?

There’s a huge pressure to live up to this unspoken-but-understood standard when, in truth, it’s nothing more than a society-made, human construct. Certainly that depends on where you live, but as tech has gotten bigger, and more is thrust onto our psyche…it’s tough to ignore the global definition(s) of success. It looks a lot like ostentation and pop stars from where I’m sitting. But in my heart, I don’t actually believe that’s the way it is…or should be.

I struggle with this one myself – big time. I beat myself up for choices (past tense) that I need to completely let go of – the past had its place, and…it’s done with. I sit there in a funk questioning my contribution to life in general…and then I get the glimmer of “I’m doing pretty damn well!”

I remind myself of all the good that I do, including giving back to others for no other reason than I care. I am not able to say I have some remarkable title, I’m not paid to do the work, I’m not a celebrity…(all things I know I currently am NOT)…but what about the true value?  Those facts don’t have a right to determine my self-worth, my success (in my own eyes or those of others), or my validity as a wonderful human being. And such facts have no right to determine yours either.

We are all on a different path, and we have no way of knowing how the journey will end. But while we are trodding along, we need to remember all the GOOD that we do, and all of the ways in which we DO contribute – to ourselves, our lovers, our society and community. We need to remember that a definition of a word to one person may differ from our own – sometimes wildly. That’s okay.

If it takes a mantra, self affirmations, meditation…whatever…that’s all well and good. Just make sure the reminders are FREQUENT. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and pace of “today” but we are with ourselves 100% of time. As such, we deserve to feel good about who we are, and what we do…and we need to let go of all those things we aren’t (because…that isn’t part of the equation for a reason.)

We don’t need to impose any other false limitations on our lives… We deserve to live and love life fully – whatever that means to us. Success is not black and white, and it isn’t up to someone else.

We are so much more than we often give ourselves credit for and we must remember…leading by example means we set the tone as much for ourselves as for others.

Be more gentle with yourself today. Write down, or speak aloud, all the “AMAZING” that you represent. The energy we put out, and the things we tell ourself in the silence are the very foundations of our own success.

 

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Doug Marcaida – Morning Coffee and Making The Best

I started following Doug Marcaida’s page a little while ago (when, through my husband, I discovered the awesomeness that is Forged In Fire – my kind of “reality” tv! 😉 )

What I love about Doug is that he has a sense of overwhelming positivity – he manages to infuse so much of his content with the passion to learn, to grow, to challenge oneself…and to look for what’s good (in our training, in life…everywhere.) Even when having to present flaws in someone’s design on the aforementioned show, he finds a way to frame the criticism so the contestant learns, but doesn’t feel totally horrendous about their work.  I’ve found that approach with coaches to make ALL the difference in Martial Arts (frankly, in school or work just as much.)

I really enjoyed this “Morning Coffee” post today (today is St. Patty’s, March 17th, but I may schedule this for later!  That’s the date if you want check it out, though!)

Life is definitely NOT peaches and cream all the time – it can get rough and tumble, and there are days where you feel like not only losing it, but throwing in the towel altogether. DON’T LOSE HEART.

I’ve learned a little bit about how painful experiences can be stored in the body, how the brain can then tell your physiology that it’s being directly assaulted, and why that “feeling” registers as “this is going to last forever.”  Which, despite the very real visceral reactions, it isn’t.

People say “time heals” – when you are in the throes of the difficulty (whatever that may be – illness, work, relationship etc…) that’s often the last thing you want to hear. 

BUT…to Doug’s point, making an effort to see the best in everything CAN make a marked difference.  What isn’t mentioned here is the science behind what the brain does in response to the change in attitude and perspective – it’s pretty remarkable and, in its own way, real life “magic.”

Challenge yourself to change your attitude about what’s dragging you down – even if the problem is still there, and might be for some time, the “seeing the good” approach will give YOU – your mind AND body – a break from the (again, very real) effects of doldrums city.

LOVED Doug’s post and hope it brings a little positivity to YOUR day too!