How often do you second guess yourself and question if you’re doing enough?
Last week I realised that I still do this much more than I think.
It used to be more evident because the questioning I was doing would come out on the surface and appear as nerves. I would over-prepare for things, and when I wasn’t prepared I would get anxious and worried, which led to me stumbling and being uncertain about what I was doing.
As I started to see my own resilience (through some of the ideas I shared last month), things shifted. I started to notice that even when I made a mess of things, I not only coped but sometimes unexpected things emerged that were often better than I could have planned.
It’s taken me a couple of years of experimenting and giving myself permission to fail, but I’ve started to get more comfortable with showing up as me and allowing myself to get it wrong.
But last week I realised that while that voice has got quieter, it’s still there, whispering away in the background, questioning whether I could be doing more – making more effort, giving more commitment, and pushing myself harder so that I have more impact.
I don’t think this voice has bad intentions towards me – I believe it thinks it’s helping me – pushing me to show up and get the most out of life.
And it’s not surprising I do this either – I’ve been taught from an early age that to achieve and be successful you need to work hard and push yourself: keep on pushing yourself to do more than everyone else you’ll shine through and be the best.
But what if there’s a mistake in what I’ve been taught. What if it wasn’t ever about being “the best” but about being “my best”?
How might this subtle difference in perspective change my approach to life?
- instead of driving myself to do more than anyone else I can ask myself what I need in each moment to perform at my best, including giving myself the time and space to recover and boost my energy.
- instead of judging what I do and comparing progress against others, I can start to notice the unique things I bring to the world.
When I’m at “my best” I see the big picture, and how the things I do contribute and make a difference. I connect with people, notice opportunities and see creative ways of doing things.
When I’m trying to be “the best”, things often feel like a slog. I tend to be focused on achieving one thing at all costs, throwing everything at it until it happens or I reach my limit and burn out in the process.
Being at “my best” means being in the flow and building on the energy of everything happening in the world around me.
Being “the best” often turns into a fight to stand out and to impress or prove myself to others to make things happen.
Being at “my best” is about valuing myself and recognising the impact I’m having.
Being “the best” means constantly comparing myself and looking to others for recognition.
Being at “my best” means trusting I really am enough.
Explore these ideas for yourself and notice any new insights they brings about what’s driving you?
- Do you question yourself and what you do?
- Is this questioning helping you? Or is there a mistaken intention?
- Could there be a different, more supportive way?
- Do you know that you are enough?
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