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Your not "good enough" I'm afraid

Today, I'm inspired to write this article following a very sudden, random, and deep conversation I had with a gym friend of mine named Theo. If you’re reading this pal, I’m grateful for that encounter and inspiration.

My intention by the end of this article is to make you feel like you’re not good enough.

(…moment of pause for the shock horror reaction to kick in and curiosity to emerge)


The question is…from who’s perspective?


The essence of this article is about the idea of external vs internal validation and the connotations this has on us every moment of every day.


Perhaps at the end of this article, I can inspire both me and you to feel satisfied at the idea of not being good enough.


How?


By bringing into our awareness the impact of living in accordance with the “external” projected definition of “good enough”.


Rather, perhaps by the end of this article, im able to encourage you to start defining your own version of what “good enough” looks / feels / sounds & taste like.


I hope this sounds useful to you already…I know as I type it, it feels good for me.


*DISCLAIMER ALERT* - What we may uncover might trigger a defensive reaction in our own minds as we put beliefs, ideologies, and identity to the test. #sorrynotsorry


Just like a matchstick needs friction to fulfil its purpose (shine its light), we too may need internal friction (via honest self-reflection) to become aware of our own light. (A.Lakhani)



So, let’s begin with a question:


Have you ever watched an award ceremony?


Or better still, can you recall the last time you were publicly awarded a prize / medal / trophy where you found yourself in the limelight in front of your peers?


When I reflect on my own experience of this, something rather strange stands out.


Feel free to disagree as I’m only offering you my opinion here, however a common trend / trait I’m picking up on is how underwhelming this feeling of “winning” is?


Sounds bizarre even as I type it out.


I mean, if you see people’s physiological reaction from winning an award, what I've noticed is most people often try to minimise themselves whether it be via body language, vocals or behaviour and dis-credit their achievements and want to “get off the stage” as quickly as possible.


Again, I know this may not be the case all the time.


However, surely this idea that reaching a goal / winning something is something people were striving for and so expect to see jubilant behaviour on receiving the “trophy”? Where is the euphoric state?


I say this because I know this to be true in my case.


I want to ask you this:


· Have you ever set off on a journey, simply because it was something you saw someone else do and it looked attractive to you?


I have my head nodding profusely to the question above.


Some of the examples I can think of are:


- Wanting to play in a sports team and be the best person in it

- Wanting to drive a certain type of car

- Wanting a certain type of qualification

- Wanting membership to a certain type of club

- Wanting to wear certain types of cloths

-

Honestly, the list is endless!


Again, I’m not saying there is a “wrong” or “right”, I’m simply reflecting on this and asking questions…like:


· How fulfilling was it really when we achieve what we thought we wanted based on what others around us had?



· How quickly did we set our sights on the next prize item?


Probably a deeper question to ask is:


· If I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to achieve other people’s goals in my own life only to still be left feeling discontent, how will I ever know what I really want?


· How do I define what “good looks like” for me?


Here’s the magic one…


· If nobody was watching or judged me or cared, what would I want to achieve or what person would I want to be?


Like me, you may have head this question before in podcasts / books etc. However, for me when I was asked this question by my coach, it left me absolutely stumped. It was like the floor had opened below me and I was freefalling into nothingness, with nothing to anchor to. I felt like I had an identity crisis.


I don’t for one minute feel guilt or shame for not really knowing who I am and what I want, simply because of the following x2 reasons:


1) “Glocalisation” – The world feeling smaller due to social media etc where we have opportunity to easily “idolise” a mass of people who live a perceived “sexy life”. Surely this sparks people’s journeys to go on a unfulfilling venture to acquire “trophies” that once received…are no longer wanted (..as we observed above)


2) Survival Instinct – The pressure to increase the gap between ourselves and the “bread line”. It’s all around us, the cost-of-living crisis triggers thoughts about how we would ever afford food / bills / houses / holidays & fund our kids future etc. Perhaps in this venerable state, the brain is susceptible to being draw into the next “quick fix” intended to provide increased wealth.


How about we put all of this to side for one minute.


How about we now explore…you / us.


Let’s revisit the magic question:


· If nobody was watching or judged me or cared, what would I want to achieve or what person would I want to be?


Here’s another:


· When & where in your life do you feel a sense of calm / contentment / satisfaction which in the moment you felt like it was enough for you to die in that very moment?


I know this sounds a bit extreme, however if you take a closer look and your own experiences in our past…probably the ones that stick out the most do not have external validation or a trophy attached to them?


Am I right?


Perhaps what comes to mind are moments / experiences / sensations which ONLY YOU know deep down and almost can’t put into words.


For me, the answer to this question is things like:

· the feeling of a warm bed when my wife lays next to me

· the smell of my son’s skin

· the feeling of excitement when surrounded by friends or family

· the feeling of responsibility when in front of work colleagues

· the feeling of compassion when faced with other people who are trying to get something off their chest for me to listen to

· the feeling of telling someone from the heart that you appreciate them and everything they are

· the thankfulness for having food / water / shelter / entertainment / access to anything

· the satisfying feeling of being able to put pen to paper and get my deepest and ideas out there (i.e. this article) as an offering to serve others

· the union I feel to the entire universe when I close my eyes and consciously breath, allowing myself to be undefined / unborn and eternal


Believe me there is so much more, however I hope you get a sense of where my compass is going.


For me, if I define my success criteria by the above then I can admit that “I am good enough”.


For me, when I experience the above, I can honestly say I want nothing more in my life and could die a satisfied man.


However, if I replace the above list with items ive listed below (which still have its time & space in my life), I know ill spend an entire life chasing a shadow only to be left not feeling good enough:


· number of followers I have on social media

· the money I earn

· do I have a business?

· how many assets I have

· number of holidays I go on

· type of car I drive

· etc…


As yoga teaches, everything is one. The above lists are not mutually exclusive…please don’t get my message mistaken.


Just like the sun and moon are interdependent upon each other, doesn’t mean they define each other.


If the sun defined itself by how cold, it was…then it would be a terrible moon.




In some ways, the sun in this definition wouldn’t be considered “good enough”


Am I right?


Similarly, if we choose to define the “success” of our lives based on those intangible thoughts / sensations or feelings that only we know of, then surely, we stand a better chance of feeling “good enough”?


You know…that feeling we all crave?


That feeling of acceptance of ourselves before others?


Surely by doing this, we open up the gate to being ourselves, sitting onto the seat of our own thrones and becoming part of society in its truest sense.


Perhaps this is what “normal” really could mean?


The boring road of nothingness?


Maybe the journey to peace is very boring?


Maybe when we are faced with the thing we really want in life, feels massively underwhelming? almost to easy to have?


What would this mean?


The end of the chase?


The end of the game?


The admission that “I’m not good enough” if I live by others definition now that I have my own is actually the STOP BUTTON?



I say push stop!


Admit it…


Your not good enough!


Decide your own version I say


Step into your peace


Peace be the journey


Amit


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