I am already enough.
I read a lot of self help books and I want to talk about how they don't always help! Sometimes I take their word as gospel, and then spend some time living in self-deprecation because I don't seem to be able to live up to the advice the book gives.
One recent example for me is the advice 'you need to strive every day to be better than you were the day before'. As I write it, I like the idea, but here's my rub; it makes me feel like I'm never good enough. I feel like I fail every day at being better than I was yesterday, if I don't do something epic. Actually, I feel like a failure, even for not doing the smaller stuff... if I don't do a workout, or don't fit in even a 5 minute meditation, or I eat some chips... I didn't eat chips yesterday, so I am obviously not a better person today than I was yesterday... You can see how this would start to hurt one's self esteem, right?
Today, it occurred to me that sometimes, we need to already have a good sense of who we are and what we believe, before we can read the books for self improvement. I have decided that it's okay to NOT take every book's advice. Not everything that everyone says is going to be a fit for me. If the advice does not sit right with me, I don't have to use it. I had this struggle as a parent, too. I finally quit reading the parenting magazines because after reading every article, I panicked that I had been parenting all wrong, not realizing at the time that there are many parenting styles all with their own opinions, and that I could pick what resonated with me and throw away the rest.
Back to my first example, it came to me that the statement that resonates more closely to my beliefs is "We are all created in God's image." We are all already enough. we do not need to be 'better than'. I realized that I personally, can do much more with my life if I believe I am already perfect. That confidence drives me. The suggestion that 'you need to strive every day to be better than you were the day before' (for me, the way my brain works - it may not be the same for you), tells me I am not good enough the way I am, which in turn, makes me feel bad and stops me from being my best me, rather than motivating me to greatness.
So, I've made a simple tweak to the advice, a tweak that is going to align much better with my intrinsic beliefs. Rather than improving myself everyday, I am going to SHOW UP every day as my already-perfect-self. If I don’t give every day my all, I am cheating myself and the world of my gifts . When I SHOW UP in my life, I live my best life right now.