“Once everyone understands their value, we stop hustling for worthiness and lean into our gifts.” – Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
American culture emphasizes an “as soon as” mentality. As soon as we lose the last ten pounds, or get the promotion, as soon as we acquire the better house, or the nicer wardrobe, as soon as we earn another degree, or reach a certain income bracket, we will finally allow ourselves to slow down, enjoy life, and rest easy in the knowledge that we have “made it.”
Some of us are wired to live in this way – those of us that are Type A, overachievers, perfectionists – and we respond to the challenges set before us like dares, fighting through to each new goal or conquest, never really enjoying or taking the time to celebrate the small accomplishments along the way. Sometimes we expect these things of ourselves (“I should be able to do this”) without acknowledging that we are doing Hard things, and that Hard things deserve to be recognized as such, and perhaps we would better tolerate Hard things with a hefty dose of self-compassion, patience, and forgiveness.
If we modify our lens to come from a perspective of inherent worth – that is, that we are not worth any more or less based on how productive we are or how much we get done in a day, we are able to more clearly see the areas in which we naturally excel and the things that we actually take pleasure in. These are our areas, and we would do well to spend more time with them, and less time with our hands in everything else that we are only moderately good at and don’t really enjoy.
We do no need to prove to ourselves that we are worth something by constantly forcing ourselves to achieve aribtrary goals that we set to make us feel like we are not quite “there” yet. We were born there. We are already enough.