Each of us seeks the pride of having lived up to our expectations for ourselves.
It’s what allows us to feel strong and human and alive.
But there’s a fine line between ambition and ammunition. There’s a danger in following our dreams so intensely that we forget to enjoy life.
And so, if you realize that your standards are high beyond reach or reason, that the demands you place on yourself qualify as a form of self mutilation, perhaps it’s time to get off your own back and cut yourself some slack.
The challenge, of course, is that the gift of giving ourselves a break feels like an indulgence. Especially when we’ve been brainwashed into measuring personal worthiness solely in terms of productivity and achievement.
But the surprising part is, letting ourselves off the hook doesn’t mean we’re lazy, incompetent and irresponsible. It simply means we’re willing to forgive, something that’s not about whether or not the behavior is right or wrong, but about choosing to let go of the guilt and anger that interferes with our ability to enjoy life.
January, for example, used to be my number one month for stomach cramps and chest pains. With the uncertainty of a new year and the fun of the festive season coming to an end, it made perfect sense.
But there was another piece to my anxiety that I failed to realize.
The pressure I put on myself to become better and stronger and smarter and faster and richer and happier.
After all, this is a new year. The stress is higher, the opportunities are fewer and the window is smaller.
Go, go, go.
And should there be a failure to meet my insanely high standards, that’s a paddling.
Zero forgiveness. Zero ability to bask in the beauty and bounty of the journey. Life was merely a series of obstacles that had to be negotiated in order to get wherever it was that I thought would finally make me happy.
Fortunately, I forgive myself for not forgiving myself.
And I hope you find it in your heart to do the same.
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What interferes with your ability to enjoy life?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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