I have an unhealthy cycle in my life. It goes a little something like this:
I attend an event, see something on Pinterest, or hear about something new, and immediately determine that THIS NEW THING must become a part of my life. Sometimes it’s something for my Happy Gal business, other times it’s something I want to do for me, like fitness or self-development, and still other times it’s a grand goal for my family (and yes, they’ve learned to either run the other way or buckle up!).
Whatever it is, I develop massive tunnel vision as I redesign my life to accommodate THIS NEW THING, and turn a blind eye to some of the less visible priorities in my life.
The result? I get THIS NEW THING – with some unwanted strings attached: an exhausted me, a neglected family (or one that wants some serious space from me ☺ ), and a sense that I’m missing the point of what life is really about.
Maybe this is you, or maybe you have a different cycle.
Maybe your cycle is not finishing what you’ve started. Maybe it’s not keeping your word to yourself. Or maybe it’s committing to too many things.
Whatever hamster wheel you frequently find yourself in, I think we all have something in common. We all need to ask ourselves the same questions:
Why do we do that?
Why do we think we need to be more than we are, do more than we do?
Why is it that without THIS NEW THING, we are never enough?
Why do we overwhelm and exhaust ourselves trying to match that picture in our heads of what our lives are supposed to look like?
Why do we start looking around at what other people do, and then allow that nasty little commentator in our head to start sizing us up?
Why do we let that voice dictate the way we spend our precious time and energy – when the results don’t even give us what we truly want?
Too often, I’ll reach the end of a project or even a to-do list and realize that I got seduced by something shiny – some spectacular goal or pursuit that didn’t really deliver what it promised. This morning I caught myself just before I jumped on my typical Runaway Ambition Train, and I realized that this train was heading in the opposite direction of those quiet priorities that slip too easily into the background.
So what stopped me?
I asked myself that important question: Why? Well, I’m not proud of the answer. But I also wasn’t surprised. Why do I need THAT NEW THING? Because without it, I’m afraid I’m not enough.
Anyone else get that same answer? Please tell me I’m not alone!
Would you have a similar answer to that question? That you’re not enough? Let’s just take a minute to examine that idea. Not enough what? Fill in your own blank. Not thin enough, successful enough, fun enough, smart enough, living-life-to-the-fullest enough – we all have some version of this story living inside us. And even though we all know that story isn’t true, at times we are guilty of believing it anyway.
This morning I was lucky because I caught myself in time. And this time I stopped it because I know where this thinking takes me. Yes, I want to do great things. And oh, how I love getting things done! But I want to do them because they bring me joy – not because I need the credentials or the experience on my life’s resume.
It’s a pretty safe bet that any time I start making decisions from that place in my head that tells me I’m not enough, it’s going to be a poor decision. That thought – you aren’t enough – is always the boarding ticket for that runaway train.
Bottom line? We only have so much time in our day, our week, and our lives – so we’d better pick the things that matter most in the end. And the only way we have the luxury of choosing those most important things is if we know that everything will still be ok – even if we don’t do or have or become THAT NEW THING.
And here’s a hint about what matters most…
You are enough.
You were born being enough. Nothing you say or do will ever add to or subtract from who you are. Let’s remember that next time THAT NEW THING causes us to lose perspective. It’s all about being ok with who you are.