Lately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t measure up. There are so many things I should do, or have, or be… because of where I am in my life. I should have my own apartment, I should be thinner than I was last year, I should have a boyfriend, and on and on and on.
Our whole lives, we’re taught that in order to be good enough and to be worthy, we have to fulfill a laundry list of arbitrary expectations. But wait… Good enough for who? Worthy enough for who? Who is making these lists and why is he/she deciding who I have to be in order to be considered a success?
We spend so much time measuring ourselves against our friends, the things we see in the media, and what society believes. So much of our lives are spent living up to what someone else has deemed to be “cool” or “interesting” or “successful.” But half the time when we finally meet these randomly agreed-upon goals, we don’t feel happy or fulfilled. Why is that?
Think about your last self-imposed goal. It could have been as big as running a marathon or as simple as cleaning the bathroom. How did you feel when you completed it? Awesome? Worthy? Successful? Now imagine what it would be like to augment that emotion and base your whole life around feeling that awesome. Imagine what it would be like if that actually worked, and you got to walk around all day knowing that you are exactly as successful and worthy and good enough as you actually are!
The trick to feeling like that is ownership. Is it your standard you’re living up to, or someone else’s? No one told you that you had to repaint your bedroom walls, or go above and beyond at work, or do ten whole push-ups. But you did it, and afterwards you felt great because it was your goal that you were achieving, your standard that you were meeting, and your definition of success that you were measuring yourself against.
If you can redefine success in every aspect of your life, in every situation, and despite every outside source telling you something different, then you will feel successful. You will feel happy. You will feel awesome.
Remember that you are the only person who can decide if you are good enough… not your boyfriend, not your coworkers, and not even the cashier at Panera who gave you a weird look when you asked for an apple AND bread as a side to your salad entree.
Go make a list of who you want to be, the things you want to do, and the things you want to have. Then cross off anything that doesn’t come from inside of yourself. Check it twice. Develop a plan to achieve each of those goals. Then go for it and start feeling awesome, because guess what?