You know those moments you have on repeat, those situations or people that play on your mind. The kind that happen daily and you push past and move on from only to find yourself back at in a few hours or even minutes… and then one day you stop and ask yourself why?
Its a ridiculously simple and powerful thing to do. Ask why.
Today I did. I was sat on the bus, in a cafe, with a friend and kept wanting to hide the front page of the book I was reading. The hilarious thing is the book is called “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. Ironic I know.
The answer wasn’t long coming once I’d stopped and asked why. I realised that while I have been working through Daring Greatly for over a year now on some level I am embarrassed to be reading it. I am afraid of what people will think. Of being labelled as a millennial or a hippy, mystic, beach bum, free thinker, airy fairy, idealist, escapist, failure, another sheep following the crowd – of being label at all.
I could break each of those labels down as to what they mean to me individually – they all have personal history attached to them that mean they pack a punch both positively and negatively to my sense of worth. However that is not where my why took me.
I know what these labels mean to me and why. I know the ones that wounded in the past that I now wear with pride. The ones I was afraid of now redefined that give me strength. Those lies who’s opposing truths bring me freedom.
Instead when I asked why and the flood of things people could think filled my mind I realised that they all related to a type of societal resistance I feel buzzing around me. Its not OK to not be OK. There is this expectation that you should be sorted, mature, responsible, complete, healthy etc. etc. and if you aren’t you should quietly sort yourself out and then rejoin society in an appropriate manner.
So many of us live in fear of being seen and heard for who we truly are because we will very likely be told its not good enough, that we are not good enough. Somehow we are just supposed to turn up one day and be all OK. Be more than enough and have something of worth to contribute.
We don’t work like that. In fact nothing works like that. Everything goes through a process of development. Business and technology can grow and change on a daily basis but is that allowance extended to each human being daily. How little grace and space we provided one another when we are all on the same journey, whether we acknowledge it or not, of trying to figure out this thing called life one step at a time. How are we to grow to become truer fuller humans if we don’t have an environment that nurtures growth and change? And I mean real growth and change not just blagging it, hoping to get by, crossing your fingers hoping no one will ask the question that shows we are frauds. I mean real honest change. Real honest growth.
Being able to say I am not complete or all sorted. To be able to say I want more and dare to believe that there is plenty more. To ask that question that everyone is thinking but not asking, To be able to try something new. To reject something old. For personal growth and development not just to be a section of the bookshop we are too embarrassed to stand by for too long (or is this just me!?). Oh dear… someone may think I need help or that I have issues.
Well, I need help and I have issues. We all do.
I am going to change, to grow. I am choosing more and more to allow for that in myself and others. To ditch perfectionism and make space for not being completely sorted. To celebrate success that is defined by our true values and where we are at in our individual journeys – not constricted by fear of failure in others eyes.
If it helps think of any process or technological development and apply it to your own life. Say, for example, how many drafts are written and rewritten before a book is published? Or how many android phones were developed before the latest one was launched? How many times was your favourite movie scene shot? How many sketches did that artist do before producing a masterpiece? I could go on… you get the idea.
You are, as a living breathing creature, of far more importance than any one book or film or technological advancement and therefore worthy of as much development time as you need.