Few of us appreciate our greatness.
Somehow we believe we must first develop ourselves fully and then accomplish something that demonstrates without a doubt how extraordinary we are.
In the meantime we beat ourselves up for what we’re not doing and for our shortcomings. But, is it necessary to wait until we’re perfect before we know how great we are? Absolutely not.
So why are we so hard on ourselves? Because we’ve been doing it so long, we’ve lost touch with who we are. The truth is you are extraordinary. Just as you are. Right now. It’s not a question of not being good enough, but rather learning to access what’s already there. More than anything I would like you to know this truth about yourself:
You already have what you need to be the person you want to be.
Besides, I know you have an inkling who you are because you’ve already tapped into this essence when you met a challenge, read a fine book, or helped a child know him or herself. In these enlightened moments you are lifted out of your busy life and sense your wisdom and goodness.
Then the next day comes and this clarity fades. Why is that?
Let me explain with a model designed to help us understand ourselves a bit better.
When each one of us comes into being, our goodness and wisdom are within us, indestructible and pure.
Have you noticed that as we get older, inside we feel the same? That’s because this essence is unchanging, whether we call it our heart, soul, light, or Buddha nature. Think of the image below and the header photo as who you truly are. The sun, forever shining.
So, what happens ~ why do you forget? When clouds of self-doubt arrive, you lose touch with who you are and become afraid. Years of having your failures pointed out by well-meaning parents, teachers, family, and bosses has you doing the same thing to yourself ~ and now you identify with the person you’re afraid you are.
At this point we become covered by a layer of fog and fear ~ Who I’m afraid I am.
For example, recently I admitted how much I procrastinate and how much it limits me ~ and the good I can do with the rest of my life. Every time another article is due, I delay because I’m afraid this time I won’t be able to do it. What should take me half a day takes a week. What a waste of time!
The only thing between where I am and where I could be is fear.
Occasionally you share with a confidante the ‘truth’ about what’s really going on with you, now thinking of this layer of doubt as who you really are. If you use the Best Year Yet® system for individuals or teams, this is where your limiting paradigms live, stopping us in our tracks.
But we must keep this layer out of sight because we can’t be seen walking around with our thumb in our mouth. So we hide our doubt under yet another layer ~ Who I Pretend to Be.
Here are our coping mechanisms, our personality, our ego and so forth ~ our daily persona that gets us though the day.
Here’s why we aren’t all walking around fulfilled and happy instead of focusing on all the negativity and bad news that surrounds us. Our extraordinary being is buried beneath layers of unhappiness, stress, sadness, disappointment, and lies about ourselves we’ve come to believe to be true.
So how do we get back to who we are in a more consistent and inspiring way? How do we find the path to break out as shown in this image?
Make a promise to do something you’ve been meaning to do, something that will make a difference to those around you and to you. The way out is by making a commitment, take it step by step, don’t stop, and don’t give up until you achieve it. To do something this bold you naturally reach back into Who You Are.
Over the years my most meaningful achievements have come from making a Best Year Yet® plan, year after year. The system works because it’s based on ten questions, the answers to which come automatically from the most authentic part of you. The motivation make such an aspirational plan is expressed well by Maya Angelou ~
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Recently a friend sent me this video of India Arie singing her new song, “I Am Light” ~ a perfect description of Who We Are and Who We’re Not. Let this short inspiration lead you to a commitment to break out.
Three ways to create a best year yet plan for your business or your self.
Originally published at medium.com