We often think of ourselves, our lives, in terms of lack.
The dreams that weren’t realized.
The paths we didn’t take.
The ones who got away.
We wonder what if or think about what could’ve been different if we were different.
If we were better or smarter. If we were richer or more successful. If we weren’t so sad or heartbroken or hurt. If we had more love or support or self-confidence.
Even on the days when I’m feeling good about myself—when I’m rocking it at work or home or have checked everything off my to-do list or made it through a killer workout—I often find these sneaky little sparks of negativity or doubt creeping in.
I shouldn’t have been so blunt in that work chat. Why can’t I be more mindful of my words?
I shouldn’t have been so snappy with my partner. Why can’t I communicate better?
I shouldn’t have gotten so upset at the dog for misbehaving. Why can’t I be more patient?
I shouldn’t feel so tired every morning. Why can’t I manage my time better?
And the minute I become aware of and give attention to one accusatory question, the more they populate in my mind:
Why can’t my body look the way I want it to?
Why is it so hard to manage my anxiety?
Why do I let little things annoy me so much?
Why don’t I spend more time doing the things that make me happy?
Why did I take that text so personally?
Honestly, it can seem endless. And there are days when I’m so used to this constant stream of not-good-enoughness, that lack seems like my brain’s default setting.
So, when I saw this post on Cleo Wade’s Instagram today, it was the stopgap I needed to interrupt my self-deprecating thoughts:
View this post on Instagram
“Who are you when you aren’t believing something is wrong with you?”
The truth is that I don’t have a solid answer to this question. But I think that’s the point.
When we stop focusing on what we lack, on our faults, on the what ifs, we give ourselves the time and energy to remember what we do have and what we love and admire about ourselves. We give ourselves the opportunity to be grateful for all the tiny wins we’ve experienced throughout our day and the huge victories that have defined our life.
And yes, self-reflection is important, as is working on the aspects of ourselves that we know could use improvement. But we must also remember that we are all basically good, and most days, that alone is good enough.