If you’ve lived long enough, you’ll relate to a person’s need for validation. Subconsciously or not, we’re always asking, “I’m I doing okay?” We go about life wondering if we’re getting it right. At each turn, we look out for signs – from loved ones, institutions and other sources – that confirm we’re doing well.
We’re energized by the assurance from what we consider credible sources and frustrated by the lack of affirming words or action.
That said; when should we be affirmed? When do we qualify for the pat on the back?
The Lie and Struggle
Our fast-paced modern culture communicates a clear message: do more, be more, get more. We call it: ‘the grind’, ‘the rat race’, ‘the hustle’ – whatever the term – the idea is to constantly break your own record because your life depends on it.
Get a degree, get a job, get married, get kids, buy a home, get more degrees, get a better job, move to a nicer neighbourhood, climb the corporate ladder, climb higher – and the demands never end. Is it ever enough? When at each peak, you’re told to do more.
I’m for hard work and attaining higher levels, but my concern is the nagging inadequacy that people experience with success – a situation where success becomes the struggle.
Society lies to you that you will be worthy of respect (or be enough) as a human being only when you achieve (and keep achieving) higher goals – and not before. It’s a lie because the goal post is constantly shifting. You achieve a milestone only to have another set before you. It can be exhausting when your value as a person is tied to getting or being more.
This lie creates undue pressure. For many, the pressure mounts daily because they’re convinced that they must first acquire more stuff before self-worth is conferred on them. So they grind away, getting more, hardly content and still feel unworthy.
See Your Worth
Contentment is the belief that you are enough as a human being at each point in life as you work hard at getting better and attaining higher levels.
For instance, I have a bachelor’s degree and currently pursuing my MBA. But before I get my graduate degree, I appreciate who I am now.
I am adequate and secure in my person as I push for better. Before the MBA, my worth is in place. I make the MBA, it doesn’t make me. Right now, I am enough as a person.
Some people achieve goal after goal and remain confused about their adequacy as persons. It’s a tough place to be because you’re blinded to who you are, what you’ve done and what you already have.
Enjoy Where You Are
If no one has told you (or you probably need reminding), I would like to clearly state that: YOU ARE ENOUGH! Yes, YOU. So far, you’ve done well and I appreciate the person that you’ve become in your journey. Right now, you are a person of value. It’s not dependent on how much more you achieve, but the fact that you’re a human being – and that’s enough!
You’re not yet a billionaire, but you’re a millionaire (or not) – for now, that’s enough! You may not be the perfect parent or spouse, but you work hard to improve – that’s enough. You work hard on your job and you’re getting better – that’s enough. Appreciate and enjoy where you are as you plot the next level. Celebrate who you are now and what you’ve attained as you grow. You are enough!