I’m not a big believer in New Years’ Resolutions, but I do write out goals every year for my business and my personal life. Along with that, I ask the Lord for one word for the year. It’s been interesting how He uses that word in my life all year long. My word for this year is
I bet there are some of you reading this that are overachievers, just like me. We get a bad rap. Overachieving is not a bad thing; overachievers do a lot of great things in the world. But sometimes our drive for excellence can come from a lie we believe about ourselves. It’s about the WHY behind our striving.
What if I told you that I’ve struggled with this my entire life? In the past few years, I thought it was one of those things I had defeated for once and for all. Buried it. Burnt it. Felt victorious over it. In the past few years I’ve grown tremendously in every area of my life and have come awake to who I am and am actually loving myself and my life! So I thought for sure that pesky inadequacy thing was buried. Then something happened a couple months ago that brought the same feelings of inadequacy back. A big wave. It was like that familiar knock at the door. My response to the situation clearly showed me there was more work to be done.
Enough means by definition: To the required degree or extent. Adequately.
Have you ever believed you’re inadequate? Maybe you do right now.
Feelings of inadequacy begin when we’re children. If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve done this. If you’re a human being (I hope you are), chances are it was communicated to you as a child. A kid brings you his coloring page, proud of it. And you say, “But why did you color outside the lines?” Or your child cuts all the freshly bloomed flowers and brings them inside with a big smile to which you respond “My flowers! You destroyed them!” You see, we are born looking for affirmation. And it’s only natural to look to our parents in those early years. But because we are imperfect people, we communicate imperfectly. And sadly enough, many children grow up believing their efforts are not ENOUGH.
Not in the popular crowd. I wasn’t popular enough.
Not on a sports team. I wasn’t good enough.
Not in the dance company. I wasn’t strong enough.
Not the valedictorian of my senior class. I wasn’t smart enough.
No boyfriend. I wasn’t pretty enough.
And then I became a mom. Again I experienced the “not good enough.” You didn’t feed the baby ENOUGH. You’re not attentive ENOUGH. You don’t focus ENOUGH. You don’t play with your kids ENOUGH. Your baby is not doing ENOUGH. Your baby’s not fat ENOUGH.
With the increase in confidence and coming into who I was, I decided to sign up for a half marathon, trained, and ran it. I had run the distance a couple times during training, so I knew I could do it. But race day is always different. When I finished, it wasn’t as fast as I expected. It was a very respectable time for a first timer, but I was comparing myself and looking at what my times had been in training. I remember the feeling afterward. Instead of being proud, I felt disappointed in myself.
Realizing how much I enjoyed the distance running and taking risks, I signed up for a full marathon right away. My goal was “finish” first and foremost, but I had a time goal too. Well, it didn’t go how I’d hoped. I fueled wrong and was nauseous the last 10 miles. It took me 5 hours to finish. I FINISHED, but all I could focus on was the disappointment in how I bonked and finished at the back of the pack. Not good enough. Not fast enough.