Improving yourself is a really great goal. If you can quantify your progress and you’re into that? It’s even better, but what actually matters is what’s going on inside of you and that’s hard to quantify.
Emotions are a little bit subjective. Then can change and cascade and they aren’t easy to describe, let alone quantify sometimes. But what we think it’s really about–this whole self-improvement/self-discover thing is about not feeling like poop all the time inside your brain and emotions.
Feeling comfortable with who you are is important. Reconnecting with who you are means that you are so much more free, so much more capable, so much more courageous.
And feeling comfortable with yourself and your weirdness and your moods and the thoughts that filter in and out of your brain is really the thing.
It’s kind of THE big thing.
It’s sort of what we all want. But when we want that comfort, it’s as if any internal suffering we have becomes a failure to the goal of self-improvement and that’s not super helpful. We’re allowed to f-up. We’re allowed to not feel constantly comfortable and not be ashamed or feel unworthy. It’s part of being alive and human, and it’s okay.
But most of us don’t want to feel like poop all the time. That’s definitely okay, too.
What matters is living with your whole heart, living with purpose and living with compassion for yourself and others. We have stories in our lives. We have patterns. And when we’re aware of them and where they come from? That helps us understand that we are okay, that we’re worthy, that we can be the good guy in our own damn story.
Tara Brach talks in her book Radical Acceptance about people feeling unworthy. That feeling of unworthiness tends to lead to feelings of shame and so you start looking for ways to be worthy.
But the thing is that worthy? It’s bullshit.
Brach writes, “Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”
We are who we are. And worthy as a concept and a word makes a couple of assumptions:
- That there’s one way to be worthy and unworthy.
- That the feelings of society or our culture get to dictate that across multiple situations and personality types and scenarios.
- That there is and should be a hierarchy of worth.
That means that we are letting other influences determine our worth. Outside influences. And we are accepting those outside metrics as determining factors about how we feel about ourselves. We write a book and it gets published but if it gets a bad review? We feel unworthy. We write a book and it hits the NYT bestseller list but not #1? We feel unworthy. We get cranky at someone in the grocery store line. We feel unworthy.
And then we try to self-medicate or other illegally medicate or compete or be even more productive or better at marketing or kind or whatever to make that feeling go away.
Growing and enjoying life requires taking chances and you know what? With chance comes a risk and that worry of failure, of unworthiness, and it holds so many of us back.
What Helps Us Be Comfortable In Our Own Skins Then?
With purpose (no matter what purpose) comes that forward motion, that acceptance, that worthiness that we get to feel ourselves, not from some bullshit outside metric.
Actor Chadwick Boseman said,
“Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”
People who feel as if they have a purpose tend to deal with stress better, they tend to be more active, they become braver. And to have that purpose you have to believe in yourself, not the outside metrics of success, not the shame, but in your own journey, in your own movement forward.
Kim Kardashian isn’t any more worthy than your auntie; Bill Gates isn’t any more worthy than Shaun Farrar; Oprah isn’t any more worthy than the lady at the register at your local grocery store. Those metrics of looks and money? They’ve got nothing on heart, on skill, on kindness.
And once we all realize that? We’re all going to feel a lot better, a lot more comfortable, and the worthy that we are? We’re going to embrace it, love ourselves by our own metrics, not by what society tells us.
DOG TIP OF THE POD
Feel good about whatever you do.
LINKS WE TALK ABOUT
Chris Ross’s website:
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!