Is feeling that you’re not good enough, something you struggle with? For me this feeling traveled through my smoke screens and showed up as self-doubt and self-comparison.
It wasn’t until recent years that I began naming it for what it is – my “not enough stuff.” The magnitude of how deeply ingrained this belief was, came to a head a couple years ago when, after unwinding my life and reaping the benefits of doing less, I was close to launching my website with the focus ‘do less and live more’. Something I thought no one else was talking about.
A few days before I was ready to go public with my new website, an email arrived from a lovely woman I know. She leads a very successful online business and has a huge (hundreds of thousands) following. The email that arrived was about her new venture and this new venture focused on working with woman on how to do less.
To say I was crushed is an understatement. I cried. I felt defeated. I felt worthless. I felt unimportant. I felt small.
When my husband and I married, our honeymoon was a memory making adventure. Part of this adventure included tours. I’m usually not someone who enjoys tours, I kind of like to do, what I want to do, when I want to do it, but my stress level, over-doing, over-worrying and overwhelm was at an all-time high.
Concepts such as letting go, surrendering and going with the flow had yet to enter my consciousness. So, trotting along behind someone who was telling me where to go and what to do was a welcome opportunity to ‘check out’.
At times I mentally check out when I’m in a situation that doesn’t require me to think – such as being a passenger in a car. The downside is if I’m now the driver, heading to the same destination, I won’t remember how to get there and soon I’ll be lost.
In this age of information there are millions of people telling us how not to be lost, how to do life and even telling us what words mean. Look at how Brené Brown has brought new (and valuable) meaning to words such as vulnerable, trust, courage and bravery.
It’s my birth-day!
I remember years ago when I owned my nutrition store, one of my employees turned 55. She joked around that she was now the speed limit. Well, here I am – the speed limit, or as my husband says, “you are double nickels!”
So much has changed since 1963, my birth year. Yes, the average highway speed limit used to be 55. When I began elementary school, girls had to wear dresses. I grew up with a rotary phone, records and lived through my twenties without a mobile phone. I wore bell bottoms and waffle stompers and lived through many disastrous hair frying perms. The word ‘internet’ didn’t enter my consciousness until my late twenties and I just squeezed in under the baby boomer window.
And none of this matters.
It doesn’t matter what year you were born, how old you are, what changes you’ve seen, what experiences you’ve had. The only thing that matters is how you feel – mind, body and soul. That’s it!
Do you ever read something that brings your mind to a halt? That’s what happened when I read this sentence: “People are extremely nice to me now, because I’m no longer a threat.” Polly Kline, 97 (featured in the book ‘Wise Women’ by Joyce Tennison)
I wondered, is this one of the reasons that most people love babies and elderly, because they are not a threat? I had to think hard about this. Do I ever feel threatened by women? If I’m completely truthful, at times, the answer is yes.
But I don’t call it ‘threatened’. I call is self-comparison, or self-doubt. Feelings that are triggered when I perceive I’m not doing enough, or not good enough. So yes, when I meet someone who I deem to be more successful, prettier, smarter, confident – I can feel threatened. Ugh.
Self-care is a word we hear often these days. But it’s mostly associated with what I call outer-world experiences: massages, facials, fitness, soaking– all wonderful and important. Soul-care is how you take care of your inner-world experience: your emotions, how you feel – your heart, your mind, your soul.
Soul-care is not complicated. It can be as simple as a shift in perspective and doesn’t require ‘doing’ anything.
Here’s a great example of both self-care and soul-care: A friend was on vacation with her self-centered boyfriend. She’d had enough! She broke it off with him and was going to fly home. But, she was on a beautiful tropical island and didn’t really want to leave. So instead of wallowing in sadness, she made the choice to treat herself like a queen.
This is what she did…