For as long as I can remember I have been a driven person. Business is my name and it is also my game. Anytime an endeavor started to become routine or dull, I would immediately add something new and exciting to my plate. The madness never stopped. It felt great to always be accomplishing something and striving toward the next big goal. Once I knew how to do one job, I wanted to move on to the next. If exciting stimulation no longer existed then I became disinterested. Boredom would sink its teeth into my life quickly and without apology.
I have realized that this is a different kind of thrill seeking. It’s an addiction to achievement. The drive, the push, and the climbing are all thrilling due to the risk involved, that risk being a possible failure or success. I would choose to be addicted to accomplishments rather than many other things, but inquiry of the root cause became a forward force in my self-discovery.
As I peeled away layer upon layer of thoughts, emotions, and physical responses, it became clear, painstakingly clear: at the very root of this addiction to constant achievement was a gnawing feeling of not being good enough. The drive, the push, and the climbing were not just a diligent effort, but a constant running. Running from anything and everything, but mainly running from myself. I was running from the fact that I never thought that I was good enough for anyone or anything. I ran from relationships, from jobs, from family, and from my deepest passions.
In order to prove my worth I would strive and struggle to be loveable, which came out as smorgasboard of worthy triumphs. The truth is that I believed that if I kept achieving, I would eventually love myself. I would finally be good enough.
Once I realized that my deepest insecurity was a belief that I wasn’t good enough, I wanted it gone. There wasn’t an immediate release; there was an immediate resistance. Not only did I believe that I wasn’t good enough, but I also believed that if I let go of my conviction that “I am not good enough” I would become lazy, sluggish, broke, fat and unhappy. That belief was my motivation and I had built an empire of justification for not only keeping it around but also utilizing it as frequently as needed. Funny enough, I was miserable living inside of “I am not good enough” to the point of exhaustion, loneliness and sorrow. I feared unhappiness, but I was already unhappy.
My shift was subtle. I was so caught up in the thick of it that I stepped out of my race one foot at a time. To other people it may have looked like quitting, a bad decision, foolish, or more running, but to me it felt right. It felt absolutely necessary. The noise of the intense world I had created around me was so loud that I couldn’t even hear what my heart wanted or what my soul was searching for. Once I removed myself from my chaos, I felt it: relief. I could hear my inner voice louder than ever. My passions clear, my health vibrant, and my soul found. To the outside it may have looked like the puzzle all fell apart, but for me the puzzle had all fallen together.
The voice inside that repeats, “I am not good enough,” is still there, but pops up less frequently. Now I can pause and respond from love, instead always reacting to a situation from the idea that I am not good enough. It goes to show that sometimes we really do need a major shift in our lives to be who we really are. Certain people shift into their true creative purpose after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a near death experience, or losing a loved one. I believe that we are always only moments from any of these possibilities, which makes it invaluable to live the life you love now. That’s living free.
Courtesy of Michelle Ploog The Dare To Be You.
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