There is a really good chance that, at times, you’re too hard on yourself. You say things to yourself that you wouldn’t dream of saying to someone else. Can you imagine turning to your friend or colleague and saying, “You’re such a loser.”
If you’re looking to go easier on yourself, the best place to start is to recognize (and then constantly be aware of) the constant message that you are being given and that message is that if you haven’t achieved a goal yet or don’t possess a certain something (tangible or intangible), you’re simply lagging behind and you best be catching up.
You may want nothing more than to push yourself harder, reach higher, or put more time in, but you don’t need to.
You don’t need more motivation. You don’t need to launch into action to be more inspired. You don’t need to read any more lists, posts, or books about how you’re not doing enough.
As much as I love those heartfelt quotes on social media, there seems to be a growing pressure to get it together and fast. The message we are not hearing nearly enough is the divinity and power of timing. You are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action when you are damn well ready. That’s just how it happens.
What I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the hell we are when we’re there.
You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it. Oh sure, you can think to yourself, “I really should….(insert your endeavour of choice here)”, but that’s not an authentic expression of desire, that’s you feeling obligated. Yes, you’ve got potential, power, and expansiveness coming out of your you-know-what, but sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes the only thing you can do is survive. Sometimes the mojo leaves the building. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.
You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at the crack of dawn every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day with your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the time. For the love of God, give yourself permission to be a human being.
Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.
Lord knows it’s very fun to play the game of life, but have you noticed that you aren’t the one strategically moving the pieces around on the board?
Your experience cannot always be manipulated. Effort is wonderful, but you can’t make something happen. As my mother says, “You can’t push a rope.” If it’s complete drudgery or feels like moving through the mud, something about the timing isn’t right. We can see this truth about life proven many times along the path behind us, and yet, we try to manipulate and control our lives, in the pursuit of “success”. Success gets quotes around it when it comes at all costs.
You don’t get a complete say in how and when everything is going to roll out. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome, but you do get the continual opportunity to be okay with uncertainty and unpredictable nature of life. Despite what you’ve been told by a mad world, you aren’t here to do anything except to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.
As we dismiss synchronicity, ignore our inner voice, and miss the signs that are lovingly pointing the way, we put ourselves fully in charge of getting things done. We often forget that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’re changed. We can stretch ourselves a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we’re not the ones moving the pieces around on the board. Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.
Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different. We believe we have control — and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While taking responsibility for our lives is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. Let’s put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen. Let’s not be so attached to outcomes. Let’s let it be.
I have come to understand through experience that life can dream bigger for us than we can for ourselves so we might as well stop trying to run the show.
You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. Let go of the shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. Stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. Let timing do what it needs to do. See lessons where you see barriers. What’s right now becomes inspiration later.
Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.
Let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that you’re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out? Maybe your motivation isn’t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.