About This Episode:
In this episode of “#WalkWithMe” I respond to the question, “Why are we so hard on ourselves?” and offer some thoughts on how we can shift the script from trying to meet the expectations of who we think we’re “supposed to be,” to appreciating who we know we’re “meant to “ be.
I know so many people who feel like what they do—no matter what it is, or how much it is—just isn’t enough. They put so much energy, effort or time into something, but still feel like it’s not cutting it or it’s letting people down. And I think a lot of us are harder on ourselves than ever before and that self-doubt is at an all-time high, manifesting in things like lack of confidence, anxiety and depression.
What shifts can we make to stop being so hard on ourselves?
I think the root of the answer lies in ‘Expectation’: the perceived standard/s created by somebody else on who we’re supposed to be or what we’re supposed to do. Therein lies the problem with our feeling that no matter what we do as business professionals, parents, etc. we still feel inadequate. If you watched my TED Talk, I call this expectation the “supposed to” because it feels like we’ve all been taught growing up who we’re supposed to be. There’s a long list of “supposed to’s” we’ve been given throughout our life and if you add them all up, that’s a really large expectation.
Check out my TED Talk to find out my theories on where these expectations come from and why they’re still around today. It really comes down to three layers: 1) we’re fighting outdated systems of standards based on a time that no longer exists, 2) we tend to teach what we know or do what was done to us, and 3) we live in a digital age where we spend a lot of time on social media scrolling people’s “highlight reels” and being reinforced with the illusion that everybody else has it much better than us—and that by comparison, we’re not enough.
So what’s the solution? We need to shift the script from expectation to appreciation. Instead of chasing what others think we’re supposed to be or do, let’s flip the lens on real genuine gratitude for what we do have. Some people are praying to have the things that you already have or to be at a level that you’re currently at. You can’t spend your life in the rear-view mirror; you need to spend your life looking out the windshield.
We need to appreciate the moment we’re in right now—and to extract value from it. There’s a popular quote that says that the moment we’re in right now could be the best moment of our life if we stop trying to wait for it to be over. It means that sometimes we’re so anxious to get to the next thing that we’re “supposed to” chase, it robs us of the rewards of appreciating the moment we’re in.
Finally, let’s appreciate who we are. If you’re too busy minimizing yourself, you not only deprive yourself of the best you can be, but you deprive the rest of us of the amazing impact you can make.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?