Short on time? I’m adding a new feature to my weekly letters:
TL;DR (it’s an internet acronym for ‘too long; didn’t read’). This means if you don’t fancy reading my whole email but are keen to grab the key takeaways you can just scroll directly to the end and read the synopsis.
With that out of the way, let’s get to it.
One of the biggest lessons that has been showing up for me in recent times has been the importance of embracing what is “ugly”, rather than trying to fix it. On Saturday evening I was attending an online call for a group mastermind with one of my mentors, Peter Crone, and he said something profound:
“The final stage of becoming extraordinary is to embrace all the parts of you that aren’t.”
In case you hadn’t already noticed, “blissfully dissatisfied” is my way of being (tongue in cheek!). In all seriousness, growth is one of my most important personal values, and when I am not growing or learning in some way, I can start to feel stagnant (hence why I am happy to indulge myself in personal development on a Saturday evening…). If you’re here in my community, an orientation toward growth may be something you recognise in yourself, too.
Beware, that orientation has a dark side, the aforementioned “fixing” mentality. This is essentially a form of resistance to reality, and resistance almost always causes a whole lot of stress and a lot of suffering.
When I started getting a bit deeper into personal development some years ago, way before I made my switch from the rational and predictable field of corporate finance to the absurd world of expanding human potential, I got rather swept up in this idea that we can simply reprogram our minds. I imagined we could delete the parts of ourselves that we do not like or are not helpful to achieving what we want in life and replace them with more helpful parts.
Boom! Easy, right?!
…well, for me, it wasn’t. And I felt kinda duped.
To some extent it is possible to shift your beliefs about the world and how you interface with it, but it’s a little more nuanced than just taking out one program and putting in another. My believing this faux pas led me to attempt severing “undesirable” parts of my inner self that actually needed love. Yep, you guessed it, that didn’t work out so well.
In terms of my own “ugly” challenges with self-esteem, things only started to shift positively in a big way when I realised that it was okay that I felt like I wasn’t enough. Actually, it’s freaking beautiful.
Acknowledging your humanity in this way and loving the beautiful tender part of you that just wants to be seen as good has the capacity to dissolve the element of this affliction that holds you back, leaving the rest to be reclaimed and integrated, compassionately.
You can feel not enough AND do the thing. You can feel not enough, AND be extraordinary.
Life is messy and confusing and you’re going to keep being tested, so it makes sense that feelings of inadequacy show up. The nature of life is uncertainty. Sometimes things will go smoothly and you’ll taste heaven on earth, and sometimes you’ll be gripping on with white knuckles and you’ll wonder what you possibly did to land yourself in such a shit show.
It’s all beautiful. It really is. And you probably won’t see that when you’re in it. The temptation to discard and resist and fix will inevitably be there.
But know that the tender (and sometimes triggered) parts of you get to be loved u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y.
Maybe reading this you feel a sense of recognition, like it’s something you just needed to be reminded of. It’s a simple concept, but not an easy one. That’s why the work I do exists. That’s why therapy exists. Because somehow our inherent worth, even in its immensity, can be easily forgettable.
Rest assured however, that the more time and energy you invest into your relationship with you, the less forgettable your worth becomes.
When you can navigate your life not just from the perspective of the person having the experience, but also as the witness of your experience, compassion is much more accessible. From there, you can become responsive rather than reactive to what happens.
That’s a more powerful way to live. That’s living with the energy of creation, rather than searching (feel the difference?).
Getting there can be somewhat of a quest. Your job is to start from where you are at. It really is okay to feel not enough from time to time. I just don’t recommend living there permanently!
Next week, Wednesday 19 October 7:30pm CET, I will be running a free 90-minute masterclass just for men where we will explore how internal constructs (such as “I’m not enough”) create stress in our lives, how to spot the early signs of stress in the body and what you can do about addressing them proactively (and compassionately, of course).
Gents, you can find out more and sign up here:
If you know a man who could benefit from joining, please forward this email to them. There won’t be a replay so as to create an honest and open experience of those joining, but if there is enough interest I will run more workshops (including one at an Aussie-friendly time… sorry fam, this is the wee hours for you!). Let me know if you’d be interested but can’t make this one, and which time zone you’re in.
That was a lot, but I have one final point to drive home.
You are extraordinary, and it is time that you stop pretending that you aren’t.
At the same time, you get to embrace your humanity, for it’s the very thing that reinforces the foundation of our connected human experience - that we all must meet our feelings of inadequacy in some way or another.
If you made it this far, thank you for showing up for you. Thank you for doing something for your wellness this Wednesday by reading along with me. I’d be glad to hear how it moved you.
It’s an honour to grow with you.
With all embracing love,
TL;DR - Feeling like you’re not enough makes you deeply human and just like everyone else. Perhaps it's time to let go of trying to fix yourself (reinforcing the lie that you are somehow broken), embrace your humanity, and simply love that tender part of yourself that feels inadequate. Also, if you’re a man, I’m inviting you to a masterclass on stress and getting out of your head: BELOW THE NECK | A masterclass for men who can’t switch off.
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How can I help?
I welcome all men interested in personal growth to join me for the masterclass next week. This makes a great taster for someone just getting started.
Are you inspired to make take the next step in your personal growth quest to create more Peace, Power and Possibility in your life? Schedule a call with me, it's one hour, online, with no strings.
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