Since we were children, we were asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For many the response was “a teacher!”, “or firefighter!”, or as a child in Wasfia Nazreen’s video on how she climbed the seven summits on seven continents endearingly says “chocolate!” (10:04). From the time we were children, we were programmed to think about what we do for work. Now as adults in this doing-obsessed society, pretty much all of us have adopted the perspective that we are only valuable to the degree of how successful, productive, or perfect we are.
We’ll I’m here to tell you that we got directions from someone who didn’t know their way, or better said, someone who was looking at a broken GPS system.
The truth is that we are valuable because… We are. We don’t need to DO anything to be valuable. We were just born this way. Even when a diamond is covered in dust, a diamond is still intrinsically brilliant. Similarly, we are intrinsically brilliant. Maybe we have some dust polishing our shine - some fear covering our purpose, some doubt covering our self-trust, some insecurity clouding our clarity. Still, we are intrinsically valuable, and this value has nothing to do with what we choose to do for work.
Still, it’s really hard to unlearn the belief that we need to be perfect in order to feel loved and accepted as we are.
So we struggle for perfection in life, in work, and in simple relationships too, painfully holding up the mask of perfection - the smile when we really feel sad, the “yes” when we really want to say “no,” the all-nighter when we really want to go to sleep, the going to work in the morning when we really want to quit and go disappear into the woods for 6 months.
Why do we do this? What is this force that drives us to believe that we need to be someone else than who we are? To do more than we are already doing? To force ourselves to work jobs we hate? Take classes we aren’t interested in? To smile when we don’t feel like smiling? I believe, at the core, this is a combination of fear and lack of trust. Fear of not being enough (or more directly a fear of not being accepted), and a lack of trust that if we follow our truth, that we will somehow fail.
What if we could take that 6 month break in the woods? Or delay college for a few years? Or quit the job we hate and choose a job we like even if it means making less money? What if we don’t have to make less money doing what we love? What if we could make more abundance doing what we loved? What if it didn't even matter what we did, but what mattered most was HOW we lived our lives…. How we bagged groceries at the grocery store, how we spoke to our co-workers today, how we said “good morning” to our partner in the morning, how we started and ended the day. What if, as that child sweetly shouted in Nazreen’s video, we could just be “chocolate”? Meaning, what if we just focused on being ourselves?
What if the question we ask our children and our friends’ children, is “HOW do you want to be when you grow up?” Maybe then we could give children the space to focus on how they wanted to approach their life rather than what they wanted to do. We might hear answers like I want to be “fearless!”, “loved!,” “inspiring!”, or “enough!” And we could tell them, yes you already are, and you can continue to be, and it has nothing to do with what you choose to do with your life, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
So I am asking you now, HOW do you want to be - right now? Maybe that requires evaluating how are you currently being now. Are you feeling drained by “have to” energy? Exhausted from self-induced pressure? Paralyzed by the fear of not doing good enough, and also the fear of actually giving your best? If you are less than satisfied with how you are living your life now, now ask yourself, “How do you I to live RIGHT NOW?” Do you want to feel free? Loved? Valued? Respected? Understood?
You are the only one who can create your life experience. No one else will create it for you.
And as you strive to be how you want to be, know that you do not need to be perfect. Striving for perfection is a losing battle because part of being human means we are imperfect. Mistakes are guaranteed. Instead we can choose to strive for excellence, and striving for excellence in the best way, focused on HOW we want to live our lives rather than what we want to do, and from that place of true self-connection, we can create enough freedom, inspiration, and self-trust to actually do things that fulfill us in the deepest ways.
How long are you willing to wait to be the person you’ve always wanted to be?
It doesn't take the perfect job to be who you want to be. You can start right where you are, from wherever you're at, doing whatever you're doing. It just takes some clarity, courage, and just 1% more curiosity than you feel scared.
With great warmth,
xoxo Brielle Elise