As 2015 came to a close, I started to think about how I wanted to feel and my intentions for the coming year – check out last week’s post for the full wrap on these. But I also found myself thinking more and more about the essence of what I am trying to achieve this year. Not in the sense of external achievements such as finishing a project, painting a room or studying for a qualification, but as an internal achievement, a way of defining myself for the year.
And the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that after many, many years of doing – being there for everyone else, striving for ever increasing external goals (some that didn’t even make me happy) and struggling to make ends meet, etc – that 2016 is the year that I just need to be.
Now this doesn’t mean that I am going to sit on my butt for the year and not do anything at all – quite the contrary! It means that what I do will be what I want to do and what has to be done, but not what I think I ‘should’ do (arghhhh, someone please ban that word from the English language!!!) just because someone else is doing it or to keep up with the neighbour or to look good.
This year is all about:
- family meals at the kitchen table with my kids
- screen-free times for all of us so we talk more
- family decisions on what we do in our leisure time
- bedtime stories with silly voices as standard
- more blogging coz I really, really, really love it
- telling my kids I’m proud of them for who they are
- concentrating on the business I love
- slowing down & being present
- spending time with friends who inspire me
- inspiring others to do the same!
“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t . . , you aren’t.” ~ Dr Wayne Dyer
It concerns me greatly when we instil in ourselves and our children that we are only as good as our latest achievement, last report or recent win. Although those things are worth celebrating, they don’t define who we are. Do you only love your children when they are the best or when they win the race? I’m sure you don’t, but if this is the only time you praise them, they connect praise with achievement and not with being themselves. They worry that if they don’t win or get 100% on the next test that you will love them less and they are not good enough. Check out this great post “Raise a human being not a human doing” by Jim Taylor Ph.D. for more about raising human beings. In it he says:
“Human beings gain satisfaction and validation not only from their efforts and accomplishments, but also from, among other things, being honest, considerate, and responsible.” ~ Jim Taylor Ph.D.
If you have struggled with your own self-esteem and self-worth in the past it may be worth looking at whether you associate achievement (doing) with love. I know I did for a very long time (mostly due to my own insecurities than anything else) and it is only the past couple of years that I became aware of this and realised that I was often striving for the sake of others and not because I really wanted to. I love Lissa Rankin’s post “Stop Striving. You Are Already Enough” on this topic and it is well worth a read if you are still on the striving rollercoaster. She says:
“I’m tired of striving. I’m tired of trying to find validation somewhere outside of myself. I’m exhausted from feeling like I have to spend my whole freakin’ life trying to prove something.” ~Lissa Rankin
So, how about you? Are you focussed on achievement for achievement’s sake? Do you want to detach your self-worth from your efforts? Do you want your successes to feel amazing?
I know that I do and that you can too. Make this the year that you also remember that you are a human being instead of a human doing…
And I’m here if you need any help along the way.