August 18, 2019

“You are valuable because you exist.  Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.” — Max Lucado, author and pastor

Today’s blog topic came to me from a conversation I had this week with a client who was having a mini-meltdown on our call over her perceived shortcomings when it came to being productive. This is the end of her summer, as she is preparing to resume teaching school next week.

She was beating herself up for watching too much TV and spending too much time on social media recently, when she believed she should have used every available minute of her final free time to build her network marketing business.

For most of the summer, she has had to deal with a series of complex family issues, principally, the unexpected serous illness of her parent. Other family members also needed her support with health and financial issues.  Nevertheless, she felt guilty for not doing and being “more” for the past couple of weeks.

I imagine she expected me to agree with her harsh self-assessment and give her an accountability lecture.  Instead, I surprised her by recommending that she lighten the mental and emotional burden she has placed on herself with a big ol’ dollop of grace and self-love.

Of course, I support playing full out for a Big Goal.  If you really, really want something – especially if it has a drop-dead deadline – you need to be willing to work smart every available minute and use every mindset and Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) tool available to help you succeed.  Playing full out demonstrates your commitment to your Big Goal and causes God/The Universe and your own subconscious mind to conspire together to give you a boost with the “How.”

But there’s a hidden danger if you are always running at breakneck speed from one goal to the next.  While reaching important short-term goals can require a full-out sprint for a limited period, achieving long-term success is more like running a marathon.  You have to pace yourself or you risk physical and emotional burnout, as I believe my client was experiencing.

Most importantly, you must always remember that you are not defined by your achievements.  You are valuable and worthy simply for being the unique and special person you are.

As a Personal Success Coach, my job is to help my clients get whatever they want in life.  The Big Goal they choose to pursue is up to them – greater prosperity, a fitter body, a loving relationship or a successful business.  Nobody, including me, can tell them what their heartfelt goals should be.  Nor should they put undue pressure on themselves to reach those goals at the expense of having life balance, fun and fulfillment.  If they become so driven to succeed that pursuing their Big Goal feels like a burden, I recommend taking a step back to examine their true motivation.

Many people have a strong “Why” for pursuing a goal, especially a financial goal.  One of my clients wants to succeed at her business so her mother can retire from her job.  Several want their spouses to be able to quit their jobs to pursue their dreams or spend more time with their family.  Some are motivated to financially support a cause they care deeply about. Those are all great reasons for consistently doing the daily activities that will get them closer to their goals with a sense of joy and enthusiasm.

But I have seen some people approach their daily tasks with a joyless, teeth-gritted, “this is hard, but I MUST do it” mindset and energy. I believe they are actually driven by the idea that they must prove their value through their achievements.  Their sense of self-worth depends on outer successes and the approval of others.

One of my clients recently shared a journaling she had done to explore her Limiting Belief that “If I give it my all and fail, my life has been a waste.”  This was her Ego’s internal worst case scenario about what might happen if she didn’t reach the level of success in her business that she wanted.  In the course of her self-exploration, she had the Ah-Ha Moment that she doesn’t remember her father saying “I love you” very often when she was growing up.  But she does remember him frequently saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Thus, her father’s pride in her accomplishments became her Ego’s path to “earning” the unconditional love she truly craved. She wrote, “I think this has sort of made me think that if I can’t do something that makes a splash, it’s not worth doing and certainly not worth talking about. So I find myself striving for that over-achiever status.  I feel like anything less is pointless and even something to feel shameful about, so I just don’t talk about it.”

Being human, I am sure each of us has felt at some time that we are not good enough. For some, it’s about their appearance:  “I’m not…young enough, pretty enough, thin enough…” to be worthy of receiving unconditional love and acceptance from those I care about.

For me and others, it’s about our performance: “I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t get an A.  I didn’t win the competition.  I didn’t put on the perfect birthday party for my child.”  Therefore, I suck.

The truth is, your inherent value doesn’t increase or decrease with age, beauty, fitness level, accomplishments, job productivity or salary.

As minister Joel Osteen, puts it, “You are the apple of God’s eye” simply because you exist. If you are alive on planet earth, you are enough.  In fact, you are PRICELESS.  Otherwise, you are claiming that only the pretty, thin, A Students, celebrities and sports stars are worthy of God’s love, their own self-love and the approval of people whose opinion matters. What about the rest of us, then?

As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said, we should not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character.  He didn’t say we should be judged by our achievements either!

So if you long to take a little break from your pursuit of success to just float in the pool from time to time, do what your heart calls you to do.  When you are working, give it your 100% BEST…. And when you occasionally need to relax and recharge, allow yourself to REALLY enjoy and be fully present to it, without guilt or shame.  Schedule adequate time for both work and play and you CAN have it all.

I urge you to make this your daily mantra: I am not my job title or accomplishments.  I am whole, complete and perfect, just as I am. I am the apple of God’s eye and I am ENOUGH.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will be on vacation for the next two weekends while Rick and I relax and recharge ourselves with a little stay-cation.  A Cup of Caroll will return after Labor Day with a brand new post on Sunday, September 8.   I hope YOU enjoy the last sweet moments of summer with your loved ones too!

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

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To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.