Almost sounds like double-talk doesn’t it? What she was pointing out was that I have a whole lot of beliefs about who I am not that obscure seeing myself clearly. The consequences run the gambit from arrogance, to false humility, to giving away my talents to prove I have value.
Part of these phenomena is that I feel that who I am isn’t enough. You know, not smart enough, talented enough, rich enough, connected enough, handsome enough. What I’m actually putting my attention on is who I am not. It leads to behavior I call the “just one more thing”.
Say that I feel I am not quite talented enough to do the work that I love. I believe that if I acquire this one more skill, I will fill the missing hole and then be fully qualified. Similarly, I could find myself feeling that I’m not a great husband, and this might lead my wife to want to check out (not what she ever thinks). The “just one more thing” behavior encourages me to engage in praise-worthy behavior for her to see what a great husband I am.
I know that the feeling of not being enough is something that most of us experience. We look around and compare ourselves to those we feel are better than us. This comparison leads to great suffering and an incorrect view of who we are. I unknowingly establish criteria of who I should be. These criteria become my standard view of the world as I consider my opinion of others and myself.
Extend this misunderstanding to the business world. I can easily see others as rivals because they posses some abilities I wish I had. Through my lens of self-deception, I never see the true picture. I make decisions from this distorted perspective and, more times than not, choose incorrectly.
The simple truth is that each of us has abilities and inner gifts that exceed anything we believe about ourselves. Not remembering or seeing this clearly limits what is possible and leads to relationships that are not fulfilling, work that is unsatisfying and a life that is far less than what it could be.
Today, I walk outside, into the sunny afternoon not worrying about the potential of frost that will nip the new buds. I walk outside simply appreciating the amazing day today is. I also remember the amazing person who is experiencing this day and remember there is never a need for “just one more thing”.