How to make real progress

The one thing that unites us as human beings is that we all want to feel good.

Naturally, it means we ask for things we think will make us feel good. Whether it’s the big things like more self-confidence or more surface things like better skin or our ideal body weight, it’s because we think we’ll feel better when we’ve got them.

The jackpot of all ‘asks’, though, is to become the highest version of yourself. We ALL want to be powerful, happy, connected, spiritually wise and emotionally mature. To move through the world with a sense of purpose and belonging, knowing our place and feeling secure.

This is all possible. SO highly possible that I believe it would blow our minds if we could truly see how easy it is.

The kicker? You’re standing in your own way!

The number one thing that holds us back I believe from being your happiest, healthiest self (in all senses of the word), is how scared we are to look at our ‘flaws’.

I know many times in my life I’ve known about a trait of mine that wasn’t serving me, but chose not to look at it. Why? Because I was scared that looking at it is what makes it ‘true’, and if it’s true, I haven’t got this whole thing figured out, and shit, that means I’m an unworthy, undeserving human being etc etc.

Things only started to change when I reframed that narrative. Everyone has traits that they need to work on; that’s the entire reason we’re here. Your low-self esteem doesn’t make you worse or better than the person who has an inflated sense of self. The only difference between any of us is where our flawed behaviour lies. Everyone is special and no one is special.

The lucky ones though, are those of us who can look at our whole selves without judgment and self-flagellation. No one made you Judge Of the World. It’s not our job to decide whether we are better because of this or worse because we do that. It’s our job to guide our selves gently down a path of improvement, always with the same understanding and light-heartedness we would give to a baby learning to walk. Just because the baby falls a hundred times before finally standing up, we never question it will get there in the end, and we don’t call it a ‘bad’ baby or a ‘failed’ baby just because it has to earn the walking through the process.

Creating real growth starts with fearlessly looking at our selves from an almost detached perspective. Taking honest inventory and NEVER being unkind to ourselves about what we might see. Look at what comes easy and what doesn’t. The stuff we’re good at usually is what we’re born being good at, so there’s not a lot of opportunity for change there. But the stuff we’re not so good at is where we can get our hands dirty and uncover some real, juicy growth. That’s where the fruit lies.

In a way, our personal challenges are our custom-made compass showing us where we can really get the things we so desperately want. Give your permission to take a look, because you deserve it.

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