Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?
- “My drawings don’t deserve to be seen. After all, there are tons of other people out there who are better drawers and illustrators than me. Their images are the ones people want to see, not mine.”
- “My book doesn’t deserve to be read. After all, there are tons of other books out there that cover topics my book touches on, so why would anyone want to read mine? Why am I even bothering to write this in the first place??”
(If you’re not into drawing or writing, what about these?)
- “My voice doesn’t deserve to be heard. After all, there are tons of other people out there who are smarter and more articulate than me. Their thoughts are the ones people want to hear, not mine.”
- “My work doesn’t have a place in this world. After all, there are tons of other practitioners out there who do similar things to what I do, so why show up and do my thing? What could I possibly have to contribute here?”
If you’re human, you probably have. And if you have, you aren’t alone. There’s a reason why I write so much about what you draw is good enough: we tend to write about what we need to hear. And believe me, I need to hear that what I draw is good enough just about every single day!
Thing is, I recognize this seemingly-benign thought for the deeper, darker one that lurks behind it:
What I draw, what I write, what I DO isn’t good enough, because WHO I AM isn’t good enough.
And this, my friend, is a thought that needs to be called a resounding BULLSHIT.
(Be warned: I’m going to use this word a LOT in this post!)
My own bullshit
We often don’t realize that we are getting in our own way. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out why we aren’t getting the success, recognition, love, [fill in the blank], that we want in life. Then, if we are lucky, we wake up one day and realize that there ARE no external barriers, only internal ones. Don’t get me wrong. . .there are tons of external challenges, but the only thing really stopping you from achieving what you want in life is the six inches of space between your left and right ears.
The only thing that really holds us back is what’s in our own head.
When I first started drawing out ideas, I was hesitant to do so. I HAD to draw out ideas, because my arm was injured to the point of disability and I needed to capture my thinking somehow. No longer able to write with a pen and paper, I turned to the whiteboard in my office. It was a safe place for me to doodle and draw, because it was a WHITEBOARD for goodness sake! If I drew something stupid looking, who cared? I could always erase it.
My disability, and my whiteboard, gave me permission to start drawing out my ideas imperfectly within my own organization. I took this permission and I ran with it.
Then, when I moved on from the nonprofit sector and started drawing out ideas with groups as a business, I really freaked myself out. Or rather, my clients freaked me out, because they LOVED what I was drawing! What the effin’ ****?! I wasn’t an artist! There were tons (TONS!) of other people out there who could draw better than me. . . so why in the world would they want ME on their projects?
And what was I supposed to do when, at the end of every project, people would come up to me and say “Wow! What you drew is so AMAZING! I wish I could do what you do, but I can’t draw!” I mean, they were giving me these amazing compliments and all I could think was “are you insane? You really think this is good??” It took all the self-control I could muster to not reject their compliment out of hand, or channel Mugatu from the film classic, Zoolander:
I really WAS feeding myself crazy pills: crazy pills of thought!
Red pill or blue?
At this point I feel a bit like Morpheus with you. You know. . . Morpheus, from the Matrix series? (I make a lot of movie references. Did I mention that I grew up in a silent movie house?) Morpheus is the one who presents young Neo with a choice: take the blue pill and wake up in your own bed with everything staying exactly the same, or take the red pill and change your world forever.
Now I’m offering you this choice. Stop reading, and stay the same. Continue with the doubts and uncertainties and regrets of your every day life, or keep reading and call a gigantic BULLSHIT on your thoughts.
Get out of jail free
It requires some time and dedication to look inward to see what is really holding us back from being who we are meant to be, and truly drawing forth more of ourselves. Now this might sound a bit scary, and taking a hard look at yourself can be scary, but think about it this way, if you were sitting in a jail and you had all the tools you needed to make a key to set you free…would you spend the time to make that key, or just sit in jail forever?
Consciously taking a look at how you might be creating barriers for yourself can be a powerful tool, it can be the key, and if you invest the time, it can set you free.
For me, I had to realize and accept that I was worthy of everything I wanted. And even more than that, I had to accept that NO ONE BUT MYSELF could make me believe that it was true. Not my other colleagues, not the author I looked up to, not my boyfriend, not my sister, not even Anthony Robbins could make me believe this. Sure, they could TELL me this. . . but I’d always have a tiny part of myself somewhere deep inside call bullshit. Clearly they were wrong because they didn’t really (REALLY) know me. They didn’t know this tiny part of myself that invalidated the worthiness of all the rest of what I did. That six inch jail between my ears, I mean.
Ready for the truly powerful and life-changing part of the process? Want to know how to realize and accept that you are worthy of everything you want?
Here’s the secret:
(But I’m warning you: you may not like it.)
The secret to realizing and accepting that you are worthy — that WHO YOU ARE is good enough — is to stop fighting it and simply allow it be true for you.
See, I told you you wouldn’t like it! But it’s true. Let me explain.
I believe that people are inherently good. By default, that has to include me. After all, I don’t believe that everyone else in the universe is inherently good. . . except for me. That’s silly. Therefore, I am inherently good.
I throw things up against my inherent goodness to try and cover it up. Over the course of my lifetime I have gotten really damn good at creating mental constructs to disguise and obscure the goodness I am at my core: I don’t look like everyone else, therefore I’m different and must suck. I don’t think like everyone else, therefore I’m different and must suck. My home doesn’t smell like everyone else’s, therefore I’m different and must suck. I’m not perfect, therefore I must suck.
Let me say this one again: I am not perfect, therefore I must suck.
What, we’re all supposed to be these perfect beings gliding through life? What does being perfect mean, anyway? Our shit doesn’t stink? We are the epitome of attractiveness? Everything we do we do exactly right the first time out the gate, and every time thereafter? Come on! The only perfect thing about us is our glorious imperfection! This is what makes us US! This is what makes us beautiful and unique and special and someone to treasure.
Perfection is boring. It’s the glorious imperfection we all bring to this world that makes it interesting, miraculous, a place worth living in.
Are we not good enough because we aren’t perfect? No. Nobody’s “perfect”. But moments are. We can live a life of perfect moments by showing up fully and gloriously imperfectly for all we do. By SHOWING UP for our lives exactly as we are in this perfect moment and being present for all it contains:
- Listening to a friend who is in pain.
- Laughing with kids until you think you’re going to pee your pants because the grape flavored punch is actually a magical giggle potion that nobody can resist.
- Feeling the kiss of the sun on your forehead as you walk to your car.
- Sitting under a tree and eating a tangerine.
Who we are in THESE moments, when we can let go of all the shit we conjure up to bury our true selves within, is good enough.
Except that we seem to really love the smell of our own shit, don’t we?
There’s something really delicious to us about all the crap we throw on ourselves. The self-talk, the disparaging thoughts, the insults and inner voices we allow in that tell us that we screwed things up again, we aren’t worthy of our own dreams, what we did wasn’t good enough, who we are isn’t good enough. It’s crap, and I KNOW it’s crap. . . and yet I keep coming back for more.
We are damn good at creating our own suffering. It’s so easy for us to do this. It’s so easy to keep looking outside ourselves for answers, for validation. (Addiction to Facebook likes and comments, anyone?) It’s so easy to look at ourselves and expect more, better, PERFECT. . . every single time.
It’s also easy to let it all go.
Not forever, mind you: remember, there is no static “perfect” state for we humans, there are simply perfect moments.
We can have a perfect moment when we remember that who we are truly IS good enough. . . and that we are obscuring the view of our own worthiness by the thoughts we think.
Knowing that I am good enough is a continual practice of remembering that I really AM good enough.
Because it’s so easy to forget.
- It’s so easy to draw a goofy looking image and condemn my entire worthiness as a human being.
- It’s so easy to look in the mirror and only see the extra pounds and aging body.
- It’s so easy to look at a relationship and get fixated on the things that aren’t working for me.
- It’s so easy to look at my life and think I haven’t done nearly enough with it yet.
Sure, we may want to lose some weight, build a closer relationship, accomplish things with our lives. But the fact that we haven’t doesn’t negate our worth as people on this planet.
We are gloriously imperfect beings, each on our own gloriously imperfect journey.
Simply by being here, we are good enough.
This is the source of true liberation. Not working forever to master a drawing skill, or striving to become the person you think you should or could be: true liberation comes from loving and accepting the gloriously imperfect person you ARE.
While this shift can’t be made for you by anyone else, you don’t have to do it alone. If you find that you need help, need guidance, need support. . . there are plenty of places you can get it. And don’t forget that the Draw Forth Playspace Facebook Group is about having fun, but it is also a place of support; a place where we can help each other draw forth each day. Come join us there! You are always invited.
It’s your choice.
When you really think about it, we are presented with opportunities every day. We are presented with ways to succeed and thrive. We are also presented with challenges and hardships, so it really comes down to a decision we have to make. What decision is that? You have to decide whether you are going to only see those challenges, or are you going to get out of your own way, and let yourself see those opportunities to draw forth more of yourself each day?
And because of the nature of who and what we are, it isn’t a one-and-done type of choice. Just because we chose that red pill today doesn’t mean that we won’t forget again tomorrow. This decision to see the opportunities to draw forth more of yourself, this choice to remember that you ALREADY ARE good enough? It’s one we get to make every day. . . every moment we realize we’ve forgotten again.
I know what my choice is. What’s yours?
I cannot wait to see what you draw forth,
Share this post:
- Posted by Jeannel
- 0 Comments