I Am Good Enough (5YTL)

yourgoodenough2I haven’t asked every person I know, but I suspect every one of them would answer “Yes.”  If completely honest, I imagine that every one of us would answer in the affirmative to the question:

Have you ever faced a challenge, opportunity, or obstacle and thought “I’m not good enough?”

I have certainly done that, and I have had it reinforced by other people, even my friends.  I have had people look at me with one eyebrow raised and say “You’re going to [Fill in the blank]?”  I’ve even had people say “Who do you think you are?”

You know what happens to these thoughts?  They get deeply planted into our own minds and hearts.  They get watered and fed by our own fears and insecurities.  They are more carefully nurtured than thoughts of competence or surety or even faith.  We guard these thoughts ferociously and allow them to grow strong and overtake our good thoughts and beliefs, like so many thriving weeds in our proverbial flower beds.

We allow the mistakes of our past to squelch the possibilities in our future.  We look back upon our past failures and fears and behaviors and see those as reflections of who we are today.  We can pinpoint precise moments in our past that tell us we’re not worthy of good things and don’t deserve to make a positive impact in the world.

The fact is that you are good enough.  I am good enough.  Through grace, we are all good enough to *start today*.  I’m now going to throw out an idea that I believe will get you off the couch.  This is an idea I got from Marie Forleo for how to cure the “I’m not good enough” mentality.

Quit focusing on yourself.  You know better than any other living creature all the ways you’ve failed.  You have ready access to that section of the library at the drop of a hat.  What you don’t yet know is the capacity you have to help others.  You don’t know, because you haven’t reached capacity yet!  Aim your light toward other people in the spirit of making a difference for them (instead of shining it on yourself and all your imperfections).

We’re not perfect.  We’re not meant to be perfect.  It is through our imperfection that we are able to relate to one another and draw each other into meaningful relationships.  Together, in relationship with one another, we make each other better people.  If one sliver of me makes one sliver of you better, then we’re moving in the right direction.  When that becomes contagious, we have a pebble-in-the-pond impact on the world.  We are definitely good enough to do that!

Then, when I was nearly finished writing this, I saw THIS pop up from Jon Acuff.  There must be something in the air today!

You are most definitely good enough to do good things.  Please feel free to share your good things (or the good you’ve seen in others) in the comments below! Tomorrow Begins Today.

Why Secrets Are Not Good (5YTL)

No SecretsOkay.  I’ll admit that there are some secrets that drive our business and result in competitive advantages.  Things like “Secret Formulas” and “Secret Recipes” and “Secret Sauce” are a part of our corporate heritage, and they not only protect our intellectual property but create intrigue for our customers.

Those are healthy and beneficial secrets,  Most secrets are not.

Growing up, I remember my mother telling me, “You don’t have to tell everything you know.”  It was following an incident wherein I was sharing a story with my grandparents about an argument I had witnessed between my mother and my biological father.  They had some doozies, man!  Theirs was a heated and very unhappy marriage from the onset.  He was abusive, and she kept that a secret from the rest of our extended family.

That wasn’t all.  After my parents’ divorce, there were scores of secrets that whispered around our family, and it created a culture of secrecy that turned out to be poison.  The absence of honesty permeated nearly every relationship we shared and extended to relationships that we had individually outside our family.  This was not good.

There are lots of different types of families, to include work families and church families, and they can all suffer from the ill effects of secrets.  If coworkers are in pursuit of ulterior motives, it can severely damage morale and productivity.  Secrets can break down trust and make people defensive instead of cohesive.  Secrets within our most intimate relationships create barriers and disallow intimacy.  Teamwork requires openness and safe vulnerability.

The opposite of secrets is honesty and living our truth.  I had a conversation with a really good friend recently about the value in sharing her truth.  She had hurt feelings from someone she cares very much for and hadn’t shared that with them.  Silently suffering was harming her and benefitting no one.  My suggestion was that she share her truth with that person and allow them both to grow from the resulting dialogue.  It’s true that we cannot fix that which we do not know is broken.  Lamenting brokenness without working to repair relationships is futile.

We cannot change what is in the past.  We can only commit ourselves to making different choices moving forward from this precise moment.  If there are secrets that are keeping you from realizing your best potential, it’s time to clear the air.  It’s time to make different choices and speak your truth.  When we live honestly, we live without fear.  We live fully, and we deserve the good things that come from a full life.

Secrets have power, and it’s not the super-hero-secret-identity kind of power.  It’s the shame-inducing, progress-inhibiting, self-destructive kind of power that keeps us from being our best selves.

Let’s put our secrets out to pasture and live honestly.  Tomorrow Begins Today.