“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” — Barbara de Angelis
There is a deeper level of love that only some know about.Advertising
We all know the feelings of love, lust, desire, flirtation. We all know what how it feels to want another human being. But do we ponder enough what it means to be in a relationship? To enter a formation of two people together, learning and growing with each other? No bond between two people is like any other. This makes all relationships incredibly unique and powerful. But are we looking at our relationships with true love.
Life coach Garrison Cohen speaks about a theory for relationships using pitted fruit as a metaphor. He refers to the phrase “It’s the pits,” meaning that something is worthless and holds no meaning when talking about the stone inside the delicious exterior. As humans, and as is the same in nature, we are all one — we are drawn in and excited by the sweet, juicy flesh of the fruit, the outer layer. It is delicious and satisfying and we devour it. Yet, when we reach the pit inside, we throw it away. We deem it useless and toss it to the ground. What we do not appreciate is that it actually can be potted back into the earth and will again grow life. It is the source of life, and yet we treat it as if it is useless because it does not give us instant gratification. We do not wait to see what life grows from it.Advertising
Imagine your relationship is like this fruit. We enter the honeymoon phase and devour the sweetness of each other, we satisfy our cravings by enjoying each other’s wonderful exterior — the fresh sweetness we are initially drawn to. But then, perhaps, things don’t go so sweetly. Perhaps the two of you reach a point in a discussion where you don’t agree. Things may not run so smoothly as both of you are afraid of what is happening. Maybe one of you or even both of you run away from the rising tension rather than confronting it. There are valid reasons why people leave relationships, but how often are we culprits of leaving too soon? How often do we leave because we are afraid of the pit, and not because of any other reason?
When we have devoured all the ripe fruit, we find the seed and sometimes we decide to go no further. We do not always take the time with each other to see what else will grow when we nurture the inside of us — the parts of us that are perhaps not so juicy and sweet.Advertising
The pit represents the breakdowns, the flaws as such, that are a real and inevitable part of every human being. The pit is as much a part of the fruit as anything else, and its role is just as important. And if we give time to the breakdowns, to the pits, if we accept them for what they are and embrace them with honesty, we give ourselves the potential to grow. We can look at the darker sides of ourselves, the selfish parts, the scared parts. We all have them. No soul is perfect, and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. But if we look at ourselves as a whole, we might find that we can dig a little deeper, with richer rewards. We can give each other the potential to further our relationship, to understand that we can evolve with nurture and care. We can always find something beautiful in the breakdowns.
This is not to say to sit “down in the dumps,” but it is wise not to resist being “in the pits.” We can appreciate the hard times and just sit with them, knowing it is reality, that it is part of life and part of you. We cannot avoid breakdowns and hardships — they are how we appreciate the good things in life, they are a part of the balance. We could not have summer without winter first. And we cannot have the fruit without the seed.Advertising
In relationships, we have the potential to go on an incredible journey and adventure with another person. If we don’t run away when things get tough, we allow ourselves to learn, to love, and to grow. In this respect we enjoy a far richer life than those who skim the surface, who only eat the good parts and throw away the rest. So consider the pit next time you enjoy your favourite (pitted) fruit. Take a moment to consider the life inside it, and toss it somewhere you know it will grow into beauty.
Featured photo credit: Puuung via facebook.com
Last Updated on December 17, 2018
Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself
Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?
Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.
Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.
Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:
- What if I took a chance on myself?
- Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
- Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
- What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?
So why would you think you’re not good enough?
The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.
I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.
Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.
As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.
If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.
Solution: Slay Your Dragons!
If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.
As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.
Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.
Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.
Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.
2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying
Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.
No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.
Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.
The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.
What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.
If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.
When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.
Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.
Solution: Read About the Failures of Others
It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.
When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.
When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.
Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.
3. Undervalue Yourself
What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.
What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.
There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.
Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:
“College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”
Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth
Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.
Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.
Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.
By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.
Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.
Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.
More Inspiration About Motivation
- How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It
- How to End Negative Self Talk and Reinvent Your Self Image
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Right Now
- 15 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk for Success
- How to Change a Negative Attitude That Is Slowly Destroying Your Life
Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com