I have been working on me since at least high school. And I’m constantly finding new areas to fine tune. However, I have been approaching this “work” a bit differently, lately.
I used to have a deep belief that being unique was a bad thing. So much of my personal development work was coming from the intention, “I need to fix what’s wrong with me.” I thought if I could be like everybody else, I would be happy. For decades, I worked toward making me less… me, but it never worked.
We can look at our lives like a bowl of fruit, where each piece is a different area. When we have an unhealthy core belief, it’s like having a piece of rotten fruit in our life basket. For me, the rotten piece in my bowl was the belief that something was wrong with me because I was not like everyone else. Over time, that belief began to impact multiple areas of my life, if not all of them.
As much as I was constantly working on me, I was focused on the wrong fruit. I thought the rotten fruit in my bowl was my inability to conform and be like everyone else. So I was tossing my gifts, interests, and passions in the trash in an attempt to be more “normal.” I didn’t realize that the real spoiled fruit was my belief that who I am (multi-talented Marlene) is not who I was supposed to be.
The truth is, we are who we are. We’re not all meant to have the same skills, passions, and interests. Some people are multi-gifted, while others have one. Some are high energy, while others are super chill. Some are brilliant at science, while others are fascinated by art. If everyone was a doctor, whose music would we enjoy? If everyone was a dancer, who would be in the audience? If everyone was an entrepreneur, who’d be the employees?
We all have a purpose (or multiple). And regardless of who told us what and who we are is not enough, WE ARE ENOUGH. We don’t have to compare ourselves to others, or compete with them. We get to enjoy being us and let go of beliefs that make that feel painful. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with us… but our beliefs.
Some of our most deeply held beliefs are just lies that were told to us, and/or misinterpretations we picked up along the way. We get to recognize beliefs that do not serve us, and discard them so they can stop spoiling our lives. Everything from “I’m bad at math,” to “I’m a bad mom,” from “good guys finish last,” to “I’ll never be able to have a life like that.” These are just ideas that we tossed into our basket. We can choose today to toss in the trash.
For most of my life, I believed “I am not an artist.” But I accept that it was just a belief that I picked up from others, and I get to toss that in the trash. If you’ve seen my recent posts, you know that I have tossed that belief. I am embracing myself as an artist, even though it still feels weird to call myself one. Painting is not for other people. It’s for me, too. I enjoy it and I’m going to keep doing it. It’s really that simple.
Maybe you have some beliefs in your life basket that you need to toss…. thoughts about your intelligence, beauty, opportunities, or abilities that are keeping you from living a full life. You can choose at any moment to stop allowing those beliefs to contaminate your life. No matter where they came from, you can decide on a more empowering belief and toss that old one in the trash.