We humans do not know how awesome we are.
We are so critical of ourselves. We are the worst. We are all our own total worst enemies. Back in the day of the original humans, "work" was pretty simple. Hunt and cook food, and maintain the integrity of the living situation, all in order to serve the outcome of surviving. A very straightforward outcome and several straightforward ways to achieve it.
These days, the outcome obviously has not changed, but the ways we achieve that outcome are so much more complicated. Think about jobs in the modern centuries. Someone gets up in the morning to answer phone calls for eight hours to survive. Someone deals with fecal fluids and trash in the sewers for ten hours a day to survive. Someone even runs into burning buildings to survive, as ironic as that sounds.
Because of the fact that money is now the means by which we survive because it buys us food and resources that promote our health and safety, we no longer have to worry about mastering the singular trade of hunting a sabertooth tiger in order to ensure survival to the next day.
As a result, we focus on the money. There is a similar desperation to earning money as there would be to hunt food in the past, but money is ubiquitous now. Money is rarely even tangible anymore because no one carries cash, so it is this thing that we seek that we now do not even see. And it is what motivates us.
When we see our job as a means to that end of receiving money, we become robots that lose sight of why we chose that job in the first place. Worse yet, we lose sight of how our personal skills got us that job and why we are good at it.
This is where the problem arises.
Even people who love their job and possess their dream job do not often stop to think about what makes them so good at that job because they are focused on doing the job.
This is a pandemic problem because the lack of awareness of our unique awesomeness is what leads us into insecurity and self-deprecation. When we become insecure about our skills, we start comparing ourselves to others. When we compare ourselves to others, we become even more insecure about our skills. See what is happening?
Pretty quickly you feel so badly about yourself that you begrudgingly come into work with the belief "I don't know why I even show up to this job" which turns into the self-story that "I hate this job so much" - as if it is the job's fault - but you never leave it or make a change.
You do not make any kind of change because - SURPRISE - you are unconfident about making a change due to the fact that you are so insecure about capabilities.
INSECURITY IN ACTION
The individuals I have worked with in my mental health career have been wrought with insecurity. Insecurity prolongs a lot of mental illness because of what I just mentioned - that the individuals believe that they are incapable of change and that they have to remain in their distress.
Sound like anyone you know with their work?
My clients come to me now because they feel that distress and want so badly to change but they do not know how. They have spent a long time feeling insecure - either in a job they do not like, in a relationship that is not healthy, or about ideas they do not think they can make real - and that has become their norm.
But they are in pain. They have lost sight of their ambition, their skills, and their values (the triad about which I have written before) and they feel trapped in a vortex of confusion about their purpose in life. It is my job to help them remember - or learn for the first time - just how uniquely awesome and powerful they are.
CHANGE IT FOR YOURSELF
I want this for you as well. Start here.
- When you were a kid, what were you good at? What did you enjoy doing?
- Consider the work you are in right now: why did you choose that job?
- Better yet, why haven't you been fired? -- what skills do you bring to the work that accomplish the daily tasks?
- When you leave work for the day, how do you feel?
- What do you say to yourself about your work that day?
- What is the motivator for you to be in the relationship: love, security, convenience, companionship?
- Why hasn't your significant other dumped you? -- what do you offer in the relationship that keeps it alive?
- What does your significant other say about you that makes you swell with pride and warm fuzzies?
- Whether you have started a business or not, how did you come up with your business idea?
- More importantly, why did that idea excite you in the first place?
- What skill(s) do you bring to that idea or business?