The Struggle Behind the Struggle
This is the fifth installment of the “Don’t Unsettle For Less” series.
Do you like yourself?
Do you look in the mirror and say things like, “God, you are gooooood, man. Well done.”
Unless you are an egomaniac, you probably haven’t. That’s ok. Me, either. But don’t you wonder what it would be like to have that much confidence?
We’ve been talking about what it means to feel unsettled in our lives. We aren’t entirely lost, but we have a vague notion that we are supposed to be doing something more or doing something better. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings I can think of, not knowing your direction.
For me, staying unsettled was preceded by something much bigger than I knew.
I thought I was struggling to find my purpose, but it turned out that I was struggling to like myself.
When you don’t like yourself, you don’t chase your things because you assume no one else likes you either. Even if they tell you otherwise, you’ll never hear and accept other people’s praise if you don’t love yourself first.
Ironically, we learn insecurity from trying to fit in with and please other people.
In the movie, Runaway Bride, Maggie is someone known for dumping men at the altar. She gets halfway down the aisle and makes a break for it. An investigative reporter, trying to discover the real reason she does this, interviews the former fiancés and asks the curious question, “What kind of eggs does she like?” Their answers were the same. “Easy. Same as me.”
Maggie was so busy trying to fit in and be liked that she had no idea what kind of eggs she enjoyed for herself. That hit home for me. Maggie and I made the same mistake.
My unsettled feeling was never going to go away as long as I didn’t take the time to know and like myself. I needed to figure out what kind of eggs I wanted, metaphorically speaking.
It’s the furthest thing from easy, but it’s more than worth it.
The question then, is how? Let me tell you what worked for me.
First, get in the right mindset. Think of yourself as a caped crusader on a rescue mission to save yourself. You are your hero.
Next, approach the situation as if you are bulletproof. Be brave (and a little badass) about it. Don’t let the negative thoughts in your head derail you.
Now, imagine yourself at five-years-old, stuck in a burning house (of people pleasing.) It's life or death, and the only one who can save her is you. You run into the house and grab her, assuring her that everything is going to be alright. Together, you find your way to safety. You give her a massive hug because that was scary. But it’s over now.
Finally, ask yourself what does that little girl need to know she’s safe, loved, and that everything is going to be okay?
The give it to yourself whether it’s grace, encouragement, a pep talk, a rest, permission to walk away from a toxic relationship, the okay to join a gym or get a massage, or any other thing that all equals valuing yourself first.
When you do that, you’ll learn along the way what kind of eggs you like. The path to your purpose will become apparent, as the unsettled feeling fades into the past.
It’ll take practice, but it can be done.
Be the hero of your story. Save your childhood self and love her the way you wish you would have been loved. That is a beautiful purpose in and of itself.
Now, look in the mirror and tell God, He did good creating you.
Up next, we’ll wrap up this series by putting all these pieces together and answering the final question that is making you feel unsettled, “What if I pick the wrong thing?”
See you next time!