Waking up early, 6:30am to be exact, to get in a morning run before sitting down for another day’s work. Probably much like you, I’ve been inspired by the habits of extremely productive people, and have taken on this early morning workout as a tool to help me be my best. The only risk I run, besides the snooze button, is the possibility of working so hard to be my best using the help and tools of others, that I blur the line of actually (and accidentally) trying to be someone I’m not…
At such an early hour as this, we can only know two things for sure: that the sun has again risen, thankfully. And that thusly, we’ve all been offered another chance to humbly work out our purpose. Like everyone else, I have many plans and to-do lists and priorities for each day. All we can know, from the moment we wake up, is that while a game plan for action is great, a commitment to work with the flow, to live out our purpose in moments big and small, planned and surprised, is much more fulfilling and important.
With a glimpse in the mirror before the clock has even struck 8am, skin pale and without a trace of makeup, I fall short. A quick word of criticism: my nose isn’t quite right, I don’t like my freckles, my hair is too flat, and with that I’ve already wasted an opportunity to make a positive impact… on myself. (If you read last week’s article, you know I have no excuse for not being more self-respecting, more encouraging to myself.)
We all know what a deadly game comparison is, but we don’t always recognize our old foe comparison when it presents itself as a faceless critic. It’s when we forget WHY we are WHAT we are, and focus instead on what we are NOT that brings us dissatisfaction: not with the nose that would look quite right, not with freckle-less skin, not with hair that is full and bouncy like a supermodel. This might not look like comparison, but don’t let it fool you. The standard of measure for our worth is still hiding in the criticism, we’re just not admitting it. And that is when comparison kills us from the inside out: with confusion and deception. Comparison is such an unfair opponent, it will play us when we don’t realize we’re in the game.
So how can we fight it? How can I step back into my purpose in this moment of criticism? By combatting comparison with it’s only antidote, confidence. Confidence is not something that magically appears because we get the right shoes or because someone compliments us.
Confidence is: remembering WHY we are WHAT we are. Confidence is remembering why we are alive: because life itself is working through us, because people we loved offered parts of themselves to create us, because simply being and loving and giving is enough. Confidence is also remembering WHAT we are: a being, individual yet infinitely linked to all other beings, with a unique set of passions, talents, and life experiences that create the purpose for which we can use our life. Thus, confidence is remembering WHY we are (because life is working through us for a purpose) WHAT we are (a totally unique, one-of-a-kind individual).
Confidence is living in the knowledge that you are who you are for many, many very important reasons, some so big and incredible we can’t even fathom them. It’s focusing on what you are, not what you are not. It’s busy working with your talents and passions to create something awesome, rather than sitting and complaining about how hard life is for you.
Confidence is embracing exactly who and what and where you are, and using those truths to propel you to where you want to be.
Make no mistake: when we tell ourselves that any aspect of us is not good enough, whether physical or emotional, we are only playing the deadly game of comparison. Even when it seems like just a statement of taste; ‘I don’t like how I look’, it’s still a comparison by it being a standard of worth based upon the WHAT of someone we are not. You are YOU, which is WHY you are not anyone else. To end the game of comparison, a game you are endlessly fixed to lose, a game that is impossible to win, is to play your most powerful card: embracing who you are. Responding to those ego-driven messages of ‘not good enough’ and not worthy’ with a very simple message.
I am not anyone else. I am me. And I’ll live up to the responsibility and privilege of being exactly who I am.
From that starting point, you’ll experience the incredible and unique life opportunities, and ultimately the purpose, of wonderful and beautiful you. And like me, you’ll be living out your purpose in the most unlikely of places, even your own reflection.
Check out these 8 inspiring positive affirmations for confidence
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