I shared a post last week that really got me thinking. I’ve spent my life thinking that if I couldn’t do things really well that I shouldn’t be doing them. I think many of us have been raised in an environment of thinking we have to achieve a certain status at something in order to find value in it.
It’s the race to see who is the best and how we can be better than someone else.
I found myself in the constant cycle of comparison and not doing things because I thought I wasn’t good at them. I have tried countless things just once because I decided after that one time that I was not good at it. I didn’t give myself the chance to enjoy things and get better at them because I was so busy telling myself that it was a waste of time; I would never be good at it. Not to mention all the things that I wouldn’t dare try because I was afraid of failure.
I went to a painting party a while back with friends. The idea was to get together, laugh, drink some wine, eat some snacks, and have fun. Sounds great, right? I was really excited about it until we started painting. I realized it wasn’t nearly as easy as they said it would be. I guess I was thinking my painting would be really beautiful. Instead, my winter landscape picture looked more like blobs or an unknown creature than a snowy wonderland. I could blame it on the wine, but that wasn’t it. My first thought was to hide it and not let anyone see it. But how could I keep this masterpiece to myself?
When I was in my twenties, thirties, and even early forties, I would have been so embarrassed about my painting that I would have hidden it. The truth is, I’ve always been that way, since my earliest memories. My whole experience would have been ruined because I was ashamed of my lack of talent to paint. Even though I had very little experience painting, I thought I should be good at it. Being good at it was my measure of success, instead of having a good time and laughing being my ‘why’.
It took me until now to realize that I can do things just because I enjoy them.
What made me think I should be able to paint like someone who has painted for years? The laughs over my painting brought much joy and freedom from thinking I had to be good at painting to have success.
When we change the world changes.
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