25 Jul Facing the Lie: The End of Self-Sabotage
“Oscar Wilde said: ‘Each man kills the thing he loves.’ And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of an ordinary person with guilt. We look around us at those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. I have known a lot of people who, when their personal calling was within their grasp, went on to commit a series of stupid mistakes and never reached their goal–when it was only a step away.” Paulo Coehlo, 2002 introduction to The Alchemist
I see this phenomenon occur in a variety of situations. The dad who, seeing improvement after working with me for months to alleviate his daughter’s anxiety, tells me “she grew out of it.” The teenager who works unbelievably hard to turn her D’s into B’s, crediting easy classes with her success. The woman who has the perfect man interested in her but always finds an excuse to keep him at arms length. The man who wants his wife to makes changes and, when she does, he walks out the door. One difficult part of this phenomenon is, there’s often some truth to our stories and we can be fooled into thinking it is the whole truth. Then not only do we miss our own agency, we also begin to doubt that we deserve it in the first place. In this moment we need people around us to remind us how far we’ve come and where we’re going. We need people who don’t just agree with our stories, but call us out on the carpet and ask us to be our best selves.
Where are you holding back, worried you don’t deserve success or not quite meeting your goals? Take time this week to honestly assess yourself and make the necessary steps to cross the finish line. You are worth it.