Imagine you are building a fence. You need to get the fence post into the earth. You dig a hole, grab a great big mallet, stick the fence post in the hole and begin pounding on the top of it.
It moves deeper and deeper into the earth until it becomes so tightly lodged you cannot pull it out.
Good start to building your fence.
Now, imagine that fence post is your self-worth. Imagine that every time you make a mistake or mess something up, you berate yourself for it. Again and again.
Think about it. Pounding away at your self-worth, pushing it deeper and deeper into the ground until you are so firmly lodged in the earth, you cannot pull it out, does not make for flourishing human potential.
It makes you stuck in the ground with your treasures and possibilities buried deep.
And here’s the thing. Fence building requires firmly planted fence posts. So, once you finish pounding on the first fence post, you need to start on the next one in order to have two posts to build your fence.
Building your human potential does not need a fence, nor does it respond well to pounding your worth into the ground.
That behaviour does not inspire greatness. And when you keep doing it to yourself, again and again, all you do is build a fence around yourself made of self-doubt, insecurity, limiting-beliefs and condemnation. And fences made of those things don’t leave much room for your imagination, dreams or spirit to fly free!
Here’s a bonus exercise as a follow-up to yesterday’s What’s in your bank account.
Catch yourself pounding yourself into the earth — As you go about your day, have a small note pad on hand and put an ‘x’ on the page every time you catch yourself judging yourself harshly, calling yourself names, self-criticizing yourself or mocking yourself for something you’ve done.
On the same page, put a check-mark for every time you take a moment to congratulate yourself for doing something well, handling a situation in an effective manner or simply feel good about yourself.
At the end of the day, see which mark you have more of — the checks or the x’s.
It can be telling.
Now, imagine those x’s are pounding your self-worth into the ground.
Yup. It’s time to stop beating yourself down and instead, start lifting yourself up by celebrating you!
LIfting yourself up can be as simple as stopping your self-criticism mid-thought and saying to yourself, “Oh, look at me! I’m so human!” (Smiling while you say it helps too!)
There’s no judgement in acknowledging your humanness. There’s only acceptance.
With acceptance comes the acknowledgement that we are all… human.
And we are all … doing our best being perfectly human in all our human imperfections.