I can't stick to things when the only reason I do them is to 'be better'. Be a better blogger and post more often? Exercise daily? Roll on Janathon! Except, I didn't roll with it for long.
|Just sitting around being good enough today.|
I do none of these things just for myself, though: and that is the difference. After thinking long and hard about why I failed at Janathon - and I will point out that the exercise was mostly a daily thing and I've even started running a bit! It's the blogging that didn't work out because I didn't have enough to say... - and the answer is, I did that to 'be better'.
A drive to be better [thinner, fitter, ...] = self-induced guilt.
This drive comes from an assumption: I'm not good enough. Why do I have to be better, in the first place? And, if I commit to something and I become [better, thinner, fitter] then will I be good enough?
And who is the judge of good enough, anyway?
- I'm already good enough for my husband. He is delighted with me.
- I'll never be good enough for God, that's why he sent Jesus and because of him, I am completely acceptable to God. A delight, even.
- My dog thinks I'm the best thing ever, I'm his favourite person.
- Those I work with assure me they think I'm doing a fine job.
So if those who matter in my life all assure me I'm good enough - a delight, even! - then why do I keep trying to self-improve? What matters: that vague sense of not-good-enough or the true, tested, sincere assurances of those who matter to me?
Of course I'm not saying it's a bad idea to try and be the best you can be. I just know that for myself, I have to carefully examine the motives behind any drive to 'self-improve' - because it's giving in to the not-good-enough assumption, and when I fail at the self-improvement effort of the month, I've signed up for self-induced guilt.