Why are you here? Is it to get the most toys before you die? Is it to be admired by the world? Is it to love and be loved? Is it to be the best? Is it to feel important, powerful, distinctive … necessary? And before you click off this post and dismiss it as “one of those” hear me out.
What is the reason that “forces beyond your control” deemed it necessary that you be present in the world? The world needed you to be born to that family, in that geographic area and at that place in time. I don’t believe in that consequences “just happen,” as if some high stakes gambler decided to roll the dice and you and I showed up! I believe in cause and effect. You and I are here for a reason.
By the way, what are the odds of your birth, anyway? A trillion to 1? 400 trillion to 1? A billion to 1? Estimates are beyond 12 zeros, people!! Do you know what that looks like? 1,000,000,000,000 to little ole me.
And yet, you and I feel small, at times, don’t we? At times, we feel insignificant, unimportant, underutilized, and fundamentally disrespected. Why? Why do you and I feel that way when the prima facie evidence SCREAMS that we are necessary, we are required to be here now and we have important roles to play in the world.
When I asked this question to a sixth-grade class of bored middle schoolers who were held captive by their teacher, some answered, “The haters want to keep you down.” Some said, “There are so many people that you can’t compete.” Others said, “My mom, dad, sister, brother, friends, teachers, told me so…” Feedback told these students that they didn’t matter.
The consensus was that someone said something or did something that made them feel small, inconsequential and unimportant. The obvious next question was what did they believe to be true? Not their parents, teachers, friends et al, but what did THEY BELIEVE was true about their existence?
I asked, “Are you small, unimportant and insignificant or are you important, necessary and required to be alive during this time?” No longer were the students day dreaming about escape and tolerating a guest speaker. They were present and engaged. What shifted? What made them stop to listen? It was the same feeling that you are experiencing right now.
I share this story, because it not only speaks to a fundamental truth about our self-efficacy, it also addresses what we do when we doubt, regardless of whether you’re a teen or an adult.
When we doubt, when we question, or when we’ve had some disappointments, we tend to look outside ourselves for the answers. And when the answers we find confirm our worst suspicions about ourselves, we not only we feel worse, we believe a lie based on a fundamental misunderstanding.
Do you see it? Do you see the flaw? When we look outside of ourselves for approval, acceptance or for our intrinsic worth, our self- trust is no longer divinely given, our self-trust is subject to feedback from our leaders, peers, the market place or the world. There is a difference between feedback that helps to improve results and feedback that tells you who you are.
The world required you to be here, so how come you are living your life like it doesn’t matter?Christine Jeffrey
No one can tell you who you are and what you are capable of achieving, nor can they confirm or deny your worth. On the face of it, the fact that you are alive in the world is evidence enough that you have an important part to play in it. By all means, listen to the feedback that will improve your results, but when it comes to self-trust, when it comes to self-efficacy, remember you were created, because the world needs you and your unique talents and abilities.
So, I will ask it again, “Why are you really here?” “Why did you make those choices?” “Why are you focused on those things?”
If you come from a belief that you are important, invaluable, required and necessary to play your part in the world, how you experience the world and how you choose fundamentally shifts.
No longer are you mindlessly responding to the next stimulus; no longer are you allowing the “haters” to ruin your day and no longer are you at the mercy of someone else’s agenda. When you know and believe that you are valuable and important, no one can ever make you feel small or insignificant or unimportant again. But more importantly, you come to realize that you don’t need to have all the answers, because you were born with the fundamental ability to handle disappointment, to handle struggle and to figure out what you need to do to be successful.
I wrote this post to serve as a reminder that distractions pass, that feelings change, and that other people’s beliefs or opinions have no place in determining your importance, your worth, or your place in the world – ever.
Now that we’ve reestablished the truth, how will you play your part in this world? How will you bring your unique talents and skills to make your life and the lives of those around you better? What will you focus on?
I am here to help. So leave a comment or ask a question. You’ve got a lot of people rooting for you, including me!
Coach “I’ve got your back”