Thank you to all of my loyal readers for your feedback in response to last week's blog, "The Opposite of More is Enough." I am happy that my words resonated with so many of you who like me feel constant pressure in business and in life to participate in the endless game of seeking more.
This week I want to stay with that powerful word, ENOUGH. I offer it to you in a slightly different context - I AM ENOUGH.
Self-doubt and living in the shadow of comparison to others are behaviors we learn in childhood and are as core to our being as our DNA. Many of us wrestle with knowing who we are and naming the essential things that genuinely matter to us. We search outside of ourselves for clarity and affirmation. We become experts at pretending in order to gain the acceptance of others, and it's exhausting. I AM ENOUGH is the invitation to shift your focus inwardly, and trust in your ability to know yourself and to make the right choices.
"When you can really be who you are and find out where you fit in and function from a place of comfort, then you stop working. You stop wrestling." The Path Made Clear, Oprah Winfrey (2019)
In The Path Made Clear Oprah shares excerpts from her interview with Brian Grazer, co-founder of Imagine Entertainment. Brian talks about being in third grade and earning failing grades, which was a big deal to his mother. And yet, in the face of those D's and F's, his grandmother confirmed his specialness and expressed confidence in his future potential.
"She just had this sustained belief in me and validated me for asking questions and for my curiosity. I used this curiosity to meet new people in subjects that I would have never learned anything about. And by meeting these new people, it's given life to movies and television shows that I've done."
Like Brian, your version of success may look different than others around you. Their measures may hold little relevance to your path to success. When we understand our special gifts and uniqueness, when we give them space to grow and shape our lives, we make space for our fullest selves to emerge. And it is in becoming our whole selves that our most significant contributions are possible.
As leaders, the concept that I AM ENOUGH is both personal and institutional. We have a responsibility to engage with those we lead in ways that make space for them to experience and lay claim to I AM ENOUGH. We must recognize the uniqueness of those around us and avoid the ease of same treatment instead of choosing the impetus of equal treatment. Like Brian's grandmother, we have the opportunity to remind others that they are special and to disregard standard measures of success that are insufficient to embrace the full potential of each individual we lead. We can encourage and honor the differences among us and trust in our leadership to keep those we lead, working together towards common goals.
As espoused in "The Opposite of More is Enough, " I AM ENOUGH is an invitation to live your life free of the terms and conditions that others try to impose. It is an invitation to trust in yourself and pursue your vision and purpose regardless of what others say and choose. It is not belligerence. It is not confrontational. It merely lays claim to your true path without the need to respond to conventional thinking.
In a world filled with siren songs to conform, compare, and chase, it is easy to stay trapped and trap others in a self-limiting loop. I agree with Oprah and her sage guests; it is possible to break out of this loop. When we focus on our gifts, gain clarity about our purpose, and trust in ourselves, those self-imposed limits dissolve. I AM ENOUGH is an invitation to power, to possibility, to a life lived fully.