Oftentimes the hardest part of the journey is simply believing you’re worthy of the trip.
This short article was inspired by an email we received recently from a new course student:
Dear Marc and Angel,
Life hasn’t been the easiest on me over this past decade. I won’t get into all the details now, but these hard times have left me with many cracks. And although I’ve still managed to be a reasonably successful person, I often struggle desperately with my self-confidence. I just don’t feel good enough most of the time. I feel flawed. I feel like my cracks make me undesirable. It’s all in my head — I know it is! But I really need help shifting my mindset. I need a new outlook. Do you have any insight that might assist me?
A Shy Student
Our reply (an open reply to all who don’t feel “good enough” right now):
Dear Shy Student,
It’s time for a quick story about life…
Once upon a time there was an elderly woman who needed to walk down to the river every morning to fetch water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. She carried two buckets with her, filled them up at the riverbank, and walked back with them to her rural cottage home.
One of the buckets was newer, perfectly sealed, and held its water flawlessly. But the second bucket was older and contained a few thin cracks that would leak water onto the ground as the elderly woman walked. By the time she arrived home, typically about one third of the water in the second bucket had leaked through its cracks.
One day, on the walk down to the river, the cracked bucket — who had always felt like it wasn’t as good as the other bucket – said to the elderly woman, “I want you to know that I’ve been leaking water every morning for the past several years. I’m so sorry for being cracked and making your life more difficult. I understand if you need to replace me with a better bucket.”
The elderly woman smiled. “Do you really think I haven’t known about your cracks this whole time?” she asked. “Look at all the beautiful flowers that grow on the path from my cottage to the river. I planted their seeds, but every morning it’s you who does the watering.”
Feeling good enough in life, in work, in business, and in our relationships has everything to do with how we personally judge the cracks in our own bucket. Because we all have a few cracks!
But are they cracks that wreck us, that taint us, and that ruin our experience and desirability?
Or do our cracks water a trail of flowers we haven’t even stopped to appreciate?
Choose to see the flowers through the cracks in your own bucket — choose to see how it’s exactly those cracks that make you good enough — and your whole universe will shift!
Marc and Angel
Now, it’s your turn…
Yes, it’s your turn to take a deep breath when you need one. Sometimes the pressure coming from peers, family, work, and society in general is enough to make us feel less than “good enough.” If we don’t have the “right” job, relationship, house, and so forth by a certain age or time frame, we assume we’re flawed — cracked. Angel and I hear about this kind of self-defeating mindset from our Getting Back to Happy Course students and blog subscribers on a daily basis, and we aren’t immune either. Feeling good enough takes consistent practice.
It’s time to practice!
But before you go, please leave Angel and me a comment below and let us know what you think of this short story/essay. Your feedback is important to us. 🙂
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.
Photos by: Gabriella Corrado and Richard Walker