It is essential, especially in this social-media driven world we are confronted with incessantly, to know who we are and what make us happiest.
Who Wins? It Depends
In my coach training, Martha Beck told this story of a race between four animals; an otter, a mole, a squirrel and a mouse. We were asked to guess which one would win? The answer is;
it depends on the goal and the terrain. If the goal is underground, then the mole would win. If it’s in a tree, then the squirrel. Underwater, the otter wins. And, if the goal is hidden in tall grass, the mouse would be the sure winner.
If I recall correctly, the metaphor was used to introduce the idea of pursuing employment, education and aligning life goals based on our natural interests and talents and to team up with those whose strengths complement our own. I’m going to apply the metaphor to self-esteem/self-worth.
Beware Compare and Despair
Do you think the otter is feeling bad about himself because he sees the squirrels yucking it up in the tree tops? Does the mouse have low self-esteem because the otters gather on the weekend for a swim meet? Do you think the mole should just force himself to hang out in the daylight until he learns to love it? This, seriously, folks is what we do when we observe others doing ‘their thing’ and feel bad because it’s not ours.
The Real Winner, You Being You
Be happy for the people out there enjoying themselves. Then you go out (or stay in!) and enjoy what you enjoy! Post pics of that! Who cares if anyone else thinks it’s lame! We don’t want to see fake you doing fake things trying to make us think you are living the life. If you’re having to pretend you like who you’re with and what you’re doing you must be experiencing hell on Earth. Sure, if you show your true colours, you might lose friends or have to make some changes, but really!? Doesn’t giving up pretending feel like it would be awesome?!
I want to see who you are, doing what you like and showing what makes you, you! Of course, if you are an otter, and all the otters are hanging out without you, then, yes! figure out a way to become part of the otter club. But, if you know you are a mole, stop trying to not be a mole.
The real winner of the race (life) is the one who can freely and fully expresses his true self.