Almost anywhere we go in this world there is a message being sent to us, from ourselves, from society. The message encourages us to be something different from what we are. The message simply says ”…you are not enough!” It can sound like “You can work harder”, “You can do better”, “Do more”, “Do less”, “Do it another way”. As if what we do and what we are is not adequate.
We are encouraged…to work harder and do better as if we must “be someone” to deserve our existence.
The messages of doing better often comes from media but many times also from the people around us and from ourselves. We reward the fighters, we give them a pat on the shoulder and say, “You work so hard, keep it up, you are the best”. We are encouraged to encourage to work harder and do better as if we must be defined with a superlative and “be someone” to deserve our existence.
I believe it is important to encourage to do good, to do better, to do something different. I also encourage the people around me. What we all must remember though, is that what is our intention with our encouraging words might not be what the receiver of the message understands. We are individuals in different situations in life with different personalities and what encourages me might not encourage you in a positive way. Maybe even the opposite.
Encouraging words with destructing results
For me, encouraging words work very well if the intention is to put wood on an already burning fire. I hear the words, mostly they make me happy and encourages me to do more. But the thing is, most of the time, I am already pushing myself. When I hear words like, you are such a hard worker, you are the best I want to prove that these words are truth. Of course, I want to live up to the image other people have on me if they are raising me to the sky. The words might have an effect on me that was not the intention. They might even be destructive.
…my freediving has become something for show of. Something that has to do with numbers instead of being a pure passion…
When it comes to freediving, for me, these are the moments when my passion becomes a platform for prestige. All of a sudden, my freediving has become something for show of. Something that has to do with numbers instead of being a pure passion born from the pleasure of being embraced by nature. It was not because of numbers I started freediving. It was because of what I felt, being a part of the endless sea.
I am aware of this and how I, as a person, reacts to encouraging, uplifting words and positive feedback. Still, it is sometimes hard to resist that a part of me that wants to show of and live up to the image. Everyday I have dialogues and discussions with my self about this. I remind myself that I am enough even though I do not hold my breath for more than 5 minutes or swim 100 meters without fins.
To be is enough
I guess I am not alone with these kinds of reactions. Even though we are all unique we are often very much alike. We, the society reward those who fight, those who “become someone” in life. Many of us want to be that someone, to be seen, rewarded and praised. Therefor we want to live up to these words and this image. To be the hard working and the best, the deepest, the coolest. I can go on with superlatives but let me stop there. Because to be is enough.
Let encouraging words inspire you but do not let them make you a slave to your own or other people’s expectations.
There is nothing to prove
I have friends who are living lives different from mine. Sometimes I feel that they almost excuse themselves for living the life they live being happy with it, because it is a life not necessarily described with superlatives. I have heard words like: “I also want to be passionate about something to be more interesting”. And those who desperately are looking for their passion to find a meaning with life. Life is not about being someone by working the hardest at the office, diving the deepest on one breath, or doing the most interesting journeys. It is about love.
Life is about loving what you do and be satisfied and happy with it. If that means waking up with your family every morning or diving the deepest doesn’t matter. Let encouraging words inspire you but do not let them make you a slave to your own or other people’s expectations. We just have to be who we are. We have nothing to prove, not for ourselves nor for others. We don’t have to fight to deserve our existence.
Remind yourself about that sometimes. For sure I will remind myself many times more.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others.
Nicole Edensbo, 2020-03-19