You Are Indeed Good Enough

Everything is connected and interrelated: How can you not be good enough?

Posted Jul 06, 2016

As we saw earlier, increasing our objectivity includes rethinking the way we think. The Four Principles Of Objectivity provide a way of thinking or line of reasoning to help you re-evaluate and transform old mental models that may be limiting or unproductive.

You may remember that my own lack of objectivity cost me a million dollars. I had never failed before in my life so this rather significant business failure absolutely devastated me. I was suffering from a common but debilitating mental model that “I am not good enough”, so I laid on my couch watching movie marathons (so that I would not think) for a very long time. Principle #4 was a game changer for me.

Principle #4: Everything is Connected and Interrelated

This line of reasoning helped me transform my old model into a new mental model that I am indeed good enough. This principle enabled me to finally get off the couch and back on my feet! Here is my new way of thinking that changed everything:

As human beings, it is clear that we did not choose the world we find ourselves in, nor do we have control over much of it. The earth revolves, the sun generates energy, changes in ocean temperature in one part of the world affect weather patterns in other parts of the world, and so on. It all works together, everything having a purpose and connected to everything else. It is also apparent that living beings are interconnected and interrelated and each is born with its own set-up; its inherent capacity to grow, develop, and reach its fullest potential. For example, each caterpillar has within itself the inherent capacity and everything it needs to morph into a beautiful butterfly.

When I dug a little deeper into our natural world to try to validate for myself the notion that everything has a purpose and is in fact connected and interrelated with everything else, I thought about one of my science lessons in grade school—photosynthesis. Very simply, photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.  Wow, not only do most plants, algae, and certain types of bacteria perform photosynthesis to support their own survival, their inherent capacity and purpose is also key to everyone and everything else’s survival.

Although this is just one example, this was the clincher for me. The key for me was to realize that this same interconnectedness and inherent capacity applied to me—and to all other people. So, I put it all together in my mind. Just like everything else in our natural world, each of us is born with unique gifts, interests and abilities and the potential to fully express them that has a purpose and function that is connected to everything else. This was an “aha” moment for me. Think about it. You did not choose your gender, your race, your parents or their socioeconomic status, your siblings, or where you were born. You also didn’t choose what you love or what you are good at. At some point you realized that you loved chocolate, hated lima beans, were good at sports and public speaking. But you didn’t choose any of it. Rather, I now believe that all of this is your unique set-up, what you came here with in order to fulfill a purpose that is connected to everything and everyone else. I thought to myself, how could I not be good enough if, with my unique combination of gifts and skills, I have a purpose and a function that is connected to everyone and everything else? This definitely got me off the couch. I was beginning to see myself differently. 

Another moment of insight came when I began to realize that even our circumstances, successes and failures, pains and losses is also a part of our unique set-up that shapes us and helps us grow into our fullest potential. In my objectivity classes, many people have shared stories of difficult childhood experiences that they look back on with anger and disappointment. It is important to understand that just as we didn’t choose our race, gender, eye color, or hair color, in most cases we didn’t choose nor could we control our circumstances.  No one chooses to have a mentally ill parent. No one chooses to have a sister with Down syndrome. No one chooses to witness a horrible accident that causes a friend’s death. These unique circumstances and experiences are also a part of your unique set up that also shape who you are that is connected to your purpose which is connected to everything else. As such, it is important not to just think about the negative consequences of these circumstances and the limiting mental models that you may have developed as a result.  It is critical to also think about the skills and unique perspective you may have gained from those experiences that can serve you in fulfilling your purpose.  For example, Sharon, a brilliant and kind woman in her early 30s whose mother was mentally ill, had to learn self-sufficiency and independence at an early age, which served her well in her entrepreneurial venture. Ralph, a very successful engineer in his early 40s whose family was dysfunctional, was forced to assume great responsibility at a young age and became very resourceful, trustworthy, and dependable. Regardless of the circumstances that you had to manage, accepting them as a part of you—and as something to leverage as part of your unique experience, gifts, and potential—is the key to objectivity.

It became clear to me that our power comes from fully leveraging all that we are. We must learn to value and accept ourselves based on our unique combination of core strengths, gifts, circumstances and experiences. Everything we are is unique to us, from our DNA to where we were born, to whom we were born, to what we experience and uniquely shape who we are. I could now see that my unique gifts, skills and even losing a million dollars made me who I am. I resolved that it wasn’t about why I lost a million dollars; it was about how that experience could help me grow and lead me to my life’s purpose.  And it did!

I see clearly now that although gut-wrenching and excruciating at the time, if I hadn’t lost a million dollars, I wouldn’t be the happiest I have ever been: helping people learn to be more objective in order to live happier and more successful lives. For me Principle #4 changed everything. Now, the only thing I have to do every morning is get up and be the best I can be in every moment, leveraging all that I am. My freedom and joy comes from knowing that I am unique with a specific purpose that is connected and interrelated with everything else.

Excerpt from: The Objective Leader:  How to Leverage the Power of Seeing Things AS They Are