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You are enough, just as you are.

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“Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them. If we try to change them it means we don’t really like them.”Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

This wonderful quote says something I think we all know deep down. And yet it has an implication that is profound. One that I’ve struggled with most of my life and that I’d like to reflect on with you today.

The most important person this quote applies to is you – it’s yourself.

We live in a world where we constantly feel we don’t live up to expectations. And the highest bar often isn’t the expectations others set for us. It’s the expectations we set for ourselves.

And so we beat ourselves up, we feel unworthy, we think “I’m not enough.” We constantly strive to improve, to “self-actualise”.

But when we need to change ourselves all it means is we don’t really like ourselves. And if we don’t really like ourselves it’s impossible to love and accept ourselves the way we are.

That is why real love must begin on the inside. You cannot give to others what you don’t yet have. You cannot love others without loving yourself. And if you feel constantly like you’re never enough, you will always feel like others are never enough too. You will constantly look for more, for better.

This belief will manifest itself in thousands of little actions and attitudes, slowly poisoning you and the people around you. Your disappointment in yourself will be reflected in your disappointment with others. Your judgements will make others feel unworthy, not good enough, and before long they may come to believe it. Their own belief reinforces your assumptions and reflects back on you. Until a deep, throbbing frenzy of self-loathing and striving becomes the norm.

Escaping this vortex is simple, but it is not easy. All it takes is for you to acknowledge that you don’t need to change yourself. That you’re only human. That you are enough, just as you are.

Now, before you get anxious at the thought of giving up your journey of self-improvement (I know this feeling, I’m there with you right now) let me tell you one thing: this decision doesn’t mean you can’t change; it doesn’t mean you can’t improve and become a better person.

But it will fundamentally change the whole fabric of that journey.

Because once you accept yourself for who you are; once you love yourself unconditionally, for all of your failings and mistakes. Well, then the reason for changing suddenly shifts.

You could change, or you could not, sure. But shifting your attention from the agony of your own inadequacy will allow you to look up and around you. And when you decide to step forward into self-improvement, it won’t be to salve the wounds of your own self-hatred. It will be because you want to make the lives of the people around you better. Starting with the person right next to you – wherever you are – and growing in ever wider concentric circles.

There is no other way. You cannot trick yourself by re-framing and rationalising your motives. Simply waking up one day and trying to force yourself to believe “I’m doing this for other people” is like gold-plating a turd. It will just be another act to maintain, to others and to yourself.

The only way to get here is through the surprisingly difficult realisation that you are ok. In fact, you’re more than ok, you are awesome.

You are the incredible result of hundreds of millions of years of entropy; the sum of the sacrifices of billions of animals and human beings and moments.

You are enough, whoever you are, just as you are.

You are enough.

Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a thinker and writer who helps people who want more from their lives learn to be more productive, find more balance and live life more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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  1. Aamir Shoukat says:

    Hi, You’re really helpful and i feel blessed to have people like you Arthur! I would like to ask that if i love myself unconditionally and think that i’m enough then i won’t try to change or improve myself. Isn’t it? then the process of evaluation and growth will stop. Please let me know how this book dealt with such thoughts of mine? Other thing i love myself that’s why i try to change myself on other hand if i don’t love myself i will not try to improve then how could i love myself and also don’t try to change?
    Please let me know i’ll be grateful.

    • Arthur says:

      This is a wonderful question, Aamir – thank you for asking! 🤗

      Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up self-improvement. But it does fundamentally change why and how we go about it.

      Self-improvement that’s driven by feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt is usually frantic and self-sabotaging. We’re so desperate to improve that we don’t even really stop to think why we want to improve let alone how or when to best go about it.

      We become like a half-crazed antelope that’s always sprinting randomly all over the place without looking behind or around it because of it constantly thinks a lion is chasing it. It charges through the undergrowth and the herd in a meaningless attempt at self-preservation, oblivious to the damage it’s actually doing to itself or the creatures around it. There’s no gap between stimulus and response. Everything just happens on reflex.

      Self-improvement that comes from a place of love and acceptance, however, is always more patient and thoughtful. It gives us the courage to pause, to analyse the situation fully (no matter the discomfort) and to take thoughtful, deliberate action (if acting is even the right thing to do). Because we’re at peace with our own abilities and status our self-improvement decisions are much more likely to be driven by considerations like the happiness and well-being of those around us – which, it transpires, is the greatest type of self-improvement of all.

      I’m not sure if that’s helped to clarify things (if not, please don’t hesitate to follow up!). I’m still looking for a succinct and powerful way to put this thought into neat little words.

      All the best, A

      • Aamir Shoukat says:

        Sorry for late replying man. Arthur, you are really an ingenious and you made it very clear in the first line written in italic. Now i know its all about why we are doing it if we know then we would not be so desperate to achieve.
        Thanks Arthur i really enjoy your wisdom.

  2. Brad says:

    This reminded me of uncle Alan’s cloud analogy.

    “When you look at the clouds they are not symmetrical. They do not form fours and they do not come along in cubes, but you know at once that they are not a mess. They are wiggly but in a way, orderly, although it is difficult for us to describe that kind of order. Now, take a look at yourselves. You are all wiggly. We are just like clouds, rocks and stars. Look at the way the stars are arranged. Do you criticise the way the stars are arranged?”

    Makasih Arthur. Nice read.

    • Arthur says:

      What a perfect analogy, Brad. I will definitely lean on Uncle Alan’s wisdom when explaining the idea in the future.

      Thank you for sharing.

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