Young(er), hungry and ambitious; I went from goal to goal - both short term and long term ones.
I collected medals and certificates, but never bragged about them. The feeling of achieving them was more than enough.
I was raised with a drive to achieve. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as it's done with honesty, a spirit of fairness, and hard work.
For a long time though, I didn't realize that it had become like a band-aid solution to one of the biggest challenges all of us are susceptible to.
The one thing I was, without a doubt, suffering from, too.
The fear of not being enough.
I'm a planner. I love planning things.
From vacations to how I can achieve things, I plan with multiple colored pens (or pencils), sticky notes, and a planner I am completely dependent on.
From since I was in pre-school, I enjoyed attention from being an achiever.
Put in this amount of hard work, and you get a medal. Do this, and you get glowing words of recommendation for your next year in school.
The older we get, the fewer those words become. Also, the older we get, the more distractions seem to find their way to us, which at times successfully get to us keep our eyes off the goals we've made.
What I didn't realize earlier on was that just like every other person, I had a need for relevance. A need that I had long fueled with achieving titles and winning various competitions.
Along the way to realizing this, I also learned that we have different ways of trying to fill up this gaping hole of needing to have impact, relevance, and make an imprint.
Others try to prove they're bad-ass by breaking rules, and going the 'this is my world and you're just in it' route. Others help and help and help and help others hoping to one day be noticed from how much of themselves they put out there. Others find comfort in being social butterflies; flitting from one group to another a couple of days or nights a week.
The thing is - as long as we are able to stand up for our own rights, respect others, and be blessings to them; I don't find anything wrong in achieving, making goals, having friends, and going out of our way to help others.
The problem begins when we start using our various exploits and activities to cover up the need to feel that we're enough.
Because with or without makeup on, with or without having the latest clothes, with or without being friends with the 'It' crowd, with or without the medal that says you finished first, with or without lots of money, and with or without the ability to speak your mind 24/7; you are enough simply by being yourself: There's no one else in the universe who is exactly like you.
So go out there and shine like the rockstar that you already are.
(Photos from Unsplash)