All That Matters Is What You Already Have

The Illusion Of Internal Scarcity

“Aw man, your better off going to Jeremy, he’s way more creative.”

This was the response I got from one of my team members yesterday after asking him to join me on a new project.

I was a little miffed, to say the least.

If I thought Jeremy would have been the better choice, I would’ve asked Jeremy. But I didn’t. I asked him. Why? Because I believed that he was creative enough for the task.

Once I took my manager hat off and put out the ego fire, I quickly realized — we’ll call him Dave — that Dave wasn’t trying to be insubordinate or avoid the extra work, he was genuinely stuck in his own head. He really believed that he wasn’t good enough.

Dave isn’t alone in this. Everyone is a little overly conscientious with what they don’t have.

This inner scarcity, which is really an illusion conjured by the ego, keeps people from trying new things, meeting new people, braving life-affirming challenges, stretching their creative and spiritual muscles.

I don’t have a degree in creative writing. 
I don’t make as much as she does. 
My triceps are half the size of that guy's.
My house doesn’t have as much square footage as my neighbors.
I didn’t have the best upbringing.

When we allow this internal dialogue of inadequacy to play over and over and over again, we drain ourselves of creative enoughness.

This is why so many of us settle for mediocrity (mediocrity being the inadequate-feeling person’s version of enough).

We’re cool with a 9–5, medical, dental, vision, and life. Roof over our heads, food in the pantry, and gas in the tank.

But somewhere underneath all of this, there’s a different message being relayed from our creative self.

And if we’re able to scramble it, the message is simple:

The only thing that matters is what you already have.
Your timely sense of humor.
The compassion you have for people in need. 
Your ability to see past the superficial. 
Your spontaneous ingenuity.
Your knack for seeing the beauty in the world around you. 
The way you enter a room and centralize everyone in it with your words.

After looking at it this way for a while, you’ll start to see as you ought to see.

You’ll come in from the edges to center and realize that you have enough, you are enough, and you already have everything you need.

Did you enjoy this piece? Consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter — The Current. Every Sunday I’ll send you sticks and matches via email so you can light the world on fire!

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