Something great has started happening to me.
I’m simultaneously becoming pickier and more trusting in life.
I’ve been purposeful making my way towards both. In my early days, on my way to becoming a certified picky-person, I felt I had to justify my wanting to be picky. I’d grown up believing that people should be as low-maintenance as possible, and not ask for much.
It seemed like a virtue, this idea of wanting little.
Some time during college, I realized that a central part of me no longer believed this when I heard a friend say her becoming rich would clash with her wanting to help others.
My immediate, internal response: “what??????”
I respected her ideas and didn’t talk with her about it, but it left a lasting impact. I realized that a strongly-held belief in my ability to help more with “more” (power, money, etc.) pushed me to search for ways of acquiring more. As well, I now wanted big things for myself, purely for the pleasure of discovery and excitement. I couldn’t settle for scraps from life.
So I charged forth and took note of any limiting beliefs that would convince me to settle for less. They were in no short supply. I found them when I met others who didn’t share the limiting thoughts, and, luckily, there were many in college who didn’t share them.
“Of course I can’t have/be/do that! I’m a woman” “…minority” “…was born poor” “…from South Central” “…and I can’t go back home to live because it’s unsafe and disempowering because I’m a woman/minority/poor/from South Central” “No! I can’t!”
Fun times! No, really. I now see those as fun times with LOTS of mental-stretching. I’m grateful for those experiences now, of being exposed to people without these limiting thoughts. They seemed kind of crazy to me.
In wanting to discover the source of their craziness, I found a whole new way of being. Of not settling. And in wanting to learn how to not settle, I noticed way more when others were settling, having convinced themselves of their unworthiness or of the impossibility of their dreams.
Their reasons for settling started to sound like the real crazy.
Soon, I realized how I was settling in life. I was settling for, “I can either make lots of money or do what I love, I can’t do both” and “I will always be messy and cluttered” and “the relationships I’ve been exposed to are the only types of relationships that are possible.”
I challenged all of them, and the path to pickiness has continued ever since. I wish it for everyone. I wish for every person on this planet to be picky enough to say, “I deserve a loving relationship” and “I deserve a fulfilling career” and “I deserve to have fun in life.”
I wish for every person to believe that what they want is possible, to trust more and more in the process of life. To trust that what they want either exists or can be created (maybe by them!). To trust that their being alive is proof enough that they deserve to be happy. To trust that their being picky benefits everyone – because a happy, picky, powerful person is a force to be reckoned with.
Be picky. Challenge any thought that begins with, “I can’t, because…” Don’t settle for anything less than an inspiring, powerful, happy, fantastic life. A life that anyone can create, one picky choice at a time.
By Amparo: How I Let Go of Body Shame in Japan
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Photo: 45Surf Hero’s Odyssey Mythology via Flickr