I bought myself a little gift to celebrate my year of writing. After having seven accepted articles for Her View From Home, as well as my first piece published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, I finally felt worthy of this t-shirt. I could have bought it after my very first article, but yet again, here’s an example of how our expectations can drive us to be our own harshest critics.
Seven published articles was a totally arbitrary number. Why not four? Why not ten? Nowhere on the purchase page did it say, “this piece of fabric is reserved for writers who have written a predetermined number of articles.” The product description did not say, “for successful writers with more than two-thousand shares.”
Here was a product available for anyone to purchase, I was the one placing the limits on myself. I was the one saying, “I’m only worthy of this when I achieve this level of success.”
You don’t need a certain measure of success to be worthy of celebrating your accomplishments. If you put in the work, celebrate. You don’t need anyone’s approval to feel good about your journey. You don’t need to compare your achievement to those of your peers to justify your place in this world.
How have you been holding yourself back? What worries have kept you from enjoying your accomplishments? What narratives of success have you bought into?
I may not be good at tempering my insecurities and feelings of inadequacies yet, but acknowledging them is the first step. So, I will wear my new shirt with pride. When people ask what I’m doing now, I will say, without qualification, that I am a writer and an author. I will take pride in this new path I am on, regardless of where it leads.