Enough Is Enough
Abundance Vs. Scarcity
The topic came about during a conversation with a good friend. It had been a long time since we had caught up. We talked about school, work, family and business - whatever was on our minds. And after ever talk, I always found some value from his opinions and insights. This chat was no exception. I was talking about my work and how business has been slowly picking up. I described my concerns and fears.
He questioned why I do what I do: Why am I a Branding and Graphic Designer? Why am I freelancing? Why am I an entrepreneur? Why did I go into business? It was not like I had not explained my reasons and story to him before. But he was trying to dig deeper. I was sharing with him that despite my efforts this past year, I still had a long way to go. I expected to struggle. But he even questioned why that was: Why do I have to struggle? What was causing my struggles and?
He asked: Why do you have to develop and improve? Is that not just a part of life? would be my response. If it is an inevitability, it would make sense to become something better, right? I was not really understanding. He asked: What is your reason to grow and change? Because I want something better. I am not where I want to be. What is not enough now? Is it the lack of work? Is it the lack of experience? No, I think it is me.
I never thought business would teach me so much about myself. My friend could unravel that my underlying fears of failure and financial ruin was what was motivating me. My fuel to running my business was to make money. There is nothing wrong in with making money. In fact, I believe, it is a good thing. But what was wrong was that I was measuring my success only in terms of my finances (or lack thereof). And as an entrepreneur, even as an individual, that was an unfair and unrealistic comparison.
If we only look at money as our measurement of success, we set up ourselves for failure. If I am making good money for my work, only then I am a good Branding and Graphic Designer. If I have companies coming to me for services and projects, only than are my designs and work valuable. If I can run a successful business, only than I am a successful person. My friend stated: Why do we condition our worth? Why do we fuel our fears to dictate how we feel and value ourselves? When we can make money, accumulate fame or popularity are we then enough? If not, are we then worthless?
Again, we agreed that money is not the problem. It is when we condition ourselves under money, fame, or popularity that we limit ourselves and what our real value in our skills, talents, stories and as people truly are. Perhaps money is not the primary source of success, rather a by-product of a successful person or business. When asked if I would rather do something other than branding and design for my profession, there would not be anything. I love my work and if I am not recognized for it with money right now, does not mean I am not good enough.
I always understood that starting a business takes time and constant effort. But my prior source and reasons as to why I desire to improve and develop as a designer were not strong enough to defend me from my doubts. My source was conditioning myself only in terms of financial success or ruin. I was running on fear, doubts and scarcity. I was always focused on what I did not have that I was blinding myself on what I did have:
I have a great family that supports and loves me. A personal group of friends that care and are also equally motivated in their passions. I am a part of a collaborative and professional community that is kind, giving and inspirational. I have learned that if you are not working for yourself, you are working for someone else. Being an entrepreneur is more responsibility as well as freedom. I love designing. I am passionate about branding. When I really look at it, I am where I am suppose to be.
Speaking from last week’s blog post, this is already a great environment to grow and learn. The focus to develop and improve is to come as a response to an abundance of gifts and joys in our lives by offering our skills, talents, services and passion to other and bring in more good to our world.
You cannot give what you do not have. And when you constantly look to what you are lacking, you will continue to have this mindset of scarcity. It will control you, like it did me. It is crazy how these conditions come from everywhere. From our family, friends, ourselves, the media, society. When we focus on these utilitarian conditions, we lose out on genuine care and love for others and ourselves.
My source is the love from my family, friends and God. This source may differ for everyone. But for me, deep and genuine love and grace in my life continues to inspire and motivate me. Changing my perception from scarcity to abundance is a life-changing perspective. I think it is so easy to look at what we do not have and to be feel disappointed or unsatisfied.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to improve and change your circumstances. Yet is becomes difficult to see our value when we condition ourselves to money, riches and fame. You are loved. You are enough. Respond to the personal gifts in your life by giving your skills and talents for other and this world. ■