I tie my self-worth to what I do and whether I succeed. I call this the “Do or do not, there is no try” philosophy.1
But I can spend all day doing without really trying. When it comes to my self-worth, the more important philosophy is simpler:
When I follow the “Do or do not” philosophy, I pin my self-worth to whether I did something or didn’t, however improbable the odds of success. I end up judging myself by things that are out of my control. When the odds aren’t in my favor, I become afraid to even begin.
When I try, I’m pushed to my limit, which isn’t always far enough to succeed.
In other words, I fail.
At so many things.
When I try and fail, I learn. When I learn, I get better.
Doing has never been the destination, but rather, the false means I’ve come up with to achieve a truer goal: to live with myself and love myself.
Trying never purports to be a destination, but it leads me… somewhere. It brings into focus my edges, the uncomfortable demarcations of territory where beyond is what I can be, but am not yet.
As my edges become clear, I can begin to truly know them: winding coastlines formed of insecurity, doubt. I can poke and prod them and find their soft spots. I can accept them and love them as parts of me, as integral as my skills or confidence or doings.
And I can keep pushing.
- Only a Sith deals in absolutes.↩