The Stunning Beauty Of Embracing Average11:31 AM
The phrase I am average makes many cringe. But what if self acceptance did not work this way and positive daily affirmations included love for what is.
There is an intricate connection between self acceptance, happiness, and success. On VProud there is an adorable video and conversation about a little girl named Jessica giving herself positive daily affirmations. Mother, author, and co-creator of the What You Can When You Can movement, Carla Birnberg, reflects on this topic with a twist that we absolutely love and relate to. What if the affirmation that we could all use to hear in our fast paced, competiton-infused world is to embrace —affirm, if you will— where we are right now without a look, and the stress that comes with that look, toward the next best thing. Take a look at Carla's thoughts about embracing the concept of loving I am average. We fell in love with every single one of them and wonder if you will, too.
—The VProud Team
Embracing I Am Average
By Carla Birnberg for VProud
My daughter and I have been going through old pictures. Everything from great grandparents to mama back in the olden days. Pre-child. Pre-marriage.
She discovered a stack from when I was in college and immediately remarked how different I looked.
She couldn’t come up with words to capture precisely how (I think she was too sweet to point out my current wrinkled, unkempt state), but in the way of all kids she marveled at the very thought that I had had a life long before moving to Guatemala.
She scrutinized photos and asked for stories.
I watched as she began to formulate an image of who I was and what I did before she was in our lives.
As she lingered on a photo from a bodybuilding competition she asked, "Does it make you sad you don’t have muscles like this any more?"
To say I could hear my husband gasp from the other room would be an understatement. I think he wondered if her honesty, to her it’s all just information, would hurt my feelings.
The thing is, as the saying goes, we can lie to others, but we can’t lie to ourselves. I’m honest with me. Not having resistance training as a focal point in my life has been a choice and not an accident. It’s just not a priority right now.
In a world filled with people competing to be the next big thing, right now I’m OK being average.
In a world filled with people vying for the spotlight, right now I’m content in the middle of the pack.
In a world filled with people, trying out for "best," I’m happily "average." Here’s why.
Successful doesn’t mean extraordinary.
Realization of the truth in this statement was an eye-opener for me. Sure, some successful people are quite extraordinary. But others are merely a confluence of being in the right place at the right time with a dash of luck on top.
I believe I’ve touched and helped a number of people in a variety of small ways and I’m OK with that level of OK-ness.
Consistency of effort is OK too. Consistency is not typically lauded as success. In my world, consistency is all the success I need.
Average doesn’t mean that I don’t try or that I’m not happy.
This last idea is a pivotal one for me. It’s the cornerstone of my life and of What You Can When You Can (#wycwyc) concept.
I’ve identified my goals. I’ve named my priorities. I work toward living and achieving both of these each day. All of this together results in a happy me.
And yet I realize that we’re all different. For some, not striving each day to be #1 would be less than living fully.
But for me, happiness is a direct result of not striving for perfection.
My happy emerges when I do what I can each day without becoming all consumed by goal achievement in any one arena.
In the end, I simply explained to my daughter that I didn’t mind that my muscles weren’t “big” any more and I shared with her my musings on being average in a way that a 9 year old could understand.
I’m average. In most realms. And I’m happy about that.
About the author: Carla Birnberg is a mother and writer. She blogs at carlabirnberg.com and her book is titled, What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms. Join Carla's honest conversations on VProud.
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