Feeling inadequate and not up to the task is awesome! Here’s why…
I was chatting with an old friend (Facebook is cool that way…you get to catch up on people you might never otherwise find), and we were catching up on each other’s lives.
Like all of us, some things were going well, some not so much. She was telling me about parts of it where she had tried certain things and they didn’t work out.
Or more accurately, she tried some things and they kinda, sorta worked out. There was a product at the end of it, but it wasn’t what she hoped for when she first started.
So being the guy I am, I asked the question I always ask…
How did it make you feel?
The response I got was perfect…
I actually love that word. Well, no…I like it.
I would have been happier if she had said “dissatisfied” or “disappointed.”
Because those words describe the results of an effort she made, not a character trait she had.
But then again, inadequate is a hell of a lot better than “stupid” or “hopeless” or “a lost cause.”
Let me make a quick trip into my background in education for an example. The SAT test is something that is designed to make students feel inadequate at a certain point. It is a norm referenced test. In other words, you’re supposed to come to a point where you don’t know the answers. It’s supposed to stop you at some point. The ones who do well get stopped later in the process. They answer more questions correctly.
The ones who don’t know as much get stopped earlier. Their scores are worse than the people who know more.
And it’s a rare kid who doesn’t get stopped at all…who gets a perfect score. One in a thousand, or even fewer.
If we wanted more perfect scores, they would make the questions easier. If they wanted to measure whether kids knew it or not, it would be a criterion referenced test, like the standardized tests most U.S. states give kids.
At a certain point we are supposed to hit the limit of what we know how to do. Whether it’s in business, relationships, our health, even our spirituality.
We hit the wall.
And we feel inadequate.
Or yeah…maybe hopeless. At least for a little while.
But if we’re living in a healthy way, we bounce back up.
We realize our inadequacies to the task don’t tell us what our value is.
In fact, they remind us we were put here to grow. To get better.
To dig in, and either try harder or try differently.
The most advanced among us realize we’re part of the Big Dance of Life. We have a partner in the God Force, or Divine Intelligence, or Law of Attraction, or whatever words you’d like to us that tells us we aren’t alone.
And we surrender our struggle to that force, and let it tell us which is the path of least resistance.
Then we take that path, and joyfully work our asses off until we feel adequate.
Then amazing and awesome.
Until we hit the wall of our next inadequacy.
And we start all over again.
Yes, it’s great to feel inadequate.
It’s what keeps us interested, and interesting.
It’s the gift of being human.
What was the last thing that made you feel inadequate?
Did you give into the despair? Or did you embrace the challenge? Or even a little of both?
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