You are not broken. You are not a toy with missing parts, a fixer-upper house, or a clogged toilet.
As a life coach, people often tell me that they feel like something is wrong with them, that they need to mend their mindset, that they are broken and need to be fixed.
Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that they feel this way. In fact, why wouldn’t they? We are all inundated with messaging throughout our lives telling us all the things that are wrong with us and all the reasons we need to be fixed.
This is especially common at the New Year (“New Year, New You”), but it happens every single day.
We are told our wrinkles are bad, we need to wash away our gray hair, we need to lose weight, have a nicer car, enjoy every minute of parenting, have the job of our dreams, think nothing but happy thoughts….
While everyone receives these messages, they are more relentless and damaging for women, femmes, and thems (anyone “in the margins” of patriarchy).
Who benefits from you feeling broken? Certainly not you or those who love you. Capitalism (a pillar of patriarchy) means that many businesses (cosmetics, clothing, plastic surgeons, coaches and therapists, etc.) benefit from you feeling broken. And that ultimately benefits those at the top of the patriarchy ladder.
Here’s the truth, friend. There is nothing wrong with you if you …
- Don’t want to be a millionaire (or if you do).
- Don’t want to be your own boss (or if you do).
- Are really fucking tired and want to do less.
- Eat what you want because it tastes good.
- Cry. A lot.
- Wanted to be a parent and now hate it sometimes.
- Can’t shut off your brain.
- Are perfectly happy alone (or if you really want a partner).
- …ANYTHING ELSE!
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you. You are inherently amazing, powerful, worthy. Just because you don’t get that message all the time doesn’t make it untrue. It is true. Believe it, receive it, let it wash over you:
“I am inherently worthy.”
In “The Hill We Climb,” poet Amanda Gorman says, “We are not broken, we are unfinished.” She’s referring to America as a whole, but I think it applies just as eloquently to the individual.
You may have things you want to change, add, improve, but that doesn’t mean you’re broken or bad. It simply means you’re unfinished.
In fact, let’s hope you’re never finished (that would be boring!). That’s not the point of life. The point is to continue to grow and evolve.
And you don’t have to believe anyone who tells you otherwise, or who makes you feel otherwise.
Coaching that makes anyone feel like there’s something wrong with them is harmful. Shame should have no place in coaching. It’s not okay, and you don’t have to tolerate it.
Let me leave you with an analogy:
Think of yourself as a big scoop of ice cream. It’s pretty damn tasty all by itself.
It’s possible to put it in a bowl and add some hot fudge, nuts, and whipped cream. Turning it into a sundae may be an improvement on the ice cream, but the ice cream was still fundamentally delicious all by itself.
You are ice cream. You are delicious just as you are. If it feels good to add a few nuts and cherries along the way (ie, buying, learning, achieving, embellishing, etc.), then by all means do it. Just remember that you will always be delicious as you are without any of those extras.
In fact, those extras are even sweeter when you are also appreciating the ice cream that goes with them. After all, a bowl of melted ice cream with cherries and nuts isn’t nearly as tasty.
A few journaling prompts:
- What might shift if stopped seeing myself as broken and needing to be fixed?
- What might change if I stopped expecting someone or something to fix me?
- How does it feel to consider myself unfinished instead of broken?
- What would it look like to compassionately love and accept myself as I am?