A Good Kind of Effort


Now hold your hand onto the plow IMG_3206-300x225

Work your body till the sun goes down

What’s left of death is more than fear

Let dust be dust and the good lord near”

 Beck  ~ “Emergency Exit”

(click on link above, then press the orange play button at the top to hear the song!)

New foundations give me strong footing to start taking positive action in my life, to start working out who I really am, to put “feet” on my truth and walk it out. I have always worked hard at things; I like to do things well. But now that I have this true foundation of knowing who I really am, effort is taking on a new meaning for me.

I used to hate effort. This was the lie at the root of my hatred of effort: if I have to work or try hard to do something, then that something musn’t be part of the REAL me; therefore, I won’t be being a “genuine” person (because if this desired action was part of the REAL me, then it would just naturally happen without me even thinking about it). This lie was fed by my fear of being judged by others as a fake, as pretending to be better than I really was. It made my attempts to change or grow in certain areas very uncomfortable and twisted; it created a self-made prison that limited how far I would go with my gifts and talents or how much I would pursue my dreams. Mixed in with that was my belief that if I could change enough outward things about myself, then my inside things would get better too. It didn’t work that way.

Doing the work of getting true, strong and deep foundations in place has freed me from these lies. I don’t have to be afraid of not being “genuine.” The more I trust myself, my heart, my good intentions, the more I see how good my heart really is. Rooting myself in this truth does a couple things. First, it frees me to see all parts of myself in the light.  I am less afraid to see both my weaknesses and my strengths. In wholeness I give all the parts of myself permission to exist and to be as they are. Some parts need a bit more attention than others; some parts are ready for action and exercise; some parts are still in the early stages of healing.

I also see the roots, the beginnings, of my true potential more clearly. I understand that any kind of thriving requires a process of growth, which will at times require effort. The effort that I take now to grow and change is really different. It’s more like “tilling the soil” kind of effort, working with the good stuff that’s already there to encourage it to grow and flourish. I see that it will involve making mistakes, tweaking this or that, and trying again. What motivates me is not a ruthless drive to “fix” myself. I am motivated to become all that I truly am because I know it is good and worthwhile. I know there is reward and fulfillment for me in doing this work, and I also know that in exercising the real stuff of me, others will benefit in one way or another.  I believe this is true for every single person.

I hope you find freedom in your foundations and take joy in putting your hand to the plow~ what you have to offer this world is worth the effort!



Categories : Self Esteem



I love this article! This is how I have begun to feel…that I am not out to merely fix myself, but to put the effort in to now become the very best, healthiest version of myself that I possibly can! I used to try very hard, but the old fear of failure, or even simple mistakes would cause me to quit in my efforts. I was also treated like I could never do anything significant, important or valuable in my life….only the people around me accomplished great things! I was born into a family of high achievers….people who made “significant” amounts of money. I was surrounded by large homes, nice cars, beautiful clothes and the “country club” lifestyle. Then as an adult I was somehow rubbing shoulders with some well known people in certain circles of life. Very gifted musical folks….speakers…artists, singers….etc. There I was…completely average and afraid to try anything for fear of being looked down on AGAIN by people who seemed so much my superiors in every way. Being around them was fun, but it also reaffirmed in those days that I had very little in life to offer….compared to “everyone else” . This had nothing to do with who I was with! It all had to do with how I had given up on myself …had decided that I wasn’t worth the effort….every time I tried anything, there was always someone better at it than I was ever going to be! That kind of thinking was a total lie! Now I am free and I can see the value in ME and just being ME…and therefore what I try and put the effort into in MY life is extremely special. I don’t even believe that I am only average now….I truly believe that I am every bit as gifted and talented and worthy as every other person on this earth. I am having a wonderful time every day now making new discoveries about myself and what I CAN do, and I don’t care who cares! I am enjoying being free to be myself thanks to Darlene and this website. I don’t know how many more years I could have taken living like I was ….I felt at the end and about to give up….now i am eager to face each day!


I love your comment Diane! Just in case you didn’t know, I was the author of this article (from long ago:)) I can feel the life, hope and excitement in your words! Just today I made a mistake on a website I’m working on for something I’m really excited about, and instead of seeing it as “sign” that I should just give up, I coached myself through it as simply a learning opportunity that had nothing to do with my value as a person- what a huge difference that made! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your response. ~ Carla

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