Self-criticism used to be a part of my everyday existence. I constantly scrutinized and over analyzed every choice and every action I made. For more than three decades, I didn’t just dislike myself—I actively went out of my way to sabotage myself.
What is the secret to success? This question has been asked endlessly throughout history. How did Thomas A. Edison or Andrew Carnegie do it? How did Henry Ford, who came from nothing, build an empire that still stands today?
Life brings with it inevitable challenges, yet today it can seem as if those challenges are being presented to us at an increasing rate. How many of us are familiar with feeling overwhelmed physically or mentally, or have the sense that the changes we want for ourselves, our family and our society appear to be out of reach? Challenging conversations and uncomfortable feelings seem to greet us daily with little time to gather our thoughts before responding from a place that can sadly be driven by anxiety or defensiveness.
One of the most difficult times to attempt trusting in goodness is during, or immediately after, a tragedy when our thoughts and emotions wrestle with the apparent absence of any goodness at all. Might we be able to walk through our challenges with more courage if we had a deep-seated conviction that goodness is available, despite our difficulties? Possibly. But, trusting in the presence of goodness takes practice, as it does any new skill. When done regularly, it can develop into a lifelong habit.