I love online quizzes. It’s not as much as a problem as it used to be when that was a new thing, but I still occasionally slip up. Before you know it, boom, it’s two days later.
But like, how else would I know what my 90s teen movie quote would be? Or what kind of pizza I am? In fact, here. You’re welcome.
My sisters are the same kind of addicted. About 90% of our ongoing sister group text is quiz sharing and discussing results. No shame.
But sometimes, we also try to actually send things that go a little below the surface.
Case in point: a link my sister Shannon sent me this morning.
The link sucked me right in with its title. Having spent the last couple of years learning all about online marketing, I know the tricks, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune to them. So when I saw “The Answer To This One Question Reveals What Kind Of Person You Really Are,” I was flat hooked. Add to that the fact that it was from one of my favorite sites, mindbodygreen, and there was no way I wasn’t going to Answer This One Question.
So you know how, like, you basically know who you are as a person, much as that’s a bummer sometimes? I always like to say my biggest strength is that I know my own weaknesses. So I didn’t feel like I was going to be handed any mind-blowing surprises by Answering This One Question.
And I wasn’t. Essentially, the article was about the author noticing the way people approached the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Nothing about the content really surprised me, but somehow applying the answer to my recent struggles kind of blew my mind wide open.
See, I have a problem with accountability. If I have a deadline set by someone else, I push myself and accomplish it. But if I’m trying to hold myself accountable…well, I mean, like, I don’t do it. My quiz answer revealed me to be an Obliger, or one who responded best to external goals while sucking at the internal.
And it’s so true. Case in point: every morning, I wake up full of resolve to eat like a person who isn’t obsessed with food. I’m super good at that part, every day.
Until approximately 8-10 p.m. Once my brain registers that bedtime is approaching, I panic a little.
If I don’t eat everything in the kitchen RIGHT NOW, I won’t be able to eat until tomorrow.
That’s not what I consciously think, but the thought has to be in there somewhere, because come 10:30 I’m sneak-eating Doritos crumbs in the dark whilst building a PBJ Scooby sandwich tower.
So I consume all of that stuff, and then the shame spiral commences. I feel awful, I beat myself up, and I question why my intelligence level is so low and my self-sabotage desire so high. On and on and on.
And then I start over.
How often do we all do this to ourselves? Whether it’s sabotaging a diet or a bad career move, we’re all guilty of imperfection. It’s what makes us human, and stuff. But rather than think of how often we don’t screw up, and rather than just shrugging our moments of weakness off, we dwell on them. We assign them value in our lives. And in those dark times, we believe ourselves to be failures.
Wasn’t that paragraph ridiculous? I thought so, too. But self defeat is still a habit we return to, doggedly, despite the fact that it serves no purpose.
I’m going to tell you two reasons that you’re amazing. First, because you do so many things right. For every bonehead move you make, there are a bunch more responsible, adult-like things that you accomplish.
Secondly, when you do make a bonehead move, even if you beat yourself up over it, you just get back out there and try again. Don’t believe me? You got out of bed today, didn’t you? I mean, maybe you got back in after a couple of hours, but come on. Sundays are for rest.
The point is that you have kept trying. It may not feel like anything to you, but to someone else you’re an inspiration. Seriously. We all look to someone else as the person who has it all together. As much as you fail at life, someone else thinks that they’re way worse.
I think it’s beautiful that we’re all getting back out there and trying again. Failure sucks. Losing is the worst. But deep within all of us is a spark. A little fire, burning. It may get smaller. It may waver. But it keeps burning.
And guess what? We’re all just learning every day. There is nobody who has completely mastered anything. Read The Egg by Andy Weir sometime. Fiction, sure, but it still gives me goosebumps every time.
The learning? It’s making us better. Stronger. Faster. If you take a good, honest look at yourself, you know that it’s true.
And if you don’t feel up to all that noise yet, at least do yourself a favor….and find out what ingredient you’d be in a salad.