If You Look Hard Enough, You’ll Find It!

If You Look Hard Enough, You’ll Find It!Does this sound like an article about persevering until you find what you’re looking for?

It’s not.

It’s about how we spend our lives trying to prove our beliefs right.

Even if they’re not.

Even if they’re pretty painful beliefs that make us feel bad.

If you look and look and look for evidence, my guess is that you can find evidence to prove almost any belief about yourself.

Here’s what I mean:

You have this belief, given to you as a child, that you’re not really competent. You don’t make the best decisions. Let’s face it; you’re simply not that great.

Mom and Dad hopefully didn’t intend to give you this gift that would last a lifetime.

But, chances are, this label hung around.

So, you’re walking around secretly (or maybe not so secretly) thinking of yourself as someone who isn’t sharp, strong, competent, or whatever their label of you was.

When someone now compliments you, genuinely, pointing out a job well done, or a great choice you made, or what a great friend you’ve been, and BAM! your programmed brain will run around like David Beckham on a soccer field, trying to prove them wrong.

Because it feels incongruent with how you’ve been trained to see yourself.


Me, smart?

No way!!

Look at what I did just last week!

Remember when I sent that email Reply All?

And remember when I forgot to get gas and almost ran out?

And how about that time I showed up for my dental appointment a day early!

We all forget things.

We all make mistakes.

And sometimes we make choices that could be better.

And all this means is that we lapsed.

That’s it.

Not that we’re not smart, not competent or a terrible friend.

But, if your descriptions were drilled into you when you were young and vulnerable and dependent, they become a part of who you are.

Or, at least, who you think you are.

It’s like an identity that doesn’t really fit.

And, because it’s part of our identity, we go to great lengths to prove these labels correct.

Even if the label hurts.

Even if it’s not true.

So, what can we do?

Can we undo this ancient programming?


But we have to consciously look for evidence that proves our ‘new identity’, that makes us feel good.

So quick, right now, give me 10 examples of how you are smart, or caring, or a great partner.

Are you a good friend?

Do you manage your finances well?

A great cook?

What about that volunteer project you worked on that everyone talked about for weeks?

It’s all there.

If you’re looking.

But you get to choose to look for proof that you can’t do things, that you have major shortcomings, or that you can’t follow through.

OR, you can look over here, and see what I see.

Evidence of a beautiful person.

One who does the right thing.

One who does her best.

One who reaches out to others.

Your choice.

But I’ll guarantee this:

You will find what you’re looking for.

You will prove what you’re trying to prove.

So please make sure you’re looking for the right thing.

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2 Responses to “If You Look Hard Enough, You’ll Find It!”

  1. Kelly Hoffman says:

    Wow, Cookie. This is a great message, and is particularly meaningful right now. Thank you for your excellent advice and guidance.

  2. I am so glad you are relating to it Kelly. Especially now.