It's often said that dōTERRA is a personal development program disguised as an essential oil business - and that has certainly been true for me. I've learned more about myself and others than I ever knew I didn't know in the last 2 years!

Lockdown has also been an interesting petri dish in which many people have revealed parts of themselves that they never knew, once they were forced into closer intimacy with their nuclear family, or housemates, with no social escapes; or just living alone with their own thoughts and very little social contact for a long time.

Many people have thrown themselves into some form of personal development, and many people have told me they feel like complete failures for not doing so. The more I hear friends and customers on both ends of the spectrum speak, the more I am reminded of a fantastic quote from Eddie Villa:

You are 100% completely unique. Your problems are not.

I think we get this the wrong way around a lot. We spend so much time believing that we are nothing special or that we don't have anything different or important to bring to the world - when nothing could be further from the truth. You were created completely uniquely, and placed where you were and WHEN you were for a reason.

And then we convince ourselves that we can't do something because our situation is different to everyone else and we have some rare condition that nobody else has that is holding us back. It makes us withdraw from community and believe that nobody else could possibly understand - but it's not true.

It's one of the best things about having an account with us. Often when people ask me for help, I can help them, but sometimes I can't - I don't have experience with their problem.

And despite having an amazing and varied team of coaches including pastors nurses, midwives, psychotherapists and more... sometimes even the coaches don't have personal experience with your situation. There's almost always someone in our community who does though. I've yet to see someone post a question that hasn't been answered by someone with that experience.

One of my favourite things I've learned about in part of my personal development journey is the Gallup Strengths Test (the cheapest way to do it is to purchase this book which has a code). With 34 different strengths, the chances of you finding a 'strength twin' are astronomical - like more than there are people who have ever lived on this earth. The chances of even your top 5 matching are 1 in 33.4 million. You are unique.

But instead of recognising our unique strengths, we're often tempted to look at successful people and ask - 'what are they doing that I'm not?' and guess what jumps out at you? It's the thing that is most alien to you. Most unnatural and we attribute their success to that because otherwise, we'd be successful too.

Then we realise we're weak in those areas and we start a narrative all over again about how we are uniquely weak and can't possibly succeed. So we set limiting goals and we call them realistic.
But it's not true.
What if I told you that goal doesn't have to be a promise, it's just a target?
Would your goals look different?
What if we set targets for what we want our lives to look like, then went about aiming for them, using our unique strengths, rather than focusing on our weaknesses or a step by step plan of how to get there written by someone with a different strength profile?
I'm fortunate to have a friend who is a Gallup strength coach - I think everyone should have one in their lives. She has helped me recognise that my activator strength can make me impatient with people - accepting that it's my strength, but not a fair expectation on others has helped me see that people aren't trying to be difficult.

When I set a goal (and remember that it's a target, not a promise) it prevents me from burning out with disappointment if things don't pan out, and to recognise that my options are:

a) do everything myself (completely unsustainable) or
b) work patiently with team, even though I might be jumping up and down with excitement/frustration about wanting to just 'get things done'.

More importantly, it helps me to be able to set big goals, without limiting myself based on what I think I'm capable of because I know that if I don't get there, it isn't a failure, I'm just going to work on a different way of getting there. Maybe the way I've been trying doesn't suit my strengths.

When we work with our strengths, life is easy, because we are being who we were created to be. When we are trying to be something we're not, everything falls apart when authenticity comes - like a pandemic forcing you into lockdown and exposing or making you confront every part of who you are.

If you set yourself some goals during lockdown, but you thought they were promises, and you're disappointed in yourself for not achieving them, I want to tell you right now that you don't need to be. Diffuse some lime, melissa or elevation. You are enough.

Change the goal, change the deadline or change the way you're trying to get there.

If you're watching other people meet goals and feeling ashamed that you haven't done the same - stop it. You are unique, you are different. Diffuse some bergamot. You are enough.

If you've smashed every goal you have set yourself so far, maybe your goals aren't big enough. Dream bigger. Diffuse juniper berry or cheer. You can do it. You are enough.

If you have just been enjoying 'the great pause' as a time of recovery, that's cool too. Diffuse some rosemary. You are enough.

However you are responding to the transitions that have been, and those that are coming, you were created for such a time of this, and it's no accident that you are living through these challenging times.

You are enough.

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