It's a common belief, you might think it's yours (it's not, it's likely your mums) or hey, you mightn't even be aware that it lurks down in the depths of your subconscious mind.
But it does. And it drives your fear and impatience.
And your frustration.
And your inability to enjoy and be present to what you've already achieved, what you already have.
It robs your joy basically.
And it creates a lot of misery in your life. Because it keeps you searching for something that's never achieved. Just like tomorrow, it never comes.
Maybe you're feeling stuck right now. It's been a while since you felt alive. You're always arguing with your partner perhaps, (if you have one.) You don't feel fulfilled with your job or your friends even. You're bored and flat, and going nowhere. But if you take a moment to get still and take stock of what you have and how far you've actually travelled, you might be surprised.
And if you've had a shift in perception at all, for example, you might be missing how long that really took and what a huge achievement it is.
But you're missing that because ego is still bleating on that you can do better.
It's that narky little voice that just won't let you have the glory for longer than 2 minutes before piping up... "yeah but..."
You know what I mean, you do something good, achieve something great but the excitement's short lived because all too soon your back to the BUTs and WHAT IF's and WAIT A MINUTES. You just can't seem to fucking enjoy where you are and shut the voice up.
Because you can do better.
It might be why you try to control things around you too.
If you can do better it means that what you've already done isn't good enough. Which boiled down really means you're not good enough. And this is why it's not your belief, coz you'd have to be crazy to think that up by yourself.
No, it comes from one or both of your parents who likely was told the exact same from their parent(s) - they could do better.
They might've thought it was helping, mostly thought they didn't think because they were just regurgitating the same old harsh conditioning they grew up with. Conditioning that kept them small too.
If you're familiar with the old Cherokee story about the white wolf and black wolf you'll remember that 'the black wolf is filled with fear, anger, envy, jealousy, greed and arrogance. And the white wolf is filled with peace and love, hope, courage and humility, compassion and faith. They battle constantly. The one that wins is the one that we feed.'
The black wolf says - "its not enough, yes, but look at what you haven't achieved."
"Look how long it took you."
"Look what you didn't do right."
"Look what you could do better."
Feel the energy of that wolf, heavy isn't it?
AND the white wolf says - "you've come so far. Look at what you've achieved."
"You did it. And you've grown."
"You're an adventurer, an explorer, You tried. And you did good.
"You're better than you used to be.
"You've already done so much and you have so much more to do."
Same situ - very different perspective, very different message and very different energy. Given that energy expands with attention if you feed the black wolf you'll get more of that story. And If you feed the white wolf, the same.
How do you stop feeding one and feed the other?
You take your attention away from one story and you start telling the other. And you keep telling it. And when you find your mind wandering back into the old story, which it will, you bring it back into line.
It's challenging to change our beliefs and thoughts, YES its hard, and what of it? You can either work on being your best self and improving your life as you go, or not. But life's still happening either way.
And this is the big problem with the "I can do better" belief, its a negative belief because its saying you're not good enough. Instead of trying to ditch it altogether, work with it and turn it into a more positive belief:
"I AM doing better."
We have to CHOOSE beliefs that work for us. And if you've achieved ANYTHING no matter how big or small, then you're already doing better than before. It's impossible that you're not.
So when the black wolf says "you could do better", acknowldege the voice of your mum, "yes, thanks" - and then reframe the story with the truer belief "I AM doing better."
Because in the very moment you change that belief and mindset you ARE in fact doing better. It's not a pretence, its not a hope, or a hype or a flaky positive affirmation, its a true statement.
"In this moment I am doing better because I'm choosing a better thought."
Believing we need to do better we can become very impatient. And that impatience is really just the ego playing out the energy of the belief that's forcing us to seek something more to feel good about ourselves. But the feeling never lasts, if it comes at all.
Patience is something we're here to master. We have to shift our perception around our experiences and see them as opportunities instead of challenges. And we do this a lot easier when we're not labeling ourselves by our unconscious behaviours.
If you think you're impatient stop telling the story and instead see that you're being giving the opportunity to practice patience. Which btw, is one of our greatest life and spiritual lessons. See the difference?
Impatience is a symptom of the you can do better belief which as previously mentioned is really just a layer of the deeper 'not good enough belief'. Impatience keeps us from happiness and the power of the present moment which is where magic happens, magic we don't believe we're worthy of it. Again, you can thank harsh childhood conditioning for that.
ACIM teaches there are only two key emotions, fear and love and we can only act out of one at a time.
So ask yourself, when you feel impatient, or the narky voice raises its head and whispers you can do better. What are you acting out of, is it love or fear?
And then ask yourself:
What am I afraid of?
Wait for the answer, feel it inside you. And then choose again. only this time choose love.
And what is the loving response? It's the white wolf.
When it comes to changing beliefs, there's no magic wand BUT there is persective and focus, and thankfully we have the power to change and choose both.
The truth is you can always do better and you should be striving for that. But not because you're unworthy or what you haven't already done isn't good enough, but because you have unlimited potential to keep doing better and keep being better and keep creating a better life.
Because that's what you deserve - the best of yourself.
But you can't do that with an unworthy belief. So if you're going to tell the story about doing better you need to shift the energy that it's told in. It needs to be told by the white wolf.
And you need to stop feeding the black one.