It's easy to feel like that and if often comes about because we match ourselves again three unrealistic measures:
- Those who are multi-million seller authors or speakers such as Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle. We know that those in this number are few and they face their own challenges.
- Those in our own communities who seem to be more popular and effective than us - but we don't know what's going on in their heads.
- And last and maybe most destructively, the idea in our heads of what we should be.
You may know that I was a holistic therapist for a while and during that period I was juggling several jobs, trying to study and to teach. Generally I was chasing my tail, every single day.
And that meant that often, well if I'm honest, every week I reached the end of the week having no idea how effective I was at anything, and how much I'd helped others.
Because of the third measure, most times in my head my effectiveness was a pretty low score out of ten. Fast forward ten years and I'm still friends with one of my clients from that time and occasionally I see written in her face, the effectiveness of what I offered her as a client.
A great worrier and a conscientious woman in her work and her family circle, she always went the extra mile. When her husband died a few years ago she spent many hours going over what she might have done or not, the fractures among her children at that time and how she might have made it 'right' for everybody.
I've supported her most of that time, simply by listening and allowing her space to work out as she called it, 'the muddle' in her head. What has emerged during this last year has been an inner strength and resolution she didn't possess previously. And most surprising to her, an understanding of how she now can stand as a listener to those around her, rather than be a doer.
Pleasing to me this outcome? Absolutely because now when she says 'I'm fine' I believe she is.
We may never be bestselling authors speakers but we have within in us skills that others need. Because of our ability to stand back and observe as a result of our meditative practices, we can offer them these rare and precious gifts.
The skills we possess are patience, stillness and the detachment to know we don't have to pour thousands of words out to help others. We can do it with just a few.
So if you're in doubt that your work in the world is sacred and important take the long view. When the right words from you meet the right conditions in someone else, they can cause others to make miraculous changes in their lives.
I saw my friend again recently and to observe her so obviously at peace with herself and her situation was a greater gift than anything sold on the high street this holiday season.