What prevents us from believing that we are enough? It’s difficult to nail down exactly why it’s so easy to feel a nagging sense of inadequacy. Maybe it’s a built-in mechanism that pushes us forward, a result of unreachable media expectations, negative influences from family or friends, or possibly a mixture of these things and more. The truth is, it’s an effortless state of mind to reach; a familiar experience for so many people. On a regular basis I hear clients, friends and family members express sentiments along the lines of “I’ll be enough when…”
I’ll be enough when..
- I’m no longer depressed.
- I make a certain amount of money.
- I lose weight.
- I’m married.
- I stop smoking.
- I have kids.
As you can imagine this line of thinking, that often goes on without our conscious awareness, leads us down a dark path. It can lead us to a space of “Will I ever be enough?!”
Will we ever be enough? What would it take to fill the endless pit of doubt and fear?
I worry that if we don’t acknowledge our deep seeded doubts and fears about ourselves, they will come to haunt us! That we will unknowingly carry them around with us and when we start to finally feel brave they will find a way to interfere.
The solution that I’ve come to believe is simple but profound: we all have unconditional worth. We are complete as we are. By this I mean our worth isn’t based on the things that we do or our internal checklist of things we hope to accomplish in life. Our worth isn’t something we get after a life perfectly lived, it is something we have from the beginning. It doesn’t change based on the situations and families we are born into, and we can’t change it by our actions.
If we follow this train of logic we realize that we are all made up of strength and weakness, and that’s okay. Even more than okay, it’s how we are designed! And while our weaknesses can become a heavy bag of shame that we carry around, they don’t have to be. Here’s how I propose we make this change:
Do you love yourself unconditionally? Can you see yourself as complete just as you are? This is a goal worth reaching jumping for. I believe that when we do catch glimpses of ourselves, with all of our strengths and weaknesses and we love ourselves for who we are, we are letting go of the unnecessary shame we carry around with us. We are be
tter for it, and more capable then of becoming who we
truly want to be.
This specific kind of love can’t come from the outside, the only person it involves is you.
And I believe we’re best able to get there in the quiet moments when we can look at our whole selves, including our doubts and fears, and say “you are enough.”
A beautiful thing happens when we believe that we are enough, our actions are no longer dictated by anxiety or fear and instead we move toward what we value. This clarity has a powerful energy connected to it. It’s the difference between doing something because we’re “suppose to” and finding the things we were made to do.
Our values are within each of us. They can be the same or different from the people closest to you; they are yours and they are powerful! Our values are waiting to be nurtured so that they can grow into the life you choose to live.
Living a life based on our values leads us to finding our authentic selves. Brene Brown describes authenticity this way:
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re suppose to be and embracing who we are.”
Choosing authenticity means:
- Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable
- Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle
- Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough
Living authentically is a worth-while goal. It’s the path to living meaningfully and with full intent. And guess what? YOU deserve that because YOU are worth it!