Am I Enough?
I work with a lot of ‘A’ type personalities — you know, strong, courageous, competitive achievers! The one thing they often have in common is, they get their feelings of worthiness from the success of their achievements…
Maybe you can relate?
They are women who’ve checked off all, or a lot of, the status quo list of things they think they should accomplish in life…
An esteemed education
The stellar corporate career
Meeting their prince or princess charming
Purchasing their first swanky house (and yup, this can even happen before #3)
Buying the fancy cars
Having babies (including furry ones)
And, the list goes on in a similar chronological order — everything checked off except the white picket fence. ;)
So, they achieve all this, or a good portion of it, yet there’s this constant nagging of, I should have more, it’s not enough…I should have a bigger house, a better promotion, more money, more houses, more friends, more, more and more…
…the list never stops.
It’s a constant chase and an exhausting internal battle. And quite honesty, all these feelings ever do is leave you feeling inadequate, insufficient…
Does this sound all too familiar?
Are you constantly planning what’s next, in hopes it will satisfy your need for being enough?
Ohhhh, I can absolutely relate — because that was me. I was one of those over achievers, that type A personality.
It was that exact lifestyle that lead me to burn out — which also lead me to being handed a prescription for Prozac…and it was in that moment that I became determined to take the Personal Development route instead!
I spent a lot of time trying to unravel why the majority of my life I didn’t feel I was enough…
Friends, therapists, parents would tell me to love myself, or to have self-compassion, and it all sounded nice, but it never changed me at my core — to me, those were just words.
Yet, what I’ve come to learn and what has helped me to change direction on this worthiness road, is this not enough story often stems from our childhood. Of course, there are other reasons/experiences too — and by no means am I here to discredit or judge our parents, caregivers, teachers, but rather help shine a light as to the how or where the heck this not enough stems from…
For example, when we were little and we felt scared or anxious, our mind told us something was wrong with us, not the environment we were in. A child’s mind, not yet rational, concludes, “There must be something wrong with me if I feel so bad” or “I must be bad if I’m being treated badly.”
And then we hold that shame and those not enough words and thoughts throughout our lives, which keeps us striving for more in order to feel enough…
The questions I get asked a lot as a transformational coach are:
“How do I know I am enough — and how do I feel enough?”
“I want to stop the negative self-talk of ‘I am not smart enough, skinny enough, rich enough, successful enough’, but how?”
The answer to these questions exists. And it’s really quite simple.
Let’s take “not enough” in your relationships as an example. Ask yourself, what are the characteristics I value in my relationships?
Your answers might be things like: kindness, honesty, love, respect.
Then come back around, and ask yourself, AM I BEING KIND, HONEST, LOVING and RESPECTFUL to the best of my ability?
You will get your answer quite quickly — no external searching required!
If you are truly BEING the characteristics that you value in a relationship and you are doing actions and behaviours that match that, then how can you be more than that?
That IS enough!
It’s the same at work — your career, what characteristic do you value in your job?
Examples: Professional, authentic, confident, courageous
So ask yourself: AM I BEING PROFESSIONAL, AUTHENTIC, CONFIDENT and COURAGEOUS at work?
Are you DOING behaviours and actions that match that?
If yes, then how can you be any more than that?
That IS enough!
Your values of what’s enough must be measured by you and only you!
Once you are clear on the characteristics that create your best self and you BE and DO those characteristics whole heartedly, then that is enough!
The problem is, people measure their self-worth based on other people’s versions of enough…and that, my friend, is where the downward spiral starts.
So don’t base your “enough-ness” on other people’s versions. Instead, I encourage you to get clear on who you are BEING today, and BE that person today and each and every day!
To start, try this easy exercise:
Looking at the major areas in your life and determine your top core values/characteristics:
Health & Wellness:
Your job now is to know (and tell yourself) you are always enough…and if you need a little reassurance you can just check in with yourself and the characteristics that you value that you just listed.
We all have stories from the past that fuel the not enough — the key word here being, the past. It’s OK to let go of those things from the past. What matters is now.
When you get fully present and step into the characteristics that exemplify your true self today, you no longer need validation from others...
You have your own answers — your own definition of “enough-ness” — and that’s when you can fully step into who you are BEING. And who you’re being is enough, because you can’t be any more.