A common undercurrent of the waves of mental health challenges, is the feeling of not being good enough. Not thin enough, not smart enough, not interesting enough, not attractive enough.
There's a serious deficiency of worth within ourselves that we try to mask by people pleasing, self-destructive behaviours, trying to be someone we're not, ignoring our boundaries or doing whatever we feel makes us look 'better'. Rife with doubt and a lack of self-respect, we continually exhaust ourselves trying to convince the world that we are worth something.
But we actually don't need to hustle for our worthiness. I remember hearing Brené Brown saying that phrase and relating to it so much. We don't need to silence ourselves to fit in, we don't need to put on a show to be liked, we don't need any of this. We don't need to prove anything or try to convince people that we're actually worthy of their approval, love or acceptance.
We always have been, we always are. We're already good enough.
Feeling like we're not enough is a horrible feeling. It's exhausting, it's painful and it can get increasingly ingrained if we don't decide to tackle it. From experience, anything I undertook in an attempt to feel 'good enough' never led me there. It just led me further from myself, putting my self-worth in the shaky hands of others to affirm. Problem is, when you don't own your own worth, it may as well be about to tumble out of their hands at any moment.
Because it's not something you can get from someone else. It's not something that they can confirm you have or you deserve because you've 'earned' it. You need to feel it from the inside, you need to believe it, to be aware from your core the whole way out that you are absolutely enough exactly as you are in this moment and every other one. In the moments where you're upset, where you've made a mistake, where you get jealous, where you feel like you've failed - You're enough.
We need to let the expectations and pressure fall away. We need to stop berating and belittling ourselves. But when this has become a habitual practice, it may take a little learning to help it along.
So yeah, like all the most valuable lessons, this can be a challenging one to learn. When we don't feel like we're enough, we become so accustomed to being hard on ourselves, to expecting perfection, to demanding so much out of ourselves we that bleed ourselves dry.
But like anything, this way of being can change. We can decide that we are sick of feeling like this and we can take the steps to move away from feeling inferior. We don't need to move into a place of superiority, that's definitely not the answer; We just need to feel that we are worthy.
Here's some suggestions to do this:
Circumstances and situations can be very different from their external projection. So whether it's size, success, or social lives, comparing to others doesn't have any benefit or solid foundation. Look at yourself, your own journey and your intentions. That's where the focus needs to be at all times. This is your life so pour your energy into making it one that you love.
Get Rid of Pedestals
You know what happens when you put someone else up on a pedestal? You've left yourself behind, on the ground, getting a pain in the neck from looking up. It's about time to break that pretentious pedestal down.
This isn't about putting others down or acting as if you're better than anyone - it's simply about making yourself an equal. We are all human and none of us are perfect. We don't need to impress or gain the approval to those who we perceive as being better than us. Approve of yourself first. When you see someone else as amazing, that doesn't mean you aren't amazing too. There's plenty of room for everyone's unique qualities to shine when we're all on level ground. Put yourself in the picture and give yourself credit where it's due.
This is one of those words that can be thrown out and get confusing so there will be another post on it, but acceptance is key. When you're denying yourself who you really are, you haven't accepted yourself. We need to realise what we have to offer, what we're afraid of and what we want to change. Acceptance means honestly taking stock of where we're at and coming to terms with it. It's not cause for panic, over-analysing or a close eye of critique, it's just checking in with what we've got going on and accepting it as it is.
Acceptance never means stagnation or settling - it's the platform for change that we want in our lives. So if we don't feel good enough, we accept that that's how we feel and we begin to embrace changing that feeling. We can change our thinking and make this go away. But first we need to accept that this is how it is, without judgement. We need to accept what we become aware of within ourselves. 'The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change' Carl Rogers
When we accept the issue, we can get cracking on the work required to melt it away. If you don't feel like you're good enough, you don't realise all the value that you actually hold. You don't recognise your own individual worth and significant place in this world.
We can't wait around for someone else to validate us and tell us that we're ok or we're actually finally good enough. Yeah it's lovely to hear, but I'd much rather have that sentence on tap. I'd rather have a bank of affirmations that remind me of all the truth about why I'm worthy.
From experience, descending into the overwhelming delusion of how 'nowhere near enough' I was, I would have a stock pile of reasons, a crippling list of things I needed to do to somehow become better. Affirmations shut this lot up. Whenever I dissed myself, I could affirm 'I am enough', 'I love and approve of myself', 'I am worthy'. Affirm what you like about you, affirm compliments you have received, affirm all the reasons that make you worthy of love, belonging and contentment.
We need to discover all the reasons why we are enough and use these to create a new concrete foundation of our worth. Any time a niggling doubt creeps in, we've gotta talk back. When we get down about ourselves, we need to support ourselves. We need to be there to call ourselves out and say, 'Acutally, you are enough'. Regardless what has happened, regardless what we think we've done wrong or how we feel we 'should' be, we need to constantly remind ourselves how f*cking amazing we actually are until it's a belief we hold wholeheartedly within ourselves.
Accept Yourself. Validate yourself. Celebrate Yourself.
You, me and everyone else, we're all enough.