Having lacked confidence forever and being constantly in search of reassurance that I am doing well, I feel I have necessary qualifications to write this article. Practicing the affirmation “I am enough” has made me aware of how not believing it, drives us all so much.
– I am not slim enough so I berate myself for my lack of food and exercise related discipline (let it be know that self flagellation does not help you lose weight)
– I am not pretty enough; endless appointments for taming unruly hair, various forms of hair removal (painless I am told, which is a big fat lie), make up experimentation, which at nearly 40, I should have sussed by now. These all add to my To Do list
– I am not cleaver enough – just ask my accountant 1) because she knows how I just don’t get the simplest of book-keeping principles and 2) she has evidence of all the courses, workshops and training I attend each year in an attempt to feel more cleaver. Again these all add many more things to my To Do list!
Are you getting the general picture now? ( I can keep going for quite sometime but know how busy you are).
So if you look at my diary and my working day, I could confidently say that 40% is made up of things I do because I just don’t feel “enough”. Right now I’ll acknowledge that the underlying feeling of “lack” or “there must be something more” has driven human behaviour and development for millennia and without it we wouldn’t have some of the advances that we have now got. But right now, in the 21st centuary, I, well those in the middle England, Western economy have got quite enough I wouland have had for some time. We have enough food, shelter, warmth, clothes, opportunity, security etc, yet it is right here, that the “I am not enough” epidemic is rife. I am well and truly part of this tribal thinking, which is leading us to do more, buy more, want more and have more, for us and our children (cos obviously they haven’t got enough either!)
What would my life, or yours look like if we believed we were enough? (or at least believed it a little bit more)
Well I think I would start appreciating what I have, much more and see the good things when I look around my home of an evening. Instead of looking at the large, messy, pile of toys and feel annoyed, I could think:
– I am so lucky to have kids, many people don’t
– We are so lucky to have relatives that buy our children lovely toys
– I am lucky that I have been too busy enjoying my day, to find time to tidy up (I really like that one)
– I would think twice before buying any more toys – we really do have enough
What else might happen if I felt “enough” in my professional and work life?
– I might book less courses and training, saving time, money and effort!
– I wouldn’t feel the need to volunteer for things so much
– I would book less networking meetings or at least be a little more selective
– I would spend less on Amazon each month
Over all I would be better off in both money and time!
This all shifts things.
Maybe I am enough…ish.
I don’t think I’ll ever believe completely that I am enough. I have realised that just aiming for maybe 5% more or 10% more is good enough – it makes it easier and ensures that I don’t beat myself up too much!
I have my coach Jo Birch to thank for helping with this (Jo has just gone to Mongolia for 9 months and if you are interested you can check out her blog here)
Jo recommended a Ted Talk by Brene Brown which is fantastic and if you only give yourself 20 minutes this week, watch it. Brene asks us to have the courage to be imperfect, compassion to be kind to ourselves and fully embrace our vulnerability – what makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful. This video has been viewed 3 million times. Don’t under estimate how important it is.
So maybe join me in practicing feeling just 5 or 10% enough. Maybe take a look at how you spend your time, energy and money and see if too much of it stems from not feeling enough.
Be kind to yourself.
Let go of the need for perfection – life will get a lot easier.