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What would it take to finally feel like you were enough?
What is “being enough” anyway?
I spent a damn good portion of my life believing that I wasn’t “enough”. Pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough… The list goes on… You get it, and I bet most of you reading this can relate.
What Does Being Enough Mean Anyway?
Slowly and thankfully, with age has come some wisdom. I have started to develop some compassionate self-examination skills along with genuine curiosity, making me challenge my old beliefs and thought patterns because I think there is a better way to be in this world.
Lately I’ve been wondering what exactly does it mean to be enough and why the hell does it seem so important? What is this thing so many of us strive for and why do we do it?
What would it take to feel like we are “enough”?
Just for kicks, I like to look up the exact definition of a word and I’m often surprised by what I learn. For example, good ol’ Webster defines enough as 1) “in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction” and 2) “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations”
Sufficient, necessary, quantity, needs, expectations, demands. for satisfaction… That is what I have been striving for all these years! Those words feel flat, uninspired, cold, and perfunctory. They make me think of cookie cutters. Everything looking exactly the same.
I don’t want sufficient, I don’t want something just because it is necessary to pass muster…. I want extraordinary. I don’t want a measured dose of what-have-you, I want unmeasurable love, success, freedom, growth, choice. I want quality (notice that was not in the primary definition).
I want the freaking Kodak moment… priceless. (Gotta love 90’s TV)
Guess what? That is exactly what I get. In the very moment I choose to stop looking outside myself for answers. The answers are within. In my heart and soul. That is where the extraordinary lives. In each of us as individuals on this earth. None like the other.
Why don’t we celebrate our uniqueness and our differences? Why are we so worried about what others think? Why do we struggle to be more like_____ (fill in the blank)?
Why are we so scared to just be?
What Drives The “I’m Not Enough”.
What drives this not enoughness? I believe the origin to be physiological, psychological and sociological.
In nature there is safety in conformity. Animals, for example, are safer in a herd. Meaning, if they can all run the same speed they are less likely to be taken down by a predator right? Okay, so I get that. Evolution has got me on this one.
Socioeconomically, there is cash is conformity. An industry wants to sell a product so they push its need based on emotional triggers. I remember hearing somewhere that a certain cosmetic company once said that it’s job was to make women feel insecure so they would buy more of x,y,z.
Cash in conformity. Sell me something that will help me measure up to that which is unattainable, that which is unreal, that which I actually didn’t choose in the first place…. NO THANKS!
Maybe have a think about that the next time you look at a glossy ad in a magazine or see that perfect face on a commercial and notice you’re feeling a little less than. You are being sold on the idea that you are not enough which is filing someone else’s pockets.
Lastly is the psychological, nurture or family of origin part of the puzzle.
A broken person often comes from broken people, which is not necessarily anyone’s fault. It just is what it is. Sometimes despite best efforts there’s just too much dysfunction within a family for a person to come out feeling like they have a solid identity, let alone feeling that identity is enough.
For so many years I had no idea who I was. I was on the hamster wheel trying to be someone, anyone else. I was so afraid that people would see right into me and figure out that I was empty, an impostor. I spent unimaginable hours doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how to get you to like me, to love me, or just to put up with me.
How do you embrace and embody someone you have no clue about? This has take me years to figure out and I definitely did not do it on my own.
This is not a soap box post, or if it is, it comes from a place that is very real and that once upon a time was very broken. What has this evolution looked like for me? The vulnerable truth is it started by getting sober, going to therapy, seeking out guidance and inner knowledge through the voices of people like John Bradshaw, Brene’ Brown, Ernest Holmes, Bill Wilson, Louise Hay and many many more. (BTW, I tired this strategy in reverse for years and got nowhere, so if addiction is an issue start there)
So what exactly does it take to feel enough ?
I don’t care anymore.
I’ve quit. I’ve called bullshit. I’m bigger than enough. I’m more than satisfactory, and I’m done with expectations and demands, especially from myself to be something else or someone else.
Be Who You Are.
If you are like I was and struggle with knowing who that person inside really is, let me say this, what has become my life’s mantra over the years. I am responsible for my life, my health, my happiness.
I am Responsible.
I’ll say it again. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW I FEEL, THINK AND SHOW UP IN THIS WORLD. I have learned that it’s not on someone else. It’s not someone else’s job to make me happy or content. The current state of my life is my choice and my responsibly to change if I don’t like it.
I am not saying that it is easy. Does it sound simple? Yes. Is it easy? No. My best advice if you are unhappy/depressed/confused/addicted/lost is to get outside help from someone who is not your friend or your family member. The reason being is that you need a person with emotional objectivity who is emotionally safe for you to confide in. Someone like a coach, a counselor, a program or a spiritual guide to help you sort out what is going on upstairs. Everything begins in our mind, within our perceptions.
Does this mean that we won’t struggle. No, of course not. Life is life and it can hit you damn hard. There is no such thing as being “struck happy”. But in the center, and I mean in the very core of your being, you can still have calm, still have some guiding inner peace even when the world seems to be falling down around you. That is the result in being grounded in who you are.
For me, there was some definite music that had to be faced which is par for the course on the road of recovery. Sometimes we “trudge”. I had to accept where I was and that again, I was responsible for my current state. Not what had happened to me over the years, but what behaviors I was holding onto that no longer served me. I had to accept that I was emotionally stunted but that I could choose to grow up and do it with self-compassion.
Sometimes it’s About Unlearning.
The last eight years of my life has been spent unlearning much of what I thought was true about myself and my perception of the world around me. I’m still learning, growing, changing. Every. Damn. Beautiful. Day.
So if you don’t know, go discover who you are, who you are truly meant to be. Dig in and dig deep. Then embrace it! The world needs you. There is no one like YOU on this earth and never will be. You are valuable, you are worth it, you have a unique message to carry forward that someone else needs to hear. We don’t need more of the same pretend perfection. We need real, we need raw, we need honest. And we need each other to show up and tell our truths so others are inspired to do the same.
I’m Done Striving to be Enough.
So if enoughness boils down to sufficiency, necessity, expectation, or demands just to be satisfactory…
Forget being enough.
You are more than enough. We both are.