Do you ever find yourself thinking you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or whatever enough? And that no matter how hard you try, it seems like you just can’t turn off the tapes that fill your mind with thoughts like “What will other people think?”, “I will never be good enough.”? I do, and I bet you do too!
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world. – Buddha.
The fear of not being good enough is one of the deepest most fundamental fears every human being on the planet deals with at some point or another. You, me, your loved ones, we all live with moments of self-doubt – it’s human nature. And it’s deeply ingrained in our minds and our society.
There are, of course, a lot of varying factors that contribute to not feeling good enough, but oftentimes it’s a combination of our constant comparison to other people and the crazy amount of pressure we, human beings, put on ourselves to be, look and act a certain way. It’s exhausting and thereby reduces our ability to be our authentic selves and live our lives to the fullest.
According to Brené Brown – research professor, author, and public speaker – we live in a culture of perceived scarcity, what she calls in her book Daring Greatly “our culture of ‘never enough.’” Brown says we start off the morning thinking we didn’t get enough sleep, followed by thinking we don’t have enough time, and by the time we go to bed at night, “our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day”. Whatever we do, have, or get, it’s never enough and as a result we start a negative spiral of focusing solely on where we think we fall short while comparing ourselves to where others seem to flourish.
So what can we do about it?
According to Brené Brown, the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It’s enough. And we have a choice.
It’s very important to remember that we have a mind, but we are not our minds, and we are also not the thoughts that enter our minds, even though we think we are. It’s our perceived reality and our own thinking that hinders us. We are the ones who attach meaning to our thoughts and bring them to life. We are the ones beating ourselves up for making mistakes or for not succeeding or making progress as quickly as we would like. We are the ones who keep thinking we need to be perfect.
If we want to fully experience life, we must be willing to believe that we are worthy and good enough, right here, right now. There are no prerequisites. Our minds will always try to convince us otherwise, but we can either believe it, or let it go and replace that negativity with words of kindness and compassion.
Letting go of feelings of unworthiness means also letting go of “What will other people think?”. This doesn’t happen overnight and it’s something you need to practice in your daily life. But once we allow ourselves to feel worthy and to feel good enough, we create a path to healing, hope and growth, we open the door of freedom. We realize we are good enough.