How many of us have lived our lives thinking “I am not enough”? Too many. Why are we doing this and where did it come from?
We are enough. But, various events in our lives lead us to believe we are victims of the world and the circumstances around us. This stinkin’ thinkin’ is one of the most dangerous ways we can live today.
We’ve found three keys to getting off the gerbil wheel of I’m not enough.
First, you deserve to be here.
Think about it. Some sperm and an egg had to actually combine to make you. There’s something like a 1-in-a-gazillion chance that you are alive. Congratulations, you made it! This is your life. You deserve to be here. For many of you though, the message you’ve heard over and over is that you’re not enough. You get messages that make you feel like you must have a great job, perfect body, or go to an Ivy League college before you can be “good enough.” To that I say say B.S. (That stands for Belief System. Your belief system around the stories you tell yourself about your self-worth)
Have you ever looked at a forest and thought “Wow that tree really doesn’t belong there.”? No! That’s because it does belong there. It is part of a bigger picture and the system of Mother Nature. Like the trees – we belong. We may be shorter, taller, wider or more pointed than the next tree but we still belong. You belong- you deserve love and happiness like every other tree in the forest.
Second, you deserve real love because of who you are, not because of what you do or what you have.
Brené Brown says, “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Somehow, somewhere something happens that makes us question our worth. For example, maybe you were compared to a sibling. “Why can’t you be smart like Tommy?” Or you got bullied at school “You think you’re so smart.”
We started believing we were awkward and different. We determined, without any proof, “I’m not good enough.” Our thoughts expanded into little self-attacking bombs. You know the ones. . . They sound like “No one will ever love me with all the scars and shame I carry.”
I was about three when my little sister was born. At the same time my parent’s decided to foster a boy that was about 4 years older than me. Suddenly, my two new siblings were getting all the attention. I felt lost and confused about where I belonged. This became my first experience with not feeling good enough. I tried to figure out at the ripe old age of three how to be good enough to receive my parent’s love. I wasn’t cute and new like my little sister and I wasn’t a boy that needed attention like my foster brother. It made a powerful impact early on in life about my value in the house. I didn’t feel wanted, needed or ok the way I was.
Keep in mind we all have different definitions of love. The one version of love that should be consistent is loving ourselves so much that no one else determines our worth. This is not a blame your mother game. Parents can provide amazing, loving relationships. And yet, we can still choose to believe we’re not good enough.
Recently, there’s a ‘movement’ of parents who are very successful in making more money or having a better life than their own parents. That’s great, but they are transferring that dis-ease of “not enough, you need more” on to their children. You were good enough the day you were born and you will be good enough the day you die. You get to choose what you want to do with the time in between. Longing for approval based on someone else’s opinion though, will always bring disappointment and failure.
Third, your net-worth is not your self-worth.
We all like to have money and spend money. And money is a very powerful force in our lifestyles today. Unfortunately, we’ve determined that who we are is directly tied to what we get paid and how much money we have. This is a house of illusory cards. Your money shows how you’ve spent your energy, where you’ve invested time and how you’ve worked a system to have it flow to you as well as from you. There are lots of miserable rich people who wake up everyday wishing they were happier. There are plenty of people with enough money experiencing a beautiful and happy life. And then there are people with no money who live with great joy in their hearts. The money and ‘net’ worth’ aren’t the source of self-worth. The internal compass of knowing and believing that you are of enormous value in this world is the source.
When we understand we are enough, we love our children with the open heart they need and deserve. When we care for our bodies with the nurturing support, we feel empowered to give and receive love. And when we show up in our relationships knowing no one can hurt us, we can experience real joy and happiness.
By staying in a place of “not enough,” we live in a world of being “the victim”. We declare to ourselves and others that it’s not fair what is happening to us. We think we have no control over our lives because we aren’t good enough to override the feelings of pain and shame. It’s a vicious circle that spins out of control and very often in to addiction. At Rebuilder’s International we focus on you as a whole person. We help build your “good-enough” mentality so you can drop the doubt, shame and pain and move forward living the life you deserve.