Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Even though at times you feel as though you’re a bit broken, you are enough.
It’s commonplace to grow up feeling not enough. Throughout our schooling, we continually strive for the next grade, the quicker time, the more polished performance. There’s always room for improvement. But how often is it reinforced to us that even though it’s positive to work towards being our best version, we are already enough?
We miss out on life believing we are not enough.
We don’t pursue opportunities because we’re not thin enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, funny enough or good enough. And while we perceive all the lack of ‘enoughs’ within our makeup and personalities, life is passing us by. Time doesn’t stand still while we play catch up. Life doesn’t stop while we realise that ever since we were born, we have been enough, we simply couldn't see it.
When I ask my clients what they don’t like about themselves or could change if they had a magic wand, the list is endless.
Most people will happily reel off a well-rehearsed number of words that easily fall off the tongue. But when I ask the same clients what they like or love about themselves, it’s a different story. Why? Because we hear more about what’s wrong with us than what’s right.
Organisations, schools and people hear far more negative feedback from their customers, colleagues and those close to them, than positive.
Customer surveys ask twice as many questions about where improvement can be made, rather than what is being done well. It’s ingrained in our psyche to pay attention to where things can be better, rather than appreciating all the things that are already working right now.
Why else do my clients struggle to appreciate all their amazing qualities, the ones that are evident to me within minutes of meeting them?
Because we have been taught to love others before ourselves, often to our detriment, and not to be selfish. We inadvertently believe that to have love for self is to be egotistical and self-centred. We end up confusing these terms and not forming or respecting the relationship with our self, ironically the most important one we will ever have.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that a large percentage of people scoff when I ask them to look into their own eyes in the mirror and say ‘I love you.’
It’s confronting, and many people refuse point blank even to try. Often those that do are brought to tears. If you’re feeling brave, try it. Repeat it often, and you will notice a shift in your energy and how you feel towards yourself. More compassion, empathy and warmth are just the beginning. You will also start to acknowledge that the person looking back at you is doing their best based on the experiences within their life to date. Be gentle with yourself.
When I tell you “You’re enough,” how does it feel to hear those words?
Do you baulk or reel? Is there a little voice in your head that agrees, followed by a louder ”but.” What words come after that but? Noticing these thought patterns is the first step to improving your relationship with you and making positive change.
If we desire our children to feel enough, the work must start with us.
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not easy. The journey to self-love is an ongoing commitment that requires patience, honesty and humour. But when we get there, it’s worth it. We feel lighter, more complete and accepting of ourselves and others. When we can finally look ourselves in the mirror and say ’I love you’, and truly mean it, we know we have arrived home.