How to believe you're good enough ?
Are you constantly beating yourself up that you should be more, do more, or have something else ?
Do you find yourself pressured to be what others need you to be and in the process you lose all you are?
Do you wonder where your internalized voice “ I am not good enough" comes from ?
Every day, we’re bombarded by expectations that make us feel we aren’t thin or beautiful enough, or that our jobs aren’t good enough, that we aren’t even happy enough. Also, it seems like "accepting oneself " comes so naturally for other people who "appear" to have it all—they have that killer body, a big house, a perfect husband, and a career that you can only dream of.
If you had all of that, you’d finally accept yourself, right?
Why? Okay Let me take you back in time when we were children- and what I have learned about how I internalized this message of "not good enough". Since the beginning, as children we define our world by the love and care we receive from our caregivers. The main goal is to be loved. We internalize our environment and believe that to be happy and get more love is to have and make sure Mommy and Daddy are happy. "When Mommy is happy, she will play with me and spend time with me_When Daddy is not busy, he will be nicer to all of us.” Kids want peace, love and harmony in their lives and need it to thrive emotionally. So, if it is not there, guess what they do? They try to build their conditional loving world and learn to fix it by trying to be "a better and better kid”, or they may also try the opposite and act out to get their parents to focus on them. A child knows no different. They take this on as "It must be me". Their inner chatter would sound something like :
“It must be my fault if my parent is busy or angry, or can’t love me. I must be unlovable. I will clean my room tonight and then my parents won’t fight.
But, wait they do fight and they don’t even notice . It didn’t work. I am not Good enough, or Powerful enough, or Worthy.” So the child ends up carrying parents issues and struggles and takes on their emotional weight as “If only I could do more.”
If you are reading this and it resonates, I wish you start looking at this emotional weight and realize it doesn't belong to you. What you have perceived as a child , is not your fault. You do not have to "do more" to be loved, or to to fix situation ". It is not your weight, and its time to release the burden of carrying your family's baggage. While it seems easy to comprehend intellectually, I know that understanding this emotionally is an ongoing journey which takes some serious work of recovery. It starts by realizing that this heavy weight belong to someone else “This is not my stuff, I am carrying my mother’s sadness, or my father’s insecurities.” You can begin to release trauma by getting rid of the burden and weight, one Kg at a time, Until You realize you are you; and it is good enough!
If you feel you have just started to understand this and need to revisit the past and uncover the message of unworthiness, then perhaps a therapist can be helpful.
If you have been walking this journey of self-love and healing for a while now and know that it is ongoing process of learning and unlearning then here are some daily reminders/mantras that I continue to practice, which may help you connect and believe in your worthiness, and empower inner voice of “I am enough”:
Stop comparing yourself to others
We all compare ourselves to other people, and I can assure you that the people who seem to have it all do not. It is this conditioned belief that what we need is always outside us and Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our “behind-the-scenes circumstances' with everyone else’s public highlight social media. When you look at other people through a lens of compassion and understanding rather than judgment and jealousy, you are better able to see them for what they are—human beings. They are beautifully imperfect human beings going through the same universal challenges that we all go through. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life.
Thoughts are not personal.
“Life is simple, It's not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.” one of my favorite quotes by Byron Katie. Thoughts are just thoughts, and it’s our choice to either be prisoners to disempowering ones or give power to the ones that serve and support us.
Make peace with the Now.
It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering. Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with “what is,” rather than wishing for and worrying about “what is not.” Right now is an inevitable step and the truth is it's exactly where you need to be, to get to where you want to go tomorrow. Eckhart Tolle explains the power of now as “most humans are never present in the moment, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one, but then you miss your whole life, which is never not now". One thing I’ve learned about making changes is that you cannot fully relax and immerse into where you’re going; until you can accept, acknowledge, and appreciate where you are.
Honor and acknowledge yourself .
Get in touch with the qualities about yourself that you like and appreciate. Connect daily with at least three things that you are proud of accomplishing, and encourage yourself. Think of all the qualities it takes to achieve those things. “Until you stop breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong with you.” a powerful reminder quote inspired from Jon Kabat-Zinn. Yes and Yes, there is more right with you than wrong with you. As someone who always tends to zoom in all my perceived flaws, it helps to remember and celebrate the qualities that I like about myself most—and feast on.
Baby yourself when you feel you deserve it the least.
This can be a powerful exercise. Get one of your baby pictures and revitalize your sense of lovability and self-acceptance. Look at the baby in the photo, Would you scornfully tell that baby “you are disgusting, you have no willpower , you are not worthy or “stop being a baby”? I find that it is most difficult to accept love and understanding from others when I’m in a state of anger, anxiety and shame, but adopting this exercise really helps in connecting to my child and give myself what I needed at that time -some kind of support and love. Love is the greatest gift you can give to yourself during such times.
Focus on progress.
Focus on how far you’ve come rather than on how far you have left to go. Keep your eyes on the prize but stay unattached. One of the biggest causes of self-loathing is this fixation to “get there, or need to get it right.” We strive for perfection(which no one really comprehend what perfection is) , and when we fall short, we feel less worthless.
You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
Telling yourself what a failure you are, won’t make you any more successful. Shaming yourself for not having the body you dream of, won’t help you get the body you like. Telling yourself you’re worthless and unlovable won’t make you feel any more worthy or lovable. The only simple way to achieve self-love is to love yourself—regardless of who you are and where you stand and even if you know you want to change.
Each and every one of us is unique .
You were born to be the best version of you and no one else.
Michelle Bauman quotes "your worthiness cannot be put on a dimmer switch". Neither you, nor anyone else can increase or decrease it.
So how can you start the journey of truly embracing your enough-ness
and loving yourself, right here, right now?
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