The Well

Feeling Enough

by Andrew Shaw on Jan.21, 2011, under Recent Posts

“I’m not skinny-enough. I’m not popular-enough. I’m not smart-enough. I’m not strong-enough. I’m not pretty-enough. I’m not successful-enough… I’m not insert-your-own-adjective-here-enough.”

There is a growing mental health epidemic in this country; a crisis of self-esteem that originates from the feeling, “who I am, is not enough.”  This all too common thought is bringing a great number of diverse people into therapy offices or the self-help aisle at the local bookstore, looking for a way to feel better about who they are.

What’s particularly tragic about this self-statement, “I’m not enough,” is that too often, this equates to being unacceptable and unlovable.  Because I’m not good-enough at this or that, others won’t love me.  Or, in order to get approval and love, I must be more.  This idea becomes deeply engrained in our minds.  We form an image of who we should be, how we should look and sound, what we should be capable of.  We give chase but can never quite catch up to the image, never feel satisfied, never feel that it’s enough.

The great secret, one so many of us have forgotten, or never learned in the first place, is that who we are truly is enough.  We are acceptable and worthy of love right now, as is, without needing to earn it or provide further proof. 

Let this idea take hold and grow. Let go of unattainable expectations and allow yourself to be as you are.  Embrace and celebrate the beautiful in you.

  • Close your eyes.  Take a few deep mindful breaths.  Repeat the following words a few times to yourself; who I am, is enough… I completely accept and love myself just the way I am.
  • Through out the day, be more aware of how you’re treating yourself and notice your thoughts.  Are your self-statements harsh or overly critical?
  • Try practicing loving-kindness towards yourself.  See if you can gradually integrate more compassionate and accepting self-talk.
  • Give yourself permission to be imperfect and make mistakes.  Look upon imperfection as a natural part of life and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.


Be Well

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