You are enough

In life we can feel we are not good enough because of our current circumstances, words others have spoken over us or simply having a constant “glass half empty” mindset.  We are wired so differently, some of us are thick skinned and can easily let negative feelings slide off of our backs, others can sit and churn over these feelings for weeks, months or even years.

It is our responsibility to fight, yes fight off the feeling that we are not good enough, that we do not belong, that we do not enhance or bring anything to the table.  It is damaging to our self image and personal development.  It can mean we do very little whilst maintaining a “what is the point” attitude or way too much in the hope of someday arriving at the point when we feel we are finally enough.

I have definitely felt I was not good enough at various stages of my life due to a number of factors; the most prominent two being, having an absent father and being verbally bullied in secondary school.  As a child and teenager I often wondered why my father chose not to play a part in my life. It made me feel inadequate, rejected and misplaced in society.  I wrongly assumed I was not special and therefore did not expect to be treated as such.  I wondered why a few of my peers gave me nicknames and enjoyed humiliating me in class. I was a shy, awkward looking teenager who steered away from large groups at school and instead hung out with one or two friends.  I blossomed late (17/18) and looking back was definitely not the epitome of “cool”.  For years I carried guilt, shame and an extreme inferiority complex. 

One day, I cannot recall when (I was definitely a Christian though), I made a decision to like myself. It probably sounds bizarre but throughout my teenage years and early twenties, I did not like who I was, what I looked like, the fact that I was shy and an introvert.  When one does not like themselves they tend to overdo everything in the hope of feeling they are just as “good”, “special” and “important” as another. In my case, I did not require recognition from others but from myself; I craved to have the feeling of waking up and going to sleep knowing I was enough. You see, the battle was happening in my mind not with anyone else.

It is fine to strive for progression in our lives but not because we believe this is what will make or define us.  We must avoid the temptation of living a life of constantly proving ourselves to ourselves.  It is exhausting and soul destrying.

How can you begin to accept yourself?

1. Think about your motives. What drives you?
2.  Think about what you enjoy doing and take this up as a hobby.
3. Treat yourself once a week – a new book, gadget, nail polish, coffee and cake in a “nice” tea shop.
4. Surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you and in turn with those you can inspire and encourage. It is a two way street – we should aim to give and not only to receive.

Have you ever battled with not being enough?
How did you overcome this, perhaps you are still on the journey?
What advice would you give to someone facing this challenge?

 

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18 thoughts on “You are enough”

  1. Hi Phoenicia,
    You have written another wonderful post. You are enough! You have helped many people with your posts, and especially with this one.

    I too suffered with not feeling like I was good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. In graduate school, I was once told by an advisory committee of professors, “We’ll let you continue for now.” That really hurt my feelings and damaged my confidence! But it also provoked me to decide to show them that I should be allowed to finish my degrees. And I did.

    Many times in life I have felt challenged to be good enough. Fortunately, I have developed resilience and have been able to complete whatever it was that was difficult. I think many women suffer from these feelings.

    Thank you for your post!

    Dr Rin

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  2. I will admit, my drive is different than yours. The fact I do not accept my accomplishments or achievements is what pushes me. I think I am never good enough, so it makes me be a driving person to get better.
    I also think that this is part of my humility, I despise arrogance, for I know my achievements are not mine, but come from above.

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  3. Interesting post, Phoenicia. I’m glad to see it has engaged some very sincere feedback. It is sad when life’s circumstances throw us some unexpected difficulties. A friend of mine just lost his job and I hope he is not doubting his talent just because someone didn’t believe in him.

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  4. And also we mustn’t have the tendency to please everyone. The more we bow your head, the more we get dominated. Feel equal, be equal and treat everyone as equal. Sometimes, being a little thick-skinned too is not a crime. I agree with you that it’s not necessary to give importance to every opinion we get. We should take the best suggestion and decide what suits us.

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  5. I can’t remember exactly how I ended up deciding to make the decision to like myself, but it was in sixth or seventh grade. I figured the one person I have to spend the most time with is myself and I can’t escape the inside of my head, so I made concentrated efforts to be kind to myself. It’s a continual growth process though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post and such an important topic Phoenicia! I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to add one more thing to your terrific list – make self-care a part of your life.

    You mentioned “treating” yourself to something once a week, and I think this is a good example of the way most women view self-care – either as an occasional “treat” or a quick fix to fall back on when they’re feeling stressed. When you truly love and accept yourself, you must also accept that nurturing your own well-being isn’t a treat, it’s an important element of taking responsibility for your life. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marquita. Great suggestion – I always enjoy reading feedback and recommendations.

      Women have a tendency to look after themselves after they have factored in family members. We need to be more good to ourselves.

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  7. I think most people suffer from lack of confidence at some point in their lives–especially if they are reaching and stretching for something new and different. The more I rely on God, the easier these things get, but I still have to make an effort to focus on my positive traits and not all my flaws!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. More than enough, actually. How many Western woman do you know that have held a senior management position in a huge Saudi company in Riyadh?:-) And I do give back. Teaching asylum seekers Swedish helps improve integration in Sweden. We have to avoid the problems you have in the UK that resulted in Brexit.

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  9. Being raised in a family where “good job” and “proud of you” were nonexistent terms, I certainly understand the tendency to not feel like enough. How did I battle back? I think it was basically my faith in God that helped the most. Education helped too, as well as participating in endurance sports all these years.

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