I’ve been known to be a people pleaser. In my past, I worried a lot about what people thought about me and how they were judging me: the way I looked, the way I behaved, how I was doing the things I was doing, my goals, my dreams…anything about me. Even with the people who were closest to me, I would worry about what they thought or how they felt about me.
All of that worry led to insecurity, a lack of confidence and a constant cycle of comparison thinking. I let my inner critic run the show. That inner Mean Girl was always there telling me that I wasn’t good enough, I couldn’t do the things other people were doing, I couldn’t be the way other people were being, that I just wasn’t enough.
Finally after a lot of inner work I started to identify the thoughts and the fears behind those feelings and realized that I am enough.
No matter what I’m doing, I am good enough. And I want you to know that you’re good enough, too.
So what do we do when those fears of failure or insecurities or thoughts of not being good enough come up?
The tendency is to get caught in the cycle of those thoughts. But we don’t want to get caught in that cycle. We want to know that we are good enough. We want to feel that confidence.
And we can, if we’re aware of what’s going on in our minds.
I’m going to share with you three of the things that I do to deal with those feelings of not being “good enough”.
Be aware of comparison. We all have thoughts and behaviors that are automatic. Meditation and mindfulness can help us be aware of when those comparison thoughts come up. But even without meditation and mindfulness, just making an effort to notice when you’e comparing yourself or your situation to others can bring light to why you’re feeling insecure.
Remember that everyone is dealing with their own stuff. Everyone is going through something. What you see from your vantage point is never the full story. There’s always more to the story. There are always parts of our lives that we keep to ourselves…and we should know that there will always be parts of other people’s lives that they’re not sharing either.
In this day and age of social media when we see people’s lives on display, know that what you’re seeing is only part of the story. Be aware when those thoughts of comparison start to come up and remind yourself that they’re not helpful.
Show yourself some love. There are a lot of ways to show yourself love. I talk a lot about self-care and loving yourself, but I want you to specifically spend some time doing something you enjoy–every day, if possible.
Another way I show myself love when I’m not feeling great about myself is to use affirmations. I will sit down in a quiet space with my journal and will think about how I’m feeling. Maybe my thoughts are telling me I’m not a good mom or I’m not a good wife or I’m not a good enough writer or I’m not a good enough yoga teacher or my personal yoga practice stinks…whatever thoughts are coming up, I just pay attention to them.
And trust me, the thoughts come up. The old stories come back sometimes. In fact, that list is full of thoughts I’ve had in the last week or so.
So when these thoughts come, because they will, because we are creatures of habit and we are human beings conditioned to compare ourselves to other people, I want you to recognize them. Don’t bother judging them or beating yourself up about them. They’re just thoughts, and YOU have control over them.
Once you’ve noticed a thought of comparison, take whatever the thought is (so from my examples maybe it’s: I’m not a good mom), and rewrite it in a more accurate and positive way. We have to recognize that the thoughts of comparison, the I’m not good enough thoughts, are NOT accurate. They are not true. And by recognizing that we can take them and adjust them, rewrite them, in a positive way. Then “I’m not a good mom” becomes “I’m a loving and supportive mom and I do my best every day to raise healthy, joyful and compassionate boys.”
And I repeat that to myself. I write it, I repeat it and I believe it. The next time one of those comparison thoughts comes up, I do the same thing. I choose a new thought. I rewrite the story. I figure out what the thought is that’s holding me back and I rewrite it into something that’s more positive and more truthful.
Celebrate you. For someone who has confidence issues, who has trouble with insecurities, celebrating yourself and your uniqueness and who you are can be tough. But when you start thinking about not being good enough, I want you to take some quiet time, maybe 5 minutes, to sit down with a journal or just a piece of paper and a pen, and write out all of the things about you that are amazing. There are lots of things about each of us that are amazing.
If it’s hard, if you find yourself really struggling with this exercise, then imagine you’re sitting with your best friend and they are listing out all the things that they love about you. We can hear it from them sometimes when we can’t hear it from ourselves.
So take some time, be aware, notice when you’re in that space of feeling not good enough and use some of these tips to challenge those thoughts. Recognize the good enough that you are.
Because you ARE good enough. You’re more than good enough. You are ENOUGH. Period.
I believe it. I believe it about me and I believe it about each and every one of you.