Could these three little words, ‘I am enough’, be at the heart of our happiness? They are easy to say, but not always easy to truly believe. Marisa Peer, a world renowned therapist, certainly thinks so, in fact, she encourages everyone to write these words on their bathroom mirror so that they can see them every day.
When we are born, we don’t worry about whether we are enough. We come into the world expecting all our needs to be met and everything we want to be available to us. It’s only as we experience disappointment or rejection that this negative belief begins to grow inside us. For example, if we are told that we’re not as good at something as a sibling, or we’re not as pretty as our friend, the self-doubt begins to creep in and become destructive.
Once these seeds of doubt are planted, we begin to water them regularly. In other words, we start to believe them and give them more and more attention. We think about them and talk about them constantly until they begin to manifest in our lives. We have all heard the phrase, ‘your thoughts become things’.
When we don’t feel that we are enough, our subconscious mind steps in to try and match these thoughts. Self-sabotage, procrastination and self-depreciation are all the minds way of coping. If you’re not enough, then you shouldn’t really try! You should manage everyone’s expectations by letting them know that you probably won’t be successful! You should put problems in your own way so you have a ready-made excuse if you fail! Some people cause arguments in their relationship so that they have something to blame when it all goes wrong (anything rather than have people learn their terrible secret!).
Alternatively, we try to find ways to fill ourselves up. If we’re not enough, we could fill the emptiness with alcohol or shopping, food or gambling. But the problem is, when we don’t feel enough, we can never get enough.
What can you do to change the way you feel?
Change your words
Your mind believes whatever you tell it, whether it’s true or not, so the first thing you need to do is change your words. Start being kinder to yourself and using more positive language. Even if you don’t believe it at first, just fake it until you make it. For example, if you have a presentation and you feel really nervous, just tell yourself that the feeling is excitement, and that this is something that you want to do and have chosen to do. I have tried this lots of times and it really works.
Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s definitely not easy but you need to try and stop comparing yourself to others as we are all different. It’s fine to aspire to certain qualities, but when you do it to put yourself down, it can be very damaging. Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses and give yourself credit for what you’re good at.
Don’t believe everything you think
You might not realise it, but your mind lies to you all the time! It repeats old patterns and beliefs over and over and is often telling you things that aren’t true. We sometimes see this with people who have lost a lot of weight. They look slim on the outside but their mind is still telling them they are over-weight. If you struggled with Maths in school, you might believe that you are just no good at it, when really you may have had a poor teacher or just not have been mature enough to understand it at the time. Learn to question your own thoughts and beliefs to see if they are really true.
Live in the moment
The more you focus on the present moment and try to live in the here and now, the more opportunity there is for feeling enough. It’s often by thinking about the past, or worrying about the future, that these feelings of insecurity can surface. When you’re totally immersed in what you’re doing, you don’t have time to worry about what other people think, or to listen to your own negative thoughts.
Feeling grateful for what you have can totally change your perspective on things. Instead of focusing on what is missing in your life, or your perceived failings, change your focus to all
The good things.
Start a gratitude journal. Write three things at the end of the day that you’re grateful for. Try to be really specific.