Why It’s So Hard to Say “I Am Enough” and How 3 Women Do It
Try saying it aloud: “I am enough”.
Now repeat and add conviction: “I am enough”.
Do you believe it?
The sad thing is, most people don’t. Not you, not your best friend, not your old school buddy who’s made millions, not that hard-working mother of three you admire, not the stunning model in the lifestyle magazine you looked at with envy.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SAY “I AM ENOUGH”?
It’s easy to see why. Brené Brown, researcher/storyteller says in her book “Daring Greatly”:
“I see the cultural messaging everywhere that says that an ordinary life is a meaningless life.
And I see how kids that grow up on a steady diet of reality television, celebrity culture, and unsupervised social media can absorb this messaging and develop a completely skewed sense of the world. I am only as good as the number of “likes” I get on Facebook or Instagram.”
We asked people where the feeling of not being enough may come from. These are some of the answers we got:
- Pictures in women’s magazines
- Other people’s lives look so fab on Facebook
- You feel all your friends’ careers are advancing, while yours is stagnant
- Your grandmother told you that “modesty is a virtue” and “perfection is worth pursuing”
- “Feelings” were not an allowed topic in your childhood home
- You got praise for delivering straight A’s, and questions when you didn’t
- Your mom used to worry about looking fat. You thought she was beautiful.
- Your dad was always strong, “like a man”. You learned to hold your tears.
- You once talked about your feelings and got rejected
WHY WE STILL NEED TO SAY IT
The feeling of not being enough is built into our culture, gender roles and social messaging, and by conforming to it, we’re “fitting in”. Sort of. Because “not enough” is also keeping us from meaningful human connection.
“when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough” … then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
So here’s the deal: We all struggle with it. It’s completely normal that we do. But to get more out of our lives we need to learn to let go.
INSPIRATION FOR SAYING “I AM ENOUGH”
We all struggle, but some of us are learning to say “I am enough”. There’s three of them from the YOU-community:
“I suffer from an illness called fibromyalgia (chronic pain and fatigue) and for most it is a debilitating condition. It means I have to rest a lot more often than ‘normal’ people and … I can not do the normal things mothers and wives do.
People often ask me ‘what do I bring to my relationship?’ Although I laugh it off, it is a thought that haunts me and terrifies me. What do I bring to my relationship? Why did my husband marry me? Why does he stay? I find it hard to move past these depressing thoughts, it brings a pain to my chest just thinking about it.
I AM ENOUGH. I love my husband, I love my family, I work hard to give them as much of myself as I can, it may not be as much as someone else can give, I may have to choose to sleep rather than clean, but as long as I always strive to give as much as I can I AM ENOUGH.”
“By showing my kids (and others) that I fully accept myself with my flaws, quirks and issues and by saying “I am enough” it is setting a good example about self-acceptance.
I don’t have to be perfect (does perfection really exist?) but to my husband and kids I am their perfect wife and mom. My girl loves making me heart cards and not a day goes by that my kids don’t remind me that I’m “the best mom” and for me that is proof that “I am enough”.
It doesn’t mean that I can’t improve … but accepting me, now, is most important. If not we always think, “oh I’ll be happy once I lose that weight…change that job…get the better car…whatever” but it’s not true – accepting ourselves is the first step to true happiness.
I just wish it hadn’t taken me so many years to realize that “I am enough”!”
“I thought I had to be perfect from the start and, when I couldn’t achieve that perfection, I funneled my frustration and feelings of inadequacy into an eating disorder that threatened to destroy my life. … I’m an anorexic and I haven’t been able to recover from that disease immediately. I’m a normal human being who is learning, day by day, how to make my life just a tiny bit better. Who is beginning to believe that I am beautiful in the eyes of God and of others, no matter my self-perceived flaws.”
Have you learned to say “I AM ENOUGH”? Tell us in the comments.