Is feeling that you’re not good enough, something you struggle with? For me this feeling traveled through my smoke screens and showed up as self-doubt and self-comparison.
It wasn’t until recent years that I began naming it for what it is – my “not enough stuff.” The magnitude of how deeply ingrained this belief was, came to a head a couple years ago when, after unwinding my life and reaping the benefits of doing less, I was close to launching my website with the focus ‘do less and live more’. Something I thought no one else was talking about.
A few days before I was ready to go public with my new website, an email arrived from a lovely woman I know. She leads a very successful online business and has a huge (hundreds of thousands) following. The email that arrived was about her new venture and this new venture focused on working with woman on how to do less.
To say I was crushed is an understatement. I cried. I felt defeated. I felt worthless. I felt unimportant. I felt small.
Thank God for friends who do not coddle you!
I got on the phone with two of my wise friends – Barbara Huson (Stanny) and Athena Burke. I was crying and feeling like a loser and said, “I feel like I’m whining” and Barbara said, “you are whining!” (see what I mean about not coddling). Instead of trying to make me feel better, Barbara and Athena supported and encouraged me to not run from what I was feeling and to plunge into the depths of ‘I’m not enough!’
Slogging through the muck was exactly what I needed.
A few weeks later, Athena helped me unearth the reason I was so crushed. My feelings were deeply connected to a need to be seen. Not by you, or my friends but by my Mom. My whole life from childhood to adulthood all I ever wanted was for my narcissistic Mom to appreciate and love ‘me’ for who I was.
I created a story that to be ‘good enough’ I needed to be the best and then I would receive that appreciation and love I so craved as a child. I set my bar so high, I could never reach it and as Athena explained, my opportunity to be enough ‘in my mom’s eyes’, was blown to smithereens when this well-known person launched her new venture.
Recently I did an unscripted Facebook Live video, about the masks we wear, which led to me saying “I am F**** tired of my ‘not enough’ stuff” (click here to watch) and then it hit me…
This is an old story. On one hand I’m grateful I hung on to it, because I’ve learned so much and now I can share what I’ve learned. On the other hand, I am ready to let this one go.
As often happens, when we don’t ignore our feelings, when we allow ourselves to slog through the muck, something shifts. The trick is to not be so busy, you miss the shift and to acknowledge even the smallest shifts because over time they add up to big shifts. Anyhow…
A few days after making that video, I was taking a CE course for psychologists (which I’m not) to work with their clients on core beliefs of ‘never good enough’ and Dr. Kelly McGonigal said, “not good enough, for what?”
Light bulb moment! Seriously. What am I not good enough for? If someone wants me to perform brain surgery, that’s true – I am not good enough!
So here are a few questions to ponder:
- What is true and what is false, about the belief that you are ‘not good enough?’
- Not good enough, for what? I love this question!
- What has triggered the feeling?
- What story have you attached to the belief of ‘not good enough’ (or to any belief for that matter)?
To finish out this story, as it turns out, there are all kinds of people talking about ‘doing less’ (you know that saying, ‘you see what you want to see’, perfect example here!) and they all have their unique perspective and I have mine.
And the woman who triggered my meltdown, well that’s Kate Northrup and I now see that what she’s created is so her. And what I’m creating – Sacred Selfishness™, The Practice of Prioritizing Self, is so me!
Plunging into the depths of our psyche, can be hard work (easier with guidance, or friends who do not coddle) but to be free of, or to have loosened the grip of emotions, beliefs and the stories we cling to, I can tell you first hand – it’s worth every whiny moment and tear!
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!