Enough is Actually Enough
The first time I was told “You are enough, just as you are,” I thought: Uh, no. I still have a lot of work to do.
At the time, I felt like I was not living up to my potential. Working as a yoga teacher was personally gratifying but monetarily lacking. I was a “good enough” mom but not one of the “rockstar” moms. The anger issues I’d been working through for years were still there, including almost flipping someone off en route to teaching a yoga class about lovingkindness.
A lot of work to do.
Hearing that I could be enough just as I was felt false, in part because of the years of internal dialogue such as I will be enough when…I have a certain title…my kids get into a certain college…my body can fit into that dress from 4 years ago…I earn a certain amount of money…I am confident in every work meeting…
We are conditioned to believe that we need to prove ourselves to be worthy (of love, of recognition) and valuable (to others, to the world). It is one symptom of the “work harder, achieve more” mentality that is central to the burnout culture we’re all steeped in. It also devalues things that have real value to us.
Plus, if/when we do reach one of those markers—Yay! I can wear that dress again!—the feeling of not enough is usually still there and a new marker has taken the place of the old—But I still can’t fit into those jeans.
It is the mental equivalent of a series of spiral staircases leading nowhere. You climb and climb not quite sure what you’re climbing towards, exhausting yourself along the way.
Instead of mindlessly climbing, tune into which markers of “enoughness” you’ve been using. Do they align with how you want to function? Who you want to be? Your values?
If not, consider choosing a different staircase or getting off the stairs all together. One that will allow to be where you are, just as you are. Which actually is enough.
Thank you to G. for sharing their wisdom (from the birthday newsletter) and inspiring this article!
Move Towards Enoughness by Defining Your Values
When you define what is important to you—just you, not society or your peers or your family—you can use those as guideposts for your decisions and choices. It is a lot easier to feel like you are “enough” when you live in alignment with your values! Free “Start With Values” version available here.
(other) Smart People
“Learn the rules, break the rules, make up new rules, break the new rules.”― Marvin Bell
Receive the “Slice of Sunshine” in your inbox by subscribing to the Department of Practical Sunshine newsletter.