By Lisa Carrigg, MSN-DPD Student at Bastyr University
Have you ever felt like you were not good enough, or something you did, or made, was not good enough? All of us have experienced that moment at some point in time. Why is it, though, that such a discouraging and disheartening sentiment is so universal? In part, it is because one of the most important relationships in our lives is often the most neglected and forgotten one. Just as we have meaningful and positive relationships with other people it is just as important to recognize and value the one we have with ourselves. We can be so incredibly unkind to ourselves with the things we say in ways no one else ever could be. When we tell ourselves we are not good enough or that something that came from our efforts is not good enough we encourage more thoughts and feelings of defeat and they begin to build up and weigh us down, preventing us from moving on and forward to new and better things.
What IS enough then?
Enough is letting go of draining negative thoughts and instead fostering kindness towards ourselves. It is becoming comfortable with right now, with what you have, what you are doing and where you are. Although you may not be where you intend or desire, to be focused intensely on that is taking away from your feeling of being enough. Being enough is being okay with where you are for now in this moment and recognizing that it doesn’t mean you can’t be where or what you desire. We all need to remind ourselves amongst our striving, misguided self-comparisons with others and expectations, that we are enough, and enough is wonderful, it is exactly right for right now. We forget the powerful fact in times of self-discouragement that we are the only person in the world who has complete control over what we think and how we feel. Take notice today, or any day, of how many kind things you tell yourself or say about yourself. Also take notice of how many unkind or impatient things you say to yourself or say about yourself.
We begin to believe what we tell ourselves over and over again, whether it is true or not. Think back to the last time you can recall having to learn something new. What did you do to try and learn that something? Most of us repeat what we are trying to learn over and over again in some form or another until it becomes second nature, essentially, until it becomes a fact, a truth. Our thoughts follow the same process. When we begin to feel enough we begin to feel at peace and more satisfied with our lives. We can take a step back, a breath of fresh air, and see and be the whole picture of who we truly are, not just a tiny corner we limited ourselves to. It allows us to move forward because it allows us to let go. To build a kinder and stronger relationship with yourself, the best place to start is simply by practicing, just as you would with anything else new or forgotten. Try by letting this simple phrase be your words of affirmation for a day:
I am enough
Write it down, say it to yourself internally, speak it out loud, re-read it, whatever feels right to you and keeps it present in your thoughts throughout your day. In reality you are more than enough, but starting by becoming content with simply living in a reality where you are exactly enough is a perfect place to begin. When you are ready, try another. Here are some more suggestions of affirmations for ways to build a better and kinder relationship with yourself:
- I love and approve of myself
- I am more than good enough and I get better every day
- I matter and what I have to offer this world matters
- I am surrounded by love
- I trust myself
- I will fill my day with hope and face it with joy
- All of my problems have a solution
- I compare myself only to my highest self