One of the things that all humans have in common is the feeling that we aren’t enough. This is because our brain is measuring who we are and what we do against a constantly shifting standard of acceptability and the conclusion is always the same: we aren’t enough.
A lot of us have tried to get around this feeling of not enoughness and inadequacy through achievement, self-improvement, and even righteousness. We are constantly trying to earn our enoughness by the things we do, but this doesn’t work and it leaves us exhausted, desperate, and even more aware of our shortcomings.
In this podcast episode, I share two important truths about your enoughness—there is no such thing as being enough and there is no way to be anything other than enough. Understanding this paradox will allow you to love you exactly as you are and let go of your brain’s insatiable quest to be “enough.”
Enoughness: we think it’s unavailable to us, we search it out tirelessly, we think we’ll be better once we achieve it, yet... we never seem to find it. This ever-elusive concept of enoughness is what today’s show is all about.
What if I told you enoughness is already available to us -- no action required? We get to choose how we think about ourselves, and I’m making a case for choosing thoughts about your absolute, unchangeable enoughness, right now, as you are. I want to help you see yourself in all your enoughness.
Today’s episode will uncover:
Why your brain is 100% wrong about enoughness
So first, let’s start with the definition of “enough”. The dictionary defines enough as occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.
It’s a measurement of something—the amount or the quality—of something as compared to the demands, needs or expectations.
And herein lies the problem.
Our brain is measuring us—our ability, our capacity, the quality of our output—and measuring it against its own expectation. And no matter what we do or don’t do, no matter what we accomplish or achieve, no matter what we master or learn, that expectation is not a fixed target. No matter what we’re measuring, it will never meet the expectation.
Our desire and quest for enoughness is flawed from the very beginning, because what the brain demands or expects us to be is not fixed. It’s always changing. And we never, ever arrive.
The paradox of enoughness
The human brain makes it impossible to ever do enough to achieve enoughness. But doing enough is not the job. The job is to do what you can with what you have—and for every single one of us, whatever that is, it's always enough AND never enough. That’s the paradox. It is so powerful for you to be able to hold both of those ideas in your mind at the same time.
We think it’s because of what we’re measuring - ourselves. But it’s because the brain is stacking us up against ever-changing expectations that always find us lacking.
3 ways to think differently about enoughness
Why trying to solve for enoughness always fails
You have to stop thinking you need to fix something about yourself in order to change an experience that is part and parcel of the human condition. Your brain is making your perceived shortcomings mean something negative about the way you’re living, or taking it as an overall statement of your worthiness. One has nothing to do with the other.
I want to release you from the idea that you have to solve for not enoughness.
I want to offer you that your brain thinks the problem is you, but it’s wrong about this. In fact, there isn’t even a problem to solve here.
It’s just the human condition, a condition necessary for progression.
How to start loving yourself as you are
To end today, I want to offer you a different way to see yourself.
Imagine all the parts of yourself. All the parts you like, that you’re proud of, and all the parts that your brain wishes could be different because they don’t measure up. Imagine sitting with all these parts of you in the junior high lunch room. For a long time, you’ve rejected these parts of you by saying they weren’t good enough.
Decide to be friends with every part of yourself. Invite every part of you to sit down at the table. “You can sit with me. This is a safe place. You are welcome here. You are enough.”
Your job isn’t to negate all the unwanted parts of you so that somehow you can meet some standard of enoughness. Your job is to love you. To be friends with you. To know that every single part of you sitting at the table is enough.
When you love yourself like that, with no need to be anything different or measure up, you will find that love is the greatest change agent there is. Your brain is 100% wrong about your not enoughness and 100% wrong about how to achieve enoughness. Your enoughness just is.
And that my friends, is 100% awesome.