I’m not good enough, not good at that, not talented enough, not outgoing enough, not clever enough, not enough.
I am not sure about you but ‘not enough’ thoughts have been part of my thought process for as long as I can remember. It has eased a little over the years but recently I noticed that it was back big time. Most of the reasons that were coming up for me as to why I hadn’t written a blog post for a long time were centered around ‘not enough” thoughts. “I am not a good enough writer”, “why would anyone read what I write when there are so many better writers out there” etc.
I almost talked myself out of applying for a job that I think would have worked for me well right now because I told myself that I wasn’t good enough to even have a chance. If I am honest, I let the ‘not enough’ thoughts stop me from doing lots of things.
I am guessing that most of us get these thoughts sometimes to varying degrees. Do you? Do we do it because we really think that we are not good enough? Is it our sense of self-worth? Because we are scared to step out of our comfort zone? Because we have been told that we are not enough by others? Because we have been told we are too much of something by others? Because we have been conditioned to think that it is not ok to think positively about ourselves? I certainly remember being told at school that I thought I was “too good” for other people or “up myself”.
I suspect it is a combination of all of the above and more.
So what do I (or we) do about it? For me, once I realise what I am doing (like now), I try to challenge those thoughts. Am I really a ‘not good enough’ writer? I suspect I am never likely to publish anything anywhere other than this blog but this is just a blog, it isn’t about perfect writing, it is about my thoughts. Why would anyone want to read what I write when there are so many other great blogs out there? Why do I care so much? What I need to do is just write when I want to, people can choose to read it… or not. I cannot control it. Am I really not good enough to apply for that job? What evidence do I have that I am not good enough to do the job? None. What evidence do I have that shows that I can? Um… maybe the several years of doing a very similar job!
Not enough thinking comes up in our parenting. We have a bad day and yell at the kids, we don’t feel that we feed them enough vegetables, we can’t afford the latest gadgets that the kids want – we tell ourselves that we are not a good enough parent. I want to ask you to look at the evidence which says that you are good enough. Are your kids fed? Are they happy? Clothed? Safe? Are you doing the best that you can? Then you are a good enough parent!
Next time you are telling yourself you are ‘not enough’, challenge those thoughts. Find the evidence that says that you are good enough. That is my plan anyway! It won’t always work but if we do it regularly enough maybe we can change our thoughts from ‘not enough’ to knowing that we are enough.