Of all the newsletters I’ve ever written, the recent one about “being enough” has gotten the most response. I was so surprised to learn that this is such a big issue for so many people (including me).
Did you know that this is an actual “phobia”? It’s called Atelophobia – it’s the fear of imperfection and of not being good enough. There are now drugs to deal with the anxiety caused by this – oy vey!
This craving to be “enough” stems from the stories we make up about ourselves and the messages we get from society. Early on we learn that if we act a particular way, get good grades in school, win at sports, or give hugs to crazy Aunt Sophie, we receive praise from those around us. We get “attention” and we begin to connect “love” with “actions.”
Many of us have learned to believe that “I am enough when I do ___________.”
And, really, the truth is just our very beingness makes us more than enough.
Now, it’s up to us, as mature adults, to begin to make this a practice when the negative chatter in our head preaches that we need to do more, do better, etc. When I look at my cat, I never think, “If only Yoda would do ______ then I would love him more.” I love Yoda just because he is alive and with us (and it’s possible Yoda doesn’t share this point of view and he might love me more if I spoiled him as much as Brian does…ha ha!).
Writer/blogger Alexandra Hope Flood offers 11 steps to reminding us all that we are ENOUGH:
1. You are a miracle. Never forget this fact. Just the science alone is mind blowing.
2. You are unique. No one will ever be as good at being you as you are. Seriously.
3. You are enough. Always. Never doubt this. There is nothing to add, but feel free to expand.
4. There is always more to learn, but that is not failure, it is a gift. It can be fun too.
5. Every obstacle is an opportunity to fall further into the miracle that is you.
6. Commit to being the best version of you every day. Recalibrate the definition of “best” as needed.
7. Leave room for others when they fall off the wagon of their own miracle.
8. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive every which way. Forgive him. Forgive her. Forgive you.
9. Compassion is the key to forgiveness. Compassion means you feel the humanity in others.
10. The more you forgive, the more you’ll enjoy being you, because the lighter your load will be.
11. In the end, as in the beginning: You. Are. Amazing.
One of my favorite lines is from the classic film, The Help (starring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer & Jessica Chastain). Everyday, the maid tells the little girl in her care:
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
Wishing you love, laughter and magical kisses,