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Bloom Where You Are: The 'Not Enough' Fallacy

Posted Mandy Murphy on 10/17/2014 |

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Recently, I witnessed some conversations among several women that brought to light our society’s ever-growing mentality of “not enough.”

I never seem to accomplish enough in a day.

My house is never clean enough.

I don’t dress stylishly enough.

I can’t seem to get on top of things at work.

I don’t give enough individual time to my kids.

I am not fit enough.

I wish I felt like I was a better partner.

I will never be able to do enough to have an impact on the deteriorating environment.

I am not in tune enough with what is happening in the world.

How is it that I and so many of us have grown into the clothing of “not enough” and subsequently have decided that these clothes will become our most comfortable and regularly worn outfit?  Where did I get this outfit anyway?

By thinking that we are not enough, we set ourselves up to constantly try to be “enough”. . . and spend a lot of our life energy trying to close that gap between where we perceive ourselves and where we think we should be.

As I reflect on these discussions, it occurs to me that this “not enough” thinking is an undercurrent of so much of our lives. It is one of the very things that lowers our self-worth and robs us of a joyful and confident life.

By feeling or thinking that we are not enough, we set ourselves up to constantly try to be “enough.” We always feel “less than” and spend a lot of our life energy trying to close that gap between where we perceive ourselves (not enough) and where we want to be (enough). 

But what if that gap doesn’t really exist? What if you are fully enough, just as you are in this very moment?

I know. When I said this to one group of women I got some pretty “yeah, right” looks. I have certainly felt my share of “yeah, rights” to this possibility. But with some conscious attention to how many times a day I hear a “not enough” thought or an awareness of feeling “not enough,” I am beginning to see that those thoughts are more auto-speak than reality. Maybe I am and we all are fully ENOUGH, just as we are.

A theme within the Girls on the Run curricula is providing girls the experience to feel enough—wholeheartedly and completely enough—so that they can strengthen their confidence and develop an unshakable sense of self. Over time, life brings us many messages that poke holes in this unshakeable self. We have to continually work to become aware of our escaping confidence and to strengthen our inner core by taking on new challenges, re-committing to the things that bring us joy, re-evaluating our priorities, or taking some time to be quiet and listen to our “I am enough” voice within—all the while, cultivating self-compassion. (More on the importance of self-compassion in a future Remarkable! post).

In one Girls on the Run lesson, we ask the girls to run or walk a few laps in silence with the invitation to just be with their thoughts and practice centering themselves in the moment. Likewise, would you be willing to take a short break, go for a quiet walk and consider all the many, many ways that you are totally and completely enough, just as you are?

"Bloom Where You Are" is a column from the professional development department of Girls on the Run International. These columns share thoughts and insight about wellness and personal development intended to help every woman recognize and activate her limitless potential.


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