You are enough. You have always been enough, and you will always be enough. There is nothing that you need to do in order to become more than enough – you already are that. All you have to do is accept yourself for who you are, and know that you are deserving of all the good things life has to offer.
Yet, for some reason, so many of us go through life feeling like we are not enough. We compare ourselves to others and think that we fall short. We doubt our abilities and think that we are not good enough to achieve our goals.
Let’s discuss the biggest lie we tell ourselves, “I am not enough”, and how to overcome it.
Why we Believe we Are Not Enough
At its core, the reason many believe they are not enough is because of fear. It’s the fear of not being good enough, the fear of failure, or the fear of not being loved. But who decides if we failed, if we are loved, and if we are good enough? Society? Our family or friends? Or maybe it’s just us.
Trying to Fit In
The biggest struggle we face is trying to fit in and be like everyone else. We want to be accepted and loved, so we try to mould ourselves into what we think others will accept. The problem is, that when we try to be someone else, we end up losing ourselves in the process.
It’s an illusion to think that we need the acceptance of everyone else to make us feel complete. We don’t. This isn’t to say that the love, support, and feedback of others aren’t important, but at the end of the day, we need to learn to love and accept ourselves first. When we let our ability to be happy depend on external things, we have given our power away.
As humans, we aren’t islands. We need social interaction to reproduce, improve, and survive. But, that doesn’t mean that our self-worth should come from others. Too often, people find themselves in social interactions that are harmful. If we are in the wrong social groups we can be a part of bullying, manipulation, and exploitation by so-called ‘toxic individuals’.
Why do we Join Toxic Groups?
The question is: why do we do this? One of our greatest fears seems to be the fear of ‘ending up alone. That’s why we stay friends with people that don’t treat us well or stay in relationships tainted by domestic abuse, cheating, lying, and other destructive behaviours.
People can be very abusive. And nonetheless, we need to be liked by those who aren’t good for us. We can have hundreds of friends and feel alone. So, we try to find more friends, become more outgoing, and do our best to impress our environment, hoping that social acceptance eventually leads to the fulfillment we’re looking for.
We can have thousands of followers on Instagram and many likes on the things we post. We try to find that perfect relationship, hoping that this person makes us feel complete, which means asking our partners the impossible.
But at the end of the day, we lay in our beds, awake, asking ourselves why we feel so disappointed.
The Solution to Believing You Are Enough
Knowing you are enough is not to be achieved outside. It’s achieved within. We spend a lifetime pursuing things from the world in order to discover that we are still empty inside. If we don’t already have genuine contentment within, no amount of money, friends, or material possessions will suffice.
Paradoxically, this contentment only reveals itself when we stop looking for it. It appears spontaneously when we’re completely immersed in the present moment, consumed by what is, without the need for anything to change, without straining ourselves to be anywhere but in the here and now. Here are some steps we each can take to start believing that we are enough:
Start by making peace with where you are in life
This doesn’t mean you should become complacent, but it does mean that you should start accepting yourself for who you are. A lot of our struggles come from the fact that we are constantly trying to escape ourselves. We don’t like who we are, so we try to become someone else. The first step to loving yourself is to make peace with who you are right now. The stoics have a great phrase for this called Amor Fati; Do not worry about what you cannot change.
Recognize that you are not your mistakes
We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human, and having a growth mindset is understanding that. But, too often, we dwell on our mistakes and allow them to define us. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up over things that you can’t change. Don’t let your past define you.
Focus on your positive qualities
Instead of fixating on your negative qualities, focus on your positive ones. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are your strengths? When you focus on your positive qualities, you’ll start to see yourself in a more positive light.
Be patient with yourself. Believing that you are enough is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. But, if you’re patient and you keep working at it, you’ll get there. Just remember that you are not alone in this. We all struggle with self-love at times. But, if we all work on it, we can make the world a more loving place. So, keep going. You ARE enough.
Pursue your passions
Make time for things you enjoy. When you pursue your passions, you’ll start to feel more alive. You’ll feel like you’re doing something that matters. And, as you start to feel more alive, you’ll start to love yourself more. So, don’t be afraid to pursue your passions. Just go for it. Make time for things you enjoy.
Focus on your own journey
Stop comparing yourself to others. We all have our own journeys to take. And, too often, we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. But, you are on your own journey. You are not supposed to be like anyone else. You are unique and you have your own path to follow. So, focus on your own journey and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Just do you. Be the best version of yourself every day; Memento Mori.
And along that journey remember that you are human. You’re not perfect. And, that’s okay. Just because you’re not perfect doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. You are allowed to make mistakes and you are allowed to be imperfect.
Create a support system of family and friends that love and accept you for who you are.
One of the best ways to love yourself is to surround yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are. When you have a supportive network of family and friends, you’ll start to feel better about yourself. You’ll feel like you belong and you’ll feel loved. So, if you don’t have a supportive network of family and friends, try to create one. Find people who will love and accept you for who you are.
That support system includes yourself. Don’t forget to be gentle with yourself. Too often, we are our own worst critics. We beat ourselves up over things that we can’t control. But, you have to be gentle with yourself. You are human, after all. So, cut yourself some slack.
You are Enough Quotes
Read on for some beautiful quotes about self-love and self-acceptance that will remind you just how amazing you truly are!
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” – RuPaul
“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” – Diane von Furstenberg
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” – Michel de Montaigne
Closing Thoughts on Loving Yourself: You Are Enough
You don’t need other people to feel content. If you’re alone right now: welcome it. Yes, socializing can lead to much joy and there’s much happiness in sharing, helping, connecting, and supporting. But there’s a difference between the dependence on social interaction for the sake of one’s search for completeness, and voluntary engagement with other people, without needing them to feel complete. You are enough.