Oh the battle of feeling that you are “good enough.” Many of us have very loud self critics that are barking in our minds all day long. One thing that can damper our level of happiness is the high volume and high frequency of the “little negative devil” on our shoulder. There are actions we are not taking, healthy risks we are not jumping into and missed connections we are turning our backs to because we don’t feel worthy. Logically, if we learn to quite the voice that’s saying judgmental and critical words, we would feel relief. So, here are some tips that have helped not only my clients, but me, as well to stop the negativity.
No More Comparing
You will never win in the game of comparison. Period. It’s a bad habit that leads to low self esteem and a constant state of feeling not good enough. Do your best to redirect your energy back to you when you find yourself sizing yourself up to others. Remember that your story of what someone else's life is like, is not a fact. It’s not truth. It’s just your made up story of what is (that’s often false and distorted.) Also, the story that your telling yourself of how you should be, what you should look like or what you should have is also not truth. If it’s making you feel bad to think it, it’s not serving you. Step away from thoughts that pull you under. Be mindful of your thoughts and do your best to redirect or stop them from rolling into a detailed, false story that leads to you feeling bad.
Focus on YOU
When your focus is constantly about others and not about you, your reality will become distorted. When your focus is on others you are not tending to yourself and, soon, your needs will become neglected. It takes work to keep yourself in a healthy, positive space. First and foremost, keeping your focus on yourself and being your best “you” will help clear the need and desire to “want” to be living in the shadows of another. You are YOU for a reason. You are meant to be your true authentic self, not a carbon copy of another person. You are selling yourself short when you invest your energy focusing on the story of “lack” that you think is occurring in your reality. When you focus on lack, you receive lack. The opposite is true too: When you focus on what is working in your favor you will experience more positive situations.
Perfect does NOT exist
The reality is that the idea of “perfect” does not exist because it’s such a relative term. What is “perfect” to you can be defined differently by another and can and will change because change is inevitable. When we live our lives aiming for perfect, we begin to confine ourself into a small box because the need to “be perfect” is so limiting. When you are operating from the idea of perfection, you will find yourself second guessing every move you make. This is so because in order to stay in a limiting box, you have to convince yourself to follow your self made (usually extremely restrictive) rules that match your definition of perfection. These rules are often very inflexible, unhealthy and boring. It’s an unhealthy cycle that leads to unhappiness.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to break down this self induced definition of perfection and challenge it. Give yourself room to live and be without these drastic and suffocating limitations. Being you and living a life that leads to happiness looks more loose and free from restraint.
The truth of all of this is that you don’t need to accomplish or have anything to deem yourself worthy. You actually were born worthy. You are worthy….now. The only thing you need to do is believe that you are. When you start believing that you have worth, life around you will change based on your changing belief. You give off very different energy and actions when you believe that you are worthy. Ditching the above habits will help to clear the way for you to find that part within that KNOWS that you are good enough. It’s there, you just have to clean up your inner space to find it.
*This image was taken by Shannon Bailey, San Diego Photographer, in Joshua Tree National Park.