How wonderful is it to have someone say they love you "just as you are," with all your imperfections, despite mistakes, and more? That’s the “fairy tale” of what we want from others. But how often do we give that to ourselves?
In last week’s blog post, we discussed how the formation of our mindset begins with belief. Believing that you ARE enough is accepting yourself just as you are. It's easy to say, but much harder to put into action. Before we can believe we are enough, we need to examine our beliefs and thoughts on a few familiar foes.
Perfection is IMPOSSIBLE. Let me say it again for the people in the back - Perfection Is Impossible. As much as we may strive for it, it really isn’t achievable. It only creates stress and frustration. Elizabeth Gilbert has described it well - “Perfection is unachievable: It’s a myth and a trap and a hamster wheel that will run you to death."
Have you been caught in that “perfection trap?" We joke in my family that we come by it honestly. I struggle with it, my sister does, so do my mother and niece…. Do you see a trend?
Marie Forleo, in her book Everything is Figureoutable, stated that perfectionism, “is about fear. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, criticized, and ridiculed. It’s a fear that one simple fact might be true: You’re just not good enough."
Reflect on the fears Marie Forleo listed. Do any of them resonate with you? I know that these fears are unfounded. I know that you ARE good enough.
To believe you’re enough, believe perfection isn’t required.
Credentials & Expertise
Having enough credentials may be the biggest nemesis that prevents me from feeling like I’m enough. As someone who naturally gravitates toward wanting to know more, combined with my perfection tendencies, I’ve always got another credential I want to achieve.
The same can be said for my drive to achieve “expert” status. Achieving mastery is wonderful, however, it’s not always required. The need to achieve mastery may be a band-aid to what we really need – recognition.
Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith write in their book How Women Rise that, “when you’re routinely under-recognized, expertise can become a defense, your way of asserting your value regardless of what others perceive or think. Being intrinsic, mastery is one source of satisfaction that you can control."
How do you feel about your current level of degrees or credentials? Are you using them as tools to help you feel accomplished or enough?
To believe you’re enough, believe that your current level of credentials and expertise are enough.
Comparison & Imposter Syndrome
Brené Brown defines comparison in her book Atlas of the Heart as, “the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other – it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out." Looking at this definition, it’s no wonder why comparing ourselves to others creates anxiety and drives that feeling of “not enough."
It's so easy to compare ourselves with others. The stories we see on social media can suck you into that spiral of comparison. Marie Forleo calls this “doing shots of Comparschläger."
So much has been written about Imposter Syndrome- that feeling that someone is going to find you out, that you really aren’t “all that." To help get beyond the doubt that comes up and creates that feeling that you're an imposter, you can revisit some of what we discussed in regarding the Social+Emotional Intelligence Competency of Personal Power.
Stop comparing and squelch doubt to believe you’re enough.
Here are 3 steps to help you BELIEVE YOU ARE ENOUGH.
1. Stop and Assess
If you’re beginning to experience some of the emotions or fears discussed above, STOP and assess. We are so busy that we don’t take the time to slow down long enough to really assess what we’re feeling and why.
In last week’s blog, we discussed the “truth test” on our beliefs. That could be one of the first things you need to do in your assessment.
Other activities during your assessment could be naming the emotion you’re feeling and identifying any event that might have occurred directly before, which created the emotion. This is important to do both in the highs and lows.
Stop and assess and you’ll believe you’re enough!
2. Appreciate Your Journey & Experiences
If you struggle with needing more credentials or achieving expert status to feel you’re enough, work on appreciating your journey and the experiences you’ve had.
Each of us has taken a different path. Each path has come with different experiences, and you’ve learned from those experiences. Personally, I know that my need for more credentials is something I’m driving, and not the result of what others have told me.
Take time to appreciate how far you’ve come and that your experiences are so much more valuable than a piece of paper. All those experiences validate that you are the real deal!
When we work with others, they want to know about our experiences because as much as being certified or degreed says you have knowledge, what’s missing is the application of that knowledge which only comes via experience.
Appreciate your journey and experiences, and you’ll believe you’re enough!
3. Embrace Your Uniqueness
There is only ONE you! How you work, your style of leadership, your personality, and your strengths are all unique to you. That combination creates your own secret sauce for success.
Take time to consider what’s unique about you. In a recent branding conversation, I had to answer the question about what makes JennQuest and my work unique. I found the activity affirming and rewarding. If my eye doesn’t stay focused on my own uniqueness and how unique my work is, then I’ll start doing those “shots of Comparschläger!"
Write down what is unique about you and commit to monitoring how you respond to social media information around what others are doing.
Embrace your uniqueness and you’ll believe you’re enough!
There are so many internal and external factors that can makes us feel like we aren't enough. Identifying the root cause of your belief that you aren't enough is the first step to reversing that limiting belief.
No matter where you are on the journey of life, YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith
Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown