So I thought I'd post the original facebook status update that prompted my exploration of the Not Enough/More Than Enough dichotomy that has inspired a new body of work coming this spring. Here it is:
On feeling Not Good Enough.Some of you know me well. Some of you I've never met and I suspect we're connected only because we're mutual friends with 48 others.In any case, this is a tough post to write but I felt that putting it out there was the best way to communicate.
Today I feel like Not Enough.
And it's a feeling I've had to varying degrees nearly all of my life. the interesting thing is, I try desperately to outrun it. But Not Good Enough packs light, feels heavy, and joins me for the ride every time.
For me Not Enough hangs around when I look in the mirror and my closet; when I glance at my bank account balance, student loans, credit cards; or when I "shame shop" on other people's websites and compare their apparent success, clean/gorgeous sites and their rates/resumes to mine.
It feels really really gross. It tells me I haven't accomplished enough by now, that I'm not commanding the rates or contracts that I "should" and that my home/clothes/life are not where they should be. Every part of my life is an example of my shortcomings, says the voice of Not Enough.
The thing is, Not Enough doesn't go away with a smaller waist, a fatter bank account, a slick new website or (yet another) workshop.
I've tried all of those "solutions" only to come face to face (again) with the Not Enoughness that seems to shrink or tolerate being ignored only for so long.
Until...until whatever method of distraction I have used (moving houses! love! work! money! no money! decorating! travel! yoga! food! no food!) ceases to weave a wall between us.
Such distractions can be fun, productive, and even look to the world like the picture of health, success and/or discipline, but if we're motivated by a desire to escape Not Enough...well, no amount of achievement will ever serve that master a filling a meal.
And so we're left with ourselves and the boney arms of Not Enough.
Dear God. Depressing right? That's why I'm crying right now!
Here's another thing: writing this is cathartic for me for sure, but I also suspect that you, too, feel deeply and are motivated by Not Enough.
(Oh dear, that makes me cry too.)
Wait, a silver lining is coming people. Stick with me!
I wish I had a More Than Enough pill to give you. (No, it's name is not Klonopin.)
But I can personally tell you that pills don't work either. Neither would 1 million dollars (just ask the lottery winners). And neither would being a size 4 or marrying the so-called man of your dreams.
For serious. Because we'd still be our skinny selves and our so-called Prince Charming in a Hastens bed that cost like $35,0000 in some fabulous apartment snuggling up to the aforementioned (and very boney) Not Enough.
So what's a soul to do with this perhaps universal bit of human nature?
Here are my preliminary thoughts:
1. Cop to it. Own it as yours, recognize it and greet it and say hello. It could be a friend at this point; you've certainly known one another long enough.
This means that when it comes up, don't rush to put lipstick on the Not Enough pig. Let it be ugly. (I'm doing that right now.)
2. Access More Than Enough. We all have different ways of doing this. For some it's nature, for others it's meditation, for still others it is a faith practice.
We all have some way to feel full, connected, plugged in, joyful, at peace.
What is your way? (You could have more than one.) When was the last time you allowed yourself to let the More Than Enough grow bigger? To get fed?
Make a plan to feed your More Than Enough daily.
3. Reach out and give. I think it can be very easy in our modern world to live in our own little bubble of Not Enough. So we all walk around in our own Not Enoughess and bounce off of, react to, and otherwise don't see anyone else's Not Enough.
In a way our Not Enough bubbles insulate us and protect us, but they also deny us the very contact through which we can practice being More Than Enough.
Really, we're just one big old bubble. Let's act like it.
Or you could just say, "I'll show you my Not Enough if you show me yours."
Ultimately, feeling like Not Enough is the human condition. And how we respond to it says more about who we are than any statement that egoic Not Enough could make.
So today I'm putting my stake in the ground. I may feel Not Enough many times over in the journey of my life, but I'm gonna make a practice of cultivating More Than Enough every single day (and many moments therein) and hope that others do the same.
At our core we might struggle with Not Enough, but we are also, always, MORE Than Enough.
Interestingly, after reading it a year and a half later I'm excited to report that much of what I wrote no longer resonates with me. Hurrah! But I still remember the pain of being in that Not Enough place. Relief and recovery feel better and I also know the path that got me here...and that days will come when I still feel Not Good Enough.
Typically, only my 1:1 clients experience my methodologies up close, but the More Than Enough concept is so important to me that it's something I see myself exploring for years. Moreover, I want to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to learn from their Not Enoughness and embrace that they are More Than Enough. Stay tuned for 21 Days to More Than Enough and More Than Enough Volume One: You are, therefore you rock.