I hope everybody could get rich and famous, and have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer. – Jim Carrey.
Have you ever felt that you weren’t good enough? My guess is that most people in the world have this underlying feeling that they are not good enough. It is this feeling of not being good enough that lead us to always want more in life. Most of us are spending our life trying to prove to people or to ourselves that we are enough.
After having spend a few years studying personal development and working on myself, I came to realize that the real issue for me was precisely that deep sense of not being good enough. It led to intense self-sabotage and unnecessary stress. It became more and more obvious to me that I needed to learn to love myself and that nothing that I could ever do or have would allow me to experience that self-love I’ve been looking for. I needed to move towards unconditional self-acceptance.
The belief that we need to be successful and accomplish more in order one day to be good enough and finally happy, is so pervasive and so deeply rooted in most societies that it goes largely unchallenged. Babies and small children are generally happy and, yet, they have accomplished nothing and know nothing. Would you say to a baby that he/she is not good enough?
Ironically, many personal development books or blogs are adding oil to the fire because there are coming from the same place; their basic assumption is that we are not enough as we are and need to accomplish more in order to have a fulfilling life. However is that really true?
The truth is that “not being good enough” is nothing more than a belief created by society and beliefs can be changed.
Stop trying to go somewhere
This sense of not being good enough is what makes us constantly think about the future. We live most of our life in the future not in the present; we are always looking forward or hoping for something more to complete us. We always want more and we see life as a journey where the destination is perceived as extremely important. What if I fail to have a successful career, a wife/husband I love and a beautiful house? Can I be happy then? Sure! If you drop the belief that you need these things to be happy.
In reality, the destination doesn’t matter at all. When you are on a cruise, are you enjoying the present moment or are you just thinking about the next day believing it would be better? Are you hoping that the destination will finally make you happy or are you enjoying yourself every single day?
We are all waiting for the moment where we can finally be at peace with ourselves and relax. However, there is no need to wait for that moment to come some time in the future; you must create it – or more precisely – you must realize that you are already there.
You’ve already arrived because there is simply nowhere to go!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow your passion or dreams or find a partner you love. I’m simply saying that all these things should not be used to determine your self-worth. Let me illustrate it that way: when you love yourself you are already full. You had a good meal and you are satisfied but you wouldn’t mind having a desert (success, money, ideal partner…).
It is impossible not to be good enough
There is only one thing better than, you know, ‘I’m bad’ or ‘I’m good.’ And that’s ‘I am.’ Only something as insane as a human being would ever ask themselves if I’m good. You don’t find oak trees having existential crisis. ‘I feel so rotten about myself. I don’t produce as many acorns as the one next to me. – Adyashanti
Behind the idea of not being good enough is the belief that you need to do something in order to be good enough but it is simply not true. We act as if when we were born incomplete and needed to accumulate things like success, money, prestige or knowledge to finally be complete. It is a lack of self-love that lead us to always want more in life and to constantly look for ways to be loved, recognized and approved of.
Fundamentally you cannot be good enough or not good enough because the whole idea is simply irrelevant. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone or to accomplish great things to feel complete and be worthy. It is just a belief you have; a very strong belief, yet a belief.
Loving ourselves is the key
Unfortunately, most of us don’t put enough attention and effort on loving ourselves. The main reason might be that society taught us to focus on being loved rather than loving ourselves; to be approved rather than approving of ourselves; to be successful to the eyes of society rather than to be successful to our own eyes.
Try to say to someone “I love myself so much” and see their reaction. They will likely think that you are arrogant, narcissistic or selfish. However, there is nothing wrong in loving yourself and certainly nothing to be ashamed about! You might believe that you shouldn’t love yourself too much, fearing to be perceived as arrogant or selfish. Don’t worry, you cannot love yourself “too much”. Narcissism, arrogance, selfishness or feelings of superiority are all disguised way to express a deep feeling of not being good enough and a lack of self-esteem. They aren’t self-love. There can never be too much love!
I believe that self-love is the foundation for a happy and fulfilling life and that it should be the main focus of any personal development work. It should be the first thing we work on before trying to become more confident, more successful, more productive or happier.
Self-love provides us with a safety net that is always there independent of external factors we have no control over. When you love yourself, you know what you will always be there for yourself. You don’t let situations or people you interact with determine your self-worth anymore; you acknowledge your weaknesses and accept the fact that you will never be able to overcome some of them and you are perfectly okay with what; you accept that you might sometimes feel ashamed of some of your weaknesses but you never beat yourself up for that.
I would argue that it is only when we have love, compassion and total acceptance for ourselves that we can really act selflessly. Self-love is not selfishness, it is the opposite.
You must come to the realization that “good enough vs. not good enough” is a game you will never win. The game is rigged. You want to quit the table as soon as you can!
What about you? Are you feeling that you are not good enough? Leave me a comment below and share with me your experience.
In the next article, I will tell you what you can do to start loving yourself more 😉
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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development