Four profoundly limiting words.
Have you thought them? Have you said them to yourself?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but as a young mom, I said those words, too. Looking back, it really explains some of my behaviors and some of the decisions I made back then. I’m enormously thankful I woke up to what I had been telling myself, and how thoughts of not being good enough were running parts of my life.
In my encounters with women, both in my office and in my personal life, I’ve come to understand that many women do the very same thing. Women continually criticize themselves and compare themselves to some standard of perfection. Most don’t even know they’re doing it. The words “not good enough” move effortlessly in and out of the feminine consciousness, like tiny little hurts growing in much larger wounds over time. Years pass in this oblivion, as women limit the possibilities for their lives, without so much as a clue as to how it’s even happening.
‘Not enough’ words don’t always sound the same. Sometimes, they’re seemingly benign, like these:
I couldn’t do that.
I can’t believe I just did that!
What was I thinking?
Other times, words of ‘not enough’ carry more punch:
I am such an idiot.
Why do I keep screwing everything up?
I don’t want anyone to know I don’t have it all together.
No wonder I can’t do anything.
Women are experts at reminding themselves to keep down, expect little, and stay small. Isn’t it sad, how that loving voice that resides within each of us can be used to encourage daughters and best friends, but is never used to encourage ourselves?
This is something I encounter frequently in my coaching practice. Having recovered from judging myself in this way, I have purposed to help other women overcome these hurtful words, too.
In this blog, I’m going to offer some strategies for overcoming the belief of not good enough. If you’d like to explore this work together, submit a request to work with me. Meanwhile, take a look at these exercises you can do on your own:
Look at your strengths
Think you’re not good enough? Start by making a list of your strengths. This could take a while, because your list is probably at lot longer than you think. I’m guessing you’ve got far more talents and abilities than you allow yourself to believe. Writing some of them down will start laying the foundation for changing those nasty thoughts for good.
Just stop. I know it’s not easy. But, practicing will help, and eventually the behavior should stop altogether. Try first by noticing the thoughts. Then, begin interrupting them when they arise. When you catch yourself comparing, simply recognize it, then let the thought slip away, turning your attention to something else. Preferably, something positive about yourself. Self love is healing, and it’s time you started treating yourself like the incredible woman you really are.
Get validation from supporters
If self validation doesn’t come easy, look for others who can help you find your inner badass. Friends, family members, children, coaches, teachers, it doesn’t matter who they are. Just look to those who already love you, and believe them, because they’ll speak truth into you, if you tune in, and finally choose to listen.
Find proof in your life
Think you’re incapable of anything? Take a look around, dear sister. Look for proof of accomplishments and areas you’ve been rocking all along. What do people always ask you to help with? What are the kinds of questions you get all day long? If you’re not sure, ask others what you’re good at, from their point of view. I promise the list is a lot longer than you might think.
Release thoughts that no longer serve you
I know it’s easier said than done. But, work on this one. Releasing old beliefs is truly the only way to reach the other side. Breathe, release, then let go completely. Never look back on what no longer serves you in your evolution to really become who you are.
Accept love and support
Remember what I said about the loving voice we tend to use on our friends? Allow others to speak life into you, as well. A characteristic of women who are very hard on themselves is not to accept help from anyone. Begin welcoming people into your life, and accept the love or the helping hand they’re offering, as you discover the way to receive that which you’ve really been craving all along.
Live in the now
Cliché, I know, but it’s true. Looking back is just reliving previous hurts — even punishing yourself – again and again for the same old thing. Would you repeatedly punish a child for the same offense? Then, why do that to yourself? Look at what’s in front of you. Feel it now. Learn to recognize what is, and enjoy each moment for what it has to offer, to teach, to enjoy, before it’s gone forever.
Want to continue this work? Contact me to schedule a one-on-one coaching call.
Standing with you as you reach for your best self,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!