If I focus on what I have, I’ll always have more than enough. If I focus on what I don’t have, I’ll never have enough.
Why do we think we aren’t enough? Productive enough. Talented enough. Lovable enough. Compassionate enough. Smart enough. Skinny enough. Wealthy enough. Organized enough. Brave enough. Attractive enough. Fashionable enough. Creative enough. Perfect enough. Successful enough. Generous enough. Or saving the world enough.
I could go on, but frankly, enough is enough, too much is exhausting. Literally. Scanning magazine covers while in line at the grocery store, I can quickly conclude that being healthy isn’t enough. I need to be more chiseled, thinner, lose the muffin top and saddle bags, or wait should I have more curves or a Kardashian butt?
A quick scroll through social media, a trip through the pickup line at school, or inventory of the high achieving coworkers around the conference table can quickly stir up Not Enough Syndrome.
Fixating on what we lack is an addiction. We laser in on our lack of achievement, lack of intimacy in our relationships, lack of material possessions, lack of sleep, energy, time, money, education, whatever it may be, it’s never enough.
Translation – I’m not enough.
Even well-meaning people (and not so well-meaning marketing) will try and convince us to care about something we don’t. Soon enough we are not enough in something we don’t care enough about. Gah!
We begin bashing ourselves for not doing enough to save the turtles or composting in our backyards because we’ve been convinced if we aren’t for it, we’re surely against it.
It’s not enough to work at the company, we should own the company. It’s not enough to have straight teeth, they need to be whiter. It’s not enough to own the house, the house must be in a certain neighborhood. It’s not enough to vacation in the US, Bali is the ticket. It’s not enough to hold the Associate Degree a PhD proves you’re smart and qualified enough.
When our sole focus is on what we don’t have enough of instead of what we already possess, we lose sight of reality and place limits around what we do have. As soon as we decide we don’t have enough, do enough, we become not enough. We immediately fixate on the next thing that will make us feel like enough and we will never succeed in being enough.
The bigger problem becomes – never content enough.
Saying I don’t have enough (or I have too much) of anything is comparing. Comparison is falling prey to other people’s standards of success and self-worth. Comparison kills contentment. Not enough syndrome is conjured up in our own minds through comparison. Living in a not enough mindset invites anxiety and shame into our life rather than fulfillment.
We are a nation obsessed with body image. Instead of focusing on not being thin enough I can be grateful for having more than enough food in my house and appreciating that my problem is self-control rather than worrying if I will be able to feed my children. Possibly the billions we waste on diet pills and trendy remedies could be spent feeding the hungry?
What would it feel like to step into and live in your own enoughness? Let go of the scarcity mentality that speaks I don’t have enough of this, I’m not enough of that? Whether it’s material, in our relationships, personality, appearance, or career, there is enough of everything, including success to go around.
Realizing we are enough frees up mental space to focus on the bigger picture of what we have to offer. We can share our wisdom, gifts, and talents with one another. Our priorities can center on inventing, creating, building, educating, and how we can support and serve one another. You know, all those things that keep the world functioning.
Even if someone tells us we aren’t good enough at something or aren’t doing enough to support something, that is one opinion in a very big world (last I checked there were like 8 billion people). Just because you were exposed to an opinion, popular or not, doesn’t mean it’s true or significant enough to warrant change in your world.
Be aware enough to know that the world banks (literally) on people not being or having enough. Be rebel enough to know that you are enough, and not enough of a sucker, to fall prey to not enough syndrome. Your power is in using enough of what already exists in you.