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On Being Enough

Most of us walk through life with excuses and justifications for the way we are: I’m not smart enough. I’m not as attractive as him. I’m not qualified enough. I’m not good enough.

The same happens when we walk onto our mat: I’m not flexible enough. I’m not strong enough. My balance isn’t good enough.

When we internally or externally voice excuses or justifications for the way we are, we create those truths for ourselves. I’m not flexible enough, so I’m not going to try that posture. Because I didn’t try that posture, I’m going to remain at my current flexibility.

When our brains tell us we’re not enough, we have the opportunity to listen to it or to recognize it and choose to change our thought patterns.

How to remind yourself that you’re enough:

1. Identify your fears. A lot of our “not good enough” brain chatter comes from fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection. When we recognize a fear, we can talk ourselves through it: what am I really afraid of? Is that so bad? What can I do to change the outcome if this were a reality?

Hiking to Snowmass Lake2. Find a mantra. Identify a word or phrase of something simple that reminds you of who you really are.

E.g. “I am whole. I am strong. I am enough.”

“I am loved. I am beautiful. I am enough.”

“I am compassionate. I am kind. I am enough.”

3. Surround yourself with what makes you happy. When we’re happy we’re usually doing something that fulfills us or reinforces that idea that we are enough. If you are happy painting, you should paint more. If you are happy spending time with your family, make more time to be around them.

4. Let go of what doesn’t serve you well. Easier said than done, but notice what doesn’t work, then omit it from your life. Is your job bringing you down? Is a relationship turning toxic? Is a friend’s drama becoming stressful?

5. Realize truths versus stories. We all create stories when we’re missing information or when we’re looking for a specific outcome. These stories in turn become our realities. In your practice, rather than saying to yourself, “I know I’m not strong enough to attempt this pose,” try instead saying the facts: “The last time I tried this pose I fell, so now I’m afraid to attempt it.” Once you realize the story you’ve created, you can start to create your new truths. “The last time I tried this pose I fell, so I’m going to be more aware of my foundation and go slower this time.” Ultimately, we seek to go beyond all stories to realize our true Self. True Self has no story and creates the transition from “I am good enough” to “I am.”

The world will constantly tell us that we’re not enough. It’s up to you to choose to be enough, to live a whole life, to live completely. It’s up to you to choose to say, “I am.”

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