Why do we feel like we’re never enough? Is it because the people around us have made us feel this way, or is it because we allowed ourselves to believe this lie: that we’re are not enough?
It is fascinating how our past continues to show up in our future. It has a stake in the actions that we take and how we treat ourselves and other people. If you are not aware of it and don’t let it go, it will continue to show up.
My parents were very judgmental, I know that they only wanted the best for me, but they way they expressed it has led me to a place of needing to be accepted, not only by them but by everyone.
My father always needed for me to excel. This started when I was in elementary school, I was always a good student all A’s and B’s, but then one card marking I had one C on my report card.
He was so angry, and I could not understand why. Having a C on my report card, even just one was not acceptable.
I was devastated, but from then on, I continued to push myself to be better, but not for myself, for him. My mother did not support my father in his reaction, but she did not support or console me either.
This was the first time that I learned the lesson of pleasing others, because the alternative caused me pain.
How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Never Enough
Now I am shaken, I am questioning everything that I am doing, at school with friends, etc.
Friends, well this is another story. I did not really fit in with the other children in the neighbourhood. But they were my friends, right? I saw them every day, we went to school together we played together, we hung out at each other’s homes.
But there was always a distance that I felt when I was with them, I thought how lucky I was that they would play with me. It never felt like I belonged, but they were doing me a favor by hanging out with me. And I continued to play with them, go to their homes and smile and believe that I was having fun.
These are my friends.
I did not say anything when they made comments about me, criticized me, or made fun of me.
I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to have friends, even if deep down inside I was feeling like that was never enough.
These feelings of approval, just wanting someone to truly like and accept me stayed with me for years. This need for approval from anybody led me down a road of self-destruction.
I continued to take mental abuse from my colleagues, through middle school and high school.
As a teenager I slept with boys, not because I liked or loved them, but because I was so happy that they wanted me. I had such low self-esteem. I put up with rejection, teasing, name calling.
I was a mess.
Then one day I had a conversation with a woman that had taken an interest in me. She was honest, and I trusted her enough to share with her my journey.
What she shared with me changed my life.
She told me that no one will ever love me more than I can love myself. She explained that we don’t pick our parents and they do they best they can with what they are able to give. Our parents do not know everything and raising a child is one of the hardest things to do.
She knew my parents and she knew they only wanted the best for me and wanted to make sure that I was equipped to be successful and have the opportunities they may not have had.
A light came on and I was able to see them in a new light.
When you realize you are enough, when you realize your self-worth, your life will drastically change.
I started to allow myself to love myself. I was able to recognize that I was a good person. I had a lot to give and I could start to forgive.
You can not rewrite the past, but you can find the lesson in it and then let it go.
Forgiveness is so big; it takes time, it does not happen overnight. But when I was able to be open to forgiveness the change started.
First, I was able to forgive those that I had held so much resentment for, and then I was able to start forgiving myself. I had to forgive myself for allowing others to hurt me and accepting it.
Forgiveness is an everyday practice. Sometimes you do not even realize how deep the hurt runs. It is sometime locked away in our subconscious and we may not even be aware that we are still carrying the hurt.
When you can forgive you can release and let go.
When you can forgive there is freedom. And I wanted to be free of it.
Free of the resentment, free of the uncertainty, free of feeling never enough and free to be my true authentic self.
Don’t let your past define your future, you cannot change it, but you can change your perception of it.
Write things down, take some time to write down all the people that you feel may have hurt you and what they did. Then look at this list and see where you may have played a hand in it. Forgive them and most importantly forgive yourself.
Be free, continue to move forward and stop believing this lie that you are never enough!
“You alone are enough; you have nothing to prove to anybody.”~ Maya Angelou
You are and always will be ENOUGH!