#2: The lie of “I’m not good enough”
Not feeling like you’re good enough has a huge impact on your happiness & anxiety levels. Constantly feeling that you’re not measuring up feels terrible, yet it’s something that you have the capacity to change – and you already have everything you need to do it.
In this episode, we unpack enoughness and where it comes from. You’ll also learn simple steps to improve your own confidence and self-worth that you can use right away.
Welcome, my beautiful introvert friend to episode number two, where we are going to talk about not enoughness. We’re really gonna unpack this concept, what it means, how it shows up, what it means for introverts, and how you can improve it. And I’m starting here as the second episode because this is foundational work and most introverts struggle with this. And that happens partially because our culture values extrovert characteristics. And so we are naturally kind of set up to seem different and not as good, and then we internalize this.
Also as introverts we think a lot. We spend a lot of time reflecting and analyzing and what can happen is that we create expectations for how we should be, how, what it means for us to be a good worker, a good friend, a good mother.
And these expectations are typically very vague. They’re, it’s not like a checklist, it’s always something that’s unattainable. And so we end up setting ourselves up to chronically fail to meet expectations, which of course makes us feel like we’re not enough.
The thing is, is that you absolutely have the power to change this. And in fact, it’s only you that can change this. And this is where most of us get it wrong because we think that our enoughness comes from how well we do with work, how well we do as a mom, how people respond to us. But really it’s not that at all. So we’re gonna look at that here.
Okay, so what is not enoughness and how do you know that it’s happening? Like how does it show up? So not enoughness is just another way to say low self-confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem or self-doubt. And. Really the way that you think about yourself and the expectations that you have. And you can see sometimes, you know, especially if you’ve done personal growth work, worked with a coach or a therapist, like you have the vocabulary and the perception to identify that it’s going on.
But you can’t always see it. And oftentimes even when you have done some work , there’s layers, and depth. . It’s kind of like, it, “I’m not good enough” lives in the basement. It can lurk in the basement, and just kind of like the bad smell can come up a few floors to where you are on the second floor, where you are.. here And you’ve just been in there in that, in that second floor for a while and you don’t really notice the smell, but it’s there.
But there are other ways that you can notice that you have some not enoughness in the basement . You can look at how well do you make decisions. Is it hard for you to make decisions? Do you take a lot of time? Do you really mull it over again and again and again?
Do you look for outside information, especially for other people’s opinions? In order for you to make the decision do you find that you question yourself a lot? You question whether you did the right thing, whether you said the right thing.
Another symptom is that you might tend to start activities, start programs, start books, get really excited about what it’s promising it will bring to you. But then a week or two later when you’re not feeling a difference in your enoughness or whatever it is you’re seeking, you end up quitting and then moving on to the next thing and then saying to yourself, well, I’m, you know, I, I’m a quitter, or, I don’t stay with things. I’m not consistent, and you have a lot of stories around that. And so that can lead to not trusting yourself, not trusting your decisions, not trusting your investments, not trusting your performance on a, on a work project, or questioning your performance as a parent. And of course that can bring about some, like anxiety can bring about depression and kind of existential crisis level thinking.
As introverts, oftentimes we respond by overthinking, like really, really. Journaling. Spending a lot of time in our brains thinking about something and identifying with it. Then we think about it so much we’re like, oh, this is just how I am. I’m just a person who can’t make decisions. I’m just a person who isn’t good at this thing.
And another thing that we do is we hide, we retreat, we remove ourselves from the the situation. So we end up avoiding putting ourselves in places where we might make a decision or do something hard. We avoid taking risks because we don’t trust ourselves. And so then we end up staying more in our comfort zone and not.
Being in our comfort zone is, is bad, but there’s this, but when it’s coming from a place of pulling bad for like fear and questioning and not enoughness, it’s, it’s a very different experience than if we’re in our comfort zone to replenish and nourish ourselves. So what’s happening oftentimes with our not enoughness is that we are placing.
Our sense of enoughness into things that are external from us. Like for example, say you are working on a work fundraiser and you’re. If, like, you need people to give you good feedback or get good results with the numbers. Because if you don’t, then internally you make it mean that you failed. Maybe you are even a failure.
And that creates, of course, a lot of worry, a lot of pressure as you’re doing the fundraiser. It creates a lot of questioning and anxiety and overwhelm. And if you. Succeed, then you feel good about yourself, and if you don’t, then you feel bad about yourself. So you have essentially given your control over how you feel about yourself to the to the results, which may or may not go according to plan.
And this sets you up on a rollercoaster, right? And we do this in so many different ways. You know, as a parent, we look at our children’s behavior, how they interact with other kids, the things that they say to us sometimes for us to decide whether we’re being a good parent or not. But really, how much control do you have over your child, right?
And. Your child or your work fundraiser, they don’t want the responsibility for your sense of self-worth, right? Some people will try and then that sets you up in a relationship of dependence, right? You need them to reinforce your sense of enoughness and so you’ve still given it away, right? So where does.
Self-worth come from? Where does Enoughness come from? Well, I wanna offer that it is just something that you have, like you are born a human being and you are enough. Right? Yes. As you live your life, you have experiences and you have, you get input from the world around you about what’s good, what’s not good.
You absorb these beliefs and the values of everyone around you. You know, you might have absorbed messages like you’re too quiet, or you’re not good with people, or you’re not consistent. So our self-worth, like when we have these messages, we have these experiences. Our body has a reaction to them. It’s, and essentially it’s either stress, stress, reaction, or it’s not.
And that creates emotions. It creates sensations in the body. That. Then we also use to give meaning to our experience. So if something feels more on the stress side, then we see that as a negative thing, right? And then if it feels more pleasurable, then we see it more as a positive thing. And so we use all of this.
We combine the messages that we absorb, the way that our body responds to it, and we create a truth like that, what we think is the truth about who you are and your truth. The, with the quotes, it’s pretty much, it’s how you describe. You’re like, I am this way. I am too quiet. I am an introvert. Speaking with people is not something I do like.
This is just the facts. Immutable, but it only feels that way because you’re so close to it. Because you, you think it, and you see it happening in your life over and over and over, but what’s actually going on is that like underneath you, are this enough? Human being, but you’ve created a library of stories about yourself and about what’s worthy in the world and how it feels in your body.
So these stories, this is your library of meaning and it’s based on your limited experience. Right. And I use limited in a very neutral way because your life experience is different than everybody else. And so your stories are, and the meaning that you give is different. Of course, there can be similarities, but it the, the library is unique to you and.
It’s a library of stories. You can take stories out. You can put stories in. So the way that you describe yourself, the way that you think about yourself, your level of enoughness, what right now, it’s coming from the stories that you are pulling out of there each and every day. But the thing is, is that.
Like an alien could come down to the earth and see your library and see an see the library of an extrovert, you know, tycoon. And really to them there wouldn’t be that much difference to them. It’s just the human experience to an alien. It’s a human experie. There is nothing that is better about your library over someone else’s or better about someone else’s library over yours.
It’s just the experiences and the thoughts and the stories that you have. And when it comes to self-worth, you’ve got a lot of stories in there and those stories inform your the way that you think about your. But the thing is, is that self-worth enoughness? It is constant. It is something that is always there.
It’s like your belly button and sometimes maybe you, you can’t see it for whatever reason. You’ve had a lot of Christmas Christmas candies, but it’s always there. It isn’t, and it isn’t something that you built. It’s not something that you grow your enough. But rather something that you tune into, that you reveal.
No Veda, the traditional medicine from India, we see that and the sister science of yoga. We see the human being as a perfect reflection of life and. As you live your life, you gather imbalances, and this is is your journey of life, right? And the idea is that balance is always there for you. Like, and you can claim it at any time, like you can move towards at at any time.
So what this does is not only does it help you to like know where to look, For your enoughness, but it helps you to take responsibility for it because no one else can truly give you access to it. No one else can claim it for you. Only you can do that, and so you don’t need to prove yourself to claim it.
Right. It’s simply choosing to believe that you have it, that you are worthy. So for our fundraiser example, if you truly believe that you were enough, like as you’re doing the work, you wouldn’t. Show up in a way where you’re worried about your performance. Your focus would be on doing the work. Doing the work for the sake of the work, and whoever benefits from it, not to prove yourself, right?
So, Then that it frees up all of the energy, all of the thinking, all of the worry that goes into the background. And then you can show up to do your best work. You can stay on task. You can do the hard things, like if you’re a fun, if you’re an introvert doing a fundraiser, you might be cold calling or cold emailing, and.
Those things become easier when you’re not so worried about yourself and your enoughness. And also you are able to access your creativity. You’re more likely to ask yourself how to support yourself to do your best work instead of abandoning the work to go to your comfort zone. Right? So, and that might be retreating and checking out for a.
Coupled with bouts of overworking, of not taking breaks of exhausting yourself, this is a very common cycle, right? And if you believe that, You are worthy no matter what, and you don’t meet your fundraising goal. It becomes a lot easier to problem solve because you’re not all in your head when in your existential crisis you’re, you know, with self-doubt and angst.
You’re just focused on what, like figuring out the problem. It’s not because you’re a failure, it’s not because you’re not good at it, it’s just because there’s more to learn. There’s a problem. You’ve got an amazing brain with lots of ideas. You’ve got probably access to resources. It’s so much easier to use those things when you are feeling grounded and good and enough.
So being an introvert and leading with not enoughness, helping yourself with it. So as an introvert or like if you have any other identities that don’t identify with the dominant identity in that sphere, you get to identify the beliefs that are holding you back, that you have internalized from the culture around you and heal them.
This is one of the most important parts of your journey. And healing them means learning how to believe other things. Learning how to believe the truth of who you are is that you are always enough of moving from, I’m not good enough in X, Y, Z to I am good enough, no matter how much I mess up, no matter how awkward I am, no matter how low my numbers come in, it doesn’t.
Believing that I am lovable. I am capable. I’m capable of great relationships, of the perfect relationships for me. I am capable of having an impact in my community, in the world. I’m capable of great things. So it’s easy to say those things, right. What, but you know that they are working for you. That, that you truly believe them.
If you feel it in your body, if you feel that, that your nervous system except that like a, like a hug, like someone else saying something supportive to you and you just like, oh my gosh. You know, like, you just let it, where are you? Like a warm blanket. So, but just like a hug, if you’re not open to it, you won’t receive it.
And so sometimes, and it’s not bad if you’re not open to it, but just noticing and that maybe it’s gonna take a little time. It’s just like with any relationship, especially like if you’re not a hugger, like coming straight in for a hug does not feel good. It feels invasive, it doesn’t feel right. So maybe you need to ease into it.
You need to go slow. So let’s go through a few steps here. There’s six that I’ve gotten written here on how to improve your enoughness. That takes into account this experience of needing to go slow. So knowing that any of these steps is you leaning into your enoughness is going to help you. Uncover it help you to claim what is already there.
So the first step is to un just understand the concept of what self-worth is and that it is immutable, which hopefully we’ve done here today. The second step is to believe that that is true for you, right? To truly believe that. Yeah, like. Enoughness is within me, and it is never changing. It’s always there.
The third step is to be aware when low self-worth is happening. When you’re experiencing not enoughness, being aware of the ways that it comes up for you, maybe in your decision making or you’re overworking. Just being aware is profoundly transformative because. If you don’t see it happening, then it’s very difficult to change to, to take different action, to think differently.
The fourth step is then to choose. Choose to believe something else. Choose to lean into a simple re reframe frame. You know, like I am learning to reclaim my enough. I know Enoughness is there. I feel like crap right now. I feel so much self-doubt, yet I know enoughness is there. Just that moment, that little shift of choosing something different, you are interrupting that old way of thinking, that old pattern, and you’re creating a new pattern, a new way of thinking.
You’re creating a habit of interruption. The butch is so, so powerful, and then if you are able to shift into believing something new, right? You feel it in your body, then taking action from there. So if you’re making a decision, if you notice that, hey, I’m taking a long time to, you know, decide if I’m gonna buy this car or not, and I, I notice that I’m looking for approval or for other, talking to other people to see what they think and I’ve thought about it, run the numbers and done all the things, and I’m not deciding, then you can pause and notice.
What’s going on? Like, oh, I don’t feel, I’m not feeling like I can make this decision. I’m not feeling enough.
Noticing that, and then seeing if you can access, I can make this decision. I trust myself to make this decision, and then from there, make the decision. And take action. Call the, call the car place. Say the Say Yes. Take the next action, and then of course, repeat. Repeat, because you’ll take the next action.
And then your brain might go right back to, oh. Can I trust myself to make the decision? Become aware of it. Choose something else. Take the next action.
This is essentially the process of coaching, of creating change of self coaching. So it’s so, so powerful. So my friend, you are good enough. You were born good enough, and sure, maybe you’re not skilled at public speaking, but you can grow that. Maybe you feel awkward at networking events, but you’re an introvert.
Of course you do. It has nothing to do with your worth as a human being. Your worth is immutable. It is absolute. Thanks so much for being here with me and I’ll see you next time.