Enough

There is this lie I tell myself.

I’m not good enough.

And telling myself this lie holds me back from so many things.

I’m not good enough.

It instills a fear of failure before I’ve even begun a project, a painting, a work presentation, or a piece of writing.

I’m not good enough.

It weaves through my thoughts like the smoke from a campfire, winding upwards and obscuring the trees, the stars, the sky.

I’m not good enough.

It holds me back like a giant fence, too tall to even glimpse what lies just on the other side.

I’m not good enough.

It’s a common refrain in our society and not one unique to me. Sometimes it’s spoken aloud. “I could never make it [on that team, into that performance, on that hike, etc. <<< insert applicable situation here]. And what we are saying each time, time after time, like a mantra for life is

I’m not good enough.

Like all lies, if it’s fed, it GROWS. If you repeat it—aloud or to yourself—it becomes who you are. And if you share it with others, it becomes your reality.

I’m not good enough.

You are swept up in the lie as it spirals into a vortex from which you cannot escape. The lie becomes increasingly powerful, especially as we fight our way through the destructive “keeping up with the Joneses” competition that pervades so much of today’s society.

I’m not good enough.

But with a great deal of work and dedication, we can fight against the tide. Like children creating a whirlpool in a swimming pool, we can shift our thinking… swim in the opposite direction and begin to change the tide through our own thoughts and actions.

ENOUGH!!

It may start as a whisper, and that’s okay. Tape that whisper to the bathroom mirror where you’ll see it all the time. Read it every day and night. Speak it aloud to yourself every time you see it.

I am good enough.

The more you see it and the more you say it, the more convincing you are, the more you will believe it. The more you will know it’s true and the more power the statement will have.

I am good enough.

This statement is your new mantra for life. It’s a mantra that shifts the power back to you.

I am good enough.

The statement spirals down into my very being and expands my soul, pulling me up and out of the shell in which I have been hiding the best of myself. It reimagines the power within me.

I am good enough.

The Joneses have nothing on me now because I don’t need to compete with them or with anyone else. I am enough, and the talents I have make me a unique presence in my circle of friends.

I am good enough.

The wall tumbles down, allowing me to move about the world on my own terms. My limits fall away as I begin to believe in myself once again and in the gifts I possess within my soul.

I am good enough.

What I believe is what I become. Hope is a muscle that can be stretched and strengthened. Dreams can come true. This new mantra is the fuel I need to keep going and keep growing.

I am good enough.

It pushes me forward. It weaves through my thoughts, strong and forceful, opening me up to new possibilities and opportunities that I never even noticed before. I look around and I begin to realize…

I am good enough.

And now that I’ve put in the work to reprogram my thinking, I recognize without question…

I am enough.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to inspire ideas to flow. This morning, it only took 7¢. It was scattered on the pavement, a nickel and two pennies. Perhaps the coins were dropped unintentionally, or perhaps they were purposely cast aside. I have no idea.

Let’s be real, friends. It’s been a tough week. Deep, heavy events occurred here in the U.S. Events that should affect the entire manner in which this country moves forward. Events that should bring us to our knees. Events that should pull us together, encourage us to rally around each other and our political system and begin a long overdue healing process. But healing and working together would be arduous and protracted, and to be honest, I think many Americans lack the capacity to truly work on the issues that divide us. Attention spans are short, and people don’t see themselves as part of anything larger than themselves. These days, many people seem to be repelled by hard work, patience, and understanding. We have proven too selfish, too unkind, too hateful to reflect on the big things. To dwell on the meaningful. We are too focused on the newest cell phone, the latest version of a video game, the things money can buy that bring only momentary satisfaction. We have become shallow shells moving through time and blaming everyone else for the problems in our society.

But let’s hope this one is the tipping point. Let’s hope this is not like every single natural disaster, school shooting, raging pandemic, and act of terrorism in which Americans have been better at making excuses than addressing the broken. Let’s hope we do not shove this into the past and move on without looking back. Without learning important and difficult lessons. Without dealing with the core issues that created the problem in the first place. Without reflecting on who we are as a nation. Without a second glance.

I’m told people have lost faith in loose change. Coins are an annoyance. They are heavy. Noisy. Not worth the effort it takes to carry around. We cast them aside as soon as they come into our possession, leaving a trail of change in our wake as we move through life. On the floor by the cash register. In the cracks of our car seats and sofas. On the pavement in the parking lot as we enter and exit our cars.

It’s not worth much. You can’t buy anything with it. But loose change adds up. If you drop it in a container on your way into your house at the end of each day, it will eventually become something worthwhile. If you were to save 7¢ every day, you will fill a cup or a jar, and you might soon be able to buy a carton of milk. Or go to a movie. Or pay a bill. Loose change is only inconsequential if you cast it aside.

Come to think of it, this is much like small acts of kindness. They fill our cup. They help us to feel better about who we are and the life we are leading. They make us feel like we are part of something. Small acts of kindness add up to large acts of kindness and these, in turn, contribute to an improved outlook on life.

If you make a habit of saving 7¢ a day, your loose change will begin to come together. It will begin to be useful. You will have 49¢ over the course of a week. And at the end of a year, you would have an extra $25. Kindness is like this, too. If you make it a habit to hold the door for someone on their way in to work, eventually you will be holding the door for someone each day. Then you might start to say, “Good morning,” and this might lead to longer conversations and deeper connections. Pretty soon, you will be starting your day in conversation with new friends, and this may prompt you—and those around you—to perform more acts of kindness, changing your outlook (and theirs) for the better.

We all say we want our society to change—there’s too much hate… we are too divided… we have lost patience with others. But change doesn’t happen all at once. It happens 7¢ at a time. Small kindness perpetuates more kindness, and with a lot of time and tremendous patience, we will begin to see the changes that will shift the attitudes of an entire society and finally begin to make a difference that matters.

{Photo by Jonathan Brinkhorst on Unsplash}