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.

Isolation and Introspection

I always considered myself an introvert. I spent most of my childhood with my nose stuck in a book, and I carried books with me everywhere I went. Looking back, I recognize there were there were three reasons for this. One, I loved to read and to escape into worlds much different than my own. Two, I have a very active inner monologue that tends to venture into alarmism when I least expect/want it to, and reading was a way for me to keep it busy. Three, by reading, I could avoid interacting with the people around me.

It was not until my first year out of college that I realized I am not completely an introvert. In fact, I realized that I would not be able to do a job that didn’t involve dynamic interaction with people, leading me to believe I possess some qualities of an extrovert, as well.

Isolation may be easier for introverts. Let’s face it, we are used to being alone. Something as simple as sifting through the contents of a drawer can keep us occupied for hours. Going out once a week on my grocery run is more human contact than I currently prefer—especially since so many people don’t seem to understand the common courtesies of social distancing.

I am thrilled that lately, I’ve had a valid excuse to sit down with a book. Nowadays, reading and introspection allow me to avoid the constant influx of information coming through the myriad news sources—none of which presents unbiased facts that soothe the voices in my head. Each day, the news mimics and mocks the alarmist inner monologue that follows me wherever I go. Some days, I intentionally choose ignorance.

My ignorance does not mean that I am an idealist. I am well aware of the realities that lurk outside my door—the invisible enemy that we are all fighting by sequestering ourselves apart from our families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Rather, my choice to be uninformed by the constant barrage of nearly identical newscasts insulates me from the stresses that I would otherwise internalize in a manner that would likely lead to insomnia.

Isolation may be lonely (and lengthy), but it is the most effective weapon we have in the war we wage. Think of the loneliness as an opportunity for introspection. Spend some time with yourself. Get to know who you really are and what makes you tick. No matter where you go and how fast or how far you run, you will never be able to run away from your innermost self.

And who knows? Once you get to know yourself a bit better, you might just discover that you actually like you!