Still enough (everything that isn't me)

I get a strong feeling I’m not alone with not feeling good enough. The world is changing with unstoppable force, not only inflicting strain on our surroundings, but also our brains as our to-do and to-be lists explode (see my blogs “What a time to be alive” and “Good enough is good enough” ). Brave new world to some or crazy dark world to others? Life will always throw curveballs; we get sick, we have deadlines, we struggle to balance work and life, something awful happens… and the list goes on.

Anyway, not to dwell on the negative, I’m gradually understanding that a lot of my insecurities and worries comprise everything that isn’t me.

The voice in your head is lying

“My anxiety is lying to me” is a great mantra. The utterly convincing internal voice that says you must do this and can’t do that is an outright lie and only serves to maintain anxiety.

Unplug yourself

There was a time when I would focus on MY day, my priorities and would just see where things took me without distractions. Granted, I’m much older now with more responsibilities, but now I wake up thinking I’ve a pile of WhatsApp messages waiting and within the hour, immerse myself in everyone else’s worlds (social media). Soon enough “comparisonitis” mounts.

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland (a favourite place).

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland (a favourite place).

The photos of people killing their mornings, flaunting their latest possessions or gym moves often bear no resemblance to their “actual” lives, the irony being these posts stem from not feeling good enough. Unplugging from this world means we’re not trapped inside the worlds of someone else and can focus on the beautiful creations that we are. Everything we need is inside us. We are all unique and the unedited versions of us are more than good enough. Social media is not free time, it’s dead time (see my blog “Lost time: Unplugging from the unreal world“).

Embrace imperfection

Perfectionism still tops my list of challenges and I’m looking forward to reading Brene Brown’s “The Gifts Of Imperfection”. Underlying perfectionism is fear; we delay starting something because we’re terrified our efforts won’t measure up. My perfectionism makes me procrastinate, often to the extent that I never get started at all. I’m learning there’s two ways to tackle this. One is to focus on the mishaps and failures of our idols – their poor first drafts, the rejections, the failed reps. And then, to look at the journey – how far have you actually come since you started something? Looking back over months rather than days often genuinely puts real progress into perspective.

Say thank you – to yourself

Sounds kind of weird? I picked this tip up from the wonderful Chloe Brotheridge in her “Calmer You” podcast where she advocated waking up and saying thank you to yourself. Gratitude can be a challenge when anxiety spirals, but this is about appreciating everything, such as having your pet nearby or just getting out of bed ready to face the day. If a gratitude journal is daunting and you like quotes, place some on your screensaver, fridge, desk, or other focus point. I read Chloe’s amazing book “The Anxiety Solution” within two days, and would highly recommend it.

It’s not all about you

The people you see in everyday life are not constantly watching and judging you. I’m still coming to terms with this concept but apparently it’s true! This is a common fixation of anxiety sufferers and the answer is that others are far more concerned with their own lives to worry about what you’re doing. That’s not to say your family, friends, coaches, or teachers aren’t worrying or thinking about you, It’s just we all suffer—to varying degrees—from some degree of imposter syndrome (not feeling good enough).

Breathe

A lot of people don’t realize they’re not breathing properly using their diaphragms (me included). This results in a tense body and higher stress. So when you’re feeling the pressure to live a perfect life and the stress is mounting, try to take yourself to a place you feel safe in and some deep breaths.

Work is not you

If work makes you feel anxious or not good enough, remember your career doesn’t define you because it won’t always be there. When we die, we won’t be remembered for the hours spent number crunching spreadsheets, but we will be remembered for completing that marathon we never thought was possible or for the difference we made to someone’s life.

Say it with words

Say or write down your feelings about not feeling good enough, you are not alone. And if you know someone who feels this way, let them know how amazing they really are. Anxiety is still a silent epidemic so spreading the word and sharing the love is key.

Build awareness and peace

There’s a ton of great books, podcasts and apps out there which focus on wellbeing and anxiety. Understanding what’s behind anxiety is challenging and is not always possible to do on our own, but the resources are great. Hypnotherapy and meditation can be game changers and can be free.

You are amazing

Your worth is not measured in likes, comments or followers; but in your ability to love. You are more than a photograph, more than a to-do list, a to-be list. You are more than all of this.