We all have an inner critic that makes us feel like we have to look or act a certain way. It will tell us that it’s not okay to be alone at 25; that we are worthless if we don’t make enough income; that we’re too fat; that nobody will ever love us.
Our minds can be the most convincing liars out there, and the more we listen to those little voices inside our head, the more we start to actually believe that we are not good enough.
But what exactly are we trying to live up to? Why do we constantly search for evidence to prove that we are not living up to our potential, instead of looking at all the things we are doing right? What happens to us when we stop comparing ourselves to people who have the things we don’t have, and start appreciating all the things that we do have?
As someone who has let the fear of not being good enough hold me back one too many times, I have realized that once I stopped worrying about the end result, I started to do more. I made greater friends, loved greater, and my whole life became open to endless possibility because I had finally let go of the responsibility and pressure to be something I wasn’t.
Here are just a few of the amazing things that will happen to you when you stop being so hard on yourself, and start telling yourself that you are enough.
1. You raise the bar.
People say to lower your expectations so you are never disappointed. I say, it’s important to not set unrealistic standards for yourself and other people, but you can always raise the bar a bit higher. Once you discover your self-worth, you will naturally want to raise your standards because you will be unwilling to compromise with people who give you less than you deserve. You will think, I deserve the things that I want because I am just as worthy as anybody else to achieve greatness. You won’t settle for a life or people that are beneath you, and you won’t opt-out of life because you constantly doubt yourself. If you constantly worry about if you are good enough for others, you lose sight of whether or not those people are even good enough for you.
2. You stop playing the blame game.
Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game. Even if you don’t think you compare yourself to other people, sometimes we compare who we are to ourselves in the past, or ourselves in the future. Living in the past and the future can not only cause anxiety and depression, but it will stop us from living in the moment and keep us from forgiving our mistakes.
When we are jealous of someone else’s success, we are already doubting that we can’t be equally as successful. When we are jealous of someone else’s relationship, it means that we are judging our past relationships and worrying that we will never have something comparable. By dwelling on our inadequacies and living in hate or fear, we cause ourselves to be angry and direct that anger outwardly. But when we stop hating ourselves, we stop pointing our fingers at everything that is wrong with life, and start accepting that we will get where we want to be when it’s right for us.
3. You become resilient.
We often feel the need to protect ourselves because other people are not valuing us enough, and we stay hidden from the world that doesn’t make us feel like we are good enough. But when we stop carrying all of this baggage on our backs, we start to feel more hopeful, and understand that life is full of problems that we are powerful enough to take on.
When we stop putting the weight of the world on our shoulders, we make room to take on obstacles, and will do so with a feeling of freedom because we know that there is nothing out there that can make us feel weak.
Think of your self-doubt as the chains that are weighing you down. Maybe you are carrying your mother’s insecurities or your boyfriend’s baggage of a broken heart, or maybe you lost a love or a job and feel unworthy because you were not able to do more to stop it. You will start to ridicule yourself, and get stuck in a downward spiral of doubt and shame. But once you break free from those chains, and realize that you are putting too much stress and pressure on yourself, you can begin to acknowledge your mistakes and move on much more quickly.
4. You attract greatness.
When we stop blaming ourselves or others for our current circumstances, we direct our focus towards our own goals. We start to think, I am enough, and there is something out there for me that will give me the life I deserve; I just have to keep working towards it.
Lack of achievement could sometimes make us feel embarrassed or ashamed, but when we let go of the fear of not being good enough, then there is no dream that is ever too big and no success that is ever out of reach.
We open the doors for new opportunities once we stop accepting the poor man’s version of ourselves, because we realize that we are not defined by other people’s opinions, and we are more than we allow ourselves to believe we are.
5. You love yourself.
You can’t love yourself when you are spending a majority of your time hating who you are. You can’t find the good things about yourself when you are constantly thinking of the bad. You might not be aware that you are doing it. You might hear from the critic inside your own mind so often that you forget the voice inside your head is coming from you. But you don’t have to listen, and you don’t have to keep putting yourself down just because you were dealt an unfortunate hand.
There is so much beauty to discover in life and in ourselves, but we must first change our attitude. We must stop being so mean to ourselves and teach ourselves that we are on the same playing field as everyone else.
Everyone in life has things that they are not proud of, but there is always time to build a life that we CAN be proud of, and the answer to that does not lie in the past or in the future.
There is no right or wrong answer, so we must stop looking for one, and start being happy with the life we were given. Because we ARE enough, and that is all we ever need to be.