Belief is a powerful thing – it’s the foundation for how we perceive the world around us, how we communicate and how we behave. Everyday, we have the ability to create and practice new beliefs and discard the old modes that no longer fit. Here is a belief that I have carried with me for most of my life: I am not enough.
Now most of us, if not all, have faced this belief at some point in our lives. We have engaged with it and swallowed it whole without question. I can admit this although I don’t know when it first started to show in my life, but its effects have been there. It influenced me to go to events that I didn’t really want to go to or do anything in particular that didn’t resonate with who I knew to be. Living became a game of trying to be what others thought would be the best direction for me. The truth is, I did a lot of things to gain approval from others all so that I could disprove the belief of not being enough.
I spent so much time and energy chasing after others’ approval of me that I gave little time to challenge the lie I had rehearsed in the first place. After facing disappointment repeatedly in my life, I decided to do something different – I decided to truly practice the act of self love. I began to set daily reminders on my phone saying things like, “You were born with a purpose,” and other encouraging phrases to reframe how I viewed my own self worth.
Changing and transforming the mind is hard work, but over time it became easier and easier. Now, I’ve added a new reminder to my phone, “I am enough.” It’s been reinforcing the steps I’ve already taken in transforming my thoughts and laying a new foundation for new beliefs to enter my life.
Thoughts, and controlling them, are essential for development
I had a chat with a friend about living with this feeling of inadequacy and how it filters into our everyday lives. It was reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one, and definitely calming to know that this is a daily struggle for more than a few people, but I was touched with a twinge of sadness. My thoughts, and how I allowed them to affect me, had a direct relationship with my actions towards others – not only that, my performance and ambitions were affected.
It wasn’t a question of my ability to do or achieve, but the morale that I had and the willingness to push beyond my circumstances turned out to be a larger struggle of how to engage with myself and self worth. Maybe it was a mixture of depression and the anxiety associated with being uncomfortable, but there was a cycle here that I needed to break.
After spending the time I needed to build up my self worth, I took on a new task: maintaining the baseline of a positive self image and to challenge myself to grow and become greater. It looked like this…
- Remembering gratitude – Every morning I wake up and before I go to bed, to my best ability, I would think about someone, a moment or experience that brought me joy during the day or week. Last night I forgot to do this, but my fancy iphone 7 gave me a beautiful video to remind me how amazing my past week was. Check it out:
- Redirecting thoughts – It’s natural for us to focus on the bad that goes on in life and it’s probably safe to say that the reasons I have a lousy day is because I’ve been harping on it in my head after the ‘bad’ moment has passed hours later. Now, when something negative comes to my mind I say something positive out loud to place a new thought inside. If I’m not feeling daring enough to talk to myself in public, I’ll read an uplifting piece of writing, or listen to my favorite music.
- Releasing forgiveness – Harboring negative thoughts from past hurts used to eat away at my self confidence. Recently, I went through a series of letdown and betrayal. I moved on, or at least told myself that I did, but I found myself going back to depressive funks every other day. This morning, in my morning meditation and prayer I felt led to visualize my pain. As each person came to view as I had to tell them in my mind that I forgave them – it was really hard and I even started to cry for some; but as I let each person go there was a weight that lifted from me. Actively allowing hurt to leave the body and exit the heart is so important. I encourage you all to do this in your own time as well. Sometimes, you have to forgive yourself too – I know I did.
- Receiving and giving love – Love can come in many forms; one way in particular is in giving compliments. I’ve been pretty awkward at accepting these. I say ‘thank you’ gracefully now and give genuine compliments to those around me. Share the love!
- Revitalizing the body – Moving the body and eating well has given me new energy and motivation to accomplish my day to day activities. Certain foods make me happier – so I eat those foods! I’m not talking about sugary foods but those that are actually good for my body. You know the ones. Since I’ve been in the little funk I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been working out the way I usually do. Instead, I’ve been dancing; I combined my body work and thought life this way and listened to the songs that made my heart sing. After my little jig, I couldn’t help but smile.
All these actions teach me how in-control I can be in my life. I stopped allowing the beliefs that would guide me down dark and unhealthy paths tell me how I should live and feel. I know I am enough and I am not a victim. I am beautiful and intelligent. I am loving and am loved. I am capable and competent. It’s an everyday practice but each day it get’s easier and I know it’ll soon be a way of life.