Believe you are and you are.
I’ve realized something lately that may be basic knowledge to the rest of the world, but for me, has transformed the way I think, act, and speak. I am enough. This statement in itself may not seem so profound, but for a girl who has people-pleased her way through life thus far, it’s freeing.
Perfection sets an impossible standard, yet it is so easy to get lost in the pursuit of it. A nonchalant scroll through your Instagram feed at 8:00 A.M. can make you feel like you’ve failed at just waking up. After all, if you’re not opening your eyes in a sun-drenched hotel room surrounded by five platters of breakfast options, did you really have a good morning?
It’s confusing, this world we live in now. With everything so public, so curated, so… unattainable, it is an easy feat to feel less than. This mindset isn’t just limited to females, I see male friends struggling to meet the status quo as well. The tendency is to compare ourselves to strangers, forgetting to remind ourselves that we know nothing of their journey, their day-to-day, or what’s going on behind the camera lens.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
We are all so busy projecting an image of our brand that we forget what matters isn’t appearance, but character. Think about how soon after you really get to know someone that you don’t even think about what they look like, you see them as they are on the inside. That person can roll over next to you in bed with their hair sticking up in every direction and drool seeping into their pillow and you might feel your heart bursting with affection.
You’ve learned their soul. For better or worse, that is how you’ll see them from now on. If someone is awful and vindictive towards you, they will not seem attractive no matter how conventionally attractive they are. If they are kind and lovely on the inside, they will stay beautiful long after gravity kicks in and the wrinkles have set.
Which is all good and well, you may say, but our culture as is stands is about image, keeping up appearances. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the idea that who I am is not enough. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, faster, funnier, more successful, happier, richer, more confident or polished.
Stay in your lane.
That’s just it. There will always be someone to compare yourself to, but that mindset is a trap. It yields no reward and only serves the purpose of reiterating your insecurities and fears. It holds you back from being your best self. There is no one out there who has what you were meant to have. You cannot miss what is yours.
That means your self-worth isn’t rooted in circumstance, external factors, or other people’s opinions. Really let that sink in — grasping this concept is powerful.
The next time you face rejection, be it from the guy or girl who passes on being with you, the job you don’t get, or the room full of casting directors that feel you’re not right for the part, you will know better than to let it affect how you see yourself. Your value does not decrease when the cool kids say you can’t sit with them. You can walk into any room knowing you have the right to be there.
You, as you are right now, are enough.
Where your treasure is.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at what you’re pining after. Whether it’s the relationship, the job, the travel, the kids, the body, the lifestyle, the joy. If there is someone you admire or even envy, what exactly about their life seems so appealing? Perhaps what you desire is the version of yourself you think you could be; the sliver of yourself you see in them.
That’s not a bad thing. Not if you can learn how to let go of the resentment, even the small traces of it, and channel your drive towards becoming the best version of yourself. It’s also helpful and therapeutic to celebrate those you might otherwise be jealous of. They, after all, have shown you that the desires of your heart are possible to obtain.
I think at the end of the day, what we’re all craving is love and acceptance. Sure, we can look elsewhere for validation and security, hoping to find something or someone to fill the void. Eventually, however, I think we will find that fulfillment starts within. No outpour of love from someone else can fill a lack of love you have for yourself. You have to decide that you’re enough.
Show up as you are.
What does that mean, really? To up and decide one day that you’re enough? For me, it means giving myself a break. I am not perfect, not even close, and I never will be. It’s about time I stop trying so hard. I will never be able to please everyone and it’s not my job to anyway. I have insecurities that perhaps will always be there, but I no longer want to give weight to other people’s opinions about them.
Perhaps relinquishing that permission, the permission we give others to judge us, would dissipate the entire battle, who knows. Maybe affirming your own worth is the only affirmation you really need. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. And who wants the opinion of those who aren’t in the arena with us anyway?
We just have to be brave enough to be unapologetic. We can’t shy away from being genuine or say things to appease. There’s no time to be meek or dismissive of our voice. When given the opportunity we should ask honest questions and speak quiet truths. We should let the light shine through our cracks so as to inspire others to let the light shine through theirs.
Because there is someone out there who will only be courageous enough to tell their story once you do.
Be who the world needs more of.
The world doesn’t need more filters or fillers. We don’t need to iron out the wrinkles of our lives to impress or pacify friends and strangers alike. And although curated feeds and social media presentations are not going away anytime soon, we can all take a collective sigh and rest in the fact that our worth does not stem from any of it.
Instead let’s lend a contribution to society in the form of honesty, vulnerability, humility, and transparency. Followed by acceptance, understanding, curiosity, and empathy. And let’s let it derive from a fundamental, inherent awareness that we are, exactly as we are, enough.
We are not lacking. We’re not waiting on anything. We need validation from no one. Our lives fully begin the minute we let them. We are whole the minute we allow ourselves feel whole. We’re enough the moment we decide to be.
What changes when you realize you’re enough?
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