Knowing you are good enough.
Sounds relatively simple doesn’t it??
Being able to believe in yourself.
Goes without saying doesn’t it??
Seeing your own value.
That comes easily doesn’t it?
For many individuals, the ability to see themselves positively doesn’t come easily. The viewpoint that they matter is not one that comes naturally. The image of themselves as good enough – well that is not an image that they frequently have of themselves.
It could be. But knowing you are good enough is a skill. And like anything we have to learn it.
When we are born into the world, we have no idea of what to expect. We do not know what the path ahead has to offer. We do not know what opportunities and challenges are coming our way. We have not formed our sense of self or identity yet – all of that grows and develops over time. And it does not happen quickly or easily.
As we grow and develop, we rely on those around us to help us. We look to our parents, extended families and friends for guidance. We don’t know as young infants or even as young people the art of liking or loving ourselves. In fact the world feels pretty confusing and at times quite scary. So how can we even begin to know these things. We have to learn. We need to be taught. Guided and shown. As we grow up it isn’t just about learning academically or developing a skillset. It isn’t just about passing tests or excelling at different subjects. We also need to develop emotionally.
We need to learn about our own emotional needs and how to take care of them. We also need to learn how to respond to them. We need to know that it is ok to be ourselves and to have all the different feelings that we have. Fundamentally we also need to learn that we are ok – just the way we are. And consequently we need to learn that – we ‘are good enough’.
This is of course something that some of us do learn from a young age and are able to take forward with us throughout our life. However for a lot of people this is something that they never really learnt. This is something they never really developed. And this is something that they weren’t always shown. Consequently this leaves what we call in therapy the ‘not good enough’ button. Something that can easily be pressed.
Whether that be through issues with friends, challenges at work, dynamics in relationships, conflict within the family etc. It doesn’t specifically apply to one area of life. It can come up at different times and in different places and points throughout someone’s life. They may find themselves feeling less then, as they have failed in some way, as though they aren’t good enough in comparison to others. The list is endless.
Of course human beings don’t mean to have this impact or effect on any one else. Most of the time they don’t set out to cause any upset. It can however happen. And when it does people can be left with that really vulnerable uncertain feeling – where they just don’t feel good enough.
The key here is that it is never too late to work on this. It is never too late to try and chance our inner monologue. We have the ability and the power to turn things around. We have the capability to improve the way we feel about ourselves. It may feel like climbing a mountain at first. It may seem overwhelming at first. But change is always possible. Taking that leap of faith isn’t easy at all. But once we start -it gets a lot easier.
It starts with self care – the way we nurture and take care of ourselves. It begins with the time and investment that we put into ourselves and into our own life. The ‘you’ time. Learning to value who you are and the time you give yourself is so important. Slowing down and making the relationship that you have with yourself the most important one. That’s where real change can take place.
It moves on to doing the things that make you happy in your life. Striking the balance. The balance between work, friends, family, partners, exercise, down time etc. Finding that happy medium – so that you are doing the things in life that you want to do. And none of them are to excess or not done enough.
It moves on to learning to know who you truly are. Taking the time to understand yourself more. And investing the time in working out how you came to feel the way you do about yourself. Therapy can really help with that. It unpicks unhelpful and destructive patterns. It helps makes sense of why you feel the way that you do and why certain things have then gone on to happen. It’s a great opportunity to learn about yourself. But also to change the parts of yourself that are damaging. The parts that aren’t working for you and the parts that aren’t serving you well. Understanding behavior and changing patterns. They go hand in hand to make things easier to manage in life.
Finally you reach a place where you can start to like yourself. And maybe even one day love yourself. Your automatic response is not beat yourself up instantly. You don’t spend your time putting yourself down in some way or immediately blaming yourself for the things that have gone wrong. Instead you start to talk to yourself in a kinder and more compassionate way. You are able to show love and care towards yourself. You are able to listen to what it is that your body and mind needs. Instead of that ‘not good enough’ button being pressed so easily – you are able see where other peoples stuff comes from and in turn to understand that not everything can be your fault.
You reach a place where you can say I am ok. I have got this. You may not feel it every single day. But your there most of the time. And that is what really matters.