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I’m writing this for you: the one who feels crippled by the anxiety of not feeling like you’re enough.
The one who has forgone so many opportunities for happiness, love, fulfillment, and abundance…because you were made to feel small and incapable.
The truth is, not only are you enough, but you are basking in the glory of your own abundance.
This is the story of how I discovered this truth and how I want you to use it to set you free.
I recently accomplished something I am extremely proud of. I completed a long course, which I believed in so passionately, in a significantly short period of time through a complete immersive and obsessive process. I lived and breathed the material of this course, and the result was that I completed it in record-breaking time.
To me, this was not a surprise—when I’m in love with something (a person, a process, an opportunity) I give it my all. And we all do this. Naturally, my “all” looks different to everyone else, but when any of us gives our all toward something, it will look obsessive, feel all-consuming, and the results will be glorious.
When I shared this accomplishment with other students in my course, I was met with shock, disbelief, and doubt.
They accused me of not doing all the modules, or rushing through them. They questioned whether I had completed it to the standard expected.
This upset me greatly, and I needed to understand why a group of strangers had the power to make me feel so small. After all, none of them held any power over my everyday life or how I live it.
I sat down with myself to try to understand the trigger, one that, in this case, can be particularly common for women. Historically and recently, no matter how many degrees we acquire, no matter how high our positions are, no matter how beautiful we are, we never feel that this is enough.
We are constantly made to jump through invisible hoops, chasing invisible carrots. We get beaten by very painful sticks and are often made to stand against one another instead of by each other’s side.
For what? For some acknowledgment that we are good enough and worthy of a raise, a bonus, or even just to keep our jobs?
I realized that my peers’ doubts were their own doubts projected onto me. My extraordinariness threatened them on some level and provoked their own anxieties of not feeling enough. Their natural instinct was to make me feel at fault because they were feeling threatened and unworthy.
I understood this and walked away from the conversation, determined not to let it rob me of my sense of accomplishment. I’ve experienced this too many times in the past, and knew that ultimately it was their battle—not mine.
That is how I killed my own anxiety: I walked away from their negativity. But this isn’t what I used to do in the past.
In the past, I marinated in their comments and doubted my own skills and abilities despite the logical proof that the opposite was true. I would go back and study my own processes and put myself down by taking their accusations as gospel.
“They” would be interchangeable characters in my story: parents, colleagues, romantic partners, friends, and even the media. Our lives are never short of people who will volunteer their judgement and opinions.
Through life coaching, I learnt that what they had to say was not important; what mattered was how I reacted. The circumstances never had the power to create my destiny, I did. I decided how to react to my circumstances, the meaning I chose to give them, and the actions I chose to take.
I’ve battled with feelings of scarcity most of my life, and it entrapped me in situations and positions I should have never tolerated. Only when I rose above others’ perception of me did I realise that not only was I enough, I was extraordinary. I was extraordinarily abundant and resourceful.
It is too easy to repeat to ourselves the narratives that explain why we are not enough. Why we are the small and scared people we believe ourselves to be.
I challenge you to come up with a list of 10 things that make you extraordinary.
Try this for the next 90 days: declare yourself untouchable territory for naysayers—you are your own authentic, extraordinary self, and only people who have also embraced their authentic selves will recognise your abundance. And they are the people you need in your life. The rest have their own demons to battle, and that is not your duty. If they wish to learn from you, you will welcome them in your space, provided they accept your abundance and theirs.
There’s no denying that not feeling like we’re enough can serve us.
Underdogs thrive on these feelings and we wake up every day ready to prove themselves. When we overcome the crippled state scarcity imposes upon us and we act—it has the power to push us beyond the limits we and others have set for us, and we challenge ourselves in ways we didn’t think we otherwise could. We become abundant.
Sometimes, not feeling like we’re enough can give us something to aspire to—even if the mindset isn’t a healthy one. We tell ourselves: I’m going to go to the gym to lose weight, and that will show them! Or, I will study hard and get that degree, and that will prove to them I’m not stupid. I will start my own business and show them I can do what I love and make money, and so on.
It gives us a running track with clear markers that signal the points where we deserve to celebrate our accomplishments.
For many of us, however, no matter how many of these markers we hit, we still can’t shake off the feeling of not being enough. And acting from a space of scarcity can limit us.
Instead, when we act from a place of feeling abundant, we realize we have more to give and accomplish. That is why it is vital we learn to reframe our underdog mentality.
Here are some actions to take to help you cross over to a space of abundance:
1. Acknowledge and appreciate who you are, what you’ve been through, and what you’ve accomplished so far—and declare that your journey is only just beginning. Your markers are there to guide you, not to use you.
2. When it comes to handling uncertainty and risk, we have two options: we can deal with them with strength and confidence and meet the challenges head-on, or we can deal with them with anxiety, which will rob us of our strength and authenticity, and in turn, will send us back to those feelings of crippling scarcity and incapability.
3. Whenever you’re feeling a sense of scarcity, give more into whatever you’re trying to accomplish. And when you feel you’ve given plenty already, give even more. Kill the scarcity feeling through taking massive action. Surprise yourself!
4. Stop having expectations. When something great shows up, meet it with gratitude.
Your abundant creative energies and resourcefulness, whether you’ve recognised them or not, have taken you places you never thought they would, all while you were feeling small and scarce.
Imagine what you can do and accomplish now from a place of limitless, abundant potential.