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November 12, 2019

What to Do when we’re Hit by the Feeling of “Not Enough.”

Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough experience.

In an age where our world is overflowing with information, opportunity, and communication, why is it we seem to be plagued by this relentless pull of “not enough?”

We clock in to jobs we hate, stay longer than expected, and work extra hours on the weekend in the hopes that maybe we’ll get that promotion.

We say yes to commitment after commitment in the hopes that maybe we’ll be recognized and rewarded.

We take out sizeable loans to pursue higher education, buy luxury cars, and renovate our homes in the hopes that maybe this will be the thing that makes it all worth it—that this will be the thing that makes life feel full.

Have we ever stopped to ask what “more” really means to us? What more money from that promotion, a higher level of education, or that new kitchen with marble countertops means to us?

It seems that our constant quest for “more” has us so enraptured that once we achieve whatever it is we’ve set out to gain, we end up falling right back into the same cycle of “not enough.” An abundant life continues to elude us. The novelty of all our wins wears off, and we’re right back to searching for something outside of ourselves to fill that gaping hole. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The undeniable truth behind this feeling of “not enough” is that we’ve unknowingly disconnected from the very things that make us who we are—love, passion, joy, light. We’ve twisted the concept of love into our own romanticized version—one that says that we are not whole or can’t be loved without the involvement of another. Passions have become a pipe dream in the pursuit of earning a living in a “realistic” way. Joy is devalued the more it’s represented as achievable through only external means, and light has become such an unrecognizable fragment of society that it’s hard to believe having a moral compass still exists.

It’s this disconnection that keeps us in the cycle. It’s this disconnection that keeps us coming back for “more,” because in our quest for it, we ironically find a sense of connection—however fleeting it may be.

The truth is, when it comes to living an abundant life, it’s not about having more money, more time, more experience. It’s not actually the thing we’re after. What we’re really after is the feeling we believe having or achieving that thing will give us.

>> We’re not actually after the money—we’re after the feeling of security.
>> We’re not actually after time—we’re after the feeling of freedom.
>> We’re not actually after the experience—we’re after the feeling of worthiness.

And therein lies the key to unlocking our most abundant lives. If we’re already imagining that more time, money, or experience will make us feel a certain way, then we already know what that feeling is because we’re imagining that more whatever will make us feel that way. We’ve already imagined what we’d do and how we’d behave if we felt secure, free, and worthy, so why aren’t we doing those things and behaving that way right now? These feelings are already accessible to us.

Consider this: What makes you feel secure right now? Perhaps it’s having a certain amount of cash in your wallet. So, run to the ATM and make a withdrawal. What makes you feel free right now? Perhaps it’s traveling. So, take a spontaneous road trip next weekend, or book a staycation at your favorite resort. What makes you feel worthy right now? Perhaps it’s taking time for yourself. So, read that book, finally learn how to play the guitar, or connect with your inner child through whatever artistic expression feels right.

When we reframe money as security, time as freedom, and experience as worthiness, we uncover the true meaning behind our desire for more and integrate those feelings into the present moment. If these feelings of an abundant life already exist, and all we have to do is use them, there shouldn’t be anything keeping us from living this way right now.

We already hold the key to living our most abundant lives. We just have to use it to unlock the door.

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author: Kristen Martin

Image: The Pursuit of Happyness/IMDB

Editor: Marisa Zocco