Five years ago, in the middle of winter, I was a sophomore sitting in my college dorm room, at the University of New Hampshire, doing my two new favorite things: journaling and listening to a self-development podcast.
I had just entered the world of self-development and it was even better than school; I would have changed my major to self-development if it was possible.
I read all the books, took all the workshops, listened to all the podcasts, and watched YouTube videos with the full intent of being the perfect person: I wanted to be the perfect lover, create the perfect business, have the perfect set of friends, be the perfect meditator, and the perfect morning person. It was not just a want—it was going to happen—I was going to be perfect.
After each lesson with self-development speakers and leaders, I would take their word like the gospel itself and obey what they said to a T. If they told me to wake up at five a.m., I would wake up at five a.m. If they told me to write 20 pages a day, I wrote 20 pages a day. Eventually my day was so filled with self-development tools, I had little time to sleep.
I did all of their work, yet a year and a half later, I still was not any closer to perfection.
I still got mad at my boyfriend.
I still was insecure.
My business made no progress.
I still was a nobody—I wanted to cry. In fact, I did. I cried, and cried, and cried.
Why weren’t these people helping me? Why wasn’t I changing? Why hadn’t my dreams come true?
Then I heard the words: “You are enough.”
“You are enough exactly as you are.”
“No, no, no. That can’t be right. Repeat that again, please.”
“You are enough.”
The woman who said this to me had to be crazy.
“Let me give you the laundry list of what I fail at on a daily basis,” I said.
“You don’t need to because you are enough.”
It took another year’s worth of perfection attempts—but now I understand it.
See, the universe made us—each one of us—with intention and each one of us was given a purpose. The universe made us: the human and the soul. We are both the inner child screaming for help and the higher self who knows they’re hot sh*t.
We are both light and dark. We are filled with both success and failure. We were made by the universe and contain all of it for a reason; so if the universe made me like this, with all the anxieties and insecurities and the wide range of emotions and love, then I must be enough—which means you are enough, too.
Say it with me: “I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.”
It isn’t expected that you believe it right away, but say it again and notice what physical or emotional reactions start bubbling up within you.
Write them down.
Tend to each of these feelings by imagining it being said by a child or your best friend. Talk to your best friend about what is beneath the emotion or sensation. Ask your inner child:
>>Why do you feel like this?
>>What or who made you feel this way in the past?
>>What did you need from them or that moment?
>>What do you need now in order to feel loved and whole?
Listen until the feelings and sensations have said all they need to say. Then give each feeling everything it needs in order to feel loved. Does the emotion need to reprogram the memories attached to it? Does the emotion need to say something to someone now? Does the emotion need a hug? Does the emotion need to rest? Does the emotion want to start a movement? Does the emotion just want to move and dance it out? Does the emotion want to scream?
Grant yourself permission to give this emotion what it wants.
Now say, “I am enough.” Does it feel any different?
When I do this practice, and I do it consistently, it shifts my energy. I know I am enough and I have the ability to go for my dreams and live the life I want to live.
Try working with this affirmation for a 21-day challenge:
Day One through Seven:
“I am enough.”
Don’t just say it—work your way to believing it.
Repeat the practice above and each time you notice a feeling that blocks you from believing it, turn the feeling into a friend, and then give that friend everything it needs to feel loved and whole.
Set aside 15 minutes to journal with it, visualize it, or even talk aloud with it.
Don’t have 15 minutes? Take a shower for 15 minutes, or 10, or 5 minutes and do it there.
Day Eight through Fourteen:
Practice changing your language around failure and not meeting your own or other’s expectations of you.
As a perfectionist, I fear failure and not meeting other people’s standards. Can you relate? Then these seven days are going to be life-changing.
When you notice you’re judging yourself, shaming yourself, disappointed in yourself, afraid of other people’s opinions of you, or too afraid to do the thing your soul wants to do then you need to pause—that’s right, stop what you are doing and write it down.
We are often too busy to stop and tend to our paralyzing feelings, but we can take note of it and tend to it later, perhaps during your shower time if you are too busy—I am not judging; I often do my best work in the shower.
Here’s what you are going to do with those moments: tend to the emotions of that very moment by asking, “How does it feel? Why? What does it want?” And give it what it wants.
Day Fifteen through Twenty:
Do things as if you know you’re enough.
Say things as if you know you’re enough.
Act as if you know you are enough.
If you knew you were enough what would you do or say—who would you be?
Journal about this, and then implement it.
Once you act as if you are enough notice how it feels. If it feels off inquire as to why.
If it felt right—take the time to celebrate.
This is pure celebration day!
Take time to nurture yourself and recognize how far you have come in 21 days.
What would your ideal morning look like and give it to yourself.
Sending you my love, and a little reminder:
“You are enough.”