There is nothing more you need to do to be good enough, lovable enough, capable enough, a good enough mother or spouse; you are enough exactly as you are.
So why the hell can’t we believe this about ourselves?
I’m sure, like me, you are ready at the drop of a hat to talk your friends up, to give a sister some love, and be there to support your friends through self-doubt and insecurities. But how can we get better at doing this ourselves?
For this, I will go back, way back to my college days as a young social work student, exploring gender roles and media’s impact on our view of self.
The 1990s were a different time. We received our feedback on what and who we were expected to be by mainstream media, movies, television shows, magazine covers, and even the news.
We learned from “Saved by the Bell” that the girl everyone would love was the somewhat ditzy, thin, and beautiful Kelly Kapowski. Her two best friends never quite measuring up.
Whereas “90210” taught us that being beautiful, thin, and rich made you popular.
Don’t even get me started on MTV and the music industry.
There are so many examples of this all over mainstream media. That our value, as women, is tied to the feedback, the major theme always coming back to being deemed desirable by the hot guys.
Fast forward 30 years, and our feedback is now instantaneous. Now on social media, we are judged, categorized, and obsessively await a little heart or like, or if we are lucky, a comment on a post that demonstrates to us and the world that we are finally good enough.
Society has done a number on us. Many of us are aware of this, limiting access to social media and technology for our children.
While I can’t change what is happening in the larger world overnight, allow me to remind you of a few important things:
To all the teenage girls out there.
You are enough. You are beautiful, smart, capable, and lovable. You are worthy of love and connection and deserve to be treated well. Love is the ability to allow you to be you, and embracing all you are. You do not need to change how you dress, eat, walk, talk, or interact to be enough.
Learn to stand up for yourself, show up for yourself, and remind yourself that when you do, your beliefs about yourself will far outweigh the likes, hearts, and comments on your social media platform. Remember that other people’s mean words are about them, not you.
Your strength is in your open and trusting nature. Connect with people who appreciate you and stand strong in who you are; don’t let the world change you.
To the mom who doesn’t believe she is enough.
You are. You are loved and supported by all of us moms out there. We hear you, and we get it. We know that motherhood is a journey of self-sacrifice and guilt. Your patience and love are perfect as they are. Your ability to change diapers in your trunk, keep the household afloat, and love with your exhausted heart is amazing.
The sleepless nights when they are sick, the nail-biting worry when they have their first sleepover, the heartbreak when their heart is broken, is all a testimony to your love. When you lay your head down each night, after tucking in your little loves, give yourself a break, trust your ability, and continue to keep moving forward.
Your strength lies in your capacity to love and your amazing flexibility, your ability to think on the fly, and your mom motto of “be prepared for anything,” from extra dry clothes to a cold drink, to snacks for the always starving family. (And you know they are always hungry!)
For all the entrepreneurs who are struggling with doubt.
You are enough. You have amazing knowledge, skills, and capabilities that will take you far. You have more heart and drive than most. Your ability to think on the fly, deliver solutions, and work in collaboration with others is parallel to none. I know that sometimes you think, “What the hell was I thinking leaving a secure nine to five job to take on this headache?”
The truth is, your nine to five was stifling your creativity and passion. You are not cut out to be an office drone; you are here to inspire, and you are capable of all you set your heart on. Your strength lies in your ability to keep moving forward even when life gets hard. But many people don’t understand you and your vision—it’s okay, surround yourself with people who do.
There are plenty of like-minded, supportive, and loving women (and other humans) who want to lift you up. Let them and lift them in return. It is so hard to swim against the current, but you are doing it, keep going, you got this!
To all the women who struggle.
I love you for your struggle and your courage. For your fear and your strength.
Remember, you are not alone. Being a woman is hard. But you are resilient. You are worthy of love and capable of loving. You are thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, and any other enough there is.
Please stop allowing forces outside of you to tell you otherwise. And, yes, eventually the voice becomes internal, and the threat to your health and happiness becomes the negative stories you tell yourself. I’m familiar. Can you, just for today, simply remind yourself that you are enough?
It is bad enough that we are bombarded by social media’s story that we are not thin enough, fit enough, pretty enough, or have enough followers on TikTok or Instagram. We do not need our own ego to beat us down as well.
Constantly measuring our success and our enough-ness against others is bullsh*t! It will not inspire action. It will just create a stronger, more entrenched belief that we are a failure.
But if you start by showing up for yourself, working hard at achieving your goals, you will start to believe that you are capable.
The key to unlocking your potential lies in your ability to dig deep. To look at the crap, own the thoughts and feelings, and show up to take care of your needs.
Self-care is not indulgent. It is not a luxury that is unreasonable. If you need time for yourself, take it. If you need support, connection, or accountability, seek it.
You deserve happiness in your family, your career, and all aspects of your life.
So it’s time; today is the day. The day that you commit to changing the story. Today, you will remind yourself you are enough. And you will keep moving forward with that story.