Thoughts: On Being Enough

I recently read Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly.

It’s the kind of book that punches you in the gut; that presents ideas that leave you gasping for breath because they resonate so truly.

I couldn’t write a review that did it justice. Instead, I’ll present some of her more powerful ideas one by one, so that I can show you my interpretation of each and how it affected me. First off the rank: the idea of enough.

She asks her readers to think about their life, and then fill in the blank: “Never _____ enough.”

What phrase comes to your mind?

For me, a number of words clamour to the surface of my consciousness, elbowing each other out of the way for prime position.

Here are some examples.

Never smart enough.

Never fit enough.

Never pretty enough.

Never thin enough.

Never good enough.

This exercise shows me that I am in a constant state of working towards some ideal with no horizon. I’m striving towards a self-imposed, impossible perfection.

I need to stop, though. Right now, I need to remember that I am enough, and I want you to remember that too. We all need to remember that we’re doing the best we can. Yes, let’s strive for betterment. But let’s also stop for a moment, be in the present, and think about where we are at now.

This idea of “not enough” thrives, like a virus. During those times when you feel a sense of despair, hopelessness or disappointment that you aren’t where you think you should be, when you think you’re not enough, please pause for a moment. Rather than focussing on the benchmark you feel you haven’t reached, stop and look back on where you came from. Don’t compare yourself to the ideals or apparent success of others, whether that is your co-worker or someone with thousands of followers on Instagram.

Instead, remember the journey that brought you to where you are now. Learn how to embrace your whole self: your successes, your failures, your imperfections and your goals. These, combined, make you who you are.

You are enough. We are all enough.