Why is it that so often we feel inadequate, like we fall short? In my home, my 3 siblings and I were raised with a standard of excellence. We were encouraged to make the most of our time, energy, and resources. I am grateful for the tenacious spirit that my parents cultivated in me. But I also have personally struggled with something. Perfectionism. What I have found is that striving can hinder me from accepting myself and receiving love. Fear of failure, making a mistake, stem from the belief that I truly am not enough. Can you relate?
I was having a particularly difficult day last week and so took a few minutes, left the kids in my husband’s care, queued up one of my favorite artists on Spotify, and lay down in bed. It was then that I heard a gentle whisper.
"I only ask that you bring who you are right now to the table. It is enough. You are enough."
Here is the truth...you and I are not going to be perfect, but we are enough, right now. This truth spoken to my spirit was an invitation of release, release to be who I am, to bring my perspective, desires, the vulnerabilities I am working through right now, to the table, to my relationships. And yes, actually embracing my inadequacies, rather than hiding them, releases me to receive my true worth.
One of the greatest benefits of believing that what we bring to the table is enough, is that it puts our hearts in a position where we don't have to prove who we are. Did you know that perfectionism has a friend? Its name is judgment. We break out of judgment against ourselves and others when we ask for help. Doing this places us in a position to receive rather than a position of striving to do it all ourselves and holding ourselves hostage until we feel like we have arrived. When I come to the table and can receive from others, I break out of a perfectionistic and judgmental spirit. Bringing who I am to the table in vulnerability, believing that I am enough, allows me to receive what others have to offer. The prize? I get to enjoy being myself and provide space for others to bring themselves to the table, fully enough.
Here are some more benefits of believing I am enough:
- I can admit that I am in process when someone gives me feedback.
- I can let my shortcomings be seen without shame.
- I can enjoy my life rather than comparing myself with others.
- I can press on into the future without letting it define my identity and success.
- I can live unhidden, known, and fully alive.
What is it that triggers the message that you are not enough?
Is there a situation that needs to be worked through? Is there someone you need to forgive for the expectations they had that you took and believed defined your worth? Give yourself permission to go there and change the narrative you are listening to. Of course there is always room for growth and improvement in our lives but this does not affect our worth.
For a season in her life, one of my friends decided that every time she felt like she “should” do something or be something for another person, made a conscious effort to refrain from doing it. What this did was awaken the part of her that answered to desire. As she listened to the desires of her heart, things she enjoyed, she became more fully accepting of herself. This friend is someone that I feel enjoys me. She truly sees me not for what I do but for who I am. She told me once, “What you really need is fruit and sunshine.” She got me. Because of this I have grown to see my worth not just through what I offer but who I am. I too took a season to stop striving in the “shoulds” of life and give myself permission to discover who I am deep inside, what I like, what my dreams are, and find my voice.
Accepting ourselves releases us to also enjoy those around us.
Seriously the world is waiting for you to bring who you are to the table. You've got this. You are accepted, enough for who you are. It is not those who strive to be enough who are, but those who stop striving and embrace who they truly are. For this is when they can truly say, “I am enough.”