Five reminders and tips for when we don’t feel like we are enough or have done enough

By Priyanka Hardikar

Photo Credit: Wellness Stock Shop

The other day when I asked my friend if I did enough, she reassured me: “You are enough, and you did enough for this moment. You should feel great about that. We all have so much we can learn and could do. It can’t be done at once. You did what you could do.”

It reminds me of Maya Angelou’s quote: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Timing plays a factor in how much we are able to do. Shonda Rhimes said she couldn’t be a perfect mom and a perfect employee at once – only one at a time.

When we don’t feel good enough, we tend to see the worst in ourselves. It is as if segments of our lives are missing from our memory. Someone once described it to me as self-esteem anorexia, and I can relate to that.

While everyone else looks at us and sees everything that we are capable of, we look in the mirror and see everything that we believe we are not. But what we are seeing isn’t our true self. In reality, there is nothing missing because we are already complete. Like Pema Chodron said: You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.

I hope these five reminders and tips help you remember that you are enough – always. I hope they fill your heart with abundance and gratitude.

1. This Moment, Thought, or Action Doesn’t Define You

We aren’t defined by our bad days or our bad thoughts. We aren’t defined by our feelings of unworthiness. Part of being human means having off days. Know that you can miss a deadline at work one day and still be a really good employee. You can overeat, feel bloated, and not beat yourself over it. You can feel lazy, skip your exercise routine, and make up for it by doing a full-body workout the next day. You don’t need to punish yourself for not being perfect.

2. Have Your Reminders Ready

Have something tangible to come back to on days when you feel like you haven’t done enough or aren’t enough. On bad days, it helps to physically hold, or look at something you are proud of – something that tells history as it is and doesn’t change with time. It’s your proof of existence, of leaving an imprint on the world.

One of my friends keeps a pile of cards and handwritten notes from loved ones at her desk and she pulls one out when she is having a bad day. A while back, I made a list of all of my published work as a journalist, with links, and it serves as my proof.

Your reminder is like your life resume, but make sure your reminder fits your definition of accomplishment, and not someone else’s. What are you most proud of about yourself? What keeps you going on difficult days? What gives you hope? Maybe it is being a mother, so you could keep your favorite family pictures in your purse. Or maybe it is a cause you care deeply about. Whatever it is, it will remind you that you are worthy. It will remind you of your life’s purpose. It will remind you of what sparks joy in your life.

3. Don’t Take Yourself or Where You Are at for Granted

On days when we don’t feel good about ourselves, compliments can feel cringy and we tend to brush aside almost anything nice anyone says about us. We do it because we don’t believe them at that moment. We can’t understand what possessed them to say it. Your significant other could say he loves you or you are beautiful but it may not mean anything to you – not because it isn’t sincere, but because you just don’t feel lovable or beautiful that day. It becomes easy to brush aside our good traits, or the good parts in our life – to take them for granted.

This is the time to remind yourself of how far you have come, and that it is no fluke. You worked hard to get to this point – wherever it may be – and you deserve to be here! You got here on your own merits, your own personality traits, and your own skill sets. Don’t take that for granted.

Take a moment to appreciate who you are and where you are in this moment.

4. Do More Without Feeling You Are Less

You are not less than someone else because you don’t know how to do something yet. Learning should be fun, but it rarely is when we are outcome-obsessed. Self-growth is important, and it is something we should continue to strive for. But make sure you approach it with the right mindset. Pair self-growth with self-compassion. Challenge yourself, but first, accept and embrace who you are today. Rachel Hollis said it perfectly in her book “Girl, Stop Apologizing”: “First, learn to love yourself well and give yourself credit. Then, reach for more.”

This way you are allowing learning to be more about the process and enjoyment than just the outcome. Whenever you do or try something, start from the mindset that you are already enough. If you believe in your heart that you are already enough, you will never allow external factors to determine your worth again. 

5. Fill in the Missing Pieces

If you are feeling like you are not enough in one area of your life, it probably means that you are forgetting about another area. What are you leaving out? Try to look at your life objectively – from a third person’s point of view. Maybe you didn’t wake up as early as you normally do, but you caught up on sleep – maybe that’s exactly what your body needed today. Instead of picking and choosing which stories you tell yourself, show yourself compassion by having perspective.

Dear Bronze Beauty: Before you go, check out this playlist with guided meditations, yoga practices, and music to remind you that you are always worthy. 💜I will keep adding to it.

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