You Are Enough
By Lindsay Monal | HealthCorps Coordinator 2018 – 2019
It’s become a part of our human nature to look for validation outside of ourselves. We grow up and go to school where we are taught that the goal is to get good grades. As long as we get good grades, we’ll get into a good school, get a good job, and be able to buy ourselves a nice house — right? That’s the goal. Getting good grades seems more important than actually understanding and retaining the material. We attach our value as a person to the letter grades we receive and then carry that mindset with us our whole lives.
From then on, we are constantly seeking validation from other people. Whether it’s through social media, relationships, report cards, the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive — we tie our value to how other people perceive us. We hope others will see us the way we want to be seen: successful, smart, strong, creative, fun. We give others the power to tell us how we should feel about ourselves and then we start to believe them:
We perform poorly on a test and then internalize those feelings of failure. We tell ourselves that we’re stupid, and that we were never good at math anyway.
Our selfies don’t come out like that model’s on Instagram. We tell ourselves we’re ugly, and that our nose is too big, and that no one could possibly ever love our thunder thighs.
We miss the winning shot in our basketball game. We tell ourselves were not good enough, we will never go pro, or get a scholarship to that D1 school we’ve had our eyes on.
If we let it, our whole lives play out like this. We don’t impress the people around us. We don’t get that validation we’re craving, and we internalize those feelings of inadequacy.
But what would happen if we reclaimed our power? What if we stopped living in fear? Fear of failure, fear of inadequacy. What if we stopped living for the validation of other people? What if we did things because they made us feel good? With no attachment to the results. With no expectation of applause, or praise. What if we stopped doubting ourselves and started believing in ourselves? What would happen then?
In her book, A Return to Love, author Marianne Williamson wrote something that tore my world apart, and of course, I am going to share it with you. She wrote,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Whoa — right?! She has a good point. Big things happen when we stop judging ourselves and start accepting ourselves. And the God that Williamson mentioned: She just means anything, the universe, source energy, the magical unicorn that grants your birthday wishes, etc. This isn’t a religious thing. It’s a people thing, and the whole point is that we reclaim our power when we stop living in fear of negative outcomes or in fear of what others will think of us.
This isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, but we can start by shifting the way that we talk to ourselves. We can say kind words to ourselves, and treat ourselves with the same love and respect that we so willingly give to other people. We can start by accepting ourselves, right here, right now.
So, here’s my challenge for you. Do one thing this week without being tied to the outcome. Pick something that makes you happy. Create something, sing, dance, play, learn. Do anything that makes you feel good; just to do it. Not to post about on Snapchat or to turn in for a grade; just do it for you. Let the joy that you experience be your own validation. Let that beautiful light inside your heart shine. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.