Not Enough

The story. The script. The line. The lie.

The one that whispers so sweetly that I’ve always let it in. The one that waits just at the edge of my mind, jumping in at every chance. Clawing its way over me, bearing down, until I shrink and retreat. The one that’s disguised itself so flawlessly that it’s taken years to finally recognize and unmask. The one that says “you are not enough.”

I have let this line, this lie, operate my life. “You are not enough.” Not tall enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not making enough. Not sacrificing enough. Not doing enough. Not being enough. Not good enough. Not enough.

There are two sides to this story.

One side is how it’s held me back. How I spent years battling with my body image, feeling like there was something wrong with me because from early memories, I was told I was too short, too dark skinned, and too skinny, then suddenly too heavy, and all sorts of other “flaws” that I had no control over. How I didn’t see my talent and value in my work. How I’ve felt unlovable, like no one would love me if they knew the real me, if they knew the shameful parts of my past, and I didn’t deserve better. There are so many stories that I could fill an entire book’s worth.

The flip side is how it’s propelled me forward. How I ranked in the top 10% of my high school graduating class despite all the hardships at home. How I’ve designed for some of the biggest companies in Chicago and the country. How I’ve managed to be a designer, photographer, and yoga teacher. How I continue to challenge myself and be the best version of myself. How I continue to dream big to make a positive impact in this world.

I swing between extremes.

I felt like I wasn’t enough so I over compensated. I felt the need to prove myself and be the best at every single thing I did, becoming a perfectionist. Other times, I didn’t try at all because, why bother, it wouldn’t be perfect anyways, right? I felt unworthy and sought external validation to tell me otherwise. I judged everyone. I silently tore down other people so that I could feel better about myself. If anyone else succeeded at what I wanted, I pretended that I didn’t want it that badly.

Recently, I was examining how jealousy shows up for me and I traced it back to the feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. I’ve realized underneath jealousy, underneath perfectionism, underneath staying in a toxic relationship, is that seed of “not enough.”

Goodbye “Not enough.” Goodbye Unworthiness.

I am inherently worthy of joy, love, freedom and so much more.

The only validation I need is from myself.

I don’t have to be the best at anything.

I act from a place of love. From the heart.

My talents and experiences allow me to offer a simultaneously unique and relatable perspective to life.

It does not make me better or worse than anyone else.

I am enough. Just as I am.

You are enough. Just as you are.

We are perfectly imperfect.