Enough.

by Danica on September 30, 2013

I’ve opened up about this before, but because it’s ongoing for me, it’s a topic I’m choosing to resurface…

My absolute biggest struggle in life is answering “yes” to this question:

Am I Enough?

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized this was the root cause of so much insecurity, frustration, and negativity I was dealing with.

It’s a regular thing for me to feel less than enough, and these sorts of thoughts run through my head nearly every day…

I didn’t run enough…I could have done at least another mile or two…

Did I eat well enough today?

I missed my Bible reading for the day… *guilt*

Does my husband find me attractive enough?!  (lead-in to that first thought)

Sure I studied for a few hours this afternoon, but I could’ve done more…

She eats that and looks like that, I probably should too if I want to feel as confident…

I’m not smart enough to ever be as successful as him/her…

I gave her advice, but was it enough?  Did I say the “right” things?  I should have said more…

Do you see what I mean?!  I start thinking these things without even meaning, too…

Can you relate?  Or do you have thoughts like this cross your mind, too?

Since discovering that this is my obstacle to overcome, I’ve found ways to either a) avoid these thoughts or, most commonly, b) ignore these thoughts/change them into positive ones.

What’s really important is that I live the life that’s right for me - not a life I “should” live or the life I’m “supposed to” live.

I frequently remind myself of this quote:

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

{source}

In my Bible Study this past week, the topic was “The Storm of Doubt and Unbelief.”  The presenter spoke on the fact that we’re all unconditionally loved by God and that we’re always “enough” for Him - and then in our  group discussion later on, I ignored the fear in my mind and shared about my struggle with this.

I shared that I’m learning that while it’s important to do my best in life, of course, I can’t continually beat myself up about not meeting the ridiculous expectations I set for myself.  Did you catch that?  I said the expectations that I set for myself.  No one else is putting this pressure on me, it’s me.  I allow it to happen.  Therefore, it’s up to me to change.

After small group ended, one of my group leaders came up to me and said something along the lines of, “You’re already clean!  Because of what He’s done for you, you already have all you need – you are enough!”  And that’s when I cried and hugged her…it was the absolute most perfect thing I needed to hear after opening up about such a deep and personal struggle.

what the transition is really about

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And so, in this ever ongoing pursuit to live a life in which
I love myself for who I am,
find happiness and contentment regardless of circumstance,
and care for the person I’m made to be,
I pray about it and work hard at it every. single. day.

Life isn’t meant to be perfect – in fact, it’s arguably supposed to be hard.  But, with the right mindset, I believe I can overcome the evil that makes me feel not good enough.  I believe that if I continue to work on this, I’ll only get better a loving myself for all that I am.

And when those challenging days arrive and all else fails, I literally say this out loud to myself (and I’d encourage you to do the same)…

I am enough.

I have a long journey ahead of me, but I make a little progress every day, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

m4s0n501

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat September 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

This is a great post! What the group leader said to you is so amazing. I’ve definitely struggled with these feelings before. We are certainly our own worst critic, but I remind myself that I should be happy with who I am and try to be positive. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s something I find necessary to work on.
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2 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I agree – I think that, to one degree or another, this is something we all deal with, especially women! I also think the more we talk about it and lift each other up, the easier it’ll become for us all to be confident in who we are.

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3 Lauren-Kate September 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

Thank you for this post, it was just what I needed to read today :) x

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4 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

aw, you’re very welcome!

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5 Katie @ running4cupcakes September 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

I think this is something we all struggle with. I wrote a post about the comparison trap a little bit ago. I think it helps to talk about it and to remember that you are here to live your life the best you can and that’s it. :) Thanks for sharing this post!!
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6 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Yes, I definitely think that we all (especially women) deal with this, to some degree. And I really do find healing in talking about it and, in this case today, writing about it :)

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7 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

This is a great post, Danica. I usually find myself falling into the comparison trap, wondering if I’m smart enough, successful enough, etc. etc. as other people are. I’m learning not to care as much what other people think, though. I can only be my best self!
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8 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Thanks, Emily.
I’m realizing that the less I care about other people’s opinions of my life, the happier I am haha

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9 Lauren September 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

I am so proud of you for sharing your story both now and at your Bible story. The reason for my disordered eating was because of feeling worthless and never enough, so I can relate to this on so many different levels. I’ve realized I cannot try to morph myself into someone else because it’s not who I’m meant to be as a person. As long as I’m doing, achieving, and acting the way I want, it’s the person I want to be.
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10 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Thanks so much, Lauren <3

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11 Julie September 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

Love, love, love this! And I truly believe that God places people in our lives to say the right things at just the right moment. You ARE enough and you’re such a beautiful person on the inside and out!
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12 Danica September 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I believe in that, too!
Thanks, Julie :)

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13 Lindsay @ Lindsay Weighs In September 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

I feel like I could have written this post too! Thank you for writing this! It’s so important, and something I struggle with as well. I saw a picture on Pinterest that says “You have enough. You do enough. You are enough. Relax.” and I try to remember that and say it to myself when I’m starting to compare or feel overwhelmed. Hope it helps you too!
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14 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I love that quote, Lindsay! Thanks for sharing <3

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15 Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Amazing post, Danica. I can definitely relate to struggling with feelings of not being enough. Just like you, I’ve come a long way in building up my feelings of self-worth, but I still have a long way to go. I might actually chat about this more with you through e-mail ’cause I’m wondering if you’re experiencing any of these kind of feelings related to IIN and starting up on health coaching. Love you tonnes, lady! And I know it’s tough, but try and remember how amazing you are :)
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16 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I would love to talk about this more! IIN is helping more than hurting these feelings, but they definitely arise when I see those people posting about such lofty goals or how far they are already (way ahead of the program), you know? I’m so glad we found that we’re both in the same class there – it’s SO nice to have you to talk to about it!!

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17 Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen September 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I struggled with comparison a lot…and a lot of my research in my program has to do with comparison and social norms and what we perceive to be healthy, good, and right. I won’t use this space for a dissertation, but I WILL say that trying to focus on–exactly as you said–that most of what we believe we SHOULD do come from arbitrary expectations or requirements we make for ourselves that no one else actually holds for us.

This was beautiful!
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18 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I just love this comment, Sarah…thank you! <3

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19 Dallas September 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

What an honest, brave and beautiful post, Danica! Thank you so much for sharing. I feel this way at times too, and I will be turning back to these wonderful quotes you shared to help get me into a more positive mindset. I think you are amazing!! Have a great week. <3
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20 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I knew that, to one level or another, most women would be able to relate, which made it easier for me to open up about this…thanks, Dallas <3

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21 Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl September 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I think we can all relate to this from time to time. The biggest challenge is admiting to yourself that you do this and shouldn’t be because “you ARE enough”. I think it’s important to realize and understand that just because someone appears super happy and/or totally with it, doesn’t mean that they’re not going through their own struggles. Keep your head up and keep remembering that you ARE enough!
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22 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Absolutely – I agree that it’s important to remember that everyone has their own strengths AND struggles. I realize it’s just a matter of how we choose to be – it’s like that quote “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how your react to it.” :)

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23 Jess Dang September 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Danica, Awesome post. You are more than enough! And doing more than enough. xxx, Jess
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24 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Thanks so much, Jess! <3

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25 Jaclyn @ Grateful Mountain Mumma September 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

These are beautiful words and something that I think all of us can relate to and need to be reminded of, oh, every single day! I myself need to be reminded of this multiple times a day, so thank you for my daily pep talk! Love your blog :)

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26 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Thanks, Jaclyn! :)

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27 Em September 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Wow are you sure you’re not writing this post just for me?!
I’ve been struggling with exactly those issues recently and also struggling with my faith.
You are so enough – don’t ever compare yourself to others because you need to know that you are your own brand of beautiful and amazing and noone else will ever be that.
I was so lucky to hear the awesome Perry Noble speak yesterday and he said… ‘None of us came in here today struggling with perfection none of us prays to God at night and says oh Father please help me be less perfect it’s such a burden. We are all messed up and it’s knowing that you are so loved by the one who gave everything that makes us good enough.’
I cried so much last night coming back to God and giving my life back to Jesus and I am so thankful that he never gave up on me and that I had pastor Perry to guide me in learning that I am enough and no matter what I do it won’t change that.
X
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28 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Em – thank you so much for this comment…you’re so sweet…I really appreciate that quote from pastor Perry – just so true!! <3

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29 Emily @ runningmyliferace September 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm

It is always so hard for me to read posts like this coming from amazingly strong, beautiful, smart, and caring women – especially you!!! The hardest thing is realizing that I still struggle with this on a daily basis as well. It is hard when you almost unknowingly put extreme expectations on yourself and then are dissapointed and stressed when you don’t live up to them. Some of the greatest advice I have gotten recently is “Give yourself permission to relax.” We can’t be perfect, we can’t be great at everything, so I’m trying to pick 3-4 things to be amazing at and let the rest go. God, marriage, work and running.
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30 Danica September 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Thanks, Emily :)
Most of the time, I’m okay about this, but I’m realizing it’s just that demon I’m going to have to overcome again and again throughout my life. I’m so thankful for all of the support that surrounds me!

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31 Diane @ Life of Di. September 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Wow! I am so thankful that I read this post tonight. I have stumbled across your blog a few times but I need to add it to my Feedly list. This post was so encouraging and really detailed the (sometimes) daily struggle/pressure that so many of us experience. I can completely relate to the pressure you’re describing and don’t go to the Lord often enough. I, too, am learning to see my identity through the Lords eyes. It’s not always easy but the truth is we are enough – thanks again for sharing :)

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32 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:27 am

Diane – I’m so glad you found this post uplifting…I chose to share it because I knew there would be people reading who could relate – it’s something we all (to one degree or another) seem to struggle with and I think the more we talk about it, the more we can lift each other up!

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33 Kimberly September 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I recently wrote about a related topic (creating your own happiness) that I think ties into this. I think a huge part of our happiness depends on self acceptance and a huge part of self acceptance depends on our thought process and how we treat ourselves day to day. I have been learning to change the pattern of my thoughts so they’re more positive and so I treat myself like I would treat a friend. I used to feel constant pressure to live a certain way down to the littlest situation. For example, if I came home at the end of the day and relaxed on the couch to watch TV, I would feel constant guilt like I should be doing something better with my time. But as I’ve learned to think more positively, I’ve come to accept myself more and I’ve started to follow my own path and indulge in what makes me happy. It’s hard work but it’s worth it!

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34 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

I love this comment, Kimberly! I think you summed it up perfectly with your final sentence – “it’s hard work but it’s worth it!” <3

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35 Jessie October 1, 2013 at 12:32 am

A beautiful post written by a beautiful lady. Everything you wrote was exactly what I needed to hear. I too find myself guilty of feeling like I didn’t or am not enough in certain circumstances. I wish I had more to comment on, but you truly did leave me speechless – in such a good and positive way.

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36 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

love you, girl <3 I’m so glad this could affect you in such a positive way!

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37 Shawna October 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Such a lovely, heartfelt post. Thank you for this reminder — it’s something I think so many of us girls struggle with, the fact that we are wonderfully and perfectly created just as we are and that we have so much to offer. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap — I love that quote about comparison being the thief of joy. Thx for sharing this!

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38 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

I think we all struggle with this too, to one degree or another….I’m learning that it’s really just about owning who I am! Life is so much more fun when we’re confident in who we are :)

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39 Jen Teichroew October 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

You are so beautiful, talanted, and wonderful! :)

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40 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

right back at you, beautiful!

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41 Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections October 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

This, of course, absolutely resonates with me. I think those same things all the time and am often wondering if I am making choices that will prove to God that I am enough. But there is nothing we can do to be enough for Him! He is already enough for us! And for us perfectionists and those of us with insecurity, it’s hard to understand that letting go is what He wants.

This will probably be something I struggle with for maybe ever too. All we can do is make small changes and know that even if we don’t “get it right” in the end, God loves us all the same. Thanks for sharing girl.
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42 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I love what you said here, Melissa, about letting go…even just saying those words to myself provides a sense of calm – surrender. <3

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43 Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change October 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I think this happens for a lot of women – I know I do it, and I have close friends that do the same. Bring light to the topic is great (thank you for this post!). I do it, too, and I think my way of getting away from it is to step away from technology for a bit and just do some things for me.
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44 Danica October 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I agree that stepping away from technology can make a huge difference. It’s crazy how much instagram or blog reading can affect us – for the good or bad!

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45 Kelsey October 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Loved this post and am definitely struggling with this too. My worth in my mind has been shot recently after being let go from my job, be constantly lonely, and lacking a lot of self-confidence in myself. I am continuously questioning why things happen or look the way they do. Yes I am a firm and faithful believer that things happen for a reason and I am hopeful that good things are to come, but some days are always harder than others

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46 Danica October 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’m really sorry to hear this is such a rough time for you, Kelsey. I hope that you can find light wherever it can be found and build some confidence even on those difficult days!
One quote I like to re-read for myself is:
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” -Og Mandino

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