By: E. Thomas Costello, Founder of Live To Be 120 And Healthy
About 12 years ago at the end of 2 days of coaching I noticed a pattern in the 9 clients I worked with. THEY ALL SAID THE SAME THING! They said, “I am Not ___ Enough.”
As I reviewed my notes to confirm the pattern, the only real variable was the words they put in between Not and Enough. I heard these inserted words: good, smart, pretty, thin, strong, rich, educated, big, small, successful, sexy, handsome, outgoing, and respected.
In other words, I heard: I am Not GOOD Enough. I am Not SMART Enough. I am Not PRETTY Enough. I am Not THIN Enough etc.
The next thing I observed in my clients and in myself is how we compensate for the feelings of Not Enoughness, a phrase I coined after these experiences to describe this self-view. Avoidance actions through flight or social withdrawal, alcohol use and even cocaine use by one man whose wife brought him to me were obvious. Copping an attitude of bravado to fake Enoughness almost as if to scare away threats or others who may get too close is common. You know, the proverbial fear of someone seeing ‘behind the curtain’ and discovering the real human person we all are, filled with hopes, dreams and fears and doubts that we be able to do that.
Not Enoughness is an energy concept. Without energy we can’t survive or thrive. We try to get more energy and we try to protect the energy that we have. How do we do that?
Have you ever come across someone you would describe as a ‘goody two shoes’? That phrase comes from 1765 and reinforces the idea that if you are really good and virtuous, you will be rewarded. Google the phrase and you will get a deeper sense of how women were and still are being trained today.
Maybe the phrase ‘teacher’s pet’ rings a bell. This is the same principle. Behave well enough and you will get the reward of attention you desire. Of course, in this case, you give your power of decision away in the hopes of getting someone else’s approval. That is not a particularly empowered place to be.
Have you seen a silently angry person who puts off vibrations designed to make others keep their distance? The energy of anger stops people from getting close and if they are chronically seen as being threats, the anger force field is like an electric fence keeping them away.
Withdrawal into isolation increases the distance between others who may reflect that we are Not Enough and ourselves. The problem is that we, by comparing ourselves to others, are the creators of Not Enoughness.
How can one break the above behaviors and live the life that they desire? Instead of withdrawing, or carrying anger, recognize that we are surrounded with a never-ending supply of energy and love.
All we have to do is to access it. The question then becomes, how do I access it? There are many ways. Spend time in nature, observing the beauty of creation – flowers, sunset, butterflies and more. Laugh with loved ones, receive unconditional love from a pet. Spend time in meditation daily. All of these are reminders that if we allow ourselves to just be, without criticizing or judging, we will receive and manifest the gift of never-ending energy and love daily in our lives and in the lives of others.
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