I can’t put my finger on when or how it happened, but as I moved from university to working life, my thoughts began to follow a pattern. I’m talking about the thoughts that keep you up late at night and run into your mind unexpectedly. The thoughts sounded a lot like: “Is my job important enough? Should I exercise more? Will I ever be financially stable?…”. The thoughts all seemed to center on this notion of being enough. It seemed like no matter how many beautiful, successful things I had in my life, I could only focus on what I needed more of.
I have never been one to look to self-help books, and it was actually my mom who told me about Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly. Brene is a researcher who studies the very thing that I had been struggling with. Brown claims that the universal tendency to fixate on not being “enough” is a mark of true vulnerability. Brene takes an honest approach to vulnerability in her books and TED Talk (I highly suggest you take the time to watch this video!). You feel as though you are talking to a hilarious, intelligent best friend who just wants to see you be happy. Brene’s work does not propose a “cure” for vulnerability, but exposes ways to live in uncertainty with a little more ease.
It is not the people that ignore vulnerability that beat it, rather, those that have the courage to live in imperfection. Brene calls these “whole-hearted” people. No matter where you are in your career, relationship, or self-discovery, there will always be unknowns. Whole-hearted individuals embrace this uncertainty and accept themselves for where they are at in the process.
My type- A personality wanted to know exactly how I could become whole-hearted. Brene does not offer up a prescription, but does explore some of the ways that these people live. One of the points that stuck with me most is that whole hearted people accept that they are enough. They let go of preconceived notions of who they should be, or where they should be at in their life and learn to love who they are in that moment.
Simple as it sounds, taking the time to remember that you are enough is an effective way to put to rest the flurry of doubts that can take over from time to time. It is no secret that we are all busy, but anyone can take a few moments out of their day to reflect on this affirmation. Write it with lip stick on your mirror, put it on a sticky note, make a list of the things that you are happy about in your life right now, or wear a mala with an intention of confidence and self-love. Do whatever you need to do to know that you are enough.