They say that you’re enough. Coaches, therapists, spiritual advisors. That’s what I say too: You’re more than enough, be compassionate towards yourself.
But what if it doesn’t ring true?
If you have to hustle to finish everything by the end of the year, need to tackle your work or school, handle housework and prepare for seasonal celebrations, and the only thing you can manage without forcing yourself is lying on the coach scrolling through social media. How can that be enough?
It’s easy to end up thinking that no, you’re not enough. That you need to you do more and push more, and end up with a bad conscience anyway for not being up to all of it.
Don’t measure your worth by how much you get done
I know how easy it is to conclude you’re not enough. It’s perfectly logical in a way, but the problem is that the premise is faulty: that your worth is defined by what you do.
I’m not saying you’re measuring the worth of other people by their accomplishments, but can it be you unconsciously measure your own?
If your own worth is dependent on how many things you get done, can you feel valuable and important when you’re not doing something ‘important’? Maybe you’re also justifying your free time and rest by having to do all the important things first. And when the doing never stops, when do you allow yourself to rest?
Another problem with this is that if you’re blaming yourself for not being enough, and have a bad conscience for not having the energy to deal with your everyday life, you’re actually using a lot of your energy to fight the feeling of not being enough. What happens then is that even when you seem to be resting, it might not really give you more energy, which feeds into the feeling of not being enough.
From guilt to self-compassion
The way out of this spiral is to side with yourself and learn to give credit to your own experience. To accept that you don’t always have a lot of energy, and to learn to recognize your needs. It might also be necessary to learn what if actually feels like when you don’t have energy.
On a more practical level, this requires working on several levels:
- Recognizing and questioning your own thought patterns
People naturally lean towards thoughts that are easy and familiar. Observing and questioning them is one way to learn to change your behaviour and thinking.
- Recognizing and accepting your emotions
It’s easy and very common to try to hide the feelings of not being enough beneath doing more, which in turn can cause anxiety or shutdown. When you learn to notice and allow your emotions, it gets easier to live with them.
- Listening to your body
The body always informs us about our emotions and needs. Stress is also noticeable in the body. When you learn to understand the messages of your body, you’ll be able to regulate your nervous system and release stress consciously and in a healthy way, as well as to recognize your needs.
Getting in touch with all these elements doesn’t happen at once, but even small steps will make a difference. Self-compassion sneaks in bit by bit, and eventually you’ll notice thinking after all: This is enough. I am enough.
When it’s too hard to do it on your own…
Maybe you’ve already worked with all these elements and still feel stuck. It could be that the missing piece you’ve been looking for is a music therapy approach, which touches all the levels mentioned above, while adding a creative level to help process your experiences in a motivating and inspiring way.
If you find yourself curious at this point, you’re welcome to find out more by scheduling a free 30-minute discovery call with me. Drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a chat!