Do you ever find yourself caught in a negative thought spiral that tells you you’re just not enough?
Not skinny enough. Not pretty enough. Not fit enough.
Not smart enough. Not accomplished enough. Not confident enough.
Not a good enough mom or wife or daughter or sister or friend.
Do you ever feel like you can’t shake these thoughts, no matter what you do?
Despite knowing better, do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, comparing yourself with all those super gorgeous lifestyle bloggers and wondering what they even do for a living? Or maybe to that popular girl from high school whose life still looks perfect? Or to those moms who manage to always look rested, put together, and dress their kids in the cutest outfits?
If your answer is yes to any of those, I have one thing to say: I feel you, babe.
I used to struggle with these feelings all the time, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. I think we all do. Sometimes these thoughts are short lived, slipping away as fast as they came.
But other times, the feeling of not being enough can linger for days or even weeks. Sometimes you get so used to feeling bad about yourself that you don’t even notice that it’s been a few years since you actually felt good. That critical voice inside your head constantly reminds you that you aren’t enough and then tells you that you’ll never be enough until you …
Lose those last 10 pounds, get rid of your baby weight, or tone your arms some more. Get a promotion, a raise, or a bonus. Cook a delicious, yet healthy, meal for your family and pack perfect lunches for the kids, preferably the night before, because that’s what good moms do, right? Learn another skill that will let you change your resume from “intermediate” to “proficient.” Do your makeup and get your eyebrows waxed, eyelashes filled, and nails done. Find a significant other and get married, plan the perfect wedding, and then throw the perfect cocktail parties, just like your ex–best friend from high school (thanks, Facebook, for throwing those photos in my face!). After that, buy a nicer car and a bigger house, and after that …
Look, I get it. For years, I thought the solution to “not being good enough” was to simply have more and do more. I thought if I just worked harder on myself, then I would have more to be happy about, which would eventually make me feel better about myself as a whole.
But the trick with this kind of thinking is that it never ends. And guess what. No matter how much weight I lost, how many nice things I bought, or how much I accomplished, that underlying feeling of not being enough didn’t go away. If anything, it got worse over time.
Eventually, I had to find another way.
Copyright © 2021 by Mary Jelkovsky. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.