“I am good enough.”
That single sentence is enough to make my psychologist’s heart jump for joy. That sentence is one of the goals that so many of my clients are working toward. That sentence expresses a belief that feels incredibly elusive to so many of us (in and out of therapy).
A client said that to me recently. I celebrate the moments when clients recognize that they are fundamentally good people. When they acknowledge, that despite mistakes and flaws, they deserve to be treated with respect. When they understand that respecting themselves is more important than any external accolades (because until you believe that you are good enough, it doesn’t matter how many other people believe it). When they begin to make decisions that put their values and their fundamental worth at the center, instead of last on the list. Those breakthrough moments are one of the joys that keep me coming back to my job.
Because the truth is, most of us don’t feel good enough–at least sometimes. I know I have struggled with being good enough, and I bet you have too.
There are lots of gremlins that interfere with feeling good enough. Maybe your gremlin was a parent who criticized you instead of acknowledging your hard work. Maybe you have lived through abuse or violence, and part of you believes that, if you had been good enough, it wouldn’t have happened. Maybe your gremlin is a history of being left out at school or struggling with learning disability. Maybe your gremlin is a history of struggling with chronic illness, and feeling unseen or unregarded by the world. Perhaps you have struggled to find meaningful, reciprocal relationships.
The list of possible “not good enough” gremlins is long.
If you are living with these gremlins, there may not be anything I can write in 500 words or less (and I try to keep these posts pretty short because I’m writing a lot of them) to convince you that maybe it’s time to serve an eviction notice.
But I do want you to hear this–you are good enough. You are good enough even while you live in an imperfect body. You are good enough even if you didn’t get that job that you tried for. You are good enough even though you’ve struggled in relationships. You are good enough even when you feel battered by life.
You are good enough already.
If you find yourself arguing with me as you read, please try this. Imagine a small child–maybe six months old. Helpless, but able to smile and respond, and needing love and care. Doesn’t that child deserve love and care? Don’t they deserve to be in a safe environment, where their needs are met? They aren’t earning that care–they can’t do anything yet. They deserve love and care by virtue of their being human–they are already good enough.
So are you.
You are good enough.
If you are struggling to believe this, please feel free to reach out–to me or to someone else.
What helps you feel good enough? Please share.