It took getting ‘ghosted’ on online dating and a minor meltdown about my shortcomings as a human being to realise that I might still have a bit of work to do on myself. My coach has always said that I will know where I am on my journey when I dip my toe back into dating and see how I feel. It’s not a ‘right or wrong but is a good indicator of how I am feeling about myself. Clearly, I was not as quite as far as I had thought I was.
One of my friends who is brilliantly direct with me said: ‘Why are you letting a man who you have met for an hour and a half knock how you feel about yourself.’ And of course, she was right. But as someone who has sought external validation all her life as a way to prop up my self-esteem, I realised that some serious work was required to undo this well-trodden path.
As is always the way the answer to my conundrum came at the right time. As I was driving home shortly after the meltdown a Mindvalley session on YouTube just suddenly started playing on my phone by a lady called Marissa Peer (I appreciate there will be some clever algorithm behind why it happened but to me, it had a whiff of the magic about it). Marissa went on to say that most issues people have boiled down to the feeling that ‘I am not enough,’ that you believe you can’t have what everyone else ‘has’ and the fear of rejection. She talks about how through hypnosis and through people understanding some simple rules about how the brain works that an individual can change their lives by believing they are enough. I am not sure it was a complete revelation to me but at the same time, I had a bit of a eureka moment. I know logically when I look at my life and what I have achieved that I am enough, but I don’t really feel it and the Ghosting situation had merely bought to the surface my old subconscious beliefs about my fear of rejection and that I wasn’t enough somehow (maybe I wasn’t pretty enough funny enough, interesting enough, slim enough, that there was something broken in me that meant I couldn’t ‘do’ relationships? The list can go on but quite frankly I will save you the misery of it).
And so Marissa suggests trying, over 30 days, to keep saying to yourself ‘I am enough.’ Apparently, Marissa says, 30 days is enough time to change a habit. She suggests that you write it in lipstick on your mirror, say it when you brush your teeth or in the shower and see what happens. And so I did. I set my alarm at least 3 times a day with the alarm entitled ‘I am enough’ so when it went off it reminded me that I was.
I said it whenever I got ready in the morning or got ready for bed at night, whenever anything tricky happened I kept repeating ‘I am enough’ over in my head and I listened to Marissa’s hypnosis on YouTube every day before bed. I listened to subliminal messages or I am enough affirmations on YouTube every day whilst working or on the train and I lived and breathed ‘I am enough’ for 30 days. I came home one day during those 30 days and a lovely friend had dropped off an early birthday present – an ‘I am enough as I am’ bracelet so that whenever I moved my arm I was reminded that I am enough. I decided given this was a belief that had truly held me back over the last 38 years that I would go full pelt at it as I really did want to shift it once and for all.
And it is an interesting phenomenon that once you start on a path that you notice more things that are relevant to what you are focused on. Shortly after hearing Marissa, I listened to a fantastic Ted Talk by Hayley Quinn talking about loving yourself and going cold turkey on dating. I listened to an amazing talk on Mindvalley (I do love Mindvalley!) by Daniel Packard (the Love Athlete) talking about ‘I am enough.’ His view is that believing I am not enough is just a lie that we all have in childhood that for most of us hasn’t gone away. We were born enough, we are enough and we will die enough. However, it is a belief that we reinforce ourselves over and over again by the decisions and actions we take in every area of our lives. By avoiding a situation that we fear rejection in, to getting angry at someone who has challenged us at work or at home, we reinforce the belief that we are not enough and react to it. And so we keep the lie alive.
But it is a lie and as Dan says the reality with any lie is that once it’s exposed to the light it ceases to exist. For example, he says once you realise Father Christmas isn’t real you can’t rebelieve in him as the lie is exposed. The same should have happened in childhood to ‘I am not-enoughness but because we have reinforced it since childhood in every area of our lives from school, work, relationships etc that the lie doesn’t get exposed to the light and disappear.
You would need to listen to his talk or look at his website to see how he suggests you move from your hurty to flirty ‘ I am not enough’ reactions but the reality is just being aware of when you are doing something that means you are just reinforcing ‘I am not enough is enough to start exposing the lie and once it’s exposed to the light you can’t rebelieve it! Genius!
So how have the 30 days been? I can 100% say that I feel better about myself. Certainly less anxious, definitely calmer and I have had many more real moments where I have appreciated the happiness I feel inside deeper than I ever have before. I have also been able to quickly put into perspective when people have had a difference of opinion to me and not let it escalate inside of me. I have been able to stand my ground assertively rather than getting angry or defensive when I have been challenged. I just feel..well happier. I have been able to be more aware when I am reacting from ‘I am not enoughness’ and to say to myself I am enough. My relationship with my ex-husband has improved over the last 30 days. Whether related or not I’m taking it as a positive score for the 30-day challenge. I have just enjoyed the little moments in life every day and I am also feeling much more content with being me and my life.
Over the last 30 days, I have had some amazing experiences with friends and family and felt real appreciation and love for those things. I guess I have realised that in the past I never took the time to really appreciate those moments as I was too busy moving on to the next thing to ensure I still felt enough.
As I have felt so good I have decided to carry on beyond the 30 days to 66 days… according to my Google search that is how long, on average, it takes to change a habit and I want to make sure this change is a permanent one.
So why not give it a go – what’s the worst that could happen? You don’t have to go at it with the intensity that I did but even if you just start with saying I am enough several times a day you will, without a doubt, start to see positive changes in your life.