Being Enough

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One night at dinner, my child said “Sometimes I feel like all of my friends are smarter than me.”

Ya’ll- my child is smart. Despite all of the challenges we have been through, being smart is not one of them. To put it in perspective, they started classes at the community college when they were 13- and got A’s.

So this comment took me by surprise. I asked them to tell me exactly who was smarter and what the criteria was for determining smarter than her or less smart. They came up with a very fluid definition and couldn’t even figure out how to quantify each person into their own categories. No surprise there.

Then I asked them what they were really feeling. “Like all of my friends are smarter than me” is not a feeling. I had some ideas but they are really good with their ability to name their emotions. They started with words like sad, discouraged, confused. As I continued to ask questions about where they felt it in their body, they began to slump. At first my instinct was to continue to talk but then I realized they were having an internal dialogue. Often with our kids we want to talk when the best option is just to sit with them in the silence. I stopped mid sentence and watched them experience the feeling. Their face dropped, they hung their head and tucked their hands between their knees.

“Inadequate.”

I know that feeling well. Chances are, you do too. It’s the one we most often experience from the thought “I am not enough.” We think we are not enough as a person, a spouse, a parent, a friend, an employee or employer. We think we haven’t done enough.

But what does that mean? Enough?

Chances are when we examine it, we will come up with results much like my child- a fluid definition without any basis in what’s real.

Have you decided there is a betterness scale, one where we can decide someone is better or worse than someone else and compare as to whether we are good enough? And if you aren’t enough, are you sitting at the bottom of the scale? We could go around the world pointing at folks and saying, she’s a 3-better and he’s a 6-better. It sounds crazy, right?

So why are we choosing to think others are better or more than we are? Like all human beings, sometimes we make choices that are unkind, selfish or misguided. So what? Thinking we are not enough is not going to get us to any result that serves us or another. It will not make us a better parent, better friend or better person. It will not take us to a place where we are able to live our potential.

If my child continues to believe others are smarter than them, it will not be possible for them to show up as their best self, brilliant and shining. And we all stand to lose from that. Just as I would lose from you not showing up as your best self, brilliant and shining.

You are enough. Right here and now. Every human being is. When we show up with that thought we will be able to create so much more in our lives.Changing a thought takes practice. A coach can help you identify the thoughts holding you back as well as how to change them. Want to know how? Email me at sarah@sarahkennedycoaching.com

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